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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘waves’

As Egypt Nears Civil War, Israel on High Alert

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The dramatic escalation in Egypt’s domestic conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military is being accompanied by an upsurge in the activities of jihadi organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since Morsi’s ouster, extremist Salafi and jihadi organizations have launched waves of attacks on Egyptian security forces, and provoked this week’s extensive counter-terrorism operation by the Egyptian army.

These Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces are also seeking to strike Israel — both to satisfy their ideological demand for jihad against Israelis, and to try and force Israel and Egypt into a confrontation, thereby undermining the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

The Israel Defense Forces are therefore on high alert in the event of further attacks by terrorists in Egypt, while also facing the dilemma of how to safeguard its own national security without infringing on Egyptian sovereignty at this most sensitive time.

Two unprecedented incidents on the southern border in just the last few days, however, served as markers for the rapidly changing situation.

First, according to international media reports, an Israeli drone struck an Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization in Sinai, as it was making final preparations to fire rockets at Israel.

While Israeli defense officials have not confirmed or denied the reports, if true, they represent the first preemptive counter-terrorism strike on Egyptian soil.

If Israeli intelligence receives word of an imminent attack taking shape in Sinai, with little time to coordinate a response with Egyptian military forces, such action might be expected.

Islamists across Egypt were quick to seize on the incident to accuse the Egyptian military of being complicit in an Israeli breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

Although this incident was quickly forgotten by Egyptians as both Egypt proper and Sinai descended into turmoil, there is evidence that further attacks by Sinai terrorists against both Egyptian security forces and Israel are being planned.

An additional signal of the deteriorating security situation in Sinai was the rocket fired by a terrorist organization at the Red Sea tourist resort city of Eilat over the weekend.

Anticipating the attack, the IDF stationed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in the city. The prior preparation paid off: the system fired an interceptor that successfully stopped the rocket from hitting the city.

The rocket failed to hurt anyone, but it did trigger an air-raid siren and frighten tourists, sending them scatting for cover. Unlike the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, which are used to Palestinian rocket terrorism, Eilat, a resort town, is not used to living under rocket fire.

Today, a shadow of uncertainty hangs over the future of the city’s tourist industry. For now, Israeli visitors to the city are displaying trademark resilience, and are continuing to pack the city’s hotels and beaches.

Nearby, however, the IDF continues on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the desert sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

Yaakov Lappin

Riding the Waves of Teshuvah

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

They were adrift at sea – endlessly, it seemed – a fierce storm tossing the ship about mercilessly. And then, as if the vessel could take no more of the punishing, raging waves, it came to rest its worn-out hull at an island. The weary passengers disembarked, relieved to set foot on solid ground and take respite from their harrowing ordeal. Exotic fruit trees and freshwater wells dotted the landscape in profusion, a welcome sight for fatigued eyes – a virtual paradise.

The seafarers comprised five distinct types. First the introspective sort, who anticipated that the wind would soon abate and the captain would then be eager to get underway. On the other hand, they also reasoned, the wind could pick up velocity and carry the ship far into the deep blue where it could become entirely inaccessible. This group made the decision to play it safe and stayed put on board.

The second body of passengers opted to bide their time cautiously – taking in some minimal sight-seeing and plucking some of the mouthwatering fruit from the trees before returning to take their places aboard the ship.

One might say that the third group got a bit carried away by the island’s exquisite allure. Awakened from their reverie by the blast of the ship’s horn as the captain determined to set sail, they clambered aboard posthaste and found, to their chagrin, that the early birds were already ensconced in the choice seats.

The sounds signaling imminent departure hardly escaped the fourth division of passengers. Yet these meanderers rationalized that they still had plenty of time. After all, the sails needed to be hoisted and rigged to the mast, and the crew would surely enjoy a meal before setting out on the high seas again. They broke into a frantic run when, to their great astonishment, the craft was seen to move away from shore. The group barely made it by jumping into the water and swimming toward the ship.

The fifth unit of people remained on the island, totally heedless of the disappearing craft. So transfixed were they by the tangible appeal of their habitat that they envisioned never taking their leave. Eventually, the summer season came to a close and the fruits began to drop to the ground. Before long, there was a shortage of food as well as a lack of protective gear against the cold, and the island’s inhabitants wailed over their bitter fate. Gradually, they succumbed to the agonizing scourge of hunger and body-numbing temperatures.”Assissi l’chanenoch b’lev karua umurtach I’ve come before You with a torn and searing heart to seek Your mercy . . . like an impoverished one begging at the door” intones the chazan on behalf of the klal in the Rosh Hashanah morning service.And so it is that we mortals alight from our ship onto this world. The tzaddikim, unsayed by desire to indulge in the pleasures the “island” proffers, stay on board. Their goal is to serve their Creator faithfully until the time their souls are ready to depart this world and return to their Maker.

Then there are the fairly farsighted who are diverted but briefly by the enticements of the island. They repent their transgressions while still in the prime of their lives – the most advantageous type of teshuvah. Those of the third category tarry and come to their senses in their senior years – better late than never.

The fourth group consists of those who delude themselves into thinking that they have all the time in the world, that life will never catch up to them. It is when they spy their ship moving away, when illness overtakes them, that they muster barely the strength to rise from their sickbeds to save their souls, expressing remorse for their misdeeds.

Rachel Weiss

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/riding-the-waves-of-teshuvah/2006/09/20/

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