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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Thousands March 9 B’Av Night in Support of Israeli Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Thousands of marchers from all across Israel participated in the 22nd annual walk around the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av night, Saturday, organized by Women in Green. This year the walk, which began following the traditional reading of the scroll of Lamentations at the Independence Park in downtown Jerusalem, was focused on Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. The marchers circled the ancient walls carrying Israeli flags, accompanied by police.

The march was concluded with a rally that began with a rousing speech by Women in Green co-founders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia matar. Katsover asked why did the 9th of Av become the time of the year when so many calamities took place in the history of the Jewish nation (the destruction of two temples, the fall of the city of Beitar to the Romans, the expulsion from Spain, the expulsion from the Gaza Strip). She pointed to the fact that the sin of the spies, the first event that established Tisha B’Av as a day of mourning for the ages, was the sin of fear of going out to conquer the promised land. The spies convinced the nation that we couldn’t do it.

9 B'Av Jerusalem march 2016 organizers Yehudit Katsover and Nadia matar / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

9 B’Av Jerusalem march 2016 organizers Yehudit Katsover and Nadia matar / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

“We can’t do it! The state of mind of ‘I can’t do it’ is the cause of defeat. That’s the root of the destruction,” Katsover said. “Tisha B’Av is here to remind us to mourn the things we could have done but didn’t … because of our fear. We don’t build in Judea and Samaria because we’re afraid of pressure from the dwarf Obama. We fail to save [the community set for demolition] Amona because the Supreme Court is afraid of the world. We don’t impose sovereignty because we fear the demographics. We don’t carry out this march in the direction of the Temple Mount because we fear the Arabs and the deteriorating State of Jordan.”

“If we allow our subjective fears to dictate our objective reality, we’ll keep falling time and again,” Katsover declared. “This is the root of our destruction. The first time this approach was introduced was on Tisha B’Av and since then, each year, we cry over the fact that we failed to trust ourselves.” And she announced, “On this Tisha B’Av we’ll decide that we can do. We can and we will. We will not permit the baseless tears to stop us.”

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

Dov Kalmanovich, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, the first Israeli victim of the First Intifada (the skin of his face and a large part of his body were burned away by a Molotov cocktail that was hurled at his car on December 9, 1987), said the way to bolster Israel sovereignty across the Land of Israel was through unrelenting construction. He said liberation didn’t end with the conquering of the city, that’s where it started — and the rest is all about building the city. “With your support we’ll cry out for a sovereign Jerusalem,” but this sovereignty must be borne by physical building, Kalmanovich told the marchers.

Former MK Aryeh Eldad / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

Former MK Aryeh Eldad / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

 

Former MK Aryeh Eldad told the audience about his late father, MK Israel Eldad, who each year on Tisha B’Av would visit the Israel Museum, stand in front of the statue of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who suppressed the Bar Kokhva rebellion (132 – 135 CE) and tell him, “So, what do you say? Where are you and where are we now?”

“On the surface he appeared to be right,” Eldad said about his father. “The Roman Empire disappeared and we are here, a sovereign nation returning to its homeland after destruction and catastrophe the likes of which history has not known. But it isn’t that simple.”

“The curse of Hadrian is still hovering above us,” Eldad continued. “After he destroyed Beitar and hundreds of other communities, and massacred half a million Jews, he was not satisfied, and sought to revise history and erase the memory of Israel. This is why he rename Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina (after Jupiter Capitolinus, the same god who eventually lent a derivation of his name to Capitol Hill). And he changed the name of the province of Judea to the province of Syria-Palestine.”

“This curse of Palestine has been chasing us to this day,” Eldad said. “If we want to return to the mountain, we must erase the name Palestine from Eretz Israel.”

The crowd responded with soaring applause.

Other speakers included Rina Ariel, mother of 13-year-old Halel Yaffa Ariel hy”d who was murdered in her bed a few weeks ago by an Arab terrorist; former Russian dissident Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich; and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan.

