Gleanings on Global News at the Time of the End
The Days Preceding the Expulsion from Gaza
The Festivals of the Lord Observed by the “Saints” of the Chosen Ones of Israel
The National Effects of the Expulsion upon Israel
The Global Effects of the Expulsion
The Gaza Residents Three Months Later
Terror and the Palestinians after the Gaza Disengagement
The Days of the Beginning of Geula (Redemption)
Before the coming of the Maschiach of Yisra’el (Messiah of Israel)
August 15 to December 15, 2005
Rosh Hashannah – October 4, 2004
The fall of 2005 will be a year that will go down in Jewish prophetic history. According to the Chassidic rabbinic sages, the “Geula” or the days of redemption started on the day that the Jewish people were forcibly expulsed from Gush Katif in Gaza. As Rabbi Arie Shechter, a specialist in the computer analysis of the Torah hidden codes recently stated, the signs of Geula b’ito, the coming of the redemption by God in their own time during days of disasters and catastrophes, began on Rosh Hashannah 5766. The Gaza Disengagement according to the rabbis triggered the opening days of coming redemption, called Geula, of the Maschiach of Yisra’el. Israel has now entered into a new era of redemption. Once the beginning of Geula has been set in motion, the Day of the Lord and the coming of the Messiah will come between one and seven years, maximum.
According to the students of the Jewish prophet Achiya HaShiloni and his most famous disciple, Baal Shem Tov, the expulsion from the “outer villages of Israel” was predicted for over a century ago. Set this in motion with the recent public announcement in September, 2005 by the esteemed centurion Sephardi Elder Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, a warning was given to the Jews “to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.”
Lest our memories fade on that day, let us remember when the mothers and fathers, children, students in the yeshivas and synagogues were forcibly evicted from their homes and four months later 80% of them were living like refugees in Israel. These four global news series are dedicated to preserve an archive of that moment in time when the first Jewish government drove their people off the land in which the God of Israel gave to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May Hashem, the God of Israel remember!
2 Chronicles 20:7 - Did You not, O Hashem,
drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel,
and gave it to the seed of Abraham Your friend for ever?
The Gaza Expulsion of the Jews – A Pictorial and Textual History
WITHDRAWAL BEGINS – August 15, 2005
Lekarev - Implementing the government's disengagement plan, the army began their visits across Gaza settlements about 15 minutes ago, at 7:00 a.m., handing out eviction orders to about half of the settlers who have so far refused to leave, and offering relocation help to those who had not yet completed packing. Residents have 48 hours to leave voluntarily or face a forcible eviction.
Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said that the army would not forcibly enter settler homes to give them eviction notices or offer relocation help. "We are offering our hand, not forcing it," he said. "Those who want to take our hand and receive our assistance are welcome to do so."
The Gaza settlements of Atzmona, Katif, Dugit, Kfar Darom, and Netzarim requested that IDF soldiers not enter in order to distribute eviction orders. Instead, an agreement was reached through which security chiefs of all five settlements would spread word of the evictions. In a somber ceremony, Israel shut the gates to the Gaza Strip at midnight last night, beginning the end of a 38-year presence. Tears are abundant in the land of Israel today, both within Gaza and across the nation.
In Morag, Soldiers & Settlers Weep Together – August 15, 2005
Lekarev - Teams of soldiers entered the settlement of Morag Monday afternoon and began distributing eviction orders while trying to convince the settlers to leave voluntarily. Some residents are packing up their belongings, others are folding their laundry, refusing to leave, waiting for a miracle. At one point, in an emotional standoff, Colonel Erez Tzukerman, head of the Golani Brigade, hugged and cried together with the Morag settlers in an effort to persuade them to evacuate voluntarily before Wednesday, when the forced evacuation was slated to begin. "We didn't come here to clash with you, but to offer assistance and to help you, the people we once protected and worked hand in hand with," a teary-eyed Tzukerman called out to a crowd of several hundred anti-disengagement activists gathered at the entrance to the southern settlement.
A young man suddenly emerged from the crowd with tears streaming down his face and called out to the senior officer, "I was an officer under your command, you taught me what it was to be an officer and protect the Israeli people. We are not your enemy but you have turned us into your enemy. Just six months ago, I was wearing an army uniform and serving side by side with you." Tzukerman then wrapped his arms, in a tight bear hug, around the former subordinate, evoking cries of anguish and sadness from the crowd.
Tzukerman told the crowd that he loved them and that he felt that the settlers of Morag were a part of this nation and always would be. "All of the officers are here and we are together on this day in a display of our love and affection to offer you help and assist you during this difficult time."
The crowd then broke out singing Hatikva and together with the soldiers sang the national anthem.
Palestinians Stage Victory Marches – August 15, 2005
Lekarev - Palestinian TV is featuring a special day-long coverage of Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Cameras were placed in areas overlooking the settlements, primarily in northern Gaza Strip, and Palestinian commentators offered a favorable perspective on the pullout, comparing the restraint of the Palestinian public to the settlers' destruction and vandalism of property.
The special coverage was accompanied by patriotic songs about the Palestinian homeland and pending liberation and reinforced the “heroic” Palestinian nation's role in bringing forth the victory. The broadcast also called for all Palestinians to participate in planned victory celebrations. The day- long broadcast is entitled, "Morning of the evacuation and liberation.” Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah congratulated the Palestinian people for their “Victory in the Gaza Strip,” saying it is “only the beginning, not the end.” Nasrallah added that the victory in Gaza, like the victory in Lebanon, proves the effectiveness of armed resistance.
Hamas Outnumbers PA Forces 3-1 – August 15, 2005
Lekarev - In a show of force, Hamas founders and political leaders appeared Saturday on a stage together for the first time in a decade to tell the Palestinian people that the militant group's armed struggle will go on after Israel's impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. In a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority, the Hamas leadership positioned itself in front of the group's logo and a green Islamic flag to send a message that they have the right to possess weapons and to claim responsibility for pushing Israel out of the Gaza Strip.
Tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are heating up in the days just before Israel begins its withdrawal, with each trying to claim victory for Israel's evacuation of 25 settlements. In Gaza Friday, about 1,000 armed and masked Hamas combatants staged a training exercise in which they practiced infiltrating and attacking Jewish settlements. For the first time Hamas invited TV cameramen to film the training exercise. It wasn't clear whether this signaled an intent by the terrorist group to attack settlements during the impending pullout.
The head of the Hamas operational wing, Ahmad Gandoor, said, "Our weapons are holy, this is a matter of holiness, and it's inconceivable that we will give up on these weapons, even if they kill us all. " Hamas forces, we are told, now outnumber Palestinian security forces by three to one - a very dangerous scenario.
Lekarev - Veteran journalist, Reuven Koret, has posted a brilliant article on IsraelInsider, excerpts of which follow here: It's true - Reports coming from multiple sources, but largely suppressed by the mainstream media, indicate that the army, and to a lesser extent police forces, are facing the prospect of massive failures of soldiers and officers to carry out orders on "The Day of the Order" to evict Jews from their homes (tomorrow, Wednesday).
How could it be otherwise? These young men have been educated and trained to defend innocent people and, specifically, to defend the families of Gaza and Samaria from terrorist attacks. Now they are being asked to expel them from their homes, destroy their homes and synagogues, and hand over their communities to those who terrorized them. This is not, first and foremost, an issue of refusal to carry out orders, an act of defiance. It is an issue of a young soldier of officer's constitutional inability to execute the dirty work of tearing men, women, and children from their homes.
The fact that the orders to expel 10,000 families resulted from a decision of a democratically elected government (elected precisely to reject unilateral withdrawal from Gaza) and an approval by a Knesset decision (made possible by Arab and far left MKs) is hardly relevant to the soldiers and officer who have been ordered to carry out the expulsion. Looking at the 18 to 20 year olds -- raised in a tradition of Zionism and love for country --who are expected to carry out the expulsion, with their bodies, the challenge of throwing out whole Jewish families from their homes and handing over their communities to the terrorist may simply be beyond their capability.
Can these young men and women live with the idea that they are helping Hamas and Jihad to realize the destruction of the Jewish state, home by home, family by family, soul by soul? Will they grasp that the settlers and their supporters they are ordered to evict represent the best of Israel, the cream of the Zionist crop, the courage of moral strength, righteousness and resistance that they were educated and trained to defend, and say, in purity of heart and pained honesty: "Commander, I cannot. I simply cannot. These are my people." This would be a miracle, one firmly in the grasp of the best of Israel's young men and women, and the wisest and most courageous of its officers. This would be the greatest of victories for the nation of the Jewish People.
Sharon Address to the Nation – August 16, 2005
Lekarev - In a speech to the nation Monday night, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised Israel would respond harshly to attacks following the disengagement from Gaza, and said the pullout represented an opportunity for the country to tackle some of its internal problems.
“The day has come. We are beginning this most painful and difficult step -the evacuation of our settlements from Gaza and northern Samaria. This step is difficult for me personally, and the government approved the disengagement with a heavy heart,” Sharon said in a pre-recorded, televised address to the nation to coincide with the pullout. The prime minister added, “It is no secret that I, like many others, believed and hoped we would be able to hold on to Netzarim and Kfar Darom forever, but the ever-changing reality in Israel, in the region and in the world forced me to reassess and alter my position.”
“We are taking this step (pullout) from a position of strength, not weakness. We have tried to reach agreements with the Palestinians that would drive both nations toward peace, but these agreements were shattered on the walls of hatred and fanaticism. The unilateral disengagement plan is Israel’s response to this reality. The plan is good for Israel in any future scenario. We are reducing the daily friction and victims on both sides. The IDF will redeploy along defense borders behind the security fence. Those who will continue to fight us will confront the IDF and the security forces at full force." Sharon added that the Palestinian Authority must now battle the terror organizations to advance the peace process. “The world is waiting for the Palestinian response – whether they will extend a hand for peace or support terror. We will offer the extended hand an olive branch, but we will respond to attacks in an unprecedented manner,” he said.
Hamas Leader 'Overjoyed', Says 'Beginning of the end of Israel' – August 16, 2005
Lekarev - Hamas Terror group leader Khaled Mashaal says he is overjoyed because the withdrawal from Gaza signals the 'beginning of the end of Israel.' He added, "Resistance is our strategic choice, we won’t put down our weapons."
In a special interview with the London-based al- Hayat newspaper published Tuesday, Mashaal described the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as “the beginning of the end for the Zionist program in the region.” Mashaal, just like other Hamas members and leaders of other terror groups, played a conspicuous role in the special programs featured by Arab television networks on the occasion of the disengagement.
Terror leaders repeatedly said that the armed struggle against Israel would continue until the West Bank and Jerusalem are liberated. Earlier, Palestinian National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub said the PA received clarifications from the United States stressing the Gaza pullout would not be the last Israeli withdrawal. “Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants the Gaza exit to be the first and last, and the payment for the continued control in the West Bank, settlement construction, and the annulment of any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state,” Mashaal said, indicating clearly that this is totally unacceptable to Hamas and the Palestinians.
Obviously, Mashaal has no idea Who the G-d of Israel is, nor does he care. However, we DO know and His promise is clear. This is only one of many promises regarding Hashem's eternal covenant with Israel.
Psalm 105: 8-11 - He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations;The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; And He established it unto Jacob for a statute, to Israel for an everlasting covenant;saying: 'Unto you will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.'
Soldiers Dismantle Gate to Neve Dekalim – August 16, 2005
Lekarev - Security forces broke through the main gate of the Neve Dekalim settlement in Gush Katif as dawn broke this morning, and started handing out eviction orders to the residents of the largest Gaza Strip settlement.
It took just a few minutes to dismantle the gate, turning one of the main symbols of opposition to no more than a few scraps of metal. There was no physical opposition to the operation, and hundreds of police and IDF officers flooded the settlement in order to help residents pack their belongings and to maintain public order. Head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, said 120 moving trucks will enter the community today in order to remove belongings for residents who request assistance.
“We will help any resident who wants help leaving Gush Katif. But we will not be patient any longer. We have also clarified our position to the opposition leadership,” Harel said.
Thousands Continue Trying to Reach Gush Katif – August 16, 2005
Israel National News - Emergency last-minute calls for people to try to reach Gush Katif. Buses leaving in afternoon for the south; road-blockings scheduled in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the south; Temple Mount gates march.
The Wolf family of Kfar Darom wrote
an open letter yesterday addressed to the "Land of Israel loyalist
public." The letter states, "Whoever wishes merely to assuage his
conscience should protest. But whoever really wants to stop the expulsion,
should march - not to Jerusalem for a 24-hour protest, but to Gush Katif,
Netzarim, and to all the places from where they wish to expel us and destroy...
Don't wait for instructions; just get out and go any way you can. Detour around
checkpoints, cause the checkpoints to be crowded, occupy and wear out the
expulsion forces. Whoever doesn't get through, should block the Ayalon Highway [in Tel Aviv] or other central intersections. Just as Rashi states that the
Children of Israel were supposed to march through the sea because it
wouldn't stand in their way, so too you must march and the checkpoints won't
stand in your way."
Yesha Council buses are scheduled to leave from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem at 4 PM today, towards Netivot, Sderot and Ofakim. The buses will leave from Tel Aviv's northern train station and from Binyanei HaUmah in Jerusalem. The passengers will try to reach Gush Katif from these areas. The Yesha Council also has other plans for today. All cars in the south are to stop in mid-trip on the highways at precisely 5 PM, causing giant traffic jams that will require police intervention. Similarly, road-blockings are planned for three major intersections at 4 PM: Geha and Shalom in Tel Aviv, and the main entrance to Jerusalem.
Those who can't leave Jerusalem are asked to take part in a march around the Temple Mount gates this afternoon, at 6 PM. The marchers will assemble at that hour in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, near the Ramban Synagogue. One woman in Gush Katif told Arutz-7, "The mood here is pretty down - and one of their main disappointments is that the people didn't come through to save them. They thought that Kisufim would be blocked, and that other highways would be blocked, but it didn't happen. They feel let down."
It had been estimated that tens of thousands of people blocking roads could stop the disengagement, but as of now, the numbers are estimated only in the thousands. An unknown people set off yesterday evening towards the south of the country, with the goal of reaching Gush Katif or as close as possible. It was reported that 5,000 of them made it as far as Kisufim, but barely any of them actually made it in to Katif. Three leading Yesha Council figures - Pinchas Wallerstein, Ze'ev Chever and Bentzy Lieberman - were arrested last night as they tried to sneak into Gush Katif via the Kisufim Crossing.
Police officers waged negotiations with the three at Kisufim, but ultimately decided to arrest them. Contrary to some reports, Yesha Council leader Tzviki Bar-Chai was not arrested. He is presently in Gush Katif at the request of many residents there, having given up his daughter's Bat Mitzvah celebration to answer their call.
Close to 150 people were arrested over the night as they tried to enter, and another 100 were stopped at around 6:30 this morning in the fields around Kisufim. Large groups of people arrived over the night in Sderot, Netivot, Ofakim and elsewhere in the western Negev, planning to continue their trek today. Dozens of teenagers camping out in Kibbutz Alumim in the western Negev were woken up by special Yassam police early this morning and arrested. The youths were told that if they signed certain papers, they would not be detained - but in the end, they both signed and were forcibly arrested. The police used "great force," according to eyewitnesses, in throwing them onto the buses.
Another large group of arrestees was taken to Ashkelon early last night, where they were later released. Some of the arrestees said that in Ofakim, many local residents "showered us with love and help." In one incident, an Ofakim resident saw a bulldozer trying to block the way of those trying to reach Kisufim, endangering the life of a young girl in the process. The Ofakim man threw a rock at the bulldozer, breaking one of its windows.
Former Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, spiritual leader of the Shas Party, called on the Knesset Members of his party to utilize their parliamentary privileges and travel to Gush Katif. MK Eli Yishai said that Rabbi Yosef told him this morning, "We must be with the residents and help them in every way." The Yesha Council continues to call on people to try to arrive in Kisufim and Gush Katif. "This is something for those who are in good physical shape," representatives said, "because it involves a lot of walking and even lying down on the Kisufim Highway." "The main thing," said Pinchas Wallerstein (pictured), a leader of the Yesha Council, "is to impede the destruction machine, including lying on the road to stop the trucks and bulldozers from entering Gush Katif." Wallerstein said yesterday, "We are also looking into the possibility of having a sit-in outside the homes of each of the four government ministers who voted against the disengagement but who still refuse to quit the government. Maybe our pressure will cause 2-3 more of them to quit, and this might lead to a lack of legitimacy for the continuation of this terrible decree or the fall of the government." By Hillel Fendel
RICE: IT CANNOT BE GAZA ONLY! – August 17, 2005
Lekarev - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday she "empathizes" with Gush Katif families removed from their homes as part of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, but added the United States expects the pullout to be followed by other, similar, moves.
Speaking to the New York Times, Rice called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "enormously courageous" and said the pullout represented a"dramatic moment in the history of theMiddle East." But she also warned, “It cannot be Gaza only,” and clarified that the Bush administration expects the IDF to withdraw from Palestinian cities in the West Bank following the Gaza operation.
Now do you see why Ehud Olmert said a few days ago that after Gaza, there would be more evacuations? Haven't I been warning you all along that the Gaza pullout would not satisfy the international community? With the enormous pressure being exerted from the USA, I will continue ceaselessly appealing to my American subscribers who are supporters of Israel that you continue your efforts to defend Israel from being decimated by employing your democratic right to speak up to your congressmen, senators and to the administration.
Most of you know that I am American born. I honor, respect and love the country of my birth. Because of that, I MUST speak up when I see the US pursuing a path that will ultimately bring severe repercussions upon it. The nations that come against Israel - specifically those nations that seek to divide up the Land are severely warned by the biblical prophets of the dire consequences that will follow such policies. History has already proven it to be true in the past and the truths of Tanach (the Bible) are eternal and immutable.
Am I concerned over Israel? Absolutely. But I am equally if not more concerned for the nations who seek to divide her. Israel has an eternal promise from the Almighty and He will protect her and keep her, despite the hard times we may go through. Israel will last - Hashem has decreed it in His Word.
To my dear subscribers who live in the "Roadmap" countries, your voice is needed, not just for Israel, but just as much for yourselves. Stand firm on behalf of Israel. Speak up for the truth of the Almighty's covenant and promise to His people and to His Land. Your nation's future depends on it.
In this context, let me thank you again for your overwhelming response to the FAITH, COURAGE, STRENGTH wristbands. The second shipment arrived at our office the day before yesterday and as of this morning, we are again SOLD OUT! Amazing! The entire second shipment was packed, addressed and shipped out in the past 24 hours so if you're waiting, yours are already enroute to you. We are calling in a third shipment today so continue to place your orders. You cannot imagine how encouraging it is to those of us here in the Land to know that so many of you are wearing the wristband and standing with us, not only for Gaza, but for the rest of Israel, and especially for JERUSALEM.
