Thursday, June 19, 2014

From Ian:

A Point of Light in Downtown Jerusalem
Today in downtown Jerusalem, I saw a point of light.
A handful of concerned Israelis came together to put up a small tent and a couple of tables in a busy square in the center of the city. They hung up an Israeli flag and unrolled a banner: “Help Our Soldiers Help Our Boys.”
Passersby were invited to contribute food items to be taken to Hebron, which is currently hosting thousands of Israeli soldiers involved in the search for the kidnapped Israeli teens. Though the soldiers have field rations, the local community has mobilized to provide them with snacks and comfort foods to thank them for their efforts and give them a taste of home. Today in Jerusalem, those who didn’t have food to donate were invited to give cash, and paper and markers were made available to anyone who wanted send the troops a message of support.
Pat Condell: Why I support Israel


ISI LEIBLER: Our Islamic fundamentalist adversaries are inhuman barbarians
Fears for the well-being of our abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families.
And the nation as a whole is displaying the unity that has always been the hallmark of the Jewish people when confronted with such situations.
However there are a few demented Israelis, exemplified by Yediot Aharonot journalist Ra’anan Shaked, who blame the tragedy on “these nut jobs [who] take the kids with them to live in the territories.”
The Alice in Wonderland nature of our democracy also enables Balad MK Haneen Zoabi to deny that the abductors were terrorists and shamelessly justify the kidnapping as an act of resistance to “Palestinian suffering.” She was supported by Avram Burg who, in Haaretz, attributed the abduction to “the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us”.
But the overwhelming majority of our politicians, whose despicable behavior reached an all-time low during the course of the presidential elections, are united and compassionate in their handling of this ongoing crisis.
She Doesn’t Even Know His Name
An American citizen was kidnapped by terrorists a week ago. It took 6 days for the White House to offer a supportive comment to the family members of the three kidnapped boys.
And the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Jen Psaki, couldn’t even name the U.S. citizen held captive by Hamas terrorists, one full week after the fact, at yesterday’s press briefing.
QUESTION: Can I ask if you have a privacy waiver for the – one of the teenagers?
MS. PSAKI: We do, yes. So we can confirm that one of the kidnapped was an American citizen.
QUESTION: Which one?
MS. PSAKI: I believe his name has been reported. I don’t have it in front of me right now.
She doesn’t know his name. She doesn’t know his NAME.



Amid search for kidnapped teens, US calls for restraint
The United States on Wednesday called on both Israel and the Palestinians to show restraint as Israelis tightened their grip on the West Bank hunting for three kidnapped teenagers.
“We recognize this is an incredibly sensitive and difficult circumstance on the ground, and we feel all sides should exercise restraint,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
The World Just Does Not Care, So Let the IDF Win!
Israel should remember that the world just does not care. The world is quiet when Jews are attacked – and condemns us when Jews want to live. And even if Israel does something they do not like – this too shall pass. Muslim extremists kidnapped Jewish teenagers – and naturally there are forces on social media that seek to equate Arab imprisoned murderer-terrorists with Jewish innocent teenagers. They are wrong – and we alone are right.
Israel needs to remember that when the IDF fights– and protects our people, that the world just does not care. If they condemn the Jewish state, as my mom, Penny Waga Z’L used to always tell me – this too shall pass.
When Israel fights back the world will condemn Israel – And we must accept it just as we accept the sun coming up in the morning.
What matters more is that decent people worldwide stand on the side of truth. Israel stands for the good guys.
Support the Israel Defense Forces – and let the IDF Win.

May Eyal Yifrcah, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel be returned safely to their homes.
For The New York Times, It’s the Palestinians Who Are Suffering
Three Israeli boys have been kidnapped yet The New York Times is still more concerned with Palestinian “suffering.” It’s only been a few days since the IDF launched a major operation to find the three kidnapped Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frankel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16. Judging from Jodi Rudoren’s report for The New York Times, you’d think that Hebron had been “under siege” for months or even years.
We hear how the Jaber brothers are “worried that Monday’s wedding party for Kayed’s 17-year-old daughter would be ruined.”
We are told that the local radio station is playing “warlike anthems interspersed with bulletins about how many tanks were invading what neighborhood” and how along “the main thoroughfare, sweet shops and cellphone stands, car dealerships and clothing boutiques all sat idle behind roll-down gates or wooden shutters.”
Hebron’s mayor is quoted about the misery of the Palestinian people who are “all in a big jail.”
IDF meets growing resistance from Palestinians in raids to find kidnapped teens
Security forces continued to focus their searches for three kidnapped youths in Hebron overnight Thursday. Meanwhile, soldiers arrested 30 Palestinian suspects in raids, most of them Hamas members, including two who were released in the 2011 Gilad Schalit exchange with Hamas. Intelligence information led to the two prisoners that were released in the Schalit deal, a security source said Thursday morning.
In total, some 280 Palestinians - including 200 Hamas members - have been taken into Israeli custody since the start of the kidnapping crisis. During raids on Thursday morning, 14 Hamas civilian institutions, used to propagate its ideology and spread its influence (known as Da'awa institutions), and a Hamas student university union (known as a Kutla) at Birzeit Univeristy were targeted. At Birzeit, equipment was seized that is linked to managing the student union.
Security forces say there is growing friction with Palestinians during West Bank raids. Clashes broke out overnight at Birzeit, Jenin, and Bethlehem. In Jenin, two Palestinians hurled explosives at soldiers. Soldiers shot and struck the two attackers. Their condition is unknown.
The Horrific History of Hamas Kidnappings


