In 2006 Hamas terrorists took over in Gaza. Now Egypt has joined Israel's thinking by building a wall along the Gaza border to defend Egypt. It's taken four years and they are tired of dealing with these terrorists. There were about 100 protesters when the news came out.
A drive by shooting occurred in Israel Thursday where a young rabbi was murdered. Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai of Shavei Shomron, 40 years old, was hit and killed. He was the father of seven children. This happened in what the general public calls the West Bank. It lies in the Northern Samarian hills so is in what Israelis call Samaria. The West Bank Barrier is planned to enclose on the Israeli side all of the Central-Western Shomron settlements except for the three northernmost, Avnei Hefetz, Einav, and Shavei Shomron, and four Northern Shomron towns, (all the remaining ones other than the two southernmost, Hermesh and Mevo Dotan), but not any of the Mountain Communities. About 20,000 Jews live there, and the area makes up about 10% of Israel.
Israeli Special forces surrounded the Nablus homes of the three Alesa martyrs Brigades operatives in order to arrest them for the murderous attack. The men refused to come out after being called to come out. The terrorist hid in his room and sent his wife out to the soldiers.
In such cases where there is a threat to the troops and a wanted militant refuses to surrender, IDF forces are permitted to open fire in order to neutralize the threat. The risk factor was very high in this operation. The IDF knew that the group that these three belonged to were highly skilled, had firearms and posed a threat.
They followed IDF regulations and first fired protest dispersal ammunition, then fired at the walls, and only lastly fired at the militants. The result was that the troops opened fire and killed them. They can't afford to fool around. Knowing this, a fourth wanted militant turned himself into the Palestinian authorities. Notice here that the Palestinian police were not on top of this as they should have been. It was up to the Israeli soldiers to find these murderers.
In one of the homes, the soldiers found two hidden rifles and two guns. They were taken to the police laboratories to check if they were used in Thursday's attack.
The killers were 38 and 39 years old. One's wife was also wounded in the operation, probably the one sent out by her husband who could have been in the line of fire.
What we see is an Israeli Rabbi murdered in cold blood. The terrorists are using this just as bullies do. They are angry that Israel has punished the killers and are condemning Israel and causing "dangerous escalation" in the West Bank. Israel then gets the blame in the news for self protection.
Interestingly at the same time of this terrible event, passengers on an American airplane were fighting a terrorist of their own who was trying to blow up the plane. One wonders if there was any planned synchonization here, or just an abundance of terrorism happening just before Christmas.
Some people are blaming the ills of the United States on Israel. They think the whole economic problem we are facing is because we have been backing Israel.
They forget that back when Richard Nixon was president, he said that the United States stands by its friends and that Israel is one of its friends. Even Gerald Ford reaffirmed his commitment to the security and future of Israel because of basic morality as well as enlightened self-interest. He felt the United State’s role in supporting Israel honored our own heritage.
Back then Jimmy Carter said he had a warm and unique relationship of friendship with Israel that was morally right. He stated that it was compatible with our deepest religious convictions and was right in terms of America’s own strategic interests. He said we were committed to Israel’s security, prosperity and future as a land that had so much to offer the world.
Israel has never had to have any American soldiers on their soil in the struggle to fight against terrorism. Instead every able-bodied Israeli has been involved in their own protection. What Israel has had to ask for has been money for weapons. In return Israel has been paying back loans and supplying the USA with everything they can that has been helpful. Not only medical knowlege and advancements but ways of protection against terrorism in airports and other places has been shared with the USA that Israel has been doing.
Ronald Reagan, the Republican, states that Israel was a strategic asset to the United States, something he kept saying even before he was elected. "Only by full appreciation of the critical role the State of Israel plays in our strategic calculus can we build the foundation for thwarting Moscow’s designs on territories and resources vital to our security and our national well-being." He continued: "Since the rebirth oof the State of Israel, there has been an ironclad bond between that democracy and this one. "
George Bush, another Republican stated, "The friendship, the alliance between the United States and Israel is strong and solid, built upon a foundation of shared democratic values, of shared history and heritage, that sustains the life of our two countries. The emotional bond of our people transcends politics. Our strategic cooperation is a source of mutual security. And the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel remains unshakeable. We may differ over some policies from time to time, individual policies, but never over the principle.
Since the Jewish population in the United States is less than six million, it doesn’t explain the depth of the friendship that exists between the two countries. Fewer than 3% of the population could hardly have such a dramatic influence on American foreign policy. The U.S.-Israel alliance is rooted in shared values.
When Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin asked Lyndon Johnson why the United States supports Israel when their are 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis, the President replied simply: "Because it is right."
Have our people forgotten that? Are they that quick to put the blame on Israel? It’s sad to find that this is happening.
Israel is the only other democratic state in the Middle East. It has been an advantage for the USA to have Israel there.
Now there are people who have given up feeling that Israel is a helpmate and would rather blame all our ills on having backed Israel in different ways, like verbally and monetarily. They see no reason that they should exist. The fact that Israel was sanctified by the United Nations in 1948 means nothing to them. They feel that whoever has the might has the right to exist as long as they don’t have to shell out any money to help.
Are we becoming isolationists in that we are having nothing to do with the world? There’s the old adage, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we don’t help others, do we expect to be helped? Should China call for full payment right now from us?
Let’s say that there’s nothing in it financially for the United States to back Israel in its right to exist. Renig on our 60 year old friendship. Stop helping Israel out financially. The result will most likely be that Israel will be attacked by the Muslim nations again and they will win. Six Million people will either be slaughtered wholesale or driven out and find themselves homeless again. There will again be no country that will take them in. This happened just before and at the end of WWII. The only country that really allowed Jews to enter was the United States, and at that under certain conditions-that of promised jobs and sponsors that took responsibility for them such as my great uncle and father did. It seems that there have always been quotas on Jews, even to get into medical school or even colleges. Funny thing is that we’ve had way more capable of entering these places and have just had to abide by quotas, keeping very capable and brilliant students out.
What will happen to the USA? They’ve been attacked once on 9/11, but I daresay that will not be the end. The Muslim terrorists will be more brazen and will continue, trying to finish what they had started about 1,000 years ago. They attacked Europe then and there was no Israel then to blame. . It can happen again. One thing that could happen again is anti-semitism in the United States as well as the rest of the world. We’ve all seen and read about this before. When people are down others seem to relish kicking them down even further. It’s been happening in France already.
I was 14 years old when Israel became a state. Now I’m 75 years old and Israel is still struggling to survive and has to dodge missiles. I’m tired of it and I’m not even living in Israel now. Think of how tired Israelis are. It seems that it might just take the Messiah’s presence to stop the attacks so that we can have peace. It is right and just to support a state who have struggled so hard to survive. They could have wiped out a lot more of their enemy if they were just concerned to win no matter how, as some Americans advocate how life should be lived. Israelis have been trying to survive rightously. It wouldn’t hurt to at least pray that they will survive. Right now they're being threatened with atomic warfare by Iran. Would these same people just put their arms out to this enemy and side with them?
I say that the United States has made its own errors that have caused an uproar with the Muslims and has helped to bring about terrorism. Backing Israel may not have helped, but it's not the only reason. Stop blaming only Israel. Israel has been our one good friend. We've been one country that has been paying back loans received from the United States. Besides money, we've shared much more for America's benefit. We're sort of like the Space Program. It was an expensive program and is reaping a lot of technical benefits for doing it. The USA is also reaping benefits from being friends with Israel. What other countries can say that?
The United States was created because Europe lacked a morality that our Pilgrims chose to follow. England had quite a ways to go to give people the freedoms they craved. The United States has been successful because of our differences from the rest of the countries. Our morals have created a strength in the fiber of our people just like the strength and determination found in Israelis. Hopefully, both nations will continue as they are morally good. This must continue.
"The Obama diplomacy had made a settlement freeze its starting point, when this was precisely the wrong place to begin.
Nadene Goldfoot Israel has given up settlements before at the altar of peace—recall the historical accommodation with Egypt a quarter century ago. The right course would have set the question of settlements aside as it took up the broader challenge of radicalism in the region—the menace and swagger of Iran, the arsenal of Hamas and Hezbollah, the refusal of the Arab order of power to embrace in broad daylight the cause of peace with Israel."
To me this shows that whatever is said to the Muslim Palestinian terrorists doesn't matter. Obama offered them the moon and they haven't changed their opinion of him or the United States or certainly of Israel. They have a one track mind-to overthrow Israel and that's it. Their agenda is in operation and no one will change them.
Israel is in peril and has been under attack for the past eight years from Gaza, a place we gave up in order to have peace. Our leaving only gave them more room to attack. We are still being shot at from other surrounding Muslim areas. We have been protecting ourselves despite all odds and Obama asks us to put ourselves in more peril by giving up more of our tiny precious pieces of Israel even including the heart of Jerusalem without any preconditions. To ask us to give up any part of Jerusalem is absolutely a slap in the face, a disregard for our culture and history, and even survival. Who in their right mind thinks that Jerusalem and Jews do not go together like apple pie and ice cream. We swore long ago that if we forgot Jerusalem we would give up our right hand.
Now Netanyahu has had to agree to a ten month freeze on even building a porch on an apartment or home in the Judea-Samaria area others call the West Bank or Settlements. Who in Portland, Oregon would agree to not be able to do such a thing to their home?
I ask: if Vancouver, WA attacks Portland, OR and loses in their attack, what punishment is incurred? Portland will take Vancouver. The point is-don't attack in the first place. That's what happened to Israel. All the surrounding nations attacked Israel in 1967 and they lost. Israel survived. Israel then gained a part of the orginal tract of land back that was in the plan to be part of Israel in the first place which was created by Britain. The greedy bullies had lost. Ever since 1967, there has been no peace pact reached with the Muslims. They want all or nothing. Therefore, Israel has the land and should be able to do as it wishes on it, like build a porch to a house! Why does Israel have to agree to a building freeze when the Muslims agree to nothing, least of all, Peace. Here we have Netanyahu bending backwards for peace, and what are the Arabs doing? Probably using the interim to stock up in arms.
In the meantime, we see Iran demonstrating how tough they are and what they can do to Israel and the United States. Kow-towing is only giving them the brazeness they need to take braver steps towards our destruction.
Reference: Wall Street Journal, opinion piece by Fouad Ajami, Foreign Policy Expert of John Hopkins Prof, "The Arabs Have Stopped Applauding Obama" 11/29/09.
Actually, Sderot lies less than a mile from the Gaza border. Eleven months ago Israel had to go into Gaza and bring to a halt the eight years Palestinian terrorists shelled Israel. Now Israel is hit about twice a month, which is a big improvement but still not peaceful.
Children as well as adults had only about a 30 second warning of incoming rockets. Due to donations, the city now has a new indoor playground for the children that has a horizontal climbing wall, mini-soccer field and convertible disco/movie theater. It also has six bomb shelters and rocket-proof, anti-shockwave walls. This opened in June 2009. Now for the first time the children can play without fear.
Israel was complying, I'm afraid, with the world in not being allowed to stop the Palestinians from their terror on Israel's citizens when they started the shelling. Finally the government had to react, and of course they were accused of using too much force. Richard Goldstone put out the horrid Goldstone Report coming down hard on Israel. He was never around nor the UN when children died in Sderot. They didn't even give it a thought as to what life was like for the Israelis for the past eight years. All they do is count casualties, and since the number was higher in Gaza after Israel's incursion, Israel gets the blame.
I wonder if our outlook on life doesn't sway the numbers. Muslim males are rather anxious to meet their 72 virgins while Jews are all for "Life", or as we say, "L'Chaim!". To Life!. I don't know what the Muslim women are anxious about except they seem to be so proud of their terrorist sons. At any rate, we have managed so far to keep our death numbers lower. It also could be that we have fewer numbers to start with, and aim to keep them alive and well.
David Bedein uncovered facts that the USA spent $11 million dollars in training Palestinians belonging to Abbas's Fatah group in Jericho in Israel and in Giftlik in Jordan. In one year, since 2008 we have trained 2,100 troops which can make up four battalions in Jordan alone. There is even evidence that many are members of banned terror groups.
Abbas cannot lead Hamas. He has given up trying to lead Fatah. Why the USA has taken this chance on people who are so changeable is beyond me. We are just adding fuel to the fire to be used against Israel.
The PA forces are aimed at destroying their Fatah rival, Hamas instead of reducing terrorism. Their training may make matters only bloodier. Bedein explained to the Five Towns Jewish Times, that the reduction in terrorism is due to the 2002 manuever that the IDA took back Beit Jalla very quietly and without fanfare. They stopped the shelling. This was a reduction of terrorism from Judea and was part of the Operation Defensive Shield. They surrounded every possible Arab terror stronghold. Now that Palestinians are trained by the USA, what will happen?
This happened earlier with Yasser Arafat. He didn't get his own way in negotiations with Israel and American training was used against Israeli civilian targets. Doesn't the USA learn from the past? If you have a friend, why do we train their enemy in combat fighting? What kind of friendship is this?
If the Fatah Palestinians had been that friendly, helpful and supportive of Israel all along, I could see trying to support them in their endeavors to have a homeland next door, but that hasn't been the case at all. They are part and parcel brothers in mind and spirit with Hamas as far as I can see. Israel has suffered terrorist attacks from them right along. Their school have been teaching hatred towards Israelis just like Hamas. I don't trust them, and I don't think most Israelis in Israel trust them, either. It's a terrible situation with the thought of having a homeland for Palestinians on the East in Judea and Samaria and also another more volatile one in Gaza. It's just not workable. So why train the weaker soldiers to fight the stronger ones? They will only use their newly found skills on Israel. There's no love lost.
Resource: Israel Resource News Agency: email@example.com Think Tank: US Aids Terror Group At War With Israel
Professor Malka Cohen-Armon, a biochemist at Tel Aviv University has developed something that kills cancer cells but doesn't harm the normal cells while doing it. This may be the break--through needed to fight cancer. They're using it in breast cancer right now. I just learned about it on the AIPAC newsletter.
Lebanon has been shooting rockets into the Golan from Lebanon. The Golan Heights landed in Israel's hands since the Six-Day War of 1967. It is in the northeast corner of Israel, a sub-region of the Galilee.
There grow the vineyards about 4,000 feet above sea level from the Sea of Galilee towards Mount Hermon, where Israelis can ski.
Grapes, called the fruit of the vine, were listed as one of the seven blessed species of fruit in the land of Israel. Jews have been making wine in Israel since biblical times. In Roman times, wine from Israel was exported to Rome. By the 7th Century ACE, the Islamic Arabs wiped out the wine industy by pulling out the vines to close down the wineries as they did not drink wine. The Christian Crusaders that came from 1100 to 1300ACE revived winemaking, but Arabs returned, Jews were scattered and winemaking stopped.
A rabbi in Jerusalem in 1848 started a winery but it was short lived. By 1870 a Jewish agricultural college studied about wines and growing grapes. Finally in the late 1800's Baron Edmond James de Rothschild founded the modern Israeli wine industry.
There are six regions where the grapes are grown. Considering that Israel is about the size of New Jersey, you can see that everything is very close.
1. The Northern Galilee
2. Judean Hills around Jerusalem
3. Shimshon-between Judean Hills and Coast
4. Negev desert
5. Sharon plain just south of Haifa
6. Golan Heights.
Israel has been busy producing kosher wines that are mostly sweet that are exported to Jewish communities. However, the wine industry is growing. In the late 1960's the Carmel Winery, #5, made a dry table wine. By 1990, wineries like the Golan Heights Winery were winning awards at international wine competitions. By 2000 there were 70 wineries in Israel and by 2005 there were 140.
Now less that 15% of Israeli wine is for religious purposes. Some wineries are not even producing a separate Kosher line. The Golan Heights Winery and two other large producers account for more than 80% of the domestic market with the United States being the largest export receiver. Israel has been willing to adopt new technology and has a large export market. The culture in America is into wines with up-scale restaurants and love international wines. Israel has been exporting over $22 million worth of wine each year.
If you thought you were drinking the same wine grown in the bible days, you would be mistaken. Because of Muslim rule there are no more indigenous grape varieties. The wine industry uses French grape varieties imported in the late 19th century like Cabernet Sauvignon, chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon blanc. Also gaining in popularity are their Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Riesling and Syrah. They also hae Emerald Riesling, Muscat of Alexandria and the crossing Argaman. The Golan Heights Winery is famous for its Yarden wines. Their label of GAMLA is very good. The Muscat of Alexandria comes the closest to the indigenous varieties of long ago.
Israel announced in 2008 that they would create a 150 acre wine park on the slopes between Zichron Ya'akov and Binyamina to promote tourism in the area and wine tourism in Israel in general.
President Shimon Peres is behind J Street claims David Bedein, my old friend from Safed. David is now a journalist who heads the Israel Resource Review. He's in Washington , DC to speak to congressmen. J-Street is a very liberal US Jewish lobby seen by many of us as anti-Israeli. It's trying to replace AIPAC.
J-Street is made up of all the leftist NGO's who are tying to restart the Oslo process. The Peres Center for Peace is behind the scenes. It moderated most of the discussions in their recent convention. Their aim is to get congressmen to support the Oslo process.
J-Street is promoting the idea that Fatah is a reliable partner for peace, and many of us realize it is not. They're for the Oslo way and establishing a Palestinian state even though there is no peace or acceptance of Israel or that Abbas has no say over Hamas in Gaza who would take it over.
Bedein will be explaining the situation with videos and books by the Palestinian Authority that show they are not moderates, but are militant and constantly inciting against Israel. There are congressmen who seek the truth. Bedein is speaking out at his own expense as the Israeli government is gun-shy about doing this. They may not even understand J-Street's damage they are causing Israel.
Some of these J-Streeters also need to see David's presentation and realize that they are on the wrong side of the street. We don't need our own people being bamboozled into looking through rose colored glasses and not seeing the oncoming traffic heading their way.
The joke is tht Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman is charging Tel Aviv with the Katyusha attack of October 27th on their own Kiriyat Shimona that really came from Lebanon. He says they're attacking themselves just to keep up tensions.
That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Does he really think people will buy that? Perhaps his own kind will, which is so unfortunate.
I thought perhaps the Messiah is getting ready to come, because the UN has really shocked me. The Secretery General of the U.N. is condemning Lebanon for this very rocket attack! The U.N. is finally saying something fair concerning Israel. I am in such shock! It's a first that I am aware of!
I wonder if Suleiman looks as stupid to the U.N. as he does to me.
I would like to tell these terrorists that we really don't want to be attacked and bombed. We're too busy creating and living to be interrupted all the time. We could have discovered the end to all cancers or some such important medical advances by now if allowed to live in peace. Their attacks are interruptive.
Suleiman: Tel Aviv behind Katyusha attack on IsraelPress TV Thu, 29 Oct 2009 11:27 AM PDTLebanese President Michel Suleiman charges Tel Aviv with a Katyusha-type rocket attack on the Israeli eastern town of Kiryat Shmona calling it a Zionist attempt to keep tensions high in Middle East.
The BBC obviously hasn't known anyone Jewish either in Britain or Israel. We love life. Our toast is L'Chaim; to Life. We want ourselves to live as well as others. We don't even guess about the conditions when dead. We're too concerned to make a better life for everyone.
Yet the BBC infers and comes right out with their idea that Israel would purposely bomb a primary school in Gaza. That is so far from the truth. The truth is more that the terrorists have placed their arms inside a primary school putting their own children at risk. They've been known to do such things.
The BBC only writes about the suffering of the Gazan children because of Israel, never the suffering of Israelis because of terrorists.
The number of deaths is thrown in Israeli's faces. "When you talk to schoolchildren in Gaza they say, look at us, so many of us are killed in wars with Israel, whereas in Sderot not many children die, not many are injured, not many rockets are actually fired." Israel's citizens do everything humanly possible to keep their death and injured numbers down, hereas the opposite happens in Gaza. The more that die the better their propaganda works.
The fact is that 12,000 rockets and mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip since 2001 while over 1,000 people have been wounded as a result.
Children and adults are not getting a true picture of the events in Israel and Gaza if they only depend on the BBC and Katya Adler's reporting. They'll just think that Israel is all at fault. I hope the Brits are a little smarter than to depend on one source for their information. If they know what makes Jews really tick, they will seek out information that is not biased.
I'm interested in Israel wines, which come from the Golan Heights that lies very close to the border of Lebanon.
Right now Hezbollah has been firing rockets into Israel from Lebanon.
Yesterday they fired a Katyusha rocket into Israel and the UN Interim forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) discovered 4 more rockets close to the launch site, 3 of which were already in the launching position. Yesterday's katusha was the 9th launched since 2006.
Hezbollah is being armed by Iran. They fund and train people. They're arming the terrorists with anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, artillery rockets and other weapons besides giving them about $200 million annually. they train operatives as well as about 3,000 terrorists in the Iranian military camps.
By a quirk, a Hezbollah operative's home was the place where an explosion occurred this month.
The terrorists are building a military infrastructure in the midst of their civilian population south of the Litani River. They openly are threatening the UNIFIL and interfering with their mandate. They violate all sorts of rules. It's a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1701. Southern Lebanon is occupied by terrorism. The UN is disregarding this, it appears as they are too busy attacking Israel.
While we've been concentrating on the Gaza eruptions, Lebanon has been building bunkers, building weapons caches and holding paramilitary exercises south of the Litani River. They have stockpiled more than 40,000 artillery rockets.
Israel is trying to maintain a normal life and develop a wine industry in this area. Lebanon can only think of destruction.
They don't drink such things as wine.
Resource: The Israel Project: Hezbollah fires rocket into Israel: Iran-backed militants continue to arm in defiance of UN resolution .
from Mitchell Bard, PhD. Nadene Goldfoot, comments on Mitchell Bard does an excellent job of writing about this piece of legislature that was accepted as a legal binding statement. I merely am commenting and expanding some of the facts he presents.
In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration: Britain had the mandate, which means they were responsible for governing and taking care of the land taken over from the Ottoman Empire, which was Turkey. The Turks had sided with Germany in WWI and had lost to the Allies.
His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Mandate for Palestine included the Balfour Declaration. It specifically referred to "the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine" and to the moral validity of "reconstituting their National Home in that country." The term "reconstituting" shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews' home. Furthermore, the British were instructed to "use their best endeavors to facilitate" Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to "secure" the Jewish National Home. The word "Arab" does not appear in the Mandatory award.11
The Mandate was formalized by the 52 governments at the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.
As soon as the Arab governments started complaining, and they had oil, Britain themselves started backing down.
In 1981 I fell down and broke my elbow after studying Hebrew all day and night for a big three hour long test that would seal my fate as to becoming an English teacher in Israel. I was taken to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where I was attending an ulpan. When I left the hospital, I took the test with a huge cast on my arm and even though I was running a fever, passed.
In the summer of 2006 the hospital was one of hundreds of civilian targets that were under fire by the terrorists in the 2nd Lebanon War.
Today they dedicated a new $14 million emergency facility that provides protection from missiles and chemical weapons that may be in Hizbullah's possession. The new emergency room includes a secure underground hospital for 1,730 patients, a children's hospital and facilities for cancer care and for cardiac treatment, and a tower for clinical research. when completed this ER will be more than three times larger than the previous facility. It will cover 3/4 of an acre with the ability to treat 650 patients at the same time. Prof. Rafi Beyar is the Rambam Health Care Campus Director.
The government provided 1/4 of the construction costs. Private donors and organizations provided the rest.
My favorite town north of Safed received rocket fire from Lebanon again. I remember living in Safed from 1980 to 1985 and this situation happened all the time. Kiryat Shimona was populated by a lot of American Jews and they were in dire need of a psychologist to soothe their anxiety. We were attending a 10 month ulpan at the time, and at Spring Break one of our friends went there to visit and wound up living in the bomb shelter for about two weeks. She was out of communication and we had no idea what had happened to her. The town held my favorite department store, the Hamishbeer, so similar to Meier and Franks here in Portland. I loved that store. When they were under a lot of fire I prayed that the department store would be spared. It was.
Now it's happened again, and I can feel the angst of the people living there. Though it missed its target and caused no damage or injury, it surely causes a lot of hearts to beat faster and mothers to feel a lot of concern for their children. The rocket came from the village of Houla.
Israel answered with artillery fire at Lebanon. The Lebanese reported that we fired at least eight shells toward that area in response. The border may now be quiet but it is tense.
Both sides accuse each other of violating a UN brokered ceasefire from 2006 that ended a month-long war between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorists. Lebanon is accusing Israel of planting listening devices and to overflight of an unmanned drone surveillance aircraft over southern Lebanon. Israel accuses Lebanon of two recent blasts involving weapons storage depots in southern Lebanon, and two rockets fired from Lebanon at northern Israel last month. A militant group connected to al Qaeda took responsibility for the rocket attack then.
It looks to me like Lebanon is involved with hiding weapons (to use against Israel, of course) and of taking pot-shots at Israel when they so want to, and Israel is trying to use surveilance to find out what they're planning to do to Israel. Of course Lebanon doesn't want Israel to find out, so again with the complaints and shootings.
We used to drive to Kiriat Shimona in order to get to the Good-Neighbor Fence between the two countries. I wonder what has happened to it.
