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In Israel, the deception of quiet has been shattered. Now what?

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In Israel the deception of quiet has been shattered Now what

Terrorism threatens both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The coming weeks will see whether Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be able to contain an escalating situation and roll back the violence, or whether the region will slide into a new and dangerous phase.

 The succession of deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks in the West Bank in recent days is a painful reminder of a bigger truth, and that is that the security quiet that prevailed until recently was little more than an illusion.

The motivation of terrorists—whether backed by an organized armed faction or acting on their own—to attack Israelis remains high, and the relative quiet that existed was not for their lack of trying.

The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet intelligence service have thwarted a staggering number of attacks this year alone. A look at the official figures confirms the scale of the threat and highlights just how deceptive the so-called quiet really was.

According to Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman, no fewer than 480 organized terror attempts based in the West Bank have been attempted (and prevented) this year. Those murder plots included 280 planned shootings, 76 attempted bombings, six suicide bombings and seven kidnappings. The intended Israeli targets were on both sides of the Green Line.

The number of unorganized attackers stopped in their tracks in 2018 is approximately 400, and their arrest has been made possible due in part to technological breakthroughs in the collection and analysis of big data.

The threat Hamas poses to Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been the glue that’s held together security coordination on the ground.

New technology in the service of national security has helped drastically reduce such attacks, which were frequent just a few years ago.

Hamas has been instrumental in attempting to destabilize the West Bank, both because this serves its jihadist siren call of violence against Israel and because it serves its goal of weakening its domestic foe, the Palestinian Authority, which it seeks to replace, just like it did in Gaza. Hamas believes that it is entitled to set the West Bank alight with violence, even as it keeps its home turf of Gaza in a state of ceasefire most of the time.

The threat Hamas poses to both Israel and to the P.A. has been the glue that has held together security coordination on the ground between Israeli and Palestinian forces. This glue has so far stuck, despite severe diplomatic clashes between the P.A. and Israel. The P.A. subtly recognizes that Israel’s anti-Hamas operations benefit it as much as it does Israelis.

Israel broke up more than 220 West Bank Hamas terrorist cells this year, including one cell that was ordered by Hamas’s military wing in Gaza to bomb crowded targets in the heart of Israeli cities in October. That cell was preparing bombs that were unprecedented in their quality of explosive materials, the Shin Bet investigation found.

In recent months, Israel quietly arrested hundreds of West Bank terror suspects, including students, and young men and women who were recruited into Hamas’s secret networks.

That has not stopped Hamas from trying, again and again, to turn the West Bank into a hotbed of terrorism. Israel’s preemptive capabilities have served as a silent, life-saving safety net around the clock.

Shifting the balance

Harrowingly, however, no safety net is fool-proof. It’s too soon to say whether Thursday’s deadly shooting attack on a bus stop near Ramallah was the result of organized terrorism or a local “initiative.”

Either way, the most immediate risk is that this shooting, as well as the attack that preceded it on Dec. 9, will provide the fuel to light a chain reaction in the form of copycat attacks. The first signs of this risk came in a car-ramming attack that injured a soldier just a few hours after Thursday’s incident.

Anticipating this trend, the Israel Defense Forces mobilized a number of back-up infantry battalions to the area, who will be tasked with both defending Israeli communities and assisting the offensive raids, and searches for the perpetrators.

In the past 24 hours, Israel’s Counter-Terrorist Unit conducted successful operations that resulted in the killing of the gunman behind the Barkan shooting attack and a gunman linked to the Dec. 9 Ofra Junction shooting.

Israel’s ability to catch up with the terrorists—no matter how hard they try to hide or embed themselves in challenging urban settings—reflects a world-leading counter-terrorism level that is unmatched and should not be taken for granted.

It also reflects the fact that Israel can send forces to operate anywhere in the West Bank, at any time—a reality that did not exist during the dark days of the Second Intifada some 15 years ago.

A dangerous period ahead

The commemoration of Hamas’s founding, which will be marked on Dec. 14, the risk of another Gaza escalation and the unending “bubbling up”’ of terror plots under the surface can all act as catalysts, accelerating a deterioration in the security situation in the coming days and weeks.

The IDF’s challenge in the West Bank is in some ways much more complex than its border-protection duties on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. In the West Bank, the IDF protects some 400,000 Israeli civilians who live in the midst of around 2 million Palestinians, with no obvious separating border the two populations.

