Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A7news: 20 New Outposts Built

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New Outposts Update
Nineteen new locations throughout Judea and Samaria - and Kisufim - are the sites of Land of Israel construction and pioneer spirit, as of this Chanukah. Soldiers are guarding the new sites.
Full Story Below

 1. New Outposts Update
 2. Terrorists in Lebanon Bombard Northern Israel
 3. Aliyah: Numbers are Up, Satisfaction is High
 4. New Orleans Hurricane Survivor Makes Aliyah
 5. Bittersweet Events for Gush Katif Expellees
 6. Shteinitz: Egypt is Preparing for Possible War with Israel
 7. On A7radio: Christian Educators Defend Jewish Scriptures

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Editor: Hillel Fendel
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
27 Kislev 5766


1. New Outposts Update
By Hillel Fendel

Nineteen new locations throughout Judea and Samaria - and Kisufim - are the sites of Land of Israel construction and pioneer spirit, as of this Chanukah. Soldiers are guarding the new sites.

Youths of the Land of Israel Loyalists took advantage of their Chanukah vacation to advance the cause of "The People of Israel in the Land of Israel according to the Torah of Israel," and are in the process of building outside the following 19 sites:

* Elazar, Bat Ayin, and Efrat in Gush Etzion
* Adei Ad, Beit El, Maaleh Levonah, Psagot, and Kokhav Yaakov in Binyamin (north of Jerusalem),
* Maaleh Hever south of Hevron,
* Mitzpeh Yericho and Kokhav HaShachar in the Jordan Valley,
* and Karnei Shomron, Eli, Peduel, Talmon, and Yitzhar in the Shomron.

Two more locations, Neriah and Karmei Tzur, were added today. Other sites are expected to be added over the course of the 8-day Chanukah holiday, which ends Monday.

The most emotional pioneering effort took place in Kisufim, at the former entrance to Gaza. Some 30 youths from Gush Katif established a presence, but did not sleep there. They will arrive again tomorrow together with youths from Kfar Darom and hotels. The plan is to turn it into a permanent meeting place for former Gush Katif residents, and, says at least one former resident, "a place from where we will be able to return home. If it took 19 years to return to Gush Etzion, hopefully it will take less time to come back to Gush Katif."

Dozens of youths took part in construction efforts at each site, and also held prayer services, Chanukah candle lighting ceremonies, classes, and song and dance. The residents of some nearby communities also took part in the festivities. The building continued today (Wednesday) as well.

For those who were unable to take part, Land of Israel youth held candle-lighting ceremonies at dozens of central intersections aroundd the country at precisely 6 PM Tuesday night. The candles were lit in solidarity with the establishment of the outposts.

A police official responded with disdain to the coordinated country-wide effort, saying it was merely the work of a "bunch of bored youngsters."

Datia Yitzchaki, formerly of Gush Katif and a spokesperson for the Land of Israel Faithful cause, said in response, "Those who think that bored youth are those who build the Land of Israel, have a problem. It appears to me that the bored youth of this country are doing many things other than building the Land... Many great things happened in our nation because of the youth, and we can be very proud of these youngsters; they are the ones doing something."

Two headlines just from today dealing with youth blared, "Police Investigating Violent Youth Games in Petach Tikvah" and "Holon Resident Stabbed by Youths in Kiryat Ben-Gurion."

Yitzchaki added that contrary to the media line that the police are simply biding their time and waiting until the youths return to school next week, "the fact is that they don't have sufficient forces to deal with all 20 spots that we have managed to build at one time. We truly hope to make these into permanent locations; in Kokhav Yaakov a concrete floor has been poured and two caravans were brought in, and in Beit El a caravan is hopefully on the way... We are looking now for young couples and families that wish to make these places their home."

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2. Terrorists in Lebanon Bombard Northern Israel
By Baruch Gordon and Hillel Fendel

Arab-fired katyusha rockets at northern Israel scored direct hits on two civilian homes. IDF Northern Commander: "Merely the same rockets that we know well." IDF retaliation wounds 2 terrorists.

No one was injured directly from the Hizbullah rocket attacks, but four civilians were taken to the hospital for treatment of shock.

The shelling began just after 11pm Tuesday night. One rocket landed in the stairwell of a 3-story building in Kiryat Shmonah, causing heavy damage. A second Katyusha landed in the den of a civilian home, completely destroying the room; the parents were in the bedroom and went into shock. Their child was unharmed.

Electricty in the region was knocked out as a result of the shelling. Four other rockets landed in Shlomi and the western Galilee area.

Israel retaliated with artillery fire at a terrorist training base in Lebanon, lightly wounding two Hizbullah members.

An emergency situation of preparedness was declared in northern Israel in wake of the rocket attacks, and the IDF instructed area residents to descend to bomb shelters. The residents were allowed to move to safety rooms for the duration of the night, and life returned to normal this morning.

IDF Northern Commander Gen. Udi Adam said that Israel should not respond "wildly" to the rocket attacks on civilians. "There is no need for winds of war," he said. "Lebanon understands that if it does not deal with the rockets, we will do it."

