Tuesday, January 13, 2009

IDF: A Heavenly Flak Jacket and a Thirst for Spirituality

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks with a CNN interviewer about the Israel-Hamas conflict. The interviewer presses to seed the idea of Israel's "excessive" response. Bloomberg is clear and concise in his answer, in full support of Israel. Right now, on this issue, Bloomber is a hero in my mind. Thanks to Chicago Bungalow for the video. If you are looking for a Chicago blog with a cogent conservative viewpoint, "in the Time of Obama," Chicago Bungalow is always on top of world and windy city politics. Palestinian Detainees: Today's YnetNews reports that Israel is disappointed in the number of terrorists detained in the offensive so far, 200+ but "fewer than 30 have been found to have connections to Hamas or any other terror organization." The offensive is so lacking in high value detainees that plans for a prison facility to interrogate and classify the prisoners has been shelved for now. A few have provided some valuable information, including a map leading to the placement of explosive devices. The Hamas "kill" count seems not to be tallied for public consumption, but CNN says on January 6th the dead were 130. Israeli Arabs: Banning of parties 'racist':

Residents of Nazareth asys they are outraged at the Central Elections Committee's decision to disqualify Balad and United Arab List-Ta'al from the upcoming elections, with many calling the move "racist".
This is a racist act, which will only widen the gap between Jews and Arabs. After all we come from the same roots; cousins," said Abdullah Ali Taha, who runs a cab company in the city. "It doesn't even matter what my political views are; the very act is outrageous."
Arabs inside Israel claim "brotherhood" with the Jews. A Jew in the West Bank or Gaza would not be alive today. His quality of life would be worth nothing, his life, even less. The press does not talk of the Arab families living inside Israel, or the fact that they have been allowed to hold some political offices in the past. Now Israel has decided that Arabs holding political office is not pruden policy at this time, so we have cries claiming brotherhood with the Jews. How many Arabs inside Israel are supporting Israel? How many are speaking out on behalf of their "root cousins?" How many would Arab office holders would step up to protect their home country of Israel, the Middle East's only democracy? How many Arabs are living a better life inside Israel than they would in the hell holes of the West Bank and Gaza? Haaretz reports that a hospital in Gaza City, refurbished by Israel during their occupation years, is being used as a hidey-hole for Hamas officials. The Shifa Hospital complex is Gaza's largest hospital. The hospital was originally built by the Egyptians pre-1967 but Israel spent millions on the complex, inlcuding the construction of a second building. The Israeli civil administration undertook the project in hopes of improving the living conditions of Gazans. Patients are still occupying upper floors of the hospital as Hamas cowers in bunkers underneath. Hamas assumes Israel will not target the hospital. I wonder how many medical complexes Hamas has built for Gazans? As I've read the news around the web today, there are many photos of wounded Palestinians, and captions show that many of them were taken to The Shifa Hospital. The Jerusalem Post - Soldiers turn to secret weapon: Jewish spirituality (again my thanks to Chicago Bungalow)
Two soldiers made their way through the winding streets of Gaza City, carefully watching for booby traps. Their objective was to hunt down Hamas terrorists and locate caches of Kassam and Grad rockets and other arms. As they deliberated whether to turn left or right at an intersection, a woman dressed from head to foot in black appeared from out of nowhere. "Go this way," she said, pointing to the right. For some reason, the two soldiers listened to her. After proceeding for a few seconds, the pair heard a large explosion behind them, in the direction they had almost taken. A rigged house blew up, destroying everything in the vicinity. The two soldiers asked the woman dressed in black who she was. "I am the Matriarch Rachel," she said, referring to the beloved wife of Jacob.
This story, according to JPost has gone viral in religious circles on the internet, forums, email and word of mouth. The director of the Jewish Information Center says they have been swamped with thousands of requests for the names of soldier to pray for. If a soldier is interested, he can be paired with a "supplicant" who prays for his health and well-being.
Just the other day an entire battalion of soldiers, just about to enter Gaza, gave us all of their names. They passed the phone from one to the other, secular and religious - not one of them refused.
According to an IDF rabbi stationed with Golani and Kfir Brigade soldiers near Tze'elim in the Negev, where they are preparing to enter Gaza, there is a tremendous thirst for anything spiritual.
According to an anonymous rabbi, more than 1,500 tzitzit, " the four-cornered fringe garment religious men wear under their shirts," have been distributed. The rabbi says the tzizit is 'a heavenly flak jacket." Many soldiers carry the Psalms into battle for spiritual protection, as well. Welcome to war in 2008. Israel's Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, is expecting lawsuits after the Gaza operation comes to an end. Special IDF intelligence and legal experts are tasked with collecting evidence related to the operation in the Gaza Strip:
Called an "Incrimination Team," the group of experts has already received all of the footage filmed by IDF Combat Camera teams deployed inside the Gaza Strip, to review and decipher. All footage taken by Combat Camera soldiers is first given to brigade intelligence officers who study it for intelligence information.
Israel is expecting a "wave of international lawsuits." Human Rights activists will descend like buzzards. While court battles will not be as fierce as those being fought in the streets of Gaza City today, senior IDF officers will have their careers destroyed if the global Liberal-jihadist have their way. Children of the world: The photo of the child below is heartbreaking. Look at his eyes, look at the pain. A Palestinian boy trapped for a lifetime in a world of abomination. He cannot be rescued. For sure, he can escape - run away "somewhere" until the bombing is over, but then...his life of hate picks up where it left off. He goes to school, or out to play, or to Mosque, and everywhere he goes, including inside his own home, the topic is the deep and abiding hate of his Jewish neighbors. He lives a joyless life. He may be taught that he will find joy in martyrdom. No matter what he is told, he will never find joy. His heart knows the difference.
Photo Credit: Eyad Baba/AP - Rafah: school and mosque destroyed

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