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July 31, 2016 / 25 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘IDF’

Suicide Bomber Turned ‘Peace Activist’ Refused Entry into Israel

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Shifa al-Qudsi was 24, a beauty technician from Tulkarem, when she was planning to blow up a supermarket in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya. Back in 2007, while still in Israeli security prison, she told Judith Miller that although the suicide vest that was stuffed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and various metal fragments, weighed close to 40 pounds, it felt “like roses on my shoulders. I was even more eager to do it after I put the vest on. Many would have died. No fence in the world would have stopped me.”

With that kind of a self professed reputation, is it any wonder that the same Shifa al-Qudsi was refused entry into Israel Thursday, when she wanted to attend the world premiere of a new documentary titled “Disturbing the Peace,” in which she appears.

According to the official press packet, “Director Steve Apkon’s documentary conveys a universal story about the human ability to see beyond the narratives which we tend to accept as reality, and challenging convention in the struggle for freedom.” In essence, the film’s protagonists liberate themselves from the war stories that no longer serve their purpose, because, let’s face it, most Israelis are not buying the Arab peace offers — in favor of an alternative narrative and a new vision which sees Israel giving up through peaceful means what it has been refusing to abandon in battle.

The special screening will take place Thursday at the Jerusalem Film Festival at 2:15 PM, by al-Qudsi’s brothers and sisters in arms who have not been barred by Israel’s visa authorities. The screening will be followed by Q&A with Stephen Apkon Apkon and the “Combatants for Peace” activists who appear in the film.

Al-Qudsi was arrested in a dawn raid at her home in April 2002, having been turned in by an Arab informer in the terrorists’ ranks. She was convicted and served six years in prison. After her release she joined the “Combatants for Peace,” a group of Arabs and Israelis who have served in the IDF and in terror organizations. “We – serving our peoples, raised weapons which we aimed at each other and saw each other only through gun sights – have established Combatants for Peace on the basis of the following principles,” their website states:

1. “We believe that the conflict cannot be resolved through military means by either of the parties.” (check)

2. “We call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the border of June 4, 1967, alongside Israel. The two countries will prevail side by side in peace, security and good neighborly relations.” Or, in other words, we insist that the agenda of one side (the terrorists) will be accepted over that of the other side (folks who served in the IDF). Totally evenhanded.

3. “Our direction is that of nonviolent struggle and we call on both nations to join us to achieve peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. We urge the political leadership to take bold steps to commence serious negotiations to end the conflict and desist from taking unilateral steps aimed at placing obstacles in the face of this goal and prolonging the conflict, including the construction of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, whose purpose is the perpetuation of the conflict and the blocking of any chance of real peace.” In other words, we’d like to have peace all around, but do remove those half a million pesky Jews from the homes where they’ve lived for the past four or five decades.

With so much peace and love, how could Israel refuse entry to Shifa al-Qudsi who merely asks the Jewish State to continue her unconsummated suicide bombing through non-violent action?

Which is why Combatants for Peace leaders Udi Gur and Mohamad Awedah released a statement saying, “Israel’s limiting visa policy for peace movements consistently encumbers the Palestinian voice calling for the end of the conflict from being conveyed to the Israeli public. Combatants for Peace Palestinian members’ voices are critical and non-violent. The Israeli public deserves to hear that change is possible, as Shifa’s process illustrates, and the attempt to silence her is meant to tear the two nations apart and bring despair — but we believe there is another path, the path of hope.”

And that “hope,” as always, is the hope of seeing the Jewish State disappear eventually from the map of the Middle East, as it will be swallowed up by the already existing three Palestinian states of Jordan, the PA and Hamas-Gaza.

JNi.Media

Israeli Leftwing Hooligans Attack Pro-Azaria Rally with Tear Gas

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

A group of extreme leftwing activists who identified themselves as “Antifa,” the Antifaschistische Aktion, a militant extremist extra-parliamentary network in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and other countries, whose stated goal is to “smash fascism in all its forms,” on Wednesday night attacked a rally of twelfth-graders and a few adults who were marching in support of the medic Sergeant Elor Azaria [who is on trial for shooting a neutralized terrorist] from the Habima theater to the Kirya, where the IDF headquarters are located. Among the injured in the attack was former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari who was evacuated to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

According to a police statement, the rally was attacked near the Kirya area by “five suspects who masked their faces, as one of them sprayed the marchers with tear gas.” The five attackers were eventually apprehended.

