11/21/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 11/21/14

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.romanobritain.org/Photos/roman-senate2.jpg

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“This morning in Jerusalem Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue. To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable.”

“People who have come to worship God in a sanctuary of a synagogue were/// murdered in a holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder.” – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

“There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” – Victor Frankl, Auschwitz survivor, in ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’

“It’s not enough for us to say: ‘There are those carrying out Ribat’ (religious war over land claimed to be Islamic). We must all carry out Ribat in the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. It’s not enough for us to say: ‘The settlers have arrived [at the Mosque]’. They have come, and  we have to prevent them, by any means necessary, from entering the Sanctuary. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. – Mahmoud Abbas, inciting violence on Official Palestinian Authority TV

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s400/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week’s winning essay was Joshuapundit’sThe Blood Of Zion Cries Out. It was my reaction on the day four rabbis and a Druze traffic cop who tried to stop the killers were murdered with guns and meat cleavers in a Jerusalem synagogue. Here’s a slice:

Early this morning, four Jews at morning prayers were murdered in a synagogue in Jerusalem after two Palestinian broke in and assaulted the worshipers with gunfire and meat cleavers.

Many others were wounded and four are in critical condition.

The terrorist attack took place in Har Hof a predominantly Orthodox neighborhood at the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue on Agasi Street.

The Murder victims were identified as Rabbi Moshe Twersky, the head of the Torat Moshe yeshiva, 59; 40-year-old  Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky; 50-year-old Rabbi Kalman Levine; and 68-year-old Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg(HY”D). Rabbi Kupinsky, Rabbi Levine and Rabbi Twersky were all American citizens, while Rabbi Goldberg was a British subject. A Druze policeman, 30-year-old Master Sergeant Zidan Sif subsequently died of his wounds as well, and all Israel will mourn and honor him.

The killers stormed the synagogue at 7 AM local time. There was no warning and no way for the victims to defend themselves.The rabbis were murdered during the sacred prayer of Shimoneh Esrei, with siddurim (prayer books) in their hands and their tefillum on.

Eye witness Ya’akov Amos said: ‘The terrorist moved to within a metre of me then started shooting. One, two, three, bang, bang, bang. I immediately hit the ground and tried to protect myself with a prayer stand. He kept screaming ‘Allah hu’Akbar’.

There was blood everywhere, so much that one of the medical workers slipped in it and broke his leg.

The international reaction was interesting. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed shocked, with his voice quavering. He even used the “T” word and called for an end to incitement against Jews.

Phillip Hammond, Britain’s Foreign Secretary contented himself with a bloodless statement that ‘both sides’ should seek to ‘reduce tension.’ President Obama, of course, said much the same thing. Somehow, I doubt they would have merely talked about both sides reducing tension if four imams had been murdered by a Jew and Qu’rans profaned in this way.

Israel’s economics minister Naftali Bennett was interviewed by the BBC today, and provides us with another indication of exactly how sick and depraved Britain has become when it comes to Israel and the Jews.

(just a hint – when Bennett mentions Abu Mazen, he is using Mahmoud Abbas’s nom de guerre, the terrorist name he used as Arafat’s second-in-command.)

Notice how the interviewer doesn’t even address the issue of Abbas inciting terrorism, but pulls the case of an Arab bus driver who died yesterday, as though that made the savage murder of four Jews at prayer legitimate. That Arab driver, by the way, had a full investigation and an autopsy done on him and there is no doubt he committed suicide. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, Israel jails murderers no matter who they are.

I really felt like saying ‘Kol Hakavod’ when Bennett held up a picture of one of the victims, which the interviewer hastily told him to put down lest he upset the gentle sensibilities of her viewers. I think it is absolutely essential to do just that – to let the British public see what their government is funding and supporting. And I hope it upsets them to the point of utter shame.

At the end of the interview, Bennett says that Britain is going to have to make a choice of whether they support the Free World or not. As I’m sure Bennett knows, the British Government has already made that choice. Which is why, perhaps, they feel compelled to put up with soldiers being beheaded in broad daylight and no go areas for police and non-Muslims in London and other large British cities.

