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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘line’

Jerusalem Walking Tour (Along part of the 1948 armistice line)

Friday, September 28th, 2012

For 19 years Yerushalayim was a city divided, cut in two by the 1948 armistice line. After Israel’s War of Independence on November 30, 1948, at the time of the official cease-fire, Moshe Dayan sat with Abdallah Tell and UN mediators, slicing up Yerushalayim. Using a map scaled at 1:20,000, each side used a different coloured wax pen to delineate the furthest point under its control. Israel drew a red line and Jordan a green line. This is the origin of the phrase used to describe land that is “behind the green line.”

Beit Israel Shul of Yemin Moshe

The 1948 armistice line in Yerushalayim stretched from Armon HaNatziv in the south of Jerusalem to Ammunition Hill to the north of the City. In many places the two lines converged. In addition, as the wax of the China graphic pens dried, the coloured ink lines spread out until they coved two millimetres of the map which equaled 200 meters. The drying ink caused a delicate problem as to where the exact boundaries were. For example, part of the neighbourhood of Musrara remained in a deadlock until an agreement was reached in July 1951.

Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital are situated, remained in Jewish hands, although it was unequivocally within the Jordanian boundary. Twice a week, our soldiers disguised as policemen would travel in a convoy in order to be able to reach Mount Scopus to guard the area. The original sites of Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital were technically under the protection of the United Nations, but despite the “Mount Scopus Agreement,” the institutions were not permitted to reopen.

Jordan was a threatening enemy state.

Along the seam of the division line on the Israeli side, people lived in danger and anxiety. At any given moment the trigger-happy Jordanian soldiers might open fire on innocent civilians. Many times children playing in front of their homes were shot at. Mothers would scream to their children to take cover.

As time passed, both sides built walls and fences for defence and security reasons. The Jordanians had 36 posts around the City, as compared to Israel’s 19.

Entrance to Cable Car Monument on Rehov Derech Hebron

Our starting point on the walking tour is the gas station next to Liberty Bell Park. We begin our brisk walk though the suburbs, facing the old city walls that had been turned into a frontier-like no-man’s land from 1948 until 1967. Our first stop is the Har Tzion Hotel, at the Cable Car Monument, on Derech Chevron. Here, the Duke of Kent, who was member of the British Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, built a hospice for eye diseases in the 1880’s. At the time there were about four hundred different eye afflictions. The Ottoman army used the building as a weapons storehouse during the First World War. During the War of Independence fire from the Arab League made it impossible to reach positions on Har Tzion from the west of the City. At first the connection was maintained by means of a tunnel though the wadi. The tunnel made it possible to transfer supplies and evacuate the injured. This method obviously had its limitations.

Uriel Hefetz formulated a solution in December of 1948. A 200 meter (656 foot) steel cable was stretched across the Hinnon Valley, linking the Eye Hospital to the Israeli position on Har Tzion. It was only used at night, so that Jordanian Legion soldiers would not notice any activity. At the end of each night, the cable would be lowered down into the valley. The cable car reached a height of about 50 meters (164 feet) above the wadi. The rail cart could carry a maximum weight of about a half a ton. Three soldiers on each side were responsible for operating the cable car manually. The journey lasted about two minutes in each direction. Although it was used for only half a year, the IDF maintained it in perfect working condition from 1948 until 1967, in case it needed to be used again. The cable car was kept a military secret for twenty-four years, and its existence was only revealed to the public in 1972.

Vardah Littmann

Transcript: PM Netanyahu’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Thank you very much Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the Ambassador from Israel, and it’s good to see all of you, distinguished delegates.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear. Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It’s their ideologies that have been discarded by history. The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever. The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland. Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home. We will never be uprooted again.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution; we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust. But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate. We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state. In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture. In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.

Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval. The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred. The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified. These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East. Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.

Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia. Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention. And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey Indonesia and elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.

In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors. I know you’re not going to hear that from speakers around this podium, but that’s the truth. It’s important that you are aware of this truth. It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.

Jewish Press Staff

Netanyahu Warns the World: A Nuclear Iran Is like a Nuclear Al Qaeda

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

In his dramatic speech to the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed a simple image to make clear home his urgent message to the international community to lay down a “clear red line” before Iran’s nuclear program – or face a reality in which a nuclear Iran would be be as dangerous as a nuclear Al Qaeda.

Netanyahu’s address before the U.N. General Assembly was a forceful appeal to the U.S. and all the other nations who understand the Iranian threat, to join Israel in drawing a line in the sand, beyond which Iran would have to face a military response.

Netanyahu stated that the “security of the world” is at stake.

