A7News: Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

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Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

With no end in sight to Kassam attacks, the 20 Gazan terrorists the IDF killed this week could be harbinger of a major IDF anti-terror offensive.

  1. Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah
  2. Olmert Indictment Unlikely; Appeal Threatened
  3. Jews Around the World Protest Israel’s Government
  4. 3 New Outposts for the 5th Chanukah Light
  5. Teachers Unions Threaten to Shut Down Entire School System
  6. Historic UN Vote of November 29 Reenacted in Rishon LeTzion
  7. Photo Essay: Protesting Partition in Annapolis

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1. Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

by Hillel Fendel

As Kassams continue to fly towards Sderot and north of Gaza, the 20 Gazan terrorists killed by the IDF this week are apparently the harbinger of a major IDF anti-terror offensive. Volunteers are preparing a joyous Chanukah for the besieged Sderot residents.

Four Hamas terrorists were killed on Thursday by the IDF, for a total of about 20 this week. The dead terrorists were engaged in firing Kassam rockets and mortar shells at Israel, or placing explosives designed to explode upon Israeli forces.

IDF Offensive Nears, Fatah Prepares
With Hamas preparing feverishly for a Hizbullah-style onslaught of Israel, including non-stop smuggling of explosives and weapons into Gaza, it is a matter of near-consensus that a large-scale IDF operation inside Gaza is inevitable. Now that the Annapolis summit has ended, the time appears to be getting much nearer.

Though Hamas currently runs Gaza, after having taken it over from Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization in a military coup this past summer, Fatah terrorists in Gaza plan to fight alongside Hamas in the event of an IDF invasion. The Jerusalem Post quotes a “senior Fatah official” in Gaza City saying that “Fatah won’t remain idle… We will definitely fight together with Hamas against the Israeli army. It’s our duty to defend our people against the occupiers.”

Fatah terrorists already fight against Israel in Gaza. The Washington Times reports that Fatah members took a day off from firing Kassams against Israel in honor of the Annapolis summit, upon orders from above. “But we are permitted to renew our regular activities once the summit is over,” a Fatah terrorist is quoted as saying.

Fuel Embargo May Begin
Meanwhile, Israel is trying to fight the Kassam-firing terrorists with a fuel and electricity embargo – with little success. Over a month after the Cabinet announced that it would cut off fuel and electricity to Gaza in response to the ongoing rocket attacks, the Supreme Court has finally ruled that these measures may be taken – partially.

The Court ruled on Thursday that fuel supplies to Gaza might be cut back, but that regarding electricity, further clarifications must still be provided. Electricity cutbacks are thus expected to begin only 12 days from now. The Court wishes to ensure that cutting back electricity and fuel will not lead to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Kassams Fly
Kassam rockets continued to fly this week: One this morning (Friday), two yesterday, two Wednesday, and four on Tuesday. Mortar shells have also been fired, even more frequently than Kassam rockets. No physical damage was reported over the past few days.

Joyous Chanukah in Sderot
In Sderot, several organizations have banded together to hold a joyous and large-scale Chanukah celebration next week for the residents whose lives have been upended by the ongoing onslaught of rockets. Next Wednesday, the 2nd day of the eight-day holiday, hundreds of volunteers will descend upon the town, and will distribute family gift baskets, Chanukah donuts and chocolate coins while singing together with professional musicians. Three bands will perform in the streets on large open trucks.

Youths are to arrive at 3 PM, with families arriving around 5 PM. Many volunteers will visit Sderot families as they light Chanukah candles in their homes. The activities will end with a public candle-lighting ceremony, using a large Menorah made from Kassam rocket shells, accompanied by a huge musical event with Hassidic music star Aaron Razel and his band.

Sponsoring organizations include Connections Israel, the Bat Ami National Service program, Yeshivat Hesder Sderot, Afikim BaNegev, Table to Table, Orot Hessed, and Merimim Degel.

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2. Olmert Indictment Unlikely; Appeal Threatened

by Hillel Fendel

The police team investigating Israel’s sale of Bank Leumi has found evidence of suspicious and illegal involvement by Prime Minister Olmert – but not enough to justify recommending an indictment.

The official Israel Police investigative team has found some evidence that Ehud Olmert, when serving as Acting Finance Minister in November 2005, acted illegally in promoting his friends’ interests during the privatization of Bank Leumi. The team presented its findings on Thursday afternoon, but recommended to the State Prosecution that Olmert not be indicted.

Appeal Expected
It is now up to Moshe Lador, who will assume the position of State Prosecutor on Sunday, to decide whether or not to indict the Prime Minister. Lador is expected to go along with the police recommendations – and if he does, the Movement for Quality in Government and Accountant-General Yaron Zelikha, who first made the accusations against Olmert, promise to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The police planned to announce the findings this past Sunday, just as Olmert was departing for the Annapolis summit in the United States. Public criticism of the timing, however, led the police to push off the announcement until this evening, just hours after Olmert is scheduled to return from the U.S.

A press conference scheduled by the police investigative team for this evening was also called off, as the police decided to maintain a “low profile” in the case.

Accountant-General Warned Olmert
The police found evidence linking Olmert with some of the criminal allegations against him. The allegations against Olmert began in November 2005, during a well-attended Finance Ministry meeting on the topic of the sale of Bank Leumi. Outgoing Accountant-General Zelikha said on that occasion:

“Mr. Finance Minister, I want to say for the protocol that in opposition to my own professional opinion and that of my staff, you have decided to increase the benefit [for the potential buyer] to 10%. Also in opposition to my professional opinion, you wish to increase [another sum], and you insist on bringing us to a situation of selling [the bank] under its evaluated worth – something that is unprecedented in the history of the State of Israel…

“You are the Finance Minister and it’s your right to decide whatever you want, but instead of accepting our solution that will increase the number of participants in the bidding, you are choosing a solution that is good for one very specific group, and that is liable to end up in a sale for less than its value. In addition, you have ignored and did not want to discuss the problems of the other strategic groups [of potential buyers], and insist only on dealing with the issues of one group. It is my obligation to tell you the grave ramifications of your decision.”

After hearing this, Olmert called a recess, and stepped outside for a private consultation with his top aide, Yossi Bechar. When he returned, he retracted most of his decisions, and the group he was allegedly trying to help – that of his friend Frank Lowy – then pulled out of the bidding.

A few days later, Zelikha turned to the State Comptroller with his suspicions that Olmert had been acting illegally, and the issues have been under investigation ever since.

Other Investigations Still Underway
Though it does not appear that Olmert will be charged in the Bank Leumi sale, the police are still investigating Olmert’s activities in several other affairs. Among these are:

• Olmert’s purchase of a luxury apartment on Cremieux St. in Jerusalem for a price hundreds of dollars less than the apparent going price – allegedly in return for using his influence in the Jerusalem Municipality, which he once headed, to gain zoning benefits for the contractor.

• Olmert is also being investigated for having dealt with a case, as Minister of Industry and Trade, in which his friend, former business partner and current lawyer was involved.

• Olmert is further being investigated for a series of allegedly political appointments he made while heading the Small Business Administration.

• Another set of allegations was published this month by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss regarding Olmert’s intervention on behalf of an entrepreneur after the latter’s request for 7.67 million shekels in government aid was turned down.

• Finally, investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak has written that Likud activist Shlomi Oz said he transferred $100,000 in illegal campaign funding for Olmert during the 1999 Likud party primaries.

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3. Jews Around the World Protest Israel’s Government

by IsraelNN Staff

Statements by Israeli officials that appear to compromise Israeli sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem have infuriated world Jewry and friends of Israel. In the video below, IsraelNationalTV documents some of the anti-Olmert protests held during the Annapolis Summit.

Click here if you cannot see the video player above

While Diaspora Jews are usually cautious not to criticize Israeli government policy, recent statements by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his ministers have led to an unprecedented amount of criticism from around the Jewish world.

On Monday, Olmert declared at a news conference that “the government of Israel has a sovereign right to negotiate anything on behalf of Israel,” making clear his position that Jews outside of Israel have no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem. The prime minister told reporters that the issue had “been determined long ago.”

Amongst the organizations which expressed outrage at Israeli government policy was the British Herut. The group’s chairman and president issued the following statement:

Likud-Herut UK deplores Monday’s statement by Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to American Jewish leaders that “Jews outside of Israel have no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem” and his indication that the issue of Jerusalem had already “been determined long ago.”

We regard this as a gross breach of trust committed by the government of Israel against the Jewish nation and an insult to Jews all over the world who have faithfully provided moral and financial support whenever called upon by the State.

Jerusalem was recaptured in 1967 to be held in trust for the Jewish nation. For this government to treat parts of Jerusalem as bartering currency represents the greatest act of treachery in 2,000 years of Jewish history.

We call upon Jews in the UK and worldwide to join in condemnation of this statement and the intentions of this, the most unpopular and discredited leadership in the history of the State of Israel.