The murderers were both killed in a shootout with police at the scene. They were Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal from the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Needless to say, they were acclaimed as heroes and martyrs by all the factions of the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians.

A Palestinian woman scatters sweets as she celebrates with others an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue

Palestinian supporters of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLP), a small militant group, dance while waving their flags, after they heard the news of the shooting

“We responded with shouts of joy when we received the news about their deaths,” Ala’a Abu Jamal said of his cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal to Yedioth Aharonoth. “People here distributed candies to guests who visited us, and there was joy for the martyrs.”

In a message published on its official new website Al-Resalah, Hamas said the attack was “a quality development in fighting the occupation. We highly value the heroism of its operatives.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attack on Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera as “heroic,” calling for more attacks of the same kind.

Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri happily wrote on Twitter that “Jerusalem has nothing but men who love martyrdom. The heroes of the knife are in Jerusalem. The heroes of the run-over [car attacks] are in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem men take revenge.”

And he posted this on his Facebook page:

A cartoon posted on the Facebook page of Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri has perpetrators of the Jerusalem attack dressed in religious Jewish garb asking 'where are they?' (photo credit: Facebook)

The Arab killer is asking ‘Where are they hiding?” Needless to say, in spite of what this cartoon shows none of the worshipers were armed.

And Fatah? Mahmoud Abbas, AKA Abu Mazen issued a ‘condemnation’ that wasn’t one. In a statement (in English, not Arabic) it said that “The Palestinian presidency” condemns violence “from whatever source” and “demands an end to the invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocations of the Settlers.”

In other words, ‘So sorry, but unless you surrender Jerusalem to us expect more of the same.’

This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who accused Jews of “contaminating” Al-Aqsa Mosque last week, who just a few days ago was telling his people, in Arabic, to ‘defend Jerusalem’ by any means necessary. This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who said nothing when Fatah published cartoons and Facebook posts encouraging terrorist attacks on Jews and “days of rage” to defend the ‘threatened’ Al-Aqsa.

Tawfik Tirawi, former chief of the Palestinian General Security in the West Bank and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee made it even plainer, and in Arabic. Today he told a radio station in Hebron that the attack was “nothing but a reaction to the recent crimes of the occupation and the settlers in occupied Jerusalem and across the nation. The threats of the occupation against our people and the Palestinian leadership, represented by the president, will only increase our efforts in safeguarding our rights.”

His remarks were reprinted on Fatah’s official Facebook page.

I should make something clear here. This is not the fault of Abbas, or Hamas, or any of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians.

It is the fault of the Israeli government.

A significant number of the Palestinians are simply acting as they have always acted since the 1920′s, and these tendencies were unleashed even further once Arafat and the PLO were allowed in to take over after Oslo.

http://thesystemworks.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/hebron_massacre_newspaper.jpg

Israeli governments since Oslo have always allowed themselves to be pressured to ignore these instances of sheer horror… to release  convicted murderers, to make concessions to the terrorist entities on Israel’s borders, and most of all to avoid  finishing them off entirely when their violence and bloodshed mandated a response. This has been especially true since Barack Obama, who styles himself as the Palestinian’s very own community organizer entered the White House.

Is it any wonder that this sort of thing continues to happen? Is it really so puzzling that after allowing Hamas to continue in Gaza and maintaining any kind of relationship with Abbas and the PLO once they allied themselves openly with Hamas that they would resort back to Arafat’s tactics?

Yasser Arafat himself outlined for his followers what this war was really about. On Jordanian TV, right after signing the Oslo Accords he was criticized for signing a peace agreement with the Jews. He responded by reminding his audience of the Peace of Hubidiyeh, a treaty Mohammed made with the Quraysh tribe that he violated as soon as he was strong enough to massacre them, a story every Muslim knows. And then he outlined exactly what this war was about, saying that “either the Jews will push us into the sea or we will push them into the sea.”

