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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘oslo’

Water Crisis in Samaria Hits Jewish and Arab Residents Alike

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Samaria (TPS) – Amid the intense heat wave in Israel, the water crisis plaguing Samaria is taking an unprecedented toll as residents and community leaders scramble to find solutions for the water scarcity. To date, eight settlement communities have experienced water shortages and three have had no water at all last week.

“We’ve been saving water, not wasting a drop,” said Rachel Shalev of Elon Moreh, a community with over 1,600 people located in Samaria, northeast of Nablus. “We were told to limit the amount of water we are using. In my neighborhood there is water but there are other parts of the community where the running water isn’t working.”

“On Shabbat, at the synagogue, people were wondering if they’d have to go back to drawing water from a well.”

“Every moment that we have water, I thank God,” Shalev said. “But I’m not doing any laundry for now or taking any chances.”

In some cases, emergency water tanks as well as water bottles have been delivered at special water stations set up in settlement communities like Kedumim and Eli.

“We knew this was coming but we never expected the water issue to be this severe,” said Yisrael Ganz, deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council to Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “We are at the height of this water crisis, which has left residents unable to maintain a normal way of life at this time.”

Arab residents of the region have been severely affected as well. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, sent a letter to the government of Israel claiming that Mekorot, the Israeli water company, has significantly reduced the amount of water that it supplies to the region since early June 2016.

Adalah provided TPS with the text that its lawyer, Muna Haddad, wrote to Israeli authorities.

“The reduction in water amounts and pressure prevents the filling of holding reservoirs in the Palestinian communities. As a result, in some of the communities, including the villages of Salfit, Azmut, Salem and Dir Al-Hatab in the northern West Bank, water flow to residential homes has been almost completely cut for more than two weeks,” Haddad wrote.

“The cuts have also caused factory shutdowns, damage to gardens and agricultural lands, and the deaths of livestock due to dehydration. The situation, exacerbated by a period of heavy heat over the past several weeks that is expected to continue through the summer months, is causing significant harm to West Bank residents,” Haddad added.

According to Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat and a Yesha Council representative, the reasons for the water shortage are varied and are sometimes influenced by ideological motives. “There is no dispute that both Jews and Arabs in Judea and Samaria are suffering from a shortage of water during these hot summer days,” he commented to TPS.

“The people behind the Oslo Accords foresaw this situation and drew guidelines to prevent specifically such a crisis,” he explained. “Unfortunately, the funds of the European community dedicated to this purpose did not reach its objective.”

Revivi believes that the only way to overcome the situation at the moment is to understand that money must be invested in the proper infrastructure so that drinking water can be provided for both populations.

“At the end of the day, it is the Jews and Arabs who live in this region that need to set rules and come up with a working system that will benefit both sides so that they can live side by side in a peaceful and beneficial co-existence,” he concluded.

A water "shlucker" bag

A huge water “shlucker” bag

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Continental Chutzpah: EU Building on Israeli Land, Warning Against Demolitions

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The European Union over the past few years has been erecting illegal structures in Area C, which according to the Oslo agreement is under Israeli control. After several rightwing NGOs have complained, the IDF set out to demolish some of those structures. By rights, they should have taken all of them down, what with their being built without a permit. Israeli media publicized the demolition of those structures, some of which actually flew the EU flag — like those mythical cat burglars who leave their personal business card in the open safe. But last week the EU chutzpah has reached unprecedented highs when Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish diplomat who since 2013 has been the ambassador of the European Union to Jerusalem, met with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Gen. Yoav Mordechai, to warn him that if Israel keeps demolishing those “Palestinian homes” it would damage relations with Brussels.

According to a senior Israeli official who spoke to Ha’aretz, the meeting was tense and loaded. The ambassador accused Israel of hurting the “weakest Palestinian populations.” What the senior official did not share was that those structures are a means by which the EU has been challenging Israel’s claim to sovereignty in Area C (the PA is currently in charge in Areas A and B). It has to do with the diametrically opposed views of Israel and the EU of what constitutes the “two-state solution.”

Essentially, the Israeli politicians who are now in government, as well as more than a few in the opposition, envision a future peace deal that turns Areas A and B into an independent Palestinian entity, either as a state or an autonomy. The same Israeli leaders envision some permanent legal solution for the upwards of 400 thousand Jews living in Judea and Samaria, all of them in Area C, most likely with Israel annexing the large settlement clusters and giving away the rest of the land.

