Archive for April, 2010
A few days ago, an unexpected shooting took place in the south of Israel. Two rockets were fired from Egyptian territory (Sinai) towards Eilat, our most southern town, which is a port next to the Red Sea. Luckily both rockets missed their mark, one fell near the Jordanian town Akaba nearby, and one into the sea. So far no one knows who did the shooting, but it is presumed to have been done either by Beduin Arabs or by some terrorist group who infiltrated into Sinai from the Gaza Strip, but that is not for sure – could be any anti-Israel group. This is the first time such an incident has happened in this area and I sure hope it won’t occur again. I wonder if this was mentioned in the foreign press.Although I have mentioned our kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit a number of times in my blogs, the terrible way he is surely treated and not allowed any visits, even by the Red Cross after over 3 years, today I must write about him again. The Hamas terrorist organisation holding him have made another film about him, this time a three minute animated cartoon film. It shows his father, Noam Shalit, growing older, and then being told his son will be returned. So then we see his father, waiting to receive him, when a hearse appears and Gilad’s coffin it downloaded. What a great sense of humour!!! What would they say and do if it were the other way round? And where are all those “do-gooders” in the world? They have nothing to say?
Yesterday we celebrated “Israel’s 62nd Independence Day”,and the day before we had “Fallen Soldiers Memorial Day”, a sad day of remembrance when commemoration ceremonies took place all over the country, military cemetries were visited and all places of entertainment were closed. This day was straight away followed by one of happy celebrations, with thousands going on picnics in various nature reserves and such. But to tell the truth, it is difficult to turn so quickly from sadness to joy, especially so for those families who lost loved ones during the many wars forced on Israel. The official explanation for these two days following one another is that without the fallen soldiers there would be no Israel, no “Independence Day” to celebrate. True, but even so, not all find these dates suitable.Now back to the more usual news. Scud rockets are being smuggled to the Hizbulla terrorist organisation in Lebanon from Iran through Syria, and it is said that from Lebanon they will be able to reach nearly all destinations in Israel. The Syrians of course deny this, but our Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed very definitely that Syria is providing the Lebanese Shiite militia Hizbulla with Scud missiles whose accuracy and range threaten more Israeli cities than ever before.
Yesterday we commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel as we do every year, with different ceremonies, candle lighting, reading names of those murdered etc. and most programs on television were about this sad period. And strangely enough, anti-semitism is much on the rise these days, especially in Europe.(Anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism are increasingly becoming indistinguishable in many cases.)
Poland was also the home of so many concentration camps and of great anti-semitism, but even so, sadly only a few days ago the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, Maria, and other senior dignitaries and military personnel were killed in a plane accident. President Kaczinski was not an anti-semite and was responsible for the present good relationship between Israel and Poland, and I sincerely wish to extend condolences to the government, people and army of Poland as well as to the families of the victims of the plane crash that took their lives.Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who met with Kaczynski in Poland less than three months ago at the International Holocaust Awareness ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, issued a statement, saying, “I knew Kaczynski as a Polish patriot, a great friend of Israel and a leader who did much for his people and to further world peace and prosperity. Kaczynski led an important process to begin a new chapter in relations between Poles and Jews, and between Poland and Israel.”
Prime Minister Natanyahu frequently says that he’d be happy to negotiate a peace accord with the Arabs but that unfortunately we just don’t have a peace partner with whom to negotiate. The Arabs’ real intentions are to destroy Israel completely, and until this changes, there seems no point in making further concessions. Over the past years, Israel has made major concessions to the Palestinians with zero reciprocity. We are even letting more goods into the Gaza Strip now, although they still send rockets into Israel territory nearly every day, and still hold our kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit prisoner incommunicado. Yet the US president, seems only to want to appease tyrants like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad.He exploited a bureaucratic bungle over a building zoning permit (for which Israel immediately apologized) as a pretext to ignite a massive crisis. He publicly and repeatedly humiliated the head of the only democratic state in the Middle East. He is forsaking Israel and adopting the most extreme Palestinian demands like agreeing to a divided Jerusalem even before real talks begin. If Israel acceded to all demands, that would make the way for further concessions which Israel would be expected to grant to the Palestinians in the future. In such circumstances, the Palestinians have every incentive to reject direct negotiations, while the US extracts more concessions from Israel on their behalf. Since taking office in January 2009 Obama has also refused to approve every one of Israel’s military requests – so what are we expected to think? Even the danger of Iran getting nuclear power weapons doesn’t seem to be at the top of his agenda.