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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

Shiloh Musings: Israeli Debacle in Turkish Agreement!

Monday, June 27th, 2016

I am embarrassed to be an Israeli!

Turkey supported an armed terror ship towards Israel, the Marmara, and now Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has agreed to pay them as if we’re guilty!!!

Netanyahu traveled to Rome on Sunday to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli and Turkish officials were also in the Italian capital to finalize the deal. Israel, which had already offered its apologies – one of Ankara’s three conditions for a deal – for its lethal raid on the Mavi Marmara activist ship, agreed to pay out $20 million to the bereaved and injured, the Israeli official said in a briefing to Israeli reporters traveling with Netanyahu. (Reuters)


I am so disgusted that Bibi is paying off these terrorists and terror supporters. It will just encourage them to kill more Jews.

Batya Medad

MK Zoabi: Reparations to Turks an Israeli Admission of Murder

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Anti-Zionist Arabs are not happy with the pending new Israeli-Turkish rapprochement — there goes yet another regional power whose support for Arab terrorism against Israel has cooled down. The two loudest Israeli-Arab voices to spin Netanyahu’s diplomatic success into a failure are MKs Haniz Zoabi and Ahmad Tibbi. Both are arguing that the fact that Israel is paying Turkey reparations over the 2010 Mavi Marmara fiasco constitutes admission of guilt and therefore does not end the Israeli public relations headache, it only makes it bigger.

But everyone else in the region, most notably the Turks and the Israelis, appear delighted to put behind them that nasty episode and the bad six years that followed.

After the final disagreements have been smoothed over Sunday, on Monday afternoon Prime Minister Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to announce a reconciliation agreement between their two countries in concurrent press conferences. Netanyahu’s cabinet would then be required to approve the deal, and said cabinet includes Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, a staunch enemy of appeasing Turkey, but that’ll come later.

Turkish-Israeli relations hit a wall back in 2010 after the IDF special forces who were attempting to take over the Mavi Marmara, part of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” were met with overwhelming violence from the Arab and Turkish crew, and were forced to kill Turkish citizens onboard. On Sunday, after six years of open hostility between the two countries, which have historically depended on each other economically, high level Israeli and Turkish delegations met in Rome and hammered out the final reconciliation deal.

The political components of the agreement are:

1. Israel will pay Turkey some $20 million, presumably going to the families of the dead crew members.

2. Turkey will not launch lawsuits against the IDF officers and soldiers who took part in the operation.

3. Israel will ease some of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

4. Turkey will limit Hamas activities inside its borders. Turkey will not permit Hamas to conduct, plan or direct any military activity against Israel while in Turkish territory. However, the Hamas offices will stay open and can continue to operate as diplomatic agencies.

The economic aspects of the deal have mainly to do with Turkey, which is now dependent on its hostile Russian neighbor for its supply of natural gas, looking to replace it with Israeli gas. However, for the time being, the Israeli gas is still tied up in the Knesset as well as in the Supreme court, so that’s not happening yet.

MK Zoabi, for whom this is her last term in the Knesset, having been kicked off her realistic spot on her Balad party’s list by party primary voters, insists that this is not the time to celebrate the diplomatic achievement of the Netanyahu government, instead, she says, the deal constitutes an Israeli admission of “committing nine murders, injuring dozens, kidnapping and piracy in international waters.”

Zoabi is also irate that the Turkish-Israeli deal does not deposit in Israel’s hands the responsibility for the woes of the Gaza Strip, which it abandoned ten years ago this summer. Zoabi wants the Israeli blockade to come down completely, but has nothing to say about the Hamas openly declared intentions of continuing their plans to attack Israeli civilians.

MK Tibi for his part suggested PA-based jurists should take note of the reparations index of the Turkish deal, for future discussions, when the new Palestinian state would be handing Israel the bill for all the Arabs that died over the years, presumably including those who were killed while trying to stuff their suicide belts with explosives.

Israeli politicians on both sides of the aisle were unhappy with the deal. Former minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) tweeted: “Israel will pay Turkey reparations for the Marmara? I hope the news is wrong. If it’s true — this is a national humiliation and an invitation for more flotillas and more libels from Israel haters.”

MK Arel Margalit (Zionist Camp) said that “Netanyahu once again capitulated with his tail between his legs before Hamas, hurt the IDF soldiers without blinking, and abandoned the families of the missing.”

