A7 Israel National News Kislev 23, 5773 / Friday, Dec. 07 ’12

 

Kislev 23, 5773 / Friday, Dec. 07 ’12

 

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Headlines

  1. 1.      Rabbanit Rachel Neria Eulogized: ‘End of an Era’
  2. 2.      Political Left Down to 34 Seats
  3. 3.      9 Illegal Entrants Crammed into Truck Wall
  4. 4.      Panetta: Assad May be Considering Using Chemical Weapons
  5. 5.      University of Toulouse Nixes Support Mtg for PFLP Terror Group
  6. 6.      Breakdown of Left ‘Embarrassing to Watch’
  7. 7.      Report: Israel Threatened to Kill Islamic Jihad Leader
  8. 8.      34 Parties to Run for Knesset

 

1. Rabbanit Rachel Neria Eulogized: ‘End of an Era’

by Maayana Miskin & Y. Kempinski

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Rabbanit Rachel Neria, the widow of Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neria, was buried Friday in Kfar Haroeh. She was laid to rest alongside her husband.

The rabbanit passed away Thursday, exactly 17 years after her husband’s death.

Her death marks “the end of an era,” said MK Michael Ben-Ari, who was one of the many who came Friday to pay their final respects. He recalled his youth in Kfar Haroeh, where he learned from Rabbi Neria and sometimes ate in the Neria family home.

“They were figures whose modesty was meaningful, who made love of the people of Israel, the land of Israel and the Torah of Israel a way of life,” he said. Their work in the field of education “is growing new sprouts everywhere,” he added.

Rabbanit Neria’s grandson, Rabbi Yitzchak Neria, recalled his grandmother Thursday. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, he said that Rabbanit Rachel Neria’s work had been focused on “a matter close to her heart – the education of the next generation.”

“Grandmother followed grandfather, Rabbi Neria of blessed memory, with unbelievable dedication,” he continued. “She went with him to Kfar Haroeh when the conditions of living were very uncertain. Together they sacrificed to raise the next generation and invest in education.”

Rabbanit Neria was born in 1921 and came to Israel in 1935. She and her husband worked with other influential figures of the time to establish the first Bnei Akiva yeshivas as well as schools for youth at risk.

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2. Political Left Down to 34 Seats

by Maayana Miskin

A poll released Friday shows the political left falling to a mere 34 seats. The Mishal Ham survey, published by Maariv, showed Labor as the second-largest party with 19 seats.

The center-left Movement party founded by Tzipi Livni was projected to win 10 seats, while Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party dropped to 5. Kadima and Meretz both remain on track to fail to pass the minimum voting threshold to enter Knesset, leaving the left and center-left with just 34 seats out of 120.

The joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remained clearly in the lead with 38 seats.

Religious-Zionist and hareidi-religious parties appear to be doing well. The survey showed Shas as the third-largest party with 13 seats and Habayit Hayehudi – Tekuma (Jewish Home) right after it with 12.

The hareidi-religious Yahadut Hatorah (UTJ) party is predicted to get its usual 6 seats. MK Chaim Amsallem’s breakaway party Am Shalem was shown for the first time crossing the vote threshold and entering Knesset with 3 seats.

The majority-Arab parties were predicted to get 3 seats each. The three majority-Arab parties are the Arab-Jewish socialist Hadash party, Balad, and the Islamic Ra’am Ta’al party. All three support a full Israeli withdrawal from territory east of the 1949 armistice line and the creation of a new Arab state in those areas; the latter two also support the acceptance as Israeli citizens of millions of Arabs who claim descent from Arabs who fled pre-state Israel during the War of Independence.

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3. 9 Illegal Entrants Crammed into Truck Wall

by Maayana Miskin

Guards at a Samaria (Shomron) checkpoint found nine Palestinian Authority residents hidden in one truck on Friday morning. The men were attempting to enter Israel illegally in order to look for work.

Guards became suspicious when they noticed a wall behind seats in the truck that seemed out of place. They found an opening in the wall and saw the nine would-be entrants hiding behind it.

An initial investigation revealed that the driver, an Israeli Arab man from Baqa al-Gharbiya, had charged each of the PA men 200 shekels in exchange for sneaking them into Israel.

The men were arrested and taken in for questioning.

Residents of PA areas continue to face high unemployment and an uncertain financial future. Israel has increased the number of work permits issued to PA Arabs, and the PA appears to have neglected a planned boycott of Israeli workplaces, but demand for employment in Israel among PA residents remains high.

