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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘kfar etzion’

Bennett Praises Govt Decision on Gush Etzion in Visit to Yeshiva Mekor Chaim

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett praised the government today (Monday, Sept. 1) during a visit to Gush Etzion for its decision to answer terror with Jewish expansion.

Bennett visited Yeshiva Mekor Chaim in Gush Etzion on the first day of Israel’s school year Monday. The yeshiva, located in Kfar Etzion, was attended by two of the three teens martyred by Hamas terrorists this past June.

“Until a couple of months ago, you students here at Mekor Chaim were regular students. Today you are the spearhead. You now bear extra weight upon your shoulders, the “mekor chaim” – the source of life ‘’ of Israel,” he told the students.

“Yesterday the government made two decisions – one which builds up and strengthens the Gaza frontier, and the second which builds up and strengthens Gush Etzion,” he added.

Bennett praised the government’s decision yesterday to designate a tract of land near Alon Shevut, not far from the yeshiva, as state land. The lot is located close to the bus stop and hitchhiking post from where the three teens were kidnapped and subsequently murdered.

“What we did yesterday was an act of Zionism,” Bennett explained as he toured the area. “Building is our reply to murder.”

Women in Green organization leaders Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover also praised the decision.

“The Defense Minister has allocated 4,000 dunams for the city of Geva’ot – congratulations! We hope that this is indicative of additional positive steps in the future, not only as a reaction to the murder of Jews but as a policy – but the high tones of protest from America, the world, the left, and the Arabs reveal the depth of the problem of Judea and Samaria.

“If the government of Israel does not apply sovereignty to the expanses of Eretz Israel, this question will remain open to negotiations and endless disputes. Israeli Sovereignty must be applied, and realized by the state maintaining law and order for all its citizens – including the Beduin, the Arabs, and others. The time has come to initiate and once and for all apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley,” they said.

Abbas Tells Arab Leaders PA Forces Searching for Israeli Teen Hostages

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Palestinian Authority unity government leader Mahmoud Abbas says his forces are searching for three Israeli teens kidnapped by terrorists last Thursday.

The teens – 19 year old Eyal Yifrach, 16 year old Gilad Sha’ar and 16 year old Naftali Frenkel (who is also an American citizen) – were hitchhiking on a road in Gush Etzion on their way home from the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion when they were abducted. The yeshiva is located in Area C – a region that is administered and secured by the Israeli authorities under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

According to a report by the WAFA news agency, Abbas told a gathering of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday that the terrorists who abducted the teens “want to destroy [us]” in what appeared to be a reference to the new PA unity government.

He did not offer details to the Muslim and Arab leaders who attended the gathering, which was held in Saudi Arabia, other than to vow that once the perpetrators were found, his government would “settle accounts with them.”

Israeli government sources said Wednesday morning they are making progress on tracking down the perpetrators; intelligence personnel have discovered which Hamas cell was responsible for the kidnapping last week.

To date, Israeli security forces have arrested some 250 Hamas terrorists who are living in various locations throughout Judea and Samaria. Included were at least who were arrested Tuesday night but who violated the terms of their early release from Israeli jails, which came as the result of a prisoner swap deal that freed former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

The former hostage was kidnapped by Hamas and allied terrorist groups in 2006. Shalit was held captive in Gaza for more than five years. The Israeli government eventually agreed to free more than a thousand Arab terrorists – including many murderers with Jewish blood on their hands – in exchange for his return.

Progress in Tracking Terror Kidnappers, Slow But Sure

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Progress is being made in hunting down the terrorists responsible for kidnapping three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion last Thursday night.

Israeli authorities now know which Hamas wing was involved in the operation to abduct the boys, who were hitchhiking home for the Sabbath from the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, where they learn during the week.

Communications Minister Gilad Erdan told an interviewer on Israeli public radio Wednesday morning that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) is aware of which Hamas cell is responsible for kidnapping the teens.

An Egyptian official also has told international media on condition of anonymity that Cairo officials are also helping Israel to gather information about the whereabouts of the abducted yeshiva students.

“There is a flow of information but we are still short, so there is no negotiation,” the official told Reuters. He added that Egyptian officials are in contact with Hamas and other Palestinian Authority unity government factions.

Druze Community Shows Solidarity with Kidnap Teens’ Families

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The spiritual leader of Israel’s Druze community has expressed solidarity and support for the families of the teenagers kidnapped by Arab terrorists last Thursday evening.

“The thoughts of all the Druze in Israel have been directed to the fate of your sons,” wrote Sheikh Muafeq Tarif, in a letter sent to the Frenkel, Yifrach and Sha’ar families on Tuesday.

Naftali Frenkel, age 16, Gilad Sha’ar, age 16 and Eyal Yifrach, age 19 were abducted by terrorists in Gush Etzion while hitchhiking home for the Sabbath after their week’s learning at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion.

“Your destiny is our destiny, and the hope for a quick release brings you and us together. I cannot imagine where your thoughts have gone since this terrible experience began last week, but rest assured that with your strength, and tremendous faith, you will soon hug your children,” the sheikh wrote.

