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February 29, 2012

Israeli R&D exports set records

In 2010, Israeli companies exported technological services, licensing agreements, patents, etc. for a total of $9.5 billion.

Despite complaints about declining educational levels, the National Council for Research and Development reported this week that Israel is among the leading exporters of know-how and technology in the world.

The statement is confirmed by released data from the Science and Technology Ministry – under which the R&D Council operates – and the Central Bureau of Statistics. The report also shows that in recent years, Israel has increased its investment in binational cooperation on civilian R&D.

In 2010, Israeli companies exported technological services, licensing agreements on technological information, patents and the like for a total of $9.5 billion. This figure was still 3.4 percent lower than in 2009 but constituted a 17% increase compared to 2007.

In 2008, technological R&D constituted 4.6% of the gross domestic product – which is proportionately higher than in the US (0.6%), Germany (1.5%) and the UK (1.7%). The world’s highest rate – at 14.3% – was in Ireland.

The main exporters of these services and products were foreign companies with branches here, mostly via R&D centers in computerization and research and development, the council said. Most of this activity receives investment from financial interests abroad, foreign governments and investors, and by selling R&D abroad. The rate of foreign financing for R&D is among the highest in the world – 29%, compared to 10.7% in the European Union.

Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the council, said that while Israel is dependent on financing by other countries to conduct its R&D, such know-how is accomplished by Israelis working for foreign companies with Israeli branches and sent abroad.

Nearly 800 Israelis and companies have received grants totaling over 500 million euros in recent years.


February 28, 2012

A Proud Day

FM appoints first Ethiopian-born ambassador

Belaynesh Zevadia, who made aliyah from Ethiopia as a teen, appointed Israel's envoy to Addis Ababa
Attila Somfalvi

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has appointed Belaynesh Zevadia as Israel's envoy to Ethiopia on Tuesday. She is the first member of Israel's Ethiopian community to be named an ambassador.

Zebadiah, 43, was also the first Ethiopian-born Foreign Ministry cadet. She was previously stationed in Illinois and Texas. She has a Masters in African Studies and International Relations.

Lieberman noted that Zebadiah's promotion sent "a message of anti-discrimination."

"Such an appointment holds a special significance, especially at a time when the Israeli society is fighting racism directed at the Ethiopian community."

Immigrated as teen, returning as envoy

The new ambassador, who made aliyah when she was 17, told Ynet: "I don't have the words to describe how excited and proud I am to be the first representative (of the Ethiopian community) to become an ambassador.

"I immigrated from Ethiopia as a teen, and I'm coming back as an ambassador. It's a great honor for me and my family, and I want to thank the foreign minister and the ministry staff for their confidence in me. This is proof that Israel gives a chance to everyone, even those who have made aliyah."

This is a proud day, for both Ambassador Belaynesh Zevadia and Israel.

We have many fools in Israel, but thank G-D these fools are a minority of idiots.

We the majority, that are proud of our brothers and sisters who through their suffering and many paying with their lives to make Aliyah from Ethiopia, to show their love for the land of Israel.

We applaud, the fact that the Ethiopian community has the highest percentage of it's young men volunteer to go into combat units in the IDF.

We now applaud, the first Ethiopian Ambassador and look forward to many more in the years to come.

We have a country to be proud of.

Ultra-Orthodox say they won’t be drafted into IDF

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be forced to choose between the religious and secular parties in his coalition as the former claim they will oppose any law forcing ultra-Orthodox youth to serve in the IDF.

Only a handful of Haredi youth choose to join the IDF, but with the Tal Law struck down, things could change.

Ultra-Orthodox parties inside Israel’s hardline government say they will oppose any new law that would apply Israel’s compulsory draft to ultra-Orthodox men.

Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court overturned a law that has helped tens of thousands of religious men avoid military service and pursue state-sponsored religious studies instead. That privilege has created widespread resentment among Israel’s secular majority.

But in a rare show of unity, ultra-Orthodox parties that belong to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government have joined ranks against any revisions that would expose their supporters to the draft.

As Netanyahu tries to find a new system, he could be forced to choose between religious and secular parties in his coalition.

Do these parties want to go to elections at this time?

Israel needs to find an answer to this problem, that is good for the State, IDF and all of the people of Israel.

I strongly, support Torah study.

I strongly, support IDF service.

I strongly, support a combination of the two.

I strongly feel a combination of the two would strengthen the religious because it would bring strength to their convictions. If the religious exposed some of the secular Jews in the IDF to the Torah in their daily lives it might bring more Jews to Torah.

We all need to serve.

I strongly support competitive testing of the ultra orthodox that seek a deferment from IDF service. The top 10% get to serve by studying Torah. The rest either go into the IDF or national service for 3 years.

February 26, 2012

Treason Again

Arab MKs: Harming al-Aqsa will lead to global jihad

Arab MKs spark fury back in Israel over participation in International Conference for Defense of Jerusalem in Qatar; claims Israel is 'Judaizing Jerusalem.' Website lists them as Palestinian representatives
Moran Azulay

On the one hand they are members of Israel 's Knesset, on the other hand, they are taking part in the International Conference for Defense of Jerusalem in Qatar as representatives of Palestine.

Right wing Knesset Members on Sunday attacked Arab-Israeli lawmakers for taking part in the International Conference for Defense of Jerusalem, which is being held in Doha. The official website lists the Arab MKs as representatives from Palestine, and one might be mistaken in thinking they are members of the Palestinian parliament.

MK Miri Regev (Likud) said that the immunity of the Knesset Members taking part in the conference should be removed. "There is no doubt that the Knesset speaker needs to realize that Arab MKs are a fifth column in the Knesset. Trojan horses have no place in the Knesset," she added.

"This is not the first time that Arab MKs speak out against the State of Israel. I suggest they be sent out on a VIP plane to serve Hamas and other terrorists." She also called for those MKs to be charged with incitement.

"In light of the conference I intend to hold an urgent Knesset meeting in order to prevent the lawlessness employed by the Arab MKs," Regev added.

Yisrael Beiteinu also criticized the Arab MKs, MK Alex Miller noted: "Yet again we see how matters of State take second place and all their energy is focused against the sovereignty of the State. The absurd situation where MKs work against the State day and night must be nipped in the bud."

MK Talab El-Sana (United Arab List-Ta'al), who is taking part in the conference, explained why he decided to go to Doha: "The Doha conference focuses on the matter of Jerusalem and Israel's policy is to Judaize Jerusalem, carry out a transfer of Palestinians and damage the holy sites - including al-Aqsa," he said.

"The conference is being held under the initiative and sponsorship of the Arab League and we will present Israel's systematic policy, through government associations, to undermine the existence of the al-Aqsa mosque… Al-Aqsa is in danger and it is the responsibility of the Arab nations and Islam to save it before it's too late. Harming the mosque will lead to a war of global Islamic jihad." He also warned against a third Intifada.

MK Ahmad Tibi (United List Ta'al), who is also taking part in the conference, told the Qatari news agency that the Judaization of Jerusalem is a blatant violation of international law.

Tibi added: "Israel is an occupying power in east Jerusalem and withholds the Palestinian people's freedom of religion." Representatives from 70 countries are taking part in the conference, as well as a representative on behalf of the UN secretary general.

When is enough, going to be enough?

When are the Cowards in the Knesset and the security services going to end this?

Arrest them all remove their immunity and place them on trial for treason.

But no we allow this wound to fester, we have Jews attacked for the crime of being Jews in Haifa and now we are saying it wasn't nationalistic in motivation.

I want a strong proud Jewish State, not what we have now.

But I know it is only our leaders that are so weak the majority of Israelis are proud and strong we just need leaders that reflect, we the people.

February 25, 2012

Armed Jews, Don't Get Beat Up

Haifa: 4 suspects arrested for 'assault of soldiers'
Suspects approached 2 soldiers near Rambam hospital, asked if they were Jews, and attacked them with clubs and rocks.

Police arrested four Israel-Arab suspects Saturday for assaulting two off-duty soldiers in Haifa on Friday night.

The two arrived at the Rambam Medical Center late on Friday night, after one of them felt ill.

"They parked their vehicle at the entrance to the hospital. Another vehicle stopped in front of them. One of the occupants was drunk," an uncle of one of the soldiers was quoted as saying in a Channel 2 report. "The men in the vehicle asked the two men if they were Jews. They started assaulting them with clubs, rocks, and planks of wood they found in the area," the uncle added.

"My nephew was hit on the head, before being forced to lie on the floor. One of the attackers etched something on his head with a sharp object," the uncle said.

The attack was only stopped when hospital security guards arrived on the scene, and chased the attackers.

Four suspects were arrested on Saturday in connection with the incident.

Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino was briefed on the incident, and will closely monitor the investigation, police said. He ordered local police chiefs to ensure that all of the suspects are arrested and prosecuted.

"He sees it as a very serious incident," police added.

"The attackers and the soldiers had no prior meeting, and there was no provocation," the uncle told Channel 2.

Both men are hospitalized at the Rambam Medical Center. One suffered spinal chord injuries, while the second sustained head injuries in the attack.

The Rambam Medical Center said its guards wrote down the license plate of the car used by the attackers and passed the details on to police.

But yet the State of Israel refuses to allow more Jews own guns for protection.

Let Jews be armed and protect themselves.

In an other article the State was crying that Israel is flooded with people owning guns without permits. That is because you the State refuse to allow Jews the freedom to own guns in our own country.

Shame on Israel.

February 24, 2012

Security forces raid Temple Mount following riots

Hundreds of Muslim worshippers hurl stones at police, Border Guard forces in response to plans by right-wing elements to visit Temple Mount. Security forces break into compound; dozens refuse to clear out
Yair Altman

Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Temple Mount turned into a scene of violent riots as protesters hurled stones at security forces who in turn broke into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Police dispersed the protesters using shock grenades. Several officers were injured.

Hundreds of Muslim worshippers at the Mughrabi Gate hurled stones at police and Border Guard forces who raided the compound to evacuate them. No injuries or arrests were reported as of yet. Dozens are currently refusing to leave the mosque.

