Thursday, November 27, 2014

We Aren't Crying Wolf

Why did it take the holiest city in the world going up in flames for anyone to finally listen to our prime minister’s cries of “I smell smoke”?

In the days and weeks leading up to the major terrorist attack at Jerusalem’s Kehilat Yaakov synagogue, Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett voiced over and over again to the Western world that Palestinian incitement was fueling the violence in Jerusalem.

Both publicly and most probably privately as well, these leaders expressed their concern and dismay to Western leaders about the incitement coming from Abbas, Fatah and Hamas, yet nothing was done. It literally took the holy sanctuary of a synagogue turning into a slaughterhouse for the majority of Western leaders to turn their blind eyes toward Jerusalem and finally acknowledge the role the Palestinian leadership has played in fanning the flames in Jerusalem.

We in Israel are left with many questions.
-     Why did it take the holiest city in the world going up in flames for anyone to finally listen to our prime minister’s cries of “I smell smoke”?
-     Why did it take four Jews and one brave Israeli Druse policeman being butchered for American Secretary of State John Kerry to publicly state that Abbas’ calls for “days of rage” in Jerusalem contributed to the devastating attack and to demand that Abbas condemn such acts of terror?
-     Why are countries like Sweden willing to reward the Palestinians with a state despite the Palestinian’s unwillingness to recognize the Jewish State of Israel?
-     Why are incitement, hate and terrorism being rewarded? Why, out of all of the major leaders in this world, is Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper seemingly the sole leader who truly understands the threat of fanatical Islam and is willing to stand firmly with Israel?

-     Why do Americans and Europeans continue to fund the PA despite the fact that many of these funds go to teaching hate and instilling anti-Semitic ideas and beliefs into the hearts and minds of Palestinian youth? In May of this year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released the results of a global survey on anti-Semitism, which found that 93 percent of Palestinians hold anti-Semitic beliefs. Anti-Semitism has deep roots in Palestinian society.

The religious father of what later became the Palestinian people is Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Al-Husseini became close friends with Adolf Hitler during the Second World War, and said in March of 1944 on Radio Berlin, “Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.”

A child does not come out of the womb as an anti-Semite. In Palestinian society, anti-Semitism continues to be taught in the classroom, across their airwaves, in mosques and at home.

For 93% of Palestinians to hold anti-Jewish beliefs says it all.

When Palestinians are taught from a young age that it is their national and, yes, religious duty to become shahids (martyrs) – meaning to murder Jews and to be killed in the process, how does the Western world still believe that peace is possible? When a child is taught to hate and shahids are celebrating and glorified in Palestinian society, land is no longer the issue. I think most intelligent people can see that “land for peace” does not truly work.

In Israel, we are not just crying anymore; we are screaming, screaming for the world to wake up and see the root of the problem. Anyone who actually believes that Jews’ building apartments is the true root of the problem is a fool. Israel has been combating fanatical Islam and hate for decades now.

And Fanatical Islam is not just an Israeli problem. As Naftali Bennett poignantly said on British television just several weeks ago, “We are fighting your war.”

The tidal wave of militant Islam will one day in the near future hit the shores of Europe and America. Whether it will be in one year or two years or tomorrow, no one can be sure.

We can be sure, however, that unfortunately when this does occur, the same European and American leaders who refused to stand firmly with Israel in our battle against fanaticism will be begging Israel for help in fighting what we have been fighting since before the inception of the State of Israel.

For those of you reading, you might be wondering if Israel will indeed help despite everything.

And I say to you that despite everything, we will assist you in this global fight because although you did not have the moral backbone to stand with Israel, we are taught from a young age that it is our national and religious duty to do everything within our power to make this world we live in a better place and to truly be a “light unto the nations.” In the sheer darkness of the Middle East, Israel is the small flicker of light.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hamas: Rebuild Gaza or We'll Attack Israel

