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Posts tagged ‘Jordan Valley’

Kerry’s MidEast Peace Plan Will Destroy Israel Piece By Piece.

Secretary of State, John Kerry is reportedly making offers, promises and guarantees in the Middle East. Media reports indicate that “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly shot down a proposal by US Secretary of State John Kerry to maintain Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley for ten years following the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.” Kerry, is reportedly promising the Palestinians the Jordan valley, and “invisible” Israeli presence at the border crossings between the West Bank and Jordan. John Kerry offered and promised what? Does Kerry own the Jordan Valley?

In November, John Kerry visited Israel and pressured Israel, and encouraged the Arabs to commit violence on Israel asking, “I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?” Tantamount to encouraging Israel to negotiate with a gun to their head, Kerry said Israel’s “isolation” would be their own fault if a peace deal with the Palestinians falls through. Kerry further warned the Israelis that “the alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” and continued, “There will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel [that] has been taking place in an international basis.”

Given the Obama Administrations track record in the Middle East, Israel (and the Palestinians) would be better off without Kerry’s visits to the region. John Kerry should spend less time pressuring Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East. Kerry’s focus on the Middle East can be working to catch the people in Libya (around the corner from Israel), where the Ambassador was lynched. Since Kerry claims to have stopped Iran so skillfully, after that he can focus on Egypt which is in chaos after America chased out Mubarak who was previously a staunch American ally. Just around the corner, Kerry can visit Syria, where Assad, Syria’s dictator remains in power thanks to Putin’s protection. In Syria, over 100,000 people have been slaughtered in the last two years, including more than 5,000 children under the age of 16. There are hundreds of thousands dead already in the Middle East thanks to this administrations’ horrid foreign policies.

While America wrongly shows restraint with dictators, they must understand Israel lives in a very dangerous neighborhood and has life or death concerns when it comes to adapting these policies. The Obama Administration wrongly accuses and blames Israel rather than the terrorists who work to destroy Israel piece by piece, in false pursuit peace. They seek to destroy Israel piece by piece – from the “West Bank” to Jordan Valley to Eastern Jerusalem.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a Zionist visionary who is the spiritual father of the Likud Party (the ruling party of the state of Israel, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu) wrote many years ago of the need to stand up against people those who don’t have the best interests of the Jewish people at heart: “Instead of excessive apology and instead of turning our backs to the accusers — as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to — it is long overdue to respond to all current and future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly, coldly and calmly answer, ‘Go to Hell!’

“Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over the entire people where the sentence is known in advance? Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. The situation that has been created as a result, tragically confirms a well known saying: ‘Qui s’excuse s’accuse’ (He who apologizes condemns himself).

“We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are — we do not have anything to hide! This is a terrible mistake. The real gentlemen are the people that will not allow anyone for any reason to search their apartments, their pockets or their souls. Only a person under surveillance is ready for a search at every moment. This is the only inevitable conclusion from our maniacal reaction to every reproach, to accept responsibility as a people for every action of a Jew, and to make excuses in front of everybody.

“I consider this system to be false at its very root. We are hated not because we are blamed for everything, but we are blamed for everything because we are not loved. We do not have to apologize for anything. We are a people as all other peoples; we do not have any intentions to be better than the rest. We do not have to account to anybody; we are not to sit for anybody’s examination and nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves, we will not change and we do not want to. We are hated not because we are blamed for everything, but we are blamed for everything because we are not loved. We do not have to apologize for anything.”

As Esquire magazine noted some months ago about Kerry’s trips to Israel, “There is nothing he could be doing that would be a bigger waste of his time, including windsurfing.” Leave Israel alone. As Benjamin Netanyahu said: ‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.”

Ronn Torossian is a New York based Public Relations executive and author.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


By Ronn Torossian

Israeli Ministers Endorse Legislation to Annex Part of West Bank.

JERUSALEM — A panel of Israeli Cabinet ministers endorsed proposed legislation on Sunday to annex an area of the occupied West Bank likely to be the eastern border of a future Palestinian state.

The move, pushed by far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s Likud party, could weigh on troubled U.S.-brokered peace negotiations several days before another visit to the region by Secretary of State John Kerry.

But centrist Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who also heads Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, immediately challenged the motion, and said she would use her powers to block the legislation from being voted on in the Israeli Knesset, or parliament.

Peace talks have shown few signs of progress since Kerry oversaw their renewal in July after a three-year deadlock.

The target is to reach an agreement by April towards achieving a “two-state solution” in which Israel and a new Palestinian state would co-exist side by side.

The Jordan Valley region of the West Bank which Israel captured in a 1967 war and Palestinians seek as part of their future state, has been a focus of recent disagreement. Palestinians reject Israel’s demand to maintain a security presence there.

Kerry said in Washington earlier this month that the need to resolve the dispute over the Jordan Valley was “a critical threading of a needle that has to happen in order to achieve an agreement.” He said he was coordinating with Jordan as well.

