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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ariel Sharon’

Report: State Auditor Looking for Gush Katif Missing $1.3 Billion

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Israel’s State Auditor, Retired Judge Joseph Shapira, has ordered an investigation of Minhelet T’nufah, the Momentum Administration, a.k.a. the Disengagement Administration, set up in 2005 by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office to care for the Jews who were being expelled from Gaza. Its original director was Yonatan Bassi of the Religious Kibbutz movement, Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday.

T’nufah ceased to exist in 2014, and currently the former residents of Gush Katif are being cared for by a dedicated department in Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel’s office. However, despite its being defunct for more than two years, T’nufh continues to receive state funds estimated in the billions of shekels. Only two years ago, according to Yediot, T’nufah received some $42 million, and it isn’t clear where that money has gone.

Apparently, the missing money was noticed by MK Stav Shafir (Zionist Camp) at a meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee. Examining the T’nefah financial reports she realized only $2.1 billion out of the overall $3.41 billion allotted to the Gush Katif support efforts had been used to date. Where is the missing $1.31 billion?

Many of the evicted Jews of Gush Katif were resettled in Nitzan, a community near Kibutz Nitzanim in Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, just north of the Gaza Strip. A local official told Yediot that the burden of helping the evicted families fell mostly on the regional council, which had to fight for every penny with the Momentum Administration to manage their employment, social services, education, and psychological care. This official believes most of the missing money is being kept in the Agriculture Ministry’s coffers.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Matches Ben-Gurion’s Record for Consecutive Time in Office

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

On Sunday, November 20, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) has concluded a consecutive seven years and 235 days in office, matching the record of Israel’s legendary first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion (Mapai-Labor).

This means that, barring a Knesset vote of no confidence on Sunday, as of Monday Netanyahu will become Israel’s longest serving PM in consecutive years.

However, when it comes to time in office, Ben-Gurion is still way ahead of his much younger successor. When combining his two terms, Ben-Gurion clocked 13 years and 127 days, compared with Netanyahu’s mere 10 years and 252 days.

Interestingly, Netanyahu’s most ardent foe these days, Ehud Barak, served the shortest term in office as Prime Minister: eight months and one day.

And to those of you, political sports fans, who are interested in these stats, here is the full list of also ran:

3. Yitzhak Shamir: 6 years and 242 days (first term: 339 days; second term: 5 years and 268 days)

4. Yitzhak Rabin: 6 years and 132 days (first term: 3 years and 18 days; second term: 3 years and 114 days)

5. Menachem Begin: 6 years and 113 days

6. Levi Eshkol: 5 years and 247 days

7. Ariel Sharon: 5 years and 39 days (Including a 100 days period of “temporary incapacitation” wherein the Prime minister’s authorities were delegated to the Designated Acting Prime Minister)

8. Golda Meir: 5 years and 19 days

9. Ehud Olmert: 2 years and 351 days (In addition, served as Acting Prime Minister, wherein the Prime Minister’s authorities were delegated to him) Shimon Peres: 2 years and 264 days (first term: 2 years and 37 days; second term: 227 days)

10. Moshe Sharett: 1 year and 281 days

JNi.Media

Report: Trump Circle Furious over Liberman’s Leftward Pull on Settlements

Friday, November 18th, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump’s associates are enraged over a statement Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made this week, suggesting Israel must cool its heels over Trump’s election and approach him with modest proposals regarding settlement construction. Speaking to political reporters on Wednesday, Liberman said, “If we receive confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings, we should grab it with both hands.”

The Bush-Sharon understandings recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements.

According to Makor Rishon, Trump’s people were aghast at the very fact that Liberman was shooting his mouth off before meeting, never mind coordinating anything with them. And they were even more upset for the fact that the defense minister chose to “pass Trump on the left,” as one Trump aide put it.

Several key Trump officials have said that the Israelis have not yet digested the window of opportunity the last election has opened, adding that, should Israel ask for it, the new administration would even consider supporting annexing those settlement blocks, never mind building there.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who supported Trump’s election and is in contact with the transition team, warned that Liberman is “drying out 200 thousand residents who live in areas outside the settlement blocks.”

“The message the defense minister has delivered to the new administration is horrendous, especially since any first year Poli-Sci student knows that the Trump people or on the outs with the Bush line of the Republican party,” Dagan added. “The Bush family didn’t vote for Trump, and contrary to them, the Trump people support a united Jerusalem and construction across Judea and Samaria.”

“This is why the president elect’s people pulled their hair out when they heard what Liberman said,” Dagan noted.

