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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘zionist’

Proper Zionist Response to UN Resolution: Knesset Inaugurates Jerusalem Jubilee Celebration

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

The Knesset Education Committee on Tuesday held the inauguration of “Jerusalem Now & Forever,” a photo exhibition celebrating the 50th year of the reunification of Jerusalem. The exhibition features photos from the renowned “Photographer of Jerusalem,” Sharon Gabay, who captured the beauty, diversity and tolerance of the Holy City. The images are printed on glass, representing the fragility of the holy city in the reality of today’s Middle East.

MK Yehuda Glick with artist, Sharon Gabay / Photo Credit: Ezra Landau, Courtesy Im Tirtzu

MK Yehuda Glick with artist, Sharon Gabay / Photo Credit: Ezra Landau, Courtesy Im Tirtzu

The images will be displayed at the Knesset over the next two weeks, and then travel around the world in 2017, providing people everywhere with the opportunity to celebrate 50 years of a unified Jerusalem. It will make stops in 50 global cities, landing finally in NY City.

The project is an initiative of Israel’s grassroots Zionist movement, Im Tirtzu, which teamed up with Sharon Gabay to reveal the beauty of Jerusalem to the world. According to Im Tirtzu, the exhibition will serve not only as a tribute to the City, but be an answer to those who would use the 50th year of Jerusalem’s redemption to attack the State of Israel.

MKs Yehuda Glick (Likud), Ilan Gilon (Meretz), Yakov Margi (Shas), Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid), Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp), Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu), Meirav Ben-Ari (Kulanu), and Benny Begin (Likud) attended the Tuesday opening.

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

MK Glick, who had invited the exhibition to the Knesset, delivered the opening remarks, saying, “A picture, as is known, is worth a thousand words. These pictures deliver a clear message that Jerusalem is a beautiful city, alive and well; a city in which millions of residents of different colors and beliefs live in harmony. Jerusalem at its essence, and as evidenced by its name, is a city of peace. In the words of the Prophet Isaiah, ‘for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.’”

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

Sharon Gabay said, “There are many people here who see the photos and are surprised. I am not surprised: whoever would take a camera and walk around the city – this is what he would see. When they talk about Jerusalem in the news, we only see wars, checkpoints, fire and smoke. But I want to photograph the truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem is a pluralistic city that accepts everyone.”

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg talked about the deep connection between the Jewish People and Jerusalem: “The Jewish nation is the only nation in history that under the wedding canopy makes a declaration to remember their eternal capital. ‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem [let my right hand forget her cunning]’ is not just a territorial promise, but part of the very essence of the nation. Displaying this exhibition throughout the world will enable the Jewish People to experience the joy of Jerusalem.”

Education Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi also gave his blessings to the exhibition, which “expresses the message of Jerusalem: coexistence and peace. This is an exhibition that needs to travel the country and the world, and go to places that only receive a very selective Israeli experience.”

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay

Jerusalem Now & Forever / Courtesy Sharon Gabay


Zionist Response to Obama: Jerusalem to Approve 5,600 Homes Across ‘Greenline’

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

The UN Security Council resolution will not slow down construction in the 1967 liberated parts of Jerusalem, according to the municipality’s Local Planning and Construction committee. In fact, on Wednesday, the committee plans to vote to approve thousands of new housing units in Jewish and mixed neighborhoods across the 1949 armistice line, a.k.a. the “greenline.”

The planning committee will approve 2,600 new housing units in the neighborhood of Gilo, another 2,600 units in Givat Hamatos, and 400 units in Ramat Shlomo – altogether 5,600 units in eastern Jerusalem.

Acting and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and Chairman of the Local Planning and Building committee Meir Turgeman, told the press he is “not intimidated by the UN or by any other entity trying to dictate to us what to do in Jerusalem. I hope the new US Administration will give us a push to continue replenishing the housing stock which was reduced during the eight years of the Obama Administration.”

