Current Postings

November 20, 2014: Complexities and Hard Truths

A bit more follow up and analysis before Shabbat...

Some of the recommended actions I wrote about yesterday, and more, have been put in place.  Not because I wrote about them, obviously, but because the government in this regard is responding with some appropriate security and deterrence measures:

There is now a large police presence in Jerusalem bolstered by Navy commandos who are volunteers serving on their own time.  Troops have been deployed outside of educational institutions and kindergartens, as well as outside some Arab neighborhoods – where checkpoints have been set up for searching people who might be suspect.

Observation balloons (with cameras) are being scattered about the city, controlled from a central command location.  This seems to me a very good idea.  Sometimes from above activity can be spotted that would not be caught by observers on the ground.

And the policy of demolition of terrorists’ homes is being enforced.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187675#.VG33DJtxnIV

There has also been a report from Arutz Sheva – not confirmed elsewhere - that the bodies of the Har Nof terrorists will not be returned to their families.  Great move, if it is so.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187664#.VG4NhJtxnIV

Is all of this sufficient?  I would not go so far as to declare this definitively.  But we are seeing some serious steps in the right direction.

~~~~~~~~~~

What’s not serious is the number of “benefits” to the PA that will be put on hold or terminated.  I had anticipated this.  Today I’m reading that there were certain roads in Judea and Samaria that were closed to non-Israelis because of security risks.  Just as over time checkpoints in Judea and Samaria have been removed, those road were scheduled to be opened to Palestinian Arabs soon.  Well, says Bogie Ya’alon, they will not be.  That’s it? Let’s get real here. 

~~~~~~~~~~

I had written recently about the fact that the men murdered in Har Nof were not settlers, were in western Jerusalem, were not agitators or radical activists, were not people who tend to go up on Har Habayit (The Temple Mount) – even though these various reasons – occupation, Temple Mount agitation, etc. – are provided as the rationale for why the terrorists acted.

The Elder of Zyion blog has carried these thoughts one step further and the analysis is so very important that I want to share it here:

After showing Arab cartoons celebrating the Har Nof massacre such as this one:

 

He writes (emphasis in the original):

”Images like these are celebrated by many, and condoned by the rest, with their silence.

“This is the fundamental story of the massacre. For once, the motives are crystal-clear.

”It cannot be about ‘occupation’ or ‘settlements’ because the attack was inside the Green Line.
”It cannot be about ‘Al Aqsa’ because the people who prayed there are not the types to ascend.
”It cannot be about ‘Israeli oppression’ because the victims were not soldiers or reservists.

”The facts are undeniable: the terrorists targeted the most Jewish looking people at a synagogue while they were at prayer.

”The cartoons illustrate nicely what the west wants to hide: the targets are Jews. Period.

”Palestinian Arab cartoons in general routinely depict "Israelis" as a Nazi-style caricatures of a bearded, black-clad men, even though no Israeli leader has ever resembled that person. These victims did. The cartoons taught generations of terrorists that their enemy is the Jews, not Israelis.

”The West wants to find excuses for Palestinian terror, to pretend that both sides are part of the problem. But this attack, and these cartoons, combined with the glaring absence of any Palestinians who object to this kind of incitement, reveal the ugly truth: that in the end it is about Jew-hatred. All the other reasons being given by pseudo-intellectuals of ‘occupation’ or ‘Al Aqsa’ or ‘Gaza’ or bus drivers who commit suicide are simply excuses to divert the world's attention from the simple fact that this is really about the world's oldest hate.

“Once you realize this you can start to understand the reality and not the spin that we've been fed for decades.”
 
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2014/11/lessons-from-sick-depraved-antisemitic.html#.VG4CvGdxnIU
 
Wow!  Stunningly on the mark.  Please share this. It deflates all of the arguments of Palestinian Arab “suffering.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
The mayor of Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, has taken a position that is not surprising, and is also not politically correct:
 
He announced yesterday that Arab workers will no longer be allowed on construction sites at kindergartens in the city where shelters are being built, and that security personnel will be placed at kindergartens near construction sites.  He said he made this decision in consultation with the police.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4594006,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Well...

The furor is all that we might expect  The mayor is being attacked and accused of racism.  It is being said that he is preventing Arabs from working, and tearing the fabric of good Jewish-Arab relations in the city.  Netanyahu, for example, said that we have no desire to target all Israeli Arabs, 99.9% of whom are decent folk.

My response is also going to be not politically correct, for there are painful realities at work here.  If 99.9% of Israeli Arabs are decent people, then – as there are approximately 1,700,000 Arabs in Israel - we have 1,700 who are not OK.  And the awful truth is that they cannot always be readily identified. The terrorist who shot Yehuda Glick outside of the Begin Center worked in the restaurant in the Center.  One of the terrorists who committed the Har Nof atrocities worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue. 

Back in previous years, there have been instances of Arabs who were loyal employees of a business owner for years, and then murdered that business owner.  What seems to have happened is that such employees were recruited by radicals.  As long as we have a reasonable representation of such radicals within our society – radicals who endorse and encourage the killing of Jews – as well as others who are receptive to the messages of the radicals, we have a problem.  What comes to mind most readily is the Islamic Movement of Israel, Northern Branch.  Its leader and members are Israeli citizens.  But they have been shown to have links with Hamas and the Brotherhood.  Of course, there are others as well.

The mayor did not ban employment for Arabs everywhere in the city.  He was concerned with the safety of children.  An alternative to his decision might have been thorough security checks for any Arab who works near the kindergartens.  But let us not pretend there is no problem.

~~~~~~~~~~

To demonstrate how things can be, and what a positive attitude is possible, we need only look at the Druse community in Israel, about which so much has been written in the last days.

At the funeral of Zidan Saif yesterday, President Ruby Rivlin spoke, saying:

“He went first into the fire to protect the residents of Jerusalem. Without fear, he faced the terrorists and risked his life to protect the residents of Jerusalem. He acted on the values on which he was raised—courage, valor, self-sacrifice.”

While Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared:

“[Saif] is a source of pride for you, the Druse people, for the police, and for the people of Israel.  The values that you instilled in him compelled him to protect, and he fell while defending the state of Israel. We have that shared fate. Together we will fight the murderers.” (Emphasis added)

~~~~~~~~~~

Israeli Druse Naif Alian has written a guest column for Israel Hayom.  In it he said:

We, the Druze, are part of the people of Israel. I have never felt a difference between me, my relatives and my friends and the Jewish people. We are one family, always have been and always will be.

“The blood pact between Druze and Jews in the land of Israel began in the 1930s, and it will never be broken. When Haganah forces arrived in Shfaram, my late father Hussein joined them. During the War of Independence, he and 30 other local Druze enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and took part in the liberation of the Galilee.

“In the 1950s, my father was one of the five sheikhs who signed the agreement making military service compulsory for the Druze. In 1957, I lost my brother Salim during his military service. Today, I am the proud father of three IDF officers. They have never felt different from anyone else and have always walked with their heads held high -- as I taught them to do.”

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=10645

Beautiful.  As it can be, as it should be, with non-Jewish Israelis who feel connected and choose to be a part of the land and the people. The problem, of course, is that Palestinian Arabs who are Israeli citizens are conflicted in their loyalties in some (definitely not all!) instances, pulled in different directions. 

Much to consider, on another day.  Complexities and hard truths.

~~~~~~~~~~

We end on this upbeat note:

“In a profound display of faith in the face of carnage, the family of a newborn infant on Wednesday held his circumcision ceremony at the Jerusalem synagogue where terrorists slaughtered worshipers and a police officer exactly 24-hours earlier, Israel’s Ch. 2 News reported.

“’This is Judaism – from tragedy to joy,’ said Mohel Association Chairman, Chaim Miller, who performed the festive ancient ritual – symbolizing the eight-day-old infant’s joining the Jewish people – at the B’nai Torah synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/20/brit-held-in-terror-attack-synagogue-in-your-bloods-you-shall-live-video/

(scroll down for the 40 second video)

~~~~~~~~~~

© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 12:18PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 19, 2014: A Day Later

 

The death toll in the Nar Nof massacre has risen to five.

Master Sergeant  Zidan Saif, 30 - of the Druse village of Kfar Yanouch in the Galil – was one of the first police officers on the scene during the massacre yesterday, and sustained wounds to his head.  Last night, he succumbed to those wounds in the hospital.  He leaves behind a wife and a four month old daughter.
 

Courtesy: Family

I want to take a moment to pay tribute to him, and to the Druse community in Israel.  Just ten days ago, another Druse, an officer in the Border Police, was killed in the course of a terror attack.  In fact, it seems to me that the Druse have given above and beyond.  It is emblematic that the Druse village of Beit Jann has lost the highest number of men per capita of any locality in the course of Israel’s wars.

Loyal citizens of Israel, the Druse serve proudly in the IDF, and in various police units. The families accept with dignity the sacrifices of sons lost in battles on behalf of Israel.

Saif was buried today.  Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) were in attendance in large numbers in order to pay tribute to him for giving his life in an effort to protect members of their community. Buses were organized to bring people from Jerusalem to the village in the north.  Calls went out for young people of the community to attend as well: “We won't be ungrateful, we will show our gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives for us.”
 
Thousands at Sif's funeral (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

Credit: Avihu Shapira

This, my friends, is precisely how it should be.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Har Nof casualties, then:


 
Sergeant Zidan Saif, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine,
Rabbi Moshe Twersky and Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
The horror stories continue – told by witnesses and survivors.  It would seem that the cream of the religious community of Har Nof was killed in the attack.

There are injured still in critical condition. Two had surgery yesterday, and one has regained consciousness.  One of the badly injured is reported to have severe brain damage.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

It is very much the practice here in Israel to resume “business as usual” as quickly as possible, so that terrorists cannot think they are able to disrupt our lives.  Thus did davening (praying) continue this morning in the synagogue where the attack took place.
 
