A Pentagon spokesman has denied an Israel report that Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff is in Israel to discuss Syria and Iran strategy with Israeli leaders but confirmed that he will visit Israel and Jordan within two weeks.
Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’
Here is a twist on the tragic stories Westerners have become familiar hearing about: two Arab Palestinians who had just completed high school committed suicide on Thursday, July 25. And here’s what is differently tragic about this story: these teenagers killed themselves not to seek martyrdom by killing as many Jews as possible, thereby bringing honor and glory to their families. No, the reason these young people killed themselves is something to which far more Westerners can relate, or, at least, understand.
These students committed suicide because they failed their final high school exams.
The exams are known as “Tawjihi,” and a passing score is virtually required for entrance to university.
According to Ma’an News Agency, 18-year-old Nisrin Jumaa of Tulkaram hanged herself in her family home after learning that she had failed the Tawjih, and in Jabaliya in Gaza, Muhammad Zaqut committed suicide by shooting himself after learning that he had failed the exams.
A third student attempted to take her life by throwing herself from the second floor of a building in Beit Hanoun, in Gaza, after learning she had not passed the exam. This student suffered pelvic and foot fractures and was transferred to a hospital in Gaza.
Are these exams that important? Indeed they are.
Every student in Gaza and the territories is required to take the dreaded exams upon completion of high school, and according to experts, an entire year is spent preparing for the exam. The test itself goes on for two weeks, and once completed, the results take another two to three weeks to be tabulated.
There is not that much written publicly about Tawjihi, but a blog written by an American of Arab Palestinian descent makes it clear how similar some things are for anxious teenagers, no matter how very different life is in so very many other ways. This blogger writes about the intensive preparatory courses for the exam, and the disparity in results due to economic differences. There are even Instagram and Tumblr sites just for Tawjihi.
The results, including the scores, of the Tawjihi are posted publicly. For the lucky few who perform at the highest levels, it is a matter of great honor for the families. For the families of the high scorers, halls are rented and enormous parties are held, and fireworks are shot off in celebration. For those who don’t fare well, the pain can be, literally, unbearable.
Applicants are permitted to take the tests as many as five times, although the test is only given once per year.
Nearly 86,000 students took the Tawjihi this June, and almost 60 percent passed.
The Tawjihi is also required of Jordanian students, and in Jordan it was the jubilation of some who passed that resulted in injuries. On February 14 of this year, in less than 24 hours, there were more than 380 Tawjihi-related accidents reported, mostly from “festive firing and reckless driving,” the Jordan times reported.
The Palestinian Authority has proved its death wish again by it fierce reaction to IDF approval of a grandiose plan, years away for reality, that would provide trains service to Arab cities in Judea and Samaria and propel economic growth but with the “price tag” of also being beneficial to Jews.
“This [plan] shows not only Israel’s short-term illegal activities in terms of settlement expansion, but its long term planning and execution of colonial projects that aim at nothing less than ending the two-state solution,” PA spokesman Husam Zomlot said.
If there is one area in which chairman Mahmoud Abbas excels it is cutting off his own nose to spite his face, or more accurately the face of nearly more than 1.5 million Arabs living in Judea and Samaria.
Several years ago, Israel considered building its “Kvish 6” (Highway 6) north-south superhighway toll road east of the current route so that it would bring Arabs and Jews in Judea and Samaria closer to metropolitan Tel Aviv. It also would have cemented an Israeli presence in the region.
The highway, which now extends a short distance from Haifa all the way to the suburbs of Be’er Sheva, has been a boon to industry and housing, enabling Israelis to cut driving times in half. New industry has brought thousands of jobs to areas that were formerly undeveloped.
Ramallah, Jenin, Shechem, and Hevron could have enjoyed the benefits, but the Israeli government was scared that the Palestinian Authority might eventually rake in all the cards and create a Judenrein country in Judea and Samaria. Investors, many of whom were more interested in capitalism than Zionism, encouraged the current route that stays out of Judea and Samaria.
When the city of Jerusalem built its light rail system to include northern Jerusalem, which the Palestinian Authority claims will be part of its state one day, chairman Mahmoud Abbas went bonkers because it challenged PA soverisgnty over the capital.
The light rail system allows Arabs, as well as Jews, to ride into the city and work and shop without the miserable traffic jams in the capital, where homes and offices crowds over two lane roads that leave little room for widening.
Now comes the Transportation Ministry’s railroad plan, announced earlier this year and given the nod by the military.
It would include more approximately 300 miles of track along 11 rail lines, running from Hevron, approximately 15 miles south of Jerusalem, linking the Jordan Valley to the east and running northward to include Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin and Shechem.
Just think of the boon for Arab workers and industries, which would be able to receive raw materials near their factories and ship finished product by rail to the ports of Haifa and Ashdod.
The long-term for the railway system is for it to run from Ramallah to the Allenby Bridge, on the border with Jordan, and to connect rail lines to Gaza and Arab countries.
Just think how that could unify Ramallah and Gaza by bringing them together.
But the Palestinian Authority does not think like that.
