Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Video Of The Week - Fire kites from Gaza burning Southern Israel - https://tinyurl.com/y9u892xh
When is it "News"?
From MFA Newsletter 8-8-2018: https://tinyurl.com/y8gahovy
Since late March, southern Israel has been plagued by “arson terror” – Palestinians in Gaza release incendiary kites and hot-air balloons, causing devastating fires that have destroyed thousands of acres agricultural crops and grazing land.
Southern Israel, especially the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip, have been suffering since late March from "arson terror" - Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border release kites and hot-air balloons with attached incendiary material. The wind blows the kites and balloons to the Israeli side, causing fires that have destroyed thousands of acres of crops and grazing lands, forests and nature reserves, killing animals and destroying their habitat.
From 30 March to 4 August this year, there have been 1,316 fires - an average of 20-22 a day. Over 7,400 acres have been damaged or destroyed. Much of the summer wheat crop was lost, either to the fires or due to too-early harvesting. Hundreds of chickens and turkeys suffocated to death from smoke inhalation. People with asthma and other lung diseases are also suffering from the polluted air. In Nahal Grar, dozens of beehives, each with about 70,000 bees and 30-50 kilos of honey, were destroyed by fire. Farmers in the affected areas have filed 180 claims for compensation, valued at around 3 million USD.
The Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services reports a large increase in the number of people seeking treatment at Hosen Centers, which offer psychological-emotional support and therapy. In centers located throughout the northern and western Negev (Eshkol, Hof Ashkelon, Shaar HaNegev, Sderot and Sdot Negev), 834 people were treated between March 21 and July 1 - a 308% increae over the period from January through March 20.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Video Of The Week - Israel Nation State Law - https://tinyurl.com/ydhqopoa
For the full article in the JP by Isi Leibler go to; https://tinyurl.com/yb2s43ha
It is inevitable - and laudable - that there are debates and differences over most new legislation. However, that does not justify the global hysteria generated over the recently passed nation-state law, which the clear majority of Israelis support. Many critics simply did not read the law, which is purely declarative and in no way detracts from the existing rights of minorities. Others merely echoed the exaggerated criticism in the press.
On the other hand, had the government not made certain mistakes, much of the criticism could largely have been pre-empted. It should have accepted MK Benny Begin’s amendment, which included two phrases: “full equality of rights for all its citizens” and “Jewish and democratic state.” In practical terms this was repeating the obvious but would have made it more difficult for those seeking to slander Israel.
The second error was the failure to informally consult minorities, especially the Druze whom Israeli Jews genuinely love and admire. Many Druze have been deceived; the new law in no way discriminates against them.
The suggestion that this law denies the rights of any minority is humbug and allegations that it represents “extreme” nationalism would not be substantiated if one accepts the premise that Israel is a Jewish state. I would in fact challenge critics to display one clause that denies the rights of minorities which were initially incorporated in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. They were reaffirmed in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, passed in 1992, whose stipulated purpose was “to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”
a) Is not Israel entitled, as the nation-state law says, “to exercise national self-determination” on behalf of the Jewish people without in any way depriving minorities such as the Arabs of their democratic rights?
b) Is not a Jewish state entitled to reinforce its national anthem, reiterate that Independence Day is a national holiday, restate support for its flag and encourage Jewish immigration? Is that a declaration of extreme nationalism?
c) Is not a Jewish state entitled to reiterate that its national language is Hebrew? In order to avoid any other misunderstanding, specific mention is made in this clause that this “does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”
d) Is not a Jewish state entitled to reiterate its support for settlement construction as articulated in the Declaration of Independence?
The principal (but not sole) source of the shrill hysteria (as distinct from moderate critics) emanates from those with a record of demonizing or criticizing Israel. They include the European countries that have always sought to besmirch Israel, progressives and large segments of Diaspora Jewry, particularly Americans.
It is important to note that this law was democratically enacted and supported by the nation. A poll last week showed 58% of Israelis supported the bill with 38% opposing. The projected strength of Netanyahu’s Likud in the next election also increased from 30 to 33 seats after the bill was passed.
The criticism voiced by the Europeans is particularly offensive because many of them have similar constitutions and are governed by similar laws. Most countries are officially Christian. Many are officially Muslim and a few are Buddhist. Where is the rationale for castigating Israel for describing itself as a Jewish state? Indeed, almost a dozen European countries, including England, have official state religions. The Basic Law is more liberal and does not stipulate that Judaism is the official religion of the state.
