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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Six Day War’

Looking for Family of Soldier Killed in Fall of Gush Etzion, 1948

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Private Yitzchak Mizrachi is the only soldier who fell in the battle for Gush Etzion in the War of Independence whose relative have not been located.

During one of the bitterest battles fought by the Haganah prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, 241 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in the final battle for Gush Etzion, which finally succumbed to the attacks of Jordanian Legionnaires and local Arabs on the fourth of, May 13, 1948.

The Legionnaires took 320 men and women into captivity, where they were to languish for many months. The next day, on the fifth of Iyar, David Ben Gurion proclaimed Israel’s independence. Gush Etzion was resettled after the Six-Day War in 1967, and many of those who returned to the Gush were children who were evacuated before the falling of Gush Etzion.

There is detailed archival documentation on all those who heroically gave their lives during these acrimonious clashes, except for one, Private Yitzchak Mizrachi.

All that is known is that he served in squad 9 of platoon 6, under the command of the renowned composer Tzvi Ben Yosef.

Until this day, no relative has been tracked down in Israel. This has led those who are involved in the search for information about Private Mizrachi to believe that his family resides abroad.

A note found at the Haganah Museum archives states the exact date of his death and where he died. but someone erased the initial place of death because he thought the information was incorrect. His name was also crossed out and corrected to “Manosy”.

One of the museum managers, Yaron Rosenthal, calls on anyone who knows about him or his family to contact him “so that we will be able to bestow upon him and his relatives the proper honors he deserves as someone who gave his life for us all.”

Palestinian Authority Terrorists Roll Out Red Carpet for Kerry

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian Authority terrorist late Wednesday night after he and another terrorist firebombed an IDF checkpoint they were manning in a “pillbox” watch tower in Samaria.

The two terrorists attacked the IDF post, near the Jewish community of Einav, and soldiers shot back, killing one of the terrorists. The second terrorist was lightly wounded and was treated at a PA hospital in Tulkarm, approximately 10 miles east of Netanya.

The attack, a major escalation in Palestinian Authority terror, followed a long day of riots, firebomb and rock-throwing attacks on soldiers and motorists, especially on the north-south highway connecting Jerusalem with Kiryat Arab-Hevron. One soldier was slightly wounded by a rock and several cars sustained damage.

Tension and violence have grown since the death on Tuesday of jailed Palestinian Authority terrorist Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who was suffering from throat cancer that had quickly spread and became terminal. The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of “murdering” him by not treating him properly and immediately set the stage for an escalation in terror by shutting down schools before noon on Wednesday as a sign of mourning.

Grieving for “martyrs” usually is accompanied by comforting them with riots, rock throwing at Jews, launching rockets on civilians in southern Israel and – Wednesday night – firebombing one of those “degrading” IDF checkpoints where soldiers are on the lookout for terrorists ready to blow up Israelis in urban centers.

The terrorists who threw a firebomb at the IDF at Einav and was killed was a high-school age student, identified as Amar Nasar.

More of the same is expected on Thursday, when Hamdiyeh, who was convicted and jailed for planning a suicide bombing, will be buried in Hevron.

The escalation of terror is the “welcome mat” for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when he visits Ramallah and Jerusalem next week.

Hours before the Palestinian Authority terrorist attack on the IDF checkpoint, U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland told reporters at the daily briefing, with a straight face, that “nobody wants to see violence of any kind, either by demonstrators or by security services in response to peaceful demonstration.”

It is not quite clear what “peaceful demonstration” she was talking about since virtually all of them are accompanied by firebombing and rock-throwing, the latter which Haaretz’s Amira Hass wrote on Wednesday is the “right and duty” of PA Arabs trying to get rid of the “foreign occupier.”

Kerry will be talking about Turkey and Syria as well as his beloved “peace process,” which, unlike Israel, is all the Palestinian Authority is interested in.

One of Nuland’s choice comments in her briefing with reporters on Wednesday was a reference to “the remarks that the President made when he was on his trip, that both sides are going to have to help create an environment for peace.”

The question of what creates an environment of peace was not lost on reporters covering the State Dept. but was a bit too much for Nuland to handle.