Margalit was referring to Turkey’s failure to convince Hamas to sweeten its Israeli deal with Israel by handing over its biggest bargaining chip, the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Of course, the Turks promised to try, and they probably did, but anyone who expected Netanyahu to be able to come up with a win on that count is either terribly naïve or just hates Netanyahu.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) tweeted that “there better be a very good reason to justify the deal with Turkey, which on its face appears shameful.”

JNi.Media

Israeli Volleyball Judge Indicted for Attempting to Murder the Competition

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Is Hollywood having a negative effect on our everyday lives? You be the judge.

The Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office on Sunday indicted Barak Nagar, 31, a volleyball judge, who attempted to murder his friend over getting picked to judge an international tournament in his place. According to the indictment, Nagar invited his friend, whom he has known from their work for the Israeli Volleyball Association, to his Tel Aviv apartment after the friend had won the job of judging an international European competition which Barak had lost. Nagar decided to hang his friend to death from a seesaw hook in his living room ceiling. After the hanging, Nagar planned to cut up his friend’s body and dispose of the parts.

According to the indictment, the defendant acquired a rope, sleeping pills, garbage bags, a saw, two Japanese knives and a tape. He also killed a dog and a cat from the neighborhood and practiced his plan on their bodies.

Once he felt ready for the mission, Nagar invited his friend over to his apartment, and when he arrived he talked him into drinking liquor, saying he had a house rule of having to do a shot every 15 minutes. He mixed some 29 Klonopin and one Nocturno sleeping pills with his friend’s drinks to get him drowsy. Finally, the friend became sleepy and lied down on a bed. Nagar spread garbage bags on the apartment floor, for his friend’s body. He then stripped his friend naked. His friend woke up now and then and observed what was being done to him, but was unable to resist.

When Nagar realized his friend was not fully sedated, he decided to kill him by cutting his throat rather than by hanging him. He tied his friend’s legs together with the rope, took one of the Japanese knives and sat down on his friend’s stomach. When the friend asked what he was doing, Nagar threw the knife beyond the bed and said he wanted to kiss his friend, but his friend refused. The friend then fell asleep again and Nagar stabbed him several times in the left side of his neck with the knife and strangled him with both hands.

The strangling woke his friend from his slumber and he started fighting back. He asked Nagar to stop, but Nagar continued to strangle him, fought him, smacked his head against the floor and smacked him in the face with his fists. Eventually the friend managed to hit Nagar in the head and escaped from the apartment, naked and hemorrhaging from his neck. Pedestrians downstairs alerted the rescue teams.

Nagar is also accused of interfering with the investigation, when he wiped off his victim’s blood from the floor with a mop and washed his hands. He also hid evidence, by taking his friend’s wallet, cellphone and car keys — and left the apartment. Nagar then dumped the phone and the keys in the sea and threw the wallet in a sewer.

Was this a case of too many Hollywood movies? Probably — and not the smooth ones, but the hectic, Coen Brothers kind, where much blood is spilled over much ineptness and shoddy planning.

JNi.Media

Senior Israeli TV Editor: I Will Not Let my Children Enlist [video]

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

On the Friday night Channel 2 news magazine Friday Studio, Arad Nir, who is foreign-news editor for Channel 2, declared: “I want a referendum! A referendum on who wants to send his children to enlist in this army. And I do not wish to send my children to this army. I would vote No in such a referendum.”

Arad Nir, who has a degree in veterinary medicine and speaks fluent Esperanto, used to co-host a sex-advice show with Dr. Ruth Westheimer. He is a familiar anchor on Channel 2 news shows.

The context for Nir’s confrontational statement was the issue of IDF soldiers being used to entertain American visitors as a way to solicit donations. A case in point was a recent visit of Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to an IAF base, which was greeted with base soldiers forming the name Google with their bodies on the tarmac.

Nir said he couldn’t understand why the taxes Israelis pay are not enough to sustain IDF soldiers, and then declared he would not allow his own children to enlist.

Back in 2012, Channel 2 viewers ran a petition online calling for dismissing Arad Nir over a pro-Arab interview with a resident of Gaza during the 2012 war, an interview that offered no reference to the Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians which spawned the war.

JNi.Media

Israeli Millionaire Philanthropist, Founder of Emanuel, Motti Zisser Dies at 61

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Israeli businessman Motti Zisser passed away Thursday morning after a lengthy struggle with cancer. He had been in remission since the 1990s, when he first came down with the illness and became sick again two years ago. Zisser, who made his fortune in real estate and construction across Europe and in South Africa, was engaged of late in a lengthy dispute with Bank Hapoalim over a debt that was growing to close to $300 million.

