Jewishupdates's Blog

January 11, 2010

A7News: McCain, Lieberman: Congress Will Not Freeze Aid to Israel

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 2:01 pm

logo.jpgTevet 25, 5770 / Monday, Jan. 11 ’10

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Headlines

  1. McCain, Lieberman: Congress Will Not Freeze Aid to Israel
  2. Egyptian Border Fence Aimed at Flood of Illegal Immigrants
  3. Double Joy: Prayer at Temple Mount Before Daughter Weds
  4. Israel Sends ‘Bombing Message’ to Hamas after Rocket Attacks
  5. Canadian Girl ‘At Home’ as IDF Combat Soldier
  6. Jimmy Carter is a ‘Liar,’ Charges ZOA
  7. Saudi Preacher: No-Fly to US to Protest Anti-Terrorist Checks
  8. Forward-Looking Farewells to Wallerstein

1. McCain, Lieberman: Congress Will Not Freeze Aid to Israel

by IsraelNN Staff

Four U.S. senators, including White House hopefuls John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, and Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, vowed during a visit to Israel Sunday that Congress would not approve cutting loan guarantees to the Jewish State. They were reacting to U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who proposed the option during an interview with American television journalist Charlie Rose.

Mitchell later denied that he made a threat or an “implied threat" although a transcript of the interview states, “Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel. President George W. Bush did so…on one occasion… That’s one mechanism that’s been publicly discussed.”

Republican Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Thune of South Dakota agreed with McCain and Lieberman that “any attempt to force Israel to negotiate by denying Israel’s support will not pass the U.S. Congress.”

All four senators are wrapping up a trip that has taken them to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Israel.

Senators McCain and Lieberman also visited the Western Wall (Kotel), where they were hosted by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz. They reminded Rabbi Rabinowitz of their visit to the Wall and the Western Wall Tunnels a year ago. McCain said he learned then of the deep bonds linking the Jewish People with the holy site. The rabbi showed them the most recent archaeological finds in the area.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with all four of the visiting Senators in Jerusalem earlier in the day. “I am happy to meet with these Senate leaders and old friends of Israel who have proven their support at difficult moments,” Barak said. “I am confident that Israel will continue to enjoy their support in all situations in the future."

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2. Egyptian Border Fence Aimed at Flood of Illegal Immigrants

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The Cabinet on Sunday approved the construction of two sections of fence at the Egyptian border aimed at preventing terrorist infiltration and a flood of illegal African immigrants. The cost of the 155-mile long barriers will be approximately $1.5 billion.

The fences will stretch from the southern tip of Eilat and west from near the border city of Rafiah. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Cabinet ministers that Israel will continue to accept refugees from Darfur but will not allow the continued infiltration of thousands of illegal Sudanese.

Their presence at the Dead Sea hotel area and in the Negev city of Arad has forced many Israelis out of work and has added to the growing Bedouin population boom that threatens to create a non-Jewish majority in southern Israel.

The fence also would keep out terrorists as well as drug smugglers and human slave traders. Areas not closed with a physical fence will be patrolled with technological devices.

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3. Double Joy: Prayer at Temple Mount Before Daughter Weds

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick won a seven-month battle on Sunday and prayed at the holy site with his 19-year-old daughter, just hours before she married in a ceremony in Bnei Brak. He told Israel National News they prayed at the site and were escorted by two policemen and another guard.

“According to the law, you can pray on the Temple Mount, but cannot ‘demonstrate’ by moving the body in a fashion that indicates praying or by holding a prayer book,” he explained. “I can stand and move my lips. They are not going to read my lips to know what I am saying.”

Nevertheless, one of the policemen filmed him and his daughter for 20 minutes. Glick revealed that he prayed for the safe release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit and American prisoner-for-life Jonathan Pollard. “I also praised the A-lmighty and prayed that all Jews visit the Temple Mount," he added.

Glick, former head of the Templebased on allegations that his appearance would provoke violence among Muslims. Glick maintains that Arabs “know me Mount Institute that has re-created many of the holy items used in ancient sacrifices, said that police consider Jews as strangers on the Temple Mount, but that if more Jews visit, the situation will change.

