Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why Jerusalem Cannot Be Divided

Nadene Goldfoot
"The area you are accustomed to calling "east Jerusalem," in other words, the area north and south and east of the Green Line that split the city in half during the Jordanian occupation, is home today to some 200,000 Jews comprising 41 percent of all the residents living in this area. Eighty-five percent of the 295,000 Arabs in east Jerusalem were born after 1967 into the reality of a united Jerusalem under Israeli governance, and were never exposed to the reality of a divided city."

"Palestinians living in east Jerusalem  are extremely fearful of Palestinian Authority rule and the division of the city. Tens of thousands of them voted with their feet by crossing the security barrier in north Jerusalem over to the Israeli side, to remain inside the united city. Additional tens of thousands have said in surveys that they will do the same thing if the city is once again divided."

"The health care system in Jerusalem serves both populations, as does Hebrew University, the Roads Authority, public transportation, shopping malls, electricity grids, telephone wires and the sewage system. The neighborhoods themselves are also intertwined. Even the barriers between the different quarters in the Old City are increasingly blurred. Jews live in the Muslim Quarter; Muslims live in the Christian Quarter. In contrast to the period under Jordanian rule, the holy sites are open to everyone. The only such restriction is against Jews — on the Temple Mount."

Mahmoud Abbas b: March 26, 1935, former PLO terrorist who took over from Yassar Arafat, now Chairman of the Palestinian National Authority, has been holding this post since November 11, 2004.  His capital has been Ramallah in Judea-Samaria, but he and Khaled Mashaal of Hamas are pushing for east Jerusalem which they would make Judenrein.  Four days ago Abbas said that he wouldn't allow Israel to build in the E1 area.   Reports in the London Sunday Times from 3 days ago say that Hamas is preparing to oust Abbas from Ramallah and take over even it means another war.  They've had an on and off love affair ever since Hamas kicked him out of Gaza in 2007 in a bloody coup.    

"Nir Barkat is the mayor of Jerusalem.  Barkat also makes the important point that Jewish sovereignty over the city has been its only reliable guarantor of religious openness, access, and equality.   By 2030, the city’s population will expand to one million residents from 800,000 today (33% Muslim, 2% Christian and 65% Jewish). Where does the world suggest we put these extra 200,000 residents?

The expansion of Jerusalem’s residential areas is essential for the natural growth of all segments of our population. It enables Jewish and Arab families alike to grow and remain in the city. The capital of a sovereign nation cannot be expected to freeze growth rather than provide housing to families of all faiths eager to make their lives there.
As for “E-1,” this land has always been considered the natural site for the expansion of contiguous neighborhoods of metropolitan Jerusalem. “E-1” strengthens Jerusalem. It does not impede peace in our region. The international alarm about planned construction is based solely on the misplaced dreams of the Palestinians and their supporters for a divided Jerusalem."
Resource: from: "Europe, face reality in Jerusalem" by Nadav Shragai by Seth Mandel , explanation of the fallacy of E-1 causing problems of movement

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What Palestinians Died in Gaza?

Nadene Goldfoot
April 16, 2001, the first rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel.  

On November 14, after 12 years of having been shelled by Gazan terrorists, Israel warned, begged help from the UN,  and were ignored by the world.  They were forced to retaliate with Operation Pillar of Defense, and as a result killed 178 Palestinians.

Only 169 of the casualties were ever identified.  It was found out that 101 were terrorists, with 71 of these affiliated with Hamas.  17 were affiliated with Islamic Jihad, 6 were members of the Popular Resistance committees, 3 were Fatah terrorists, 2 belonged to the Army of Islam, 1 was a PFLP terrorist and 1 was a Salafist terrorist, which are the most extreme Muslim faction.

 68 people were  civilians.  This amounts to  the fact that 60% were  terrorists   What these terrorists do is place their launching pads for their rockets, mortars and missiles among civilian population in order to have further ammunition against Israel by saying, "See, they hit our civilians."  Civilized countries do not put their civilians in harm's way, regardless.

Even in this the terrorists are still terrorizing Israel by misconscrewing the numbers.  The terrorist groups published a smaller number of actual terrorists and made the civilian number larger just to defame Israel.  Then they had the chutzpa to add the names of those who died in other circumstances to the death list in order to vilify Israel.