Speaking with reporters near one of the stricken homes, Gen. Adam further attempted to calm down any fighting spirit by saying that the terrorists did not display any new technological prowess, and that their hits were merely "happenstance." Though he admitted that it was only by miracle that no one was hurt, he said, "These are the same rockets that the residents know well."

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3. Aliyah: Numbers are Up, Satisfaction is High
By Hillel Fendel

Aliyah to Israel is up - not only from North America, not only in numbers, and not only in the "final step."

For the first time since the onset of the Oslo War five years ago, the downward Aliyah [immigration to Israel] trend has turned, with more olim [new immigrants] arriving this year than last year.

A total of some 23,000 new immigrants will have made Aliyah this year, according to preliminary Jewish Agency figures. These include record numbers from France and North America, and increases from other countries.

The most dynamic name in North American Aliyah will star this afternoon, when the 7th specially chartered Nefesh B'Nefesh flight of the year will arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport. The El Al plane will bring close to 250 North American Jews home in Israel.

Since its inception in 2001, Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN), an organization dedicated to the revitalization of North American Aliyah, working closely with the Jewish Agency, has brought more than 7,000 new immigrants to Israel. Today's flight will bring this year's total to more than 3,100.

Greeting the newcomers at a welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport will be hundreds of family, friends and supporters, along with former Knesset Immigration Committee Chairman MK Tzvi Hendel, Deputy Interior Minister Ruchama Avraham, and Nefesh B’Nefesh founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart.

Before Aliyah, must come education to Aliyah. The Jewish Agency notes that the number of Jewish youth from around the world participating in educational programs in Israel is also on the upswing. In 2005, young Jews taking part in short-term programs (including Birthright-Israel, Israel Experience and others) numbered 29,712 - close to 1,000 more than last year. Participation in long-term educational programs was up 37%: 5,583 students and youths studied in Israeli yeshivot and university programs, as opposed to 4,058 the year before.

Possibly in celebration of the rise in Aliyah, the Aliyah organization Kumah has released a short provocative film via the internet. Viewable at, the animated film draws upon the allegory constructed by the popular Matrix trilogy, and calls upon the individual Jew living outside Israel to reach a heightened awareness of his/her role in Jewish destiny at this time.

The Jewish Agency reports that from North America, 3,052 new immigrants will have made Aliyah by the end of this year, up from 2,640 last year. This is the highest total since 1983, when 3,806 North Americans moved to Israel.

From France, Aliyah was up from 2,415 last year, to nearly 3,000 this year - the highest total since 1972.

In the past two years, 5,700 North Americans and 5,400 French Jews have made Aliyah - literally, moved up - to Israel.

A recent survey commissioned by the Jewish Agency found that more than 90% of North Americans who immigrated to Israel between 3 and 16 months ago are either "very satisfied" or "quite satisfied" with their absorption in Israel. The survey was conducted by Dahaf - Public Opinion Research Institute.

A 10% decrease in Aliyah was registered from the countries of the former Soviet Union. The total for 2005: 9,124 new immigrants. From Ethiopia, there will be a total of 3,700 olim, similar to last year.

A large increase was registered from South America - 1,850 olim this year, compared with 1,348 last year - and a small increase was registered from England - over 450 olim this year, an increase from 435 last year.

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4. New Orleans Hurricane Survivor Makes Aliyah
By Scott Shiloh

Daniel Ribak, a 36-year-old survivor of the hurricane that devastated New Orleans last summer, will be making aliyah to Israel Wednesday along with 250 other Jews from North America.

Daniel, an athlete and basketball trainer, set up and managed a basketball school in New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina hit that city, Daniel lost all of his property. His home was flooded, and his life’s work, the basketball school, was totally destroyed.

Just before the storm struck, Daniel stuffed whatever he could into his backpack and rode a bicycle 40 kilometers until reaching an airport, where he got on the last plane out.

Daniel flew to Miami and saved his life. Everything he left behind was destroyed. Daniel realized that he had no alternative but to start a new life. “I had nothing,” he said. “I had to start from zero in a new place, and maybe this was a sign.”

“Instead of sinking into depression,” Daniel thought, “perhaps this was an opportunity to start life anew, and if it’s going to be a new place, then this is my opportunity to move to Israel.”

Daniel joined the plane carrying the new immigrants with the help of the Nefesh B’Nefesh program.

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5. Bittersweet Events for Gush Katif Expellees
By Hillel Fendel

The expelled residents of Gush Katif celebrated a number of festive occasions this week, each tinged with a taste of sadness.

Picture by Ofir Avitan

Among this week's events were a Torah Scroll for Yeshivat Torat HaChaim, the wedding of David Hatuel, and new quarters for the Otzem pre-military yeshiva.

Yeshivat Torat HaChaim, forcibly relocated from N'vei Dekalim to Yad Binyamin (south of Rehovot) this past summer in the course of the Disengagement Plan, dedicated its new Beit Midrash and a new Torah scroll on Monday night.