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4. Panetta: Assad May be Considering Using Chemical Weapons

by Elad Benari

The Obama administration expressed fears on Thursday that the beleaguered Syrian regime may unleash chemical weapons on rebels who are pressing their campaign closer to the capital of Damascus.

“I think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned that as the opposition advances, in particular on Damascus, that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, according to ABC News.

“The intelligence that we have causes serious concerns that this is being considered,” he said.

Panetta repeated warnings to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that there will be consequences if the embattled Syrian leader decides to use chemical weapons against his own people.

“I am not going to speculate or comment what those potential consequences would be, but I think it is fair enough to say that their use of those weapons will cross the red line,” he said. “The intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered.”

Reports on Monday indicated that engineers working for Assad’s regime have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas.

U.S. officials said on Wednesday that the Syrian military is prepared to use chemical weapons against its own people and is awaiting final orders from Assad.

The officials stressed that as of now, the sarin bombs hadn’t been loaded onto planes and that Assad hadn’t issued a final order to use them. But if he does, one of the officials said, “There’s little the outside world can do to stop it.”

The heightened concern comes as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Thursday with the UN Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the options to end the conflict in Syria.

Before the meeting began Clinton said, according to ABC News, “Events on the ground in Syria are accelerating, and we see that in many different ways. The pressure against the regime in and around Damascus seems to be increasing. We’ve made it very clear what our position is with respect to chemical weapons.”

The meeting last for 40 minutes and a senior State Department official said, “It was a constructive discussion focused on how to support a political transition in practical terms. The U.S. and Russia committed to support Special Envoy Brahimi’s efforts in that regard. The next step will be a meeting in the next few days between Special Envoy Brahimi and senior officials from the United States and Russia to discuss the specifics of taking this work forward.”

U.S. President Barack Obama told Assad on Monday not to turn chemical weapons on his own people, saying, “Today, I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command, the world is watching, the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable.

“If you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable,” he added.

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Sky News on Wednesday that international intervention in Syria would be “dangerous for the whole region.”

Mekdad also said that Assad will “never, ever” leave Syria and said that “even if” Syria has chemical weapons it would not use them against its own people.

“We are saying if we have them we shall not use them against our people,” Mekdad said.

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5. University of Toulouse Nixes Support Mtg for PFLP Terror Group

by Chana Ya’ar

A meeting at the University of Toulouse intended to express support for the PFLP terrorist organization has been cancelled by administrators, according to a report Friday morning by the AFP news agency.

It is not clear where the meeting was to take place, nor at which of the university’s 22 institutions of higher learning. Established in 1229, the University of Toulouse is a consortium in Midi-Pyrenees and comprises  the fifth largest university area in the country. The featured speaker at the gathering in the southern French city was to be a representative from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The university was the scene of an attack on an Israeli delegation in late April by a group of chanting, shouting protesters calling for the extermination of Jews. The incident took place about a month after the murder of a rabbi and three young children at a Jewish day school in Toulouse. The attackers ripped down the Israeli flag from the delegation’s stall at the Le Mirail campus, in the area where Toulouse terrorist Mohamed Merah grew up.

PFLP members broke a PLO agreement to end terrorism outside Israeli-held territory in 1976 and hijacked an Air France flight bound for Tel Aviv, together with West German radical leftists from the Baader-Meinhof Gang. The terrorists landed the plane in Entebbe, Uganda and were subsequently eliminated in the famous raid by Israeli commandos who stormed the airport on the Entebbe tarmac and freed the hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s older brother Yoni Netanyahu, an IDF officer, was the sole casualty in Operation Entebbe.

The terrorist organization is the second-largest member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the entity which two weeks ago received upgraded  nonmember observer state status on behalf of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations. The Fatah faction, led by PA Chairman and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas, is the largest member in the umbrella organization.

Formed in 1967 following the Six Day War, the PFLP has sought to topple conservative Arab states, destroy Israel and apply Marxist doctrine to the “Palestinian struggle,” with support from the Soviet Union and China. On its English-language website, the PFLP quotes a statement from “Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned General Secretary of the PFLP,” sent from Hadarim Prison, explaining the organization’s current views.

PA Arabs, according to Sa’adat, have “no choice but the choice of resistance.” He accuses Israel of “aggression” in an “ongoing series of systematic attacks” which include “the expansion of settlements, division of the West Bank into ghettos and cantons… isolation and Judaization of Jerusalem, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of our people through assassinations, mass arrests and daily settler assaults on our people.” He also claims these actions are being taken under “international cover which is provided by the major imperialist powers,” in particular the United States.

