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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Definition of Insanity: Slaughtering Jews Invokes Criticism of Israel

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}
Last Wednesday a murderous terror attack took place in Tel Aviv, ripping four innocent lives away from their loved ones forever. One moment they were sitting in a café enjoying themselves, and a split second later they were gone, lifeless, leaving only precious memories behind.

When did Tel Aviv become “disputed territory?”

In the wake of this latest in a lengthy wave of despicable attacks we are left once again to wonder when will it end? When will those who support and perpetrate such acts realize there exists no moral equivalence between murder and justice? Do these murderers actually think the Jews are going to be intimidated into giving up their rightful homeland? It’s high time they accept this and find another cause to vent their hatred toward. Their goal will not be realized.

Israel is the one single nation whose people were dispersed throughout the world for two millennia, only to be reborn in its original location. That cannot be coincidence.

After the attack we’re witness to the typical reaction coming in from around the world voicing outrage and condemnation, while expressing solidarity with Israel and its need for security. Having been the victim of more terror attacks than they wish to admit, Israel is quite used to seeing such empathetic statements.

Frankly, while not attempting to speak on behalf of Israeli leadership, I’d be willing to bet they are sick and tired of hearing and reading such reactions. Why? Not because they aren’t appreciated. I’m sure they are. However, they’re sick and tired of having to endure such horrific tragedy which engenders said reactions. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame Israel one bit.

However, while sympathetic statements poured in condemning the terrorism, there exists another chorus of voices. These voices minimize the murderous attack on innocent civilians and use the tragedy as a platform for their own agenda. At a moment when grief and shock resounds throughout the country, especially with the bereaved families, they take the opportunity to launch criticism of Israel.

For example, French Foreign Ministry Jean-Marc Ayrault said this in reaction to Israel’s decision to revoke permits for thousands of Muslims planning to enter Israel during Ramadan- “the decision by the Israeli authorities today to revoke tens of thousands of entry permits could stoke tensions which could lead to a risk of escalation….we must be careful about anything that could stoke tensions.”

Moreover, while Palestinian Arabs danced in the streets celebrating the brutal murders MSNBC ran a report on the attack, which included the following comments- “the siege that continues in Gaza….there’s a tremendous amount of frustration on the part of the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank…..further oppression in the occupied West Bank.” New Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was referred to as an “extreme right winger…he’s a settler himself.”

Adding insult to injury is the ever friendly United Nations. During their 2015 session for example it passed 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism. The number of resolutions passed against the rest of the world- 3.

Plus, the office of the UNHRC High Commissioner (United Nations Human Rights Council) Zeed Ra’ad Al Hussein released this statement- “We are deeply concerned about the response from the Israeli authorities, which includes measures that may amount to prohibitive collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice felt by the Palestinians at the very tense time.”

If the issuers of these statements will permit me, I would like to offer what some might consider to be a much needed pragmatic reaction to their comments- Are these people living on planet earth? OK, so this isn’t very pragmatic.

In all seriousness where is their collective conscience? They have the audacity to sit in judgement of the Israeli government’s policies and while simultaneously minimizing the murder of innocent civilians.

In the totality of their collective untimely salvos at Israel where were any comments regarding the responsibility of the Palestinian Arab leadership? For example, Hamas was eager to take responsibility for the attack, offering praise to the murderers. Mahmoud Abbas provided a general statement which criticized violence, yet offered no specific condemnation of the attack.

Am I the only one who thinks that after such an event, it might be an appropriate time to suggest Mahmoud Abbas publicly condemn the murderers and announce strict measures to prevent such attacks, since the terrorists came from territory he is responsible for? Is it unreasonable to expect that mainstream media such as MSNBC include comments about how little is done by the Palestinian leadership to prevent ongoing terror? Moreover, would be reasonable to expect that MSNBC state that murdering innocent civilians is unacceptable, period, even if their network disagrees with Israeli policies.

