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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Israel to Host ATP Men’s Tennis Tournament

Friday, April 25th, 2014

The Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour will play this year in Israel, the first time that Israel has hosted an ATP tournament since 1996, according to the organization.

The tournament, offering $1 million in prize money, will take place at the Israel Tennis Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat HaSharon Sept. 15-21

“After 19 memorable years in St. Petersburg, the time has come for us to take the tournament in a new direction,” said Ruslan Linkov, tournament representative. “We are very excited about the opportunities that lie in Tel Aviv and look forward to holding a successful event in September.”

The ATP World Tour is the major international tennis tour for men.

Youngest Holocaust Survivor from Schindler’s List Tells her Story

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The following article was first published on the IDF’s blog site. Eva Levi, 75, is the youngest person alive who lived through the horror of the Holocaust thanks to the famous Oscar Schindler. Today, a few days before Holocaust Memorial day, she tells her story.

Hello, my name is Eva Levi. I was born in Krakow, Poland and when I was two-years-old, WWII broke out. When the war was over, I was eight years old.

During the war, I was deported from a ghetto to Auschwitz and then to Czechoslovakia. I am alive today and can tell you my story thanks to two people: Oscar Schindler and my mother. Today I am married and live in Israel. I have two children and three grandchildren…. My first granddaughter, Anne, is currently in the Israeli army. Because of this, I am telling my story to the IDF.

When the war started, I was such a little girl that I didn’t understand what was happening. I didn’t have a childhood at all; I didn’t have grandfathers or grandmothers, nor did I go to kindergarten or school.

However, though this was a terrible time in my life, I had two great fortuitous things: I was lucky to have my name inscribed on Oscar Schindler’s list, of which I was the youngest person, and I was able to stay by my mother’s side.

We were first sent to the Krakow Ghetto. From this ghetto, they took us to labor camps near Krakow and this is how I got put on Schindler’s List. They then wanted to take us to Czechoslovakia but after an accident, we were transferred to Auschwitz. We stayed in the death camp for three weeks, and lived in horrendous conditions. The fear of dying was always present and renewed every time we went near the crematoria.

A particular moment stands out specifically during my time living in this hell. One day, while all the women were together in a dark building, a female Nazi officer approached my mother and told her that I was to be taken away. My mother began to cry and scream. She wouldn’t let me go. But in Auschwitz it was impossible to refuse. My mother asked her where I was being taken and the officer promised I would be going to a good place. My mother did not understand. A good place? At Auschwitz? How could that be possible? But the officer again swore to my mother that I would be taken to a good place. And indeed, they took me to a very different place inside Auschwitz.

Nobody could believe it. The place was modern and clean, a rarity at Auschwitz where everything was dirty and black. At this new place there were only well-dressed children who almost looked good. I did not understand at all where I was. I felt that I may be in paradise. There were drawings on the walls, toys, clothes. The children were obviously sad because they were alone and without parents. It was 1944 and hunger was widespread, but in this place no one starved.

One day, the Nazis called us to come to dinner. The previous days we hardly ate. A slice of bread here, a potato there. That evening, they served us dinner and we ate so much. The next morning, once again, we had a real breakfast! The Nazis were so attentive that we thought that perhaps the war was over. For lunch, we were surprised as a table was prepared and we were dressed up.

We sat as three or four smiling kind men in civilian clothes entered. Each of the men sat alongside a child. I can still remember the smell of the potatoes they served for lunch. But we ate so much the day before that I could barely stomach anything. I was not hungry at all and I began to weep. The civilian who sat next to me asked, “What is the matter dear? Are you not hungry?” And I responded that no, I was not hungry. These men were actually from the Red Cross. All of the clothes, the food, the entire place was a false display of what was happening at Auschwitz. Crematoria? They weren’t seen. Lovely, well-dressed children who felt well and weren’t hungry, that is what the Red Cross Inspectors saw.

Brave Israel Police Stand Guard at Empty Yeshiva to Stop Violence

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Approximately 30 Border Police officers continue to live in the quarters of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, in northern Samaria, even though all of the students are away for the annual vacation during the month of Nissan in which Passover falls.

