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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Dead Sea’

Binyamin (Kerry) Netanyahu Freezes New Homes for Maaleh Adumim

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered Housing Minster Uri Ariel to cancel plans for 1,200 housing units that could accommodate thousands of people in the “E-1” area of the city of Maaleh Adumim, located 10 minutes east of Jerusalem and overlooking the Dead Sea.

The cancellation was ordered shortly after the Haaretz newspaper reported that the Housing Ministry has hired an architect to plan construction of residential units for a reported 20,000 people in Maaleh Adumim and in smaller communities in Judea and Samaria. The cancellation affects only E-1 and not other areas.

The Office of the Prime Minister was unusually honest, although inaccurate, in explaining the order to Ariel, a leading Jewish Home minister.

“There is no need to pay international prices for a process that does not have great significance,” it told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.”

Not of “great significance?” Apparently, the Prime Minister’s office was being sarcastic. More probable, it was being cynical.

E-1 has become a flashing red line for the Palestinian Authority. Building Jewish homes in E-1 would guarantee that the Palestinian Authority would not endanger Israeli security with a contiguous land mass from eastern Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria.

Constant reports that E-1 would “cut off” the Palestinian Authority are patent lies because highways connect Arab villages and cities in all directions.

It has been a political ping-pong ball within Israel, with nationalists such as Ariel fighting tooth and nail for Israel to stand up and take a position that the mostly vacant 4.5 square mile area, which is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, will be a home for Jews, sooner and not later.

Almost everyone except the Obama administration knows that it will happen. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas once upon a time may have had little hope that he could prevent E-1 from being developed, but the Obama administration has effectively become his spokesman and is dead set against its development.

The Bush administration gets the first “credit” for opposing construction in E-1 after President George W. Bush came out with his “Roadmap Plan,” which eventually fell off a cliff, a better result than the Oslo Accords that literally exploded in Israel’s collective face.

The saga of E-1 is a prime example of why Israel cannot depend on promises from the United States. President Ronald Reagan once wrote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter that promised recognition of Israel’s right to build there. The promise was not a legal document, and its worth was only as long as Reagan was in office. The Obama adminstration has said it is not committed by the letter.

It was none other than Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, whose memory has been defaced into an image of Peace Now, who in 1994 provided Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel with documents to make E-1 an official part of the city.

Nearly 30 years later, all that Israel has built on E-1 is a police station. The Arabs have woken up and have sent Bedouin families to dot the area so they can tell foreign and local reporters how they have been living on the land for centuries.

E-1 has been a toy, or pawn, for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He has defied nationalists and has toed the line in Washington to keep the bulldozers out of the area.

True, after Abbas went to the United Nations last November to upgrade the PA’s status in the General Assembly to that of a non-member state, Netanyahu unleashed the E-1 pawn and announced plans to build 5,000 residential units there.

So much for hot air.

Not a single house has been built there. In fact, Netanyahu inflicted an unannounced building freeze on almost all of Judea and Samaria until last month, one hour after Israel freed the second batch of terrorists in the four-step program to release 104 murderers in return for the privilege of officially arguing with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu’s policy on E-1 sounds like a broken record.

In January 2009, Netanyahu secretly promised President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Israel would not build in E-1, according to an Al Jazeera report in 2011.

Netanyahu, of course, denied the report, prompting Maaleh Adumim Mayor Kashriel to demand that the Prime Minister “order the defense minister to submit the master plan for the neighborhood immediately and progress with development on site, as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did during his tenure.”

Beauty is as Beauty Does; Saphira Products Promote Pure Israel

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

When she was in 10th grade, Saphira Tessler’s parents took her and her brother to Israel for her father’s sabbatical year. Saphira was not happy.  But within months, Tessler changed her mind — and she changed it so dramatically that her mother gave in and moved to Ranaana so that Saphira could complete 11th and 12th grade in Israel, the land which had become her home.

And that country is so important to Saphira, that by the time she graduated in 2012 from the InterDisciplinary Center in Herzliya, she had already married an Israeli and the two committed to starting a business in the Jewish State, one using not just Dead Sea minerals, but in which every single aspect of Saphira Hair is from Israel – from the bottles in which the products are poured, to the boxes in which they are shipped.  The design, production, materials, employees and packaging are all Israeli.

But simply showing support for the Jewish state is not all that Saphira Hair has going for it – Saphira and her husband Aviad Greenberg spent a year meeting with chemists and visiting factories to find the exact right combination of minerals that would work miracles for the hair that Dead Sea minerals do for the skin.

And beyond having a beautiful product with tasteful but glamorous packaging, the woman behind the soon-to-be empire gives meaning to the cliché “beautiful inside and out.” And she’s got talent to boot!

