Sunday, April 22, 2018

Gaza Protesters Attack Israel With Kite Bombs To Honor Hitler, 'Sharp Power': Hamas Dirty War Against Israel

Gaza Protesters Attack Israel With Kite Bombs to Honor Hitler's Birthday

As part of the fourth week of Hamas-led protests on Friday, Gazans few large kites carrying firebombs over the border into Israel. One kite bomb set ablaze a warehouse in southern Israel on Saturday causing heavy damage. Another kite carrying a firebomb was decorated to honor Adolf Hitler’s birthday which coincided with Friday’s Hamas event.

Moments ago, terrorist #Hamas sent a Molotov cocktail over the Gaza border into Israel.
They flew it with their true colors.
— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) April 20, 2018
Last Tuesday, a kite bomb from Gaza set fire to 25 acres of grassland inside Israel. Times of Israelnoted the irony in the new style of attacks, recalling that, “last month, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) organized a “Kites of Hope” festival for over 1,000 Gazan schoolchildren from Khan Younis.”

The IDF responded to the protests with tear gas and rubber bullets, resorting to live-fire when Gazans threatened to cross the border fence. Four Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF. Palestinian sources claim a total of 39 Palestinians have been killed during the protests. This number has not been verified by any other source. Many of those killed have been identified as members of Hamas’ military wing or of Ismaic Jihad.

Conricus posted images showing minors involved in attacks on the security fence on Friday.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, wrote a letter to the UN Security Council criticizing Israel for its use of force and calling for an independent investigation into the events.
“It seems that the Israeli occupying forces are not restraining themselves, they’re not listening to anyone and they are continuing with this massacre,” Mansour told reporters in New York on Friday.
It should be noted that Mansour’s reference to “Israeli occupying forces” is inaccurate. Israel has not had a military or civilian presence in Gaza since it dismantled the Jewish settlements of Gush Katif in 2005. His statement is, however, consistent with that of top Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, who, on Friday, stated the purpose of the protests.

Democracies don’t yet know how to effectively cope with the challenges of “sharp power.” They do not understand how vulnerable they are and are largely unable to prevent abuses of fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Unfortunately, the Western media, including the major social media networks; international organizations like the UN and its affiliated agencies; and human rights organizations, which are major tools of sharp power; openly collaborate with the Islamic dictatorship of Hamas in Gaza.

Power is the ability to influence others to get what you want. In the past, there was only “hard power”– getting what you want by using or threatening to use force or sanctions, or inducing compliance with rewards. When the Cold War ended, Harvard professor Joseph Nye, Jr. coined the term “soft power,” defined as getting what you want by attracting and persuading people through values, policies, institutions, and culture.

The next step in the power theory evolution was “smart power,” a combination of hard and soft power, where each reinforces the other. Social media inspired the creation of a new term, “collaborative power,” a bottom-up process of getting what you want by mobilizing and connecting global communities around a cause.

In an article published in Foreign Affairs in November 2017, Christopher Walker and Jessica Ludwig distinguished between soft and sharp power. They described the latter as the influence wielded by authoritarian governments, primarily Russia and China, through initiatives in the spheres of media, academia, culture, and think tanks. They rejected the claim that what these governments do is a legitimate effort to “share alternative ideas” or “broaden the debate.”
Sharp power “is not principally about attraction or even persuasion; instead, it centers on distraction and manipulation.”

The principal goal of sharp power isn’t a bona fide dialogue between rivals on international issues. Instead, it exploits and abuses freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and sensitivities to human rights abuses in order to undermine, subvert, and destabilize Western liberal democracies.

In such an effort, people and organizations in authoritarian regimes, in official and non-official capacities, assume fake identities and disseminate lies to achieve their political goals. They especially target the media, international organizations, and human rights organizations. These despicable practices are frequently undertaken by authoritarian non-state actors, such as terrorist organizations.

Hamas has been using sharp power against Israel since it violently took over Gaza in 2007 and established a ruthless Islamic theocracy there. The US, the EU, Canada, Australia, and other countries designated Hamas as a radical Islamic terrorist organization.

Still, Hamas employed sharp power against Israel throughout all the military confrontations it initiated against Israel in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014, as well as the recent “March of Return.”
Hamas systematically disseminated outright fabrications and distortions, and manipulated innocent citizens and the Western and social media. They did this in order to increase tensions and disagreements in Israel, cultivate support in Western democracies, and obtain one-sided, extreme condemnation of Israel in international bodies — such as the ridiculous and fraudulent UN Council on Human Rights.

Hamas presented the “March of Return” as an innocent and peaceful demonstration initiated by suffering citizens to protest their awful economic and social conditions. Hamas also accused Israel of committing war crimes by intentionally shooting and killing demonstrators. The truth is exactly the opposite, and Hamas’ claims are false and misleading.

The march was initiated and organized by Hamas, not by oppressed citizens. Hamas invested millions of dollars in building an infrastructure for the demonstrators, and called for the breaking of the border fence and infiltration into Israeli territory. If Hamas had been permitted to accomplish this goal, the life and property of Israeli citizens living a few meters from the fence would have been in danger. These were not peaceful demonstrations.

Hamas deployed operatives among the demonstrators and ordered them to throw firebombs, shoot at Israeli soldiers, put explosives on the fence, cross into Israeli territory, and, if possible, kill or kidnap soldiers and citizens. They sent women and children close to the fence to provoke Israeli soldiers.

They knew that these violent actions might trigger Israeli fire, but that was the point. They wanted as many Palestinians as possible to be killed, including women and children, in order to obtain favorable media coverage, sympathy in world public opinion, denunciation from world leaders, and condemnatory resolutions from UN bodies.

Hamas is also lying and cheating about the reasons for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The terror group annually spends hundreds of millions of dollars on operatives, rockets, attack tunnels, and violence. If Hamas had spent that money on economic and social development, Gazans would now live in a better economic environment.

The recent deterioration in the Gazan economy resulted from a bitter feud between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, not from any Israeli action. 
Hamas says that it needs weapons because of the Israeli blockade and attacks on Gaza. Not true. In 2005, Israel completely withdrew from Gaza and expected a period of peace-building. Israel imposed a partial siege on Gaza only because Hamas explicitly and repeatedly said that it wished to destroy the Jewish state and constantly used terrorism and violence.

This was the result of Hamas’ aggression and violence, not the other way around. Egypt, which also shares a border with Gaza, also imposed a blockade on Gaza because of Hamas’ collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and radical Islamic terrorist groups in the Sinai.

The media in the US and Europe, including the elite press of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, CNN, and the BBC to name just a few, largely accepted the manipulations, lies, and fabrications of Hamas without much questioning or reservation.
The headlines tell how the media almost unanimously framed the story about Hamas’ recent “March of Return.”
The New York Times published the following headline: “Israeli military kills 15 Palestinians in confrontations at Gaza Border.” Reuters wrote, “Israeli forces kill 16 Palestinians in Gaza border protests.” CNN announced, “Gaza protests: 17 Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israeli forces.” At best, these were misleading headlines.
The Western media also published and broadcast partial and biased reports, incorrect data and information, exaggerations, and extreme commentary. They also omitted significant contexts, which in itself caused distortion.
For example, on several occasions, The New York Times published false statements like these: “The protests are aimed at Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which began after Hamas seized control in 2007.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and other leaders have called for an independent investigation of Israel’s conduct. At the Vatican, Pope Francis lamented the killing of “defenseless Palestinians.” In Israel, the radical-left party Meretz and the controversial “human rights” organization B’tselem, as well as similar bodies abroad, accepted the false Hamas narrative — and then demanded an investigation only of Israel’s defensive actions.

Hamas’ maximal and effective utilization of sharp power presents Israel with difficult dilemmas. If you use force against the terrorists implanted among the demonstrators, you might accidently hit innocent civilians. If you don’t, you endanger your soldiers and civilians who live close to the border, and you encourage further violence and attacks from Hamas.
In order to defeat Hamas’ sharp power, Israel must use smart power, which can be defined as the minimal and careful use of force coupled with an intensive public diplomacy campaign.
Such an Israeli campaign should present the true facts about Hamas, which are often ignored by the media, international organizations, and human rights organizations. Israel must effectively utilize all communication channels to disseminate the facts.
The Palestinians had an opportunity in Gaza to show that they could live in peace with Israel. They failed. Hamas preferred violence and sharp power to peace and reconciliation. This failure suggests that territory and settlements have never been the main obstacles to peace. There are much deeper reasons that the “March of Return” clearly exposes.

The Palestinians are not prepared to accept Israel as a Jewish state within any territory or borders. Ever since the recommendations of the 1937 British Royal Peel Commission, they have consistently rejected all partition solutions. They rejected the 1947 UN partition resolution and failed to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza when, between 1948-1967, those territories were respectively under Jordanian and Egyptian control.
Given the natural sympathy for the underdog and the too-easy acceptance of Hamas’ false narrative, defeating Hamas’ sharp power will be difficult. It necessitates an effective and wide-ranging public diplomacy campaign. This requires reorganization of the governmental ministries and agencies responsible for public diplomacy. The current government separated functions and resources among several ministries. Effective coordination and supervision among them is lacking. The smart power remedy requires a synergy among all the military, diplomatic, and communication systems as well as between the government and supportive non-profits and NGOs.

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