Av 7, 5772 / Thursday, Jul. 26 ’12
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- 1. In Response to BBC’s Map: Olympic Team Salutes Jerusalem
- 2. Dayan’s NYT Op-Ed: Settlements Are the Solution, Not Problem
- 3. Egypt’s President Insulted Over Video: ‘The Children are Ready’
- 4. Im Tirtzu’s Haredi Campaign Flops
- 5. Former Supreme Court Judge Miriam Ben-Porat Dies, 94
- 6. Smugglers Move 10 Million Eggs from PA to Israel
- 7. Colorado Jewish Federation Launches Fund for Shooting Victims
- 8. World’s Largest Tanach Study Event in Gush Etzion
1. In Response to BBC’s Map: Olympic Team Salutes Jerusalem
by Elad Benari
Israel’s Olympic team has decided to respond to the BBC’s assertion that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital, by preparing a video in which Israeli athletes are seen saying they are proud to represent Israel “and its capital Jerusalem.”
The British broadcast authority, which has often been charged with bias against Israel, has come under fire for listing “East Jerusalem” as the capital for the “Palestinian Olympic team” while leaving Israel listed without a capital.
After Israel and Jews around the world complained, the BBC partly corrected its mistake and stated that Israel’s “seat of government is Jerusalem” while still omitting Jerusalem as the capital. Just to get its point across, it added, “Most foreign embassies reside in Tel Aviv.”[youtube:126722]
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has also come to the rescue in a YouTube video, in which he says that although his city is “one of the coolest cities in the world and Israel’s financial and cultural center, we are not Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”
Huldai invited Britain’s Jews to visit Tel Aviv and enjoy its beaches and tourist sites. Putting aside the longtime contest between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv residents over which is the better city, he stated categorically that after tourists finish visiting all of the city’s attractions, “you are welcome to visit the historical and religious sites of the capital of Israel – Jerusalem.”
2. Dayan’s NYT Op-Ed: Settlements Are the Solution, Not Problem
by Arutz Sheva Staff
Judea and Samaria Communities Council (Yesha Council) head Danny Dayan writes this week in a op-ed for the New York Times that a two-state “solution” is no solution at all.
Dayan, who has argued vehemently against the idea of an independent Palestinian Authority state from its very inception, said in the piece, which appeared Thursday, “The U.S. government and its allies in Europe should now abandon this failed formula once and for all, and accept that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is a fait accompli. Instead of moaning that the status quo is unsustainable, the international community should work with the parties to improve it if possible.”
The article was published simultaneously in the European edition of the New York Times, the Herald Tribune and on the home page of the online edition of the New York Times.
In his piece, Dayan reminded readers that the region, where Jews had once lived, was captured by Israel in a defensive war against Arab nations who had attempted to annihilate the Jewish State entirely.
“A Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan is a recipe for disaster,” he warned. “The influx of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and other places may make a new country a hotbed of extremism. Any peace agreement will collapse as soon as Hamas assumes power, either through the force of elections, or by force of arms. Israel will have to regain control of the area, and you’ll find an Arab population larger than that which lives there today,” he warned.
About ten percent of all Israeli citizens today live in Judea, Samaria and those parts of Jerusalem that were wrested from Jordanian occupation and restored to the capital in the Six Day War, Dayan noted.
Settlements in Judea and Samaria are not part of the problem, he concluded – they are part of the solution.
3. Egypt’s President Insulted Over Video: ‘The Children are Ready’
by Hana Levi Julian
Arab media are expressing the view that an innocent video prepared to mark a holy Jewish fast day was actually secretly intended as an insult to newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
The video produced by the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, was featured by Arutz Sheva in an article about the somber day of Tisha B’Av, the ninth day in the Hebrew month of Av, when both the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. Although the day this year falls on Saturday, because it is the Sabbath, the fast is delayed and does not begin until sundown. It continues through the next day, Sunday.[youtube:126713]
The dramatic video has gone viral in just a few days. It depicts children on the beach building a beautiful model of the still-to-come and hoped-for Third Holy Temple out of sand, and calling their father to come look. It concludes with a message to adults, “The children are ready.”
Morsi has allegedly complained over a brief segment in which the father, seeing the edifice his children have built, drops his newspaper in surprise. The paper falls and folds to show a blurred image of Morsi’s face, which the Egyptians obviously felt was intended to symbolize Jewish attempts to curb Islamist aspirations for complete dominance of the Temple Mount – a central theme of Morsi’s campaign. Morsi was backed by his Muslim Brotherhood party, which dominated both houses of the Egyptian parliament before it was dissolved by a constitutional order of the High Court.
