Thursday, June 29, 2006
Behind the Headlines: Rescuing Gilad Shalit from his Hamas kidnappers
Hamas has claimed responsiblity for the attack of an IDF post at the Kerem Shalom crossing.
On Sunday, June 25, 2006, Palestinian Hamas terrorists crossed in a tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel and attacked an IDF base at the Kerem Shalom crossing. Two soldiers were murdered, four were wounded (one seriously), and one soldier was abducted alive back to Gaza. Two terrorists were also killed in the attack. Hamas took responsibility for the raid, with its spokesman, Sami Abu Zahari, praising its perpetrators as “heroes of the Palestinian people.”
Israel considers the Palestinian Authority and its Hamas government to be fully responsible for the Kerem Shalom attack and for the fate of the kidnapped soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has all the necessary resources to ensure Shalit’s release and Israel calls on him to act immediately to resolve this crisis and avoid an unnecessary escalation of the conflict.
Similarly, Israel calls on the international community to use its influence vis-à-vis Chairman Abbas to obtain the release of Cpl. Shalit and to make clear to the PA the grave consequences of its failure to release him safe and sound.
In the absence of PA compliance with its humanitarian request, Israel reserves the right to take all necessary measures to implement the safe return of its kidnapped soldier.
Israel’s dead, wounded, and kidnapped soldiers were not the only victims of Sunday’s Hamas raid, for this terrorist raid is the latest in a series of attacks by Palestinian terrorist organizations on the main lifelines of the Palestinian population. The Palestinian terrorist organizations, in their fanatic opposition to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, regularly attack the crossings used to transfer goods and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. Once again, Hamas has proven that it does not hesitate to inflict harm on its own Palestinian population in pursuit of Islamist jihad.
Sunday's attack also comes against the background of daily barrages of Kassam artillery rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli towns adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Since Israel's complete disengagement from Gaza almost a year ago, over 500 such rockets have hit Israeli territory, killing and wounding scores of Israeli civilians.
In targeting Israel’s civilian population, the Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately and callously place their own civilians at risk by launching these rockets from their own population centers. They further display their contempt for their own countrymen by attacking the very crossings which enable the entire Palestinian population of Gaza to receive its essential supplies of food, medications, and other daily needs.
Despite Israel’s every effort to maintain the passage of goods and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population of Gaza, acts of terrorism oblige the security authorities to interrupt the flow of goods in order to safeguard those employed at the crossings and the forces protecting them.
As any sovereign state, Israel will take whatever steps necessary to protect its citizens and territory from Palestinian terrorism, the responsibility for whose consequences lies solely with the Palestinian Authority.
With this in mind, IDF units on June 28 began a combined, limited operation in the Gaza Strip for the purpose of rescuing the kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit and bringing him safely home, while dealing a blow to the Hamas terrorist infrastructure to prevent the continuation of its attacks from Gaza on civilians inside Israel.
The IDF operation follows exhaustive, but unsuccessful, diplomatic efforts to secure Shalit’s release by giving PA Chairman Abbas the opportunity to return him to his family. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held dozens of talks with her counterparts around the world, making it clear that, while Israel has indeed given priority to diplomatic efforts, it will not accept Hamas holding an Israeli citizen hostage and will do everything necessary to secure his release.
Concern for the fate of Gilad Shalit is growing among the entire population of Israel, for whom his release is a humanitarian matter of the highest order. While Israel certainly did not leave the Gaza Strip in order to return to it, the Government of Israel cannot accept its citizens being attacked by terrorists inside its territory day and night without exercising its sovereign right of self-defense.
Given that the Palestinian Authority is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization, which took responsibility for the attack in which Cpl. Shalit was kidnapped, and after it became abundantly clear that the chairman of the Palestinian Authority is incapable of ensuring his return or preventing Kassam rocket fire, Israel had no choice but to act on its own. This rescue operation can be terminated immediately upon the release of Gilad Shalit.
It goes without saying that, in keeping with Israel’s policy of targeting only terrorist perpetrators, every effort will be made during this rescue operation to avoid harming innocent civilians. Israel expresses its hope that the international community will continue to pressure the Palestinian Authority, the Hamas terrorist organization, and its sponsors in order to bring about the release of Gilad Shalit and thereby avoid a further escalation of the situation.
From: Official Site: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
NY Times article on 2nd hand smoke
By JOHN O'NEIL
Published: June 28, 2006
The evidence is now "indisputable" that secondhand smoke is an "alarming" public health hazard, responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths among nonsmokers each year, Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona said yesterday.
Dr. Carmona warned that measures like no-smoking sections did not provide adequate protection, adding, "Smoke-free environments are the only approach that protects nonsmokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke."
He did not call for a federal ban on smoking in workplaces, bars or restaurants, a step that has been taken by a growing number of cities and states over the objections of business owners and of groups skeptical about the dangers of secondhand smoke. He said he saw his role as providing the public and Congress with definitive information on the subject.
"I am here to say the debate is over: the science is clear," Dr. Carmona said at a televised news conference, where he released a report updating the original surgeon general's study of secondhand smoke in 1986. Since then, hundreds of studies have indicated that the harm caused by secondhand smoke is far greater than earlier believed, he said. The report includes these findings:
¶There is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and even brief exposure can cause harm, especially for people suffering from heart or respiratory diseases.
¶For nonsmoking adults, exposure raises the risk of heart disease by 25 percent to 30 percent and of cancer by 20 percent to 30 percent. It accounted for 46,000 premature deaths from heart disease and 3,000 premature deaths from cancer last year.
¶Secondhand smoke is a cause of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, accounting for 430 deaths last year. The risk is elevated for children whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy and for children exposed in their homes after birth.
¶The impact on the health and development of children is more severe than previously thought. "Children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke," Dr. Carmona said.
¶Efforts to minimize the effect of secondhand smoke by separating smokers and nonsmokers are ineffective, as are ventilation systems in a shared space.
¶While exposure has declined, as many as 60 percent of nonsmokers show biological evidence of encountering secondhand smoke, and 22 percent of children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.
Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control show that great progress has been made in reducing exposure, Dr. Carmona said. The amount of cotinine — the form nicotine takes after being metabolized — in blood samples fell by 75 percent among adults, according to specimens taken from 1999 to 2002 that were compared with samples taken a decade earlier.
But Dr. Carmona said more needed to be done, particularly to protect children. He urged parents who smoke not only to quit, but also to move their smoking outside while trying to quit. "Make the home a smoke-free environment," he said.
Tobacco companies say the risks of secondhand smoke are unproved and overstated. In a statement on its Web site, R. J. Reynolds says, "It seems unlikely that secondhand smoke presents any significant harm to otherwise healthy nonsmoking adults; and, given the extensive smoking bans and restrictions that have already been enacted, nonsmokers can easily avoid exposure to secondhand smoke."
A spokesman for the company, David Howard, said yesterday, "Bottom line, we believe adults should be able to patronize establishments that permit smoking if they choose to do so," according to The Associated Press.
Dr. Cheryl G. Healton, the president and chief executive of the American Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit group created to use settlement money from tobacco companies to educate young people about the dangers of tobacco, called the surgeon general's report "groundbreaking" even though much of its information had already been published in journal articles. Bringing it all together creates a persuasive case for smoking bans, Dr. Healton said.
The report is online at surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/.
Hamas and the Shalit Abduction from Israel Insider
By Tashbih Sayyed, Ph.D. June 27, 2006
Can a war be won without understanding the enemy? No. Israel's continuing failure to stem persistent Hamas terrorism is a testimony to the fact that the Jewish state is still in dark about the real character of their enemy -- Arabs living in the historical Jewish lands.