The riots have caused a stir in the Arab world. Al-Jazeera carried a live broadcast from the Temple Mount. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Hussein of the al-Aqsa mosque said: "We demand that no settlers, radicals or soldiers enter the mosque to avoid friction." He claimed that the Israeli government is responsible for the situation and will "bear the consequences."

On Thursday, Jerusalem Police declared a heightened state of alert at the Old City due to mounting tensions over calls by right-wing elements and members of the Temple Mount Faithful group to visit the site.

Several cases of stone throwing were recorded in the Old City in the past week. The first incident saw police arrest 18 protesters suspected of rioting after hurling chairs at security forces. Several days later, an officer was injured when Arabs hurled stones at him. Police arrested three suspects.

Tensions are running high following an ad announcing a Temple Mount visit by Likud member Moshe Feiglin. Fearing riots police closed the area to Jewish visitors.

All of us should take a moment and reflect on the errors of the 6 Day war, once for a short glorious time our flag flew from the Temple Mount and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron.

But then in a leftist fantasy, the flags were taken down, and we surrendered sovereignty over key parts of our land.

We must stand tall, and never give in to our enemies.

February 23, 2012

War Is The Answer

'Iran set to expand nuclear activity in mountain bunker'
Diplomats: Iran "working toward full installation" of uranium enrichment centrifuges at underground facility, "the time when Iran's efforts to build a bomb will become immune to a strike is fast approaching."

VIENNA - Iran is believed to be carrying out preparations to expand nuclear activity deep inside a mountain, diplomats say, in a further sign of defiance in the face of intensifying Western pressure to curb its sensitive uranium enrichment drive.

Increased capacity at the Fordow underground site would probably heighten Western suspicion of Iran's intentions, after it last month started refining uranium there to a level that cuts the time it would need for any nuclear weapons bid.

A senior team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) failed again this week to get the Islamic state to start addressing their mounting concerns about its nuclear work and returned empty handed to Vienna after two days of talks in Iran.

The setback increased worries about a downward spiral towards conflict between the Islamic Republic and the West, and sent oil prices to a nine-month high.

The UN agency is now putting the finishing touches to its next report on Iran, expected to include information on the Tehran talks as well as more detail on the status of the Fordow plant near the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom.

"I think we will see a jump in the potential state of readiness of the facility," one Vienna-based envoy said.

Fordow is of particular concern for the West and Israel as Iran is shifting the most controversial aspect of its nuclear work, refining uranium to a level that takes it significantly closer to potential bomb material, to the site.

Estimated to be buried beneath 80 meters (265 feet) of rock and soil, it gives Iran better protection against any Israeli or US military strikes.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned that the Islamic state's nuclear research could soon pass into what he called a "zone of immunity," protected from outside disruption.

In a report issued on Thursday, the International Crisis Group think-tank said prospects for a military confrontation erupting in the long-running nuclear row, though still unlikely, appeared "higher than ever."

"As Israel sees it, the nuclear program represents a serious threat; the time when Iran's putative efforts to build a bomb will become immune to a strike is fast approaching; and military action in the near future - perhaps as early as this year - therefore is a real possibility," it said.

A Western official said Fordow was a very sensitive issue: "I'm not quite sure the Iranians understand they are playing with fire there."

Iran last month said it had started to refine uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, compared with the 3.5 percent normally used for nuclear power plants, at Fordow.

Soon afterward, it doubled production capacity to a total of more than 600 uranium enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, diplomats have told Reuters.

Iran now appears to be making preparations for a further increase in the number of the cylindrical machines, spinning at supersonic speeds to increase the concentration of the fissile U-235 isotope, at the facility.

"They are working towards full installation," said another diplomat in the Austrian capital. "But they are not installed and ready to operate yet."

Nuclear bombs require uranium enriched to 90 percent, but Western experts say much of the effort required to get there is already achieved once it reaches 20 percent concentration, shortening the time needed for any nuclear weapons "break-out".

'Iran has yet to decide on whether or not to weaponize nuclear program'

Olli Heinonen, a former head of safeguards inspections at the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, said he believed its next report would include information about the progress in setting up the required infrastructure for enrichment at Fordow.

But diplomats said they expected Iran to mainly keep using old-generation centrifuges, not the newer and more efficient models which it has tried for several years to develop.

"I don't have any indications that cascades of new machines are ready to be operated," one of them said.

Neither Iranian officials nor officials at the Vienna-based IAEA, which regularly inspects Iranian nuclear sites including Fordow, were available for comment.

The United States and its allies say Iran is trying to develop the means to make atomic bombs. The Islamic Republic maintains that its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and isotopes for medical treatment.

Iran said last year that it would transfer its highest-grade uranium refinement work to Fordow from an above-ground research and development facility at its main enrichment plant at Natanz, and sharply boost capacity.

It says it will use 20 percent-enriched uranium to convert into fuel for a research reactor making isotopes to treat cancer patients, but Western officials say they doubt Iran has the capability to do that on an industrial scale.

In addition, they say, Fordow's capacity - up to 3,000 centrifuges - is too small to produce the fuel needed for nuclear power plants, but ideal for yielding smaller amounts of high-enriched product typical of a nuclear weapons program.

Western officials believe Iran has not yet decided whether it will indeed "weaponize" enrichment, but rather is seeking now solely to establish the industrial and scientific capacity to do so if needed for military and security contingencies.

Iran disclosed the existence of Fordow to the IAEA only in September 2009, at least two years after construction began, after learning that Western spy services had detected it.

80 meters deep inside a mountain, lays the future of the world and the possible destruction G-D forbid of Israel.

If Libya warranted a war, which I must say I was against, for sure Iran warrants a real war.

But after two failed wars, does the USA has the stomach for a massive war?

Will Obama launch such a war, I doubt it.

If a Republican is the next President, will they take the country to war, I don't know.

The real question is can America fight a war like we did in WW2, can we forget stupid PC rules and fight to destroy our enemy.

For surely if Iran gets the bomb, they will seek to destroy Israel and then American cities as well.

February 22, 2012

Yes, the IAF can

Aharon Lapidot

The New York Times published a grim outlook this week on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The article’s bottom line was that such an operation would be far beyond Israel’s capabilities. The distance is too far, the article stated. There are too many targets, too much fortification and too much Iranian anti-aircraft defense. The operation would require too many planes, 100 by the article’s estimate, that would have to fly over hostile territory, and Israel has too few mid-air refueling tankers and insufficient bunker busting ammunition.

So what did the New York Times do here? They took all the public information, like the number of the Air Force’s planes, got a map and marked the target’s location and distance. They then made their assessment of Iranian fortifications, and “did the math.”

While it makes for adequate journalism, their calculations are too simplistic. Their logic is that 1+1=2. But the IAF operates by a different math - in the IAF’s world 1+1=3. The New York Times article failed to factor in the IAF’s operational wisdom, its use of unexpected methods and forces or the guile and subterfuge that makes its operations such astonishing successes, often leaving the world slack-jawed. This works in the same way that ordinary household ingredients can be transformed into something entirely different by an expert chef.

One example of this is the strike that launched the Six-Day War in 1967. On paper, the operation was impossible to carry out: too many targets requiring use of almost every available aircraft (some 200 jets) in the attack of dozens of airfields in Egypt and Syria. Regardless, in one day – three hours in fact – the IAF wiped out some 400 enemy aircraft and achieved total aerial supremacy.

Operation Entebbe too, appeared impossible on paper, and included a refueling stop far away from home (in Nairobi, Kenya). The airstrike on the PLO headquarters in Tunisia took place 1,280 miles from Israel - which is even further than Iran - not to mention the Iraqi nuclear reactor strike, over unknown territory, or the strike on the Syrian nuclear facility (according to foreign reports).

Without delving into whether Israel should or shouldn’t attack Iran, or if it could deal with the potential fallout of such an action, and with all due respect for the New York Times (and plenty of respect is due), I believe that if there is one thing that the IAF has taught us is that when it decides to undertake a mission - it can get it done.

And another thing: the very possibility of an Israeli attack is a powerful and intimidating card for the U.S., and that is before a single F-15 has left the ground.

Israel to US: Challenge Iran to end nuclear program at once

Israel delivers strongly worded message to U.S., following comments advising Israel not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities • Defense Minister Ehud Barak: We are responsible for our own decisions concerning our future.

Shlomo Cesana, Lior Yacoby, Yoni Hirsch and News Agencies

Israeli F-15i combat aircraft. Report in U.S. says Israel may not have what it takes to launch a successful attack.

Israel on Monday demanded that the U.S. challenge Iran to immediately put an end to its nuclear program while the U.S., for its part, urged Israel to allow sanctions against Iran to do the job and cease planning for a military strike.

The exchange occurred in a meeting between U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, one of several that U.S. government officials have recently held with their Israeli counterparts in ongoing discussions concerning the Iranian issue. On his visit to Israel this week, Donilon also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is scheduled to travel to Washington next month where he will meet U.S. President Barack Obama on March 5, according to a White House statement.

Israeli officials clarified that as long as Iran does not halt its nuclear program entirely, action must be taken now to stop it from progressing any further. “The conversation covered a broad spectrum of topics that relate to our ties as well as a variety of issues concerning the entire region,” Barak said after his meeting with Donilon. Barak pointed out that Israel’s ties with the U.S. involve those of “sovereign countries that are ultimately responsible for their own decisions and futures.”

Israeli government officials believe Iran is using diversionary tactics - such as agreeing to talks with Western countries - to stall for time and allow it to advance its nuclear program. The U.S. position is that there is still time for options - other than military action - to run their course.

Meanwhile, Iran continues flouting the international community’s request for greater transparency about its nuclear program and continues to play war games. As U.N. nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran on Sunday for talks with Iranian officials about how far the country’s controversial nuclear program has advanced, Iran’s army began a drill to test the defenses of its nuclear facilities against an aerial assault. The four-day exercise - code-named “God’s revenge” - is said to be testing advanced anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as artillery, radar, and management and control systems.

As International Atomic Energy Agency officials met with Iranian officials, Iran announced that in the coming months it intended to replace the core of a reactor in one of its nuclear facilities near Tehran with a more advanced version. In the same statement, the Iranian government spokesperson said that Iran continues to make important strides in its nuclear capability.

