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Friday, March 30, 2012

Israel on alert as Global March to Jerusalem begins - IDF Finds Explosives Near Gaza Fence - IDF Alert Prompts Closure on PA-Controlled Areas - Jewish Residents Protest Removal of Road Blockade

Source: The Jewish Chronicle Online

By Jennifer Lipman 

Israeli security forces are on high alert today in anticipation of the Global March to Jerusalem.

The demonstration, organised by a coalition of anti-Israel groups from around the world, is expected to attract thousands of protesters.
There are a number of security concerns about the event, which will take place as Jews prepare for Shabbat and Muslims mark Friday prayers.

The date has been chosen as it coincides with Land Day, when six Arabs died protesting againstIsraeli government plans in 1976.
Demonstrations are also expected to take place in the West Bank and the Lebanon and Gaza borders. Last year on Nakba Day – another day known for anti-Israel protests - demonstrators stormed Israel’s borders from Lebanon and Syria, resulting in the deaths of 15. This year, more than 2,000 border police will be on alert at checkpoints and other key sites to avoid such clashes, with troops positioned on the northern borders as well.
The Israeli government has said it wants people to be able to mark Land Day and has instructed security forces to act with restraint.
The police have also been in contact with Arab communities and urged them to ensure the protests remain peaceful.
“We’re hoping there won’t be any major incidents,” said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld. “If there are … obviously the police will respond and deal with them.”

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gil Ronen

An IDF force discovered several explosive charges near the security fence separating Gaza from Israel Thursday, near Kibbutz Sufa. The large scale explosives are arranged in an array pattern designed to maximize damage to its targets.

An IDF engineering force was believed to be working into the night under heavy security to neutralize the charges.

IDF helicopters are hovering overhead and firing into open areas in order to keep away terrorists who were trying to come near.

A large scale explosive charge was placed along the security fence with Gaza earlier this week. The charges are intended for attacks against IDF soldiers 

IDF Alert Prompts Closure on PA-Controlled Areas

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

As part of the preparations and high alert for the Arab “Land Day”, which will be marked on Friday, the IDF Spokesman announced on Thursday night that, following a decision by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a general closure was imposed on the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

The closure was imposed as of 11:59 p.m. (Israel time) on Thursday night and will be removed on Friday at 11:59 p.m. (Israel time), pending an assessment of the security situation in the region.

According to the IDF announcement, during the closure movement into Israeli territory will be allowed only for humanitarian reasons, medical reasons and other exceptions, all subject to the approval of the Civil Administration.

Earlier Thursday it was reported that the IDF, police and Shin Bet, as well as MDA emergency services, are all poised for dealing with possible Arab disturbances during Land Day.

Security forces expect violence by Arab citizens of Israel and Arab residents of Jerusalem. Hundreds of additional police have beefed up security presence in and around Jerusalem. These include snipers and Yasam Special Forces, which will break up violent altercations and break into the Temple Mount if necessary.

Most forces will be placed near mosques, where Muslims hold their Friday prayers.

Arabs from neighboring countries – Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – as well as from Gaza, are expected to march toward the Israeli border in a planned ‘Global March to Jerusalem’. According to intelligence assessments, Iran is behind these initiatives.

Jewish Residents Protest Removal of Road Blockade

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

Residents of the northwestern Shomron Jewish community of Avnei Hefetz demonstrated on Thursday against the removal of a roadblock which prevented residents of the neighboring Arab village of Shufa from crossing the highway.

Tzvi Dardik from the secretariat of Avnei Hefetz said during the demonstration, “The IDF decided to remove the barrier despite having promised not to do so until the road is adjusted to accommodate the large masses of residents of Shechem who will travel through it. We once again warn that if no changes are made, including widening the road and adding lighting - the road will become a death trap. The road is not built to accommodate the great mass of Arabs who will pass through if the barrier comes down.

The opening of the road comes after on Wednesday, the road between Beit Furik and Elon Moreh was opened for the first time in 12 years.

The road, which is known as the Madison Route, connects to the Samaria Brigade base, passes through the entrance to Itamar and ends at the community of Elon Moreh.

The road was closed to vehicles with the onset of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, in 2000. Since then, the IDF has prohibited Arab residents of the area to drive through the road, after terrorists carried out a number of shooting attacks directed against Israeli vehicles.

On Wednesday, residents of Elon Moreh protested against the opening of Madison Route and prevented Arabs from passing through.

