Wednesday, October 11, 2017

OVER 60,000 PARTICIPATE IN JERUSALEM ANNUAL MARCH

by Udi Shaham  October 10, 2017

The 3km march draws in people from all over the world, united in love for Jerusalem and the people of Israel.
We were part of over 60,000 people who participated iin the annual Jerusalem March on Tuesday. Delegates from organizations and countries from all over the world participated in the 3-km. walk.

Celebrants at the annual Jerusalem March 
MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST

The first groups marching represented large organizations such as the Israel Electric Corporation, El Al, military and police platoons, and several NGOs.

Following them was the delegation of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, composed of Christian pilgrims – the largest group, consisting of participants from more than 90 nations.

The pilgrims, visiting the capital to celebrate Sukkot and attend the Feast of Tabernacles celebration, were waving flags, chanting “we love Israel,” calling out “shalom,” and holding signs expressing support for the State of Israel.

Some groups played trumpets, shofars and drums, and presented traditional dances. Some handed out flags and candy to children.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem stressed in a statement that this year’s feast gathering has centered on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. After the march, the embassy held a tribute in the capital’s Pais Arena for IDF soldiers who liberated the Old City of Jerusalem in June 1967.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that he is excited to host this event, year after year.

“The Jerusalem March is a tradition going back over 60 years, and as time goes by it becomes even more exciting,” Barkat said.

“And in this year that we celebrate the reunification of the city, it is even more exciting.

During this holiday, Jerusalem is hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists who enjoy the magic of the city, its gorgeous sites and our unique attractions,” he said.


Muslim, Christian and Druze Israelis Spread Truth about Jewish State


A diverse delegation of Israelis will arrive in the US next week with the Reservists on Duty organization to expose audiences to the reality on the ground for Israelis of different religious and ethnic backgrounds.
While the number of organizations dedicated to smearing Israel’s image on American college campuses remains at an all-time high, a special group of Israelis, some of whom are IDF veterans, has taken it upon themselves to expose the lies and half-truths that pass as “facts” in the world of higher education.
This group, called Reservists on Duty (RoD), has been challenging gatherings in America to question the slanted narrative about Israeli society, which demonizes both the government and people of Israel.
Next week, RoD will send a unique group of Israelis to the US, composed of Muslim, Christian and Druze citizens.
The group, which has cleverly dubbed itself “Arabs Breaking the Silence,” “want to talk about their personal experience in Israel. … to refute the claims that BDS organizations are spreading against us,” said the group’s spokesman, Jonathan Elkhoury. “They use us, Israel’s minorities, to slander Israel and say that it is racist and discriminates against its minorities, and we will say otherwise,” Elkhoury explained.
Elkhoury, an Israeli Christian who was born in Lebanon, is no stranger to real discrimination and hate. On a previous trip to the US with RoD in May, the man was subjected to verbal abuse from anti-Israel demonstrators at the University of California-Irvine which became so severe that the police were required to escort the speakers from the facility.

Hate-filled demonstrations such as these have not phased RoD speakers. In 2017 alone, 50 volunteers traveled to over 15 campuses throughout America “to educate and give truth to the lies BDS activists spread about the IDF and State of Israel,” explains RoD’s website. During these activities, RoD groups “visited Jewish and Christian communities and forged personal connections with community leaders.”

Monday, October 9, 2017

Disproving 'Temple Mount Denial' One Bucket at a Time
 Daniel k. Eisenbud  October 6, 2017

Read full article at http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Disproving-Temple-Mount-denial-one-bucket-at-a-time-506539 

When Wakf bulldozers illegally ascended the Temple Mount in 1999 to surreptitiously remove thousands of tons of ancient soil to make way for a subterranean mosque, two archeologists found hope in recovering some of the Jewish heritage that crime destroyed.

As countless invaluable artifacts dating from the First Temple period at Judaism’s holiest site were dumped in a garbage heap in the capital’s Kidron Valley, Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Dvira saw an opportunity.

Five years later, under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, the two archeologists procured a government license to have the ancient debris transferred to Emek Tzurim National Park on the western slope of Mount Scopus, where they established the headquarters of the Temple Mount Sifting Project.

