We wish all supporters of the United States and Israel a New Year which brings joy ,peace and security.
Rael Jean Isaac Ruth King Rita Kramer
From his space station at the outer limits of surreal-politik, Shimon Peres has thrown down a gauntlet to Israel on the eve of perhaps its most fateful national election in more than six decades . The Jewish state, its 89 year-old president solemnly informed an audience at the prestigious Globe-Israel Business Conference in Tel-Aviv, “faces a choice between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas… One is wrong, the other is right. We have to choose.”
The notion of “right” and “wrong” is, of course, manifestly inapplicable in this context. There is no “lady” behind either of these portals. Mr. Peres’ “choice” is no choice at all. Israel must deal with both these threats to its survival. In terms of priority, settling matters with Hamas first is palpably the less complicated way to go.
After absorbing eight days of round-the-clock rocket bombardment, those in Israel still unpersuaded of the impossibility of a modus vivendi with this terrorist appendage of a terrorist Moslem Brotherhood, both of which regard the liquidation of the ”Zionist entity” as an Islamist imperative, have only to refer to the words of Hamas political boss Khaled Mashaal at a December 8th rally in Gaza City celebrating the organization’s 25th birthday and its “victory” over the Israel Defense Forces. “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the north to the south,” he shouted to an adoring throng as he emerged with his hand-picked “prime minister” Ismail Haniyeh from a giant replica of an M-75 Iranian rocket with the words “Made in Gaza” scrawled across its face. “We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore, there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take. There will be no concession on any inch of land,” Jerusalem included, he warned, vowing to liberate the city “inch by inch, stone by stone.” Israel he asserted, “has no right to Jerusalem.”
Unless it’s prepared to designate Israel from south Tel-Aviv to Sderot as uninhabitable, there can be only one conceivable response by the next Israeli government–irrespective of political complexion–to Mr. Mashaal, should he be foolish enough to punctuate his threats with another rocket bombardment. That would be a full land, air and sea assault on Hamas, its fighting forces, its weapons, weapons factories, rocket launching sites, weapons smuggling routes and command and control structure. They will not only have to be uprooted, they will have be insured against being replanted by a standing IDF force such as kept the peace in south Lebanon for 18 years before being inanely handed over to Hezbollah. The cost in Israeli casualties will, as always, reflect the shifting middle ground between the value the Jewish state assigns to the lives of its young defenders and the degree of flack it is prepared to take from an enraged “international community.” It is a war, however, that must be won and won decisively.
Dealing with Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, particularly in light of its elevation by the UN to a “non-member observer state” (from a mere “non-member observer entity”) involves a whole other set of parameters. It would take a contortionist act unimaginable on any stage outside the Arab-Israel conflict to match Shimon Peres’ tender embrace of Mr. Abbas, who, to the acclaim of a standing ovation at the UN General Assembly, had just reduced to confetti his signature diplomatic achievement, the 1993 Oslo Accords. “I have a partner in Abbas,” Peres exclaimed, the plenum still ringing with the strains of an Abbas “victory” speech described by Prime Minister Netanyahu as a “defamatory and vicious” condemnation of “the IDF and the citizens of Israel. “ While conceding failure to convince Abbas to hold off on his bid for statehood ( “he felt he was abandoned by us, by Europe, by the rest of the world and he wanted to do something”), Peres said he continued to regard the PA president as “the best leader Israel can work with to return to the negotiating table… He can deliver the goods.”
A Disproportionate Response
With all the concern expressed by the U.S. administration that Israel’s response to the terrorists of Hamas not be “disproportionate,” the true disproportion is being practiced by that same administration–in keeping Jonathan Pollard in prison for what is now 28 years. This is even more outrageous now that new evidence, as a Jerusalem Post editorial says “puts the lie to American allegations that have been used for over a quarter of a century to justify Pollard’s continued incarceration.”
The most important lie is that Pollard did enormous damage to U.S. national security. The Department of Justice’s Victim Impact Statement (VIS), now a matter of public record, which was submitted to the sentencing judge in 1987, states that Pollard’s “unauthorized disclosures have threatened the US relations with numerous Middle East Arab allies” and “deprived the US of bargaining leverage with the Israel government.”
Translation: the Arabs weren’t happy and the U.S. whip hand over Israel was undermined now that Israel had the intelligence the U.S. could otherwise selectively disclose as a quid pro quo. In other words there was no real damage to U.S. national security.