RIGHT THIS MINUTE – August 17, 2005
Lekarev - It is 10:40 am here in Israel and right this minute as I'm writing this report I am watching live on Israeli TV a scene that would reduce the most hardened to tears. The scene is Morag, where young IDF soldiers have just entered to forcibly remove the residents. Fathers and mothers are holding their children, many weeping openly. One father clutching his child to him broke down in heavy sobbing. The soldiers are weeping with them, and the looks on their faces defy description. They are struggling terribly with the task they must carry out.
One of the men has just stepped forward and said to the soldiers, "Please allow us to pray one last Psalm - please pray with us - and then you can take us out." The soldiers agree, bow their heads and the praying has begun. It is difficult to adequately describe to you the intensity of the prayer, the tears streaming down the faces of settlers and soldiers alike.
The praying of the Psalm has just finished and the residents of Morag are leaving quietly. Many of the soldiers are carrying children on their arms and weeping as they walk alongside the residents. Words fail me.
Evacuation By Force Begins – August 17, 2005
Lekarev - IDF and police forces began this morning to evacuate Gush Katif. The settlement bloc's "capital," Neve Dekalim, is expected to be evacuated today, as well as the communities of Morag, Tel Katifa, Katif, Kerem Atzmona, and Bdolah. In an unexpected move the IDF were relieved to discover that the large Yeshiva in Neve Dekalim, a center of resistance, was being packed up this morning by students in preparation for evacuation. Soldiers had feared possible violence and struggle at the site.
A convoy of security forces entered Neve Dekalim at 8 a.m. to prepare for the evacuation. No disruptions have been reported at this time. Several residents who said they planned to leave peacefully today, wept openly as soldiers entered the community.
In nearby Ganei Tal, residents are preparing to leave voluntarily after the 1 pm prayer service. Residents said they were instructed to leave their homes by community Rabbi Gabi Kadosh. As of Tuesday afternoon, just 17 of the 85 families who lived at Ganei Tal had left. Currently, there are approximately 150 people there. Overnight, several families agreed to leave; most of them will be housed temporarily at the guest house of Kibbutz Hafetz Chaim.
Eye Witness Reports from Neve Dekalim – August 17, 2005
Lekarev - Neve Dekalim residents were terrified at the site of security forces storming their Gush Katif settlement. A woman cried on her daughter’s shoulder, a father faced the troops with tears in his eyes and teenagers sat on the sidewalk, weeping. “Look into my eyes and cry, let your Jewish heart beat,” a settler told one of the soldiers.
A Golani Brigade officer told reporters, “Everything we expected would happen here has happened, and we are finding out that this is just a preview. We are continually surprised by the settlers’ resolve. It is heart-wrenching, because we have nothing to say to them in response,” he said.
On the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum for settlers to leave Gaza, soldiers knocked on doors with offers to help families move out by midnight. Ella Elbaz, 43, told soldiers that her family was “waiting for the container. It hasn’t arrived, and we don’t know what we’re supposed to do. I’m not leaving until our belongings have been taken out. If you bring me a container, I will leave.” Her daughter told soldiers, “ I have a 9-month-old baby, where should I go? I would like a container for my belongings. (Before one arrives) I’m not leaving.” The family members and soldiers broke down in tears. It has just been reported that some N’vei Dekalim residents can be seen destroying their own homes, for fear the government may change its mind and hand over their homes to the Palestinian Authority. You must remember that this community buried several of their members who lost their lives in Palestinian terror attacks.
Photo Essay: JEWS EXPEL JEWS – August 17, 2005
Israel National News - The one-time paradise of Gush Katif has been turned into a place of tears, smoke, screams and young children begging burly soldiers to have mercy on them and their families.
(Email subscribers, click here to
view the photo essay from Gush Katif)
Evacuation by Force - Day Two – August 18, 2005
Lekarev - The IDF is today faced with possibly its greatest challenge in the continuing evacuation of Jewish communities in Gush Katif. Scores of soldiers entered Kfar Darom early this morning, a community of devout Jews, which is slated to be completely evacuated by this evening. Thus far, twelve communities in Gaza and No. Samaria have been evacuated.
Security forces have created a perimeter within Kfar Darom lining up around all the homes and the center of the settlement. An IDF spokesman said there were about two full brigades operating in Kfar Darom amounting to around 5,000 soldiers and police.
At present, numbers of activist youth have gathered in the town synagogue and others are visible on roofs and about the community. They are resolved to fight the expulsion to the last possible moment. Residents, on the other hand, could be seen early this morning praying on their porches, facing Jerusalem, quietly awaiting the day's events.
Violent Expulsion Begins in N´vei Dekalim Synagogue – August 18, 2005
National News - Following hours of waiting, the army/police have begun the
violent expulsion of over 1,000 youths in the N'vei Dekalim synagogue.The
expulsion is being reported to be harder than the police thought. At 3:20
PM, the local police commander announced by megaphone, "Your stay here is
illegal. In ten minutes, we will enter and remove you. Buses will take you to
Merkaz Shapira and Jerusalem." The large forces began to enter from
two, possibly three, different sides some 15 minutes later. The intense
prayers continued inside all the while. In the boys' synagogue - the Sephardic
one - several of them linked arms and legs in a last attempt to make their
--Pictured: some of the
hundreds of girls inside the Ashkenazi synagogue--
The soldiers then pushed their way in and began trying to evict them. It proved very difficult, and the scene was filled with chants of "A Jew doesn't evict a Jew," and, "Refuse Orders!", as well as pushing, pulling, screaming and violence. After a half hour, only 15-20 people had been removed. As the hours passed, however, the expulsion began to go faster, and some estimated that it would be completed by this evening.
The other synagogue, where close to 1,000 girls were gathered since Tuesday, also began to be emptied of the protestors shortly afterwards. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner performed the act of mourning by rending his shirt, and eulogized the synagogue. Among the other settlement leaders on the scene were Yesha Council leader Bentzy Lieberman, Amanah settlement organization head Ze'ev Chever (Zambish), Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Avinoam Horowitz and many others.
Earlier, Lieberman said the youths would not leave on their own, but that they would definitely not employ violence against those who come to remove them. The police had been trying to reach a situation in which the youths - many hundreds of boys in the Sephardic synagogue and several hundred girls in the Ashkenazi synagogue, as well as hundreds more milling about outside - walk out on their own. Earlier, several rabbis made a heart-rending plea to the police to speak with Prime Minister Sharon and have him agree to leave the synagogues intact.
The Battle in N´vei Dekalim – August 18, 2005
National News - The forced evacuation of families from their homes in the
largest Gush Katif community continues. Residents being dragged or walking out
amidst weeping and screaming is the order of the day. The
expellees are being loaded onto buses in which the drivers are separated from
the passengers by cage-like walls. A soldier is charged with manning each of
the bus tires, to protect it from being punctured by those who wish to impede
the Jews' expulsion. In many cases, expelled children on the buses yell
out to the soldiers, "Why are you taking us from our homes? Where are we
supposed to go? When you have children of your own, how will you explain to them
what we did?"
Arutz-7's Yishai Fleisher reports on what he said were two of the most powerfully emotional scenes he has witnessed to date: The family of Shai Cohen, with 11 children, leaving their hom, crying and weeping, but singing, "Tehai hashaah hazot sh'at rachamim" - May this hour be an hour of mercy.
Practically next door and at approximately the same time, Mrs. Miri Bednortzuk was taken forcibly out of her home on a stretcher - with her baby on her stomach. The soldiers carrying out of her home for the last time were followed by her other children screaming and sobbing, "What are you doing?! Don't hurt my mother!"
Many people insist on being taken out with the chair they were sitting on. One woman was taken out of her home in her chair and with her young child on her. In home after home, person after person is being dragged or forced out, one by one, with people outside the homes accompanying them with sobbing and yelling. Every front door has a sign on it asking the soldiers to stop and think about what they are doing. Many of the signs say that the soldiers must remember that they will be personally responsible for the destruction of the family's home.
Nearby, some estimates are that 2,000 youths are gathered in, outside and atop the main synagogue complex - and the police and army appear unsure as to how to proceed. At 11:45 AM, a group of rabbis, including Rabbis Chaim Druckman and Shlomo Aviner, arrived at the complex, apparently in an attempt to find a peaceful solution for their evacuation. Rabbis Yigal Kaminetzky (Gush Katif), Chanan Porat (Kfar Etzion) and Avinoam Horowitz (Kiryat Arba) made heartfelt pleas to the police commander and other officials.
Throughout the night and the morning, youths were talking with soldiers, trying to convince them not to be robotic in their adherence to cruel and senseless orders. There was much crying, Arutz-7's Eli Stutz reported, especially among the female soldiers - and the males as well. By Hillel Fendel
Kfar Darom Expulsion Begins - With Force – August 18, 2005
National News - After many of the families in Kfar Darom were forcibly evicted
from their homes in heart-rending scenes, the forced expulsion of hundreds of
youths from the synagogue began. Israel
National News - After many of the families in Kfar Darom were forcibly evicted
from their homes in heart-rending scenes, the forced expulsion of hundreds of
youths from the synagogue began. IDF Southern Commander Maj.-Gen. Dan
Har'el said this morning, "The evacuation of Kfar Darom will end by this
evening." Har'el was named for his uncle who was killed in the battle for
Kfar Darom in 1948.
Though a major battle was expected inside the synagogue, the rabbis - among them Rabbis Zalman Melamed and Elyakim Levanon - counseled a peaceful evacuation, and the students left without a struggle. A group of approximately 40 women, some of them holding little children, also faced a stand-off with riot-gear clad policemen, but the near-clash ended peacefully by and large. One of the youths on the roof said, "We are fighting a fight of the spirit." Several dozen youths remain on the roof of the synagogue. Security forces are preparing to raise large containers onto the roof. Policemen are in the containers, planning to push the youths into the containers and lower them to the ground.
Late morning report:
The evacuation and destruction of Kfar Darom is expected to be even more violent than that of most of N'vei Dekalim yesterday. Hundreds of youths are gathered atop and inside the synagogue, while the 85 families are not planning to leave their homes without resistance. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz arrived in Kfar Darom shortly before noon. The Medrashah building, which was filled with people resisting the expulsion, was forcibly evacuated in the late morning hours.
The police and army forces have begun to evacuate the families, with each house a military and emotionally charged operation in and of itself. In one case, a force of some 15 soldiers arrived, and the commander demanded to be let in so that he could remove the inhabitants. The young father refused, and finally the soldiers forced the door open. They did not enter, but continued talking to the father. He said, "If you wish to come in just to talk, then of course we'll let you in; we always welcome guests. But if you wish to throw us out, why should we let you in? What did we do bad? We live here!" The soldiers went in anyway, and the family greeted them with a surprise: A birthday party for their daughter Emunah. They began singing, "Happy birthday to Emunah," leaving the soldiers in one of the few situations for which, most likely, they were not prepared. At that tense and dramatic point, the photographers were asked to leave the home.
Nogah Cohen, three of whose children lost their legs or feet in a terrorist attack almost five years ago, said with unconcealed emotion, "I tried to begin packing, but I was simply unable to do so. It's just hard to believe that after years of struggle, we might not be here tonight..." Asked if she would have to be dragged out of her home, she said, "Fighting the IDF is not our way."
As she was talking to a television reporter, her neighbor Tali Sudry passed by and, in an upheaval of emotion, interrupted, "The IDF is not as innocent as you think. Just now, soldiers came to my home and smashed a glass window, showering glass all over my one-and-a-half year old son. I had told them to come around to the main door, but there was no talking to them. They just punched through the window. They say that we're violent - the army is the one that is violent!"
Nearby, a military policeman went up
to his commander and said, "I cannot fulfill this mission," and
returned his weapon. Yassam policemen immediately and violently arrested him,
while dozens of residents cheered him on, calling out, "He is a
hero!" It was unclear why the arrest was carried out violently.
Jews originally bought land in what is now the area of Kfar Darom 100 years ago, but the small Jewish presence there was destroyed during the Arab riots of 1936-39. Several years later, Kibbutz Kfar Darom was established by none other than David Ben-Gurion, who set up eleven communities for the purpose of populating the Negev. The Egyptians attacked it mercilessly during the War of Independence in 1948, and though it staved off several attacks, Kfar Darom was finally abandoned in July 1949.
Eighteen years later, Gaza was liberated by Israel in the Six Day War, and in 1970, Golda Meir established an army camp and built educational institutions on the lands of Kfar Darom. Today’s community of Kfar Darom was established in 1990 following a decision by the joint Shamir-Peres Likud-Labor unity government.
Among the Kfar Darom families that the army wishes to forcibly remove today is that of Chana Bart. Chana is a young mother - her youngest is a year old - who was paralyzed from the waist down in a terror attack four years ago. Protestors atop the synagogue call out intermittently, "Who will be the soldier who goes into the home of Chana Bart and takes her out?! Who will dare go into the Cohen home and force out the children with no legs?!" By Hillel Fendel
Siege on Shirat HaYam – August 18, 2005
National News - Some 1,500 troops are now surrounding the beachside community
of Shirat HaYam, separated from N'vei Dekalim only by the main Gush Katif road
and a small Arab community known as the Muassi. The
soldiers and police broke through the main fence, and later began to deploy all
along the hundreds of meters of beach. At 1:30 PM, the soldiers knocked on the
door of the first caravan and offered to help them pack - and were greeted by a
woman who screamed, "You want to help?! Ruining my life and my children's
life is called helping?! How can you do this?!"
Shirat HaYam (Song of the Sea) was founded by Cabinet decision on the day of the Kfar Darom bus bombing - November 20, 2000. Two teachers were murdered in that attack, and several children were wounded, including the three Cohen children who lost legs. Since that day, when the Cabinet allowed Jewish entry to the abandoned Eygptian houses, and up to about a year ago, 15 families moved in and formed a thriving community. They later moved into caravans. In the past several months, many more families have joined, building up the existing structures, adding two or three tent cities, and multiplying the population several times over.
Among the residents of Shirat HaYam are Women in Green co-head Nadia Matar and her family, who moved in a few months ago. Next door to Shirat HaYam is the small community of Kfar Yam, with only a few individual families. The two communities used to be further away, but the recent addition of a tent city brought the two closer together.
The most famous residents of Kfar Yam are Aryeh Yitzchaki and his wife Datia. They helped organize the absorption of the hundreds of new arrivals, and are known for their relatively militant stance. Aryeh Yitzchaki has said in the past that he would not leave there alive, and his wife said today that they are now standing on their roof, refusing to leave under any circumstances. "If we are not shot upon, we will not shoot," she said. "I see the Muassi Arabs celebrating our defeat, and we will not let it happen." It is not clear if the army will attempt to evacuate Kfar Yam together with Shirat HaYam or not. By Hillel Fendel
Photo Essay: Protesters Take to the Streets and Fields – August 19, 2005
National News - While attention is focused on the expulsion of Jews from Gush
Katif, anti-expulsion activists have been taking to the streets, walking
through fields toward Gush Katif, blocking the road to Gaza. By
(Email subscribers, click here to view photo essay)
Click here for a first-hand account, with photos, from an activist that traveled through fields to reach Gush Katif.
Gadid Evacuation Complete – August 19, 2005
Lekarev - IDF Troops evacuated the small Gaza Strip settlement of Gadid within several hours Friday morning, as settlers and infiltrators offered little resistance. The young boy above is escorted out of the synagogue as he carries the Torah scroll.
Police officers went house to house in an attempt to convince families to board the buses voluntarily. Those who did not comply were dragged to the buses. About 90 pullout objectors (non-residents) gathered at the Gadid synagogue and held a prayer session, but troops had no trouble removing them.
Late last night, officials announced that the evacuation of the Gaza settlements of Neve Dekalim, Shirat HaYam, Kfar Yam, Kfar Darom, Netzer Hazani, and Gan Or has been completed.
Hevron Jews Fight Multiple Expulsions – August 22, 2005
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday that, "Because of Jewish
settlements, we can pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron," the Sharon regime plans to expel fifteen of Hevron's Jewish families from their homes in the
coming weeks. The Israeli government has authorized the removal of
15 Jewish families who took up residence in Hevron's marketplace two years ago,
following the murder of infant Shalhevet Pass by Arab terrorists. The marketplace
was built on top of Jewish-owned land that was seized by Arabs after the 1929
riots, in which Hevron's Jewish community was massacred and expelled from the
"It is not surprising that this government is capable of implementing the goals of the 1929 rioters," said Hevron spokesperson Noam Arnon, "to expel Jews from Jewish property in the Jewish Quarter, where so much Jewish blood was spilled. We merited that Jews returned to this property and the government is now plotting to ensure Jews are thrown out of here for a second time."
Monday morning, Hevron's youth staged a spontaneous demonstration outside the local army base on King David Street against the planned departure of the paratrooper unit stationed there to take part in the expulsion of Jews from northern Samaria. The children blocked the IDF vehicles from leaving the base by sitting in the road, placing rocks in the way, and stretching barbed wire across the width of the street. A large police force arrived, and 10-year-old Tair Cohen was violently taken into custody. Police lifted her by her arms, twisted them, carried her to a waiting police van and pushed her inside. By Ezra HaLevi
Hebron spokesman David Wilder was also arrested while taking pictures of the scene. He was later accused of taking part in a riot and released, together with the young girl, on $1,000 bail. Wilder's photos can be viewed by clicking here.
Photo Essay: Protesters Take to the Streets and Fields – August 19, 2005
Israel National News - While attention is focused on the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, anti-expulsion activists have been taking to the streets, walking through fields toward Gush Katif, blocking the road to Gaza. By Ezra HaLevi
(Email subscribers, click here to view photo essay)
The Communities in Northern Samaria –August 22, 2005
Lekarev - Sa-Nur, Chomesh, Kadim and Ganim are the four northern Shomron communities to be emptied of Jews and destroyed. The latter two are already empty, as the residents left of their own accord. Several hundred youths have gone to Chomesh in the past few weeks, and are the main cause of concern. At the center of attention is the old British police building in the middle of Sa-Nur, a community of 130 families, which is expected to be turned into a difficult-to-capture fortress.
Respected rabbis of the religious-Zionist camp will be on hand in both communities to set the guidelines for the struggle. Yossi Dagan, spokesman for Sa-Nur, said, "Our struggle will be tough and strong, but honorable. We are part of the nation - most of the nation is with us, and not with the Sharon family - and our war is not against them, but against the minority government. This is a fight not only for our homes, but also an ideological battle - a fight against those who are trying to remove Zionism from our society. Guided by Torah, we will not raise our hands against soldiers or policemen, as the ends do not justify the means." "Sharon is trying to portray us as crazies," Dagan said, "but he's not succeeding - because we're not like that. We know that there will be some youths amongst us who might not want to follow these guidelines, but we will do all we can to keep them in line."
