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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Photo’

The Photo On The Wall

Monday, April 18th, 2016

The 21st yahrzeit of my daughter Alisa Flatow, Hy”d, falls on 10 Nissan – April 18 this year. I’d like to share with readers of The Jewish Press some personal reflections on the events of 1995 and what has happened since.


I have a photo of Alisa on my office wall. Taken at a dinner with a friend and her parents from the U.S. who were visiting Jerusalem, it was one of the last photos of Alisa before her murder by Palestinian terrorists in April 1995.

Alisa’s face is radiant, her dimples are deep. Her thick hair is at her shoulders. A visitor to my office after looking at the pictures of my married children turned back to look at Alisa’s picture and asked, “Do you have anything more recent?” As the words escaped from her lips she threw her hand to her mouth, realizing what she had said.

“No,” I told her, “that’s it, she’s frozen in time, she’ll always be 20 and one day all of my grandchildren will be older than Alisa.”

While I thought our family life would come to a screeching halt after Alisa’s murder, I was wrong. In fact, the opposite happened: it accelerated – with bumps and false starts, certainly, but nonetheless going forward.

One morning shortly after shiva ended, I didn’t want to get out bed. As I contemplated pulling the cover over my head that morning I realized there was a nation where, at that time, more than 18,000 families had gone through the same thing we had –the loss of a child and sibling. Multiply that number by the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and, well, you get the picture.

As I wallowed in bed, I realized that those families who were affected by war and terror in Israel got up from shiva and began to get back to living. They did so by putting one foot in front of the other. They went back to work. They tended to their homes. They raised their families. Despite the suddenness and depth of their loss, they began again to build the work in progress we call Israel.

And so Rosalyn and I and our children – Gail, Francine, Ilana, and Etan – returned to the normal things the families I mentioned do. We started down the road to rebuilding. While all of us were under a magnifying lens because of what happened to Alisa, we didn’t let that attention get in the way. Gail returned to Israel to finish her gap year program in Jerusalem. Francine, Ilana, and Etan returned to their yeshivot.

* * * * *

Make no mistake. I began my mornings for the first year after Alisa’s murder with a good cry, usually when I came out of the shower. As I drove to work, I would sometimes have to pull off the highway because I couldn’t see through the tears. At the office, while in the middle of drafting a document, I’d cry again and find myself just staring at the computer monitor but not seeing anything.

I wondered how people on the outside saw us. I had a phone call one day from an attorney on the other side of a real estate transaction. He was bellyaching quite loudly about what he perceived as a delay in releasing money being held in escrow. I wanted to scream back and say “Don’t you realize there are more important things in life than your escrow?”

But it dawned on me that, to him, the escrow was the most important thing in his life right then and he’d have to find out for himself and in his own way that there was no need to get upset over the release of money.

We were told our family was very popular in Israel but a mystery at the same time. Not only because of Alisa’s murder – and the attention it received in Israeli newspapers – but also due to the fact that we donated her organs for transplant and, perhaps more important, we didn’t rant and rave against the Israeli government or the Oslo Accords.

Remember, the national religious parties were still up in arms over the Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn; were upset that Arafat was continuing to say one thing to the Western media and quite another to the Palestinian media; and were outraged that the Rabin government was using administrative detention to suppress right-wing protest. And here I was, a knit kippah-wearing American Jew who would not point the finger of blame at the Israeli government for Alisa’s murder.

I guess the reaction was noticed at high levels because I was invited to appear, remotely, with Prime Minister Rabin on a TV program that would be released a few weeks later on Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Speaking about Alisa at the AIPAC conference in May, Rabin said: “Today her heart beats in Jerusalem.” He then announced that he was coming to our home to pay a condolence call (something he didn’t do with the families of Israeli terror victims).

As a result of our embrace by Rabin, our home became a popular stopping point for Sunday visits by Israeli politicians who were in America. Sunday after Sunday, for many months, Israeli consulate officials with Knesset members in tow would arrive at our home. They’d express their regrets about Alisa’s murder and their thanks for opening their eyes to the mitzvah of organ donation. Photos taken, they were back in the van for the ride to who knew where next.

We began to be invited to events in the metropolitan New York area, too. The New York City Council presented us with a Proclamation lauding the donation of Alisa’s organs. And we found ourselves in attendance at Israel-related programs sponsored by New York City and State and Israel’s New York Consulate.

We traveled to Israel in September 1995. What would it feel like? That was the question we kept asking ourselves. Guests of Nishmat, where Alisa was a student at the time of her murder, we arrived to a hotel room full of flowers, including from Prime Minister Rabin, who regretted he couldn’t meet with us because he was leaving the country.

The Jerusalem Post interviewed us and ran a story about Alisa that included a nice photo of Rosalyn and me. It was the first one we had taken together since Alisa’s death. As we were getting our luggage after our return to New York, a woman came up to us and said, “It’s nice to see that Alisa had a mother, too.”

Our plans while in Israel included a meeting arranged by the Maariv newspaper with the surviving recipients of Alisa’s organs – something that had not yet been done in Israel or the United States. We met them, two middle-aged men and a woman, in our hotel’s lobby. Over a one-hour period they related how their lives had radically changed since the transplant. The heart recipient was able to attend his first grandson’s brit, the kidney recipient was off dialysis, and the lung recipient was able to leave her apartment for the first time in a year without the need for oxygen.

As a result of that meeting I understood for the first time the power of the mishnah that reminds us of the effect of saving a life.

