web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gilo’

Kerry Hosts ‘Peace Process Partner’ Livni to Advance PA Demands

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s de facto “peace process minister,” is in Washington for talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is fresh from winning a supposed “concession” from the Arab League for the American-sponsored peace process.

Kerry has come up with a proposal to adopt most of the Saudi 2002 Peace Initiative, which is virtually everything that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded.

Kerry’s mission is to make a deal. Getting Israel and the Palestinian Authority to agree on the final status of an independent Arab country under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority would be a glorious triumph for Kerry, possibly the stepping stone to the White House in  2016.

To get there, he is taking the course of least resistance, meaning the Israeli government.

Enter his real peace partner, Tzipi Livni.

Prime Minister Netanyahu holds the portfolio of Foreign Minister until there is a court decision on whether Avigdor Lieberman is guilty of fraud or can return to his former post. In the meantime, Netanyahu hurriedly bought Livni’s tiny party of six Knesset Members into the government by granting her the responsibility for handling the American effort for Palestinian Authority peace talks, one of Livni’s pet hobbies.

She and Kerry have the same goal, a deal at any cost with the prize of international admiration.

He came away from a meeting with the Arab League last week and tried to sell Israel a bill of goods of the Great Concession: The Arab supposedly are prepared to amend the Saudi 2002 Peace Initiative and back “land swaps,” meaning Israel would have their approval for sovereignty over a small amount of the land that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967.

In return, Israel would fork over an equal amount of land that has been part of the country since 1948.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik al-Thani, whose kingdom has been unusually aggressive in handing out fat checks to Hamas and is pouring money into Arab areas of Jerusalem as well as the Palestinian Authority, led the Arab League delegation.

He agreed that perhaps – maybe if this and maybe if that, and if Israel behaves – the League could agree to “minor” land swaps.

For Kerry, this was a big concession. He “broke” the back of the Arabs and all that is left for him to do is tell Israel it is the best thing for the country since felafel.

“The Arab League delegation affirmed … the two-state solution on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 line, with the (possibility) of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land,” he declared.

Of course, no one has any idea of what “minor” land swaps could mean, but you can rest your bottom dinar it does not mean that Israel would retain Gush Etzion. Maaleh Adumim? Maybe. Maybe not.

Perhaps the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramot, French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and Talpiot, among others? Could be.

And Gilo? Probably not.

It does not matter now. The most important thing for Kerry and Livni, his one-woman Israeli government fan club, is to talk it up. It does not matter to them that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal already has rejected the idea. But they can take of him later and drop Hamas from the list of outlawed terrorist organizations, make it a legal terrorist group, and everything will be just fine.

Livni said the Qatari prime minister’s grand concession of possibly, just maybe, agreeing to a  minor land swap was “very positive news.”

And what would land would Israel give up in this “minor” swap. Most likely, enough land to link Gaza with Judea and Samaria.

Of course there is one not so minor point that Kerry has forgotten. Actually, he has not forgotten because the State Dept. does not know any better.

What Israeli Arab in his right mind would give up all the benefits and security he gets from the Israeli government and become subjects of the Palestinian Authority in order to help Kerry’s political career?

Respected Poll: Large Majority Favor Sovereignty in West Bank

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

A surprising 80 percent of Israelis support the idea of Israeli sovereignty over all or part of Judea and Samaria, according to a new poll released by the respected Geocartography research institute.

The survey was commissioned by the University of Ariel, located in central Samaria, in advance of its annual Conference for Law and Mass Media.

The idea of Israeli sovereignty began to win popularity last year when a government-commissioned report by three legal experts, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, concluded that Israelis have the right under international law to live anywhere they want in Judea and Samaria.

The “Levy Committee” also debunked the popular concept, adopted by the United States and almost all of the international community, that Israel “occupies” Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quickly shelved the report for “further study,” obviously not wanting to upset the Obama administration’s continuation of the long-buried “peace process” that it still promotes to an audience of none.

The most surprising results in the Geocartography poll related to the views of those who have left-wing views. More than a majority, in fact 60 percent, stated that Israel has to take sovereignty over at least part of Judea and Samaria.

Even among those who consider themselves thoroughly left wing, 42 percent agreed that international law must recognize Israeli sovereignty in part of the areas that the Palestinian Authority demands for itself, if it ever becomes an independent country

Overall, more than one-third of Israelis support Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, and 25 percent think that it should apply to part of the area.

