A7News: Pioneers Establish Six New Points of Light

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Pioneers Establish Six New Points of Light

Sunday saw six new and renewed points of settlement, six Chanukah lights, and some scuffles with security forces in Judea and Samaria.

  1. Pioneers Establish Six New Points of Light
  2. Egypt, Saudi Arabia Attempt Another Fatah-Hamas Unity Government
  3. Eitan Proposes Plan to Fight Violence Against Elderly Israelis
  4. Syria Slams FM Livni as Kassams Fly
  5. Almagor: More Apathy Needed for IDF Captives
  6. After 300,000 Misses, Matching Blood Found for Leukemia Patient
  7. Report Details Israeli “Racism”

TV Programs
Ascending to E1, Maaleh Adumim

Dec 9: New communities established in YESHA


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1. Pioneers Establish Six New Points of Light

by Gil Ronen and Hillel Fendel

The nuclei for six Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria were either established or strengthened Sunday by Jewish pioneers, in a special Chanukah settlement project. Despite scuffles with police and the IDF, which declared the points of settlement closed military zones, Chanukah menorahs were lit in at least three of the sites.

Pioneers waved Israeli flags as well as the banners of soccer team Betar Yerushalayim.

At Shvut Ami, near Kedumim, about 150 people participated in the lighting of the Chanukah menorah.

Residents of Maaleh Adumim and other pioneers climbed the hill known as E-1, and which they have now named Mevaseret Adumim. The hilltop was approved for Jewish settlement by the second Rabin government, but American pressure halted construction of its 4,000 planned apartments. About 50 pioneers lit the sixth Chanukah light there, and some remained for the night. Security forces dispersed them Monday afternoon, but the pioneers said they intend to return.

A few dozen protesters from pro-Arab group “Peace Now” demonstrated against the pioneers, saying that construction at E-1 would “destroy prospects for peace.”

On the nearby hill, however, more than 500 pioneers gathered in the course of the day, accompanied by MK Aryeh Eldad and musician Ariel Zilber. As police confronted the pioneers, Zilber played his trumpet, sang his songs and made happy sounds for all. The pioneers waved Israeli flags as well as the banners of soccer team Betar Yerushalayim, which is considered to be a bastion of Jewish patriotism.

“They will evict them today, and they will come back tomorrow,” Zilber said. “They will never give up. This is our role, to settle the Land of Israel.”

At Givat HaOr, near Beit El, three families moved into five empty structures that date back from the time when the area was under Jordanian rule, before 1967. Former Kedumim Mayor Daniela Weiss took command of the operation, putting pioneers to work with pickaxes, marking paths and clearing the residential compounds. Some 30 people remained there overnight, and work continued the next day as well.

If you can’t see video screen below, click here.

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Youths painted the structures bright blue instead of the previous discolored tan, as the families prepared to move in. Weiss held a pep talk with a group of girls, and told them that the new community is the first stop on the road connecting Givat Assaf to Beit El. “This is the first neighborhood adjacent to the town,” she said, “but soon we will take the next hilltop, and the next one, all the way up to Givat Assaf and Ofrah.”

Weiss noted that for 30 years, the residents of Binyamin – first those of Ofrah, and later, when the roads were changed, those of Beit El – had passed by these buildings without noticing them. “These structures have been patiently standing here, waiting for us to re-settle them once again,” she said.

At Harchivi, near Elon Moreh, 15 pioneers braved the cold to light the menorah.

At Maoz Esther, near Kokhav HaShachar in southern Samaria, 50 young pioneers prepared to construct a tent near the hill.

About 50 pioneers reached Givat Halhoul, not far from the City of Patriarchs, Hevron. Army and police forces evicted them before dawn, gathering them on to bus-trucks, and dropping them off at the Beit Jubrin junction. Several dozens of them were on their way back in time to light Chanukah candles Monday evening.

At Nofei Hashmonaim near Hashmonaim on the western border of southern Samaria, a Border Policeman was lightly injured in the course of a police raid; one activist was arrested. The would-be settlers were dispersed, but returned Monday morning.

Pioneers and army discuss matters at Givat HaOr.
Israel National News

Pass the rock! (Givat HaOr)
Israel National News
Old Jordanian structures before getting the Weiss treatment.
Israel National News.

The ministerial committee for “illegal outposts” will convene Tuesday for what some reporters term a “historic” legal discussion. The ministers will try to decide which communities in Judea and Samaria are to be torn down.

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2. Egypt, Saudi Arabia Attempt Another Fatah-Hamas Unity Government

by Hana Levi Julian

For the second time in less than a year, leaders of two major Arab nations are working hard to bring the Fatah and Hamas terrorist factions together in a new unity Palestinian Authority unity government.

Officials in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are again attempting to convince leaders of both PA factions to reconcile their differences, according to a report published Sunday in Haaretz.

Hamas politburo chief and arch-terrorist Khaled Mashaal recently traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss the breakdown in talks between his faction and that of PA chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Egyptian officials are doing their part by trying to arrange a meeting between Hamas and Fatah factions to be held later this month, according to senior PA sources in Judea and Samaria.

Various PA sources have said quietly for weeks that efforts were being made on both sides to reconcile differences between Fatah and Hamas to bring the two rival factions together again.

The last PA unity government, established in March after weeks of cajoling by Arab leaders that ended with outright arm-twisting by Saudi Arabian King Adbullah, lasted less than a day before loyalists of both factions were back at each other’s throats.

That deal came after more than a year of internecine bloodshed that followed a landslide victory by the Islamist Hamas terrorist group, who ousted the ruling Fatah faction in PA elections January 2006. International leaders refused to recognize the Hamas-ruled government, and froze funding to the PA until Hamas would renounce terrorism, formally acknowledge the State of Israel’s right to exist, and agree to uphold deals previously negotiated by rival factions within the PA.

Hamas has not fulfilled these conditions, and has staunchly remained true to its vow never to recognize Israel. Gaza descended into total anarchy, and was eventually taken over by Hamas. Fatah retained control of Judea and Samaria.

In response, Abbas declared an emergency PA government, ousting Hamas. Millions of dollars that were frozen when Hamas took over the PA suddenly flowed in from the USA, Israel and other Western nations. Millions more dollars, hundreds of thousands of new weapons and more than a year of training for PA security forces by senior American military officials have been provided by the Bush administration to prop up the Abbas government as well.

Abbas vowed, in return, to keep Hamas out of the government.

Hamas is now trying to establish its own relationship with the USA. Haniyeh advisor Ahmed Yousef has reportedly sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking for talks. “We are not anti-American, anti-European or anti-anyone,” claimed Yousef in his letter. “Our party is the legitimately elected party. You owe it to your sense of fairness to engage meaningfully with all relevant parties to the conflict.”

Yousef said it was “amusing” that USA Secretary of State Rice had expressed sympathy for Israeli victims of Hamas bombings, arguing that Israel was to blame for the violence.

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3. Eitan Proposes Plan to Fight Violence Against Elderly Israelis

by Hana Levi Julian

A plan to fight violence and other crimes against elderly citizens is being presented to President Shimon Peres today (Monday).

Minister for Pensioners Affairs Rafi Eitan will present the proposed legislation at the President’s request, after the latter expressed concern over a wave of recent attacks on elderly Israelis.

Just today, three males, aged 19-22, were indicted on charges of having followed an elderly woman in Haifa, robbing her and beating her. Her arm and teeth were broken in the attack. The prosecution has asked that the three be incarcerated until the end of the legal proceedings agains them.

An annual crime report presented to the government on Sunday indicated that violent attacks on the elderly increased by 20 percent since January 1, 2007, with 481 more cases than those documented in 2006. Many of the attacks were carried out by family members and caretakers, police said. Other attacks were carried out by young criminals who saw the elderly as an easy target.

There was also good news in the report. Police Chief Lt. Dudi Cohen noted there was a drop in property offenses against Israel’s senior citizens. Serious theft was down by 20 percent, petty theft was down by 4 percent and the number of cases of assault and battery that took place during a theft was down by 18 percent.

The Eitan initiative includes more severe punishment of criminals, installation of tens of thousands of distress buttons in senior citizens’ homes, and beefing up the array of social workers in cities hardest hit by violence.

The plan is estimated to cost some NIS 6 million, and will first operate as a pilot program in several selected cities.

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4. Syria Slams FM Livni as Kassams Fly

by Hana Levi Julian and Hillel Fendel

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was roundly criticized Monday by Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister for her choice of issues on which to focus during the Annapolis conference.

Faisal Al-Mekdad made an effort, during a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Damascus, to distance Syria from its participation in the summit by saying it was meant merely as a gesture of support for the concept of a just peace in the Middle East.

