Is there any logical explanation for Hamas storing its weapons among civilians, and launching its rockets from civilian areas, causing scores of deaths and injuries to Palestinians?
You bet there is!
It is because Gaza is pretty small, and it’s very densely populated. There is simply not enough room in Gaza to put them elsewhere.
During an interview late July 2014 with Jorge Ramos on Fusion TV, Hillary Clinton addressed the issue of Hamas storing their missiles and rockets in civilian areas.
“The problem is, and this is something — I’m not a military planner, but Hamas puts its missiles, its rockets in civilian areas, part of it is that Gaza is pretty small and it’s densely populated. They put their command and control of Hamas military leaders in those civilian areas.”
The article is filled with false facts, expresses anti-Israel opinions and frequently uses anti-Israel sentiment.
While the New York Times is entitled to express its anti-Israel opinion and use anti-Israel sentiment – after all, it is an editorial – falsifying facts and bending the truth, especially for the purpose of supporting a biased opinion, is nothing short of lying.
Here are a few examples of the New York Times false facts (see highlighted text in the original New York Times article*):
(1) “In 2009, the administration focused on getting Israel to halt settlement building and ran into the obstinacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and resistance from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to entering peace talks.“
The Palestinian Authority rejected the gesture as being insignificant and despite the construction halt, continued to refuse to enter negotiations for almost 10 months into the construction-freeze period. When they finally entered negotiations on Sep. 2, 2010, they immediately threatened to exit them should the looming expiration of the construction-freeze period not be extended. When the 10-month settlement construction-freeze period elapsed and the halt was not extended – the Palestinians broke off the talks.
(2) “Since then, members of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition government have tried to sabotage the talks.“
Speculation, not a fact. This speculative accusation has been put forward by Tzipi Livni, the head of a small left-wing faction (Hatnu-ah) that won only 6 seats (5%) in the Jan. 2013 elections to the 120-seat Israeli parliament.
The height of Livni’s political career was her Foreign Minister post under Prime Minister Sharon government of 2006, as a member of the ruling Kadima political faction.
After Sharon’s stroke, and Olmert’s (his successor as Prime Minister) decision to step down, Livni in Sep. 2008 won Kadima‘s leadership by a 1% margin (431 votes).
After Olmert’s resignation as Prime Minister, Livni was tasked in Sep. 2008 to form a government, but was unable to garner sufficient support in the Knesset (Israeli parliament).
In the following 2009 elections, Livni ran against Netanyahu. She was endorsed by the New York Times, and by the left-wing Israeli newspaper Ha-Aretz. Netanyahu endeded up forming a government following the elections, while Livni became the opposition leader. In Mar. 2012, Livni lost her primary elections in her Kadima faction by a wide margin (64.5% to her 35.5%) . She then resigned from the Knesset.
In Nov. 2012 Livni formed a new faction (Hatnu-ah) and ran against Netanyahu for prime-minister position in the Jan. 2013 elections, with its platform emphasizing on its aggressive push for a peace settlement with the Palestinians.
After winning only 6 seats (5%) in the Jan. 2013 elections to the 120-seat Israeli parliament, Livni joined Netanyahu’s government as Justice minister and head of Israeli negotiation team with the Palestinians.
(3) “The process broke down last month when Israel failed to release a group of Palestinian prisoners as promised and then announced 700 new housing units for Jewish settlement in a part of Jerusalem that Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state.”
An opinion, not a fact. The process broke down because:
While Israel… Released 78 Palestinian terrorist in 3 batches during the negotiation period as a gesture to the Palestinians in order to gain their consent to restart the talks brokered by Kerry. – Never committed to halt construction in Jerusalem or the West Bank, thus has not violated the conditions under which the talks were held. – Was prepared to accept Kerry’s proposed framework which aimed for the formulation of a final agreement. – After realizing that the Palestinians – by their refusal to agree to the extension of talks and their threats to go to the UN – are not interested in continued negotiations but only in the release of their terrorists – Israel postponed the release of the last batch of terrorists while negotiating a broader deal that will tie such a release with the continuation of the negotiations.
(4) “…Palestinians responded by applying to join 15 international conventions and treaties. That move won’t get them a state, but it is legal…“
Flat out false. The Palestinians applying to join 15 international conventions and treaties was a violation of the terms of negotiations, as well as a violation of previous agreements with Israel in which Palestinians have committed not to take any unilateral steps outside the context of a negotiated agreement with Israel that have any effect of the political status of Palestine as an independent entity (1995 Oslo Interim Agreement Article XXXI Final Clauses 7).
(5) “…[Israel] took its own unilateral steps by announcing plans to deprive the financially strapped Palestinian Authority of about $100 million in monthly tax revenues…“
Flat out false. The Israeli decision was to deduct Palestinian debt from the monthly transfer of tax collections, which typically amounts to about $100 million per month. Palestinians owe Israel hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity and hospital bills. There was no Israeli specific announcement as to the amount that would be withheld to cover Palestinian debt.
Perhaps the New York Times needs to change its tag line.
Passed by the Senate at a 2 am vote on January 1, 2013; passed by the house at an 11 pm vote that same night; signed into law by the President on January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is perceived as a deal struck by congress at the eleventh hour that largely eliminated the Fiscal Cliff.
Has this legislation really averted the Fiscal Cliff?
The Fiscal Cliff is the sharp decline in the budget deficit that could have occurred beginning in 2013 due to increased taxes and reduced spending as required by previously enacted laws.
But the deal to avert the Fiscal Cliff doesn’t achieve any of that. Instead, it…
A) Does not reduce the Federal Government’s budget deficit
B) Does not avoid increased taxes
C) Does not reduce spending
A) The Fiscal Cliff deal does not reduce the budget deficit.
B) The Fiscal Cliff deal does not avoid increased taxes.
As a result of the deal, the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington research group, estimates that taxes on 77.1% of U.S. households are going up in 2013.
Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase in taxes would be $1,635, the Tax Policy Center said.
The two-year old 2% cut to payroll taxes is being allowed to expire. The payroll tax, which was reduced to 4.2% in 2011 and 2012, returns to 6.2% in 2013. This is expected to take about $120 billion out of the economy, which should have a negative impact of about 0.7% on GDP growth.
Marginal income and capital gains tax rates are increased for those with annual income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. The top income rate is going up from 35% to 39.6%. The top capital gains rate increases from 15% to 20%.
A phase-out of tax deductions and credits for incomes over $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples is reinstated.
Estate taxes are set at 40% of the value above $5,250,000, indexed for inflation, up from 35% of the value over $5,120,000.
A 2.3% tax on gross sales of medical devices (such as heart valves and hip replacement parts – a tax firms making equipment must pay even if they have no profit at all.
A new 3.8% surtax on investment income (possibly including profits from the sale of a home) for individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples with $250,000 or more.
An increase of Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The current 2.9% Medicare payroll tax will be increased to a total of 3.8%.
A raise in the threshold for allowed Itemized Medical Deductions from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10%, burdening those with the largest medical expenses by limiting how much of these costs they can deduct on their taxes.
C) The Fiscal Cliff deal does not reduce Government spending.
The budget sequestration created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the directed automatic across-the-board cuts totaling $110 billion per year for 10 years beginning on January 2, 2013, split evenly ($55 billion each) between defense and non-defense discretionary spending) is delayed by two months.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does include, however, over $67 billion in tax breaks for ‘renewable energy’, Hollywood, multinational corporations, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands rum industry, NASCAR, plug-in electric scooters and others.
UNBIASED COMMENTARY ON CURRENT EVENTS, NATIONAL POLITICS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE STATE OF THE UNION