+61 3 9272 5644

Latest News in Israel 26th October

Italian newspaper protests UNESCO decisionThe Italian newspaper Il Foglio initiated a protest of the recent UNESCO resolution denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem by garnering hundreds of signatures from influential Italian figures and publishing their named in the newspaper with a giant Israeli flag.

Italian newspaper protests UNESCO decision Il Foglio

How Israel  tiny Country in the middle of the desert may just have the solution to the World water crisis

From California to Africa, we are facing a global water shortage. But one tiny country, in the middle of a desert, has found remarkable solutions. Which country? And can we replicate its success? Businessman and New York Times bestselling author Seth Siegel explains.

Arab motorcyclist attacks two Jews outside Old City

A man with an Israeli flag covering his backpack looks at an Israeli flag made of lights installed on the wall of Jerusalem’s Old City. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Police opened an investigation into a possible terrorist attack after a male 22-year-old Arab resident of Silwan riding a motorcycle Wednesday night struck and then proceeded to attack two male Jewish pedestrians on a major thoroughfare outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

According to Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the incident took place on Derech Hebron, when the unidentified suspect collided with the pedestrians, and then attacked both men with his helmet and fist.

“After he struck them, the suspect got off his motorbike and repeatedly hit them, lightly injuring one of the victims, and leaving the second man in light-to-moderate condition,” Rosenfeld said on Thursday.

“Police stationed in the area promptly stopped the assault and arrested the man, and a search uncovered a knife belonging to the assailant. We’re still investigating to determine if it was terrorist-related or a criminal incident.”

Both victims were treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics, before being transferred to Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, Rosenfeld said.

The suspect was arraigned at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, where a judge ordered his remand pending an investigation into the nature of the attack.

Rosenfeld said heightened security remains in effect throughout the capital, with an emphasis on the Old City.  (Jerusalem Post)

 ‘Israel has every right to refuse a 1967 withdrawal’

US support for a United Nations Security Council resolution to replace 242 would conflict with commitments given to Israel by Washington going back to 1973, former Foreign Minister director-general Dore Gold said on Thursday.

“I remember that after the ’73 war the United States gave Israel commitments that it would not allow for a change in UNSC resolution 242,” Gold said.

He added that those commitments were “in writing” and were not “open sourced materials.”

“The United States is Israel’s major ally, that has not changed,” Gold told the Post on the sidelines of a speech he delivered to the Israel Allies Caucus conference in Jerusalem just one week after leaving the foreign ministry.

“While we have tactical disagreements from time to time, I believe that America will stick by its commitments to Israel,” Gold said. He spoke of UNSC resolution 242 that was first approved in November 1967, some five months after the Six-Day War.

It is the basic backbone on which the entire Israeli-Palestinian peace process is structured. Most significantly its vague text that spoke of an Israeli withdrawal from territory it captured during that war, did not specify that his would be a full withdrawal.

“All the peace agreements [and initiatives] were based on this resolution,” Gold said.

The Palestinians have long pushed for a revision of UNSC 242, to explicitly state that Israel must return to the pre-1967 lines.

In the past the US has opposed such resolutions. As one of five UNSC member with veto power, it has been able to thwart past efforts to replace 242.

Israel has been fearful that United States President Barack Obama, however, might back and even initiate his own revision to UNSC 242 in the two months window after the November 8th election in the United States, before he leaves office in January.

US hints that Israel does not have its automatic support at the UNSC, have helped fuel this fear.

The idea would be that Obama might want to place his stamp on the peace process by pushing for and or approving a UNSC resolution that set new parameters for the peace process, including specifying the territory from which Israel must withdraw.

On Wednesday night, in response to a Channel 2 story, about possible Obama moves in his last two months, Netanyahu said he expects that the US position would remain the same. But he added that he hoped Obama would not follow in the path of past presidents who used that time to set forward new initiatives.

Israel has maintained that a UNSC resolution that imposes the terms of a peace deal, discourages the Palestinians from pursuing a negotiated one.

In speaking to the conference, Gold said, that those in the international community who support the idea of replacing 242 have to decide if they want to encourage or discourage a negotiated peace deal.

UNSC 242 “did not envision a full Israel withdrawal from the territories that were captured for a very simple reason, it was a war of self defense, and Israel had claims to secure and recognize boundaries,” Gold said. “Jerusalem was not even mentioned in 242,” he said.

“What is clear given the chaos in the region that exists today, is that Israel has every right to resist calls to withdraw to the1967 lines,” Gold said.

He also spoke about another option that Israel fears, a UNSC resolution against West Bank settlement activity.

“A settlements resolution would be a blunt instrument. It would not distinguish between unauthorized outpost and the hearts of Jerusalem,” Gold told the Post.

“It would violate a core commitment in the Oslo agreements that all permanent status issues must be negotiated,” Gold said.

While speaking to the conference he said that under the 1993 Oslo Accords there were six such issues and that it was not possible to just deal with one of them.

Gold clarified that under Oslo, Israel was not prohibited form engaging in settlement activity because it was presumed that it would be addressed in a final status agreement.

“The adoption of a UNSC resolution on just on that question [of settlements], breaks down the peace process and makes resuming serious peace negotiations in the future much more difficult,” Gold said.                       (Jerusalem Post)

‘Islamic Jihad plotted to blow up Israeli wedding hall, kidnap IDF soldier’

Security services announced on Thursday that they had thwarted an Islamic Jihad plot to attack a wedding hall in the South and to kidnap and kill a soldier for the purposes of bargaining with Israel.

Mahmoud Yousef Hassin Abu Taha, a resident of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, was arrested last month while entering Israel through the Erez crossing, ostensibly for purposes of commerce.

Abu Taha was enlisted by Wael Sufian Abu Taha, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said. He instructed Mahmoud to form a cell in order to carry out a terrorist attack in the South and to kidnap a soldier to be used in a prisoner swap, the agency said.

The three men whom Mahmoud enlisted to help him with the attacks were also arrested.

One of the suspects, Shafik Hamed Ahmed Abu Taha, 55, was illegally residing in Israel and was an employee of the wedding hall that the cell planned to attack. A second suspect, Ahmed Tisir Abdulrahman Abu Taha, 39, from Gaza, was also illegally residing in Israel. A third suspect, a 40-year-old from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, was living in southern Israel legally after having gained residency through marriage by way of the “family reunification” law.

The suspects had carried out reconnaissance at the wedding hall, devising a plan they hoped would kill as many people as possible, the Shin Bet said.

At the same time, Mahmoud began planning the kidnapping, receiving thousands of shekels from Wael Abu Taha in order to rent an apartment in Israel to which he planned to lure a soldier.

According to the Shin Bet, Mahmoud planned to kill the soldier, bury him and send his belongings back to Gaza to use as bargaining chips with Israel.

“This grave affair yet again exhibits the efforts of terrorist elements in Gaza to carry out murderous terrorist attacks in Israel,” the agency said.

The affair also shows the way in which terrorists take advantage of entry permits to Israel, given for humanitarian porpoises to improve the economy of Gaza, the Shin Bet said.

In addition, the plot shows the danger posed by Palestinians illegally residing in Israel, the agency warned.

In May, Islamic Jihad in Gaza released a propaganda video threatening IDF soldiers in response to the recent “Israeli escalation” in the Strip.

The minute-and-a-half video, titled, “We Will Show You a Shadow of Fear,” presents four fighters in Islamic Jihad’s Quds Brigades conducting observation of IDF jeep stationed behind Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip and preparing to fired Sager rockets at the vehicle.

Although the fighters did not attack the jeep, the video ends with a message translated to Hebrew: “We will show you a shadow of fear.”  (Jerusalem Post)

PA detains four Palestinians for drinking coffee with settlers in Efrat succa

In a move against normalization with settlers, Palestinian Authority security forces have held four Arabs from the village of Wadi al-Nis since Thursday, as punishment for visiting Efrat council head Oded Revivi in his succa.

“It’s quite pathetic to be arrested for having a cup of coffee with your neighbors,” said Revivi, who has turned to the media in the hopes of pressing the PA to release the four men.

The residents of Wadi al-Nis were part of a group of 30 Palestinians from the Bethlehem and Hebron area who came to Revivi’s home on Wednesday, for what he had hoped would be fulfillment of the term ‘Succa of Peace.’

Among the guests were representatives from the IDF and the Border Police, including Maj.- Gen. Nitzan Alon, who at the time said that Efrat had always been a model for good relations with its neighbors.

“When we meet and talk, it is possible to overcome many challenges, even security ones,” Alon said.

Col. Roman Gofman, commander of the Gush Etzion Territorial Brigade, said the gathering at the succa was a good start for what he hoped would be more such meetings.

Just after the meeting, Revivi spoke with a group of parliamentarians from 18 countries who were visiting Hebron and Gush Etzion with the help of the Israel Allies Foundation.

He explained that he has worked to build bridges with the Palestinian villages around his settlement, because he believes that peace comes from on the ground, person to person contacts.

Eftrat Succa sukkot Israel

Efrat Council head Oded Revivi hosts 30 Palestinians from the Bethlehem and Hebron area and representatives of the IDF and Border Police in his succa

With respect to Wadi al-Nis in particular, he spoke of how he had gone there to visit a family whose six-year-old child had been killed in a car accident that involved a driver from his community.

Everyone, he said, had greeted him warmly and had even posted photographs with him on social media.

He met with the head of the village, and promised to place speed bumps in that area. The connections that he built at the time, he said, led to the visit in his succa.

On Saturday night, Revivi said he was unable to determine what had happened to the four visitors from Wadi al-Nis.

“I’m sorry that human rights organizations have not spoken out about this situation,” he said.

In an interview with Wattan TV on Thursday, the PA’s Deputy Governor of Bethlehem Muhammad Taha said the incident was under investigation. The government, in coordination with the PA security forces, will hold these people accountable according to Palestinian law, he said.

Taha clarified that the participants will be dealt with through legal processes, and added that what they did is not a part of his people’s culture and upbringing.

“All Palestinians condemn the [visit], and visiting settlers is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Khaled Tafish, a parliamentarian in the Palestinian Legislative Council, added, “If they knew that there would be a punishment and that they will be pursued for doing that, then the incident would not have happened.”   (Jerusalem Post)

Teenage Israeli worker shot dead near Egypt border; IDF rules out terror

An Israeli teenager was shot and killed near Mount Harif in southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon while working on the border fence with Egypt, officials said.

The bullet came from across the border in Egypt, though it was not immediately clear who fired it, the army said.

However, the shooting “does not appear to be connected to terror activities,” the army said in a statement.

The victim was Nimer Bassem Abu Amar, a 15-year-old from Lakiya, a predominantly Bedouin village in southern Israel, according to the Defense Ministry.

Egyptian security sources told Sky News Arabia the shots were fired during a clash between smugglers and Egyptian border guards.

According to the Arabic report, the smugglers opened fire at a group of Israeli contractors during the shootout, before Egyptian forces shot back.

The IDF could not confirm the claim, as details of the incident were still being investigated, a military spokesperson said.

The Israeli and Egyptian militaries were working together to sort out what had happened, the IDF said.

The slain teenager was employed by a civilian subcontractor hired by the Defense Ministry, who had been performing maintenance work on the fence, a spokesperson for the ministry said.

The ministry said the minor had been brought to work the site by family members to be employed along the Egyptian border, but said it had “reached out to the maintenance subcontractor company” in order to get additional information.

After he was shot, Abu Amar was transported by helicopter to Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center for treatment, but succumbed to his wounds, the IDF said.  (the Times of Israel)

Birthright program contributed over $1 billion to Israeli economy, study shows

The Birthright Israel program, which provides free trips to Israel for young Jews across the world, has contributed $1.1 billion to the economy since it begun in 2000, according to a study by the firm Ernst & Young.

The figures show that the gross contribution was made both directly and indirectly. The direct contribution of Birthright Israel to the economy, which consists of paying for hotels, tourism suppliers, flights and educational activities, amounts to $840 million. The indirect contribution, consisting of participants’ expenses, such as food, beverages, souvenirs, trip extensions and returning trips, amounts to $325m.

Ernst & Young’s report also showed that Birthright Israel participants make up 12% of the tourists visiting Israel from June to August and December to January, and that while the Israeli tourism sector is often affected by the security situation, Birthright participants growth remains steady, highlighting that most Birthright groups arrive in the off-season and therefore balance supply and demand.

In addition, Birthright Israel participants were found to be significant drivers of small businesses in Israel, with 47% of Birthright overnights taking place in peripheral areas in Israel, in locally owned accommodations, compared to only 28% of overnights for overall incoming tourism.

“This new report validates the success of our program and reinforces one of our main goals: to have participants return to Israel and foster relationships with its people throughout their lifetime,” Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark said.

Mark predicts that Birthright will “have an even greater impact on Israel in the near future, as participants decide to work at Israeli companies or start businesses of their own in Israel.”

The data from the study project an additional gross contribution from Birthright to the economy until 2020 estimated at $770m.

Since its founding 15 years ago, Birthright Israel has provided free trips to more than 500,000 Jews aged 18 to 26, with the goal of “strengthening Jewish identity, facilitating cultural understanding and fostering solidarity with Israel and its people.”     (Jerusalem Post)

Own Goals

from Ron Weiser

The Chagim have passed and yet the month did not go by without some notable events that affect Israel in the international arena.

Just prior to Rosh Hashanah saw the funeral of Shimon Peres z”l.

Even in death, he continued to serve Israel.

The funeral was amazing, with over 80 world leaders coming to Israel, standing in front of Israeli flags in the Jewish capital Jerusalem, at Israel’s national cemetery Mt Herzl and paying tribute to a man whose history was the history of Israel.

Yes, it was a tribute to Shimon Peres and no, it cannot be divorced from a general recognition of Israel and her status amongst the nations.

Yes, even representatives of Arab countries were amongst those paying their respects.

Yes, even Mahmoud Abbas, cynical as his attendance may be viewed, came as well.

Despite this, the most notable absentees were the representatives of Israeli Arabs.

The first own goal of the past month was the boycott of Peres’ funeral by the elected representatives of Israeli Arabs, the Joint Arab List.

If there was ever a message that Israeli Arabs had a chance to send to the rest of their fellow citizens about really wanting to be part of the State of Israel, they missed this opportunity in a big way.

Roundly condemned for this action across the political spectrum in Israel and sowing the seeds of great doubt in the minds of Jewish Israelis as to whether Israeli Arabs really want to be part of the Israeli matrix, they gave the firm impression to the Israeli public that Lieberman’s plan of land and population swaps as part of the Two State Solution is something Israeli Arab leadership may be talking themselves into.

As we will see further on, there is much in common between the radical section of Israel’s Arab population and the increasingly unpopular and radical section of Israel’s far left.

They are both making statements and taking action that repulse the vast majority of Israeli citizens.

The second own goal of the month was scored by UNESCO in the form of its absurd resolution to ignore and deny any Jewish, or Christian for that matter, connection to Jerusalem.

Yes, the resolution was abominable, and yes it was appalling to see the countries that supported it and the countries that could only abstain instead of voting against.

But on the glass ¾’s full side, this time, unlike earlier in the year, not a single European country voted in favour and more countries abstained or voted against the resolution, than voted for it.

Even France which in April this year supported the resolution, abstained this time. I guess from the hypocritical French that was about as good as we could get.

Italy which abstained, followed up by Prime Minister Renzi stating that in future it would vote against such a resolution.

Mexico which voted for the resolution, only days later changed its vote to an abstention.

Does anyone think that the UNESCO resolution made Jews rethink whether they would go to the Kotel during the Chagim or not, or for that matter, did the earlier resolution have any effect on world leaders coming to Jerusalem for Shimon Peres’ funeral????

All the resolution did was to further damage UNESCO’s name and the credibility of the United Nations generally – ergo the second own goal.

The third own goal was scored by Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of New Israel Fund grantee, B’Tselem, who appeared before a UN Security Council hearing on October the 14th to present his statement against Israel’s actions in the West Bank/Judea, Samaria.

El-Ad went well beyond any red line when he called on the world community to take action against Israel.

In fact, El-Ad made a series of own goals all on his own:

B’Tselem was unmasked showing it to be not a human rights organisation at all, but rather a political organisation whose aim is to undermine Israel’s sovereignty in order to pursue its aims.

El-Ad’s appearance before the Security Council committee was criticised and condemned across the political spectrum in Israel uniting Israelis against such actions by the radical left.

Whatever their views, Israelis are becoming increasingly disgusted with actions by the radical left in rushing to hostile international arenas calling for foreign intervention against Israel

This action further alienated the vast majority of Israelis from the New Israel Fund, those who were already appalled by international lobbying against Israel by another New Israel Fund grantee, Breaking The Silence.

Whatever the perceived rights or wrongs of the causes these sorts of organisations claim to be fighting for, the left in Israel are increasingly distancing themselves from such organisations as they understand that in the international arena such actions present an existential threat to Israel herself, give succour to the BDS movement and continually and deliberately fail to understand and misrepresent the base cause for the lack of progress on peace.

And the fourth own goal was scored by Likud MK and coalition chairman David Bitan who in response to El-Ad’s Security Council speech, publicly called for El-Ad to be stripped of his Israeli citizenship.

Bitan’s ill-advised call, which in any case is absurd, served only to take the spotlight off El-Ad and move it on to questions about the Likud’s commitment to free speech and democratic norms.

No-one should be questioning El-Ad’s right to say whatever he wants.

The debate around these sort of New Israel Fund grantees should be about the accuracy of what they say, about their judgement in where and how they make their claims and to the extent their actions do or do not undermine the safety and security of Israeli citizens.

What Bitan did was to take the united pressure off El-Ad’s actions and turned the spotlight on his own right to make a fool of himself.

As I write this month’s column, I am on my way to Israel to participate in the next round of Jewish Agency meetings.

Last October our arrival in Israel coincided with the beginning of the wave of stabbings and other forms of terror incited by Mahmoud Abbas’ in his call to defend the Temple Mount.

In Abbas’ September 2015 speech, which was both broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV and posted on his personal website you will recall he said:

“We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem…blood spilled for Allah…Every Martyr will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.

They have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem.”

Hard to believe that this has been going on for a full year now.

Let’s hope the Palestinians will come to their senses soon and realise that violence and force will not be able to succeed.

And let’s also hope that we stop kicking own goals that only encourage the Palestinians to move further and further away from recognising that Israel is here to stay and that their focus must be not on attempting to eliminate Israel, but rather on living peacefully alongside her.

A really new Middle East

by Zalman Shoval                   The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/A-really-new-Middle-East-470579

Israel must never forget David Ben-Gurion’s and Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s dictum that only the Jewish state’s own capability to defend itself would assure its security and eventually bring about peace.

In retrospect, perhaps the most misleading expression spawned by the ill-starred 1993 Oslo Agreement was that of a supposedly “New” Middle East.

The originator of the term, the late Shimon Peres, though previously an opponent of Palestinian statehood, genuinely (and Yitzhak Rabin more reluctantly) believed that “Oslo” and the perspective of Palestinian statehood would automatically lead not only to a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but also to a new, more peaceful and stable reality in the Middle East as a whole.

In this respect, he echoed the long-held (and in some quarters still held) view among Middle East “experts” in the American and international foreign policy crowd that were it not for the Palestinian issue, most problems in the region, including that of the West’s problematic relationship with the Arab world, would have been long resolved.

Prof. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to president Carter, rarely addressed any Middle East subject without prefacing it with the statement that the “Road to Baghdad” (or Damascus, Cairo, etc.) “leads through Jerusalem,” implying that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – usually adding that this would require concessions especially on the part of Israel – was the way to any positive developments in the Middle East. Those “experts” ignored, among other things, the fact that by far the greater majority of wars and upheavals in the Middle East since the end of the Second World War had nothing to do with the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.

Most of the world applauded the Oslo agreement (though some critics observed that it could easily fit in as another chapter in Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly) while Israelis who had initially been supportive soon soured ― with buses blown up by Palestinian terrorists in Tel Aviv and elsewhere. But it took the dramatic unraveling of the entire region and the ensuing turmoil created by the Arab Spring, the rise of al-Qaida, ISIS and other Islamic terrorists on the one hand, and Iran’s terror promoting and destabilizing activities on the other, to open the eyes of most of the world as to the real symptoms of the Middle East situation (though even today there are those who still refuse to accept this reality, and declare the Palestinian problem to be the root of everything that has gone wrong in the region).

There were two basic misapprehensions regarding the supposed link between the Palestinian issue and Peres’s approach: namely, that the Arab world and especially its leaders – notwithstanding their declared empathy for the lot of the Palestinians – did not necessarily see their particular national and geopolitical interests exclusively through the prism of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict; and on the other hand, that many Arabs and significantly most Palestinian Arabs, did not (and do not) see the creation of a Palestinian state in parts of “Palestine” as their real aim, but rather the total disappearance of the State of Israel.

A frequently raised argument by the opposition and outsiders against the policies of the present Israeli government is Israel’s alleged isolation in the international arena. While this is true and has been for decades at the UN and other international bodies – for reasons which had nothing to do with the political profile of any particular Israeli government or its policies, but rather with the membership makeup of these bodies – Israel today is in fact less “isolated” than it has been for a very long time. This is evidenced among other things by the budding of an actual new Middle East – ironically caused by factors which are very different from those envisaged at the time by Peres.

Prof. Walter Russel Mead, formerly of Yale University and currently at Bard College who is recognized as one of America’s foremost foreign policy mavens, pointed out in a recent article that “in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, Israel’s diplomacy is moving from strength to strength – virtually every Arab and Middle Eastern leader thinks that Bibi is smarter and stronger than President Obama – and as American prestige across the Middle East has waned under Obama, Israel’s prestige, even among people who hate it, has grown.”

Mead concludes that “the value of Israeli power to a Sunni world worried about Iran has led to something close to a revolution in Israel’s regional position… Israel’s neighbors may not like Bibi, but they believe they can count on him…”

Mead is not alone in his assessment. Articles in a similar vein appeared in the July-August issue of the prestigious Foreign Affairs magazine, and in the Israeli press by Hebrew University Prof. Elie Podeh, usually not known as an unqualified admirer of the present Israeli government’s policies. In addition, a recent book from the Harvard University Press lists Israel among countries “whose economic and military capabilities make them increasingly significant in their regions and beyond.”

Still, most matters in the Middle East are built on shifting sands, and what seems stable and promising one day may change the next, so that even with a New Middle East in the making, potentially also leading toward rational solutions to the Palestinian conundrum, Israel must never forget David Ben-Gurion’s and Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s dictum that only the Jewish state’s own capability to defend itself would assure its security and eventually bring about peace.

UNESCO Vote Hurts Palestinian Cause – Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary)

Palestinians are celebrating the latest vote by UNESCO to treat Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall as solely Muslim holy sites, a key element of their ongoing diplomatic campaign to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state. But the pyrrhic nature of this victory is becoming more obvious with each passing day. More and more nations are refusing to go along with the usual Third World demonization of Israel.

That any international group, even an agency of a UN that has become immersed in a culture of anti-Semitism and hate for Israel, would deny that the site of the biblical temple of ancient Israel has anything to do with Judaism and the Jews is shocking.

That’s especially true when the evidence of the existence of the Second Temple is staring right at the world in the form of the Western Wall and the network of ruins that run along the Temple Mount plateau, where mosques were planted to assert Islamic pre-eminence during the period of Muslim conquest.

What the Palestinians have done by changing the topic to denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem is, in effect, a dropping of the veil from their purported desire only to return to the situation of June 4, 1967, when an embattled Israel prepared to be attacked despite not being in possession of the West Bank, Gaza, or the parts of Jerusalem held by the Jordanians.

When PA incitement views the Jewish presence anywhere in the country – even at the most sacred sites in Judaism – as an illegal incursion, the true Palestinian goal of eliminating Israel moves out of the shadows and into plain sight.

The more the Palestinians deny Jewish history, the more they undermine faith in the possibility of a two-state solution among Israelis and the rest of the world. The more they reveal the anti-Semitic nature of their refusal to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders may be drawn, the more they doom their cause to continued futility.

A Taste of Jerusalem: Music, Merchandise, and Giant Puppets at Sukkot Street Fair

Sukkot is an amazing time of year to be in Jerusalem. With most schools closed for the entire week, the streets and parks are teeming with children and their parents attending the special events that have been planned to keep them in a happy holiday mood.

Here are some scenes on the first intermediate day of Sukkot at an evening street fair in the German Colony.

There are vendors of clothing, housewares, and gifts, food stands, and groups of performers including singers and giant papier mache puppets.