A collection of the week's news from Israel
A service of the Bet El Twinning Committee of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto
A collection of the week's news from Israel
The Jewish community is clearly a key focus of the current Federal election campaign . BAYT does not endorse any political parties or candidates but encourages its members to get involved to fight for the community's and Israel's welfare. We encourage you to be acquainted with the policies of the parties and what their leaders have been saying on all issues, but especially on the two key Jewish issues in this campaign - Israel and day school funding.
The following are candidates in the Bathurst corridor of the GTA:
Thornhill: Elinor Caplan (Liberal), Robert Goldin (Alliance)
Willowdale: Kevyn Nightingale (Alliance), Jim Peterson (Liberal)
York Centre: Jeffrey Dorfman (Alliance), Art Eggleton (Liberal)
Eglinton-Lawrence: Joel Etiene (Alliance), Joe Volpe (Liberal)
Herut-Likud Canada presents an address by Moshe Arens, MK, former Israeli Foreign and Defense Minister and Ambassador to the US, at Beth Emeth.
Two Israelis Killed by Car-Bomb in Jerusalem
A man and a woman were killed, and nine or ten others were lightly wounded, in a car-bomb terrorist attack in Jerusalem Thursday. The deceased victims are Shahar Levy, 24, the daughter of Rabbi Yitzhak Levy, head of the Mafdal (NRP) and mother of a 3 year old child, and Chanan Levy (unrelated to Shahar) 34, who worked across the street from the blast in Binyan Clal.. The explosion took place near the Machaneh Yehuda market in downtown Jerusalem at around 3 PM. Six of the wounded were members of one family who were in their apartment above the explosion; they were expected to be released from the hospital the same day. Jerusalem Police Chief Ya'ir Yitzchaki said that the car was traveling along the narrow Shomron St. towards the crowded streets of the market, when it encountered a truck blocking the way. The explosive was then activated, possibly from outside the car. Yitzchaki, holding an impromptu press briefing at the site shortly after the explosion, explained the urgent need to distance the crowds from the area: "It is possible that another explosion will occur... In addition, our evaluation is that the terrorists were not killed in the explosion, and they may well still be in the area." Yitzchaki said that the terrorist attack could have been much worse. "As it is, any attack in the heart of Jerusalem is very grave... [But] if the car had succeeded in making its way into the market, there could have been many dozens of casualties." He noted that the police have been prepared for several weeks for a terrorist attempt in the capital, and were deployed in large numbers throughout the area - which may have diverted the terrorists to a side street. Some attribute the fortuitous presence of the truck - which apparently blocked the car's way into the market - to a special prayer service that was held earlier that day in Yeshivat HaShalom, only 500 meters from the car-bomb explosion. Simultaneously broadcast over two local radio stations, the unique service led Yeshiva head Rabbi David Batzri began 90 minutes before the blast.. (arutzsheva.org, Amcha Nov 2)
Palestinians, Not Israelis, Killed the 12-year-old Boy
An investigation and re-enactment appears to show conclusively that the 12-year-old boy from Gaza, Muhammad al-Dura, was not shot by Israeli soldiers - but was rather the victim of a cruel plot staged by Palestinian sharp-shooters and a television cameraman. The incident in question occurred on Oct. 6, when the boy and his father happened to be walking past the scene of a major battle between Palestinian snipers and Israeli soldiers. Former IDF sniper Yosef Doriel, who initiated the re-enactment, said that he had several reasons to suspect that it was not the Israelis who shot the boy. "For one thing, the boy and his father were hiding behind and to the left of a barrel that was between them and the Israeli forces," he told Arutz-7. "In the video clip, you see four clean bullet holes to the side of them. These were not shot by the Israelis - they are 'clean' and full holes, not mere grazes that would have been formed by the 30-degree angle of the Israelis - but rather by Palestinians (stationed more directly in front of the father and son) to make sure that the two would stay put. Suddenly, you see the boy lying down in his father's lap, with another bullet hole in the wall directly behind him - again, it could not have come from the IDF position, which was behind the barrel and to the side, but only from the Palestinian position, which was more directly in front of the father and son. This is the bullet that went through his stomach and out of his back. At that point in the video, you can hear the firing - but the Israeli position was far away! Rather, what happened was that a Palestinian advanced to a spot very close to the photographer, and shot the fatal shot. You can also notice that at that moment of the fatal shots, the photographer suddenly 'shook' and the picture was blurred - a signal that the shots came from close to him." Doriel concludes: "The Palestinian forces staged the event. The Israelis were firing, for sure - but the fatal shots came not from them, but from the Palestinian position in front of the boy, behind the cameraman." (A7 Oct 31)
