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May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘israeli-palestinian conflict’

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, Capital Undivided ‘Forever’

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday at a Jerusalem Day ceremony that the Israeli capital will remain undivided “forever.”

Speaking at the government’s official Jerusalem Day ceremony held at Ammunitition Hill, Netanyahu said, “We need to tell the truth without fear. This is where we began our path as a nation.

“This is our home – and this is where we will stay.”

The priority, said Netanyahu, is to ensure that Jerusalem forever remains open to all who wish to worship within her walls.

When Jordan occupied the eastern portion of the Israeli capital, that was not the case – despite an original United Nations mandate directing that Jerusalem always remain an open, international capital of the world. Instead, barbed wire blocked off Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest sites, and to a great extent even Christian access to sites holy to that faith as well.

Filth and garbage was strewn all around and over the Western Wall, nearly burying the holy site.

“Only under Israeli rule will there be freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Believers pray at their holy sites not in spite of our rule in the city, but precisely because of it,” he noted.

“We will forever preserve an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu vowed.

“Who opposes our presence in Jerusalem? Those who refuse to recognize our right to exist as a sovereign nation in our own state,” the prime minister said. “They see us as a foreign entity that needs to be uprooted.”

He added that just as the radical Islamists are terrorizing the rest of the region, so too are they aiming at Jerusalem – and after the heartbeat of the Holy Land, next will be the West.

“Sunni extremists like Da’esh (ISIS), and Shi’ite extremists like the leadership of the ayatollahs in Iran,” he pointed out. [They] “fight each other, but [then] they have a common enemy: the West and the open, free culture it represents.”

Netanyahu also warned against the nuclear technology deal being negotiated between Iran and the world powers led by the United States.

“We are opposed to that deal and we are not the only ones,” he said. “There needs to be a better deal.”

Gal-On, Leftists Slam Jerusalem Day Flag Dance Parade in Old City [photo]

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Leftist political leader Zehava Gal-On did her best but failed to prevent Israelis from celebrating Jerusalem Day with the traditional Flag Dance march through the Old City on Sunday – including the Muslim Quarter.

Many tens of thousands of students and Israelis from around the country participate in the colorful and musical march every year, celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem. But as a rule, the Left have chosen to never participate in the march or the celebrations.

Writing in frustration on her Facebook page Sunday, the chairwoman of the Meretz political party condemned the annual procession.

She called it a “violent, racist act of provocation against Arab residents” of Jerusalem, joining other leftists who attempted to prevent this year’s parade with a petition and appeal to the High Court last week.

The effort failed, however, with the Court deciding it was not legal to prevent the 30-year-old procession from taking place, but noting there would be “zero room for tolerance for those provoking violence, verbally or physically.”

On Sunday morning, the chief rabbis of Israel led thousands in Jerusalem Day prayers at the Western Wall, attended also by heads of yeshivot and other senior clerics.

“It is outrageous to see far-right elements take over Jerusalem Day and turn it into a day that has entirely become a racist, violent act of provocation against the city’s Arabs,” Gal-On wrote.

“The ‘Flag Parade’ through the Muslim Quarter is an aggressive show of force whose entire purpose is to jab a finger in the eyes of the Palestinians.

“Officials who allow this disgrace do so in order to remind everyone they are lords of this Land and the ease with which they can come in, rampage and go wild.”

Sounds like sour grapes, by someone who hasn’t succeeded in redividing the city.

Photos from Jerusalem Day Parades past:
Jerusalem Day Parade 2012 2

Israelis wave with Israeli flags during a march celebrating Jerusalem Day in the streets of Jerusalem , May 20 2012. Thousands of Israeli Jewish took part in Jerusalem Day celebrations in the capital, marked the 45nd anniversary of its capture of Arab east Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967. Photo by Noam Moskowitz / FLASH90.

Thousands of Israelis take part in the annual flag parade, celebrating Jerusalem Day in the streets of Jerusalem.

Thousands of Israelis take part in the annual flag parade, celebrating Jerusalem Day in the streets of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Day Parade (Archive: 2014)

Jerusalem Day Parade (Archive: 2014)

EU Chief Meeting Next Week with Netanyahu, Abbas

Friday, May 15th, 2015

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is scheduled to arrive in Israel next week, her office said in a statement Friday.

Mogherini “will travel to the Middle East on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 May,” and is expected to meet both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during her visit.

The EU head will also meet with “a number of other Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors, to discuss the bilateral relations as well as prospects for the Middle East peace process,” the statement said.

The impending visit follows Israel’s installation of its new coalition government headed by Netanyahu for a record fourth term in office.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss current issues taking place in the region with Mogherini at a routine meeting of the European body prior to her trip.

Recently it was revealed that the European Union has taken an exceptionally active role in funding and otherwise aiding in the construction of hundreds of illegal Palestinian structures in “Area C.” These are territories that are controlled solely under the State of Israel in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

These areas are expected to be retained by Israel in any final status agreement between the two parties.

