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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean Sea’

Trading In Maryland for the Mediterranean

Monday, August 19th, 2013

When Sergeant Brandon Berry made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), he did not come looking for the easy life. If he wanted that, he would not have left his hometown of Potomac, Maryland to serve in the army of a foreign country half a world away from his family.

Sgt. Berry also was not looking for an easy job in the IDF – he wanted to serve wherever he was most needed. He wanted to take his talent and drive with him to contribute one hundred percent.

Sgt. Berry passed all the tests to serve in the prestigious Paratroopers Brigade. Instead the American immigrant took to the sea as a member of the Israel Navy’s Dvora-class patrol boat squadron.

It is not everyday that a young man from Potomac, Maryland travels for tens of thousands of miles to join the Israel Navy. “It was clear to me that I was destined to serve in the Navy,” he said. Sgt. Berry, stationed on a base overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is able to indulge his love for wide-open spaces every day of his service.

Aside from his thick American accent, Sgt. Berry is indistinguishable from the other soldiers at his base – completely at home on a boat with a tan to match. He credits the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers for helping him through the entire enlistment process.

“The work the association does is a blessing,” he says. AWIS helps soldiers in a number of ways, which included providing assistance to lone soldiers, running soldier homes and recreation centers, and providing support for bereaved families.

Sgt. Berry says that even though he grew up with a strong Jewish identity and attended a Jewish day school, he always felt like something was missing. Now, as a soldier for Israel, it seems he has truly come home.

Visit IDF Blog.

Rebels Claim Israel Bombed Russian-Made Anti-Ship Missiles

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Syrian rebels have implicitly fingered Israel for the bombing of Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles near the Syrian port of Latakia last week, a bombing that the Assad regime has blamed on a group linked with Al Qaeda terrorists.

It was not the FSA [Free Syrian Army] that targeted this,” the rebels’ army spokesman Qassem Saadeddine told Reuters. “It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels. This attack was either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”

The rebels maintain that they do not have the capability to stage an attack that was a powerful as the bombing near Latakia.

Israel remained officially non-committal, but Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told inquiring reporters, “We have set red lines in regards to our own interests, and we keep them. There is an attack here, an explosion there, various versions – in any event, in the Middle East it is usually we who are blamed for most.”

Israel has struck several times in Syria and Lebanon the past several years, most notably the bombing of a  nuclear installation under construction with the help of North Korean scientists. Israel is assumed to have assassinated Hezbollah’s mastermind terrorist Imad Mughniyeh five years ago and has bombed stockpiles of advanced missiles that were on their way from Syria to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon.

The target at Latakia, according to the rebels, was a cache of Yakhont anti-ship missiles, which could be used to attack Israel’s offshore natural gas and oil rigs and would have been at least the fourth time Israel has bombed a site in Syria this year.

Between 10 and 12 Syrian soldiers were killed in last week’s blast, according to Arab sources. It is not clear if the bombing was form the air or from sea.

Syrian blamed the bombing on a group linked  Al Qaeda, a departure from its previous policy of charging that Israel is the guiding hand behind the Syrian rebellion against President Bassar al-Assad.

However, the official Syrian statement, in typical language of propaganda, could be read as implying Israel.

“The attack in Latakia was not carried out from the air or the sea, but by a terrorist group aligned with Al Qaeda,” according to Syria’s official state media. ”

Assad for the past year or so has equaled Israel with terrorists, and given his state of mind, he may not want to credit Israel with having the power to continually break through Syrian defenses and attack at will.

It is perfectly reasonable and logical for him to define Israel as linked to Al Qaeda.

F-16 Breaks Up in Mid-Air near Gaza, Pilot and Navigator Rescued

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Israel Air Force rescue crews have brought to safety the pilot and navigator of an “F-16i” training fighter jet that  broke up off the coast of Gaza Sunday afternoon after its engines mysteriously died.

The pilot, a training instructor, and the navigator who is is training, ejected themselves safely and parachuted to the sea, approximately 30 miles off the Gaza coast. They were able to send a distress call before they ejected, and they were rescued from the sea after approximately one hour

The military had clamped a gag order over the incidents for several hours, and no additional information is available except that all F-16i and F-15i training  planes have been grounded until an investigation is completed.

The Gaza region is particularly sensitive this week because of the tension in Egypt and terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula, immediately south and east of Gaza.

