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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

A ‘Passage to Israel’ is a Visual Journey Through Israel’s Beauty

Monday, November 14th, 2016

For those who love Israel, the ability to describe the look and feel of the place feels imperative. How can anyone who hasn’t been to Israel recognize the vast beauty of the tiny space?

Karen Lehrman Bloch felt that imperative and, with a career of looking at, cataloguing and curating beauty, undertook a quest to mine and then share the beauty of the Holy Land. Bloch’s quest was in itself an act of beauty: the process of culling Anemones in the Negevexceptionally gorgeous pictures of Israel developed into ever-deeper understandings of Israel’s essence, and an embrace of the many different ways in which Israel is beautiful.

Jaffa Beach

The result of Bloch’s journey is an incredible, ethereal, upliftingly soulful work of art, Passage to Israel, (Skyhorse Publishing). The book is being launched at an exhibition starting Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Anderson Contemporary Gallery, in the South Street Seaport at 180 Maiden Lane in New York City. Bloch’s many years as a curator of beauty honed the skills essential to conveying the beauty of Israel in a dramatic and stunning book.

Passage to Israel is divided into four chapters: Land, Light, Life and Soul. These divisions are a welcome refusal to cleave the land into parochial categories, either geographically or religiously. Bloch also

Morning

rejected banal beauty, the postcards from the Holy Land kitsch. The fading sunlight playing through the clouds and fog over a wave-breaker in Tel Aviv, or a bicycle race along the Dead Sea – each picture in Passage to Israel is a delight and a surprise.

tzachiyaffeagamonhulachaosElah Valley

In more than 200 photographs taken by 35 photographers, not one gives fuel to the misguided but widespread belief that Israel is a militaristic nation defined entirely by the conflict. Perversely, it was the 2014 Gaza War which drew Bloch’s focus to Jerusalem children

Ethiopian worshippersIsrael. A neophyte on social media, the hatred and ugliness expressed there towards Israel eventually inspired Bloch to find a form of healing through what she knows best: beauty.

“I wanted to put something beautiful and positive out there about Israel,” she told the JewishPress.com. Bloch’s previous books, The Inspired Home: Interiors of Deep Beauty and The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex & Power in the Real World, both dealt with aspects of beauty. She felt up to the task.

Five of the photographers whose work is featured in the book will be at the launch scheduled for this Thursday.  And Mattisyahu, the Grammy-nominated Israeli singer, will be performing. Bloch explained that Mattisyahu was, “in many ways integral to the book. He uses his poetic, often soulful lyrics to touch people both emotionally and spiritually. That’s what I want these images to do.”

When Bloch saw that the gallery where the launch is being held, she knew she wanted him to perform on opening night.

The “Passage to Israel” exhibition runs at the Anderson Gallery from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, 2017. Bloch plans to take the exhibit to cities such as Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, London and Berlin. The exhibit will have its final showing in Jerusalem, sometime next year.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Gaza Businessmen to Meet with Egyptians on Improving Economic Situation

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

A delegation of Gaza businessmen and civil society professionals will travel to Egypt on Sunday for a conference on the current economic situation in the impoverished Gaza Strip, Ma’an reported Saturday.

Osama Kheil, a spokesman for the union of contractors in Gaza, told Ma’an that the 38 businessmen from Gaza had been invited to the “Ain Sokhna 2” conference, organized by the National Center for Middle East Studies.

Ain Sokhna (Arabic: the Hot Spring) is a resort town on the western shore of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Eilat, some 75 miles east of Cairo.

The conference will discuss the economic situation in Gaza and strategies for improving the dire living conditions of the civilian population. The Gazan delegation will emphasize the need for coordination with Egyptian authorities in regards to the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which serves as a lifeline for Gazans, in the hope of “keeping the border open as long as possible.”

