Israel in the News Jul/Aug 2012

No ‘Hatikva’ for Arab Grads
Many Arab graduates from Hebrew University in Israel refused to sing Israel’s national anthem at recent graduation ceremonies.

“This is not a single event,” said someone who attended, “but a symptom of a much larger phenomenon in which Israeli Arabs refuse to recognize the Jewish character of the state. We lie to ourselves as a people: They enjoy everything that Israel has to offer; but at the moment of truth, they do not identify with the country. If they are unable to sing the anthem, at least stand and show respect.”

In April Arutz-7 reported Supreme Court Justice Salim Jubran did not sing the anthem at the inauguration of Supreme Court President Asher Grunis. He did stand. Jubran’s decision infuriated some, who charged his “insolence” was a “degradation to the Jewish state.”

Druze lawmaker Ayoub Kara said Israel’s non-Jewish citizens should sing ‘Hatikva’ and recognize the country’s Jewish character. “Without Jewish rule there would be no democracy in Israel,” Kara said.

Dutch TV Pulls Anti-Semitic Game
Dutch public broadcasting net-work VPRO has removed from its website a game decried by human rights groups as anti-Semitic. The decision follows an exposé in The Jerusalem Post about the game, which features Israeli settlers who use an “Anne Frank card” and “Jewish stinginess” to colonize the West Bank.

According to a VPRO statement, “In November 2010, the VPRO platform for younger viewers, Dorst, published on the website and in the TV guide a satirical item, The Settlers of the West Bank, a commentary over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shaped in the form of a well-known board game, The Settlers of Catan….The Settlers of the West Bank is now, almost one year and [a] half years later, the subject of discussion on whether it contains elements of an anti-Semitic nature….The VPRO finds the political question relevant and will obligingly discuss the borders of satire. But it has no desire or need to discuss alleged anti-Semitism through this item. Therefore, the VPRO took off the game The Settlers of the West Bank from the Dorst site.”

by The Jerusalem Post

Birthrate Up
The Jewish birthrate in Jerusalem is higher than the Arab birthrate, putting an end to reports of an Arab demographic threat in the united capital. The birthrate for Jewish mothers is 4.2 children, compared with 3.9 children for Arab mothers, reflecting a trend throughout Israel. In 1999, the birthrate was 3.8 for Jewish mothers and 4.4 for Arabs.

Jews are a solid majority in Jerusalem, with Arabs constituting 36 percent, almost all of them in areas restored to the capital in the 1967 Six-Day War. The total Jerusalem population in 2011 was 801,000.

The largest Jewish neighborhoods are Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev, each one with slightly more than 40,000 people, followed by Gilo with 29,600. All three neighborhoods are located in areas restored to Israel in 1967 and which are claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

by Arutz-7 (IsraelNationalNews.com)

PM: ‘Infiltrators Flooding Israel’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel should prevent “illegal infiltrators flooding the country,” Israel’s Army Radio reported. “If we don’t stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state.”

The fence on the border with Egypt will be completed by October, Netanyahu added, with the exception of a mountainous area near Eilat. Israel’s rapidly growing African migrant population has become a hot-button issue over the past two years.

The Public Security minister said the issue demands government discussion because of police concerns Israelis will respond to recent violence by Africans with their own violent acts against African migrants.

by The Jerusalem Post

The Case of Abu Shahala
Arutz-7 reported that, at the pleading of Jewish leaders, the European Union is trying to save Muhammad Abu Shahala from being executed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for selling land to Jews in Hebron.

Abu Shahala, who suffers from heart disease and has had four catheterizations, is said to be in deteriorating health.

“It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a ‘capital crime’ punishable by death,” the Jewish leaders wrote. “The very fact that such a ‘law’ exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.”

Security Sought for Rachel’s Tomb
The Rachel’s Tomb Heritage Fund wants Israel to restore security to Rachel’s Tomb. Dozens of Arabs went on the rampage there recently, besieging Jews inside the compound, which had to be closed after masked Arab rioters threw stones at the entrance of the Jewish holy site outside Bethlehem.

A wealthy ultra-Orthodox man from Cleveland, Ohio, recently invested $5 million to renovate the site, said a Fund spokesperson. “He renovated the dome, which was in danger of collapse, purchased new air conditioners, and renovated the restrooms. It is a huge privilege, but that does not absolve the Israeli government from its commitment to do what it must do.”

Rachel’s Tomb has been undergoing renovations for the benefit of the tens of thousands of visitors who come to the compound.

by Arutz-7 (IsraelNationalNews.com)

Israel Unveils Underground TV Studio Designed to Withstand Missiles
Part of Israel’s latest preparations for war includes a new television station built underground in Haifa in the north of Israel that will allow state-run broadcasting to remain on the air during an emergency.

Hezbollah missiles in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 knocked telecasts in northern Israel off the air.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) recently unveiled its new underground studio to the news media. It is constructed seven meters (23 feet) underground, and its concrete walls are 12 inches thick. The control room includes a radio booth.

The facility will allow Israel to broadcast news and emergency information in time of war. The IBA plans to build similar facilities in three other cities. They were not named, but one of them presumably will be metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The talk of a regional or even world war has been in the air for the past two years, as Iran continues to develop unsupervised nuclear facilities while evidence piles up that it is trying to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

One of the obstacles to a military attack on Iran’s nuclear plants is the fact they’re situated underneath concrete bunkers located in mountainous areas.

Iran has vowed to destroy Israel and shows no signs of relenting.

by Arutz-7 (IsraelNationalNews.com)

Geert Wilders Praises Israel
Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, returned to America recently to launch his new book, Marked for Death; and he praised Israel for helping to keep the West free.

Speaking at a luncheon in Manhattan on April 30, he said, “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is a beacon of freedom in an unfree region, a beacon of life in a place of darkness. If Israel falls, the West falls. Mothers in the West can sleep safely because Israeli mothers at night worry about their sons in the army. Their fight is our fight. We should support it.”

Wilders made international headlines in 2010 when he was tried for criticizing Islam. He was acquitted after an ordeal that he called a “disgrace” and has lived under round-the-clock armed guard because he is marked for death by Muslim extremists.

Wilders called Israel “a vital outpost of Western civilization. That is why Islam conditions the faithful to hate the Jewish state and to view its destruction as an imperative. It is our duty to stand with Israel….We are fighting for the future of our children, the survival of the Western spirit, the preservation of our liberty and democracy, our Judeo-Christian and humanist heritage…The West is in danger, but we can still prevail. Even when we are insulted, even when we are harassed and intimidated, even when we are marked for death—we must stand up for our values, tell the truth, and never ever be silenced.”

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