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Keep the Hebron Show Going

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

It happened again.

In 2002, on the first day of the huge Sukkot celebrations, early evening, an Arab terrorist opened fire near the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. As a result, Rabbi Shlomo Shapira from Jerusalem was killed.

Fast forward: Sukkot, September 2013, eleven years later. Almost the same exact time. An Arab terrorist shoots, killing an Israeli soldier, near the “Beit Merkachat” intersection in Hebron. As with Rabbi Shapira, the soldier never really had a chance. A bullet penetrated his neck, leaving an entrance and exit wound. Medical personnel did everything humanly possible. But it wasn’t enough.

Prior to the killing, I could define today as “interesting.” Actually I really don’t know if that’s the right word to use.

More than 10,000 people arrived in Hebron Sunday, filling Ma’arat HaMachpela, walking the streets, visiting the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, all having a good time. One of the day’s highlights was the opening of the Cave of Otniel ben Knaz to Jewish visitors, an event occurring only very few days during the year. This, because the site is located on the “Arab” H1 side of the city.

On holidays, such as today, the 300 meter walk from the “Kikar HaShoter” checkpoint to the holy site is heavily protected, allowing visitors, escorted by soldiers or police, to view and worship at the cave.

But earlier, prior to its opening, I’d received notification of trouble. A firebomb was hurled at soldiers in the area. Rock-throwing, an almost normal occurrence in Hebron, was starting. But the security forces had the situation under control, and dozens and dozens of people walked back and forth to the place.

Me, too. Today was the first day of our special VIP tour. A busload of Hebron friends and supporters visited our newly initiated Tel Hebron overlook, on the roof of Beit Menachem, in Tel Rumeida. They also heard a short talk from Mrs. Tzippy Shlissel (whose father, Rabbi Shlomo Ra’anan, was killed by terrorists in Hebron), and then, too, participated in the walk to the fascinating Cave of Otniel.

I had the privilege to escort a wonderful woman whom I’ve known for about 15 years, Mrs. Ruth Simons, 91 years young, but you’d never know it. When we arrived at the Cave, she climbed up the stairs on her own two legs, entering the site for the first time in her life.

But, honestly, on the way there, and on the way back, I wasn’t entirely relaxed. I’ve done this many times before, and people here, well, sometimes we develop “antennas” which pick up vibrations in the air. And the vibes were definitely there.

Everything and everyone were in place – soldiers, border police, regular police, but, at the same time, booms from stun grenades and rubber bullets being shot at distant attackers, filled the air. It wasn’t, as it usually is, a quiet walk. I was very impressed by my guests. Ruth and her family, who didn’t seem phased in the least. They took it all in stride.

But my insides, my gut, didn’t like it. It is a disgrace for Jews to have to walk down a street to the tune of stun grenades exploding, not too far from them, on a Jewish holiday. Or on any day, for that matter.

But we did it, and that was that.

Later, our guests were treated to a delicious lunch at the Yeshivat Shavei Hebron sukkah and then visited Machpela. After they left, I recalled, for some reason, Rabbi Shlomo Shapira’s murder, as I walked past the site of that terror attack, back to the office.

A little while later, at 6:30, I received a call from my son, who works with security in a community outside of Hebron, asking about the shooting.

“What shooting?”

“There was a shooting and someone was hit.”

It didn’t take long to get preliminary details, where, when, and the victim’s condition: very critical. Together with a few others, we watched soldiers and police running back and forth, huddling, talking in whispers. Ambulances, their red lights flashing, driving by, in all directions. There wasn’t too much else to do, except wait.

Later tonight we’ll meet, and talk, to discuss our reactions.

The first reactions are easily expressible. First, our shock and pain at a young soldier’s death, as a result of an Arab terrorist sniper’s bullet.

PA Arab Shot and Captured Following Shooting Attack at Joseph’s Tomb

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

A Palestinian Authority terrorist opened fire on IDF troops securing Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem for the visit of 3000 Jewish worshipers to Jewish holy site.

