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Preparing For The Perfect Storm http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:39:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Obama signs act to protect LGBT federal contractors http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/21/obama-signs-act-protect-lgbt-federal-contractors/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/21/obama-signs-act-protect-lgbt-federal-contractors/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:39:56 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14429

President Obama signed an executive order Monday protecting gay and transgender federal contractors from discrimination, the latest in his effort to act on Democratic-supported issues he says are being ignored by the Republican-led House. “It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could... Read more →

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President Obama signed an executive order Monday protecting gay and transgender federal contractors from discrimination, the latest in his effort to act on Democratic-supported issues he says are being ignored by the Republican-led House.

“It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do but because of who they are,” the president told a crowd of supporters gathered in the White House. “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people.”

The executive order, which the White House announced last month, impacts an estimated 28 million workers, or one-fifth of the U.S. workforce, and does not include an exemption for religious organizations that had been sought by some faith and conservative groups.

As part of his “pen and phone” effort to take matters into his own hands, Mr. Obama already this year he has raised the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour, changed the overtime pay rules for low-wage workers, and implemented measures the White House says will reduce pay disparity by genderat the federal level.

Only 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that explicitly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers from being fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The White House cities studies and surveys to argue that more than four in ten people who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have experienced employment discrimination, and 90 percent of people who are transgender have experienced harassment, mistreatment or discrimination at work.

While the order technically affects nearly 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, 86 percent of the largest 50 federal contractors already prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and 61 percent bar sexual orientation based on gender identity. The top five federal contractors, who receive nearly a quarter of all the money paid in federal contracts, already ban discrimination on both qualities, the White House said.

The executive order signed Monday amends a 1965 executive order signed by President Lyndon Johnson that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on race, religion, gender or national identity, adding sexual orientation and gender to the list of protections. The change will take effect early next year, administration officials said last week.

Another 1969 order from President Richard Nixon prohibited discrimination against federal workers based on race, religion, gender, nationality, age or disability. President Clinton added sexual orientation during his two terms in office, and Mr. Obama adds gender identity to the list. That change will take effect immediately.

Mr. Obama leaves in place an amendment to the 1965 executive order by former President George W. Bush in 2002 that allow religious groups to use religion as a factor in hiring and firing. But he will not grant a religious exemption to the new rule despite lobbying from religious organizations and conservative groups to do so.

The LGBT community has long sought more aggressive action from the president on issues of discrimination, following on his 2008 campaign pledge to sign an executive order protecting federal workers. Until now, he had pushed for a legislative solution in the form of the Senate’s Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which passed last November but has languished in the House.

While Mr. Obama praised the crowd for their hard work and passionate advocacy on the issue, he said there is still work to be done.

“I’m going to do what I can with the authority I have to act. The rest of you of course need to keep putting pressure on Congress to pass federal legislation that resolves this problem once and for all,” he said.

This is a copy of the full article provided by CBS News

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Oren: Hamas media strategy relies on deaths of civilians http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/21/oren-hamas-media-strategy-relies-deaths-civilians/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/21/oren-hamas-media-strategy-relies-deaths-civilians/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:21:00 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14427

Editor’s note: Michael B. Oren, a CNN Middle East analyst, is the Abba Eban chair in international diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and an ambassador-in-residence at the Atlantic Council. He was formerly Israel’s ambassador to the United States. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. (CNN) – The displacement, injury, and death of civilians... Read more →

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Editor’s note: Michael B. Oren, a CNN Middle East analyst, is the Abba Eban chair in international diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and an ambassador-in-residence at the Atlantic Council. He was formerly Israel’s ambassador to the United States. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) – The displacement, injury, and death of civilians in war is always tragic, and the current fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is no exception. But unlike the vast majority of conflicts in history, Operation Protective Edge, as Israel calls it, is one in which images of civilian suffering play a central—and potentially decisive—role in the outcome.

And the reason is simple: More than a military strategy, Hamas has a media strategy. Calculatingly, Hamas employs primitive military tactics to mount a sophisticated media campaign that can threaten Israel’s basic security. And in conducting that offensive, Hamas can count on one of the world’s most powerful weapons: the international media.

Hamas fires hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities and towns and tries to attack Israeli farms via the sea and through tunnels. Thanks to Israeli technology and vigilance, few of these actions have inflicted extensive damage. Still, they disrupt Israeli life, impair the economy, and leave cumulative psychological scars.