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said the visiting U.N. team has no plans to inspect the country’s nuclear facilities but will only hold talks with officials in Tehran. On Monday, Iranian radio said the U.N. team had asked to visit a military complex outside Tehran that has been suspected as a secret weapons-making location.

Ramin Mehmanparast said the IAEA experts are holding discussions Tuesday in Tehran to “accelerate” cooperation with the U.N. watchdog. He says this cooperation is at its “best” level. The two-day IAEA visit, which started Monday, is the second in less than a month by the U.N. team amid growing concerns over alleged Iranian weapons experiments .

Iran also said it would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying on Tuesday.

“Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi told Fars news agency.

Following Iran’s announcement on Sunday that it was halting shipments of crude oil to Britain and France, Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said on Monday that the country would halt oil shipments to other European countries if they moved forward with sanctions against Iran. The European Union imposed an embargo on oil imports from Iran, to start from July 1.

Qassemi warned the price of crude oil could reach $150 per barrel. On Monday, the price-per-barrel reached a nine-month high of more than $103.

Meanwhile, the Yomiuri newspaper in Japan, citing unidentified sources, said Japan and the U.S. reached an agreement at talks last week about the size of cuts to crude imports from Iran, with a formal deal expected by the end of this month.

Avoiding sanctions is essential to protect the Japanese financial sector’s operations abroad, but cutting oil imports could pose a risk to Japan’s economy. Reliance on oil imports has grown since a 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima radiation crisis, leading to most nuclear reactors at Japanese power plants being shut down.

“We are closely negotiating with the United States and are moving forward toward mutual understanding, but it is not the case that we have reached a conclusion,” Trade Minister Yukio Edano told reporters.

Iran, the biggest oil producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, denies Western suspicions that its nuclear program has military goals, saying it is for purely peaceful purposes.

At the same time that the U.S. government focuses on diplomatic efforts and sanctions, it is also trying to persuade Israel not to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The New York Times reported on Monday that Israel would not be able to successfully strike Iran on its own, saying that “its pilots would have to fly more than 1,000 miles across unfriendly airspace, refuel in the air en route, fight off Iran’s air defenses, attack multiple underground sites simultaneously - and use at least 100 planes.”

According to The New York Times, that assessment is supported by a large part of the U.S. military establishment, many of whom point out that a strike on nuclear facilities in Iran would require much more than the surgical strike Israel carried out against Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 and the 2007 attack on a nuclear reactor in Syria that foreign media have attributed to Israel.

The report explained the practical difficulties involved in such a strike, and said there are “three potential routes [to reach Iran]: to the north over Turkey, to the south over Saudi Arabia or taking a central route across Jordan and Iraq.” It added that military experts say the third choice - over Jordan and Iraq - would be the best path, since Iraq has had no air defense systems in place since U.S. forces left the country last year.

The next problem, says the article, is distance. Although the Israel Air Force possesses F-15i and F-16i combat aircraft, they will not be able to fly to Iran without undertaking complicated refueling operations in midair, and it is not certain that Israel has enough airborne refueling planes (tankers) to fulfill that task. Even if they do have enough tankers, the Times reported, additional combat aircraft would be required for protection during refueling.

Aside from Iranian anti-aircraft systems, The New York Times article cites other obstacles to an aerial strike on Iran, such as the fortified bunkers that house some of its nuclear facilities. Although Israel does reportedly have U.S. manufactured “bunker buster” bombs, it is unclear how far underground they can penetrate.

February 21, 2012

Is This A Joke

Officials in J'lem slam deal to end Adnan's hunger strike
Liberman accuses Arab MKs of representing terror groups due to their support of Islamic Jihad member Adnan; Likud MK wants Knesset discussion over deal between the state and Palestinian prisoner.

Officials in Jerusalem reacted angrily Tuesday to a deal between the state and Palestinian prisoner and Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan, who agreed to end his hunger strike if Israel completed a criminal investigation against him.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman criticized Arab MKs for their support of a Palestinian prisoner who is also a member of militant terror organization that calls for armed conflict with Israel, accusing them of representing such terrorist groups.

"I hear about Arab MKs from all sides standing at the head of demonstrations in support of a terrorist from Islamic Jihad on hunger strike," Liberman said at an Israel Beiteinu faction meeting in Jerusalem. "Still, I don't see one of them trying to ringing any bells about the murder of thousands in Syria."

"Who do they represent?" Liberman asked.

Liberman was referring to Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who was arrested December 17, 2011 but was never charged. Adnan agreed on Tuesday to end his hunger strike if Israel completed a criminal investigation by April 17. Israel also agreed that if no new evidence was raised in the case against Adnan, the state would discontinue his administrative detention.

"This is treason in the Arab nation, treason against the citizens of Syria and the State of Israel," Liberman commented.

Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon warned that the deal set a dangerous precedent, and called for an immediate Knesset debate on the matter.

Likud MK Danon said Israel had “capitulated to terrorism" adding that "this deal renders the Israeli values system meaningless.”

Adnan has been hunger-striking for 66 days. The announcement of the deal, which was made by Adnan's lawyer, came less than an hour before a scheduled High Court of Justice hearing on his petition demanding that he be charged or released.

In its request, the state presented the court with a copy of an agreement signed with Adnan's attorney, Jawad Bolous, which says that after the matter was brought before the attorney-general, the state agreed to offset the days in which Adnan was held under arrest in order that a criminal investigation could take place, and transfer them to his administrative detention.

Danon said the state "should not have a sign a deal with a terrorist, and should not give preferential treatment."

Reuters, Joanna Paraszscuk and Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

Israel caves to terrorist once again.

A terrorist in jail refuses to eat, so what?

The terrorist support staff in the Knesset start making trouble and Israel caves in.

I say let him starve himself to death if he wants.

Who cares?

Only the supporters of terrorism and enemies of Israel.

February 20, 2012

Ammunition Hill faces one last battle – for survival

Prime minister vows to find budget to keep historic landmark open • Jerusalem site, which saw one of the bloodiest battles during the Six-Day War, houses museum and memorial for fallen soldiers, but now faces prospect of being shut down for good.
Yori Yalon and Shlomo Cesana

Ammunition Hill, a historic landmark where Israelis learn about IDF heritage, may have to be shut down.
A week after the NGO operating the Ammunition Hill landmark in northern Jerusalem announced that the site will have to be shut down because of a budget shortfall, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that he would not allow the site to “be closed down.”

Speaking at the weekly cabinet session, Netanyahu said that Israel could not turn its back on its war heroes and was indebted to them. “One of the things they deserve is the upkeep of their heritage of bravery; that is why I have had a conversation with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on this issue,” Netanyahu told his ministers. He said both he and Steinitz would “find the necessary budget so that Ammunition Hill can continue to operate.” According to estimates, the site requires a monthly budget of NIS 250,000 ($66,000).

Ammunition Hill, an array of bunkers and trenches in northern Jerusalem, saw some of the fiercest fighting during the Six-Day War, when IDF paratroopers and other forces engaged the Jordanian Arab Legion in the battle over Jerusalem. It has since served as a memorial and a museum. The site has over the years become a symbol of IDF heroism and a major stop for many school field trips. An estimated 200,000 people visit the site each year.

The operators of the site reacted to Netanyahu’s comments by saying they had yet to hear of any new funding for the site. “Unfortunately, we have been constantly hearing promises and proclamations in the media, but we have yet to be granted the budget necessary for running the site,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Katri Maoz, the site’s director-general, said Monday. “It is beyond comprehension that we have actually reached this situation, but unfortunately we had no choice but to shut down the site until the proper funding arrives.”

The committee running the site will officially cease operations at 5 p.m. Monday, following a military induction ceremony for the Givati Brigade. Immediately after the event, the site operators plan to stage a march -- which they are calling the “Paratroopers’ Walk of Shame” -- of relatives of those who fought there.

Allon Weld, a former paratrooper officer who runs the site and is the son of a soldier who died at the site, said the walk would end in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence, where participants would symbolically hand back the flag that is currently hoisted at Ammunition Hill.

“The walk will be a noble, quiet and respectful walk,” Weld said. “It is not designed to stir provocation, but rather it draws on the noble heritage that has been passed down by our parents.”

The New Egypt

Egyptians claim Israeli goods cause disease, infertility

Vaccinations smuggled into Egypt are infecting chickens with viruses, while Israeli denim causes infertility, officials, media say
Roi Kais

An Egyptian Health Ministry official said that chemicals smuggled from Israel are infecting his country's poultry with dangerous viruses, Ynet has learned Monday.

Osama Selim, the head of Egypt's veterinary authority, has called on the People's Assembly to press the local poultry growers' association to fight the use of illegally imported vaccinations and blood serum, which he claimed are exposing the poultry to disease and threaten public health. He added that he does not rule out the possibility of a biological war with the Jewish state.

Dr. Suhair Hassan, a preventive veterinary medicine official, told the assembly's Health Committee on Sunday that a study conducted at some 200 farms found that 75% percent of poultry were treated with Israeli products, which often cause them to contract viral diseases and the bird flu. In some cases the chemicals lowered egg production or caused the animals to die.

But poultry is not the only target of Israeli sabotage, sources in Egypt claim.

"The Truth" panel accuses Israel of poisoning goods

A television show called "The Truth," broadcast on the Darim channel, launched a media campaign earlier this month aiming to prevent the entrance of Israeli products to Sinai after learning that they "cause cancer and infertility."

Several of the "offending" products featured over the course of the show included chocolate, coffee, biscuits and yoghurt. All of these goods are commonly smuggled through the border crossings.

'Israeli jeans cause infertility'

A member of the Sawarka Bedouin tribe, Muhammad al-Mani'i, who was interviewed on the show, also accused Israel of manufacturing "toxic" jeans that cause infertility. He claimed the Jewish state sells them to Arab countries reduce population growth.

The tribesman said that the denim pants are equipped with belts that contain a magnet, which is the source of their toxic powers.

Al-Mani'i accused the "Zionist entity" of plotting to spread disease among the Bedouins by distributing its products in Sinai markets.