Most support for sovereignty undoubtedly is for Maaleh Adumim, a city of more than 40,000 located only 10 minutes away from Jerusalem, and the Gush Etzion communities, the largest of which is Efrat, heavily populated by Americans.

The nationalist Women in Green movement applauded the data that emerged from the poll.

“These figures might be surprising for a part of the Israeli public, but this comes as no surprise to us,” said Women in Green leaders  Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.

“ In recent years we have been traveling throughout Israel  and wherever the question of sovereignty is raised, the idea is received favorably, with extensive support,” they added.

Asked by the Jewish Press if proposing sovereignty makes any sense in the wake of the American insistence to continue with its peace process plan, they said, “The Americans know that ‘two states for two peoples’ is, thank God, not a reality.”

Matar and Katsover also argued that with the failure of the peace process, there is no other alternative on the table, making Israeli sovereignty more of a viable option.

They dismissed many problems with sovereignty leaving Israel with a large Arab minority that could wreck the country’s Jewish identity.

The Women in Green leaders explained that there are several solutions to the problem but “first of all, let’s implement sovereignty and then we will deal with the arguments.”

Four different  proposals on coping with the demographics have been proposed, they said.

One idea is to offer all Arabs citizenship on the condition that they pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

Another idea to the opposite extreme is to pay Palestinian Authority Arabs to leave Israel.

A third proposed solution is to grant them the status of residents without citizenship.

The fourth idea is to recognize that Palestine is Jordan, where the Arabs in Judea and Samaria could move.

European Union and American officials would be aghast at any of the suggestions, but after 22 years of failed diplomatic attempts to build up a Palestinian Authority that can self-govern and guarantee security for Israel as a neighbor, the peace process in retrospect seems even more far-fetched than Israeli sovereignty.

EU Urging Boycott of Companies Threatening Two-State Solution

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

An EU report calls for member states to prevent support for the settlement enterprise.

An internal report issued by the EU recommends that member states completely prevent financial transactions that support settlement activity in Judea and Samaria. The report, entitled “Jerusalem 2012,” was compiled by the heads of European Union missions to Jerusalem and Ramallah.

According to the report, Israel’s construction in the southern neighborhoods of Jerusalem is the greatest threat to the two-state solution and defines it as “systematic, deliberate and provocative.”

The report notes three neighborhoods specifically: Har Homa, Gilo and Givat Hamatos, warning that if construction there continues at the present rate, it may create by the end of this year a buffer zone between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The report argues that such a buffer, when completed, would make it difficult to implement the two-state solution, and might mean its demise altogether.

Israel’s relations with the 27-member EU have been extremely tense in recent months, as the European organization has been voicing its discontent over a long list of Israeli construction programs involving construction of at least 5,000 new homes in and around East Jerusalem.

The EU is Israel’s largest import and export market, and should it implement punitive trade sanctions it would affect the already stumbling economy of the Jewish State.

According to the report, tenders were issued for 2,366 new units in 2012, which was “more than twice” the total number issued over the preceding three years—only 1,145, the report said.

Most of them were for construction in Har Homa, “significantly expanding the existing footprint of the settlement’s built-up area.”

Israel liberated East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, a move which is yet to be recognized by the international community. In fact, most Western countries, including most notably the U.S., don’t even fully recognize West Jerusalem, within the 1949 armistice “green line,” as Israel’s capital—preferring to keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Israel officially considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided” capital and rejects the view that construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

But since the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to become the capital of their state, they— along with many in the international community—consider settlement construction in East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to be equally illegal.

This is born by an erroneous reading of the Geneva Convention Rule 130: “States may not deport or transfer parts of their own civilian population into a territory they occupy.” Technically speaking, the area formerly known as “West Bank” was never recognized widely as belonging to the state of Jordan, whose army occupied it in 1948. Since the area remained as a no man’s land until 1967, Israel’s taking of it did not constitute an occupation.

U.S. official policy refers to the area, as well as to Gaza, as “disputed territories.”

“If the implementation of the current Israeli policy regarding the city continues, particularly settlement activity, the prospect of Jerusalem as a future capital of two states — Israel and Palestine — becomes practically unworkable,” the EU report’s executive summary said. “This threatens to make the two-state solution impossible.”

