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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces’

African-American Converts Make Aliyah to Israel

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

“We will be a part of something so big—it is unthinkable to me,” Tracie Beavers said three-quarters of the way through a nearly 12-hour flight last week.

The Columbus, Ohio, mother of three was on her way to Israel, making aliyah with the support of the Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) agency.

Tracie’s journey is an unlikely one that began about a decade ago, peaking in 2013 and triumphing when she boarded the plane to Israel. Tracie and her husband Aaron are both African-American converts to Judaism. Their long-winding path to the Jewish homeland began a generation ago with Aaron Beavers’ father, who “changed his lifestyle” when he discovered Torah, said Tracie.

Aaron’s father infused in him a love of yiddishkeit, though he never converted his wife or children. Aaron Beavers was raised Christian, but nearly two decades later, he came to the same conclusion as his father—that Torah is truth.

In 2009, Aaron and Tracie decided they wanted to be Jewish. In 2013, they completed their conversion. They pro-ceeded converted their oldest children—Anayah, 8, and Gabrielle, 6. Chanan, 2, was born into the Jewish faith.

About a year ago, the family decided the next step was moving to Israel.

“If you believe something, you should do it as much as you possibly can. You should be as close to it as you can,” Aaron Beavers told JNS.org.

The family has moved to Bat Hefer, a community in the Sharon plain, east of the central Israeli city of Netanya. Aaron said he plans to be a plumber. Tracie will continue to stay at home with the children. A former member of the U.S. National Guard, she said she now hopes to volunteer for the Israel Defense Forces.

The members of the Beavers family were just a handful of the 221 diverse faces—all newly minted immigrants in the Jewish state—aboard the NBN charter flight on the El Al airline that took off from New York City’s John F. Ken-nedy International Airport on July 12. It was the 53rd charter flight in NBN’s history. Other organizational partners behind the flight included Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA.

NBN’s co-founder, Rabbi Joshua Fass, told the group prior to takeoff, “Returning to Zion is like dreaming. … It is a diverse group of Jews coming together for a common dream.” The other co-founder, Tony Gelbart, said each aliyah flight is as exciting as the next.

“For these olim (immigrants to Israel), it is their first time,” he said.

Aboard the plane were a four-month-old baby and a 90-year-old bubbie, as well as two sets of three-generation families. In total, there were 32 families and 95 children. NBN has helped more than 45,000 olim get to Israel since its founding in 2001.

The 90-year-old bubbie was Sue Friedman, grandmother of Rachel Azaria, a member of the Israeli Knesset for the Kulanu party. Friedman said she has wanted to move to Israel since she left Germany at the age of 13, years before the Nazis annihilated 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. She spent many years raising a family in Riverdale, N.Y., but infused in all of her children a love of the Jewish state. She is being embraced in Israel by 27 great-grandchildren.

“I am ready,” she told JNS.org. Friedman is now residing in an independent living facility in Ra’anana.

While there were mixed emotions in the air as families boarded the flight in New York, leaving loved ones behind in America and feeling unsure of what exactly the future holds in Israel, there was nothing but joy upon landing.

Israeli Christian Group Publishes Anti-BDS Guide

Friday, July 17th, 2015

The Christian Empowerment Council, an Israeli Christian group headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf, has released a new guide to help Christians better understand the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The 12-page guide titled “Test the Spirits: A Christian Guide to the Anti-Israel Boycott Movement” seeks to challenge Christian anti-Zionism “on an ideological level” following the “recent discussions concerning BDS in global churches,” including in the Mennonite and Episcopalian churches and the United Church of Christ.

The Christian Empowerment Council is focused on working to integrate Israel’s Christian community into the wider Israeli society and to support young Christians looking to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

The guide tackles a wide array of questions, such as “How does a boycott of Israel impact the church?” and “Does the Bible encourage boycotting nations?” In answering the questions, the book draws from both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

“As the spiritual leader of the Christian Empowerment Council here in Israel, it is my responsibility to encourage Christians across the world to think about Israel in Biblical and moral ways,” Father Naddaf writes in the introduction. “As you consider personally your own spiritual towards Israel, it would be prudent to consider these points. I pray God will guide you in great wisdom.”

IDF Designates Reserves Company to Provide Medical Care to PA Arabs

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserves company has recently been designated to exclusively provide humanitarian care and medical assistance to Palestinian Authority Arabs.  The particular company is comprised of medics, nurses and doctors who are trained to provide quality medical care and are able to function like a civilian hospital staff thanks to advanced and equipment and training.