Grass Roots Rally Against NYC Jewish Bigwigs for Providing Cover to Anti-Israel Groups

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On Monday, May 11, several NYC-based pro-Israel grass roots organizations will hold a rally outside of the UFA Federation building. The groups are protesting the continued tacit (and even overt) approval of certain Jewish organizations that cloak themselves with a pro-Israel patina but are, in fact, supporters of economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

The UJA Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council are the focus of the rally. Groups such as JCC Watch, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Americans for a Safe Israel, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, ZOA and others are behind the event at which they intend to blow 101 shofars (ram’s horns), hoping the New York City Jewish establishment will “Hear O Israel,” and come to their senses.

The problem, as these grass roots organizations have pointed out so many times, is that the major institutional Jewish organizations continue to allow groups who promote harm against the Jewish state to march in the annual Celebrate Israel Day parade.

The primary target of this coalition has been groups, such as the New Israel Fund, which financially support organizations which advocate economic warfare against Israel, such as boycotts against such iconic Israeli companies as SodaStream and Ahava.

The parade this year will take place on Sunday, May 31. And this year, just like last year and ones before, organizations like the New Israel Fund and others will be participating, right alongside all the freshly-scrubbed Jewish day school students.

If you were to ask those students whether they think it is right for anyone to boycott Israeli goods or products, they would undoubtedly answer “no.” And if you were to ask those students whether people who support such activity are pro-Israel, they would also answer “no.” Finally, if one were to ask those students whether anyone who tries to harm Israel either through economic or legal measures, should march in the Celebrate Israel parade, they would, undoubtedly, answer “no.”

But the executives at the New York UJA-Federation and the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council don’t appear to understand what is so plainly obvious to most Jewish day school students.

Richard Allen, the engine behind JCC Watch and one of the main supporters of Monday’s rally, explained to the JewishPress.com one of the saddest ironies behind the BDS infiltration into what should be an event by pro-Israel supporters, for Israel.

“We call on the UJA-Federation to stop their promotion and support for groups that call for a boycott of Israeli companies Iike SodaStream and Ahava Cosmetics. The President of the UJA-Federation, Alisa Doctoroff is a major funder of the New Israel Fund, a group that finances the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on a worldwide basis,” Allen said.

“The UJA-Federation protects and promotes the BDS groups in the Israel Day Parade and we insist this be stopped immediately.”

Sadly, this year there is perhaps even more stunning news than that ostensibly Jewish “leaders” are protecting and promoting those who engage in economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

As Allen shared with the JewishPress.com, “the Israel Consul General in New York is being used by the BDS forces in the UJA-Federation to protect the New Israel Fund.  The head of the UJA-Federation, Eric Goldstein, is now hiding behind the Consul General. He said in a radio interview that the Israeli Government supports BDS in the Israel Day Parade. We are here today to demand that Jewish Charitable dollars and institutions not be used by the BDS forces to push their agenda.”

The rally is taking place today, May 11, from 5 – 7:30 p.m., outside the UJA Federation building, 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. If you cannot bring your own shofar, they will have extras to hand out.

Baltimore City Curfew Helps Taper Off Riots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 10 pm curfew and strong show of force by thousands of security personnel Tuesday night helped restore order to most of the city, and put an end to riots in Baltimore.

At least one Jewish business owner faced near-total ruin Tuesday night; Harvey Levy of the Baltimore suburb of Reisterstown responded to an alarm and saw his sports store had been damaged and emptied by rioters.

The Agudath Israel synagogue also posted a notice on its door warning congregants its final evening service of the night would be held at 9:30 pm due to the 10 pm curfew.

Two of the three city’s home games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox were postponed; a third, scheduled for Wednesday, is to be played at Camden Yards in a historic “first” televised game with an entirely empty stadium. No fans are allowed into the stadium due to security considerations.

The Baltimore police department managed to finally contain thousands of rioters throughout the city by the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the help of some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties and 2,000 civilian volunteers.

Users on Twitter and other social networking sites have been comparing the situation in Baltimore to that in Israel, whose security forces must contend with similar issues in her cities, albeit with Arabs instead of rioting city residents hoping for anarchy.

The situation in the United States, in fact, appears to be developing a parallel process in many ways similar to the Arab intifada that is faced by Israel every few years.

More than 235 arrests were made in Baltimore in the past 24 hours At least 20 police officers were injured, including one who remains in critical condition. The force has been forced to decide how and when to use increased riot control measures such as tear gas, smoke canisters and other security options; issues also confronted by Israel.

An alleged alliance between three national gangs — the Black Guerrillas, the Crips and the Bloods — was formally denied on Tuesday in a statement by the gang members who said the supposed agreement to “take out” Baltimore police was untrue. Gang members were later seen towards sunset organizing into a secondary buffer line spreading out between protesters and police.

Baltimore mother Toya Graham became the most well-known personality in the city on Tuesday: the single mother of six was seen in a video flashed around the Internet chastising her 16-year-old son after spotting him on television among rioters wearing a black face mask. Graham was seen ripping the mask from her son and smacking him around the face and shoulders while chasing and scolding him, forcing him to leave the riots and come home with her. Many news groups and Internet users informally dubbed her “Mother of the Year.”