Making the behavior of a series of U.S. administrations even more deplorable, as the Jerusalem Post notes, is the “remarkable flexibility towards other allies, downgrading charges and dealing leniently with spies from China, the Philippines, Greece and Saudi Arabia among others.” No wonder so many politicians and U.S. officials with knowledge of the case call Pollard’s sentence “grossly disproportionate” and his continued imprisonment “a travesty of justice.”
Real Immigration Reform
The most vital piece of immigration reform is not even being contemplated–it would be to reshape our laws to minimize Moslem immigration to this country. At present Moslems are flooding in via, for example, the immigration “lottery” (focused on encouraging “diversity”), family reunion programs, illegal immigration (via both Canada and Mexico) and refugee programs. (These are weighted against Christians because the UN decides who is a refugee and the refugee program is dominated by Moslem states.)
Europe is already experiencing the results of uncontrolled Moslem immigration as no-go zones multiply, the price of speech offensive to Moslems is life on the run and Moslems waging civilizational jihad against the West grow ever more emboldened. Jews pay the highest cost with life actually becoming intolerable for them in some major European cities. They will pay the highest cost here as well. Of course with their customary inability to understand, let alone follow, their most vital interests, Jewish organizations would undoubtedly be the loudest in attacking any rational reform of our laws.
Today I received an e-mail from a prominent Israeli scientist. I had asked him why the same people whose lives are enhanced and lengthened by Israel’s dazzling contributions to medicine, science and technology should want to boycott and divest from Israeli companies and seek to terminate the Jewish state. He responded with his customary wit:
“First, there is the occupation of the laboratory. Then our medical Mossad spies on and locates and diagnoses errant and destructive cells and tumors. Then our assault team targets them and destroys them using all the weapons at our disposal including chemicals, drug protocols, radiation, genes and enzymes. Then when we are successful, we call a cease fire to observe and record the results.”
To this metaphorical jest he adds:
“In October 2012 a project by a Danish and Israeli team at Ariel University in Samaria developed a lower radiation modality which was demonstrated to be very effective in destroying recalcitrant lung tumors. The Israeli team included physics professors Konstantin Komoshvili, Jacob Levitan, and Asher Yahalom, as well as engineering professor Boris Kapilewitch and Dr. Stella Aronov of Ariel’s cancer research lab. On the Danish side, the team includes researchers from Denmark’s Technical University and the well-known physicist Henrik Bohr, grandson of the Jewish physicist and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr, and a nephew of nuclear physicist Aage Bohr, also a Nobel Prize winner.
Pretty impressive, but my scientist-friend also notes that on December 27, 2012 Alistair Burt, British Minister for the Middle East expressed “deep disappointment” at the upgrading of Ariel to university status, stating: “Ariel is beyond the Green Line in a settlement that is illegal according to international law. This decision will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace.”
Within Mr. Burt’s fictitious “Green Line”–equally derided by Israel’s antagonists who are opposed to Israel in any borders–are scientific and medical research institutions that have made Israel’s healthcare system, with its early detection and treatment of a wide variety of chronic and infectious diseases, a top world contender in the International Organization for Co-operation and Development.
Innovations in vaccines, diagnosis and treatment of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinsonism, and infections are impossible to enumerate in the space allotted to this column. In one startling success, Dr. Leo Sachs of the Weizmann Institute has developed a process which causes the cells of acute promyelocytic leukemia, which has bedeviled international researchers for decades, to return to their normal function and is helping to cure 70% of all APL sufferers.
Paraplegics walk again with the aid of treatment and advanced robotics developed in Israel; surgical sealants replace sutures and their potential for site infection; advances in waste management reduce harmful emissions and pollution; early pregnancy problems are diagnosed and treated successfully; innovative farming and water saving techniques help to avoid famines. Communications of every type depend on Israeli innovation. Commercial ‘blotters” clean up oil spills and hazardous materials. The list goes on and on.
I am deeply indebted to Michael Ordman whose blogs (www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com and http://blogs.jpost.com/users/just-look-us-now) provide weekly updates on Israel’s medical, technological, agricultural, environmental contributions. Ordman’s cross post with the British journalist Ray Cook assails “the hypocrisy and ignorance of those who would, in their blindness and ideological zeal, boycott divest and sanction Israel. Note that this is not simply boycotting goods manufactured in the ‘occupied territories’ but all goods.” They bitingly suggest a list of daily products and drugs and treatments that boycotters of Israel should be denied which would deprive them of water, computers, phones, medications, diagnostic tools and tests, travel and entertainment. Not a bad idea at all.
