UPDATES 8 pm Israel time, Monday, January 27 2014:
**PM Netanyahu’s thrice-spoken statement that “I have no intention of evacuating any settlement or uprooting any Israelis”, made in Hebrew at a press conference in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum last week continues to make waves in Israel.
First, we had Netanyahu’s office refusing to issue a text version of what Netanyahu said. Then, we had Tzipi Livni telling us that what Netanyahu actually meant was that no “settlement block” would be evacuated.
However, yesterday we had leakage from unnamed sources that what Netanyahu was absurdly talking about was that some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would be incorporated into the new state of “Palestine.”
You can imagine the reaction today to this revelation. First, we have been treated to the Palestinians angrily howling that not one single “settler” will be allowed to live in “Palestine”, and now we have members of Netanyahu’s own Likud party threatening to break up the coalition if this is Netanyahu’s actual position.
**The Israel Security Agency has released its annual terror report. Some of the statistics:
–190 “significant” attacks were thwarted (compared to 112 last year). Most of these attacks were planned for Judea and Samaria.
–Of the 190 “significant thwarted attacks” were 52 planned kidnappings and 16 were suicide bombers
–108 out of 206 terrorists who were released and deported in the Gilad Shalit deal have returned to terror and been rearrested
**Mahmoud Abbas was body deep in delusions while speaking to the Institute for National Security Studies today. Now, he ranted, is the best time to reach a peace agreement. “All” that reaching peace will take is:
—A state of Palestine within the 1948 Armistice Lines
—East Jerusalem to be the capital of a “Palestine”
—The rest of Jerusalem to an “open city” with “arrangements to be made between the two sides [yet another a new demand]
—No IDF presence on “Palestine’s” borders
—Palestinian “right of return to Israel” to be recognized and dealt with according to the Arab Peace initiative
Abbas, who is only kept in power by virtue of the IDF and Israeli security forces, then blathered that his PLO represents “the entire nation” including Hamas: “We’re signing an agreement in the name of the entire Palestinian nation – in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in the diaspora.”
What a joke.
It was a fantastic weekend here in northern California supporting Israel.
On Saturday, we were out in the Farmer’s Market of our local town distributing information about coming events, giving away free Israeli flags to children, and collecting donations for a fund to build a portable bomb shelter for southern Israel.
It was heartwarming to hear expression after expression of support for Israel and to see kids running through the Market waving their flags.
A few of the comments:
“I am shocked to see you out here and to see the Israeli flag in the Market. I just want you to know that there are many non-Jews in this community who strongly support Israel.”
“We just want to tell you that Israel is always in our prayers.”
“What can I do to help you”?
And so it went. Rather remarkably, given the political leanings of our town, there was not one single disparaging comment.
On Sunday, we were at AIPAC in Sacramento along with 300 other spirited supporters of Israel. To get inside the venue, we had to run a small gauntlet of protesters who entertained us with “Free free Palestine!” and “End the Israeli occupation!”. We waved Israeli flags back at them and told them there is no “Palestine” and no occupation.
Inside the venue, we networked with U.S. Congressmen and numerous state and local officials–all of whom are ardent supporters of Israel.
The program was an interview-style presentation featuring Ari Shavit, the long-time columnist of the Haaretz newspaper in Israel whose book “My Promised Land” has caused much discussion in Israel and in the United States.
Shavit was articulate and delightfully optimistic about the future of Israel. A deeply committed Zionist, he gave glowing tributes to the Zionist founders of the state and the hardships they endured. He talked about the necessity of being brutal in brutal situations such as what happened in Lydda in 1948 or in Gaza during fighting there. In particular, he expressed his outrage that the “Lydda chapter” in his book is being misused by Israel detractors.
But he focused on the importance generating a new relationship between Israel and the United States–particularly one which displays the wonder of Israel in all of its “sexiness”, a sexiness that should be attractive to young Americans. He even suggested that a future program might be a Jewish Peace Corps service.
All in all it was a fantastic afternoon, and we came away more committed than ever to fight for Israel here on the local level.
Today’s blog ends with the question in the heading of the blog everyday:
“What have you done for Israel today?”