Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Hand Account: Letter From Ashkelon - Conditions in Barzilai Hospital


21st June 2012
Rhoda Goodman
Lea Malul
Forwarded to me from Golda

I often wonder how people in New York would feel if residents of New Jersey were lobbing rockets into their city every day?  Well, going on our experience here in Ashkelon, they wouldn’t like it very much.  Last night at 2 o’clock the siren sounded and, woken from sleep, we rushed into the ‘safe’ room in our house.  The challenge is that most of Ashkelon’s population do not have such facilities and have to make their way to communal shelters.  A small problem being that we only have about 20 seconds after the siren sounds before the missiles land.  No time really, none at all.

During the middle of the night there were four rockets and, thank the Lord, they were shot down by the Iron Dome Israeli defense system.  We counted the explosions before we crawled back to sleep.  In all, more than 150 missiles have been fired at Ashkelon from Gaza in the last two days.  Two days when the people of Ashkelon have once again been thoroughly traumatized, the children particularly, and even our pets show signs of strain.

Particularly difficult is being outside the home.  To some extent, you feel protected in the safe room.  However, in the past, a missile pierced the roof of one of Ashkelon’s main malls, seriously injuring a doctor and the patient she was treating in her surgery on the top floor of the mall.  Given circumstances such as these, we are not entirely at ease even within our designated ‘safe’ areas.  On the other hand, driving around the city is a whole other story.  When the traffic lights turn red you will them to change.  Who wants to be stuck at a traffic light when the siren wails?  What do you do?  You feel an idiot lying down in the middle of the road, but lying down is what you should do.  Driving along, you are constantly looking for south facing walls.  Why south facing?  Well, Gaza is situated 6 miles to the south of Ashkelon and, in the event of a rocket attack, you would want to find such a wall to crouch behind.

Our children are now on holiday but they cannot go out.  They cannot go to the beach to play or visit friends or go to the mall.  They hear only sirens and explosions.  Barzilai, Ashkelon’s local hospital, serves over  .  Even whilst our doctors are treating injured and traumatized civilians and military personnel in our emergency room, they too are anxious about the safety of their own families.  Ashkelon is not a big city and the missiles that are fired at us indiscriminately fall on residential areas, on schools and, yes, on our hospital too.  For this reason Barzilai is rapidly completing a program of fortification of many of the vulnerable areas of the hospital, such as the maternity delivery suite and the children’s wards.  Leading up to and during the war three and a half years ago, 80% of the hospital was closed down because of the bombardment.  At a time when the local population desperately needed Barzilai, the hospital could not function because the safety of patients was compromised.

However, despite the numerous rockets that have landed in the grounds of Barzilai hospital since Israel vacated Gaza in 2007, Barzilai’s physicians treat everyone who comes to the hospital for help.  Unknown and unacknowledged outside of Israel and strange as it may sound, many of the doctors who work in Israeli hospitals are Palestinians and, among their patients, are Palestinians too.  This situation is replicated at Barzilai where, amongst the patients we treat, are Palestinians who are unable to be adequately cared for in Gaza.  Yes, we even treat the very people who are launching rockets at us.  

We just want to live in peace with our Palestinian neighbours.  We are not politicans,  just ordinary people going about their lives trying to make a living and have some good times with family and friends before we die.  We would just like to die later rather than sooner.

Rhoda Goodman with Lea Malul

The Epic That Is Israel

The Epic of Jews in the Promised Land goes back 3,700 years.  
Nadene Goldfoot
Not many states have been created because of a directive from the Bible, but Israel was. In his last years as a leader Moses (born 1400 BCE)  had entered Canaan and with the younger generation fought the Amorites, Moabites, Midianites and Bashan who were in what would be Transjordan.   Joshua, of the tribe of Ephraim and the 600,000 entered the Promised Land when Moses could no longer continue on the 40 year Exodus trek, dying at age120. Joshua captured what would be most of the the Land of Israel.   Jews, given monotheism and the laws to be a Holy nation and a model for others by him,  settled and cities grew.

Jerusalem was the capital of Israel sitting in the center of the Judean Mountains.  Joshua's conquest was 1320 BCE and the king of Jerusalem was Adoni-Zedek who was defeated,  but the city remained as an independent town  between the tribal areas of Benjamin and Judah.  King David captured it in 1010 BCE, dealing leniently with the Jebusites while adding to the city.  It became the religious center of Israel and the capital of his empire that reached from the Red Sea to the Euphrates.  Solomon, his son, (970-930 BCE) enlarged the city.  He built the Temple.  Jerusalem remained the capital of Judah and of the Davidic dynasty.

After the destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Romans, many of the wealthier Jews of leadership were taken away as slaves, but still many remained.  Their national language of Hebrew continued.  They maintained their own unique civilization with their special laws.  Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the 9th century.

 In the 11th Century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea.  However, along came the Crusaders starting in 1096-9 bringing war led by Christian rulers to take back Palestine from the Moslems and massacred many JewsIn their zeal they slaughtered Jews in N. France and in the Rhineland, Prague and Salonica, capturing Jerusalem in 1099. During the 12th century  of 1147 the 2nd Crusade began again, .A 3rd Crusade of 1189-92 brought in England who attacked Jews in York, England. 1320 saw another attack in France and Spain. Though dangerous to live anywhere, it seems that Palestine was the safest place to be in those days.  Jews were not safe outside of their own land.    

  The Palestine communities rebounded in the 13th and 14th centuries.  Many rabbis and Jewish pioneers immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee.  Famous rabbis started communities Safed, Jerusalem and other places during the next 300 years.  

By the early 19th century, before the birth of the modern Zionist movement, more than 10,000 Jews lived in what is today-Israel.  We've had 78 years of nation-building which began in 1870.  The end goal was the reestablishment of the Jewish state which came to fruition May 14, 1948.

The Balfour Declaration was the promise of the Jewish Homeland through the British who had the mandate after the World War I in 1917.  This was the international clincher to be a nation again among nations. 

                                                             Ashkelon 2012

The League of Nations Mandate gave Britain the responsibility to carry out the decisions to fullfill the Balfour Declaration, but they managed to give away most of the land to the Arabs and saved but a sliver for the Homeland.

The UN partition resolution  of 1947 was accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs that would have given the Arabs most of the land for a state of their own.  Already a huge chunk of the land had been given over to Arabs who created Transjordan-called Jordan today. Israel was announced as a state May 14, 1948 and the next day was attacked by all the surrounding Arabs.   Israel was admitted  to the UN in 1949.

Resource: Myths and Facts by Mitchell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia  Judaism 101

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Missiles and Rockets Not Stopping the Alumim Kibbutz Wedding

Nadene Goldfoot
The worst of the latest attacks on Southern Israel was only 6 days ago on Wednesday when Hamas and other terrorists fired 69 missiles and rockets into southern Israel.  Last Tuesday 47 were shot into Israel.  36 missiles and rockets rained into Israel during the following 3 days.   What is happening with a barrage of missile attacks such as this is a follow-up of  quick but restrained IDF retaliatation.  Then there is some "relative calm" of an "un-honored ceasefire."  In larger towns that have a warning siren of incoming rockets, the population has but only 15 seconds to scurry to a shelter.

