A7News: Leftists Photographed Staging "Settler Harassment of Arabs"

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Leftists Photographed Staging “Settler Harassment of Arabs”

Residents of Elon Moreh have photographed extreme-left activists deliberately damaging Arab property in order to create conflict.

  1. Leftists Photographed Staging “Settler Harassment of Arabs”
  2. Fatah Threatens “Catastrophe” if Summit “Fails”
  3. IDF Confirms: Air Force Struck Target Deep in Syria
  4. Terrorists Released Despite Chief of Staff’s Objection
  5. Minister Lieberman Blames ‘The Left’ for Israel’s Victimization
  6. Hamas Terrorists Killed
  7. US Sen. Lieberman’s Wife Addresses Jerusalem Campus Dedication

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1. Leftists Photographed Staging “Settler Harassment of Arabs”

by Maayana Miskin and Ezra HaLevi

Residents of the Shomron town of Elon Moreh have accused extreme-left activists of deliberately damaging Arab property in order to create conflict. They also say Yediot Acharonot and its associated website Ynet have refused to correct their libel.

Benny Katzover, a senior founder of Elon Moreh, spoke with Arutz-7 and recounted the events leading up to what he says were attempts by left-wing activists to sully Jewish residents’ good names and create conflict with the neighboring Arab village.

The village in question, Dir el-Hattab, was hooked up to the Israeli water utility thanks to Katzover’s own initiative as mayor of Elon Moreh. Recently, Jewish youth who refurbished a park area within Elon Moreh’s municipal boundaries set up a small pool, connected to the water line leading to the village. The pool did not disrupt the flow of water to the village until somebody began cutting the pipe flowing toward the village.

A resident of the town recently photographed leftists as they damaged a water pipe leading to a nearby Arab village. Elon Moreh residents argue that the leftists were hoping to lead the Arabs to think that their Jewish neighbors were destroying their water supply.

After destroying the pipe, residents said, the leftists reported the incident to the Yediot Acharonot newspaper, which published an article accusing the Jews of Elon Moreh of harassing local Arabs and stealing their water. “They were more than happy to publish a half-page story on how we abuse our neighbors, without an ounce of research,” Katzover said. He added that the leftists were led by Kibbutz Movement Chairman Yoel Marshak, infamous for his involvement in claims that Arab olive trees were destroyed by Jews, when in fact they had been pruned by their owners and left-wing activists.

An Arab man quoted in the article was not even from the village of Dir el-Hattab to which the water in the pipe flows, one resident of Elon Moreh explained, but rather from the hostile village Kfar Salam. 

Yediot Acharonot ignored complaints from Elon Moreh, he said, and did not change the article even after receiving photographs of the leftists damaging the pipe. 

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2. Fatah Threatens “Catastrophe” if Summit “Fails”

by Hillel Fendel and Maayana Miskin

Sources are now saying that the Middle East peace conference in Washington sponsored by US President Bush might be pushed off by two weeks, until late November.  The delay would give Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas extra time to agree on a joint statement.

Senior Fatah terrorists threaten a “new intifada” if the PA’s demands are not met.  If the upcoming conference fails to produce the desired results, Fatah parliament head Azzam al-Ahmed says, “the repercussions will be more dangerous than what happened after the failure of Camp David.” 
 
Al-Ahmed was referring to the Oslo War that followed Yasser Arafat’s refusal, in 2000, to accept then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of 95-98% of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.  One thousand Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists between September 2000 and September 2003.

Olmert and Abbas were to meet Wednesday to continue talks for a possible pre-conference agreement.  While Olmert has said he wants a general “declaration of principles” or “declaration of interests,” leaving detailed negotiations for after the conference, Abbas is pushing for specific concessions now.  Abbas, head of the Fatah terrorist organization, says the conference will be worthless and even dangerous if it does not produce actual land giveaways to the PA. 
 

