Saturday, February 28, 2009

Over 100 Rockets Hit Israel Since January 18, 2009

Today: Shabbat: 7 Rockets Hit
PS Sunday March 1, 2009 9:00am
Nadene Goldfoot
Hamas has fired over 100 rockets into Israel since January 18th, when we pulled out of Gaza. Today, which was Shabbat in Israel, 7 rockets hit Israel in the Ashkelon City area. One hit a school, but being Shabbat, no one was there. For tomorrow, it's a different story.
Egypt has been mediating but has gotten nowhere with Hamas.

In reply, Israel has held air strikes on their tunnels which bring weapons to them.
3/1/09 Billions of dollars have been pledged to rebuild the Gaza Strip of which Washington has pledged $900 million dollars. Arab countries in the past pledge but don't come through as in the U.N. pledges, making America paying the most.

In the meantime, the terrorists will not return one Israeli soldier held in captivity after being kidnapped which Israel wants back.

It's very nice of us to be so willing to rebuild Gaza, but why when they continue to fire rockets into Israel? Why not make it contingent on a real cease-fire for once?

Israel is very angry at over about 110 rockets falling into its land. Who is going to rebuild Ashkelon's school? USA hasn't offered that help. There will be a reprisal against all the rocket firing again, as the terrorists just don't get it. Israeli patience is waning.

Reference: South Africa:,,2-10-1462_2477937,00.html
P.S. Another reference today:
Jewish Review: Portland, OR Newspaper page 3, March 1, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Anti-Israel Direction in USA Government

Nadene Goldfoot
By appointing Charles Freeman as Chairman of our National Intelligence Council, our government is showing its negativity towards Israel.

Mr. Freeman has been since 1989-1992 the former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and President of the Middle East Policy Council which was known as the American Arab Affairs Council. This was a lobbying group for the Arabs. One of their functions was to publish a quarterly journal called Middle East Policy which was filled with extreme anti-Israel messages. This very man, Charles Freeman, was responsible for this biased journal. Therefore, he just may share the sentiments it vomited out. He has been active in groups against Israel. In 2006 he was involved in Chicago with the group promoting John Mearsheimer and Walt in their writing against Israel.

Why President Obama invited him to take this position does not compute in my mind nor show me that he is qualified to be the editor of America's intelligence. Israel will not have a chance to be dealt with fairly.
P.S. Charles Freeman was NOT appointed as announced today under Yahoo's News Opinion section. 3/11/09. The writer was quite put out and blamed AIPAC and other Democrats favorable towards Israel.

Thank goodness for AIPAC and others. This would not have been fair at all. The writer is banking on Israel being completely wrong in hoping for such a Charles Freeman who would attack it nevertheless. We need fair open-minded people not against Israel at the start.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who Were the Samaritans?

By Nadene Goldfoot

In about 883 BCE, the Jews had a United States of Jews. It was made of two states, Israel and Judah. They were as different as a Republican state and a Democrat state. Israel was in the north and Judah lie in the south. Judah was the poorer state and was made up mostly of the tribe of Judah and most of Benjamin and probably absorbed the tribe of Simeon. They did not have normal access to the sea, nor any great trade-route. It’s existance was quite tranquil. It had Jerusalem and the temple and preserved Mosaic monotheism in a pure form. The Assyrian conquerors, who took over Israel, were checked in Judah at the wall of Jerusalem in 701. Later the state was taken over by the Babylonians in 586 and its people were deported as slaves.

Israel was united under three kings; Saul, David and Solomon. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was then king. He was rejected by the northen 10 tribes because he was known to plan a harsh and tyrannical rule. The people chose Jeroboam as king. The southern tribes of Judah allowed Rehoboam to rule over them.

The capital of the northern kingdom of Israel and religious center was Shechem. Then the governor of this state, Omri, transferred his capital to his newly built city called Samaria.

The state finally was beseiged for three years by Assyria in the 4th year of Hezekiah, the king of Assyria from 724 to 721 BCE. The Assyrians, whose major city was Babylonia, took the priests, the most intelligent and richest of the Jewish citizens as slaves and scattered them in many parts of Assyria and the cities of the Medes. They were settled in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor Rive and in the towns of the Medes. This means that they were deported to Kurdistan. Gozan is modern-day Tell-Halaf, Syria, a prehistoric pottery-making city. The Medes lived in NW Iran. Halah may be Nineveh. They exchanged their own people by sending colonists to the Israel locations. The Jews who remained were descended from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. The governor was now an Assyrian.

Lions invaded Israel and frightened the new settlers. They thought the invasion was due to their not knowing about the god of the land and asked the government for an Israeli priest. The result of this was that they wound up continuing with their worshipping idols besides introducing Jewish concepts. They wound up with a mixed up religion. Israel was then called Samaria, and the people were Samaritans.

The next conqueror was the Persians under Cyrus. Samaria became a center for malcontents. If there were reforms in Jerusalem and someone didn’t like it, they went to Samaria. The priest Manasseh went there. He was the son of the high priest in Jerusalem. Manassah married a Assyrian woman, daughter of the governor of Samaria. Because of this, he was expelled by Nehemiah from Jerusalem. This happened about 430 BCE. Their language continued to be Hebrew as spoken in the Torah, but its pronunciation was very different, and very old.

The Samaritan religion was a form of primitive Judaism. They recognized only the Pentateuch of old with their own variants. They claimed in the Ten Commandments that the place chosen by G-d for His sanctuary was Mt. Gerizim. They believe their text is the original one and that Ezra altered the Jewish one. Moses is the one prophet in Samaritan eyes. They also did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.

The Samaritans suffered a great deal under Islam as they were not considered to be the "People of the Book. Now they are centered in the Israeli town of Nablus and Holon numbering in 1990 only 530 people. They have a temple on Mount Gerizim.

There was animosity between the Jews and Samaritans because they felt they were a reminder of their own captured people who were replaced by foreigners who worshipped idols. By the time Jesus was born, it was understood that Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. Each group charged the other as being debased and corrupt.

Reference: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia by Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder,D. Phil.,p. 825-826.
Book: My Father's Paradise by Ariel Sabar: a son's search for his Jewish past in Kurdish Iraq


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lebanon Katushsa Rockets in Israeli Western Galilee Town

Nadene Goldfoot
On Shabbat, five Israelis were wounded from a Katusha rocket that fell near a home in a Western Galilee town in Israel. Three of them were wounded from flying glass and two were in shock. Black smoke filled the home after the strike. No one would take responsibility for the shooting. Israel IDF fired back. The the Lebanese army and U.N. Peacekeepers found the launch site. The Lebanese chided Israel for shooting back. Are we to be sitting ducks? I'm wondering if the Palestinians went into Lebanon to fire upon Israel.

It was a busy Shabbat for terrorists. Two gunmen were killed in an explosion of their own making. They were preparing explosives for an attack on the IDF border patrols and it backfired. They were killed instead in the explosion.

On Sunday a rocket fired from Gazan terrorists fell just south of Ashkelon, Portland's sister city. That is quite a powerful rocket to go that far.

Israel is not experiencing peace. It was just hit from the north and from the west by rockets. Nice potential neighbors we have. I'm hoping that their "loan" doesn't go through. They need to take an anger-management class.

Resource: Jerusalem Post Newspaper

Missed Opportunities for a Palestine: Opting for Terror Instead

Nadene Goldfoot
The so called Palestinians missed many chances to create their own state, but opted instead for terrorizing Israel. That was more important to them. They missed their first chance in 1947 when the UN was partitioning the region and wanted to create two states.

In 1949 through 1967, Egypt and Jordan were the occupiers of Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinians did not even try to create their own state then. It probably was not even in their minds to do so.

The Six Day War against Israel occurred in 1967, and Israel offered to withdraw from lands they captured in the winning of that war. The Palestinians refused the offer, and stated: no peace, no negotiations and no recognition of Israel. Thus, the land was in Israel's hands. Up to this time, we had no Israelis in any settlements in Gaza or the West Bank.

From 1968-1979, we see that 6,000 Israelis settled in these areas. Menachem Begin became Prime Minister in 1977. Terror from Palestinians did not deter us. Then we had a peace treaty with Egypt, and Israel removed their Sinai settlers in order to have peace with Egypt. In 1979 the Camp David treaty was created. Israel offered autonomy to the Palestinians, something just short of statehood that would have led to independence. This also allowed Israel to watch their behavior and see if they turned away from terrorism. At this time Israel had 136,109 settlers in the territories, which is about 1/4 the population of Portland, Oregon.

From 1995 to 1999 we had the 2nd Oslo Agreement and we continued to withdraw from territories while terror never stopped. Terror then escalated, and Israel realized peace was not to be with the Palestinians. At this time we had only a slight increase in population to 146,207 in the territories as we stopped withdrawing people from these areas.

In 2000 we had a 2nd Camp David and we probably reluctantly agreed to the creation of a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and most of the West Bank. We also promised to dismantle most of the West Bank and compromised on one point on Jerusalem; that being that East Jerusalem would be the capital of Palestine. To my great relief, Yasser Arafat rejected the deal without even countering another idea. For him it was all or nothing, no negotiations. At this time we had a growth in the territories to 203,067 Israelis. Ehud Barak was Prime Minister of Israel then.

Two years later in 2002 the Road Map to Peace was created. The Palestinians are asked to fulfill some commitments starting with ending the violence against Israel. Israel's part is to end the settling of the territories. However, the Palestinians just escalated their terror. The Road Map fails. Israel does evacuate all their citizens and soldiers from the Gaza Strip. Palestinians ignore the chance to build a state in Gaza to prove that they are interested in living as peaceful neighbors. Instead, Hamas takes over Gaza and fires over 10,000 rockets and missiles into southern Israel. Israel reels at the reality that they have traded land for terror, and are unwilling to discuss new territorial concessions. Why should they? The Palestinians are not behaving like Egypt did. At this point there are now 253,748 Israelis living in the West Bank. None are in Gaza.

Today Israelis have given up on the idea of trading land for peace for these deadly neighbors. Hamas has deadly rockets that could hit any part of Israel. Now the settlers in the West Bank total 276,000. It would be difficult to move and resettle them. What has stopped the state of Palestine from being created is the people's own rebellion and hatefulness toward their future neighbor, Israel. If the Palestinians would adopt the mind-set of Anwar Sadat, there would be a peaceful Palestine that would not be a threat to Israel. Evidently it is not to be.

Don't blame Israel for settling in the territories. What it was promised originally in the Balfour Declaration was a much larger Israel that was hacked up, until it became very small. If the Arabs don't ever intend on having peace with Israel, Israel is legally free to use the land they inherited from the Arab attacks that failed. That is a lesson; don't mess with Israel and attack it, or you suffer the consequences. Crime doesn't pay off. Somebody seems to be watching over Israel.

Resource: Mitchell Bard #69

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sderot as Tamar Boussi Reported From There


as reported from Israel by Tamar Boussi

Portland's President of Portland-Ashkelon Sister City Ass.

Sasson Sara—Prime Minister of SderotEach of my 9 visits to Sderot has opened a new door, this trip was to be "man(or woman) in the street" interviews. As I walked the streets and discussed with residents how they felt and whether or not their lives had changed after "Operation Cast Lead", one name came up in nearly every conversation, Sasson Sara, referred to as the Prime Minister of Sderot.

