A Jerusalem area community in Samaria is hoping former president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas can help them stop the planned government destruction of a 20-year-old synagogue allegedly built on Arab land.
The Supreme Court, which previously accepted leftists’ claims that the synagogue was built on private Arab land, received on Friday a last-ditch petition to stop the destruction, based on arguments that the court and the government did not take into consideration international law concerning the protection of Holy Sites.
The appeal, filed by attorney Gilad Korinaldy on behalf of Givat Ze’ev regional council rabbi Yosef Toledano, also asked the court to consider aspects of Jewish law, the Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported.
The court has ordered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to answer the petition by next Monday night, the end of Simchat Torah in Israel.
The Netanyahu administration has ordered that the 2-year-old Ayelet HaShachar synagogue, where several hundred congregants have prayed, be demolished immediately after the Sukkot-Simchat Torah holiday.
The petition to the court also explained that the community has appealed to Peres and Abbas to “think outside the legal box” and find a political-diplomatic solution.
Korinaldy, who also represented Gush Katif in efforts to save Gush Katif synagogues from destruction in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in 2005, said, according to Kikar Shabbat:
Synagogues are the voice of the existence of Judaism for generations. All possibilities must be examined to protect the holiness of Israel and respect for God. There is no greater disgrace than Jews destroying a synagogue.
TheJewishPress.com reported here last month that Givat Ze’ev worshippers already have taken holy books out of the synagogue in preparation for the demolition, which Prime Minister Netanyahu postponed from August until immediately after the holidays.
The suit against the synagogue followed the pattern of several previous appeals by the left-wing Yesh Din and Peace Now grows, arguing that Jews did not legally buy the land on which they built.
It usually is difficult to prove the legal purchase because it is always done through a third-party. Otherwise, the Arab seller would face death, either by an angry mob or by the Palestinian Authority policy that follows the Jordanian law that selling land to a Jew is punishable by execution.
If the petition is successful, it would prove the seeming impossibilities of life in Israel.
Who would dream that Peres and Abbas would be the intermediaries to stop the destruction of a Jewish place of worship in the “occupied territories?”
The High Holiday Israeli vacation season is one of the nest ever, according to travel officials.
Major hotels in Israel are filled to capacity, and thousands of apartments have been rented to tourists who will be spending the holiday in Israel.
The robust tourist season indicates that tourists are not worried about growing unrest in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The officials say that Jerusalem remains the main destination and that many hotels upgraded their kosher offerings to cater to the American kosher tourists. The influx of tourists also spells good news for restaurants, tours, takeout and other related businesses.
The European Union promotes anti-Semitism while saying it fights it.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu implicitly referred to Nazi Gammy in his reaction to yesterday’s European Union resolution to label products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights as being “made in settlements in occupied territories.”
The European Parliament, as reported here, voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to label products from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria “in the spirit of differentiation between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory,” although it is Syria and not the Palestinian Authority that claims the Golan.
Prime Minister Netanyahu stated:
This is unjust. It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic and I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace. The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements.
We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labeled Jewish products.
The army soon may be allowed to act like an army and actually fire at terrorists even if soldiers might only be liable to be wounded and not killed.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet Wednesday morning that there will be a re-examination of a recent decision to prohibit soldiers from shooting at rock-throwing and firebombing terrorists unless their lives are in immediate danger.
Since the legal system is finding it difficult to deal with stone-throwing by minors, changing open-fire orders regarding the throwing of stones and firebombs will be examined, as will be the imposition – by law – of minimum sentences for those who throw stones and firebombs.
Stiffer sentences, including several years in prison, for rock-throwers already are on the agenda following an imitative by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
The issue of minors throwing rocks, intended to kill Israeli drivers either with a direct hit in the face or by causing them to lose control of their vehicles and crash, was highlighted around the world earlier this week with the video of a Palestinian Authority family whose children are “stars” in rock-throwing attacks on soldiers, whose reactions are filmed and edited to portray the children as innocent victims of a big bad army.
The video showed the children and adults punching and beating the soldier, who sat helpless and without even aiming his semi-automatic rifle at them.
