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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Katif’

PA Game Plan Is to Conquer Judea and Samaria with 750,000 Olive Trees

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority has announced it will plant 750,000 trees in Judea and Samaria, enough to make a land grab in all of “Area C,” which officially is under Israeli sovereignty.

The tree-planting is ostensibly meant to replace those allegedly damaged by Jews, but that number is only 4,000, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

Caretaker Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said at the 13th annual Olive Harvest Festival in Bethlehem on Saturday that planting trees is important to jobs and economic development.

However, planting that many trees would not be good for the economy or for olive orchard owners because the astronomical number would flood the market and drive down prices.

The announcement in fact marks the beginning of a massive land grab that has been slowly underway for 15 years, with the helping hands of the Defense Ministry, the IDF and the Civil Administration.

The strategy has been to encroach on what used to be Jordanian government land that came under Israeli authority in the Six-Day War in 1967. Virtually all of the land south of Hevron, and a large portion in Samaria, north of Jerusalem, never has been under any private ownership. The Turkish authorities in the Ottoman Empire often divided up the land among their friends, without any official title.

The situation remained constant under Jordanian rule, which was even more of an occupation than that allegedly exercised by Israel. The Arabs refused to accept the United Nations Partition plan that would have created a Trans-Jordan country over most of what is now Israel. After they lost the war to destroy Israel, Jordan, without U.N. approval, took over most of Judea and Samaria and administered it just as Israel does today, although with far less interest in its development.

After 1967, Israel used some of the government land for new Jewish communities, but most of it remained barren. Arabs generally were not interested in expanding – until they saw Jews settling around them.

After the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Israeli government and particularly the Civil Administration, acted to defend Arabs who decided to plant on government land, even where Jews already had farmed it for years.

Organizations such as the lofty-sounding Rabbis for Human Rights, along with foreign leftists and anarchists of the International Solidarity Movement, literally worked for the Arabs and uprooted trees that had been planted by Jews and replaced them with saplings on behalf of the Palestinian Authority Arab comrades.

I have previously reported that I was eyewitness to this phenomena several times, and each time the military and Civilian Administration ruled in favor of the Arabs, even though there is no legal ownership.

A quick math exercise shows that 750,000 olive trees will more than cover Area C, which covers approximately 500,000 acres, including thousands of acres that are not suitable for olive trees. It would result in overcrowded orchards where the trees could barely survive, if that. The recommended density is approximately 100 trees per acre.

Even if the 750,000 trees were to be distributed over the entire 1.5 million acres of Judea and Samaria, including  Areas A and B under total or partial Palestinian Authority control, there would be plenty of trees left over.

The political result, and the mathematical result, is that the PA with European Union money, has found the ultimate weapon. Once the PA surrounds Jewish communities with Arab farmland, which it will claim has been theirs since Biblical times, Tzipi Livni can simply sit back in her armchair and wait for terrorists to make life miserable for the Jews and create a new version of Gush Katif.

In that scenario a decade ago, Jewish woman, men and children were killed and wounded right and left, leaving the government and the chorus from foreign and local mass media to come to the conclusion that, “Yes these Jews really are the ‘salt of the earth’ but let’s expel them for their own good.”

A personal note to Tzipi: Remember, you live in northern Tel Aviv.

Remember that after the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, you and your cronies said Hamas would not attack again.

Remember, Tzipi, the government let southern Israel suffer from missile attacks but woke up when Tel Aviv was threatened.

Niso Shacham Quitting Police Following Sexual Assault Indictment

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The former police commander for the Jerusalem district, Niso Shacham, told Police Commission Yochanan Danino that he will be quitting the police force. If he didn’t quit,, it was expected that he would have been fired in the coming weeks.

An indictment was filed against Shacham a few days ago, for sexual harassment of his subordinates, indecent assault, fraud and breach of trust, following an investigation and charges against him that began last year.

Shacham had relations with at least eight significantly younger and lower ranking female police officers. He was indicted for indecent acts on 2 officers, and sexual harassment of a third.

Shacham first came into the general public’s eye eight years ago, after he was caught on video, vulgarly giving orders to his policeman to use excessive force on the non-violent, unarmed civilians who had gathered in Kfar Maimom to protest the upcoming expulsion from Gush Katif.

