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October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘member’

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.

Third Time this Ramadan – Tomb of the Patriarchs Desecrated by Muslims

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

For the third time this month of Ramadan, Muslims visiting the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron have desecrated Jewish religious objects at the site, tearing the Mezuzahs off the doorposts and stealing them. They took advantage of the special visiting privileges the Muslims receive from the IDF during the month of Ramadan, during which, on Fridays and a few special days, the Tomb of Patriarchs is open only to Muslims.

Local police announced they have arrested two Palestinians in connection with the vandalism, but are still searching for the thieves. The act was recorded by surveillance cameras. A member of the Waqf was nearby during the act of vandalism.

In response to the repeated attacks, the site management has decided to limit the access of Palestinians. Muslims aged 18 – 35 will not be permitted in on the special days allocated to Muslims only. Further actions are being considered to prevent these attacks in the future.

Following the previous attack, Member of Knesset Orit Struk, a resident of Hebron, told Tazpit News Agency: “The Arabs used the opportunity they had on Friday to desecrate the Mezuzot. We cannot be silent about this incident. During the 700 years of Muslim occupation, the Tomb of the Patriarchs was completely closed to Jews. Today, when the State of Israel is considerate of Muslim holidays and permits them full use of the site – they exploit it to harm Jewish symbols. I expect the Muslim leaders in Hebron and Israel to apologize to the Jewish People and condemn this heinous episode.”

Global Security Alert after Al-Qaeda Prison Escapes

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

The international police organization Interpol has issued a global security alert, urging increased vigilance for terrorist activity, following a suspected al-Qaeda connection to prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, among others, AP reported.

Interpol says the prison escapes have taken place in nine Interpol member countries over the past month. The organization is requesting its 190 member countries’ assistance in figuring out whether such events are indeed linked.

The full statement from Interpol’s alert reads:

Following a series of prison escapes across nine INTERPOL member countries in the past month alone, including in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters has issued a global security alert advising increased vigilance.

With suspected Al Qaeda involvement in several of the breakouts which led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals, the INTERPOL alert requests the Organization’s 190 member countries’ assistance in order to determine whether any of these recent events are coordinated or linked.

INTERPOL is asking its member countries to closely follow and swiftly process any information linked to these events and the escaped prisoners. They are also requested to alert the relevant member country and INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters if any escaped terrorist is located or intelligence developed which could help prevent another terrorist attack.

Staff at INTERPOL’s 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre and other specialized units are also prioritizing all information and intelligence in relation to the breakouts or terrorist plots in order to immediately inform relevant member countries of any updates.

August is the anniversary of violent terrorist incidents in Mumbai, India and Gluboky, Russia as well as in Jakarta, Indonesia. This week also marks the 15th anniversary of the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in which more than 200 mostly African citizens were killed and 4,000 others injured.

In recent years, terrorist attacks focusing on diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan, Greece, India, Kenya, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey and Yemen have also resulted in hundreds of casualties of all nationalities.

The US State Department has also issued a global travel alert in response to credible intelligence suggesting that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks between now and 31 August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to the US authorities announcing the one-day closure of more than 20 diplomatic missions on Sunday 4 August, the UK Foreign Office has also confirmed the closure of the British embassy in Yemen on 4 and 5 August.

Friends of IDF Event Spurned by Stevie Wonder Raises More Than $14 Million

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces fundraiser that singer Stevie Wonder pulled out of raised more than $14 million.

More than 1,400 people attended the event in Los Angeles to aid Israeli soldiers. Entertainment mogul Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl chaired the gala. Saban is a national board member of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Actor Jason Alexander emceed the event, which featured a performance by David Foster and Friends. Surprise musical performances were presented by by “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard and 10-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan.

Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

The Grammy-winning singer’s representatives cited a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw his participation given his involvement with the U.N. Wonder as a Messenger of Peace of the world body. He had performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.

Funds raised at the event will go toward Friends of the IDF’s well-being and educational programs for Israeli soldiers and the Negev Wellbeing and Educational Centers.

PA: We Will Fight Israeli Building With Our New UN Status

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Now that the Palestinian Authority has been recognized as a non-member observer state at the United Nations, it will now use its new power to ask the Security Council to force Israel to abandon plans to build in the E-1 area near the Jewish city of Maale Adumim.

Israel announced last week, immediately following the PA’s unilateral decision to request non-member state status at the UN, that it would begin building on the area which is under Israeli control.  The world responded to the Israeli plan primarily through condemnation, with many European countries calling in their Israeli ambassadors to submit formal protestations.

PA head Mahmoud Abbas called the plan a “red line”, although it is unclear what the implications of that are.

The Palestinian representative to the UN submitted a letter calling the move a “contemptuous response” to international approval for recognition of a Palestinian state.

“ Israel is methodically and aggressively pushing ahead with this unlawful land grab and colonization of Palestine with the intent to alter the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory… in its favor in order to entrench its illegitimate control of the land and prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations,” the letter stated.

The US would be expected to veto a resolution against Israeli housing growth, primarily because of its interest in bringing Israel and the PA back to face-to-face negotiations.

Approximately 600,000 Jews live in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.  The PA and its supporters oppose any construction for use by Jews in those areas.

