Saturday, October 20, 2007

We should be alarmed and moved to action-now!

Jonathan Rosenblum

The end of the bargain The historic bargain linking American Jewry and Israel since the founding of the state is coming to an end. The terms of the deal were unspoken, but clear: Israel would provide American Jews with a sense of pride and identity as Jews, and they, in turn, would shower upon Israel their financial and political support. But Israel is no longer a source of pride for non-Orthodox Jews, and the identity it provides is not one which they wish to share.
That conclusion emerges from "Beyond Distancing: Young Adult American Jews and Their Alienation from Israel," a recent study published under the auspices of the The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies by sociologists Steven M. Cohen and Ari Y. Kelman. They found that American Jews under 35 do not care very much about Israel. They are not just apathetic about Israel; that indifference is "giving way to downright alienation," write Cohen and Kelman.

More than half of Jews under 35 said that they would not view the destruction of Israel as a personal tragedy. The death and expulsion of millions is something they could live with. By those standards, they probably would not see the Holocaust as a "personal" tragedy either.

What young Jews under 35 feel toward Israel goes beyond apathy to outright resentment. Israel complicates their social lives and muddies their political identity. Only 54 percent profess to be comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state at all. In Europe and on elite American campuses, internationalism and a world-without-borders are the rage. The Jews of Israel, with their stubborn insistence on protecting their nation-state, are, as always, out-of-sync.

Young American Jews do not wish to be tarred with such atavisms. On campus and where enlightened folk meet, Israel is scorned as a colonial oppressor. Who wants to be identified as a sympathizer with "apartheid"? Once Reform Judaism disavowed Zionism for fear of being thought disloyal to its host countries, and young American Jews today share similar fears of being out of step with their enlightened peers.
MOLLY UMBERGER, whose mother is program director of the leftist New Israel Fund (NIF), told The Jerusalem Post that she views both Israel and the Palestinians as having made lots of mistakes and the situation as complicated, but generally "tries not to think about [Israel]." No wonder when Bruce Temkin, the director of the NIF, describes Israel as a "turn-off." Daniel Alperin, 33, describes his interest in Israel as waning when he began to hear "the bad stuff" - probably about the time he entered college.

Already the trend lines were pointing in this direction 40 years ago. In a 1965 Commentary symposium of younger Jewish intellectuals - the least religiously identified segment of American Jewry - only one expressed complete comfort with Israel's creation and pride in its accomplishments, and he eventually made aliya. The rest expressed various degrees of discomfort with Israel's militarism (and this was before 1967 and the "occupation"). The only Jewish identity they acknowledged at all was that of the "Jew" as the perpetually alienated critic of those in power - not exactly one upon which to base a connection to other Jews. Now the rest of American Jewry is catching up to those once young intellectuals.

JEWISH AGENCY Chairman Ze'ev Bielski labeled the results "very distressing," and then proceeded to give a ridiculous explanation for those numbers: the comfortable life of most American Jews.

Cohen and Kelman know better. And their answer is summed up in the demographic they did not interview for their study: Orthodox Jews. For a survey of young Orthodox Jews would have yielded a diametrically opposite result.

Younger Jews, those for whom their Judaism is important - primarily the Orthodox - will remain connected to the fate of their fellow Jews in Israel. Most Orthodox American youth will study in Israel after high school, some for many years. And almost all will visit Israel many times. Eretz Yisrael is not a mere abstraction for them, but the center of the spiritual life of the Jewish people.

Even an anti-Zionist Satmar hassid living in the secluded village of Monroe will intensify his prayers when Israel is at war and follow the action closely. Why? Because for him the name Jew means something.

THE MAJORITY of young American Jews and the majority of young Israelis share in common a lack of interest in their Judaism. That shared negativity, however, provides little basis for a relationship. Shared gene pools won't do it either - that smacks of racism. And ethnic identity, it turns out, cannot be passed down or survive the breakup of ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods.

But the survey signals something else as well: a declining understanding on the part of American Jews of Judaism in terms of a national identity that imposes obligations to one's co-nationals. That is being replaced by a return to the self-definition of classic German Reform: German (or in this case American) nationals of the Mosaic persuasion.

THE IMPACT of the declining sense of responsibility to one's fellow Jews is being felt within American Jewry itself, not just in attitudes toward Israel. Already only 6% of giving by mega-Jewish foundations goes to remotely Jewish causes. It is hardly surprising, for instance, that non-Jewish spouses are not eager to contribute to Jewish causes. In time, funding the institutions of American Jewry will become ever more difficult. And the Orthodox will be left to donate to Israel.

The political implications for Israel are large as well. Fortunately, Professors Walt and Mearsheimer are wrong about an Israel lobby comprised mostly of those with Jewish-sounding names. It is devout Christians, and not some nefarious Israel lobby, which is the primary bulwark of American support for Israel today. That we have to rely on Christian political support, rather than our fellow Jews, however, is a very mixed blessing indeed.

Sarkozy to tell Olmert Time for peace

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday he would tell Prime Minister Ehud Olmert next week that "now is the time" to make peace with the Palestinians. Olmert was planning to visit Paris on Monday, and Sarkozy said he would make the same case as the one he made to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last month in New York.
"My message to Mr. Olmert will simply be that ... time has come to make peace," Sarkozy told a news conference after an EU summit in Lisbon. "Now is the time to take risks and build a lasting peace."
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was encouraged by a round of Mideast diplomacy being held in preparation for a US-hosted peace conference, planned for Annapolis, Maryland, later this year, despite divisions between Israel and the Palestinians that could derail it.
Rice said four days of intense discussions with Israeli and Palestinian officials had convinced her they were serious about forging a document that, when endorsed at the conference in late November or December, would start the negotiations.

Gaza kids embroiled in civil war'

Jews no longer the enemy? Gaza children take up new war game: Hamas vs. Fatah Two groups of children "fighting" each other are a common site in many places around the world, although the "parties to the conflict" are usually different depending on where the game is played. Now, after long years where the Palestinian version of the game pitted "Arabs against Jews," recently a new version has been taking over the Gaza Strip – "Hamas vs. Fatah."

In this version of the game, the children are divided into two camps – Fatah and Hamas "members." The kids then proceed to fight each other using plastic weapons, until one of the sides surrenders and hands over its weapons to its rivals.

I want to be like daddy - Gaza kids take after adults (Photo: Reuters)

The new game can be easily spotted these days, London-based Arabic language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported this week. The playground is the streets and alleys of the Gaza Strip, with the children making use of plastic rifles, handguns, and grenades during the game.

"One of my brothers refused to play with Hamas supporters and is playing with Fatah supporters, while my other brother is in the Hamas group," 10-year-old Ahmed said.

'Symbolic blows' only
Meanwhile, another child elaborated on the rules of the game: "We use rifles and handguns that fire plastic ammunition. Those hurt by the fire must surrender, hand over their weapons, and put their hands up. After they surrender, we chain their hands, place them under arrest, and beat them up." However, the child noted that those were symbolic blows not delivered with full force.

According to the report, one of the Fatah teams is led by a 12-year-old child who makes sure to walk around wearing an army uniform and has named himself after a senior Fatah figure executed by Hamas during the Islamic group's takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas Asserts on Rejection of any kinds of negotiations with Israel

Gaza, October 16, 2007, (RNA) – Hamas Islamic movement reiterated Tuesday on its "fixed position" which refuses any kind of negotiations with Israel Please wait ...

Gaza, October 16, 2007, (RNA) – Hamas Islamic movement reiterated Tuesday on its "fixed position" which refuses any kind of negotiations with Israel. In a statement sent to RNA, Hamas said that it refuses any kinds of negotiations with the Israelis. Hamas statement comes after the statement of the spokesperson of the dismissed Palestinian PM Haniyya, Ghazi Hamad, who stated to RNA that Hamas does not object the principle of negotiations with Israel. The Islamic movement said that Hamad's statement expresses his personal point of view and individual believes rather than the principle of the movement it self. Worthy to mention that the spokesperson of Israeli Foreign Ministry Amira Oron said that Israel is ready for talks with Hamas with three conditions; recognition the state of Israel, respect all former agreements between Israel and Palestine, and stop violence against Israel.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Promoting Arab Democracy (or not): What the Past Should Tell Us about the Future (Part I)

J. Scott Carpenter

Democracy is a powerful tool in the war of ideas. Given its potential for countering radical ideology and expanding freedom in Arab countries, promoting it is a long-term U.S. national security interest. This perspective is not just theoretical, but is based on experience in the field and in government. The United States should therefore remain committed to democracy promotion despite recent challenges. Doing so requires a careful examination of Washington’s efforts thus far&#mdash;both the positive achievements and the areas that need work.

Getting It Right
In recent years, the United States has correctly identified the most fundamental problem in the Arab world and has been determined to do something about it. The rampant stagnation and demographic time bombs in the region could no longer be ignored—Washington resolved to add internal governance to the list of agenda items for its autocratic friends. In doing so, it clearly recognized that the best long-term response to terrorist ideology, and therefore the best course of action for U.S. security, lay in supporting political and economic liberalization in the Arab world.

Until recently, the Bush administration successfully separated the Arab-Israeli peace process from the question of internal governance. For the first time, a U.S. administration refused to allow the conflict to be an excuse for ignoring political and economic reform. Without a doubt, resolving the conflict would accelerate reform, but its continuance should not be used to avoid necessary change.

The administration crafted a holistic approach across multiple departments and agencies, particularly within the State Department, to advance this policy. It also sought to coordinate all foreign assistance to stimulate reform. (The financial sector reform in Egypt is a perfect case in point.) Washington then invested in a number of tools to help advance the policy effectively, stressing economic liberalization as a featured component of democratization. The administration launched the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Middle East Free Trade Area, expanded bilateral investment treaties, and worked to get Arab governments into the World Trade Organization—all with the intention of using carrots to stimulate reform. It also launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative and the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, in addition to supporting large budgetary increases for the National Endowment for Democracy.