“This road has known quite a few shooting attacks,” said Benny Katzover, a resident of Elon Moreh and chairman of the Samaria Residents’ Committee. “If the security situation is so good, why aren’t the other traffic routes opened to Jews? And why are we not discussing a Jewish return to Joseph's Tomb?”

Katzover added, “Opening the road will make it easier for the Arabs to ‘accidentally’ enter Elon Moreh or Itamar. This will give them a wide range of options to hurt us.”

He noted that a number of stabbings have recently been prevented in the area added, “Opening the road to Arabs will be life threatening for us.”

Where 8,000 Rocket Launches Are Not a Casus Belli

"Rocket Museum" in Sderot
Submitted by correspondent Tom Ifrach
Source: The Jewish Institute for National Security
By Evelyn Gordon

The most chilling comment I've seen on the mid-March surge of violence from Gaza, when terrorists fired 300 rockets at Israel in four days, was made almost three weeks earlier. The rocket fire had been steadily increasing, indicating that the deterrent effect of Israel's 2009 war in Gaza was fading, and Israel Defense Forces officers were discussing whether another large-scale operation in Gaza was needed. "The debate within the IDF," The Jerusalem Post reported, "is whether it needs to wait for a successful attack by Gaza terrorists - be it a rocket attack that causes casualties or a successful cross border attack - or if the sporadic rocket fire is enough of a justification to launch an operation today."

Think about that: Palestinian terrorists have fired more than 8,000 rockets at Israel since its mid-2005 pullout from Gaza, along with thousands of mortar shells; even in 2011, a "quiet" year, there were 680 rocket and mortar launches, almost two a day. A million residents of Israel's south live in permanent fear, punctuated every few months by more intensive bouts of violence that, like the one in mid-March, close schools for days and empty workplaces of parents, who must stay home with their kids. In Sderot, the town closest to Gaza, an incredible 45% of children under six have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, as have 41% of mothers and 33% of fathers; these statistics will presumably be replicated elsewhere as the rockets' increasing range brings ever more locales under regular fire.

In any other country, such relentless shelling would unquestionably be a casus belli. But Israel's army was seriously debating whether this alone justified military action, or whether it had to wait until the rockets caused a mass-casualty incident.

This is the rotten fruit of a government policy that for years dismissed the rockets as a minor nuisance for reasons of petty politics: For the Kadima party, in power from 2005-2009, admitting the rockets were a problem meant admitting that its flagship policy, the Gaza pullout, was a disaster. Thus former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's chief advisor, Dov Weissglas, famously dismissed them as mere "flying objects," while then-Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres accused southerners of "stoking hysteria" about the rockets and demanded: "What's the big deal?"

Consequently, the international community also came to view the rockets as unimportant. Initially, as former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer told The Jerusalem Post, Washington expected "a very serious Israeli response to the first act of [post-pullout] violence coming out of Gaza" and "was very surprised there was no reaction to the first rocket, second rocket and 15th rocket." But Sharon insisted the rockets were "not really that bad." Thus "all of a sudden," Kurtzer said, "people got acclimated to the idea that there can be rocket fire."

If the rockets aren't so terrible, however, then a major military operation isn't justified. That's precisely why Israel's 2009 war in Gaza provoked such an unprecedented international outcry, culminating in the infamous Goldstone Report (which even its author later recanted). According to IDF statistics, the war killed 1,166 Palestinians, including 295 civilians; it also caused extensive property damage. That's a very low rate of casualties, both civilian and overall, if the war was justified to begin with - i.e., if one deems the daily shelling of a million civilians for over three years intolerable, as one should. But it's a wildly disproportionate casualty rate if the rocket fire isn't "really that bad."

Yet unless the government is prepared to tolerate this situation forever - thereby flagrantly violating its foremost responsibility, protecting its citizens - another large-scale operation will be necessary, despite the Iron Dome anti-missile system's 85% interception rate: Since it can't provide hermetic protection, Iron Dome doesn't prevent the precautionary school closures, the work absences, the fear or the PTSD. Moreover, the next operation will have to be of much greater scope and duration than the last if the threat is to be eradicated.

The model is the West Bank, where the IDF has effectively eradicated terror: Israeli fatalities originating from the West Bank fell from over 400 in 2002 to 9 in 2011; shooting attacks fell from 2,878 to 9; and not one rocket has ever been launched from there. But this was achieved only by reoccupying all Palestinian-controlled territory in 2002 and not leaving.

