Current Postings

October 30, 2014: Is There No End?

Last night there was a conference, “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount,” at the Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem – this is an annual event of the Temple Mount Faithful. It was neither a large nor a raucous event. 

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Temple Mount activist, was a key presenter: He showed a video filmed on the Mount that morning that offered evidence of Palestinian Arabs trying to frighten Jewish visitors away.  Deeply devoted to Har Habayit, he gives tours on the Mount and educates on the ancient and on-going Jewish connection to it.  One would not always get that impression from the media, but he is a gentle man, and from what I know of him, a very special human being.

Credit: Sharon Altshul/YeshivaWorldNews

~~~~~~~~~~

When Rabbi Glick left the Center, he was approached by an Arab dressed in black garb.  The Arab asked him – in Arabic-accented Hebrew - if he was Yehuda Glick; on receiving an affirmative answer, he pulled out a gun, shot him three times point blank in the chest, and rode away on a motor cycle.

Rabbi Glick was still conscious when taken to Sha’arei Tzedek hospital.  His condition was designated as critical, unstable and he was rushed into surgery.  This morning he is serious, but stable. Yet doctors say his situation is still precarious.  My understanding is that he has been placed in an induced coma, to allow his body to rest and heal. Please God, let him live.

Please pray for him: Yehuda Yehoshua ben Ita Breina. 

~~~~~~~~~~

A suspect, Mu'taz Hijazi of the neighborhood of Abu Tor, was identified rather quickly. This is a Palestinian Arab who had been sentenced to Israeli prison for terror activity during the second intifada; he was on a security watch because of suspicions that he has been involved in other terrorist activity since his 2012 release. When he got out of prison, he had declared in an interview:

"I am happy to return to Jerusalem. I wish to be a thorn in the throat of the Zionist plan to Judaize Jerusalem."  (Emphasis added)

What I had assumed when I first learned that he was identified was that information about him was out on the Jerusalem streets in Arab areas and was picked up very promptly by Israeli intelligence. That might be, but I’ve since learned something else that is fairly incredible:

Mu’taz Hijazi worked for the Terasa restaurant that is located inside of the Begin Center.  He actually had on his work uniform when he accosted the rabbi.  Apparently he had spoken to fellow workers about his irritation with Yehuda Glick, and it is apparent that he had specifically sought him out.

I must assume that he misrepresented his background when applying for the job, but he clearly was not given a sufficient background check.  (If indeed he was given a background check at all.) This should not have happened, plain and simple.  It is all the more astonishing because the Begin Center regularly hosts conferences and seminars, which largely represent a nationalist position.

There are some very huge lessons to be learned here. 

~~~~~~~~~~

A special anti-terrorism unit went to Hijazi’s home in the Abu Tor neighborhood of Jerusalem, to arrest him.  When he resisted arrest and instead shot at the officers from inside the house, they returned fire and killed him.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4586020,00.html

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Hijazi apparently had Islamic Jihad connections, as this morning, Islamic Jihad took credit for the attack.

“The assassination attempt on Glick is an act of Palestinian vengeance, in response to what is happening in Jerusalem," declared a spokesman.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186794#.VFIl15txnIV

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As I write, the Temple Mount is closed. To everyone. Until further notice. This is the way Israeli security is handling what is clearly a highly volatile situation.  The city is on high alert, with an additional bolstering of security forces ordered by the prime minister.

Netanyahu continues to say that the status quo on the Mount will be sustained. I will want to come back to this for further examination of the issues. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Mahmoud Abbas’s response to the closure (which, you will observe, applied equally to all), was the usual hostile and inciteful blather.  It was delivered by his spokesman Abu Redeina:

“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation.

“We hold the Israel government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque [Temple Mount] this morning.

“This decision is a dangerous act and a blatant challenge that will lead to more tension and instability and will create a negative and dangerous atmosphere.

“The state of Palestine will take all legal measures to hold Israel accountable and to stop these ongoing attacks.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186802#.VFI8OJtxnIU

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In his statement today, Netanyahu singled out the international community for criticism, and very properly so:

."A few days ago, I said that we were facing a wave of incitement by radical Islamic elements and by [Mahmoud Abbas] who said that Jews must be prevented from going up to the Temple Mount by any means possible.

“I still have not heard from the international community so much as one word of condemnation for these inflammatory remarks. The international community needs to stop its hypocrisy and take action against inciters...”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186806#.VFI6zJtxnIU

~~~~~~~~~~

Let me return briefly here to the insults leveled at Bibi Netanyahu by one or more unnamed high level US officials who were cited in an article by Jeffrey Goldberg.

The response of the US government, in my opinion, has been sorely inadequate. There was backpedaling but no apology.  No notice that the official who spoke about our prime minister in grossly insulting terms would be relieved of his responsibilities.  And certainly no denial of what was reportedly said. It was, rather, more of a “gee, we didn’t give him permission to say this and he wasn’t speaking for us.”  The terms that had been used are being referred to as “inappropriate” and “counterproductive.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “If this issue comes up we will make sure it is clear it’s not reflective of the secretary’s views.”

And precisely what does that mean: “if this issue comes up”? It was in print and widely quoted.

Kerry reportedly is going to “explain” the administration viewpoint to Netanyahu.

~~~~~~~~~~

The very best commentary I’ve seen with regard to this situation has been from Commentary editor, Jonathan Tobin. 

In “Obama, Not Bibi, created U.S.-Israel Crisis,” he wrote (all emphasis added):

“Since Barack Obama became president, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has been a reliable indicator of administration opinion about foreign-policy issues. Like some other journalists who can be counted on to support the president, he has been the recipient of some juicy leaks, especially when the White House wants to trash Israel’s government. But Goldberg and his ‘senior administration sources’ reached a new low today when he published a piece in which those anonymous figures labeled Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a ‘chickenshit’ and a ‘coward’... the story is, as Goldberg rightly characterizes it, a genuine crisis in the relationship. That much is plain but where Goldberg and the talkative administration members are wrong is their belief that this is all Netanyahu’s fault. Their attacks on him are not only plainly false but are motivated by a desire to find an excuse that will be used to justify a drastic turn in U.S. foreign policy against Israel.

“The administration critique of Netanyahu as a coward stems from its disgust with his failure to make peace with the Palestinians as well as their impatience with his criticisms of their zeal for a deal with Iran even if it means allowing the Islamist regime to become a threshold nuclear power...But President Obama and his foreign-policy team aren’t just annoyed by the prime minister. They’ve come to view him as public enemy No. 1, using language about him and giving assessments of his policies that are far harsher than they have ever used against even avowed enemies of the United States, let alone one of its closest allies.

“So rather than merely chide him for caution they call him a coward and taunt him for being reluctant to make war on Hamas and even to launch a strike on Iran. They don’t merely castigate him as a small-time politician without vision; they accuse him of putting his political survival above the interests of his nation.

“It’s quite an indictment but once you get beyond the personal dislike of the individual on the part of the president, Secretary of State Kerry, and any other ‘senior officials’ that speak without attribution on the subject of Israel’s prime minister, all you have is a thin veil of invective covering up six years of Obama administration failures in the Middle East that have the region more dangerous for both Israel and the United States. For all of his personal failings, it is not Netanyahu—a man who actually served as a combat soldier under fire in his country’s most elite commando unit—who is a coward or a small-minded failure. It is Obama and Kerry who have fecklessly sabotaged a special relationship, an act whose consequences have already led to disaster and bloodshed and may yet bring worse in their final two years of power...

“So why is the administration so angry with Netanyahu? It can’t be because Netanyahu is preventing peace with the Palestinians. After the failure of Kerry’s fool’s errand negotiations and the Hamas missile war on Israel, not even Obama can think peace is at hand. Nor does he really think Netanyahu can stop him from appeasing Iran if Tehran is willing to sign even a weak deal...

The real reason to target Netanyahu is that it is easier to scapegoat the Israelis than to own up to the administration’s mistakes.

“Despite the administration’s insults, it is not Netanyahu who is weak. He has shown great courage and good judgment in defending his country’s interests even as Obama has encouraged the Palestinians to believe they can hold out for even more unrealistic terms while denying Israel the ammunition it needed to fight Hamas terrorists. While we don’t know whether, as Goldberg believes, it is too late for Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, it is Obama that Iran considers weak as it plays U.S. negotiators for suckers in the firm belief that the U.S. is a paper tiger that is not to be feared any longer.

If there is a crisis, it is one that was created by Obama’s failures and inability to grasp that his ideological prejudices were out of touch with Middle East realities.

“The next two years may well see, as Goldberg ominously predicts, even more actions by the administration to downgrade the alliance with Israel. But the blame for this will belong to a president who has never been comfortable with Israel and who has, at every conceivable opportunity, sought conflict with it even though doing so did not advance U.S. interests or the cause of peace. No insult directed at Netanyahu, no matter how crude or pointless, can cover up the president’s record of failure.”

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/10/28/obama-not-bibi-created-the-u-s-israel-crisis-chickenshit/

(Thanks, Barbara S.)