In October 2014 Egypt announced plans to expand the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt, following a terrorist attack from Gaza that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers. The buffer was “a move meant to halt the passage of weapons and militants through cross-border smuggling tunnels but which also puts more pressure on the Palestinian militant Hamas group.” Egyptian authorities ordered residents living along the eastern border to evacuate their homes prior to their demolishing. The new 1,000 yard wide buffer zone includes water-filled trenches that block tunnel diggers along the 8 mile.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Egyptian authorities demolished between July 2013 and August 2015 at least 3,255 residential, commercial, administrative, and community buildings along the border, forcibly evicting thousands of people.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed with the Egyptian operation, saying the smuggling tunnels under the border had produced 1,800 millionaires, and were used for smuggling weapons, drugs, cash and forgery equipment. The total cost to the Gazan economy was estimated at $70 million. On September 11, 2015, the Egyptian army began to pump water from the Mediterranean Sea into the tunnels, in coordination with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas condemned the flooding saying it posed a serious threat to Gaza’s environment and ground water. In November 2015, large areas of soil collapsed as a result of the flooding, threatening homes in Rafah. Salt water came out of the ground, contaminating the soil, making it unusable for agriculture.

Or, as the Ma’an report put it on Saturday: The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade.

JNi.Media

Liberman to Knesset Defense Committee: Hamas Preparing for Next Round

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“Hamas in Gaza has 26,000 soldiers and another 40,000 clerks who receive their salary from the Hamas. It is currently building up an attack force to try to move the fighting into Israeli territory in the next round, but it is also working to restrain various entities within the [Gaza] Strip, mainly due to the change in the Israeli response policy after every incident, which has become dramatically harsher,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chaired by MK Avi Dichter.

The defense minister said Israel will invest close to $1 billion over the next few years on defending the Gaza-vicinity communities.

Liberman noted the financial distress of Hamas, due to the reduced flow of funds from abroad and the economic and civic distress in across the Gaza strip. He said that today only 1% of the civic budget in Gaza comes from Hamas, while another 4% comes from the PA. 95% of the Gaza budget is donated by the international community.

There is tension, Liberman said, between the desire to allow Gaza citizens better living conditions, and the awareness that Hamas uses it to gain strength, as was the case when the Knesset approved the entry of construction materials into Gaza.

The defense minister also said that Hamas is not interested in solving the crisis in Gaza, looking instead to force the international community to get involved. So, for instance, it avoids connecting the Israeli power supply of a decontamination facility that was funded with $100 million from the World Bank.

Liberman noted that more than 90% of the water in Gaza is not suitable for drinking, and water desalination by international organizations will take at least two years to deliver. The crisis will arrive before then, he warned, and Israel will consolidate the plans to deal with it in the next few months.

Liberman also said that people within the Palestinian Authority are preoccupied with the day after Abu Mazen (nom de guerre of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas). Liberman noted that Abu Mazen himself is occupied mainly with leaving behind a diplomatic legacy, including a number of diplomatic initiatives planned for 2017, and is not working to improve the economic situation in the PA.

“Improving the economic conditions of the Palestinians is a security interest of Israel, and when it is clear that it would not be possible to reach agreements on diplomatic issues such as Jerusalem, it is still possible to work to improve living and economic conditions,” Liberman said, noting that the PA has instructed its representatives to not speak of these things, but to address diplomatic issues only.

JNi.Media

Report: IDF Force Levels Land in Northern Gaza Strip

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Israeli forces leveled land in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, according to Ma’an. Witnesses told Ma’an that four IDF bulldozers crossed the border fence east of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and leveled lands near the buffer zone, presumably in order to demolish terrorist tunnels that were being dug below ground.

The witnesses added that IDF drones hovered over the area during the incursion, and that military vehicles protected the bulldozers from Hamas forces.

Also, IDF troops exchanged fire with local Arabs from watchtowers east of the village of Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Yunis. There were no casualties.

The Jewish Press Online contacted the IDF Spokesperson’s Office for a statement.

David Israel

Israel Warns Google, Apple: New Game on Gaza War Could Endanger IDF Soldiers

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called on Apple and Google to remove a new “free to play” game from their online stores, called “Liyla and the Shadows of War.”

The minister contends that the mobile app is being used to incite players to kill IDF soldiers, by having them take on the role of a girl in Gaza during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, ‘Operation Protective Edge.’

The Israel Defense Forces are seen as “the bad guy” in the game, and are portrayed as particularly cruel and filled with murderers.

Erdan has warned both Google and Apple that the game could endanger the lives of IDF soldiers became of the incitement it generates. But neither company has responded to his concern.

Gaza resident Rasheed Abueida, the creator of the game, says it’s based on “actual events” and calls it a “cry for help.”

The promotional kicker line on the game’s website says, “When you live in a war zone and death is hunting everyone, things will look different and choices become harder. Face your fate in an unjust war to survive with your family from the shadows of war.”

