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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Yale Chaplain Blames Anti-Semitism on Israel

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Discontent is brewing in New Haven after Rev. Bruce M. Shipman, an Episcopal chaplain at Yale, wrote a letter to The New York Times implying that Israel’s actions encourage anti-Semitism.

On Aug. 20, Deborah E. Lipstadt, an author and Jewish history professor at Emory University, published an editorial in the New York Times entitled “Why Jews Are Worried,” detailing a rise in European anti-Semitic incidents.

Shipman responded by tying rising anti-Semitism to “the carnage in Gaza over the last five years” – and encouraging “Israel’s patrons abroad” to push the Israeli government for peace as a means to stop similar attacks.

On Twitter, Lipstadt called Shipman’s response “beneath contempt” and accused him of victim-blaming.

Rabbi Leah Cohen, executive director of Yale’s Slifka Center for Jewish Life, strongly condemned Shipman’s sentiments: “We are adamantly against any justifications of anti-Semitism and hatred of any kind,” she wrote.

Shipman issued an apology Friday in the student newspaper, stating that “Nothing done in Israel or Palestine justifies the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in Europe or elsewhere,” but reiterating his belief in the “correlation between the uptick in anti-Semitic violence in the world and the events taking place in Israel/Palestine and Gaza.”

Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Syrian rebels groups captured the Syrian side of the Kuneitra crossing point between Syria and Israel, and Israeli officials and the IDF are very concerned by both the capture of the crossing along Israel’s border, as well as the advancement of ISIS within the Syria.

But not to worry, it appears that the Deputy Commander of one of the Syrian Rebel groups, a Lieutenant Abu Zid of the Nasser Tzalach A-Din force, passed on a message via YouTube to Israel, stating they will respect all international agreements (at least as far as we can understand his message).

In the first YouTube video, we see Abu Zid’s group of rebels touring the captured crossing.

But not everything is roses in Kuneitra, as we can see in another YouTube video, a different group of Rebels, these from the Jerusalem Islamic Liberation group, which, despite the ISIS flag, may simply be radical Islamists, and not actual ISIS members (but who can really tell, these days), also sent a message from Kuneitra yesterday.

It’s only a guess, but their message just looks and sounds slightly little less friendly. Maybe its just because of the name of their band of merry fellows.

Here’s another video from Kuneitra, this time of some of the battles, from what appears to be yet another different group of Islamic rebels (Jabath a-Nutzra, linked to Al Qaida):

The Syrian news site Al-Hayat is reporting that the UN troops from the Philippines have not been captured, have not put down their weapons, and are prepared to defend their position. The standoff is tense between the Filipino UN soldiers and the Syrian Rebels. There are between 75-81 Filipino troops still defending 2 UN positions.

I don’t know if these Filipino soldiers have restored any honor to the UN, but the people of the Philippines should know that they have soldiers they can and should be be proud of.

A Syrian Facebook page claims that some of the Syrian Army soldiers claimed sanctuary in one of the abandoned UN position, and the rebels haven’t managed to break through yet.

h/t NVIZ

Joan Rivers in Critical Condition

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Joan Rivers is in critical condition, reportedly after she suffered cardiac arrest during throat surgery at a clinic.

Multiple news outlets on Thursday quoted New York City police as saying that the comedienne and talk show host, 81, was in critical but stable condition at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Her daughter Melissa Rivers stated from Mount Sinai Hospital, “She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”

Rivers, a stand-up comic and a reality star with a career launched in the 1950s, in recent weeks drew attention for her vigorous defenses of Israel during its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Rivers was interviewed on Israel’s Channel 10 during the war. We have posted it before, but it’s still good for laughs. With all due respect to Ron Prosor, shouldn’t she be Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations?

JTA contributed to this report.

Soldier Dies from Wounds in Rocket Attack

Friday, August 29th, 2014

An IDF soldier who was critically injured last week by a rocket that hit Ashdod died from his wounds today. He is Israel’s 71st casualty in the war.

Sergeant Natanel Maman, 21, from Gan Yavne, an Ordnance Corps soldier, was critically injured by a rocket that hit Ashdod last Friday.

He was promoted posthumously from the rank of Corporal to Sergeant and is being buried Friday afternoon in the military courtyard of the Gan Yavne cemetery.

 

 

 

 

Funeral Begins from Lakewood Yeshiva Student Aaron Sofer

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Thousands of mourners turned out Friday morning for the funeral of Lakewood, New Jersey yeshiva student Aaron Sofer whose body was found Thursday after seven days of searching since he was reported missing last Friday evening.

His parents said they were “overwhelmed” by the sad news, which also brought a certain relief from the week-long anxiety that was deepened by fears that Sofer, 23, had been kidnapped by terrorists.

The funeral began with eulogies in the Ezrat Torah neighborhood of Jerusalem, and Sofer is to be buried later in the day in Beit Shemesh.

His disappearance, after he and a hiking friend had separated in the hills of Jerusalem, brought out passionate pleas from New Jersey community and political leaders for the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) to conduct massive search for Sofer.

Search and rescue workers found his partially decomposed body Thursday afternoon. Sofer did not have a cell phone, and if he was alive after he fell, the inability to communicate by phone may have left him doomed to death by dehydration.

“Ever since Aaron went missing, communities throughout the United States, Israel, and beyond gathered in worship on behalf of Aaron,” said New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.

“During this period of mourning, I hope the Sofer family can be comforted with the knowledge that countless people, friends and strangers alike, prayed for Aaron’s well-being, and those acts of devotion will only continue,” he added. “It has become clear to me that everyone who knew Aaron saw tremendous promise in this young man who was committed to his family, his Jewish faith and his community of Lakewood.”