David Israel

Peres, Sharon, Barak, Star in Campaign for Ma’ale Adumim Sovereignty

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy: Israel’s late ninth president, Shimon Peres, will star posthumously in a giant campaign promoting the annexation of Ma’ale Adumim, a town just four miles east of Jerusalem. Established in the early 1970s as an IDF post, Ma’ale Adumim received its status as a city in 1991, and today has close to 40,000 residents. Its unique location means that, should it receive Israeli sovereignty, the Jewish urban sprawl of Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem would forever thwart Arab hopes of establishing a geographically contiguous Palestinian State.

The new campaign is banking on the fact that all of Israel’s past mainstream politicians have supported the settlement enterprise, even if some of them later became its sworn enemies. And so, under the slogan “Continuing in their Path,” the campaign banners quote Shimon Peres’ statement: “The development of Ma’ale Adumim will secure the defenses of Jerusalem”; late prime minister and destroyer of Jewish Gaza Ariel Sharon: “Ma’ale Adumim will be built as part of the State of Israel for eternity”; settlements foe and former prime minister, Ehud Barak: “Everything you build in Ma’ale Adumim remains part of the State of Israel forever, period”; and the destroyer of the Jewish city of Yamit, the late Menachem Begin: “I bless the establishment of Ma’ale Adumim. The only viable option is our rule in Judea and Samaria.”

The intentional irony of the campaign, targeting an Israeli Jewish public out of which a consistent 80% have been telling pollsters they support imposing Israeli sovereignty on Ma’ale Adumim, with or without a peace agreement, was not lost on Israel’s combative left. MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said Saturday night that “usurping the character and works of the late Shimon peres such a short time after his death to promote Greater Israel is a disgrace. This is a cynical use of the Israeli consensus to destroy the Zionist dream.”

The campaign will feature giant billboards at the entrance to Jerusalem and around the Knesset, as well as newspaper ads, a Facebook page called “Sovereignty in Ma’ale Adumim,” and a website named Ribonut (Sovereignty).

Maale Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel said the campaign “expresses the clear position of the majority of the people who want to continue the Zionist vision and the settlement enterprise. It’s been 50 years since the city of Jerusalem was united and we returned to our historic homeland regions. All the governments of Israel have developed the area and we wish to continue the path of the leaders of Israel and the Zionist movement and impose Israeli sovereignty on the city of Ma’ale Adumim. This is how we will fulfill the vision of all our past prime ministers, both from the left and from the right, since the city’s inception.”

JNi.Media

Final Obama Battle Waged Against Amona Jews

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The new, and, God Willing, final confrontation between the departing Obama Administration and the still ticking Netanyahu government appears to center on Amona, located on a hill overlooking Ofra in Benjamin Region, at the heart of the liberated territories.

BACKGROUND, SO WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE

Amona was founded in 1995, and has 200-plus residents — 50-plus families. Amona’s very name is a densely packed tale of occupations: it is mentioned in the Book of Joshua 18:24 as Kfar HaAmmonai, meaning Village of the Amonites, but the Amonite kingdom was well to the east of the Jordan River, so that when the Israelite tribe of Benjamin took it over, it actually liberated it from foreign occupation. A dozen or so conquests later, Amona was initially redeemed and rebuilt in 1995, not as a community but as an archeological site and the location of the Mekorot national water company’s containers. In 1996, the head of the regional council, with the support of the defense ministry, placed three caravans with young people from Ofra on the Amona hill, for strategic purposes.

Since then, and until 2005, a succession of Israeli governments invested in Amona’s infrastructure and encouraged its settlement by young families, mostly from nearby Ofra. In fact, in 2001, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon encouraged the locals to start building permanent homes, into which they moved from the 30 or so caravans where they lived. In 2003, then Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu participated in the celebrations of opening the community’s first mikvah. There was no doubt that the State of Israel was sanctioning the Amona enterprise.

In 2004, the Amana residents completed construction of nine permanent homes. Then, in October 2004, the Israeli Civil Administration ordered the demolition of the same structures, based on complaints that the lands had been acquired illegally from local Arabs who used to graze their flocks there.

According to the Amona residents, the reason they can’t produce the proper registration of their land has to do with the Palestinian Authority law that penalizes anyone who sells land to Jews. Over the years, dozens of Arab real estate brokers who dared to sell to Jews, often through a straw man, have been imprisoned and even executed. The Jews of Amona claim they purchased most of the land from local Arabs, with the understanding that they would protect the sellers’ identity by not registering the sale.