Khaled Abu Toameh November 24, 2014
The only option Hamas faces is to attack Israel again as a way of ridding itself of the severe crisis in the Gaza Strip and the growing frustration among the Palestinians living there. Hamas's biggest fear is that this frustration will be translated into disillusionment with its regime. That is why Hamas is now seeking to direct the anger on the Palestinian street toward Israel.
Hamas is also hoping that another war will further increase anti-Israel sentiment around the world and earn the Palestinians even more sympathy.
Hamas's threats should be taken seriously.
Hamas leaders are particularly angry with the Palestinian Authority [PA] and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, whom they accuse of hindering efforts to rebuild hundreds of destroyed homes in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas is also angry with the Egyptians for closing the Rafah border crossing after a terror attack in Sinai in which 32 Egyptian soldiers were killed.
Moreover, Hamas has rejected the United Nations plan to reconstruct the Gaza Strip on the pretext that it "sidelines" the Islamist movement and allows Israel to decide who would benefit from the work. "The UN plan is unacceptable and ineffective," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
Hamas is opposed to the UN plan mainly because it denies the Islamist organization any role in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is also worried that the involvement of the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort would undermine Hamas's control over the Gaza Strip, and allow Abbas and his Fatah faction to take credit for helping the Palestinians living there.
Last month, a donor conference in Cairo pledged $5.4 billion for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. However, Hamas maintains that since then, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have not seen any of the promised funds. Hamas has also strongly denied claims by some PA officials that it had asked for 20% of the funds for itself.

Rising tensions between Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority are the real reason why the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip has still not started. These tensions reached their peak with the recent bombings that targeted the homes and vehicles of 15 senior Abbas loyalists in the Gaza Strip. Abbas has held Hamas responsible for the attacks -- a charge that the Islamist movement has strongly denied.
Although Hamas has openly accused the PA, UN and Egypt of obstructing the reconstruction scheme, it is now threatening to resume its terror attacks on Israel.

Hamas cannot launch terror attacks against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank thanks to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] there. Hamas will also refrain from doing so to avoid being accused by Palestinians of "destroying national unity." Hamas does not want to be held responsible for Palestinian civil war.

Hamas is not going to initiate a crisis with the UN out of fear that such a move would rally the world against the movement and end the international organizations' services and relief work in the Gaza Strip.

The only option Hamas faces, therefore, is to attack Israel again as a way of ridding itself of the severe crisis in the Gaza Strip and the growing frustration among Palestinians living there.

Hamas's biggest fear is that this frustration will be translated into disillusionment with its regime. That is why Hamas is now seeking to direct the anger on the Palestinian street toward Israel.

Hamas's threats against Israel should be taken seriously, especially in light of reports that the movement is continuing to prepare for another war. Hamas not only continues to dig tunnels under the border with Israel; it has also been test-firing rockets into the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas does not have much left to lose in another military confrontation with Israel.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More Savagery in Jerusalem

What more needs top be said following the tragedy of another terror attack in Jerusalem- this from a friend who lives in Jerusalem. 

My granddaughter is doing her national service in this neighbourhood, I have to wonder what her thoughts will be.


I wish to G-d I did not have to write this letter but write it I will because you need to know.

This morning in the religious neighborhood of Har Nof, Jerusalem, at 07:01, men were saying their morning prayers, prayer shawls about their shoulders and phylacteries on their foreheads as is commanded; two terrorists walked in to the synagogue armed with machetes and guns and hacked four Jews to death, maiming and injuring 13 others.The lives of 5 others hang in the balance including two policemen that rushed to the synagogue when they heard the gunshots.  So far there are 26 newly-orphaned Jewish children

The terrorists knew each and every one of the men they attacked. One was the janitor of the synagogue, one worked opposite in the convenience store; both were Israeli citizens, with blue Israeli ID's, both were incited to hatred by others and found themselves capable of the most horrific of all. Perhaps they saw the Da'esh broadcasts of beheadings because this is no different.

The immediate reaction of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal was to announce that Israeli Arabs are in the best position to slaughter Jews since they have freedom of movement. The terrorists were from Jabel Mukaber (next to Armon ha Natziv) and the UN HQ was just a tiny village with 10 houses and during the last Intifada while we were busy with exploding buses they built thousands of houses and imported residents from Hebron. 

The BBC barely mentioned it; CNN on line actually said 6 people died in an attack, 4 Israelis and 2 Palestinians after the suspected hanging of an Arab bus driver. The bus driver, a respected member of Egged, committed suicide but the Palestinian Authority spread a rumour he was killed.

Until the world wakes up to the horror of what these people do, that it has nothing to do with human rights or supposed stolen lands, that their single intent is to kill Jews, this will not stop. Thanks to the vast sums of "aid" and the evil UNWRA Hamas is currently the second wealthiest terror organisation in the world but they will not spread the wealth to provide succour to their people because then they will not be angry.

Israel does not release the names of the slain until their families have been informed and until now just two names have been released - Rabbi Meir Twerski, renowned and highly respected Rabbi and humanist. 
Reb  Avrohom Shmuel  Goldberg originally from Liverpool in the UK.

