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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Foreign Lawmakers in Hebron: UNESCO Decision ‘Shocking’

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Hebron (TPS) – While Israel’s foreign policy establishment and Jewish groups around the world continued to simmer over last week’s UNESCO resolution rejecting Israel’s connection to Jerusalem, a group of 19 parliamentarians visiting Israel slammed the decision, saying members of the world cultural body were acting “like children.”

‘It’s good to be here in Israel. This is not my first visit to the country but it’s my first visit to Hebron. It’s shocking that a body like UNESCO can deny the facts. They are acting like children, lying about history,” said Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the South African parliament and president of the country’s African Christian Democratic Party.

Meshoe is one of 15 parliamentarians who visited Hebron Wednesday, from Europe, Africa and South America on a tour sponsored by the Yesha Council. The group, visiting Israel to mark the 50th Anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem in 1967, will also meet with Israeli government ministers, leading politicians and finance sector officials.


In addition to Meshoe, notable lawmakers included Chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus in the European Parliament MEP Bas Belder, Italian Senator Lucio Malan, who earlier this year passed a bill prohibiting Holocaust denial and Dutch MP Kees van der Staaij, who passed a bill in the Netherlands preventing the funding of BDS organizations.

The visit was coordinated by the Israel Allies Foundation, an umbrella organization that coordinates the activities of 35 pro-Israel caucuses in parliaments throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia, and will conclude at the Feast of Tabernacles celebration Thursday at Pais Arena in Jerusalem.

Some 5,000 Christian supporters of Israel are expected to attend the ceremony.

Josh Reinstein, Executive Vice President of the Israel Allies Foundation, said in a statement that the delegation aims to gain a better understanding about the history of Jerusalem, as well as other flashpoints in the Israeli-Arab conflict. The group’s itinerary includes a tour of the Qalandiya checkpoint in northern Jerusalem, the Tomb of Samuel lookout point, Mount Scopus and more. In Hebron, the group visited the Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron Museum and Tel Rumeida excavations and vantage point over the old city.

“The parliamentarians visiting Hebron today are men and women of faith. It’s exciting for them to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs. In light of the UNESCO vote, this visit is especially significant,” Reinstein told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

A Little Closure on an Unspeakable Tragedy

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

On the anniversary of an event chilling even by Holocaust standards, the notorious Babyn Yar (“Babi Yar”) massacre that left an entire Jewish community dead or dying in a forest outside one of Ukraine’s largest cities – and under the noses of its remaining residents – a memorial ceremony was held at UN Headquarters, jointly hosted by Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko, US Ambassador Samantha Power, and Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon.

Ambassador Power shared eye-witness accounts. She described how victims, after being told to dress warmly and gather belongings, were marched beyond city limits to a nearby forest where they were instructed to leave their possessions in a pile and undress.

“The German soldiers then formed a gauntlet through which the Jews had to pass,” she told an audience made up mostly of members of the diplomatic community. Power described how naked men, women and children were whipped and beaten with sticks as they barreled through the human corridor, trying to fend off the blows with their hands.

“When they finally emerged they found themselves beside a deep ravine. Other groups of soldiers instructed them to either stand on the edge of the ravine, where they awaited their moment to be shot and tumble into the abyss, or to climb down and lay on top of already dead bodies, where they waited to be shot as bodies and dirt fell around them.”

Although the Nazis, and their collaborators, worked diligently and systematically from 10am to 6pm, they were not able to get through the tens of thousands of Jews in one day. “And so,” explained Power, “thousands more were locked in a warehouse overnight, left to contemplate their fate while the soldiers got a good night sleep, in order to be well rested for the job ahead tomorrow.”

Ambassador Danon thanked all who came to pay tribute, and conveyed the significance of the massacre. “The Jews of Kiev woke up in their homes on September 28, 1941. By the next day – Erev Yom Kippur of 1941 – 33,771 of them were dead or buried alive.” The events at Babyn Yar represented the first stage of the Holocaust explained Danon, “the deliberate, organized mass murder of six million Jews. Genocide.”

He invoked the words of a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. “Rabbi Lau believed that Babyn Yar was a test conducted by Hitler to see how the civilized world would react to such an event,” said Danon. “After all,” he continued, “it didn’t take place hidden away in a concentration camp.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko also spoke at the ceremony, describing Babyn Yar as a dark point for Ukraine and for humanity.

In videotaped testimony, Babyn Yar survivor Raisa Dashekevich described how she ran naked through the gauntlet as fast as she could, clutching her baby in an attempt to shield him from being cut by a whip, all the while frantically looking for her own mother, who she’d become separated from in the chaos. She passed the last soldier in time to see her mother shot, then fall into the pit on top of other writhing bodies. Raisa held her baby jumped.

