« August 2010 | Main | October 2010 »

September 29, 2010

Palestinians: No talks without freeze

Israel would be blamed for talks' failure if it insists on expanding settlements, PA negotiator Shaath says; 'Let us throw this problem in face of world and see what they can do about it,' PLO official says
Associated Press

The Palestinians dug in ahead of a crucial meeting Thursday with Washington's Mideast envoy, saying they can't be expected to continue peace talks unless Israel reverses a decision to lift restrictions on West Bank settlement construction.

President Barack Obama's emissary, George Mitchell, is making a secretive last-minute attempt to rescue the negotiations. He was to travel to Abbas' West Bank headquarters Thursday, after meeting with Israeli leaders on Wednesday. Mitchell said after talks with Netanyahu that he is undaunted by what he described as "bumps in the road," but offered no glimpse of a possible compromise.

Abbas advisers on Wednesday stopped short of posing an ultimatum, but signaled they would accept nothing less than an extension of the moratorium. Veteran Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said Israel should be blamed for any breakdown of the negotiations if it insists on expanding settlements on lands claimed by the Palestinians for their state.

September 28, 2010

Israeli 'Irene' passenger: The IDF were violent on board

Commando 13 warship peacefully diverts yacht from Gaza after illegally enters waters; IDF spokesperson calls boat "provocation."

An Israeli passenger who was on board the Irene, a boat carrying Jewish activists and aid to Gaza that was intercepted by the IDF on Tuesday, says there was violence on board despite the IDF Spokesperson asserting otherwise.

"There are no words to describe what we went through on that boat, " said Yonatan Shapira, a passenger and former Israeli Air Force pilot.

"The IDF are trying to put a media spin on events, saying it was a non-violent takeover, but the soldiers' actions were violent and disgusting. I was tasered. Our message is that the occupation of Gaza cannot continue. "

The yacht carrying the Jewish activists that intended to break the Gaza blockade docked at Ashdod Port on Tuesday afternoon.

The Israeli Navy took over the Irene, on Tuesday morning. The IDF spokesperson reported that no violence was used in taking over the boat, and that the activists were peaceful.

The IDF intends to deliver the humanitarian aid on the yacht to the Gaza Strip.

Before taking over the ship, the navy issued two warnings to the yacht, saying that they were breaking Israeli and international laws. When the captain ignored the warnings, the ship entered blockaded waters.

"It is an unfortunate fact that the Israeli Navy has to be distracted from preventing terror and weapons-smuggling to Israel's enemies to deal with this kind of provocation," the IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier Tuesday, an Israeli activist told Israel Radio that the two Israeli Navy ships had escorted the boat carrying Jewish activists to Gaza on Tuesday morning, and that more ships were on the horizon.

"The army established contact with the captain, and asked him where we are headed," Rami Elhanan, who was aboard the Irene, said. "The navy asked to bypass the ship from 5 miles to the right, and we complied."

"We said we are headed to Gaza and sailing under the British flag," Elhanan added.

The Irene, which was carrying nine Jewish activists from Israel and other countries, set sail from Cyprus on Sunday. The activists said they were trying to draw attention to Israel's blockade of Gaza and would not resist if they were stopped.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David called the activists' claim to be bringing aid to Gaza "ridiculous" and labeled the voyage "a politically motivated provocation."

I had dinner with my liberal friends the other day and we talked about these Jews sailing to Gaza. I was in shock when even my friends that voted for Obama said sink the ship at sea with all hands on board.

My friends viewed these useful idiots as a threat to the security of Israel.

September 27, 2010

Bibi Get Tough If You Can

Hamas has released a new video of Gilad Schalit on You Tube.

We have had several Prime Ministers in office since Gilad was captured and not one of them has fulfilled their obligation to this soldier by getting him back.

Grab every Hamas leader and their families and start a count down to their execution until Hamas releases Gilad.

But Yoni, that is not civilized, that is not how things are done in this modern PC world. Which is why this poor guy is still in the hands of Hamas.

If Israel were to get tough with the terrorist we would have peace a long time ago

" target="_blank">

September 26, 2010

Useful Idiots

Israel set to stop Jewish ship en route to Gaza
UK pro-Palestinian group organizing mission says goal is to show not all Jews support Israeli policies on Palestinians; won't resist boarding.

The navy went on high alert Sunday as a ship carrying Jewish activists set sail from northern Cyprus with the declared goal of breaking Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Called Irene, the boat is carrying a symbolic cargo of aid for the people of Gaza under a British flag.

Organizers from Jews for Justice for Palestinians said that all of the passengers were Jews from Israel, Germany, the United States or Great Britain.

“Not all Jews support Israel’s policies in Gaza,” said Richard Kuper, one of the organizers.

“We call on all nations and governments around the world to vocally protest and take action against the occupation and the blockade.”

Israel’s policy is to prevent ships from reaching the Gaza Strip, but rather have them undergo an inspection of their cargo at the Ashdod Port. This policy – that humanitarian aid must enter Gaza by land – was supported by the international community last week at a donor conference for the Palestinian Authority in the US.

“We cannot allow ships to sail freely into Gaza, since they could be carrying weaponry,” one senior defense official said.“If the ships sail into Ashdod, we will inspect the cargo and then allow it through the land crossings into the Gaza Strip.”

Kuper said that the passengers would not violently resist IDF soldiers who would likely board the vessel to stop it from sailing to Gaza. The ship was making its way to Gaza about four months after navy commandos killed nine Turkish activists while stopping a Turkish flotilla that was en route to Gaza.

The 10-meter catamaran Irene, carrying a total of nine passengers and crew members, plans to deliver toys, medical equipment and other supplies to Gaza.

One of the passengers, Rami Elhanan, an Israeli whose daughter Smadar was killed along with four others in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem’s Rehov Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall in 1997, said it was his “moral duty” to act in support of Palestinians in Gaza because reconciliation was the surest path to peace.

“Those 1.5 million people in Gaza are victims exactly as I am,” Elhanan, 60, said in an interview.

Other voyage organizers included the Amsterdam-based European Jews for a Just Peace and the Oakland, Californiabased Jewish Voice for Peace.

Another Israeli passenger is Yonatan Shapira, a former Israel Air Force pilot and a wellknown left-wing activist who refused to serve in the territories.

Another passenger, Reuven Moskovitz, is an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor. He said his life’s mission has been to turn foes into friends.

“We are two peoples, but we have one future,” he said.

Traitors and scum that call themselves Jews.

Israel should deal very harshly with these idiots, they are placing Israelis at risk.

I will not print what I think should be done to these useful idiots, but instead I will call on the government to arrest these people and give them a very long time to sit in prison.

The great adventures of 10 daring Druze

They fought Nazi soldiers, were taken captive and snuck food to Jewish prisoners. This is the heroic tale of Daoud Bessis, last of 10 Druze men who volunteered with British army during WWII
Noah Klieger

Daoud Bessis' life story sounds as if it was taken out of an action movie envisioned by an extremely imaginative director.

After all, who would think there could be a common thread between a young idealistic Druze from Daliyat al-Karmel and the war against the Nazis, saving Jews, staying in prisoner camps established by the Germans and fighting with the Free French Forces?

Bessis' adventures began in 1942, when he volunteered with the British army along with 10 other Druze men from the villages of Daliyat al-Karmel, Beit Jan, and Peki'in, who decided to join the war effort against the Germans.

The young soldiers were sent to train at Sarafand Camp, later known as Tzrifin, and were later stationed in Libya, where they joined British troops, led by General Bernard Montgomery, in a bitter battle against the German African Corps, commanded by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel and reinforced by Italian brigades.

After the battles in Libya, the Druze volunteers were sent with their battalion to Greece, which was under German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation – each controlling a different part of the country.

In the fall of 1943, when Italy withdrew from the war and its troops relinquished control of Greek territory, the British attempted to invade the area, as they have previously done in Sicily and Italy.

While the two former invasions were crowned with success, the invasion to Greece failed, and many of Her Highness' soldiers were taken into German captivity – Daoud and his friends included.

Because of uniform
For many years, when asked why he joined the British army, Bessis would reply that he wanted to fight against the Germans, whom he believed started the war, but added that he also joined because he loved donning the military uniform.

A few years ago, while giving an interview to local website Portal HaKarmel, which is very popular among the Druze population, Bessis described in detail his experience in German captivity.