Arafat, the leaders of Hamas and numerous members of Fatah have sung the same songs for years. Is it their fault that Israeli governments for years have refused to take them seriously?

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis HansonA Moral primer submitted by Joshuapundit. Hanson is an old classicist among his other virtues. In this essay, he looks at the state of America and the world, and especially the president who leads us and sees a lack of political and personal morality as a deadly problem, possibly a terminal one for our republic. Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

>And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

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11/20/14

Complexities and Hard Truths

Arlene from Israel

A bit more follow up and analysis before Shabbat…

Some of the recommended actions I wrote about yesterday, and more, have been put in place.  Not because I wrote about them, obviously, but because the government in this regard is responding with some appropriate security and deterrence measures:

There is now a large police presence in Jerusalem bolstered by Navy commandos who are volunteers serving on their own time.  Troops have been deployed outside of educational institutions and kindergartens, as well as outside some Arab neighborhoods – where checkpoints have been set up for searching people who might be suspect.

Observation balloons (with cameras) are being scattered about the city, controlled from a central command location.  This seems to me a very good idea.  Sometimes from above activity can be spotted that would not be caught by observers on the ground.

And the policy of demolition of terrorists’ homes is being enforced.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187675#.VG33DJtxnIV

There has also been a report from Arutz Sheva – not confirmed elsewhere – that the bodies of the Har Nof terrorists will not be returned to their families.  Great move, if it is so.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187664#.VG4NhJtxnIV

Is all of this sufficient?  I would not go so far as to declare this definitively.  But we are seeing some serious steps in the right direction.

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What’s not serious is the number of “benefits” to the PA that will be put on hold or terminated.  I had anticipated this.  Today I’m reading that there were certain roads in Judea and Samaria that were closed to non-Israelis because of security risks.  Just as over time checkpoints in Judea and Samaria have been removed, those road were scheduled to be opened to Palestinian Arabs soon.  Well, says Bogie Ya’alon, they will not be.  That’s it? Let’s get real here.

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I had written recently about the fact that the men murdered in Har Nof were not settlers, were in western Jerusalem, were not agitators or radical activists, were not people who tend to go up on Har Habayit (The Temple Mount) – even though these various reasons – occupation, Temple Mount agitation, etc. – are provided as the rationale for why the terrorists acted.

The Elder of Zyion blog has carried these thoughts one step further and the analysis is so very important that I want to share it here:

After showing Arab cartoons celebrating the Har Nof massacre such as this one:

He writes (emphasis in the original):

”Images like these are celebrated by many, and condoned by the rest, with their silence.

“This is the fundamental story of the massacre. For once, the motives are crystal-clear.

”It cannot be about ‘occupation’ or ‘settlements’ because the attack was inside the Green Line.
”It cannot be about ‘Al Aqsa’ because the people who prayed there are not the types to ascend.
”It cannot be about ‘Israeli oppression’ because the victims were not soldiers or reservists.

”The facts are undeniable: the terrorists targeted the most Jewish looking people at a synagogue while they were at prayer.

”The cartoons illustrate nicely what the west wants to hide: the targets are Jews. Period.

”Palestinian Arab cartoons in general routinely depict “Israelis” as a Nazi-style caricatures of a bearded, black-clad men, even though no Israeli leader has ever resembled that person. These victims did. The cartoons taught generations of terrorists that their enemy is the Jews, not Israelis.

”The West wants to find excuses for Palestinian terror, to pretend that both sides are part of the problem. But this attack, and these cartoons, combined with the glaring absence of any Palestinians who object to this kind of incitement, reveal the ugly truth: that in the end it is about Jew-hatred. All the other reasons being given by pseudo-intellectuals of ‘occupation’ or ‘Al Aqsa’ or ‘Gaza’ or bus drivers who commit suicide are simply excuses to divert the world’s attention from the simple fact that this is really about the world’s oldest hate.

“Once you realize this you can start to understand the reality and not the spin that we’ve been fed for decades.”