MK Yehuda Glick / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

MK Yehuda Glick / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

The last speaker at the rally was MK Yehuda Glick, whose name and personal history have become intertwined with the story of Jewish efforts to return to the Temple Mount. “For two thousand years we’ve kept the commandment of ‘Bitterly she will weep at night’ (Lamentations 1:2), but no more! We stop crying and start doing! The fathers of the Zionist movement have taught us the diaspora is not only the punishment but the sin, too. Zion is the holy Mt. Zion, and Zionism took that name because it wanted to return to Zion, to the Temple Mount, and you,” he turned to the audience, “are part of the return to Zion, to the Temple Mount.”

Pointing out that when he began ascending to the Temple Mount only about a hundred Jews a year would go there, but in the past year some 20 thousand have come.

“Since the day fifty years ago, when God gave us, through the IDF, the land of our fathers, the Golan, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and we said that Temple Mount is in our hands (the famous victory cry of Paratroopers commander Gen. Motta Gur, June 7, 1967), it really has been in our hands,” Glick said. “Temple Mount is holy, not the status quo,” he continued, crying, “Eicha-How [the Hebrew title of the Book of lamentations] is a scream. How can there be such and absurd reality in which we cannot pray in this place? How can it be that the global center of ‘Nation will not take up sword against nation’ fall in the hands of people who sanctify the sword? How can we give more and more power to the Waqf?”

Glick, whose first few months in office have been marked by liberal and tolerant statements that puzzle the media, concluded decidedly, “We must make clear that all the talk about the chance for a Palestinian State is finished. We will proceed in imposing Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, and anyone wishing to live in peace is welcome, and if they don’t we’ll use harsh measure against them.”

“We are now a nation of building in the daytime, not a nation of weeping at night,” Glick concluded.

The rally then erupted in three calls of “Higia z’man ribonut” (the time for sovereignty is now) and proceeded to the Kotel Plaza to sit down and say Lamentations.

9 B'Av Jerusalem marchers 2016 / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

9 B’Av Jerusalem marchers 2016 / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

JNi.Media

New Jerusalem Lone Soldier Center Opens on Michael Levin’s Yartzheit

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Thursday, August 11th marked 10 years since Michael Levin, a lone soldier who made Aliyah from Philadelphia, was killed fighting in the Second Lebanon War.

Michael is remembered by the many American and Israelis he touched, for being small in size, at just over five feet tall, but a giant in his actions, smile and the deeds that defined him.

According to Michael’s mother Harriet, “Michael was deeply impacted by his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family. Michael always viewed the protection of the Jewish people, as a driving force in his life. Once he first set foot in Israel on a high school trip, and was surrounded by Jewish life, Jewish culture and Israelis speaking Hebrew, part of me knew that my baby would never come back home, that Israel would be his place”.

Michael’s tragic passing set into motion a community-wide, grass roots effort, on the part of his fellow soldiers and especially other lone soldiers who served or lived with Michael in Jerusalem, to establish the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

The Lone Soldier Center has grown each year, powered by volunteers and discharged lone soldiers, to become a country-wide network of Centers and homes for lone soldiers in cities across Israel,  home-away-from-home for thousands of lone soldiers.

On Michael’s yartzheit, Michael’s family and hundreds of friends gathered to pay their respects at his grave on Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery.

Michael Levin's parents at his grave on his 10th Yartzheit.

Michael Levin’s parents at his grave on his 10th Yartzheit.

From Mt. Herzl, the group went on to the official Opening of the Lone Soldier Center’s new Jerusalem home – a 3,200 square foot moadon (“clubhouse”) in downtown Jerusalem, where hundreds of lone soldiers can pass through on any given day.