Virtually no one outside Israel supports this idea at the moment. Even Israel’s best friends in the world envision the ousting of the Jews from Area C, possibly while allowing Israel to retain eastern Jerusalem. How would that actually be done—no one cares to say, nor where would Israel gather the tens of billions of dollars required for such a move, never mind whether the settler population would acquiesce or opt instead for resistance that would make the traumatic evacuation of 8,000 Jews from Gaza’s Gush Katif look like a picnic. Meanwhile, while Area C in Israel’s view is eventually going to be annexed as part of a peace deal — to the Europeans Area C is Palestinian land ready to be redeemed.

Which is why the EU has been relentless at challenging Israel’s claim to Area C. And it’s why they’ve come up with the delusional notion that taking down 531 illegal Arab structures in 2015, 75 of which had been built by the EU, was damaging the two-state solution. Because the two-state solution the Europeans envision is without any Jews in Area C.

For the same reason, Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen was complaining that Israel is quick to condemn and demolish those illegal structures, but at the same time refuses to give Arabs permits to build legally in Area C. Because while the Arabs view Area C as soon to be part of free Palestine, Israelis plan to keep most of it, thank you very much.

There’s going to be another meeting with the EU envoy, on June 15, this time at the Israeli foreign ministry. The Europeans are going to demand a freeze on demolishing Arab structures in Area C, while at the same time also demanding a freeze on Jewish construction in the same Area C. And at some point something will have to give.

David Israel

Suitcase Bomb Scare at Oslo Synagogue

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Oslo Police closed off a large area surrounding the Jewish society Det Mosaiske Trossamfund’s synagogue on Friday morning and sent in a bomb squad, in response to a suitcase that had been left outside the synagogue at around 4 AM, The Local reported. Surrounding streets were blocked off, but Police did not at any point evacuate the area, which includes a school and a daycare center.

They were able to call off the alarm shortly after 11 AM.

“The suitcase turned out to be empty. The barricades will remain on Bergstien. Other roadblocks have been removed. No suspect in the case. The case is closed,” Oslo Police tweeted.

Police said that video surveillance cameras recorded a man, described as dark-skinned and dressed in dark clothing, placing the bag at the entrance to the synagogue.

“The timing and the location are what make us want to investigate the suitcase. We are assuming that there could be anything in that suitcase,” a police spokesman told broadcaster NRK.

Det Mosaiske Trossamfund board member Michael Grizman thanked police for their “quick reaction.” He told news agency NTB that Police “handled the situation in a good way and all the necessary precautions were taken.”

Friday’s incident was the second time police has had to send a bomb squad to the Oslo synagogue. In March 2015 a man was seen running out of a building across the street from the synagogue, then leaving a bag outside the edifice. The bag turned out not to contain anything dangerous.

However, in September 2006 shots were fired at the synagogue, and since then Police have stepped-up patrols in the area.

JNi.Media

Justice Minister Commits to Enforcing Sovereignty in Area C

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) on Monday stated that she is working, together with AG Avichai Mandelblit, on an outline for imposing Israeli law on the Israeli-controlled part of Judea and Samaria. Established by the 1993 Oslo accords as Area C, it covers 60% of Judea and Samaria and is home to an estimated 350,000 Jews who live in 225 communities (including outposts yet to be approved), and 30,000 Arabs. Israel already has control over security and land-management in Area C, and many in Israel view the area, for all intents and purposes, as a future part of Israel, as opposed to Areas A and B, which were designated as the foundation of a future Palestinian autonomous territory.

Speaking to Army Radio, Shaked said she plans to appoint a committee based on the new outline, to examine every law passed by the Knesset and decide whether it can be imposed concurrently on the Jewish communities in Area C as well, via a military decree (Tzav Aluf). Past attempts to impose an automatic application of new Israeli laws in Judea and Samaria have failed, including two separate attempts by Habayit Hayehudi. These included a minimalist bill to apply Israeli laws in the “Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria,” and even a bill prohibiting discrimination in the supply of goods and services to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which has been waiting for a Knesset vote since 2011.

Shaked is hoping that establishing “a team who will examine every single law” for its applicability in Judea and Samaria will indirectly create a promotional device that would be on hand to pressure the IDF General Officer Commanding (GOC) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to pay better attention.