May their souls rest in peace; their families be consoled among the mourners of Zion. Baruch Dayan Emet.
Jerusalem is crying; Israel is crying; I am crying. Will no-one wipe my tears?

With love


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hamas’s Financial Success

Jerusalem Post  16th Nov. 

Hamas, which rules Gaza, has been named as the world’s second-richest terrorist organization in the latest issue of Forbes Israel. It rakes in around $1 billion annually, outdone only by Islamic State which – with an annual income of some $2b. – tops the chart of terrorist moneybags.

Hamas’s financial success by far eclipses that of Hezbollah, Taliban and al-Qaida.

Hamas’s chief source of earnings, according to the exhaustive Forbes report, comes from skimming hefty sums off foreign NGO donations and putting the squeeze on ordinary Gazans – the very ones the NGOs ostensibly seek to aid.

Hamas taxes them to the hilt, imposes harsh penalties and fees, and trades in the black market. All provisions and material that enter the Gaza Strip fall under the control of Hamas gangsters who garner lavish profits from their distribution and/or sale.

Such supplies enrich Hamas such as their using cement earmarked for civilian construction to reinforce labyrinthine attack tunnels into Israel.

The Forbes data should, if nothing else, induce a sobering reassessment among donor organizations who, for all intents and proposes, are supporting the terrorist hierarchy that brings misery to Gaza and then pleads for overseas assistance to fix the damage.

The overlords who inflicted disaster on the population under their sway happen to be extremely affluent. Instead of going hat in hand to the international community, they might be asked to bankroll the reconstruction themselves. They have deep pockets. More than anything, Hamas uses cash from abroad to line its pockets further and underwrite its military capabilities.
The incontrovertible fact of the matter is that there is very little supervision over the foreign aid funneled into the Strip. Worse yet, the few token procedures that pass as pro forma oversight are sorely inadequate.

In December 2013, the European Court of Auditors could not account for a whopping €400 million of the aid the EU earmarked for the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, he noted. This money is missing, and it is anyone’s guess in whose hands it ended up and for what nefarious purposes.

Gericke added that this month the Court of Auditors found that 2.6 percent of the EU’s budget for “external relations, aid and enlargement” was misused. There’s no indication where the money is.

Gericke reckons that if this proportion is applied to the €450m. pledged to Gaza by the EU, it may plausibly (and quite conservatively) be deduced that in due course at least €11.7m. is likely to bolster Hamas’s coffers.

The international community, NGOs and assorted charities cannot insure fair play. They need to ask themselves whether they want their benevolent contributions to fall into the wrong hands. Do they want to prop up villainous fat cats instead of help the needy? The solicitation of contributions for the Hamas-run domain is part of an elaborate con. The international donors who promised $5.4b. to the Gaza regime in Cairo last month would do well to ascertain that they are not cast as dupes in a massive scam.

Misplaced generosity does far more harm than good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Losing Control of the News Following Terror Attack

This article courtesy of Honest Reporting describes the emotions of a parent as reports of a terror attack unfold with rumours and more rumours until the facts unfold.

