UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Wednesday, November 4 2013:
*The Egyptian border fence that runs from the Gaza-Egyptian-Israel border south to Eilat on the Red Sea has finally been finished. 245 km long, the fence cost $1.6 billion dollars and was completed–except for the last 15 kilometers–in mid 2012. Those last 15 kilometers took one year and half to complete because of the extremely difficult terrain.
As we all know, the original purpose of the fence was to stop infiltrators from Africa, and on that score the fence has been almost 100% successful in blocking virtually all who try to cross the border. Of course, since the fence began being built, the security situation in the Sinai has deteriorated, and now its purpose has morphed into keeping terrorists from the Sinai from infiltrating southern Israel.
Next the Israeli fence-building teams are turning their attention to the Jordanian border.
*Statistics released yesterday show that kibbutzniks continue to constitute the core of the IDF. An unbelievable 94% of all kibbutz women of military service age have enlisted this year topped only by 95% of all kibbutz men. Of these 95%, 82% enlisted in combat units. Here are the highest enlistment percentages for kibbutzim schools:
Gilboa: 100%, Ramat Negev: 99%, Jezreel Valley 98.9%, Merhavim 98.5%, Mateh Asher 98.4%, Hof Ashkelon 97.4%
As reported in Yediot Ahronot, Eitan Broshi, the secretary-general of the kibbutz movement, proudly declared yesterday that: “The Kibbutz Movement has seen and continues to dispatch members to serve in the IDF, and to contribute to the safety and defense of the country. This is how we were raised and I am proud that the youth of today are continuing that legacy, even in the changing reality on the kibbutz and in the country.”
*John Kerry will be back in Israel on Friday and apparently will bring with him a proposal for security arrangements in Judea and Samaria following the establishment of a Palestinian state. This proposal focuses on how Israel’s security can supposedly be increased by an IDF withdrawal to recognized borders and the establishment of a third party monitoring mechanism.
Formulated by retired General John Allen, the proposal will undoubtedly be a reiteration of Palestinian demands–and marks the beginning of a highly dangerous period in the “negotiations” during which the U.S. will cease to be a passive supporter of the Palestinians and will become an active interventionist on the side of the PLO.
The coming months will show us the true mettle of Benjamin Netanyahu–a mettle which heretofore has been found severely lacking.
This morning’s Jerusalem Post has a full one page “open letter” to American Secretary of State John Kerry. Entitled “Experience proves that territorial concessions don’t lead to peace but make matters worse”, the letter is signed by more than 250 rabbis here in Israel who belong to “The Rabbinical Congress for Peace.”
It urges Kerry to reconsider his support for a Palestinian state.
The letter is too long to print in its entirety here, but here are a few quotations:
“Mr. Secretary, as rabbis, we love peace and pray for peace. Moreover we are morally obligated by the teaching of our holy Torah to pursue peace and guide our people to strive for peace–but a peace that is true and lasting, not one that will lead to more bloodshed and instability in the region.”
“The ‘land for peace’ formula has in the past 40 years, especially since the Oslo disaster in 1993, proven to be an exercise in futility, obsolete, ineffective, but most of all dangerous. Its proponents turn a blind eye to the inescapable reality that to this day Palestinians are cynically trampling of every promise they have ever made.”
“The ruling of Jewish Law . . . forbidding the surrender of any part of our Holy Land to Israel’s neighbors, is based on the principle of Pikuach Nefesh, the universal obligation to safeguard lives that are in jeopardy. As most residents of Israel have personally witnessed, . . . ceding [of] territory only invited terrorist activity.”
“Hence, since it is forbidden to jeopardize the lives of Israel’s residents, it is forbidden under any circumstances to surrender any part of the Holy Land.”
Your humble servant could not agree more.