Monday, March 31, 2008

Construction in Israel
by Nadene Goldfoot
News of Israel's building plans after Condoleeza Rice left has hit the wires. Why is Israel defying the US by promising not to build and then stating that they are building?
It's all in understanding what was promised. Both sides still have a different interpretation of what's allowed to happen.
One of the coalition members in the Israeli Knesset is Shas, who wants building to proceed. Netanyahu has asked Shas to leave the coalition. However, Olmert promised them 800 new housing units in Betar Illit in order to keep them in his coalition. Netanyahu and Olmert belong to different parties, so they have a difference of opinion.
Olmert explained at a Kadima meeting that building in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem as well as in the major settlements will continue as they are in Israel under any agreement with the Palestinians. He said that Israel is not building new settlements.
Netanyahu felt the government was freezing construction in the settlements and not allowing their growth. He said Palestinian settlement was being encouraged. He also voiced that soon Jerusalem and the security of the country will be in danger.
Condoleeza Rice had said no expansion. Did this mean more settlements or more homes? I take it that Israel translated the term to mean no more settlements. Having taught English in Israel for 5 years, one does need to be careful with terms used.
Meanwhile, our papers are coming out stating that Israel is planning on building homes on Palestine's future state. This isn't how Israel sees it at all. The numbers I have seen for new homes are 1,400 to 1,700 in the American press. Rice also promised that she will be more "vigilant in monitoring" Israel, like Big Sister is watching! So we have Rice giving the orders to Olmert and Olmert and Netanyahu sparring with each other.
The rockets keep flying into Israel while terrorists keep attempting to creep in, but are stopped by the roadblocks Rice wants taken down.
Reference: Jerusalem Post
USA Today
CBS News

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hezbollah Rumbles Against Israel
The Middle East has heard of attacks and retaliatory threats between Israel and Hezbollah. Neither side expect a war soon, but the Hezbollah guerrillas have Iranian backing, and they are the ones threatening Israel's existence. They also have increased their rocket range and say they can hit most of Israel now.
Israel has its hands full in the south with Gaza, on the East with the West Bank, and on the North with Hezbollah. At least the West contains the Mediterranean Sea, and we do have a Navy. During the last conflict, my ex-town of Safed was hit as well as another city I had lived in; Haifa. Now I hear that the rockets have a vaster range. The Gang is ganging up again on its lone victim, Israel. These bullies have no other agenda other than to wipe out Israel. In their cities probably no one convenes to talk about how to make their citizens more comfortable in life. They must just talk about rockets.
Palestinian Terrorist From 2002 Arrested
Omar Jabar, Hamas terrorist, was arrested near Tulkarm in the West Bank. He had planned a suicide bombing at an Israeli hotel during Passover that killed 30 Israelis and injured 150 in 2002 who were in the middle of their meal.
This had led to the recapturing of the West Bank. Jabar had met a contact in 1994 when in prison. This contact became the suicide bomber, and Jabar was the recruiter and trainer for Hamas in the West Bank. He was told to establish a Hamas militia to fight the Palestinian Authority, which would have been Fatah.
Jamar bought weapons and recruited men to fight with the goal of creating a Hamas cell like the ones in Gaza.
With this alert to brewing trouble in the West Bank, it's no wonder that Israel is ready to open a new police headquarters in an area outside of Jerusalem that will serve the West Bank. Israel is also sending new vehicles and equipment to Fatah's security forces. Israel is also easing travel restrictions for West Bank businesses.
Reference: AFP via Yahoo News
Reuters via Yahoo News
World Tribune.com

Sderot: Enduring 20 Plus rockets in Two Days

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                   

Sderot: Enduring 20 Plus Rockets in Two Days

Hamas has struck Sderot with more than 20 rockets in the past two days. They injured two people. Since Israel's incursion stopped, the terrorists have used their time to smuggle and produce more rockets. During that time Egyptians and the Americans had been trying to achieve a ceasefire, and Hamas did for several days only. The Islamic Jihad, sponsored by the Iranians, continued to fire missiles and conducted sniper attacks on Israeli civilians.