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6. Breakdown of Left ‘Embarrassing to Watch’

by Maayana Miskin

On Thursday Labor party MK Amir Peretz caused an uproar in the political world when he left his party at the last minute to join Tzipi Livni’s new party, The Movement. Peretz had been in the third place on the Labor party list.

Labor newcomer Stav Shapir, who made a name for herself in the “tent protests” of 2011, said she is not concerned by Peretz’s move.

“The Labor party has a clear set of beliefs,” she told Arutz Sheva. The party’s platform remains what it was when Israel first became a state, she said. “We’ll stay on the path we’re on. Whoever joins us, joins us, whoever leaves – good luck to them.”

Peretz’s decision to leave meant Shapir was bumped up from the ninth slot on the party list to the eighth.

MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen of Likud saw things differently. The political games on the political left do not affect Likud, he said, “but the truth is, it’s embarrassing to watch.”

“I thought there would be a unified bloc, so that there would be a clear choice – left or right,” he added. However, he said, ultimately the lack of a clear, single alternative to Likud Beytenu “is the left’s problem.”

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7. Report: Israel Threatened to Kill Islamic Jihad Leader

by Elad Benari

Israel threatened to assassinate the leader of Islamic Jihad if he enters Gaza, causing the party to reconsider his upcoming visit, sources said Thursday, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

Egyptian authorities told Islamic Jihad that Israel rejected the visit and would target leader Ramadan Shalah and his deputy Ziad Nakhla if they went into Gaza, sources close to the discussions told Ma’an.

Islamic Jihad leaders are considering whether to cancel the visit, set to take place on Friday, ahead of Hamas’ 25th anniversary celebrations which start the following day, the report said.

Jihad’s leadership is in talks with the Egyptian authorities over the matter.

Meanwhile, AFP reported, the Hamas government confirmed on Thursday that its exiled politburo chief Khaled Mashaal was due in Gaza on Friday to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary. News of the planned visit was made public last week.

He had been due to visit Gaza at the start of the year, but the trip never took place.

Hamas “announces the visit of Khaled Mashaal, head of the political bureau, tomorrow December 7, to participate in the celebration of the movement’s 25th anniversary,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement quoted by AFP.

Mashaal is to meet members of different movements and residents of Gaza, “as well as representatives of the families of martyrs, prisoners and those injured in the last Israeli aggression against Gaza,” the statement added.

The visit, Abu Zuhri added, was “a fruit of the victory of the resistance over the occupation.”

Mashaal’s trip comes just two weeks after Hamas and Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal which ended Operation Pillar of Defense, an IDF operation which targeted Hamas’s terror infrastructure in Gaza.

The operation began with the targeted killing by Israel of Ahmed Jaabari, who served as the commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing.

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8. 34 Parties to Run for Knesset

by David Lev

After weeks of wrangling and infighting, all the parties that plan to run for seats in the19thKnesset have filed the names of their candidates. As of the Thursday night 10 PM deadline for filing, 34 parties had submitted lists, and received authorization from the National Election Commission to run for office.

One party that will not be running for office at all is the Atzama’ut party, formerly headed by outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The party’s new number one, Shalom Simhon, said Thursday night that he was dropping out of the party, and out of politics. After he announced he was dropping out, he informed the Commission that the party would not run. Simhon said that he was quitting out of national responsibility, because it was unfair to spend public money on a campaign that would at most yield only 2 or 3 seats.

Among the last parties to file its list was the joint Likud-Yisrael Beyteinu list. Part of the delay in filing was due to a petition by five MKs from the Likud, who had asked the court to strike down the joint list, because they had been pushed to “unrealistic spots” on the list by the interspersing of Yisrael Beyteinu MKs. The petition was rejected by the court, which said that the agreement was legal.