It began with Palestinian Authority Arabs throwing stones at the IDF troops, who responded with anti-riot weapons. The PA Arabs then escalated the attack into live fire.

IDF troops shot back at a Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist, seriously wounding him. He managed to initially escape, but the troops gave chase, caught and arrested him, and took him to the Rabin Medial Center in Petach Tikva.

No IDF soldiers or Jewish worshipers were injured in this attack.

In 2011, Ben-Yosaf Livnat, the nephew of Minister Limor Livnat was killed by 3 members of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces at Joseph’s Tomb.

In 2000, IDF soldier Madhat Yousuf bled to death after being abandoned for 5 hours at Joseph’s tomb, by then Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, following a Palestinian Authority Arab attack on the site. Barak gave the order to not launch a rescue operation in order to avoid escalating the situation.

Israeli Organization Empowers Arab and Druze Women

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Under the auspices of MASHAV-Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Mazal Renford has worked to promote the cause of both Palestinian and Israeli Arab women. In her capacity as director of Haifa’s Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center, Renford has made great strides to this end. Speaking to participants at the Stand With Us International Women’s Conference, Renford discussed her work to “bring Israelis and Palestinians together,” which involves frequent consultations with Palestinian women from Judea and Samaria.

According to Renford, “If we educate for peace, maybe one day we will enjoy it.” As “a city of peaceful coexistence” where Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Bahais live side by side, Renford believes Haifa is the ideal location for her work. Renford’s organization was founded on former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir’s belief that “women weren’t taken into consideration in the process of development,” despite their pivotal importance. In this regard, Renford emphasizes that “Israel has been a pioneer in promoting” women’s development, with the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center providing Palestinian women an opportunity to “come, learn how to set up a business, and stand up for their rights.”

Vered Sawied, a former mayor of Netanya who is presently working for the Prime Minister’s Office as an Advisor for Social and Welfare Issues, notes that while Israeli Jewish women often struggle to find the right balance between work and family, “the situation in Arab society is more difficult.” For this reason, explains Sawied, Israel set up an authority to provide jobs for Arabs as well as specific scholarships for Arab women seeking to enter the hi-tech profession.

Hiba Zaidan, a young Druze PhD student, credits Israeli professors and her family with helping her advance. She claimed that in Druze society, it is considered taboo for a woman to drive, go to school, or even leave the village without an escort. This has created major problems for Druze women who wish to work and study outside the village.

However, Zaidan also emphasized that Druze society is changing due to courageous and bold strides made by Druze women, with many of them now driving and studying to be teachers. She noted, however, that psychological research at the PhD level is still very rare for Druze women. “Lots of people in my village were against me getting a PhD,” she stated. She added that her Israeli professors were very understanding of her situation and always offer her assistance.

Dr. Janan Faraj-Falah was the first Druze woman in Israel to receive her PhD and today works as a lecturer at the University of Haifa, as well as the Arab Academic College for Education. Her book “The Druze Woman” is widely acclaimed both in Israel and around the world as the first book to discuss the status of women in the Druze community. Additionally, she is the founder of the Women’s Vision of Akko Foundation, which brings Jewish and Arab women together to work towards peace.

According to Dr. Faraj-Falah, “I established this association to improve women’s status and support peace. Women bring life into this world so women can also bring peace.” Some of her organization’s projects include constructing peace gardens in which Jewish and Arab children play, teaching Arabic to Jewish women and Hebrew to Arab women, and bringing both Jewish and Palestinian writers together for joint meetings. She emphasizes, “We will continue our march for peace and never give up.” Her work is supported by Renford, who notes, “Bringing Arabs and Jews together can make a big difference.”

