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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

South Korea-Israel Free Trade Talks Wrap in Seoul

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Free trade agreement negotiations between Israel and South Korea wrapped up Thursday in Seoul.

Israeli negotiator Netta Bar El told reporters, “This agreement will be an important platform for needed growth and from which to promote trade between our two nations.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

A Soldier’s Mother: The ‘Times of Israel’

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

In general, I have never found that four letter words are more effective than…let’s say five letter words or six or seven. It’s always been how you use them, what meaning you create with them and yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the Times of Israel’s best recorded hits will go to those that use four letter words. It seems to be a measure of their journalistic talents…or perhaps a failure of it.

I met a friend in the supermarket today. We spoke of the tragedy in Kiryat Arba today. There are no good attacks, but there are sometimes particularly bad ones. It happened the day after you were in one place, the very day you planned to be there until something changed. You have a child the same age, or with the same name. Somehow, there are attacks that make us bleed more deeply, cry from the depths of pain.

This morning, I heard the first announcements. A terrorist jumped the fence into the Harsina neighborhood in Kiryat Arba and stabbed a girl – aged 16, they reported (she was only thirteen and a half…she’ll never get to be 16). “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” I said aloud in my empty car. I started to cry…I have to call Aliza.

Aliza is my youngest daughter. She is 16 years old. She studies in Kiryat Arba. I wasn’t worried about her. She was safe at home, in bed. My hands were already shaking as I pressed the numbers. By then, I knew the girls name, Hallel Yaffa, daughter of Rena. Aliza told me she was at least a year younger and not in her grade; I told her she was badly wounded. “Her mother is asking people to pray for her. She doesn’t have a pulse,” Aliza told me when she called back after speaking to her friends.

“I’ll pray for her,” Aliza said, “and I’ll pray for you.” Through tears and a broken voice, I told her I was fine and she didn’t have to pray for me. I had to go to a meeting. I had to pull myself together enough to smile and pretend. “I want to pray for you,” she answered, assuring me that she was fine. She knows me, my beautiful daughter and her calm voice helped me in more ways that I could ever write.

After the meeting, I drove to do a quick shopping and there my friend told me about the obscene headlines in the Times of Israel. Why was I surprised by their f*****g apathy to a young Jewish child who was murdered in cold blood in her bedroom?

Ah, her bedroom. You see, according to the Times of Israel, it’s really important to tell you where that bedroom is because, naturally, you can calm down. It only happened in a West Bank bedroom.

And she died. Did you know that? Apparently writing that she was murdered took up too much space. Or worse, it might get you to feel the tragedy more. She died. And anyway, she was in a West Bank bedroom, so really, she probably deserved it, right David Horovitz? Right, Sarah Tuttle-Singer? Right, Miriam Hershlag?

In one stinking article, to make sure you really understand where this terror attack took place…no, I’m sorry, it wasn’t a terror attack, it was a “stabbing attack”, these are the words they use:

  • West Bank settlement home
  • into the settlement
  • her bedroom in the West Bank settlement

And, if that isn’t enough, the Times of Israel wants to add some perspective. There have been 34 Israelis murdered since October 1. And then, wait for it, lest they be thrown out of the left-wing media consortium, they rush to point out, that “Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed over that same time frame, the majority of them while carrying out terror attacks, according to Israeli authorities.”

Well, I’m happy the Israeli authorities took the time to point out that a [VAST] majority of those 200 Palestinian were terrorists. Of course, if there were some that were not terrorists, it is interesting that the Times of Israel doesn’t bother to explain the important detail that the vast majority of those few who were not involved in terror attacks were in close proximity to an attack, but never mind. Integrity and fact have little presence on the webpages of the Times of Israel.

You know, there are days that the anger chokes you. Well, to the Times of Israel Staff, congratulations. I can only pray and hope that Hallel’s parents are smart enough not to waste their time reading the Times of Israel.

Times of Israel? Israel? You know, now that I think about it, you really should consider changing your name. You have no right to use “Israel” – you do not represent this country; you do not speak for it. You don’t even report about it.

A child was murdered today. In her bedroom. In a place she should have been safe. She was murdered by a 17 year old Palestinian. The news was wrong. She wasn’t my daughter’s age, but the murderer was. This morning, Hallel was murdered once by Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah and then she was casually dismissed by the “Times of Israel Staff” who wanted to make sure that you know that had Hallel been in Tel Aviv, Afula, Beersheva, Beit Shemesh, Raanana, and all the other cities and places that were hit by terror in the last few months, they’d care a bit more.