~~~~~~~~~~

© 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/2014/10/30/october-30-2014-is-there-no-end.html

 

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 11:22AM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 29, 2014: Standing Tall

The media here in recent days has been full of observations about the growing rift between Israel and the US, or, more accurately, between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations.

There have been, incredibly, some Israeli politicians and commentators centrist-left who point a finger at Netanyahu, saying that he is provoking Obama and that Israel-US tensions are his fault.  They point out that we need America and cannot afford to alienate its chief executive.

Me?  I say, Right on, Bibi!  And I am hardly alone in this response.

Time to cut the umbilical cord with the US – which makes some afraid to alienate a source of “nurturing” – and to do what is best for Israel, unapologetically.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are several points to be made with regard to the perceived need for Israel to behave in a conciliatory fashion towards the US.

[] We can begin with the fact that some of these attitudes smack of a sort of diplomatic appeasement, a galut mentality that makes certain Jews think it is always important to do everything possible  to keep “others” happy. 

[] If we were to continue to diminish ourselves to please others, we would end up...diminished. Weak. We would be serving ourselves and our own national interests and rights poorly.  Because our own national interests and rights, and what others want of us frequently do not coincide.

[] Where Obama is concerned, in any event, there is no way to make him “happy.”  He and his flunkies are not with us, and it is foolish indeed to assume they are – that they can be “mollified.”  I have reported over time on a whole series of actions that makes it clear he supports our enemies more than he does us – there is everything from his growing relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood supporter Qatar to his blocking of weaponry to be shipped to us during our recent war with Hamas. There are even the State Department press statements of the last few days that showed greater concern for the Palestinian Arab boy who was shot when about to throw a Molotov cocktail than for the baby killed by the terrorist who ran a car into her stroller.

[] At the very same time, we must keep in mind that America is with us.  That means the American people, the Congress and the Pentagon.  Military people in the US tend to “get it.”

[] We must respect ourselves enough to know our own value.  It is not just that we “need” America, it is that America needs us.  We sell ourselves short when we imagine otherwise. We are a bulwark of freedom in a part of the world that is over-run by tyranny and chaos. We provide valuable intelligence information, cutting edge research, a model for battling radical Islam, and a whole lot more.

Credit: FreeRepublic

~~~~~~~~~~

I would say that at present there are two main sources to the tension.

The first has to do with an announcement from the government on Monday that development will be advanced for over 1,000 new apartments in two solidly Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem past the Green Line. There will be 660 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo and 400 in Har Homa.

Shock!  Horrors! This destroys all chances for a “two-state solution,” right?  It must be the case, if we choose to believe the response of the US government. Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, for example, delivered this statement:

“If Israel wants to live in a peaceful society, they need to take steps that will reduce tensions. Moving forward with this sort of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace.” (Emphasis added)

“This sort of action” means providing homes for Jews in Jewish neighborhoods that are never going to be relinquished.

Please note, there has been no parallel statement from the State Department or the White House regarding recent blatant incitement by Mahmoud Abbas regarding the need for Muslims to block “settlers” from going on the Temple Mount. This, you see, is perfectly compatible with the pursuit of peace.

~~~~~~~~~~

It was a ludicrous state of affairs.  And Bibi Netanyahu was not backing down one iota. Speaking at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset, also on Monday, he said  (emphasis added):

“...in defending Israel, there is no replacement for the soldiers of the IDF. This is a simple fact and it is joined by another fact: Over the past 20 years, since the rise of radical Islam, any territory we vacated was seized by these forces who attack us from the territories we left. Therefore, when faced with radical Islamist forces that repeatedly knock on our door from all sides, when faced with Abu Mazen's [Abbas’s] incitement and his cooperation with Hamas, there is no alternative to taking a strong stand in our demands...

“...A peace agreement is possible when the following formula is present - a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. To that end, the Palestinians must recognize our basic need for a nation-state of our own. They need to accept mutual recognition and genuine security...

“...What I just said is not popular in several world capitals, but we must stand up for the truth because peace cannot be built on a foundation of lies and illusion. The truth is that the root of this conflict was and remains the refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any borders...

“We are maintaining the status quo and allowing everyone access to the holy places, and we will continue to do so. There is broad consensus in the public that Israel has the full right to build in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs...

The French build in Paris; the English build in London; the Israelis build in Jerusalem. To say to the Jews not to live in Jerusalem - Why? Because it will ignite the situation? For some people there is no convenient time to build houses for Jews in Jerusalem or in other part of our country, and if it were up to them we would not have built a single house over the past 65 years because it was never the right time.

”Let me tell you something: In the eyes of certain parties in the area, our existence is what is igniting the situation. So do we stop existing? For thousands of years, the Jews have been praying ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’ And you are telling us not to build? Not now? If not now, then when? And the answer will be ‘never.’ Well, we are building as we have built from the very establishment of the state and even before then - as we built Har Homa, as we build today, and we are building today as governments of Israel have built before and there should be broad consensus about this.

There is one misconception that must be uprooted: Violence is not the result of building in Jerusalem. The cruel terror that struck at a three-month-old baby for whom her parents had waited for so long, a baby in her stroller on the way back from the Western Wall with her parents who wanted to pray and thank God that she was born - this terror is not the result of building in this or that section of Jerusalem. It is the result of our enemy's desire that we not be here at all - nowhere, in no part of Jerusalem and not in Tel Aviv either, not in Haifa, not in Beer Sheba, nowhere.

For this reason, since the birth of Zionism, building has been the natural and decisive answer to those who plot against our existence and want to uproot us from our land. They seek death while we build lives here. There must be a desire for peace on the Palestinian side as well. Unfortunately, at this time I do not see this desire and I also do not see any pressure on the Palestinian side. On the contrary. I only see pressure on Israel to make more and more concessions without receiving anything in return and without any assurances. Let me be clear: No pressure from without or from within will do any good...”

http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2014/Pages/PM-Netanyahu's-remarks-at-the-opening-of-the-Knesset-winter-session-27-October-2014.aspx

~~~~~~~~~~

I will resist the impulse to quibble.  I will not focus on the fact that I wish he would stop talking about a Palestinian state – for says he knows it’s not possible now.  And I will not belabor my fervent desire for him to speak about our rights in the land, and not just about our security. Hopefully the time for this will come. 

What I will do is say BRAVO!  Because he didn’t back down and told it true.

And you are telling us not to build? Not now? If not now, then when? And the answer will be ‘never.’...I only see pressure on Israel to make more and more concessions without receiving anything in return and without any assurances. Let me be clear: No pressure from without or from within will do any good...” 

Our prime minister’s strong answer to Obama.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is another issue of dissension between Netanyahu and Obama: Iran.

Netanyahu has been making his position very clear:

Beating ISIS and leaving Iran as a threshold state is winning the battle and losing the war. I hope that the international community will not make a historic mistake by easing the sanctions imposed on Iran and leaving it with the ability to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in a short period of time.”
 
But this is exactly the approach that Obama is taking.   He seems determined to strike a deal with Iran, even at great risk to the world because he would leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state.  Netanyahu is the most prominent, if not the sole, voice casting aspersions on the coming deal.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
See this, from Israel Hayom today (emphasis added):

The U.S. and Iran have ‘moved into an effective state of detente over the past year,’ The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

“The report, citing senior U.S. and Arab officials, said: ‘Recent months have ushered in a change as the two countries have grown into alignment on a spectrum of causes, chief among them promoting peaceful political transitions in Baghdad and Kabul and pursuing military operations against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.’

“The report noted that the change ‘could drastically alter the balance of power in the region, and risks alienating key U.S. allies,’ such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Israel.

“According to the report, the Obama administration has also ‘markedly softened its confrontational stance toward Iran's most important non-state allies’ -- the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups...”

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21069

This, my friends, is the stuff of nightmares and trumps all other concerns.

Netanyahu has spoken out forcefully on this issue. It remains to be seen whether he will take the appropriate action (presumably after the US and Iran are done dealing).

~~~~~~~~~~

Now, with the publication of an article in the Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg - who frequently presents positions of the Obama administration - matters have fallen to a new low, unexpected even in terms of what has transpired until now.

According to the Goldberg article, the Obama administration has a "red-hot anger" at Netanyahu for his construction policies in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. The administration believes these policies "fatally undermined Secretary of State John Kerry's peace process."
 
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21071

If true, this is astonishing in what it reveals  about the failure of the Obama administration to grasp what is going on here.
 
Goldberg cites a “senior US official,” who said, "The thing about Bibi is, he's a chickenshit."

EXCUSE ME?