He said that the residents prefer to buy foreign products because they think they are of better quality than the local ones.

"The residents buy Israeli water because the water we have in Sinai is salty," he said. "They buy the Israeli soap because it foams better than Egyptian soap."

A spokesman for the Sinai Revolutionaries movement, Mohammed Hendy, said on the show that Israeli goods are sold unhindered under the police's eyes.

He called on the Bedouins to boycott the products.

"We must understand that the Zionist entity is the one who killed our sons and robbed us of our territory," he said.

"The Israeli products contain lethal poison," the show's host concluded. "It is possible that you don't feel it now, but you cannot escape feeling it in the future.

"Israel continues to be an enemy that targets Egypt regardless of the agreements between the two countries, because it has its eye on the country."

The newest "blood libel", it is clear from this that forces inside Egypt want to drag Egypt back to the dark ages.

This is hardly a surprise to readers of my blog, we have been saying this is the likely outcome of the revolt in Egypt from the start.

I am afraid in the next 5 years we will see a war between Egypt and Israel.

February 19, 2012

Trouble in Palestinian paradise?

Hamas, Fatah feud over political platform of gov't
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 02/19/2012 19:45
Abbas: Unity gov't will honor all agreements with Israel; Hamas says it will have nothing to do with PA president's program.

A dispute has erupted between Hamas and Fatah over the political platform of a Palestinian unity government, Palestinian sources reported Sunday.

The dispute came as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal made preparations to hold another meeting in Cairo later this week to discuss the formation of a unity government and the implementation of the recent Qatari-brokered reconciliation agreement between the two sides.

On Saturday, Abbas told the Italian consul-general in Jerusalem during a meeting in Ramallah that a Palestinian unity government, which would be established under the terms of the Qatari-brokered deal, would abide by the PLO's political program.

Abbas said that the unity government would also honor all agreements that were signed between the PLO and Israel, including the Oslo Accords.

Under the terms of the reconciliation deal, the unity government would be headed by Abbas and its main mission would be to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections and rebuild the Gaza Strip.

Abbas's statements about the political agenda of the unity government drew sharp criticism from Hamas, whose leaders rushed Sunday to deny the PA president's remarks.

Hamas does not want to be seen as having recognized the Oslo Accords or Israel's right to exist by agreeing to the formation of a unity government with Abbas's Fatah faction.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri emphasized that the proposed unity government "would have nothing to with Abbas's political program, which we categorically reject," Abu Zuhri said.

He stressed that Hamas remained opposed to negotiations with Israel or to making concessions on Palestinian rights, first and foremost the "right of return" for millions of Palestinian refugees to their former villages inside Israel.

Abu Zuhri said that country to Abbas's statements, the unity government would be a temporary government with no political platform.

Ismail Radwan, another Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, said that only an elected government would decide on political matters in the future, including the peace process with Israel.

"The [unity] transitional government's task would be restricted to rebuilding the Gaza Strip and rebuilding the Gaza Strip," Radwan said. "After we hold elections, the new elected government will decide on its future steps in the political arena."

In response, top Fatah official Azzam al Ahmed reiterated that the unity government would abide by the PLO's political program despite Hamas's opposition. However, he added that the new government would not deal with political issues.

Trouble in Palestinian paradise?

What we will be the outcome of this?

I predict Abbas is helping Hamas gain seats in the next election,if it takes place this coming spring.

February 18, 2012

Hear The Bus?

Dempsey: Israeli strike won't achieve objectives

Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey says Israeli military action in Iran would be 'destabilizing' but admits Washington yet to convince Jerusalem on this view

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey said Saturday that an Israeli strike on Iran "wouldn’t achieve its long-term objectives" and would be "destabilizing."

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Dempsey said that taking military action against the Islamic Republic would not be not "prudent."

The US general claimed that the economic sanctions imposed on Iran together with international pressure are beginning to have an effect. “We are of the opinion that Iran is a rational actor. We also know, or we believe we know, that the Iranian regime has not decided to make a nuclear weapon."

Addressing the possibility of the US arming the Syrian opposition, Dempsey said "I think intervening in Syria would be very difficult." He explained that international actors like Turkey, Russia and Iran all have an interest in Syria.

Earlier on Saturday British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Iran is clearly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and if it succeeds it will set off a dangerous round of nuclear proliferation across the Middle East.

Hear the sound of Israel being thrown under the bus.

Shame on Obama and his puppets.

February 17, 2012

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, 11 am 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

Prepare Not Panic

Warning: Iran, Hezbollah planning more attacks

Counter Terrorism Bureau issues warning based on info received from interrogation of suspects connected to latest attacks which suggests Iran, Hezbollah planning more attacks against Israel, Jewish targets worldwide

Yoav Zitun
Published: 02.17.12, 12:20 / Israel News

Israel's Counter Terrorism Bureau is warning that attempts to harm Israelis around the world will continue following the recent attacks in Thailand, Georgia and India.

A senior official in the bureau urged Israelis who are currently overseas to be extra vigilant. The warning was issued based on information extracted during the interrogation of suspects arrested in connection to the terror attacks in New Delhi and Bangkok.

According to the information, Iran and Hezbollah are planning to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world. "There is great determination on their part to carry out attacks, " the official said.

The source did not specify any specific countries under threat. "It's important that people understand that we’re facing additional attacks but Israel is making great efforts to prevent future attacks."

I think that all synagogues should by this time have in a place an emergency procedure that should cover terrorism, fire, and medical emergencies

I don't think that all have done so, now is the time to do it.

This coming shabbat, pay attention to little things that are out of the normal course of events..

I think the battle has not even really started so now is the time to prepare.

Be prepared, so you don't panic.

February 16, 2012

Like Father, Like Son

Oliver Stone's son converts to Islam in Iran
Sean Stone, a film director like his acclaimed father, says "the conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism."

Sean Stone, the son of acclaimed film director Oliver Stone converted to Islam in Iran on Tuesday in a ceremony in the city of Isfahan.

Stone, a filmmaker like his Oscar-winning father, told AFP that "the conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with. It means I have accepted Mohammad and other prophets."

The 27-year-old, whose father is Jewish and whose mother is Christian is in Iran filming a documentary.

Iranian media reported that Stone converted to Shi'ite Islam and has changed his first name to Ali.

According to the Tehran Times, Stone traveled to Iran in September to search for locations on a film he was shooting on the poet Rumi and Persian mysticism. The Times quoted Stone as saying that he needed to study Persian culture in order to get a feeling for its rituals and traditions.

Earlier this month, Stone was a participant in the Hollywoodism and Cinema conference in Tehran, where he was honored by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sean's father Oliver ruffled feathers in July 2010 when he gave an interview to Britain's Sunday Times in which he downplayed the Holocaust, defended Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and complained about Jewish influence in the United States.

He told the newspaper that “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 million.” He discussed what he called “Jewish domination of the media,” and said Israel had “f***** up United States foreign policy for years.”

Stone later apologized for the comments after being criticized by Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League.

I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

It really is hard to even say much about these two, they speak for themselves and their words condemn them.

February 14, 2012

I will be traveling for the next two days.

So my postings will be limited.

Syrian security forces using chemical weapons, says army defector

Captain Ahmed Abdul Razek, a Syrian army defector, says troops loyal to Assad used nerve gas to subdue protesters in Homs • President Shimon Peres calls Assad a “murderer” and praises Syrian opposition groups • Violence in the country continues with diplomatic efforts bogged down.
Eli Leon, Daniel Siryoti, Yori Yalon and The Associated Press

Tanks in the streets of Homs. Army defector Captain Ahmed Abdul Razek says forces loyal to Assad are using chemical weapons on opposition fighters.

An officer who has defected from the Syrian army claimed on Sunday that security forces were using nerve gas manufactured in Russia to subdue opposition forces mainly concentrated in the city of Homs.

Captain Ahmed Abdul Razek, a former officer in the Syrian army’s chemical warfare unit command, said the weapons were being used as a precursor to the entry of military troops in the embattled city. He also said the use of chemical weapons would not be limited to Homs.

According to Israel Radio, President Shimon Peres, who is currently hosting Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, labeled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “a murderer,” and said, “No one can tolerate the sight of soldiers battling children.” Peres reportedly praised Syrian opposition groups, who, he said, were willing to sacrifice their lives.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor said at a special U.N. General Assembly session on Monday that “Assad does not have a moral right to lead his people.”

Although White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Monday that the U.S. was considering sending a peacekeeping force to Syria, a report by The Washington Post said officials in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration had reiterated that the U.S. backed Arab League plans to end ongoing violence in Syria and added that there were several obstacles to sending an international peacekeeping force to the country. The report said the officials explained there would be difficulties in getting required U.N. Security Council authorization for such a force.

The report quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying, “We support the Arab League’s decisions ... to try to end the violence and move toward a transition. There are a lot of challenges to be discussed as to how to put into effect all of their recommendations. And certainly, the peacekeeping request is one that will take agreement and consensus.”

Meanwhile, in the latest news of the ongoing violence in the country, rebels repelled a push Monday by government tanks into a central town held by forces fighting Assad’s regime. The military pressed its offensive on Rastan a day after the Syrian government rejected Arab League calls for the U.N. to create a peacekeeping force in Syria and for an end to the violent crackdown on dissent.

Damascus called the league initiative “a flagrant interference in (Syria’s) internal affairs and an infringement upon national sovereignty.”

With diplomatic efforts bogged down, the conflict is taking on the dimensions of a civil war, with army defectors clashing almost daily with soldiers. The rebels have taken control of small swathes of territory in central Homs province, where Rastan is located, and the northwestern province of Idlib, which borders Turkey.

The Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least three government soldiers were killed in the regime attempt to storm Rastan, which has been held by the rebels since late January. “Troops maneuvered by moving on the northern edge of town, then other forces attacked from the south,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Observatory. He said hundreds of army defectors were in control of Rastan.

Rastan, home to some 50,000 people, was one of the first areas in Syria where people took up arms to fight the regime.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay told the General Assembly on Monday that more than 5,400 people were killed last year alone in the Syrian conflict, and the number of dead and injured continues to rise daily. She said the scale of abuses by the Syrian government indicate that crimes against humanity have taken place since March and are continuing.

