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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

PA Demands Acceptance by Israel as a State without Peace Talks

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Palestinian Authority officials have stated that Israel is trying to “exert pressure” in peace talks by not agreeing to accept a document from Gaza with the letterhead of “State of Palestine.”

The document was a request from officials in Gaza to allow 190 residents to leave Gaza for medical care in Israel, including Arab hospitals in Judea and Samaria. Israeli military officials objected to the letterhead, and the patients were allowed to cross into Israel after “State of Palestine” was blurred out.

That would seem to the end of the matter, with an “all’s well that ends well” conclusion.

But the Palestinian Authority regime in Ramallah, along with its Hamas colleagues in Gaza, as usual tried to turn the issue against Israel, blaming it not only for blocking medical care but also for supposedly exploiting sick people for political purposes.

“This is a political decision from the Israelis to exert pressure in the negotiations,” a senior Palestinian official at the Gaza district coordination office told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

If that isn’t “calling the kettle black,” what is?

Besides all of the “core issues” on Jerusalem, so-called refugees and borders, the heart of the Palestinian Authority-Israeli dispute is PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s refusal to agree to a “State of Palestine” unless all arguments and issues are settled without any further demands.

The letter from Gaza was no more and no less than cynical exploitation of ailing men, women and children to “exert pressure in the negotiations,” to borrow the quote from the PA official.

Once Israel accepts a document from Hamas as being from the “State of Palestine,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can put it on a silver platter and present it to President Barack Obama. Once the “State of Palestine” is a fait accompli, the “core issues” fall like a house of dominoes because as head of an official state.”

Abbas can declare that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east and so it will be, at least on paper. He can divide Jerusalem, define Israel’s borders and go the United Nations to pass a resolution that UNRWA should send to Israel several million Arabs living under U.N. occupation foreign countries.

International wire services, of course, were not content to let their readers draw conclusions without biased information. Maher Abukhater is an “a Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah” and is The Los Angeles Times’ source for information for everything they know about Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

His “objectivity” can be understood by his former position as managing editor of Al-Fajr English weekly and The Palestine Times. There is not one former managing editor of any Israeli newspaper who reports for any major foreign news organization, or even a minor one. Let’s see The New York Times hire me to cover Israel.

Abukhater made sure that his readers in the United States know that “the PLO declared independence unilaterally in 1988 and was recognized as a ‘non-member observer state’ by the United Nations in 2012.”

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

The PLO declared itself an independent state, so that makes it one?

When Israel, declared by the United Nations as a full member and independent country, passes a law that  it is the sovereign authority over and in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, used by foreign armies to wage war in 1967, that is not acceptable.

Abukhater then hit his readers over the head with the hammer and wrote, “More than 130 countries today recognize Palestine’s existence as a state, but Israel refuses to do so.”

Olmert Plays Dumb: ‘Foolish Prime Minister Wouldn’t Make Peace’

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an address at Hebrew University Monday night, ” A foolish Prime Minister doesn’t make peace, and a prime minister who makes peace is no fool…. Nothing more important than a peace agreement between us and the Palestinians”

In a typically immodest speech, he also boasted that  Syrian President Bassar al-Assad ”knows he missed the opportunity of his life when he didn’t grab my offer.”

Olmert, already convicted one criminal charge, acquitted on two others and still facing open indictments, loves to talk, especially when he gets paid five and even six figures – in dollars, not shekels – for standing at the podium for a few minutes and opening his mouth.

He was given the opportunity Monday by Hebrew University to mark the publication of a book by a Hebrew U. professor and doctor of, what else, the university’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.

Olmert opined, “There is nothing more important, nothing that will change our lives so substantially, and nothing that could negatively impact our lives, more than the existence or absence of a peace agreement between us and the Palestinians, as soon as possible. The benefit for the State of Israel would be greater than on any other issue, and in all other areas combined, in the foreseeable future.

“Peace with the Palestinians would alter the relations between Israel and most Muslim countries, and turn the Middle East into a more stable, powerful, rich and successful region.”

Olmert insisted, “It’s possible to reach peace now, a peace that will secure Israel’s security, Jewishness and Zionism, the security of its residents, and its democratic nature, and also establish a Palestinian state as the national homeland of the Palestinian people. It’s possible to do that; you just need to reach decisions. That’s the job of leaders.”

Isn’t easy to be prime minister when you aren’t one anymore?

Let’s slow down a bit and understand Olmert. He offered Abbas almost all of land he wanted, but not all of it, and the Palestinian Authority refused it. Now we have Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister and he has offered Abbas less of what he wants. So if Olmert is implying that Netanyahu is a fool for not signing a peace pact with Abbas, what does that make Olmert?

Since “a foolish Prime Minister doesn’t make peace,” you have the answer.

If the ” absence of a peace agreement between us and the Palestinians” is such a bad thing, why didn’t Olmert just go one step further and give Abbas 100 percent of what he wants, as the Palestinian Authority now demands of Netanyahu?

What has changed? One thing for sure is that Olmert has not changed.

His comments have about as much substance as a college sophomore, unless Olmert is secretly acting as Netanyahu’s negotiator with the Palestinian Authority.

Olmert imaginary peace agreement  that “will secure Israel’s security, Jewishness and Zionism, the security of its residents, and its democratic nature” has no content, no conditions, no limits and no meaning. Olmert also is trying to establish the pro-Arab agenda as a fact by referring to a Palestinian state “as the national homeland of the Palestinian people.”

He is behind on his reading. The Palestinian Authority has clearly stated the “Palestinian  homeland” includes every inch of land in Israel where an Arab ever set foot. Yafo (Jaffa), Akko (Acre) and Tsfat (Safed) are just some of the cities Abbas wants to conquer by flooding them with foreign Arabs who would jump at chance to get out of the UNRWA prisons in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere.

Government Approves Bill to Annex the Jordan Valley

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

After almost 47 years in which the entire area conquered in 1967, other than East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, have remained a military occupation zone, this Sunday the Netanyahu government approved a bill that would annex the Jordan Valley.

The government ministers’ legislation committee approved a bill proposed by MK Miri Regev (Likud), to impose Israeli law over Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley. 8 ministers voted for, 3 against.

The committee chairperson, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, said the bill was irresponsible, and whomever supports it is irresponsible, too. She said it was meant as an assault on the government, since policy regarding the disputed territories is a government matter and should not be handled via private bills.

Livni added that the bills’ supporters wish to remain in the government despite the fact that it’s negotiating for a 2-state solution, and at the same time curry favor with the right wing “extremists.”

Did we mention already that she called it provocative and irresponsible?

Yesh Atid Minister Yaakov Perry said the Miri Regev bill to annex the Valley in the middle of a sensitive negotiation, days before the next visit of the American secretary of state is a provocation and a publicity stunt. Perry promised to appeal the bill at the Supreme Court.

In Israel you don’t have to wait until a bill becomes a law to appeal it – and in this way the judiciary can function as an active member of the legislator, despite the fact that no one voted for them, and that they were all appointed by their brother in law, who’s also a judge. Very traditional.

The Israeli media covered mostly what the left had to say about Miri Regev, but the website Srugim actually interviewed Regev, who said she was pleased.

“It’s an important bill, which delivers the message that the State of Israel will not give up the Valley settlements, the eastern security belt of the state,” she said.

A note of interest: the votes in favor of the bill came from all the votes of the Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Jewish Home. This may be an indication that the pro-settlements MKs will be able to turn it into law, especially if Prime Minister Netanyahu does not actively try to kill it – which he has done in similar situations in the past.

The vote today clearly means that Netanyahu gave his approval, tacit or complete, to the annexation bill, making the next Palestinian walkout threat a virtual reality.

Should they walk, Israel may be able to use it as an excuse to halt the murderer prisoner release.

Or Bibi will just kill the bill and we’ll all move on.

Satellite image of the Jordan valley.

Satellite image of the Jordan valley.

Update: Two Katyusha Rockets Hit near Kiryat Shmona

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

An eye witness reports that he saw two rockets fall in the Galil, near the Kiryat Shmona area at around 7 AM.

Update: Channel 2 confirms the report, and no injuries or damage are reported.

Five Katyusha rockets were launched, and at least 2 hit inside Israel.

The IDF says 2 rockets hit in the Margalit area, and the IDF shot somewhere around forty artillery shells at the rocket launch site in Lebanon.

Photo by: Nabu Katzav / NewsIL

Photo by: Nabu Katzav / NewsIL

Golan Heights Reindeer

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

According to GoIsrael, Odem Forest, in the northern Golan, is the home of a deer reserve, with many different species.

Nearby you can also see Rujum al-Hiri (Circle of Ghosts), a Megalithic structure about 5,000 years old that researchers believe was used for ritual purposes, burial or as an astronomy observatory.

And feeding reindeer?

Photo credit: FLASH90

Photo credit: FLASH90

EU Parliament Members Urge ‘Rethink’ on Judea and Samaria

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s attempt to ban funding of projects in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Height and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority is being challenged by 27 Members of the EU Parliament.

Aston’s guidelines are to go into effect January I, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to pull Israel out of the seven-year  EU Horizon 2020 project to which Israel is committed to contribute approximately $800 million.

In a letter addressed to Ashton, the MEPs, from across the political spectrum, urged the EU Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to reverse or at least soften the guidelines, the European Jewish Press reported.

Israel has taken part in EU research and development programs since 1996, including over the last seven years in which 1,584 Israeli researchers took part in more than 1,300 projects and received a total of more than $800 million in grant money.

This Sunday Tell Kerry: We’re Keeping Samaria for the Wine

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Quality Israeli wines used to only come from the Golan Heights, an area reminiscent of Sonoma County, California. But as different regions of the country have been busy developing their own unique brands and tastes, it appears that a renaissance of sorts has been taking place in the largest wine growing region, the Shomron, or Samaria, where Israelite kings and prophets used to roam the earth and, very likely, sample the local wines.

It turns out that, in recent years, the Shomron has produced a disproportionate number of award winning wines from its relatively young vineyards and abundance of boutique wineries.

The foundation of the Shomron wine taste comes down to the high altitude, the humid and warm climate and the heavy and limey soil. Ah, and there’s the breeze, blowing in from the sea and gliding off the Carmel Mountains.

Frankly, there are probably some secular Israelis, alas, who couldn’t care less whether this sacred land would go into someone else’s hands or stay Jewish. But giving up this amazing wine country—same as in the Golan—would be unthinkable to many of them.

Now, whatever your political views, if you wish to find out for yourself what’s the big deal about Shomron wines – they’re coming to New York, this Sunday.

Shomron Wine Tasting in New York City

Sunday, November 17, come taste award-winning wines from Samaria.

A Wine Tasting Reception is planned for 6:30 PM, following Sunday’s Israel Advocacy Conference at the West Side Institutional Synagogue (the original location was the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue—it’s been changed).

West Side Institutional Synagogue

120 West 76th Street

(212) 877-7652

Many of the featured wines have only limited availability in the U.S., because of politics—the boycotts on products from the wrong side of the 1949 armistice border also known as the “green line.” So Sunday’s reception is sure to draw enthusiasts of both great wines and of Israel, eager to taste and assortment of wines that consistently score at 90 and above.

Featured producers include Arnon, Mount Blessing, Psagot, Shiloh and Tura wineries, which have together brought attention and acclaim to this region by winning multiple high-level awards in the Vinalies, Zarcillo, Terravino, and Eshkol Ha’zahav competitions.

You can register for the conference and the wine tasting here. The cost for the wine tasting event is $100 per person, for an offering of a large variety of bottles priced in the $40-80 range.

The suggested donation fee for attending the conference is $18.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/somebody-tell-kerry-were-keeping-samaria-for-the-wine/2013/11/14/

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