Reactions to the Peres-Arafat Understandings
A cessation of hostilities was agreed upon at a meeting between Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat in Gaza late Wednesday night. The meeting cut short preparations made only minutes beforehand by the security cabinet for helicopter attacks on Palestinians targets, in retaliation for yesterday's killing of three IDF soldiers. IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon expressed his opinion Thursday morning that Arafat has no intention of preserving a ceasefire for more than a few days. Barak-aide Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Peled, a former O.C. Northern Command, said, "It seems to me that the Peres-Arafat meeting last night was not the right thing to do. What we should have done was to react in a way that would have Arafat running to the Americans, begging them to 'stop those Jews, they've gone crazy.'" MK Avigdor Lieberman (National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu) said that this agreement, too, will be tossed into the trashcan of history. Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, head of the NRP, said that he hopes that nothing was promised to Arafat in exchange for his agreement, but that in any event if it leads to Camp David-based negotiations, the government will be toppled. Center Party MK Dan Meridor said that Israel must not agree to a situation in which live fire is stopped but firebomb and rock attacks continue. This morning, senior PA figures said that the extent of the gunfire will be reduced, but that marches and rock-throwing will continue. Arafat-advisor MK Ahmed Tibi said the same; Likud MK Yisrael Katz immediately demanded that Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein order an investigation of Tibi for incitement and encouraging the enemy. Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami - who was officially named Foreign Minister Thursday - said that Israel wants the negotiations to resume from the Camp David understandings with the Americans presenting their bridge proposal. (arutzsheva.org Nov 2)
Three Soldiers Killed Wednesday
Two of the three soldiers killed in Wednesday's battles with the Palestinians were buried Thursday. Maj. Amir Zohar, who was killed at the Nachal outpost Elisha outside Jericho, was buried in Kibbutz Gil'on. Lt. David-Chen Cohen, who fell while attempting to rescue wounded soldiers at the Al-Hader battle near the Tunnels Highway, was interred in Carmiel. The funeral of Shlomo Adishne, a 19-year-old new immigrant who fell in the same battle, is to be held in Kibbutz Tze'elim.
Arabs in Abu Sneinah - where residents were instructed by the IDF to leave their homes Wednesday night, in preparation for the retaliation which never came - shot Thursday morning at the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hevron. A roadside bomb was discovered and safely detonated Thursday morning on the Halhoul by-pass road. In a terrorist incident in Jerusalem Wednesday night, a 400-gram pipe bomb exploded underneath a vehicle parked near the Jerusalem Theatre; one person was hurt by the blast. Gunfire battles raged again Thursday afternoon in El-Hader, where two IDF soldiers were killed Wednesday, and in Beit Jala. Heavy fire was opened against Psagot late Thursday afternoon. (arutzsheva.org Nov 2)
Palestinians Enlist Ambulances in War Effort
The IDF strongly condemned the phenomenon of Palestinian firing at Israeli targets from within Red Crescent medical buildings and ambulances. The IDF spokesman noted that the Palestinians shot from within both the Ramallah Red Crescent building and an ambulance in last night's attack on Psagot. The Zionist Organization of America released a series of press reports this week showing that Palestinian Authority ambulances are being used to carry weapons to Arab rioters attacking Israelis. An article in USA Today on Oct. 23, reporting on a Palestinian-initiated attack against Israeli soldiers, noted, "Ambulances are delivering stones, and sometimes fighters, to the front lines, despite official denials... one ambulance can be seen dropping off two buckets of rocks and a crate of bottles to be used as Molotov cocktails. Seconds later, another ambulance races onto a nearby hill, its horn blaring and lights flashing... The driver gets out and fires two shots at the tank in a vain effort to hit the Israeli soldiers before jumping back in and driving off...."