 
Prayer service Wednesday morning (Photo: Noam (Dabul) Dvir)

Credit: Noam (Dabul) Dvir
 
Those who pray in the synagogue regularly were joined by others – including a couple of MKs - who came in a show of solidarity.  Here, on the right, you see Naftali Bennett:

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (R) prays inside a synagogue where two terrorists from East Jerusalem killed five people on Tuesday. November 19, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

~~~~~~~~~~

The question now is where we go from here in dealing with the violence.  As I am reading it, this particular attack has been a turning point psychologically.  Instead of mumblings about whether this or that attack may be leading towards an intifada, I now read reference to the fact that we’re dealing with an intifada.  For all intents and purposes that is a recognition of war.

And so?

~~~~~~~~~~

Let me begin by saying that while I am reading calls for this, I do not believe that attempting to seize control of the Temple Mount now would be a constructive act.  I have written extensively about the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan sits uneasily on his throne. Were he to be toppled, he would be replaced by jihadis and radicals – and this would definitely not be in our best interest. What is more, we have a relationship with Jordan that is valuable in a host of other ways.

One of the ways Abdullah maintains political strength and commands respect from the people is by demonstrating that he – via the Jordanian Wakf – exercises control on the Mount and is able to confront Israel. He makes a great show of this.  And while it is not to my liking, I do understand it.  To undercut Abdullah now, while the region is in such ferment, would be unwise.

Do I think what Moshe Dayan did was deplorable?  Yes.  Do I believe Jews should have full and equal rights on the Mount? Absolutely. But what was done badly in the past must be undone when the time is right.

~~~~~~~~~~

More to the point, I believe, is exercising full Israeli sovereignty and control over all Arab neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.  Not incidentally, this includes effective control over Har HaZeitim (the Mount of Olives) and the ancient Jewish cemetery there, where we are still seeing Arab vandalism and destruction of graves.

The need to be strong – to make the Arabs fear us – is a point I’ve already made. There will be much to write about in coming weeks.  Some measures have already been taken -  strengthening of certain laws, etc. But not nearly enough yet.  Some thoughts:

We need to bring out the army and have an on-going military presence in the city.  Checkpoints, if necessary, at intersections leading in and out of the most troublesome neighborhoods.  There should be a situation in which Arabs with knives and cleavers are likely to be caught before they use their weapons.  They should at least know they cannot walk around with such weapons with impunity.

We need to increase our intelligence and behave proactively to bring in people plotting attacks before they are reality – with preventative detention of agitators.

There are caches of guns in Arab areas of Jerusalem, and they need to be searched out and confiscated.  I find it deplorable that this has not yet been done.

~~~~~~~~~~

Naftali Bennett gave an interview on Army Radio today in which he espoused this sort of approach. 

We should not active defensively, he says, but go on the attack, just as we did to put down terrorism in Arab areas of Judea and Samaria, in 2002, in Operation Defensive Shield.  Terror infrastructure must be rooted out.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Bennett-calls-for-military-operation-in-east-Jerusalem-to-root-out-terror-382236

~~~~~~~~~~

In line with this shift in attitude, I would hope for a proud stance that no longer reflected continual anxiety about what the international community is thinking. 

It is time to openly conceptualize the PA and Abbas as the enemy, not as a potential partner, whom the world is waiting for us to sit down and talk to as soon as matters settle down. Passing the law establishing Israel as a Jewish state is a part of this thinking.

Defense Minister Ya’alon has announced that certain benefits that were to be accorded the PA will be put on hold now.  I read this and thought, Is there any question? Benefits for the PA?  But those benefits that Ya’alon has in mind are almost certainly only a small part of the courtesies and services that have been extended to the PA and that should now be terminated. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Other issues connected to this situation:

We are dealing with multiple Arab populations, which makes matters more complex: There are Arabs living in parts of Judea and Samaria administered by the PA, who either enter Israel legally to work, or enter illegally.  There are Arabs in Jerusalem who have Jerusalem residency cards. And there are Arabs who are full citizens of Jerusalem.  Each of these populations requires a different response.

Simmering under the surface is the issue of our jurisdiction in Area C in Judea and Samaria – over which, according to Oslo, we were to have civil and military control.  I cannot say this is a question of sovereignty, because – unfortunately – we have not declared sovereignty in this area (yet).  But it is a close second, in terms of losing our prerogatives in an area over which we were supposed to have control. And this, in my opinion, is directly connected to the governmental mental set (which must change now) regarding such matters as slipshod control over certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

No one said this was going to be easy to sort out.  Or to make right.

~~~~~~~~~~

As I continue to track what’s going on, I hope I can bring some good news and a smile to my readers time and again. 

What I will say here is that Israelis are extraordinarily resilient. We are determined to come out on top in this struggle, for this is our land.  Enormously important, as we fight this fight, is unity among the people:  We must hold fast as one.

~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/19/november-19-2014-a-day-later.html

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 05:02PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 18, 2014: Without Words

Sometimes a situation is so horrific that it renders one speechless.  Such was the attack by Israeli Arabs on innocent Jews praying in Jerusalem this morning.  And so, I’m going to start with photos, which provide greater impact than my words alone would. 

Once I would have apologized for provided such graphic illustrations.  No more. The world must “get the picture,” figuratively as well as literally.

Har Nof shul massacre
Credit: preoccupiedterritory
 
~~~~~~~~~~

Jews went to pray this morning in a major synagogue connected to a yeshiva on Aggasi Street in Har Nof, a largely ultra-Orthodox neighborhood on a hill in western Jerusalem. 

Two Israeli Arabs entered, bearing guns and meat cleavers and knives.  Calling “Allahu Akbar,” they proceeded to massacre those who were praying.

Please note the fact of meat cleavers.  This is about more than “just” killing Jews.  For that guns would have sufficed.  How do I – struggling for adequate words – convey to the world what is going on?  How do I get people to understand what we are dealing with here?

Blood on prayer shawls and prayer books seen inside the synagogue where four people were killed in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90)

Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90
 
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ZAKA is an Israeli organization that, among other things, gathers tissue and blood from attacks, to be interred with the deceased according to Jewish law.  A member of ZAKA today commented that he has been at scenes where more people had been murdered, but he had never seen a bloodier or more gruesome scene than the one today.

Some worshippers were lying in blood on the floor with their tallitot (prayer shalls) and tefillin still on.

Worshipers were cut down as they prayed
Credit: GPO

~~~~~~~~~~

In the end, four were killed:

Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, Rosh Kollel for the Torat Moshe yeshiva and grandson of the great Rav Soloveitchik; Rabbi Kalman Levine, 55; Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43; and Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68. Rabbi Goldberg had dual Israeli-British citizenship; the other three were American-Israeli.

May the Almighty avenge their deaths.

At least eight others were injured, including two police officers.  Four are serious to critical.

~~~~~~~~~~

All four of the victims lived on Aggasi Street. “On one street, four widows and 24 orphans were left," the head rabbi of the community, Yitzhak Mordechai Rubin, said at the funeral of Rabbi Twersky.
 

 

Credit: JPost

 
Rabbi Twersky’s funeral, the first held, was attended by thousands. The other three funerals, also heavily attended, were held shortly thereafter.

~~~~~~~~~~

The two terrorists were shot dead by police.  They were Rasan and Oudai Abu Jamal, cousins from the problematic Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber in eastern Jerusalem. They are reportedly related to terrorist Jamal Abu Jamal, who was released from prison as part of a “gesture” to Abbas and subsequently re-arrested.  As I’ve indicated before that terror is often a “family affair.”

According to various reports I’ve picked up, one of the terrorists worked in a small grocery store (a makolet) just next door to the synagogue.  (More on the significance of this below.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Security forces went into the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood today, where they met resistance.  I believe some family members were arrested. The terrorists’ homes will be demolished and I believe their wives may be expelled.  But note this, please:

The families hailed the terrorists as heroes and martyrs, and passed out candies to celebrate:

Sweets handed out in Gaza to celebrate the attack (Photo: Reuters)

Credit: Reuters

Yet another cousin of the terrorists, Alaa Abu Jamal, said:

“This occurred because of the pressures of the occupying Israeli government on the Palestinian people and in Jerusalem generally, and the ongoing harm to the al-Aqsa mosque; this act is something normal for any person who is connected to his people, to courage and to Islam.

"We got the usual death notification and we shouted with joy, people here also handed out candies to guests who came to visit and were happy for the martyrs."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4593292,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~


I have noted the language of this creep carefully.  He says the act is “normal” for any person connected to Islam.  I’ve seen this word used again and again.  Oh? Arab residents of Jerusalem throw stones at the Light Rail? That’s “normal.”

Think, think carefully and deeply about what it says that a Muslim Arab can describe the horrendous murder of innocent men at prayer as “normal.” It wasn’t excused as an aberration, as the desperate act of people who are demented or deluded.  “Normal.”  And a cause for shouting with joy, yet.

~~~~~~~~~~

As to Abbas, he was under sufficient pressure from various sources – including the US – that he felt the need to at least appear to condemn the attack.  But note how he did it:

"The Palestinian presidency has always condemned the killing of civilians on both sides, and condemns today the killing of worshipers in a house of worship in west Jerusalem.

"It also condemns all acts of violence from whatever source and demands an end to invasions of Al-Aqsa mosque, to the provocations of settlers, and to the incitement of certain Israeli ministers." (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21553

This is no condemnation.  It is additional incitement.  “Invasions” of the mosque?  “Provocations” of settlers?

Netanyahu went out of his way to calm things by meeting with Kerry and King Abdullah.  He made a point of saying there would be no change in the status quo on the Mount.  It does not matter.

