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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irena Sendler

Look at this lady - Let us never forget! 



(1910 - 2008)


When Hitler and his Nazis built the Warsaw Ghetto and herded 500,000 Polish Jews behind its walls to await liquidation, many Polish gentiles turned their backs or applauded. Not Irena Sendler. An unfamiliar name to most people, but this remarkable woman defied the Nazis and saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. As a health worker, she sneaked the children out between 1942 and 1943 to safe hiding places and found non-Jewish families to adopt them.

Her achievement went largely unnoticed for many years. Then the story was uncovered by four young students at Uniontown High School, in Kansas, who were the winners of the 2000 Kansas state National History Day competition by writing a play Life in a Jar about the heroic actions of Irena Sendler. The girls - Elizabeth Cambers, Megan Stewart, Sabrina Coons and Janice Underwood - have since gained international recognition, along with their teacher, Norman Conard. The presentation, seen in many venues in the United States and popularized by National Public Radio, C-SPAN and CBS, has brought Irena Sendler's story to a wider public.
The students continue their prize-winning dramatic presentation Life in a Jar.They have established an e-mail address isendler@hotmail.com.
Irena Sendler was born in 1910 in Otwock, a town some 15 miles southeast of Warsaw. She was greatly influenced by her father who was one of the first Polish Socialists. As a doctor his patients were mostly poor Jews.
In 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and the brutality of the Nazis accelerated with murder, violence and terror.
At the time, Irena was a Senior Administrator in the Warsaw Social Welfare Department, which operated the canteens in every district of the city. Previously, the canteens provided meals, financial aid, and other services for orphans, the elderly, the poor and the destitute. Now, through Irena, the canteens also provided clothing, medicine and money for the Jews. They were registered under fictitiousChristian names, and to prevent inspections, the Jewish families were reported as being afflicted with such highly infectious diseases as typhus and tuberculosis.
But in 1942, the Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews into a 16-block area that came to be known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The Ghetto was sealed and the Jewish families ended up behind its walls, only to await certain death.
Irena Sendler was so appalled by the conditions that she joined Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance movement, as one of its first recruits and directed the efforts to rescue Jewish children.
To be able to enter the Ghetto legally, Irena managed to be issued a pass from Warsaws Epidemic Control Department and she visited the Ghetto daily, reestablished contacts and brought food, medicines and clothing. But 5,000 people were dying a month from starvation and disease in the Ghetto, and she decided to help the Jewish children to get out.
For Irena Sendler, a young mother herself, persuading parents to part with their children was in itself a horrendous task. Finding families willing to shelter the children, and thereby willing to risk their life if the Nazis ever found out, was also not easy.
Irena Sendler, who wore a star armband as a sign of her solidarity to Jews, began smuggling children out in an ambulance. She recruited at least one person from each of the ten centers of the Social Welfare Department.
With their help, she issued hundreds of false documents with forged signatures. Irena Sendler successfully smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children to safety and gave them temporary new identities.
Some children were taken out in gunnysacks or body bags. Some were buried inside loads of goods. A mechanic took a baby out in his toolbox. Some kids were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, some entered a church in the Ghetto which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians. "Can you guarantee they will live?" Irena later recalled the distraught parents asking. But she could only guarantee they would die if they stayed. "In my dreams," she said, "I still hear the cries when they left their parents."
Irena Sendler accomplished her incredible deeds with the active assistance of the church. "I sent most of the children to religious establishments," she recalled. "I knew I could count on the Sisters." Irena also had a remarkable record of cooperation when placing the youngsters: "No one ever refused to take a child from me," she said.
The children were given false identities and placed in homes, orphanages and convents. Irena Sendler carefully noted, in coded form, the children's original names and their new identities. She kept the only record of their true identities in jars buried beneath an apple tree in a neighbor's back yard, across the street from German barracks, hoping she could someday dig up the jars, locate the children and inform them of their past.
In all, the jars contained the names of 2,500 children ...
But the Nazis became aware of Irena's activities, and on October 20, 1943 she was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, who broke her feet and legs. She ended up in the Pawiak Prison, but no one could break her spirit. Though she was the only one who knew the names and addresses of the families sheltering the Jewish children, she withstood the torture, refusing to betray either her associates or any of the Jewish children in hiding.
Sentenced to death, Irena was saved at the last minute when Zegota members bribed one of the Germans to halt the execution. She escaped from prison but for the rest of the war she was pursued by the Gestapo.
After the war she dug up the jars and used the notes to track down the 2,500 children she placed with adoptive families and to reunite them with relatives scattered across Europe. But most lost their families during the Holocaust in Nazi death camps.
The children had known her only by her code name Jolanta. But years later, after she was honored for her wartime work, her picture appeared in a newspaper. "A man, a painter, telephoned me," said Sendler, "`I remember your face,' he said. `It was you who took me out of the ghetto.' I had many calls like that!"
Irena Sendler did not think of herself as a hero. She claimed no credit for her actions. "I could have done more," she said. "This regret will follow me to my death."
She has been honored by international Jewish organizations - in 1965 she accorded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashemorganization in Jerusalem and in 1991 she was made an honorary citizen of Israel.
Irena Sendler was awarded Poland's highest distinction, the Order of White Eagle in Warsaw Monday Nov. 10, 2003.
This lovely, courageous woman was one of the most dedicated and active workers in aiding Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Her courage enabled not only the survival of 2,500 Jewish children but also of the generations of their descendants.
She passed away on May 12, 2008, at the age of 98.