 Hamas rockets   stopped a wedding at Kibbutz Alumim located in the NW Negev desert in the Sdot Negev area. which has fields that lie next to the security fence of Gaza and is 3 miles from Gaza.  This is an agricultural  kibbutz, as many along the fence are.  You can often hear rocket fire here.  During all this rocket firing of last the 650 guests and wedding party were forced to move the wedding from the kibbutz to a wedding hall in Petach Tikvah just a few hours before the wedding, which is  only 7 miles from Tel Aviv.  The managers of the wedding hall said "This is the fastest flash wedding we have ever had here."

Caterers and guests were directed to the new address and the wedding went on as planned.  The couple took some wedding pictures in front of the Iron Dome battery, which is supposed to take out all incoming missiles aimed at Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon.  At least they couldn't hear rocket explosions from their new location.

This modern orthodox  kibbutz population has  90 families with 375 members of which 135 are children and of which 20% are from the United Kingdom.  400 people live here.  It was started in 1966 as a border settlement with Egypt by Bnei Akiva youth movement members.  The land had belonged to an orthodox Jewish group who had purchased it.  The kibbutz also has a kosher guest house located in their lovely gardens of the kibbutz and has a kosher Bed and Breakfast facility.  It also has its own synagogue, library, spacious dining hall and swimming pool.  The residents live in little stucco houses and the weather is like Palm Springs.  It's probably a lot like Kibbutz Degania Alef that I had visited in 1982.

Resource: Arutz Sheva, "Ceasefire War" continues with Rocket Attack on Kibbutz , Kassam Rockets fail to Silence Wedding Bells, both by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Monday, June 25, 2012

No Let-Up of Rockets Raining in Israel During Putin's Visit

Nadene Goldfoot
Terrorists attacked the farming communities of the Eshkol Regional Council which is made up of 31 communities along the border of the Gaza Strip  with 2 mortar shells last night. When the siren goes off warning of an incoming rocket, the people have 15 seconds to get to cover, hopefully a bomb shelter.  The siren doesn't always go off.  So far, 6 rockets have come and the siren didn't work.

 The rocket explosions  leave  people in shock.  One missile scored a direct hit on a home last week.  a mother and her child just got to a bomb shelter before the rocket exploded.  Dozens of children just got on their bus at a bus stop when a missile hit the area where they were waiting.

Tazpit News Agency's Anat Silverman reported that people are always thinking of where you could take cover at the sound of the next siren.  It's very stressful, and causes a feeling of pressure on your mind and body.  Not all people have bomb shelters.  Parents are lying on top of their children when the siren goes off if they have none.

While news reports that these missiles explode "harmlessly" in open areas, they neglect that the effect causes people to be hospitalized for shock and trauma, and that minor injuries are not even reported.  For instance, Tazpit reported that a kibbutz farmer, Max Yadgar of Kibbutz Nir Oz was plowing his fields a few hundred feet from the security fence (Israel's area is very tiny) when terrorists shot at him, breaking the glass around the cab of the tractor which cut his face.  He had to hide behind of the big wheel of the tractor for protection and wait for the IDF troops to come.  Max felt he needed to take  a few days off to recover from the shock.

During this time, Russia's President Vladimir Putin is visiting Israel.    He is scheduled to attend the unveiling of a Red Army World War II Victory Monument in Netanya Monday.  More than half a million Jewish soldiers fought with the Red Army in WWII against the Nazis.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed the idea of the monument to President Putin two years ago during his visit to Moscow. Putin complied and promised to come to Israel for the inauguration ceremony.Putin in 2005 was the first Russian president to visit Israel, and this time around he will make a high-profile trip to Bethlehem and to Jordan.

Noam Bedein, son of my old friend David Bedein,  is the director of Sderot Media Center and told of Sderot being under rocket fire weekly for decades.  He said that the weapons and rockets come from Iran and Libya and are smuggled into Gaza.  As long as this smuggling goes on, he figures that southern Israel will be under fire from all the rockets, mortars and missiles.  Sderot is less than a mile from the border and are first under attack, usually.  

Resource: Sounds of War Everywhere in Western Negev by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Putin to Attend Unveiling of Red Army Monument in Israel

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oregonian Newspaper Finally Recognizes Attack on Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
After finding reports of 150 rockets that have hit southern Israel this week alone of which 30 rockets and mortar shells had hit on Saturday, the Oregonian Sunday newspaper finally came out with a tiny article, "Militants, Israelis exchange attacks" this morning on the bottom right hand corner of page A10.

Only in this crazy world is there a group of people (Palestinian terrorists) who consistently bomb their neighbor(Israel) putting over one million people in jeopardy and seeking bomb shelters with wildly shot rockets, mortars, and missiles and then complain and threaten when they are shot back at after much waiting and hoping that they would stop and don't.  In this crazy world, they, the bullies, are thought of as the underdog while the one they are picking on is seen as the power-house.

The Egyptian official in Ramallah has been trying to broker a cease fire between the terrorists and Israel but the terrorists say that they will stop if Israel will stop.  This is a round robin affair; terrorists cannot seem to stop more than a few days then start in again, and finally Israel cannot abide it anymore and retaliates and then are in trouble for doing so by the UN, the terrorists, whoever is against them.

Our Americana newspaper reports that Hamas has stayed out of confrontation for about the past 3 years and say that other factions have launched cross-border attacks.  From my sources, these other factions are just the militant arms of Hamas.  Hamas is in control and is the instigator no matter what.  Israel puts the onus on Hamas.

The newspaper then went on to say that the militant Hamas rulers threatened to escalate fighting Saturday after Israeli air strikes killed several gunmen.  What do they expect Israel to do?  Be sitting pigeons forever? A rocket from Gaza wounded one person and damaged an elementary school in southern Israel.  Luckily, no one was killed, but you can figure that many are suffering from PTSD, which happens after every incursion of rockets.

The paper wrote that "the two sides periodically clash, "  as if this is a game of Red Rover, Red Rover, send Bobby right over.  It's pretty much one-sided with Israel taking an awful lot of bombing until they get one lick in by air.  At that they aim for the cause of the bombing and try to take out the rocket launchers.

They did mention that this was the most serious in months and was started by a "little known al-Qaida-inspired Palestinian militant group (note that they have dropped the word terrorist-they're militants now-even though having rockets fall in and around your home is terrorizing)  but has extended to drag in Hamas.

Drag in Hamas!  You can bet your buttons that they tell their "militant arm" to get going and keep the pressure up.  So this is how newspapers soften the true facts of what's really going on.  I do wonder if the reporter for AP ever went into southern Israel to get first hand accounts this week.  Ashkelon would be a nice city to report from.

Reference:  Oregonian Newspaper page  A10, 6/24, 2012  Associated Press, reported from Jerusalem


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Israel's Loftiest Goals Met By War: 1947

Nadene Goldfoot
Israel stated their goals of the new state clearly on May14, 1948 in their Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.  "The state of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the in-gathering of the exiles.  It was created by idealists with a Utopia in mind.  After all, here they were establishing a country with the principals of Judaism at the heart of it in a modern age.