Signed, Eric Graus, President and Zalmi Unsdorfer, Chairman

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4. 3 New Outposts for the 5th Chanukah Light

by Hana Levi Julian

Land of Israel activists in Judea and Samaria said Thursday they planned to establish three new Jewish communities in the region during Chanukah. In addition, activists plan to return to three communities that were originally built this past Sukkot but which police have repeatedly torn down. Two of those built on Sukkot are still standing.

The activists said they will build the new communities on the fifth day of Chanukah, Sunday, December 9. One will be located near Beit El, and will be called Givat HaOr, “The Hill of Light.” The second new community, Maoz Esther (“Esther’s Fortress”), will be built near Kokhav Yaakov just north of the capital, and a third town will be built near the Jerusalem suburb of Maaleh Adumim.

Earlier this month, Arab workers from the Civil Lands Administration uprooted saplings and destroyed a temporary synagogue at the site of the budding hilltop community of Givat HaOr, which was originally established on Chanukah a year ago, though without buildings. The Arabs also demolished a temporary shelter where people prepared for ritual immersion in a nearby spring.

Five outposts that have been repeatedly torn down by the government have been resurrected by activists each time.

At least two of the five are located in Judea. One is Maalot Halhoul, a hilltop overlooking the Palestinian Authority-controlled Arab town of Halhoul near Kiryat Arba, with a stunning view of the rocky green Hevron Hills. A second one is Eitam Hill, located at the northern end of the city of Efrat. The latter is expected to connect the eastern and western sections of Gush Etzion.

In the Binyamin region of Samaria, near the town of Hashmonaim, activities by volunteers undeterred by government efforts to dislodge them have begun to transform a hilltop into the community of Nofei Hashmonaim, ten kilometers east of Ben Gurion International Airport.

In western Samaria near Kedumim, government troops have also repeatedly hauled activists out of the small outpost of Shvut Ami (“Return of My Nation”), established during Sukkot and rejuvenated by activists after each evacuation by government forces.

Not so far away, near Elon Moreh in eastern Samaria, a hilltop named Harchivi (meaning “Expand,” based on Isaiah 54: “Expand the place of thy tent…for thou shalt break forth both right and left”) has also been peopled by activists and depopulated by government forces.

Activist Daniella Weiss said the new communities would be a response to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plans to establish an Arab state in Judea and Samaria. “He wants to put us in a ghetto,” she said, “but we will burst out with our spirit, the spirit of the Maccabees, and will establish new communities.”

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5. Teachers Unions Threaten to Shut Down Entire School System

by Hana Levi Julian and Hillel Fendel

At least 400,000 students have been out of school for over seven weeks, but that number could easily double on Sunday if the Secondary School Teachers’ Association (SSTA) makes good on its threat to shut down the entire school system.

The National Teachers Union, which includes teachers in the elementary schools, threatens to shut down every class in the country next week, except for special education classes, in light of another round of failed talks between the SSTA and the government. Negotiations broke up at 5 a.m. Friday with no agreement – and with the threat of back-to-work orders to be issued on Saturday night.

The Labor Party faction in the Knesset – a member of the government coalition – issued a statement on Friday demanding that Prime Minister Olmert intervene in the negotiations with the teachers. Olmert has ignored such calls in the past. Labor also demands that the Cabinet discuss the education crisis in its weekly meeting this Sunday.

SSTA Chairman Ran Erez, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On were all present in the National Labor Court on Thursday for a stormy three-hour session that ended, yet again, with no progress made.

Teachers Protest
Police clashed with union members Thursday night as the teachers demonstrated outside the court. One teacher was arrested. Erez went outside upon hearing of the clashes and slammed the government representatives when he returned. “You should be ashamed,” he said. “If Israel’s teachers have come to this, it is thanks to the Finance Ministry and the Education Ministry, and this will come back at you like a boomerang.”

Representatives from all sides have been in and out of court for the past week. The government has asked the court to force the teachers back to work, while the teachers threaten to quit altogether if the court issues the order.

Longest Strike Ever
The strike is already the longest teachers’ strike in the country’s history, and the Finance Ministry says the damage caused to high school seniors is irreversible. The university lecturers’ strike, which began a week after the high schools strike, also appears to be unending, and the autumn semester is in danger of being canceled altogether.

The teachers’ union has been struggling to reach an agreement with the government on a wage hike and improved teaching conditions since the beginning of the school year, without success. Talks between the union and representatives of the Education and Finance Ministries have broken down repeatedly, even with the participation of Ofer Eini, head of the Histadrut national labor federation, as mediator.

The teachers’ union has dropped its demands for an immediate wage hike of 20 percent, whichi it later lowered to 15 and then 13.5 percent. The government at first offered a 5 percent raise in gradual increments over a period of months, and later raised the offer to 8.5 percent – on condition that a proposed across-the-board educational reform is implemented; this issue is also in dispute.

Demonstrations and protests supporting the union’s position have continued throughout the country, including a mass demonstration last week by some 100,000 protestors who gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to express their disgust at the forced idleness of youths across the country.

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6. Historic UN Vote of November 29 Reenacted in Rishon LeTzion

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

The historic United Nations vote of November 29, 1947, which partitioned the Land of Israel into two states, Jewish and Arab, was dramatically reenacted in the city of Rishon LeTzion on Thursday.

Ambassadors of the 33 countries that voted in favor of the 1947 partition were
Ambassadors of the 33 countries that voted in favor of the 1947 partition were invited to the unique event.
invited to the unique event, as were family members of the ambassadors to the UN from those nations. Among the guests was the grandson of the UN General Assembly chairman who presided over the session, Dr. Oswaldo Aranha of Brazil.

The event took place in Rishon LeTzion’s new Leaders of the Nation Park, which was officially opened today in conjunction with the November 29 commemoration.

President Shimon Peres met separately on Thursday with the families of the Latin American ambassadors who recommended the creation of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel 60 years ago. Peres credited the ambassadors with Israel’s creation, saying, “The People of Israel thanks you and your families for your massive contribution on the path to the creation of the state of Israel. If it were not for your support in the UN and the preparations your parents made behind the curtains, we would have been left with nothing, with no state.”

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved, 33 to 13, Resolution 181, a partition plan that would have created two states, one Jewish and the other Arab, in what was then the British-controlled Palestine Mandate. According to the resolution, Jerusalem was to be a separate, international city, under UN jurisdiction. The November 29 decision was also a rare instance of the Soviet Union and the United States voting on the same side of a major foreign policy issue, which allowed their satellite nations to vote in favor of partition as well.

The Aftermath
Time magazine of December 8 1947, reports that a rabbi who attended the historic UN vote recited from a psalm of praise, “This is the day the Lord hath made, let us be glad and rejoice therein!”

As Jews danced in the streets of what was to become the State of Israel, Arab delegates to the UN left the plenum in a huff. They said that their nations rejected the plan and that they were prepared to wage war to prevent partition. According to the 1947 Time magazine article, “All Arab delegations announced that they would boycott the partition plan, have nothing more to do with UN discussions of Palestine.”

The failure of the British government and the United Nations to implement UN Resolution 181, and an Arab onslaught to strangle the new Jewish entity, led to Israel’s War of Independence. As a result of the war, the borders of the new Jewish State were significantly expanded beyond the UN partition lines. Most of the lands that were to have become an Arab state under the terms of the partition, along with Jerusalem, were conquered and incorporated by Jordan and Egypt.

Neither of those two states offered to create a Palestinian state in the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza at any time during their 19-year occupations.

‘On This Date, the World Received a Gift’
In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B). The day is generally marked as a day of mourning in UN circles. This year, ambassadors from Iran, Syria and Lebanon spoke before the General Assembly as part of the day’s events.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman also addressed the international body.
Hamas demanded that the UN rescind its November 29, 1947 partition.
Gillerman insisted that despite Arab states’ mourning, the day should be one of celebration. “On this date, the world received a gift: a state which contributes to humanity more than all the countries in the UN that mourn on this day.”

Gillerman called on the UN to move forward and to replace “the spirit that currently blows through the halls, that brings hatred and eternalized the past” with “the spirit of Annapolis.” Arabs could have had a state called “Palestine” 60 years ago, he pointed out. He told the delegates to “look what Israel has accomplished… and where those who tried to destroy us and who continue to try to destroy us are today,” and called on them to build “a coalition in favor of peace and against violence and extremism.”

‘No Room for Jews’
For its part, the terrorist Hamas organization demanded Thursday that the United Nations rescind its November 29, 1947 partition of British Mandatory Palestine. “Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem,” the group said. “There is no room in it for the Jews.”

Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Authority negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) recently suggested using the UN partition plan to determine contemporary Israeli borders.

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7. Photo Essay: Protesting Partition in Annapolis

by Ezra HaLevi

Arutz-7’s Ezra HaLevi made the journey to Annapolis together with lovers of Jerusalem from across the globe Tuesday.

6 AM – The A Train leaves from Washington Heights, heading south toward Annapolis…
“We weren’t planning on coming, but we heard a talk by [Israel National Radio show host] Ari Abramowitz last night at Stern College and decided we had to come.”
David, an activist on behalf of protecting Temple Mount archaeology, was in good spirits.
12:30 PM – Arrival in Annapolis.
Annapolis’s big day.
12:35 AM – Jews from the pro-surrender Neturei Karta sect show up in a bus from Monro, NY.
Various local, state and military police units are on hand surrounding the various protests.
Rabbi Shmuel Hertzfeld leads the recitation of Psalms and speaks out against the division of Jerusalem.
Activist Rabbi Eli Kohl brings songs of Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel’s eternality to the protest.
Molly, a student activist, said: “We want peace too, but we know that this plan will only bring war.”
Photos of some of the more than 1,500 Jews murdered by terrorists since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
An enthusiastic non-Jewish supporter of Israel and Jerusalem.
One of the entrances to the Annapolis Naval Academy.
A reluctant conservative calls for George W. Bush to stay loyal to his anti-terror statements.
Many of the protesters hailed from University of Maryland.
An activists calls for the release of American Jew Jonathan Pollard, serving a life-sentence in a US jail after being convicted of passing classified information to a US ally – Israel.
Activist Buddy Macy speaks out against further withdrawals.
Dancing breaks out during a song about Jerusalem.
A protester’s placard shows a map of how Annapolis negotiations aim to render Israel.
An activist from Sweden protests the negotiations.
An older activist braves the long trip from New York to stand up for Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
One of the more esoteric protest messages.
Arabs and anarchists arrive.
The protests, situated outside the academy, on King George Street.
Activists from the One Voice group, assisted by the Foreign Ministry, demonstrate briefly in favor of the Annapolis Conference.
Pro-Annapolis demonstrators back from a lunch-break.
Missionaries showed up claiming to explain why Israel suffers from wars.
A ‘Jews 4 Jesus’ missionary.
A leftist homosexual group calls for a Jew-free Judea and Samaria.
Members of Neturei Karta square off opposite the anti-Annapolis protesters.
“Surrender is the Torah Way” according to Neturei Karta.
A female pro-Israel activist is pushed and berated by Neturei Karta members.
Journalists and photographers flock to the Neturei Karta group.
A contingent of protesters posed for Israeli journalists in support of the ongoing teachers’ strike in Israel, declaring that ‘education is necessary for security.’
Noahides came out to protest.
Two Christian women who drove in from Oklahoma to ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ in Annapolis.
These two women say they quit their jobs to pray full time at G-d’s behest. They drove to Annapolis from Oklahoma to pray for Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
When the protest is ended by the police it becomes a march through the streets of Annapolis.
Some late-arriving unaffiliated demonstrators.
A sign blows out of a protester’s hands over the Naval Academy’s fence.
Young activists mingling after the protest.
Peace Now and other leftist groups demonstrate in favor of the summit.
The Annapolis Knesseth Yisrael synagogue went all out, emptying all its pantries and fridges for the guests.
Trinkets commemorating the Jewish towns destroyed in Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement from Gaza.
At the day’s end, protesters celebrated Sheva Brachot – the post-wedding week-long daily celebrations for a new bride and groom – with a new couple in town from the Holy Land.

(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)
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Friday, Nov. 30 ’07
20 Kislev 5768

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Sales of Torah & megillah scrolls, tefillin and mezuzot from Israel
Weather Forecast
Partly Cloudy.
Tomorrow: Sunny
Today Dec 01
T.A 22-14C 24-14C
Haifa 22-14C 25-14C
Jlm 18-13C 21-14C
HaGolan 19-13C 21-14C
B.Sheba 23-13C 25-13C
Hebron 18-10C 21-10C
Ariel 19-14C 22-14C
J.Valley 25-17C 26-18C
Galilee 18-12C 21-13C
Eilat 25-12C 28-13C
Weather Forecast

Halachic Times
Jlm. T.A.
A. shachar 05:07 05:09
Talit 05:34 05:36
Sunrise 06:19 06:21
Sof Shema 08:53 08:55
Sof Tfila 09:44 09:46
Chatzot 11:27 11:29
Mincha G. 11:57 11:59
Mincha K. 14:26 14:28
Sunset 16:40 16:36
Nightfall 16:52 16:54

Update: 28/11/2007
US Dollar 3.875 Ù
GB Sterling 7.9908 Ù
Yen (100) 3.5258 Ú
Euro 5.7026 Ú
Can $ 3.8867 Ú
Swiss Franc 3.4637 Ú

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