Mordechai Kalman Zisser was born in the poor neighborhood of Hatikvah in south-eastern Tel Aviv to Polish Holocaust survivors who belonged to the Hassidic dynasty of Sochatchov. When he was two, his family moved to the Haredi city of B’nei B’rak, where he joined the religious youth movement Ezra. He studied at the Netiv Meir Yeshiva and served in the IDF as an Armor officer while attending the hesder yeshiva Kerem d’Yavne. He acquired a BA in Economics from Bar-Ilan University.

Zisser captured the Israeli public’s imagination, especially in the religious sector, in the early 1980s, when he initiated the founding of the city of Emanuel in Samaria, the first urban settlement in the newly captured territories. Since then Zisser went on to build across Israel and in Eastern Europe. He was known as a generous philanthropist, especially focusing on Jewish communities in Hungary.

In the 1990s, after recovering from a bout with cancer, Zisser and his wife established the first bone marrow bank in Israel. The couple also contributed to the Oranit rehab center for children and teens with cancer. The Zissers also contributed millions of dollars to charity and educational organizations in Israel and around the world.

In 1999 Zisser purchased Elbit Medical Imaging, a holding company with activities in real estate, medical imaging, hotels, shopping malls, and retail, for an estimated $128 million. Zisser integrated his real estate activities into the company and restructured Elbit Medical Imaging as a holding company, focusing on real estate and hotels development, shopping and entertainment malls, industrial manufacturing and supply of components for the medical imaging, as well as venture capital investments in high-technology and bio-technology companies.

At some point Zisser’s company started a downward spin which eventually landed it in Israeli court, which wiped out close to half a billion dollars of its debt in exchange for transferring 95% of its stock to the creditors. Zisser, who lost control over his company, still owed more than a quarter of a billion dollars to the bank, which asked the court to declare him bankrupt.

JNi.Media

‘At The End Of The Day, We Only Have Each Other’: An Interview with Israeli Consulate Spokesperson Shimon Mercer-Wood

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Shimon Mercer-Wood is the spokesperson and consul for media affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in Manhattan. A product of the London School of Economics and Yeshivat Ma’aleh Gilboa, Mercer-Wood previously served as political officer at Israel’s embassy in New Delhi and press officer at Israel’s embassy in London. 

The Jewish Press: What’s your background?

Mercer-Wood: My mother’s family is from Transylvania, which is Hungarian-speaking Romania, and my father’s family is from Ghana in West Africa. My father’s uncle was the ambassador of Ghana to Israel in the 1960s, and he brought along my father with him.

Why did he bring your father?

They were very close. Also, in that part of Ghana, it’s actually a matrilineal society, which means the person you inherit is not your father, but your mother’s brother. So as part of his being groomed to take over from his uncle, he went with him and was kind of like his protégé.

And then your father stayed in Israel?

In 1967, on the eve of the Six-Day war, Ghana’s embassy was ordered to evacuate because everyone was sure Israel was going to be destroyed. In Israel they were preparing mass graves in the public parks because they thought there would be, chas v’shalom, many casualties, and in Holland they were preparing refugee camps.

But my father had developed an interest in Judaism and felt it was disloyal to abandon the Jewish people in a time of danger, so he stayed in Israel. And then my father got swept up by the very obvious miracle of Israel going from the brink of peril to unprecedented victory in such a short time. So my father stayed in Israel, converted, joined the army, and has basically been in Israel ever since.

It’s quite a story.

Apart from it being my personal family story, though, it also speaks to Israel’s relationship with Africa in that time. Israel was a huge player in the African continent in the 1960s. This was part of Golda Meir’s policy to find friends around the world and to fulfill the aspiration of being an ohr la’goyim. So Israel was very active in introducing modern agriculture to Africa. In fact, Israel at that time had more embassies in Africa than any other non-African country. The relationship was so close that when my uncle was shifted from the Ghana Embassy in China to the Ghana Embassy in Israel, it was considered a major promotion.

What do you do at the Israeli consulate in Manhattan?

We try to introduce positive material about Israel into the media output, and I would divide that into three “battles.” The first battle is to engage with those journalists who write primarily about the Israeli-Arab conflict and provide them with information that may help them be more sympathetic to the Israeli position.