In July 2005, Peace Now petitioned the Supreme Court, complaining that no demolition had been executed. And in November 2005, the destroyer of Gush Katif, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, ordered the demolition of Amona be carried out by the end of January 2006.

On February 1, 2006, local Jewish residents and a few thousand protesters, including several MKs, clashed with a force of 10,000 Police, Border Guard, and IDF troops. The cops were as brutal and cruel as Israel had ever seen. An estimated 300 Jewish protesters were injured. Young Jewish girls accused the cops of sexual assault.

Eventually, the nine newly built homes of Amona were destroyed.

In December 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the entire community of Amona had to be evacuated and their homes demolished. The court has rejected an idea by then cabinet secretary and now Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, that in cases like Amona, where government was involved in a community’s establishment, the Arab claimant be compelled to accept market value or comparable land. Most recently, Habayit Hayehudi cabinet ministers have suggested moving the Amona residents to nearby land — and that is the move which caught the ire of the lame duck Obama Administration.

OBAMA HATE SETTLEMENTS

On Wednesday, in an angry press release reminiscent of the Days Secretary John Kerry was first realizing there was no Nobel Peace Prize for him for fathering a new Palestinian State, the State Department “strongly condemned” the planned Amona move, stressing it violates Israel’s promise not to build new settlements. State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, said

“it is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and leaders from the US and other nations prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced that would seriously undermine the prospects for a two-state solution that he so passionately supported.”

Never mind what you do to us, look what you’re doing to Shimon!

The NY Times cited Martin Indyk, Obama’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and, as rumors have it, President Hillary Clinton’s next envoy for the same Sisyphean chore, who threatened, as only a Jew who passionately hates the idea of an independent and strong Israel can: “At a certain point, the administration may well decide that there needs to be consequences for what it now sees as an effort to close off the two-state solution.”

For his part, Spokesperson Toner told the State Dept. press briefing on Wednesday:

“…when we see Israel carry out this kind of action – new settlement activity, announcement of new settlement activity – that, frankly, contradicts its stated goal to have or to achieve or pursue a two-state solution, it raises serious concerns and we have to publicly and privately convey those concerns to the Government of Israel.”

Then came this from Toner:

“…with regard to the UN Security Council and any action at the UN, our position hasn’t changed. We’re always concerned, frankly, about one-sided resolutions or other actions that could be taken within the UN, and we’re always going to oppose those kinds of resolutions that we believe delegitimize Israel and undermine its security.” Then, having paid the proper lip service, Toner delivered the zinger: “But we’re going to carefully consider our future engagement, if and when we reach that point, and determine how to most effectively pursue and advance the objective that we all at least claim to share, which is that of achieving a negotiated two-state solution. That work is going to continue with our international partners and we’re going to continue to make clear when we have concerns, such as we do today, with regard to Israel’s actions. We’re going to make those concerns clear to the Israeli Government.”

Do you see the veiled threat of the US deciding to support or abstain at a UNSC unilateral vote on establishing a Palestinian State?

Netanyahu heard it, loud and clear. On Wednesday night, Israel’s Foreign Ministry (PM Netanyahu is also the Foreign Minister) issued a statement rejecting the American criticism, arguing that the construction plan the cabinet initiated a week ago does not constitute building a new settlement, and, besides, “the settlements are not the barrier to peace.”

“The 98 housing units approved for the Shiloh settlement do not constitute a new settlement,” went the statement. “These units are to be built on state-owned land in the existing settlement of Shiloh, and will not alter its municipal boundaries. These housing units are intended to provide housing to the residents of Amona who must leave their homes according to home demolition orders issued by the Supreme Court of Justice.”

The Netanyahu argument will probably not persuade Toner or Kerry and Obama for that matter. Their vision inherently encompasses Judea and Samaria as Judenrein (German for “clean of Jews”), and so the argument regarding Shiloh’s unchanged municipal boundaries is meaningless to them — they hold there shouldn’t have been a Jewish Shiloh there in the first place.

Or, as Toner put it,

“…that’s particularly why we find [Israel’s] actions so befuddling, when it takes actions such as continued settlement activity that run counter to what we’re all trying to achieve here. And so we’re going to continue to press that case to them. We have a very close and very frank and candid relationship with Israel. We’re going to continue to call it like we see it, and when we see this kind of activity that we believe is counterproductive, we’re going to say so.”

Al Quds reporter Said Arikat pressed Toner:

“You keep saying that the UN is a forum that is somehow inherently opposed to Israel, while in fact, it was created through that UN organization. But let me ask you this: I mean, if this is in occupied territory, which you acknowledge, and there are laws that pertain to the occupying power’s rights and privileges or obligations under international law, why not push forward, put your weight behind what is internationally lawful in this case, and bring Israel to bear on these issues – holding it to account?”