Israel Radio correspondent Nissim Keinan reported that he had "observed a Palestinian ambulance parked next to Netzarim Junction and unloading crates of ammunition and fire bombs... the Palestinians are exploiting standing orders in the Israeli Army not to shoot at ambulances." The ZOA has also challenged President Clinton's demand that Israel retaliate only "commensurately" to the Palestinian attacks. The New York Times reported last week that Clinton was pressuring Prime Minister Barak to "keep the military's reaction commensurate" to Palestinian Arab actions. But, "No country at war limits its army's actions to the same level of force used by the attackers," wrote ZOA National President Morton A. Klein to President Clinton. "America's use of atomic bombs against Japan was not 'commensurate' with Japan's actions against America. The level of force used by the U.S. against Iraq in the Gulf War was not 'commensurate' with the violence used by Saddam Hussein. A country under attack must use whatever level of force necessary to defeat the attackers. America's ally, Israel, is under attack, and you should support its right to use whatever force necessary to defeat those who are attacking it." (arutzsheva.org Nov 2)
Major battles raged Wednesday between Palestinians and Israelis - in Gilo-Beit Jala, and in Al-Hader in the Bethlehem-Gush Etzion region. The latter battle began when Palestinians shot and wounded three Israeli soldiers - two of them seriously. The continued Palestinian firing prevented the evacuation of the wounded for at least a half-hour. IDF helicopters were rushed to the area, and only under their protective missile-firing were the wounded able to be evacuated, with difficulty, from the area and given medical treatment. One or two other soldiers were wounded in the battle. At least one Palestinian military policeman was killed in the battle, and a dozen or more Palestinians were wounded.The second battle, several kilometers north, began with intensive machine-gun firing upon Gilo from the Palestinian Authority town of Beit Jala at 4 PM today, and raged for close to four hours. It was the first time that such shooting had taken place during daylight hours. An IDF officer said that the firing was the most massive and intensive gunfire from Beit Jala on Gilo since the beginning of the current violence. The IDF returned missile fire at the Palestinian sources of fire. Five houses in Gilo have been damaged. Despite the violence, Barak has resumed secret diplomatic contacts with Arafat. Taking advantage of the political safety net afforded him by Shas, Barak is exploring possibilities of renewing negotiations on the issues still in dispute, and to schedule further talks in Washington.
Other targets of Palestinian gunfire Wednesday were the Dagan hilltop in Efrat, nearby IDF outposts, Atzmonah in Gush Katif, Rachel's Tomb, Hevron, Shdemah, the Ayosh and Karni junctions, and a Border Guard patrol near Tulkarm. An attempt by a mob to infiltrate Beit El Tuesday night was repelled by the IDF. Housing Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had very scathing criticism of Monday night's helicopter attacks against Palestinian targets: "We have reached the point where it is considered a major achievement that we warn the enemy in advance and manage to make holes in some building ceilings," he said sarcastically Wednesday. (arutzsheva.org Nov 1)
Joe Clark Supports Canada's Vote Condemning Israel
In response to a question on the Dave Rutherford Show regarding Canada's vote on UN Security Council Resolution 1322, which blamed Israel for the violence in the Middle East, Joe Clark, leader of the Federal Progressive Conservative party said"They should have worked for better language on the Resolution but they should have voted as they did." (Calgary radio station QR77 Oct 27)
IDF Cuts Troops Assigned to Settlement Guard Duty
Despite the violence in the territories, the army has ordered a 20% reduction in the deployment of soldiers guarding West Bank Jewish settlements, and settlers will have to begin guarding their enclaves by themselves. The military says settlements with large populations do not require the substantial troop deployment they have been assigned in the past. Settler leader Pinchas Wallerstein said the troop reduction "will undoubtedly encourage more massive attacks on the civilian population." (Ha'aretz / Israel Radio / IMRA Nov 1)
Palestinians Use Anti-Tank Missiles
In a battle at Karni Checkpoint in Gaza Tuesday, the Palestinians firied, for the first time, an anti-tank missile at Israeli tanks. Also on Tuesaday, a guard at Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim was able to fend off an Arab attacker last night; he grabbed the terrorist's knife, but the latter escaped. (arutzsheva.org Oct 31)
Shas and the Safety Net
The decision by the Shas party to grant a "safety net" to the Barak government for the next four weeks has drawn strong negative reactions from its own supporters and from other opposition parties. The agreement stipulates that Shas will not vote to topple the government for the next month or until the end of the national emergency - whichever comes first. Callers to Shas radio stations today were very critical of Shas' support for the Prime Minister who wished to carry out a "secular revolution," and of what some called the party's "cooperation with the left-wing and back-stabbing of the nationalist camp." Some Likud sources say that the four-week grace period will enable Barak to renew talks with Arafat based on the Camp David concessions.