At the moment, the legal picture in Area C is very complex, whereby the law there is comprised of Ottoman and Jordanian laws, combined with military decrees of the GOC, with the Supreme Court playing referee. In recent years there has been a growing tendency on the part of the GOC to apply new Israeli laws as soon as they had been passed. Last March the Knesset passed a law enabling settlers to receive on gains inside the green line the same tax benefits they are entitled to in Judea and Samaria; and a law coordinating home buying taxes so settlers won’t have to pay twice. Despite the fact that both laws—which were passed late at night when the leftwing parties were not paying attention—the legislation was condemned as “crawling annexation” of the “occupied territories.” MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said it was a quiet way for the Netanyahu government “to impose its ideology.” Which, presumably, is what you do when you win.

The last time Livni’s party was the big electoral winner, she and her partners used their power to transfer some 8,000 Jews from their homes, the first time a Jewish community had been forcibly evicted from its homes since the end of WW2.

On Sunday, in a similar vein, Shaked said that she intends to equalize the legal conditions for Israelis on either side of the green line, either by using the military decree or by new legislation. Speaking at the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Shaked added that “It’s important that the Justice Minister have political power and political ability.”

Yes, it is, and this Justice Minister appears to be using hers wisely and bravely.

JNi.Media

Anti-Semitic Bank Card Emerges in Norway

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

An anti-Semitic caricature has appeared on a VISA debit / credit card issued by Norway’s largest banking institution, DNB.

A cartoon bearded Jewish man with a long hooked nose wearing yarmulka and a blue and white tallit (prayer shawl) is seen chuckling with hands held to his cheeks in mirth. The caricature is set against a background of golden coins gleaming like treasure on the entire rest of the card.

The message is very clear: Jews control money.

An Australian citizen living in Norway who ordered the card claims that when he received it, he was surprised to find that the design he ordered was not what he received.

The matter was brought to the attention of the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, which immediately contacted the management of the bank.

The bank promptly apologized to Israel’s Ambassador to Norway, but also explained in a letter to the Hallelu Israel Foundation (seen on the nonprofit organization’s Facebook page) that the bank allows clients to order personally designed cards.

The vice president of the bank wrote that he was surprised when the embassy told him the client received the offensive design without personally requesting it.

Cllose examination of a different photo of the card that was seen on the Internet reveals in the lower left corner the words “YOUR NAME” which may indicate this is a design sample available for ordering, possibly through VISA although that is not clear.

Anti-Semitic bank card 'erroneously' issued by DNB bank in Norway.

The bank official asked forgiveness from anyone who was offended and said the bank would issue an explanation and apology notice.

After the incident was publicized, the bank announced the offensive card would be canceled and a new one issued to its owner.

In the letter the bank said it has a mechanism to filter out “offensive images.” Somehow, the anti-Semitic caricature slipped past. The bank explained it issues a few million cards each year, said it was an isolated incident and that the offensive image was deleted from the database.

The bank added that it has strict guidelines about which images can be uploaded to that database, but the uploading and supervision are manual operations.

Unfortunately, personal supervision failed in this case and the card should not have been printed under any circumstance, the bank said.

Only some 1,500 Jews currently live in Norway. Kosher slaughter (shechita) is outlawed, so kosher meat must be imported for the families living there, at great expense due to high taxes. Circumcision is frowned upon, although Jews ignore the social atmosphere, obviously, and continue to bring their sons into the Covenant on the eighth day, as did our ancestors.

Overt anti-Semitism is rare, but as Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Shaul Wilhelm told Israel Hayom in October 2014: “There was a report here about a possible Al Qaida attack. Within a day people were demonstrating outside a mosque where a group of Bosnians were praying. They had nothing to do with anything.

“It reminded me of something that a Jew here once told me. His grandfather had survived the Holocaust, and he told him, ‘When they need to find us, they will find us within a day.'”

Hana Levi Julian

European Think Tank with Ties to Israeli Left Pushing Sanctions on Banks over Jewish Settlements

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) A European think tank whose Middle East Program is headed by an Israeli who worked for Yossi Beilin and Ehud Barak, and who authored the 2003 Geneva Accord, issued a report recommending leaning on Israeli banks to sever their ties with Jewish enterprises in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem.

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals, on Wednesday issued a report urging the EU to take more firm steps in sanctioning Israeli activities in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, Reuters reported.

