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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem Post’

Conference on Annexing Judea and Samaria Draws Big Names, Big Turnout

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Hundreds of Israelis from across Israel gathered in Hebron last Thursday to participate in the Conference for the Application of Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and to hear a growing cadre of politicians, experts, and opinion-makers discuss their perspective on how to realize this goal.

The Conference, the second of its kind organized by Women in Green, saw a speaker list that appears to reflect a sense that annexation of Judea and Samaria is an increasingly viable option. Beyond the attendance of the expected nationalist politicians – like government minister and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, National Union MK Uri Ariel, and Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely – also appearing were Caroline Glick, a senior editor at the Jerusalem Post; Yoram Ettinger, former Israeli ambassador to Washington; and Eran Bar-Tal, the economic editor of the Makor Rishon newspaper, among many others.

Long dismissed as a revisionist fantasy of the extreme nationalist camp, the idea of annexation is gaining traction in mainstream society, as more and more Israelis question the wisdom and validity of the ‘two state solution’ paradigm. The commission and release of the Levy Report appears to be one such manifestation of this shift.

At the Conference, which was held in the hall adjoining the Machpelah Cave, each speaker offered their own perspectives on annexation. Minister Hershkovitz insisted on the application of Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and not only over the communities of Area C. In what appeared to be a jab at the annexation plan put forward by Naftali Bennett – who is running against Hershkowitz for chairmanship of Habayit Hayehudi – Hershkowitz said that the application of sovereignty over anything less than all of Judea and Samaria will be interpreted by the other side as an admission of surrender over certain parts of the area. Glick agreed with Hershkowitz, saying that “the cost will be the same cost, so it would be a shame to pay it for half the job….”

Bar-Tal, speaking from an economic perspective, dismissed the scare tactics of the left regarding the economic repercussions of annexation, and stated that in fact annexation would strengthen Israel’s economy.

Yitzhak Bam of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel analyzed the legal reality in Judea and Samaria, and – in concurrence with the Levy Report – stated that the issue of the application of sovereignty is not a legal question, but purely political, since there is no other sovereign authority that demands the return of the territory to it, and, in practice, there is a sort of “sovereignty vacuum” in Judea and Samaria.

But perhaps most stirring was the video message by Israel Prize laureate and former MK Geulah Cohen, who told of her parliamentary struggle to annex east Jerusalem, which began as a private initiative, and -after her tireless efforts- was finally passed by the Knesset on July 30, 1980.

Nadia Matar, who along with Yehudit Katsover organized the Conference, said: “We were greatly inspired by Geula. She talked about the denunciations she endured during that process. At the time people mocked her, just like they’re mocking us now.

“‘The sky didn’t fall’ when the law was passed,’ ” Matar recounted Cohen saying, “despite the propaganda employed by those opposed to the annexation.”

Cohen related how Teddy Kollek, then-mayor of Jerusalem, warned her that there would be an avalanche of international condemnation and isolation. Yes, foreign governments moved their embassies out of Jerusalem, she said, but if that’s the cost of asserting sovereignty over the Land of Israel, its a worthwhile cost.

Katsover and Matar said that that they plan on capitalizing on the momentum by enlisting more public figures and citizens to bear on the Knesset to advance the law for sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

“Just like we now express surprise that Israel did not have sovereignty over east jerusalem and the Golan Heights, so our children will express surprise that once we did not have sovereignty over Judea and Samaria,” Matar said.

 

Jewish Press Staff

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: Situation in Sinai

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Yaakov Katz, military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post along with Israel correspondent for Jane’s Defense Weekly. They discuss tension that has been created since the Arab Spring between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and how the region has become a hotbed for terror activity, along with drug and weapon smuggling. Specific problems between the Sinai and Israel are discussed along with potential solutions for these problems. The segment and this week’s show wraps up with Yishai talking about a faux sovereignty controlling in the Sinai and how we should ‘take off the masks’ in the Middle East in order to see the truth.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Peter Beinart, ADL Chief, Spar over ‘Crisis’ in Zionism at President’s Conference

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The final day of the ‘Facing Tomorrow’ 2012 Presidential Conference in Jerusalem featured some of the most anticipated panels of the conference, including one on the relationship between Israel and World Jewry headlined by the controversial Peter Beinart and Abe Foxman of the ADL, and another on the future borders of Israel featuring journalist Caroline Glick, nationalist leader Naftali Bennett, and former IDF Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz.

