Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Boundaries of Israel, Then and Now

Nadene Goldfoot
Modern Israel has not had permanent boundaries.  Before 1967, boundaries were just temporary armistice lines, agreed on in 1949.  The armistice lines bisected Jerusalem and were 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv.

Since 1967, and pending a peace settlement, cease-fire lines demarcate the area under Israeli control.  The cease fire lines are 523 miles long.  The armistice lines were 570 miles long.  Most of the urban areas of Israel are less than 2 hours away from the nearest cease fire lines. 

Original boundaries found in the Bible were; the Mediterranean Sea on the West and on the East the Syrian Desert.  To the South the Brook of Egypt (Wadi El-Arish) to Kadesh Barnea, and to the Brook of Zin as far as the Valley of Zoar south of the Dead Sea, and in Transjordan from the river Arnon to Mt. Hermon, and to the Valley of Iyon.  This made up 17,500 sq. miles of which 45% is in Transjordan. 

The extent of the Promised Land reached an arm of the Nile Delta, the Gulf of Elath, and the Euphrates River opposite Aleppo in the East.  It included most of Syria and altogether covered 58,000 sq. miles. 

This entire area was occupied by the Israelites under Kings David and Solomon.  There were many gentile enclaves with the Jewish territory.  The Jewish National Home promised by the British was only the area west of the Jordan and excluded part of the Upper Gallilee north of the ladder of Tyre which was given to Lebanon.  The southern Negev past the Rafiah-Gulf of Elath line was given to Egypt for administration in 1906 by the Turks. 

The UN Resolution of Nov 29, 1947 recommended the Jewish state have the larger part of the mandated area of Western Palestine.  The armistice agreements of 1949 left Israel with 8,000 sq miles with complicated borders. 

The attack of all the Arab nations surrounding Israel was a mistake on their part, for they lost, the outcome meaning that Israel gained all of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip  and the Sinai up to the Suez Canal.  Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in the early 1980's.  In 1967 there were 352,260 living in the Gaza Strip, of which 172,520 were classified as refugees. 

The Ottoman Empire had done nothing with the land, neither inhabited it or built on it.  Jews coming back found at the end of the 19th century large parts, mainly the Coastal Plain, was barren and in ruins.  Swamps and malaria were widespread.  During the last century more than 800 villages were establied; the moshava, kibbutz and moshav.  This is because the return to the land has been one of the central efforts of modern Israel.  Like the Amish say, working the land makes one closer to G-d. 

It's only 94 miles from Jerusalem to Haifa
               5 miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem
             59 miles from Tel Aviv to Haifa
              48 miles from Tel Aviv to Gaza

The land is small.  It requires defensible borders.  It's very hot in the lowlands but you can ski on the 3,692 high Mt. Hermon near Safed in the winter.  The Dead Sea is 1,286 feet below sea level, and that's a very hot place.  Israel is on the edge of the desert.  A large part of Israel is the Negev, which is mostly desert.  Jerusalem is on the edge of the Judaean Desert.  The Sinai Desert separates the Land of Israel from Egypt. 

Resource: The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Facts About Israel-Division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem

Monday, February 13, 2012

Iran Attacks Israelis, Then Blames Israelis Themselves

Nadene Goldfoot
Israeli embassy staff was targeted both in India and Georgia on Monday by bomb attacks.  Four were wounded in India, one being a woman, wife of the defense ministry’s representative to India, who was hit with shrapnel. She was taken to the American hospital where Israeli doctors helped her. The attempt failed in Georgia, and a bomb was defused.

Israel feels that Iran and its proxy  (people that act in Iran's place), Hezbollah,  were responsible for the attacks.  Iran venomously denies this, saying that it was Israel who put their people in harms way just to blame them.  They don't know how much Jews value life.    Israel doesn't even have a death sentence in their country.  No, Israel did not attack its own embassies. 

Hezbollah has been mum about their participation.  Their headquarters is in Beirut, Lebanon, which is right on Israel's border and they have control in the government there. 

This is not the first time that Israeli embassies have been terrorist targets.  Amsterdam, Netherlands also reports an attack there on Israel. 


Friday, February 10, 2012

Was There Ever a State of Palestine?

Daniel Stuart Eskow and wife Nadene

Danny and I at our farewell party in 1980.  We were moving to Haifa, Israel and leaving Ontario, Oregon.  We were both embarking on a 10 month period of intensive Hebrew Language Studies there, and then our new teaching career.  Dan had been a high school teacher of history and I had taught 4th grade for many years. 

View of the Palestinians -

Couldn't have said it better!

Talk about one picture being worth a THOUSAND words!

Is the world just plain stupid?

An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates

By Yashiko Sagamori

If you are so sure that " Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history," I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

1. When was it founded and by whom?

2. What were its borders?

3. What was its capital?

4. What were its major cities?

5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

6. What was its form of government?

7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

8.. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?

11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.

12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation.. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel ; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza , respectively?

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel , and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation" -- or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East . Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel 's ancient sovereignty over  Judea, and Samaria .

That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

Can this story be presented any more clearly or simply?

When on a train ride, people used to say, "Don't stick your arm out the window or you'll find it in Jordan."

Friday, February 03, 2012

Israel's Vunerability to Rockets, Missiles and Mortars

Nadene Goldfoot
Wednesday night a barrage of about 9 rockets, missiles  and mortars had hit southern Israel from Gaza.  Thursday night Israel's IDF struck back hitting:
 1.  2 weapsons storage facilities in northern Gaza
 2.  3 smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza
 3.  a weapons manufacturing site in central Gaza. 

Israel pinpoints their targets and has no wish to hit civilians.  Often times, though, places where terrorists hide out their supplies are within the area of populated centers, making it difficult. 

A conference of the IDF Intelligence was held in Herzliya where the members were told about 200,000 rockets and missles pointed at Israel which can reach all the cities and towns.  They can even reach Tel Aviv.  Many have the capacity to reach 40 km, and some can also reach 100's of km as well today.  No place is safe from harm as far as reach goes anymore.  These are most likely positioned in Lebanon and Syria. 

Resource: Arutz Sheva

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Bergen-Belsen Survivors Sing Hatikva:

                           Hatikva means "HOPE". 
Nadene Goldfoot
"As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope - the two-thousand-year-old hope - will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem."

This song was written by Naphtali Herz Imber in 1886, a poet from Bohemia living in England at the time.  It is now Israel's National Anthem. 

Below is the song sung by survivors just liberated from the German concentration camp, Bergen Belsen on April 20, 1945.  It was a recording just recovered by the Smithsonian Center for American Folklife.  It was sung at their first Sabbath service while around them lie corpses on the ground as living people were lying down and dying.  While trying to sing they were sobbing. 

Twenty-four days and 3 years later, Israel was re-born on May 14, 1948.  The process to become a state started much earlier, like with Chaim Weizmann and his knowledge of chemistry which helped to win the WWI.    The pogroms in Russia caused leadership to arise and look for a place to hang their hat and call home once again,  but it took much time to evolve. They quickly learned that the only home that would do was our original one that we were led to by G-d, that land now lying in what was being called Palestine, and it just happened to be lying fallow and up for grabs.   

The trial of Dryfus was another catalyst in France.  A good soldier was tried and found guilty just because he was Jewish and  a useful scapegoat.  These were some major events that happened since 70AD when Jews were forced to wander all over the earth settling in one place only to be forced out, which even happened in England. 

 Little did they realize that Nazis would try to exterminate a whole people.  The state of Israel was not to become a reality until after the 2nd war.  Jews went from being relocated and held in one section of Russia called the "Pale of Settlement", not allowed out without special passes,  to being in the Warsaw Ghetto of Poland and slaughtered in mass and all the gas chambers in concentration camps.

 We have gone to being granted the Jewish National Home in Palestine by WWI's British mandated legalists to find we must settle for a  tiny section of that land only to be attacked  while it was announced and in coming years in many wars from all sides. 

We have gone through a massive war in 1967 attacked by all the neighboring states and won, not only from the attack but gained back Gaza and parts of ancient Israel of Judea and Samaria as well as the eastern part of Jerusalem all held illegally by Jordan.  We have seen the nations deplore our right to this land even though we left Gaza completely for the sake of making peace which didn't happen.  Instead it's a handy place to kill us from. 
We are seeing certain Christian groups turn against us in a fight without bullets but are trying to harm us just as much.  Anti-semitism has reared its ugly head to join the masses. 

We haven't been granted much peace, even by the bombastic UN who has done little for this fledgling country, but we haven't given up hope!  Am Israel Chai!  The people of Israel live. 

Victor Sharpe-sending me the website

Shelling in Israel Last Night

Nadene Goldfoot
Eight mortars where shot into Israel last night of which 7 of them were shot within one hour in a barage.  Now the UN Chief Ban Ki-moon will visit Gaza and Sderot Thursday morning.  Netanyahu was repremanded for building.  Abbas got the pat on the back and "Good Job" from Ban Ki-moon.  The bases were loaded against Netanyahu.  Netanyahu replied in the conversation that the real problem is not the building but the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish Homeland in the first place.  . 

I ask, if the Palestinians can not do that and recognize our state, how does the UN have the chutzpah to expect us to stop building in land that fell into their hands from being attacked ?  Why is it that the Palestinians have never made a peace pact before the issue of building in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem?  How do they expect Israel to recognize a Palestine if it isn't reciprocal? 

Are they being so friendly in their aspirations of peace that their overtures just happen to be military shelling into our land that they won't recognize?  What do they think they are doing?  Dropping love notes?