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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘oslo’

Jonathan Pollard: An Israeli Hero

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Our Sages say that in the month of Nissan, the people of Israel were redeemed from Egyptian bondage, and in the same month they will be redeemed in the future. This is a special month: the month of liberty. So who knows? Maybe this will be the month of our brother Jonathan Pollard’s redemption.

According to news reports, Secretary of State John Kerry is proposing that Israel expand the fourth scheduled release of Palestinian terrorists (a group that includes 14 Arab citizens of Israel) along with instituting a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. All of this in exchange for the privilege of continuing to bask in the glory of the presence of the murderer of our Israeli sportsmen at the Munich Olympics, Mahmoud Abbas.

For all of this, Israel may get Pollard. Or maybe not.

On numerous occasions, Pollard has told me that he is not willing to go free in exchange for murderers. In principle, he is certainly right. The terrorists should have been executed long ago, and Pollard should have been out of prison long ago. Israel, however, being utterly at odds with its identity, is incapable of justifying its existence as a Jewish state. It cannot deal with the claim of the “justice of the Palestinian cause.” The result: we pay in the hard currency of a construction freeze or the release of murderers in exchange for the farce of a “peace process” that is supposed to address the Arab demand for justice.

Since Oslo Israel has discarded all the fundamental values of a normal nation, values like sovereignty, justice, morality and the sanctity of life. In light of that, and since this process will lead to the terrorist release and construction freeze that Kerry proposes with or without Pollard’s release, then at least he should go free.

The amazing Jonathan Pollard, however, refuses to participate in a Parole Board hearing as a precursor to his possible release. “I am not willing for other Jews to be murdered in exchange for my release,” he has said to me. When his words have been put to the ultimate test, he stands by them – making Pollard a modern-day hero of Israel. For the U.S. to use Pollard as a political bargaining chip is unbelievably villainous. In a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Israel a few weeks ago, I made this position clear to him.

As a side note regarding a construction freeze, the 2011 crisis over the high cost of housing broke out as a result of a previous construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. The additional pressure that was suddenly added to the housing market in Israel’s pre-1967 borders was like the extra vehicles that turn a traffic jam into a traffic gridlock. Thus I assume that an additional construction freeze will result in an additional housing shortage and an additional leap in housing prices.

But what won’t we do for the privilege of chatting with Mahmoud Abbas for another half year?

Nissan means “our miracles.” Apparently, we need a miracle. No, not the splitting of the physical Red Sea – as our physical and material situation has never been better. Instead, we need a miraculous “splitting” of our slave mentality. We need to leave the bondage of a slave’s mentality for the mentality of liberty.

The modern-day redemption from Egypt is totally an internal, Jewish affair. We are the Children of Israel and we are Pharaoh. It is we who are breathing life into the puppet, Mahmoud Abbas, and enslaving ourselves to his puppeteering. I pray that in this propitious month of Nissan, we will choose redemption.

Feiglin Says Israel Better Off without Yesha Council

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin condemned the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria to the gallows Monday, explicitly saying that Israel would be better off without it.

The Council, whose title included “Gaza” before the expulsion of Jews in 2005, has been the voice of Jews in Judea and Samaria for decades. It has been praised and damned for its failed efforts to prevent the Oslo Accords and the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and four northern Samarian communities in 2005.

Feiglin, the most hawkish nationalist in the Likud party, stepped smack in the middle of a controversy brewed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who charged on Sunday that the Yesha Council has misused government funds by funneling them for political purposes, such as media campaigns against the government’s policies towards the “peace talks.”

The Council vigorously denied the charges and said that all money could be accounted for as being spent for non-political activities.

However, Feiglin said on the national religious-oriented Galei Israel radio station Monday, “The attack on the Yesha Council is based on politics and not economics, but it is justified… Yesha has caused only damage to the Land of Israel and has no benefit.”

“Israel would be better if this body [Yesha] would disappear from the world,” he stated. “Whoever outs his hand in my pocket and does not consult with me is in effect stealing from me.”

The Yesha Council was a holy cow to Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria years ago, organizing dozens of demonstrations, some of them in the tens of thousands and even in the hundreds of thousands, against Oslo and later the expulsion.

It was successful at organization protests but a failure in realizing that they had little political effect against the massive support from Israel’s popular media for the “peace movement.”

Aryeh Deri Feints Right

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Aryeh Deri, the head of the Shas party, has been trying to paint himself as a right-winger these past few weeks, or at least not a leftwinger, in an attempt to rid himself of the deeply ingrained image that he supported and enabled the Oslo Accords.

