Archive for December, 2012

I didn’t intend to write my blog this week, as nothing much is new in our region. But even so there’ll be a few lines, because apart from mentioning  the coming  elections, the stormy weather we’re having, the many traffic accidents, the many people visiting nature reserves to see the flowing water and even water falls, and of course the many victims killed daily in Syria (yesterday they bombed a bakery, killing about 100 people standing in line to buy bread), and the voting in Egypt for new (Muslim brotherhood) laws ( the results of which are said to have been forged) there is really only one thing I want to say. And here it is:
I want to wish all my Christian readers a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new Year.
Shalom from Irene
Most of the Israeli news these days concerns the coming elections. We have too many political parties, but surely some won’t receive enough votes to get into the Knesset. According to polls, Natanyhu’s party “Likud” which has been joined by the “Yisrael Beiteinu” party will receive the majority of votes, so nothing much will change.
In Syria the fighting has reached Damascus, near where President Assad lives, but the rebels going against him have been joined by some radical parties who say, “after Assad, comes Israel’s turn.” One more danger for us. And we hear that Assad has many “chemical weapons” hidden in many places – these can become a danger for us in whoever’s hands they fall into.
The Palestinian President Abbas is trying to get closer to the Hamas in Gaza, and this also does not spell any good for us. Till now he has been saying that under certain conditions (conditions impossible for Israel to accept) he would be willing to have peace talks. With Hamas even this will be impossible, Hamas say they will never accept Abbas’s authority over one square inch of “Palestinian” land, just as they will never agree to accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel.They say openly that their intentions are to destroy Israel.
And now another short history lesson: ” Occupied Palestinian Territory”  does not exist.There was never any Palestinian territory for Israel to occupy. It was taken over in 1948 during the War of Independence by Egypt and Jordan ,the latter took most of Jerusalem too, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, the oldest relics from Bible times. Israel took these territories from Egypt and Jordan in 1967.  So today Israel has more right than Jordan to be occupying the West Bank, and more right than Egypt to be occupying Gaza (we left Gaza some years ago as you surely know for the so-called “Palestinians).  Not even the famous U.N. Resolution 242 can help.  It told Israel to withdraw from territories once held by Jordan and Egypt,(illegally) and it envisaged those territories’ return to those two countries.  “Palestine” never got a mention in Resolution 242 . Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 is just a lie.
Now for something completely different. An international test for school children in 4th and 8th grades took place in three subjects – mathematics, science and reading comprehension and Israeli pupils did relatively well. Out of 42 countries, they took 7th place in mathematics,13th in science and18th in reading understanding.
I close by wishing my Christian readers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Shalom from Irene
Dec. 11 2012
After the vote in the UN recognising a Palestinan state, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the following words. I quote: “Every fair minded person knows that Israel is a beleaguered country, under attack. We’re the only country threatened with genocide. We vacated territory right next to our cities, territory that has been taken over by the proxies of Iran, territory from which they’ve fired thousand of rockets on our cities and from which they openly call for our destruction. Now we’re asked to vacate more territory right next to Jerusalem, right next to Tel Aviv, without any guarantees whatsoever from the other side that they’ll recognize the Jewish state, that they’ll end the conflict. The fact that the Palestinians tore to shreds their commitments under the Oslo Accords and went to the UN unilaterally is somehow dismissed.The Palestinians want a Palestinian state without peace. Many of these European governments voted for this thinking it may advance peace but in fact this pushes peace backwards because it tells the Palestinians you can get international recognition and international legitimacy without making the necessary compromises for peace.” 
And I would like to add, that publishing the plans for building in and around Jerusalem, was not something new. They were on paper for a few years, and who knows if or when they will be carried out. But Natanyahu  (and so many of us) were angry at the great majority vote in the United Nations for a non-member Palstinian state. A Palestinian state will be established when we hold real peace talks, which apparently the Arabs don’t want, and as long as the Hamas organisation rules there and says openly that they want to destroy Israel completely, I see no chance for that.
In our neighbouring countries, Egypt and Syria, still much unrest, especially in Syria where there is so much killing. (Yes, I know, I repeat myself on that subject)
Now just a few more pleasant words on local Israeli news. Winter is here, much rain and even snow on Mount Hermon. And the water level of Lake Kineret is up, maybe by 9 centimeters.  We are celebrating the Hanukah festival for 8 days, lighting one more candle every evening. Wishing those of my readers who celebrate Hanukah a happy holiday. That’s it for today. Shalom from Irene

Dec. 4th 2012

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (or Abu Mazan as he is called here) submitted a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly last Thursday , asking for Palestine to be recognised as a non-member state of the United Nations Organisation. As there is always an automatic majority of votes there on any subject against Israel, this was passed. I believe 138 (including European countries who surprised us by their vote) voted for , 9 against, (including the USA and Canada) and about 41 abstained.The status of the Palestinians has now been upgraded to a non-member observer state. On the whole, this United nations vote will make it harder to achieve a peaceful two state solution acceptable to both sides. But naturally there were great celebrations in the streets in Arab areas, who now see themselves as a country.
The history of the General Assembly regarding Israel has always been in favour of the Arabs and against Israel, especially a vote in 1976 that challenged Israel’s very existance by declaring Zionism to be a form of racism! Although the Assembly was ultimately pressured into taking back this libel, so many UN agencies still look at Israel in this way.
Mahmoud Abbas had made a fierce speech against Israel, calling us murderers, terrorist and what not, complete ignoring the fact that the fighting in Gaza had been an act of self-defence which every country in the world had a right to perform, and had been caused by the barrage of thousands of rockets into Israel over the years, and the hundreds being fired during the last period, causing the people in the south to live in constant danger. Israel has always been ready for peace talks, for a two state solution, but right from the beginning, when Israel was established in 1948, the Arabs refused to accept this fact, five countries then invaded Israel (luckily without success,) and more wars have taken place since then.
A few days ago Natanyahu mentioned a plan for more  building in Jerusalem and its surroundings, this had been on paper for a long time, and of course again,  many countries have again risen against this, and some have recalled their ambassadors from Israel. Natanyahu probably should have waited longer before mentioning it, even though he had refered to it already 2 years ago. But  only over a year ago, all building in the territories was stopped for over 10 months, to enable us to come to peace talks with Abbas, and again he naturally he found many reasons not to hold them. 
Yasser Arafat’s body was lately exhumed after 8 years. There are rumours that he was poisoned, and his remains have been sent to a laboratory abroad to check if his death was due to poisoning. The Arabs of course blame the Israelis for that, but hard to prove and surely not true, we had no physical connection with Arafat. He had enough enemies amongst his own people.
I’ll end with a small item, completely different. A European song contest, called Junior Eurovision, took place on Saturday in Holland, only for children under the age of 15, and Israel took part in this for the first time. Our kids only took 8th place out of 12, but it’s the “taking part” that is the most important.  Shalom from Irene