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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘war’

Anarchy Fuels War over Jerusalem

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Jerusalem police found two stolen guns, 11 bullet cartridges and dozens of stolen IDF stun grenade in eastern Jerusalem Friday and arrested an Arab suspect in Jabal Mukaber, an Arab neighborhood next to the Jewish area of Armon HaNatziv.

The Israeli government has ordered a crackdown in Arab areas of the city in the wake of the new intifada, riots or Arab Spring uprising, depending on the mood of an editor.

The warning signs have been flashing for three years, but an Israeli blind eye and President Barack Obama’s overt backing for Palestinian Authority-claimed areas of Jerusalem have allowed terror to capture the fancy of an increasing number of Arabs in what is commonly referred to as “eastern Jerusalem.”

In fact, the Palestinian Authority also claims sovereignty over southern Jerusalem, home to tens of thousands of Jews in Gilo, Talpiot and Har Homa, and northern Jerusalem, where Pisgat Ze’ev and Nevei Yaakov are the homes of tens of thousands of other Jews. French Hill and much of Ramot also are in areas where President Obama has declared Jews to be “illegitimate” and “illegal.”

American ignorance of the Arab culture, especially when it comes to its attitude of a Jewish state of Israel, does not take into account that the president’s remarks, certainly not intended as incitement for violence, give the Arab world justification to ram cars into people, beat them with iron rods and throw rocks at them, at their cars and at the Jerusalem light rail trains system in order to defeat the “Zionists.”

Ambushes of Jews in “eastern “Jerusalem were reported as far back as three years ago. People were severely beaten and hospitalized, but the government ignored the incidents, encouraging the state of anarchy.

Police tried to stay out of Arab neighborhoods in order not to “escalate tensions,” a ghetto state of mind that is paralleled today by calls for Jews to stay away from the Temple Mount in order not to anger Arab Muslims.

It more or less reminds me of a little talk gave to a group of armchair Zionists in Baltimore more than 20 years ago during the Oslo idiocy. After I described the illegal hobbies of our Arab neighbors in the southern Hebron Hills, and after explaining the Jewish meaning of the word “Shalom,” one of the names of God, a very polite and stupid gentleman stood up and asked, “Well, if the Arabs don’t want leave you alone in peace, why don’t you just move to Tel Aviv?”

The Arab world has fed Arabs in Israel, and more worryingly an entire new generation, a steady diet of hatred and the notion that they are a “people” who are “stateless.” They believe Israeli is “occupying” them and would not believe how loathsome and pathetic were the lives of the grandparents and great-grandparents under the Jordanian occupation from 1948-1967.

That is part of history they never will learn. Instead, Hamas has done what Yasser Arafat did – exploit a vacuum and incite people to war.

There is war in Jerusalem, a war that Israel cannot afford to lose.

The violence may subdue tomorrow, or next week or next month, or not at all. Like most wars, there is no logic. Jerusalem Arabs received benefits from Israel that they could only dream of receiving under a Palestinian Authority regime.

They enjoy the light rail system, a cheap and efficient way of arriving to work.

But much of Arab Jerusalem is lawless. The city had allowed tens of thousands of Arab buildings to be constructed without permits. It also has discriminated against Arabs when it comes to funding for schools, parks and other municipal services.

The Pita That Revived Terror

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

First Published on Sept. 25, 2012

“And all the nations will see that the Name of God is called upon you, and they will fear you” (Deuteronomy 28:10).

During the First Lebanon War, the IDF forced the PLO terrorists all the way to the Beirut port and then to Tunisia. The PLO, which had lost its stronghold in Lebanon, was shattered. Salach Taamri, the most senior and admired terrorist captured by the IDF, was imprisoned in the Ansar detention camp. He was a broken man.

Later, Taamri was interviewed by journalist Aharon Barnea for the book he would write about him, To be Captive. In Barnea’s book, Taamri describes the situation of the terror organization prior to Pesach, 28 years ago. “I concluded,” said Taamri, “that we had no chance to overpower Israel’s financial and military prowess, and that we should make do with the crumbs that they would throw us and fold up all our flags.”