“I ask, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said to the assembly. “Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?”

“The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program,” Netanyahu said. “I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.”

“Red lines do not lead to war; red lines prevent war,” he told the United Nations General Assembly.

Netanyahu said the red line needed to be drawn “first and foremost on Iran‘s attempts to enrich uranium to 90 percent.”

After that it‘s too late, he said.

He said that Iran will finish the medium enrichment stage by next summer, and will move on to the final stage. At that point, he said, it would only be a matter of a few more weeks until Iran had enriched enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

The prime minister showed a kind of diagram with a cartoonish bomb, divided into three segments, each one representing a stage of uranium enrichment. Netanyahu drew a red line with a marker before the end of the second stage.

Netanyahu began his address with a heartfelt response to Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who claimed the Jews have no history in the Middle East. The PM related the history of the unbroken ties of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, and vowed that they would remain there forever.

“Throughout our history the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who sought our destruction,” he said. “The Jewish people have come home. We will never be uprooted again.”

Netanyahu’s insistence that President Obama join him in drawing “red lines” that could spur an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities has been roundly rejected by the Administration and is threatening Israel’s relationship with this White House.

It has been noted that Obama did not meet with Netanyahu this week, even though both leaders were scheduled to speak at the U.N. Obama’s Republican foes were very critical of this presidential snub.

The only comment Obama made in his Tuesday U.N. speech regarding the Iranian nuclear program, was that the U.S. “will do what we must” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” Obama said. “It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who attacked decades of Israeli “racist” policies, received only a short comment from Nwetanyahu, who told the assembly: “We won’t solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the U.N. That’s not the way to solve them. We won’t solve our differences with a unilateral declaration of statehood. We have to sit together and negotiate together in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish state.”

Jacob Edelist

All’s Well That Ends Well

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

On August 29, 2011, I took my three kids to a New York Mets baseball game and was sitting in the front row. During the last inning, my 12-year-old son Eliezer was hit in the face by a line drive (the clip is on YouTube, “Baseball hits boy, Mets-Marlins”). He was rushed to the hospital and received eight stitches; he was discharged the next day.

A few days later he started throwing up blood and was rushed by Hatzolah to Long Island Jewish Hospital. They told me he had a fracture in his skull and would need a craniotomy that would be scheduled for Tuesday, because of the Labor Day weekend. My father-in-law called all the yeshivot and shuls and, thanks to their tefillot, we were told on Monday morning that the doctor reviewed the CT-scan and was going to hold off on performing surgery.

They discharged Eliezer again and, to our horror, Hatzolah took him back to the hospital that same night. Due to his internal bleeding, he lost half his blood and needed two blood transfusions.

He had surgery on his nose, which stopped the bleeding. He is, Baruch Hashem, back to good health now. I wish to thank Chai Lifeline for their amazing support and help – and all of you for your prayers.

Valerie Shalomoff

Miracle of the Crowded Pilgrims

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

The Mishna in “Chapters of our Fathers” 5:5 describes ten miracles that used to occur in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (a couple of feet above the Western Wall in the picture). One of those miracle was that when the pilgrims—hundreds of thousands of them—stood in the Temple courtyard, they were crammed together, like the crowd you see here, photographed Monday night, the eve of Yom Kippur.

But when the time came for every pilgrim to prostrate themselves on the ground, the dimensions of the place morphed and each individual pilgrim had ample space so that no person touched the bodies of their fellow worshippers.

The multitude in the Temple courtyard fell on the ground as the High Priest read out the full name of God, all 72 letters of It. And when he was done, they all cried out: Blessed be the Name of His Kingdom for eternity.

We do both those things on Yom Kippur, during the Mussaf prayer: prostrate ourselves on the floor of the synagogue (on a sheet of paper), and cry out the blessing which, on normal days we only whisper.

It preserves the muscle memory of the ancient ceremony.

During the year, we whisper the “Blessed be the Name of His Kingdom for eternity” line after we say the opening line of the Shma reading. Each day, twice a day, when I say that line, I’m transported in my head to the place where I had last said it out loud, prostrated on the floor.

For an entire year now, I’ve been returning in my head, twice a day, to the Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side, where I last kept Yom Kippur.

This year, we’ll be staying with our friends in Tzfat, and will be davening in a Chasidish place in that strange, old town. I’ll be saying good bye to the last spiritual vestige of the Diaspora inside my head.

Possibly…

Have a meaningful fast. If you wish, this can be the most fun day of the year.

Yori Yanover

Senate Overwhelmingly Endorses ‘Capability’ Red Line on Iran

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly endorsed language that sets a red line for Iran “nuclear capability.”

