Thursday, July 6th
Immigrants from North America and France will be the largest group of immigrants to Israel this year. The slowly rising immigration from North America and France is important news for Israel and Zionism. Immigration from North America is especially important. North America has the largest remaining Jewish community in the Diaspora. France too has a large Jewish community. The challenge is to make Israel into the kind of society that will attract and hold immigrants from the most affluent societies in the world, who choose to live here. Most of whom will expect a comparable quality of life, and who, with the best of intentions and ideological motivation, will probably not chose to live in this country for long if we cannot provide reasonable security and a standard of living comparable to Western Europe and the United States.
Ami Isseroff on 07.06.06 @ 10:47 PM CST [link]
Jeff Weintraub tells us that there are people who doubt the repressive nature of the Iranian regime regarding women's rights. Policies vary over time, but there is no doubt that this regime is repressive, and uses force to uphold the most reactionary ideas. Anyone who read "Reading Lolita in Tehran" knows the general attitude of the regime and of the Pasdaran guards who are the power base of President Ahmadinejad to women. Arrest, rape and murder of desirable women may not be occurring any longer, but the values are probably about the same. The reports of the demonstrations give hope that there is a real democratic reform movement in Iran, but it is hard to gauge its importance and popularity.
Let's let Weintraub tell the story.
Ami Isseroff on 07.06.06 @ 10:03 PM CST [link]
Wednesday, July 5th
Tuesday morning at 6 o'clock an ultimatum expired from the militants who have kidnapped an Israeli soldier. They had demanded the release of 1000 Palestinian prisoners by Israel, and threatened that if Israel did not comply with this, "the discussion concerning the fate of the Israeli soldier is closed, and no further information concerning his fate will be given". Also "the enemy will carry the complete responsibility for the consequences". Last Sunday the military wing of Hamas already voiced specific threats, in case Israel should continue the attacks in the Gaza Strip:
"If they continue with these attacks we will strike similar targets in the Zionist Occupation which we have not targeted until now," Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas' Iz al-Din al-Qassam, said.
"If the Occupation continues aggression and terrorism against our people ... it will drag the region into a sea of blood and the consequences will be terrible. We still have many options," Abu Ubaida said.
Although the Israeli government has repeated its position that it will not enter into negotiations with the terrorists, there seem to be or have been negotiations to release prisoners who have no blood on their hands in exchange for releasing Shalit; negotiations that have led to nothing, as the ultimatum makes clear. Egypt conducted these negotiations.
Ratna Pelle on 07.05.06 @ 05:37 PM CST [link]
The act of making people disappear.
That is the best way to describe the HRW report on the Gaza beach tragedy of June 9th 2006. And not just any people, but hundreds of Israelis who are victims of suicide bombing and similar attacks on civilians. People whose victimization is a human rights violation and a part the self declared commitment of the human rights community is to remember them along with other victims of human rights abuses.
Ami Isseroff on 07.05.06 @ 01:58 PM CST [link]
Tuesday, July 4th
It is heart warming, to say the least, when people of good will succeed in paving the way towards a better future.
It is through the efforts of the American Jewish Congress (AJC) that a number of interfaith dialog groups were sponsored in the US to foster a better understanding between communities with regards to events unfolding daily that could have driven more wedges between them but did not.
Instead the members of such interfaith groups stood up in support of the Muslim community when it was not fashionable to do so after the 9/11 events; and who better to understand their plight, than the Jewish community that experienced anti-Semitism as the standard coinage in many realms and throughout the years.
What is more telling is the solidarity expressed in the article Pakistan to soon establish Israel ties by Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post, despite the current events surrounding the abduction of the Israeli soldier and what is currently unfolding in Gaza.
Israel Bonan on 07.04.06 @ 12:43 PM CST [link]
Monday, July 3rd
Former US Peace Envoy Dennis Ross offers his solutions for the Gaza standoff in a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed.
They are wonderful solutions in every respect but one: They cannot be implemented, because they are predicated on false assumptions about how the Middle East works. They serve to illustrate why Ross's mission, mediation of the Oslo Accords, failed. They explain why US policy in Iraq and in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and regarding the Iranian nuclear development problem, and regarding Syria, have so little hope of success.
Ami Isseroff on 07.03.06 @ 07:13 PM CST [link]
Sunday, July 2nd
Who is to blame for Palestinian misery and for the current mess in Gaza? lt is easy enough to blame Israel for responding to Qassam rocket attacks of course. Terror is always OK if it happens in someone else's back yard. It is also fairly easy to blame the Hamas and the other terror groups, since they announce,
According to the Oslo Interim agreement, which is the basis of the Palestinian elections, Annex II, Article III:
The nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions will be refused, and such nomination or registration once made will be canceled, if such candidates, parties or coalitions:
commit or advocate racism; or pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or non- democratic means.
Ami Isseroff on 07.02.06 @ 04:24 PM CST [link]
A lot of fuss is being made about the US and EU boycott of Hamas, the "democratically elected" government of the PNA. More fuss is being made over the arrests of their leaders. The fussers are forgetting a simple fact: Hamas is a terrorist organization. They support terror, they back it and they do it. If you like bombs blowing up in your subways ("underground") and aircraft slamming into skyscrapers, people getting their heads cut off and suicide bombings, you'll surely love Hamas. Otherwise, probably not.
That's not just Zionist propaganda. The United States State Department lists Hamas as a terrorist organization. The European Union lists Hamas as a terror group. The Hamas itself announces that it is a terrorist organization.
Ami Isseroff on 07.02.06 @ 01:12 PM CST [link]
As the tension builds in Gaza following the kidnapping (capture?) of an Israeli soldier, so the pressure builds against Israel: "All that fuss over one soldier!" "Gazans are suffering collective punishment!" The UN Security council, indifferent to the fate of Israelis suffering from rocket attacks, Israeli kids abducted and killed or Israeli soldiers abducted by terrorists, is making ominous noises. Once again Israel is portrayed as a large and evil "occupying" power, though there are no Israeli soldiers occupying Gaza.
It is amazing how short the human memory is. The town of Sderot and its neighbors have been subjected to a growing blitz of ever more lethal Qassam rockets. Remember now? Air raids every day, rockets in kindergartens, rockets in schools, rockets near the home of the Minister of Defence. The rockets have killed 9 people already and they getting larger and more dangerous. An "improved" model fell inside the city of Ashqelon on June 29.
Ami Isseroff on 07.02.06 @ 12:53 AM CST [link]
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