As a sovereign nation, Israel must respond robustly to such attacks. And as a state committed to Jewish and democratic values, Israel provides water, humanitarian aid, and electricity to the residents of Gaza even as their government murders Israelis.

Throughout, Israel strives tirelessly to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Yet in spite of the hundreds of thousands of leaflets Israel dropped, the countless text messages and personal phone calls it made warning Palestinian civilians to leave targeted areas, tragedies still occur. Israel deeply regrets these losses and continuously hones its operations to make them more surgical still.

In a war with Hamas, though, Israel’s strength and morality can become vulnerability and guilt. By investing nothing in air raid sirens and bomb shelters, by hiding deep beneath neighborhoods and shooting near hospitals and mosques, Hamas ensures that Israel will invariably wound and kill civilians.

Hamas gunmen carry out attacks disguised as women and old men, fight from UN and Red Cross vehicles, store rockets in schools, and physically prevent Palestinian civilians from fleeing combat zones. This context, though, is rarely mentioned by the media when covering the civilian cost of the fighting.

Unlike Israel, which respects the privacy and dignity of its fallen, Hamas has no difficulty in displaying these casualties to foreign cameras. And the media broadcasts them, obsessively.

The sources of that obsession are many. They include genuine empathy for the Palestinians, objection to Israeli policies, and even animus toward the Jewish state. Still, many journalists would be appalled by the suggestion that they are aiding a terrorist group indistinguishable from ISIS and al-Qaeda. Most, rather, are just doing their job by providing their audiences with the most up-to-date pictures and stories.

But whether visceral or professional, the correspondents’ motives are, in fact, irrelevant to Hamas. It merely has to know that dozens of Palestinian victims of Israeli fire capture more headlines and airtime than tens of thousands of Syrian victims of Syrians or Iraqi victims of Iraqis.

Hamas knows that the construction of a world-leading civil defense system in Israel, and the utter absence of one in Gaza, will ensure a growing gap between Israeli and Palestinian casualties. And that disparity, Hamas knows, will become the focus of media attention and accusations that Israel uses force disproportionally.

Above all, Hamas knows that shocking images—some of them taken from the carnage in Syria and Iraq and even from Hollywood horror movies—inflame public opinion. Under mounting pressure, governments will endorse UN condemnations of Israel for war crimes. Hamas missiles cannot destroy Israel, but international sanctions can tie its hands from deflecting them.

Unwittingly or not, the international media is complicit in Hamas’s plan. While some may think they help the Palestinians by highlighting their plight, in reality, the journalists only worsen it. They effectively absolve Hamas of culpability for using Gaza’s population as a human shield, of stealing its aid money to buy munitions and dig fortified tunnels with the sole purpose of killing Israelis, and of contributing nothing to Gaza’s welfare.

Israel, by contrast, is expected to apologize for protecting its citizens and for not suffering as many civilian losses as the Palestinians. Rather than depicting a complex reality in which both Israelis and Palestinians are victims of Hamas, the media prefers facile narratives of West versus East, colonialists versus natives, Goliath versus David.

Yet the most helpful role that the media plays for Hamas—and the worst disservice for Palestinians—is in demoralizing Israelis. They are willing to pay a high operational price, even to endanger their own soldiers, to avoid hurting Palestinian civilians.

Yet, in spite of these unprecedented efforts, the Jewish State is often depicted by the media as indiscriminate and callous. By calling them killers even when they take risks to save lives, the media discourages Israelis from showing restraint in the face of ceaseless Hamas attacks. And Hamas, which wants to drag Israel into a ground war in which even more civilians are killed, welcomes the media’s role in convincing Israelis that image-wise they have nothing to lose by escalating.

Former President Bill Clinton recently told Indian television that Hamas “has a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own [Palestinian] civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.” A crucial means through which Hamas accomplishes this is the international media.

Just as Israel must relentlessly scrutinize its military actions in Gaza and their consequences, so, too, must journalists take a hard look at the way they cover this conflict. They must not allow themselves to act as accessories to Hamas’s murderous strategy that delegitimizes Israel and prolongs the Palestinians’ suffering.

 

This is copy of the full article provided by CNN

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Smoking gun? Intercepted calls point finger at Russian separatists in jet downing http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/18/smoking-gun-intercepted-calls-point-finger-russian-separatists-jet-downing/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/18/smoking-gun-intercepted-calls-point-finger-russian-separatists-jet-downing/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:33:28 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14423

Smoking gun? Intercepted calls point finger at Russian separatists in jet downing Intercepted phone calls purportedly between Russian military intelligence officers and members of a pro-Russian separatist group that appear to capture the moment the rebels realized the plane they shot down was a civilian passenger plane could be the smoking gun that helps prove Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was... Read more →

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Smoking gun? Intercepted calls point finger at Russian separatists in jet downing

Intercepted phone calls purportedly between Russian military intelligence officers and members of a pro-Russian separatist group that appear to capture the moment the rebels realized the plane they shot down was a civilian passenger plane could be the smoking gun that helps prove Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed Ukraine by the insurgents.