In contrast, Israel ceded most of Gaza to the Palestinians in 1994 and never reentered those areas afterward, enabling Gaza to develop a rocket industry even before the 2005 disengagement, and then greatly expand it afterward. It turns out a long-term military presence is necessary to destroy the terrorist infrastructure, prevent its reconstruction and persuade the populace that terror doesn't pay.

But Israel can't launch such an operation in Gaza as long as the world deems the rockets a mere nuisance. Hence it must launch a campaign to change world opinion on this issue, just as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu successfully did with Iran's nuclear program.

This obviously entails explaining the enormous damage rocket fire inflicts, like Sderot's unconscionable PTSD rate. But it also entails exploiting the lesson learned from Netanyahu's Iran campaign: What most of the world cares about isn't preventing harm to Israel, but preventing Israeli military action. It was only the threat of such action that, as French officials acknowledged, finally spurred Europe to impose serious sanctions on Iran.

Thus Israel should begin warning relentlessly that if the rocket fire doesn't stop completely - as opposed to the current "norm" of one or two launches a day - it will be forced to reoccupy Gaza. That might actually galvanize constructive international action, such as pressure on Egypt to crack down on arms smuggling to Gaza and terrorist bases in Sinai.

But if not, it would at least underscore how seriously Israel takes the rocket threat, since most Israelis have no more desire to reoccupy Gaza than they do to start a war with Iran. And it would thereby prepare world opinion for the operation if and when it ultimately takes place.

American Justice for American Victims of Arab Terrorism - StandWithUs Announces “BIG” (Buy Israeli Goods) Day For March 30

Received by email: "Please consider putting up the video below on your blog. We are trying to get Eric Holder to prosecute terrorists released in Shalit exchange under US law. Thanks!"

Uploaded by  lorilowenthalmarcus :

"More than a dozen of the Arab Palestinian convicts released in exchange for Gilad Shalit's freedom have American blood on their hands. There are American laws that provide for the prosecution in the United States of anyone who has harmed or killed an American, through an act of terrorism, overseas. Those freed convicts should be brought to justice in the United States. Please contact your members of congress and demand American Justice for American Victims of Arab Terrorism."

"Please, please contact your congressional reps and ask them to sign on to the letter calling on the Justice Department to prosecute these monsters. That horrible creature Tamimi has her own tv show now in Jordan! She is a hero there and throughout the Arab world. Let's stop that sick smile. There are hundreds of members of congress who need to sign on. This is completely bipartisan - please do your part!"

"Please contact your member of congress and urge them to sign the letter and to make sure these terrorists are prosecuted! I can tell you who has not yet signed on, if you want to know."

"Please ask your members of congress to have those terrorists with American blood on their hands prosecuted here in the US under the 1990 AntiTerrorism Act. It's the law - make them enforce it."


StandWithUs Announces “BIG” (Buy Israeli Goods) Day For March 30



StandWithUs is urging schools, campuses, synagogues, community organizations, and individuals to celebrate Israel by designating March 30 as the day to buy up Israeli goods at local stores.

The date was chosen because the anti-Israel boycott campaign has planned a global boycott of Israeli products for the same day (March 30). Protestors will stand outside stores, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products.

"We need to show the boycotters that their efforts remain doomed. Let the boycotters know that when they call for boycotts of even one or two stores or products, they will face a much larger movement to buy Israeli goods," said StandWithUs co-founder and CEO Roz Rothstein. "We are telling people to go to their local stores, request the exact Israeli products being targeted, and buy them out. Let store managers know they should keep Israeli products well stocked on the shelves."

StandWithUs, in partnership with the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, successfully countered similar boycott days in 2010 and 2011. They mobilized Israel supporters in every store that the boycotters had targeted worldwide. Shoppers bypassed the protesters and bought out entire Israeli product lines. Delighted store owners said it was their best shopping days and promised to keep their shelves stocked with the targeted products.

March 30, 2012, is an opportune day to purchase Israeli products because the Jewish holiday of Passover is in April this year. Shoppers can choose presents from the wonderful array of Israeli-made items, from fine Israeli wines to the high-quality Ahava beauty products, Israeli-made jewelry, shoes, clothes, and food, including Sabra or Tribe hummus and Osem cookies.

"We must defeat the boycotters who advocate destructive, instead of constructive, measures, who undermine hopes for peaceful coexistence, and whose only goal is to cripple and damage Israel by hurting Israeli citizens," Rothstein emphasized. "We can only do this by joining together to be part of a BIG campaign like this."

