PACKERS CORNER: Gaza Situation is Intolerable

With all the fake news in America right now about the family separating thing, its a good time to take a break and read about current events in Israel!
Two nights ago, 45 projectiles were shot from Hamas-controlled Gaza at Israel. The Iron Dome rocked the house and no one was injured. However, clearly an intolerable situation. Alot of warnings coming from Israeli leaders about the threat of escalation and possible Israeli attempt to end the Hamas rule in Gaza once and for all. Keep in mind, the burning kites keep coming as well and setting fires causing widespread damage. Situation not at all sustainable. All logic/good judgement would lead Hamas to quickly deescalate the situation – probably won’t happen. On the Israeli side of things, every time the Government considers/threatens to disrupt the Yeshiva students and their studies with threats of drafting them to the army, there is a war. So let’s hope they back off…and soon.
This week also saw the demolition of Jewish houses and property in Kfar Tapuach Maarav (West Tapuach). Situation contains many “legal” similarities to the recent very unfortunate destruction in Netiv Ha-Avot in the Gush Etzion region, south of Jerusalem – Supreme Court ruling, no actual arab owners of the land, houses destroyed and the (VERY IMPORTANTLY!!) area now being developed LEGALLY into a large and thriving Jewish community and a serious strengthening of the Jewish Presence in the area. Surveys conducted as a result of the lawsuit from left-wing agitators have determined enough state land for the potential construction of thousands of residential units.
Unlike Netiv Ha-Avot, West Tapuach is fantastically strategic for both the State of Israel and particularly for the “settlement enterprise”. It physically connects the city of Ariel (with its University) to the community of Kfar Tapuach and the crucial Tapuach traffic junction. Without control of the junction, the fledgling Jewish communities to the north (Itamar, Elon Moreh, Har Bracha) and east (Migdalim) would be cut off from the rest of the country and most likely be unsustainable.
In short, as in Netiv Ha-Avot, despite very sad and unnecessary scenes, the future in West Tapuach is quite bright.
Finally, some decisions were handed down by an Israeli court this week about the use of torture to extract confessions. The case involved the firebombing killing of an arab family in the village of Duma almost 3 years ago. Two Jewish suspects are accused of participating – one adult actively and a minor supposedly involved in the planning. They have been held in jail for years and repeatedly tortured. Both have subsequently confessed to involvement. In Israel, the rule is that confessions obtained through torture are not admissible in court. However, when religious Jews are accused and arabs are the victims, that rule doesn’t apply, apparently. So the court ruled that the minor’s confessions will be tossed, but the adults will be used against him. There can’t be a soul in the world who thinks this is actually a form of justice, but everyone has their own political agenda, so no real surprises here. The trial is upcoming. As of now, there doesn’t appear to be any other evidence linking the suspects to the crime. Bizarre? If you think so, you are clearly not paying attention. There’s much more reason to doubt the case against the defendants, but suffice it to say – its quite weak.
Before the houses in Netiv Ha-Avot were destroyed and the same for Amona and now West Tapuach, the “right-wing” government claimed that they were obligated to adhere to the rulings of the Supreme Court and there was no way around it. This week, Prime Minister Netanyahu indefinitely pushed off the the destruction of 2 illegal arab encampments that HAVE BEEN ORDERED BY THE SUPREME COURT!!! So…..yeah.
The reason given for the delay is the scheduled arrival of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt later this week to push their peace plan. This is most likely why no building in Jerusalem has been announced either. Let’s wait and see what happens after they leave.

Israel Keeps Excelling

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Sunday, 25 February 2018), at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, made the following remarks:

“Over the weekend we learned that President Trump has decided to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, on this coming Independence Day. This is a great moment for the citizens of Israel and this is an historic moment for the State of Israel. We will celebrate it together, all citizens of Israel. This will have significant and historic long-range implications. On behalf of the entire government and people, I would like to thank President Trump for both his leadership and his friendship. President Trump, you are a great friend of the State of Israel and we all thank you.

