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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Israeli Chief Rabbinate Working to Lower Kashrut Costs

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate is hoping to lower the cost of kashrut by approving more foreign kashrut certification organizations. The initiative comes in context of a general move by the Finance Ministry to lower the cost of living in the Jewish State.

In addition, it was announced Tuesday that the Chief Rabbinate will create a committee to explore new ways to supervise the kashrut and quality foreign dairies. The agency said itis hoping to use enhanced technology to reduce the price of dairy imports while improving competition in the field.

Data presented at a ministerial meeting on Tuesday indicated a wide disparity between the price of imported dairy products and those produced in Israel.

World Expo Site Removes ‘Capitals’ from Site to Duck BDS Rage

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

The 2015 World Expo has removed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from its website — and every other national capital as well — following the release of an angry statement condemning Israel and claiming “land grabs and water theft” by the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) Italy movement.

The Expo body managing the event, scheduled to take place next year in Milan, apparently removed the field “capital” from all country profiles for world fair participants as a means of avoiding clashes with the BDS movement.

BDS claimed this week in a false, hysterical email campaign sent to its international list of thousands that “Israel, under the pretense of a manhunt for the three missing settlers, has killed 6 Palestinians, wounded dozens, arrested over 400 without charge, closed entire cities and areas, raided thousands ofhomes and organizations and bombed Gaza in an act of collective punishment.”

John ‘Chicken’ Kerry Skips Israel on New Middle East Tour

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on his way back to the Middle East for the umpteenth time, heading for Egypt and Jordan but without chancing a slip on the unwelcome mat in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

More significant is that the State Dept. announced Kerry’s tag-alongs will be  National Security Staff Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa Prem Kumar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and Maghreb Affairs William Roebuck, Spokesperson Jen Psaki, and assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd.

Kerry’s entourage is most notable for who is not going to give the travel agents more business . Absent are Jeffrey Feltmnan, the Assistant Secretary for the region, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who now is President Barack Obama’s personal hangman for the “peace process.” He has been hanging out in Washington incognito the past several weeks, and the State Dept. has not been able to tell nosey reporters exactly what he is doing, not that he ever knew himself.

“At the President’s direction, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel from June 22-27 to the Middle East and Europe to consult with partners and allies on how we can support security, stability, and the formation of an inclusive government in Iraq, to discuss Middle East security challenges, and to attend the NATO Foreign Ministerial,” the State Dept. declared in a press release.

After visiting Cairo and Amman, “The Secretary will then travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, which will discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in September as well as the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. In Paris, France, the Secretary will meet with key regional partners and Gulf allies on Middle East security challenges, including Iraq and Syria.”

Nothing about Israel, Nothing about the Palestinian Authority, and nothing about the “unity” government of Fatah and Hamas.

Journalists at the daily State Dept. media briefing don’t even ask about the “peace process” anymore, and the kidnapping of the three missing teenagers only crops up when the reporter for the Al Quds pro-Arab newspaper constantly jabs the spokeswomen about Israel’s “disproportionate” counter-terrorist operations.

It would be interesting to hear his reaction if Israel took “proportionate’ action and kidnapped three Palestinian Authority teenagers and whisked them away without a hint of who abducted them and if they are alive or not.

Kerry and the Obama administration can easily count on the media to forget about the peace process follies, thanks to the Syrian civil war and the collapse of security in Iraq, both countries where the United States made careful preparations for stability. Obama, who declared the assassination of Osama bin Laden was the beginning of the end of Al Qaeda, now is watching the terrorist organization breathing down the backs of Jordan and Baghdad.

Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, three months after the first peaceful protests three years ago against the regime, defended Syrian President Bassar al-Assad as a “reformer.” Prior to the uprising, when Kerry was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was President Obama’s personal ambassador to Syria to restore diplomatic relations. He is lucky he did not succeed, but he has a pretty clean track record on that score.

Iraq is keeping the experts in Foggy Bottom busy to see how many more mistakes they can make.

Kerry and the Obama administration are licking their chops after the shambles of their nine-month crusade to make matters worse for Israelis and Arabs.

Keeping on top of the rapid-fire crises in the Middle East the past three years has been like trying to catch popcorn while it is jumping around in the machine.

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I believe the Palestinian Authority unity government has launched a third intifada.

Perhaps a quiet one, perhaps not. But it is undeniably clear there has been a sharp escalation in Arab attacks on Jews throughout the country since the start of 2014.

Since the beginning of 2014, more than 200 rockets were aimed at Israel from the Gaza region – twice the number fired in 2013.

And once Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas signed his merger with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal –- silent partners with the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad – the number of attacks jumped even higher.

