Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Humanitarian Travesty in Gaza


Video of the week-  Media, Murder and Israel - http://tinyurl.com/y9zlhxp5


For the full article go to - http://tinyurl.com/yaepkxec

By Evelyn Gordon 14-6-2017

Gaza’s worsening electricity crisis provides a textbook example of why many so-called human-rights organizations no longer deserve to be taken seriously. The crisis stems entirely from an internal dispute between the Palestinians’ two rival governments, and since it can’t be blamed on Israel, most major rights groups have ignored it, preferring to focus instead on such truly pressing issues as—this is not a joke—playing soccer in the settlements. But the exceptions to this rule are even worse: They’re the ones so untroubled by facts that they’ve actually found a way to blame Israel for a problem entirely of the Palestinians’ own making.

A brief recap: Back in April, Gaza ran out of fuel for its only power plant because neither the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority nor Gaza’s Hamas-run government—both of which have plenty of money to spend on fomenting anti-Israel terror—would agree to pay for it. The argument focuses specifically on a tax the PA imposed on the fuel, which Hamas won’t pay but the PA won’t lower. The fuel shortage slashed Gaza’s power supply to about four hours a day.

That same month, the PA announced it would stop paying for 40 percent of the electricity Israel sends Gaza via high-voltage wires, and Hamas naturally refused to take over the payments. Israel continued providing the power anyway for about six weeks, but this week, it finally decided to stop giving Hamas free electricity. That will reduce Gaza’s power supply to three hours a day or less.

The power shortage is creating a worse humanitarian crisis in Gaza than Israel’s partial blockade ever did, yet neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch—both of which issued countless statements about the blockade—has published a single press release about the electricity crisis. Astoundingly, however, HRW did find time to issue no fewer than three press statements in May blasting the international soccer association’s refusal to take action against Israel over six soccer teams in the settlements. Apparently, playing soccer in a settlement is a much more serious humanitarian problem than being without power 20 hours a day.

But the Israeli organization Gisha—the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement—adopted an even more dishonest tack in an op-ed published in Haaretz last week (before Israel decided to stop giving Gaza free electricity). Field worker Mohammed Azaizeh provided heart-rending descriptions of the problems Rantisi Children’s Hospital faces due to the power crisis, but was curiously reticent about the cause: He said only that the power plant stopped operating “due to a political conflict,” without ever identifying the parties to the conflict.

He also noted that Gaza’s hospitals are severely short of medicine and medical equipment, but again offered no explanation, not even the lame excuse of an unspecified “political conflict.” Yet in fact, the same political conflict is at fault: In May, the PA stopped paying for Gaza’s medicine, and Hamas refuses to do so itself, so Gaza’s medical stocks are rapidly being depleted.

Only toward the end did Azaizeh finger an actual villain:

Even transferring equipment from Israel that was bought in advance especially for Rantisi is a challenge: Four months have passed since the renovation of the oncology department, with the help of monetary assistance from an American foundation, and they’re still waiting here for essential parts for the air conditioning system. The entry of the parts and equipment into Gaza is being delayed because Israel decided to label them “dual-use” items.

Let’s ignore the fact that this particular lack is irrelevant to Rantisi’s woes, since a hospital Azaizeh described as lacking enough power to keep its lights on certainly doesn’t have enough to run its air conditioners, with or without parts. The key sentence is the clever segue between the paragraph about the lack of medical equipment and the one about the lack of air conditioning: Not only is medical equipment lacking, but “Even transferring equipment from Israel that was bought in advance especially for Rantisi is a challenge.”

Thus without actually saying so, Azaizeh managed to imply that the shortage of medical equipment also stems from Israeli restrictions. And from there, it’s an easy step to concluding that the unspecified “political conflict” behind the power crisis must also involve Israel. In reality, of course, Israel has never interfered with shipments of either fuel or medicine to Gaza, though it has barred dual-use items that aren’t humanitarian necessities.

A human-rights organization that actually cared about Gaza’s humanitarian crisis would name and shame the responsible parties—Fatah and Hamas—in an effort to pressure them to compromise, or at least make clear that the crisis stems from nonpayment and urge international donors to cover the shortfall. Yet Azaizeh’s op-ed makes no effort to address the causes of the crisis; its sole purpose is to smear Israel.


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gaza marks unhappy anniversary - 10 years under Hamas rule

Video of the week A Muslim speaks out against Hamas; http://tinyurl.com/y8cfokxg

By JPost Editorial; June 11, 2017 


This week is the 10th anniversary of the bloody Hamas coup that enabled the creation of an Islamist, terrorist quasi- state on Israel’s southern border.

Now that the Six Day War jubilee commemorations are over, it is time to mark another event that is integrally linked to that historic victory’s aftermath.

This week is the 10th anniversary of the bloody Hamas coup that enabled the creation of an Islamist, terrorist quasi- state on Israel’s southern border. It is an anniversary that few Gazans can celebrate.