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Low-Intensity Conflict Report #83 August 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Shanna Tova.  May this be a year of unity of our people, protection of our Torah and Land and yishuv HaAretz. Amen

These reports are translated and publicized by Yehudit Tayar for Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron with the clearance and confirmation of the IDF.  Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron is a voluntary emergency medical organization with over 500 volunteer doctors, paramedics, medics who are on call 24/7 and work along with the IDF, 669 IAF Airborn Rescue, the security officers and personal throughout Yesha and the Jordan Valley, and with MDA.

We, the volunteers of Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron go out to rescue anyone who needs our emergency medical assistance; including civilians, military and Arabs also those within the PA territories (with IDF presence). To us a life is precious and we go out at risk leaving home and family or stopping on the road to rescue anyone in need.

This is a partial report based on the intelligence reports we received from the field.  It is important to emphasize that there were hundreds of attacks with rocks.

At least 13 civilians and 5 IDF soldiers and Border Policemen were injured from the violent rock attacks on the vehicles, cars and buses.

Civilians who were injured from rocks:

2 moderately injured at Abu Tor, near Ofra; 1 tourist and 2 Israeli Arabs were taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem

1 moderately injured near Mevo Dotan

1 very lightly injured near Bet Umar

1 moderately injured woman in bus near the Kotel

1 moderate near Anata

Pregnant woman and her husband moderately injured from glass fragments between Revava and Yakir

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem: Security guard injured moderately in his face.

Near El Hadar : Israeli Arab moderately injured in his face

Security Forces injured from rock attacks:

Jenin: 2 IDF soldiers injured lightly

Bet Umar: IDF soldier lightly injured

Betunia: IDF soldier from Artillery Unit lightly injured taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem

Bil’in: IDF soldier from Engineering Force lightly injured, given medical assistance on the spot

Jalezoun Refugee Camp: Border policeman lightly injured in his hand

2 injured moderately and 1 lightly injured from Arab violence

Azune:  Driver from Rosh Ha’ayin beaten and injured very lightly and his vehicle was robbed

Taxi driver was run over and moderately injured during robbery of vehicle.  The robbers and vehicle were caught in Hawawara

Moderate wounded from stabbing on Stern Street, Jerusalem.  The injured claims that the Arab attacked him at random.  Police investigating the attack.

Lebanon: 4 IDF soldiers from Egoz Unit injured lightly to moderately from explosive device

Explosive Devices:

At least 25 attempted murders of Jews by throwing explosive devices

An explosive device was discovered a El Bira and detonated by a bomb squad

Abu Dis: 13 devices

Kever Rachel: 2 devices

Azoria: 1 device

Jenin: at least 8 devices

Jenin: large amounts of explosive devices and Molotov cocktails

Molotov Cocktails (fire bombs): at least 100 attempted murders of civilians and security forces by Molotov cocktails

Azune: 8

Hawawara: 2

El Arub: 26

El Hadar: 5

Turn by Spring Hevron: 2

Arab Tekoa : 1

Bet Umar: 2

Anabta: 5

Kochav Hashachar : 2

Near Negohot: 2

Abu Dis: 18

Hizam: 1

Between Migdalim and Tapuah: 2

Dir Abu MIshal : 3

Dir Niz’am: 2

Abud bypass: 3

Highway 443: 1

Tapuah Junction/ Yasof : 1

Policeman’s Square, Hevron : 3 and 1 towards Bet Hadassah checkpoint

As Karkar : 1

Qalandia: 3 – unknown number were thrown at IDF Force who were dispersing 1500 rioting Arabs

Damascas Gate: 2

French Hill :1

Molotov attacks that were prevented : Between Na’aleh and Postmans Junction: IDF chsed 3 terrorists carrying 3 fire bombs that were ready to be thrown on the road

Hebron : near Tel Romeda: 3 terrorists were caught carrying a knife and 2 molotov cocktails

At least 2 stabbing attacks and a murder were prevented, a number of suspects were arrested with knives in their possession:

Tekoa: terrorist caught with kitchen knife on him and admitted to planning a terror attack

