web analytics
October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ Rallies Against Jewish Club Owner’s Right to Bar Anti-Israel Event

Monday, September 19th, 2016

A group of about fifty actors, playwrights and other theatrical types, led by the Jewish Voice for Peace, whose stated mission includes seeking “an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem,” signed a letter protesting the cancellation of a Black Lives Matter benefit concert that had been scheduled for 9/11 at Feinstein’s/54 Below near Times Square in Manhattan.

Signatories include playwright Sarah Ruhl, singer Justin Vivian Bond, playwright Annie Baker, novelist Alice Walker, and actors Wallace Shawn, Tonya Pinkins and Kathleen Chalfant.

Back in 2013, Alice Walker’s speech at the University of Michigan was cancelled because of her views on Israel. Walker has likened Israel to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the South. Kathleen Chalfant has been a long time supporter of BDS.

An email the club owners sent out to ticket buyers read, “The owners and managers … strongly believe in and support the general thrust of the goals and objectives of BLM. However, since announcing the benefit they’ve become aware of a recent addition to the BLM platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions.

“Feinstein’s/54 Below would have preferred to hold the concert in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, without endorsing or appearing to endorse the entirety of the Black Lives Matter organization and its platform, but we’ve found that a distinction is impossible for us to effect.

“As we can’t support these positions, we’ve accordingly decided to cancel the concert.

“We’re sorry about this unfortunate situation which has not dimmed our commitment to supporting social justice.”

The JVP letter willfully ignores the fact that the club owners have declared their support for the BLM agenda, but would not accept the movement’s recent turn against the Jewish State. Instead of acknowledging any American’s right to pick and choose his or her causes, the JVP letter states that the cancellation “both undermines the visionary leadership of the Movement for Black Lives and contributes to the institutionalized silencing of advocates for Palestinian human rights. … We call on theater venues, artists, and supporters in New York City and beyond to proudly support the Movement for Black Lives and its inspiring solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

Chalfant told the NY Times she was “very distressed to discover that, in order to support one movement I thought was important, there was some kind of peculiar political test.” But, in fact, that’s precisely what the benefit organizers were demanding of the club owners, that in order to host the pro BLM event, they had to reject their own pro-Israel views.


The Final Peace

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Leah Goldin still speaks of her twin sons in plural even though one of them, Lt. Hadar Goldin, was killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge two summers ago. “They were only 15 years old during our sabbatical year in Cambridge,” explains Mrs. Goldin, “so it’s not surprising that Hadar misspelled the title of his last art assignment, “The Final Piece,” as “The Final Peace.”

What is surprising though, is that Hadar’s “Final Peace” is now on part of a collection of his paintings on display in a main UN corridor outside the café where 193 world leaders will be looking for coffee when they convene next week for the opening session of the 71st General Assembly.

The exhibit was arranged by the Israeli delegation to the UN and is part of a renewed effort to recover the bodies of Goldin and fellow fallen soldier Oron Shaul. The remain of both soldiers have been held by Hamas since they were killed in Gaza during July and August of 2014. Lt. Goldin was killed and taken captive two hours after a ceasefire had gone into effect.

“We’ve been trying to get Hamas to release their bodies for over two years,” says Hadar’s twin Tzur, “Hadar was killed during a blatant and barbaric violation of a UN brokered ceasefire and we hope this exhibit will encourage the UN to take responsibility and demand that Hamas return the bodies.”

At the opening of the exhibition on Wednesday, Ambassador Danny Danon called Goldin “a talented artist taken before his time” as well as a brave soldier, and pledged to continue to urge the international community to do everything in its power to pressure Hamas into releasing the remains for a proper burial in Israel. The Goldins will be in the UN when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the General Assembly next week.


The logo for the display is a sketch drawn by Hadar in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge that was to be used on the invitation to his wedding which was scheduled for later that summer.

After the close of General Assembly, the collection will be moved to the Park Ave Synagogue in New York City where it will be on display from September through January.


Stephanie Granot

UNIFIL Soldiers Wounded in Southern Lebanon by ’30-Year-Old’ Landmine

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

A group of UNIFIL soldiers were injured Wednesday when their vehicle inadvertently ran over a “30-year-old landmine” in southern Lebanon, according to the Al Masdar News website.

A military source in Beirut told Al Masdar the UNIFIL vehicle was patrolling along the Lebanese-Israeli border, driving off pavement near the village of Maqam, when it hit the landmine.