Captain (Res.) Dr. Yishai Lev, the deputy commander of the company explained that the idea for the unit came from IDF soldiers themselves. “The idea of adapting the unit actually came from our soldiers who recognized the need for it in the field,” explained Captain Dr. Lev.

“This medical care stems from our commitment to the Jewish and modern value of human rights,” said Captain Dr. Lev according to a report in the official IDF blog about the unit. The IDF captain further emphasized that when people are injured, attention is not placed on whether or not the person is Israeli, but on the importance of people’s common humanity.

“We felt that medical care was needed for the entire population in times of need. Now, we provide first class care in a variety of situations: during and after riots, operations and even natural disasters,” elaborated Captain Dr. Lev in the IDF blog.

The reservists have been training to improve their ability to provide prompt treatment during high-stress emergencies and providing aid after natural disasters. The medical reservists have also been trained to provide both physical and psychological attention in such situations. Furthermore, Arab patients are also offered an interpreter and if additional care is required, patients can be sent for further medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.

The IDF company also works with Palestinian Authority medical institutions in order to help setup and develop PA medical infrastructure. “When people are in need of care, we can’t afford to be indifferent,” commented Captain Dr. Lev.

“My soldiers leave their families, children and jobs behind not just because they are obligated to carry out their reserve duty, but because they deeply understand the importance of fulfilling their mission and are happy to do so,” he further pointed out.

It is not unusual that IDF paramedics, Magen David Adom team up with Palestinian Authority police and the Red Crescent to together save Arabs injured in traffic or work accidents or medical situations in Judea and Samaria.

An IDF doctor saved the life of a Palestinian Authority baby last April 2014, when a mother brought her choking one-month-old baby from the village of Beitin located northeast of Ramallah to a checkpoint. An IDF officer saw the situation and immediately called an IDF doctor who arrived on scene with his medical team and ambulance to save the baby’s life. “The division headquarters received many phone calls from the villagers of Beitin who expressed their gratitude,” said the IDF doctor at the time of the incident, Sec. Lt. Ben Tzanani.

IDF to Place Four Elite Combat Units under New Command

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The IDF is placing its four elite combat units under a single commando brigade in the 98th Paratrooper’s Division.

The combat units Egoz, part of the Golani Brigade; Rimon, part of the Givati Brigade; Duvdevan of the Central Command; and Maglan of the combat engineering force will be under the new command to be headed by Col. David Zainy.

The new commando brigade will “improve joint operations of special forces in emergency [conditions]” and serve as “decisive front lines of the IDF against future challenges of the enemy,” said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

The famed Sayeret Matkal, which is under the direct command of the IDF General Staff’s Reconnaissance Unit, the Air Force’s Shaldag commando unit and the Navy’s Flotilla 13 will continue to operate autonomously.

Obama Trying to Make US Leftist Jews “Mainstream’

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A recent meeting between National Security Council officials and the left-wing Breaking the Silence group barely made headlines but was a significant move in President Barack Obama’s agenda to justify his view that Israel is an “occupier.”

It was President Obama who succeeded in removing AIPAC as the default representative of what is called the “pro-Israel lobby” by opening the Oval Office to J Street, the left-wing group that thinks being “pro-Israel” means accommodating Hamas, expelling 600,000 Jews from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and granting statehood Palestinian Authority inside Israel’s borders.

Calling itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” and with generous funding from far-left billionaire George Soros, J Street’s launch in 2008 coincided with the campaign and election of President Obama.

Since then, Obama has shifted farther and farther to adopt the Palestinian Authority view of Israel as an occupier, and of Jews in settlements and even half of Jerusalem as “illegal” and “illegitimate.” Listening to leftist Jews telling him what he wants to hear has strengthened his belief that the “peace process” is the panacea for the Middle East.

Obama also has grabbed every opportunity to twist Judaism into his vision of a religion that can used to support his agenda, and he has plenty of support from Reform Jewish leaders to become a modern Korach, the Biblical figure who rebelled against Moses’ authority by claiming that the entire Jewish community is just as holy as he is.

The end of the story is that Korach and his 250 followers were swallowed up in the ground, which opened up to bury them alive, and that seems to be the same fate for President Obama’s foreign policy, especially when it comes to any place in the Middle East.

Instead of accepting reality, he is trying to hold on to an illusion. Breaking the Silence is a new pawn for President Obama to use in his chess game to check Israel, and particularly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Senior White officials welcomed Breaking the Silence, which was formed by a disgruntled Israeli-American soldier whose agenda is the same as Obama’s. Both of them have adopted the Palestinian Authority  term  “occupation” to describe the presence of approximately 300,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria and another quarter of a million or so in half a dozen Jerusalem neighborhoods. Tens of thousands of the residents are from the United States.