Today, the Cabinet will approve a budget for the Netiv Ha’avot outline. The residents of Netiv Ha’avot have been waiting for a long time for this. I would like to thank my colleague, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, for the joint work, especially with two people, chief-of-staff Yoav Horowitz and Ronen Peretz from my office, they did outstanding work on both this matter and placing the first homes in the community of Amichai last week – this is a double blessing.

Today the Cabinet will be briefed on the ministries’ working plan for 2018. This work by the ministries is characterized by great budgetary certainty because we passed a biannual budget. The working plan includes very many areas, but here is the main thing I think – our effort to reduce the regulatory burden by 25%. We are adding more and more areas to the preferred regulatory cut and the fight against bureaucracy. This is showing results.

I can tell you that we will continue with the consistent policy that we have followed for many years. It has brought about unprecedented growth in the Israeli economy, in GDP, in an almost unprecedented decline in unemployment that has just about reached the lowest level of all time, and in a constant decline in inequality. It is not just that per capita income is increasing – inequality is declining. Another thing that is not recognized is that relative middle class and lower class wages have risen very impressively.

You have seen the impressive growth in net income in 2009-2016. This is a very, very significant average annual increase that is almost unknown in western countries. There are several countries where the complete opposite is happening, but they all grew. You see that the middle class has grown very impressively. This is a correct policy. And the government ministries, in their working plan that we will present today, are continuing it for the good of the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel.”

New Report: European Governments Funding Efforts to Demolish Netiv Ha’avot Neighborhood

The left-wing organizations spearheading the legal battle against the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion have received over 47 million shekels from foreign governments over the past several years, according to a new report released by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu.

In 2016 the High Court of Justice ruled that 17 structures in Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood, including 15 homes, a carpentry shop and monument for fallen IDF soldiers, were not built on state land and must be demolished by March 6th.

According to the Im Tirtzu report, the legal battle over Netiv Ha’avot began in 2008 when left-wing NGO “Peace Now” filed a petition to the High Court of Justice contesting the neighborhood’s legality.

Multiple petitions against the neighborhood have since been filed by “Peace Now” and “Yesh Din,” including a petition against the relocation of the 15 families to portions of the neighborhood built on state land.

The report states that “Peace Now” and “Yesh Din” have received over 47 million shekels ($13.4 million) from foreign governments and entities, including the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Holland and Switzerland.

Im Tirtzu contends that this funding is part of an ongoing effort by European governments to undermine the policy of the Israeli government by means of anti-Zionist Israeli NGOs.

“It is inconceivable that European governments operate in Israel’s judicial system by means of radical anti-Israel NGOs, rather than going through the proper diplomatic channels,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg.

“This European attempt to alter Israel’s internal policy not only harms Israeli sovereignty, but is an affront to the Israeli public who democratically elected its government. This subversive activity and use of lawfare against Israel must end immediately.”

Dozens of Activists Demonstrate Against Foreign Government Involvement in Netiv Ha’avot

Dozens of activists from the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu held a counter demonstration today at Netiv Ha’avot against left-wing protesters from Peace Now who arrived to call for the destruction of the neighborhood.

According to Im Tirtzu, they arrived to demonstrate against the “subersive” activities of Peace Now and other far-left NGOs who are using funding from European governments to petition the Israeli courts against the neighborhood. 

The activists held signs reading “the destruction of Netiv Ha’avot, brought to you by European governments,” and chanted slogans including “You are pawns of Germany, how are you not ashamed?”

“Netiv Ha’avot is the quintessential example of the subversive activities of foreign government-funded NGOs against Jewish building in Judea and Samaria,” said Im Tirtzu Director of Policy Alon Schvartzer.

“Peace Now received over 18 million shekels in recent years from European governments, and the flood of judicial petitions against the neighborhood is the result.”

Schvartzer added: “The future of the State of Israel must be decided upon through internal discussion, and not by the subversive and anti-democratic activities of foreign government-funded NGOs.”