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Friday, Jun. 08 ’12, Sivan 18, 5772
1. ULPANA SUPPORTERS PREPARE FOR STRUGGLE 2. LEGAL SOURCE: ULPANA RESIDENTS WERE WRONGED 3. CAMPAIGN CALLS ON LIKUD VOTERS TO ‘COME HOME’
4. JLEM: HAREIDI-SECULAR ‘LOVE MARCH’ FOR UNITY DESPITE DIFFERENCES 5. RABBI ELIYAHU SHRIKI DIES AT 90 6. KATIF EXPELLEES STUCK AS CARAVANS TAKEN FOR EXPULSION 7. NPR’S REHM TEAMS-UP WITH ISRAEL BASHERS 8. FORMER KNESSET SPEAKER SUPPORTS YESHA LABELLING
1. ULPANA SUPPORTERS PREPARE FOR STRUGGLE
by Maayana Miskin
Dozens of activists and regional leaders sat down with residents of the Ulpana neighborhood after the Regulation Bill was voted down to discuss the next stage of the struggle. Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council head Danny Dayan spoke to Arutz Sheva about the meeting.
“We”re very determined, I believe that we will ultimately be the winners here,” Dayan said. The residents have not yet decided exactly what form the struggle will take, he added, “or what kind of physical confrontation, if there will be one.”
Residents, regional officials, and rabbis sat and talked from Wednesday night until early Thursday morning.
The meeting took place in the home of Didi Dickstein and his wife. Dickstein lost his parents and a sibling in a terrorist attack in 2002; he and his wife and two children now live in Beit El, where he chairs the official Ulpana neighborhood Neighborhood Committee.
Dayan said he was heartened by meeting the Dicksteins and other residents of the neighborhood. “I found myself sitting with people who will not be broken, who will not despair, and I was very encouraged by that,” he said.
The fight to keep homes in Ulpana standing will take place on two levels, Dayan said. Activists will focus on the political struggle, but will also work on explaining their cause to the public.
“We also need to prepare, in case neither of those struggles work, to prepare for the struggle on the ground,” he added.
2. LEGAL SOURCE: ULPANA RESIDENTS WERE WRONGED
by Maayana Miskin
The planned demolition of homes in Beit El”s Ulpana neighborhood was the result of human error, a senior legal source said Friday, speaking to Arutz Sheva.
“There was a series of errors that brought the Supreme Court justices to decide as they did,” he said.
“Many mistakes have been made throughout the history of the Jewish people,” he added. “Sometimes there is no choice but to pay the price.”
He related a story from when he served as a soldier in one of Israel”s wars. His unit accidently walked into an enemy trap, and many died. “I hope you understand what I”m hinting at,” he said. “There are mistakes – that”s a part of life, unfortunately.”
Earlier in the week Minister Benny Begin made similar remarks. “A minister is only human, and sometimes not even that,” he said. “We are not immune to mistakes. But there must be a framework in which we operate.”
“We went to the Supreme Court in an attempt to get a different verdict regarding the five buildings, but we did not get what we wanted, and they did not grant our request,” Begin continued. “I believe the judges were mistaken.”
3. CAMPAIGN CALLS ON LIKUD VOTERS TO ‘COME HOME’
by Maayana Miskin
The Jewish Home party has begun a campaign to target the many thousands of religious-Zionist Israelis who are officially registered as members of Likud. The campaign calls on voters to “come home” to the Jewish Home.
It has been particularly successful in recent days following the Likud”s decision to vote against the Regulation Bill, which aimed to save Judea and Samaria homes from demolition. Since the bill was voted down more than 500 people have switched from Likud to Jewish Home.
The campaign is headed by Naftali Bennet, a former advisor to Netanyahu and former Yesha Council head.
Bennet has spoken to several groups of Likud members in recent days about what he terms “the failed concept” of joining the Likud to have an influence on Israel”s leadership. “Ultimately, when it came to all the big things the nationalist camp opposed, Likud members had no influence over the Prime Minister or the ministers,” he said.
Likud members were unable to prevent the 2005 “Disengagement” despite voting against it in a party poll.
“The only way,” Bennet says, “is to create a new nationalist camp that will keep Netanyahu in line… with MKs who do not fear the Prime Minister and are dependent on their voters alone.”