Assad’s regime has long blamed terrorists for the revolt, which began with peaceful calls for democratic change, but has become a bloody, armed insurgency.

Assad’s bloody crackdown on the opposition has left Syria almost completely isolated internationally, except for one key ally -- Russia. China and Russia outraged the U.S. and many Arab countries earlier this month when they delivered a double veto to block a U.N. Security resolution calling on Assad to leave power.

The 22-nation Arab League has been at the forefront of regional efforts to end the crisis. The group put forward a plan to which Assad agreed in December, then sent in monitors to check whether he was complying. When it became clear the regime was flouting the terms of the agreement and the killings were continuing, the league pulled out the observers last month.

On Sunday, the league called for the Security Council to create a joint Arab-U.N. peacekeeping force for Syria and urged Arab states to sever all diplomatic contact with Damascus.

February 12, 2012

UNESCO claims Rachel’s Tomb and the Patriarchs’ Cave are not exclusively Jewish sites and also belong to Christians and Muslims.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/12/2012, 10:42 AM

Tomb of Rachel
Tomb of Rachel

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which has accepted the Palestinian Authority as a state, claims Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs [Me'arat Hamachpela, the Patriarch's Cave] are not exclusively Jewish sites and also belong to Christians and Muslims.

Israel has announced that the two holy places, dating back thousands of years, are being included in the country’s national heritage sites.

Rachel's Tomb is located immediately south of Jerusalem, "on the road to Efrata" near Bethlehem, where the Bible records (Genesis 35:19) that the matriarch was buried.

The other matriarchs – Sarah, Rebecca (Rivka) and Leah – and the forefathers Avraham, Isaac (Yitzchak) and Yaakov (Jacob) are buried at the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hevron, which the Bible records was bought by Avraham for an enormous sum of money.

However, UNESCO director Irina Bokova has accepted the view of UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, who warned that Israel’s inclusion of the two Biblical Jewish sites could harm the moribund peace process. UNESCO admitted the PA as a member four months ago despite the fact that PA chariman Mahmound Abbas failed to gain recognition in the international organization's General Assembly.

In a statement by the Paris-based agency, she did not explain the supposed Christian and Muslim connection with Rachel's Tomb. Palestinian Authority Muslim clerics have suddenly claimed in the past two years that Rachel’s Tomb actually was a Muslim site thousands of years ago, even though Islam was only founded 1,500 years ago.

Christians and Muslims built over Jewish structures at the Patriarchs’ Cave during the Crusades and the Muslim conquest.Jews were ony allowed to ascend seven of the many steps to the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

During the Jordanian occupation of Hevron from 1948 to 1967, Jews were not allowed to visit Jewish sites in Hevron, the Old City of Jerusalem and elsewhere in the region, and Christians also were prohibited from visiting their holy places.

Israel opened up all holy sites to the three religions after the Six-Day War in 1967.

In her statement, Bokova stated, “UNESCO has been mandated by its member States to provide assistance to the Palestinian Authority in the fields of education and culture. It has been working with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian civil society to protect and preserve the cultural heritage sites in the West Bank and is committed to continue doing so.”

The Palestinian Authority has increased efforts to claim several locations in Judea and Samaria as being under their sovereignty, including the Dead Sea and the Qumran Caves, where the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, containing the books of the Jewish Bible, were discovered in 1947.

PA TV denies it glorifies terrorists, after honoring killer of Fogel family

PA TV: "The prisoners' program is meant for humanitarian contact"

PMW: The official PA TV program glorifies terrorists and presents murderers
as role models

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

p:+972 2 625 4140 e: pmw@palwatch.org

f: +972 2 624 2803 w: www.palwatch.org

PA TV has rejected the condemnation expressed by Israeli PM Netanyahu of its
honoring of the murderers of the five members of the Fogel family from the
Israeli town of Itamar. Following Palestinian Media Watch's exposure that
the weekly PA TV program For You, directed at Palestinians imprisoned in
Israel, permitted the relatives of Hakim Awad, one of the killers of the
Fogel family, to honor him on TV as "the hero - the legend," PM Netanyahu
publicly condemned this in his meeting with the Irish Foreign Minister:

"The Palestinian Authority's official television broadcasts a glorification
of the killers who murdered an Israeli family... We demand a prompt
condemnation; I hope you demand a condemnation because the only way to move
to peace is to prepare our people for peace and not for brutal terror."

[Israeli Prime Minister's Office, Jan. 29, 2012,

Last week, PA TV rejected this condemnation saying it was not honoring the
killers by inviting their family members to publicly send them greetings,
but that "The prisoners' program is meant for humanitarian contact." PA TV
also indicated they were caught by surprise by the glorification of the
terrorists as heroes, as it was "a live broadcast," during which the "mother
spoke with complete spontaneity," and therefore PA TV is not responsible.

PA TV claim of ignorance and innocence is false
PA TV's claim that it does not glorify terrorists on its programming is
false. For years, PA TV has had a policy of honoring terrorists specifically
through this long-running weekly program and others, which present
terrorists as heroes and role models. The following are some examples:

Terrorist: Abbas Al-Sayid
Crimes: Serving 35 life-sentences for sending suicide bombers to attacks
that killed 35, including Park Hotel Passover suicide bombing that killed
PA TV honor: PA TV visited his home and invited released terrorists and
others to talk about him.
PA TV broadcast glorification by others:

Released female terrorist, Du'a Al-Jayousi: "He was an example and role
model for us, we wanted very much to meet him."
Released male terrorist, Muayyad Al-Jallad: "I do not forget our neighbor
and brother, Abbas Al-Sayid. He is the crown on our heads... He is honor to
the nation, and there is no doubt that he makes us proud. Allah willing, he
has enough patience and will... We are all familiar with his manly qualities
of heroism and strength."
PA TV itself glorified the terrorist:

PA TV host: "We are outside the home of the patient, heroic fighter who is
resolute, overcoming his chains, desiring freedom - Abbas Al-Sayid, the lion
of the prison cells... the leader, hero, defeater of the enemies, defeater
of the dungeons, and lion under interrogation."
[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 25, 2011]
Click to view

Terrorist: Ahlam Tamimi
Crimes: Led a suicide bomber to his attack at the Sbarro pizza shop in
Jerusalem in August 2001. 15 people were murdered in the attack, 7 of them
PA TV honor: PA TV glorified her while visiting the home of another
terrorist involved in the same terror attack.
PA TV itself glorified the terrorist:

PA TV host: "We, [at] the program In a Fighter's Home, send best wishes of
loyalty to Ahlam Tamimi. We wish her freedom - she and [the rest of] our
glorious female prisoners. Special wishes to you, Ahlam, from the program In
a Fighter's Home and from the program team, from the home of the heroic
fighter prisoner, Muhammad [Wael Daghlas]. You both belong to the same
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 10, 2011]
Click to view

Terrorist: Muhammad Wael Daghlas
Crimes: Serving 15 life sentences for planning and sending the suicide
bomber to his attack at the Sbarro pizza shop in Jerusalem.
PA TV honor: PA TV visited his home.
PA TV itself glorified the terrorist:

PA TV host: "... from the home of the heroic fighter prisoner, Muhammad
[Wael Daghlas]."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 10, 2011]
Click to view

Terrorist: Salim Hajja
Crime: Serving 16 life sentences for involvement in three suicide bombings;
the bombing of the Dolphinarium night club in June 2001 in which 21 were
murdered and 120 wounded; the Sbarro restaurant bombing in Aug. 2001 in
which 15 people were killed and over 100 wounded; and a suicide bombing of a
bus in Haifa in Dec. 2001 in which 15 were killed and 40 wounded.
PA TV honor: PA TV interviewed his family in their home.
PA TV broadcast glorification by others:

Prisoner's mother-in-law: "Praise to Allah... Omar [son of Salim] will
follow in your (Salim's) footsteps, and praise to Allah he will be a hero
like you, Allah willing. As Allah lives, I am proud of you, that you are the
husband of my daughter. I swear to Allah - I am proud of you. My daughter's
husband. I hold my head up high when someone says to me that my son-in-law
is a prisoner. ... Inside, I am proud of him, that he is my son-in-law."
Prisoner's son: "Daddy is a hero. I am very proud of him."
PA TV itself glorified the terrorist:

PA TV host: "Well, come along with us, our prisoner brothers, for a visit to
the family of the heroic fighter prisoner, of course - Salim Hajja, and I
want to greet his father, his mother Taibe, his brother Mustafa, the whole
family, his wife and his son, and of course you, Mustafa (i.e., she means
Salim). Allah willing you will live a free life - you, your son, your wife
and your family, in a normal way, like the other families in the world and
in this country. Allah willing."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 11, 2011]
Click to view bulletin

Terrorist: Darin Abu Aisheh
Crimes: Carried out a suicide bombing at a roadblock in 2002, wounding three
PA TV honor: PA TV interviewed her mother in her home.
PA TV broadcast glorification by others:

Poster of the terrorist displayed in the mother's home: "The Palestinian
National Liberation Movement - Fatah - Beit Wazan branch is happy to
announce [the death of] the heroic Martyrdom-seeker, Darin Muhammad Tawfiq
Abu Aisheh Member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades."
Darin Abu Aisheh's mother: Everyone heard what happened... I was sitting and
started to sing to her. I said, 'It's the night before your wedding, Darin.'
I said, 'I haven't gone mad, I'm not crazy. I want to sing, Darin is a
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 3, 2011]
Click to view

Terrorist: Anas Jaradat
Crimes: Headed the Islamic Jihad in Jenin and was responsible for 3 car
bombings in Israel, causing the death of dozens.
PA TV honor: PA TV visited his home and interviewed his father and a Fatah
official about him.
PA TV broadcast glorification by others:

