Nations that show love for peace should not be mistaken for weak. And this is something the Muslim world consistently fails to grasp. They mistake kindness for weakness. Perhaps it is projection, for there is no kindness for "non-Muslims" in Islam. In any case, it is a fatal mistake on their part.
I am traveling around Israel, and I can tell you first hand the tension is palpable; the people are concerned, what with the Muslims firing over 80 rockets into Israel since Thursday. Hamas and other jihadist organizations operating in Gaza and Egypt, some of them inspired by Al-Qaeda, continue attacking Israeli civilians. The onslaught of terror attacks against Israeli civilians killed 9 Israelis and wounded nearly 70 civilians -- firing at least 100 rockets and shooting at civilian buses and cars. The dead and wounded include women and children. The Israelis should never have given Gaza to the inhumane savages whose aspiration is solely to kill in the name of allah. That is their only contribution to civilization. Being here, I can tell you that giving Gaza to the soullless was a huge tactical mistake.
Bloodshed in Israel: Gaza Terror Groups Kill 9, Injure Nearly 70 in 3 Days
- Muslim soldiers target Jewish schools, homes, religious seminaries with direct hits
- 1 million Israelis live within danger of rocket fire
- Nearly 100 rockets launched at Israel in 3 days
Tension is mounting as Israel comes to grips with the new reality of a Muslim Brotherhood Egypt. Andrew McCarthy has this recap:
On Thursday, a team of 15 to 20 armed al-Qaeda terrorists (members of the Palestinian Popular Committees, an al-Qaeda affiliate) snaked through tunnels from Gaza to Sinai. From there, they hiked 200 kilometers over land, either ignored or facilitated by Egyptian army forces. They were thus able to sneak into Israel through the porous border at Eilat — porous because Israel has not needed to worry much about its Egyptian border for the last 30 years.
At around noon, the terrorists took up positions along the highway and opened fire at buses and cars. One detonated a suicide belt. In all, eight Israelis were killed and 30 more wounded. The terrorists shot to death a family of four who were just out driving in their car — father, mother, and their 6- and 4-year-old kids (“resistance” against the “occupiers,” as Islamists like to say). Barry Rubin counts this as al-Qaeda’s first successful terrorist attack against Israel.
From here, the story gets more frightful. Israeli police and defense forces killed several of the terrorists. They pursued at least two of the terrorists into Egyptian territory.
According to myriad reports, some Egyptian soldiers opened fire against the Israelis, and five Egyptian soldiers were killed:
In Egypt, where the public has always been predominantly ant-Israeli — in contrast to the Mubarak regime, which was pro-American and maintained the peace with Israel — demonstrations against Israel have broken out. Crowds are burning the Egyptian flag and one demonstrator scaled the 15-story wall of the Israeli embassy, tore down the Israeli flag, and replaced it with an Egyptian flag. (Powerline has pictures, here.) Obviously trying to simmer things down, Israel’s government has expressed regret over the killing of the Egyptian soldiers, but Egypt’s transitional military government — egged on by the protests — is saying this expression of regret is “insufficient.”
As is always the case, Palestinians are celebrating the terrorist attacks that killed Israelis — not only in Hamas-controlled Gaza but in the West Bank, where the “moderates” of Fatah are in charge.
The bloodlust of the "moderates" in Fatah is typical and in keeping with Islamic Jew-hatred:
“One Fatah site has such remarks as ‘Our Lord is with the heroes’; ‘[I] call for resistance in the Gaza with rocket fire and suicide bombings and the Glory of God and His Messenger’; ‘Tribute to the Heroes of each attack and no matter what their affiliation’; ‘God is great and victory is coming!’”
And the world cowers silently. I hope they send in Israeli troops and take out the jihadists with disproportionate force.
Palestinian terror organizations have benefited from enthusiastic empathy and encouragement among the countless ex-Nazis and collaborationist officials, former ministers, diplomats., officers, propagandists and intellectuals who recycled themselves in influential positions in post war European society.
The war against the Jews waged in World War II did not stop 1945, for its ideology and tactics continued through other channels converging in Palestine.
.....the definitions of a aggressor and victim have been switched. Infidels are always guilty of opposing Islamic peace [submission], that is of rejecting the choice between the Islamization of their country, conversion or dhimmitude. Europe has assimiliated this viewpoint on Israel, accused by its very existance of attacking Islam.