While Deri toured sites in Gush Etzion on Wednesday with his family, Deri’s close associates were busy conveying messages of love for the Settlers, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Everyone who went through the Oslo years remembers Shas and Deri’s support for Oslo as they sat and enabled the Rabin-led government, allowing Oslo to pass. Deri’s associates told Makor Rishon that Deri and Shas never actually voted for Oslo, but rather they abstained from voting for it.

But they never add that Deri and Shas didn’t vote against Oslo either.

In fact, at the time, Shas’s 6 seats were absolutely required to keep the Labor-Meretz coalition alive, and if Shas has pulled out of the government, Oslo could never happened.

For good measure, as part of the rehabilitation of Deri’s image, Deri’s associates added the stain of Oslo on Deri are just lies spread by the extreme right.

Daily Compares Jewish Ire on Circumcision Cartoon to Muslim Riots

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

The Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet said Jewish reactions to its caricature on circumcision “are similar” to riots that erupted over cartoons mocking Mohammed eight years ago.

Referencing Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten caricatures of Mohammed in 2005, Dagbladet wrote in a statement, “We now have similar reactions to a cartoon that Dagbladet printed last week.”

Several people died in what The New York Times termed “a wave of violent protests by Muslims” in the Middle East and Europe over the caricatures mocking Mohammed.

Last week, several Jewish organizations condemned the Dagbladet caricature, which showed two people, who were widely perceived to be Jewish because of their clothing, maiming a child with a fork and bolt cutter while holding a book and professing their faith.

Dagbladet has justified itself and criticized the Jewish reaction by simply re-defining anti-Semitism as love for Jews. The caricature was not at all against Jews, said the paper, which went on to claim it actually is champion of snuffing out anti-Semitism.

Not only that. It seems to understand that the anger of Jews is a camouflage for some kind of evil intentions.

“The groups which said the circumcision caricature was anti-Semitic “leave little room for nuances and reflections,” the paper wrote in a statement published this week on its website.

“They claim that this is proof of Dagbladet’s anti-Semitic views. We come from a different angle and have a different interpretation of the cartoon,” the statement read. “It is important to distinguish between friend and foe when considering this question of values. Dagbladet has a long and consistent history of fighting anti-Semitism.”

The JTA contributed to this report.

Israel Hi-Tech Firm Helped Capture Boston Bombers

Monday, April 29th, 2013

An Israeli hi-tech company with an office in metropolitan Boston was instrumental in helping to identify and lead to the arrest of the Boston Marathon terrorists

BriefCam company’s technology enabled investigators to summarize an hour of surveillance video footage into only one minute and also zoom in on people and objects whose movements changed during the filming. The system then can track those movements form the beginning of the video.

“The technology used by U.S. security forces has already been installed around the world in police, HLS, intelligence entities and others, saving time and manpower and also providing a solution for the vast challenge of growing amounts of recorded video produced every hour, every day,” Israel Defense reported Monday.

The system is based on the concept of allowing the simultaneous display of several events. Once a certain movement or area is indentified, the system then tracks it during the entire film.

Amit Gavish, general manager for the Americas at BriefCam. based in Farmington, Massachusetts, told the GCN technology website, explained how it works. “If you have 10 hours to investigate on a specific camera, the software will take it to a 10-minute clip…events that occurred during those 10 hours will be presented simultaneously.”

Gavish, who is the former deputy head of security for the office of the Israeli President, said each event is “tagged” and marked with a time stamp on screen, so the viewer is watching events that happened hours apart, at the same instant.

“We are the search engine for video,” he added.

GCN reported that BriefCam and other sophisticated video systems have caught the eye of mass transit and port systems

“Most of these large cities have already been going down the path to do exactly what everybody’s wondering if they’re going to do. They’re not just putting in thousands of cameras, they’re putting in tens of thousands of cameras.” said David Gerulski, vice president of Texas-based BRS Labs, which installs artificial intelligence systems for video surveillance.

He said that the old-fashioned surveillance camera do not play a major part in helping to uncover terrorism or thwart crime and many cities simply “shut them off.”

BriefCam’s product is in use in the United States, Israel, China, Taiwan and other countries and was used after the massacre in Oslo in 2011, in which 87 people, including children, were murdered.

In the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, U.S. Park police technological service direct David Mulholland explained, “There may have been 500 people who walked in that general area, but the analytics piece will ignore that and flag anything that changed in that one specific area, such as a backpack being left behind. So instead of spending 20 minutes looking at video in which nothing happens, the investigator can hit a button and in 30 seconds go to the area of interest and then begin to dissect what actually happened.

Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Jewish Press notes with sadness the passing of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. A member of Britain’s Conservative Party, she was the longest serving British prime minister since the early 19th century, leading her party to three electoral victories starting in 1979.

She was lauded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres as a staunch and loyal friend of Israel who stood by the Jewish state in times of need. She was known for her support of the Soviet Jewry movement and her disdain for anti-Semitism.

Prior to becoming prime minister, Ms. Thatcher as a member of parliament represented the heavily Jewish district of Finchley and developed relationships with the Jewish community as well as several of its institutions. A founding member of Finchley’s Anglo-Israel Friendship League, she had a number of Jews as her closest advisers and at one point nearly a quarter of her cabinet was of Jewish origin.

In a revealing comment, Ms. Thatcher said she considered her efforts at helping save a young Austrian girl from the Nazis her greatest accomplishment. And she cut to the chase when asked about her understanding of the Middle East: “Israel must never be expected to jeopardize her security: if she was ever foolish enough to do so, and then suffered for it, the backlash against both honest brokers and Palestinians would be immense – ‘land for peace’ must also bring peace.”

Would that more Margaret Thatchers were found in office in capitals around the world.

UN Plan for ‘Palestine’: Israel’s Deterrence Power

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

This article appeared in the print edition of the Jewish Press under the title “The UN Plan for ‘Palestine’ and its Aftermath (Second of Four Parts).” Find part one here

After further codifications of Palestinian statehood, conditions in the Middle East would become markedly less favorable to both Israel and the United States. The only credible way for Israel to deter large-scale conventional attacks following additional Palestinian progress toward full national sovereignty would be by maintaining visible and increasingly large-scale conventional capabilities.

Naturally, enemy states contemplating first-strike attacks upon Israel using chemical and/or biological weapons would be apt to take more seriously Israel’s nuclear deterrent. Whether or not this nuclear deterrent had remained undisclosed (the so-called bomb in the basement) could also affect Israel’s deterrent credibility and, thereby, U.S. security.

A strong conventional capability will always be needed by Israel to successfully deter and/or preempt enemy conventional attacks. However, any Oslo Agreement and “Road Map” expectations related to Palestinian statehood would critically impair Israel’s strategic depth, and thus the IDF’s indispensable capacity to wage conventional warfare (possibly in more than a single theatre at a time).

If, after the creation of “Palestine,” any frontline regional enemy states were to perceive Israel’s own growing sense of expanding weakness, this, ironically, could strengthen Israel’s nuclear deterrent. If, however, these enemy states did not identify such a “sense” among Israel’s pertinent decision-makers, they could, animated by Israel’s presumed conventional force deterioration, be encouraged to attack.

The logical result, spawned by Israel’s post-“Palestine” incapacity to maintain reliable conventional deterrence, would be: (1) defeat of Israel in a conventional war; or (2) defeat of Israel in an unconventional chemical/biological/nuclear war; or (3) defeat of Israel in a combined conventional/unconventional war; or (4) defeat of Arab/Islamic state enemies by Israel in an unconventional war.

Ironically, for Israel – hence, also, for the United States – even the “successful” fourth possibility could prove intolerable. The probable consequences of any regional nuclear war, or even a chemical/biological war in the Middle East, would be calamitous for the victor as well as the vanquished. Here, President Obama should take special note: Traditional notions of “victory” and “defeat” would likely lose all reasonable meaning.

All major Palestinian groups, directly or indirectly, are still committed by their various charters and covenants to both genocide and crimes against humanity. This is hardly an exaggeration, as the published expectations of all Palestinian terror groups plainly call for the physical destruction of Israel. According to the Hamas covenant, the Islamic Resistance Movement is “universal.”

All Palestinian groups, whether the Palestine Liberation Organization and its subunits or any other “revolutionary” faction, share an understanding that “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad….” As for Israel, all Palestinians have a firm and unchallengeable obligation to “obliterate it.” The PLO charter mirrors the Hamas covenant, calling the “nucleus” of the Palestinian movement only those who are “fighters and carriers of arms.”

In unassailable Islamic parlance, all war dictated by the shari’ah is necessarily “holy.” Yet the Arabic word jihad, which has the literal meaning of “effort,” “striving,” or “struggle,” ought to be approached and understood by President Obama and other world leaders with the greatest seriousness. A basic commandment of Islam, jihad is in an obligation imposed upon all Muslims by Allah, and it is now patently military in intent.

