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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘space’

Jerusalem Day: A Perception of Time and Space

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Sunday was Jerusalem Day, the day we celebrate the miraculous salvation from the Arab threats of destruction that loomed over us by words and deeds, which was avoided by the stunning victories of the Six-Day War in 1967. That war also returned us to the heart of our homeland, Judea and Samaria, and – above all – brought about the reunification of Jerusalem.

When I meet people from Berlin I always ask them: “East Berlin or West Berlin?” The answer, always accompanied by a chuckle, is: “Well, it’s all just Berlin today”. I agree with them, but then I point out: “Berlin has been around a lot less than Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been the Jewish nation’s political and spiritual capital for over 3,000 years. Berlin was artificially divided into east and west as a result of military occupation at the end of WW II. It was divided for 44 years, and now that’s it’s been reunited you say it’s just all Berlin. Jerusalem was artificially divided into east and west as a result of the illegal, Jordanian military invasion and subsequent occupation of part of the city, causing the division of the city for 19 years. Now the city has been reunited for 49 years – and yet some people still insist on using the archaic terms ‘East Jerusalem’ and ‘West Jerusalem’! Do you see the absurd? Using those terms reveals either ignorance of history – or an anti-Semitic agenda to denigrate the Jewish connection to the Holy City.

The same matter of perception can relate to the Golan Heights. In Syrian hands they served as a base for attacking Israel almost incessantly, shelling the Israeli villages below. Since the Golan was taken in 1967, the Israeli villages below know peace, as do the Israeli and Druze villages on the Golan – in stark contrast to the current events in Syria. On the Golan you find ruins of ancient Jewish towns and villages that have in them synagogues dating back over two thousand years. Only under Israeli rule have the Golan Heights become fruitful, prosperous, tranquil and an area of hiking and picnicing for an entire state. The Golan has been part of Israel for 49 years. If you go back 49 years from 1967 you come to 1918. There was no Syria, which didn’t even exist as an independent state until 1946! So the Golan has been in Israeli hands more than twice as long as it was in Syrian hands. Yet some insist on referring to the Golan as Syrian, even though it has been in Israeli hands longer, even though it was in Syrian hands only because of the infamous Sykes-Picot imperialist agreement.

On Jerusalem Day I guided some of my students on a walking tour on Mt. Zion, at the site of King David’s Tomb (or perhaps more properly the tombs of the latter kings from the House of David). As we arrived we met a group of Muslims from Turkey and a group of Christians from Russia, each group with their own guide. I thought to myself: this site is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Yet from 1428 until 1948, the site was controlled by Muslims, and neither Jews nor Christians were allowed to visit freely, only Muslims. Since 1948, under Israeli control, the site of King David’s Tomb has been open to people of all nations and all religions.

As we entered Zion Gate into the Old City I recalled that during 19 years of Arab-Muslim rule between 1948 and 1967, – despite signed armistice agreements – Jews weren’t allowed to visit the Old City, its synagogues (which were all systematically destroyed) or the Western Wall. In contrast, for the last 49 years, under Israeli rule, all nations and all peoples can freely visit the Old City of Jerusalem.

Similarly, I recalled that in Hebron, up until 1967, under Muslim rule, Jews weren’t allowed to enter the Tomb of the patriarchs to pray at the site of our ancestors’ graves. Only since 1967, under Israeli rule, is their freedom of access and freedom of religion, except for one place: the Temple Mount. There, despite being in Jewish hands since 1967, out of Israeli high-minded tolerance the Temple Mount has been left to the supervision of Muslim officials, whose intolerance forbids non-Muslims to pray there. But besides that – I’m always proud to see that in the streets of Jerusalem, under Israeli sovereignty, people from every nation and every religion, can walk safely and happily.

It’s all a question of perception of time and space.

Dovid Ben-Meir

NASA, Israel Space Agency Working Together on Reaching Mars

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

NASA administrator Charles Bolden says the space agency is going to be working together with Israel on reaching the planet Mars in the next 20 years.

Bolden spoke at Bar Ilan University earlier this week about NASA’s journey to Mars, and tonight (Tuesday, June 7) he’s slated to receive an honorary doctorate from the university.

Approximately 250 experiments take place in each 6-month expedition on the International Space Station, Bolden said.

Now the NASA administrator has told Bar Ilan University that he is talking with the Israel Space Agency about participating in those experiments.

Bolden says the leadership at the U.S. space agency believes life existed on Mars at one time, and that it was very similar to that of Earth. Today that is not the case, ho wever, and NASA is trying to figure out why.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Elementary School Children Take Pictures from Edge of Space

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

A group of ambitious students and parents from the Yigal Alon elementary school in Hod Hasharon, a bedroom community just east of Tel Aviv, last week shot a meteorological balloon 15 miles up, almost reaching the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, and collected images and complete flight data.