Volunteers at booths throughout the country are taking part in the campaign. Likud members can also switch their membership over the internet.
4. JLEM: HAREIDI-SECULAR ‘LOVE MARCH’ FOR UNITY DESPITE DIFFERENCES
by Maayana Miskin
Israelis from across the religious spectrum will take part in a “Love March” on Friday to show unity in the face of differences. The goal, organizers say, is to break down the barriers between various sectors of Israeli society and to increase mutual caring and love.
The march will begin at 11 a.m. in Jerusalem”s Binyanei Hauma and continue to Malkei Israel Street.
Organizer Yair Ansbacher said a similar march in Bnei Brak had been a success. “Religious, secular, and hareidi-religious people marched through the streets with signs in Hebrew and Yiddish. The message was that we are all one family no matter how we look,” he said.
Ilan Galdor is the head of Gesher, one of the organizations involved in arranging the march. “Gesher sees the debates in Israeli society, as heated as they may be, as a family disagreement. So we need to strengthen the ties between brothers,” he explained.
“When we understand that we are all part of one family the debate will take on a new dimension,” he continued. “David Ben Gurion, when he signed the “status quo” agreement, understood that in order to live together each side has to give for the common good. That”s the attitude we need today, too.”
Non-hareidi marchers have been asked to wear clothes “that show respect to residents,” in order to not cause offense while walking through hareidi areas. Men and women will walk together, which is frowned upon in some hareidi communities.
Organizers expressed no concern that extremists would take offense at the mixed-gender event. “We aren”t afraid of anything,” Ansbacher said. “We want to love each other.”
5. RABBI ELIYAHU SHRIKI DIES AT 90
by Maayana Miskin
Rabbi Eliyahu Shriki died Thursday morning at the age of 90. Rabbi Shriki was one of the foremost leaders of Moroccan Jewry in Israel.
He was buried in the Har Hamenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Shriki was born in Morocco and served as the head of a yeshiva and as the head of the Beit Din (religious court) of the city Illig. After coming to Israel he served as the rabbi of the town of Kesalon in the Jerusalem region and taught many students Torah.
He also wrote several books on Torah learning, and wrote several Torah scrolls.
In recent years he moved to the city of Beit Shemesh. In the days prior to his death he was hospitalized in Jerusalem”s Shaarei Tzedek Hospital.
Rabbi Shriki is survived by his eight children and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
6. KATIF EXPELLEES STUCK AS CARAVANS TAKEN FOR EXPULSION
by Maayana Miskin
The government”s plan to demolish homes in Beit El”s Ulpana neighborhood threatens to leave more than one set of families homeless. In addition to the 30 families facing eviction in Beit El, 40 young families of Gush Katif expellees are facing the prospect of another year in the temporary caravan sites that have become long-term homes.
The young families were told they could start a long-awaited mass relocation to the Lachish region and would be given 40 mobile homes to stay in while they wait for construction of permanent homes. The families underwent the complicated process of finding work in the Lachish region and registering their children to local schools.
Then, just weeks before the move was to take place, government officials informed them that the mobile homes they had been promised would be taken to Beit El instead, to be used as housing for the more than 140 people facing eviction.
“It”s adding insult to injury,” said Eitan Ben-Hor, a member of the administrative committee for the planned Lachish-region town Bnei Dekalim.
“We”re families who want to move forward to permanent communities – not to have things easy, but to sacrifice in order to push things forward,” he said. “Suddenly at the last second they take the caravans in order to expel other people.”
“I”m not disappointed,” he added. “As someone from Gush Katif I don”t expect too much from the state. But I”m shocked by the lack of compassion. There are really no words to describe it.”
7. NPR’S REHM TEAMS-UP WITH ISRAEL BASHERS
by Rachel Hirshfeld
Diane Rehm’s National Public Radio (NPR) interview program, which is aired by more than 160 public stations, is known to be unremittingly anti-Israel.
Rehm’s May 21 program did not feature a panel espousing multiple perspectives or points of view, but rather the sole opinion of Fawaz Gerges, chair of the Middle Eastern Center at the London School of Economics.
Gerges has said that it is “very unfortunate” that Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, has been branded a terrorist organization by much of the international community.
He stated that, “Hamas is first and foremost a deeply rooted political organization with social and cultural and other dimensions to it.”
