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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.”

David Horovitz Wants Democracy

Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz, gave a 100 second video monologue on Thursday on the JPost website, emphasizing that “Israel wants to be joined in this region by democracies…” Certainly, when the United States went after Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, the great dream was for democracy throughout the Middle East. However, Israel and the United States that facilitated the surrender of Gaza certainly failed to amplify the great cry for democracy in Egypt, until her citizens decided the time for revolution is now. Where were Obama and the other democracy superheroes when putting Mubarak at the helm of negotiations between Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Netanyahu? And Israel is supposed to listen? To halt construction in its own capitol?

Cairo Tahrir SquareThis is not to call Horovitz a left-slinger, or one who is not an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood; he is an expert. I was just taken aback by his relaxedness. Visible on the cover of the Herald Tribune, one day, in the midst of chaos in Tahrir Square, when the outcome was still unknown: was a sketching of Hosni Mubarak with a Star of David on his forehead, in the tradition of the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” What could justify such vitriolic art? Because of a peace treaty with Israel? Is peace so bad? What exactly does Egyptian democracy have in mind? Hopefully it won’t threaten the lives of millions of Jewish children!

Pollock number 8When CBS correspondent, Lara Logan, was assaulted by a mob of Egyptians for 20 to 30 minutes, the attackers cried, “Jew! Jew!” Lara Logan is not Jewish. Nor does a political upheaval in the name of democracy justify the thrashing of a foreign journalist.

What is missing is a pattern. The Muslim Middle East, today, is without form, like a Jackson Pollock painting. Beautiful, perhaps. But one cannot pretend they see form or pattern where clearly there is none.

What is more dangerous, the lack of democratically-run governments; or the anti-Jewish leviathan of extreme Islamism? For Obama or Israel to side with “democracy,” means nothing, unless the intention is to create a dangerous bog of extreme Islamism that threatens Jews, which is what a “democracy” run by the Muslim Brotherhood, would be; or, to put it fairly, risking Israel.

The government in Israel is running smoothly. Why not sit back and enjoy this show that is devoid of form and pattern. Like visitors at a modern art museum.

Netanyahu Does Washington

Bibi Netanyahu and Barack ObamaBibi and Obama met in the White House’s Oval Office on Tuesday for about an hour and a half. Slightly before the meeting took off, reports surfaced of another controversial construction project approved in east Jerusalem, this time in Sheikh Jarrah. Netanyahu entered the meeting without being aware of the new building permit – or so he said.

U.S. State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, told The Associated Press that the two countries were engaged in “give and take.” He said, “We are not going to talk about the precise steps both sides have to take. We will continue to discuss those steps privately.”

Meanwhile, Haaretz in English published a poll which showed that Israelis support US President Barack Obama. Well, such results contradict all other polls. At about the same time, the Jerusalem Post published the results of two other polls, which showed that roughly 75% of Israelis feel that Obama’s reaction to the building in Jerusalem was disproportionate and over 60% felt that it harmed the peace process.

The cause of the poll discrepancy is explained in a Jerusalem Post article by Gill Hoffman. The poll was conducted by Israeli pollster Camie Fuchs. A response choice in one survey question was to describe Obama as “inyani.” A word that can be interpreted in different ways. It however does not mean “fair” as Haaretz translated it. Its literal translation is ‘focused on the issues’, ‘professional’, ‘matter of fact’ or ‘business-like’.

Furthermore, the English version of the article in Haaretz offered no detailed tabulation of numbers. The print and online versions of the Hebrew edition of the newspaper showed a graph screening that just 18% of respondents considered Obama “friendly” toward Israel, 3 percentage points fewer than the 21% who said that the president was “hostile” to the Jewish state. 10% of the respondents didn’t know, and 51% called Obama’s approach to the Jewish Country “inyani”. Haaretz incorrectly translated that 69% consider Obama “fair and friendly”.

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