Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Yitzhak Shamir, Israel’s 7th Prime Minister, Passed Away At The Age of 96

July 1, 2012

Yesterday, On June 30th 2012, Israel’s 7th Prime Minister (as well as former Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Knesset Chairman and many more titles) passed away at the of 96. His name was Itzhak Shamir, and he served as Israel’s Prime Minister during the 1980’s for 7 years.

Shamir wasn’t his original last name. He changed his surname, after using it as an alias while hiding from British authorities during the times of the British Mandate (due to his part in “Jewish resistance” movement against British forces, when in the 1940s, Britain attempted to go back on past declarations and agreements, by giving the Arab community all of the land, in hopes of having the Arab and Muslim world and nations on their side during World War II).

In the 1970s, Shamir joined the Israeli political game, and joined the right-wind Likud party.

In 1977 he was appointed chairman of the Israeli parliament – the Knesset.

In 1979, he was appointed the Foreign Relations Minister.

Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's 7th Prime MInister (October 15th 1915- June 30th 2012)

Yitzhak Shamir, Israel’s 7th Prime MInister (1915-2012)

After Israel’s Prime Minister, Menachem Begin (who signed Israel’s first-ever peace-treaty with an Arab nation – Egypt), announced he can no longer function as Prime Minister, Shamir won primary elections and became Israel’s 7th Prime Minister.

In the 1984 elections, Shamir and current-Israeli-President, Shimon Peres, who back then was chairman of the Labor party, formed a unity-government agreement, which included a “rotation” – Peres has served as Prime Minister of Israel for 2 years, while Shamir served as Minister of Foereign Relations, and they’ve reversed the roles for the second half of the government’s term (via an agreement in which Peres has resigned and suggested to the President, Haim Hertzog, that Shamir will be appointed the new Prime Minister).

During these years, Israel faced the operation against Hezbollah rockets on Israeli citizens which turned into the First Israeli-Labenese War (ending in May of 2000; 2nd Israeli-Labenese war was in summer of 2006, after Hezbollah militants crossed the international border, attacking an Israeli patrol and kidnapping the bodies of two Israeli reserved-forces soldiers).

In addition, an economical crisis and a resession were threatening the world, and Israel as well. And various attempts for some kind of negotiations with the Palestinians were made, as well as with the Arab nations. None came to fruition.

The unity government has also conducted one of Israel’s largest and deadliest prisoner swap deals – exchanging 1,150 terrorists for 3 soldiers.

In addition, the unity government formed diplomatic relations with Marocco.

At the end of the term, the first Palestinian intifada broke, bringing with it many years of terror and bloodshed. During that time, there was a dispute as to who is representing the Palestinians and with who can Israel negotiate. It was decided that the Palestinians shall hold elections, which never took place, and in later years Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (who was Minister of Defense in the unity government) would sign the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Fatah fraction (who holds control of the PLO – supposedly the representative organization, formed in 1964).

After the 1988 elections, Shamir was re-elected as Prime Minister and formed another unity government, without a rotation this time. However, the unity didn’t last the term, after frictions caused Labor chairman Shimon Peres to vote with the opposition on a “No Confidence” Vote. However, Peres himself failed at forming a government of his own and Shamir managed to form a different coalition, ending 4 years of term and a total of 7 years as Prime Minister.

In 1992, he was outvoted and Itzhak Rabin (who served as Minister of Defense in both governments) was elected as Prime Minister, many due to his military background as Shamir was percieved as unable to stop the Palestinian terror from the intifada.

In addition to his actions in public service, Shamir also took part in attempting to allow Jewish people from the Soviet Union to immigrate to Israel, and after the fall of the Berlin wall, his government attempted to take in many immigrants from Russia. He also took part in the operation to bring Jews from Ethiopia to Israel.

