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Sunday, September 11, 2011

IFCJ buys 100 bomb shelters for Israel

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews purchases shelters for $1 million to be placed in areas targeted by Gaza rockets in recent months
Published: 09.04.11, 07:46 / Israel Activism

Responding to the escalation of attacks on southern Israel, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) is purchasing 100 bomb shelters for $1 million to be placed in areas targeted by terrorists in recent months.

“We are saving lives any way we can, wherever we can,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ founder and president. “The generosity of our donors throughout the United States and Canada makes it possible for Israelis — who must live with the threat of war and terrorist attack — to be protected while going about their daily lives.”

Improving Conditions
IFCJ donates NIS 6M to struggling hospitals / Ynetnews
Donation to buy MRI machines, build safeguarded medical facility in north. 'Periphery hospitals don't have equipment to treat those affected by war,' Rabbi Eckstein says
Full story
The mobile bomb shelters will be placed near schools and other public areas so they can be reached quickly in the event of an attack. After hearing a warning siren, people usually have only 15-20 seconds to get to the nearest shelter.

The prefabricated concrete bomb shelters will be installed as quickly as possible in at least 12 southern cities targeted by recent rocket attacks, including Ofakim, Ashkelon, Beersheba, and Ashdod.

Each shelter costs $10,000 and will accommodate approximately 28 people. There are at least 1 million people in need of access to emergency shelters in southern Israel.

In early August, Israel suffered one of its worst terrorist attacks in recent years. In a coordinated three-stage attack, eight Israelis were killed and another 30 injured. In the days that followed, more than 100 rockets were fired into Israel by terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza, killing one person and sending hundreds of thousands of Israelis fleeing to public and private bomb shelters throughout the country, if and where they exist.

Rockets and missiles continue to be launched into civilian areas on a near-daily basis.

With national security funds being diverted to defense needs and security for schools, officials at Israel’s Ministry of Defense asked Rabbi Eckstein for emergency assistance to purchase more bomb shelters for public areas.

Security programs for Jewish institutions

Since the Lebanon War, the IFCJ has funded the renovations or construction of 2,114 bomb shelters in the north and south regions hit by missile and rocket attacks.

“Our mission is to help the people of Israel in whatever way we can,” Rabbi Eckstein said, “beginning with their need for physical security and sustenance.”

The IFCJ also has committed more than $10 million this year to fund other security efforts in Israel. These include fortification of hospital trauma units where attack victims are treated; assistance to Israel Defense Forces soldiers, including those without families or whose families are in need; and helping soldiers with post-military education and job training programs.

Earlier this year, the IFCJ also provided funds for the renovation of 14 public bomb shelters in Beersheba, and earmarked $450,000 for renovating or building operation command centers in 14 municipalities in terrorist-targeted regions in the north and the south.

A number of municipalities also have received fire and security vehicles, thanks to IFCJ donors, most of whom are evangelical Christians.

As part of its mission to help Jews in need throughout the world, the IFCJ also supports security programs for Jewish institutions in Turkey, Morocco, the former Soviet Union, and other regions where Jewish schools, synagogues, and communities have been the target of terror attacks and bomb threats.,7340,L-4115749,00.html

Shas rabbi: God has no respect for Turkey

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef dismisses diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Jerusalem, expresses his hope that God 'will defeat all of Israel's enemies'
Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 09.11.11, 14:29 / Israel Jewish Scene

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef gives Turkey a "blessing": In his weekly sermon Saturday night, Shas' spiritual leader dismissed theescalating crisis between Ankara and Jerusalem and expressed his hope that the fate of "Israel's enemies" will be similar to that of their predecessors throughout history.

The rabbi concluded the sermon, which dealt with the "Ki Teitzei" Torah portion and matters relating to Elul – the month of mercy and Selichot, with the following statement: "Turkey, Burkey, God Almighty couldn't care less about them.

Controversial Statements
Rabbi Yosef: Doctors kill the living / Kobi Nahshoni
In weekly sermon, Shas' spiritual leader recalls how mothers he convinced not to have abortions gave birth to healthy babies
Full story
"It's all nonsense. If God lays his hands on them for one moment – they'll be made miserable in a minute. We believe in the salvation of God Almighty. We have God Almighty and we are his sons. The one who defeated Pharaoh, Egypt and Haman – will defeat all of Israel's enemies."

Every Saturday evening, Rabbi Yosef discusses halachic issues and the weekly Torah portion, often addressing current events as well – mostly without political correctness considerations.

