Thursday, November 03, 2005
Time to add a new blog to the blogroll... except that IRIS is rather more than just a blog.
They started out as a mailing list in the early nineties; I subscribed to them then. Then and now, they promoted an uncompromising viewpoint of Israel's security, and an unflinching look at those who jeopardize that security.
One of their common features, for example, was "the PLO in their own words", giving references for what the Palestinians themselves say about Israel. (Historical note: the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, known in Arabic as al-Fatah, formed the core of today's Palestinian Authority. It was ruled with an iron fist by Yasser Arafat from 1968 until last year.) For example, go here to see what Palestinians had to say about the evacuation of Gaza two months ago, and the destruction of the synagogues there.
There's more, much more, including maps and charts for those who like to be armed with facts and figures. (Did you know that all of Israel, including the West Bank, would fit comfortably inside Lake Michigan?) And then there's the blog, with breaking news stories and commentary.
Today's blog entries include two of particular interest to me:
Palestinian Youth With Toy Gun Injured By IDF
Sounds tragic, doesn't it? But there's more here than meets the eye. Take a look at this photo, which blogger Charles Johnson of LGF published almost two years ago:
Yes, that's what they mean by "toy guns". If you were an Israeli soldier, being fired upon from several locations simultaneously, and a big kid suddenly pointed that at you, would you assume that it was a toy?
This analysis from the pages of The Jerusalem Post is also well worth reading:
Arrest raids like the one early Wednesday in Jenin that unfortunately killed Staff.-Sgt. Yonatan Evron, combined with targeted assassinations, have come pretty close to quashing Palestinian terror.Here's some context: Israel recently evacuated her civilians, and then her military forces, from the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip has become a hotbed of terrorism ever since -- but the Strip has long since been fenced off carefully from Israel, and it's been a long time since a terrorist attack in Israel could be traced to the Strip. (So why doesn't Israel fence off the West Bank as well? Actually, for the past few years, Israel has been building just such a fence around the West Bank, a.k.a. Judea and Samaria, and has been criticized savagely for it.)
On the surface, this statement appears ludicrous in light of last week's suicide bombing in Hadera and the repeated attempts to fire Kassam rockets out of the Gaza Strip into Israel. But security officials stress that the terror organizations are in distress, and disregard rhetoric about whether they will renew their truce or not.
Each night, security forces fan out across Judea and Samaria and detain suspected fugitives. Nearly 1,000 have been nabbed and brought in for questioning in the past few months. While many were eventually released, the arrest of key terrorists has decimated their ranks, particularly in Hamas, who are now suffering from a dearth of local leaders in the run-up to Palestinian elections.
But the crackdown on the terrorist groups in the West Bank has been so vast and consistent that they are resigned to attempting to sneak in from the Gaza Strip not just know-how, but muscle as well.
This was evident in the revelation this week that security forces had nabbed three veteran terrorists attempting to sneak out of the Gaza Strip, through the Sinai and to the West Bank through the Negev.
These three men, members of the Popular Resistance Committees, were not just experts in manufacturing Kassam rockets and explosives, but at organizing active cells and carrying out attacks against Israelis. Their job was to fill the void and set up a military infrastructure in the northern West Bank.
"We are talking of transferring not just brains, but muscle as well," said a senior security official. "They were to be the bridgehead."
So terrorists have a free hand in Gaza, but can't launch attacks from there. And the IDF has been cracking down on terrorism in the West Bank -- so strongly, in fact, that Gaza-based terrorists have had to go south into Egypt, around into southern Israel, and north to the West Bank -- just so that West Bank terrorists would have some leadership. Interesting, no?
As The Jerusalem Post article concludes:
While not promising to bring terrorism to an "absolute zero" level, [IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan] Halutz said the IDF policy has proven that there was a military answer to terrorism, and we are watching this unfold daily.If you're interested in Israeli security, and are tired of reading about it from an anti-Israel perspective, then definitely check out IRIS.
UPDATE: Off-topic, I know, but I just discovered Smash's new site, The Military Outpost. It's a clearinghouse for military blogs; naturally, it's on my list. Check it out!