“People kept landing on us,” she recalled, “it became so dark and cold, there was so much weight on us. There was screaming, and dirt thrown over us, and terrible smells.” She remembers going in and out of consciousness, then at one point during the night, realizing her baby had gone cold. But Raisa couldn’t find any bullet holes. She realized that he hadn’t been shot, he had been crushed to death, most likely by herself. She left him there and climbed up through the layers of bodies out into the moonlight. She found her way, filthy and bloody, to a nearby farmhouse where she was saved by the kindness and bravery of the farmer’s wife.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed the assembly through a recorded video message, saying that although Babyn Yar was primarily a tragedy for the Jews, it was a catastrophe for all mankind. “It remains one of the hardest memories and deepest wounds for our country,” said Poroshenko, “a reminder of the terrible price that can be paid for political shortsightedness.” In what may have been a veiled reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he added, “It is a reminder what can happen when you condone the aggression of paranoiac dictators.”

As the ceremony drew to a close with a short and somber chamber music concert, the audience was reminded that Jews weren’t the only victims of the infamous ravine. In all, over 150,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar.

The evening dedicated to remembering ended with a final reminder by its hosts: Please. Don’t forget.

Stephanie Granot

Armed Gaza Man Arrested Crossing the Fence

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

A man from Gaza was just captured as he crossed over the fence into Israel. The man was armed with a knife. He was brought in for interrogation, according to a TPS report.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Terror Victim Inspires Unique Sukkot Decorations Across Israel and Abroad

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

A group of female graphic designers from across Israel have spearheaded a project to commemorate Na’ama Henkin, the 30-year-old mother who was murdered with her husband, Rabbi Eitam Henkin, 31 in a drive-by shooting carried out by three Hamas terrorists last October 2015. The couple was killed as they were driving with their four young children on the road between Itamar and Elon Moreh in Samaria.

Eitam Henkin was a doctoral student at Tel Aviv University and Na’ama was a respected graphic designer who owned her own studio. The family lived in the Neria community in the Mateh Binaymin Regional Council of southern Samaria.

“We wanted to find a way to remember the kind of person Na’ama Henkin was,” Rivkah Nitsan told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) in an interview. Nitsan, herself a graphic designer, did not personally know Henkin but followed her graphic design work.

“The last thing that Na’ama created was a poster for Sukkot, which she had uploaded to her Facebook business page for her clients and friends to print and use to decorate their Sukkot [booths],” Nitsan explained. Henkin had chosen a passage symbolizing unity within Israel for her last creation.

“A group of graphic designers from secular and religious backgrounds came together to create a variety of posters to use as Sukkot decorations based on Na’ama’s original color palette,” Nitsan told TPS. Each of the 44 designers who participated in the project chose a passage and a Sukkot-themed symbol for their poster, keeping within the spirit of Na’ama’s last work.

Over 40 posters were created and have been uploaded to a Facebook page, Aguda Achat – In Memory of Rav Eitam and Naama Henkin, dedicated to Hemkin’s memory. People from across Israel including some Knesset members and people from abroad have downloaded the posters to decorate their Sukkahs. “People in Canada and the USA wrote to us saying that they have hung these posters in their Sukkahs,” said Nitsan, who noted that head of the Zionist Union party and opposition leader Isaac Herzog had several posters in his family’s Sukkah.

“Na’ama was a very kind and giving person and she believed in the unity of our people. We wanted to commemorate this legacy of Na’ama,” commented Nitsan.

“The project gives people the opportunity to remember the light and beauty of Na’ama. I believe that if Na’ama is looking down right now, she’d be happy to see how her work is continuing to inspire others,” concluded Nitsan.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

IDF Contacts Russian Counterpart to Update Military Coordination in Syria

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The Israel Defense Force has reportedly asked its Russian counterpart to update the security coordination between the two nations in Syria.

“In the context of the hotline between [Israel and Russia], the Israelis sent us a request to develop new procedures and open-fire rules to be added to the existing coordination mechanism,” Russia’s Izvestia newspaper reported Sunday, citing an unnamed source. “We are currently developing our response and will send it to the Israelis in the context of the agreed upon procedures between the [two] sides.”

The S-300 system, installed at the Russian naval base in the Syrian city of Tartus, has already made headlines after its sale to Iran in 2007. The actual installation of the system for Tehran did not take place, however, until this year.

Although the S-300 is considered one of the most advanced aerial defense systems in the world, Russia has already moved ahead and developed the S-400. Moreover, although the S-300 is installed in Tartus, it has not been handed over to the Syrians, nor are they trained in its use, according to Moscow.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: UNESCO Rewrites History

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

By Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

On Friday I spoke with newly elected UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. I shared with him the outrage of all Israelis following Thursday’s UNESCO decision that once again denied the over 3,000 year old connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. This was the site of Solomon’s Temple described in book of Kings in the Bible. It was the site of the second temple built by Jewish exiles who returned from Babylon some 500 years later. It was this second temple that was refurbished by King Herod and visited by Jesus as recounted in the New Testament.