The panel on Israel-diaspora Jewry relations was highlighted by a heated debate over the state of relations, and its ability to maintain its previous levels of closeness. Beinart, the former editor of The New Republic and current darling of the liberal media after the publication of his book The Crisis of Zionism, said: “We Are Witnessing the Slow Decline of the Zionist Consensus.” He pointed the finger of blame at leaders of the U.S. Jewish establishment, and their lack of willingness to deal openly and honestly with Israel. “What alienates young American Jews is the fact that they see Israelis criticizing Israeli policy, but they don’t hear the same candor from American Jews.”

Several panelists challenged Beinart’s perception of a crisis. Foxman said: “My love and support for Israel is unconditional, it does not depend on the Israeli acceptance of my ideas. My Zionism is not in crisis because my Zionism is not conditioned on an idealized view of what I’d like Israel to be.”

Alana Newhouse, Editor-in-Chief of Tablet Magazine, also disagreed with Beinart’s assessment, warning of the consequences of “crying wolf,” and worrying that the talk of an emergency could become “a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

The panel also included moderator Shmuel Rosner, Chair of the Israel Diaspora Paradigm Committee Pierre Besnainou, and Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic.

All panelists agreed that the Diaspora community needed to focus more on Jewish education and introducing young Jews to the importance of Israel, with Wieseltier lamenting U.S. Jewry’s reliance on Israel for its Jewish identity.

“Israel was not created to relieve U.S. Jewry of the burden of creating its own identity,” said Wieseltier. “In so far as the weakening affiliation is real, a moment of truth is arriving for American Jews and we can finally see what kind of Judaism U.S. Jewry is capable of.”

In the panel on Israel’s borders, experts from both sides of the political spectrum offered competing visions and solutions. Panelists addressed both geographical and demographic concerns and commented on the feasibility of drawing borders that would be acceptable to the international community, to the Palestinians and at the same time maintain the sustainability and safety of Israel.

Former West Bank Territorial Brigades Commander Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz stated that, in his view, “the demographical threat should dictate Israel’s action over geographical concerns.” Citing a population of more than 4 million in the Palestinian Territories, and the current Israeli population of 49% Jewish, 47% Arab, he claimed that, “by 2015 Jews will be the minority in Israel. This is really the existential threat – and this is the gist of the conflict between the left and the right.”

Caroline Glick, Senior Contributing Editor of the Jerusalem Post disagreed with Paz, stating that these figures were highly skewed, and claimed that the demographic future belongs to the Jewish people. She argued that the Jews will still maintain a 2:1 ratio over the Arab population, citing the convergence of fertility rates and the potential mass Aliya (immigration) to Israel.

Additionally, Glick maintained that Israel had exhausted the options that have been called for by the international community: “We have seen that sole Palestinian sovereignty –in Gaza- has failed. We have also seen that shared sovereignty in Judea and Samaria does not work. We have fulfilled our international obligation to attempt to reach an agreed reconciliation with the Palestinians. They have made it clear that they are unwilling to make peace with Israel and have shown that they are not interested in a Palestinian State. Instead they have focused their efforts on destroying the Jewish State.”

In her opinion, Israeli withdrawal is the worst option and that “Israel belongs to the Jews by law and right and should stop hemming and hawing and just say it and rule it.”

Naftali Bennett, the up-and-coming religious Zionist leader and founder of the Yisraelim Party suggested that the Palestinians be granted autonomy, but not a State; thus precluding a Palestinian army and an influx of Palestinian refugees from the region.

Jewish Press Staff

Opposition: Iran Accelerating Nuclear Weapons Program

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

A new report on the Iranian nuclear arms program compiled by the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) shows that Iran is in fact accelerating its efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

MEK is known for its ties with the CIA and the Mossad and was responsible for the revelation of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in 2002.

