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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘settlements’

Minister Warns ‘Don’t Confuse ‘Price Tag’ Vandalism with Terrorism

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) came out strongly Wednesday evening against lawmakers claiming that ‘price tag’ vandalism attacks were tantamount to terrorism.

The minister demanded at the emergency meeting that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch prove how ‘price tag’ attacks meet the definition of ‘terrorism.’

Ministers Livni and Aharonovitch had earlier Wednesday vowed a crackdown on the price tag attacks, referring to them as “terrorism.”

“Price tag” is something that is absolutely forbidden and should be not allowed to take root anywhere in our country,” Ariel said. “The criminals must be brought to justice,” he continued, but “terrorism is murder and [involves] intent to kill by throwing rocks, shooting, firebombing, car bombs and more.”

There is a difference, he said, and “the repeated failure of the police and Shin Bet to bring the perpetrators to justice does not turn these illegal acts into terrorism.”

Ariel called on lawmakers to clearly differentiate between murderous intent, and serious hate crimes that involve spray-painted graffiti and slashed tires.

It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

It’s that time of year again — the Fatah terror faction led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has for the ‘nth’ time managed to reach a “reconciliation” with the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza.

The two sides agreed Tuesday evening after talks in Gaza City to form a unity government “within the next five weeks,” according to an announcement by officials on both sides released Wednesday.

But Hamas is unwilling to negotiate with – or for that matter, even recognize the existence of – the State of Israel.

So the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which represents the PA in all its affairs at the United Nations (UN), and thus the PA, meaning Mahmoud Abbas – who heads both – must choose who to take to the prom.

Will it be Hamas? That fickle friend who makes deals every Monday and Thursday, and backs out at the last minute every time the signature page arrives on the desk?

Or will it be Israel, which will certainly mean he will have to sit down this time in earnest at the negotiating table, and actually get down to business?

Either could mean his death.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said bluntly in response to Wednesday’s announcement that Abbas had reached the crossroads.

“Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he is moving into peace with Hamas. He has to choose. Does he want peace with Hamas, or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far, he hasn’t done so.”

The fact that Abbas has continually come up with new ‘preconditions’ to extend the negotiations with Israel beyond the April 29 deadline makes it clear that he wants a way out of the talks that will leave him blameless.

That is a fantasy, since no leader can lead without taking responsibility for his actions.

Netanyahu proposed a plan for extension of the talks – taking a risk that enraged a substantial percentage of the population and its leadership – but Abbas so far has apparently turned his nose up at the offer.

Abbas knows Israel’s red lines but seems determined to stomp across them regardless of the price his people will inevitably pay.

Ultimately, his inability to decide a course on which to steer his people will be his downfall and, tragically, theirs as well.

“Yesterday the Palestinian Authority discussed dismantling,” noted Netanyahu in meeting with reporters. “Today it is mulling uniting with Hamas. Let them decide whether to dismantle or unite.”

Yitzhar Leaders Finally Urge a Halt to Violence against IDF

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Leaders of the community of Yitzhar, in northern Samaria, finally have come out with an appeal to its youth to stop violence against the IDF.

Dozens of attacks against IDF vehicle and bases have taken place throughout Judea and Samaria over the past two years, many of them allegedly caused by a band of hooligans from Yitzhar.

Last week, a Yitzhar teenager allegedly slashed the tires of an IDF commander’s vehicle, apparently in revenge for the government-ordered demolition of a home. Following more demolitions earlier this week, dozens of residents, some of them grown men, went on a  rampage. They threw rocks at police, injuring several of them, and ransacked an IDF post manned by reservists who were stationed to defend Yitzhar from Arab terrorists. For their trouble, the soldiers’ personal and army equipment was trashed.

Two days later, Yitzhar leaders decided to announce they are opposed to violence, but their calls were limited to attacks against the IDF. No mention was made of “price tag” attacks against Arabs through collective punishment.

The leaders also explained that they understand why the vandals take action. Indeed, everyone is frustrated by the government’s demolitions of homes, a policy that the leaders called an attempt to eliminate Yitzhar.”

But they hastily added that the explanation was not intended to justify the violence.

Communities in Judea and Samaria, and the umbrella Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria known  as Yesha, always have had a problem distinguishing good settlers from bad settlers.

In the rare instance when the leaders, and once or twice even rabbis, condemn violence, it always includes a “but.”A letter from Yitzhar leaders stated that the violence “produces a very negative response’ and gives Yitzhar a public black eye.

The message is that violence is wrong because it damages the reputation of Yesha.

There is not one sentence in the letter that condemns violence against Arabs.

The letter states, in part, that “recent incidents of violence against the IDF…are contrary to the polices of residents and leaders” of Yitzhar and also against the rabbi of the community.

“We strongly opposed attacking IDF soldiers and security forces and causing property damage.“

Naftali Bennett Urges Netanyahu, ‘Annex Settlement Blocs Now!’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex Area C, which encompasses all of the Jewish settlement blocs in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron.)

“It is clear that the diplomatic process has run its course and that we are entering a new era,” Bennett wrote to the prime minister in a letter sent Wednesday. “We have been hitting our heads against the wall of negotiations over and over again for years and we keep getting surprised when the wall did not break. The time has come for new thinking.”

