Hamas recently declared on their website that the ceasefire with Israel was beign called off.
With rockets raining daily on Israeli cities in the south you might ask "what ceasefire?" yet the news could signal greater efforts by Hamas to attack Israeli civilians in anyway they can. Hamas is desperate for a war. Only a war can make their "no negotiations, no peace" position seem sane. With Israel having with drawn from Gaza (ending any semblance of "occupation" and leaving Hamas in charge) and with Fata now in a coalition government Hamas is running out of people to blame for it's failures in goverment.
In agreeing an internal cease fire with Fatah, Hamas said they should both turn their guns on Israel. After making it clear that they had no intentions of working towards a negotiated peace (now or ever), Hamas is now seeking a way to return to the path of war. Their violation over of the ceasefire through Quasam rockets has been largely ignored by Israel. With about 10 rockets a days falling on Israel the Israeli people are "not happy" no one could blame Israel for responding. Yet Israel wants peace and has so far held back. Suicide bombing have also been kick started in the last few weeks, still the response has been limited. Disproportionatly low you might say. Hamas is frustrated. Hamas wants a war to justify their inability to negotiate with Israel, and their inability to provide for their people. It's either war in the middle east, or Hamas knows the Palestinian people will want to be rid of them - possibly leading the internal ceasefire breaking and there being war amoungst the Palestinians.
Hamas know what they want, but don't know how to justify it. One report
(a Chinese news source) said the end of the ceasefire was in response to the Israeli bridge repair work next to the Temple Mount. This just won't stick, dispite misinformation from a few Muslim groups, it's clear to all observers that the repair work is being undertaken OUTSIDE the Temple Mount and in no way endagers the foundations or anything else. The live footage from the Israel Antiquities Authority removes all doubt about this as does a quick internet search which shows most of "facts" claiming this work is a problem to be inaccurate or misleading. Another excluse was presented in Ynet which claimed it was in responce to Israel killing an expert bomb maker... who was armed and firing at Israeli troops when they went to arrest him a day after a failed suicide bomber reported him. He wasn't even a Hamas bomb maker. Eventually Hamas will come up with an excuse that has some traction, or failing that they will attach without an excuse.
As Israel waits for Hamas to kill her children in sufficient number to make a response unavoidable, the world sits silently by.
The furor surrounding the replacement of a collapsed ramp to the Temple Mount has left us at Zionism On The Web rather puzzled. The information from campaign against Israel over the replacement of this ramp bears so little resemblence to the facts that we're left wonder if it is worth responding, or if people will just work it out for themselves.
Unlike much historical misinformation, this is a current event and the facts can be very easily checked. Given this, why launch an anti-Israel campaign based on lies that as so easily proven as lies?
If the ramp were not replaced, non Muslims would no longer have access to the Temple Mount and Dome of the rock. Or rather, so long as no one wants to challenge the current agreement that all other access points are reseved for Muslims only, only Muslims could enter the Temple Mount / Dome of the Rock. This leads up to conclude that EITHER those pushing this campaign were hoping to spark a dispute with Israel over allowing non Muslims in via another gate, or they were hoping to quietly prevent non Muslims entering the Temple Mount area at all. It is this second possibly motive that causes concern. There have been serrious accusation of the destruction of artifacts at the Temple Mount. The Muslim authorities not only try an deny the existance of the Jewish Temple (a well documented historical fact) but also regularly work to remove and destroy archaeological evidence of the first and second temple.
In contrast the Israeli government insists that work in historical sites (such as this bridge reconstruction) included "emergency archaeological work" that is work aimed at ensuring any artifacts are removed, catalogued and properly handled. Similar laws exist in other countries, e.g. the UK.
In the case of the bridge this is being taken even further and video cameras have been installed to enable on-line viewing of the construction process, and basically provide total public scrutiny.
Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) Mugrabi Gate Reconstruction Project's online cameras are due to go online tomorrow afternoon (Thursday), 15.2.07, on the IAA website/
The website also has a video about the Project with an English explanation by IAA Director of Surveys and Excavations Dr. Gideon Avni and two articles under the heading "The Real Story Behind the Mugrabi Ramp."
Well worth a look for everyone that is as confused over all the fuss as we are.
Joel Leyden of the Israel News Agency reports on Borat the movie and Antisemitism in America.
The full story can be seen here:
The story highlights:
* How British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) exposes prejudice
* The concern some have about pushing the envelope too far
* Public relations and how it's not done (care of the government of Kazakhstan)
* Prior attempts at pushing the envelope, e.g. Charlie Chaplain and the Hitler Sketch
Most of the rivers that flow through both Israel and the Palestinian Authority controlled areas are heavily polluted.
A team of Israeli and Palestinian researchers have joined forces to create a blueprint for action to restore the quality of 15 rivers that flow through both Israeli and Palestinian areas.
Lior Asaf, scientific coordinator of the project on the Israeli side has said the project demands a great of cooperation between the Palestinian and Israeli teams and the researchers have been working extremely well together. "Certainly from the perspective of "peace making" the initiative has exceeded the participants' expectations," the annual report on the project states.
Good news stories need sharing too, this one seems to only be available via government sources... the media does not seem interested. Whether that's because it is about Israeli-Palestinain cooperation, or whether it is becuase it is about the environment... the combination is obviously not "news worthy" for the main stream media.
The Israeli Defence Minister (Peretz) has appointed Member of Knesset (the Israeli Parliment) Raleb Majadele as Minister of Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports.
Majadele, a Muslim, is the first Arab to be appointed minister since the
foundation of the State. The first Druze Minister was appointed in 2001.
Peretz noted that the appointment was historic, and hoped it would
improve the relationships between the different sectors in Israel.
Mean time an MK from the right wing Yisrael Beiteinu party said this appointment was a blow for Zionism, and was told by numerous parlimentarians and parties that they had no idea what they were talking about. One member of the Knesset went so far as to ask the Attorney General to check whether there is legal justification for opening a criminal investigation over the remarks.
As member of the Knesset have pointed out, Zionism all always advocated the integration of Arabs who are loyal to the state in all of its institutions on the basis of equality. Likud (the right of center party) have stressed this and called for a debate on the comments which they too describe as racist. The roel of Arabs being full partners in Zionism was supported by Herzl, Jabotinsky and Begin - three very different political views on Zionism but on this matter all entirely in agreement.
The BBC (as expected) has picked up the story, but not given much focus to the strong reaction against the comments. From their point of view, they comments are perhaps what they'd LIKE to think Israel and Zionism are about. This is itself another type of Racism and the UKs racism is perhaps far worse - being wide spread and not reacted so strong as we can see happens in Israel. In an effort not to spread racism in the UK we will NOT link to the BBCs story. HaAretz on the other hand has a decent story that is far longer and richer in detail.