But she was a settler, Hallel Yaffa, daughter of Rena, who will be buried in a few hours. It is rare that I feel physically sick from reading the Times of Israel. It happens often when I read BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, etc. And I bet the Times of “Israel” would just love that because in their self-centered world they probably dream of being that big. But really, a body without a soul is worthless and a media outlet without truth isn’t much better.

The friggin’ Times of Israel deserves all the four letter words it can think to use. And most should be used today, for the staff of the Times of Israel.

As for the real Israel, today we mourn a beautiful girl who was murdered – not because she was in Kiryat Arba, but because she was Jewish. Where her bedroom was is not relevant; that she was in her bedroom, a place where she should have been save, is what matters.

Today, a Jewish girl of only 13 years was brutally murdered in her bed, in her room, in her home. The nation of Israel and those who speak for us, those who report what is happening here, mourn for the loss of Hallel Yaffa and pray that her memory will be blessed.

{ The author’s opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press}


Paula Stern

Erdogan Rebukes Gaza Flotilla Organizers for Undermining Israel Deal

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday criticized the Turkish charity group IHH for sabotaging his reconciliation with Israel. The Turkish president insisted the deal is good for the Palestinians, for Turkey, and for Israel.

Erdoğan spoke during an iftar dinner (the meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast) at the presidential complex in Ankara. He said that the flotilla organizers never asked his permission to sail to Gaza in 2010, when he was a prime minister, causing a needless diplomatic crisis erupted between Turkey and Israel.

Erdoğan’s frontal attack came after the Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH on Monday criticized the deal saying it amounted to acceptance of the Israeli blockade.

“We were already delivering the same amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza, but without making a show of it. Now we have Israel’s promise, all aid supplies to Gaza will be permitted from now on,” Erdoğan said. He announced that a Turkish ship with 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid is ready to leave for Gaza this Friday, noting that this will become a routine from now on, no need for showboating, so to speak.

Last Monday, after months of talks between the two countries, Turkey and Israel announced that a deal normalizing their relations would be signed. Under the deal, Turkey would be allowed to send humanitarian shipments to Gaza which would be delivered to the Asdod harbor in Israel, examined for contraband and trucked to Gaza; and Israel will pay $20 million in reparations to the families of the Mavi Marmara casualties.

IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation is a conservative Turkish NGO, whose members are predominantly Turkish Muslims, active in more than 100 countries. Established in 1992 and officially registered in Istanbul in 1995, İHH provides humanitarian relief in areas of war, earthquake, hunger, and conflict. The İHH holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2004.

Two IHH employees were detained for alleged links to al-Qaida, in a Turkish anti-terrorism police raids on January 13, 2014. An IHH spokesman said that police searched its office in Kilis, near the border with Syria, and detained one of its employees. Another IHH employee was detained in Kayseri after police raided his home.

The current president of the İHH, Fehmi Bülent Yıldırım, has been under investigation by specially authorized prosecutors in Istanbul and Diyarbakır for allegedly financing al-Qaeda through his organization. Yildirim also led a memorial service for Chechen leader Shamil Basayev in 2006.

Erdoğan also said that the normalization of relations with Russia and Israel is based on a “win-win” principle. “In other words, both Turkey and Russia must win, both Turkey and Israel must win,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdoğan had a phone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin, on the way to normalizing relations between the two countries, some seven months after Turkey had downed a Russian jet that it claimed crossed from Syrian into Turkish airspace despite repeated warnings.


Israel & India: Be Wary of Arabian Friendliness

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The good news is Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon will now be chairing the General Assembly’s legal panel that deals with counter-terrorism. The other day, the Danon candidacy for this post received “ayes” from 109 ambassadors out of 193 from the UN member states eligible to vote. Some analysts may be tempted to view this development as reflective of a growing positive mood among Muslim states towards Israel. They may argue the number of votes Danon got in the election could not have been possible without the support of some Arab states.