In Israel, the opposition parties bitterly condemned the law even though seven years ago, the now defunct Kadima Party headed by Tzipi Livni, who now leads the charge of “radical nationalism,” was promoting a very similar bill.
The leading elements hysterically assert that the bill is racist, discriminates against minorities and has transformed Israel into an apartheid and fascist state. They represent the far Left and their media mouthpiece is Haaretz.
The reality is that most Israeli Arabs are happy to live in Israel which is stable and the only genuine democracy in a region of barbaric conflict and dictatorships. While they strive to elevate their roles in society, they enjoy a higher standard of living and far better opportunities than they would in any Arab country. An increasing number are engaged in professions and one need only enter an Israeli hospital where Arab and Jewish doctors and nurses treat Jewish and Arab patients on a basis of equality, in order to repudiate slanders of apartheid or racism.
The rule of law applies to Arab citizens as it does to any other Israeli and they enjoy total freedom of religion.
There are legitimate grounds for criticizing the law, particularly errors of omission by the government due to a lack of foresight, but the hyperbole employed by some of those opposing it is malicious and will serve to foment hatred within Israel and provide aid to those nations seeking to besmirch us.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Video Of The Week - Why Isn't There a Palestinian State? https://tinyurl.com/yd4zz3xr
Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri is the first Arab woman to be appointed dean at the Hebrew University, and may well be the only Arab woman to serve as dean at any university in Israel.
BY GREER FAY CASHMAN JULY 28, 2018
IN THE midst of the controversy over the Nation-State Law and the demotion of Arabic from official language status, Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri has been appointed dean of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s School of Social Work. She is the first Arab woman to be appointed dean at the Hebrew University, and may well be the only Arab woman to serve as dean at any university in Israel.
A Christian Arab, Khoury-Kassabri has made history in more ways than one. Not only is she the first female Arab dean at the university, but she was born to illiterate parents and raised in one of the poorest crimeand drug-infested neighborhoods in Haifa. Not every youngster there was a juvenile delinquent, and she wasn’t, either. More than that, she was born with ambition, a factor that took her beyond high school to an academic education and career, which together with other Arab women who have succeeded in academia, albeit not quite to the same extent, makes her a role model for other young Arab women who are striving to realize their potential and are aiming for new horizons.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Video Of The Week - Israel Establishes Maternity Hospital in Syria https://tinyurl.com/yct5z7wc
The transfer of the refugees via Israel was carried out as an unusual humanitarian gesture, and they were transferred from Israel to a neighboring country,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
From; Unitedwithisrael By: Yona Schnitzer
For the full article go to - https://tinyurl.com/yb3me3p5
Four Hundred and twenty two Syrians affiliated with the White Helmet civil rescue organization entered Israel from Quneitra in southern Syria Saturday night. IDF soldiers met the refugees and transferred them to a secure site in northern Jordan.
The operation was carried out following requests by the United States as well as several European countries asking Israel to act swiftly to rescue members of the organization and their families. The international community feared that the return of the Syrian Army to the region would put them in immediate danger, as the White Helmets are a rebel organization, opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to the German tabloid Bild, the operation commenced at around 9 p.m. on Saturday night, when White Helmet members and their families arrived at an agreed-upon crossing point adjacent to the Israeli border. The IDF opened the gates and helped load the fleeing Syrians onto buses, which then took them to Jordan while also providing medical care and handing out food and water. By sunrise, all 800 Syrians had been successfully evacuated.
“The transfer of the refugees via Israel was carried out as an unusual humanitarian gesture, and they were transferred from Israel to a neighboring country,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement, adding that Israel “does not intervene with the inner-fighting in Syria and continues to see the Syrian regime as responsible for all actions within Syria.”
Mohammed al-Kayed, a spokesman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, added that the operation was approved and carried out due to “purely humanitarian reasons,” adding that the refugees will remain in a closed camp within Jordan, where they will wait to be relocated to Western countries. Al-Kayed said that Britain, Germany and Canada have pledged to resettle the refugees within three months.
IDF ‘Prepared for a Wide Range of Scenarios’
The operation followed an IDF announcement last Wednesday that the IDF’s Bashan division had carried out six special operations over the past two weeks to transfer food and supplies to makeshift refugee camps along the Syrian border. Thousands of Syrians began amassing on the border, with no access to food, water or electricity, following a massive Syrian military offensive in the Daraa province that began in early July .