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. I was outside walking my dog when I got the call from my daughter.
“Dad, there’s been a terrorist attack at my school. The teachers told us all to call home.” “Where are you now?” I asked.
“We’re at the school and the Army and police are everywhere, but I don’t know what happened yet.”
“O.K., call me again when you know more.”
From my phone, I checked out a few websites of Israeli media. There were stories about the stabbing in Tel Aviv earlier in the day, but no breaking news of a local terrorist attack yet.
My eldest daughter and my youngest son go to schools in an educational complex (referred to as the “Matnas”) near the community of Alon Shevut. The complex houses two girls high schools, an elementary school, a swimming pool, basketball court, and the regional municipal offices. A couple thousand kids go to school there (including two of mine) and in the afternoon, they often walk over to the bus stop on the corner and take either an Egged bus or catch a ride with someone. Right down the road is the regional police station and an army base. People pick their kids up from there after school all the time.
The bus stop across from the school entrance is very close from the one where the three teenagers were kidnapped and murdered at the beginning of the summer. Yet the kidnapping took place at night long after the schools were closed for the day. Usually, with school in session and armed guards right at the entrance, it is considered a safe enough place.
Five minutes after my daughter’s call, my other daughter called me. This year she started school on the Golan, a few hours away. But many of her friends still attend school at the Matnas.
“Dad, I heard a girl from the school was just killed. She was 14.” I could hear the panic in her voice. She is 14.
“How did you hear?” I asked. “People are putting this on ‘WhatsApp” (a texting app)
I told her to hold on, that nothing official had appeared in the media yet.
At this point, the kids in the schools started posting all sorts of rumors. At one time, two school girls were reported killed, a 14 year old and a 17 year old. Even though I had just spoken with both my daughters, they happen to be 14 and 17. I furiously started checking out every website for more information.
At this point, the media knew there was a story. But since only minutes had passed, there was little concrete information available. So what did they do? Not wanting to risk missing the story, they started reporting some of the rumors spreading on the internet as facts. The Times of Israel ran a headline referring to a murdered 14 year old. Other articles said that the terrorist had been killed by soldiers.
Now that it was in the media, many people started posting the news reports on social media. Facebook and Twitter fed the media which in turn fed the social networks. It was a huge cycle of disinformation caused by an immense desire to know everything instantly. Something that is just not possible.
It took about 45 minutes for the full details to come to light. That is actually amazingly fast.
But it seemed to take forever.
A terrorist had driven his car into the bus stop, missing the people there. He then jumped out of his car and stabbed to death 26 year old Dalia Lemkus. He then turned his knife on another man waiting at the stop. A passerby saw what was going on, stopped his car, and tried to wrestle the attacker to the ground. While this was happening, one of the high school girls who was at the scene ran to the school gate and yelled for the guard. He responded immediately and ran about 50 meters to where he could shoot the terrorist. The girl who had called for help gave her version of events to other girls there. Within seconds, the schools were locked down, and the news was flying from the students’ phones.
It is an important lesson in the way we get information today. Sometimes stories are written that report inaccuracies because of the bias of the journalist. We certainly have seen our share of those, and it’s what we spend most of our time at HonestReporting fighting.
But other times, the nature of how information spreads these days and our need to know what happened instantly is what allows false information to be published.
I was standing outside with my phone, going from one site to another trying to figure out what had happened. While I knew the first reports would most likely be wrong, with my daughter so close to the scene, I was desperate for information. I did not want to wait those 45 minutes — and I’m someone who works with the media every day.
The proliferation of smart phones and other mobile internet devices means that not only can one be a consumer of news at any time, but also that anyone can be a journalist within seconds. Anyone who happens to be be close to where a news event occurs becomes a reporter. And the media take those reports as seriously as those filled by professional correspondents.

It’s just something to keep in mind that unless you have actually seen something in person, it would be best not to post on social media before the facts come to light. I am sure I was not the only one using every source I could think of at the time to learn what happened. Reporting news is a huge responsibility, and what you put on social media can spread further than you could imagine.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Israeli Plants Resistant to Climate Change

Ayalim Association was founded in 2002 with the goal of strengthening existing communities and social involvement in the Negev and Galilee. The Association’s role is to revive the former pioneering spirit  in the 21st century and with means to achieve this goal through the establishment of student and entrepreneur villages.

A recently published study by Ayalim shows that while Israel, like the rest of the world, is expected to be impacted by the effect of global warming, Israel’s plans are more resilient than other plant species when it comes to being able to withstand the stresses of global warming. The study took place over the course of a few years and included scientists from Israel, Germany and the United States.

They studied a variety of different plant species from around the world under conditions similar to those expected to occur due to climate changes.  The researchers assumed that different species of flora, including oats, barley and a range of flowering plants and clover would either die of or disperse their seeds in an attempt to find cooler locations with more rainfall.  When it came to these Israeli plant species, many did not.

The researchers explain that over the past 1000 years, these plan species have become increasingly resilient.  The results of this study are making climate researchers rethink the impacts of global warming on Israel and the surrounding region.  One of the researchers commented by saying that  “plant communities in the Holy Land can cope with climate change of ‘biblical’ dimensions.”

"Our plants are strong and so our the people of Israel!" says the spokesman 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Situation on Jerusalem's Temple Mount:

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where the two Jewish Temples were located, is the holiest site in Judaism. Called Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) by Muslims, the site now contains the Dome of the Rock as well as the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is considered to be the third holiest site in Islam.

The al-Aqsa Mosque is situated at the southern end of the Temple Mount plaza (esplanade), covering a relatively small part of its surface. Moreover, all evidence places the historical Jewish Temples on a different part of the Temple Mount than that now occupied by the mosque.

