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October 31, 2010

Soldier jailed for posing with bound Palestinian


Military court sentences Nahal Haredi fighter to five months in prison for photos showing him pointing loaded and cocked weapon at blindfolded, handcuffed detainee. Legal proceedings against soldier's friends ongoing
Hanan Greenberg

The Central Command's military court has sentenced an Israel Defense Forces soldiers to five months in prison for posing next to a bound Palestinian. The photos were found in the soldier's cell phone after he was arrested on suspicion of committing drug offenses.

Corporal S., a former fighter in the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, was photographed with the detainee during his military service in the Jenin area in January. He also used his cell phone to take pictures of two of his friends committing similar acts.

The affair was exposed last summer when the soldier was arrested in a separate affair. Military Police investigators found the photos and arrested the other two soldiers.

Legal proceedings against the other two soldiers are ongoing.

The soldiers were indicted for abuse, illegal use of weapons and improper behavior. According to the indictment, one of the soldiers held a blindfolded and bound Palestinian together with other troops.

"He posed for a picture with him while pointing a loaded and cocked weapon at the upper part of his body. There was no point in directing the weapon at the detainee during the shot," the indictment said.

The Palestinian seen in the pictures was located, and claimed in his testimony that he was not offended by the soldiers' behavior.

Corporal S. told the court that he did not intend to hurt the detainee's feelings and did not take the photos in a bid to distribute them. He said he realized, after the event, that his actions were inappropriate.

The soldier was convicted of abuse and improper behavior. The prosecution demanded that he be sentenced to six months in prison in order to stress the severity of his actions. The judges ruled that he would be jailed for five months, but have yet to explain the decision.

Ynet reported recently that the military advocate general said during the suspects' remand hearing that in weighing in on the arrest one should take into account the "moral blockade" Israel is under, and noted that "the severity of acts is tested within the context of our reality."

The military defender's office was outraged at the suggestions claiming that the soldiers do no belong in jail and that there are no grounds for an indictment.

Photos of ex-soldier Eden Abergil posing next to Palestinian detainees and the international response to the publication have caused the Israel Defense Forces to be extra-sensitive in handling acts which may prompt angry international response.

So if the Palestinian in the picture said he was not offended by the picture who is the victim?

Their is no victim it is just the IDF prosecutors office gone wild wanting to show the world how good Israel can be by putting up standards that NOBODY in the world holds.

October 29, 2010

MERF APPEARANCE

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 2pm EDT, 11AM Pacific, 9pm 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
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

Gazan crowd chants 'Death to America,' 'Death to Israel'


By JPOST.COM STAFF
29/10/2010
Tens of thousands of Palestinians rally at event staged by terror group Islamic Jihad with Hamas support to voice opposition to peace talks.

Tens of thousands of supporters and sympathizers of the terrorist Palestinian Islamic Jihad group were reported to have rallied in the streets of Gaza on Friday to show their opposition to the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The crowds were heard chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

PIJ's exiled leader Ramadan Shallah sent a recorded message from Damascus commemorating the 15th anniversary of the assassination of former leader Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta, suspected to have been carried out by the Mossad.

"Israel will not bring peace to the region, it will only bring war and destruction and therefore, the slogan of all should be that Israel must be wiped out of existence," said Shallah. He warned of a "third Nakba" should the peace negotiations continue to fruition.

Senior Hamas leaders also joined the event.

"The choice of negotiation has reached deadlock, and we are wondering why is there such an insistence by the Palestinian Authority on negotiation with the enemy," said Shallah.

Why does the American government want to give this people a state?

I just don't understand you would have thought Arafat ordering the killing of an American Ambassador would have been enough for America to turn their back to this sick society.

You would have thought the Palestinians celebration of the attacks on 9-11 would have been enough.

I don't understand this at all.

October 28, 2010

Bibi's million dollar baby

Netanyahu's new car comes with anti-grenade defense system, hefty price tag of $1 million
Udi Etzion

Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's the prime minister's new luxury car - while the Prime Minister's Office is on the lookout for a new plane for Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister will be receiving a gift with a price tag that leaves it nothing to be ashamed of – his new official car.

The armored limousine version of the Audi A8 is manufactured mainly for presidents and prime ministers and is considered the most expensive car in Israel. The price tag: One million dollars. The first one is making its way to Israel, where it will soon be joined by two more – all three will be joining the ranks of the prime minister's convoy, at a total cost of roughly $3 million.


As reported by Yedioth Ahronoth Thursday, the Audi A8 that has been designated to serve Netanyahu includes a unique security package crafted in cooperation with the Shin Bet's bodyguard unit. The unit even blew up one car during experiments it held in Israel in order to test the car's endurance to various threats, including small arms and roadside bombs.


Sunroof, DVD, and humidor
So what does the astronomic price include? First of all, a state of the art defense system. The car's exact defense capabilities are being kept under wraps, but among other things they include bullet proof tires and a bullet and grenade proof armored cabin. The vehicle may also be equipped with an automated fire extinguishing system.


The immense defense increases the weight of the vehicle, bringing its total weight to nearly three tons. In order to ensure adequate performance levels in spite of its weight, ithe car is equipped with the largest engine the model offers: W12 version with a 12-cylinder, 6-liter engine, an output of some 450 horsepower and four-wheel drive.


But the security system with its outstanding capabilities is not all the car has to offer. Netanyahu's official vehicle is fitted out with every luxury you could possibly dream of: Automatic seats, sunroof, leather interior, wide screen DVD screen, refrigerator, and even a humidor.

While the starting price for the regular model comes close to $500,000, the armored model is far more expensive and Audi states that the starting price for this model is 685,000 dollars before taxes.


Most expensive car in Israel

The changes that were carried out by Audi according to the request of the Shin Bet made the car even more expensive. And so, in spite of the tax free status given to the additional security components, the car's price is expected to reach the one million dollar mark. This makes this car the most expensive in Israel – slightly more expensive than the Mercedes SLS sports model.


Along with heads of state, the limousine version of the Audi A8 is also purchased by wealthy businesspeople. In Israel, billionaire Sammy Ofer is among the lucky few who have purchased the luxury model.


Notably, the three cars will be used to chauffer foreign dignitaries and VIPs as well as the prime minister. Though it is highly likely that the PM's convoy will include more than one of the cars at a time, making it harder for potential assassins to know the exact car the prime minister is in at any given time.


At the moment the PM's convoy includes armored Toyota land cruisers and Chevrolet suburbans. The Audi is set to replace them.

Audi importer in Israel Champion Motors refused to comment on the issue.

I can remember when the PM was driven around in what looked like a second hand Chrysler, I thought it was a great thing.

Why does the PM of Israel need such a high end car, what is wrong with his current Toyota?

Is Bibi the PM or is he the king of Israel.

October 27, 2010

Riot erupts in Umm el-Fahm as far-right marches through


By YAAKOV LAPPIN
27/10/2010
Security forces arrest 9 Arabs for throwing rocks at right-wing activists; Marzel calls Zoabi "our enemy."

It was a scene police foresaw months ago and tried in vain to prevent: Hundreds of Arab youths, many of them masked, burned tires and threw rocks at police in Umm el-Fahm on Wednesday, as far-Right activists demonstrated on the edge of the Galilee city.

Throughout the morning, rioters engaged police in running battles as smoke from tear gas canisters and the thuds of stun grenades enveloped some of the town’s streets.

RELATED:
1,000 mark 20th anniversary of Kahane's assassination
Ben Gvir, Marzel set to demonstrate in Umm el-Fahm

Ten rioters were arrested and four policemen were lightly wounded, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The activists, followers of the late rabbi and MK Meir Kahane, were led by National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari, Itamar Ben- Gvir and Baruch Marzel. They called to ban the Islamic Movement, which has run Umm el-Fahm’s municipality since 1989.

The activists, who planned the march to mark the 20th anniversary of Kahane’s murder, arrived in armored buses with placards and flags, and were surrounded by several hundred police officers deployed to protect them.

Three months ago, the High Court of Justice overruled the police’s decision to deny the activists permission to demonstrate in the city of some 46,000 inhabitants, which is the heartland of the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood- affiliated Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch, led by firebrand cleric Raed Salah.