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Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report || Sunday, Oct. 07 ’12, Tishrei 21, 5773

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Sunday, Oct. 07 ’12, Tishrei 21, 5773

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

1. CHAG SAMEACH! SHMINI ATZERET/SIMCHAT TORAH STARTS SUNDAY NIGHT 2. ROUTE OF DRONE HINTS IT MAY HAVE BEEN AIMED AT NUCLEAR REACTOR 3. RABBI ARRESTED ON TEMPLE MOUNT FOR PRAYING 4. ISRAELI PLANES IN ‘MOCK RAIDS’ OVER LEBANON 5. LEADING ANTI-NATIONALIST: SETTLEMENTS ARE IRREVERSIBLE 6. NEO-NAZI PARTY WELCOMED INTO EUROPEAN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BODY 7. UAV FRAGMENTS SIMILAR TO IRANIAN DRONES 8. DRONE ATTACK: ‘I LEFT SYNAGOGUE AND HEARD A BOOM’

 

 

1. CHAG SAMEACH! SHMINI ATZERET/SIMCHAT TORAH STARTS SUNDAY NIGHT by Arutz Sheva Staff

 

The eight day festival that consists of Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah comes to an end Monday night, bringing an end to the month long holiday season and starting the regular year.

 

In Israel, a popular expression is “Acharei Hachagim” – lets’ wait till after the holidays – as the entire country seems to put off whatever it can from Rosh Hashannah, sometimes even from the preceding month of Elul,  until the day after Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah.

 

The Sukkot holiday marks the last of three yearly pilgrimage festivals to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple – preceded by Pesach and Shavuot – and also the end of the Tishrei holidays, Shmini Atzeret, which begins Sunday evening and is mandated in the Torah as a final “encore” holiday.

 

It is an additional day, celebrated on the day immediately following Hoshanna Raba, the solemn last and seventh day of Sukkot which is observed with mystical prayers for salvation in which the congregation marches around the bimah (table for reading the Torah, in the center of the synagogue, ed.) seven times holding the Four Species and then slams five willow branches on the floor to sympbolize the destruction of our sins but also that awaiting Israel’s enemies – the latter reason not made public knowledge for obvious reasons, as the Maharsha says, positing it as the real meaning of the willow beating.

 

Hoshanna Raba is also the day on which the Sages said that one’s year is finalized by the Almighty and Jews greet one another with the words “Pitka Tava” – hope the Heavenly note with your future is a positive one.

 

As Sukkot ends, G-d feels for the Jewish people, who want just one more day of joy before returning home from Jerusalem for the winter season and grants it to them. Jewish sages said that G-d, too, says: “It is hard for Me to see you leaving [for home]” and added the “encore” day.

 

In Israel, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined in a one-day holiday. Outside of israel, they are separate and celebrated for two days – Shmini Atzeret on the first day, and Simchat Torah on the second.

 

On Shmini Atzeret, the solemn prayer for winter rains is said, as well as the Yizkor prayer for deceased parents.

 

The Simchat Torah final holiday marks the conclusion – and starting again – of the annual public weekly readings of the Five Books of Moses, and commemorates the supreme Jewish idea of Torah study in general. Hours-long dancing with the Torah (known as hakafot) in synagogues, yeshivot, and even in the streets marks the day in Jewish communities around the world.

 

Every male in the synagogue gets called to the Torah, necessitating, in large congregations, using several scrolls and repeating the reading several times. The young children are called up together at the end of the reading, standing – or held – under a prayer shawl while the congregation recites Jacob’s blessing to his grandsons.

 

It has become customary of late for large groups of youths to spend the holiday in towns where the Jewish community is in need of “strengthening,” to extend the Simchat Torah joy as far and wide as possible.

 

In Israel, once the holiday is over, tens of thousands of people attend Hakafot Shniyot, another round of dancing and singing, at celebrations with live music in honor of the Torah that take place all over the country, indoors and outdoors.

 

Two of the most well known are the outdoor Hakafot Shniyot honoring the different Jewish “edot” [customs of Jews in different parts of the Diaspora] in Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park sponsored by philanthropist Eugen Gluck and the Hakafot Shniyot at Beit HaRav, the Jerusalem home of Israel’s first Cheif Rabbi , Rav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook.

 

Chag Sameach from Arutz Sheva!

 

For in depth reading on the holiday, see Arutz Sheva’s Judaism section.

 

 

2. ROUTE OF DRONE HINTS IT MAY HAVE BEEN AIMED AT NUCLEAR REACTOR by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

The enemy drone downed by the Air Force, Saturday, took a strange route that did not cover strategic sites, indicating Israel may have diverted it from a route over the nuclear reactor in Dimona, located due east of Gaza.

 

The UAV entered Israeli air space from the Mediterranean Sea along the Gaza Coast and then made a U-turn, flying over the southern Hevron Hills before an F-16 plane destroyed it over a non-populated area.

 

The route raises questions because there are no army or air force bases or any other strategic sites along the route.

