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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Six Day War’

Vandals Spit on Jewish Sovereignty

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

News item:

One of the Six-Day War’s most famous landmarks, Ammunition Hill, was vandalized early Monday morning. This is the fourth related incident in less than a week, just days before Israel marks its Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism.

 

 

According to Army Radio, the vandals spray-painted anti-Israel slogans, including “Günter Grass was right,” [referring to the German Nobel laureate's recently published poem in which the former SS officer said Israel was a danger to world peace] and “Zionism — the root of all evil” as well as “lame Zionists.”

Here is an excerpt from a description of the battle of Ammunition Hill by Yaakov Lozowick:

Between 1949 and 1967, while Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan, there was an Israeli enclave about a mile to the east of the border, in the Jordanian part of town. This was Mount Scopus, with the campus of the Hebrew university and Hadassah hospital. There was an agreement whereby every two weeks 200 Israelis would cross Jordanian territory to the enclave, and sit there until the next group replaced them two weeks later.

Throughout the whole period everyone knew that sooner or later the war would resume, and that when that happened Israel would try to reconnect the mountain with the city. To prevent this the Jordanians built a series of fortifications in that mile, and its centerpiece was Ammunition Hill, an apt name borrowed from the days after the British conquered the city in 1917 and General Allenby stored his army’s ammunition there…

On the night between June 5th and 6th 1967 the paratroopers, backed by a few tanks, made their attack, directly on the Jordanian fortifications. The section of the battle on Ammunition Hill raged from about 2am to 5:30, early next morning. It was face to face combat, between the best forces each side had. 71 Jordanians were killed, and 35 Israelis: most of the defenders died, as did a quarter of the attackers.

A story I heard not long afterward told that in the early morning the IDF troops gathered the fallen Jordanians into a pit and covered it, with a makeshift sign that read “Here lie 71 brave Jordanian soldiers”.

A few hours later the paratroopers were at the Kotel.

The perpetrators of the vandalism could have been anti-Zionist Haredim, Arabs, or left-wing extremists. Judging by the content of the literate Hebrew graffiti, my guess is that in this case they are the former.

For example, the message in the photo above reads: “Wretched Zionists, whom do you dominate? The miserable Arabs? Zionism — mother of sin!”

It is simply impossible for me to imagine what would motivate Israeli Jews to desecrate a monument to men who died defending the Jewish state that protects and, in many cases, feeds them.

I would like to see the vandals, who spit on Jewish sovereignty, banished to a place where it doesn’t exist. They have made their statement, let them live by it.

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/04/vandals-spit-on-jewish-sovereignty/

Jerusalem’s Light Rail train is Not Segregated

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

During my visit to the British Parliament last week, I heard concern from a number of members that Jerusalem’s new light rail system was built as a “tool of Israel’s apartheid.” This type of claim can leave one baffled; where do you start explaining when an intelligent elected official hits you with a claim that is so totally off base? Aside from the issue of priorities, with people being killed daily by the Assad  regime Syria, it is the height of hypocrisy for world leaders to ignore that massacre and waste their time and effort in seeking out something to pin on Israel.

The city of Jerusalem was first declared the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel by our mighty King David some 3000 years ago. At its center, on Mount Moriah, David’s son Solomon built the Temple, which became a place of gathering for the entire nation of Israel three times a year. Ever since, this city has been the focal point of Jewish prayer around the world. In Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, part of the city was captured by the British-trained Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan, which held the city for 19 years, until it was again united in the miraculous Six Day War of June, 1967. During the 19 years of Jordan’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem, Jews were barred from access to the city’s holy sites. Jewish doctors and nurses were massacred while trying to reach the Hadassah Hospital, located on then-isolated Mount Scopus.

Only after Israel’s Defense Forces reunited the holy city were members of all religions again allowed access to their holy sites (aside from the Temple Mount, which maintains limited access for non-Muslims).

Jerusalem today is a city with total population of about 760,000 people – about 65% Jewish, and the remaining 35% comprised of Muslims, Christians, and others. Anyone who visits the city will see a mix of people from all ethnic backgrounds and all religions partaking in all aspects of the city’s culture and commerce. Like it or not, apartheid is not a fitting description for the reality of Jerusalem today.

The city of Jerusalem, capital of the State of Israel, incorporated its light rail public transportation system late last year. The light rail is intended to relieve traffic congestion, and spare the city from the air pollution emitted from the cars and buses that it will replace.

Three years of its construction were very bothersome to the residents of and visitors to Jerusalem because it made transit within the city even more difficult and slowed traffic, with many roads closed and much traffic redirected. When the work was finally completed, I believe that most of Jerusalem was happy with the results.

The light rail is now 14 KM long with 23 stops. It starts in the Pisgat Zev neighborhood in the north and runs though Beit Hannia and Shuafat, passes by the Old City through the center of town, runs along Jaffa Street past the central bus station and ends at Mount Herzl.

