Suspected right-wing Jewish vandals set a mosque in the Arab village of Deit Istiya in Samaria on fire late Tuesday night and painted graffiti on the mosque’s wall with hate messages such as “Revenge for spilled blood in Kusra,” referring to the village where Arabs brutally beat a group of Jews last week after the Jews were spotted walking towards the village.
The village’s mayor, Ayyub Abu Hijlah, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency that local residents saw the fire before it got out of control, limiting the damage to the mosque’s doors. The residents said they chased away Jews who had set fire to the building.
Visiting Germany Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier accused Israel of “disrupting” talks with the Palestinian Authority for a peace agreement by announcing the construction of more homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.
He alleged that the building violates understandings that Kerry set forth last July, when direct talks resumed for the first time in three years.
Kerry not only has never stated that he made a building freeze a condition for talks but also stated that he was nit surprised by announcements of new homes.
“It is clear that the continued building of settlements really hurts the process,” Steinmeier told reporters, and he added that Germany expects the PA Arabs “to do their part.”
He did not explain what that “part” is supposed to be but he did meet with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Abbas said after the meeting, “We asked for Germany and the European Union to take action to end the Israeli settlement policy, which is sabotaging the peace process.”
The Israel-based SodaStream is returning to the Super Bowl this with a sure-fire successful commercial starring Scarlett Johansson, billed as the world’s sexiest woman.
SodaStream won more publicity that it figured at last year’s Super Bowl when CBS rejected its scheduled commercial because it showed the environmental advantages of its product for making soda at home while crossing CBS’ red line by making fun of market monsters Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola.
A tamer commercial was broadcast during the Super Bowl, but SodaStream gained no less publicity from CBS’ surrender to the beverage giants.
The commercial and publicity helped out SodaStream all over the map, but this year’s plan is a blockbuster.
Johansson will show off herself and SodaStream in the fourth quarter of the Feb. 2 Super Bowl on Fox TV. Instead of putting down Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola, this year’s commercial is supposed “to demonstrate how easy it is, how sexy it is, to make your own soda,” Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive at SodaStream International, told The New York Times.
“It’s more of a love story between a brand with a purpose and a passionate user,” he said, explaining that Johansson has been using SodaStream at home for several years.
SodaStream also is known for something else besides its product – it operates a manufacturing plant near Maaleh Adumim, which the Boycott Israel movement considers the dreaded Occupied West Bank.
It has placed SodaStream on its black list, for whatever that is worth. And now that Johansson, who by the way is Jewish even if from a “Multi-cultural family” that celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, is sipping SodaStream in front of millions of people, let’s see if the boycotters will be intellectually honest.
Will they demand that people not see Johansson’s “Her” movie? Will the ASA folks stop going to see her movies?
Sexiest woman alive or not, Johansson now is SodaStream’s first-ever ambassador, having signed a contract covering several years.
Unknowingly, she might be one of Israel’s best ambassadors for a Jewish presence in Judea, where SodaStream employees both Palestinian Authority and Israel workers with equal rights and conditions.
Maybe Johansson will even visit Israel and the Judean Desert factory one day.
A woman from Karnei Shomron, located in central Samaria, suffered injuries in her Monmouth and face Wednesday morning from glass that was shattered in another rock-throwing attack by a Palestinian Authority Arab.
The woman was driving her car at the entrance to the community when the rock was thrown at the village of Lakif, located on the other side of the highway from the entrance to Karnei Shomron.
A security officer from the adjacent Ginot Shomron community told The Jewish Press that rock-throwing is a daily event on Highway 55, the road used by Arabs and Jews to travel back and forth between Samaria and Tel Aviv area.
Palestinian Authority Arabs beat a group of Jews for two hours on Tuesday before the IDF arrived at a PA village to rescue them following violent clashes between both sides.
A few facts in the clash are clear. Border Police arrived at the Esh Kodesh outpost in Samaria to uproot an olive grove, and a stone-throwing fight developed between Jews and Arabs, who have been at constant war with the Esh Kodesh residents in recent years.
It also is known that the IDF rescued the Jews from a house under construction at the Arab village of Ousra.
The Arabs said they chased after the Jews, who allegedly throw rocks at Arab farmers and fled to the unfinished Arab house, where they were overpowered by the villagers.
One Arab admitted to Reuters that Arabs savagely beat 15 Jews with fists and sticks, some of them bleeding profusely, until the IDF arrived to rescue them from the attackers.
A resident of Esh Kodesh said they fled from the Arab rock throwers, but Ousra villagers accused the Jews of a “price tag” attack following the Border Police action. They gave no details of the alleged attack.
The IDF told The Jewish Press, “The Border Police carried out an order at Esh Kodesh, and Jews and Arabs started throwing rocks at each other. There were some injuries.”
It did not confirm or deny the rescue operation and had no knowledge of a “price tag” attack.
Israel radio interviewed one of the Esh Kodesh victims, who said a group of Jew were walking on a road when an Arab mob attacked them with rocks. The Jews then ran away to the unfinished house and called the IDF. Before the soldiers arrived, the Jews were beaten, one of them unconscious.
It is clear that land was the spark that set off the clash.
The Palestinian Authority claims all of the land in Judea and Samaria, especially that in “outposts” that have not been approved by the Defense Ministry.
The Obama administration considers Jews in all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem as “illegitimate,” regardless of whether they live on an outpost or in the Ramot or Gilo neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The result of bloated Arab expectations and an army policy of “let’s not disturb the peace process” has been the recent escalation of terror and violence, especially over land.
On Monday, Arabs clashed with Jews who were farming their land on the Mitzpeh Yair outpost in the southern Hebron Hills. Three of the Jews were hospitalized after having been beaten by the Arabs.
Kerry promises Israel the US will make sure Israelis are safe with a Palestinian Authority state, but who will protect the Arabs from themselves?
Two frightened Palestinians escaping a Palestinian Authority hit squad sought and found refuge in the Israeli community of Beit Aryeh in Samaria Monday night,
They said a group of Palestinian security officers were chasing them with the intent of killing them, and Israeli security forces were alerted. The fleeing Arabs were allowed in the community after a thorough search to make sure they were not carrying weapons.
The hit squad later arrived at the community and identified itself as as PA special forces. Israeli police also arrived on the scene and and found a loaded weapon, which is forbidden by PA police and soldiers in Area C.
Regional Council Head Avi Naim said, “We have gotten used to providing support to the Palestinians, but this is the first time we have encountered such an incident of Palestinians being chased by the Palestinian security forces and taking cover in a nearby Jewish community – I hope this is not a sign of a new developing reality in Judea and Samaria. Livni and Kerry – you have been warned.”
Naim added that Beit Aryeh is close to the Arab village of Luban and that the relations between the two communities are positive and productive. “We invite each other to communal events,” Naim said. “We are interested in good neighborly relations with anyone who wishes to do so as well. I am glad the residents of Beit Aryeh have good relations with the residents of Luban; these good relations are well known in the region and serve as a source for inspiration.”