Sunday, December 8, 2013

Israel headlines: Dec 6-7, 2013 Mandela, peace and Temple Mount

Hundreds of headlines appear each day in Israel. Over the course of 24 hours, headlines ricochet back-and-forth between dozens of topics.

How do you make sense of it all?

In this report, you’ll see a way to make sense of and discover patterns appearing within the news. You'll find an organized selection of headlines from Israel’s press. Then you’ll see comments.

Today, we look at—and comment on—headlines for December 6-7, 2013.


The war against Israel

 -Liberman: Israel not ‘occupying’ West Bank, peace talks won’t work (12/7/13 Times of Israel)

-Favorite Course of Terrorists in Israeli Jails – Genocide (12/6/13 Arutz Sheva)

-Released Terrorists Reveal No Regret, Fun in Jail (late 12/5/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Poll: 87.5% of Israelis Don't Believe in Current Peace Talks (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Poll: Only 6% Expect a Peace Agreement with PA (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Lieberman at Saban Forum: Peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is unlikely ( 12/7/13 Haaretz)

-Abbas: We won't forget Mandela said revolution incomplete until Palestinians are free (12/6/13, Haaretz)

-PA Leaders Use Mandela's Death to Slam 'Occupation' (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Gaza 'Collaborator' Sentenced to Death by Hanging(12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)


Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders like to declare they want Palestinians to be free. They rail against Israel’s ‘occupation.’ Now, they used the death of Nelson Mandela to slam Israel and promote their ‘cause.’

Mandela has been useful to Mahmoud Abbas. Mandela once said, “if the Palestinians are not free, no one is free”. It’s a catchy phrase which, as you’ll see below, is untrue. But it’s been used anyway by Israel-haters to demonize Israel.

Mandela seems to have loved the ‘Palestinians.’ He once described the late PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, as, "one of the outstanding freedom fighters of his generation” (Elad Benari, “PA Leaders Use Mandela's Death to Slam 'Occupation'”,  cited above).

You know, freedom is wonderful. Everyone wants it. Everyone loves it. But Mandela’s call to ‘free Palestine’—and his praise of Arafat as a great ‘freedom’ fighter—are blots on his supposed nobility.  They stain his reputation because his words are not true.

We know they’re not true because we know how Arabs who live in Gaza are treated. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Gaza treats its people in a manner best described as, ‘abusive’.  One example of this abuse shows up in Gaza’s judicial system. Arabs are too often executed (murdered?) by authorities after secret proceedings.

Israel doesn’t do that.

We also know how Arabs who live in PA-controlled areas are treated—harshly—with limited freedoms and many abuses, according to HRW.

HRW reports that Gaza and the PA torture prisoners. Both limit and/or prohibit a number of freedoms.

 Arabs in Gaza and the PA are not free. If Mandela wanted to see ‘free Palestinians’, he should have called upon Arafat to put aside the ways of the tyrant. He should have said, ‘follow Israel’s example’.

Arabs have more rights and freedoms—plus better medical care and educational opportunities-- in Israel than in any other Middle East country. Israel is not perfect. But it’s a lot more perfect than any of its Arab neighbours.

Apparently, Mandela didn’t do his research. Instead, he drank the ‘kool-aid’. He accepted the poisonous propaganda of the Arafat-inspired war against Israel. He allowed his name to be associated with lies.

That’s not moral nobility. It’s more like the corruption of what was once noble.


-Palestinians throw firebomb near the Gaza border fence near Kfar Aza; no casualties (12/6/13, Haaretz)

-Gaza: Rockets aimed at Israel explode in Palestinian territory (12/7/13, Ynet)

-2 Rockets Fired Into Israel From Gaza; No Injuries Reported (12/7/12, Arutz Sheva)

-IDF: Friday’s explosion near Syrian border – intentional (12/7/13, Ynet)


While the so-called ‘peace talks’ unfold, we should wonder how Arabs feel about peace prospects. After all, if peace comes, they’ll benefit, won’t they?

We might learn a lot about Arab intent from his actions—his behaviour. Arabs are no different from anyone else: their actions speak louder than words.  

In just the two days of this news cycle, we saw how Arabs react to the prospect of peace with Israel: they continue to attack Israel.

 Specifically, they fired rockets into Israel, hurled a firebomb at a Jewish village and detonated a massive explosive device inside Israel near the Syrian border. Each of these assaults is a serious violation of Israel’s sovereignty—and an attack against Israel’s right to live in safety. These attacks are not peaceful. In fact, the explosive device at the Syrian border is a new and troubling incident. It marks what some feel is a severe escalation in tension at the Syria-Israel border.  

What does this violence and anti-Israel aggression tell you about peace prospects?


-Canadian church launches boycott of West Bank goods (12/6/13, Times of Israel)

Canada’s largest Protestant Church has been talking about boycotting Israel products on behalf of ‘Palestinian justice’ for some time. Now, it has started its promised boycott. To support the ‘Palestinian’s’ struggle to remove Israeli ‘occupation’ from Judea-Samaria, Canada’s largest Protestant congregation now encourages ‘economic action’ against Israeli companies, starting today with Keter Plastic, SodaStream and Ahava.