The IDF said it had transferred a total of 72 tons of food, 9,000 liters of fuel, and 70 tents, as well as clothing and medical supplies.
“The IDF will continue to monitor the events in southern Syria, and is prepared for a wide range of scenarios, including granting the Syrians humanitarian aid,” an IDF statement read, adding that “the IDF will not allow the entry of Syrians into Israeli territory and will continue to maintain the security interests of the State of Israel.”
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Video Of The Week - Israel gives aid to fleeing Syrians- https://tinyurl.com/ydzx6oac
Parks officials say attached harness suggests bird may have been launched deliberately from Gaza to start fires in Israel
A falcon found dead in a tree, tied to an incendiary device, on July 16, 2018, near the Gaza border
A falcon was discovered near the Gaza border on Monday with strings attached that contained flammable material.
The falcon was found dead, hanging by the attached string from a burned tree near the Nahal Habesor riverbed.
It was not immediately clear if the bird was launched from Gaza to spark fires in Israel, as Gazans have done hundreds of time in recent weeks with kites and balloons, or if the predatory animal attempted to attack a balloon or kite carrying an incendiary device and became ensnared in its attached strings.
The falcon was found on a day when firefighters battled 15 separate fires started by Gazan kites and balloons in the border region.
Nature and Parks Authority officials who examined the bird said it wore a harness, suggesting it was a trained hunting bird, and strengthening speculation that it was deliberately sent to start fires, the Ynet news site reported.
The falcon is a common bird in Israel, and regularly attacks other birds in the air.
If it was deliberately sent to Israel from Gaza to start fires, it would mark the first time Gazans have used an animal to start such fires.
Israel has accused Gazans of using kites, balloons, drones and helium-filled condoms to launch incendiary devices into Israel.
Hundreds of fires have been started in southern Israel by the devices, burning thousands of acres of forest, farmland and brush over the past two months.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Video Of The Week - A Palestinian "Refugee" Speaks out - https://tinyurl.com/yaqhutob
Obama concealed a myth-smashing report. Trump can reveal it to the world.
Wall Street Journal - By Richard Goldberg and Jonathan Schanzer
For the full article go to https://tinyurl.com/y7g2dmqt
If President Trump wants to promote peace in the Middle East, his first step should be to declassify a key State Department report that would end the myth of Palestinian “refugees.”
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is singularly devoted to the Palestinian refugee issue. Unrwa labels more than five million Palestinians “refugees”—an impossible figure. The first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, yielded roughly 800,000 Palestinian Arab refugees.
Perhaps 30,000 remain alive today, but Unrwa has kept the refugee issue alive by labeling their descendants—in some cases great-great-grandchildren—as “refugees,” who insist on the “right of return” to their ancestors’ homes. Israel categorically rejects this demand.
Unrwa’s operations run counter to the broader mission of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which is to resettle those displaced by war. Unrwa’s mission, on the other hand, keeps the conflict’s embers glowing by refusing to resettle Palestinians in neighboring countries or even in the Palestinian territories.
If Mr. Trump wants his peace plan to have a chance, he has to challenge false Palestinian narratives. He did this by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the U.S. Embassy there. For decades, Palestinian leaders issued maximalist claims on Jerusalem. Mr. Trump’s move sent the message that making peace requires accepting reality.
Mr. Trump can send the same message by declassifying one document. In 2012 Congress ordered the State Department to disclose how many Palestinians currently served by Unrwa fled the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and how many are merely their descendants. The Obama administration classified the report, citing national security—as if revealing foreign census data were a threat to America.
A year and half into office, Mr. Trump hasn’t reversed this policy, but momentum is building against it. In April more than 50 House members urged State to declassify the report. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has done the same.
Removing the label of “refugee” from millions of Palestinians wouldn’t hurt them. Instead, it would unlock their economic potential and create an opportunity for lasting peace. Perhaps that’s why the Palestinian leadership is fighting it. Once the refugee issue is exposed as a scam, Palestinian leaders would have to learn how to govern, not merely stir up antagonism with Israel.
The inability of Palestinian leaders to detach from this 70-year-old story raises real concerns about whether peace is possible. But if Mr. Trump is committed, he can send a clear message to the millions living in Unrwa camps: Your leaders want to keep you in squalor, while America wants you to prosper. It’s the most pro-Palestinian step an American president could take.
