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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ramallah’

Pro-Israel Students Penned-in “like Warsaw Ghetto” on UK Campus

Friday, October 28th, 2016

An Israeli speaker’s talk at a London college campus scheduled for this week was canceled on Wednesday. Why? Because, according to the cancelation notice sent by the student union, “there had been controversy” when he spoke at the campus two years prior, and the hosting organization failed to disclose that when the room was booked for the talk.

After cries of suppression of speech and vehement protests, the university stepped in and “un”canceled the talk. Hen Mazzig’s talk at University College, London, was reinstated. It would take place, as scheduled, on Thursday evening, Oct. 27.

The response by the anti-Israel mob was swift and the attack was vicious. A protest was called. Outside the room where Mazzig was scheduled to speak, livid demonstrators screamed for murder and the end of Israel. “Intifada, Intifada!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” They barred the entrance to the talk while pummeling the doors and windows, leering malevolently. Two thugs yanked open a window, hurling themselves into the room, launching several students inside into panic attacks. A woman inside kept repeating: “This is like the Warsaw Ghetto!”

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

The prelude and the coda of this minuet reveals volumes about the campus wars being waged against anything Israel these days.

Let’s start at the beginning: Hen (pronounced Khen, with the throat-scraping sound most non-Israelis find unpronounceable) Mazzig is a 27 year old Israeli who completed his army service four years ago. Since that time Mazzig has been speaking to audiences, especially on U.S. college campuses, about Israel. Mazzig is an educator who wants non-Israelis to understand his tiny country and his fellow countrymen. He is soft-spoken with a recognizable, but comprehensible, Israeli accent.

When Mazzig first started speaking to college students back in 2013, he was shocked by the vitriol directed against Israel by some American college students, professors and community members. Even Jewish ones.

In 2013, Mazzig wrote an epic cri de coeur, calling on American Jews to “Wake Up!” He was horrified to learn that Israel’s enemies are not just the hostile Arab nations surrounding his tiny country. “It is also here in America, where a battle must be waged against prejudice and lies. I implore American Jews to do more.”

This time around Mazzig is more sanguine about the atmosphere on U.S. campuses. He told the JewishPress.com that he is “happy that I was able to bring my voice into the conversation, to help raise  awareness.”

There is now ample funding to fight the scourge he urged Jewish leadership to recognize a few years back, the movement known as BDS, Mazzig told the JewisPress.com.  But the recognition of BDS as a symptom of the underlying illness is still too attenuated, including by Jewish leadership. “BDS is only a symptom of the disease which is the same old hatred – anti-Semitism.”

That hatred of Jews and, by extension the Jewish state, is what fuels BDS and other symptoms is made clear by the response to Mazzig in London last night.

The original effort to shut down Thursday night’s speech was based on a “controversy” surrounding a talk he gave in 2014 at Kings College, London. But that controversy was one created solely by anti-Israel protesters, not by Mazzig. In fact, the video and public statement posted by the protesters reveal that disrupting Mazzig’s talk and the walkout were planned in advance. The protest was not about anything Mazzig said — it was about the fact that any former IDF soldier was allowed to speak on campus at all.

Again at Thursday night’s event the protest was fueled simply by anti-Israel animus. Pro-Israel female students were assaulted on their way to the event. Many who sought entrance to the speech were barred by the protesters, those who gained admittance were prevented from leaving without a choreographed police escort.

But here’s the rub: while the haters did their best to prevent him from speaking, they did so without realizing that in his message and in his essence, Mazzig is the ultimate slayer of untruths about Israel.

For one thing, Mazzig’s family hails from Tunisia and Iraq – he is one of those “brown bodies” people love to claim Israel oppresses. For another thing, Mazzig was an openly gay commander in the Israeli army, where being gay raises no eyebrows, let alone scaffolds. Next on the list: Mazzig served in the COGAT unit. COGAT works with the Palestinian Authority to coordinate activities in order to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the territories.

During his IDF service Mazzig focused on protecting everyone, “coordinating humanitarian aid, and tending to the needs of civilians” living in the territories, Jewish and Arab, he explained. Mazzig and his unit worked feverishly “in a special operation conducted in the middle of the night” to unite an Arab Gazan orphan with an uncle in Ramallah, so that the boy “would not be left alone on the streets of the Gaza Strip.”

And the title of Mazzig’s speech at UCL, back in 2014? “The Hope for Peace: Promoting Peace While in Uniform.”