During the program, Rehm accepted all of Gerges’ assertions and reinforced several of his positions, The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) exposed.
NPR news programming has included Gerges” assertions that Yasser Arafat only “flirted with limited violence.”
Rehm, herself, has implied that the recent formation of a coalition government in Israel guarantees that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “stays in office longer and perhaps prolongs this [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict.”
She has further claimed that, “Israeli policy is almost at the center of everything that happens in the Middle East.”
Regarding Iran, Rehm asked, “to what extent is the momentum building within Israel for an attack on Iran, which would inevitably draw the United States in?”
The professor”s assertion that “the settlements are being expanded, expanding on probably a monthly basis,” which he implied lies at the core of the conflict, went entirely uncontested.
Gerges further declared that Jews control American foreign policy stating, “when I say special interest groups, you’re talking about the role of AIPAC [America Israel Public Affairs Committee]. You’re talking about the role of the lobby… And President Barack Obama and his advisors have convinced themselves that they cannot really stand up.”
The Diane Rehm Show was listed among the Top 10 of the most powerful programs in public radio for 2007 and 2008. In 2010, Rehm won a Peabody Award, she has been named “Washingtonian of the Year,” one of Washington’s “100 Most Powerful Women,” and one of the “150 Most Influential People in Washington” by Washingtonian Magazine.
Yet while public broadcasting is required by law to demonstrate “strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature,” with regards to Israel such standards seem to be rarely applicable.
8. FORMER KNESSET SPEAKER SUPPORTS YESHA LABELLING
by Elad Benari
Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg has expressed support for recent decisions by several countries to label products that were produced in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron).
Switzerland”s largest supermarket chain, Migros, announced last week that it will label such products, citing its desire to offer customers greater transparency.
The chain”s decision came several days after South Africa”s Department of Trade and Industry announced that products produced by Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria cannot be labeled as products of Israel.
Denmark is planning a similar step, and will mark all products from Judea and Samaria with a special sticker. A minister explained the policy aims to give customers “full information” regarding products” origins.
In an opinion piece published in the British Independent on Thursday, Burg wrote, “Since 2009, the United Kingdom has been taking measures, in accordance with European consumer protection rules, to ensure that settlement products – goods you might find on your supermarket shelves that have been produced in the occupied Palestinian territories – are no longer labelled as “made in Israel”.
“Contrary to what you may think,” wrote the former Knesset Speaker, “EU member states which take these measures act in Israel’s interest. They do so because they take steps that defend and reinforce the Green Line, the pre-1967 border between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
“The Green Line is of decisive importance to achieving Middle East peace. It is the line that was drawn in green pencil on the maps that were on the table at the time of the cease-fire agreements between Israel and the Arab states, signed in 1949. Regrettably, this line survived only until the 1967 war.”
Burg claimed, “The large-scale and expansionist settlement enterprise erodes the Green Line every day. Residential communities, now housing more than 500,000 settlers, were established within occupied Palestinian territory in order to make us forget the Green Line’s existence and prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. It should long have been clear to every Israeli that anything located inside the Green Line is the democratic, legal, normative Israel, and anything beyond the line is something else: undemocratic, illegal, not normative. Not ours.
“But the Israeli people’s eyes are blind, their ears are deaf and their leaders are flaccid and weak. This is precisely the situation in which civilized societies urgently need feedback and intervention from the outside.”
He added that “It is not anti-Semitic and not anti-Israel to convey these messages. On the contrary: the settlers, the conquerors and their political allies – including Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel – are the real enemies of Israel’s future.”
According to Burg, “Preventing the mislabelling of settlement products as “made in Israel” and blocking their preferential entry into the EU seems a symbolic and minor step. However, in the present circumstances, it is a giant leap for Middle East peace, which seems more remote than ever.
“Contrary to what you may be told, this is not a sweeping boycott of Israel, but a subtle and moral distinction that marks the difference between Israel’s great potential and its destructive capabilities.”
Burg, who was previously an activist with the extreme leftist Peace Now, served as a Member of Knesset for the Labor party on and off between 1992 and 2004. He served as Knesset Speaker between 1999 and 2003. He resigned from public life in 2004.
In 2003, he published an article in the Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in which he declared, “Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israeli escapism.”
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