Reference: World tribune.com

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How Big Is Israel?
The population of the world as of 2007 is 6 billion, 602 million, 224 thousand, 175 as of 2007.
Israel is very small. The population is 6 million, 426 thousand, 679. It is 10, 733 square miles, or 22,0072 sq km. or smaller than New Jersey. Of that, 76.4% are Jewish, 16% Muslim, and the rest Christians. This means that there are about 5,313,800 Jews in Israel as of 2006.
Lebanon is smaller with a population of 3 million, 925 thousand, 502. It's size is 10,400 sq. km of which 170 is water. It is 0.7 the size of Connecticut, or just a little smaller than Israel by some 300 sq. km. It is unique in that it is made up of 59.7% Muslims, 39% Christians and no Jews. It does have 17 religious sects.
The West Bank "Samaria and Judea"'s population is 2 million, 535 thousand, 927. It is 5 thousand 860 sq. km of which 220 sq. km is water. That's half of the size of Israel. It's a little smaller than Delaware. 75% of the people are Sunni Muslims, 17% Jewish and 8% Christians.
Gaza's population is 1 million, 482 thousand, 405. It's size is 360 sq. km, and has 0 water. It is more than 2 Washington D.C.'s. It has 99.3% Sunni Muslims and 0.7% Christians.
Jordan's population is 6 million, 053 thousand, 193. It's size is 92 thousand 300 sq. km of which 329 sq. km. is water. It is a little smaller than Indiana.
Syria's population is 19 million, 314 thousand, 747. The size is 185,180 sq km of which 1,130 sq. km is water. It is larger than North Dakota.
Iraq has 27 million, 499 thousand, 638. The size is 437,072 square km. of which 4,910 sq km is water. It is as big as 2 Idahos.
Saudi Arabia's population is 27 million, 601 thousand, 038. The size is 2 million, 149 thousand, 690 sq km with 0 water. It is more than 1/5 the size of the U.S.A.
Iran's population is 65 million, 397 thousand, 521. The size is 1,649 sq km of which 12,000 sq km is water.
It is larger than Alaska.
Egypt's population is 80 million, 335 thousand, 036. The size is 1 million ,001 thousand,450 sq. km of which water is 6,000 km. It is as big as 3 New Mexicos.
All of the countries other than Israel and the U.S.A. are made up of Muslims and a few Christians except Lebanon, which has many Christians. Jews are not allowed to live there, but are allowed as tourists in Egypt now.
In comparison, the USA has 301 million, 139 thousand, 947 people. The size is 9 million, 826 thousand, 630 sq. km. of which 664 thousand, 707 sq.km is water. It is half the size of Russia. Jews make up 1.7% of the population or about 5,275,000. Christians are 78.5%, 0.07% are Buddists and 0.06% are Muslims. Of the Christians, 51.3% are Protestants, 23.9% are Catholics, 1.7% are Mormons.
Cities similar in size to Israel are:
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam with a population of 6,424,519.
Hong Kong, China has 6,097,000.
Essen, Germany has 6,559,000.
Cities larger than Israel
Mexico City, Mexico has 18, 131,000.
Tokyo, Japan has 28,025,000.
Reference: CIA World Fact Book. 2007

