Archive for August, 2010
“Peace talks” will evidently begin on Thursday in Washington, but Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen ) will surely be discussing the same four issues that were on the table in 2000.
If Yasser Arafat could not accept any compromise, then why would President Obama think Abu Mazen, whose legitimate term of office ended in January 2009 and who controls far less territory and far fewer Palestinians, can compromise now?
What will the President do if the talks fail and increased violence is again the result? And the Palestinians warn they will stop the talks, if we begin building again in the territories.
We agreed to stop for 10 months, but these have almost passed by, and the time was wasted, no talks during all this period – I wonder why?
Now for something “good” for a change. UNIFIL released its findings Wednesday of its investigation into the shooting incident earlier this month between the IDF and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) along the northern border and came to the conclusion that the Israeli forces did not cross the international border as the Lebanese had claimed.
This is a “first” for us, so far they have always blamed Israel for all misdeeds.
The Gazans never stop weapon smuggling. Egyptian authorities intercepted a shipment of 190 antiaircraft missiles in Sinai surely destined for Gaza on Saturday, Palestinian News Agency Maan reported.
According to the report, the authorities raided several storage areas in the area and discovered the ammunition hidden in a remote region in the center of the Sinai peninsula.
In addition to the antiaircraft missiles, rockets and other ammunition, they also seized a large supply of illegal drugs. Reports also stated that authorities raided several locations in Rafah, where they found more stores of explosives and weapons.
Israel and Egypt have maintained a tough blockade of Gaza since Hamas seized power in June 2007, and the hundreds of tunnels in the Rafah area are the main entry point for many basic items, as well as weapons. Egypt also seems to fear the Hamas group.
And now to end here are a few lines which might interest nature lovers. A great stork migration is upon us.
Thirty-one thousand storks flew down the country to rest in the Negev and around the Dead Sea on Tuesday, before heading to their winter homes in eastern Africa.
“Tuesday was the first day of the height of the migration, “Jonathan Meyrav, survey director and project manager for the Israel Ornithological Society said. The society is part of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).
“This was the first big day of the height of the migration. For the next week to 10 days, we’re likely to see a lot of storks flying by,” he said. ” The migration will likely take six weeks since starting in early August.
All told, 350,000 are expected to fly over the country from north to south in that time. That’s a lot of storks :-)
Enough for today. Shalom from Irene
Next week Prime Minister Natanyahu will be in Washington D.C. for “peace talks” with Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) who is the Palestinian President, although he has not been re-elected (there were no more elections and his term was over long ago).
Abbas who belongs to the “Patach” faction is hated by “Hamas” and even fears to enter the Gaza Strip where they rule, which also means he does not represent all the “Palestinians” and is really unable to make serious decisions.
Even so he is making many demands before the talks even begin, and it is doubtful if anything will come of them.
Israel also has some demands, the most important being recognition of Israel as JEWISH State and of course security guarantees and the non-militarization of a Palestinian State.
We’ll have to wait and see what the outcome of the talks will be – one thing is certain, we can’t be pressured into terms which will endanger our safety. Jerusalem is of course another problem.
A bit of history remembered
43 Years ago, I kept a personal diary of the Six-Day-War and want to copy here some lines from the date ; June the 7th , 1967.
“The Old City of Jerusalem is ours! After nearly 2,000 years, Jerusalem has come back to its rightful owner. How can I describe in words my feeling when I heard this?
“My eyes grew moist and I seemed to swallow or choke down my tears. I felt that I had to shout this news out loud – I wanted everyone to share my delight.
“I smiled at my sons (aged 15 and 13 then) – who came home punctually every hour to listen to the news broadcast and we all looked at one another, but the words we said, like “How wonderful” etc. carried no meaning, because we all felt something in our hearts that couldn’t be put into words.
“I am not a religious person and even strongly dislike the behaviour of those ultra-pious who try and force others against their wishes to observe religious laws and even throw stones at those travelling on the Sabbath, but Jerusalem is something special for me.
“Jerusalem is Zion. Jerusalem is Judaism, and as a Jew it is part of me. I can’t explain it.
“When I’ll be able to visit the Old City, I will surely go to the Wailing (Western) Wall, and may even give a prayer of thanks. I’ve been praying inside myself for the last few days, but this will be something different.”
And nothing has changed, I and most of us, still feel the same.
Today’s hardship is from nature
The latest great heat wave in Israel has caused much damage to agriculture.
I saw a program on TV yesterday showing orchards with rotting fruit, saw chickens dead of the heat, we were told of the hens laying less eggs and other agricultural ruins.
The prices of fruit and vegetables have also gone up lately, presumably this is the reason.
Now for something good to end my blog with:
Prof. Elon Lindenstrauss of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem was awarded the 2010 Fields Medal for mathematics – considered the “Nobel Prize” in the field , for outstanding work.
This prestigious prize was awarded in Hyderbad, India, at the opening of the International Congress of Mathemeticians, which is convened by the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
This is the first time an Israeli has received this award, for leading mathematicians aged 40 and below.
And with these words I end today. Shalom from Irene
It is now the Muslim month of Ramadan, when Islamic believers fast for the whole day, for a whole month, only eat in the evening, and our military forces are taking this into account.
Our Israeli Defence Forces in the West Bank have been asked to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public, especially at the security crossings.
The soldiers were asked to show a high level of respect and understanding for this Islamic holy month.
Civil Administration representatives met with Palestinian religious authorities and discussed prayer times and upcoming religious events. I doubt it would have been so if the peoples’ religions were reversed.
The question of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians has again arisen, our Prime Minister Natanyahu is for this, especially with American mediation, but as always the Palestinians want certain conditions in advance, conditions we are unable to give.
What the Palestinians are really after is a ‘two-stage solution’ and not a two-state solution.”
First stage is pushing us back to pre-’67 lines, and the second is our destruction.
Article 19 in Chapter One of the Fatah charter states: “Armed struggle is a strategy, not a tactic. The armed revolution of the Arab Palestinian people is a crucial element in the battle for liberation and for the elimination of the Zionist presence. This struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated.”
So we see that the PLO has refused to give consent to an article in a final agreement that would state “that this agreement puts an end to the conflict and concludes all claims by the parties.”
And thus does the PLO deny the historic connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
Since the Turkish flottila to Gaza took place, the relationship between that country and Israel have gone down seriously.
They make so many complaints about us, but few in the world seem to have noticed that Turkey is still fighting with the Kurds in their country and it has been proved that they used chemical weapons against them.
I can only imagine what would have been published if Israel had done this. Turkey, Syria and Iran are now together – best friends as we say. And that can be a danger for the whole world.
Temperatures are still very high these days, about 35-36 Celsius (about 96-degrees) on an average, humidity very high too.
Air conditioners are in constant use,and we are asked not to use too much electricity, in order to prevent an electricity shortage.
I’ll close now.
Shalom from Irene
I ended my last blog by mentioning that there was shooting going on between Lebanon and Israel but that I had not heard any details. Today I want to return to this subject, because as usual, many in the world blamed Israel for this outbreak of hostilities. Now I want to give all the details, so that you can judge fairly for yourselves. Lebanese snipers shot and killed an Israeli commander, who was overseeing routine tree-pruning maintenance on Israel’s side of the northern border. A second officer was seriously wounded, all this in spite of the fact that the maintenance work was fully coordinated with the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Israeli soldiers near the Lebanon border needed to clear bushes in a certain area, in order to prevent Hizbullah terrorists from hiding in the undergrowth, to prevent them from carrying out an attack or kidnapping in the future.The UNIFIL soldiers were informed of this maintenance work long in advance and they shared this information with the Lebanese army. It is an open secret that the Lebanese army has been infiltrated by Hizbullah sympathisers and operatives, so of course this information was shared by them too. So this incident was a pre-planned and staged ambush, for otherwise why were so many journalists and photographers right at the scene before the deadly exchange of fire between Lebanese and Israeli forces took place, as I said, the latter only performing routine maintenance work by the security fence near the border in sovereign Israeli territory. So why did so many news agencies report that the Lebanese army was acting in self-defence? The fact that journalists were standing next to the Lebanese soldiers right at that time, shows that they knew Israel was going to do maintenance work just then and that shooting would surely occur .