Just as police expected, local youths quickly became violent – as they did last year, when activists held a similar protest – and several hours of rioting followed, prompting officers to fire stun grenades and tear gas, while officers on horseback occasionally charged at the rioters.

Undercover border policemen dressed up as rioters launched two surprise raids during the clashes, arresting stunned suspects.

“As soon as stones were thrown and policemen were attacked, officers responded, firing stun grenades and tear gas at the rioters. We can confirm that 10 masked suspects were arrested,” Rosenfeld said.

Arab MKs Afo Agbaria (Hadash) and Haneen Zoabi (Balad) came to offer their support to locals. Zoabi said she was targeted by police firing rubber bullets.

“That is a ridiculous claim. No rubber bullets were fired by officers during the disturbances,” a police source told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday evening.

“The police defends fascists, and threatens the lives of Arab citizens, because they can shoot and injure people,” Zoabi said. “Why don’t they shoot in the air? Why did they aim at my back and neck? I am not only threatened by the Fascist Right, I am threatened by the police.”

She told Israel Radio she was very lightly hurt.

“If Zoabi was injured, it was worth going to Umm el-Fahm,” Marzel told Israel Radio. “She is our enemy.”

“We want Jewish children to be able to walk free in Umm el-Fahm, because this is the heart of the Land of Israel,” he added.

Ben-Ari said, “There is no reason that the Islamic Movement should be allowed to exist in Israel. In Egypt, it’s illegal. In Jordan, they’re not allowed to have any influence,” he said, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Locals were joined by haredi Natorei Karta activists carrying signs that read, “Arabs Yes, Zionists No.”

By midday the violence had died down, the activists had packed up and left, and the rioters had dispersed. Police consider the event a success in light of the lack of serious injury, and they did not expect the disturbances to continue or spread.

“Our aim was to let a demonstration take place while maintaining public order,” Deputy Police Insp.-Gen. Ilan Franco, who oversaw police operations, said. “We moved against those who disturbed public order.”

Franco praised Northern District head Cmdr. Shimon Koren’s management of the events.

I support the right of people to march where they want to. However I think it was a dumb thing for these people to do.

Why do I think it was stupid, because it shows settlers in a bad light to the rest of not only Israeli population but the whole world and for what?

To prove a point you can do it, by doing so do they win people over to our side or push people away.


“If Zoabi was injured, it was worth going to Umm el-Fahm,” Marzel told Israel Radio. “She is our enemy.” I agree she is the enemy but so is stupidity. Saying this is just stupid. Being glad she was hurt just for the sake of inflicting pain is not moral.

Understand I think she should be arrested and face a court of law over being a part of the flotilla. I think as a member of Knesset that took part her crime is treason and she she be given the death penalty for her crimes.

But wish pain on her for the sake of pain, sorry I can not support such ideas.

IDF encrypting drones after Hizbullah intercepted footage


By YAAKOV KATZ
27/10/2010
An army investigation concludes that Hizbullah used footage from an IDF drone to plan the 1997 attack known as ‘The Shayetet Disaster’ in which 11 Israeli commandos were killed.

The IDF is in the process of encrypting its drones, defense officials said on Wednesday, amid reports that a team of military experts had concluded that Hizbullah succeeded in ambushing a navy commando force in 1997 after intercepting surveillance footage of a planned raid in Lebanon.

In what has been called the “Shayetet Disaster,” 11 commandos from the navy’s Flotilla 13 unit – known as the Shayetet – were killed in the ambush, including the commander of the force, Lt.-Col. Yossi Korakin.

In August, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah revealed footage from what he claimed was an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that had conducted surveillance over the area that the commandos were supposed to raid in September 1997. The force entered an orchard near the Ansariya Beach, which was full of bombs that exploded.

The IDF established a panel to investigate how and if Hizbullah had prior intelligence about the planned raid. But its assumption was, until recently, that the ambush was random and that Hizbullah did not have prior intelligence about the raid.

After Nasrallah’s press conference, however, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi ordered the Navy, Military Intelligence and the IDF’s C4I Directorate to establish a panel of experts to investigate whether the UAV footage presented at the press conference was genuine.

The team, IDF sources said on Wednesday, has yet to submit its final conclusions, but appears to be close to determining that Hizbullah had indeed intercepted the UAV footage and as a result was able to plan the ambush.

The use of an unencrypted UAV in 1997 was likely due to a miscalculation by Israeli intelligence regarding Hizbullah’s technological capabilities.

During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF was surprised to discover advanced intelligence-gathering capabilities – supplied by Iran – in Hizbullah command centers scattered throughout southern Lebanon.

The IDF relies heavily on its UAVs and the footage they provide ahead of operations in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

While it is unclear if Hamas has similar intelligence capabilities, officials said the IDF would not take any risks and planned to only use encrypted drones in future operations.

On Tuesday, the French daily Le Figaro revealed new information on the military wing of Hizbullah’s structural make-up, with details on the Lebanese organization’s 10,000 operatives and arsenal of some 40,000 rockets. The piece also focused on Syria’s role in Hizbullah operations, in both manufacture and transportation of rockets.

Hizbullah has three units dedicated to the transportation and maintenance of its rocket arsenal, according to the French newspaper report, which quoted anonymous officials in the French Defense Ministry and Western intelligence sources.

The unit responsible for transporting weapons from Damascus, Unit 108, received a delivery of Syrian missiles headed to Lebanon in January last year, Le Figaro said. The shipment, which was apparently spotted by US military intelligence, was said to have contained 26 M-6002 missiles with a range of 250 kilometers.

Unit 108’s main barracks are located near Syria’s border with Lebanon, in the Shi’ite town of Doma, the report added, with operatives also positioned within Damascus. The unit has another base next to Damascus Airport, which is vital for the handling of weapon shipments from Iran – Hizbullah’s principal backer.

The French newspaper also revealed that Unit 112 is in charge of transporting missiles, usually by night and towards the end of the month. The weapons are moved using trucks with false number plates, according to the report.

Hizbullah’s Unit 100 allegedly deals with deployment and training, and making sure the missiles reach their final destinations, in various camps located within 150 kilometers from Israel’s northern border. As has been widely reported, Le Figaro noted that Iranian officers are responsible for training Hizbullah fighters.

The report stressed that Hizbullah has now strategically based itself in Syria, and quoted military experts’ speculation that manufacture of Iranian missiles is now being handled there to ease transport.

October 25, 2010

Jewish leaders slam archbishop’s remarks


By JONAH MANDEL AND LISA PALMIERI-BILLIG
26/10/2010
ADL: Statements “worst kind of anti-Judaism, bordering on anti-Semitism”; Wiesenthal Center urges Pope to denounce Bustros's remarks.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Pope Benedict XVI on Monday to immediately denounce a statement by Melkite Catholic Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros at a Vatican Synod on the Middle East.

The archbishop had opined that “We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians.”

A spokesman for the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi, issued a statement Monday that sought to play down Butrus’s remarks and distance the Holy See from them.

“If one wants a summary of the Synod’s position, attention must currently be paid to the “Message,” which is the only written text approved by the synod in the last few days,” Lombardi said. “There is also a great richness and variety in the contributions made by the fathers, but which as such should not all be considered as the voice of the synod as a whole.”

Lombardi, without specifically mentioning Bustros, embraced the synod’s call for “an end to the occupation” while suggesting that the Arab bishop’s statements belonged to the collection of “individual” contributions that did not express the synod’s official stance.

According to the Catholic News Service, the Synod Message regarding the Jews “warned against inappropriate use of the words of the Bible,” and said that “recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable.”

Are you kidding me a Jew hating leader in the Catholic church, so why should we be surprised.

How could we think a leader in the Catholic church would support Jews using the Torah to support our claim to Israel.

Turkish 'peace activists' visit Jihad gunmen

turks in Gaza.jpg


On backdrop of strained relations between Israel and Turkey, Islamic Jihad website displays photos of recent flotilla's Turkish passengers visiting Gaza and trying on organization's uniform. 'All Turkish people pray for your victory,' one of guests says
Ali Waked

The Viva Palestina 5 ship carrying "peace activists," which docked at the al-Arish port recently, brought along not only humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza, but also enthusiastic Turks who took advantage of the opportunity to visit local Islamic Jihad members.

