While Israel celebrates date on which it was given a state by UN, latter plans anti-Israeli resolutions
WASHINGTON – The UN is currently marking the historic date of November 29 1947, the day in which it approved the partition plan separating Israel into two states – Jewish and Arabic.
But while in Israel the date is celebratory, as it marks the end of the British mandate and the beginning of independent rule, the UN headquarters in New York and Geneva are holding ceremonies of mourning and solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The General Assembly in New York has embarked on a two-day marathon of anti-Israeli debates and votes, during which it plans to focus on the promotion of the Palestinian issue. Hearings will be held on subjects such as sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Israel has traditionally boycotted the debates due to their one-sidedness, but in recent years has changed its tune. Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, is scheduled to speak before the assembly Tuesday and condemn the UN tradition of memorializing the date on which Israel was given a state as a day of mourning.
The Palestinian Maan news agency reported that the Palestinian observer at the UN, Riyad Mansour, is expected to announce a "new diplomatic strategy" and ask the Security Council to define the 1967 borders as the new borders of a Palestinian state.
Last year the former president of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto, accused Israel of apartheid during a speech before the UN.
Palestinians watch as butchers slaughter a calf on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Gaza City November 27, 2009 Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of the haj by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail [Jewish and Christian scriptures say it was Isaac!] on God's command. Reuters.
A Palestinian man pulls a bull by its tail as he slaughters it in a slaughterhouse, on the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations, in Jabaliya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid-al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, with the sacrificial killing of sheep, goats, cows or camels. AP Photo.
A butcher's cleaver is seen leaning against a wall in a slaughterhouse, on the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations, in Jabaliya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid-al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, with the sacrificial killing of sheep, goats, cows or camels. AP Photo.
Pakistani volunteers slaughter animals at a local religious school on the occassion of Eid al-Adha in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. The Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, is celebrated to commemorate the prophet Ibrahim's faith in being willing to sacrifice his son. AP Photo.
Pakistani volunteers slaughter animals at a local religious school on the occasion of Eid al-Adha in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. The Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, is celebrated to commemorate the prophet Ibrahim's faith in being willing to sacrifice his son. AP Photo.
A Palestinian butcher cuts a slaughtered sheep on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 27, 2009. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of the haj by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail [sic!] on God's command. Reuters.
Slaughtered sheep lie in their blood after they were sacrificed on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Sharjah November 27, 2009. Muslims all over the world celebrate the three-day Eid-al-Adha festival by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail [sic!], on God's command. Reuters.
What a bunch of freaking cowards and stinking hypocrites PETA are.
Four soldiers convicted of overstepping authority when they forced Palestinian detainees to eat snacks get off easy. Jaffa Military Court demotes them in rank, fines them NIS 1,800 even though the four did 'damage to IDF's image.' Military Advocacy believes sentence too light, considers further steps
The light punishments handed down to soldiers from the Kfir Brigade for their involvement in abusing Palestinian detainees and force feeding them snacks. Four of the five defendants in the case, known as the "Bamba Affair," were demoted Sunday by one rank and fined NIS 1,800 (about $470).
The judges in the Jaffa Military Court noted that though the soldiers' actions were angering and tainted with scorn, cruelty, and degradation, the amount of time that has passed since the incident was taken into consideration. In addition, the judges said that they heavily considered the fact that the soldiers served as combat soldiers and took part in operational activity. Another factor contributing to the light sentences is that the soldiers expressed regret over their actions.
The Military Advocacy expressed their discontent with the light sentence, claiming that it does not reflect the severity of the soldiers' offenses. The prosecutors expected that the judges would include in the soldiers' sentence, at the very least, military work, compensation to some of the Palestinians, and demotion to the rank of private. In the coming days, the Military Advocacy will discuss whether they will appeal the sentence.
The soldiers, on the other hand, felt that the sentence handed down to them was actually too severe. "I have been through three not-so-simple years, and I am finishing them with a very harsh feeling," said Sgt. (res.) A., "I never wanted to hurt anyone intentionally. Sometimes things get blow out of proportion. Even a punishment of being demoted a rank, which seems like a light punishment, is actually very painful."
'Abuse of authority'
The abuse took place in April 2006 when the soldiers transported 13 Palestinian detainees to the Military Court in Salam. During the ride, the soldiers tapped the detainees, who were handcuffed and blindfolded, on their shoulders and asked that they count off.
After this, the soldiers ordered the detainees to stand in a circle outside the vehicle and to grasp onto each others shirts. One of the soldiers even hit one of the detainees. The soldiers then forced the Palestinians to eat snacks. The soldiers proceeded to shove the food by force into the mouths of whoever did not comply on their own accord.
Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz walks in front of a wall with bullet holes at Nariman House in Mumbai November 17, 2009. Nariman House, home to the Mumbai chapter of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish movement, was one of 10 sites attacked by gunmen during a 60-hour siege in the city that began on November 26, 2008. Reuters.
Well, obviously the shadow is of the rabbi himself, but Reuters just couldn't pass up the opportunity, out of hundreds of photo-ops, to feature the Scary Jew Shadow.
Netzah Yehuda, the IDF's haredi battalion, celebrated its 10th anniversary this week with a celebration at Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus. Current and former soldiers of the battalion attended, as did Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i.
The battalion, better known as Nahal Haredi, was founded in 1999 as a test program, aimed at providing a framework to integrate into the IDF and ultimately into the work force.
Strict religious standards are an integral part of the Nahal Haredi framework. There are no women bases, the food is glatt kosher, and time is allowed for prayer and Torah study.
Netzah Yehuda soldiers are expected to perform at least two years of combat service, after which they can spend a year learning a trade or studying for matriculation exams.
A common theme sounded by the speakers at Monday's ceremony was the skepticism with which the project was initially greeted and the tremendous progress that has been made in 10 short years.
Over 2,500 soldiers have passed through the Nahal Haredi program and the sight of bearded men with payot in uniform is no longer the shocking sight it once was in insular haredi enclaves.
There were fears that during the ceremony, soldiers from the battalion would attempt to fly banners protesting the eviction of Jews from settlements in Judea and Samaria. Such protests have been made by troops from both the Shimshon and Nachshon battalions, both of which, like Netzah Yehuda, belong to the Kfir Brigade.
There were no such disturbances during the event. Contrary to media reports, this reporter saw no evidence of the unit's officers making soldiers lift their shirts as they entered the hall, to check for hidden signs.
City commissioners on Wednesday placed Sandusky city manager Matt Kline on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the city law director.
Kline was escorted from city hall at about 10 a.m. by a Sandusky police officer and at least two city commissioners who took his keys to the building, commissioner Dan Kaman said.
Kline has been placed on leave for "conduct unbecoming a public official," said Don Icsman, the city's law director.
Commissioners called an emergency meeting at 6 p.m. and went immediately to executive session to discuss pending litigation. Returning to open session, they voted unanimously to place Kline on leave until Icsman completes an investigation.
Triggering the action was a Nov. 12 letter from the Marina District developer's attorney addressed to the city's law firm.
Timothy Miller is representing John Eymann, the developer fighting to reclaim a $100,000 deposit he made with the city in connection to the failed development of the Marina District.
The letter demands the city return Eymann's "good faith deposit," lest Eymann drag the issue into court.
The $100,000 deposit has been the focus of much contention in recent months. City commissioners and Icsman have not decided whether they'll return the money to Eymann or keep it to offset the city's planning and legal fees associated with the project.
Miller's letter also contains a two-page transcript from a recording of an Oct. 20 phone conversation that allegedly occurred between Eymann, Kline and Scott Schell, Sandusky's economic development specialist.
Throughout the conversation, Schell and Kline repeatedly say there was always an understanding that the money would be returned to Eymann.
"John ... we do not want to hold onto your money," Schell says. "But it's just like we need to figure out how to get it back to you."
Kline adds that city commissioners would have to approve a motion that would let the contract expire, though the motion would also have to include "giving back or returning the $100,000."
Schell and Kline then talk about the logistics of the proposed ordinance, and discuss changing the agreement to reflect the "good faith deposit."
When Schell says there were "other things we were trying to tie up," Kline delivers a bombshell.
"Ya ... like having to hire so many crippled black Jewish people," Kline says, according to the transcript.
BARIYAPUR, Nepal – The ceremony began with prayers in a temple by tens of thousands of Hindus before dawn Tuesday. Then it shifted to a nearby corral, where in the cold morning mist, scores of butchers wielding curved swords began slaughtering buffalo calves by hacking off their heads.
Over two days, 200,000 buffaloes, goats, chickens and pigeons will be killed as part of a blood-soaked festival held every five years to honor Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.
While cows are sacred and protected by law in Nepal, animal sacrifice has a long history in this overwhelmingly Hindu country and parts of neighboring India. The Bariyapur festival has become so big, in part, because such ceremonies have been banned in many areas in the neighboring Indian state of Bihar.
And while it is criticized by animal-rights protesters, the festival is defended as a centuries-old tradition.