The explosive reportedly dated back to the Lebanese Civil War, according to the report. The UN soldiers were rushed to the nearest field hospital by the ambulance that arrived at the scene.

UNIFIL — the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon — was originally created by the UN Security Council in March 1978 to “confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective authority in the area,” according to the agency’s website.

After the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the Security Council “enhanced” that mandate. The force was ordered to monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and “extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.”

In addition, the force was tasked with ensuring that no weapons or armed militias other than the Lebanese government forces were to enter the region — a mandate that was blithely ignored within seconds after it was set forth.

Since the ceasefire (UN resolution 1701) the Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist group has taken control over the country and has exerted significant control over the government as well. The terrorist group possesses possibly the largest arsenal in the entire hemisphere, thanks to the generous support of Iran, and has completely restocked and exceeded the prior supply level of rockets and missiles it held at the start of the Second Lebanon War.

The group has been threatening for the past five years to eventually invade Israel and seize control of the Galilee. As a result, the Israeli military has begun to include military and civilian drills that feature evacuations of the civilian populations of major northern Israeli cities, in response to those threats.

Hana Levi Julian

Former President Shimon Peres Fights For Life After Massive Stroke

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Former President Shimon Peres was fighting for his life at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Tuesday night, just an hour after he was felled by a severe stroke.

Peres was rushed to the hospital Tuesday evening after feeling “weak” and becoming confused. Dr. Ayelet Frisch, Peres communications consultant, said his personal physician, Prof. Rafi Walden, had him taken to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Walden is the deputy director of Sheba Medical Center.

As of 02:00 am Israel time, the former president was breathing with the aid of a respirator, in an induced medical coma to ease the stress of his condition on his body. Doctors convened late Tuesday night to decide whether surgery would be helpful to the former president in any way; it was decided that surgery was not an option and the best thing was to simply keep their patient as comfortable as possible.

Upon his arrival at the hospital, Peres underwent an initial CT scan to determine his medical status, and then was sedated and placed on a respirator in the intensive care unit.

The initial CT showed the 93-year-old elder statesman had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage, with a second CT scan to assess his condition about an hour later having showed no improvement.

Hemi Peres, the son of the former president, asked the public to pray for his father (name for prayers: Shimon ben Sara) in a statement outside the medical center.

“These have not been easy hours for my family and I,” he said. “We have received many messages from people in Israel and abroad, and we have been wrapped up with warmth and love.

But “at some point,” he acknowledged painfully, decisions will have to be made.”

“Nothing is more precious to my father than the nation of Israel and its people,” he continued. “My father is a special person. I am remaining optimistic. I am praying and hoping for the best.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his wishes for a speedy recovery. “Shimon we love you and the entire nation is praying you will recover,” Netanyahu said.

Both chief rabbis of Israel — Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef — also sent their blessings and prayers for a swift recovery.

Incumbent President Reuven Rivlin expressed concern over his predecessor’s condition, and said, “I am following with concern the updates from the hospital, and praying together with the entire people for my friend Shimon’s recovery.”

Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog also extended wishes for a speedy recovery to Peres, his predecessor in the party. “I wish you, our former president and eternally beloved Shimon Peres, that you recover quickly and return to make your wise, clear and sober voice heard. A complete recovery!” Herzog wrote on the Twitter social network site.

The former president had undergone a procedure last week to implant a pacemaker after returning from a diplomatic conference in Italy. He was released from the hospital the following day.

But Peres experienced a number of medical episodes during the past year. He was hospitalized on January 14 for a heart condition and doctors performed angioplasty in order to unblock an artery. He was discharged from the hospital five days later, but was compelled to cancel a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos the next day. Peres had planned 15 meetings with world leaders and officials for that trip, and doctors advised him to “rest,” instead.

A professional politician for more than six decades, Peres has held just about every top position in the government of Israel, including stints as prime minister, foreign minister, finance minister, defense minister, and president. Since completing his seven-year term in 2014 as president, he has hosted numerous public events at his Peres Peace Center in an attempt to create his own unique brand of peace and co-existence between Arabs and Jews.

Known throughout the world as an “ambassador for peace,” Peres was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his part in reaching the 1993 Oslo Accords together with then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat – the agreement that created the Palestinian Authority.