One journalist, referring to Kassam rocket fire on Sderot Wednesday morning, asked, “Exchange of fire has resumed between Hamas and Israel. Do you think that November ceasefire has gone?”

Nuland acted as if the rocket attacks never happened, saying, “I’ve seen these reports. I’m not in a position to evaluate them one way or the other. But as you know, we considered that November ceasefire to be absolutely fundamental for everybody involved. So we’ll have to see what happens now.”

What has happened since she finished her media briefing was more rock and firebomb attacks on civilians and soldiers.

The Palestinian Authority strategy for years has been to win concessions from Israel piece by piece to create situation in Judea and Samaria similar to that in Gush Katif before the 2005 expulsion. The idea it to make life so unbearable for Jews that the IDF has no choice but to defend them – and that means killing the enemy – or surrendering the land and moving the checkpoints back to the “Auschwitz borders,” the term used by former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Abba Eban to describe the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines that existed until the Six-Day War in 1967.

If the Palestinian Authority can get to that point, it would take only one or two missiles on Tel Aviv to push the checkpoints back to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Depth of Egyptian Demands Will Determine the Depth of Egyptian Withdrawals

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

A third of a century ago Israel wanted peace with Egypt and Israel actually believed there could be peace with Egypt. So did Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and perhaps even the Egyptian people.

But what a difference 33 years makes.

We’ve discovered since then that we got a bum deal. We signed with an unreliable and unfaithful partner who did not meet its obligations. And though we got at least got a 33-year cease-fire out of it, we did not get peace.

Instead, the Egyptians spent 33-years ever-escalating their hatred of Israel while missing the opportunity to drag themselves up from being a third world country. And while it’s easy to blame former Egyptian president Mubarak for the hatred, Mubarak’s enemies on both side of the religious spectrum, the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian secular pseudo-intellectuals, such as historical revisionist Abdel Wahab El-Messiri did their part too.

DESPITE EGYPT’S failure to deliver on its own side of the bargain, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy recently said he wants to reopen up the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty, to renegotiate and link peace to Palestinian statehood, and to remilitarize the Sinai. For Morsy this is a one-way street: Egypt will demand and Israel will give.

If only Morsy had actually read the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty.

There were, in fact, two agreements signed by Israel and Egypt. As international law expert, Professor Avi Bell, has recently explained,

“The 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty and the 1978 “Framework for Peace in the Middle East” are not the same treaty. However Morsy may [choose to] misinterpret the 1978 Framework for Peace in the Middle East agreement, it has nothing to do with Egypt’s obligations to uphold its treaty obligations in the 1979 peace treaty.”

It is the 1979 peace treaty that requires Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai, the demilitarization of the Sinai, and of course normalization of relations between the two countries – the last being something the Egyptians never properly implemented. The 1978 treaty deals with “negotiations on the resolution of the Palestinian problem.”

Bell argues that,

“If Morsy believes that the 1978 Agreement is not merely an agreed upon framework for future negotiations, but a binding treaty still in force, Morsy must abandon several anti-Israel positions adopted by Egypt and the United States in recent years”

That’s because, as Bell explains, the 1978 Agreement recognizes U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 as the basis for resolution of the conflict. That resolution recognizes Israel’s right to secure boundaries, but fails to mention Palestinian statehood or the Palestinians at all. While it calls for an Israeli withdrawal from terrotories captured in 1967, as part of the establishing a “just and lasting peace” it does not describe the extent of the withdrawal and many of the documents drafters have said that the word “all” was left out so that Israel would not be required to withdraw from all the territory, but only some of it based on negotiations with Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

The Road Map (Bush’s plan for a democratic Palestinian state), U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (the partition resolution), the 2002 Arab League decision (Israeli return to the pre-67 borders), the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1397 (envisioning a Palestinian state and recalling 242) as well as recent “U.S. efforts to state that final status negotiations should be on the basis of the “1967 borders” or presumed Palestinian statehood,” all conflict with Resolution 242.

In short, Egypt’s stated positions and actions are in direct contradiction and violation of the signed peace treaty, including the one which Morsi is claiming Israel is not fulfilling.