The Center’s Director, Josh Flaster, a former lone soldier himself added, “we are so excited to be moving into our new home. This larger facility will allow the Center to host hundreds of lone soldiers for Shabbat meals, to do their laundry and get help with any issues they are facing, inside or outside of the IDF. The moadon serves as the center of the community and support system for the more than 6,500 lone soldiers who risk their lives to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The Lone Soldier Center fulfills Michael’s ideals and vision, supporting thousands of lone soldiers from 52 countries around the world who follow in Michael’s footsteps.

According to Michael’s former roommate, Ari, a lone soldier himself from New York, “I remember Michael most for the way he would always care first and foremost for his friends and roommates, for other lone soldiers. While nothing can ever take away the pain of losing Mikey, the legacy he left behind, of lone soldiers supporting the next generation of lone soldiers, is a tremendous gift and comfort.”

Jewish Press Staff

Arabs Calling for Tisha B’Av Confrontations on Temple Mount

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy chairman of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, on Thursday called for a mass ascent of Muslims to the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount on Sunday, when Jews will mark the 9th of Av, the day in history when both holy temples were destroyed.

Khatib, who back in 2014 promised that Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate, once the entire Earth becomes subordinate to the caliphate, did not actually call for violence come Sunday — a day with no significance on the Muslim calendar. “We are close to the Al Aqsa mosque, so we call on everyone to come to the mosque. To come for prayers, of course, not to harm anyone. It’s our right to be there,” said Khatib, who only three days earlier was detained for interrogation on suspicion of incitement.

“Next Sunday is a day when the Jews mark the memory of the destruction of the Temple. It’s a sad day for the Israeli nation which mourns the destruction of the second Temple,” NRG quoted Khatib’s statement. “We have no connection to that crime, not to the destruction of the first nor the second Temple. So why must we pay for the destruction of the two Temples which were ruined by the Babylonians and the Romans?” Khtaib asked, his argument sounding much like the Arab age-old, essentially revisionist question, why must we pay for the crimes of the Nazis (the answer is that Arab pogroms against Jews in Eretz Israel began in 1878, a good half century before the first Nazi ever raised a beer mug in a Munich pub).

Egged on by his own revisionism, Khatib commented, “Unfortunately, the Jews have turned this day into a day of violence against our holy sites. They declared Sunday as the day on which they would desecrate Al Aqsa mosque. Jewish groups and individuals, rabbis and settler MKs — they’ve all called for going to Al Aqsa mosque.”

Of course, no Jew has even mentioned Al Aqsa mosque, because Jews, especially religious Jews, prefer to attend their services in a synagogue, thank you very much. The confusion is the result of the recent naming of the entire compound, formerly known in Arabic as Haram al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary, or, really, Holy Temple), as “Al Aqsa Mosque.” Arabs are entitled to their PC speech like everyone else…

There have been calls by the Temple Mount organizations to increase the number of Jews ascending the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, and there has been talk of spreading straw mats in the peripheral area where Jews are permitted to set foot, for mourners to sit and absolutely not whisper lamentations, which would be against the rules of the true owners of the area, the Jordanian Waqf.

The Arab website Kamakar Press offered its own, distinctly less mild version of the Khatib incitement. In a report titled, Extremist Israelis tear their clothes inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, the website repeated the notion that the entire compound is now considered one big Al Aqsa mosque, which is why when those “Extremist Israelis” performed the symbolic tearing of their shirts (one, small cut near the collar, usually) on the very outskirts of the compound, this was reported as taking place inside the mosque. The more incitement the merrier. The website also reported that “Over recent days, Muslim worshipers and activists called for intensifying vigil at the Al Aqsa place of worship so as to defend the site against projected Israeli mass-break-ins to mark the so-called Destruction of the Temple Mount anniversary.”