Dutch Pension Fund Rejects BDS

Friday, August 29th, 2014

The Netherlands’ third largest pension fund, ABP, rejected on Thursday demands from the Boycott Israel movement to disinvest from three Israeli banks that allegedly finance an Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria..

The anti-Israel Avaas organization, along with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu had pleased with ABP to sell off shares worth more than $75 million in Bank HaPoalim, Bank Leumi and Bank Mizrachi.

ABP decided to follow the example set by another Dutch pension fund, PGGM, in January when it sold off investments in five Israeli banks.

The board of ABP, which is the pension fund for Dutch public workers, said that its investment policy bars holding shares in companies that violate the U.N. Global Compact, AFP reported. The fund’s spokeswoman pointed out that the United Nations, despite its opposition to Israel’s including Judea and Samaria as part of the country, has not declared that the banks are breaking international laws.

The Boycott Israel movement, often terms BDS for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions, has caused some damage to Israel and is a long-term threat, even a strategic threat, but its effect is exaggerated by isolated “victories.”

Selling off shares in banks and companies such Caterpillar, which sells equipment to the IDF, has had a marginal effect in depressing the price on the stock market.

BDS’s “successes” often get more attention than they deserve, and one of the reasons is the inherent bias against Israel in certain media.

The New York Times ran an article on Thursday under the headline “With Gaza War, Movement to Boycott Israel Gains Momentum in Europe.”

The “momentum” referred to a British grocery store’s removing kosher products from its shelves, a London theater’s decision to boycott film funded by the Israeli government, and a plug for Britain’s national embarrassment, known as Member of Parliament George Galloway, who declared that one city in England will be an “Israel-free zone.”

Anti-Israel activists undoubtedly used the war in Gaza to fuel some local boycotts, but the exposure of Hamas for what it is – a regime of war criminals – has mooted the anti-Israel sentiment to some effect.

The anti-Israel spin on the war convinced some governments to reconsider their sales of weapons to Israel, but the long-lasting effect is questionable, especially in light of the chaos among ISIS and fellow Islamic radicals in Syria and Iraq.

After quoting several experts on the threat of a large-scale boycott of Israel, the Times admitted that “the economic impact has been small” and that “the European Union, which has been looked to for leadership on the issue, does not support the idea.”

The most harmful damage so far has been Judea and Samaria, whose products my not bear the stamp “made in Israel” in some countries.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are Israel’s New Northern Neighbors

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Al Qaeda, ISIS, Syrian rebels, and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad are engaged in free-for-all and barbaric war that is taking place dangerously close to the Golan Heights border with Israel.

The Syrian government announced Sunday that it has reclaimed control only parts of Kuneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jumped on the chaos to thump his comparison of ISIS with Hamas, while President Barack Obama shocked Americans with a candid appraisal that the United States “does not have a strategy yet” to deal with the New Middle East, light years away from what then-President Bill Clinton promised when he sold the snake oil known as the Oslo Accords.

So long as terrorists kill each other in Syria, Israel can relax, but if and when one terrorist group survives and takes over, the IDF will be wishing for the good ‘ol days of fighting Hamas in Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s description that if a rose is a rose is a rose, ISIS is Islamic Jihad is Hamas. To paraphrase his famous “duck” statement in the United Nations, concerning a nuclear Iran, “if it looks like a wild animal, and if it walks like a wild animal, and if it talks like a wild animal, it is a wild animal – and not a duck.”

The radical Islamic movement has proven that extremism and barbarity are relevant terms, and the ISIS has made Assad look human, more or less, and made Al Qaeda look like middle-of-the-road Islam.

The Syrian government has not admitted the ISIS massacre of approximately 150 of its soldiers, who dropped their weapons and ran for what they thought was their lives in a battle. Instead, the ISIS caught up with them and murdered them. Before their deaths, several of them were “convicted” after their admissions of sins against Islam by not having raped and murdered enemies.

Naughty, naughty radical Muslims, they were.

It is difficult to express ”good news” when beheadings and kidnappings are common are Syria, but Obama’s “we do not have a strategy yet” comment on Thursday should be interpreted positively and not negatively.

It is a bit shocking that the Obama administration’s foreign policy gurus have been standing aside for more than three years during the bloodbath in Syria, after initially siding with Assad.

However, considering that everything his administration touches turns to you know what, Israel and the rest of the world might be better off to the let animals act like animals, pity the innocent civilians who are caught in hell on earth, and let the United States worry about Ferguson and immigrants from Mexico.

Israel also is undoubtedly anxiously preparing for a potential future battle against ISIS or Al Qaeda domination on the Golan Heights.

ISIS, Al Qaeda and Syrian rebels have common enemies in Basher Assad and Israel, but they also are battling each other in order to stake a claim of which terrorists will rule whatever is left of Syria in the future.

The Al-Nusra terrorists long ago split off from Al Qaeda, engaged in its own civil war while fighting both rebels and Assad.

It is all in the name of Allah.

“We in the Al Nusra Front only fight to raise the word of Allah, to make the oppressed triumphant,” one fighter said, according to Fox News. “We only fight to get rid of the enemy Bashar and his soldiers. We have come to fight them so that we can impose Allah’s laws on the country.”

Al Qaeda distances itself from ISIS and announced that ISIS “is not a branch of the Al Qaeda group [and] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/al-qaeda-and-isis-are-israels-new-northern-neighbors/2014/08/29/

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