Jews Harassed at Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Arab Mob – Daily Occurence

Here’s evidence of what the holy places in Jerusalem would look like in the event that Palestinians were given control.
Jews would not be permitted near them. Those who attempted, and without the support of Israeli police to protect them, would be harmed, and possibly killed.

This is the reality at the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s old city.
Jews revere the Temple Mount as the holiest place on earth. The Torah says this is the place where Adam was created on this earth – the dawn of creation.
It’s also revered by Jews as the location of the Binding of Isaac and where the two Holy Temples sat.

The Arabs lay claim to this plateau as well, as the site of Islam’s third holiest (Al-Aqsa) Mosque.

In recent years, Palestinians have taken to harassing Jews who venture up to the Temple Mount. Even police protection is not enough for a Jew to stand peacefully there without being shouted at by mobs of Arabs. Other videos have shown the Arab women to get physical and push or kick Jews even in as they stand right in front of the Israeli border police. The Arabs know that the Israeli government has ordered the Israeli police on the Temple Mount to show ultimate restraint against Palestinian Violence, lest there be a world backlash. This double standard plays out on a daily basis. We gain a glimpse into this violent ritual, as this time an Arab proudly videos their violent ways for all to see, much as the Nazis did in the 1930s.

The Price for Jews in Israel for Peace with Arabs

Peace Discussions Encourage Palestinian Arab Terrorism

The Western world is fixated on solving the Mideast Peace problem.  The “Mideast ” that the world is solely concerned about is the Palestinians and that tiny country called Israel standing in their way for their very own sovereign nation.   As the narative explains, all other problems,  would go away if these stubborn Jews would just let it.  (Or in the eyes of the American senior press corespondent, if those Jews would just go back to Poland).

The pressure on Israel’s leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to deal land and additional consolations has reached the pinnacle.  When the bar is raised, politicians make foolish decisions, usually for short term gains, or to make their own personal mark in history.  Here’s a small but very real example of just how dangerous this pressure can manifest itself into our lives.

Sukkot is the Jewish holiday of Tabernacles. In ancient Israel, on Sukkot, Jews brought sacrifices to the Temple in honor of the 70 nations of the world.  The priests would pray for the well-being of our neighbors and that G_d should protect them and shine His light onto all the nations.

In modern Israel, Sukkot also means vacation from school, and a great opportunity for families to go hiking, to visit relatives, and to go to Jerusalem to see our national history and to remember the days of ancient glory.

Mount of Olives – So close, yet so far

For a neighbor of mine, Sukkot this year was almost a period of mourning for his family, and his being around to tell me his eyewitness account of the following events is only by grace of the Almighty.  Mount of Olives cemetery just outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem.  While Mount of Olives is a famous and ancient cemetery where many sages and holy Jews have been buried for many centuries, it is also about 1KM (half mile) on the other side of some Arab buildings in Silwan (City of David – probably where King David would stand and look out to his kingdom).  In modern times, great rabbis and fallen soldiers are buried on Mount of Olives.

Yehuda drove on erev Sukkot with his wife and two nephews to a funeral there.  Not that this should matter in the least, Yehuda is not a “Settler”, nor was he traveling to any “provocative” areas.  Jerusalem’s Dung Gate,  next to the Western Wall, is clearly within plain view from the parking area of the Mount of Olives.

After the ceremony, they returned to their car to drive back home to Bet Shemesh.  They reached the first junction along with other cars driving back.  Suddenly, a mob of knife and club-wielding Arabs jumped out and engulfed them.  Cars were smashed to bits.  Frantically, people called from inside their cars to the Police to extricate them from this ensuing tragedy.  Minutes passed, no Police, no border control.  The Arab mob gained in strength and numbers, buoyed by the lack of Israeli force.

Yehuda’s wife was targeted by one of the angry Arab terrorists.  Yehuda quickly swung into action – although he is not a Settler and does not have a gun – he attempted to shield his wife.  The terrorists shifted their focus on him and stabbed him four times, including twice in his head, broke his arm, and left him battered and bruised all over his body.

45 Minutes passed, no police, no border patrol.  The police who are standing at Dung Gate could have walked uphill to the terrorist attack in 10 minutes.

Yehuda is now bleeding from his head and his chest.  He is battered, but there is noone there to help.  With his remaining ounces of strength, he drove to the nearest hospital, where he was treated and listed in serious condition (??? ?????? ?? ???).

