Morning Joe has reported as breaking news an agreement in principle to a cease fire that stops rockets and prevents smuggled weapons.

I’m not seeing it anywhere else yet.

People not getting killed is always a big plus, but if true I can’t see how it will work. The international force in Lebanon is a farce. Any such force that is in Gaza that did not enforce bans on arms smuggling or stop rocket launches would just become human shields. Any such force that was willing to actively stop either would be a target for Hamas and their Iranian allies. They would have to go in ready to fight.

Anyways we will see.

Isreallycool links to this message at the “Free Gaza” (quotes are mine) site:

Israel is hereby put on notice that we are coming. We will announce our exact departure date, time and route, traveling from Cypriot waters, into international waters, directly into Gaza territorial waters, never nearing Israeli waters. The Israeli Navy, Ministry of Defense, and Foreign Ministry will all receive a copy of this notice. Any attack on our vessel will be premeditated and any harm inflicted on the 30 civilians on board will be the result of a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians.

I can only think of this notice:


I took the liberty of doing a search for the word “rockets” on their site, other than describing them as “modest homemade rockets”. I’m curious if they would consider them modest and homemade if they were fired at them. Of course there is no condemnation of those attacks, illustrating the moral bankruptcy of these guys.

In my opinion Israel should seize the vessel, and repatriate the people on board to either their starting location or to their individual countries of origin. These guys are very lucky that Israel is not the bunch of barbarians that these guys claim. If they actually thought they were, they’d stay home.

Rich Lowry makes a strong point concerning Gaza:

we shouldn’t fool ourselves that this operation is going to “discredit” Hamas, as some conservatives hope, much or at all. Yes, Hamas ultimately is responsible for the conflict. But when an Israeli shell kills your family or your neighbor’s family, most people aren’t going to think it through enough to blame Hamas, they are going to direct their hatred and their desire for revenge at Israel. That’s why probably the most that realistically can be hoped for from this operation is a diminishment of Hamas’ capabilities. Achieving more than that would require holding territory and engaging in classic counter-insurgency operations, including providing services to win over the population. Israel’s not going to do that, and it doesn’t seem the PA is capable of it.

He has a really good point, Germany and Japan wouldn’t be what they are today if it hadn’t been for the post WW II occupation.

Headlines like this suggest that he might be wrong at least in one sense:

At least some of them know the identity of their tormentors. A New York Times dispatch captured an excruciating moment that took place in a hospital morgue, where a mother had just found half of the body of her 17-year-old daughter.

“May God exterminate Hamas!” screamed the woman in crystal-clear understanding that the terrorist band’s reckless, inhuman actions had brought death to her child.

This is not the only example of this type of talk.

This suggests that Gazans either feel Hamas is incapable to retaliate or they are just too angry to care. It is a seminal change.

This doesn’t mean that these people aren’t going to blame Israel as well, people who have lost friends and loved ones will have plenty of grief and anger to go around. Hatred of Hamas is not the same as tolerance for Israel.

Played a game called Descent Journey’s in the Dark last night. We didn’t finish as we started late (my fault) but it was better than I thought it would be. I would feel pretty good about recommending it to other gamers.

Then again for a price of $90 it oughta be good.

The subject of the Gaza operation came up. All agreed that Hamas are a bunch of bastards. My hesitation on the ground offensive wasn’t shared by anyone but 60% of the table criticized Israel for settlement activity on the west bank for giving Hamas an excuse. Barbara Lerner would take exception to that.

Speaking of gamers one of the guys saw The Gamers 2 recently and kept going on and on about it. It would have to be really funny to be better than the first one.

I’ve been wrestling with a post I made yesterday through several replies and updates. I think Jeff Goldberg (via Glenn) in the Atlantic expressed what I’ve been thinking much better than me:

Okay, yesterday I was depressed. Today, I’m just pissed off. It’s absolutely astonishing to me how interested the world is in Israel’s failings. This is the source of a bitter but hilarious observation I once heard a Kurdish leader make: He was complaining to me that his people were cursed, and I asked him what he meant: Cursed by geography, cursed by their proximity to Kurd-hating Arabs, what? He said the Kurds were cursed because they didn’t have Jewish enemies. Only with Jewish enemies would the world pay attention to their plight.

we’ve all seen endless pictures of dead Palestinian children now. It’s a terrible, ghastly, horrible thing, the deaths of children, and for the parents it doesn’t matter if they were killed by accident or by mistake. But ask yourselves this: Why are these pictures so omnipresent? I’ll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble — and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed. It was one of the more horrible things I’ve seen in my life. And it’s typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they’d learn the awful truth of Hamas. But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people.

