A7News: ‘Little Chance of War in 2013,’ Says Former IDF Intel Chief

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Wednesday, Dec. 26 ’12, Tevet 13, 5773

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

1. ‘LITTLE CHANCE OF WAR IN 2013,’ SAYS FORMER IDF INTEL CHIEF 2. US LIBERAL JEWS’ WAR ON ORTHODOXY AT KOTEL 3. COURT MAY BE ASKED TO STOP ‘DESTRUCTION OF HISTORY’ 4. US, RUSSIA HOPE FOR SYRIAN POWER TRANSFER BY FEBRUARY 5. RARE FIND OF TEMPLE ERA ARTIFACTS NEAR JERUSALEM 6. DRIVERS ANGRY: ARABS ATTACKED, SOLDIERS DID NOTHING 7. IRAN BEGINS NAVAL MANEUVERS IN THE PERSIAN GULF 8. THE AUSCHWITZ BOXER – A SURVIVING HOLOCAUST STORY

 

 

1. ‘LITTLE CHANCE OF WAR IN 2013,’ SAYS FORMER IDF INTEL CHIEF by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Israel”s enemies probably will not wage war in  2013, and the Palestinian Authority will not make concessions,” former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told a seminar at the University of Haifa.

 

 

“If I had to stand before the Cabinet today and estimate the probability of war in 2013, I would say there probably will be none,” he stated. Yadlin explained that Hizbullah is well aware that Israel”s deterrence is very high.

 

 

He also noted that Israel is threatened just as much by the campaign to make it appear illegitimate as it is by missiles and rockets.

 

 

Concerning Iran, Yadlin estimated that although the nuclear threat recently has been taken off the daily agenda as am “immediate” problem, it will return in 2013. “The moment that Iran has a nuclear weapon, it will become a direct threat to Israel,” he declared.

 

 

“The moment that Iranians decide to take the last start towards dropping a bomb, it will take them 4-6 months to achieve this.”

 

 

He said that the United States remains the “strongest and greatest” power in the world and that Israel should work to make sure the American administration does not distant itself from Israel. “President Obama has publicly stated he will not agree to allow a nuclear-armed  Iran, and Israel and the United States see eye-to-eye on this,” he added.

 

 

Yadlin explained that there is a problem of trust. He said, “Sometimes, many politicians do not carry out after elections the promises they made before elections. There is a problem to accept a declaration on such a critical subject as the Iranian threat.”

 

 

He added there also is a problem connected to “relations between two specific individuals,” meaning President Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

 

 

Yadlin also expressed serous doubts that the Palestinian Authority will agree to any concessions, including giving up the  demand to flood Israel with several million foreign Arabs claiming Israel as home.

 

 

He said that he thinks Israel should give up parts of eastern Jerusalem but recognized that it is irrelevant because of Abbas” refusal to compromise.

 

 

“The Palestinian Authority cannot out…concessions and therefore has chosen a very well-crafter strategy to get the world make Israel accept concessions while the PA makes none at all,” he observed.

 

 

Yadlin said that in the event of a stalemate, Israel must take the initiative and withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria, but only after implementing lessons learned from mistakes it made in the way it pulled forces out of Lebanon and Gaza,.

 

 

He said that Israel made a costly mistake in giving up security over the Philadelphi smuggling route along the Gazan-Egyptian border, and that the country must retain the Jordan Valley during any withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

 

 

The second mistake, he said, was Israel”s total withdrawal from Gaza, “up until the last inch.” “We though by doing so, would gain legitimacy in the eyes of the world, but we got absolutely nothing out of it,” according to Yadlin.

 

 

2. US LIBERAL JEWS’ WAR ON ORTHODOXY AT KOTEL by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

A Diaspora campaign, promoted by the NY Times, is pressuring Netanyahu to consider a radical change in traditional Jewish customs held for generations at the Western Wall, known as the Kotel in Hebrew,  and and allow women to pray with men”s religious prayer shawls there.

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stepped in to ask Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky “to study the issue and suggest ways to make the site more accommodating to all Jews,” New York Times new Jerusalem bureau chief Judi Rudoren wrote Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Prime Minister thinks the Western Wall has to be a site that expresses the unity of the Jewish people, both inside Israel and outside the state of Israel,” Netanyahu”s senior adviser Ron Dermer told her. “He wants to preserve the unity of world Jewry. This is an important component of Israel”s strength.”

 

 

 

 

 

A woman who prays regularly at the site responded to Arutz Sheva,  saying that the Prime Minister did not define what “accommodating to all Jews” might entail, but that it is clear that offending the traditionally Orthodox and hareidi-religious  women who are present at the holy site from dawn to dusk for prayers would not preserve unity at all – unless they are not intended to be part of that unity.

 

 

 

 

 

The so-called “Women of the Wall” movement, headed by Reform and some Conservative American immigrants, succeeded this past week in winning liberal media support for their cause from Rudoren.

 

 

 

 

 

After promoting their cause earlier this week, she followed up Tuesday with a report of  “outrage” in the Diaspora over the deeply-rooted Jewish tradition to maintain modesty and protect the sexes from dropping barriers between sexes, a modern liberal trend that has encouraged a loss of family and moral values in Western countries.

 

 

 

 

 

The issue of women wearing a prayer shawl and reading from the Torah at the Western Wall appears on the surface to be harmless, so it has been adopted as a cause célèbre as part of the Reform and Conservative movements’ decades-old attempt to destroy the Orthodox Jewish authority that dates back to the time of Moses.

 

 

 

 

 

The issue of confronting halakhic authority is not new in the Jewish world. The Bible describes attempts by Korach to usurp Moses” authority because “all of the Jewish people are holy.”

 

 

 

 

 

Similarly, the catchy, fashionable slogan of “equality,” with a push from Rudoren, has kept the Women of the Wall”s demands on the front pages in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Previous high-profile protests by the Women of the Wall failed to convince the High Court to rule against Orthodox Jewish authority at the holy site, and the justices refused their demand to carry Torah scrolls at the Wall.

 

 

 

 

 

However, the court later allowed them to do so at a more isolated area, known as Robinson”s Arch, south of the Western Wall Plaza.