According to Ha’aretz, the stocks of the First International Bank of Israel, Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, and Dexia fell in reaction to the news of the report.

But Israeli bankers would have been calmer had they seen the following Tweeter exchange:

Gerald M. Steinberg of NGO Monitor, on Wednesday evening tweeted the EU delegation in Israel:

Gerald M. Steinberg ‏@GeraldNGOM
is this accurate? ‘Euro Council on Foreign Relations…proposals frequently inform EU policy-making’

The EU in Israel account responded:

EU in Israel @EUinIsrael
 EU not considering any of the proposals in ECFR paper. Does that answer your question?

The report, titled “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements,” argues that “Under its own regulations and principles, Europe cannot legally escape from its duty to differentiate between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The report suggests that Israel would capitulate to economic pressure on its banking system, and would return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians.

“Do day-to-day dealings between European and Israeli banks comply with the EU requirement not to provide material support to the occupation?” the report asks, suggesting that large Israeli banks have daily interactions with European banks, which technically violates EU policy on supporting Jewish settlements—because those Israeli banks are also providing loans and financing to Jewish businesses and individuals in the settlements.

ECFR was founded by Mark Leonard, who serves as its director. Leonard’s maternal grandparents were German Jews who fled the Nazis and hid in France. “They weren’t religious, yet they were aggressed because they were Jewish,” Leonard told The Independent in 1998. “I am not religious either. My route to Judaism is through the Holocaust.”

He said this means that he sometimes views history “with a persecution complex.” His late Jewish grandmother helped to rear him. She would feed baby Mark, tell him stories, take him for walks and, from the age of three, read him Shakespeare.

ECFR’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program is headed by Daniel Levy. an Israeli political scientist, policy advisor and diplomat. He was the Director of Policy and International Efforts at Heskem, the Israeli headquarters of the joint non-governmental Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative. Levy was the lead Israeli drafter of the 2003 Geneva Accord, which advocated returning Israel close to its 1967 borders.

Levy served as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin from 2000 to 2001. During the Ehud Barak government, Levy worked in the Prime Minister’s Office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon.

Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba Summit with the Palestinians in 2001, and of the negotiating team for the “Oslo 2″ Agreement in 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

JNi.Media

Bono Kisses Off BDS with Kiss on Shimon Peres’ Cheek [video]

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Rock singer Bono, who came to Israel three years on a private visit, gave the Boycott Israel-BDS movement a royal slap in the face week when he kissed former President Shimon Peres and praised him for his efforts for peace.

He told the cheering crowd:

Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres is with us this evening, and we understand, President Peres, you have tried to bring peace to be a voice of reason and have dedicated a great part of your life – all of your life – to try to bring peace to this really dangerous reason.

We wish you and your family safe and wish that you, who worked so hard in Oslo for the incredible Oslo Agreement, will not give up on the two-state solution.

At the age of 91, we know we can count on you, and we sing this song and dedicate it to you with two ancient peoples in mind. This song is called ‘One.’

Peres and Oslo bring to mind the Torah portion Jews read two weeks ago. The People of Israel wanted to pass through the land of ruled by Sihon on the way to the Promised Land.

Israel sent messengers to Sihon the king of the Amorites, saying: Let me pass through your land. We will not turn into fields or vineyards, nor drink well water. We shall walk along the king’s road, until we have passed through your territory….

But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his territory, and Sihon gathered all his people and went out to the desert toward Israel. He arrived at Jahaz and fought against Israel. Israel smote him with the sword, and took possession of his land from Arnon to Jabbok, as far as the children of Ammon, for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

Pere has been a voice of illusion, but we really needed a “beautiful dreamer” to show the world that the Muslim mindset does not want peace with Israel, unless it means it will be a peace without Israel.

The Oslo Accords should not be dissociated from the “Oslo War,” the Second Intifada of terror that killed and wounded thousands of Israelis.

Peres is not Moses and the People of Israel today are not in the Sinai Desert waiting to enter the country, but the same God still is watching over the same People to save it from Sihon, the Arab League, the Oslo Agreement and BDS, which is welcome to stay away from Bono’s concerts if he performs in Israel.

Watch Bono kiss Peres in Toronto and praise him on stage.

This article was corrected to correct a previous version that wrongly identified Bono as Bon Jovi.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bon-jovi-kisses-off-bds-with-kiss-on-shimon-peres-cheek-video/2015/07/10/

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