The project, dubbed “Aiming High,” was initiated by Yuval Erez, a parent who works as aeronautic engineer for military manufacturer Elbit. He managed to infect with his enthusiasm the school head, a group of parents, and 33 students, and together they “simply conquered space,” as a local newspaper put it with superlatively unabashed pride.

The students were divided into work groups, each led by a parent, Erez related, “and we started to meet for activities every Friday after school. The aim of the project was to teach the children different things, the kind they don’t learn at school; to show them that if you have a dream and you designate a target, even if it looks unattainable, like flying a documentation device to the edge of space and retrieving it, it is attainable.”

Weather balloon (illustration)

Weather balloon (illustration)

“The group purchased the technical equipment, with adjustments made by the mechanical team that built the box,” Yuval continued. The Styrofoam box, weighing 42.3 ounces, “was installed with two GoPro type cameras, a black box to record the full flight data, location respondents so we could locate the box after it landed, and a radio transmitter.”

The launch had to be coordinated with the Civil Aviation Authority and Air Force Intelligence, lest the unidentified balloon be treated as an invader and shot down prematurely.

The edge of space (Illustration)

The edge of space (Illustration)

The launch took place at the Megadim beach, north of Atlit, off the main highway to Haifa. The weather balloon, filled with helium (courtesy of the Maxima company which provided the expensive gas free of charge), reached the height of about 15 miles and blew up above Nazareth. The box parachute opened and the tiny spaceship landed in the orchards between the communities of Kinneret and Alumot, on the shore of Lake Kinneret.

“The balloon launch was not problem free,” Erez recalled. “The wind was too strong, and when the balloon was being inflated, the tether was torn and it escaped and flew a few yards off. We figured out the malfunction and the second launch was a success.” The balloon rose at the rate of 18 to 21 ft. per second, he said, and “we received flight data and stunning images from the side camera, showing the blue stripe between the black outer space and the white atmosphere at the edge of space. We even managed to get a selfie of the balloon, and shots of the moment the balloon exploded.”

And just to save our learned readers the trouble of writing a knowing comment regarding the Karman line, which commonly represents the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, at an altitude of 62 miles, and not 15 miles — well, we also knew that one.


Big ‘Nakba’ Protest in TAU this Sunday, Watch this Space for Updates

Friday, May 13th, 2016

This Sunday, May 15, at 11:00 AM, at Tel-Aviv University’s Antin Square, the annual Nakba (Catastrophe) commemoration ceremony will be held by the TAU Arab/Radical-Left students. Our friends at Im Tirtzu will be holding a “Nakba Charta” (Nakba Nonsense) counter protest and will update our website during and after the protest.

Nakba Day is commemorated on May 15, Israel’s declaration of independence day in 1948. The Jewish State, which follows the Jewish calendar for its “bank holidays,” celebrated the day on the 5th of Iyar (although this year, out of respect for Shabbat, we celebrated it on Thursday, Iyar 4). For the Arabs, it is an annual day of commemoration of the first day when their bad move at the UN Nov. 1947 partition vote blew in their faces, resulting in their succession of losses in their attempt to destroy the Jewish state—although they keep on trying.

It should be noted that as long as Israelis were determined to hold on to their right to settle anywhere in the Land of Israel, commemoration of the Nakba was being practiced by very few Arab citizens of Israel. The memories of 1948 were largely personal and communal, without a driving political component. But in the wake of the 1991 Madrid Conference, the first time Israel acquiesced to the concept of “Palestinian independence,” the observance of the Nakba has grown stronger and often violent. The Oslo Accords, which signaled that Israel was ready to capitulate on the fate of the liberated regions of Gaza, Judea, Samaria and the Golan, helped turn the Nakba craze into a regular day of confrontation between Arab Israeli youths and police, reminding many Israelis of the Arab pogroms of the 1920s and ’30s.

On Nakba Day 2011, egged on by the “Arab Spring,” Arabs from Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria marched towards the 1949 armistice (green line) borders, to mark their continued rejection of the right of the Jewish State to exist. At least twelve Arabs were killed and hundreds were wounded when the IDF blocked the zombie-fashion advance on the border fences by thousands of Syrian protesters who tried to forcibly enter the Golan Heights. Arabs also threw stones at Israeli soldiers guarding checkpoints in eastern Jerusalem, and the soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas in response.

A 2011 law empowers the Israeli finance minister to cut or reduce government funding to any NGO that organizes Nakba commemoration events.

David Israel

Israel Space Agency

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Video of the Day

Israel’s Newest ‘Eye in the Sky’ Watching Iran

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Israel has launched another military satellite to keep an eye on Iran as the Islamic Republic ramps up its nuclear development program.

While international leaders continue to negotiate with Iran over slowing down its race to develop nuclear arms – an intent it denies despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary – Israel is watching Tehran very closely. Iran has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel “off the map.”

