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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘war’

An American Rabbi’s Prayer for Palestinian Dead

Friday, July 11th, 2014

I find myself agreeing with a Facebook post by Peter Beinart.

Beinart is worried that American Jewry are becoming desensitized to events in the Middle East and going morally numb. He blames American Rabbis for playing a significant role in that happening.

With so many Reform Jews not supporting Israel, Beinart’s observation on American Jewry is clearly right.

Peter’s solution is that congregational Rabbis, just like they pray for our Jewish injured and dead, should also pray for the Palestinian dead, naming each one, however many that might be.

As Peter Beinart posted on Facebook:

Peter Beinart
No Israelis have yet been killed in the latest round of Hamas rocket fire, thank God. But if one did, I suspect that many American rabbis would–rightly–mention his or her name this Shabbat. I don’t know how many Palestinians have died in Gaza, but it’s in the dozens, including quite a few children. So why can’t our rabbis–who often tell us that Judaism values life above all else–mention their names? I’m not suggesting that our rabbis denounce Israel’s behavior. That’s a separate question. In fact, it’s precisely because many American rabbis will defend Israel’s actions that they should read out the names and ages of the Palestinians who have died. If you’re going to defend war, then at least be honest about what you’re defending. Don’t perpetuate the mass desensitization to Palestinian suffering and death that characterizes mainstream American Jewish life. Tell your congregants that the world in general–and the Middle East in particular–is a tragic place, filled with awful choices. But don’t keep the people you lead morally numb.

Now, I’m not going to take Beinart to task for not differentiating between Palestinian combatants and civilians, not that I’m sure that he meant to.

I’m not going to take Beinart to task for not asking people to name all the Iraqi and Afghani citizens killed in US air strikes, as that would simply take too long. But I do find it telling that Beinart gives priority to those killed in wars against Israel, and not to those killed in wars with America.

Nor am I going to take Beinart to task for ignoring the collective responsibility of Gaza’s citizens, 60% of whom voted for Hamas in their last election a decade ago, knowing full well what Hamas was, as well as their stated goal of eliminating the Jewish state.

Why?

Because I suspect, like most liberals, he probably doesn’t give much weight to society’s collective responsibility for their actions and decisions, except when it comes to Jews and Israel.

But ultimately Beinart is right.

American rabbis must say a prayer for the dead in Gaza, so that American Jews don’t become desensitized to events and suffering in the Middle East and ultimately morally numb.

Here is the prayer I recommend be said in American synagogues, right after they say the prayer for Israel’s injured and dead – as we still can’t ignore that Judaism dictates that we give charity, concern and priority to our own family first – even as Beinart did in his own way, by giving priority to Palestinians over Iraqis and Afghanis.

A Prayer for the Palestinian Dead

God of Abraham, Joshua, Gideon, David, and Devorah, may you grant the IDF victory over our enemies in Gaza.

May Hamas weapon stockpiles be destroyed, and may all the Hamas leadership, their supporters and the terrorists in the fields be eradicated and killed.

We pray that no more innocent civilians, such as Ahmed and Mohammed, ages 0-99, be murdered by Hamas, as Hamas cynically and evilly use their own citizens and children as Human Shields.

We pray that Israel’s targeted strikes succeed, and destroys the weapon launchers, infrastructure, terror tunnels and weapon stockpiles hidden under homes, hospitals, mosques and schools, and that no innocent civilians be injured or killed in those targeted strikes, if possible.

We pray that Gaza’s citizens discover that supporting Hamas, as well as cheering, praying and working towards Israel’s and the Jewish people’s destruction is morally wrong and evil.

We pray they repent and mend their ways, before their children grow up filled up with hatred for Jews, brainwashed by Hamas and Fatah in their school systems, summer camps and television programs.

We pray the same for those under Palestinian Authority control in Judea and Samaria.

Now let us say, Amen.

Operation ‘Protective Edge’ Enters its Third Day

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

JERUSALEM – Gazan terrorists continued to fire rockets at Israeli civilian targets throughout the night.

Since midnight, 8 rockets have been fired at Israel by Hamas terrorists and the IDF has hit 54 terror targets in the Gaza Strip. In the past 24 hours, more than 105 rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israel. In response to the continued rocket fire, the IDF struck 326 targets across the Gaza Strip including concealed rocket launchers, terror tunnels, training bases, military compounds, weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, and additional sites utilized as control centers by senior Hamas terrorists.

For the second night in a row, Hamas tried to send terrorists into Kibbutz Zikim, via the sea. The terrorists were again spotted by the IDF. Both terrorists were killed. No IDF soldiers were injured in the attack.

The IDF is currently focusing its efforts on destroying the terror infrastructure in Gaza from the air and targeting terrorist leaders and commanders. The IAF targeted the homes of several Hamas commanders yesterday who used their homes as terror command centers. Early this morning, the IDF targeted three Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists who were involved in the manufacturing of medium-range rockets. Accurate hits were registered. Hamas has resorted again to using human shields to protect their infrastructure. The population seems to be gladly cooperating with them, and this has caused the IDF to abort missions. This further boosts the number of civilian casualties in Gaza. The IDf has stated it is doing its outmost to avoid such assurances.

Reports of a possible IDF incursion into Gaza are intensifying. Israel is deploying a third infantry brigade alongside two others already on the border and is continuing to call up more reserves, army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a briefing.
Since the start of Operation ‘Protective Edge’, over 360 rockets have been fired towards Israel and the IDF has targeted approximately 780 targets, with both naval and aerial capabilities.

Hamas False Reports Begin as Desperation Increases

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

The Hamas terrorist organization has begun to issue false reports to journalists as its desperation rises to win its conflict with Israel.

As it does in each mini-war, Hamas is already grinding out rumors and disinformation to gullible journalists who believe the reports of destroyed targets and dead Jews.

The latest false report – issued in the form of an “IDF Alert” – claimed a missile attack destroyed an oil refinery in Haifa. A second report issued shortly after claimed that 25 Jews were killed.

There are specific criteria for authentic IDF reports to journalists, which professional reporters recognize. The public is urged not to believe unsubstantiated reports of Jewish deaths and destroyed Israeli infrastructure: there’s a lot of Arab disinformation out there. It’s all part of the propaganda war.

Despite Rockets, 64 New American Olim Arrive in Israel Today

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Ben-Gurion Airport – Despite the deteriorating security situation, 64 new immigrants from the United States made aliyah to Israel today. The new Israelis hail from Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia, and range in age from eight months to 92 years.

Lottie Herman, the oldest member of the group, fled Germany to America in 1939. She will be settling in Jerusalem.

Another olah chadasha (new immigrant), 26-year-old Becky Kupchan, said she was moving from her native Chicago to Beer Sheva, the capital city of the Negev.

“Although the security situation in Israel is very tense right now, and in Beer Sheva where I’m about to move rockets are falling, I am not afraid. I trust the Israeli government and the IDF,” said Kupchan, after she arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport. “I’m a Jew and I’ve always dreamed about making Aliyah to Israel, my home — and at home you always feel safe.”

“The Olim who’ve chosen to make Aliya to Israel during these challenging days are real heroes, and each one of them fills our heart with pride and great inspiration,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Becky from Chicago, who has chosen to live in the city of Beer Sheva in the South, is one of them and we will do whatever we can to assist her in her new home in the State of Israel.”

Tuesday’s group aliyah was made in partnership with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, KKL and JNF-USA, and Nefesh B’Nefesh.

According to Nefesh B’Nefesh 97% of its olim have remained in Israel thanks to its support programs and comprehensive social services to more than 38,000 newcomers.

The new Israeli citizens will be moving to Beit Shemesh, Givat Shmuel, Hadera, Jerusalem, Karmiel, Modiin, Nes Tziona, Ra’anana, Ramat Beit Shemesh, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva.

Tel Aviv Ordered to Prepare Public Bomb Shelters

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Israel’s ‘city that never sleeps,’ Tel Aviv, has been order to prepare its public bomb shelters.

The IDF Home Front Defense has warned it is likely the Hamas terrorist organization will launch missile attacks from Gaza at the city in the near future.

Moreover, residents of Rishon Lezion were warned not to go swimming at the beach alongside their city for the same reason.

In the past few days, Gaza terrorists have fired medium-range missiles at the coastal cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod and even as far north as Yavneh.

In fact, longer range missiles were fired at the central region as well, reaching as far north as the area around the western Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh.

During the last mini-war, Gaza terrorists fired missiles that did, in fact, explode in Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion.

Israel ‘Takes Off the Gloves’ for Gaza Ground Operation

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the defense establishment to move ahead with a “long and forceful operation in Gaza.”

At a high level security meeting Tuesday morning, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Home Front Commander Maj.-Gen. Eyal Eizenberg and other defense officials decided Hamas had crossed the last line.

On Monday, Gaza terrorists fired a barrage of missiles that reached north of Ashdod and close to Beit Shemesh. Tuesday morning, Hamas attempted to bring down an IAF Apache attack helicopter flying near Khan Yunis in Gaza.

The meeting was followed by a statement by the prime minister who said, “Hamas chose to escalate the situation, and it will pay a heavy price for doing so. The time has come to ‘take off the gloves.’”

Preparations are currently underway for a further call up of IDF reservists in advance of a ground operation.

The government has declared a “special situation” in all areas of the south within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Gaza – a legal decree allowing authorities to safeguard public safety using various means reserved for times of conflict.

The IDF Home Front Command is expected shortly to announce instructions on what citizens should do and how to behave in various scenarios – as it did in the previous mini-war.

“We are prepared for a campaign against Hamas which will not end within days. Hamas is leading the current confrontation to a place in which it seeks to exact a heavy price from our home front. There is a need for patience,” Ya’alon told media.

“In recent hours we have struck with force and hit dozens of Hamas assets. The IDF is continuing with the offensive effort in a manner that will exact a very heavy price from Hamas. We will not tolerate missile and rocket fire on Israel, and we are prepared to expand the campaign through all of the means available to us, to continue striking Hamas.

“I’d like to send my support to residents of the south and to local government leaders there, who are displaying leadership and responsibility, and are allowing us to continue with the offensive efforts.”

Last month, the IDF was ordered to seriously weaken the infrastructure and strength of the Hamas terrorist organization in Judea and Samaria. Hundreds of Hamas members, lawmakers and other top officials in the region were arrested during Operation Brother’s Keeper, launched in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion on June 12.

The current conflict – and the apparent intifada that has been launched across the country – was ignited using the excuse of rage over the murder of a Jerusalem Arab teen last week.

The second intifada was likewise launched using a similar excuse, as was the first.

Six Jewish suspects were arrested and questioned within days of the killing and remain in custody. In stark contrast, no arrests have been made in connection with the terrorist murder of the three Israeli Jewish teens. Those suspects fled to Palestinian Authority-controlled territories and then disappeared. PA forces have not cooperated in securing their arrest and remand.

Jewish Ukrainian Mayor Shot, Worry Rises as Separatists Seize More Towns

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Jewish mayor of the eastern Ukrainian town of Kharkov was shot in the back by unidentified masked gunmen on Monday and is now fighting for his life, even as Israel’s president warned Jews around the world on Holocaust Remembrance Day to watch for signs of rising anti-Semitism.

Pro-Russian separatists captured Kharkov, eastern Ukraine’s second-largest town, on Monday, according to a report by RIA Novosti. The news outlet quoted a friend of Mayor Gennady Kernes who said, “They shot him in the back from the forest…  His lung is pierced and his liver pierced all the way through.”

Aides said the mayor had recently received numerous threats,  RT News reported. The attack, which came less than 24 hours after a clash between anti-government protesters and nationalists in the city left 14 people injured, left Kernes critically wounded.

Speaking at the opening ceremonies Monday for Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Peres spoke of the death of his family in the little town of Vishnyeva, in Poland. Two thousand Jews all died there after being locked into the wooden synagogue building by the Nazis, and then burned alive.

“Half of the Jews of Vishnyeva made aliyah to Israel, the other half, which did not, were burned alive,” the president said. “Our body was slashed in two – but our spirit remains undivided, pulsating here in Israel as a locked memory, an independent Jewish renaissance never again to be destroyed.”

The clear warning issued by the president is one the Jews in Ukraine now must heed – if they even had a chance to hear it as the rising war begins to rage around them.

So far the Jews of Kharkov seem to be safe – but the city has a bloody past in terms of protecting its Jews. More than 15,000 Jewish residents of Kharkov were murdered between December 1941 and January 1942, herded by Germans into a ghetto area set up for them about five miles from the city and periodically hauled out and shot to death. Some were just buried alive. A mass grave was discovered not far from the site, in the Drobitzki Valley.

Many of the supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are also anti-Semitic, sources told the Arutz Sheva website in an interview in February. As a result, some of the community is considering aliyah.

In the eastern Ukraine on Monday, armed gunmen also seized town of Kostyantynivka, entering the administration building and the police headquarters. International media reported that masked gunmen were wearing camouflage outfits and were armed with assault weapons.

Both towns are located in the Donetsk region, along with Sloviansk, a third city which also has now been declared an independent entity by pro-Russian secessionists.

Protesters seized a local state TV station in the city of Donetsk. The protesters demanded the launch of a ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ TV channel, and that Russian TV channels be broadcast. The Ukrainian flag was lowered from the building and the flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic was raised in its place – but later, that too was removed. Nevertheless, a source told Interfax-Ukraine that secessionist security personnel remained at the TV station to enforce the demands.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jews-worry-as-pro-russian-separatists-seize-more-eastern-ukraine-towns/2014/04/28/

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