BREAKING NEWS: Ukraine And Israel *Open Thread*

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There are two major news stories occurring today. The first one, and one that has been discussed for hours now, is the downing of a Malaysian jet in Ukraine.

It is still unknown just who is responsible for downing this jet, and information is still coming in. One possible suspect are Russian separatists, though Russian President Putin blames Ukraine. Here is more from The Hill:

[…] Ukrainian officials have accused Russian separatists operating in Eastern Ukraine of shooting down the plane with the Russian-built Buk antiaircraft system, which is capable of downing planes flying as high as 72,000 feet. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the incident and “act of terrorism.”
The United States will dispatch an investigative team to Ukraine “to determine what happened,” he said, adding that the U.S. team would be “on their way rapidly to see if we can get to the bottom of this.”

Separately, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee emerging from a classified session on Thursday said the Malaysian plane likely exploded at high altitude. They also noted that pro-Russian separatists have shot down several aircraft in Eastern Ukraine in recent weeks.

While the lawmakers did not explicitly point the finger at pro-Russian militants, they suggested the circumstances raised grave concern about Russia’s involvement.

If Russian separatists are behind the downed plane, it will raise diplomatic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut any ties with the militants in Eastern Ukraine.

The U.S. has blamed Russia’s government for the fighting in Ukraine, and the Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new round of sanctions on Russia. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

One thing we do know is that over 150 Dutch citizens were on this plane, as well as almost 30 Australians, and a few other nations.

No doubt it will take some time to figure this out, but one thing is certain: this is not good no matter how one spins it.

The other major event of the day was that Israel has gone to a ground game in Gaza. There was a very short-lived ceasefire, which Hamas broke firing more rockets into Israel. And unlike Israel, Hamas does not give warnings ahead of time. Then again, unlike Hamas, Israel does not use its citizens as human shields (there was a great Letter to the Editor in today’s paper about this very issue, as well as the role Hamas is playing in all of this. You can click here and scroll down to, “Hamas to Blame“). The Daily Mail has the story:

[…] The Israeli military has launched a ground operation into Gaza, the Israeli government has said.

Reporters and residents said heavy artillery, naval shelling and helicopter fire were underway along the Gaza border after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the military action in a bid to stop rockets being fired from Gaza.

‘The prime minister and defense minister have instructed the IDF to begin a ground operation tonight in order to hit the terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel,’ the official statement said.

The operation will include ‘infantry, armored corps, engineer corps, artillery and intelligence combined with aerial and naval support’, a statement from the Israeli military added. […]

And there is more on this, including more threats from Hamas. Sky News has the story:

[…] “The prime minister and defence minister have instructed the IDF to begin a ground operation tonight in order to hit the terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel,” said a statement from Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

A Hamas spokesman called the ground offensive “foolish”, adding that Israel will “pay a heavy price”.

Sky’s Middle East Correspondent Sherine Tadros, on the ground in Gaza, reported heavy shelling and bombardment.

She said: “The power has gone out over most of Gaza so we can’t see very much, but what we can hear is terrifying. […]

I cannot even imagine how terrifying this must be. There is more from Sky News:

[…] The Israeli army said the ground offensive is meant to strike a “significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure”.

“We know that Hamas terrorists are operating underground, and that’s where we will meet them,” Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said via Twitter.

Thousands of Israeli soldiers had massed on the border with Gaza in recent days.

The ground campaign followed a brief truce earlier on Thursday in which Israel held fire to allow Gazans to stock up on food and other necessities after being largely holed up at home since the conflict began last month. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Why a ground game now, one might ask? I imagine it has something to do with Hamas terrorists digging tunnels into Israel to wreak havoc. From the Jerusalem Post:

IDF forces foiled an attempt by Hamas terrorists to infiltrate a kibbutz near the Gaza frontier through an underground tunnel before dawn on Thursday, the army announced.

Soldiers manning the border area identified 13 terrorists who crossed into Israeli territory near Kibbutz Sufa through a tunnel that was dug in the southern Gaza Strip.

The army said that the troops “neutralized the threat.” There was no exact number of casualties in the gunfire, though it was confirmed that no Israeli troops suffered injuries. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Clearly, this is a major escalation, and not unwarranted, IMHO. Israel should not have to tolerate being barraged by rockets from the air, and have terrorists tunneling into their country underground. They have every right to defend their borders, and their citizens.

No doubt more will come out on both of these stories. Please feel free to add updates in the comments below.

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8 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: Ukraine And Israel *Open Thread*”

  1. justine Says:

    Interesting concept, RRRA: “They have every right to defend their borders, and their citizens.” The same, of course, could be said of the US.
    .

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Indeed, Justine. We COULD be defending our borders; Obama is just choosing not to do so.

      I was thinking this morning abt the terrorists literally tunneling into Israel to attack them. Right this minute, Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman, is on Fox talking abt all the tunnels these terrorists have dug into Israel. It is stunning how often ISRAEL is the one told to back off, pull back, etc., etc. rather than defend itself from terrorists. The only reason more Israelis aren’t killed isn’t from lack of trying on the part of Hamas, but because Israel has the Iron Dome. Without it, things would be very different indeed.

      But then again, we don’t even make the terrorists have to tunnel into the USA. They can just walk right in through Mexico…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        If only they were just tunnelling into the USA like the drug cartels are they wouldn’t have to worry about anyone trying to stop them.

  2. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    There is conjecture that 23 Americans were on the downed Malaysian plane, but the State Department refuses to comment. We know the breakdown of the passenger list, but why won’t the State Dep’t say one way or the other? My cynical response is that then the President would have to do something other than fundraise. He doesn’t have the metal to step up and do something beyond draw a red line in the shifting sands…

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Thought you might enjoy this Katie Pavlich interview.

    War On Women? The Left Speaks from Experience. Katie Pavlich Proves It.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thank you so much for this, Marge. What a FASCINATING interview. I completely concur with Pavlich when she says this whole “Life of Julia” thing is unbelievably sexist. No kidding!! Yet Dem women just lapped it up. WHY???

      And Hillary – I used to think she was a champion of women, too, but as SoS, when she started working with the Taliban, and treated the Muslim Brotherhood like it was not a terrorist organization hat preaches terrible treatment of women, I knew I had been had on that point as well.

      I would just love to hang out and talk politics with Pavlich, wouldn’t you?

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I really would. She’s so smart and so articulate and yet she doesn’t over do it like Angela Tantaros so often does.

        If she says or writes it you can pretty much be sure that she’s researched it so that no one can prove her wrong. Of course they can lie…

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Yes, it is clear she thoroughly researches her topic first. I thought it was so interesting what she had to say abt the Suffragette movement, and how it was co-opted by the Dems. That does seem to be their MO, but WHY don’t the Reps stand up against such co-option?

          Anyway, she is brilliant, and I love these longer clips of her talking. Thanks again!

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