Hana Levi Julian

State Dept. Not Huge Fans of Netanyahu Video on Peace and ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ [video]

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

One of the disturbing points few in the media discussed back in 2005, when the Israeli government was strong-arming its 8,000 or so citizens off their lands in the Gaza Strip, was the fact that no one was entertaining the possibility of letting the Jews of Gaza become citizens of the Palestinian Authority. In fact, one of the things government agents took care of early on in the process was to disarm the residents of Jewish Gush Katif, so that they, too, wouldn’t dream of staying and defending themselves on their own.

Now one of the Israeli politicians who voted 4 out of 5 times for the program to exile the Jews of Gaza, including the dead and buried, then Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), has begun to ask that very question, this time regarding the Jews of Judea and Samaria: how come no one is talking about transferring the Jewish communities, along with their people, over to Palestinian Authority rule, as a legitimate Jewish minority with equal rights? Why is everyone insisting the area must remain free from Jews?

In a video he posted this weekend, Prime Minister Netanyahu is asking why everyone around the world is convinced Jewish settlements are such a threat to peace. Because while no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel are an obstacle to peace, having close to half a million Jews living in Judea and Samaria makes peace impossible.

“It’s called ethnic cleansing,” Netanyahu says on the video, noting that while Israel’s diversity “shows its openness and readiness for peace, the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews.”

On Friday, State Dept. Press Office Director Elizabeth Trudeau used her daily press briefing to rebut Netanyahu’s accusation, although a careful reading of her attack on the PM reveals she didn’t really answer his main argument.

The reporter who cited the Netanyahu video did a good job of digging up the key points, saying the PM is “talking about settlements and talking about the Palestinians wanting to have a state that has no Jews in it at all and saying that this is ethnic cleansing. And he also says that that demand is outrageous, that it’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find it outrageous. And then he says some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.”

Trudeau responded: “We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank. We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”

She explained that “settlements are a final status issue that must be resolved in negotiations between the parties,” and the next line out of her mouth was: “We share the view of every past US administration and the strong consensus of the international community that ongoing settlement activity is an obstacle to peace.”

So, to reiterate, 1. Shame on you, Mr. Netanyahu for using bad words; 2. We will deal with the status of those Jews in Judea and Samaria when everything else has been resolved; 3. Jews living in Judea and Samaria are a menace to peace.

Why? What if the PA and the Israelis decide that they want Jews living in a free Palestinian State, carrying Palestinian passports and enjoying equal rights? How then would today’s settlements have been a threat to peace?

Trudeau continued with the familiar, regurgitated statements about the thousands of new settlement units being built (we wish) and the vicious demolitions of illegal Arab structures in accordance with Israeli law, which the US should respect but doesn’t. She then announced that the US is “engaging in direct conversations with the Israeli Government on this. … We’ll have our conversation with our Israeli allies and friends and we’ll see where that goes.”

Not everyone in Israel is happy with the Netanyahu video. MK Ayman Odeh, Chairman of the Joint Arab List, accused the PM of revising history. And MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said that with one video Netanyahu managed to wipe out her accomplishments in the Sharon government, guaranteeing that the clusters of settlements would remain part of Israel as part of a two-state solution.

Israeli rightwingers will probably start drilling the PM on Sunday, after they emerge from their Shabbat rest. They won’t be happy with the fact that the PM has so openly entertained the possibility of a Palestinian State as a given fact. But the points Netanyahu made were sound and they could go a long way in stirring the presidential campaign’s foreign policy debate.


For The Sake Of Peace – Sovereignty Now

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Nearly 50 years have passed since we returned to the ancient parts of the Land of Israel, the cradle of the Jewish people, but we have not yet determined its legal status. The Land of Israel is tired of being the state of Israel’s “mistress.”

The time has come for the children who were born into this situation, children of communities and outposts, to become legitimate children of the state of Israel. What is called for is a proper marriage between the state and the Land, an application of sovereignty, and a full legalization of the communities.

Peace is actually hampered by the lack of sovereignty. This is true regarding peace in Israel as well as the world in general. Peace must and can be achieved only with a sovereign Land of Israel. All over this world, every person who believes in the Bible, whatever his religion, know this to be true.

“In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it…. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths, because the Torah will go out from Zion and the word of God from Jerusalem. And he will judge between the nations…. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword unto nation and will not learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2).

This is the strongest and most exalted vision of peace the world can aspire to, and we are obligated to realize it.