Ben Ari told Walla that “at the Sarona plaza we were suddenly attacked by ten leftwingers. They started to yell at us, they came with a megaphone and yelled, ‘Azaria is a murderer’ and attacked us with tear gas. They poured purple paint on my clothes, something acidy, my whole body was burning. I was smashed on the head with a stick. I’m suffering dizziness now. I hope the police will know how to take care of this leftwing hooliganism.”

Ben Ari accused police of incompetence in handling the attack, saying he had alerted them well in advance of the attack, after seeing the masked men approaching. He said police ignored his warnings that a provocation was about to take place.

The Antifa group boasted on its Facebook page Wednesday night: “Fascists who arrived in Tel Aviv to demonstrate support for Elor Azaria, the murdering soldier from Hebron, were received with a traditional antifascist reception. Kahanism is fascism. The army is a murderer. Those who kicked them away did well. And it’s not the first time. It’s interesting to know when will they learn.”

Ben Ari’s Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Might) group released a statement saying the attack Wednesday “crossed a very serious red line. Were the case reversed (meaning if rightwingers had done the spraying) all the knights of the rule of law would have been shocked and demanded police to apply the full wrath of the law to the rioters. We will not stop acting on behalf of releasing the soldier and hooliganism will not win.”

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir on Wednesday night appealed to the Attorney General to outlaw the Antifa organization. Ben-Gvir wrote: “There is no doubt that police incompetence regarding the activities of leftwingers is encouraging them to attack and to riot. If these were [rightwing organization] Lehava activists there is no doubt they would have been held in jail until the end of the proceedings.”

Ben-Gvir added, “At a time when the Shabak is investing the bulk of its efforts in locating 15-year-olds who walk around with magic markers writing slogans, it would be appropriate to take action and to outlaw the band of thugs who attack youths wishing to march in support of IDF soldiers.”

JNi.Media

Analysis: Ignorance, Malice Join Forces to Derail IDF Chief Rabbi’s Nomination

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

In yet another vivid proof that Israel may be the state of the Jews but is most definitely not a Jewish state, certainly not your grandfather’s Jewish state, Israeli media have drawn and quartered Col. Eyal Krim, the current candidate for the post of IDF Chief Rabbi, not over any black spot on his stellar resume, but over his views, which also happen to be the mainstream Orthodox Jewish views. It turns out that over the years the popular military rabbi has been asked many controversial questions, online and in person, to which he provided to the best of his ability what he believed was the Torah’s views on all these issues. Those views have been archived online, and so, when reporters were given their marching orders to dig up the dirt on the man who would be the next IDF chief rabbi, they came back with a treasure trove.

Many, if not all these “controversial” responses by Rabbi Krim can be easily explained within the context in which they were provided, but Israeli media, possibly among the top five most vicious on the planet, were not interested in context, they wanted hot quotes, and so, armed with ignorance of Torah learning and the flame of hate for religious Jews burning in the heart of every self-respecting leftwing reporter, hot quotes they dug up: homosexuality is a sickness; women don’t make credible witnesses; all terrorists must be killed on the spot; it’s OK to segregate against non-Jewish workers; in special war circumstances it is permissible to rape a captive woman.

If you spent even one year in a Jewish school where they took out the Talmud a few times a week and taught you Jewish tradition, you’re probably aware that every one of the above issues should be learned in the context of life in an agricultural society some 3,000 years ago; vast differences in definition between Torah and modern terminology; the common rabbinic belief that a Jewish court should be invested in acquitting rather than convicting in capital cases; and an across the board rabbinic recognition of the supremacy of state law over Torah law in most issues. But if you work for, say, Ha’aretz, you’d much rather ignore all of those important subtleties and go straight for the kill.

Such as in the case of the “Yeffat Toa’ar” – the beautiful enemy captive, whom the Torah sets rules for dealing with (Deut. 21:10-14): When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.

