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Category: Israel News (page 6 of 103)

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World Media Blind To Israeli Protests

Maybe we need a few bodies thrown into the mix. A social uprising is going on for three weeks and none of the leading media channels seem to think this is important. Do we need to blow shit up to get the attention of the media?

So here there is something truly unique going on, that has nothing to do with the Palestinians, or the Arab world. Does that mean its not news worthy? Demonstrations all over the country, people living in tents in the center of every major city, protest marches of 150,000 people and growing, ministers and politicians trying to wiggle themselves into the public’s favor by publicly “supporting” the protestors – all this doesn’t count as news?

Do we need to put Bibi in a cage like they do in Egypt? Will that sell?

Housing Revolution Rocks On in Tel Aviv Tent City

Tent city Tel-AvivThe housing revolt is in full swing. The atmosphere is amazing. Finally there is a social uprising. Israel’s version of the Tahrir Square riots. Bibi will have his hands full with this one. It’s not going to just go away.

What started as a students uprising has become a social uprising. People have had enough of the “usual suspects” running the country and making living in Israel impossible for the younger generation trying to have their own housing.

On Friday this was a show put on by the student union. Local artists have been participating and showing in Rothschild Blvd. Similar tent cities have been popping up in other cities. This goes beyond the students.

Can Tent City Revolutionize Social Standings?

Wow. Just wow. I mean, there are protests and then there are pro-tests, testing the professionalism of the political demonstration industry. Saturday Sunday and Monday was that. 1,000 Israelis, who have been living it up in a tent city in Zion’s IDF Square, marched through the holy city of Jerusalem and blocked the entrance to Knesset. En route to Knesset, the protesters protesting formidably high and raising housing prices attempted to block a street nearby the residence of one Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Slogans and banners read “The People Demand Social Justice” and “Welfare State Now.”
But don’t lay all the blame on Bibi who rebuked Likud ministers for not doing enough to solve the housing crisis. The Prime Minister said, “Even before I became prime minister,” Netanyahu said, “I asked the 100-day team [a committee focused on economic transition] headed by [Finance Minister] Steinitz to create a plan for the housing problem.”

As a reaction to disgruntled citizens, Bibi cancelled his scheduled visit to Warsaw, where he was off to in order to get the Polish Prime Minister to vote no on a new UN resolution to recognize a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile on Monday, dozens of activists blocked major roads in Haifa, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva as part of the housing crisis protests. In central Haifa, scuffles broke out between activists and drivers who were forced to stop. Eight activists were arrested in Paris Square in Jerusalem after refusing to clear the road.
Earlier Monday, dozens of activists blocked a road at the entrance to the Knesset. Five were arrested and one police officer was lightly injured.

Meanwhile, a new Facebook protest page went up Monday calling for a general strike on August 1. So far more than 3,700 people said they will participate. The page was created by social activist Zvika Basor, a 36-year-old Givatayim resident and father of a one-year-old baby.
Another Facebook protest page created Monday called for a “tent city strollers march.” The organizers called on fathers, mothers and single parents to march in central Tel Aviv on Thursday with their children and strollers.

Bibi’s response has been responsive though. Quoth Bibi at a Hebrew University graduation ceremony:

“We will lower prices for social solidarity…Our economic situation is in many ways better than in Europe. People make a living but at the end of the month nothing is left. Why don’t they have anything left? Because things cost more here…Where there is no competition prices go up…One of our aims is not only to improve the economy but also to lower prices…We will have to open up a government cartel,” he warned. “It’s important in order to give the people social solidarity, so they know they can make a living, that they have something to aspire to.”

Bradley burst-out-laughing Burston has a nice article on the tent city protests.

As Bibi Jettisons Oil Spike, Coal Prices To Shoot Up and more…

Coming soon, a spike in coal taxation will lift the sum to NIS 1b in 2012. The excise hike at NIS 66 per ton of coal will see the electricity rate raised 4 percent.

In article in Globes compares the tax excise to a recent Bibi gas price spike earlier this year, when gas prices were raised in the 2011-12 budget, sending many an irate gas pumper pointing their finger at the Likud government. As a result, Bibi cancelled the excise hike. No boycott necessary. An example of democracy and a government who cares about her citizens.

A government that really cares.

According to research done by Globes, the only company in the land to use coal is Israel Electric Corporation. They burn 12 million tons per year at their plants in Hadera and Ashkelon. The IEC will not protest as they do not pay the price for coal. The coal price spike will be paid for by consumers who regularly refund utility through their electricity bills. The IEC currently owns 26% of the National Coal Supply Corporation.

The Ministry of Finance’s request to raise the excise on coal went to Knesset Finance Committee December 27, 2010, along with the request to raise the excise on gasoline and diesel.

On August 1, Israelis will pay the new fee beginning with the annual electricity rate update.

At this point, Israel meets roughly 25% of its energy demand from coal. The National Coal Supply Corporation is the mostly government-owned (74%) firm solely responsible for securing the country’s coal imports.

All of Israel’s coal supplies are imported. About half come from South Africa, the rest from Colombia, the United States, Indonesia, Australia, and Poland.

Israel imports some 10 million short tons of coal per year. Growth in coal demand is obviously driven by growth in electricity demand.

Greenpeace Organization activists climbed the Jerusalem Chords Bridge on Sunday protesting against the planned opening of a third coal plant in Ashkelon.

Last week, Greenpeace activists went to Jerusalem to protest the opening of a third coal plant in Ashkelon. They hung posters and a 60 foot banner from the Chord Bridge saying, “Bibi stop the coal plant.”

The project to build the new plant, called ‘Project D’, was promoted by Israel Electric Corporation and by the Ministry of National Infrastructures. The Environmental Protection Ministry claims that a coal plant will harm the air quality in Ashkelon.
They demand that the Ministry of National Infrastructures invests in more energy-efficient and cleaner options to produce electricity.

On Sunday, Greenpeace said that they

“hope [the government] took under consideration the disastrous outcomes of another polluting plant, hurting the Ashkelon residents’ health, as well as it’s ‘contribution’ to over a 10% increase in Israeli greenhouse gas.”

Greenpeace also said that the discovery of natural gas by both the Tamar and Leviathan drilling firms makes the coal plant increasingly superfluous.
 
Greenpeace Spokeswoman Hila Krupsky said:

“We are here today, on the Chords Bridge, to call on Netanyahu and remind him that coal burning is the major cause of pollution, morbidity and an increase in climate change…Just this past year we’ve witnessed a drastic change in the weather, a tough drought and barley any rain. We experienced the horrible Carmel fire in December. Today one can no longer ignore the climate change and the responsibility to stop this phenomenon. Benjamin Netanyahu, you are the head of this State and the responsibility rests on your shoulders.”

Building in Judea and Samaria; Petitioning at the Security Council

Israel is reportedly looking to build 336 new apartments in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. That is 42 apartments in Karnei Shomron and 294 apartments in Betar Illit. More than a thousand units are to be built in northern Israeli towns, including Nahariya, Tiberias and Afula.

Building settlementsSpokesman for the Ministry of Construction and Housing, Ariel Rosenberg, estimated construction will commence within a year and be completed sometime in the next three years. There is a shortage of workers to work on new construction sited, especially in Judea and Samaria. The Associated Press falsely asserted, “Jewish settlement construction has stymied peacemaking for months.”

“While it is very easy to say that Palestine needs its own state with defined borders and Israel needs to be recognized by Palestine as a sovereign nation, leaders of both countries are forgetting the power of empathy.”

Wrote Anaam Butt, project coordinator for the non-profit, non-partisan organization, The Common Good.

“It is easy to sympathize with the Palestinian plight for their own country, and it is equally understandable as to why Israel is afraid of defining borders and dismantling settlements. At this point, both nations need to take a walk in the other’s shoes. The solution lies in the emotional psychology of the situation.”

Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator insists that the Palestinian Authority will ask the Security Council in September to become a full member of the United Nations, while Hamas opposes the bid and says it has not been consulted about it. Contractors will be able to bid on the sites within 60 days.

Brush Fire in Zion

“The dry heat combined with a light wind” caused the Jerusalem forest “blaze to spread quickly as eight firefighting crews along with two planes attempted to gain control over the blaze.” wrote Israeli reporter Sharon Udasin.

Yad Vashem was evacuated as the inferno that broke out in the Mount Herzl area began to spread towards Har Nof, Bayit Vegan and the Pi Glilot oil refinery.

Jerusalem fire 2011Haaretz reported that “one worker suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital.” The Fire Department spokesman said on Channel 10, “large teams of firefighters have been deployed in the entire area, and curious onlookers should clear out. Firefighting planes are flying above us in an attempt to put out the fire.”

Director of Yad Vashem said:

“The firefighters took an hour from the moment we notified them. They arrived very tardily. Our maintenance teams stopped the fire at the last minute…The fire reached a distance of just 40 meters from the Yad Vashem archives. We stopped it just before it could destroy our most precious treasures. I don’t know and don’t want to think what would have happened if we hadn’t stopped it.”

Last Saturday, a fire broke out near the Church of Capernaum on Lake Kinneret’s northern shore, causing damage to banana groves. The fire started in a brush-field near Route 87.

Candle in the Wind

On Sunday, the final witness, then-commanding officer in the region, Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz, was heard in the trial surrounding the death of poor Rachel Corrie, crushed by an IDF bulldozer in 2003, Aza.

Corrie, a 23-year-old pro-Palestinian activist from Seattle, Washington, was killed when she stood in front of the bulldozer on the Egypt border.

When the IDF cleared the soldier who crushed Rachel, claiming it was an accident, Corrie’s parents filed a civil suit against the army in 2005.

The trial opened in 2010 with 15 hearings and 22 witnesses. The verdict will be announced April 23, 2012.

Corrie was a member of the pro-Palestinian group, the International Solidarity Movement, different than the Muslim Brotherhood, members enter conflict zones in spite of Israeli bans and attempt to interfere with military activity.

While in the strip, Rachel sent a series of e-mails to her mother, four of which were later published by The Guardian and in January 2008 in a book called Let Me Stand Alone by W. W. Norton & Company.

A dramatic play was also based on her letters called, My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Upper East Side Inferno

East 85th Inferno
Last Monday, a ferocious four-alarm fire all but destroyed the Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun synagogue on East 85th Street on the upper East Side in Manhattan. The blaze broke out at 8:30 pm. Originally constructed in 1901, the synagogue has been closed since May for renovations scheduled for September completion. Thank God, the synagogue’s religious artifacts were housed elsewhere.

East 85th InfernoThe congregation, whose rabbi converted Ivanka Trump to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner, has more than 1,200 members. The source of the blaze is still under investigation reports the New York Daily News.

New Anti-Boycott Bill

Elkin ZeevKnesset is reportedly trying to pass a law, sponsored by Ze’ev Elkin, formerly of Kadima, which in effect would ban Israelis from calling for consumer, academic or cultural boycotts of Israel.

Despite an effort to filibuster Monday night’s debate, the bill is expected to win the majority. Under its terms, any individual or organization sponsoring a boycott could be sued for compensation by any individual or institution claiming that it could be damaged by such a call. Proof of actual damage would not be required.

The bill will protect individuals and institutions in Israel – Judea and Samaria – from consumer boycotts of domestically produced goods or boycotts of academic institutions in settlements. It will also preclude the government from doing business with companies which comply with boycotts.

Israeli author Amos Oz described the proposed law as the “worst of the anti-democratic bills in the Knesset. The bill will turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.”

Ze’ev Elkin, of Likud, told Arutz Sheva:

“If the state of Israel does not protect itself, we will have no moral right to ask our allies for protection from such boycotts…I hope the [legislators] will understand that this is a battle between Zionism and the new left.”

Dear Mr. Abbas: Good Luck in September Before the General Assembly

Abu Mazen said it! He means it! Go to the General Assembly in September and fight fight fight for statehood!

I hope he wins.

Meanwhile, too many hash smoking Hashemites need to reconsider the Palestinian refugee problem!

Jordan will reportedly be voting against a Palestinian statehood bid scheduled to be put before the UN General Assembly in September.

Et tu brute?

But these are your Muslim brothers and sisters. For many of you, your blood relatives!

One state official of the Hashemite Kingdom was quoted saying:

“Jordan’s top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders…”

A unilateral Palestinian declaration of state is in Israel’s best interest, said a top-ranking Jordanian official, because it wants the state to be established “within the borders of the separation fence.” This would erase the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

Jordan vehemently opposes this.

Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit said during a press conference that this was:

“The beginning of the exposure of Jordan’s decision to publicly stand its ground before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas”.

Not only does Jordan deny responsibility for displaced Jordanians from the 1967 war, or for Transjordanians, Jordan is actually preparing to cancel the identification papers provided for Palestinian statesmen and their families. The decision is part of a 1988 ruling “to disengage from the West Bank and maintain Palestinian identity“.

Today, 1,951,603 Palestinian refugees are located in Jordan. 338,000 of them are still living in refugee camps. The percentage of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan to those who settled outside the camps is the lowest of all UNRWA fields of operations.

Former UNRWA chief-attorney James G. Lindsay said years ago:

“In Jordan, where 2 million Palestinian refugees live, all but 167,000 have citizenship, and are fully eligible for government services including education and health care.” Eliminating services to refugees whose needs are subsidized by Jordan “would reduce the refugee list by 40%.”

Maritime Media Spectacle Part Two

This week in Athens, Greece, blockade runners conducted a training session on how to thwart Israeli efforts to enforce their Gaza blockade. At the same time the Israel Navy conducted a simulation of all possible scenarios for the flotillas to run the naval blockage.

The Hope for Gaza

The IDF has permitted Gaza to receive the entry of construction material for two housing projects and 18 new schools. Starting last June, Israel cautiously permitted the entry of construction materials for 150 different projects in the Gaza Strip; this includes water and infrastructure projects as well as 42 United National Relief and Works Agency schools.

Chana Ya’ar of Israel National News indicated that:

“Until recently, materials such as cement, gravel and metals were on the “no go” list for import into Gaza due to the potential use by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the manufacture of weapons and the construction of smuggler tunnels and military bunkers.”

Meanwhile, according to Jerusalem Post:

“In related news, Israel Radio said that Israel was continuing its attempts to determine where the kidnapped Schalit was being held in the Gaza strip, sending out text messages offering $10 million for any information on the whereabouts of the hidden soldier.”

The article continues:

“An Egyptian source denied any progress in the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel in regards to kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit who enters his sixth year in captivity this week, London-based al Hayat reported Wednesday. The source also told al Hayat that he had received a letter from Hamas with a message for Israel saying the Gazan group was willing to restart negotiations and even reduce the number of prisoners Hamas demands be freed in exchange for Schalit.”

Not Discounting Jewish Terrorism

No one is paying the price for price-tagging but the settlers. Period.

Four female Jews, three of them minors, were arrested on suspicion of torching Palestinian vehicles in Hebron last month. Seems to the court this was related to the Price tag policy of some of the settlers.

The brother of one of the suspects was killed during Operation Cast Lead, this may have affected her judgment, admitted the authorities.

This does not excuse price-tagging.

In an even more disturbing tale, according to Ynet, an IDF major was indicted Sunday on charges of ordering a soldier to run over a 20-year old Palestinian with an army jeep in 2008.

And again: a lieutenant and infantry commander were indicted on charges of vandalism with malicious intent for torching Palestinian vehicles with his soldiers in 2009.

There is no hope for Zionism when we fan the flames of Jihad. We become guilty.

Chillin’ in the Hood: Russell Crow

A proposed ban last November on circumcision in San Francisco is not restricted to just the city on the Bay. Santa Monica could actually be the first American city to see the ban make it onto the ballot.

The nonprofit MGM or Male Genital Mutilation Bill has called for circumcision bans on a national level. Early in 2011, the nonprofit’s regional directors around the country submitted proposed bills to 2,800 different legislators in a host of states and in the U.S. Congress.

Recently, actor Russell Crowe decided to opine about what he calls a “barbaric and stupid” tradition. On Twitter, Crowe slammed those who practice circumcision, saying it is an “immoral” practice.

Responding to those who told Crowe that circumcision was done for hygienic reasons, he retorted “Hygienic? Why don’t you sew up your a** then”

When other twitter followers mentioned the Bris ceremony, when a newborn Jewish boy is circumcised, he wrote:

“Honestly you are comparing sexual mutilation with a Jewish ceremonial act?! F**K that. The Mayans had ceremonial acts too!”

Crowe also wrote:

“I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting your babies @eliroth”

Yeshiva Scandal Will Work In Favor Of Yeshiva Bachors

According to a recent report from the Ministry of Education, a state-funded yeshiva recorded nearly 10,000 “ghost workers” on whose behalf the yeshivas received scholarships. According to Treasury estimates, the damage came to something like 55 million shekels a year.

According to reports from Israel’s economic media, this amount will not be returned to the budget of the Ministry of Education, and will actually remain in the yeshiva.

The Ministry of Finance and the Knesset approved a financial decision that the yeshivas obtained funds fraudulently, but the funds nevertheless, will be used to increase the benefits of the students who do learn in these institutions. The Stipend for each student will grow at 60 shekels a month to 515 shekels a month.

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