Editor’s note: Below are excerpts from a 2009 essay by Nadav Shragai on what is known as the E-1 area between Jerusalem and M’aale Adumim. Netanyahu’s declaration that Israel will build there has produced a firestorm of criticism worldwide, including from the Obama administration, which calls it a “provocative action.” Yet, as this three year old essay makes clear, in saying that he will build in this corridor Netanyahu promises no more than what every Prime Minister since Rabin has undertaken to do. Under U.S. pressure all of them have backed down. The question remains open whether this time building will go beyond planning and rhetoric.
Every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has supported the plan to create Israeli urban contiguity between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem. The centerpiece of the E-1 program involves the construction of 3,500 housing units, a commercial area, and a hotel zone. The plan is a subject of bitter international controversy, with the Palestinians claiming that it would prevent sovereign Palestinian contiguity between the northern and southern areas of the West Bank. The United States has supported the Palestinian position and has sought to block Israeli construction at the site, pending a final peace agreement.
The Israeli interest, one that tends to be ignored by the international community, is to bring E-1 to fruition by establishing contiguity between Jerusalem in the west and Maale Adumim as well as the approaches to the Dead Sea in the east, as part of a security belt of Jewish communities surrounding Israel’s capital. Without control of the E-1 area, Israel is apprehensive about a Palestinian belt of construction that will threaten Jerusalem from the east, block the city’s development eastward, and undermine Israel’s control of the Jerusalem-Jericho road. This major artery is of paramount strategic importance for Israel in order to transport troops and equipment eastward and northward via the Jordan Rift Valley in time of war, and this road is already subject to growing pressure from unchecked Palestinian building.
An almost total consensus prevails in Israel regarding the need to connect Maale Adumim to Jerusalem via construction in E-1. Yet, aside from building the police headquarters of the Judea and Samaria District in the area, no further construction has occurred due to American opposition.
The national census for England and Wales has come out, and, as usual, this once-a-decade event has had all of its most significant points overlooked.
By any measure, what it reveals is a country undergoing seismic change. Over the course of a decade up to four million more people have entered the country to live. In the capital, London, people identifying themselves as “white British” have for the first time become a minority. Perhaps most strikingly, the national Muslim population has doubled.
This last fact is perhaps one of the least considered of the census so far. Doubled? Surely not. This has to be the claim of Mark Steyn or some other demographics-obsessed nut. Well no, it isn’t, and it is now official: between 2001 and 2011 the Muslim population of the UK rose from 1.5 million to 2.7 million. Otherwise put, that is an increase from 3 percent to 4.8 percent of the overall population.
If in 2001 the British Prime Minister had said to the British public that over the next decade he intended to double the number of Muslims in the country, he would most likely never have been returned to office. But of course he did not say that, any more than any of his successors or predecessors did.
For the last decade, every major politician has lied about this issue. While talking tough, about putting a cap on immigrant numbers, pushing people to assimilate and much else besides, they have done nearly nothing. For instance, ten years ago Home Secretary David Blunkett talked as tough as he thought he could, saying that migrants ought to learn English. His successor, Jacqui Smith, said the same thing five years later. As did immigration minister Phil Woolas a couple of years after that. Throughout the last decade the Labour government managed to do exactly what the Conservative and coalition governments before and after them have also managed to do: go as far as they thought they could in rhetoric while going wholly against what they said–and the wishes of the country — in actions.
Now we can see the fruits of their labors. The census reveals that three million people are now living in households where no adult speaks English as their primary language. As Labour’s Sadiq Khan has admitted, local councils have spent their money on translation services rather than language classes, thus actually dissuading people from learning the language. The result is communities with inter-generational language barriers. There are parts of London where a quarter of the people are in the same situation. They have created a society where many people can speak about each other but many cannot actually speak to each other. And all the while politicians and pundits are busy trying to pretend that this is all the most wonderful result imaginable.
Surprised that Israelis entering Jordan are required to deposit religious Jewish items, like skullcaps and tefillin, for “security reasons”?
It’s happening in many European countries as well, where Jews are once again in grave danger and Judeophobia has become the common currency of politics.