 

Officials estimate that it was guided by a pre-programmed GPS inside the drone and not from a control center at its origin, apparently Hizbullah-dominated southern Lebanon, DEBKA File reported. Israel may have carried out a cyber attack to scramble the GPS and change its route.

 

It is widely assumed that the drone was transmitting pictures. If the drone had continued on its eastern course from Gaza, it would have flown near or directly over the nuclear reactor. Israeli officials have been concerned since earlier this year that the nuclear facility would be vulnerable to an attack from Iran.

 

If the drone was not headed for Dimona, its strange route could mean the enemy simply was testing Israel”s response system.

 

The IDF said it scrambled several F-16 jets within minutes after the UAV was detected, and the IDF said, “This drone was spotted over the Mediterranean in a sector near Gaza, before entering Israeli airspace, where the air force followed it.”

 

The fact that Israel allowed the UAV to fly over Israel for more than 20 minutes also indicates that the IAF may have diverted its route until it could safely bring it down a relatively unpopulated area. Otherwise, there would be no reason to allow an enemy craft to presumably transmit pictures.

 

 

3. RABBI ARRESTED ON TEMPLE MOUNT FOR PRAYING by Chana Ya’ar

 

On the eve of the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, at least three Jews and one Arab were arrested on the Temple Mount before noon on Sunday.

 

A man with three children was arrested, on suspicion of praying in violation of police instructions “aimed at avoiding confrontations with Muslims” on the holy site.

 

A spokesperson for the Jerusalem District Police announced also that two Jews were arrested on suspicion of prostrating themselves on the site.

 

Aviad Shapira, son of Rabbi Moshe Shapira, and brother of Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira of Ramat Gan and Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, head of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, was one of those arrested. The second detainee was Moshe Spitz of the Jewish community of Neria.

 

Both were suspected of praying on the Temple Mount, police said, and were arrested despite the apology and assurance of a local police commander, Avi Biton, who noted that one prayer on the site is permitted in accordance with a decision by the Supreme Court.

 

In general, praying on the Temple Mount is forbidden by law, police have said. Prostrating one’s self is considered to be part of prayer, and treated as such by police when spotted.

 

Police also said that an Arab was arrested as well, on suspicion of being involved in organizing the disturbances that took place at the site on Friday.

 

All three detainees were taken to the David District police station for questioning. Authorities continued to allow visits to the Temple Mount by non-Muslims as usual.

 

Hundreds of Muslim worshipers hurled rocks at police officers stationed at the Mughrabi Gate to the Temple Mount on Friday, after prayers ended at the Al Aqsa mosque on the site. No one was physically injured, but police had to force their way on to the holy ground and use stun grenades in order to repel the attackers.

 

It is not clear how the worshipers were able to suddenly access their abundant arsenal of stony missiles, since they had poured out of the mosque, allegedly after “prayers.”

 

One day earlier, Muslim violence at the mosque had succeeded in preventing Jews from not only reaching the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – but also managed to block Jews from accessing even the Western Wall, the Kotel, which is adjacent and also considered holy and a part of the area. Police barricaded the area and stopped people from entering the Western Wall plaza even though large crowds had streamed in from around the country, and some from abroad, in order to pray at the Wall during the holiday of Sukkot.

 

The seven-day holiday is one of the three festivals in the Jewish calendar during which Jews are commanded to “go up to Jerusalem to pray” at the Holy Temple – the sole remnant of which is the Western Wall that surrounded it.

 

 

4. ISRAELI PLANES IN ‘MOCK RAIDS’ OVER LEBANON by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

The Air Force carried out “mock raids” at medium altitude over southern Lebanon Sunday, hours after Israel said all indications are that Hizbullah launched a drone that was downed inside Israel on Saturday, according to the Arabic language Nahar newspaper.

 

Israel previously has carried out surveillance flights over southern Lebanon, which is under control of the Hizbullah terrorist organization. Sunday”s flights, which have not been confirmed by Israel, apparently were a response to the drone.

 

A Lebanese television station stated that Hizbullah was responsible for the drone infiltration into Israel”s air space, while Iran”s propaganda machine tried to divert attention from Hizbullah and claim the drone Israel downed was mistakenly launched by the United States.

 

Hizbullah has not officially commented on the drone, which was destroyed by Israeli Air Force F-16 jets Saturday morning over a relatively unpopulated area.