Shamir was Israel’s Prime Minister during The Gulf War and has implemented the “restriant policy” in which Israel did not respond to Saddam Hussain firing rockets at it, in an attempt to have Israel join the battles and the Arab nations withdraw. This opened a window of opportunity for talks between Israel and the Arab world, and with American pressure came to be in a conference in Madrid, which didn’t lead to great peace but is considered a small window which allowed for the Oslo Accords and Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan (in Yitzhak Rabin’s government).

Yitzhak Shamir: October 15th, 1915 – June 30th 2012. May he rest in peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Forms Unity Government, Reminds me of the Non-Unity of the Palestinians

May 8, 2012

Israel has been buzzing the past few weeks with the speculations regarding the intent to disperse the current Israeli Knesset and hold early elections in the coming September (rather than allowing the Knesset and government to stay in tact for one more year, bringing its’ term to a total of four years). Since Sunday, it was official and a bill to for dispersing the Knesset was in motion, as well as several “no confidence” votes, which weren’t successful.

Then, late into last night, the elections which seemed so close (set for September 4th), now seem much further away, maybe even in their scheduled date of October 2013.

Israeli leading government party, Likud, has formed a unity government with the leading opposition party, Kadima. Together, they hold 55 of the total 120 seats of the Knesset. Kadima has joined the current Israeli coalition (in power since the 2009 elections), making it the widest coalition Israel has ever had.

The chairwoman of the Labor party, Shelly Yachimovich, is expected to be nominated the new opposition leader, now that she’s the chairwoman of the biggest opposition party (after Kadima’s entrance to the government).

The unity was formed with several key issues in store, and whether or not it will hold remains to be seen.

Israeli unity government - Netanyahu and Mofaz

Israeli prime minister and Likud party chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu, [left] and former Israeli opposition leader and Kadima party chairman [and now Vice Prime Minister], Shaul Mofaz, [right] at a press conference declaring their coalition agreement, today at noon.

Why am I even writing a post about this and why should you care?

Because Israel is in focus in worldview on two issues: Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And while some speculate what this may mean regarding Israel’s stance over Iran’s nuclear program, and will this spark new negotiations with the Palestinians (the Palestinians themselves seem very unimpressed. Kadima was the ruling party in government before this current government and has conducted the offensive in Gaza. Its’ former chairman, Ehud Olmert, made the Palestinians the most advance offers ever made by Israel in order to reach peace!).

Shelly Yachimovich, Labor party chairwoman

Labor party chairwoman, Shelly Yachimovich, is expected to be nominated the new opposition leader.

I want to focus on the second – the Palestinian issue. And on their own so-called Unity.

You see, it just so happens to be that not only are we in May, but that last May (of 2011), the Palestinian factions of Fatah (in control over the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank) and Hamas (controling the Gaza Strip since a violent and bloody coup in Summer of 2007), have stood together in Cairo, and later in Doha, and announced they’re putting their “differences” aside, neverminding the fact Hamas was gunning down and punishing by amputations and torture any Fatah member in the Gaza Strip. They announced a unity.

Well, we’re one year past it and no unity in sight.

  1. They were supposed to make mutual releases of prisoners. Barely happened. All they can agree upon is that Israel should release all Palestinian prisoners (including the “heros” involved in terror and murders). Nothing about the prisoners they each have of the other faction.
  2. Elections – what elections? The so-called “democracy” of the Palestinians (as PA President Mahmoud Abbas described it in his op-ed article in The New York Times on May 16th, 2011) hasn’t held elections since 2006. The unity was supposed to bring forth elections in September of 2011 – did not happen. Moreover, since the last round of election were unaccepted in full by both large parties and led to the violent coup, who’s to say even if such elections were held they would succeed?
  3. Hamas was supposed to join the PLO, a supposed body formed in early 1960s in Jordan, to represent all Palestinians (this is the body officialy holding a seat in UNESCO and the UN, although it’s the Fatah and PA that de-facto controls it). It did not happen (which is good, the PLO recieves international recognition while Hamas refuses to follow basic international demands made by the Quartet).

