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January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Haifa’

Oldest-Ever Graves Decorated with Flowers Found in Israel

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed 12,000-old Natufian society graves that are the oldest-ever proof that flowers were used for decorating graves.

The Natufian society is considered to be one of the first, if not the first, to reside in permanent villages instead of being nomadic, according to University of Haifa archaeologist Daniel Nadel. Carbon dating revealed that the graves were between 11,700 and 13,700 years old.

The graves were discovered in the nearby Mount Carmel area overlooking Haifa, with imprints of flowering plants, such as mint and sage, stamped into the dirt of the ancient graves.

“From [the Neanderthal] example until the Natufians,” a period spanning some 50,000 years, “there is not one example” of flowers decorating graves, Nadel and his team wrote in study published Monday in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

People may have been using flowers during the entire period, but “finding such flowers is very difficult” since they decay, Nadel added.

He based the importance of the use of flowers on evidence that indicates that the place of burial was dug out and that a thin veneer of mud, a form of primitive plaster, was used to cover the sides. Plants lined the bottom of the grave before bodies were buried, and scented flowers were likely chosen as much for their aromas as their appearance.

“There are hundreds of flowers on Mount Carmel during the spring, but only a small group provide very strong fragrances. It’s impossible that the Natufians didn’t recognize the smell,” Nadel explained.

Twenty-nine skeletons, all within a 160 square-foot area, were found several years ago, but meticulous research recently led Nadel to reach his conclusions. The impression from plant stems and flowers indicated that they may have been from sage and mint and other aromatic plants.

The researched were able to identify them under a scanning electron microscope.

Nadel estimated that the burial were very ceremonial because animal bones also were found in the cave cemetery.

“They didn’t just place the bodies inside the graves and leave,” he said. “We have to envision a colorful ceremony that maybe included dancing, singing, and eating. They may have hunted a few animals and had a big meal around the graves and then threw bones or meat inside.”

Like today, the grave flowers were intended both for those who died and for the survivors.

Iron Domes Redeployed to North

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

In light of the recent IAF activities in Syria, Israel has repositioned two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries to the country’s north.

One has been placed near Tzfat (Sefad), the second near Haifa.

Israeli Air Force Shoots Down Hezbollah Drone

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone approximately five nautical miles off the Haifa coast as it flew towards the Mediterranean Coast at a height of approximately 6,000 feet. No one has claimed responsibility for the attempted infiltration, but it is assumed that Hezbollah or an affiliated terrorist group tried to penetrate Israeli air space.

A gag order on the IAF interception with a missile fired from an F-16 jet was lifted approximately three hours after the drone was blown up in mid-air.

“Israel is prepared to deal with any threat posed from Syria or Lebanon in the air, land or sea,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the IDF announced the incident.

Last November, a drone managed to penetrate Israeli airspace and was downed only after it reached the southern Hevron Hills, approximately 15 miles northeast of Be’er Sheva.

The drone was identified over the Gaza coast. Security officials did not release additional information, and it was speculated – without any confirmation – that the drone may have been headed towards the Dimona nuclear facility but that the IDF electronically took over the drone and directed it over a relatively unpopulated area.

The infiltration also may simply have been an attempt by Hezbollah to test Israel’s ability to detect low-flying drones.

Thursday’s drone may be an attempt by Hezbollah to draw attention away from its involvement in Syria, where heavy casualties have been reported the past several days. Hezbollah’s intense fighting alongside loyalists to Syrian President Bashar Assad further endangers the spread of the civil war into Lebanon, dominated by pro-Assad and Hezbollah parties against fiercely anti-Syria parties.

Hezbollah is largely financed by Iran, and Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad desperately need each other. Once one of the links in the “evil of axis” falls, all of the regimes’ leaders will be in danger.

Six Killed, 16 Injured in ‘Failed Brakes’ Crash in Haifa

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Six people were killed and 16 were injured in Haifa late Wednesday afternoon when a run-away truck whose brakes had failed sped downhill and crushed pedestrians and at least five vehicles, some of which burst into fire.