 

However, Al-Mayadeen television, linked with Hizbullah, said the terrorist group launched the drone, which “traveled 100 kilometers deep inside Israel and sparked tensions.”

 

Iran”s government-controlled Press TV told Iranians that a former Lebanese general said that drone actually was mistakenly fired by the United States. The Ahmadinejad regime frequently tried to take the focus off accusations against Iran or its allies by blaming others for terrorist attacks.

 

“[The drone must have come] from an American aircraft carrier or from [air force and military bases in] Saudi Arabia, also American bases. That”s the only possibility so far until we know after investigation,” said retired Lebanese major general Hisham Jaber in an interview with the Iranian media outlet.

 

“Jaber maintained that although the Tel Aviv regime might accuse an Arab state, it was unlikely that the drone belonged to an Arab country,” Press TV reported.

 

“Considering the good relationship between the Israeli regime and Jordan, the analyst went on to say that he did not think the drone could have been operated from Jordan, adding that it is “impossible” that the drone came from Lebanon,” it added.

 

“If Israel after investigation will remain silent and will close the file that means like we said it came from friendly side (mistakenly sent by the Americans) and it is not in their interest to talk about it,” Jaber concluded.

 

 

5. LEADING ANTI-NATIONALIST: SETTLEMENTS ARE IRREVERSIBLE by Baruch Gordon

 

A leading scholar who once was solidly against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria now says a two-state solution is a falsehood. “Settlements are here to stay.”

 

For decades, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti was a leading scholar in Israel”s pro-Arab camp, working diligently to curtail development of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.

 

He founded the West Bank Database Project in 1984 which documented social, economic, and political developments in the region, and reported on growth of the Jewish towns to Western powers which sought to halt the influx of Jews to their ancient towns.

 

In an interview last week, Benvenisti told Haaretz that a division of the land into a two-state solution is not practical and that the settlements are irreversible.

 

His comments demonstrate a growing trend among Israeli opponents of the Jewish return to Judea and Samaria. Many of the very same leaders of the struggle for “Palestinian Statehood” now recognize that it is too late – the Jewish towns of Yesha cannot be uprooted.

 

“Today, we are talking about 350,000 settlers. If you take into account (the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern) Jerusalem, then there are 550,000 settlers,” he said. “Therefore, everyone understands now what I said 30 years ago: it”s irreversible. Nothing will help Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert or Tzipi Livni – it”s irreversible. You can”t get out of this mess…

 

“Israel”s Right is correct. Look what happened in Gaza. The Disengagement [from Gaza in 2005] didn”t solve anything and put Hamas in power. Therefore, division is not a solution to the problem, but rather an escalation of the problem… At one time, it would have been possible to divide the land, but not today.”

 

He called the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines, now known as the Green Line, “the left”s great alibi [that] no longer exists.”

 

Click here for full article.

 

 

6. NEO-NAZI PARTY WELCOMED INTO EUROPEAN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BODY by Rachel Hirshfeld

 

A representative of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has been accepted as a new member of a leading European body aimed at combating discrimination.

 

Golden Dawn party member Eleni Zaroulia joined the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 1, in what the Anti-Defamation League has described as “an affront to concepts of equality and non-discrimination.”

 

The body, which is based in Strasbourg, is comprised of members from 47 European nations and was established to promote democracy, and to protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

 

The Golden Dawn party has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric and has been responsible for perpetrating attacks against Jews and foreigners.

 

Its doctrine echoes Nazi principles by proposing that, “only men and women of Greek descent and consciousness should have full political rights.” Copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority, are openly displayed at party headquarters.

 

Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos has denied that ovens and gas chambers were used in Nazi concentration camps to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

 

The party campaigned under the slogan “So we can rid the land of filth” and recently held a blood drive to collect blood “only for Hellenes,” i.e. ethnic Greeks.

 

“The despicable ideology of Golden Dawn stands in the most stark contrast imaginable to the goals of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “Given the party’s rhetoric, it is an affront to concepts of equality and non-discrimination that one of its representatives now serves as a member on this Committee.”

 

In a letter to Committee Chairperson Tina Acketoft, the ADL urged the Committee to ensure that Golden Dawn’s representative is immediately, clearly and publicly rebuked for any statements that promote Golden Dawn’s neo-Nazi ideology, and that Zaroulia be prevented from assuming any leadership responsibilities.

 

“If a procedure is available to remove her from the Committee, such action would demonstrate that commitment to the Committee’s mandate starts at home,” Foxman wrote.  “We urge you to take this step before any further harm is caused by the presence of a Golden Dawn representative on your Committee.”