Source: Irena Sendler; The Unsung HeroinesWikipediaThe Telegraph (May 13, 2008); The Irena Sendler Project
Thanks to my good friend Simone Simmons for this article.
Mike

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Israel's supporters came out in Trafalgar Square


Israel's supporters came out in Trafalgar Square today to show sympathy with Israel as rockets continue to rain down from Gaza and to wish a happy 25th birthday to Gilad Schalit who is in his sixth year in isolation in Gaza having been kidnapped by Hamas from Israeli soil when he was 19.
There were some tremendous speeches.
Hasan Afzal, of British Muslims for Israel, said he supports Israel because it is "the only country in the Middle East where Muslims have freedom and democracy".
Jonathan Sacerdoti spoke movingly about Gilad Schalit spending his 25th birthday "in prison, in Gaza with no contact with the outside world, his family or even the International Red Cross to ensure that his health is adequate".
Joy Wolfe urged the crowd to ignore media lies about Israel and described Israel as a home for people of all religions.
She went on to call for an end to the double standards of the United Nations and some British MPs and said that Gilad Schalit probably doesn't even know that today is his birthday and probably feels as if he has been forgotten. But she said that no one will rest until the Red Cross gets access to him and every government in the world is calling for his release.
It was an excellent afternoon arranged at very short notice by the British Israel Coalition and supported by Stand With Us.
It made a change from the previous Sunday's terror rally at Trafalgar Square where the rhetoric called for war with Israel and signs called for Death to Israel. It's a shame there wasn't a similar pro-Israel rally at that time.
But with that in mind the Zionist Federation is arranging a counter-demonstration this coming Thursday from 6pm till 8pm outside the Royal Albert Hall where the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is playing at the BBC proms.
It is in response to a Palestine Solidarity Campaign anti-Israel protest. Some sort of disruption is also expected to take place inside the Hall while the orchestra is playing.
Nearest tube stations are South Kensington (District, Circle, Piccadily lines) and High Street Kensington (District and Circle lines).
It will be an opportunity to defiantly wave Israeli flags in the faces of all those whose sole desire in life is to see the Jewish state destroyed.
Clips and photos from today's pro-Israel rally:

Jonathan Sacerdoti, Trafalgar Square, 28 August: www.richardmill


Joy Wolfe, Trafalgar Square, 28th August 2011: www.richardmillet
http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/author/richardmillett/

