The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
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Archive for July, 2013


Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

MK Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, predicted on Tuesday that peace with the Palestinian Authority will never be possible because of its leadership.

Speaking at a meeting of the newly founded Knesset Lobby to Combat Anti-Semitism which is headed by MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu), Lieberman reminded participants that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a Holocaust denier, whose doctoral dissertation was entitled “The Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement.”

“There cannot be true peace or a diplomatic process with someone who denies the Holocaust,” said Lieberman. “Abbas’s book in which he denies the Holocaust is on the bookshelf in my office. I do not recall that any of those who welcomed the peace process reminded Abbas of his denial of the Holocaust, which he continues to do in media interviews.”

He added, “When I was Foreign Minister, every time a respected person would come to my office and tell me that Abbas wants peace, I would show him Mahmoud Abbas’s book in which he denies the Holocaust.”

“Modern anti-Semitism today is in the Palestinian Authority,” Lieberman stated. “You should see the PA’s textbooks that do not teach the next generation, the so-called generation of peace, about the Holocaust. These are our so-called partners for peace…”

As Israel and the PA prepare to sit down yet again for another round of talks, PA television has been continuing to broadcast anti-Israel and anti-Semitic programs and songs.

In a “music video” first released in 2011 and re-released over the past several days, Israel is called “the snake’s head” which needs to be crushed by Arab rifles. It comes only days after another PA program honored arch-terrorist Abdallah Barghouti for his role in the murder of 61 Israelis in a string of atrocities.

On Monday, Abbas presented a racist and hateful vision of a future Palestinian state, when he said in Cairo that “Palestine” would not have “a single Israeli – civilian or soldier.”

Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi explained that when Abbas spoke of “Israelis”, he in fact meant “Jews.” She pointed out that the PA refers to all of the Arabs who live in what they term “Palestine” – including “Israeli Arabs” – as Palestinians. There is, therefore, no distinction in the PA’s approach between “Palestinians” and “Arabs,” and similarly no distinction between “Jews” and “Israelis,” when speaking of residents of the territory of the Land of Israel (“Palestine”).


Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

by Gil Ronen (Arutz Sheva News)

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas presented a racist and hateful vision of a future Palestinian state when he spoke to reporters in Cairo Monday.

“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands,” he told a group of reporters, most of them Egyptians, on Monday.

“An international, multinational presence like in Sinai, Lebanon and Syria – we are with that,” he went on, referring to United Nations peacekeeping forces like UNDOF and UNIFIL.

“Israelis” or “Jews”?

Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevy explained that when Abbas speaks of “Israelis”, he in fact means “Jews.” She pointed out that the PA refers to all of the Arabs who live in what they term “Palestine” – including “Israeli Arabs” – as Palestinians. There is, therefore, no distinction in the PA’s approach between “Palestinians” and “Arabs,” and similarly no distinction between “Jews” and “Israelis,” when speaking of residents of the territory of the Land of Israel (“Palestine”).

Even now, Jews are not permitted to live inside the PA-controlled territory, and the sale of land to Jews is punishable by death.

It was after meeting Egyptian Prime Minister Adly Mansour, that Abbas laid out his vision for a the permanent status arrangement he will insist upon in the talks that opened in Washington Monday, between the Israeli delegation headed by Minister Tzipi Livni and the PA delegation headed by Saeb Erekat.

“We have already made all of the necessary concessions,” he said, adding that “eastern Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine.”

As for the idea of so-called “land swaps” in an arrangement based on the 1949 borders, Abbas said that “If there is a need to carry out limited exchanges of territories that are equal in their size and value, we are willing to discuss that, no more and no less.”

Observers note that while the future “Palestine” in the PA head’s vision is apparently to be “Judenrein” (“Jew-free” in the German term employed by the Nazis) Israel will, of course, remain anything but “Arabrein.” Arabs make up about 20% of the Jewish state, enjoy full equal rights and regularly elect representatives to the Knesset who openly despise the state in whose parliament they serve, support terrorists and and issue calls to their fellow Arabs to rise up against the Jewish state.


Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

by Gil Ronen

While the newly appointed mediator in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Martin Indyk, voiced optimism Monday about the chances of the talks to succeed, he sounded a decidedly different tone just 18 months ago.