Prime Minister Netanyahu did not refer to the most recent “Pallywood” video and instead focused on the increasing number of attacks on Highway 443, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway that is an alternate to Highway 1 and which also connects the capital with the suburban city of Modi’in.
He told the Security Cabinet:
The policy is zero tolerance for stone-throwing and zero tolerance for terrorism.
That has been said over and over, but the government and military actually have shown 100% tolerance by tying the hands of soldiers trying to defend themselves and civilians.
One young woman told TheJewishPress.com she still is traumatized by an ambush on a vehicle in which she was riding on Highway 60 between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.
“S. B.” said”
Arabs smashed the back windshield and ambushed our car. An IDF officer at the scene communicated with his superior, who told him not shoot. The officer replied, ‘How am I supposed to defend civilians if I can’t shoot?’
The IDF’s answer earlier this month was not encouraging and was so cowardly that even international media such as Newsweek reported:
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has tightened its rules of engagement for soldiers based in the West Bank in a move one analyst says could embolden would-be Palestinian attackers.
IDF soldiers have been instructed not to shoot at Palestinian suspects unless they pose an immediate threat to life in an updated directive issued by Major General Roni Numa, who is in charge of IDF Central Command….
The new directive clarifies existing IDF rules on opening fire against Palestinians. The rules stipulate that soldiers can only shoot when their lives are threatened—so if an attacker throws a firebomb at soldiers before running away, for example, the soldiers can only shoot in the air, as the attacker no longer poses a threat to forces.
Asaf Day, an Israeli security analyst with Tel Aviv-based consultancy Max Security…said, ‘I think [these measures] will encourage Palestinians to carry out more attacks and I think it has been proven in the past.”
That is exactly what has happened, and the Prime Minister gave clear signs today he will rectify the situation.
He also ordered the examination of several defensive measures, such as increasing lighting and the number of security cameras on Highway 443. In addition, two more Border Police companies and approximately 400 more police officers will be stationed in Jerusalem.
That does not solve the problem in Judea and Samaria, where rock-throwing attacks are so common that they no longer are reported by most media, unless someone is seriously injured or killed. That is similar to the rocket attacks from Gaza. If they “land,” meaning “explode,” in “open areas,” the liberal media might consider it important enough for two paragraphs.
The “turn the other cheek for the sake of ‘peace'” mentality that successive U.S. governments and the European Union have imposed on Israel still prevails in many quarters.
As usual, it takes more violence and injures before the government and the IDF begins to think that maybe, just maybe, soldiers should be allowed to shoot at terrorists, whether they are shooting bullets or throwing rocks.
Netanyahu took the first step today by suggesting that perhaps solders can shoot, even if rocks and firebombs might cause them injuries and not death.
Below the photo, a video shows Palestinian children, starring Shirley Temper.
President Barack Obama’s State Dept. experts on the Middle East have once again proven how much they don’t know.
One would think that the experts at Foggy Bottom are aware of how many Americans live in Judea and Samaria, or what the administration likes to call the “occupied territories.”
As reported here earlier this week, a British professor disclosed in a new book, to be published later this year, what almost every American in Israel knows – that there are disproportional number of Americans living in Judea and Samaria.
There are approximately 60,000 former American “settlers,” according to Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn.
On Monday, Palestinian Authority propagandist Sayeed Erikat, who covers the State Dept. for the Al-Quds newspaper, asked deputy spokesman Mark Toner if he was aware that “there are 60,000 American Jewish settlers in the West Bank.”
Sixty thousand? I don’t.
Erikat said, for Toner’s information, there are indeed so many Americans running around there, and he used his podium to ask how the United States government, which considers all settlers to be illegal and even illegitimate, can tolerate Americans living in what they call Judea and Samaria..
“Do you have any leverage with these American citizens?” Erikat asked.
We, through our embassy, offer support for American citizens throughout the world. But what – we’re very clear on our policy on this issue.
Erikat suggested what could be the next hammer hold the Obama administration can exercise on Israel. If the United States opposes settlements, why should it offer services to Americans whom they consider to be illegal?
Should the United States or would the United States have some sort of a program – an incentive program – to sort of encourage settlers to perhaps dismantle these settlements?
Toner didn’t answer directly, and Erikat let him get away with stating “that’s really a question for the Israeli Government to look at.”