The non-binding resolution, introduced in February by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), says that “it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

The resolution passed late Friday by a vote of 90-1, with only Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voting against.

The language is in line with Israel’s red lines and goes further than the Obama administration, which has set as a red line Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

It is not precisely clear what “capability” entails. A number of experts believe Iran already has crossed that threshold and is capable of manufacturing a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its nuclear program is strictly peaceful.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the resolution’s passage.

“AIPAC applauds the Senate for rejecting a policy of containment of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability and calling for an increase in sanctions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” the group said in a statement.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed similar language in May, and the term “capability” has made it into other legislation, including the most recent sanctions legislation.

JTA

America’s Ambivalent Iran Doctrine

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Is Washington’s refusal to set red lines over Iran’s nuclear military program spurring Tehran to continue onward, towards nuclear weapons possession, at full speed?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has issued a call for clear red lines to be defined by the international community. The idea behind the lines is simple: A breach of them by Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons will trigger action against it.

Jerusalem presumably believes that without red lines, Iran will simply not take the threat of military force seriously enough to freeze its uranium enrichment, or enter into further negotiations in any meaningful way.

Washington, saying that the only red line it abides by is the production of nuclear weapons, rejected this call. Any further red lines, President Barack Obama said earlier this month, would constrain the U.S.’s room to maneuver.

Furthermore, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, countries are not governed by red lines.

However, as Dr. Emily Landau, a senior arms control expert from Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies pointed out Obama himself used red lines twice this year — and did so effectively.

In the first instance, when Iran threatened to respond to economic sanctions by closing off the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane, through which much of the world’s oil passes, Obama said that doing so would constitute an unacceptable breach of a red line. Sure enough, Iran backed off, and downplayed its own threat within a few weeks.

The second use of a red line came after it emerged that Syrian dictator Basher Assad was moving deadly chemical weapons around Syria. Obama said that any further movements of the unconventional weapons, or signs that they were about to be used, would constitute a breach of a red line. There have been no further reports of chemical weapons on the move in war-torn Syria.

Iran knows that the U.S. is being selective about its use of red lines, and that the Obama Administration is reluctant to use this same pressure mechanism on its nuclear program.

What conclusion is Iran likely to take away? One need look no farther than Iran’s rapidly progressing uranium enrichment drive, its continuing refusal to allow IAEA experts access to nuclear facilities, and the fact that no serious negotiations between the P5+1 representatives (the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) and Iran are on the horizon.

The threat of military force is supposed to be one of three critical pillars of a comprehensive policy to persuade the Iranian regime to stop its march towards atomic bombs.

The second pillar, biting sanctions, is in place, and is taking its toll on the Iranian economy. But the sanctions have utterly failed to convince Tehran to change course on its nuclear program. So long as the worsening Iranian economy does not influence the rate of uranium enrichment, sanctions cannot be considered to have worked.

The third and last pillar, diplomacy, is currently dead in the water, after three failed rounds of negotiations this year.

All three pillars are tied to each other – a structural weakness in one means the other two cannot function properly. In this instance, it is the pillar of a credible military threat that is looking weak, and a refusal to discuss red lines is contributing to that weakness.

Ironically, the less credible the threat of military force is, the more likely it is that military force will eventually have to be used.

Some in the Obama Administration, such as Defense Secretary Panetta, have pointed out that Israel too has not set red lines on Iran. But Israel is not involved in negotiations with Iran, and a red line pressure mechanism would be of no use to Israel — a fact that makes Panetta’s claim appear rather cynical in the eyes of Israeli national security analysts.

There are other factors leading Iran to confirm its belief that the international community is not serious about stopping its nuclear program.

One of them is the public spat between Netanyahu and Obama over these very issues. The open argument, which has escalated into unprecedented feuding via international media outlets, will surely give Iran more cause to trivialize international resolve and unity.

When chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said last month that an Israeli strike would only delay Iranian nuclear progress, but not destroy the program, he seemed to be stating the obvious. Read between the lines, however, and Dempsey appeared to be hinting that a delay caused by an Israeli strike would not be significant.

The comment seemed to be part of an open U.S. media campaign to dissuade Israel from striking. What it may have done instead was damage Israeli deterrence in Iranian eyes.

The lack of red lines, diplomatic arguments among allies, and an unconvincing threat of military force will all lead Iran to move forward on its nuclear program.

In the meantime, it seems fair to believe that Iran is quickly approaching Israel’s own, unannounced red line.

Yaakov Lappin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/americas-ambivalent-iran-doctrine/2012/09/20/

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