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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘settlements’

Kerry Committed to Return to ‘Save’ Israel from Violence

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return “soon” to speak with Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and pointed to “settlements” as a major cause of Arab “frustration” that presumably justifies the latest spree of murders and attempted murders of Jews.

Speaking at Harvard University, Kerry said he will “try to work to re-engage and see if we can’t move that away from this precipice.”

His comments were made almost at the same time his spokesman John Kirby issued a statement, reported here, that indicated a change in tone from the usual “balanced blame” and instead was weighted to highlight Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arab terrorist attacks.

It appeared that the State Dept. finally has given up on its magic act that tries to equate Arab violence with Israel’s self-defense, but Kerry once again showed that he looks at the world through a blindfold.

Kerry and his boss President Barack Obama have spent years boosting the hopes of the Arab world that they can annihilate Israel by assuming that forcing Israel to concede to its tactical demands would change their grand strategy to annihilate Zionism.

President Obama made his mark in history with his “reaching out to Muslims” speech in Cairo in 2009, which not coincidentally was followed two years later by Arab Spring rebellions that have left the Middle East in flames.

Kerry led the “peace process” that supposedly “solved” every problem until he came up against the status of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Arab demand for millions of foreign Arabs to flood Israel under the lie of “returning to their homeland.”

But Kerry did not tell Harvard students about any of these issues on Tuesday.

The only subject he mentioned was the “settlements,” which he directly stated are “the” problem.” He asserted:

There’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing, and a frustration among Israelis who don’t see any movement.

So I look at that and I say if that did explode – and I pray and hope it won’t and I think there are options to prevent that – but we would inevitably be – at some point we’re going to have to be engaged in working through those kinds of difficulties. So better to try to find the ways to deal with it before that happens than later.

The Israeli government has found ways to deal the violence. Terrorists’ homes will be destroyed as a deterrent to others who need to know that their acts of “martyrdom” will leave their families with a house in ruins.

The police will be able to place a curfew on violent Arab neighborhoods, an act that hit the good and decent Arabs – and there are plenty of them – in the wallet, where it hurts most.

Kerry apparently still lives somewhere in outer space, where his telescope sees only the “settlements,” Jewish communities whose erasure from the map supposedly would end Arab “frustration” and not inject the Palestinian Authority with adrenalin to return Tel Aviv and Haifa to “Palestine,” as drawn on official Palestinian Authority maps.

Kerry thinks he can do more by “re-engaging” two sides that don’t trust him, for good reason.

The Obama, and to be fair, also the Bush and Clinton administrations, have not changed their destructive tactics to continue the century-old philosophy of “making the world safe democracy.”

Every time the administration’s recipe fails, it cooks up the same poison stew time and time again even after admitting it didn’t cure anyone.

Kerry said at Harvard:

We need to understand here, and we’re trying to do that in a way that doesn’t embroil us in a larger war and once again go through a routine of young Americans being on the ground in a Middle Eastern or other country in the region with a predominant Muslim population and fighting yet again. So we’ve been very careful and tried to do this in ways that we hoped would marshal the people who themselves oppose these activities in order to do it.

Now, it hasn’t panned out as well as some people had thought. [emphasis added].

So we are rethinking and retooling a bunch of different options. The President has already made additional choices. And if Russia were to legitimately commit that it wants to do ISIL and not preserve the Assad regime, but is rather committed to the political settlement that was embraced in the Geneva communiqué of two years ago, then there’s a chance we really could take on ISIL and save Syria and provide the political solution, which is the only legitimate outcome for Syria.

After his speech, the best question that was posed by Harvard students was from an undergraduate, named Gabe Gladstein, who asked if the world really is interested in American ideas. He asked Kerry:

You mentioned nation building earlier and you justified it in general as a concept that is like – by our values and in our interests. I’m wondering how you respond to critics who say that while it’s fine and good for the United States to attempt to sort of import its values and its forms of government into struggling nations, the end product is sort of unnatural, forced, maybe even imperialist.

Kerry hinted he had no answer direct answer by immediately responding, “It’s a very good question.”

All he had to say was:

We don’t run around shoving our idea on other countries anymore. We work very intimately with other nations.

If that is the case, why he is returning to Israel?

Who invited him? Who wants him?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Can Peres and Abbas Save ‘Settlers’ Synagogue from Destruction by Israel?