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mahmoud Ridha Abbas, no Moderate
by Nadene Goldfoot
Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah terrrorists, has a different style than Hamas terrorists. He appears to be a moderate, but is not really any different in his goals than Hamas is.
Mahmoud is about six months younger than myself. He was born March 26, 1935 in Safed, where I also lived. At that time Safed was a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Israel was born May 14, 1948, and that's when his family became refugees. Many fled the city with the promise from their leaders of being able to return quickly and claiming Jewish lands. His family went to nearby Syria and settled there. In Syria he attended school and graduated from the University of Damascus. Then he went to Egypt and studied law. After that he studied at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, where he received his Ph.D. His thesis, completed in 1982, was called "The Secret Connection Between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement.
At this time, I was living in Safed, Israel. We had moved there in 1980. I taught at the Junior High. I had Arab students in my classes, and Arabs living in my building. Arabs and Jews got along quite well during 1980-1985 when I was there.
In 1984, a book was published in Arabic by Dar Ibn Rushd published in Jordan. It was called "The Other Side: the Secret Relationshihp Between Nazism and Zionism". It was from his thesis. The Arabs had sided with Nazi Germany during the World War II. They hadn't stopped pushing to condemn Jews.
In 2003 Abbas was appointed Palestinian Prime Minister, and was heavily criticized as a Holocaust denier. He denies it, and had argued about the figures of murdered Jews, stating that he thought only a few hundred thousand Jews had been killed.
Abbas is a leading politician in Fatah. He led the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Dept. He was the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee since November 11, 2004, when Yasser Arafat died. People call him a moderate. He is probably one of the few well educated Palestinians who has been in politics. He has negotiated with Israel and says he's for a two-state solution. However, he shows no willingness to compromise on any issue.
He expects to have all of Jerusalem as the capital of his future Palestinian state. He will not share sovereignty over the Aksa Mosque by giving the Palestinians all that's above and Israel all that's below the mosque. He calls East Jerusalem an occupied territory.
He wants Israel to pull out of all Palestinian lands "occupied" in 1967. Then he wants 4.5 million refugees ( he says there's that many) to return to their original homes. That would equal the number of Jews in Israel. It would totally destroy Israel. He speaks of their suffering for the past 60 years. I note that his family did not suffer, and neither did he. They had moved and made a good life for themselves. So he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish State because he has grandiose ideas of making it a Palestinian one.
Abbas speaks moderately to Western journalists, but expresses his true feelings in Arabic. He told Jordan's newspaper, al-Dustur that he may return to fighting against Israel. He isn't doing it now because he feels that the Palestinians can achieve their objectives without fighting, as they are viewed negatively abroad with weapons.
Abbas was #2 under Arafat and a founder of the Fatah terrorist organization. In February 2008 he took credit for starting the terror against Israel. He fired the first shot in 1965. He taught resistance to many there and around the world. He even said he trained the Lebanese Shiite terrorists. He takes credit for teaching Hizbullah terror and resistance as they trained in his military camps.
In 2004 he said he would not fight against any Palestinian, and would shield terrorists from Israel. That is why he has not taken any measures against terrorism. In 2005 he called Israel the Zionist enemy when an Israeli tank fired two shells into a field in response to Palestinian mortar attacks that killed 7 and wounded 6. He called the terrorists "martyrs.".
Some say he is a pragmatist, but no moderate. He wants to create a facade in order to receive funding and support from abroad and stay in power. He's hoping that the UN or the USA will force Israel to give up land.
He's clever and well-educated, but he's no partner to Israel. As long as he stays in the "West Bank", he's leading a pretty quiet and safe life. If I met him, I would tell him that his family shouldn't have run away from Safed in 1948. He might have still been living there as others are. But then, he may have not received all that higher education where he falsely learned about the Nazis and the Holocaust.
Reference: Mitchell Bard: Is Mahmoud Abbas a Moderate Interested in Compromise?
Wikipedia: Mahmoud Abbas