Comment 10/27/09 from Victor Sharpe: The "good neighbor fence" died because Ehud Barak let our Lebanese allies, under General Hadad, down by withdrawing Israeli troops suddenly from the 10 mile wide security zone. He did this dreadful act in response to the campaign of the "Women in Black" who agitated for Israel to leave the security zone in Lebanon, which had protected Israel's northern border. Predictably, the vacuum was immediately filled with Hezbolah, and the Lebanese Christian allies who had supported us were left to twist in the wind. Barak did this and should be covered in shame. Israel cannot afford to lose such good friends. That was the ending of the "good neighbor fence" because we betrayed those neighbors and succumbed to the Israeli leftist "Mothers in Black." Now we have sixty thousand missiles pointing at Israel from Lebanon. Meshugas!
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel's article about the Goldstone Report calls for an international rejection of HRC's decision on the Goldstone report. Are there many countries brave enough to buck this group? There were about five countries that stood with USA against this decision, and many abstainers. We need them to be vocal and not go along with this travesty.
It's sad to realize that this world is against a very tiny country that has been shelled with missiles for eight long years, mainly into one area of Israel, the southern part right across the Gaza border and into Ashkelon where a very important hospital lies serving both Israelis and Palestinians. When Israel, knowing the mind of a world that discriminates against them because they are Jewish and not Muslims, finally must decide to protect its citizens and broadcasts to the world that if the shelling doesn't stop they will be forced to retaliate, are criticized and face charges in a criminal world court with grave consequences, I throw my hands up in the air. This is not a logical ending to a brave decision of trying to solve a problem when standing alone and being outnumbered. The odds are heavily stacked against us no matter what we decide to do. I've said it before, we are dammed if we do and dammed if we don't.
The only help that could have been suggested by the USA or other European countries probably was to give into demands of giving up more land, like we have already done with Gaza. That turned out to be the biggest fiasco and has led to humungous problems. The world wants to ignore something Israel is very aware of. The goal of the Muslims, Palestinians, or Arabs, whatever they are labeled as, is to drive Israel into the sea. In other words, put an end to Israel and take it over. They haven't even kept this goal a secret but broadcast it well. However, it is an inconvenient truth, a problem to deal with, so I feel our allies just turn a deaf ear and closed mind to it and pretend it isn't so. After all, it doesn't affect their station in life as it does the Israelis.
The following is from a recent report from Mitchell Bard's research. It's so well done, that I have just posted it here.
Nadene Goldfoot When the Goldstone Commission released its one-sided report, blaming Israel for war crimes in Gaza, the United States and many other nations denounced it for what it was: an irresponsible and extremely biased report that blames Israel while forgiving the terrorist violence waged against Israeli civilians by Hamas.
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) wasted no time in weaponizing the Goldstone Report. The HRC was not slated to convene again this year, but met in a special session to endorse the Goldstone Report. By a vote of 25-6, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the report and recommended that other UN groups follow its recommendations, including the UN Security Council, by referring war crime prosecutions to the International Criminal Court if Israel fails to investigate the war crimes proffered by the Goldstone Commission.328
The resolution was opposed by the United States, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Ukraine. Eleven additional nations abstained while another five withheld their vote completely. Even South African judge Richard Goldstone, primary author of the troubled Goldstone Report stated his displeasure with the HRC's resolution, stating "There is not a single phrase condemning Hamas, as we have done in the report."
The HRC, whose membership includes serial human rights violators such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China, has a demonstrated obsession with Israel-bashing. The council has held six special sessions on Israel alone. For all the world's other nations, it has held a combined total of four.
The council ignored testimony from experts such as Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who stated that "During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare." This expert testimony fell on deaf ears, as the council had only intended to issue a resolution attacking Israel, as it has done in 80% of all the resolutions it has passed in its entire history.
It was the intention of the HRC to pass a resolution that at a minimum, would damage Israel's image with the possible result of having Israelis charged with war crimes at The Hague.
Israel's supposed peace partner, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is committed by the Oslo Accords not to engage in acts of incitement against Israel, is leading the public campaign to stigmatize Israel and criminalize its self-defense measures and thereby driving a stake further through the heart of the peace process that President Obama has tried to resuscitate with the assent of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.333 By caving to pressure from Hamas and flaunting this sensational resolution, Abbas continues to demonstrate why so many are concerned that the Palestinian leadership does not yet have the courage or vision to lead the Palestinian people to a lasting, secure and equitable peace with Israel.
I think that Goldstone was most naive not to realize how the HRC would use any inflammatory material against Israel that he produced. He has damaged Israel's life as well as the United States and should have seen it results coming. It was an reprehensible report irresponsibly done by him. As he must have wanted to take such great credit with it being called the "Goldstone" report, he must take the responsibility of it's evil intentions. The horror of it is that he is Jewish claiming only to "help" Israel.
Robert L. Bernstein is the founder of Human Rights Watch and has been the chairman for the past 20 years. He finally stepped down from this responsibility in 1998 when it was active in 70 countries. Now he finds himself in the awkward position of having to publicly criticize it because of it's unfair attacks on Israel.
Israel is a country of 7.4 million. There are about 80 human rights organizations within it. They have a free press, a democratic government, a judiciary that often rules against the government so that they do have self criticism, a politically active academia, many many political parties and more jounalists per capita than any other country in the world. The journalists come there mainly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Arab and Iranian regimes rule over 350 million people. They are still brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no dissent. The plight of their citizens are being ignored by any human watch group as they are too busy trying to attack Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah are attacking Israel and are using their own people as human shields. They are supported by Iran who has declared its intention to destroy and murder Jews everywhere. Everyone knows that these terrorist groups chose to choose their war arena amongst dense populated areas on purpose. They don't care that this war deprives Palestinians of a peaceful life because it suits their purpose to gain sympathy and condemnation against Israel. Here we have Israel, the victim of aggression, being the ones that are criticized unfairly.
Members of Human Rights Watch are not out on the field to see which laws of war have been violated. They are relying on witnesses with unverifiable stories who testify for political advantage or because they fear retaliation from their own rulers. Col. Richard Kemp, an expert on warfare has said that the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. He is not being listened to by the Human Rights group.
People should understand that there is a difference between wrongs committed in self-defense and those perpetrated intentionally. This Goldstone report does not enforce the difference. As Kemp stated, Israel did their utmost to preserve life. It was to their advantage to not bring down attacks from the world on their course of action. Regardless, they are dammed nevertheless. Perhaps only army personnel in the world will see this fact. Knowing that their peer group understands is not changing the United Nations' verbal attack.
Reference: Robert L. Bernstein, former president and chief executive of Random House, former chairman of Human Right Watch from 1978 to 1998.
John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN and friend of Israel, reports that The United Nations Human Rights Council, HRC, endorsed the recommendations of the Goldstone report, much to the disappointment of Israel and the United States, for this will have repercussions to America, also.
The results of this passing can involve the International Criminal Court, causing Israel to be tied down in whatever they would need to do to protect themselves. The HRC concluded that it was an illegitimate exercise of “collective punishment."
The report stated that both Israel and Hamas should have their own investigation. Hamas's endeavor should prove to be very interesting.
Now the Muslim's Ayatolla Ameni just declared that the Mahdi, or coming Islam savior, will offer the religion of Islam to Jews and Christians. If they accept it they will be spared. Otherwise they will be killed. This is how Islam was spread throughout the land in the first place-the threat of the sword.
Now Iran fails to accept the United Nations'uranium enrichment plan. Therefore, I fail to accept the UN Goldstone Report as one Israeli in the USA.
I'm afraid that the suggested coming reports from Israel and Hamas on the Gaza War are starting with opposite footing. The Palestinians have stated that they do not want Israel in their midst now that they, the Palestinians have arrived and refuse to even recognize Israel's existence. Their maps do not include Israel but have their own names on them. When reporting to the Goldstone interviewers, Hamas lied and the Goldstone people went right along with what they reported without question. No, the Goldstone report is one sided and a slap in the face to democracy. There is nothing right about the UN anymore. They're one sided against Israel and the Muslims can do no harm.
by Nadene Goldfoot from Dr. Michael Oren's article, Deep Denial
Even before Israel was born in 1948, its citizens have had to become soldiers. The attacks have not actually stopped. Every man has had to serve one month out of each year in the military doing their milueem duty. Women also serve in this army. In fact, very often they are sergeants training young soldiers. Children are trained as soon as they can walk not to pick up objects on the streets as they might be bombs. Children sit outside school doors checking bags looking for bombs. The whole population is totally aware of the dangers that can befall them.
Michael Oren, the new ambassador from Israel to the USA, points out in his article "Deep Denial" in The New Republic, that Israelis are not prone to flattery. The Hebrew word for flattery is "chanupa". The Yiddish word is "firgun", which is more derisive. A joke told in Israel is that the word is on the exit from the Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv with a red diagonal line slashing through it along with the warning, "You are now entering a Firgun Free Zone."
Recently Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the U.N. General Assembly and several Israeli commentators reacted unflatteringly to it. Everyone else applauded, but the Haaretz reporter Tom Segev thought his words were "unneccessary and embarrassing. Gideon Levy thought his words were insulting to the intelligence and demagogic. Aluf Benn, a respected Israeli journalist faulted the speech as failing to address a global rather than Israeli audience.
What he spoke about were some pretty important issues; Iran's nuclear abilities, the Goldstone Report travesty, and their hopes for peace with Palestinians based on security and mutual recognition. The reporters were upset not by those topics but about the Holocaust, his opening. Yet I think the opening explains a lot about the Israeli psyche.
He said that 1/3 of all Jews died in the Holocaust. Almost all Jewish families were affected by this, including his. He said that Ahmadinejad, the biggest Holocaust denier, spoke to this audience the day before about there not being a Holocaust. "Have you no shame, have you no decency?" he asked the audience.
The journalists thought by bringing up the Holocaust that Netanyahu had stooped to Ahmadinejad's level, or gave credibility to him by debating him over a "universally accepted truth." It's been 64 years since the WWII ended and now the validity of it all is in the UN General Assembly, Benn wrote. He felt that with that Ahmadinejad succeeded in instilling doubt.
Israelis are raised with Holocaust history. They are not aware of the world's youth's lack of education about how there was a Final Solution in store for the Jews. Our young American Jews may even be guilty of denial of these facts. This is a difference in our psyche.
Muslims can now think that if Israel was created by Europeans out of Holocaust guilt and it never actually occurred, then their existence is unjust. That's giving them fuel to fight against Israel.
Netanyahu's preamble speaking of the murdering 6 million Jews is important to understand the dangers posed to our 6 million Jews in Israel today by a nuclear Iran and by the Goldstone Report. Speaking about the Holocaust and knowing that it did indeed happen is vital in obtaining peace.
A minority of our American Jews have joined the band wagon in denying the seriousness of our position by joining leftist groups such as J street, where Muslims also have joined. They've developed a very American mentality that may be suitable here in the states, but is not even beginning to grasp the differences in the situation in Israel. This doesn't mean that it's okay to treat Palestinians in a different way from the way we treat members of our own family, but they just don't grasp how close we are to being obliterated. Where an Israeli must be constantly aware of danger and serving, the American only does it rarely if not at all. They might even be thinking the whole affair is an embarrassment for them.
Now Dr. Michael Oren has been asked by J Street to speak at their convention. The last I've heard is that he is declining. If he does change his mind, surely he will give them a "what for" and he may just decide not to give them more fodder for their fight.
Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss wrote in "The Nation" that there is a dramatic shift in American Jews' attitudes toward Israel. They were shocked by the Gaza war. they felt that Israel used "overwhelming force against a mostly defenseless civilian population unable to flee. The way this article is written makes me think of sitting ducks being shot at in a carnival booth.
What has happened to our young people? Have they watched so much football or basketball that they feel the real world evolves around rules of a game? For eight years Israel has been attacked by missles. Just because the number of casualties suffered by Israel was not extremely great is not a good reason to continue to suffer. There are other cruel ways in which the Israelis suffered besides death after being under attack for so long. Do our young people think that Israel should have used the very same type of missiles and had shot them at exactly the very same distance from the border line like a shot at a basketball net? Tit for tat? You get one shot and then we get one shot? You get a kill count of one and then we get the same? How about percentages? Does anyone have any idea how that works?
For eight years Israel tried to get the Palestinian terrorists to stop, and for eight years the only thing that happened was that the terrorists were getting stronger and more brazen. The world sat back like spectators at a Roman arena no doubt betting that Israel would be wiped out soon.
Israel warned the whole world that they were tired of being shot at and that they had been patient at the expense of their own citizen's welfare and could not hold out any longer without taking steps in stopping the attacks. Whereas citizens of Israel are not expendable items to Israel, the Arabs in Gaza are expendable to the terrorists. They have been and always will be pawns ready to be sacrificed in this new type of battle.
Peres was a weak Prime Minister in that he wanted to be liked by his peers, leaders of other countries. The only problem is that leaders of other countries do not benefit from such a friendship and had more to gain by befriending the terrorists. Netanyahu won because he is a strong individual who can see the trees from the forest and is not interested in any popularity contest. He understands how the chess game is played and is sticking to his goal, putting Israel's few people in a safe situation despite being surrounded by a sea of murderers.
As far as their statement of "traditional Jewish resistance to criticizing Israel", Israelis are the first to criticize themselves. It's not that we can't take criticism, but it should be fair and not just repeated words from our opponents. Like children, people sometimes take a side that seems to be the popular one just to be accepted. Here, the popular mode is that of being against Israel.
Bashing Jews has been the popular thing in the world to do for centuries. Do our young people think the world has changed all that much? What happens is that it simply changes color each generation. It takes on different forms. We're not accused of poisoning the wells anymore because science could disprove that, but now it's "using overwhelming force".
The seemingly "overwhelming force" caused more consternation to Israel's commanders than to the Hamas terrorists. Hamas purposely located amid populated centers in order for people to be killed just to gain the sympathy vote. "Oh, those mean Israelis. See how they shoot poor defenseless people. Look at them drop dead. Oh my! "
No doubt many Israeli soldiers suffered right along with it all. Most are just out of high school. We are raised with a very high morality. We don't even shoot a cow and then eat it. We don't eat meat unless it has been killed in a specified way giving the least amount of pain. We don't eat milk products with meat so as not to make the mother animal feel badly. We are taught from birth to consider other's feelings. We have a huge conscience. Has anyone read Portnoy's Complaint? How other Jews can be sucked into thinking that we are the bloodthirsty conquerers painted by the terrorists just shows how little they know about their own people or history.
I suggest that people supporting "J Street" pick up a few books and start studying. They're throwing out the baby with the bath water. There was a need and a right to create Israel in 1948. Goals do not become passe because we're in a new decade. This cannot change like presidents. The need is still there. What has M.J. Rosenberg done to improve public relations for Israel besides criticize her? I doubt if he has been on the front lines in the line of fire. I doubt if he's a colonel or general. Has he ever been in the army? It really helped to hear Roger Cohen say he was "shamed" by Israel's actions. I'm shamed at how little he understands. He can rectify that by moving to Sderot for the next five years. I think we'll hear a different tune.
I guess I'm tired and disgusted to hear all the whiners blame Israel when they've been the ones trapped in an untenable situation. American Jews don't have the guts to pick up and move to Israel because it takes a lot of bravery to do so. Those remnents of society, those that were half starved were able to pick themselves up and beat all the odds of becoming a state. They were not to be toyed with nor trampled on. They molded themselves into a fighting force of warriors who mean to stay alive and will not be bent.
If American Jews have any fortitude, they'll have to show me by doing something in their lifetime that is for the good of their people, and that doesn't mean continuing to give into people who only want their destruction. Israelis have been pretty slow in realizing that giving up land doesn't mean peace-in fact it means just the opposite as Gaza has proven. If anything has become passe, it's the Peace Now movement. Some American Jews are behind the times and haven't picked up on this at all. If they really want to be modern, they'll have to learn and think. They'll have to walk the walk and talk the talk.
The Goldstone Report that recently came out of the United Nations as a review of the Gaza War is as expected, considering the source, only worse. Since so many participants are prejudiced against Israel, this is what the little country continually faces. If we're ever judged fairly, it'll probably mean that the Messiah has arrived.
1. Facts are that Hamas fighters did use civilian clothes when fighting Israel. Even journalists saw this.
2. The areas where attacks were being launched were known to Palestinian witnesses and video tapes. That's how Israel found them.
3. Palestinians fired from hospitals and when using ambulences. This was also seen by eyewitnesses.
4. Weapons were stored in a mosque. A 2nd explosion of mosques is consistent with the storage of explosives. There is video evidence of this.
5. Israel brought in humanitarian aid. The amount even increased months after the war ended. The terrorists assert that it decreased. This is false and disingenuous.
6. There are many documented cases of Palestinian militants being killed in clashes in the neighborhood with their own people. They try to assert that the Zeitoun area is pacifist and had no militant groups or rocket fire. If anyone believes that the young Palestinians are pacifists, I have a bridge to sell to you called the Brooklyn.
7. Palestinian eyewitnesses and Israel say that the Fakhoura area was used to fire at Israel and that combatants were killed in the Israeli strike.
The Goldstone Report is made of people that have used double standards. They have produced a very distorted and one-sided document favoring the Palestinian terrorists who have been shelling Israel for the past seven years. They have dismissed admisions of Palestinian guilt and accepted only the denials. One example is of a Palestinian fighter using human shields.
If the information given even suggests Israeli culpability, it is believed but never if information suggests Palestinian guilt.
Contradictions and lies given by Palestinians or pro-Palestinian sources are dismissed or ignored. Anything from Israel can be called a contradiction and a falsehood and is used to blast Israel's credibility.
Palestinian political leaders' statements have not been used to show evidence. The same is not held true for Israel.
Photographs from Israel are not used to determine that what they show are evidence, but no doubt was ever cast on photos from Palestinians. They said they reviewed 1,200 photographs.
They are accusing Israel of discrimination against women because it struck elements of Gaza's food and water infrastructure. It did not charge the Palestinians with violating the convention and should have.
The Goldstone Report is out to justify accusing Israel of war crimes. They have avoided anything smacking of a misdeed from the Palestinians, like the past 7 years of attacking Israel. They will not charge Hamas and other PLO groups of violating international law.
They leave out facts where it is important. Language is played with. They went back to when Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and complained that it is the 3rd most sacred place in Islam and he dared to visit it. Goodness! They left out the fact that it IS the holiest site in Judaism.
We call the recent building of a wall a barrier. It has been very successful in keeping out suicide bombers and terror attacks and was built to protect its citizens from being killed or injured. They refer to it as a wall and we call it a barrier. The majority of it is a fence. They used "wall" almost 50 times and "barrier" 3 times. They never mentioned "fence".
The report claims that Hamas recognizes Israel when in fact they refuse to and never have. Even Hamas tried to clarify this fact only to have the Report say otherwise. Are we surprised that they haven't really listened?
Angrier now that Abbas got nowhere with Obama with Israel building in Jerusalem and elsewhere, the Arabs are now threatening with rioting using al-Aqsa mosque as the excuse. This site is revered by both the Muslims and the Jews, and the Muslims regard Jews visiting there intolerable.
This site is the place also called the "Temple Mount" where the Temple in Jerusalem once stood. Israeli police evidently have had to keep Muslims out due to the volatile behavior of the populace. For the Muslims, it is their 3rd holiest site because Mohammed Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. (Wikipedia).
There was no problem during the recent Muslim holiday of Ramadan and Muslims had access to the site. Now the Jewish holiday of Succot has started and the Muslims of Israel and surrounding countries are threatening with riots as since Sunday the Israeli police have had to curtail their visits there due to their threats backed up with their rioting.
I notice that many Arab websites have reported on this situation with threats, but Israel websites are few and far between. It could be the start of another infifada. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Tuesday he did not believe the recent wave of riots sweeping through the capital signaled the beginning of a third intifada.
What has happened is that some Jews have tried to enter there to pray. One of my relatives, Stanley Goldfoot, had been a member of the Temple Mount group and had been there when alive. He would be there now if he could. His group believes they have the same rights as the Muslims to pray there. Israel has tried to keep things cool and have come down harder on its own people just in order to keep things peaceful.
Notice who is protesting the Jewish attempted visits. Palestinian leaders have issued a series of warnings in the past week after clashes at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City between Israeli police and protesters, over alleged attempts by Jewish religious activists to enter the site. According to the Jerusalem Post, rioting started with an Arab boy stabbing a man in the neck. Riots broke out in places after that. Visits to the mosque are restricted to Arab men over 50 today.
My comment is this: If Arabs cannot tolerate Jews praying at the same site they pray at, and this involves "G-d", how in the heck does Obama and other leaders think that they would make good neighbors of Israel? We cannot pray in the same local and this is a peaceful display of religious behavior. They hate us. They do not tolerate us. This is happening in a city that has been associated with Jews since King David, for heaven's sake. Jews have given them more than their fair share of religious rights, but it has not changed their attitudes or behaviors. In fact, they have the exquisite ability to turn the tables and blame the Jews for their rioting! What more do they want? Do I dare to pose the question? We all know what they want: all of Jerusalem, and why? Because it is Israel's city, that's why.
In 70 AD, on this very day, a Roman army under General Titus occupied and plundered Jerusalem.
Are we going to lose it again after regaining it in 1967 AD? That is about two thousand years that it took us to regain it. We've always had Jews living there, but had lost it to Rome. So many were carted away to be slaves in Rome, and many were killed.
Today it is a thriving and beautiful city, thanks to the endeavors of Israel. The world now has access to this amazing center of civilization. It's not in the same disrepair we found it to be in in 1967 when no one could visit. Is that what the world wants to happen, now?
What we need today is for the terrorists to stop their coveting, plundering and killing and decide to live in peace. They'll gain far more than a piece of someone else's land. They'll gain some respect. Isn't this implied in one of our ten commandments?
This article was written by a friend of mine who just recently returned from Israel from a fact-finding mission of hers. It's full of current truthful information.
The facts on the ground in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) are very different from what our president talks about and very different than what the mainstream media report.
I recently returned from my fifth trip to Israel. This was the second time I visited the so-called settlements in the West Bank. The word settlement is very misleading because it is used to describe established towns built 30 years ago, as well as trailers on hilltops.
The settlement of Tekoa, for example, was built approximately 30 years ago. The children of the host couple I stayed with were born in Tekoa and have lived their whole lives there. There was a big tree out front and hundreds of birds sang every morning and every evening. The husband said that when they came to Tekoa, there was not one tree and not one bird. These are the people who are expected to leave their homes in order to create a Palestinian state.
We visited Hebron—site of the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Leah. Jews are allowed in only 3 percent of Hebron, while Arabs are allowed in 98 percent of the city. Jewish families there are heavily guarded by the Israeli army.
Under the Oslo accords, the West Bank was divided into Areas A, B and C. Areas A are under Palestinian Authority control. They do not allow any Jews there. If racism is a form of violence, the left is certainly quiet about the racism of Muslims who do not allow Jews to live among them.
It is a crime punishable by death in both Palestinian and Jordanian territories for an Arab to sell land to a Jew.
We visited Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem. There are two walls around Bethlehem, which were depressing to see. The liberal Christians who blame Israel for the walls choose to ignore the fact that barriers and checkpoints are the least lethal method of combating suicide bombers and that there were no walls or checkpoints when Israel administered the territories. Only after the Palestinians took control of Areas A (during Oslo) and did not control terrorist bombers were the walls and checkpoints built. When I lived in Israel from 1978 to 1980, there were no walls, fences, or checkpoints. The roads to the West Bank were wide open, with only a warning sign posted at the side of the road.
Some of us visited Nablus, the site of Joseph’s tomb, although I did not. Nablus is in Area A. The group met at 10 p.m. and went in sometime between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. under cover of darkness. Still, the Palestinians stoned the bus.
One of the provisions of Oslo was that holy sites under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority would be protected and open to all, but that’s not happening. The Palestinians are in violation of every stipulation they signed on to at Oslo. Never mind that our president insists they get a state no matter whether they abide by Oslo, no matter whether they desecrate Jewish holy places, no matter whether they commit murder or advocate ethnic cleansing.
We also visited hilltop settlements consisting of a few trailers and poor people eking a living out of the land. These trailers on hilltops are considered to be a threat to world peace, while rockets from Gaza are not.
We visited the homes of some of the Jews evacuated from Gaza. The government has not fully compensated any of them for their losses. A woman in her 60s who built her home with her husband when she was 27 has to start over. The stories are endless.
We visited Sderot, the Israeli city 1.5 miles from the Gaza border that has been attacked 8,000 times by rockets from Gaza. I was a little apprehensive about being there, but I wanted to support the people who live there. It was quiet the half-day we were there. Surprisingly, this was one of the most inspirational parts of the trip. I saw a yeshiva with a beautiful and very rich looking platform with the Ten Commandments and 450-500 post-high school yeshiva students from all over Israel who came to Sderot to study and give support to the city. I was touched by the courage and dedication of the rabbi who founded the yeshiva.
The other inspirational part of the trip was Yom Yerushalayim day, Jerusalem Reunification Day which was observed May 22 (Iyar 28) this year. There were thousands of children marching with Israeli flags—a beautiful sight.
Israel is a miracle, which I hope will last.
These are the facts on the ground that I witnessed.
Linda Cohn lives in Portland. She is a member of Americans of For a Safe Israel. Update 2012: Linda now lives in New York