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2014/11/lessons-from-sick-depraved-antisemitic.html#.VG4CvGdxnIU

Wow!  Stunningly on the mark.  Please share this. It deflates all of the arguments of Palestinian Arab “suffering.”

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The mayor of Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, has taken a position that is not surprising, and is also not politically correct:

He announced yesterday that Arab workers will no longer be allowed on construction sites at kindergartens in the city where shelters are being built, and that security personnel will be placed at kindergartens near construction sites.  He said he made this decision in consultation with the police.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4594006,00.html

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Well…

The furor is all that we might expect  The mayor is being attacked and accused of racism.  It is being said that he is preventing Arabs from working, and tearing the fabric of good Jewish-Arab relations in the city.  Netanyahu, for example, said that we have no desire to target all Israeli Arabs, 99.9% of whom are decent folk.

My response is also going to be not politically correct, for there are painful realities at work here.  If 99.9% of Israeli Arabs are decent people, then – as there are approximately 1,700,000 Arabs in Israel – we have 1,700 who are not OK.  And the awful truth is that they cannot always be readily identified. The terrorist who shot Yehuda Glick outside of the Begin Center worked in the restaurant in the Center.  One of the terrorists who committed the Har Nof atrocities worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue.

Back in previous years, there have been instances of Arabs who were loyal employees of a business owner for years, and then murdered that business owner.  What seems to have happened is that such employees were recruited by radicals.  As long as we have a reasonable representation of such radicals within our society – radicals who endorse and encourage the killing of Jews – as well as others who are receptive to the messages of the radicals, we have a problem.  What comes to mind most readily is the Islamic Movement of Israel, Northern Branch.  Its leader and members are Israeli citizens.  But they have been shown to have links with Hamas and the Brotherhood.  Of course, there are others as well.

The mayor did not ban employment for Arabs everywhere in the city.  He was concerned with the safety of children.  An alternative to his decision might have been thorough security checks for any Arab who works near the kindergartens.  But let us not pretend there is no problem.

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To demonstrate how things can be, and what a positive attitude is possible, we need only look at the Druse community in Israel, about which so much has been written in the last days.

At the funeral of Zidan Saif yesterday, President Ruby Rivlin spoke, saying:

“He went first into the fire to protect the residents of Jerusalem. Without fear, he faced the terrorists and risked his life to protect the residents of Jerusalem. He acted on the values on which he was raised—courage, valor, self-sacrifice.”

While Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared:

“[Saif] is a source of pride for you, the Druse people, for the police, and for the people of Israel.  The values that you instilled in him compelled him to protect, and he fell while defending the state of Israel. We have that shared fate. Together we will fight the murderers.” (Emphasis added)

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Israeli Druse Naif Alian has written a guest column for Israel Hayom.  In it he said:

We, the Druze, are part of the people of Israel. I have never felt a difference between me, my relatives and my friends and the Jewish people. We are one family, always have been and always will be.

“The blood pact between Druze and Jews in the land of Israel began in the 1930s, and it will never be broken. When Haganah forces arrived in Shfaram, my late father Hussein joined them. During the War of Independence, he and 30 other local Druze enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and took part in the liberation of the Galilee.

“In the 1950s, my father was one of the five sheikhs who signed the agreement making military service compulsory for the Druze. In 1957, I lost my brother Salim during his military service. Today, I am the proud father of three IDF officers. They have never felt different from anyone else and have always walked with their heads held high — as I taught them to do.”

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=10645

Beautiful.  As it can be, as it should be, with non-Jewish Israelis who feel connected and choose to be a part of the land and the people. The problem, of course, is that Palestinian Arabs who are Israeli citizens are conflicted in their loyalties in some (definitely not all!) instances, pulled in different directions.

Much to consider, on another day.  Complexities and hard truths.

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We end on this upbeat note:

“In a profound display of faith in the face of carnage, the family of a newborn infant on Wednesday held his circumcision ceremony at the Jerusalem synagogue where terrorists slaughtered worshipers and a police officer exactly 24-hours earlier, Israel’s Ch. 2 News reported.

“’This is Judaism – from tragedy to joy,’ said Mohel Association Chairman, Chaim Miller, who performed the festive ancient ritual – symbolizing the eight-day-old infant’s joining the Jewish people – at the B’nai Torah synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/20/brit-held-in-terror-attack-synagogue-in-your-bloods-you-shall-live-video/

(scroll down for the 40 second video)

11/19/14

A Day Later

Arlene from Israel

The death toll in the Nar Nof massacre has risen to five.

Master Sergeant  Zidan Saif, 30 – of the Druse village of Kfar Yanouch in the Galil – was one of the first police officers on the scene during the massacre yesterday, and sustained wounds to his head.  Last night, he succumbed to those wounds in the hospital.  He leaves behind a wife and a four month old daughter.

adaylater

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy: Family

I want to take a moment to pay tribute to him, and to the Druse community in Israel.  Just ten days ago, another Druse, an officer in the Border Police, was killed in the course of a terror attack.  In fact, it seems to me that the Druse have given above and beyond.  It is emblematic that the Druse village of Beit Jann has lost the highest number of men per capita of any locality in the course of Israel’s wars.

Loyal citizens of Israel, the Druse serve proudly in the IDF, and in various police units. The families accept with dignity the sacrifices of sons lost in battles on behalf of Israel.

Saif was buried today.  Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) were in attendance in large numbers in order to pay tribute to him for giving his life in an effort to protect members of their community. Buses were organized to bring people from Jerusalem to the village in the north.  Calls went out for young people of the community to attend as well: “We won’t be ungrateful, we will show our gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives for us.”

Thousands at Sif's funeral (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

Credit: Avihu Shapira

This, my friends, is precisely how it should be.

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The Har Nof casualties, then:

Sergeant Zidan Saif, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine,
Rabbi Moshe Twersky and Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky

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The horror stories continue – told by witnesses and survivors.  It would seem that the cream of the religious community of Har Nof was killed in the attack.

There are injured still in critical condition. Two had surgery yesterday, and one has regained consciousness.  One of the badly injured is reported to have severe brain damage.

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It is very much the practice here in Israel to resume “business as usual” as quickly as possible, so that terrorists cannot think they are able to disrupt our lives.  Thus did davening (praying) continue this morning in the synagogue where the attack took place.

Prayer service Wednesday morning (Photo: Noam (Dabul) Dvir)

Credit: Noam (Dabul) Dvir

Those who pray in the synagogue regularly were joined by others – including a couple of MKs – who came in a show of solidarity.  Here, on the right, you see Naftali Bennett:

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (R) prays inside a synagogue where two terrorists from East Jerusalem killed five people on Tuesday. November 19, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

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The question now is where we go from here in dealing with the violence.  As I am reading it, this particular attack has been a turning point psychologically.  Instead of mumblings about whether this or that attack may be leading towards an intifada, I now read reference to the fact that we’re dealing with an intifada.  For all intents and purposes that is a recognition of war.

And so?

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Let me begin by saying that while I am reading calls for this, I do not believe that attempting to seize control of the Temple Mount now would be a constructive act.  I have written extensively about the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan sits uneasily on his throne. Were he to be toppled, he would be replaced by jihadis and radicals – and this would definitely not be in our best interest. What is more, we have a relationship with Jordan that is valuable in a host of other ways.

One of the ways Abdullah maintains political strength and commands respect from the people is by demonstrating that he – via the Jordanian Wakf – exercises control on the Mount and is able to confront Israel. He makes a great show of this.  And while it is not to my liking, I do understand it.  To undercut Abdullah now, while the region is in such ferment, would be unwise.

Do I think what Moshe Dayan did was deplorable?  Yes.  Do I believe Jews should have full and equal rights on the Mount? Absolutely. But what was done badly in the past must be undone when the time is right.