On Wednesday the Defense Ministry sent its newest “eye in the sky” heavenward to join its predecessors in the mission to keep tabs on Iran and other enemies of the Jewish State.

The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)’s Ofek 10 reconnaissance satellite is expected to orbit the Earth every 99 minutes – 800 times a year — from an altitude of 373 miles (600 kilometers) officials said. The process should take about 64,000 minutes annually. Like its predecessor, the new satellite was launched from the Palmachim Airbase near Rishon Lezion. And although the Ofek 9 carried a multi-spectral ‘Jupiter’ space camera produced by El-Op, its new brother has better equipment.

The camera on the Ofek 10 reportedly boasts resolution “much better than half a meter,” and is sharp enough to detect objects being carried by people, officials said. It is also capable of photographing under different lighting and changing weather conditions.

Two other Israeli satellites, the Ofek 5 and the Ofek 7, are still orbiting the Earth as well.

The Jewish State’s tenth satellite will also send images to other intelligence agencies.

Hana Levi Julian

Arab Rapist and Pedophile Accused Israel of Sex Crimes

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Nawaf Athamneh, the 52 year old resident of Kafr Qara, NIF-funded public relations hack, and editor of the far left anti-Israel former Machsom (Checkpoint) website and other outlets was recently convicted of raping a 15 year old Israeli girl.

There are so many bad guys in this story you have to keep score; all deserve your ire.


Before Athamneh committed the actual crimes, he stalked his young victim through the personals section of a newspaper. He called himself “Amir,” pretending to be an Israeli, gained her confidence, claimed to obtain an incriminating photograph of her. With that, he had virtually complete control over the terrified girl as he threatened to show her family and community the photos.  He then hounded her, blackmailing her into meeting him and then forcing her to commit various sexual acts. Then he claimed he videotaped those humiliations and promised her still more sexual and other degradations.

The girl finally confided in her sister, the sister told her mother, the mother went to the police, a trap was set and Athamneh was apprehended, tried and convicted.

But there’s more to the story.

Athamneh’s past has not yet been connected to his current crime.  Yes, it is known he was an anti-Israel Arab Israeli, but the particular hypocrisy which has heretofore escaped the media’s notice is that Athamneh himself self-righteously charged others with violent sexual offenses:  Israelis.

Athamneh was the media coordinator of an event entitled, “My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality: Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall.”

In the language describing the event, Athamneh and his colleagues discuss the brutal sexual control and violence of Israelis towards Arab Palestinians.

In a particularly chilling foreshadowing of the Athamneh’s own deviant behavior, he and his colleagues describe their event as one addressing how “sexuality and bodily rights are an integral part of human rights.”

An example Athamneh and his like-minded “gender studies” activists cited as undermining reproductive and sexual rights, “is the ‘nationality’ law in Israel, affecting people’s right to choose their partners.”

They describe Israel itself, as a whole, as causing “young girls and women” to suffer “serious violations of their bodily, sexuality and reproductive rights.”


The conference itself raised hackles at the time, in particular because of the provocative posters. There were a series of them, one which revealed the body and arm of a male Israeli soldier reaching towards the chest area of an Arab women, the other revealed the body and arm of a female Israeli soldier reaching towards the area of the sensitive body part of a male Arab.

The headline of the poster read: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her.  The occupation penetrates her life everyday.”

The irony continues.  Athmaneh and colleagues completed the description of their conference’s campaign by claiming it “highlights the need to intensify efforts aiming at protecting Palestinian men and women and to struggle against all forms of physical, sexual, psychological, political and social prejudice, oppression, discrimination and violence.”

So when they write they want to struggle against “all forms of physical, sexual, psychological, political and social prejudice, discrimination and violence,” did they also mean against Israeli Jewish girls?

The Jewish Press attempted to speak with Nawaf Athamneh before this story went to print, but his number has been disconnected.

The Jewish Press also attempted to speak with leadership at the New Israel Fund, which funded Athmaneh’s 2009 “My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality” conference as well as his organization, and which defended the organizations’ posters for the conference. There was no immediate response.


But there is a further ugly piece of this puzzle.

The 15 year old victim who finally was induced to overcome her mortification, who participated in the pursuit, trial and conviction of her torturer, and who implored, in a letter to sentencing judge Ron Shapira that a harsh sentence be imposed so as to deter others from engaging in similar brutalizing behavior.

But instead Haifa District Court Judge Ron Shapira decided to insult the young victim again.

Although Shapira said he agreed with the prosecution that the normal three to six year sentence for such crimes was appropriate, in this case he decided to depart from the appropriate sentence, in favor of attempting to rehabilitate the criminal.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/arab-rapist-of-teenage-jew-also-major-hypocrite-plus-shocking-sentence/2013/10/17/

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