“As the leader of the Druze community, I want to give you strength in the face of this violent criminal act of terrorism, as there is no other way to define this,” he added.

“I know that the best combat soldiers and commanders of the Druze community have made every effort to locate the children and capture the kidnappers. This is our opportunity as a Druze minority in Israel to express solidarity with you and with security forces and the country.

“The entire Druze community prays for the release of the children and stands by you for any request or need.”

Google and the Defenders of Kfar Etzion

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Gush Etzion is an area southeast of Jerusalem, which contains several “settlements.” One of them is Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. Part of the Palestine Mandate from 1917 to 1948, and the Ottoman empire before that, it was purchased from local Arabs and settled by Yemenite Jews in 1927.  They lived there on and off (they were driven out several times by Arab “riots”) until May 1948 when the invading Jordanian army overran it and massacred all but four of its defenders. All of the West Bank and East Jerusalem were made Jew-free by the Jordanians, who illegally occupied the area until 1967, when the kibbutz was reestablished.

The Haganah sent thirty-five men to relieve the besieged kibbutzim of Gush Etzion in January 1948, following an Arab attack. They were wiped out and their bodies mutilated after an Arab shepherd, whom they unwisely set free after encountering him on the way, reported their presence. They are referred to as the lamed hey, “the thirty-five.”

Let me spell it out more clearly: Jews lived there on land they owned. The kibbutzim of Gush Etzion (there were four of them) represented the realization of the promise made by the world to the Jewish people in the Palestine Mandate, that there would be a national home in the land of Israel. Arabs violently resisted their presence, and when Jordan violated the U.N. charter by invading and occupying Judea and Samaria in 1948, Jews were murdered or expelled. Not one Jew was allowed to remain on the Jordanian side of the cease-fire line. Because they were Jews.

But in the eyes of the “international community,” the ethnic cleansing of the area east of the 1949 armistice line and the 19-year Jordanian occupation thereof transformed Gush Etzion into Arab land, land that today “belongs” to the new non-member-state of the U.N., “Palestine.”

Apparently this magical transmutation was recognized by Google, because when Jewish residents of Gush Etzion tried to use Google’s search engine this month, they received a message suggesting that they switch to the appropriate page for their location, Google Palestine (Google.ps), in Arabic, rather than the Hebrew-language Google Israel (Google.il) they had been using. This follows Google’s recent decision to re-title Google.ps “Palestine” instead of “Palestinian territories.”

Some people think this is much ado about nothing, and at a time when nobody knows if Israel will be at war with Hizballah, Syria and Iran tomorrow, they have a point.

But it is indicative of a much bigger problem. In its desire to present itself as a peace-loving member of the “international community,” Israeli governments have not asserted the historic right of the Jewish people, guaranteed in international law, to the land of Israel. They have not challenged the U.N.’s abdication of its responsibility, inherited from the League of Nations, to preserve this right. They have allowed the Arab position, that the Jews are colonialist interlopers occupying Arab land, to become the conventional wisdom.

I am not saying that it isn’t possible for Israel to agree to a negotiated settlement that would transfer some part of the area of the original mandate to Arab sovereignty, assuming that it could be consistent with Israel’s security. But this has to be negotiated from the starting point that the Jewish people have prima facie rights to Judea and Samaria, not the Palestinian Arabs.

This distortion underlies the position of the U.S. that Israel should withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines “with land swaps.” In other words, the U.S. believes that the armistice lines represent the boundaries of “Arab land” and so if Israel annexes any of it, the Arabs must be “compensated.” Why? The land wasn’t theirs to begin with!

Recent Israeli governments have argued for holding onto parts of the territories for security reasons, an argument which makes eminent sense. But they have generally avoided firmly asserting that Israel, on behalf of the Jewish people, holds the legal title to the land and has the right to dispose of it as it sees fit. The Arabs, of course, aren’t shy in saying that it’s all theirs, and that in addition, Jews aren’t allowed to live there.

The March of the 35: A Bravery Fiercer than Death (Video)

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

“I don’t know if there was any company in the Israel Defense Forces or in any army in the world that assembled such splendid manpower, pure bravery, and spiritual abundance as this company, who will forever be known by our people as the “lamed hey” (the thirty-five)…These lions of Israel were a mix of youthful spirit and glory, superior wisdom…and bravery fiercer than death.”
–David Ben Gurion

65 years ago this week, 35 young Haganah soldiers – mostly students at the Hebrew University – set out from Jerusalem to bring much needed supplies to the kibbutzim in the besieged Etzion Bloc south of the city. The soldiers were ambushed en route, and, despite fighting valiantly, the entire company was killed prior to reaching their destination. Toldot Yisrael’s latest movie A Bravery Fiercer than Death: The 35 Heroes of Gush Etzion tells their tragic yet inspiring story.

This is the fourth installment in the “Eyewitness 1948″ short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and was generously sponsored by the Alexander Family in memory of Shaul Pnueli, one of the fallen. The first three films in the series, Echoes of a ShofarThe Story of a Vote, and The Volunteers were made possible through the support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and others and have been viewed online over 450,000 times since the series launch in September 2010! A companion teachers guide including background information, discussion questions, and additional resources is available on their website.

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