Without the settlement of the Land of Israel throughout its entire area, without the application of sovereignty and the establishment of a life of Torah and ethics throughout the Jewish homeland, peace is impossible. In the weekly Torah portion of Masei that we read last month, we encountered the passage that teaches us “and you shall inherit the Land and dwell in it because I have given the Land for an inheritance to you.”

The Ramban defines the meaning of this commandment of inheritance that was given to the People of Israel as the removal of foreign sovereignty and control over the Land of Israel.

The Ramban states that this is incumbent upon us as a positive Torah commandment. The presence of many Jews in the Land of Israel is vitally important and certainly we are commanded to settle the Land and abide by our commitment not to abandon it to desolation – but settling the Land is not enough in terms of providing the Land with its appropriate validity and integrity.

The realization of the triple thread of Torah, People, and Land will come about only when the Jewish People apply sovereignty over the Land, conducting their own military/security, judicial, educational, social, and economic systems according to the Torah way.

Only thus does the divine ideal rule; only then will the prophecy “They will beat their swords into plowshares” be fulfilled. A state of the People of Israel in the Land of Israel is not just a means of survival but a phase in the development of world peace.

We must be thankful for everything we have received from the Almighty, but we also must continue to broaden and deepen the foundations of sovereignty in all areas of the Land. Thank God, in recent years more and more people are talking about and acting on sovereignty; we gratefully acknowledge the efforts of the members of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset and its heads, MKs Yoav Kish and Bezalel Smotrich, along with the director of the lobby, Orit Struk.

Meanwhile, the Almighty is organizing events, causing the world to understand who is good and who is bad, who is evil and sanctifies death. The old Middle East is disintegrating. States are disappearing. Knowledgeable people are opening their eyes and seeing the changes beginning to take shape – and they understand what those changes must entail.

The Oslo Accords of the 1990s were a terrible mistake. They gave disastrous legitimacy to terrorists, breathed new life into the “two-state” delusion, and brought chaos and confusion to the Land and the world. We must return to the true path, to the basic stance that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel. The application of sovereignty must be the goal of Zionism today.

Yehudit Katzover

UN Mid-East Peace Envoy Pins Jewish Homes as Source of Strife

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council in his regular briefing Monday that recommendations offered by the so-called Middle East Quartet, comprising the US, Russia, the EU and the UN, on the way forward in the peace process have been ignored by Israel, pointing to a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions of illegal Arab construction in Area C, which is under full israeli control. The Quartet’s recommendations include an end to Israel’s settlement policy and a halt to the PA’s incitement to violence.

Mladenov reported that a major threat to peace is the fact that since the beginning of July Israel has advanced plans for more than 1,000 housing units in eastern Jerusalem, which has been part of Israel proper for almost 50 years. He pointed to promised new apartments in Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramot, Har Homa, and Gilo, as well as to 735 units in Ma’ale Adumim and other Judea and Samaria communities as the culprits.

Mladenov also noted that Israel has published tenders, some new, for 323 units in eastern Jerusalem and reissued tenders for 42 units in Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, for which it also allocated more than $13 million in new funding.

The envoy had nothing to report on efforts to reduce anti-Semitic PA and Hamas incitement, so all must be well on that front. He did report violent incidents over the past month that included the extrajudicial execution by the Palestinian Security Forces of a man in custody; the firing of two rockets from Gaza, to which Israel responded by directing some 60 missiles and shells at 30 suspected military installations in Gaza; and the killing by the Israeli Security Forces of an Arab man who was reportedly under psychiatric care.

Turning to Gaza, Mladenov said that while progress has been made on reconstructing the physical damage since the ceasefire agreement two years ago, repairing the psychological damage of the conflict is “miles away” from being over. “We need a radical overhaul of how we deal with the problems of Gaza,” he said. He failed to mention the arrests and indictments by Israel of an international charity administrator and a UNDP employee, both of whom confessed to directing millions of dollars in international funds to the terrorist activities of Hamas — which may have had something to do with the fact that all those ruined buildings are yet to be rebuilt.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement in response to the envoy’s report, saying, “The UN envoy to the Middle East’s remarks to the Security Council distort history and international law and push peace farther away. Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace. The obstacle to peace is the unending attempt to deny the Jewish People’s connection to parts of their historic land and the obdurate refusal to recognize that they are not foreigners there. The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal is as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal. The Palestinian demand that a future Palestinian state be ethnically cleansed of Jews is outrageous and the UN must condemn it instead of adopting it.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-mid-east-peace-envoy-pins-jewish-homes-as-source-of-strife/2016/08/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: