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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Tel Aviv’

Obama Renews Presidential Waiver Keeping US Embassy in Tel Aviv

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

For the last time as president, outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama again signed the presidential waiver delaying relocation of the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Obama’s signature on Thursday means the issue of relocating the embassy to Israel’s capital will not be raised for at least another six months, despite a campaign promise by President-elect Donald J. Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

The campaign promise is one that has been made before, and waived faithfully every six months by every president since the day Congress passed the law in 1995 recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and mandating transfer of the embassy to the holy city.

Every president has cited “national security” in the presidential waivers signed every six months postponing that move, beginning with Bill Clinton.

That option may no longer be available the next time around, however, if legislation proposed by Republican senators is passed, forcing the president to move the embassy anyway.

The bill proposed earlier this year strikes the language provided in the 1995 Embassy Act to cite “national security” as a reason for delaying the transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem.

It may not be an issue anyway: In March, Trump assured AIPAC that would “move the American Embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

As with other promises, he told an interviewer later that month it would happen “fairly quickly.” All things are relative, But the presidential waiver was signed December 1. The next

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Arrives in Ankara

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Israel’s new Ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Na’eh has arrived in Ankara to assume his new post, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported Thursday (Dec. 1.)

In exchange, Turkey’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel, Kemal Ökem, is expected to be in Tel Aviv sometime next week, according to the Turkish news outlet.

Ankara is not a new posting to Na’eh, who served at the Israeli Embassy in the Turkish capital in the 1990s, and then returned to the city after serving three years as ambassador to London.

Na’eh was appointment to the Ankara post on November 20 this year. His Turkish counterpark was likewise appointed at the same time.

Ökem, who has been appointed as Turkey’s new ambassador to Tel Aviv, served as a foreign policy adviser in former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s administration.

An expert on the Middle East, Ökem served as an assistant general manager of the Middle East at the Foreign Ministry before being appointed an adviser to Davutoğlu.

Hana Levi Julian

Samaria Train Line Plan Unveiled

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced Wednesday at a briefing with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan that a new rail line is being planned for Samaria.

The plan is controversial because the construction will take place on “disputed” territory, even though such a line will obviously benefit everyone.

The new railway is being planned to serve western Shomron (Samaria), with a stop in Alfei Menashe. Long on the drawing board, there have also been plans to build a new road to serve Samaria communities north of Ariel with Highway 6.

But the Samaria train line will allow residents in the region to reach Tel Aviv within a half hour, maximum, finally making it possible for them to commute to work and earn decent salaries. Nearby towns around Tel Aviv will also be within a five-minute train stop.

The Samaria line will dovetail with the train line planned to run between Lod and Hadera, Minister Katz said, and another line between Tira and Taibe.

An eastern line is planned to run parallel to the shore line.

Hana Levi Julian

Air Supply Gives Away 200 Free Concert Tickets to Firemen’s Wives

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

After being forced to postpone their Haifa concert from Friday to Sunday due to the fires, the band Air Supply is giving away 200 tickets to the wives’ of firemen fighting the Haifa pyroterrorism fires.

They band is performing 3 concerts in Israel, in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva.

This is their 4th visit to Israel in 8 years.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Dizengoff Terror Victim’s Family Refusing ‘Sulha’

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

On Saturday night we reported that the family of the Dizengoff terrorist, Nashat Melhem, from Wadi Ara, initiated a sulha, an Arab peace reconciliation agreement, with the family of Amin Shaaban, an Arab taxi driver the terrorist killed during Melhem’s escape, after his murderous attack on cvilians on Dizengoff Street. Following months of negotiations, the ceremony was planned for the coming Saturday, Nov. 19.

Now, according to a report on Israel’s Channel 10 News, the victim’s family is refusing to attend the sulha ceremony, protesting the fact that the reconciliation had been forced on them through the media. Abdullah Shaaban, a spokesman for the family, announced: “We will not conduct a sulha with the family of a terrorist.”

It should be noted that, should a Sulha not be reached, it could lead to a perpetual vendetta between the two clans, in which many will die — and then reach a sulha.

David Israel

The Trumportunity for Israel

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Op·por·tu·ni·ty: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

Trump·or·tu·ni·ty: A set of circumstances created by the improbable victory of Trump, which makes it possible to further many issues in the US and the world, especially in Israel and the Middle East.

Three Upsets

Just as the world seemed to be progressing towards a post-national, post-family, post-God globalism, three stunning upsets proved that there was a rebellion afoot against those values.

First, Netanyahu won big in the last Israeli election and established a right-wing government, despite serious US intervention and dire predictions of failure. Then, the British people rejected Europeanism and chose Brexit, despite major European pressure and dire predictions of failure. Finally, Trump won while facing a relentless, super-hostile media and dire predictions of failure. These three events were really referendums on the Euro/Obama worldview. Global voters gave a clear response — we want our countries back; we want our values back.

If we are smart and focused, we can make powerful progress in Israel under this new zeitgeist. In particular, the new Trump administration — with its strong ties to Israel, and even to Judea and Samaria, and its repudiation of the Obama worldview — offers three big Trumportunities:

The death of the two-state paradigm

In the Six-Day War, Israel was under threat of total annihilation. And then, providence handed the Jewish heartland back to the Jewish people, and Israel’s enemies fell to the IDF in an incredible victory.

But we blew it. We did not annex the heartland. Instead, in time, we allowed an alternative anti-Israel atmosphere and narrative to metastasize in that land and later globally. Later on, instead of fixing the problem and making Israeli law the law of the land, the Jewish state drank the Palestine Kool-Aid, and entered a process of giving away the land to a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

This was in spite of the fact that “two-state” was never going to work. There was never a way to split the tiny landmass of Judea and Samaria, rip it away from its rightful residents — the Jewish people — and instead empower the jihadists to fight the rest of Israel from the strategic high ground. Yet this is precisely the formula that Israel’s leadership went for, and which subsequent US administrations have adopted. The two-state solution has been taught ad nauseam as the only solution to the conflict, and has been stuffed down Israel’s throats by every US administration since Jimmy Carter was president.

But change is on the horizon. Recently, the Republican party unanimously voted to drop support for the two-state solution in its national platform; rejected the notion of Israel as an “occupier;” and “specifically recognize[d] that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is antisemitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”

In a recent Statement from Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, wrote: “The US cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant.”

With the Trump election, a window is opening to finish the work of the Six-Day War and to further a plan of action to assert Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and dismantle the PA. The first step towards that aim is clear: If freezing construction in those areas was a concession to President Barack Obama, then now is the time to rectify that sin and build, build, build. Maybe we can even put up a Trump Tower in Kiryat Arba.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

The first clear test of the Trump administration will be the promised move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thereby recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Actually, Trump won’t have to do anything to make that happen. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a US law — passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995 — for the purpose of relocating the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel. The law was adopted by the Senate (93–5) and the House (374–37). Nevertheless, it has never been implemented, because of opposition from presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, who have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

All Trump has to do is not sign that waiver and the law — the will of the American people — will be fulfilled. This is a Trumportunity to instantaneously erase the disgrace of Israel’s great ally not recognizing the Jewish right to Jerusalem.

Push back Iran and Jihad

This is what Trump’s Advisory Committee on Israel has written:

“Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the US State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism  — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US must counteract Iran’s ongoing… quest for nuclear weapons.”

Indeed, the Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump victories are signals from us global voters that we are tired of concessions to jihad — and we want it pushed back. In the UK and and the US, people want an end to dangerous unchecked immigration, and here in Israel we must demand of our leaders to strike at the jihadist infrastructure that exists within the borders of our country. The Obama era encouraged Iran and global jihad; the Trump era is an opportunity to push that dark genie back into the bottle.

But jihadist are not only waging war in Iran, Syria and Gaza. They are also on American campuses and in the media. Much of the intellectual force of jihad against Israel actually sits in offices like those of the New York Times and on campuses like Berkeley — places that affect millions with their incessant teaching and broadcasting of the delegitimization of Israel. In response, Trumps advisers on Israel have written: “The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.”

Indeed, there is now a Trumportunity to counteract anti-Israel sentiment throughout the world as Trump’s election is, in part, a repudiation of “progressive “ ideology, and within that, of course, is anti-Israelism.

Opportunity to work hard

The Trumportunity is by no means a guarantee. The opportunity here is just that, an opportunity. Just as in the Six-Day War, it can be harnessed or squandered. Now is the time for us Israelis to push hard on our leadership to maximize this moment. Now is the time for pro-Israel Americans to hold the Trump administration to its promise to fulfill its pro-Israel mandate and the Republican platform. Now is the time for all of us to get out and push this wagon all the way home. The victories of Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump are a good start, but nothing here is going to happen automatically. Let’s get to work and take hold of the Trumportunity. May God give us strength to succeed.

Yishai Fleisher

A ‘Passage to Israel’ is a Visual Journey Through Israel’s Beauty

Monday, November 14th, 2016

For those who love Israel, the ability to describe the look and feel of the place feels imperative. How can anyone who hasn’t been to Israel recognize the vast beauty of the tiny space?

Karen Lehrman Bloch felt that imperative and, with a career of looking at, cataloguing and curating beauty, undertook a quest to mine and then share the beauty of the Holy Land. Bloch’s quest was in itself an act of beauty: the process of culling Anemones in the Negevexceptionally gorgeous pictures of Israel developed into ever-deeper understandings of Israel’s essence, and an embrace of the many different ways in which Israel is beautiful.

Jaffa Beach

The result of Bloch’s journey is an incredible, ethereal, upliftingly soulful work of art, Passage to Israel, (Skyhorse Publishing). The book is being launched at an exhibition starting Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Anderson Contemporary Gallery, in the South Street Seaport at 180 Maiden Lane in New York City. Bloch’s many years as a curator of beauty honed the skills essential to conveying the beauty of Israel in a dramatic and stunning book.

Passage to Israel is divided into four chapters: Land, Light, Life and Soul. These divisions are a welcome refusal to cleave the land into parochial categories, either geographically or religiously. Bloch also

Morning

rejected banal beauty, the postcards from the Holy Land kitsch. The fading sunlight playing through the clouds and fog over a wave-breaker in Tel Aviv, or a bicycle race along the Dead Sea – each picture in Passage to Israel is a delight and a surprise.

tzachiyaffeagamonhulachaosElah Valley

In more than 200 photographs taken by 35 photographers, not one gives fuel to the misguided but widespread belief that Israel is a militaristic nation defined entirely by the conflict. Perversely, it was the 2014 Gaza War which drew Bloch’s focus to Jerusalem children

Ethiopian worshippersIsrael. A neophyte on social media, the hatred and ugliness expressed there towards Israel eventually inspired Bloch to find a form of healing through what she knows best: beauty.

“I wanted to put something beautiful and positive out there about Israel,” she told the JewishPress.com. Bloch’s previous books, The Inspired Home: Interiors of Deep Beauty and The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex & Power in the Real World, both dealt with aspects of beauty. She felt up to the task.

Five of the photographers whose work is featured in the book will be at the launch scheduled for this Thursday.  And Mattisyahu, the Grammy-nominated Israeli singer, will be performing. Bloch explained that Mattisyahu was, “in many ways integral to the book. He uses his poetic, often soulful lyrics to touch people both emotionally and spiritually. That’s what I want these images to do.”

When Bloch saw that the gallery where the launch is being held, she knew she wanted him to perform on opening night.

The “Passage to Israel” exhibition runs at the Anderson Gallery from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, 2017. Bloch plans to take the exhibit to cities such as Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, London and Berlin. The exhibit will have its final showing in Jerusalem, sometime next year.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/a-passage-to-israel-is-a-visual-journey-through-israels-beauty/2016/11/14/

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