Israel Update: 2 November 2017
BALFOUR DECLARATION CENTENARY – 2nd November 2017
Israeli President Reuben Rivlin: At the time Lord Balfour made his famous declaration, my family – the Rivlin family – had already been living in the Land of Israel for over 100 years. Jerusalem had already had a Jewish majority for over half a century. Today, my grandchildren are ninth generation Jerusalemites.
The Balfour Declaration marked the first official recognition by an international power of the right of the Jewish people to independence and self-determination in our ancestral homeland. The establishment of a national home for the Jewish people is a dream that has truly been realized, with more than half the world’s Jewish population now living in Israel.
When it is truly understood that the Arabs and Jews of the Holy Land are not doomed to live together but indeed destined to live together, then the legacy of Balfour will be truly realized.
Full article here:
BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA CENTENARY
Thousands of Australians, including Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, attended a ceremony in the southern Israeli desert to mark 100 years since the Battle of Beersheba. The legendary mounted charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade in October 1917 to defeat Turkish forces and seize the strategic town of Beersheba is remembered, not just as a great military victory, but for the incredible bravery of 800 young Anzacs on horseback that changed the course of WWI. Full article with short video and photos here:
The IDF on Monday destroyed a new terrorist tunnel from Gaza running from Khan Yunis under the border fence and approaching Kibbutz Kissufim in Israel. IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said, “This is a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty that we will not allow. We had been monitoring this tunnel for a while.”
The tunnel dug by the Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad that was destroyed by the IDF did not yet have an exit point in Israel, even though it penetrated into Israeli territory. Israel has installed new technology on the Gaza border with extremely sensitive sensors, which alerted IDF forces in the sector that a tunnel being dug underground had crossed the border.
CO-EXISTENCE & CO-OPERATION
Ayala Meir’s family owns a small olive press in northern Israel. Khaled al-Juneidi is a Palestinian engineer and olive oil expert.The two met four years ago through the “Olive Oil Without Borders” project, funded by the U.S. government. Together, they have learned about pre-harvesting, parasite control, supplementary irrigation and quality control.
Australia will send emergency services and border officials to Israel to draw from that country’s vast experience in keeping people safe in public areas and air cargo security.The initiative will involve Australian police, paramedics, firefighters and defence personnel learning new methods of protecting buildings, carrying out surveillance and using biometrics.
India on Tuesday dispatched a 45-member contingent to Israel to take part in the “Blue Flag-17” exercise from Nov. 2 to 16, the first time India has participated in a military exercise in Israel.
On any given night, the IDF is active on multiple points on the Syrian frontier, interacting with locals on the other side. At the operations hub of the Good Neighbour administration on the Golan Heights are metal shipping containers brimming with spaghetti, baby formula and diapers, warm clothing and blankets, school supplies and fuel jerrycans. Children in need of specialists are bussed to Israeli hospitals, sometimes daily. “For a five year old who has only known war, that day in Israel might be the best of their lives,” said Lt. Col. E, commander of the Good Neighbor administration. “They see that the Jews treat them with respect. They’re my ambassadors.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Monday that 54% of judges in Israel are female. There have been three women presidents of Israel’s Supreme Court.
Three of Israel’s leading banks are currently led by women. At Bank Leumi more than 40% of the top management are women. This is in addition to the governor of the Bank of Israel, the supervisor of banks, and the director of the capital markets, insurance and savings authority – all of whom are women. Israeli culture encourages women to shake off old notions of passivity and obedience and to engage as equals with men academically, professionally, and in the military.
Palestinians must stop building tunnels under Gaza schools, UNRWA said this weekend as it made public the presence of a new tunnel under one of its schools. “The presence of a tunnel underneath an UNRWA installation, which enjoys inviolability under international law, is unacceptable. It places children and agency staff at risk,” the UN agency said. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “This is what Hamas rule looks like and this is more proof of the double war crime committed as terror tunnels are built to attack Israelis, while using the children of Gaza as human shields.”
Michael Lynk, a special investigator assigned by the UN Human Rights Council to look into abuses in the Palestinian territories, left out any mention of actual Palestinian abuses in his report..he seemed unaware that two of his predecessors had included human rights abuses by Palestinians in their reports. Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, said, “By any definition of human rights, morality and logic, if Mr. Lynk is a United Nations human rights monitor for the Palestinian Territories, he must address Palestinian Authority and Hamas torture and arbitrary arrest committed against their own people.” Neuer also cited the killing of Israelis in terror attacks.
Israeli judoka Tal Flicker won a gold medal last Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament, but celebrated his victory under the International Judo Federation’s flag due to a ban by the emirate on the display of Israeli symbols. Tournament organizers also did not play Israel’s national anthem as he stood on the podium to receive his medal in the men’s under-66 kg. (145 pounds) category. Gili Cohen won bronze in the women’s under-52 kg. (114 pounds) class and received similar treatment. The Israeli contestants were also barred from wearing Israeli symbols on their uniforms at the tournament and were listed as representing the International Judo Federation.
Israel’s AudioCodes has been selected by communications provider British Telecom to provide session border controller (SBC) solutions (for connectivity between IP networks) to be stationed at British Telecom’s business customers.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/art icle-audiocodes-signs-british- telecom-deal-1001208184
On the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration that helped pave the way to Israeli independence, Tom Gross explores the reasons behind it and discusses demands by some that Britain apologize for it. Is it Britain’s fault that the Palestinians don’t have an independent state? Should Britain also apologize for Jordan, Iraq and other states? The Palestinians could have had a state on many occasions, and could and should still have one. If anyone needs to apologize to the Palestinians it is their own leadership.
COMMENT & OPINION
Martin Kramer: The centennial of the Balfour Declaration is the perfect opportunity to chip away at the distorted accretions of a century. The largest of these is the notion that the Balfour Declaration arose outside any legitimate framework, as the initiative of a self-dealing imperial power. This is utterly false. The Balfour Declaration wasn’t the isolated act of one nation. It was approved in advance by the Allied powers whose consensus then constituted the only source of international legitimacy. Before Balfour signed his declaration, leaders and statesmen of other democratic nations signed their names on similar letters and assurances. The Balfour Declaration anticipated a world regulated by a consortium of principal powers—the same world that, 30 years later, would pass a UN resolution legitimating the establishment of a Jewish state. This centennial is thus the time to remind governments of their shared responsibility for Britain’s pledge to establish a Jewish “national home” in Palestine.
Caroline Glick: Generally speaking, the nations of the world have not supported the Jews, not in the Diaspora and not in Israel. Jewish survival has always been more a function of Jewish action than gentile sympathy.
But while accurate in the general sense, the routine hostility of the nations of the world mustn’t make us overlook the enduring significance of their acts of friendship. The Balfour Declaration didn’t change the whole world. It changed the Jewish world. It didn’t change the Jewish world by creating a state for us. It changed the Jewish world by helping us to believe that we could fulfill our longing to return to Zion. And once we believed it, we did it.
Dore Gold: The Balfour Declaration is important because it recognizes the historical bond of the Jewish People to the Holy Land, a bond which existed long before the declaration. What was significant was its public and formal recognition and its incorporation into international law. In his testimony before the Peel Commission on Jan. 7, 1937, David Ben-Gurion noted: “I say on behalf of the Jews that the Bible is our Mandate, the Bible which was written by us, in our own language, in Hebrew in this very country. That is our Mandate. It is only recognition of this right which was expressed in the Balfour Declaration.” Thus, the British Mandate and the Balfour Declaration, upon which it was based, did not create Jewish historical rights, but rather recognized a pre-existing right.
Elder of Ziyon blog: Too many articles about Balfour give Great Britain credit for creating Israel, just like articles at the end of this month will credit the UN partition plan 70 years ago with creating Israel. Neither is true. Israel was created through the sweat and blood and hard work and foresight of a group of Jews who saw how important it was to have a Jewish state. They used international instruments to help them but the entire enterprise was created, sustained and completed by Jews alone, to rebuild the Jewish state that Jews have yearned for over two millennia.