In pictures obtained by Ynet, the Turks are seen holding weapons and rocket launchers. While their prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to blast Israel and demand an apology for "state terrorism," two of the guests put on the uniform of the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing.

The pictures from the Turkish delegation's visit were put on the al-Quds Brigades website as part of the coverage of their visit. The guests' face was blurred, but shortly afterwards the photos were removed from the site, most likely for fear that the Turks would be hurt.

During their visit to Gaza, the Turkish delegation members visited several Islamic Jihad posts. One of the guests was quoted as telling the group's gunmen that they are "a source of pride for all decent people in the Arab and Muslim world." He defined them as "the forefront of the struggle against the Zionists."


The Turkish guests praised the Palestinian activists, saying, "I am proud to be here with you, who have sacrificed so much for the sake of the Muslim nation. All of the Turkish people, as well as the Arabs and all Muslims, pray for your victory, support you and strengthen you."


Meanwhile Monday, the Turkel Committee appointed to probe the deadly Navy raid on the Turkish-owned Marmara ship in late May, heard the testimonies of two Israeli Arabs who were onboard the vessel during the incident.


One of the them, Hamed Abu Dabous of Rahat was asked by the committee members about a televised speech in which one of the flotilla's leaders called for violent resistance and said that if Israel Defense Forces soldiers tried to take over the boat, "we'll thrown them into the sea."


Abu Dabous responded that he was not "a television fan", adding that he knew nothing of that speech. He claimed that he was a law abiding citizen and was unaware of the prohibition to enter the Strip.


"If what you wanted would have happened, you would have reached Gaza. So your intention was indeed to break the law," one of the committee members told him.

Roee Nahmias contributed to this report


So we Jews talk while our enemies pose with machine guns.

Ask yourself one question who is serious about victory .

Who's The Criminal?

Sentencing phase begins for 2 convicted Givati soldiers
By JPOST.COM STAFF
25/10/2010
Troops convicted of "overstepping authority" for having Gazan boy open suspicious bags during Cast Lead claim they're Goldstone's victims.

The preliminary hearings before sentencing for the two Givati Brigade soldiers convicted of exceeding authority during Operation Cast Lead began at the military court in Kastina in the South on Monday.

The two soldiers were convicted by court martial three weeks ago for ordering a nine-year-old Palestinian boy to open bags they suspected might be booby-trapped found near his Gaza home.

Military prosecutors requested that the court imprison the soldiers and demote them to the ranks of privates for violation of human rights and the IDF's code of "purity of arms."

"They are treating me like a war criminal, that I need to pay dearly for years to come," said one of the accused at the court.

The other accused soldier told the court, "We feel as thought we are victims of the Goldstone Report."

The charges carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

My heart and prayers go out to these two soldiers.

But with the current climate of persecution of combat soldiers that exist in the prosecutors office of the IDF, it does not look good for these soldiers.

The biggest criminals in this story is without a doubt the prosecutors office of the IDF.

I would like to see all the prosecutors demoted to the rank of private and given ten to twenty for the crime of destroying our soldiers ability to fight without having to second guess everything they do.

Of course we can't let our soldiers rape and murder but historically our soldiers don't engage in such actions. But sorry I have no problem wih what these soldiers did in Gaza.

October 24, 2010

IDF collecting rifles from Jordan Valley emergency squads

Decision comes after two rifles stolen from homes; residents say 'any hesitation on part of emergency squads can cost lives,' call decision 'dangerous'
Yair Altman

The army's top commander in the Jordan Valley, Col. Yochai Ben-Yishai, instructed his forces on Sunday to collect all rifles belonging to the local communities' emergency squads, this after two rifles were stolen from homes in the community of Shadmot Mechola.

In response, The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel sent Ben-Yishai a letter saying, "As far as we know, the stolen rifles were kept in a safe with two locks, in accordance with security regulations.

"The incident must be investigated, but preventing the Jordan Valley's residents from protecting themselves is unreasonable and dangerous," the letter read. "Any hesitation on the part of the emergency squads can cost lives."

The locals are demanding that IDF emergency squads be stationed in their communities in case the colonel's decision is upheld. A copy of the letter was sent to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Central Command chief Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi.

Jordan Valley Regional Council Chairman David Alhiani called the decision "very unusual."

"If the army wants to assume responsibility – go ahead – but this is a vast area, and the army usually arrives about 40 minutes after an incident begins. Therefore, it's important that our people will be able to provide an initial response," he said.

The IDF said the rifles were not confiscated, but rather gathered in armories inside the communities.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report

IDF presents: 'Soldier-free' checkpoint control


Saturday, October 23, 2010
IDF replacing soldier interface with biometric checkpoint control


New electronic ID system that uses handprints 'will make passage more
pleasant,' IDF source says

Hanan Greenberg the Jerusalem Post Published: 10.21.10, 08:38 / Israel
News
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3972725,00.html

While direct talks languish, the Israel Defense Forces have found a way to
minimize friction between soldiers and the Palestinians. After years in
which residents of the territories had to present entry permits and IDs on
the way to work in Israel, the IDF has prepared a "soldier-free" entry
procedure.

Soldiers will soon be replaced by electronic terminals checking the
Palestinians by hand prints.

A military source involved in the project said the IDF-made devices will
shorten the time Palestinians spend in checkpoints and create a "more
pleasant atmosphere."

The new system, which greatly resembles the biometric passport control at
the Ben-Gurion Airport, "speaks" Arabic with the users. After identifying
the hand print and checking personal details on an electronic card the
system quickly authorizes entry into Israel.

"A new situation has emerged in the territories with the creation of the
security fence. The importance of mainatianing the Palestinian citizens'
quality of life has become more heightened," the source explained.

He also noted that some 25,000 workers from the territories enter Israel
every day.

"Up until now, one would have needed to visit a manned post, present an ID
and wait for the soldier's entry permit. We realized a change was needed and
that's how the project was conceived," the military source noted.

A few electronic posts have already been placed at some of the crossings
between Israel and the West Bank as part of the pilot program.

"We tested the device's function and found it to be extremely user-friendly,
shortening lines and rendering the crossing more pleasant," he noted.

"We also added a device at the entry into Israel for those returning from
Palestinian cities, which increases our ability to accurately control the
traffic of those coming in and those going out."

In light of the project's success Central Command Chief Avi Mizrahi has
recently approved the installation of 12 electronic control terminals in
checkpoints around the Green Line as early as next year. The IDF plans on
equipping those terminals with other ID programs, including facial print
checks.

"The system is coded and can receive data in real time. If we have
information suggesting that an entry pass should be revoked the system is
immediately informed," the source said.

October 22, 2010

MERF APPEARANCE

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
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

October 21, 2010

Kadima to join coalition for freeze extension?


Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 21 October 2010

Channel 2 TV political correspondent Rina Matzliach reported on the evening
news that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is going to have a second
meeting with Kadima leader Livni in order to continue discussions beyond the
periodic opposition leader-PM meeting they held recently.

Matzliach suggested that this indicated that PM Netanyahu was considering
having the Kadima party join the coalition within the framework of a
decision to extend the construction freeze.

It remains unclear why a freeze extension would require a change in the
ruling coalition given that, as The Jerusalem Post correspondent Herb Keinon
noted, there's "not a minister in Netanyahu's government who would oppose a
two-month extension of the settlement freeze in return for Pollard's
freedom."

Leviathan offshore drilling begins


By RON STEINBLATT / GLOBES
19/10/2010
A second platform, North America Pride, is due to arrive at Leviathan in January to drill to the deeper structures.

Drilling of the Leviathan 1 exploratory well began Monday, at a cost of $150 million. The Israeli partners in the Leviathan licenses – Delek Group Ltd. subsidiaries Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling LP, as well as Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP – announced that Noble Energy Inc. informed them the Sedco Express platform had begun drilling. The drilling is due to take five months.