And the list can go on. It seems the only thing the Palestinian factions can agree upon is hating Israel and de-legitimizing it. Each in their own way, of course.

But what do you except? Since Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said in December (in order to enter the PLO) that Hamas will abandon it’s ways of terror, over 300 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel. Now true, Hamas wasn’t the one shooting these rockets at Israeli citizens. It was the other 15 terror organizations in Gaza, being armed daily by the Ayatollah regime in Iran. But, and this is a huge but, Hamas made sure to not enforce its’ governace it so claims to have and did nothing to stop these shootings, until Egypt intervened to broker a truce.

Now there’s a lot of reasons why the Palestinians won’t hold any negotiations with Israel regarding peace and ending the conflict (even after this unity government). The non-unity of Hamas is just one of them.

But here’s a key issue –

If Israel’s unity government will fail, Israel will hold fair, honest and open elections as it has done in the past 64 years. Even if the unity will succeed, Israel will hold elections in due time as set by law.

If the Palestinian unity will fail, elections can never be held. The de-facto situation of two states with two people (West Bank and Gaza) will remain. Even if elections could be held, the prior ones clearly show no party is really truly obligated to honor the results. Each faction interpreted the results as was most convient and thus a violent coup, a bloody tear, ensued.

There are many reasons why this conflict continues to exist. Israel is the not the sole, nor necessarily the main, reason!!

Memorial Day For the Fallen Soldiers and The Victims of Terror

April 25, 2012
I’ll start with a confession. I had a really hard time deciding if I should write this post. Due to the emotional state I’m in on Memorial Day, and due to the fact that I fear I’d make some horrible cynical use of it, which is not my intention. But since this the medium I chose for myself almost a year ago, here it goes.

Tonight and tomorrow, just before the celebrations of Israel’s 64th Independance day, Israel mentions Memorial Day. Now, I don’t really know how it goes in many other countries, but for me, here, in Israel, is a day words cannot describe. 24 hours in which life nearly stops still. Whrere politics takes a nap. Where TV shuts off its’ regular programming and commercials are nowhere to be seen or heard. Where families visit graves. Where many ceremonies are held. Where sad songs of loss and death and pain are heard on all radio stations.

2 sirens echo during that day in Israel. Tonight for one minute, and tomorrow morning for two minutes.

Israel’s Memorial Day was initially called “The Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers”. In 1998, it was also decieded to officialy honor within the same capacity, victims of terror attacks (the first terror attack dated on March 17th, 1953. The last one – last night [one injured;]). Thus, today it is called “The Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and The Victims of Terror”. As of tonight, the number of people honored by this day are 22,993.

The day honors eveyone: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Russains, Ethiopians, Religious, Secular, Druze, Beduion and more of the Israeli soceity tapestry.

In this day I constantly hear two main issues rising – the memory of the fallen with the pain of loss, and the burning desire for peace, for the end of war and bloodshed. For the number to stop rising. It echoes in the President’s speech. The Prime Minister’s voice. The Cheif of Staff’s tone. They may change throughout the years, the desire never does.

When I was little, the Camp David negotiations were taking place. I remember everyone being hopeful, so hopeful, wishing that finally some peace will come. That the army would be dismantled. The following year, of course, saw the begining of the worst round of violence and blood shed ever. And yet here we are, over a decade past it, with new changes and uprisings all around us threatening even the peace treaty with Egypt, and though many may have lost faith in the other side and in the chance for peace, the majority still holds onto the want. To the need of peace. And it echoes in this day, with everyone you talk to, so loudly.

One of my favorite poems, taught in high school Literature class, is frequently mentioned in this day. A poem by Shaul Tchernichovsky, framed simply by the phrase [roughly translated: ] “You see, O Earth, how very wasteful we’ve been“. A poem written during The Arab Revolt of 1936, crying for the loss of life, cursing the earth for accepting so many bodies into it and still at the same time producing life in the form of plants.