The Temple Institute denies that the picture was intentional, saying that Morsi figured in many articles during the time the video was filmed and that the picture of his face on that page of the newspaper was entirely coincidental. The Institute added that neither Morsi nor Egypt is part of the story line of the video. The appearance of an article about him on the page that day was not by intent.
The video, released six days ago, has drawn almost 200,000 views, as well as the attention of several Arabic language news outlets.
The Islamic Waqf Authority, the Muslim organization to which authority over the Temple Mount was given by then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan after the 1967 Six Day War, has been systematically attempting to destroy all vestiges of Jewish presence on the holy site.
Radical Islamists — and particularly those preaching from the Temple Mount in recent years — have claimed that a Jewish Holy Temple never existed on the Mount, the site of the Holy of Holies where by Torah Law Jewish High Priests are the only ones allowed to enter.
4. Im Tirtzu’s Haredi Campaign Flops
by Arutz Sheva
In Tirtzu, a grassroots Zionist organization, attempted to put up pro-enlistment posters in the hard-line hareidi Me’ah She’arim neighborhood of Jerusalem Wednesday night but were thwarted.
The posters are designed in the style of the pashkvilim – posters that are commonly seen on the walls of Me’ah She’arim and other hard-line hareidi neighborhoods, and serve as a means of communicating announcements to the local populace.
Im Tirtzu’s posters feature Moses’ admonition to the sons of Reuven and Gad, who asked to be exempted from liberating the Land of Canaan: “Shall your brothers go to war while you yourselves sit here?” (Numbers 32).
However, the operation went sour. A few minutes after Im Tirtzu activists arrived in the neighborhood and began to put up posters, they discovered that someone had broken into their car and stole most of the posters they had printed. They left, mission unaccomplished.
A resident of the neighborhood later explained to Arutz Sheva why he saw the operation as misguided. “It is unacceptable that Im Tirtzu activists who wish to influence the enlistment of hareidim would deliberately come to the most extremist place, Me’ah She’arim – a location whose residents traditionally do not take funds from the state, and are considered much more extreme than the rest of the city’s neighborhoods.”
“If they want to have influence, let them go to Har Nof, to Bayit Vagan and the other mixed neighborhoods. Why here, of all places? It must be a wish to create a provocation.”
The project did not receive much coverage in the news media either, possibly because Im Tirtzu is perceived as being a nationalist group, whereas Israel’s journalists are usually liberal-leftist.
Im Tirtzu Chairman Ronen Shoval said: “We approach the hareidi sector in a positive manner and out of a sincere wish to create a dialogue that will lead to cooperation. We implore the hareidi populace to show responsibility toward the general population and to be a full partner in the physical existence of the Nation of Israel, besides its spiritual existence.”
5. Former Supreme Court Judge Miriam Ben-Porat Dies, 94
by Chana Ya’ar
Former Supreme Court Judge and State Comptroller, Professor Miriam Ben-Porat, passed away Thursday at age 94. She is survived by a daughter and three grandchildren.
Born in Vitebsk, Russia, Ben-Porat grew up in Lithuania and made aliyah to then-British Mandate Palestine in 1936.
Her life was one of “firsts” – she was among the first women to study law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and to be admitted to Israel’s Bar Association.
She was the first woman ever to be appointed as a justice on the Supreme Court bench, and the first woman in Israeli history to become the nation’s State Comptroller.
In 1991, Ben-Porat was awarded the country’s highest honor – the Israel Prize – for her contribution to society and the state.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement Thursday on the passing of the former justice.
“Judge Porat was a trailblazer, an esteemed Supreme Court judge, a State Comptroller who sanctified the values of integrity and transparency, and an Israel Prize laureate,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement Thursday morning. “Her modesty, her upholding of principles and her dedication to the State are a model for equal opportunity and the supremacy of the rule of law in Israel. May her memory be blessed.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak likewise praised the justice as “an esteemed judge, and an important State Comptroller. She stuck to her principles in all of her positions,” he noted.
The funeral for Prof. Ben-Porat will be held Thursday in Jerusalem, at 7:00 p.m. in the Givat Shaul cemetery.