Since 2001, the terrorists have fired 12,800 rockets and mortars into Israel.  44 Israeli civilians were killed since 2006 and 1,687 were injured.  In 2006, 9 were killed and 371 injured; in 2007, 10 were killed and 578 injured; in 2008, 15 were killed and 611 injured.   By December 27, 2008, Israel had enough and followed up with Operation Cast Lead.  63% to 75% of the Palestinian casualties were men of combat age.  Total casualties amounted to 1,400 in the 22 days that Israel had to go into Gaza.  . 308 of them were under age 18.   5,000 were wounded.  The terrorists managed to kill 10 IDF and 3 Israeli civilians.

The Palestinian terrorists were unperturbed.   In 2009, 2 were killed and 11 injured; in 2010, 5 were killed and 35 injured; in 2011, 3 were killed and 81 injured.  Then in 2012, 1,822 rockets, mortars and missiles were fired into Israel.

March 9-14, 2012, Israel held Operation Returning Echo where they pinpointed Zohair al-Qaisi, the Secretary General of the Popular Resistance Committees. Along with him, another terrorist companion was killed as well as a nearby civilian.   This led to the Palestinian retaliation with the terrorists shooting 300 plus Grad missiles, Qassam rockets and mortar shells into Israel.  177 of them hit Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba.  23 civilians were injured.  Israel shot down 56 rockets out of 71 attempts.

Israel takes all the steps possible to protect their citizens while the Palestinians put them in harm's way on purpose.  This is why there is a difference in fatalities.  Israel may have suffered less deaths, but have been under attack since 2001 with indiscriminate shelling coming into civilian populations without anyone stepping up to stop it such as the UN.  It happens to be against international law.  This has been war.

I note that the Palestinians have been accepted into the UN under a nonmember observer state while the Palestinians  refuse to recognize Israel as a state.  Is this their reward for shelling Israel and not making peace for the past 12 years?

In Bethlehem, which is in Judah (West Bank and under Fatah rule), thousands of Christian tourists are celebrating the birth of Jesus, and the Muslims are celebrating the UN's recent recognition of an "independent Palestinian state."  Considering how the Christians are being treated in Egypt under their new Muslim Brotherhood politics, it won't be long before things change for the few Christians in Bethlehem.  I don't know why the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Palestinian Archbishop who was born in Jordan, mentioned that the road to actual freedom was still long, but....the birth of the state of Palestine.  I have a feeling he is expecting more attacks on Israel, especially for Jerusalem, as it is a telling statement.  For a religious man, he is not hiding his political feelings.

Reference: Arutz Sheva: 60% of Palestinian Casualties in Recent Gaza Fighting Were Terrorists;
Oregonian newspaper 12/25/12 Front page, In Bethlehem, two reasons to celebrate by Dalia Nammari, AP  IDF going into Gaza  by Ariel Siegelman, an IDF, possibly in Operation Cast Lead, uploaded in 2010.
Added 1/7/13

Monday, December 24, 2012

Violations Affecting Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
War is like a football or basketball game.  There are actually rules and regulations today on what's allowed.

Where did Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee and other resistance groups shoot from in Gaza?  They shot from their own densely populated areas into the civilian population centers in Israel.

Did they make any statements about what their aim was in doing this?  Yes, they stated clearly that harming Israeli civilians was their aim.

What they did was in direct violation to international law in the laws of War.  It's only taken the Human Rights Watch (HRW) about 12 years to make such a statement.  It was particularly noted during the recent "Pillar of Defense" attack of November 14-21, 2012,  in which the Palestinians are now taking so much credit and bragging rights for succeeding.

According to the laws of war summary, the Palestinians had placed their own population in grave risk by doing so which is an act that is condemned.

"Under International Humanitarian Law or the laws of war, civilians and civilian structures may not be subject to deliberate attacks or attacks that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets. Anyone who commits serious laws-of-war violations intentionally or recklessly is responsible for war crimes." (HRW)

Israel has been calling out for help about this ever since 2001 or earlier, but nothing has ever been said as condemnations of. the terrorists actions against Israel.   Now it's coming out that there is a prohibition of reprisal attacks against civilians regardless of attacks from the other side.  That's what's been happening between Gaza and Israel.  Israel has gone in to hit with precision the rocket launchers and their soldiers/terrorists manning them and then Gaza shoots rockets, missiles and mortars into a civilian population.

