Jewishupdates's Blog

January 18, 2010

A7News: Huckabee Praises US Aid to Haiti, World Ignores Israel’s

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 2:22 pm

logo.jpgShevat 3, 5770 / Monday, Jan. 18 ’10

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  1. Huckabee Praises US Aid to Haiti, World Ignores Israel’s
  2. Jerusalem Neighborhood Stopped; Councilman Protests
  3. IDF Foils Major Terrorist Attack; Fatah Suspected
  4. Abbas: Only Difference from Hamas Is that Fatah Is in Power
  5. One Dead in Negev Floods as Storm Heads North
  6. Simon the Just, Facebook, and Wheelchairs
  7. Computer Network Terrorism New World Threat
  8. Police to Battle Illegal Weapons at Arab Weddings

1. Huckabee Praises US Aid to Haiti, World Ignores Israel’s

by Hillel Fendel

Mike Huckabee, past and likely future candidate for president of the United States, has praised American efforts in and for Haiti, and lashed out at critics and enemies of the United States who stand by and do nothing. The former Arkansas governor’s remarks brought out in bold relief how Israel’s disproportionate aid to Haiti is ignored by the world.

Speaking on his FoxNews television program, Huckabee noted that “once again, in the face of a horrible human tragedy, it’s Americans who show up first, do the most, and expect the least in return.”

“When it comes to a time of human tragedy,” Huckabee continued, “it’s the United States that will export its most precious commodity – its generosity. Within hours of the horrific earthquake that hit Haiti, Americans were pouring record donations into the relief efforts… The U.S. military dispatched ships, planes and thousands of personnel… American relief workers lined up to go to Haiti and risked death and disease to help people they don’t even know.”

“I realize that other countries are helping and providing resources – but the next time some pipsqueak punk politician like [Venezuelan dictator] Hugo Chavez or Iran’s nutjob of a president Ahmoud Medinajad [sic] whines about how evil we are, we ought to tell them to put up or shut up.”

“… When the earthquake struck, American went to Haiti. As for our critics, they can go to hell.”

As for Israel’s relief efforts to Haiti, they include the following:

  • A field hospital, the only hospital in operation, with 40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children’s ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal department and a maternity ward. The hospital can treat approximately 500 patients each day, and in addition will perform preliminary surgeries.
  • A search-and-rescue team, which has rescued about five people from under the rubble.
  • 220 personnel in total
  • Dozens of truckloads of medical and logistical equipment

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, one of the richest countries in the world, has sent a message of condolence to Haitian President René Préval. Some Arab countries have “pledged” help, such as $1 million pledged from both Kuwait and Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates says it will “shortly” send a plane with humanitarian assistance. Qatar, with the third largest gas reserves and the second highest GDP per capita in the world, has dispatched 50 metric tons of aid to the hundreds of thousands of homeless and injured Haitians.

Latest reports are that the IDF Medical Corps have treated some 200 injured people in Haiti, performed ten life-saving surgeries and saved the lives of 140 others. On Sunday night, a resident of Port-au-Prince gave birth to a boy at the Israeli field hospital. In appreciation and gratitude, his mother decided to name her new son “Israel” in honor of the country that helped her.

See video of new Haitian baby "Israel" and of IDF Rescue of Man in Haiti

The director of the Haiti field hospital, Col. Dr. Itzik Reis, explained that the IDF delegation is also giving assistance "to people from emergency crews from all over the world, who simply are not capable of dealing with everyone who needs help and giving them treatment. For example, when we understood that the Dominican team is not set up to provide full treatment, we created an order by which they stabilize the patients and we give them the remainder of the treatment.”

Other Israeli relief operations in Haiti include:

  • A six-man ZAKA rescue unit, which worked for 38 consecutive hours and succeeded in pulling eight students alive from the rubble of the collapsed university.
  • IsraAID, which sent a planeload of food and medical equipment.
  • "Latet" (To Give) – a 15-member mission to Haiti, including three physicians, three nurses, and three paramedics.

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2. Jerusalem Neighborhood Stopped; Councilman Protests

by Hillel Fendel

Jerusalem Councilman Yair Gabbai demands equal treatment for Jewish neighborhoods in both western and eastern Jerusalem.

A new Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, just a mile away from the Western Wall, has been stopped by the city’s legal counsel, Attorney Yossi Havilio. He ordered all budgeting for the Kidmat Zion project stopped on the grounds that it “paves the way for construction violations.”

In a letter to Havilio, councilman Gabbai writes, “It is unacceptable to have construction of a Jewish neighborhood in the eastern part of the city banned because of supposed legal concerns of this nature, while in [western Jerusalem neighborhood] Rehavia, building is allowed under the same circumstances.”

Gabbai, a member of the city’s National Religious Party faction, threatens to hold up all construction in Rehavia on the grounds that it “paves the way for construction violations,” until the ban is removed from Kidmat Zion.

“Of course we do not object to construction in Rehavia,” Gabbai explained to Arutz-7, “but we demand that Havilio give equal treatment to all. Just as he allows such plans in Rehavia, he must do the same for Kidmat Zion.”