Hawawara: 2 terrorists caught with knives and admitted to planning a terror attack to murdera resident of Yesha

Ein Ya’el Checkpost/Wala’ja: 12 year old Arab boy arrested and amongst his possessions a knife was found. He claimed that he was sent by 2 Arabs

Arab was caught possessing knife on the security fence of Betar

Near Herodian: resident of Bethlehem arrested after he threw a knife into the bushes released after investigation

Bekaot checkpost: Arab arrested and in his possession a 14 cm. knife

Tapuah Junction: Arab suspect with 10 cm. knife in his possession

Weapons caught by Security Forces:

Cross Shomron checkpost: 2 Arabs arrested with Karl Gustov rifle hidden in their car

Improvised rifle discovered in Arab car near Bet Dagan

Near Ofra: 3 Arabs caught with hunting rifle and knives

Ein Yabrod: pistol caught in Arab car

South: Explosive device thrown at jeep of Security Force near Sufa Crossing, and 1 rocket landed near a kibbutz in Eshkol Region

Rocket fired on Eilat shot down by “Iron Helmet”

Gaillee: 4 rockets downed by “Iron Helment” however there were hits at Ziv Bridge and Sheve Zion

8 Rockets hit in Ramat Hagolan near Keshet

Desecration of Jewish Holy Sites and Symbols :

Arabs tore out Mezuzot (prayers on doorposts) in the Cave of the Patriarchs

Swastika sprayed on Ancient Synagogue in Samua Village

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Northern Israel Arab Kills Wife, Daughters and Himself

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

An Israeli Arab from the Galilee, in northern Israel, shot and killed his divorced wife, two daughters, another man and himself early Sunday. A third daughter is in critical condition.

The murderer shot his wife and another identified person at a nursing home where she worked. Their eight-year-old daughter was shot but survived, while two teenage girls and another unidentified person were murdered as the children waited at a municipal building for a bus to school.

The Truth About Syria

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

If you are interested in reading more about Syria, you’re welcome to read my book The Truth About Syria online or download it for free.

WHY SYRIA MATTERS

“It is my pleasure to meet with you in the new Middle East,” said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a speech to the Syrian Journalists’ Union on August 15, 2006.1 But Bashar’s new Middle East was neither the one hoped for by many since Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s 1991 defeat in Kuwait nor expected when Bashar himself ascended the throne in 2000. Actually, it was not even new at all but rather a reversion, often in remarkable detail, to the Middle East of the 1950s through the 1980s. The Arab world, now accompanied by Iran, was re-embracing an era that was an unmitigated disaster for itself and extolling ideas and strategies which had repeatedly led it to catastrophe.

No Arab state had more to do with this important and tragic turnabout than does Syria, this development’s main architect and beneficiary. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab states wanted quiet; Iraq needed peace to rebuild itself. Even Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi, pressed by sanctions and scared by his Iraqi counterpart Saddam’s fate, was on his good behavior. Only Syria remained as a source of instability and radicalism.

Thus, a small state with a modest economy became the fulcrum on which the Middle East shifted and which, in turn, shook the globe. Indeed, Bashar’s version of the new Middle East may well persist for an entire generation. Does this make Bashar a fool or a genius? That cannot be determined directly. What can be said is that his policy is good for the regime, simultaneously brilliant and disastrous for Syria, and just plain disastrous for many others.

To understand Syria’s special feature, it is best to heed the all-important insight of a Lebanese-American scholar, Fouad Ajami: “Syria’s main asset, in contrast to Egypt’s preeminence and Saudi wealth, is its capacity for mischief.”

In the final analysis, the aforementioned mischief was in the service of regime maintenance, the all-encompassing cause and goal of the Syrian government’s behavior. Demagoguery, not the delivery of material benefits, is the basis of its power.