When the thugs were pounding on the doors and windows and shouting that Mazzig is a “murderer,” they were, albeit unknowingly, attempting to silence a speaker who understands Israel in ways they really must prevent the world from learning about. Otherwise, anyone who is not automatically a hater will realize that the throngs of illiberal thugs attempting to block free speech are the real roadblocks to peace.

Speaking from London following the event, Mazzig told the JewishPress.com:

I was standing in the room, trying to calm the Jewish students, while the mob outside was banging on the doors, on the windows, and calling for intifada. I knew this was not normal, nobody should have to endure this.

But neither Mazzig nor his talk’s sponsor, the media watchdog group CAMERA, were deterred.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Habayit Hayehudi: Amona Stays or We Leave

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

On Thursday morning, MK Shuli Mualem Refaeli, Chairwoman of the Habayit Hayehudi faction, told Israel’s FM103 that Prime Minister Netanyahu is dragging his feet regarding the coming evacuation of the Amona community in Samaria Dec. 25. While the official line, from both Netanyahu (Likud) and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has been that the battle for Amona has been lost and the Supreme Court and Peace Now will inevitably have their way, MK Mualem insisted that “there is an agreed upon outline that could provide a solution, but the people in charge of promoting it ate dragging their feet and aren’t examining it at the needed pace and the right manner.”

In short, Mualem said, “We suspect the prime minister, when issuing the order to move on [with the dismantling of the community], didn’t pound his desk.”

Habayit Hayehudi will pound the desk on Sunday, apparently, when Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who chairs the ministerial legislative committee, is slated to propose Mualem Refaeli’s new bill legalizing the Amona homes. With 25 of Netanyahu’s 30 Likud Knesset members on record as supporting legalizing Amona — by compelling the Arab claimants on the land to accept market value compensation — the bill stands a very good chance of passing the ministerial committee and going to an initial vote in the plenum.

Of course, this is the last thing Netanyahu wants, because as soon as this bill becomes a law, the Miriam Naor Supreme Court will strike it down. Naor wants the destruction of Amona, not a compromise, much like the Obama Administration, which has been sending angry messages Netanyahu’s way even for the idea of resettling the Amona evacuees in nearby Shiloh.

Moalem-Refaeli wrote Netanyahu that she was prepared to pull the bill from Sunday’s agenda, and help avoid a coalition crisis, if the government declares that Amona was built on abandoned land, making it automatically state-owned. She warned him of the current attack on the entire settlement enterprise, as anti-Zionist NGOs such as Peace Now will move on to thousands more Jewish housing units in the liberated territories where they would dig up fabricated Arab land owners, with full support from the Ramallah land registrar.

Much like Netanyahu, Habayit Hayehudi party is also under attack from their own rightwing, as Amona residents and many in the settlement movement have been critical of its failure to save the condemned community. Former MK Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, took to the airwaves to praise Deputy Dfense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) who told Amona residents that should the bulldozers attack their homes, the Jewish Home would leave the government. At the same time, Ketzaleh attacked the party chairman, Naftali Bennett, who actually gets to decide if and when the party leaves government, for his failure to be as blunt as Ben-Dahan.

It remains to be seen which way Netanyahu will cleverly evade this crisis, and whether or not he is prepared to either arm wrestle the high court or put down a rightwing rebellion in his own party. His decision is likely to be less confrontational and, equally likely, less brave.

JNi.Media

JFNA Discovered Jewish Life in Liberated Territories

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

For years the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has said it distributes funds east of the “green line” when it’s asked, and were very upset when settlers complained about being boycotted by their brothers and sisters in America. Now, according to the Forward, JFNA voted to allow its missions to visit the folks on the wrong side of the 1949 armistice line.

This is not a small thing, considering the fact that JFNA raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services and educational needs around the globe.

On Wednesday, the JFNA board of trustees voted to overturn their policy barring its missions from visiting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Mind you, JFNA has always been aware of Arab life in Judea and Samaria, as its affiliate program, Interfaith Partners for Peace, takes faith delegations to Arab towns there, as JFNA president Jerry Silverman wrote in an email to his trustees recently. Now the organization plans to extend its recognition to some Jews as well, as, on Wednesday, JFNA’s board of trustees voted to “authorize the entry of JFNA missions, including federation community missions planned through JFNA, into Israeli-controlled territories beyond the Green Line.”

And it took them only 49 years to get there!

According to the Jewish Journal, Silverman’s email says the JFNA-led missions would only go to Area C communities, which are under IDF control, and stay safely away from Ramallah and Shechem.