IDF Radio has broadcast a recording of an interview with Indyk in which he was asked about the chances such talks would succeed.

“I’m not particularly optimistic,” he answered, “because I think that the heart of the matter is that the maximum concession that this government of Israel would be prepared to make, falls far short of the minimum requirements that Abu Mazen will insist on. Though it may be possible to keep the talks going, which is a good thing, I find it very hard to believe that they will reach an agreement.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the appointment of Ambassador Indyk as Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

“I think reasonable compromises have to be a keystone of all of this effort,” Kerry said. “I know the negotiations are going to be tough, but I also know that the consequences of not trying could be worse.”

The appointment was made despite loud protestations by Israeli groups that Indyk could not serve as an honest broker, after serving as a co-chairman of the highly controversial New Israel Fund.

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. Well, as you all know, it’s taken many hours and many trips to make possible the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. And the negotiators are now en route to Washington, even as we speak here. And I will have more to say about the journey to this moment and what our hopes are after our initial meetings conclude tomorrow.

This effort began with President Obama’s historic trip to Israel and Ramallah in March of this year. And without his commitment, without his conversations there, and without his engagement in this initiative, we would not be here today. The President charged me directly with the responsibility to explore fully the possibility of resuming talks. And in our meetings with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu, he conveyed his expectations for this process.

Getting to this resumption has also taken the courageous leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. And I salute both of them for their willingness to make difficult decisions and to advocate within their own countries and with their own leadership teams – countries with the Palestinian territories.

I would also like to recognize the important contributions of senior negotiators on both sides, particularly Minister Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat, both of whom really stood up and stood strong in the face of very tough criticism at home and whose unwavering commitment made the launch of these talks possible. I look forward to beginning work with them tonight.

Going forward, it’s no secret that this is a difficult process. If it were easy, it would have happened a long time ago. It’s no secret, therefore, that many difficult choices lie ahead for the negotiators and for the leaders as we seek reasonable compromises on tough, complicated, emotional, and symbolic issues. I think reasonable compromises have to be a keystone of all of this effort. I know the negotiations are going to be tough, but I also know that the consequences of not trying could be worse.

To help the parties navigate the path to peace and to avoid its many pitfalls, we’ll be very fortunate to have on our team on a day-to-day basis, working with the parties wherever they are negotiating a seasoned American diplomat, Ambassador Martin Indyk, who has agreed to take on this critical task at this crucial time as the UN – U.S. – excuse me – U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations. Assisting Martin will be – as his deputy and as a senior advisor to me – will be Frank Lowenstein, who has been working with me on this process from the beginning.

In his memoir about the peace process, Ambassador Indyk quotes a poem by Samuel Coleridge that begins, “If men could learn from history, what lessons it would teach us!” Ambassador Indyk brings to this challenge his deep appreciation for the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And from his service under President Clinton, Secretary Christopher, and Secretary Albright, he brings a deep appreciation for the art of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. That experience has earned Ambassador Indyk the respect of both sides, and they know that he has made the cause of peace his life mission. He knows what has worked and he knows what hasn’t worked, and he knows how important it is to get this right.

Ambassador Indyk is realistic. He understands that Israeli-Palestinian peace will not come easily and it will not happen overnight. But he also understands that there is now a path forward and we must follow that path with urgency. He understands that to ensure that lives are not needlessly lost, we have to ensure that opportunities are not needlessly lost. And he shares my belief that if the leaders on both sides continue to show strong leadership and a willingness to make those tough choices and a willingness to reasonably compromise, then peace is possible.

So Martin, I’m grateful that you’ve agreed to take a leave from your post at the Brookings Institution to serve once again in this most important role. And I know that you are eager to get to work, as am I. Martin.

AMBASSADOR INDYK: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for that generous introduction and for vesting in me such important responsibilities. I am deeply honored to serve you and to serve President Obama in your noble endeavor to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. The fact that later today Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will sit down in this building to resume final status negotiations after a three-year hiatus is testament to your extraordinary tireless efforts, backed by President Obama, to try to resolve this intractable conflict.