The second battle is to provide stories to journalists who are interested in writing about Israel. So, for example, we met a producer at one of the news channels who said, “I want stories about Israeli startups. Please feed me with stories.” Our job then is to seek out such stories – be in touch with relevant authorities and hubs in Israel – and build up story pitches.

The third battle, which is the most interesting, is to reach those journalists who don’t even think about writing about Israel, and introduce Israel to them. Recently, for example, we sent a journalist to Israel to cover a conference on accessibility – especially how to make tourism more accessible for people with disabilities. This is a writer to whom it would never have occurred to write a story about Israel. But she came back from that conference very enthusiastic, and it was a huge success. It’s very gratifying to find someone like that and put Israel on their radar in such a positive context.

I should add that we place a special emphasis on Jewish media, because the most important asset this building is charged with safeguarding is the relationship between Israel and American Jews. I very often meet people who adore Israel but their conception of Israel is kind of what Israel was like in the 1980s. Israel is a very dynamic place – it’s constantly changing – and it’s important for me to make sure people see Israel as it is today.

Why is this important?

Because we’re one nation, we’re one people. At the end of the day, on the face of the planet, we only have each other. And just like you keep in touch with your brother who lives in another city and you want him to know what’s happening in your life and you don’t want his perception of your life to be stuck like when you were in college, it’s important for the different components of the Jewish nation to know what the others are going through. It’s not because you want their “support.” It’s because that’s what it means to be one people.

Those who dislike Israel sometimes call it racist. When you speak to such people, do you find your skin color helpful in combating this argument?

There’s a spectrum of anti-Israel attitudes. On the light side you have ignorance, and in that case perhaps it helps. But further along the spectrum, there is entrenched hostility to Israel, and then nothing helps because they don’t really care. It’s not about knowledge or understanding. It’s an emotional issue. It’s a feeling of commitment to a struggle against Israel. And you can really see it physically when you speak to these people, how much their whole being is fired up with attacking Israel.

So I don’t bother arguing with them, because a) they don’t deserve it and b) it’s completely pointless. We really should focus our efforts on those who don’t have that level of hatred. I often hear people say, “Show them the facts!” They don’t care about the facts. They operate in a cultural sphere in which facts are of no importance. It’s part of a certain brand of post-modern mode of thought that says that everything is subjective and relative, and facts are just not important.

What’s Israel’s opinion of Donald Trump?

It’s important to understand that Israel has a relationship with the United States that exceeds the relationship with the president of the United States. So it sounds like a talking point but it’s actually true: Whoever the American people elect, Israel will be happy to work with because they will be elected by the American people.

What’s very important, though, is that the political relationship between Israel and the United States remain bipartisan. There are people in America – on both sides of the political spectrum – who are trying to undermine the bipartisan nature of this relationship for their own political reasons. These people don’t have Israel’s best interests in mind.

Several media outlets have reported that Bernie Sanders’s supporters hope to amend the Democratic Party’s platform so that it is less pro-Israel or even anti-Israel. Is Israel concerned?

I’m not going to comment on anything a particular politician is doing, but in general the attempt to make Israel a divisive issue is exactly what I was talking about before. Israel shouldn’t be a divisive issue.

I also think that recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not an Israel thing. It’s a Jewish thing. When someone wants to remove reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, they are trying to erase one of the most fundamental features of the Jewish heritage. You want to criticize Israel, go ahead. But if you erase reference to Jerusalem as our capital you’re insulting every Jew who has ever lived.

Syria is currently a mess. What are Israel’s hopes for the conclusion of that conflict?

Israel’s policy on Syria is that we don’t care who rules them, how they are ruled, what sort of government they have, etc. It’s none of our business. We just want to be left alone.

But the prime minister has laid down three red lines. First, anyone who shoots at us, we shoot back. Second, we will not allow Syria to become a conduit for advanced weaponry reaching Hizbullah in Lebanon. And third, we’re not going to allow anyone to build an infrastructure that can be used to threaten Israel in the future. So if we see someone building a terrorist network, the purpose of which is to threaten Israel, something may happen to that person. According to certain reports, these things have happened in the past and they will continue to happen so long as there are people who want to use Syria as a base for attacking Israel.

I have to add that on a human level it’s very sad to see such unspeakable suffering, and we try to extend humanitarian aid wherever we can. There’s an Israeli NGO called IsraAID which set up shop on the island of Lesvos in Greece giving medical care to refugees. Other Israeli NGOs are providing food and supplies in refugee camps in Jordan.

How is Israel dealing with Russia’s interests in Syria?

It’s a very complicated issue. Our interests in Syria do not correlate with Russia’s. Russia wants to keep Assad in power. Keeping Assad in power means strengthening Iran’s influence and presence – which is the main threat to us. And the Russians are also fighting shoulder to shoulder with Hizbullah which is one of our main enemies. So our interests do not correlate. Having said that, Israel and Russia share enough interests elsewhere and on other levels that we both have the motivation to make sure the conflicting interest don’t become a direct conflict.

What “other interests” are you referring to?

First of all, it’s interesting to note that Russia sees Israel as a special case on account of its huge population of Russian Jews. I remember meeting the Russian ambassador in Israel, and he said, “Since I’ve come to Israel, my English has deteriorated because from the supermarket to the president, everyone speaks to me in Russian.” So they feel there’s an important link there, and I think that makes for a different attitude.

I won’t go into too many details, but there are other issues on which Israel and Russia cooperate so that both countries wish to maintain cordial relations.

What’s Israel’s current policy toward Iran? Are we now beyond the point where destroying Iran’s nuclear program is possible?

Israel’s fundamental policy hasn’t changed. We will take every means necessary to make sure Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons. What has happened is that because of the Iran deal, the crunch time – the point at which you have to make a decision – has been pushed off by a few years. But when we reach that crunch time again, I have no doubt that the prime minister of Israel will not hesitate to act.

Elliot Resnick

Israeli President to EU Parliament: No More ‘Negotiations for Negotiations’ Sake’

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday, including foreign ministers of the EU member states, and issued a sharp rebuke of the international community’s approach toward Israeli-“Palestinian” peacemaking, arguing that the recent French initiative “suffers from fundamental flaws” and that efforts should be focused on building trust among the parties rather than striving for a permanent peace deal, which he described as a “chronicle of a predictable failure.”

Rivlin, a former right-wing parliamentarian who has refashioned himself in the presidency as a strong voice for unity and tolerance, pointedly dismissed recent European peacemaking endeavors, including the French initiative conference adopted by the European Union Council last week.

“The attempt to return to negotiations for negotiations’ sake, not only does not bring us near the long-awaited solution, but rather drags us further away from it,” Rivlin said. “The French initiative suffers from fundamental flaws.”

“If the international community really wishes and truly aspires to be a constructive player, it must divert its efforts away from the renewal of negotiations for negotiations’ sake, and toward building trust between the parties, and to creating the necessary terms for the success of negotiations in the future,” Rivlin added. “In the current circumstances, we must all ask ourselves ‘what can be done today’, rather than, ‘what cannot be done.’”

Rivlin argued that a true peace deal is not practical today and its pursuit is a doomed enterprise.

“Currently the practical conditions, the political and regional circumstances, which would enable us to reach a permanent agreement between us – the Israelis and the Palestinians – are failing to materialize,” Rivlin claimed, citing the split between the Palestinian Fatah party and the Hamas terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, as well as the “total lack of trust between the parties, at all levels, between the leaders and the nations.”

“One cannot hope to achieve better results while resorting to the same outlooks and tools which have failed time after time previously,” Rivlin said.

Rivlin also addressed European criticism of Israel, which he described as misguided and at times unfair.

“I feel that the massive criticism aimed at Israel in Europe stems from, inter alia, a misunderstanding and an impatience toward this existential need of the Jewish Nation and the State of Israel,” he said. “There are those who feel anger and frustration toward certain European actions, vis-à-vis what they perceive as sometimes unfair criticism, sometimes even contaminated by elements of condescension, and some would even say double standard.”

“If Europe is interested in serving as a constructive factor in striving for a future agreement, it will be incumbent upon you its leaders, to focus efforts at this time in a patient and methodic building of trust. Not through divestments, but through investment; not by boycotts, but by cooperation,” Rivlin added.

Despite his blistering critique of Europe’s attitude toward Israel and his stark assessment of the possibility of a long-term peace deal in the near future, Rivlin stressed that Israel seeks peace.

“I speak to you today in the name of a nation which abhors war and desires life and peace,” he said. “Being well versed in the Israeli Parliament, I do know that any political agreement brought before the Israeli Knesset by an elected government will be approved.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-president-to-eu-parliament-no-more-negotiations-for-negotiations-sake/2016/06/22/

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