David Israel

Trump’s Orthodox Zionist Ambassador Eager to Serve in ‘Eternal Capital of Israel’

Friday, December 16th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday announced that his bankruptcy lawyer of many years David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who probably feels more at home in Jerusalem than in Tel Aviv, will be his next Ambassador to Israel. Indeed, the Trump transition team made a note of the fact that Friedman’s bar mitzvah 45 years ago was celebrated at the Western Wall. Friedman, for his part, said he looks forward to serving at his new job at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

A regular contributor to rightwing news website Arutz Sheva, Friedman told his friends there on Friday: “Mr. Trump’s confidence is very flattering. My views on Israel are well-known, and I would advise him in a matter consistent with those views. America’s geo-political interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.”

Which is why it was no surprise that J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami’s response statement said the barely Zionist group was “vehemently opposed to the nomination,” because “as someone who has been a leading American friend of the settlement movement, who lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials, Friedman should be beyond the pale.”

This may have to do with the fact that Friedman in the past compared J Street to the kapos who cooperated with the Nazis during the Holocaust, except he had some sympathy for them and none for Jeremy Ben-Ami. “The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty,” he wrote. “But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas — it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition, on the other hand, was besides itself with delight, as its executive director Matt Brooks called Friedman’s appointment “a powerful signal to the Jewish community.” It is estimated that only 28% of Jewish voters picked Trump, but four years are a long time for minds to be changed, especially since the designated Ambassador, a fluent Hebrew speaker, has been so unabashed in advocating US-Israel friendship. The Trump transition team’s statement praised Friedman’s love of Israel:

“The two nations have enjoyed a special relationship based on mutual respect and a dedication to freedom and democracy. With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.”

How will the gang in Ramallah take the news from Washington? Not well, most likely. We dug up this typical musing by the next Ambassador in an Arutz Sheva column titled “End the two-state narrative.” It probably would make for a heart-warming Shabbat read over at Amona, if they print it out in time:

“Much has changed over the decades since the two-state narrative began. Palestinian leaders have a much harder time lying to their people. Palestinians can witness – through the internet and first hand experience – the advantages of integration into Israeli society and the bankrupt values and barbarism of radical Islam.

“In addition, Saudi Arabia is running out of money, America and Israel are both energy independent and Israel’s neighbors – Jordan and Egypt – are far more concerned about ISIS and Iran than about Judea and Samaria. The world is a different place, diplomatic and security alignments have shifted, and only Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are still stuck in the past, clinging to stale ideas that will only continue to fail.

“Radicalized Palestinian terrorists need to be rooted out and eliminated. But the remainder – perhaps the majority – of Palestinians should finally benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes paid by the US State Department to Abbas. Fostering a Palestinian middle class is the solution of the 21st century and it has nothing to do with two states.”

That is actually a plan. Which is probably why leftist former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy told the NY Times that in naming Friedman Trump is undercutting the security of Israel and the US, forcing the PA Arabs “to further disenfranchisement and dispossession.”

“If an American ambassador stakes out positions that further embolden an already triumphalist settler elite, then that is likely to cause headaches for American national security interests across the region and even for Israel’s own security establishment,” Levy declared. “Especially an ambassador committed to the ill-advised relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

This means that, come January 20, 2017, the only obstacle to imposing Israeli sovereignty in Area C, if not the entire Judea and Samaria, would be the Netanyahu government that finds itself, for the first time in Israel’s history, to the left of the US Administration regarding the liberated territories.

To cite a certain Arutz Sheva columnist, in his piece titled “US presidents and Israel: Always expect the unexpected,” one must never abandon divine intervention when considering political strategy:

“They say that in Israel, one who believes in miracles is a realist. Looking back some 90 years on the cast of characters who were privileged to hold the most powerful position on the face of the earth, it is nothing less than miraculous that Israel has continued to grow, prosper and flourish. The hand of God is everywhere to be seen in Israel’s development. We should, of course, try to pick the right president, but let’s not forget who’s really running the show. Let’s therefore include prayer, charity and good deeds as an essential part of a pro-Israel strategy.”


Liberal Zionist Rabbis Support ‘Mixed’ Kotel Section While Reform Kotel Activists Attack Zionism [video]

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

For the first time in more than 25 years, three Israeli National-Religious Orthodox Rabbis: Shlomo Riskin, Benny Lau and Ronen Lubitsch, have called on the Netanyahu government to implement its decision to establish a special section of the Western Wall where Reform and Conservative Jews would be allowed to practice “mixed prayer” of men and women together, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, a large group of non-Orthodox Jews marched carrying Torah scrolls to protest restrictions on non-Orthodox prayer at the Western Wall. Members of the Israeli Reform Movement, Progressive Judaism and the Women of the Wall, they held prayers marking the start of the month of Cheshvan. They also protested the Netanyahu government’s delay in implementing its decision to create an egalitarian prayer section at the Wall.

The Liba organization, which is dedicated to fighting intermarriage in Israel, pointed out that many of the leaders of the Reform struggle to gain access to the Kotel as a movement are also extreme left-wing activists, such as Reform Rabbi Idit Lev, who led the “egalitarian prayer” at the Kotel on Wednesday, and is a senior official of Rabbis for Human Rights, which provided testimonies for the Goldstone report.

Against this very busy background, Rabbi Riskin has stated that Judaism as a whole and the Western Wall in particular are too important and precious to be left in the sole possession of Orthodox Jews. A video of his and his two colleagues’ statements was produced by Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a religious Zionist movement whose stated mission is “to forge a more open and tolerant discourse in Religious Zionism, one that integrates a halakhic lifestyle with active engagement in Israeli society, in order to strengthen tolerance, equality, and social responsibility on the national level.”

Rabbi Lau added, on the same video, that “we must give everyone a feeling of being at home [at the Kotel].” The Kotel is not sectarian, it is the heart of the Jewish people, he argued, and so every single individual from the Jewish diaspora must find a home there.

Rabbi Lubitsch, leader of Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, also supports a solution to the needs of non-Orthodox Jews at the Kotel, even though, as he puts it, “It would have been better had they recognized everybody from the start.”

The movement’s campaign will be launched next week, on the 7th of the month of Cheshvan, which marks a unique point of cooperation between the Jews of Israel and diaspora. Even though the Jewish rainy season began on the holiday of Shmini Atzeret, at the end of Sukkot, the rabbis ruled that prayers for rain be suspended for two weeks, to allow the pilgrims who celebrated the holidays in Jerusalem time to return to their homes in Babylon.

Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv, CEO of the Israeli Reform Movement congratulated the rabbis on their courage and sense of responsibility, and told Ynet that he has no doubt that “a large religious Zionist majority supports their approach, rather than the severe and separatist approach of the Haredi establishment.”


“No Room for the Zionist Entity in the Region”

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

The dreamers in English still have it: “Hamas and Israel, Israel and Hamas. Maybe one day…who knows.” And then the Arabic-language truth rolls in: “Death to Israel, always!”

Some Arab and Western political analysts have mistakenly interpreted Hamas’s agreement to participate in the Palestinian local and municipal elections, scheduled for October 8, as a sign of the movement’s “pragmatism” and march toward recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

They falsely assume that Hamas’s readiness to take part in the democratic process shows that the leaders of the extremist movement are also prepared to abandon their dream of destroying Israel and abandoning the “armed struggle” against it.

These arguments about Hamas’s purported “pragmatism” and “moderation” were also made back in 2006, when Hamas contested the Palestinian parliamentary election. Then too, many political analysts claimed that Hamas’s decision to run in the election was an encouraging sign that the movement has endorsed a new, moderate approach toward Israel and the peace process.

Reality, however, has proven these assumptions utterly false. Hamas’s victory in the 2006 parliamentary election did not bring about any changes in its extremist ideology. Hamas did not change its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel. Nor did Hamas abandon its murderous terrorist attacks against Israelis.

