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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Funding’

Jim Joseph Foundation Funds Israel’s ‘Northern Exposure’ Program

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

The post-Birthright-Taglit ‘Northern Exposure’ program, sponsored by the Tzfat-based Livnot U’Lehibanot organization, has won a $250,000 expansion grant from the U.S.-based Jim Joseph Foundation.

‘Northern Exposure’ is a one-week program that enables graduates of the Birthright-Taglit program to immediately continue their experience via community volunteer work in Israel. The program is supplemented with challenging hikes, seminars and workshops on Jewish values, meditation and deeper exploration into other Jewish subjects.

Aharon Botzer, executive director of Livnot U’Lehibanot, noted the organization’s blend of Jewish spirituality and hands-on community service complemented many of “the other fine programs that the Foundation is supporting, and we are honored to be counted among them,” he said.

“Livnot taps into the passion of many young adults to grow personally and to explore Judaism following their Birthright experiences,” said Jim Joseph Foundation Assistant Director Dawne Bear Novicoff.

“The Foundation is excited to partner with Livnot to create even more opportunities for young adults to connect with Israel, to engage in meaningful Jewish learning, and to help build vibrant Jewish communities at home.”

IDF Blows Up Gaza Terror Tunnel — Only On Israel Side of Border

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The IDF has destroyed “the remains” of a terrorist tunnel that led from Gaza into southern Israel, apparently discovered during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

The tunnel “penetrated into Israel from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokesperson revealed this morning, Feb. 9 in a statement sent by SMS to media. “During the activity, forces discovered a cache of weapons and explosives,” the statement continued.

This indicates — at least to this writer — that either the tunnel was not completely destroyed at the time it was discovered last summer, or more likely, it has since been rebuilt and re-activated by its terrorist builders. That is a very ominous sign.

However, the IDF remained on Israel’s side of the Gaza border, according to the statement. “The tunnel, which was exposed during Operation Protective Edge, was demolished in order to prevent its rehabilitation in order to safeguard the security of the civilians of southern Israel,” the IDF Spokesman added.

Clearly that was done last summer as well; upon their departure from Gaza, IDF commanders stated clearly that all tunnels had been completely disabled before leaving.

Are we feeling safe yet? Wait — we’re not finished.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, head of the Independent Media Review and Analysis watchdog group, had similar questions about the curt statement issued by the IDF – and the information obviously left out.

Lerner sent back a question asking whether the terror tunnel “may remain intact one meter within Gaza beyond the Israeli side?”

In reply, the IDF Spokesperson clarified: “We are only reporting about the tunnel on the Israeli side. If you want to know about tunnels on the Gaza side, ask in Gaza.”

So there you have it. Israel no longer sees to it that terror tunnels in Gaza are completely destroyed when they are discovered. Hamas has received the message that it is free to build whatever underground terrorist network that it likes, as long as it does not cross the border into Israel, even beneath the boundary.

Perhaps that’s got to do with the international community shaking its virtual finger at the Israeli government, with its “Nu Nu Nu.” All those warnings about how it is “absolutely essential” to move forward immediately with the “economic rehabilitation” of Gaza.

How lovely; more money for tunnels and better photo ops for Hamas with the “poor, forgotten refugees from the Gaza war.”

Um … Are southern Israelis still feeling safe?

Jewish Diaspora Donors Infuse NIS 50M Into Southern Israel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Jewish donors have injected an infusion of some NIS 50 million ($13.22 million) into rocket-battered communities in southern Israel.

The package was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, whose Board of Governors is meeting this week in the coastal city of Ashkelon and surrounds.

Ashkelon was one of the primary targets of rocket and missile attacks launched by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization before and during the IDF’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer.

The funds are being used to help the south recover from the damage inflicted by Gaza terrorists during the 50-day war, which ended on the eve of Tisha B’Av.

Comprised of donations from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren HaYesod-UIA and others, some of the money is aimed at programs to expand the population of communities closest to the border with Gaza.

Approximately 1,300 scholarships of more than NIS 5,700 each ($1,500) will be offered to students living within four kilometers of Gaza (2.5 miles) for help with rent, in a move designed to draw young adults to the area.

In addition, there will be funding for special loans to local businesses located within the “40-kilometer (25 miles) zone” whose operations was affected by the war. There will also be grants for victims of rocket attacks, financing to pay for refurbishing private bomb shelters via the Amigur housing subsidiary, coordinated between the Jewish Agency, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defense. In addition, the Jewish Agency will provide support for new immigrants in local absorption centers in southern Israel and IDF lone soldiers wounded during the war.

The Jewish Agency Fund for Victims of Terror also provides a grant of NIS 4,000 ($1,060) to famkilies immediately after an attack if they have experienced an injury or loss or their homes were damaged by rocket fire during a war. Subsequently, if the government of Israel recognizes a family as a “victim of terror” the Fund provides additional aid of up to NIS 25,000 ($6,600) to the family as well.

Yet, world Jewry has responded magnificently with compassion and grace to help provide the massive amount of money required to address the needs of Israel’s war-torn southern population, so badly traumatized following the summer’s events.

Opening this week’s gathering, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Scharansky thanked the agency’s partners in the Jewish world.