Leading opposition MK Benny Elon, however, told IMRA last night that in any event, Barak does not have the political backing to sign an agreement with Arafat, and that in the event of new elections - which, without Shas' support for Barak, are likely - the Prime Minister will in any case attempt to reach such an agreement. Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer attempted to minimize the significance of the agreement with Shas. He said today, "This is just a short break, in light of Clinton's request for another chance at a dialogue with Arafat next week [after the American elections]. I am skeptical about the chances of success for such talks, because I don't see the Palestinians changing their strategy in the near future. But we should let Clinton make this last attempt." Shas leader Eli Yeshai defended his party's decision to prop up Barak's government for the coming month: "If there were 61 MKs who would vote to topple the government, then we would do it tomorrow - - but right now there are only 58. What we did was to prevent a unity government, which would really mean Barak's political rescue. This is what we wanted to avoid." Shas MK Ya'ir Peretz added, "We made it quite clear that if Barak goes to Camp David to resume the process, we will immediately remove the safety net." (A7 Oct 31)
One Dead after Terrorist Attack on Jerusalem Government Office
One Israeli was murdered and one is in serious condition after they were shot in the head around noon today by a Palestinian terrorist. Esh-Kodesh Gilmor, 25, of Mevo Modiin, died of his wounds, while Itai Suissa, 22, of Jerusalem, underwent an operation Monday in Hadassah Hospital. The terrorist attack occurred as the two, wearing bulletproof vests, were serving as guards at a National Insurance Institute building in eastern Jerusalem. National Insurance Institute Director Yochanan Shtesman told Arutz-7 Monday, "Even in war conditions, it is not acceptable for medical or social organizations such as this one to be targeted. This is an office that provides social and other benefits to all citizens, Arab and Jewish, and we hope that we will not have to close down these services..." (arutzsheva.org Oct 30)
Two Other Victims of Brutal Palestinian Murders
Maryk Gavrielov, whose body was found Saturday near Ramallah, was brutally murdered in the same type of mob-lynching as were the two soldiers three weeks ago. Three Tanzim agents forcibly removed Gavrielov from the Ramallah restaurant in which he was dining at approximately 11 PM Friday night. They took him to an area outside the Ramallah Post Office, where a Palestinian mob tortured him and shot him with dozens of bullets. The lights in the area were turned off and photographers were banished. Gavrielov's corpse was mutilated, then burnt. The security sources said that the Israeli defense establishment is well aware of the details, but does not want to be forced to have to react in the same way it reacted to the previous double lynching. At a press conference Monday, the Deputy Commander of the Judea-Samaria Police District said that the victim was tortured before he was killed, and that all signs point to a particularly brutal lynching carried out for nationalist reasons. Yet another mutilated body - tied up and with multiple stabbing wounds - was found Monday in the Beit Jala-Gilo area, and was transferred to Israel by the Palestinian Authority. He was later identified as Amos Machluf, 30, who was last seen last Friday night when he left his home in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo to take out the garbage. (arutzsheva.org Oct 30)
Barak Promises to Return to Kever Yosef
Prime Minister Barak, in a letter to the town of Elon Moreh recently, promised that Israel would insist on the return of Joseph's Tomb to Israeli control. "When we return to real negotiations [with the Palestinians]," he wrote, "we will insist that all the agreements be fulfilled, including the clause concerning Kever Yosef." (arutzsheva.org Oct 30)
Comments from the Left
Army Radio talk show personality Irit Linor co-hosts a daily talk show with Uri Orbach; her role in the sharp and fast-moving format is to present her left-wing views, while the kippah-sporting Orbach represents the right-wing. Linor's role on the show may soon have to change, however, if her recent anti-left positions are any sign. Excerpts from an article she wrote in Ma'ariv last week: "The last few weeks have shown that the left, just like the right, has its share of fools - those who are shocked that Israeli soldiers shoot back at those trying to kill them without first asking their age, and those who compare the violent riots of the Israeli-Arabs to the road-blocking activities of the truck-drivers in Paris, and those who ignore the barbaric behavior of the Palestinians - that which peaked with the lynching of the two soldiers in Ramallah under the protection of the PA police. These are also the people who feel that the Israeli-Arabs who scream "Death to the Jews!" are really only seeking equal rights... Ten measures of stupidity were bestowed upon the world, and the left took much more than one..Is the left correct in thinking that everything can be solved quickly - or did it forget that there is more than one side in this conflict? Could