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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yesha’

Update: Border Police Shoot 2 Terrorists Who Tried to Stab Them

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Two Palestinian Authority terrorists tried to stab Border Police officers in northern Samaria around noon Friday but were shot before they could wound anyone.

One of the terrorists was killed and the other was critically wounded.

The Border Police spokesman said:

Two Arab arrived at the Tapuach checkpoint and tried to stab Border Police officers White House were manning the post. The officers reacted with gunshots and neutralized the terrorists.

The terrorists were riding on a motorcycle, which appears in the photo above, and pulled out knives as they lunged towards the police.

The checkpoint is on Highway 60, north of Beit El and Ofra.

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967” by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

President Obama does not realize how many “illegitimate” Americans live in Israel.

Rivlin Tells Settler Leaders ‘We Need Iron Wall’ against Terror

Monday, August 24th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin has not changed his stripes.

The long-time Likud nationalist hosted leaders of Judea and Samaria (Yesha) Monday and spoke in terms that washed away recent hints that his new office has shoved into acting like a shadow of Shimon Peres.

He praised Jews for living in Judea and Samaria and stated:

The settlement of the land of Israel is an expression of that right, our historical right, our national right, stemming from a love for the land of Israel, from recognition of our roots, which come together here.

His predecessor Peres never said such words nor did he dare visit Heron, as President Rivlin did last February to the chagrin of left-wing leaders.

In his reception on Monday of settler leaders, including Yesha chairman Avi Roeh, Rivlin called for an “iron wall” against the increasing terrorism that has plagued Judea and Samaria in recent weeks.

The mention of the word “wall” will send Boycott Israel activists and other leftists up the wall with accusations that the President was calling for what they see as a virtual “Apartheid wall,” which would discriminate against terrorists and take away their “right” to kill and main in the name of “resistance” against the “occupation.”

Rivlin said:

Over the past months and especially over the last few days, the communities of Judea and Samaria have faced very serious terror attacks….

We must be an iron wall, a protective shield, against those who seek to rise up against us. At the same time, we must remember that our struggle is not a struggle for the sake of struggle. We are fighting for our lives, for the continued growth of the settlements, a struggle for development, work, and prosperity….

I love the land of Israel with all my heart. I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism. We must not give anyone the sense that we are in any doubt about our right to our land.

Yesha chairman Roeh said, ” We came here both to present before you the difficult situation in which we find ourselves. In Judea and Samaria, more than 400,000 citizens of the State of Israel live, for whom the development and the prosperity of the State is our daily concern. The building freeze and the halting of future planning in our communities, harms our very existence and our children’s future.”

‘Settler’ Leaders Denounces Arson-Murder, but Rabbis Still Silent

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Leaders of Judea and Samaria and right-wing politicians denounced Friday’s “price-tag” arson-murder attack, but rabbis have not yet publicly joined the chorus of disgust.

The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) and the Binyamin Regional Council stated:

We express our shock of the terrible murder last night in the village of Duma. This is not the path of residents of Judea and Samaria who are struggling with the complicated security situation while trying to remain the fabric of life of our Palestinian neighbors.”

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset Member Betzalel Smotritz also denounced the arson-murder and added that regardless of the “hypocrisy of certain extreme left-wing sources and the government mismanagement, it is absolutely forbidden to lose our senses, which is what seems to have happened last night.

“We need nerves of steel and not let ourselves be dragged into such actions that are in themselves evil and also are damaging to ourselves.

There is no doubt that rabbis, especially those of Judea and Samaria, will denounce the terror, but they are taking too much time.

“Yesha rabbis” for years have been too silent in the wake of price tag attacks, which until last night  were too easily dismissed as “vandalism” that never  came even near to the savage Palestinian Authority terrorist attacks against Jews,

That no longer is true.

It was not true as of last year when three Jews burned to death a Jerusalem Arab teenager in revenge for the kidnap-murders of three Jewish yeshiva youth.

Rabbis have been too silent in cleaning up their own acts of bribery, corruption and sex crimes.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed (Tzfat) showed true leadership last month when he expelled Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg from the city after women complained to him that he had seduced and raped them.

That is the kind of leadership that has been lacking in Judea and Samaria..

No one can justifiably blame Yesha rabbis for last night’s barbaric crime, but no one can say that the rabbis have waged war against Jewish youth who have lost their marbles.

Will Leftists Boycott Elections because Ballots Printed in Samaria?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Ballot slips for the March 17 elections are being printed in Karnei Shomron, a Jewish community that is located in Samaria and part of the “occupied territories: whose produce is boycotted by leftists.

The Sirugim website reported Sunday that “Yisrapot” won the tender to print the slips of paper with the acronyms of the 16 parties running in the elections.