The track passes though and stops in both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. I have taken the train and noticed that both Jews and Arabs are regular commuters. All of the train’s signs, tickets, ticket machines, and public announcements are made very clearly in both Hebrew and Arabic. Signs of station names are posted in both Hebrew and Arabic.

Knowing the facts firsthand, it is strange for me to hear discussions in British Parliament about the light rail being segregated and a “tool of apartheid.” Why, I ask, do people buy into such baseless libel and propaganda?

Tunisia to Jews: Keep Coming to Djerba for Lag B’Omer

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The annual Jewish Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to the oldest synagogue in Africa should be maintained as a symbol of Tunisian openness, according to Tunisia’s tourism minister on Tuesday.

Jews have been living on the island of  Djerba since 500 BC, with the local synagogue believed to be the oldest in Africa.  In the 1960s, Tunisia’s Jewish community numbered 100,000.  Most Jews left following the 1967 Six Day War.  Now, almost all of Tunisia’s 1,500 Jews reside on the island near the border of Libya.  Djerba was once called the “Island of Cohanim” because so many of the Jewish families there could trace their ancestry back to Moses’ brother Aaron, the first High Priest and father of the priestly class.

Elyes Fakhfakh’s public support for the annual Jewish event comes as the rise of fundamentalist Islamic Salafi groups threatens to drive out Tunisia’s remaining Jewish population.  Anti-Semitic rhetoric has increased since the overthrow of longtime president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 as part of the Arab Spring.  Unrest in Tunisia led to the cancellation of Lag B’Omer events that year.  Several thousand Jews – many of whom immigrated to France from Tunisia – are anticipated to attend this year.  On March 9-10, they will celebrate the victory of the Jews over the Romans prior to the destruction of the Second Temple, as well as the passing of the writer of the mystical Zohar, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Fakhfakh called the annual Jewish celebration in Djerba a rite which “should not change because it illustrates the openness of Tunisia to the world.”  Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali of the Ennahda party Monday concurred with Fakhfakh, saying “the Jewish pilgrims are welcome to Djerba”.

On April 11, Tunisian President Moncep Marzouki, accompanied by Tunisian grand rabbi Haim Bitan, laid a wreath and observed a moment of silence to remember the victims of an Al-Qaida truck bombing, which killed 21 people at the El Djerba synagogue on Djerba ten years ago.  Included in the killings were 16 tourists – 14 from Germany and 2 from France.  At the event, Marzouki called discrimination against Jews and attacks on their person or property “forbidden” and called Jews “an integral part of our people.”

On March 25, Salafi activists demonstrated in favor of the implementation of sharia Islamic law, chanting slogans to “prepare for the fight against the Jews”.

Under the rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Jews enjoyed official protected status, a privilege which has not been renewed by the new Islamist government.

EU Report: Israel Judaizing Jerusalem

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

A report by the European Union says that Israel’s policies are  diminishing the prospects of Jerusalem becoming the “shared capital” of Israel and a future Palestinian state.

The EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem calls on the EU to enact laws that discourages business that benefit Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and accuses Israel of conducting a campaign to “emphasize the Jewish identity of the city, at the expense of its Muslim and Christian residents,” echoing recent attacks on Israel of  ‘Judaizing Jerusalem’ by Iran and Hamas.

The report recommends information-sharing on Jewish activists in East Jerusalem to assess whether such individuals should be allowed to enter EU member states, and also calls for the reinstatement of the Palestine Liberation Organization in East Jerusalem.

“Without Jerusalem as the future capital of two states, a sustainable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will not be possible,” read the first lines of the report, which is currently making the rounds at foreign ministries across the globe.

Israel maintains that Jerusalem is the the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish State, and this position was enacted into law by its annexation of east Jerusalem on June 27, 1967, following its recapture in the Six-Day War. Prior to the Six-Day War, east Jerusalem was under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Jordan.

Congressmen In Jerusalem: ‘Capital Must Remain United, Israeli’

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

JERUSALEM – Four U.S. congressmen took a Friday tour of eastern Jerusalem earlier this month and received a strategic briefing, courtesy of the Im Eshkachech-Keep Jerusalem organization.

The lawmakers, all Republicans, also visited Hebron and other areas in Judea and Samaria, in a visit that was kept publicly quiet until it was over. As Chaim Silberstein, head of Im Eshkachech, later said, “These representatives do not need to be lectured about being pro-Israel, but they did request tools to help them defend a united Jerusalem in Congress and in the American public.”

The four were Reps. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, co-chair of the Republican Israel Caucus; Louie Gohmert of Texas; John Fleming of Louisiana; and Randy Forbes of Virginia.