Calm Before the Storm - Shabbat In Kedumim – August 22, 2005
Lekarev - Arutz Sheva reports that residents of Kedumim are welcoming Gush Katif's refugees while preparing to fight to ensure that northern Samaria's Jews won't lose their homes as well. Kedumim was the very first Jewish community in Samaria.
Friday night, as song filled the large sanctuary of Kedumim's main synagogue, an entire unit of Nahal Brigade soldiers made their way in to pray with the community. The soldiers, religious students from the Hesder yeshiva in Otniel, gathered in groups outside the synagogue to await the families who were to host them for the Sabbath meal. "Just refuse orders," one young activist beseeched them. "His family lived in Ganei Tal [in Gush Katif]," answered one of the young soldiers, pointing to his friend, who shuffled nervously. The presence of an entire unit of religious soldiers seemed like a fluke to some, but most residents suspected that large number of soldiers being brought into neighboring army bases are set to take part in the blockade of the northern Samaria communities slated for expulsion.
A soldier could even be seen eating the third Sabbath meal with the new Jewish refugees of the seaside community of Shirat HaYam, who were thrown out of their homes Thursday and immediately welcomed with open arms by the community of Kedumim. Nineteen of Shirat HaYam's 23 veteran families are now living in the dormitories of the girls' high school in Kedumim. Residents have brought copious amounts of food to the high school's kitchen, including fresh fruit and a vast array of cakes. "Within ten minutes of a community announcement that the families from Shirat HaYam had arrived, the place was filled with food, drinks, sheets, pillows - everything anyone could think of," my host told me. I later saw a community beeper message reading, "Shirat HaYam residents request that people stop bringing sweets." "This Sabbath is called Shabbat Nachamu ['Consolation Sabbath']," a man stood up and told his former neighbors. "We of Shirat HaYam lived through the very real trepidation of the three weeks this year, leading up to Tisha B'Av - when we witnessed the actual destruction of our lives and homes," he said. "This Shabbat of consolation is also just as real. We are still here. We are full of tears, but unbroken - and we have been embraced by our brothers and sisters here in the most loving way, making it obvious that their embrace is the embrace of our Father in Heaven."
Hamas Proclaims Victory, Promises to Destroy Israel – August 22, 2005
National News - The Hamas terror organization is claiming victory for Israel's withdrawal. The group promises to terrorize Haifa and Tel Aviv until Israel is defeated and "Palestine" restored to the Arabs. Excerpts
from the Hamas victory campaign, which appear below, were translated by the
Intelligence and Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S.)
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, in an interview
broadcast by Al-Arabiyya TV on August 17, again stated that Israel withdrew
from the Gaza Strip defeated by the “resistance,” not as the result of “useless
negotiations.” He said that if [the Gaza Strip's] sea, land and air sovereignty
were not handed over to the Palestinians, “the resistance” would continue [in
the Strip as well].
Musa Abu Marzuq, deputy chief of Hamas' political bureau, reiterated Hamas' determination not to be disarmed, stating that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was not the final step. He boasted of Hamas' close relations with Egypt and said that the movement was waiting for Egypt's answer to Hamas' request to open an office in Cairo (A-Sharq Il-Awsat, August 18, 2005).Radio Al-Aqsa, Hamas' radio station, continued broadcasting crude hate-mongering songs inciting terrorism and violence against Israel, and songs praising and encouraging members of the Izzadine al-Qassam Battalions, the terrorist-operative wing of the organization. On August 18, with the sounds of explosions in the background, an announcer stated: “We will be victorious over Sharon, and you will realize that tomorrow with the help of Allah. The Izzadine al-Qassam Battalions will make you tremble in Haifa, in Tel Aviv. They will strike you in Safed, in Acre. "Wait for us in Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon. The knights of Gaza are coming. Our beloved sons of Palestine, we make no distinction between [Israeli-controlled] Palestine and [the West Bank and Gaza Strip] Palestine. There is no difference between Jaffa and Gaza, between the Galilee and Hebron. Hamas will leave Gaza and break out throughout Palestine to show the way of jihad, which will bring our nation to its summit. Oh sons of Zion, the defeat you suffered in Gaza is just the beginning…”
While the PA was announcing a campaign to clean the city of Gaza , dozens of Hamas operatives led by spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri spread through Palestine Square in the Gaza City center and hung up large, colored Hamas posters. One of them showed a masked Izzadine al-Qassam Battalions terrorist carrying an assault rifle and trampling on Israeli settlements, while next to him Israeli soldiers were depicted as sobbing and leaving the Gaza Strip. Hamas' Internet site presents the disengagement as a Hamas victory, stressing the importance Izzadine al-Qassam. The site offers many posters, including some which are anti-Semitic in nature, praising Hamas as a victor, portraying the IDF as humiliated and touting the continuation of the “struggle” to destroy the State of Israel. By Scott Shiloh
The following are examples of such posters:
Email subscribers, click here to view the full article, with posters
Hamas Promises to Destroy Israel – August 22, 2005
Lekarev - There is a blood-curdling interview with the leader of Hamas in Gaza published today in the Jerusalem Post which I strongly urge you to read in full. (Link below) The terror group has launched a public relations campaign in the Palestinian Authority, taking credit for the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and vowing to bring terror to “Haifa and Tel Aviv” until all Israel is defeated and all of Palestine is returned to the Arabs. In it, Mahmoud al-Zahar, senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, says bluntly that 'there is no Israel', and that Hamas does not and never will accept the existence of Israel. Hamas avowed goal is to utterly destroy Israel, to terrorize Haifa and Tel Aviv until all Israelis 'run away like Gaza'.
Hamas is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. They have tremendous power in Gaza and all indications are that the Palestinian Authority is unable to control them. Why, why, why is this Gaza evacuation being supported by the roadmap nations???
GAZA EVACUATION COMPLETE – August 23 2005
Lekarev - Thirty three years after its establishment, the last Jewish settlement in Gaza, Netzarim, was evacuated yesterday. Playgrounds stand empty, as do the homes which will shortly be destroyed.
The initial phase of the operation to evacuate all Jews from Gaza was declared over by Majr General Dan Harel, who is in charge of the Gaza operation. Harel added, “This marks the end of the first phase of the disengagement process, but there are significant and complex phases still ahead of us,” he added.
At noon Monday the residents of Netzarim held a final prayer session at the local synagogue, then began boarding buses that awaited them. The Menorah that adorned the top of the synagogue was removed by the residents before they departed. Most of the residents made their way to Jerusalem’s Western Wall for a prayer service and then were taken to spend the night at the Ariel College in the large town of Ariel in Samaria.
EVACUATIONS UNDERWAY IN NO. SAMARIA – August 23, 2005
Lekarev - Thousands of security forces broke down the gates and poured into Sa-Nur and Homesh on Tuesday morning, where about 2,000 extremists are thought to be waiting with an arsenal of weapons, determined to foil the last stage of Israel's historic disengagement. Lines of police and soldiers, some in anti-riot gear, advanced through Sa-Nur and Homesh, now home to a few remaining settlers along with a crowd of "reinforcements," many of them West Bank youths known for extremism and rejection of the government's authority. More than 15,000 soldiers and police officers were to participate in the operations.
Senior officers believe that opposition will be much fiercer than the scenes at Kfar Darom last week. One of the places that extremists could try to entrench themselves is in the fortress at Sa-Nur. The IDF has already decided that if this happens, the police's special missions unit will be charged with overcoming and evacuating those barricaded inside. Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi said Monday evening police were prepared for any possible scenario during the evacuation of Homesh and Sa-Nur.
Some 35 families held a farewell ceremony in the northern West Bank settlement of Homesh on Monday evening and were to voluntarily leave before security forces began evacuating the settlement. Five youths, as well as a couple and their ten children, left Sa-Nur voluntarily on Monday. They asked to leave the settlement before the outbreak of possible violent resistance during the evacuation of the settlement, and police escorted them to a bus that transported them from Sa-Nur.
Hamas Keeps Up Its Threats – August 23, 2005
Lekarev - Hamas continues to increase their threats and are getting daily more aggressive in their pronouncements. They cannot be ignored; neither can they be discounted as 'just alot of talk'. Hamas is very serious about its goal - the destruction of Israel.
On August 19, this past Friday, Hamas' Radio Al-Aqsa broadcast an anti-Semitic sermon delivered at the Khaled bin al-Walid mosque in Gaza. This sermon is typical of what is constantly preached to the Palestinians in Gaza and in the West Bank cities like Jenin, Ramallah and others.
The preacher noted that just as Israel had left Netzarim it would soon leave Tel Aviv, not as a result of negotiations but as a result of the jihad [holy war]. He also declared passionately: “The decisive battle recounted to us by the prophet Muhammad between the Muslims and the Jews and the Crusaders [i.e., Christians] will end after the Jews and the Americans have returned to their roots, as the Qur'an promised us, that is, to humiliation and poverty. You may be absolutely sure that the Jews will not succeed in expelling us because Allah is stronger than they are. The future belongs to Islam and the victory will belong to the Palestinian cause , to our land and to Jerusalem . Do not despair, rely upon Allah!”
The power of this constant rhetoric must not be minimized. This is just the kind of "teaching" that inspires suicide bombers, guerilla fighters and armed gunmen to seek out and attack Jewish people and targets. While they are intent on destroying Israel, PLEASE NOTE that they speak of the 'Jihad' against the Jews AND the "crusaders" - their name for Christians. Hamas and fundamental Islam is taking their Jihad to the western nations as well. After 9/11, the London bombings, the Madrid bombings, we should all realize this, yet some still don't grasp the reality of their agenda. I pray that it will not take more massive numbers of deaths in the US and Europe for the population at large to really wake up to what Hamas is truly all about.
Kfar Darom Arrestees – Released – August 25, 2005
Israel National News - All except one of the 250 youths and others who were arrested following the clash between expulsion forces and protestors in Kfar Darom were released from prison today and yesterday. This afternoon, some 180 arrestees were released, including close to 50 minors. Yesterday, 60 others were freed. All of them were arrested after they barricaded themselves last Thursday atop the synagogue in Kfar Darom, and forcefully resisted being taken down. The clash involved the throwing of sand, paint and other objects - including an unidentified substance that the police say was caustic acid. The doctor who treated those who were hit with the substance says differently.
Only Rabbi Yaakov Savir of Elon Moreh remains in prison.
The Prosecution asked the judge in the Be'er Sheva Magistrates Court to require the youths' parents to sign as guarantors for their children. The judge refused: "You did not allow the arrestees to phone their parents, and some of the parents don't even know where their children are - and now you want them to come here?" He ruled that the parents could come to any police station in Israel by this coming Sunday evening to sign for their children.
Present in the courtroom were MK Gila Finkelstein (NRP), who was also there yesterday helping secure the release of many of the minors, and Rabbi Zalman Melamed, head of Yeshivat Beit El. Some 40 students of his yeshiva were among those arrested. MK Uri Ariel (National Union) was also involved in the efforts to free the Kfar Darom resistors. He said today, "I am happy that finally, sanity has come to the fore. The arrest of the minors was unnecessary; it's obvious that the vast majority of them were not involved in any attack, and keeping them in custody after their uprooting was a crime upon a crime." By Hillel Fendel
Encouraged by Disengagement, Hamas
Predicts Israel's End – August 25, 2005
Israel National News - "One day Israel will wake up with the knife against its neck," a Hamas internet site article reads, predicting Israel's demise. The PA is busy choosing Arabic names for the ex-Jewish communities. Hamas has spent the past few days boasting that Israel's withdrawal from Gaza is a victory for its own terrorist campaign, and is now looking towards the future as well.
News First Class, a Hebrew news website run by investigative journalist Yoav Yitzchak, features excerpts of the Hamas article, written by leading Hamas figure Dr. Nazar Rian.
"Ashkelon and Ramle [cities in pre-1967 Israel] will soon return to us as well," Rian writes. The Hamas terrorist organization has long boasted that Israel's end is near, but its latest threats take on a different context following the destruction of Jewish Gaza. More than the Fatah terror group, Hamas has held several "victory parades" over the past few days.
Plans are also being made for the more immediate future. The Palestinian Authority is preparing to take over the lands of the Jewish communities in Gaza - and one of its main concerns is which terrorist's name should be given to which city.
Though plans on paper are not necessarily indicative of what will actually occur, the PA says it has plans to build a 3,000-unit city on the land of Morag, in southern Gush Katif. The United Arab Emirates has already donated $100 million for the city, and wants it to be called Halifa City, in honor of the UAE president.
The French news agency reports, however, that Arabs in Gaza want to give it a different name: Lands of Victory. They similarly want to call N'vei Dekalim "Arafat City," and Atzmonah - Shuhada (Martyrs) City. A proposal to call Netzarim after arch-terrorist Ahmed Yassin has also been submitted. By Hillel Fendel
Photo Essay: Despite Destruction, American Jews Make Aliyah – August 25, 2005
National News - As the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria were being expelled
from their homes, an entire planeload of North American Jews landed in Israel last week, pledging to build the Jewish State. By
(Photos: Jonathan Stein)
The Kfar Darom Blood Libel – August 24, 2005
National News - Lawyers representing the Kfar Darom arrestees threaten that
anyone who continues to spread the lie that acid or caustic soda was thrown
onto the expulsion forces is risking a libel suit. The
lawyers - Adi Keidar, Naftali Wurtzberger and Uri Keinan - are providing legal
counsel for the youths who were arrested last week following the destruction of
Kfar Darom. Though almost all of the thousands of youths who were forcibly
removed from the various communities last week were shipped out of Gaza and allowed to go home, those atop the synagogue in Kfar Darom were placed under
Of the 250 who were arrested, some 60 minors have been released, and the others will be brought before a judge tomorrow. MK Gila Finkelstein (National Religious Party) intervened on behalf of the minors, and even paid the 500-shekel bond demanded for the release of five of them whose parents were not there.
The destruction of Kfar Darom was accompanied by a mini-battle atop the roof of the synagogue, during which an unidentified substance was thrown onto the soldiers and police below. Several of the latter were hospitalized, and were released the next day. It was immediately publicized that the substance was acid - an allegation that the resistors hotly denied. MK Michael Eitan, too, later said that the substance was definitely not acid - after two days of media reports to the contrary.
A police official then said that the substance was caustic soda, a substance that can cause burns. He based this determination mainly on the fact that on the roof were found pails of caustic soda, including some that were empty. The official admitted that what was found on the clothes was a basic material "of the type of caustic soda," but that it could not be identified because it had evaporated.
Prof. Mati Lifshitz, a doctor who specializes in poisons, treated the injured policemen when they arrived at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva. He said the substance was not caustic soda: "It could be that they had caustic soda, but I don't think they used it - at least not for all those people who came to us. Caustic soda can cause severe burns, [but] they came with some kind of little blister and allergic reactions that do not apply to caustic soda." What was caustic soda doing on the roof in the first place? The lawyers say that it is often used for the glue used in sticking large posters to walls - an activity in which the Gush Katif protestors were often involved.
Mrs. Miriam Goldfisher, mother of one of the youths arrested in this incident, has investigated the matter in depth, and is at the forefront of the campaign showing that the allegations are untrue. MK Eitan, Chairman of the Knesset Law Committee, has invited her to appear at the committee's session this Sunday. By Hillel Fendel
Photo Essay: The Expulsion of Jews From Northern Samaria – August 24, 2005
Israel National News - The IDF, together with Israel's police force, forcibly entered the towns of Homesh and Sa-Nur Tuesday, violently removing Jews who had returned there after 2,000 years of exile. Israel National News - The IDF, together with Israel's police force, forcibly entered the towns of Homesh and Sa-Nur Tuesday, violently removing Jews who had returned there after 2,000 years of exile.
(Email subscribers, click here to view photo essay)
Sa-Nur and Chomesh are Destroyed – August 24, 2005
National News - Over 8,000 police/army forces took part in the forced eviction
of residents and supporters from Sa-Nur & Chomesh in the Shomron. The
communities are destroyed and the residents' future is uncertain. In
Chomesh, the more easily accessible of the two Shomron communities that were
destroyed today, some 2,000 youths gathered over the past few days, forming
several different groups. The largest group, some 60 youths, entered the local
synagogue and closed off the doors and windows. Soldiers had to use heavy
metal-cutting tools to force their way in, only to find the youths sitting on
the floor, arms and legs linked, reciting Psalms and other prayers. Several
kilometers to the north, in Sa-Nur, many fewer youths gathered, but many of
them fortified themselves atop the old British police building - a
fortress-like structure whose conquest presented the largest challenge for the
Despite the warnings by media commentators and others, fed by leaks from the police, it gradually became clear that violence will be avoided. Oil and chemical substances were removed from several roofs last night, to ensure that the struggle is waged with acceptable guidelines. It was widely agreed that the leaks of supposed violence and caches of weapons were a form of police-initiated psychological warfare against the protestors.
After bursting into the communities around 7:00 this morning, the expulsion forces began breaking into homes, forcibly removing the families and others. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), standing atop the British structure in Sa-Nur, called out by megaphone to the soldiers below, "Refuse orders!" Eldad and his family moved to Sa-Nur several months ago.
Eldad said that there has been a campaign to "demonize the settlers, saying that we are amassing weapons, and preparing for war, etc." The Knesset Member said that this was initiated by government sources and "serves Sharon's interests; I'm amazed at the media for following this lead, repeating this mantra over and over without asking whether it's true. Every day I am interviewed and am asked, 'Can you quantify the tremendous amounts of weapons being stored up?'"
Elsewhere in Sa-Nur - in the synagogue/Medrasha building - an agreement was reached between the sides. The head of the Medrasha was taken out first, followed by the some 50 others who were inside. Last to leave was Sha'ul Halfa, a veteran settlement leader who is considered one of the builders of the city of Yamit, who removed the Torah scroll. With a long gray beard, wearing a bright orange shirt and yarmulke, he walked out sadly with Rabbi Eliezer Waldman of Kiryat Arba, as youths sang around him. Earlier, those inside could be seen, via television zoom lenses, wearing tefillin, linking arms, crying and praying. Another synagogue in Sa-Nur was also emptied of its occupants, amidst strong resistance but no violence.