Israeli Air Force Shoots Down Hezbollah Drone

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone approximately five nautical miles off the Haifa coast as it flew towards the Mediterranean Coast at a height of approximately 6,000 feet. No one has claimed responsibility for the attempted infiltration, but it is assumed that Hezbollah or an affiliated terrorist group tried to penetrate Israeli air space.

A gag order on the IAF interception with a missile fired from an F-16 jet was lifted approximately three hours after the drone was blown up in mid-air.

“Israel is prepared to deal with any threat posed from Syria or Lebanon in the air, land or sea,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the IDF announced the incident.

Last November, a drone managed to penetrate Israeli airspace and was downed only after it reached the southern Hevron Hills, approximately 15 miles northeast of Be’er Sheva.

The drone was identified over the Gaza coast. Security officials did not release additional information, and it was speculated – without any confirmation – that the drone may have been headed towards the Dimona nuclear facility but that the IDF electronically took over the drone and directed it over a relatively unpopulated area.

The infiltration also may simply have been an attempt by Hezbollah to test Israel’s ability to detect low-flying drones.

Thursday’s drone may be an attempt by Hezbollah to draw attention away from its involvement in Syria, where heavy casualties have been reported the past several days. Hezbollah’s intense fighting alongside loyalists to Syrian President Bashar Assad further endangers the spread of the civil war into Lebanon, dominated by pro-Assad and Hezbollah parties against fiercely anti-Syria parties.

Hezbollah is largely financed by Iran, and Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad desperately need each other. Once one of the links in the “evil of axis” falls, all of the regimes’ leaders will be in danger.

Hamas Bulldozes UN Heritage Site for Terrorist Training Grounds

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Hamas has plowed over a 3,000-year-old harbor, designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage site, and has covered it with sand to prepare more training grounds for terrorists.

The terrorist organization explained that there is nothing wrong with plowing over history if it is good for the cause of the “resistance,” – read “terror and the end of Zionism.”

Hamas already has expertise in destroying buildings and land that can be used for the benefit of the local population.

In 2005, the Israeli government – the Sharon Chelm government – expelled 9,000 Jews from Gaza and withdrew every IDF soldier from Gaza in order to ensure that Hamas would no longer have any reason to attack Israelis. Since they never did have a reason in the first place, there was no logic in expecting Hamas to become civil. That is now history for future generations to ponder.

With the help of such saintly institutions as the World Bank, Israel agreed to leave standing the greenhouses, where Gaza Arabs earned a living, so that the Palestinian Authority could help the local agriculture blossom by using Israeli  technology already in place.

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction at that time was in the same political bed as Hamas. After the expulsion, the PA regime destroyed the greenhouses and turned them into its own kind of future heritage site where men, women and children could learn to be martyrs and be prepared for 72 virgins.

Nearly eight years have passed, and the so-called military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has now bulldozed a part of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea to expand its training zone, journalist and former human rights researcher Abeer Ayyoub wrote for Al Monitor.

Here is what UNESCO says about the Heritage site, designated as such only last year after the location was discovered in 1997, uncovering mosaic floors with historical pillars from the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic ages.

“Anthedon is the first known seaport of Gaza, mentioned in Islamic literature with the names of Tida…The city was inhabited from 800 BC to 1100 AD…

“The acropolis of Anthedon shows archaeological remains dated from the late Iron Age II, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods….

“The excavated site is about 20 dunam [5 acres] and consists of a 65-meter [213-foot] long mud-brick wall, formerly of the old commercial city center, which was part of the eastern extension of the harbor, and other earthen works…

“Anthedon represents a clear example among the seaports along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, demarcating the ancient trade route that linked Europe with the Levant during Phoenician, Roman, and Hellenistic periods…. The presence of massive earthen structure in the proximity of the sea as well as the rich underwater heritage, still to be explored, make Anthedon an excellent site for nomination to the World Heritage list.”

Its official designation as a Heritage site gave Hamas a wonderful opportunity to promote tourism, but things don’t work so logically in a terrorist regime.

In typical Orwellian language, the Tourism Ministry has stated it will not allow harm to monuments but that “the ministry appreciates the urgent need for using new pieces of land” due to the rising population.

And then there is the truth.

Deputy Minister of Tourism in Gaza Muhammad Khela told Al-Monitor that the location was taken for military use and not demographic purposes.