Mr. Goldberg is a senior adviser and Mr. Schanzer senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Friday, July 6, 2018
Video Of The Week - Pay for Slay: The Palestinian Leadership's Terrorist Policy - https://tinyurl.com/yb3z32zs
By Alex Truman, from JNS – July 3rd 2018
The passage of an Israeli law to withhold funds that the Palestinian Authority uses to pay murderers for killing Jews is the correction of an unconscionable injustice. That a democratic country with a High Court of Justice has allowed itself to transfer funds month after month to a murder-sponsoring entity within its midst is not just bad policy, it is completely illegal and utterly immoral.
Israeli parliamentarians finally awoke to the reality that the P.A. pays more than $360 million a year to terrorists serving prison sentences in Israeli jails and to the families of terrorists killed while in the act of attempted murder. The payment scheme—on the law books of the P.A. from as early as 2011—bases amounts to each terrorist or family on the severity of the jail term, with additional incentives for terrorists holding Israeli identification cards.
Israel was not the first country to legislate against the “pay to slay” practice. In March, the United States passed the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits the U.S. from sending foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as the payment scheme remains in place.
The bill was named after Taylor Force, a 26-year-old American West Point graduate who had served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Taylor was visiting Israel as part of an entrepreneurial seminar connected to an MBA program at Vanderbilt University when he was stabbed to death on a popular Tel Aviv promenade by a terrorist from the Palestinian city of Kalqilya.
The terrorist was killed by police responding to the attack. To add insult to injury, Palestinians celebrated Taylor’s death, and soon afterwards, the terrorist’s family began receiving large monthly stipends—well in excess of average Palestinian salaries.
Several months later, Sander Gerber, a private New York financial executive and former board member of AIPAC, reached out to Taylor’s parents, Stuart and Robbi Force.
Gerber had recently been made aware of the payment scheme, and was shocked to learn that most Israeli and American politicians were clueless that terrorists were being paid to kill in accordance with Palestinian law.
No longer was the P.A. simply guilty of incitement to murder through school textbooks, television stations, social-media avenues and frequent speeches by Palestinian leaders, including P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas calling for the blood of Jews; the P.A. was proven to be an official terror-sponsoring entity.
Worse yet, most of the funds utilized to secure its budget and make the terror payments came either by way of foreign aid provided by the United States and others, or through a tariff agreement with Israel whereby funds are collected on behalf of the P.A. at ports of entry and then passed monthly by Israel to the Palestinian entity.
With this information in hand, Gerber enlisted Taylor’s parents in a campaign to educate lawmakers. Together, they demanded that both the United States and Israel stop sending funds that now could be proven were going into the hands of murderers.
For the United States, the issue was simple: The foreign aid that America provides is voluntary and can be withheld if it is deemed to not be serving America’s interests. For Israel, there were additional legal questions, as the funds are collected by Israel on behalf of the P.A. as part of the Oslo Accords. Yet once it was clearly established that the sponsorship of terror was a direct violation of the Oslo Accords, legal concerns were eased.
The U.S. Taylor Force Act was signed into law in March; it took several more months for Israel to follow suit. Despite calls by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for funds to be withheld from the P.A. from as early as 2015—coupled with his expressed support for the passage of the Taylor Force Act—the government sought to insert a waiver provision into the Israeli law.
Recently, the United States rejected an argument by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Trump administration was warned that the move would spark widespread unrest and destabilize the region. While protests ensued on the Gaza border, little violence was recorded in the West Bank and virtually none of the 250,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem—some just several hundred meters from the embassy—protested a move that did little to impact their day-to-day lives.
The passage of both the U.S. and Israeli versions of the laws to withhold funding is a testament to the relentless pursuit of Gerber and Force (who were both present for the Knesset vote). At an Israeli event in celebrating the outcome, Force noted that because they weren’t government officials, it might have been easier to push for the two laws’ passage.
Other countries are now taking notice. On the same day as the vote in Israel, Australia also announced it would withhold funds from the P.A. European nations may soon do the same.
According to the Israeli law, a review of the Palestinian budget line items and payment scheme must take place at the end of each calendar year. According to this provision—unless a stricter interpretation of the law is demanded—Israel will continue to send the monthly payments until the start of 2019, when a presentation will be made as to whether the payments have halted or not. If not, funds can be withheld in February.
Gerber, Force and the backers of the Israeli law are pushing for any funds withheld to be paid out to the victims of Palestinian terror who have secured judgements against the P.A. in court. This represents the truest form of justice: to take the funds once designated for the murderers and to provide them instead to the victims.