And today. On this day. There’s something about it, and about the two main issues rising and echoing, that makes me really glad to be living here. On this side of the map. On this little next-to-nothing-yet-full-of-something piece of land. True, the conflicts go on. Wars never really end. The 126 casualties of the past year would not be the last. But taking the time, to hear the families’ stories over the news and ceremonies, to remember, to honor, to stand still and not allow life to completely go by… honestly, I hoped when i started writing that if I just keep going I’ll find the words to describe it. I didn’t.

So with the false hope that wars will end, and conflicts will be resolved, and blood won’t be shed anymore, I bid you good night.

Related Posts:

Click here for a short account of Israel’s many wars

Israel’s Attorney General Not To Press Charges Against Israelis Taking Part in Marmara Flotilla

December 26, 2011

Here’s another fine example as to why Israel is a democracy (Being under constant attack, this for some reason is a point that needs constant proof and validation, while other democracies around the world, whose actions can certainly be more than just questioned, do not face this kind of de-legitimacy to their democracy) –

Israel’s Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, decieded after about 18 months of deliberations and contemplations, to close the cases and not press charges against all Israeli citizens that took part in the infamous May 2009 Mavi Marmara flotilla, including one Israeli-Arab Knesset Member, Hanin Zoabi.

In May of 2009, a flotilla of six ships and boats made it’s way from several ports in Europe towards Gaza, in an open declared attempt to breach Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip (imposed on January 3rd 2009 in order to intercept all ships trying to reach Gaza, after Hamas’ rockets arsenal [that he continued to fire towards Israel] grew, and several Iranian ships were intercepted with weapons on them hiding behind a slim amount of pseudo-humanatarian aid). When the flotilla ships were unwilling to have their ships checked in either an Israeli or an Egyptain port and have the humanatarian supplies aboard sent through the land-crossings, Israeli commandos were sent to impose the blockade as the ships were nearing Gaza’s territorial water, and found a violent resistance by a relatively small (but dangerous) group of passengers. In an armed battle that ensues, nine of these violent passangers were killed and about 10 Israeli soldiers were severely wounded. The ships and the passengers were directed to an Israeli port where they were arrested, but 24 hours later the Attorney General decieded to deport foreign passengers rather than keep them locked in Israeli prisoners for the duration of such investigation. As a result, all charges were dropped against all foreign passengers.

The Israeli passengers however were still in question. It should be noted that they were never suspected of attacking the soldiers, but their involvement in an attempt to breach the blockade imposed by Israel, as well as take part in this kind of activity organized by the IHH, at the time already outlawed and declared a terror-associated organization for over a year, was under investigation.

Where some countries in our world (and let’s be honest – some of the more powerful countries) might simply arrest, shoot or who-knows-what-else, it took Israel’s Attorney General and Justice Ministery 18 months to decide if there are real merits and basis to press charges. Last Thursday, the Justice Ministery released a statement saying that “After examining the overall evidence in the case and the legal issues pertaining to the matter, the attorney general has decided to close the case as result of significant evidentiary and legal difficulties.”

None of this, of course, comes to serve as any excuse or justification for this provacative political (none-humanitarian) flotilla, that like all others should have ended peacefully. The charges un-pressed have nothing to do with that, but with other matters as stated above, including the difficulty today to prove there was criminal intent when so many other activists were released (for completely other reasons, but the courts tie one with the other), and due to fact that the supposed illegal association was done soley abroad and proves a difficulty to impose Israeli’s law system on such actions.

To be honest, I think most of the public in Israel has forgetting that is even a question – 18 months is a long time.

Congratulations to Israeli Scientist Dan Shechtman for his Chemistry Nobel Prize!

October 5, 2011

Israeli scientist, Dan Schechtman, was announced today in Stockholm as the Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemisty in 2011. Congraultions!