Rabbi Krim explained that rather than to attempt to set impossible limits on a soldier in a time of war, the Torah compels him to follow a set of rules to be able to marry her. This was described in a headline in the Days of Palestine website as: “Israeli rabbi: Israeli soldiers can rape Palestinian women.” And leftwing pundit Yossi Gurvitz elaborated: “[Krim] came up with a new military doctrine, which replaces Napoleon’s: an army marches on its phallus. According to this logic, perhaps the IDF should appoint to each unit not just a supply officer, but also a Comely Woman Officer (CWO), to make certain no soldier is left unsatisfied.”

The facts that everything Rabbi Krim wrote and said had been offered with the understanding that Jewish halakha bows before the law of the land, and that a discussion of Torah laws does not a fatwa make, were lost on the left, and so the usual leftwing suspects took umbrage: Zehava Galon (Meretz) said that his “horrific, racist and violent expressions which permit the blood of women would not have passed in any case where a person is appointed to a senior position…” especially not the IDF.

And Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp), that intellectual oracle, told Channel 2 News: “The fact that the appointed chief rabbi even dealt, even if theoretically, with the possibility of raping women and advocating against women’s military service (he wrote on that, too) disqualifies him from service in the IDF.”

You got that? Even a purely theoretical engagement in a debate of a PC-locked isue such as rape should not be allowed in the IDF, “the most moral army in the world.”

It isn’t clear as of Wednesday afternoon Israel time whether or not the chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot will bow to the incredibly intense, relentless pressure on him from the left to dump Col. Rabbi Karim. Krim has been endorsed by just about every rabbi in Israel, including by one Reform rabbi. But the gap between Krim’s willingness to fearlessly entertain theoretical Torah issues and the leftwing media’s heated investment in seeing him dead may prove too much for the leader of that otherwise still very moral army.

JNi.Media

IDF Kills Ramming Terrorist During Raid of Homemade Weapons Shop

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

A security force comprised of IDF, Border Guard and police, that had raided and captured a weapons making facility in the town of Al-Ram, north-east of Jerusalem, identified a speeding vehicle that was approaching them in a manner that suggested a terrorist intent. The force, which felt that their lives were at risk, opened fire. One of the passengers in the ramming vehicle was killed and another injured. A third man was arrested and taken for a Shabak interrogation.

David Israel

Danon Warns UN Security Council Hezbollah Snuggles Bases Among Civilian Homes, Schools

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon warned the UN Security Council at a special meeting Tuesday that Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist group is aiming some 120,000 missiles at Israeli cities; a number far higher than the 7,000 rockets the group had in 2006.

In fact, Danon produced evidence that supported his claim that Hezbollah possesses more missiles in its underground arsenal than the entire European membership of NATO together maintain above ground.

Worse, perhaps, is the fact that the group has built many of its bases next to children’s schools — a human-shield tactic used by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

At the meeting, which was held to discuss the situation in the Middle East, Danon shared new intelligence which included aerial imagery of a village that had been transformed into a terrorist base.

“The village of Shakra in southern Lebanon has become a terrorist stronghold,” Danon told the Council. “One in every three buildings there is being used for terrorist infrastructure which includes launching pads for missiles, weapons caches and more.

“Nor has Hezbollah stopped here; it chose to situate its bases next to schools and other public structures. And in so doing, it has endangered innocent civilians,” he said.

Weapons are also being stored in civilian areas, according to IDF soldiers who spoke with the BBC. “Every mission that I’ve been on personally has been observing Hezbollah operations in a heavily populated area,” a soldier told the UK-based media outlet. “In a house with a family living in it, or in a house next door or behind it.” “It is the responsibility of the UN Security Council to evict Hezbollah from southern Lebanon,” Danon emphasized.

The IDF pointed out in an article published Tuesday on its English-language blog that Hezbollah has joined Iran in working to destablize the entire Middle East, with footholds around the world. “This Shi’ite militia from Southern Lebanon has grown into a sizable international threat,” according to Israel’s military analysts.