 

The party recently set up an office in New York City, in an effort to reach out to Greek citizens living abroad and widen its sphere of influence.

 

The new branch”s website features the party”s logo, which very closely resembles a swastika, across the New York skyline and reads:

 

“The Golden Dawn is the only political party in Greece that unapologetically stands for the sovereignty, security, and dignity of the Greek people. The party intends to reverse decades of unlimited third world immigration which has brought crime, unemployment, disease and possibly terrorism to the once peaceful Greek cities.”

 

“Our goals are to promote and support the Golden Dawn”s nationalist ideals and vision for Greece among the Greek diaspora. We must resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist, and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order,” the website states.

 

 

7. UAV FRAGMENTS SIMILAR TO IRANIAN DRONES by Gil Ronen

 

 

 

The IDF suspects that the small UAV intercepted Saturday morning by IAF jets over the northern Sinai was launched by Iranian proxy militia Hizbullah. The drone may have been searching for targets for Iranian attacks.

 

The defense establishment has been looking at the fragments of the UAV, which fell in the area of southern Mount Hevron. According to reports, Israel initially suspected that it was launched from Sinai, but by Saturday evening, military sources said the military investigation showed the UAV had flown southward along Israel’s Mediterranean coast before turning east over Gaza and heading into Israeli airspace. It is believed to have been launched from Lebanon.

 

If this becomes the final conclusion of the investigation, the apparent culprit behind the launch would be Hizbullah. The drone could have been collecting and transmitting information on possible targets for a missile hit by Hizbullah, Iran, or both.

 

 

 

The initial investigation indicated that the UAV is similar to UAVs used by Iran.

 

Hizbullah uses both Iranian-made and Russian-made UAVs.

 

The IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, has convened a special session of top officers to discuss the proper retaliation for the UAV infiltration.

 

The IAF’s Aerial Monitoring Unit identified the UAV, which was not armed and probably served only for intelligence purposes – collecting data about IDF bases and the IAF’s operational abilities.

 

The UAV is believed to have been equipped with cameras that transmitted the images they captured onward to receivers located outside of Israel

 

 

8. DRONE ATTACK: ‘I LEFT SYNAGOGUE AND HEARD A BOOM’

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

“Ear-witnesses” said that after they left synagogue services on the Sabbath around 10 a.m., they heard a loud boom, not knowing an enemy drone had been downed.

 

Israel’s Air Force took down the drone in an isolated area in the Southern Hevron Hills, located between Hevron-Kiryat Arba and Be”er Sheva. Arutz Sheva has pinpointed the exact location, based on reports from residents in Jewish communities in the area.

 

“I left Sabbath “Musaf prayers” [the “additional” prayers recited on the Sabbath and holidays] and heard a loud boom, said “E,” who lives in a community located less than five miles from the site where the drone was downed.”

 

Another resident, who is a rabbi, told Arutz Sheva he also heard the blast, which he thought was a sonic boom.

 

Moments later, it was clear that something more dramatic had taken place. Helicopters hovered over the area and highways, used mostly by local Arabs and Bedouin, were barricaded by soldiers, while other troops combed the forest for traces of the drone.

 

IAF F-16 jets downed the enemy UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) at the Judea and Samaria security fence between the headquarters of the Southern Hevron Regional Council and the Yatir Forest, the largest planted forest in Israel.

 

The Council”s offices were closed for the Sabbath, and virtually no one lives in the immediate area in the direction of the forest. However, less than one mile to the east of the Regional Council Center and north of the fence, approximately a dozen families live in the small Jewish community of Asahael. Most of the residents were away for the Sabbath, which falls within the seven-day holiday of Sukkot.

 

 

 

 

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Home » Backspin» Israel Daily News Stream 05/21/2012

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Home » Backspin» Israel Daily News Stream 05/21/2012

Israel Daily News Stream 05/21/2012

May 21, 2012 14:46 by

Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.

60 Minutes returns to Israel. PA press freedom takes a strange turn. Any truth to rumors of an Israeli military presence in Cyprus?

Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.

Israel and the Palestinians

• Bob Simon of 60 Minutes returns to Israel to profile Tel Aviv (video or transcript). Is this an attempt to atone Simon’s recent Unholy Attack On Israel? This time around, Simon touches on the city’s cosmopolitan reputation, party scene, gay tolerance, high-tech start-ups, and, of course, “the Tel Aviv bubble.”