it be that the Arab acceptance of the existence of the State of Israel is dependent on more than just a few summit meetings and territorial concessions?...The positioning of the left-wing on behalf of the Palestinian and Israeli-Arab declaration of war is based largely on a death-wish, not to mention plain old blindness... Listen, guys: With all due respect to the justified demands of the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs, it is very recommended that we end up on the winning side... We had better be the winners even if we did shoot a ten-year-old boy... The Palestinians, for their part, would not appoint an investigative committee if they had succeeded in killing one of the participants in the funeral of Hillel Lieberman. In addition, they never kill anyone by accident; they always kill purposely...My dear fellow leftists: It's still possible to find a solution for peace, to compromise over Jerusalem, to support the establishment of a Palestinian state with which we will live as good neighbors, to find a way to make the Israeli-Arabs real citizens - but meanwhile, especially while there is a war going on, we can still be on our own side." (A7 Oct 30)
Meretz Pushes to Abandon Yesha Towns
Meretz MKs Mosi Raz and Ran Cohen call for the evacuation of eleven Jewish towns in Yesha, and are sponsoring a Knesset bill to this effect. The dispensable settlements, according to the Meretz MKs, are Netzarim and Kfar Darom in Gaza, Hevron, Psagot, five central Shomron towns - Tapuach, Yitzhar, Bracha, Itamar, and Elon Moreh - and Ganim and Kadim in northern Shomron. The bill refers to these settlements as "centers of friction and violence that endanger the lives of civilians and soldiers." (A7 Oct 27)
Eitam's Wife: We All Must Do Our Share
Brig.-Gen. Effie Eitam (Fein), the highest-ranking religious combat officer in the army, was informed last week by Chief of Staff Mofaz that he would not be promoted to the rank of Maj.-Gen., and that "it is time for you to salute the flag" - to leave the army." Eitam had not received an official position since leaving his post as division commander over a year ago. His wife Elite told Arutz-7 Thursday how he found out the news: "As a 30-year veteran who has held very important positions in the army, he simply wished to volunteer for a job during what is perceived as the present state of emergency. As someone who has much to contribute, that's what he wanted to do at this point. Mofaz took the opportunity to tell him that not only would he not get a job, but he would not be promoted at all." She did not deny feeling that he was passed over because of his large, national-religious style kippah. "If you think that he was passed over because he was religious, and if being religious means... having a clear purpose... and with a set of absolute values that don't change according to the wind... and if you think that this is what caused the army to reject someone like him, well, I think the same way... [He has] a kippah on his head, of a certain size, one that signifies a connection with the Torah and a deeper spirituality..." Arutz-7's Haggai Segal asked, "What can you then tell young religious soldiers who have great motivation and who are aiming for a high rank in the army? What should this case of Effie Eitam tell him?" Mrs. Fein responded: "It should tell him that the Redemption process goes slowly and in stages, and that everyone has a personal responsibility to do his share. This is what I tell my son... He is in a special unit in Shechem, and this story is very difficult for him, and I tell him, 'it's up to you, you guys have to continue the mission...'" Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, head of the NRP, was quoted recently as saying, "Whoever doesn't want Effie Eitam as a Maj.-Gen. will get him as a Government Minister instead." Mrs. Eitam did not deny that her husband may now enter politics, but said that it is too early to begin talking about the possibility of such plans. (arutzsheva.org Nov 2)
The following quotes were broadcast - after editing - on Palestinian Television during recent days:
A high school girl, on Oct. 27, 2000:
"We want all the Arab countries to arm us with weapons, then we'll see who will win, us or the Jews."Another high school girl, the same day:
"We want neither medical aid nor money. We need only weapons..."A young Palestinian woman demonstrator, Oct. 22, 2000:
"All we ask is that the [Arab] countries stand by our side, give us weapons, and we, on our own, will prevail; we'll kill them on our own, murder them, slaughter them, all of them. We ask only for weapons, and we won't spare a single Jew."(Palestinian Media Watch Nov 1)
"When Israel will say, 'That's it, no more, we refuse to talk about Jerusalem, we will not allow the refugees to return' - we will return to violence. But by then we will have 30,000 armed Palestinian soldiers in our cities, on land with a large measure of freedom..."- PA Official Nabil Sha'ath, January 1996
"Israeli doves, more than other Israelis, must assume a clear-cut - hawkish - attitude concerning the duty of the future Palestinian regime to live by the letter and the spirit of its obligations"- Amos Oz (Jerusalem Post September 3, 1993)
An Efrat Story: Is Anyone out There Listening?