To recall, here is what the Hamas charter openly states about this issue:

“The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Wakf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except Jihad. The liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from rising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the Islamic Umma [nation], clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters.”

The 2006 Hamas victory, in fact, further emboldened Hamas and increased its determination to stick to its ideology and terrorism, in addition to the indoctrination and incitement against Israel. The following year, in 2007, Hamas even waged a coup against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and seized full control over the Gaza Strip.

Likewise, Hamas’s decision to participate in the upcoming local and municipal elections will further strengthen the movement and pave the way for it to extend its control from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

So, an electoral win or loss for Hamas is totally irrelevant. Hamas is not going to change its ideology or soften its position toward Israel and the “peace process.” And, of course, Hamas is not going to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Its leaders continue to assure their people of that — in public and on a daily basis.

As in the parliamentary election, Hamas may even emerge stronger and more resolved, especially if it wins the upcoming local and municipal elections, as it seems destined to do.

Hamas sees its participation in elections as a golden opportunity for “the reinforcement of its positions and for the encouragement of its Jihad,” as it clearly and unequivocally states in its charter.

In other words, Hamas sees elections as a chance to pursue its fight to eliminate Israel. So Hamas is not running in the upcoming elections in order to provide the Palestinians with improved municipal services, but, as it states in its charter, “in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war” and “until liberation is completed, the invaders are vanquished and Allah’s victory sets in.”

Yet, incredibly, some Western political analysts and Palestinian affairs “experts” dismiss the Hamas charter as irrelevant. This dismissal is now based on statements attributed sporadically to some Hamas leaders and spokesmen in various media outlets. These comments are, for them, “encouraging” and “positive” signs from Hamas. They even take the foolhardy step of advising world leaders to listen to these voices and take them into account when dealing with Hamas.

Let us examine, for a moment, one of those statements.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was recently reported to have voiced his movement’s readiness to recognize Israel’s right to exit if it withdrew to the pre-1967 lines, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (Israel already pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005).

Mashaal is reported to have told representatives of Asian media organizations during a briefing in Doha, Qatar, that he was prepared to accept Israel’s right to exist and the “two-state solution.”

Within hours, the Hamas leadership denied that Mashaal had made such remarks concerning Israel’s right to exist. Hamas called the reports “lies” and “fabrications” and reiterated its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. “These suspicious and fabricated statements are aimed at distorting the image and positions of Hamas and its leadership,” read a statement issued by the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.

Slander and defamation: that is how Hamas views the talk about its leaders’ purported readiness to recognize Israel. This, to them, is the worst thing that could happen to Hamas — to accept the presence of Israel in the Middle East. The Hamas denial is aimed at protecting its reputation and image in the eyes of its supporters, lest they believe, God forbid, that the Islamist movement has abandoned its desire to eliminate Israel.

To set the record straight, another senior Hamas official, Musa Abu Marzouk, declared this week: “The Zionist entity will not be part of this region. We will continue to resist it until the liberation of our land and the return of our people.” With tongue in cheek, Abu Marzouk, who is being groomed as a potential successor to Mashaal, stated that Hamas’s goal behind its decision to participate in the October 8 local and municipal elections was to “serve our people.” Addressing his rivals in President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, the top Hamas official added: “Our differences will not reach the level of enmity. Our only enemy is Israel. Our political rivalry should not exceed its limit.”

How precisely Hamas intends to “serve” the Palestinians by running in the elections is somewhat murky. Abu Marzouk did not talk about building new schools and parks for the Palestinians. When he talks about “serving” the people, he means only one thing: recruiting Palestinians to Hamas and jihad against Israel and the Jews.

In recent weeks, Hamas supporters have been launching various campaigns highlighting the Islamist movement’s “achievements” in the Gaza Strip in a bid to win the hearts and minds of voters. One campaign, entitled, “A More Beautiful Gaza,” features scenes of clean streets and public parks in some parts of the Gaza Strip. Yet the rosy picture that Hamas is painting is silent as to the extraordinarily high rate of unemployment and poverty in the Gaza Strip, or the fact that thousands of Palestinian families have lost their homes in wars with Israel that were the direct result of bombarding Israel with rockets and missiles. Nor does the campaign talk about Hamas’s repressive measures against women and journalists.

