22 Tishrei 5778

12 October 2017

 

 

SPECIAL NOTICE

Your humble servant will be traveling outside of Israel during the next 17 days in areas that have problematical internet reception at best. This blog will be updated as possible, but daily blogs will not be written until my return to Israel on October 29. Thank you for your patience.

The News on the Israeli Street

Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .

*Palestinian terrorists opened fire on an IDF force near the Gaza border. Israel responded by destroying another Hamas observation post.

*During the day and evening, Palestinian terrorists threw “rocks” and Molotovs at Israelis at Negohot, Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem, Silwan, Route 55, Azzun, Tekoa, Tur, Wadi Fukin, Sinjil, and Hizma among other places.

All told, there were more than 20 reports of terror attacks.

Bad news on the Golan . . .

It was reported yesterday that senior IS terrorists from Iraq and Syria have fled to a new IS enclave on the Golan close to the Israel border. They have apparently set up a training camp for 300 youths as well a media network to spread propaganda. This effort is being led by Abu Hamam Jazrawi, the head of IS recruitment.

Good news on the business front . . .

China’s massive e-commerce company, Alibaba, has decided to establish a research and development center in Israel. In doing so, it is competing directly with Microsoft, Google, Ebay, Amazon, Oracle and many other high-tech firms that have set up shop here.

The question is whether enough engineers can be found to staff Alibaba. Already companies are complaining that the Israel education system is not turning out enough engineers to fill their needs.

Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement reached . . .

It was announced last night in Cairo that an agreement has been reached.

In short, Fatah will be responsible for everything above ground, and Hamas will be responsible for everything below ground. In other words, Fatah can deal with the everyday problems of garbage, sewage, water, etc, and Hamas is free to continue arming itself to the teeth. 

Don’t expect this reconciliation to last. Almost certainly there will begin to be confrontations above ground between Fatah and the immense Hamas security apparatus.

 

TODAY’S BLOG

Our Trips To Samaria (Part 4)

For the last three days, we have been traveling around Samaria. Based on what we saw, here are 5 quick observations:

1. Everyone who visits Israel should take a ride down Road 60, the Way of the Patriarchs. The Palestinian homes along the way are astonishing–all indicative of a middle to upper class society.

2. Everyone who visits Israel should visit the Jewish communities in Samaria in Judea; you will be impressed by the passion of the community members who ideological support for the land of Israel is unwavering despite tragedy after tragedy. How many times on our trips did we hear “Thank you for coming!” The bravery of these people is amazing.

3. The Palestinian and Israeli communities are a study in contrasts. The Palestinian communities are spread out because the people in them do not have to worry about terrorist attacks; the Israeli communities are bunched together for protection. As stated, the Palestinian communities seem upscale and affluent; the Jewish communities are more economically challenged.

4. Both Palestinian and Israeli communities are overflowing with young people. It is virtually impossible to find Jewish parents over 30 years of age who do not have at least 5 or 6 children–with the woman currently pregnant. It is a joy to see these kids playing on the hills and in the meadows of the area.

5. It is impossible to travel to Samaria and not see that it is the heart of Israel. 

Today I leave you with some random pictures that I took on our travels in Samaria.

Picture 1.

Two girls in ancient Shilo. On the day we were there many of the youth were dressed as they would have been thousands of years ago.

Two girls in ancient Shilo. On the day we were there many of the youth were dressed as they would have been thousands of years ago.

Picture 2. 

The woman on the left is Vered who was our guide at Rechelim; the woman on the right is Avital who was our guide for part of our journey with Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. Rechelim is amazing in that the members of the community refuse to have a security fence believing that it would separate them from their surroundings. But not having a security fence means that they need more weapons to defend themselves. When Vered was asked "What is in the building?" she answered simply: "Guns." By the way, there is a wonderful winery at Rechelim that is named Tura.

The woman on the left is Vered who was our guide at Rechelim; the woman on the right is Avital who was our guide for part of our journey with Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. Rechelim is amazing in that the members of the community refuse to have a security fence believing that it would separate them from their surroundings. But not having a security fence means that they need more weapons to defend themselves. When Vered was asked “What is in the building?” she answered simply: “Guns.” By the way, there is a wonderful winery at Rechelim that is named Tura.

Picture 3.

I made this picture at Elon Moreh, a beautiful community perched high over Shechem (Nablus). Elon Moreh has a lovely winery and what you see is the check-in table.

I made this picture at Elon Moreh, a beautiful community perched high over Shechem (Nablus). Elon Moreh has a lovely winery and what you see is the check-in table. The gun belongs to the young women.

Picture 4.

Elon Moreh is very artistic--this is one of many benches at the entrance. The Hebrew reads "Welcome to Elon Moreh!" Note the paramedic MADA ambulance in the background.

Elon Moreh is very artistic–this is one of many benches at the entrance. The Hebrew reads “Welcome to Elon Moreh!” Note the paramedic MADA ambulance in the background.

Picture 5.

Kids are everywhere throughout Samaria. This is a safari ride at Elon Moreh. Look closely and you will see that the boys are all wearing kipas (or holding them). All of the families there are very religious.

Kids are everywhere throughout Samaria. This is a safari ride at Elon Moreh. Look closely and you will see that the boys are all wearing kipas (or holding them). All of the families there are very religious.

Picture 6.

With apologies for the lack of clarity in the picture, it was made on Mt. Girizim in the Samaritan community we visited. The Samaritans are an extremely interesting group--the writing above the door is in ancient Hebrew.

With apologies for the lack of clarity in the picture, it was made on Mt. Gerizim in the Samaritan community we visited. The Samaritans are an extremely interesting group–the writing above the door is in ancient Hebrew.

Picture 7.

It might surprise you to know that the Samaritans still sacrifice animals at Passover. This is the place where the sacrifices take place--in the grated pits in the grassy area in the courtyard.

It might surprise you to know that the Samaritans still sacrifice animals at Passover. This is the place where the sacrifices take place–in the grated rectangular pits in the semi-grassy area in the courtyard (three pits are visible in the picture).

Picture 8.

I took this picture of a young religious man reading his Torah (which you cannot see) on a bench near Joseph's Outlook. That is Shechem that you see in the valley.

I took this picture of a young religious man reading his Torah (which you cannot see) on a bench near Joseph’s Outlook. That is Shechem that you see in the valley.

And so ends our exhilarating trip to Samaria.

You must go if you ever come to Israel!

 

 

 

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