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July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

Druze Block IDF Ambulance with Syrian Patient

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Israeli Druze in the northern town of Hurfeish for the first time actually attacked an IDF ambulance on Monday as it was transporting a wounded Syrian to an Israeli hospital.

It was the first act of violent protest carried out by the generally peaceful community.

The Druze surrounded the ambulance and blocked it from proceeding down the road – as they did last week with others in similar cases — but then they also attacked it.

Leaders of the Druze community in the Israeli Golan Heights claim the IDF medical teams are aiding fighters with the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization.

Al Nusra is one of the groups responsible for attacking and murdering Druze communities on the Syrian side of the border. Their relationship to Da’esh (ISIS) or lack thereof is also not clear.

But the terror organization has maintained a firm grip on the town of Quneitra in which the sole border crossing between Syria and Israel is located.

Israel has not commented on the incident.

Bnei Menashe Olim from India Settle in Golan Heights

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

The Shavei Israel organization brought a group of 78 Bnei Menashe immigrants on Aliyah Thursday from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, which borders Burma and Bangladesh.

Absorption Minister Zev Elkin greeted the immigrants upon arrival.

The new Olim will settle in Katzrin on the Golan Heights, which was the tribal patrimony of Manasseh in Biblical times.

This is the first time that Shavei Israel is settling a group of Bnei Menashe on the Golan, approximately 2,700 years after their ancestors were exiled from the land.

Media Panic over Rocket Alarm in Golan Heights

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

A rocket siren sounded in the Golan Heights shortly before noon Wednesday, sending Israeli media into a panic while Golan residents continued their lives normally, except those towns were the siren specifically went off.

No rocket or missile fell in Israel.

Golan resident “Alex” told Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel):

 I don’t know what you are talking about. We did not receive any order from the IDF to stop working.

The IDF is checking to discover why the rocket siren sounded.

It must be a slow news week for Israel’s establishment media, looking for a way to frighten citizens.

Yesterday, the IDF declared a tiny part of northeast Golan Heights to be a “closed military zone” because of the fierce fighting across the border.

The closure might have been related to a planned Druze protest against the murder of their brethren in Syria.

Two hours later, after the media – not The Jewish Press, by the way – ran screaming headlines, anticipating all-out war between the IDF and the Islamic State (ISIS), or Hezbollah, or Assad’s army, or perhaps Al Qaeda.

Rockets from Syria have exploded on the Israeli side of the Golan too many times. We have no intention of belittling the fragile quiet on the Israeli side of the border, but let’s keep it in proportion.

Orange Apology Tour Arrives in Wrong ‘Occupying’ Country

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard arrived in Israel Thursday night for a two-day exercise of climbing down from a tall tree where he ate rotten fruit by saying that he would like to get rid of the company’s link with Israel’ Partner Communications because of the “occupation.”

He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres today as part of a show “to clarify Orange group commitments to Israel,” according to the French-based company.

It all was a “misunderstanding,” Richard said after winning praise from BDS but ferocious anger from even liberal political in Israel and elsewhere.

“Hypocritical” would be a better description than “misunderstanding.”

Richard lit the match in Cairo, where he referred to Partner as operating in “occupied territory,” and France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, tweeted:

Contributing to settlements in an occupied territory is illegal.

Despite his “anti-occupation” remarks in Cairo, Richard later explained that he wanted to pull out of Israel because it is the only country where Orange does not run a subsidiary but instead allows an independent operation to market its trademark.

It is not clear why that should bother Orange since Partner pays approximately $4 million a year for the right to market Orange.”

Richard reassured Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely last week, “Orange does not support any form of boycott, in Israel or anywhere else in the world.”

In a way, it is too bad that Orange is retreating. If it had stood its ground, Israel would have had the opportunity to expose to the entire world the clear hypocrisy of BDS and of companies like Orange that actually operate in “occupied territory” elsewhere and, under the boycotters’ definition, are guilty of being involved in a “war crime.”