Might one expect that the UNCHR urge the Palestinian leadership to act more like a genuine peace partner by cracking down on the extended intifada which has pushed the prospects for peace further away than ever. Where are such voices?

Statements from the EU, Britain and even the US did not mention a word about the need for the Palestinian Arabs and their leadership to do a better job of policing their own. General statements condemning the violence do nothing to prevent similar murders from reoccurring. This is inexcusable.

When the response to terrorism is viewed as less acceptable than terrorism itself, it’s a welcome mat for more.

Sometimes I wonder if two Israelis were sitting in a café in Ramallah or Gaza City and suddenly without warning started shooting indiscriminately at Palestinian Arabs, murdering them in cold blood, what might world reaction be to such horror?

On second thought maybe it’s not such a good idea to wonder such things.

Dan Calic

Israel Defending Europe

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Amazing new video from The Hallelu Foundation

Video of the Day

Netanyahu And NATO Representatives Commit To Mutual Cooperation, Fighting Terror Together

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with ambassadors from NATO countries earlier on Tuesday to discuss expanding cooperation between Israel and NATO against the common threat of global terrorism.

“There are so many threats that are facing NATO that are similar to the ones facing Israel,” said Danish Ambassador to Israel Jesper Vahr whose embassy is currently NATO’s contact point embassy in Israel.

During the press conference, Ambassador Vehr shared a message with Prime Minister Netanyahu on behalf of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who said that Israel and NATO face common threats.

“Today our nations face greater, more complex threats than they have in many years,” Vehr said on behalf of Stoltenberg. “It is right that those countries that share common values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law work together for the good of us all.”

Netanyahu concurred with Ambassador Vehr and Secretary General Stoltenberg and also expressed his belief in mutual cooperation between Israel and NATO.

“Israel has much to contribute to NATO. I believe NATO has much to contribute to Israel,” said the prime minister. “We’ve already begun that process, but I think we can extend and increase our cooperation.”

Although not a member of the NATO alliance, Israel has already played an integral role as a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, a working group between NATO and seven Mediterranean countries focused on maintaining security in the Mediterranean region.

“Israel for many years has been an active member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, the only security forum that brings together NATO allies with Israel and Arab countries. Last month, NATO and Israel went further, agreeing to establish an Israeli mission at NATO,” Ambassador Vehr said. “Having a mission will help us to take our political and practical cooperation to a higher level.”

Official authorization for such an office had been delayed by Turkey, a NATO member that has had strained bilateral ties with Israel since 2010. Turkey’s eventual lifting of its rejection to an Israeli mission was viewed by some as a sign on Turkey’s part of reconciliation with Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately welcomed the establishment of the office on May 4, referring to it as a critical step in the advancement of Israel’s security and as a demonstration of NATO’s desire to cooperate with Israel on security matters.

“We’re in the process of opening up the office as soon as possible,” remarked Netanyahu at the press conference. “We attach great importance to that.”

Netanyahu’s meeting today preceded an upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw scheduled for July 8-9, which NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg referred to last week as a “landmark summit” addressing “a changed security environment” around NATO.

Netanyahu assured NATO ambassadors that Israel is prepared to help the military alliance cope with global terrorism.

“In three weeks, you’re going to have an important summit in Warsaw and I believe the combat against global terrorism should be and probably is already a central part of your agenda,” Netanyahu told the NATO ambassadors. “Know that Israel stands ready to advance that agenda and I have no doubt that if we work together, we can roll back this terror.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Extends Law Limiting Arab Family Reunification in Israel

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The Knesset plenum on Monday extended by a year an emergency provision that restricts the ability of residents of Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to automatically gain legal status in Israel under the Family Reunification Law.

The Family Reunification Law grants automatic legal status to foreign nationals who marry Israeli citizens. The provision to the law, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, was first enacted in 2003 at the height of the Second Intifada. While the Supreme Court banned the provision from being permanently added, the Knesset has voted to extend the temporary act as an emergency measure every year since 2004.

Sixty-five MKs voted in favor of extending the provision until June 20, 2017, while 14 opposed.