~~~~~~~~~~

I note a bitter irony here.  NO terrorist attack is ever justified in any terms. But in this instance there was no justification even from the Palestinian Arab perspective, although they pretend there was.  The people who were killed lived and were praying in western Jerusalem. They were peaceful people - heads of institutions of study and the like. They were not “settlers” or radicals.  They are not even the sort of people who were likely to visit the Temple Mount.  And so?

This attack was random on purpose: designed to foment terror precisely because of its unpredictable nature.

~~~~~~~~~~

There was one other incident that was hauled out as the “reason” for the attack.  And for this I must backtrack a bit.

On Sunday night, an Israeli Arab bus driver, Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, hung himself in his bus, which was parked overnight in the Egged bus company terminal in Har Hotzvim – an industrial area of northern Jerusalem. Police investigating found no signs of foul play and strongly suspected a suicide.  None the less, rumors flew that Jews had killed this man, and riots ensued in at least three Arab neighborhoods.

An autopsy was done (and I believe members of the family were permitted to be present); it concluded that cause of death was suicide.  Made no difference. One relative of the deceased declared: "Eye witnesses told us they saw three Jews who murdered him. Unfortunately, the Israeli police is ignoring the murder and claiming my relative hanged himself."

~~~~~~~~~~

Hamas spokesman Sanu Abu Zuhri put out a statement that declared (emphasis added):

”The operation in Jerusalem is a response to the murder of the martyr Yusuf Ramouni [the bus driver] and to the series of crimes by the occupier at Al-Aqsa and Hamas calls to continue these operations. Hamas calls for more operations like it.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-and-islamic-jihad-praise-jerusalem-attack/
 
According to Israel Hayom, Hamas “urged all Arabs who have Israeli ID cards to infiltrate public places [their ID cards making it easier for them to move about] and use any weapons at their disposal.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21553

~~~~~~~~~~

What I discovered out on the Jerusalem street today was rage. Grief, yes. Sadness, yes. But a particular rage.  I know the feeling well.

Netanyahu has met with the Security Cabinet but I have nothing concrete yet regarding actions to be taken.  There is talk of bringing more security forces into Jerusalem, of guards at all synagogues, etc.

What is understood by those of us who feel rage is that it is time for the Arabs to be afraid.  Only then will they stop.

~~~~~~~~~~

Condemnations of the attack have come from many quarters.

What a visibly shaken Kerry said earlier today was laudable - strong and appropriate in tone. He actually fingered Palestinian Arabs:

“Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue. They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we just had the other day in Amman.”

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/272106/kerry-condemns-har-nif-terror-attack-calls-it-pure-terror-and-senseless-brutality-in-act-of-pure-terror.html
 
But please note what Obama said:

“At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.

“...tragically, this is not the first loss of lives that we have seen in recent months. Too many Israelis have died, too many Palestinians have died.  Obviously, we condemn in the strongest terms this attack.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187606#.VGuF6ptxnIU

Even now, moral equivalency.  “Too many Israelis, too many Palestinians.”  The Israelis died in terror attacks, the Palestinians were in the main shot for perpetrating attacks.

And so – with the permission of my readers - I will drop my professional cool for a moment at the end of this long day, and simply say, damn him.

~~~~~~~~~~

A long and difficult but very necessary posting.  I will close with two additional links that demonstrate ways in which international media in some instances downplayed what happened:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Guardian-deletes-reference-to-Palestinians-CNN-labels-synagogue-mosque-382139

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/309351#.VGuK1JtxnIV
This too we must contend with.

~~~~~~~~~~

© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/18/november-18-2014-without-words.html

 

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 02:04PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 15, 2014: A Mixed Bag

I start today with the link to the Dry Bones Blog of Yaakov Kirschen.  Most of you are probably familiar with Kirschen’s absolutely on-the-mark political commentary by way of cartoon.
 
http://www.drybonesblog.blogspot.co.il/
 
Kirschen is convinced – and rightly so - that cartooning is a powerful way to reach out in today’s world, and so has begun a whole campaign to involve people.  Please see what he has to say.
 
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-fight-antisemitism-with-the-dry-bones-cartoon
 

 

Credit: DryBonesProject

 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Well, Kerry met last week with Abbas, by himself, and then with Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Abdullah.  Please note, there was no attempt by the US to encourage a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu. It was acknowledged that it is not yet time for this.  I myself doubt that it will ever be time.
 
The Netanyahu-Abdullah meeting reinforced Jordan’s special role on the Temple Mount – which is what the king needed to demonstrate his strength to his own people.  We are being told that the status quo will be maintained on the Mount.
 
At the same time, it provided a photo op of Netanyahu and Abdullah, which reinforced what our prime minister is saying about a special relationship with Jordan that must be protected.  Not only was there a photo op, the meeting was initiated by the king and was hosted by Jordan:
 
"’Moderate axis’ is the term used by Israeli officials to describe the ties between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordanian King Abdullah II. However, Israel prefers not to actively publicize the channels of communications between Jerusalem, Amman and Cairo.
 
“Government officials in Israel say there is continuous and productive communication between Israel, Egypt and Jordan and that the three are coordinating their positions.”
 
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21501
 
This said, we should not become unduly irked by the king’s harsh charges leveled at Israel for public consumption.
 
As Times of Israel reported: “Jordan’s tough stance towards Israel over Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque reflects a determination to preserve its custodianship of the flashpoint site as well as its own stability, analysts say.”


http://www.timesofisrael.com/fearing-backlash-jordan-asserts-al-aqsa-custodianship/
 
 

Credit: Israel Today
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
If we can tolerate what the king says, because we understand his motivation, tolerating what Kerry says is something else all together.
 
Direct negations cannot commence until calm is restored in Jerusalem, he says.  The US is committed to advancing the “peace talks.” In his dreams.
 
Worse, he told the press that he had met with Abbas, who “will do everything possible to restore calm.”  Kerry said he had faith in both Netanyahu’s and Abbas’s commitment to peace.  Could it be?  Is he that clueless that he believes this?  That ready to be taken in by Abbas?
 
http://new.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Kerry-Netanyahu-and-Abbas-committed-to-deescalating-Temple-Mount-tensions-381789
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
See what Jonathan Spyer – senior research fellow at Gloria - has to say about the behavior of Abbas (emphasis added):

“,,,The new violence [as compared to the violence of the two intifadas], though indiscriminate, brutal and murderous, is more narrowly focused. It is limited, for now, to specific areas of the country and to specific parts of Jerusalem.

But the West Bank, the cauldron of so much violence and hatred during the last two intifadas, has so far stayed largely quiet.

“Why? Because the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank appears to be playing a double game.

“On the one hand, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is engaging in incitement, spreading fear and anger about supposed Israeli plans to upset the delicate rules for Jewish worship on the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque area. Abbas has spoken of Jews ‘desecrating’ and ‘contaminating’ the site — the holiest place in Judaism.

“...Meantime, while Abbas spouts incendiary rhetoric, his security forces are continuing to cooperate with the Israelis in ensuring relative quiet on the West Bank. This reflects the general lack of Palestinian enthusiasm to provoke another mass confrontation with Israel.

“This is a dangerous double game. While the attacks on Israeli civilians have been presented in some news reports as spontaneous acts of rage, an examination of the biographies of the perpetrators so far suggests something quite different.”

http://www.meforum.org/4888/fear-and-loathing-in-jerusalem

~~~~~~~~~~

For evidence of various calls to violence by the PA that are still going on, see this Palestinian Media Watch bulletin:
 
http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13063
 
It describes such statements as that of a representative of the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs, who declared just two days ago that Jerusalem needs “sacrifices and blood.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Security measures are still being tightened: Security Minister Aharonovitch has now said that metal detectors – which have not been employed since 2000 – are going to be utilized for screening of those seeking to enter the Temple Mount. Subsequently, he says, facial recognition cameras will be installed.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
MKs Yoni Chetboun and Ayelet Shaked of Habayit Hayehudi and Ze’ev Elkin and Yariv Levin of Likud are proposing legislation that would make prosecution of Arab rioters easier.  Now, police make arrests when illegal gatherings take place, but the burden of proof is on the arresting officers to provide evidence that the particular individuals were planning violence.  This is one of the reasons, Chetboun has explained, that we see the revolving door, with arrests made and then suspects freed.
 
The law being proposed – the “masks bill” – would put the burden of proof on the arrested suspects in cases where the suspects’ faces were covered.  The assumption being posited is that if someone covers his or her face, it is because this person is seeking violence and does not want to be identified. 
 
Have no idea what the chances of this passing are, but it sure sounds good to me.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
But, needless to say, the appeasing Obama administration is not exactly happy with our more stringent approach to handling terrorists and trouble makers from the Arab community in Israel.
 
We have re-established the policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists.  At a State Department press briefing on Thursday, spokeswoman Jen Psaki, when asked about this, said: “Well, we believe that punitive demolitions are counterproductive to the cause of peace and exacerbate an already tense situation.”
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187444#
 
At the same press conference, she also had something to say about that fire in a mosque in Samaria.  I wrote about this recently: Villagers were screaming that the Jews – “settlers” – did it, but there was no evidence for this and villagers would not allow Israeli police in to investigate. There is, in fact, reason to suspect that Arabs did it so that Jews might be fingered.
 
Psaki declared: “The United States condemns the attack against a mosque in the West Bank. We believe that such hateful and provocative actions against a place of worship are never justified."
 
No, she did not identify the culprits directly as Jews or “settlers.” There is no way she could. But you had better believe that is what she meant.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
This is vastly encouraging, although we have a long way to go:
 
MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) with the backing of the prime minister, is promoting legislation that would enshrine the concept of Israel as a Jewish state. 
 
Among the stipulations of the law:
 
“...all Jewish schools will teach Jewish history as well as Jewish tradition and heritage.  Hebrew will be recognized as the only official language in Israel. Arabic, which as of now is considered an official language in Israel, will instead be given special status.
 
“The bill also declares that the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which a Jew can exercise his desire for self-determination in accordance with his historical legacy.  This right to exercise national self-determination will be provided to Jewish people only.
“However, every resident, regardless of religion and nationality, will be entitled to preserve his or her heritage, culture and language.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187494#.VGkTO5txnIV
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
This has been an issue of great importance for a long time, for there are those who try to turn the identity of Israel as a democracy into Israel as “a state of all its citizens.” By this is meant that there would be no acknowledgment of a special status within the state for Jews. All citizens would be treated the same.  Jews have right of return, Arabs can have right of return too. Etc.  It is a blatant attempt to destroy the Jewish nature of Israel and allow for an eventual Arab takeover.
 
There are pro-Palestinian Arab organizations here in Israel, for example, that protest the flag of Israel, because the Jewish star renders it “unfair” to Arab citizens. 
 
With regard to this, there are two points that must be made.  First, that there is a difference between national rights – which pertain to the Jewish people in our land and pertain to such things as the Jewish star on the flag and the national anthem – and individual civil rights – which pertain to all citizens, with regard to freedom of speech, right to vote and run for office,  etc. etc.
 
And then, it must be understood that because Israel is a Jewish state does not mean it is not a democracy.    
 
With all this said, the issue is particularly important now because of the claims that we have no history on the Temple Mount, that we have no rights in the land, etc.
 
I was pleased that Netanyahu said at the Cabinet meeting today, that “it should be clear that Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people.”   This language harkens back to the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine. It’s a step towards publicly recognizing our rights in this land.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/16/november-15-2014-a-mixed-bag.html

 

Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 05:30PM by Registered CommenterArlene in | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 13, 2014: Is It Getting Better?

First, a correction:  When I wrote about the tragedy in Gush Etzion the other day, I accidentally wrote “Gush Katif,” which no longer exists.  Thanks to those readers who caught this.  Truth is, I have never forgotten Gush Katif (nor should any of us) and occasionally I slip and write about this Gush [“block,” as in a block of communities] rather than the one I intended.