Border Police spokesman Shai Hachimi confirmed for The Jewish Press that the men are staying in the yeshiva dorms, but it is not clear what they are doing there.

They made big headlines three weeks ago by setting up camp at the yeshiva after some of the student allegedly were among a mob of idiots who stormed the tent of IDF soldiers who were guarding Yitzhar from Arab terrorists. The attackers- make that criminals – ransacked the tent and destroyed army and personal property as a reward for the soldier’s serving the country while others are free to learn Torah – or, as in this case, not only no learn Torah but also violate it.

Some teenager from Yitzhar also took out his anger against the government, armed forces and police by puncturing the vehicle of the commander of the IDF Brigade in the area.

The vandalism supposed was “price tag” revenge for the demolition of homes by police. The “crime” of the homeowners was that they built without permits even though some of the houses have been standing for years. But the destruction undoubtedly was justified on the basis of it being carried out in the name of human rights, just as price tag violence is committed in the name of God.

People on the yeshiva have accused the government of “price tag” revenge by sending in the Border Police, many of them non-Jews, to take expel people out of their homes and then tear them down. The invasion of the yeshiva was icing on the cake but not the last word.

Police on Wednesday searched the home of Yeshiva Ode Yosef Chai’s head Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, while he was not home, and confiscated a computer. The rabbi told The Jewish Press he does not know what the police were looking for but speculated the raid may have been connected to the controversial book “Torat HaMelech,” which states rabbinic rulings on when a Jew is allowed to kill a non-Jew.

Liberal non-free thinkers in the office of the attorney general have tried to make a case the past several years against several rabbis for incitement because they endorsed the book.

Regardless of the intentions of the police, the yeshiva remains under the control of the Border Police.

The student’s vacation ends next week, but the police have said no one may enter,

Yeshiva officials have charged the government with trying to shut down the yeshiva. If true, such a measure would only encourage more violence.

Just as the government showed up to take over an empty yeshiva and capture headlines to convince ignorant Israelis that the police have put an end to violence from Yitzhar, it can be expected that the yeshiva  will not open for a day. Maybe even two days, or three, just enough to make a big impression before the Border Police leave.

In the meantime, the Border Police must be bored sitting around all day sipping coffee, preventing non-existent students from committing violence.

If they stay there long enough, at least the Jewish bones, maybe they will learn a bit of Torah.

Terrorists Greet Hamas-Fatah Unity with Rocket Attacks on Israel

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza attacked southern Israel with two rockets Wednesday evening, just about at the same time that the U.S. State Dept. woke up out of a stupor and managed to say it was “disappointed” in the unity announcement by Hamas and Fatah earlier in the day.

The missiles exploded in open areas near the Gaza security fence and in the Sha’ar HaNegev area, which includes the town of Sderot and surrounding farming moshaviim and kibbutzim. No injuries nor property damage was reported.

Earlier in the day, the IDF pre-empted a planned terrorist attack uncovered by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and carried out an aerial attack on a terrorist, missing the target who reportedly was riding a motorcycle in northern Gaza.. Several Arabs were wounded.

The rocket attacks, both those planned and the two carried out, sent a clear message, except to the international community that has long lost its senses of vision and hearing.

U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman old reporters at the daily media briefing that the United States is “disappointed” at the unity pact announced by Hamas and Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“The timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at the daily news briefing.

“This could seriously complicate our efforts. Not just our efforts but the efforts of the parties to extend their negotiations.”

Repeat: “This could seriously complicate our efforts.”

Not really, because the Obama administration complicated “efforts” from the word “go” nine months ago. “Negotiations” have been non-existent because Abbas has left nothing to be negotiated.

He simply has agreed to do Israeli a big favor and give it nine months to turn over 104 terrorists, many of them lifers, in return for nine months in which Abbas does not go to the United Nations for unilateral declaration of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

Following the announcement of the Hamas-Fatah unity pact, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cancelled planned talks with Palestinian Authority “negotiators” Wednesday.

As far as Abbas is concerned, the unity agreement does not mean that “talks” cannot continue. After all, what difference does it make that he has agreed to a unity pact with the rival terrorist group that openly states it wants to destroy Israel?

