Arab MK: Tel Aviv=Sheikh Munis!
A rancorous TV interview last week with an Arab MK that revealed his apparent desires to conquer Tel Aviv continues to make waves.
"Zionist Sheikh" In Jerusalem
Jerusalem activist Aryeh King met the Israel-supporting Sheikh, who is on a visit from Italy, in East Jerusalem
1. Arab MK: Tel Aviv is the Arab Village of Sheikh Munis!
by Hillel Fendel Arab MK: Tel Aviv=Sheikh Munis!
A rancorous TV interview last week with an Arab Knesset Member that revealed his apparent desires to conquer Tel Aviv continues to make waves. Arutz Sheva's Hebrew site entitled its article on the topic, "The Israeli interviewer who did not forget that he is Jewish."
The broadcast occurred on Thursday night, on the Erev Chadash (New Evening) program hosted by veteran broadcaster Dan Margalit and his younger co-host Ronen Bergman, and broadcast on Channel 1 and 23. Arab MK Jamal Zehalke (Balad) was their guest, and the discussion centered around that morning’s Arab protest against Israel. One Arab MK at the protest, Taleb A-Sana, used his cell phone to broadcast a live address to the rally by Hamas terrorist chief executive Ismail Haniye. Zehalke, for his part, said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak likes to listen to classical music and kill children, comparing him to a Nazi.
Zehalke told his interviewers that there is a “lack of knowledge among Israelis about the terrible situation in Gaza, and there is nothing wrong with Haniye expressing his opinion to the Israeli public.”
ergman said, “He is the head of a terrorist organization that is at war with Israel, and you give him a platform to speak. You don’t see how this is perceived here?” Zehalke responded that it was good for Haniye’s voice to be heard. At this point, Margalit said, “I don’t think there is such a humanitarian crisis in Gaza as you think there is, though that’s not the point--”
Zehalke: “I can bring you examples from the UN report.”
Margalit: “Come on, who believes the UN? The UN is an arm of - look at the Goldstone report.”
Zehalke: “OK, so you believe the Israeli generals?”
Margalit: “I don’t have to believe anyone. I was in Sderot myself for three years and I saw the Kassam rockets that came flying over there, courtesy of Haniye and his friends, well before Israel carried out any military campaign. So come on. But that’s not the point; the point is that Hamas is an enemy, and you, as Knesset Members, apparently couldn’t care less…
Bergman: “Why don’t you protest against Egypt? If they would open their blockade of Gaza in Rafiach, there would be no humanitarian crisis there!”
Zehalke: “I support the Egyptian opposition’s protest against their government” [evoking sarcastic laughter by the interviewer … We want to stop the suffering in Gaza, one must be totally obtuse in order not to see this.”
Margalit: "Not quite; Hamas has fired 8,000 rockets…"
Zehalke: “There were 1,400 dead Arabs and 400 children [in Cast [si.”
Margalit: “Because Hamas fired rockets…”
Zehalke: “Ehud Barak listens to classical music and kills children!”
Margalit: “Yes, we’ve heard that, we’ve heard that. What chutzpah (gall, nerve -- ed.) it takes to talk that way.”
Zehalke: “No, the chutzpah is the killing. Don’t say it is nerve.”
Margalit: “It is chutzpah.”
Zehalke (yelling): “Don’t you say chutzpah!”
Margalit: “I’ll say what I want, I don’t live in your [type o country, I live in a democracy.”
Zehalke (yelling): “You talk as if you’re in the marketplace!”
Margalit: “I talk that way? You say that Barak is a murderer! You are chatzuf [cheeky, rude, disrespectful, from the same root as the Hebrew word chutzpa!”
Zehalke (yelling): “Don’t call me chatzuf!”
Margalit: “You’re chatzuf!”
Zehalke: “Don’t call me chatzuf!”
Margalit: “You’re chatzuf!”
Zehalke: “Oh yeah? You’re a zero!”
Margalit: “Oh? OK, now you’ve convinced me.”
Zehalke: “You’re a zero! You’re a mouthpiece for all the prime ministers, and you’re a court reporter! You’re a court reporter!”
Margalit: “Yes, OK, Zehalke, you’re right, now get out of here. You don’t care about all the Kassams, now get out of here.”