~~~~~~~~~~

As to the situation possibly getting better...

We haven’t had any murders of Jews at the hands of Arab terrorists for about 72 hours now, after several terrorist attacks in a row.  Does this means things are better?

Minimally so, perhaps.  The news reports yesterday were offering hints from military/police personnel about a slowly improving situation.  The improvement, we were told, was because of stringent measures that had been set in place: 2,000 more troops had been moved to problem areas in the field and were more visible, arrests were taking place.

Authorities – including Police Commissioner Inspector General Yochanan Danino - were saying that since 1,000 border police reinforcements had been brought into Jerusalem, the improvement in the security situation could already be seen. The reinforcements will stay in place as long as it is deemed necessary.

~~~~~~~~~~

With regard to the last 72 hours, the fact that there were no murders does not mean that the Arabs have stopped trying to kill us.  In point of fact, there were two planned attacks that were foiled last night.

In one instance, a young Palestinian Arab from Ramallah, was hitchhiking at a junction outside of Dolev in Samaria, seeking a ride to Jerusalem.  An Israeli stopped and asked him where he was going: the Arab’s accent and halting response made him suspicious.  He drove off, and then contacted authorities.  Police came from Modi’in Ilit, searched his bag and found a large knife and screwdriver.  After questioning, the Arab admitted he had intended to go to Jerusalem to stab a bus driver.  He was hoping the driver would lose control and the bus would turn over, causing other casualties as well.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187414#.VGSUWZtxnIU

Please understand that when I refer to a knife, I do not mean a small paring knife for peeling an apple. Below you see the weapons this guy carried;

Weapons found on Arab would-be terrorist
Credit: Police Spokesman Unit
 

~~~~~~~~~~

The second Palestinian Arab who intended to attack was caught while walking outside of the Machpela (the Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hevron. Security personnel thought he was walking “suspiciously.”  This is important, as it means there was vigilance.  Security personnel asked him to lift up his shirt while he was still a few feet away, and saw a commando knife at his waist.  When the police cocked their guns at him, he threw the knife down; he was arrested.

Apparently Palestinian Arabs have shifted from driving vehicles into crowds to stabbing with knives as the preferred method of attack. Hey, not everyone has a car, but anyone can get a knife.

~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, throwing of stones never goes out of favor as a means of attacking.  This particular incident made me quite furious:

Yesterday, a group of 10 and 11 year old girls from Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu (a religious kibbutz in the Beit Shean valley near Lake Kinneret) was taken by teachers on a hike to the Arbel Cliffs, overlooking the lake.  A group of 16 and 17 year old boys from Kfar Manda (an Arab town in the lower Galil) began pelting them with a barrage of rocks, injuring some of the teachers and some of the students.  One teacher required hospitalization.  And all of the girls were traumatized.

Police were summoned, but the information I have about what happened subsequently is insufficient.  I only know that the boys’ “guide” was taken in for questioning, at which point he “apologized.”  And that an investigation has been launched.

Please understand, we are not talking about Arabs in Israel illegally. These boys are Israeli citizens. Why were they not arrested on the spot?  Had the guide tried to stop them (tend to doubt this), or did he simply “apologize” after the fact?  Were there no other adults with the boys?

There must be enormous stringency in dealing with such cases.

~~~~~~~~~~

That matter of stringency is a point that is being made over and over by commentators looking at the violence.  What has happened is that security forces – police, soldiers – have lost deterrence power: the Arabs who wish to initiate attacks are no longer afraid.

And there is one factor, connected to this, that is particularly worrisome:  There are youthful elements within the Palestinian Arabs community that apparently express “admiration” for ISIS:  Members of ISIS are seen as brave and fearless, and they may feel empowered by them.

I had no sooner encountered an analyst who wrote of this, then I also encountered this report:

An Arab boy in Jerusalem was stopped and searched because he looked suspicious.  A large knife was found on him (again, a knife) and he was arrested.

”During the arrest, the boy threatened the police saying, ‘ISIS and Hamas will take care of you.’" (Emphasis added)
 
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/ISIS-and-Hamas-will-take-care-of-you-arrested-Palestinian-teen-tells-police-381536
 
~~~~~~~~~~

With regard to lack of fear of police, I want to circle back to look at an incident of almost a week ago:  Last Friday night, in the Galil Arab town of Kfar Kanna, a young Israeli Arab  named Kheir al-Din Hamdan had an altercation with police that ended with his death.  There have been conflicting stories involving a stun grenade.  Apparently police came to arrest him, or an associate of his, for throwing such a grenade.  At some point he came after the car where the police sat, with a knife in hand. and banged with it on the car window – after which it seems he opened the rear door of the car.

The police report said they fired a warning shot at him first, and then shot him only when he did not respond to the warning and they felt themselves threatened. A video of the event, however, suggests that there was no warning shot and that the police erred badly.

As might be expected, riots ensued.  The police were accused of shooting Hamdan “in cold blood,” etc.

The first question to be asked, from where I sit, is how it was that a young man felt no compunction about coming at the police with a knife?  No fear. This is the loss of deterrence. 

And then, how it is that the local Israeli Arabs saw rioting as an appropriate response to what happened?  Particularly considering the fact that Hamdan was involved with a stun grenade and then came at the police with a knife.

Netanyahu responded firmly to this situation, saying that we are a nation of law, and that the behavior of the mob cannot be permitted.  Some 16 rioters were arrested.

The police will investigate the situation, and, if it is found that there was a lack of professional judgment exhibited by the police, there will be repercussions (as indeed there should be). 

But those questions underlying this situation still must be addressed.

~~~~~~~~~~

I have certainly written about this before, but feel the need to do so again here: The failure of the international community to vehemently criticize the overt incitement by Abbas and his cronies or the behavior of the Palestinian Arabs who have chosen again and again to resort to obscene violence. Either there is total silence, or there is a politically correct attempt to be even-handed that, in fact, is a grave injustice to Israel.

We have, for example, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who expressed great concern about “the violence” (perpetrators not identified).  Following the tried and true formula for statements of moral equivalence, he called on all sides to show restraint so as to "avoid further exacerbating an already tense environment."  I will refrain from further comment here.

~~~~~~~~~~

I really disliked Catherine Ashton, EU foreign affairs chief.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that I may begin to miss her, now that she has been replaced by Federica Mogherini of Italy. 

Credit: lifeinitaly


At the end of last week, after visiting Gaza, she pronounced, “We need a Palestinian state – that is the ultimate goal and this is the position of all of the European Union.  It is not only the people of Gaza that can’t afford having a forth war, all the world cannot afford it.“

http://www.timesofisrael.com/we-need-a-palestinian-state-says-new-eu-foreign-affairs-chief/

Unfortunately, she neglected to address a few small matters, such as why she thinks a Palestinian state will prevent another war in Gaza (this is the major delusion), or why the situation in Gaza is so important to the world in the face of what’s happening in Syria, Iraq, etc. etc. It’s the same old over-emphasis on Palestinian Arabs to the neglect of much more serious problems in the world.  And, of course, if the world “needs” a Palestinian state, then surely she expects us to bite the bullet and make the concessions that will make such a state possible.  Watch for what comes next.

~~~~~~~~~~

On Tuesday night, a mosque in al-Mugayir, an Arab village near Ramallah, was set on fire.  The villagers promptly blamed Jews living in the area, which is in Samaria (the Shomron).  “Only settlers would do this,” said the mayor.

According to one police source, however, this arson had none of the earmarks of attacks by Jewish extremists – no graffiti, for example.  Unfortunately, the police could not complete their investigation because they were not allowed by village residents to come in and do so. 

Head of the Shomron Regional Council Gershon Mesika roundly condemned the arson, but said, thus far “no Jew has ever been caught setting fire to a mosque.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/police-not-sure-of-motives-behind-burned-west-bank-mosque/

This story is highly instructive on several counts.  I cannot state with any certainty what happened in this instance, but I can tell you that there have been other instances in which Arabs were shown to have damaged their own property and then blamed the Jews. The fact that the police were not allow to conduct a proper investigation does give pause. 

Of course, what is most likely to make headlines is the accusation by villagers that Jews set their mosque on fire.