All the while, soldiers were stationed in great numbers around both Sa-Nur and Chomesh, ensuring that no further Land of Israel loyalists enter. Unmanned drones in the air also helped out in the effort to detect would-be infiltrators from coming to show their support for the Land of Israel, its communities and their inhabitants. Hundreds of people have been arrested or stopped over the past two days as they tried to enter the towns. "The only way I will leave this roof is in a cage," MK Eldad said. Among the others on the roof were Rabbi Chaim Smutrich, Eldad's daughter Karni (a former aide to MK Uri Ariel), Arutz-7's Kobi Sela, and Yesha Council leader Pinchas Wallerstein. The roof of the British building in fact proved to be the hardest battle today. The expulsion forces attempted to lift two large containers holding soldiers - and reporters - onto the roof. The youths on the roof held them at bay for several minutes, however, pushing them with long poles. Finally, however, the containers were positions aside the top of the building, and the forces ran out onto the roof.
At that minute, as was pre-arranged among them, the youths gathered inside a large tent on the roof, and sat on the floor. The army agreed that a last prayer service would then be held, after which the actual removal of the Land of Israel loyalists began. Many people cried at the destruction of the last community in Sharon's Disengagement plan. Karni Eldad weeped nearly uncontrollably on her father's shoulder, saying, "Our soul has been torn in half. How can we not cry?" Her father, speaking in a choked voice, said only, "The struggle has only just begun. We will throw Sharon out, and I vow: We will return to here."
In the Chomesh synagogue, a scene reminiscent of the N'vei Dekalim synagogue replayed itself out. Soldiers used great force to try to remove the youths one at a time, but this proved very difficult, as they were linked together. Prayers and singing continued all the while, and each boy, as he was taken out, continued to flail and struggle. The boys were careful not to hit the soldiers, however. The entire process took some three hours.
Disdain for the press was evident all over. Rabbi David Dudkevitz, the rabbi of Yitzhar and the spiritual authority for those known as the Hilltop Youths, refused to speak with television announcers, saying, "I won't speak with an impure medium - even though my mother would like to see me on television." Another boy, grappling with soldiers while being taken out of the Chomesh synagogue, found the strength to disdainfully push away a microphone that was stuck in his face in mid-struggle.
Rabbi David Dudkevitz
Another boy said, just moments before he was taken out, "We never had illusions that we could defeat the army. We merely wanted to show that it is cannot be easy to take Jews out of the Land of Israel. This is our way of showing our belief and faith. We also knew that at any moment, G-d could miraculously turn everything around. This is why we continue struggling up until the very end." MK Eldad said, "It was important to provide an example of true love of homeland... The spirit of the people here is stronger than that of Sharon. We're not leaving forever; we will return."
People from Sa-Nur made their way to Kfar HaRoeh, near Hadera, where local residents had prepared a royal welcoming. Some 28 families from Sa-Nur will head from there for Beit El for a few days, where many families have each adopted one family. Families from Chomesh will make their way to Elkanah in the Shomron.
Where to from there? Yossi Dagan, spokesman for Sa-Nur, said, "I don't know. I personally feel that we should strengthen the other communities in the northern Shomron - Dotan, Chermesh and Shavei Shomron - but we will have to see." By Hillel Fendel
A Gush Katif Photographic Retrospective – August 26, 2005
Israel National News - Yishai and Malkah Fleisher had the privilege of moving down to Gush Katif as Arutz-7 correspondents. The following photo essay records the life of Gush Katif as seen by their lens.
(Email subscribers, click here to
view this extensive photographic retrospective)
The Fleishers lived in the town of Gadid for one month and one week, during which they met the people of the Gush, helped them build, celebrated with them, worried with them, laughed with them and cried with them.The following pictures and captions are the Fleishers' eyewitness documentation of the historic events.
Thousands of Gaza Arabs Poised to Enter Israel from Sinai – September 25, 2005
National News - More than 15,000 Arabs from Gaza have moved into the Sinai Peninsula, and many plan to infiltrate the 200-kilometer (124-mile)-long
Egyptian-Israeli border. Israel may build a new security system. The
massive unregulated entry to the Sinai came immediately after Israel surrendered the Gaza region to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The potential terrorist
infiltration has forced the government to consider a plan for a $900 million
security system along the border, according to the Middle East News Line
"We're going to require a serious security system," Deputy Defense Minister Zev Boim said. Intelligence officials have warned Israelis not to travel to Sinai because of concrete evidence of terrorists in the region.
Infiltration from Sinai, where the lengthy border is not hermetically sealed, would give terrorists free access to urban centers without having to pass border checkpoints. Security officials also have reported an increase in cooperation between terrorists and Negev Bedouin. The Bedouin, many of whom serve in the IDF, have in the past limited most of their smuggling to drugs but recently have turned to weapons and ammunition. Several Bedouin were arrested in the past few months for planning attacks against Israeli targets.
The Negev Arabs also have taken advantage of leniency in Israeli laws which granted free entry to Israel for Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza who married Israeli Bedouin. The government recently placed severe restrictions on the practice. Israeli officials have recognized the Bedouin claim that bigamy is a religious right, and many Bedouin have several wives, including non-Israeli spouses. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
All Eyes on Katrina – August 29, 2005
Lekarev - Israelis are watching the path of Hurricane Katrina with deep concern and interest, many remembering earlier visits to New Orleans and other areas threatened by the approaching monster storm.
As one Israeli woman said, "We Israelis have become so accustomed to dealing with tragedy, that our hearts are naturally drawn to empathize with others, no matter what the tragedy is."
Our televisions were on late into the night and again first thing this morning. Our prayers and thoughts continue to be with all those affected.
Photo Essay: The Destruction of Kfar Darom – August 31, 2005
Israel National News - Volunteers
and a limited number of family members have been allowed back into the
community of Kfar Darom to salvage personal items and help pack up the 'Elei
Katif' bug-free vegetable facility. (Photos: Dan Paley) By Ezra HaLevi
(Email subscribers, click here to
view the photo essay)
Only Bare Synagogues and Some Public Buildings Remain – September 1, 2005
National News - An intensive 2-week campaign to take out whatever property can
be taken from Gush Katif ends today. The houses have all been razed, and one
organizer said, "Gush Katif essentially no longer exists." Menachem
Granite, a resident of Ofrah and Director of the Shomron Development Authority,
was one of those who took part in organizing the campaign to save whatever
could be rescued. "All the homes and residences will be down by Thursday
afternoon or evening," he said, "except for synagogues and some
shelters and public buildings."
Granite said that the efforts centered on contacting people who had not yet packed up their homes, or who had not yet retrieved the crates they had packed: "On Friday, the day after the expulsion, we went down to Katif and tried to establish a body to take care of this. Amazingly, over 300 homes in N'vei Dekalim weren't packed up at all on the day of the expulsion or shortly afterwards. In some places, like in Ganei Tal and Gadid, the crates were packed up but were still inside the houses. Though there was very great cooperation with the army - I have to emphasize what a great job they did in this area - there was a case in which a house was destroyed with its contents inside. There was another case in which a bulldozer began 'knocking' on the door while a man was inside packing..."
"There was a decision not to break down any house without exhausting every effort to find the inhabitants and make sure they had removed everything they wanted. The army provided manpower, and groups such as the Kibbutz Movements and L'maan Achai provided volunteers - there were days when we had over 1,000 or even 1,200 volunteers working there, plus many soldiers who came to volunteer. The Defense Ministry kept bringing in containers and other packing material. There were some groups who worked with the residents themselves in taking apart the greenhouses."
"You have to understand that on the one hand, though there were many volunteers, it still wasn't enough. If we had 200 people come to Atzmonah to take apart the greenhouses, that's like a joke, compared to what was needed... In addition, the army was working under great time pressure; they had warnings of possible terror attacks, and there was concern that the Arabs from nearby Khan Yunis, for instance, might start marching en-masse on N'vei Dekalim. What would we do then? So there was a lot of pressure..."
"Storing the equipment and containers was another issue. Many of the containers were brought to Kastina, near Kiryat Malachi, where the owners were able to choose a place to send them to for the next three months. But some people found their own places to store it - Kibbutz Alumim, for instance, prepared a large area for storage; by the way, so many people and organizations helped out that I could write a book on all the ways in which the People of Israel wanted to help."
Granite said he could not say that everyone who wanted to remove his stuff, was able to: "Many greenhouses are still standing - I'm not sure if it's a third or a half. Neither do I think that Atzmona will be able to retrieve their nursery [the largest in the country] and all their greenhouses... Some people sold their greenhouses to the World Bank, who paid per dunam [quarter-acre]; in Netzarim, however, they made a principled decision not to sell at all [so as not to violate the Biblical commandment not to give away the Land of Israel]."
"An attempt was made to take everything and leave nothing behind - even street lamp poles, and fences, and the like. We didn't want to leave anything behind... The synagogues are totally empty of every possible piece that could be moved - including the windows, and of course the benches and everything else; only the bare structures remain."
"In general, the people doing the work - partly from the Yesha Council, and Sha'ul Goldstein of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, whose idea it was, and some other people who just did it, sleeping on boxes in some corner, etc. - everyone did a simply amazing job." By Hillel Fendel
Deuteronomy 4:31 - For Hashem your G-d is a merciful G-d;
He will not fail you, nor destroy you,
nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
The Emptiness and the Tribulation Continues
Lekarev - The Netzarim Synagogue - Silent Testimony of an Evacuated Community
The Rabbinic Authority during the Gaza Disengagement
Leading Rabbi Calls on Jews Everywhere to Come Home to Israel – September 14, 2005
Lekarev -I thought you would be interested to know that a leading elder Rabbi in Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri called upon worldwide Jewry last night to return to Israel to be spared from natural disasters which threaten to strike the world. In a class between between the Mincha (afternoon) and Maariv (evening) prayers at his Jerusalem yeshiva seminary, Rabbi Kaduri issued the following call: ”This declaration I find fitting to issue for all of the Jews of the world to hear. It is incumbent upon them to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.”
“I am ordering the publication of this declartion as a warning, so that Jews in the countries of the world will be aware of the impending danger and will come to the Land of Israel for the buliding of the Temple and revelation of our righteous Mashiach (Messiah)” he said.
The new Jewish year 5766 begins with the holiday of Rosh Hashana in less than three weeks. The year 5766 is spelled out with the Hebrew letters tav, shin, samech, and vav. Rabbi Kaduri also stated that the above letters are an abbreviation for "This will be a year of secrets (sodot) and revelations (v'giluim)."
"The Chief of Staff is Transient - The Torah is Not" – November 11, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Dan is demanding that
the hesder (joint Torah study and military service) yeshiva in the Shomron town
of Elon Moreh be dismantled due to the head rabbi's views on refusal. The reason for Halutz’s demand is that the head of the
yeshiva, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, called upon his students to refuse orders to
take part in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. The Chief of Staff praised soldiers from hesder yeshivas
this past week while leveling harsh criticism against those academies from which
calls to refuse orders emanated. Halutz wrote to Defense Minister Sha’ul Mofaz
recently requesting that the yeshiva be dissolved.
In addition to the effort to close Elon Moreh’s yeshiva, Halutz plans on working to close three other schools. There are ongoing efforts within the IDF to gather evidence against rabbis who advised their students to refuse orders. The decision to dismantle a hesder yeshiva must be made by Defense Minister Mofaz who according to law is responsible for the arrangement that enables such academies to incorporate Torah study into the five-year military program. Rabbi Levanon told Arutz-7’s Yigal Schok that what is on the agenda is the frontal conflict of the Torah and Jewish law with the law of the state. He said that at a time when he did his best to reduce that conflict, he is faced with the fact that a man who calls for acting in accordance with Jewish law is threatened with losing his job and position.
The yeshiva, he says, will continue to operate regardless of what happens. “I am not worried about me and I am not worried about the yeshiva. But if the army wishes it and the state feels the need to behave this way instead of protecting real freedom of expression and religious honesty – and if the other rabbis and rosh yeshivas are not bothered that when someone expresses his religious truth he is fired for it - then the yeshiva will give up its hesder status.” Rabbi Levanon is not phased by the prospect of losing hesder status and says he would always choose expressing his honest view of the word of Torah over subjecting his Torah study academy to the whims of the political system. “We will wait for other times, because there will always be a different Chief of Staff and different decisions – all subject to change. The yeshiva and the Torah, however, are not subject to change and they will stand. The Torah truth will continue to make its own way.” “The ramifications of closing a hesder yeshiva effect the separation of religion and state – that is the severity of the Chief of Staff’s actions,” Rabbi Levanon said. “The seriousness of such a move is that the state becomes the ruler – the arbiter. Every halachic (Jewish legal) matter that becomes forbidden to rule on publicly because it contradicts the state thus suffocates and crushes the Torah.
Rabbi Levanon added that if defenders of both Torah and democracy did not come out against such a decision – Torah personalities, yeshiva heads, the association of hesder yeshivas and chief rabbinate – they must take into account that today they are closing a yeshiva for this reason and tomorrow they will close a yeshiva for another reason. Today they are closing a hesder yeshiva and tomorrow they will close a huge rabbinical seminary because the rosh yeshiva said something that upset someone in the state’s top brass, and eventually the Torah will be pushed into a remote corner – ‘to await the coming of the messiah.’ ” Rabbi Levanon also insisted that the chief rabbis, who were appointed to oversee the halachic side of the state, need to make their opinions heard when the matter is relevant to their field. “The stain of the expulsion is a stain upon all of the IDF that took part but does not invalidate the IDF for the fact that at its head stands a Chief of Staff who made a unilateral decision,” said Rabbi Levanon, who calls upon his students to continue to serve in the IDF. “The question that needs to be asked is, if the Chief of Staff wishes to punish a rosh yeshiva, why is he punishing the students of that yeshiva as well? He can refuse to accept the signature of the rosh yeshiva on the hesder arrangement so why is he blaming the students? What is the connection?” The rabbi does not plan on keeping his views to himself in the future and is not worried about the consequences of the Chief of Staff’s campaign against him. “I will not go to war for my honor or for my view of Torah. Instead, I will continue my educational work in the matter which I feel is right.” By Ezra HaLevi
Rabbi Aviner to Expulsion Soldiers:You Won´t Forgive Yourselves – August 14, 2005
National News - Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a leading nationalist rabbi known for
trying to bridge differences, wrote to soldiers slated to expel Jews from their
homes that they will never be able to forgive themselves. He
consistently has told soldiers they should not refuse orders but also should
reach the conclusion that they are not able to carry out a command to expel
Jews from their homes.
In a prayer he composed for soldiers to read before participating in the scheduled expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, he wrote, "Almighty G-d, save me from my brother who ordered me to strike my brother with his children…. Woe to me if I meet a good friend; woe to me [if I am] opposite a screaming young child, a young girl crying bitterly, tearful eyes of a mother [and] a penetrating look of a father.
"How strong is the pain! It is awful. If I expel a brother, he will be injured but in time the wound will heal. But I never will be rehabilitated, my soul will be paralyzed forever, and I will feel endless guilt, [with] pictures of tormented faces [and] screaming children [which] will be with me when I sleep and which will wake me up.
"Almighty G-d, in my great stress, I feel like a criminal, blood is dripping from me. I am exploding from great injustice. How can I break down the door? If I expel a Jew, I never will forgive myself, it will be a hole a in my heart and I will lose my soul."
Amid increasing numbers of soldiers who have chosen to be punished rather than carry out expulsion orders, there are mounting reports of soldiers who will report ill or simply will report for duty without any motivation. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Rabbi Eliyahu: We Will Not Be Silent, Nor Rest – August 19, 2005
National News - Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu expressed pride in the
Jews of Gush Katif, reiterating his call for continued prayer.Speaking
on Arutz-7 Radio, the Rishon Letzion said that the people of Israel deserve to hear words of encouragement at this difficult time. Rabbi Eliyahu then quoted
Psalms 94:14, saying, "For the Lord will not abandon his people, nor will
He forsake His inheritance." "We should be proud of the heroic Jews
of Gush Katif," Rabbi Eliyahu said. "Had the rabbis issued
instructions to resist, no one would have had the power to remove them from
Gush Katif. But the rabbis said not to raise a hand, and that is why they are
The well-known Kabbalist, and spiritual leader of many in the national-religious community, emphasized the need to avoid civil war. The residents, their supporters, as well as the police and soldiers who come to remove them, must not raise a hand against one another, he reiterated.
Addressing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Rabbi Eliyahu
"You turned to the residents [of Gush Katif] with a request not to harm the police officers and soldiers who come to take them out, but rather, to harm you. I'd like to tell you: it is forbidden for Jews to harm you, as well. I suggest to you, resign your position and in that way you will do a favor for the people of Israel. Quit now."
Rabbi Eliyahu added:
"There are two negative things this government is doing. It is not only
expelling the Jews there, it is turning their land over to enemies, as in 'Two
evils my people have committed... hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns....'
[Jeremiah 2:13] "We
will continue to pray; we will not be silent, nor will we rest. Moses
was a loyal servant of the Holy One, blessed be He, yet God did not allow him
to enter the Land of Israel. God told him, 'If you add another prayer, I will
accede to you.' Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, not want Moses our teacher
to enter the Land of Israel? Because if would have entered, the Temple would have been built by Heaven and would never have been destroyed. As soon as
[God] removed His presence from the Temple that was built by human hands,
[however,] He could unleash His wrath on trees and stones. "Similarly, in the case of the
residents of Gush Katif, God is unleashing His wrath on trees and rocks and not
on the residents. We pray to the Holy One, blessed be He... that He declare our
sufferings over and that we are worthy of the complete redemption." By
Israeli Girl “T” Refuses to Cooperate With non-Torah Court System – October 24, 2005
National News - One girl, 16, remains in prison for activities relating to
her protest of the expulsion from Gush Katif/Shomron. She steadfastly refuses
to cooperate with a legal system she considers "un-Jewish." Contrary
to the position of her court-appointed attorney, the judge ordered the girl
to undergo psychiatric testing. "What's next?" asks Shmuel Medad,
head of the Honenu civil rights
organization. "Forced injections for prisoners who don't
cooperate? We are truly turning into a dictatorial regime."
In a closed-door hearing yesterday in a Kfar Saba court, the defendant - known publicly only as T., because of her age - said she wants to be tried only by a "Jewish" court, in a court governed not by "British laws," but rather by Torah edicts. Until then, she said, she would not agree to cooperate with court authorities. In light of T.'s position, her court-appointed lawyer requested to be released from her position. The court refused this request, ordering her to continue to represent her client at least through the stage of psychiatric testing. The judge ordered the next hearing for the second week of November, after the psychiatric testing, but thus far no such test has been held.
T. was originally arrested several weeks ago when she tried to enter the now-destroyed Shomron community of Sa-Nur to resist the expulsion. As she was being dragged by a female soldier, the latter was cut by a knife that fell out of the girl's pocket. The Prosecution originally accused her of willfully stabbing the soldier, but these charges were dropped when the soldier herself said that she was cut accidentally. T. was later freed with no restrictions, but was arrested the next day, Sept. 15, when she again entered Sa-Nur - and has been in prison ever since.
Her mother, contacted by Arutz-7, said, "She simply refuses to cooperate with this corrupt and sick system, and so she remains in prison until the end of the proceedings against her - whenever that is. Her spirit is very high, and she takes everything well, even though she is basically alone in prison [aside from the other inmates in the N'vei Tirzah Women's Prison - ed.]... She spends much time reading and learning." T. can call home once a day, and her family visits her once a week. "The visits are restricted to only two adults and three children," her mother said, "but we have a large family. So this week we asked for a special family visit, and finally after much delay, they granted it to us - but only for a half-hour."
Asked her own opinion on her daughter's incarceration, the woman said, "Of course I want her out - even today! But I also strengthen her hand in her uncompromising struggle - and at the end, they'll see that she is strong, and they'll throw her out of there." It has been noted that T.'s position should be seen in the context of the current debate over the proper religious-Zionist attitude towards the State and its organs. Leading rabbis and thinkers in this sector have repeatedly said that the youth who led the struggle against the Disengagement Plan must prepare themselves for leadership positions in Israel, turning the State into a truly Jewish country, with courts, public education, government offices and the Knesset running according to Torah values and laws. As such, it is said, T.'s struggle - and similar ones waged by other young arrestees in the last several weeks - is simply a first step in this direction. By Hillel Fendel
Gov´t: "Don´t Free Girls, We Still Have to Destroy Outposts" – September 4, 2005
Israel National News - In the framework of a legal hearing regarding girls arrested while trying to resist the destruction of the northern Shomron, the State submitted a memo explaining why it objects to their release.
Seven young girls - all minors -
have been in prison for nearly two weeks after they were arrested trying to
sneak in to northern Shomron in an effort to protest the expulsion. The State
has offered to release them to town or house arrest, but the girls have
refused. "I will not agree to be banned from any place in the Land of Israel," said one.
The State is also against their
release. Its representatives submitted a memo in the course of the last
hearing, explaining why they consider the girls dangerous to future government
plans. The memo states that because the State plans to "deal" with
outposts in Judea and Samaria, the girls must remain in jail. Dismantling
the outposts is not something that will gain Prime Minister Ariel Sharon many
points within the Likud Central Committee, where he is trying to be re-elected
as party chairman. For this reason, it is not expected that Sharon will order
the destruction of any outposts in the coming weeks. In addition, demolition
notices must be sent to the residents at least a month in advance, from a legal
standpoint. Residents are not complacent, however. "The government
does not work according to the law," one said. New
residents and even families have continued moving in to the outposts, says
Itzik Sandroi. He is one of the founders of the southern hilltop outpost east
of Yitzhar in the Shomron. Three families now live there, as well as several
youths and bachelors. The site has been government-destroyed twice - and built
up three times.
The Sabbath atmosphere at the Yitzhar outpost is very special, Sandroi says, and the youths have set times for morning and evening classes. "Many of them come from religious-Zionist families," he explains, 'but have experienced hard times on their way here - whether it be lack of attention at home, inability to function in school, and the like. One of them told me he was on the verge of despair, but decided to check out the 'hilltops' before giving up and joining some type of street gang... They do not accept Zionism or the holiness of the State; they see the integrity of the Land in a spiritual manner, combined with keeping and studying the Torah."
Not every threatened outpost is populated so heavily by "hilltop youths." Migron, for instance, near Psagot on the Ofrah-Jerusalem highway, has 43 families. Demand to move in was great until the government clamped down on further growth some two years ago. Just to the north of Migron, on the turnoff to Beit El, lies Givat Assaf, with some 15 families. An attempt to evacuate it last year resulted in the turnout of many hundreds of supporters of Givat Assaf from nearby towns, and the army was forced to give up its plans. Residents there have no illusions, however, and are continually on the alert. By Hillel Fendel
Eight Girls Protest Unjust Law, Immoral Judicial System and Remain in Prison - September 23, 2005
National News - Eight girls aged 13-16 remain in prison after attempting to
re-enter the destroyed Shomron community Sa-Nur. They say they won't cooperate
with or recognize the secular & "immoral" judicial system. Two
days ago, 13 girls were in prison for various periods ranging from a few
days to almost three weeks, but five of them finally agreed to be released
today and yesterday. They apparently changed their minds after speaking
with Kiryat Arba's Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, agreeing to sign the release papers
and to be photographed; the demand for fingerprinting was waived. Rabbi Lior,
who visited the girls on Wednesday, spoke with them of the need to balance
their struggle for a Torah court system with the desires of their parents and
their need to be in school.
Speaking with Arutz-7, Rabbi Lior described his visit with the young protestors:
"They are infused with conviction that they are working for Am Yisrael (the Nation of Israel), protesting the legal system and its entire policy. I greatly admire them; other girls their age are wasting their time on nonsense, but they are willing to give up their time and ignore their other needs in order to dedicate themselves to this cause, under such difficult conditions."
However, Rabbi Lior said, there are other considerations:
"In this case, some of the parents are very saddened and troubled by this situation - and this must be taken into account, in light of the Torah command to honor one's parents. Of course, if the parents tell their child to violate a Torah commandment, they need not listen - but [this is not the case here]. Therefore, I asked them to find the proper balance in this case. I told them: 'You waged a struggle for an important cause, against the justice system and its policy - but I don't think that the entire job lies on your young shoulders. You contributed, and there's no doubt that your efforts as young girls who are willing to sacrifice so much will have an effect on the entire society.'"I believe that in a case where the mother is so opposed," Rabbi Lior added, "the daughter should listen. It's also not good for the parents' authority to be so weakened; the girls are not yet 18, and it's unacceptable for the mother not to have a say; later there can be other problems and issues, such as dress or the like..."
Rabbi Lior said, "I can definitely understand them. They truly feel, as do many others, that the system has carried out many injustices, and that the law is evil. For instance, the way the people of Gush Katif were expelled, with no homes, jobs or education - this is just not something that can be done. And the law is used in a selective and forceful manner just against one sector, and picking on them [the girls] for little things like talking back or not cleaning their rooms and then denying them simple rights such as phone calls and visiting rights - and all this even though they're acting not for themselves, like thieves or drug users, but for all of Israel."
"And to keep them in prison until the end of the proceedings - this is unheard of! What, are they dangerous criminals?... We can't tell them that this is not an injustice. There are those who protest against injustice with sit-ins outside the Justice Ministry, while they have chosen to protest this way; this is their right."
As mentioned, two of the girls decided to agree to be released yesterday, and three more this morning. Eight men also remain in prison for crimes related to protesting the disengagement. At 10 PM on Saturday night, the now-traditional Melaveh Malkah solidarity event will be held outside the walls of the Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle to encourage and strengthen those left inside. Pre-High Holiday selichot [penitential] prayers will be recited as well. By Hillel Fendel
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Six girls aged 13-15, arrested four days ago
after a scuffle with Arabs in the Shomron, were not freed - despite two court
orders to do so. Now, they themselves refuse to sign the release papers. The girs' attorney maintains that the police are
"misusing their authorities" in keeping them in prison against the
stated intention of the courts. The saga
began on Sunday afternoon, when the girls met up with a group of Arab olive
harvesters, and a clash ensued. This one ended unlike other city scuffles,
however, when soldiers and policemen were called to the scene and the six girls
were arrested. Contrary to press reports
that the girls "destroyed a full day's worth of olive pickings," the
mother of one of the girls said that during the clash, a bag or two of olives
were torn, and a "small amount of olives spilled out." "The police decided to harass the girls and arrest
them, even though they had done nothing that would justify arrest according to
the criminal code," their lawyer, Ephraim Katzir of the Honenu organization, said. "Anywhere else in the country, no one would take the
time to arrest someone for such a thing."
The girls were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, and the police charged them with attacking Arabs, attacking soldiers and attacking policemen. "A total exaggeration, a thread turned into an entire suit," Katzir said. "We then had to wait over 6 hours at the courthouse for a hearing that took less than an hour." The prosecutor already then reserved the right to ask for the girls' custody until the end of the legal proceedings against them. Atty. Katzir, considered to be one of Honenu's top lawyers, cross-examined the police investigator extensively, and the true story that was revealed convinced the judge to order the girls' immediate release to four days of house arrest.
The police did not give in, however, and asked that the judgment be delayed so that they could file an appeal. The court agreed, but when the issue was passed to District Court Judge Noam Solberg, he "deviated from his authority," according to Katzir, "by not ruling on the appeal itself - instead he allowed the release to be delayed for yet another 24 hours.""I did not give in, though," Katzir said, "and I immediately appealed to the Supreme Court. There, Justice Edna Arbel called an urgent hearing within two hours, and in fact ordered their release." The ruling was that the girls would be placed under house arrest for four days. At one point, the Prosecution asked that the house arrest be outside of Judea and Samaria, where the girls live. Katzir objected: "At this rate, we'll all end up in the 1948 borders, and from there we'll continue to the sea. You can't have different laws for different areas." Justice Arbel accepted Katzir's protest.
However, this Supreme Court ruling was promptly ignored, and the Prosecution appealed once again - with the girls remaining in prison. The Prosecution claimed again that the girls are a danger to the public and could "lead to an escalation in the entire area, because if they are attacked, they would hit back and this would cause the soldiers to have to get involved and shoot." Katzir said, "The Prosecution essentially blamed the girls for the fact that the Palestinians hit them, and for causing the soldiers to have to shoot to protect them." But the Prosecution's appeal found its way back down to the District Court - which concurred with the Supreme Court and ordered their release. But the story still did not end there. The Shai (Samaria/Judea) Police District submitted a request for their incarceration until the end of the proceedings.
Katzir expressed amazement at the turn of events: "Is there an automatic arrest clause such that they have to remain in jail because of a police request? It is totally unacceptable and judicially illogical, and the police are misusing the authorities they have been granted, in order to thwart judicial rulings." Finally, just as the release was to go into effect, and even after the process started for one of the girls, the police claimed they were unable to find the proper forms, and the girls spent last night in prison as well.
This morning, they were to be released on 800 shekels' bail - but here the story took a swing in another direction: Some of the girls refused to sign any papers restricting their freedom, saying that they do not recognize an Israeli judicial system that is based on non-Torah law. The mother of one explained that their decision is also based on the real suspicion that the police and courts are merely toying with them. In fact, a court hearing is still scheduled for tomorrow regarding the police request to keep all six in custody until the end of the proceedings.
Tree-Cutting "Libel" - Once Again, Jewish Young Girls Now Stand Accused – November 28, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Once again, reports that
Jewish settlers cut down Arab-owned olive trees are suspected to be a
"left-wing provocation" against the Jews of Judea and Samaria. It was widely reported Sunday, in the name of
Arab sources in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, that Jewish
settlers from the Shomron had chopped down 200 olive trees owned by Arabs. The
Ynet site, for instance, wrote, "Palestinian sources reported that
settlers from an outpost near Elon Moreh had cut down" the trees.
The reports were immediately followed by condemnations of the Jewish population in the Shomron and Israel's rule there. The extremist left-wing organization "Peace Now" released a statement saying that the incident was a direct result of the lack of law enforcement in the areas and the continuing "problem of the [Jewish] outposts."
However, the Yesha Council looked into the matter and said that though "we condemn all violence, including harming Palestinian property," it had found that the incident was apparently a provocation staged by extreme left-wing activists who "wish to sully their Jewish brothers, while at the same time extending their hand to terrorists." The residents of Elon Moreh, in a statement, "wish to emphasize that we have no connection with this incident, which is based on the testimony of a single Arab."
A widely-published AP photo of an Arab woman weeping and embracing an allegedly chopped-down tree (similar photos were taken by Reuters, AFP, and others] shows that the trunk is intact, and that only the top branches are cut off - as if it had been purposely pruned. In fact, the Haifa-based Land of Israel Task Force says that this is exactly what happened. "The left-wingers and Arabs pulled the same trick last year," Task Force head Aviad Visuly said, "and using the same method." Photos of the trees show that the branches were sawed off in a manner that is beneficial to the trees. "Why would vandals bother sawing off each individual branch? Wouldn't they just cut down the trunk?" The branches begin growing back 2-3 months after they are cut, and grow to full size within two years. "In the meanwhile," Visuly said, "the orchard owners receive stipends from the Saudis, via the PA." Visuly said that left-wing activists look for trees that have been pruned, and then blame the Jews for cutting them. "They have even admitted to the police that they do this," he said, "such as in the case of Ein Avus near Hawara [south of Shechem]. In that incident, they blamed the people of [nearby] Yitzhar, because Yitzhar was a convenient media target. Two Jews were arrested for five days and were then released with no charges whatsoever. Today, it's convenient for them to accuse the people of Elon Moreh. If the police had an investigator who was half-fair, he would throw the case out."
Two years ago, a similar story on Arutz-7 began as follows: "It led to anti-settler headlines, international embarrassment for the State of Israel, condemnations, and apologetics - and yet it all may have been one big bluff, or worse." At the time, international media reported as fact that Jews had destroyed the Arab trees, and President Katzav and Prime Minister Sharon issued statements implying that the Jews were responsible. Even the Yesha Council said that the tree-cutting had "defamed the entire sector of Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza." What went under-reported was that the police began to suspect that left-wing Israelis and Arabs were behind the incident. The police even asked Rabbi Arik Asherman of the Reform Movement and an Arab who filed charges against Jewish Yesha residents to submit to lie-detector tests - but it was reported at the time that the two had refused. A Jewish National Fund expert brought in by the police concluded that no lasting damage was done to the trees, and that the tree-cutters did not "cut down" the trees, but rather "pruned" them. By Hillel Fendel
Girls Still in Prison, Despite Supreme Court Order – November 28, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Contrary to the best efforts - and orders - of
Supreme Court Justice E. Rubenstein to free six girls from prison after two
weeks, they have not yet been released. The girls,
aged 14-16, are accused of ripping open bags of olives harvested by Arabs from
Sinjil, near Shilo, and with fighting with policemen who came to arrest them.
Officials of the Honenu legal rights organization, which is representing them,
say the evidence against them is flimsy at best - but that in any event, their
place is not in prison. Honenu founder and
chairman Shmuel Medad told Arutz-7, "No one saw these girls during the
incident, and everything is based on the testimony of one or two Arabs... In
addition, the court already ordered them released, and even then, they were
re-arrested a day later once again."
After they were first arrested on Nov. 13, at least two judges ordered them released, but the police and State Prosecution, using various legal devices, continued to keep them in prison until Nov. 17. The next day, they were brought once again to court, where the judge acceded to a police request to keep them in prison until the end of the proceedings.Despite the above, an earlier ruling by Jerusalem District Court Judge Yosef Shapira ordered the consideration of a form of house arrest for the six - but he set the date for the hearing only for Dec. 5. The girls therefore remained in prison.
At this point, Supreme Court Elyakim Justice Rubenstein [pictured] came to the rescue - or tried to. Atty. Naftali Wurtzberger of Honenu said that Rubenstein, in yesterday's hearing, decided to put aside the legal argumentation and concentrate on the "human problem" of the girls who "are sitting in jail while waiting for a report of alternatives." Rubenstein set facts on the ground by ordering the girls freed to their home communities - though not their own homes. He said that they should be released that very evening, even before all the paperwork, including payment of guarantees and the like, was completed. He also asked the relevant authorities to "hurry" their report on an alternative form of restriction of the girls' movement, such as house arrest. In the event, however, once again the legal system got the better of the judges, and the girls had still not been released as of this afternoon (Monday). The mother of one of the girls said, "I called the prison, and they said that they knew nothing of a release, and had heard nothing from any court. I feel that they are simply toying with me." She later called and found out that three of the girls had been kept in isolation until this morning.
The 16-year-old sister of one of the six is also in prison. She has been incarcerated for two months, charged with offenses related to protesting withdrawals from the Land of Israel. She refuses to agree to restrictions placed on her by a court that does not employ Jewish Law. Another of her sisters is to be married tomorrow night, and it is not clear whether she will be allowed to go to the wedding. Another immediate problem she faces is that as of Saturday night, she has been in isolation - without even a mattress to sleep on. Her mother said, "Some girls stood outside the prison on Saturday night and called out to her and tried to encourage her, as they have been doing for several weeks. My daughter apparently called out her thanks and said she heard them - and then the jailers put her in isolation. From what the other girls report, it means that she doesn't even get a mattress. In addition, she hasn't called me, which to me is the clearest sign that she's in isolation." Knesset Member Gila Finkelstein, who has helped out in similar situations before, has been approached regarding this problem. By Hillel Fendel
Six Girls in Prison Until the End of Proceedings – November 24, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Six girls, aged 13-15, are being held in jail
until the end of proceedings after they got into a fight with Arabs. Their
appeal was rejected, and another hearing is set only for Dec. 5. The girls were arrested after they clashed with a group
of Arab olive harvesters in the Shilo-Sinjil area. Unlike scuffles that take
place elsewhere, the six girls were arrested - none of the Arabs were - and the
police "misused their authority" by keeping them in jail for so long,
their lawyer said.Originally arrested on Nov. 13, the girls were originally
kept in prison for four days, despite two court orders for their release.
The day after they were finally released, they returned to court for a hearing on the Prosecution's request to incarcerate them once again until the end of the legal proceedings in their case. The judge acceded to the request, and placed the young girls into prison once again. The girls' lawyer, Ephraim Katzir of the Honenu legal organization, filed an appeal, which was rejected by Jerusalem District Court Judge Yosef Shapira on Tuesday. Shapira did, however, order the consideration of a form of house arrest for the six. However, to the girls' consternation, a judge today set the date for presenting the alternatives for Dec. 5 - eleven days from now.
A Honenu official said that the judge made this decision after seeing that the proposals were not ready today. "It's clearly not realistic to have the alternatives ready in just two days," he said, "but neither is there any reason to wait two weeks." Honenu is planning to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court as early as today, and hopes that the appeal will be heard tomorrow, Friday.
Aside from the six girls, only two other Disengagement-related arrestees remain in prison. One of them is the sister of one of the six, who refuses to recognize the non-Halakhic [Jewish legal] court's right to punish her, and Daniel Pinner of Kfar Tapuach, who was arrested in June for allegedly shooting an Arab on the Gush Katif beach. Honenu is planning a gathering of all those who were indicted for Disengagement protest-related activities in the past half-year in the Old City of Jerusalem tonight. Among other things, legal and public strategy and advice will be discussed and proffered. Haaretz reported today that Honenu is "trying to raise money for Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir, and his wife, Larissa Trimbobler." Honenu director Shmuel Medad explained to Arutz-7, however, that this is not true. "We are not 'trying to raise money,'" he said, "but rather, if someone wants to donate, and specifies that his money is to be used for Amir, we have a special fund set up by which this can be done. Even the Civil Liberties Association of Israel has taken action on behalf of Amir and Trimbobler's human rights."Trimbobler told Haaretz that the money was to be used to pay a lawyer to represent her and Amir in their legal battles, and is aimed at "stopping political persecution of Yigal Amir and the denial of his basic rights; stopping the perverse vengeance of the establishment; and carrying out a legal battle for basic rights." By Hillel Fendel
Right-Wing Female, Ettie Meidad, and Woman Inmates Face Harassment – September 4, 2005
Israel National News - Women inmates in the Disengagement Wing of the Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle complain of harassment directed specifically at them. "On religious matters," they say, "we won't give in."