 

 

 

 

 

The effort by Reform and Conservative leaders to be accepted as equals to Orthodox rabbis is the opening shot in what is bound to be a power struggle on issues far beyond that of women”s wearing a prayer shawl.

 

 

 

 

 

Rudoren unintentionally revealed their goals by writing  that the issue “has deepened a divide between the Jewish state and the Jewish Diaspora at a time when Israel is battling international isolation over its settlement policy.” The reform movement, as well as The New York Times, oppose Jewish rights to live in all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria .

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday”s report included openly biased writing, stating that “particularly leaders of the reform and conservative movements in the United States, complain that the government”s recent aggressive enforcement of restrictions at the wall has turned a national monument into an ultra-Orthodox synagogue.”

 

 

 

 

 

There was no explanation of the term “aggressive,”  and the restrictions are those that have been in force for ages and are in the rules laid down by the Kotel Rabbinate. There also is no evidence that the Western Wall is an “ultra-orthodox” synagogue. The report also ignores the existence of large Orthodox congregations of religious Zionist, Hassidic and Lithuanian yeshiva sectors in the Diaspora who are against any changes in the customs at the Kotel.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharansky confirmed to Rudoren that the Prime Minister asked him to study the issue, a political and religious hot potato, and that he hopes to hand in recommendations in  “a few months.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Liberal Diaspora recently has pressured the Jewish Agency into passing a resolution calling for a “satisfactory approach to the issue of prayer at the Western Wall.”

 

 

 

 

 

Sharansky did not directly answer Radoren”s question if women one day will be able to read the Torah and wear prayer shawls at the Western Wall.

 

 

 

 

 

“I imagine very easily a situation where everybody will have their opportunity to express their solidarity with Judaism and the Jewish people and the state of Israel in a way he or she wants, without undermining the other,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed men and women”s prayer  service is totally unacceptable in the Orthodox community and not only among “ultra-orthodox” Jews, as mainstream media implies.

 

 

 

 

 

Using a prayer shawl is halakhically permitted, but is rare. It is the custom of some women in women’s prayer groups or on the women’s side of the synagogue in recent times, as is holding the Torah in a women’s service. However,  women’s reading the Torah  is even less prevalent in women’s prayer groups and allowed only without reciting the blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

The Kotel, however, has special status and the overwhelming number or worshipers there are traditionally or hareidi Orthodox, groups that vehemently oppose those changes and who represent continuity in custom and observance..

 

 

3. COURT MAY BE ASKED TO STOP ‘DESTRUCTION OF HISTORY’ by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

The High Court may be the last resort for archaeologists to order Netanyahu to stop allowing the Waqf to destroy history at the holy site.

 

 

 

 

 

Following the latest disclosures of massive removal and dumping of dirt containing artifacts from the area of the Holy Temples, attorney Aviad Vesuli told Arutz Sheva he would appeal to the High Court.

 

 

 

 

 

He noted that Muslim authorities on the Temple Mount are “brazenly” ignoring previous rulings prohibiting them from removing debris without giving advance notice of 30 days – so that the Israel Antiquities Authority can inspect the material and decide whether it can be removed. Instead, Arab workers are continuing to haul out debris from the holy site and dump it in piles of garbage.

 

 

 

 

 

Archaeologist Tzachi Zweig-Devira told Arutz Sheva earlier this week that previous examinations of debris hauled out of the Temple Mount site revealed signatures of Kohanim (Temple priests) mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah and remains of the Holy Temple plaza.

 

 

 

 

 

Activists will hold a protest on Wednesday opposite the northern Gate of the Tribes at the Temple Mount and said if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not act, they will appeal to the court.

 

 

 

 

 

“We are most surprised and shocked by your failures to stop this grave robbery of artifacts and brazen abandonment of the High Court ruling, to which you have in effect given your agreement,” Vesuli wrote the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

 

 

 

 

 

He also wrote to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Justice and Tourism ministers, the Jerusalem police commander and the government prosecutor.

 

 

 

 

 

The removal of debris containing proof of the Holy Temples under Jewish sovereignty is part of a Palestinian Authority campaign to claim spuriously that the holy site belongs exclusively to Muslims and that the Temples never existed.

 

 

 

 

 

At the entrance to the Temple Mount, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.”

 

 

 

 

 

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has said that since the Temple Mount is part of Israeli territory, Israeli law applies there, including antiquities laws and laws regarding building and planning.

 

 

 

 

 

According to Zweig-Devira, the Waqf is also failing to protect beams from the period of the First Temple, leaving them exposed to the rains and not placing plastic on them to protect them from bad weather.

 

 

 

 

 

He noted that Waqf officials removed a pile of artifacts on Sunday, when there were no visitors to the Temple Mount, and there was no monitoring by IAA officials.

 

 

4. US, RUSSIA HOPE FOR SYRIAN POWER TRANSFER BY FEBRUARY by Chana Ya’ar

 

The US and Russia are hoping to accomplish a change in Syria’s regime by the end of February, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper report.

 

 

 

 

 

The daily Al-Rai newspaper quoted diplomatic sources this week as saying the two world superpowers were hoping to formulate a plan for a transition of power in Damascus within the next 10 weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

The plan will include an agreement for the United Nations Security Council to sponsor a Syrian transitional government as part of the effort to stop the savagery that has so far led to nearly 50,000 deaths in less than two years.

 

 

 

 

 

Despite assurances that its regime would never turn its chemical weaponry on its own people, it has become clear that Syrian Army troops have indeed done the unthinkable.

 

 

 

 

 

The London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic language newspaper on Wednesday quoted a Syrian defector who said that chemical weapons were used by Syrian troops who bombed civilians and rebels in the Homs province.

 

 

 

 

 

Abd al-Salam Abd al-Razaq, who had once served as a staff member in the Syrian Army chemical warfare division, said the bombing used sarin-type nerve gas. He added that he believed it was ordered by President Bashar al-Assad as a means of measuring the reactions of the international community.

 

 

 

 

 

“Using the gas in Homs was Assad’s way of feeling the international community’s pulse on the matter,” Razaq explained.

 

 

 

 

 

Assad has been warned repeatedly by the United States, the European Union, NATO and the United Nations that any use of his chemical weapons arsenal would be considered a crossing of “the red line.”