Police had prevented him from visiting the holy site and have a good relationship with me. I wish the police would have the same relationship, but they do not like me.” There were no disturbances during the visit by Glick and his daughter.

The High Court previously accepted Glick’s petition charging police with discrimination, and the justices ordered that he be allowed to visit the Temple Mount. Police refused to honor the order, however, and he filed two more petitions with the court. Finally, two weeks ago, the court set December 26 as a final date for police cooperation.

After several meetings between the police and Glick, he finally was allowed to visit late Thursday, when it was too late to make the necessary Halakhic (Jewish ritual) preparations. Jews are prohibited from the Temple Mount on Friday, the Muslim holy day of the week, and the next possible date was Sunday, the eve of his daughter’s marriage.

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4. Israel Sends ‘Bombing Message’ to Hamas after Rocket Attacks

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Gaza-based terrorists continued to test Israel’s determination to stop rocket and mortar shelling attacks and were met with another aerial strafing on Sunday following more strikes on the Western Negev. At least two Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed. None of the mortar shells and rockets caused any injuries or damage. The IDF denied Arab claims that soldiers fired at and killed two terrorists in a shooting clash.

Awad Abu Nasir, one of the operatives killed, was one of the terror organization’s senior field commanders and is known to be behind dozens of bombing and gunfire attacks. The Air Force also targeted and identified hitting a squad of terror operatives who were preparing to fire rockets from the central Gaza strip into Israel, military spokesmen said.

They noted that Hamas and allied terrorists have attacked Israel with more than 300 rockets and mortars since the end of Operation Cast Lead last year. Last week, the Air Force struck terrorist tunnels and a weapons factory in central and southern Gaza in the strongest show of force since Cast Lead.

The IDF vowed it “will not tolerate the firing of rockets by terrorist organizations at Israel and will continue to respond against any attempt to disrupt the calm in Israel’s southern communities.” The aerial attack, the second in three days, followed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s warning earlier on Sunday of a “powerful” response to continued attacks.

He told the Cabinet Sunday morning, “Iran smuggles in missiles and rockets" into Gaza.”

Foreign media noted that the escalation of violence from Gaza may complicate efforts by the United States to pressure the Palestinian Authority and Israel for a resumption in talks towards the creation of a new PA state within Israel’s current borders.

Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas continues to violate previous agreements by encouraging incitement against Israel. Last week. Abbas used the term “martyrs” to describe three terrorists killed by the IDF after they murdered a rabbi in Samaria.

The Prime Minister also noted that the PA named a public square for a terrorist involved in a lethal 1978 bus attack in Israel.

“Incitement continues in the Palestinian media and education system, in its official media outlets and in the schools under its supervision," he said. "These serious actions represent a harsh violation of the Palestinians’ international obligations. This is not how peace is made. Peace is made by educating towards reconciliation, by encouraging good neighborly relations and by developing mutual respect."

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5. Canadian Girl ‘At Home’ as IDF Combat Soldier

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A Canadian girl whose great grandfather was one of the leading Zionist kibbutz pioneers has returned to her Israeli roots and now is serving as a combat soldier in the IDF. “I always felt that Israel was my place, that I needed to be here," IDF Pvt. Estelle Tabenkin told IDF spokeswoman Rotem Caro Weizman.

Yitzchak Tabenkin was one of the founders of a social Zionist party and the Mapam party, which David Ben-Gurion headed as Israel’s first Prime Minister. His grandson met a Jamaican Jew vacationing in Israel and eventually moved to Vancouver, Canada. They spoke Hebrew at home and frequently visited Israel, and their daughter Estelle decided to return to her roots and study at Tel Aviv University where her famous last name quickly attracted attention.

"It was a little weird that I had only just arrived here and people knew things about my family; it also happens in the army sometimes," she says. "I think that by the time I had been here for one month, I decided that I would definitely want to immigrate."

Immigrant friends from the Garin Tzabar pre-military service program for Diaspora Jews convinced her to enlist, and Estelle decided to leave her studies and part company with her home in Canada to join the group.

Her mother was not happy about her leaving Canada, but Estelle says she, as well as her father, supported her decision. Estelle decided that she wanted to become a combat soldier and joined the Home Front Command Search and Rescue Company.