The joker is that Fatah, headed by Abbas, has broken agreement after agreement, most recently by saying it would go to the United Nations for recognition, but that seems to be okay with the Obama administration because, after all, it is Fatah and not Hamas.

Now that Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh have torn up the divorce papers and re-married, so to speak, Hamas is Fatah and Fatah is Hamas.

And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is jilted.

Kerry’s Talks Achieve Peace Between Hamas and Fatah

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Rival Hamas and Fatah factions reached a unity agreement Wednesday afternoon, the big success of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s nine-month Peace Talks that now have given birth to political Siamese twins, guaranteed to destroy the Palestinian Authority.

The outline of the agreement was reported earlier today here.

Hamas announced in Gaza, and Ramallah officials confirmed to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency, that peace between Hamas and Fatah will be finalized within five weeks, with elections to take place in six months.

Both rival factions agreed to release political prisoners that each side is holding.

Hamas and Fatah were unified in the Palestinian Authority administration until 2006, when the United States, as it is wont to do, blew it up by encouraging democratic elections that resulted with Hamas winning a majority in the PA legislature and making a fool out of then- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Slightly one year after the elections, Hamas and Fatah waged all-out war in Gaza. Fatah’s American-trained troops, those who remained alive, scuttled out like scared rabbits and jumped backed into their foxholes in Ramallah while Hamas took control of Gaza and continue its successful effort to its subjects deeper into hell.

Previous unity agreements have fallen flat on their terrorists’ faces, but this time it doesn’t matter  because the announcement itself, less than a week before the official end of Kerry’s nine-month charades, leaves Kerry only being able to announce that he unwittingly really has succeeded in achieving a peace agreement. Given the upside-world today, it would not be a wonder if he gets a Nobel Prize for his efforts.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett reacted to the anticipated unity agreement with the most superfluous statements of the year.

Lieberman said, “It is impossible to make peace with both Israel and Hamas, a terror organization that calls for the destruction of Israel,” and Bennett called the unity an “alliance of terror.”

More interesting will be the reaction of the Obama administration, starting with Wednesday’s daily press briefing at the U.S. State Dept., whose spokeswomen certainly are meeting with Kerry to figure out to get out of the trap the entire administration has set for them by hardly even mentioning the word “Hamas” the past nine months.

As Kerry would say, “’Poof,’ and it is gone.”

“Poof” is gone, but Hamas is around and kicking, when it is not shooting.

Basem Naim, a foreign affairs adviser to de facto Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was quoted by The Washington Post two months as saying, “Any talks that do not take Gaza into consideration will fail. Obama sees Gaza as a side issue, and he believes that Gaza and Hamas are not at the center of things, because we are not participating in these negotiations. This reflects a kind of naiveté, for the success or failure of all efforts depends on Gaza.”

What, Obama naïve?

How could that possibly be?

He has a grand strategy, just like all his other failed strategies for a new Middle East. Kerry was to hammer out a “framework” for peace, entangling Israel into a web it could not get out of, and then bringing in Hamas with some fancy doubletalk to tie the noose. President Barack Obama, during his visit to Israel and Ramallah last year said, “If there is a model where young Palestinians in Gaza are looking and seeing that in the West Bank, Palestinians are able to live in dignity, with self-determination, that’s something that the young people of Gaza are going to want.”

As in the story of Purim, he made a noose for himself.

Fatah Official’s Family Disowns Him over Censure of Murder of a Jew

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The Gaza family of the Palestinian Authority minister who condemned the murder of an Israeli policeman by Arabs several hours before the Passover Seder has disowned him, according to Gatestone Report.

Mahmoud al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, had told a group of Israeli lefties visiting in Ramallah, “We reject all forms of violence… Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed.”

The reaction throughout the Palestinian Authority was so furious that al-Habbash later said – long after the lefties were gone – that he wasn’t being so extreme as to actually condemn the killing of the police officer, Baruch Mizrachi, whose pregnant wife and one of their children were wounded in the shooting attack. “I didn’t use the word condemn. I only said that the Palestinian leadership rejects all acts of violence,” he told a television station in Ramallah.

But the damage had been done. What Palestinian Authority in his right mind would condemn killing Jews when Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that Israel release all terrorists and other prisoners from jail?