~~~~~~~~~~

Kerry has come to the area to help calm down matters. Oh joy.  He met with Abbas and King Abdullah, and just now had completed a meeting with Netanyahu and the king.  I will save comment on this for my next posting, after Shabbat – if indeed what transpired is worthy of comment.

~~~~~~~~~~

I have been asked by a reader to end my posting with something good. I used to do this, and then of late have been overwhelmed by the not-good news.  And so here I present something to make my readers smile:

Yehuda Glick is doing very well. So well, that he was able to pose for his first picture in the hospital, with his wife, Yafi:

Yafi and Yehuda Glick

Courtesy family

May he progress to complete recovery.

~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/13/november-13-2014-is-it-getting-better.html

 

Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 04:06PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 11, 2014: A Day Later

Pain compounded. 

The young woman who was knifed to death by a terrorist in Gush Katif yesterday - Dalia Lemkus, 26, from Tekoa - was laid to rest today.

Dalia Lemkos hy"d

Credit: Facebook
 
People who know members of the family describe all of them, including Dalia, as warm, caring, giving people.

Nachum Lemkus, Dalia’s father, said that the murder “will not break our stand, and our commitment to our country. He murdered you because you were a Jew living in Israel.”

Michal, Dalia’s sister, urged everyone to keep on with what they are doing, unafraid:  “Don’t give them the satisfaction, the satisfaction that they managed to stop and prevent us from living our lives.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/at-funeral-of-slain-woman-sister-urges-hitchhikers-not-to-stop/

Courageous and dignified people here in Israel. Ah, would that the world saw this.

~~~~~~~~~~

Almog Shiloni, the 20 year old IDF sergeant who was knifed repeatedly by a terrorist yesterday, has succumbed to his wounds in spite of the dedicated attempts by doctors to save him.

 

 
Courtesy: Family
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~

I hope it will be understood when I say that it was perhaps a mercy that he died.  Yesterday I was haunted by the information that had been provided by the first medic who had arrived to treat Shiloni: He had so many knife wounds that they couldn’t be counted.  How he must have suffered, and how fragile his damaged body would have been had he lived.

And for what?

What strikes me, what I long for the world to understand (although it chooses not to), is that we are dealing with an evil here that transcends a decision by Palestinian Arabs to kill Jews for political purposes.  That decision alone would be immoral and horrific.  But to keep stabbing this young soldier, over and over and over?  What deep-seated, obscene anger rests inside this terrorist.  An anger that certainly transcends the political issues of “occupation.”  It is, as I stated above, evil.  Consummate evil.

Shiloni was buried today in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem; about a thousand people came to honor his memory.  A graduate of the first Platoon Commanders’ Course of the Nahal Haredi battalion of the IDF, he made history with his induction to the very first combat unit in the Israeli Air Force made up of religious soldiers.

Rabbi Dov Lifshitz, of the Nahal Haredi Rabbis NGO, who knew Shilon, described him as a God-fearing man, a commander who was admired by his subordinates. “My heart breaks over his murder...”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187309#.VGIxeJtxnIU

~~~~~~~~~~
 
The terrorist who killed Shiloni is handcuffed to his bed in a hospital in Tel Aviv. Police are doing extensive interrogation.
 
Hamas had apparently taken credit for this attack.  I had read yesterday that the killer of Dalia Lemkus was also Hamas-affiliated, but have since seen reports that Islamic Jihad has taken credit.

~~~~~~~~~~

I am seeing a whole lot of commentary and analysis about what we are dealing with here in Israel.  And there are certain points I feel it is important to make. Never mind that I and others have made these points before.  People need to be reminded. The points need to be reinforced:

[] This is not about “the occupation.” It is about intimidating and weakening Jews and the Jewish state.

[] Negotiating a “two state solution” will not bring peace to this area. Quite the contrary.  A Palestinian state at Israel’s border would generate a lethal situation for Israel.

[] It is not spontaneous.  It is being well choreographed and organized and instigated by various Palestinian Arab elements.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is yet another point to be made: concessions to violent Palestinian Arabs will not bring a respite from violence. When we make those concessions, we are perceived as weak and thus make ourselves more vulnerable to additional violence.  The reverse is required.

We have evidence of the need for a tough stance in a new report from the Palestinian Media Watch:

”At least three times in recent weeks, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and the Palestinian Authority's Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, has made statements showing that the PA agrees with Hamas' religious belief claiming Islamic sanctity over all of the State of Israel. In one of his statements, Al-Habbash used the same language as Hamas does in its charter...
 
“This designation of all of Israel as "waqf " has far-reaching political ramifications as it prohibits and precludes any authentic PA peace treaty with Israel.”

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12997

~~~~~~~~~~
 
There are actions that are being taken now that indicate a toughening of our stance. 

[] In both instances yesterday, family members of the terrorists were taken into custody.  This may serve to intimidate the terrorists, and may serve to provide information.  Very often, terror – or at least association with terrorist organizations - is a family affair.

[] Plans are being put in place for the demolishing of the homes of the terrorists and their families.  This is something we used to do, and then stopped doing in the spirit of Oslo. See what it got us, that we were “nice guys” on this.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are a dozen other things that might, and should, be done. (Emphasis added)

Danny Danon (Likud) has some suggestions:  “Now is the time to put into operation plans that forbid the entry of Palestinians into Israel, the expulsion of illegal infiltrators to Gaza, an end to the VIP conditions that [Mahmoud Abbas] and his government enjoy, and an immediate end of the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority.”
 
MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) insists that those responsible for terrorism must be treated as an enemy rather than as a partner: "the Arabs have lifted their heads thanks to the incitement of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and are now perpetrating terrorist attacks. War is war.

“Let the Cabinet meet periodically to evaluate the situation and make decisions. Grant the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli police the tools, the execution policy, the ability to open fire, and especially the backup of soldiers and policeman, so that even in the case of error, we can defeat terrorism and restore security to Israel.”

MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) says that government officials have not been serious in their response, as evidenced by their reliance on defensive measures such as concrete barriers instead of proactive ones

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187284#.VGJKrptxnIV

Changing the mindset is what matters here: calling this a war and treating Abbas as an enemy, rather than as someone the world tells us is our “peace partner.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has warned that we are going to be seeing additional attacks such as those that have just taken place, or, at least, attempts to carry out such attacks.  Israel, he said, is in “the midst of an escalation” of terror.

“...successful stabbings and ramming attacks usually prompt other copycat attacks. This is a stressful period and we should behave accordingly. Our working assumption is that anyone who has committing a terror attack crossing his mind, will likely do it, and therefore it seems we’ll see more events like this.”

However...“We cannot allow this escalation to develop, and therefore we increased forces in the West Bank and on the seam line to prevent the passage of illegals into Israel.”

Reports Alegmeiner: “some 500 crack troops of the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion are being redeployed from the Golan to the Judea and Samaria Division. Together with other experienced infantry units, some 1,000 troops in total are being redirected to the area.”
 
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/11/idf-braces-for-rocket-fire-on-two-borders-redeploys-infantry-to-roiling-west-bank-video/

Does redirecting 1,000 troops represent a serious effort?

~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu is moving ahead with plans to revoke the citizenship of anyone who calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.  Good move. Let’s see it followed-through.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187212#.VGJcS5txnIV

~~~~~~~~~~

With all of our talk about getting tough and recognizing our enemies, we’ve continued to extend a humanitarian hand to those enemies, adopting policies that might be interpreted as tremendously moral or just plain nuts, depending on your perspective. Certainly we act as no other nation does:

We have just supplied the PA and Hamas with Ebola detection kits. This may be quite appropriate, when we consider what the risks of Ebola are. 

But how about this: Halamia Shcata, 60, of Gaza, has cancer and has been admitted several times to Israeli hospitals for treatment – most recently last week.  She is the sister of Hamas official Mousa Aba Marzouk.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Senior-Hamas-official-Marzouks-sister-hospitalized-in-Israel-380628
 
Or this: Last month the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was brought to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamas-leader-Haniyehs-daughter-received-medical-treatment-in-Israel-379218