Al-Ahmed said that the PA might even boycott the conference altogether if Israeli negotiators do not agree in advance to certain concessions. 

 
Abbas and the PA insist on Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders and the destruction of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.  Abbas has agreed, however, to accept land in other areas of Israel in exchange for three settlement blocs that might remain under Israeli sovereignty.   The PA also continues to insist on the “right of return” for millions of Arabs who claim descent from those who fled Israel during the War of Independence in 1948-9.
77 Senators
Over 3/4 of the United States Senate has signed a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pointing out the importance of Arab states’ cooperation in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  The Arab countries must “stop support for terrorist groups and cease all anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement” and act for regional peace, the letter said.

The senators also called on Arab states to recognize Israel, “and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future concessions.”  They called on Arab countries and the PA to reject terrorism and to isolate Hamas.  If Arab countries do not take these steps, they warned, “peace in the region will remain elusive.”

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3. IDF Confirms: Air Force Struck Target Deep in Syria

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz and Hillel Fendel

The IDF partially lifted a thick veil of secrecy on Tuesday and confirmed reports by foreign media last month that the Israeli Air Force attacked at least one target deep inside Syrian territory. Information regarding what was hit, exactly when and how remains
News media in Israel were barred from reporting about the operation.
classified.

The government and military had previously muzzled all officials from discussing any aspect of the operation, which apparently took place on September 6. News media in Israel were barred from reporting about the operation except as quotations from foreign news outlets.

(Previous Arutz-7 reports on the audacious air strike can be read here and here.)

Just yesterday (Tuesday), Syrian President Bashar Assad told BBC that Syria does not plan to retaliate for the attack militarily: “We have our means to retaliate, maybe politically, maybe in other ways. But we have the right to retaliate.”

Assad also said the attack targeted an unused and empty military area: “[Israel] bombed buildings and constructions related to the military, but it’s not used, it’s under construction, so there are no people in it, there is no army, there is nothing in it.”

Despite Israel’s initial secrecy regarding the bombing, Likud party chairman and opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu partially acknowledged on September 19 the military operation. Netanyahu told Channel One TV that he had been briefed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the impending operation “from the start,” and that he had personally congratulated Olmert, chairman of the rival Kadima party, on its success. Netanyahu was subsequently slammed by defense officials, who called his public leak to the media “the highest level of irresponsibility.”

This past Saturday, Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Shara’a reiterated Syrian claims that Israel’s reported raid was not a bombing at all. “Everything reported about this raid is wrong and is part of a psychological warfare that will not fool Syria,” he said, adding, “They [Israel] are making up things to justify an aggression in the future.” Reports of the operation were, he claimed, an attempt by Israel to “restore the image of the Israeli army following its defeat by the Lebanese resistance last year.”

While saying that the operation was nothing more than a flyover, Syria’s ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha, told Newsweek last month that Israel would nonetheless “pay a price” for it.

Various international reports claimed to know what was bombed and how.  The Washington Post reported on September 15 that the IAF raid had targeted facilities used to process nuclear materials shipped in from North Korea several days earlier. The attack targeted an “agricultural research center” that Israel believed was actually a facility used by the Syrians to extract uranium from phosphates, according to unnamed “Israeli defense sources.”

Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jerida reported that the intelligence for Israel’s attack on a Syrian target was provided by Gen. Ali Reza Asgari, who defected from Iran a few months ago. Asgari was allegedly involved in the development of Syria’s missile program. Another Kuwaiti paper, Al-Watan, quoted diplomatic sources in Europe as saying that US
Al-Shara’a reiterated Syrian claims that Israel’s reported raid was not a bombing at all.
jets circled above the Israeli fighters and gave them aerial cover during the operation. The newspaper also said that Russian experts are trying to understand how the IAF jets managed to enter deep into Syrian territory without setting off two Russian-built radar systems in place in Syria.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported last month that, according to NATO sources, the Israeli jets made their way to their target by way of the Turkish border with Syria. The sources told the newspaper that Israeli jets fired four missiles at a target the Israelis believed was being used for weapons development with Iranian and North Korean assistance; only one of the missiles struck the targeted building. The NATO sources were quoted as saying that Israel’s main objective was to warn the Syrians that Israel knows about its secret weapons programs, as well as to test the abilities of the new advanced Russian air defense system recently purchased by Syria.