Jaradat's father: "I send greetings to [my son] Anas, who is a real hero.
When I say 'hero' I recall all the actions which he carried out. (i.e., 3
car bombings) He is a hero in the full sense of the word. The reports that
we hear confirm his heroism."
Secretary of the Fatah branch in Jenin, Ata Abu Ramila: "We say to brother
Anas - the heroic Jihad-fighter prisoner Anas Jaradat - and to all the
heroic prisoners: ... What Anas and all the heroic prisoners did is a
glorious deed (i.e., 3 car bombings), a badge of honor for him, for his
family... for our Palestinian people, and for all the free and noble people
of our nation. The occupation (i.e., Israel) will pass away, Allah willing.
The occupation will pass away only through the pure blood which has poured
from our courageous Martyrs, and through the suffering of our heroic
prisoners, first among them this heroic prisoner, Anas Jaradat."
PA TV itself glorified the terrorist:

PA TV host, addressing Jaradat's father: "You are the hero's father. We
don't want to see the hero's father cry."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 3, 2011]
Click to view

Terrorist: Amer Abu Sarhan
Crimes: Convicted of stabbing 3 Israelis to death in 1990.
PA TV honor: PA TV visited his home and interviewed the District Governor of
Bethlehem about him.
PA TV broadcast glorification by others:

District Governor of Bethlehem, Abd Al-Fattah Hamayel: "I'm glad to be in
this thriving home, home of the father of the heroic prisoner, Amer Abu
Sarhan. We honor him greatly through you [PA TV]. To all his fellow
prisoners -- the brave and heroic who are resolute in Ribat [religious
conflict] -- to the glorious female prisoners in the occupation's prisons --
we salute you and express our utmost appreciation and pride."
PA TV itself glorified the terrorist:

PA TV host: "Welcome, dear viewers, to this episode about the heroic
prisoner Amer Abu Sarhan from Al-Abidia."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 2, 2011]
Click to view

Terrorist: Yusuf Shaker Al-Asi
Crimes: Built bombs for Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
PA TV honor: PA TV interviewed his mother, showing a poem and a poster of
the bomb maker with an inscription praising Martyrdom for Allah.

[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 2, 2011]

Click to view

Terrorist: Yasser Al-Sharbati
Crimes: Involved in planning a suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
PA TV honor: PA TV visited his family's home with PA Minister of Prisoners'
Affairs, Issa Karake, and District Governor of Hebron, Kamel Hamid.

[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 15, 2011]

The above are just a few of the many terrorists honored during the weekly
broadcasts of For You and In a Fighter's Home on official PA TV, in addition
to the many video clips celebrating terrorists and terror attacks, official
ceremonies, and more. The policy of official PA TV is to honor and glorify
terrorists and present them as role models for society.

Finally, in this specific case several facts indicate that PA TV was aware
of the identity of the relatives of the Fogel killers before permitting them
to speak on air:

1. The PA TV host knew who she was interviewing and introduced her as the
"family of Hakim Awad" - the terrorist
2. The identity of the callers - "family of Hakim Awad" was written on
the screen.
3. The interview was broadcast live on Jan. 19 and rebroadcast on Jan.
21. So even if the first time PA TV was surprised - they made a decision to
rebroadcast the terrorist glorification.

PA TV is run from the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The following is the PA response and denial of knowingly broadcasting
glorification of the Fogel family murderers:

Headline: "PA TV: Netanyahu's claims are an attempt to hide Israel's crimes"
"PA TV said that the claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
concerning the prisoners' program [For You, a recent episode which included
greetings to the murderers of the Israeli Fogel family] are meant to hide
Israeli crimes, especially those against prisoners. It should be noted that
Netanyahu demanded that the PA 'condemn PA TV for accepting a telephone call
from the mother and aunt of prisoner Hakim Awad, who carried out the Itamar
operation (i.e., Hakim Awad's killing 5 members of an Israeli family in
their sleep).' In its press release, a copy of which was obtained by WAFA,
PA TV emphasized today: 'The prisoners' program is meant for the purposes of
[maintaining] humanitarian contact between the prisoners - especially those
who are not permitted visitors - and their family members. The call on the
episode of Jan. 26, 2012 was by family members of the prisoner, and in a
live broadcast. What the mother said with complete spontaneity, does not
reflect any official view or position of PA TV or of the Palestinian
Authority.' The press release called upon anyone interested, and all
journalists, to watch the filmed footage which had been aired, and not to
rely on Netanyahu's words. It should be noted that official Israeli circles
constantly take care to invent and blow up events, with the aim of hiding
the violations, the racist activities, and the crimes against humanity which
they are carrying out against our people everywhere."
[WAFA, Jan. 30, 2012]

February 10, 2012

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, 11 am 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

High Court enters new era as Grunis named top judge

Conservative judge to replace Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch who retires at the end of the month • The Grunis court is likely to be characterized by more judicial restraint, analysts predict, departing from Beinisch’s activist approach.
Israel Hayom Staff

The Judicial Selection Committee voted Friday to appoint Justice Asher Dan Grunis as Israel’s next chief justice.

All but one of the committee’s 9 representatives picked Grunis, with Yisrael Beitenu’s David Rotem abstaining, the Israeli NRG news portal reported Friday. Grunis will replace Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, who will retire on Feb. 28.

Grunis’ past opinions and statements suggest he subscribes to a much more conservative legal worldview than his immediate predecessors, Chief Justices Beinisch and Aharon Barak, whose judicial activism drew ire from the right. Some have even accused them of judicial overreach, particularly in landmark rulings on security matters and human rights.

The appointment of Grunis was made possible after the Knesset amended the law governing the appointment of chief justices. Under the old rules, would-be chief justices had to have at least three years left to serve on the bench. As the mandatory retirement age for judges is 70, Grunis, 67, would have not made the cut.

But the amendment, which came alongside other attempts to reform the judiciary, elicited heavy criticism. Its detractors, mainly from the left, accused the government of rewriting the law books for the sole purpose of appointing one individual. One government watchdog group even petitioned the High Court of Justice, asking it to strike down the measure or at least have it take effect only after the next chief justice is appointed. Eventually the court upheld the amendment, paving the way for Friday’s appointment.

Than G-D.

Maybe now we will have a court that will represent the Jewish people and not wear the badge as the most liberal, radical court in the world.

Now we just need the death penalty for treason and terrorism.

February 09, 2012

A Jeep

America’s Jews are worried

Op-ed: Israel’s Orthodox monopoly has changed from unpleasant annoyance to strategic threat
Yizhar Hess

Last week, a contingent of leaders from the North American Conservative movement returned to the US. All the members of this mission, rabbis, congregation leaders and philanthropists, had already been to Israel dozens of times. They are major activists in Jewish Federations, AIPAC, Hadassah, you name it. They didn’t come as tourists; they came to ask what has happened, but mainly, what will be?

The Jewish population of North America is worried. In recent years Israel, the Jewish state, has put on a large mask with blinders; a mask adorned with a long thick beard, showing the face of creeping fundamentalism. These North American leaders continue to receive emotional requests from organizations in Israel seeking to enlist their political support, or their capital, but they, too, cannot help but ask: where is the money going?

How can it be that a soldier receives NIS 360-700 a month, while a yeshiva student gets NIS 900? How can a country whose civil bodies are constantly raising funds for the education system allow regular state school classrooms to have an average of 28 students (if only my daughter Mika’s class of 39 students would be reduced to this average, but an average is an average); whereas an ultra-Orthodox pupil has an average of 20 children in his class?

And in general, why did funding for the ultra-Orthodox education system rise so sharply, by almost 50%, in a three-year period (2006-2009), way-way more than their natural growth in the population?

These Jewish community leaders are also asking, with ever-increasing determination, what the State of Israel thinks about them, the Jews of North America.

They met with ministers, Knesset members, mayors, with the outgoing head of the Mossad, and with the US Ambassador to Israel. One of the heads of this mission, the former chairperson of a Conservative congregation of 1,400 families, spoke of the way she teaches her children to love Israel, about the prayer for the welfare of the state of Israel recited every Shabbat in her synagogue, about the Israeli songs, and the Hebrew slang that they use whenever they can.

2nd class Jews?
She also talked about her deep fear that her son, who will shortly be coming for an entire year on one of the programs for Jewish youth, will fall in love with an Israeli. She knows that they will not be able to marry here. “I’m a Jew By Choice; I was converted in a Conservative conversion many years ago,” she said her eyes wet with tears. ”The practices and policies of the Jewish state turn me and my children into second class Jews.”

Some of the people they met admitted unequivocally – although they did not want to be quoted – that the Orthodox monopoly in Israel has long since changed from an unpleasant annoyance to a strategic threat to the strength of the State of Israel, both because of its growing impact on relations between the Jews of the Diaspora and Israel, and because of the alienation of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, including many who are not halakhically Jewish, and for whom the Orthodox establishment, in all of its variations, has managed to make Judaism odious.

Those who hold Israel dear to their hearts, who check the news several times a day on the leading English language sites, and who anxiously follow the changes taking place in Israeli society, are extremely disturbed by the Jewish fundamentalism, chauvinism, and legislation that exudes an anti-democratic spirit, unprecedented in any previous Knesset.

“The Jews of America must courageously rethink the way in which they invest in Israel,” one of the heads of this mission concluded.

A Conservative rabbi, one of the most influential in North America today, said “we must create a new kashrut certificate, a kashrut certification for social projects. Projects that do not reinforce democracy in Israel should be crossed off our list. Those programs that contribute to democracy should remain. They will receive a “kashrut” certificate. The projects and programs that directly encourage democratic values, and emphasize Jewish pluralism, will be placed at the head of our list. They will receive a mehadrin kashrut certificate. Israel is too precious for us to remain indifferent.”

Yizhar Hess is the Executive Director & CEO of the Masorti Movement in Israel

Let me be very clear on my position, Israel has some problems with the ultra orthodox community for sure.

We need to find a path that will allow them to become productive members of Israeli society, while at the same time insuring that Torah study continues.

In terms of the IDF and community service, and opting out by the ultra orthodox of service by Torah study, it is being abused and must stop.

The government must administer tests and we must allow the top 10% of those taking the test to study Torah and this must count as military service. They must get out of bed in the morning, pray, workout, and then study Torah for at least 10 hours a day.