The speeding vehicle was headed downhill and sped out of control for 600 feet, hitting people, cars and traffic signs, until it finally was stopped by a fence.

Last year, a young girl was the sole survivor of a crash that killed her parents and six sisters and brothers after the car’s brakes failed.

The driver of the truck in Wednesday’s crash was an Arab, raising fears that he carried out a terrorist attacks, but police have all but ruled out that possibility.

“At this moment in time we don’t believe it was a terror attack,” Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told The Times of Israel. ”We strongly believe it was an accident based on findings at the scene and eyewitnesses.”

Magen David Adom declared a mass casualty event, and screaming sirens of ambulances brought the dead and injured to Haifa hospitals after rescue workers extricated them from the debris and after firefighters were able to extinguish the flames.

The driver, as often happens when others are killed, did not suffer serious injuries. Police have detained him for questioning.

Chuck Hagel told Israel Supporters: “Let the Jews Pay for It!”

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Whether or not former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel will be nominated by President Obama to be the U.S. Secretary of Defense remains a guessing game.  Last week the rumor mill was working full steam, with confident announcements that the nomination would be announced “on Monday.”  We’re now closer to the next Monday and that announcement still hasn’t been made, but other ones have, and the picture of Chuck Hagel looks less and less attractive all the time.

According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon, during the late 1980′s, when Chuck Hagel was the president and chief executive officer of the World United Service Organizations (USO), he threatened to close down the Haifa USO Port because of financial concerns.  The USO is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides services and recreation to members of the U.S. military.

The Haifa USO Port was opened in late 1984, as the Sixth Fleet had begun making regular stops at the port since the late 1970s, and especially in the wake of the bombing of the U.S. Marine’s barracks in Beirut.  The Haifa USO was open 24 hours a day when U.S. ships were in port.

Hagel’s conduct regarding the effort to keep the port open shocked Jewish leaders who were part of a discussion with him about the matter in 1989, according to the Beacon‘s report.

“He said to me, ‘Let the Jews pay for it’,” said Marsha Halteman, director for military and law enforcement programs at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which led the battle to keep USO Haifa operational.

According to Halteman, Hagel’s behavior was clearly anti-Semitic.

“He essentially told us that if we wanted to keep the USO [in Haifa] open—and when I say ‘we,’ he meant ‘the Jews’—he said the Jews could pay for it,” said Halteman, who recalled being taken aback by the comment.

“I told him at the time that I found his comments to be anti-Semitic,” she said. “He was playing into that dual loyalty thing.”

Despite Hagel’s behavior,  a combination of congressional support, appeals from the Sixth Fleet, and the efforts of JINSA to raise substantial funds, enabled the Haifa port to stay open.  It was not until the fall of 2002 that the Haifa USO port finally closed for good because  of security concerns — this was the height of the Second Arab Uprising.

The Beacon report quotes a USO spokesperson as saying they have “no records of any discussion to close the USO Center in Haifa while Charles Hagel was CEO and President of the USO from 1987 to 1990,″ adding that the USO staff “are still working to determine when after 2000 the USO Center in Haifa closed.

But an Internet search uncovered an AP report from 1990 which clearly states that the port almost closed because of financial concerns.  An article from the Times of London reveals that the U.S. military banned its members from stopping at the Haifa port following the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen on October 12, 2000.

What is perhaps even more shocking – if true – than Hagel’s comments that Jews should pay for the Haifa USO Port is that, according to a conservative Nebraska blogger, Hagel once told an employee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Ally Milder, that she was a “[expletive] tool from AIPAC.”

Add to these latest examples of—shall one say—surprisingly indelicate behavior, the news that even such liberal politicians as outgoing Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) are “strongly opposed” to Hagel becoming Secretary of Defense, and it becomes increasingly hard to imagine that Hagel will get the nod. But if Hagel does get the nod, it is even harder to imagine that his nomination will survive the confirmation process.

Israeli Makers of Iron Dome System to Hire 150 Technion Students

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, makers of the Iron Dome short range missile  defesne and Wind Jacket tank protection systems will hire 150 students from Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa, according to a report by Globes online business magazine.