Gabbai said that he has already received a response from Havilio, saying, “I will look into the points you raise.”

Kidmat Tziyon is a Jewish project on Jewish-owned land within Jerusalem borders in the Arab-populated neighborhood of Abu Dis, which is mostly outside Jerusalem’s borders. Six families currently live there, but plans for 230 housing units have now been put on hold by Havilio.

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3. IDF Foils Major Terrorist Attack; Fatah Suspected

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Soldiers from elite IDF units Sunday night arrested three Arabs who were planning a “significant” terrorist attack against Israelis. The soldiers confiscated three large pipe bombs, which sappers safely detonated without injury.

The troops from the Kfir and Duvduvan units carried out the counterterrorist operation in Shechem, where Palestinian Authority special forces are mandated to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

The terrorists were member of a branch of Fatah, which is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Military sources estimate that one of the motives of Fatah was to ruin any chances of an agreement with Israel that would free nearly 1,000 terrorists, including Hamas members, in return for the safe return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

Fatah fears that freeing Hamas terrorists would encourage the terrorist organization’s efforts to challenge Fatah in Judea and Samaria. Hamas won the first-ever legislative elections in the Palestinian Authority five years ago, and winning the freedom of its terrorists would raise its popularity among Arabs.

Fatah terrorists also were responsible for last month’s murder of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai on a road recently opened for Arabs in Samaria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the murder by saying that the terrorist attack provided more evidence against releasing convicted terrorists who have been convicted for murdering Israelis.

More than 180 Israelis have been killed by terrorists who previously have been released from prisons.

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4. Abbas: Only Difference from Hamas Is that Fatah Is in Power

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Palestinian Authority PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech Sunday that his party’s being in power is the only difference between it and the rival Hamas terrorist faction. “The Palestinian Authority is the legitimate authority and that is the difference,” he told a party conference.

In a particularly hard-line speech, he boasted that the Arab leaders in Judea, Samaria and Gaza “has not offered any concessions from May 1988 until today.” In a further eradication of the American roadmap, he claimed that Israel and not the PA proposed temporary borders for a future PA state.

The Roadmap originally provided a three-step plan towards establishing the PA as a country, with temporary borders as a second step. Condoleezza Rice, as U.S. Secretary of State two years ago, convinced Israel to skip over the first phase, which called for an end of incitement and violence by the PA.

In his speech, Abbas defended his honoring an Arab woman for the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history. He and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad last month celebrated the 50th birthday of terrorist Dalal Mugrahbi, who orchestrated and later was killed in the 1978 Coastal Road attack in which 37 Israelis, including 10 children, were massacred by a bus hijacker.

Abbas and Fayyad honored her by naming a Ramallah town square after her, calling her a martyr.

In his speech to the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Abbas maintained that he will continue to hunt down and persecute Arabs who violate the PA law against selling property to Jews. Several Arabs have been executed without trial for land deals with Jews.

He also reiterated that he will not agree to resume talks with Israel for a new PA state until Jerusalem halts all building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

He said the partial 10-month freeze instituted three months ago by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is frankly an unacceptable…position rejected by us, and we cannot go back to negotiations if Israel stays in this position, and if the U.S. has been unable to persuade Israel not to do so."

Speaking later in the day to reporters, Abbas charged that the United States softened its stand against Israeli construction. He explained that U.S. President Barack Obama last year "demanded the full suspension of the Israeli settlement, but now there is a fallback in the U.S. stance in facing the Israeli government’s rejection" to freeze building.

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5. One Dead in Negev Floods as Storm Heads North

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

One tourist was killed in the Arava area north of Eilat Monday morning when he and two friends tried to drive their jeep through a raging river bed, powered by rare heavy rainfall. The roaring stream crushed the vehicle against rocks, and army helicopters manage to rescue two accompanying tourists. It was not known if they are from Israel or from outside the country.

Earlier on Monday, IDF helicopter rescue crews saved three people trapped in two trucks in flash floods in the central Negev and others near Eilat as the torrential but badly needed winter rains head north.

More than one inch of rain fell in Eilat, more than the normal rainfall for several years, and schools were closed throughout the region. Eilat also suffered electricity blackouts.

All of the southern part of Highway 90, connecting Eilat with the Dead Sea area, was closed Monday morning, as was the highway between Sde Boker and Mitzpe Ramon in the central Negev.

Photo: Floods close Dead Sea highway
Nearly two inches of rain flooded Be’er Sheva, where a raging river bed was filled with water for the first time in years. More than an inch of rain has fallen in Jerusalem, and more is expected in the central and northern regions. The storm is expected to reach its peak towards Monday night, but occasional rain will continue to fall through Thursday morning. Snow will fall on the Hermon.

Jessica Pearlman, a native of South Africa who lives in the tiny community of Kmehin near the Egyptian border, told Israel National News the residents are completely cut off by the floods. A resident in the nearby community of Kadesh Barnea said the floods are the worst he has seen in the more than 30 years he has lived in the area.

Water authorities are anxiously awaiting heavy rains in the Galilee and Golan, where streams flow to the Kinneret. The lake is more than 15 feet below the level at which dams have to be opened to prevent flooding in the area. The last time the dams were opened was in 1992.