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Middle East Terrorist Scams and the Western Naivete that Empowers Them



August 26, 2011 - 10:24 am - by Barry Rubin
Rockets from the Gaza Strip continue to pound Israel. And much of the Western media blames: Israel. I want to explain again how this system works.
What follows is a seven-point pattern that goes something like this: Someone shoots at your spouse, you punch the attacker, he yells, “Ceasefire!” then kicks you in the groin and takes some more shots at your spouse. You try to defend yourself. The police stand by doing nothing and then declare you to be the aggressor for breaking the ceasefire.
If this sounds like an exaggeration, I sincerely wish that it was! (Scholarly disclaimer: Of course many politicians and media outlets do see through this but the pattern discussed below is a very widespread one.)
1. Terrorist group attacks Israeli civilians.
2. As Israel seeks to retaliate, the group declares a ceasefire.
3. Western media announce ceasefire.
4. But rockets continue to be fired into Israel against civilian targets. Responsibility is usually taken by smaller groups allied with Hamas, like Islamic Jihad. This allows Hamas–and Western media–to deny that Hamas has any responsibility and thus there is no need to take actions against it. Nobody notes that Hamas is now allied with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the latter does not condemn the attacks but only condemns Israel.
(Note: Western media only report it when the PA condemns a terrorist attack and that at times gets more coverage than the attack and the Israeli victims.)
(Additional note: In late 2008, Hamas launched a war of rockets, missiles, mortars, and attempted cross-border attacks on Israel, breaking an existing ceasefire. When Israel retaliated, many accused Israel of aggression.)
(Another additional note: It is generally forgotten that because of Israel’s self-defense against the Hamas attacks the PA broke off negotiations with Israel and three years later, despite constant missreporting that the lack of talks is Israel’s fault, that policy continues.)
5. Israel retaliates against rocket-firing teams, weapons’ workshops, arms-smuggling tunnels, rocket storage places, and leaders of groups firing rockets. Some civilians are killed and this becomes the main point of Western media stories. Since the numbers and identities come from Hamas, they maximize numbers and civilians, concealing terrorists’ being killed and at times reclassifying terrorists as civilians. Note that when civilians are killed by Western airstrikes, as in Afghanistan or Libya, it is emphasized that these are regrettable accidents. With Israel it is implied that such action is purposeful or at least careless.
6. Western media report that Israel “broke” the “ceasefire.”
7. Continued attacks on Israel are thus blamed on Israeli action.
Think that’s an exaggeration? Here’s the Washington Post:
“A tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was punctured Wednesday by a deadly Israeli airstrike that triggered rocket and mortar fire at Israel.”
Political result:
Anti-Israel politicians, media, and experts blame Israel for being aggressive and using “disproportionate force,” a phrase
that only seems to be applied to Israel in the world.
More moderate politicians, media, and experts decry the cycle of violence for which both sides are responsible.
Coming soon to a UN Near You: The September UN Scam! Here’s a wonderful indication of what’s going on:
A pro-Palestinian Oxford University law professor has warned the Palestinian leadership that it must do the unilateral independence declaration at the UN properly so it can claim all of Israel later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Should Israel Embrace Glenn Beck?

Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 11:08 AM
By Alan Dershowitz
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All decent people, whether on the left or the right, should support 
Israel’s right to exist as the democratic nation state of the Jewish people.

All decent people should support Israel’s right to defend its civilians
 from terrorist attacks.
 All reasonable people should favor a just peace that assures
Israel’s ability to thrive in a dangerous neighborhood and to defend its borders.

These issues should not divide decent people along ideological or political lines.
Israel’s existence and right to defend itself should be bipartisan issues,
 not only in the United States, but in all democratic countries of the world.

