The Garbanzo Annex


September 19, 2014


Israel’s detractors engage in moral inversion, falsely accusing Israel of crimes and sins that the enemies of the Jewish state commit. In the recently concluded summer war of 2014 between Israel and Hamas, the usual clique of UN organizations, human rights groups and media organizations accused Israel of recklessly causing disproportionate civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, while paying less attention to Hamas crimes against both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch demanded investigations of Israel for war crimes and called for embargos against the Jewish state. But a web site that specializes in military analysis, DefenseNews, describes innovative Israeli tactics that significantly reduce civilian casualties. The article quotes Israeli Brig. Gen. Amikam Norkin, Israel Air Force chief of staff, who explained that

Protective Edge marked the first time fixed-wing fighters were used as dedicated assets to division- and brigade-level forces.

“Over the last year, we drilled in a very substantive way with the ground forces and we built a process where our fighters could attack at much closer distances … We did this hundreds of times during the operation.”

The result according to Norkin was that Israel was able to far surpass 

an international average of five innocents killed for each targeted terrorist. He said preliminary data from Protective Edge indicates “we’re slowly closing in on numbers of one to one.

Norkin went on to explain,

“When there are residential buildings of three, four and five floors, and the civilians are already evacuated, fixed-wing precision air power is most effective. … I’m talking laser, [joint direct-attack munitions], all of them,”

Norkin’s claims received support from an American analyst of the use of air power and an Air Force general.

Ben Lambeth, a veteran air power author and analyst formerly of Santa Monica-based Rand Corp, said the response time and ranges that Israel claims to have conducted constitute a clear and possibly unprecedented achievement.

Retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula said Israel appears to be headed in a very good direction. “Anything that reduces time, increases accuracy and drives down miss-distance is all good,” he said.

Will the media cover important post-conflict analysis?



Scotland rejects the two state solution. Backed by the nuclear armed British army, navy and air force, the once sovereign state of Scotland is to continue as just another large neighbourhood of the United Kingdom.

Israel has so many great friends amongst the Scottish people (we assume) because the ones we who make the most noise don’t seem to like the prospect of an independent homeland for the Jews remaining here.

Lets hope that Yvonne Ridley’s dream of a “Zionist free zone” in Scotland is now sunk too.

And let us not forget that Scotland is the original place of creation of George Galloway(heaven help them). Perhaps they’re glad he no longer lives there.

Nevertheless, overall it would appear the majority of people in Scotland still think that rule by the British Empire is preferable to self determination under people like Alex Salmond who got in a bit of a twist last week seemingly equating Israel and ISIS.

So it seems that independence is not the answer to everything and having one’s own state, even for a people who have a long, distinct history; an absolutely clear and recognisable culture; their own specific ancient foods (not only deep fried, battered, Mars bars); what amounts to a unique and distinct language (I canneee understand Glaswegians I tell yeeee), is not the best thing in the world. Ever.

So farewell then Scottish Indipendence,
for now.

We knew you well,
even if you didn’t know yourself,
well enough to say.

It was No.

B.J.Thomas 17¾


A security official in the Lebanese city of Baalbek said Saturday a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Hezbollah checkpoint in the Khraybeh area in the Bekaa Valley.

“The Hezbollah fighters at the checkpoint were all killed” and a number more nearby were wounded, he added, without saying how many there were in total.

Lebanon’s National News Agency said three people had been killed at the checkpoint, without specifying that they were fighters.

Earlier, the government announced that a soldier had been executed by Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda.

The soldier “was killed by terrorist groups who threatened to kill other hero soldiers in captivity,” Defense Minister Samir Moqbel said after meeting security officials.

One of Al-Nusra’s Twitter accounts announced that the group had killed the soldier it was holding hostage.

Last month, former Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman published an essay in Tablet highlighting how, and why, news organizations get Israel so wrong. The AP’s Jerusalem bureau, where Friedman used to work, was the subject of much of his criticism. He argued that the bureau stuck to a preexisting narrative of Israeli extremism and Palestinian moderation. One of his examples that his former employer stifled stories that presented a divergent narrative came from 2009, when two of his colleagues had a story about a peace proposal from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Palestinian leadership rejected. Both the Israelis and Palestinians confirmed this, but editors pulled the piece.

Steven Gutkin, the former AP bureau chief in Jerusalem, who hired Friedman in 2006, wrote a response in which he denied the charge that the story was pulled due to editorial bias, asserting that the information discovered by the reporters, namely a map depicting a proposed land swap, was old news. (Friedman addressed Gutkin’s response here on the Scroll last week. Gutkin has since published a rebuttal.)

Now, Mark Lavie, a former colleague of Friedman’s at the AP in Jerusalem and the author of Broken Spring, has weighed in, identifying himself as one of the reporters involved in writing about the 2009 peace offer blog post directed to Gutkin. He confirms Friedman’s account of the story being pulled.

I’m not named in Matti’s article, either, but I am the “furious” one who discovered the Israeli peace offer in early 2009, got it confirmed on the record and brought it to you. You banned me from writing about it. That is by far the worst journalistic fiasco I have been involved in, and we’re talking 50 years of journalism here. No denials on your part can erase the truth–and this is the truth: The AP suppressed a world-changing story for no acceptable reason. I am not ascribing motives to the decision–oh, hell, of course I am. It fit a pattern, described by Matti, of accepting the Palestinian narrative as truth and branding the Israelis as oppressors.

While the AP hasn’t responded in any official capacity to Friedman’s essay—and neither Friedman, Gutkin, nor Lavie work there anymore—his arguments have clearly touched a nerve.

Keep on reading. There are tunes to listen to too.

In 1973, the great Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously said, “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”  With great respect, I must disagree.  Ambassador Eban, who earned a “triple first” at Cambridge, was the personification of the liberal scholar-statesman.  Steeped in the traditions of the European Enlightenment, he interpreted Arab conduct from his own vantage point, from which people naturally take advantage of opportunities that would improve political, social and economic conditions for themselves and their children.

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The Arab and Palestinian leadership, however, has never viewed the prospect of improving the lives of Palestinians as an “opportunity” – at least if that improvement might have the side-effect of undermining the Palestinians’ continuing challenge to the Jewish state and the claimed right to “return” to Israel. Not even their own fundamental interests to live normal lives have trumped that mythic goal.

This destructive mindset has a long history.

Read more: Gaza: The Proto-Palestinian State – That Wasn’t | Gregg M. Mashberg | The Blogs | The Times of Israel
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