“In the war against terror there is no one switch that stops all the attacks; there are a number of switches, and one of them is the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which was enacted in 2003 during the Second Intifada, when hundreds of Israelis were murdered and thousands more were injured in terror attacks,” said MK Avi Dichter (Likud), chairman of the joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Internal Affairs Committee, which discussed the various aspects of the provision.

“One way of dealing with this is self-flagellation, which has become popular as of late,” Dichter continued. “There are those who say we treat the Arabs as an inferior race and compare us to Nazi Germany. A mayor became a star on Al-Jazeera when he said the terror attack in Tel Aviv was the result of the occupation. A ‘we apologize for winning’ attitude has been created here. The other way is to understand that the barrel of terror has a bottom. There are ways to fight terror, and this law is one of them.”

Ahead of this year’s vote to extend the act, the joint committee heard testimony from experts and security officials on the effects of the provision.

A representative of the Shin Bet internal security service said those seeking reunification with family members in Israel pose a security risk due to the possibility that they will be used to carry out terror attacks or engage in espionage. According to the Shin Bet, 104 citizens or legal residents who had been brought into Israel under the Family Reunification Law had committed acts of terrorism from 2001 to 2016. Of those 104, 17 had married Israeli citizens, while 87 were relatives of those who had married Israelis.

The Shin Bet official also noted that residents brought into Israel under the Family Reunification Law were playing an increasing role in terrorism. He noted that 73% of terrorists with Israeli citizenship who had committed acts of terror against Israelis since the beginning of the terror wave last September were brought in as part of family reunification.

Of the 104 terrorists who entered Israel in this manner, 30 had committed terror attacks over the past nine months. He also noted they were responsible for 13% of all terror attacks in the recent terror wave.

During Monday’s plenary debate, MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) called the law “the most racist in the Israeli book of laws,” and said the statistics presented to the joint committee were misleading because residents of eastern Jerusalem who took part in terror attacks over the past year have nothing to do with family reunification. “In practice, barely one out of every 1,000 people who carried out terror attacks since 2003 are living here by virtue of family reunification,” Sa’adi told the plenum.

JNi.Media

Israel Makes UN History: Ambassador Danny Danon to Head UN Legal Committee

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

For the first time in the history of the United Nations, the State of Israel has been elected to head the sensitive United Nations Legal Committee (officially, the “Sixth Committee), a permanent committee in the world body.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has rattled some nations with this appointment, a first since Israel’s admission as a member of the international community of nations.

The Sixth Committee deals with the fight against global terrorism as well as other sensitive topics.

I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position,” Danon said after the vote. “Israel is a world leader in international law and in fighting terrorism. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the countries of the world.”

The voting process involved counting only those in favor of the appointment; at the end of the day, 109 nations supported Danon’s leadership of the committee. They did not include Iran, which joined Palestinian Authority representative Dr. Riyad H. Mansour in actively trying to convince nations to oppose Israel.

But the effort was useless – the international community knows the value of Israeli intelligence in the fight against terror. UN ambassadors clearly measured the threat to their own nations against the “aid” they might be expected to receive from entities such as the Palestinian Authority, or Iran.

“We will not allow dictatorships and anti-Israel countries to harm our standing in the international community,” Danon said in his statement.

“Those who tried to block our appointment would be well advised to take note of the jurisdiction of this committee, as they have much to learn about international law.

“We are a full member of the UN and any attempt to deny us of our legal rights in this organization will be met with uncompromising rejection.”

Hana Levi Julian

After Orlando Bloodbath, Israeli Leaders ‘Stand Shoulder to Shoulder’ With US

Monday, June 13th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein expressed his condolences to US Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan over the deadly shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night.

“On behalf of all the members of the Israeli Knesset, I would like to express our condolences and to join in the great sorrow of the tragedy that befell you and the deaths of innocent people from this crime,” said Edelstein to his US counterpart Speaker Ryan.