Reform Jewish leaders , who call themselves rabbis, do not represent Judaism, J Street does not represent the pro-Israel lobby, and Breaking the Silence does not represent the views of more than a tiny minority of Israelis.

But President Obama is playing magician to try to show that all three groups are the Jewish establishment.

The meeting  between White House officials with Breaking the Silence was the first ever and was held only days after the anti-IDF organization staged an anti-IDF exhibition  with the sponsorship of the Swiss government.

The President shrewdly made sure the meeting would not be held in the White House, making it easier for him to get smart and drop Breaking the Silence before it costs him support from the real mainstream Jewish community that knows the Israeli Defense Forces separate Israel from annihilation.

Haaretz reported that the meeting took place “at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.” A good guess – and it’s only as guess – would be that those offices belonged to J Street or perhaps more likely the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, whose president Matt Duss arranged the meeting.

The group’s website states:

The Foundation for Middle East Peace was created in 1979…to promote a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through education and advocacy…. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [is] at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict….

In 1992, in view of the growing threat of Israeli settlements to peace, the Foundation introduced the bimonthly Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Breaking the Silence is trying to go mainstream. Obama’s “shared values” are more with the left-wing group than they are with the real mainstream in Israel and in the United States.

UN Releases The Schabes Report: Israeli Self-Defense a ‘War Crime’

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

A wave of disapproval, and perhaps resigned expectation rolled across most of Jewish Israel on Monday afternoon with the release of The Schabes Report (183 pages) by the “Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.” Professor William Schabes led the Commission, which included Mary McGowan Davis and Doudou Diène.

(The complete 34-page advance executive summary of the report can be viewed by clicking here.)

A Canadian professor of international criminal and human rights law, Schabes has been called “the world expert on the law of genocide and international law.” But Schabes was forced to resign in February 2015 after Israel publicly revealed that he had once been a legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization – a clear conflict of interest. Justice Davis took up the mantle of leadership for the time remaining to the Commission.

Everywhere Israeli soldiers fought in the summer of 2014 was Occupied Palestinian Territory according to the United Nations. But even the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was forced to admit in The Schabes Report that Hamas controls the Gaza region.

As such, even the UN Commission was inspired to refer to the region’s terrorist rulers as a separate governing entity (see item five, page three of the 34-page advance executive summary of the report.) However, the Commission failed to note that it was the population of Gaza who in 2006 democratically elected Hamas* – a terror group whose charter still documents its vow to annihilate the State of Israel — to rule the enclave.

Instead, according to The Schabes Report, anything the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza to conduct their counter terror military campaign against “Palestinian armed groups” was considered illegal.

There was no mention of the term “human shields,” nor was there any reference to the military activities by Hamas that had provoked the war. Oddly, the Commission blamed the “Occupation” by Israel on page five in item 14: “The hostilities of 2014 erupted in the context of the protracted occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and of the increasing number of rocket attacks on Israel.”

The Commission continued its rant against Israel in a similar vein on page seven, in item six:

“The most important characteristics of the hostilities of 2014 … [were those] that reflect new patterns, notably attacks by Israel on residential buildings resulting in the death of entire families; Israel’s ground operations, which leveled urban neighborhoods; and violations by Palestinian armed groups and authorities in Gaza, including their reliance on attack tunnels.”

The Commission flatly implied that Israel had deliberately set out to murder Gaza civilians and destroy as many civilian residential structures as possible; thereby swallowing terrorist propaganda hook, line and sinker if not in fact actually helping to write the script.

This, despite numerous, concrete satellite imagery and other photographic evidence to the contrary made public during the war by the IDF – all disregarded.

Here’s a snippet from page 12, items 50-52, from the executive summary of the report:

1. The extensive use by the Israel Defense Forces of explosive weapons with wide-area effects, and their probable indiscriminate effects in the built-up neighborhoods of Gaza, are highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks. Such use may, depending on the circumstances, qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime. 2. In addition, the fact that the Israel Defense Forces did not modify the manner in which they conducted their operations after initial episodes of shelling resulted in a large number of civilian deaths indicates that their policies governing the use of artillery in densely populated areas may not be in conformity with international humanitarian law. 3. The commission examined several additional incidents, including attacks on shelters, hospitals and critical infrastructure, in which artillery was used. The use of weapons with wide-area effects against targets in the vicinity of specifically protected objects (such as medical facilities and shelters) is highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks. Depending on the circumstances, indiscriminate attacks may qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime.

For the record, according to international law, residential buildings become legitimate military targets when used for military purposes.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/media-panic-over-rocket-alarm-in-golan-heights/2015/06/17/

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