The reality, however, is very different. The Jewish state is demonized
by the hard left in America, by virtually the entire left in much of Europe,
and by most of the left and right in Ireland, Norway, and Sweden. 
Its right to exist is denied by a 
high proportion of Arabs and Muslims, and most of the
Arab and Muslim nations do not
 have diplomatic relations with Israel.

In many circles, anti-Zionism easily morphs into anti-Semitism, 
and in some countries Jews are afraid to walk the streets wearing 
any clothing or symbols that identify them as Jewish.

The general assembly of the United Nations has become the 
world’s new Der Sturmer, whose podium hosts, and many of 
whose audience members cheer, virulent anti-Semites such as
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Defenders of Israel, even those critical of some of Israel’s policies,
are banned from speaking at universities, are attacked personally by the hard-left media and are treated as pariahs by their academic colleagues.

It is against this sad and increasingly dangerous background that one 
must evaluate Glenn Beck’s visit to Israel. I disagree with much of
Beck’s politics and with 
virtually all of his conspiracy theorizing. Yet I admire his courage in putting
 his body in the line of fire. 
I believe him when he says:

If the world goes down the road of dehumanizing 
Jews again, “then count me a Jew and come for me first.”

At a time when old friends and allies who should be supporting the 
Jewish state are abandoning it in droves, Beck’s willingness to
 stand up for Israel must be accepted with gratitude. I, for one, do not question his motives. I
 believe they are genuine.

One need not accept all of Beck’s positions on Israel — and I certainly do not —
 in order to agree with him that support of Israel is one of the great
 moral issues of the 21st century.

Those who thoughtlessly attack Israel no matter what it does and thoughtlessly defend Israel’s enemies regardless of what they do, are making peace far more difficult.
They incentivize terrorism by Israel’s enemies and disincentivize compromise on all sides.

I will wait to hear precisely what Glenn Beck says during his visit to Israe
l before I evaluate it. Just as I feel free to criticize the Israeli government when
 I think it is wrong, I certainly feel free to criticize defenders of Israel when I think they are wrong.
 But I will not prejudge Beck until he is given a full opportunity to express his views.

I certainly admire Beck’s decision to go to Israel far more than the decision of so
many so-called artists and intellectuals who call for a boycott against the
Jewish state without even bothering to go there and see for themselves.

I welcome the support of religious Christians who love Israel for religious reasons.
I abhor the ignorant and misguided efforts of other Christians, s
uch as Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, who misuse their faith against the Jewish state.

I hope that more Christians will follow in Beck’s footsteps and take the time to visit Israel.
They will see Christianity thriving in Israel while at the same time being dismantled and destroyed in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Egypt, and in other areas in which Islamic fundamentalists have taken over.

Christian religious sites are preserved in Jerusalem and other areas under Israeli control.
When the Jordanian government controlled parts of Jerusalem, it destroyed many historic religious sites sacred to both Jews and Christians.

Nation states are entitled to engage in Realpolitik so long as they do so
 within the limits of acceptable morality.
 Realpolitik requires accepting support from, and sometimes giving support to, nations and people who are not in complete 
agreement over policies.

Consider Nelson Mandela’s alliances with some of most brutal dictatorships 
(Libya, Cuba, Syria) and supporters of terrorism (P.L.O., Iran) while he was
 engaged in his just struggle against the evils of apartheid.

I do not recall the left condemning Mandela for doing what he had to do.
 But the same left was unforgiving in Israel when it was forced to make some
 strategic military deals with South Africa, while strongly opposing its
apartheid policies.

I do not mean to compare dictatorial, terrorist, or apartheid regimes with
Glenn Beck, only to make the point that the Jewish state is often subjected to a double standard when it comes to the support it receives or gives.

Many Israelis will welcome Glenn Beck’s support. Some will oppose it.
 Others will wish his views were more consistent with their own. 
This is as it should be in a democracy.

The fact is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that would allow
 Glenn Beck to express his views, without censoring them or even knowing in
advance what he was going to say. 
This too is as it should be in a democracy.



© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stick a fork in Gadhafi, He's done


Today it appears that Ghadafi is finished as the Grand wizard of Libya.
In the ‘70’s he emulated Castro, he talked about liberation and promoted an African Union.
While, like any politician, he kept some views from the “conservatives” to incorporate into his political philosophy, he intended, like Saddam, to drag Arabia and maybe the Africans into the 20th century.
The West, represented by the U.S. hated him because of the concern over his leftist pronouncements, and his confiscation of property.
The Arabs hated him because he wasn’t an Islamist.
The perfect storm was being brewed.

Several things are at play, one, the Arabs rioting across the Middle-East are not freedom fighters.
At the most optimistic, they are being controlled by radical Islamists.
It seems that there is a somewhat moderate Muslim here and there.
However, when the “nation building” starts, they are nowhere to be seen.
The Islamists are taking power in all of the “Arab Spring” events.
They hate Jews.
They hate Americans.
Another significant factor in the “Arab Spring” tumult is the fact that the dictators, who are really tough, ruthless, very bad guys, are not able to stop the rebels.
In the religious schools in Arabia, the children are taught from an early age to hate Jews first, and almost everyone else, too.
They are taught the glories of violence and mayhem and death, on behalf of Islam, Palestine, and so on.
By the time they are adolescents they are primed for murder and suicide, so many volunteer for suicide missions that terrorist groups have to turn them away.
Historically Arabs have always had a xenophobic outlook and a superiority complex.
Millions of Arabs have come to realize that they can topple their “infidel” governments.
How can they be stopped?
They can’t, as Ghadafi and Mubarak and others are learning.
They were successfully trained NOT to fear death.
The replacements for Mubarak and Ghadafi are going to be worse for everyone than they were.
By the way, there are protests going on in Israel at the same time as Ghadafi is fleeing for his life and Arabs are firing shoulder held rocket launchers into the air in celebration of their victory over the government. “Allah Akbar” they scream.

The Jewish unrest is nothing like the Arab Spring, of course.




Monday, August 22, 2011

Protests In Israel


Dozens of activists occupy a four-story building abandoned since 1999, and call on the Tel Aviv municipality to make use of empty buildings in the city.

By Ilan Lior Tags: Israel protest Israel housing protest Tel Aviv Israel real estate
Dozens of housing protesters squatted an abandoned four-story building in Tel Aviv Monday. The building, on Dov Hoz street in central Tel Aviv, is owned by the municipality and hasn't been populated in 12 years.
In the past few weeks activists have been cleaning the building, which used to be a school and a dormitory, and hung banners saying "The People's House – housing, community, culture," "A liberated building" and "The city closed, the residents open."
Squatters - Daniel Bar-On - August 22, 2011The building in central Tel Aviv, August 22, 2011
Photo by: Daniel Bar-On
A message that was posted on the building's wall read: "We, a group of young people in our thirties, who work, study and live in Tel Aviv, have decided to take it upon ourselves to return the building to its original purpose: a space for social and community activities and housing… We are not trying to take over the building for personal reason and we are not claiming any ownership over it."
The activists claim that the municipality is "waiting for the building to crumble so it can demolish it and build more buildings for the rich only. We will not let that happen."
Hadash MK Dov Khenin joined the protestors, and called on the municipality to make use of the hundreds of buildings standing vacant around the city. "It is outrageous that there is such a housing shortage in this city," he said. MK Nitzan Horowitz (New Movement-Meretz) also joined the sqautters and showed his support.
Tel Aviv municipality responded by saying that the act is illegal and constitutes a criminal offense, and that the squatters are risking their lives as the building is dangerous.
 

Jonathan Pollard Must Be Freed



Wednesday, 17 Aug 2011 04:55 PM
By Alan Dershowitz

There are several reasons why justice demands that Jonathan Pollard — given a life sentence for spying on the United States for Israel — be commuted to time served and that he be immediately released. 

