Archive for September, 2010

 
 
A lot of rioting took place in Eastern Jerusalem last week, and the police are still on alert. A Jewish security guard in a jeep was stopped by an Arab barricade of dustbins and such. According to him, he got out of the jeep to see what was going on, and was bombarded with rocks, stones and Molotov cocktails. Fearing that they wanted to kidnap or kill him , he shot into the air, hoping to scare them off, but they closed on, on him and then fearing for his life he fired into the midst of the mob surrounding him, killing one man. That started off a complete riot in the area, took a few days to quieten down, but is still not completely over.
 
I know I’m repeating myself, but again Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying that the lack of such recognition was at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “There should be “two states for two peoples – Jewish and Palestinian,” he said, but Abbas agrees only to the words “Two States”. Natanyahu said,”We want peace, but it has to be a secure peace and there have to be solid security arrangements on the ground to ensure the peace – for us and for our Palestinian neighbors, and maybe for the entire neighborhood.” I believe that an agreement is possible. But to succeed, President Abbas and I have to be willing to stick it out even when we disagree. We have to be willing to address the issues with an open mind.  We have to be flexible and creative in finding compromises that are anchored in a realistic assessment of what is possible. Israeli security is at the crux of the negotiations.” He recalled that Israeli withdrawals from South Lebanon and Gaza were followed by a terrorist buildup by Iranian-backed Hizbollah and Hamas, both of which are heavily armed with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles capable of hitting Israeli population centers. Another question which arose, is restarting building in the West Bank.  Last year we agreed to a complete building freeze for ten months but that time was completely wasted, no talks or anything, and yesterday the period ended, and we are being pressured to continue the freeze.” 

 It is doubtful if we will do so, maybe build less – but we’ll have to wait and see if Abbas will abandon the talks if we do.

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Yom Kippur is over, it passed quietly this year, but of course we remembered the Yom Kippur war of 1973 when we were suddenly attacked from all surrounding Arab countires –  so many of our young boys lost their lives then, and as every year since then, services were held in all military cemeteries.
 
Firing rockets from Gaza into Israel continues, and even two phosphorous mortars were fired at southern Israel from there They cause burns among victims and of course they kill   These weapons have been banned by the Geneva convention, but I doubt if this has been mentioned abroad. If Israel had shot them, then there would surely have been a great outcry in the world.
 
Some weeks ago terrorists fired rockets from the Egyptian Sinai desert which luckily for us, fell into Jordanian territory instead of the Israeli town Eilat. Now it seems another group of Gazan  Hamas terrorists is trying again – they used the many tunnels leading from Gaza to infilterate into Sinai. Evidently Egyptian security forces are on high alert in Sinai to try and capture them. Hopefully they will succeed. in tracking them down.  According to intelligence assessments in Israel, Hamas has made a strategic decision to increase its terrorist attacks against Israel – in the West Bank as well as from the  Gaza Strip– to torpedo the Israel- Palestinian Authority peace talks. As for the peace talks, no one here seems very optimistic about their success, as the Palestinians have made many impossible demands ahead of them, and won’t even agree to having our state called a “Jewish” state.

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Today peace talks are supposed to resume, but I doubt if anything will come of them. In less than a week since Rosh Hashana,10 Kassam rockets and other weapons have hit southern Israel from the Gaza Strip to show us that Hamas is against letting Israel survive, and the Patah leader Abbas is making conditions that all building in the settlements will have to be postphoned. We already did so for 10 months, but that period was neither appreciated, nor used for talking.
 
The Palestinians want that after the 26th of September there will be no building in Judea and Samaria, and that will not happen,” said Prime minister Natanyahu who is now on his way to Sharm-el-Sheich for the talks. But he was willing to compromise and cut down the number of buildings. He called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a state for the Jewish people, which they also refuse to do. “We both live on the same small piece of land but as soon as we suggest a two state solution for two nations, a Jewish one and a Palestinian one, I hear the sentence  “two states, but I don’t hear two nations.”  Well, we’ll have to wait and see if the talks go on.

The intended  burning of the Islamic Koran by an American clergyman has been abandoned, but even before he put it off, Israel was already blamed for this by Iranian Foreign Minister  Manouchehr last Thursday, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA. “The software for this plan was made by the Zionists following their defeats against Muslims and the Islamic world,” Manouchehr said in a meeting with foreign diplomats in Iran.  It is strange that Bibles can be burnt by Muslims and nothing is said. And evidently no one can remember the fact that one isn’t even allowed to bring a Bible or Christian prayerbook into Saudi Arabia.

Strange though it may sound with the present heat wave, we are now on “winter time”. On the night between Saturday and Sunday, the clocks were put back an hour in Israel, and so for us “summer time” is over. Most of the population here is against this early ending of summer time, because it costs the tax payer much money, especially in electricity, it gets dark so much earlier, and we know the only reason for this so early in the year, is for religious reasons, making the praying hours and Yom Kippur fast which begins Friday evening, easier for the religious population, as these hours start and end according to the number of stars seen in the sky. But the religious Minister of Internal affairs was evidently the deciding factor, and now it is a fact.
 
And now I’ll end with a few words about an electric car being developed here  with the French car makers Renault. Field tests have begun and marketing of the cars is due to begin next year. I don’t know much about mechanics but it is said the cars have the rapid battery replacement system located in the rear. Until now, only prototypes with the fixed battery or replaceable battery,  were developed and have been in use.
With these words I end. Shalom from Irene
 
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The peace talks hadn’t even started last week, but terrorism continued as usual. Shots were fired from a passing car at an Israeli one, killing in cold blood and at a close range, four people, who included the parents of six, and a pregnant woman. And the next day, again a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip. Natanyahu said these attacks were attempts to derail the talks before they begin, but he  would not permit this to happen. Hillary Clinton observed that the talks are intended to help prevent such occurrences in the future, but few of us can believe that. If Hamas were a small fringe group, and Fatah were genuinely moderate, it might be possible, but as it is, Hamas has huge power — both in terms of influence in the street and ability to sabotage anything that is decided.  Thus it must be asked how a genuine peace can be forged with a Fatah-led PA, when Hamas is completely opposed to a deal.  Even our minimum request “that Israel be recognised as a JEWISH state”.is not accepted by them. The recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is not illegal:  The Mandate for Palestine gave us this land for a Jewish homeland in 1922, and even the UN General Assembly, when proposing (in a non-binding recommendation) the partition of Palestine, intended a Jewish state and an Arab state to be set up.
 
Over the years we tried to believe that if we made gestures of good will and displayed our readiness to sacrifice for peace – as we did with the “Disengagement” from Gaza – then we would capture the prized “moral high ground” and with it, diplomatic strength. But this has not happened. The world continues to blame and demonize us even more – no matter how many Jews are brutally murdered. The international community is simply unimpressed with Jewish suffering. Even now, i

n the months and weeks leading up to the Washington meetings,  Israel has been making “gestures” to the PA — taking down roadblocks, loosening up on security control and giving PA security forces more authority, etc. But all of this doesn’t make things better, it just puts innocent Israelis at greater risk.

 
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