Time and again Israeli leaders have exhibited their profound ignorance of the Arab's culture of terror that nourishes the Hamas mentality. The Israeli efforts to withdraw from southern Lebanon and the unilateral disengagement to the 1967 lines around Gaza Strip have all been carried out under the perception that such gestures will achieve peace with the Arabs. But in reality, it worked the other way round. The Arabs perceived Israel's peace moves as its weakness. The Israelis have been forced to pay in blood, the price of their leaders' failure to understand the culture of terror.
In this existential war for Israel, it is vital to keep Hamas' constitution in mind. A video released on the Hamas website clearly emphasizes the Arab Islamic ideology -- the subjugation of Judeo-Christian lands under Islam. Moreover, Israel's withdrawal from Gaza has been presented as a success of their policy of terror. The way Israel "ran" from Gaza after terror is presented as the prototype for future Israeli and western behavior in the face of Islamic force.
Transcripts of Hamas' video leave no doubt about the true agenda of the Islamists in which the future Palestinian State, being pushed as the "only" solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict, will be a vanguard. The video boasts, "We will rule the nations, by Allah's will, the USA will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered. The Jihad for Allah... is the way of Truth and the way for Salvation and the way, which will lead us to crush the Jews and expel them from our country Palestine. Just as the Jews ran from Gaza, the Americans will run from Iraq and Afghanistan and the Russians will run from Chechnya, and the Indian will run from Kashmir, and our children will be released from Guantanamo. The prisoners will be released by Allah's will, not by peaceful means and not by agreements, but they will be released by the sword, they will be released by the gun".
Sunday's (June 25, 2006) pre-dawn attack by Hamas' military wing against Gilad Shalit's tank in which the terrorists succeeded in abducting him and killing two of his crew is just another example of Hamas' culture of terror. Proving once again my premise that talks, negotiations, dialogue and peace gestures are tools of a civilized culture. In a culture of terror these methods are a sign of weakness.
In this culture, murderers are lionized as Gaziz (victors), killers who die in the pursuance of their bloody trade are called Shaheeds (martyrs) who are believed to be rewarded by Allah with 72 virgins and a state in which the followers of one faith are considered as the most perfect and the others sub-human (Dhimmis) is considered as a Dar ul Amn (House of Peace).
The Islamist culture of terror is in unambiguous with regard to Jews. An act of terrorism against Jews is not considered terrorism. Most all newspapers in the Muslim lands support Arab terrorism against Jews. They justify attacks on the Israeli citizens as a legitimate act of jihad (holy war). According to a fatwa (edict) issued by Egyptian Mufti Sheikh Ali Goma'a, "whoever blows himself up is a Shaheed".
Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential contemporary Sunni Muslim scholars is a radical supporter of Islamist terrorism and promoter of anti-Semitism. According to a research article, "he has called for targeting American forces and civilians in Iraq and provided religious justification for the use of suicide bombers against Israeli civilians. His fatwa authorizing the use of women in suicide attacks -- an ironic reflection of his "advanced" concept of women's capabilities -- provides religious sanction for Hamas when it began enlisting female "martyrs."
The culture of terror that symbolizes Hamas, believes and teaches that the Jews have killed God's prophets and oppose justice and righteousness. According to this belief, and throughout history, radical Islam has inflicted enormous damage on the human race. They have achieved this by engaging in plots against other nations and ethnic groups by perpetrating destruction, evil and malice.
The theology that has given birth to the Hamas mindset teaches that the infidels (non-Muslims) have been the source of such deadly diseases as the plague and typhus. They believe that Christians poisoned their water wells, and thus killed them.
Can a dialogue be initiated with a culture that professes and ideology that is anti-Christian and anti-Semitic? No. Unless this culture is cleansed of their hatred for non-Muslims of all religions, nothing productive can emerge from any amount of talking or negotiating. They need to be dealt with an iron hand.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is correct in his declaration that there will not be any negotiations with Hamas over the release of IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit. "This is not a matter of negotiations, this is not a matter of bargaining," Olmert said in a speech to a gathering in Jerusalem. Olmert said Israel would fight Islamic extremists and warned that it could hit militants wherever they are.
The Shalit abduction should serve as a warning that so long as Hamas is being treated as an authentic member of a civilized society, Israeli will never be able to secure peace and prosperity for its citizens. Hamas must be treated as what it is -- a group of terrorists.
This past Sunday's killings and kidnapping should be taken as further proof that by rewarding terrorism with appeasement, land giveaways and negotiations, the Islamists have become further convinced that terrorism is a legitimate response in their quest to achieve their ultimate and sinister goals.
Views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of israelinsider
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Rally to Save Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim
287 Martin Avenue • Staten Island, NY 10314 • (917) 497-7358 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.lmaantzion.org
Rally to Save Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim
In Front of the Israeli Consulate, 800 East 2nd Avenue, Between 42nd & 43rd Streets
Thursday, July 6th, 12-2 p.m.
Help save Israel during your lunch break.
The Committee Lmaan Tzion will hold a
“Rally to Save Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim”
in front of the Israeli Consulate in New York City
to protest the “Convergence/Realignment” plan and the recent announcement to destroy four neighborhoods in the West Bank.
The Israeli Government plans to expel 50-100,000 Jews from their homes and destroy their
lives, give 90-95 percent of the Yehuda and Shomron (the West Bank) to anti-Semitic murderers, and to divide Jerusalem.
This policy is immoral and presents an immediate and long-term danger to all Jewry.
The Rally to Save Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim will be held on Thursday, July 6th, from 12-2 p.m.
in front of the Israeli Consulate at 800 East 2nd Avenue, between 43rd and 42nd Streets. Please download
the rally flyer from our website www.lmaantzion.org and distribute it to friends, your synagogues and
Jewish community centers.
The rally is scheduled on July 6th two days after Americans celebrate winning their independence, a
historical moment which started a world-wide liberal revolution all over the world. In Israel, however,
there has been a dangerous erosion of the civil liberties of its Jewish citizenry, many of which are
essential to the proper functioning of a democracy. The rally is in protest of this infringement of key civil
and political rights: the citizen’s right to freedom of speech and assembly, the citizen’s right to his
property, and the Jewish people’s right to live as free people in their homeland (Lehiyot Am Chofshi
BiArtzenu). America’s birth marks the emergence of the idea that the government is meant to protect the
citizen and give them freedom from fear. In Israel, the government refuses to defend the life, liberty, and
property of its citizens and instead plans to deprive tens of thousands of their liberty and property.
The rally is also in protest of the anti-democratic comments of Israel’s Consul-General, Arye Mekel,
several days ago that U.S. Jewry must keep quiet about the danger that faces their brothers. The Torah
teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other (Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh), and that for the sake
of Zion, and Jerusalem a Jew cannot remain silent (Isaiah 62:1). For too long in modern history has the Jew remained silent through expulsions and terror. This silence and inability to take action has historically led to a loss of Jewish life.
It is specifically because a Jewish democratic government is implementing this
immoral and dangerous policy that every Jew in every part of the world has the right and duty to protest.
It is shameful that a democratic government fears the exercise of free speech and encourages silence.
Other organizations that are sponsoring the rally include, Bnai Elim, Manhigut Yehudit, Women in
Green and Matot Arim. We plead with other groups to sign on and lend support.
The Committee Lmaan Tzion is a grassroots, student-based group created to protest the policy to
withdraw and expel Jews from the Yehuda and Shomron (West Bank) and to divide Jerusalem, put
forward by the Israeli, U.S., European, and Arab governments.