The Torah scroll is a donation by Reuven and Yosef Rosenblatt families. Reuven, the first mayor of the Gaza Coast (Gush Katif) Regional Council, took time out from his 70th birthday celebration this morning to tell Arutz-7 the special story of the Torah scroll:
"Our family was a large one from Lodz, Poland, and we had our own Torah. During the Holocaust years, we managed to hide it via various means and in different places, including with Gentiles. After the Holocaust, those of our family who survived began coming to Israel, and the Torah remained each time with someone else. Finally, the last relative was my uncle, my mother's brother, who decided in the early 1950s to come to Israel as well. But first he made a two-week pilot trip. He was the type who made sure to find a solution for every problem - and here he was faced with the problem of how to take a Torah scroll out of Communist Poland. He arrived with the Torah at the airport, without trying to hide it because he knew he couldn't. He looked for a Christian-looking customs inspector, and said to him, 'Look, I'm very religious, and I'm afraid to fly without my Torah. But I'm just going for two weeks. So please just write down in my passport that I'm returning it in two weeks...'

"The inspector agreed, and my uncle arrived and of course left the Torah here. When he arrived back in Poland, he looked for the same inspector, and said to him, 'The Jews didn't allow me to go back with the Torah, and they took it from me, despite my cries...' Again the inspector accepted the story, and agreed to erase the relevant passport page...

"Here in Israel, the Torah was placed in a shtiebel [a small synagogue] in Tel Aviv, where my father prayed with many other Holocaust survivors. But little by little, the number of worshipers dwindled, and finally my father decided to take it with him to the community of Gan-Or, in Gush Katif, where he spent the last year of his life, together with my daughter and her family. There it remained [for some 20 years], until the expulsion this past summer."

Rosenblatt said that he emphasized to the Yeshiva heads that the Torah will remain with them only on loan, until it can be returned to Gan-Or.

The event was not widely publicized, explained Yehudit Amitai, Rosenblatt's daughter and a former Yeshiva secretary who now lives in Yad Binyamin, "because many people from Gush Katif are still suffering greatly, and our joy is far from complete."

"My family also built the Gan-Or synagogue's Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark), and within a few weeks, it will be rebuilt and placed as well in the Beit Midrash of Yeshivat Torat HaChaim in Yad Binyamin," Reuven said proudly.

Also this week, David Hatuel, formerly of Moshav Katif, wed Limor Shem-Tov of Jerusalem. Close to 1,000 people were invited to Ashkelon for the wedding, which was conducted by Rabbi Mordechai Elon. The groom's first wife, Tali, and their four children, daughters aged 2-11, were murdered in May 2004 in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Gush Katif. "I have two options," Hatuel said upon becoming engaged several weeks ago, "either to collapse or to continue living. I have chosen life! My new home is an addition and not a replacement of the home that was destroyed. I am like a tree whose branches were cut off and now they are growing again."

This past Friday, the pre-military yeshiva academy of the now-destroyed Atzmonah moved to its new permanent home in Yated. The new location is due south of the former Gush Katif, in the Halutza Sands area. Families from Atzmonah moved in to Yated several weeks ago, while others still live in the Faith City encampment outside Netivot. The yeshiva is headed by Rabbi Rafi Peretz, an IDF helicopter pilot who advised his students not to refuse orders to take part in the expulsion. The academy was housed for the last several months in Shaarei Avraham, east of Ashdod.

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6. Shteinitz: Egypt is Preparing for Possible War with Israel
By Scott Shiloh

MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) says that Egypt’s arms buildup over the past few years has focused on the possibility of future war with Israel.

In a radio interview broadcast on Arutz 7’s Hebrew internet site Tuesday night, Shteinitz, a former professor of political science at Haifa University who chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that Egypt has already become a major supporter of terrorism against Israel.

Shteinitz said that Egypt has been allowing terrorist groups operating out of the Gaza district to smuggle missiles into Gaza. Those groups intend to use the missiles against Israeli targets.

In his estimation, 90% of the explosives used by the terrorist groups are brought in from Egypt.

Shteinitz explains that it is a mistake for Israel to view Syria as its principle enemy, while neglecting the Egyptian threat, primarily because Israel maintains diplomatic relations with Egypt.

The committee chairman said that weapons smuggled from Egypt has become so important to the Hamas, “if you would ask them what they would be willing to give up, assistance from Egypt or Syria, they would prefer to give up Syrian, but not Egyptian aid.”

The Egyptians, Shteinitz asserts, have kept to the peace agreements signed in 1978 as far as not engaging Israel in outright conflict. But on other levels, such as economic relations or stopping anti-Israel incitement, Egyptian compliance has been lacking.

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7. On A7radio: Christian Educators Defend Jewish Scriptures
A7 Radio's "The Tovia Singer Show"
Finn Laursen, Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International, explains why his organization which represents thousands of American teachers is using science to support the Book of Genesis.

Listen Now -or- Download*

Also on Tovia Singer:

Condoleezza Rice Poisons US-Israel Relations
Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, expert on US-Israel relations and Middle East policy, explains that while the friendship that bonds America with the Jewish State is firmly established, powerful forces in the US State Department are detrimental to this historical relationship.

Listen Now -or- Download*

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