The report was obtained by two major Western outlets, the German paper Die Welt and the Jerusalem Post.

The Post revealed that the headquarters of the Iranian organization dealing with the development of a nuclear weapon (known by its Farsi acronym SPND) is based in Mojdeh, a military facility near Tehran.

SPND has seven sub-divisions, each of them dealing with a different element of the process needed for building a nuclear weapon.

The MEK report appeared three days after a publication by the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) about the ‘washing’ of a building at Parchin, a military complex southeast of Tehran. The IAEA suspects that this building contains an explosive chamber used to carry out nuclear arms related experiments and has repeatedly demanded access to the complex.  Iran has not yet complied with this demand.

These revelations come a few days before Iran and the major world powers are to resume their talks about the Iranian nuclear program.

EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last Friday expressed optimism about these talks.

She said: “my ambition is that we come away with the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons program in Iran.”

Ashton’s use of the term ‘nuclear weapons program’ however, clearly went beyond the usual EU description of Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi expects the MEK report to be a game-changer in Western perceptions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his rhetoric against Israel, calling the Jewish state a ‘mosquito’.

During the same speech Ahmadinejad made a veiled remark about certain developments in Iran that would enable Iran to become a “developed country.” As a result, he said, “Iran’s enemies would not be able to challenge the Islamic Republic anymore.”

Yochanan Visser

Permanent Artificial Heart Implanted in Israel For First Time

Monday, April 30th, 2012

An artificial heart has been permanently implanted in a patient in Israel for the first time.

Up until now, artificial hearts have been used in Israel to help a damaged heart continue to pump until a donor organ could be located.

The operation on a 63-year-old cardiac patient, who was also in organ failure, occurred over the weekend at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikvah, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Mechanical heart transplant expert Dr. Jack Copeland, of the University of California at San Diego came to Israel to help with the transplant, the newspaper reported.

The hospital is still searching for a human heart for the patient.

JTA

Former Mossad Chief to Speak to Winnipeg’s Jewish Community

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad, is coming to lecture at the annual Distinguished Lecture series in Winnipeg, on May 3, 2012.

The series benefits the work of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (JHCWC). The evening with Halevy is the primary fundraising event for the Centre which manages museum displays and the Holocaust education and awareness programs. The JHCWC also maintains historical materials which preserve the history of Western Canada`s Jewry, in particular in the province of Manitoba. The community`s genealogical research archives are also maintained on site.

The collection includes copies of community newspapers dating back as early as 1910, over 7000 photographs, a complete database of Jewish gravestones (current to December 2010), and countless manuscripts and papers. This archive is constantly growing; for example, we recently received the Yiddish papers of Adele Wiseman, Canadian literary luminary.

The JHC’s many publications on Western Canadian Jewish history include: Coming of Age: a History of the Jewish People of Manitoba, Our Musical Heritage: a Century of Jewish Musicians and Music in Winnipeg, and nine volumes of essays in Jewish Life and Times, with special volumes on Jewish women, Jewish radicalism in Winnipeg, pioneer life and Jewish Farm Colonies.

Previous invitees to the annual Kanee Distinguished Speaker Series lecture, have been internationally-known speakers such as Sir Martin Gilbert, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt and Ambassador Dore Gold. In 2012 it is Efraim Halevy, former Chief of Israel’s Mossad.

Halevy will speak at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. His topic, “Impossible Missions: Israel’s greatest threats inside and out” candidly outlines the country’s modern day challenges.

The Centre invited Israel’s legendary security consultant, negotiator, political provocateur, speaker, author and retired Mossad Director, many months in advance. His talk, however, comes as Israel grapples on the international stage with its rift between the security establishment and the country’s political leadership.

Winnipeg, nestled at the geographic centre of North America, may be the beneficiary of significant insights from Halevy, renowned for his iconoclastic views.