At first, the British prisoners were held in Greece, but were later transferred to Italy – to an area controlled by Germany after Italy signed a cease fire with the Allied Forces.

Nearing the end of 1943, the prisoners were moved to Germany. According to Daoud, they were transferred from one base to another for many weeks, until finally in the summer of 1944 they were placed in the southern city of Stalag, which was situated near the border with Austria.

"Many times," Daoud recalled, "When we were taken out of the camps on different occasions, we saw Jewish prisoners that were held in concentration camps and worked in forced labor.

"At first, we didn’t know who these poor souls were; they walked around like skeletons in ripped striped uniform, and later we found out that these were Jews from all across Europe who were sent to the camps and exterminated only because they were Jewish," he said.

"Of course we did everything we could to help them; sometimes we even gave them, secretly of course, a little food such as bread, potatoes, cheese and sausages," Daoud noted.

Fighters against Nazis Medal (Photo: Shaul Golan)

Occasionally," Daoud added, "We also managed to sneak them some underwear and socks. We had to pull many tricks, so that the SS officers guarding them won't notice.

"We pitied these poor souls very much. We, the Druze, were especially in pain because the Jews were our neighbors and friends in Palestine," he said.

According to Daoud, because of the freezing weather many didn't make it, as the Germans didn’t properly heat the POW camps during the harsh winter months. Many prisoners became sick, and never recovered. "We, who came from a warm climate, suffered greatly from the cold weather," he said.

During his time in captivity, Daoud sent many letters to his parents, but got his first reply only 14 months later via the Red Cross.

When the prisoners were paid a visit by the Red Cross, Daoud asked them to hand a letter to his parents, along with £20 (about $31), which he managed to save up from his military wages. To his surprise, Daoud received word that his parents got both the letter and the money only three weeks later.

During their stay in Stalag, Daoud and two of his Druze friends – Hassan Mansur and Fauzi Hasson—decided to escape from the camp. They made all the necessary preparations, and thoroughly studied the area and the German guards' schedule. One evening, the three asked permission to go the camp's restroom.

"We noticed that a few meters from the bathroom there was a small opening in the fence that the Germans haven’t fixed yet, and our escape plan was based on this opening," he said.

"We hid metal crowbars in our clothes and waited for the floodlights to pass us, and then quickly ran to the fence and expanded the opening with the crowbars. When we were finished, we returned to the bathroom and hid in the stalls. After the floodlights passed us again, we crawled out through the opening and disappeared into the forest."

Secret cave
The three knew they were held close to the Austrian border, and that a few kilometers away was the Austrian border with Italy.

They hid in the forest, and on the next night crossed the border into Italy, where they were also forced to hide.

"We found a cave in one of the mountains and settled in there," said Daoud. Every night, the three would sneak into desolate farm houses nearby and demand food – often under gun threats with weapons they stole from rangers along the way.

Several months passed, until one day a farm owner told them the Germans withdrew from Italy. The three decided to walk to a nearby city, where they encountered a battalion of the Free French Forces, formed by General Charles de Gaulle.

The French took the three Druze men with them and handed them to British forces.

Daoud and his friends were sent to London and housed at a veterans' residence. They received payments from the British payments officer, until one day they were summoned to the discharge office.

The three then boarded a boat, and sailed back to Israel through Alexandria. Upon arrival, Daoud and his friends were taken to Sarafand Base, where they received their discharge papers.

Daoud recalled that when he finally returned home to Daliyat al-Karmel, after three years and three months of absence, he hugged and kissed a man he thought was his father, until his younger sister told him it was not his father, but one of his uncles.

"In the long time that I have not seen him, my uncle grew a beard, and therefore I thought he was my father," he said with a smile.

His parents, who were not aware that their son has returned, were working in the fields at the time, and rushed home to receive their loved one only after a neighbor ran over to break the happy news to them.

"When my mother heard I returned, she was so excited, she couldn’t even stand on her two feet, and my father had to put her on a donkey and lead it to me," he said.

Surprisingly, the Druze war hero was ever honored by the British authorities.

Daoud's eldest son Ramzi said he and his brothers appealed to the Ministry of Defense in London and the British Embassy in Israel several times, in a request that their father be given the citations he deserved as a soldier during World War II, but all their efforts were in vain.

When his sons requested to receive a stipend for his contribution, they were told that only those who were injured in battle were eligible, and because Daoud fortunately wasn't injured, he was not an entitled to the money.

Last week, when I sat with Daoud, his wife and several of his 11 children and 40 grandchildren in his Daliyat al-karmel house, his son Ramzi presented me with three medals his father received from the State of Israel.

In May, after the family approached the Defense Ministry, Daoud received the Fighters against Nazis Medal and a decoration for volunteering during the war.

"I am very happy and proud," said the 96-year-old hero, who is the last survivor member of the 10 Druze volunteers.

Another terror attack on Route 60, Israeli woman injured

Israeli woman struck by gunfire in new South Hebron Hills attack near the settlement of Teneh Omarim; attack occurred near sites of previous Hamas shootings this year.

An Israeli woman was lightly injured in a shooting attack Sunday night in the West Bank just hours before the government-imposed 10 month freeze on settlement construction was scheduled to come to an end.

The attack took place in the South Hebron Hills on Road 60 near the settlement of Teneh Omarim. The woman was shot in the leg while she was driving along the highway in her car.

Let The Talks End

Abbas requests urgent Arab League meeting on peace talks
Meeting to calculate response if West Bank building resumes. Abbas: 'If settlement freeze ends, will consult Palestinian bodies, Arab League.'

The Palestinian Authority has requested an urgent meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers to discuss the future of the peace process after the moratorium on settlement construction was ending on Sunday night.

The request came as the PA continued to issue conflicting statements as to how it would respond if the Israeli government did not extend the moratorium..

While PA President Mahmoud Abbas and a senior official in Ramallah indicated that they would not pull out of the US-sponsored direct talks with Israel, other Palestinian representatives threatened to halt the negotiation if the construction in the settlements is resumed.

Abbas was quoted by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper as saying that "if there is no understanding on the settlement freeze, we will go back to the Palestinian institutions and the Arab League."

Abbas said that until two days ago hadn't received any Israeli or American "formulas" and that he was still waiting for a final answer on the moratorium.

Abbas pointed out that US President Barack Obama did not give the Palestinians any assurances to the Palestinians on the issue of settlement construction or the establishment of a Palestinian state within one year.

"Obama only talked about hopes," Abbas said. "Obama undoubtedly has good intentions, but the test lies in the implementation of his good positions."

Abbas revealed that the Palestinians were demanding that a third party be present along the borders of the future Palestinian state "so as to calm all parties."

Abbas reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "I told the leaders of the Jewish community [in the US] when I met with them that every year they demand something new and we are not prepared to accept this at all. When they talk about a Jewish state, it's because they want to get rid of all the Arabs living in Israel."

Abbas also rejected the possibility of "militarizing" the intifada. "We tried it before and it led to destruction," he cautioned.

A senior PA official in Ramallah reiterated on Sunday that the Palestinians will continue with the direct talks even if the moratorium on settlement construction is not extended. The official said that pulling out of the talks at this stage "would harm the interests of the Palestinians."

However, Nabil Sha'ath, member of the PA delegation to the direct talks, said that the talks would be halted if the freeze wasn't extended. "Either the moratorium is extended or the peace process will unfortunately be stopped," he said. "Israel will bear full responsibility."

Sha'ath said that the Palestinians were not demanding that Israel dismantle the settlements now. "This is something that we will talk about," he said. "Why doesn't Israel extend the freeze for at least another five months?"

Maher Ghnaim, the PA Minister for Settlement and Wall Affairs, and senior Fatah official Mohammad Dahlan said that the peace talks can't continue while construction in the settlements was underway.

He claimed that even during the 10-month moratorium on settlement construction, Israel did not stop "building in the settlements, confiscating lands and demolishing houses."

In another development, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] announced that it was suspending its activities in the PLO in protest against the direct talks between the PA and Israel.

The PFLP is one of several Palestinian groups that operate under the umbrella of the PLO. Abbas's Fatah faction is the largest group in the PLO.

Mohammed Dahlan, member of the Fatah Central Council, expressed regret over the decision, which he described as "disappointing."

Good let's have an end to the so called peace talks. Israel always looses in these types of talks so please let the talks end.