The Israeli army’s challenge in the West Bank is in some ways much more complex than its border-protection duties on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The Israeli army’s challenge in the West Bank is in some ways much more complex than its border-protection duties on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

To pursue this enormously complex mission effectively, the military offers both carrots and sticks; both are aimed at preventing the situation from worsening.

The sticks come in the form of nightly security raids targeting terrorists, while carrots are offered to Palestinian noncombatants in the form of freedom of movement and increased economic opportunities to push them away from the calls to violence, which are issued by the armed Palestinian hardline factions and fill social media.

The IDF’s own experience and its analysis of past trends tell it that driving a wedge between Palestinian civilians and terrorists—and seeking to maintain a normal fabric of life for ordinary Palestinians who are not involved in terrorism—drives down the number of attacks and saves lives.

Yet this balancing act of attempting to isolate the terrorists from the civilians changed dramatically on Thursday, when the IDF encircled Ramallah and placed it under lockdown. Placing a city that is the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority under such restrictions reflects the severity of the latest attack, and the Israeli military’s urgency in placing its hands on the perpetrators.

Such a development could also act as a reminder to the wider Palestinian public, according to which, Israel can employ more disruptive sticks. A return to the days of mass violence, as many realize, will likely result in significant harm to Palestinian freedom of movement and economic stability.

Ultimately, the terrorism that has reared its head threatens both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The coming weeks will see whether Israel and the P.A. will be able to contain the situation and roll back the violence, or whether the region will slide into a new and dangerous phase, a development that Hamas will be sure to celebrate and exploit.

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Guns and Crime

Illegal alien crimes are getting more frequent, more heinous, and the media’s ignoring it

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Several communities have been shocked by slayings attributed to illegal immigrants

If you’re watching any mainstream media channels other than occasionally Fox News, you’ll notice the rash of slayings allegedly committed by illegal immigrants that we’ve been covering aren’t making national news the way they should. It goes against their narrative to report that there are people who aren’t supposed to be in this country who are killing American citizens.

Nevertheless, we’ll continue to report on them. Fox News occasionally does. Other conservative media outlets have been trying to keep up as well, but there have been so many it’s actually getting difficult to keep track. Here are the three mentioned in the Fox News video above, duly reported by NOQ Report. We rely on the generosity of our readers to allow us to keep reporting this important news.

But it doesn’t end with the three Fox News reported on. There have been so many heinous crimes allegedly committed by illegal immigrants in the past couple of months, we could fill our pages with stories about them alone and still have a full-blown news outlet.

Yes, it’s that bad. Here’s a sample:

Keep in mind, this is just over the past two months.

It isn’t just reporting the news that’s important. We are clear and bold in the way we report it. You won’t find flower language like “undocumented migrant” or “asylum-seeking snowflake” when we describe these criminal illegal immigrants or the crimes they allegedly commit. We use the proper terminology warranted by the White House. Those who enter the country illegally or stay longer than they’re supposed to stay are illegal aliens. Period.

Another important note is that we’re very much in favor of legal immigration. In fact, as a legal immigrant myself, I’m all in favor of increasing the number of legal immigrants who can enter the country just as soon as we stop the flow of illegal immigrants. We must deport those who are a risk to citizens, every last one of them. Then, we must fund ICE and border patrol to be able to detain those who are captured. Catch-and-release must be a thing of the past.

On top of that, we have to secure the borders with a strong combination of a wall, advanced LiDAR technology, much more border patrol agents, and more detention centers to accommodate the overflow we’re currently experiencing.

Visa overstays are arguably a bigger problem. There must be accountability for those who enter the country and either fail to extend their stay legally or ignore their visa expiration altogether. If that means weekly check-ins via mobile devices and instant warrants the moment their visas expire without record of them leaving or extending, so be it.

When all of these things are done, THEN let’s talk about immigration reform. Until then, we have too big of a problem with illegal immigration to even remotely consider expanding legal immigration in this country.

There is nothing wrong with having compassion. That means requiring they enter legally. It means those who deny our sovereignty by coming or staying illegally must be dealt with properly. The safety of American citizens must come first.

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Conservatism

What Steven Crowder’s latest pro-life Change My Mind reveals

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What Steven Crowders latest pro-life Change My Mind reveals

Steven Crowder in his most recent edition of “Change My Mind” experienced more aggressive pro-abortion arguments than he had in the previous installments. The episode featured people arguing that moral personhood began at birth or even “experience.” Often times, Change My Mind demonstrates that under scrutiny, arguments have flaws. Such is the method that got Socrates killed. With all of these discussions, the failure to prove the lack of humanity for a fetus proved unconvincing and logically undefended by its proponents. But I want to address the intrinsic instinct, the universal morality, that could not stay buried under layers of denial. These pro-abortion advocates, deep down, know they are wrong.