SAPHIRA’S STORY

Saphira and her older brother, Roniel, grew up in Potomac, Maryland, where their father has been the rabbi of Beth Sholom Synagogue for nearly 30 years.  Her mother, Aviva, co-founded and is the executive director of Operation Embrace, a non-profit which provides services to Israeli victims of terrorism.

Both Saphira’s parents are musical.  Her mother was an opera singer and her father thought he was going to become an actor on Broadway.  Instead, her father met up with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, formerly of New York City’s Lincoln Square Synagogue, who told Saphira’s father: “no, you’re going to become a rabbi.”

After receiving smicha from Rabbi Yosef B. Soleveichik, Rabbi Tessler later not only was the spiritual leader of Beth Sholom Synagogue in Potomac, but is also currently the president of the International Rabbinic Fellowship of the Rabbinical Council of America.

With music running in her veins, Saphira also was interested in singing.  She applied and was accepted to New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, but deferred for a year while she attended the Lindenbaum Seminary in Jerusalem.  Although Lindenbaum is a studious seminary, Saphira found the time to attend nightly rehearsals and starred in the musical “Rent” in Jerusalem.

By the time Saphira completed her seminary year, she realized she could not return to the States and instead enrolled at the InterDisciplinary Center, majoring in psychology.

While a student at the IDC, Saphira initiated an empowerment program for pre-adolescent girls at Elazraki, a school for disadvantaged children in Netanya.  She later took the same program, called “Strong Women, Strong Girls” to work with girls from privileged backgrounds in schools around Herzliya.

“The girls from privileged backgrounds needed it even more than did the ones who were ‘disadvantaged!’” Saphira told The Jewish Press in interview on Monday, Nov. 4.

Saphira was the president of the IDC’s Hillel, and one of her responsibilities was to run the Shabbat dinners. Some Israeli students who came to the dinners told their friend Aviad about Saphira, and they two finally met.

“I told him I would go out with him, but not to a coffeehouse, as he suggested,” Saphira said about her first date with Aviad. “I told him we had to go to a cabaret, because although I would only date a religious boy, it had to be a boy for whom women singing in public was acceptable.”

Aviad went to the cabaret, passed the “Saphira Test” and they were married in August, 2011.  The two took the money they received as wedding gifts, and invested it all in starting their hair care business.

BUT WHY DEAD SEA PRODUCTS FOR THE HAIR?

Saphira says she was always fascinated by the incredible benefits from the Dead Sea, and she began to wonder whether it would also work to make hair soft and beautiful, just as it does for the skin.  Aviad, whose father is in the hair care business, encouraged his new wife to explore the idea.

Official Winter Forecast Indicates Kinneret May Reach Flood Level

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Israel will enjoy average rainfall this winter, according to the Israel Meteorological Service, and there is a good chance that the dam  at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) will have to be opened up before summer because of the increasing use of desalinated water from the Mediterranean Sea.

The Meteorological Service said its annual winter forecast has a margin of error of up to 25 percent but generally does not miss the mark more than 10 percent in either direction.

The sea has replaced the Kinneret as Israel’s largest source of water, not including the underground aquifer system that is being replenished thanks to the use of more desalinated water.

The Kinneret rose approximately 2.5 meters (8 feet) last winter, which brought average or slightly more than average rainfall in most regions.

As of Monday morning, the Kinneret was exactly 2.5 meters below the level at which the dams would have to be opened to prevent flooding in the beachside city of Tiberias and neighboring farms and tourist parks. If the forecast turns out to be accurate, the Kinneret will rise to near flood level this year.

Opening the dams would dump more water into the Jordan River, which feeds the Dead Sea that is in desperate need of more water.

In Israel, the prayer that cites God as the “rainmaker” began on Shemini Azereth-Simchat Torah, the day after Sukkot. The actually request for rain began two weeks ago, on the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan in Israel. The prayer is not said until December 4 outside of Israel.

If rain does not fall within 30 days of the request, special prayers and fast days are held. From a climactic standpoint, Israel received its first rains a month ago during the Sukkot holiday, when a measurable amount of rain, although only 1 millimeter, was recorded in most of the country.

Most of the rain and snow in Israel usually falls in the months of December, January and February.

‘Dream Road’ from Gush Etzion to Dead Sea May Explode Peace Talks

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Palestinian Authority-Israeli “peace talks” might be short-lived following the unveiling on Tuesday of a new Gush Etzion-Dead Sea highway Tuesday that would destroy Palestinian Authority ambitions to include all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert in its planned future state.

While foreign and Israeli media reported that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas  has made it clear there is no room for compromise on PA territorial demands in the area, two Cabinet ministers senior Knesset Member Avigdor Liberman toured the proposed route of the new highway, with work slated to begin in only four months.