Jews in Denmark have just been warned by Israeli officials not to appear publicly wearing Jewish religious symbols such as yarmulkes or stars of David in order to avoid increasing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic altercations. “We advise Israelis who come to Denmark and want to go to the synagogue to wait to don their skull caps until they enter the building and not to wear them in the street, irrespective of whether the areas they are visiting are seen as being safe,” said Israel’s ambassador to Denmark, Arthur Avnon.
Got that? To be identifiable as a Jew in public in Europe is to invite violence. There are areas in its bigger cities where you cannot go outside looking like a Jew–it’s like being in Gaza. In the last few weeks, an Israeli representative of the Magen David Adom was attacked at Copenhagen Central Station, while in central Copenhagen Jews who were wearing a kippah have been physically and verbally attacked. An elderly Israeli man was assaulted by a group of Arabic-looking men when he ate a kebab at Nørrebro. They kicked the victim several times and tore his necklace, on which a visible star of David was hanging, off. That’s why today most Danish Jews think twice before deciding whether to wear a necklace with a Star of David on it.
Jewish students have been advised not to wear a kippah in the streets in Germany either. The Abraham Geiger Theological College in Potsdam advises its rabbis against wearing a kippah in public, while the orthodox Or Avner school in Berlin has issued similar guidelines. Whenever its pupils go on trips to the zoo or the museum, Jewish pupils are warned: “Speak German, not Hebrew, put a baseball cap over your kippah so you don’t give stupid people something to get annoyed about.” Camouflaged in this way, young Jews travel on Berlin’s metro trains. The rector of the school has explained that “it is safer to not appear to be a Jewish person”.
Recently, Finland’s Jewish community was advised not to wear the skullcap in public for fear of anti-Semitic attacks.
In Malmö, Sweden, the country which once gave the world saints like Raoul Wallenberg, members of the local synagogue decided not to keep on their kippahs upon exiting their synagogue.
Norway’s Jewish Community has advised its members against speaking Hebrew loudly on the streets or wearing Jewish emblems. Norwegian police have just increased security around Oslo’s main synagogue. A teacher, Inge Telhaug, who was wearing a Magen David around his neck under a T-shirt, was informed by the Kristiansand Adult Education Center that wearing the star could be deemed a provocation towards the many Muslim students at the school.
(Editor’s note: This is another in our series celebrating the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.)
In early 1927, a small group of residents in what was then called Palestine, spurred by the Zionist goal of reclaiming Israel and encouraged by the promises of the Balfour Declaration, established a community south of Jerusalem on land recently bought by a Jewish landholding company. They named it “Migdal Eder” after a site named in the Torah. The community faced continual hardships and the Arab riots of 1929 soon drove them off.
In 1935 Shmuel Holtzman, a Zionist pioneer inspired by the biblical history of the area–the footprints of Abraham and Isaac on the path to Moriah, the fields where Ruth gathered sheaves, the hills where David was a shepherd, and the caves where the Maccabees and the soldiers of Bar Kochba hid– established a village which he named Kfar Etzion. The name derives from the word Etz – Hebrew for “Holtz,” German for “wood,” after the name of the founder.
Again, the village was pillaged and the residents were forced to evacuate. Undaunted, in 1943 Jews returned and established four communities in the Gush Etzion area–Kfar Etzion, Masuot Yitzhak, Ein Tzurim and Revadim. The first three were religious kibbutzim of the Hapoel Hamizrachi movement, the last a kibbutz of the far left’s Hashomer Hazair, then also dedicated to settlement of the entire Land of Israel. When, in 1947, an Arab mob attacked, the Haganah sent a few dozen soldiers in support, led by Commander Danny Mass. The platoon was detected and ambushed by local Arabs and fighting to the death, all thirty five were killed.
The Jews in these communities managed to hold on for another year. After a series of attempts by Jewish forces to break through and reinforce them, they were totally cut off. Vastly outnumbered, they fell after a prolonged siege on May 14, 1948, a day before the declaration of the State of Israel. In the battle with the Jordanian Legion, led by Britain’s General Sir John Glubb (known as Glubb Pasha) two hundred and forty defenders of Gush Etzion were killed and another 260 were captured. The Jordanians razed the communities to the ground.
Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion praised the brave defenders of the Etzion settlements:
“I can think of no battle in the annals of the Israel Defense Forces which was more magnificent, more tragic or more heroic than the struggle for Gush Etzion … If there exists a Jewish Jerusalem, our foremost thanks go to the defenders of Gush Etzion.”