 

 

5. RARE FIND OF TEMPLE ERA ARTIFACTS NEAR JERUSALEM by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

 

 

 

The discovery, like may others, was made during road excavation, this time at a new section of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway, known as Highway 1. The archaeological site is known as Tel Motza, at the Motza turnoff less than five miles west of Jerusalem.

 

 

A ritual building and a cache of sacred vessels date back approximately  2,750 years.

 

 

 

 

 

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judae at the time of the First Temple,” according to Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

 

 

“The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site’s proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom’s main sacred center at the time,” they added. According to the archaeologists, “Among other finds, the site has yielded pottery figurines of men, one of them bearded, whose significance is still unknown.”

 

 

 

 

 

Tel Motza and the surrounding region are renowned for their prime archaeological importance. Many finds have previously been uncovered at the site, from a variety of different periods. From the 1990s to the beginning of the present millennium, the site was excavated in preparation for the new route taken by Highway 1.

 

 

At the time, the site’s archaeologists proposed once more identifying the site with the Biblical settlement “Mozah” mentioned in the Book of Joshua – a town in the tribal lands of Benjamin bordering on Judaea (Joshua 18: 26). The proposal was based, among other things, on the discovery at the site of a public building, a large structure with storehouses, and a considerable number of silos.

 

 

Archaeologists identified the site as a storehouse, run by high-ranking officials, for Jerusalem’s grain supplies.

 

 

The current excavations have revealed evidence that provides another aspect to our understanding of the site. “The current excavation has revealed part of a large structure, from the early days of the monarchic period (Iron Age IIA),” the archaeologists said. “The walls of the structure are massive, and it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: the rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within.

 

 

“A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure. The assemblage includes ritual pottery vessels, with fragments of chalices (bowls on a high base which were used in sacred rituals), decorated ritual pedestals, and a number of pottery figurines of two kinds: the first, small heads in human form (anthropomorphic) with a flat headdress and curling hair; the second, figurines of animals (zoomorphic) – mainly of harnessed animals.”

 

 

The archeologists stress that “The find of the sacred structure together with the accompanying cache of sacred vessels, and especially the significant coastal influence evident in the anthropomorphic figurines, still require extensive research.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ritual elements in the Kingdom of Judah are recorded in archaeological research, especially from the numerous finds of pottery figurines and other sacred objects found at many sites in Israel, and these are usually attributed to domestic rituals.

 

 

However, the remains of ritual platforms and temples used for ritual ceremonies have only been found at a few sites of this period.

 

 

According to the site’s directors, “The finds recently discovered at Tel Motza provide rare archaeological evidence for the existence of temples and ritual enclosures in the Kingdom of Judah in general, and in the Jerusalem region in particular, prior to the religious reforms throughout the kingdom at the end of the monarchic period (at the time of Hezekiah and Isaiah), which abolished all ritual sites, concentrating ritual practices solely at the Temple in Jerusalem.”

 

 

 

 

 

6. DRIVERS ANGRY: ARABS ATTACKED, SOLDIERS DID NOTHING by Maayana Miskin

 

Soldiers recently stood by and watched as Arabs attacked Jewish motorists in the Hevron region, a resident has reported.

 

 

Nehama Fishelvitch of Kiryat ARba was driving from her workplace in Tekoa toward her home on Monday when suddenly she encountered an Arab mob. Dozens of men hurled heavy stoned at her car, causing serious damage.

 

 

Nehama and her two female passengers managed to escape the ambush. Then, she told Arutz Sheva, “I saw two soldiers who saw what had happened but did nothing.”

 

 

“I opened the window, and they told me there was nothing they could do,” she recalled.

 

 

Several other drivers were attacked as well, and their cars damaged, she said. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt, she added.

 

 

“When we got to the police station to file a complaint we saw all of the cars and also a bus that had been damaged. Unfortunately, the soldiers did nothing,” she said. “They could have at least blocked the road, or fired in the air, but no, nothing.”

 

 

The situation must change, she declared. “We have to give the army the tools to deal with situations like these. I drive there every day, we have to prevent similar cases in the future.”

 

 

Additional sources told Arutz Sheva that, following the attacks Fischelvitz reported, additional troops were sent to the scene to disperse the attackers.

 

 

Military sources said that the IDF takes attacks on motorists seriously and has the tools to deal with them.

 

 

A similar incident occurred one month ago, when Arabs attacked motorists north of Jerusalem and police did nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

7. IRAN BEGINS NAVAL MANEUVERS IN THE PERSIAN GULF by Elad Benari

 

Iran on Tuesday launched naval maneuvers in the Gulf, and announced plans for another exercise in the strategic Strait of Hormuz later this week, AFP reported.

 

 

Revolutionary Guards naval units began a four-day exercise inside Iranian waters at South Pars, a joint gas field between Iran and Qatar, a Guards spokesman was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

 

 

The drill, dubbed “Fajr 91,” is aimed at honing “capabilities in executing defensive and security scenarios,” Admiral Alireza Nasseri said without elaborating.

 

 

The Guards are tasked with defending Iran’s territorial waters in the Gulf.

 

 

The regular navy, meanwhile, on December 28 begins an exercise dubbed “Velayat 91,” covering an area that includes the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean, navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari said in remarks reported by the ISNA news agency.

 

 

Warships, submarines and missile defense systems will be used and tested during the exercise, Sayari said.

 

 

“We will definitely respect the maritime border of our neighbors, and conduct the maneuvers based on international law,” Sayari said.

 

 

“Iran aims to demonstrate its defensive naval capabilities by conducting this exercise, and send a message of peace and friendship to regional countries,” he was quoted by AFP as having said.

 

 

Iran frequently conducts missile tests and maneuvers to underline its military muscle and has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tanker traffic should it be attacked.

 

 

The strait is a narrow channel at the entrance of the Gulf through which a third of the world’s traded oil passes.

 

 

The United States has warned Iran that any attempt to close the strait would be viewed as a “red line” — grounds for U.S. military action.

 

 

Iran’s navy, with 17,000 servicemen, is tasked with defending Iranian interests in the Indian Ocean and beyond. Its offshore forces are limited to half a dozen small frigates and destroyers, and three Russian Kilo class submarines.