“Jerusalem must remain the undivided and eternal capital of the State of Israel,” Lamborn declared. Gohmert went even further, asserting that the “Land of Israel and Jerusalem were given by God to the Jewish People, and giving them up would be both immoral and nonsensical.”

Their Jerusalem tour began at Ammunition Hill, site of a Six-Day War battle that helped secure Jerusalem for Israel. The multimedia presentation put the cease-fire lines in military, geographic and historic perspective.

Next on the itinerary was the gravesite of Shmuel HaNavi (Nebi Samuel). Silberstein provided the visitors with maps and aerial photos to give them a “solid understanding of the geographic and legal realities of eastern Jerusalem.”

The high altitude site of Nebi Samuel, used by Jordan to attack Israeli positions in the 1948 and 1967 wars, provided the congressmen with “a commanding view of the security fence, the growing Arab population, and the chokehold that Jews in the capital would suffer if the city were to be divided,” said Silberstein.

From Nebi Samuel they traveled farther north, taking clear note of the high standard of living in Arab neighborhoods. “When I mentioned polls showing that the majority of eastern Jerusalem Arabs want to continue living under Israeli rule rather than in a Palestinian Authority state,” said Silberstein, “they said they could understand why.”

They then proceeded to the site of the biblical Givat Sha’ul. In 1967, the late King Hussein of Jordan was serenely building himself a summer palace on this scenic hilltop when his workers were abruptly interrupted by the Six-Day War, during which Israel liberated the area in mid-construction. Ever since, the partially completed and instantly recognizable skeleton of the almost-palace has stood untouched on the hill.

Originally a lone structure amid pristine mountaintops, it now provides a breathtaking view of the many surrounding Jewish and Arab neighborhoods – and, noted Silberstein, an appropriate background for Im Eshkachech’s presentation on the strategic and security ramifications of dividing Jerusalem.

The Americans were also treated to a panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, overlooking the Old City and the Temple Mount.

 

The Right Not To Be Thrown Into The Sea

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

This month marks the 44th anniversary of one of the most momentous miracles of modern times, when Israel, facing annihilation at the hands of its enemies, emerged triumphant in the 1967 Six-Day War.
 
Existential fear quickly dissolved into breathtaking joy as the Jewish state vanquished its foes, reuniting Jerusalem and reclaiming large swathes of our ancient homeland.
 
Our adversaries, who had gleefully pledged to feed us to the fish in the Mediterranean, were forced to look on as their troops beat a hasty and humiliating retreat.
 
The stunning victory of 1967 had all the markings of Divine intervention. It was a gift from Heaven to a besieged and beleaguered people.
 
After nearly two millennia we were reunited at last with the cradle of Jewish civilization in Judea and Samaria, and with the heart of the nation, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
 
And yet it seems, more than four decades later, that many Jews and Israelis still just cannot forgive themselves for winning.
 
In what has become an annual ritual, a variety of media pundits, left-wing activists and even some officials launch into mournful sessions of hand-wringing and breast-beating. They bemoan the outcome of the Six-Day War, grumble about Israel’s success in reclaiming Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, and sound as if they would have preferred going down in defeat.
 
Displaying an extraordinary lack of appreciation and an exceptional lack of historical perspective, these critics long to give up the hard-earned fruits of that war of self-defense to the Palestinians, all in the vain hope of mollifying an incorrigible foe.
 
How could so many forget so much in so short a time?
 
It seems the only way to explain this phenomenon is to borrow a term from psychology: Certain parts of the Israeli public and world Jewry are clearly suffering from what I refer to as “Battered Nation Syndrome.”
 
Like a victim of ongoing domestic abuse, the advocates of surrender to the Palestinians cannot muster the wherewithal to hit back at the abuser. All the hallmarks of the syndrome are there.
 
Naturally, this distorted worldview results in an almost obsessive focus on Israel’s perceived faults as lying at the root of the conflict with our neighbors.
 
Consequently, the actions of the Palestinians are downplayed and minimized, excused and ignored, and Israel’s policy-making process instead begins to resemble a good old-fashioned self-inflicted guilt trip.
 
But it is time to break out of this collective funk and start viewing the world the way it really is.
 
To begin with, Israel should stop apologizing for defeating the Arab states in 1967. Like any other nation, we have the right to defend ourselves, and we have the right not to be thrown into the sea.
 
What many of the defeatists conveniently choose to ignore is what led up to the 1967 war: increased Palestinian terror, massive Arab military buildups, and public threats by Arab leaders to annihilate the Jewish state.
 
They also forget that two years prior to 1967, back when Israel did not yet “occupy” the territories, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol put forward a proposal that could have resolved the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all.
 
Speaking to the Knesset on May 17, 1965, Eshkol suggested turning the 1949 armistice agreements into peace treaties, and offered to hold direct talks with the Arab states in order to do so.
 