Taamri, an intellectual and patriot, willingly cooperated with his captors. The other prisoners understood from their admired commander that the end had come and that the war was lost. And then, Taamri continued, a surprising event took place that turned everything upside down.

“My hands were holding the cold bars and I was looking from inside my dark jail cell toward the hall where an Israeli guard was walking. I saw him from far. He was walking slowly, holding something in his hand that he would constantly bring close to his mouth. He would bring it close and then distance it. When he was close to my cell, I called to him. I saw that he was eating a pita. He would bite, chew, bite and chew.

“You are a Jew,” I said to him. “Why are you eating chametz on Pesach? Don’t you know that it is forbidden for a Jew to eat chametz on this holiday?”

“I am not committed to the things that happened to my people during the exodus from Egypt 2,000 years ago. I have no connection to it,” said the Jewish prison guard.

Taamri continued: “I sat on the mattress in my cell and said to myself, ‘A nation of people who do not have a connection with their past; who are willing to publicly desecrate the laws of their faith, is a nation that has cut off the roots from its land. We will be able to achieve our goals.’ On that night, my approach completely changed. I couldn’t fall asleep. In all those hours of darkness, I replayed that scene with the Jewish prison guard.

“The next morning I gathered the Palestinian leadership in the prison, all those who knew my opinion over the years. I told them about my experience and the conclusions that I reached. I clarified to everyone that from that morning, we were embarking on a new course: a war for everything. Not for a small percentage and not for crumbs that they would throw us. For opposing us was a nation that lacked the connection to its roots, a nation not interested in its past. Thus, its motivation was necessarily void of any will to struggle and fight.”

Since then, Taamri says that he has told his story to tens of thousands of people and has convinced all of them that the approach must be changed to this: the Palestinians must struggle without compromise.

Taamri was elected to the Palestinian parliament and indeed convinced his friends, breathing new spirit into the war against Israel. The damage done by that pita eaten by the Israeli soldier on Pesach cannot be exaggerated.

Fatah’s Gaza Branch Making Rockets to Use before Next Cease-Fire [video]

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Gaza’s branch of Fatah, Hamas’ rival terrorist party headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, showed off its continuing rocket-manufacturing capabilities for visiting Russian journalists, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported.

Fatah invited Russian TV (RT) last week to a rocket production facility to witness and film the actual production of new rockets. Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, depleted its reserves while taking an active part in the Gaza war alongside Hamas, firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities:

“The moment the war ended, the Palestinian military wings renewed military production in order to replenish the stock, which was emptied during the war,”  according to an Arab journalist for RT, quoted by Fatah on its Facebook page.

A Fatah video, as seen below, shows Fatah members at work producing new rockets, and a masked Fatah terrorist explained, “We are preparing and developing rockets in the productions’ division of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – Al-Asifa Army following the ceasefire agreement in preparation for the coming battles.”

The Palestinian Authority does not want another cease-fire unless it has plenty of rockets on hand to make sure that the truce is temporary. Terrorists in Gaza, like those in the Judea and Samaria who received thousands of rifles from Israel in the 1990s to keep the peace as part of the Oslo Accords, never store their weapons for a long period of time. Their idea of “defense” is to use them to attack Israel, whose existence is considered an offensive act.

The journalist added that Fatah is making rockets because the partial blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt interferes with efforts to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

Of course, Israel could put an end to all smuggling simply by removing the maritime blockade. Then, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and all of the other terrorist groups simply could bring in weapons at will in response to the “humanitarian gesture” by Israel.

Fatah’s activity in the war, in which it lost 17 times more members than those identifying with Hamas, is a sign that Fatah and Hamas have achieved unity in the area of terror, if not on the diplomatic front.

A Sept. 10 Fatah post, translated and published by PMW, quoted the RT reporter as stating. “We are visiting the Al-Aqsa Brigades – Al-Asifa Army (i.e., Fatah’s military wing)… where fuel for rockets and mortar shells is being produced.”

An Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades fighter added, “We are preparing and developing rockets in the productions’ division of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – Al-Asifa Army following the ceasefire agreement in preparation for the coming battles. During the last war, we fired rockets at the Zionist enemy. We have notified the enemy that we have many more [rockets]. We have also successfully developed the K-132 rocket, which is here beside me.”

US Jews ‘Bought Israel’ During War

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

American Jews stepped up to the plate during the recent Protective Edge campaign in Gaza and bought more Israeli products, according to Howard Bernstein, who coordinates the on-line Buy Israel Goods site.

He said there was a notable upswing in activity on BIG in July and August as the Gaza war started and accelerated, somewhat offsetting the Boycott Israel movement.

It is evident that supporters of Israel were motivated to help by seeking out Israeli products on BIG. Bernstein reported that most of the visitors were from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and India. Visitors also came from Australia and Germany.

The Israeli economy took a major hit during the Gaza campaign although industry sources say that the food industry is experiencing a robust back to school and pre-Rosh HaShanah period.

Obama Takes America to War in Iraq & Syria, Against ISIS

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

US President Barack Obama announced Wednesday night that America is going back to war, this time against the global terror group ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known in Arabic as “Da’esh.”

Obama made the announcement in a 15 minute nationally televised address on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attack on America by the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization.

“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama said in his address. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil,” he promised.

Nevertheless, the president made it clear that the U.S. would wage a “relentless” military campaign to “degrade and destroy” the terrorist group that beheaded two American journalists, including one with dual Israeli citizenship.

The U.S. will rely heavily on air strikes to get the job done, Obama explained – including air strikes inside Syria, for the very first time. The four-part strategy includes air strikes, support to other forces battling the terrorist organization, counter terrorism efforts to prevent attacks and weaken the group, and continued humanitarian assistance to civilians.

A senior administration official carefully told reporters in a pre-speech briefing that attacks in Syria would be carried out at a ‘time and place of our choosing.” He added that no specific information would be provided to the media, in order not to “telegraph our punches by being specific about the time and nature of the target. We will do that as necessary, as we develop targets and as we continue what is a systematic air campaign that is not going to be restricted by a geographic border that, frankly, has very little meaning anymore, given [the group’s] operations in both Iraq and Syria.”

The official added that the formation of a new Iraqi government was what had allowed the U.S. to expand its support for a war against ISIS. Following the insertion of military advisers into Iraq earlier in the summer, the president said in June that “he would do more when the Iraqi cabinet was appointed. That has now happened and the next phase will be more offensive,” the official said.

The president cited support by what he said were dozens of “coalition” partners to “roll back this terrorist threat” in what will be an open-ended timetable. Several hours before going on the air, Obama authorized Secretary of State John Kerry to allocate $25 million in Foreign Assistance Act funds to train, educate and provide military assistance to the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional governments in their fight against ISIS. Another 475 U.S. military troops will be sent to the region next week, bringing the total deployed to some 1,600 soldiers thus far.

To date, the U.S. has conducted 153 air strikes against ISIS terrorists in Iraq. The official who briefed journalists prior to the president’s speech said Obama is authorized to move from a humanitarian to offensive campaign against the terrorists without Congressional approval, based on the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress following the 9/11 terror attack by Al Qaeda. The legislation allows the president to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against any entity he believes “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The legislation expires when U.S. forces leave Afghanistan.

Israel’s Economy: Stunned But Still Strong

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Despite the numerous setbacks suffered in Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s economy remains resilient. Amid news of massive budget cuts needed to pay for the latest war and losses to the tourism and retail industries, statistics from many sources project a rapid economic recovery and continued growth of one of the world’s most vibrant small economies.

The war in Gaza has taken a significant economic toll on Israel, felt most sharply by the tourism sector, which comprises some 7 percent of Israel’s economic activity. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism reported that tourism for July dropped by 26 percent from the same period last year, representing a loss of at least $566 million.

Hardest-hit from the ongoing war are the businesses in the south of the country, where the majority of the Hamas rockets hit. Stores and restaurants have suffered from a drop in sales, while manufacturing facilities close to the Gaza border have been impacted by slowdowns in manufacturing due to incessant rocket alerts.

Israel’s Manufacturers Association estimated the total economic impact on Israeli manufacturers for the first round of the conflict at about 1.2 billion shekels.

A number of economic studies indicate, however, that these setbacks are likely to be temporary, with the overall forecast for the country remaining positive. In a study published in early August, Dr. Adam Reuter, former senior officer at the Bank of Israel and the head of several investment firms, found that over the last 30 years Israel’s economy has enjoyed vigorous and sustained growth that continues to this day.

Between 1984 and 2014, Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased tenfold from ‎‎$30 billion to $300 billion, while per-capita GDP rose from $7,000 to ‎‎$38,000. Negative indicators fell likewise: The public debt-to-GDP ratio shrank from 280 percent to 66 percent, the external ‎public debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 55 percent to 10 percent, and the budget deficit-to-‎GDP ratio declined from 17 percent to 3 percent.

Over the same time period the defense budget as a percentage of the GDP went down from ‎‎20 percent to 6 percent, and annual inflation plummeted from 450 percent to 1 percent.

Further numbers from this study reveal Israel’s impressive performance in the global market: Foreign ‎exchange reserves rose from $3 billion to $89 billion, and annual exports climbed from $10 billion to ‎‎$90 billion, of which hi-tech exports accounted for $28 billion in the last year compared to just $1 billion 30 years ago.

The recent war in Gaza is not expected to inflict any lasting damage on economic performance, noted Yoram Ettinger, a former ambassador for Israel and a longtime consultant to the Israeli government. In all three previous wars – the 2006 Lebanon War and the previous two operations in Gaza in 2009 and 2012 – the reaction of the economy has been one of brief downturn followed by rapid and complete recovery, “a ‘V’ and not ‎a ‘U’ shaped graph,” Ettinger wrote in a letter published last week.

The consultant noted that according to the Bank of Israel, “the 2006 war against ‎Hezbollah triggered an immediate drop of GDP from more than 6 percent to a ‎negative growth of 1.5 percent, followed by a swift recovery to almost 10 percent ‎growth in the following quarter.”

Operation Protective Edge is expected to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP by 0.5%, but will likely have “insignificant influence on foreign investors, most of whom seek Israeli high-tech companies, which are minimally vulnerable to rocket and missile fire,” he added. With the Israeli military’s emphasis on minimizing civilian casualties and its focus on defensive rather than offensive technologies, the economy may even receive an incidental benefit from the war: “The ‎expanded global interest in Israeli-developed and manufactured, battle-‎tested defense systems (e.g., Iron Dome, Trophy, etc.) – which ‎demonstrated their unique capabilities during the Gaza war – is expected to ‎bolster a quick recovery and the continued growth of Israel’s economy,” Ettinger explained.

Joan Rivers in Critical Condition

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Joan Rivers is in critical condition, reportedly after she suffered cardiac arrest during throat surgery at a clinic.

Multiple news outlets on Thursday quoted New York City police as saying that the comedienne and talk show host, 81, was in critical but stable condition at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Her daughter Melissa Rivers stated from Mount Sinai Hospital, “She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”

Rivers, a stand-up comic and a reality star with a career launched in the 1950s, in recent weeks drew attention for her vigorous defenses of Israel during its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Rivers was interviewed on Israel’s Channel 10 during the war. We have posted it before, but it’s still good for laughs. With all due respect to Ron Prosor, shouldn’t she be Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations?

JTA contributed to this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/john-rivers-in-critical-condition/2014/08/29/

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