After another round or two of mutual insults, when it appeared that Zehalke had finally left, Margalit had trouble calming down, and said, “You saw that chatzuf? He says that Barak is a child murderer!”
Zehalke’s voice is heard from offstage: “Don’t say chatzuf!”
Margalit: “Get out of here already!”
Zehalke: “Don’t say chatzuf! Don’t say get out of here already!”
Margalit: “Can you let me work, please?” (The next interviewee had already arrived)
Zehalke [still yelling from offsta: “This is Sheikh Munis here!” (referring to a former Arab village on the ruins of which northern Tel Aviv -- including the television studio -- was built)
Margalit [banging on the tab: “Aaah, now we see what you really want! Now it’s clear! You want to conquer this from us too! Now we see the truth!”
Zehalke: “No, we want to live together! I was born here, you are an immigrant!”
Margalit:”Oh, I’m an immigrant?” (Margalit was born in Tel Aviv in 1938)
Old Tactic - But Who's the Real Immigrant
Accusing the Jews of immigrating to Israel is an old Arab tactic – yet, as documented by several works, including "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters, most of the Arab populace that today occupies the Holy Land is itself made up of immigrants from various Arab countries. Many of them arrived over the course of the decades that preceded the formation of the State of Israel -- largely attracted by the economic growth and opportunities engendered by the area's growing Jewish presence.
A leading member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Zuheir Muhsin, said in March 1977, "Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel...
Assaf Wohl, writing in the Judaism section of Ynet on Saturday night, noted, “Do they [the Arab MKs who accuse Jews of immigratin believe that the ‘Palestinians,’ whose name no one ever heard until the 20th century, really grew from this land? People who don’t even know how to pronounce their own supposed name, seeing as it has a P [Arabic does not have that sou? Don’t they know that under the Arab villages in the Galilee are synagogues from the Second Temple Period? Don’t they know that at the end of the 19th century, there were only 140,000 non-Jews in the Land of Israel – 25% of them recent immigrants? And then in 1948, their number was more than 10 times higher, almost exclusively because of Arab immigration to the Land of Israel.”
Coincidentally, the ministerial committee for legislation is set to vote this afternoon on a bill that will require Knesset Members to swear allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state. MK David Rotem (Israel Our Home), who sponsored the bill, explained, “Whoever heard what the Arab MKs A-Sana and Zehalke said over the past few days, besmirching the Defense Minister and even allowing Israel’s enemy to speak to the public via a cell phone that belongs to the Knesset and the State, understands intuitively that we have to take action to ensure that the MKs are loyal to the State.”
2. Towns on Strike Against Construction Freeze
by Hillel Fendel Building Freeze, Towns on Strike
The struggle against the government-imposed ten-month construction freeze becomes more aggressive this week, as municipalities and regional councils in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) go on strike.
Various municipal offices in different localities will take turns striking this week, and their employees will spend the time protesting outside the national government offices in Jerusalem.
Some 200 people took part in a large demonstration there this morning (Sunday) to kick off the protest campaign. Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said, “All the municipal employees have gathered here outside the Prime Minister’s Office to protest this racist order that forbids only Jews to build in their land. This is an order that contrasts with all elementary civil rights.”
Today Us, Tomorrow You
Tzviki Bar-Chai, head of the Mt. Hevron Regional Council, said, “We are the elected representatives of over 300,000 residents. The State of Israel, without legislation and without even a government decision, has caused great harm to those hundreds of thousands of people by revoking their authorities regarding building. We refuse to let this pass.”
Bar-Chai added a call to mayors of other towns and cities around the country to join the struggle: “Today it is us, tomorrow it could be you.”
'Netanyahu Has Adopted Left-Wing Approach'
The Mayor of Kedumim, Chananel Durani, said on Saturday night, “The construction freeze order is unethical and anti-Zionist, and is liable to undermine and destroy the entire Jewish settlement enterprise. Netanyahu has essentially adopted the left-wing position that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is an obstacle to peace, and has taken a step towards the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the State of Israel.”
“We cannot continue to run our towns and live our lives normally when the sword of destruction is poised at our communities," Durani continued. "We call upon the nationalist public to join the struggle against the freeze until its total revocation.”
MK Danny Danon (Likud) called upon the Cabinet ministers to oppose the freeze: “They must tell Netanyahu what they really think – that the freeze is a mistake and it must be revoked immediately.”
“We must also outspokenly oppose the aggressive policies of the Defense Minister [Ehud Bara," said Durani, "who is using the army and the security forces in an illicit manner against law-abiding citizens.”
MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home) spoke at the demonstration and said, “It is absurd that the voting public that brought a Jewish and religious government into power must now stand and protest against the breaking of a clear election promise. Ehud Barak and his Labor Party must not dictate government policy.”
Orlev and Durani thus touched on a sensitive point: The extent of Barak’s significant influence on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – despite the fact that Labor has only 13 Knesset Members, while the Likud heads the government and has 27.
Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria said, “We are determined to bring about the renewal of construction in Yesha.”
3. Anti-IDF Exhibit to be Debated in Knesset C'tee
by Hillel Fendel Anti-IDF Exhibit to be Debated
It's been almost a month now that the residents of Holon - Israel's ninth largest city, just south of Tel Aviv - have had their streets adorned with signs and posters that many say “malign the public and the IDF.” The exhibit, scheduled to last until the end of March, is co-sponsored by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - and includes posters and displays depicting the IDF as a cruel army that threatens children and bombs kindergartens.
The controversy in Holon over the exhibit, which encompasses many city streets, has intensified over the weeks, as the municipality refuses to remove it. On Monday, it will reach the Knesset.
At the request of Likud MK Danny Danon, the Education Committee, headed by MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home), will hold a session on the matter. Representatives of the Ministries of Education, Defense, and Culture have been invited, as have those from the Holon Municipality - which refuses to cancel the exhibit - teachers unions, student councils, and more.
Some signs in the exhibit depict the religious public as the only sector to benefit from the counter-terrorism partition fence, and others portray the Israeli public as caring only about protecting themselves from rockets and not about the Arabs in Gaza.
In a sharp letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who has jurisdiction over city governments, Im Tirtzu Association head Ronen Shoval wrote, "There is no need to point out that the entire objective of this exhibit is to continue the demonization of the IDF and its soldiers, depicting them as cruel and unethical, in order to prepare the ground for elements in and outside of Israel to persecute them and put them on trial. All this is to make it harder for the State of Israel to protect and defend itself and exist as a Jewish state."
by Gil Ronen Photos: Arabs Riot, Unafraid
Arab youths from the village of Beit Rima rioted Friday outside the Jewish community of Nevei Tzuf in the Binyamin region of Samaria, north of Jerusalem, throwing rocks that injured a 16-year-old Israeli.
Photographs of the confrontation between the Arab rioters and IDF soldiers show the Arabs brazenly confronting IDF soldiers. The Arabs appear unafraid, one even casually smoking a cigarette. They do not even bother to mask their faces with keffiyeh headdresses, seemingly not worrying that any punitive steps will be taken against them.
One of the photographs shows an Arab videotaping the entire confrontation.
Leftist groups have distributed cameras among Arabs and they regularly stage confrontations in the hope of catching IDF violence on camera. The presence of the cameras is also meant to cause IDF soldiers to refrain from using force, for fear of prosecution by the media and legal system.
The Shomron Liaison Office recently received video cameras as a donation from abroad but as of now it seems the Arab side in the conflict is the one making better use of its cameras, while the Jews fail to catch any Arab violence on tape.
The soldiers are obviously reservists and not the professional “riot-busters” that the IDF, Border Police and civilian police use for controlling violent crowds when they wish to strike fear into the hearts of demonstrators. According to Lt-Col (res) Itzik Shadmi of the grassroots Samaria Residents' Council, these only arrived after 90 minutes of a tug-of-war between the soldiers and the rioters, and ended the disturbance swiftly.
Shadmi noted that while the Arabs outnumbered the soldiers -- with about 100 rioters facing about 30 soldiers -- the IDF force was company-sized and is considered to be enough for conquering an entire village, if it only uses its fire power. However, the reservists did not even use their riot dispersal gear.
Peter Lerner of the IDF Spokesman's Unit said in response, “There was a disturbance of the peace at Nevei Tzuf, which included confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. The forces that arrived on the scene used riot dispersal gear – mostly tear gas. Before forces go into action in Central Command, they are trained in facing the different threats that the Command deals with, including riots. If there was a problem of lack of motivation in this incident, it will be dealt with.”
5. No Explosives Found, Suspects Still Held in Be'er Sheva
by Hana Levi Julian Be'er Sheva: Terror Foiled?
Israel Police say they have found no explosives but are continuing to interrogate three suspected terrorists who were stopped after they refused to allow a security guard to search their backpacks at the Be'er Sheva central bus station Sunday at noon.
An alert security guard prevented what police suspect may have been an attempted attack when the two suspicious-looking young men and a woman in their late teens or early 20’s, tried to enter the bus station carrying large backpacks and bags. They were stopped at the large green iron gates by security guards and asked to open the packs and bags for a search, but refused, and instead turned to run.
“They were arguing with him,” an eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous told Israel National News. "They didn't want him to search their bags." Civilians in the bus station also suspected them said the eyewitness, because one of them had left a bag behind raising eyebrows of the people watching.
Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosefeld told Israel National News that security officials found no explosives in their bags. However, he added, "they are still being held and are being questioned by Israel Police and Israel Security Agency personnel." He could not say when or if they would be released, nor would he say whether the police were still looking for other suspects, nor was he willing to say that the three were no longer being considered as terror suspects themselves.
Sources said intelligence officials had received a credible tip of a possible attempt to carry out a terror attack in the area.
"There are many suspects in the immediate area around the central bus station," he had said earlier. "There are high suspicions that they may have been attempting to carry out a terror attack. There are a number of security measures being carried out in the area, and it will be some time before the investigation is completed," he added. "The area has been cordoned off, and police are making very sure that the public is being kept safe."
According to a police official quoted in an interview on Voice of Israel government radio, the three were Palestinian Authority Arabs residing illegally in Israel. Extra security personnel have been sent to the central bus station, a busy hub connecting all bus lines feeding into and out of the southern region, and the area has been sealed off. All bus service in and out of the central bus station has been stopped for the time being, as has train service at the Israel Railways station located next door. Police said they expect service to be restored sometime later in the day.
Past Terror Attacks in Be'er Sheva
The Be'er Sheva central bus station has been the scene of several attacks by terrorists in southern Israel within recent years.
On August 28, 2005, two security guards were seriously wounded in the line of duty after having stopped a suicide bomber from blowing up the bus station. The terrorist had attempted to board a bus, but was stopped by the guards, who suspected and stopped him, at which point he detonated the explosives belt he was wearing. Shrapnel ripped through their bodies as well as his own, killing him and wounding them seriously. More than 50 others were evacuated to nearby Soroka Medical Center, the terrorist's apparent target, for treatment, most suffering minor injuries and shock.
There was also a double suicide bombing in Be'er Sheva a year earlier, in August 2004. At least 16 people died in that attack.
6. Gaza Women Face Increased Violence Since Hamas Takeover
by Hana Levi Julian More Abuse of Women Under Hamas
A new study by the Gaza-based Palestinian Women’s Information and Media Center (PWIMC) has found that local women have suffered increased violence since June 2007, when the Hamas terrorist group seized control of the region.
In fact, the survey showed that 77 percent of women in the southern Palestinian Authority area face at least one of several forms of violence at the hands of men, according to the findings of the women’s rights organization.
Unemployed Gaza Wives at Risk for Divorce
The study, which was conducted through interviews with 350 women throughout various districts in Gaza during the last three months in 2009, also found that almost two thirds of the women surveyed were the family breadwinners.
However, approximately the same number of women depended on packages from international aid organizations, raising the issue of what a “breadwinner” is for women in today’s Gaza.
An interview with Huda Hamouda, director of the PWMC published by The Media Line raises more questions. According to Hamouda, “There’s widespread unemployment and the number of female workers has dropped. It was 14.5 percent in 2006 and now it’s less than 10 percent,” she said last Thursday.
Gaza men are feeling the strain of their wives’ inability to support the family as well, and apparently are punishing them for it. According to the survey, some 31 percent of those surveyed are married women who became divorced in the past three years, or said their husbands were threatening to divorce them due to the financial situation.
More Than Half of Gaza Women Brutalized
Of the various types of violence encountered by the women, since June 2007, 67 percent of those surveyed said they had been subjected to verbal abuse, 71 percent had suffered mental cruelty and 52 percent experienced physical violence. More than 14 percent had been sexually assaulted.
In addition, the survey found that almost half of those who have experienced some form of violence have suffered more than one type of abuse – and 25 percent said they do not feel safe in their own homes as a result.
One third of those who have been brutalized also told interviewers they felt unable to fight back, because there were more urgent priorities to be addressed.
‘Laws Lax’ on Abuse, Honor Killings
Women’s rights activists said that Palestinian Authority police in Gaza usually turn a blind eye to complaints about domestic violence, for example, and there are few shelters for battered women. Hamouda confirmed the account, adding that laws to combat violence against women were lax.
A case in point, she observed, was the issue of honor killings, in which male relatives murder a female relative for “dishonoring” the family, either by dressing inappropriately or socializing with men who are not husbands or relatives. Sometimes it is only for the mere suspicion for having committed the “crime.”
“The authorities do punish them but the law is weak,” Hamouda noted. “When it comes to so-called honor crimes, the articles of the criminal laws still mete out mitigated sentences to the perpetrators.”
The Hamas terrorist organization has denied imposing Sharia law on the region, but the anecdotal evidence appears to indicate otherwise, backed up by a section of the Koran quoted by Muslim men to justify their physical abuse:
“Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. As for those from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them...and scourge them.”
Adding to the study's finding, there have been increasing reports over the past year that Hamas religious police are reprimanding women for dressing in “immodest” clothing and ordering women on the beach to “cover up.” Last summer, a chief justice ordered female lawyers to wear the hijab (hair covering) while appearing before the court.
7. Jordan, PA Claim Dead Sea Scrolls
by Hillel Fendel Arabs Claim Dead Sea Scrolls
The London-based Globe and Mail reports that Jordan has asked Canada to seize Israel's 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls that are currently on display in Toronto. The scrolls are on display until until Sunday at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Jordan claims that the scrolls were found in "disputed territory" that Israel captured from Jordanian control in 1967, and asks Canada to hold them until the question of their ownership is settled. Jordan's control of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley - which it called the "West Bank" - from 1948 until 1967, was recognized internationally by only two countries: Great Britain and Pakistan.
A spokesperson for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said that “differences regarding ownership of the Dead Sea scrolls should be addressed by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. It would not be appropriate for Canada to intervene as a third party.” The Globe and Mail reports that even if Canada ignores the request, "it will make other countries think twice before accepting the controversial exhibit."
Jordan made its demand two weeks ago, summoning the Canadian chargé d'affaires in Amman. Citing the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, Jordan claims that Israel acted illegally after 1967 when it took the scrolls from the Rockefeller Museum in eastern Jerusalem and transferred them to the Israel Museum. The Palestinian Authority made a similar request several months ago.
The Dead Sea scrolls are about 900 documents and Biblical texts, discovered in one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century in the 1940's and 50's in caves in and around Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. The texts include some of the only known surviving copies of Biblical documents made before 100 B.C.E., and preserve evidence of Jewish life during the Second Temple period.
Israel has never claimed to "own" the scrolls, but is acting simply as their "custodians," an Israel Antiquities Authority spokesperson said, and "as such, we have a right to exhibit them and to conserve them.” Israel also argues that short-term, temporary exhibitions of scrolls in another country are not forbidden under the Hague Convention, and that all the scrolls in its possession are part of Jewish heritage.
The Globe and Mail reports that the PA acknowledges that the scrolls are Jewish, but claims that they are "also part of Palestinian heritage just as ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins comprise part of their history."
Claims of this nature are belied by the fact that the contemporary "Palestinian nation" began, if at all, only in recent years. The only time the land once known as "Palestine" was ruled by an Arab sovereign was for about 22 years in the 7th century C.E. "The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 [C.E hardly lasted, as such, 22 years...," the Muslim chairman of the Syrian Delegation attested in his remarks to the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919.
New Arab Nation "Formed"
In addition, as documented by several works, including "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters, most of the Arab populace that today occupies the Holy Land is made up of immigrants from various Arab countries. They arrived over the course of the decades that preceded the formation of the State of Israel - and many of them were attracted by the economic growth and opportunities engendered by the area's growing Jewish presence.
"Existence of Palestinian Entity Serves Only Tactical Purposes"
Famously, a top member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Zuheir Muhsin, who headed the organization's Military Department and was a member of its Executive Council, said in March 1977, "Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel... "