“This is a continuation of the Jewish world’s massive outpouring of solidarity with the people of Israel and the residents of the South over the course of the summer,” Scharansky noted. “During the war, we stood with the residents and channeled the solidarity and support of world Jewry. Today, we are partnering with the government of Israel to ensure that [their] pioneering spirit endures well into the future, drawing ever more people to this area and keeping it strong and vibrant for many years to come.

“This is the Zionist response to this summer’s events, and it is an expression of our commitment to the residents of southern Israel.”

The agency’s Board of Governors also toured Kibbutz Nahal Oz, one of the Gaza Belt communities that was held under siege with rocket and mortar fire by Hamas and allied terrorists prior to and during the war.

IDF Southern Command GOC Maj. Gen. Shlomo Turgeman told the governors, “We are fighting for our homes here. Your decision to hold the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ meetings in southern Israel after Operation Protective Edge is a massive source of strength for me personally, and for the soldiers under my command.”

Govt Approves Massive Upgrade of Southern Israeli Infrastructure

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

The Cabinet on Sunday approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to upgrade the southern Israeli city of Sderot and its surrounds, and to build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva.

The NIS 1.3 billion five-year plan was created by a team of ministry director-generals led by PMO director Harel Locker. It is the largest and most comprehensive economic development plan ever made for the area, according to a release from the prime minister’s office.

The plan supplements the government’s July 13 decision to allocate NIS 417 million in economic benefits to the area adjacent to Gaza in 2015-2016. Approximately half of that sum is dedicated to Sderot.

“This is the largest investment that the State of Israel has ever made in this area,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “This is in addition to the NIS 417 million that we transferred during Operation Protective Edge. We are developing a new industrial zone in Sderot, transportation infrastructure in the area and are encouraging young people and students to move to the area adjacent to Gaza.

“We came to this country to build and to be built. We came to this part of our land in order to build and be built in it, and no one will uproot us. We will strengthen our hold and our development of this area just as in other areas,” the prime minister said.

“On Tuesday we will submit for Cabinet approval a supplement regarding an approximately NIS 2 billion in additional funds for the communities and cities of the south,” Netanyahu continued.

“In the framework of this decision, we will build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva, in addition to the hundreds of additional beds for the existing Soroka Medical Center.

“We will connect new natural gas infrastructures for the benefit of factories in the south. We will invest in initiatives to connect the Negev in the framework of the Digital Israel program.

“We will encourage small and mid-size businesses. We will develop tourism and all aspects of life, including the important ‘cyber’ aspect for all residents of the Negev, including Bedouin.

“This is a deep commitment on our part. I think that it has found expression.”

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

Gov’t to Start Weekend Buses to Yeshiva, Girls’ Schools in Judea, Samaria

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered financing for public shuttles to and from yeshiva and girls’ high schools in Judea and Samaria on the weekends, it was announced Tuesday.

The prime minister told his staff to allocate NIS 4 million (approx. $1.15 million) for the shuttles, which will apparently will operate on Thursday nights, Fridays, Saturday nights and Sundays.

The decision was made in order to discourage hitchhiking, which has become a way of life in Judea and Samaria in order to deal with the infrequent and inadequate public bus service in the region. Although there are numerous political and financial reasons for the sketchy bus service, the bottom line results in Jewish residents of all ages hitchhiking on unsafe roads at all hours of the day and night.

Last Thursday evening, the price for that fact cost three families their teenage sons: a terrorist organization kidnapped two 16 year olds and a 19 year old, all of whom were students at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion. The boys were in Gush Etzion, hitchhiking home for the Sabbath when they were abducted.

Sen. Rand Paul Promotes Bill to Cut Off Aid to PA

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would end financial aid to the Palestinian Authority unless the entity recognizes the State of Israel and officially abandons terrorism.

The legislation would cut off all aid, including loan guarantees and debt relief to the PA or any affiliated government entity, according to media reports.

The exceptions to the measure require the president to certify that the PA has:

1. Formally recognized the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, 2. Publicly recognized the State of Israel, 3. Purged all individuals with terrorist ties from security services, 4. Terminated funding of anti-American and anti-Israel incitement, 5. Publicly pledged to not engage in war with Israel, and 6. Honored previous diplomatic agreements.

In addition, the law would ban aid to the PA without a presidential waiver if a unity government is established that includes the Hamas terrorist organization, because Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and has vowed to destroy the Jewish State in any case.

According to a report published by The Washington Post, a spokesperson for Senator Paul explained that “the Palestinian Anti-Terrorist Act of 2006 contains a national security waiver that allows the President to waive elements of the law. Senator Paul’s legislation does not contain a national security waiver.”

What that means, said the spokesperson, is that the bill “takes the subjectivity out of the law by mandating that the PA renounces terrorism and terminates anti-American and anti-Israel incitement.”

Whether or not the PA security service is working secretly together with Israeli security is another matter.

That problem presents a quandary in that pulling the funding – or at least, the option of funding – from the hands of those who would negotiate with PA officials could be more dangerous than it appears. Keeping up the fight against terrorism even if it is a subtle and undercover effort on the PA side is worth financing. The question is – are the PA security forces actually doing that job?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sen-rand-paul-promotes-bill-to-cut-off-aid-to-pa/2014/04/30/

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