The deepwater well in the Rachel license, 135 kilometers west of Haifa, will be drilled to a depth of 7,200 meters, including 1,634 meters of water. The well will seek to locate the gasbearing structure, in which a 3-D seismic study conducted for Noble Energy indicated the presence of 453 billion cubic meters of natural gas with a geologic chance of success of 50 percent.

When the well reaches the target structure, an estimated two months, the partners will decide whether to carry out production tests. After these are completed, the Sedco Express will carry out development drilling at the Tamar site, also owned by Noble Energy and Delek Group, together with Isramco Ltd. and Dor Gas Exploration Ltd.

Noble Energy owns 39.66% of the Leviathan licenses, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil each own 22.67% and Ratio owns 15%.

A second platform, North America Pride, is due to arrive at Leviathan in January to drill to the deeper structures, where current information estimates the presence of three billion barrels of oil at a depth of 5,800 meters, with a geologic probability of 17%, and the presence of 1.2 billion barrels of oil at a depth of 7,200 meters, with a geologic chance of success of 8%.

October 20, 2010

Qurei warns of possible 'armed resistance' if talks fail


By KHALED ABU TOAMEH The Jerusalem Post 10/20/2010 01:51
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=192047

All options are open to us, says former PA prime minister; Israeli official
calls threat "regrettable"; Abbas rules out West Bank land swaps.

Ahmed Qurei, a senior PLO official and former Palestinian Authority prime
minister, has said he does not rule out the possibility that the
Palestinians will launch an "armed resistance" against Israel if the peace
talks fail.

Qurei, who was one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, was speaking at a
seminar that was held in Cairo earlier this week.

An Israeli official said Qurei's threat was "regrettable."

"It is indeed regrettable that there are still senior Palestinian leaders in
the Palestinian Authority who talk about using the path of violence," the
official told The Jerusalem Post. "It is clear that the path of violence is
a dead end and only through direct negotiation can peace be achieved."

In a Channel 1 interview on Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas said he did not believe there would be a third intifada.

"Inshallah, God willing, an intifada will not break out," Abbas said.

He warned, however, that if a diplomatic solution was not found, despondency
and frustration would set in and extremism could win out.

Abbas said in Ramallah earlier Tuesday that he supported a non-violent,
"popular resistance" against Israel.

He told a delegation from the villages of Bil'in and Ni'lin in the West
Bank: "We support your peaceful and popular resistance. We are proud of this
resistance, which has won the backing of the international community."

The two villages are the scenes of weekly demonstrations against the
security barrier.

Abbas condemned the barrier as "immoral and uncivilized," saying the PA
would not accept a "wall on our land. If they want to build a wall, they
should do so on their land."

He also reiterated his strong opposition to the idea of a land swap between
Israel and the PA.

Abbas's remarks came amid reports about a US-initiated compromise to resume
direct talks between Israel and the PA.

In response, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for the PA leadership, said
that the Palestinians regarded all forms of settlement as "illegal."

Qurei, 73, who is better known by his nom de guerre Abu Ala, said that the
peace talks, diplomatic efforts and "all forms of resistance" should be
among the Palestinian negotiators' options.

"All options are open to us," he declared. "Negotiations, popular
activities, sit-in strikes, civil disobedience or armed resistance.

We shouldn't drop any of these options, but what is more important now is to
achieve Palestinian unity."

Qurei, who participated in previous rounds of negotiations between Israel
and the PA, said that the Palestinians also did not rule out unilaterally
declaring the establishment of a Palestinian state and seeking the UN
Security Council's recognition of that state.

He added that the Palestinians' top priority now was to end the power
struggle between Fatah and Hamas so that there would be a consensus about
the options they needed to consider, when and if the peace process failed.

Qurei, who is also a senior representative of Fatah, said that the
Palestinians would not return to the negotiating table with Israel unless
construction in the settlements was halted completely.

He also warned Palestinians and Arabs against pinning high hopes on
President Barack Obama.

"We should stop sinking into rosy dreams while the road is full of thorns,"
Qurei said. "The US is a country of institutions and the decision-making
process is not only in the hands of the president."

On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a two-hour meeting
in his Jerusalem office with Quartet envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair.

Now if we had an Israeli leader who was tough, they could tell the PA what would happen if you start a third intifada.

What should happen if the PA starts and/or allows a third intifada is an immediate secession of the option of any talking to the PA and then setting the IDF loose with victory as the only order to the Chief of Staff.

But the PA can strike at Israel and we will do nothing, to bring the PA to their knees.


Qurei and Abbas should be the first two killed in the third intifada.

October 19, 2010

A revolution in skin cancer detection


By DANIEL BEN-TAL/ISRAEL21C
10/19/2010 16:26

An Israeli invention may revolutionize current modes of diagnosing skin cancer, the most common cancer in the US.


As sunlight exposure increases worldwide, skin cancer is becoming more prevalent.

Early detection of skin cancer can save millions of lives and an Israeli company has developed a device that could revolutionize accepted modes of diagnosis. Already the most common form of cancer in the United States, skin cancer is becoming even more widespread as sunlight exposure increases worldwide.

"Early detection is the key to battling the disease. With early detection, almost all forms of skin cancer are curable," says Col. (ret.) Yossi Biderman, CEO of Skin Cancer Scanning (SCS), an Israeli company that has developed a breakthrough technology using fiber-optic cables to scan for potentially malignant moles.

Clinical trials at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva in central Israel show the system to be 92 percent effective in detecting certain types of skin cancer at an early stage - a higher rate than that of any apparatus currently available. Now a marketable device called Skinscan 650 is close to being ready, Biderman stated "We assume we will have a working prototype by mid-to-late 2011."

Identifying symptoms earlier

The unique technology is based on the observation that cancerous cells proliferate faster than healthy cells, and their accelerated metabolic activity releases energy at a higher frequency.

"The concept is simple to understand," says Biderman. "Every living organism emits energy in the form of heat. This energy comes out in wavelengths - i.e. the light spectrum. Every living organism is built of cells, and the wavelengths emit from these cells. Most healthy people have a body temperature of 36-37 degrees centigrade, and any difference in temperature can be traced to a medical condition. There's nothing new in this.

"Cancer develops in cells, as the result of something afflicting them that causes them to regenerate and split at a faster rate," he elucidates. "This increased metabolic activity releases energy at a higher frequency, generating heat - just as the temperature around your pelvic area rises after eating. We're looking at the symptom. The cause cannot be detected so easily.

October 18, 2010

'Cuban pilots flew 150,000 Jews from Arab states to Israel'


By JPOST.COM STAFF
18/10/2010
Report: From 1951-1953, Cuban company set up by Cuban businessman and Israeli flew missions where Israeli planes could not.

In the first years of the state, Cuban planes and pilots brought nearly 150,000 Jews to Israel from Iraq, Iran, Yemen and India, the official Cuban newspaper Juventude Rebelde (Rebel Youth) reported on Saturday. Unreported for 60 years, the airlift was one of the largest in history.

In the years after Israel declared independence, Jews in Arab countries began emigrating to Israel as their lives became more difficult. However, due to the lack of cooperation by the Arab governments, traveling by land was very difficult. Since there were no diplomatic relations between Israel and the Arab countries, it was necessary for the aircraft to be from a neutral country, according to the Juvente Rebelde report.

The Cuban connection stemmed from someone in the Israeli trade mission in New York's close friendship with Cuban businessman Narciso Otero-Roselló, a licensed pilot, according to the report. The businessman became president of new air company, Aerea de Cuba, which took ownership of the aircraft to be used in the years-long airlift and established offices in Havana and Nicosia in Cyprus.

The Cuban pilots who flew the planes on the historic mission recalled several close calls to Juvente Rebelde. They told of dust storms suffocating their engines in Iraq, making stops on desolate airstrips in Oman when making the long flights from India to Israel, emergency landings, and crashes while transporting Jews to Israel.

In early 1953, when their special mission was completed, the pilots returned to Cuba, Juvente Rebelde reported. This newly discovered chapter in Jewish and Israeli history shows how far-off countries assisted the Jewish people in the building of the state of Israel.

October 17, 2010

Good Job

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I see nothing wrong with what the under cover guys did, except they should have had more officers so they could have grabbed more of the inciters. They also should have arrested the woman with the orange backpack, I hope they did and it was just off camera.

