Archive for October, 2006

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Lebanon War Causes Pot Prices to Spike

October 31, 2006

I kid you not. Another casualty of the Lebanon War – pot prices have increased 8-fold due to increased border security both in the north and the south.

Apparently the border with Lebanon has long since been fertile ground for drug trafficking into Israel, many times with full cooperation between Israeli citizens and the Hezbollah on the other side of the border.

Who says Israel and the Hezbollah can’t co-exist? All we need to do is legalize pot.

Or, actually, keep it illegal.

This post is dedicated with love to Fizz. 🙂

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Hamas: Militant Died While Digging Tunnel to Fight Israel

October 29, 2006

A Hamas militant died today while digging a tunnel to be used in the Islamic group’s fight against Israel, Hamas said in a statement.

A 20-year-old from a refugee camp in Gaza died “while fulfilling his holy mission in an underground tunnel… while he was preparing with his brothers and colleagues… to shake the Zionist entity,” the Hamas statement read.

This is actually the first time Hamas has officially announced that one of its members had died while digging tunnels used tboth to smuggle weapons from Egypt and to enter Israel to carry out terrorist attacks.

For perspective, in June Hamas militants used one of these tunnels to enter Israel and atack a military post, killing two soldiers and kidnpaping Gilad Shalit who, so far, has not returned home.

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5 Qasam Rockets Launched at Israel

October 29, 2006

Two rockets were launched on Saturday and three more this morning at Israel. One of today’s rockets landed in Palestinian lands.

For more details, click here.

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Israeli Defence Forces Present: Anti-Missile Tables

October 26, 2006

This ain’t no joke, folks. Due to the enormous amount of missiles being launched at Israel, the IDF has decided to place concrete tables in classrooms across Ashkelon. In the event of a missile launch at Ashkelon, students would be able to hide under their tables.

Sderot, which has been hit significantly more times than Ashkelon, already has fortified classrooms in all their schools.

The problem with Ashkelon, however, is that there are too many schools in the city, therefore making them safe will take years.

Ahskelon schools all have shelters in them, however the ones in the south of the city are old and don’t have enough room for all the students.

The problem in the newer schools isn’t much better, seeing as the shelters are too far away for the children to reach them with the short (under a minute) warning system that is currently in place.

Click here for a full article about this from Ynet.

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Israel to Upgrade Security in LA Airport

October 26, 2006

A team of Shin Bet and Ben Gurion Airport security experts recently reviewed the security arrangements at Los Angeles International Airport and suggested recommendations for improvement.The original initiative for the visit was brought up by Jack Weiss, a Los Angeles City Council member who participated in a homeland security conference held by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, during which he was very impressed by the security arrangements at Ben Gurion Airport.

Upon his return to the United States, Weiss contacted the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles to arrange a visit of Israeli security experts.

The Israeli team made patrols and held meetings with those responsible for airport security, which is about to go through a USD 500 million upgrade. The Israeli team pointed out a number of weak points and holes in the airport security system and passed on a list of recommendations to their American counterparts.

President of the Los Angeles Airport Board of Airport Commissioners Alan Rothenberg said that the Israelis had at least six suggestions to improve security, some of which were relatively easy to carry out, and others that necessitate sophisticated technological developments.

Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles Ehud Danoch said that this is an unprecedented project in which the commissioners of an Israeli governmental body, as opposed to experts from the private sector, have come to an American airport for an extensive examination of the security arrangements.

Danoch’s deputy, Yaron Gamburg, said that the visit signifies a new stage of cooperation in homeland security with the US.

For the original article, click here.

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Terrorist Attack In Israel Thwarted

October 25, 2006

Gaza resident tries to sneak 6 kg of explosives into Israel through Karni Crossing, to Palestinian resident of Tulkarm. Police: ‘We have no doubt we prevented terror attack in Israel’

The Shin Bet, in cooperation with Southern District Police, in recent days thwarted an attempt to smuggle explosives from the Gaza Strip into Israel through the Karni Crossing, it was released for publication Wednesday.  