He was not punished then for his actions, and was eventually promoted to be the Jerusalem Police Commander.

Was Desperate Gaza Man, Ready to Sell His Daughter, Once My Boss?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

This story happened today, Thursday, but it goes back 30 years, when this writer was a greenhorn in Israel, trying to learn the Israeli culture.

A Gaza man was reported on Thursday to be prepared to sell his six-year-old daughter because he is so desperately poor.

“Hani al-Hadidi, 33, a construction worker from Gaza’s al-Shajaiya neighborhood, says he is struggling to provide for his wife and five children,” the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported. “No one dares to sell his children, but the hard situation we live in has forced me to make such a decision.”

The news site, closely affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, naturally followed this description of al-Hadidi’s dire state with the comment that Gaza “has been under a under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt since 2007.”

Now let’s go back 30 years to my greenhorn years, when I was trying to get the hang of Israeli culture after parachuting into Israel from planet America in October 1983.

By December, I was volunteering on the Jewish community of Atzmona in Gush Katif, which at that time was located a few hundred feet away from Rafiah. Even back then, Atzmona residents told me it was a drug smuggling capital.

I worked building greenhouses for a Jewish farmer named Chaim, but my foreman was Ahmed. That’s right, “Ahmed,” from Khan Yunis in central Gaza.

He had six children and told me life was good, he was making a decent living working for Chaim and that he could care less about politics.

Gaza’s few thousand Jews shopped in Khan Yunis and Gaza City for cheap vegetables and clothes. The Egged bus I took, when traveling north, rolled peacefully along the main drag through Gaza City.

Tens of thousands of Gaza Arabs worked in Gush Katif farming communities and in construction in the rest of Israel. Gaza was under Israeli control, but municipalities were run by Arabs, who – pardon the expression – never had it so good.

The unemployment rate in 1984, as seen in the chart below, was a miniscule 0.9 percent while it was four times that number for Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

I left Gush Katif in 1984 to learn more about other parts of Israel.

Three years later, an Arab in Gaza City stabbed an Israeli to death while he was shopping there. The following day, after four Arabs were killed in a traffic accident in Gaza, unfounded rumors spread the libel that Israelis had killed them as an act of revenge.

Arab blood was boiling, and the violence spun out of control, with a firebombing of an IDF patrol, mass rioting, blocked roads and tire burnings.

The Intifada was born and the unemployment rate began to rise.

In 1986, it was only 1.5 percent. By 1988, it climbed to 2.3 percent and then 3.8 percent in 1990.

Jews were thinking twice about employing Arabs because of terrorist attacks. In 1992, the jobless rate soared to 12 percent.

In the early 2000s, when Arabs were murdering Jews left and right, Arabs found themselves out of work not only in Gush Katif but also in the rest of Israel.  The unemployment rate soared to 50 percent  by 2003 and is estimated at more than 30 percent today.

Thirty years have passed since I worked for Ahmed in Khan Yunis.

I do not know Hanai al-Hadidi, the man who is ready to sell his daughter so she can eat and the family can have some income.

Maybe he is Ahmed’s son. Maybe not.

One can argue that money is not everything and that Arabs were deprived of their political rights, but the other half of the truth is that they had even less rights under Egyptian rule. The difference is that under Israeli rule, they can blame the Jews. If they had blamed Egypt, their lot would have been worse and they would not have gotten any sympathy from the anti-Zionist world, especially UNRWA, which has built up an empire than keeps more than half of Gaza’s population in bondage.

The facts are there, as they always have been there, but they are not facts that John Kerry want to see.

Is there anyone out there who can connect the dots between Ahmed and Hanai al-Hadidi?

Here’s How the IDF Blows up a Terrorists’ Tunnel (Video)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The aftermath of a controlled explosion of a terror tunnel into Israel from Gaza looked like a mammoth counterterrorist bombing, but no one in the Gaza Belt area is breathing easier because who knows how many other tunnels have not been discovered?

The IDF revealed on Tuesday that the tunnel, containing several barrels of explosives, reached Israel from central Gaza, near what used to be Gush Katif before the Sharon government expelled all Jews from Gaza and then withdrew all soldiers. Hamas immediately demolished remaining greenhouses and turned the ground into training camps for terrorists.