Schectman, a professor in the prestige Israeli academic institue The Technion,  is awarded this Nobel Prize for his discovey of quasicrystals. In 1982, he stumbled upon crystals whose atomic form was different than that believed to be to all crystals. Though declared foolish and outcasted for his discovery and belief in its’ truthfulness, to the point were he was removed by his own collegues from a joint research, Schechtman’s adherence to his discovery was uncompromising. The exact notes he wrote and distributed allowed his experiment to be reproduced by other scientists and to finally come to the realizations that there are some crystals that exists in our world which have imprefect forms and non-repeating patterns.  This discovery was not only groundbreaking in the world of science, but has also managed to help the industry and our everyday lives and products we sometimes take for granted.

Dan Shechtman. Photographed taken by Dror Einav

Schectman is the tenth Israeli to win a Nobel Prize, in Israel’s 62 years of existence, and the forth to win the prize in the field of Chemistry. The previous Israeli awarded the Nobel prize were Avraham Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover in 2004 and Ada Yonat in 2009. They are joined by Economics Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman in 2002 and Yisrael Aumann in 2005, Literature Nobel laureates S.Y. (Shmuel Yosef) Agnon and Peace Nobel Prize laureates Menachem Begin (for the groundbreaking peace treaty between Israeli and Egypt) and Shimon Peres (Israel’s current President) and Yitzhak Rabin for their work and contribution to the signing of the Oslo Accords (signed between Israel and the Palestinians, recoginizing, establishing and funding the Palestinian Authority and declaring the wish and work towards peace between the parties).

So once more – congratulations to Professor Dan Shechtman for his discovery, work and for this very honoring award.

A response to Bill Clinton’s “Netanyahu is to blame for failure of the peace process”

September 23, 2011

I was outraged to read this morning the account former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, gave yesterday regarding the current “no process” status of the Middle East peace process (meaning, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians). In a speech to prominent bloggers as part of “Clinton Global Initiative” conference in New York, Clinton blamed the the deadlock of negotiations solely on Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. This is completely outrageous. I have already stated, more than once, how the Palestinians contributed greatly to the fact that there haven’t been much peace talks in the past two years. Moreover, I’ve given my account to how the Obama administration unintentionally drove the parties away from the negotiations table and helped progress the Palestinian unilateral move.

In responding to Clinton’s bizarre claims, I am not advocating for Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself but I am advocating for Israel as a whole. Blaming Netanyahu, and in such a way, for the  moratorium of the peace process is basically blaming Israel for it alone. That is completely false!

Bill Clinton has said: “Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question — and the Netanyahu government has said — that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank.”

I must agree, actually. This is the finest Palestinian government and partner Israel has ever had. In the West Bank. While rockets are still being fired from Gaza and an entity named Hamas controls the strip and forces its’ 1.5 millions to live in a constant state of war against Israel, the Palestinian government residing in the West Bank is the most moderate one ever in power. However, the keyword here is “most”. This is only spoken about in relativity.

What can also be said about the Palestinian government of the West Bank:

  1. They are building a country honoring terror. Despite U.S. and European Union requests that they would stop naming streets and squared after terrorists who have taken part in killing dozens of innocent Israeli men, women and children, the Palestinians have continued to do so. No public condemnation, if any, not one to speak of. When the Palestinians refused Joe Biden demand that they would not name the square outside their government building after terrorists Dlal Mugrabi (responsible for the death of over 30 Israelis, among them 12 children), the world was completely silent. As recent as last March, the Palestinians refused to refer to the Fogel family murder as inhumane when talking to the Palestinian people. Outside of Western media, they only iterated “terror is an helpful to our cause today.”
  2. Palestinian Authority Abbas has written a complete distortion (one could even say lies) of history in an op-ed article on May 17th (published in The New York Times). The tone he used, as well as the fabricated story he told, show once more than the Palestinians refuse to accept that this conflict is made of two sides who make mistakes throughout the years and have shown clearly he is unable to make concessions on key issues – maybe the most important concession he is not willing to make is regarding the fictitious Right of Return.
  3. The events of last May 15th, the Nakba day (today used to distort and incite against Israel rather than to truly commiserate over a tragedy), and the aforementioned article written a few days after it, are another example of that. Four weeks ago in a visit to Lebanon, Abbas has promised Palestinian refugees (most of them descendants of refugees but are awarded the title – only the Palestinians offspring receive refugee status from the UN) they will go back home. He is not referring to the future Palestinian state, but is in fact perpetuating the fictional claim to one day return and flood the state of Israel with thousands of refugees. He is referring to people who were born in refugee camps or have been living there for over 60 years, without getting a single right from the regime they are under (in this instance Lebanon, but much more acute is the refugees on Syrian territory) and all he has to say is that their situation won’t change until they will get the chance to live one day.. not in a Palestinian state. But in Israel. This is of course unacceptable to Israel, nor should it be. But Abbas continues, to this day, to make that promise in stead of speaking the truth: “This is unrealistic. “We should be working towards our own country, not to demographically destroy another”.
  4. The current Palestinians government has no control whatsoever over Gaza or its’ people. The farcical unity between sworn enemies, Fatah and Hamas, is futile and only becomes more ridiculous as the days go by. No government to speak of, no real elections on the horizon. Nothing to make this unity more than a piece of paper signed in Cairo. Yet with Abbas unable to represent Gaza, or ensure that a peace treaty and security would be enforced to Israel’s citizens who are still, to this day, living with the barrage of rockets fired upon them,  Clintons only faults Netanyahu and by proxy Israel.
  5. The past two years the Palestinians have made it clear – this is not about a negotiations for peace, this is about negotiations  for the purpose of negotiating peace. The hoax of the settlement freeze is only one of the examples to how they’ve been avoiding negotiations which would force them to make concessions. Painful ones. Concession they are unwilling to make. Concession they must make in order to achieve peace. But instead, they’ve been going around the world, screaming and crying over the oppression and mistreatment. Yet when the entire world (seriously, the ENTIRE world) work to get them out of said miserable situation, they put up demands. They have conditions to how their oppression will end. Until these demands will end, they will continue with the status-quo. In fact, not only in the unilateral move won’t change anything in the short-run, in the past two years, the Palestinian leadership has done nothing to actually get its’ people out of the “Israeli oppression”. By the way, all the while ignoring the oppression of Hamas in Gaza who imposes a strict dictatorship and an extreme Islam law on its’ citizens.
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Turkey will counterterrorism?

September 22, 2011

Two days ago, On Tuesday September the 20th, a terror attack hit the Turkish capital of Ankara. Dozens were injured, at least three were killed. This is another attack in a long line of terror attacks against Turkey, supposedly (no real confirmation as of yet) by the PKK – a Kurdish terror organization, fighting violently for an independent state over territories belonging to Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Later that same day, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan met with United States President Barrack Obama. In their joint press statements, they both addressed and condemned the attack. Obama went as far as talking about Turkey one of the main players in the fight against terrorism. “This reminds us that terrorism exists in many parts of the world, and Turkey and the United States are going to be strong partners in preventing terrorism.” Really? Turkey?

Don’t get me wrong – this attack, as does any terror and violent attack should be and is condemned on the strongest of terms. The loss of life, especially in such as cowardly despicable way, is always tragic. But when it comes to battling terrorism, Turkey has always been interested in battling those fighting her and her alone. The recent tensions between Israel and Turkey, brought forth by the publication of The Palmer Report and a desire to use the bashing of Israel as the common denominator in the middle east, are only the recent examples of how Turkey under Erdogan’s rule constantly supports not only terrorism aimed at Israel, but terror in general.

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Israel forms relations with the newly formed South Sudan

August 31, 2011

On July 9th, 2011, and after years of bloodshed and horrible events (some of which are being investigated by the International court in Hague, some of which aren’t and doubtfully ever will be), South Sudan declared independence and became the 193rd member of the United Nations. This was done at the end of a joint process with Sudan (now more commonly referred to as “North Sudan”) and after referendum agreed upon by both sides – 99% voted for the independent  state of South Sudan!

Even tough, the London-based Arabic paper, Al Sharq Al Aswat, reported on December 30th 1010, that in a meeting between South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and Arab League cheif, Amr Moussa, Kiir promised Moussa that if a south Sudan country would be formed it will not have any relations with Israel, Israel and South Sudan formed diplomatic relations in on July 28th, 2011.

Yesterday, a first delegation from Israel visited South Sudan and met with Kiir. Kiir, embracing the Israeli delegation and country, and has talked warmly of the relations between the countries and referred to Israel as “our big brother”. Several Israeli companies are already in process to enter the new country and help grow its’ economy (currently very poor). For instance, Meir Greiver formed the South Sudan Development Company Ltd.

Kiir has also mentioned that Hamas urged him to not form ties with Israel, which he declined. He has also made it public that his country will soon open an Embassy in Israel.

Israel is currently the host of thousands of refugees (a.k.a asylum-seekers) from South Sudan. The South Sudanese have escaped the horror of the war and crossed Africa, making their way into Israel through the Israeli-Egyptian border through the Sinai Peninsula. Ever since the referendum, Israel has been quietly sending back refugees who sought to go back home (quietly because Sudan itself still does not recognize Israel or its’ sovereignty and the lives of those who escaped to Israel could have been harmed). Now that South Sudan is an independent state with close diplomatic ties with Israel, the two countries can work on getting people back to where once their lives were at stake and today are standing on their own.

Ori For Israel – Full Disclosure

August 12, 2011

Hi,

My name is Ori, I live in Israel and I have started this blog in the hopes of getting another voice out there. I’m here to make Israel’s voice heard. There it is, full disclosure. I am not hiding my agenda, on the contrary, it’s my blog’s title and I am proud of it. For years now I have seen my country getting misrepresented worldwide and having its’ side and its’ voice almost completely absent. It gotten to the point where I decided it was time to do something. This blog, should it even get read by anyone, is my first small step.

I am here to tell Israel’s side of the story through my point of view. I am doing this because at the end of each day I love my country and am concerned for it. I am not on anyone’s payroll. I am here because, as Alan Dershowitz said about his book A Case for Israel, Israel is perhaps the only country in the world who needs someone to repeatedly make its’ case for it. Sadly, looking at the world we live in, you would hope that at the very least more countries and more regimes would be under constant criticism, condemnation and de-legitimization. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

FreedomeHouse.org’s map of world freedom. Countries in purple are not free, countries in green are free and countries in yellow are somewhere in between. Though not visible (due to its’ size), Israel is a green country – a free country. You can visit freedomhouse.com and read a full report on each country.

As I am doing a full disclosure here, I will repeat that I am writing to promote Israel’s side. I am here because I love my country and I am proud of it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems, ways to go, and many issues that need to fixed and resolved. It doesn’t mean I absolutely agree with everything my government, the one I voted for and the one I didn’t, does. No country is perfect. If you think yours is, I have nothing to say to you. I am here trying to get the message across to those who are interested in at least hearing both sides of the story.

Some people choose to fight people like me in with violent ways. If you’re a terrorist (a.k.a. hacker, freedom-fighter or whatever you want to call yourself), I am probably powerless to stop you. Unlike you, I don’t wish to hurt you or make your ideas or thoughts less heard, and I don’t have a problem with listening to what other people have say, as long as it is done within the lines of reasonable free speech. If you do want to destroy my blog, just be honest with yourself and everyone else – you are not interested in peace or dialogue, for yourself or for others. You are a terrorist and a fundamentalist seeking to annihilate freedom and thought that differs from your own.

Why am I so proud of my country, despite its’ shortcomings? Here’s a small list of some of the good things in Israel (if you’re from a western country, these might seem trivial to you) –

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