Let me start today with a light-hearted good news piece, which reflects on Israel’s wonderful side. (Emphasis is added.)
“When Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic Liat Mizrahi (pictured ) and her team were flagged down by a bystander to tend a wounded dog lying on the pavement near the train station in Binyamina in the Haifa region, they immediately called for another team to take their place on regular duty and rushed to save the dog, which had been hit by a car…
“Fortunately, Mizrahi has eight years of experience working in a veterinary clinic. With one glance she realized they had to act fast.
“’I knew I could not leave it untreated,’ recalled Mizrahi. ‘I asked permission from my superiors to take a one-hour break and an ambulance was sent to take our place so that MDA activities would continue as usual’…
“Mizrahi contacted local veterinarian Dr. Rafael Farag, who agreed to provide further treatment.
“Here, however, the team encountered another problem: how to safely transport the dog to Farag’s clinic.
“Into the picture entered MDA Director General Eli Bin, who granted special permission to bring the dog there on the ambulance’s gurney. Chupa arrived at the veterinary in stable condition.
“’MDA’s mission of saving lives is the highest value and not just when it comes to humans,’ said Bin later. ‘I applaud the quick response of the team and I wish a speedy recovery to Chupa. I hope to see her walk on all fours soon.’
“He added that the gurney used to transport Chupa will be donated to a veterinary emergency service.”
The dog’s owner, who explained that they were not aware Chupa had gotten out of the yard, ”was deeply moved to see the MDA team saving the life of a dog with indescribable devotion.”
“The next school year has been declared as the ‘Year of Jerusalem Unity,’ which will launch an extended curriculum, from elementary school to high school, as decided by the Minister of Education Naftali Bennett [Habayit Hayehudi].
“The program, marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem, will focus on the city’s history, heritage and sites. Schools will incorporate the content throughout the school year and ahead of special holidays, including Jerusalem Day…
“The program will incorporate themes from the existing curriculum and will further highlight language, geography, civics, literature, Bible and Israel studies. The program will officially launch during this year’s Yom Yerushalayim [Jerusalem Day] celebration on June 5th, with several activities and events.
“The Ministry of Education stressed that the program will increase the number of students who visit the various sites in the capital of Israel, including the Old City, the Israeli Knesset, the Supreme Court and memorial sites.”
Credit: Moti Milrad
I share here a short video of the Flag Dance outside the walls of the Old City on a previous Yom Yerushalayim.
On February 18, 2016, the Greek Minister of Defense, Panos Kammenos, addressed an international conference at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on “Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
In the course of a long analysis he referred to Turkey, whose
“policies and behavior towards these three [eastern Mediterranean] democracies [of Greece, Israel and Cyprus] are far from being friendly, far from being in accordance with international law, and far from being of a stabilizing nature.”
And he concluded with these words (emphasis added):
“Greece, Israel and Cyprus do not aspire to create or participate in an axis of evil. We have seen and continue to see the consequences of confrontation, extremism and war.
“Our aim is to create, together with all those who share the same values and principles and without exclusions, an arc of stability, cooperation and prosperity extending from the broader East Mediterranean area to the Black Sea and beyond.
“Our adversaries are not states or peoples and religions, but extreme ideologies and inhuman practices which incite hatred and destruction.
“Our strategic priority is to create a better place for our peoples and future generations to live in peace, security and prosperity.
“An area of cooperation and progress.
“Our East Mediterranean, has been a cradle of great civilizations, of religious tolerance and coexistence and it can certainly become a springboard towards a better future mainly for our youth.
“We should not allow any more lost opportunities, no more lost generations.”
Hopefully, I’ve provided enough good news to sustain us for a bit. For now I must deal with the not-good news. And first I want to turn back briefly to matters that I wrote about in my last posting.
It turns out that terrorist victim Tuvia Yanai Weissman had dual citizenship and was also an American. The American government does not always clearly condemn terror attacks even when US citizens are involved, but in this instance it did.
News reports have it that a third suspect in the attack that killed Weissman has been arrested. Apparently there were three teenagers who attempted to enter the Rami Levy market, and one, from Ramallah, was turned away, while the other two – from Beituna near Ramallah – were permitted to enter (say some reports, without a search). Why, if one was turned away his companions were permitted to enter is something I cannot answer! At any rate, he may have been intending to participate in the attack, but as he wasn’t present cannot be prosecuted as a direct participant – although his identification as an accomplice in the planning may be important.
Yesterday, at the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu commented that the discussion about Chief of Staff Eizenkot’s comments is “pointless,” just a political exercise.
But I take issue with this. Saying that he wouldn’t want an IDF soldier to empty a magazine into a 13-year old girl, even if she were doing something serious, suggests that an IDF soldier might do this. Which is not the case. And Ya’alon’s saying that we must take care not to lose our “humanity,” suggests that we are at risk of doing so. Which is most certainly not true.
What these military leaders have done is demean the image of the IDF at a time when it should be vigorously defended. What is more, they have provided an opportunity for our enemies to point fingers.
I would have expected something very different of them. My fury may abate, but great sadness remains.
Secretary of State Kerry has been in the area for a variety of reasons. The single “good news” part of this is that he has no intention of visiting Israel.
He did visit with Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan on Sunday.
According to State Department spokesman John Kirby, Kerry
“urged calm, and a decrease in violence, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.”
Urged? This is laughable. Words won’t move Abbas, although they might make good press. Certain kinds of threats regarding withdrawal of US support might have an effect.
Kerry also reaffirmed American commitment to a “two state solution.”
And so we see, for all the statements suggesting that trying to negotiate that “solution” now is not possible, it’s always in the background.
According to PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh, Abbas, for his part, told Kerry that the PA leadership intends to continue via the international route: They are seeking an “international conference for peace,”and a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cessation of building by Israel in Judea and Samaria. It’s the same old game: trying to get the international community to pressure Israel so that the PA need make no concessions.
Abbas also reported to Kerry on current efforts (yes, once again) to form a unity government, which would consist of the PA, Hamas and other Palestinian jihadi factions, thereby theoretically ending the division between elements in Gaza and the PA in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank). That unity is theoretically a positive, as all Palestinian Arabs would be represented in any “two state solution.” But it’s an ongoing farce. Hamas and Fatah are too much at odds to establish an enduring union. What is more, the notion that Hamas and related factions, which are overtly terrorist and opposed in principle to negotiations, could genuinely be part of an “solution” is nonsense. But, unfortunately, a nonsense that is paraded before the world now and again.
See Khaled Abu Toameh’s piece about the game of obfuscation that the PA is playing, with Kerry’s cooperation. It contains significant historical information on the PLO’s ultimate intentions that should be read and saved. (Emphasis added)
“This ‘intifada’ is simply a further phase in a larger plan to destroy Israel. When the plan began officially, with the establishment of the PLO in 1964, there were no ‘settlements’ – not ‘until after the June 1967 War — so what exactly were the Palestinians planning to ‘liberate’?
“The plan continued in 1974, at the twelfth session of the Palestinian National Council in Cairo, with the 10-point ‘Phased Plan’ (see Appendix below for full text of the Phased Plan). Article 2 called for ‘armed struggle’ (terrorism) to establish ‘an independent combatant national authority’ that is ‘liberated’ from Israeli rule…
“Abbas also told Kerry that he intends to continue with his efforts to seek a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel over ‘settlement construction.’
“Never mind that on Palestinian maps, all of Israel is regarded as one big ‘settlement.’”
The “Phased Plan” acknowledged that Israel could not be taken down all at once, and laid out plans for weakening Israel one step at a time. Negotiations for a state that did not encompass all of Israel were considered an acceptable temporary step along the way, as long as the negotiations indeed did weaken Israel.
Buried into a shipment of toys that was meant to make its way into Gaza via the Keren Shalom Crossing from Israel were discovered a number of different helicopter drones, carrying high quality cameras. The drones earmarked for use by “terrorist elements in Gaza,” were discovered by a task force consisting of members of Shin Bet, the Crossings Authority, COGAT, and the police. The items were intended for spying on the IDF. Ongoing vigilance is required of the task force, as the efforts to smuggle such items into Gaza persist.
“Details of a thwarted Hamas-hatched plan to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were revealed for the first time on Sunday, after a two-month interrogation of the suspects involved, the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
“According to the report, the plot was made public with the Attorney General’s indictment last month of two of the terrorists, including the head of the cell, a 25-year-old from Kfar Yassuf in the West Bank who had rented an apartment in the Abu Dis neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
“Ahmed Azzam was in the advanced stages of establishing Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with funding and direction from Hamas in Gaza, the indictment said. To this end, he had purchased chemical materials and rented the apartment in east Jerusalem, where he set up an explosives lab. Also, according to the indictment, Azzam recruited the terrorist who was tasked with transporting the bombs beyond the Green Line.
“It was this terrorist, Hazam Sanduka — nicknamed ‘the mechanic’ for his intimate knowledge of cars — who had determined that Netanyahu would be the main target.
“The 22-year-old resident of east Jerusalem and a student of Arabic at Abu Dis University was recruited in November by Azzam, who was looking for a Jerusalem resident to aid in the preparation of terrorist attacks.”
See further details in Ruth Blum’s article:
Understand this: Sanduka worked for a security company in Jerusalem. His job was to conduct security checks at the Great Synagogue and the Jerusalem sports Arena. When he began planning a terror attack, these were places he considered, undoubtedly because of his familiarity with them.
Blum calls the details “chilling,” and that is precisely what they are.
Also chilling is a video from the Internet that is shared, with translation, by MEMRI.
See here: http://www.memritv.org/ At the top are “MEMRI TV Highlights.” Click on the item on the far left: “We are the men of the West Bank,” or wait until clip #5322, “an animated music video celebrating terror attacks,” appears and click on that. It’s a celebration of terrorism that helps explain its appeal to Arab kids.
These last items provide a clear picture of our “negotiating partner” as we strive for “peace” with them.
Please share this broadly. Many people do not know the realities, and they must learn them.
A correction: Recently, I inadvertently described German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Andrea. With thanks to those who caught this.
I wrote above about the Year of Jerusalem Unity to be instituted in Israel’s schools. And so, even though it is not Yom Yerushalayim, I decided to end with a rendition of Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim” – “If I forget you, Oh Jerusalem,” Psalm 137.
There are dozens of versions, but I picked this traditional one, sung by Ya’akov Shwekey, in part because of the text and pictures that accompany the singing. There is learning to be done from the text.
I only wish the Israeli establishment had truly recognized the miracle that came to us in 1967. Now we must deal with what is, and over time rectify that mistake.