Our goal is to send a message to our brothers in Israel, to make sure ten billion dollars necessary for the dangerous plan does not come out of American tax payer money, to fulfill our moral duty to speak out and to strengthen Diaspora Jewry’s connection to the homeland. For more information on the Committee Lmaan Tzion or the rally please contact Daniel Tauber, 917-497-7358, by e-mail: email@example.com, or visit our website www.lmaantzion.com.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
By Gerald Steinberg - posted Friday, 23 June 2006
The debate over the cause of the explosion on a Gaza beach, on June 9 which killed eight Palestinian civilians, has become a cause célèbre among human rights groups, journalists and politicians. In Cairo, London, Moscow, New York and Sydney, activists and politicians have condemned Israel’s “excessive” and “brutal” military tactics. The UN secretary-general, the British foreign secretary and other foreign leaders immediately joined the Palestinians in blaming Israel for the explosion and tragic deaths, and the movement for another anti-Israel UN resolution began.
These condemnations have been magnified by the efforts of human rights organisations, particularly a group known as Human Rights Watch (HRW). Within a few hours of the Palestinian reports, HRW announced its own investigation of the incident, and within a week, had issued three press releases. The first left no room for doubt - the Palestinians had been killed by an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) 155 mm artillery shell fired in response to Palestinian missile attacks. These “findings” were widely quoted by the international media and have had significant impact in shaping the public perception of the incident.
However, the Israeli military launched its own investigation, producing detailed evidence that the evidence presented by the Palestinians and HRW was doctored.
The shrapnel wounds from two gravely injured Palestinian victims taken to Israeli hospitals for treatment (notably omitted in all of HRW's reports) were not from 155mm shells. (Doctors reported that before they arrived in Israel, the victims had undergone extensive surgery apparently in a failed effort to remove these metal pieces.)
Questions were also raised about the “evidence” allegedly presented by the Palestinian police and “independent journalists” which provided the basis for the condemnation of Israel. A Palestinian video, allegedly showing Israeli naval ships firing at Gaza, was exposed as a fake and led to confusion on the alleged source of the explosion. Others suggested that the girl shown in the video frantically calling for her father was acting: the cameraman claimed she had been in the water at the time of the explosion, however her clothes were completely dry.
Faced with this evidence and the contradictions, HRW's self-proclaimed "military expert" backtracked, now claiming "the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance". The more likely explanation - that the explosion was the result of a Palestinian mine - was politically unacceptable for HRW's officials.
While the details of the Gaza beach incident remain subject to debate, the political agenda that has distorted human rights around the world is clear.
After the Gaza beach incident on June 9, 68 civilians on a bus were killed by a land mine reportedly planted by the Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka, 30 civilians were killed by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, and tribesman in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan claimed that Pakistani forces had killed 17 civilians in an ongoing military operation in the region. These have not received even a cursory report by groups such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International. HRW also failed to call for independent investigations in these cases - such treatment is apparently reserved for Israel.
This incident has also exposed the power of the human rights organisations to influence public opinion. As a result of the "halo effect", journalists rarely question the credibility of NGOs. Enjoying Special Consultative status at the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are able to parlay their huge budgets directly into political influence. If these and other human rights organisations are to retain their credibility, political campaigns on behalf of Palestinians or any other groups must end.
Gerald Steinberg is a Professor of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University, directs the Interdisciplinary Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation, heads NGO Monitor and is a Senior Research Associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies.
A letter from Anita Tucker
We were told last night to keep praying for refuat six year old Yehuda ben Shoshana
His family had a son buried, Lo Aleinu, in Gush Katif during the Struggle and reintered him in after the expulsion in Mt. of Olives . They deserve that all pray for refuat Yehuda
Doctors removed part of Yehuda's spleen ,damage to stomache -missed liver by drop B"H--alot of internal bleeding. Six yr.old had no external injury so didn't realize seriousness at first when was hurt playing on piles of building dirt left in middle of Ein Tzurim-Neve Dekalim caravilla site.
Housing Ministry's contractor removed the piles of dirt from place of accident.
However , unfortunately, they didn't remove other dangers from all over this building site . Children have nowhere to play.
The only outdoor places to play in Ein Tzurim caravilla site are in piles of dirt and blocks and building holes not only in "new" site of Netzer Hazani but even still in old half where the Neve Dekalim families moved into before Pesach .
Last nite I went to kiss my grandchildren good night and say Mazal Tov as they slept for the first time in their new bigger beds (as have grown alot in ten months) in this new home. I said "Mazal Tov on your new Bayit". My four your old grandson Raiee said "this is not my my Bayit , this is my Caravilla ". I said ,"yes but this caravilla is your new Bayit". He said "NO!! this is my caravilla." I repeated "Yes it is a caravilla but now it is yoour families new bayit". Raiee said emphatically "THIS IS MY CARAVILLA; MY BAYIT IS IN NETZER HAZANI !!! on the verge of tears and very upset with me that I wasn't saying the truth.
I asked my son Amichai and daughter in law Naomi if they had any discussion on this with him. They said ,no,not at ,all -but that he does always emphsizes and calls it -"the caravilla".
Another grandson, Ohad, saw the cooking oven being taken out of the storage container and asked what that was-and his mom explained that "now I can cook in our house and we can eat here". The three year old said -
but Ema -will you be able to make "ketzitzot " like we always eat in the EinYesterday my son Aviel's three year old leaned on the electric pole immediately in front of their caravilla . The metal cover of access box that was apparently not screwed on fell on him -fortunately someone noticed immediatey just as my grandchild was about to investigate what was in this interesting box that amazingly opened up in front of him (fortunately he wasn't hurt by the metal cover that fell on him.)
Tzurim Guesthouse dining room in this "thing".
Last night five of the twelve families moving in had a little mezuzah placing ceremony -we went from house to house and the last one prepared a Kibud, snack. It was very moving as each told the story of the removal of the very same mezuzah that he was now attaching .
Yitzchak Cohen told of how he begged the soldiers who came to take him out to tremove the mezuzah from the doorpost fo him -they all refused and one burst into bitter tears and cried "I can't, I can't"
Amichai hung the same mezuzah that he is seen so painfully removing from his doorpost on the picture disk of Netzer Hazani that many have seen.
I said to all,
may we be Zoche to see these caravillas bulldozed soon as we will God
willing succeed in building anew our more permanent home and agro -businesses very soon .
Then one of the teenagers said -and this time we'll be happy to photograph
the bulldozers that were so painful to photgraph in GK.
Perhaps my grandson is right; perhaps we cannot call this site that was built for us without love and caring -Habayit !
Yet there have been so many wonderful caring people of Am Yisrael from all over the world who have helped,visited and encouraged us constantly to enable us to make this temporary stay here more bearable. Their caring give the spurts of Koach to turn this "site" into our "home" even temporarily -as our "home" is still apparantly our spirit, values and community that we took out with us from Netzer Hazani, from Gush Katif and this is what we will use to make the Ein Tzurim caravilla site a great place to live --temporarily
Perhaps this what my young grandson had in mind by "Bayit".
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Rachel's Children Cruise on June 26th
This letter is being sent to those of you who live in NY and those outside of NY. For those of you who live outside NY please forward this letter and Evelyn's press release to your friends that you think can perhaps attend. The date is Joseph's birthday. This is not simply any old cruise. It is one of major significance given the serious humanitarian and security crisis that we are experiencing today in the Land of Israel. It is possible to make a statement and stop the evil. It just takes individuals like yourselves that don't believe this is a lost cause. There will be political officials and press at the event.
This cruise is a statement about our Mother Rachel and her son Joseph. Many, many years ago Egypt became the wealthiest country due to Joseph. Egypt and the surrounding countries sold all they owned in return for food that only Joseph had in Egypt. Joseph sustained them.
Joseph left the Land of Israel at age 17 when he was sold by his brothers. He lived in Egypt till he died at the age of 110. He served Egypt from the age of 30 as viceroy, only second to Pharaoh. Yet on his deathbed what does he command his children? In Breishis Perek 50 Pasuck 24 Joseph says to his brothers. "I know that G-d will remember you and take you out of this land and bring you up to the Land that He promised to Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov. (25) And Joseph made the Bnei Yisroel swear saying G-d will remember you and you should bring up my bones from this."
Joseph represents the Diaspora Jew. Yet all of Israel uses Joseph for their traditional blessings to their children. They bless their children to grow up like Joseph's children who were born and bred in the Diaspora in Egypt. (see Genesis Chapter 48 Pasuk 20) (And he (Yaakov) blessed them on that day saying whoever comes to bless his sons will bless them with their blessing. A man will tell his son "May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menasheh"..Rashi.) In spite of the surrounding culture of Egypt steeped in idolatry, Joseph made sure that his children knew who they were and who their roots are and Yaakov himself asserted that Joseph's children are no different then Yaakov's children that were raised in the Land of Israel in Yaakov's house insulated from an alien culture..
If your priority is stopping future expulsions, then Rachel's tomb is right up there. Joseph is extremely significant. Even without a large Jewish resident population in Bethlehem, it's significance to our Nation is beyond words. Attending this cruise is making a statement about the Diaspora Jew and that we too are linked permanently to the Land. The fight for Kever Rochel is the same as the Commemoration of Gush Katif. It's important to let the gov't know that people care and that we collectively will do whatever we can to stop this ongoing tragedy.
If you can't come personally, send, email to whomever you can. We need to present a united front. Gush Katif, Hebron, Rachel's Tomb, Joseph's tomb in Shechem and the communities in Samaria. It's all the same battle.
Please do what you can to make this cruise a momentous one.
for more information Shemittah Rediscovered
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Dr. Aaron Lerner 9 June 2006
The following are the results of a poll of a
representative sample of 515
adult Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) carried
out on the evening of 7
June by Dialog for Haaretz. The poll was
supervised by Prof. Camille Fuchs
of Tel Aviv
University. Sample survey error +/- 4.4
Do you support convergence? [AL: aka
"Consolidation" aka withdrawal from
most of the West Bank]
Support 37% Oppose 56% Don't know 7%
Do you think that the Convergence will be carried
out or not?
Yes 51% No 32% Don't know 17%
Are you satisfied by the performance of:
Olmert: Yes 35% No 35%
Livni: Yes 53% No 17%
Peretz: Yes 31% No 41%
Who should be the next president - Rabbi Lau or
Lau 47% Rivlin 28% Other replies 25%
Who should be the next president (open question)
Peres 32% Lau 26% Aharon Barak 16% Rivlin 8% Ben
Eliezer 4% Other 13%
Who should be the next leader of the Likud?(Likud
Netanyahu 67% Katzav 13% Shalom 9% Other 9%
Are you planning to buy the package to view all
the world soccer competition
Already did 5% Haven't but plan to 5% Won't 84%
Haaretz 9 June 2006
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
For free regular subscription:
Subscribe at no charge:
update from Anita Tucker
Last night many opened their containers to reunite with their pre-expulsion lifetime belongings .
Yesterday ,today,and tomorrow they will be emptying as much of the belongings as possible into the caravans (caravillas)( though repairs not yet completed -but promises in tact).The remainder will have to be replaced in storage.
Two of my sons and their families are among those emptying their containers.
My husband and I are not among these 12 families so I now have the important job of babysitting for grandchildren.They are, of course, the great comfort in this happy-sad day .
This morning I am be watching my 10 month old Ori(our light in this darkness,bli ayin hara) born two weeks after the expulsion
So far I have already heard of a long list of appliances and furniture that have been damaged but it seems that none of these 12 Netzer Hazani families have energy to get to upset about this and as long as the appliance is still functional they are moving them in and just saying "Thank God it isn't worse ". Most are just delighted to be reunited with their long lost "friends" that help make a house a home.
Just moving forward-flowing with Hakadosh Baruch Hu --saying Baruch Hashem for what we have is the main agenda today .
All are longingly awaiting those even better times He has been promised us..
Thanks for your caring ,caring gives strength, anita
Anyone passing through near Ein Tzurim is welcome to visit and again remind these families that they are not alone . Your chizuk is welcome .
ps But meanwhile we only agreed to get ready to move in but we won't physically move in till site is safe and essential repairs are completed. So much damage to belongings, only way to get coverage for damage is via court suits -which no one has energy for unless damage very very big..So meanwhile expenses on us. Someday things will really look up -I'm sure about it BE"H
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Thank You Nadia! By Sara Layah Shomron
By Sara Layah Shomron
Formerly of Neve Dekalim
18 Sivan 5766 (14 June 2006)
In a show of solidarity and support for "Women in Green" leader Nadia Matar, a group of Gush Katif evacuees traveled up to the Shalom Court in the Russian Compound of the Jerusalem Court house today where Nadia is standing trial. This is a precedent setting case.
This outspoken leader who promotes Jewish settlement throughout the Land of Israel is charged with the crime of insulting a public official. Yonaton Bassi, head of the Disengagement compensation committee known as SELA, was likened to the Judenrat (Jewish elders who represented the Jewish ghetto to the Nazis and followed their orders); yet unlike those who sat on the Judenrat committee, Yonaton Bassi had a choice.
The State of Israel claims to be a democracy thereby affording its citizens certain inalienable rights. Among these is Freedom of Speech. If we don't protect and use this basic right – we will lose it, and ever so gradually our so called democracy will slip away and demagoguery may take hold.
Neither I nor any other Gush Katif evacuee was allowed entry into the court room. We stood at the front of the line and were told by the two security guards to wait. Others were allowed in – but we were to wait and see if there was room for us. We countered to the security guards to allow one Gush Katif representative into the court house. After all, Nadia stood hand in hand with our struggle to live in and not be expelled from any part of the Land of Israel. The security guards again told us to wait. A reporter inquired of the guards as to why former Gush Katif residents weren't allowed entry. They wouldn't answer. He then asked to speak with a supervisor who explained that only 25 people were allowed into the court room and it was full. But we countered that we had been at the front of the line from the onset. It was with deliberate, callous, and wanton disregard that the disenfranchised Gush Katif evacuees were denied access to a public Israeli court room.
The case against Nadia Matar has been postponed until September. This may be due to the governmental hierarchal fear of her growing support further fueled by the media attention to this case. Regardless, all citizens of the State of Israel are Nadia. We all hang in the precipice of losing our fundamental and precious Freedom of Speech.
Monday, June 12, 2006
NY Times obit on Sandra Dee
December 25, 2005
Sandra Dee b. 1944
Gidget Doesn't Live Here Anymore
By DAPHNE MERKIN
At the height of her spectacularly short-lived fame, coverage of everything from her dietary habits to her taste in men was enormous, with approximately 15 magazine articles appearing every month. The thing is, it all happened so fast, was over practically before it began, that we can almost be forgiven for misconstruing her as a cultural simulacrum: a blip on the monitor, a media invention, an adorable incarnation of a feminine ideal of the reluctant or unwitting nymphet, rather than a flesh-and-blood creature with needs and wishes (not to mention raging demons) of her own. The lightning speed with which Sandra Dee was first heralded and then discarded may have been just another example of the "now you see her, now you don't" phenomenon endemic to the fever-dream of Hollywood, but it also suggests the dark "Miss Lonelyhearts" side of the American manufacture of celebrity - the ruthlessness that drives it and the despair it feeds off. She went from being discovered in 1956, at 12, to winning a Golden Globe Award in 1958, to being hailed by The Motion Picture Herald in 1959 as the "Number One Star of Tomorrow," based on her promising pigtailed debut in the sterling weepie "Until They Sail" as well as her performance in "The Reluctant Debutante." Less than a decade later, her career all but ended when she was dropped by Universal, after her divorce, at age 22, from the crooner Bobby Darin. "Sometimes I feel like a has-been who never was," Dee told The Newark Evening News in 1967.
In truth, she never entirely disappeared from the collective imagination, and therein lies one of many painful paradoxes (she was, for instance, among the last actors to be dropped as a contract player before the studio system expired) in what turns out to be a story too full of them. Her moment as "a junior Doris Day," as she once put it, or "a Tinkertoy," as an underwhelmed journalist once put it - although she early on demonstrated a far greater range of acting talent than she would later be remembered for - may have been vastly abbreviated, but there's no forgetting that fluffy neon concoction of a name, or what it stood for. Even if you never caught her in her glory days as Gidget or Tammy, Dee's legacy as an eclipsed and parodied icon, a cinematic reference that signifies everything blond and unviolated about the 50's, was assured by her immortalization in a catchy song from "Grease." Its broadly winking lyrics are declaimed by Rizzo, the designated high-school Bad Girl, at a pajama party and are aimed at converting the goody-two-shoes newcomer Sandy to a life of carnal sin: "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee/lousy with virginity/Won't go to bed till I'm legally wed,/I can't, I'm Sandra Dee."
Precisely because of the mythic stature we endowed her with, it's hard to believe that the wisp of a girl who cavorted decorously on-screen with John Saxon and Troy Donahue, in a time before teenagers of either sex thought to have their tongues pierced, lacked the grace to fade out, had the temerity to live on - and so unfetchingly, her life marred by chronic anorexia, alcoholism and depression - after we were no longer paying her any mind. Dee's death last February at age 60 (her official age was obscured from early childhood, when her mother added two years to it; many obituaries listed her age at the time of her death as 62), of complications from kidney disease, impels us to retrieve her from her vacuum-packed, nostalgia-inducing state as an idealized adolescent prototype. This in turn raises a possibility almost too disturbing to contemplate: how to envision Sandra Dee as middle-aged, as anything other than a bubbling and bikinied beach babe, the candied yin to Annette Funicello's sultry yang, the sweet and genteelly chaperoned box-office ingénue whose popularity once rivaled Elizabeth Taylor's and whose elopement at 16 with the scrappy Bronx-bred Darin, after a one-month courtship on the set of a forgettable movie ("Come September"), spoke to a girlishly starry-eyed fantasy of romance.
Then again, the "darling, pink world," as she herself characterized it, that Sandra Dee was thought to inhabit by her fans had always been a grotesque mockery, plagued not by an overripened case of virginity but by childhood incest. The girl with brimming brown eyes and a fizzy lilt to her voice was born Alexandria Zuck in Bayonne, N.J.
Her parents divorced when she was 5; her father, a bus driver, disappeared from her life shortly thereafter, and her mother, Mary, married a much-older real-estate entrepreneur named Eugene Duvan within a few years. According to Dee's own account, as relayed by her son, Dodd Darin, in his touching and unglamorized memoir of his parents, "Dream Lovers," her lifelong battle with anorexia - which would lead to three hospitalizations in her midteens, cardiac distress and multiple miscarriages - began with Mary's bizarre approach to her daughter's meals: "My mother fed me with a spoon until I was 6 years old. She would make me a bowl of oatmeal. She'd crack an egg into it, raw, and. . .cold and lumps and streaks, I had to eat it all." Worse yet, Dee's devoted but manipulative mother turned a conveniently blind eye to the defiled sexual appetites of her new husband. Duvan, who liked to tease his wife that he married her "just to get Sandy," started having sex with his beautiful stepdaughter when she was 8 and continued doing so almost until his death when she was 12.
After her divorce from Darin, Dee never remarried. The former teenage sweetheart who had once received more fan mail than Rock Hudson became an anxious recluse whose primary connections were with her mother and her son. A cover profile in People magazine in 1991 depicted her as a damaged and isolated survivor - Dee poignantly expressed a wish to do a TV series, "because I want a family. I can have that if I'm part of a show" - and her son's portrait of her in his book only deepened the shadows. Dee had plans to write an autobiography and in 1996 did a brief stint as an infomercial spokeswoman for an anti-aging cream. Last year she was played by Kate Bosworth in Kevin Spacey's movie about Bobby Darin, "Beyond the Sea."
Sandra Dee's dazzling wreck of a life - the implausibly meteoric ascent followed by the long fall - would, I suppose, make for a perfect Lifetime special. Or, better yet, a searing biopic all its own, underscoring the gap between the glossy image and the nightmarish reality. It would, that is, if the truth weren't so unbearably sad, revealing a tale of ravaged innocence under cover of familial enmeshment leading to a wasteland of self-destruction. The problem with a story like this one, at least from a filmmaker's point of view, is that it isn't even a cathartic tear-jerker. There is no fortifying moral to be drawn from it, no redemptive "Oprah" ending hovering in the wings. Look at her, she's Sandra Dee, lousy with debility. Tickets, anyone?
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
The Impossible Dream by Israel Zwick
By Israel Zwick
A musical drama inspired by “Man of La Mancha,”
book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, music by Mitch Leigh
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series of short, musical plays about Jewish life and values in the State of Israel. The first was titled, “Farmer Without a Roof,” and the second was titled, “West Bank Story.” Both can be found by searching the archives of www.isralert.com. Though the following story is fictitious, it was inspired by actual events.
THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
A Musical Drama (Glossary at end)
DOVID CHAIM, college student
SHLOMO PINCHAS, college student
EXTRAS, assorted college students, airport travelers, paramedics
TIME: The present
SETTING: Student cafeteria of Touro College, Brooklyn, NY. Dovid Chaim and Shlomo Pinchas, two male college students about 22 years old, are sitting at a table having lunch. Each is wearing a white shirt, black slacks, and a black kipa (yarmulke) on his head.
DOVID: Well, Shlomo, we did it! Finals are over and we graduate next week. And you’re graduating summa cum laude. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been going to school together for 18 years, and now it’s come to an end. I’m going to miss you, buddy.
SHLOMO: What do you mean that it’s “come to an end?” It doesn’t have to be that way, we’ll still get together.
DOVID: You’re just saying that. Soon you’ll be going to Einstein Medical School where you’ll be busy day and night, then will come marriage and family, so maybe we’ll get to see each other at a simcha occasionally.
SHLOMO: It’s not going to be like that. We’ve been together since pre-school. You used to protect me from those bullies that were bothering me. I’ll never forget you for that, I’ll be eternally grateful. We’ll be friends forever.
DOVID: Yeah, I remember that. You were always a nerdy scholar. You were the first kid in Morah Rivka’s class to know the whole Aleph-Bays. But I couldn’t stand to watch those little Goliaths picking on you just because you were smarter than them. I couldn’t just stand there and watch them taunt you. But that was ages ago.
SHLOMO: A mitzvah is never forgotten. What about you, Dovid? Have you decided what you’ll be doing after graduation?
DOVID: I’m exploring a few business opportunities, but nothing definitive yet. What I would really like to do is go to Eretz Yisroel and get involved with kiruv rechokim, and also build relations between Arabs and Jews, but that won’t get me any parnoso.
SHLOMO: There you go again, the lofty idealist who’s going to fix the world all by himself. That’s a daunting task. When are you going to accept the realization that the world is full of animosity, belligerence, strife, turbulence, and violence? There isn’t much we can do about it. That’s why I’m becoming a physician. Maybe I’ll be able to relieve the suffering of a few individuals, that’s the best I can hope for. You won’t be able to resolve anti-semitism, assimilation, and strife. It will always be there.
DOVID: Besides all the anti-semitism in the world, there is so much sinas chinom between Jews. The left hates the right, the secular Jews hate the Haredi Jews, the Ashkenazim hate the Sephardim, the Conservatives hate the Orthodox, and so forth. We can’t go on like this. It’s got to stop.
SHLOMO: And you’re going to stop it? Since the time of Moses there has been strife between different Jewish tribes, groups, and sects. Do you really believe that you’re going to be able to change that?
DOVID: I don’t know, but I have to try. I can’t just sit back and watch Jews tearing each other apart, damaging our community, and destroying our beloved Land of Israel. There has to be way to unite the Jewish people.
SHLOMO: How do you propose to do that?
DOVID: We need to teach the secular Jews about the beauty and serenity of the Jewish way of life. While other cultures glorify power, money, fame, and the pursuit of pleasure, Judaism emphasizes the importance of family, community, kindness, and good deeds. On the doorpost of every Jewish home, there is a mezuzah, which symbolizes the centrality of the home in Jewish life. In each mezuzah, there is a portion from the Torah that says, “You should teach it to your children, and discuss it when you sit in your house and walk on the way.” While other cultures emphasize the attainment of individual success and gratification, Judaism emphasizes service to the community. The great sage, Hillel, taught us, “Do not separate yourself from the community.” Every Shabbos in our morning prayers, we say, “For all who are involved in the needs of the community, may the Holy One reward them.”
SHLOMO: So how do you expect to get this message across?
DOVID: I want to reach out to all the people and teach them the importance of acceptance, tolerance, understanding, and compromise. I want to be a Rebbe for all the menchen. (He sings)
Rebbe of the Menchen
Adapted from “Man of La Mancha”
Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh
Hear me now, Oh thou bleak and unbearable world
Thou art based and debauched as can be
And a knight with his banners all bravely unfurled
Now hurls down his gauntlet to thee!
I am I, Dovid Chaim, the Rebbe of the Menchen
Destroyer of evil am I
I will march to the sound of the Shofars of glory
Forever to conquer or die.
Hear me heathens, and wizards and serpents of sin
All your dastardly doings are past
For a holy endeavor is now to begin
And virtue shall triumph at last!
I am I, Dovid Chaim, the Rebbe of the Menchen,
My destiny calls and I go
And the wild winds of fortune will carry me onward
Oh whither so ever they blow
Whither so ever they blow
Onward to glory I go.
SHLOMO: There you go dreaming again. Do you really believe that you’re going to change the world?
DOVID: Our nation was built on dreams. Our forefather Jacob had a dream, his son Yosef was famous for his dreams. In Tehillim 126, King David wrote, “When G-d will return the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers.” Our Scriptures and Talmud are replete with references to dreams. So if I’m a dreamer, at least I’m in good company. (He sings)
The Impossible Dream
Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh
To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right, the unrightable wrong,
To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!
This is my Quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause!
And I know, If I’ll only be true
To this glorious Quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!
SHLOMO: Well, I wish you hatzlacha rabba, may all of your dreams come true.
DOVID: Hey, I have a great idea!
SHLOMO: Not another one of your bright ideas? I suppose that I should be used to it by now. OK, let’s hear it.
DOVID: Why don’t you come to Eretz Yisroel with me. I’m sure that you can get a one-year deferment from Einstein. We haven’t been to Israel together since we spent a year at Yeshiva Neveh Zion. We can visit the Mash and all the Rebbeim. You can learn at the Mir Yeshiva. You always wanted to do that. Wouldn’t it be great! What do you say?
SHLOMO: I don’t know. Let me think about it and discuss it with my parents. I’ll get back to you.
TIME: three weeks later
SETTING: Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel, Arrivals Terminal. There is a crowd of people. A mother, wearing a kerchief, and a cute little boy with a black kipa are at the edge of the stage.
DOVID: Well, here we are. It’s hard to believe that we pulled it off. You’ll be learning at the Mir Yeshiva and I’ll be working for Yeshiva Ohr Samayach nearby. We can get together often. It will be fantastic, you’ll see. Hey, look at that little boy! He’s going to grow up to be Moshiach.
SHLOMO: Moshiach, who?
DOVID: Moshiach Ben Dovid, who else? Our Messiah, Our Redeemer.
SHLOMO: What are you talking about? He’s a five-year-old little boy. Dovid, you’re losing it. I think this heat is getting to you.
DOVID: (He walks over to the little boy and offers him a cookie. The boy, frightened, refuses the cookie and clings to his mother’s long skirt. Dovid bends down to the boy’s level and sings)
Knight of the Fearful Countenance
Adapted from “Knight of the Woeful Countenance”
Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh
Hail, Knight of the Fearful Countenance
Knight of the Fearful Countenance!
Wherever you go,
People will know
Of the glorious deeds
Of the Knight of the Fearful Countenance!
Farewell and good cheer
Oh, my brave cavalier
Ride onward to glorious strife
I’ll swear when you’re gone
I’ll remember you well
For all of the rest of my life.
Oh, valorous Knight,
Go and fight for the right
And battle all villains that be,
But oh when you do,
The miracles so true,
Then G-d will appear for all to see.
Hail, Knight of the Fearful Countenance
Knight of the Fearful Countenance,
Wherever you go
People will know
Of the glorious deeds
Of the Knight of the Fearful Countenance.
SHLOMO: Dovid, come on! Hurry, our taxi is waiting, we’re going to lose it.
(Shlomo and Dovid step into the taxi with their luggage)
DOVID: Isn’t this wonderful! In less than an hour, we’re going to be in Yerushalayim, our Holy City, the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people. We’ll be able to daven maariv at the Kotel. (He sings)
Adapted from “Dulcinea”
Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh
I have dreamed thee too long,
Never seen thee or touched thee,
But known thee with all of my heart.
Half a prayer, half a song
Thou hast always been with me,
Though we have been always apart.
I see heaven when I see thee, Yerushalayim.
And thy name is like a prayer
An angel whispers, Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
If I reach out to thee,
Do not tremble and shrink
From the touch of my hand on thy hair.
Let my fingers but see
Thou art warm and alive,
And no phantom to fade in the air.
I have sought thee, sung thee
Dreamed thee, Yerushalayim
Now I’ve found thee
And the world shall know thy glory,
TIME: The next evening
SETTING: A cafי on Ben-Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. This is a trendy spot for college students.
SHLOMO: Dovid, why did you bring me here? Ben-Yehuda Street has a reputation for drugs and booze.
DOVID: Precisely. These are my clients. These are the people that I want to connect with. (He stands up on a chair). My friends, hear me out. It’s time to do teshuva.
SHLOMO: Dovid, what are doing? Get down from there. You’re making a fool of yourself.
DOVID: My friends, it’s time to return to the ways of Hashem.
SHLOMO: Dovid, stop it. That’s not the way. They’ll throw us out of here.
(Suddenly there is the sound of a loud explosion and shattered glass. The stage goes dark. In the darkness, cries and screams are heard. A few minutes later, two paramedics walk in, shining their flashlights. In the light of the flashlight, Dovid is lying on the floor and Shlomo is kneeling over him. Both are covered with blood. Shlomo is tearing off his shirt and using it as a tourniquet in a vain attempt to stop Dovid’s profuse bleeding. He moves away as the paramedics come over to attend to Dovid.)
SHLOMO: Oh, Rebono Shel Olam, please don’t let him die. (He sings, as the paramedics are working on Dovid)
Let Him Live
Adapted from “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables”
Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Lord on high,
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young,
Let him rest
Bring him home
Bring him home
Let him live
He’s like the brother I might have known
If G-d had granted me a brother
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And he is bold
And will be gone.
Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy
You can take,
You can give
Let him be,
Let him live.
If I die, let me die
Let him live.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Let him live.
DOVID: (In a weak voice)
I see heaven when I see thee, Yerushalayim
And thy name is like a prayer
An angel whispers, Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim.
(with his final breath)
Shema Yisroel, Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem Echod
Glossary (in order of appearance)
kipa – head covering worn by Orthodox Jewish males
simcha – festive occasion like a wedding or birth
aleph-bays – Hebrew alphabet
mitzvah – good deed
kiruv rechokim – outreach to non-affiliated Jews
parnoso – financial support
sinas chinom – baseless hatred
mezuzah – item required on Jewish doorposts
Shabbos – Saturday, Sabbath
menchen – (Yiddish) people, common folk
Shofar – ancient trumpet made from ram’s horn
Tehillim – Psalms
hatzlacha rabba – lots of success
Yerushalayim – Jerusalem, Israel
teshuva – repentenance
Rebono Shel Olam – Lord of the World
Shema Yisroel – prayer said when one is close to death
more from Anita Tucker
We need your help to flex your so tough brawny Jaw muscles and vocal chords.
So Motti Elimelech said , after you flooded him with phone calls that he won't throw us out into street and he agrees that we should not physically move in until building site is safe.
1. However in fact the minhelet did send a letter to the kibbutz eintzurim -that they are stopping the funding for meals.
when we pressuured as to why he sent it -he said ,it was just a warning -however he has not yet sent a retraction letter and Kibbutz Ein tzurim asked our Netzer Hazani vaad to give them some sort of committment as to who will pay them. We say Minhelet-but in fact feel like mushpal shnorrers.
2. If you recall finishing the development in site was dependent on vote on budget where the missing two millin shekel that Housing Ministry claimed was needed to finish site.This was passed signed etc. and so we hoped Sunday we would see them workin full force to finish site without delay _HA HA HA -of course not.
New problem is a fight between the contractor (named Bitan ) of the development and and the supervsor of the Housing Ministry who are responsible for the work on the site. the supervisor claims that the contractor reported having used much more materials than he did use in fact on the site. The contractor claims it is a lie and he reported what he in fact used .
The bottom line is he is not continuing his work on the site and they may most likely end up in court.
The Sela comission (minhelet ) is in fact reponsable for site being completed to provide us with temporary housing..
However they are not doing anything to bring in another contractor to finish site but are waiting for this dispute to solve itself. So the result they are pressuring us to leave guesthouse and doing nothing to complete site.(they don't need a new Michraz as next in line on original michraz can get it --but they shoud notify him at least to be ready incase they need him to come in and take job.
3.The Minhelet is continuing to insist that the contract include a passage that says we are obligated to leave the site in three and a half years, which is the date that minhelet committed themselves to return site to kibbutz ein tzurim .
We refuse to sign it unless this passage is changed as what are we supposed to do if because of gov't permanent site in Yesodot is not ready yet --then when we refuse to leave they will forcebly expell us from our homes again -another "disengaement will be performed on us again..??
We insist on avoiding such a situation-we will not agree to signing a statement that says --we will willingly agree to be forced out of our homes with nowhere to go to again---do they think we are crazy?????
They now threaten that if we don't sign they will not install , according to their set standard for caravans, air conditioners that they purchased and are sitting in their storage shed , but in addition they will hold up progress for permanent location at yesodot if we don't sign.
They act as if we are primitive little kids that using threats and punishments they can manipulate us. However we are in fact adults and have a respnsibility to ourselves and our families to act logically and sanely and according to law.
4.When we tried to convince each of minahalim of Minhelet separately(Bassi,shuli levi,etc etc thay all agreed it wasn't logical-but then their legal advisor (Aaronson) said to them -don't change this demand of contract as everyone in all other caravilla sites signed it. So our coordinator, Ron SHechner, got hold of the contract signed by the people in the Yad binyamin caravilla site---and ,GUESS WHAT , it did not have the paragraph open having to leave in a time limit. SO turns out Minhelet's legal advisor is a liar . How does one deal with this?
all the above was written last night --today when at the caravilla site I saw workers sent by Ministry of housing measuring amount of bricks used to build sidewalks at site,other workers up rooting these blocks every few meters and measuring depth of sand that was underneath blocks --all this was not progress in development but rather part of the measurements concerning disagreement between Ministry of housing supervisor and development contrator.
In fact the media that we invited to Ein Tzurim caravilla site today saw with their own eyes the open sewage pits still filled with rocks that must be cleaned out before they are sealed -saw all the dangerous building materialsaround etc etc. In other words the site is surely not a safe place to move in with children. But this did not stop the Minhelet from preparing new letters that they are stoping funding for guesthouse and we must move into caravlla site. Which we of course so anxiously want to do-but to a safe site with all the caravans completed according to their standards and regulations -and without signing that we can be thrown out in three and a half years even if permanent location is not completed (which they are already threatening to hold up).
So we are back to threats that we are to be thrown in streets ,threats that we have to move into vcaravillas immediately -and statements that of course they do not want us to move into caravillas untiil site is safe??????
If you are confused -so am I .
Our people feel like shnorrers here in kibbutz, as kibbutz now isn't sure it wil get paid for their expenses for us -yet Minhelet are charging us 455 dollars off of compensation for every month in Ein tzurim guesthouse including my old run down 3x31/2 room that my husband and I live in in Ein Tzurim guesthouse.
This whole situation is exhausting and demeaning and we really have no idea what to do other than ask you and your friends to again flood the minhelet with phonecalls asking all the questions you can,threaten,manipulate etc.-I guess if you can't beat 'em ,join 'em or something like that.UGH!
Anyhow I wrote you all the gory details -if you can think of a short simple clear version send it back to me as well
Office of Minhelet Sela -ask to speak to Yonatan Bassi and/or Tzvia Shimon (she will replace him in about a month and now they are working together so she can learn job.)
tel. 02-5311028 fax.026529217
you can call also you're old friend motti Elimelech or his direct boss Shuli Levi (he is also leaving his job soon so may be willing to be more helpful---he also understands english and speaks quite well--we both spoke once together to American army officers visiting israel and he was very moved by what i said -and always comes over to me sympathetic )
0506205752--shuli levi - sgan menahel minhelet sela
sorry for so much details -but important you know facts
As usual ,thanks for caring,anita
June 8 Letter from Anita Tucker
This morning took an Evangelist couple and their guide to see the caravilla site. We are standing next to area where there are open pits and dangerous building materials etc etc.-obvious to all that site not ready to move into although five meters from one of twelve houses that Minhelet claim are ready for occupation. Up comes our friend Motti Elimelech (that guy you all called ) and says -hi you heard that the problems have been solved and tomorrow contractor will again work full force (tomorrow is Friday- ).
I say- why did you send letters to Kibbutz Guesthouse that you are stopping funding for this --it is obvious that the site right now is not safe- do you want my young grandchildren to move in with these dangers exposed?. Motti says of course we won't let anyone move in until it is absolutely safe.
One hour later I discover that the 12 families of Netzer Hazani whose homes are supposedly ready and have they claim been approved by Minister of housing supervisor (hard to believe )---received letter from minhelet that says -the family must move into house and out of guesthouse by 11/6 and no airconditioners will be installed until the contract is signed (ie contracts that say we agree to move out of caravilla site by no longer than three and a half years). As you recall we cannot sign this as we have no idea how long procedures on yishuv Keva (permanent location) will take. Two of these twelve families were my sons .
So I called up Shuli Levi vice to Bassi -telling him all of above.He says but houses have been accepted by supervisor . I say but five meters from there there is a whole neighborhood that is still in development with all the dangers involved . He said - I don't know I'll have to see for myself. Of course that is a silly answer -so I told him again of what Motti Elimelech said in morning and that he should have checked out before sending letters --why deal so cruelly and nastily with people who have gone through so much already . He says--perhaps we have to put a fence around the site -but I'll have to see myself. Good Morning!
the phone then was disconnected.
Would appreciate if others could follow up on this to Bassi's no.and shuli's no. and to perhaps also ask to speak this new lady Tzvia Shimon who is in learning job but not yet responsible
Why do they enjoy torturing us ? We would all love to move in but we will not sign a contract that says they can expell us from this home as well if because of them permanent site is not ready. We hae suggested several changes in the wording that will cover both sides needs but the Minhelet legal advisor insists that we have to sign.
Whole thing is stupid ,exhausting and a waste of energy -they should be embarrased that it is eight months since they began on this temporary caravilla site and it is still not completed.
phone numbers are in previous e-mail
thanks for caring Anita
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
go to the debate
IS IT A SECURITY RISK FOR ISRAEL? -
Marc Mishaan, Deputy Chairman, Kadimah USA, New York
David Bedein, Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency, Jerusalem
Where: Ohab Tzedek Synagogue, 118 West 95th Street, New York, New York
When: Sunday, June 11, 2006, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
article from the Jerusalem Post about terrorist weapon smuggling
Jun. 6, 2006 17:40 Updated Jun. 6, 2006 18:27
By SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL
The amount of weapons and explosives smuggled into the Gaza Strip since disengagement was bigger than the total amount smuggled into the strip since the Six Day War, Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said Tuesday in a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
According to Diskin, since the IDF left Gaza, in September 2005, there were 11 tons of TNT, three million bullets, 19,600 rifles, 1,600 pistols, 65 RPG launchers, 430 RPGs and some 10 shoulder rocket launchers smuggled into Israel.
The Shin Bet head added that Israel had also foiled attempts by the global Jihad to establish an ideological infrastructure in Nablus and around Jerusalem. He did not elaborate.
Diskin also said that he believed that Kassam fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip would continue.
In addition, Diskin spoke about the current state of the Palestinian Authority. "Fatah could accept its election loss and wanted to hold to power, as opposed to Hamas, which did not expect an election victory but did not know how to hold on to power." He said that despite the current standoff between the two parties, he believed neither side wanted a civil war.
According to Diskin, Hamas is encountering problems paying PA salaries, saying that it was ironic that most of this money was owed to Fatah employees. "Hamas is aware that they need to pay this money as it is the motor driving the PA economy," said Diskin.
The Shin Bet head added that there was an internal struggle within Hamas between "those who want to make an entrance onto the international stage and those who want to continue their pursuit of terror."
He called Abbas the "hope of Fatah and the international community."
Concerning the three-day extension Abbas granted to Hamas to accept the prisoners document Diskin said that Abbas had started something of crucial importance but that he "doesn't know how it would all end."
He stressed that Israel would not interfere with proceedings.
"Iran is putting pressure on Hizbullah to carry out attacks on Israeli targets," he said, adding that more than 20 million dollars had been smuggled in suitcases to the Hamas movement.
He said that international Jihad movements were active in both Sinai and Jordan.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Why is this called Blog Free?
Now I use it mostly for other people's stuff, not my original writing, which can be found on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.
Does this make any sense to you?
Eiland: 'The disengagement was a missed opportunity of historic proportions'
By Ari Shavit
In an interview to Haaretz, the outgoing head of the National Security Council ?(NSC?), Major General Giora Eiland describes the disengagement from the Gaza Strip as a "missed opportunity of historic proportions." The man whose last posting in the IDF was as head of operations, also warns that the convergence plan will not bring stability to the Middle East. After two and a half years at the NSC, Eiland also comments on the informal way strategic decisions are made in Israel.
You planned the disengagement for former prime minister Ariel Sharon. Was the disengagement a right move or a mistake?
Eiland: "The disengagement was a missed opportunity of historic proportions. I would like to explain. The disengagement contributed nothing to the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
In the government establishment, in which you were a member, was there an organized discussion on whether the disengagement was the right move?
"No. When I assumed my office, on 18 January, 2004, there was only an amorphous term 'disengagement' from a speech in Herzliya. I asked Sharon how much time I had to formulate a plan and he told me, four months. But very quickly it became clear to me that [PM Sharon's adviser] Dov Weissglas had already met with the Americans and committed us to a major unilateral step both in Gaza and the West Bank.
"Immediately after, Sharon committed himself to the evacuation of 18 settlements in the Gaza Strip in an interview to [Haaretz's] Yoel Marcus, and at that point the game was up. The planning process I had began blew up."
Was the question of what we could get in exchange for the Gaza Strip asked?
"That question was raised much later."
Was that not a strategic mistake?
"Condoleezza Rice told us, 'Let me explain to you what the meaning of a unilateral step is. You make a unilateral step when it is good for you. Therefore, you do not expect to receive anything in return for a step that you are doing because it is good for you.'"
And this is the crux of the missed opportunity in your view?
"Yes. The disengagement was a missed opportunity of historical proportions because at the end of 2003 both Israel and the world had reached the conclusion that on the one hand it was important to end the conflict quickly, and on the other hand, in the existing paradigm it is impossible to solve it.
"Why is it impossible to solve? Because the maximum that Israel can give is less than the minimum that the Palestinians must accept. I think that was a rare opportunity to offer a new paradigm. But the disengagement simply said the occupation was bad, that there is no chance for an agreement so long as there is occupation, and therefore, let us narrow the occupation.
"The same is said by the convergence. There is logic in the thinking, but it does not lead to long-term stability. The move along a unilateral path leads us to the classic solution of two states for two peoples, and I think this is an impossible solution."
Explain it to me.
"When we talk of a solution of two states for two peoples we make two assumptions: that it is possible to solve the conflict in the area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and that the reference for a border between the two states are the 1967 lines with minor changes. I reject these two assumptions. I think that between the sea and the river there is not enough area to contain two states, and I think that in order to maintain a defensible border, Israel needs at least 12 percent of the West Bank. The 1967 lines, even the Clinton Plan, do not give Israel defensible borders."
And a Palestinian state in only 88 percent of the West Bank territory is a viable state?
"That is the second mistake. I argue that even a Palestinian state with 100 percent of the Gaza Strip and 97 percent of the West Bank is not viable. Such a country will be poor, radical, restive, where the demographic pressures will be unbearable. In 2020 there will be 2.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, in area of 365 square kilometers. This will inevitably lead to pressure against the fences."
Do you have an alternative proposal?
"My proposal from 2004, which I put forth to Sharon, calls for a regional solution. Adding 600 square kilometers to Gaza in northern Sinai, to allow for the construction of an international port and airport, and a city in which millions of Palestinians can live. Granting 600 square kilometers to Israel in the West Bank in order to guarantee defensible borders. Compensate Egypt with 150 square kilometers in the southern Negev, and compensation in the form of international economic aid and a tunnel connecting Egypt with Jordan, north of Eilat. The transfer of about 100 square kilometers on the east bank of the river to the Palestinians, granting them 105 percent of the territory they are asking today."
Are the Palestinians willing to consider your proposal?
"All the Fatah people who saw the plan expressed interest. Abu Ala, Mohammed Dahlan and others. The Palestinians are more practical than we tend to think."
Egypt? The Jordanians?
"I believe it is possible to make them a sufficiently attractive offer."
Do you see the convergence creating conditions of stable coexistence with the Palestinians?
"The convergence will not bring stability. It will not solve the conflict. But it will encourage Hamas to keep the calm. There is a convergence of interests between the government of Israel and Hamas."
What kind of reality will there be after the withdrawal?
"A reality of two states without an agreement. The Palestinian state will be a radical Hamas state, not satisfied and not viable. There will be continuous instability."
Did you talk with Olmert about the convergence?
How is that?
"I read about it in the papers like every other citizen. I have no problem with this. The prime minister is a very intelligent man, capable of making decisions, and is handling the situation in an impressive manner. I am sure he consulted with other people."
But in the government establishment there has not been a discussion on whether the convergence is good for Israel.
Not related to Olmert or Sharon specifically, the decision-making process in Israel appears to be sound to you?