This morning, I provide two articles verbatim...the first of one young lady's attempt to draw sides together and the second, the situation on the ground today in the middle east. In my response, I have illustrated my concern that until the folks who could make a difference actually stand up to the threat, this problem could get worse before it gets better. Once again, your emails and comments are appreciated!
Aseel Elbaba, 23, who works as a marketing sales manager and recently founded the LebUnity group to promote “the beautiful things” of her Lebanese culture, kept demonstrating between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel demonstrators outside the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto. 180 Bloor St. W. starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, holding her “I shall not hate” sign and demonstrating “all I care about is innocent lives being lost every day on both sides. For them to be heard, I think they should be on the same side.” Watched by teams of Toronto Police on either side of Bloor and Avenue Rd., the demo remained peaceful despite slogans on both sides being shouted. photo- Ian Robertson, Toronto Sun
Protest outside Israeli consulate in Toronto
By Ian Robertson ,Toronto Sun TORONTO - Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrators waved flags and banners while yelling taunts and slogans Thursday across a busy mid-city street outside the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto.
“Stop the killing in Palestine” was repeated in a crowd of 300 on Bloor St.’s south side — including some with “Jews against Israel’s war crimes” signs — while 50 Jewish Defence League and Jewish Defence League (JDL) members across the street cried: “Stop the bombing, stop the hate.”
The pro-Palestinian rally, including Socialist and Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) members, was held one day after Israeli’s military killed an Islamist leader, with Hamas firing reciprocal rockets.
Standing on a podium, a woman called for the “Israeli war machine” to end, adding the world “should not be slaves to the Holocaust.”
Across the street, Jewish Defense League spokesman Meir Weinstein said “we’re here to support Israel and we’re hoping the Israeli government dismantles Hamas once and for all,” calling many of the south-side critics “the far left, who never miss an opportunity to defend Hamas.”Separated by rows of Toronto Police officers, there were no physical clashes.
Repeatedly stopping mid-intersection to raise her “I shall not hate” sign, Aseel Elbaba appealed for peace on both sides. Elbaba, 23, a marketing sales manager of Lebanese descent, for innocent people on both sides to be heard and survive “they should be on the same side.”
Egypt PM to visit Gaza in support of Hamas
Smoke rises in the northern Gaza Strip after an Israel air strike November 15, 2012. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Two rockets from Gaza crashed near Tel Aviv in the first such attack on Israel’s commercial capital for 20 years. One fell into the Mediterranean Sea and the other in an uninhabited part of one of the Tel Aviv suburbs south of the city.
Two days of Israeli air strikes have killed 19 Palestinians, including seven militants and 12 civilians, among them six children and a pregnant woman. A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis in the town of Kiryat Malachi on Thursday morning.
The latest upsurge in a long-running conflict came on Wednesday when Israel killed Hamas’s military mastermind, Ahmed Al-Jaabari, in a precision air strike on his car. Israel then began shelling the coastal enclave from land, air and sea. Israel says its offensive responded to increasing missile salvoes from Gaza. Its bombing has not yet reached the saturation level seen before it last invaded Gaza in 2008, but Israeli officials have said a ground assault remains possible.
The Gaza conflagration has stoked the flames of a Middle East ablaze with two years of Arab popular revolution and a civil war in Syria that threatens to spread further afield. Israeli warplanes bombed targets in and around Gaza City, rattling tall buildings. In a hint of escalation, the spokesman for Israel’s military said it had received the green light to call in up to 30,000 reserve troops.
Egypt’s new Islamist President, Mohamed Mursi, viewed by Hamas as a protector, led a chorus of denunciation of the Israeli strikes by allies of the Palestinians. Mursi’s prime minister, Hisham Kandil, is to visit Gaza on Friday with other Egyptian officials in a show of support for the enclave, an Egyptian cabinet official said. Israel promised that the delegation would come to no harm.
An Egyptian government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said officials accompanying Kandil would explore the possibility of brokering a ceasefire. Mursi faces domestic pressure to act tough. But Egypt gets $1.3 billion a year in U.S. military aid and looks to Washington for help with its ailing economy, constraining Mursi despite his need to show Egyptians that his policies differ from those of his U.S.-backed predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
Air raid sirens sent residents running for shelter in Tel Aviv, a Mediterranean city that has not been hit by a rocket since the 1991 Gulf War when it was targeted by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
The Tel Aviv metropolitan area is home to more than 3 million people, more than 40 percent of Israel’s population. “This escalation will exact a price that the other side will have to pay,” Barak said in a television broadcast shortly after the strike.
But an Israeli cabinet statement on Wednesday spoke only of “improving” national security - acknowledgement that the Jewish state has no illusions about crushing the militants once and for all.
Speaking at the same time in Gaza, Hamas leader Haniyeh urged Egypt to do more to help the Palestinians.
“We call upon the brothers in Egypt to take the measures that will deter this enemy,” the Hamas prime minister said.
The resurgent conflict will be the biggest test yet of Mursi’s commitment to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which the West views as the bedrock of Middle East peace. Cairo recalled its ambassador from Israel on Wednesday. Israel’s ambassador left Cairo on what was called a routine home visit; Israel said its embassy would remain open.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which brought Mursi to power in an election after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, has called for a “Day of Rage” in Arab capitals on Friday. The Brotherhood is seen as the spiritual mentors of Hamas. The Israeli army said 300 targets were hit in Gaza, including more than 130 militant rocket launchers. It said more than 270 rockets had struck Israel since the start of the operation, with its Iron Dome interceptor system shooting down more than 130 rockets bound for residential areas.
Expecting days or more of fighting and almost inevitable civilian casualties, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets in Gaza advising residents to stay away from Hamas and other militants.
Obama should support our ally as Israel attempts to defend herself from unprovoked attacks. Like England during WW2, Israel is the front and if Israel's allies will not assist in her defense, then who will! There have over 850 rockets aimed and fired at Israel so far this year...and this must stop. Imagine if Canada was lobbing rockets into Buffalo and Seattle...the Americans would be outraged!! American's would immediately tell us to either stop or they would come in here and stop it for us. This is precisely what is going on today in Israel.
Yesterday, Palestinians battered Israel with more than 200 rockets in the heaviest fighting in four years, killing three people as Israel pressed a punishing campaign of airstrikes on militant targets across the Gaza Strip. Three rockets targeted Tel Aviv, setting off air-raid sirens in bold attacks that led Israel to signal that a ground operation was imminent. At least 12 trucks were seen transporting tanks and armored personnel carriers, and a number of buses carrying soldiers arrived.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is reported to have said that he has authorized the army to call up as many as 30,000 additional reservists for possible action. Fifteen Palestinians also have been killed in two days of shelling.
Israel and Hamas have largely observed an informal truce for the past four years. However, in the run up to the American election, the calm unraveled in a bout of rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes. The attacks intensified after Obama was re-elected.
The Palestinian Hamas, in Gaza, and in the West Bank, leave no doubt that they do not believe in Israel’s right to exist. They have never recognized Israel's right to exist. They are doing everything they can to create division, knowing that a majority in the United Nations are going to support the Palestinian cause.
The free world, especially America, and Canada have been virtually alone in supporting Israel and these rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza are a test of whether the American President is willing to stand up for her allies, like Israel. Prime Minister Harper, to his credit is backing Israel's right to exist, with the support of a majority of Canadians. Former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was a man who refused to be pushed around...before and during WW2! I am hopeful that the American President will pass this test, but certainly if you look at his record over the past four years, he has been the weakest friend to Israel than Israel has ever had in the White House.
...... your emails and comments below are appreciated!