Two of the rabbi's statements have sparked a lot of anger, and even diplomatic tensions. Last Year, ahead of Rosh Hashana, Yosef wished death on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his people, who he called "evil enemies of Israel."

The rabbi mentioned the blessing said at the Jewish New Year feast that states, "May our enemies and adversaries be destroyed," and applied it to the current situation. "Abu Mazen (Abbas) and all those evil men – may they perish from this world. May God Almighty strike them and these Palestinians."

In December, Yosef impliedthat the fire raging on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, which left dozens of wardens and firefighters dead, was a punishment from God for religious offenses committed by the area's residents.

The rabbi read a section from the Babylonian Talmud, which states that "the fire only exists in a place where Shabbat is desecrated." He recommended that people "study Torah, engage in good deeds, repent, observe Shabbat, and know the entire Halacha, and thanks to this God will apply a full recovery.,7340,L-4120610,00.html

Rabbis to IDF: Solve women's singing issue

In traditional meeting ahead of High Holidays, Israel's chief rabbis urge army chief to let religious soldiers avoid listening to women sing without being forced to disobey orders. They also condemn 'price tag' incident at IDF base

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 09.12.11, 08:51 / Israel Jewish Scene

Israel's chief rabbis have called on IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantzto find a solution which would allow religious soldiers to avoid listening to women sing without being forced to disobey their commanders' orders.

During a meeting held Sunday at the Chief Rabbinate office, Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar told Lieutenant-General Gantz that they expected commanders to let every soldier leave a military event which includes women's singing, if listening to it contradicts his religious belief.

Cost of Protest
Cadets dismissed over woman's song / Kobi Nahshoni
Four of nine troops who left training base auditorium in protest of female soldier's performance dismissed from officers' course. Rabbi Drukman slams army's 'immoral decision'
Full story
The three sat down for the traditional meeting between the chief rabbis and IDF chief, held every year before the High Holidays. Gantz briefed Amar and Metzger on the security challenges the army is dealing with, and stated that the IDF would accomplish all of its missions on all fronts as long as the people of Israel remain united.

The rabbis responded by saying that they would do all in their power to maintain such unity, but that they expected the army to do the same.

The army chief agreed that the clash between commands and Halacha required a solution, and said he planned to discuss the issue with Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz.

הרמטכ"ל גנץ עם הרבנים הראשיים עמאר ומצגר (צילום: דובר צה"ל)
Gantz with Rabbis Metzger (R) and Amar (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office)

At the end of the meeting, the rabbis gave Gantz a shofar and wished him a happy new year. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the "price tag" incident against IDF forces in Judea and Samaria last week, noting that "this is not the way of tradition and the Jewish religion."
Gantz gave the rabbis a silver-made pomegranate.

High Court to discuss dismissal?

The row over women's singing in the army made headlines last week following an incident which took place at an officers' course in an IDF training base. Nine religious cadets who walked out of a military event as a female soldier began singing solo.

Four of the nine cadets were dismissed on Thursday, while the remaining five will continue the course after managing to convince the committee that the move had not been preplanned.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel threatened to petition the High Court of Justice following the dismissal. The Forum's representative, Attorney Yitzhak Bam, sent a letter to Gantz and to Chief Military Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit, claiming that "the right of every soldier, cadet and officer to maintain his religious belief is one of the foundations of a democratic society."

The letter also claimed that the commander's response to the cadets' conduct 'cause unbearable damage to the soldiers' faith which has a disastrous meaning.",7340,L-4120830,00.html

Perhaps Israelis need humiliation to respect others

  • Published 05:25 09.09.11
  • Latest update 05:25 09.09.11

Israel should view the harassment of Israeli Turkish Airlines passengers humbly as it serves as an embarrassing reflection on us.