But Israel must find Israeli solutions to Israeli problems, not let a bunch of whinny liberal trouble makers from America impose a stupid solution on us just to make these cry babies feel good about themselves.

The vast majority of Israeli's don't care to conserve or reform Judaism, even if they don't keep shabbat and kasrut,
they are Orthodox in nature and just lazy.

As for the woman from the USA that says she is a second class Jew because she went through some so called conversion at a Conservative organization.

Lady I got news for you, we have no second class Jews, all Jews are first class.

Your problem, is you are not a Jew.

I can walk around the streets all day long and call myself a jeep, I can shout it at the top of my lungs.

Still will not make me a jeep.

If I yell long enough and loud enough it will get me some attention, and may be a new place to live where mental health can help me.

So lady stop yelling I am a Jew, because our world is so messed up we will not give you the help you need.

Try yelling I am a jeep for a day or two, maybe you will get the help you need.

Kissinger, Mehta awarded Israel's Presidential Medal

President Shimon Peres announced new initiative meant to honor individuals who contribute to society, Israel's global image
Yair Altman

Renowned diplomat Henry Kissinger, Human rights activist Judith Feld Carr, Chairman of Variety Israel Uri Slonim and famed Philharmonic Orchestra Director Zubin Mehta were awarded Israel's Presidential Medal at a press conference held at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, Thursday.

The Medal, awarded for the first time, is considered a gesture of gratitude by President Shimon Peres, honoring individuals who made a significant contribution to Israel's society and its global image.

The selection process entailed an advisory committee headed by the former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar and Israel's fifth President Yitzhak Navon.

Kissinger, who served as secretary of state during the Nixon Administration and the Yom Kippur War, received the award for his "unique contribution to Israel and his peace-making efforts in the Middle East."

Slonim was awarded the medal for his charitable work with Variety Israel and his volunteer work with captive and missing soldiers.

Feld Carr was chosen for her assistance in rescuing thousands of Jews from Syrian prisons and helping them flee the country for over 25 years.

Who is next Arafat?

How quickly we forget, remember something called the Yom Kipper war.

If memory serves me correctly, it was Kissinger who told Israel we couldn't attack first.

Remember Camp David, we gave up so much for so little, and soon we will see the little we got disappear as Egypt backs out of the accord.

Some days I think the so called elites are a little touched in the head, they see what they want to see and not the truth.

February 08, 2012

Dumb Idea

IDF submarine fleet bans dual citizenship

Candidates for prestigious unit now required to renounce foreign citizenship; officer: This is absurd
Yoav Zitun

The IDF now demands that new candidates for service in Israel's submarine fleet waive their foreign citizenship in order to join the elite unit.

The demand to concede one's dual citizenship is made at certain IDF combat units and for posts requiring high security clearance. Submarine fleet recruits receive a notification stating they must renounce their foreign citizenships in order to qualify for the prolonged training, as part of their security screenings.

Submarine fleet recruits who fail to complete the year-long training lose their foreign citizenships nonetheless.

The recent move raised strong opposition among fleet reserve officers,who claim that the new requirement will limit the number of volunteers to the unit.

"This is absurd. Many excellent recruits hold a dual citizenship but wish to serve in an elite unit such as submarine fleet,"an ex-officer said. "In a country that fights for every recruit, especially for elite units, this demand should not be made. Soldiers serve for only a few years, and must not pay by losing the foreign citizenship that can be used later in life."

Security officials say that in recent years there was a decline in number of units that demand a foreign citizenship waiver as part of the security clearance process. The criteria for receiving a security clearance are decided by the units, the Shin Bet and the National Security Council, according to the level of exposure to classified materials during one's service.

In many combat units, candidates are required to declare any foreign citizenship, but not to renounce it.

According to the international media, IDF submarines operate in foreign waters, far from Israel's borders.

The IDF Spokesman's Office issued the following statement in response to the story: "For information security purposes, soldiers serving in certain IDF units are required to meet strict criteria".

This is stupid.

I know many people that have served in elite units with dual citizenship, including submarines.

If a person is going to be a traitor, does it matter if they still hold a passport from their country of birth.

Some of the most motivated soldiers around came from other countries.

If a person picks up and moves to Israel, are they not a Zionist?

Would they be a traitor?

To the best of my memory, the few times we had traitors they came from the former U.S.S.R, not Ethiopia, South Africa, Canada, or even the USA.

February 07, 2012

MKs okay NIS 1,078 salary increase

Following House Committee's approval, Israeli lawmakers to be paid some NIS 37,000 a month
Moran Azulay

The Knesset's House Committee on Tuesday canceled a decision from 2009 to freeze lawmakers' salaries. As a result, Knesset members will receive an additional NIS 1,078 (about $290) a month.

The new decision was unanimously approved by only eight MKs who attended the discussion. From now on, Israeli lawmakers will be paid a little more than NIS 37,000 ($9,950) a month.

Although they are aware of the potential public criticism, the MKs claim the move was justified and that all accusations will be met courageously. However, the poor attendance at the discussion and vote, and the fact that not one representative of the opposition showed up, proves that they fear criticism nonetheless.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who attended the discussion, did have a vote but noted that he was all in favor for the move.

At the start of the discussion, Rivlin elaborated on the decisions of the Gronau Committee, which recommended canceling the pay freeze implemented following the financial crisis in early 2009.

"The MK salary issue always evokes sentiments and criticism on the part of the public toward its elective representatives. The Knesset is a place where the public sometimes directs all of its frustrations. The Knesset was aware of this criticism in 1996, and decided that it was wrong that in terms of MKs' rights and liabilities, the MKs would be the ones to determine their own salary.

"Usually," Rivlin continued, "the criticism is against the Knesset – and that's a good thing. The public's sensitivity toward the Knesset is positive and can be judgmental. Like CEOs and minister, Knesset members deserve a salary increase as well.

"I understand the criticism, but we must face it proudly. MKs do not determine their salary, and that's crystal clear."

He added, "The Knesset members have given up the right to determine their salary. In early 2009, due to a financial crisis, the heads of the State and MKs decided to freeze their salaries. When economy workers get a pay increase, MKs do not get the same raise because they work on automatic pilot."

According to the Knesset speaker, "It's possible that if the MKs' salary would have gone up in June together with the rest of the economy, there would be no criticism. MKs must make a living and avoid having to face any inappropriate influence."

Can you be any more out of touch?

We have people in Israel that live on 3,700 NIS, and they cry because they need a raise to 37,000NIS.

But judges, police and military generals, high ranking bureaucrats all years ago were smart and tied their salary to that of members of Knesset.

Some days, I feel like we are part of a joke.

I just don't know what the punch line is.

February 06, 2012

Teachers sign mass petition against Hebron field trips

260 teachers decry decision by Education Ministry, announced last week, to take almost all Jewish students on field trips beyond the Green Line to Jewish heritage sites, saying it is designed to shape their political views • Education Ministry official says the tours allow students to get a firsthand look at the intricacies of the conflict.
Israel Hayom Staff

School trips to Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, holy to both Jews and Muslims, have become a bone of contention among educators.

Less than a week after the Education Ministry caused a political firestorm by expanding a pilot program to send junior and high school pupils on educational field trips to Judea and Samaria, 260 teachers signed a letter Monday saying they would not comply with what they call a “politically motivated” measure, Army Radio reported.

In a letter addressed to Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, the teachers accuse him of using young Israelis as “unwilling participants and political pawns in political matters, by means of manipulative tactics,” the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Monday.

The project, which the ministry calls “Touring the Land of the Ancestors,” was introduced last year as a measure meant to bolster Israeli schoolchildren’s Jewish identity, and takes them on field trips to key biblical sites such as Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs as well as other landmarks in Judea and Samaria. The signatories of the letter to Saar accuse the ministry and its head of having a hidden agenda and trying to shape the political views of students by bringing them into “political hot spots.”

The head of the Jerusalem District at the Education Ministry, Meir Shimoni, dismissed the allegations. “I took part in some of the tours; I accompanied the students and I observed them firsthand. They experienced the difficulties and dilemmas of the Shuhada St. (a street in the Hebron city center that runs in both Arab and Jewish neighborhoods) ... and they came back with many questions and a great sense of curiosity.”

According to Jewish tradition, the Cave of the Patriarchs is the burial place of the biblical ancestors of the Jewish people. The site is also holy to Muslims.

Since launching the program in March 2011 some 1,000 students have participated in the tours. Now the government wants to expand the program into the curricula of all Jewish schools. Last week Saar touted the program as an astounding success, saying, “Already at this time it is safe to say that the initiative is progressing beyond our expectations. Thousands of students are visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs, not just from the religious sector but also from the secular sector and that makes this something that I am definitely proud of.”

These teacher should be fired.

Is not Hevron, Bet El, Shiloh, and other places in Judea and Samaria, part of the history of the Jewish people?

So, since it is part of our history, these liberal scum should be fired.

They are seeking to ethnic cleanse our history.

Hear me you liberal scum, you may be ashamed that your forefathers were named Avrham, Yitzhak, Yaacov, Saul, David.

I am proud of my history and ashamed, we have scum like you that are called Jews.

Lastly, let's be clear 260 teacher is not a huge group of teachers, fire all of them .

Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas deal will end diplomatic process

Israel wants world to pressure Abbas not to sign with Hamas; PM says if Abbas moves to implement Palestinian reconciliation deal signed in Qatar, he will "abandon path of peace."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the emerging reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah on Monday, sending a clear message to the international community that if the deal is consummated, the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process is over.

One reason for Netanyahu's extremely sharp response to reports of a deal – he made it a point to make his remarks both in Hebrew and in English – was to get the international community to pressure Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to implement it, one government official acknowledged.

"Anyone in the international community concerned about the peace process should be intervening now with the Palestinians to prevent the consummation of this marriage," the official said.

The agreement, reached between Fatah and Hamas under the auspices of Qatar, calls for Abbas to serve as an interim prime minister of a unity Palestinian government comprised of independent figures. The government's primary job would be to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections, and to rebuild Gaza.

After the agreement was reported, The Prime Minister's Office distributed what it called a "special statement" by Netanyahu, saying that in recent weeks he and "several world leaders" have made serious efforts to advance peace.

"If President Abbas moves to implement what was signed today in Doha, he will abandon the path of peace and join forces with the enemies of peace," Netanyahu said. "Hamas is an enemy of peace. It's an Iranian backed terror organization committed to Israel's destruction."

Saying Abbas can't have it both ways, and has to choose either a peace pact with Israel or with Hamas, Netanyahu reiterated that Hamas had not yet accepted the three minimal requirements demanded of it by the international community: to recognize Israel's right to exist, abandon terrorism, and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Instead, Netanyahu said, Hamas "continues to arm itself for even deadlier terrorism."

Government officials said that efforts over the last couple of weeks to put together a package of economic steps as an incentive to keep the Palestinians at nascent, low-level talks in Jordan, have now been put on hold.

"Now we are waiting to see what will be with this agreement," the official said. "We are making it clear that this agreement would be a body blow to the whole process. This sort of agreement could lead to the end of the peace process."

He characterized the move as a major "confidence destroying measure."

In 2006, following Hamas' victory in the Palestinian legislative elections and Ismail Haniyeh's appointment as prime minister, Israel stopped working with the PA government and halted the transfer of monthly tax revenue it collected for the PA.

A spokesman at the US embassy in Tel Aviv, asked about what Washington's policy would be if the Doha agreement was implemented, said the US would not articulate a "formal position on a speculative event. We will wait to see what happens."

At the same time, the spokesman reiterated that the US policy that Hamas must accept the international community's three conditions has not changed.

The EU also did not have a formal reaction Monday to the Fatah-Hamas moves. At the end of November, however, after a previous round of reconciliation talks, the EU issued a statement saying it has "consistently called for reconciliation under Abbas' authority."

The statement said it considered reconciliation "an opportunity rather than a threat," and that Palestinian unity was "an important element for a viable Palestinian state, and essential for securing a lasting peace with Israel."

At the same time, that statement said it expected a new Palestinian government to uphold the principles of non-violence, remain committed to a two-state solution, and negotiate a peaceful settlement with Israel, while accepting previous agreements and recognizing Israel's right to exist.

Please G-D, let Abbas move ahead with reconciliation.

Then please G-D, give Israeli leaders the strength and the courage to stand tall and firm.

We just might be seeing the light on the end of the tunnel, of the so called peace process.

February 05, 2012

Time to fight the prejudice

Op-ed: Israel's Ethiopians suffer not only outright racism, but also indirect, concealed racism
Yael Rosen

Over the past weeks, protests have spread throughout Israel calling for a response to racism targeted at the country's Ethiopian community. Sparked by a Channel 2 story on discrimination in Kiryat Malachi, citizens have taken to the streets to show their outrage at the status quo. Though the despicable slurs and actions that triggered these protests are blatant examples of these grievances, they conceal a deeper issue.

This sentiment is dramatized even in circles that would never admit to harboring prejudice. Well intended statements about constructive activity such as “I volunteer with Ethiopians”, or “I donate to Ethiopians” – cast them on the other side of an imaginary, but very real fence.

The primary vehicle to overcoming these obstacles is exposing reality through education, gaining knowledge of the range of personal stories.

The lack of education becomes abundantly clear when we consider that the breadth of the average Israeli's knowledge of the Ethiopian Aliyah consists of an ability to name Operations Moses and Solomon and to recite the lyrics to "Hayareah Mashgiach Me'al", set to music by Shlomo Gronich.

How many of us know that over 4,000 Ethiopian Jews lost their lives on the way to Israel? How many know that nearly every family lost at least one loved one? And that it was not only the Mossad who worked to save the Ethiopian Jews, but that there was enormous activism from local members of the Ethiopian Jewish community?

The power of stories

An even stronger tool, however, is exposing Israeli society to the personal accounts of these same Ethiopian immigrants. Each Ethiopian family has its own story of Aliyah, uplifting and inspiring for its own reasons. But hearing these stories and gaining entrance to them is something that takes initiative from the public – to ask, to take interest and to invite speakers to schools and communities. At the same time, it asks the Ethiopian community to share their experiences, often buried deep inside.

One project that strives to create tolerance on the basis of these stories is "Project Abrah," which sheds light on the stories of Prisoners of Zion, individuals jailed in Ethiopia or neighboring countries as a result of their Zionist activity. In this project, both Israeli Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian youth work together to make films on the little known stories of these remarkable individuals.

For the Israeli Ethiopians, it is a way to promote intergenerational dialogue, and to utilize the heroic actions of their own community as a foundation for developing communal pride. For non-Ethiopians, it is a means to understand the community, break down walls and shatter stigmas. By listening to the stories of others, they begin to internalize the legacy of this community. This, in turn, impacts their interaction with the wider Ethiopian population, changing a relationship based on distance and preconceptions to one of mutual respect and admiration.

As participant Ettie Shimshilashvili from Beer Sheba said: “I was amazed to find out that people who I see on the bus, around the neighborhood, buying produce at the local market, and parents of my schoolmates are heroes who are responsible for bringing their fellow Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The project made me feel more comfortable speaking with my Ethiopian schoolmates and helped me understand our community better.”

Education – with emphasis on programs that involve personal stories – is the key to bridging cultural gaps in our society. In this way, someone who began as an “other” becomes “another” – a fellow member of a wonderfully diverse community.

Yael Rosen is the Coordinator for ATZUM's Project Abrah (www.atzum.org ), an oral history film project that bridges the generation gap in Israel’s Ethiopian community and educates the public about the Ethiopian Aliyah experience by shedding light on the heroic struggle of Ethiopian “Prisoners of Zion”

February 02, 2012

MK Ben-Eliezer's daughter arrested in US on 'drug charges'

NY Post reports Talya Ben-Eliezer detained at Kennedy Airport for illegal purchase of powerful painkiller in Florida
Boaz Fyler

Police arrested the daughter of former defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Wednesday on outstanding drug charges as she tried to fly from Kennedy Airport to Tel Aviv, the New York Post reported.

According to the report, 39-year-old Talya Ben-Eliezer was taken into custody at about 8:40 pm (local time) as she tried to pass through security at Terminal 4, and was hauled off to central booking in Queens, Port Authority.

A "no-bail warrant" for her arrest was issued on July 27 by the sheriff in Tampa, Florida for a "dangerous drug" offense after she allegedly obtained oxycontin without the proper paperwork. She was booked as a "fugitive from justice," the Post reported.

Ynet has learned that Ben-Eliezer used the same prescription to purchase the powerful painkiller in two separate Florida pharmacies.

The Post quoted a source familiar with the details as saying that Ben-Eliezer had been in Florida about a year undergoing medical treatment for a seizure condition.

Another source told the Post that soon after Ben-Eliezer was detained at the airport she told customs officials that she is the daughter of a senior member of the Israeli government.

It didn’t take long before officials with the Israeli consulate in Manhattan began "calling everyone on this," one source told The Post.

According to the report, Ben-Eliezer, who has both US and Israeli citizenship, is expected to be extradited to Florida to face a charge of "obtaining a controlled substance by fraud."

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer currently serves as a Knesset member on behalf of the Labor Party.

The street cop in me, says once a junkie always a junkie.

It should be no business of the Israeli government to get involved, her daddy has money let him pay for a lawyer.

The Jew in me, feels sorry for her.

I hope she get's the help she needs to get off drugs and to get her life back.

Foreign Ministry seeks Right of Return for Jews who fled Arab nations

Foreign Ministry report recommends raising issue of compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries during future peace talks • Jewish property in Arab countries estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

A recent Foreign Ministry report has recommended raising the issue of Jewish refugees in every round of future peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians or the Arab League.

The Jewish refugees referred to in the report are Jews who fled from Arab nations in 1948 and were forced to leave their possessions behind before arriving in the newly established state of Israel.

This issue aims to counter the Palestinian Right of Return, under which the Palestinians wish to compel Israel to absorb Palestinian refugees and restore the property they left behind when they were forced to flee during the 1948 Independence War and in the Six-Day War in 1967.

The report, commissioned by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, includes recommendations for rehabilitating Palestinian refugees where they currently reside, much like Israel rehabilitated Jews who fled from Arab countries.

According to the report: “The phenomenon of perpetuating the refugee condition must end immediately; rehabilitating the refugees inside their destination countries will help reduce the demand for the Right of Return during core issue peace talks. Regardless, the Right of Return that many (Palestinian) refugees insist upon is to be granted on the condition they return only to within the borders of the future Palestinian state, which would be created as a result of a peace agreement.”

The Foreign Ministry report also recommended raising the issue of compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries within the framework of future peace talks. The compensation would be provided through an international fund, which would be established in accordance with proposals from former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2000 and the U.S. Congress in 2008. This fund would aid in rehabilitating refugees where they currently reside, including retroactively assisting countries that have already invested in rehabilitating refugees, such as Israel and Jordan. The fund would also deal with the considerable amounts of Jewish property in Arab countries. To promote these issues Ayalon has planned a public diplomacy campaign, which is to include aiding like-minded non-governmental organizations.

The report further states that 856,000 Jews from Arab countries were uprooted from their homes, compared to 800,000 Arabs from Israel (within the Green Line). Ayalon explained that approximately half of Israel’s citizens have parents or grandparents who came from Arab countries. Therefore, within the framework of possible future peace negotiations, all aspects of these issues must be addressed. Meanwhile, Jewish property in Arab countries is estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

The matter has received high-level political support thus far. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that the refugee issue needed to be “offset.” Netanyahu also said that “either way, an equal number of Jewish refugees were expelled from Arab countries. We absorbed them and didn’t turn them into an excuse for perpetual conflict.” The prime minister added that “the reason for the conflict is not the refugees, because attacks against Jews began in Jaffa in 1920, years before there were refugees in 1948. The reason [for the conflict] is the lack of Arab willingness to recognize the existence of a Jewish state.”

I think that our claim is strong under international law.

While the claim of the Palestinians is much weaker.

It comes down to who was the aggressor in war and who was the victim.

But the sad truth is the world doesn't care, and will side with the Arabs.

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