Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Egyptian Gas Pipeline Attacked and Exploded

The pipeline from Egypt that supplies Israel and Jordan's gas has again been attacked this month.  An armed gang in the North Sinai area in Egypt blew it up.  This was south of el-Arish, 30 miles from Israel's border.  It exploded and had to be shut down. 

Jordan generates 80% of its electricity from this pipeline.  Israel gets 40% of its natural gas from this source.  Syria also imports gas from Egypt.  Now Jordan will have to use diesel fuel, which is more expensive.

Bedouin tribesmen live in the area and have been known to complain about being neglected and oppressed by Egypt's government.  They had tried to sabatage the pipeline in July 2010.  There is opposition elsewhere because Israel is blockading the Gaza Strip for its own self protection against the group sworn to destroy Israel.  Then Egyptians have claimed that Israel is getting special treatment with lower rates.  The Supreme Court overturned a ban that had never been enforced. 

Egypt has been supplying Israel with natual gas since 2008 in a 20 year deal.  Oil has recently been discovered in Israel offshore and is being developed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dangerous East Jerusalem
Nadene Goldfoot
An Israeli army jeep was driving through East Jerusalem today and suddenly hit something, causing it to flip over.  After this happened, young Arabs from Issawiya shot fireworks at it and this set it on fire.  Issawiya is a Palestinian neighborhood on Mt. Scopus near the Hebrew University and a district that sees lots of clashing with the Israeli police. 

I'm wondering if something was put in the road on purpose to cause the accident.  I would suspect so, being these boys were ready and johnny on the spot armed with fireworks.  Luckily, there were no casualties. 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hezbollah Hit Man and Gang After Israelis Abroad
Nadene Goldfoot

Talul Harnia, head of a Hezbollah cell intends to kill Israelis he finds abroad in retaliation for the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh. 

Mughniyeh was one of the world's most wanted men.  He had been on the FBI list with a $25 million dollar bounty on his head which is the same as on Osama bin Laden.  He had attacked the USA, Israeli and Jewish targets in Lebanon and abroad.  He was finally found in Damascus, Syria and was killed by a car bomb way back in February of 2008.  Of course Hezbollah is saying that he was killed by Israeli agents. 

So now this is the excuse given by a Hezbollah terrorist group to hunt down and kill civilian Israelis.  Many Israelis have taken the Passover holiday as a time for travel, just as many Americans have gone to Israel at this time. 
Hezbollah is out for Israeli blood.  Always be prepared, as the Boy Scout Motto says, for danger lies even outside of Eretz Yisrael.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Itamar Slaughterers Found
Nadene Goldfoot
Two Palestinian PLO teenagers decided to slaughter a Jewish family on March 11th.  Amjad Awad 19 and Hakim Awad 18 from Awarta, an Arab village admitted killing the Fogel family in Itamar.  They have been arrested by the Israeli security forces.  Though they are but teenagers, they are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).  They start young.  Six others were arrested for helping them in this act.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad verbally condemned the killings, but their people have learned to hate Jewish Israelis which these leaders have done nothing to turn about.  In fact, they promote the hatred by doing such things as celebrating murderers by naming places for them.  There were Palestinians who even claimed that their people wouldn't do such a thing, but who else would have, logically?  They constantly blame the Israel occupation for every evil act they do. 

They seem to forget that Jordan "occupied" Judea and Samaria before and they weren't as nice as Israel has been, besides the fact that they didn't keep trying to kill Jordanians in reprisal, which affects whatever has been a discomfort for them.  Herb Keinon points out that countries have been occupied before and the occuppied didn't do dastardly acts such as hacking a 3 month old baby to death or sending out women suicide-bombers or firing anti-tank missiles at school buses with the goal of killing children, either. 

There can be no justification for such horrendous murders.  Yet the Director General of the PA Ministry of Detainees & Ex-Detainees justifies all this and demands that those Palestinians being detained by Israel be released.  Detainees are people who have committed some heineous crime such as murder.  Chutzpa is something they have no shortage of. 

How different life would have been if the Palestinians in 1967 who were living in Judea and Samaria under Jordan would have continued their life when under Israel and would not have continued to attack Jewish families for the last 44 years.  They would have had all the pleasures as any other community in Israel and in the United States, most likely.  By all this hatred and unacceptance of a Jewish State being thrown at Israel, the Utopia they pictured did not come about.  It was not meant to be, obviously.  Between the antagonistic Gazan Palestinians of Hamas and the PLO of Fatah in Judea and Samaria, Israel has had its hands full. 

from Daily Alert

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hamas Rockets Fly Again

Hamas has attacked Israel with over 40 rockets since they hit the yellow school bus on purpose, and Israel pounded back in return.    On Sunday Egyptian and UN mediators were able to achieve an informal truce
but it only lasted a few days.  Friday in Israel saw the return of  the attack again.

The southern Israel cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon were targeted with no injuries incurred.  People heard the warning siren and then felt the attack. 

"We will not stand for fire on buses or on our children. We will not abide a situation where Israeli citizens are sleeping in shelters - anywhere," said Netanyahu.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Terrorists' Mentality
Nadene Goldfoot

The foes of Israel do not understand the relevence of Israel getting all upset over their aiming at a school bus.  Omar Al-Ghoul, political advisor to the PA Prime AMinister Salam Fayyad, told their TV on April 8th that the school bus wasn't that badly damaged but Israel is using this attack of ours as an excuse for hitting back. 

They cop out from understanding that a school bus holds children and that, to Israelis and to other people of the world this is not acceptable to do.  You don't purposely aim at children with the intention of killing or maiming them.  Children are innocents.  Only a very barbaric society would think this is okay to do.  Israelis are not measuring the destruction of the school bus.  They are measuring the intention of a self-seeking missile upon children. 

The child who was badly injured on the bus, Daniel Wipliech, has become worse to the point of being listed now as critical.  There is no evidence of any brain activity reported the doctor, the Chief of Pediatric ICU Shaul Sofer.  "It's a mortal injury," he said. 

Hamas is demonstrating their behaviors, and Fatah was not any better by entering a home in Samaria and slaughtering the family which included 3 children while they slept.  These are acts performed by cowards, not from brave men.  This is not the kind of morality that make up good neighbors. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Israel's Seventh Letter to U.N.
Nadene Goldfoot

Meron Reuben, Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. has written his 7th letter to Ban Ki moon, the Secretary General of the U.N. about the recent attacks on Southern Israel from Gaza.

Since April 7th, in the past 5 days, Israel has been hit with 131 different projectiles which have been:
12 Grad missiles
70 Kassam rockets
49 mortars

This of course is a violation of international law.  Smuggling arms has been going on in Gaza also and must be condemned.  None of these things have been adddressed by the U.N. 

Right now it appears that there is a lull.  The Palestinians did call for a truce, and when they have done this in the past it's when they need to re-supply themselves with more weapons, not that they're considering to be peaceful for a change. 

When Israel has retaliated at any time, they zero in on a target and do their utmost to just hit that.  What makes it difficult for them is that these targets usually are amid a population center, positioned there on purpose-to bring bad press for Israel.  However, what the Palestinians have been doing is aiming their weaponry directly at population centers just to alarm and upset the population with the hope of hitting civilians; men, women and children..  It's not that there is an armory or soldiers to hit.  The latest ill-fated deed they committed was to purposely aim a heat seeking missile at a yellow school bus.  That did it!  The bee hive was maddened and Israel struck back, highly angered.  You don't aim for children!

The U.N. is always quick on the trigger to accuse Israel in any way, though Israel spends their time defending their nation, but the U.N. has done nothing at all to come to Israel's defense from any attack.  This batch of U.N. delegates seem to have forgotten that it was Israel that was recognized as a Jewish state by them.  They have forgotten that it was Winston Churchill who said that the Jews...should have a national centre and a National Home in the land of Palestine, which they have been associated with for more than 3,000 years.  They seem to have forgotten it was Harry Truman who even cited Psalm 137 which describes the pain of Jewish exile with "by the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.  After 63 years of existence, it's ridiculous that Israel still has to prove its right to exist. Other than recognizing Israel, just what has the U.N. done for this small country since then?   Six letters ignored.  Will the 7th letter finally stir the pot? 


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Palestinian's Bully Behavior
Nadene Goldfoot

They finally did it.  After shooting rockets into Israel from Gaza over the past two years and getting so brazen as to hit a yellow school bus with a heat searching missile and then receiving the pummelting they deserve, the Palestinian Hamas terrorists have  called "UNCLE! 

The Palestinians are now asking the UN to do the same thing they've done to Libya, establish a no fly zone over Gaza! 

Israel's reply is how about first ensuring that the terrorists in Gaza halt all their attacks on Israel.  They'd also have to stop those ground to ground missiles that keep coming into Israel as well.  Sudan is also trying to get in on the act and are saying that a missile attack happened near their Port Sudan airport killing two people and it was from Israel!  They say this happened on Tuesday night.  My comment is that the Palestinian terrorists are the ones lobbing missiles around the area, and Israel was retaliating with completely diffferent weaponry.  I note how fast these people object to being attacked with missiles.  And we've been forced to endure it for how long?  Ridiculous. 

A Weekend of 120  Rockets and Mortars Raining on Southern Israel
Nadene Goldfoot

So far 120 rockets and mortar shells have been shot into Israel this weekend.  Israel's IDF hit Gaza in retaliation and may have to have a ground offensive to stop the attacks.  Five Israelis have been wounded just trying to get to their bomb shelters.  The Iron Dome stopped 10 of the rockets. 

Offers of cease fire were relayed through the day.  After hitting Israel very hard, Hamas offered a cease fire which is typical.  In the past one is offered and then ignored.  This time Israel did not take them up on it.  This weekend Izzadin Kassam, the military wing of Hamas led by Ahmed Jabari would not listen to their Prime MinisterIsrmail Haniyeh who wanted a cease fire.

This escalation went on after Gazans hit the school bus wounding a 16 year old boy in the head.  It would have been worse but the bus had just let off 40 students.  Hamas pounded Israel hitting Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ofakim, Sderot and other belt communities.  Usually it is Sderot that gets most of the punishment. 

More than 20 Hamas terrorists were killed in the attacks and others were wounded in Israel's answer of air strikes.  Earlier the air force killed 3 senior Hamas commanders in a car in Rafah.  The commander had been the one leading the rocket strike on Eilat a few months ago and was a part of the 2006 kidnapping of Gilad Schalit.  The IDF also hit a terrorist cell behind the firing of Grad-model Katyusha rockets into Ashkelon earlier which got a senior Hamas field commander. 

Hamas now is saying that they will escalate and hit more targets deeper into Israel if Israel does not stop the aerial assaults. 

Such an attack caused about 750,000 Israelis to go to their bomb shelters.  Governments have thought that if the casualties in Israel are not high, being bombed really is not all that bad.   It is.  There may have not been a loss of life all the time, but the pressure of living under attack constantly brings about PTSD and other problems.  The point is that they cannot live a normal life, homes are often taking the brunt of an attack, and it's just too much.  Hospitals have had to go underground as well as manufacturing.  The goal of Hamas is to destroy Israel and until that changes, they will not change.  There is nobody around except Israel that is trying to make this point.  We will never see the day that America would put up with one rocket or missile fired into its territory without putting a quick stop to it, yet they have been expecting Israel to do what they would not do without raising a ruckus with Hamas or Fatah.  Israel has had very little help on their side against such a monsterous way to live.  Hamas keeps getting their money for noncompliance and the UN keeps clucking away against Israel.    

Somehow, Hamas thinks they can escalate and Israel will do nothing and now they blame Israel for the violence.  They're copping a plea that Whoops,didn't mean to hit the school bus.  Gee, the yellow school bus was carrying children? commented Abu Zuhri?  That road is also used by IDF vehicles. 

Resource: IDF vows to keep up air strikes as 120 rockets hit South added 10:35 am

Friday, April 08, 2011

Escalation between Hamas and Israel
Nadene Goldfoot
 Israel has been attacked for the past two years with a low level shelling of mortars and missiles, but last month the terrorists really let loose with a barrage attack of missiles that wouldn't quit.  Yesterday they hit a school bus with a new weapon, an anti tank heat seeking missile that was purposely aimed at it. The 16 year old boy on the bus  is suffering from a serious head wound.  That was terrible.   The distance between Hamas terrorists and southern Israel is only a couple of miles.  For Portlanders, think of the West side of the Ross Island bridge being able to volley a missile into Ladds Addition.  That's about the same distance that the school bus was. 

Israel is sick of it and returned fire, killing nine of which one was a terrorist commander, three others being his soldiers and 5 civilians who were in the line of fire.  A house of theirs was also hit.  The defining feature of escalation  is hitting children and civilians and the hitting of a school bus hardened Israel's retaliation. 

Leaked WikiLeaks tell that Hezbollah terrorists, out of Iran and Lebanon,  have plans to hit Tel Aviv with a huge bombardment of 100 missiles a day. They already have 40,000 of them ready.   Israel just came up in time with a defense mechanism, Iron Dome,  to stop missiles, but it didn't get all of them in their first trial yesterday.  It did stop a Grad missile heading for Ashkelon. 

It seems to me that Hamas in in compliance with Hezbollah and was testing the waters wondering what Israel's reaction would be.  They found out. 


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Israel-Our Home-Not  the Pale of Russia
Nadene Goldfoot

Israel is a democratic state in a rough neighborhood, but it has the right to live and plan for its future.  While many are sitting around saying it's doomed, Israelis are living and planning ahead.  The neighborhood of Gilo is part of Jerusalem and is on state land. It is not an outpost. It is a community of 40,000 Jews.  The history of Gilo goes back to the Iron Age I.  It was re-established officially in 1973-which is after the 1967 attack of all the Arab nations against Israel when Israel gained back ancient land.   The government has just decided to approve the need for 942 additional homes in this part of Southern Jerusalem which is across the 1967 Green line.  They have also projected into the farther future by  zoning 88,000 square meters for 300 more units.  The 942 homes planning will not take place until years from now.  Much has to be planned and passed before then.  But Israelis are not frozen in their seats nor sitting still.  The favorite toast is L'Chaim (to life), and they must hope for the best.  By passing this request, they are thinking of how to fund it and now have the means to do so. 

There was a time when Jews were locked up in Ghettos in Italy actually behind fences and gates each night and never allowed out of it.  The same thing happened in Russia when they were all moved into the Pale of Russia and could not leave.  They were not permitted into the rest of Russia. 

Even in their own country today, the U.N. is trying to dictate to them what they can do or where they can build.  Peres talking to Ms. Clinton right now about it in Washington.  The problem lies in the fact that this to Israel is their own land.  To the UN, it isn't.  Our Obama administration is telling Israel that it is an illegal "settlement" and that building is illegal for Israelis and that these actions run counter to resuming direct talks with Abbas and have called on Israel to halt. 

Personally, I don't think Abbas has a bone in his body ready to come and talk to Netanyahu about peace.  He already has had a mind set to go to the UN and get Palestine recognized and has been already seeing people about this very fact. 

Israelis cannot go about their life thinking they are without future plans, hopes and dreams.  It's psychologically debillitating.  Jews have had enough to swallow.  In the Arab countries they were dminnis and couldn't build higher than their neighbors, had to pay more taxes, were on a lower level as 3rd rate citizens, etc.  In Eastern Europe they couldn't own land, couldn't work in certain fields, were restricted in every way,  and were in danger of pogroms.  The bullies had their way.  Israelis are not about to be bullied again.  Building means they have turned their swords into plowshares.  They want a life. 

I think that many Americans, both Jew and Gentile,  think this an act of rebellion, but I think Israel is trying to show that if the Arabs won't decide to make peace with Israel, then Israel is not going to fold up and leave because of it.  It's going to go right on living, and if they are shelled, it's the attackers that are going to suffer the consequences.  It would pay to make peace with Israel and work together.  Shalom.
Israeli School Bus Hit: Rockets and Anti-Tank Missile Used Against Israel
Nadene Goldfoot
Israel had to endure three hours of being attacked by 45 rockets  today.  A rocket taking direct aim at Ashkelon, Portland's sister city, was stopped by a new defense mechanism, the Iron Dome anti-missile system  by Israel which was now tried out.  This all came about after  a Palestinian anti-tank missile hit an Israeli school bus which had just let out 40 children at the nearby stop.  It  injured the school's bus driver and a seriously injured a 16 year old  boy.  A military spokesman said the bus had been struck by an advanced Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missile fired from about two miles away. Hamas, which rules Gaza, asserted responsibility for the attack. added 4/8/11
4/17/11  The boy died today.  He never had regained consciousness. 

Israel responded with an attack using their planes and artillary which killed 3 people.  By nightime the attack was over. 

This attack on Israel by Hamas was in reaction to Israel hitting their security compound in Gaza City after they had been  attacked. 
Resource: added 4/17/11

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

No Apartheid in Israel: Dr. Denis MacEoin's Defense
It isn't often that I use the original text for my blog, and I hope Dr. MacEoin won't mind, but his words are most important, for it is the American University level that I am seeing so much of this apartheid accusation happening. Also, the Socialists of our city have been active in calling out this accusation. Now I hope some high level university people in the states speak out against the claim of Israel practicing apartheid. Nadene Goldfoot

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011, 2:11 AM
From Dr. Denis MacEoin
The Committee
Edinburgh University Student Association
May I be permitted to say a few words to members of the EUSA? I am an
Edinburgh graduate (MA 1975) who studied Persian, Arabic and Islamic
History in Buccleuch Place under William Montgomery Watt and Laurence
Elwell Sutton, two of Britain's great Middle East experts in their day.
I later went on to do a PhD at Cambridge and to teach Arabic and
Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. Naturally, I am the author of
several books and hundreds of articles in this field.

I say all that to show that I am well informed in Middle Eastern
affairs and that, for that reason, I am shocked and disheartened by the
EUSA motion and vote. I am shocked for a simple reason: there is not
and has never been a system of apartheid in Israel. That is not my
opinion, that is fact that can be tested against reality by any
Edinburgh student, should he or she choose to visit Israel to see for

Let me spell this out, since I have the impression that those member of
EUSA who voted for this motion are absolutely clueless in matters
concerning Israel, and that they are, in all likelihood, the victims of
extremely biased propaganda coming from the anti-Israel lobby. Being
anti-Israel is not in itself objectionable. But I'm not talking about
ordinary criticism of Israel. I'm speaking of a hatred that permits
itself no boundaries in the lies and myths it pours out. Thus, Israel
is repeatedly referred to as a 'Nazi' state. In what sense is this
true, even as a metaphor? Where are the Israeli concentration camps?
The einzatsgruppen? The SS? The Nüremberg Laws? The Final Solution?

None of these things nor anything remotely resembling them exists in
Israel, precisely because the Jews, more than anyone on earth,
understand what Nazism stood for. It is claimed that there has been an
Israeli Holocaust in Gaza (or elsewhere). Where? When? No honest
historian would treat that claim with anything but the contempt it
deserves. But calling Jews Nazis and saying they have committed a
Holocaust is as basic a way to subvert historical fact as anything I
can think of.

Likewise apartheid. For apartheid to exist, there would have to be a
situation that closely resembled things in South Africa under the
apartheid regime. Unfortunately for those who believe this, a weekend
in any part of Israel would be enough to show how ridiculous the claim
is. That a body of university students actually fell for this and voted
on it is a sad comment on the state of modern education. The most
obvious focus for apartheid would be the country's 20% Arab population.

Under Israeli law, Arab Israelis have exactly the same rights as Jews
or anyone else; Muslims have the same rights as Jews or Christians;
Baha'is, severely persecuted in Iran, flourish in Israel, where they
have their world centre; Ahmadi Muslims, severely persecuted in
Pakistan and elsewhere, are kept safe by Israel; the holy places of all
religions are protected under a specific Israeli law. Arabs form 20% of
the university population (an exact echo of their percentage in the
general population). In Iran, the Baha'is (the largest religious
minority) are forbidden to study in any university or to run their own
universities: why aren't your members boycotting Iran?

Arabs in Israel can go anywhere they want, unlike blacks in apartheid
South Africa. They use public transport, they eat in restaurants, they
go to swimming pools, they use libraries, they go to cinemas alongside
Jews - something no blacks could do in South Africa. Israeli hospitals
not only treat Jews and Arabs, they also treat Palestinians from Gaza
or the West Bank. On the same wards, in the same operating theatres.

In Israel, women have the same rights as men: there is no gender
apartheid. Gay men and women face no restrictions, and Palestinian gays
often escape into Israel, knowing they may be killed at home. It seems
bizarre to me that LGBT groups call for a boycott of Israel and say
nothing about countries like Iran, where gay men are hanged or stoned
to death. That illustrates a mindset that beggars belief. Intelligent
students thinking it's better to be silent about regimes that kill gay
people, but good to condemn the only country in the Middle East that
rescues and protects gay people. Is that supposed to be a sick joke?

University is supposed to be about learning to use your brain, to think
rationally, to examine evidence, to reach conclusions based on solid
evidence, to compare sources, to weigh up one view against one or more
others. If the best Edinburgh can now produce are students who have no
idea how to do any of these things, then the future is bleak. I do not
object to well documented criticism of Israel. I do object when
supposedly intelligent people single the Jewish state out above states
that are horrific in their treatment of their populations. We are going
through the biggest upheaval in the Middle East since the 7th and 8th
centuries, and it's clear that Arabs and Iranians are rebelling against
terrifying regimes that fight back by killing their own citizens.

Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, do not rebel (though they are
free to protest). Yet Edinburgh students mount no demonstrations and
call for no boycotts against Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and
Iran. They prefer to make false accusations against one of the world's
freest countries, the only country in the Middle East that has taken in
Darfur refugees, the only country in the Middle East that gives refuge
to gay men and women, the only country in the Middle East that protects
the Baha'is.... Need I go on? The imbalance is perceptible, and it
sheds no credit on anyone who voted for this boycott.

I ask you to show some common sense. Get information from the Israeli
embassy. As for some speakers. Listen to more than one side. Do not
make your minds up until you have given a fair hearing to both parties.
You have a duty to your students, and that is to protect them from
one-sided argument. They are not at university to be propagandized. And
they are certainly not there to be tricked into anti-Semitism by
punishing one country among all the countries of the world, which
happens to be the only Jewish state. If there had been a single Jewish
state in the 1930s (which, sadly, there was not), don't you think Adolf
Hitler would have decided to boycott it? Of course he would, and he
would not have stopped there. Your generation has a duty to ensure that
the perennial racism of anti-Semitism never sets down roots among you.

Today, however, there are clear signs that it has done so and is
putting down more. You have a chance to avert a very great evil, simply
by using reason and a sense of fair play. Please tell me that this
makes sense to me. I have given you some of the evidence. It's up to
you to find out more.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Denis MacEoin

Monday, April 04, 2011

Israel on the Democratic Forefront

Nadene Goldfoot
Everyone's clamoring for Democracy in the Middle East.  There has been one Democratic country there since 1948 and it probably has been driving the Arab rulers crazy knowing that a democracy was so close by and instituted by Jews. 
Israel practices freedom of religion even though it was created as a Jewish state.  It recognizes 15 religions including Islam, the Ba-hais, Druze, Chaldaic and other Christian groups and more.  They administer their own internal affairs and Israel protects all the holy sites.