October 15, 2010

Abbas: We'll never sign agreement recognizing Jewish state


By JPOST.COM STAFF
15/10/2010
PA President meets with Hadash MKs in Ramallah; says any deal requiring the recognition or a land swap is out of the question; reiterates demand for 1967 borders.

Any peace agreement which requires the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or an exchange of land is out of the question, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday.

In a Ramallah meeting with Hadash party Knesset members, Abbas said that it was now up to Israel to recognize a Palestinian state with 1967 borders, and that the PA had already recognised Israel back in 1993, thus negating the need for any further acknowledgment.


On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.

In his speech, the prime minister challenged his Palestinian counterparts to continue the peace talks by saying he would initiate a cabinet proposal to renew a settlement moratorium if the Palestinian Authority would declare its recognition of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people.


"A Palestinian state could be a cause of continued conflict and terror if it is not handled responsibly." The prime minister said.

"Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is central to the dispute between us [and is necessary for its resolution]. If the Palestinians expect a national state, we can expect our own national state for the Jewish people."

The reason they will never call Israel the Jewish state is that would put to rest for ever their desire to destroy Israel.

If they recognized Israel as The Jewish State and our right to exist how could they then use Judea and Samaria as a launch pad for terrorism like they are using Gaza.

October 14, 2010

PLO official: We reject Jewish state proposal


Published yesterday (updated) 13/10/2010 20:20
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323908

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A PLO official said Wednesday that the Ramallah-based
body's position toward recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is clear and not
going to happen.

Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusuf told Ma'an that such a move would
undermine the Palestinian right of return.

On Monday, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Palestinian
Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for a settlement
freeze extension, which was rejected.

A day later, the US State Department said it backed Israel's aspirations to
be recognized as a Jewish state.

Palestinian negotiators have recognized Israel's right to exist, but have
said how the country labels itself is irrelevant. There are fears, however,
that a Jewish state would jeopardize the right of return of Palestinian
refugees and place non-Jewish citizens of Israel at risk of discrimination.

Abu Yusuf's remarks came after PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo
called on Israel and the US to provide a map of Israel's borders before
"asking anything else."

Abed Rabbo told Ma'an that "Israel is an unknown entity in terms of borders
[so] how does it suggest we recognize it as a Jewish state? Israel and the
US should first set out Israel's borders."

The PLO official further denied speaking with the Israeli daily Haaretz, to
which he reportedly said, "If the map will be based on the 1967 borders and
will not include our land, our houses and East Jerusalem, we will be willing
to recognize Israel according to the formulation of the government within
the hour."

According to the daily, Abed Rabbo said, "Any formulation the Americans
present -- even asking us to call Israel the 'Chinese State' -- we will
agree to it, as long as we receive the 1967 borders. We have recognized
Israel in the past, but Israel has not recognized the Palestinian state."

However, Abed Rabbo said he had only spoken with Agence France-Presse over
the issue.

October 13, 2010

Buffett: 'Israel has a disproportionate amount of brains'


By RON FRIEDMAN
13/10/2010
The businessman and philanthropist shares his views on the economy at the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry conference.

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry held its first annual socioeconomic conference at the Avenue Convention Center near Ben-Gurion Airport yesterday.

In a special interview for the purpose of the conference, international businessman and leading philanthropist Warren Buffett shared with the participants his views on the global economy and the role governments play in maintaining prosperous economies.

Speaking about his decision to invest in Israel, Buffett said that what drew him to Israel was its brainpower.

“If you’re going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel. If you’re looking for brains, look no further.

Israel has shown that it has a disproportionate amount of brains and energy,” Buffett said.

The conference featured speeches and panel discussions by economic and government leaders, all revolving around Israel’s current economic situation and its social implications.

In addition to Buffett, the 500 participants heard speeches by 10 cabinet ministers, the head of the opposition, the chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, the president of the manufacturers association, former finance ministers and Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry officials. Everyone who took to the stage paid tribute to the host, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer, and commented on his ability to bring people together.

Ben-Eliezer started the day off by welcoming the participants and setting the stage for the following discussions by raising the dichotomy his ministry entails – on the one hand looking after the interests of industry and trade and on the other protecting the interests of workers and consumers.

“Many people think that there is a conflict of interests; I believe the opposite. The interests are not opposing – they are complimentary,” said Ben Eliezer. “The strength and uniqueness of the ministry is in its ability to look broadly and comprehensively and look after the different interest by providing balanced solutions. It is a difficult task, but I believe that only by doing so can we effectively lead the Israeli market towards its goals in the upcoming years.

“A developed market entails a delicate, but stable balance between a safe and fair job market and a flexible and dynamic business market,” Ben Eliezer continued. “In order for Israel to be part of the family of developed countries, it must protect both elements at the same time.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of Negev and Galilee Development, Silvan Shalom, himself a former minister of finance, spoke about the need for Israel to shift its national priorities from focusing on defense to focusing on social problems.

“We currently possess a developed and growing economy.

We want to maintain the growth, but also make sure we are living in a just society. In order for everyone to enjoy the fruits of the growth, we need to see a change in the agenda,” Shalom said.

“When the Prime Minister spends 90 percent of his time dealing with security and diplomacy and nine percent is spent dealing with political survival, it is obvious that the pressing social issues are not at the center.”

According to Shalom, the budget is split incorrectly and funding for security “always comes at the expense of health, education and development.”

He added, “If we don’t leave here thinking of shifting to a civilian society, this will be nothing but another conference and nothing will change.”

One topic that came up continuously throughout the day was the issue of Israel’s enormous financial gaps and particularly the way they relate to two segments of the population, Haredi Jews and Arab Israelis. The state’s treatment of these two groups, which are Israel’s poorest, was the focus of a ministers’ panel, featuring Education Minister Gideon Saar, Welfare Minister Yitzhak Herzog, Minority Affairs minister Avishai Braverman, Housing Minister Ariel Atias and Ben Eliezer.

“In Israel we like talking about the poor, but we don’t like the poor themselves,” Herzog said. “A country that wants to take on the issue of a 20% poverty rate must take actions.”

Addressing the issue of low haredi participation in the job market, Atias, who represents Shas in the government, said that in order to go out and work, the haredim need incentives. Atias rejected out of hand the suggestion that reducing government aid might motivate people to seek employment.

“The Haredi population is one with unique characteristics.

They don’t need to be educated or lectured to, they need to be given tools. When given the right incentives they will go to work,” he said. “Haredim won’t work for any ordinary secular company; they need to be given their own places. Just like they choose to live separately, they should be given the opportunity to work separately.”

Saar stressed that the economic gaps originated from education gaps and that the fact that many haredim don’t study core curriculum subjects prevents them from participating in the labor force later on in life.

“This year my ministry cut NIS 21 million from schools that didn’t teach core subjects and by doing so enforced a decision that was reached six years ago and never practiced,” said Saar.

He also conceded, however, that there were some schools that would never allow courses in secular subjects.

Braverman spoke about the wasted financial resource that lies dormant in the Arab Israeli population.

“There is an incredible economic force sitting among us that is completely wasted and overlooked,” he said. “The biggest impediment for Arab Israelis’ involvement in the workforce is the fact that Israelis simply don’t know them; they think they are all extremists or traitors. The Arab population should be encouraged and empowered and we need to make sure obstacles are removed from their path.

“I am not talking about affirmative action, I’m talking about eliminating discrimination,” Braverman added.

Opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni said that the conference for the first time brought together two issues that are usually discussed in separate rooms.

“Israel has a very strong economy, but a completely unequal society,” she said. “We like to see ourselves and for others to see us as a start-up nation that is democratic and egalitarian, but anyone who has gone through a branding process knows that change needs to come from within. We as a society have yet to decide what we are.”

“We think that we are at the top because of our entrance into the OECD, but we are at the bottom when it comes to poverty and social gaps and I find that unacceptable,” she continued. “I do not accept this government’s trickle down philosophy of supporting the wealthy out of belief that the growth will be shared. The major question here is one of responsibility and appropriate budgeting. What needs to be established is the government’s responsibility to its citizens and how it is practiced.”