The tapes were released by SBU, Ukraine’s security agency, and transcript was published in the Kiev Post. It appears to capture the chaotic moments after the plane was shot down — and the realization that it was a passenger plane rather than a Ukrainian transport plane, which had been targeted in recent days by the Russia-backed separatists.

“We have just shot down a plane,” says a man the SBU identified as Igor Bezler, a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

That call came just 20 minutes after the crash and was placed to a person identified by Ukraine’s SBU as a colonel in the main intelligence department of the general headquarters of the armed forces of the Russian Federation Vasili Geranin, according to Ukraine security officials.

Fox News has the full article

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Israel launches ground operation in Gaza Strip http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/17/israel-launches-ground-operation-gaza-strip/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/17/israel-launches-ground-operation-gaza-strip/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:31:53 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14421

The Israeli military launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces said. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he had instructed the IDF to start a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the underground tunnels that reach into Israel. The army said in a statement late Thursday that after 10 days of Hamas... Read more →

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The Israeli military launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he had instructed the IDF to start a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the underground tunnels that reach into Israel.

The army said in a statement late Thursday that after 10 days of Hamas attacks, it had “initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip.” The army said the objective was to strike a “significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure.”

The army did not say how many troops were involved or provide other details.
Netanyahu’s office said he instructed the army to go ahead after Hamas rejected an Egyptian cease-fire plan earlier in the week and after Hamas militants tried to infiltrate into Israel through a tunnel from Gaza earlier Thursday.
“In light of the despicable and relentless aggression by Hamas and the dangerous infiltration into Israel, Israel is obliged to protect its citizens,” the statement said.

It added Operation “Defensive Edge” would continue” until its goal is reached – to restore sustainable quiet and calm to the Israeli citizens while severely hurting and dismantling Hamas infrastructure as well as other terrorist organization in Gaza.”

Fox News has the full article

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Ukraine conflict: Russia accused of shooting down jet http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/17/ukraine-conflict-russia-accused-shooting-jet/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/17/ukraine-conflict-russia-accused-shooting-jet/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:26:40 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14419

A Ukrainian security spokesman has accused Russia’s air force of shooting down one of its jets while it was on a mission over Ukrainian territory. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, said an Su-25 ground attack plane was downed on Wednesday evening. There was no comment from Moscow but rebels in eastern Ukraine say they... Read more →

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A Ukrainian security spokesman has accused Russia’s air force of shooting down one of its jets while it was on a mission over Ukrainian territory.

Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, said an Su-25 ground attack plane was downed on Wednesday evening.

There was no comment from Moscow but rebels in eastern Ukraine say they shot down two Su-25 jets on Wednesday.

Ukraine also alleges rockets were fired at its forces from Russian territory.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered his foreign ministry to react officially after reports that Grad rockets were fired at Ukrainian forces in Luhansk region, from over the border near the Russian village of Gukovo.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a new round of US sanctions against his country, saying they will damage relations and hurt businesses from both countries.

He said the sanctions were driving bilateral relations towards a “dead end”.

As shares in Russian interests hit by the sanctions fell sharply, markets also fell by more than 2.5%.

‘Pilot ejected’

Mr Lysenko said the Su-25 had been hit at about 19:00 (16:00 GMT). Its pilot managed to eject and was rescued by Ukrainian forces, he said.

It was “yet another act of provocation… carried out by Russia”, Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda quoted him as saying.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said: “It is likely that [the hit] was carried out by air-to-air rockets from the Russian air force which were patrolling the border in a pair.”

It added that a second jet had been hit by a portable surface-to-air missile, but that pilot was also unscathed and managed to land his plane safely, AP news agency reported.

Amateur video posted on Wednesday is said to show a plane being hit over Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk.

Rebel commander Igor “Strelkov” Girkin said two Su-25 planes had been downed during fighting at the Marinivka border crossing.

Mr Poroshenko issued his instructions after reports, backed up by amateur videos, that Grad multiple rocket launchers were fired from Russian soil in the direction of Ukraine on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said: “It is likely that [the hit] was carried out by air-to-air rockets from the Russian air force which were patrolling the border in a pair.”