The Israeli proposal to incorporate the Jordan Valley within its borders, endorsed by the Cabinet’s legislative committee, was the first Israeli step in years to annex any territory captured in 1967.

Shortly after that war, in a move not recognized internationally, Israel annexed east Jerusalem and added some adjoining West Bank land to the city, which it regards as its capital.

The last time Israel annexed any land captured in the 1967 war was in 1981 when it applied its law to Syria’s Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that lies to the north.

The proposed legislation came up two days before Israel said it would free 26 Palestinian prisoners, the third of four groups of prisoners being released as an agreed confidence-building measure since peace negotiations resumed.

The prisoners had been jailed for deadly violence committed before a 1993 Israeli-Palestinian interim peace accord.

Also expected to weigh on Kerry’s visit this week is an Israeli plan to build 1,400 homes in Jewish settlements, which Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said would “destroy the peace process” and could be met with retaliation.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Palestine’s Abbas: Israel to Blame If Talks Collapse Over Borders.

Image: Palestine's Abbas: Israel to Blame If Talks Collapse Over Borders

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Tuesday Israel would be to blame if ongoing peace talks collapsed over its military control of a border with Jordan.

“We will not accept it, and if they [the talks] collapse, they [the Israelis] will be the reason for the collapse, not us,” Abbas told the Baltic News Service during a visit to Lithuania, current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency.

Israeli daily Maariv reported last week that negotiations almost collapsed in September due to conflicting positions on future borders, particularly where the eastern West Bank adjoins Jordan.

Israel has long stated that it seeks to retain a long-term military presence along the Jordan Valley.

But Palestinians flatly object to any Israeli military on land that could become the eastern front of a future Palestinian state.

“They don’t have the right to stay in our territories after we signed a peace treaty,” Abbas said Tuesday, while stressing that he accepts a future demilitarized Palestinian state.

“We want, according to the Oslo Agreement, a strong police force. This is exactly what we want, how we understand, how they understand, how the Americans understand it,” the Palestinian leader said.

Abbas also hailed the European Union’s (EU’s)demand on Monday that Israel stop building settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Construction starts in Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land rose by 70 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2013, anti-settlement group Peace Now said last week.

Speaking for the 28-member EU, Lithuania said Monday that settlements were impeding the peace process.

“They [EU countries] will implement their proposal [addressing the settlements] at the beginning of 2014, which is very, very important for the peace process,” Abbas added, terming this a “strong signal to Israel”.

Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War is considered illegal under international law, and the issue remains one of the most divisive in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S.-sponsored direct peace talks resumed in late July after a hiatus of nearly three years.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the talks, taking place under a US-imposed media blackout, have “intensified.”

© AFP 2013


Have Archaeologists Found Prophet Elisha’s House?.

Tel Rehov
During 16 years of excavating Tel Rehov in the Jordan Valley, archaeologists uncovered a unique building that might have been the house of Elisha the prophet. (CBN)

During 16 years of excavating Tel Rehov in the Jordan Valley, archaeologists uncovered a 3,000-year-old, well-planned city.

They also found a unique building that might have been the house of Elisha the prophet.

“The house was full of objects of unique types… two pottery altars that were used for burning incense,” archaeologist Ami Mazar told CBN News.

“We found there figurines, clay figurines. We found large vessels — like big vessels that were probably used for serving food, not for just the nuclear family, but maybe for a larger community,” he said.

Mazar also pointed out the unique structure of the house.

“Normally the houses had one entrance leading to a large space with rooms all around,” he explained. “This house was divided into two wings. The two wings were connected to one another through the backroom and each one of the wings had an opening to the street.”

Outside the backroom were incense altars that may have been used to make an offering to God before entering the house to hear the prophet‘s message.

During the excavations, archaeologists discovered a special room inside the house with a table and a bench. They also discovered a pottery shard with the name Elisha on it, dated to the 9th century.

The discovery has led some to believe this was the room of the prophet Elisha.

“We found an ink inscription written in red ink on pottery, but it is broken unfortunately,” Mazar said. “But we reconstructed the name as Elisha.”

The prophet Elisha was born about seven miles from Tel Rehov in Avel Mehola and went throughout the kingdom of Israel, from Jericho to Samaria to Shunam.

“You know I cannot say for sure this particular Elisha that we found is the biblical Elisha,” Mazar said. “You know it’s very difficult to say, but it is very tempting because it is exactly the period when Elisha acted — the second half of the 9th century BC.”

Archaeologist Stephen Pfann calls the evidence compelling.

“With only six other people by the name of Elisha known in that time for a couple of centuries on either side, we can somehow believe that either there was just the luck that this holy man was also by the name of Elisha, or this was Elisha the prophet himself,” Pfann told CBN News.

Another discovery pointing to the prophet Elisha are two different inscriptions mentioning the family of Nimshi.