When Israel reunited Jerusalem in 1967, it decided to allow the Islamic Waqf to continue to administer the site. Israel also chose to uphold the existing status quo, according to which non-Muslims can visit the Temple Mount at fixed times, but are not permitted to conduct any prayers. Moreover, non-Muslims who visit the Temple Mount cannot enter the al-Aqsa Mosque itself and are limited to visiting other parts of the site, mainly the large open spaces.

It is very important to note that the Government of Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and will oppose all proposals to change it.

In the past few months, Palestinian radicals have been trying to breach the status quo by preventing Christians and Jews from visiting the Temple Mount. Palestinian rioters - incited by Hamas and the radical branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel - have attacked visitors as well as the police with stones and fireworks, using the al-Aqsa Mosque as their base of operations. The Israeli authorities have sought to contain these attempts by Islamist extremists to escalate the situation on the Temple Mount.

The ridiculous accusations that Israel plans to harm the al-Aqsa Mosque are utterly baseless. The fact that they are made not only by Islamist extremists but also by the mainstream Palestinian leadership is alarming and dangerous.

It is the Palestinian rioters themselves who are defiling the al-Aqsa Mosque by transforming it into a base for attacks. They use the mosque's furniture as barricades and launch fireworks from inside its premises, where carpets and wooden beams could easily catch fire. The rioters are also demonstrating their disrespect for the many Muslim worshippers who simply wish to pray in peace, as well as for the Islamic Waqf that manages the site.

The Israeli Police, which is responsible for public order in Jerusalem, takes extra care not to hurt the sensitivities of Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount. Officers only enter the area in specific cases when riots have to be controlled. Moreover, as a matter of policy, the police never enter the mosque itself. Although they often find themselves in life-threatening situations, police officers who operate on the Temple Mount are equipped merely with non-lethal measures.

Both Muslim worshippers and visitors from other faiths are expected to respect the status quo. Anyone who breaks the rules will be dealt with accordingly by the police, whether they are Muslim, Jewish or members of another faith.

Israel places the highest value on upholding freedom of religion and worship. Jewish holy sites (like the Western Wall), are open to visitors of all faiths, as are the Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

The following is a link to a video clip which shows Palestinian rioters desecrating and endangering the al-Aqsa Mosque they pretend to protect:

Terror attack in Jerusalem

According to initial media reports, a Palestinian terrorist used his car to deliberately drive into a crowd of Israelis near a light-rail train station in Jerusalem around noon today (Israel time). 

The driver from eastern Jerusalem (member of Hamas) sped away and then crashed into a second group of pedistrians and other cars. Shortly afterwards, the terrorist exited his car and attacked passers-by with a metal pole. The terrorist was shot dead by the police.

One person was killed and approximately nine people were injured, including two in serious condition.

This is the second deliberate attack on a Jerusalem light-rail station using a vehicle in recent times. The last car attack, which took place exactly two weeks ago (Wednesday, 22 October), killed Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old dual Israeli-American citizen and 22-year old Karen Jemima Mosquera, originally from Ecuador. 

Amnesty Presents the "Hamas Report" as Theirs!!

Amnesty's report on this summer's conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group accuses Israel of wrongdoing while producing no evidence. It is a report which could easily be interpreted as a plagiarized Hamas report

The report ignores documented war crimes perpetrated by Hamas, including the use of human shields, as well as ammunition storage and firing at Israeli civilian population centers from within schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian neighborhoods in Gaza.

The report does not mention the word terror in relation to Hamas or other armed Palestinian groups, nor mentions tunnels built by Hamas to infiltrate Israel and perpetrate terror attacks. By ignoring the nature of the enemy Israel faced in Gaza - a terror group recognized as such by the European Union, the United States and others - Amnesty's report fails to contribute to the important discussion needed to solve the conflict. Instead, Amnesty serves as a propaganda tool for Hamas and other terror groups.

In Israel, investigations are currently underway by several bodies, inside and outside the Israel Defense Forces, into over 90 incidents. Two criminal investigations are underway. These measures are dismissed by Amnesty as insufficient yet in comparison to Israel's rigorous procedures Amnesty's own methodology raises questions: The report was not written by Amnesty staff but by local contractors not mentioned by name and referred to only as "field workers". Their own credibility in producing the testimonies detailed in the report is never questioned; independent verification of their claims apparently not deemed necessary.

The extreme bias of the report is best displayed in its recommendations: Hamas is not mentioned, as if the group has no responsibility for the bloodshed; meanwhile, the report dismisses Israel's security challenges. Amnesty should understand th
at producing a narrow, decontextualized report restricts its capability to advance positive change.