It added that a second jet had been hit by a portable surface-to-air missile, but that pilot was also unscathed and managed to land his plane safely, AP news agency reported.

Amateur video posted on Wednesday is said to show a plane being hit over Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk.

Rebel commander Igor “Strelkov” Girkin said two Su-25 planes had been downed during fighting at the Marinivka border crossing.

Mr Poroshenko issued his instructions after reports, backed up by amateur videos, that Grad multiple rocket launchers were fired from Russian soil in the direction of Ukraine on Wednesday.

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Analysis: Daniel Sandford, BBC News, Moscow

If Russia has indeed shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet over Ukrainian territory, it would be a significant escalation of this conflict, showing the Russian military openly engaging Kiev’s forces. It will be made all the worse if Russia has fired Grad rockets at Ukrainian troops – or allowed the separatists to fire them from Russian territory.

Until now the deaths and destruction directly attributable to Russian soldiers and airmen have been small. Russia annexed Crimea with barely any shots being fired. All the serious fighting in eastern Ukraine has been between forces loyal to Kiev and separatist forces who claim not to be backed by the Kremlin (although they are clearly getting a lot of support from some senior people in the Russian elite.)

But grabbing territory without bloodshed as happened in Crimea and supporting a rebellion as has happened in eastern Ukraine are – diplomatically at least – very different to shooting down jets and raining rockets on the heads of soldiers in their own country.

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The Ukrainian government accused Russia of shooting down an An-26 transport plane over eastern Ukraine on Monday, with the loss or reported capture of its crew members.

Ukrainian officials sought to argue that pro-Russian separatist rebels could not have downed the plane because they lacked missiles to hit it at high altitude.

Nato says that Russian troop numbers on the border have increased again to about 12,000.

Russia is widely accused of orchestrating the separatist insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern provinces by providing fighters and equipment. Russia denies this.

Denis Pushilin, a rebel leader in the eastern city of Donetsk, told AP news agency: “Most of [our weapons] are trophies that we take from the enemy.”

“We cannot say that anyone is supplying us with weapons, even though we would like them to – not because we want to keep the conflict going, but because we need to protect civilians more effectively.”

This is a copy of the full article provided by BBC

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Dr. Ben Carson sounds off on crises facing America http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/17/dr-ben-carson-sounds-crises-facing-america/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/17/dr-ben-carson-sounds-crises-facing-america/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:15:17 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14417

Dr. Ben Carson sounds off on crises facing America

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Dr. Ben Carson sounds off on crises facing America

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Sen. Ted Cruz: Faith Fines Have No Business in Our Democracy http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/16/sen-ted-cruz-faith-fines-business-democracy/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/16/sen-ted-cruz-faith-fines-business-democracy/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:09:20 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14415

Sen. Ted Cruz: Faith Fines Have No Business in Our Democracy

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Sen. Ted Cruz: Faith Fines Have No Business in Our Democracy

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‘Hamas doesn’t care about protecting Palestinians, only about destroying Israel’ – MFA spokesperson http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/16/hamas-doesnt-care-protecting-palestinians-destroying-israel-mfa-spokesperson/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/16/hamas-doesnt-care-protecting-palestinians-destroying-israel-mfa-spokesperson/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:24:14 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14413

‘Hamas doesn’t care about protecting Palestinians, only about destroying Israel’ – MFA spokesperson With the Egypt-proposed truce out of the window following Hamas rejection, violence between Gaza and Israel reaches new highs with 200 dead Palestinians and one Israeli. Ilana Stein from Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry tells RT that the Israeli military tries to avoid civilian casualties among Palestinians, but... Read more →

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‘Hamas doesn’t care about protecting Palestinians, only about destroying Israel’ – MFA spokesperson

With the Egypt-proposed truce out of the window following Hamas rejection, violence between Gaza and Israel reaches new highs with 200 dead Palestinians and one Israeli. Ilana Stein from Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry tells RT that the Israeli military tries to avoid civilian casualties among Palestinians, but Hamas uses people as a human shield

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Jewish Groups Begin To Rise Up In The Face Of Increasing Antisemitism http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/16/jewish-groups-begin-rise-face-increasing-antisemitism/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/16/jewish-groups-begin-rise-face-increasing-antisemitism/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:31:18 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14411