This campaign of disinformation is aimed at persuading Palestinian voters that the two million residents of the Gaza Strip are living in a utopia under Hamas, and that this experience now needs to be copied in the West Bank.

There is no doubt that many Palestinians will fall into this trap and cast their ballots for Hamas. They will do so because they will be convinced that Hamas will solve all their economic and social problems and bring them peace and stability at home. But many Palestinians will also vote for Hamas for other reasons. The first of these is that they identify with Hamas’s ideology, as expressed in its charter, and believe that jihad is the only way to “liberate Palestine.” Second, Hamas has managed to convince a large number of Palestinians that a vote for another party or candidate other than Hamas would be a vote against Islam and Allah.

History seems to be repeating itself and the lessons from the Hamas victory in the 2006 parliamentary election have not been learned. Hamas is fooling not only many Palestinians by promising them a better life and prosperity under its rule; it is also fooling some Westerners, who talk about “signs of moderation and pragmatism” coming from the Islamist movement.

Since its establishment in 1987, Hamas has been single-minded about its charter-documented desire to wage jihad against Israel. Its leaders continue to state this in Arabic on a daily basis. It is not rocket science: the movement has not changed and will not do so in the future, regardless of whether it wins or loses any election.

Hamas has made itself perfectly clear. What is not so clear is why some Westerners continue to talk about its “policy shifts.” Also difficult to understand is why some in the West are not asking President Abbas and his Palestinian Authority what they intend to do if and when Hamas wins the local and municipal elections. Finally, why Abbas is pushing ahead with preparations for the elections, when he knows that his Fatah faction could easily lose to Hamas, is a true mystery.


Khaled Abu Toameh

Zionist Union MK Broshi Visits Amona Community

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Ofrah (TPS) – Zionist Union MK Eitan Broshi visited the hilltop community of Amona in addition to the nine houses in Ofra that are slated for destruction and voiced support for a political deal that would save the sites.

“The government is stammering and hesitating in regards to the future of settlement in Judea and Samaria,” said Broshi. “I hope that the Zionist Union will support any government decision to legalize the structures.”

Amona, which has 400 residents and was founded in 1995, is scheduled to be destroyed in December in the wake of a 2015 High Court of Justice ruling that determined that it was built on private Arab land. The residents of the community contend that since the state supported its establishment and installed electricity and water there, it is the state’s responsibility to figure out a solution for the residents to remain there.

“It is also unacceptable to raze nine houses in Ofra, and the state must do what it can to legalize them and to allow for normal life here,” he contended.

The state has been trying to find a solution to the Amona issue and is now attempting to relocate the community to an adjacent plot of land. The attorney general ruled on Monday that there are no legal impediments to the plan.

Broshi is the first member of the left-leaning Zionist Union party to visit Amona, a fact that was not lost on its residents. “Even Member of Knesset Broshi was honest enough to support our campaign despite the political gap between us. Even he understands that a community that the state established must remain in place,” said an Amona spokesperson.

Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Avi Roeh praised Broshi for his visit. “Eitan Broshi is a man who is dedicated to settling the regions of Binyamin, Judea, Samaria, and all of the Land of Israel,” he exclaimed. “I am happy that he has taken the time today to assist and support us.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Considers Bill to Require Zionism Course in Universities

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Israel is considering a bill to require Israeli universities to include a prerequisite course on Zionist concepts in their curricula.

The bill was submitted to the Knesset by Yisrael Beytenu Knesset Member Oded Forer.

The measure is intended to counter the anti-Israel trend that has been seen among many of the academics.

It is also hoped the course will help students become citizens who are more aware of their heritage.

The course is expected to include texts from founding fathers such as David Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Rabin, and others.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-considers-bill-to-require-zionism-course-in-universities/2016/08/01/

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