Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report
Delivered Daily via Email, Sunday thru Friday Subscribe to this Daily Israel Report:
Tuesday, Jun. 26 ’12, Tammuz 6, 5772
1. LAST PRAYERS FOR ULPANA EXPULSION VICTIMS 2. COMMISSIONER: DEMOS WERE ‘WELL PLANNED VIOLENCE’
3. ‘CEASEFIRE WAR’ CONTINUES WITH ROCKET ATTACK ON KIBBUTZ 4. KASSAM ROCKETS FAIL TO SILENCE WEDDING BELLS 5. FORMER ISRAEL ENVOY TO SOUTH AFRICA BACKS BOYCOTT 6. PUTIN WARNS ATTACK ON IRAN WILL BACKFIRE 7. ULPANA NEIGHBORHOOD: PICTURES OF QUIET EVICTION 8. NEW, LARGER ULPANA NEIGHBORHOOD DEDICATION TODAY
1. LAST PRAYERS FOR ULPANA EXPULSION VICTIMS
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Beit El Rabbi Zalman Melamed joined Ulpana neighborhood expulsion victims Tuesday for their last morning prayers before the expulsion of the families.
A feeling of mourning and anger hung over the neighborhood, where the residents said there would be no violence. After the 6:45 prayers concluded, the Defense Ministry deployed workers to load up their possessions and move them to temporary “caravan homes,” trailer housing without wheels.
No soldiers were present Tuesday morning, and parents moved their children elsewhere so they would not have to witness the removal of possessions and the first 15 families, which is to be completed by nightfall. The expulsion of 17 other families is expected to be completed by Thursday.
The expulsions were ordered by the High Court although some of the families have been living in five multi-apartment buildings for more than a decade. The court accepted a Peace Now petition and rejected arguments that the land on which the homes were built was bought from the original Arab owners, although no proof was presented that the supposed Arab owner had legal possession of the property.
The Defense Ministry has been working feverishly the past two weeks to prepare the temporary homes for the residents of the Ulpana neighborhood homes that were singled out in the Peace Now petition. Most of the neighborhood remains intact because there is no question concerning the legality of the rest of the homes.
Ironically, the temporary homes are located on a base adjacent to Beit El which is the home of Border Police, who have carried out hundreds of middle-of-the-night demolitions, often without presenting court approval, of dozens of outposts in Judea and Samaria.
2. COMMISSIONER: DEMOS WERE ‘WELL PLANNED VIOLENCE’
by Gil Ronen
Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. Yohanan Danino said Tuesday that the violence in Tel Aviv at week’s end was not a spontaneous grassroots protest but “a pre-planned series of violent offenses,” according to IDF Radio.
The protesters planned to place their social agenda in the public spotlight “at any price,” he said, “but the price is too heavy for the state of Israel.”
“There is nothing more absurd than the accusation that the police will not allow a protest,” insisted Danino. “We will do everything so that the protests take place, but freedom of demonstration must not turn into chaos.”
The commissioner said that the right to protest does not include the right to cause bodily harm and damage the property of other people. Police will give its permission to hold protests as long as they are legitimate and carried out in accordance with the law.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the right to protest is a basic one in a democracy, but there is no room for violence and vandalism. “I opposed violence during the evacuation from Gaza too,” he explained, “and the same holds true for the social protest. There is no difference between violence from the left and violence from the right.”
Steinitz and Danino spoke at a Finance Ministry conference in Jerusalem.
3. ‘CEASEFIRE WAR’ CONTINUES WITH ROCKET ATTACK ON KIBBUTZ
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza continued their “ceasefire war” Tuesday morning and fired a Kassam rocket on a kibbutz chicken barn, causing damage but no physical injuries.
The rocket exploded in the area of Sderot, located less than a mile from northern Gaza.
This week”s unannounced ceasefire, similar to dozens of others the past several years, resulted in a relative quiet after last week”s massive barrage of more than 150 Grad Missiles, Kassam rockets and mortar shells.