Washington also recognized—however slowly—that it needed partners, and it took steps to bring in the rest of the international community: the Community of Democracies, begun under President Bill Clinton, was continued, and the G8 BMENA was launched in 2004 and later expanded to other non-G8 nations. The latter initiative includes hundreds of nongovernmental organizations that, for the first time, are engaging Arab governments about the future direction of reform. The United States also worked to establish the UN’s New Democracy Fund, which has established projects in a number of Arab countries.

democratization across the board. The administration, unfortunately, did not counter these criticisms.

Finally, in terms of recent elections in the region, policymakers did not apply the clear democratic principle that armed political groups be banned from participating, especially in the cases of Hamas and Hizballah. In short, the United States made a mistake. It should have helped make clear—as Washington has done in other cases, like Northern Ireland—that groups cannot be part of the political process while remaining armed and threatening violence. In large measure, the comfort with allowing armed actors to participate in elections stemmed from Iraq. The argument that the January 2006 Palestinian elections would not be meaningful without Hamas echoed earlier debates preceding the elections in Iraq, where the United States naively permitted the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) to participate.

Going Forward
The issue of democratization in Arab countries will persist regardless of who is the next U.S. president. For policymakers, therefore, the question has become one of tactics, not strategy.

If the United States gives up on the democracy agenda, it will be forced to choose between increasingly decrepit autocrats and antidemocratic Islamists. Such a decision would also undermine U.S. credibility among those who have begun to trust the United States. Washington needs partners in the battle of ideas, and if those who are willing to fight do not believe that America stands by what it says, they will give up.

Finally, abandoning democracy promotion would be the equivalent of waving the white flag in the battle of ideas. Holding up a standard of managed autocracy is not motivational—sooner or later people will demand real change. Hopefully, the United States will be on the right side of history when that change occurs.

J. Scott Carpenter is Keston Family fellow at The Washington Institute and director of its Project Fikra, which focuses on empowering Ara

Brain drain

The country's universities are slowly emptying of their finest minds. The budget cuts of the past six years have meant that for every two scholars who retire, only one is accepted into the ranks of university faculty, while the very best academic minds are fleeing to the US and the UK like, well, rats from a sinking ship.
A bad analogy? Another example of the local pastime of exaggerated worrying? Not according to figures published recently by Dr. Dan Ben-David of Tel Aviv University, which show that economics researchers are leaving at ever-increasing speeds. With one of the highest market values outside academia of any academic discipline, economists are the canary in the coal mine of the brain drain - and the clue to what awaits the rest of Israeli academia if the trend is not reversed completely and soon.
Economic research here began at the top of the world. By 1970, barely two decades after the founding of the state, Israel "was among the most productive countries in the European area," reads the introduction to Ben-David's paper titled "Soaring Minds: The Flight of Israel's Economists," published earlier this summer by TAU and the prestigious Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London.
Local economists were prolific. A comparison of 600 academic institutions in Europe and Israel for the years 1971-2000 (Combes and Linnemer, 2002), showed that with 1/14 the number of researchers as in the UK, Israeli economists had almost one-fifth as many published pages. They fared even better in comparison with France - 10 percent the number of economists published 40% as much material.
And it was high-quality stuff, the research shows. In eight "blue-ribbon" journals at the top of the field, the vastly outnumbered Israelis published 49% as many pages as those published by UK economists and fully 85% as much as the French.
So, while the Americans reigned supreme in the field - and continue to do so - Israelis were second, publishing 2.5 times as much quality-weighted (that is, oft-cited) material per researcher as the next-best country, the UK. For the top eight journals, that figure shot up to almost seven-fold.
As Ben-David puts it, "We weren't just No. 1; we were in a league of our own outside the US."
Then something happened. Sometime in the latter half of the 1990s, something started to go wrong. The seven-to-one triumph over the Brits slowly dropped to four-to-one, and it's continuing to fall. "They got better," Ben-David explains, "but we also got worse."
During that period, Israel started witnessing a small but growing flight of its finest minds as universities were increasingly unable to offer the merit-based advancement these researchers craved or the salaries they were offered elsewhere.
SINCE MOST of the brain drain worldwide goes to the US, an examination of the situation of Israeli academics in America can provide a clue to the severity, in international comparison, of the situation.
The figures are staggering. Across all academic fields, Israel has a higher percentage of its researchers, 24.9%, living in America than any other country. The next-highest, Canada, has 12.2%. And Canada itself is an exception, with the next in line, the Netherlands, with 4.3% and Italy with 4.2%.
Worse, Ben-David's figures represent the lowest possible count for Israeli researchers living abroad. "Israeli academics" includes not just the universities, but the thousands who teach and work in dozens of small colleges. Second, an Israeli researcher in the US who also holds American citizenship - by no means an unusual situation - is not counted.
Statistics can be misleading. Perhaps more Israeli academics are in America because there are more Israeli academics in the first place.
Unfortunately, Ben-David's findings also give figures that correct for the population size of the sending country, and here Israel is once again the unfortunate leader in this export.
For every 100,000 Israelis, 22.7 of them are academic researchers in the US. The next in line are Koreans with 15.1, and Canadians at 12.7. At a distant third come a string of First World countries such as Australia (6.0), the UK (5.2) and Italy (4.0), followed by the last group of developing countries, such as Poland (2.4), Turkey (1.8) and China (1.1).
That is, major First World powers whose education officials are deeply concerned with their own brain drain to the US - it is currently a major political issue all over Europe - are dealing with a problem that is, by population count, about one-quarter the magnitude of Israel's. And here, suggestions for stemming the bleeding have only just begun to enter the public debate.
Note that Israel leads by a similar amount both in the percentage of US-based scholars to the country's general number of academics, and in scholars per home country population. This shows that it has a comparable number of academics per capita as the countries being compared. In both scales, the problem is immense.
Ben-David also provides a more personal breakdown of the problem. Of the top 13 most-cited economists during the 1990s, half have left Israeli academia in just three years. The two top-ranked economists, Elhanan Helpman and Oded Galor, have accepted lucrative positions at Harvard and Brown. Alex Cukierman, in fourth place, has retired. Manuel Trachtenberg, No. 7, is now an economic advisor in the Prime Minister's Office. No. 8, Daniel Tsiddon, has left academia for a top post at Bank Leumi. Shmuel Kandel, in 11th place, has died, and Ehud Lehrer, Ariel Rubinstein and Eddie Dekel, Nos. 5, 6 and 12, divide their teaching time between two tenured positions at Tel Aviv University and universities in the US. Only four of the 13 top-ranked economists have remained full-time in Israeli academia.
WHAT IS driving them away?
A massive and growing salary gap is certainly part of the story. According to figures drawn from salary and GDP data, the years 1996-2006 saw a massive growth in the already-huge wage gap between academic economists in the US and in Israel. In 1996, full and associate professors in the US earned more than 150% of the salaries of their Israeli counterparts (in 2005 dollars adjusted to purchasing power parity). The untenured post of assistant professor, comparable to "lecturer" in Israel, earned just over 160% of an Israeli salary at the same rank.
Then, over 10 years, American full professors' real salaries rose by 15.7%, while their Israeli colleagues saw a real drop of 1.6%, and the gap was even higher for associate professors. Among junior faculty, it was the highest, with the Americans earning 23.6% more in real terms, while the Israelis earned 1.3% less.
So, by 2006, full and associate professors made about 1.8 times their Israeli counterparts in real terms (again, adjusted for PPP, which in most cases increases the value of Israeli salaries). America's junior faculty now earn more than double their Israeli colleagues. Worse still, the gap presented here is for the average across Israeli and American academia. At the top universities, where the brain drain is worse and more damaging, the salary gap is even bigger.
But the technicalities of the growing salary gap don't tell the whole story. Ben-David sought to discover the gap not just in salaries - however adjusted - but the real change in quality of life the numbers represented. What were academic economists giving up by remaining in Israel?
The economic indicator of GDP per capita serves as a measure of the quality of life, indicating what slice of the economic pie a citizen lives on. In 1996, Israeli academic economists earned 2.7 times the GDP per capita, the standard salary in the economy. For their American counterparts it was 2.8.
Then their standard of living dropped precipitously in comparison to their American colleagues. By 2006, it had dropped to 2.3, while the Americans' remained steady at 2.8. But at the same time, the GDP per capita in the US had grown by 26.4% and in Israel by just 15.1%. Not only were Americans earning more of the pie at the end of the decade, the American pie had grown much faster. They were earning a higher percentage of a faster-growing economy.
It isn't that living here makes you less wealthy than living in the US - that is true across most professions. Rather, it is that the gap is growing at breakneck speed, leading at first to a trickle, and now a flood of the country's most brilliant who go in search of both salaries and research funds. While American academic economists can afford to send their children to the best universities, Israeli economists, if they remain in academia, can have trouble saving for a comfortable retirement.
BUT IT isn't just the money. Israel's gridlocked academic hierarchy, which due to union contracts must reward first by seniority and by merit a distant second, has led many of the best researchers to seek the seniority they deserve at an institution that will give it to them. Fully 40% of Israel's full or associate professors rank in the bottom third of its economists, according to worldwide citation indices. One-quarter of lecturers and senior lecturers, some of them untenured, rank above these professors in research impact - measured by citations - but are not advanced within the system.
So they go abroad to keep from losing a decade of their careers in a system that doesn't offer the promise of reasonable advancement.
The final result, Ben-David writes, "when its leading researchers opt for American universities" is that "the top Israeli economics departments have had to choose between two problematic options: lowering the quality threshold" for new faculty - "a move that will be difficult to overcome for decades thereafter - or becoming increasingly reliant on adjunct and visiting lecturers who are not a part of the permanent staffs. The choice thus far has been the latter."
This has led to a growing teaching staff of external faculty that work full-time "in the private and public sectors and [use] the teaching positions to supplement their incomes. Hence, not only is there a decline in the number of top economics researchers, the next generation of students is increasingly being taught and supervised by individuals who are not at the forefront of the economic science. Their exposure to state-of-the art ideas, theories and findings is becoming more and more limited. In other words, academic economics in Israel's research universities is less in danger of total collapse than it is of sliding into a mediocrity trap from which it will become extremely difficult to emerge."
As the CEPR brief on Ben-David's article explains, "The elimination of [Israel] from the international research envelope in the future has become a realistic possibility that will impact not only the State of Israel, which stands to lose the most, but the profession in general. This article provides a snapshot of an implosion in progress. It also provides a case study that is important for other countries to understand as some steadily advance toward the Israeli scenario."
So is Israeli higher education a slowly sinking ship? For a growing number of economists around the world, Israel's academic "implosion in progress" is already worthy of international study.