Hirschhorn’s study pointed out that the Americans in Judea and Samaria by and large educated academics. She did not describe them as Wild West cowboys.
But Erikat gave Toner an “education” about the “true” identity of many of those Americans, to wit:
Many elements among these settlers are extremists. They carry guns, they enforce their own sort of rules and regulations on roads and hamlets and so on – Palestinian hamlets. Do you have any kind of program, perhaps, to rehabilitate these settlers, bring them back somehow, as opposed to the settlements?
Toner, reflecting State Dept. knowledge, so to speak, actually patronized Erikat instead of contradicting him outright, which he couldn’t do because his experts only know what they want to imagine.
We’ve also spoken about the uptick in violence, in extremist violence in Israel. And in fact, the government and the prime minister have also spoken about some of the recent attacks that we view as abhorrent. And we call on, frankly, all sides to stop this kind of violence.
There is no indication that the attacks were carried out by Americans, In fact, it still is open to question whether Jews or an Arab gang carried out the most infamous attack – the firebombing of an Arab home in which an 18-month-old baby and his father were killed.
So far, the Obama administration has not suggested how to “rehabilitate” settlers, of whom I am one.
I didn’t know I need rehabilitation.
By the way, I do not carry a gun. I might get arrested for defending myself.
Obama knows how to capitalize on the bulk of American Jews, who want Israel to be a nice Jewish boy that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable
President Barack Obama declared that American Jews’ concerns are like those of Afro-Americans and other Americans, indicating that Israel is not one of those worries.
He unsurprisingly chose the left-wing and secular Forward to be the first Jewish newspaper ever to interview him.
Having embraced J Street and trying to manipulate public opinion into believing that it is speaks for mainstream American Jews, his choice of The Forward was natural. The newspaper for more than a century was known as “The Jewish Daily Forward.”
This year it became simply “The Forward.”
Its editor Jane Eisner told the Observer earlier this year that the newspaper has been trying “to understand who we are, who are readers are, who are readers ought to be….What we know is that most American Jews today are living a very pluralistic life—there’s a lot of intermarriage and interfaith relationships.”
The same Jane Eisner on Friday interviewed President Obama, who also likes to see American Jews as any other hyphenated ethnic community that views their old homeland as a fond memory that it relives, in the case of American Jews, by eating gefilte fish.
The president knows, as Eisner indicated to the Observer, that American Jews are a vanishing through an assimilation rate approaching 70 percent and that the number of Jews in the United States rises only by changing the definition of a Jew to embrace pluralism, the melting pot that is supposed to erase any outward indication that belies the belief in Mom, Flag and Apple Pie.
He knows that the hard-core pro-Israel Jews, those who view Judea and Samaria as a part of Israel, Jerusalem as the capital, and a strong Israel good for the security United States, are a minority.
Deep down in the interview with Eisner, President Obama said:
American Jews, like African-Americans or any other cohort of Americans, have a wide range of concerns. They care about student loans; they care about housing; they care about poverty; they care about women’s health issues. And so it’s not as if the American Jewish community makes decisions solely on the basis of a single issue
The “single issue,” of course, is Israel. He does not, nor do most American Jews, think too much about Israel, especially when it comes to the nuclear agreement with Iran, which was the focus of his comments to the Forward.
I do get disturbed sometimes when I hear folks suggesting that those who oppose the deal are pro-Israel. We’re all pro-Israel. The issue is, how do we solve this very particular problem of making sure Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon….
I think we have to steer away from incendiary language that suggests that either those who are in favor of the deal are appeasing Iran or, conversely, that those who are opposed to the deal are not thinking about America’s interest.
If anyone has used incendiary language, it is President Obama, who has implied, as Eisner reported that she told him, “that even some of his supporters say that he has contributed to the incendiary language by implying that opponents of the deal are ‘warmongers.'”
She said that was the only time in the interview “that I saw him bristle and his back stiffen.” He replied:
What I said is that if we reject the deal, the logical conclusion is that if we want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, military strikes will be the last option remaining at some point. It may not be under my administration; it might be under the next one. And that is something that has to be taken into account.
She did not respond, “What about more sanctions instead of war?