Special Notice 28th of Nisan 5774:
One hour from now at 8 pm, Holocaust Martyrs and Memorial Day will begin in Israel with the sounding of a siren. Every Israeli is expected to stop what they are doing and stand at attention to remember the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. All traffic will come to a halt as drivers stand beside their cars.
Your humble servant respectfully suggests that wherever you are dear reader, you too stand for two minutes in remembrance of those who were slaughtered by the Nazis and their allies.
Tomorrow morning, individuals are invited to come to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, to help in reading the names of those who died. At 10 am a second siren will sound, and wreaths will be placed at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial in Jerusalem.
As you may or may not know dear reader, Holocaust Memorial Day is held annually in Israel on the 28th day of Hebrew month of Nisan–the date on which the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began in 1943.
UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Sunday, April 27 2014:
*An attempted stabbing near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron was thwarted a few hours ago when security personnel identified two Palestinian terrorists with knives as they approached an IDF checkpoint. One of the terrorists was captured, but the other managed to escape.
*The Egyptian Army revealed yesterday that it had uncovered 5 separate Hamas terrorist tunnels running from Gaza to the Salah al-Din Mosque in Rafah. One of the tunnels actually actually opened directly under the pulpit in the mosque. An Egyptian army spokesman called the tunnels “a crime against holy places.”
*As part of the suspension of “peace talks” with the Palestinians, Moshe Ya’alon announced today that 19 Palestinian projects in Area C–most of which are funded by the European Union–have been suspended.
Meanwhile, there were increased calls in Israel and in the Knesset yesterday for Israel to annex Area C–which contains virtually all of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. As you may or may not remember, your humble servant has long thought that Israel should be proactive and annex Area C immediately.
*Hamas spokesmen have rushed to podiums in Gaza today to proclaim that a Washington Post newspaper report that Hamas may be ready to recognize Israel is a total fantasy. Under no circumstances, they said, will Hamas ever change its charter to recognize Israel.
Meanwhile, as predicted in this blog the other day, European Foreign Minister and Baroness Buffoon Catherine Ashton, rushed to the podium today to express her support for the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. Her only reservation was that Hamas must recognize Israel.
Your humble servant is certain that in the coming days, the Europeans will find a “formula of recognition” that allows increasingly anti-Semitic Europe to embrace Hamas.
Two comments, one from Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and the other from Mahmoud Al-Zahar of Hamas have been ringing in your humble servant’s ears for the last 24 hours.
All we hear in the international media concerning Judea and Samaria is that they are “occupied territory”. The poor Palestinians, we are told by everyone, are the victims of a cruel “occupation” perpetuated by Israelis who are bent on discrimination and persecution.
Even yesterday, we had the spectacle of Saeb Erekat giving an interview in Israel’s Yedioth Aharonot newspaper, in which he proclaimed that “Israeli occupation is the highest form of terrorism.” Even some Israelis–especially the Israeli left–have bought into the terminology of “occupation.”
It was in this context in which Mahmoud Abbas’ speech two days ago in Ramallah surprised many with his reference to the land under Palestinian control. Abbas did not call them “occupied territories” as he has so many times before. This time, Abbas called them what they actually are: “autonomous territories”.
Autonomous territories. Independent territories. It is high time for everyone to recognize what this blog pointed out last week, namely that 98% of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria live in autonomous Palestinian territory. Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria are–and have been for almost two decades–under complete Palestinian administration.
The other quote from Mahmoud Al-Zahar was particularly sensitive to your humble servant as a resident of southern Israel. How many times in recent years have we heard the IDF General Staff proclaim that Hamas is not to blame for the incessant rocket fire from Gaza?
The General Staff will go to any length to say that it was Islamic Jihad or the Al-Aksa Brigades or the Salafists who are firing missiles at southern Israeli men, women, and children. The IDF General Staff almost always tries to portray Hamas as the good guys who are doing everything in their power to control “the bad guys.”
It was in this context, that Mahmoud al-Zahar’s comments to the Arab news media were particularly revealing. When he was asked if Hamas has given up resistance (aka terrorism), Zahar responded: “Anyone who claims so must be drunk. How has Hamas abandoned the resistance effort? What are the manifestations of it doing so? Where have we prevented the launching of rockets?”
Indeed, when it comes to “occupation” and Hamas terrorism, the whole world usually seems drunk.