Turning the Public into Private

Friday, July 6th, 2012

A Haredi man stands on a ladder to hang the Eruv wire, near the Gilo neighborhood in south Jerusalem, on a Friday.

An Eruv Techumim (mixing of boundaries) is a legal fiction that transforms areas from public into private, depending on some prerequisite conditions. Once the Eruv is up, it is permissible for Jews to carry their belongings inside its boundaries.

Carrying one’s belongings on Shabbat in the public domain is one of the 39 labors that are prohibited on Shabbat.

Jewish Birthrate Exceeds Arab in Jerusalem

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

The Jewish birthrate per capita of Jewish mothers in Jerusalem is now higher than that of Arab women in Israel’s capital city.

According to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, the average birthrate of Jewish women in Jerusalem is 4.2 children, compared to 3.9 children.

In 1999, the birthrate was just 3.8 for Jewish mothers compared to 4.4 for Arabs.

The total population of Jerusalem as of 2011 is 801,000.  Jerusalem’s three biggest neighborhoods are Ramot, Pisgat Ze’ev, and Gilo, all of which exist in areas liberated by Israel in 1967.

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Contrary to statements by the White House, the natural growth of Gilo, a popular suburb on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is in no way a political statement or a land grab on the West Bank.

In fact, it is within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, not in East Jerusalem – erroneous reports by the Guardian and The New York Times notwithstanding. None of this has stopped some who have jumped on this issue as an example of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s allegedly violating his promise to suspend expansion in the West Bank for 10 months.

Recently, members of the European Union seemed intent on appropriating this issue as well and attempted to use it to push a resolution through their body that would call for the designation of East Jerusalem as the capital of “Palestine.”

Following intense lobbying from the Israeli government throughout December, they settled on the statement “If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs only fueled this manufactured fire by saying that, “at a time when we are working to re-launch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed.”

Whether Gilo is allowed to grow to accommodate more Israeli families has more to do with urban planning than it does the peace process and it is far beyond the purview of the United States, the European Union or the United Nations to comment on. It is a suburb, not a settlement, and is part of the natural growth of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Advertisement

I worry that the administration is levying too much criticism at Israel in an attempt to allay fears that a peace process negotiated by the U.S. will be a lopsided endorsement of Israeli policy.

The real problem is accountability, and it always has been. Promises were made in Madrid, in Oslo, at Camp David and in Annapolis. In all of those negotiations, concessions were agreed upon, but the Palestinian Authority has never lived up to its end of the bargain and has never been held accountable for their failure to do so.

The Congress passed, and President Obama signed, legislation that prohibits aid to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Just like previous presidents, Obama signed a waiver, known as a presidential determination, allowing aid to continue to flow into the West Bank and Gaza. I will be requesting that upcoming foreign aid packages continue to include a provision prohibiting all aid to the West Bank and Gaza until the Palestinian Authority comes back to the negotiating table, and I will ask the president not to sign a waiver unless this goal is met.

Gilo, like other areas populated by Jewish Israelis, is frequently the target of terrorist attacks. Parents living in other sections of Jerusalem often, out of fear, forbid their children from entering Gilo. But the families in Gilo have thrived and the neighborhood is expanding.

The approval to expand Gilo was given not by Prime Minister Netanyahu but by Jerusalem’s Construction and Planning Committee, which has jurisdiction over all of Jerusalem, not just Jewish neighborhoods. Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, succinctly commented: “Israeli law does not discriminate between Arabs and Jews, or between east and west of the city. The demand to cease construction just for Jews is illegal, as in the U.S. and any other enlightened place in the world. The Jerusalem municipality will continue to enable construction in every part of the city for Jews and Arabs alike.”

Israel remains the only true partner of the United States in the Middle East and the sole democracy in the region. While it is certainly President Obama’s right to voice his opinion, in recent statements I think he has stepped over the boundary in how one speaks about another democracy’s internal affairs – and this has hurt the peace process by isolating our ally, Israel.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Involving Young Children in Hands-on Chesed Activities

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

One of the goals we all share as parents and educators is to instill an appreciation for the mitzvah of tzedakah (charity giving) in our children.

I have found that one of the most effective methods of achieving this is to present young children with hands-on opportunities to participate in charity projects that are child-centered and age appropriate. There are those who take the attitude, especially as far as school-based programs for boys are concerned, that these are a distraction from limudim.