This appears to be a questionable use of a Church’s moral authority. If the Church remains silent in the face of attacks against Jews while it supports punitive actions against the Jewish State, it suggests that the means (attempts to kill Jews) justifies the ends (getting Israel out of Judea-Samaria).

I thought that the first lesson of moral behaviour for a moral society is that the means do not justify the ends. Has the Church in Canada decided to turn morality on its head?



The Arab Middle East

-Syrian Opposition Claims Assad Used Chemical Weapons Again (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-All Syrian chemical weapons munitions destroyed, says watchdog  (12/6/13, Haaretz)

-Syrian airstrikes on rebel-held city Raqqa kill 12 (12/7/13, Haaret)

-Syria regime kills 17 in Nabuk  12/713,  Ynet)

-Group of Syrian nuns abducted by rebels appear in video broadcast on Al-Jazeera   12/6/13, Haaretz)

-Yemen: 6 dead in raids to catch perpetrators of Thursday's ministry attack   12/613, Haaretz)

-Al-Qaida branch claims attack in Yemen (12/6/13 Haaretz)

-Islamists demand fall of Libyan government, end to oil blockades  (12/6/12, Haaretz)

-Gunmen attack liquor stores in Baghdad, killing nine 12/713,Ynet)

-2 bombings kill 4 people in Iraq  12/7/13, Ynet)


The killings and destruction continue in the Arab Middle East. Arabs in the Palestinian Authority (PA) suggest to the West that they want peace. But their brothers just up the road can’t stop killing each other. In Yemen, Libya, Syria and Iraq, at least 35 people were killed in just two days.

Shouldn’t such perpetual violence raise questions about the Arab’s capacity to live in peace? Does such widespread violence suggest a tendency to prefer destruction over peace?

Shouldn’t we be asking these questions?



The Temple Mount

-Muslims Riot on the Temple Mount (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Tension at Temple Mount is escalating week by week (12/7/13, Times of Israel)


Judaism’s holiest site is the Temple Mount. According to a 1994 Treaty between Jordan and Israel, both Jordan and Israel have committed to allow free access—and freedom of worship-- to Jews, Christians and Muslims to all Holy sites.  Jordan has the responsibility to administer the Temple area---through the Muslim Waqf. However, despite the Treaty, both Jordan and the Waqf regularly denounce any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.

That’s a problem. If Jordan has signed a Treaty to allow freedom of access and worship to Jews, shouldn’t they defend the terms of that Treaty?

They do not defend what they have agreed to defend. As a result, the Temple Mount is now talking its place in the region as a war zone. There hasn’t been a lot of fighting there—so far. But Arabs and their Jewish sympathizers ignore the Treaty. If fighting accelerates, there will be blood on their hands.

The blood will be their responsibility because they refuse to defend the agreed-upon freedom of worship. Instead, they demonize Jews who wish to ascend the Mount.

In the Middle East, religion is a big deal. Everyone knows how important one’s religion is. Such disrespect to the Jewish religion is unforgiveable—and, by Treaty, potentially illegal.

Jewish political leadership—and leadership in the police, civil administration and criminal justice system--have abrogated their responsibility. They are supposed to uphold and protect a signed Peace Treaty. Their abrogation of that responsibility should be offensive to all who love freedom.

Where is Israel’s Left? They are always the first to cry out for freedom. Why don’t they cry out now?

Why are they silent?



-Iranian UN Ambassador Doesn't Recognize Israel

-Iranian president: Mandela gave freedom a new, glorious meaning (12/6/13, Haaretz)

-Rohani defends Iran's interim nuclear deal (12/713, Ynet

-IAEA: Iran presses ahead with uranium enrichment technology (12/7/13, Haaretz


America and Israel

-Kerry: Israel, PA Closer to Peace Deal than in Years  (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Upon departing Israel, Kerry insists peace deal progress hinges on security (12/6/13 Haaretz) 

-Kerry: Israel security key in peace talks (12/6/13, Ynet)

-Kerry stresses US commitment to Israel’s security (12/7/13,Ynet)

 -Kerry: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel  (12/7/13, Ynet)

-Report: US Accepts Israel's Stance on Jordan Valley (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)

-Kerry: We are closer to peace than we have been in years (12/6/13, Times of Israel)

-Obama takes aim at Israeli positions on Iran (12/7/13,JTA)

-Obama: Iran can have peaceful nuclear program, ‘modest (12/7/13, Times of Israel)

-Obama: ‘My goal is to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapon’ (12/7/13, Times of Israel)

-Obama: Iran will not advance nuclear program (12/7/13, Ynet)

-Palestinians reject Kerry layout for peace (late 12/5/13, Times of Israel)


The Left’s war against Israel

-Herzog: Divide Jerusalem and Make Land Swaps (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)  

-Peretz in Turkey: Arabs Have a Right to Another State (late 12/5/13, Arutz Sheva)


Israel’s business

-Study: Companies with Israel ties added $6.2 billion to Mass. Economy

-Israeli firm’s 4G chips find a home in Verizon tablet (12/6/13, Times of Israel)


There are many headlines to talk about from these last two days.  You can see some of them above. Which of those headlines would you talk about?






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