Last week, another tunnel was discovered reaching Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, but it has not yet been destroyed.

The tunnel that was blown up, as seen in the video below, was built with 500 tons of cement arches and was “extremely advanced and well prepared,” said Gaza commander Brig. Gen. Michael Edelstein.

The government woke up after the discovery of the second tunnel and decided that maybe it was not such a brilliant idea to allow building materials, such as cement, to enter Gaza. Maybe, just maybe, Hamas and other terrorist organizations will use the cement for non-peaceful purposes.

If Israel was under pressure from the United States, as usual, to ease restrictions on what can enter Gaza, it is just another example of the U.S. government – and it was true under Bush just as it is true under Obama – acting as authority for Israeli security without taking any responsibility.

If the terrorists had succeeded, God Forbid, in blowing up a few soldiers and a Jewish town, well, that’s the price of peaceful hallucinations in Foggy Bottom.

The IDF knows there still are dozens, if not hundreds, of terrorists’ tunnels remaining in Gaza,. It knows the location of some of them because after every rocket attack or mortar shelling on Israel, the Air Force immediately bombs a “weapons storehouse” or a “terror tunnel.”

Gen. Edelstein told reporters, “Yes. There are [more tunnels]. We are looking after them and we will do what we need to do in order to meet those threats — either here or in the Gaza Strip.”

That is what he said, but that is not the way the IDF has acted in the past. The government and military’s attitude to terror tunnels reflects Western thinking of dealing with terrorist organizations as if they were run by the State Dept., which enjoys talking to itself.

The latest tunnel that was discovered will be blown up because it was obviously a clear and present danger to Israelis, but no one the Defense Ministry has ever explained why there are no orders to the IDF to blow up all of the other tunnels that are known to exist. If the IDF were to be too aggressive, it might upset the United Nations.

Gen. Edelstein tried to reassure Gaza Belt Jews by saying that the military considered the construction of the tunnel an “extreme violation” of the ceasefire following the Pillar of defense counter terrorist operation last year.

It is nice of the military to consider it a “violation.” Maybe it will complain to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry? Maybe it will complain to the United Nations?

Even better, or worse, maybe it will complain to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas?

Jews in southern Israel have heard the refrain “The IDF will do whatever necessary to defend the citizens of Israel” so often that it does not even go in one ear anymore.


 

Torah Is the Highest Value

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Amidst recent reports of rock attacks in the world’s holiest city, worshippers attacked at one of Judaism’s holiest sites, and Jews arrested minutes before Yom Kippur, one finds inspirational news involving the chief rabbi of Tzfat.

Through administrative “distancing” orders that deny due process, the military has by another name expelled several Jews from their homes in Yehuda and Shomron. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu recently stated that such an order “contradicts the word of G_d” and is “worth less than the dust on the ground.”

Such remarks will cause discomfort if not disquietude or worse among certain religious Zionists; for what Rabbi Eliyahu has done is articulate the source of a Jew’s ultimate loyalty. By contrast, in 2004 concerning the planned destruction of Gush Katif, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin stated in remarks more pagan than Judaic, “Refusal to obey an order given by the government is tantamount to a giant step toward civil war.”

Here’s a point of clarification for those who make that step-toward-civil war claim anytime refusal of orders comes up: When the government expels Jews from their homes and gives that land to neo-Nazis, there’s already a civil war going on. Ditto for the various aggressions the state has perpetrated against religious citizens.

Specific to Gush Katif, lest one forget what the attitude of Rabbi Riskin and such enabled, consider the words of Rabbi Dr. Hershel Reichman in 2009: “The truth is that the Gush Katif pogrom, which was perpetrated by the Jewish government, displaced and destroyed many more Jewish homes and synagogues than all the Arab attacks since 1948 did.” (See 15:00 here.) Patriotic soldiers like Avi Bieber, Chaim Atar, and members of the Golani Brigade should be remembered for their quintessentially Judaic refusal to aid this evil.

That there is even a debate in the religious sector about obeying such orders reflects a warping of core values. Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of Machon Shilo has stated in this regard:

“The question really should be not whether a soldier can follow an order which is opposed to what the Torah says. The question should be: How could anyone who defines himself as a Torah Jew for one moment imagine that the soldier must follow such an order? That’s the real question.” (See 45:20 here.)