I wanted to write and tell you about the beauty, the Kedusha of Eretz Yisrael, the closeness one feels to Hashem and the presence of the Shechina that is always with you in our Land. To live in a truly Religious Community with Jews from over 20 countries is a truly wonderful experience.
It is a beautiful, picturesque town nestled among the rolling hills of Yehudah nestled in and out of picturesque Mountains and lush Valleys. These are the hills that our ancestors roamed and much of our History is written Here.
This is why I came here but I must tell you something else.
Efrat was gan eden.
Efrat now has become one of the front lines in the battle to save Am Yisrael.
THIS IS NOT RHETORIC!
Just hours ago I was waiting for the 167 return bus to Jerusalem, after a shopping expedition with my baby, Rivka and my Mom. The bus just never arrived. What had happened? The lady next to me said that they've closed the road yet again , there was some shooting. Oh no I thought to myself I'll be late for the kids when they come home from school - what an inconvenience!!!!! People are being shot at and I'm thinking it's an inconvenience. What are those Palestinians doing to me... to my nation...to my country??
How are we allowing this to happen to ourselves?
After an hour's wait, a wrong bus but still going to the general Gush area arrives. By now there is quite a crowd and I tell my mother to quickly get a seat on the bus as I load the stroller underneath. By the time I finish there is no sitting room and standing is 'out' because there is no protection from bullets at the top part of the windows. After much fighting and yelling everybody is allowed on but only to sit on the floor. Good enough! At least we are able to get home.
After much deliberation the Powers that be at Egged decide to take the very recently (5 minutes ago-only to close an hour later for the afternoon) re-opened tunnel road.
What can the I.D.F. do? Can they bomb the village where the shooting originated - the villages along the main road - the HIGHWAY? Can they respond and kill the ones trying to Kill us? Or have they simply temporarily chased them away again so they can start this dangerous life and death game again - Tonight, Tomorrow (it's a daily occurrence)?
The I.D.F. are paralyzed because the Government does not allow them to fight back in fear of World opinion, fear of World press. We are sitting ducks. The Russian roulette continues and this time we lose…they SHOOT at us...the bullets hit our bus and we just keep on driving...All Israel just keeps on driving...going where? What is our Response?
They've closed the road again for another hour until our Trained Sniper (nee..Palestinian pebble throwing child - who do you believe?) is chased away...Well, I don't feel scared. I feel angry… very angry.
I FEEL VERY VIOLATED…How dare they shoot at us with the weapons that we supplied them …from villages that we built their Medical clinics (I'm a physician)..from rooftops of community centers that we raised money for…for Them…for Them..This is our country, our land and our home..We fought the wars that they started and they are starting again - only now I'm on the Front Line.
The World is watching and is on Their side...To those that care to make a mistaken Judgement I say "come take a test drive" in our neighborhood and see for yourself who is the aggressor and who is the Victim?...Clearly all they've got is time. They don't want to just hurt us rather they want to wear us down and break our Morale..maybe even make a "mistake" and retaliate so they can show the World what we have done to their "children".
Hashem has hardened Arafat's (yimach shemo) heart. Hashem wants us to unite to save our country. This is only the Beginning …Today is another day…Right from our balcony we see a "live" CNN newscast..2 Apache attack helicopters and 2 tanks are firing at our friendly neighboring Arab villages because they cannot stop themselves from firing on our neighbourhood..and can't help but shoot at passing cars and buses...You must recognize that you're also on the front line and must do everything in your power to tell the Story and the Truth..
Help save Am Yisrael ..you must Daven ..Support..you must help Israel any way you can. You must write letters, hold demonstrations and raise money. You must know this just not an Israeli problem rather it's a challenge to the survival of Am Yisrael.
The hills are still beautiful..The valleys still lush ..The History still felt..The Kedusha still Tangible…YET…
Come visit us soon and write me your comments.