President Obama made the case so eloquently in his historic speech in Jerusalem in March of this year when he argued to an audience of young Israelis that, quote, “Peace is necessary, peace is just, and peace is possible.” And you, Mr. Secretary, have proven him right. You’ve shown that it can be done.

I couldn’t agree more with President Obama. It’s been my conviction for 40 years that peace is possible since I experienced the agony of the 1973 Yom Kippur War as a student in Jerusalem. In those dark days, I witnessed firsthand how one of your predecessors, Henry Kissinger, brokered a ceasefire that ended the war and paved the way for peace between Israel and Egypt.

Because of your confidence that it could be done, you took up the challenge when most people thought you were on a mission impossible. And backed by the President, you drove the effort with persistence, patience, and creativity. As a result, today, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas have made the tough decisions required to come back to the negotiating table.

I’m therefore deeply grateful to you and to President Obama for entrusting me with the mission of helping you take this breakthrough and turn it into a full-fledged Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. It is a daunting and humbling challenge, but one that I cannot desist from. I look forward with great excitement to working with you, President Abbas, and Prime Minister Netanyahu, and their teams, to do our best to achieve President Obama’s vision of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. I also look forward to working with the team that you are assembling, starting with Frank Lowenstein, who, as you said, has made such an important contribution to getting us to this point and who will be my partner in this endeavor.

Fifteen years ago my son, Jacob, who was 13 at the time, designed a screensaver for my computer. It consisted of a simple question that flashed across the screen constantly: Dad, is there peace in the Middle East yet? I guess you could say, Mr. Secretary, that he was one of the original skeptics. (Laughter.) But behind that skepticism was also a yearning. And for 15 years, I’ve only been able to answer him, “Not yet.” Perhaps, Mr. Secretary, through your efforts and our support, we may yet be able to tell Jake, and more importantly, all those young Israelis and Palestinians who yearn for a different, better tomorrow, that this time, we actually made it.

Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, all. We’ll see you later. Thank you.


Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

by Gil Ronen (Arutz Sheva News)

Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said in an interview published Tuesday that the negotiations vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority (PA) were poorly handled and therefore do not have much chance of succeeding.

“This should have been handled differently,” he explained. “We should have conducted secret negotiations with the Arab League, and only then begun open negotiations with the PA. The problem of Jerusalem, for instance, is not a PA problem but a problem of the entire Arab world. At least two states, like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, need to be brought on board, in order to give backing to any move.”

The PA and Israel have common reasons to want to advance the talks, Dagan opined. These include “the strengthening of Islam, the Iranian problem and the weakening of the PA. All these can give a boost, but I do not have much hope for the negotiations that began tonight.”

Regarding Syria, Dagan said that Israel need not fear “a few dozen Al Qaeda terrorists along the fence.” It is the Syrian army that gives Israel a reason to worry, he said, “and as far as Israel is concerned, Assad needs to go home as soon as possible.”

Dagan said that the military regime in Egypt is a good thing for Israel, and that Jordan is also in a good situation. “The regime is stable and strong, and the Hashemite monarchy is in full control of the kingdom.”

“At this time,” Dagan added, “Israel has no need to attack in Iran. We have not yet reached that situation. When the reality changes, western intelligence will know everything. Today, an attack means uniting the Iranian nation, which is currently disunited, against Israel – and this includes a war. At this time, it will give us nothing.”


Monday, July 29th, 2013

By Danny Ayalon

Peace talks begin in Washington

After government approved the release of prisoners, the US officially announced the beginning of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yesterday’s government approval of the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners paved the way for the peace talks that will officially begin today (Monday) in Washington. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, together with Prime Minister Representative Yitzchak Molcho, will meet Palestinian representative Saib Arika’at and Mohammad Shtiya in Washington, in the home of American Secretary of State John Kerry.

The American State department announced last night that the US has invited the Israeli and Palestinian negotiations representatives for talks to be held tomorrow and the day after. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke today with Palestinian Authority Chairmen Abu Mazen and Prime Minister Netanyahu, inviting them to send their representatives for direct talks”, said State department spokeswoman Jennifer Peski.

At the same time, Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Abu Mazen’s assistant, who said that in the first meeting the sides are set to discuss the best work plan for the rest of the negotiations.

Livni: “I guarantee that I will act responsibly”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians, spoke out last night saying that prisoners will only be released if talks are serious. “Without negotiations and a political process and without difficult decisions there cannot be peace” Livni wrote on her Facebook page.

The Justice Minister stressed that entering negotiations is a strategic security interest for Israel. “On my part, I guarantee to act responsibly and on behalf of all Israeli citizens, and that I will look out for our Jewish-Democratic interests when negotiating. That is my role and that is the reason I joined the government” she said.

Today will be a short and symbolic beginning for the talks, and Minister Livni will be back in Israel as soon as Wednesday to vote on the budget.

Last night, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who voted together with members of his faction in favor of prisoner release, criticized those who voted against. “With a heavy heart we voted today to release Palestinian prisoners”, Lapid wrote on his Facebook page. “In the government meeting I said that one can vote against the peace process and vote against, and one can be for the peace process and vote for the release, but one cannot say that they are for peace but are not willing to pay the price for it”.

Head of the General Security Service: “Releasing prisoners hurts security”

Last night it was revealed that head of the General Security Service, Yoram Cohen, spoke in the government meeting to say that “releasing prisoners hurts security on a level of immediate threat”. On the other hand he also said that “entering negotiations naturally calms the area”.

Cohen is not usually asked for his take, but despite that he addressed the subject at the government meeting. “The chance that the prisoners will return to their old ways is relatively high” he clarified. “As the years go by they return to terror”.

The decision to release prisoners angered many in the public and in government. After 13 ministers voted for the release, approving the move, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “it is not an easy moment for me; it isn’t easy for the ministers and is especially hard for the families of victims, whose feelings I understand”.


Monday, July 29th, 2013

by Richard Mather (IsraelNationalNews)

Ashton is an unelected, inexperienced official who has no understanding of the Arab-Israel conflict.

The writer, a Noahide (ben Noach), is a freelance journalist based in Manchester.

Catherine Ashton represents everything that is wrong with the European Union. Chosen for the role of EU foreign policy chief in 2009, she has never been elected and even now she is unknown to the vast majority of ordinary Europeans. Her political experience is paltry, unless you count her role as national treasurer in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a Soviet-funded anti-war group which was at its height in Britain during the 1980s.

Since her appointment in 2009, Ashton has repeatedly shown that she has no understanding of the conflict between Israel and the Arab world. Her latest effort to introduce separate labeling for products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria demonstrates her contempt for the people of Israel. Ashton is going to great lengths to secure support from the seven EU commissioners who are responsible for justice, industry, taxation, agriculture, consumer protection, trade and internal markets. Her ultimate aim is to issue guidelines on the labeling of Jewish settlement products that would apply to all 28 EU member states. She clearly hopes to isolate and embarrass Israel, with the added effect of damaging its economy in the process.

Unfortunately, Ashton’s legendary incompetence and foolishness is symbolic of the EU’s inept relationship with Israel. Although there are strong legal and economic ties between the EU and the Jewish state, relations are constantly under strain because of the former’s condescending attitude towards settlers in Judea and Samaria. Since the late 1990s, both sides have been in dispute over the legal treatment of products exported to the EU from the so-called West Bank. Ashton, who is bereft of original thinking at the best of times, is simply regurgitating the EU’s tiresome anti-settler stance.

The EU’s outmoded approach to Israel and the settlers ought to be challenged. But it is difficult to do so when the EU is economically and politically committed to the complete dismantling of the Jewish settlements in order to make way for an independent Palestinian state. The EU has squandered around 5 billion euros in development aid to the Palestinians over the past 20 years. At the start of 2012, the EU contributed another 1.1 million euros to the PA’s so-called “Private Sector Reconstruction in Gaza” program, which provided financial support to businesses destroyed or damaged by Operation Cast Lead – a war that was started by Hamas.

The money flowing out of Europe into the hands of the Palestinians is a core component of the unimaginatively-titled Action Plan, which is designed to “create the conditions for developing an increasingly close relationship in preparation for a future Palestinian State, going beyond co-operation, to involve a significant measure of economic integration and deepening of political cooperation.” But the Action Plan goes further than just establishing economic ties. It aims to establish a nation state based on the European model. But given the Palestinians’ history of flouting even the most basic of human rights, this is an absurd expectation.

Oblivious to the Palestinians’ real goal of destroying Israel, the EU is acting under the illusion that it can persuade the Palestinians to create a democratic country, where the rule of law is upheld and the rights of minorities are protected (presumably this doesn’t include the rights of Jewish settlers). Remarkably, the EU also expects the Palestinians to co-operate in the international fight against terrorism, racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. I am not joking.

The EU’s utopian vision of a democratic Palestine would be laughable if wasn’t so devious. The EU is pre-empting final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging the latter to carry out construction projects in Area C and east Jerusalem without Israel’s cooperation. The EU also wants the Palestinians to become more politically active in east Jerusalem in order to create conditions for a future Palestinian capital. In effect, Europe has dispensed with the Oslo Accords and is urging the Palestinians to act unilaterally.

What is also lamentable is the fact that the EU sees nothing wrong in spending European taxpayers’ money to help build roads, utilities and hospitals for a bunch of people who have committed several acts of terror on European soil, most notably the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, the 1981 Antwerp bombing, and the Rome and Vienna airport attacks of 1985. European money is also being used to pay for anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda and to finance terrorist acts against Israelis. In truth, there is little control over how European money is spent by the Palestinians. And I suspect the European political establishment isn’t particularly interested if it is used to finance attacks on Jewish settlers.

Why is the EU acting in such an irresponsible fashion? Perhaps its behavior (as exemplified by Catherine Ashton) can be explained by the ambition to carve out an anti-American niche in world affairs. By superseding the Soviet Union as the dominant left-wing force in the Western hemisphere, the EU has inherited Moscow’s political, economic and diplomatic ties to the Arab world. Furthermore, the EU uses the Palestinian issue to ingratiate itself with the growing Muslim community inside Europe’s borders. And it is a community which is virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.

Indeed, this new influx of Islamic anti-Semitism has rekindled old prejudices in Europe. The fetishization of the Palestinian issue in the corridors of European power has effectively legitimized the actions of anti-Semitic thugs who firebomb synagogues and desecrate Jewish cemeteries. The anti-Semitic cartoon in a German left-wing newspaper, the glorification of Palestinian terrorism in a French art gallery and the recurring physical attacks on Jews are just a few examples of the depressing decline in moral and intellectual standards in Europe.

It seems there is no reversing of the trend, either. And there won’t be – not until Catherine Ashton and her EU cohorts stop their irresponsible anti-Zionist and anti-American posturing and start to treat the Jewish people with the respect and dignity they deserve


Monday, July 29th, 2013

by Gil Ronen (Arutz Sheva News)

“The government decided to release terrorists and I ask, why? In return for what? What have we received? This crossing of a line, of releasing murderers, is dangerous in the struggle against terror.”

These words were spoken just five years ago, when the Kadima government released 200 terrorists as a “gesture” to Mahmoud Abbas. Only two of those had blood on their hands.

Then-Opposition Head Netanyahu said at the time that contrary to the government’s claim, the release of terrorists does not strengthen Mahmoud Abbas. “It weakens Israel and strengthens terror elements. Most of the public – a great part of the public – understands that this thing is unacceptable and reflects weakness and a loss of direction. The government has lost its direction – if it ever had a direction to begin with.”

“Instead of taking a tough stand against terror, the Kadima government continues to release hundreds of terrorists in return for nothing,” Netanyahu accused, adding: “The Likud government will replace Kadima’s weakness with an aggressive and uncompromising policy toward terror.

Gideon Saar, who was Likud faction chairman, said at the time: “The government’s decision crushes the public’s trust, that murderers and terrorists are brought to justice, and it will harm the security of the citizens of Israel and the attempts to free Schalit.

“One can only imagine how this release of 200 terrorists, free of charge, will affect the level of demands that Hamas will make.”

Those words stand in sharp contrast to the PM’s decision, which passed a cabinet vote, to free 104 convicted terrorists with “blood on their hands,” as precisely the kind of gesture to the PA that Bibi so fiercely condemned only five years ago.

Saar, now Minister of Interior, voted in favor of the release of terror prisoners on Sunday and has defended the move.

The decision was passed with a majority of 13 ministers in favor, seven opponents and two who abstained.

Voting in favor of the decision, besides Netanyahu and Saar, were Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovich, Minister for Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz, and Aliyah Minister Sofa Landver (Likud / Yisrael Beytenu); Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Education Minister Shai Piron, Health Minister Yael German, Science Minister Yaakov Perry and WelfareMinister Meir Cohen, (Yesh Atid); as well as Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Environment Minister Amir Peretz (Hatnua).

Voting against it were Transport Minister Yisrael Katz, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, and Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, all (Likud / Yisrael Beytenu); as well as Economics Minister Naftaliu Bennett, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Minister for Pensioners Uri Orbach, (Bayit Yehudi).

Energy Minister Silvan Shalom and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, both of Likud / Yisrael Beytenu, abstained.

Meanwhile, on Sunday Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen warned government ministers at the weekly Cabinet session Sunday against releasing terrorists as a “gesture” to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Cohen explained that the release of terrorist prisoners would diminish security “both in the immediate threat to the public, and because of the erosion in deterrence.”

“The chance that the prisoners will go back to terrorism is relatively large,” he said. Experience shows that as the years pass from the terrorists’ release, they tend to go back to the activity that landed them in jail, he added.

The move to free convicted terrorist murderers is deeply unpopular among the Israeli public, with polls showing that almost 85% oppose such a move.


Sunday, July 28th, 2013

by Gil Ronen (Arutz Sheva News)

About 120 people are said to be dead in weekend clashes between Egyptian security forces and rioters supporting deposed president Mohammed Morsi.

A Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson, Ahmed Aref, said 66 people were killed, while another 61 are “clinically dead”, and a further 4,500 people were injured. Of these, he claimed, 700 were wounded by live bullets.

“This massacre is an attempt to complete the coup,” he said.

Al Jazeera said that the health ministry has put the figure at 65 killed so far, based on the number of bodies recieved at the morgue, while doctors at the field hospital in Nasr City, where the pro-Morsi supporters have been gathering for nearly a month, have put the number as high as 120.

Egypt’s interim interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim denied Saturday that live bullets were fired at the rioters. Protests calling for the reinstatement of Morsi would be dispersed “soon,” he promised.

Speaking at a news conference, Ibrahim said security forces would act “in a legal fashion” to disperse the demonstrations “as soon as possible,” while acting to ensure “the minimum losses possible”.

“We hope that the protesters come to their senses and that they put an end to these protests in order to prevent bloodshed,” he added.

The grand imam of al-Azhar, which is Sunni Islam’s top authority, condemned the death of dozens of Morsi supporters.

“The sheikh of Al-Azhar deplores and condemns the deaths of a number of martyrs who were victims of today’s events,” the imam, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, said in a statement released on Saturday.

He added that there must be an “urgent judicial investigation” and punishment of those responsible “regardless of their affiliation.”


Sunday, July 28th, 2013

by Gil Ronen (IsraelNationalNews)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the rare step Saturday evening of publishing a long missive to the Israeli public. In it, he explains why he has agreed to release 104 terrorists as a “gesture” accompanying “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority. He also states that the talks need to last at least nine months.

Netanyahu’s messages to the public are usually delivered through much shorter communiques, or in interviews. His decision to opt for a relatively long letter may reflect his awareness that the Israeli public is solidly opposed to the terrorist prisoner release, and is generally fed up and cynical about “peace talks” that have been going nowhere for 20 years.

This is the text of the letter:

“Prime ministers are occasionally required to make decisions that are contrary to public opinion, when the matter is one of importance to the state.

“There is no need for prime ministers, in order to make decisions that enjoy the support of public opinion.

“At this time, I believe it is very important for the state of Israel to enter a diplomatic process. This is important for fully exhausting the chances for ending the conflict with the Palestinians, and also for solidifying Israel’s status in the complex international reality that surrounds us.

“The huge changes in our region – in Egypt, Syria and Iran – pose new challenges before the state of Israel, but they also present considerable opportunities before us.

“For these reasons, I believe that it is important that Israel enter a diplomatic process that will last at least nine months – in order to examine if an agreement can be reached with the Palestinians within that time.

“But with all the importance that I attach to a diplomatic process, I was not willing to accept the Palestinian demands for retreats and building freezes as preconditions for entering into negotiations.

“I was also unwilling to accept their demand to release Palestinian prisoners before the negotiations begin. I did agree to release 104 Palestinians in measured portions after the beginning of the negotiation and in accordance with its progress.

“This is a tremendously difficult decision to make. It hurts the bereaved families, it hurts the entire nation of Israel and it hurts me very much.

“It collides with an exceedingly important value – the value of justice.

“It is a clear injustice when evil people are released before the end of their sentences, even if an absolute majority among them have served over 20 years in jail.

“The decision is doubly personally difficult for me, because I and my family know personally the price of bereavement from terror. I know the pain well. I have felt it on a daily basis for the past 37 years.

“The fact that Israeli governments that preceded those that I have headed released over 10,000 terrorists, does not make things any easier for me today, and did not make my decision to free Gilad Schalit any easier.

“Bringing Gilad home involved an exceedingly difficult decision for me – the release of terrorists. But I believed that the value of bringing our sons home must supersede that difficulty.

“People in positions of leadership must choose between complex options, and sometimes the required decision is particularly difficult when most of the public opposes it.

“Thus, I decided to end Operation Pillar of Defense after archterrorist Ahmed Jaabari was liquidated, and after the harsh blows that Hamas and the terror organizations received at the hands of the IDF.

“I made the decision to end the operation although most of the public backed continuing it – something that would have required a ground offensive into Gaza. As Prime Minister I thought that the goal of deterrence had been largely achieved by the determined actions we took.

“Today, about a year after Operation Pillar of Defense, we are witnessing the most quiet situation in the south in over a decade. Of course, this quiet can fall apart at any moment, but my policy is a clear one on all fronts: as far as possible, we prevent threats in advance, and we respond with force to any attempt to hurt our civilians.

“In the next nine months we will examine if the Palestinian element that faces us wants to truly end the conflict between us, as we do.

“This end will only be possible if the security of the citizens of Israel is assured, along with our vital national interests.

“If we reach a peace arrangement of this nature, I will bring it to a public referendum.

“A crucial decision like this must not be made on the cusp of a few votes in the Knesset. Every citizen must be allowed to directly influence our future in such a central question.

“The best response that we give to those base murderers who wanted to defeat us through terror is that in the course of the dozens of years when they sat in jail, we have built a wonderful country and turned it into one of the world’s most prosperous, advanced and powerful countries.

“I promise that we will continue to do so.

“Yours, Binyamin Netanyahu.”


Sunday, July 28th, 2013

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

At least two Ministers say they will vote with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to free 104 Arab terrorist prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands to talk with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

In advance of the resumption of direct final status talks between Israel and the PA, Netanyahu has agreed to release 104 terrorist murderers who committed their terrorist crimes before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. The number is up from the previously discussed number of 82, to include terrorists who are Israeli citizens.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told journalists Sunday morning he would vote “with a heavy heart” in favor of the decision to release the PA Arab terrorists, all of whom have murdered Jews.

However, Ya’alon added a caveat to his support, saying he would not support the release of Israeli Arab terrorists. “Mahmoud Abbas does not represent those,” Ya’alon said.

Abbas has expressed happiness at the killers’ imminent return to society, telling reporters to expect “joyful news” on Sunday.

“There is a heavy price to be paid in the decision to release terrorists, in terms of justice, law and deterrence,” Ya’alon noted. “I wish we were not facing this dilemma.”

The defense minister is not the only one to have expressed that thought – or to have made the painful decision to support Netanyahu in his determination to free terrorists serving life sentences for murder.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz also told his fellow ministers at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, “I will support the Prime Minister’s proposal, not because I think it’s a fantastic idea – to say the least – but because I think that in an international view, the Israeli government cannot be seen as one that rejects entering negotiations.

However, Steinitz stood together with Ya’alon in his rejection of freeing Israeli Arab terrorists.

“When a citizen commits terror against the people of his own country, it’s completely different,” he noted.

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