However, Jerusalem would do well to refrain from allowing any such apparent Arab positivism to cloud its strategic planning in future. Knowledgeable sources say the Arab states’ support, whatever, for Danny may not be treated as any good will towards Israel. Palestinian Permanent Observer to the United Nations Riyad Mansour has already been threatening around “the Sixth Committee will grind to a halt.” He has alleged Israel has won this election “only thanks to the efforts of the U.S., Canada, and Australia, which used all manner of blackmail and threats to guarantee a vote for Israel.” Mansour does not represent a full UN member state. He cannot vote at the United Nations. But his threat cannot be ignored in view of the Arab world’s well established linkages with Palestine.

Sources say all goodwill gestures that Arab states have displayed in the recent past are attributable to their present assessment that Israel can be their best partner in checkmating Iran’s well-established imperialist designs in and the rise of the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood in the region. Also, the Arab states may be calculating Israel can be of an asset at a time when the United States’ traditional commitment to their security cannot be taken for granted.

Pertinently, Bahrain has of late been upset with Iran. Head  of the elite Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani has threatened Bahrain’s ruling family with an armed uprising. The threat to the Gulf kingdom has been issued in the wake of Bahrain’s decision to strip its top Shiite cleric Sheikh Qassim of his citizenship over charges of fomenting sectarian divisions. Bahrain has a majority Shiite population but is ruled by a Sunni-led government heavily dependent upon Saudi Arabia.

The sources stress Jerusalem must never lose sight of the fact that most of the Muslim states remain ideologically dead opposed to the Jewish state. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation resolution ( Indonesia, March 7, 2016) urged “member states and the wider international community to ban products produced in or by illegal Israeli settlements from their markets.”

Significantly, I find , most of the Arab leaders have had a similar approach towards secular India. Notwithstanding the occasional bonhomie displayed by some Arab rulers in their bilateral meetings with Indian leaders, they keep opposing New Delhi in their forum of the Organization of Islamic States. In its 13th Summit held in Istanbul (April10-15) the OIC called on India to implement the United Nations resolutions on  Kashmir. It expressed concern at the “violations of human rights” in the state and ”affirmed support to the Kashmir struggle.” It said this struggle could not be equated with terrorism and called upon the UN for implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions that called for “the resolution of the dispute and guarantee Kashmiris’ (inalienable) right to self-determination through a UN supervised plebiscite.” The OIC reaffirmed that Jammu and Kashmir was “the core dispute between India and Pakistan and its resolution “imperative for bringing peace in South Asia.”

The summit welcomed the establishment of a standing mechanism by the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) for monitoring the human rights situation in Kashmir and called upon India to allow the OIC Fact Finding Mission and the international human rights groups and humanitarian organizations access to Kashmir.

I would just suggest the OIC the devils do not preach gospels. Most of the OIC states are absolutely sectarian at the cost of many sections of society. They treat women inhumanly. Their support to the state of Pakistan on Kashmir is absolutely immoral and criminal. Pakistan hardly respects human rights in the part of Kashmir occupied by it. In contrast, citizens in Jammu and Kashmir are as free as in the rest of India. Pakistan has no legal basis to hold on to PoK. The UN resolution clearly demands Pakistan to vacate first the Kashmir occupied by it so that a referendum could be held to determine the wishes of the people in the entire Valley.

Jagdish N. Singh

‘Photography Activist’ Udi Goren Shares the Beauty of Israel with US College Students

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

A freelance Israeli photographer discovered his passion for visual storytelling upon his return home to Israel after studying in the United States.

But it was a personal crisis invoked by the 2014 war in Gaza that motivated Udi Goren to set out on a two and a half month journey along the Israel National Trail as a form of self-exploration and detoxification from friction and discord.

World-renowned as one of the world’s best, toughest and most beautiful long-distance hikes, the trail stretches 700 miles from Israel’s Lebanese border up north all the way past Eilat in the south, close to Israel’s border with Egypt.

Along the Israel National Trail with visual storyteller Udi Goren.

Along the Israel National Trail.

As the first professional photographer to have walked and documented the Israel National Trail in its entirety, Goren has used the experience to give talks across the United States and Israel, passing along the knowledge he has gained from his travels to a new generation of students.

“Through the trail and through my own personal story, I actually tell the story of Israel,” said Goren. He has translated his lecture into both English and Hebrew in order to reach a larger number of students, culminating his tours with a visit back to his alma mater, Brooks Institute of Photography in California.