When the police came to the hospital to investigate he asked why there was no response from their emergency calls.  The police told him that they were instructed from “above” not to go to this junction.  Clearly, political decisions stood in the way of the police coming to protect its citizens.

The East Jerusalem junction where the terrorist attack took place is not under Palestinian control.   Although at some point is may be given to the new Palestinian State, it is currently solely Israel’s responsibility to protect and ensure that rule of law is enforced there.

Someone in the police, or perhaps even the government, made a decision that the cost of a few Jewish lives was well worth the potential of public outcry of Israeli police going to a contested area to remove its citizens from imminent danger or even death.  Worse is knowing that the Palestinian terrorist leaders knew this and calculated the outcome, and orchestrated the entire event, knowing exactly how it would play out.  They also knew how far they could go – wound, mame, perhaps kill a few, then run back to your homes – so as not to get negative feedback from the world press.

Yehuda tells me that he identified the young terrorist who stabbed him, and with his description, the police were subsequently able to apprehend him.  However, 7 days later, the magistrate let this 17 year old killer wannabe free since the courts can’t try minors.

I have no words to properly wrap up this account of what happened and all the injustices that Jews suffer in Israel.  Maybe someone reading this can make better sense of it all.

French Anti-Zionist Party

File this in the “Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse” category:

French Anti-Zionist Political Party
French Anti-Zionist Political Party

France’s comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala has created a political party to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.  The French high court threw out a petition to ban this party from running in the elections as a racist party.

Their platform essentially states the usually rhetoric that Israel, the USA, and the French (by implication) led by the ‘powerful Zionist lobby’ are an axis of evil bent on overturning the world.

Notice how they found the token bearded Jew for this campaign poster to assure voters that they are not ‘anti-semitic’.

People, wake up!  European ambivalence to Jews has already been shaken by change in demographics.  The not-so subtle shift of European anti-Israeli populist movements jumping to the forefround is a harbinger of things to come.

How much longer before America’s populist agenda, especially with the maverick Obamian policies, turns ambivalent, or even worse, against Israel?

Three State Solution – Israel, Gaza, West Bank

It’s always gratifying and refreshing to hear Arab pundits and experts admit the cracks in their political foundation.

The whole world it seems would be a much better place if Israel and the Palestinians could just get along.  The western world, led by US President Obama, believes that the two-state solution would be the best way to solve this century-long conflict.  Israeli PM Netanyau will be cajoled, then pressured, then threatened to accept a solution that gives the Palestinians a USA embassy.

Now comes the rub…  Where will be the capital of this new Arab state?  Hamas and their terrorist allies will insist on Gaza City to be the seat of government.  Whereas, Abbas and his Fatah terrorists (don’t be deluded to think they are moderates) will stake claim to Ramallah as the new capital.

Political scientist Mkjaimar Abusada, a professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza said, “It is hard enough to see how peace talks will succeed anyway.  Maybe we’re headed for a three-state-solution:  Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.”

This is getting harder to score than a credit rating for AIG. Do the Palestinians really want a state right now, or do they want to continue arguing with us. Let’s say we can come to an agreement… To whom do we give the keys?

40% of Israeli Arabs believe Holocaust never happened

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1086115.html

This headline would come as a shocker in any other country, in any other context, in any other time.
However, here in Israel in 2009, I was only surprised that the percentage was less than half.

The survey shows that Holocaust denial among Israeli Arabs has become more prevalent in recent years. In 2006, 28 percent of Israeli Arabs polled denied that the Holocaust occurred.

That didn’t surprise me either. Why do Arab children in Israel get such a different education than their Jewish counterparts?

Moreover, only 53.7 percent of the Israeli Arab public believe Israel has a right to exist just as an independent country, according to the poll, down from 81.1 percent in 2003.

Is there a solution to all this? Someone? Anyone?