IDF Troops Continue to Search for Kidnapped Teens #EyalGiladNaftali


Bill to Mandate Life Sentence for Terrorist Kidnappings
MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) has proposed, along with several other MKs, a bill that would mandate a sentence of life imprisonment to terrorists convicted of abduction, an offense that currently carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
According to the explanatory notes that accompany the bill, "In view of the abduction of the three boys and the prevention, by the Israel Security Agency and the security forces, of 30 other planned terrorist abductions, Israel's deterrence must be improved."
Amb. Prosor on Kidnapping of Three Israeli Teenagers


Kidnapped teen’s US cousin to hold vigil at White House
Manny Halberstam got the call after Shabbat ended late Saturday night. Although he had heard before the Sabbath about three young Israelis who had been kidnapped while hitchhiking near Alon Shvut in the West Bank’s Etzion Bloc of settlements, he had gone through the day without knowing that one of them was Naftali Frankel, a cousin he had gotten to know during his year of study in Israel.
Frankel is Halberstam’s second cousin – their grandmothers are sisters – and the family in Israel and in the US keep in contact. When Halberstam, 25, took a year off between his undergraduate education and law school to study in yeshiva, he joined his Israeli family – including then-13-year-old Frankel, at a number of family events where he got to know the teenager more closely.
Moving: Sarit Hadad Sings ‘As The Heart Breaks’ at Vigil With Kidnapped Israeli Teens’ Family Members (VIDEO)
Israeli pop star Sarit Hadad and an audience of over 1,000 women joined together in an emotional rendition of ‘As The Heart Breaks,’ a popular Israeli song which she dedicated to the rescue of three teens kidnapped by Hamas terrorists last Thursday.
The performance opened the annual get-together of a local committee for women’s advancement, hosted by the Samaria Regional Council.
Tony Orlando visits teens’ families
Tony Orlando, the popular 1970s American pop singer, said he visited the families of three Israeli teens missing in the West Bank, and called on his fans to hang three yellow ribbons in solidarity with the youths.
The teens disappeared while returning home late last Thursday from their Jewish seminary in the West Bank. Israel believes the militant group Hamas abducted the boys, and has launched its most significant military ground operation in more than five years to destroy Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank.
Interviewing Mohammad Zoabi - Describes Himself as an Israeli, Zionist. Arab, Muslim. (h/t Yoel)


Second Arab Israeli menaced for supporting abducted teens
Yihye Zakaria Mahameed, a 17-year-old resident of Umm al-Fahm, was subjected to fierce backlash and death threats from his peers after uploading a photo to Facebook of himself holding an Israeli flag and a “Bring Back Our Boys” sign.
The picture was meant as a show of solidarity with Naftali Frankel, 16, Gil-ad Shaar, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19, who were last seen in the West Bank on Thursday.
“I am opposed to the kidnapping and there are many Arab Israeli residents who support the State of Israel and the peace process,” he told the Ynet website.
Mahameed turned to police after receiving comments on his thread such as “traitor,” “we want to murder you,” and “you cannot stay alive.” h/t Yoel
Buenos Aires mayor identifies with Israeli teens as former kidnapping victim
Mauricio Macri, the Mayor of Buenos Aires, and the son of one of Argentina’s wealthiest businessmen, was kidnapped in 1991 and held in captivity for 14 days until his father paid a multi-million dollar ransom.
At a breakfast meeting on Thursday hosted by the World Jewish Congress and the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, Macri was asked whether he felt at any time during his ordeal that he might not survive. He was also asked what message of hope and encouragement he could give to the families of the three boys.
“Every day, every hour you think that you won’t survive,” he said. “It’s a perverse situation. Who suffers more – the victim or the family?”
Prayer Rallies in Canada for Kidnapped Teens Highlight Unity
The Toronto Jewish community continues to express its solidarity with the families of the three boys who were kidnapped by Hamas last week, as a series of prayer rallies have been arranged for the boys' safety, according to Shalom Toronto.
Dozens of people gathered outside the Israeli consulate in Toronto Monday for the latest prayer rally. There, Meir Weinstein, head of Jewish Defense League who organized the rally, made the connection between the people of Israel, the Torah, and the State of Israel, and a sense of common destiny that connects all corners of the nation.
Weinstein recalled the 1980 Beit Hadassah shooting in Hevron, while he was a yeshiva student in Israel, noting that then as now that the Palestinian Arabs celebrated the attacks on Jews.
Intel Jerusalem Exec Yishai Fraenkel Laments Kidnapping of Nephew; Says Palestinians Email Him to Say Also Repulsed by Abductions
Yishai Fraenkel, General Manager of Intel’s Jerusalem R&D Center and a veteran figure in Israeli high tech, said he has been on an unofficial leave of absence from Intel Corporation since learning of his nephew Naftali Frankel’s kidnapping, along with yeshiva classmates Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar, last Friday morning.
In an interview in Israeli business daily Globes published late Tuesday, Fraenkel said the news has been very hard on his family, which was together to celebrate Naftali’s grandfather’s 85th birthday 10 days ago. He also said that he’s heard from many Palestinian colleagues from the software industry in Ramallah who have been in touch to say they were “repulsed” by the abductions of the three boys.
Will Michelle Join Hashtag Battle Against Hamas Kidnappers?
Why won’t Michelle Obama tweet her sympathy for the Israeli boys? The answer is obvious. To do so would be to make it clear that the White House believes that the human rights of Jews, even those living on what the administration thinks is the wrong side of the green line, are human beings with rights, rather than just flesh and blood targets.
While no individual or even any government can involve itself in every issue or incident on the planet, the choices we make are instructive as to whether our putative concern for human rights is a pose or a genuine commitment. In the case of Boko Haram’s victims, it was easy for liberal Americans to express anger for the terrorists and sympathy for the victims, since to do so involved no hard choices, other than the choice former secretary of state Hillary Clinton made in refusing to designate the kidnappers as a terror group during her time in office. Americans don’t really care who runs Northern Nigeria or the intricacies of that vast nation’s political and religious conflicts. But that didn’t stop them from rightly expressing their disgust with the notion that terrorists could simply snatch girls from school and force them to convert to Islam and/or to sell them into slavery.
Israeli Ambassador Accuses EU of Supporting Kidnapping
Gilon argued in interviews to the Italian media that the European nations supported Hamas's inclusion in the recently formed unity government with the Palestinian Authority (PA), thereby supporting a terrorist organization that acts to kidnap Israeli citizens, reports Yedioth Aharonoth.
"Unfortunately, the European Union ignores the conditions it itself placed on recognition of Hamas. The recognition by the European Union of the Palestinian unity government with Hamas (in it) gives international legitimacy to a government that has a terror organization acting within it," leveled the ambassador.
Meretz Head: IDF Operation is Only to Punish the PA
MK Zehava Galon, head of the leftist Meretz party, claimed on Wednesday that the IDF’s Operation Brother’s Keeper, launched after three teenagers were kidnapped by terrorists, is no longer effective.
Galon claimed that the operation has strayed away from its original purpose and now is used by Israel solely to punish the Palestinian Authority.
“We have to say it straight out: Operation Brother’s Keeper is losing any connection to its original purpose, which was bringing the kidnapped boys home, and is becoming an operation with an agenda of punishment against the Palestinian Authority," she wrote on her Facebook page.
Hamas and Fatah clash over conciliatory Abbas speech
Abbas delivered a principled condemnation of the kidnapping during a speech Wednesday to Muslim foreign ministers convened in Saudi Arabia, also saying the American citizenship of abducted teen Naftali Frankel was irrelevant to the PA’s efforts to retrieve the three boys. “We told them [the US administration] that whether Israeli or American, he is a human being,” he said.
His stance quickly drew fire from Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, who blasted Abbas for “basing his statements solely on the Israeli narrative, without presenting any true information.”
Hamas MP Mushir al-Masri joined Abu Zuhri’s criticism, accusing Abbas of preferring the three Israeli youths to thousands of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails.
Why Child Support for Kidnapping Israelis Must be Widely Publicized
Yesterday our blog Israellycool published shocking pictures of child abuse. From all over the world adults are asking their kids to hold up three fingers, smile at the camera and posting these images on Facebook. They are accompanied by a message in Arabic proclaiming joy at the capture of “Three Shalits.”An obvious reference to the terrorist kidnapping of three Jewish kids (Eyal, Gilad and Naftali) last Thursday night in Israel.
At first they handed out sweets, then they invented a new hand gesture and now they’re teaching their kids to be happy at a terrorist act committed against our children. I believe it’s time to stop sugar coating or concealing what the other side is doing. They have systematically taught hatred of us and joy when we are attacked for many generations.
JPost: Zoabi’s sins
This travesty must make us wonder about the jarring absence of indignation and revulsion from Israel’s Arab sector. It is as if a courageous teen’s support of Israel is treason, but there’s approval – be it outspoken or tacit – for Haneen Zoabi’s declared position that no limits exist to what may be done to any Israeli – of any age, gender, or status – because Israelis (and by extension Jews) bring it on themselves.
Israel, she determines with impunity, is the incontrovertible villain of the Middle East saga, the mega-slaughter in both Syria and Iraq notwithstanding.
IAF strikes 5 terror sites in Gaza
The IAF struck five terror sites in northern and central Gaza Thursday morning, a response to rocket attacks a few hours earlier.
The army's strikes were in response to four rockets that fell in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Wednesday night around 9:45 p.m. The IDF said one of the rockets hit a community in the region and the second rocket fell in an open area. No injuries were reported, but a home did sustain damage from shrapnel from the projectile.
According to Palestinian reports, one person in northern Gaza was injured.
Around the same time as the rockets, in the West Bank, a Palestinian vehicle attempted to run over soldiers at the entrance of an IDF base near Bethlehem, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Office. No injuries or damage to the soldiers or the base were reported.
Near-Murder of Cop on Jerusalem Day: Grisly Details Revealed
At about 9:00 p.m., a policeman passed down the street, in order to bring food to other security forces. When he passed under the home, one of the three defendants hurled a decorative rock about 20-30 centimeters in size and weighing 2.3 kilos, at his head.
The rock hit the policeman directly in the head. He fell, bleeding, and lost his consciousness.
The group made its escape.
The policeman suffered a concussion and temporarily lost his eyesight. He suffered pain in the back and leg and was hospitalized for two weeks. He was then taken to the Beit Levenstein rehabilitation center, where he is still hospitalized.
Blazes in Jerusalem Vicinity Lit By Terrorists
On Monday Arab terrorists set fire near the fence of the community of Beit El. An initial investigation shows that they used a burning tire to start the fire and possibly threw a Molotov cocktail as well.
Terror by fire is a well known phenomenon in Israel, as terrorists utilize the hot and dry weather to cause damage, destroy property and endanger lives.
Iran army chief accuses Israel of creating ISIS
Iranian Army Chief of Staff Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi claimed Wednesday that Israel created and supports the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“ISIS is Israel’s cover up for distancing the revolutionary forces from Israeli borders and creating a margin of security for the Zionists, and the Zionist media have also admitted this fact,” he said, Fars News Agency reported.
Reports: Palestinian Unity Deal Spawning New Radical Islamist Groups in Gaza
Meanwhile Arabic-language Palestinian outlets reported Friday that Hamas security officers had dispersed a Gaza rally celebrating military victories achieved by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in which demonstrators celebrated the gains made by the Sunni Al Qaeda offshoot by chanting slogans promising to eradicate Jews.
Evidence that relatively extremist groups are getting traction in either the West Bank or the Gaza Strip is bound to be read against the backdrop of controversies over the recent unity government. Israeli predictions that the new political arrangement would boost terrorism had been brushed off by huge swaths of the international community.
Why the Kurds Are a Beacon of Hope in the Middle East
So it was with some pleasure, in the midst of a horrible news week for the Middle East, that I came across an interview with Ayub in which he said the following: “Kurds are deeply sympathetic to Israel and an independent Kurdistan will be beneficial to Israel. It will create a balance of power. Right now, Israel is one country against many. But with an independent Kurdish state, first of all Israel will have a genuine friend in the region for the first time, and second, Kurdistan will be like a buffer zone in the face of the Turkey, Iran and Iraq.”
Think about the meaning of those words, “a genuine friend.” In this context, it means a country in the region that not only respects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but also actively seeks to strengthen their mutual bonds. A country whose population is overwhelmingly Muslim but secular in political orientation, and one where the anti-Semitism that dominates elsewhere in the Islamic world is strikingly absent. Kurdistan actually is what many Jews mistakenly supposed Turkey to be: a Muslim-majority state with no ideological or theological objections to the idea of Jewish national self-determination.


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