Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rocket and Mortar Attacks into Southern Israel: Before and on Eve of Peace Talks

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

Why shoot rockets into Southern Israel on the eve of peace talks for the Palestinians?  Don't they want peace with Israel?  Evidently not according to those who have shot the rockets as it's a defiant move from Hamas terrorists in Gaza showing their disfavor with Fatah and the peace talks that have already started in Washington DC.

July 18th was the first one.  Two rockets struck the Eshkol region in the evening.  This is land in NW Negev between Ashkelon and Beersheba which borders the  Gaza Strip.   Then again on July 21st. at 10pm another rocket struck the Eshkol region.  The Eshkol region was hit again by 2 mortar shells  which struck on the 24th at 10am.   Now this Tuesday morning,  the 30th,  another rocket struck  into the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council area without killing anyone, thankfully. This is in the same area but also includes the town of Sderot, which has been hit so many times in the past.

A rocket is a rocket, though,  and a mortar is just as bad.  They bring death and destruction if it falls within a populated spot.  One never knows.  It's like Russian roulette.  It brings fear to one's body which can cause a woman to miscarry.  The emotional strain on people adds up to physical problems, and the Israelis have been under such pressure in southern Israel since 2000.

Israel has been hoping for peace ever since they were created once again on May 14, 1948.  That's a long time enduring lots of wars and attacks.  While the repertoire coming out of the Palestinian side is," does Israel want peace" and the reply has always been yes, the Palestinians have never agreed to anything pertaining to a peace pact.  In fact, what Abbas does is praise those who have killed Israelis in public squares and on TV.   Now both the Fatah members and Israel are committed to 9 months of sitting it out and coming to a plan.

Hamas in Gazans been completely cut off from Fatah who reside in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.  Making peace with Fatah hopefully will cause Hamas to agree to the same program.  Israel is actually in the position to have to make peace with 2 entities; not one.  Is there any logic to this war that has been going on?

As George Peters writes from Melbourne, Australia, the so called "Occupied Territories" are not being "Occupied" by Israel, and if they belong to anyone, they belong to the Jewish national Homeland as part of the League Mandate for Palestine (which is still enshrined in Article 80 of the UN Charter.)  Yes, they were part of the Jewish National Homeland.

From winning in the 1967 Six Day War, which was an Arab nation attack on Israel, the Occupied Territories were simply a return to the reconstituted Jewish national Homeland that had been illegally annexed by Jordan in 1948.  The Arabs waged an aggressive war against Israel.  This can be called "Crimes against Peace" and was #1 in the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals.  It was a crime against Humanity; Israel.

As for East Jerusalem, which the king of Jordan has complained loudly about not wanting any Jewish prayers said on their Mosque grounds, which is also the grounds of our past Temple, is, along with Judea and Samaria, geographically, historically and legally, part of the reconstituted Jewish National Homeland.  These places have been reclaimed by the Jews after several Crimes against Peace were committed against them by the many belligerent pan-Arab military invasions of 48-49 and 1967.

Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem were illegally seized and then retaken by Israel after 2 illegal wars of aggression and are now with their rightful owner as in accordance to the League Mandate for Palestine.  According to international Law, they are not occupied Territory.  They are legally part of of the Jewish Homeland which is called Israel.  If someone from Australia can figure this out, which many international lawyers have been declaring and we bloggers have been repeating, the 9 month peace program is going to be quite the place to hear some loud shouting.  I hope the defenders of Israel have their notes at hand. So far the attack is on again with 4 rockets and 2 mortars upon southern Israel and the peacemakers are just warming up.

Resource:  http://virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=10477

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yesterday's Mortars Hit Southern Israel From Gaza

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

Two mortar shells were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Wednesday.  Evidently they were fired in defiance of the Hamas ruling of not to fire any.

The result was a lot of trauma to the citizens who were not warned of the attack because their code red program evidently wasn't working.

Luck was with the Israelis this time as no one was hurt and nothing was destroyed.  However, trauma and fear were enough of a jolt.