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, affiliated with the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank wrote in The Washington Post this week:

Orange itself directly and openly operates in occupied territory. Orange provides cell phone service in Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenia since seizing it in a bloody 1992-94 war. The U.N., along with the E.U. and U.S., considers the area occupied territory. Nonetheless, Armenian settlers have moved into the occupied territory in significant numbers, amid constant complaints from Baku and others.

He added that fighting broke out this year in the area, “killing dozens, and a full- scale war over the occupied territory is looming.”

The Orange website touts its Karabakh service as being in “NKR,” or the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized state that is controlled by Armenia, according to Kontorovich, who also wrote:

U.N. Resolutions have specifically called for the “non-recognition” of the NKR. Orange’s Armenian website also calls the area ‘Artsakh,’ the ancient name for the region favored by Armenia nationalists. It would be as if Orange, instead of complaining about, boasted of its ‘service in Judea and Samaria.’…. Orange calls NKR a ‘country,’ despite the clear admonition of its own government and UN against recognition of what is universally regarded as Azerbaijani territory. It would be as if Orange boasted of its service in the ‘Golan Heights of Israel.’

That’s not a bad idea. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu should tell Richard, “You know what? Yerright. Boycott us.

“And while you are at it, boycott Azerbaijan, Morocco, Turkey and Armenia. Then, after realizing how ignorant you are, don’t apologize. Just bury BDS and get back to work.”

Saudi Poll: Iran and ISIS are Far Greater Enemies than Israel

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Iran and the Islamic State (ISIS) are Saudi Arabia’s biggest enemies, according to a poll by Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.

The poll was conducted over the phone with Saudi natives, 85 per cent of whom said that Iran is their worst enemy. The Islamic State (ISIS) state was rated by 53 percent as enemy, but only 18 percent thought Israel is in the same category.

Significantly, 25 percent of the respondents would like to see Israel and Saudi Arabia stage a joint strike on Iran. Although a minority, the percentage is far higher than could have been imagined in recent years.

Saudi Arabia is one of the quietist of Muslim countries when it comes to anti-Zionist venom, unlike Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

The kingdom often reiterates its wish for the Temple Mount to be Muslim-only. It occasionally utters the politically correct chant against the “Zionist entity” and favors kicking Israel out of most of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

However, their officials almost never indulge in Israel-bashing for the sake of it.

The new poll reflects a tacit peace with Israel, something on the order of “good fences make good neighbors,” while the Iran nuclear threat and the frightening ISIS monster have become common enemies for Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The problem will be if the Obama administration tried to use the tacit peace as a stepping stone for an unwanted official peace pact. That would mean Israel’s agreeing to the Saudi 2002 initiative that has been adopted by the Palestinian Authority in its entirety, and it would mean Saudi Arabia’s having to deal with a new, inept, corrupt, confused, mismanaged and  unmanageable Arab country.

The United States has bought almost all of the Saudi-Palestinian Authority demands, except for the transfer of several million foreign Arabs into Israel, and who knows if President Barack Obama won’t cave in on that issue as well?

Things are pretty quiet between Jerusalem, and Riyadh, and they might stay that way if Washington does not try to fix what isn’t broken.

Bennett Looks for Attention with Appeal to World to Recognize Golan

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett called on the world to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in speech to the annual Herzliya Conference on Sunday.

Israel annexed the strategic and water-rich Golan in 1981, but many foreign media articles are preceded with the dateline “Golan Heights, Occupied Territories.”

Bennett’s initiative might be the first small step towards what is going to be an eventual reality. As Syria falls apart, the idea of handing over the Golan to Bashar Al-Assad doesn’t even enter the imagination of Secretary of State John Kerry.

However, Bennett’s call for recognition was welcomed with a resounding thud by foreign media, such as AFP, whose first words in its report were “Far-right Israeli minister.” The description is outlandish, if not libelous, unless the same news agency were to call Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog “far-left.”

Bennett said yesterday:

I call on the international community… to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan…. I understand that there is a disagreement on Judaea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank. I understand that on this we shall agree to disagree.