Bennett’s “Settlement Blocs First” plan calls to annex Area C, which is controlled entirely by the State of Israel, and offering Israeli citizenship to Arabs living there. Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the Judea and Samaria regional sector, is home to at least 350,000 Jews – none of whom live in Area A (under full PA control) or Area B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control.)

Highway 60, a favorite target for road terror attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs, is the main artery that runs from the north to the south from Samaria (Shomron) through Judea (Yehuda) to Be’er Sheva and is routed mostly through Area B.

Under Bennett’s proposal, Areas A and B would receive increased autonomy and a massive infusion of financial investment to upgrade the quality of life in those areas.

He explained the plan on the U.S.-based CNN network last night (Wednesday) and said he will begin to publicize it in the international forums. Bennett contended that since Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and its reunification of Jerusalem was never recognized internationally anyway, another annexation will not make a difference.

Included in the blocs to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El, Ofra, Ariel and the communities overlooking Ben Gurion International Airport.

Youth in Yitzhar Arrested for Throwing Rocks at Police

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Security police arrested a 16-year-old boy in Yitzhar on Wednesday for throwing rocks at police during the morning, one day after 50 young people went on a rampage, clashed with Border Police and ransacked a post manned by Israeli army reservists.

Leaders across the political spectrum have called for a stop to the violence by extreme settlers, and they want prompt and harsh action taken against troublemakers. Knesset Member Elazar Stern, one of six MKS in Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah party, said that security forces should treat Yitzhar like any other area that hosts terrorists.

Almost of Yitzhar’s 220 families are firmly against the violence and are frustrated that no one has been able to stop the “price tag” vandalism, a spokeswoman for the Shomron Regional Council told The Jewish Press Tuesday.

President Shimon Peres, who is visiting China said in a statement,  “Since the creation of the State of Israel, the IDF has been the most valuable thing to the Israeli people and we must not let a group of punks harm it.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told Israel Radio that violence by extremist settlers hurts the movement for a strong Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Finding Food for Needy Settlers for Passover

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council is preparing Passover food packages for families in their region who are finding it difficult to make ends meet. According to Anat Tzafrir, head of the Charity and Volunteer Unit at the Council, “We encounter difficult situations such as families, some victims of terror attacks, who are at the verge of starvation.”

At least 100 basic food packages are prepared monthly, according to Tzafrir. The need grows exponentially with the unique demands of the Passover holiday.

Some 34 Jewish communities are included in the Shomron Regional Council catchment area, most nestled among the soaring hills that separate Jerusalem from the Mediterranean coast and the Galilee. Those who live in such communities – which are part of Israel’s defense line in holding the territory won in the 1967 Six Day War — tend to be self-sufficient and strong-minded individuals able to survive on bare essentials. But even with those points in their favor, certain basics are necessary for a reasonable life, especially one with a family.

Security and defense of the perimeter is provided by each community’s own civil defense team, as well as by the IDF. But making sure there is enough food on the table has become for some a cause for tears and frustration in a region tension is already a fact of life.

Food packages are not the real answer to the problem – but it is certainly one way of relieving at least some of the pressure so everyone can have a joyous holiday of freedom.

Obama’s Bribery and Emotional Blackmail to Sell Pollard and Buy Time

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to return to Israel Wednesday and meet Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah to conclude another black chapter of Israel’s winding itself around President Barack Obama’s little finger.

Everything is apparently is place for the proposed deal of “Pollard in exchange for terrorists and another year of talks,” in reality a stretched version of Palestinian Authority ultimatums.

Palestinian Authority officials are to meet tonight in Ramallah in preparation for Kerry’s visit. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for a special Cabinet session Wednesday to approve the deal, if Ramallah does not throw a monkey wrench into the ring.

The American and Israeli governments have been spoon-feeding the Israeli public the past 24 hours with the idea of Obama’s granting Jonathan Pollard freedom from his life sentence in jail, even though he is eligible for pardon in November 2015.

That might be the reason Obama is playing the “Pollard card” now because next year, time would have expired to the point that offering Pollard would be useless for solving the next crisis, which can be expected if Kerry then comes up with a creative device to divide Jerusalem while calling it something else.

Morally, the idea of freeing Pollard for terrorists, and for extending the talks that have brought Israel nothing except a pat on the head from the Obama administration, is reprehensible. For good measure, there will be an “unofficial” building freeze in Judea and Samaria, which means no one really knows what it means.

It also defies logic from the side of the American government, which now has to explain to its citizens that the position that Pollard “committed a serious crime and must pay for it” suddenly subservient to need to continue the mediation of Obama’s point men who keep Israel and the Palestinian Authority from abandoning Kerry and Obama.

Yair Shamir, a Cabinet minister from the Yisrael Beitenu party, told Israeli radio Monday that the proposed deal is “bribery and emotional blackmail.” He said will oppose the deal if it comes to a vote.

Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz, loyal to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the deal defies logic but that Israel has a moral commitment to do whatever has to be done to free Pollard.

Labor Knesset Member Nachman Shai expressed the most accurate estimate of reality. “The Palestinians feel that Israel is in a severe crisis and they can demand more and more,” he said.

Israeli governments, especially those of Rabin-Peres, Sharon, Olmert and now Netanyahu – have consistently turned themselves on their heads to perform stunts that are incomprehensible.

Each one is more unbelievable than the prior act, which is a cause for worry, because what’s next?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/obamas-bribery-and-emotional-blackmail-to-sell-pollard-and-buy-time/2014/04/01/

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