Sunday, October 26, 2008

February Elections in Israel Likely

Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister of Israel, cannot form a government, so probably will ask for early elections. This means that Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud will have a chance as he is very popular right now. Also in the running will be Barak of Labor. Both men are former Prime Ministers.

An ordinary election in Israel was not due till 2010. Now, it it likely to occur on February 17th, 2009. The Olmert government will sit as is until then. (edit 10/31/2008-It has declared that February 10th will be election day.)

Condoleeza Rice was hoping for a peace deal before President Bush leaves office in January, but that is now unlikely.

Resource: Oregonian Newspaper, page A 18; Israel likely to hold a February election.
WorldNet Daily

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BBC's Chutzpa: Calling a part of Jerusalem a Settlement!

This is a political stab in the back of Israel by the BBC of Britain. This is Palestinian terminology, and a part of brain-washing. Now the BBC is involved in changing facts and being swayed by the opposers of Israel. Reuters News is now copying the verbage of BBC.

Gilo is a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. from 2000 to 2002, terrorists were responsible for 400 shootings from a Palestinian town, Beit Jala, which was mostly Christian but had been taken over by these terrorists. Finally, during Operation Defensive Shield, the shootings were abated.

Something terrible happened in Gilo recently. A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli policeman and an elderly passerby who died from the knifewounds. This is not the first attack on Israelis. Two years ago Palestinian gunmen fired on the homes there from Beit Jala, a nearby town close to Bethlehem. Other attacks from Palestinians have happened in Jerusalem, where Gilo is.

To call Gilo a settlement infers to readers that this is a community that really doesn't belong to Israel, and that's what they're trying to say. Using the word "settlement" makes people think of a place in the West Bank or on a hilltop. Most people are not familiar with the geography of Israel or Jerusalem at all. Only Israelis seem to be aware of how teeny Israel is and how close everything is.

Here are the facts. Gilo is "inside of Jerusalem's municpal boundaries and is geographically contiguous to surrounding Jewish neighborhoods that pre-date the 1967 reunification of the city." It is built on land that was purchased legally by Jews before 1948. In the 1948 war of Independence, Gilo's land was captured by Jordan. From 1948-1967 Jewish landowners still owned their land in Gilo, and in 1967 after the the Six Day War, Gilo was built, and this because of the long legal land purchases of the owners. Gilo, home to 40,00 Jews, is the largest Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. It is within the city limits. Don't let the press call it a "settlement."

Several years ago 60 Minutes did a show with Bob Simon called "No Way Out" in which they incorrectly called Gilo a settlement. Simon, so quick to condemn Israel, did not check out the facts, but simply called it according to Palestinian propaganda. I think it's absolutely shameful of what the press is doing to hurt Israel in order to get a paper bought. Where are the days when reporters checked their facts? Honest reporting, they're not!

Reference: Honest Reporting:

Wikipedia on Gilo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

O'Leary's Cow Does it Again
How Things Escalate
Cpl. Gilad Schalit hopefully is still alive, but no one in Israel knows. He was an IDF soldier captured two years ago on June 6, 1986 by Hamas terrorists. The Palestinians have done nothing to let us know what has happened to him since his kidnapping despite Israel's inquiries and offers.
On Sunday, some Israeli protesters were demonstrating his kidnapping at the Kerem Shalom border crossing at the Gaza border. They were stopping trucks with shipments for the Gazans and setting tires on fire. They had decided to take matters in their own hands.
After reading John McCain's book, "Faith of my Fathers", about his experience in a prison camp in Viet Nam for five and one half years, I shudder. He experienced torture for the whole time. No doubt Shalit's family and friends are imagining the torture he is enduring if he is still a prisoner.
The terrorists responded on Tuesday, breaking six weeks of peace by firing a Kassam rocket into Southern Israel, most likely into a Sderot field. Four months ago a cease fire was declared, but occasionally the terrorists have broken it.
According to the cease-fire arrangement, Israel would lift a blockade that was started two years ago. Now, when they break the peace with rocket fire, Israel closes the commercial border crossings. The closure is brief, but makes a point. Undoubtedly, it creates a crimp in the Gazans' schedules.
Reference: Yahoo news
Jerusalem Post Newspaper
Faith of my Fathers: John McCain with Mark Salter
Wikopedia: Cpl. Gilad Shalit

