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>Israel News Faxx
>JN Dec. 16, 2013, Vol. 21, No. 243

High IDF Alert After a Lebanese Soldier Fired on an Israeli Patrol, One Israeli Killed

By DEBKAfile

The IDF confirmed Sunday night, Dec. 15 that an Israeli soldier on border patrol in the Rosh Hanikra region opposite Ras Naqoura was killed when a Lebanese soldier fired on his vehicle. The military spokesman earlier reported the Lebanese soldier had fired 6-10 rounds at the patrol, after which Lebanese soldiers poured into the area. The spokesman said Israel takes a grave view of the incident and has summoned reinforcements to the border region. "We are ready for any step and reserve the right to retaliate at the right place and time," he said.

The Lebanese army announced that "contact was lost with a Lebanese soldier," without explaining whether the soldier was thought to have been captured by Israel or fled. Also claimed was that an IDF patrol had crossed into Lebanon and was fired on by Lebanese troops, after which Israel air force planes flew over southern Lebanon.

In another incident in the Sidon area further north, two Lebanese military positions or checkpoints were attacked. A Lebanese soldier and four attackers were killed. In one attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up.

Both took place in the al-Awwali district of northern Sidon, at the same time as the flare-up on the Israeli border further south. Heavy Lebanese military movements were sighted after the attacks. The Jund Al-Sham and other Al Qaeda-linked organizations in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain Hilwa outside Sidon went on a high state of preparedness.

The IDF is investigating to find out if the Lebanese soldier who attacked the Israeli patrol was connected with the Sidon assailants. DEBKAfile's military and counterterrorism sources say that if the two events turn out to be connected, it would constitute a coordinated attack by the same terrorist group on the IDF across the Israeli border and the Lebanese army in southern Lebanon. Before midnight Sunday, the UNIFIL spokesman reported a serious incident in the Ras al-Naqoura and Serra sectors and called for restraint by Israeli and Lebanese commanders. He gave no details of the incident.

The Jewish Priest Who Repented


In middle of his priesthood studies in Munich, Daniel Feldstein began searching for his Jewish identity. He found a prayer book, hid fringed garment under his robe and began observing mitzvot. 'A Jew will always remain a Jew,' he said.

It was only when Daniel Feldstein went far enough from Israel, and began studying for priesthood in Munich, that his Jewish identity began awakening. "I started with a ritual washing of my hands, blessings, and even during the ceremonies I would read from the 'sidur' (prayer book). I would wrap it up so they wouldn't see what it was. Later I also installed a mezuzah in my room," he said.

Although he tried to hide the new customs he adopted, his fellow students noticed the change taking place within him. "The arguments with them summed up to one sentence: 'Decide who you are. Decide, because we can see you're not Christian.'"

Feldstein was born to a Jewish mother in Ukraine in 1974. When he was 21 he decided to immigrate to Israel on his own and join the IDF. "I was a lone soldier, and I remained lonely afterwards. I was always in a spiritual search because I failed to connect to the country, to the society, to the language."

Christianity, he said, served as a refuge from the alienation and loneliness. He began visiting churches and befriending priests and nuns. In 2005 he was baptized in the tradition of the Latin Church in Jaffa, and two years later he decided to leave Israel. "Nothing interested me anymore. I found no solidarity with the country or with what was happening in it."

Feldstein began devoting his life to priesthood studies at the Munich church, but the distance raised internal questions of identity. "The fact that I moved there, that I was suddenly disconnected from Israel, changed my perspective," he noted.

Feldstein was unsatisfied with the Christian interpretation of the Old Testament, and he began showing an interest in the Jewish Midrash. "I found the website of Machon Meir and began watching lessons there and integrating them into my seminar papers. My teachers perceived it as extremely profound ideas and said it was a great wonder, what a study and what an innovation. So I said, wait a minute, I've always had it – so what am I doing here anyway?"

From the moment he was required to decide who he was and what his religion was, everything happened quickly. "The moment I decided to leave it was a huge wonder, a real miracle. They collected money and bought me a ticket back to Israel."

Today Feldstein studies at Machon Meir and is certain that he has ended his travails. "I have no complaints against the Christians; I only have complaints against myself," he says. "A Jew will always remain a Jew. There's nothing one can do about it."

U.S.-Israeli Ariel Resident Orit Arfa Turns Cyrus's `We Can't Stop' Into `Jews Can't Stop

By The Times of Israel

Can a homemade Miley Cyrus parody video showing young women gyrating on tractors, pole dancing on street signs, writhing on hillsides and licking stones help the Israeli settler cause? Orit Arfa, the creator and star of the video, thinks that, at the very least, it can't hurt. Others might disagree. (You decide

Arfa, an American-Israeli writer (and Times of Israel and LA Jewish Journal blogger who labels herself a "settler against the occupation") living in Ariel, sees a kindred spirit in the infamous pop star with a penchant for twerking and sticking out her tongue.

"In a deviant world where good is hailed as evil and evil is hailed as good, perhaps good people in this world must find the most unlikely of allies, like Miley, who probably experiences as much world censure as individual Jews whose only crime is making a peaceful, loving home in the Biblical heartland," Arfa told The Times of Israel in an email interview.

She said she was inspired by Cyrus' "We Can't Stop," which she turned in to "Jews Can't Stop." Here is a sampling of her lyrics: "It's our land, we do what we want. This is our home, this is our rules. Can't you see it's we who own the land, can't you see it's we who take a stand. And everyone in line to make peace, trying to get a Nobel for peace. We all so fed up here,. getting fed up here, yeah, yeah. We build things, things don't build we. Don't take nothing from John Kerry."

Arfa contends that political leaders "torpedo normalized relations between Jews and Arabs in the West Bank," and that left alone, the two national groups would figure out how to live and prosper together. So, would this mean that Arfa would be willing to live in a West Bank that was under Palestinian authority or even a Palestinian state?

"The governing body concerns me less than the mode of governance and if it would respect individual rights," she says. "If by some miracle a Palestinian government emerges that would treat the Jewish minority the way that Israel overall humanely and equally treats Arab citizens, I would be fine living under it."

But in the next breath, she clarifies that she doesn't think that is going to happen any time soon, if ever. In the meantime, she believes Israel must retain control of the West Bank. "As it now stands, Israel is the country that is more suited to ensure, inspire or install humane civil law throughout…The corrupt and oppressive Palestinian Authority…is not suited in its current state, as most totalitarian Arab governments in this region, to ensure stability, peace, advancement and freedom for its own people, let alone Jews."

Arfa believes the time has come for Israeli Jews, particularly settlers, to speak their mind. "Jews are especially concerned with how they are perceived and being politically correct," she says. "I think what many people need to get over is the fear of what other people think."

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