Rice lowers expectations ahead of peace conference

US Secretary of state tells reporters on flight from Tel Aviv to London declaration of principles won't resolve core issues of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says Israel's apprehensions regarding West Bank withdrawal legitimate US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Israel and the Palestinians would have to implement the diplomatic plan known as the road map en route to a permanent peace agreement.

Speaking to reporters on her flight from Tel Aviv to London, Rice hinted that to advance the peace process, Israel would have to freeze settlement growth and dismantle illegal outposts, while the Palestinians would have to take apart terror infrastructures.

Sources in Washington said the secretary of state's comments indicate a "back to reality" attitude on her part.

Rice said that her Mideast trip focused not only on obtaining a declaration of principles, but also on implementing the Road Map.

"Obviously, this is the beginning of a process and it’s the most serious process that they've had in some time (Israel and the Palestinian Authority)," she said.

"And so I talked not only about the document but also about how they could, in advance of any meeting that would take place, enhance confidence that they are indeed moving to a new set of conditions. And that means carrying out phase one of the Road Map obligations. It means confidence-building measures that might be taken. So we spent a great deal of time, a good deal of time, on that issue as well."

'Look what happened in Gaza'
Rice also expressed her thoughts on the possible threats Israel may face should it withdraw from the territories.

"If, in fact, they're going to be asked to withdraw from the West Bank at some point, what does that mean for the security of Israel? That's a fair question. It really is," she said. "And so one of the things that I take back is that we are going to need to spend a lot of time thinking about how this (Palestinian) state, if we are fortunate enough to be able to bring it into being, how it is going to relate to the security of its neighbor and vice versa.

"They (Israel) had the withdrawal from Lebanon and it brought instability in Lebanon. They had the withdrawal from the Gaza, and look what happened in Gaza," said the secretary of state.

National Security Advisor Steve Hadley is expected to arrive in Israel next week, while Rice is scheduled to return to the region in November.

Rice said there was significant progress made regarding the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but stressed that the declaration of principles, which will apparently be presented at the upcoming Annapolis peace conference, would not resolve them.

"It couldn't completely do that in seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks. It couldn't conceivably do that. So all this document is trying to do is to demonstrate that they believe that they have a basis for pushing forward on the resolution of those outstanding issues," she said.

'We won't attend ME talks at any price'

Khaled Abu Toameh

Comment: Like a small child who does not get his way he makes the next to ultimate threat-we won't go now. of course, this is designed to put pressure on the US to also put pressure on Israel-we shall see who stands down .
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday that the Palestinians won't go to the Annapolis conference "at any price."
His comments came as senior PA officials said it was almost certain that the conference would be postponed because of the failure of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to achieve progress on any of the fundamental issues, such as Jerusalem, the borders and refugees.
One official described Rice's current shuttle mission as a failure, saying she had failed to persuade Israel to change its "tough" position regarding Palestinian demands.
The Palestinians are demanding a comprehensive agreement with Israel on all the core issues before the conference, as well as an agreement on a fixed timetable for implementing the accord.
"I doubt if we will go the conference," said a top PA official. "The Americans and Israelis are not serious. We don't want to make fools out of ourselves."
"We can't waste more time," Abbas told reporters after meeting with Rice. "We can't go the conference at any price. This is unacceptable."
Abbas said he had complained to Rice about the lack of time the Israelis and Palestinians had to reach a deal ahead of the planned summit. "We must exploit every second from now and until the conference," he said. "The most important thing we are trying to reach is a clear and specific document that will help us resume negotiations [with Israel]."
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh also sounded pessimistic about the conference. "The gap between the two parties remains very wide," he said. "The president made it clear to Rice that it was difficult to trust Israel and that Israel must halt its policy of assassinations, incursions, settlement construction."
Abu Rudaineh added that the Palestinian position called for clear agreement on core issues and a timetable for its implementation. "Unfortunately, Israel's refusal to commit itself to a timetable is hindering progress," he said. "Israel is not serious about reaching a deal or making the conference succeed."
Nabil Amr, a top Abbas adviser, also criticized Israel, saying its attitude toward the planned conference remained "negative and ambiguous."

Rabbis Shocked Over Concessions in Jerusalem

"We have been stunned and shocked to hear of the intentions of our enemies from within and without, who speak openly about giving away and abandoning the Temple Mount and parts of the Jewish People's eternal capital." So begins a declaration issued today by the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Rabbis Council, headed by Rabbis Dov Lior and Zalman Melamed.
"The very thought of foreign defilement and control of the Mountain of G-d's Abode and in holy Jerusalem is shocking to every Jew. The Nation of Israel, charged with preserving the sanctity of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and all of Jerusalem - east and west - throughout the generations, will not allow these destructive, catastrophic and irresponsible intentions to be implemented, Heaven forbid."
"Those who even mention the possibility of abandoning the Temple Mount and of dividing Jerusalem will be forever remembered in ignominy by the Nation of Israel."

Rabbi Rosenne's Call
Rabbi Yisrael Rosenne, head of the Zomet Institute for Jewish Law, Technology and Modern Society, registers his own call to preserve Jerusalem - but throws in an unexpected add-on. In his weekly column in Zomet's "Shabbat B'Shabbato" synagogue pamphlet, Rabbi Rosenne writes:
"...Once again Jerusalem is under the knife on the operating table! ... Once again a trial balloon is sent off towards the Israeli public to see how it will respond to major concessions... But Master of the Universe, from how many national and security assets must we divest ourselves? We have conceded and conceded, and made gesture after gesture, and have 'come towards' again and again; we have given up the flowering Gush Etzion, and the Philadelphi Route, and we have freed thousands of dangerous terrorists - but did all this move anyone on the other side? Have we heard even the slightest peep of true peace over there? ..."
Rabbi Rosenne then changes tone by writing, "In truth, if I thought there was on the horizon a chance for true negotiations that would bring a lasting resolution, I would not balk at the idea of trading territories and their populations. Given the situation in which we live, there is room to talk about transferring Um El-Fahm and environs [the Arab-populated areas between Hadera and Afula known as The Triangle - ed.] to Palestinian Authority responsibility, in exchange for the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria."
He later clarified to Arutz-7 that he was not referring only to the three settlement blocs that the government is currently insisting on retaining - namely, Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, and Ariel. "Of course I mean also western Shomron, and the Binyamin areas, and Kedumim, etc.," the rabbi emphasized. "I certainly don't mean to imply that we should withdraw from areas that are not considered 'blocs.' My main point is that we are always willing to make concessions, while the other side doesn't respond in kind at all."
Rabbi Rosenne's article then continues, "I write this [idea of trading territory] with a heavy heart, but with a clear mind. If you will, we can learn from this week's Torah portion [in which the Patriarch Abraham offers to divide the land with his nephew Lot]... but G-d later comforts Abraham and says, 'Don't worry! There is yet time for the dream of the Complete Land of Israel to be fulfilled! 'For all the Land that you see, I will give to you and your descendants.'"
"But even if trading territory can be discussed, the idea of dividing Jerusalem can never be! ... Once the idea is even raised, our enemies hear and absorb - and later it will be too late for us to say that we didn't mean it or that it was taken out of context... The final word is that may his tongue cleave to his palate of anyone who dares speak of separation and division in Jerusalem."
Yesha Rabbis' Conclusion
The Yesha Rabbis call upon "Cabinet ministers, Knesset Members, the Torah world and all of Israel to wake up and make sure to thwart, no matter how, these evil plans, and to add sovereignty and strengthen Jewish presence in the Temple Mount - the heart of our nation - and in all of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish People, by building and settling throughout, and to visit the Halakhically-permitted places on the Temple Mount and build a synagogue there - for if there is no Temple Mount, there is no Jerusalem, and if there is no Jerusalem, then there is no State of Israel, Heaven forbid. (emphasis in the original)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Majority of MKs sign petition calling for undivided Jerusalem

