Archive for June, 2012

 
The Egyptian presidential voting results were out at last on Sunday afternoon, and the Muslim Brotherhood representative, Mohamed Morsy, has won (although by a relatively narrow  percentage). Our Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu has congratulated him and issued a statement saying he hoped to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government, and that we appreciate the democratic process by which the elections were held. So far Mohamed Morsy has said that Egypt will keep all international agreements, and that should include the peace treaty with Israel. In Egypt they are celebrating, and especially the Hamas organisation in the Gaza Strip too, who think they will now get more help, and of course continuously keep on firing rockets into Israel. For the Fatah organisation I believe things don’t look so good.

 On Thursday Israel lodged an official complaint with the United Nations about the rocket fire into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past week and. Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, complained to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “the lives of about a million Israelis are paralyzed” by the hundreds of rockets that have lately been fired into Israel even though the Hamas said they were making a truce. Prosor added that “as long as Israel’s southern communities don’t know quiet, it will not be quiet in Gaza, that we will be forced to retaliate.” He also mentioned that Israel fully cooperates with the UN, allowing civilian material and humanitarian aid into Gaza, but what do we get in exchange for this – weapons continue to flow into the Strip and rockets are fired into Israel.” So far no notice has been taken of our complaint by the U.N. . Now if it had been the Arabs complaining about a similar problem there would have been a great uproar.

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The shooting of rockets from the Gaza strip continues sporadically, and this morning we were informed that four more rockets had fallen south of the town Ashkelon,  but a few days ago two Grad rockets were also fired from the Sinai direction into the Negev. Luckily they caused no damage, but this shooting is a warning for what may come. The Egyptians said they had not fired the rockets, but we know that many Gazan Arabs infilterate the Sinai desert, so it could be  them too.
But not only this, yesterday maruders killed an Arab Israeli workman, Said Phashpashe, who was working with a group near the fence being built. Netanyahu sent his condolences to the family of Phashpashe, a Haifa resident and father of four. An additional workman was also seriously injured in the clash.  The incident took place at around 6 a.m., along a section of the Egyptian border, located about 30 km. from the Gaza Strip and not far from the Israeli town of Nitzana. Israeli workmen involved in constructing the border fence were driving in two cars along the border when a road-side bomb went off. The bomb  and terrorists were on the Egyptian side of the border, the IDF said.  A force from Golani immediately arrived at the scene, a gun fight ensued and a bomb carried by one of the terrorists exploded. Two terrorists were killed in the gunfight and the defence force thinks that a third terrorist was also involved in the clash, who managed to get away
The holocaust museum “Yad Vashem” in Jerusalem is holding a four-day meeting concerning the teaching of  holocaust history in schools all over the world which is going to be attended by  about 370 educational members of 53  different countries including China, Australia, India, Poland, Venezuela, Taiwan, South Africa and many many more. But the amazing thing is that this time there will also be a delegation from Turkey, this being a country with which unfortunately we are not (to say it mildly) “on the best of terms”. In 2010 people from Turkey were forbidden by their government from attending a similar meeting. There will be four Turkish teachers and five university lecturers taking part. Hopefully this will be a beginning for a better relationship between our two countries.

In Syria the senseless murder of civillians continues (with Russia evidently supplying arms to Assad’s people) and so far no end is seen. The world powers apparently don’t want to be involved physically, although they condem the killing. U.N observers who had been sent to Syria, left shortly after arriving there, in fear for their lives.

In Egypt, Presidential elections took place, but although the final results are not out yet, the Muslim brotherhood say their candidate won. There is a possibilty of forging which will surely not be proved, but I think this doesn’t spell out good for the people of Egypt, nor for Israel.

I mentioned before that President Peres when visiting the White House last week, asked President Obama to consider giving a “pardon” to Jonathan Pollard who has been serving 27 years in prisonn, so much longer than anyone else for a similar crime, but unfortunately nothing further has been said on that subject. That’s all for now.

Shalom from Irene

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Tomorrow our President Shimon Peres will be meeting with President Obama to receive the “Presidential Medal of Freedom. This award will be presented at a gala event (he is evidently not the only one to get it) and we are proud for him. But for us another fact is important. Peres has said he will make personal efforts to persuade President Obama to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard who so many years ago gave Israel details of Iraq’s military powers (which did not hurt America or any Americans) and received a life sentence for his “spying”, a sentence much greater than any other American  ever received for a similar crime. This time we are all praying that his appeal will be granted.

A few lines now about Israel’s diplomatic service, because lately, especially in an effort to combat growing anti-Israel sentiments in Norway, the Foreign Ministry has appointed a Druze Arab as ambassador to Oslo, and as his deputy an Arab career diplomat (Naim Araudi) and they will be joined by a Christian Arab who is currently deputy ambassador to Nigeria. Hopefully this will give some idea about the real co-existance between Arabs and Jews in Israel.

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I know that I  mentioned the problem of intruders from Sudan and other African countries only last week, but the subject is still in the news here, and it seems to be getting worse. We are a small country and can’t absorb thousands of  illegal infiltrators. Apparently Israel is third on the list of countries  who have so many in comparison to the size of our population. There is much crime committed by them, and there are many demonstrations by the inhabitants of South Tel Aviv, where many of these are living.So far it is mostly talk by the government – nothing serious has been done, things can’t go on like they do now.
Now for something completely different. There were plans for a concert playing only music by the German composer Wagner, in Tel Aviv university and large groups of holocaust survivors were very angry about this. Wagner was a great anti-Semite and a favourite of Adolf Hitler. So far Wagner’s music is never played in Israel. 
The university authorities said they were not responsible for the program, they had only hired out the hall for a concert. And this morning I heard on the radio, that the concert had been cancelled!
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