Two weeks ago, Meretz leader Zahav Gal-On refused to accept a bottle of wine given to her because it was produced in Judea and Samaria.

If the “Boycott Yesha” movement is true to its ideology, its cheerleaders won’t vote March 17.

Immanuel: G-d is With Us!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Life for Israel is definitely heating up of late: The northern boundary with Lebanon is suddenly the “hot” border which is to say that we are getting along about as well with Hezbollah as we are with President Obama, and the election season is increasing in intensity with voting fewer than 4 weeks away.

Political campaigns bring not only promises but criticism and condemnations of the competition and of the “other” in society as well. It is sadly ironic that in Israel when the real enemy lurks just beyond every border and sits in the Knesset under a unifying Arab bloc, groups within the country still find fault with other Jews. Divides amongst the population are sharply delineated and discussed during campaigns: Left-Right; Arab-Jew; Religious-Secular; Hareidi-Religious Zionist; Settler-Non-Settler. Seemingly, each party represents merely a microcosm of the country generally in direct competition with another group.

Of this demographic breadth, amazingly the group in which I had the fewest acquaintances was the Hareidim. I mentioned this to a good buddy of mine, Elie Pieprz, Director of External Affairs for the Yesha Council, and he told me not far from where he lives in the Shomron is the only Hareidi community in the Shomron, a community that almost single-handedly dispels the preconceived negative stereotypes of Hareidi Jews held by many Israelis. This community has both large and small industry, a top-notch furniture maker with prices the best prices around, and even some Hareidi soldiers. Intrigued, I asked the name-Immanuel-and decided to learn more about the community. So I spoke with Rabbi Moshe Zinger, the Chief Executive Officer of Friends of Immanuel, an organization dedicated to getting the word out about his beloved community.

Immanuel is located in the Shomron region of “YESHA,” an acronym representing 3 areas: ‘YE-huda,’ ‘SH-omron’ and ‘A-za’ (Gaza). Despite the Israeli government’s shameful retreat from Aza in 2005, the ‘A’ remains. YESHA is a ridge of land retaken by Israel in the miraculous 6-Day War, stretching from the southern Hebron Hills to the northern Shomron. YESHA is where most of the Tanakh occurred and is an integral part of our historic identity as Jews.

Most of the communities of YESHA, are “Religious-Zionist,” with several exceptions of mixed or non-religious settlements. Fewer still are the “Hareidi” communities, most notably Beitar, in Judea, Modiin Ilit in the Binyamin region, and Immanuel, located in the Shomron. Immanuel sits on the seam of land separating the territories given to the tribes of Efraim and Menashe, located in a natural and rustically beautiful area of the rugged Shomron hills under an hour’s drive from each of Israel’s celebrated Hareidi centers, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem.

Immanuel is a town of approximately 3500 Hareidi Jews, covering the spectrum of the Hareidi world: various sects of Hassidim (Slonim being the largest); a minority of Litvish; and a good balance between Sephardi and Ashkenazi. The community was founded and incorporated in the early 1980s and intended to be an alternative to the densely populated Hareidi enclaves throughout Jerusalem and of Bnei Brak, without sacrificing the intensity or quality of Torah existence. Immanuel, set in the beautiful Shomron countryside, offered the one thing neither Jerusalem nor Bnei Brak could: space. The intention was to attract young couples who could not afford housing in established Hareidi areas and provide them with attractive, large apartments for their growing families without sacrificing or compromising commitment to Torah and mitzvot. The Slonimer Rebbe (z”l) was so impressed by the community he encouraged his followers to move there, which they did.

Soon after the beginning of the Second Intifada, Immanuel was devastated by 2 horrific terror attacks on buses occurring just outside Immanuel’s gates. Relative to its size, no community in Israel suffered more at the hands of terror during the Intifada than Immanuel. As a result, many residents left Immanuel. But due to the Slonimer Rebbe’s belief and confidence in Immanuel its values, and quality of life, he encouraged his followers to remain there. Immanuel not only survives, it thrives. Recently, more than 120 families moved into Immanuel continuing the trend of a sharply increasing population and a sharper increase in housing values resulting in a growing number of kollels and shuls; schools for every age; a breadth of shiurim; and any and every facility needed for a vibrant Torah life.

There is another, unique, component to life in Immanuel beyond its dynamic Torah existence. Through the efforts and initiative of Friends of Immanuel and its engaging CEO, Rabbi Moshe Zinger, several respected professional training centers opened, offering training in electrical engineering, computers, accounting, and architecture preparing residents who wish to enter the professional world to have the skills to do so. Numerous cottage industries (i.e. sheitlach), the previously mentioned furniture maker, and a thriving Judaica and Silverworks factory provide employment and commerce for much of Immanuel.