A majority of Knesset members signed a petition this week calling for Jerusalem to remain undivided, in a move that could tie Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in his negotiations with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the Annapolis summit. The petition drive, initiated by Likud MK Yisrael Katz, attracted support from some 30 coalition MKs, including ministers Ya'acov Edri and Ze'ev Boim of Kadima and the two Pensioners Party ministers. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said he would add his signature soon.
Thirteen Kadima MKs signed, including Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi. Every Pensioners MK signed. The only Israel Beiteinu MKs who signed were David Rotem and Estherina Tartman and the only Labor MK who signed was MK Yoram Marciano.
Katz said the petition drive was intended to send a message to Olmert that he has no mandate to negotiate Jerusalem's future. In a further push to keep Jerusalem on the agenda, the Likud faction will tour the walls of the Old City Tuesday and Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu will brief the foreign press at a strategic site overlooking
the city.
"Unfortunately the man who was mayor of Jerusalem is talking about dividing the city in order to take the public's attention away from the problems he is facing like the Winograd committee," Likud MK Reuven Rivlin said. "It is possible that Olmert could divide Jerusalem and we have to face that reality, but it's illegitimate, especially because he's putting Jerusalem on the agenda to distract from his other problems."
Kadima MK Yoel Hason, the vice chairman of the coalition, said the opposition would not get away with misguiding the public into thinking that Olmert intends to divide Jerusalem. Hason said Olmert's decision to appoint Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and not Vice Premeir Haim Ramon to head Israel's negotiating team was a sign that Olmert would not divide the city.
"The fact that there's a diplomatic process doesn't mean Jerusalem will be divided,"
Hason said.
Jerusalem city council opposition leader Nir Barkat has also started a campaign to save Jerusalem. The campaign is asking the public to sign a petition supporting keeping Jerusalem united on the website
Thousands of stickers will be distributed with the slogan "Jerusalem should be strengthened, not divided." The campaign's goals are to push Olmert to remove Jerusalem from the agenda in Annapolis and to push the government and the Jewish world to invest in the city's future.
"There seems to be a feeling among our leaders that they can cut their losses and give up on keeping a united Jerusalem with a Jewish majority," Barkat said. "This feeling of desperation has to be replaced immediately and we intend to help make that happen."
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America has also expressed its opposition to any plans to divide Jerusalem and wrote to Olmert to urge him not to do the "unthinkable" in terms of ceding parts of Jerusalem.
In a response the group received earlier this week, Olmert's Diaspora affairs advisor Rachel Risby-Raz wrote that "the issue of Jerusalem is
currently not under negotiation with the Palestinians," and that in any future settlement Olmert would "strengthen the Jewish character of
Jerusalem" and insure that Jerusalem remained "the eternal, united and internationally recognized capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel."
OU President Stephen Savitsky welcomed the response, but said Olmert still needed to be more explicit regarding his intentions for the holy city.

Send Message to Sec'y. Rice, PM Olmert, FM Livni

It is clear from reports in recent weeks that the Olmert government, contrary to the views of the Israeli and American publics, is planning to divide Jerusalem by conceding large parts of the city to the control of the terror-sponsoring Palestinian Authority (PA) regime of Mahmoud Abbas. Two Olmert government ministers, Vice Premier Haim Ramon and Strategic Threats Minister, Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beitenu), have spoken publicly of major Israeli territorial concessions in Jerusalem to the PA.

These proposals contradict Kadima's platform and the explicit statements of its founder, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, made in an April 2005 meeting with American Jewish leaders that "No serious steps have been taken by [Mahmoud Abbas], and we can't get to the Road Map plan until the PA fully implements their obligations ... Jerusalem will never be divided and Israel will not negotiate on Jerusalem. Since 1860 the Jewish population of Jerusalem was larger than the Christian and Muslim population combined."

The idea of dividing Jerusalem that the Olmert government has foreshadowed in recent weeks has led even the far left-wing, former Meretz representative on the Jerusalem City Council, Meir Margalit, to warn that handing over eastern Jerusalem to the control of the PA, coupled with an end to Israeli payments and transfers to its Arab residents, would turn Jerusalem into another Gaza.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is presently in the Middle East, seeking an agreement that includes the division of Jerusalem. Asked specifically if the agreement she is seeking to produce includes dividing Jerusalem and other major issues, Rice replied that "I do think it's important that they address the core issues in some fashion. I also think it's important that the document be substantive enough that it points that there is a way forward toward the establishment of a Palestinian state."

It is vital that people call, email or fax Secretary of State Rice, Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni and your Member of Congress (see contact info. below), urging them not to discuss or approve any Israeli concessions under prevailing conditions and to rule out, in particular, any concessions that divide the city and tear out the historical heart of Judaism from the Jewish people.

In your message, the points you might like to make include the following:

* Jerusalem is the religious, historical and cultural heart of the Jewish people.
* Jerusalem, in particular the Old City and Temple Mount, contain the holiest sites in Judaism while containing sites of only lesser significance to Islam.
* Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the bible, but not once in the Quran.
* Throughout history, Jerusalem has never been the capital of any nation other than the Jewish people.
* Since the mid-1800s, Jerusalem is the only city in the word to have had a Jewish majority.
* When eastern Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan, all Jews were driven out and the city became a backwater that no Arab leader other than King Hussein visited.
* Under Jordanian rule, every one of the Old City's 58 synagogues were destroyed and the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated, with tombstones used to pave roads and Jordanian army latrines.
* Only under Israeli rule have all adherents of all religions represented in Jerusalem been able to worship freely and access their religious sites.
* Handing over part of Jerusalem to the PA will render the rest of Jerusalem uninhabitable and even more vulnerable to terrorist, rocket and mortar attacks.
* The world lived through the horror of a divided Berlin. We dare not re-live that horror by dividing Jerusalem; and there should be no discussion of any other concessions until and unless the PA fulfils its 14 year old obligations under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, school and youth camps, and abrogate the Fatah Constitution whose clauses call for the destruction of Israel and promotes terrorism as an integral part of the struggle to achieve that goal.

Prime Minister Olmert can be reached at:
Phone: (001-972-2) 675-3333
Fax: (011-972-2) 652-1599

Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni
Fax: (001-972-2) 530-3367

Secretary Rice can be reached at:
Fax: 202-647-2283
Phone: 202-647-6575 – Comment Line

U.S. Congress:
Phone: 202-224-3121 & ask for your Member of the House or Senate.

Jewish group to blame for dividing Jerusalem?

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and senior members of his Kadima party have hinted the past few days the Israeli government may agree to divide Jerusalem, noting that some eastern neighborhoods have an Arab majority, with some even housing refugee camps But WND had learned key Jerusalem neighborhoods mentions as slated for possible evacuation are owned by a U.S. Jewish group that over the years has allowed tens of thousands of Arabs to illegally squat on its land, resulting in the current Arab majority.
The Jewish National Fund, or JNF, purchased the land now up for possible Israeli withdrawal using Jewish donor funds for the specific purpose of Jewish settlement.
On Monday, Olmert hinted he would withdraw from parts of Jerusalem by asking whether it was "necessary" to retain certain Arab communities, specifically mentioning Shoafat, a Jerusalem neighborhood.
"Was it necessary to also add the Shuafat refugee camp, Sawakra, Walaje and other villages and define them as part of Jerusalem? On that, I must confess, I am not convinced," stated Olmert, speaking at a special Knesset session to mark the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former government minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who drew up the 1967 map.
Vice Premier Haim Ramon, a member of Olmert's ruling Kadima party, last week reportedly mapped out a future partition of Jerusalem under a deal with the Palestinians, stating Israel may give up Jerusalem's Shoafat and Qalandiya neighborhoods, among other communities.
Ramon was quoted by the popular Israeli website as writing in a letter to Jerusalem City Councilman Nir Barkat that under his plan, "The Jewish neighborhoods (of Jerusalem) will be recognized as Israeli and under Israeli sovereignty. Accordingly, the Arab neighborhoods will be recognized as Palestinian."
But some of the areas mentioned as slated for possible evacuation – hundreds of acres in Shoafat and Qalandiya – are owned by the JNF, a nonprofit that purchases property using donor funds.
The JNF lands have been utilized for the illegal construction of dozens of Arab apartment buildings, a refugee camp and a U.N. school. The properties recently were blocked off from Jewish sections of Jerusalem and isolated to Arab neighborhoods by Israel's security fence.
Qalandiya is located near an old Israeli airport; the Jerusalem suburb of Shoafat is adjacent to the Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev. The lands were purchased legally on behalf of JNF using Jewish donations in the early 1900s, immediately after the organization was founded in 1901 with the specific charge of repurchasing and developing the land of Israel for Jewish settlement.
A tour of Qalandiya found dozens of Arab apartment complexes, a Palestinian refugee camp and a U.N. school for Palestinians constructed on the land.
U.N. school for Palestinians illegally built on Jewish property (WND photo)
According to officials in Israel's Housing Ministry, Arabs first constructed facilities illegally in Qalandiya and Kfar Akev between 1948 and 1967, prior to the 1967 Six-Day War during which Israel retook control of the entire city of Jerusalem.
Qalandiya, still owned by JNF, came under the management of the Israeli government's Land Authority in the late 1960s.
Ministry officials say the bulk of illegal Arab construction in Qalandiya took place in the past 20 years, with construction of several new Arab apartment complexes taking place in just the past two years.
Neither the Israeli government nor JNF took any concrete measures to stop the illegal building, which continues today with at least one apartment complex in Qalandiya under construction.
Jerusalem's Shoafat neighborhood, which has an estimated value of $3 million, was also purchased by JNF in the early 1900s and fell under the management of the Israel Land Authority about 40 years ago. Much of the illegal Arab construction in Shoafat took place in the past 15 years, with some apartment complexes built as late as 2004.
In Qalandiya and Shoafat, Israel's security fence cordons off the Arab sections of the JNF lands from the rest of Jewish Jerusalem.
Internal JNF documents obtained by WND outline illegal Arab construction on the Jewish-owned land. A survey of Qalandiya summarized on JNF stationery conducted in December 2000 and signed by a JNF worker states, "In a lot of the plots I find Arabs are living and building illegally and also working the JNF land without permission."
The JNF survey goes on to document illegal construction of Arab apartment complexes and the U.N. school under the property management of Israel's Land Authority.
Group misleading donors?
In response to a WND exclusive report on the JNF's alleged mismanagement of the properties, JNF CEO Russell Robinson sent statements to concerned donors that the illegal construction occurred during periods the Jerusalem land was occupied by Jordan.
"During that time the Jordanian government oversaw all activities, including the U.N. building. Under international law, this makes matters pertaining to the land more complicated than what [WND describes]," states Robinson's letter
Jordan, together with other Arab countries, attacked Israel after its founding in 1948 and administered eastern sections of Jerusalem following an armistice agreement until Jordan attacked again and Israel liberated the entire city of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. During the period of Jordanian control, some new construction took place, including in areas previously purchased by Jews.
1991 photo of Shoafat shows region entirely forest land
But WND obtained aerial photos of the two JNF sites in question, Shoafat and Qalandiya, which Robinson claimed were illegally built upon prior to 1967.
A photo taken in 1991 of one of Shoafat shows the entire area was a forest – meaning all illegal Arab construction took place after 1967 while the land was under Jewish control.
1967 aerial photo of Qalandiya region
An aerial photo taken in 1967 of the second site, Qalandiya, which is now a large Arab town, finds construction of a U.N. building but few other sites, indicating the vast majority of Arab construction – dozens of large apartment complexes – occurred under JNF control. WND originally reported some of the construction took place prior to 1967, but the bulk of the building occurred the past few years, under Jewish management.
Robinson did not return phone calls seeking comment.
'Leftist millionaires' influencing JNF?
Illegal Arab construction on Jewish-owned lands is not limited to Jerusalem. Arabs reportedly are building without permits on JNF-owned property in the Galilee and in areas outside Bethlehem. Due to Israeli military laws, Jews are barred from building on the JNF lands near Bethlehem. Also, Arabs are living illegally in JNF-owned apartments in strategic areas in Jerusalem's Old City.
Asked to explain why the esteemed Jewish organization would allow Arabs to illegally occupy strategic land purchased for Jews, one JNF source involved in land acquisition pointed to what he claimed was the "disproportionate influence" over the organization by a small group of Jewish multimillionaires in New Jersey who lead major public fundraising efforts for JNF.
The source said the group of wealthy New Jersey Jews, all of whom are real estate moguls and many of whom invest in projects as a team, are largely also donors to leftist causes associated with Israeli President Shimon Peres, who advocates the division of Jerusalem and an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
The Jews include the Wilf, Halpern, Zuckerman and Tisch families, according to the JNF source.
The key lands in Jerusalem upon which the JNF has allowed Arabs to illegally build are part of the areas Peres has advocated handing to the Palestinians.
Peres currently serves as Israel's minister for the development of the Negev Desert, which the JNF has been leading a massive campaign to populate, with the goal of bringing 250,000 Jewish residents there.
Peres' face is prominently featured on JNF advertisements and material.
"The wealthy New Jersey Jews are highly politically motivated, support leftist causes and are involved in JNF affairs," charged the JNF source. "It is unfair to Jews worldwide who donate to the JNF with certain expectations, such as that their donations will be used for Jewish settlement in Jerusalem."

What Rice Must Do to Pave Way for Mideast Peace Deal

Dennis Ross

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the Middle East on a trip designed to help prepare for the meeting she intends to convene with Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states at the end of November. She has a great deal of work to do and not a lot of time to do it, particularly given her objective. Rice hopes to have the meeting endorse a short textual agreement between Israelis and Palestinians on the core principles for settling their conflict. While the Clinton parameters of December 2000 outlined the core trade-offs on Jerusalem, refugees, borders and security -- thus removing the mystery of what might be required -- the ability to cross such historic thresholds and make historic compromises remains a daunting task. This is especially so when there has been no serious peace process for the past six years, and when the Israeli and Palestinian publics are profoundly cynical about each other.

When asked in a recent poll about the November meeting, 57% of Palestinians expected it to fail while only 24% thought it would succeed. This is not a case of low expectations. Instead, it reflects disbelief in the likelihood of any meaningful agreement. That should set off an alarm bell for Rice because it signals that an agreement appearing too abstract and having vague commitments is likely to produce a cynical response.

Perhaps this is why Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia declared last week that the meeting should not be convened unless the parties know what the substantive outcome is going to be. Unfortunately, that presently seems like a distant possibility because there is very little concrete agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, even if they are having serious negotiations for the first time in more than six years.

The secretary needs to use her current trip to do several things:

* First, explore the nature of the gaps between the two sides on the principal issues. She will discover that the Israelis seek Palestinian specificity on their readiness to concede the right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel and on their obligations on security. The Palestinians want Israeli specificity on borders and Jerusalem. Each wants details on what matters to them and ambiguity on what they need to concede.

* Second, Rice needs to probe possible fall-back objectives and options. She could already have in mind a more limited objective of a conceptual breakthrough that ties Israeli concessions on the border -- meaning the 1967 border with modifications on both sides of it -- with Palestinian concession on refugees. Sounds good in theory, but such a formula is probably insufficient for either side. Will Palestinians really concede the right of return on refugees without getting a large package of Israeli concessions on borders as well as Jerusalem? Will Israel really concede the border in return for something vague on refugees and nothing concrete on security? Absent that, there will be the spin of a conceptual breakthrough but the reality of both sides contradicting each other on what they have actually conceded. That cannot be the outcome.

* Third, the secretary needs to lower expectations about the meeting and do more to prepare for it. High expectations that cannot be met will set back peace-making and validate the Hamas argument that diplomacy is futile. One way to lower expectations without appearing to retreat from her own commitment is to say that there are serious negotiations underway, and that the timing for the meeting or meetings will be determined by where the parties are in their discussions and not by an arbitrary deadline.

Statecraft is about identifying meaningful objectives and the means that we and others can employ to achieve them. Rice still needs to determine the right objectives and not only find the ways to achieve them, but also work with others so their achievement is seen as meaningful.

Dennis Ross is counselor at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He was U.S. envoy to the region under presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. His new book is Statecraft: And How to Restore America's Standing in the World.

View this article on our website at

Abbas Without guarantees Palestinians cannot attend conference

Comment: Interpretation of Abbas'words, "We have nothing to give, this is all your fault, unless you promise us you will give more before we even go to the conference to negotiate we will not attend. Furthermore, you now run the risk of an even more dangerous Intifada-again you started it."

Of course they have much to give:end all incitement via your educational materials, media, tv shows and special events. Re-do your entire eduction system with oversight by EU education officials. Cease all rocket firing into Israel proper. Cease all homicide bombing attempts and tear down bomb factories.implement, already existing plans, to create three new water purification systems in Judea and Sameria. These are a start-the West should insist that the Palestinian leadership and people are capable of this kind of self-control and offer it to Israel as a sign of good faith.Cease making good will gestures expected of Israel-admit you must demonstrate self-control. make this statement ahead of the November Conference. We would then see how serious you are!

Bethlehem – Ma'an – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday, following his meeting with Condoleezza Rice, that Palestinians cannot participate in the US-sponsored conference without assurances.
Abbbas with Condi(MaanImages)

Bethlehem – Ma'an – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday, following his meeting with Condoleezza Rice, that Palestinians cannot participate in the US-sponsored conference without assurances.Abbas said, "The most important thing to be achieved is a clear and defined document, which helps us begin negotiations within a definite date."Things cannot be left to circumstantial developments, because reaching a final solution requires a defined document and clear timing."Abbas' aide and spokesperson Nabil Abu Rdaina told Al Jazeera that there has been no progress in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."The two positions are still at odds and the gaps remain wide," said Abu Rdaina.

Abu Rdaina revealed that President Abbas told Rice that building confidence with the Israelis is difficult and that Israel must cease settlement expansion, targeted killings and incursions into the Palestinian territories.Israel's refusal to agree to a timetable for negotiations, said Abu Rdaina, reflects a reluctance to reach an agreement at the autumn summit.

Manhigut Yehudit Will Never Relinquish Any Part of our Holy Soil

The Land of Israel is Ours. It belongs to the Jewish People - Now and Forever. Jerusalem is OURS. The Temple Mount is OURS. Judea and Samaria are OURS. Hebron is OURS. PERIOD. There is no negotiating about land that belongs to us.

The ENTIRE LAND of Israel belongs to the Jewish people as it was given to us by the Almighty. We call upon all Jewish organizations and individual Jews to back our statement.

Those individuals who do not recognize this fact, whether they sit in the Knesset of Israel, 10 Downing Street, the UN, the White House or the State Department will have to account for their words and deeds. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Chaim Ramon's recent admission that the Olmert Government is prepared to divide Jerusalem and grant control of Judaism's holiest site - The Temple Mount - to the Arabs brings to mind that Prime Minister Olmert and the Deputy Prime Minister (both of whom have either been recently convicted of a crime or are being investigated for many) should be alert to their tongues cleaving to the roofs of their mouths and their right arms losing their function.

Manhigut Yehudit would like to reiterate to these men that the Land of Israel is not their personal real estate to do with as they please. Jerusalem, The Temple Mount, Judea, Samaria, and Hebron belong to the ENTIRE JEWISH PEOPLE. So does Shechem and Gaza, which will soon be back in our hands. We can not and must not turn our backs on our Creator, who gave these lands to us as an eternal heritage.

Unlike others who seek to make the entire world fall under their dominion, we only seek to keep control over the tiny sliver of land called Israel. As the Muslim world has ONE-THOUSAND times more land than Israel, we wonder how can it be that people think that peace will suddenly break out all over the world as soon as Israel surrenders half of its territory and renders itself militarily indefensible? This flies in the face of all evidence, as all Israeli land giveaways over the last fifteen years have only produced thousands of dead and maimed Jews and emboldened terrorists throughout the Middle East and worldwide. This obviously makes no sense. Those people who are not faith-based must certainly see the result of having allowed the OCCUPATION of certain parts of Israel by the Arab enemy.