Resource:  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/170223#.UfHadNKOTqE

Monday, July 15, 2013

Syrian Hezbollah Terrorists and Iran Threaten Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

On July 5, 2013, the Syrian port city, Latakia, was attacked.  Hezbollah terrorists were receiving a Russian shipment of improved Yakhont anti-ship missiles there.   The weapons cache were destroyed in the assault. These weapons could have targeted Israel's naval vessels as well as its Mediterranean gas fields.

Hezbollah terrorists have been receiving their military training, weapons and financial support from Iran.  Its political support comes from Syria as this "Party of Allah or God" is a Shi'a Islamic militant group and also a political party based in Lebanon.  The Arab and Muslim worlds regard it as a resistance movement and we; ie;  Netherlands, France, UK, Australia, Canada, Gulf Cooperation Council and Israel  regard it as a terrorist group.  It is on the side of the Syrian government in this civil war.  They were ones involved in the recapturing of Qusayr, a very strategic Syrian town.

Israel is the most concerned party as they would be first on the list of being harmed.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his government will not tolerate weapons transfers to Hezbolla.  His policy is to prevent such transfers to terrorist groups.  He was interviewed on CBS News program, "Face the Nation" about the Latakia attack and didn't mention who the attacker of the port was.

Netanyahu's other problem is Iran.  He said that they were edging closer to building a nuclear weapon.  He felt that Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, was "a wolf in sheep's clothing".  He just smiles and continues to build a bomb.  Rouhani is said to be a moderate in his policies, unlike Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was.  Would the Ayatolla Khomeini allow anyone in as president who wasn't following his prescription for ruling Iran?  Rouhani was one of 3 men involved with Robert McFarlane in the Iran-Contra Affair.  "He also headed Iran's former nuclear negotiating team and was the country's top negotiator with the EU three– UK, France, and Germany – on Iran's nuclear program." He is to take office on August 3rd.    

Netanyahu has reports that they're edging up to the red line but haven't crossed it yet.  His conclusion is based on the fact that they are building faster centrifuges that will enable them to jump the line at a much faster rate and will be there in a few weeks.

The US should "ratchet up its sanctions against Iran and if this doesn't work, Iran must be told that that the USA is prepared to take military action.  This is the ONLY thing that will get their attention.  Iran must understand this.

What is the USA doing in other parts of the world?  A month ago, Obama promised arms and ammunition to the Syrian rebels, but now everyone sees that these are really very limited plans.  The USA planned to use the CIA to covertly train and arm the rebels but this could take months as it hasn't even started yet and probably will not  have any effect in the war.  It's not enough to get Assad to negotiate.  The USA has had previous ill effects from taking such steps.  Besides that, the international laws prohibit lethal support to a group trying to overthrow a sitting government, so our Congress is highly skeptical.  We were going to give the rebels AK-47 rifles, anti-tank weapons and ammunition which could find their way to terrorists who could use them to shoot down commercial aircraft.

Syria's government troops had clashes on Sunday on the edge of Damascus.  Their military has had the offensive to retake districts in opposition to them for the past few months.  They had tank shells and artillery that they were firing against the rebels.  Iran continues to back Syria.

Back in the 1980's, Iran, under Rouhani Ayatolla Khomeini(1902-June 3, 1989) arrested, imprisoned and executed thousands and thousands of their citizens because they conflicted with the regime's philosophy. All totaled, 20,000 died.

 Today,  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the reigns of power and "Iran’s supreme leader has strongly rejected proposals for direct talks with the United States, effectively quashing suggestions for a one-on-one dialogue on the nuclear standoff and potentially other issues."   This supreme leader is the Ayatolla, the head of religious power in Iran, not the president.  The president is pretty much just a puppet.  

"The US  further tightened sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which have already cut Iran’s oil revenue by 45 per cent. AP"  It looks like Iran will not bend to nuclear concessions saying the USA is holding a gun to their head.  Instead, they have been  asking for "a six-nation group comprising the permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany" for economic assistance. 

Will sanctions work?  We can't count on the UN for understanding or backing.  Two weeks to the red line?   Are we now living in the eye of the hurricane?   What will August bring us? 

 Rouhani promised to bring about economic stability in Iran and is now incensed over Ahmadinejad's lying about their economic stability.  "Several newspapers quoted Rouhani as saying his team of experts concluded that only an average of 14,000 jobs were created annually from 2006-2012. Ahmadinejad, who took office in 2005, claims his government created hundreds of thousands of jobs."

Again, who rules Iran?  "All key policy decisions rest with the ruling clerics. The most immediate impact by Rouhani could be on economic affairs, which are part of the portfolio of the presidency."   "The hardline supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains the ultimate authority on all state matters, including the nuclear program."  Iran may have voted in a moderate, but the real rulers are not showing signs of softening towards Israel.  

Resource:Oregonian newspaper 7/15/13, page A3 US help for Syrian rebels unlikely to tip scales, Los Angaeles times and New York Times; Israeli leader talks Hezbollah, Iran thrreats and  article by Mark Mazzetti, eric Schmitt and Erin Banco of NYTimes

Friday, July 12, 2013

Israeli Female Arab Soldiers Into Democracy

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

Israel has Jewish females in the IDF.  They also have volunteer Arab male soldiers in the IDF .  This is their country too, and should want to fight for it.  This is a big topic in Israel as Yeshiva students have been excused from serving in the IDF for at least the past 10 years, but are  being expected to serve once again.

Arutz Sheva reports that MK Hanin Zoabi, a woman, has had strong opposition to having Arabs join the IDF, regardless of sex.  She feels that if a law requires Arab Israelis to enlist in the army is passed, Israel should prepare prisons for them.  She was also a member of the crew on the Mari Marmarva which was the main ship of the flotilla protesting against Israel.

Two Arab women who enlisted in the army this week are criticizing her stand on this.  They feel she does not represent them or other Arabs who want to serve in the army.  They themselves did face a little opposition in their village.  They feel it is good for them to join up.  I see one of the young women lives near Tzvat (Safed) where I lived for almost 5 years.  They are Israeli Christians who speak Arabic and feel their serving would be with pride and they should not feel ashamed for doing so.

Jarisi said that "any extremist in Israel who thinks of themselves first as Palestinian doesn't have to stay here.  He's a zero.  She thinks Zoabi should go to Gaza where such people  will be welcomed with open arms."  She feels that Zoabi doesn't have the right to speak in her name. Rajda Jarisi doesn't see herself as an Arab anymore.  She sees herself as an Israeli.

Zoabi has built up a bad reputation by being seen with senior Hamas terrorists in the past.  She has given anti-Israel speeches and talking about Israel's "occupation."

However, the Supreme Court has decided to allow Zoabi to run for election.  How democratic to a fault Israel is.  Especially noted is the fact that "Zoabi rejects the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, which she describes as "inherently racist." She has argued that this is the only way to combat Avigdor Lieberman's demand that Israeli citizens take loyalty oaths: "Balad's concept, which rejects the 'Jewish state' idea, is the only idea that can remove [Avigdor] Lieberman from the circle of political and moral legitimacy... When you agree with the 'Jewish state' idea, you necessarily agree with the idea of loyalty to this state. Rejecting the 'Jewish state' concept will block the road for anyone who demands our loyalty to such a state."Zoabi sees no difference between Lieberman and more mainstream Israeli politicians, saying that Lieberman, Tzipi Livni, and Benjamin Netanyahu are "all a bunch of fascists pure and simple."

Israel was created to a a Jewish state.  It is the only one in a world full of Muslim states or Christian states.  It was created as a Jewish state because of the religious bigotry of these other two and how they treated Jews for the past 2,000 years.  Even the whole world decided this was a right for the Jewish people finally, and voted for the Jewish Homeland through the League of Nations in 1917.  Too bad you don't go for this, Zoabi.  I  join my Israeli Christian sisters in recommending that you move onto Gaza if you don't like Israel and think so badly of  the state that is giving you a refuge from refugee camps that others would rather live in.  Good for Naradin Tuma and Rajda Jarisi.  They are our citizens.  I think the Supreme Court should have requirements for MK's to be loyal people.  They're really going overboard on this fairness issue.  

Reference:  Arutz Sheva news@israelnationalnews.com Female Arab Soldiers:  Zoabi Should Go to Gaza, by Elad Benari.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Wounded Syrians Find Treatment Within Israel's Hospitals

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                       

                                                  Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel
Having  lived in Safed (Tzfat) from 1981 to the end of 1985 and having been there during the Lebanon War, I know that the hospital on my corner that was across the street from the public junior high school on David Elezar Street was treating Lebanese Arabs that were injured.   Safed is in the northern Galilee and was a stone's throw away from the borders of Lebanon and Syria.

Injured Lebanese were brought in by helicopter, and my students were afraid that their family members might be among the wounded as well.  Most all of our students were traumatized during the war.  I was there and couldn't teach much English when they were all cowering with fear for their dads in the classroom corners, but my droning voice seemed to steady them, for if I stopped talking, they'd cry out to keep on going.

My 9th grade boys were asked to help the hospital by translating and anything else they could do for the staff.  They told me about it in class the next day.  These boys were pretty shook up by the wounds they would see, but glad they could do something both for the patients and the medical staff.

Today, Israel's medical care continues to help wounded Syrians from the Civil War.  They've been doing this since last February when it was reported and it was  ignored by the major news wires such as BBC.

The number of Syrians treated is higher than previously thought and increasing numbers of patients are children.  "Two minors injured in Syrian fighting were transferred to a hospital in Israel on Wednesday, June 25, 2013.  They were boys, 9 and 15 and were transferred to  Ziv Hospital in Safed for treatment, the same hospital near the junior high which I have also been in.  The 9 year old had moderate injuries from shrapnel wounds across his body and he also lost his right eye.  This was reported in the Maariv newspaper.  The 15 year old was in serious condition.

Today, a wounded Syrian is guarded by either an IDF soldier or by a civilian security guard in order to isolate them  from speaking with unauthorized people who might photograph them or pass on their information to Syria.  This would harm them or their families by exposing them being in an Israeli hospital.  When they would return to Syria they could be killed for being there.  You must remember that there are Israeli Arabs in the hospital as well as Jews.

More than 100 wounded Syrians have crossed the border in recent months.  Some 70 have been taken to Israeli hospitals.  Two have passed away because of critical injuries.

Safed's hospital is not the only one actively treating Syrians.  Patients have also been treated at the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya; Rarmbam Hospital in Haifa  an army hospital, another one I've been treated in; and Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.  All of these medical facilities in the north of Israel have Arabic-speaking social workers, trauma specialists and nurses.

As for finances, in Israel treatment in a hospital is normally paid for by the patient's particular medical insurance company, just like in the USA, but Syrian patients do not have insurance, so Israel's Health Ministry and Defense Ministry agreed to jointly fund the hospital treatment for the Syrians.  No doubt that the UN is not helping out but I think they should.  This is humanitarian care of the finest.

The case seems to me to be that if there's anything good that Israel is doing, it will never make the papers.  Let something be said that is just nasty gossip about Israel, and it makes the world's papers.

In my first year after making aliyah to Israel in September 1980, I wound up in two of these hospitals.  I fell down in Haifa during my ulpan living and was taken to Rambam where 3 doctors operated on my crushed elbow for 3 hours and where I learned the Hebrew words, Koh-ev Lee (there is pain to me, or Ow!  I'm hurting!)  Later when living in Safed, I choked on a chicken bone and finally went to the hospital where I was placed in an astronaut capsule and turned upside down, like in a carnival ride.  Oh, I was there so many times, I can't recall them all.  It was a great hospital.  It's where my doctors were.  Being immigrants, we signed up for the cheapest insurance and never had a moment's worry about paying.  The insurance covered everything.

Resource:  http://bbcwatch.org/2013/07/03/bbc-continues-to-ignore-israeli-medical-care-for-wounded-syrians/
Book:  Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot-on amazon.com

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Eilat Hears 2 Grad Missiles

2 Grad missiles were heard to drop near Eilat.  They have just had the all clear signal.  It seemed to come from Egypt.

Resource:  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4401115,00.html