Reviewer Rami Ismail, co-founder of Vlambeer, is quoted on the site as saying, “Liyla is a brave personal game about the invasion of Gaza, both an exploration of what games can communicate and a plea for help from someone actually affected by the reality the game sketches.”

Abueida explains on the site that he made the game because he is a father of two children, and “I can’t imagine my life without them, but in Palestine nobody is safe.

“When the war started in Gaza and I saw the images of the killed kids in their parents hands I was shocked, I had a weird feeling, it’s a combination of sadness, fear, empathy and anger. All what I was thinking of is ‘What if this happened to me.’ I have chosen to share those feelings in a game to deliver a message of how we are living as Palestinians under this situation. It’s not just a Game, it’s a case and call for help.”

The game won the Reboot Develop Indie Award in the category of “Visual Excellence,” according to the website.

Under “Resources” the site lists the Human Rights Watch “World Report 2015: Israel/Palestine Events of 2014” and the “Gaza Emergency Situation Report” released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Neither was an example of professional objectivity.

Also listed is a link to ABC News, which leads to an article by Middle East correspondent Matt Brown, beginning with the sentence, “An Israeli military spokesman says the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) should have been able to tell that four boys it killed on a Gaza beach last week were not Hamas operatives.”

There are also two videos on the page, one from Qatar-based Aljazeera, “Israeli strike kills children on Gaza beach,” and the other, a 67-second report from a Palestinian Authority-generated news source, TOMO, “Israel-Gaza conflict: another UN school hit by Israel, at least 16 dead.”

“Facts” are graphic images of the war that are part of the game. The game uses sounds from freesounds.org, and the melodic music, “Cold” by Jorge Mendez.

The skewed way in which so many residents of Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian Authority view the events of the summer of 2014 is displayed in all its tragedy and misery in this game.

The biggest tragedy of all is the destruction caused by the vicious Hamas leaders of Gaza who used them all as human shields, who forced them into bloodshed and war, and who then prevented them from fleeing to safety even when Israel did its best to allow them safe passage out of the combat zones.

It is Hamas who has misdirected and outright stolen their supplies to create more instruments of war, rather than the homes and hospitals and neighborhoods for which they were intended. And it is Hamas who has held them hostage and prevented them from doing anything else with their lives, other than working as slaves for the cause of hatred and death, from the very youngest ages to the grave, sometimes in a collapsed tunnel, and sometimes in a teenage attempt to murder a Jew.

“Sadness, fear, empathy and anger?”

Understandable, and matched by the endless frustration of those on the other side of the security barrier who have done everything possible to create the reality of a reasonable co-existence with their Arab neighbors.

Hana Levi Julian

The Jewish Press Conspiracy to Protect Hillary Clinton and the Rigged Elections [audio]

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

The Observer wrote a fascinating article about the tape from an interview given by Hillary Clinton to The Jewish Press back in 2006.

What makes it so interesting or “relevant” to the public right now is that in the interview, Clinton explicitly talked about the mistake she felt the United States made by not rigging the Palestinian Authority elections to ensure that Hamas didn’t win – which it did, winning 74 seats to Fatah’s 45 seats on the Palestinian Legislative Council, and then eventually taking over Gaza by throwing Fatah officials off the roofs of Gazan buildings.

Clinton didn’t use the word “rig” but it is clear that this is what she meant.

 

The Observer found it odd that the story was no longer available on JewishPress.com, and we discovered that the antisemitic conspiracy theorists on the Internet are trying to create an entire backstory as to why The Jewish Press (and the Jews) censored, suppressed and hid an interview where Clinton discusses rigging an election, in light of Trump’s accusations against her in the current US elections.

Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, the answer is simply a technical one.

When we rebuilt the JewishPress.com website in 2011 and migrated it over to a new platform, that article was one of several that didn’t survive the migration process due to some odd character codes in the text.

But the article wasn’t lost.

Thanks to the technology of the WayBackMachine, the original article was preserved and archived on the Internet, untouched by human hands, odd � characters and all.

Last night, we republished the Hillary Clinton interview back onto the JewishPress.com website.

For those that believe The Jewish Press hid the entire story about Clinton wanting to rig the Palestinian Authority elections, they can now actually see for themselves that this was, in fact, her first answer that was posted in the original article.

The Jewish Press: Israel recently concluded its war against Hizbullah in what many consider to be a stalemated position. How do you see things right now?