Decisions like this distort historical truth that Jews, Christians and most of humanity know to be fact. These decisions also do nothing to advance peace. On the contrary, they only fuel the Palestinian fantasy of a Land of Israel with no Israel. They falsely teach Palestinian children that the Jews have no history and no rights here and therefore there’s no need to make peace with them.

Yesterday the United Nations further demonstrated its moral bankruptcy when it comes to Israel.

The Security Council discussed what it calls “Illegal Israeli Settlements.” According to the UN concept paper, the very presence of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, “seriously jeopardizes” the viability of two states.

That claim only makes sense if you ignore thousands of years of Jewish history, as UNESCO did this week.

That claim only makes sense if you accept the anti-Semitic Palestinian demand for a state free of Jews as somehow essential for peace.

Over a million and a half Arabs live in Israel as full citizens. Does their presence constitute a barrier to peace? Of course not. That some Jews live in Judea and Samaria is no more a barrier to peace than that.

No matter how often lies about Israel are repeated, this doesn’t make them true.

The real barrier to peace is not the settlements but the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundaries.

That’s why the Palestinians attacked the Jews for half a century before there was a single settlement and continued to attack Israel after it dismantled all the settlements and withdrew from Gaza entirely.

The real barrier to peace is the outrageous idea that Jews cannot live in their ancestral homeland and need to be cleansed from it. The real barrier to peace is terrorist regimes like Hamas that launch tens of thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians and call for genocide of all Jews.

But the UN, and the so-called peace groups that testified there on Friday, are too busy denying Jews our rights, spreading lies and distorting history to recognize and condemn the actual barriers to peace.

Until that changes, until the UN drops its double standards towards Israel and stops ignoring Palestinian terror and rejectionism, peace for Israelis and Palestinians will not come from the United Nations any more than security for Israel will come from the Security Council.

I said recently at the UN that there may be a storm before the calm in the coming months. We are in the storm. But I also said that “I have total confidence that in the years ahead the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations will finally penetrate this hall of nations.”

It will take some time, but that too will come, when most of nations of the world will decide to stop using the UN as a platform for lies and hate and it will reclaim its noble mandate to advance truth and peace.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Kremlin Prepares for ‘Nuclear War’ As White House Considers ‘Cyber Attack’ as Middle East Hangs Between

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Russian media is warning citizens to prepare for war – specifically, nuclear war – and ordering officials to prepare the nation’s bomb shelters and ensure that citizens have reviewed proper use of their gas masks.

“If it should one day, happen, everyone one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is,” said one newscaster on the state-run NTV television news channel. “It’s best to find out now.”

This past week Russia also announced a move to transfer nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Kalininigrad, between Poland and Lithuania, its northern European enclave. The transfer places the missiles within striking distance of western European capitals.

Russia also test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles, and earlier this month announced it would hold joint “anti-terror” military drills with Egypt “in a desert environment.” Moscow is moving in to train with Egypt in military strategies, equipment and personnel and build a closer relationship Cairo, in a way similar to that in which it began with Syria years ago.

Moscow’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin claimed that tensions are at their worst since 1973, but not as bad as they were during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. “Despite the fact that we have a serious disagreement, we are continuing [to work together] in other areas – sometimes successfully,” he told reporters this weekend. However, he added that the crisis has followed a list of conflicts between the Kremlin and the White House.

“It’s a lack of basic respect,” Churkin said, “and a lack of in-depth discussions on political issues.” Among the issues he cited were the recruitment of Ukraine and Georgia for membership in NAT, and the ousting of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. All, he said, were incited by the United States.

The U.S., meanwhile, has said it is considering a cyber attack in retaliation for a Kremlin-backed cyber snoop into American elections, and an outright hack attack against electoral data banks and the Democratic National Headquarters. The Kremlin has warned that any such attack would be met with a “harsh response.”

A number of news analysts have said that relations between Moscow and Washington have reached their lowest point since the Cold War, in fact.

According to ABC News, Russia has conducted a nationwide civil defense drill since September that has involved some 40 million citizens, preparing them for a panoply of disasters that run the gamut of war scenarios, including nuclear fallout, and announced who would run the nation should war break out. One of the simulations involved that specific scenario, in fact.

American logic dictates that Russia would not run a civil defense drill for 40 million people for the fun of it. But Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, quoted by ABC News, says that all this is part of the grand show that may be necessary to inspire Russian lawmakers to raise a little cash for a decent military budget – which is up for renewal – when the economy is slow.

“Tensions are going to rise and rise and rise,” he said. “The good news is, no one really wants a war. But it’s going to be a good show.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kremlin-prepares-for-nuclear-war-as-white-house-considers-cyber-attack-as-middle-east-hangs-between/2016/10/16/

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