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pogrom in Acre, Israel: Like O'Leary's Cow
by Nadene Goldfoot
At 9:00pm, on Sunday, October 8, 1871, Mrs. O'Leary's cow was said to have kicked over the lantern in her cowshed, starting the famous Chicago fire that burned 4 square miles and was one of the biggest disasters of the century. That's all it took. A lantern was thoughtlessly left near a cow who probably was kicking at a fly, or an itch. Things can get out of hand that shouldn't have happened.
In Acre, Israel, at about 9:00pm of this year, after Yom Kippur, people were outside eating after a strenuous day of fasting for 25 hours without even drinking water. It was a neighborhood that was very religious, and the Sabbath and a super special holiday such as Yom Kippur were observed by not driving through the streets. Everyone was accustomed to the quiet and lack of cars on the street. Suddenly, speeding overly fast through a street came a noisily blaring radio through open windows in a car driven by Jamal Tawfik, Arab Acre resident. He was right in the Jewish Ben-Gurion neighborhood. It was reported that some Jewish teenagers hit the sides of the car, while other accounts say they threw stones at the car. Jamal got out of his car, and nobody hurt him. They just wanted the car to stop.
After this incident, an Arab in the Old City broadcast on the loudspeakers of a mosque to his friends that a Jewish mob had murdered Tawfif. More than 200 Arabs went into the Jewish neighborhood with axes and knives. They were calling, "Death to the Jews. Allah Akbar! We'll kill you if you leave your homes!" They shattered the windshields of 110 Jewish owned cars, then went onto the business area, looting and vandalizing stores and businesses. Finally, the Acre police came, but did nothing to stop the Arabs.
The problem kept on burning, though, just like the Chicago fire. Arab rioters returned the next night. This time the police were ready with riot gear and were able to separate the Arabs from the Jews. However, some Jewish protesters were revengeful, and torched some Arab-owned apartments in mixed neighborhoods of the city. The Arabs kept on looting and attacking cars. The police arrested rioters on both sides.
To make matters worse, Arabs published condemnations of violence about both parties, and Jewish leaders would not join them in doing this. Acre's Chief Rabbi, Joseph Yashar, said that because of their refusal it will be hard to calm matters down. Many remarked that the violence was done almost entirely by the Arabs.
The police reaction to the first altercation was with passivity. They were not prepared for a riot and stayed out of it! They probably felt it was dangerous to mix in. Their attitude only fueled the anger of the Israelis attacked. It took the actions of the teenagers to take matters into their own hands of punishing a speeding driver to bring about this fired-up pogrom. I think that police there will have to keep riot gear in their cars. You never know when you'll need them.
Though 20% of Israel's citizens are Arabs, it's been very difficult to keep the peace and keep them from each other's throats. Imagine what it'll be like with a declared Palestinian state next door. I remember the racial Watts riot in California in the 60's. Israel is very young, and is trying to work through similar problems. I'm afraid it's going to take more time before these much different groups will be accepting of each other. Jews, after similar experiences, feel that the Arabs don't want to live peacefully with Jews, and that Arabs don't recognize Israel's laws or even their identity as Israeli citizens. Of course, they didn't help by taking matters into their own hands, either. They need to learn to depend on the police to do their job, and the police need to be ready to do it. The fire was started by the cow. They have since learned to keep lanterns away from cows. It's dangerous.
Reference: Caroline Glick's article: The disappearance of law

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bibi's Plans for Israel
Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Likud, which is his party, would not join a coalition with Kadima's Tzipi Livni and wants her to call for elections. He plans on being the candidate for his party. He would like elections now to create a stable Israel instead of waiting for six months or so. He would be able to set up a stable government.
As for a state of Palestine, he felt there was no peace deal at this time. The option is an economic arrangement. When all abide by this, they can look at a peace deal. In any case, he would not "evacuate Jewish neighborhoods." He wants to build in West Bank settlements. He explained that there Arab neighborhoods are growing, and it's happening in Jewish neighborhoods, also. Families have children and need to close off balconies. There is no reason why development of existing Jewish neighborhoods can't happen. He sees Jerusalem now being treated like a settlement. I think he means that no building is being allowed there by Jews, also.
When as a Prime Minister, Binyamin had built Har Homa, which protects Jerusalem from the South. He also built the Ma'aleh Hazeitim neighborhood.
In discussing Iran, he said that Israel cannot ever come to terms with an Iran with nukes. President Ahmadinejad of Iran talks of Israel's destruction. The world has heard this threat.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Letter before 1980 Addressing Anti-Semites in Boise, Idaho
The Ontario, Oregon Argus Observer Newspaper printed a letter I wrote. I'll put the body here.

.... We find it very interesting that underlying these letters is a strong belief in anti-semitism. We are very dismayed to find such obvious and unmistakable incorrect statements.

First of all, Palestine never belonged to the Arab people and was not an Arab nation. This area belonged to a few; rich Arab landowners living abroad who later sold it to the Jewish people. Baron Rothschild purchased land from Arab and Turkish landowners. Israel has not stolen any land but has always paid, and at very high prices because it was "holy land."

In the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Syria and Lebanon went to France as the mandates of the League of Nations. Palestine and Iraq went to England on the same basis. Zionism played no part in these decisions. But King Feisal, then head of the Arabs, signed a peace treaty that said Jews could come to Palestine on a large scale.

Facts show that Arabs in Israel have much higher standards of living and are quite happy. Under Arab landowners they were serfs living under a 12th century-type feudal system.

Arab land is 230 times greater and population is 60 times more than Israel's. Isn't it miraculous how a people so out-numbered on a minuscule of land is capable of evicting Arabs and taking their land from them? Let us remind the readers that the Arab's holy mission has been the total destruction of the Jews' homeland, and this started in 1936. In 1967 Nassar and Arabs were still vowing to drive the Israelis into the sea and wipe Israel off the map. It is only now that these people are singing a different tune. No one in their right mind should deny Israel the right to existence, but the neighbors of Israel have been doing so for a long time.

And as for Zionism that Mr. X wants investigated, I think people should start investigating and reading to find answers instead of being swayed by emotions and prejudices. For a starter, Zionism is a term coined by Nathan Birnbaum in 1890 for the movement aiming at the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel (Palestine). Ever since Jews were forced to leave this land in 70 A.D., they have felt they were living in exile and have wanted to return to the land of their fathers. Jewish people have suffered from anti-Semitism throughout the ages; from the Crusades to the Spanish Inquisition to the Nazi holocaust. They are always the scapegoats for others. Jews in Israel are fighting for survival.

Israel was founded by humanitarian socialists who dreamed of a model state of social justice, shared labors, people living in peace, fighting only hunger, disease and ignorance. It is now the only democratic state in the Middle East. I believe it is the United States' sorrow that we did not vote for them in the United Nations. But then, oil does have a much larger voice, doesn't it?

Reference: found letter to the editor of Ontario Argus Observer that my husband and I wrote in reply to other letters complaining about Israel between 1972-1979.