 They did their very best.  This was at a time that many Jews were living in refugee camps, survivors of the Holocaust with no country to go to, except the hope of Israel.  Remember the book, EXODUS by Leon Uris?  In 1947 the British forced the ship Exodus 1947, carrying 4,500 Holocaust survivors headed for Palestine, to return to Germany

In 1945:  "With few possibilities for emigration, tens of thousands of homeless Holocaust survivors migrated westward to other European territories liberated by the western Allies. There they were housed in hundreds of refugee centers and displaced persons (DP) camps such as Bergen-Belsen in Germany. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and the occupying armies of the United States, Great Britain, and France administered these camps."

It will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants.  
It will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.
 It will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all the inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. 
 It will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.  It will safeguard the holy places of all religions and
It will be faithful to the principles of the charter of the United Nations."

November 29, 1947 was the date the UN voted to establish the Jewish state and was about 2 years after the end of World War 2 when 6 million Jews had been slaughtered by the Nazi regime.  They wanted to  divide the land originally planned to go to the Jewish Homeland into 2 sections; one for the Jews and the other for the Arabs which the Arabs refused. This was because the Arabs had raised the riot act when they realized it was all going to go to the Jews.  and they now wanted it all for themselves.    The next day the Arabs attacked the Jews in the land and war was on.  The United States was the first under Harry Truman to recognize Israel, born on May 14, 1948, the date the British mandate was up.  It was accepted by the United Nations.  However, the Arabs continued to fight against the new state and the war continued for another year, known as "The War of Independence."  It wasn't over until 1949 with an Armistice Agreement referred to as the "Green Line."  

May 14, 1948 was the date the British Mandate was up and they left the country.  Jews were on their own to defend their newly reclaimed land.   The population of Jews was 650,000 that May. We had the right number to start off with.  Most were living in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.  It is remembered that Moses left Egypt with 600,000.  At the birth in 1948 many Jews were forced out of the Arab homes and immigrated to Israel. .  By December  1952 we had 1,629,500.  By the 1972 census there were 3,164,000 Jews in Eretz Israel.    Today we have about 6,500,000 Jews living in Israel.  1.4 million Arabs also call Israel home and are citizens.  The Druze and Circassians even serve in the IDF at their insistence. Otherwise, Arabs are not required to serve.   

In another section of the declaration, it said that " We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream--"The Redemption of Israel."  Placing our trust in the Almighty, we affix our signatures to this the city of Tel Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, May 14, 1948.  38 people signed this including David Ben Gurion, Golda Myserson (Meier), and David Zvi Pinkas.

To redeem means to buy back,  to repurchase, to get or win back, to liberate by payment; ransom, to free by force, to change for the better, reform, repair, restore, reclaim, to make good, to offset the bad effect of to make worthwhile, rescue, and that the Jews did.  They bought land legally from Arab landowners many times over, and these landowners weren't living on the land anymore.  They had found greener pastures in France and other countries abroad to enjoy their life.

Amos the Prophet had stated: Amos 9:14-15
I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

Another section states: "  After being forcibly exiled from their land (in 70 CE) , the people kept faith with it throughout their dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom......This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations...gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its national home."   Israel did whatever they had to in establishing the homeland once more.  It was all legal.  It was on ancient, forgotten, neglected, unwanted land.  They have done what Amos prophesied.

Resource: Facts About Israel, Published by the Division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem
Webster's 7th New Collegiate dictionary

Friday, June 22, 2012

130+ Rockets in 5 Days Affecting One Million Israelis: Effect is Striking Gaza

Nadene Goldfoot
130 Rockets have fallen into Southern Gaza since Monday putting one million Israelis on hold in bomb cellars if they have one nearby or available.  Not all people  have them available.

The Israeli Ambassador Ron Proser complained to the UN's Ban Ki- moon.  He mentioned that Israel cooperates with the UN allowing material and humanitarian aid into Gaza yet weapons keep flowing into Gaza and rockets keep firing into Israel.   "“How long will you continue to be silent?” wrote Prosor. “Ten days, ten rockets, and not one condemnation.”The Red Alert siren in Israel’s southern towns should raise red flags in the Security Council. The Council must act, and do so immediately,” he demanded.

Egypt's brokered cease fire only lasted for a few days, as if to give terrorists time to reload and refuel, because they started shooting rockets Friday night again.  This time the IAF made 2 flights into the coastal territory and hit rocket launching terrorist cells.  They caught one getting ready to strike one on Israel and killed a terrorist from the al Qaida Salafist Islamist group and wounded two others at the al-Bureij refugee camp in the center of Gaza.

Then the terrorists fired 5 rockets into Israel within 2 hours Friday night in retaliation.  A 5th rocket was fired at Ashkelon's area which caused the IAF to strike a 2nd time in Gaza.  They had a direct hit on a motorcycle, wounding 4 Palestinians, one seriously, who later died.  This was the 10th terrorist death since Monday.  One minute later and a 6th rocket hit in the Ashkelon coast area again.

The terrorists' brilliant comments were that they would stop firing rockets when Israel stops strifing their bombing squads.  I think that's about the same as saying that when pigs fly, they will stop.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ashkelon: Target of Terrorists Thursday Night

Nadene Goldfoot

Two rockets were aimed at Ashkelon by Hamas terrorists with one falling in an open area. It's only 8.1 miles from the Gaza border!   The other was stopped by the new Iron Dome missile defense system.  This happened as a truce was being talked about. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades told Egyptian officials who are trying to bring about a ceasefire that they were ready, but evidently didn't keep to their word.  They are Hamas terrorists.  Israel is very tiny and this brings it to mind just how tiny it is!  

Ashkelon is the sister-city of Portland, Oregon and Baltimore, Maryland.  It is home of the Barzilai Medical Center that serves both Israel and Gaza patients.  Usually it has been Sderot, a town less than a mile from the Gaza border that is hit constantly.  The rockets fired off today are reaching out further and further.

The history of Ashkelon goes back 5,000 years as an ancient port and is one of the oldest cities in the world..  It was mentioned in Egyptian writings back in the 19th Century BCE.  by the end of the 13th Century BCE it was conquered by the Philistines who arrived from the islands.   It was to go to the tribe of Dan, one of the 12 tribes, sons of Jacob.   The problem was that the Israelites couldn't conquer it from the Philistines.  Samson fought and caused them lots of damage in endless fighting, but was unable to overcome them.  King Saul in the 11th century BCE , first king of Israel, son of Kish and from the tribe of Benjamin  and his son  Jonathan fought the Philistines and destroyed their garrison in Geva, but were beaten in the valley.  Saul and his sons died on Mt. Gilboa.  After this David lamented, "Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice." ( Samuel, 11:1, XX1.)

Jews lived here as a community in mishnaic and talmudic times of 220 CE and 500 CE, but it was considered outside the boundaries of Palestine.  The Jewish community survived its capture by the Crusaders in 1153.   It is important to note here that the Philistines have long died out as a country as well as the Canaanites and the Amorites, but that the Jews remain as an entity.

 The modern time starts with the liberation of Majdal, an Egyptian army base in 1948 by Israelis.  On November 5, 1948 the Israelis were on their way to lift the Egyptian siege of the Negev and they conquered Majdal.  It incorporates the former Arab town of Migdal and the Afridar section development by the South African Zionist Federation.

The Negev was the part given to the Jews in the dividing of half the land  which was promised by the English with the mandate  in the Balfour Declaration. It makes up 55% of the Jewish Homeland of 1948 and is a rocky desert.  The northern Negev was originally allotted to the tribe of Judah and the southern Negev to the tribe Shimon. It was a part of the kingdom of Judah.

Today over 116,000 people live in Ashkelon.  It's on the Mediterranean Coast 56 km or about 35 miles south of Tel Aviv  in an agricultural region connected to Israel by modern roads and trains that run the length of the country.

Like Portland, Oregon, it is a green, well-tended residential city with many gardens and woods with plentiful views, sites, but with lots of ancient splendor.  It's on the Sea Road which runs along the coast from Egypt to Syria.

For people living in Portland, Oregon, this means that if you are in Gresham, Wilsonville is  being bombed with rockets and is that close to you.  Another example is that if you are in Portland, Multnomah Falls is being bombed and probably can hear them land.  35 miles is not that far away.  Tel Aviv-Yafo has a population of 393,900 as of 2009, about the size of Portland, Oregon.

  As to the Gaza border, Ashkelon is the same distance as Beaverton, Oregon is to Portland.  The rockets don't have to travel very far to hit Ashkelon.   It is only 13 km or 8.1 miles north of the Gaza border.  Be sure to click on the map to enlarge and see Ashkelon just above the proposed bridge from Gaza to Judea-Samaria.

Facts from the Municipality of Ashkelon
New Standard Jewish Enclyclopedia

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 1982 War: First Hand Account: Why Israel Went Into Lebanon

Nadene Goldfoot
I, an American teacher from Oregon,  was  living in Safed, Israel  in the northern Galilee at the start of the Lebanon invasion.  My husband and I, with our German shepherd,  had moved to Safed after completing our education in the Ulpan in Haifa in 1980-1981, and then moved to Safed in August where I taught English in the junior high.

During Spring break one of the other students in my Ulpan class had visited Kiriat Shimona, which was north of Safed near the Lebanon border by the Good Neighbor Fence, and wound up the whole duration living in a bomb shelter along with others.  They were receiving so many attacks that they couldn't be out in the open.  On the way to Safed, we passed an apartment building where a rocket had fallen in its back yard just 2 weeks before.  That's when I started to get a little worried.

The PLO had made life in northern Israel intolerable by repeated shelling of Israeli towns a little closer than my city of Safed.  What I hadn't realized was that 15,000-18,000 PLO terrorists were camped out in many places in Lebanon.  5,000 to 6,000 were foreign mercenaries coming in from Libya, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka, Chad and Mozambique.  Our IDF had found enough light arms and other weapons to equip 5 brigades.  Their arsenal included mortars, Katyusha rockets and extensive anti-aircraft weapons.  They had brought in hundreds of T-34 tanks into the area.

Syria had permitted Lebanon to be a haven for the PLO and other terror groups.  They had brought surface-to-air missiles into Lebanon which created another danger for Israel.  Israel was being protected in part by Major Hadad of the Christian Militia whose soldiers patrolled the border.  He was a good friend.

Israel had struck and had commando raids but couldn't stop the growth of the PLO army and could not sit around and wait for more deadly attacks against defenseless citizens.  They had to act against the terrorists.

On June 15, 1982 I was on a bus going down to Haifa to the Rambam Hospital to check on my elbow.  I had fallen and crushed it and had broken the bone as well and it needed  to have the 7 screws taken out.  I noticed a lot of tanks going up the hill which I had never seen happen before, but couldn't get answers from the people on the bus due to my lack of speaking Hebrew well.   I got to the hospital and it was almost deserted which was very peculiar.  This place was usually as popular as a department store sale day. I found the doctor's office and saw all 3 doctors, one of which was from Michigan and looked just like Paul Newman,  who had done the operation.  They  told me they could not help me right now.  We were about to be in a war with Lebanon and they, being an army hospital, would be very busy setting a lot more bones.  I should go home immediately.  Maybe they could do the operation next summer.

I taught with Ned, an American teacher,  who lived in Carmiel, a more modern city nearby.  He was called up to serve in the army a week before at one o'clock in the morning and called me to tell me that he was home for the night and was okay.  Andy, the other English teacher was also home and okay.  Even our dog's vet was called up and was serving as a medic in the army in his period of milueem service.  With these other English teachers in the army, I wound up handling all the classes along with Margolite, the Russian "English" teacher with a very thick accent.  I had reported in at the school on my day off knowing that they would be needing me.  No one had to phone.  Anyway, I lived just across the street from the school.

Avram, who lived in Hatzor, had a birthday and while we were driving there we saw lots of IDF hitchhiking to get to their posts.  Everyone gave them lifts.  It was the patriotic thing to do.  Otherwise, I was at home baking cakes for soldiers who would grab a bite to eat with coffee at kiosks set up along the way.

At this point we had 170 men killed already.  Students in school were hysterical as they all had family members in the army.  Some of my 8th graders were used in the hospital to translate or just to help out, as we had the enemy in there as well and not all nurses or doctors could speak Arabic.  One of my students told me that they saw a lot of things that a 14 or 15 year old boy shouldn't have to see in the ward.  It was quite traumatic for him.

All we knew was that the PLO was finally run out and that it was time something had been done about it.  The UN had done nothing to help Israel while the North had lived in bomb shelters.  Everyone was very upset about the casualties on both sides, but even Lebanon was happy, especially Major Hadad, of the Christian Militia whose men had attacked the PLO.  Little did we know at the time just how they had done  which wasn't kosher.  I was glued to the radio for the short English reports we could hear and read every word in the Jerusalem Post, our English newspaper.  It finally came out that Sharon had allowed Hadad's men to take care of the PLO's, and they did so, as quietly as possible, most likely with knives in their tents.  Sharon received all the blame, being the General.

During the whole episode, the elevator in our building had broken down, and a soldier on leave blew our TV reception accidentally by cutting into a live wire, so we have problems just getting along.  It could have been much worse if our soldiers and Hadad's soldiers hadn't stopped the PLO, I now realize.

Resource: Myths and Facts, a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell G bard and Joel Himelfarb
Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

46 Rockets, Mortars Hit Hof Ashkelon Tuesday Night

Nadene Goldfoot
 Four border policemen  were injured, with the officer  seriously injured in a rocket attack on Ashkelon Tuesday night.  A kibbutz building had also been hit.  Southern Israel, including the Negav and Sderot were hit with 45 rockets between midnight and 10:30pm Tuesday night.  Most were the short range Kassam,rockets but 3  Grad Katyushas  were aimed at Netivot.  Hamas has taken responsibility saying they were trying to hit the army Zikim base and the rockets were their response to IAF strikes last night.

This has put hundreds of thousands of Israelis under siege and in bomb shelters.  The result is that the IAF struck 3 times on terror targets in Gaza in the last 24 hours which killed at least 6 terrorists.  One strike on Tuesday afternoon injured a man on a motorcycle.

Monday 2 terrorists had infiltrated and were in the Sinai area and have been identified as a Saudi citizen,  Abu Huthiyfa al-Rathali.  and an Egyptian,  Abu Salah al-Masri who belong to the group "Shura Council of the Mujahedeen at Al Quds.  They made a video showing them to be reading their wills before the attack.  The group said the attack was for the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Arab terrorists held in Israel's jail and Osama bin Laden.  They had managed to kill one Israeli before killing themselves.  

Earlier in the day, another strike hit a motorcycle and killed 2 Islamic Jihad terrorists, Mohammed Shabat and Ismail Odeh.  They were part of a squad of snipers working near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip that had shot at an Israli farmer working near the fence last Thursday.

There was an explosion in Gaza City that killed a 2 yr old Palestinian girl on Tuesday evening, but Israel said there was no air raid from them in the area then. Update:6/20/12:   It's now found that a Palestinian rocket was the cause of the child's death.  

Hamas said they fired only 10 rockets after 3 Israeli air strikes killed 6 Palestinians.  This was said after Israel hit again over Deir al-Balah in central Gaza and injured the 2 men on a motorcycle.

The terrorists only see things as one-sided.  The Palestinian cabinet condemned "continuous Israeli escalation" and called for "international protection to the Palestinian people", but never mention the fact that they start the attacks and Israel acts in defense and also told them that they would retaliate if attacked.

Israel aid that their 3 air raids in the past 12 hours was not related to the border incident and that they had targeted militants planning or engaging in attacks on Israel.  Example is finding a terrorist squad handling an explosive device near the security fence in central Gaza.  They were trying to fire a rocket at Israel.

Update, up to 50 rockets 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Civilian Worker Killed by Terrorists Along Security Fence

Nadene Goldfoot
1500 Israeli workers are employed in adding on more fencing along the Egyptian-Israel Security Fence. It's going to run for 165 miles  from Eilat to the Gaza Strip and is planned to be finished by the end of the year.

 On Monday, 3 terrorists from the Sinai area crossed the border and stalked 2 vehicles used by defense contractors building the new border fence.  The terrorists used PRG rockets, explosives and artillery fire in the dune sector around Nahal Lavan and killed Said Phashpashe (Sa'ed Fachachte), 36 years old Arab Israeli who was one of the men in one of the vehicles.

IDF Golani soldiers, minutes away,  killed two of the terrorists.  One had an explosive device like some sort of bomb strapped on his body and it had exploded when shot.  The soldiers found AK -47 rifles, grenades, uniforms and munitions on the ground.

The surrounding area went on high alert which was not lifted till noontime.  The fear was that terrorists had infiltrated through the fencing.

The terrorist attack came about as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt claimed victory in their "elections."  Since 2011 when Mubarak lost power and control, Israel has been alarmed by the violations happening along the border and fear a lawlessness happening.

The need for the fence is now twofold: to keep out terrorists who are bent on killing and the influx of African migrants who have descended illegally in large numbers on Israel through Egypt's border.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Grad Rocket Hits Southern Israel on Shabbat

Nadene Goldfoot
A 122 mm Grad rocket fell into an open desert of the Arava region in southern Israel on this Shabbat from terrorists who were most likely close to the Egyptian border around Sinai which Egypt has not been guarding as well as in the Mubarak period.  Of course Egypt denies it came from the Egyptian area.  It could have even come from Jordan, which Haaretz suggests, or even that Hamas terrorists managed to get very close to the Sinai area.

 50 rockets of this type made in China were found to be long distance and hit Israel on Decmeber 31, 2008, wounding 5 people. Russia also makes this type of Grad rocket as well as other countries.  The distance it can travel is at least 22 to 25  miles.  Update on 17th  is that the distance can be 50 km or 31.07 miles.   April of this year saw  3 Grads that were fired at Eilat from the same area.  For Oregonians, this is like a Grad rocket shot from Hillsboro and hitting Portland.

2001 saw rockets being shot into southern Israel from Gaza's Hamas terrorists.  Sderot, the closest city to Gaza is only 1.864 miles or 3 km away and was hit constantly.  More than 8,600 rockets have been shot into Israel from Gaza since then causing 28 deaths and several hundred wounded, not to mention the PTSD caused by the population.  By 2006 long range rockets such as this grad was reaching Ashkelon.

So far, this year of 2012 has seen 224 rockets and 28 mortars hit southern Israel from Gaza with the worst month being in March.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Syria, Israel's Northern Border-Neighbor and What's New For Assad

Nadene Goldfoot
The border road is dangerous.  Pvt. Dor Gan, 19 years old, was killed while patrolling along the Syrian border fence near Yonathan village.  Three soldiers were injured when their jeep turned over.

Syria has long-range rockets that can carry poison warheads to any part of Israel, stated Major General Yair Naveh when speaking in a ceremony to the IDF soldiers at a memorial for fallen soldiers of the Sultan Yakoub Battle with the Syrian army in 1982.  He said nothing has changed since then in the way Syrians act.

Mazraat al-Qubeir, Syria was found to be massacred and deserted said UN monitors.    Government forces had been here, and had either shot or stabbed 50-80 people including women and children.

The Sunni rebels are not all that nice, either.  Germans are reporting that 98 deaths in Sunni town of Houla on May 25 were caused by these rebels who massacred the Alawite and Shiite families.  It is said that they even filmed the dead and presented them as Sunni.

Switzerland has frozen Syrian bank deposits and banned Syrian government bonds in trade.  In other words, they have been blacklisted.  Never mind though, Russia is supplying them with arms.  They're not taking sides, Russia said.  It  must be just business deals.  Russia is still against using force on Syria and has called for an international conference with the permanent Secuity Council powers, the European Union and influential countries in the area like Iran  to talk about the Annan plan.

It seems that the US has been arming the Syrian rebels according to Serge Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister  in Tehran.  This was in reply to Hillary Clinton's charge that Moscow is sending helicopters to Syria for Assad.  

Barack Obama said on June 11th that the USA Navy and Air Force are ordered to get ready to have a limited air offensive against Syria.  They are to knock out the central regime and military command centers.

As I watched TV back in 1980-1985 in Israel, I remember seeing the Syrian army show off their prowess by staging the most horrible exhibit of their capabilities I've ever seen.  They were standing at attention and in unison, bit into snakes, and then into puppies, right on TV.  I was sick.  I think it was to scare the audience into not messing with them.  It was traumatic to view and I haven't forgotten the horror of it.  From that experience, I can believe anything about their inhumanity.  If it wasn't doctored filming, it certainly was believable in those days.

Resource: DEBKAfile

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Has Egypt Had Human Rights?

Nadene Goldfoot
The 1992 report from the USA State Department for Human rights said Egypt did not grant basic human rights to their citizens.  When my friend Marilyn from our Ulpan in Haifa visited the country as a tourist in 1980, she found it an unorganized country, unable to even have decent telephone service.  All the time the world governments have been shining a spotlight on Egypt's neighbor, Israel, while it should have given attention to Egypt in looking for violations.  But then, who cares if Egypt does anything wrong.  It's not newsworthy.

People in Egypt have not had any way to change the government.  Detention without due process is widespread and arbitrary.  Christians and women are discriminated against and Jews would be too, only there are few left.  Books and art pieces may be confiscated or banned by the various ministries.

Torture is said to be illegal, but evidence is that it is still practiced by the police and security officers.  Those doing the torturing are never punished.  They have used whipping and solitary confinement, restricting food, water and medical treatments.  Rape and sexual abuse happens to men and women.  They don't discriminate here.

In 1948 75,000 Jews lived in Egypt.  Between June and November 1948 there were bombs set off in the Jewish quarter killing more than 70 and wounding nearly 200.  In 1956 Egypt used the Sinai campaign as a pretext for expelling almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and stealing their property.  About 1,000 Jews were then sent to prisons and detention camps.  November 23, 1956 was the signing of a proclamation declaring that "all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state," and promised they would soon be expelled.  They could only take one suitcase and a small amount of worthless Egyptian money and forced to sign declarations "donating" their property to the government.

 Members of Jewish families were taken hostage to insure that those leaving would not say anything bad about the government.  War broke out in 1967 and Egyptians treated the remaining Jews like Nazis did, who also lived in Egypt.  In fact, the head of the Polish Gestapo, Nazi Leopold Gleim, once sentenced to death, was actually controlling the Egyptian secret police.  By 1979, the little remaining Jewish community established official contact with Israel.  By 1991, less than 200 Jews remained. I taught with a young Egyptian girl in 1980 in Safed who told me that only a few older people had remained there.  She was also teaching English.

Today the word is out that Egypt has lost control of the Sinai.  The Deputy chief of Egypt's largest party, the Muslim Brotherhood, has said that they will not recognize Israel's right to exist, the treaty is non-binding, and  will be put to a referendum.  A peace treaty had been signed between Egypt and Israel March 26, 1979 by Sadat and Begin, but on 2011 with the Arab Spring that brought a very cold atmosphere, the army had taken over Egypt and said the peace was not sacred.

Voting was going to take place but the court just dissolved Egypt's new parliament.  Everything was found to be wrong.  Back to the drawing board once more with the army again in power.    The Muslim Brotherhood is highly against democracy and is the main stumbling block for Egypt's democratic government.  Egypt's population of 79,089,650 as of 2011 is going to have to wait and Morsi, Brotherhood contender, cannot pull out of the race right now even though their parliament is dissolved and a Mubarak official gets to seek presidency.

Myths and Facts:  A concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell Bard and Joel HImelfarb
Oregonian Newspaper, 6/15, 2012, page A14:Egypt's move to democracy dealt huge setback by court, by David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times News service

Iran Lets Cat Out of the Bag About Nuclear Weapons

Nadene Goldfoot
A commentary written by Alireza Forghani that just came out Sunday "The necessity for the Islamic world to have the Atomic Bomb" lets the cat out of the bag about Iran's intentions for producing nuclear energy.  He is the former governor of Iran's Kish Province and an analyst for the Ayatollah Khamenei.  He thinks all Muslim majority countries should help them get the nuclear bomb to disrupt the dreams of America and Israel.  He says it is their right to have a nuclear bomb and that Israel would have been gone 30 years ago but has such a weapon, keeping it here.  Frankly, I don't think Saudi Arabia would be very excited over Iran having the A Bomb, or even Iraq, who fought a huge war with Iran in the 1980's.  

Forghani even laid out a legal case for the destruction of Israel and all Jewish people in February.  It of course played in Iran only, and calls for a pre-emptive strike on Israel.  Fars News was happy to run this piece because it is run by the Revolutionary Guards and express the views of the Islamic regime.

He notes that the USA and Pakistan have the bomb and that America is the main enemy of Iran.  The Syrians and Lebanese Muslims, he says, are worried about being attacked by the USA if they don't cooperate.  Of course it has nothing to do with their shooting down their own people.  

He goes on to rave about the Islamic republic being threatened by America and they know Iran will be attacked. and recalls the Cold War against Russia.  America's being in Iraq and Afghanistan gives him fuel to project hatred.

We now see the failure between Iran and 6 world power nations in negotiations.  Iran refuses to suspend their nuclear enrichment and won't let inspectors see certain suspected sites.  They threaten counterattack for any aggression.  More threats are made on the USA than Israel in this article.  I think they fear a combined attack and of course the USA has more weaponry in its arsenal.

Other websites as well are reporting that the International Atomic Energy Agency is reporting a disappointing outcome from Friday's meeting..  In fact, they have retreated from previous commitments they had already made. Even China asked them to compromise.   Another meeting is scheduled in Moscow for June 18th, which is this coming Monday.  If nothing is successful even with sanctions in place, a European Union Oil embargo will be enforced on July 1st.  Only Iran's foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, is confident of the final outcome.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

What About the Palestinians? PA changes Rules of the Game

Nadene Goldfoot
On May 16th PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced to all that Arab Palestinians living in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Jordan or the other 132 countries he says they reside in, even those living in refugee camps in the planned Palestine state if still listed as refugees will not become citizens of the new state of Palestine.  No Jews of course, will be allowed to live there, either.  This was done through an op-ed to the New York Times.  Their first goal is to become members of the UN as a state in order to bring Israel to court and destroy them.

His plan is to keep the Palestinian Arabs  on the dole from UNRWA, which Americans and Europeans pay taxes to upkeep. They certainly don't want to miss out on that money.  

Why this change in understanding the goal of creating a Palestine?  The world has been misled.  They do not intend to be the saviors and take care of their own people.  It's not to end such a conflict between Israel and Fatah-Hamas.  Their main goal is to change the rules and be able to claim legally and politically something against Israel at the UN, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.  This is their way of continuing their war against Israel.  Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah also stated that the Palestinians will not automatically become citizens.  He wants UNRWA to be responsible for refugees and would continue its work as usual.  A few of the American Senators are already planning to cut down on the refugee list as it has grown to something like 5 million since the inception.  They have included children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on.  

They don't want anyone to think that they would ever make any accommodations with the Zionists.  Statehood is just the means for the great final jihad and they are making it more efficient.  The major goal has never changed.  They are planning to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.  They keep denying the opportunity to make peace and thus establish a Palestine in order to achieve success and bring about another genocide against Jews.  To support a Palestinian state is supporting destruction of Israel and the genocide of its people, including the 1.4 million Arabs already living there.

Anyone for the continued existence of Israel has been called a Nazi or an extremist, somebody that shouldn't be listened to. All materials defending Israel might be labeled "Nazi" materials, no less.   Every time we've had some sort of affair going on at our Mittleman Jewish Community Center involving an Israeli program, we have passionate dissidents outside in the streets calling out nasty names to us.  Alan Dershowitz in his book  "The Case Against Israel's Enemies" has also had such experiences that were downright scary.  He saw: "passionate hatred, ecstatic hatred, orgasmic hatred.  It was beyond mere differences of opinion.  Phyllis Chesler describes the hatred she has seen as "eroticized."  "When Dershowitz looked into the faces of the protesters, he could imagine young Nazis in the 1930s in Hitler's Germany.  They had no doubt that they were right and he was pure evil for his support of the Jewish state."  I was not accepted into a Socialist meeting knocking Israel because I had sent them my post proving that Israel was not an apartheid state and that's what their meeting was going to cover.  I guess they didn't want to know what the word meant but enjoyed calling Israel such a nasty word.  I was barred.

Therefore, if there is a Palestine created and it becomes a member of the UN, this will not end the conflict.  It will become a framework that will change the rules of the game and be in favor of kicking out the only Jewish state in the world in favor of a 49th  Muslim majority state which will benefit no Palestinian who has been in an refugee camp.  These people will never become citizens of their country.   Palestine will not be a democratic state like Israel for already we have known since it was spoken about that Jews living in the land would be removed as it is to be free of Jews.

Resource: by David Meir-Levi
Book:  The Case Against Israel's Enemies-exposing Jimmy Carter and others who stand in the way of peace" by Alan Dershowitz

Friday, June 08, 2012

Knesset Headaches

Nadene Goldfoot
We tell the joke about the 2 Jews who find themselves stranded on a tiny island, and they build themselves 3 synagogues.  One for each and the other is the one neither one would attend.  It shows we are a stubborn people with our own minds and we do not follow very well.  We are individualistic. 

 Ben Gurion had gone into a restaurant and was told that before he entered he had to put on a tie.  They then told the manager that this was David Ben Gurion.
 " Oh, sir, let me introduce you to the president of the United States, Harry S. Truman." 
"How do you do"
"You are president of 47 million people?  I am Prime Minister of of 600,000 Presidents."  

In the midst of the threats coming out of Iran, that old ancient Persia updated is the fear of being liquidated through atomic warfare, perhaps with one single bomb like what happened to Hiroshima.  In this extreme crisis, we have an internal struggle going on as well.  The pressures on our government there are coming from the UN and mainly from the USA through them concerning the attacks from the Arabs in Gaza upon Israel, and their solution is to have peace talks.  Evidently this is going to have to lead to giving in to all Arab demands as they won't even sit down at the table to talk unless this is all done first before the sitting commences.  Again, the fear of losing Israel completely and being driven into the sea comes to mind.  The Knesset is under such great pressure that they have already had new elections to the satisfaction of the USA's Hillary Clinton.

To add misery to all our surrus, the media is always against Israel, which in turn colors the attitude of all those who watch.  Anti-Semitism is at a high all over the world, and Israel's position in it has done a 180 turnabout since 1967.  The media is not the kettleful of truthful facts, either, but a hodgepodge of misinformation that is filling people's minds up so much that they don't even bother to find facts themselves.  If they do, the source has to be invalid.

To add to our problems, we have the state of Israel divided between the Orthodox community and the rest.  David Wilder calls it "Zionism or Toynbeeism.  Like another old joke goes, a man is talking to two gentlemen and is trying to solve their disagreement.  To each he says, "You have a point and you also have a point."  I don't remember any ending.  I don't think there is any.  The Orthodox claim a valid point and so does the Knesset, who is the other side, the more secular one.  Frankly, at this point in time I think their plate is over brimming with problems to deal with.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, Israel's first chief Rabbi explained that Israel is not just any old piece of land we chose for a country.  Israel has an intrinsic meaning connecting Jews with the knot of life and contains extraordinary qualities  making the people and the land, these 2 halves, a whole.  Toynbee thought of Jews and Judaism as an anachronism.  In other words, we are out of place, an error.  "The Zionist Jews are a fragment of a fossil of alien origin which has been embedded in the body of Western Christendom since its pre-natal days."  He didn't think much of us at all.  We are still here, however, and refer to ourselves as the Jewish people.  Our holy cites are Jerusalem and Hebron.

We have a problem in that Arabs are copying us and saying that land is now their land, like Tel Hebron.  Israeli leaders and their followers are helping people who say this without even checking for legal paperwork.  They have helped force Jews off their homeland, destroy their homes to appease those bringing pressure down.  We're talking about Jews forcing out Jews, basically in Judea and Samaria, not the IDF throwing out Palestinians.

Netanyahu has ordered the expulsion of Jews from the "Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El.  It was in the Oregonian today as well. He said he was most unhappy to have to do so.   He also ordered the same thing for the Machpela House in Hebron.  This seems to have come about after Netanyahu, Barak and others were told they could be tried as war-criminals by the Hague should Jews continue to live in these places.  That must be a part of the pressure they are under.  The report had gone to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

7 years ago Gush Katif was destroyed by Israelis.  Jewish residents were expelled and the land abandoned to the Arabs.  30 some years ago Yamit and other Sinai communities were given up and its residents were expelled to appease the waiting Arab communities in the name of peace.  We left Gaza lock, stock and barrel for the sake of peace and only got war in its place.  If the Arabs had been smart, they would have done what the Egyptians did under Sadat and made peace at that time, but they've used Gaza as the place from which all rockets, missiles and mortars come from.  I would say that was a test that failed completely.

Some feel that the next to go will be Gvat Assaf and then Migron.  Barak only last week suggested abandoning all of Judea and Samaria.  That's a horror as this is the place of our history, and it is most special to those who are religious.  Every rock, every clod of dirt is precious to them.  We've got an awful lot of Jews living there.  Jews have given their lives and have waited for 2,000 years to return to their homeland, and now that they have returned, they are retching inside to have to give up the land others had shed blood over.

Mix all these problems presenting themselves with the fact that this time and place has been prophesied about in the Bible for both the Jews and the Christians with the Muslims adding their take on it as well.  It is the in gathering of all Jews once again in Israel.  This is not just an accident.  It is awesome.

I personally don't see it so black and white.  I think that the circumstances are that Israel cannot fight enemies and the rest of the world at the same time.  They're all ganging up on this tiny tiny state.  They are doing their best to maintain their Jewish values and ethics, keep their citizens alive and well, and be the fairest  of all to their enemies.  What's fair and righteous doesn't seem to work on this UN at all in standing up for Israel's rights.  Being most of their block is made up of Israel's enemies in the first place, Israel's voice is lost to the winds.  I'm not like Josephus calling for surrender.  I'm just saying that the Knesset is bending in this Sharav while trying to keep its roots in the ground.  It's waiting to be propped up by another force.

Reference:  David Wilder 6/8/2012

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

All Is Not Quiet on the Western Front

Nadene Goldfoot
The month of March saw terrorists from Gaza fire over 200 rockets into Israel over 4 days after terrorists Zuhir Musa Ahmed and Mahmoud Ahmed Mahmoud Hanani were killed.

Fire broke out in the Eshkol region in Southern Israel after it was hit by high trajectory firing into the Israeli territory.  IAF aircraft retaliated by striking 2 direct hits on  weapons storage sites  in northern and southern Gaza on yesterday.

Before, on Sunday the aircraft took out a terrorist tunnel with direct hits.  This came about in retaliation to being hit by a Qassam rocket in the south late Sunday night, exploding in the Eshkol Regional Council.