The solutions Livni offered focused mainly on education, reducing corrupt government bureaucracy and changing the leadership structure and elections process so that leaders become more concerned with long-term visions and the general public interest.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke about the need to balance Israel’s internal socio-economic problems with its security concerns. He said that reducing Israel’s security budget would put the country at risk of external threats and also jeopardize its financial performance.

“Today the security budget is the smallest in terms of its percentage of the total budget than it’s ever been before,” Barak said. “We need to make sure that it is not dropped too low otherwise we will risk our safety.”

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who recently returned from an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington, said that while in Israel the global crisis feels like it’s past, in the rest of the world that is not the case, and that he and his team came back with harsh feelings.

“The way to overcome the crisis is not by taking emergency measures, but by possessing a long term financial horizon, focusing on things like continuing growth, reducing unemployment and taking care of the weakest populations,” said Steinitz. “We are not back to normal yet; we need to continue anti-crisis policies like the twoyear budget, reducing the number of foreign workers and creating more jobs.”

Steinitz stressed that one of the keys to Israel’s successful exit from crisis mode was cooperation between the government, workers and employers, adding that they should continue to work together closely to maintain a fertile market environment.

Peres center receives donation from Danish TV winners
By RON FRIEDMAN
13/10/2010
Former Danish FM and television journalist win a million Danish Krone on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and donate entire sum to center.

Former Danish Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft and television journalist Martin Krasnik, who came out victorious on Monday’s local Danish “politics special” of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” announced that they will be donating their winnings – one million Danish Krone (650 thousand Shekels) to the Peres Center for Peace in Israel.

The money, which the winners received for correctly answering all of the 15 questions, including the final million Krone question, asking which of four vehicle models was the first to be manufactured, will go towards the center’s peace building projects, which bring together Israeli and Palestinian children and youth.

October 12, 2010

Fatah official says two-state solution is over


By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, HILARY LEILA KRIEGER AND HE
12/10/2010
Mahmoud Aloul: Israel's racist policies meant to undermine talks; US State Department spokesman says wants to achieve clear path allowing Israel, Palestinians to continue peace process.

The Palestinian Authority has concluded that the peace process based on a two-state solution has failed, a senior Fatah official said on Tuesday.

His statement came as PA officials repeated their rejection of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's proposal to extend the settlement construction moratorium if the Palestinian leadership recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.

RELATED:
Editorial: Trying again
PA: US working on 3-month freeze extension to save talks

But the US sought [desperately] to keep talks going, and called on the Palestinians to present their own counter-proposal to keep things on track.

Mahmoud Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that "Israel's racist policies… were meant to undermine the peace process."

"The Palestinian Authority made every effort to avoid reaching this conclusion, but Israeli racist policies led to the failure of the peace process," he added.

Aloul accused the US Administration of failing to exert pressure on Israel to alter its policies and halt settlement construction.

"The Americans left us no choice but to stop the peace negotiations," he said. The Palestinian leadership has briefed the Arab leaders on the difficult situation and we have asked them to start taking real measures on the ground.

PLO negotiators Saeb Erekat and Nabil Shaath also reiterated their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Another PLO official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, accused Netanyahu of seeking to destroy the image of President Barack Obama in the Middle East by raising such a demand.
In Washington, however, the State Department continued to urge the sides to come to a compromise and called for Palestinians to make clear what would be acceptable to them in lieu of a declaration that Israel is a Jewish state.

“We want to see both of them stake the process. We want to see both of them offer their thinking about what needs to be, you know, advanced and agreed to that allows both sides to stay in these negotiations,” State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley said Tuesday. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered his thoughts on both what he's willing to contribute to the process, what he thinks he needs for his people out of the process, we would hope that the Palestinians would do the same thing.”

Crowley called on “both parties to continue to create conditions for the direct negotiations to continue.”

Please for once yet the Palestinians keep their word.

I have little hope that Israel should be so lucky, but maybe this will be the end of the pressure on Israel to engage in suicide by diplomacy.

Yahoo buys Israeli startup for $50M

Dapper's offices to remain in Israel, company expected to grow, founder says

Itai-smuskowitz
Published: 10.12.10, 08:12 / Israel Business

Another Israeli success story: Internet powerhouse Yahoo has decided to acquire Israeli startup company Dapper for about $50 million.

Following the deal, Dapper's Tel Aviv offices will turn into a new Yahoo development center in Israel, on top of Yahoo's research center in Haifa.

Dapper was established in 2006 by Eran Shir and Jon Aizen. To date, the company raised $10 million from various investors.

The company developed technology for automatic identification of content on websites, allowing developers to build various applications that match the content.

At this time, Dapper employees 35 employees, a number that is expected to grow according to Shir.

"I believe that we will have a wonderful journey with Yahoo," he said. "In the first phase we'll stay at the same offices, until we find a larger space that would be commensurate with the growth we are planning."

"Dapper's activities will continue to be based in Israel," he said

October 11, 2010

Palestinians quash PM's offer for renewed building freeze
By JPOST.COM STAFF
11/10/2010
Senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat rejects tying "racist demands of Netanyahu" renewed with settlement building freeze, Abbas spokesman also refuses to accept offer out of hand.

Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday stated that the Palestinian Authority unreservedly rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's offer of a renewed building freeze in the West Bank in exchange for PA recognition of Israel as the Jewish national home.

"We forcefully reject all these Israeli games," said Erekat. "The racist demands of Netanyahu cannot be tied to the request to cease building in the settlements for the purpose of establishing a state."

A spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas also rejected Netanyahu's offer to extend the settlement freeze in the territories for the PA's recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people.

"The topic of the Jewishness of the state is not connected at all to the issue [of the building freeze]," the spokesman said Monday.

Netanyahu had made the bold offer during his speech at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset earlier in the day.

In his speech, the prime minister challenged his Palestinian counterparts to continue the peace talks by saying he would initiate a cabinet proposal to renew a settlement moratorium if the PA would declare its recognition of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people.

Netanyahu's comments put an end to a couple of weeks of speculation regarding how he would deal with the moratorium issue.

He said that Palestinian recognition would be an important "confidence building measure" and would send an important positive message to the Israeli people of Palestinian intentions.

Netanyahu said that he sent this message to the Palestinians through a variety of channels.

October 08, 2010

MERF APPEARANCE

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
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

IDF kills two in Hebron involved in Beit Hagai killings

By JPOST.COM STAFF
10/08/2010 10:52

Video: Soldiers storm buildings with Hamas terrorists inside, kill two and arrest six others; two dead responsible for terror attack that killed four.


The IDF on Friday morning killed a senior West Bank Hamas operative and a low-level Hamas terrorist responsible for the the killing of four Israelis from the West Bank settlement of Beit Hagai on Route 60 in August.

IDF forces besieged several buildings in Hebron where Palestinian terror suspects were holed up inside on Friday morning, killing two of the suspects upon storming the house and arresting six others. The two dead were named as Nashaath al-Karmi originally from Tulkarm and Mamoun al-Natshe a low-level Hamas terrorist from Hebron.

The IDF reported no military causalities in the encounter.

The suspects were members of Hamas's Izzadine al-Kassam terror brigades and both of those killed were said by the IDF to have been involved in the terror attack on Route that killed four Israelis.

October 07, 2010

IDF will use attack dogs in future flotilla interceptions

By YAAKOV LAPPIN
07/10/2010
Decision follows intensive deliberations on how to improve boarding techniques following the bloody confrontation on Marvi Marmara.

The IDF's K9 Oketz Unit will be deployed in future interceptions of Gaza-bound ships or flotillas to assist soldiers in boarding the vessels, a military source said on Thursday.

The decision followed intensive deliberations by military chiefs on how to improve boarding techniques following the bloody confrontation on board the Marvi Marmara ship on May 31, in which Navy commandos were stabbed, beaten with poles, and beaten, and nine activists killed.

Boarding the ships has been identified by military planners as the most problematic stage in flotilla interceptions, and the Oketz unit is seen as a promising solution.

Video footage provided by the IDF of the Maravara raid shows naval commandos being assaulted by multiple attackers immediately after descending from a helicopter.