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4. Terrorists Released Despite Chief of Staff’s Objection

by Gil Ronen

Twenty-nine convicted terrorists were finally released early Tuesday afternoon to Gaza despite moral objections raised at the last moment by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. The 29 were supposed to have been freed on Monday, together with 57 other terrorists released to Judea and Samaria.

All 96 terrorists are all named as members of the Fatah organization and were released as a “goodwill” gesture hoping to prop up Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, for the Muslim month of Ramadan.

The release of the 29 was postponed on Monday for what authorities initially said were “technical” reasons. However, the news media quickly learned that the true reason for the delay was apparently the objections raised at the last minute by Ashkenazi in a letter he sent to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Ashkenazi wrote that the release of prisoners to Gaza was problematic “in terms of moral values
IDF Radio quoted the Prime Minister’s Office as saying that Ashkenazi “is not the government’s morality officer.”
” as long as IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit is still being held in Gaza. He added that he was aware that there were other, diplomatic considerations behind the decision and that the government had the right to decide as it saw fit.

Some reports said the Defense Ministry transferred Ashkenazi’s letter to President Shimon Peres, whose signature is required for releasing the prisoners, along with other documents pertaining to the release. Peres then reportedly asked that each of the individual prisoners’ cases be reviewed individually before their release, causing the one-day delay.

President Peres said Tuesday regarding the release of the Gaza prisoners that he had faced “no dilemma” in signing it. “I have to check everything legally… and it took more time than I had thought,” he said. When asked if Ashkenazi’s letter had influenced him, he said, “There are many influences, not just one. There are also diplomatic considerations. There were no pressures on me.”

Politicians and anonymous political sources did not react uniformly to Ashkenazi’s action; some criticized him and others backed him up.

IDF Radio quoted the Prime Minister’s Office as saying that Ashkenazi “is not the government’s morality officer.” Other political sources voiced “wonder” at Ashkenazi’s letter. They asked why it was only written t
The soldiers told the photographer to slow down and when he failed to do so, shot him in the legs.
hree days before the release date and noted that the Chief Military Prosecutor signed a document approving the release.

Defense Minister Barak said Tuesday that sending the letter was “a legitimate action” by Ashkenazi.

Another senior source in the Prime Minister’s Office said “there are people trying to drive a wedge and create discord between Olmert and Chief of Staff Ashkenazi.” The source insisted that the relationship between the two is one of “full trust.” The source said that the release was fully coordinated with the defense establishment and that the Defense Minister backed it from start to finish.

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) said Tuesday that Ashkenazi was “out of line” in sending the letter. “It’s not his business to address the moral issue of freeing prisoners,” Cohen, a former IDF colonel, said.

Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) said that Ashkenazi had every right to send the letter, and that he was even obligated to do so. “He prepared and wrote a letter as part of the pardon process, and ultimately the political tier is authorized to sign the pardon. They are the ones who need to make the decision,” he told IDF Radio..

MK Ephraim Sneh (Labor), a former Brigadier General, also backed Ashkenazi, and noted, “I have never seen a Chief of Staff who tried so hard to distance the army from politics.”

During the release of the Gaza prisoners on Tuesday, a photographer for the Reuters news agency was shot in the legs by an IDF guard at the Erez crossing. The photographer had been waiting for the prisoners on the Gaza side of the Erez crossing and advanced towards the IDF checkpoint in a way that aroused the soldiers’ suspicions – especially when he did not slow down when instructed to do so.

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5. Minister Lieberman Blames ‘The Left’ for Israel’s Victimization

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that blame for Israel’s woes can be laid at the door of the nation’s leftists, whom he referred to as “Hellenists.” Next week, representatives of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party are scheduled to present
Lieberman’s harsh comments came in response to a call by the far-left Gush Shalom.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with their own vision for Israeli territorial concessions.

“I have no claims against the Arabs, nor against the world. I do have a complaint against the leftists. All of our troubles, all of our problems, all of our victims are because of those people,” Lieberman told an IDF Radio interviewer. He went on to call the left-wingers “Hellenists,” saying, “They are trying to break us from within at any cost, to destroy every consensus.”

Prompted by Leftist Call for Boycott
Lieberman’s harsh comments came in response to a call by the far-left Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) organization to boycott musical artists who agreed to perform in the communities of Gush Etzion (the Etzion Bloc), in northern Judea. Several well-known artists, including Idan Reichel, Ehud Banai and Ety Ankri, are appearing as part of celebrations this week marking 40 years since the reestablishment of the Etzion Bloc. A Gush Shalom statement called these artists “armor-bearers and hired guns of the settlers.” In particular, the far-left group mentioned that Reichel will be the central act in Nokdim, “the home settlement of the extremist racist Avigdor Lieberman.”

“When I hear that several known leftists call to boycott the artists coming to celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of Gush Etzion – to boycott them – I think I have been very mild in referring to them as ‘Hellenists,'” Lieberman said. “Gush Etzion is within the widest Zionist consensus. It was the [left-wing] governments that established Gush Etzion, so to treat Gush Etzion as if it were an unauthorized outpost – that is true baseless hatred.”

Lieberman went on to clarify his point: “In general, all of our problems are not because of the outside world, not because of the international community – they are because of those people. As I have always said, we had Maccabees and we had Hellenists and we had the [far-left organization] Brit Shalom. Today, we have people who go to defame Israeli soldiers who take part in various operations, there are those Israelis who are leading the British academic boycott – they are our primary problem.”

In the eyes of some on the right-wing, however, Lieberman himself may be classified as “left” in that the party he heads, Yisrael Beiteinu, advocates relinquishing territory in the Land of Israel to a sovereign Arab entity. Next week, representatives of Yisrael Beiteinu will be meeting with Prime Minister Olmert to present their position advocating a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders.  Party officials said they will remain in the coalition only if the government respects the party’s “red lines” when it comes to territorial appeasement.

Among other ideas, Yisrael Beiteinu advocates an exchange of territories with the new proposed Arab state, according to which even Lieberman’s hometown of Nokdim could be relinquished and Israeli Arab towns become part of the Arab political entity.

However, several Knesset Members of Yisrael Beiteinu have voiced objections to the plan by Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon to link Gaza with Judea and Samaria by means of a land passage under Arab control. Party MK Yisrael Hason has called for an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stipulate that an international authority replace the PA if it cannot meet its current obligations under the existing Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements.

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6. Hamas Terrorists Killed

by Ezra HaLevi

Four senior Hamas terrorists, part of what the groups calls its “marine police force” were killed and three wounded in an attack apparently carried out by Fatah Tuesday night.

An explosion rocked Hamas’s Gaza City headquarters Tuesday evening as an apparent missile strike destroyed a vehicle parked outside the facility. Hamas blamed the IDF initially, claiming the attack came from a naval vessel in the Mediterranean.  IDF officials quoted by Channel 10 TV said, however, that the car was hit by an anti-tank missile.

Hamas later backtracked, claiming the car was destroyed by a roadside bomb. Fatah made no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Hamas Terrorist Killed Near Rafiah
Arab residents of Gaza said Wednesday that a Hamas terrorist was killed early in the morning near Rafiah, in southern Gaza. The terrorist, identified as Mohammed Hassan, was killed in an IDF attack on a group of armed terrorists.

Arab residents of Gaza said several Arabs were wounded in an IDF attack in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, early Wednesday morning.  Soldiers fired a tank shell at the group, they said. IDF sources said there had been an operation in the area.  No further details were available.

Terrorist Caught at Shechem Checkpoint
A Arab man armed with a knife was nabbed Tuesday night at the Hawara checkpoint south of Shechem.  The would-be terrorist was carrying a five-inch blade, and was transferred to security forces for interrogation.

IDF Arrests Five Wanted Terrorists
IDF soldiers arrested five wanted terrorists early on Wednesday morning.  Two of the terrorists were arrested in the Tul Karem region, and two were arrested near Ramallah.  One terrorist was arrested in Hevron.  The five detainees have been taken to security services for questioning.

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7. US Sen. Lieberman’s Wife Addresses Jerusalem Campus Dedication

by Gil Ronen

US Senator Joseph Lieberman’s wife, Hadassah Lieberman, took part in the dedication ceremony of Nishmat’s new Jerusalem campus this week. In its new location in the Pat neighborhood, Nishmat has become one of the main service providers for the largely socio-economically disadvantaged population of secular and traditional Sephardic and Russian Jews. Community programs include regular visits by students to local elderly and ill residents, a free food program, weekly Torah classes for women, and holiday events for the entire neighborhood.

L-R: Nishmat Dean Chana Henkin, Student Esther Samo, Hadassah Lieberman
 
The Entrance to Nishmat Study Center for Jewish Women

Nishmat offers a variety of Torah programs for native Israelis, Ethiopian immigrants and overseas students. The curriculum is “designed to give women high levels of acquaintance with traditional Jewish texts, in an environment of spirituality and commitment to Torah observance which will inspire them to take leadership roles in their communities.”

Lieberman, a member of Nishmat’s International Forum, flew in especially for the dedication and was the event’s keynote speaker. “I associate Nishmat with energy and activism,” she told the participants. “The young women who come to Nishmat are en route to universities, to professions; some are starting new families and beginning to take their places in a larger world: Nishmat tells them all ‘you need to be educated.'”

Entrance to the Nishmat Sukkah, one of Jerusalem’s most beautiful
 
Jewish music accompanied the evening’s festivities

Courses at Nishmat include training for the world’s first certified yoatzot halakha (Halakhic Advisors). The yoatzot are authorized by noted Orthodox rabbinic authorities to address matters of Jewish law (halacha) connected to family life, fertility and sexuality.  Via their hotline, the yoatzot have fielded over 70,000 questions by women worldwide who felt more comfortable discussing these intimate matters with a woman, rather than with a rabbi.

Nishmat offers programs both for Israeli and for overseas women, as well as a groundbreaking course of study – the New Ethiopian Women (N.E.W.) program – for Ethiopian-Israeli students who require assistance in completing their Israeli high school matriculation. 

One of these girls was Esther Semu, 18, of an Ethiopian family of ten children. She became very good friends with Senator Lieberman’s daughter Hani, who was studying in another Nishmat program. After two years of national service in Hispin in the Golan, Semu – who speaks fluent English – was invited to work in Jewish education in the USA on behalf of Bnei Akiva Olami.  Esther is now working in Salanter Akiva Riverdale (SAR) Academy in Bronx, NY.

The festive meal begins in the Sukkah.

Nishmat founder and dean Rabbanit Chana Henkin is the spiritual and academic force behind the educational institution. Rabbanit Henkin shared her vision: “Nishmat is developing women’s potential as both scholars and leaders. We have opened the gates of Jewish texts to women and formed a dynamic learning community infused with Torah values as well as devotion to Jewish life and the State of Israel.”

(Photos: Arutz-7 Photojournalist Josh Shamsi)
Hillel Fendel contributed to this story.

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Wednesday, Oct. 03 ’07
21 Tishrei 5768

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