Friday, June 20, 2014



According to CNN, a day after the kidnapping of three Israeli teenage boys, three boys from a "settlement" were "missing" and Israel "believes" they have been kidnapped.  
As late as Wednesday, five days after the kidnapping, Ben Wedeman of CNN is still reporting that the boys "disappeared."  A lengthy report on tactics used to try to find the boys never uses the word "kidnapped."  And, not surprisingly, the report is 90% on Israeli actions, 10% on kidnapped boys. Today, Friday, CNN did, at last, use the word "abducted." 

The facts:
Three Israeli boys, one who also holds American citizenship, two 16 years old, one 19, were kidnapped while hitching home from a school in the territories. It should not matter, but one of the boys lives in the territories, one in a town right on the 1949 truce line, and one within the Green Line.
I am sure that every caring parent feels for the parents of these boys.
Perhaps, I spoke, or more accurately, wrote, too fast.  It appears that not every parent empathizes with the parents of the kidnapped kids.  In fact, many in the West Bank and Gaza have been cheering and handing out sweets.  Their social media is elated.
Hamas, Fatah's new partner in the Palestinian Authority's government, commended the kidnapping and has criticized the Palestinian Authority for allegedly cooperating with Israel in trying to locate the boys.  Reports are that most people in Gaza believe that Hamas engineered the kidnapping.
While P.A. President Abbas has called for the boys' release, his own faction, Fatah, joined Hamas in urging Palestinians to destroy all surveillance tapes so as not to assist in finding the boys.  And Fatah's Facebook site had a gem showing the three boys as rats hanging from a fishing pole. 
Then there is the wonder of the "three fingers" campaign, in which the children of the proposed new nation of Palestine are being taught to revel in the kidnapping of children and the pain of their parents.  Note the lovely picture of the little hook-nosed Jew in one of the pictures. Apparently, there really is nothing new under the sun.
This seemingly inhuman response should not be a surprise.  Because Jews are demonized and dehumanized, Israel's right to exist is denied, Jews are equated to pigs and dogs, in their literature, in school, on cartoons (all of which are controlled by Abbas' government), this is the natural and expected response. 

Somehow CNN missed all of this. 
There is an occasional slim ray of light in this depressing and morally bankrupt reality.  A sheik and a Palestinian peace activist joined with a group of Jews to pray at the site of the abduction for the return of the captured kids.  
And a brave, enlightened Israeli Arab 17 year old, Mohammad Zoabi,who has previously incurred the wrath of his extended family for expressing his appreciation for Israel and for identifying with it, was threatened by some family members for expressing hope for the return of the boys.  Fortunately, his mother, who may not share his feelings, has at least defended his right to express them. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I am afraid that we are headed to war.  We being Israel, and we being the United States of America. 

Not against each other, heaven forbid.  Not even together against another country. 

No, it's more like what an elderly friend, colleague, or relative--in other words, I can't remember who--used to say when people asked if we knew each other:  "We went to different schools together."

Israel and the U.S.--we've been to different schools, but we're learning the same lesson together:  when it comes to standing up to the bad guys, you have to, well, stand up and push them back down.  Otherwise, they think they can get away with it, and they keep doing it.

For Israel, do not expect it to trade prisoners to gain the release of the three boys recently kidnapped.  There have been over a dozen kidnapping attempts since the beginning of the year.  This one is in the news because it succeeded.

The Palestinians believe kidnapping works because Israel gave up over a thousand prisoners for the release of Gilad Shalit.  They openly look to and cheer for obtaining another "Shalit."

It appears that srael is going to break them of this practice.  We may not find the boys alive, but it is becoming clear that the IDF intends to upend life in the territories in its efforts to do so.

Add to that the continuing rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at innocent civilians in the South.  While these attacks are largely ignored by the world media, they cannot be ignored by the residents trying to live normal lives there.

Eventually, the actions in the West Bank and the rockets in the South, along with Israel's response, will erupt into war.  I expect the world to pay attention at that point because it will be time for the UN, the EU, the Arab League, and all the usual suspects to condemn Israel's aggressive actions.  Count on the Obama Administration expressing its concern and urging all sides to use restraint.

For the U.S., sometimes you must play the role of savior and world power even when you are tired of it.  Our desire to recede from that role in the Middle East may be coming back to haunt us in a big way.