Officials here in Israel are now demanding an apology.

~~~~~~~~~~

Said Minister Naftali Bennett (emphasis added):

“Israel is stronger than all of its defamers. The prime minister of Israel is not a private person. He is the leader of the Jewish state and the entire Jewish people. Cursing the prime minister and calling him names is an insult not just to him but to the millions of Israeli citizens and Jews across the globe.

"The leader of Syria who slaughtered 150,000 people was not awarded the name 'chickenshit.' Neither was the leader of Saudi Arabia who stones women and homosexuals or the leader of Iran who murders freedom protesters.

"If what appears in the press is true, then it seems that the current U.S. administration is throwing Israel under the bus.

"Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East and has been fighting 66 years to survive. Israel is at the forefront of the free world's fight against the Islamic terror of ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran. Instead of attacking Israel and putting it at risk, the world should be strengthening and supporting it.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu’s response: “I am attacked just because I defend the State of Israel...”  From  his office came the statement: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to stand for the security interests of the citizens of Israel and the historic rights of the Jewish people in Jerusalem, and no pressure will change that."
 
I end for today with this observation from a highly reliable source: A close contact of mine was present at a meeting with the prime minister today, and shared with me his surprise at how cool the prime minster’s demeanor was, how devoid of inner tensions, in the face of the Goldberg article.  It is as if, concluded this source, Netanyahu has now made his peace with the reality of who Obama is, and is prepared to respond accordingly.
 
Time will tell.  Midterm elections will be held next week, and we can only expect worse from the president thereafter.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

You might like to contact Prime Minister Netanyahu with words of support. Please! no long messages and no preaching or history lessons.  Tell him simply that you support his strong stance and are with him.

E-mail: Memshala@pmo.gov.il and also pm_eng2@it.pmo.gov.il (underscore after pm) use both addresses

~~~~~~~~~~


© 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/2014/10/29/october-29-2014-standing-tall.html

 

Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 01:41PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 26, 2014: Tough

The word “tough” has different meanings, and I am actually using it in more than one sense in this posting.  The first meaning – difficult to deal with – applies to the video directly below.  From “Jewish Voices on Campus,” it is exceedingly important and I ask you all to take the time to see it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAyFlByb64M

~~~~~~~~~~

The second meaning I want to apply is slang, as in “You don’t like it? Tough.” 

Orwa Abd El-Wahab Hammad, from the village of Silwad near Ramallah, was killed by the IDF on Friday.  Arab sources said he was 14, the IDF says he was 17.  Born in America, he has lived in Arab villages in Samaria since he was a small boy.  He was shot because he was about to throw a Molotov cocktail into on-coming traffic on Highway 60.  A Molotov cocktail is a home-made incendiary device, serving as a fire bomb, that can set its target on fire. Thrown at a car, it could be lethal and might cause multiple deaths.

Explained an IDF spokesman: “The forces fired immediately to neutralize the danger....”

Now, partly because of this, we’ve got rioting by Arabs in certain parts of eastern Jerusalem for the third consecutive day.  These riots have been encouraged by Hamas
official Mahmoud Al-Zahar, who has told Palestinian Arabs in eastern Jerusalem to rise up against Israel and continue “resisting.”

“The escalation [of violence] in the city is the solution to ‘Israeli aggression.'”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-hurl-stones-firebombs-at-police-in-east-jerusalem/

A Palestinian protester burns a tire during clashes with Israeli security officers in the Issawiya district of Arab east Jerusalem on October 24, 2014. (Photo credit: AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Credit: AFP / Ahmad Gharabli

See critical information below about Hamas involvement in this situation.

~~~~~~~~~~

Now, it’s not Israeli officials saying “tough,” it’s me. They are too diplomatic. But I am expressing a forthright and honest sentiment.  Not a single iota of regret.  No way. The Arabs don’t like it that one of their youth was shot?  If he had not been attempting to create chaos and danger for Jews driving in nearby cars, he would still be alive. 
  
~~~~~~~~~~ 
 
As it happens, the death of this boy is not the only reason for the rioting. The crowds are also “agitated” about the death of Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, the terrorist who killed baby Chaya Zissel Braun when he ran his car into a crowd at the Light Rail station.   
 
He was shot by a security officer at the scene and died some hours later. There are – I would say “incredibly,” except that this seems par for the course – claims by Arab sources that what happened was merely a “traffic accident” and that there was no reason to shoot him.  
 
His funeral was supposed to be today, and when a terrorist is being buried that always stirs up the crowds. As I write I am not sure whether he was buried, or will be in the remaining hours of the day.  Israeli officials sought to delay the funeral, and then to limit the size of the crowd.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
I call your attention here to a critically important piece, written by Pinchas Inbari – who is an Arabic speaking Israeli journalist and exceedingly knowledgeable – for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.  “The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances.” 
 
What is going on here in Jerusalem is not simply a matter of local Arabs expressing “distress.”  What we have on our hands is a war with radical Islamists, who are now focused on Jerusalem. And so, we are back to my first definition of “tough,’ as something difficult to deal with.  But something that must be dealt with, as Naftali Bennett put it, “with an iron fist” (all emphasis added):
 
“The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level; it is umbillically connected to the chaos in the Middle East and to the great struggle between the moderate Sunni regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to make the Jerusalem issue a rallying cry of the ‘Arab Storm.’  The Brotherhood’s strategy hopes to unite all of the regions Islamic movements around the idea of the Muslim Caliphate with the Al-Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] as its hub.” 
 
Inbari documents the “call of the Muslim faithful” to liberate the Mosque in a variety of contexts, both with regard to Hamas and Fatah.  He says: 
 
On the issue of funding Fatah activity in Jerusalem, eyes are turned to Qatar, the great financier of all the movements that are undermining regional stability, including in Israel.  The large sums evidently being used by the websites of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to wage the Jerusalem campaign indicate that much Qatari money has already flowed their way, and Fatah is now waiting in line.
 
“Fatah’s very weak standing in the Al-Aqsa compound was apparent in the attack – wild to the point of life-endangering – on Palestinian religious affairs minister Mahmoud al-Habash when he visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of June this year.  His attackers were Hamas and Hizbat-ut-Tahrir men, and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces had a very hard time rescuing him.  The joint attack also conveyed a message that these two movement, which have struggled over hegemony on the Mount, have reconciled and are now acting in unison.
 
“Yet everyone is competing for Qatar money – a fact that only spurs local groups towards greater levels of violence. Fatah’s joining of the Al-Aqsa campaign as a wagon hitched to fundamentalist Qatar may well herald a take-over of Ramallah by the radical Islamic movements – unless the Palestinian Authority regains its bearings in time.”
  
http://jcpa.org/article/hamas-fatah-jerusalem-disturbances/ 
 
~~~~~~~~~~ 
 
Scary as hell, my friends, and I will continue to report on this.  
 
Today it was not only police that were out in large numbers to quell the violence, but other security forces as well. Whatever it takes. 
 