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

A Jerusalem area community in Samaria is hoping former president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas can help them stop the planned government destruction of a 20-year-old synagogue allegedly built on Arab land.

The Supreme Court, which previously accepted leftists’ claims that the synagogue was built on private Arab land, received on Friday a last-ditch petition to stop the destruction, based on arguments that the court and the government did not take into consideration international law concerning the  protection of Holy Sites.

The appeal, filed by attorney Gilad Korinaldy on behalf of Givat Ze’ev regional council rabbi Yosef Toledano, also asked the court to consider aspects of Jewish law, the Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported.

The court has ordered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to answer the petition by next Monday night, the end of Simchat Torah in Israel.

The Netanyahu administration has ordered that the 2-year-old Ayelet HaShachar synagogue, where several hundred congregants have prayed, be demolished immediately after the Sukkot-Simchat Torah holiday.

The petition to the court also explained that the community has appealed to Peres and Abbas to “think outside the legal box” and find a political-diplomatic solution.

Korinaldy, who also represented Gush Katif in efforts to save Gush Katif synagogues from destruction in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in 2005, said, according to Kikar Shabbat:

Synagogues are the voice of the existence of Judaism for generations. All possibilities must be examined to protect the holiness of Israel and respect for God. There is no greater disgrace than Jews destroying a synagogue.

TheJewishPress.com reported here last month that Givat Ze’ev worshippers already have taken holy books out of the synagogue in preparation for the demolition, which Prime Minister Netanyahu postponed from August until immediately after the holidays.

The  suit against the synagogue followed the pattern of several previous appeals by the left-wing Yesh Din and Peace Now grows, arguing that Jews did not legally buy the land on which they built.

It usually is difficult to prove the legal purchase because it is always done through a third-party. Otherwise, the Arab seller would face death, either by an angry mob or by the Palestinian Authority policy that follows the Jordanian law that selling land to a Jew is punishable by execution.

If the petition is successful, it would prove the seeming impossibilities of life in Israel.

Who would dream that Peres and Abbas would be the intermediaries to stop the destruction of a Jewish place of worship in the “occupied territories?”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The Sound of A Hollow Trumpet

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Sara Hirschhorn’s op-ed in the New York Times on Jewish American terrorists rampant in Judea and Samaria is disturbing in that it assumes guilt, collective guilt and shame, when all her geshrai [wail] stems from an extreme liberal weltanschauung.  She contradicts her principled humanist foundations to make a dubious point. Before some observations of the piece, I want to deal with her one central element that jumped out which is a charge of guilt as to how the local Jewish population relates to acts of terror committed by Jews, such as the ‘Jewish Underground’ of three decades ago and the more recent ‘price taggers:

“Settler rabbis and the leaders of American immigrant communities in the West Bank have either played down their crime or offered muted criticism.”

That assertion is either a lie or a sign of ignorance. Or a dubious misrepresentation of the reality. Ms. Hirschhorn has chosen to be both an op-ed columnist (she has had several at Haaretz) and an academic at Oxford, at this stage of her life.  That can be problematic, especially if her opinions expressed are based less on facts than on desires, wishes and outlook.  I have criticized her two years ago.

For example, as the readers of this web site know well, more than three dozen Rabbis, leading Rabbis from within the Gush Emunim/Yesha camp, Rabbis of communities, signed a proclamation entitled “Thou Shall Not Murder” and more joined later.  Here:

Thou Shalt not Murder

Thou Shalt not Murder

Leading spokespersons of the Yesha Council denounced the act as they have done for the past years, notably by Dani Dayan and others. Here is Dani in 2012:

 “It’s terrible, terrible, terrible, it’s a terrible thing,” he exclaims. “First off, from the moral point of view, it’s really terrible, a shame,” he says with visible annoyance, as if it is a line he has had to repeat numerous times over the past few months. “And it’s the greatest damage that I can see today to our cause, and so the people that do these things, if they think that they help our cause, they are both criminals and stupid.”

Educators like Rabbi Eli Sadan, the head of the most prestigious pre-Army mechina expressed oppo‎sition. Rabbi Haim Druckman issued a strong statement. Tzohar Rabbis, too. There is also this story and even I upped the poster at my FB account.  There was an interfaith event in Gush Etzion. Well, sort of interfaith. If she was looking for a serious moral problem she should have pointed the finger at the Palestinian Authority and its attitude towards the killing of Jews, including an American passport holder.  The few Rabbis that were equivocal in their pronouncements are either part of the ‘price tag’ thinking or known for their out-of-camp views and very few follow them.  Maybe she relied on this claptrap.  Of course, for some people, there is never enough evidence that some people are not doing the wrong thing.

