Newsletter : 15fx1224.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Two Israelis Killed, One Wounded in Palestinian Knife Attack in Jerusalem
By DEBKAfile & IsraelNationalNews.com
Three Israelis were repeatedly stabbed Wednesday by two Palestinian terrorists outside
Jaffa Gate, a popular spot for tourists visiting Jerusalem's Old City. The third victim
was taken to a hospital in serious and critical condition.
Two of the three died of their wounds Ofer Ben Ari, 40, father of two from
Jerusalem and Reuven Birmacher, 45, father of seven from Kiryat Ye'arim. The third victim
is still in grave condition.
Two female border guards on duty halted the attack by rushing to the scene and shooting
the two terrorists, killing them both. One of their bullets may have accidentally caused
the second Israeli fatality. This is under investigation.
Police are investigating emerging reports that the critically injured victim was in
fact accidentally shot by security forces in the process of neutralizing the terrorists.
Doctors at Hadassah Ein Kerem say he is in life-threatening condition and they are
fighting for his life.
ZAKA volunteer paramedic Shimi Grossman, who was at the scene, described it as
particularly serious attack, describing how the two terrorists pounced upon their first
two Jewish victims at the entrance to Jaffa gate, before being neutralized by security
Israeli security authorities are redoubling precautions following information that
Palestinian terror attacks are being planned to mar the Christmas and New Year season,
especially in Jerusalem, which is the focus of Christian pilgrimage and tourism.
A campaign of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings by Palestinians in recent months
has killed 19 Israelis and a U.S. citizen. Israeli forces or armed civilians have killed
at least 118 Palestinians, most of whom authorities have described as assailants. Others
died in clashes with Israeli security forces.
Also Wednesday, Israel's Shin Bet intelligence agency said it arrested 25 Palestinians
linked to the terrorist group Hamas for planning bombings and suicide attacks against
Israelis. The agency said it uncovered a "wide terrorist infrastructure" of Hamas in the
West Bank directed from the Gaza Strip.
Officials said the terrorists operated an explosives laboratory in Abu Dis in the West
Bank and planned to carry out attacks in Israel. Most of the members were students at Abu
Dis University in East Jerusalem, including some residents of the West Bank, several
residents of East Jerusalem and one Israeli Bedouin.
The latest stabbing attack breaks a slight lull in Arab terrorism in the Israeli
capital. On Tuesday, violence continued elsewhere, with an Arab terrorist apprehended in
Hebron as she attempted to stab soldiers stationed at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The IDF Northern Command Wednesday advised farmers to postpone work in fields near the
border in case of Hizbullah attempts to abduct Israelis or target them for sniper fire.
Soldiers on duty in the border region were ordered to wear helmets and body armor. The
advisory came after three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Western Galilee shortly
after an Israeli airborne missile strike was reported to have killed the Hizbullah
terrorist Samir Quntar Sunday in Damascus.
PA Accuses Palestinian Media Watch of 'Incitement'
The Palestinian Authority has accused watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch of
"incitement against the Palestinians and the Palestinian curriculum," the group revealed
Wednesday - for PMW's work exposing the statements against Israelis and Jews in official
Last week, the head of the press office of the PA Ministry of Information, Nida Younis,
attacked PMW, telling official PA TV that PMW facilitates incitement by Israeli officials.
"The Undersecretary of the [PA] Ministry of Information, [Mahmoud Khalifa], who found it
necessary to produce a film about the Israeli incitement, especially now, when Dore Gold
(Dir.-Gen. of Israel's Foreign Ministry) has intensified, for instance, through the PMW
organization, the incitement against the Palestinians and the Palestinian curriculum,"
One day earlier, PA news agency WAFA accused PMW of being the source of incitement
against the PA, claiming that Israeli newspapers use the organization's exposure of PA
media to base reports against "against Palestinian children."
PA official media has attacked PMW three times since the terror wave began in late
September - a wave which PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' ushered in with his own incitement
against Jews and rallying cries for violence over the Temple Mount.