Palestinians vs. Israel – We’re in the Third Phase

I read an interesting interview yesterday with a Rabbi from a program that specializes in keeping religious soldiers on the path of learning Torah _after_ they leave the army. I can’t remember the Rabbi’s name, but this was the gist of his argument on why Hamas and Palestinians seem to be gaining so much of the world opinion against us. Here’s his point in a nutshell:
The Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, have locked horns with Israel since 1948 using three distinct methods. The first phase was conventional war – army to army. That tactic failed them miserably. The second phase was terror. It’s nascent steps of hijackings and international staged terror events began in the late 60’s and continued through two intifadas in the 80s and 90s. This phase failed as well, since despite all the terrible pain inflicted on us, we are a stiff-necked nation (?? ??? ????).
We’ve been in the third phase in the past couple years as Arab nations build mock trials and judicial hearings and use the soft tongue of Arab diplomacy to assure the world that everything would be better if there just wasn’t Israel. Putting it bluntly, they couldn’t beat us by force, so they are trying to gain in the world forums by persuading world leaders, including newly elected Obama, and European Nations (with their own Islamic population problems) to join together against Israel.
–End of the Rabbi’s hypothesis–and on to my analysis:
The early indications show that Phase three is potentially the deadliest.
When Ahmadinejad in Iran threatens, we listen, and we respond. When President Obama tells us to lighten up and accept the Fatah as our partners, we say “well at least we’re better off than with Hamas. Remember the so-called ‘moderate’ Fatah. In 1995 we gave Fatah assault weapons (as part of the Nobel Prize winning Rabin and Peres’ Oslo Accords). In 1996, they turned their weapons on the Israeli checkposts.
It was the Fatah who butchered the two Israeli reservists who ended up unfortunately in Ramalah and were dragged to a Fatah controlled Police Station to meet their untimely demise. By the way, this was during our ‘period of peace’. It was the Fatah who danced on their rooftops for joy when the twin-towers fell to Osama Bin-Laden’s deadly attack.
Today’s headline: ?????: ???? ???? ???? ???????? ???? The Russian Foreign Minister met with Khaled Mashal (Hamas Terrorist #1) in Syria, and then told the world that Hamas is “ready to share it’s responsibility in Gaza” and that we (e.g. the western world) should be speaking with Hamas and not shunning them.
As much as we’d like to think that world opinion couldn’t possibly make a difference, it does. Have a look a this article from the well-respected political affairs magazine Commentary – Israel Today, Tomorrow the West. Very depressing stuff…
I suppose the question we need to ask ourselves is, are we ready to fight the third phase?

Listen to Israel Radio on the Internet

I remember as a kid in Chicago how I used to walk around the house (and neighborhood) and try to find the best spot for reception on my shortwave radio. In those days, tuning in to Israel Radio was like catching an ephemeral glimpse of far away land.  At 4pm in the afternoon, I would tune in Reshet Bet and listen to the 6am Boker Tov announcement which included the incredible recital of the Shema and then the top of the morning news.

Nowadays, perhaps the mystery and anticipation are gone, but the fun is still there. Now you can listen to many thousands of radio stations around the world with a simple click of a link on your internet browser. In fact, now that I live in Israel, I listen to Chicago radio stations with the same nostalgia as I did as a kid tuning in from the other side of the world to hear the sounds of Israel.

Here are the most popular Israel Radio selections available for you to tune in live now. Simply click on a link, and your Windows Media Player will open and begin to play the selected channel.

1. Arutz Sheva Hebrew – Voice of the right of center in Israel
2. Galei Zahal – Army Radio, news, interviews, music
3. Galgalatz – Army Radio, mostly music
4. Kol Hamusica – Classical Music
5. Reshet Bet – Israel’s main news and talk channel
6. Reshet Dalet (Arabic) – news and talk in Arabic
7. Reshet Gimel – Israeli Music
8. 106FM Tel Aviv – Local Tel Aviv
9. 107.5FM Radio Haifa 107.5 – Local Haifa, Webcam of Studio
10. 88FM – Jazz Music, News

The Top 5 Modern Must See Israeli Movies

Israel has worked hard to shed its old image of producing cheesy ethnic insider, one or no-joke movies.

Today’s Israeli movie scene has produced some very creative, critically acclaimed on an international level. There are many dozens of quality films that have been produced in Israel in the past decade.

Highlighted here are five of the top modern movies filmed here in Israel in recent years. All of these films are must-sees.

1. The Band’s Visit – 2007 ????? ???????
IMDB Listing
This movie won Best Picture in 2007 in Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. Starring popular and acclaimed Israeli actor Sasson Gabai, (The Impossible Spy, Rambo III, Made in Israel).
Synopsis: An Egyptian Police Force band come to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, yet end up lost in the wrong town with a similar sounding name.

Film critic Roger Ebert gave this film four stars and sums it up well:

They are in the middle of the Israeli desert, having taken the wrong bus to the wrong destination. Another bus will not come until tomorrow. “The Band’s Visit” begins with this premise, which could supply the makings of a comedy, and turns into a quiet, sympathetic film about the loneliness that surrounds us. Oh, and there is some comedy, after all.

2. Beaufort (2007) – This Oscar nominated film for Best Foreign Picture is the story of a group of Israeli soldiers stationed at an outpost prior to the withdrawal of forces from Lebanon in 2000. This movie cuts into the pathos of Israelis and their understanding about war, life in the Middle East, and obligation to country.
New York Times review aptly remarks that this is not so much a war movie as a study on human nature and inner feelings.

The men spend most of their time inside its heavily fortified walls, trundling down coffin-shaped corridors in spacesuitlike combat gear and bracing for the next round of attacks from an invisible enemy. Their lives are governed by tedium, claustrophobia and anxiety, and yet they clearly feel something like affection for the bleak, isolated place that has become their home.

Beaufort Movie Trailer

3. Ushpizin (2004)IMDB Listing Starring Shuli Rand and Michal Bat Sheva Rand (who are married in real life).

New York Times:

“Ushpizin” is groundbreaking on more than one count. It is a rare collaboration between secular and ultra-Orthodox Israelis and one of the first movies filmed in the insular Jerusalem neighborhood Mea Shearim with ultra-Orthodox actors.

Shuli Rand won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Actor in this film. This film also has an excellent musical score, including the popular “Atah Kadosh” from Israeli Religious Rocker Adi Ran.

Adi Ran – V’ata Kadosh:

Click here to see more video clips from this movie

4. The Syrian Bride (2004) – Clara Khoury stars in this semi-political, semi-humanitarian, semi-comedic film of a young Druze woman (Arab, but not muslim) who lives in a Druze village in the outermost portion of the Golan Heights, on the Syrian border, who travels to Syria to marry a Soap Opera star there. This tragic comedy touches on the heart strings as she says goodbye for good to her family, since she will be leaving Israel for Syria, to live with her new husband, in a country that Israel is at war with. Syrian Bride was nominated for 7 Israeli Academy Awards.

5. Medurat Hashevet (Campfire) (2004) – Set in 1981 in the early days of Israeli settling (occupation) of Judea and Samaria (The West Bank). Directed by Joseph Cedar (Beaufort), drew fire from the right-wing settler movement as the film portrays them as opportunists looking for good real estate deals rather than being motivated by political and religious beliefs. The Israeli secular crowd loved this film.

From the NY Times review:

Its broader political implications within Israel notwithstanding, “Campfire” offers an outsider an intimate portrait of family members living in uncomfortably close proximity and straining against one another during a difficult period of transition. Rachel, a tough, attractive woman whose husband died of cancer a year earlier, is tugged this way and that by conflicting desires. She longs for the security and companionship of the community. But because her first marriage was unhappy, she is unwilling to settle for another husband who won’t deliver the romantic fireworks the first one didn’t provide.

Winner of 7 Israeli Academy Awards, and nominated for another 8.

Honorable Mention: Etz Limon (Lemon Tree) (2008) – Directed by Eran Riklis (Syrian Bride). This year’s most popular film. Based on a true story, a Palestinian widow cultivates a lemon tree grove next to her house. Her new next door neighbor, Israel’s Defense Minister, Israel Navon, threatens to have the tree grove uprooted because of security concerns. This is another tragic-comedy-tear jerker-veilied left-of-center-political film. The acting is very emotional, but the message is a bit over-the-top left wing borderline propaganda siding with the Palestinians.
This film was nominated for 7 awards at Israel’s Academy Awards, and won at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.

Also See: Top 5 Israeli Movies of All Time

Kefiyah / Keffiyeh – Arab Headress in many styles

The Arabs in Jerusalem can be seen wearing many different head dress styles. The keffiyeh means “kerchief” or scarf in English.

Many Palestinian men and women wear keffiyeh of cotton and wool mix, which lets them dry quickly and help keep the head warm in winter. The keffiyeh is usually folded in half, into a triangle, and the fold is worn across the forehead.

Palestinian Keffiyeh
Palestinian Keffiyeh

The black-and-white keffiyeh is a symbol of Palestinian heritage.

Simple White Scarf - unfolded
Simple White Scarf - unfolded

The red-and-white keffiyeh is worn throughout the Arab regions, but is most strongly associated with Jordan, where it is known as shmagh mhadab.

Red keffiyeh with black agal - rope circlet
Red keffiyeh with black agal - rope circlet

A kefiyeh can also signal a person’s status in society. It has been used by Bedouins throughout the centuries and was used as a symbol of honor and tribal identification.

Here are some different examples of keffiyeh worn by Arabs in Jerusalem.

At the suk
At the suk
Schoolchildren with keffiyeh
Schoolchildren with keffiyeh
Black modest dress
Black modest dress
White simple scarf
White simple scarf

Many Christian Arab women also cover their heads.  Their head coverings usually signify their religious order and are not worn as symbols of nationality.  In recent years, some Palestinian Christian Arab men and youths,  have begun to wear Palestinian national keffiyehs as scarves if not as head coverings.

Christian Arab headress
Christian Arab headress

Keffiyeh is often spelled kefiyah, kaffiyah, keffiya, kaffiya, and kufiya depending on dialect and region.

Life in Husan

Husan ???? is a sprawling West Bank town on the southern edge of Jerusalem, straddled by Gilo, the tunnels road, and Beitar Ilit.  Most of the residents work in neighboring Beit Lechem, or tend to their fields or herds.  Commerce is practically non-existent in Husan.

In good times, Husan has also been a prime source of day labor for Israeli contractors in Jerusalem and as far as Bet Shemesh.  In bad times, such as in the recent second Intifada, Husan acted as a springboard for hostilities.  The road that connects Beitar Illit with the tunnels road that heads north to Jerusalem and south to Gush Etzion also shares a two kilometer southern border with Husan.  Beitar residents would often be stoned, or worse, by projectiles thrown from the Husan residents from their higher vantage point.

The Israeli army clamped down on Husan with several measures to alleviate the stress and risk of injury or death of Beitar residents.  A huge link fence was erected on most of the southern border of Husan that would effectively eliminate terrorist attacks from the high points.  Next, the army declared the tunnels road and the Beitar access road to be inaccessible to Husan residents.  Husan residents were now trapped in their village except for taking a long walk across the tunnels road to Beit Jara or Beit Lechem, and a loophole that allowed transit vans from employers in other cities to pick up Husan residents for work.  However, Husan is several kilometers long in its own right.  As a result, an odd daily ritual could be seen, as Husan residents either walked or were transported from their homes to the edge of the city, where they would walk across the army baracades, and then step into other vans that would take them to their work or shopping in nearby cities.

Here’s some images of this daily spectacle and of the environs:

Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem)

This Arab village, Husan, has been mostly quiet in the history of Israel since it was captured in the 1967 Six Day War. It is situated just a few kilometers south of Gilo, the southernmost neighborhood of Jerusalem. It also sits strategically on the main road between the Gush Etzion area (which includes the 20,000+ city of Efrat), the burgeoning settlement of Beitar Illit, and Jerusalem.

In 2001, during the second intifada, the calm was disturbed. Residents of Husan would stand on the plateau above the main road and throw rocks at passerby vehicles. On a few occasions, terrorists came to Husan and fatally shot travelers on the main ‘tunnel’ road, and near Beitar Illit.

The army responded with curfews and built a huge fence to cage in the residents, and effectively halt the rock-throwing. To help prevent further terrorist incursions, Husan residents were restricted from traveling by car to and from the village.

The result was a strange spectacle of hundreds of workers from Husan every day being driven by van services to the edge of the village, then to walk across the main highway, only to be picked up by further van services to shuttle them to nearby Bethlehem and further.

Husan Residents Walking

Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem) Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem) Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem)

Old City Jerusalem Antennas

This shot was actually taken from the promenade next to the Western Wall – facing North of the Wall and adjacent to the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa Mosque). These TV antennas testify to the importance of news and entertainment to the residents of the old city.

old city jerusalem antennas

Technical Data: Ilford Pan-F, Nikon FE, 28mm cropped. Developed in Agfa-Rodinal and scanned with Minolta Dual Scan.