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6. Simon the Just, Facebook, and Wheelchairs

by Hillel Fendel

Wheelchair-bound Yedidya Knop, 23, says he is happy to be able to do what he can on behalf of the Land of Israel and the Jewish residents of the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood in Jerusalem – namely, to open a fast-growing Facebook group in their name.

After only two weeks, the account already has 1,734 members. “In my condition, there’s not much I can do physically for the Land of Israel," Yedidya told Arutz-7 TV, "and so I’m very happy that, via my computer, I can contribute what I can via the media. I invite all Arutz-7 readers to join our struggle on Facebook.”

“Of late,” he explains, “several homes [owned by Jews] in the Shimon HaTzaddik [Sheikh Jarrah] neighborhood have been redeemed, greatly annoying anarchists and anti-Semites around the world, who come here and harass the Jewish residents and worshippers. They hope that in this way they will prevent Jews from visiting the holy site and living around it. In our Facebook group, we will post updates about what is happening in and around the area, and about the struggle to reclaim the stolen Jewish property.”

The site is currently in Hebrew, but English messages of support are also welcome.

Simon the Just was a High Priest during the time of the Second Temple, and in 333 B.C.E. he met in Greece with Alexander the Great, who bowed before Simon, according to both the Talmud and the historian Josephus.

His burial site is in present-day Jerusalem, about a kilometer northeast of Meah She’arim near downtown Jerusalem. The site and surrounding land was purchased in 1876 by the Jewish community, and housing construction commenced there in 1891.

By 1948, 20 Jewish families were living in these homes, but after eastern Jerusalem was captured by Jordan in the 1948 War of Independence, Arab families moved in. For more than 10 years, the "Settlers of Zion" association, under the sponsorship of former MK Rabbi Benny Elon and the Beit Orot yeshiva, have led the drive to reclaim the neighborhood for Jews. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Jewish rights in the neighborhood over the years, and some Arab families have been evicted from property owned by Jews – in spite of ongoing high-profile protests there by Arabs and their supporters.

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7. Computer Network Terrorism New World Threat

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

“A fleet of fighter planes is not necessary to attack a power station; a keyboard is sufficient, according to University of Haifa Dr. Yaniv Levyatan, an expert on information warfare. “If you don’t have the skills, there are enough mercenary hackers who can do it for you," he adds.

"Carry out all my demands or the entire country’s electricity will be cut off" is not just another line from a suspense film, but it is a palpable threat made possible with a computer keyboard,” Dr. Levyatan explains. "Today, there is a growing trend amongst hackers around the world to threaten national infrastructures for ransom.

He notes Brazil’s electricity was mysteriously blacked out for more than an hour late November. "It is still not clear what happened, but one assumption is that it was a cyber-terror attack," he suggests. Dr. Levyatan adds that in 2007, Estonia’s computer infrastructures were attacked, most likely by Russian hackers, bringing the country to a near standstill for about 48 hours.

"To date, most of the ‘online fighting’ has focused on attempts to vandalize and immobilize leading websites to impose a virtual presence and damage morale,” he adds. “For example, during the Second Lebanon War, Israeli and Hezbollah-supporting hackers were at ‘war’ as each side attempted to damage and immobilize each other’s websites. Likewise, during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, many Israeli websites were attacked by Hamas-supporting hackers.”

An escalation in the computer terror war may be an attempt to cause damage to systems that are operated by computer networks, such as financial systems, power stations, hospitals, television broadcasts and satellites,” he warns.

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8. Police to Battle Illegal Weapons at Arab Weddings

by Gil Ronen

Israel Police Chief Lt.-Gen. Dudi Cohen has instructed the northern and central provinces to launch a heightened enforcement operation against people who possess and use illegal weapons and ammunition. The police noted that the prevalence and use of illegal weapons has grown in recent years.

In the course of the past year, as part of an ongoing operation dubbed “Cleaning the Vessels,” police have seized 480 handguns, 120 rifles, 82 submachine guns, about 75,700 bullets, 770 bullet clips, 10,550 firecrackers, 58 hand grenades, 130 pyrotechnical grenades, 158 pipe bombs, 2 artillery shell fuses, 10 mortar shells, 78 plastic explosive rolls and three LAW anti-tank missiles.

While not saying outright that the operation would focus on the Arab sector, the police noted that illegal use of weapons is particularly common in weddings and other celebrations in that sector. This phenomenon, the police statement noted, has been denounced by the heads of the Arab sector. In addition, the illegal weapons are used in criminal and terrorist activity, against people and property. The police said they expect the public to cooperate and trusts that it understands the very real need to reduce the prevalence of he possession of illegal weapons.

"The operation’s goal is to visibly reduce the incidents of gunfire and use of illegal weapons, which endanger human life, and thus fulfill [the police’s] mission of protecting the public,” the statement said. “Special units and organic forces have been set aside for the mission and equipped with advanced technology.”

The activity is expected to last several months and to focus on the predominantly Arab northern and central areas, within clearly defined areas. Police noted that even before the activity began, preparatory training is already underway in order to ready the forces for the assignment.

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