In future interceptions, specially trained dogs will be placed on the ships first in order to ensure that naval commandos can safely board.

The incorporation of the K9 unit will require dog trainers and their animals to train together with the commandos.

The Oketz Unit operates under the command of the IDF's General Staff, and trains dogs to take part in counter-terrorism missions, search and rescue tasks, and other specialized activities.

"The dogs are weapons in every sense - like snipers or tank shells - but they are biological weapons," the Yehdia website, an online military magazine, said in an article on the unit.

"They are animals that should be bonded with and trained for the missions they will face," the website added.

During his August testimony before the Turkel Commission, set up to investigate the raid on the Marmara, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi hinted that snipers would be used in future raids of ships carrying violent and armed individuals.

The IDF must use all tactics available to them to defeat these flotillas.

Using Oketz soldiers and their dogs is a good thing under the right conditions.

Using snipers who must be on the scene and allowed to shoot is a great thing, as a sniper I can tell you that a sniper is the greatest force multiplier available to commanders in the world.

Oren: US offered Israel incentives to encourage freeze


By JPOST.COM STAFF
07/10/2010
Envoy tells 'Washington Post' US came to Israel with number of suggestions that might enable gov't to pass a limited extension.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren reportedly said the US offered Israel "incentives" geared toward encouraging Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's cabinet to extend the recently expired settlement freeze.

In an interview with The Washington Post published on Wednesday, Oren said that the US "administration has come back to Israel with a number of suggestions - incentives if you would - that would enable the government to maybe pass a limited extension of 2 or 3 months."

I am afraid Bibi is going to tell Israel the American's made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

But the freeze and any extension of the freeze tells us all we need to know about Bibi, he does not believe that keeping Judea and Samaria is important to keep.

October 06, 2010

Loyalty oath to 'Jewish state' set to be approved


By JPOST.COM STAFF AND GIL HOFFMAN
06/10/2010
Changes to citizenship law would require new citizens to declare loyalty to Israel as "a Jewish and democratic state"; Braverman says decision would encourage efforts to delegitimize Israel around the world.

Ministers in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government were expected to approve changes in the Citizenship Law, requiring anyone wanting to become a citizen to swear allegiance to "the State of Israel - a Jewish and democratic state" on Wednesday.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said that, "What we demand from the Palestinians, we also need to demand of ourselves."

Once the government approves the changes, the Justice Ministry will put together a final draft of the bill which will then go before the Knesset for a vote.

If the changes are enacted, anyone who wants to become a citizen will be forced to say, "I declare that I will be a loyal citizen to the State of Israel - a Jewish and democratic state." Ironically, the largest group of new immigrants acquiring Israeli citizenship - those who fall under the law of return - will not be required to take the oath.

"Israel is the national state of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said. "This is a basic principle that guides the government in its policies, foreign and domestic. It is a cornerstone of Israeli legislation and is the expressed terminology of the Jewish, democratic state." The Prime Minister continued, "and it will appear in the declaration of loyalty for anyone who requests to become a citizen."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has similarly called for all Israeli Arabs to be required to take a similar loyalty oath, although the current proposal would not apply to those who are already Israeli citizens.

Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi came out against the proposed changes, saying that "Netanyahu's decision to force citizens to declare their loyalty to a Jewish Israel is a political ploy, not leadership, the goal of which is to enmesh the inferior status of Arabs into the law." Tibi continued, "there is no doubt that the Liebermanism is dictating the policy of this radical government."

Netanyahu had attempted to soften the wording of the proposed changes. However, the text approved on Wednesday is nearly identical to that proposed by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.

Decision angered ministers on Left and Arab MKs

Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman (Labor) called the decision "infuriating and irresponsible." He said it would encourage efforts to delegitimize Israel around the world.

Ta'al MK Ahmed Tibi said the legislation "sanctioned discrimination against Arabs and added that "no declaration can cancel the Palestinian narrative that has been accepted all over the world."

Israel Beiteinu praised the prime minister for the move, which a party spokesman said was fulfilling a promise Netanyahu had made to Israel Beiteinu when the coalition was formed.

"The obligation of every Israeli citizen to maintain Israel as a Jewish democratic state and even more so for people who are not citizens but want to be, is a fundamental and necessary need, especially when there are those who question [Israel's character]."

National Union MK Arye Eldad said he was glad Netanyahu realized that what he was asking of the Palestinians and the world, he had to also ask potential citizens of his own country. But he expressed concern that the prime minister was only advancing patriotic legislation in order to ease future moves toward withdrawing from territory and establishing a Palestinian state.

Why now?

What does it achieve?

Who must take the oath?

What happens to those that refuse to take the oath?

I favor an oath that would be worded so as to be rejected by the Haredi community.

But what of Israeli Arabs, in order for the oath to mean anything all citizens must be required to take it.

But what of the Palestinians that are not Israeli citizens and are our biggest internal problem.

I fear Bibi is offering this to the right wing and then he is going to either freeze construction in Judea and Samaria or even worse give our land away.

October 05, 2010

Israeli's Against Freeze

Telephone poll of a representative sample of adult Israelis (including Arab
Israelis) carried out by Dahaf for Channel Two TV on Tuesday 28 September in
the middle of a major Jewish holiday (Succoth) when many Israeli were not
home and broadcast today:
http://www.mako.co.il/news-channel2/Channel-2-Newscast/Article-090364fc4437b21004.htm

Should Israel agree to extend the freeze? Yes 39% No 54%
[Dahaf head Mina Tzemach noted that the poll was carried out before news of
American "goodies" in return for the extension of the freeze. On the other
hand, she did not mention possible problems with the poll as a result of it
having been carried out in the middle of a major holiday.].

If elections held today (expressed in Knesset seats)
Current Knesset seats in [brackets].
30 [28] Kadima
27 [27] Likud
14 [15] Yisrael Beiteinu
06 [13] Labor
[results for remaining parties not shown]

What party would you prefer in the coalition - Kadima or Yisrael Beiteinu?
Kadima 42% Yisrael Beiteinu 38%

Who do you support in the tension between DM Barak and COS Ashkenazi?
Barak 13% Ashkenazi 62%

Who do you believe in the conflict between Barak and Olmert?
Barak 23% Olmert 26%

October 04, 2010

Golda Was Correct, It's Blood They Smell

Dayan to Golda: If we can't evacuate, we'll leave wounded behind

On 37th anniversary of Yom Kippur War, Ynet releases minutes of top secret cabinet meeting held after first day of fighting. Heated debate depicts Israel's dire situation. Defense minister says Arabs looking to 'conquer Israel, finish Jews off'; Golda Meir: They smelled blood. IDF chief presents military options
Roi Mandel, Yaron Druckman

October 7, 1973. 2:50 pm. A little more than a day after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, then-prime minister Golda Meir and her cabinet hold a dramatic meeting. Then-defense minister Moshe Dayan discusses the fall of IDF positions, one after the other, in the Sinai Peninsula. "The canal line is lost," he says, and suggests a withdrawal to the Isthmus line, some 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) from the canal, while leaving behind the injured soldiers who cannot be evacuated. "Where we can evacuate – we will evacuate. In places we can't evacuate – we will leave the wounded. Those who make it – make it. If they decide to surrender, they'll surrender. We have to tell them, 'We can't reach you. Try to bust through or surrender.'"

The meeting's minutes, which were classified as "top secret," are being published for the first time by Ynet after being obtained from the State Archives to mark the war's 37th anniversary.

Dayan predicted that the international community would mock Israel and refer to it as a "paper tiger" after the country failed to sustain its initial attack despite having a military edge. Meir responded by saying, "I don’t understand one thing – I thought we would begin hitting them as soon as they cross the canal. What happened?"

Dayan said, "We lost tanks. There was artillery, our tanks were hit. The planes weren't able to approach because of the missiles. A thousand artillery barrels allowed the tanks to cross and prevented us from getting close. The planning and methodology was Russian. Three years of preparation."

Dayan spoke of hundreds of fatalities and numerous prisoners of war, and admitted he was wrong in his assessment of the enemy's objectives. "This is not the time for soul-searching. I underestimated the enemy's strength and miscalculated our forces' ability. The Arab fighters are much improved; they have many weapons. They hit our tanks with their personal rifles. The missiles serve as an umbrella, which our planes have a hard time bursting. I don’t know if a preemptive strike would have changed the picture significantly," he said.

"They (Arabs) want to go for the entire Land of Israel," Dayan said. Golda responded, "This is the second round since 1948." "It is a battle for the Land of Israel," Dayan declared, "The Arabs won’t stop the war, and if they agree to a ceasefire – they may resume (the fighting). If we withdraw from the Golan Heights, it won’t solve anything."

Golda added: "They have no reason not to continue. They smelled blood." Dayan said, "To conquer Israel, finish off the Jews."

Dayan continued with his pessimistic tone. "I'm certain that Jordan will join the fighting. We can't afford not to be prepared. A minimal level of preparation is required. We must prepare a force against a Jordanian attempt to invade the West Bank. They might allow terrorists to operate as well."

Golda suggested putting then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger into action, and Dayan said Israel should purchase 300 tanks form the Americans, adding, "We'll need more planes." Golda spoke of a tense meeting with IDF chief of staff at the time, David "Dado" Elazar. "Dado was sad," she said, "He said he hopes tonight will be a turning point."

Dayan concluded his briefing with a harsh statement, possibly alluding to the need to use other means to curb the threat. "The amount of weapons they have is effective. Our moral advantage is not enough in the face of such (an amount). The numbers are very crucial. Perhaps there are other ideas as to how we should operate in this situation. "

About an hour after the cabinet meeting began, IDF chief Dado entered the room. "We are facing a fateful decision. There is no room for mistakes here." He said the army had three options:


1. Deploy two divisions along a temporary line of defense, from which the army will launch counter-attacks. "I am not certain we will be able to hold the line and then attack."

2. Solidify IDF positions along the Isthmus line. "This line is exacting a heavy price."

3. "This option is risky. I consulted with members of the General Staff. They suggested we attack the canal and move forward." According to the plan, Avraham Eden (Bren) and Arik Sharon's divisions would cross the Suez Canal and destroy enemy forces. "It's a gamble, because these are the only two divisions between the canal and Tel Aviv. If we the attack on the canal is unsuccessful, we are left with three broken divisions, then the Iraqis and Algerians come and in two-three days the war is inside the Land of Israel."

Dado suggested a counter-attack, "Not on the canal, but on the concentration of (enemy) forces that have already crossed. Perhaps before morning comes, with 200-300 tanks and from the air, we can try to break the force that has crossed and then deploy along the line again. If it works, we're at a good starting point; if not, it's not fatal. We'll have enough strength to withdraw to the passages."

Minister Yigal Alon spoke of bombing deep in enemy territory, but Dayan estimated that bombing Damascus would not affect fighting at the front line. "We may hit oil, electricity, but nothing more. Every attack means more casualties," he said.

Golda was 100% correct when the enemies of the Jewish people small blood, they can not contain themselves and seek to finish off the Jewish people and Israel.

This was true in 1973 when she said it, it was true in 1948 when Israel fought five Arab armies to gain an independent Jewish State., It was true when Moshe lead us out of Egypt when Amalek attacked our old and weak.

It is also true today, the left that chases peace at any cost, smells our blood, that is why we are under attack by these useful idiots as they send flotillas against us to try to break the blockage into Gaza. A Gaza that is free of those evil Jews since Israel retreated from Gaza, they smell weakness which to our enemies smells like Jewish blood being split along the canal in 1973.

Which is why the White House is pushing Israel to stop building homes for Jews in moledit the heartland of biblical Israel, Obama and his so called Jews that assist him smell our blood and so they push against our weak Bibi for they know he is all show and no go.

Pray for Israel, for these are dangerous times.

October 03, 2010

Feet To The Fire

Pressure mounts on PM to reject US ‘benefits package’
By GIL HOFFMAN
04/10/2010
Netanyahu trying to drum up support among Likud cabinet members to extend settlement freeze in return for American promises; several ministers oppose deal; poll shows majority of Israelis support West Bank construction.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has begun efforts to persuade Likud cabinet members to support a deal with the US in which Israel would limit construction in Judea and Samaria for 60 days in return for American promises, Likud officials confirmed on Sunday.

While the proposal has not been finalized, Netanyahu’s associates have started making inquiries with the ministers, asking them to be flexible.

The benefits would reportedly include upgrading the IDF, letting the army remain in the Jordan Valley following an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and a promise not to ask Israel for a further moratorium.

But reports about ministers who were considering voting in favor of the deal forced the reportedly wavering ministers to issue flat denials on Sunday. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz already expressed opposition to restarting the construction freeze in a 7 a.m. radio interview and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon later followed suit.

Following those pledges, Netanyahu would have little to no chance of passing a proposal that would limit construction in the cabinet, security cabinet or septet. No votes have been scheduled ahead of this weekend’s key Arab League summit in any forum of ministers.

These Cabinet Ministers need to keep Bibi's feet to the fire, for on his own he will sell Israel down the river once again.

Abbas insists on settlement freeze before talks

'Israel refused to renew West Bank construction moratorium, and we could not continue the talks,' Palestinian president says following talks with Jordan's King Abdullah, but adds, 'We will continue to communicate with Americans'

AFP
Published: 10.03.10, 19:41 / Israel News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on Sunday that Israel should freeze settlement building before he returns to peace talks, a statement in Jordan said.

"Of course we will not stop contacts with the Americans," the palace statement quoted him as saying following talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

"We will continue to communicate with them to find a solution to the Israeli settlements problem, which should stop before we go back the negotiations," the palace quoted Abbas as saying.

The US-backed negotiations, which began on September 2, have been on the brink of collapse since Israel refused to extend a 10-month moratorium on new settler homes in the West Bank that expired a week ago.

"Israel refused to renew a freeze on the settlement building, and we could not continue the talks. So now, there is a problem and we will follow up on through Arab coordination," Abbas added.

So once again the Arabs put conditions on talks.

You all know my position is that Israel has never had any negotiations go our way, so why get involved in talks.

October 01, 2010

MERF APPEARANCE

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
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

Bibi Is Weak

PM: Palestinians must relax conditions

Netanyahu tells his advisors in closed talks, 'Everyone knows that moderate and restrained construction in Judea and Samaria in the coming year will not affect the peace map.' Meanwhile, Likud officials say will back extension in settlement freeze in exchange for 'significant' US incentive package
Attila Somfalvi

PM showing no intention to freeze settlement construction again: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday told his advisors in a closed conversation, "It wasn't easy for us to freeze new construction in Judea and Samaria for 10 months, but I met all of our commitments to the Palestinians, the American administration and the international community.

"We did it in order to give Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) the option to enter the talks without preconditions. Now I expect the Palestinians to relax their conditions and stay in the talks."

The prime minister added, "My government has implemented a long list of one-sided gestures in order to restart the peace talks. Unfortunately, the Palestinians are only toughening their stance. For 17 years they held negotiations with the Israeli government while the construction continued, including during the last year of the previous government.

"Everyone knows that moderate and restrained construction in Judea and Samaria in the coming year will not affect the peace map in any way. So the international community must call on the Palestinians to remain in the peace talks. This is a Palestinian interest just like it's our interest."

US President Barack Obama met Friday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who briefed him on the recent developments in the Middle East. The White House expressed its disappointment with the decision not to extend the settlement freeze.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that while the administration with disappointed with the decision, it did not change the Americans' determination to continue the peace process. We know there will be obstacle along the way, he said, but we will continue to lead the direct talks.

Meanwhile, senior Likud officials, who last week expressed their strong objection to any extension of the West Bank settlement construction freeze, told Ynet on Friday that they would support a two-month extension in exchange for loan guarantees from the United States.

"In light of the American guarantee package and in light of what Israel can get from the United States for two additional months of freeze, chances are that when the time comes we won't oppose an extension of the freeze, if such a demand is presented by the prime minister," one of the officials said.

Are they joking, we will sell our right to the land in exchange for a loan guarantee.

Bibi is folding, and watch how fast he is going to fold.

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