Having successfully transitioned from despair to hope while walking the trail, Goren offers his course as a way to “help students experience Israel beyond the headlines, allowing them to hear a firsthand account of his physical and mental journey.” He also aims to impress his audiences with his breathtaking photographs of the national monuments, mountains, creeks and Israeli landscapes that he encountered along the trail.

Visual storyteller Udi Goren conveys the beauty and the majesty of the Land of Israel through the lens of his camera.

Goren conveys the beauty and the majesty of the Land of Israel through the lens of his camera.

The next step for Goren is to publish a first-ever photography book about the Israel National Trail, and then find other ways to share his experiences with students. He said he hopes to add more visuals to his discussion, including video content, to build a faster-paced, more engaging presentation for high school students.

As Goren travels around the world to speak with students about his experiences on the Israel National Trail, he offers aspiring young photographers some sage advice. “Stay focused, know where you’re going and try to plan out milestones on your way there.”

"Stay focused and know where you're going," says visual storyteller Udi Goren.

“Stay focused and know where you’re going,” says Goren.

A self-described activist who endeavors to make an impact with his photography, Goren also encourages the students to realize that “when done right, photography and storytelling can bring forth great changes.”

Goren’s Israel National Trail photographs can be viewed by clicking here.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Condemns Massacre at Ataturk International Airport

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the massacre by radical Islamist terrorists Tuesday night at Turkey’s Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul.

Netanyahu issued a brief statement Wednesday in the wake of the attack, pointing out the threat is a worldwide problem.

“Israel strongly condemns yesterday’s terrorist attack in Istanbul,” the prime minister said. “All civilized nations must stand together to fight the scourge of terrorism.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that all Israelis living or visiting in Istanbul had been in contact with their families and confirmed they were safe.

Israel Consul to Istanbul Shai Cohen said Tuesday evening there were no Israelis listed on the casualty rolls at the hospital where victims were transported following the attack at the airport.

Hana Levi Julian

Connecting East and West, Istanbul Airports Suffer Serious Security Breaches

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Remarkably, despite the severe plunge in tourism Turkey has been experiencing for several years, with millions fewer tourists from Germany, Austria, the UK, Israel and more recently Russia making Turkey their vacation destination, air traffic in and out of Turkey remains massive. This is due to a decision made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to turn Turkey into the world’s international hub. The country’s location, one part in Asia, the other part in Europe, made this a logical and rewarding move.

There are two international airports in Istanbul: Ataturk, which is about fifteen minutes from downtown Istanbul, and Sabiha Gökçen, on the Asian side, which is about half an hour from downtown. Ataturk, with 60 million passengers a year, is the third largest airport in Europe, and the Turks are already working on a third international airport, to help manage the traffic.

Cognizant of the security threats to commercial traffic in the region, Turkey has invested a tremendous amount of resources in securing both international airports, with several security circles, Walla reported Wednesday. The airports are surrounded by security fences, at the main vehicle entrance there is a police check post, and at the entrance to each terminal the suitcases go through an x-ray scan, while each passenger must go through a metal detector. After the check-in the passenger goes through another metal detector and their luggage is x-rayed. On flights to Israel and the US passengers are also checked before entering the plane.

According to Walla, despite what appears like standard security checks which are familiar to anyone flying in the US, Turkish airports share several weak spots. For one thing, modern airport security systems, like the one in Israel, operate three separate circles which are run separate from one another: a circle securing the airport; a circle for the flight security; and a circle for securing the flight path.

In Istanbul airports, those circles are indistinguishable from one another, creating needless lines at the various check points, and compromising both the airport and the individual planes’ security. Also, there are no snipers situated in strategic locations, ready to take out potential attackers.

But the problem begins earlier, at the bus service hauling passengers from downtown Istanbul to the airport. Those buses don’t check their passengers, and they pass through to the terminal doors without an inspection.

Ataturk’s problems are similar to those of the Brussels airport where terrorists managed to blow themselves up with horrendous casualties last March. Both airports concede parts of the terminal to potential terrorists, where passengers move in and out unobserved.

Walla has speculated that one immediate benefit to the Turks from the thaw of their relations with Israel would be to seek Israeli assistance in setting their security systems straight.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/connecting-east-and-west-istanbul-airports-suffer-serious-security-breaches/2016/06/29/

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