In addition, the 1978 agreement does not discuss or require an Israel withdrawal from Judea and Samaria or Gaza. Instead it only discusses setting up a “self-governing authority,” “autonomy,” and “self-government” for the Palestinians in those areas – for a five-year period. It does not discuss or require the establishment of a Palestinian state nor does it require that the Palestinians shall continue to have autonomy at the end of the five-year period.

Like the Oslo Accords, it confirms that Israel will retain a military presence in “specified security locations” in the disputed territories, and recognizes that, “All necessary measures will be taken and provisions made to assure the security of Israel.”

Déjà Vu All Over Again?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The current clash between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu over U.S. policy regarding Iran’s efforts to secure a nuclear capacity calls to mind the contretemps between President Lyndon Johnson and Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in 1967.

At that time the disagreement was over the proper response to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s threats to close the Straits of Tiran and the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping – a crippling blow to Israel’s economy – and to attack Israel from the Sinai in a war of policide against the Jewish state.

Then too, a U.S. president told Israel to rely on the international community and resist going to war. In the end, Israel acted on its own as it became clear that international efforts were not succeeding. The risks became intolerable and what became known as the Six-Day War ensued.

Despite the virtual certainty that sanctions against Iran are not deterring its nuclear development, President Obama still wants more time. This even though there are numerous loopholes in the sanctions and Russia and China are not cooperating in any event. Indeed, Iran just recently demonstrated that it is hardly isolated in the international community when it hosted a conference attended by most of the nations of the world.

The president has given no quarter to Israel, refusing to concede that maybe Israel has a point that the sanctions approach has failed.

In 1967 Israel from the start was prepared to go it alone but was accused of seeking to push the United States into war. This time, even more so than in 1967, careful deliberation is needed – by Mr. Netanyahu no less than Mr. Obama. Because the notion that the U.S. is being drawn into war by Israel is an incendiary one in a war-weary America and fraught with a danger all its own.

The New York Times spelled it all out, in blatantly incendiary fashion, in a September 4 editorial titled “No Rush to War”:

Amid the alarming violence in the Arab world, a new report about the costs of a potential war with Iran got lost this week. It says an attack by the United States could set back Iran’s nuclear program four years at most, while a more ambitious goal – ensuring Iran never reconstitutes its nuclear program or ousting the regime – would involve a multiyear conflict that could engulf the region.The significance of the report by The Iran Project is not just its sober analysis but the nearly three dozen respected national security experts from both political parties who signed it: including two former national security advisers, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski; former Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering; and the retired Gen. Anthony Zinni.

Yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is trying to browbeat president Obama into a pre-emptive strike. On Tuesday, he demanded that the United States set a red line for military action and said those who refuse “don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.” Later, Mr. Obama telephoned him and rejected the appeal. On Friday, Mr. Netanyahu suggested in an interview that Israel cannot entirely rely on the United States to act against Iran’s program.

Leaders need flexibility and ambiguity, not just hard and fast red lines. And it is dangerous for Mr. Netanyahu to try to push the president into a corner publicly and raise questions about Washington. Is that really the message he wants to send to Tehran?

There is no reason to doubt president Obama’s often repeated commitment to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. But 70 percent of Americans oppose a unilateral strike on Iran, according to a new poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and 59 percent said if Israel bombs Iran and ignites a war, the United States should not come to its ally’s defense.

So there you have it. Despite the fact that by any measure there is no apparent prospect that the sanctions are working or will work, the Times has the audacity to charge Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose country is at greater risk from a nuclear Iran than any other country and who only asked that the U.S. not stand in its way, with “trying to browbeat President Obama into a pre-emptive strike” and “push[ing] the president into a corner publicly….”

Israel’s Heroism of Survival

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Israel’s military victories were never the results of an inspired military or political leadership. While the anniversary of the Six-Day War has led to an outpouring of adoration for the usual suspects: the khaki-garbed generals striding victoriously through a carefully cropped photo, even if one of them had come down with a nervous breakdown not long before. Israeli generals have never been geniuses, the best-known ones have carried their own press releases into battle, and have walked a fine line between daring and criminal incompetence. Their victories were won for them by the men in the field, who survived to carry out their operations.

If Israeli generals are overrated, then Israeli governments are far worse, and, considering the number of generals who have played a role in politics, the confluence of the two conditions is not surprising. Israeli governments have, for the most part, been timid, cowardly and incompetent (Which is to say that they were, for the most part, a lot like the governments of the rest of the West).