The former Gush Katif is a safe haven for Al-Qaeda terrorists as is Shechem where Jews used to be able to pray by the tomb of our Holy ancestor, the biblical Joseph. As stated by numerous American terrorism experts, this situation presents a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THE UNITED STATES and to the entire Free World. These experts have also documented the close operational ties forged recently between the so-called "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas with both Al-Qaeda and Hamas. We bemoan the fact that Condoleeza Rice has stated that it is the Bush Administration's top priority to create a "palestinian" state and that it is the right time to do so.

In the face of such overwhelming evidence that creating this "palestine" will immediately be a tremendous threat to the physical security of the USA, we wonder what are the true agendas of the American leaders who are pushing so hard to bring this plan into reality. Manhigut Yehudit asks those who recognize our eternal right to the Land of Israel (and others of good faith who solely wish for the United States to stay safe and strong) to join us in sending those "leaders" (the real "extremists") who are attempting to tear out our heart and limbs PACKING. The Nation of Israel is a Holy Nation that deserves leaders who will be faithful to G-D and to the Jewish People. ###

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Palestinian Terror in the City of Peace

Eli E. Hertz
Part 3

Palestinian Arabs have concentrated many of their terrorist attacks on Jews in Jerusalem, hoping to win the city by an onslaught of suicide bombers who will make life in the City of Peace unbearable. But this is not a new tactic. Arab strategy to turn Jerusalem into a battleground began in 1920.
Unfortunately, Arab leaders often turn to violence to gain what they were unable to achieve at the negotiating table. When talks broke down at Camp David in 2000, Palestinian Arab leaders unleashed the al-Aqsa Intifada, which has amounted to a full-blown guerrilla war against Israel.

It began the day before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when Arab mobs hurled rocks from the Temple Mount onto Jewish worshippers praying at the Western Wall below. That rock attack turned into a steady campaign of terrorist attacks. As the priming powder for the Intifada, Palestinian leaders incited Palestinians and Muslims throughout the world with fables that falsely suggested that Jews began an assault on al-Aqsa when Ariel Sharon made a half-hour visit to the Temple Mount during tourist hours. The truth is that Palestinians' plans for warfare had begun immediately after Arafat walked out of the Camp David talks.

Why do Palestinians focus terrorist attacks on the City of Peace? Because Palestinians despite their rhetoric fully understand Jerusalem's symbolic and spiritual significance to the Jewish people.

Suicide attacks on public buses, cafes, malls, and other crowded sites in the heart of the city since the 1993 Oslo Accords, are designed to make life hell for Jewish Jerusalemites. Atrocities like the February and March 1996 bombings of two #18 buses that killed 26 people and the August 2001 bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria that killed 15 (including five members of one family), are part of an ongoing 120-year-old battle for Jerusalem that Arabs have waged in opposition to Zionism.

In April 1920, a three-day rampage by religiously incited anti-Zionist Arab mobs left six dead and 200 injured in the Jewish Quarter. The attackers gutted synagogues and yeshivot and ransacked homes. Arabs planted time bombs in public places as far back as February 1947, when they blasted Ben-Yehuda Street, Jerusalem's main thoroughfare, leaving 50 dead. This was all done before the establishment of the State of Israel. In the 1950s, Jordanians periodically shot at Jewish neighborhoods from the walls of the Old City. After the city was united in 1967, Arabs renewed their battle for the city by planting bombs in cinemas and supermarkets. The first terrorist attack in that renewed battle came with the 1968 bombing of Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda, the open market, that left 12 dead. The plain facts about Palestinians' behavior clearly demonstrates that they have forfeited any claims - historical, religious or political - to the City of Peace.

They are still teaching Jihad in High SchoolPosted

Even though the Palestinians signed onto the Road Map which requires all official Palestinian institutions to "end incitement against Israel," a review of Palestinian text books shows that 12th graders are still being taught about Jihad and martyrdom while the maps in their textbooks do not include Israel. During a recent meeting between Congressman Eric Cantor and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad, the PM admitted "You wouldn't call our curriculum a 'peace curriculum.' Cantor concluded from this conversation that included other questions about the state of ridding the Palestinian educational system of hate against Israel that the will to reform is not there.

Along with being a requirement in the First Phase of the Road Map - a requirement that has not been fulfilled and that no one is requiring the Palestinians to deliver on - it is important to keep in mind the words of Clinton Administration negotiator Dennis Ross: Commenting on the state of the Palestinian education system he concluded, "that no negotiation is likely to succeed if there is one environment at the negotiating table and another on the street."

Why doesn't the United States insist that the Palestinians live up to their agreement and stop teaching hate?
Why don't Olmert and Livni?

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The frustration is easy to understand and it becomes daunting to try to understand why, indeed, the nations won't do what is right for Israel. The nations are ignorant of the fact that when they curse Israel then they are really cursing themselves (Gen 12:3), but when you look in the bible (Daniel & the other prophets) and understand that these events are exactly what is being foretold would happen in the end of days or latter days, it becomes easier to digest them as evidence of the truth of the G*d of Israel. Don't expect the kingdoms of this world are going to do what's right, especially what's right by Israel. Israel is the very evidence that there is a G*d in heaven watching what's going on and one day they will have to face him concerning their ways. haShatan's idea is that if he can successfully destroy Israel then he will accomplish making G*d into a liar and he won't have to face justice. The nations are his tools which he uses to conduct war against G*d via his people, Israel. We know what the outcome will be as the creat(ed) CAN NOT destroy the CREAT(OR). Our job is to persevere until Meshiach Ben David comes and fights the final battle thus putting everything back into the right order. Don't concern yourselves with why the nations won't do what's right 'cause G*d will prevail. All we have to do is what David did when G*d sent him into battle with the Philistines... WAIT ON G*D to go ahead of us and the battle will be ours. Shalom my friends and G*d Bless Y'all From Texas. Frank Shrum

Jerusalems Jewish Link

Eli E. Hertz
Part 2

Jerusalem, wrote historian Sir Martin Gilbert, is not a 'mere' city. "It holds the central spiritual and physical place in the history of the Jews as a people."
No matter where Jews lived throughout the world, their thoughts and prayers were directed toward Jerusalem. Even today, whether in Israel, the United States or anywhere else, Jewish ritual practice, holiday celebration, and lifecycle events include recognition of Jerusalem as a core element of the Jewish experience. Consider that:

· Jews in prayer always turn toward Jerusalem.
· Arks (the sacred chests) that hold Torah scrolls in synagogues throughout the world face Jerusalem.
· Jews end Passover Seders each year with the words: "Next year in Jerusalem"; the same words are pronounced at the end of Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
· A three-week moratorium on weddings in the summer recalls the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That period culminates in a special day of mourning – Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av) – commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.
· Jewish wedding ceremonies – joyous occasions, are marked by sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem. The groom recites a biblical verse from the Babylonian Exile: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning," and breaks a glass in commemoration of the destruction of the Temples.
Even body language, often said to tell volumes about a person, reflects the importance of Jerusalem to Jews as a people and, arguably, the lower priority the city holds for Muslims:
· When Jews pray they face Jerusalem; in Jerusalem Israelis pray facing the Temple Mount.
· When Muslims pray, they face Mecca; in Jerusalem Muslims pray with their backs to the city.
· Even at burial, a Muslim face, is turned toward Mecca.
Finally, consider the number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the two religions' holy books:
· The Old Testament mentions 'Jerusalem' 349 times. Zion, another name for 'Jerusalem,' is mentioned 108 times.
· The Quran never mentions Jerusalem – not even once.

Even when others controlled Jerusalem, Jews maintained a physical presence in the city, despite being persecuted and impoverished. Before the advent of modern Zionism in the 1880s, Jews were moved by a form of religious Zionism to live in the Holy Land, settling particularly in four holy cities: Safed, Tiberias, Hebron, and most importantly – Jerusalem. Consequently, Jews constituted a majority of the city's population for generations. In 1898, "In this City of the Jews, where the Jewish population outnumbers all others three to one …" Jews constituted 75 percent of the Old City population in what former Secretary-General Kofi Annan called 'East Jerusalem.' In 1914, when the Ottoman Turks ruled the city, 45,000 Jews made up a majority of the 65,000 residents. And at the time of Israeli statehood in 1948, 100,000 Jews lived in the city, compared to only 65,000 Arabs.

Arab claims to Jerusalem, a Jewish city by all definitions, reflect the "what's-mine-is-mine, what's-yours-is-mine" mentality, underlying Palestinian concepts of how to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Click here to read the entire chapter and notes Jerusalem

MKs tell Washington Annapolis conference doomed

Senior MKs cast woeful projections for success of upcoming peace summit they say was forced on Israel. MK Steinitz: US is 'playing with fire' by pushing for division of Jerusalem. Meanwhile Defense Minister Barak meets with counterpart at Pentagon to discuss Iranian threat WASHINGTON – In a rare display of bipartisanship, members of Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from both sides of the political spectrum declared the upcoming Annapolis peace conference doomed.

The unanimous opinion was voiced by four leading MKs currently visiting Washington for a series of high-ranking meetings prior to the conference. On Tuesday the group met with US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nick Burns and Deputy National Security Advisor Jim Jeffrey.

Following the meeting with Jeffrey, MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) said that the Americans were "creating a situation wherein failure in Annapolis may lead to disaster. It would have been possible for bilateral talks between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to continue. If after seven years of no negotiations at all, this summit fails – it could truly bring about catastrophe.