"Sometimes it’s hard physically, but it feels so great to me," she said. I do things that I would never have dreamed of doing, like marches or shooting. I saw completely new things. Where else in the world would I be able to do things like that?

"My dad always told me about his grandfather and also his uncle Yosef Tabenkin, who was one of the commanders of the Palmach pre-State military, and now I feel that I am doing what they did and fighting for the same principles," she explains.

"In 2008, I was a participant on the March of the Living and it really touched me, as did the book Exodus and the stories of the Jewish immigrants during the British mandate in Israel. I know that even if it’s a bit difficult for me now, in the past people did much more difficult things than what I’m doing now, and at a much younger age," she says with tears in her eyes.

Pvt. Tabenkin says she feels as though she is “in a movie” after having holding a rifle in her hands during her swearing-in ceremony. “The fact that I am a combat soldier makes me feel even better. I am loving every second in Israel and in the IDF.”

Her off-base home is at Kibbutz Yizrael, a neighbor of Kibbutz Ein Harod that the Tabenkin family helped found. One of the family descendants on the kibbutz was active in the protests supporting the mostly religious Jewish residents of Gush Katif. He said at the time that the government expulsion program contradicted Zionist values.

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6. Jimmy Carter is a ‘Liar,’ Charges ZOA

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has labeled former U.S. President Jimmy Carter a “liar” for apologizing for slandering Israel and then continuing to spread “false statements” against the Jewish State. The unusually sharp condemnation of a former American president also included a swipe at other Jewish organizations in the United States that praised Carter for his apology.

In an open letter meant to the Jewish community in December, Carter wrote, "We must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel. As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het [the Jewish prayer in which worshippers remind themselves of sins] for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so."

However, the ZOA charged that on virtually the same day Carter delivered his apology, he wrote in the London Guardian that the Hamas terrorist organization should be accepted. Carter also declared, “Israel has long argued that it cannot negotiate with terrorists, yet has had an entire year without terrorism and still could not negotiate.”

The pro-Israel ZOA stated, “The Carter opinion piece defaming and stigmatizing Israel on the same day he supposedly apologized for it makes it clear that Jimmy Carter is simply a liar whose words of reconciliation can never be accepted.”

The organization also called on the Anti-Defamation League, Simon Wiesenthal Center and the National Jewish Democratic Committee to withdraw their support for Carter’s apology. ADL director Abe Foxman previously said that Carter should be "congratulated and encouraged” for his apology but also added, "Only time will tell. There certainly was a lot of hurt, a lot of angry words that need to be repaired. But this is a good start."

Morton A. Klein, president of the ZOA, stated that “a careful reading of Jimmy Carter’s supposed apology reveals that in fact he retracts not a single one of his hostile words and deeds against Israel over three decades, but on the contrary reaffirms their correctness. Now he adds insult to injury by purporting to have apologized for his hostile words and deeds while continuing to add to their number. The former President’s cynicism knows no bounds.

“He speaks of a year free of anti-Israel terrorism, ignoring not only continuing Palestinian assaults – like the murder by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah of [a rabbi last month], for which deed Abbas and the PA honored the terrorists who committed this foul deed – but the hundreds of assaults that Israeli forces prevent week after week. He ignores continuous Israeli efforts to negotiate with the PA, which the PA has consistently rebuffed, but fails to criticize the PA.

“Jewish and Christian Zionist leaders should repudiate his spurious apology for the sham that it so clearly is.”

Klein also said Carter may have had an ulterior motive for his apology in order to assist “the electoral prospects of his grandson, Jason, who is running for Congress in a district of Georgia with a Jewish population.”

(ed note: INN published CAMERA’s and Gerald Honigman’s skeptical responses to the "apology" at the time, including the information about his grandson’s campaign in Georgia)

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7. Saudi Preacher: No-Fly to US to Protest Anti-Terrorist Checks

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A noted Saudi preacher has called on Arabs to stop flying to the United States, in protest of “enhanced screening” procedures aimed at catching terrorists, the Dubai business website Zawya.com reported.