On June 10, 2007, fighting between Hamas and Fatah began. Within days, Fatah had lost control of the Strip and Ismail Haniyeh became the effective leader of a new terrorist state in the Middle East.

Since those five days of Palestinian civil war resulted in the separation of the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank from the Hamas regime of Gaza, Hamas has forced its people to suffer several destructive wars with Israel. It continues to prepare for another conflict in the deluded hope of vanquishing the IDF.
 
It had alternatives. When Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 it left behind millions of dollars’ worth of hothouses that could have been used to grow produce. Instead they were used to grow rockets and roadside bombs and to hide entrances to cross-border attack tunnels into Israel.

Due to this continued focus on terrorism, Hamas has succeeded in achieving the highest unemployment rate in the world for a population that has electricity for only a few hours a day and lacks a regular supply of drinking water.

Hamas has used its 10-year rule to turn Gaza into the very prison camp its supporters accuse Israel of running.

Instead of using the foreign aid funds that support its rule to build homes to replace those destroyed in the 2014 war it provoked with Israel, the terrorist leadership diverts essential construction materials to rebuilding its network of attack tunnels for another pointless round, in an apparent attempt to divert public attention from its abuse of power.


Hamas is essentially holding its own people hostage, preventing an improvement of their lives by deciding to dedicate its resources and attention to destroying the Jewish state instead of to the prosperity of its people.

Israel, for its part, has warned the UN that Gaza is on the brink of either a water or an electricity crisis – or both.

The Independent reported recently that Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the IDF coordinator of government activities in the Palestinian territories, sent letters to the UN’s envoy for the Middle East peace process and others urging action to prevent the situation for civilians from deteriorating further. It was the second warning he issued in six months.

“Instead of worrying about the welfare of residents, Hamas is harming them and making it difficult for the international organization that worked hard to supply drinking water,” he wrote.

“Hamas must immediately provide needed electricity to operate the desalination plant for the good of residents, but instead the terrorist organization has chosen to send electricity to its terror tunnels and the homes of its leaders.”

Nevertheless, Israel continues to transfer hundreds of truckloads of supplies into Gaza daily even though it shouldn’t have to. Gaza shares a border with Egypt which should take responsibility for the Palestinians. The problem is that Cairo doesn’t want that headache.

An important indication that Hamas maintains its commitment to its declared goal of destroying Israel was the recent appointment of hard-core terrorist Yahya Sinwar as the Hamas warlord. A veteran of more than 20 years in Israeli prisons, Sinwar is a harsh enforcer of loyalty within the group and an unstinting enemy of Israel.

A decade after seizing Gaza, Hamas is a complete failure on all accounts. It doesn’t provide for its people and it doesn’t succeed in its sworn mission to destroy Israel.

Israel should not expect a change anytime soon. While it recently issued a revised policy document, it did not amend its charter: Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction.

What should change is the Arab world’s attitude toward Gaza. For the last 10 years, Arab states have stayed away from Gaza due to its volatility and an understanding that there is no good outcome there on the horizon.

Nevertheless, if they really care for the Palestinians and genuinely want to see a peace deal with Israel, they can start by working on changing Gaza. It’s been 10 years. We hope it’s not too late.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Was the 6 Day War Unprovoked??

Video of the week:The 6 Days War Explained - In Animation - http://tinyurl.com/yctxpjvb



MYTH
"Israel's military strike in 1967 was unprovoked."

FACT
A combination of bellicose Arab rhetoric, threatening behavior and, ultimately, an act of war left Israel no choice but preemptive action. To do this successfully, Israel needed the element of surprise. Had it waited for an Arab invasion, Israel would have been at a potentially catastrophic disadvantage.

While Nasser continued to make speeches threatening war, Arab terrorist attacks grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched.

Meanwhile, Syria's attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down six Syrian MiGs. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union — which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt — gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt.

On May 15, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.

Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force, stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly, as his predecessor had promised, Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs proclaimed (May 18, 1967):

As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.

An enthusiastic echo was heard May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:

Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.

On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran. The following day, President Johnson expressed the belief that the blockade was illegal and unsuccessfully tried to organize an international flotilla to test it.

Nasser was fully aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel's hand. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly: "The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war."

Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily. "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27. The following day, he added: "We will not accept any...coexistence with Israel...Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel....The war with Israel is in effect since 1948."

King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced:
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.

President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map." On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. Approximately 250,000 troops (nearly half in Sinai), more than 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft ringed Israel.

By this time, Israeli forces had been on alert for three weeks. The country could not remain fully mobilized indefinitely, nor could it allow its sea lane through the Gulf of Aqaba to be interdicted. Israel's best option was to strike first.On June 5, the order was given to attack Egypt.


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Thursday, June 1, 2017

50 Jerusalem facts for the 50 years of reunification


Video of the week -The 50th anniversary of reunification of Jerusalem - http://tinyurl.com/yaa97dth

By Eliana Rudee, Jewish News Service (JNC) 16-5-2017
For the full article go to- http://tinyurl.com/yc556sv8

Israelis celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification May 23-24. Leading up to the holy city’s semi-centennial milestone, here are 50 facts highlighting the rich tapestry of Israel’s capital:

Reunification
1. Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

2. During the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem, Jews were not allowed to access their holy sites, including the Western Wall.

History
3. Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times and destroyed twice over the course of 3,000 years.

4. Israel is the only country to enter the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, and you can enjoy them over a picnic or barbecue in the Jerusalem Forest.

5. The name “Jerusalem” most likely comes from “Urusalim,” a word of Semitic origin meaning “Foundation of Shalem (wholeness)” or “Foundation of God.”

Religion
6. Jerusalem has more synagogues per capita than any city in the world.

7. Jerusalem is the only city in which some 15 different Christian communities live alongside one another, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

8. Jerusalem is considered the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

9. Jerusalem is the third-holiest city in Islam, outside of Mecca and Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.

10. Jerusalem is mentioned more than 600 times in the Hebrew Bible, but not once in Islam’s Quran.

11. In the Middle Ages, Jews were banned from Jerusalem by Christians, and Muslims later lifted the ban.

12. There are more than 70 different Hebrew names for Jerusalem in Jewish scripture.

Tourism
13. Jerusalem is statistically safer than nearly most large U.S. cities and many major cities elsewhere in the world.

14. Jerusalem hotels record more than 2.5 million overnight stays by foreign tourists each year.

15. Thirty-thousand people ran in this year’s Jerusalem Marathon.

Holy sites
16. Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives is home to 150,000 Jewish graves, dating back to the 1400s.

17. Under Israeli rule, Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, their religion’s holiest site.

18. The Old City of Jerusalem is divided into the Muslim Quarter, Christian Quarter, Jewish Quarter and Armenian Quarter.

19. The Dome of the Rock is not a mosque, but an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount.

Government
20. Although all branches of the Israeli government are headquartered in Jerusalem, the city is not home to any foreign embassies. President Donald Trump is considering moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Archaeology
21. The 2.5-mile-long walls around Jerusalem’s Old City were built in 1536 by Suleiman the Magnificent.

22. Jerusalem has more than 2,000 archaeological sites.

23. Archaeology proves Jews have lived in Jerusalem since 3000 B.C.

24. Archaeologists have found 3,800-year-old pottery in the City of David.

Education
25. Jerusalem has separate educational and religious systems for its Christian, Muslim and Jewish populations.

Culture
26. Jerusalem has one of the highest-rated nightclubs in the world: Haoman 17.

27. There are 26 wineries in Jerusalem, according to United with Israel.
28. Bob Dylan held his eldest son Jesse’s bar mitzvah at the Western Wall.

29. The actress Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem.

Demographics
30. Jerusalem is Israel’s largest city in both landmass and population.

31. Jerusalem’s population is comprised of 61 percent Jews, 36 percent Muslims, 1 percent Arab Christians and 1 percent non-Arab Christians.

32. While the country’s self-identified “secular” Jewish population is 44 percent, Jerusalem’s secular Jewish population is just 19 percent.

33. Of Jerusalem’s Muslim population, 62 percent identify as religious and just 1 percent identify as not observant.

34. Jerusalem has had a Jewish demographic majority since 1864.
35. Jerusalem represents about 0.001 percent of the landmass of the Middle East.

36. Eighteen percent of Israel’s Arab population lives in Jerusalem, compared to 8 percent of Israel’s total Jewish population.

37. Eleven percent of Jerusalem homeowners are foreign residents, compared to 3 percent in Israel at large.

38. Thirty-four percent of Jerusalem’s Jews identify as haredi.

Economy
39. Nearly 37 percent of all Jerusalem families live below the poverty line, which represents 61 percent of all Jerusalem’s children.

40. Jerusalem is home to more than 400 high-tech companies.

41. The number of high-tech start-ups in Jerusalem has grown from 200 to more than 600 since 2012.

42. Fourteen percent of the Jerusalem workforce is self-employed.

43. Arab families in Jerusalem are almost three times as likely to live below the poverty line compared to Jewish families in Jerusalem. This is attributed to a large difference in number of years in education.

44. Seventy-nine percent of Jewish women in Jerusalem work, compared to 70 percent of Jewish men.

45. Women in Jerusalem earn 25 percent less income than the average man, compared to 46 percent less in Tel Aviv.

46. The Jerusalem-founded company Mobileye, bought by Intel this year, was part of the largest-ever acquisition of an Israeli technology company.

Immigration and migration
47. This year, a noticeably high proportion (almost 50 percent) of newcomers to Jerusalem were 20-34 years old.

48. Of those who move to Jerusalem, 38 percent come from Beit Shemesh and Tel Aviv.

49. Brazilian immigration to Jerusalem tripled during the past year.

50. The new immigrant population of Jerusalem—those arriving in the past 20 years—represents about 13 percent of the city’s Jewish population.


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