Failure, Beilin said, would also spell out the end of Abbas' rule and "give an unbelievable boost to Hamas' strength."

Beilin said that the only way to save the Annapolis conference was for both sides to achieve something significant. "My message is that we did not ask for the Annapolis conference, but if you wanted it then it is your (America's) responsibility. It is up to you, along with Israel and the Palestinians of course, to prevent Annapolis from becoming a remake of Camp David," he said.

'We can't ignore what happened in Gaza'
Meanwhile MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said he was also concerned about a possible deterioration of the situation after Annapolis. The US is ignoring the reality on the ground, he said, adding that a non-viable agreement would be worse than no agreement at all.

He warned against "signing an agreement with Abbas on Judea and Samaria while ignoring everything that has happened in Gaza over the last two years – we gave up everything and got an Iranian-backed Palestinian army in return."

Steinitz accused the US of "playing with fire when it comes to Jerusalem. It's difficult enough as it is to control the city, there are constant attempts to turn the Temple Mount into ground zero for all religious wars. Israeli control over East Jerusalem is the only thing preventing a bloodbath and religious war that could ignite the entire Muslim world.

"If Annapolis fails it would be bad. If Annapolis succeeds we fear that once against Israel will give up everything and receive nothing in return."

Beilin and Steinitz were joined by MKs Yisrael Hasson (Yisrael Beitenu) and Avigdor Itzhaki (Kadima).

Barak promotes missile defense system
Defense Minister Ehud Barak traveled to the Pentagon this evening to meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Discussion revolved primarily around the Iranian nuclear threat, but the two are scheduled for a second meeting over dinner later this evening.

Barak and Gates are longtime acquaintances who formed strong ties during Gates' tenure as director of the CIA which overlapped with Barak's term as chief of military intelligence.

Barak's office confirmed that the defense minister had spoken with Gates about the necessity of a multilayered missile defense system for Israel. The counterparts were joined by various senior staffers for the first half hour of their meeting and later continued in private for an additional 40 minutes.

Why Bibi & Ehud are right, and you're right too

The confrontation between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu at the opening Knesset session earlier this month reminds me of an old Jewish joke: A husband goes to the rabbi and complains that his wife mistreats and abuses him. "You're right," rules the rabbi. After the husband leaves, the wife comes in weeping, and complains that her husband ill treats her. "You're right," rules the rabbi.
After hearing the two conversations, the beadle turned to the rabbi in amazement. "Rabbi, how can both of them be right?"
"You're right too," responded the rabbi.
OLMERT is right when he says that the current situation cannot continue, that in advance of the Annapolis summit, we must step up the dialogue with Abu Mazen because any other option will lead to a bloody and tragic demographic struggle that will not benefit Israel. True, in order to reach an agreement, there must be trust between the two parties. True, each of the sides must be willing to give up part of its dream, "the dream that it has carried in its national knapsack for many generations," as the prime minister so poetically put it. True, if we don't help Abu Mazen stabilize his government, Hamas will take over the West Bank.
And in light of the situation in which we find ourselves, what should the prime minister do? Sit on his hands? Does it make sense to leave a vacuum in the diplomatic arena? Such a vacuum would soon be filled by pressures that we would find it impossible to withstand.
What would history say of a prime minister who did not exploit this historic opportunity, with a president in the White House who is exceptionally friendly to Israel, a divided Arab world, and before the Iranians have managed to manufacture a nuclear bomb?
Shouldn't he be looking for solutions? And is there any solution that does not involve concessions?
BUT BINYAMIN Netanyahu is also right when he warns against the dangers involved in territorial concessions that will create a Palestinian state on the 1949 armistice lines (with the exception of large settlement blocs).
Abu Mazen's regime is tottering. Hamas could take over the West Bank, and if that happens, not only Tel Aviv and Kfar Saba will share the fate of Sderot, but so will Ben-Gurion Airport, cutting off Israel's ties with the world.
If we return the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, we will also be returning to a situation in which Palestinian snipers could take potshots at Jews walking about the streets of "Jewish Jerusalem."
And how can we even talk of concessions while the terror continues? Damned if we do and damned if we don't.
The prime minister and opposition leader refuse to accept the fact that, at least in this generation, there is no practical solution to the conflict in sight.
So what do we do?
Each must do the best he can. Olmert must hold negotiations with Abu Mazen in an attempt to reach an agreement. And Netanyahu must warn against the dangers involved.
Some situations have no solutions. And for the time being, life goes on.
The writer is a former minister of justice and former MK.

Nasrallah Negotiations to free Goldwasser, Regev progressing

Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday there was "positive progress" in negotiations to swap captive IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev for Lebanese prisoners in Israel, leading to speculation that a deal involving Israel's release of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar could be in the works. "I assert that there are strenuous negotiations, continuing sessions that will be resumed within days," Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast on Hizbullah's Al-Manar television station.
"For the first time, I can speak about hope, about optimism and about positive progress and about an opportunity to reach a great achievement and a full exchange," he said. "I can speak for the first time about positive progress in the main negotiations over the two soldiers and the prisoners," he said.
Any such deal, however, may force the government to decide not to link it with IAF navigator Ron Arad, missing since 1986, or to information about the three IDF soldiers who went missing during the Battle of Sultan Yakoub in 1982.
Nasrallah referred to a document he claimed was given to Israel that showed where Arad had been searched for and said that no traces had been found of the captured navigator.
The Hizbullah leader said he did not have anything to say that would shed light on Arad's fate and seemed to be calling for a deal excluding the air force navigator.
Nasrallah's comments contradicted reports earlier in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar that Hizbullah had given Israel documents written by Arad around the time of his disappearance.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office had no comment on Nasrallah's speech, saying only that "Israel listens carefully when he speaks."
They would also not discuss the nature of the information handed over to Israel.
Nasrallah's speech Tuesday was his first public address since Hizbullah returned the body of Beersheba resident Gavriel Daweet on Monday night, along with information believed to be related to the Arad case, in exchange for the bodies of two Hizbullah fighters, and a mentally disabled Hizbullah prisoner.
Daweet drowned in the Mediterranean and washed up on Lebanese shores almost three years ago.
Nasrallah said Monday's swap was not meant to build trust between the two sides, but rather as a goodwill gesture initiated by an international mediator.
The Hizbullah leader demanded the release of Kuntar, who is serving multiple life terms for the killing of three members of the Haran family and policeman Eliahu Shahar in Nahariya in 1979. He also demanded that Israel free four Iranian diplomats allegedly held by Israel, as well as four Hizbullah guerrillas and a Lebanese citizen convicted of espionage.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted that Israel might have to pay a painful price for the return of Goldwasser and Regev when he spoke Tuesday of the Daweet swap at a conference on immigration and absorption in Ashdod.
"For years, our enemies have been trying to raise the price for Israel to pay for scraps of information, and even more for abducted soldiers and civilians or, heaven forbid, remains," he said.
"This is an ugly and cynical commerce in feelings, in the feelings of Israeli society. At times there is no choice but to pay the painful price, but it seems to me that the step completed last night was carried out in a balanced way and at a price that Israel was able to bear."
Olmert said that not a day went by that he did not deal with or think about Israel's kidnapped soldiers.

"People keep asking when they will come back, and they have a right to ask, but yesterday's exchange proves that there is movement and that we are constantly trying to find out the fate of all Israeli citizens and working to make sure that they return to within our borders," he said.

"Yesterday, we passed a certain stage of the process, but unfortunately, as I said, the process of returning Udi [Goldwasser] and Eldad [Regev] in the North and Gilad [Schalit] in the South is lengthy," he said.

Goldwasser's mother, Miki, said Tuesday after hearing Nasrallah's speech that she hoped he would stand by his word.

"As far as we know, Nasrallah honors his words. Because he made a commitment in front of his people about the negotiations, let us hope that something will come out of it and that he meant what he said," she told The Jerusalem Post.
Ruth Eglash, Tovah Lazaroff and AP contributed to this report.•

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Campaign to save Jerusalem, the capital of Israel