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More to the point, I believe, is exercising full Israeli sovereignty and control over all Arab neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.  Not incidentally, this includes effective control over Har HaZeitim (the Mount of Olives) and the ancient Jewish cemetery there, where we are still seeing Arab vandalism and destruction of graves.

The need to be strong – to make the Arabs fear us – is a point I’ve already made. There will be much to write about in coming weeks.  Some measures have already been taken –  strengthening of certain laws, etc. But not nearly enough yet.  Some thoughts:

We need to bring out the army and have an on-going military presence in the city.  Checkpoints, if necessary, at intersections leading in and out of the most troublesome neighborhoods.  There should be a situation in which Arabs with knives and cleavers are likely to be caught before they use their weapons.  They should at least know they cannot walk around with such weapons with impunity.

We need to increase our intelligence and behave proactively to bring in people plotting attacks before they are reality – with preventative detention of agitators.

There are caches of guns in Arab areas of Jerusalem, and they need to be searched out and confiscated.  I find it deplorable that this has not yet been done.

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Naftali Bennett gave an interview on Army Radio today in which he espoused this sort of approach.

We should not active defensively, he says, but go on the attack, just as we did to put down terrorism in Arab areas of Judea and Samaria, in 2002, in Operation Defensive Shield.  Terror infrastructure must be rooted out.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Bennett-calls-for-military-operation-in-east-Jerusalem-to-root-out-terror-382236

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In line with this shift in attitude, I would hope for a proud stance that no longer reflected continual anxiety about what the international community is thinking.

It is time to openly conceptualize the PA and Abbas as the enemy, not as a potential partner, whom the world is waiting for us to sit down and talk to as soon as matters settle down. Passing the law establishing Israel as a Jewish state is a part of this thinking.

Defense Minister Ya’alon has announced that certain benefits that were to be accorded the PA will be put on hold now.  I read this and thought, Is there any question? Benefits for the PA?  But those benefits that Ya’alon has in mind are almost certainly only a small part of the courtesies and services that have been extended to the PA and that should now be terminated.

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Other issues connected to this situation:

We are dealing with multiple Arab populations, which makes matters more complex: There are Arabs living in parts of Judea and Samaria administered by the PA, who either enter Israel legally to work, or enter illegally.  There are Arabs in Jerusalem who have Jerusalem residency cards. And there are Arabs who are full citizens of Jerusalem.  Each of these populations requires a different response.

Simmering under the surface is the issue of our jurisdiction in Area C in Judea and Samaria – over which, according to Oslo, we were to have civil and military control.  I cannot say this is a question of sovereignty, because – unfortunately – we have not declared sovereignty in this area (yet).  But it is a close second, in terms of losing our prerogatives in an area over which we were supposed to have control. And this, in my opinion, is directly connected to the governmental mental set (which must change now) regarding such matters as slipshod control over certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

No one said this was going to be easy to sort out.  Or to make right.

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As I continue to track what’s going on, I hope I can bring some good news and a smile to my readers time and again.

What I will say here is that Israelis are extraordinarily resilient. We are determined to come out on top in this struggle, for this is our land.  Enormously important, as we fight this fight, is unity among the people:  We must hold fast as one.

11/19/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Man Who Would Be King Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Cartoon_Daletoon_Merdas_25.jpg

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Political Commentator, Gates Of Vienna, The Pirate’s Cove and Right Truth earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

11/18/14

Without Words

Arlene from Israel

Sometimes a situation is so horrific that it renders one speechless.  Such was the attack by Israeli Arabs on innocent Jews praying in Jerusalem this morning.  And so, I’m going to start with photos, which provide greater impact than my words alone would.

Once I would have apologized for provided such graphic illustrations.  No more. The world must “get the picture,” figuratively as well as literally.

Har Nof shul massacre

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: preoccupiedterritory

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Jews went to pray this morning in a major synagogue connected to a yeshiva on Aggasi Street in Har Nof, a largely ultra-Orthodox neighborhood on a hill in western Jerusalem.