Stephen M. Flatow

Palestinians Accuse Peace Negotiators of Treason

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

At the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership, the first round of peace talks with Israel, which was launched in Jerusalem on August 14, was held away from the media spotlight.

The Palestinian Authority leadership requested that no journalist or photographer be permitted to cover the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Even the location of the peace talks was kept a secret, again at the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership.

The Palestinian Authority’s request for secrecy in the peace talks does not stem from its desire to secure the success of the negotiations.

It is not as if the Palestinian Authority is saying: We care so much about the peace talks that we prefer to avoid media coverage in order to make sure that the peace process succeeds.

The main reason the Palestinian Authority does not want the media to cover the peace talks is related to its fear of the reactions of Palestinians and the Arab world.

Mahmoud Abbas is already facing widespread opposition among Palestinians to his controversial decision — which was taken under heavy pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry — to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

When the heads of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat, met in Washington earlier this month to announce the launching of the peace talks, many Palestinians and Arabs seized the opportunity to ridicule Erekat and accuse the Palestinian Authority leadership of treason.

A photo of Erekat and Livni standing together in Washington has since been exploited by Facebook and Twitter activists to hurl insults and profanity at the chief Palestinian negotiator.

Palestinian sources in Ramallah said that Erekat felt so offended by the insults and obscene language directed against him that he decided that there was no need for “photo op” with Livni or any other Israeli.

Both Abbas and Erekat are fully aware of the growing opposition among Palestinians and Arabs to the resumption of the peace talks with Israel under the terms of the US Administration.

That is why the two men do not want to be seen sitting in a room with any Israeli representative. They know that any photo of Erekat and Livni shaking hands or sitting together would provide their enemies with additional ammunition.

Those who think that the opposition to the peace talks is coming only from Hamas and other radical groups are either ignorant or turning a blind eye to the reality.

When Abbas agreed to resume the peace talks with Israel, he went against the recommendation of the PLO leadership, whose members rejected Kerry’s attempts to force the Palestinian Authority president to abandon two of his pre-conditions — namely, that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as the basis for negotiations and freeze all construction in settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Last week, the PLO officials once again reminded Abbas of their opposition to the peace talks.

During an August 15 meeting in Ramallah, several PLO leaders told Abbas that they remained opposed “in principle” to the idea of resuming peace talks with Israel under the current circumstances.

The only Palestinian official who has come out in public to voice support for Abbas’s move is the powerless Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah.

Abbas and Erekat know that Hamdallah’s public endorsement of the peace talks does not carry any weight. After all, Hamdallah is an unelected public servant with no grassroots support or political base.

To further complicate matters for Abbas and Erekat, several Palestinian factions are now in the process of forming a “national alliance” the main goal of which is to thwart any deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This rejectionist front will consist of various PLO and other factions and organizations and could create many problems for the Palestinian Authority.

But there is another reason why the Palestinian Authority leadership does not want media coverage of the peace talks. For many years, the Palestinian Authority has been supporting boycott campaigns against Israel, as well as organizations combating “normalization” with Israelis.

If Palestinian children are condemned for playing football with Israelis, why should it be acceptable for Erekat to be talking with Livni?

Palestinian Authority leaders can only blame themselves for the growing opposition to the peace talks with Israel. Palestinian leaders have simply not prepared their people for peace. These leaders have, instead, delegitimized Israel to a point where it has become a “crime” for any Palestinian to be photographed talking to, or negotiating with, any Israeli.

Khaled Abu Toameh

A Pallywood Hijacking

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The photo above appears in the Facebook group “I acknowledge Apartheid Exists

So why am I posting it? Because it’s typical Palestinian lies and nonsense.

They hijacked a photo from 2005, which had the original caption:

Title: Religious Jews Protest Against The Desecration Of Ancient Graves

Caption: KIBBUTZ REGAVIM, ISRAEL – MAY 31: An Israeli security guard grabs an ultra-Orthodox Jew in a headlock during a protest against the desecration of alleged ancient Jewish graves May 31, 2005 near Kibbutz Regavim in northern Israel.

Dozens of black-garbed religious Jews clashed with the privately-hired guards as they tried to prevent the construction of the Trans-Israel highway over the graves. The protesters say the graves are Jewish, but archaeologists say they are Roman and date to the late second and early third century AD.

(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

Date created: 31 May 2005

Editorial image #: 53001697

But why should we let facts get in the way of typical Palestinian lies?

P.S.: The photo itself is distressing, yet its slanderous for Palestinians to hijack it and call it as their own.


Palestinians Build Symbol of Hate on Temple Mount

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Yoni Alper, on his Terror Watch facebook page, posted the above photo from the Temple Mount, taken on Thursday morning.

While Jewish children in Jerusalem are building snowmen and having friendly snowball fights, The Arabs, on the holiest site to Judaism, and a site the Arabs claim is holy to them too, are building symbols of hate, M-75 missiles out of snow, to show what they want to do to Israel.

The M-75 is the Gazan long-range missile that targeted Jerusalem and Tel Aviv during the “Pillar of Defense” operation.

During the war initiated by Gaza, the Palestinians launched M-75 rockets  at Israel from heavily populated areas. Gazan rockets were often launched at Israel from sites next to schools, and mosques.

As far as snow art goes, placing it next to the Al Asqa mosque is true to life.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/palestinians-build-symbol-of-hate-on-temple-mount/2013/01/10/

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