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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Judea and Samaria’

Israel Needs New Paradigm for Peace

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Prior to Galileo Galilei, the 17th century Italian astronomer, the scientific world had a problem: Astronomers would make calculations for a variety of data based on the Christian notion that the sun orbited the earth. Alas, every few years, the data would become obviously skewed, which pushed scientists of the day to re-formulate their calculations, but never their basic assumption. It took Galileo to suggest that the basic assumption was flawed, but indeed – once Galileo’s revolution took hold, scientific data in a realm of disciplines began to take more solid form.

I was reminded of this story when reading Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz’s proposal to increase public transportation to Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria in response to the abduction of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel (or, it should rightly be said, in response to the left-wing attempts to blame Judea and Samaria Jews for the abduction because “irresponsible” parents allow their children to hitchhike). Katz’s proposal is surely welcome. The dearth of bus service, even to “settlement blocs” like Gush Etzion (to say nothing of outlying Jewish communities such as Itamar or Har Bracha) is a serious impediment.

But the assumption that hitchhiking is the problem here is analogous to Christian insistence that the sun orbits the earth. Like the medieval scientific community, Israeli and Western politicians remain mired in a faulty assumption; namely, that Israel’s “occupation” of “Palestinian” land is the root of Arab terror. Necessarily, then, that faulty assumption leads to faulty data, so periodically, the “land-for-peace” brigades in Israel and abroad are forced to re-calculate.

Teenage boys kidnapped? Better fix public transportation. Young man lured to Ramallah and killed by Palestinian killers? Parents better watch over their teens on the internet a bit more. Palestinian sniper kills a baby in Hebron? Well, you know… Hebron is “occupied,” after all. Jewish prayer on Temple Mount sparks Arab riots? Better warn those pesky Jews.

Hamas holds and IDF soldier hostage for five years? It’s because Israel holds Palestinian security prisoners. “Friendly” Arab countries and political entities feature anti-Semitic cartoons in state-run media? It’s domestic politics, you know. And the list goes on, and on.

Eventually, however, political king makers will be forced to grapple with a paradigm shift; namely, that the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel – and not Israel’s “illegal occupation” of Judea and Samaria – is the root cause of Palestinian terror. As in years gone by, the Tzippi Livnis and Zahava Galons of the world will be forced to reconcile with the unhappy (for them) truth that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is not at issue today, but rather Israel’s presence.

Unless and until Israeli decision makers change the context of the domestic political discussion vis-à-vis the Arab world, they will consistently be forced to re-calculate when the data comes up skewed.

(Incidentally, here, too, is another comparison to Galileo, who was considered an enemy of the Church and was punished severely for challenging accepted Church orthodoxy. One need only look at the fever with which the cadre of Oslo messianists denounce individuals who questioned, and continue to question, the wisdom of that folly, to prove this point).

Only when Israel discovers the humility to recognise that the Oslo Process has led to nothing but heartache on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian divide will the country be able to begin the process of healing. This is primarily, but not exclusively, incumbent on people who originally supported Oslo. Even for whom the “peace” process seemed like a good idea in 1993, no further proof than the abduction of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel should be needed to understand that Israel is in deep need of a new paradigm vis-à-vis our neighbors.

Apologists for Hamas Hitch a Ride on Terror

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Foreign media have outdone themselves proving their ignorance of Israel by several media establishment articles focusing on the dangers of hitchhiking and burying the thought that there might be something wrong with terrorists kidnapping three Israeli youth trying to thumb a ride home.

The Christian Science Monitor, the BBC and The New York Times and are only three examples of the mindset that has imprisoned “journalists” for decades when it comes to reporting on Israel. It is not open anti-Semitism and it not anti-Zionism, both of which simply are ingrained in the Western mentality that Jews are to blame for anything that goes wrong.

There is lot of truth to that, but that is for God and not journalists to decide. If the Associated Press had been around at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, it would have reported that the Romans overpowered the Jews. It would not have told its readers that the Jews lost Jerusalem because of “loshon hara,” the practice of speaking evil about others and which Talmudic rabbis noted was the root cause of Israel’s downfall.

Today’s journalists are instant rabbis and know what makes God  allows terrorists to masquerade as Jews and snatch three yeshiva students, as if they were lifeless bumps on the road that terrorists ride to hell.

Only two days after Naftali, Eyal and Gilad were abducted, the Monitor headlined, “Why were kidnapped Israeli teens hitchhiking in the West Bank?”

The journalists writing the article ever thought to ask the question, ”Why were Arabs, wanting a peaceful Palestinian Authority state kidnapping Jewish boys?”

The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner, a known leftist whose lack of objectivity is defined by her refraining from personal visits to Jews in the “occupied territories,” wrote an article headlined, “Abduction of Young Israeli Hitchhikers Spurs Debate on Conduct.”

One would think that the debate on conduct would be over whether it is proper for “militants” trying to pressure Israel to release terrorists, excuse me, “prisoners.” Of course, her concern really was the conduct of Jews, who have the chutzpah not only to live or learn in Judea and Samaria but also to hitchhike there.

And the BBC chimed in with, “Israel: Hitchhiking continues despite kidnap dangers.”

No one should be surprised at this New Age of being “fair,” a world in which there is no wrong but simply two sides of right, with terrorist and hitchhikers weighed together on the same scale. Terrorists are militants, if not freedom fighters, and Jews are settlers, if not illegitimate.

The Monitor article, by staff writer Christa Case Bryant, was preceded by this blurb: “Despite living in a conflict zone, many Israeli settlers hitchhike in the West Bank, often waiting for rides on roads frequented by Palestinian drivers.”

She led off the second paragraph by writing, “No one is questioning why they were hitchhiking late at night on a highway frequented by many Palestinians.” She explained that people try to hitch rides because of lack of patience but, more than that, by “a pioneer ethos fueled by faith and an unswerving belief in their right to this land. Most Israeli settlers are unwilling to be held hostage by fear of their Palestinian neighbors or by the United Nations, which has deemed their presence here illegal under international law.”

There are few settlers who hitch in order to show off or mock Arabs. My wife, I and our five children hitch in the southern Hebron Hills because we have to get from one place to next in an area where there are four or five buses from  6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and we represent the silent and not so silent majority.

Any journalist can find some young man or woman to say how he or she hitches because “this is our land and the Arabs can go to Jordan” but that is just a big mouth with nothing to say.

Settlers prove they can live where they want in Israel and that Arabs can go to Jordan by putting their legs where their mouths are. That is the ideology behind “hilltop outposts,” which, by the way, include an unusually large proportion of kids with super ADD and ADHD who probably would be in jail for drugs if they didn’t find an outlet such as playing the role of the forefather Abraham.

The Western media’s misunderstanding of hitchhiking also reflects their own paranoia in their own countries. When I took off one summer in the very early 1960s to hitchhike across the country from Baltimore, it was safe, except for the temptations of sin from which God had enough mercy on me to stand in the way.

Perhaps that explains an article in The New York Times Thursday by film director and author John Waters, who, according to the newspaper, “hitchhiked across the United States and lived to tell the tale.” The good ol’ United States really ain’t what it used to be..

Waters told the interviewer. “Picking up a hitchhiker is as much an adventure as it is to hitchhike. It’s a risk on both sides. And they’re good people, I think. Basically trusting. And they’ve been through something. Everyone had survived something, and they wanted to talk about it.”

That is not Israel. This is a small country with a big family that helps each other, even when fighting each other, and which knows its enemies, except for inexperienced teenagers who can’t see through the disguises that their terrorist kidnappers used to snare them off the road last Thursday.

Given the cock-eyed view from the West, it is understandable that Kershner wrote in the second paragraph in her article for the Times, “The abductions also have stirred more hushed debate over the conduct of Jewish settlers in the West Bank — particularly what many consider the cavalier practice of hitchhiking — and the price that Israel has paid to redeem its captives.”

A journalist can always find enough people to give a quote or two to state a prejudiced view, but what you expect when Kershner interviews people in the fancy Azrielli Mall in Tel Aviv and not at the Be’er Sheva bus station?

Everyone, of course, expressed their sympathy for the victims, but one woman added she was “’a little angry about the lack of responsibility” of Israeli youths hitchhiking at night in the West Bank. Another shopper browsing at a bookstore added that the West Bank was ‘prone to trouble.’”

That is about the same one-sided reaction the writer could have gotten, only to the other extreme, if she had interviewed people in the community of Beit El or Yitzhar, in Samaria.

The BBC contributed to the world’s ignorance of Israel by reporting that “travelers are likely to ignore a directive from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that ‘bans’ hitchhiking in the wake of the disappearance of three teenagers, it seems.”

It turns out the report is a bald-faced lie because in the very next sentence, the BBC quotes an Israeli newspaper as stating, that the Prime Minister “’directed’ all settlers and travelers in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] not to take rides offered by strangers.”

It is acceptable that the BBC does not understand Hebrew, but does it have a problem with English, also?

The office of Prime Minister Netanyahu said people should not take rides from ”strangers,” and that’s miles of a difference from a directive that “’bans’ hitchhiking altogether.

Buried in this entire discussion is the prejudice of the newspapers that the virtues and sins of hitchhiking are far more of a burning issue than the virtues and sins of your average terrorist kidnapping three yeshiva students.

The reportage is code. When the media establishment jumps on kidnap victims as being reckless because they hitch a ride where they know Arab terrorists may be roaming, it really means that the Jews are to blame because they live, oy, in Judea and Samaria.

That kind of reminds me of 20 some years ago when I was visiting my late parents in Baltimore and gave a talk at some local Jewish meeting on the real meaning of “peace,” the Oslo Accords and the Arabs’ displeasure with my living “beyond the Green Line.”

After what I immodestly considered an eloquent talk about the word “Shalom,” which is a synonym for God, which cannot even be uttered in the bathroom and which does not mean “make a deal,” and after explaining that the Arabs often throw rocks at us and try to shoot us, one gentleman stood up and asked, “Well, if the Arabs don’t want you there, why don’t you just move to Tel Aviv?”

Moving forward in time to September 2013, Sgt. Tomer Hazan was working with a Palestinian Authority Arab in metropolitan Tel Aviv. The Arab convinced his friend, an off-duty soldier to join him after work. They traveled to Samaria, where the Arab murdered his co-worker.

It is difficult to understand.

If the Arabs don’t want Jews living in Tel Aviv, why don’t the Jews just leave and hitch a ride back to Baltimore?

No Trip to Brazil for Gaza Official

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Israel has blocked a Palestinian Authority official from traveling from Gaza to Brazil, allegedly to attend the World Cup.

A report released to international wire services, the Palestinian Football Association said its deputy general-secretary Mohammad Ammassi was not allowed to travel from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, and then from there to Jordan, where he would allegedly continue on to Brazil.

In its statement, however, the PFA admitted, “This is not the first time Mr. Amassi has been denied a travel permit.” There was no explanation as to why Amassi has been denied travel permits in the past. The PA claimed “Israeli authorities have nothing against him,” and complained that the rejection was “a temperamental and arbitrary measure.”

Palestinian Authority Arabs have traveled daily in and out of Gaza via the Erez Crossing for medical and humanitarian reasons, and in and out of Judea and Samaria for business and similar employment reasons for years.

It is not known, however, whether or not the rejection was part of Israeli sanctions imposed in response to the Ramallah-based PA’s reconciliation with Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers, which resulted in the new PA unity government. What is known is that numerous Arab terrorist organizations have threatened to attack Israeli targets abroad.

Hamas Makes Inroads into Ramallah and Shechem

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

One of the first signs of Hamas gains in Judea and Samaria, due to the reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, are the amount of Hamas flags that are being waved in PA controlled areas (or areas the PA controls at the moment) in Ramallah protests.

Hamas is planning to openly run in elections in the A-Naj-Ach University in Shechem, and that will be the first test of their popularity, according to a Makore Rishon report.

The University’s 20,000 students represent a cross-section of Arabs from Judea and Samaria. Hamas’s success there will be a good indication for Hamas success in general Palestinian Authority elections, if they ever have them again.

Netanyahu ‘Astonished’ at Demands to Surrender Israel as Jewish State

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

People who refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state are trying to “undermine the historic, moral and legal justification for the existence of the State of Israel as the national state of our people.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday during a tour of Independence Hall.

He noted, “The Declaration of Independence sets, as the cornerstone in the life of the state, the national Jewish identity of the State of Israel.

“I find it astonishing that among those who call on Israel to make concessions in Judea and Samaria due to the self-evident desire to avoid a binational state, there are those who oppose defining the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People.”

The Prime Minister said that the argument to establish the Palestinian Authority as a country in order to preserve the Jewish identity of Israel makes no sense when it includes opposition to  recognizing Israel as a Jewish country.

Government Chickens Out and Re-Opens Yitzhar Yeshiva

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Border Police stationed at the Ode Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Yitzhar in northern Samarian allowed it to re-open Tuesday, almost as scheduled, after a month-long Passover vacation but with limitations on how many students may enter and when they can enter.

The Jewish Press reported here last week that the Border Police’s headline-grabbing takeover of the yeshiva, following alleged violence by yeshiva students, was a PR exercise in which the media establishment duly cooperated by not reporting that the yeshiva was empty, as always in the month of Nissan, which includes the Passover holiday.

Students in most yeshivas in the country returned to study Monday or Tuesday, the evening before the beginning of the month of Iyar.

IDF Brigade Commander Col. Yoav Yarom said Tuesday that the Border Police now will allow students to enter, but with limitations. Only 50 students may pray there at once, and the military official is in control

If they really are brave, perhaps they will guard the students inside the yeshiva during Torah classes and learn a thing or two about Jewish law.

That is not too say that those who are hell-bent on violence don’t belong behind bars, where perhaps they will learn a couple of laws in the Torah they missed out on in yeshiva, such as not destroying property, whether it be of Arabs or Jews.

The military also will determine when the students may pray and learn.

It is assumed that they will consult the timetables provided by the Chief Rabbinate and on the Internet for the proper time for praying, according to Jewish law.

If for any reason there are less than 10 students and rabbis, the minimum number for public prayer, the yeshiva has lots of reserves standing by to complete a minyan.

U. Of New Mexico Graduate Students Pass Divestment Resolution

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Graduate and Professional Student Association at the University of New Mexico passed a non-binding resolution on Saturday calling for the university to divest from companies that operate in Judea and Samaria.

The resolution calls on the university to divest from companies that “directly profit from the ongoing violations of international law and human rights, and have an economic stake in the continuation of these violations,” according to the student newspaper, the Daily Lobo.

The resolution cites companies that work on behalf of Israel in Judea and Samaria.

“International corporations have been complicit in these severe and ongoing human rights violations systematically committed by the Israeli government, and their involvement has been documented by human rights organizations,” the resolution said.

Earlier this month, a similar resolution was voted down by the Associated Students for the University of New Mexico.

Campus Jewish groups did not attend the meeting, and Lobos for Israel President Sarah Abonyi told the Daily Lobo that the agenda was not available in advance and that the group did not know the resolution would be debated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/u-of-new-mexico-graduate-students-pass-divestment-resolution/2014/04/28/

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