 

 

Iran regularly denounces the regional presence of foreign forces, including the U.S., particularly those stationed in the Gulf. It says the security of the region must be ensured “by regional countries.”

 

 

Arab monarchies on the opposite side of the Gulf from Iran are worried by what they see as territorial ambitions by the Islamic republic, which frequently stresses Persia’s historic dominance over the waterway.

 

 

8. THE AUSCHWITZ BOXER – A SURVIVING HOLOCAUST STORY by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The memory of Prisoner Number 77 still brings hope to the heart of Auschwitz survivor Tadeusz Sobolewicz as he remembers how his friend boxed for bread in the notorious Nazi German camp.

 

 

The story of fellow inmate and boxer Tadeusz Pietrzykowski has been all but forgotten nearly seven decades after the end of World War II, AFP reported.

 

 

The very idea of sport at Auschwitz seems preposterous.

 

 

The camp was set up by the Nazis in southern Poland after their 1939 invasion to hold and kill Polish political prisoners, and was to become a hub of the Holocaust, during which the Nazis murdered six million Jews.

 

 

Polish author Marta Bogacka, in a new book “The Auschwitz Boxer”, has brought the story of Pietrzykowski, little known outside Poland, back into the spotlight.

 

 

To Sobolewicz, 89, it still seems like yesterday.

 

 

“The first bout took place on a Sunday in March 1941 next to the Auschwitz kitchens, between Tadeusz Pietrzykowski and the German ‘kapo’ Walter Dunning,” he told AFP, using the term for the common criminals deployed by the Nazis as overseers.

 

 

A rumor went around that Dunning, a former middleweight professional who had fallen foul of the law, was looking for an opponent in exchange for a loaf of bread and some margarine.

 

 

Pietrzykowski, a pre-war bantam weight at the boxing club Legia Warsaw, rose to the challenge. “Teddy, as the Polish media nicknamed him before the war, must have weighed about 45 kilos (99 pounds), and Walter around 70 (154 pounds),” Sobolewicz said.

 

 

In peacetime, the maximum fighting weight in Pietrzykowski’s category was 54 kilos, and 75 kilos in Dunning’s.

 

 

In June 1940 Pietrzykowski had been on the first train convoy of 700 Polish political prisoners deported to Auschwitz — a former army barracks in the city of Oswiecim. “So he was already very thin after eight months of backbreaking work and malnutrition,” Sobolewicz said.

 

 

“He was the smaller of the two, but he was agile and fast. He had an incredible punch, aimed right for the stomach, and knew how to duck his opponent’s blows. He won the fight and got his bread and margarine. You have to admit that the Germans kept their promise.”

 

 

More fights were to follow.

 

 

Pietrzykowski threw himself into them, knowing full well that he risked death by starvation.

 

 

For his fellow inmates, every blow he struck was a source of pride and hope. “We were elated. We said to ourselves, ‘As long as there’s a Pole punching a German in the face, Poland’s not finished’,” Sobolewicz said.

 

 

After Germany’s defeat by the Soviets at the Battle of Stalingrad in early 1943, the camp guards from the Nazis’ notorious SS sought ways to forget that the tide of the war was turning, Sobolewicz said. They watched the matches — pitting prisoners between themselves as well as against the kapos – and placed bets.

 

 

After the first scratch bouts, the camp authorities let the boxers build a proper ring and allowed them to make gloves, according to Bogacka’s research.

 

 

Pietrzykowski notched up some 40 fights, and around 20 more after he was transferred to the Neuengamme camp in northern Germany in 1943. He survived the war, passing away in 1991 in Bielsko-Biala in southern Poland.

 

 

His most celebrated Auschwitz match was against Schally Hottenach, a 96-kilo German. He won with a second-round knockout. That bout inspired the 1963 film “The Boxer and Death” by Slovak director Peter Solan.

 

 

Auschwitz’s twin death camp of Birkenau was purpose-built nearby in 1942.

 

 

Jews from across Europe — often told by the Nazis that they were being resettled” in the East — were sent there directly by train to be murdered in its gas chambers. The new arrivals had a meager chance of surviving thanks to the “selection”, where the SS picked out individuals deemed suitable for forced labor because of their peacetime professions.

 

 

Boxers were on the list.

 

 

Jewish middleweight Salamo Barouch, from Greece, was one who survived as a result, though he is not known to have faced Pietrzykowski in the ring.

 

 

The camp also saw football matches.

 

 

“The kapos wanted to amuse themselves. They played football amongst themselves, but taking on players of a different nationality brought an extra edge,” said Kazimierz Albin, who escaped in February 1943 and joined the Polish resistance. “And for us, being on the team meant getting extra food rations and being given lighter forced labor, so it was a chance to survive,” recalled Albin, 90.

 

 

Adam Cyra, a historian at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, said a football pitch was set up to the right of the Birkenau train ramp. “For people who were about to die, the vision of prisoners playing football against the kapos was meant to be reassuring,” he said.

 

 

A million Jews perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with tens of thousands of others including Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war, between 1940 and its liberation by the Red Army in January 1945.

 

 

 

 

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Anne's Opinions

A couple of items in today’s news caught my attention today which I would classify in the category of post-Hannukah miracles (or Christmas miracles for those who are celebrating).

The first and more important item is that Human Rights Watch, the NGO generally more interested in accusing Israel of war crimes than in prosecuting the genuine and most egregious human rights abuses that are endemic in the Middle East, has finally seen fit to accuse Hamas of violating the laws of war with their indiscriminate rocket-fire into Israel:

Armed Palestinian groups firing rockets at Israeli cities violated the laws of war during Operation Pillar of Defense, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Monday.

“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said HRW’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas.”

View original post 757 more words

Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Tuesday, Dec. 25, ’12, Tevet 12, 5773

 

Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report

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Tuesday, Dec. 25 ’12, Tevet 12, 5773

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

1. LIKUD GROUP TO BIBI: STOP ATTACKING BAYIT YEHUDI 2. RAMI LEVY MARKETING NETANYAHU 3. LIKUD MK HINTS BENNETT LIKELY TO BE IN COALITION 4. IT’S FINAL: IDF CENTRAL COMMAND APPROVES ARIEL UNIVERSITY 5. ‘AGENT 15’ PARALYZING SYRIAN VICTIMS 6. FEMALE WARRIOR TO BE HONORED FOR KILLING TERRORIST 7. 3 WOUNDED IN NEW ROCK ATTACK ON BUS AT BEIT UMMAR 8. AMERICA’S ‘911’ DEEP SECRET BUNKER IN TEL AVIV TO HAVE MEZUZAHS

 

 

1. LIKUD GROUP TO BIBI: STOP ATTACKING BAYIT YEHUDI by Gil Ronen

 

“Hamateh Haleumi Balikud (The Nationalist Likud Faction),” an internal group made up largely of party members from Judea and Samaria, criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday for his attacks on Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett.