I beg to differ. In my opinion, this is an integral component of their limudim. And these projects breed a sense of communal achrayus (responsibility), teach true ahavas Yisrael, and engage children spiritually. Our great rebbe, Rav Avrohom Pam, zt”l, often spoke to us about the importance of giving 10 percent of our time for chesed activities, such as learning with a weaker classmate. I feel honored to pass on this message to my talmidim.

In Yeshiva Darchei Noam, where I serve as dean, we conduct chesed campaigns with our talmidim each year. The criterion I set for the programs are that all of our students can easily understand its objective, contribute something to it, and, quite literally, put their hands around the items they are donating.

Over the past 11 years we sent 400 toys to the children of Gilo, Yerushalayim, during the first few weeks of the 2000 intifada, built a playground for them in 2002, created a laptop lending library in partnership with the local Bikur Cholim for use by bedridden ill children, and sent 150 Israeli terror victims on an all-expenses-paid Chol Hamoed Pesach trip.

We also distributed hundreds of $20 Toys ‘R’ Us gift certificates to Tomchei Shabbos families to purchase afikoman gifts for their children, and in 2005, “adopted” a Gush Katif school, sending them school supplies, sports equipment and bicycles over two years following the Disengagement. In many of these projects, our talmidim wrote cards to the recipients of their gifts – and received many thank you cards from them in return.

While teaching our children to place money in a pushka (charity collection) box is a wonderful thing to do, it is difficult for a school-age kid – especially those in younger grades – to comprehend how those coins he/she parted with actually helped a needy person. Allowing kids access to the latter phases of the tzedakah chain is often far more meaningful to them.

For example, several years ago when we partnered with Tomchei Shabbos in our annual chesed drive, we purchased several hundred rolls of cake with the money we collected to add to each needy family’s box of Shabbos food. We placed the boxes of cake in the yeshiva hallway so the children could see what their money purchased. On Thursday evening, one boy from each class – selected by lottery – went with their fathers to the Tomchei Shabbos distribution center and helped place the cake in each of the boxes designated for the recipients. The next morning, each of the class representatives shared with their classmates their experiences from the previous evening.

When these activities are geared to children, they really “get it.” I will never forget the call I once got from the proud parent of a five-year-old talmid in our yeshiva. He was in Toys ‘R’ Us with his son purchasing a toy for the children of Gilo and suggested that they buy a soccer ball because Israeli kids love to play that sport. He was stunned when his son patiently explained to him that it would probably be wiser to buy indoor games because the children of Gilo could not play outdoors due to the gunfire from the nearby Arab village.

Over this past month, yeshiva parent Mrs. Ava Hamburger involved Darchei Noam talmidim in a project she has been working on for more than five years: sending food packages to Jewish-American soldiers stationed in the Mideast. Students of all grades sent dozens of Chanukah gifts and foodstuff to the troops, and a number of our general studies teachers used the opportunity to incorporate the letter writing as a practical component of their language arts curriculum.

When I noted earlier that children involved in chesed projects “get it,” I was referring to the fact that these activities trigger all sorts of wonderful, long-term chinuch lessons far richer and deeper than the isolated act of charity giving. For an idea of the impact activities like these has on children, here are two paragraphs from a self-created, unedited essay written by Zevi Shuster, a 5th grader in our yeshiva:

“Can you imagine how it would be if you were an American soldier stationed far from home, [and] away from family, during the Chanukah holiday? Surprisingly, one day you get packages and letters from Jewish children. Now you see that you are not alone and forgotten – and others care about you.

“Some may think you can only do kiruv with people in your own neighborhood, but Yeshiva Darchei Noam has shown that you can do kiruv as far away as Iraq. Not only that, but all the non-Jewish soldiers see how caring the Jews are. What a Kiddush Hashem!”

(Note to readers from Rabbi Horowitz: A significant portion of the gifts was sent for the use of all soldiers in those units – not only the Jewish ones.)

Chazal (sages) point out that the Hebrew root word “nasan,” which denotes giving, is a palindrome – meaning it reads the same forward and backward. This informs us that one who gives charity is rewarded by receiving bounty from Hashem. Here’s another application of this thought, namely that exposing your children to the beauty of enriching the lives of others is a gift that keeps on giving. They will apply the lessons learned, and grow into more sensitive adults imbued with nobility of spirit.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-involving-young-children-in-hands-on-chesed-activities/2009/12/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: