Thursday, June 30, 2011
Dozens of pilot cadets graduated at a ceremony at Hatzerim Air Force base in Southern Israel. As the new pilots marched in perfect formation, one detail stood out: the long skirt of the first haredi female pilot in the IAF.
The graduation was followed by an aerial display of the Israeli Air Force, highlighted by a performance by Fouga CM-170 Magisters of the IAF aerobatic team as well as the new Lockheed-Martin F-16i Fighting Falcon “Sufa” fighter jet flying alongside the Supermarine Spitfire that flew in the Independence War of 1948.
Among the other aircraft featured in the display was an attack by the Boeing AH-64 Apache “Saraph” and Bell AH-1 Huey Cobra “Tzefa” helicopters, a rescue mission preformed by the Sikorsky CH-53 “Petrel” helicopter, a landing and rocket-assist takeoff by the Lockheed-Martin C-130 Hercules “Karnaf” transport plane, a flyby by the Israeli Aerospace Industries “Shoval” UAV drone, a battle simulation by the Boeing F-15i “Ra’am” fighter jet, and a re-feuling of the F-15i by the Boeing 707 “Re’em”.
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai delivered a message from Chacham Ovadia Yosef to US ambassador James Cunningham today, urging him to persuade President Barack Obama to commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.
Rav Ovadiah wrote the president that Pollard’s case was one of pikuach nefesh(saving a life) and that he should release him as a “humanitarian gesture.”
Yishai delivered the message at a party at Cunningham’s residence held in honor of US Independence Day. While some MKs boycotted the event to protest Pollard not being allowed to attend his father’s funeral, there were no provocations on Pollard’s behalf from anyone who did attend.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the US Independence day event in Herzliya, thanking the United States for its “diplomatic, moral and military support” of Israel over the years.
Netanyahu praised Obama for his continued insistence that negotiations are the only way to bring about peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The event was attended by 2,200 guests, including MKs, military figures, local and international senior academics, Cunningham and President Shimon Peres.
Peres said that “America is the most “indispensable” nation for Israel. He also thanked Obama for “his ongoing commitment to the peace and security of our land.”
The president and the prime minister both thanked Cunningham for his service as US ambassador to Israel.
“I will be leaving my position soon after three years,” said Cunningham. “You have welcomed us, we thank you,” he added.
Cunningham spoke of the strong bond between the US and Israel, saying Americans “have a clear understanding of Israel’s security needs.”
The ambassador said that Obama “has made clear that he stands beside Israel and will continue to do so in these challenging times.”
Cunningham said that the status quo in the Middle East is unsustainable and renewed negotiations were needed to secure peace in the region. He added, however, that “no country can be expected to make peace with a terrorist organization that calls for its destruction.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized the White House today for opening talks with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Center referred to a news wire story quoting a unidentified senior U.S. official and confirmed today by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, citing, “The Brotherhood’s rise in political prominence” as the reason for the change in the White House position. “The political landscape in Egypt may have changed since the end of the Mubarak regime,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “But the Brotherhood’s hatred of Jews and Israel has not changed at all. This seems like a sell out to the European position and I hope it is not a signal that the United States will acquiesce to Europe and begin talking to Hamas as well.”
A few weeks ago, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohamed Badie (pictured left) said, “Allah has warned us the tricks of the Jews, and their role in igniting the fire of wars… and they labor hard to spread corruption on earth: and Allah does not love the spreaders of corruption.”
Rabbi Hier continued, “We should not be talking to an organization that can lay claim to being the world's leading purveyor of anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews. Legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood sends the wrong message that you can hate Jews, and still sit and talk with world leaders.”
The Hague, Netherlands - The Dutch government rejected a Palestinian initiative Thursday to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to seek support for the plan to seek statehood at the U.N. General Assembly in September, although membership of a new state must be endorsed by the Security Council, where it could be vetoed by the U.S. and others.
But Rosenthal bluntly rejected the idea of the Palestinian initiative going to the General Assembly. "No, it will not be supported by the Netherlands," Rosenthal told reporters.
Instead, Rosenthal called for a resumption of "direct negotiations, right now" between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Netherlands is a strong supporter of Israel, but also sends millions in development aid each year to the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas said he hoped the Netherlands could play a role within the European Union in supporting the peace process.
On Wednesday, Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, whose country will hold the rotating EU presidency for the next six months, said the 27-nation bloc is working on a common position to take if the U.N. is asked to recognize a Palestinian state.
Any common European stance would depend on a possible resolution's final wording, Sikorski said.
However, key member states already appear divided. France has said it will support Palestinian statehood if negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians do not restart by September. But countries like Germany or Italy — and now the Netherlands — are likely to oppose any such resolution.
He added that the situation which exists in the region today is sustainable. “Of course, the conflict [between Israel and the Palestinian Authority] hasn’t been solved,” he said, “and I don’t think we should talk about solutions. We should talk about how to enhance our interests in the right way.”
Addressing the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, Ya’alon said that more sanctions are needed against the Islamic Republic, including what he termed “political isolation.”
“How come President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who calls to wipe Israel off the map, is welcomed in the General Assembly or in Columbia University?” he asked. “This is not political isolation. It hasn’t been implemented yet as a tool.”
He expressed hope that the economic sanctions against Iran also intensify, as they are “a very effective tool in a dilemma [of having to choose between] a nuclear bomb or survivability.
“We call for the intensification of the economic sanctions on Iran and to deal with those who help Iran to bypass these sanctions,” he said. “This tool hasn’t been exercised in the way that we believe it should be exercised.”
A military option against Iran, said Ya’alon, should be the last resort, but added that “in order to convince the Iranian regime that we are determined to deal with it, we should demonstrate a credible military option.”
He emphasized that by “we” he means the West and not just Israel. “It is not just Israel versus Iran,” he stressed. “It’s Iran versus the western world. They say that we’re only the minor Satan and that the great Satan is America. America is not just the United States.”
Ya’alon also addressed the Palestinian Authority’s plan to seek recognition of a state at the UN General Assembly, and said this idea will not serve the interests of Israel, the PA, and even the United States.
The reason for this, he explained, is that achieving recognition of a state would not give the PA any incentive to return to the negotiating table. He added that ultimately, establishing a Palestinian state unilaterally will result in the formation of a “failed and hostile entity” and noted that such a state is destined for failure since, as he explained, “you can’t talk about a viable Palestinian state without any strong economic connections to the State of Israel. Their economy is based on us.”
I AM THE GUY WHO HAS BEEN SENDING THE MAILS CALLING FOR A NEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE JEWISH JOURNAL OF LOS ANGELES, by Paul Jeser
Civil trial attorney Baruch C. Cohen and Paul Jeser
Rob Eshman, in his column “The pro-Israel Divide,“ reinforces my belief that the Los Angeles Jewish Community would be better served by someone else serving as the LAJJ Editor-in-Chief. He just doesn’t get it. He just does not understand the responsibilities he has as the Editor-in-Chief of a major city Jewish Community newspaper.
Rob writes: “Either I do a terrible job of explaining my positions here, or many in the pro-Israel community have a terrible time accepting and understanding opinions that differ from their own.”
The issue has nothing to do with “…understanding opinions that differ from their own.” Of course everyone understands his opinions. The relevant issue is simply this: what should the role of an Editor-in-Chief be?
The Editor-in-Chief of a paper serving a major Jewish community should be a person of prestige and influence and should be the mantle of Jewish leadership. The E-i-C, to be effective in his/her leadership responsibilities, must be respected by the vast majority of the community. At a time when Israel’s survival is at stake the E-i-C must inspire Jews to support Israel, warts and all. Not continually find faults and criticize our Jewish homeland.
The Editor-in-Chief must be representative of the community, not just one segment of it. Rob is not.
And the Editor-in-Chief needs to make sure his paper presents news and headlines without a slant. Rob does not.
Rob has every right to be a columnist, no matter how “anti-Israel” many believe his positions are. And the LAJJ should continue to publish columns presenting all perspectives on the fundamentally critical issue of Israel’s survival.
But I do not believe he can be a columnist presenting controversial views on the issue of Israel’s survival AND be an effective Editor-in-Chief at the same time. He – and the LAJJ board – should choose which role he is to play.
Example: Since his September 17, 2009, column “Give J a Chance,” Rob’s support for JStreet has been very public and strong. I believe certainly stronger than his support for AIPAC. If Rob were a columnist he would have that right. When JStreet called on the administration NOT to veto a UN resolution condemning Israel, it crossed the line from using acceptable critical language to the delegitimizing language of Israel’s enemies. As the Editor-in-Chief of a major Jewish Community newspaper Rob should not be publically supporting such a controversial and divisive organization.
Example: his May 20th column entitled “A Little AIPAC Advice for Obama”. A columnist has the right to tell the President of the United States to stick-it to the Prime Minister of Israel (which I believe is the core of this piece). For the Editor-in-Chief of a major Jewish community paper to be writing this is just not appropriate and certainly not acceptable.
Example from the May 26th web site home page: two columns were presented in response to the Obama-Netanyahu Washington, D.C., meetings (by David Myers and Robert Satloff). Both offered strong arguments for their totally opposite positions. The problem: the headline for the pro-Obama piece was the major headline and was more than four times as large as the headline for the pro-Netanyahu piece which was lower on the page. I’ve been told that the format of the website does not allow for equal prominence. This response is just not acceptable. As this situation is so crucial the format of the page should have been changed.
Example (Website – June 6th): Leading headline at the top of the page: “More Than 18 Arabs Killed Along Israel….” Was that the real story? Arabs, not protestors or terrorists? Why not a headline along the line of “IDF Stops Northern Border Intrusion, Saves Hundreds of Israeli Lives.” And why not the Reuters story: “Syrian Forces Killed 70 Protesters,” or “Syria Paid Protesters to Try to Break Into Israel…?” Rob’s response to my criticism of this headline/article: he wrote that all they did was to carry the JTA story. The ‘JTA made me do it’ excuse is also just not acceptable.
How can we expect the secular media to report on Israel accurately, when I believe our own Jewish paper isn't?
And, Rob shows he doesn’t understand the role and responsibility of being an Editor-in-Chief in areas other than Israel.
Example: I am not a prude but the following box on the web site’s main page was more than offensive, fitting, perhaps, for a trashy tabloid, but not for the Jewish newspaper of a major American Jewish Community. I searched at least a dozen other Anglo-Jewish papers and found none highlighting this trash in this way. I am told that Rob does not personally select or write these headings. As Editor-in-Chief he is responsible for all content and should have removed this immediately. Instead, it stayed posted for a few days.
In Rob’s opening paragraph of the column he wrote about my criticism he forgot to mention that one of my emails actually complimented him for his piece on Day School education. As he came to change his mind about that important subject I hope that he also changes his mind about what he writes and how he selects columns and headlines.
If not there needs to be a new Editor-in-Chief.
(This response is placed as a paid advertisement because the LAJJ declined to publish it as an op-ed piece even after adjustments were made in response to comments by the Jewish Journal’s Managing Editor. If you have any comments and/or would like to receive further updates please email EshmanWatch@aol.com or call 424-248-0955.)
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) and Beth Jacob Congregation present a pre-Tisha BAv Community-Wide Event in Solidarity of Israel.