Many Nepalis believe that sacrifices in Gadhimai's honor will bring them prosperity. They also believe that by eating the meat, which is taken back to their villages and consumed during feasts, they will be protected from evil.
Taranath Gautam, the top government official in the area, estimated that more than 200,000 people had come for the ceremony in Bariyapur, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Katmandu. Some brought their own animals to sacrifice.
"I am here with my mother who had promised the goddess she would sacrifice a goat. It was her wish and promise and I am glad we were able to fulfill it," said Pramod Das, a farmer from the nearby village of Sarlahi. "I believe now my mother's wishes will come true."
Animal rights groups don't have much power in Nepal, but they have staged repeated protests in recent weeks. Local news reports say some activists set up stands in towns on the way to the Bariyapur temple, offering Hindu pilgrims coconuts and other fruits to sacrifice instead of animals.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Officials in the Obama administration have decided that they will be cutting the guest list in half for this year’s Chanukah party at the White House.
The Jerusalem Post, which first reported this development, suggested that this will be politically harder for Obama the Democrat than it would have been for Bush the Republican.
As one of President Bush’s advisers for many of his Chanukah parties, I can assure you that it would not have been easy in the previous White House, either.
During the Bush years, Jewish staffers were inundated by people who wanted to be invited to Bush’s Chanukah soirees. Karl Rove once proclaimed at a West Wing meeting about the upcoming holiday parties that invites to the White House Chanukah party were officially the toughest ticket in town.
Bush’s first Chanukah party, in 2001, gained national attention as the first one ever thrown in the White House residence. Each year, Bush continued the tradition, adding various refinements along the way.
The first year, the children of a White House staffer lit the Chanukah menorah in a ceremony kicking off the party. In subsequent years, Bush selected as candle lighters children of Jewish men and women in uniform, the father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and -- in a joint ceremony to acknowledge Israel’s 60th birthday -- the grandsons of Harry Truman, the president who first recognized the new nation of Israel, and of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.
Another refinement was the introduction of kosher food. The party was not kosher at first, as kosher food is significantly more expensive than non-kosher food -- 33 percent more, according to an estimate in The Jerusalem Post. Initially the White House did have a table with kosher food for guests who kept the dietary laws, but this led to confusion over which offerings were kosher and which were not. One year, due to a labeling mishap, some observant Jews accidentally ate from the non-kosher tables, leading to high-decibel complaints directed at the prim and proper White House ushers. [Oh noes!] From then on, Mrs. Bush decreed that the parties would be completely kosher, regardless of the expense.
What a crisis! What pissed off JTA more than anything else was the kosher food on the menu. The horror of Jews actually requesting to keep kosher! I seem to recall several years ago that the Kremlin koshered one of its kitchens for a state visit from the former President of Israel, Moshe Katsav.
NAPLES — Ten North Naples Middle School students were suspended last week after district officials said they circulated an e-mail to classmates about kicking Jewish people.
The e-mail was circulated the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 18. It came to the attention of school officials later that week. The e-mail told students that if they saw a Jewish person on Thursday, they should kick them.
District spokesman Joe Landon said the 10 students received one day in-school suspensions, which were served on Friday. He said the parents of each student were also contacted and parent conferences were conducted.
Landon said until further notice, the school will focus the first 20 minutes of each day on character traits, beginning with respect and kindness. Homeroom teachers will speak with the students about these traits and will focus on bullying prevention, he said. Videos on the topic will be sought out and used as part of the training, he said.
Landon said the first 20 minutes of the school day is normally used for reading time and tutoring time if students need help.
Israeli Leftist Talk Show Host Threatens, Blusters, Incites
Jerusalem - In an exceptionally venomous broadcast on Israel radio this morning (Sunday) following yet another Shabbos marked by demonstrations, host Natan Zehavi of 103.fm lashed out against Jerusalem’s charedi community, saying he pledged to give NIS 1,000 “to every policeman who is called a Nazi…and gives him a big whack on the head with his billy club, and smashes in his mouth and teeth.”
The self-styled “non-conformist” radio host and writer unleashed a long, ranting diatribe full of blatant incitement to violence.
“These charedim, though they study fulltime, are quite a bunch of ninjas. They’re in good shape, and they run around throwing rocks and demonstrating. Just give them the chance and they’ll carry out a lynch against people sitting in a car,” said the 63-year-old radio personality.
“We owe thanks to the policemen that rescued the unfortunate people who found themselves in the powerful clutches of the thugs with hairs on their faces, the funny hats on their heads and the weird coats in the middle of the heat.
“But what really bugs me, is that day and night policemen in the State of Israel are constantly being called ‘Nazis.’” At this point Zehavi incongruously lumps the demonstrators with national-religious protestors in Judea and Samaria, and during the evacuation of Gaza.
“…The belittling of the Holocaust has become a symbol of certain communities,” Zehavi continued, again drawing no distinction between the charedi and the national-religious camps. “I hereby declare,” he said, raising his voice to a pitch, “that HaRav Nosson Zehavi ben HaRav Yankel Goldveitz will give an NIS 1,000 prize “to every policeman who is called a Nazi by a settler or a charedi Shabbat demonstrator, and gives him a big whack on the head with his billy club, and smashes in his mouth and teeth.”
This cartoon may become illegal according to "International Law"
GENEVA – Islamic nations are mounting a campaign for an international treaty to protect [Islamic] religious symbols and beliefs from mockery -- essentially, a ban on blasphemy.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Algeria and Pakistan have taken the lead in lobbying to bring the matter to a vote in the U.N. General Assembly.
Such a ban would face great resistance in Western nations that enshrine freedom of expression as a fundamental right.
The countries that form the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference are currently lobbying a Geneva-based U.N. committee to accept its plan, a first step for it to eventually be put before the General Assembly.
If that occurs, Muslim countries and their allies in the developing world would stand a decent chance of mustering the simple majority needed in the General Assembly to adopt such a treaty.
Apparently trying to prove that there's nothing too small and petty for some in the Jewish community to complain about, The Jerusalem Post's Hilary Krieger has a story about some anonymous Jewish leaders expressing disappointment over the fact that President Obama is planning to invite only 400 people to this year's White House Chanukah party -- instead of the 800 on the guest list for President George W. Bush's final Chanukah bash last year. The reason is primarily cost in these tough economic times:
Though several Jewish leaders expressed understanding for the economic and other reasons behind the cut, they acknowledged that it would likely help feed feelings in some quarters of the American Jewish community thatthe White House is giving them the cold shoulder.
It comes as a different attempt at outreach to Jews - an appearance by US President Barack Obama before the General Assembly of North American Jewish Federations last week - was cancelled so that the president could participate in a Fort Hood memorial service.
"I don't know which people will be more upset about," said one Jewish leader, comparing the disappointment of those who had expected to see Obama speak with those who wouldn't be getting an invitation to the Hanukka celebration.
Given the current climate, the Jewish official continued, "The pressure on the White House to have the right people at the Hanukka party is going to be enormous."
When asked about the decisions surrounding the guest list and its trimming, a White House spokesman responded that Obama "looks forward to celebrating Hanukka atthe White House and having many members of the Jewish American community at that event."
The article points out that Bush's first Chanukah party also had a guest list of around 400 in year one of his presidency (also amidst tough economic times), and that officials want to have room for "natural growth" of the list over the next few years. On the other hand, it notes that there are many more Jewish Democrats in Washington and the country as a whole than there are Jewish Republicans.
The Orthodox Union's Nathan Diament suggests people should find something else to whine about:
"As we know from Biblical times, we Jews are very good at complaining," [Diament] said. "People shouldn't complain. It's very nice that President Obama is having a Hanukka party.
"People can choose to gripe about the guest list or any other aspect of it, but the fact is this White House is going to continue this practice, which is a lovely thing."
Holland to probe if Ahava products made on occupied land
According to Socialist Party website, Dutch foreign minister intends to investigate whether Dead Sea cosmetic company's products sporting label 'Made in Israel' are manufactured on 'occupied' territory
It seems as though not everyone in Holland is thrilled with Ahava beauty products. In a discussion held in the Dutch parliament a few days ago, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen agreed to launch an investigation of the Dead Sea company's products marketed in Holland in order to ascertain whether they are manufactured in Palestinian territory held by Israel, according to the Dutch Socialist Party's website.
According to the report, Verhagen acted at the behest of Socialist Party parliament member Harry van Bommel to check whether the products exported to Holland under the Israeli flag in actuality "create revenue for the occupier."
The site claims that van Bommel explained in the discussion that "This issue stands in the way of reaching a fair, honest, and just solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."
The accusation against Ahava is that the company manufactures cosmetic products in a lab located in Mitzpe Shalem, a kibbutz on the western bank of the Dead Sea and uses minerals suspected of being Palestinian.
The company's products are exported to Holland with the stamp "Made in Israel," but, according to the Dutch socialists, the territory on which the products are manufactured does not belong to the State of Israel. The kibbutz is located on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea.
If it will be found that the Ahava products are made on occupied territory, Bommel said that he "will call for a boycott of these products" because selling them "violates international law that forbids an occupying power from selling products whose raw materials belong to the occupied nation under its name."
Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz (2nd L) is seen with representatives from various faiths at a gathering at the Jewish cultural and religious centre Chabad House in Mumbai on November 17, 2009, during a service of remembrance for victims of last year's militant attacks in the city. Faith leaders on November 17 gathered at a Jewish religious and cultural centre in Mumbai to light candles to those who died in last year's deadly terror attacks on the city. The candles were lit after a moment of silence to remember the six people who were killed at Chabad House on November 26-29, including the respected rabbi who ran it, Gavriel Holtzberg, and his pregnant wife, Rivka. Getty Images.
MUMBAI (AFP) – Faith leaders on Tuesday gathered at a Jewish religious and cultural centre in Mumbai to light candles to those who died in last year's deadly terror attacks on the city.
The candles were lit after a moment of silence to remember the six people who were killed at Chabad House on November 26-29, including the respected rabbi who ran it, Gavriel Holtzberg, and his pregnant wife, Rivka.
The ceremony, on the ground floor of the bullet-scarred five-storey building in bustling Colaba Market, followed a multi-faith religious ceremony at the luxury Trident hotel, which was also stormed by gunmen.
Overall, 166 people died and more than 300 others were injured in the attacks, which were blamed on the banned, Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz, from the ultra-Orthodox Chabad-Lubovitch movement that owns Chabad House, first read the names of all six victims and said: "We are standing here today as men and women of good will and good faith.
"We are standing united together as we all are children of God, all created in the image of God, to condemn terror and promote peace and perpetuate the life and legacy of the sacred victims."
He told dignitaries, including Israel's consul general in Mumbai, Orna Sagiv, and reporters: "We, the Jewish people, see ourselves as a light unto the nations of the world.
"We stand in solidarity and in grief and in love with all the victims that were targeted on that same night."
Berkowitz earlier told fellow leaders from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Zoroastrian and Jain communities that they would continue the work of the Holtzbergs to promote peace and unity around the world.
A Palestinian woman express her anger as she stands amidst debris after Israeli municipality workers partially demolished her family house which was built without municipal permission in the Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood of Whad Kadum on November 17, 2009. Israel's interior ministry authorised the construction of 900 new housing units in annexed east Jerusalem, the ministry said, in a move bound to draw international criticism. The international community has repeatedly criticised Israel for building in occupied Palestinian lands which Israel occupied in 1967 but where the Palestinians wish to build their future state. Getty Images.
Jewish settlers salvage pieces from a structure that was destroyed by Israeli forces at the illegal outpost of Neguhot Darom near the settlement of Neguhot in the occupied West Bank on November 16, 2009. The international community considers all West Bank settlements illegal because they are built on occupied Palestinian territory, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. Settlements, which are home to 500,000 Israelis -- 200,000 of them in east Jerusalem -- are a major hurdle in hobbled efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Israel only considers a number of so-called outposts to be illegal because they were built without government authorisation. Getty Images.
So, Arabs can build wherever they freaking please, even inside Israel, but a "future Palestinian State" requires the ethnic cleansing of half a million Jews so that the Palestinians can enjoy a 100% Judenrein apartheid state.
A non-profit with zero overhead, Israel's Eye from Zion is restoring sight to hundreds of people in developing countries.
"At first, I thought I'd die." That's what an ex-Mossad (Israel's Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations) chief said about his first "operation." Yoram Hessel, now the director of Eye from Zion, wasn't talking about a secret operation for the Israel government. He was referring to sight-restoring cataract surgery that he had witnessed firsthand.
After observing about 50 cataract operations in countries such as Vietnam, China and the Muslim country of Azerbaijan, Hessel, now an international businessman with his consultancy Vintage Crown is overflowing with enthusiasm about how a relatively straightforward operation can change peoples' lives. In addition to his career in business, Hessel donates his time to Eye from Zion to restore sight to people in developing countries.
He's seen cataracts the size of buttons removed from people's eyes. "It's amazing what you get out of the eye, what they take out," he tells ISRAEL21c.
Eye from Zion grew out of the vision of Israeli businessman Nati Marcus. Since its founding about three years ago, it has grown into a core group comprising five or six influential Israelis like Hessel. With their help, through missions undertaken by dozens of Israeli doctors who donate their time and expertise, Eye from Zion has restored sight to hundreds of people.
With an industry standard tool called a Phaco machine, the Israeli eye doctors use sound waves to blast out a cataract, breaking it into pieces and then sucking it out. Most of the patients who arrive at the mobile clinic are nearly or completely blind in both eyes.