With fondest regards to all of you, Gabrielle Klein
The writer is a Thornhill, Ontario physician spending the year in Efrat, a suburb of Jerusalem.
Whether last week's heralded Mideast summit will achieve either its immediate goal of ending violence in Gaza and the West Bank or its larger aspiration of reviving the "peace process" is unclear at the moment. What is clear, regrettably, is that a fundamental and perhaps irreversible shift in Middle East diplomacy has occurred. If sustained, this shift will weaken the hitherto preeminent role of the United States and ultimately imperil Israel.
One sign of this important shift is that the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, was a key player in advocating and fashioning the summit. As he did in his dealings with Iraq a few years ago, Annan assumed an increasingly powerful and visible role in the shuttle diplomacy that led to the summit. In Baghdad, he torpedoed the U.N.'s own weapons inspection efforts, almost certainly at the Clint6n administration's bidding. His recent Middle East efforts, too, were doubtless supported, if not initiated, by the floundering Clinton team. This development is a striking, 180-degree shift from a decades-long bipartisan policy of keeping the U.N. out of Arab-Israeli diplomacy.
A second sign of this tectonic shift was the American failure to veto the U.N. Security Council's Resolution 1322, which did little more than blame Israel for the violence it condemned. The Clinton administration abstained from voting in an effort to signal to the Palestinians their commitment to being an "honest broker." But make no mistake, an abstention by one of the five permanent mew- ben is the functional equivalent of? yes" vote, because abstaining allows a resolution (with nine affirmative votes) to be adopted. Permanent members cannot be neutral, whatever the view of Clinton's diplomats, as everyone else understood.
Third, the U.N.'s ill-defined consultative role in the post-summit investigative commission is a time bomb for Israel and its friends. Kofi Annan will apparently help pick commission members, and is entitled to comment on the report in draft. Moreover, the final report is to be published, but it is unclear to whom or for what purpose. In the current logic of international human rights, if there are allegations of "criminal" behavior, the inevitable next demand is for a special tribunal to prosecute and punish those who committed such offenses. What will the "honest broker" Clinton diplomats do then?
Fourth, ignoring the investigative commission set up by the Sharm el Sheikh summit, the U.N. Human Rights Commission met in a rare, emergency session, and found Israel guilty of "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity"-two of the Nuremberg offenses-in the "occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem." The commission, albeit on a very close vote, created its own human rights inquiry commission" to do essentially what the Sharm el Sheikh body is to do. It unleashed no less than six special rapporteurs to conduct separate investigations, and it invited High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, whose record of anti-Israel bias is near legendary; to grace the region with a visit. Thus, the commission, which is regularly unable to condemn human rights violations in mainland China or Cuba, handed Yasser Arafat what he hadn't won at Sharm el Sheikh.
Fifth, the U.N. General Assembly inserted itself into the complicated Mideast situation by considering a typically one-sided resolution. Doing so went against the U.N. Charter's own admonitions against assembly action in situations where the Security Council is engaged. Although the Bush administration succeeded in 1991 in repealing the assembly's despicable 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, the General Assembly has remained an extraordinarily unhelpful place for U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Obviously the intent of what has been laughably called the "Parliament of Man" was simply to damage Israel, and inferentially the United States. Not even the Clinton administration could bring itself to defend this particular outrage.
President Clinton has tacitly encouraged reversing America's longstanding opposition to a major U.N. role in the Middle East. Why would he do so? The answer is that weakness in the president's personal position led him to reach out to whomever could "help,'1 regardless of the larger consequences of doing so. Some ascribe this tendency to the all-consuming quest for a Clinton "legacy;" and that is certainly a fact. But it is also evident that "assertive multilateralism," the original Clinton-Albright doctrine, has now emerged in the Arab-Israeli dispute. The secretary general, the Security Council, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the General Assembly, and the yet- unborn investigative commission arc all now loose in the field, in every case to the detriment of American dominance. Clinton himself will not have to personally bear the consequences of his ill-considered behavior, but his successor at the White House will face terrain much less favorable to the United States and Israel.