They speak against us, and act to kill us, and we treat their relatives.

~~~~~~~~~~
 
Yesterday I wrote about the importance of making distinctions between the Palestinian Arabs and Jordan.  Today I share this:

“In an effort to counter the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and its effect on her borders, Jordan has imposed new rules on Muslim clerics.

“In a mandatory meeting held at an auditorium in Zarga and attended by hundreds of Muslim clerics, Jordan’s Minister of Islamic Affairs, Hayel Dawood, ordered imams to preach moderate Islam – or else.

“’You clerics are our ground forces against the extremists,’ Havey Dawood told them.  ‘Once you cross the line, you will not be let back in.’”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187278#.VGJcq5txnIW

~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly for today, I want to point out an article of importance by Dr. Moti Kedar, “Why and When was the Myth of al Aksa created?”

“Arafat, himself a secular person (ask the Hamas!), did exactly what the Caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty did 1300 years ago: he marshaled the holiness of Jerusalem to serve his political ends....

“Since the holiness of Jerusalem to Islam has always been, and still is no more than a politically motivated holiness, any Palestinian Arab politician would be putting his political head on the block should he give it up.”

Very informative.  See the full article:
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15953#.VGJeuZtxnIU

~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/11/november-11-2014-a-day-later.html

 

Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 05:04PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 10, 2014: Perspective

I must start with the breaking news, all of it obscenely ugly, before I go to what I had intended to write today:
 
A young woman, as yet unidentified, has been killed near the entrance to Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion – just meters away from where the three students were kidnapped this summer. Two others with her were wounded.
 
The terrorist - Maher al-Hashlamun, of Hevron, a released prisoner with Hamas associations - tried to get his victims by hitting them with his car first, and when he failed, he got out of the car and came at them with a knife. He was been shot by the guard at the entrance to Alon Shvut.  I believe he died on the way to the hospital. 
 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4590384,00.html
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
This attack followed by only hours a terrorist attack on a soldier, also unidentified as yet, near a train station on Levinsky Street in Tel Aviv.  The assailant tried to grab the soldier’s gun and failed.  He then came at him with a knife, stabbing him so many times, according to a medic, that it was impossible to count the wounds.  He is in critical condition and undergoing surgery in Tel Hashomer hospital.
 
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/10/israeli-soldier-critical-after-terror-stabbing-in-tel-aviv-medic-describes-numerous-stabbing-wounds-too-many-to-count-graphic-photos/
 
I ask your forgiveness, that I am reproducing a graphic picture here, but I am moved by my anger to do this.
 
 

Credit: Barak Sharabi/Tazpit News
 
The terrorist in this instance, Nur al-Din, is a resident of the Askar refugee camp; reportedly he has Hamas associations, and was in Israel illegally.  He tried to flee the scene but was apprehended by a bystander and is in police custody.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Much more will follow on these two stories, but now I want to try to pick up on the theme I had intended for today’s posting: looking at the Temple Mount issue from a somewhat different angle.  I believe the connections will become apparent.  Please! read through to the end.
 
I recently wrote about the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan has been threatening to break Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel because of changes on the Temple Mount.  And on the surface this does seem to be what’s going on: the Jordanian ambassador to Israel was recalled for consultations last week, and now this week the king has given word to Jordanian officials that they are not to participate in what had been planned as a joint Jordan-Israel event honoring the 20th anniversary of the treaty.
 
But...as I previously indicated, there is more here than meets the eye – some solid ties with Jordan exist, ties that Jordan would prefer not be promoted broadly.  See what Robert Satloff wrote about the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty - which he considers a “remarkable” document compared with the earlier Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty – shortly after it was signed:
 
“In the Jordan-Israel treaty, the concept of ‘partnership’ replaces the emphasis on ‘respect,’ while ‘cooperation’ replaces the focus on ‘security’...the peace treaty speaks only of an era of peace and joint efforts. Its contents are filled with mature, creative, and principled solutions to common problems; its detailed annexes focus not on security issues but on innovative ways to reconcile ‘Israeli private ownership rights within Jordanian sovereignty’ and to find compromise solutions to the problem of water resources.”
 
http://www.meforum.org/240/the-jordan-israel-peace-treaty
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
I wouldn’t say that the Israeli-Jordanian relationship has quite fulfilled the optimistic projections of Satloff that we would see a warm peace. But the point that Israel and Jordan have common concerns and a basis for genuine cooperation is very valid.  There are other areas of cooperation, but key is cooperative agreements regarding water. A joint Israeli-Jordanian Water Committee was formed; Israel agreed to supply Jordan with 50 million cubic meters of water per year, and allocate to Jordan 75% of the water from the Yarmouk River.    
 
This is a matter of great significance for Jordan: I have been advised that Jordan “cannot” break the treaty because of its dependence on the water.
 
And, indeed, Abdullah Ensour, Prime Minister of Jordan, yesterday let it be known that Jordan was committed to the peace treaty and was not currently considering withdrawing from it.
 

Credit: AP

~~~~~~~~~~      
 
We need, then, to take a closer look at what is going on.  And the first question to be asked is why – as there was cooperation between Israel and Jordan even before the peace treaty was drafted – it was deemed appropriate or necessary to advance the formal treaty in 1994.  (See the picture below, which reflects a warm interaction between Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan, at the signing on October 26, 1994.)         
 
Jordan’s King Hussein

Credit: Reuters
 
The answer is very enlightening.  Israel had already signed the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Arabs, and was, in theory, negotiating a final status agreement.  The Wakf (Muslim Trust) on the Temple Mount had been Jordanian, but Jordan was afraid that, were there to be a peace treaty between Israel and the PA, it would be the PA that would be accorded priority on matters involving the Mount. 
 
To preclude this eventuality, Jordan signed a peace treaty that acknowledged Jordan’s special status on the Mount.
 
Ah...
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Abdullah, king of Jordan, sits on his throne these days with great unease.  The Hashemites have always been a minority in the kingdom: until recently, Palestinian Arabs constituted the majority.  Now this situation has shifted because of huge numbers of refugees from Syria and Iraq. But in Amman, there is still a Palestinian Arab majority that makes Abdullah very uncomfortable indeed.  Thus said, it is clear that he cannot risk the ire of the Palestinian Arabs in his country.  To support Israel, to agree to changes on the Mount, would do precisely that. He must at all points seem to be taking a strong and critical stance with Israel.
 
This then is how I see the situation. 
 
The prevailing wisdom here says that Netanyahu has agreed to maintain the status quo on the Mount so as to not risk the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty.  But I would frame it differently.  I would say that he has insisted on maintaining the status quo so to avoid creating a situation that might cause Jordan’s monarch to fall, and allow Palestinian Arabs, Syrians, and Iraqis – many of whom are radical, jihadi - to come to the fore.  To act in a way that foments this would not be in Israel’s best interest.
 
I fervently believe in the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount and I believe the day will come when we will. But I also believe that to push it at this moment in time would be counterproductive.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
It is worth considering a couple of very different attitudes between the Jordanians and the Palestinian Arabs with regard to the Mount:
 
Jordan claims the right to manage the Mount, but is not calling for Jordanian sovereignty there. The Palestinian Arabs indeed do call for sovereignty there: They say Israel must move back behind the ‘67 armistice line, which would leave the Mount totally in their hands.
 
Jordan says that while Jews cannot pray on the Mount, they can be there.  Abbas has come out saying that Jews have no place there at all.
 
There must be different policies, then, with regard to how Israel responds to Jordan and to the Palestinian Authority.  The enemy is the PA, and this must be said unequivocally and boldly.  I have written about how we must stand strong for who we are, and I believe it is against the Palestinian Authority – against Abbas and his cohort – that we must focus.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
What is needed is a very pointed exposure of the horrendous incitement of the PA – an incitement that has caused Jewish deaths.
 
Fatah, the party of Mahmoud Abbas, blatantly promotes terrorism on its Facebook page.  This cartoon is from Fatah’s official page:


 
The main Fatah page of FB just days ago had the post: "Run over, friend, run over the foreign settler!" 
Another said: “The Jews are defiling Al-Aqsa - will you not rage??"
 
Abbas himself wrote a condolence letter to the family of the terrorist who attempted to kill Yehuda Glick.  In it he described the terrorist as a “Shahid” - a Martyr who “rose to Heaven while defending our people’s rights and holy places.”
 
The PA National Security Forces posted a cartoon depicting Israel as about to rape the Al Aksa Mosque, represented by a woman.
 
You can see all of this and more on the Palestinian Media Watch site:  http://www.palwatch.org/
 
Perhaps worst is this song, which has become a big hit on Palestinian Arab social media, and is fueled by the charges of Abbas:
 
“Run [them] over, destroy, annihilate, blow them up;‎ don’t let the Zionist live long.

"O Al-Aqsa, we’re your defenders O son of Jerusalem, cry 'Allah is great!'

‎“Wait for them at the intersection. Let the settler drown in red blood. Terrorize them.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
We have a huge task in front of us, here in Israel, in order to eliminate the murderous scourge that confronts us.  We are very angry, and I believe we will.  I will follow with reports on the situation over time.
 
Today, Netanyahu said:
 
“We will fight incitement led by the Palestinian Authority...To all the demonstrators who have rallied against the state and for the Palestinian Authority, I want to say one thing: you are welcome to move out...for those who remain – we will make life difficult for the rioters and terrorists.
 
"I have instructed that the full severity of the law be enforced, including the demolitions of terrorists' homes and other measures..."
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187277#.VGDTCJtxnIU
 
This is a mere beginning. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
But each of you can act on behalf of Israel now, as well.
 
First, please! publicize the incitement of the PA. The world does not know, or choses not to know. 
 
Put out calls in a variety of venues for the Palestinian delegation to be kicked out of the UN until the incitement to kill Jews ceases. Demand that the US stop providing funds to the PA until the calls to kill Jews stop.  (With thanks to Ruth Lieberman here.)
 
You know the drill: Write letters to the editors of your papers, submit op-eds, post this information on your Facebook pages. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
I have not yet addressed the vile and immoral silence of the world on this, and will come back to it.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/10/november-10-2014-perspective.html

 

Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 at 03:25PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 7, 2014: A Brief Follow-Up

I will not be able to post again until after Shabbat, and so wanted to provide here just a bit of factual “catch-up,” as well as something in the way of a broader overview.  These are difficult days.
 
I just read of one person involved in the issues of the Temple Mount who said that the problem is that we are dealing with religious fanatics on both sides who are exacerbating the situation.  But I beg to differ.
 
We are dealing with a political war that is being couched in religious terms.
 
There were centuries during which the Temple Mount was in the hands of Muslims, and Muslims paid scant attention to it.  They were able to access it but just didn’t bother. While for the religious Jew there is no place on earth that has more sanctity than the Mount, for the Muslim it is of far less significance religiously.  Mecca is their holiest site. When they pray on the Temple Mount, they face Mecca.  Jews the world over pray facing the Mount.
 
In point of fact, there were times, not so very distant, when Muslim clerics acknowledged the Jewish attachment to the Mount.
 