Haaretz Editorial
The Israeli response that has followed the harassment of Israeli Turkish Airlines passengers who experienced detention and intrusive body searches upon their arrival at Istanbul airport on Monday, borders on hysteria and hypocrisy. The incident was blown out of all proportion and immediately became an additional and unnecessary chapter in the friction between Turkey and Israel.
There is no doubt about the fact that the conduct of Istanbul airport authorities was improper, and it is unforgivable - even if it was the result of retaliation for similar treatment Israeli authorities accorded Turkish air travelers. Nonetheless, Israeli citizens, and even more so the Israeli government and the Israel Airports Authority, should view it more humbly inasmuch as it serves as an embarrassing reflection on us.
The security check that Turkish citizens - and passengers from other countries with a Muslim majority - experience as they travel through Israel is stringent, overbearing and humiliating. Israeli citizens have gotten used to taking off for Turkey without the need for a visa, enjoying the hospitality of Turkish tourism services and vacationing in their multitudes in Turkish cities, villages and beach resorts without any restriction. Turks seeking to come to Israel for a visit, however, have had to go through a real ordeal, beginning at the Israeli consulate, where on occasion they get turned down without explanation, and later - assuming they get a visa - ending with an exhausting and humiliating airport security check.
The State of Israel has never apologized to these visitors and has never thought they deserved compensation for the lost time and the insult. Israel doesn't bother at all to explain its offensive security inspection procedures. To this day, it has not provided a proper response to the High Court of Justice, which demanded an explanation over the blatant discrimination experienced by Israeli Arabs before they board flights here.
In recent years, Israeli Arabs have complained about the treatment they receive, which has far exceeded the limits that can be explained by security needs. This includes intrusive body searches, unbearable delays and questioning on matters that have nothing to do with the flight. Most of the airport's passengers ignore the outrageous discrimination, or are not even aware of it. Perhaps now, having tasted the bitterness of this humiliation, they will no longer take it for granted.

French JDL recruiting Jews with military experience to 'defend' Israeli settlements

  • Published 19:12 11.09.11
  • Latest update 19:12 11.09.11

Rightist group, founded by late Rabbi Meir Kahane, is bringing volunteers to counter Palestinian marches on settlements planned for week of September 20.

By Danna Harman
An extreme right-wing Jewish group in France is recruiting Jews with military experience for a solidarity mission to Israel in order to help “defend” Jewish settlements in the West Bank from Palestinian protesters who are expected to march toward some of them on or around September 20. 

The organization that put out the call for militant Jews is the French branch of the Jewish Defense League, or Kach, an organization established by Meir Kahane in the late 1960s and banned in the United States and Israel, but tolerated in France.
According to a spokesman for La Ligue de Defense Juive, the mission will take place between the 19th and 25th of September and will be made up of five groups of eleven people each, who will take “positions” in five different West Bank settlements. All expenses for the participants have been paid for by French donors that the group declined to identify.
Beitar Jerusalem supporters with Kach flag
Beitar Jerusalem supporters holding the flag of Meir Kahane's Kach movement.
Photo by: Haggai Aharon
The participants, French men and women between the ages of 23 and 34, all have military training, which was a prerequisite for joining the mission, says Amnon Cohen, a spokesman for the group, who himself was a soldier in the French Foreign Legion for 15 years. The plan, says Cohen, is not to “provoke the Arabs,” but rather to “be on hand in case the settlements need our help with defense if the Arabs attack… at this precarious time.”
In the U.S., the JDL is considered to be a violent, racist and extremist organization, and is on the FBI’s list of terrorist groups. Similarly, in Israel, the JDL’s sister movement Kach, as well as its offshoot Kahane Lives – whose stated goals included the violent expulsion of Arabs from the country-- were both outlawed in 1994, on the grounds that they were terror organizations, and as such, a threat to state security.
Over the years, LDJ has participated in a number of demonstrations in France, some of them violent. The group has protested a speaking event of an author known for anti-Israel views, a performance of a well known comic critical of Israel, a photography exhibit showing pictures of victims of war in Gaza, and the offices of various news organizations that the group believes to be biased against Israel.
The LDJ demonstrated against Palestinian politician Marwan Bargouti when was honored by a local municipality and also mounted a protest outside the Percy hospital when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was brought there for treatment, chanting: “Arafat, bastard, the Jews will have your skin.” Over the years, various leaders of the organization have clashed with the police and several have been arrested – but the group has not been outlawed.
The LDJ had no trouble organizing logistics for its upcoming mission to Israel, says Cohen, and everything has already been coordinated in advance with the five settlements that are awaiting their arrival. The participants will not fly to Israel as a group, added Cohen, but rather are coming on different days, independently of one another, leaving from Paris and Nice. Some of the group have already arrived in Israel, he said.

Israel is paying for Gaza war with Turkey and Egypt crises

  • Published 00:34 11.09.11
  • Latest update 00:34 11.09.11

During that fateful Hanukkah, the Israel Defense Forces attacked failing to see that war on their televisions as people saw it in Istanbul and Cairo.