6. Smugglers Move 10 Million Eggs from PA to Israel
by David Lev
Fourteen Israelis were indicted Thursday for mass illegal importation of agricultural products from the Palestinian Authority. The two had a specific penchant for eggs, apparently – because they transported some 10 million eggs from farms in the PA to Israeli stores. Importing eggs from the PA to Israel is llegal becasue the eggs are not inspected, and are generally considered unsafe and unsanitary.
Those indicted were part of a large network of agricultural product smugglers, seeking to take advantage of the far lower prices on fruits, vegetables, and especially eggs in the PA. In addition, a PA resident was named in one of the indictments as the agent for PA farmers, who made the arrangements with the Israeli smugglers.
According to two indictments handed down in the case, the smugglers would line up dozens of trucks at checkpoints in Samaria, where farmers would drop off their merchandise. The indictments charge the group with a series of felonies, including giving bribes, intimidation, forging documents, money laundering, tax fraud, and endangering the public health. The indictment says that the group owed as much as NIS 7 million to the tax authorities.
The group was able to get away with their activities for so long because they apparently had an agent who worked at one of the Samaria crossings from the PA into Israel. During the time it was active, the group managed to transfer 72 truckloads of goods into Israel – including the aforementioned 10 million eggs.
One of those charged is a top official in the Israel Egg Production Council. He has been charged with fraud and suppressing evidence. He is accused of receiving bribes from the smugglers and allowing the eggs to be sold in several markets, including the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, where he intimidated merchants not to reveal that illegal eggs were being sold. The official is also accused of demanding bribes from merchants who were selling the eggs, which they were permitted to do; once they stopped paying, however, he sent public safety officers to seize and destroy the eggs as “PA contraband.”
Three of those charged are wives of the leaders of the group, and are accused of conspiring to prevent an investigation and destroying evidence.
7. Colorado Jewish Federation Launches Fund for Shooting Victims
by Rachel Hirshfeld
The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado set up a fund to aid the victims and families affected by the recent shooting that killed 12 people and injured 58 at a movie theater in the city of Aurora.
“No other community in this country understands terrorism more than the Jewish community,” the federation’s CEO, Doug Seserman, said in a statement.
“While the gunman in Aurora is a terrorist of a different kind than we’ve experience in Israel, don’t be mistaken. This guy is a heinous terrorist who gunned down innocent Coloradans to make some kind of psychotic point,” said Seserman. “As Jews, we are guided by the principle of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. And that’s not just the Jewish world. We are obligated to help in every way we can.”
Suspect James Holmes, who allegedly shot innocent moviegoers at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, was reported to be a former counselor at Camp Max Strus, which is run by Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters in Los Angeles County.
As the community umbrella organization, the Federation mobilizes resources to respond quickly to crisis situations. In response to the tragedy, Mayor Shmulik Rifman of Ramat HaNegev, Federation’s Partnership region, issued a statement saying, “We are all stunned by the news of the brutal attack and the terrible tragedy of killing innocent people in Aurora. Needless to say we share the grief of all Coloradans.”
“We mourn the lives of those who were killed and pray that those who were wounded will be healed speedily,” the statement added.
8. World’s Largest Tanach Study Event in Gush Etzion
by David Lev
The world’s largest Tanach (Hebrew Bible) study program is taking place in Gush Etzion this week. The event, which runs from Monday through Thursday this week, will see over 100 speakers and lecturers lead over 175 lectures on everything and anything Tanach-related.[youtube:126726]
The event, called “Days of the Tanach,” is taking place at Herzog College-Gush Etzion. Rami Yanai, director of the event, told Arutz Sheva that “this is the only event in Israel that deals with the Tanach to such a deep extent. We discuss many topics on the different books of the Tanach, from wide-ranging points of view, all accompanied by a Torah-oriented perspective. We also take into account the results of research on Biblical topics, dealing with them and the challenges they present from a faith point of view,” he said.
This year’s event presents Tanach topics in the light of the research done in recent years in a number of disciplines, including art, cinema, poetry, literature, prose, history, philosophy, geography, fashion, archaeology, and education.
Among the speakers at the event is Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel, Rabbi of Ramat Gan, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi of the Bnei Akiva organization, and Rabbi Hananel Etrog, head of the Shavei Hevron Yeshiva. A wide range of rabbis and Tanach experts are participating. “There has been a lot of excitement surrounding this event,” Yanai said. “We hope to keep expanding the event in the coming years.”
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