But the Golan, to ban agricultural exports from the Golan? Where is the logic, where is your morality? Who would you like us to give the Golan Heights to? To Assad? To Al-Nusra Front? To the Islamic State group? To Hezbollah?

There is a consensus among Israelis that the Golan Heights should remain in Israel. The 20,000 Jews in the Golan Heights make up 50 percent of the population, the other half being Druze, approximately half of whom live in the city of Majdal Shams.

Prime Minister Netanyahu took the air out of Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi party, which in the early stages of the election was polled to win 16 seats in the Knesset. By Election Day, the number was down to 12, the same it had in the previous government.

The day after the election, Netanyahu’s frantic call for Jews to vote had reduced the party’s strength to eight.

Bennett is not making the mistake of previous nationals religious parties to become a party of “Yesha,” the acronym for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.

He is trying to shed the party of the stigma that nationalists must be religious. Secular Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked was at the top of the heap in the elections and won the prize of Justice Minister.

Now Bennett needs even broader support in Israel to strengthen his position in the government, and his call on the world to recognize the Golan was more for local consumption than any expectation that the United Nations or even the Obama administration will admit to the truth.

French NGOs and Palestinian Authority behind BDS Pressure on Orange

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

A coalition of French NGOs, some of them partly funded by the government, last month published a 51-page document named “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to spearhead the campaign to pressure Orange to boycott Israel’s Partner Communications, which markets the Orange mobile phone service brand.

The Palestinian Authority joined the French NGOS to lobby the government and Orange to boycott Israel, the Israel-based NGO Monitor reported.

The NGOs reportedly met with Orphanage officials on May 26 and told them that its business link with Partner endangered its reputation. Orange told the BDS promoters that the agreement for Partner’s marketing the Orange brand expires in 10 years.

NGO Monitor reported:

The authors of the report asked Orange to publicly and explicitly state its decision to disengage and to denounce the human rights violations that Partner is involved in  Israeli settlements in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories-sic]. In other words, the statements made by the France-based company are a wholesale adoption of the NGOs’ BDS agenda (which is illegal in France).

Following the publication of the report, Saeb Erekat, lead negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA), wrote to France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to denounce the link between Orange and Partner.

Organizations participating in the move to pressure Orange to boycott Israel include the European-based Who Profits, Al Haq, Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire (CCFD), FIDH, and Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS).

Who Profits, which now is a separate organization, began to campaign against all of Israel’s cell phone companies in 2009 for allegedly being “commercially involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights” and “exploit[ing] the Palestinian frequencies and to impose their services on the Palestinian captive market.”

The Who Profits webpage also attacks Partner for sponsoring IDF units in the Golan, Judea and Samaria in the “Adopt a Soldier” project.

The 51-page document stated:

During the attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Partner was on the front lines providing material support, cellular services and entertainment to the Israeli soldiers. The company also waived service fees for soldiers carrying [sic] the assault during July-August 2014.

The French government, which owns 25 percent of Orange, granted the Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire received nearly $400,000 from France in 2012. The same organization is a member of the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine,

FIDH last year libeled Israel with allegations that it deliberately targeted civilians in the war against Hamas rockets and missiles on Israeli civilians. The NGO is funded in part by the European Union and the governments of Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

NGO Monitor added, “Al Haq is funded directly by the governments of Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland, and indirectly by UK, Sweden, Germany, and the UN.”

Its report continued:

Al Haq is a leader of lawfare and BDS against Israel. A main actor in the NGO campaign to file war crimes charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC)….

Al Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by ‘flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.’

The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as ‘among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.’

The Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) was funded by the French government in 2012, refers to the “Gaza extermination camp” and states, “It is inconceivable and unacceptable that the ‘Jewish-executioner’ would hide behind the ‘Jewish victim!’” Other AFPS rhetoric includes ethnic cleansing, apartheid state, and “Stop hunting Palestinian children!”

A French court in 2014 ruled in favor of the French distributor of Israel-based SodaStream in a lawsuit charging the pro-BDS group with stating that SodaStream products were being illegally sold in France.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-french-ngos-and-palestinian-authority-behind-bds-pressure-on-orange/2015/06/07/

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