Click Flyer To Print

Visit — the web site includes a store locator so people can find stores in their area that carry Israeli products. The BIG campaign is a partnership between StandWithUs and the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
StandWithUs is encouraging Israel's supporters to take videos and photos of themselves purchasing the products and submit them to

StandWithUs created a flyer listing "Six Reasons You Should Oppose Boycotting Israel" pdfs/saynoboycottsflyer3.pdf. One reason, the flyer lists, is that boycotting Israel hurts the peace process by encouraging hard-liners and "does nothing to help the Palestinians improve their lives." Shoppers should buy both Israeli and Palestinian products as "an investment in peaceful coexistence."

StandWithUs has released an online button promoting the campaign for supporters to post to their Facebook walls. A physical button is also available to pin on your clothes, attach to your key chain, etc. Order it at

The button looks like this: 
Filed under IsraelCampusBoycottStandWithUsUnites StatesDivestment on Wednesday, March 07, 2012 by Author: Admin.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Palestinians to fan Israeli-Arab Earth Day disorders Friday. Damascus to pitch in

Source: DEBKAfile

Israel’s warnings to its Arab neighbors and the Palestinian Authority to curb violent assaults on its borders on the annual Israeli Arab Earth Day Friday, March 30, have fallen on deaf ears.

The Palestinian Authority is for the first time making it a joint Palestinian-Israel Arab event, organizing mass anti-Israel disturbances in Jerusalem, Jaffa and other places, while also instigating West Bankers to rally and smash through Israeli border checkpoints and fences.
Syria is lining up buses for thousands of Palestinians to storm Israel’s northern border at Quneitra on the Golan.

Scattered Palestinian disturbances are already springing up outside the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, at the Jerusalem-Bethlehem checkpoint, Rachel’s tomb and the Kalandia checkpoint north of Jerusalem. They are exercises for splitting Israeli police and troops among several points of disorder.

Palestinian websites, social networks and media are whipping up frenzied anticipation for confrontations with Israel forces, the knife-edge atmosphere further inflamed by the impact of the murder in Toulouse of a rabbi, his two small children and a third child by a French Islamist terrorist at the Ozar Hatorah school.

Along with a general IDF and police alert for trouble, anti-terror units are on the lookout for terrorists taking advantage of the mayhem. March 15, a Palestinian man stabbed a woman soldier on the light train; March 25, a Palestinian gang beat up an unarmed Israeli soldier on the street.

A Palestinian marathon was staged with many children runners - both to compete with the international marathon Israeli staged in Jerusalem last Friday, March 23, and to gridlock East Jerusalem’s roads so as to slow down riot police responses.

Taking a hand in Israeli Arab protests for the first time, the Palestinian Authority is organizing a march in Jaffa from the port to Ajami Square. The main event of this year’s Earth Day will take place in the Galilee town of Deir Hanna. Expatriate Palestinians were also instructed to stage demonstrations outside Israeli embassies in key cities.

The Palestinian Authority aims to make the outbreaks as striking and clamorous as possible in order to reach the ears of Arab rulers attending the 23rd Arab League summit in Baghdadat the same time. The Palestinian delegation was ordered to keep a low profile there because Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates each have serious issues with the PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Since those countries have cut off regular financial aid, the Ramallah-based PA has run up an all-time record deficit of $1.4 billon and is too broke to buy medicines, DEBKAfile’s sources report. No Arab or Middle East bank will extend the defaulting PA any more credit. When they saw no hope of getting paid, many contractors have downed tools in the middle of projects.
Bashar Assad also has a big stake in getting even with the Arab mainstream which has roundly condemned his brutal crackdown on dissent. He was told his presence at the Arab summit was undesirable and he should send foreign minister Walid Moallem instead. His reply was to send no-one and prepare a convoy of buses to carry thousands of Palestinians to the Israeli Golan border at Quneitra. They are instructed to rush the Israeli border and knock over its Israeli guards Friday in tune with the Palestinian-generated showdown with Israeli forces planned for Israel and the West Bank.

The Syrian ruler’s object is to show up his Arab colleagues on widely propagated footage as lounging at ease in the sumptuous halls of Baghdad while leaving the Palestinians to the mercies of Israeli troops.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Former ‘Spiritual Advisor’ to President Obama, Now Advisor to Global March to Jerusalem - The Global March to Jerusalem - Part III

Submitted by correspondent Tom Ifrach
Source: The Jewish Press
By Solomon Burke

The upcoming ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ (March 30), which aims to mobilize millions of demonstrators from across the globe to converge on and breach Israel’s borders, has a veritable who’s-who of anti-Israel apostles serving on its ‘advisory board’.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, George Galloway, Sheikh Raed Salah, and former ‘spiritual advisor’ to President Obama Reverend Jeremiah Wright have all volunteered their moral (and no doubt other forms) of support to ensure the success of the ‘march’. Success, according to GMJ organizers, means “mov[ing] the right of return possessed by Palestinian refugees from theory to practice” – unsubtle code for flooding the Jewish state with descendants of Palestinian refugees so that the Jewish nation-state ceases to exist.

Of course, the advisory board merely reflects the fanatical and rabid anti-Israel positions of its organizers: genocidal Hamas lawmakers, radical Leftists, Muslim Brotherhood members, and Mavi Marmara flotilla veterans; or as CiF Watch, an organization that monitors anti-Semitism and attacks on Israel’s legitimacy, describes them, “a conglomerate of people representing the ‘red-green alliance’ the world over.”

Source: Myths and Facts
By Eli H. Hertz

The Global March to Jerusalem - Part III 
The Global March to Jerusalem, scheduled for March 30, 2012, is an anti-Israel publicity stunt that aims to have a million people marching on Israel's borders from surrounding countries - Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt - with the goal of reaching Jerusalem and highlighting the so-called "Judaization of Jerusalem."

Islam's Tenuous Connection to Jerusalem
March 28, 2012 | Eli E. Hertz
Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity. Oddly, the PLO's National Covenant, written in 1964, never mentioned Jerusalem. Only after Israel regained control of the entire city did the PLO "update" its Covenant to include Jerusalem.

Overall, the role of Jerusalem in Islam is best understood as the outcome of political pressure impacting on religious belief.
Mohammed, who founded Islam in 622 CE, was born and raised in present-day Saudi Arabia, he never set foot in Jerusalem.

His connection to the city came years after his death when the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al-Aqsa mosque were built in 688 and 691, respectively, their construction spurred by political and religious rivalries. In 638 CE, the Caliph (or successor to Mohammed) Omar and his invading armies captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire. One reason they wanted to erect a holy structure in Jerusalem was to proclaim Islam's supremacy over Christianity and its most important shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

More important was the power struggle within Islam itself. The Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphs who controlled Jerusalem wanted to establish an alternative holy site if their rivals blocked access to Mecca. That was important because the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca was (and remains today) one of the Five Pillars of Islam. As a result, they built what became known as the Dome of the Rock shrine and the adjacent mosque.

To enhance the prestige of the "substitute Mecca," the Jerusalem mosque was named "al-Aqsa." It means "the furthest mosque" in Arabic, but has far broader implications, since it is the same phrase used in a key passage of the Quran called "The Night Journey." In that passage, Mohammed arrives at "al-Aqsa" on a winged steed accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel, from there they ascend into heaven for a divine meeting with Allah, after which Mohammed returns to Mecca. Naming the Jerusalem mosque "al-Aqsa" was an attempt to say the Dome of the Rock was the very spot from which Mohammed ascended to heaven, thus tying Jerusalem to divine revelation in Islamic belief. The problem however is, that Mohammed died in the year 632, nearly 50 years before the first construction of the "al-Aqsa" Mosque was completed.

Jerusalem never replaced the importance of Mecca in the Islamic world. When the Umayyad dynasty fell in 750, Jerusalem also fell into near obscurity for 350 years, until the Crusades. During those centuries, many Islamic sites in Jerusalem fell into disrepair and in 1016 the Dome of the Rock collapsed.

Still, for 1,300 years, various Islamic dynasties (Syrian, Egyptian, and Turkish) continued to govern Jerusalem as part of their overall control of the Land of Israel, disrupted only by the Crusaders. What is amazing is that over that period, not one Islamic dynasty ever made Jerusalem its capital. By the 19th century, Jerusalem had been so neglected by Islamic rulers that several prominent Western writers who visited Jerusalem were moved to write about it. French writer Gustav Flaubert, for example, found "ruins everywhere" during his visit in 1850 when it was part of the Turkish Empire (1516-1917). Seventeen years later Mark Twain wrote that Jerusalem had "become a pauper village."

Indeed, Jerusalem's importance in the Islamic world only appears evident when non-Muslims (including the Crusaders, the British, and the Jews) control or capture the city. Only at those points in history did Islamic leaders claim Jerusalem as their third most holy city after Mecca and Medina. That was again the case in 1967, when Israel captured Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem (and the Old City) during the 1967 Six-Day War.

To see more about The Global March to Jerusalem 
For the entire Jerusalem pamphlet and notes, 
please Click Here.

Palestinian and Israeli Farmers Participate in Joint Conference for Improvement of Gazan Economy

On March 2012, more than 30,000 farmers from all over the world attended the 26th agricultural exhibition in Tel-Aviv. A delegation from the Gaza Strip was among the participants. During the exhibition, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) also arranged training workshops for the Palestinian farmers.

The activities of COGAT over the past year have been fruitful. In total, the exports from the Gaza Strip to Europe were 450 tons of strawberries, 50 tons of peppers, 69 tons of tomatoes and 3.5 million bunches of flowers.

To read more about the improvement in Gaza's economy:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Israeli Hurt in Jerusalem Rock Attack on Mount of Olives

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Chana Ya'ar
A similar incident 

An Israeli man was hurt Wednesday in an attack by Arabs near the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem. The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Shaare Tzedek Medical Center with light injuries after coming under attack by Arabs hurling large, sharp-edged rocks at his car as he drove near the cemetery.

Police began searching the area for the attackers and have launched an investigation into the incident.

Such attacks on the Mount of Olives have become more frequent in recent weeks, as they have elsewhere around the country, with questions rising as to whether the latest wave of Arab violence portends the start of a "Third Intifada," or third stage in the Oslo War -- the Arab violence that came in the wake of the Oslo Accords.

A week ago, Arabs firebombed several Israeli homes in the Ma'ale Zeitim (Ras el-Amud) neighborhood near the Jerusalem cemetery.

One of the firebombs (Molotov cocktails) exploded against the window of a child's bedroom. Another blew up in a parking lot. Miraculously, no physical injuries were reported in the attack.

Within hours, more than 150 people gathered in Yonkers, New York to protest the increasing danger from Arab attacks at the Mount of Olives. The International Committee for the Preservation of Har HaZeitim (Mount of Olives) noted the continued Arab desecration in the cemetery, questioning why Israel's government seemed unable to control the situation.

Last month, two U.S. Congress members Representative Elliot Engel and American Jewish leader Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, were all attacked by Arabs at the site.

U.S. Democratic Representatives Elliot Engel and Jerold Nadler were both present when Arabs began hurling rocks at the group as they visited the ancient holy site. One of the hand-thrown missiles, a large “baseball-sized” rock, just missed hitting Congressman Nadler.

A leading Israeli journalist recently called on the public to begin defending itself against such attacks, commenting on the sense of growing anarchy, and dropping faith in police protection.
Desecration of graves at Mount of Olives
Desecration of graves at Mount of Olives
Israel news photo: Rafi Fischer

A Message from the Creator of ISRAELI FRONTLINE

To all my friends who knew me when I was living in the US and Canada. I was clueless about Israel at the time—except when there were wars and my family would inform me.  

Because I now live in Israel, I am simply amazed at all the lies and misinformation circulating in media and the internet about Israel and the Middle East conflict. This is not to say that Israel and Israelis are perfect or that Israel has never been wrong, but I must stress that the news I read about Israel from global media sources is very often inaccurate and sometimes downright false.  

A perfect example is when I read news articles claiming that Hamas is honouring a ceasefire when I know for a fact that rockets are being launched into south Israel from Gaza (personal experience).  

When I read news articles claiming that Israel deliberately targeted populated areas during Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009) when I know for a fact that the IDF (Israel Defence Force) sent SMS to people's portables and dropped leaflets in Gaza asking people to evacuate a certain targeted area BEFORE executing a direct attack on a building known to have hidden weapons (television footage). That is more than any other military force has ever done in order to save lives. 

I read articles about "occupied territories" when I know for a fact that there are no such territories since presently the land does not belong to the Arabs. A Palestinian country had already been established in 1948. It was called Trans-Jordan at the time (Jordan). The Arabs refused to accept it as their country even though the entire region (including Israel and present-day Jordan) was called the British Mandate for Palestine. 80% of Jordanians proclaim themselves to be "Palestinians"—a name the Arabs decided to call themselves in 1967 under the leadership of Yasser Arafat. 

Palestine derives from the Roman name Judaea-Palaestina. The Arabs never referred to themselves as "Palestinians" prior to 1967, since Palestine never belonged to them in the first place. It was always a region controlled by one empire or another. Besides, let us suppose the "occupied territories" did become part of a Palestinian State, does that mean it ought to be free of any Jewish citizens? Israel has Arab citizens; why can there be no Jewish citizens in a country called Palestine? Who then are the real racists? Which of the two is the real apartheid state?

People accuse Israel of being an apartheid state when I know for a fact that, even though many African infiltrators have been deported, Israel harbours Sudanese and Vietnamese refugees who now have Israeli citizenship. The reason they live in Israel is because no other country would accept them. 

Note: Protecting Israelis and tourists from terrorism by building walls, roadblocks, checkpoints and blockades can hardly be considered "apartheid". Egypt has blockaded Gaza, but none ever accuses Egypt of being an apartheid state. Not to mention that 20% of our citizens are Arabs with equal rights. There may be some Israeli racists, but then there are racists in every country.

The worst lie of all is the notion that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad andAl Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Al Qassam Brigade will settle for a two-state solution when I know for a fact they have clearly stated, repeatedly, that what they really want is the total destruction of Israel.  That is what "free Palestine" really means. Video footage can unquestionably prove this fact.

I feel a moral obligation to expose the truth on a daily basis. This is why I created a weblog and facebook group (ISRAELI FRONTLINE) entirely dedicated to providing accurate news and information. I hope you can understand this seemingly obsessive behaviour.

Michelle Cohen

Egypt Kills 2 Israel-bound Smugglers

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gavriel Queenann

Egyptian troops on Tuesday killed two smugglers attempting to enter Israel.

The IDF spokesperson's office said a patrol identified the group along the border with Egypt and fired warning shots toward them.

The smugglers reportedly fled into Egypt along with Arab contacts from the Israeli side. It is unknown what, if any, contraband they were attempting to bring into Israel.

Egyptian security officials confirmed killing one Egyptian Bedouin and one Israeli Arab in a tersely worded official statement.

Since the fall of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak early last year, the Sinai Peninsula has become haven for arms and drug smugglers, terrorists, and illegal workers trying to cross into Israel.

Israel is building an electronic barrier along the 230-kilometer (150-mile) border with Egypt to keep terrorists and illegal immigrants out.

Last week, Israel indicted a Hamas terrorist from Gaza who was planning to stage the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier from Gaza, and to aid a squad of suicide bombers in reaching the Israeli city of Eilat.

Earlier this month, Egypt sentenced two Israeli Arabs and one Ukrainian man in Sinai to life in prison for arms smuggling.

In August 2011, terrorists staging from Gaza ambushed an Israeli civilian bus in a deadly attack that left 8 Israelis dead.

Before the border incident Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the barrier and pledged to have it completed soon.

BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) Voted Down in Park Slope, Brooklyn Food Co-op

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Chaya Ya'ar

A victory against pro-Palestinian Authority agitators to clear the shelves of Israeli products took place Tuesday night when members of the Park Slope Food Co-Op voted down a proposed referendum to join the international BDS movement against the Jewish State.

The vote, 1005-653, put a stop to anti-Israel efforts by the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to infiltrate the upscale Brooklyn neighborhood.

The co-op had issued a statement asking members to vote on whether to hold a referendum on joining the international BDS movement against Israel. In its statement, the co-op described BDS as a “non-violent” tactic to end Israel's “violent and illegal occupation” of Palestinian Authority Arab lands, and to help PA Arabs “gain equal rights, and achieve peace, freedom and economic stability.”

Among those who publicly spoke out against the proposed ban were New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine c. Quinn, and several potential mayoral candidates in the upcoming race for leadership in the Big Apple.
Bloomberg, a known strong supporter of Israel, bluntly said the issue has “nothing to do with food.” Scorching the BDS movement for mixing a foreign policy debate with neighborhood relations, the mayor told The New York Times, “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred, and America is not going to let that happen.”

The BDS movement has been far more successful in Europe, however. In the UK, the Tesco supermarket in Birmingham has already caved, having pulled Israeli goods from the shelves on February 4. BDS activists labeled the goods with stickers reading “Boycott Israeli Goods” and urged customers to refrain from buying products made in Israel – with nary a peep of opposition from the store management.
Tesco is the largest supermarket chain in the UK.

Israeli starts a stem-cell zoo

Working with American scientists, Inbal Friedrich Ben-Nun has found a way to generate stem cells from preserved tissue of dead endangered animals.

By  Rivka Borochov

As sure as you’re born, you may never see another unicorn –– goes the famous song of the Irish Rovers, but in this lifetime we may see the rise of seriously endangered species, thanks to the work of an Israeli scientist.
Working in a post-doctoral fellowship position at the Scripps Research Institute in California, Inbar Friedrich Ben-Nun put herself on a course to do what no scientist had done before – create stem cells from the skin cells of  endangered animals.
She did her research under the auspices of Jeanne Loring, a professor of developmental neurobiology at Scripps, with the counsel of Oliver Ryder, head of genetic research at the San Diego Zoo. About five years ago, Ryder contacted Loring to discuss the possibility of creating stem cells from endangered animals. Ryder oversees the Frozen Zoo, a cryogenic bank containing skin cells and other material from more than 800 different kinds of animals.
This unusual zoo was established in the 1970s with the vision that the technology would one day be available to make use of the genetic samples of deceased animals. The time has come, and Ben-Nun has taken the first major step in a new kind of laboratory conservation work.
“We can use this method to save species from extinction,” she says.

The drill is an endangered primate species
The research was funded by the Esther O'Keefe Foundation, the Millipore Foundation and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. And it’s mportant to note, says Ben-Nun, that funding in this area is badly needed. With a half million dollars, stem cells could be created from any endangered animal, she believes.
The artificial stem cells created from a rhino and a primate in the lab headed by Loring now provide a basis for new genetic material, via preserved samples of dead animals, to enter into the gene pool of endangered animals at severe risk of extinction. This project was a top-100 story for Discover magazine in 2011.
Rhino test-tube babies
The stem cells developed by Ben-Nun from genetic material preserved at the
Frozen Zoo are pluripotent, meaning they are capable of differentiating into one
of many cell types. Scientists can create any kind of cell from them, potentially including sperm and eggs that could be “mated” and implanted in a living animal to create new, genetically diverse babies.
Rhino nerve cells originated from stem cells made from rhino skin cells. Nerve cells are stained in red, cell nucleus in blue.
The essential aim of the research was to demonstrate scientifically that stem cells can be created from high-level animals -- such as the primate drill species, which does not fare well in captivity, and the northern white rhinoceros, of which only seven exist in the world today.

Stem cells have already been created in mice and are often used as an animal model for testing treatments for human diseases. Little funding and interest has been given to other animals that don’t have medical use to humans. This could change, thanks to the new research.

The next step will be finding donor dollars to develop the stem cells into eggs or sperm. This could take as long as a rhino gestation period –– 15 months –– assuming that rhino in-vitro fertilization actually works, Ben-Nun says.

New hope for dinosaurs and the woolly mammoth?

While it’s possible that the melting arctic icecaps may give rise to previously extinct animals like the woolly mammoth, she does not believe scientists will be able to restore dinosaurs the way they were created in the Jurassic Park movie.

“I won’t say no, but it seems far-fetched. There is a small chance. You need to have preserved cells,” she explains.

The key for successful stem cell research, she notes, is access to some basic and well-preserved skin or body cells. Since the dinosaurs are so long gone, it is not likely that good genetic material is out there. But in the case of recent extinctions, “the sky’s the limit,” she says.

If Ben-Nun could pick one animal to conserve, it would be the northern white rhino. Of the five species of rhinos, this native of Africa was thriving in the Sixties, but became decimated from over-poaching and is in danger of total extinction if solutions aren’t found to preserve it. The last birth of a northern white rhinoceros was in 2000.

Only seven individual specimens of this rhino are alive today, two at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and four others in a monitored reserve, where they were released in a last-ditch attempt to preserve the species. But time is running out.

Having met the rhinos at the San Diego Zoo before she started her project, Ben-Nun and her lab staff went back to the zoo to celebrate and see the rhinos after their paper was published in a September issue of Nature Methods, a prestigious science journal. The lab’s accomplishments are outlined in the paper to inspire labs around the world to try doing the same.

Since the paper was published, Ben-Nun has been contacted by several labs offering to sequence the genomes of the drill and the rhino, another step to ensuring their survival.

"The best way to manage extinctions is to preserve species and their habitats," says Ryder, "but that's not working all the time.”

Stem cell research can improve reproductive success and increase the gene pool. Ben-Nun, a mother of two, started on the groundbreaking project in 2008.

After one year of trial and error, the team found that the genes that create pluripotency in humans worked for the drill and the rhino. Only a few stem cells are produced each time, but this is enough: “We have the start of a new zoo, the stem-cell zoo,” says Ben-Nun.