News of the new west-east road, which would revolutionize travel and the tourist industry, has barely been reported, but once the Palestinian Authority gets a hold of it, it undoubtedly will demand that there is no sense in talking unless Israel calls off the bulldozers and asphalt trucks.

“Israel will not be present between us and Jordan,” Abbas said in Jericho  this week. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has consistently said that Israel will retain a presence in the Jordan Valley as a security measure.

Abbas on Sunday rejected an Israeli military presence, adding that he might consider an international force to back up PA security forces.

The planned $10 million highway makes mincemeat out of Abbas’ grand vision and could set off the fuse that would explode the PA-Israeli discussions that Palestinian Authority negotiators insist are going nowhere.

The route for the new road was unveiled during a tour of the area on Tuesday by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, a strong Likud nationalist, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir of Yisrael Beiteinu , and Liberman, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu faction in the Likud party.

The highway would cut through “Area C,” determined by the Oslo Accords to be under Israeli control, and would carve through some of Israel’s most awesome natural areas.

Planners  claimed that the route was approved by environmental experts,  but any work that would scar the Judean Desert cliffs, parts of which are virgin area occupied only by wildlife, would meet a storm of protests from environmentalists.

The political story from the Palestinian Authority will be just as fierce, but comments by Israeli  officials touring the route Tuesday were full of enthusiasm and praise.

“I have been dreaming of this road for 20 years,” said Motti Dahaman, chairman of the Megillot Regional Council in the Dead Sea area north of Ein Gedi.

“This road is part of a vision or tourism and will connect Gush Etzion to the Dead Sea and Megillot with Jerusalem,”  He said. “The highway will make it easier form tourists form Bethlehem to come to the Dead Sea.” The highway if it can bridge the political divide, will cut travel time from Gush Etzion to the Dead Sea to only 27 minutes. Today, the only way to reach the Dead Sea, except by four-wheel vehicles, is via Jerusalem to the north or  Arad to the south, with travel time of nearly 90 minutes.

Gush Etzion Regional Council chairman Davidi Perl called the highway an “historic event” and added, “Today there are only two roads to the Dead Sea. The significance of this new highway is that it will bring the center of the country to the Dead Sea and encourage tourism there and in Gush Etzion and the Judean Desert.

The road would include the current Beit Shemesh-Gush Etzion route, which would be widened into a super highway, and it then would carve out a new path, over dirt roads, east of Efrat and then south east, bypassing virtually impassable cliffs.

Minor Earthquake Rocks Jerusalem

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

A minor earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale rocked Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Thursday morning and was felt in Jerusalem and on the northern edge of the Dead Sea.

The Geophysical Institute of Israel said the epicenter of the quake was located north of the Dead Sea. The temblor also was felt in some areas of central Israel.

An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale shook Eilat in June.

Stars of ‘Scandal’ and ‘Once Upon A Time’ at Kotel on Shabbat

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Stars from the hit American TV shows “Scandal” and “Once Upon a Time” visited the Western Wall Friday night during and found themselves immediately recognized by religious Jewish prayer-goers.

”People approached us at the Western Wall, saying they watch our shows,” said Katie Lowes, who stars in the new American political thriller television series “Scandal,” created by Grey’s Anatomy’s Shonda Rhimes.

”It has been an amazing experience, visiting across Israel. But the visit to the Western Wall and the Shabbat dinner that followed, was truly a highlight,” she added. ”It was beautiful to hear the people singing and praying and to be part of a Shabbat dinner with a family in Jerusalem.”

The Hollywood celebrities spent a week touring Israel in a trip which was led by America’s Voices in Israel (AVI) director Irwin Katsof and sponsored by El Al Israel Airlines and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The group spent time in the Golan Heights, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Masada, Dead Sea and Jerusalem from April 29-May 5.

PA Arab Shoots at Israeli Car; Gaza Terrorists Fire Two Mortars

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

A Palestinian Authority terrorists shot at an Israeli car near Maaleh Adumim and terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza fired two mortar shells on the Western Negev Thursday evening.

No injuries were reported in  the attacks, which came two days after a PA Arab stabbed to death a Jewish father of five children in northern Samaria.

The shooting at the Israeli car occurred near the community of Mitzpeh Yericho, between Maaleh Adumin and Jericho. The driver is from the town of Mevasseret Tzion, west of Jerusalem, and an  occupant in the car was identified as a tourist from Europe. The attackers shot at the vehicle shortly after the two had returned from a hike.

Soldiers conducted a search or the shooter, who has not yet been found.

In  the south, two mortar shells were fired on the Eshkol region in what is becoming a daily occurrence, possibly Islamic terrorist organizations challenging Hamas’ authority. The shells exploded in an open area.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-arab-shoots-at-israeli-car-gaza-terrorists-fire-two-mortars/2013/05/02/

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