Friday morning another fight took place between IDF troops and a Gaza terrorist as they were trying to infiltrate the western Negev from Gaza which took the life of a young Golani Brigade soldier.

All this shooting was supposed to have been under a cease fire maintained by Egypt, but for the terrorist groups, only seems to mean that  they just do not fire barrages.  They shoot just as it suits them to remind Israelis that they can do it which disrupts the lives of those in Southern Israel.  How would you like to be the sitting ducks?

April showers brought 10 rockets fired at Israel in 9 separate attacks, two being launched from the Sinai in Egypt this time.  3 were Grad missiles aimed at Eilat on the Red Sea coast.  Some residences suffered from shock.  This happened on the 4th.  On the 8th 2 Qassam were fired into the Sdot Negev in the morning and a rocket was fired at Sderot in the evening.  The Color Red alarm sounded in the city once more.  Sderot has taken upteen hits.  On the 14th Fatah fired a rocket at night with CARE International detecting it coming from east of Jabalia which exploded prematurely.  They did it again the next day with Qassam rockets coming into the Sha'ar Hanegev and Ashkelon areas.  The 22nd, 23rd and 30th also had Qassam rockets fall into the areas.

May is supposed to bring flowers but the Ashkelon area only got another Qassam rocket and Israel decided to retaliate by hitting a tunnel in northern Gaza on the 1st.  Another Qassam rocket shot into Sdot Negev again on the 9th and that brings us to the 15th with a Qassam rocket fired in the morning into Sha'ar Hanegev area.

In this we see that Israel is the target of constant attacks.  Israel retaliates once in a while aiming at the cause, not the people.  Yet we are seen as the bad guys.  Go figure.  What kind of logic is this?  England is being very anti-Israel with many Brits supporting the Palestinian "liberation struggle against Israeli imperialism" as some see it.  This is the same British Empire who conquered and subjugated other countries, controlling over 1/4 of the world at one time where "the sun never set on the British Empire."  Queen Elizabeth II is into her "diamond jubilee" and has never visited Israel yet.

Senator Barack Obama flew into Israel vowing that if he became President he would work towards ending the Israel-Palestine conflict "from the minute he was sworn into office."  He didn't let on that he meant he would work to push Israel back to indefensible lines from 1967 which would mean untold amounts of Israeli lives to be lost. No, it's not popular to be supportive of Israel, but we are anyway.  They're the ones getting attacked and shelled and why?  For existing.

Arutz Sheva IAF Hits Weapons Storage Sites in Gaza by Elad Benari 

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The First Zionist: Judah Ha-Levi of 1135 CE

Nadene Goldfoot
Judah Ha-Levi's ancestors were forced to leave the kingdom of Judah in 70 CE when their city, Jerusalem, fell to the Romans. He was born in Toledo, Spain in 1075 CE,  1005 years later.  At that time Spain was both Christian and Moslem, chiefly in Cordova.   Toledo had a Jewish community dating back to Roman times which the city council was trying to extirpate (wipe out).  The shock of it all was that the Jews were the ones who brought in the Arabs to the city in the first place.  Jewish rights were taken away and then guaranteed after the Christian reconquest in 1085 and became a very important community when Judaism was suppressed by the Almohades in Moslem Spain in 1146-47.   He became a physician of an honorable profession, even in those days.  In his later years he felt it necessary to go back to his homeland, which was now called "Palestine."

Lucky man, he journeyed back during the period of the 2nd Crusade as he had set out between 1135 and 1140 and reached Egypt, staying there for 6 months.  He wound up dying in Alexandria in 1141 at age 66 instead of reaching the Holy Land, unfortunately.  It was not an easy thing to reach in those days.

During this 12th Century the serious political developments in Spain were of Christians and Moslems fighting desperately for suzerainty (overlordship), with the Jews, and he wound up suffering from both groups.  It affected his sensitive mind, dodging all people there.  He became very religious himself while having a negative attitude towards philosophy and earthly pleasures.

He was a writer, and his songs of Zion "Zionides" express Israel's yearning for its ruined homeland.  He wrote "Ha-Kukzari (The Khazar) and managed to write it in Arabic before he left Spain.  It is concerned with the problem of the Jewish fate and exile and deals with the many problems and their solution.  He is the one who wrote about the   king of the Khazars who listens to a rabbi, a Christian and a Moslem scholar and an Aristotelian philosopher with the result of accepting Judaism for himself and his royal household.

Judah felt that the Jewish people were the heart of all nations and felt their pain and bore their sicknesses.  The sufferings of Exile cleansed them of their sins and prepared them for their restoration to their homeland, after which they will bring the world salvation.  This redemption is dependent on the will of the people and is brought nearer by settling in the Holy Land.  His writing of "The Kuzari,  was a great influence among Jewish readers and is regarded as one of the classics of Judaism.  Little did he realize that this was just the beginning of the exile while all the time all would be yearning to return to Eretz Yisrael.  It would take till 1882-1903 for the return of the 1st Aliyah to start the ball rolling again for the exiles to return to those who had been left to hold down the fort.

Judah had the right idea since there were horrible massacres of Jews in Toledo in 1391 which claimed many victims and left behind large numbers of converts.  It became a center of the Marranos (Jews pretending to be Christians) , who were attacked and massacred again in 1449 and 1467 and later became the seat of the Inquisitional tribunal after Jews were expulsed in 1492.

Reference:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewish Kingdom of Kuzar by Rabbi Zelig Shachnowitz

Friday, June 01, 2012

Gaza Fence Stops Another Kidnapping

Nadene Goldfoot
Terrorists keep shooting at Israel while Hillary Clinton at the same time asks for the Palestinian Authority and Israel to resume peace negotiations.  Someone had better tell these terrorists to take a break.  It would be nice to see some goodwill gestures for a change instead of this constant terrorism if ever peace can be taken seriously.  .

Ahmed Abu Nasser, 22,  was part of a terror squad in Gaza ready to fire into Israel and scored a direct hit. In the ensuing attack, 4 people were killed and 4 wounded. The terror squad had fired mortars into the Eshkol Regional council area.

These terrorists had been sent out to kidnap an Israeli soldier, and actually succeeded in grabbing one, but that's as far as he got.  . This is deduced also because the slain terrorist had used night vision equipment in his early morning attack, showing his intentions.  He was breaking through the Gaza fence, put up to save lives.   In the attack, a 21 year old IDF soldier was killed who came from Ashkelon, our Portland's sister city, the one with the major hospital serving all people, Palestinian and Israeli who need it.  During a thick fog, the terrorist had  opened fire, killing Moshiashvili, causing the other IDF to open fire and kill the terrorist.  Two young kids who should have been going to college, and this is how the young spend some of their time in Israel and Gaza.

The Islamic Jihad terror organization has an armed Al-Quds wing, and they admitted it was this wing who was responsible for the attack.  The IDF holds Hamas responsible as it is they who rule Gaza.  Just like Sharon was held responsible for the Christian Militia who went into Lebanon, Hamas must take the responsibility.

Arutz Sheva by Gabe Kahn; IDF Retaliates After Deadly Kidnapping Attempt, Mortar Fire