Toner would not say, because to actually reveal what the Administration is, presumably, planning for the day after November 8 could start WW3. But there’s no doubt that, should the US decide to support a UN vote on a two-state solution, Amona, that ancient home of the invaders from across the Jordan River, will definitely play a major role in the decision.

David Israel

Shimon Peres Dead at 93

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Former president, prime minister, statesman and Nobel Peace Laureate Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93. He passed away during the early morning hours of September 28 at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan after suffering a severe stroke two weeks ago, on September 13. Peres’ condition had been improving, until it suddenly sharply deteriorated on Tuesday and he was pronounced dead at 3:40 a.m. Israel time.

The hospital is due to make an official announcement at 7:00 a.m. local time.

Born in Poland in 1923 as Szymon Perski, Peres moved to Israel with his family in 1934 and rose to become one of the most prominent and influential figures in Israel’s history. He was one of the founders of Kibbutz Alumot in the north of the country, where he worked as a shepherd and a farmer, and in 1945 he married Sonya Gelman. They had three children together- Tsvia, Yoni and Chemi. Sonya Peres died in 2011 at the age of 87.

During a political career that spanned 73 years, Peres served as prime minister, president, and Knesset member for 47 consecutive years, the longest anyone has served in the Israeli parliament. He also published at least 11 books as well as hundreds of articles in newspapers and periodicals in Israel and around the world.

Peres’s political career began in 1941 when he was elected Secretary of Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, the Labour party youth movement. David Ben Gurion then appointed him to the secretariat of Mapai, the party that later became Labour, and in 1946 Peres was chosen alongside Moshe Dayan as a youth delegate in the party’s delegation to the Zionist Congress in Basel.

In 1947 Shimon Peres joined the Haganah, the armed forces that later became the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He became director-general of the Ministry of Defense in 1953, when he was only 29 years old. During the 1950s he played an important role in developing Israel’s defense industry, forming strong personal and political relations with French officials that resulted in many years of military aid, strong cooperation between the countries, and the establishment of Israel’s nuclear research center in Dimona.

Peres served two terms as prime minister, from 1984 and 1986 and 1995-6 following the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He was a member of 12 cabinets, holding positions including defense minister, foreign affairs minister and finance minister.

Peres was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize (together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat) for his role in the 1993 Declaration of Principles signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Two years later he established the Peres Peace Center which aims to promote peace through cooperation and face-to-face interaction between Jews and Arabs.

After leaving the Labor Party in 2005 to join the more centrist Kadima faction, headed by Ariel Sharon, Peres was elected president by the Knesset in 2007, succeeding Moshe Katsav.

Peres ended his political career when his presidency term ended in 2014, but continued his involvement in public activities, primarily through the Peres Peace Center.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

PA Senior: Israel Refusing Meeting Ahead of Possible Cairo Summit

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

A senior official at the Palestinian Authority told Israel Radio Sunday that Israel has refused an offer for a preparatory meeting with the PA side ahead of a possible summit meeting in Cairo between Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

According to the official, the Cairo meeting is intended to prepare for the international peace conference which is being planned in Paris by the end of the year, possibly with representatives from both France and the US. Apparently, various sources have advised Netanyahu to send an envoy to meet with a PA representative to prepare the Cairo meeting, but Netanyahu refused.

“Netanyahu does not want negotiations for a permanent settlement, and as long as he is at the helm there will not be a Palestinian State,” the PA senior said.

The same official also told Israel Radio that the PA does not demand that Israel freeze settlement construction as a prerequisite to the Paris conference, but rather the freeze should coincide with the start of negotiations. He threatened that “should Netanyahu not arrive at the Paris conference, we expect France and the other participating states to recognize the Palestinian State, open Palestinian embassies in their own capitals and boycott the settlements.”

Regarding Defense Minister Liberman’s plan to bypass Abbas in developing communication channels with key people in the PA society, the senior official said Liberman has yet to learn the lesson of the Village Associations that were set up by the late Ariel Sharon as a bulwark against the PLO in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which eventually became the Hamas movement.

“[Liberman] is treating the Palestinians as if they were animals: if they follow the rules they’ll get food, if not — a kick in the behind. The Village Associations failed then and will fail today. No one will work with Liberman, people here are not traitors,” the official said, adding, “Israel can’t run the same experiment, change nothing and expect different results.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-senior-israel-refusing-meeting-ahead-of-possible-cairo-summit/2016/08/21/

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