What has changed now is the political context. The Palestinian Arabs are eager to delegitimize Israel, and they see no better way to do it than by depriving Jews of access to their place of greatest sanctity. Please, as you read various reports, do keep this in mind.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
I just came across an article about Muslim women who go up on the Mount and profess great devotion to Al Aksa mosque.  “You know,” one of these women said, “I never used to pray there. But now it means everything to me.  I would give my life for it.”
 
Why this sudden passionate devotion?  Because she’s talking from her pocketbook: she is being paid by Hamas to go up there, and to profess this devotion, and to harass Jews who come up.
 
I wrote yesterday about the young Muslim Arabs who stored weapons in the Al Aksa mosque with which to attack Israeli police.  Is this how people of religion treat their holy place?  Or is this how renegades and terrorists act to weaken Israel?
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
After I wrote yesterday, there was yet another attack by vehicle.  This time it was in Gush Etzion: three soldiers were hit by a commercial van that pulled away after the attack. One soldier is in critical condition in intensive care; it is not certain he will live. The other two are less severely injured.
 
The incident was called a terror attack.  A search began immediately for the driver of the vehicle – which was found, abandoned. Location of the van enabled the driver to be identified.  His brother and father were arrested.
 
Then, lo and behold, the driver turned himself in to the police, claiming that what happened was hit and run.  At some level this is being accepted – terrorists don’t usually turn themselves in.  But there are those who challenge this scenario, saying that the terrorist came in because his family was already in custody and he know the police would get him – that he thought it better to surrender and make up this story.  Additionally, claim those who challenge the “hit and run” story, the authorities prefer to call it hit and run so that the public is not so alarmed.  The fact of two terrorist attacks by vehicle in one day was/is exceedingly frightening.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
What is making headlines here now is communication that has gone on/is going on between Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah. They may have met, they definitely have consulted by phone.  It is said that both are eager to cool the overheated environment here in Jerusalem.
 
There is certainly no way for me to know all that has transpired between them, or what agreements they have made.  But what I am seeing, at a public level, are two things.  And they unsettle me greatly.
 
The first is that Netanyahu has promised Abdullah that the status quo will be maintained on the Mount – which means he will permit no Jewish prayer. This is supposed to make the Palestinian Arabs who are devoted to the Mount calmer.  The prime minister also acknowledged the special role of Jordan with regard to the Mount, as specified in the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty.
 
The fact that Jews are not permitted to pray on the Mount is simply wrong, an injustice of considerable proportions.  But I might be able to live with this situation for a modest  interval of time (not indefinitely!), if I saw that it brought quiet to Jerusalem.  It’s a matter of timing, and our time will come. 
 
The number of terrorist incidents – rock throwing, firebombing, etc. - has gone down in the last few days.  And there is reason to believe that Abdullah had something to do with this.  Reason to believe that there may have been a quid pro quo in terms of his attempting to cool things down, as Netanyahu made his statement.
 
(To clarify here: I believe what’s going on with Abdullah is happening at two levels.  There is his public grandstanding for effect, so that he calls in his ambassador.  And there is a different level of understanding between the two leaders quietly. I often feel he overdoes the grandstanding, but that is simply my perspective.)
 
But what I am also seeing at the very same time is that Palestinian Arab incitement to terror is continuing unabated at a horrendous level.  Both the PA and Fatah are using social media and various press outlets to specifically encourage people to use their vehicles to commit terror attacks:
 
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/06/palestinian-press-social-media-urging-drivers-to-perpetrate-martyrdom-operations/
 
This is what happens, then, when we back down on demands to pray on the Mount?  Does Abdullah have any leverage with Abbas? Did he even try to cool him down?
 
What we are facing is a situation that cannot stand.  It seems, Netanyahu’s conciliatory statement notwithstanding, that things will get worse before they get better.  And that being very strong, and very sure of our rights, if the only thing that will make a difference.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
After Shabbat I will try to find time to look at these matters – and some others – in more detail.  Naftali Bennett is pushing his “annex Area C” campaign, which would give the Palestinian Arabs something less than a full state.  There is a proposal to withdraw citizenship from Israeli Arabs involved in terror, which I think is a great idea and long overdue. 
 
As well, I want very much to take the time to look at what Rabin stood for with regard to the Oslo Accords.  His position has been considerably distorted by the left.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Shabbat Shalom!  What would we do without Shabbat?
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

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Posted on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 03:50AM by Registered CommenterArlene | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 5, 2014: Never Ending

I am referring to the grief that is leveled at us, here in Israel, on a regular basis.  I don’t really mean “never ending.” This is hyperbole; some day it will end.  But I don’t know when; I only recognize that we must be strong in all respects as we face down the situation.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
But before I get to our difficulties, I want to say “Baruch Hashem.”  I awoke with great gladness this morning to the news that the Republicans had taken Congress.  May the Almighty grant the Republican majority wisdom and strength as they work to stop Obama in his tracks and turn around a great deal of the bad that has been done.  With the finest of intentions, the results will be far less than ideal, I know.  Obama still sits in the White House.  But there is much that CAN be done.  We have at least hope now for a better America, an America that reflects traditional values and loyalties.
 
The U.S. Capitol Building

Credit: aoc.gov
 
And...if the Republicans bring about a marked improvement in America’s situation, we have hope, as well, that Hillary, or whoever runs in the presidential campaign as the Democratic contender, can be defeated at the polls.
 
It falls to each of you, my friends, to remain vigilant: to watch how matters proceed and to remind the Republicans of why they were elected and what they are being called upon to do. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
A shame that this delight at good news has been so deeply marred by goings-on here. 
 
First, with regard to the Temple Mount.  I had written yesterday that we are engaged in a war, and that is what we saw today.
 
Israeli intelligence picked up information that young Muslims had turned their “beloved” mosque, Al Aksa, into a building of war.  Having stored weaponry – rocks, fire crackers, fire bombs – inside the structure,  they remained overnight, in order to be ready for attack on Israeli police in the morning.  They had even set up barricades at the doors of the mosque in an attempt to prevent the police from shutting them in.

 

Credit: nauterre
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Sure enough, when the Mount opened this morning, masked terrorists attacked police with fireworks, rocks and iron bars at the gate to the Mount where they entered.  Jews were told by the police that they could not come up until the situation was taken care of.  But, with police fortitude it was taken care of; some police officers were injured in the course of handling the situation.  The attacking Muslims were driven back into the mosque, barricades were removed, and they were locked in.  Jews were then told they could come up.
 
Once again, it pleases me that police handled the riot in a way that made it possible for Jews to be on the Mount.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
The physical battle ended there (for now), but the diplomatic battle continues as Arab leadership attempts to make the trouble the fault of the Israelis.  There were threats of going to the Security Council (the ultimate panacea for the PA) with complaints that Israel (Israel!) is trying to escalate the situation on the Mount and “isolate” the Al Aksa mosque. King Abdullah is playing it to the hilt, saying that he is working to prevent “unilateral” actions by Israel; Jordan is recalling its ambassador to Israel.
 
When the police drove the rioters into the mosque, some of the officers stepped in, going a few meters at most (which enabled them and to see for themselves the stockpiled weapons).  Now much is being made of the outrage of Israeli police violating Muslim holy space.  You can see how sacred this space is to them.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Unfortunately, this has been a day when one terrorist action followed another:
 
We have had a repeat terrorist attack involving a vehicle riding into passengers at a Light Rail station.  This station is located in the Shimon HaZadik neighborhood, at the corner of Bar Lev and Shimon HaZadik streets, which is next to the Arab area of Sheikh Jarrah and not far from border police headquarters. 
 
Even now I’m getting conflicting reports on how many were injured – somewhere between 10 and 14, some seriously, one critically.  Some police officers were hit.
 
Israeli security personnel at the site where an Arab man from the East Jerusalem drove his car into a crowd of people waiting at a light rail station in Jerusalem, November 05, 2014.

Israeli security personnel at the site where an Arab man from the East Jerusalem drove his car into a crowd of people waiting at a light rail station in Jerusalem, November 05, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)
Credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90
 
One person has died: a Border Police officer, Jedan Assad, 38, from Beit Jann, a Druze village.  He leaves behind a three year old son, and a wife who is five months pregnant.  Assad’s father said he loved Jerusalem and loved his work.
 
Jaddan and his son (Photo: Sahar Ali)

Credit: Shahar Ali
 
The attacker, Ibrahim al-Akari of the neighborhood of Shuafat, didn’t just run his vehicle into one group; he hit some people and then kept going to target others.  Then he got out of his van and began attacking people with an iron bar.  Security forces shot him dead.
 
http://www.timesofisrael.com/driver-plows-into-jerusalem-crowd-in-suspected-terror-attack/
 
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch called for the demolition of the terrorist’s home.

~~~~~~~~~~
 
Hamas has taken credit for this attack, praising the terrorist as a “martyr” of course, and saying that what he did was “the natural response to the crimes of the occupation.”
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187078#.VFpLn5txnIU
 
This business of it being a “natural response to the occupation” is a refrain I’ve heard before.  It seems to be their new tack, an attempt to justify before the world what cannot be justified in any terms.
 
The terrorist has been identified as a Hamas operative. His brother, according to reports also Hamas-connected, had been in prison for a terrorist conviction but was in the prisoner exchange for Shalit. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
There has got to be some way to protect Light Rail stations that are in or near Arab neighborhoods.  It is being worked on: the first concrete barriers are scheduled to go up around the French Hill station tonight.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Netanyahu said today that, “We are in an ongoing struggle for Jerusalem, and I have no doubt we will win.”
 
Binyamin Netanyahu
Credit: Flash 90
 
I have no doubt either. We are very strong and very committed. 
 
The prime minister, along with other members of the government, today pointed a finger directly at Abbas, whose extreme incitement over the last several days has set the climate for violence. 
 
This too I agree with – Abbas must be held accountable. 
 
But I feel the need to make an additional point: We are not looking at lone actors, individual terrorists, who, inspired by the inciteful words of Abbas, decide to take it upon themselves to commit a terrorist act.  What is going on in our city now is far more calculated and organized than this.  Just as this latest terrorist had Hamas associations, from what I am learning, the attacks in general are choreographed by terrorist groups. In fact, Hamas is choreographing the agitation on the Temple Mount.  (I’ve heard that the Muslim women who carry on like hysterical banshees up on the Mount – you saw them in the video of Shuli Moalem yesterday – are paid to intimidate Jews.)
 
Clearly, Abbas is aware of all of this, and doing everything in his power to aid and abet the terrorist climate. This makes him even more culpable, as he is in bed with Hamas.
 
It also means that I am not exaggerating when I call this a war.  It is the war for Jerusalem. Which must be won.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
I will leave off writing here, until the next posting.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2014/11/5/november-5-2014-never-ending.html

 

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 01:45PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

November 4, 2014: From Terrible to Worse

I do not delude myself. The international scene is not as bad as it could possibly get.  Please Heaven, may we never go there. But as I sit down to write I see that it is bloody awful, with escalating ugliness. 
 
This summer we had a war of one sort.  Now we are enduring a war of another sort.  It is a dangerous business that calls on us all to be directed and strong – determined in what we stand for.  The focus is Har Habayit (The Temple Mount) and Israeli control of the eastern part of Jerusalem.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
If I have any prayer today, it is that by the time I post again I will be able to celebrate a fully Republican Congress. And then, which is the absolutely essential follow through, that the Republican members of Congress will also be directed and strong – determined to buck Obama to the maximum and return some sanity to US policies.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
In a nutshell: Obama has come totally out of the closet as an enemy of Israel.  While the signs were always there, he only had one foot and one shoulder out of the closet, as he continued to insist that he was Israel’s friend forever.  That many – including many American Jews! - believed him is a source of considerable grief.
 
But now? Now it’s blatantly obvious. For it matters not what Abbas and his cohorts do or say, there is no word from the US. While there is always plenty of criticism for Israel emanating from the White House and State Department.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
What have we done to merit criticism? The usual: We want to build some apartments in a neighborhood – Ramat Shlomo - that is bursting at the seams, and which would, in any event, even if there were an agreement with the Palestinian Arabs, remain in Jewish hands. The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee yesterday approved 500 new housing units there.
 
Is this not shocking? Houses where Jews can live, being built over the 1949 armistice line – which much of the world considers the “1967 border.  I am sooo tired of hearing about this, and the claim that everything beyond this line, which was only a temporary line, “belongs” to the Palestinian Arabs.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
At any rate, we have this from a State Department spokesman:
 
“It is unfortunate that after the unequivocal and unanimous position last week of the international community opposing construction in Jerusalem at this sensitive time, authorities chose to move forward.


"We continue to engage at the highest levels with the Israeli government to make our position absolutely clear that we view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem."
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
And how about Abbas?  It’s hard to know where to begin...
 
He’s inciting at vile levels.  Vile even for him. On Sunday it was revealed that he had sent a condolence letter to the family of the man who had attempted to kill Yehuda Glick (who was later shot by police when he resisted arrest): 
 
“With anger, we have received the news of the vicious assassination crime committed by the terrorists of the Israeli occupation army against [your] son Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who will go to heaven as a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places.” 
 
He spoke as well in the letter about Palestinian Arab rights to the land.
 
http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-says-glick-shooter-will-go-to-heaven-as-martyr/
 
This came from Gal Berger of Israel radio, who said an Abbas aide had confirmed the authenticity of the letter and posted a picture of it.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

The letter was sent on Saturday.  Yesterday, he voiced further objections to Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.  His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, warned against the escalation of “break-ins by the settlers and Jewish extremists” to the Al-Aksa mosque.
 
You know what the problem is? Jewish presence on the Mount is a “violation of Muslim feelings.”  Muslim feelings. That’s a new one.
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186993#.VFkLlptxnIV
 
Put simply, he thought he could get away with pushing the concept of the Mount as being for Muslims only, but Jews keep coming.  He’s warning Jews to stay away.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Netanyahu was furious about the silence of the international community with regard to the fact that Abbas had written a letter praising the man who attempted to murder Rabbi Glick.  Silence.
 
The Obama administration is not interested even in a pro forma statement regarding such behavior not being “constructive” for peace.
 
On the flip side, Yitz Glick, the brother of Yehuda Glick, who is a US citizen, has expressed the Glick family’s shock that there was no word of concern from the State Department, the US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, or any representative of the US government: "my father is one of only 5 Americans residing in Israel to be appointed to the US National Academy of Science! No outrage, no wishes of speedy recovery not a single word from any US official..."  
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187020#.VFkuc5txnIV
 
When Caroline Glick (no relation) wrote about this, Ambassador Shapiro responded that the US Consul General in Jerusalem had tried for several days to reach the Glick family, but wasn’t able to make contact until today.
 
Yea, right... And even if this were true, it does not address the issue of there having been no public statement on the shooting from US officials.
 
As I said, Obama is out of the closet.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Today, this information broke:
 
A call has gone out via posters to Jews to come to the Temple Mount in a state of ritual purity on Wednesday “for the sake and the health of Rabbi Yehuda Glick...We will not succumb to terror, we will not let terror win.”
 
And so Fatah has put out a message to Palestinian Arabs to “all Jerusalem residents [Arabs with Jerusalem residency cards] and “Arab Israelis” to block Jews attempting to go up on the Mount tomorrow.  It was identified as a “call to arms.” 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
The good news in all of this is that Jews are standing strong, refusing, as the poster said, to succumb to terror.  The intention is not to directly confront Muslims.  Not all all. Rather, it is to demonstrate our rights.  The point is made repeatedly that everyone – Jewish, Christian, Muslim – has a right to be on the Mount.
 
Yesterday MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) went up on the Mount, with police protection. 
 
Shuli Moalem-Rafaeli of the Jewish Home party (photo credit: Flash90/Miriam Alster)

Credit: Flash 90/Miriam Alster
 
You can see her here, walking with quiet dignity in the face of screaming Arab women (one of whom was arrested for pushing her).    
 
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/WATCH-Police-arrest-woman-for-pushing-Bayit-Yehudi-MK-Moalem-at-Temple-Mount-380624
 
Today MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) went up.
 

Tzipi Hotovely

Credit: BBC

 
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hotovely-Response-to-Glick-shooting-must-be-Jewish-prayer-on-Temple-Mount-380729
 
Both MKs spoke of the obligation to go up as often as possible and to work to change the status quo, so that there will be Jewish prayer on the Mount.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
There have been other responses from nationalist and right wing MKs, as well.  Not all will be successful now, but we can be encouraged by a trend in certain directions.
 
One proposal would be to apply Israeli law to all Jews living in Judea and Samaria.  This would not change the status of Judea and Samaria.  It is not an annexation, but would rather be application of laws to people. Within 45 days after the Knesset passed a law, the IDF administration in Judea and Samaria would be required to put out an identical law for those Jews living in Judea and Samaria.
 
The legislation was proposed by Land of Israel Caucus chairs Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Struck (Habayit Hayehudi), and was cosponsored by coalition chairman Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked, Shas faction chairman Avraham Michaeli, Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) and UTJ faction chairman Menachem Eliezer Moses.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Another law, which has passed, gives judges the latitude in serious cases such as terrorist attacks to stipulate on sentencing that the murderer cannot be released as part of diplomatic negotiations.  This applies to the future, and is not retroactive to those already in prison.  It however, delivers an important message.  As Naftali Bennett said:
it “brings back sanity and morality to Israeli policy about releasing terrorists, after years of losing the moral path.”
 
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Legislation is in process – an amendment to criminal law, actually – that would give maximum sentences of 20 years to those who throw rocks at moving vehicles.
 
Because so many of the trouble-makers and rock-throwers who must be dealt with are underage, there is another proposal that has been advanced as well: If underage youngsters are convicted of “nationalistic” crimes, their parents will have child allowances cut. The goal here is to get the parents to pay attention to what their kids are doing and assume responsibility. Don’t know that this will pass, but it does indicate a new seriousness about addressing the problem.
 
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There had been rumors that Kerry was about to unveil a “peace plan,” but Kerry now says this is not the case.  Even he, with his inability to grasp realities here, must see that there is nothing he could propose that would have even a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.  Count this as good news, as well.  Were a “plan” to be unveiled, incredible pressure would follow.
 
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What still looms before us is the diplomatic specter of various UN – and most notably Security Council – actions with regard to a “Palestinian state.”  While this is seriously troublesome, it is not as ominous as it sounds. For the UN cannot “declare” a state, no matter what the PA claims. I will return to this in more detail when and as necessary.
 
The major question here is whether Obama is prepared to so totally throw Israel under the bus that he would not veto such an effort.  No one knows the answer right now.
 
PLO official Saeb Erekat has asked Kerry to support “Palestine” in the UN.  What he is seeking is “a state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”  But by definition a state must be in control of the territory that it is claiming, which makes this fairly nonsensical.  It would require a process far more complicated than simply having the UNSC “recognize” a state within these parameters. 
 
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Speaking of the UN:
 
A plan for reconstruction of Gaza was announced some several weeks ago, with donor states subsequently pledging $5.4 billion.  The plan was called the “Serry” plan, after UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry.  Needless to say, the plan called for the UN to be a partner in the process.
 
Now Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, claims that Hamas was never shown the Serry plan.  Hamas wants reconstruction to be handled exclusively the Palestinian Arabs.  Guess Hamas figures it can get a bigger piece of that $5.4 billion this way.
 
However...Robert Turner, head of UNRWA operations in Gaza, says that the “Palestinian unity government” is not organized and effectively in control in Gaza. (No surprise there.)  So-called “unity government” or not, Hamas and the PA are still at odds.
 
And so?
 
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© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. 
 
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.

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