Two Israeli Arabs entered, bearing guns and meat cleavers and knives.  Calling “Allahu Akbar,” they proceeded to massacre those who were praying.

Please note the fact of meat cleavers.  This is about more than “just” killing Jews.  For that guns would have sufficed.  How do I – struggling for adequate words – convey to the world what is going on?  How do I get people to understand what we are dealing with here?

Blood on prayer shawls and prayer books seen inside the synagogue where four people were killed in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90)

Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90

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ZAKA is an Israeli organization that, among other things, gathers tissue and blood from attacks, to be interred with the deceased according to Jewish law.  A member of ZAKA today commented that he has been at scenes where more people had been murdered, but he had never seen a bloodier or more gruesome scene than the one today.

Some worshippers were lying in blood on the floor with their tallitot (prayer shalls) and tefillin still on.

Worshipers were cut down as they prayed
Credit: GPO

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In the end, four were killed:

Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, Rosh Kollel for the Torat Moshe yeshiva and grandson of the great Rav Soloveitchik; Rabbi Kalman Levine, 55; Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43; and Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68. Rabbi Goldberg had dual Israeli-British citizenship; the other three were American-Israeli.

May the Almighty avenge their deaths.

At least eight others were injured, including two police officers.  Four are serious to critical.

~~~~~~~~~~

All four of the victims lived on Aggasi Street. “On one street, four widows and 24 orphans were left,” the head rabbi of the community, Yitzhak Mordechai Rubin, said at the funeral of Rabbi Twersky.

rabbi

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: JPost
Rabbi Twersky’s funeral, the first held, was attended by thousands. The other three funerals, also heavily attended, were held shortly thereafter.

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The two terrorists were shot dead by police.  They were Rasan and Oudai Abu Jamal, cousins from the problematic Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber in eastern Jerusalem. They are reportedly related to terrorist Jamal Abu Jamal, who was released from prison as part of a “gesture” to Abbas and subsequently re-arrested.  As I’ve indicated before that terror is often a “family affair.”

According to various reports I’ve picked up, one of the terrorists worked in a small grocery store (a makolet) just next door to the synagogue.  (More on the significance of this below.)

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Security forces went into the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood today, where they met resistance.  I believe some family members were arrested. The terrorists’ homes will be demolished and I believe their wives may be expelled.  But note this, please:

The families hailed the terrorists as heroes and martyrs, and passed out candies to celebrate:

Sweets handed out in Gaza to celebrate the attack (Photo: Reuters)

Credit: Reuters

Yet another cousin of the terrorists, Alaa Abu Jamal, said:

“This occurred because of the pressures of the occupying Israeli government on the Palestinian people and in Jerusalem generally, and the ongoing harm to the al-Aqsa mosque; this act is something normal for any person who is connected to his people, to courage and to Islam.

“We got the usual death notification and we shouted with joy, people here also handed out candies to guests who came to visit and were happy for the martyrs.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4593292,00.html

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I have noted the language of this creep carefully.  He says the act is “normal” for any person connected to Islam.  I’ve seen this word used again and again.  Oh? Arab residents of Jerusalem throw stones at the Light Rail? That’s “normal.”

Think, think carefully and deeply about what it says that a Muslim Arab can describe the horrendous murder of innocent men at prayer as “normal.” It wasn’t excused as an aberration, as the desperate act of people who are demented or deluded.  “Normal.”  And a cause for shouting with joy, yet.

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As to Abbas, he was under sufficient pressure from various sources – including the US – that he felt the need to at least appear to condemn the attack.  But note how he did it:

“The Palestinian presidency has always condemned the killing of civilians on both sides, and condemns today the killing of worshipers in a house of worship in west Jerusalem.

It also condemns all acts of violence from whatever source and demands an end to invasions of Al-Aqsa mosque, to the provocations of settlers, and to the incitement of certain Israeli ministers.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21553

This is no condemnation.  It is additional incitement.  “Invasions” of the mosque?  “Provocations” of settlers?

Netanyahu went out of his way to calm things by meeting with Kerry and King Abdullah.  He made a point of saying there would be no change in the status quo on the Mount.  It does not matter.

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I note a bitter irony here.  NO terrorist attack is ever justified in any terms. But in this instance there was no justification even from the Palestinian Arab perspective, although they pretend there was.  The people who were killed lived and were praying in western Jerusalem. They were peaceful people – heads of institutions of study and the like. They were not “settlers” or radicals.  They are not even the sort of people who were likely to visit the Temple Mount.  And so?

This attack was random on purpose: designed to foment terror precisely because of its unpredictable nature.

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There was one other incident that was hauled out as the “reason” for the attack.  And for this I must backtrack a bit.

On Sunday night, an Israeli Arab bus driver, Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, hung himself in his bus, which was parked overnight in the Egged bus company terminal in Har Hotzvim – an industrial area of northern Jerusalem. Police investigating found no signs of foul play and strongly suspected a suicide.  None the less, rumors flew that Jews had killed this man, and riots ensued in at least three Arab neighborhoods.

An autopsy was done (and I believe members of the family were permitted to be present); it concluded that cause of death was suicide.  Made no difference. One relative of the deceased declared: “Eye witnesses told us they saw three Jews who murdered him. Unfortunately, the Israeli police is ignoring the murder and claiming my relative hanged himself.”

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Hamas spokesman Sanu Abu Zuhri put out a statement that declared (emphasis added):

”The operation in Jerusalem is a response to the murder of the martyr Yusuf Ramouni [the bus driver] and to the series of crimes by the occupier at Al-Aqsa and Hamas calls to continue these operations. Hamas calls for more operations like it.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-and-islamic-jihad-praise-jerusalem-attack/

According to Israel Hayom, Hamas “urged all Arabs who have Israeli ID cards to infiltrate public places [their ID cards making it easier for them to move about] and use any weapons at their disposal.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21553

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What I discovered out on the Jerusalem street today was rage. Grief, yes. Sadness, yes. But a particular rage.  I know the feeling well.

Netanyahu has met with the Security Cabinet but I have nothing concrete yet regarding actions to be taken.  There is talk of bringing more security forces into Jerusalem, of guards at all synagogues, etc.

What is understood by those of us who feel rage is that it is time for the Arabs to be afraid.  Only then will they stop.