B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue Leaders Congratulate Palestine on UN Vote

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Remember the outpouring of Arab support when Israel declared its independence, back in 1948? No, you don’t, neither does anyone else. But we can certainly mark the unabashed joy of a New York City Upper West Side synagogue, after the UN hammered another nail in the simple pine box of the Zionist dream.

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the leaders of the “Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, a large synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, known for its charismatic rabbis, its energetic and highly musical worship, and its liberal stances on social causes,” had sent out an email last Friday to congregants, praising the UN vote that elevated the Palestinians to non-member state status.

“The vote at the UN yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world,” said the email, signed by the B’nai Jeshurun’s three rabbis, cantor, board president and executive director. “This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition. Having gained independence ourselves in this way, we are especially conscious of this.”

Well, this begs for at least a minor correction: “we” did not gain independence in this way. Yes, the UN took a vote and approved a plan to divide the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea into areas that were populated by a majority of Jews and a majority of Arabs (Arab portion was bigger). But that vote didn’t get us our independence. The blood of 6 thousand Jews, fighting off invading Arab armies as well as local Arab terror gangs – that got us our independence.

Allan Ripp, a member, said he and his wife were appalled, the Times reported.

“We are just sort of in a state of shock,” Ripp said. “It’s not as if we don’t support a two-state solution, but to say with such a warm embrace — it is like a high-five to the P.L.O., and that has left us numb.”

But another congregant, Gil Kulick, told the Times he was “really delighted that they chose to take a strong unequivocal stand.”

The synagogue leaders wrote:

“As Jews deeply committed to the security and democracy of Israel, and in light of the violence this past month in Gaza and Israel, we hope that November 29, 2012 will mark the moment that brought about a needed sense of dignity and purpose to the Palestinian people, led to a cessation of violence and hastened the two state solution.”

“It’s very shocking to many of the congregants that this position was taken publicly and this e-mail was sent around,” Eve Birnbaum, a member of the congregation for about 15 years, told the Times, adding: “I am very dismayed, as a longstanding member of the synagogue, that the rabbis and the board would take a position that is contrary to what many members believe, contrary to the peace process.”

 

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Correction: The letter was signed by the board president, not the entire board as the article originally stated.

The Non-Member Observer ‘State’ of Palestine

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

If you would peruse the U.N. Charter to discover what right and benefits are due to a non-member observer at the United Nations, you wouldn’t find anything.

According to the United Nations’ website,

“The status of a Permanent Observer is based purely on practice, and there are no provisions for it in the United Nations Charter. The practice dates from 1946, when the Secretary-General accepted the designation of the Swiss Government as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations.”

Current Non-member observers at the U.N. include the Holy See (the Vatican) which is labeled by the U.N. as a state and “Palestine,” as an entity. The Palestine Observer Mission is run by the Palestinian Liberation Organization. International Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with non-member observer status include the European Union, the Arab League and many many other organizations.

History of the PLO/Palestine Observer Mission at the U.N.

The PLO was granted observer status by the General Assembly in November 1974.

On November 15, 1988, the PLO/the Palestine National Council proclaimed the existence of a Palestinian state in what became known as the “Algiers Declaration.” (See Daniel Pipes’ article on how the Palestinian Declaration clearly mimics the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel).

In December 9, 1988, the General Assembly gave the PLO the right to have its communications “circulated directly, and without intermediary, as official documents of . . . conferences” which were “convened under the auspices of the General Assembly.”

A few days later, on December 15, 1988, the General Assembly “acknowledge[d] the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council,” “Affirm[ed] the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967,” and ordered that the the PLO observer mission should be renamed the “Palestine” observer mission.

In July 1998, the General Assembly granted “Palestine”  the right to participate in its meetings, but not the right to vote, elect or be elected to any positions in the General Assembly.

Last year, Mahmoud Abbas submitted a request to be admitted as a member-state to the U.N. If that resolution had passed, it would not have meant that a state of Palestine existed anymore than it had before, but practically it would given the General Assembly, the international community, and other international organizations a pretext to treat it as a state.

Admission as a member of the U.N., however, required not only a 2/3rds vote of the General Assembly but also the assent of the Security Council, which would require a positive vote by all permanent members of the Security Council including the United States, which threatened to veto (or simply not vote in favor of) the resolution.

Because of U.S. opposition, the resolution was not brought up for a vote and the “diplomatic tsunami” which Ehud Barak predicted would engulf Israel and which the Israeli media practically prayed for simply did not materialize.

The Palestinians’ Current Request

The current resolution will reportedly change Palestine’s observer status as an non-member “entity” to a non-member “state” like the Holy See. Practically, this may mean that whatever special privileges the General Assembly has confer on the Holy See by virtue of the fact that it considers it a “state,” it can also confer on “Palestine.” But these would not include the rights of membership described in the U.N. Charter.

Remember, the entire concept of non-member observers has no bearing on international law. The resolution should just be seen as another attempt by the Palestinians to create more General Assembly resolutions which pressure Israel and bolster the self-fulfilling prophecy of artificial statehood.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/hadar/the-non-member-observer-state-of-palestine/2012/11/29/

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