The victories of the Six-Day War have for the most part been traded away by a succession of Prime Ministers in exchange for the promise of a peace that has yet to materialize. It is a miracle, nearly as great a miracle as the victory itself, that they were not actually traded away a week afterward.

The only political obstacle to the destruction of Israel by its politicians, has been the unwillingness of its enemies to accept its surrender. Western powers have repeatedly badgered Israeli leaders into giving up the store, only for Muslim leaders to turn up their noses and demand everything.

Israel’s greatest strategic defeat did not happen in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a war in which Israeli leaders, in conjunction with pressure from Washington D.C., crippled the military so badly that Israel was nearly destroyed. It happened in 1991, when Washington D.C. and Israeli Labor politicians finally talked Yasser Arafat into accepting Israel’s surrender, while lying to the Israeli people about the terms of that surrender.

The Israeli fighting man was able to brave the largest tank battles in history, but his leaders could not manage to hang on to the country’s national rights after the dead were buried and the wounded went home. No sooner do Israeli soldiers win a victory than their leaders rush to snatch it away from them and give it back, out of fear of what the world will think.

If Israel has a vital and active settlement movement, it is because Israelis know that their own leaders cannot be counted on to secure their rights. A Muslim in Israel has the same special privileges that a Muslim in Europe or a Muslim in America has. Any claim he makes is automatically treated as fact by the media, academia and the judiciary.

That is the situation locally in every country, and it is the situation globally. It is the situation in Israel, a place that the media lambasts as a monster grinding up and chewing Muslim babies, but where a Muslim can walk into court, with a handful of papers that would not stand up to serious scrutiny in any other jurisdiction, and lay claim to the land of a small village, which holds legal title and full papers to it. And the court will refuse to accept any alternative, but to speedily evict every man, woman and child from that land, while the conservative government will threaten to fire any minister that takes legislative action against that court’s decision.

It would be nice to think that this is some horrid exception, but it’s the usual course of affairs in a country where a conservative government is one that occasionally talks about taking action on Iran and prides itself on boldly laying claim to its own capital. Past Israeli governments have not been better. Many have been even worse. Their victories were not won by them; they were won for them. They were achieved through bold actions taken out of desperation, by farmers and workers with guns facing impossible tasks and more impossible odds.

All this makes the Six-Day War that much more impressive and awe-inspiring. An act of God done through the hands of fighting men in a country facing annihilation. And it is also a reminder that Israel’s survival does not depend on its governments. If past governments had been able to fully enact their peace agendas, there likely would be no Israel. Can such governments celebrate the Six-Day War? Do they have any right to take credit for what they have given away and what they intend to give away?

The Six-Day War’s Unresolved Legacy

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Nearly sixty-five years ago Israel declared its independence and won the war that secured a Jewish state. But its narrow and permeable postwar armistice lines permitted incessant cross-border terrorist raids. For Egypt, Syria and Jordan, the mere existence of a Jewish state remained an unbearable intrusion into the Arab Middle East. As Egyptian President Nasser declared, “The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel.”

So it was, in the spring of 1967,that the noose tightened around the Jewish state. In April Syria bombarded Galilee kibbutzim from the Golan Heights. In May Egypt ordered the removal of UN forces from Sinai and advanced its army to the border with Israel. Arab radio promised “the extermination of Zionist existence.” Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad announced: “The time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.”

Then Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, halting the flow of oil from Iran and severing its supply route to Asia. In early June Iraq joined the coalition to destroy Israel. By then nearly 500,000 enemy soldiers surrounded the Jewish state; thousands of fighter planes were poised to attack.

Apprehension of imminent annihilation – another Holocaust – swept through Israel. The army was mobilized. Bomb shelters were hastily built. Mass graves were dug. The hesitant Israeli prime minister, Levi Eshkol, delivered a stumbling radio address that sent waves of panic through the nation. Under intense pressure to act from military advisers, he reluctantly authorized a preemptive strike.

One month earlier, on Independence Day, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook had met with a gathering of his former students at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem. Like his father, the revered chief rabbi of Mandatory Palestine, he embraced Zionism, a commitment that marginalized the yeshiva among haredi Jews while its Orthodoxy isolated it from the secular Zionist majority.