JFNA policy regarding Jewish life in biblical Judea and Samaria is limited by the fact that, as an umbrella organization, it must mitigate the views of all its participating local Jewish charities.

Some JFNA senior officials were concerned, apparently, that such limited tours would mean that participants would only hear one side of the story, and grow fond of Jewish settlers at the expense of the local Arabs. And one philanthropist shared with the Jewish Journal her fear that those trips would normalize those pesky Jewish communities, and said she preferred that those missions stay out of those territories altogether. Otherwise, she said, “if seeing is so important, then I think that we have an equal responsibility to go see Palestinians living over the Green Line.”

JNi.Media

Hamas ‘Returns’ Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize Medal … to Ramallah

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

A nephew of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat who himself appears to be in the running to “someday” succeed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas says Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has sent Arafat’s 1994 Nobel Peace Prize medal to Ramallah.

Arafat was awarded the prize with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for their roles in agreeing on the 1993 Oslo Accords. All three men are now deceased.

The medal is to be exhibited among dozens of the PLO chairman’s belongings at a museum scheduled to open in Ramallah on November 9.

The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) spent most of his time at the Muqata, his headquarters in the Samaria capital city of Ramallah. But he also had a separate headquarters in Gaza, and when he died in Paris in 2004, many of his possession were there as well. Many of those went missing after the Hamas terrorist organization ousted the rival Fatah faction and seized control over Gaza in 2007.

Arafat’s nephew and president of the “Arafat Institute,” Nasser al-Kidwa, said Tuesday that the Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to his uncle was the sole missing item returned to Ramallah by Hamas.

Al-Kidwa, a diplomat and politician in his own right, has been mentioned more than once by political analysts as a potential candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as the leader of the Palestinian Authority. Arafat’s nephew is a member of the Fatah Central Committee, has served as a former foreign minister and has been a representative for the PLO at the United Nations.

He has also been an Arab League envoy to Libya, according to the Al-Monitor website, which noted that Al-Kidwa has ties to Mohammed Dahlan, the former head of the Gaza-based PA Preventive Security Force. Dahlan had a falling-out with Abbas and has since made his home in the United Arab Emirates.

Hana Levi Julian

PA Leader Abbas Returns Home A Few Hours After Cardiac Catheterization

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was discharged from the Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah early Thursday evening, on foot, after undergoing an angiogram (cardiac catheterization) and other heart tests.

The 81-year-old Arab leader was seen in live television footage smiling and waving to reporters before being driven away from the hospital, according to Reuters.

Abbas was hospitalized for “routine tests,” said Saeed Sarahneh, a senior doctor at the hospital who briefed journalists while the PA leader was still in the medical center. “We performed a [cardiac] catheterization. The results look normal,” he added.

Hana Levi Julian

UPDATE: Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas Leaves Hospital, ‘Feels Fine’

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas left the Ramallah medical center early Thursday evening, on foot, after undergoing an angiogram (cardiac catheterization).

The 81-year-old Arab leader was seen in live television footage smiling and waving to reporters before being driven to his home from the hospital, according to Reuters.

‘Thank God everything is fine, I had the surgery, it was easy and I’m leaving now,” Abbas told Palestine TV just before getting into a car to leave the hospital.

A doctor at the medical center told the news agency said the tests administered to Abbas, including the angiogram, all showed “normal results.”

Abbas was hospitalized earlier in the day for “routine tests,” said Saeed Sarahneh, a senior doctor at Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah, who briefed journalists while the PA leader was still in the medical center.

“We performed a [cardiac] catheterization. The results look normal,” he added.

Abbas was admitted after he reportedly “collapsed from exhaustion,” according to a source close to his office quoted by the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency.

The PA leader, now in the 11th year of a four-year term, has been known to have heart problems for some time, although no official acknowledgement about his condition has ever been made by his office.

Abbas was severely criticized by many political opponents for having attended last week’s state funeral in Jerusalem for Israel’s ninth President, Shimon Peres, z’l.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Injured in Firebombing Attack

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Arab terrorists firebombed (Molotov cocktail) an Israeli vehicle Tuesday night as it traveled past the village of Luban A-Sharqiya, northeast of Ramallah in the Binyamin region.

One man was injured in the attack, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet news website. The windshield of the vehicle was damaged, according to local sources.

The man’s identity was not released.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-injured-in-firebombing-attack/2016/09/27/

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