DAVE AGAR

Monday, July 14th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 7/14/2014 6:36:00 AM



Israel/Hamas comment

After two years of relative calm, Israel and Hamas are warring again and on the surface it appeared justified.  3 Jewish teenagers were kidnapped.  Israel blamed Hamas.  The Israeli military then launched a massive 18-day search-and-rescue operation.  It was June 30th when the boys’ bodies were found and by then Israeli citizens had been whipped into a frenzy.  Then came the murder of a Palestinian boy, apparently burned alive in retaliation by some extremist Israelis.

Before I get into this, understand I have no hidden motive here...no anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish hatred in my heart.  This is about politicians and the crap they pull on the public.

Israel has strict censorship laws so the media were muzzled at the outset and could not report what they found without suffering severe penalty.  It wasn't until the muzzle was removed on July 1st, after the boys bodies had been found, when the truth begin to emerge.

Based on what is available at the moment, those boys were dead soon after they were kidnapped.  Shot 10 times by a gun with a silencer on it by criminals unknown.  The kids were hitchhiking.  They were picked up in a Hyundai by their killers who were likely dressed in Jewish religious garb.  What we now know is that Israeli authorities knew the kids were dead, 24 hours later but the Netanyahu government deliberately withheld that information for more than two weeks, making it appear there was hope the boys were alive and could be rescued.  Instead, as the allegations go, Netanyahu used this abduction as the excuse he needed to militarily crush Hamas.   You see Hamas recently did a deal with the Palestinian Authority to rule jointly and Israel was not about to negotiate a Middle East Peace deal with the PA as long as a known terrorist group was now clearly in bed with Mahmoud Abbas and his team.  They needed a pretense to move militarily and the kidnappings became the excuse, steeped in lies.

So far there is no proof readily available to show that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and killing of those boys.   Could it simply have been rogue Palestinian extremists?   Israel would have us believe Jewish extremists killed the Palestinian teen so why not the other way round?

So now we have 4 dead teenagers plus, according to Hamas health authorities more than 1-hundred-70 people killed on the Palestinian side by the Israeli military bombardment and many of those killed were civilians.

At some point there will be another ceasefire.  With any luck it will be sooner than later. Israel will not have achieved its objective of permanently obliterating Hamas.  Nor will Hamas achieve its objective of terminating Israel and the rest of the world will go back to ignoring the Middle East until the next flare-up.   I find it reprehensible that Netanyahu would put Israelis through the anguish and torment just to whip up public support for his desire to forever crush Hamas.  Equally as reprehensible is Hamas hiding weapons and its leadership amongst the civilian population exposing them to Israeli bombing runs.

 

Toronto council comment

As regular listeners know I was away last week on vacation.  This time I stayed around town and didn't do a heck of a lot but I did go to part of the Toronto city council meeting. I walked away thinking some of these councillors are thick as bricks.  Not very smart.

Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper was explaining to council her finding that Mayor Rob Ford violated city council's Code of Conduct because he sent robo calls to Councillor Paul Ainslie's constituents telling them their councillor ignored their wishes and voted against a subway in Scarborough.  As Leiper explained, the violation was primarily that Ford made an allegation about the councillor without any factual basis for making the claim...the allegation that he ignored his constituents when clearly Ainslie had widely consulted with his constituents before making his decision.   I understood what she was saying but then a number of councillors started to question the Integrity Commissioner trying to clarify what she was saying.  One asked, does that mean we can't make robo calls or that the mayor cannot make robo calls to some of his constituents if they are just in one councillor's ward?  I started to think, well maybe I didn't get what she was saying but Lieper explained again and again it was the unsupported-by-fact allegations the Mayor made and that he never tried to talk to Ainslie about why he voted against a subway or whether he'd consulted his constituents before doing the robo call to say Ainslie ignored their wishes.

At least one councillor asked the Integrity Commissioner about Twitter and allegations that are sometimes made there against councillors and shouldn't she investigate those matters.  That was a complete red herring that had nothing to do with anything.  Simply put, the Commissioner investigates when someone files a complaint.  That is the rule set by city council and she is following it as she follows the Code of Conduct...the rules set by city council.  It was exasperating to watch.  I can only guess what was going through Janet Leiper's mind especially when her report was readily available online for the councillors to read before the council meeting even began.

Obviously we can't ask those councillors who didn't understand to be smarter.  All we can hope for is their constituents will pay closer attention to which candidates really have the where-with-all to do the job and vote accordingly in October.

 

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  1. Gary Dean posted on 07/14/2014 08:09 AM
    Where is your proof Dave? The rockets had been fired off by the hundreds long before Israel responded and long after the boys were abducted and brutally murdered by terrorists. Would your country, Canada, accept rockets being fired into every part of Canada by terrorist organizations or another belligerent country? Would you warn that there is no military solution as rockets rained down on your family? Would you at that stage be talking to people who have in their belief system to wipe out Canada, Christians and all “non-believers”? Do you think that Israel ought to ignore missiles indiscriminately fired on its citizens? Do you want to appease Islamists and give them yet another terror state as a reward for killing Jews and wanting to eradicate a democratic country and ally to Canada? Look at the carnage that is the Islamic world and the conquest of the region, including Africa. Do you suppose that appeasement will work with savage terrorists? Do the Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Hamas or Hezbollah appear to you to be normal, reasonable people able to make compromises? What does Dave get if Islamic terrorists are protected by the naive assumptions and anti-Israel bias in the media, you among them? Does your world become better or more free and open when terrorists take over? I would guess that you would say no but what you want for Israel does not quite square with what you want for your own country and therein lies the hypocrisy.
  2. Harold Pomerantz posted on 07/14/2014 08:42 AM
    I was very surprised by your comment on the situation in Israel and Gaza this morning. What happened? Why the anti-Israel, anti-Netanyahu slant? What brought this on? Israel does not negotiate with terrorist organizations and Hamas is a terrorist organization. Israel does not need any excuses. The fact that the Palestinian Authority made peace with Hamas and not with Israel indicated the PA is not going to make peace with Israel. Over 20,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel and over 1,000 in the last week. Hamas sought war with Israel and that is what they have brought on for the people of Gaza. So what prompted your rant this morning? Some new source of information?

    I would also be interested in hearing about the source of your comment about the lack of a free press in Israel. To me that is something new. I have always heard that Israel has freedom of the press and haven't heard about the suppression of any news. Where are you getting your information?
  3. Steven Matthew posted on 07/14/2014 08:52 AM
    Do you think that Israel needed the excuse of three more dead teenagers to fight Hamas? Exactly what are your sources of "when the truth began to emerge" and "what we now know"?

    There has been a 1400-year genocide directed at Jews, Christians and every other religion that Islam has encountered in its quest for religious supremacy that has already claimed 200 million lives. What you see going on in Gaza is but a small part of the struggle against this inhumanity. And you think it has to do with three deaths? Are you for real Dave?
  4. Harold Pomerantz posted on 07/14/2014 09:28 AM
    Jack Engelhard says it best:

    Here is the story: Israel is not fighting Hamas. Israel is fighting the lot -- Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, Fatah, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and all the rest of them who are waging wars in the name of Jihad elsewhere throughout the region where it’s tribe against tribe.

    Syria, where more than 160,000 have been killed back and forth, is proof enough on how these people can’t get along – and so is Iraq.

    So this is not a Jewish-Arab war. Never was.

    The Jewish State only finds itself caught in the same neighborhood between rival gangs brawling for turf.

    Israel is doing the dirty work for an entire world that fears the encroachment of Islamic caliphates. Hamas is simply another pestilence.

    Let’s be clear. This is Arab versus Arab. This is Islam versus Islam.

    But the geniuses refuse to make the connection. Even among Jewish philanthropists like young Adam Bronfman “the settlements” justify Arab rage – and yet, Dear Adam, there were no Jewish settlements before 1967 and still the Arabs were enraged and still they gathered their armies and attacked.

    For whatever reason Israel gets no benefit of the doubt that proves her to be in the same line of fire as everybody else. She gets no credit and no thanks for holding the front line against the same barbarians that threaten all of civilization. In Israel that begins but does not end with Hamas, which goes crying home to Mommy – the UN – because Johnny hit him back.

    Bibi got it right on how Israel differs: “We use rockets to protect our children. They use children to protect their rockets.”

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15321#.U8PZCGK9KSM
  5. Arnold Shuchat posted on 07/14/2014 11:54 AM
    Dave;
    Hit a matter on the "bone" on a matter of great salience and the audience increases. I am proof of it as I received a copy of your rant from my sister in Toronto, and I am in Richmond, BC.

    Firstly, you mix up a few issues here and hypothesize a string of events without a shred of proof as to their connectivity. Did it ever occur to you that police, governments, conceal criminal information all the time and release what they need to simply misinform those who committed the crime? Perhaps making it appear as if the police were caught completely unaware might have advanced the investigation and increased the chatter through intel back channels? Do they have to clear that with the public or some radio announcer in Toronto to be presumed to be acting in good faith? Do you think the parents of those children would understand and accept the process and the public benefit of appearing to "be in the dark" so as to increase the chances of capturing the murderers? I know that as a parent, I would, wouldn't you?

    Secondly, Hamas bombing preceded these events. It has been a continuum over the years, but has recently become untenable. I like to dwell on the media's favourite word: "proportionate". What do you think would be a proportionate response to massive and continuous overhead bombing of civilian areas?

    Thirdly, we all have our opinions. However, it is fair to say that when the press speaks the public ought to expect a higher standard of factual research from those blessed with a microphone. If you are going to credibly make the kinds of accusations which call into question any person's integrity, never mind a public official or one who is charged with the public's trust (as the press has made its business the business of dirty laundry), then have the professionalism, integrity and honesty to investigate the matter thoroughly and to cite the credible sources of your research, for "with great power, comes great responsibility". Otherwise, the scuds of your pen are no better than those of Hamas!

    Makes for good audience response though....
  6. Alexander Osovetsky posted on 07/14/2014 12:03 PM
    Dave,
    What are your sources of information on the course of Israeli investigation? And also on Israeli media been "muzzled"?
    You should provide that in your blog, otherwise seems like Hamas is speaking right into your ears.
  7. Paula Miller posted on 07/14/2014 04:17 PM
    I was more than stunned to hear this morning's newscast, shaded with bias, and minimal understanding of the ongoing events in the middle east. I have attempted to answer some of your comments, with as much calm as I can manage at this moment. They follow quotes from your "informed?" opinion:
    " The Israeli military then launched a massive 18-day search-and-rescue operation. It was June 30th when the boys’ bodies were found and by then Israeli citizens had been whipped into a frenzy."
    ........They didn't need whipping - they have been through this before, several times.
    "Then came the murder of a Palestinian boy, apparently burned alive in retaliation by some extremist Israelis."
    ........ The killers of the Arab teen (was he Palestinian? If he lived in Jerusalem it's not likely) have been arrested, which is more than I can say for the killers of the Israeli teens. The Israelis will be punished to the full extent of the law. They were, without a doubt, from the fringe. Their actions do not speak for the Israeli people, or for Jews around the world. Of course, Israeli leadership also does not stand up and urge the murder of Arabs...

    "Before I get into this, understand I have no hidden motive here...no anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish hatred in my heart. This is about politicians and the crap they pull on the public."
    ....... This is always the first line of someone who is exactly what they are denying to be; you know, like "some of my best friends are....".

    "Israel has strict censorship laws so the media were muzzled at the outset and could not report what they found without suffering severe penalty. It wasn't until the muzzle was removed on July 1st, after the boys bodies had been found, when the truth begin to emerge."
    ........Whose truth, what is the source, has it been verified, and by whom?

    "Based on what is available at the moment, those boys were dead soon after they were kidnapped. Shot 10 times by a gun with a silencer on it by criminals unknown. The kids were hitchhiking. They were picked up in a Hyundai by their killers who were likely dressed in Jewish religious garb"
    .....They would never get into a car driven by anyone dressed otherwise... they would assume safety with these people.

    "What we now know is that Israeli authorities knew the kids were dead, 24 hours later."
    ..........How do we know that?
    "but the Netanyahu government deliberately withheld that information for more than two weeks, making it appear there was hope the boys were alive and could be rescued."
    ............. and therefore spent millions of shekels in a phoney search, right?, and the families, always sounding positive and hopeful, were complicit, correct?

    " Instead, as the allegations go,"
    ........ (and who is making these allegations? )
    "Netanyahu used this abduction as the excuse he needed to militarily crush Hamas."
    ...........He did not need to make up an excuse... Hamas rockets have been fired for decades into civilian homes, schools, and playgrounds.

    "You see Hamas recently did a deal with the Palestinian Authority to rule jointly and Israel was not about to negotiate a Middle East Peace deal with the PA as long as a known terrorist group was now clearly in bed with Mahmoud Abbas and his team. They needed a pretense to move militarily and the kidnappings became the excuse, steeped in lies."
    ....... Why would they need a pretense... there have been rockets being aimed daily, for several years, over Israeli citizens. That did not start just now.

    "So far there is no proof readily available to show that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and killing of those boys. Could it simply have been rogue Palestinian extremists?"
    ......... Could be, probably is.
    "Israel would have us believe Jewish extremists killed the Palestinian teen so why not the other way round? "
    .....And those Israeli extremists who committed that murder will be charged and prosecuted to the ultimate limits allowed by Israeli law. The murderers of the 3 boys, if caught by the PA, will be made into heroes and have streets named after them.

    "So now we have 4 dead teenagers plus, according to Hamas health authorities more than 1-hundred-70 people killed on the Palestinian side by the Israeli military bombardment and many of those killed were civilians."
    ............ Hard not to kill civilians when they put themselves in front of the artillery... check out the satellite images that are available to be seen. Funny how overt Israel is about releasing all this information, and how nobody in the world seems to pay attention to these repetitive, visible facts.

    "At some point there will be another ceasefire. With any luck it will be sooner than later. Israel will not have achieved its objective of permanently obliterating Hamas. Nor will Hamas achieve its objective of terminating Israel and the rest of the world will go back to ignoring the Middle East until the next flare-up. I find it reprehensible that Netanyahu would put Israelis through the anguish and torment just to whip up public support for his desire to forever crush Hamas."
    ......... What nobody seems to realize yet in the western world, is that we all need to be aware enough to ensure that terrorist organizations such as Hamas is crushed... or is 9-11 too far back to remember?
    "Equally as reprehensible is Hamas hiding weapons and its leadership amongst the civilian population exposing them to Israeli bombing runs."
    ........ Have you noticed that Hamas fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel, and among those firings, happened to miss their target and managed to injure/kill several of their own people (and destroy homes) when the rockets landed in Hebron and Bethlehem? They really don't care for their own people's health and safety very much.

    I think, Dave, that I would prefer to have my news presented in a completely unbiased way, and to be able to formulate my own opinions, rather than have the opinions expressed by someone who has, perhaps, never been to both sides of the region to observe and be under fire, for himself. Time to switch the station, I guess, in search of this.
  8. Bob Kisin posted on 07/14/2014 08:52 PM
    Dave,
    I had not heard your version of events, describing Israel as hiding their knowldge of the deaths of the three Israeli teens while they stirred up a propaganda pot to justify an action against Israel anywhere until this morning. Your rant surprised me, and being a supporter of Israel, as well as having been trained as an historian and political scientist, I felt I needed to know more. So I started researching your story. I found very few references to the facts as you stated them, and they were all worded the same way, a sure sign that they all came from the same source. Eventually, I tracked down the original words to a story by one Sheera Frenkel, on the Buzzfeed website. When I read her "ground zero" article this morning (the one which seems to be the source of your rant today as well as all the pickups I found) it was generally weak on sources, and long on unsubstantiated claims. Although much of the main stream media is generally anti-Israel or at least mildly biased in favor of the Palestinians, no mainstream news organizations seem to have picked up this claim that Israel hid the facts to build up a propaganda pitch.
    Overall, having read a few of her Buzzfeed stories, I found Frenkel's reportage is critical of Israel, and sympathetic to the Palestinians. Her work, has also been criticized in the journalism community as poorly researched and written. I'll be glad to provide the references I found. So, Dave, I suspect that your "editorial" this morning was based entirely on this weak, unsubstantiated Frenkel article, which was repeated on Al Jazeera and a few other pro-Palestinian websites. Oddly, this evening, I could no longer find the story on Buzzfeed.
    It gets curiouser and curiouser…
    Until today, I thought of you as a well-informed, thoughtful newsman. Now I'm not so sure. Shame on you.
    1. Bob Kisin posted on 07/14/2014 09:05 PM
      @Bob Kisin A small correction. In my comments, the first sentence should read "…justify an action against Hamas…" NOT "…justify an action against Israel…".
      (I'm happy to admit when I make a mistake.)

      Secondly, the Israeli press is notoriously uncontrollable and often critical of the government, as is the Israel judicial system. Malfeasance and attempts to control the news by the government is a source of joy to much of the Israeli press who love to expose government weaknesses and errors. The a priori c premise of your rant that the press is strictly censored and controlled is just plain wrong. Again, shame on you.
  9. Paul T posted on 07/17/2014 01:02 PM
    Hi Dave
    First of all, I've enjoyed your insightful pieces for many years and was particularly surprised by your hard hitting piece on Monday. I made a point of hitting the web to learn more about this and was quite surprised to see almost nothing corroborating it in the media. Now I'm not naive about the various biases in North American big media, but.. nothing? really? So i read the comments (angry rants most of them) below and sort of shrugged my shoulders, but as usual, if you really want to know about something, look in Reddit. Found this link:
    http://972mag.com/how-the-public-was-manipulated-into-believing-the-teens-were-alive/92865/
    Anyway, very interesting that you were on this story early, and entirely on your own. Sounds like you probably took a lot of heat for your position. You have my respect, sir.
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