A Debt of Gratitude


Yom Kippur begins at sundown today and ends when three stars are seen in the sky tomorrow evening. To those of you who fast, your humble servant wishes you a Tzom Kal (Easy fast), and a G’mar Chatima Tovah!!

Because your humble servant is one of those fasting, there will be no israelstreet blog tomorrow.

UPDATES: 9 am Israel time, Friday, October 3 2014:

**Israeli forces on the Golan were the targets of fire from Syria this morning. There has been no word of any Israeli response.

Yesterday morning, an incoming missile from Gaza blew up in the air somewhere in the immediate vicinity of our house here in far south Ashdod. There has not been one word about this event, and no sirens sounded anywhere.

How do we even know it happened aside from the large concussive blast that almost punctured our eardrums and shattered the windows in our house?  That’s easy.  When we went upstairs, we found missile shrapnel on our roof. 

**The war of words between the Netanyahu government and the U.S. State Department continues concerning the Jewish real estate purchase in Siloach (Silwan) and the planned construction in Givat Hamatos.

**A particular line uttered by the abominable U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki yesterday indicates how low Israel has fallen on the Obama Administration totem pole.

There was a time when Israel was considered the U.S.’s main ally in the Middle East and one of its closest allies in the world. However from the moment that President Obama took office back in 2008, this view changed. Israel became one among many.

Here’s what Psaki said yesterday after harshly castigating Israel again: “Israel remains an important partner, a security partner, a friend and ally. That has not changed.”

Psaki could have used (and probably has used) exactly the same words when talking about Turkey, Qatar, or Saudi Arabia.

**Your humble servant spent yesterday in Jerusalem and was struck as always by its beauty and spirtuality. Sukkot were being put up all over the city in advance of the coming holiday of Sukkot. Large numbers of Christian tourists were in the city for that holiday known to Christians as the “Feast of the Tabernacles”.

During the day, I talked with African-Americans from the United States, Africans from Nigeria, and Koreans from Seoul. Also, tour groups from Germany, Norway, and Russia were visible everywhere.

What was missing from this happy scene of exuberance? Jewish tourists. Sure, I talked to individuals from various locales, but the large-scale influx from abroad one expects to find at this time of year was sadly missing.

It seems that the recent war in Gaza has needlessly scared many away.


As regular readers of israelstreet know, your humble servant usually takes one blog per month to document the intifada that has been going on in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria for the last two years.  

Working backward from Thursday until noon Tuesday, here is a very brief summary of the last two days:

4:26 pm Thursday: 2 Palestinian terrorists with pipe bombs, guns, and knives are captured at the Tapuach Junction.

12:50 pm Thursday: 2 Israeli girls (ages 16 and 17) are wounded when bricks smash through windows of a car being driven by their mother. Paramedics rush girls to Shaare Zedic Medical Center with “moderate wounds”.

9:38 am Thursday: Arabs attack Jews on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Two Arabs are arrested.

8:22 am Thursday: Palestinian terrorists in a jeep threw “rocks” at an Israeli vehicle near Beit Hanoun (Hebrn). Occupants of car traumatized but not physically wounded. Car is smashed.

8:07 am Thursday: Palestinian terrorists attempt to commandeer car and driver at entrance to Kiryat Netafim in Samaria. Unsuccessful. Driver escapes.

7:05 am Thursday: Palestinian terrorists assault Israeli motorists with “rocks” near the Khader-Efrat Junction in Gush Etzion.

7:00 am Thursday: The Egged bus company reports that its buses are attacked two or three times each week by Arab terrorists operating in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem.

10:25 pm Wednesday: Arabs throw “rocks” at bus on Uzi Narkis street in Jerusalem.

9:14 pm Wednesday: Palestinians throw “rocks” at the Tapuach Junction. Israelis are wounded.

8:07 pm Wednesday: Palestinians throw “rocks” at motorists in the Mt. Hebron triangle.

7:33 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists throw Molotov cocktail at Israeli motorist near the Yitzhar intersection in Samaria.

4:18 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists block the road with burning tires near the Benjamin intersection, then proceed to assault motorists. Checkpoint finally closed because of Palestinian rioting.

1:47 pm Wednesday: Israelis attacked on Mt. of Olives by gangs of Arab terrorists.

12:53 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists attack motorists on road near Hebron.

What conclusions can we draw from just this short list?

1. Thank goodness for the few remaining checkpoints. Do you have any idea how many Palestinian terrorists are caught trying to infiltrate into Israel every week in order to carry out terror attacks?

2. The roads in Judea and Samaria are a war zone. Virtually every intersection and all points in between are a haven for Palestinian terrorists throwing “rocks” and Molotov cocktails. Israelis are being wounded by the score.

3. Eastern Jerusalem has also become a war zone with some areas such as Pisgat Ze’ev, Shuafat, A-Tur, and Issawiya becoming the daily scene of attacks on buses, the Jerusalem light rail, cars carrying Israeli flags, and anyone who looks like an Israeli Jew. 

4. The Temple Mount has become the scene of some of the most vicious assaults on Jews. 

It bears repeating that all of us in Israel owe a debt of gratitude to the Jewish community members who at great risk to their lives continue to live in and expand our presence in the land of Israel.

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