Pillorying is easier than praising.

I know Sara, even well, and here we are in the hills back of Shiloh.

Sara

I assisted her in her research.  No regrets.

I am aware that Sara doesn’t think these denunciations enough.  Condemnations should be louder and stronger in her opinion.

She assumes that ‘price tag’ activities are being tolerated like this person publishing in the Jewish Press. Our fundamental respect for life, she assumes, has been lost.

However, we Shilonians turned in a ‘price-tagger’, who did not live in Yesha, who had broken windows of the cars of Arab laborers in Shiloh parked outside our entrance gate.  A recent inflammatory poster on churches didn’t last the night on our billboards. We need no patronising lecturing.

Yisrael Medad

Government Decides not to Abandon Gush Etzion Memorial Park

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will not expel people deployed at the Oz VeGaon Memorial Park in Gush Etzion, contrary to fears expressed by Women in Green earlier this week.

The nationalist organization turned to Gush Etzion Regional Council leader Davidi Perl, who spoke with Ya’alon, leading to a deciding not only to keep the park intact but also to authorize it.

It was dedicated last year in memory of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Sha’ar, the three victims of Hamas kidnap-murderers from the Hebron area.

The park is located immediately east of the Gush Etzion junction and is populated by a family who protect it from Arab vandals.

There are no intentions of turning it into a full-fledged outpost, which the Defense Minister may have incorrectly assumed was the plan of nationalists. Buildings at the park are used for displays and hands-on activities for children.

“The minister of defense has once again proven that he is a friend of the settlement enterprise,” Perl said after Ya’alon’s decision.

Oz VeGaon announced on Wednesday that Selichot prayers will be held at the park Thursday at 12:30 a.m.

Sephardi Jews have been saying Selichot prayers since the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul. Ashkenazi Jews begin reciting Selichot this Saturday night. The prayers are concluded the eve of Yom Kippur.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Says It Doesn’t Even Know How Many Americans Live in West Bank

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

President Barack Obama’s State Dept. experts on the Middle East have once again proven how much they don’t know.
One would think that the experts at Foggy Bottom are aware of how many Americans live in Judea and Samaria, or what the administration likes to call the “occupied territories.”

As reported here earlier this week, a British professor disclosed in a new book, to be published later this year, what almost every American in Israel knows – that there are disproportional number of Americans living in Judea and Samaria.

There are approximately 60,000 former American “settlers,” according to Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn.

On Monday, Palestinian Authority propagandist Sayeed Erikat, who covers the State Dept. for the Al-Quds newspaper, asked deputy spokesman Mark Toner if he was aware that “there are 60,000 American Jewish settlers in the West Bank.”

Toner replied:

Sixty thousand? I don’t.

Erikat said, for Toner’s information, there are indeed so many Americans running around there, and he used his podium to ask how the United States government, which considers all settlers to be illegal and even illegitimate, can tolerate Americans living in what they call Judea and Samaria..

“Do you have any leverage with these American citizens?” Erikat asked.

Toner answered:

We, through our embassy, offer support for American citizens throughout the world. But what – we’re very clear on our policy on this issue.

Erikat suggested what could be the next hammer hold the Obama administration can exercise on Israel. If the United States opposes settlements, why should it offer services to Americans whom they consider to be illegal?

He asked:

Should the United States or would the United States have some sort of a program – an incentive program – to sort of encourage settlers to perhaps dismantle these settlements?

Toner didn’t answer directly, and Erikat let him get away with stating “that’s really a question for the Israeli Government to look at.”

Hirschhorn’s study pointed out that the Americans in Judea and Samaria by and large educated academics. She did not describe them as Wild West cowboys.

But Erikat gave Toner an “education” about the “true” identity of many of those Americans, to wit:

Many elements among these settlers are extremists. They carry guns, they enforce their own sort of rules and regulations on roads and hamlets and so on – Palestinian hamlets. Do you have any kind of program, perhaps, to rehabilitate these settlers, bring them back somehow, as opposed to the settlements?