A number of Palestinian laborers tried to smuggle the explosives with the apparent aim of carrying out a terror attack in Israel. At the start of the week security forces discovered six kilos of standard TNT hidden inside an iron cage used to transport goods from Gaza into Israel.

The same day, three Israeli truck drivers from the Negev were detained for questioning for suspected involvement in transporting the explosives. 

An interrogation of the suspects revealed that Mahmoud Samih Abu Nagi, a Palestinian residing in Sheikh Radwan in Gaza who works at the Karni Crossing coordinated the transfer of the explosives into Israel.

Meanwhile, the same night Rami Samir Abid, 25 from Tulkarm, who was allegedly supposed to collect the TNT once it reached Israel, was arrested at his home.

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Warner Brothers bought Israeli ‘Foreplay’

October 25, 2006

Israel continuing to export original TV formats: Dating show sold to Warner Brothers

By: Raz Shechnik

 

Israel is continuing to export original formats for TV programs. Following “The Vault” and “In Treatment,” the dating format

“Foreplay,” broadcast on Channel 10 and presented by model Galit Guttman, has also been sold overseas.

The program was produced and developed by Israeli Jerusalem Capital Studios (JCS) and was sold to the giant US Warner Brothers Studios, set to produce the show in the
US.

The rights to the program were also purchased by the European media giant Fremantle, who brought the American Idol format to
Israel.

“Foreplay” was developed at JCS by Tali Goren, currently director of program development at the Hot cable company, and Galit Sherf currently the director of Chooz, JCS’s cellular content company.

“Foreplay” was broadcast in
Israel for two consecutive seasons. The dating show meets between four young women (or men) who compete against each other over one man (or woman).
 

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Terrorists: Major Attacks Against Israel on Their Way

October 25, 2006

 How can you say we’re not being provoked? How can you say the Palestinians want peace when they themselves are treatening us with rocket attacks and suicide bombing with the sole purpose of provoking at attack on Israel???

This is an article from WorldNetDaily

By: Aaron Klein, WND

Several senior terror leaders in Gaza told WorldNetDaily that terror groups allied with Hamas in the Gaza Strip are planning a series of large-scale attacks against Israeli positions near Gaza “within the coming days,” including rocket attacks, suicide bombings against Jewish communities and raids of Israeli military posts.

Palestinian and Israeli security officials said they are aware of the attack plans. Israel said it beefed up security at Gaza border crossings.

The Palestinian officials said the threatened large-scale attacks, which they claimed may be imminent, are meant to provoke an Israeli military response in Gaza that would unite the Palestinians and thwart any attempt by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the Hamas-led Palestinian government. Read the rest of this entry ?

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An Olive Branch for an Eye

October 25, 2006

When I was snoozing this morning between alarm rings, I realized that there is a fundamental difference between Israel and the Palestinians that will prevent peace from occuring in the region.

While the Israeli government acts against the Palestinians when provoked, Israeli individuals don’t.

The bible says “an eye for an eye” but the people don’t implement it. That is, if every person who was personally vicitimized in any way (which, unfortunately, is almost everyone – there is not one person in Israel who hasn’t lost someone or has a friend who lost someone) in this conflict (general conflict, not the recent Lebanese war) were to implement  the “eye for an eye” rationale, both our peoples would be wiped off the earth.

The Palestinians need to put faith in their elected government. For heaven’s sake – they have a government! Why all the resistance organizations? Put faith in your elected government to “revenge” for you or act in your name.

If you continue to take “an eye for an eye” literally (or whatever the Quran says), then this will never end.

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Smile When You Hear Death to Israel

October 25, 2006

What is it about saying Death to Israel that makes so many people feel so good?

Why is it, that so many people find so many ways to say it?

You can literally hear a new one every day. Sometimes twice.This was, in fact, Death to Israel Weekend on the radical Islamist network. On Friday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar kicked things off at a rally in Khan Yunis, bringing down the house by declaring that Israel is “an abomination in the Middle East” that will someday “disappear.”“We will never recognize Israel, and in the end the [fate of] Zionists will be like that of the Crusaders, the Persians and the English, who left,” said Zahar, a founding father of Hamas.

“We want all of Palestine, every centimeter, from the river to the sea, from Rosh Hanikra to Rafah. If we can form a state within the 1967 borders we will do so, but this doesn’t mean that we will relinquish our right to every centimeter of Palestine’s land.”

There it is. No room for us Jews. No room for our history, our past presence here. No room for our common ancestry with the Palestinians. No room for Abraham. He was, after all, not from here. He was from Mesopotamia. Let him go back. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Kidnapping is Terrorism

October 24, 2006

I’m not talking about kidnapping for the sake of kidnapping (not that that’s right either). I mean kidnapping as a means to get money or to settle personal disputes with local authorities authorities.

Today’s kidnapping (and subsequent release) of AP photographer Emilio Morenatti in Gaza today ended well, as (thankfully) have previous kidnappings.

Palestinian militants in Gaza have frequently kidnapped foreign journalists and aid workers in the past two years, usually seeking money or to settle personal disputes with Palestinian authorities.

What I don’t understand here is why. Why kidnap the people who are trying to help you? I can “understand” the kidnapping of an enemy (though in our case it usually results in murder). But why and aid worker or a journalist?

A previously unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades claimed responsibility. Its demand for the release of Muslim prisoners held by the United States raised fears that foreign extremists, perhaps al-Qaida, had infiltrated Gaza.

Palestinian security officials, however, said the name was a front for local militants.

Either way, this is not the way to gain sympathy. Alienating those who want to help isn’t the way to go. Even the Palestinian government knows that – that’s why they condemn these acts.

It’s time the people face up to the government they have elected and allow them to do their job. Otherwise, anarchy will prevail, and no type of peace will be possible.

CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) Executive Director Joel Simon said today in response, “We’re dismayed that journalists have become pawns of Palestinian groups seeking to exploit them for political purposes. These blatant attacks on journalists will have a chilling effect on their ability to do their work and will ultimately deprive the world of information about this critically important story.” 

If you don’t like what your government is doing, elect a different one. Or run yourself. Just take into consideration that terrorising those who are on your side isn’t quite the way to go.

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A Response to Bloggers Seeing Israel in the Wrong

October 24, 2006

This post is actually a comment I left on someone else’s post. I’ve decide to post it on my blog as well since I feel that it contains a lot of important information and points I would like to make. I have posted several other similar comments on other sites, so I will probably post these in the future. This is the post in almost its entirety (minus a personal commendation to the blogger himself).

Not ALL Israeli soldiers are saints, but hardly any army in the world can claim that. It’s enough just to mention the pictures from Iraq with the
US and British soldiers to prove that point. However for the most part these are 18-year-old kids and 35-year-old men who would like nothing more than to be at home.

As for the wall. If you ask almost any Israeli (and I’m not talking about any extremists or fundamenstalists), you will hear that in an ideal world we wouldn’t need to wall. It’s uglying up our country as well. We don’t want it. but the documented proof is that stince that wall has gone up, the amount of suicide bombers making it into Israel has decreased dramatically.

The Palestinian government is doing a great job (I’m being completely serious here) in stopping terrorists. I know they do a lot to make sure they don’t get through, and they work religiously with Israel on this. (Again, I am being serious.) When you couple that together with the roadblocks and the border points, they are extremely efficient together at stopping ALMOST all the suicide bombers from getting through into
Israel.

Unfortunately, the system is not yet working perfectly. In an ideal world, and the world that Israelis hope is nearby, Israel won’t have to put up roadblocks anymore and we would be able to depend 100% on the Palestinian government to stop any potential terrorism from entering our country. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Jewish Refugees from Arab States Campaign for Recognition

October 24, 2006

Did you know that almost 1 million Jews have been kicked out of Arab countries? It’s not just Palestinians who have been kicked out of their land. Not to mention the fact that most of the Palestinians who left in 1948 left of their own will, not because they were forced to leave. The proof is in the Israeli Arabs. They were all offered to remain under Israeli rule. Back to the news at hand.

World Jewish groups began a global campaign this week calling for recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees in theMiddle East conflict.

“The world sees the plight of Palestinian refugees, and not withstanding their plight, there must be recognition that Jews from Arab countries are also victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” said Stanley Urman, executive director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC).JJAC, a U.S.-based coalition of Jewish organizations, is one of the groups coordinating the campaign, which aims to record testimonies of Jews who fled in the face of persecution, list asset losses and lobby foreign governments on their behalf.

Jewish groups have estimated that since 1948 at least 900,000 Jews have been forced to leave their homes in Arab countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. At least 600,000 went to Israel. The rest sought sanctuary in France, Britain, the United States and other countries. A meeting of Jewish groups in Jerusalem yesterday marked the first concerted effort to put the issue on the world agenda. Linda Abdel Aziz, who fled to Israel in 1971, is one of many thousands of Jews born in Iraq who left or were expelled as conditions deteriorated due to discriminatory legislation, pogroms and public executions. Abdel Aziz has recorded her testimony in the campaign. Her father, Jacob, who stayed behind in Iraq, disappeared in 1972, and family members believe he was executed by the ruling Baath party regime for being a Jew. “We did not interfere in politics but we were persecuted. We are all haunted,” said Abdel Aziz, 56.   Read the rest of this entry ?

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A Possible Solution from Sydney Students?

October 24, 2006

I came across this, and while it seems like a cool idea (and temporary solution), I’m not sure it’s feasible and even worth development costs. It’s not like Israel stops everyone at the border crossings just for fun and to torture people. A suicide bomber can easily send the SMS saying that they want to come into Israel to visit their sick cousin, but still try to smuggle a bomb into the country. It’s a great way to tell you what the closest checkpoint is, but I’m sure that they already know (not the bombers, the people in general).

Then again, at least someone has some initiative in trying to make the situation better.

After reading about long queues at Palestinian-Israeli border crossings, and the frustrations and even deaths that can occur as people wait for medical care, a University of Sydney student decided to create mobile phone technology to solve the problem.

After entering your personal details, the reason for your visit and your time of travel into your phone Amal Abdo’s program tells you which checkpoint to go to. It will even give you a unique code to use when you get there.“The phone tracks your GPS location to know which checkpoint is closest to you,” says Abdo, who created the work as part of a final year design project set by new media lecturer Andy Dong.

Her design gives “Israelis the security they want, but at the same time minimises disadvantage to the Palestinians,” she says.

For the rest of the article, click here. 

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Israel Among World’s Most Competitive Economies

October 24, 2006

Israel moved up eight notches to rank 15th worldwide in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for 2006-2007, establishing it as one of the world’s most competitive economies.

The economy’s most significant achievements, according to the survey released Tuesday, were concentrated in the areas of technological readiness (up 20 places to No. 3), macroeconomic management, market efficiency and various areas of infrastructure.

Improvement also came from significant policy reforms coupled with fiscal discipline, which the report said had introduced a greater degree of competition. “The area that saw the most impressive developments was the financial market, highly developed by regional and international standards,” said Augusto Lopez Claros, chief economist and head of the Global Competitive Network at the forum.

“More importantly, Israel has benefited from the development of a culture of innovation, supported by first-class institutions of higher education and scientific research.

Israel has become a world technology powerhouse, and this is beginning to have a favorable demonstration effect on the rest of the economy, an excellent omen for the future,” he said.

Israel‘s move came even as US economic competitiveness fell significantly as high budget and trade deficits combined with low health and education standards to worsen America’s business environment.

To read the full article, click here.