Israel has refrained from any massive retaliation this week and has restricted itself to filing another complaint to the United Nations over missile and rocket attacks on civilians.
As in the past, mainstream media have reported that the rocket and missiles usually caused no damage but did not note the minor miracles of the explosions often taking place only several feet from homes. The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down at least five oncoming missiles on the port city of Ashkelon.
One rocket last week fell in the yard of a home at a kibbutz, causing damage to the home. Several people were wounded in a separate attack.
The peak of the latest attacks was last Wednesday, when Hamas and other terrorists launched 69 missiles and rockets on southern Israel. The previous day, 47 attacks were recorded.
Another 36 missiles and rockets were launched during the next three days.
The phenomenon of an escalation of missile attacks, quick but restrained IDF retaliation, followed by “relative calm” and un-honored “ceasefires” has become an established routine.
4. KASSAM ROCKETS FAIL TO SILENCE WEDDING BELLS
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A young couple married in a “flash wedding” near Tel Aviv last week after Hamas rocket fire prevented the marriage at Kibbutz Alumim, whose fields abut the Gaza security fence at northern Gaza.
Weddings at Alumim, a strictly agricultural kibbutz, frequently have been punctuated by the sound of rocket fire, but these seldom have interrupted nuptial ceremonies.
Last week”s rocket barrage changed the situation.
Invitations to more than 650 guests already had been sent for the wedding of Rinat Shickler, of the kibbutz, and her husband, who serves in the IDF.
Massive rocket and missile attacks forced them to find a last-minute alternative only several hours before the wedding.
The family contacted wedding hall owner Tzion Sasportas in Petach Tikvah, adjacent to Tel Aviv, and he happily told them the hall was not booked.
“We are all Israelis – one people, one heart, if we aren”t there for each other during times of war–when will we be?” he said. He added, “This is the fastest flash wedding we have ever had here.”
Friends of the newlyweds mobilized and called the caterers and guests to direct them to the new location, but before they were married, Rinat and her fiancé stopped to take some photos in front of the Iron Dome battery, which knocks out almost all of incoming missiles aimed at Be”er Sheva and Ashkelon.
The wedding off without a hitch – but without the sounds of Kassam rocket explosions.
5. FORMER ISRAEL ENVOY TO SOUTH AFRICA BACKS BOYCOTT
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A former Israel ambassador to South Africa has turned his back on current government policy to back a boycott of goods made in Judea and Samaria.
Alon Liel was ambassador to South Africa from 1992 to 1994. He wrote this week in the South African Business Today, “I buy Israeli products every day and do my best not to buy Israeli products from the occupied territories.”
He added, “I cannot condemn the move to prevent goods made in the occupied Palestinian territory from being falsely classified as “Made in Israel.” I support the South African government”s insistence on this distinction between Israel and its occupation.”
He foresees a boycott as bringing Israel closer to an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, but previously stated liberal policies and predictions have been way off the mark.
In a 2009 interview with a blogger, he state, “In Netanyahu”s first term, he said “no peace with Arabs until they are all democracies.” But we have given up on that and understand that it”s not for us to decide who the Arab leaders should be. Basher Assad is…a very experienced president and as far as we can guess he is quite popular. He is much more outspoken, gives more interviews, he is more exposed. We don”t foresee any dangers about the control of his country.”
Liel argued for the boycott in Business Today by reasoning that “the simple act of marking settlement products differently to Israeli products pulls the rug from under the refusal to declare a border.”
He said that Israel is to blame for Arab resistance because its stated desire for peace “belittled the sense of outrage Arabs felt about what they considered a foreign intrusion.”
“Israelis have now come to the conclusion that they don”t need peace,” he wrote. “The Israeli government is not planning on withdrawing. Behind the wall, and with the army”s might, Israel is more or less kept safe without peace. The economy is growing and Tel Aviv is booming. The occupation is not a source of great moral discomfort to Israelis…
“I can understand small but symbolic acts of protest that hold a mirror up to Israeli society. As such, I cannot condemn the move to prevent goods made in the occupied Palestinian territory from being falsely classified as “Made in Israel.”