Why have those who govern Syria followed such a pattern for more than six decades under almost a dozen different regimes? The answer: Precisely because the country is a weak one in many respects. Aside from lacking Egypt’s power and Saudi Arabia’s money, it also falls short on internal coherence due to its diverse population and minority-dominated regime. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein used repression, ideology, and foreign adventures to hold together a system dominated by Sunni Arab Muslims who were only one-fifth of the population. In Syria, even more intense measures were needed to sustain an Alawite regime that rules based on a community only half as large proportionately.

To survive, then, the regime needs transcendent slogans and passionate external conflicts that help make its problems disappear. Arabism and, in more recent years, Islamism, are its solution. In this light, Syria’s rulers can claim to be not a rather inept, corrupt dictatorship but the rightful leaders of all Arabs and the champions of all Muslims. Their battle cries are very effectively used to justify oppression at home and aggression abroad. No other country in the world throws around the word “imperialism” more in describing foreign adversaries, and yet no other state on the globe follows a more classical imperialist policy.

In broad terms, this approach is followed by most, if not all, Arab governments, but Syria offers the purest example of the system. As for the consequences, two basic principles are useful to keep in mind:

1. It often seemed as if the worse Syria behaved, the better its regime does. Syrian leaders do not accept the Western view that moderation, compromise, an open economy, and peace are always better. When Syria acts radical, up to a point of course, it maximizes its main asset—causing trouble—which cancels out all its other weaknesses. As a dictatorship, militancy provided an excuse for tight controls and domestic popularity through its demagoguery.

2. Success for the regime and state means disaster for the people, society, and economy. The regime prospers by keeping Syrians believing that the battle against America and Israel, not freedom and prosperity, should be their top priority. External threats are used to justify internal repression. The state’s control over the economy means lower living standards for most while simultaneously preserving a rich ruling elite with lots of money to give to its supporters.

Dep. Minister Hotovely: the Solution Is Greater Israel without Gaza

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Speaking at a Spoke at a conference of Professors for a Strong Israel in Jerusalem Sunday, Transportation Deputy Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud-Beiteinu) said the solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict lies in annexing Judea and Samaria and turning Israel into a Jewish state with a small Arab minority enjoying equal rights.

The conference debated an option of transforming the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan into a Palestinian state. “The Jordanian initiative is good, but there’s a problem with it—we don’t control it,” Hotovely said. “There may be a revolution there tomorrow or in a hundred years. We need an additional option which would be an active Israeli initiative: the vision of Greater Israel, with one correction – it would be without Gaza.”

“This is not an instantaneous plan, it’s a plan for a generation,” Hotovely added.

According to Hotovely, the plan of annexing the territories of Judea and Samaria, including its Arab population, which would enjoy equal rights and obligations, “is absolutely possible, with a few emphasized points: bolstering aliyah, which has been neglected in the last decade, and bringing over about a million and a half Jews who would cover the demographic problems. In addition, we must have control over Palestinian and Israeli Arab education, to prevent incitement and to implement the Basic Law of the Knesset.”

According to Hotovely, “It isn’t right that [late MK Rabbi Meir] Kahane is illegal, but Zoabi and Balad (Arab anti-Zionist party) are legal. When all is said and done, this is a national, not a bi-national state, with an Arab minority which would grow only by about 5% compared to its size today.”

Regarding the negotiations going on right now between Israel and the Palestinians, Hotovely said that Prime Minister Netanyahu had entered the negotiations with a heavy heart and under heavy American pressure.

“As prime minister, if he sees it as an Israeli interest, he must pursue it. We have the responsibility to present the alternatives, as in this conference today.”

MK Hotovely said the current political negotiation is different from previous ones in its quest for a Palestinian state within temporary borders. What will remain unresolved would be the fact that the Palestinians do not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, there is no solution for the refugees and there is no arrangement regarding Jewish settlements.

“Nevertheless, it will result in a bona fide Palestinian state with a UN representation, which will harm Israel,” Hotovely said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dep-minister-hotovely-the-solution-is-greater-israel-without-gaza/2013/08/25/

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