Hezbollah trains, funds and fights alongside armies and militias that promote Iranian interests and ideologies, exacerbating conflicts not only throughout the Middle East, but also by exporting chaos well beyond their borders.

Former national security adviser IDF General (ret.)Yaakov Amidror told the BBC on Tuesday that Hezbollah’s firepower is magnified more than ten-fold over what it was before the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

“Now they have more than 120,000 rockets and missiles,” Amidror said. “It’s a huge number that you don’t find in any country in Europe, for example. When you see all these efforts, you ask yourself one question: what for?”

Hana Levi Julian

Car Damaged In Rachel’s Tomb Attack

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Terrorists threw an improvised explosive device into the Rachel’s Tomb compound in Beit Lechem (Bethlehem) on Monday evening. It exploded in the parking lot and damaged a car.

No one was injured.

The IDF is searching for the attackers.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Mekonen: An Ethiopian Commander In The IDF

Monday, July 11th, 2016

“This is my country. I fight for it and I will continue to fight for it.”

Mekonen Abebe, a young Ethiopian shepherd,overcame financial, familial and racial hardships and rose to the rank of officer in the Israel Defense Forces. “Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew” is a forty-minute documentary produced by Jerusalem U that will inspire you to think about your Jewish identity.

 

His Story

Mekonen grew up in a village in the Ethiopian highlands. Despite the simplicity of village life, it was there that his grooming for leadership took root. His responsibility, as a child, for a flock of thirty sheep brings to mind the fact that the greatest leaders in Israel were shepherds. When Mekonen was six years old, his father, Abebe, led a group of thirty families on a trek to the city of Gondar in north-west Ethiopia in preparation for their move to Israel. Ostracized by most of the local Ethiopians, the family spent the next six years living in a shack with walls of mud and straw. The day before they were scheduled to move to Israel, Mekonen’s father passed away from a heart attack. But he had already given his son a moral compass and the strength to become a leader of his people.

Mekonen in Ethiopia

Mekonen in Ethiopia

Adjusting to a new culture is challenging for any immigrant. But for Mekonen, who was only twelve when he moved to Israel, aliyah was a double challenge: not only did he have to cope with the shock of a new culture, he also had to step into his father’s shoes and help his mother care for the family. After a difficult period, Mekonen joined Hodayot High School, a religious boarding school and youth village in the Lower Galilee. Home to approximately 200 students, many of them of Ethiopian origin, Hodayot is the last stop for teenagers who have stopped believing in themselves. Known for their dedication to their students, the staff didn’t give up on Mekonen.

When Mekonen was drafted into the IDF, his struggles continued. First Lieutenant (res.) Eden Adler, Mekonen’s commander in the 101st Paratrooper Brigade basic training base, understood Mekonen and stood by his side. In 2014, Mekonen became a sergeant during Operation Protective Edge. With several of the commanders of his platoon injured, Mekonen was forced into a position of further leadership. These experiences, still difficult for him to talk about, became the springboard that motivated him to join officer training school.

Mekonen’s return to Ethiopia gave him closure. The natural love for his childhood home was juxtaposed with the reality of ostracization: his father’s grave is located in a valley outside Gondar because the local Ethiopians do not allow Jews to bury their dead in the city.

When Mekonen graduated from the Bahd 1-IDF officer training school, it wasn’t only a triumph over the difficulties of absorption into Israeli culture. He was also capitalizing on his past, using the tools bequeathed to him by his background to become a leader and a fighter for his people. However, Mekonen’s battle isn’t over. His family’s financial plight is a reality he must still deal with. Every day he remakes the decision to move forward.

 

Aims of the Film

Founded in 2007, Jerusalem U is a film-based nonprofit organization. “We want to tell the story of the Jewish people and Judaism through film,” says Rebecca Shore, its creative director and the director of “Mekonen.” While Jerusalem U offers online courses, the organization is principally known for its films. “We want to make young Jews feel proud of being Jewish and emotionally connected to Israel. We share empowering stories about Jewish leaders that get the viewer thinking about their own Jewish identity.”

Rhona Lewis

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/mekonen-an-ethiopian-commander-in-the-idf/2016/07/11/

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