Jewish Groups Begin To Rise Up In The Face Of Increasing Antisemitism TuthRevolt reported about Sunday’s anti-Semitic riot outside the Synagogue de la Roquette in Paris. Subsequently, a controversial video showing Jewish youths protecting the Synagogue and the people trapped inside has emerged.  Some are using the video to insist it was the pro-Israeli youths protecting their synagogue who were the aggressors, but a community member who witnessed... Read more →

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Jewish Groups Begin To Rise Up In The Face Of Increasing Antisemitism

TuthRevolt reported about Sunday’s anti-Semitic riot outside the Synagogue de la Roquette in Paris. Subsequently, a controversial video showing Jewish youths protecting the Synagogue and the people trapped inside has emerged.  Some are using the video to insist it was the pro-Israeli youths protecting their synagogue who were the aggressors, but a community member who witnessed the confrontation said the video was misleading, comparing it to selectively edited videos of IDF soldiers which show false evidence of Israeli “crimes” by excluding crucial context.

The witness told Israel National News:

“What you have to understand is the background to this,” said the witness, who asked to remain anonymous. “A synagogue in a different neighborhood of Paris was attacked the previous day at about 6 p.m., when it was still Shabbat, by a much smaller group a few dozen Muslims who hurled abuse and spat at worshippers. People are very afraid.”

She said that the clash on Sunday actually began when the anti-Israel group attempted to storm the Isaac Abravanel synagogue, which at the time was hosting a rabbinical conference. She claimed that police were called but were very slow in responding, and only arrived in sufficient numbers to push back the protesters after the President of the French rabbinate made a direct phone call to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who then contacted Paris’s Chief of the Police to dispatch sufficient forces to the synagogue.

On Monday, Serge Ben Haim, one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Paris, told IDF Radio that the incident was reminiscent of Kristallnacht, and said that it was time for French leaders to start tackling anti-Semitism more seriously.

Also on Monday, MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow ran a video report about the Jewish defense group in Paris named Betar. According to the Sunday reports, Betar’s members were part of the group defending the synagogue.  The video (below) also highlights the rising anti-Semitism in France.

This is a copy of the full article provided by the Conservatives at Truth Revolt

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IDF resumes strikes in Gaza after Hamas rejects ceasefire, launches dozens of rockets http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/15/idf-resumes-strikes-gaza-hamas-rejects-ceasefire-launches-dozens-rockets/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/07/15/idf-resumes-strikes-gaza-hamas-rejects-ceasefire-launches-dozens-rockets/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:05:19 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14406

IDF resumes strikes in Gaza after Hamas rejects ceasefire, launches dozens of rockets Netanyahu and Ya’alon authorize resumption of Operation Protective Edge after Israel briefly agreed to Egyptian ceasefire initiative; Gazans say they are receiving messages from IDF blaming Hamas for continued strikes. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered a restart of the attacks on the... Read more →

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IDF resumes strikes in Gaza after Hamas rejects ceasefire, launches dozens of rockets

Netanyahu and Ya’alon authorize resumption of Operation Protective Edge after Israel briefly agreed to Egyptian ceasefire initiative; Gazans say they are receiving messages from IDF blaming Hamas for continued strikes.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered a restart of the attacks on the Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon after Israel’s acceptance of anEgyptian-brokered ceasefire was met with a morning and afternoon of Hamas rockets fired at Israel.

Diplomatic officials said that the IDF actions, which came at 3:00 pm, six hours after Israel held its fire and responded positively to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, were the result of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejecting the cease fire.

IAF aircraft began striking targets on Tuesday afternoon following the decision. The IDF stated that it would strike all “elements that are behind terrorist attacks on Israel.”

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip claimed on Tuesday that they had been receiving text messages and pre-recorded phone calls from the IDF that blame Hamas for the renewal of Israeli strikes following Hamas’s rejection of the ceasefire.

Netanyahu had earlier warned that Israel would widen its offensive in Gaza if the rocket attacks continued.

Netanyahu, speaking at the beginning of a meeting in Tel Aviv with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that Israel “agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to give an opportunity for the demilitarization of the Strip – from missiles, from rockets and from tunnels – through diplomatic means.”

The prime minister said that the purpose of Operation Protective Edge was and remains to return quiet to Israel’s citizens while delivering a severe blow to Hamas and other terrorist organizations. He said that Israel succeeded in hitting the terrorist organizations in Gaza very hard, and prevented their efforts to attack Israeli citizens.

US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Hamas for powering through the ceasefire.

“I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday morning.

 

This is a copy of the full article provided by The Jerusalem Post

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