Muslim preacher Sheikh Sulaiman al Dowaish has urged Saudi authorities to consider the travel ban following an announcement by the United States that “enhanced screening" measures will be put into place for passengers from 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia.

The extra steps were taken after last month’s attempt by a Nigerian Muslim to detonate a bomb on board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry has asked the Obama administration for clarifications regarding the new security measures. Officials said the oil-rich kingdom would not tolerate security procedures that tarnish the honor and dignity of Saudis.

The website noted that 22,000 students from Saudi Arabia are learning at American universities

Saudi security researcher Sultan Al Anqari blasted the new U.S. regulation, telling GulfNews.com that the Obama government is resorting to a form of political blackmail against Saudi Arabia because of the country’s anti-Israeli policies.

"It is part of a collective punishment against the Saudis, who are also victims of the wrong doing of some deviant people," he said.

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8. Forward-Looking Farewells to Wallerstein

by Hillel Fendel

The resignation of long-time settlement enterprise leader Pinchas Wallerstein has been greeted with a mixture of appreciation for his significant contributions and hopes that his successors will fight more strongly against government decrees.

He Didn’t Read the Map Correctly
MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), leader of the National Union party: He has many great merits in building the Land of Israel, but his inappropriateness for this job at this time is evident in the headlines regarding his resignation. He is quoted all over as saying, ‘The IDF must not be harmed’ – instead of saying, ‘The settlement enterprise must not be harmed.’ He should have resigned after the destruction of Gush Katif, when the government took advantage of his weakness and confusion in not knowing what was the main thing and what was secondary.

"He did not consult with rabbis, did not read the map correctly, did not realize that the settlement public is strong and growing stronger and does not feel the need to apologize all the time. I am confident that a replacement will be found for him who will embody a love for the Land of Israel, for the IDF, for the settlements, for the Torah – for everything all at once, and not just for one part over the other.”

New Leadership is Required
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said: “Pinchas Wallerstein’s resignation from the leadership of Yesha (Judea and Samaria) after a long period rich in his contributions and merits is another stage in the change in Yesha leadership, which began with the grave failure of the Disengagement. In the coming period, we can expect very difficult struggles, as the government of Israel intends to begin negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel, or a second disengagement, a total freeze on construction, destruction of towns and expulsion of myriads of residents. In such a period, we need a new and different leadership.”

“This is the time to thank Wallerstein,” Eldad said, “for his long and dedicated service on behalf of the nation and the land, and to study the failures of the past, and to begin a new struggle.”

Preferred to Act, Not Yell
MK Uri Orbach (Jewish Home) said: “Wallerstein’s contribution to the settlement enterprise will be remembered for generations. Instead of provocative and vulgar yelling, he always preferred quiet and deep-rooted actions. I hope that the Yesha Council will be smart enough to find a worthy replacement.”

Come Join Me
MK Otniel Schneller, a fellow resident of Wallerstein in a southern Shomron community and also a former Yesha Council director, but who is now a Knesset Member of the centrist-left Kadima party, invited Wallerstein to join him: “I invite Pinchas to be a partner in the attempt to connect from outside the Yesha Council. He well understands the importance of connecting the settlement enterprise with the entire nation, and it is said that those who know how to make these links are leaving the settlement leadership. I invite him to join us in our public work.”

Time to Stop the National Retreat
David Ha’Ivri, director of the Shomron Liaison Office in the Shomron Regional Council, said: "Pinchas Wallerstein deserves much credit for building the Binyamin region, but his type of leadership totally failed in saving Gush Katif and the communities in northern Samaria that were demolished in the 2005 Disengagement. If we hope to prevent the Jews of Judea and Samaria from joining the homeless refugees of Gush Katif, we must bring about a change of leadership. It is time to revolutionize the Yesha Council and help it lead the way towards influencing national policy and stop the ongoing national retreat from our land and values."

No More "Love Will Win"
Itamar Ben-Gvir of Hevron, a veteran settlement activist, said, “I hope this symbolizes the end of the ‘I have love and it will win’ approach. Pinchas has many merits in fighting for and developing the Land of Israel, and Judea and Samaria, but we will win the fight against Netanyahu’s decrees only by fighting tooth-and-nail and not by compromising with this construction-freeze government.”

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