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Iran-Behind the Scene to Destroy Israel
In September 2000, Yasser Arafat teamed up with Iran's Ali Khamenei for jihad against Israel. Arafat promised that Gaza would become a 2nd Southern Lebanon and Iran promised to supply his Fatah terrorists with money and weapons. By January 2002 Israel exposed them, and Arafat severed the agreement.
Hamas is the 2nd terrorist group in Gaza. Because they are Sunni Muslims and take their religion very seriously, they didn't want to be under the control of the Iranian Shiites. However, in 2005 they joined with Iran against Israel and Iran has been training and supplying them with weapons.
Israel finds itself fighting against Hezbollah in the North and Hamas on the West. It has problems stopping Katusha and Qassam rockets from coming into the country. Everytime they go into Gaza to stop the rockets at the source, the international community screams about the casualties inflicted. Reclaiming Gaza again will result in casualties on both sides and then they'll be back to square one again.
Hamas wants a ceasefire. That will give Hamas time to be equipped with Iranian weapons, and when Hamas breaks the truce, Israel will find the enemy armed to the teeth.
Hezbollah and Hamas could attack jointly now, and reach all the areas of Israel with rockets. To top it off, by 2009 Iran will have nuclear weapons. This is the worst scenario that Israel has ever faced.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain feels that a Palestinian State would stop the plans of the terrorists, but the recent shooting of teen age boys in an Israeli school was done to stop the peace process. Peace and a new state is not Iran's goal. The terrorists are now lackeys of Iran who really want to get rid of Israel.
Reference: CBS News, Israel, Iran Practically At War by Yossi Klein Halevi
Hamas Twists Words
Hamas says they want Israel to end all "acts of aggression" in the Gaza Strip. What they mean is that they want Israel to stop firing back when they are the ones who are the aggressors by firing rockets into Israel.
By calling Israel the aggressors, the newspapers and media pick this phrase up and assume that Israel is the aggressor. Israel is in the act of defending itself.
Then Hamas, controlling the situation, slips in demands that are unreasonable to Israel like wanting to control the crossings in and out of the Gaza Strip. They want to openingly bring in weapons and ammunition instead of having to smuggle them in.
It's obvious that when they stop firing rockets into Israel, Israel does not fire back. Israel is not about to give control to Hamas as it means death to Israel. The defiant Hamas continue to not recognize Israel and renounce violence. Their double talk calling Israel's defensive action an act of aggression is not fooling Israel. What's horrible is that it usually fools the gullible world.
Reference: Yahoo News: Hamas sets terms for ceasefire with Israel

Monday, March 10, 2008

Israel Builds West Bank Housing
by Nadene Goldfoot
I imagine that people are groaning in America over the fact that Israel announced that it's going to allow some 330 units to be built in Givat Zeev. This settlement already has about 10,000 Israelis living there.
I thought about why Olmert is allowing this to happen. The announcement is causing the Palestinians to be furious. An senior official said the project was "another slap in the face of the peace process."
I had to laugh at that. What does he think constant shelling from the Gaza Palestinian terrorists is doing? Are they missiles of love? The Palestinians are lucky that I am not Prime Minister. For every rocket they shoot at Israel, I would take 10 feet or a mile, some quantity more of land that we had set aside for a future Palestinian state. Perhaps they would learn by the cause and effect principle not to be terrorists to Israel, but to actually sit down and negotiate honestly and fairly.
We lived in Safed, Israel for over five years in an Israeli government building. Our rent was $8 per month. We were poor immigrants. I was an English teacher. You don't get rich in Israel very easily. In my building were Israelis and Arabs and us Americans. One day a water pipe broke and water gushed down to our level and into my apartment. While I started to sweep out the water, an Israeli and Palestinian woman came to my rescue. The three of us fought the oncoming water until it was gone. We laughed while we worked trying to speak to each other. We settled on Hebrew as the language to use, and mine was very minimal. The chore became fun with my newly found friends. If only the rest of that area could get along with each other.
The West Bank became part of Israel once again when Israel won it in the War of 1967 when Israel was again attacked by the surrounding Arab countries, and Israel won. So the land they want to build on has been empty for 41 years. The Palestinians were offered the opportunity to have their own state in 1948, but had turned it down as they have ever since then, opting instead to fight Israel and hoping to gain the state of Israel itself.
Israel has Palestinians living in it. Some are Christians. Some are Muslims. Palestinians are even in the Knesset. They lived in my building and went to the school where I taught English. I saw junior high children helping each other to study Hebrew and Arabic. I even had Circassian Arabs in my English class. This living experience will not happen in the future Palestine, I'm afraid. It will be free of Jews. It's like the fact that Jordan's people come to Israel for work, but I haven't heard of Israelis going into Jordan for any reason. We're probably not allowed there. We can go as tourists to Egypt, though.
The area Olmert is allowing for building was not part of the West Bank that is to be the future Palestinian State. The building was to start in 1999, nine years ago, but was put off by an uprising of Palestinians. The land does belong to Israel. For 60 years the Palestinians have not created a state. In the meantime, part of Olmert's cabinet said they would pull out their support of him if he didn't allow it. This could cause his fall.
Building some type of living units is not as provocative as shooting rockets at people. It shows the desire to go forward with life and take care of the needs of your people. Why wait any longer? After 60 years, things haven't changed. Arabs still hate Israel for being there and show it with shootings, attacks on children, and wars. They're hated for being Jewish.
In the meantime, America is sending over a Lt. General who is an envoy for Bush for joint meetings to see who is fulfilling their obligations under the road map agreement. I know he'll jump on Israel for building. Imagine, America is all excited over our contractors building homes which is a big no-no according to the road map. Has anyone flown over quickly while Israel is being attacked with rockets trying to stop the Palestinians? I guess that's allowed. Will this general be brave enough to jump on the Palestinians for shooting rockets at Israel?
Reference: Oregonian Newspaper page A8, 3/10/08