Though Immanuel is unique in the region as the only Hareidi settlement in the Shomron, its neighboring communities greatly value its presence assisting and benefiting from its proximity. Immanuel shares and contributes to the very fabric of the existence of the Jews of the area. Its singularity is not based on an insular approach to life but rather the desire to interact with neighboring communities and to be a partner in life in Israel. Examples: A Slonimer Hassid from Immanuel travels daily to give a Daf Yomi shiur at my friend’s knitted-kippah community and the men in the shiur are devoted talmidim to him; several young men in Immanuel serve as members of the Israel Defense Force and while enlistment is not encouraged in Immanuel, the community is supportive of their decision. Even the Slonimer Rebbe gave psak that soldiers may wear their uniforms in Immanuel’s Beis Medrash when on duty; the community is built around an uncompromising dedication to Torah but attempt to “fund” their Torah learning through the training and jobs mentioned above.

So what have I learned about Immanuel? Most notably, it is a community which defies stereotyping. It is a Hareidi/Hassidic community which in many ways resembles my Religious Zionist community: 3500 or so people, parents working, trying to support themselves and their families; nestled in the beautiful countryside of YESHA; learning and living Torah; some men serving in the army. Bottom line: Though their clothes and kipot may be different than in my community the values and love of Torah are the same. Isn’t that what ultimately matters?

Despite the travails of its past, everyone who knows anything about Immanuel is optimistic about its future. The reason is simple; the name Immanuel says it all: “G-d is with us.”

Jewish Home Unity Overcomes the ’Yesha Faction’

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

The “Tekuma” faction, headed by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, decided Saturday night to remain in the Jewish Home party and not join forces with Eli Yishai’s new party or run separately in a move that saves the right-wing from another weak if not useless party based on Judea and Samaria.

Ariel, whose integrity and intellectual honesty often place him in contradiction with the art of compromise in politics, has been upset with the Jewish Home party and its chairman Naftali Bennett because of the ostensibly democratic system of primaries, which is susceptible to wheeling and dealing even more  than a party’s central committee decision to decide who will be candidates.

Ariel last week met with Eli Yishai to discuss the chances of running on Yishai’s new party, following his leaving Shas.

Ariel left the decision up it his rabbinical advisers, who were split. The Tekuma Central Committee decided Saturday night to make the smartest decision and remain with the Jewish Home party.

A split would have been disastrous both for Tekuma and for the Jewish Home party.

The decision also leaves the “Yesha” rabbis and their followers weaker than ever, another blessing for a right-wing faction that has been hampered by decades with the mentality that a Jewish presence in the Judea and Samaria and that national religious yeshivas are the only issues that are important for Israel. They have tried to make Judea and Samaria the most important region in Israel and have tried to establish Beit El, dominated by prominent national religious rabbis, as the capital of Yesha.

The establishment of the Jewish Home party, which incorporated the Tekuma faction and the old-guard National Religious Party (“Mafdal”) was a political revolution because it finally made Yesha, the acronym, for what once was known as the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, a part of the country and not apart from the country.

The Yesha platform of “Greater Israel” in practice was concerned only with Judea and Samaria and yeshivas and not with the rest of the country. It operated on the principle “if you are for Yesha, or you are against the country.”

Bennett, who is religious but lives in metropolitan Tel Aviv, changed that. He also brought in a secular MK, who, horror of horrors to some rabbis, was a woman. Her name is Ayelet Shaked, and her presence helped the party win 12 seats in the Knesset. All polls show the party will win at least 16 as of today.

If Tekuma had split, it would have taken seats away from the Jew Home but also might have made it itself extinct, wasting tens of thousands of votes.

Joining with Yishai’s party became problematic because his rabbinical adviser decided that a woman’s contribution to the country is cooking in the kitchen and not making trouble by being a Knesset Member.

That was a big problem for Ariel, whose Tekuma colleague MK Orit Struk was anxious to bolt the Jewish Home and follow Tekuma.

Ariel, too well-rooted in the kibbutz movement to ostracize women, would not have accepted keeping Struk out of the new party. If he had set up a new party, it is questionable if he and Struk could have garnered the minimum number of votes needed to enter the Knesset.

The inability of his rabbis to take a unified stand on the future of Tekuma shows indicates how much the “Yesha bloc” no longer is in charge.

Their correct rulings of Jewish law that Judea and Samaria are part of Israel, and that it is a mitzvah to live there, only enlarged the black image in the eyes of Israelis that all settlers are religious and robots to rabbis.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-home-unity-overcomes-the-yesha-faction/2014/12/21/

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