Pointing out that Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon combined had 60 times the land area of the Jewish state, the premier noted that there was no logical reason for the Arabs to continue to pursue war.
 
Instead, he offered a vision of peace that included open borders, bilateral trade, economic cooperation and freedom of access to the holy sites.
 
All he asked in return, said Eshkol, was “full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the states in the region.”
 
But Israel’s offer of peace was met two years later with a clear and unequivocal Arab response. Egypt and Syria mobilized their armies and their people, and vowed to destroy the Jewish state.
 
Fortunately, with God’s help we were able to defeat them, depriving our enemies of the territorial platform from which they had sought our destruction.
 
Instead of grumbling about the result, we should be rejoicing in it.
 
The fact is that Israel neither asked for war nor initiated it in 1967, so let’s stop acting like we did.
 
We do not owe the Arabs anything for defeating them, and we certainly do not need to give them any further territory from which to attack us.
 

They tried to kill us. We won. Get over it.

 

 

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that assists lost tribes and “hidden Jewish communities” to return to the Jewish people. He can be contacted at michael@shavei.org. His column appears the third week of each month.

Revising The Six-Day War

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Every few years at around this time the Monitor reflects on how perceptions have changed so drastically regarding Israel’s massive victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.

   Revisionists whose initial attempts at recasting Israel’s image from David to Goliath were focused on events surrounding Israel’s creation began, in the early 1980s, to characterize the Six-Day War – which for the first decade or so after its occurrence was widely seen as a case of Israel’s justified response to Arab threats and mobilization of forces – as an act of premeditated Israeli aggression.
   Not that there weren’t critics of Israel ready to pounce on the Jewish state even in the immediate aftermath of the war. On July 7, 1967, the executive committee of the liberal National Council of Churches released a statement lambasting Israel for the “unilateral retention of lands she has occupied since June 5.”
   Also on July 7, 1967, a remarkable letter in The New York Times made the equation between Israelis and Nazis that in later years would become all too familiar:
   “All persons who seek to view the Middle East problem with honesty and objectivity will stand aghast at Israel’s onslaught, the most violent, ruthless (and successful) aggression since Hitler’s blitzkrieg across Western Europe in the summer of 1940, aiming not at victory but at annihilation,” wrote Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen, a former president of Union Theological Seminary, the academic centerpiece of liberal Protestantism in America.
By and large, however, most Americans – and Europeans, for that matter – cheered Israel’s triumph in the Six-Day War. But as Israel over the years came to lose favor among liberal and leftist academics and journalists, there was a significant shift in the way the war was portrayed.
Post-Zionist Israeli academics played no small role in the recasting of Israeli officials as opportunistic warmongers who used the supposedly empty threats of bellicose Arab leaders as an excuse to gobble up vast expanses of Arab territory.
By the late 1980s this remarkably dishonest narrative had become the accepted wisdom in liberal academic and media precincts and has remained so ever since. When the English translation of Israeli journalist (and pioneering post-Zionist) Tom Segev’s book on the Six-Day War was published in 2007, reviewers in liberal newspapers and magazines fell all over themselves in praising the book’s Israel-as-aggressor theme.
Every now and then, however, an article or a column will appear – invariably from a conservative writer – reminding readers about what really happened in 1967. The military historian and New York Post columnist Ralph Peters wrote just such a piece in 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the war.
Reading the revisionists, he wrote, one would think that “prior to June 1967, Israelis had lived in an Age of Aquarius, eating lotus blossoms amid friendly Bedouin neighbors who tucked them in at night. The critics also imply that, by some unexplained magic, Israel might have avoided war and its consequences.”
Contrary to the doomsayers, “June 1967 announced Israel as a regional great power – less than 20 years after the state’s desperate founding . In the real world, outcomes aren’t perfect. There are no wars to end all wars. The proper question is, ‘Are you better off than before the shooting started?’ Judged by that common-sense standard, Israel is vastly better off than it was on the eve of the Six-Day War. Thanks to the heroes of June 1967, Israel survived. Miracle enough.”
Peters’s words echoed the spirit of a column written two decades earlier by George F. Will.
“It has been 20 years since those six days that shook the world,” Will wrote. “Because of what happened then, a united Jerusalem is capital of Israel, and Israel never again will be 12 miles wide at the waist. Because of the war the West Bank, which Jordan seized militarily and held for 19 years, is rightfully Israel’s to dispose of as it deems prudent.

“And, because of the echoing thunderclap from Israel 20 Junes ago, the security of Israel and hence the spiritual well-being of world Jewry have been enhanced. The Holocaust ended in 1945, but the Holocaust as aspiration was not destroyed until June 1967, when Israel smashed encircling armies that had the inescapably genocidal mission of obliterating the national gathering of Jews.”

 

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/revising-the-six-day-war/2011/06/15/

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