The writer is the senior vice president of the American Enterprise Institute. During the Bush administration, he was the assistant secretary of state for international organization. (Weekly Standard Oct 30)
There is no chance whatsoever of "peace" in the Middle East. I've been writing this for more than 20 years and nothing ever changes. The Jews have given up land for peace, destroyed their settlements in the Sinai for it and dragged protesting Jews out of their homes for peace. Prime Minister Ehud Barak has yielded almost everything for peace, but as yet the Arab world cannot accept a Jewish state in the region. The best one can hope for is some sort of cold war "agreement" to span a few generations, during which time circumstances might change. Meanwhile, talk of peace only raised the expectations of ordinary people on both sides and bitterly disappointed them.
Our Western view of life involves making the best decisions to assist people here and now. Arab culture, on the other hand, appears to put the glory of the tribe and Allah before the individual's happiness or suffering. The decision of the Arab world after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 to refuse to resettle and absorb Palestinians who fled Israel was, in retrospect, a masterstroke. By sentencing refugees to generations of life in appalling conditions in camps, it left a permanent thorn in the Middle East body politic. Western culture would not permit such suffering: the Germans, for example, took in the three million Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War. Israel would never have left Jews in refugee camps to show the world how, inter alia, Iraq, the Soviet Union or Yemen mistreated them. The Arab world could easily have absorbed the initial 500,000 Palestinians who were either driven out of Israel or left of their own accord, but they preferred to keep them in a hopeless situation, their numbers swelling and their misery a potent source of hatred.
Today's Arab world considers itself both wronged and stronger. They may not be stronger militarily, but they are stronger in numbers by a factor so large that it is not just a quantitative change but a qualitative one. They are stronger by being not just Arabs, but part of a newly vigorous Muslim world that includes large tracts of non-Arabs from Iran to Pakistan. They are stronger because with the end of the Soviet Union, Israel is of less strategic interest to the West.
The Western media echo the PLO's canard that the current intifadeh was caused by Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon's Sept. 28 visit to the Temple Mount. Not true. The night before Sharon's visit, trouble began with the ambush murder of a 19-year-old Israeli near the border. Sharon's visit consisted of a morning walk through the Temple Mount gates. He did not go near the mosque. He was making a political statement: Jews have a right to go on the Temple Mount, the site of two ancient Jewish temples now largely destroyed except for the Wailing Wall. There were protests at the time of Sharon's walk, but serious riots did not begin until late next day. Why?
Essentially, the reason was that Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat had been checkmated at the July Camp David talks when, unlike Barak, he refused the American suggestion of shared sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Consequently, Arafat suffered a setback in the battle for world public opinion and needed to turn attention away from his intransigence. The Palestinian leadership had continually assured the Arab world that negotiations would only be a "stage" in reaching its goals of an Israel forced back to its 1967 borders, with Jerusalem the capital of a new Palestinian state, along with establishing the right of return for all Arab "refugees" (a euphemism for the demographic annihilation of the Jewish state).
Violence has always been part of the Palestinian definition of "negotiations." Two days before Sharon's visit, an official Palestinian Authority newspaper said: "Had it not been for this blood, the world would never have been interested in us . . . our national duty is to continue the confrontation, continue the intifadeh, continue to sacrifice our martyrs." Added Authority Justice Minister Freih Abu Midden: "Violence is around the corner and the Palestinians are willing to sacrifice even 5,000 casualties."
Meanwhile, the Authority released dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the streets. The diplomatic success of Barak at Camp David was to be neutralized with photos of Arab "civilians" being attacked by Israeli soldiers. Israeli army posts found themselves facing armed Arab mobs with children sometimes deliberately put in the front lines.
The Arabs demand the right to control the holy places. They were given that right for one day at the Temple Mount recently and used it to stone Jews at the Wailing Wall below. At the same time, Arabs burned to the ground the oldest remaining ruins of a Jewish synagogue, located in Jericho. And the tomb of Joseph at Nablus was destroyed when Israeli soldiers retreated from guarding it. In contrast, on the rare occasion when a Jewish mob has attacked Muslim religious sites, there were immediate arrests by the Israeli police.
The mosaic in that burned synagogue at Jericho had the inscription "Peace on Israel." Western hypocrites may continue to chant that slogan on television and in the halls of the United Nations, unchecked by the realities of lynch mobs and the inhuman desecration of dead bodies. The consequences of their ignorance, cowardice and cynicism will be paid for by both Jewish blood and that of the Palestinians, the latter treated by their own people like animals for the past 50 years -- and now, sadly, some behaving like them. (Maclean's Oct 30