~~~~~~~~~~

Condemnations of the attack have come from many quarters.

What a visibly shaken Kerry said earlier today was laudable – strong and appropriate in tone. He actually fingered Palestinian Arabs:

“Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue. They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we just had the other day in Amman.”

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/272106/kerry-condemns-har-nif-terror-attack-calls-it-pure-terror-and-senseless-brutality-in-act-of-pure-terror.html

But please note what Obama said:

“At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.

“…tragically, this is not the first loss of lives that we have seen in recent months. Too many Israelis have died, too many Palestinians have died.  Obviously, we condemn in the strongest terms this attack.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187606#.VGuF6ptxnIU

Even now, moral equivalency.  “Too many Israelis, too many Palestinians.”  The Israelis died in terror attacks, the Palestinians were in the main shot for perpetrating attacks.

And so – with the permission of my readers – I will drop my professional cool for a moment at the end of this long day, and simply say, damn him.

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A long and difficult but very necessary posting.  I will close with two additional links that demonstrate ways in which international media in some instances downplayed what happened:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Guardian-deletes-reference-to-Palestinians-CNN-labels-synagogue-mosque-382139

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/309351#.VGuK1JtxnIV

This too we must contend with.

11/17/14

Creeping Sharia

Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri

Beware America of Creeping Sharia pushed by CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama & Snyder.

Makes you think!


IRAN 1970


IRAN 2012


AFGHANISTAN


EGYPT (Cairo University) 1959


EGYPT (Cairo University) 2012


NETHERLANDS (Amsterdam) 1980


NETHERLANDS (Amsterdam) 2012

… And some people still do not see a reason to resist!