Once again, the Arab world made an Information War attack on Israel. This time by sponsoring a UN study (the Goldstone Report) that looks into the 22 day Israeli invasion of Gaza last December. This report, to no one's surprise, portrayed Israelis as war criminals, and Hamas, which used human shields and teenage gunmen, as innocent victims. There is also a lot of outright lying used. For example, Palestinians claimed that the 22 Day War last January indiscriminately killed civilians. Hamas claimed that 1,434 Palestinians were killed. Hamas further claimed that only 235 were Hamas fighters, while another 239 were police officers, and 960 of the dead were civilians. Hamas admitted that most of the "civilians" were men, mostly of military age. They also claim that 121 of the dead civilians were women and 288 were children (defined as anyone under 18). It goes downhill from there. The Arab world unites behind these lies, and encourages all other Moslem nations to join them. Many Western nations, seeing a cheap way to ingratiate themselves with the Moslem world, join in. The Fatah leadership in the West Bank then got accused of being a traitor by going along with requests, from the Western nations that prop it up, to delay a UN vote on the UN study. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to support terrorism and use it to try and gain control of the West Bank, and carry out attacks inside Israel. One thing Hamas and Fatah agree on is that over half a century of failed Palestinian (and Arab) efforts to destroy Israel is not their fault. Arabs are victims of a conspiracy by Jews and the West, to sustain Israel and keep the Arabs down. This is the core of Palestinian propaganda on all their media, and now accepted by many leftist supporters in West. Just another conspiracy theory, but one with thousands of heavily armed believers, who will kill if they get an opportunity. And trying to defend yourself against this is called oppressing the Palestinians.
Efforts to get Hamas and Fatah to unite continue to fail. Both groups are intent on destroying each other (as well as Israel, but this is now a secondary objective.) Egypt, which has invested substantial prestige in brokering peace talks, wants to get the two groups to sign a make-believe agreement so that everyone can save face and move on. But even this is running into obstacles as Hamas and Fatah continue to expand the list of things they are squabbling over.
October 15, 2009: In Turkey, police rounded up 32 suspected members of al Qaeda, who were planning attacks on NATO, Turkish and Israeli targets.
October 14, 2009: Israel has joined a NATO effort to maintain counter-terror naval patrols in the eastern Mediterranean.
October 12, 2009: In Lebanon, an explosion at the home of a Hezbollah leader killed at least six people. It's believed that bombs or rockets stored their exploded. Israel has tried to use such incidents to motivate UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon to crack down on Hezbollah weapons smuggling and storage efforts there. This has largely failed, as Hezbollah has told the UN force that if they want to avoid being attacked, they should look the other way. Meanwhile, Israel released UAV video showing Hezbollah members removing rockets from the wreckage of the home. Hezbollah insisted that the video was faked. Hezbollah gunmen and Lebanese troops prevented UN personnel from investigating the scene of the explosion.
October 11, 2009: A NATO air force training exercise in Turkey was cancelled because pro-Palestinian groups in Turkey persuaded the government to bar Israel from participating (as it always had in the past.) The embarrassing defeat of Hamas in the 22 day war last January has mobilized many Moslems to go after Israel any way they can, and Turkey, with a pro-Islamic government, has joined in.
October 10, 2009: Hamas is trying to avoid rising anger in Gaza by repaying about half the $60 million thousands of Gazans invested in smuggling tunnels over the last few years. Most of these tunnels have been destroyed in the past year, and much of the money disappeared before tunnels could even be constructed. Since Hamas had turned tunnel construction into a legal, and taxed, operation, people hold Hamas responsible for the huge losses at the hands of Israeli bombs and Palestinian swindlers.
October 7, 2009: Hamas has banned women from riding motorcycles. Hamas has been, bit by bit, increasing the restrictions on lifestyle choices, not just for women, but people in general. Hamas wants to impose a strict Islamic lifestyle on Gaza, but has backed off trying to do it all at once. This, Hamas believes, risks a general uprising against them. But bit-by-bit might work.
October 6, 2009: Palestinian religious leaders in Israel tried to create a violent situation in Jerusalem by having religious leaders call "all Moslems (men only)" to the Temple Mount to defend the al Aqsa mosque from imagined Israeli plots against it. Police began restricting entrance to the area, keeping out men under 50.