His often controversial stance is based on a 40 year career in the Mossad. Having moved up the ranks from intelligence officer in 1961 to years as Director of Israel’s elite Institute of Intelligence and Special Operations, Halevy is uniquely positioned to cut through the rhetoric of USA, Israel, Iran, and Syria.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions after a lecture of about an hour. It is expected that Halevy will reveal provocative plans and fresh insights for co-existence once and for all.

With service to no less than five Israeli Prime Ministers, countless international dignitaries, and hundreds of missions and negotiations in his charge, he has worked ceaselessly in the cause of Israel’s security. Much of it in “secret diplomacy.”

It is expected that the evening will also touch on the prestigious Shasha Centre for Strategic Studies. The Israeli-based centre researches policy and presents white papers to stimulate public discussion leading to practical policies to effect sustainable change in the Middle East. This meshes well with the education initiatives of the JHCWC as well as its mandate to monitor news and events pertaining to racism, anti-Semitism, and world news affecting the Jewish community.

Winnipeg audiences anticipate fresh perspectives from the man who began to share behind the scene details on his watch in his book, “Man in the Shadows.”

As anonymous in his civilian look as George Smiley, the lead character in a John le Carré novel, Israel’s modern day spymaster and now editorial writer and professor holds that creative solutions must be found and soon.

On Iran Halevy has said, “They don’t know how to extricate themselves. We have to find creative ways to help them escape from their own rhetoric.”

Contrary to the panic generally promoted about Iran’s nuclear arms status, the evening is likely to touch on his views of Israel’s military and strategic might – “I believe that Israel is indestructible.”

Pragmatic and hopeful Halevy is known for his initiatives to “start the ball rolling.”

While to many outside of Israel the situation looks dire, Winnipeg’s audience may find solace in Halevy’s sign off line in a recent Jerusalem Post editorial, where he wrote, “The impossible happens twice a week in Israel.”

The lecture is a public event open to all. For more information on the work of the Jewish Heritage Centre visit http://www.jhcwc.org/

Helena Kaufman

Author A.B. Yehoshua: American Jews are ‘Partial Jews’

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Noted Israeli author and Israel Prize Laureate, A.B. Yehoshua, delivered a lecture on Friday in which he stated that American Jews “are partial Jews while I am a complete Jew.”

“In no siddur is there a mention of the word ‘Jew’ but only ‘Israeli’,” Yehoshua asserted. “In no way are we the same thing – we are total and they are partial; we are Israeli and also Jewish.”

Speaking at the HaKatedra Strategic Friday lecture series, under the auspices of the Land of Israel Museum, Yehoshua said that living outside Israel “is a very deep failure of the Jewish people,” and lamented that immigration numbers from the United States are “minimal” and “embarrassing.”

He challenged American Jews to assume a ‘complete’ Jewish identity: “If Judaism is important to you, then come here, receive it in full and be part of it. But it is important that you understand: ‘they’ and ‘us’ are not the same thing. Do not make do with texts.”

He also accused American Jews of being generous with pronunciations of support but infrequent travelers to Israel: “They should come here more often. All the love they have for Israel, but they were here for barely a five-day visit…barely 20 percent of them [American Jews] have ever been in Israel.”

Yehoshua did not restrict his criticism of diaspora Jewry to Americans, and also took aim at the large Israeli ex-patriot communities living abroad: “There are about 500,000 Israelis abroad who can easily glide into their Israeliness, which they consider only citizenship and not identity … there is nearly no home without a convertible outside. I know these homes, who are well off. Why? Because they cannot find jobs here? The Swedes, too, don’t have work in high technology like they would want, but you will not see so many Swedes in the United States.”

Known more for his outspokenly dovish stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Yehoshua is no stranger to controversy when it comes to Shlilat HaGolah (Negation of the Diaspora). In a 2006 speech in the US at the centennial symposium of the American Jewish Committee, he said “Judaism outside Israel has no future. If you do not live in Israel…your Jewish identity has no meaning at all.” Suffice it to say, his hosts were less than impressed with his choice of words and the forum in which he chose to express them. In 2003, he was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that “diaspora Judaism is masturbation. Here [Israel], it is the real thing.”

Rafi Harkham

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