Israeli security officers run past burning tires during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the Issawiya district of Arab east Jerusalem on October 24, 2014. (Photo credit: AFP/ AHMAD GHARABLI) 
Credit: AFP / Ahmad Gharabli
 
~~~~~~~~~~ 
 
Please do know that, as horrific as it is, all of Jerusalem is not in turmoil.  I live in the city, in a western neighborhood, and everything is entirely peaceful.  The violence is occurring in certain Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem and in certain parts of Jewish neighborhoods past the Green Line that abut Arab neighborhoods, and at key points such at the Mount of Olives and the Temple Mount. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
A major point here: 
 
The US is on the wrong side with regard to this entire matter. Not surprising, but exceedingly distressing. 
 
There is, first, the growing relationship of the Obama administration with Qatar, the major funder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Then there is what we are seeing in terms of State Department positions in response to what is going on here.  Last week I expressed great anger at the statement, after the Al-Shaludi attack, that, “We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.”  Instead of expressing concern for the Israeli populace and standing with Israeli attempts to protect those citizens. “Morally blind by design,” I wrote. And indeed this is true.  
 
Now we have the latest press statement from Jen Psaki: 
 
“The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24.  Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. We call for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation.  We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank.“ 
 
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/10/233356.htm 
 
As commentator Yisrael Medad has pointed out, the term “clashes” is severely misleading.  There were no clashes. There was an Arab youth threatening Jews, who had to be stopped.  
 
Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, minced no words in his description of the State Department statement, beginning with his title, “US declines to indicate if opposes murdering drivers with Molotov cocktails in State Department statement”:
 
Question: Why wasn’t State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki able to come up with a formula in the wording of the statement...to indicate that the United States of America does not condone, under any circumstances, the throwing of firebombs?”
 
 
http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=65236
 
 
Indeed!  It is apparent to me, and I am reasonably certain Lerner intends to suggest the same, that it is not that Psaki was unable to come up with the wording, but chose not to.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
I will mention here – and return to this – that when Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was in the US recently, it has now been revealed, he was denied access to certain key officials with whom he wished to speak.
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© 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 Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 05:20PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 23, 2014: Burning Hatred and Darkness

Chaya Zissel Braun the three-month old baby girl killed by a terrorist using his car as a weapon, was laid to rest at midnight last night.  Her death came about after the terrorist’s car slammed into her stroller, sending her flying some ten meters into the air. She landed on her head, and fractured her skull; doctors could not save her because of internal hemorrhaging.
 
President Ruby Rivlin, who attended the funeral said (emphasis added):
 
“We are standing before a tiny, silent body, before a small grave, standing against haters and murderers who hands slaughter without distinction, without mercy.  An innocent baby was butchered by burning hatred and darkness.”
 
http://www.timesofisrael.com/funeral-begins-for-baby-killed-in-suspected-terror-attack/
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Her parents - who had waited years to have a child, and had just returned from bringing her to the Kotel (the Western Wall) for the first time – are traumatized and in shock.  This picture – courtesy of the family - was taken at the Kotel, shortly before she was killed.
 
Chaya Zisel Braun
 
At the funeral, her weeping father said, "You made us happy from the moment you [arrived]... You were pure. I want you to look down at me and smile. Tomorrow is your three-month birthday. It's all now in God's hands."
 
Her maternal grandfather, Rabbi Shimshon Halpern, spoke of her holy soul.
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186515#.VEkJjZtxnIU
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
The Arab terrorist Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi (Al Shaludi is an alternate spelling of his name) died at the hospital last night of wounds inflicted upon him by Israeli security at the site of the attack. 
 
He possessed a Jerusalem residency card, and was a staunch Hamas supporter.  These two factors should, in the best of circumstances, be mutually exclusive; but of course this is not the case. We’ve got a whole lot of Hamas-associated Arabs with Jerusalem residency cards running around the city.  Not only did he support Hamas, his uncle - who was assassinated 14 years ago, reportedly in the course of inter-militia tensions - was a master bomb-maker for Hamas.  Hamas allegiance is very often a family affair.
 
Al-Shaludi was also into social media communication.  Less than two weeks ago, he posted on his Facebook page a picture of Al Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount, with a caption “Al Aksa is in danger.” Just two days ago, he posted: “now is the time to defend your home, Muslims – go out on a crusade to protect the Al-Aksa mosque.”
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186492#.VEj4xZtxnIV
 
Yesterday I reported that he had been in Israeli prison.  I do not believe he was released in the course of a prisoner trade; rather, he was released after he completed a 16-month sentence.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
That Hamas would praise this despicable attack is a given.  But what we are seeing is the same from Fatah, the party of our “peace partner” Abbas:
 
As described and translated by the Palestinian Media Watch, Fatah posted on its official Facebook page an obituary for Al-Shaludi that used the words "heroic Martyr." His death was portrayed as “’his wedding’ - a reference to the Islamic belief that Martyrs for Allah are wedded to 72 virgins in Paradise.”
 
”Rest in peace! We are loyal to you," it said. (Emphasis added)

 
http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12911
 
According to The Elder of Ziyon, the poster of Al-Shaludi that went up on the Fatah FB page is even more explicit (emphasis added):
 
"The martyr hero Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi performs a sacred act of running over the settlers in occupied Jerusalem."

 
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2014/10/fatah-praises-murder-of-baby.html#.VEj702dxnIV
 
Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Abbas advisor and a member of Fatah's Central Committee, also posted praise for the terrorist on his FB page.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed a finger directly at Abbas with regard to this terror attack.  And he is absolutely correct.  Just days ago Abbas called upon Arabs to protect the Temple Mount from Jews.
 
What is more, he expressed anger at the international community for its failure to criticize Abbas in this regard.  At a security briefing at police headquarters, he said:
 
“[Abbas] glorifies the murderers and also embraces the organization to which the terrorists belong, Hamas. And faced with these actions of the Authority chairman, we find only a flaccid [response] internationally. [World leaders] are unwilling to say two words, even one word of criticism of him [Abbas]. We do not share this weakness. We will stand firmly for our rights and obligations to defend our capitol.”
 
http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-decries-worlds-flaccid-response-to-abbas/
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Highly relevant to this issue is a piece by Michael Freund, “Mahmoud Abbas, enemy of Israel”:
 
”For the past decade, ever since Mahmoud Abbas took the reins of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005, the international community has gone out of its way to portray him as a moderate.

”Ignoring his long record of anti-Israel incitement and Holocaust denial, American presidents, European prime ministers and even various Israeli leaders often spoke of Abbas in glowing terms, describing him as a man of peace and a visionary.

”Indeed, earlier this year, when Abbas visited the White House on March 17, US President Barack Obama told reporters, ‘I have to commend President Abbas. He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security.’
 
“...Calling him a moderate is simply dishonest and deceptive. Abbas is not a friend of peace, he is an enemy of Israel, one who has refused to end the conflict and has incited to violence against the Jewish state.

”He may not don the keffiyeh that was worn by Yasser Arafat, nor wave a gun in the halls of the United Nations. But even if the packaging is slightly different, the contents remain the same.

”Abbas, like his predecessor, stands in the way of peace and aims to do Israel harm.

”The time has come to treat him accordingly.”
 
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Fundamentally-Freund-Mahmoud-Abbas-enemy-of-Israel-379545
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Today Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat called for a tightening of security in order to quell the violence Jerusalem is experiencing.
 
After the police security meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement indicating that Netanyahu had “instructed that sovereignty be enforced in all parts of the city by positioning additional forces throughout the capital...united Jerusalem was, and will remain, the capital of Israel forever ... Every attempt to harm its residents will be met with the harshest of responses – we will restore quiet and security to Jerusalem.”  (Emphasis added)
 
A good and appropriate statement.  Particularly with regard to sovereignty being enforced.  There has been a horrifying tendency for police to let sovereignty slip in certain eastern areas of Jerusalem.  It is my distinct impression that our prime minister means it when he speaks about a united Jerusalem, Israel’s capital forever.
 
But...but...
 
I want to tell him, enough words. We’ve heard them before.  Don’t tell us. Show us.  I want to learn about arrests being made, with prosecutions following.  No more policy of containment. I want to know about the police out on the street in large numbers and a major reduction in the amount of Arab violence the city is enduring.  I want these Arab bums who are seeking to terrorize innocent Jews in Jerusalem to be genuinely afraid of the police.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
“A Border Patrol officer serving in eastern Jerusalem has for the first time revealed the police helplessness in dealing with the ‘silent intifada’ that has been gripping the capital in recent months...
 
“Speaking on Channel 2...TV Thursday...the officer admitted the Border Patrol warriors are forced to ‘stand like dolls’ against the Arab terror.
 
“We feel like our hands are tied,’ the combat officer revealed, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich for the collapse of security.
 
“According to the officer, senior captains as well as Aharonovich are trying to calm things down and hush up the ‘silent intifada’ rather than fight Arab terror to the end.”
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186525#.VElesptxnIU
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
In the last day or so, the terror attack that killed the baby girl, while the worst of the violence by far, has not been the only incident of violence. We’re seeing incidents of Arab harassment and violence in the neighborhoods of Armon Hanatziv, Har Homa, and Gilo in southern Jerusalem, through the Mount of Olives area, Issawiya and Silwan, northward to Shuafat and Beit Hanina.
 
In the Mount of Olives area, there is the small Jewish community of Ma’aleh HaZeitim. This morning, not for the first time, the nursery building was stoned.  Masked Arab men, pelting rocks, with the children huddled in one area of the building for safety.  What sort of scum are they, throwing stones at a nursery?
 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4583337,00.html
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Minister Naftali Bennett had severe words for the current situation. The anger he expressed was appropriate.  As was his called for an “iron fist.”
 
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Bennetts-proposed-response-to-Jerusalem-terror-attack-more-construction-and-an-iron-fist-379594
 
Then he called for additional construction in Jerusalem as a response to terror, to show that we are here to stay when they are trying to drive us out.  But linking terrorism and building always unsettles me.  It gives the wrong message. 
 
Jewish building in Jerusalem isn’t a response to violence or some sort of revenge. It is our right. The world must know that we build because we claim that right. Period.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
What really enraged me was this statement by Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the State Department:

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/10/233279.htm
 
How morally obtuse can they be?  They sound like parents, speaking to two squabbling boys, “Now, now, play nice.”
 
This was a terror attack, as I made quite clear above, the worst incident of terror amidst a rash of terror incidents.  Escalation of Israeli police response is precisely what is needed.  If it makes Palestinian Arabs in eastern Jerusalem tense, that’s quite fine. 
 
The US has no vision of justice or Israeli right in this matter at all.  American officials, by design, are morally blind.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
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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, October 24, 2014 at 07:05AM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 22, 2014: Is There No End?

Late this afternoon, there was a terror attack in Jerusalem.  An Arab from eastern Jerusalem ran his car into a group of people who were waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of the light rail.  Eight people were injured.  
 

Credit: Flash 90
 
A three-month old baby girl, badly hurt at the scene, died shortly thereafter in the hospital. 
 
A heartbreaker: Apparently the parents had been trying for years to have a baby. They were on the way from praying at the Kotel (Western Wall) when they were attacked.  The baby’s grandparents had just come in from the US to meet their new grandchild. They had only hours with her before she was taken from them.
 
Is there no end??
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
The terrorist tried to flee the scene on foot and was shot; he was badly wounded but is not dead.   Identified as Abdur Rahman Slodi of Silwan, he had previously served in Israeli prison for terrorist activities - according to press reports.
 
Frankly, I hope he is in a lot of pain.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
It is news past due: Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch has announced the formation of a new police unit dedicated to dealing with the “unrest” in Jerusalem.
 
Today we saw a full-blown terrorist attack, but for the most part the “unrest” refers to Arabs throwing stones and Molotov Cocktails, and firecrackers and even, on at least one occasion that I am aware of, fireworks.  They function at a level that tends to be less than lethal, but feels unsafe (IS unsafe) and vastly uncomfortable.  This is the “silent intifada” designed to drive out Jews from certain areas of Jerusalem.
 
Along with the new police unit are plans for adjustment in the law that makes it easier to cope with minors, who are major participants of that “silent intifada.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Meanwhile, in Berlin, Kerry, in a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, declared current relations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs “unsustainable.”  
Saying that United States was aware of the urgency of the situation, he indicated that it was necessary to find a way to negotiate.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/22/us-mideast-israel-kerry-idUSKCN0IB11X20141022?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

I would call him a clown. but nothing seems very funny right now.

Actually, I rather agree that the current situation is “unsustainable.” But what I have in mind is not precisely what he is referring to.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran, in a statement for official Hamas television, declared: "This is a natural response to the crimes of the occupation and invasion of our land by the Jews, particularly on the [Temple Mount]."
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186472#.VEgOyptxnIU
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
There a connection between the attitude reflected by this Hamas statement and Kerry’s assessment that the current situation cannot be sustained.  He is caught up in the distorted vision of Israel as “occupier.”  Poor suffering “Palestinians,” whose situation must be remedied. No matter the cost to Israel.
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© 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, October 24, 2014 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterArlene in , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 21, 2014: Body and Soul

Last night I went to the premiere showing, here in Jerusalem at the Begin Center, of a very special new film by Gloria Greenfield: “Body and Soul – the State of the Jewish Nation.”

The showing was sponsored by Doc Emet Productions (Greenfield’s company), The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, the Vidal Sasson International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, and the Zionist Organization of America.

As its website explains, the film:

“presents a comprehensive examination of the broad and deep connections between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. World-renowned historians, archaeologists, political scientists, religious leaders, and international law and media experts trace the evocative evolution of the relationship between the Jewish People and their homeland that is over 3,000 years old.
 
”’Jewish identity is born in a journey to the Land of Israel’, declares Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the United Kingdom. That journey moves through the First and Second Temple periods and the Middle Ages, then to modernity, where the development of political Zionism catalyzed the blossoming of a new Jewish spirit. That renewal of Jewish spirit resulted in the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the Land, an event that Harvard University Professor Ruth Wisse declares ‘a miracle of truly Biblical proportions.’"
 
I urge you to visit the website: http://www.bodyandsoulthemovie.com/.

View the trailer, which will give you a good sense of what it is all about.

See the impressive list of commentators featured in the film: http://www.bodyandsoulthemovie.com/about-us/featured-commentators.html
 
Then, if you are in N. America, search the list of screenings that are already scheduled: http://www.bodyandsoulthemovie.com/screenings-and-media/index.html . If the film is scheduled to show near you, then please go and see it, and – most important – encourage others to do the same.

If it is not scheduled to show near you, you might get in touch with Gloria Greenfield directly - ggreenfield@docemetproductions.com – regarding arrangements for a showing in your area.  Or order the DVD, see the video yourself and then arrange private showings so others can see it.