Al-Mekdad charged Livni with making statements that were “too vague” on the issues of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Arab “refugees,” permanent borders for a Palestinian Authority state and the status of Jerusalem. All are final-status issues that were to follow fulfillment by both Israel and the PA of the conditions detailed in the first and second phases of the American Roadmap peace plan.

First Phase
Under the 2003 Roadmap, the first phase required the PA to halt all terrorist attacks against Israel and dismantle terrorist infrastructure within the areas its controls. The Jewish State was required to freeze all Jewish development in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including natural growth of existing communities and dismantle outposts established since March 2001.

The conditions for Phase 1 were to be completed within one month, and the entire plan within two years. It never got past the first step, however, due to the PA’s unwillingness or inability to eliminate terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens from its areas.

Israel agreed several months ago to skip the first step of the plan, Livni told a conference at the Washington-based Brookings Institute, “because we believe in dialogue with the Palestinians.” Israel thus agreed to turn a blind eye to the PA’s tolerance of, and sometimes incitement to, terrorism.

Kassam Hits Toy Factory in Sderot
Two Kassam rockets were fired by Hamas terrorists in Gaza last night (Sunday). One hit a toy factory in Sderot, causing heavy damage and sending several people to be treated for shock. The factory’s employees were told not to show up for work today, because of the severe damage.

Within the past year, Gaza terrorists have added Grad missiles to their arsenal. The Grad’s improved range places the coastal city of Ashkelon, and its several strategic facilities, within reach.

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5. Almagor: More Apathy Needed for IDF Captives

by Hillel Fendel

The “Almagor” Terror Victims Association says the Jewish Agency’s public campaign against Israeli “apathy” regarding the IDF captives might actually boomerang against Israel.

The Jewish Agency has been sponsoring a public campaign of billboards and large photos of the three Israeli captives kidnapped most recently by Hamas and Hizbullah – Gilad Shalit in Gaza, and Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser by Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. The words “Our Apathy Will Kill Them” under the photos are designed to arouse the Israeli public to take unspecified action on their behalf.

However, Almagor feels that the message is liable to have a detrimental effect. “It is actually a call to pressure the government to carry out a prisoner exchange at any price – something that, with all the understanding we have for the families’ suffering, must be negated.”

Terrorist Murdered Sentenced to Life – see below

“Prisoner release deals might bring back the three captives,” Almagor says, “but at the price of many other Israeli deaths – as occurred over the past five years, when 179 people were murdered by terrorists who had been freed in previous deals and gestures.”

“It’s not the Jewish Agency’s job to take sides in an internal matter of ethics concerning Israeli society,” says Meir Indor of Almagor. “It should rather invest its efforts in arranging rallies and protests abroad in those countries that were instrumental in forcing a ceasefire upon us [at the end of the Second Lebanon War in August 2006] while the soldiers were still held captive. Israeli society does not need reminders about their so-called apathy; both the nation and its leadership were not at all apathetic, and made great efforts to free the captives – including going out to war. The accusations of ‘apathy’ are therefore infuriating.”

“All the rallies and declarations simply raise the price for receiving our hostages back home. The more quiet and patience we show, the easier it will be to reach a solution that will minimize the risk of future kidnappings.”

Shifra Hoffman of Victims of Arab Terror International, on the other hand, says not to throw the baby out with the bathwater: “The protests and rallies in favor of the captives are very important, and they must be worldwide and non-stop – but they must also emphasize that this must not come at the expense of releasing Arab terrorists. The bottom line is strength, while our government is exhibiting only weakness. Just recently, British reporter Alan Johnston was kidnapped by Hamas – and Britain stood strong, and he was finally released without Britain giving up anything.”

Regev and Goldwasser were kidnapped by Hizbullah 17 months ago, and Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas two weeks earlier; Shalit is believed to be alive, but no positive sign has been heard from the others.

Counter-Pressure the Arabs
Almagor says the Palestinians themselves must be pressured in order to bring freedom to our captives: “Why is that when we are not even permitted to visit our captive soldiers, the terrorists in our prisons continue to live as usual? We must immediately stop their university studies as well as their other luxurious conditions, such as self-cooking and high-level canteens.”

Nearly 430 terrorists were released by the Olmert government last week as a goodwill gesture, with government officials emphasizing, as usual, that none of them were guilty of murder. This does not allay Almagor’s fears. “It should be emphasized,” the organization says, “that the term ‘without blood on their hands’ portrays these terrorists as less dangerous – but in fact they ‘have no blood on their hands’ only because the Israeli security services managed to arrest them before they could murder, or because they were indirectly involved in murder, or the like. In actuality, they would be quite happy to be ‘with blood on their hands.'”

Almagor has found that a clear majority of freed terrorists returned to terrorism after their release – “leading to a price in human life many times greater than the grave difficulties faced by a given individual family.”

30 Attacks
In 30 attacks perpetrated in recent years by terrorists freed in prisoner exchanges or otherwise, nearly 180 innocent citizens, mostly Israeli Jews, were killed, and many were also seriously wounded.

Almagor’s most recent findings are that of the nearly 7,000 terrorists who were freed between 1993 and 1999, over 850 (12.4%) had been re-arrested for murderous activity by August 2003. Another two-thirds of them returned to terrorist activity, be it in capacities of command, training or actual perpetration of attacks.

For more details, click here.

Har-Sinai Murderer Sentenced
In a related item, the IDF Military Court in Judea has sentenced Jihad Najar to life in prison for murdering Jewish shepherd Ya’ir Har-Sinai in July 2001. Najar approached Har-Sinai, pretending to be interested in buying sheep – and then stabbed him to death. An accomplice who then shot Har-Sinai was killed in a shootout with IDF forces two years later.

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6. After 300,000 Misses, Matching Blood Found for Leukemia Patient

by Hillel Fendel

Saying, “Chances of success were worse than winning the lottery,” a 13-year-old leukemia patient was thrilled to learn on Saturday night that a matching stem cell donor had been found.

Omri Attiya, 13, who lives in Holon with his parents and two brothers, Dvir and Amichai, was stricken with leukemia about a year ago. When medical treatment failed, he was told that a stem cell transplant from a genetically compatible donor was the only chance to save his life. His doctors turned to Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry, Israel’s National Registry, which includes 300,000 potential donors – yet no match was found.

Two weeks ago, Ezer Mizion initiated a special campaign specifically on behalf of Omri – and it worked! Some 20,000 people were tested, and happily, one of them was found to be a perfect match. Omri himself said, “The chances of finding a matching donor were less than my chances of winning the national lottery – yet it happened! I am of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi descent, thus making my chances more difficult.”

The identity of the donor is not yet known, and in fact is not permitted to be publicized until a year after the donation is made. Omri explained on Voice of Israel Radio that the donor will not have to undergo an operation: “Rather, the donor undergoes a five-hour recycling-type procedure in which blood is removed, stem cells are taken from the blood, and then the blood is returned to the donor. That’s it; there’s no risk at all, even though people are always scared of what it means to be a stem cell donor.”

Though would-be donors do not pay to be tested in the bone marrow drive, the cost of lab testing each blood sample is $60. Ezer Mizion’s Registry has saved the lives of well over 300 cancer patients around the world so far.

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7. Report Details Israeli “Racism”

by Hillel Fendel

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has released its annual “racism” report, detailing discrimination against the underprivileged, subcontractors, prisoners, and others. The report concentrates on “racism” against Arabs – without noting the decades-long terrorist war waged by Arabs against Israelis.

The report contains 13 sections – including health, privacy, and more – yet its main focus is revealed by the fact that no fewer than six of them deal with Arabs in Israel.

Health, Manpower, Foreign Workers…
The report notes with concern that there are only 1.94 hospital beds per 1,000 residents, compared with 3.27 in 1970. Public health insurance covers 44% less than it did in 1994, while 30% of the public – “most of them elderly, new immigrants, underprivileged, Arabs, or poorly educated” – does not have the supplementary health insurance that would compensate for this.

Regarding manpower agencies, the report states, “The government and its offices save millions of shekels by employing subcontractors who oppress their workers. The salary for employment agency workers is 60% of the average wage, and only 5% of them received 25 shekels an hour or more, with few or no benefits.

The report also notes faults in the conditions under which foreign workers are employed, as well as Israel’s refusal to grant asylum to 1,800 citizens of the hostile country of Sudan. It similarly documents and criticizes the increase in police wiretapping, and the fact that only 7 out of 1,135 police requests to wiretap were rejected by the courts. Police violence and prisoners’ rights are also briefly touched upon.

…But Mainly Arabs
Nearly half the report, however, deals with Arabs and their lot in Israel.

The report blandly notes an “increase in hatred by the Jewish public,” without placing this phenomenon in the context of the ongoing war waged by Arab nations and groups against Jews in Israel. Over 75% the Jewish public is said not to want to live with Arabs – though the relevant security concerns are not mentioned at all.

The report also devotes considerable space to an attack on General Security Services Chief Yuval Diskin for saying that he sees “Israeli citizen Palestinians” as a “strategic threat” and that he feels “duty-bound to thwart subversive activity of those who wish to harm the Jewish and democratic nature of Israel, even if these activities take place via democratic tools.”

The report lambasts the “racial profiling” at airports that leads to extra security checks for Arabs, and notes that 40% of the civilian victims of the Second Lebanon War were Arabs. The report states that many of the latter lived in areas that are not sufficiently protected – but did not mention that in at least one case, family members of victims said they continue to support Hizbullah in its war against Israel.

The ACRI report says that Knesset legislative proposals that make voting rights and benefits dependent on military or national service are “racist.” Similarly, the demand that Arab government ministers and MKs must pledge allegiance to the Jewish State is considered “racist,” as is the proposal that Jewish National Fund lands be appropriated only to Jews. The plight of 80,000 Bedouin in the Negev is noted, wherein Israel is in the process of recognizing nine villages while “ignoring tens of others” and establishing 30 Jewish farms in the Negev.

The ACRI laments the fact that Israel does not allow Arabs of PA-controlled areas who have married Israeli-Arabs from receiving Israeli citizenship or residency status; in fact, until this practice was stopped, it was a common method by which PA Arabs would move to Israel. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, tens of thousands of requests for entry have been granted to Arab aliens who either married Israeli-Arab residents or have relatives living in the country. The tide of Arab immigration was somewhat stemmed in 2003 when the Citizenship Law was temporarily amended with more strict criteria for the approval of immigration requests.

The ACRI report further complains that relatives of Israeli-Arabs living in enemy countries Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are also not admitted into Israel.

Netanyahu’s Warning Against Arab Demographic Threat
The Arab demographic threat within Israel was the subject of an acute warning by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu four years ago, when he told the Herzliya Conference that, “regarding the Israeli-Arabs – here we have a problem… If the Arabs become a minority of 40%, the State will cease to be Jewish, and therefore, we need a policy that will first of all guarantee a Jewish majority. I say this with no hesitation, as a liberal, a democrat, and a Jewish patriot – … and one that will balance between these two needs.”

In the Carmiel-Misgav area of the Galilee, the population is 20% Jewish and 80% Arab.

In a section entitled “De-stabilizing Democracy,” the ACRI report bemoans the finding that only half the public recognizes the need for equal rights for Arabs and Jews. “Occupation is not benign,” it declares, lamenting the “killing of citizens [by military counter-terrorism forces], restrictions on travel, checkpoints, administrative arrests, confiscation of land, preventing access to land, and army entries into houses” in Judea and Samaria. Once again, the dozens of Arab terrorist attacks – stabbings, stonings, shootings and more – that are perpetrated or planned each week are not mentioned. A separate section on the Arabs of eastern Jerusalem is also included in the report.

Jews Want to Separate From Enemies
Baruch Marzel of Hevron responded to the racism report as follows: “It speaks for itself; our people truly want to separate from its enemies, and feel that our enemies are dangerous. It shows once again that Rabbi Meir Kahane was right all along. The Arab leaders and Knesset Members shouldn’t come to us with complaints, but should rather realize that it is their own behavior and disloyalty that has brought this about.”

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Monday, Dec. 10 ’07
1 Tevet 5768

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Galilee 12- 6C 13- 6C
Eilat 23-12C 24-12C
Weather Forecast

Halachic Times
Jlm. T.A.
A. shachar 05:15 05:17
Talit 05:42 05:44
Sunrise 06:27 06:29
Sof Shema 08:59 09:01
Sof Tfila 09:49 09:51
Chatzot 11:31 11:33
Mincha G. 12:01 12:03
Mincha K. 14:28 14:29
Sunset 16:40 16:36
Nightfall 16:53 16:54

Currencies
Update: 07/12/2007
US Dollar 3.875 Ú
GB Sterling 7.8653 Ù
Yen (100) 3.4766 Ú
Euro 5.6685 Ù
Can $ 3.8226 Ù
Swiss Franc 3.4266 Ù


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