Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2013

Irony Of Ironies
Many people in the world do not realize Israel supplies its enemies in the Gaza Strip with electricity. Not long into the Israeli government’s Operation Pillar of Defense, designed to stop the steady flow of Hamas rockets into Israel from Gaza, Knesset Member Danny Danon called for Israel to cut off Gaza’s power supply.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Hamas owes Israel 103 million shekels ($26.3 million) for electricity. Angered by the proposal, Kuwaiti supporters of Hamas hacked into Danon’s website and shut it down.

However, if they were concerned about loss of electricity, they probably should have worried less about Israel and more about Hamas. Where were many Hamas rockets landing? In Ashkelon—the very site where the power plant supplying Gaza is located.

In fact, Arutz-7 recently published photos sent by a reader showing an Israel Electric Company (IEC) employee “hoisted on a crane in order to fix a malfunction that denied electricity to Gaza City. The operation…has to be carried out with military protection, because Gaza terrorists regularly target Israelis on the perimeter fence, including those they know are trying to assist them by fixing infrastructure or letting in goods. Numerous Israelis have been killed and wounded in precisely this way since 2000.”

The news service reported, “Soldiers therefore fan out around the electrical pole where the fixing needs to be carried out. The IEC workers are briefed and they put on helmets and flak jackets. To top it all off, a large metal wall is hoisted into the air by a crane in order to protect the IEC worker as he supplies power to Gazans, including the very people who will shoot him dead if they get a clean shot.”

A Word From Meotti
Israel will be 65 years old this year, and it has lived with war throughout its existence. According to statistics provided by Italian journalist Giulio Meotti in IsraelNationalNews.com in November 2012, Israel endured more than 60,000 rocket attacks from its birth as a nation to that point.

The figure translates to 937 rocket attacks each year, or an average of more than two attacks a day. In 12 hours alone during recent hostilities, Gaza-based terrorists fired more than 100 rockets into southern Israel.

Meotti, who has consistently voiced his support for Israel, had this to say:

Twenty years after the first Gulf War, Israel remains the only “bunkered” democracy in the world and is now even more relentlessly demonized and ghettoized. Israel is a small country….It is the only country whose neighbors declare its very existence an affront to God and make its destruction a paramount national goal.

But if in 1991, Israel responded with understatement and quiet civil courage, let’s hope that today it will react differently to genocidal terrorism. Because, as Joe McCain wrote a few years ago, “The Jews will not go quietly again.”

And there is another big difference between London in 1940 and Tel Aviv in 2012: While the West backed the British resistance against the Nazi monster, Israel is alone in fighting a battle for all of us.

As Israelis are heading to shelters these days, the questions in their minds are two: Will the West come to our aid? How many friends can the Jewish state really count on these days?

Take a step forward and say that you are one of those friends. I did.

Ulpan in Sderot
Despite the rockets falling in southern Israel, two new ulpan classes have opened in Sderot to teach Hebrew and other basic subjects to children of Ethiopian immigrants who arrived in Israel in October 2012 and have been residing at the Ibim Absorption Center near Sderot.

Forty Ethiopian children are enrolled. The school’s facilities are sheltered and rocket-proof. “The kids are actually safer at the school than in their homes,” said Shmulik Klein, a spokesman for AMIT, the organization running the school.

Rabbi Amit Orenbuch, who heads the boys’ class, welcomed the young immigrants and applauded Sderot students by saying, “Giving to the other, despite all difficulties, is the biggest virtue.”

The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)

Gas Leak Under Haifa Bay
A geophysics research team from Haifa University has discovered a series of active gas springs on the sea floor under Haifa Bay. According to Dr. Uri Schattner, the springs his team discovered are at relatively shallow depths.

Seismic data identified pockets of gas beneath the seabed. “Based on this evidence, the researchers went out to sea four times to collect more data from the seabed and from under the sea floor. Geophysical information enables us to research beneath the sea floor and map out the entire system, from the gas sources to their penetration of the sea waters,” Schattner said.

What they found, however, exceeded all expectations: a gas deposit of 72 square kilometers (27.8 square miles) on the continental shelf, at depths of between 37 meters (121 feet) to 112 meters (368 feet). While many of the gases remain in the reserve, some still manage to escape into the sea.

“We don’t know yet what kind of gas we’re talking about, but its role in undermining the stability of the seabed is clear,” warned Dr. Michael Lazar, a member of the research team. “This means that any discussion of marine infrastructure development must seriously relate to this shallow gas stratus.”

Arutz-7 (IsraelNationalNews.com)

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