~~~~~~~~~~

Many of my readers in N. America lament the ignorance about Israel exhibited by many people.  They have a lack of understanding of the ancient and intrinsic Jewish connection to the Land, and are unaware of the extent of Jewish legal rights to the Land.  

Gloria has done a magnificent job in presenting this case.

Here is an opportunity for you to pick up on this and run with it, to further understanding about Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

After the premiere showing last night, there was a marvelous panel discussion.  Participants were:

Yoram Hazony, an Israeli philosopher and political theorist, and currently president of The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem.

Credit: YoramHazoni

 
Robert Wistrich, Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the head of the University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism

 

Credit: Manhattan College

 
 Eugene Kontorovich, professor at Northwestern University School of Law, and an expert in constitutional and international law

EugeneKontorovich 

Credit: TribuneJuive


~~~~~~~~~~

The primary message of this session was that we must pull back to basics and be sure of who we are as Jews.  Jewish self respect is the cornerstone of Zionism.
 
There was a time when the Bible (the Tanach – Torah, Prophets and Writings) was seen as a major pillar of Western civilization.  It is a national, historical and philosophical document.

Unfortunately, it has been delegitimized. With the enlightenment came intellectual attacks on the Bible, which was reduced to the status of mythical nonsense. German academics, way before Hitler, founded their universities on the basis of eliminating the Bible as a document to be respected and studied. Post-modern ideology has the same approach.

Thus Jews are hesitant to refer to the Bible when making the case for Jewish connection to the Land.  This is true of such organizations as AIPAC, Birthright and a host of others.  Yet the Bible is absolutely intrinsic to this connection.  There is a triad of the People, the Bible and the Land that cannot be divided.  Ben Gurion understood this when he said that “The Bible is our Mandate.”

Traditionally observant Jews see the Torah as having come from God. But this perspective is not essential to making the broader case that it has moral and historical significance that speaks to the world.  Once this position is promoted with pride by Jews, the historical case for the Jewish connection to the Land becomes obvious.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yoram Hazony explained that there is one strand of Christianity that has stayed connected to the Jewish Bible - believes Christianity is founded on the Hebrew Bible.  Adherents of this position are eager to learn its lessons.  This is not true of progressive denominations of Christianity, which tend to embrace replacement theology and focus on New Testament.  He suggests that Jews may have a role to play in working with Christians who have a deep interest in the Jewish Bible.

~~~~~~~~~~

Among the many points made by Kantorovich is that it is more effective to focus on other parallel situations, rather than on Israel, when making a case regarding international law.   
When it comes to Israel, people tend to lose perspective that they often retain when considering less volatile situations. Last night he used as example the fact that the Crimea, which has been seized by Russia, remains part of the Ukraine according to international law. This illustrates a principle known as “the persistence of borders” – a principle that applies as well to Judea and Samaria, which were encompassed within the Mandate borders.  Recently he had written about this:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/crimea-international-law-and-the-west-bank/

~~~~~~~~~~

© 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 Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 03:49PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 19, 2014: The Temple Mount

I’ve written several times about the growing problems on Har Habayit – the Temple Mount. 
 
Temple Mount

Credit: Wiki Commons
 
Again now I report on the situation, which is grave and most be considered with utmost seriousness.
 
Over the week of the Sukkot holiday, there was a rash of Arab violence that was clearly premeditated.  It began on Wednesday, the 8th of October: that evening began Sukkot and many Jewish worshippers came to ascend to the Mount (emphasis added):

The fighting began when masked youths threw stones, iron bars, cinder blocks and Molotov cocktails at police officers as the Mughrabi Gate opened to non-Muslim visitors earlier in the day.

“Police chased the demonstrators toward the Al-Aqsa mosque, where they barricaded themselves inside and continued hurling objects in the direction of the police, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

“Samri said the Palestinians had prepared for the confrontation ahead of time, and had set up obstacles at the holy site to slow down police. She said the Palestinians threw firebombs and rocks at police from within the mosque.

Police responded with ‘nonlethal riot control means,’ Samri said.

“A radical Islamic cleric in Israel, Raed Salah, had called on Muslims to be present at the mosque Wednesday morning. About 30 young Palestinians slept the night before at the mosque in preparation for the confrontation, according to Palestinian eyewitnesses.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/three-police-hurt-in-holiday-eve-melee-on-temple-mount/

~~~~~~~~~~

Credit: TheJerusalemConnection


The violence continued intermittently over the course of the week of Sukkot.  But finally, it seems, Israeli authorities, confronting the serious of the Arab threat, are responding with greater determination.  This is to be celebrated.  For many years, Arabs knew that all they had to do was riot or even threaten to riot, and Israeli police, citing security concerns, blocked entrance to the Mount for Jews.  The wrong people were being deprived of the opportunity to be on the Mount. But now (emphasis added):
 
“In a policy change since the beginning of the Jewish New Year, instead of closing the Temple Mount to [Jewish] visitors after Muslim rioting, the Israel Police push the rioters back inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and leave the Temple Mount compound open. But the policy may change again if the current situation persists, Aharonovitch said.