 

The criticism follows two polls that show Bennett and his party gaining strength in the wake of Likud’s attacks upon them.

 

In a letter addressed to Netanyahu, the group wrote, “At a time at which the Left is crumbling suicidally, we would have expected Likud to learn from the Left’s mistakes and avoid unnecessary wars.”

 

“Instead of saying that the question of refusing orders is not on the agenda, and that Likud is committed to construction and not to uprooting, the movement decided to attack Bennett personally and hurtfully,” the letter added. It asked, “Does the avoidance of the question of uprooting communities indicate something about your future intentions?”

 

Hamateh Haleumi is led by Shevah Stern, Natan Englesman and David Tzviel. It was the most publicly prominent voice for Likud activists from Judea and Samaria before the arrival of Moshe Feiglin’s Jewish Leadership faction.

 

 

2. RAMI LEVY MARKETING NETANYAHU

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Supermarket chain owner Rami Levy says he rejected several political party offers to run as MK. He says a stronger Prime Minister Netanyahu  will be better for everyone.

 

Speaking to business management students in Herzliya, Globes reported that Levy said, “We have to give Netanyahu more strength in order to prevent political blackmail. I think the moment the government can take care of the economy the way it should, both the consumer and the workers will be better off.”

 

Levy, who pioneered in cutting prices to the minimum for the benefit of lower income families, operates at least three supermarkets in Judea and Samaria, one in Beitar Illit and the others in the Binyamin region of Samaria and in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem and near Efrat, as well as stores in the Jerusalem area. The Givat Shaul neighborhood Rami Levi is “mehadrin” with all the products there having the most stringent halakhic approval. 

 

The three stores in Judea and Samaria attract a mixed Arab and Jewish crowd, both as customers and workers.

 

Levy previously has come under criticism from Labor party leader Shelly Yechimovich for paying minimum wages, and he criticized her during his talk with the students.

 

“Yechimovich is unprecedented in her ability to speak eloquently,” he said of the former television and radio journalist.

 

However, he added that she “plays on the weakness of the weaker sectors of society, but has never proven herself and does not really know how to help them.”

 

Turning to the cell phone price war, Levy, whose supermarket is one of the new companies offering mobile phone service, predicted that firms offering service for 50 shekels a month will either raise their fees very quickly or will be forced to fold.

 

He also said that his chain will operate 50 supermarkets by 2015, but he did not reveal if he will open more branches in Judea and Samaria.

 

Maaleh Adumin could be one potential location due to its large population. Another possibility could be Ariel, which is a small city, but is near several Jewish communities in western Samaria.

 

 

3. LIKUD MK HINTS BENNETT LIKELY TO BE IN COALITION by Gil Ronen

 

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) hinted broadly Tuesday that despite the recent confrontations between her party and the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) under Naftali Bennett, Bennett will likely be a part of the next coalition.

 

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Hotovely stressed that Likud is the party with the most experience and the most “ideological steadfastness,” but added that “any person who sees the Jewish people’s natural right to its land as sacrosanct” is a natural ally in the next coalition. She also noted that Bennett has withdrawn comments that were interpreted as supporting refusal of orders in the military.

 

Hotovely conceded that “the real rival” in this election is the left-liberal camp, but that it is difficult to attack Labor’s Shelly Yechimovich because she is “disguising herself” as a right winger.

 

She insisted that the real way for the religious-Zionist public to make inroads into the government is through Likud and not through a “sectoral” or “niche” (party that appeals to a specific population, ed.) party. However, she conceded toward the end of the interview that “religious Zionism” would likely be represented in the next government – a clear hint at Bayit Yehudi.

 

Likud’s religious Zionist MKs, including Hotovely, tread a fine line when talking about Bennett because, on the one hand, they want religious Zionists to vote Likud and not for Bayit Yehudi; but on the other hand, they stand to alienate religious Zionists if they attack Bayit Yehudi too strongly or hint that the next coalition could be based on a deal struck with the center-left.

 

 

4. IT’S FINAL: IDF CENTRAL COMMAND APPROVES ARIEL UNIVERSITY by Gil Ronen

 

Major General Nitzan Alon, the Head of the IDF’s Central Command, has signed a document Tuesday that grants formal approval to Ariel University – formerly known as Ariel University Center – as a full-fledged university.

 

Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed Nitzan Monday to approve the recommendation of the Council for Higher Education / Judea and Samaria, making Ariel the first university in Judea and Samaria – the territory liberated by Israel in the-Six Day War.

 

The announcement by Barak’s bureau said that the approval was granted “following government decisions in this matter and after the Government Legal Advisor’s opinion on the matter was received.”

 

A deputy to the Government Legal Advisor (who is also the Attorney General) earlier published a statement that said “there is no reason preventing the military commander from using his judgment to reach a decision regarding approval of the institute as a university.”

 

 

5. ‘AGENT 15’ PARALYZING SYRIAN VICTIMS

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Doctors say that Syrian President Bashar Assad”s forces probably are using “Agent 15,” which causes paralysis, but the even worse news is that he has more deadly chemical weapons.

 

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) interviewed witnesses and victims of the recent gas bomb attack, Business Insider reported.

 

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The doctors said that Agent 15 was most likely used, but they could not confirm their conclusion without laboratory tests.

 

The effects of the gas bombs were felt immediately, with victims complaining they saw white gas, which they also smelled. They suffered shortness of breath, loss of vision, inability to speak, dizziness, nausea and paralysis.

 

Complicating their condition is the problem of using atropine needles, a common antidote to nerve gas, which actually is a toxic combination that can lead to death, according to Business Insider.

