Once again I would like to recommend a commentary piece in The Jerusalem Post. This one, by veteran diplomat Yehuda Avner, is entitled "The Mughrabi Gate incident."
Says Avner, "The Wall is the cutting edge. How goes the Wall so goes Israel. It is the heart and soul of the matter. Thus it was, thus it is, thus it shall ever be." His words are worth attending to, for the issue is Jewish willingness to fight for what is ours.
Seems that in 1928, the Arabs were pulling the same garbage that they are now. There was no great plaza in front of the Kotel — the Western Wall of the Temple Mount — as there is now. There was only a small alleyway. But there Jews gathered on Yom Kippur to pray. And then, as now, the Arabs were instigated and the cry went out, "Jihad! Jihad! The Jews are trying to rebuild their Temple and destroy our al-Aksa Mosque." Riots ensued in the months following, riots that ended with the destruction of the Jewish community of Hebron. [Note: the instigator was the Mufti of Jerusalem, later a Nazi collaborator, who was Arafat’s uncle and mentor.]
Bowing to Arab "sensitivities," the British, in a stunning expression of the gross partiality of their administration of Palestine, ruled that the Kotel belonged to the Arabs and that henceforth blowing of the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur services would be forbidden.
But each year, at the close of Ne’ilah, the final service of Yom Kippur, a young man from the Betar youth movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky would defiantly blow the shofar. And each year, a battalion of very proper British police, armed with batons and rifles, would be present: fanning out to look for the "culprit," they would swing left and right.
In 1943, a horrified Menachem Begin was witness to such an incident, and later wrote, "Our ancient stones are not silent. They speak of the House that once stood here…This House and this land, with its prophets and kings and fighters, were ours long before the British were ever a nation." Begin resolved to take action.
A year later, before the start of the High Holiday season, he arranged for pamphlets and posters to go out, saying that any British policeman disturbing the service at the Western Wall "will be regarded as a criminal and be punished accordingly." Many in the Jewish community were made nervous by this bold step, wondering exactly what he was planning to do and what repercussions would be brought upon the community.
As Yom Kippur drew to a close, a young boy blew the shofar. Not a single British policeman moved to get him; their commander ordered them to fall out and return to their base.
The lesson is stunning.
I knew that the hardship endured by the Palestinians in Gaza is regularly exaggerated. But I was startled by some figures provided just days ago by CAMERA. Seems that foreign aid to the Palestinians actually increased last year. What changed in response to the international boycott of a Hamas led PA was the conduit for providing assistance rather then the amount of assistance in total. Money that would have once gone to the PA Finance Ministry was provided instead to the Office of the President (on the assumption that Abbas is a good guy). Additionally funds went to other government agencies and to quasi-governmental institutions and non-governmental humanitarian agencies.
In spite of all this, Palestinian productivity declined for several reasons:
Terrorist activity and the philosophy of Hamas have caused a curtailment of Palestinian-Israeli trade. What is more, terrorist attacks or threatened attacks on crossings from Israel to Gaza — particularly at Karni crossing — have necessitated closures that cut down on the movement of goods from Israel into Gaza. Additionally, Palestinian factional violence has discouraged international investment and interfered with normal business routines.
And precisely who is to blame for all of this?
Early predictions that the appointment of Daniel Friedmann as Justice Minister would turn out to be a blessing for Israel are, at this juncture, looking accurate.
It has been a major problem in this country that the High Court of Justice — which has had a propensity to tilt left — has over the years severely overstepped its bounds in its readiness to nullify Knesset legislation. As Minister Friedmann put it, "…the High Court had unilaterally determined the extent of its power to intervene in Knesset legislation and, as the years went by, had expanded that power." He is now prepared to deal with this problem by presenting legislation that seems to have broad support in the Knesset: The proposal, to be presented first to the Ministerial Legislation Committee, is based on the system used in Canada. The Court may nullify a bill immediately, but in the succeeding six months the Knesset would have the option of approving the legislation again after making necessary changes. Explained Friedmann, "This change in the system will grant legitimacy to the decisions of the High Court while also raising the stature of the Knesset."
MK Yitzhak Levy (NRP) put it more boldly, declaring that this legislation would "end the court’s tyranny and disregard of the wishes of the legislator and the public."
Still another weapons factory has been discovered by the IDF in Shechem (Nablus).
Erez Levanon, the 42 year old father of three, from Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion, was murdered on Sunday night; he was stabbed to death not far from his vehicle, apparently while praying. Two 18-year old Palestinian Arabs hiding in the area were arrested and then confessed. According to Ma’an, a Palestinian internet news agency, these were "resistance men."
Today Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility.
According to The Times of London, Hezbollah is preparing for war with Israel. It was known that Hezbollah had been building strength north of the Litani River, which is out of the jurisdiction of UNIFIL; fortified new positions are going up there in places where they hadn’t existed before the war. But now The Times reports that Christian and Druze owned land south of the River is being purchased by Ali Tajiddine, a Shia diamond trader, in order to provide a Shia-dominated belt in a remote mountainous region where Hezbollah could operate safely. According to resolution 1701, Hezbollah is not supposed to operate south of the river.
"The state of Hezbollah is already in existence in south Lebanon," Druze leader Walid Jumblatt is reported to have said; he fears the use of Iranian funds to create a military zone for Hezbollah. Tajiddine, who has bought up two-thirds of the Druze villages in the area in question, says he is interested in the region only for mining purposes.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2007/2/26/posted-february-26-2007.html