Over thirty years ago, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l addressed such pernicious trends. “Emotionally, I feel Zionism—religious Zionism—has replaced Torah,” he stated in 1977, elaborating as follows:

Memshalah and malchus are Divine attributes. Political government is thus only a compromise with a necessary evil…[T]o consider statehood as the highest achievement and most precious possession of man is again abominably pagan and a folly. A state is a relative good, by far not an absolute one. To say that Judaism has existed throughout the ages for one purpose only, namely to establish the State of Israel, is sheer madness, for to equate Judaism with statehood is blasphemy.”

The following year, Rabbi Soloveitchik likewise observed in a Yom Ha’atzmaut discussion with students at Yeshiva University:

“The highest good in our hierarchy of values is one: HaKadosh Baruch Hu, and our special relationship we have to Him, which expresses itself in observance, a unique morality, and a unique and singular way of life. This is the highest value, not the state. It has never been. The highest value is the Torah, and our specific relationship to HaKadosh Baruch Hu which the Torah then requires of us. There is no doubt about it. Yahadus does not revolve about the state, it revolves about HaKadosh Baruch Hu.”

These words are an ethical compass we need as much as ever. May the monotheistic consciousness of Rabbi Soloveitchik and Rabbi Eliyahu grow in Eretz Yisrael.

Hamas Sees New ‘Settlements’ as Homes for Arabs

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

The Hamas regime in Gaza now is welcoming the announcement by Israel to build new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, convinced that Arabs will take them over the property as they did in Gaza after the expulsion of Jews from the region in 2005.

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said the Jewish homes to be built “will be homes for Palestinian refugees after liberation, “according to the terrorist organization’s website.

After the Sharon government expelled Jews from Gaza, Israeli security forces destroyed the homes but turned over greenhouses and public facilities to Hamas, which turned them into training grounds for terrorists.

Netanyahu: Future Deal Must Pass Referendum

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that if a peace agreement is reached with the Palestinians, it would have to receive approval through a national referendum.

Netanyahu said Israel is entering the talks honestly, with the hope that they will be conducted in a responsible and realistic way, and, at least in the early stages, with discretion.

He added that the negotiations are not going to be easy, but emphasized that renewing the political process is a vital Israeli interest. He said Israel would have to strike a balance between preventing the creation of a binational state and the creation of yet another terrorist state under the influence of Iran.

Netanyahu pointed out that Israel’s negotiations partners must also offer concessions that would allow the Jewish state to maintain its security and national interests.

Several government ministers, including those from Netanyahu’s own Likud-Beiteinu faction have expressed their objection to the release of Palestinian terrorist from prison as part of the renewing negotiations.

Minister Israel Katz from Likud said that while he is pleased with the renewed talks, he would vote against releasing murderers, once the issue is brought up to a cabinet vote. Katz added that he also objects to the creation of a Palestinian state. Still, Katz sees the reopening of talks as a strategic achievement for Israel, which would afford it a better maneuvering ability.

Minister Uri Ariel of Jewish Home said he could not figure out how the Americans are demanding that Israel release murderers, while insisting on keeping Jonathan Pollard imprisoned.

Despite promises similar to Netanyahu’s, Israel has never had a referendum on any issue whatsoever. Indeed, the most recent episode of uprooting thousands of Jews from their homes in Gaza was accompanied by a campaign of deception on the part of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon over the issue of a referendum.

Initially, there was a consensus, at least on the right, that a major decision like the uprooting of an entire Jewish enclave would certainly have to go through a referendum. This seemed even more necessary after Sharon had been unable to receive approval from the majority in the Knesset for the move. In February, 2005, the Gush Katif decision was passed by a vote of 59 to 40, with 4 abstentions, not a resounding support for such a move.

Sharon refused to take the law to a national referendum, but did present it to the Likud membership for a party-wide vote. There Sharon’s proposition suffered a humiliating defeat, 59.5 to 39.7 percent, which prompted his desertion from his own party and the creation of the Kadima party.

Netanyahu, however, will not have Sharon’s wiggle room once a treaty is signed. A law passed by the Knesset in 2010 requires that any political deal that would require a retreat from disputed territories would have to be approved by a nation-wide referendum.

It’s getting interesting.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-future-deal-must-pass-referendum/2013/07/21/

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