Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2006

UN Cooperated with Hezbollah
The father of an Israeli soldier abducted and killed in 2000 says he has proof the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) filmed the kidnapping, sold the film to Hezbollah, and then denied everything.

Arutz-7 reported that the film shows Hezbollah terrorists training and then kidnapping Avi Avitan, abducted with Omar Souad and Benny Avraham in October 2000 along the Israel-Lebanon border. The men’s bodies were returned to Israel for burial in 2004.

Arutz-7 reported that Avitan’s father said a UNIFIL member filmed the kidnappings and sold the film to Hezbollah terrorists. Avraham’s father said Hezbollah murdered the soldiers in cold blood.

At first the UN denied the film existed but later admitted the truth.

More Rockets
ARUTZ-7—Two extra-powerful Hamas rockets fired from Gaza hit Sderot, wounding a female soldier. Hamas said it will fire Kassam rockets deeper into Israel than ever before. “First they will hit Ashkelon,” said a Hamas spokesman, “and then we will act to ensure that they go farther than that.”

“We carefully tracked what Hezbollah did,” he said. “The bottom line is that there are some positive points that we must follow, such as the…secrecy with which they surprised the enemy, and the gradual escalation of their clash with the enemy; they did not show all their capabilities at the start. At the same time, we must take into account that the Palestinian resistance [terrorism] was more imaginative than the Lebanese—and despite the fact that it operates under fire, it had great achievements and was able to kidnap [Israeli] soldiers from within their tanks and fortifications.” (Based on Palestinian Media Watch)

Raid Nabs Terror Money
ARUTZ-7—Israeli forces raided a bank in Shechem recently and con-iscated computers, telephones, documents, and receipts that formed part of an operation that funneled foreign money to terrorists.

A Hamas member arrested earlier said the money was transferred from Syria and Lebanon to Hamas and Islamic Jihad via Arab money-changers in Judea and Samaria.

Dr. Martin Sherman of Hebrew University told Arutz-7 that Hamas mixes charity funds and terrorism monies in the same bank accounts. He said that throughout the world, “it is known that Hamas and Hezbollah receive their money from transatlantic drug deals, based in South America. The money goes to support families of terrorists who committed suicide attacks.” It also pays for training and attacks, including arms and explosives.

No to Red Cross
ARUTZ-7—Hamas still refuses to let the Red Cross visit Israelis in captivity, but Arab terrorist prisoners in Israel receive weekly visits from their families.

The International Committee of the Red Cross reported that it visited the three captured Hezbollah terrorists being held in Israel, but no Israeli prisoners held by terrorists. The organization made no mention of any efforts to see Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, being held by Hezbollah in an undisclosed location. Neither has it met with Cpl. Gilad Shalit, a prisoner of Hamas in Gaza. Hamas has rejected a Red Cross appeal to permit its representatives to visit him to ascertain his condition. But Israel has allowed the Red Cross to visit the terrorists.

Together Again
ARUTZ-7—A brother and sister who long thought each other dead have finally reunited for the first time since the 1940s, thanks to Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ Names.

The meeting was enabled due to the efforts of two grandchildren of the sister, Hilda nee Glazberg. Her long-lost older brother, Simon, flew in from Canada for the dramatic occasion.

Hilda’s grandson David described the airport meeting: “It was very emotional, and there were a lot of tears….Simon landed in the airport, came out, and then stood there, not knowing where to continue. We then went in and his nephew said, ‘Simon, this is your sister’—and he burst out crying….They haven’t left each other since then; they talk in Yiddish, laugh, cry, and tell a lot of stories.”

Though at one point they were both in Israel, Simon—and his parents and siblings, who all survived the Holocaust—never knew his younger sister was alive. It was via a Yad Vashem Page of Testimony that one of the siblings later filled out for her, as if she were dead, that led to the reunion. The Central Database contains some 3 million names of Holocaust victims. It is accessible at www.yadvashem.org.

Glass Road Laid
JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION—A new road surface about two inches deep and made with recycled glass mixed with asphalt was to be laid in Holon, following lab research at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology that shows it is as effective as conventional pavement.

Twenty tons of ground-up waste glass were to be mixed with 400 tons of asphalt to comprise the upper layer. The glass-asphalt mixture was found in experiments to function well in all types of weather and heavy traffic. Up to 10 percent of the surface can be made of glass, researchers said.

The Palestinian ‘Wag the Dog’
So you think you’re watching real events every time you tune into the news and see Palestinians fighting a war with Israel? Think again. Much of what you’re seeing is the Arab version of the Dustin Hoffman film Wag the Dog. Someone needed a conflict, and a movie producer obliged.

In a recent article that ran in the National Review Online, respected journalist Tom Gross wrote: “CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson admitted that his anti-Israel report from Beirut on July 18 about civilian casualties in Lebanon was stage-managed from start to finish by Hezbollah. He revealed that his story was heavily influenced by Hezbollah’s ‘press officer’ and that Hezbollah have ‘very, very sophisticated and slick media operations.’”

In fact, an 18-minute online video titled Pallywood (short for “Palestinian Hollywood”) shows how Arab film crews—complete with sets, directors, and all the fixings—fake Israeli attacks and peddle the film to the Western media. Absent from the footage, of course, are any Israelis.

Although Gross never mentions Pallywood, he had plenty to say about media manipulation:

“When pressed a few days later about his reporting on the CNN program Reliable Sources, Robertson acknowledged that Hezbollah militants had instructed the CNN camera team where and what to film. Hezbollah ‘had control of the situation,’ Robertson said. ‘They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath.’ Robertson added that Hezbollah has ‘very, very good control over its areas in the south of Beirut. They deny journalists access into those areas. You don’t get in there without their permission.’”

Wrote Gross: “Robertson is not the only foreign journalist to have misled viewers with selected footage from Beirut. NBC’s Richard Engel, CBS’s Elizabeth Palmer, and a host of European and other networks, were also taken around the damaged areas by Hezbollah minders. Palmer commented on her report that ‘Hezbollah is also determined that outsiders will only see what it wants them to see.’”

One reason some journalists allow themselves to be manipulated is because there is no freedom of the press in Arab countries. If you print something the Arabs don’t like, you may pay for it with your life.

“Another journalist let the cat out of the bag last week,” Gross wrote. “Writing on his blog while reporting from southern Lebanon, Time contributor Christopher Allbritton, casually mentioned in the middle of a posting: ‘To the south, along the curve of the coast, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I’m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalist’s passport, and they’ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one.’”

The lesson for the West is that you can’t believe everything you see on TV, even if someone calls it news.

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