In light of the Sheikh’s incitement, it’s likely that Jerusalem Police will do what it usually does in these cases, and bar Jewish mourners from the Temple Mount altogether Sunday, possibly along with Muslims. Which shows you how much can be accomplished with one speech and a couple of newspaper articles…

JNi.Media

When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Aish HaTorah website}

Note: The following laws are based on Ashkenazi tradition, and some points are subject to varying opinion. When in doubt, AYLOR (ask your local Orthodox rabbi)

1. What are the main changes when Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday?

When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat, the main changes are:

  • The fast is postponed until Sunday.
  • Bathing is permitted on Rosh Chodesh.
  • Marital relations are forbidden on Friday night.
  • Washing any part of the body with hot water is forbidden on Shabbat.

When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday, the main changes are:

  • There is no special Seuda Hamafseket before the fast.
  • Some of the laws of Tisha B’Av begin only at nightfall on Saturday night, instead of at sunset.
  • Havdalah is postponed until Sunday night.

2. When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat and is postponed until Sunday, is the preceding week considered as “the week in which Tisha B’Av occurs”?

There are different opinions about this. Therefore:

One should be strict about this concerning laundering and haircuts.

One may be lenient about matters concerning cutting nails and making clothes. As for meat and wine, Sefardim could eat without restriction; for Ashkenazim certain leniencies apply (for example, regarding who can eat meat at a Bris).

3. May a woman immerse in a mikveh on Friday night that is Tisha B’Av?

Yes. In this case, marital relations are permitted.

4. Are there any changes to the prayers in this situation?

Tzidkas’cha is not said at Mincha.

Pirkei Avot is not said at Mincha.

5. May one hold a public kiddush on this Shabbat?

If the kiddush can be held on a different Shabbat, it is preferable to defer it.

If the kiddush cannot be held on a different Shabbat — e.g. for an aufruff (groom prior to his wedding), it is permitted.

6. May one eat meat and drink wine at the Shabbat meals?

Yes. This is permitted even at Seuda Shlishit.

7. May one invite guests to the Shabbat meals?

Yes. However, one should not invite guests for Seuda Shlishit unless he does so regularly.

8. May one sing zemirot at the Shabbat meals?

Yes. This is permitted even at Seuda Shlishit.

9. May one go for a stroll on this Shabbat?

When the ninth of Av is Sunday, one may not go for a stroll on Shabbat after halachic noon.

When the ninth of Av is Shabbat, one may not go for a stroll at any time of the day.

10. May one visit family or friends?

No.

11. May one learn Torah on this Shabbat?

Before halachic midday, it is permitted to learn Torah.

After halachic midday, many opinions permit learning Torah. If a person can limit himself to the topics that are permitted on Tisha B’Av, it is praiseworthy.

It is permitted to read the weekly parsha and its translation all day.

12. May one take pills on Shabbat to alleviate the pains of fasting?

It is permitted to take them on Shabbat until sunset only if they are mixed with a food or drink. One should preferably prepare the mixture before Shabbat.

One may take them without water even on Saturday night, unless they are pleasant tasting.

13. May a communal Seuda Shlishit be held in shul?

No. Everyone should eat at home.

14. Are there any changes to Seuda Shlishit?

Although any food may be served, including meat and wine, and zemirot may be sung, the mood should be somewhat subdued.

A person should not say that he is eating in order to have strength to fast, but he may think this.

One must stop eating and drinking before sunset, since the fast begins at this time. People should be reminded about this, as it is unlike a regular Shabbat.

15. Must one say Grace After Meals before sunset?

It is permitted to say the Grace after sunset, but one should try to wash mayim acharonim (after waters) before sunset, if possible.

16. May one say Grace After Meals with a 3-man zimun?

Yes (unlike when the eve of Tisha B’Av falls on a regular weekday, where one should not make a zimun).

17. May one eat or drink after Seuda Shlishit?

If one said Grace After Meals before sunset, one may eat or drink until sunset. It is not necessary to have this in mind when saying Grace After Meals.

18. Which prohibitions of Tisha B’Av commence at sunset?

All the prohibitions except wearing shoes and sitting on a chair commence at sunset. These two activities are permitted until nightfall.

19. When should one change one’s shoes and Shabbat clothes?

There are two customs:

Some go to shul before nightfall and begin Ma’ariv at the usual time of Saturday night. The chazzan should say “baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol,” remove his shoes, and then say “barchu.” The congregation should respond to “barchu” and then remove their shoes. Care must be taken not to touch one’s shoes when removing them. The Shabbat clothes are not removed until one returns home after Ma’ariv. This is the prevalent custom in the Diaspora.

Some shuls delay the commencement of Ma’ariv, allowing people to remain at home until nightfall. At the time of nightfall, everyone should say the phrase “baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol,” remove his shoes, and change into weekday clothes before Ma’ariv. This is the prevalent custom in Israel.

20. According to the first custom, may one bring Tisha B’Av footwear to shul before Ma’ariv?

Even if there is an eiruv this is forbidden, since one may not prepare on Shabbat for after Shabbat. It is also forbidden to change one’s shoes before going to shul, since this is disgracing the Shabbat. It is therefore advisable to leave suitable footwear in shul before Shabbat to wear after Shabbat.

21. Is the blessing recited over the spices?

No. It is forbidden to smell spices, since a person must refrain from such a pleasure on Tisha B’Av.

22. Is the blessing recited over a Havdalah candle?

Yes. According to one custom, it is recited in shul before the reading of Lamentations. According to another custom, it is recited at home before Ma’ariv, if there is time. According to some opinions, the blessing should be recited over two regular candles and not over a braided Havdalah candle.

23. May one wash the Shabbat dishes on Saturday night?

No. They may not be washed until Tisha B’Av afternoon.

24. Should a person who is not fasting recite Havdalah before eating?

Yes. However, if he only needs to drink water throughout the fast, he should not recite Havdalah.

25. Should such a person recite Havdalah immediately after Shabbat. or wait until he needs to eat?

He should wait until he needs to eat.

26. When needing to eat on the fast day [in this case, Sunday the 10th of Av], which sections of Havdalah are recited?

The introductory verses and the blessing over spices should be omitted. The blessing over a candle should be omitted if he already recited or heard it at the termination of Shabbat, or if he is reciting Havdalah during the day.

27. Should Havdalah be recited over wine, grape juice, or another drink?

According to most opinions, beer is the most preferred drink.

If this is not possible, some opinions prefer the use of a drink that has national importance. (A rabbi should be consulted to ascertain which drinks qualify for this purpose.) Other opinions question the use of such drinks, and prefer the use of grape juice.

If nothing else is available, wine may be used.

28. If wine or grape juice is used, should the cup be given to a child to drink?

If a child above the age of six is available, the cup should be given to him.

If not, the person who recites Havdalah should drink the cup himself.

29. How much of the cup should be drunk?

A cheekful only.

30. Are children obligated to recite Havdalah before they eat?

According to most opinions, they do not recite Havdalah before eating.

THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS PERTAIN TO THOSE WHO FASTED ALL DAY SUNDAY THE 10TH OF AV:

31. After the fast, may one eat or drink before Havdalah?

With the exception of water, it is forbidden to eat or drink anything before Havdalah.

32. Which drink should be used for Havdalah?

One should use wine or grape juice. The person who recites Havdalah should drink the cup himself.

33. Which parts of Havdalah are recited?

Only the two blessings “borei p’ri hagafen” and “hamavdil.” The introductory verses are omitted, as are the blessings over the spices and candle.

34. When are the various restrictions lifted?

Some are permitted immediately upon completion of the fast (e.g. bathing, laundry and haircuts), while others remain prohibited until the following morning (meat, wine and music).

*Excerpted from “Guidelines” – over 400 commonly asked questions about the Three Weeks (Targum/Feldheim).

{The authors, Rabbis Elozor Barclay and Yitzchok Jaeger of Jerusalem, wrote the bestselling series, ‘Guidelines,’ on the laws and customs of the Jewish Holidays and essential areas of everyday Jewish life.}

Guest Author

Update: Hareidi Man Stabbed Near Mount of Olives

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

An Arab stabbed a young Hareidi (Ultra-Orthodox) man with a screwdriver in the Beit Hakhoshen (A-Tur) area and fled. The attack happened around 2:30 PM.

The Israeli civilian had exited the Mount of Olives cemetery at about 2:30 p.m. after visiting the grave of a Hasidic rabbi who passed away in July. According to the Jerusalem Police, he was walking towards a nearby bus stop when an Arab man apparently approached him and pushed him to the ground. The attacker then stabbed him several times with a screwdriver and escaped the scene.

The Jewish victim then boarded one of the buses and was taken to a nearby police outpost. He reported the attack to the policemen who called in medical teams and summoned additional police forces to conduct searches for the escaped terrorist.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the Jewish victim, who sustained stab wounds to his back and neck and was in light condition. He was transported, fully conscious, to Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center where doctors said that he was in stable condition.

Content by Michael Bachner/TPS was used in the report update.

David Israel

Moscow Calming Israeli, American Fears of Russia-Turkey-Iran Coalition

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Tuesday’s meeting in St. Petersburg between the two former feuding foes Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan “drew considerable attention,” government-run news agency TASS reported, noting that the Russian-Turkish rapprochement is coming while Russia has been expanding its relations with Iran and Ankara and Tehran have also been bridging the gaps between them, born by almost four decades of a volatile Islamic Republic on Turkey’s border. In fact, right after the failed coup last month, Erdogan announced, “We are determined to cooperate with Iran and Russia to address regional problems side by side and to step up our efforts considerably to restore peace and stability to the region.”

Should Israel be concerned? Apparently, the Russian news organ is eager to spread a message of calm regarding the new developments in the northern part of the region. And so an unsigned article this week polled experts who were skeptical regarding a developing strategic triangle of those three powers. According to the TASS experts, the most that will come out of the current statements are tactical political interaction and an upturn in economic cooperation. But even if it were true, and Russia, Turkey and Iran were to forge a strategic alliance, TASS continues its calming message, it would be for the best, because “these three countries can play a positive role, for instance, in overcoming the Syrian crisis.”

It isn’t clear who is panicking more at the moment—Jerusalem or Washington—over the possibility that Turkey, a NATO member, would switch sides and coalesce with Russia and Iran. Clearly, the US has a whole lot more to lose from such an emerging outcome. US Middle East policy traditionally relied on the “three-legged stool” comprised of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. As long as those three major local powers were in the Western camp, Soviet manipulations elsewhere could be mitigated. When Iran was lost under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, the US attempted for the longest time to substitute Iraq for the missing stool leg, but the Iraqi regime never provided the stability the US enjoyed with the Shah. This is why the US is so determined to keep Turkey in the Western camp, because without a Western-allied Turkey, the US presence in the region would be severely downgraded.

Hence the need for the TASS calming story. It interviewed senior research fellow Vladimir Sazhin, of the Oriental Studies Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences, who reassured the Western readers “there will be no trilateral union, of course. It should be ruled out for many reasons. At best one can expect some tactical alliance. This is so because Iran, Turkey and Russia have certain problems in their relations with the West and with the United States.” That’s code for Turkey would be punished severely, economically and otherwise, if it ever jumped ship.

Sazhin continued, “If one takes a look at the economic interests they share, it should be remembered that Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan … are countries that produce and export hydrocarbons. They have a great deal to discuss in view of the current strained situation on the world market. As for Turkey, its role in delivering hydrocarbons to the West may be significant. But I don’t think that this triangle will be of strategic importance.”

Sazhin sees no fundamentally new geopolitical aspects in sight. “It’s about getting back to where we had been all the time. Arabs constitute an overwhelming majority of the population in the Middle East. Non-Arab countries are few – Israel, Turkey and Iran. They had very close relations up to [the emergence of] the Islamic revolution in Iran.”

“In Iran, with its 80-million population, Turks and Azerbaijanis, who are ethnically very close to Turkey, constitute an estimated 18 to 25 million,” Sazhin said. “Bilateral relations existed not only at the Tehran-Ankara level. There were very strong people-to-people bonds. Plus the long-standing economic ties. But in politics post-revolution Iran and NATO member Turkey have drifted apart, of course.”

Research fellow Irina Zvyagelskaya, of the Arab and Islamic Research Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Oriental Studies Institute told TASS, “I don’t believe in the emergence of new political triangles. I don’t think some strategic changes will follow overnight to bring about changes to the configuration of alliances. A number of steps we’ve seen our friends and partners and those we are not on very friendly terms with us take are tactical. They stem from the current situation.”

Zvyagelskaya believes that to a large extent this is true of Turkey. “It is to be remembered that Erdogan’s wish to have closer relations is a result of certain internal political events, on the one hand, and soaring tensions in his country’s relations with the United States and the European Union, on the other. These steps by Erdogan are purely pragmatic and we should treat them accordingly. As far as I understand, nobody has any illusions on that score.”

JNi.Media

Municipality Expands Jewish Community in Eastern Jerusalem Despite Faint Leftist Outcry

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

The Jerusalem planning committee on Wednesday approved using a third of an acre of the Jabal Mukkaber neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem to build religious facilities for the Jewish neighborhood of Nof Zion, where about 90 families reside. Nof Zion overlooks the Old City, and the view encourages construction of luxury housing, despite the vicinity of the Arab neighborhood, from which several terror attacks have been launched this year. The Jewish land was purchased in the 1970s.

Councilwoman Laura Wharton (Meretz), speaking to Ha’aretz, said the land is designated for a synagogue and a mikvah (ritual bath).

The Jerusalem municipality released a statement saying, “The area in question is part of the Nof Zion neighborhood, intended for public buildings and a synagogue. The land is located in the center of the neighborhood surrounded by Jewish homes and isn’t [built] at the expense of Jabal Mukkaber. The city is working to find solutions for all its residents and to erect public buildings for the residents of both Nof Zion and Jabal Mukkaber.”

The city has already earmarked about $2.9 million a year ago, for building a mikvah in the Jewish neighborhood of Ma’aleh Zeitim in eastern Jerusalem, near the Arab neighborhood of A-Tur.

Wharton complained that “tens of thousands of Palestinians living near Nof Zion are short of classrooms, kindergartens, public parks, community centers and basic services. The city adds to its sins by advancing construction plans for new residents while failing to permit construction for the Palestinians.” She also suggested that “all Israeli citizens are paying for the expropriation of land for a small number of settlers, who move into Palestinian areas which none of the world recognizes as Israeli territory.”

Councilwoman Laura Wharton’s Meretz party only netted two seats on the Jerusalem City Council, the rest are religious and nationalist members, and not a single member is Arab. The reason is that Jerusalem Arabs habitually boycott the elections, some out of resentment of the Jewish takeover back in 1967, most because they fear retribution. No self-preserving Arab resident of eastern Jerusalem would dare run for the Zionist city council, because, win or lose, his life expectancy would be meager.

According to American analyst Nathan Thrall, in municipal plans 52% of the land in eastern Jerusalem is barred from development, 35% is designated for Jewish neighborhoods, and 13% is for Arab use, roughly comparable to the current ratio of Jewish (64%) and Arab (36%) residents of Jerusalem.

Arabs make up 20.7% of the Israeli population.

Recently, Israel approved hundreds of new homes designated for Jewish and Arab communities in Jerusalem.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/municipality-expands-jewish-community-in-eastern-jerusalem-despite-faint-leftist-outcry/2016/08/11/

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