For starters, here’s what the week looks like so far:

On Sunday night Arabs felt comfortable enough to open fire in a drive-by attack on an IDF checkpoint at the entrance to Jerusalem leading to Highway 60, the main road that runs through the Gush Etzion tunnel and through Judea to the south of Israel’s capital. Five bullet casings from a pistol were found. Miraculously, no one was injured.

On Monday evening, here’s what happened:

  • An Egged bus driver on Bus #51 was injured when his bus came under attack by Arab rock throwers on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The hail of rocks smashed the glass on the bus, sending the broken shards flying into the driver’s face and body.
  • A missile launched from Gaza made it through Israeli defenses and exploded on the outskirts of Ashkelon. No injuries reported.
  • Arab terrorists attacked a car traveling on the main road near Azun; one of the rocks they hurled at the vehicle broke the back window and wounded a baby in the back seat. The mother, who drove, managed to reach help in the Jewish town of Karnei Shomron.
  • Arabs attacked the Beit Orot Yeshiva in Jerusalem, also Monday night, and succeeded in hitting the guardhouse of the yeshiva. They did not succeed in injuring anyone.
  • Two Arab terrorists attempted to infiltrate the Samaria Jewish town of Kochav Yaakov in the Binyamin region on Monday night as well. They were spotted by IDF soldiers trying to cut through the town’s security fence. The soldiers opened fire at the terrorists, injuring one of them. The injured terrorist was subsequently taken to a Ramallah hospital — but the second terrorist managed to escape. This is the second attempt by terrorists to infiltrate the town in less than 72 hours.

In the past 14 days, at least a dozen missiles were fired at Israel. Seven reached Israeli territory, including a number fired at Ashkelon. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system – but the falling shrapnel caused damage to the property hit by the debris.

Last Wednesday, a European Union delegation visited Gaza to express support for the new Hamas-backed legislators joining the PA unity government. Barely 24 hours later, emboldened Hamas terrorists in Judea crossed into Israeli territory to kidnap two 16 year old yeshiva boys who learn at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, and their 19 year old fellow student. They were grabbed while standing on the road in Gush Etzion, heading home for the Sabbath. One of the boys had the presence of mind to dial police and managed to get the words out, “We’re being kidnapped by terrorists,” before his cell phone was cut off.

That was last Thursday night.

An IDF spokesperson announced the IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of Israel and will operate decisively against any act of terrorism. Strong words – but police took hours to respond to the yeshiva boys’ desperate phone call for help. Reportedly they were too busy interrogating other teens at a community where there was a report of a ‘price tag’ attack on Arabs in days past.

Judea, Samaria Hamas Leadership in IDF Custody, 1 PUG Arab Dead

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Nearly all of the Hamas leadership in Judea and Samaria is now in the hands of the IDF. In the process, a Palestinian Authority unity government Arab died at dawn in clashes at Jelazoun, north of Ramallah, but it is not clear whose bullet ended his life.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported the 20-year-old man was taken to hospital with “a bullet in his chest” but failed to mention whether the bullet was from a terrorist’s gun or that of the IDF. Two other rioters were also wounded, according to the report. The man had been one of the rioters trying to prevent IDF soldiers from their house to house search for three teenage yeshiva boys kidnapped by the terrorist group last Thursday night. The soldiers were also arresting Hamas members during the operation, which took place overnight throughout Judea and Samaria.

Nearly all of the Hamas leadership in Judea and Samaria is now in Israel’s custody, with some 150 arrests having been made over the past 48 hours. The IDF allegedly used explosives to blow open the door at one house in Hevron; two arrests were made in that incident.

Arabs also attacked Jews as they were walking back from a mass prayer rally at the Western Wall Sunday evening, singing songs of faith as they passed through the alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem. The mob of Arabs hurled rocks and chairs at the Jews, screaming and cursing at them, attempting to block them from moving forward until police arrived to break up the confrontation. A video of the attack can be seen on the Arutz Sheva website.

Arab attacks on Jews in and around the Old City and on routes to and from the Western Wall are becoming increasingly more common: an American tourist who asked not to be identified told The Jewish Press that her visit to the sacred site on Friday night was marred by a what she called a similar “unpleasant incident.”

The woman, accompanied by an Israeli friend, was on her way to the Western Wall when a group of Arab teenage boys “bumped into us, deliberately getting between us, smoking cigarettes and looking very insolent. They went out of their way to get into our way,” she said, “and then looking to see what we would do about it, if anything. I am a New Yorker so I just kept walking. But it was not pleasant and it’s never happened before. I thought it was very odd.”

On Sunday night, PUG Arabs also opened fire in a drive-by shooting at an IDF checkpoint protecting the entrance to Jerusalem on the Gush Etzion tunnel road. No one was injured in the shooting, which took place on Highway 60 near the Arab village of Walleja. Five bullet casings were later found near the site of the incident.

Two of the kidnapped yeshiva boys — Gilad Sha’ar and U.S.-born Naftali Frenkel are age 16, and Eyal Yifrach is 19 years old. All three learn at the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in the Judean community of Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion. They were traveling to their homes for the Sabbath when they were kidnapped. One managed to call police at 10:25 p.m. to let them know they had been grabbed by terrorists before their cell phones were cut off, police said Sunday night.

By early Sunday, some 80 Hamas members and more than a dozen Islamic Jihad terror suspects had been rounded up for questioning in the search for the missing teens. Overnight Sunday night, another 50 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members were taken into custody.

Jordan ‘Concerned’ over Aussie Stand on Jerusalem

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Jordan has summoned the Australian charge d’affaires to express “concern” over Canberra’s decision to drop the word ‘occupied’ from its references to Jerusalem.

“The ministry summoned [Australian charge d’affaires John Feakes] and informed him that the kingdom is concerned about the Australian government’s decision to stop referring to east Jerusalem as ‘occupied,’” Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sabah Rafei said in a statement.

“The Australian government’s decision violates international law and resolutions that consider east Jerusalem to be an integral part of all Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” the statement continued.

Australia’s government decided last week to drop the word ‘occupied’ in references to areas of Jerusalem restored to Israel’s capital by IDF soldiers during the 1967 Six Day War. Israel annexed the area shortly after, despite international refusal to recognize the move.

The territories referred to by Amman were actually occupied by Jordan in 1948 during Israel’s War of Independence – a fact conveniently omitted in all references to the issue by Arab statements on the matter.

Annexation ‘Only Sane Plan’ Says Bennett

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says annexing Area C – the Jewish settlement blocs and the areas of the Judea and Samaria that are totally under Israeli control in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords – is the “only sane plan” left.

Speaking in an interview with IDF Army Radio this morning (Monday), the Bayit Yehudi party chairman said, “It’s no secret that for dozens of years there has been a massive disagreement on how to leave the settlements. But there’s been no justification for the argument. It hasn’t proven itself.”

Since 1967, the number of Israeli Jews living in Judea and Samaria – known abroad by the euphemism used by Jordan after it occupied the territory, the “West Bank” (of the Jordan River, that is) – has grown exponentially. Today the region is home to more than 350,000 Jews, most living in what is known as “Area C” – the area under complete Israeli government control.

Bennett — a former member of an IDF special forces unit — has taken a pragmatic approach and maintained for years the only way to resolve the impasse with the Palestinian Authority is to simply annex Area C — beginning with Gush Etzion — and be done with it. In any event the international community is going to kick a fuss just as they did over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, according to his way of thinking; one may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, and at least keep the family safe.

But Finance Minister Yair Lapid – head of the leftist ‘Yesh Atid’ party and firmly opposed to annexation of any kind – has threatened to bring down the government over the plan.

It’s not yet clear what role the United States is playing in Lapid’s intransigence on the issue or for that matter, his maneuvering a fifth column against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Hatnua party chairwoman Tzipi Livni, former alleged “chief negotiator” for the government. It’s no secret the White House despises the Netanyahu government and would just love to see someone else sitting in the prime minister’s residence.

“If there is any effort to annex even one settlement unilaterally, Yesh Atid will not just leave the government, it will bring it down,” Lapid announced late Sunday in Herzliya.

Instead, it appears that Lapid has become the new Kerry, pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to return to the negotiating table with the PA ‘unity’ government. He advocates withdrawal from “some” PA territory and has insisted that Netanyahu come up with a map showing borders for a new PA state – essentially the same demands made by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Justice Minister Livni is aligning with him against Netanyahu; together, the two comprise 25 of the 68 seats held by the current coalition. If they withdraw their support, Netanyahu could lose the government – or would have to call new elections.

In the long run, that might not be a half-bad idea; given the current options. It is more than likely that Likud would gain the votes it lost in the last election and even possible that Livni might be shaken out in the process.

Meanwhile, although none of the new PA unity government ministers are technically drawn from any terrorist group, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization is a full partner with Fatah in the government. Hamas, along with its allied group, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, has sworn to annihilate the State of Israel. In fact neither has abandoned that cause. Somehow these facts have managed to escape the notice of Israel’s finance minister, who seems only to see the necessity of pleasing the United States and Europe.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/annexation-only-sane-plan-says-bennett/2014/06/09/

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