UPDATES 11 pm Israel time, Saturday, March 15 2014:
*Gaza’s only power plant, which supplies 30% of Gaza’s electricity, has gone offline again because of a lack of operating fuel. That fuel supply which normally comes from Egypt through the Kerem Shalom Crossing in Israel into Gaza has been halted because of the incessant rocket fire emanating from Palestinian terrorists.
It is important to remember that the advanced hydraulic rocket launchers used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad–which can fire as many as 18 rockets at a time–are powered by electricity.
*One of the leading Palestinian terrorists, Tawfiq Mohammed Freij, was killed yesterday in the Sinai. Freji, who was responsible for a 2011 bomb attack on an Israeli bus that killed 8 Israelis, was himself killed by a bomb that he had made. The bomb prematurely exploded as a result of a traffic accident.
*A new Lebanese government coalition is on the verge of forming as a result of a “compromise” reached yesterday that authorizes Hezbollah to increase fighting against Israel by using its arsenal of weapons and missiles.
It is not surprising that almost immediately following the announcement of the compromise, Hezbollah launched an IED attack on an IDF patrol in the Mt. Dov area on the Lebanese border. No Israeli soldiers were wounded in the attack. As Hezbollah forces limp home from Syria, fighting on the Israeli-Lebanese border is bound to increase.
By now, israelstreet readers will have undoubtedly heard the news reports of the Norwegian cruise ship that docked at La Goulette (Tunis) several days ago. Upon docking, the fourteen Israeli passengers who had planned to go ashore were prevented from doing so by Tunisian authorities.
The story resonated with your humble servant for many reasons, not the least of which was that I was aboard another ship that stopped in Tunis six months ago–and from which we Israelis had no trouble entering Tunisia.
As you also have probably read, within two days of this incident, Norwegian Cruise Lines announced that it would no longer stop in Tunisia. The statement from the cruise line CEO Kevin Sheehan was breathtakingly refreshing:
“We want to send a strong message to Tunisia and ports around the world that we will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests. We are outraged by this act and the fact that we were not notified in advance of this practice.”
By yesterday, the Tunisian government was desperately backtracking saying absurdly that it was all just “a procedural error” and that the Israelis were denied entrance because they did not have the proper visa. Of course, the absurdity is that none of the passengers who entered Tunisia had a visa before arrival because the visas are issued at the port.
A little reported part of this news item was the fact that one Canadian citizen who was on board decided to stand with the Israelis and refused to go ashore. Ed Glina did what every other passenger who planned to go into Tunisia should have done but didn’t.
More than this, it was Glina who blasted the Tunisians the next day in the press.
This was almost immediately followed up by a statement by the press secretary of the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird:
“The singling out of Israeli citizens in this manner is concerning and inconsistent with principles of openness, tolerance, and religious freedom that are enshrined in Tunisia’s new progressive constitution. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development is working closely with Canada’s Embassy in Tunisia to determine the reason for this refusal. Canada’s Ambassador in Tunisia has registered Canada’s concerns about this incident to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Interior Ministry.”
Imagine what a better world it would be if it were peopled by more people like Ed Glina–people who are willing to stand up for what is right because they are possessed with the courage of their convictions.
Israelstreet salutes Ed Glina, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the Canadian government!