“I support the South African government”s insistence on this distinction between Israel and its occupation.””
Liel accepted the designation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “violation of international law and a tool in a project of de-facto annexation.”
6. PUTIN WARNS ATTACK ON IRAN WILL BACKFIRE
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin warned President Shimon Peres Monday that attacking Iran could backfire. He also advised the world to keep its nose out of affairs in Syria, where Russia has a vested interest.
“Look at what happened to the Americans in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I told Obama the same thing,” Putin stated concerning Iran. “There is no need to do things too quickly; one should not act without thinking first.”
Recalling the American objective to end the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in the country, Putin noted, “Iraq has a pro-Iranian regime after everything that has happened there. These things should be thought out ahead of time before doing something one will regret later.”
Putin and his Israeli hosts made their disagreements on Iran obvious although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a separate meetng that he and Putin were able to agree “that Iran”s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat first and foremost to Israel, but also to the region and to the world.”
They clearly were at odds on how to stop that pursuit.
Russia has been a constant opponent to American-led efforts to pressure Iran to allow United Nations supervision of its nuclear development program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes and not for the objective of building a nuclear weapon.
President Peres told his guest, “The Iranian people are not our enemy. Israel does threaten their existence. It is Iran’s current regime that indentifies itself as an enemy of Israel and a threat to its existence.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu was blunter. He said, “I believe that we should be doing two things now: Boosting the sanctions and also boosting the demands.
“Israel believes that the international community should have three clear demands of Iran: Stop enriching uranium inside Iran; remove all the enriched uranium from Iran; and dismantle the underground nuclear facility near Qom.”
Similarly, Putin and Netanyahu were at odds on Syria, where Russia has supplied President Bashar Assad with massive military weapons, and perhaps chemical weapons, which have been used to bomb and kill 15,000 opponents of the regime during the 16-month-old uprising.
Besides expressing wishes for peace and warning against outside interference, Putin avoided Syria.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told Putin, “Regarding our neighbor to the north, a way to end the killing and the terrible suffering of the citizens of Syria must be found.”
He and Putin also released blatantly different statement on the declaration that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi won the presidential elections in Egypt.
Putin “congratulated” Morsi on his victory, according to Russian media, and the Russian president noted “he hopes for constructive cooperation with Egypt”s new leadership in the aim of developing Russian-Egyptian relations and ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu simply noted that Israel “appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects its outcome.”
He called for “continued cooperation with the Egyptian administration on the basis of the peace accord between the two countries, which is in the interest of the two peoples and contributes to regional stability”.
7. ULPANA NEIGHBORHOOD: PICTURES OF QUIET EVICTION
by Hezki Ezra & Gil Ronen
Residents of the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El moved out of their homes without any resistance Tuesday, following an agreement between the Beit El leadership and the government.
The first 15 families are scheduled to move out Tuesday and another 15 on Thursday.
Photos: Hezki Ezra
8. NEW, LARGER ULPANA NEIGHBORHOOD DEDICATION TODAY
by Gil Ronen
The Rabbi of Beit El, Rav Zalman Melamed, announced Tuesday morning that a new neighborhood would be dedicated later in the day.
The rabbi addressed a short sermon to believers at the site of the Ulpana Neighborhood, where five apartment homes are to be dismantled upon orders from the High Court.
The new neighborhood – to which some of the families now living in the Ulpana Neighborhood will move – will be larger than the current Ulpana Neighborhood.
“Two months ago,” he said, “if someone had said that part of the base would be handed over for enlarging the community, it would have seemed like a dream, a figment of the imagination.”
“And today, with G-d’s help, we will inaugurate a new neighborhood in Beit El, inside the base, a plot that is 2.5 or 3 times larger than this one. “
This does not lessen the sorrow and suffering caused by the High Court decision, the rabbi noted, but he added: “We pray that it not only will be cancelled but turned around and that here, with G-d’s help, will be a large neighborhood, we will return to these homes, and build additional ones, and the Land of Israel will be built up soon and in our times.”