 

The use of chemical weapons, banned by international law, is seen as a sign of desperation by Assad. Continued attacks with chemical weapons will force President Barack Obama to decide whether to carry out his threat of military intervention in the event that chemical weapons were used.

 

Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons includes lethal Mustard gas, as well as Sarin and VX, all of which can cause death following an even mild exposure to the agents.

 

Evidence of Assad”s concern about foreign intervention is a report in Iranian media, controlled by the government, that Assad”s” regime has stated it is “genuinely worried” that “Syria”s enemies” could provide chemical weapons to rebels “and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government.”

 

Iran is Syria”s last remaining ally, with Russia beginning to distance itself from Assad. Moscow said last week there are other countries that could give the Syrian leader safe haven, but that it would not do so.

 

 

6. FEMALE WARRIOR TO BE HONORED FOR KILLING TERRORIST by Elad Benari

 

The Head of the IDF’s Southern Command, Tal Russo, will award a citation on Tuesday to a female fighter in the IDF’s mixed sex Caracal unit, who shot and killed a terrorist who carried out a terror attack near Israel’s border with Egypt in September.

 

Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi of the national religious community of Nof Ayalon in central Israel was killed in the attack.

 

During Tuesday’s ceremony a citation will also be awarded to the platoon sergeant from the battalion who commanded over the troops during the attack.

 

“She deserves it, congratulations – she acted decisively in this event and this is the result – everyone appreciates her for that,” another female fighter in the Caracal unit told Channel 2 News on Monday.

 

“People shouldn’t think that we only operated during this incident. We operate all the time,” added the fighter.

 

The IDF has also decided to give a citation to first lieutenant Tomer Omri, a platoon commander who worked to eliminate the terrorists who attempted to infiltrate Israel from Egypt through the Kerem Shalom crossing on August 5.

 

The terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and stole their APC before trying to enter Israel. Following the attack, Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush terrorists in the restive Sinai.

 

 

7. 3 WOUNDED IN NEW ROCK ATTACK ON BUS AT BEIT UMMAR by Chana Ya’ar

 

Three more people have been wounded in a fresh round of road terror attacks near the Palestinian Authority Arab village of Beit Ummar. An Israeli bus came under a hail of rocks Monday night as it was driving past the village on Highway 60 in Judea.

 

Paramedic teams from Magen David Adom ‘s emergency medical service treated three passengers at the scene who were slightly injured from the attack. All three were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva for further treatment.

 

Travel along that particular stretch of road is becoming increasingly dangerous, despite the presence of an IDF “pillbox” – an IDF guard house unit – at a strategic spot directly overlooking the spot from which many attacks take place.

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paid a visit Sunday to the IDF Central Command post, where he was briefed on the recent escalation in local road terror and other attacks by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and GOC central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon.

 

“We are aware that there is an upsurge in activity,” Netanyahu said during the visit. “We are committed to acting in this area, as well as in other areas, in order to ensure the security of the State of Israel, and this is what we will do.”

 

During the meeting, Netanyahu and the rest of the security establishment discussed what appears to be a growing trend towards the fulfillment of a recent pledge by PA terrorists to begin a “third intifada.”

 

Earlier tonight (Monday) PA Arabs attacked Israeli motorists as they drove along Highway 60 past Beit Ummar. Five vehicles were damaged and one person was injured by the rocks hurled by the Arabs at the cars.

 

On Saturday, there were clashes in Beit Ummar between IDF soldiers and PA Arabs who hurled rocks at the troops. One soldier sustained a head wound, and an Arab was shot in the leg when he tried to block medics from reaching the soldier to treat him.

 

The soldier was treated at the scene, and the rioter was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

 

 

8. AMERICA’S ‘911’ DEEP SECRET BUNKER IN TEL AVIV TO HAVE MEZUZAHS by Chana Ya’ar

 

 

 

American media has just discovered its government is helping Israel build a “secret” underground bunker. “Site 911” will be equipped with aluminum-encased mezuzot.

 

The tender for the construction project – a “Request for Proposals” in U.S. parlance – is worth about $100 million, according to the article written by venerated, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Walter Pincus.

 

Only workers from approved countries can participate in building the complex, which is estimated to take about two years to complete. The project is apparently to be funded with U.S. foreign aid.

 

But as with every other building in the Jewish State, even this “deep secret” underground bunker and the complex above will bear a proper mezuzah on every door in the facility, in accordance with Jewish law, as seen in the plans detailed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

 

 

The small scrolls “shall be written in inerasable ink, on… uncoated leather parchment’ according to the USACE description. They must be handwritten by a scribe “holding a written authorization according to Jewish law.” The writing, the Corps continues, may be “Ashkenazik or Sephardik” but “not a mixture” and “must be uniform.” In addition, the well-informed Corps continues, “The Mezuzahs shall be proofread by a computer at an authorized institution for Mezuzah inspection, as well as manually proofread for the form of the letters by a proofreader authorized by the Chief Rabbinate.” The mezuzah shall be supplied with an aluminum housing with holes so it can be connected to the doorpost, and “All Mezuzahs for the facility shall be affixed by the Base’s Rabbi or his appointed representative and not by the contractor staff.”

 

For obvious reasons, tight controls are being exercised over who is accepted to work at the site.

 

Upon its completion, the 127,000-square-foot bunker, equipped with shock-resistant doors and fortified against radiation, is planned to contain five underground levels.

 

The compound will also include six buildings on the surface and comes complete with three outdoor picnic tables and various landscaping rocks, designed by Ada Karmi Melamede Architects.

 

In the underground facility, classrooms, a laboratory and an auditorium will be placed on the first three floors, under which will be two other, smaller floors.

 

A second, higher-security site is also being planned, at a similar cost but with greater technical complexities, to be called 911 Phase 2.

Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Sunday, Dec. 23 ’12, Tevet 10, 5773

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Sunday, Dec. 23 ’12, Tevet 10, 5773

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

1. ARAB ‘TAXI TERRORIST’ RUNS OVER POLICEMAN 2. CAIRO COURT TO RULE ON MUBARAK APPEAL OF LIFE SENTENCE 3. PA ARAB VIOLENCE AT BEIT UMMAR, IDF SOLDIER WOUNDED 4. SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS SECURE, SAYS ISRAELI DEFENSE EXPERT 5. HAMAS PREPARING FOR WAR AGAINST ABBAS, REPORTS SUNDAY TIMES 6. FOREIGN MINISTRY RUSHES TO APOLOGIZE OVER ‘JESUS’ POST 7. WHEN THE FAR LEFT CALLS FOR MODEST CLOTHING 8. SEA OF GALILEE RISES BY 7 INCHES IN DAY

 

 

1. ARAB ‘TAXI TERRORIST’ RUNS OVER POLICEMAN by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Jerusalem police shot and wounded a Jerusalem Arab taxi driver-turned terrorist Sunday morning after he ran into a Border Police officer, wounding him in his leg.

 

The driver, approximately age 21, approached a police station in Jabel Mukaber, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood near Talpiot.

 

After the taxi cab hit a supply truck at the entrance to the police station, a Border Police officer began talking to the driver, who then put the cab in reverse and then back into the drive position, aiming at the Border Police officer.

 

Jerusalem police at the scene immediately opened fire.

 

Both the Border Police officer and the taxi driver were taken to hospitals for medical care. The driver said as he was entering the hospital, “I went crazy. I wanted to die.”

 

An eyewitness at the scene, Oved Arad, told Arutz Sheva that uncontrolled crimes in the area have encouraged criminals to become terrorists.

 

Arad, who works with the Regavim organization that fights against for rights of Jews to build and campaigns against illegal building by Arabs, said, “We have been complaining for a long time about the abandonment of the problem of illegal building in eastern Jerusalem.

 

“It is impossible not to be surprised when criminal activity turns into terrorism.”

 

Regavim has called on the government to restore sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.

 

There has been an increase in terror attacks on Jews in the area the past two years, with  dozens of near-deaths as a result of Arabs blocking narrow streets and attacking Jews with rocks and clubs.

 

 

2. CAIRO COURT TO RULE ON MUBARAK APPEAL OF LIFE SENTENCE by Chana Ya’ar

 

A Cairo court will review the appeal by former President Hosni Mubarak of a sentence condemning him to life in prison for the 2011 deaths of protesters who deposed him.

 

Some 850 demonstrators died in the January 25 Revolution that began in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and ended up sweeping away Mubarak’s 31-year reign over Egypt.

 

Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli were sentenced to life in prison after having been held responsible for the deaths of the protesters in the revolution.

 

Security forces became increasingly brutal in their use of force as the mob increased both in numbers and intensity, eventually beating protesters and firing into the crowds.

 

A court source said a ruling on the appeals of both men would be handed down on January 13. If accepted for review, both will be retried.

 

Mubarak has suffered from serious health problems for years. He had a major heart attack after being sentenced to life in prison, and both his attorneys and family have pleaded with the new regime for leniency over his health.

 

Mubarak was transferred to a military hospital in Cairo last Wednesday after stumbling in the shower and sustaining injuries a few days earlier. Mubarak, 84, was reportedly being treated and was to be returned to the prison once his health had improved.

 

Egyptian media has reported that current Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is suffering from a brain tumor. The Al-Wafed newspaper said in its report last week that although the tumor in his brain is currently small, it is spreading and Morsi must have it removed by the end of January.

 

 

3. PA ARAB VIOLENCE AT BEIT UMMAR, IDF SOLDIER WOUNDED by Chana Ya’ar

 

Palestinian Authority Arabs clashed with Israeli troops Saturday in a rock attack near the Judean village of Beit Ummar. An IDF officer suffered a head injury when he was struck by one of the stones hurled by the rioting Arabs.

 

IDF soldiers responded with gunfire aimed at the legs of those who were trying to prevent medical crews from evacuating the injured officer, according to the IDF.

 

One of the rioting Arabs sustained a gunshot wound in the leg while attempting to block medics from reaching the wounded IDF officer.

 

Both the IDF officer and the PA Arab attacker were taken to nearby hospitals for medical treatment.

 

Beit Ummar is a PA Arab village that has long been a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment and terrorism. The village is located along the southern leg of the Highway 60 north-south artery that runs from the southern Hevron Hills through the Samaria (Shomron) region.

 

A young woman was hospitalized two weeks ago for head injuries after a metal cylinder was hurled through the window of the car her husband was driving.

 

The woman was injured when the window, on her side of the car, was smashed.  She has since been released from the hospital but still suffers from pain and trauma.

 

Three weeks ago, an Israeli driver was also lightly wounded when she came under attack by PA Arabs hurling stones at her vehicle as she drove past Beit Ummar on a Friday afternoon.

 

The driver was able to make it past the danger zone and into the nearby Jewish town of Karmei Tzur, where she was treated by IDF medics.

 

In October, Israeli security forces arrested two fugitive PA Arab men in Beit Ummar with ties to the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

 

 

4. SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS SECURE, SAYS ISRAELI DEFENSE EXPERT by Chana Ya’ar

 

According to Defense Ministry military expert Amos Gilad, for the moment, there appears to be a balance of power between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces.

 

It is that delicate balance that is keeping the chemical weapons in check, Gilad told listeners in an interview broadcast Sunday morning on IDF Army Radio.

 

“Suppose he (Assad) does leave,” said Gilad. “There could be chaos… In the Middle East, you never know who will come instead.

 

“We need to stay level-headed; the entire world is dealing with this,” Gilad pointed out, but added, “At the moment, chemical weapons are under control.”

 

Nevertheless, Assad’s forces are slowly losing ground, and rebel forces are gaining territory by the day.

 

But the rebel forces are fragmented –  they are split into two major factions, one of which is a radical Islamist coalition. The other is comprised of various groups that have banded together but which are various sects that range in observance from completely secular to moderately observant Muslim, or Christian.

 

At some point, they may begin to also fight each other. But for now, they are still united against a common enemy: Assad.

 

“The opposition is not managing to defeat him, and he is not defeating the opposition, though more and more parts of Syria are no longer under his control, and that is what matters,” Gilad said.

 

 

5. HAMAS PREPARING FOR WAR AGAINST ABBAS, REPORTS SUNDAY TIMES by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Hamas is preparing to duplicate its 2007 civil war in Gaza and has instructed terror cells in Judea and Samaria to get ready for a military coup to oust Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, according to a London Sunday Times based on Israeli intelligence sources.