“We can’t stand as an obstacle in the way of Palestinian resistance; we are all a part of a resistance project, yet we promise that the location will be limitedly [sic] used without harming it at all,” Khela explained.

No harm will come to it – but.

Since Hamas needs money for the “resistance,” it does not have funds for excavation, so the solution of covering it with sand was really for the protection of the site.

The blame, of course, is UNESCO, according to Hamas. After all, it was the United Nations body that declared the harbor a Heritage site in the first place, and it obviously is the responsibility of the United Nations to do the preservation work so that Hamas can keep its mind on the resistance.

Hamas, like its rival Fatah faction headed by Abbas, is used to being on the world’s welfare rolls, but UNESCO explained to the Tourism Ministry it is not a funding agency.

Confronting the Unpleasant Truth about Two States

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Sometimes the truth is more than just ‘inconvenient’. Sometimes it is downright unpleasant, even ugly. But nevertheless, it is what is and we need to deal with what is, not what we would like it to be.

Martin Sherman sees the unpleasant truth and, unlike so many others, draws the logical conclusions. He has written a series of articles in the Jerusalem Post in which he has exposed the sheer insanity of the Left’s two-state solution (TSS), as well as the failure of the Right to propose real alternatives.

Now Sherman has taken up the challenge to provide a practical alternative. In his most recent article — which I urge you to read in its entirety, since I can’t do justice to it with a few snippets — he writes,

To survive as the permanent nation-state of the Jewish people Israel must address two fundamental imperatives:

• The geographic imperative • The demographic imperative

It is self-evident that if either of these is inadequately addressed, Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people will be gravely jeopardized, eventually becoming unsustainable.

The mainstream discourse invariably – and deceptively – presents Israel’s only choice as being between accepting the TSS – which would make Israel untenable geographically, or the OSS (one-state solution) – which would make it untenable demographically.

Neither comprises an acceptable policy-paradigm for anyone whose point of departure is the continued existence of Israel as the permanent nation-state of the Jews.

This, as we will see, compels us to the inexorable conclusion that between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there can – and eventually will – prevail either exclusive Jewish or exclusive Arab sovereignty…

While addressing the geographic imperative requires Israel to maintain control of all Judea and Samaria (or at least of sufficiently large segments to make the TSS unviable), addressing the demographic imperative means that the Arab population of these areas cannot be permanently incorporated into the population of Israel…

We are left to confront a brutally simple choice: Either forgo the Jewish nation-state or address the need to significantly diminish the scale of the Palestinian-Arab population.

Whether one relates to this stark dilemma with a sense of moral outrage or equanimity will not affect the inexorable logic that led to its deduction, or the necessity to acknowledge its inevitability. Trying to evade the bleak nature of this inescapable choice by reformulating it in less forbidding terms would be no more than an exercise in hypocrisy or self-delusion…

So, for those who find the prospect of forgoing the Jewish nation-state unacceptable, the grim decision is whether to address the problem of diminishing the Palestinian-Arab population by coercive or by non-coercive means.

Right now the screaming about racism, transfer, ethnic cleansing, etc. begins. I won’t discuss why this automatically follows any discussion of Arabs moving but not Jews, nor the numerous Palestinian expressions of their intention to have a Jew-free state if the TSS is implemented. I’ll only emphasize that the alternative is no Jewish state at all.

If your idea of morality is such that yet another Jewish diaspora — undoubtedly accompanied by a bloody war — is preferable to some Arabs living between the river and the sea moving to one of the 22 Arab Muslim states in the region, then you have chosen sides and I don’t have anything to say to you.

Sherman believes, and promises details in a forthcoming article, that a non-coercive population transfer — yes, I am using that word because that is what it is — is the morally preferred option and that it can be made practical.

I have my doubts about the practicality of such a solution. But I am convinced that Sherman is right and that survival of a Jewish state requires both geographical and demographic domination of the area between the river and the sea. I remain to be convinced that this can be accomplished peacefully.

Originally published at FresnoZionism.org.

The ‘Back to the Ocean’ Movement

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Odelia, a 100 lbs. loggerhead sea turtle, makes her way back to the Mediterranean Sea after her release at Palmachim beach, near the city of Rishon Lezion last Thursday.

Odelia, was cast to shore on Palmahim beach and found by Odelia from kibbutz Palmahim. Since then she has been treated by the medical clinic of Israel’s National Park Authority.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-back-to-the-ocean-movement/2012/06/10/

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