’If the Jews cannot go up to the Mount, the Muslims will not go up to the Mount,’ he said.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/19/temple-mount-tensions-reach-a-boiling-point-during-sukkot/
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
What we are dealing with is a battle for control of the Mount. 
 
Jordan, which controls the Muslim Wakf (trust, or authority) on the Mount, charged Israeli police with fomenting the problem.
 
“The forces of the occupation ... prevented religious officials entering (the compound) and cleared it of all Muslims, while at the same time enabling Jewish extremists to storm it, and pray with security forces protection," complained Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momeni.
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185983#.VEQdM5txnIU
 
Note: “forces of the occupation” implies Israel has no right to be there. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
And now it has come to this (emphasis added):
 
”Palestinian Authority President (sic) Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinians on Friday to prevent Jewish ‘settlers’ from entering the Temple Mount.

”Addressing Fatah activists from east[ern] Jerusalem in Ramallah, Abbas also called on Palestinians to be present at the Temple Mount at all times to confront the ‘fierce onslaught on Al-Aksa Mosque, Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre Church.’

He said Fatah should spearhead the effort to stop ‘settlers’ from entering the Temple Mount.
 
“We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary in any way. This is our Al-Aksa and our church. They have no right to enter and desecrate them. We must confront them and defend our holy sites.”
 
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-calls-on-activists-to-prevent-Jewish-settlers-from-entering-Temple-Mount-379153
 
These statements by Abbas are always calculated.  Note the term “settlers,” which is pejorative, referring to Jews who are presumably where they do not belong.
 
And a “fierce onslaught” on the Holy Sepulchre Church?  (Which, by the way, is not on the Mount at all.) This is a ludicrous attempt to make it seem as if Muslims protect Christians from Israeli attack. The reality is that Muslims are massacring Christians, who are in fact safe no where in the Middle East except Israel.  Christians pray freely at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is in eastern Jerusalem.  But Abbas says what he pleases, with impunity and with no regard for the truth.
 
Abbas’s statement, which represents a new low, is incitement clear and simple.  This is the man with whom Israel should negotiate?  Let’s see how long it takes for Kerry to call him on this.
 
Just one day after this outrage, Abbas went even further:
 
In a speech yesterday to to the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah party, he referred to Jews entering the Mount as a “herd of cattle.”
 
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186265#.VEQjYptxnIU
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
”Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blasted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night after Abbas said that Jews should be prevented from visiting the Temple Mount and that Palestinians should defend the site from them.

“Lieberman said Abbas' remarks reveal his attempt to ignite the conflict by using the most sensitive place, the Temple Mount. In a statement released on Saturday night, Lieberman accused Abbas and the PA of being behind the disturbances of the residents of east Jerusalem.

”The foreign minister said that the remarks also reveal Abbas' ‘true face’ as a ‘Holocaust denier who speaks about a Palestinian state free of Jews.’ He said Abbas was and remains an anti-Semite.

"’Behind his [Abbas'] suit and the pleasantries aimed at the international community, he ramps up incitement against Israel and the Jews and calls for a religious war,’ he said.”
 
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Liberman-calls-Abbas-anti-Semite-compares-him-to-ISIS-after-Temple-Mount-remarks-379154
 
True, all true.

 

Credit: jmpoint.hu

 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
I noted with particular interest a quote Martin Sherman provided in his most recent JPost column (and for which I thank him):

With the two-state solution... Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the chosen people? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse.... Then we will move forward.”

Abbas Zaki, senior PLO official. (ANB TV, Lebanon, May 7, 2009)

www.jpost.com/Opinion/Into-the-fray-The-two-stage-solution-379041

~~~~~~~~~~

Where Zaki refers to Jerusalem, with its spiritual status, read “Temple Mount,” which is at the very core of that spiritual status.  It must not be relinquished. Our presence on the Mount must be constant, and our security forces and authorities must be ever strong in defending our rights there.

~~~~~~~~~~

And the good news today? We had rain. A period of torrential rain that turned the streets to rivers.  I got caught in it, and I called it a blessing.  We began praying for rain on Simchat Torah, Thursday.  The beginning of the winter season.  May it be a very wet one.

Credit: Marc Israel Sellem

~~~~~~~~~~

 
© 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 Monday, October 20, 2014 at 02:37AM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 18, 2014: What Is He Talking About?

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

We have just completed the holiday of Sukkot, during which time we live in sukkahs.  While conforming to certain specifications, a sukkah is in its essence a temporary and thus fragile structure.

Credit: Mishpacha


This comes to remind us that what protects us is not the walls of the sukkah, but the embrace of the Almighty. And I believe that now, especially, this is a lesson we need to carry with us: As is obvious from my postings, I believe we are commanded to act as decisively as we can.  Never do I suggest that we should leave it to Heaven and stop exerting our own effort to protect Israel – on the contrary! 

But in the end, we indeed must rely upon the embrace of the Almighty.  The world grows less comprehensible day by day.

~~~~~~~~~~

John Kerry’s statements serve as a perfect example of the incomprehensible nature of current events.  This past Thursday, he linked the lack of a “two-state solution” to rising Islamic radicalism:

"there wasn't a leader I met with in the region who didn't raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation...
 
“People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186236#.VEK2DptxnIU

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This position is not only daft and outrageous, it is dead wrong and dangerous.

The vast majority of the Arabs across the region care very little about the “Palestinians” and their call for a state. 

ISIS is about an Islamic caliphate established on the basis of sharia law.  Were there (Heaven forbid) no Israel, the Islamic radicals would still be seeking a caliphate.

More to the point with regard to the rise of ISIS is the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq at a premature time.

~~~~~~~~~~

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who was in Gaza this past week, echoed a refrain similar to that of Kerry:

“The Gaza situation is a symptom of a larger problem: the stalemate in the Middle East peace process.” 

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UN-Chief-questions-proportionality-of-Gaza-war-379039

It doesn’t end. 

One must ask what it is that Ban doesn’t get: Hamas in Gaza was not part of negotiations for “peace” and has declared it never will be.  The goal of this terror organization is the elimination of Israel and it would not be pacified by a “two-state solution.”  It would merely utilize the presence of a “Palestinian state” in Judea and Samaria to advance its opportunities for attacking Israel. 

How has it come to pass that successful peace negotiations are touted as the panacea for everything that ails this part of the world?

From where I sit, it looks like a serious epidemic of “blame it on the Jews.”   

~~~~~~~~~~

But here we are, with Kerry declaring:
"It is imperative that we find a way to get back to the negotiations.[We need] to find a way to create two states that can live together side by side, two peoples, with both of their aspirations being respected.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-17/imperative-to-resume-israel-palestinian-talks-kerry/5822102

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I confess, my friends, that I was naïve.  I believed that when Abbas signed with Hamas for a unity government it was the kiss of death for negotiations, at least for some interim of time.  I was convinced that it would be clear that Israel could not negotiate with an entity that encompassed a terrorist organization and that Abbas’s credentials as a “partner for peace” had been severely tarnished. 

But, alas...I was wrong. We are expected to negotiate anyway.

We will not.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

From a purely pragmatic perspective I also saw Kerry as having too much on his plate to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict right now.  Go know...

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This past Sunday, a donor conference was held in Cairo to raise money for the rebuilding of Gaza.   A staggering $5.4 billion dollars was pledged, the largest pledge of $1 billion coming from the Hamas-supporting nation of Qatar.

Israel, the PA and the UN have ostensibly worked out a mechanism for ensuring that materials brought in will not be utilized by Hamas.  I have not quite figured out yet how this can be the case, when the PA encompasses Hamas.  Please, do not hold your collective breath expecting success on this score.  My understanding is that it will be impossible to effectively monitor dual-use items (that can be used for civilian building or for military purposes) once they are in Gaza.  This past Tuesday, cement and steel entered Gaza for the first time in a year.

Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset, expressed double concern about a lack of proper supervision of the funds donated: It will not reach the population that needs it, and it will embolden Hamas to more violence

Edelstein regretted that Israel had not been invited by Cairo to the conference.

~~~~~~~~~~

I call your attention in particular to a piece on this issue by Michael Freund, “Is rebuilding Gaza more important than halting Ebola?” (emphasis added):

“...despite the Islamic terrorist group’s [Hamas’s] cynical use of the area as a launching pad for thousands of rocket attacks against Israel, Western powers and others have rushed to open their checkbooks to help with reconstruction.

This is morally obtuse, politically obscene and strategically oblivious behavior...

“...At the Gaza donor conference, which was held in Cairo, a whopping $5.4 billion was pledged, half of which will go towards rebuilding efforts, while the rest will be used to sustain the budget of the Palestinian Authority, which now includes Hamas through 2017.

In other words, even though the Palestinians siphoned off previous aid and used it to prepare for war with Israel, they are once again becoming recipients of Western largesse.

Needless to say, the funds pledged are not contingent on Hamas disarmament, nor will any demands be made of the terrorist group to cease building tunnels to try and burrow into Israel and murder innocent Israelis...

The inanity at work here is even more pronounced when one considers that the United Nations has been having difficulty raising just $1 billion to fight Ebola.

“Although the disease has killed more than 4,000 people and spread to at least seven countries, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said on Friday that just $250 million...has been raised thus far...

“And so, even though the number of Ebola cases is reportedly doubling every three to four weeks, billions of dollars will be lavished on Gaza rather than on the jeopardized populations of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“Similarly, a recent donor conference in Washington aimed at combatting cholera in Haiti, which has killed more than 8,000 and infected 700,000 others, raised just $52.5 million out of the $400 million needed for the program’s first two years.

“And just last month, Ertharin Cousin, the head of the World Food Program, said that because of funding shortages, the organization has had to reduce food rations and distributions.

“’We’re going to need to cut rations to those people we’re supporting inside Syria, and to cut the size of the vouchers to those Syrians who are refugees outside Syria...’”

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Fundamentally-Freund-Is-rebuilding-Gaza-more-important-than-halting-Ebola-378797

Concludes Freund, “no reasonable moral calculus can justify prioritizing the reconstruction of Gaza apartment buildings over preventing an Ebola epidemic that threatens millions of people.”

~~~~~~~~~~

All this makes me long for the peace of the sukkah. But I’ll be here, with a great deal more to write about.

As I had recently written about Hezbollah, and increasing concerns about its intentions, I end with this article by Jonathan Spyer, who has considerable expertise on the issue:

The Nusra Front – a Sunni Jihadist group in Syria – “is demonstrating its ability to hit at [Shi’ite] Hezbollah across the border [from Syria into Lebanon] with increasing impunity.”  In the past, Hezbollah has tangled with weak Sunni elements inside of Lebanon, or with Syrian refugees located in Lebanon, but this is different.  Nusra is attacking Hezbollah positions; there are indications that the Syrian civil war is moving “irrevocably” into Lebanon.

http://www.jpost.com/landedpages/printarticle.aspx?id=379024

All of this must be followed closely because of the complex implications for Hezbollah’s motivation to hit Israel in the near future.  Hezbollah is facing new challenges.  On the one hand, it is distracted and under pressure.  But it is eager to justify itself to the Lebanese population, which has not been pleased with Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.

~~~~~~~~~~

© 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/2014/10/18/october-18-2014-what-is-he-talking-about.html

 

Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 06:52PM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 7, 2014: Sukkot

“v'samachta bechagecha”: and you shall rejoice in your festival.  This is it, Sukkot, our season of rejoicing.  My very favorite holiday.  The spirit is in the air, here in Jerusalem.  I look forward to meals in the Sukkah (much larger than the illustration here!), and sleeping in the Sukkah with my grandchildren. 


 
And blessings over the lulav and etrog.

 

 

Sukkot starts tomorrow night, and I will post only very erratically, if at all, during the coming eight-day period.  The older I get, and the worse the world seems, the more I understand how important are these moments of joy.  To all celebrating, I wish a Chag Sameach.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Legal Grounds Campaign, which I co-chair with Jeff Daube, had to slow down during the recent war with Hamas.  But we are ready to gear up again after the holiday and we believe there is now a window of opportunity for effect work.

Our ultimate goal of getting the government of Israel to speak in one voice, providing consistent messages to the Israeli public and the international community about our legal  grounds – and then adjusting policies so that they reflect these rights – has not changed.  We believe this is critical to Israel’s future.

Until how we’ve been working in the Knesset.  We are convinced there is still more work to be done there – bringing MKs on board to speak out about Israel’s rights - before we to the next stage. 

It is important to emphasize: There are no magic bullets.  We are engaged in a process to turn the situation around.  Little by little. 

I have already been in touch with some of you directly.  If you would like to know more about this campaign – what we’ve accomplished to date and where we are headed – or if you are interested in helping, financially or otherwise, please write to me (and put “Legal Grounds Campaign” in the subject line).

~~~~~~~~~~

There is, as always, an unending number of subjects to be discussed.  I will touch here upon just a few of the most critical. 

The other day, the new government of Sweden declared intention of recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a “state.”  From the perspective of customary international law, this does not work.  For an entity to be defined as a state, it must:

* exercise effective and independent governmental control
* possess a defined territory over which it exercises such control
* have the capacity to freely engage in foreign relations
* have a permanent population
 
Clearly, the Palestinian Authority has multiple problems fulfilling these criteria.  The whole matter of government control is very complex in this situation.  One Palestinian Authority as a unity government?  Or two authorities, one in Judea and Samaria and the other in Gaza, no matter how it is papered over?  Because of this complexity, there is confusion over what population it has.

But most significant is the issue of a defined territory over which it exercises control.  Were Abbas seeking to declare a state on the area that the PA now administers in Judea and Samaria, that would be one thing. But he is defining his state as encompassing everything over the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line, sometimes called the 1967 “border”), which enfolds all of eastern Jerusalem as well a host of Jewish communities.  He is not in control of this area and never will be. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Then, there is yet another problem.  The PLO is obligated to a final status for the PA via the Oslo Accords, which call for negotiations.  European nations profess support for Oslo, but unilateral recognition of a state sabotages the process. 

I will note here that Oslo does not specifically define a sovereign Palestinian state as the end goal of negotiations.

What is more, the General Assembly resolution that accorded the PA the status of a non-voting member of that body did not legally confer statehood upon the PA either. The UN cannot confer statehood.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yet Sweden, for purely political reasons, declared itself prepared to “recognize” this “state” that does not exist.  The danger is that it could motivate other nations to do the same.  While this “state” still would not fulfill all of the traditional criteria, by some measures, a state is defined in part by the recognition of other nations. Thus is it imperative to nip this in the bud. Sweden hasn’t actually taken the step yet.

~~~~~~~~~~

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was furious about Sweden’s announced intentions, and the Swedish ambassador to Israel was summoned for a reprimand.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4578329,00.html

Swedish prime minister Stephen Lofven was apparently startled by the reaction his announcement (during his inauguration speech, yet) elicited, and has backtracked a bit. Now he has explained that he is friends with both parties and was not trying to attack Israel.  He was trying to help, because if the PA is recognized as a state it will advance the peace process.  Unmitigated nonsense.  Hopefully in the end this will not happen.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sweden’s announcement stimulated similar talk in London. But in England this was not expected to have legs.  If a vote were to be held in the parliament, it would be purely “symbolic.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Now our eyes are on the north, where the situation is enormously unstable.  (Actually, the situation is unstable everywhere, but this area is considered most worrisome.)

On Sunday, a small group of Lebanese soldiers moved across the border from Lebanon into Israel.  The IDF shot at them and one soldier was lightly wounded; they all turned back into Lebanon.

At that point UNIFIL – the “peace keeping” UN troops in Lebanon – got involved, and had some harsh words for the shooting of the Lebanese soldier.  This struck me as ironic but not terribly surprising: For us they have reprimands. But this force that was supposed to keep Hezbollah from being re-armed after the 2006 Lebanon war totally failed in its mandated mission, as Hezbollah now has some 100,000 rockets.

~~~~~~~~~~

The concern being voiced here is that there has been a shift in the situation, with the Lebanese army and Hezbollah cooperating. In theory this was not supposed to happen. As far as I know, it has not happened overtly until now.  Although I will note that UNIFIL works under the direction of the Lebanese army.  The thinking is that this group of Lebanese soldiers was actually a cell intent on a terrorist attack.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-Concerns-mount-that-Hezbollah-Lebanese-army-could-cooperate-against-Israel-378138

~~~~~~~~~~

Repeatedly over the last several months, I have read reports that Hezbollah, which is headquartered in Lebanon, was not likely to turn its sights on Israel, as it was mired down in the Syrian civil war, where it had been depleted by the loss of hundreds of troops.  This is what I have been reporting.

But now there is a new assessment: Hezbollah has actually gained strength as the result of experience fighting in Syria: It has greater confidence and has new offensive capabilities.

The IDF has thus made “dramatic changes” in its plans to defend the north of Israel in all eventualities. 

While no war with Hezbollah is expected in the immediate future, it is expected that such a war will come and it will be two-pronged.  There will be aerial attack by rockets and missiles that are far more sophisticated than anything Hamas has. And there will infiltration into the north of Israel, in the Galil, with an attempt to seize areas or communities.

There is confidence in the IDF that Hezbollah forces that entered Israel’s north could be repelled in short order.  The far greater concern is those rockets and missiles. 

I’ve heard it said many times by our military commanders and defense personnel that a war with Hezbollah would not be like a war with Hamas, and I can only pray that from the perspective of our defense they mean it.  We would have to preempt. Hezbollah follows exactly the same pattern of hiding rockets in civilian areas. But in Lebanon, there would be no time to warn civilians to move out of the way.  Attacks on sites where the key weaponry is stored would have to be swift and massive to prevent launching of those destructive rockets.  In order to defend ourselves we would have to concentrate on speedily eliminating the threat, rather than worrying about accusations from the world community or a count of how many civilians got in the way.

