Israel Briefs 1-31-12

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Palestinians call children ‘fertilizer’ to saturate land with blood

A Palestinian Authority TV broadcast this week featured a Fatah celebration during which the following message was conveyed: “Our children are our glory and honor, they were created to be fertilizer for the land of Palestine, and for our pure land to be saturated with their blood.”

The celebration from the “refugee” camp in Lebanon follows a similar celebration in Ramallah earlier this month, according to Palestinian Media Watch. At that event, young children performed a song that included “My pure land, I shall saturate you with my blood... redeem you with my life.”

—JointMedia News Service 

Israel leads the world in cyber-readiness against hack attacks

Israel leads the globe in cyber-readiness, a new study reveals -- news that will no doubt be welcome as the Jewish state continues to come under cyberattacks from Arab and pro-Palestinian hackers around the world.

According to the Global Cyber Defense Report by McAfee and Security & Defense Agenda, which was unveiled on Monday, Israel ties with Finland and Sweden in leading those nations with their defenses ready against potential hacking attacks.

McAfee analysts employed a five-point scale for ranking each nation’s readiness for attack, and no country received a perfect score. Israel, Finland and Sweden each scored four and half points based on the analysts’ subjective perceptions of their readiness to handle all varieties of attacks and threats.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Israel seeks to build alternative trade route to Suez Canal

Click photo to download. Caption: Port Said and the entrance to the Suez Canal. Credit: PD.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the government wants to build a railway line linking its Red Sea and Mediterranean ports that would function as a backup in the event of an overflow from the Suez Canal on the freight route between Asia and Europe, Reuters reported.

“There is going to be a lot of pressure on the Suez, and the idea here is to find an insurance should the canal not be able to deal with the volume,” an Israeli official said. “Going through Suez costs a lot of money” and global traders would be highly interested in alternative routes, added Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.

Since Israel’s economy is heavily dependent on exports, the government is fearful of any interruption in supplies. If the project receives funding and approval, the railway would be 350 km (220 miles) long and would last from Eilat to Ashdod.

—JointMedia News Service

Netanyahu: Jordan Valley crucial for Israel’s security

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that no agreement with the Palestinians will pass muster without Israel’s continuous presence in the Jordan Valley, Israel National News reported. The statement came in the wake of rumors that the Israeli government is considering relinquishing sovereignty over the region in exchange for a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu’s office said the original report, published in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv, is “a tendentious and distorted leak from the content of talks whose success depends on the discreetness that both sides committed to.”

Spokesman Mark Regev said, “The Prime Minister has said many times that an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley is a necessity. That has not changed.” Israeli presence in the region is also a security issue, and “security is not negotiable,” he added.

—JointMedia News Service

Palestinian TV glorifies murderer of Fogel family

Click photo to download. Caption: Benny Gantz meets with the children of the Fogel family, whose parents and three siblings were murdered by Palestinians. Credit: IDF Spokesperson.Recent Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts showered one of the men who murdered members of the Israeli Fogel family with praises, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

On For You—a weekly program dedicated to Palestinians in Israeli prisons—the aunt of murderer Hakim Awad calls him “the hero, the legend.” Hakim’s mother, who blessed her “dear son,” lamented being unable to visit him in prison for security reasons.

In March 2011, the Palestinian terrorists killed five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, including parents Ehud and Ruth and three children. Hakim, convicted along with his cousin Amjad, was recently handed five life sentences.

The host of the PA TV program conveyed the station’s “greetings” to the murderers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded immediate condemnation of the program. "They murdered small children and their parents, and were portrayed as heroes and saints during an official Palestinian television broadcast," he said of Hakim and Amjad. "The only way to move toward peace is to prepare our peoples for peace, not vicious terror."

—JointMedia News Service

Report: American Jews arrested for trying to pray at Joseph’s Tomb

Click photo to download. Caption: Joseph's Tomb. Credit: PD.Four religious Jews from the U.S. were arrested last week for seeking to pray at Joseph’s Tomb, Israel National News reported.

The Americans were taken into custody before reaching the gravesite for the “violation of international law,” one of their friends said. The arrest comes amid efforts to secure access to Joseph’s Tomb for Jews.

“This arrest shows the irony of the false claims that Israel is apartheid,” said David Ha’ivri of the Shomron Liaison Office. “While Arabs have free access to all areas in Israel, Jewish people are denied access to holy places that are in PA areas administrated by the PLO.”

—JointMedia News Service

1,000 Israelis branded anti-Israel by watchdog groups

Three Israeli organizations—Im Tirtzu, IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor—have called more than 1,000 Israelis anti-Israel. Primarily faculty members, but also authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and cabinet ministers, appear on the list.

One of the names included in the list is political scientist Prof. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. According to Haaretz, Gordon told the Israeli newspaper, “There is a real concern for the future of Israeli democracy and about McCarthyism against anyone who criticizes the government’s policies in the occupied territories or social aspects.”

However, group representatives disagree. Israel Academia Monitor said in a statement that its role “is to protect the universities from political forces, and especially from the extreme left, that exploit the institutions for its needs.”

—JointMedia News Service

PLO refuses to negotiate with Israel

The PLO has blamed Israel for the failure of negotiations after refusing to continue meeting with Israeli officials more than five times in Amman, Jordan, the Israel National News reported.

The Amman talks were a proposal by the Quartet of Middle East mediators—the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations—with the aim of reaching a peace deal by the end of this year. Both former PLO negotiator Nabil Shaath and President Mahmoud Abbas said the 21-point proposal presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was amateurish, lacked detail and was essentially worthless.

Netanyahu has said he will negotiate with the Palestinians without preconditions from either side “anytime, anywhere.” Just last month, PLO officials said they’re no longer interested in reaching an agreement and instead will pursue “a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance.”

—JointMedia News Service

Mufti remarks continue to draw ire

Palestinian Mufti Mohammed Hussein’s speech calling for the murder of Jews at a major Fatah celebration has drawn severe criticism. Among other things said at the event, the Mufti exclaimed, “Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

The Mufti claimed this was merely a citation from an Islamic source [the Koran] that is not relevant to modern life.

Netanyahu said, “The Palestinian Authority has neither condemned nor taken exception to the remarks, [but rather] enabled them to be broadcast on official Palestinian television. I expect senior PA officials to condemn this act.” British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt also called the remarks “anti-Semitism, pure and simple.”

Netanyahu has called for an investigation into the Mufti’s remarks.  PA Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah Law, Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is, said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to investigate the Mufti is “an insult to Muslims, an escalation of Israeli measures against our people.”

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on January 30, 2012 and filed under Briefs, Israel.