Israel was also in the wrong by attacking media facilities resulting in journalists being in harm's way according to HRW.  This was called a violation as they didn't say specifically that they were military targets and command centers for the terrorists; thus were not legitimate military targets.  They were in fact military facilities placed in these places that Israel knew of.  They  just didn't announce is early enough, though they did warn journalists and others to leave areas where military action was happening.  However, according to HRW, this was not a proven fact and that even though the TV and radio were cheering on the Palestinians, it was not a legitimate reason to attack them.

HRW is a Human Rights Watch and  is a nonprofit, non-governmental human rights organization started in 1978.   They will go to the UN to campaign for their decisions.  Their 280 staff members are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.  Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.

Professor Gerald Steinberg, who received his doctorate at Cornell University in 1981, now at Bar Ilan University in Israel,   is an expert on international relations, law, and is a prolific writer.  One paper he wrote on February 26 of this year is about the Human Rights Watch's lost credibility.  He feels they have a consistent credibility gap between their universal moral objectives and the reality of its Middle East political agenda--including obsessive focus on Israel and their cooperation with dictatorships.  He's disappointed in that they haven't yet condemned the use of genocidal threats by the Iranian regime.

Perhaps Professor Steinberg's paper accelerated this HRW report to come out now.  I'm not sure.  If Steinberg watches and reports about HRW and HRW watches and reports on the ills of the world, it's all more than the UN is capable of doing.

Added 1/2/2013 Testimony of how Israel put themselves in harm's way in order to protect civilians, (The Israeli army has backed the rights of civilians in a combat zone)
Update: 1/28/13

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bethlehem Loses Christians

Nadene Goldfoot
Bethlehem came under Palestinian control on December 22,  1995 as the Oslo Accords had Israel control transferred.  Bethlehem had 45,000 residents and was the 6th West Bank city to come under the PA rule.  The others were Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus and Kalkilya.  Right next door to Bethlehem is the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.  The PA police are to keep order.

A ceremony saw the transfer, but afterwards, crowds pulled down a fence surrounding the police station at Manger square.  Church bells rang and fireworks were lighting up the sky over the square,  jammed with merrymakers, vendors selling kebab and cotton candy and dancing boys in circles to recorded music.  Arafat's picture was in many windows.  Along Manger Street, many Santa Clauses passed out candy to children.  The Muslims were happy about it.

Not on Christmas day was everyone enthused about the change.  1,200 opponents of the Oslo Accords were outside the city limits rallying with the banner saying, "We have come to dispel the darkness," and vowed that Israel would regain control.  Jews were also upset about Rachel's Tomb being under PA control.  Israel's government did not allow this rally, so they moved to the Mar Elias monastery, north.

King David of Israel was from Bethlehem and crowned there as King of Israel.  His ancestors, Ruth and Boaz were married here, so it is a special city to Jews as well.  

 "Bethlehem's chief economic sector is tourism which peaks during the Christmas season when Christian pilgrims throng to the Church of the Nativity.  Bethlehem has over thirty hotels and three hundred handicraft work shops. Rachel's Tomb,  an important Jewish holy site, is located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem."  Jacob's 2nd wife was Rachel, who died in childbirth of Benjamin.  Jewish women like to go to her tomb to pray for children.

The Christian community privately expressed fears of falling under the control of Muslim Palestinians, but were afraid of speaking out publicly.  That was 17 years ago.  Today, the Christian population has dwindled.  In 1948 they were  85% of the population of Bethlehem.  It has now shrunk from 20,000 of 1995 to 7,500.

Bethlehem, which is 5 miles south of Jerusalem,  was a center of terrorism during the 2nd Intifada of 2000 to 2005.  Israel then built a security wall around the city in 2005 to fight terror, which may be one of the factors in driving Christians away.  Then again, Christians most likely have family in the US, Canada, Australia, and South or Central America. Christians have sought education and employment out of the city.  They are also suffering from Islamic extremism due to signs of disturbing anti-Christian feelings among parts of the Muslim population, even though they have had a tradition of coexistence.  The Muslims have intimidated the Christians and practice land theft, discriminate in the public sector in employment, along with abuse and economic hardships.  This all makes the Palestinian Christian leaders feeling insecure, and so place the blame on Israel when they speak on record.

At any rate, they expect to have thousands of tourists to celebrate Christmas.

Reference: A Star Sets in the East by Tamara Zieve, Herb Keinon and archives of Jerusalem Post

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mayor of Jerusalem Appalled by EU Minister on Jerusalem

                                       A Divided Jerusalem Will Not Stand -
by  Nir Barkat (Wall Street Journal)
  • Here in Jerusalem, we stand saddened and appalled by the EU ministers who condemn construction projects that are well within the municipal borders of Jerusalem, while ignoring calls from the leader of Hamas for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.

  • Isn't it ironic that many in Europe who recently celebrated 25 years of the reunification of Berlin are at the same time calling for the division of another capital on another continent?

  • By 2030, the city's population will expand to one million residents from 800,000 today (33% Muslim, 2% Christian and 65% Jewish). Where does the world suggest we put these extra 200,000 residents?

  • The expansion of Jerusalem's residential areas is essential for the natural growth of all segments of our population. It enables Jewish and Arab families alike to grow and remain in the city. The capital of a sovereign nation cannot be expected to freeze growth rather than provide housing to families of all faiths eager to make their lives there.

  • As for "E-1," this land has always been considered the natural site for the expansion of contiguous neighborhoods of metropolitan Jerusalem. "E-1" strengthens Jerusalem. It does not impede peace in our region.

  • Jerusalem has been and forever will be the heart and soul of the Jewish people. It is also the united and undivided capital of the State of Israel.

    The writer is the mayor of Jerusalem.

  • I note that the Palestinians living in Jerusalem are not being hurt by the E1 decision.  Actually, they are being helped.  Only the Palestinians who are aching to take away all of Jerusalem from the Jews are complaining.  They will have to learn that they should take the opportunity to make peace with Israel when the time is presented, not keep putting it off for 64 years.  

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Jimmy Carter's Dissing Israel Again

Nadene Goldfoot
88 year old Jimmy Carter is slandering Israel again with so many lies, and USA Today thinks being an ex-president, that he is beyond fact-checking.  None of his allegations are true.

The facts are that Netanyahu has endorsed a 2 state solution.  You heard him beg Abbas in the UN meeting to join him in a peace talk.  Only Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 have made peace with Israel.  Building in E-1 doesn't cut the "West Bank in two or separates east Jerusalem from the West Bank.  The West Bank will still be 9 miles wide at its narrowest point.  Israel in the pre-1967 armistice is only 9 miles wide just north of Tel Aviv and 4 miles wide just west of Jerusalem.

Jewish villages and town make up less than 5% of the disputed West Bank.  After the UN's vote to make Palestine a state observer over the USA and Israel's warnings, Israel announced their   plans to go ahead with them, which were announced in 2010,  for housing in existing communities and with the E-1 project next to Jerusalem.  This is not "rapidly confiscating Palestinian territory."

 Legally, none of it was ever Palestinian territory.  Jordan had grabbed it illegally in the first place.  Israel won the 1967 War and it was then under Israel's domain.  Remember, it was Judea and Samaria, Jewish land in the first place.

Too bad Carter doesn't read history books written by historians.  For a religious man, he is "bearing false witness, "  and he was a Baptist Sunday School teacher.  What he does besides prevaricate, is put in errors, omits important facts which are misleading and tries to undermine legitimate Israeli positions and Jewish rights. He favors Hamas, a terrorist organization, evidently.  Camera calls him a shill for Hamas.   It's a Shunda!  He was a religious Southern  President of the USA who has turned against USA's only friend in the Middle East.  He was not reelected because of how he handled problems in the first term.