“Terrorism strikes everywhere and it does not differentiate between Orlando to Tel Aviv,” Edelstein continued. Only a few days earlier, two Arab terrorists murdered 3 Israeli civilians in a shooting in Tel Aviv.

“To my great dismay, the Israeli public is very familiar with the feelings of grief and anger caused by these events, and all we can do is to join hands in the fight against global terrorism,” added Edelstein.

Prime Minister Netanyahu conveyed similar condolences to the US earlier today during his weekly cabinet meeting.

“On behalf of the government and people of Israel, I would like to again express our condolences to the American people and the families at this especially difficult hour,” said Netanyahu. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people.”

Like Edelstein, Netanyahu had also called for unity against global terrorism.

“This terror threatens the entire world and it is necessary above all that the enlightened countries urgently unite to fight against it.”

President Rivlin shared his sympathies with US President Barack Obama on Sunday night, writing that “the Israeli people stand shoulder to shoulder with our American brothers and sisters in the moral and just fight against all forms of violence and hatred. On behalf of all of Israel, I send my condolences to the families of the victims, and prayers for a speedy recovery of the injured.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

EU Commissioner in Israel to Discuss Bilateral Cooperation

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Johannes Hahn, the European Commission’s Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, arrived in Israel on an official visit Monday. Hahn, an Austrian politician, previously served as European Commissioner for Regional Policy, leading the transformation of regional policy into a genuine investment policy, closely linked with EU economic governance and macro-economic conditions.

Hahn’s latest mission is to promote stability at Europe’s borders and helping neighboring countries to develop stable democratic institutions and to become more prosperous, under the European Neighborhood Policy. He also coordinates the EU’s offer of closer cooperation in areas like trade, mobility, energy, and education to create tailor-made partnerships to develop relations with each neighbor.

The purpose of the visit is to initiate a process of consultations with Israel ahead of the launch of the new Israel-EU bilateral cooperation program.

Because of its high national income, Israel is not eligible for bilateral funding under MEDA (MEsures D’Accompagnement — French for accompanying measures), which deals with problems common to the EU’s Mediterranean partners. But Israel has nevertheless been involved in a wide variety of Euro-Mediterranean regional programs funded under MEDA: young Israelis participate in youth exchange programs with their European and Mediterranean counterparts under the Euro-Med Youth Action Programme; Israeli filmmakers have benefited from funding and training under the Euro-Med Audiovisual Program; Israeli universities participate in the FEMISE forum of economic institutes while chambers of commerce and employers associations have participated in programs like UNIMED and ArchiMedes; and institutes like the Israel Antiquities Authority participate in the Euromed Cultural Heritage.

During his visit, Commissioner Hahn met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dore Gold and opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog. Commissioner Hahn also visited Israeli projects that are supported by EU funding.

In his remarks, Dir-Gen Gold stated: “Israel and the EU share a broad common denominator, which makes it possible to expand current cooperation.”

Another mission of the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is to maintain ongoing EU membership negotiations with neighboring countries, and help to prepare those countries with a membership perspective for future challenges. Israel is not one of the nine countries that are on the agenda for a future enlargement of the European Union. However, despite the fact that Israel is not geographically located in Europe, it is a member of many European transnational federations and frameworks and takes part in many European sporting events.

Like most western European countries, Israel is a member of the OECD and compares well with European Union states with its economic indicators (GDP per capita, government deficit, public debt level, current account surplus, inflation level).

In 2014, former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar said Israel is needed by the European Union. Aznar submitted a report recommending that due to its Western culture and the benefits it brings the European Union, Israel should become a full member of the EU without pre-conditions.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, visiting Israel in 2010, said that his “greatest desire” was to see Israel join the European Union. The European Union’s former High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, stated in 2009 that Israel had a very significant relationship with the EU, amounting almost to full cooperation through participation in the EU’s programs. In 2012, former Bulgarian foreign minister Solomon Passy said Israel should more assertively seek to join NATO and the European Union.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/eu-commissioner-in-israel-to-discuss-bilateral-cooperation/2016/06/13/

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