Israel Update: 20 October 2016

Flag of Israel

by Hazel Green


Tens of thousands of Jews from all over the world participated in the traditional Priestly Blessing ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning during the Succot (Tabernacles) Festival. Video.


Israel’s military field hospital, regularly dispatched to disaster zones to provide humanitarian relief — and to win the Jewish state some rare international brownie points — may soon be awarded the World Health Organization’s highest ranking, which would make it the first in the world to be so recognized.Teams from the IDF Medical Corps and Home Front Command provided rescue and medical services after an earthquake in Turkey in 1999, an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, a typhoon in The Philippines in 2013 and, most recently, an earthquake in Nepal in 2015.




This week, despite last-ditch Israeli efforts, UNESCO’s Executive Board ratified a motion ignoring Jewish & Christian historical ties to holy sites.


Mexico has fired its ambassador to UNESCO, Andre Roemer, who is Jewish, for protesting against his country’s decision to vote for a resolution denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem.


The chair of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Michael Worbs, said in an interview with Israeli TV that he was sorry about the resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s holy sites that was passed by UNESCO and has since been ratified by its Executive Board.


UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said that her organization would battle the delegitimization of Israel, as well as continue to promote Jewish heritage around the world and fight against Holocaust denial.


M.P.s in the Czech Parliament’s Lower House condemned the UNESCO resolution that denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem, saying it reflected a “hateful, anti-Israel” sentiment.


The Italian newspaper Il Foglio issued an unprecedented front page & centerfold protest in response to UNESCO’s adoption of the resolution, calling it a “cultural holocaust” …hundreds of demonstrators expressed solidarity with Israel outside UNESCO’s offices in Rome.,7340,L-4868380,00.html




A Border Police officer was stabbed near Har Adar outside of Mevaseret Zion on Saturday morning by an attacker who had been hiding in bushes near the community’s security fence. The attacker fled.,7340,L-4866603,00.html


Five residents of the Palestinian village of Ni’lin were arrested for shooting at IDF forces on Yom Kippur, October 11,7340,L-4868020,00.html




A four-man Arab terror cell planned to hurl grenades at dancers at a celebration in an events hall in Be’er Sheva, hide weapons to inflict further damage in trash cans; conspirators also intended to abduct and bludgeon to death an IDF soldier from city’s central bus station and use remains as a bargaining chip….The members of the cell were arrested before they managed to acquire the necessary weapons for implementing the attack.,7340,L-4868453,00.html


A Palestinian woman who approached border police with a knife at Tapuach Junction in the West Bank on Wednesday was killed by security forces

A 25-year-old Palestinian was caught in Jerusalem’s Old City Saturday evening with a knife concealed in his clothes, and security forces said he had intended to carry out an attack in the Temple Mount area. He told police that he wanted to be “a martyr,” according to reports.


In the past 12 months, Israeli forces have confiscated 350 guns and busted 35 workshops where Palestinian machinists manufacture the components of the Carlo, a handmade submachine gun modeled after the Swedish Carl Gustav. ..There have been 22 major assaults on Israelis by Palestinian gunmen in the past year.




P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday hosted the family of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered Israeli Avner Maimon (51) in 2003, telling them their son was a “martyr” and a “hero,” the official Wafa news agency reported.


Members of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian soccer team Hilal Al Quds posed for a picture with a poster hailing the terrorist who killed two people recently in Jerusalem just two days after the attack, praising him as a “martyr” and “hero”.




Israel is discussing a series of large-scale infrastructure projects in Egypt for desalinization of sea water, solar energy, electricity production, agriculture, irrigation and gas.,7340,L-4867417,00.html




Khaled Abu Toameh: The international community continues to perceive Fatah as the “moderate” Palestinian party with whom Israel should make peace. Yet Fatah is far from a single united bloc; many groups within the faction continue to seek the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle. Moreover, neither Abbas nor any of his senior Fatah loyalists have repudiated the war-set Fatah militias. Crucially, many of these Fatah militiamen continue to receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority….

Fatah is a two-faced hydra; one face tells the English-speaking international community what it wants to hear, namely, that it supports a two-state solution and seeks a peaceful settlement to the conflict with Israel, while the other tells the truth: it is committed to an armed struggle and the “liberation of Palestine,” and is even preparing for war with Israel.


Benny Morris: No Ethnic Cleansing by Israel in 1948

At no stage of the 1948 war was there a decision by the political or military leadership of the Jewish Yishuv or the state to expel the Arabs. Nor did any important party in the Yishuv, including the Revisionists, adopt such a policy in its platform…Incidentally, Arab countries carried out ethnic cleansing and uprooted all the Jews, down to the last one, from any territory they captured in 1948. The Jews, on the other hand, left Arabs in place in Haifa and Jaffa, and in the villages along the country’s main traffic arteries – the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway and the Tel Aviv-Haifa highway – a fact that does not conform with the claim of ethnic cleansing…Unfortunately, Benjamin Netanyahu is right when he says the main obstacle to peace is the unwillingness of the Arabs to agree to a compromise based on two states for two peoples, and their rejection of the legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel.


Daniel Taub: In the wake of the latest UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem spearheaded by the Palestinian Authority, thoughtful Palestinians should have doubts about the long-term value of repeated Palestinian efforts to subvert the facts of history to a political agenda.


Raphael Ahren: Was Israel’s failure to recruit the Christian world against the controversial UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem a crushing, unforgivable diplomatic defeat, or does the Western world care so little about its religious and cultural heritage that there’s nothing even the savviest officials could have done to prevent it?