By Gideon Levy
During Hanukkah 2008, Israel attacked Gaza in Operation Cast Lead. Now it is eating the bitter fruit of that operation, which was the turning point in the attitude of the world and the region toward Israel and its belligerent and violent policies. The shock waves take time to arrive, but now they are coming, and they are big. Every day has new dangers. Some are the result of Israel's actions, its aggression, its euphoria, its arrogance and carelessness. The outcome: The only two countries that ever accepted it in the region, Turkey and Egypt, are burning their relations with Israel. The first was via a government decision, the second that of an angry mob.

During that fateful Hanukkah, the Israel Defense Forces attacked Gaza and its defenseless population. Israelis did not see that war on their televisions as people saw it in Istanbul and Cairo. Here they made do with an army of pundits who reported fighting in Gaza when there was almost none. Here they hid from us most of the horrific pictures that were broadcast elsewhere in the world - including, of course, Istanbul and Cairo. At the time, they only counted the numbers of the (many) Palestinian dead and the numbers of the (few) Israelis, and therefore the operation was seen as a colossal military, diplomatic and even moral success.
IDF soldiers during Gaza war
IDF soldiers during Operation Cast Lead.
Photo by: AP
But it was a resounding failure. What is happening now in Egypt and Turkey must be added to the balance of Operation Cast Lead. Not that it's all because of Cast Lead. Hatred for Israel flared before it, but Cast Lead was the turning point when a good deal of the world reversed its attitude toward Israel.
Not that everything was Israel's fault, but its governments - both former and current - have done too little to lower the flames and a great deal to raise them. Yes to settlements and no to peace arrangements; no to apologies and yes to a light trigger finger for Sinai and the Mavi Marmara. As British journalist Robert Fisk put it so well on Saturday: "Israel thinks too little and shoots too much."
The decline in relations with Turkey doubtless began following Operation Cast Lead. The attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo came at first following the killing of the five Egyptian soldiers by Israel last month, but was spurred by Israel's deteriorating ties with Turkey. Last week it was clear that if Turkey is all but cutting its relations with Israel, Egypt cannot stand by and do nothing.
In the new Egypt the street speaks, and the street had its violent and unequivocal say over the weekend. This is the street that had practically nothing against Israel during the Tahrir uprising in the spring, but after the killing of the five soldiers, Israel's lack of apology for doing so and the Turkish fiasco, it is coming out against Israel now.
The street saw the brutal scenes from Operation Cast Lead not shown in Israel, and they became enemies, more than ever. Then came the attack on the Mavi Marmara, a miniature version of Operation Cast Lead.
The former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, the current defense minister, Ehud Barak, and the former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, should be held accountable for the diplomatic destruction they brought on Israel.
A very dangerous fire broke out in the shabby office building where, until Friday, Israel had its embassy. That is black news. The original sin: Operation Cast Lead.


Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them ten years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?
Ten years ago today America was attacked. Civilians died. Ten years later it is still making headline news….
Gaza is attacked every day. Civilians die every day. It never makes headline news in the West. It’s as if it never happens…. BUT IT DOES.
pro Palestinian blogger posted the following this morning, it says it all!

Dear America, your 9/11 is our 24/7.

Sincerely, Palestine.

That’s the entire post, short and very much to the point.
The plight of those in Gaza and the rest of Palestine is not only omitted in the media, it is hidden from the eyes of the Western population altogether. Palestine, Gaza in particular, simply does not exist.
The suffering of the children, in particular, is hidden from the public eye as can be seen in the following which was sent to me this morning by;

The Children Lose, Again

by Abby Zimet
A California museum has cancelled an exhibit of art by Palestinian kids in Gaza, reportedly after pressure from pro-Israel groups in the Bay Area. The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland had been working for months with the Middle East Children’s Alliance on the project, “A Child’s View of Gaza,” set to open in two weeks. Does it really need to be said: Kids shouldn’t have to pay for the appalling cruelty and stupidity of adults. Look at this art.
“The only winners here are those who spend millions of dollars censoring any criticism of Israel and silencing the voices of children who live every day under military siege and occupation.” – Barbara Lubin of MECA.
Also see THIS report
Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them ten years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?
The photos in THIS link speak volumes about that hatred… DON’T click on the link if you are weak at heart, they will make you sick!
Again, why does America refuse to publicise those photos? They represent the reality that Gazans have to live with every day of their lives. For Gazans, every day is 9/11.
Here is Carlos Latuff’s take on 9/11