A Happy 4th of July in Ma’aleh Adumim

28 Sivan 5776

Monday, July 4 2016



Happy 4th of July to all of our friends and family in the United States! We hope you celebrate this 240th birthday with the same vigor as your humble servant and friends will tonight on the beach here in Ashdod.

UPDATES 8 am Israel time

…Two bittersweet updates…

Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark and his wife Chana.

Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark and his wife Chava.

First, Rabbi Miki Mark, who was shot to death as he drove his family in a car near Othniel two days ago, was buried yesterday at a funeral attended by thousands and presided over by President Reuven Rivlin. A number of Mark’s ten children eulogized their father as “the most wonderful father” possible and a father who helped them realize their dreams.

The only people missing from the funeral were one of Rabbi Mark’s children who was badly wounded, and his wife Chava who was critically wounded.

The good news is that Chava awakened from a medically induced coma yesterday and has had her condition upgraded to “very serious.”

By the way, the funeral procession carrying the rabbi’s body from Othniel to Jerusalem came under terrorist “rock” attack.

Second, you will recall that one of the first responders to the gruesome stabbing death of Hallal Yaffa Ariel was also badly wounded.

Shuki Gilboa suffered wounds to his stomach and eye.

Shuki Gilboa giving the thumbs up in the hospital yeserday. With him is his wife.

Shuki Gilboa giving the thumbs up in the hospital yesterday. With him is his wife.

Fortunately, Gilboa’s condition has been upgraded–though he has lost his eye.

…Not all Palestinians are terrorists…

Yesterday, Chava Mark’s sister, Iska, went on Facebook to ask people to stop writing on her Facebook page that all Palestinians are “murderers and scumbags.”

One of the less reported aspects of the attack on Mark family was who first came to their aid when Rabbi Mark was shot and killed, other family members were shot, and the car flipped over.

15-year-old Pedaya Mark who was also wounded in the car noted afterward: 

“Arabs succeeded in opening the door and took us out and put us in [another] car so that nothing would happen to us.” MADA later reported that it was a Palestinian man who called in the paramedics while his wife was taking care of Pedaya’s sister.”

We still don’t have the names of the Palestinians who came to the aid of the Marks (obviously their lives would in danger if their names were known), but we know that the wife who was treating Pedaya’s sister is a doctor–and the family lives in Hevron.

Of course it is true that not all Palestinians are murderers; however, it should be noted that Iska’s father was also killed by Palestinian murderers.

Palestinian terror unreported by the international mainstream media

There were more than 20 Palestinian terror attacks in the last 24 hours.

Palestinian terrorist rioters attacked Israeli security personnel with “rocks”, Molotovs, and IEDs in Silwan, Shufa, Husan, Al-Fawwar, and Basooya.

“Rock” attacks occurred at numerous locations such as Einav, Mt. Hebron, and Silwad.


First a little bit of history.

As you may not know, Ma’aleh Adumim was first mentioned in the Book of Joshua as being on the border between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin:

The boundary [of the tribe of Judah] ascended from the Valley of Achor to Debir and turned north to Gilgal, facing the Ascent of Adumim, which is south of the wadi.

Fast forward about 3400 years, and you will now find Ma’aleh Adumim to be a thriving city of more than 41,000 Israelis which is still critically located.

Surrounded on four sides by the Judean Desert, Ma’aleh Adumim is in the heart of Area C.

A picture of Ma'ale Adumim looking toward the Dead Sea on a clear day. This picture was made decades ago before the city had grown to its current size (Photo Isi Leibler).

A picture of Ma’ale Adumim looking toward the Dead Sea on a clear day. This picture was made decades ago before the city had grown to its current size (Photo Isi Leibler).

You cannot miss the city as you are driving into and out of Jerusalem on Highway 1.

A more up to date picture of one side of the city.

A more up to date picture of one side of the city. Ma’aleh Adumin is now the biggest city in Judea and Samaria.

I mention all of this today because Ma’aleh Adumim will certainly be splattered all over the international news following the decision of PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Lieberman last night to construct 560 new apartments in the city–apartments that have long been badly needed (also approved were 140 in Ramot and 100 in Har Homa and Pisgat Ze’ev–as well as 600 in the Beit Safafa Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem).

Will the 560 apartments actually be built?

No one can say. You will recall from yesterday’s blog that Netanyahu’s M.O. is to approve construction and then freeze construction.

However, there may be some reason to believe that it will actually happen this time with Lieberman on board.

Let’s earnestly hope so. Happy 4th of July Ma’aleh Adumim!


P.S. If you happen to be in in town tonight, come on down to the farthest beach in south Ashdod for lots of great hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and roasted marshmallows! Just look for the American flag waving on the beach!


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