Bat Yeor, Europe Globalization and the Coming Universal Caliphate
I wanted to get in touch with my ancestors; what better way than to climb Masada? It is quite a story -- and one I relate to. Freedom or death over slavery.
120 degrees up there. But it was crazy great. From there we went floating in the Dead Sea :) The country is a miracle. Remember, if you are in this part of the world on Wednesday, join us for the AFDI/SIOA Aqsa Parvez Memorial Grove dedication to honor killing victims worldwide just outside of Jerusalem.
Desert Fortress Overlooking the Dead Sea
Masada (Hebrew for fortress), is situated atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a place of gaunt and majestic beauty.
On the east the rock falls in a sheer drop of about 450 meters to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth, some 400 m. below sea level) and in the west it stands about 100 meters above the surrounding terrain. The natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult.
The only written source about Masada is Josephus Flavius The Jewish War. Born Joseph ben Matityahu of a priestly family, he was a young leader at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Rebellion against Rome (66 CE) when he was appointed governor of Galilee. He managed to survive the suicide pact of the last defenders of Jodfat and surrendered to Vespasian (who shortly thereafter was proclaimed emperor) events he described in detail. Calling himself Josephus Flavius, he became a Roman citizen and a successful historian. Moral judgement aside, his accounts have been proved largely accurate.
According to Josephus Flavius, Herod the Great built the fortress of Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. Herod, an Idumean, had been made King of Judea by his Roman overlords and was hated by his Jewish subjects. Herod, the master builder, furnished this fortress as a refuge for himself. It included a casemate wall around the plateau, storehouses, large cisterns ingeniously filled with rainwater, barracks, palaces and an armory.
Some 75 years after Herods death, at the beginning of the Revolt of the Jews against the Romans in 66 CE, a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple (70 CE) they were joined by zealots and their families who had fled from Jerusalem. With Masada as their base, they raided and harassed the Romans for two years. Then, in 73 CE, the Roman governor Flavius Silva marched against Masada with the Tenth Legion, auxiliary units and thousands of Jewish prisoners-of-war. The Romans established camps at the base of Masada, laid siege to it and built a circumvallation wall. They then constructed a rampart of thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth against the western approaches of the fortress and in the spring of the year 74 CE moved a battering ram up the ramp and breached the wall of the fortress.
Josephus Flavius dramatically recounts the story told him by two surviving women. The defenders almost one thousand men, women and children led by Eleazar ben Yair, decided to burn the fortress and end their own lives, rather than be taken alive. And so met (the Romans) with the multitude of the slain, but could take no pleasure in the fact, though it were done to their enemies. Nor could they do other than wonder at the courage of their resolution, and at the immovable contempt of death which so great a number of them had shown, when they went through with such an action as that was.
The heroic story of Masada and its dramatic end attracted many explorers to the Judean desert in attempts to locate the remains of the fortress. The site was identified in 1842, but intensive excavations took place only in 1963-65, with the help of hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from Israel and from many foreign countries, eager to participate in this exciting archeological venture. To them and to Israelis, Masada symbolizes the determination of the Jewish people to be free in its own land.
THE HERODIAN FORTRESS
The rhomboid, flat plateau of Masada measures 600 x 300 m. The casemate wall (two parallel walls with partitions dividing the space between them into rooms), is 1400 m. long and 4 m. wide. It was built along the edge of the plateau, above the steep cliffs, and it had many towers. Three narrow, winding paths led from below to fortified gates. The water supply was guaranteed by a network of large, rock-hewn cisterns on the northwestern side of the hill. They filled during the winter with rainwater flowing in streams from the mountain on this side. Cisterns on the summit supplied the immediate needs of the residents of Masada and could be relied upon in time of siege.
To maintain interior coolness in the hot and dry climate of Masada, the many buildings of various sizes and functions had thick walls constructed of layers of hard dolomite stone, covered with plaster. The higher northern side of Masada was densely built up with structures serving as the administrative center of the fortress and included storehouses, a large bathhouse and comfortable living quarters for officials and their families.
1. Small bathhouse
2. Herod's palace-villa
4. Apartment building
5. Snake-path gate
7. Zealots' living quarters
8. Underground cistern
9. Southern bastion
10. western palace
11. Throne room
12. West gate
14. Large bathhouse
Interested? You should be -- read the rest here.
UPDATE: Huge props to the righteous in Hawaii.