In all four conversations, late term abortion was supported. However the caveat of threat to the mother was brought up, despite the rarity of such occurrence. Steven Crowder called them out, citing the fact that they said they would support third trimester abortion even if it were not a threat to the mother by their own previous admission. The proponents then hesitantly agreed. So Crowder then asked “why bring it up?” That is the question. Why would abortion advocates rely on such extreme examples?

I believe that deep down, those who have not finished their leftist training have not intrinsically forsaken the convicting power of conscious, because of what I observed in this video. The latter two proponents came off as not even believing what they were saying. The first was a hardcore stoner. The second was a perhaps shy of being a feminist. The stoner gentleman said “breath” was the transfer of moral personhood and if a baby came out and had yet to breath, it would not yet be human, therefore justified in killing it. The last one suggested the ultra vague notion of “experience” rendered moral personhood. Yet she agreed that the experiences of the unborn were valid human experiences and then whimsically concluded that it was still okay to kill them.

She, in particular, sounded really unconvinced in her own stance. I thought she was going to make a utilitarian argument that would have led to an interesting discussion about quantifying human suffering. This would have been a better argument than “experience” which is even less defensible than sentience. The gentleman in the beginning argued that a fetus was a parasite but then insisted it was not autonomous. Biologically speaking a parasite is autonomous from its host.

These two claims are mutually exclusive. Three of these students presented arguments that I was unconvinced they themselves even believed. I am shocked that this was my takeaway, for on every other Change My Mind, even the other three installments on abortion, I believed that the guests genuinely believed their own arguments.

If a fetus is not human, there would be no need to rely on extreme examples to defend abortion. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that abortion is an affront to natural law, as science increasingly supports the notion of human life at creation. The Founding Fathers so cleverly wrote that our rights were self evident. The affront to these self evident rights will naturally be difficult to defend logically. This is why the abortion advocates had such poor arguments with premises that could not withstand charitable scrutiny. In this case, the pro-abortion advocates all believed a conclusion of abortion permissibility, without internally accepting the premises necessary to support the conclusion and the implications they would ensue from said premises.

There is a difference between a person being reputably evil and plainly gullible. That difference would be seen as someone who simply accept that a fetus is not human and simply doesn’t care. These college students weren’t there yet. Nor is the rest of the country as a whole. So there is reason for hope.

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Culture and Religion

Intellectual discourse versus Biblical snippets to spread the Gospel

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Intellectual discourse versus Biblical snippets to spread the Gospel

In a world with a shortening attention span, is it better to drop “Bible bombs” on people in the short time they give us? With a topic as complex as a Biblical worldview, is it better to deliver long-form dissertations and engage in extended debate?

The answer to both questions is, “Yes.”

Those of us who are trying to spread the Gospel and bring more people to the light are tasked with a difficult challenge to overcome. Much of the world is shifting towards a secular worldview and abandoning the truth of the Bible. Even though people abroad are coming into the faith in astounding numbers, people in western culture are often pulling away.

We are faced with the two big challenges: time and effort. Sometimes, people simply won’t allow enough time to learn about the Bible, our Creator, our Savior, or any of the other portions of faith that are required to penetrate the evil haze that is sweeping across western culture. On the other hand, there is a need to be prepared for those instances when someone is open to discussion, when they have questions and are willing to look deeper to find the answers.

The former often requires us to be ready with a Biblical “elevator pitch” in order to establish the latter. This is one of the reasons why we’re so focused on social media. It’s a venue that we believe can bring people into the state of mind of asking questions. While it’s likely not possible for a Tweet to make people change their worldview, we see it as a prompt to act on the nagging feelings that have been hitting them but that they’ve never pursued in the past.

Once you have people asking questions, it’s important to have the right answers readily available. If they come to you for guidance and you’re not ready to deliver it, you can actually do more harm than good. It’s a fear that has enveloped us at times. It has driven us to a state of constant study; not a day goes by when we’re not doing something to expand our understanding and sharpen our abilities to deliver the right message at the right time.

Prayer is the most important thing you can do. It’s even more important than studying. If you can tap into the message through prayer and Bible study, the Lord will provide you with the words you need when the time to deliver them comes.

One does not have to go to seminary to be able to answer questions when they are asked. Between the internet and, of course, the Bible, the answers will present themselves if you’re are simply willing to look.

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