The Palestinians want to destroy Israel for the 1967 border is only a step towards the destruction of Israel and the murder of 6.000.000 Jews.

September 24, 2010


For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 10pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

Outgoing Gaza Division commander: Next war will be harsh

Between northern brigade exercise and planning next battlefront, Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg makes time for special interview in which he warns Hamas of IDF's crushing capabilities and doubts necessity for Iron Dome missile defense system

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 09.24.10, 18:34 / Israel News

In another two months, Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, 46, will have served as commander of the IDF's Gaza Division for two years, and thus will finish his time in office. This week, he divided his time between a northern regiment exercise that dealt with one of the scenarios involving a serious incident along the border fence, and planning the next campaign with paratrooper forces.

The next battle, Eisenberg estimates, will be more difficult and more powerful than its predecessor: "We have the capability to deal a serious blow to Hamas. We have many tools, and they are all legitimate, even targeting senior officials. And we should not hesitate to use these tools," he said.

Recently, the IDF has taken note of no small number of attempts made by terrorist organizations to carry out significant attacks against soldiers with an emphasis on capture. Brig.-Gen. Eisenberg discovered that a number of smuggling tunnels in the process of being built were intended to serve as infrastructure for kidnappings.

"It is forbidden for anyone to fall asleep on the watch," he warned. "We must continue being alert because there is no doubt that there will be another clash here. It is difficult to predict when exactly or under what circumstances, but it will happen."

Eisenberg also presented a surprising thesis regarding the Iron Dome defensive missile shield system, saying that "it means we are prepared to receive fire."

Chief of the General Staff Proud of Haredi Soldiers

22 September 2010 , 10:30 IDF

Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi met Haredi soldiers while visiting the Computer
Services Directorate and the Center for Computing and Information Systems

On Tuesday (Sept. 14) the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi
Ashkenazi visited ultra Orthodox soldiers who have just completed a computer
programming course, at the IDF School of Computer Professionalism. The Chief
of the General Staff was hosted by the IDF Computer Services Directorate and
by the Center of Computing and Information Systems, and learned about
activities of the Directorate in the fields of computers and advanced
technology. Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi was accompanied by the Head of the Computer
Services Directorate, Maj. Gen. Ami Shifrin and the Commander of
Telecommunications and Technology Information, Brig. Gen. Ayala Hakim.

"As Chief of the General Staff, I am very proud to see you integrating in
such a natural and successful manner to select jobs and in the leading
technological units of the IDF. The absorption of Haredi soldiers into the
IDF in recent years in the Air Force, Naval Corps, Ground Forces,
Intelligence Corps and the Telecommunications Directorate is a story of
success which should be continued and increased as much as possible," Lt.
Gen. Ashkenazi told the solders.

During his tour, the Chief of the General Staff met with graduates of the
computer programming course who are serving in the Shachar IDF track for
Haredi soldiers. He heard from the graduates about the difficulties they
face at home among their families because of their enlistment in the IDF,
and also about the pride they feel when returning home in their uniforms.
The soldiers told the Chief of the General Staff that as of today, nine
months since they enlisted, they are being used as a model for many other
youth in the ultra Orthodox community.

Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi added during the visit that, "the IDF, as the army of the
nation, which has obligations towards the Israeli society that it comes from
and that it serves, will continue leading national missions, including
increasing enlistment tracks for Haredis which enable ultra Orthodox
soldiers to be placed in meaningful and quality IDF placements while
maintaining their unique religious lifestyle within an IDF framework."

September 22, 2010

Violent riots erupt in Jerusalem's Temple Mount

1,000 join funeral procession of Palestinian killed by Israeli security guard in Silwan; ten people, 3 police officers injured; buses, police cars, other vehicles destroyed, set ablaze; police dispersing rioters.

Large riots erupted in east Jerusalem on Wednesday as approximately 1,000 people joined a funeral procession for a Palestinian man killed by an Israeli security guard in Silwan on Wednesday morning.

Ten people were injured, including a 35-year-old Israeli in moderate condition who was stabbed in the back near Mount of Olives, and three police officers. Police reported that attendees threw stones at officers, vehicles and buses causing injuries and damage, and that a police vehicle and several other vehicles were set alight near Jerusalem's Old City. Three buses were destroyed.

Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen arrived at the scene of rioting in east Jerusalem and received a briefing from police commanders. Police are holding ongoing assessments of the situation and have deployed large forces as part of an effort to contain the disturbances.

There were also riots in Silwan on Wednesday morning after the 32-year-old east Jerusalem resident was killed.

The security guard was driving a security vehicle on his way to a settler home when residents blocked the street with trash cans and began hurling rocks at him.

The guard, fearing for his life, then allegedly opened fire with his personal firearm at a group of rock throwers and killed a resident. Police found two knives and screwdriver on the body of the victim who had a previous criminal history and was known to police.

Ofer Rosenman, manager of the security company which the security guard is employed by, spoke to Channel 2 news about the incident.

"Today, between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., a security jeep was driving on a street at the outskirts of the neighborhood. Usually there are two security guards, but this time there was only one," he explained. "At the Amudim junction, the street was blocked by several suspicious individuals, it was really like an ambush."

Rosenman told Channel 2 news that Palestinians surrounded the vehicle from every direction.

"They threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, so the guard exited his vehicle and shot in the air and then shot at one of the people after he felt that they wanted to kidnap him."

According to Channel 2 news, the security guard is employed by a security company which was hired to protect Jewish residents living in east Jerusalem. The company belongs to the Housing Office and its role is to prevent attacks on residents and structures. Rosenman said that security guards are attacked everyday:

"We are talking about attacks with rocks, metal poles and gunshots several times a day," he explained.

The security guard was arrested at the scene and taken for questioning by the police, and was later released.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

Please note the dead Arab was armed with two knives and a screw driver. The security guard acted as anyone should when faced with a life and death situation.

Then the peace loving Arabs take to the street and riot, and these are the people Obama and Bibi want us to make peace with. I think they both have lost touch with reality.

September 21, 2010

PM Netanyahu Talks with the Conference of Presidents of Major American

Jewish Organizations
www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Communication/PMSpeaks/speechconf200910.htm"Just Say It: Just Say Yes to a Jewish State"

Thank you, Alan. I want to wish you and all the participants in this phone
conference Shana Tova, a year of security and prosperity and, G-d willing,

A few weeks ago, we began direct negotiations on the final status issues.
Now I'm eager to continue them, and eager to complete them. We've been
calling for direct negotiations for 18 months. We have asked that these
negotiations be conducted without preconditions, so we were very pleased
when they began, and hope they'll continue without preconditions.

There are two things that I think made a great impression on me. One is the
commitment of President Obama and Secretary Clinton to assist in the process
in our quest for peace. And I share that commitment. We want peace. We
know what peace would mean for our people. We know what it would mean for
our neighbors. We know what it would mean for the region. The second thing
that made an impression on me was what I said a minute ago: the fact that
there was an understanding that we don't turn our disagreements into
preconditions for talks. Because if we do, we'll never get anywhere. After
all, we've been trying to solve this conflict and it's being going on for
over 90 years, and we disagree on quite a number of things. Believe me,
every day the Palestinians do things I don't like: whether it's incitement
in the schools or media, or an international campaign that they back to
delegitimize Israel.

Just yesterday, a Palestinian Authority court ruled that the sale of
Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death. You know, all these
things do not square well with me, and my colleagues often question why is
it that we're staying in the talks. Some have even questioned why I'm
having peace talks with President Abbas when half of the Palestinian people
are controlled by Hamas, which is a terror organization that openly calls
for our destruction. I'm mentioning all of these things - and there are
many others that I could raise here - because these could afford me many
reasons to walk away from the table. But I haven't walked away from the
table. I want to give these talks a chance to succeed. And I very much
hope that President Abbas will have the same attitude. I expect him to sit
down with me even when we disagree, and to work with me through those
disagreements in a sincere effort to forge an historic compromise, which I
believe is possible.

We got rid of the preconditions before the talks. We can't reintroduce them
five minutes after the talks begin. We have to sustain a negotiation. My
goal is to reach a framework agreement with the Palestinians within one
year. I brought that up first because I believe it's doable. Now I know
there are many skeptics, but the skepticism that I hear is less about the
timeframe - that is a year - and more about whether the Palestinian
leadership is truly prepared to make an historic compromise that will end
the conflict once and for all. And again I stress - if I have such a
partner who is prepared to make an historic compromise, as I am, I think one
year should be enough time to reach a framework agreement for peace.

For negotiations to succeed, we both have to meet. The two of us will have
to meet face to face and discuss the major issues with a degree of
discretion. I think we'll have to build a relationship of trust that will
enable us to grapple with the very difficult challenges we face. I
suggested one-on-one meetings every two weeks over the coming year, and thus
far we've had very substantive discussions. We've agreed, as part of the
idea of discretion, not to discuss the details of our discussions. But I
can speak to you about the principles that are guiding me in these talks. I
laid out two of those core principles - two foundations for a lasting
peace - in my speech last year at Bar-Ilan University. And these two
foundations of peace are recognition and security. Let me speak briefly
about both.

First about recognition: It's time for the Palestinians to do something
they have refused to do for 62 years. It's time for them to say yes to a
Jewish state. Now what does it mean to recognize the Jewish state, or the
nation-state of the Jewish people?

It means that the Palestinians recognize the right of the Jewish people to
self-determination in our historic homeland. I recognized the Palestinians'
right to self-determination and sovereignty. They must finally recognize
the Jewish people's right to self determination and sovereignty.

And just as the Jewish state has granted Jews around the world the right to
immigrate to Israel, a Palestinian state could decide to grant Palestinians
around the world the right to immigrate to their state. But Palestinian
refugees do not have a right to come to the Jewish state.

A Jewish state also means that no one has a right to carve out sub-states
within the Jewish state. There are well over 1 million of citizens of
Israel who are not Jewish. They have equal rights, civil rights, but they
don't have national rights. They have a right to vote, to be elected, and
to be full and equal participants in Israel's democracy. But they don't
have a right to have their own separate state.

Why is this recognition important?

It's important because the Palestinian leadership must begin to make clear
to its own people that they are making a permanent peace with the Jewish
people, a people that has a right to be here, a right to live in its own
state and in its own homeland.

Ultimately, there will be no getting around this issue. For someone who is
prepared to make lasting peace with Israel, no statement could be simpler:
I recognize Israel as the Jewish state, the state of the Jewish people.

Now, mind you I'm not demanding of others what I am not prepared to do
myself. At Bar-Ilan University last year, I said I was prepared to
recognize a Palestinian state. This is the essence of peace: the
nation-state of the Palestinian people.

I think President Abbas has to decide. He cannot skirt the issue. He
cannot find clever language designed to obfuscate or to fudge it.

He needs to recognize the Jewish state. He needs to say it clearly and
unequivocally. He needs to say it to his own people in their own language.

Remember that famous commercial - Just Do It? I think for the Palestinian
leadership, it's even simpler: Just Say It. Say that you recognize Israel
as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Say that you recognize the Jewish

This is the first point, and I think this is the essence of the problem that
we've been facing all these years, the failure or the refusal to recognize
the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The second problem we face is security - I'm going to speak briefly about
that too.

We do not want a repeat of what happened after Israel withdrew from Lebanon
and Gaza. Those territories were turned into Iranian sponsored terror bases
from which thousands of rockets were fired at Israel.

We have to ensure that we have solid security arrangements on the ground.
We have to ensure that we can prevent the import of weapons from territories
that we would vacate as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
And we have to make sure that we can address the potential threats to peace
that will inevitably come. The first one you've seen - you've seen it in
Lebanon, you've seen it in Gaza. These are the attempts - unfortunately
successful in both those places - to smuggle a massive amount of weapons:
rockets, missiles and other weapons from Iran to its proxies in the

And then there are other threats: the threats of the reemergence of a
potential Eastern front or from an internal change in Palestinian politics,
and also there are other threats.

Let me give you an example of a country with which Israel had excellent
relations - we had diplomatic ties, trade and economic ties - very robust -
cultural exchanges, security ties, you name it - that country was called
Iran. Overnight, however, our relationship changed.

What we need to understand is that a peace agreement by itself does not
preserve the peace. We need to understand that the only peace that will
hold in the Middle East is a peace that can be defended.

I have made clear that in order to defend the peace we need a long-term
Israeli presence on the eastern side of a Palestinian state - that is, in
the Jordan Valley. I have also said that while I respect the Palestinians
desire for sovereignty, I am convinced that we can reconcile that desire
with our need for security.

I have to say another thing: I don't believe that under these circumstances,
international troops will do the job. Experience has shown that countries
seldom sustain a long-term military commitment abroad in places where their
troops are subject to constant attacks. This is not true in places where
those troops aren't subject to constant attacks, but you can find many
examples of these two kinds of deployments, and I leave it to your
imagination. You can see what happened to the international forces that
were placed, for example, in Gaza before Hamas took it over. There were
European forces; they were called EU BAM, and when the Hamas took over Gaza,
and the fighting started, these forces simply disappeared. They evaporated
very quickly.

We live in a very tough neighborhood, and the peace will be tested
constantly. The only force that will be prepared to sustain a long-term
commitment is a force that is absolutely convinced that it is defending its
own people from attack. And if we have learned anything from history, it's
that the only force that can be relied on to defend the Jewish people is the
Israeli Defense Force.

I've said that security arrangements can be reassessed over time, but to say
that an Israeli long-term presence is unacceptable from the start, it is
simply - I believe - not a serious proposition. It's a proposition that
ignores all the experience we've had since the peace process began. It
ignores the rise of Iran. It ignores the rise of rocket warfare. It
ignores reality. And I think there is a serious problem with it logically.
I'm not telling you where Israeli sovereignty will be and will not be, but
if I take examples from other countries which have the placement of troops
from other lands there, even for many years, nobody has seriously said that
because Germany and Korea and Japan had U.S. troops on their soil, this was
seen as an affront to their respective sovereignties. Quite the contrary.
So the principle that is announced, I think is questionable, and more
importantly, it's adaptation to reality, to the reality that we live in, is
also questionable. I think it's just not compatible with the reality that
has happened.

I think we've made enormous strides for peace inside Israel. I think the
political landscape has changed. I think that we have shown great
flexibility for peace, but at the same time, Israel has shown a great
concern and even a hardening of its positions on security and I think this
is warranted by the experiences we've had in the last decade in which the
territories that we vacated were taken up by Iran's proxies from which they
targeted us with suicide attacks and rocket attacks. We want peace, but it
has to be a secure peace and it there have to be solid security arrangements
on the ground to ensure the peace - for us and for our Palestinian
neighbors, and maybe for the entire neighborhood.

I believe there's a way that we can resolve these difficult issues. I don't
think they're insurmountable. I believe that an agreement is possible.

But to succeed, President Abbas and I have to be willing to stick it out
even when we disagree. We have to be willing to address the issues with an
open mind.

We have to be flexible and creative in finding compromises that are anchored
in a realistic assessment of what is possible. I expect Palestinian
flexibility, not the same positions they've held over the last 10 or 15
years, but a real change just as we've shown that change, because I think
you get peace when both sides move to that point in the center where peace
is possible.

And we always have to keep in mind the enormous benefits to both our peoples
that would come if we can defy the skeptics and forge an historic peace. If
it's up to Israel, that's going to happen. If it's up to me, it will

Let me wish all of you a good year, a Gmar Tov and a chag sameach. Shana
tova, a year of peace.

Thank you.

Mark my words, Bibi is going to do everything within his power to create a Palestinian State on our land.

Bibi is a weak man that is going to be corrupted by his ego to go down in history as the PM that created a Palestinian state.

To bad it is going to be our blood that will be split and not that of the leaders that have sold us out.

Leaders make bad choices but they don't have to fight the wars, or the terrorist. When was the last time a member of Knesset was the target of terror, it was Gandi, a good man one of us.

The leaders of the left of which Bibi is one never pay the price.

September 20, 2010

Arab land dealer who sold to Israelis: 'I fear for my life'

Claims senior PA officials have themselves sold property to Jews, appeals to Israeli authorities and philanthropists to help him.

One day after the Palestinian Authority reaffirmed the death penalty for Palestinians who sell land to Israelis, one of the most prominent Arab land dealers called on the Israeli authorities to help him and other Palestinians whose lives are at risk.

The veteran land dealer, who asked not to be identified by name – although his identity is known to the PA and many Arab residents in Jerusalem – also appealed to settler groups and American Jewish millionaire Irwin Moskowitz for assistance.

The PA’s latest threat should be taken “very seriously,” the land dealer, who belongs to a large clan in the city, told The Jerusalem Post.

The PA “has many agents in east Jerusalem who serve as informants and enforcers,” he said.

He pointed out that in the past, members of various branches of the PA security forces had abducted and murdered Palestinians suspected of selling land to Israelis. Most of these extra-judicial killings took place between 1995 and 1998, he said.

“I’m really afraid for my life,” the land dealer said. “I have sold a lot of land and houses to Jews over the past 30 years and the Palestinian Authority knows about me.”

He claimed that senior PA officials had also been involved in selling Arabowned houses and land to Israeli settler groups and wealthy American Jews.

“I have all the evidence with me,” he told the Post. “One day I will reveal the identities of top Palestinian civilian and security officials who were involved in such transactions.”

The land dealer, who avoids entering PA-controlled territories in the West Bank, said that he personally acted as mediator and facilitator in some of the deals involving the Palestinian officials.

“The senior officials made a lot of money by selling land and buildings to Israelis in Jerusalem,” he continued.

“They got their kickbacks and became rich.”

Asked why he was withholding the names of the PA officials, he replied: “The day will arrive when I will reveal everything.

They know that they have good reason to be afraid of me.”

He said that among the groups he has helped buy property in east Jerusalem were Ateret Cohanim and Elad. He said he also had a close working relationship with Moskowitz.

The PA security forces tried many times to recruit him as an informant, but to no avail, the land dealer said.

“I don’t trust the Palestinian Authority because most of their leaders and security commanders are in touch with the Shin Bet and Mossad,” he said. “They are mercenaries whose only aim in life is to make as much money as possible. With money you can buy the biggest official in Ramallah.”

The land dealer also told the Post that in the past he paid “protection money” to several PA security forces so that they would not harm him.

“But as soon as I stopped paying them, they started issuing death threats against me for selling land and houses to Jews,” he explained.

“When I used to pay them, it was okay to sell land to Jews. When I stopped, suddenly it became illegal and forbidden.”

The decision to impose the death sentence on Palestinians who sell land to Israelis showed that the PA leadership “was not serious about peace,” he said.

He believes that the decision is first and foremost designed to “cover up” for the corruption of many senior Palestinian officials involved in land deals with Israelis.

“The Palestinian leaders want to appear as patriots in the eyes of their people,” he concluded. “That’s why they have decided to use the death penalty against us.”

Asked if he had been deterred, the land dealer said: “I will continue to work in my business regardless of the threats. It’s a very dangerous business, but I don’t care. As we speak, there are many others who are selling their homes and land to Israelis in Jerusalem, particularly in the Old City. I know that I could be killed any minute, and that’s why I want the Israeli government and all the Jews I have helped to stand with me and not to throw me to the dogs.”

September 19, 2010

PLO: Goal of peace talks is to delegitimize "rebellious, racist" Israel

Bulletin Sept. 19, 2010
PLO ambassador in Lebanon:
Peace talks are stage
in delegitimizing "rebellious, racist" Israel

The PLO's ambassador to Lebanon says that the current peace talks "are not a
goal," but just another stage in the Palestinian attempt to undermine
Israel's legitimacy. The Palestinian Authority official daily reported that
the Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah described the peace talks as part of a
broader process to isolate Israel, "threaten its legitimacy" and present it
as a "rebellious, racist state."

Abdullah indicated that this goal to call attention to Israel's "war crimes"
and isolate it, as was done to South Africa, is already being realized:
"Many Israelis in senior positions are afraid to travel to European
countries lest they be put on trial for their crimes."

Following are the Palestinian goals for the peace talks, according to the
PLO Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah:

"The PLO's representative in Lebanon, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah,
emphasized yesterday that the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, which have
started in Washington, are not a goal, but rather another stage in the
Palestinian struggle... He believes that Israel will not be dealt a
knock-out defeat, but rather an accumulation of Palestinian achievements and
struggles, as happened in South Africa, to isolate Israel, to tighten the
noose on it, to threaten its legitimacy, and to present it as a rebellious,
racist state. He noted that Israel faces international isolation with doubt
cast on its legitimacy, because of its actions and the war crimes which it
has carried out. He added, 'Many Israelis in senior positions are afraid to
travel to European countries lest they be put on trial for their crimes.'"

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 9, 2010]


For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 10pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

September 17, 2010

IDF kills Hamas military commander in West Bank

IDF says strongman ran towards soldiers in threatening manner, ignored requests to stop, resulting in him being shot.

IDF soldiers killed a Hamas military commander overnight Thursday during security operations east of the West Bank city of Tulkarm, the IDF spokesperson's Unit said in a statement on Friday morning.

The statement said that the Hamas member, Iyad Abu Shalabiya, ran towards IDF soldiers in a threatening manner, and had ignored the IDF's requests to cease his approach, resulting in him being shot.

September 16, 2010

First line of defense

British military hero Richard Kemp explains why he defended Israel, challenged Goldstone Report

Modi Kreitman
Published: 09.16.10, 19:13 / Israel News

LONDON – As almost every Israeli knows, public relations are one of the country's main worries. But surprisingly, the man who has given Israel one of its biggest PR boosts is a British man with a medal of honor from the Queen of England.

Colonel Richard Kemp, 51, served in the British army for 30 years. During his time there he commanded the British forces in Afghanistan, served in southern Ireland, Bosnia, and Macedonia, participated in the Gulf War, and specialized in anti-terror

Kemp's distinguished resume also includes membership on the exclusive COBRA council, a crisis response committee whose members are intelligence, secret service, police, and army officials charged with advising the government in times of emergency.

These astounding credentials have turned Kemp into something of a war hero, and his book depicting the UK under terror attack, 'Attack State Red', was an instant bestseller. He prefers to keep the location of his London office secret, in order to avoid attempts on his life.

But in Israel the colonel remained little known until January 2009, when a video clip showing him defending Israel during an interview with the BBC was posted on YouTube.

Kemp explained to his interlocutor that Israel had no choice but to engage Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and stressed that the actions the IDF was taking in order to avoid civilian casualties were exceptional, especially because Hamas fighters had been trained by Hezbollah and Iran to fight from within a civilian population.

Later he also defended Israel's reputation during a testimony before the Goldstone committee, which investigated the Gaza offensive, taking aim at the international community for heaping criticism on the state.

'Report based on unreliable testimonies'

On Tuesday Kemp arrived in Israel to take part in the 10th conference of the IDC's International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, where he delivered two lectures on the threat of al-Qaeda. Some of his experiences in the Holy Land have already been shared on Twitter, including a tweet saying that the beauty of swimming in the sea in Israel is that you don't have to wait long to see an Apache flying low over the coastline.

"The main problem with the Goldstone report was and remains the fact that most of the claims in it are unfounded," Kemp said on the report's one-year anniversary.

"Judge Goldstone admitted it himself. It is based mainly on interviews committee members held with residents of Gaza, and not on the investigation of the wider context and the claims made by both sides. I don't think the Palestinian witnesses are lying, but at least a few testified and spoke as they believe the Hamas government would want them to, so their claims must be treated carefully. We're talking about a report that has no real credible foundation, based on unreliable testimonies."

When asked whether it was true that the report was biased because of the political views of the committee's members, Kemp answered that though it may not provide a substantial space for Israel's claims, "it's important to remember that it was the Israeli government's decision not to cooperate with the committee".

But the report is perhaps more offensive, he says, because it significantly harms the abilities of Western states to defend themselves against terror. "In a roundabout way the report gives legitimacy to tactics used by terror organizations all over the world, and legitimizes their ability to hide behind civilians. In this way it turns any action by Israel in its war against such terrorists into an illegitimate act, and indirectly encourages the prolongation of this tactic," Kemp said.

Terror organizations, he added, are aware of global criticism against the deaths of innocent people and purposefully attract forces to civilian centers, schools, and holy places. "Just this week, in southern Afghanistan, a group of Taliban operatives attacked British forces from a mosque," he said, a tactic also used by Hezbollah and Hamas.

The bottom line, Kemp insists, is that if Western states adopt the conclusions of the Goldstone report they will be left with no "realistic way" to act against terror anywhere in the world, Afghanistan included.

'Int'l law must be adapted to reality'

In general, he added, democracy and its laws make it very difficult to fight terror. "In Britain, for example, we know of figures involved in terror but we can't do anything against them because of human rights laws," Kemp says.

"For example, there is an Egyptian imam we know is involved in terror, but you can't deport him because he will be executed there. Guantanamo is a similar story. The world condemns it but what can you do with terror suspects? You can't treat them like prisoners of war

"The war is with organizations such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hamas in Gaza, who not only do not respect international law in the battlefield but also use it for evil. Laws need to be adapted to reality. Unfortunately the public is of the opposite opinion because of short memory spans, but people will change their minds again after the next attack."

When asked how he would compare Western countries' operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to the IDF's operations in the Palestinian territories, Kemp answered, "First of all, I have never been to Gaza. My assessment is based on what I read and see in the publications on both sides and the global press, and of course 30 years of participation in the war on terror."

Kemp said IDF forces took extraordinary measures to bring down to a minimum the number of civilian casualties during Cast Lead, but that they could not be entirely prevented during war. "In this sense there is no difference between the IDF's operations in the territories and the US and British armies' operations in Afghanistan. The political context is of course totally different but the situation on the ground is the same," he added.

'Automatic condemnations a joke'

When asked why, then, he thought Israel's actions are criticized at every turn while Britain and the US are not, Kemp answered that prejudice against Israel was often at play.

"In certain international circles there is sometimes the automatic assumption that everything the IDF does is illegal. There is harsh criticism against the US and British armies as well, but they are given the benefit of the doubt. Israel is always automatically condemned, no matter what. It's a joke," he said.

"Even the conspiracy theory that the one responsible for the September 11 attacks is not al-Qaeda but Israel refuses to die out. It's unbelievable. Only yesterday I was interviewed by a Spanish radio station and asked about it. I explain that it isn't possible, and that al-Qaeda had claimed responsibility for it a long time ago, but it doesn't help."

Kemp is also well-acquainted with Israeli intelligence from past cooperation, and has visited the country many times as part of his COBRA function. "The cooperation between our two intelligence agencies was successful and continues today. We are dealing with similar threats so it would be foolish of us not to cooperate," he said.

"On the day of the 2005 London attacks the first call I received was from the CIA, and the second was from the Mossad: 'Anything you need, just say the word.' It's the close cooperation and affinity between Britain, the US, and Israel. There are also other states of course, but I will always remember that the second call was from Israel. In such a situation it's good to know you have friends."

Kemp also relied on Israeli expertise when he accepted the command of the British forces in Afghanistan. "I had no experience dealing with suicide bombers," he said. "After speaking with officials in our army I was not satisfied, so I called someone in the Israeli embassy and explained that I needed advice.

"The next day a senior officer from the IDF arrived on a special flight from Tel Aviv. He's considered an expert in the field of warfare against suicide bombers, and he sat with me for four hours and told me everything he knew that he thought could help us in Afghanistan. I just sat there and took notes."

Benjamin Tovias contributed to this report

September 15, 2010

Police: Terrorists fired phosphorus shells into Israel

2 of the 9 mortar shells fired contained phosphorus, police confirm; regional council head to inform UN of Geneva Convention violation.

Two phosphorous mortars were fired at southern Israel from Gaza on Wednesday, Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post.

"A police bomb disposal team examined a number of mortars that were fired today. We can confirm that two out of the nine mortars contained phosphorous," Rosenfeld added.

Israel Police said it was not the first time that phosphorous shells had been fired at Israel from Gaza.

Haim Yalin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council where the phosphorous mortars landed, reacted sharply to the news of the phosphorus mortar attacks. "These weapons have been banned by the Geneva convention. They cause burns among victims and they kill. This is an agricultural area, and we now have to explain to farmers how to deal with burns in light of the phosphorus mortars," he told the Post.

Yalin added that firefighters and paramedics operating in his area would now have prepare for further phosphorous shells. "We are preparing to go back to the situation that we faced before Operation Cast Lead, when we faced continuous mortar, rocket and sniper attacks," he said.

Hamas officials: IAF strike kills 1, injures 4 in Gaza

09/15/2010 15:12

IDF does not confirm air strike; at least 12 projectiles fired at Gaza-belt communities in 24 hour period; attacks follow Hamas threats to unleash a wave of terror in hopes of derailing peace talks.
Talkbacks (6)

An IAF strike in the Gaza Strip killed one Palestinian and wounded four more on Wednesday, according to Hamas security officials. The reported violence came as US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders held peace talks in Jerusalem.

The strike appeared to be retaliation for a spike in Palestinian mortar fire into Israel on Wednesday, just as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

September 14, 2010

Two People, Who Will Survive

100,000 children attend radical Hamas summer camps
Participants undergo anti-Israel indoctrination; UNRWA run simultaneous camps for a further 250,000 children.

Hamas summer camps continued to gain strength this past summer as about 100,000 children underwent radical anti-Israel indoctrination by the terror group which also attacked United Nations camps, its main competition, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

According to the report, more than 100,000 children and teenagers participated in the Hamas camps which included paramilitary training and military parades. The Islamic Jihad terrorist organization also opened 51
different summer camps for over 10,000 children.


Israel considers prisoner release, ceding territories to PA

Despite difficulties in direct negotiations, western officials say Jerusalem considering goodwill gestures, including extending settlement freeze in areas outside settlement blocs. Netanyahu, Abbas to meet in Jerusalem Wednesday

Ali Waked
Published: 09.15.10, 00:18 / Israel News

Israel and the Palestinians have yet to reach a compromise on settlement construction, but Jerusalem is nonetheless considering a number of gestures, including releasing prisoners and transferring areas in the West Bank to Palestinian control, western officials familiar with peace talks told Ynet Tuesday night.

The second round of direct negotiations began in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Tuesday and will continue Wednesday when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet in Jerusalem.


Why are we even talking to the Palestinians?

How can our enemy make their intent to destroy Israel and murder 6,000,000 Jews more clear than what they are doing.

Do we really deserve to keep Israel if we are this stupid?

It is time to tell America the truth, the Palestinians want to destroy us.

Israel will no longer play the game of the pro Arab State Department and White House.

National suicide is not an option for the Jewish people.

Judges V Torah

Supreme Court: Jerusalem must fund gay community

Judges say municipality discriminating against LGBT community, order it to finance Open House center

Aviad Glickman
Published: 09.14.10, 11:26 / Israel News

After years of tense waiting, Jerusalem's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community will finally receive funding from the city's municipality for its Open House center, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The court criticized the municipality for rejecting the Open House's pleas for funds, and ruled that it must hand over a sum of $120,000.

In their verdict, the judges wrote that the Open House had been rejected time and again by the municipality and only after appealing to the administrative court did they receive limited funding in the years 2003-2005.

But the victory was short lived, as later the court rejected an appeal for funds in the years 2005-2007. That was when the organization decided to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Justices Esther Hayut, Hanan Melcer, and Isaac Amit wrote in their verdict that the municipality must expand funding for community centers in such a manner that it will include those of the LGBT community and others like it.

"The history of the relationship between the sides reveals that the appellant's hand reaching out for support has met time and time again with the miserly hand of the municipality," the judges wrote.

"We cannot but express hope that the municipality will not behave stingily again and that the sides can shake hands without further involving the court."

Justice Hayut added that the gay community should be granted the special status it receives in other cities in Israel, which would guarantee that funding be provided for its activities.

Justice Meltzer said the municipality was discriminating against the community under the guise of apparently objective criteria, conduct that "has no place in the 21st century".

Justice Amit stressed that proper behavior towards the gay community was one of the criteria for a democratic state, and what separates Israel from "most of the Mideast states near and far, in which members of the gay community are persecuted by the government and society".

It was one thing for the Supreme Court to side with the Arabs against Israel most of the time.

But with this ruling it has proven beyond a doubt that it is no friend of the Jewish people or the Torah.

Why should a city that has such a high number of religious people be forced to pay for activity that is clearly against the Torah?

These judges clearly have an agenda to destroy Israel as the Jewish State unless that State is pro Arab and pro homo, sorry that State has no appeal for me.

Give me an Israel that fights to defeat our enemies both on the battlefield and in the field of ideas.

September 13, 2010

Still Stupid

IDF 13 September 2010 , 21:35 Elana Kieffer

Monday (Sept. 13) began with two separate incidents of rocket fire towards
Israel. In each case, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel,
landing in open territory near Sderot. The last launching was the sixth in
two days.

There were also several reported attacks by Palestinians against Israeli
vehicles. In two separate incidents which took place near Karme Zur and Alfe
Menashe, hurled rocks damaged Israeli vehicles traveling in the respective

A third incident resulted in an Israeli civilian sustaining light injuries
when Palestinians hurled rocks and damaged his car while he was traveling
near Shilo. Finally, also on Monday, rocks were hurled and damaged an
Israeli bus traveling near Teqoa.

IDF forces are currently searching the above mentioned areas for suspects.

Despite the numerous acts of terrorism against Israel, IDF's Coordinator for
Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), which oversees the
coordination of civilian issues between the Palestinian Authority, the
Israeli Government, the IDF, international organizations and international
diplomats, has continued its regular transfer of humanitarian aid into the
Gaza Strip.

On Monday, 180 trucks carrying humanitarian equipment were transferred by
CoGAT into the Gaza Strip. In addition to this regular daily transfer, 250
tons of construction materials for the renovation of a sewage treatment
plant in central Gaza were brought in.

Israel holds Hamas solely responsible for activities within the Gaza Strip
and for maintaining quiet there. However, IDF's CoGAT has been and continues
to be responsible for the coordination of people entering and exiting the
Gaza Strip, the facilitation of activities of international organizations
within the Gaza Strip, and the supplying of needs to the civilian
Palestinian population there.

September 12, 2010


For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 10pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

'The world's best soldier'

Ynet special: Emanuel Morano a legend whose photo cannot be published even posthumously

Matan Zuri
Published: 09.12.10, 13:32 / Israel News

After several months in his presence, Maya Morano already got used to not always knowing where her husband Emanuel heads to every morning. Is he on his way to another secret operation, deep in enemy territory? Will he find himself under a barrage of bullets or face-to-face with a surprised terrorist in a few hours? Will he arrive home very late, almost never in uniform but with "the unit's" emblem above his left pocket, stepping gingerly as not to wake up the kids? Or will he again spend the night "there," involved in yet another operation that will likely never be publicized? One could only guess.

Maya knew well that she did not marry a nine-to-five man who proceeds to do the grocery shopping after leaving the office. Even today, most of Emanuel Morano's operations are unknown outside the defense establishment or are under a gag order. However, his name is whispered with great reverence within the "unit" and among his commanders. "The IDF's no. 1 fighter," senior officers referred to him. "The soul of Sayeret Matkal," his comrades say. Meanwhile, religious soldiers refer to him as "the man who followed in the footstep of legendary Jewish hero Bar Kochba."

The operations Morano was involved in were so secretive and sophisticated that even today, four years after his death, censors ban the publication of his photographs. Hence, Lieutenant Colonel Emanuel Morano is believed to be the only soldier in IDF history whose photo cannot be published even posthumously.

The elite Sayeret Matkal reconnaissance unit engages in the most sensitive, complex IDF activities; Morano's squad was tasked with the most sensitive, complex activities within the unit, and within this squad, "Morano was the best," his comrades say. "Emanuel led highly complex operational activity, among the most important carried out by the IDF," the unit commander says. "Their contribution to national security is significant. The challenges he faced during his service required rare professional abilities, focus and sharpness, and exceptional personal responsibility."

From France to Jerusalem
Only on rare occasions did Emanuel share the details of secret operations with his wife, Maya. One of these times took place when he proposed. They met three and a half months earlier and that day went on a hike in the Lachish region. While facing the stunning scenery, Emanuel suddenly grew silent. "He started stammering there," Maya says. "He then said: 'Ok, I'll do it the proper way,' and then he got down on his knees and asked me: 'Will you marry me?' I was very touched, and immediately said yes."

"We were both overjoyed but also embarrassed, because we were both religious and could not touch each other. We didn't quite know what to do. And then he told me about the Dirani abduction operation," she says. "He drew a map on the sand, where the house was and how it all happened. He told me the story in detail, from a very personal perspective…Emanuel played a significant role in this operation, and actually sat there in the helicopter with Dirani."

Emanuel Morano was born in France in June 1971 and made Aliyah to Israel with his family when he was one-year-old. He grew up with his four brothers in Jerusalem, and while completing his high school studies he started the grueling trial period for Sayeret Matkal.

Morano was a member of the unit for 16 years. He was involved in numerous operations, always at the forefront. "During his service Emanuel became the fighter who took part in the greatest number of operations in the unit's history," a comrade says. "On more than one occasion, his level-headedness and courage made the difference between failure and yet another success story that shall remain classified. The squad commander once compared him to Bark Kochba, because we had not seen a fighter like him since." These operations face a sweeping gag order. Morano's own comrades in the unit are unfamiliar with some of them.

Morano met his wife when he was 28. At the time he was considering ending his career army service and embarked on law studies. She was a 26-year-old newly religious woman at the time. They met in the former Gaza community of Neve Dekalim, engaging in long conversations and quickly realizing this was it. They had three children together, Aviya, 9, Neria, 6, and Noam-Yisrael, 4.

The disengagement wound
On top of his exceptional courage, Morano was extremely creative in his field of expertise, his comrades say. "He changed the reality at the unit and introduced a new, revolutionary way," says one comrade. "He had no fear and never feared entanglements in the field. He knew that even in such cases he will find a solution. We don't remember ever having a person like that in the unit, with such devotion, who was willing to go all the way like that."

"I can count the number of people who knew his exact role in the unit on one hand," the comrade says. "We'll never be able to talk about his activity in the unit, but there is no doubt he was not just another regular fighter."

The Gaza disengagement was a wound for him. During the evacuation, in the summer of 2005, Morano and a friend got up on the roof of a Neve Dekalim house and refused to leave. During the disengagement, he took a vacation to help the evacuees pack their bags and relocate them to their new homes. However, his comrades say he never considered the option of quitting the army to protest the pullout. "The IDF is ours and only ours," he would say.

In the following months, Emanuel prepared for a new role in the military offered to him. Yet then came the Second Lebanon War, in July 2006. As always, he was eager to head out to the field. "A week before he died we met at the unit," a former commander say. "We spoke about the war and about how frustrated he was over the indecision and failure to utilize Israel's potential. He believed this war would lead the people of Israel to salvation."

Another comrade, who took part in the operation Morano was killed in, recounts their last conversation: "We sat down and spoke about all sorts of things that may happen…suddenly Emanuel asked me: 'What would you do if a missile hits us and we have five seconds left to live?' I told him I would close my eyes and wait for it to be over as quickly and painlessly as possible. He said that what we need to do in these five second is recite Shema Yisrael. He said that if a person has five seconds left to live, these are the most significant seconds of his life…if a person doesn't understand the significance of these final five seconds it means there is no meaning to his whole life. He believed that we should not be preoccupied with satisfying our desires and material needs, but rather, that life is one phase en route to the next stage."

'He never gave up'
When Emanuel was killed, Maya felt it hundreds of kilometers away. "A month before his death, I kept seeing images of a funeral," she said. "I would wash dishes at home and imagine myself standing above his grave. I would clear these thoughts from my head, or at least try to. I wasn't worried about him my whole life, so what was happening now? Yet in practice, these images materialized."

"It happened on Shabbat. It was supposed to be the last operation he heads to in that war. He shared the details with me. I knew what he was supposed to do and what his role was. I had a heavy feeling the entire Shabbat. I read psalms and kept on looking at the watch until I fell asleep. Emanuel was killed just as I fell asleep."

"I woke up in the middle of the night because my son, Neria, was crying. He was just screaming, because he couldn't find me. I jumped out of bed and he kept on screaming, as if he was saying something, some kind of message. I told myself: "Maya, listen to what the kid is saying.' I woke up again at 7:30 in the morning and thought that Emanuel was already back in Israel and that everything was fine. In fact, he was already sleeping an eternal sleep."

Lieutenant Colonel Emanuel Morano was killed on August 18, 2006, at the end of the Second Lebanon War, following the ceasefire announcement. His squad operated in Lebanon's Baalbek region, the operation went awry, and the fighters were exposed. They came under heavy fire; the man who has known countless dangerous and operations sustained grave wounds. He was 35 at the time of his death.

It appears that the heroic stories about Morano only intensified after his death. "Emanuel was the best soldier in the world," his squad commander says. "Why? The IDF is the world's best army, Sayeret Matkal is the top unit in the IDF, our squad is the best one in the unit, and he was the best soldier in the squad. He never lost and never gave up. In the last years I would follow him, metaphorically and physically. I knew that going with him meant playing it safe. He turned from a friend to something that safeguards you."

