Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2008
January was one of the worst months for Kassam attacks in Sderot. Arutz-7 reported many straight days of more than 40 hits per day. Parents keep their children home from school as many huddle in fear wherever they can find safety. Arutz-7 filed this report:
“Three thousand homes stand empty in what was once a vibrant western Negev city of almost 20,000 souls but which for the past seven years has been transformed into a city under siege.
“Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, confirming a figure often quoted bitterly by Sderot residents who still remain despite the danger, called on the government to allow the Israel Defense Forces to ‘change the rules of the game’ when responding to terrorist attacks from Gaza.
“‘If Sderot residents have to leave their homes or run for cover to dodge missile attacks, Gaza residents should have to do the same,’ Dichter said.
“Located one kilometer away from northern Gaza, Sderot has been at the mercy of ceaseless mortar and Kassam rocket attacks fired by terrorists of all stripes since September 2000. The missiles are launched from small, portable setups that can quickly be erected and broken down and are often used to fire rockets from civilian yards and between homes in nearby Beit Hanoun.”
PA Terrorists Share Funds
ARUTZ-7—The heavily funded, Fatah-headed Palestinian Authority (PA) seems to be preparing to reunite with the Islamist Hamas, effectively channeling international aid to a united terrorist front.
Several Fatah leaders, led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, visited Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar recently in Gaza City. Al-Zahar is one of the founders of Hamas and is known to support the killing of Jewish civilians.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he will not continue negotiations with Abbas if Fatah renews attempts to forge an alliance with Hamas. Billions of dollars in aid money, as well as arms and training, have been supplied to Fatah on the condition that it act against Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups.
However, Abbas’s regime intends to spend 40 percent of the recently pledged international aid in Hamas-controlled Gaza, according to a senior PA official. Of the$7.7 billion pledged by donor countries, 40 percent would be channeled to Gaza. Funding has already begun to flow into PA accounts from the European Union, Saudi Arabia, and France.
Iran to Destroy Cyrus’s Tomb
ARUTZ-7—Iran is planning on submerging the tomb of King Cyrus (Coresh), the Persian King known for authorizing the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Holy Temple.
According to a report by Omedia, an Iranian organization is demanding that the International Criminal Court take action against those responsible.
The Iranian ayatollahs are planning on destroying the tomb as part of a general campaign to sever the Persian people from their non-Islamic heritage; Cyrus was thought to be a Zoroastrian and was one of the first rulers to enforce a policy of religious tolerance on his huge kingdom. Journalist Ran Porat quoted a young Iranian who said that the measures being taken by the Islamic Republic’s regime include the destruction of archaeological sites significant to this heritage.
“The government is in the final stages of constructing a dam in southern Iran that will submerge the archaeological sites of Pasargad and Persopolis—the ancient capital of the Persian Empire,” the report states. “The site, which is considered exceptional in terms of its archaeological wealth and historical impor-tance, houses the tomb of the Persian King Cyrus.”
Cyrus, who lived from 576 to 530 BCE (B.C.), liberated Babylonian Jewry from its exile in the famous Declaration of Cyrus (mentioned in the book of Ezra in both Hebrew and Aramaic).
Though the city of Pasargad is a ruin, Cyrus’s Tomb has remained largely intact and it has been partially restored to counter its natural deterioration over the years.
Olmert Frees Murderers
ARUTZ-7–Israel has acceded to a Palestinian Authority request not to demand the murderers of hikers David Rubin and Achikam Amichai, according to a Channel 2 report.
Rubin and Amichai were murdered in December 2006 while hiking in the Telem Stream region near Hebron. They were ambushed by four terrorists, but managed to return fire and kill two of them before dying.
The two surviving murderers are Ali a-Hamid Rajeb Dandis, a clerk at Hevron’s Islamic Court and member of Fatah’s intelligence wing, and Amr Bader a-Halim Taha, a member of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. The two took refuge among their fellow PA security men shortly after the murders in an apparently successful attempt to avoid arrest by the Israel Defense Forces.
The Olmert government has agreed to let the murderers remain in PA custody, effectively confined to their places of employment. The terrorists are now being transferred to Jericho.
Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the decision, saying, “The humiliating agreement of the government to give up on arresting the PA heads that murdered Achikam Amichai and David Rubin is yet another testimony to the weakness and loss of national honor on the part of this government.”
Israelis Wonder: What Is Wrong With Ehud Olmert?
Israeli politics have always been something of a mystery to outsiders. And the mystery has only increased recently after several disturbing events.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seems to have aligned himself with the far left and is courting people such as David Landau, editor of the daily newspaper Haaretz, who called Israel a “failed state” in need of being “raped” by the United States through imposed intervention.
Outraged by Landau’s re-marks, the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick wrote, “Olmert has worked overtime to woo the Landau crowd. To this end, he courts Syria; advocates Israel’s withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and parts of Jerusalem; and refuses to act against either Iran or the burgeoning Iranian-trained Hamas army in Gaza.”
Glick said he sounds “more like a Palestinian spokesman than the leader of Israel.”
Meanwhile, Avi Dichter, Israel’s public security minister refuses to allow Jewish people to pray on the Temple Mount even if they only move their lips, while Hamas broadcasts daily Islamic prayers from the Mount’s al-Aqsa mosque. Dichter and Olmert both belong to the Kadima party.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, a spokesman for the new Jewish Congress, a group of religious Zionist leaders, told World Net Daily, “The government of Ehud Olmert has ceased to be a Jewish government altogether, having not the slightest connection with the Jewish people.”
Glick said Olmert wants Israel to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines “with minor modifications, not because doing so will ensure peace with the Palestinians, but because if we don’t we’ll lose our Jewish majority.”
Glick disagrees. “First, the 1949 lines are not demographic borders but cease-fire lines….Second, the cease-fire lines are indefensible. So while not solving any demographic problem, withdrawing to the 1949 lines would imperil Israel militarily.
“Beyond that, there is the fact that Olmert’s dark demographic projections are based on falsified census data published by the Palestinian Authority in 1997….Although demography is a problem, Israel is in no immediate danger of losing its Jewish majority.”
Olmert also wants Israel to relinquish Jerusalem and claims Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas accepts Israel despite the fact that he refuses to recognize its existence and demands the “right of return” for millions of Arabs whose ancestors fled in 1948.
Wrote Glick sarcastically, “Olmert’s not worried, because he can see into Abbas’s soul.”
Secret Deal Hurts Israel
ARUTZ-7—Israel’s Channel Ten has reported that in a private meeting in January between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the two agreed that Israel eventually will withdraw from 92 percent of Judea and Samaria, including all the non-Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, and allow 50,000 “refugees from 1948” to enter and live in the State of Israel.
Olmert’s office did not deny the report, and even hinted that it is at least partially accurate.
Olmert made more concessions than U.S. President George W. Bush requested. Bush summed up his three-day January visit to Israel by saying that a new Palestinian state, together with financial compensation, would be the solution to the refugee problem. The implication is that the refugees need not enter Israel.
“There must be an end to Israel’s occupation [sic] that began in 1967,” Bush said. “Palestine must serve as a national home for the Palestinians—and Israel, for the Jews.”
Israel liberated Judea and Samaria during the Six-Day War in 1967, capturing it, essentially, from no one. No country in the world, other than Great Britain and Pakistan, recognized Jordan’s control over Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967.