Picture a small town General store where folks stop to get their cigarettes, soda pop, newspapers and magazines and by the way hang around to talk. The proprietor, a small, rumpled man of 58, a retired High School teacher and inheritor of his fathers’ small but busy, general store. Most of the people standing around or sitting on benches outside the entrance, were not there to buy but to talk and seek company. Conversations centered on the "מצב" (situation) until I introduced myself as from the United States. At that piece of information, to my surprise, everyone’s attention turned to two questions: first, what do I think of Barack Obama and one woman’s desire to know if he was as "hot" as he looks in pictures. Second, why didn’t George Bush release Jonathan Pollard, I was surprised at the emotion the subject injected into the conversation.

We settled into conversation, with people coming and going and all listening to Sasson Sara as though he was indeed the Prime Minister. After a very erudite lecture on the history of the area with particular emphasis on Suliman, questions about the U.S. began flowing from each of the listeners. Each question prefaced by a personal story. Lila, whose 6 month old baby trembles when the sirens go off, Sara, whose 3 children now sleep with their parents, out of fear of sleeping alone, Zahava’s daughters 14 & 18 are taken to Ashkelon twice a week for psychological counseling, when she can find transportation and get time off from her job to take them. Even the 18 year old cannot travel alone.

The questions that follow all begin with "why", not because they expect an answer, the answers are clear to them, but they need to be asked anyway. Why doesn’t the U.S. help get rid of Hamas? Why does the world blame us? Bush understood terror, so why didn’t he stop it? Yaacov, a divorced father with a 7 year old daughter stood up in disgust, asking "do you know how many houses we have built and rebuilt in this town? No one has the money to pay for this work and the government rarely helps and when it does it is slow and undependable", "Olmert (Prime minister Ehud Olmert) is more interested in getting his picture in the paper than helping the citizens of this country", his emotion flows over when I ask what he thinks should be done. "Carpet bomb the whole Gaza Strip, they asked for Hamas, let them pay the price" . A heated discussion breaks out. Some people agree, most say "we are Jews, we can’t turn into them". 100% agreement that Kadima can’t win in the upcoming election, nothing will change if they do. So much emotion has been expended in this outburst, a long, quiet pause in which Rivka a 49 year old grandmother is relieved that none of her children live in Sderot, but she won’t leave, this is her home. When I attempt to take her picture she says no, she is "embarrassed to be poor" because of the situation of her town. She wants to work but Sderot has a 50% unemployment rate.

Sasson ends the conversation "We (the west) sleeps while bandits enter our home, we sleep on, when we wake up it may be too late". "This is not Israel’s problem. It is between the Arabs and Iran. We know we will survive as a people but in what kind of a world?"

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ashkelon Hit on Tuesday
Portland's sister city, Ashkelon, was hit, probably with a grad rocket today. It is only 7 miles from Gaza, that usually that is far enough away from the regular rockets fired from Gaza, which usually hit Sderot. Grads, made in Russia, can range farther. They have been getting into Gaza through the tunnels and through the Egyptian side.
Israel telephoned Gazans in Rafah and warned them of their possible air strikes. Benjamin Netanyahu, who probably will win in Israel's elections next week, visited Ashkelon and told them that they must topple the Hamas regime in order to stop the rockets.
Of course Hamas is now saying that they are innocent, though the rockets are coming from Gaza as usual. They're saying, It's not us, it's the other guys. We feel that they won the elections, they are in charge, and they are responsible for terrorist actions.

Israel's Elections by Tamar Boussi

Meandering through Israel’s upcoming election; by Tamar Boussi from Jerusalem

In the United States, we just finished a very long and somewhat angry election cycle and people have begun to put their differences aside and continue life normally. One of the great positives of democracies is their ability to change governments without violence and usually without bitterness. Yet different democratic countries have very different systems and all work fairly well.

Israel on Tuesday, January 27th began its official election cycle. This date is two weeks from election day and the first day that paid television advertising is allowed. The system in Israel is different from ours and since so many people have asked me, over the past years, "how does the Israeli system work" this seemed an appropriate time to talk about it. Imagine two weeks of political ads, vs the nearly 2 years of campaigning we have just finished.

Israel’s Knesset(Parliament) is unicameral and holds elections every 4 years. Voters choose their political party and vote in internal party elections to choose who will lead the party and a list of candidates, to hold Knesset seats, below the party leader. Voters pick a political party and pay a tax to the party to support it. The party decides who will be on the list and in what order, this becomes important when the general election occurs. The first name on the list will be the Prime Minister if that party gets the most votes and the names below the party leader are ordered according to the party’s judgement as to their importance to the party. For instance, if a party gets enough votes to earn 30 seats, the first 30 names become members of Knesset.

The President of Israel, currently Shimon Peres, then asks the leader of the party, who seems most likely to be able to form a government, to do so within 45 days. This is usually the party receiving the most votes, but not necessarily. Forming a government requires negotiating with other parties to form a coalition. . The cabinet ministers are members of coalition parties as well as the majority party, which sometimes creates volatility in the government. Imagine if President Obama had to insert Republicans, Green Party representatives, Independents and so on into his cabinet. While in the American system the cabinet is the pick of the President and they all work together, that is not always possible if some of your most important cabinet members are from other parties. Currently Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni are from Kadima but the Minister of Defense is from Labor and different cabinet members could have competed for the Prime Minister’s job in the past election and plans to do so in future elections. In the current Knesset there are 12 different parties represented (27 parties competed in the last election) and in the current election 38 parties are vying for seats.

A party must have 2% of the total votes to earn a seat. For most of the political parties this very low threshold is too high due to the number of parties involved. In the current election,the parties that will make up the next government will most likely be, the current ruling party Kadima, Likud (the current front runner), Israel Our Home, Labor, and Shas (a Sephardic religious party). Around half of the voting Arab citizens vote for left wing Jewish lists instead of any of the 5-7 Arab parties that put up a list. Also many Arabs boycott elections, which makes it difficult for them to get many seats, totaling the Arab parties together they usually pass the threshold and hold between 3 and 7 seats.

Polls show the top issues for voters are, first security, second the economy, third education. Although the elections for Knesset are set every four years very few governments have lasted a full term. In the last 10 years, four governments have formed, with three falling before their term is finished, the one that lasted was Ariel Sharon’s government from 2002 to 2006. In the last 60 years there has been only one government that received enough mandates to form a government without coalescing with other parties and it lasted only one year.
This can be a confusing system, but generally the parties have very clear differences and Israelis tend to be very loyal to a particular party. Since Israel has been at war for 60 years, every voter has concerns about security, after that the parties represent different strengths. Although the Likud has always been strong on defense, the leader of Likud, Benjamin Natanyahu is considered strongest on the economy, concerns about social issues such as poverty and education are strengths of Labor, although the religious parties are also strong on those issues as well as on the issue of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state. Israel Our Home is strong with new immigrants Jewish identity and defense. Meandering through 38 political parties is not a likely activity for most voters who will lean toward parties they have voted for in the past.

Whichever party receives the most votes will lead the government but will, of necessity, have to form a coalition with several other parties. These coalitions can create broader consensus, but often create differences that make decision making difficult.

This is Israeli elections 101, if you would like to know more feel free to contact me

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Audacity of Hamas

Nadene Goldfoot
On Sunday (about 12 hours ago our time) the terrorists fired rockets into Israel, probably in Sderot, killing two soldiers and one civilian. The rockets landed near a kindergarten.

Hamas's response was, "Israel is using false pretexts to increase their aggression against Gaza!"
Israel hasn't responded yet but have a few ideas of what to do on the table. One is to harm Hamas leaders and use airstrikes.

In the meantime, the USA army engineers are setting up radar to find tunnels from terrorists that are arming the terrorists.