In Muslim countries Christians are being persecuted but between 1948 to 1998, Christians grew from 34,000 to 130,000 in Israel. 

In Israel citizens have freedom of assembly, speech, press and dissent.  Only hate speech and incitement to violence are illegal.  There are 9 Hebrew daily newspapers; several daily papers in Russian, Arabic, French and English.  The Jerusalem Post was the one I read in English when in Israel from 1980-85.  There are many radio and TV stations and easy access to the foreign press. 

All minorities have the same civil rights as the majority.  Israel is a pluralistic society.  It's a product of the ingathering from all the corners of the earth.  80% of Israelis are Jews of different ethnicities and races.  Many emigrated from the Middle East, Ethiopia, India, Russia, the USA and Europe.  Having been a part of this, I was so impressed to have friends from various parts of Britain, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the USA.  All those people speaking English in so many accents made us realize that we were really a part of the prophesized ingathering to Israel.  It had come to pass. 

Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and at one time, Gaza, are not Israeli citizens.  Even so, they can petition Israel's highest courts.  The Court judges by the merits of a case and frequently decides in favor of the Palestinians.  For example, In June of 2004 they petitioned that the security fence by rerouted around Beit Sourik and around Alfei Menashe in 2005.  In April 2002, during very fierce fighting , the high court was receiving and ruling on petitions almost daily, and that made the New York times on May 5, 2003. 

Palestinians are in the Knesset and have 5 political parties.  Some people have said that Israel has too much democracy because it is a multiparty, not a 2 party system.  There are many parties, far more than the USA has including a Communist, religious, Arab and secular parties.  Israelis vote for the party instead of an individual and each party has its own list of Knesset candidates.  Depending on the % they receive of the popular vote determines how many seats it wins.  For example, if a party wins 5 seats, the first 5 candidates on its list become Members of the Knesset or an MK.   A party needs only 2% of the vote to win a seat.  It turns out to be a boisterous and often confusing political system as at one time they had 19 different parties running.  The governing group has to form coalitions to function, so even the smallest parties get a voice. 

Reference: Israel 101 from StandWithUs, special Edition, partners Christians United For Israel (CUFI)

Friday, April 01, 2011

5.9 Earthquake Felt in Israel

Northern Israel around Nahariya and Safed felt an earthquake the most that struck all of Israel Friday afternoon.  It was centered on the island of Crete in the town of Iraklio, a Greek island.  There was no damage.  The Island is 76 miles away from Israel. 

I remember being in my apartment building sometime between 1980-1985 taking part in a lesson on the highest floor of the building when an earthquake struck in Safed.  The building swayed at that height, but we were okay and resumed our lesson.  It was scary, though.  I actually lived on the bottom level and my husband never knew it had happened.

Earthquakes happened in Safed in the late 1800's.  I visited a friend who lived in a beautiful home that had been dug out of the earth that had been swallowed up in an earthquake.  She must have been a home decorator because she kept the influence of the Middle East with bright pillows, and had lots of green plants inside.  It was just breath-taking and so simply done.  Then I had to return to my small lower-level apartment with black bars on the ground floor window in the living room.  I had another friend, Dov Silverman, school principal, author of stories about Safed, who lived in an actual house.  It was exciting to visit him and his house being I hadn't seen one for so long.  Most all people in Israel live in high rise apartment buildings for lack of space, I imagine.  If you're from New York it's not a shock, but coming from Portland, Oregon and home-style living, it took some getting used to.  Out of the 5 1/2 years I lived in Israel, that was the only earthquake that I experienced.  I've felt several little ones in Portland before that. 

Cairo, Egypt also felt the quake.