Israel News for July 11, 2016

Terror Attack
A terrorist waiting in ambush at the side of the road near the settlement of Tekoa, in Gush Etzion, opened fire at a vehicle containing a Jewish couple with six children in the back seat.

Eitan and Tamar Finkel were returning home with their kids on Saturday night, after visiting Tamar’s parents in the nearby settlement of Metzad, when they spotted a terrorist at the junction aiming a machine gun at them. Then they heard gunfire and their windshield exploded. Eitan managed to continue driving and find a military jeep. That’s when he realized that his leg was bleeding. He had been hit in the leg, but his wife and children were unharmed.

Finkel later said, “I was hit by one and the rest of the family came out without a scratch on them, it was a miracle. If the terrorist hit me, he could’ve hit everyone. That was his plan, to hit the driver, or the wheel to stop the car and then shoot everyone.”

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Hamas Soccer
The parents of Oron Shaul, whose body is being held by Hamas in Gaza, petitioned the Supreme Court to prohibit Hamas prisoners in Israel from being allowed to watch the Sunday night Euro Soccer final. The petition was filed against the Israel Prison Service, the Internal Security Ministry, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister himself. It claimed that permitting Hamas prisoners to watch the game “is a decision which the public can not accept… there is no rational to this, it’s illogical, and it hurts the sensibilities of the general public. The decision is disgusting and repulsive.”

The Court rejected the petition. Justice Ori Shahem wrote in his ruling:

“There is no legal way to prevent security prisoners from watching the Euro Cup final on Channel 2, which is a public station. The petitioners didn’t use any factual or legal basis in their request to restrict the prisoners from watching the game. The court is not under the impression that preventing the prisoners from watching the Euro Cup final will put pressure on Hamas to release our soldiers and citizens held in captivity. Therefore, we do not see it fit to prevent the prisoners from watching the game. The conclusion is reinforced by the timing of the request. The date and time of the final game has been well known for a long time, while the request was filed on the day of the game.”

I assume they’ll be allowed to watch the Olympics too. Can’t no TV be part of their punishment? I hope they don’t get cable.

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Crowdfunding Success
The family of Sgt. Elor Azaria, the ID soldier on trial for shooting to death an already-neutralized terrorist in Hebron, raised over NIS 400,000 last night through a crowdfunding campaign on the Israeli website, to fund Azaria’s legal expenses. The campaign was organized and launched by former right-wing MK and journalist Sharon Gal.

Likud Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said in a radio interview that he and his wife would seriously consider donating to the fund.

Azaria is facing manslaughter charges and is being defended by a team of expert attorneys. The trail has been ongoing for several weeks in a military court. The IDF offers all soldiers free legal defense, but the family chose to hire their own team.

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Democratic Platform
Supporters of Hillary Clinton voted down a proposed amendment to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) platform by Bernie Sanders supporters, which would call for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements.” The proposal was voted down 95-73.

The committee also rejected an amendment to “rebuild Gaza which the UN warns could be uninhabitable by 2020, and where poverty and hopelessness undermine peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis”. Another amendment to remove the military option from the Iran non-compliance language failed 67-98.

So while the “cooler heads” of the Clinton camp have prevailed, the Sanders camp has displayed significant strength and influence in the party.

A draft of the approved 2016 DNC platform released last week said, “We will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity. Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.”

On the Republican side, Trump adviser David Friedman has stated that Trump would consider the two-state solution as one option in the search for a solution to the conflict — not the only option.

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Polish Massacre Site
About 150 people commemorated the 75th anniversary of the massacre of the Jewish community of Jedwabne, Poland by their Polish neighbors. Most of the towns 1,500 Jews were brutally murdered in a pogrom launched by the local Polish population, with over 300 being burned alive in a barn. The story of the massacre was brought to light in a 2001 book by historian Jan Gross called, “Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland”.

The commemoration at Jedwabne was led by Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich and attended by Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. The mayor of Jedwabne did not attend the event, nor did any of the townspeople.

Polish Undersecretary of State Wojciech Kolarski represented Polish President Andrzej Duda at the event and laid a wreath at the monument for the victims. He said, “To be clear about what happened here: Polish citizens killed their own Polish compatriots of Jewish origin in a way that damaged a long tradition of living side-by-side. There can be no justification for that.”

The fact that many Poles played an active role in the persecution and murder of Polish Jewry during the Holocaust is widely denied by Poles today. Deniers include government official, intellectuals — the kind of folks you’d expect to know better. Regarding the ordinary people…well, you can figure that out for yourself.

May the memory of the victims be a blessing for us and may we never forget them, and how they died.

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