The question is why are Palestinian moral failings not of great interest to people, why are the Kurds cursed to not have Jewish foes?

Can someone on the left explain this to me? I really need an answer to this that leads me to different conclusions.

I’ve posted quite a bit criticizing the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular concerning the war that is currently going on.

That criticism not withstanding as Christians in general and as Catholics in particular we are obliged to pray for both the Israeli’s and the Palestinians.

War on any level is a horrible thing, it may sometimes be necessary, it may sometimes be just, it may stop or prevent something that is even worse but it should never be a cause for celebration.

We are obliged to pray for the quick end of the war and peace in the region. One may of course pray for victory for the right but Christians are obliged to pray for their enemies:

“But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

This is not optional! If you claim to be Christian and believe the Gospel to be true it must be done. All souls have equal value in the eyes of God. Even if you don’t agree with it those are the rules. You are not required to agree with the rules but you are required to obey them.

Update: I call upon my fellow Christian bloggers to echo this message. For my fellow Catholics I think the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary would be a good choice here.

At my open house I mentioned the non-shrapnel missiles that Israel is using to chase civilians before blasts. A pair of liberal friends of mine looked at me like I had two heads or was a naive idiot so this post is for them. The process is known as “Knocking on the roof” here is a post on the subject:

5:05 PM Just to give people an idea of how the Israeli Air Force works, they use a method called “Knocking On The Roof”. There are several steps…
1. The AF calls the house they’re about to hit that they are about to bomb it.
2. The residents send all the women and children to the roof of the building with the understanding that the AF won’t strike civilians.
3. The AF has developed a small missile that creates a small non-lethal explosion without shrapnel to scare off all the civilians.
4. When they have left the area the building is hit with the big guns.

The base post is from this post at The Muqata which along with Israellycool has been liveblogging the war. (I was sure I had read it at Israellycool but was mistaken).

This post at Mere Rethoric
also mentions it but not by name:

The IDF has made frequent use of what is known as “knocking on the roof”: Militants are warned by phone when a residential building used to store arms will be bombed, and told to vacate the premised together with their neighbors. The weapons caches are hit only after the residents leave. Hamas has tried placing civilians on the roofs of such buildings when the phone call warning comes in. In these cases, the IDF fired antitank missiles near the building, and in a few cases the residents left

His bottom line is the war’s bottom line:

Israel warns the Palestinian civilians whom Hamas has endangered. Hamas uses those warnings to endanger their civilians even more dramatically. Israel gets blamed for Palestinian civilian casualties. Makes perfect sense.

The irony is both on offense and defense our Palestinian friends try to maximize civilian deaths, both Israeli and their own. This is just plain a different culture.

Lawhawk, via Mere Rethoric, via Hotair leads us to the latest example of phony Palestinian pictures on the war.

At last, we finally figure out what has happened – and curiously, it wasn’t the most recent photo that tells the story; but the oldest. This wasn’t some innocent youth caught up in violence. It wasn’t someone who was throwing rocks or hurling insults at Israelis who responded with lethal force. It was a thug who threw a Molotov cocktail at Israelis, and appears to have been injured.

Mere Rhetoric leads us through Zombietime’s old taxonomy of fraud.

The only reason I’m leaving out the WaPo pictures of the healthy-looking children on stretchers is because I can’t decide whether Hamas staged the scene or whether the photojournalist did the composition on his own. In any case: do you think they’re dumb enough to try to photoshop pictures this time? My basic belief in behavioral conditioning says no. But my appreciation for the shamelessness of anti-Israel journalism says “I wish I had an eye for what a post-smudged clone tool looks like.

I will say this, if Hamas is slaughtering their own Palestinians do you think they would hesitate to kill any photo journalist who didn’t tow the line? In fact they could do it and blame Israel and get extra propaganda points. It’s asking a lot of guts to ask these guys to put themselves out there.

UPDATE: It hits me that this is why Michael Totten is such an amazing guy and one of the best reporters in the world. He takes those risks and reports the truth anyway without any backup.