Added: 8:25pm: Israel's Building No Obstacle to Peace - Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary) from daily alert
  • It is argued that by allowing building in the E1 development area that connects Jerusalem's Ma'ale Adumim suburb to the city, Israel will be foreclosing the possibility of a two-state solution since this would effectively cut the West Bank in half and forestall its viability as an independent Palestinian state. Yet highways and tunnels could easily be constructed to allow access between Arab areas to the north and south of Jerusalem.
  • If the Palestinians did want a two-state solution, the new project as well as others announced for more houses to be built in 40-year-old Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem wouldn't stop it. Jewish housing in the disputed areas is no more of an obstacle to peace than the far greater Arab housing boom in other parts of Jerusalem.
  • Everyone knows that proposed land swaps would have to account for the Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem, including Ma'ale Adumim and the other towns in the vicinity that are already inside the security fence. The notion that Israeli building - in areas that everyone knows they would keep if there was a deal in place - is stopping peace from breaking out is ludicrous.
  • The argument about the West Bank is not solely about pitting rights of Palestinians against Israel's security needs. The West Bank is, after all, part of the area designated by the League of Nations for Jewish settlement under the Mandate of Palestine. It is also the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland to which Jews have historical, legal and religious ties that cannot be erased by a century of Arab hatred.
  • Throughout the last 20 years, Israel has been in engaged in peace talks or attempts to revive them, during the course of which it has made numerous concessions about territory to the Palestinians. For its pains, Israel has been subjected to even greater vituperation and delegitimization during this period than before.
  • So long as it does not speak of its rights, Israel will always be treated as a thief who must return stolen property rather than as a party to a conflict with its own justified claims. 


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rockets Shot Into Israel

Since November 14, 2012,      933 rockets shot into Israel.

So far, the  total for 2012 has been 1,697 rockets shot into Israel.

Last year, 2011,                      627 were shot into Israel.  

If one rocket fell near my house here in the States, I would probably have a heart attack.  

What's the point, Gaza?  Why did you do this?   When terrorists in Gaza fire into Israel, it falls anywhere in a civilian population.  It can be on a home, apartment building, school, business or anywhere.  When Israel has had a stomach full and retaliates, they shoot at a target of where the strikes are coming from and take out ammunition dumps, tunnels where such arms are smuggled in.  They avoid civilians as much as humanly possible.  What do the terrorists do?  Place these arms among civilians daring Israel to strike.  Such is the value of their people.

Resource: report. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

How Gaza's Debt to Israel Electric Corporation is to be Paid

Nadene Goldfoot
The Israel Electric Corporation collected back payments from the  debtor, Gaza, by Israel deciding to suspend this month's  funds collected as tax payments they were going to turn over to Gaza, but will use the money instead to get this debt paid.  The amount suspended is $120 million dollars.  Gaza's bill had added up in the unpaid amount of $700 million dollars.

On August 14, 2012 Israel threatened power cuts since the East Jerusalem Electricity Company was past due by $175 million.  They were in the worst  financial crisis they have experienced since their inception in 1994, so Israel withholding money shouldn't be a surprise to Abbas.  .

Israel collected about $75 million per month in tariffs on foreign imports and value added taxes (VAT) on Israeli goods and services and on average kept about $15 million for the payment of water and power bills of Palestinians, while forwarding the other $60 million to the PA.  They are not going to be so generous now that Abbas went to the UN and was declared to have the same status like the Vatican as a non-member status, done defiantly since Israel and the US warned them not to take this step.  "The United States said the expansion plan, which also drew strong European criticism, was counterproductive to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks frozen since 2010."

Usually Israel collects $100 million per month in duties on Judea-Samaria's  (West Bank) behalf.   Up to date their balance is past due by $200 million right now.  The PA authority has little money coming in other than this , which has exercised limited self-rule in the occupied Judea-Samaria West Bank, largely depends on the tax money to pay civil servants' salaries.  It should be noted that Qatar's Emir just visited Gaza and made them a huge cash gift.

 All of 3.6 million  Palestinian refugees sitting in 59 camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Judea-Samaria and Gaza are receiving funds from the UNRWA and have been since 1948, being the longest receivers of such funds in the world. They are supposed to be the people who from June 1946 to May 1948 lost their homes do to the war.  Now, 3 generations later, the number includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  The original number of people were 914,000  displaced in 1950 and this has multiplied to 4.6 million in 2009.   In other words, this is a welfare issue and the United States has been the largest contributer even though the Arab countries have promised to donate millions, but never come through.  The US just gave $80 million for this.  They evidently have not been allowed in infiltrate into the population of the country they reside in.

Resource: About UNRWA