UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Sunday, April 13 2014:
**The last 12 hours have seen the IDF capture three more Palestinian terrorists as they tried to breach the Gaza Border fence, and Israeli children, women, and men awakened from their sleep and forced to run to their bomb shelters just after midnight as incoming rocket sirens blared across the Eshkol region.
**Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon takes away and then he gives. After ordering the outrageous takeover of the yeshiva in Yitzhar two days ago, Ya’alon finally gave the green light for Jewish community members to move into their house in Hebron.
This is not just any house. It is the famed multi-story “House of Peace” that sits on the critical road that connects the Jewish neighborhood of Kiryat Arba to central Hebron, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the Jewish neighborhood within the city. First purchased by Jews back in 2007, the House has been in legal limbo ever since with Palestinians claiming that the purchase documents were forged.
Based merely on the Palestinian accusation, then Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered all Jews out of the house in 2008. Numerous actions and appeals by the Palestinians worked their way through the Israeli judicial system until last month when the Israel Supreme Court ruled once and for all that the house belongs to its Jewish owners.
As you can guess, dear reader, today was one of great celebration by the Jews in Hebron. Orit Struck, a Knesset legislator with the Jewish Home party and herself a resident of Hebron declared “a day of celebration” and “a victory for Jewish justice over the Arab mentality of murder.”
*The E1 area that lies between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem was back in the news this morning. You will remember that the international community has continually castigated Israel for attempting to build homes, schools, and health clinics in E1. Embarassingly, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu has kowtowed to the internationalists.
But that hasn’t stopped the Palestinians from illegally building in E1–with the financial help of the European Union. According to the EU today, 18 “tin huts” that were recently built in E1 to “shelter” Palestinians during the “severe winter” were partially funded by EU member states. Three of those illegal huts were recently destroyed by Israeli security forces (why the other 15 were not destroyed is further testament to Israeli pusillanimity).
But to add outrage to outrage, we have the European Union this morning demanding compensation from Israel for the destroyed illegal huts. An EU diplomat had the gall to issue this statement today: “We should ask for compensation from Israel whenever EU-funded humanitarian aid projects are destroyed”. Maja Maja Kocijancic, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief and Baroness Buffoon Catherine Ashton added: “We will raise this issue with the relevant Israeli authorities.”
*Speaking of buffoons, Tzip Livni was at it again this morning ranting against Naftali Bennett and his Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party: “I didn’t want Bennett in the government . . . It was this ‘brothers’ alliance’ (with Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid) that forced Bayit Yehudi on the government along with their extreme ideology. We are trying to put Israel on the world map and in doing so, we are facing a complex battle with Bennett and in friends.”
Extreme ideology? Since when has it become extreme ideology to believe in a Jewish Israel.
Trying to put Israel on the world map? Here’s a news flash for Livni: Israel has been on the world map for the last 3300 years despite all of the efforts of people like you to remove it.
By late afternoon, Bayit Yehudi responded by saying: “Livni has turned Israel into a country that frees murderers for nothing. [She should] “examine her own actions to see where she brought us, and at what price.”
Regular readers of israelstreet undoubtedly noticed that yesterday was one of those extremely rare days when no blog appeared. You may have wondered if something had gone wrong–but the fact was that something had gone extremely right.
As you may or may not know, your humble servant has long headed the largest committee in his synagogue in northern California. That committee, the “Israel Matters Committee“, puts on pro-Israel programming for nine months a year–but especially when your humble servant is not at his “other home” in Ashdod, Israel.
So far this year, we have put on 10 programs ranging from a presentation by the western director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) to an enthusiastic showing last week of the anti-J Street film: “The J Street Challenge: The Seductive Allure of Peace In Our Time”.
But this year we decided to, more than ever, “go public”. Over the last three months, we have had an Israel Matters booth in the extremely popular local Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning in which we have flown the Israeli flag and collected funds for our two year project to build a portable bomb shelter in southern Israel.
The response has been extraordinary. We fully expected to have a rash of anti-Israel activists at our booth each week, but just the opposite has happened; we have been met by pro-Israel supporters of every stripe–all of whom have commented that they are “surprised and thrilled” to see an Israeli flag flying in the market.
All of which leads to yesterday. Our community has a Picnic Day that attracts some 100,000 to 150,000 visitors into our town each year. The highlight of Picnic Day is the Picnic Day Parade which winds through the local university campus and the town. It features walking groups, floats, and animal entries (horses, dogs, etc).
Yesterday there were 63 entries in the parade, and we on Israel Matters were number 20. Not only did members of our own committee march, but also we were joined by CUFI students on campus and Israel supporters from throughout the region.
Again, we really didn’t know what the reaction would be to a sea of Israeli flags in the parade, but we should never have wondered–the response was overwhelming wonderful with bursts of applause and shouts of support all along the route.
All in all it was an incredible day, a day which brings me back to a point often made in this blog. Get out of your house and support Israel! You will feel good and you will do something good for Israel!