The first is a legal and constitutional argument. Pollard, an NIS intel analyst convicted in 1987, waived his right to trial by jury in exchange for a promise by the government that it would not seek life imprisonment. The government broke that promise.
 

It submitted a perjured affidavit by then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger demanding life imprisonment and overstating the damage that Pollard had caused. This was a direct breach of the plea bargain.
 

Unfortunately Pollard's appeal was argued to a panel that included two Jewish judges, at least one of whom aspired to the Supreme Court. The two of them wrote a scandalously inept opinion affirming the sentence, while the third, non-Jewish, judge declared it to be a gross violation of due process and basic fairness. The non-Jewish judge, who had no fear of being accused of dual loyalty, was correct. The two Jewish judges were dead wrong.
 

I know of no other case in American jurisprudence in which a plea bargain has been so blatantly violated and the violation approved by an appellate court. The legal remedy is enforce the plea bargain as written and impose the sentence that the government promised it would seek.
 

If Pollard had served that sentence, he would be free by now.
 

Even if the law did not require Pollard's immediate release, principles of fairness and equal justice surely would.
 



The typical sentence imposed on an American who spies for an ally of the United States is in single digits. Such sentences have been imposed on Americans who spies for Egypt and other countries that are American allies. There is no reason in justice or fairness for Pollard to have received the double digit sentence for spying for Israel.
 

The prosecutor in this case tried to justify this sentencing disparity by arguing that since so many Americans support Israel, the need for deterrence is greater. This is an unacceptable double standard.
 

Finally, there are the humanitarian considerations. Pollard has served longer than any American convicted of spying for an American ally. He is very sick, having undergone several surgeries. He will die in prison unless his sentence is commuted.
 

Why, it might be asked, is he still in prison?
 

The answer is that two groups of people have worked hard to keep him in prison. The first is the intelligence community, led by former CIA Director George Tenet. President Bill Clinton was apparently prepared to release Pollard toward the end of his term when Tenet, former head of the CIA, threatened to quit. This threat violated the law, which expressly prohibits a CIA director from making policy. Tenet's illegal threat made policy and kept Pollard in prison.
 

The other group that worked hard to keep Pollard in prison was a group of Jewish senators who wrote to Clinton insisting that Pollard's sentence not be shortened. Clinton personally told me that this letter from influential Jewish senators affected his decision. Now, even several of these senators are calling for Pollard's release.

Pollard's continued imprisonment, in violation of law, equality, justice and compassion, is a stain on America. This stain can be removed if President Obama commutes Pollard's sentence to time served.
 

A commutation is different than a pardon. A pardon erases the conviction, whereas a commutation simply reduces the sentence, without in any way suggesting that the defendant was not guilty of a serious crime.
 

Pollard has admitted his guilt, not once but several times. The first time was when he pleaded and was sentenced. More recently he has apologized, as has the Israeli government. By pleading guilty and cooperating with the investigation, Pollard spared the government the embarrassment and difficulties inherent in a spy trial.
 

Had he not confessed his guilt, it is unlikely he would have been convicted of the most serious charge of spying, since the only direct evidence outside of his confession was the fact that he had unauthorized possession of classified material.
 

For helping the government in this way, he was promised that he would not have to spend the rest of his life in prison. But now he is likely to die in prison, a broken and sick man, unless Obama does the right thing.
 

The time has come — indeed it is long overdue — for Jonathan Pollard to receive proportional justice.
 
© Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Read more on Newsmax.com: Spy Jonathan Pollard Must Be Freed 
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The protests in Israel

TIME WILL TELL whether the gigantic popular protests of the past month in the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and other Israeli cities will outlast student summer holidays or the Palestinians’ stated intention to seek a formal declaration of statehood at the United Nations next month. 
Conceivably, either the resumption of school or a diplomatic crisis could dissipate the impressive reserves of energy, enthusiasm and deep-seated social grievance that have fueled the Jewish state’s biggest demonstrations in years.
Still, the conservative government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — an implicit target of many protesters — isn’t out of the woods yet. Organizers have called for mega-marches in dozens of Israeli towns Sept. 3, with a goal of bringing 1million people to the streets. Not counting Israel’s Arab citizens, who have mostly skipped the protests so far, that would mean a sixth of the country’s Jewish population would participate.
Even by the standards of a famously querulous country, these demonstrations, and the urban tent cities they have spawned, are something new, and not just because of their size. Lacking recognized leaders, fixed goals or allegiance to any political party, the rallies have morphed from low-grade anger over the price of cottage cheese, an Israeli breakfast staple, to a broad manifestation of genuine discontent with the nation’s social contract.
Among the objects of the protesters’ fury are the soaring cost of living — for housing, gasoline, food and a decent education — and the widely shared sense that Israel’s go-go economy has enriched a new class of elites and oligarchs while leaving middle-class families in the dust. What does it matter if the country is spawning high-tech start-ups and posh restaurants, say the mostly young protesters, if hundreds of thousands of well-educated people with jobs can barely afford to pay rents that climb by 5 or 10 percent each year? Who cares whether unemployment is among the lowest of any rich nation if the distribution of income and wealth is among the most inequitable?
The resentment has its roots in nostalgia for a more egalitarian era and in an economy that, even as it boomed, was warped by lack of competition. Tycoons and family-based conglomerates, a relative handful of whom control outsized swaths of industry, are household names in Israel and hardly beloved. The concentration of power and wealth has contributed to spiraling prices, a spreading sense of unfairness and signs hoisted by demonstrators proclaiming, “People Demand Social Justice.”
Mr. Netanyahu is walking a tightrope. Though he is a free-marketeer by inclination and experience — he was finance minister in the 1990s — the protests caught him (and everyone else) off guard. He has cautioned against “irresponsible, hasty and populist steps,” signaling that he will not endorse waves of new social spending.
On the other hand, Mr. Netanyahu can hardly ignore a broad-based movement, popular in the polls, that has seized the nation’s imagination. He has promised to meet with protesters, pledged to build more affordable housing and named a high-level commission to recommend the next moves. 
The trick will be to set in motion steps leading to a more equitable and balanced Israeli economy without sapping its entrepreneurial spirit and enviable growth.
First Published on Washington Post

Friday, August 19, 2011

IDF Attacks Terror Targets in the Gaza Strip


In response to Thursday's combined terror attacks near Eilat, the IDF attacked seven terror targets in Gaza overnight.
by Elad Benari
Published: 19/08/11, 5:38 AM

IAF Counterstrike (Gaza)
IAF Counterstrike (Gaza)
Israel news photo: Flash 90
IAF aircraft targeted seven terror targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson reported.
In northern Gaza, the targets included a weapon manufacturing site and two terror activity sites. In southern Gaza, the targets included two smuggling tunnels, a terror tunnel and a terror activity site.
The IDF Spokesperson noted in its statement that direct hits were confirmed and secondary blasts were identified at a number of the targets.
The sites were targeted in response to the combined terrorist attacks that took place Thursday near the city of Eilat and resulted in the deaths of eight Israelis, as well as the firing of rockets at Israel from Gaza following the attacks.
“The IDF will not tolerate any malicious attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will not hesitate to respond with strength and determination to any element that uses terror against the State of Israel and until calm is restored,” said the Spokesperson’s statement.
“The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
Several hours following the terror attacks, the IDF killed the terrorist commander who presided over the attacks.
The top terrorist was Abu Awad Kamel a-Neirab, commander of the Salah a-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees. He was killed along with two other terrorists and a child who was with them.
In a separate incident overnight Thursday, an Egyptian army officer and two security personnel were killed along the Egyptian-Israeli border. The three had gotten in the line of fire as IDF aircraft were chasing militants along the border of the resort city of Taba in south Sinai and Eilat.

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky