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|Friday, Apr 18 '14, Nissan 18, 5774|
1. MK Chetboun: Left's 'Two State Obsession is Making it Insane'
by Yaakov Levi
As slain police officer Baruch Mizrahi z"l was laid to rest in Jerusalem Wednesday, murdered at the hands of terrorists, leftist MKs met with the head of the Fatah terror gang – Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting prompted Jewish Home MK Yoni Chetboun to declare that the leftist MKs, led by Labor MK Nachman Shai, were “heartless.”
Shai led the delegation of MKs in order to discuss what he said were “practical ideas to advance the two state solution,” but Chetboun said that there was a time and place for everything – and Wednesday was not the time for such a meeting. “As we are burying an honored police officer, who left behind him a widow and orphans, you met with terrorists,” Chetboun told Shai in a debate on Channel Ten Thursday. “Your obsession to establish a Palestinian state is making you insane,” he said.
“The two state solution has collapsed,” Chetboun said. “It is a horror of a policy whose end is already clear in advance – the 'upgrading' of Palestinian terror gangs into a legitimate army of murderers. The left's vision is bringing us to destruction. It belongs in the wastebin of history,” said Chetboun.
The left, however, is not completely at fault; the right had to shoulder its share of responsibility for the situation as well. “For years, the right pointed out only the dangers of the two-state solution, without producing a credible alternative,” he said. “That must end. We must present a viable alternative, which is a single state for all between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
“And do not threaten us with the so-called 'demographic time bomb,' in which you claim that the Arabs will outnumber us if we make them citizens,” said Chetboun. “Of course adding more Arabs as citizens will present a challenge, but that challenge is better than the danger we would face from a Palestinian state,” he added.
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2. Police, Troops on Alert at Kotel After Arab Temple Mount Riots
by Moshe Cohen
Thousands of police and IDF troops will be on duty Thursday, as tens of thousands of Jews arrive at the Kotel (Western Wall) for the Birkat Cohanim (Blessing of the Cohanim) ceremony, a special feature of the Jewish festivals. Troops will be on special alert following the unrest on the Temple Mount Wednesday.
Police will be stationed along all paths to the Kotel, with shuttle buses depositing worshippers outside the Dung Gate adjacent to the Kotel. Private cars are banned in the Old City Thursday, and the public is asked to use public transportation only. Leading the ceremony will be Chief Rabbis Yiztchak Yosef and David Lau.
On Wednesday, Muslims rioters hurled flares and rocks at police forces on the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site. One police officer was reportedly slightly injured. The Temple Mount was closed to Jews Wednesday, and it remained closed Thursday. Six Arab rioters who took part in the rock throwing have been arrested, police said.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Dov Kalmanovitz, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, demanded that the Israeli Police to close the Temple Mount to Arab visitors. On Thursday, when Birkat Cohanim is conducted, “the Chief Rabbis will visit the Western Wall and thousands will flood the Jewish quarter. It is inconceivable that the Israeli Police prevents Jews, who want to ascend the Temple Mount, from entering, and allows Arabs - who riot - to continue to respect the mosques there and throw stones," he added. Kalmanovitz then called on police "to maintain security" at the Mount - "either by allowing Jews to ascend to the Mount or by closing it completely."
"We need to make order out of the chaos which erupts at the site every holiday," he stressed. "I already expect Arabs to throw stones tomorrow at the Western Wall. We should teach the Arabs a lesson for once and close it for them [too]."
Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, Jewish access to the Temple Mount is very limited - including a blanket ban on Jewish worship there - in what activists condemn as a capitulation to Muslim extremism. sraeli police, in an attempt to appease the Muslim Waqf which was left in charge of the compound after the 1967 Six Day War, ban Jews from praying or performing any other form of worship.
Police sometimes close the Mount to Jews altogether in response to Muslim riots - for days or weeks at a time - despite evidence that such violence is usually planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
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3. Shabak Head: Released Terrorists Can't Return to Judea, Samaria
by Yosef Berger
If, eventually, the “fourth round” of terrorist prisoner releases takes place, the list of those to be released is set to include ten arch-terrorists whose families live in Judea and Samaria – and they are deemed to be too dangerous to be allowed to return to their homes by Shabak security agency chief Yoram Cohen.
A report on Channel Two said that the ten are part of the 26 terrorists set to be released in the deal. Cohen, who will be asked to present his official viewpoint in the event that the terrorist prisoner release comes up for a Cabinet vote, intends to urge ministers to condition the release of these terrorists on their being sent to Gaza, or to an Arab country, and not allow them to return to Judea and Samaria.
In recent statements, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has said that he will not accept a deal in which terrorists are not allowed to return to the villages they lived in before their arrest.
Israel last summer agreed to release 104 terrorist prisoners as a "gesture" to the Palestinian Authority and a precondition for resumption of the peace talks being shephereded by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. So far, 78 have been released. The final batch had been due for release on Friday, March 28, but the government cancelled that release after Abbas placed a bid for the PA to be recognized as a state in 15 United Nations agencies, in breach of conditions of the talks.
The fourth batch of terrorist releases has sparked considerable controversy, as MKs point out that the previous releases have done nothing to further talks, and that several of the released terrorists have contributed to the increase in terror attacks over the past year.
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4. Sudanese Jew Makes Her Way to Pesach Freedom
by Moshe Cohen
A modern “exodus” story took place in recent months, as one of the last Jews in Sudan managed to make her way to Israel – more than 30 years after she had planned to make it.
Takla's story (her real name is a secret, for her safety's sake) begins in 1980, when as an 18 year old girl she began a trek from her native Ethiopia to Israel, joining thousands of others of the Beta Israel community in making their way to the Land of Israel.
To get to Israel, the land trek required passing through Sudan, and while most of the Ethiopian olim were able to pass through that country without incident, Takla was waylaid – and forced to marry a Muslim man and remain in Sudan. Thirty four years later, Yedioth Ahronot reporter Dani Adino Ababa discovered, Takla had five children with her Sudanese husband, with none of them having any awareness of their Jewishness.
Takla was herself forced to live as a Muslim, but never gave up hope of getting to Israel. About six years ago, she managed to make contact with a representative of the Jewish Agency and told him her story, but she was unable to maintain contact. About four months ago she was able to reach another Jewish Agency representative, and again pleaded for help in leaving Sudan.
The story eventually reached Asher Siyum, the Jewish Agency's official representative in Ethiopia, and he decided to take action. After doing some digging, Siyum discovered that Takla's family had managed to get to Israel years before.
The message was sent back to her, along with instructions on how to get away from her husband and back to Ethiopia – from where she would be flown to Israel. Takla told her husband that her parents were ill, and asked for – and was granted – permission to go to Ethiopia to tend to him. From there, it was a short road to Be'ersheva, where Takla has been staying since arriving in Israel on Passover eve.
Speaking to Ababa, Takla said that she had “lived as a Muslim for many years, but I never stopped dreaming of Israel and of being reunited with my family. I knew I would see them again one day. I miss my children, and I want to contact them and tell them everything, but I am afraid they will be hurt or killed when people find out they are Jewish.”
She has asked the Jewish Agency to help them come to Israel is well, but if that is not possible, she may return to Sudan, she said.
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5. Israeli in Indian Prison After Forgetting Bullet in Backpack
by Yosef Berger
Steve Silvenchev, an Israeli tourist in India, had been in jail in Mumbai for seven months, after authorities there found a bullet in a backpack that he had used at times during his stint in the IDF. They were detected when he went through security in Mumbai when he arrived on what was planned to be a post-army hike. Equipment at Ben Gurion Airport did not pick up the bullets.
In an interview with Army Radio Thursday, Steve said that he had been waiting for his trial for several months. “I don't know why they keep delaying the trial, but my lawyer has told me that everything is ready for the trial,” he said.
The Israeli Embassy, he said, has been unable to help him. “I met with them last last week and they said that, with all the sorrow they could express, that they cannot get involved in an Indian legal matter. All they could do, he said, was write to the Foreign Ministry in Israel requesting assistance. “Beyond that, they cannot do anything,” he said.
Steve described the difficult situation he has had to undergo. “At first I didn't believe what was happening to me,” he said. “Afterwards I was unsure what would happen, as nobody bothered to speak with me. No one updated me on my situation.”
Steve's mother, speaking to the interviewer, said that it was difficult to celebrate Passover and other events under the circumstances. According to Israeli legal sources, similar cases have occurred in India and South American countries, with Israelis imprisoned for months or years because of a stray leftover bullet.
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6. 'The Temple Mount Has Been Occupied By Hamas'
by Hezki Ezra
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) slammed the latest rioting incident on the Temple Mount Wednesday, calling Israel's control over Judaism's holiest site a "failure."
"Over the last five days, the Temple Mount has not been occupied by the Jordanian army, but by a division of Hamas," Feiglin said.
"The failure of the police to control events the Temple Mount is, in fact, the failure of political leadership in keeping the heart of Jerusalem [intact]."
"Continuing to drag our feet [on the issue] will result in history remembering the Israeli government and its leader as having abandoned the Temple Mount to the Hamas regime," he added.
According to Feiglin, placing a special unit of Israeli police at the site to specifically prevent riots is the "response is required to maintain our sovereignty over the Temple Mount and Land of Israel as a whole."
Dozens of Palestinian Arab terrorists rioted against police at the Temple Mount on Wednesday, after Jews were allowed to visit Judaism's holiest site in light of the Passover holiday.
On Monday, just hours before Passover began, Hamas Islamists rioted on the Mount, waving Hamas flags and "not allowing Jews and tourists into the Mount," according to activists.
“Hundreds of Jews who came to the Temple Mount for Pesach were astonished to find a police representative standing at the entrance gate and announcing that the Mount had been closed off to Jews after Hamas had taken over the Mount and threatened violence against any Jews who enter,” the Temple organizations reported in a news communique Monday.
On Sunday, over 20 Hamas men stayed overnight on the compound, sparking calls for the police commissioner to resign after it was revealed that police forces had allowed them to do so.
Feiglin's words echo statements by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, who told Arutz Sheva that recent events show Israel's policies regarding the Mount are a "national catastrophe."
"In the middle of Jerusalem there is a city-state with diplomatic immunity where the enemy flag is unfurled and where plans are being made to attack Jews... that is absolutely unspeakable," Richman said Wednesday.
"They keep parroting this meaningless mantra that 'the Temple Mount is in our hands', when everyone knows Jordan is sovereign there," he added, referring to the Waqf Islamic trust which administers the site and is run by the Jordanian government.
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7. Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba
by Ari Soffer
A Jewish merchant was stabbed by a Muslim man on the Tunisian island of Djerba on Monday, hours before the Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover) and just one month before the annual pilgrimage to the island's El Ghriba synagogue.
38-year-old Lasaad Tounsi caused minor injuries to Morris Bachiri, a Jewish merchant from El Hara El Kabira, according to JTA.
The attack will raise fears of anti-Semitism in the north African country, whose small and ancient Jewish community is mostly concentrated in Djerba. But the Tunisian interior ministry described the incident as "a simple assault, nothing more and nothing less," and added that Bachiri had been discharged from hospital soon after.
Tunisian authorities have been criticized by Jewish and human rights activists for turning a blind eye to Islamist anti-Semitism, and even of harassing local Jews.
Israel recently advised its citizens not to visit Tunisia due to threats of terrorism; the country has seen a spike in Islamist extremism since the ouster of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. Ben Ali was replaced by the Islamist Ennahada party, which was itself forced to resign in January after popular protests.
Tunisian jihadis have also traveled to fight abroad, featuring prominently in the Syrian civil war.
According to Djerba Salon news site, only 500 Jews took part in the pilgrimage to Djerba in 2013, compared to the thousands who used to flock to the site before the 2002 Al Qaeda bombing of the El-Ghriba synagogue which killed 21 people. This year's turnout is not expected to be much better amid growing unrest in the region.
The Jewish community of Djerba dates back 2,500 years; Jews were such a significant part of life on the island that it was once known as "the island of the kohanim," after the high proportion of members of the Jewish priestly caste, or kohanim, within the Jewish community there.
But Tunisia's Jewish community has seen its numbers fall dramatically in recent decades - from an estimated 100,000 at the time of independence in 1956 to around 1,500 today - as a result of a wave of violent anti-Semitism which forced nearly one million Jews to flee Arab countries throughout the Middle East in the twentieth century.
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8. Catching Up? A Summary of Breaking News
by Tova Dvorin
The first two days of the Passover holiday end Wednesday evening in the Diaspora. In light of our extra day of Chol HaMoed here in Israel, Arutz Sheva has provided a summary to help our Diaspora readers catch up.
Shooting Attack in Hevron
Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, hy"d, a high-ranking commander in the Intelligence Division of the Israeli Police, was murdered outside of Hevron on Monday in a brutal terror attack. Mizrahi was shot by Palestinian Arab terrorists while he and his family were driving to the Passover Seder, in an attack which fatally wounded him and injured his pregnant wife. Mizrahi's murder has escalated tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the wake of the attack, causing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cancel plans for PA and Israeli negotiating teams to meet in an effort to rekindle peace talks. Mizrahi was buried in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Rioting on the Temple Mount Sparks Tensions Between Israel, Jordan
Palestinian Arabs rioted once again on the Temple Mount on Wednesday, throwing stones and hurling firecrackers at Israeli Police. The Police closed the Mount Wednesday to Jewish visitors after the attack. Jordan turned to the United Nations Security Council after the incident, claiming "Jewish radicals" were to blame for the rioting and calling on Israel to stop "escalating" tensions by allowing Jews to visit Judaism's holiest site.
Ukraine on the Brink of Civil War?
Pro-Russian separatists took control of armored vehicles in Ukraine Tuesday and Wednesday, after an unsuccessful bid by Kiev to launch 'anti-terrorism' operations against the protestors backlashed, resulting in tens of soldiers defecting. The development has caused increasingly hostile rhetoric to be traded between the two countries; while Kiev insists Moscow is orchestrating the protests to take over eastern Ukraine, Moscow deems the Ukrainian army's intervention a "red line." The two sides are set to meet in Geneva Thursday for talks, but analysts say that the likelihood of success there is waning.
Prosecuters Seek Death Penalty Against Kansas Anti-Semitic Shooter
Formal charges were filed Tuesday against Frazier Glenn Cross (Miller), 73, the former KKK member named as the gunmen in anti-Semitic shooting attacks on Jewish centers in Overland Park, Kansas on Sunday afternoon. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty against Cross, who is being charged with one count of capital murder and one count of first-degree murder.
Tags: Temple Mount, Jordan, Temple Mount discrimination, Russia-Ukraine, Ukraine-Russia, Kansas City Shooting, Baruch Mizrahi, Hevron shooting attack
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