They say, “Just think of what those trains would do for the Jews. It would reach the illegal colonial settlement of Maaleh Adumim [a city of approximately 40,000 east of Jerusalem]. It would benefit those settlers in Gush Edition, some of whom are sitting on property that was occupied before the reestablishment of Israel by – Jews. Oh well, let’s forget about that little fact.
“Anything that helps a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is immoral. It defeats the two-state solution.” That refers to the two state, living side by side in peace and harmony, where Arabs lives in Israel and do not let Jews live in Judea and Samaria.
The Palestinian Authority has not learned its lesson from being left out of Highway 6. Earlier this week, Israel said that a proposed Highway 9 will link Hadera, located southwest of Haifa and northeast of Tel Aviv, with communities to the east.
The official WAFA news agency stated, “The establishment of ‘Road 9’ will destroy the two-state solution and prevent the establishment of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. The planned ‘Road 9’ will link the coastal Israeli city of Hadera with illegal settlements in Jenin and the Jordan Valley.”
The ghost of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is scheduled to pay a visit in Washington on Tuesday under a cloak of secrecy, which is bound to be violated by both sides.
False claims and trial balloons have become a trademark of the jockeying by Israeli and PA leaders as well as the State Dept. since direct talks broke off nearly three years ago.
Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat, two days after categorically saying he would not attend the talks without commitments by Israel, reportedly will meet on Tuesday with his Israel counterparts, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s emissary Yitzchak Molcho and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who also won the boogey prize as Peace Process Minister by a different name.
Never allowing himself a chance to grab a headline, Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom told reporters Thursday, “There is a good chance that negotiations with the Palestinians will resume next week in Washington on Tuesday, provided there are no last-minute complications.”
During a visit to Jericho where he and Palestinian Authority minister signed a declaration to back a long-delayed industrial park, Shalom claimed Israel has not given in to the condition laid down by chairman Mahmoud Abbas that Israel freeze construction on land claimed by the PA.
The Al-Ahram Egyptian weekly reported this week that its sources said the time frame of the talks will be 6-9 months. There will be no conditions, but Jordan will join the task when it comes to discussing the status of Jerusalem and final borders.
The Palestinian Authority claims it has not conceded anything and is waiting to see what will be discussed at the meeting planned for Tuesday.
In a counter-claim, Jewish Home Minister Naftali insists that construction is continuing as usual in Judea and Samaria and in parts of Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan before the Six-Day War in 1967.
Unofficially, building for Jews has come to a standstill outside major Jewish population centers.
The first item on the agenda next week, if the talks are held, is the release of 82 terrorists, most of them convicted for murdering or being involved in planning attacks that murdered Jews.
The Cabinet likely will be asked to agree to release the terrorists towards the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which the Palestinian Authority and rest of the of Arab world has celebrated with unending anti-Semitic movies, television programs and sermons. There has not been one major release of terrorists that has not been followed with their returning to their favorite hobby of killing Jews. But every Israeli government always has been more concerned with winning a good word for a ghetto mentality than for keeping the country secure.
Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have said that if any final agreement is ever signed, it must be approved by a public referendum, which both the PA and Israel probably pray will never happen.
Jordan’s official news agency told its readers on Sunday that police on the Temple Mount protected Jews from angry Muslims to allow them “to perform their Talmudic prayers and rituals.”
Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabian media routinely incite Muslim furor with false reports about Jews on the Temple Mount, where they are not even allowed to pray, let alone to bring a prayer book with them.
Now that the Petra News Agency, Jordan’s official outlet, joins the fray, it is clear how much the Arab world is totally brainwashed and united to believe that Jews intend to build a Third Temple.
A Saudi court has sentenced a man to 15 years in jail for offering to spy for Israel while he was visiting Jordan, Saudi Arabia media reported Sunday. He allegedly went to the Israeli embassy in Amman to “offer them to cooperate with Israel and provide them with any information they want about Saudi Arabia.”’
The hearing and sentence did not reveal how the man was arrested and if he actually met Israeli diplomats.
The court rejected a demand from prosecutors that the man, who was not identified, be sentenced to death. “The judge refused the prosecutor’s plea on the grounds that deterring the defendant can be done without bloodshed. The judge also banned the defendant from travelling outside Saudi Arabia for 15 years,” Arar Arabic language daily said.
Jordan has transferred to an orthodox Jewish tourist to Eilat after he collapsed at the tomb of Aharon in Petra and was driven in an ambulance towards Eilat, when he suffered another attack. The ambulance turned around and rushed to a hospital near Petra. He was reported to be in a coma.
The chairman of the Jordanian Parliament’s Committee of Tourism and Antiquities, Adnan Farajat, denied an Israeli newspaper report that an Israeli helicopter had airlifted the man to Israel via Taba.
Iraqi, Jordanian, and Turkish border guards are pushing back tens of thousands of people trying to flee Syria, Human Rights Watch charged on Monday.
“Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey have either closed numerous border crossings entirely or allowed only limited numbers of Syrians to cross, leaving tens of thousands stranded in dangerous conditions in Syria’s conflict-ridden border regions. Only Lebanon has an open border policy for Syrians fleeing the conflict,” the statement from the human rights body said.
Turkey denied the allegations, which if true, are a violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention, which prohibits sending anyone back to – or pushing back anyone trying to leave – a country where their life or freedom would be threatened or where they would face a serious risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.