Today some 70% of the 400 truckloads of earth has been scrutinized by a staff of 15 employees and thousands of volunteers from around the globe, one bucket at a time.


OVER 200,000 volunteers from all facets of society, 
both Israelis and foreigners, have taken part in sifting 
earth from the Temple Mount. (Tommy Chamberlin)

Since then, more than 500,000 artifacts – from a 3,000-year-old seal from the time of King David to coins, stone vessels, jewelry and flooring tile fragments from the Second Temple period – have been painstakingly documented for future generations.

Nevertheless, to the outrage and utter befuddlement of millions, last October UNESCO approved a resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

“Temple denial started in the 1990s, even though the Islamic Wakf itself in the 1920s and ’30s issued booklets which were given to visitors of the Temple Mount in which they said the existence of the Temples is beyond any doubt,” said Barkay last month.

“It was accepted and in the Islamic literature through the generations there is a plethora of mentions of Solomon’s Temple and the Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem, so it is very strange that they deny it now.”

“The place was shown as the Temple Mount by Muslim guides to visitors all the time for centuries,” he continued. “The whole change came when a very naïve Bill Clinton wanted to solve all the problems of the world, and somebody whispered into his ear that the Temple Mount is the crux of the Middle East conflict, and he wanted to solve the conflict by solving the problem of sovereignty on the Temple Mount. “They claimed that Jerusalem has no significance to the Jews, and want to have sole control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount,” he said. “The whole thing is a political matter and misuse of ancient history for current political purposes.”

Noting the fact that the Bible, Mishna and Greek and Roman historians wrote in depth about the Temples’ existence, Barkay deems Temple denial “shameful” and “anti-civilized,” because “UNESCO’s decisions are politically based on majority and self-interests.

“If it would be in their interest to declare that the Earth is flat, they would have a majority vote [claiming so]. They can vote about anything they wish, but this is to the shame of that institution. No civilized person in the world can claim Temple denial or lack of a Jewish link to Jerusalem.

In the meantime, Barkay said proving Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem is akin to “proving that water is wet.”

Barkay noted that roughly 10% of the datable finds sifted were linked to the 400 years of the Davidic dynasty of the First Temple period.

“From the Second Temple period during the fourth century BCE we have a large amount of coins from the Persian period with Hebrew inscriptions with the name of the province of Judah, ‘Yehud,’ which is a name mentioned in the Book of Ezra in the Bible. And those tiny silver coins are the earliest discovered that were minted in Jerusalem.”

Nonetheless, Barkay contends that there is no need for Jewish evidence from the Temple Mount during antiquity, because it has been universally accepted by scholars and researchers for centuries.


Meanwhile, despite being in need of funding to keep the enterprise operational, the celebrated archeologist said the tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages from all corners of the world have become as invaluable to the project as the historic relics they sift through.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Abbas "Condemns" a $203,000 Murder

The headlines said that Palestinian President Abbas "condemned"
the multiple murder of Israelis at Har Adar. They left out
the part where he also pays for it. Why won't the media report
the whole story?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Just What Did the Oslo Accords Say?

In the light of continuing violence and incitement, I think it is worth reminding ourselves just what do the two sides agree to in the Oslo accords.

Annex 1 ARTICLE II
Security Policy for the Prevention of Terrorism and Violence

2. Both sides will, in accordance with this Agreement, act to ensure the immediate, efficient and effective handling of any incident involving a threat or act of terrorism, violence or incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis. To this end, they will cooperate in the exchange of information and coordinate policies and activities. Each side shall immediately and effectively respond to the occurrence or anticipated occurrence of an act of terrorism, violence or incitement and shall take all necessary measures to prevent such an occurrence.
3. With a view to implementing the above, each side shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, carry out the following functions in the areas under its security responsibility:
a. protect all residents of, and all other persons present in, these areas;
b. actively prevent incitement to violence, including violence against the other side or persons under the authority of the other side;
c. apprehend, investigate and prosecute perpetrators and all other persons directly or indirectly involved in acts of terrorism, violence and incitement.

Now just who is not abiding by these principles?


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

PA & Hamas Leaders Praise Deadly Terror Attack

The reactions to Tuesday morning’s terror attack that left three Israelis dead by the two largest Palestinian factions were of full endorsement and support for the terrorist’s actions.
On its official Facebook page, the Nablus chapter of Fatah, the main party constituting the Palestinian Authority (PA), called Nimr Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Jamal, the terrorist who killed the three Israelis and wounded a fourth, a “martyr.”
This designation according to PA regulations means that Al-Jamal’s family will qualify for a 6,000 shekel ($1700) grant and monthly stipends up to 2,600 shekel ($737), according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Fatah is considered by the West to be the moderate and responsible Palestinian faction with which Israel is supposed to make peace.
A spokesman for Hamas, the Gaza-based terrorist group and other major Palestinian faction, also praised the attack.
The reconciliation with Hamas, which is still committed to terrorism against Israel, would put the PA at odds with the Quartet’s Roadmap for Peace which outlines the necessary conditions for peace with Israel. The Quartet principles were endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, and require the Palestinian leadership to issue an “unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate end to all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere.”
The support for the terror attack by both Fatah and Hamas shows that both reject the Quartet principles.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Terror Attack - Media Gets It Wrong

Another tragedy of terror strikes Israel. Why? The terrorist Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal, a father of four is from the Palestinian village of Beit Surik. The man is said to have had a valid work permit allowing him to enter Jewish settlements in the West Bank. 

The Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) issued a statement saying Jamal had significant personal and family problems, including a history of domestic violence. The statement added that his wife had fled to Jordan several weeks ago, leaving him to care for their four children.

Har Adar Resident Drora Bardizchev, who had employed Jamal in her home, said in an interview to a local news agency that she was shocked by the attack. She said she had enjoyed a very good relationship with him, often spending time alone with him in the house and drinking coffee together during breaks. She said the man, whom she referred to as Nimer, had been under stress in recent months due to a domestic dispute with his estranged wife. 
None of this information is reflected in the international news reports.
a) the UK  Daily Mail’s Mail Online, uses scare quotes around the words “terror attack” appearing to question whether this was actually what occurred.
b) CNN in a headline "3 Israelis killed in shooting at West Bank crossing", claims the attack took place at  a West Bank security crossing, which is not true,  rather than the entrance to a civilian community. By implying that the location was the equivalent of a border crossing or checkpoint, CNN has not only committed a factual error but has also changed the context of the attack in the mind of the reader.
c) Whilst the New York Times‘ reported the attack, including welcome context concerning the peaceful nature of the area and the coexistence between Jewish and Arab communities, both the headline and the story referred to the attack taking place at a “West Bank checkpoint.” - totally untrue

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Kurd's Eye View of Israel

 Diliman Abdulkader  August 30, 2017 
 I recently traveled to Israel as part of a study abroad program through the American University in Washington, DC. As a master’s student concentrating on peace and conflict resolution and as a Kurd from northern Iraq, I was curious about the intense hostility toward Jews in the Middle East, the negative bias in the mainstream media and the continuous antisemitic lectures and activities on college campuses, including my own university.

My trip to Israel was unique. I was able to travel there through the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Having departed from the Sulaymaniyah International Airport in the KRI, I was sent off with a smile among my fellow Kurds without any shame, despite the fact that a trip to Israel is taboo among Middle Easterners.

Upon arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport, I was briefly held back by security due to concerns about a first-time traveler to Israel coming from an Arab state with no diplomatic relations (Iraq). This was understandable and expected, I too expect heavy screening towards foreigners entering the KRI due to the hostility of the region. I successfully and peacefully passed through airport security with a visa that would allow me to stay beyond my permitted time.

My first interaction with an Israeli was with a taxi driver driving me to my hotel. His conversations were animated, his politics realistic. He said he doesn’t care what religion one believes in, he just wants to live in peace. I tested the waters and told him I was Kurdish and he was very excited.

His eyes lit up and he immediately called for establishing a Kurdistan without my prodding. “That was easy,” I said to myself.