Friday, March 07, 2008

An Honor to Kill Jewish Boys
There has been a terrible attack on a Jewish school in Jerusalem where 8 young boys from the ages of 15 and up were slaughtered as they studied. At least 10 others were badly injured, of which one 16 yr old is in serious condition from chest wounds. Claiming the "honor" is the Galilee Freedom Battalion Martyrs of Imad, some sort of branch of Hamas. The killer was able to come in through East Jerusalem where there are no barriers between Jews and Muslim residents. Israel since the attack is on a state of high alert. Citizens feel let down by the Israeli government for not having a stronger security. The guards at the door of the school had been shot and killed.
In Gaza, Palestinians celebrated the bloody attack by firing guns in the air. They also handed out candy and gave prayers of thanks at their mosques.
Their greatest feats in the past has been attacking women and children wherever they can. I visited a cemetery in Safed made up of children in the local school where the terrorists had attacked them. This is not a war between armies. These terrorists hide amongst their own population and fire rockets at Israel. Then Israel is condemned for firing back, aiming at terrorists and terrorist strongholds only but because they are set in civilian areas, cannot help but kill them, too. Sadly, there is no other way to approach Hamas and get them to stop shelling Israel with rockets.
Hamas screams that we are occupying Gaza, though we left in 2005 completely. People left their businesses there in perfect condition only to find out that Hamas destroyed them. G-d forbid that they take them over and continue the businesses. They prefer to be on the United Nation's dole. The only occupying Israel is doing is having their planes in the air and ships in the sea trying to keep Israel secure from these fanatics. This they don't want. If they were an accepting people primed for peace, patrolling the skies and sea might not be a chore for Israel, but under the circumstances, a necessity.
We all know the terrorists scheme to drive Israel into the sea. We're onto them. Olmert has not backed down on the peace process. It's still in the works.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ashdod in the Line of Fire
Ashdod was warned last December that it was in danger of rocket firing from Hamas terrorists if they were able to extend the distance of their rockets. Ashdod is a city half the size of Portland with about 204,000 citizens and it's less than 25 km from the Gaza strip. Sderot has been receiving the most shelling and now Ashkelon has been hit several times. Ashdod could be next. They have prepared with alarms which Ashkelon does not have. Ashdod is the 5th largest city in Israel and is a port like Portland, Oregon. 60% of imported goods come through here.
Terrorist groups have been smuggling in TNT through the Egyptian border, said the Police sapper Dep. Cmdr. Michael Kardash.
The first Kassam rocket hit Kibbutz Nir Am in January of 2001. From then to December 2007 71,463 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli civilian targets.
Israel is trying to avoid an all out push into Gaza to finally stop the shellings. They have had to sit back and watch Sderot being shelled and the city become deserted by half its population. Now that a much larger city is possibly in danger, they must do something to prevent this loss.
Ashdod is only 43 miles from Jerusalem and Beer Sheba.
The land is very small. When one town is hit, all are in danger. This is why the IDF has had to act quickly. They knew it was just time that terrorists needed to extend their distance for the rocket firings.
References: Jerusalem Post Newspaper
USA Today: Israel turns up heat on Hamas: 18 killed in Gaza