Archive for April, 2012

 

The Egyptians have cancelled the contract for selling natural gas to Israel. The contract was part of normalizations                            in the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt  signed in 1979. Our minister of Finance said that he viewed with deep concern this announcement terminating the gas deal because  of both diplomatic and economic aspects, that this is a dangerous precedent that diminishes the peace treaty between the two neighbouring countries. Actually for the last year the gas supply hasn’t been steady because of 14 different gas pipe explosions in Sinai and we are preparing for other sources. The Electric Company will manage, but electricity prices will surely go up.

 Egypt is trying to peruade us that this is not a political decision, but one of economics. and even Prime Minister Natanyahu played down this “cut-off of Egyptian gas” saying it was the result of a commercial dispute. But what should we really believe? I sincerely hope the reason is not political. Since the take-over  from President Mubarak by the Muslim Brotherhood, the relations between our two countries have declined.

This evening what we call “Fallen Soldiers’ Day” begins and lasts till tomorrow evening when “Israel Independence Day” begins. Many people feel that these dates, the day of joy which follows directly after a day of mourning, are not suitable, but the  explanation given, is that if it were not for those who had given their lives, we would have no independence to celebrate and the two days should be linked.

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Our President, Shimon Peresm recently sent a message to President Obama, asking him to pardon agent Jonathan Pollard who has spent 26 years in prison for supplying Israel, a friendly country, with much then needed information concerning Iraq. He caused no damage to the U.S.A. but his sentence was much harsher than that of anyone else ever convicted for a similar crime. On the eve of Passover Pollard was taken very sick and sent to hospital, where he spent 10 days and is still very weak. So Shimon Peres’ request for a pardon is also for humane purposes, but so far no  answer from President Obama has  been forthcoming.

On Sunday a large group of pro-Palestinians from many countries had planned to arrive in Israel and make provocative demonstrations with their Palestinian supporters (this has happened before in a most unruly way) and as we did not want a repeat performance, it was decided to forbid them to enter Israel. The different foreign airlines were given  known names and they cancelled their tickets “by order of Israel”, but even so, a relatively large number of these activists managed to arrive at the Israeli airport. Some were sent back to their respective countries at once, others for whom no places were found, had to wait longer till suitable planes could take them back.
Prime Minister Natanyahu said  if these activists wanted to demonstrate for human rights, they should do so for what is happening in Syria, Iran, Sudan and many other countries where brutality rules, and not against democratic Israel where everyone has legal rights for speech, work, opinion and such.
 
I expect many have seen on TV, the very unpleasant picture of an Israeli officer hitting  with a rifle a Danish demonstrator  and we are ashamed of this behaviour. He was immediately suspended and the incident is being investigated. It is true there has been much provocation against Israel lately as I have mentioned, and the specific officer mentioned having two fingers broken by a demonstrator, but I believe it can not be proved that this particular Danish man was the one responsible for that. Both President Peres and and Prime Minister Natanyahu have  strongly  condemned his behaviour.
 
This coming Thursday is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, and there will be different commemorations and services held on that day. We can not, must not, forget those 6,000,000 innocent victims. I myself lost both parents, my brother and sister and others during the holocaust, and for me this is a  day of tragic memories.
Shalom from Irene

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Last week something rather unusual happened and there were two Grad missile attacks on Eilat, Israel’s most southern town, which were fired from the Egyptian Sinai desert. Luckily they caused no damage. Egypt has of course announced they were not fired from their territory, which is ridiculous, as they couldn’t have come from anywhere else, but even so it could be the Hamas behind the shooting as they can infilterate into Sinai so easily these days. An Israeli intelligence chief said that Hamas terrorist groups were working hard to establish a stronger presence in Sinai and had even established rocket production lines there. They were also moving some ot their weapon caches to Sinai to protect them from Israeli airstrikes. The new Moslem brotherhood regime is evidently turning a blind eye to all this. But of course the shooting  also still continues from Gaza and on Sunday morning two more missiles were fired from there.

And again, for the 14th time, the gas line leading into Israel and Jordan from Sinai has been blown up by remote control. We no longer depend on gas supply from there (I don’t know how Jordan is managing), but the price of electricity is going up.

And now for something different but also unpleasant and very false. Germany’s most celebrated author, Gunter Grass has written a comletely anti-Israel poem warning the world of “Israeli aggression”, describing Israel as a threat to Iran and the world, a country which in his eyes seems completely innocent, even though Iran is building nuclear weapons, and is constantly threatening Israel with its destruction. It now turns out that Gunter Grass was a member of the infamous Nazi SS during World War II, so his present behaviour should not come as a surprise. But what may seem strange, (and frightening) is that suddenly there is an outcry by many in Germany who agree with his idea , which he continuous to support strongly.

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Last Friday, most of the Arab Muslim countries held demonstrations for their usual annual “Land Day” which is meant against Israel holding land. Protesters gathered in Israel’s neighbouring countries to demonstrate and also pro-Palestinian activists planned a Global March to Jerusalem. There was fear here that demonstrators would try to cross the borders forcibly and the local protestors would cause much violence on their way to Jerusalem. Alert level was raised and thousands of police officers were on stand-by around and in Jerusalem to prevent this, whilst military forces were stationed around the country’s borders, and luckily there was no attempt at crossing them, and the day passed more or less quietly.
 
In Syria, despite the brutal year-long conflict, where thousands have been killed by government troops, Israel is still on their agenda and protesters rallied in Damascus in solidarity for the Palestinians. They even seem to blame Israel for Assad’s crimes. How they can connect Israel for the senseless murdering going on there is impossible to understand.
 
And in Egypt, the fanatic Muslim Brotherhood has nominated its deputy leader as candidate for the coming presidential elections, although they had previously said they would not contest the elections. This can leave this Islamist group in control of all branches of Egypt’s new government, – not a happy thought for Israel.
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