Derived from the universality of Muslim revelation, jihad calls upon those who have accepted Allah’s message and his word to strive (jahada) relentlessly to convert, or, at a minimum, to subjugate, those who have not been converted. Regarding the state of Israel, this obligation is imposed without any limits of space or time. Indeed, this incontestable obligation must continue until the entire world has accepted Islam, or has submitted to the deified power of the Islamic state.

The Palestinian Authority and its allied organizations are obligated to refrain from incitement against Israel not only by the general body of pertinent and peremptory international law (law so fundamental that it can “never permit any derogation”), but also by the Interim Agreement (Oslo II). Here, at Article XXII, it states precisely that Israel and the PA “shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance, and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other….” In the Note for the Record that accompanies the Hebron Protocol of January 15, 1997, the PA reaffirmed its commitment regarding “Preventing Incitement and Hostile Propaganda, as specified in Article XXII of the Interim Agreement.”

The European Union and Its Court: Stacked Against Israel

Monday, January 14th, 2013

The partiality and exaggerated rhetoric of the European Union (EU) against Israel has, in recent weeks, become ever more familiar. The EU condemned Israel’s plans to construct housing units in the four-mile area known as E1 between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim, a settlement of more than 40,000 residents; its High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, said she regarded construction plans in the neighborhoods of Givat Hamatos and Ramat Shlomo as “extremely troubling.”

Yet neither the settlements nor the proposed construction have ever prevented negotiations to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is noticeable that the EU has not articulated any serious criticism of the terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israeli civilians — actions that do make a peaceful solution less probable. Further, as Israel’s former ambassador to the UN points out, the EU has never criticized the Turkish “settlers” for their “occupation” of Northern Cyprus, or “their own citizens who build beach-front villas in territory under Turkish occupation.” [Israel Hayom, January 7, 2013]. There is no mention of “Chinese occupied Tibet,” or “Pakistan occupied Kashmir.”

The continuing criticism of Israel comes at a moment when 14 of the 27 countries in the EU voted in the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012 for the resolution that “Palestine” become a nonmember observer state at the UN. Only the Czech Republic voted against the resolution. The EU disregarded the fact that this resolution, a unilateral action, was illegal, a violation by the Palestinians of binding obligations in the Oslo Accords and other agreements with both Israel and the U.N., including Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which guaranteed that the final status arrangements should be reached only through direct negotiations. In addition the EU has refused to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. These decisions do not exactly evidence a record for any kind of EU objectivity; Ireland, arguably the harshest European critic of Israel, just assumed the presidency of the EU on January 1, 2013.

It had been hoped, however, that the European Court of Justice, established in 1952 to interpret EU law, and now composed of 27 judges who meet in Luxembourg, would be more impartial than the EU in its decisions on issues regarding Israel. Unfortunately, the record of the Court so far has been disappointing, and its partiality has been shown on a number of occasions.

In its judgment on February 20, 2010, the Court ruled that goods produced by Israeli companies based in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”)  did not qualify for duty-free import into the EU. The Euro-Mediterranean agreement between the European Community and Israel, signed on November 20, 1995 allows Israeli industrial products to be imported into the EU countries without customs duties. The decision in the 2010 case arose from the application by the German drinks manufacturer Brita to import soda-water makers and drink syrups manufactured by an Israeli firm, Soda Club, based in the settlement of Mishor Adumim. The European Court upheld the refusal of German customs officials to grant exemption from customs duties in this matter.

The Court explained its decision by what may be considered specious reasoning. The European Community (the predecessor of the EU) had signed an agreement on trade and cooperation with the PLO for “the benefit of the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” on February 24, 1997. The Court held that each of the two association trade agreements had its own “territorial scope;” one scope was the State of Israel, and the other the territory of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Therefore, for the Court, products made by Israel which originated in Judea and Samaria did not fall within the “territorial scope” of the European-Israel agreement, and thus did not qualify for preferential customs treatment. The Court also presumed to considered the presence of Israel in Judea and Samaria “illegal.”

The most recent decision by the European Court is pure judicial burlesque. On January 20, 2010 the president of the Israeli think tank, NGO Monitor, who is a British citizen and thus has standing, filed a lawsuit, under the EU’s Freedom of Information Law, against the European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the EU, to obtain information found in 200 documents about EC funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These bodies often pose as “peace” and “human rights” organizations, ” but in reality are highly politicized advocacy groups, attempting to manipulate Israel through boycotts, divestments, sanction, frivolous and malicious lawsuits, and accusations of alleged “war crimes” — all of which would render them ineligible for EU funding.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-european-union-and-its-court-stacked-against-israel/2013/01/14/

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