Toner, reflecting State Dept. knowledge, so to speak, actually patronized Erikat instead of contradicting him outright, which he couldn’t do because his experts only know what they want to imagine.
Toner said:

We’ve also spoken about the uptick in violence, in extremist violence in Israel. And in fact, the government and the prime minister have also spoken about some of the recent attacks that we view as abhorrent. And we call on, frankly, all sides to stop this kind of violence.

There is no indication that the attacks were carried out by Americans, In fact, it still is open to question whether Jews or an Arab gang carried out the most infamous attack – the firebombing of an Arab home in which an 18-month-old baby and his father were killed.

So far, the Obama administration has not suggested how to “rehabilitate” settlers, of whom I am one.

I didn’t know I need rehabilitation.

By the way, I do not carry a gun. I might get arrested for defending myself.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Promises 804 Homes for “Settlers’ – 3 Years after Previous Pledge

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Question: How can 300+300=300?

Answer: When the numbers refer to homes promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for Jews in Beit El, located in Samaria and north of Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister came out with a new math book by giving his approval for the “immediate” construction of 300 new homes for Jews in Beit El and 504 units in Jerusalem neighborhoods that the Obama administration and the United Nations considered illegal “occupied” by Israel.

These are the same residential unties that the Prime Minister three years ago promised would be built.

Next math question: How can 300+0=600?

Answer: When foreign media report that Israel has given the second approval for the same 300 homes.

Given the bureaucracy involved before the bulldozers get to work, come back in another three years and we’ll see how many times they have been approved, giving the impression that we are talking about 1,200 or even 2,400 homes and apartments for Beit El.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement on the same day the High Court ordered the demolition of a housing project under construction in Beit El is far from coincidental.

The right-wing is up in arms over the decision  that nullifies government approval, based on the argument that it was granted after the project began without permits.

There are plenty of precedents for approving  construction “after the fact,” but they usually don’t apply in Judea and Samaria, unless the homes are being built by Arabs.

The Palestinian Authority, as expected, condemned Netanyahu’s’ announcement, and the U.S. State Dept. will do the same, in more diplomatic terms, when it will be asked about the “new” project by reporters.

Israel never will get a fair shake in foreign media when it comes to building for Jews.

The French AFP news agency wrote as “facts” on Wednesday:

They [settlements] are seen as further complicating peace negotiations aimed at leading to an independent Palestinian state. Talks have been stalled since last year.

The two buildings being demolished in Beit El were reportedly on private Palestinian land that was seized by the army in the 1970s…

Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and nearly 400,000 Jewish settlers currently live there.

The news agency should have just as “factually” reported that Palestinian Authority refusal to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state further complicates peace negotiations.

AFP also should have written that there is no proof that the two buildings that now have been demolished are on “private Palestinian land.”

And its statement that “Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War” is totally warped.

The Jordanian Foreign Legion fled Judea and Samaria like jackrabbits in the war, leaving the land in Israel’s hands.\

News agencies also could add in their reports Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria for 19 years, and  “occupation” is the correct word since there was no U.N. mandate for Jordan to take control of the entire region.

They could note that Jordan denied  Jews and Christians to holy sites in “East Jerusalem.”

They also could tell their readers that after 19 years of benign neglect by Jordan – and even worse neglect of Gaza by Egypt – the Arab economy and society flourished under the Israeli “occupation,” until the intifada wrecked everything.

But they won’t report any of that. They simply cannot do so because most foreign journalists work under the assumption that Israel is wrong, if for no other reason than the United States and the European Union say it is wrong.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Women in Green Charge Gov’t with Discriminating against Jews

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

The Women in Green organization reacted furiously to Tuesday morning’s violent expulsion of hundreds of people who encamped in two Beit El buildings slated for demolition and charged the government with a anti-Jew and pro-Arab policy.

The group stated:

Hundreds of thousands of illegal Arab buildings are erected throughout the Land of Israel. The Israel Police does not come near them, fearing that this would ‘ignite the entire Middle East,’ but against the wonderful Jewish youth, who are about to enlist into all of the elite units in the IDF they use clubs, pepper spray, kicks and arrests.

Why are the Arab women on the Temple Mount still wailing and screaming freely? Why does the law work only in favor of the Arabs?

The answer is that our leaders have still not resolved in their own minds the basic question of to whom the Land of Israel belongs.

The Women in Green called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “to show the same strength that you displayed against the expansion of Iran in Judea and Samaria and then your work will be complete.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

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