My time in Tel Aviv was brief, a little over a week. But what the city offered was unprecedented to me, especially in the Middle East. It is modern, filled will young Israelis enjoying life at the beaches, nightlife spots, restaurants. It is also historical and diverse. I witnessed Muslims and Jews intermingling, mosques calling for prayer, Arab families enjoying their time together on the beaches after breaking their fast. No one bothered others; everyone minded their own business. I tried hard to discover instances of negative interactions between the two peoples, but they even smoked hookah together at the local café.

I thought that maybe Tel Aviv is in its own little bubble, distant from the reality we witness every day in the media, so together with my class, we took a bus ride to Jerusalem.

I was excited, having heard so much about the ancient city – from the time when the Kurdish sultan Saladin Ayubi conquered the Old City from the Crusaders to the current Arab-Israeli conflict.

After a short ride, we checked into our dorms and got a tour of Hebrew University, where we would be studying for the rest of the trip. Hebrew University has a beautiful campus situated on a hill overlooking the Old City. Without having any knowledge of the school, I assumed there would be only Israelis studying there, but again I was wrong. Young college students included Jews, Muslims, women with and without headscarves all together at this institution. I was still struggling to find the picture that the Arab world and the mainstream media have painted.

Throughout my time in Jerusalem I had the opportunity to speak with locals and elected officials, Arabs and Israelis at cafés, restaurants, bars, in the Muslim quarter, the Knesset, the shuk (outdoor bazaar) and so on. My interactions with Palestinians took place in the Muslim quarter, at the local restaurants and tea houses – all men, as talking with the women was looked down upon.

I entered the Old City through the Damascus Gate, although I was warned to not enter there because the site had been the scene of stabbings and attacks. I thought to myself, “I’ll be fine – I’m from Kirkuk, a far more dangerous city.”

Wanting to experience the real Jerusalem, I stayed away from popular tourist sites such as the shopping centers and famous high-end restaurants and explored the Old City and the surrounding area for the next few weeks. I made a few Palestinian friends over hookah and Arabic coffee. They tried to not discuss politics but were also keen on labeling me Iraqi. I accepted their opinions, but they were more excited about America and the dream of one day moving there.

I also visited the walls built around the Palestinian territories.

My feelings were mixed, but having personally experienced war and refugee camps from Arab governments, Syrian President Bashar Assad and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, a Palestinian ally, I thought although it is not the ideal solution for either side – safety and security are better than terrorism.

One conversation that would stick with me was with a uniformed IDF soldier in his early 20s. I approached him while he was sitting alone having lunch, and began to slowly move past small talk. He was proud to serve his nation and was ready to defend it both literally and verbally.

He wasn’t a “tough guy,” he simply loved his nation.

He mentioned although it is mandatory for him to serve in the IDF, he would have done it regardless. He was also curious where I was from. When I replied Kurdistan, he shook his head in sadness, acknowledging that we are without a state and thanked me for our people fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

We had the privilege of visiting the Knesset. Thanks to my professor, who attempted to keep the meetings with guest MKs balanced, we were given views from the far Left, Right and everything in between. The most surprising comments were made by MK Taleb Abu Arar of the United Arab List, who openly declared Israel an undemocratic terrorist country while supporting Hamas and staunchly backing Turkish President Erdogan. He ignored my questions about double standards on Kurds in Turkey. I thought to myself, “You are calling Israel undemocratic? But you have a seat in their Knesset, you’re openly supporting Hamas and calling the government terrorist? Interesting.”

Unfortunately, the night before the end of the program, when I was having coffee inside Damascus Gate, a terrorist attack occurred. An IDF soldier by the name of Hadas Malka, only 23, was stabbed and lost her life after being rushed to the hospital. The gates were shut down, the city was on alert and Palestinians flocked to the streets to protest. Tel Aviv may be in its own bubble, but Jerusalem is fragile. People do want peace on both sides. We just have to move beyond those who incite terrorism. Israel is not the horror movie we witness on TV or by academics – it is a country simply striving to survive in a hostile region.

The writer is an NRT English columnist and master’s degree student at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. He is also a research fellow at the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). Follow him on Twitter: @D_abdulkader

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bahrain King Denounces Arab Boycott Of Israel

Well, well, well. - things are changing in the Middle East
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa has denounced the Arab boycott of Israel and said his subjects are free to visit the Jewish state. The statement by the head of the Persian Gulf country, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, was revealed at a multi-national event last week in Los Angeles, hosted by the city's Simon Wiesenthal Center. 

At the event, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, who head the Wiesenthal Center, revealed the king's pronouncements made to them during their visit to Manama, Bahrain's capital city, in early 2017.

A walk through the city, at that time was an eye-opener, Cooper said. There was a church, with a huge cross, next to a Hindu temple, and 90 meters on an impressive mosque. Even a small synagogue, the only one in the Persian Gulf region, still stands in an older part of the city.


When Hier and Cooper met with King Hamad, they also discussed the ruler’s plan to establish a Museum of Religious Tolerance in the capital city by the end of this year.

At the Los Angeles event last week, delegations of Buddhists in saffron robes, Sikhs in turbans, and Muslims with keffiyehs and hijabs [Muslim head-covers for men and veils for women], mingled with Jews with kippot [skullcaps] and Christians in business suits.


Some 400 members of these diverse groups witnessed the declaration to support full freedom of religious choice, government protection of minorities and to ensure that religious faith “serves as a blessing to all mankind and as the foundation of peace in the world.”

The evening’s guests included officials from such predominantly Muslim nations as Kuwait, Egypt, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan, Cooper noted.

Like all others present, the Arab officials stood in respect as the colorful Bahrain National Orchestra played “Hatikva” preceded by the Bahraini and US national anthems, sung by Sumaya Meer and Cantor Arik Wolheim.

The key speaker was Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, son of the king and a formidable endurance athlete, who led the Bahraini delegations, toured the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance and met with Jewish students.

As the evening’s climax, a group of distinguished “dais guests” formally signed the Bahrain Declaration. Among them were the speakers, visiting Arab officials, clergymen of various faiths,  television personality Mary Hart,  the evening’s master of ceremonies UCLA Prof. Judea Pearl and Betsy Bennett Mathieson, president of This Is Bahrain.

The latter government-supported booster organization presented each guest with a lapel pin featuring symbols of the country’s seven religions, with a Jewish menorah adjoining a Christian cross and a Muslim crescent.

Bahrain has some 1,423,000 inhabitants and large parts of the Jewish population left the country following riots in 1947 and 1967, but Jewish, Muslim and British sources agree that the riots were triggered by pro-Palestinian outsiders and that resident Arabs went out of their way to protect their Jewish neighbors.

But with the ascendancy of King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa to the throne in 2002, domestic and foreign observers see an almost utopian state of relationships among Bahrain’s religious groups.

The monarch, who has an impressive collection of Frank Sinatra records, has enshrined religious tolerance both in the country’s law and by personal example. For instance, since 2015, he has celebrated Hanukka with both Jews and Muslims in attendance.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a reporter asked Cooper whether the evening’s upbeat tone and hopeful notes were warranted in the light of the Middle East’s apparently endless conflicts.

Cooper responded that Bahrain, like Israel, “Lives in a tough neighborhood. But if there is to be any hope for the future, it will have to be realized by voices of religious moderation.”

Friday, September 15, 2017

African Christian Leaders Hold Jerusalem Start-Up Summit

Ilanit Chernick August 30, 2017

About 70 delegates from countries including Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania and Kenya took part in a four-day event in Jerusalem.

Christian leaders from several African countries concluded meetings recently with Israeli start-ups, politicians and businesses during the African Leadership Summit hosted by the Institute for Christian Leadership Development.

“Africa Celebrates Jerusalem” is this year’s theme for the summit, which aims to strengthen ties between Israel and Africa. The main goal is for African Christian leaders to connect with the different sectors of the country including agriculture, economic and technology.

Pastor Segun Olanipekun, summit coordinator and chief executive officer of the Institute for Christian Leadership Development, said what encouraged the organization to call the summit was the leadership crisis in Africa.

“There’s not a lot of leaders that the youngsters can look up to because of the poor and inept leadership. Israel has united and strong leadership and we are looking to it for help,” he said.

Olanipekun explained that Israel’s leadership and the Jewish people have a purpose, to build a nation. “Israel has empowering start-ups... it grows and exports [fruits and vegetables] from the desert – Africa has good, fertile land but we are begging for food. As Africans we desire all of this and we want to learn from Israel,” he said. “We want to reconnect with the covenant of Abraham – the land, the people and the culture.”

Talking about the summit’s theme, “Africa Celebrates Jerusalem,” Nigerian-born Olanipekun (he also lived in Kenya and now resides in South Africa) said he is encouraging all African countries to show support for Israel and the Jews. “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish and Christian faiths. If the Jews lose Jerusalem, Christianity loses its roots and foundation.

“Jerusalem must remain the capital. It belongs to the Jewish and Christian faiths and drives millions of people,” Olanipekun added. “The ultimate goal is to have a generation of African leaders who support Israel and to increase the presence of Israel in Africa and Africa in Israel.”

“We want Israeli farms in Africa that employ local people – Africa has land, Israel has good technology – our partnership can only do good for the world,” Olanipekun said.

Pastor Ben Naude from Johannesburg said that if “we’re going to counter organizations like BDS,” it was important to give Israel positive exposure and to educate people about the truth.

“There are so many cultures and groups who live here and they live together peacefully – South Africa can learn a lot from this,” he said.

“At the end of the day, Israel has incredible technology and agriculture – you can’t argue with this, the technology in cellphone in your hand was created here – minds and opinions [of Israel] must change.”

“Israel and the Jews have a zest for life and focus on the positive; in South Africa we need to learn from this, come together and go forward instead of focusing on the bad,” Naude said.

Nigerian Pastor John Adejolrooluwa, who is the leader of the Plummet Mission, a Missionary House that trains missionaries and sends them mostly to African countries, said education was the only way to combat the negative rhetoric on Israel.

“We have to reach out to as many people [as possible] and make them question this negative narrative and work with the Israeli government – make an effort to show that part of the problem is Israel’s neighbors and their connections and influence with bodies like the UN who are making certain [negative] proclamations about Israel,” he said.

“We are committing to Israel and we will not believe this negative, man-made bias,” Adejolrooluwa said.

Addressing the delegates, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky spoke of his journey at the agency and of his life in Russia, also emphasizing the values and ideals that went into creating “the Holy Land.”

The summit has taken place in Jerusalem biennially since 2013.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hundreds of Terror Attacks Thwarted This Year

 The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) has thwarted some 200 terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year, 70 of them in the last two months alone, reported the head of the Shin Bet, Among those thwarted were suicide attacks, kidnappings and shooting incidents. 

The report stated that despite the relative calm, the security situation in the West bank is “fragile” and is characterized by heightened sensitivity over religious issues, such as the al-Aksa mosque.

There is a high level of threat posed both by established terrorist organizations, as well as by “independent actors.”

Hamas, both from its headquarters in the Gaza Strip as well as from abroad, continues to try and carry out attacks in the West Bank and inside the Green Line, in order to undermine overall stability, he said.

“It is thanks to the quality intelligence, the advanced technology, and the excellent human capital that the Shin Bet this year thwarted more than 400 significant attacks, this year, You saw everything that we saw, but you thought what no one else thought before,”
Earlier last week the Shin Bet said it had foiled a plan by Arab Israelis to attack soldiers in the southern Negev desert, apparently in retaliation for Israel’s decision earlier this year to outlaw the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

Two of the suspects are accused of plotting to attack soldiers at three possible locations, Dimona, Arad, and the Nevatim air force base in the Negev Desert, the security service said in a statement.
The security establishment was bracing and preparing for an increase in terrorist activity expected for the upcoming holiday season, as is the case every year.

Regarding Gaza, the Strip is now characterized by a “deceptive calm” – security stability alongside an accelerated military buildup.    

The three years since 
Operation Protective Edge have been the quietest period in Gaza for three decades with Hamas having difficulty presenting any political achievement for Gaza or providing any effective solutions to the civilian problems there.

Nevertheless, Hamas continues to invest considerable resources for the next battle with Israel, “even at the expense of the well-being of the civilians. The movement is already ready for another confrontation with Israel.” As a result, Hamas is deepening its strategic ties with the region's Shia axis, led by Iran, and is establishing an outpost in Lebanon. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Israel’s recent activities in Africa


In early July 2016, Prime Minister Netanyahu became the first Israeli premier in decades to travel to Africa when he visited four East African nations: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Since then the frequency of talks, exchanges and bilateral visits has increased. Israeli entrepreneurial spirit and innovation can play a crucial role in the development of Africa. Israel can prove to be a great partner for the young African entrepreneurs who are harnessing the power of technology. The approach of Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) in Africa is integrated and sustainable, with a focus on food security, water safety, sanitation, healthcare, economic growth, community building, women’s empowerment and education.

MASHAV is working to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality in Ghana and has established the mother-and-baby neonatal unit in that country. In Ethiopia, MASHAV is involved in horticulture, healthcare, clean energy and other sustainable development programs through its Centers of Excellence. Last year, MASHAV and USAID launched the IV Phase of the Joint Cooperation Program in Smallholder Horticulture in Ethiopia. In 2016 MASHAV also launched the first Israel-Kenya Steering Committee on Water Cooperation.

Israel is also cooperating technically and financially in the Galana/ Kulalu food security project, which is one of the largest irrigation projects in Kenya. The goal of this project is to provide water for sustainable farming through development, rehabilitation and modernization of irrigation and drainage. The cooperating parties in this project are the Kenyan government, MASHAV through CINADCO, and the Israeli company Green Arava. Initiatives such as “Training the Trainers,” Project TEN, the “Kangaroo System” introduced by Israeli medical trainers, and other Israeli organizations’ projects on solar energy, drip irrigation, water and food safety, etc., have received a good response in Africa.

Last year MASHAV and ECOWAS hosted a conference related to sustainable agricultural productivity in arid and semi-arid regions. Ministers and many other top officials from a number of Western African countries participated in this conference. An Africa-Israel summit is scheduled for the coming October, too. Over 100 Israeli companies are expected to participate.




Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Africa has 60% of the world’s arable land reserves. The combination of Israeli innovation/conceptual abilities and India’s “collective effort, inclusive growth” approach can provide the right direction to sustainable development efforts in Africa. Clean and renewable energy, healthcare, agriculture and rural development, vocational/technical education, and entrepreneurship promotion are some of the key areas where India and Israel need to collaborate for a better future for Africa.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The True Palestinian ‘Nakba’

 Philip Carl Salzman  Sept 3, 2017 

 


Seventy years ago today, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) introduced a detailed proposal to the UN General Assembly for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, approved less than three months later by a vote of 33 to 13. Not for the last time, however, a concerted international effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict foundered on the shoals of Arab rejectionism.

Arab Muslims roundly condemned UN partition — and more broadly the very principle of a Jewish state anywhere in Palestine — striving instead for complete victory. 

The Arabs acted according to their tradition, refusing compromise with inferiors. For over a millennium, Islamic empires had spread by the sword from Arabia across the Middle East and North Africa to much of Europe and as far east as India. God bestowed upon Muslims a right — no, a duty — to dominate Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam) forevermore. Not only did Jews, long a subservient and despised minority in Dar al-Islam, lack the right to have an independent state in Palestine, but the Arab residents of Palestine had no right to concede it to them.

The Arabs in Palestine thought that the Jews could not and would not stand up to them, and they acted on that well-established cultural principle. However, the thousand-year-old conditions were  not achieved this time around. The Jews they faced were not a dhimma, and they did not cower. Against the odds, and with little outside help, they fought and won. Again and again.

While maintaining their uncompromising rejection of any Jewish state in the Holy Land, the Arabs eventually abandoned their triumphalist rhetoric in favor of a more useful narrative. In this retelling, Israel is responsible for seven decades of mayhem, not the victim of unremitting hostility. That role would now be played by the Arab residents of Palestine, now called “Palestinians” — indeed, they would be forced to play it by the refusal of Arab states to naturalize, or even provide humane accommodations, to the so-called “refugees.”

Arab states marshalled their collective influence to sell this narrative to the rest of the world, with much success. Most Europeans and their governments, including the European Union, and many Americans risk apoplexy in their violent denunciations of Israel, while tripping over themselves offering sympathy and money to the Palestinians. The United Nations has established a complex bureaucracy devoted solely to their needs.

This narrative has received a particularly warm reception in the academic world, where Western imperialism, rationalized by disparaging “Orientalist” stereotypes of Middle Easterners, is seen as the single greatest cause of the region’s ills.

Of course, blaming all Palestinian problems on Israel makes even less sense than attributing the Arab-Islamic world’s economic, political, and cultural decline in recent centuries to relatively brief and limited Western interventions.

Though the narrative has grown more and more fantastical over the years, its acceptance remains disturbingly widespread. In the end, of course, the Palestinian victimization narrative hurts Palestinians by obscuring the actual sources of their misery — their failed supremacist ideology, despotic and corrupt leaders, and irrational hate of Jews — preventing the emergence of genuine solutions to a tragic, festering problem.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wheelchairs of Hope in Vietnam

From the children of Israel to the children of Vietnam: Israel’s Embassy in Vietnam is donating 100 innovative wheelchairs especially designed for children with disabilities.

 Wheelchairs arrive in Hanoi
Copyright: MASHAV-Israel Embassy in Vietnam
In a moving ceremony held at the Orthopedic and Functional Rehabilitation Center in Hanoi, Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam, Meirav Eilon Shahar, presented the first 20 wheelchairs to a festive crowd, sending a message of solidarity and friendship.

The Embassy decided to utilize the budget allocated for the festivities of Israel’s 69th Independence Day to purchase the innovative, one-of-a-kind and lightweight wheelchairs from Israeli company “Wheelchairs of Hope.”
 The remaining 80 wheelchairs will be delivered to additional rehabilitation centers in four provinces in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh, Can Tho, Ben Tre and Ha Giang. Wheelchairs of Hope is an Israeli initiative that aims to develop, design, manufacture and provide wheelchairs to children in need of mobility. 

They were among the first to receive the Grand Challenges Israel (GCI) grant, dedicated to supporting technological and innovative solutions to challenges in global health and food security in developing countries. GCI is operated by the Office of the Chief Scientist Ministry of Economy in collaboration with MASHAV as part of commitment to share its knowledge and experience to inspire and support fellow nations in their struggle with development challenges, and constitutes a meeting point between Israeli development diplomacy and technological entrepreneurship.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Israelis Train Palestinian Farmers to Grow Avocados


Israelis shared their agricultural expertise with Palestinian farmers seeking to improve their avocado crops.  

A group of Palestinian agronomists and agricultural engineers recently completed training in avocado cultivation at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, northern Israel.
The avocado was chosen because of the ever-increasing global demand for the vegetable, which is considered “green gold.”
The purpose of the training was to improve the Palestinians’ avocado crop. Participants toured the avocado plantations in the north and met with Israeli avocado farmers.
The Palestinians came from the areas of Hebron, Qalqiliya, Tubas and Jenin, and some already grow avocados for export to Arab countries.
During the training, the Palestinians expressed a desire to cooperate with Israeli growers to enable the export of “Palestinian avocados” to Europe. Israel avocado exports to Europe have grown to roughly 100,000 tons in recent years, comprising about a third of the winter avocado market in European Union countries.
About 40 percent of the participants were women, most of them agricultural entrepreneurs with a particular interest in avocado growing.
Prof. Yair Hirshfeld, one of the initiators of the Oslo Peace Accords, lectured during the program on possibilities for cooperation in agriculture and their implications for the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

The program was sponsored via combined funding from The Middle East and the Peace Process Department at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the European Union through the agency of Economic Cooperation Foundation and GIMI.