Approximately 1,000 applications for the positions are anticipated.

Chosen students will learn defense-specific engineering skills and work on the David’s Sling mid-range missile defense system, as well as the Arrow long range system.

Mashaal in Gaza Promises Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

If anyone needed more proof of the fact that Israel is losing the war against the Palestinians, this report should do the job.

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal made his first visit to the Gaza Strip—second in his life—on Friday, telling crowds he hoped his next visit would be to Jerusalem, Ramallah and a liberated Palestine, Ma’an reported.

According to Ma’an, Hamas denied seeking guarantees via Egyptian contacts with Israel that Mashaal would not be targeted for assassination in Gaza.

I tend to believe the Hamas claim. There was massive security in place for Mashaal’s arrival, with armed, black-masked guards from the Hamas military wing patrolling the streets in open trucks and motorbikes. But those would not have been able to stop a single, well aimed drone rocket from taking out the great leader. Because, let’s face it, the world has not yet forgiven Netanyahu for that last botched poisoning attempt on Mashaal.

Mashaal said his visit to Gaza was his “third birth,” referring to that attempt by Israeli Mossad agents in 1997 as his previous “re-birth.” Back then Israel had to give up serious assets, including the release of the Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, and sheepishly hand the Jordanians the antidote to save Mashaal’s life.

Mashaal stood in the open air, before a crowd of thousands, exposed and unafraid.

At the same time, Netanyahu was too fearful of enraging the world by taking out this arch murderer, adorned chief of a gang of thugs. Just as he was too fearful of going into Gaza to finish the job and topple the Hamas. Just as he’s starting to backtrack on his E1 threat. Look at Netanyahu and understand that we’re losing this war.

Accompanied by Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Mashaal announced: “I pray to God that my fourth birth will come the day we liberate Palestine. Today is Gaza. Tomorrow will be Ramallah and after that Jerusalem then Haifa and Jaffa.”

Sadly, this vision appears to differ from a recent statement made by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem (a center dedicated to the memory of the man who laid down the ground for the future of peace in the Middle East): “Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian state, but for peace to endure, Israel’s security must be protected. The Palestinians must recognize the Jewish State and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all.”

Mashaal is prepared to end the conflict once and for all, but in his own unique idiom, in a manner involving many Jews swimming in the sea.

“This is the most beautiful day in my life,” 27-year-old policeman Mohammed Abed told Ma’an. “I kissed him on the head.”

Mashaal, 56, had been widely understood not to have set foot in Palestine since he left his native Judea and Samaria with his family at age 11. But in his speech he indicated he had returned for a visit as a teenager in 1975.

The Hamas chief visited the home of the late founder and spiritual leader of the party, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

That would have been another proper moment for a rocket launch from several miles away – create two shahids on the same location. Didn’t happen.

“Sheikh Ahmad Yassin linked reconciliation and resistance. As Hamas leaders, and from Ahmad Yassin’s house, we promise to implement national reconciliation and end the division,” Mashaal said.

Kaboom – right in the middle of the lovely reunion – but it was not to be.

Mashaal visited the homes of Hamas military commander Ahmad al-Jaabari and his bodyguard Mohammad al-Hams, whom Israel assassinated on Nov. 14 at the start of its eight day war on Gaza.

He also visited the al-Dalou family home. Israel killed 10 members of the family, including four children and five women, as well as two of their neighbors, in an air strike on Nov. 18.

“All Palestinians will eventually return to their homeland. Khaled Mashaal is returning after a victory,” said veteran Hamas strategist Mahmoud al-Zahar.

Yes, a victory, they won, we lost, and we’re continuing to lose.

Mashaal will stay for a little more than 48 hours in Gaza, which Hamas has ruled since a 2007 war with Fatah that rules parts of Judea and Samaria.

Gaza City has been festooned with green Hamas flags and a stage set up, complete with a huge model of the makeshift M75 rocket, fired at both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last month.

And we did nothing to stop it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/mashaal-in-gaza-promises-today-gaza-tomorrow-jerusalem-haifa-and-jaffa/2012/12/08/

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