~~~~~~~~~~

And while we are talking about the north, there is also the presence of radical jihadists on the other side of the Golan, in Syria, who at some point in the future may decide to move down into Israel.  Different groups are represented there, none nearly as strong as Hezbollah or armed with rockets as Hezbollah is, but requiring extreme vigilance all the same.

~~~~~~~~~~

All of this, I must add, provides strong rationale for not having gone into Gaza to totally take down Hamas. This would have drawn on too much of our resources, occupied too many of our soldiers – all of which may, on short notice, be needed elsewhere.

~~~~~~~~~~

On Sunday, a powerful blast tore into Iran's military facility at Parchin. At least two people were killed. It is not yet known if this explosion was the result of sabotage or a work accident.  But such news is always welcome.  I will not know anything more before Sukkot begins. But after the holiday, there is a great deal to write about concerning Iran.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

Tensions remain high between Netanyahu and Obama, over the issue (which is a non-issue!) of our plans to build in eastern Jerusalem.

What is pleasing from the perspective here is that Netanyahu has about had it – he’s standing strong, unapologetically.

~~~~~~~~~~

An interview of Prime Minister Netanyahu by Dovid Efune appears in the Algemeiner.  In it he explains that his determination not to transfer any territory to the PA without extensive security arrangements (read: the continuing presence of the IDF inside this territory) has “only become firmer,” in light of current situations.

“We don’t just hand over territory, close our eyes and hope for the best.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/06/netanyahu-says-stance-on-security-requirements-has-become-%e2%80%98firmer%e2%80%99-%e2%80%98we-don%e2%80%99t-just-hand-over-territory-close-our-eyes-and-hope-for-the-best%e2%80%99-interview/

~~~~~~~~~~

This non-appeasing stance by our prime minster is most welcome.  He is couching his position in security terms, and indeed the concerns in this regard are very real:

"’[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza,’ says senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar... ‘We won't do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine.’
 
If Hamas manages to establish a foothold in the West Bank, it would be able to wipe out Israel and establish an Islamic state in its stead, senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar told Palestinian news outlet Al-Ayyam on Wednesday.” (Emphasis added)
 
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=20609

What this indicates is not only that giving a state to Abbas would be incredibly dangerous and foolish, but that the notion of a unity government is a farce, a pretense: If Hamas and Fatah were truly united, Hamas would not be talking this way.

~~~~~~~~~~

But in the end, Netanyahu’s concerns translate to: No two-state solution, folks.  Elsewhere I read that Netanyahu says the definition of “sovereignty” would have to change with regard to what was meant by a “sovereign” Palestinian state. 

Abbas will not have this. But there it stands.  The world is going to be angry at us and we had better learn to live with it.  To give the world what it wants of us would be suicide.

A very good time for making our case about our rights in the land with full vigor.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

© 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/2014/10/7/october-7-2014-sukkot.html

 

Posted on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 08:37AM by Registered CommenterArlene in , , , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

October 6, 2014: Silent Intifada

A piece of particular importance that I wrote has just gone up on Front Page Magazine.  Rather than just provide the link to it, I provide here the entire article.  The link follows.  Please, share this very widely – if not this post, then the Front Page URL.
 
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The perpetrators in the main are male Arabs, mostly young, with Jerusalem residency cards.  They have the right to live in Jerusalem, and receive the perks of citizens, but – tellingly – for political reasons have declined to become full citizens. 

With increasing frequency in recent weeks, they are out on the streets of eastern Jerusalem and at key eastern Jerusalem locations, actively participating in violent and destructive behaviors.  Sometimes they wrap scarves around their faces so they cannot be identified. 

Some Arab “unrest” occurs from time to time in the city.  Perhaps a demonstration protesting a perceived grievance suddenly turns into a riot.  Molotov cocktails might be thrown, or rocks large enough to kill.  Municipal infrastructure might incur some damage.   

None of this is acceptable, but for the most part, these have been intermittent and localized occurrences.  What is happening now is something else: a form of behavior that is more persistently violent and more pervasive.  

It comes as a shock to learn, for example, that at least 30% of the cars of the Jerusalem Light Rail are out of commission because of vandalism that takes place at the Light Rail station located in Shu’afat, an Arab neighborhood.  This is not a matter of delinquent kids with time on their hands. This is focused behavior intended to undermine the authority of the municipality. 

This past week, on the second night of Rosh Hashana, Chanan Kupietzky, 25, and two others were walking towards the Kotel (the Western Wall) when they were accosted by some four Arabs, who began by calling, “Dirty Jews!”  At a signal from yet another Arab, they approached Kupietzky and his companions and launched a physical attack.  Other Arabs in the area began throwing rocks at the three, and at other Jews who were nearby, wounding one man in the chest. 

“It was like an ambush,” Kupietzy said.  One Arab came at him with a two-by-four that had nails protruding from it, which was used to strike him repeatedly; ultimately his hand was so badly fractured that he required surgery. 

One of the locations that has been most problematic is Har Hazeitim – the Mount of Olives.  This is the site of Judaism’s most ancient cemetery, with 150,000 graves. This past week, on one night alone, 40 graves were vandalized. 

Nearby is Ma’aleh Hazeitim, a Jewish neighborhood that has been the site of stonings.  Arabs – likely from the nearby Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud – target cars on the road that have Jewish drivers. 

This past week, however, a new low was reached when Arab stone-throwers made a nursery school the target of an attack.  As rocks pelted the outside of the nursery building, the teacher quickly brought the children into an air-raid shelter for safety and summoned the police. 

These stories and many more like them have been insufficiently publicized. 

Multiple observers have noticed that the attacks seem organized rather than random, and that there is never one person acting alone.  There are groups operating, under instruction. 

According to one very reliable individual with direct connections to the Israeli government, what we are seeing is a limited intifada.  The Palestinian Authority has decided that a wide scale intifada in Judea and Samaria would not be a good idea now: they have opted for one focused exclusively on Jerusalem instead

It makes perfect sense. In the struggle between Israel and the PA, Jerusalem is the heart of the matter. 

In July 1980, the Knesset passed a bill in Basic Law that reads: “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.” There is no such place as “East Jerusalem;” there is one, undivided city.  Nonetheless, the Palestinian Authority continues to promote the fiction of “East Jerusalem” as a separate place that is destined to become its capital.  In the end, the sovereignty of Jerusalem – as the sovereignty of any place – is directly connected to control on the ground.  The PA goal is to make eastern Jerusalem so difficult for Jews to live in that they will withdraw. 

Were this to happen, it would be an unmitigated disaster, particularly as the very core of Jewish tradition in the city – including the Temple Mount – is in its more ancient eastern part. It would mean relinquishing that core, with all the implications that would follow

The over­rid­ing question now is what is being done to guarantee that this does not happen. 

There are many fine police officers at work in Jerusalem, and, in fact, their numbers have been augmented recently. But there remains a persistent unease that what may be happening when the police act is more in the way of containment than enforcement of the law to the fullest extent possible.  Sometimes violent groups are scattered and chased away rather than arrested.  At other times arrests are made but prosecutions do not follow. 

While these instances have been observed, what is not clear is whether they are just that – separate instances, or whether they are the result of orders from above, from Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, or police officials. 

It is not difficult to understand the inclination to fall back on containment, no matter how ill-advised it is in the long run: The world watches Israel as it watches no other nation. One false arrest, one injury or death of an Arab during attempts to make arrests, will result in headlines and international protests.  It feels safer to go easy. 

But it is exceedingly important for Jews to make their presence known in all parts of Israel’s capital; and they must be able to do so free of harassment or physical risk.  Protecting its citizens is a primary responsibility of the government.  

In this instance, when the government of Israel acts to protect its citizens, it is also protecting its rights as a sovereign nation and its future in the land.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/arlene-kushner/the-silent-intifada/
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
© 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/2014/10/6/october-6-2014-silent-intifada.html

 

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