September 08, 2010

Israel worried by Jones proposal for int'l force in W. Bank

By YAAKOV KATZ The Jerusalem Post 09/08/2010 05:43

American proposal to establish a multi-national force in the West Bank could
be way to expedite a withdrawal following any peace deal with PA.

Israel is concerned about an American proposal to establish a multi-national
force in the West Bank as one of the ways to expedite an Israeli withdrawal
following any peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.

The idea is being promoted by US National Security Advisor James Jones, who
served as security coordinator to the West Bank under former secretary of
state Condoleezza Rice.

He also served as the top NATO commander in Europe, and therefore is
believed to be a proponent of using multinational forces to solve conflicts.

Last week, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak endorsed the concept of an
international force in the West Bank in an op-ed piece in The New York

The IDF, with the backing of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, is opposed to the
idea and believes that before the Palestinians receive control over the West
Bank, they need to be able to independently prevent the creation of a
terrorist state.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has also voiced reservations about an
international deployment.

We can never agree to this, no matter the pressure that the USA puts on Israel to accept these troops.

I do not want American troops under the guns of Hamas.

I have seen in Lebanon and Africa just how worthless international troops are.

RIP Talik

Father of Merkava tank dies at 86

Award winning Major General (res.) Israel 'Talik' Tal, who was responsible for development of main Israeli battle tank, passes away in Rehovot home. IDF chief: His contribution to Israel's security immeasurable
Eli Senyor

One of the most influential figures in the development of the Israeli military industry passed away on Wednesday.

Major General (res.) Israel Tal, who oversaw the development of the Israeli Merkava tank, passed away at the age of 86 in his Rehovot home.

Tal won the Israel Defense Prize in 1961 and again in 1973, and coined the Hebrew phrase "the man in the tank shall win."

After a 1970 government decision to develop an Israeli battle tank in order to reduce reliance on foreign aid, the Defense Ministry founded an independent body that was given full responsibility to develop and manufacture the tank.

Tal was appointed to head the project – which is considered one of the greatest successes of Israel's military industry.

The general also developed the cylinder bridge – used by the IDF to cross the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War.

Tal, also known as Talik, was born in Israel in 1924 and joined the British army at the age of 18.

He fought with the Jewish Brigade on the Italian front during World War II, and a year later, in 1946, joined the Hagana.

During the War of Independence, Tal participated in battles over the access road to Jerusalem, and commanded one of the Givati Brigade platoons during Operation Nachshon.

After the war, Talik climbed up the ranks of the IDF and during the Six Day War, he commanded the 84th Armored Division that occupied the Sinai Peninsula from the Gaza Strip to the northern Suez Canal.

Tal completed his IDF service, but later donned his uniform again and served as deputy chief of staff and commander of Southern Command after the Yom Kippur War. He was released from service for the second time in 1974.

Later on, Tal served as an advisor to then Defense Minister Shimon Peres. He returned once again to military service in 1978 and headed an IDF reorganization plan, which saw the establishment of a ground forces central command.

General Tal was honored in the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor's "Wall of Greatest Armor Commanders" along with Moshe Peled, Americans George S. Patton and Creighton Abrams and German field-marshal Erwin Rommel.

When asked which of the existing tanks, in his opinion, has superiority in the battle field, Tal replied – the tank with the best crew is the one that will prevail.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Tal was part of the "generation of founders" of the IDF whose "life's work was the State of Israel's security, the defense of its borders and the security of its citizens."

"His contribution to Israel's security is immeasurable," the army chief said in a statement.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called Tal "one of the bravest and most influential commanders in the history of the IDF."

Barak added that Tal's "contribution to Israel's security will accompany us for many years to come."

Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report

September 07, 2010

Checkpoints Save Jewish Lives, Lack Of Checpoints Cost Lives

PA says 2 suspects nabbed for carrying out terror attacks
09/08/2010 01:00

Officials say terrorists, who are both members of Hamas, arrested over the weekend and being held by Palestinian security forces; they wont be extradited to Israel.

Palestinian Authority security organizations have arrested two men suspected of carrying out the recent West Bank shooting attack that injured two Israelis.

Last week's attack took place at the Rimonim Junction, east of the West Bank city of Ramallah. Two Israelis were injured, one seriously, when Palestinian gunmen ambushed the Israeli car.

The terrorists were arrested at the weekend, according to the report, and are now being held by Palestinian security forces but will not be extradited to Israel.

The suspects are both members of Hamas and residents of a village near Ramallah.

The announcement comes a day after Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that his forces arrested hundreds of Hamas members since the terrorist attacks.

"The decision to carry out the attack was politically motivated and intended to embarrass the Palestinian Authority," Fayyad told Palestinian journalists.

Checkpoints may have saved four people last week, if in fact these are the terrorist that murdered the four near Kiryat Arba last week.

To travel from the greater Ramallah area which is located north of Jerusalem, to Kiryat Arba should have put these terrorist through at least one checkpoint and maybe several road blocks. But to build the confidence of the Palestinians under American State Department pressure checkpoints have been greatly reduced in numbers.

Checkpoints save Jewish lives, who cares about if Palestinians feel put down by having to go through them.

West Jerusalem Occupied ?


WAFA (PLO news agency) 05/09/2010 RAMALLAH - The Department of International
Relations of the PLO today expressed deep concern, because Israel opened the
door to the Jewish Congress to hold its fourteenth meeting in occupied
Jerusalem, which is held with the blessing and the presence of the leaders
of Israel, and the participation of more than 200 representatives of Jewish
groups in the world.

The action that is confirmed in a press release is a blatant defiance of the
resolutions of international legitimacy, which considers all Israeli actions
in Jerusalem 'is invalid and illegal', which emphasizes that Jerusalem is
part and parcel of the occupied territory.

The Department stressed that the move by the State of Israel is a
provocation to the feelings of Arab and Islamic nation, and that such a move
would confirm that Israel continues to take all necessary measures for
control of Jerusalem 'capital' eternal, and an affirmation of the Israeli
refusal to reach a just peace that guarantees the Palestinian rights in
Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state. The Department
called for all relevant international and Arab bodies to stand in the face
of these activities, the Israeli aggression against the holy city, stressing
the need for a national conference on high-level response to the situation
of Israeli activity against a just solutions to the Palestinian cause
seeking to control the Islamic and Christian sanctities and its annexation
to Israel.

September 06, 2010

Israel gearing up for ‘mother of all flotillas’

Coalition of NGOs plans to sail up to 20 ships to Gaza in coming months; IDF closely tracking the planned flotilla, preparing for a wide-range of scenarios.

Israel is preparing for what is being described in the IDF as the “mother of all flotillas,” which could include up to 20 different ships planning to set sail for the Gaza Strip in the coming months.

The flotilla is being organized by a coalition of NGOs from Europe and the United States, including a group calling itself European Jews for a Just Peace.

“We hope to have a broad coalition from European countries, and also maybe the United States,” Dror Feiler, an Israeli-Swedish musician and artist who lives in Stockholm – and one of the organizers behind the flotilla – told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. “We would like it to be double the size of the last flotilla, with at least a dozen ships and more than thousand people.”

The IDF is closely tracking the planned flotilla and is preparing for a wide-range of scenarios, including the possibility that due the large number of ships, it will need to stop the flotilla far from Israel’s shores. Feiler said the large number of ships was due to the unprecedented number of people who wanted to sail to Gaza.

“The Israeli army can stop 12 or 50 ships if it wants,” he said. “There are so many ships since so many people want to get together to stop the siege, which is a collective punishment of the people of Gaza and is unacceptable.”

The last flotilla to Gaza was stopped by the navy at the end of May. During the operation, nine Turkish passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara passenger ship were killed in clashes with commandos from the navy’s Flotilla 13.

The coalition behind the new blockade-busting effort includes the Turkish IHH and the Free Gaza Movement, both of which were involved in the May flotilla. It is demanding “an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including a lifting of the travel ban as well as the ban on exports from Gaza.”

I just spent my last week in Africa, where the internet service had gone down and will still be down for the next week. But I am now back in the USA so I am back online.

About Yoni

E-Mail Yoni

Please support our efforts to build a new Israeli political party by check to
P..O..Box 18052
Seattle, WA 98118


Blog Feeds

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2
Designed by
Joshua Sharf