The al-Habbash clan in Gaza said, “We are proud of the heroic operation in Hebron and of every man and child fighting against the occupation. We disown him and anyone who embraces the despicable Israeli enemy.”

Fatah leader Mansour al-Sa’di called “for lifting his [al-Habbash's] diplomatic immunity and for prosecuting him immediately for his administrative, financial, and political corruption. We also call on President Abbas to fire him immediately from the Palestinian cabinet.”

Gatestone Report’s Khaled Abu Toameh also stated that within minutes after the al-Habbash’s condemnation, “A photograph of the minister, dressed up as a Jewish rabbi, appeared on many Palestinian websites, making him the public’s number one enemy.”

2 Tortured Bodies Found Dumped in Slaviansk, Ukraine

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, according to numerous media reports.

One has yet to be identified.

Israeli-American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was kidnapped on Monday by armed gunmen working for the self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk. He is being held hostage in the eastern Ukranian city, now under pro-Russian rule. Mr. Ostrovsky, who works for the HBO-owned Vice News media outlet, has not been seen or heard from since his capture.

The second was allegedly identified in a preliminary investigation as that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the ruling Ukrainian Batkivshchyna party. Mr. Rybak was kidnapped last Wednesday by terrorists in Horlivka. His body was found in the Seversky-Donets River. Mr. Rybak served as a local council member in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk.

Although the identification has yet to confirmed, Ukrainian interim President Oleksander Turchinov said in a statement to media that at least one of the bodies appeared to be that of Mr. Rybak. Turchinov called for an anti-terrorist operation to be relaunched in Ukraine.

Despite efforts by fellow journalists to determine his status and condition, journalist Simon Ostrovsky has not been seen since.

The Israeli government did not respond to phone calls and an email from The Jewish Press asking for a comment on the situation.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Monday, that the U.S. believes “there’s a strong connection between Russia and the armed militants that we’ve seen in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and other places… what we see in the photos that have been, again, in international media, on Twitter, and publicly available, is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We’ve said that publicly a countless number of times.”

Psaki added that Secretary of State John Kerry had called on Russia to speak out against the seizing of journalists and other innocents as hostages.

It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

It’s that time of year again — the Fatah terror faction led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has for the ‘nth’ time managed to reach a “reconciliation” with the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza.

The two sides agreed Tuesday evening after talks in Gaza City to form a unity government “within the next five weeks,” according to an announcement by officials on both sides released Wednesday.

But Hamas is unwilling to negotiate with – or for that matter, even recognize the existence of – the State of Israel.

So the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which represents the PA in all its affairs at the United Nations (UN), and thus the PA, meaning Mahmoud Abbas – who heads both – must choose who to take to the prom.

Will it be Hamas? That fickle friend who makes deals every Monday and Thursday, and backs out at the last minute every time the signature page arrives on the desk?

Or will it be Israel, which will certainly mean he will have to sit down this time in earnest at the negotiating table, and actually get down to business?

Either could mean his death.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said bluntly in response to Wednesday’s announcement that Abbas had reached the crossroads.

“Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he is moving into peace with Hamas. He has to choose. Does he want peace with Hamas, or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far, he hasn’t done so.”

The fact that Abbas has continually come up with new ‘preconditions’ to extend the negotiations with Israel beyond the April 29 deadline makes it clear that he wants a way out of the talks that will leave him blameless.

That is a fantasy, since no leader can lead without taking responsibility for his actions.

Netanyahu proposed a plan for extension of the talks – taking a risk that enraged a substantial percentage of the population and its leadership – but Abbas so far has apparently turned his nose up at the offer.

Abbas knows Israel’s red lines but seems determined to stomp across them regardless of the price his people will inevitably pay.

Ultimately, his inability to decide a course on which to steer his people will be his downfall and, tragically, theirs as well.

“Yesterday the Palestinian Authority discussed dismantling,” noted Netanyahu in meeting with reporters. “Today it is mulling uniting with Hamas. Let them decide whether to dismantle or unite.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/its-prom-time-and-abbas-must-choose-a-dance-partner-israel-or-hamas/2014/04/23/

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