Inside Look at Princeton’s Israel Divestment Failure

Monday, April 27th, 2015

In a college-wide vote, Princeton university undergraduates voted against a resolution to divest funds from Israeli companies or certain companies that are used in Israel. The ballot closed on April 22, and the results were announced on Friday, April 26.

The proposal lost with 52.5 percent voting against it and 47.5 percent voting in favor.

The proposal on which the students voted asked whether the Princeton University trustees should be called on to divest from “multinational corporations that maintain the infrastructure of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, facilitate Israel’s and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or facilitate state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian Authority security.”

According to Princeton’s internal regulations, any referendum can be included in the student government elections if a sponsor obtains 200 signatures on a petition.

There are no guidelines or standards for the content of a referendum. Accordingly, for those who are not independently knowledgeable, any student who believes in justice and human rights would be inclined to vote in favor of the ballot question.

Who – especially amongst U.S. college students – would fail to oppose repression or collective punishment?

Even given the biased language, the vote was close, and nearly 39 percent of the student body voted.

An active pro-Israel student at Princeton, Hannelora Everett, spoke with JewishPress.com about the atmosphere on campus, and how she and others worked to help defeat the divestment referendum.

Everett is a Princeton sophomore who hails from Westchester, New York. She has spent quite a bit of time in Israel, including trips with her Solomon Schechter school and with Princeton Chabad. Everett lived in Israel one summer on a study program, and spent another summer in Israel working at a nongovernmental organization (NGO).

When Everett first arrived at Princeton she found the atmosphere regarding the Middle East disturbing.

“I realized students were turning Israel into a polarizing, conservative-liberal political issue,” and she decided to become involved in Israel activism on campus.

Through her engagement with the issue, Everett assumed a leadership role in several organizations focused on improving the understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict amongst Princeton students. She was involved in the David Project, in Tigers for Israel (of which she is now president) and works with other student groups to promote common interests.

DIFFERENT FORMAT FOR DIVESTMENT VOTE

Although student proposals to urge their universities’ trustees to divest from certain holdings in or utilized by Israel have taken place elsewhere – at the University of Michigan and Cornell University, to name just two – the vote at Princeton is amongst the first time the student body as a whole voted on such a proposal. A divestment referendum was also defeated at San Diego State University earlier this month.

All other times that divestment from Israel proposals were voted on at universities, it has been the school’s student government which has taken up the issue.

The divestment coalition said the opportunity to have the student body at large discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict was the motivation for choosing this format. Also, previous efforts at divestment had failed, so a new strategy was sought.

Everett told the JewishPress.com that the low bar requirement of only 200 petition signatures to permit a student body referendum undoubtedly made this an attractive option.

EGYPT AND PA MENTIONED AS WRONG-DOERS

Another unusual aspect of the Princeton ballot question was that both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are mentioned as fellow wrong-doers, along with Israel, for engaging in “collective punishment”  against and/or “repression” of Palestinian Arabs.

It is ironic that this expansion of blame reveals who it is that the Princeton pro-divestment students are most protective: Hamas.

But as Everett pointed out, although the ballot question also condemned Egypt and the PA, “their campaign focused almost exclusively on Israel.”

Netanyahu: Israel ‘Adds Life’ on Remembrance Day

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu focused special attention in honoring the victims of terror Wednesday at Remembrance Day ceremonies at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery.

Joining the prime minister for the ceremony were President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Both lay wreaths for the victims of terror.

The designation is a relatively new addition to ceremonies that once were held to commemorate only the fallen among Israel’s soldiers. It was recognized, however, that those who die simply because they are citizens of the state are as worthy of being a “soldier of Israel” as any uniformed defender.

Bereaved Israelis flocked to the graves of fallen soldiers at the cemetery, paying their respects to troops killed in wars since 1860 as well as victims of terror.

Since the close of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, 2,538 have died in terrorist attacks – including 31 in the past year alone.

The hatred of terrorists “is blind; for them we are all targets,” the prime minister said in addressing participants. “While they try to take life, we add life.” He listed the attacks in the past year in which precious Jewish lives have been stolen and blood shed in the State of Israel by murderous terrorists.

There is no difference between IDF soldiers on the homefront or those in the field, civilians involved in their daily affairs or those serving their time in army reserves, he said.

All are targets.

But the prime minister also warned that the radical Islamist terror once believed to be exclusive to the Middle East has made its way abroad and now has spread to Europe.

Attacks against Jews in countries like France – where the week-long reign of terror in Paris horrified millions this past January and left more than a dozen people dead – are becoming more common. Four people died at the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery store during that massacre.

Such activity, said Netanyahu, perversely seems to draw the admiration of many of Israel’s neighbors, rather than disgust.

“They admire murderers,” the prime minister noted. “The more they murder, the more they admire them.”

For Israel to achieve peace with her neighbors, he said, they must “stop the incitement and the admiring of murderers. That’s not how you make peace.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-israel-adds-life-on-remembrance-day/2015/04/22/

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