1 Tammuz 5777
25 June 2017
The News on the Israeli Street
10 mortar and missile attacks on the Golan yesterday . . .
Frankly, the situation just across the border in Syria is even more confused than ever with groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda, IS, “rebel”, the Syrian Army, and Iran-Hezbollah all battling for kilometers of territory.
The mortar and missile fire yesterday was all classified as “leakage” by the IDF, yet we subsequently attacked Syrian army installations and tanks. So much for leakage.
The basic fact is that Israel is being drawn ever deeper into the conflict.
Fireworks at tonight’s cabinet meeting . . .
Numerous contentious issues are set for discussion at the weekly Sunday night cabinet ranging from the ongoing fight over turning over Area C land to Palestinians in the Qalqilya area to the increased security measures at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem (see below).
Perhaps the most contentious issues, however, will be two religious ones:
1. An attempt by orthodox Coalition members UTJ (United Torah Judaism) and Shas to repeal the 2016 government decision to create an egalitatarian mixed gender section at the Kotel (Western Wall) to accommodate Reform and Conservative Jews who mainly reside outside of Israel.
PM Netanyahu is apparently walking a tightrope on the issue, not wanting to have the decision repealed in order to not bring down the wrath of Jews in the diaspora, but also not wanting to upset UTJ and Shas to the point of having them threaten to leave the government. We may find out tonight which of these groups is more important to our prime minister.
2. A proposed new conversion law that would invalidate any conversions to Judaism made in or out of Israel by non-orthodox rabbis. Needless to say, reform and conservative rabbis are up in arms about this proposal.
The on again off again freeze of Jewish construction in Jerusalem . . .
It was just last Monday that PM Netanyahu ordered a construction freeze on some 6,000 already-approved apartments across the so-called Green Line in Jerusalem’s Gilo, Har Homa, and Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhoods.
Yesterday, word filtered down from the prime minister’s office that the freeze has been lifted.
Let’s see what tomorrow will bring.
The “racism” of PM Netanyahu . . .
Over the weekend, Mahmoud Abbas kept up his attack on Netanyahu, Greenblatt, and Kushner for daring to suggest that payment to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons be halted.
Abbas singled out Netanyahu yesterday for being racist for calling “Palestinian security prisoners” terrorists.
Actually, this is completely unsurprising because in Palestinian parlance, there is no such as a Palestinian “terrorist”–unless it is someone trying to kill Mahmoud Abbas.
Security at the Damascus Gate . . .
The murder of Border Policewoman Hadas Malka last week has once again highlighted the absurd condition at the Damascus Gate where Palestinian terrorists have carried 32 attacks since September of 2015.
32 attacks resulting in bloody murders, woundings, and trauma.
But apparently it has taken Malka’s barbaric murder to get the government to do something. On Friday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced that the security situation at the Gate will be completely overhauled with new security posts, new on the ground intelligence, and new cameras.
In your humble servant’s opinion, this is too little too late–and entirely misses the point.
As we have often noted on israelstreet, the security situation will not improve in the Old City until Israel dramatically asserts its sovereignty over the Temple Mount. This is not done by transporting in hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to pray on the Mount (300,000 prayed there last Wednesday night alone) while denying the freedom of Jews to worship at Judaism’s holiest place.
Support for Israel Declines Among U.S. Jewish University Students
The research published here in Israel in the last few days by “Brand Israel” that Jewish university students in the U.S. no longer support Israel as they once did is no news at all to one who has seen Israel slip far down the priority list of such students. And, as their support for Israel has waned so has their support for the Palestinians increased.
Why is this happening? 57% believe that Israel is to blame for the conflict because it lacks diversity and tramples human rights.
To put it another way, most students who “self-identify as Jews” have bought the Palestinian narrative hook, line, and sinker. To put it even another way, these students’ beliefs are based on an almost total lack of knowledge about what happens in this country. No one who lives here, or who reads objective reports about what goes on here, could possibly accuse Israel of lack of diversity or lack of adherence to human rights.
From your humble servant’s first hand perspective in the California university community in which he lives half of each year, I believe that there are at least three other factors at play:
1. Intimidation: the research alludes to the fact that 31% of these students have experienced anti-Semitism, and more than half of this number blame the anti-Semitism they experience on Israel.
2. Liberal “progressiveness”: most of the students in question have been raised in “progressive” households in which loathing of Israel has become the norm. It is virtually impossible these days to be a liberal student and a supporter of Israel. This impossibility has been brought about by being raised in a U.S. Jewish environment dominated by such liberal forces as the U.S. Democratic Party and Reform Judaism. When exacerbated by an elementary school, junior high school, high school, and university academia ruthlessly controlled by “teachers” and professors who have succumbed to Palestinian propaganda, the results are totally predictable.
3. Self-identification: there is much to be said for the argument that lack of support for Israel stems from the fact that Jewish students in the U.S. today are no longer “Jews”. They do not know Judaism and as a result cannot understand the centrality of Israel to Judaism. In this context, it is no accident that the one group in which support for Israel has not waned is evangelical Christians. These Christians understand and follow their religion. In sum, in another generation or two, as assimilation decimates the American Jewish community, Jewish support for Israel will continue to wane precipitously.
Frankly, even though there are occasional rays of sunshine amidst the darkness enveloping U.S. campuses, the overall outlook for Israel support is bleak.