----AS WE GO TO PRESS:
By request of the State Prosecution, Ettie Meidad was suddenly released without conditions or restrictions this afternoon, and is not required to appear in court sessions dealing with her case.----
Ettie Meidad, wife of Honenu legal rights organization director Shmuel Meidad, was arrested last month and placed in prison, together with her now-9-month-old baby daughter Miriam. She was arrested on charges against her that were dropped two years ago, but which the State Prosecution suddenly decided to reactivate (see below).
"They try to harass us very often in jail," Ettie told Arutz-7's Elkanah Perl, referring to herself and seven female minors recently arrested for trying to enter Shomron areas the government wished to empty of Jews. "They have instructions to put pressure on us so that we will agree to their conditions. But we all refuse to agree to their restrictions." The girls have been offered a release on condition that they not leave their homes or communities, while Ettie herself refuses to be tried at all. She was therefore imprisoned until the end of the proceedings against her - but a special session was called for her case today. Her husband Shmuel said that this indicated possible positive developments. "They don’t give us plates," Mrs. Meidad said as an example, "and then they say, 'Make do without.' Or they lock us in our cells for no reason. They have also filled our rooms with all sorts of small lockers in order to make it hard for us to walk around. Their tone of voice is one of constant disdain and abuse. It's a daily struggle."
Two years ago, Ettie Meidad was acquitted of all charges related to a protest against the brutal expulsion of widow Livnat Ozeri from her hilltop home outside Kiryat Arba in March 2003. Ettie and three other women from Hevron protested against the nighttime eviction of the young mother and her young children, just several weeks after their husband/father was murdered by Palestinian terrorists.
The four protestors were tried afterwards for "child neglect" for having brought their children with them to the spontaneous demonstration at the site of the destroyed home. On a rainy and cold day, they closed themselves up in a car and refused to come out for several hours. Three of the women were convicted, but Mrs. Meidad was acquitted due to lack of evidence. From the outset, she refused to attend the trial, believing it was a farce. After being forcefully brought to court for the first hearing, the trial judge granted Mrs. Meidad an exemption from attending the proceedings, and eventually acquitted her. The Prosecution later appealed the decision, and the appeal was accepted.
Last month, policemen arrived at the Meidad home in Hevron, demanding that she sign a writ in which she promises to either attend the trial or forfeit a sum of money. She refused to sign, and likewise refused to leave her young children alone and go with the police. Over 50 security forces were then called into action, including police, Border Guard police and soldiers, blocking off her Beit Hadassah neighborhood from east and west. After a two-hour standoff, they finally removed Ettie Meidad from her home, taking her three youngest children with them to the Gush Etzion police station. At about 10 PM, two children were forcibly taken from her, and were then brought, crying, to a foster family in Alon Shvut, from where their father Shmuel came to take them.
Ettie has been in prison ever since, until she agrees to stand trial. The Meidads decided not to appeal the court ruling, and Ettie explained at the time that she prefers to "sit in jail, despite the suffering my family and children will face, rather than cooperate with the evils perpetrated against our people. I will not cooperate with the forces who are expelling David Hatuel, a close friend of ours [whose wife and all four daughters were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Gush Katif over a year ago], and with the forces who permitted the eviction of Livnat Ozeri and the destruction of her home. I will not cooperate with the forces who are planning to build a casino in Elei Sinai. If this is the price we have to pay, so be it."
The Honenu organization founded and directed by her husband Shmuel is an organization that specializes in providing free legal defense to people charged with crimes in the framework of opposing the disengagement plan. Almost every one of the hundreds of youths arrested for blocking roads and other anti-expulsion activities over the past several months has been represented by Honenu-hired lawyers. The organization is also active in defending those who face legal difficulties resulting from their acts of self-defense in response to Arab attacks.
Ettie was kept, with her baby daughter, in the N'vei Tirtzah women's prison for a week, but was moved afterwards to the less unpleasant Maasiyahu Prison. She said that she can accept the humiliations forced upon her by the Prison Service, but "religious issues are our red line. For instance, a mail jailer comes to physically check the women prisoners in the middle of the night, to see if they are breathing, despite our repeated requests that he not touch us. We complained to the head of the wing that he bring women jailers for this purpose, but he said he cannot do so - which we saw is not true. Finally, we came to an agreement that they call to us and we would get up out of bed - and so they purposely made an extra count in the middle of the night, just to harass us."
Another example, she said, was a request for "a curtain on the window of our doors, for purposes of modesty. Not only was that request turned down, but they threatened us with isolation for making the request." In fact, the girl who proposed the alternative to being physically touched at night was placed in isolation for her troubles.
Other examples include unnecessary body-checks, being prevented from remaining in the dining room to recite the Grace after Meals, and more. A spokeswoman for the Prison Service told Arutz-7, "Our treatment of the disengagement arrestees is the same as that towards the others, with much understanding and consideration. They actually have very good relations with the management, which is always attentive to them. But at the same time, if there are cases of not following instructions, they stand trial within the prison."
The seven girls refuse not only to be released with restrictions, but also to be represented by anyone other than a Honenu-appointed lawyer. "I refuse to accept an order keeping me out of anywhere in the Land of Israel," one said. Another explained that she does not recognize the legal system, and that "G-d will judge me." One girl was asked why her parents did not arrive at the session, and she replied, "Why should they come? I don't want to be released with restrictions [which her parents would have to sign for - ed.], so why should they come?"
Justice Leora Brody, Deputy Chief Justice of the Rishon LeTzion Juvenile Court, wrote in her ruling, "On Aug. 31, I ordered their release with restrictions... They appeared today in court, unrepresented by the Public Defender, demanding to be represented by Honenu... Under the circumstances, I order that as long as they do not produce the required guarantees, they will remain in prison." They are to receive another hearing, however. By Hillel Fendel
Rabbi Rachamim Nissimi, Using a Channel Ten Film, Plans to Appeal – September 15, 2005
National News - Rabbi Rachamim Nissimi was freed from prison yesterday,
serving three months for having given out orange ribbons at a road-blocking
demonstration. He will appeal his sentence retroactively. Rabbi
Nissimi said he plans to file an appeal for wrongful imprisonment, based on a
video clip showing he did nothing to warrant his arrest.
Founder of the Shaalei Torah network of Torah core groups dotting the country, the rabbi was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers, including students and colleagues, as he exited the prison. He told them that he felt he was the emissary in prison of the "great concepts of Judaism" - forming a type of Shaalei Torah chapter in jail for the prisoners and jailers.
Speaking with Arutz-7 Hebrew Internet Radio, Rabbi Nissimi retraced the events leading to his arrest: "I was in my car when I heard that there was an anti-disengagement demonstration at one of the intersections [the turnoff to Kiryat Sefer near Modiin]. I passed by there in order to give them a package of orange ribbons [symbols of the anti-disengagement protest] and to be with them for a few minutes. After about five minutes, a police car stopped near me; apparently I looked like what they were looking for, the person responsible for the demonstration. One of the policemen asked me, 'What are you doing?' When I said that I was giving out orange ribbons, he pushed me far over behind the guardrail. I protested and said, 'What are you doing?' - and then immediately six policemen came and put me into the paddy wagon. This began a long trek of three months, with an indictment saying that I attacked a policeman, and bit a policeman, and interfered with a policeman, and everything possible that could be done to a policeman. It was a blood libel, pure and simple. Unbelievable."
Rabbi Nissimi said that Divine intervention was also noted: "There was a boy there, who I didn't know, but when I saw what was going on, I asked him to take pictures. In one of the pictures, which we found on the internet, we saw that there was a Channel Ten photographer videoing what was going on. This was exactly what we needed, because the judge didn't want to accept the stills because he said he couldn't know what happened in between each picture. But a video is different. So we turned to Channel Ten with a court order - they didn't want to give it otherwise - and we received the film, and we will show it on Arutz-7, and the whole incident can be seen clearly, showing that I didn't attack anyone."
He explained that the judge believed the policemen's version, despite the lack of evidence, and ordered him held until the end of the proceedings. "This meant that I had no chance to appeal anything, and so I had to agree to a form of plea bargain, and remain in prison for three months." It was reported at the time that had he not signed the agreement, it is probable that he would have remained in prison for nearly that long - and then still have to face charges. "Now that we know of the existence of the film, we have filed an appeal for wrongful imprisonment," the rabbi said.
Arutz-7's Amatzia HaEitan asked, "It must be tremendously frustrating for a man of your stature, age and position to know you are totally innocent and yet have to sit in jail, leaving your entire family and important work behind." Rabbi Nissimi responded, "There are two aspects. First of all, the way the Prosecution and police conspired together - not just to me, but to many people who have similar stories. They had a system: they quickly write out charges and indictments with the Prosecution, obtain a court order for incarceration until the end of the proceedings, etc. From this standpoint, it was very frustrating.
"But there was also another aspect: 'Man has many thoughts, but G-d's will is that which stands.' I felt every second that I was the emissary of the great concepts of Torah, and of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel. I wouldn't have chosen this path, but that's what G-d chose for me. We have to know that there are hundreds and thousands of people in jail, including the jailers, who can be taught these ideas... In general, they only hear one side, from the television and the papers - but I, with a daughter in Sa-Nur and a son in Kfar Darom and in Netzarim and the like, was able to tell them live stories of what was really going on, and they were able to understand that this wasn't something far away, but something real, with real people. They underwent a total transformation, from apathy and playing backgammon all day, to genuine tears and pain and solidarity with what was going on. It was even hard for me to part from them." Asked what he plans to do first, Rabbi Nissimi said he would like to meet and support the people who were expelled from Gush Katif and northern Shomron. "We all underwent a national trauma, but for them it was on their own flesh - and I plan tonight to go and meet many of them in their different places, and embrace them." By Hillel Fendel
Woman in Green Nadia Matar Explains Her Arrest – September 15, 2005
National News - Women in Green activist Nadia Matar explains why she was
accused of ‘incitement to rebellion’ this week for her leadership role in
combating the expulsion from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. Shabak
(General Security Service) agents had tried to arrest Matar two days before the
expulsion from Gush Katif began at her home in Kfar Yam, on the Gush Katif
seashore. She got wind of their intentions and ran to the beach to hide. “It
was a horrible feeling,” she told Israel National Radio’s Eli Stutz and Yishai
Fleisher Show. “They said they needed me for an investigation.”
The police returned for Matar a week ago, coming to her home in the Gush Etzion community of Efrat. “They said they needed to bring me to jail and arrested me for ‘incitement to rebellion,’” Matar said. “They took out the article I had written on ‘how we will stop the decree’ and underlined passages from it, claiming ‘you are calling upon people to cause chaos – this is incitement to rebellion.” The investigators were particularly concerned about Matar’s calls to block roads and puncture the tires of army vehicles. “The investigator asked me what my reaction was,” Matar said. “I told him ‘you and your superiors know I have done nothing wrong. This is a political investigation by a dictatorship that not only expels Jews but is trying to take from the national camp its freedom of speech and I will therefore exercise my right to remain silent.’ ”
Matar added that she registered her outrage during her investigation that her every word was being examined and expounded upon in order to incriminate her while a complaint she had filed against Hebrew University Professor Ze’ev Sternhal, who had suggested in an article that Arab terrorists target only “settlers” and not Israelis within the Green Line, was dismissed by the police. “Professor Sternhell’s essay, which called for the murder of Yesha’s Jews, was dismissed by the police due to ‘lack of public interest,’ ” Matar said. “Obviously, freedom of speech is unlimited for the left, but on the right we are persecuted for saying things not even in violation of the law.” By Ezra HaLevi
Kaare Kristiansen, Friend of Israel, Passes Away – December 4, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Kaare
Kristiansen, who resigned from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in 1994 to
protest the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize that year to Yasser Arafat,
has passed away. Kristiansen, 85, who died Saturday
morning, was Norway's Minister of Oil and Energy from 1983 to 1986, and served
twice as the leader of the Christian People’s Party, for a total of six years.
He was a Member of Parliament for 12 years, finally resigning on the grounds
that his party had distanced itself from its original purpose and course. The Norwegian Israel Center Against anti-Semitism (NIS) released a statement of condolences, saying Kristiansen "was a truly righteous
person [who] never compromised with his deep-felt conviction about things right
and wrong. This was clearly demonstrated when he resigned from the Nobel Peace
Prize Committee... We have had during a great many years the pleasure of his
friendship, [and of] his thoughtfulness and deep understanding of the Jewish people's
situation, both here in Norway and in Israel."
Crown Princess Sonja of Norway - now
Queen Sonja - named the Statfjord C platform.
Behind her, from left: industry minister Jan P Syse, Mobil Exploration Norway president Mike Smith, senior executive vice president Henrik Ager-Hanssen from Statoil, Mobil platform manager Gordon Brown, local government and labour minister Arne Rettedal and petroleum and energy minister Kåre Kristiansen.
10 May 1984
In 1997, Kristiansen led a group of political and religious leaders in Norway in submitting a petition to the country's Foreign Ministry, demanding that the Norwegian Embassy in Israel be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He later visited Israel as part of this campaign. He more than once called upon the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to "publicly deplore" its 1994 decision to grant arch-terrorist Arafat the respected prize. In 1997, four years after the signing of the Oslo Agreement, he said that his "forebodings" about the diplomatic process had come true, citing Palestinian Authority corruption, its continued terrorism, and the Arab killings of compatriot land-dealers who sold land to Jews. Aryeh Gallin, founder and President of Root & Branch Association, Ltd., said, "In a place where there were few if any men, Kaare Kristiansen was a man."
Kaare Kristiansen with the Nobel
Peace Prize Committee
Just this past August, Kristiansen expressed his opposition to the Disengagement in an official statement, in which he said, "...giving in to Arab terrorist pressure, whether that pressure comes from PLO terrorists or members of other terror groups, adds fuel to the fire of Arab terrorism against Israel. I fear that Palestinian Arabs perceive the Israel Government expulsion of Gush Katif Jews as proof that Arab terror pays after all. I also fear that throughout the world, [it] will strengthen the false belief that the Land of Israel belongs to Arabs and that Jews have no rights there at all. "The Israel Government expulsion of Gush Katif Jews is not an internal Israeli affair. It is everyone's affair. This expulsion is an immoral and illegal act violating international ethical, human, legal and social rights. "Over a decade ago, I protested as immoral the Nobel Prize Committee awarding a 'peace' prize to Yasser Arafat in December, 1994, and resigned from the Nobel Prize Committee as an expression of that protest then. Over a decade later, I protest as immoral the illegal Israel Government expulsion of the Gush Katif Jews today." By Hillel Fendel
Massive Pollard Rally in Jerusalem – November 23, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Several Pollard events are
taking place this week, including a mass rally Wednesday afternoon, a special
Knesset session, school classes, and a rare televised interview with Esther Pollard. This afternoon (Wednesday), a mass demonstration is
planned in Jerusalem, demanding Pollard's release from U.S. prison. The participants will first chain themselves with handcuffs, forming a human chain from
the American Embassy to the Prime Minister's Residence several hundred meters
away. At the rally to be held afterwards, Pollard's wife will read aloud a
speech written for the event by her husband.
A special Knesset session on Pollard was held yesterday (Tuesday), at which the Knesset resolved by an 84-0 vote to demand that Prime Minister Sharon officially request a Presidential pardon for Pollard. The Knesset also recognized Pollard as a "Prisoner of Zion" - though Pollard supporters emphasized that efforts continue to convince the Government to officially grant him this status. MK Uri Ariel said at the session, "The Knesset has made many resolutions over the years regarding Pollard, but they have not brought results. The Israeli public is united in its wish to see Pollard free. 112 MKs signed a request to President Bush to release him, but Prime Minister Sharon 'forgot' to bring it to him, and in fact never submitted it." MK Ariel noted that Israel had "freed Elchanan Tenenbaum from Hizbullah captivity, and Azzam Azzam from Egypt, but Jonathan Pollard remains in prison in the United States. Today is a day of reckoning for all of us to see if we did enough to have him released." MK Ariel also read aloud a letter from Pollard, in which he expresses his pride at having saved many Jews with his actions, and a prayer for his release written by former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.
On Monday, public schools all over Israel dedicated an hour to learning about Jonathan Pollard. The instruction was issued by Education Minister Limor Livnat, who said it was "appropriate to do so because Israel's obligation to Pollard is not controversial." Livnat said, "The education system [should] bring his contribution to the State of Israel to students' attention." On Monday night, Pollard's wife Esther was granted a rare television interview, with Ya'ir Lapid on Channel Two. Lapid played recordings of Jonathan Pollard speaking from prison on the occasion of last week's 20th anniversary of his incarceration. Jonathan spoke of the constant sense of danger he feels: "...living with the fear of imminent death - because violence occurs very quickly, and from out of the blue."
Pollard was also heard sharply attacking Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz for the fact that his name is not on the official Ministry of Defense list of captives. Saying it was a "calculated refusal to keep my name off the list," Pollard said, "Every Knesset Member that I've talked to about this has been shocked and disgusted when they realize what has been done. And I blame Mofaz himself, personally, for this. Mofaz has knowingly abandoned a soldier in the field." An agent whose name is on the list is entitled to rights and benefits as an Israeli agent, including the fact that the Israeli Government would be obligated to seek his immediate release. It would also enable Pollard to receive financial benefits, which he has in fact never received.
During the interview, Mrs. Pollard also noted the ongoing struggle to have Israel recognize her husband as a Prisoner of Zion: "We made an official request, but the government did not agree, and so we brought it to the Supreme Court, where the issue currently stands." She noted that this is just another struggle that the Pollards have had to wage in the Supreme Court against the government: "To receive his citizenship, we also had to go to the Supreme Court, and also to receive the recognition as an Israeli agent. We always have to struggle against the State." Lapid asked if she accepts the explanation that the government has been working for his release "via secret channels," Mrs. Pollard said, "How is it possible to have 20 years of secret efforts, without even one centimeter of progress? It cannot be... There are some thing that the government of Israel can do, but it is just not doing. For instance, it can officially inform the U.S. Justice Dept that he is an Israeli agent - but it has not done so, and he is therefore treated as a common criminal. The Americans also understand from this that Israel is not so serious about wanting him." "Israel has not done the most essential and basic things to free this agent, as it did with its other agents in Switzerland and Cyprus," Mrs. Pollard said. By Hillel Fendel
Charge: Israel Has Not Approached AIPAC on Pollard – November 23, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Yitzchak Oren, the man
responsible for the Pollard file on behalf of Israel's Washington Embassy in
the late 1990s, says the key to Pollard's release lies with AIPAC - and that
it's not too late. Oren, who was the Israeli liaison to
the U.S. Congress in 1997, said, "I tell you with total certainty, as an
expert on the matter and as someone who dealt with the subject on behalf of the
government for a long period, that he could have been released. Very simple.
One word: AIPAC."
Oren, who studied all the material on Pollard and visited him in prison seven times, spoke with Ben Caspit of Maariv. AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Community, has been termed by The New York Times "the most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel." Oren said that in 1996, then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to recognize Pollard as an Israeli agent and work to secure his release. The instructions were relayed to the Embassy in Washington, but the late then-Ambassador Eliyahu Ben-Elissar chose not to deal with it, and instead transferred it to Oren. Oren explained that the long-time efforts by Pollard supporters to pressure the American President were in vain: "Only Congress can force the release. The president [Clinton] tried, and we saw how it ended with [Clinton and Netanyahu] at Wye Plantation - the intelligence community forced the president to change his mind, with [CIA head George] Tenet threatening to resign. But with Congress, it's the opposite. The intelligence establishment receives funding from Congress, and Congress is its supervising body. One word by AIPAC would free up a giant and powerful lobby in this direction. I tell you with full responsibility that if AIPAC would just nod or hint, it would happen. The CIA would give in. That's how the American network works."
Oren said that though he and then-Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh informed AIPAC that it would be desirable to work for Pollard, it didn't happen: "I remember an AIPAC event at which the Ambassador [Ben-Elissar] called openly and publicly upon AIPAC not to intervene in the Pollard affair. They really didn't intervene, and the whole thing hit an iceberg..." "All these years," Oren said, "we wasted energies on the executive branch, the President, but it was hopeless. The President cannot bend the giant intelligence community - but Congress sure can... The CIA head can't threaten Congress that he will quit; Congress can fire him. All that was missing was AIPAC's blessing for the efforts to have him released. Senators like Arlen Specter and Ben Gilman waited for it, but it didn't come." Asked if he can explain why Ben-Elissar objected, Oren said, "No. Perhaps because of reasons of recognition, or because of his past as a Mossad man... I can just say, as someone who worked under him, that this is what happened. He said this on-the-record." Caspit added that the Mossad had no sympathy for Pollard, who was employed by a different government organization.
Oren also cannot explain why the American establishment is so vengeful against Pollard: "It is unfathomable. It is, perhaps, an attempt to strong-arm and trample Israel, on Pollard's back. Very strange things happened here. After all, transmitting information to an ally is a relatively light crime. And yet, suddenly, [then-Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger gives the judge a 46-page memorandum that led to the unheard-of life sentence... " "I also think it's not too late," Oren said. "Even now, via AIPAC, it can be done. There is a Senator named Chuck Schumer of New York who is willing to lead it. There is no reason that the State [of Israel] should not do this for Pollard - especially in light of all the dirty and strong-arm tricks that were used against Israel and against him in this story."
In February 1998, Pollard's wife Esther told IMRA that Israel had several easy options at its disposal in its attempts to secure her husband's release - and one of them was AIPAC. "The State of Israel, in accomplishing any important initiative in the United States, first engages AIPAC," she said. "With the support of AIPAC Israel then gets the necessary meetings on Capitol Hill and the proper exposure. AIPAC also helps Israel to engage the American Jewish leadership. It doesn't matter if we are talking about advancing the peace process or selling any Israeli idea. This is standard practice. In 13 years [since Pollard's arrest], AIPAC has never been engaged by the Israeli Government on the Pollard case. In 13 years, the American Jewish leadership has never once heard from the Israeli Government, 'This is a national priority, we'd like your support on this.'" Another example of an easy initiative, she said, is, "Israel simply had to go to the money people in the Jewish community who fund the Clinton Government. All that Israel had to do was to say to them, 'We could use your support on this.' You don't even have to threaten not to sign the checks. Just remind the President that releasing Pollard is a priority of the Government of Israel that you support.'
The Future of Globalist Israel
Report: SHARON WILL DIVIDE JERUSALEM – December 14, 2005
Lekarev - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior campaign pollster Kalman Gayer has let the cat out of the bag – Sharon plans to divide Israel's capital, Jerusalem, should he win the elections. In response, the Likud has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, after Newsweek quoted the Sharon adviser saying the Prime Minister intends to concede parts of Jerusalem and allow the creation of a Palestinian state on 90 percent of the West Bank. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the slogan “Peres will divide Jerusalem” during his 1996 elections campaign, and it now appears the slogan will be used again in the campaign against Sharon.
Netanyahu himself, responding to the report, told Likud activists during a meeting in Netanya that “the secret is out.” He explained, “Sharon’s people are exposing what he’s trying to hide, but everyone already knows – Sharon will divide Jerusalem and bring the Palestinians to the 1967 borders.” Likud MK Uzi Landau also responded with anger, saying “the prime minister, as usual is misleading everyone - past experience teaches us that when the prime minister is quick to deny, we know for certain the reports are true.” Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office denied reports that Sharon is willing to concede parts of Jerusalem in a final peace accord with the Palestinians. Reaction throughout Israel on this development is coming in fast and furious. There is an uproar over it and let's hope that the uproar will be large enough to turn the tide for the elections.
Sharon Advisor Says PM Will Partition Jerusalem - December 14, 2005
Sheva (Israel National News) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior campaign
pollster Kalman Gayer has let the cat out of the bag: Sharon plans to divide Israel's capital, Jerusalem, should he win the elections. Gayer made the statements speaking with Newsweek about
the extent of the withdrawals Sharon is willing to make in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
The relevant passage in the Newsweek article states as follows:
"In theory, Gayer says, Sharon would accept a Palestinian state in Gaza and 90 percent of the West Bank, and a compromise on Jerusalem, in exchange for peace. But the Israeli leader does not believe Palestinians will be able to deliver peace or make other compromises—like forgoing the right of refugees to return to their old homes in Israel—in his lifetime (Sharon is 78). In the meantime, Sharon wants to "lay the contours of an agreement with the Palestinians," according to Gayer, by creating a Palestinian state in half the West Bank and implementing confidence-building measures." Sharon appeared on state-run television almost immediately, denying the accuracy of the claims. "The remarks attributed to Kalman Gayer absolutely contradict my positions and my views," Sharon said. "If those remarks were indeed made, they were made by Kalman Gayer alone and they are complete nonsense. United Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital forever." Sharon then reiterated his commitment to the Road Map plan.
The Road Map uses the term "East Jerusalem" as a separate entity from Jerusalem and calls for the opening of Palestinian Authority institutions in the area. There are currently close to 250,000 Jews living in areas of the capital considered East Jerusalem by the Road Map. Prior to Sharon's announcement of the Disengagement Plan, the Gaza withdrawal plan was floated in the media by now-Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, and immediately denied by Sharon. Political commentators say such trial-balloons are a favorite method of Sharon's advisors, in order to gauge and diffuse public opposition to withdrawals.
MK Uzi Landau, who recently bowed out of the Likud leadership race and endorsed Binyamin Netanyahu, said, "We know from past experience that whenever the prime minister rushed to deny something – it is certainly true." Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog said the whole story was just another manufactured story from the Kadima Party's public relations team, aimed at distracting the public from its lack of a social program. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said, "It is painful to realize that the one who always accused others of planning to divide Jerusalem has been revealed in all his shame as intending to do so himself." NRP Chairman Zevulun Orlev said that Sharon intends to once again lie to voters about his true intentions, like when he compared the retention of Netzarim to that of Tel Aviv prior to the previous elections. "Kalman Gayer says out loud what Sharon says in private," Orlev said. "It is now clear that in Sharon's mind, the 'fate of Jerusalem is like the fate of Netzarim.’" By Ezra HaLevi
SHARON PLANNING MASSIVE WITHDRAWALS – November 28, 2005
Lekarev - Reports are increasing that Prime Minister Sharon has drafted a plan for Israel's withdrawal from almost all of Judea and Samaria by 2008. Middle East Newsline (MENL) reports in the name of "political sources" that Sharon has begun briefing senior U.S. officials of his intention to withdraw unilaterally from more than 95% of Judea and Samaria if elected as Prime Minister for a third time. One of the most valuable "acquisitions" of Sharon's new Kadima Party, MK Chaim Ramon, formerly of Labor, said openly last week that Sharon will unilaterally withdraw to final borders in Judea and Samaria if Palestinian terror continues. (Can't you just see the terrorists celebrating THAT statement?? So terrorism works, is that it?) IMRA reported that Ramon said this on a live interview on Channel 10's "London and Kirschenbaum" news program just hours after he announced his decision to join Sharon's Kadima. Ramon explained that Sharon will keep his plans secret until the elections because he wants to give the Road Map a chance. (Well it's not a secret anymore, Mr. Ramon!!)
Many public figures said, both immediately before and after Sharon's decision to quit the Likud, that this decision stems from his desire to carry out dramatic diplomatic moves that he knows the Likud would not approve. Among those who have said this are Binyamin Netanyahu, former Ashkelon Mayor and long- time Sharon confidante Eli Landau, Likud ministers, and others. Sharon's reported plan is to order a unilateral withdrawal, at first, from more than 90% of Judea and Samaria, while retaining control over air space. The pullout would be accompanied by a pledge of an additional withdrawal, as well as full Palestinian independence, once the PA dismantles terrorist groups and maintains security cooperation with Israel. The MENL sources said a version of the plan has already been drafted by Israel's National Security Council. Though Sharon has denied that he plans any further disengagements, he pledged last week to "lay the foundation for a peace in which we set the permanent borders of the state, while insisting on the dismantling of the terror organizations." Notice: there is no definition for 'permanent borders'!!!
UN Ceremony Includes Map of ´Palestine´ in Place of Israel – December 8, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - The United Nations held a
"Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" last week. A large
map of “Palestine,” with Israel literally wiped off the map, featured
prominently in the festivities. The ceremony was
held at the UN headquarters in New York and was attended by Secretary General
Kofi Annan and the Presidents of the UN Security Council and the General
Assembly. During the festivities, a map
labeled a "map of Palestine” was displayed prominently between UN and PLO
flags. The map, with “Palestine” written in Arabic atop it, does not include Israel, a member of the UN for 56 years. The map does not even demarcate the partition
lines of November 29, 1947, marking a Jewish state alongside an Arab state. The
partition was dictated by the UN General Assembly itself. With the map hanging behind him, Secretary-General Annan
addressed the public meeting at UN Headquarters.
Click here to view a video clip of the ceremony with the map in the background.
At the start of the ceremony, the dignitaries present asked attendees to observe a moment of silence. “I invite everyone present to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people,” the master of ceremonies said, “and the return of peace between Israel and Palestine.“ Anne Bayefsky, who reported on the event for the Eye on the UN organization, said that the ceremony's wording was aimed at giving honor to the worst of Palestinian terrorists. "It was a moment ... crafted to include the commemoration of suicide-bombers,” she wrote.
Click here to view a video of the moment of silence.
In response to the event, Bayefsky and her organization have once again asked the U.S. to withhold funding from the UN.
(Photos and Videos: EyeOnTheUN.org) By Ezra HaLevi
MY ANSWER TO THE UN – December 9, 2005
Lekarev - When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Hashem appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will make you exceedingly numerous." Abram threw himself on his face; and Hashem spoke to him further, "As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You shall be the father of a multitude of nations. And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fertile, and make nations of you; and kings shall come forth from you. I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be G-d to you and to your offspring to come. I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God."
It is fascinating to me that this week's Torah portion includes the account of Jacob's dream of the ladder reaching up to heaven. Did you know that in his dream is foreshadowed the future history of Israel and the Jewish people? How interesting that this very week we have this Torah portion, when Iran's president is calling for our destruction and the UN wipes us off its map. What does Jacob's dream have to do with present events? Click below for some interesting thoughts.
Sharon Moves Closer to Geneva Proposal on Territorial Exchange – December 4, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
told a Moroccan newspaper that if security and quiet are attained, he is
definitely ready to recognize a Palestinian state and to “go a long way” in
negotiations. In an interview in Le Economist, Sharon said that while Israel would not return to the borders that existed prior to the
1967 Six Day War, it was ready to exchange territories with a Palestinian
state. The idea of retaining settlement
blocs in Judea and Samaria, in exchange for other territories liberated by Israel in the 1948 War of Independence, is similar to proposals set forth in the “Geneva
Initiative,” a draft agreement for a negotiated settlement which would set up a
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks during the Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv December 5, 2005. A Palestinian suicide bomber killed five people and wounded more than 40 outside a shopping mall in an Israeli coastal town on Monday in a further blow to peace hopes stirred by Israel's Gaza pullout. Sharon cancelled political meetings and consulted security chiefs on a military response to the attack. It was the second inside the Jewish state since Israel's Gaza withdrawal, which had stirred hopes for renewed peace moves. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen
That initiative has been strongly supported by
Meretz-Yahad leader Yossi Beilin, and provides for handing over the Old City of
Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, to Arab control. Regarding Jerusalem, Sharon said, “neighborhoods
bordering Jerusalem, located outside Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries where
Palestinians live, will be returned in a comprehensive settlement to the State
of Palestine, as we have no interest in annexing them.”
According to reports, Sharon is willing to retain Maaleh Adumim, the northern part of Gush Etzion, and Ariel as settlement blocs. They are areas that are being included within Israel’s security barrier. The Geneva Initiative, however, does not provide for retaining the city of Ariel under Israeli control. The idea of retaining settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria in exchange for territories held prior to the Six Day War has also been touted by right-wing former MK Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party. Lieberman has proposed exchanging Arab populated towns within the pre-1967 borders, such as Taibe and Um el Fahm, for certain settlement blocs. Under the maps outlined in the Geneva Initiative, Israel would give the PA territories in the western Negev adjacent to Gaza, as well as areas east of Hevron in the Lachish area in exchange for Maaleh Adumim and parts of Gush Etzion. Sharon, ironically, initially justified the Disengagement Plan as a means of forestalling or precluding the adoption of the Geneva Initiative. Under that plan, which was implemented last August, Israel destroyed 25 Jewish communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, expelling close to 9,000 Jews from their homes. Following the demolition of the communities in Gush Katif, Israel relinquished control of the Gaza district to the Palestinian Authority. By Scott Shiloh
Sharon´s Party Favors Palestinian State – November 29, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Sharon's Kadima party
platform, presented to the public Monday, is identical to Labor's on the
Israeli-Arab conflict. It vows to keep only Jerusalem and settlement blocs -
less than 10% of Yesha. Justice Minister Tzippy Livny,
one of the leading Cabinet ministers who bolted the Likud to join Sharon's party, presented the new party's platform yesterday.
The platform's main diplomatic points:
* A Palestinian state should be established in Judea and Samaria.
* The PA state is to be demilitarized and clean of terrorism.
* Jerusalem and Jewish settlement blocs must remain under Israeli sovereignty.
* Israel must balance the need to retain a Jewish majority with maintaining control of some of the areas in dispute.
Arutz-7 diplomatic correspondent Haggai Huberman noted that the "demilitarized and clean of terrorism" clause is fairly questionable, as the PA has never fulfilled similar clauses in the past or agreed to do so. Huberman explained that the "settlement bloc" issue, as well, raises many questions. "To many people who are not familiar with the map," Huberman said, "it sounds impressive, as if Israel will retain a great presence in Judea and Samaria. But for those who do know the situation - and it can be seen on the ground when you look at the partition fence/wall that's being built - it's a very different picture. The blocs that are being talked about are really not very large at all." The blocs in question are three: The Shomron city of Ariel and environs, the city of Maaleh Adumim just east of Jerusalem, and Gush Etzion, between Jerusalem and Hevron. Huberman said that each of them presents a problem:
"Take Ariel, for instance. We're no longer talking about a bloc, but just the city of Ariel with a little addition to the west. The communities of Emanuel, Yakir, Revavah and the like no longer seem to be under consideration. Or take Gush Etzion; the fence/wall as currently planned and built divides it in two parts, such that it's not clear whether there is any real intention to retain the communities of Nokdim, Tekoa, and El-David - which are on the 'wrong' side - or to abandon them. The same in Maaleh Adumim; it is not clear if the 'bloc' there includes Kfar Adumim, Mishor Adumim and Alon, or just the city itself. "But even if we assume that Sharon wants to keep the maximum area in all these cases, it still means that Israel will retain no more than 10% of Judea and Samaria. This means that when Ariel Sharon says he wants to keep settlement blocs, it means he wants to give away 90% of the area. This is practically the same as Yossi Beilin's and Labor's plans, not including Jerusalem [which the latter agree to divide]. "And if we assume that in all of the above cases, Sharon plans to keep only the minimal areas for Israel, then it means that he is agreeing to a Palestinian state on 93-94% of the land - which is not that different than what Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat in Camp David several years ago."
"They also did not mention [retaining] the Jordan Valley yesterday," Huberman said. "I listened carefully for that. Not to mention that the partition fence is on the Jordan River, east of the Jordan Valley, and that there is a tremendous border crossing terminal near Mecholah. All this does not bode well for keeping the Jordan Valley under Israeli sovereignty." "This is not just theoretical," the long-time Arutz-7 commentator and Land of Israel author said. "By looking at the fence/wall being built, we see that Sharon's party has essentially adopted the left-wing position that the fence will be a political one, not just a defensive one, that it will be Israel's final border, and that all the Jewish communities on its other side will be destroyed." "From a political angle," Huberman added, "it's important to note that the route of the fence/wall was actually designed by Mofaz [the current Defense Minister, who is now running for head of the Likud Party - ed.] Mofaz is the one who built it and planned it. For this reason, Sharon is interested in having Mofaz win the Likud leadership, so that it will be easier for him [Sharon] to implement his policies." By Hillel Fendel
EU Wants Israel to Divide Jerusalem – November 27, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - The EU has accused Israel of a de facto annexation of eastern Jerusalem. An EU conference in Barcelona is
discussing the issue, with the PA calling for dividing Israel's capital. A European Union (EU) document, reported in The New York
Times and The Guardian, urges member countries to prevent the security fence
from "sealing off most of East Jerusalem" and allowing Israel a "de facto annexation" of Jerusalem. The city which was re-united after the
1967 Six Day War.
The report charges that "Israeli activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its roadmap obligations and international law." Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and virtually every previous prime minister and leader of major parties have declared that Jerusalem will remain united. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has insisted that its proposed new Arab state will include Jerusalem as its capital. The EU report, prepared by its diplomats in eastern Jerusalem and Ramallah and written by British consulate officials, was sent to foreign ministers of the 25 countries in the group.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said he hoped the document would not lead to a "regression to the one-sided [European] position of the past." The report is to be published in December, but was leaked as the EU increased its involvement in PA-Israel relations by placing European observers at the re-opened Rafiah border between Gaza and Egypt. The report, along with an EU conference in Barcelona on Sunday, may put the status of Jerusalem in the forefront in the current Israeli election campaign.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is to attend the Barcelona meeting, but both Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom have absented themselves to continue their campaign in the upcoming elections in Israel. Finance Minister Ehud Olmert is taking their place. Abbas is expected to exploit the opportunity to demand that Israel tear down the security fence. The EU implicitly has sided with the Palestinian Authority against Israel on the status of Jerusalem. Its official policy states, "The EU opposes... actions aimed at changing the Palestinian character of East Jerusalem." The EU has blamed Israel for policies that it says "are reducing the possibility of reaching a final-status agreement on Jerusalem that any Palestinian could accept," because the security fence separates 230,000 Arabs from Judea and Samaria. The result is a "de facto annexation of Palestinian land," according to the report, which the Times said was leaked "from someone who wanted to publicize it." Diplomats also accused Israel of "radicalizing the hitherto relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem" by discrimination against them on matters of work and building permits, house demolitions and taxation.