Sen. Clinton: First, I don’t think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. If we were going to push for an election, we should have made sure we did something to determine who was going to win instead of signing off on an electoral system that advantaged Hamas.

Original copy of the interview with Hillary Clinton as preserved on the WayBackMachine.

Original copy of the interview with Hillary Clinton as preserved on the WayBackMachine.

Nothing was hidden. Back in 2006, Hillary Clinton did talk about desiring to rig an election of a foreign government, a government with no democratic traditions, but with a rather strong history of supporting terrorism, and we published it.

Without delving into the politics of it, some might even find the idea of ensuring that radical Islamic terrorists don’t take charge of an already moderate-terrorist laden government to be a commendable goal – unlike when the US State Department, under President Obama, funded OneVoice and V-15 in an attempt to manipulate democratic Israel’s recent elections.

Stephen Leavitt

Jerusalem Arab Indicted in Terrorist Plot, Facebook Incitement

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A Jerusalem Arab was indicted Thursday on charges of plotting a major terrorist attack in the capital city.

Muhammad Abbasi, 25, was charged as an accomplice to a planned terror attack in Jerusalem. He was indicted in Jerusalem District Court, according to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), which said he was arrested three weeks ago. Abbasi is also accused of destroying evidence, obstructing justice, supporting a terrorist organization, causing grievous bodily harm, manufacture and possession of weapons, attempted assault of police and rioting.

Shin Bet domestic intelligence agents said they discovered during their investigation that Abbasi, a Hamas operative, intended to attack Israeli security forces and civilians in eastern Jerusalem, and that he purchased firearms for the purpose. He was allegedly involved in a number of firebombing attacks in addition to having lit and thrown fireworks and stones and security forces and Israeli motorists.

The investigation also allegedly revealed that Abbasi tried to find out how to manufacture pipe bombs, although he had not actively tried to make them himself.

According to the indictment documents, Abbasi was employed by a Jerusalem bakery during 2016. In July of this year, the bakery owner plotted together with Ramzi Alouk, a former prisoner associated with Hamas who lived in Gaza, to attack Jews in Jerusalem. Abbasi told the bakery owner that he wanted to participate in the terrorist activity, and asked to communicate with Alouk, saying he wanted to participate in military operations against Israel.

The owner of the bakery was arrested by Israeli security officials this past September, and his remand was extended. After Abbasi heard about the arrest he allegedly decided to act to prevent security officials from obtaining criminal evidence against the bakery owner. According to the indictment, Abbasi purchased a new hard disk and installed it in his computer, and then broke the original hard disk and threw it away in the garbage. The indictment states this act constitutes “conspiracy to perform terrorist activity inside Israel, with intent to prevent or to thwart a legal procedure.”

From July 2015 until his arrest, Abbasi posted on his Facebook page calls for acts of violence and terrorism against Israeli civilians and security forces. He also posted words of praise, encouragement, and empathy for such acts, and for terrorists. In addition, Abbasi praised and demonstrated support for the Hamas terrorist organization and its military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades force.

On the day a suicide bomber attacked the Number 12 bus in Jerusalem, wounding a number of Israeli civilians, Abbasi uploaded a photo of the burned hulk of the bus, with the caption, “We bless the brave attacker… You have gladdened our hearts … Allah be blessed.”

On the day of the lethal shooting attack in the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, in which numerous Israeli civilians were killed and wounded, Abbasi wrote in his post: “3 bodies and 5 injured in Tel Aviv shooting attack … Allah bless those hands … Allah give them life … They broke their fast on something worthwhile … Palestine is proud of these men.”

During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Israel’s war with Hamas, Abbasi participated with masked men in disturbances in the [Jerusalem] Ras El Amud (also known as Ma’alei Zeitim) neighborhood, hurling stones and fireworks at police forces at the scene. During the same period he manufactured firebombs (Molotov cocktails) and threw them at military and police vehicles.

According to the Shin Bet, “The arrest of Abbasi, who as a Jerusalem resident has had access to the entire city, prevented a serious terror attack from taking place in Jerusalem.

“His arrest and the findings of the investigation demonstrate once again the severity of the threat from lone attackers who are influenced by the incitement of terrorist organizations on the internet – in particular, by Hamas – and they themselves incite others to then perform attacks.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jerusalem-arab-indicted-in-terrorist-plot-to-attack-israelis/2016/10/27/

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