Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2011
Israelis Rescue Palestinians
When Gaza-based terrorists opened up a fresh mortar attack on the Erez Crossing border terminal between Gaza and southern Israel recently, three Palestinian women and two infants were passing through. They had been in southern Israel for medical treatment at an Israeli hospital.
The attack caused a power outage, preventing the electronic terminal gates from opening and leaving one woman and her baby trapped between two gates. Israeli soldiers at the crossing acted quickly to free the trapped woman and her child before more shells hit the building.
All three women and their infants were then rushed to an adjacent bomb shelter where they were provided with a meal for the end of their daily Ramadan fast.
Iran has altered its apostasy charges against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and said it will execute him because, among other things, he loves Israel. Legal documents obtained by CNN accuse him of “turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion.”
With international pressure mounting for Iran to cease its brutal repression of religious freedom, Gholomali Rezvani, the deputy governor of Nadarkhani’s home province, announced that the charges have been changed. He “is a Zionist,” declared Rezvani. And just in case, Nadarkhani also had charges of rape and extortion tacked onto his rap sheet. Both CNN and Fox News later pointed out that the original 2010 conviction for leaving Islam did not contain one mention of rape or extortion.
Man Arrested for Praying
A 76-year-old Jewish man was arrested for reciting a brief blessing over a bottle of water while touring Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in September. Israel National News reported that Yosef Hacohen was part of a group of religious Jews visiting the holiest site in Judaism when he fell ill. Being religious, he wanted to say a quiet blessing before drinking his water in hopes that both the prayer and refreshment would help him feel better.
Muslim watchmen trailing the group immediately complained to nearby Israeli police that a Jew had dared to pray atop the Temple Mount, which is today occupied by two mosques. The officers arrested the elderly Hacohen and another group member who had helped him recite the blessing and took them both in for questioning.
Arabs Torch Olive Orchard
Hebron-area Arabs set fire recently to an olive orchard at Karmei Tzur in Judea, located between Gush Etzion and Hebron-Kiryat Arba. Karmei Tsur, literally “Stalwart Vineyards,” is home to 125 families. The word kerem (possessive, karmei) in Hebrew denotes both olive groves and vineyards, which have surrounded the area from biblical times.
Community residents said the Arabs arrived in four vehicles from Highway 60 and torched the orchard when most residents were praying in synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath morning. Residents fear the arson is a harbinger of worse things to come.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an “ungrateful ally,” journalist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote recently on his blog, published by Bloomberg News.
Goldberg, whose columns have been extraordinarily negative toward Israeli nationalists and in favor of most Palestinian Authority demands and the “peace process,” quoted Gates as saying Netanyahu’s refusal to accept American demands proves Israel is ungrateful.
Gates, like most American government officials, often has pledged to bolster Israel’s security but also has stated what he thinks should be Israel’s domestic policies.
In fact, Netanyahu has offered to surrender most of Judea and Samaria and expel up to 100,000 Jews living outside major population centers. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that all large areas of Jerusalem, including the Old City and Western Wall, as well as all of Judea and Samaria, be under Palestinian sovereignty.
Amid the diplomatic impasse between Ankara and Jerusalem, Turks hijacked some 350 Israeli websites recently, launching a Domain Name System (DNS) attack on dozens of other websites as well. Israeli tech analysts said the DNS hijacking is likely a test run ahead of a major attack on Israeli domains.
Visitors to some of the sites were diverted to a page declaring it was “World Hackers Day.” At least seven high-profile websites outside Israel were also hijacked, including The Telegraph, Acer, National Geographic, UPS, and Vodafone.
Hackers calling themselves the TurkGuvenligi (meaning “Turkish security”) claimed responsibility.
Hillary Blames Israel Again
Even when the Palestinian regime openly identifies itself as an impossible peace partner, it never takes long before the international community again finds an excuse to blame Israel for the lack of a peace agreement. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has returned to the rhetoric suggesting construction of a few apartments in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem is what’s really blocking peace, calling them “counter-productive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties.”
U.S. Taxes Pay PA Terrorists
American tax money is helping to fund the salaries of terrorists who are in Israeli prisons. Those who committed the worst crimes receive the longest sentences and, therefore, the most money. Israel Today filed the following report:
Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch explained to U.S. congressional leaders in July how financial aid from America, Israel’s greatest ally, is being cynically used to encourage the slaughter of Israeli Jews. Marcus said the PA pays a generous monthly salary to nearly all of the Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
The salaries total $5.2 million each month and are heavily dependent on incoming foreign aid. The Palestinian Authority (PA) receives roughly $1.5 billion in foreign aid every year. The U.S. contributes about $200 million to $300 million in direct budget assistance and another $400 million in various other forms of assistance and investment.
Marcus said the aid violates federal law to provide financial assistance to a terrorist or terror-supporting entity.
A week earlier, congressional leaders had put forward a bill that would end U.S. financial aid to Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and the Palestinian Authority unless they meet a list of stringent requirements.
In the case of Lebanon, the terrorist militia Hezbollah would not be able to hold positions of political power. Hezbollah currently dominates the Lebanese cabinet.
Fully aware that these nations are never going to meet the conditions outlined—in other words, are never going to stop supporting terrorism—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lashed out at Congress.
The new bill “would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy, and to use foreign assistance strategically to that end,” Clinton wrote in a letter to congressional leaders.
Years ago, when a senator from New York, Clinton stood beside Marcus as he presented a worrying analysis of the anti-Jewish Palestinian school curriculum. Clinton staunchly supported Marcus and demanded reform in the Palestinian education system.
It would seem she no longer holds to those convictions.
Recently a number of prominent Israelis each chose a Scripture verse that they felt is significant for today. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose Isaiah 2:4: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Netanyahu explained,
The Bible has a universal aspect, but first and foremost it is the Book of Books for the people of Israel. The Bible captures the hearts and minds of men with its ideals, with faith, and with its unique content. No other book or composition is like the Bible. This verse from Isaiah is our greatest aspiration, but at the moment we do not see these things happening before our eyes. Yet this was and is our sublime goal, one of the goals also of our prophets. We hope that one day true peace will reign among all the nations and no nation will lift up the sword against another.
by Israel Today, www.israeltoday.co.il