“We remember that it was Elijah who was told to anoint Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to be the king,” Pfann explained. “And he passed that on to Elisha who sent out one of his disciples to finally do the anointing.”

Another inscription with the same name Nimshi was found about five miles away.

“So I came to this idea that perhaps the entire valley of Beit Shean, this beautiful fertile valley [with] food, springs, water, [and] good land was perhaps under rule, perhaps, or property of this family,” Ami said.

This family may also have had an unusual business: bee-keeping.

“Perhaps they were the owners of the apiary because one of [the] Nimshi inscriptions was found inside the apiary just between the hives,” Pfann said.

Several years ago, archaeologists uncovered a strange installation.

“We saw that we have here a row of cylindrical, of clay cylinders. Each one of them is about 2-1/2 feet long and about 1 foot in diameter,” Pfann continued. “We realized these must be bee hives.”

This type of bee came from Turkey not Israel, indicating ancient trade relations between regions. They are the most ancient species of bees ever found in the world.

Many archaeologists shy away from drawing conclusions about the Bible, but some see it as a way of putting the pieces together.

“Archaeology is like a huge puzzle, you know, we add information from one excavation, a second excavation, a third excavation — Meggido, Tel Rehov, Beit Shean…and together we bring it into a large picture, the large puzzle trying to decipher the material culture of the Israelites,” Mazar explained.

For Cary Summers, who heads Nazareth Village, it’s even more special.

“Well, it’s like any other archeological site, in essence…every scoop of dirt it proves the Bible, one scoop at a time. And this site is absolutely magnificent dealing with the prophet Elisha,” Summers told CBN News.

In this day and age, he said, it’s even more important.

“There is always the skeptic who says, ‘Show me the proof’ and ‘When you have the proof.’ Basically, [we have] the tile that [was] found here with the name [and] also just the excavation itself,” Summers continued.

“It’s one more proof for what we call the doubting world,” he said.

“For God to allow this to be unearthed at this time, I think it is again another indication that we are to aggressively go forward with this kind of data, this kind of research, this kind of archaeological dig,” Summers said.

The future of the site is uncertain because its mud bricks are deteriorating. Researchers hope, however, it can be preserved to help future generations understand the Bible.



Israel orders Bedouins to leave West Bank area.



KHIRBET AL-MEITEH, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli military on Wednesday ordered dozens of Palestinian Bedouins to leave their communities so it could conduct military exercises in a remote area of the West Bank.

The military said the order was temporary, and that thePalestinians were living illegally in closed military zones. The Bedouins say they have lived in the area for decades. While the army has issued temporary evacuation orders in the past, Bedouins say they have increased in frequency, and they charge the practice is meant to pressure them to leave their homes.

Israel has used largely empty areas of the West Bank for military bases, firing ranges and maneuvers since shortly after it captured the territory in 1967, marking off large areas for exclusive use of the military and bringing frequent complaints from Palestinians. The Palestinians claim all of the West Bank as a key part of a future state.

After receiving the latest evacuation order, one family dismantled its tents, and loaded sheep and small children onto a trailer in the community of Khirbet al-Meiteh alongside thin mattresses, pillows and blankets. “We will sleep here tonight, in this trailer,” said Walid Zawahiri, 57. “There’s nowhere else to go.”

He and other residents said they had to leave their youngest sheep behind because they had nowhere warm to keep them. They feared that they would be eaten by wild animals or shot during military training. The communities rely on herding animals to survive.

Zawhiri said it was the fourth time he had been ordered to relocate in a year. Nearby, soldiers arrived in military vehicles, setting up dummies for target practice.

The evictions occurred in the Jordan Valley, a section of the West Bank along the border with Jordan. Although Palestinians have a measure of self-rule in other parts of the West Bank, Israel retrains overall military and administrative control over most of the Jordan Valley.

The area, mostly desert, is home to 60,000 Palestinians, the United Nations estimates. Some 8,000 are Bedouins, a culturally distinct community that once roved between winter and summer grazing sites with its livestock. Now they are mostly tethered to one area, and rely on sheep herding and manual labor to get by. They tend to live on the poor margins of Palestinian society.

The Jordan Valley is among the 60 percent of the West Bank that remains under full Israeli control, nearly two decades after interim peace accords granted the Palestinians autonomy elsewhere in the territory. The Israeli-controlled section includes military bases, nature reserves and Jewish settlements.

In a separate incident Wednesday, dozens of Israeli settlers tried to block access to a strip of land that Palestinians sought to cultivate near the northern West Bank village of Jaloud. The Palestinians obtained a court order allowing them enter their lands after Israeli settlers in the past tried to claim the land as their own, said lawyer Qamar Mashriqi.

The military said soldiers dispersed the crowd.

The settlers of the Esh Kodesh outpost rolled flaming tires at Palestinian-owned tractors before the soldiers intervened.


By MOHAMMED BALLAS | Associated Press

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