Various U.S. Synagogues are Funding Anti-Israel Organization
By Ronn Torossian (Commentary)
Recently, the Jewish Home party issued a statement about the extremist American Jewish
organization The New Israel Fund, noting that it had "reached a new peak of Israel-hatred
with yet another one of its organizations, which filed the motion to the High Court"
against the demolitions of terrorist homes.
The statement referred to NIF's legal work in defense of Hamas terrorists' family
members, where they successfully argued in the Supreme Court that the State of Israel
should not be able to destroy the homes of terrorists who killed Jews a deterrent
move that has proven effective in showing to potential terrorists that they should think
twice before going out in search of victims.
And while Jews worldwide largely care about their brethren in Israel, a review of the
Annual Report of the New Israel Fund reveals that nine congregations have given financial
support to the NIF. Congregants of Temple Beth El of Santa Cruz, Calif.; Tzedakah Hevra at
Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Mass.; Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun in Wisconsin;
Kehila Chadasha of Bethesda, Md.; Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia; Temple Beth Avodah of
Newton Center, Mass.; Temple Shalom of Newton, Mass.; Congregation Emanu-El in San
Francisco; and Temple Israel in White Plains, N.Y..
At Temple Israel Center of White Plains, one of the largest conservative synagogues in
America, Phil Jacobs, a long-term member and donor to the synagogue took offense to
learning that his shul had donated money to NIF which openly supports a boycott of
the State of Israel.
Jacobs shared facts about NIF in a letter to the rabbi and the board and then asked:
"..knowing what you now know about NIF does the Board judge it to be a worthy recipient?
Worthy, in spite of supporting Israel boycott, in spite of having been called a threat to
IDF by deputy Knesset speaker, in spite of supporting teaching founding of Israel to be a
"catastrophe", in spite of 20 instances of bad behavior? Several members to whom I
mentioned the allegations have said that if true, they warrant firing Tucker."
He continued, "This giving of temple money to NIF should never have happened without
the explicit permission of all temple members, because so many members would find this so
offensive, if they knew the truth about the NIF. I am sure you and the Trustees will be
appalled by their behavior, after reading this letter. In part because there was no Jewish
state, 70 years ago 6 million of our brothers and sisters were murdered because they were
Jews. 1 million precious beautiful Jewish children were murdered."
"Now that we have a Jewish state, isn't our job to do everything possible to support
it, rather than supporting NGOs the behavior of which so many consider to be so inimical
to the security of Israel? Do we really want to give our money to a group that supports
teaching that the founding of our beloved Jewish homeland was a 'nakba', a
In its reply, Temple Israel has made it clear. One must not question Rabbi Tucker's
"unwavering support of the State of Israel", although it seems to mean that not dividing
Jerusalem is occupying Palestinian land, the IDF must stop oppressing Palestinian Arabs,
and there must be a boycott of Israel for the sake of "tikkun olam."
And I wish to give a clear response right here. There is no justification for the
pulpit Rabbi of a synagogue to support an organization that openly boycotts Israel, and
stands with the family members of Hamas terrorists. Shame on Temple Israel of White
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
Bezeq Launches Digital Book Initiative
In a first for Israel, Bezeq telephone customers will, starting Sunday, be able to
enter the company's Bcloud cross-platform cloud service, register for the digital library,
and download thousands of digital books from the Evrit application's archive. The service
will be available for a year free of charge for anyone who registers by January 17.
Evrit was the first and largest digital book venture in Israel. Its catalog contains
thousands of Israeli and translated works, including bestsellers and new releases, as well
as many other genres.
Ahead of the service's launch, Bezeq and research institute TNS conducted a study of
reading habits in Israel. The study showed that despite the population being highly aware
of digital books' existence, they still lag behind print book sales. Thirty-five percent
said they read or would like to read digital books, and a majority of 80% acknowledged
that purchasing a digital book is less expensive than a print book.
The average Israeli reads 12.2 books a year, the study found, with 49.6% of Israelis
preferring to read in bed and 59.3% reading on the weekend. The vast majority of
respondents 78.9% said they prefer print books, while 2.5% read only digital
books and 18.6% read both. Of those who prefer digital books, 34% cited the portability
and convenience, 28% said it was more comfortable, 11.5% to digital devices' compact size,
and 10.7% noted the lower prices of digital books.
Despite the clear preference for print, respondents also showed an interest in digital
books. Asked how likely they were to use an application offering a very wide range of
books for free and without a limit on the number of books, 52.2% of respondents said they
were certain or thought they would use it.
The survey also showed that those who read digital books do so on various devices
42.2%t use a tablet/iPad, 35.8% use their desktop computer, 26.5% use a laptop,
24.5% use a smartphone, and 10.9% use Amazon's Kindle device. (The total is higher than
100% because respondents could choose more than one answer.)
Have You Met My New College Roommate? She's 83
For every student out there struggling with the high cost of apartment rentals, there's
an elderly person eager for some company. A new Israeli program is trying to kill two
birds with one stone by matching up cash-strapped students with lonely pensioners.
Here's how it works: In exchange for spending a minimum number of hours a week engaging
with a senior citizen, student participants in the program benefit from virtually
rent-free housing at the home of their assigned host and a scholarship that covers a hefty
chunk of their tuition costs.
The program, a pilot of which was launched last year, is a joint venture between the
government and the National Union of Israeli Students. Building on its success in the
first trial year, "Kan Garim" ("Here We Live" in Hebrew), as it is known, has more than
doubled participation rates in the recently kicked-off academic year.
"It makes financial sense, and at the same time gives me an opportunity to do something
to better society," says 23-year-old Maayan Pinto, who last month moved in with
83-year-old Victoria Motai in the northern town of Safed.
Like other elderly participants in the program, Motai had a spare room in her home that
wasn't being used and was feeling lonely. Pinto, for her part, was trying to save money on
housing after living in the dorms during her first year as a nursing student in town. "I
much prefer this arrangement," she said. "We prepare meals and watch TV together, and it's
much nicer for me than being alone in a room."
Under the rules of the program, students must commit to spending a minimum of four
hours a week with their hosts, and in return, pay just a minimal fee of 250 shekels ($65)
a month toward rent and expenses a bare fraction of what a shared apartment in the
city would cost. In addition, they receive 8,000 shekels ($2,000) a year toward tuition.
(Tuition at most Israeli universities is about 12,000 shekels, or $3,000, a year). Only
pensioners who have a spare room in their home and are able to care for themselves
independently are eligible for the program.
Last year, 200 students and pensioners participated in "Kan Garim," and this year, more
than 400 have signed up the majority at colleges and universities located in the
center of the country. Funding is provided by the Ministry of Housing and the newly
created Ministry of Social Equality, while the student union vets participants and matches
up eligible students with seniors.
Students decide on their own how they want to spend their time with their hosts. Last
year, Vahab relays, one student helped transcribe the recollections of the Holocaust
survivor who was hosting her. Another student made a point of accompanying his host every
week to Shabbat services at the local synagogue. Yet another student took on the task of
navigating the infamous Israeli bureaucracy for her host, helping her save significant
sums on telephone and other utility bills in the process.
Maya Li, a 23-year-old student who lived with Motai last year recounts that she and her
host spent many memorable hours together sharing meals and chatting. "We would often watch
television together as well, and because she's a bit hard of hearing, it was an
opportunity for me to explain things to her that she couldn't understand otherwise."
According to Gil Naveh, spokesman of the student union, about one-third of the
participants from last year are continuing with the program this year. "Thus far, the
feedback has been very positive. Many senior citizens have resumed activities they had
given up on for whatever reason, and the students report not only a sense of emotional
gratification but also a great sense of relief from not having so much financial strain on
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)