• Now that products from the West Bank face a South African labeling law and a similar initiative is gaining traction in Denmark, Palestinians are testing the waters for a similar effort in Canada. The Co-op, one of Britain’s largest food chains, announced its own boycott of settlement products.

Avi Boaz

• The Irish Times catches up with Jihad Jaara, a fugitive from the Church of the Nativity siege. Jaara arrived in Ireland ten years ago this week as part of the internationally brokered exile which ended the standoff. I’m glad to see the Times didn’t overlook this big skeleton in Jaara’s closet:

Jaara’s case is further complicated by the fact US investigators allege he is implicated in the murder of Avi Boaz, a septuagenarian US-born émigré to Israel who was killed near Bethlehem in January 2002. A former Newsweek journalist who wrote a book about the Church of the Nativity siege alleges Jaara told him in an interview that he had been involved. Jaara has since denied this.

The former Newsweek journalist is Josh Hammer, who elaborated on the Jaara file in the NY Times Magazine a few years ago.

• To strengthen Palestinian press freedom, “special judges” will be appointed in cases dealing with journalists. I have a better idea for strengthening press freedom in the PA. Stop arresting journalists, bloggers and Facebook activists. More on this at Maan News. Meanwhile, the PA released blogger Jamal Abu Rihan after 36 days. According to the Jerusalem Post:

He was detained on instructions from the PA attorney-general, Ahmed al-Mughni, after creating a Facebook group called “The people want to end corruption.” . . .

Most of the questions centered around my activity with the Facebook group,” Abu Rihan told the London-based  Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

“This confirms that I was arrested only because of my being a blogger.”

• Hamas’s conundrum: How do you block an Israeli-made film about the assassination of Mahmoud Mabhouh without going through the Israeli justice system you don’t recognize? This from AP:

The movie, which features Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli as a temptress working for the hit team, is a “Zionist conspiracy” to defame al-Mabhouh, said a cousin, Ahmed, who lives in Gaza. Details of the suit, including where to file it, are still being worked out, he said.

AP: “Palestinian rivals set timetable for unity deal.” Yogi Berra: “It’s like deja-vu, all over again.” ‘Nuff said.

Continued on Page 2

 

Israel Daily News Stream 05/21/2012 May 21, 2012 14:46 by

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Jonathan Tobin‘s worried about the US-Iranian nuclear talks dance:

But while prolonging “the diplomatic dance” will aid the president’s re-election prospects, it also very much plays into Tehran’s goals. So long as the talks go on, an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities is out of the question. And though some administration officials have made noises about America’s contingency plans for an attack, it’s difficult to see why Iran would take such talk seriously so long as “senior administration officials” are promising them lollipops even before the Baghdad talks start. Once re-elected, the president will, as he has said in other contexts, have the “flexibility” to change his mind about some issues. Iran has little reason to believe they are in any danger as long as they can keep Washington dancing.

Arab Spring Winter

• The Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbasset al-Megrahi, died. I’ll link to coverage in the Herald Scotland and The Scotsman. Megrahi was the only person ever convicted for blowing up Pan Am flight 103. All 259 people aboard the flight and 11 more people on the ground were killed in the 1988 attack.

• AP  capsule profiles the five main contenders for the Egyptian presidency while McClatchy News profiles a Sinai sheikh who hates Israel and secular Egyptian candidates.

• Syrian uprising spills over to Lebanon. Tim Marshall of Sky News reports on the overnight clashes between militias for and against Bashar Assad.

The fighting was sparked by the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Abdul-Wahed and a companion at an army checkpoint. Sheikh Wahed was a prominent preacher opposed to Assad. The Daily Star takes a closer look at the murder.

Dr. Amal Al-Hazzani picks apart Human Rights Watch’s criticism of NATO air strikes which reportedly killed 72 civilians. Had Dr. Al-Hazzani applied this logic to Operation Cast Lead and the Goldstone report, he’d be a pariah. Collateral damage is always tragic, but I see a lot less tolerance for it when Israel’s blamed.

Rest O’ the Roundup

• This debate between Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammed and Dr. Wafa Sultan is a great example of sunlight being a great disinfectant. Bakri’s brutally frank about radical Islam’s views on tolerance, while Sultan’s response was spot-on.

 

(Hat tip Israel Matzav)

Turkish media‘s buzzing with rumors that Israel intends to create a military presence on Cyprus to its protect oil and gas interests.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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