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda recalled his anguish in 1948 when the boundaries of war had severed the fledgling state of Israel from the biblical homeland of the Jewish people. Conquering Jordanians drove Jews from their Old City homes; their revered Hurva synagogue was destroyed; they were denied access to the Western Wall; the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated; and Jerusalem was divided.

As his voice rose to bewail the partition of Eretz Yisrael Rabbi Kook suddenly cried out: “They have divided my land. Where is our Hebron? Have we forgotten it? And where is our Shechem? And our Jericho?” No one in Israel, a student realized, spoke that way. Ever since 1948 Israelis believed that “the Land of Israel ended where the state of Israel ended.”

But for the unrelenting Arab determination to annihilate the Jewish state, those temporary armistice lines might have remained permanent borders.

* * * * *

Early in the morning of June 5, Israel launched the attack that instantly turned the tide of battle by decimating the Egyptian air force. But the transformative – and, for many, miraculous – moment came two days later. After desperate fighting in northern Jerusalem on Ammunition Hill, which claimed the lives of thirty-six Israeli soldiers, the way to the Old City was clear.

Tanks blasted open the Lion’s Gate and Israeli paratroopers poured through, sweeping across the site of the ancient Temples. Commander Mordechai Gur radioed: “Har HaBayit beyadenu” – the Temple Mount is in our hands.”

An intelligence officer recalled: “Though I’m not religious, I don’t think there was a man who wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion.”

After exultant Israeli soldiers descended through the Mughrabi Gate to the Western Wall, IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren arrived with a Torah scroll. He recited the mourner’s Kaddish for fallen soldiers, followed by the Shehechiyanu prayer of thanksgiving. Then he joyously blew his shofar. Euphoric troops, suddenly experiencing the convergence of their Israeli and Jewish identities, spontaneously burst into song, prayer – and tears.

A soldier approached the Wall: “The touch of my lips opened the gates of my emotions and the tears burst forth. A Jewish soldier in the State of Israel is kissing history with his lips.”

An Orthodox paratrooper wrote: “I believe that the hand of God was in my participation in the battle for the liberation and reunion of Jerusalem…. I felt as if I had been granted the great privilege of acting as an agent of God, of Jewish history.” Even a kibbutznik from the left-wing Hashomer Hatzair movement expressed his feelings in biblical verse: “Let us go into the house of the Lord, Our feet shall stand within Thy Gates, O Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:1-2).

Former PM Olmert: Divide Jerusalem For Peace

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday urged Israeli leaders to surrender large swaths of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority if they want peace.

In honor of the 45th annual Jerusalem Day, Prime Minister Olmert – who served as Jerusalem’s Mayor from 1993 to 2003 – told the Maariv daily newspaper that  Jerusalem was never truly united, and while he called that a “tragedy”, he also said it will mean “inevitable political concessions”.

The Israel Defense Forces liberated eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Prophet Samuel from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as well as the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, including heritage sites the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.

In his interview with Maariv, Olmert highlighted the division and separation between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, and lamented that not enough had been done to homogenize the city.

Regarding Arab neighborhoods, Olmert said “apart from heartache we get nothing from them,” saying that peace will require Arab neighborhoods to be separated and given to a Palestinian state.

He also said that the Old City and the Temple Mount should be up for discussion in final peace talks.

Olmert lamented the peace deal he could “touch” in 2007 and 2008, and said that if he had been prime minister for a few more months, he believes an agreement on a Palestinian state would have been completed.

Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had very different things to say about Jerusalem on this year’s Jerusalem Day.

“Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart. And our heart will never be divided again,” he said.

He warned that dividing Jerusalem would lead to a war pitting Jews against Muslims in the city, and boasted that Israeli control of holy sites provided the highest level of accessibility and religious freedom to all citizens.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat chastised Olmert, calling the idea of dividing Jerusalem “a bigger mistake”.

“He lost his faith in Jerusalem when he was mayor,” Barkat said, accusing him of wanting “to run from conflicts in Jerusalem and give in to them, instead of coping with them and directing them.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/former-pm-olmert-divide-jerusalem-for-peace/2012/05/21/

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