Negev Development Launched by Sharon – November 17, 2005
Lekarev - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon launched a NIS 17 billion plan for Negev development Wednesday, just as contacts with the US resumed over negotiating terms for an estimated $1.2 billion Israeli aid request for Negev and Galilee development.
The Negev development plan unveiled Wednesday, pushed forward by Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, set 2015 as a target date for increasing the Negev population from 535,000 to 900,000. The plan calls for the massive sum to be invested in the Negev (southern) region of Israel over the next decade, with the first billion shekels to be earmarked in 2006.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry officials confirmed Wednesday that contacts with the US over a Galilee and Negev aid package had resumed. The package, tied to the Gaza disengagement and intended to help defray the cost of moving military bases from Gaza to the Negev, was put on hold in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. With the realization in Jerusalem that the US would have to pump billions of dollars into reconstruction of the devastated city of New Orleans, it was deemed then that the time was not right for a massive aid request. According to officials in Jerusalem, when the hurricane hit in late August the US had submitted to Israel written questions about plans for Negev and Galilee development. Israel's responses to these questions were only recently passed on to Washington, and technical teams from the Finance Ministry and the US government are currently reading them over. The Negev development plan that Sharon presented Wednesday with his two vice prime ministers, Peres and Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, included massive infrastructure development, as well as plans for investment in the region's industry, education and tourism. Likewise the plan called for the transfer of IDF bases to the region.
Fearing More Jews in Negev, El-Sana Calls for United Arab List - November 23, 205
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - MK Talab El-Sana says that by
unifying Arab parties into one list, the Arabs could thwart plans to build more
Jewish communities in the Galilee and Negev regions. MK Talab El-Sana (whose party is called the United Arab
List) is calling upon Israel’s Arab parties to unite under one electoral list.
El-Sana says that by unifying into one list, the Arabs could thwart plans to
build more Jewish communities in the Galilee and Negev regions. Those plans are being promoted by Vice Prime Minister
Shimon Peres (Labor), as an alternative for settling Jews in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
In a letter to Arab politicians and community leaders, El-Sana, a bedouin from the Negev, is calling for a meeting to discuss the issue of Arab unity in the face of the upcoming elections. Much like some of his Jewish counterparts (particularly on the right), El-Sana claims that competition among various smaller parties reduces the number of Arab MK’s who get elected to the Knesset. El-Sana says that a unified list would raise Arab participation in Israeli elections to 90%. Roughly 60% of Arabs eligible to vote participate in elections, a rate much lower that that for Jews.
If Arabs voted according to their percentage of the general population (20%), they could elect up to 24 Knesset representatives. In the last elections, Arab parties succeeded in electing eight candidates. Arabs, however, are often represented in other, Zionist parties. El-Sana said that unity was necessary “in light of new political developments and their expected ramifications on Arab citizens.” He specifically cited Peres’ plan to expand Jewish settlement in the Galilee and the Negev. He said that a unified Arab list could “push that plan and its dangers for Arab citizens” off the public agenda. El-Sana also claims that a unified Arab list “could become the third biggest Knesset faction and give Arab MK’s an opportunity to impact on the political situation and change the social and economic reality to the benefit of Arab citizens who suffer from unemployment and poverty.” El-Sana warned fellow Arabs against voting for Zionist parties, especially since MK Amir Peretz was elected to head the Labor party. A large portion of Labor party members are from the Arab sector.
More Controversy Over the Security Wall – December 1, 2005
Lekarev - Gush Etzion residents are deciding whether to continue to negotiate with the authorities on the route of the Partition (Security) Wall, or to oppose the wall's construction altogether. Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, one of the region’s first communities reestablished after the Six-Day-War, announced last month that it rejects the building of a wall around the Etzion Bloc and would prefer it be built along the Green Line. Now, the rest of Gush Etzion’s communities must decide how to respond to the most invasive and significant project in the region’s history.
The way the fence route has been determined thus far is that IDF officers are asked to submit the best route, from a security perspective. They are then asked to submit alternative routes that are less preferred, but still somewhat defensible. When the actual building begins, numerous Supreme Court petitions are expected to be filed by local PA Arabs. In the past, the Supreme Court has ruled almost universally in favor of Arab land rights over Jewish security assessments and the preservation of Jewish- owned state lands for future growth.
There are effectively two walls being constructed. The western wall is being constructed along the Green Line – Israel’s pre-1967 border. The eastern side snugly encases many of central Gush Etzion’s communities, but leaves several of the region's eastern and southern communities out. Between the two walls live 50,000 Jews and 17,000 Arabs. Communities that will be left outside of the Partition Wall include Hevron, Kiryat Arba, Tekoa, Nokdim, Karmei Tzur, Maaleh Rechavam, Meitzad and Pnei Kedem.
Southern Gush Etzion Residents Take Security Into Own Hands – December 6, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Residents of the Gush Etzion
community of Karmei Tzur, due to be left on the "other" side of
Israel's Partition Wall, has decided to take the deteriorating security
situation into their own hands. Shlomo Ne'eman, a
member of Karmei Tzur's municipality told Arutz-7 that residents have become
fed up with the IDF's systematic ignoring of all their requests to deal with
the Arabs who target vehicles driving on the Hevron-Jerusalem road with rocks
and firebombs. Residents say they refuse to
abandon their homes, as they suspect the IDF response is intended to induce
them to do. "But we are also no longer willing to be placed at the mercy
of the Arab hooligans and watch as our children are targeted on their way to
and from school each day," Ne'eman said.
Tuesday morning, at 7 AM, residents deployed along the main road, armed with their weapons used for guard-duty in their community. "We stood all morning near the neighboring Arab villages of Beit Umar and El Aroub and we guarded the road," Ne'eman described. "And we intend to continue guarding until the army comes to its senses and takes matters into its own hands." Ne'eman said that the IDF was fully informed that the initiative was taking place and that the results of it were immediately apparent. "Today, as opposed to every other day recently, the children's school buses made it to their destinations without incident." Karmei Tzur is about a half-hour from Jerusalem and is part of the Gush Etzion bloc of Jewish communities in Judea. Jews lived in Gush Etzion until they were expelled in 1948 by the Jordanian army. Many children of the expelled residents resettled there after the region was liberated in the 1967 Six Day War.
There is a move, particularly in Jewish towns in Samaria, to replace IDF forces with local volunteers in order to remove the media-backed perception that those living in Judea and Samaria force other Israelis to protect them. The move is also intended to have in place dedicated security forces unfettered by government policies and the chain of command. Organizers of the initiative say that it is also aimed at thwarting suspected plans to allow the security situation to deteriorate for communities on the other side of the Partition Wall, thereby inducing them to willingly abandon their homes. By Ezra HaLevi
"Youth for Land of Israel" Building New Neighborhoods – October 26, 2005
Efrat by Sharon Katz]
National News - An initiative by hundreds of youths from around the country
begins today for construction of new neighborhoods in Efrat, Kedumim, Elon
Moreh, Kiryat Arba and Maon. "Expansion in Place of
Destruction" - har'havah bimkom hah'ravah - is the motto of the new
initiative. The group released an announcement stating:
"Wednesday, the day following Sukkot, we will ascend en-masse, unashamedly and by the light of day, as proud owners of the Land, to establish new neighborhoods in several areas around our Land... "In the past months we were witness to the terrible crime of the ripping out of parts of our holy and beloved Land, the expulsion of Jews from their homes, the uprooting of graves and the abandonment of synagogues to Arab murderers. We saw with our own eyes that which is called the 'leadership of the state' abandoning our inheritance. "As youth that grew up on love of the Land, and who realize that without the Land of Israel there is no blessing and the Divine Presence has no place to rest, we ask: What's next? Our answer is that specifically now, we will replace destruction with expansion; we will replace retreat with going out and holding on to our land."
Many of the youths involved in the program were among those who snuck into Gush Katif or the Shomron during the days and weeks preceding the expulsion, giving up their summer vacation to fight the uprooting. The Land of Israel Youth organization was founded in recent weeks in Kiryat Arba, and just a few days ago conducted a march of some 700 youths in the Shomron. Rachel, one of the leaders of the organization and in today's Kiryat Arba initiative, told Arutz-7 that the location that was chosen for rebuilding in her area is known as Heroes Hill, between Hevron and Kiryat Arba. An outpost was originally built there three years ago after a terrorist ambush nearby in which 12 civilians and soldiers were killed. The army tore the site down, and residents built it up, in a cycle that repeated itself several times since then.
This morning, some 60 Land of Israel Youths brought a new aluminum shack to the place, and hope to rebuild the neighborhood for the last time. "We believe in building up new neighborhoods in the Land of Israel," Rachel said. "We can't merely settle for sneaking in another caravan here and another one there. We have to build openly and proudly."
One former Gush Katif resident, Raz from N'vei Dekalim, was not so sure that the initiative is worthwhile. "Forget your illusions!" he wrote. "In the year before the expulsion, Gush Katif grew significantly - but it didn't help at all. Physical growth will not stop the decree to uproot us, as we have seen. In my opinion, we should invest all these energies in disseminating the Torah's truth to every Jew and Jewess. I saw many soldiers [involved in the expulsion] who were not at all aware of the severity of what they did." Rachel said in response, "He's right, we do have to work on Torah, but we also have to work on the physical plane. We saw in the last year or two that only a few new outposts were built; these are just expansions of old locations. We have to build many more new neighborhoods."
At the Elon Moreh site, Yirat S. told Arutz-7 what was going on:
"We are about 50 girls and 70 boys, in two different areas of the same location; this was one of our clear decisions, that there would be total separation... At present, both groups have completed about a meter of height on new stone-and-cement buildings... We have lots of water and much food, and soon we'll be holding a groundbreaking ceremony, with the participation of Rabbi Elyakim Levanon and others." Asked about the plans for the immediate future, Yirat said, "The plan was for the boys to sleep here tonight, but the army - which is watching our every move from a hilltop overlooking us - has just informed us that though we may remain here today, they will forcibly remove us if we try to stay the night. So we will have a meeting and decide what to do."
Voices from the religious-Zionist public calling of late for less emphasis on Land of Israel issues do not faze the new group. "Our rabbis have taught us," Yirat said, "based on works such as Kol HaTor [by Rabbi Hillel of Shklov, a top disciple of the Gaon of Vilna] that in the period of the Ingathering of the Exiles and the like, we have to concentrate on the Land of Israel." To this end, the organization is calling for more classes on this topic in high schools all over the country. In Efrat, the activities began this morning with a prayer service adjacent to the IDF checkpoint on the Efrat-Tekoa road, then continued with building, planting, singing and classes. There are no plans at present to actually move to the site, but rather to hold various activities and stabilize the Jewish presence there. "We know that wherever Jews are not present," said Tamar K., aged 17.5, one of the leaders of the some 100 youths at the site, "the Arabs take over. Jews are now afraid to go to lots of places and we're in danger of losing them. As youth who are truly concerned over what has happened in Israel lately, we simply cannot merely sit at home and read Arutz-7 and complain. We have to get out and do something. This is merely our opening shot."
Asked if the army had arrived to interfere with their attempts to build the site, Tamar said, "So far, about seven soldiers have come to protect us. Why should they interfere with us? Doesn't everyone realize that it's only natural for the Jews to settle and build up their Land?" The new location is being built on a hilltop precisely where the government's separation fence is scheduled to be built. "We don't want to be closed in and ghettoized by fences," Tamar said "Youth all around the country realize that we can't just let it happen, but must get out and do something to stop it. Expansion instead of destruction!"
The Kedumim site appears to be the largest of all. Merav, coordinator of the activities there, updated Arutz-7: "About 100 are already here, and several dozen more are on their way. We are two groups - boys and girls. This [separation] was one of the first decisions we made." The chosen site for the new Jewish presence near Kedumim is known as Beit HaDegalim [House of Flags], which currently features a couple of long-abandoned structures between Kedumim and the Arab village of El-Funduk. "We will paint them," Merav said, "and clear out the weeds, and possibly build another temporary structure or two. Our purpose, of course, is to express and manifest our bonds with our Land. This is our response to terrorism and to the expulsion." Asked about the calls to tone down Land of Israel efforts in favor of other causes, Merav said, "We certainly must work on several fronts at once. I, for instance, also belong to a group that works to increase Jewish identity... Now is certainly not the time to abandon the cause of the Land of Israel." By Hillel Fendel
Transfer: Jews Moving to Into Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – October 3, 2005
Israel National News - Despite the disengagement that saw 10,000 Jews uprooted from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria, the flow of Jews into Judea and Samaria has accelerated to record levels in recent months. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), new home purchases in Judea and Samaria have surged by 38% from January to June 2005, as compared to the same period last year. The rate was even higher in Jerusalem, an area that was battered by terrorist attacks since the start of the Oslo war in September 2000, with sales of new homes rising by 52.5%. Israel’s real estate sector was hard hit by the Oslo war which sent the economy into a tailspin. But unlike the general economy, the real estate market has only recently begun to recover from the impact of that war.
Palestinians, backed by the Arab League, accused the United States on August 22, 2004 of destroying the Middle East peace process after Washington signaled it could accept some growth of Israeli settlements. A construction site in the new neighborhood in the Adam Jewish settlement near Jerusalem is shown August 22, 2004. [Reuters]
Ironically, the areas hardest hit by terrorism from the Oslo War, Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, are reporting the biggest boon in real estate activity. Sales of new homes in Judea and Samaria have reached an all time high in 2005, making up 5.3% of all new home purchases nationwide. The figures for Judea and Samaria contrast sharply with the rest of the country which witnessed an 8% overall rise in new home purchases in the period from March to July 2005. Interestingly, locations formerly considered highly desirable by new home buyers, in Tel Aviv and the center of the country, have been beleaguered by falling home sales. Purchases of new homes in Tel Aviv have dropped by 19% so far this year, followed by an 18% decline in the center of the country. Home purchases in the North, a more peripheral area, also fell by 17%. Twently-nine percent of all unsold new homes are located in Tel Aviv, with only 5.6% in Jerusalem, despite Jerusalem’s larger population. The supply of unsold homes in Judea and Samaria stands at only 1.5% of the national total, down from 2.5% last year. The lack of new housing starts has kept the supply of unsold new homes at low levels nationally. The CBS estimates that Israel has only 11,969 unsold apartments, barely a year’s supply. That quantity is eroding rapidly in Jerusalem which has only a seven month supply of new apartments. In relative terms, the Negev has the largest supply, enough to last 16 months. By Scott Shiloh
Critical World Zionist Congress Election Underway in U.S. – December 4, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Up to a billion dollars in support for various
Jewish and Zionist organizations and causes are at stake in the election now
underway in the U.S. for the World Zionist Congress. The vote-by-mail election in the United States will choose the 145 American delegates to the all-important Congress, which will be
held in Jerusalem in June 2006. The American delegation is the largest from
outside of Israel, accounting for 30% of the entire Congress and therefore
having a major impact on setting policy. According to the constitution of the
World Zionist Organization, delegations from all countries except Israel are determined by internal elections. The Israeli representation is set according to
the Zionist parties' relative strength in the Knesset at the time of the
In the tradition of the first Zionist Congress assembled by Binyamin Ze'ev (Theodore) Herzl in Basel in 1897, the Congress - sometimes known as the "Parliament of the Jewish People" - convenes every 4-5 years in Israel to set Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization policies. Since 1948, the Jewish Agency and WZO have served as the extra-governmental arm of the State of Israel in areas in which the government cannot operate. They work to preserve and enrich Jewish life around the world, strengthening and supporting Jewish and Zionist education, promoting Aliyah, and even rescuing Jews from distressed countries. Various Jewish-U.S. organizations are making great efforts to sign up voters for their slates. Religious and nationalist organizations, in particular, are anxious to ensure that the current election does not follow the pattern of the last one. "Four years ago," writes Susie Dym of Cities of Israel, "the extreme left (Reform, Meretz, Peace Now) grabbed half of the votes simply because they registered people diligently. It is to be hoped that the hawks (right) will follow their good example this time."
A website promoting support for the Religious Zionist slate notes that in the last American election, the Religious Zionist delegation emerged as the third largest delegation in the U.S., surpassed only by the Reform and Conservative movements. "As a result," it explains, "the Religious Zionist movement retained or achieved control for such critical WZO departments as the Settlement Division and the Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora... In order to protect these gains and build on them, the Religious Zionist movement must surpass the results of the last election." The religious-Zionist slate in the current election includes delegates from Young Israel, Yeshiva University, AMIT, Religious Zionists of America and the Orthodox Union. Other lists promoting religious or nationalist views include the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), whose delegates include ZOA President Morton Klein, Steven Orlow, Dr. Irving Moskowitz, and others; Herut North America; and American Friends of Likud. Other slates in the race include the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Hatikvah and ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists in America), all of which prominently promote pluralism in their agendas.
Eligible voters are Jews who will be 18 by June 30, 2006, who reside permanently in the United States, and who accept the Jerusalem Program. The Jerusalem Program is a Zionist manifesto expressing the agreed-upon goals of Zionism, including Aliyah, Jewish unity, Jewish bonds to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, settlement, Jewish education, and more. Registration, which costs $7 ($5 for students), can be effected here or here. A list of the platforms can be seen here. By Hillel Fendel
Go to: Fall 2005 – “The Land and the Nation of Israel”, Part One
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