Elyakim Haetzni
The Quartet, into whose hands Sharon and his government entrusted our destiny, convened in New York to ensure that the conference – obliquely referred to as “the Peace Conference” by the hostile Israeli media - will force Israel to assume irrevocable legal and international obligations that nullify our rights to the heritage of our forefathers in the Land of Isra This goal is to be attained, in diametrical opposition to the conditions stipulated even in the pernicious Roadmap, by reversing the order of these conditions. First, the establishment of a Palestinian State as an irreversible political fact, and then, “Inshallah”, this Palestinian State will dismantle the terrorist organizations (Abu-Mazen will dissolve the Hamas in Gaza!…), collect their arms etc., etc. etc.
At this second Munich in Annapolis, Olmert intends to establish a Palestinian State regardless of the fact that there has been no cessation in the Kassams launched from Gaza, that the bomb belts keep finding their way to Tel-Aviv, and that battles rage in the areas surrounding the Gaza Strip and within Judah and the Shomron. The conference will continue to pursue its agenda, impervious to the non-stop flow of arms through the southern border, breached thanks to the disengagement. The USA’s Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, too, who does not even bother hiding her unreserved identification with the Arabs, visits Israel for the purpose of ensuring that the Palestinian entrapment will be irremediable.
Do not buy the illusion that the conference is not a serious matter, and “nothing will come out of it”. Those placating us require this illusion in order to justify, to others as well as to themselves, their absence of motivation and the depletion of their energy.
The silence emanating from the settlers and the remnants of the national camp is not merely inactivity; it has a tangible negative effect. It radiates, both internally and externally, that there is no one to oppose the historical catastrophe about to be inflicted upon us – the public surrender by the Jewish people of its homeland, and the total eradication of all Jewish life in the land of the Bible.
This negativity creates its own momentum, exponentially enhancing the power of the destroyers.
When Ehud Barak planned to divide Jerusalem, the biggest demonstration in the history of the State of Israel took place. More than 400,000 demonstrators crowded together, from the foot of the Tower of David up to the entrance of Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. An atmosphere of crisis, a determination to save the Holy City of Jerusalem, enveloped all those present. One of the speakers was Judge Moshe Landau, the former President of the Supreme Court.
Why hasn’t such a demonstration taken place yet in light of this new threat? Most probably because the failure to thwart the destruction of the 25 settlements, and to prevent the expulsion of the settlers, instilled a belief that democratic protests would not change anything.
But this attitude is a mistake. It is true that demonstrations, instead of active resistance while criminal ethnic cleansing by a government is taking place, is no more than a joke; not so huge demonstrations on the eve of governmental decisions, which are a necessary foundation for further actions. They are also essential to put pressure on the MKs of Shas, Yisrael Beitaynu and the indifferent MKs of the Likud. After all, the participants in the demonstrations are their voters, who could retaliate at the polls.
We’ve lost precious time, but it is not too late. We have a few weeks before the gates to the Land of Israel are, God Forbid, irrevocably locked. The following are some of my thoughts, and you are all welcome to add to them.
My proposals
1. Jerusalem must be at the heart of the campaign, the Holy City that still elicits deep feelings in the hearts of most Jews. The words “If I forget you, O Jerusalem” shall be the campaign’s motto, displayed on banners ( orange – two blue stripes with “If I Forget Thee” between them), stickers, badges, and bracelets. The prevention of the division of Jerusalem has the extra benefit that it will deadlock the talks over any other part of Eretz Israel.
2. We will paint the streets that Olmert has designated to be the borders between Jewish and “Palestinian” Jerusalem. To accentuate the message, signs, displaying “Border in front of you” and “Warning, you may be shot from the top of the walls”, shall be hung up along these streets.
3. Brochures and signs will be positioned on Mount of Olives warning: “This area is to be transferred to the Arabs: Where are the dead to be transferred?”
4. Signs will be put up in front of the District Court and the Ministry of Justice on the Salah-a-din street in Jerusalem: “Residence the Palestinian Temple of Justice”.
5. Posters and brochures to be distributed on Mount Zion and David\s city ( Ssilwan) displaying: “The Zionist State is relinquishing Zion to the enemy”.

6. Posters shall be hung up in the Old City: “To be delivered to Foreign rule!”
7. Applying pressure on the Attorney General, Mazuz, to stop the dawdling in the processing all the criminal cases still pending against Olmert. At any rate, to prevent Olmert from taking decisive political decisions while the criminal charges are hanging over his head. Distributing stickers and posters underscoring Olmert’s corruption.
8. Pickets in front of the “Orient House” which is about to be returned to the P.L.O.,thereby initiating the Palestinian takeover of East Jerusalem. Likewise, before all other P.L.O. offices which Olmert intends to reopen.
9. Patrols in front of the “President’s Residence” under the motto: “Peres divides Jerusalem” and “The last president of the independent State of Israel.”

10. Patrols in front of Olmert’s house: Signs displaying the names of his criminal cases, as well as :“He who forgets Jerusalem, shall forget his right hand”.

11. Distribute at the Kotel HaMaravi/Wailing Wall notes to be placed between the stones with wishes such as: “Repeal the evil decree to deliver the Kotel into captivity, our heritage to strangers”.
12. Distribute leaflets to drivers on the roads to Jerusalem warning of the imminent division of Jerusalem.
13. Demonstrate at the location (in the hills of Jerusalem) where the huge atomic shelter, designated for senior government officials, is being built. Brandish signboards: Stop building. It’s a waste of money. Who needs shelter 2 kms from the border?
14. Distribute posters, leaflets and brochures in Sderot and the Western Negev: “Relax, you’re not alone anymore! Jerusalem and even Tel-Aviv will soon be border cities, just like Sderot!”
15. Apply pressure on Netanyahu, Lieberman, and the leaders of Shas: “Your silence makes you collaborators.”
16. Distribute leaflets in Arabic in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem detailing what they can expect under a PLO-Hamas regime.
17. Conduct a poll in the Arab population in Jerusalem, and publish the results.
18. Conduct a public trial against those planning to divide Jerusalem.
19. Sign up hundreds of thousands on a petition opposing the division of Jerusalem (use the internet , newspaper ads): “A National Rollcall”.
20. Conduct a public opinion poll: Do you support or oppose the division of Jerusalem?
21. Demonstrations in front of the municipality, demanding that the fathers of the city make clear statements as to their position.
22. Utilize the Internet for a worldwide campaign, faxes, telephone, and letters to the editor, call up radio programs etc.
23. Distribute leaflets against Ramon: “You destroyed the Histadrut, you destroyed your Party, you destroyed Israel’s medical system, and now you seek to destroy Israel”.
24. Establish the “Order of the Troublers of Israel” to whom medals will be awarded, such as: “Destroyer of Jerusalem” medal, “Expulsion medal”, “Kassam medal”, “Defeat medal”, “Terrorist Palestine medal”. The reasons for awarding such medals will be made clear to the “winners” in appropriate ceremonies.
The above points relate to the field work that is a pre-requisite for the huge hundreds of thousands demonstration, to take place at the Tower of David, which shall be the apex of the campaign.
The goal of all these efforts is to force Shas, Yisrael Beitaynu and MKs from other parties to bring down the government by dissolving the coalition.
At the same time, a similar campaign, using other means, shall be initiated abroad. Inter alia, demonstrations in front of Israel’s embassies and consulates under the placard: “If I forget thee, Oh Jerusalem…”, a reminder of other days, when Jews stood in front of Soviet embassies with banners:” Let My People Go!”
For those skeptics who ask where the money will come from, I would like to point out that when the issue is urgent, lights fire in peoples’ bones, and a feasible plan is presented – money too will become available.
It is a time for action!!
Posted by Ted Belman @ 9:36 am |
Because of the seriousness of the situation, Mr. Haetzni’s analysis of the dangerous situation is right on the mark, One Jerusalem, the organizers of the 400,000 person rally mentioned in the post is doing the ground work to rally the people of Israel around the issue of Jerusalem. We know how much work and organization it takes to do an effective campaign and we urge everyone interested in joining this effort (led by Natan Sharansky) to sign the Jerusalem petition on our site. It is the best way to be kept informed and to participate.
We successfully organized the original rally because we including all parties interested in saving Jerusalem and we will follow this formula again.
Comment by NOCKE — October 12, 2007 @ 9:26 am |
Comment by Ted Belman — October 12, 2007 @ 9:38 am

For now, I’m holding off on commenting on the various listed proposals because of some comfort-level problems re a couple of them.
I do suggest augmenting the Haetzni list with a couple of others.
1. Immediately establish a skilled and experienced team to present the issue to Reverend Pat Robertson and staff, Virginia Beach, Virginia. The team should arrive with a map explaining such matters as:
-Gethsemane is at risk
-Mary Magdalene Church is at risk
-Tomb of the Virgin Mary is at risk
This presentation can mobilize our real friends and demonstrate the issue is not Israel versus the world but rather Israel serving as the light of the nations against the barbarians. Recall that Rev Robertson sought to develop a Bible Theme Park in the Galilee but was denied permission. A Christian theme park sure beats an Arab rocket battery site.
Don’t forget Reverend Higbee in Dallas.
It would not hurt the presentation to review with Reverend Robertson and his staff the April-May 2002 event re the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel. The barbarians barricaed themselves in this holy site for over a month and made the Church of the Nativity into a pig sty. Bethlehem is in the West Bank and scheduled to become sovereign Arab territory.
Kol tuv,
Comment by South — October 12, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

All of the above never dissuaded Barak for for offering essentially the same program.To the Ruling politicians who in at least fifty % of the cases were appointed by leaders of respective parties, their first loyalty is to those who appointed them with maybe some rare exceptions, Few in any event expect to be reelected anyway so that demonstrations by the people will have little effect on them. Examples of this Israeli phenomenon is Kadima,Shas and Israel our Home parties. all three coalition parties combined account for around52 seats in the Knesset. Get some from Kadima to defect and Shas and Lieberman to quit the coalition and or at least vote aginst and you essentially stop Olmert in his tracks, Therefor while most of the above proposals are essential they are suggestions for mobilizing a more vocal and strident opposition but will have little or no effect on Olmert and his gang.
It is my view that to achieve the disaffection of Olmerts coalition partners 90% of the efforts should be directed to accomplishing this end. No moral or ethical, religious,Zionist and ideological arguments will work, as they know all the arguments for and against and that they choose to remain in the coalition is due to personal ambition, and Israeli Government funding their personal and sectoral interests. If they go out of govt. A they or many will not be returned and B they untie the money umbilical cord to the Israeli treasury.
Comment by yamit82 — October 12, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

Something very weird is happening or should I say not happening here in Israel. Olmert our most unpopular PM ever is doing what for many consider to be the un thinkable and we have a big YAWN from the most to be affected citizenry. We have quiet on the streets, the press, the media, and in political opposition. We have largely silence from the ideological right of all sectors and from past outspoken critics from the last attempts for trying essentially the same type of giveaway. Why? what is different this time around?

A-most people don’t or choose not to believe anything will come of it.
B-Bo charismatic leader to lead the way
C-feeling of helplessness.
G-Most people feel resigned to what Olmert is about to do.
I could go on with my list of reasons but I think I have made the point.
If in fact barking dogs do not bite than the converse must be true also.