Friday, August 31, 2012

Sderot Home, Family Hit Twice in 5 Years

Nadene Goldfoot

School started in southern Israel and the children were greeted by more rockets raining on their countryside from Gazan terrorists.  The IDF retaliated by hitting a munitions depot on Tuesday in response to the shelling.

Rockets from Gaza terrorists have been raining on southern Israel almost daily since 2001.  Since January of this year, 450 rockets have fallen into southern Israel.   It happened again just this morning.  The town most hit is Sderot, which is just a few miles away from the Gaza Strip border.  Sure enough, the Timsit family's home was hit 5 years ago in 2007, and again this morning.  The house was damaged and the woman in the house at the time was traumatized.  I would be too, if a rocket hit the roof of my house and came through.

An Al Qaeda affiliated group were the attackers, the Mujahedeen Shura Committee, who are spread out in the Sinai and in Gaza.  They are retaliating, they said.  I can't figure that one because what Israel does is go after the sources after an attack on Israel.  This group had also attacked with a  rocket barrage earlier this week as well.  They take responsibility for previous attacks, too.   They just keep on shelling and there aren't excuses they can hide behind except their unreasonable hatred for Israel.

A second rocket, causing the red alert alarm to cry out, fell in an open field.  On Thursday evening a rocket landed in the Ashkelon area north of Sderot.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shock and Awe Over "Breaking the Silence" Group

Nadene Goldfoot
If ever there was a state of individualistic thinkers, it's Israel.  This is a more democratic state than others professing to be one.  Like Chaim Weizmann said to an American president in conversation; he was the president of 2 million presidents.

Jews have been taught to think for themselves in Yeshivas and in their homes and not be swayed by mass opinions.  Israel was created on democratic principals and is sticking to their decision.  Lately, a group of 30 former Israeli soldiers wrote about their experiences in the treatment of Palestinian children during operations and arrests in occupied territory as well as disclosing events about checkpoints which they themselves did not understand the rules they had to follow.  This was published by "Breaking the Silence."  Where this more likely would have been the topic of conversation with a guidance counselor in an AA group in the states,  it's made the press.  I have a feeling that their well developed sense of what is right and what is wrong brought about this admission.

We have our Peaceniks and parades of people in Israel marching for the left.  When lives were in jeopardy and even they were worried, the right gained momentum.  Everybody always has an opinion of their own.

One thing for sure; we don't cover up facts or gloss over them.  We are a people with ideals from the extreme left to the extreme right.  Where Egypt just erased (not an easy thing to do on stone walls) the presence of some Pharaoh who lost his following, we let it all hang out, like the escapades of King David and Bathsheba.  Even the story of how Joshua entered Eretz Yisrael is told in detail.  Our Tanakh sometimes reads more interestingly than today's soaps do with all our heros'  foibles because people are exposed with their frailties as well as their achievements.  .

Now I'm afraid that this will be fodder for Arabs and people like Goldstone to bash over Israel's heads.  Most soldiers try so hard, at the expense of their own lives even, to be more than fair with their dealings with the Palestinians.  Like American soldiers, sometimes this has not been the  case.

One thing I noticed was their disagreement at a checkpoint on the stringent Israeli rules that if someone's great grandfather had thrown rocks at Israelis, they couldn't get into the land to work.  That told me that these things are not forgotten and are on record.  I know that Israel has to take extreme care not to let anyone in who might either be a terrorist or who has terrorist connections.  I'm much older than this young soldier who in the sunlight and beautiful scenery might not feel the same way when greeted by some Palestinian needing a job in the Jordan Valley.  The fact that we've been at war with Palestinians for 64 years now makes this modern day soldier look at throwing things as not a big deal.

One thing to realize is that theseare the confessions of just 30 soldiers over the past 64 years where a state has had to have all their citizens be drafted into the army.  It's a very small % that have stories such as these.  What is important is the freedom of the press, and that freedom of speech is not suppressed.

 This would not happen in  a Palestinian state where Jews will not even be allowed to live.  It's already been planned that the future Palestine is to be Judenrein, (no Jews allowed.).  Judea and Samaria and Gaza use school books calling Jews all sorts of animals and debased creatures.  The hatred they have towards Israel has been well developed through horrible brain-washing techniques.  Yet Israel must stick to their principals of  not treating others as they wouldn't want to be treated.  The Golden Rule must be carried out, even under these outlandish circumstances.  

America's Discrimination Problems Enter Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
"The State of Israel is a democratic state and  an enlightened state.

That is what makes us unique in the environment around us and this will continue to make us unique. I hope that one day our environment will change as well. But we will be persistent in our complete opposition to racism and violence.

We are not prepared to tolerate racism in Israel. Neither are we prepared to tolerate the combination of racism and violence."  These are words spoken by Prime Minister Netanyhu  when he signed a document encouraging the integration of Ethiopian immigrants and against discrimination and racism.

Lately Israel has had some acts of discrimination  towards the Ethiopian immigrant communities and 3 Arab teenagers in Jerusalem which have included violence.  When Israel comes across acts like these, the entire state and all of its leaders come out together against such actions, and they will continue to do so.  It is not to be tolerated.

What seems to have happened in Jerusalem was a Palestinian boy flirting with a Jewish girl who told her friends which brought about a mob attack and sent some young Arabs to the hospital.  Ethiopians are having problems getting flats rented in all white centers.  Hiring practices and segregation in schools are also problems creeping up and brought to the attention of the citizens.

Things like the Kassam rocket that hit a building in Sderot fired by Gaza terrorists Sunday doesn't help to calm the environment and steady people's nerves.  One person was wounded and a second treated for shock.  Terrorists from Gaza have attacked Southern Israel since Jews were expelled from Gush Katif by Israel in order to bring about peace between Israel and "Palestinians" in 2005.  Over 12 Israelis have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands have suffered from shock and trauma.

Then there's the immediate threat of an atomic bomb crashing into Israel from Iran with the constant talk of having to take out their manufacturing center and what that will ensue.  There's also Syria with their stash of chemical or biological warfare getting into the wrong hands.

One difference that is noticeable between Israel and the USA is that all children go into the army at age 18.  It's compulsory.  Girls serve for a shorter period then boys.  So far, the only way to avoid this is to be a yeshiva student, and this may be changed.  It's something parents must face and must be difficult for them.  Many parents in the states planned to send their children to Canada to avoid any possible draft.  No parent wants to put their children in harm's way,  whether they live in Israel or the USA.  It's enough to make people high-strung.

When I lived in Israel from 1980-1985, the biggest thing I noticed that shook us all up was the devaluation of the shekel.  People drove erratically on the highways, a sign of nerves on edge.  Everyone rushed to banks to see what the value of the shekel was at that moment.  Outside attacks were not on my mind then.  Ethiopians were just moving into Safed and the community was busy rounding up clothing for them, as they arrived on the planes wrapped in white sheets and were barefooted and some were ill.  They were going through a huge culture shock.  I remember going to an art show where they showed off their wares.  I was extremely impressed by their talent and glad they were in our town, an art colony, really.  That's why I had wanted to live in Safed.  I indulged in oil painting and loved to do portraits.

Americans have problems, but nothing like what faces their friends in Israel.  Americans have discrimination over racial problems as well without the same violence threatened on them by outside neighbors.  It's taken years since the Civil War of the 1860's to get around to behaving like just and moral people.  It took the USA over 100 years to face the problem squarely.   Netanyahu and the Knesset know of  America's history and are dealing with Israel's new situation well.   Israelis have been too long the brunt of discrimination themselves, and won't  allow it to happen to others.    It seems that people will get away with unsuitable behaviors that suit their personal feeling until brought up short and shamed a little.  It will stop like pinching out the flame of a candle.

Resource: Stand For Israel

Friday, August 24, 2012

Egypt Enters Sinai

Nadene Goldfoot
After the 1973 war with Egypt, we had a peace treaty in 1979 and Israel agreed to withdraw its troops and citizens from the Sinai and return it to Egypt in return for normal relations and a restriction on the number of Egyptian troops to enter Sinai, especially near the border with Israel.

Cairo, Egypt has just  moved  aircraft and tanks in the Sinai for the first time since the 1973 war with Israel.  The reason for this was to chase Islamist militants involved in the August 5th attack.

Egypt's defense minster, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi telephoned Ehud Barak and talked about coordinating with Israel on these Sinai military operations.  This was reported through Al- Hayat, the Arabic-language news agency.  Sisi affirmed their commitment to keeping the peace treaty with Israel in the phone call.

Speculation was whether their relations could break down or not with this military build-up for the counter-terror operations.  President Morsi of Egypt  is of the Muslim Brotherhood, and they're not hep on being peaceful with Israel.

A big rally has been going on in Tahrir Square questioning the Muslim Brotherhood. On August 12th, Morsi dismissed top generals who were obstructing his orders, Morsi said.  Journalists were insulting him, so the claim goes, and they are in trouble.

Former Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin feels that what they are doing is that they are showing a significant effort to deal with terrorists, and this he approves of.

This move into the Sinai comes after an attack earlier on Egyptian border guards that left 16 dead.  They were also trying to breach the border with Israel.  Israel knew about the plans before it even happened and had warned Egypt about it.  Then Israel agreed to their sending in more troops to control the terrorists.

Secretary of state Hilary Clinton added that it was most important to produce transparency on these military moves in the Sinai.  After all, she backs up her statements  with money.  It would be reassuring if this was not necessary, but I don't think it would happen without this carrot.  Perhaps future practice will eventually become natural and one day will happen without such bribes.  It's nice to not have to hurry into war for both sides.  There are enough problems .


Fighting Words of Abbas Over Jerusalem, City of Peace

Nadene Goldfoot
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Arabs simply will not recognize that there is known history about Israel's most important city and capital, Jerusalem.  In denying this important history, he shows he is simply a denier, like Ahmadinejad is about the Holocaust.  The reason is far more reaching than Abbas's personal outlook on the Middle East, however.  It has to do with the Islamic grand scheme of things.

He was quoted as saying on Tuesday, "Jerusalem is a Muslim and Christian city, and there will be neither peace nor security until the Israeli occupation, settlements and settlers leave the city."  Note that Israel is not an occupier and cities and towns are not settlements which are things we had in the West of the USA in the 1800's.  The population living in these cities are not "settlers."  These are political words used to give a mental picture which is wrong.

He carried on with, "Jerusalem's identity is Arab, and the city's and Christian holy sites must be protected from Israeli threats."  Nobody has worked harder than Israel in protecting all religious places.  This didn't happen at all under Jordan's domain before 1967.  Jerusalem was built by King David, the Jewish king in 1,000 BCE , and it's identity has always been a Jewish one.  Jews have prayed for 2,000 years every day that we should not forget Jerusalem.  It's been part of our history for over 3,000 years now.  It is the heart and soul of Judaism and is where the 2 Temples were built for G-d.   What Abbas rants causes nausea for me.

Abbas ended with the threat that "there will be no peace or stability before our beloved city and eternal capital is liberated from occupation and settlement."  It's not and never has been Islam's eternal capital.  Mecca and Medina are the 1st and 2nd holy cities for Islam and they lie in Saudi Arabia.  Only the story about Mohammed going up to heaven on his horse is set in Jerusalem, so they say.  Jerusalem is  mentioned 0 times in the Koran but at least 600  times in our Tanach (Old Testament).  The city of Jerusalem is never mentioned by name in the Islamic Koran.  Islamists think it is referred to with just the words like city or town without a name attached. If anyone finds it in there, you should inform  Daniel Pipes who was offering a million dollars to anyone who could.  

Abbas was definitely not trying to make points with Israel's Knesset.  Everything he says is an affront to Jewish senses.  Somebody is living in the twilight zone if they think that Jews are going to pick up and leave Jerusalem.  Only the Jews have talked about having peace with these outlandish neighbors which must contain some reasonable people who wish for the same thing, but peace certainly hasn't even started with the table-talk.  There are 1.4 million Arabs, the majority being Muslim, no doubt, who are already citizens of Israel and I pray who have higher goals in life than fighting with Israelis.

Our thoughts and hope are reflected in Ha-Tikvah, Israel's National Anthem with these few lines: "The hope of two thousand years---to be a free people in our own land---In the land of Zion and Jerusalem."  My prayer this lovely Friday, Erev Shabbat is "So let it be."


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How Qatar's Outlook Affects Jews, the USA and Even London

Nadene Goldfoot
Sheik Yusuf. Al-Qaradawi has a most mixed attitude towards Jews. He is the Islamic spokesman in Qatar.   and has recently put out a fatwa against all Jews, but had made comments in the past that were more accepting of our religious people.

 He came into my spotlight not too long ago when Qatar was the sponsor for Arabic classes in our local Portland high school, Lincoln High.  This classroom  teacher was responsible for bringing in a hip-hop Palestinian group whose degradation of Israel caused Jewish students at Lincoln to be quite upset.  Come to find out, Qatar is in the education business among other things, and had sponsored another school here as well as in other spots throughout the USA.  Their religious leader is the Egyptian who sought refuge in Qatar, Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who happens to be a radical Muslim Brotherhood organizer and who broadcasts over al-Jazeera TV.

As long as you don't advocate the existence of Israel, you're an okay Jew in his eyes.  This was shown in May 2008 when he spoke with the visiting rabbis from Hareda, the anti-zionist Neturei Karta sect.  Qaradawi said, ".There is no enmity between Muslims and Jews...Jews who believe in the authentic Torah are very close to Muslims."  He said he believed that our relations became strained with the emergence of Zionism and the establishment of Israel and said that Muslims are against the expansionist, oppressive Zionist movement, not the Jews.  I wish somebody could explain to him that Jews are only trying to live on the speck of land granted to them through much hard with with the British Empire who held the responsibility of the land.   In fact, 80% of what was decided to be the Jewish Homeland was turned over to the Arabs.   In fact, according to Islamic goals, it is Islam who is trying to regain another Islamic Empire again.  For starters, they advocate taking Jerusalem and refuse to even see our Jewish connection with the city.

Qaradawi was forced to leave Egypt in 1961 and went to Qatar then.  He is viewed by many as the #1 spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.  He has been banned from the the USA since 1999, UK in 2008 and France in 2012.

Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is the King of Qatar. His father was Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani and mother was Sheikha al-Atiyyah.  In 2011 when visiting the White House he made it known that the issue important to him was to establish a Palestinian state.  This small country or state has 744,029 citizens.  Workers that immigrated to work there are not counted.  77.5% are Sunni Muslims of the fiqh Hanbali in this Muslim  state.  Many of their college aged people study in the states and we have people there studying as well.   Qaradawi has written many fiqhs of his own, such as az Zakat and al Jihad.

Qatar just made the news because the Qatari monarchy, who seems to be made up of the relatives of al-Thani, just bought 1/5 of BAA.  This means he bought a piece of Europe's busiest airport.  Seems as if London's Heathrow Airport is the busiest of any airports anywhere in Europe or the USA.  Their operator is BAA Limited who operates many airports in the UK.  They include 2 in London and 2 in Scotland.

Qatar's royal family has many faces shown to the USA.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been found to have plotted attacks against the USA and the Sheikh al-Thani allowed him to continue.  He was the mastermind of 9/11.  He had been behind the coordination of the mass air bombing plot with his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, who was behind the World Trade Center attack.  The big secret just revealed is the connection Qataris have with Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group.  Jihadists are even reporting that they trained in Qatar.  Bin Laden was hosted by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani before the Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 Americans in Saudi Arabia  on June 25, 1996.  .

I'm wondering if Qatar might now be more interested in making a profit than using airports to assist terrorists and destroy airplanes.  They're not just into oil, but are high rollers with Harrods,  Barclays, the London Stock Exchange,Canary Wharf, the Shard, a new pyramidal glass skyscraper over London.  In fact, they may have now replaced the House of Windsor as the monarchy with the money.

They even have competition with Abu Dhabi's royalty.  When you start with oil, you can invest big time.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Egypt: Life Before the Muslim Brotherhood

Nadene Goldfoot
Egypt was a secularist state in the 1920's. They received their independence from Great Britain on February 28, 1922.   They were in the majority, but existed without any such organization like the Muslim Brotherhood had started simply because they were the majority in their outlook about religion.  Some were even agnostics and didn't care about Islam or any other religion.  They believed in the separation of religion and state and they believed in the freedom of religion within the state.  What happened?

So far, they weren't different in their philosophy of the United States.  They were people that believed in the importance of Islamic culture.  Even the Christian Copts didn't disagree with this.   Islam was identified with all aspects of their life.  Atheists said they were also Muslims, just like they said they were Egyptians.  All shades of believers cooperated with each other.  Secularists could ignore Islam, practice it privately in their own homes, but no one believed in imposing it on the nation of Egypt. Omar Sharif was a well known movie actor who starred with Barbara Streisand once. He was a Christian Lebanese-Syrian who was born in Alexandria and remained an Egyptian. Of course he had a major role in "Lawrence of Arabia."  

One well known secularist living between the World Wars I and II was Taha Husayn b: 1889).  He was a blind genius, educator and humanitarian educated at Azhar and France.  He rejected religious fundamentalism and the colonialists (British) desire to dominate the Middle East.  He returned from France to Egypt in 1919, advocating the use of critical methods in research and had a love of Western thought.  He became a threat and was soon branded as a heretic, since he advocated liking the civilization of Europe.

Another secularist was Ali Abd al-Raziq (b: 1888-d: 1966).  The 1920's found Islamic world  in an uproar because the Turks had exiled the Ottoman sultan and abolished the caliphate.  He thought the caliphate had been harmful for them and claimed that Muhammad was not into creating government, but had started an ummah (community).  He stated that Mohammed was a prophet, not a political leader and that different governments weren't a concern of G-d.  Governments should be judged by human reason, so that it wasn't necessary for all Muslims to be members of one state, have the same government or ruled by one caliph.

Through world War II, Egyptians had little political independence.  They thought only about loyalty to Egypt or to Islam or to both.  They weren't Arabs and didn't pay attention to events concerning them.  By 1936 the Anglo-Egyptian treaty was signed, but 3 years later found the British still occupying Egypt.  WWII started in September which caused more troops to enter, and yet Egypt wouldn't declare war on the axis, Germany because they thought Germany would win the war.  So in 1942 the British surrounded the royal Abdin Palace in Cairo with tanks and King Faruq was given the ultimatum to either appoint Nahhas Pasha as prime minister  or leave the country.  He agreed and they cooperated with the British.  There was a lot of corruption in their government.  The German General Rommel was defeated and Americans landed in North Africa.  Today Egypt has 82.2 million people. 90% are Sunni Muslims following Shafi'i fiqh and Islam is the state religion.

Israel was re-born May 14, 1948 and the very next day, 6 neighboring Muslim states attacked her:  Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria.  Israel only had a population of 650,000 and were up against states totaling 40,000,000, which was like a miracle to the Jews.  Jews were fighting for their very existence.  The Arabs felt differently about the whole thing.  The Arabs point out that they had entered the fight with only 70,000 soldiers of which only 10,000 had any good training.  Israel, just a day old, had 60,000 of the Haganah, they figured including 300 British trained officers and 20,000 veterans of WWII and 3,000 Palmach commandos.  The war stopped on February 24, 1949 with 2 cease fires.

Israel did have problems with Egypt after this.  Egypt continued to be belligerent with Israel after an armistice agreement was signed.  They closed the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping.  On August 9, 1949, the UN Mixed Armistice Commission upheld Israel's complaint that Egypt was illegally blocking the canal.  Ralph Bunche, UN negotiator stated that there was to be free movement.  By September 1, 1951 Egypt was ordered to open the Canal to Israeli shipping.  Egypt refused.  By early 1954, Egypt's Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din said that "The Arab people will not be embarrassed to declare:  We shall not be satisfied except by the final obliteration of Israel from the map of the Middle East." President Gamal Abdel Nasser imported arms from the Soviets for a confrontation with Israel.  He announced on August 31, 1955, "Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam, and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death."  

The heroes turned out to be Arab terrorists, or fedayeen, who were on the border and sometimes infiltrated into Israel and committed acts of sabotage and murder.  These attacks were a violation of the armistice agreement provision that prohibited this.  Escalation continued with the blockade of the Straits of Tehran, and Nasser nationalized it in July of 1956.  Nasser said, " I am not solely fighting against Israel itself.  My task is to deliver the Arab world from destruction through Israel's intrigue, which has its roots abroad.  Our hatred is very strong.  There is no sense in talking about peace with Israel.  There is not even the smallest place for negotiations."  

Not even 2 weeks went by and on October 25, Egypt signed an agreement with Syria and Jordan with Nasser in command.  Israel, backed by Britain and France, attacked Egypt on October 29, 1956.

Egypt didn't give up hope of smashing Israel.  Nasser continued to make speeches threatening war.  Terrorist attacks were happening more frequently.  By May 15, 1967, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops moved into the Sinai massing near Israel's border.  In 3 days the Syrian troops were ready to fight along the Golan Heights.  Nasser told the UN force to leave and they scuttled away.  On May 22nd Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping.  Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily.  "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel.  The Arab people want to fight..We will not accept any...coexistence with Israel.  Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel...The war with Israel is in effect since 1948."  Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon sat on the border with Israel while Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation backed them up. The war started June 5 and ended June 10, 1967.     In SIX (6) days, Israel won against 250,000 troops, more than 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft had ringed Israel.  Though Israel won the battle, 777 of their men were killed and 2,586 wounded.  This is the same proportion as the US lost in 8 years of fighting in Vietnam.

Still, on July 1, 1967 Egypt began shelling Israeli positions near the Suez Canal and on October 21, 1967, Egypt sank the Israeli destroyer, Eilat and killed 47.  Less than one year later they shelled Israeli positions along the Suez Canal.  A War of Attrition went on for 16 months with Israel's deaths of 600 soldiers and 127 civilians.  2,000 soldiers were wounded and 700 civilians were wounded.  Israel also lost 15 airplanes.    

October 6, 1973 on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews, when most were attending synagogues asking G-d for forgiveness for their sins, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel.  At least 9 Arab states, including 4 non-Middle Eastern nations, actively aided the Egyptian-Syrian war with men and money.  It looked like the Arabs might win, so nobody tried to stop it like the Soviet Union or the UN.  Israel won again, and it ended on October 25, 1973 and this ended with Sadat visiting Jerusalem on November 29, 1977 for 36 hours, but being assassinated later on October 6, 1981.  He had signed a peace treaty with Israel on March 26, 1979.  Israel has about 7.5 million people, of which 1.4 million are Muslims.

Islam has become the state religion. Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood has been voted in as President in the state's first experience at democracy on June 24, 2012.    The question we wonder about is if he will keep the peace treaty.  He plans to visit Iran in a few days, Israel's nemesis.  

The Muslim Brotherhood rose because of the colonial occupation by the British.  Devout Muslims felt humiliated to be ruled by Christians.  Another reason was that the Egyptian educated and middle classes had become so secularized so fast, causing the deterioration of Muslim laws (Sharia) and institutions.  Turkey was also another cause, which Egyptians saw in their alterations a de-Islamization there as well.  When the caliphate was abolished, it was like the end of the world to the religious Egyptians.

Militant Muslims were religious people of the fundamentalist Wahhabis of Arabia and the militant Jamal al-Din al-Afghani.  The Muslim Brotherhood, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin, organized between the 2 wars,  was the largest and most influential of the militant groups.  It had a military zeal and organization similar to a medieval Ismai'li group called the Brethren of Sincerity.  They copied another aIsmai'li organization, the Assassins in its militancy and methods.

Now their charter sounds like all the rhetoric that Egypt had proclaimed and that Iran is now copying.  They had been kept out of politics by Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt because they were so extreme.  With the uprising of the Arab Spring, Mubarak was jailed in February 2011.  There is no parliament, no constitution and no restrictions on presidential powers in Egypt right now.

Resource: Textbook: Middle East Past &I Present by Yahya Armajani and Thomas M. Ricks, used at Portland State U.
Myths and Facts, a concise record of the Arab-Israeli-conflict by Mitchell G. Bard, PhD, and Joel Himelfarb

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ahmadinejad Rants and Raves

Nadene Goldfoot
Ahmadinejad is beating the wardrums against Israel again just like he has been since at least 2005.  Before that it was Khamenei that called Israel a "cancerous tumor" that must be wiped out.  .  Evidently the scuttlebut about Israel's possible attack is making Ahmadinejad  nervous.

It is his rantings that are causing Israel to take a defensive stand and the development of Iran's nuclear power being almost completed, so he's bringing on the problems to himself this way.  I think he wants trouble.  Israel has reason to believe that Iran is bent on their genocide.  Since genocide was already used on the Jewish people taking 6 million of them, it is no wonder that Israel would be sensitive to this country's rantings, a country who sided with the Nazis.

Friday "Ahmadinejad spoke to an anti-Israel protest in Tehran and told the audience of worshippers at Tehran University after nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies  that the Jewish state was a "cancerous tumor that will soon be excised. "  This was in his Quds (Jerusalem Day) address, threatening Israel with the takeover of Jerusalem this way.  He continued to threaten Israel by saying that the nations of the region would soon finish off Israel and that then there would be no trace of Americans and Zionists.  What?  This sounds like a direct threat of using atomic weaponry.

He said that Israel's existence is an insult to all humanity.    He called Israel "a corrupt, anti-human organized minority group standing up to all divine values."  Then again he spoke with  vitriolic incrimination with a  black and white scarf Palestinians wear around their neck.  "Today, confronting the existence of the fabricated Zionist regime is in fact protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings",  Ahmadinejad told the people that Israel was the Westerner's tool to dominate them.

He went on to blame Jews for triggering World Wars I and II and of taking over control over world affairs and had become dominant over the US government.  They just lay it all on Israel's lap. This comes from Iran's leadership that denies the Holocaust's occurrence.   Even the US National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor thought his comments were "hateful and divisive."  Vincent Floreani , French deputy foreign ministry spokesman firmly condemn these outrageous and unacceptable statements and backed Israel's right to live in peace.

They set US and Israeli flags on fire and chanted their death mantras of "Death to the US" and "Death to Israel" during the rally.

All this talk makes one wonder about the sanctions that are supposed to turn Iran around.  I'm afraid there are forces stronger than sanctions that are in control here, keeping Iran impenetrable to the forces of peaceful living.

Resource: interview of Iranian lady in Tehran by Israel TV. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

GREAT VIDEO OF ISRAEL;Vibrant Israel of Advanced Technology: Olympian Contenders

Nadene Goldfoot
Most people's idea of Israel now is a war-torn desert.  This land bridge that lies between Africa, Asia and Europe is about the most talked about piece of real estate in the world and is a unique place to visit.  It's even a major rest stop for migrating birds.  There's every culture and religion represented here in this little space of about 8,000 square miles, which is the size of New Jersey, USA, one of our teeny states.  Israel only has 7,116,200 people, but they're all special.

Here's a video showing many of the aspects of Israel.  We visit countries because we need a break and hope to see different things; taste different foods, see different ways of life.

I'm sad to read John Canzano's column stating that the world was against the USA in the Olympics because we represent everything others reject and that we are the Ugly Americans still.

Many have taken the position of hatred for Israel because they had the courage and fortitude to establish their state after 2,000 years of yearning for it, and they haven't fallen.  We saw in the 1972 Olympics the massacre of 11 Israeli Olympians for their courage of even showing up to compete.  This year a few other athletes wouldn't even practice next to the Israelis without a divider.  A minute of silence was refused by the head of the Olympics for the 11 Israelis massacred so as not to anger those that ordered it to happen. They had the weak excuse that if they did that, they'd have to do the same for those who were the killers.