 

The orders reportedly came from Hamas” supreme leader Khaled Mashaal, who recently visited Gaza to celebrate what the terrorist organization claimed was a victory over Israel in last month”s missile war.

 

Citing unnamed officials in the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the London newspaper said that Iran is behind the plan for a coup. According to the Sunday Times, Iran wants to have an allied militia in Judea and Samaria, parallel to Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon.

 

Tawfik Tirawi, a former PA intelligence director and now a senior member of Abbas” Fatah party, told the newspaper, “Hamas wants intifada and will take over the West Bank.

 

“We”re on the verge of catastrophe,” he said.

 

“Bibi [Netanyahu] understands the geopolitical changes in the Middle East. No way would [he] give up an inch of the West Bank – he is convinced that the intelligence assessment about a Muslim Brotherhood [Hamas] takeover is solid,” according to the London newspaper.

 

The report provides evidence that Prime Minister Netanyahu is making it clear that Israel is not to be shown as being weak. The intelligence information may have been one of the reasons, if not the major cause, for his recent and unusually solid nationalist statements for building new homes for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

 

It also contradicts mainstream media claims that Netanyahu’s statements were part of an election campaign to attract nationalists away from the Jewish Home party.

 

The information published in London totally eliminates the idea promoted by leftist commentators that Netanyahu”s” policies are designed to strengthen Hamas at the expense of Abbas, who has advertised himself as a “peace partner.” Abbas has won international support for demands that preclude negotiations on future borders while at the same time promoting unity with Hamas.

 

 

6. FOREIGN MINISTRY RUSHES TO APOLOGIZE OVER ‘JESUS’ POST by Gil Ronen

 

 

 

The Foreign Ministry has launched a probe into the posting of a Facebook message by the Israel embassy in Ireland that said if Jesus and Mary were alive today in Bethlehem, they would probably be lynched by local Arabs.

 

Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, “We all agree that it was improper, inappropriate.” He said Tuesday that it wasn’t clear who posted the message.

 

The post included a picture of Jesus and Mary accompanied by a message saying, “A thought for Christmas … If Jesus and Mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians. Just a thought …”

 

The embassy removed the message a few hours after it was posted and issued an apology, saying, “To whom it may concern, an image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page. We removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Merry Christmas!”

 

In its rush to apologize, the Foreign Ministry made no mention of the fact that the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Prisoners said in November that Jesus was “the first Palestinian and the first [Islamic] martyr in history.”

 

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Similar statements have been made in the past by PA officials and propagandists. These statements carry clear a anti-Semitic message, blaming “the Jews” for killing Jesus, who was himself a Jew, as were his disciples, while mendaciously claiming that Jesus was a “Palestinian” millennia before the term even existed. No denunciations, by Israel or other countries, are known to have been issued, and the PA certainly made no apologies.

 

The Foreign Ministry also did not mention the fact that Christians have been violently and sadistically persecuted in the PA, and that areas under PA control have seen massive emigration of Christians. In Bethlehem, the Christian population reportedly went from a 60 percent majority in 1990 to a 40 percent minority in 2000, to about 15 percent of the city’s total population in 2008.

 

International human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner, who teaches at Hebrew University, told the Jerusalem Institute for Global Jewish Affairs that, under the PA-Fatah regime, Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuses by Muslims.

 

“There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion,” he said. PA officials are directly responsible for many of the attacks, and some Muslims who have converted to Christianity have been murdered.

 

 

7. WHEN THE FAR LEFT CALLS FOR MODEST CLOTHING by Maayana Miskin

 

While the Israeli left has been extremely critical of hareidi Jews who pressure others to dress modestly, it turns out that sometimes the left supports modest dress. The extreme-left Magazine Hakibush (Occupation Magazine) recently called on its readers to dress modestly and respect community norms – when visiting Palestinian Authority Arab areas.

 

The magazine called on readers to join Arabs in the Hevron hills, and added, “Remember to bring your ID card, water, a hat, and modest clothing that respects the sensitivities of the Palestinians.”

 

The appeal mentioned shorts and sleeveless shirts as two things that should not be worn.

 

The planned visit to the Hevron hills area is part of an ongoing campaign. While far-left and anarchist groups say the purpose of the campaign is to help Arab farmers fight for their rights, Jews living in the region say the campaign deliberately foments conflict.

 

“We had discussions and agreements with the Arabs. There was co-existence and dialogue, but since the leftist activists entered the picture, everything has changed,” residents of the area told Arutz Sheva in a 2010 interview.

 

Far-left groups claim to be helping Arab farmers to cultivate their own land. However, local Jews say, in reality they target plots of land within Jewish communities that were not previously cultivated by Arab farmers.

 

 

8. SEA OF GALILEE RISES BY 7 INCHES IN DAY by Gil Ronen

 

 

 

The Kinneret, or Sea of Galilee, rose by a whopping 18 centimeters (7 inches) in the course of Saturday, and is now only 3.21 meters short of the maximum level, at which authorities allow its water to flow southward, into the Jordan River and Dead Sea.

 

Since Thursday, the Kinneret’s level has risen by 24 cm (9.5 inches), and it is expected to rise further in the next 24 hours. The Water Authority said that the rise sets a 10-year record for the month of December in the last ten years.

 

The head of the Kinneret Administration, Pinchas Green, told Arutz Sheva, “There has not been such a meaningful rise in such a short time for many years, and certainly not at this time of year. Usually it starts rising from mid-December, and this year the rise started as early as November.”

 

Green noted that the soil became saturated at an early stage, causing the flooding to begin early as well. The soil requires about 150 mm of rain in order to reach saturation.

 

He explained that since Thursday, there has been heavy rain in all of the regions from which water flows to the Kinneret: Kiryat Shmona, the Golan Heights, the Naftali Mountains, Merom Hagalil and the Upper Galilee.

 

Green is not certain that the Kinneret will reach its topmost level this winter, but he noted that the Kinneret rose by 4.7 meters in the winter of 2003, and that it rose by 4 meters in 1992, with another 1.5 meters being allowed to flow out to the Dead Sea.

 

“Let us hope that the seven bad years are over and that we are approaching the seven good years,” he said. “Perhaps this winter will provide a pleasant surprise.”

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