It used to be that the Olympics were based on country first and that people had national pride.  Greg Miller writes, telling us that this is now a more mobile, informed and blended world.  People shouldn't be judged on where they came from but just appreciated for their own amazing feats.  I think we need both.  First in life we have to like ourselves, and this comes from pride for our country as well as our family and ourselves.

I'm still proud of everything Israel has achieved in its 64 years and pray that they continue to do so.  It was wonderful to see Israel represented in the Olympics. this year and remain safe.

I hate to look forward to a land that has all blended together without any distinguishing points to be appreciated.  Israel will always remain unequaled.

Resource:  sent from Gerard Robins
Oregonian Newspaper, 8/14/12 Letters to the Editor, page B5

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Iran Plans Nuclear Weapons; Get Hit With Earthquakes

Nadene Goldfoot
Tehran, Iran has progressed towards the manufacture and assembly of a nuclear warhead.  This makes Iran the biggest problem Israel is facing.  Iran must never get nuclear weapons.

Israel is suspected of having the Middle East area's only nuclear arsenal, but have never used any, even though they've been in some tough spots.  This is the difference.  It's been enough to let people think they have this force.  They're not about to go half cocked and use anything like it.  Israel  values life; those of their own and of others.  They're not anxious to test what happens when they die and have no 72 virgins to greet them upon death.  The toast they make is "L'chaim!  "To Life."

In order to protect the lives of their citizens, they have spent a lot of money for protection.  In this category they have the Iron Dome, a method of catching missiles, an SMS system for warning of imminent missile attacks and the Arrow 2.  .  They have worked on this consistently in view of Iran's progress.

Another group to worry about and watch are Lebanon's Hezbollah militia who are right on their border.  Of course, Syria is said to have chemical weaponry they might use on their own people.  Then again they are right on Israel's border as well.  Israel has had to pass out gas masks to their whole population several times already.  The 7.8 million population only has enough gas masks for half the population so far today.

The problem in Israel has been the southern area who have been in striking distance of Gaza with Hamas Terrorists firing at them almost constantly.  They need bomb shelters for 700,000 citizens now.   Hospitals need to be fortified.  Ashkelon's hospital  has had to go underground being they are within striking distance of Gaza already, but 70% of the hospitals need further fortification.

While Israel is extremely worried, being so much closer and on the hit list at the top, the USA has been less worried.  Our intelligence services say that they just suspect Iran is seeking a weapons capability but that no decision has been taken on actually making one.  Is the USA going to wait till Iran strikes first with nuclear weapons?  Netanyahu feels that sanctions haven't been a deterrent.

While all this worry in Israel has been going on, something happened in Iran on Saturday.  They were hit with 2 earthquakes, which have filled up their hospitals since about 5,000 people were injured.  The first was a 6.4 and the 2nd was 6.3 that struck 11 minutes later.  That was a double whammy.  They occurred 37 miles NE of Tabriz and 30 miles NE of Tabriz.  The quakes have killed almost 300 people.  They've had 60 aftershocks and are lacking enough tents and supplies so that people had to sleep in the night air without protection.  Homes were destroyed and livestock also were killed.  About 36,000 people were in the quake area and received emergency shelter finally.

One thing you can bet on.  Israel always goes to earthquake hit areas to help out, but won't be going to Iran.  They would not be welcomed at all, no matter how much help they could offer.  That's the way it is in the Middle East.  this East Azerbaijan province is a mountainous region neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia in the north.  Tabriz itself was not hurt.  It looks like the Iranians got a reminder of what happens when a country is under attack, even when when coming from Mother Nature.    They did experience earthquake devastation before in 2003 when they had a 6.6 earthquake.

I wonder how their centers for manufacturing nuclear weapons hold up in these earthquake rumblings.
update: 8/14/12  Iran is now saying it will take help from any country.  Israel isn't offering any after being rebuffed in their 2003 earthquake when Iran said "anyone but Israel."