More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

The Day In Israel: Wednesday Mar 24th, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been warmly received by Congress.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received a warmer public reception from Congress than from the Obama administration, with a top Democrat and Republican joining Tuesday to welcome a leader who has agreed to disagree with the White House over Israeli housing expansion on disputed ground.

“We in Congress stand by Israel,” the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, assured Netanyahu at an all-smiles appearance before the cameras. “In Congress we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel.”


“We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world than Israel,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner. “We all know we’re in a difficult moment. I’m glad the prime minister is here so we can have an open dialogue.”

Pelosi and Boehner both pointed to the threat from Iran as a top concern, and an area in which the United States will cooperate with Israel.

Netanyahu thanked his congressional hosts for what he called warm, bipartisan support. He also spoke, among others, with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Foreign Relations chairman John Kerry, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman, a Democrat, Sen. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent.

“We face two great challenges”, Netanyahu said, a “quest for peace with our Palestinian neighbors” and stopping Iran from developing atomic weapons.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)?

10:35PM: I ask and answer the question Are we finally seeing palestinians protest against their terrorists? here.

10:10PM: The United Nations Human Rights Council today passed three resolutions condemning Israel.

5:45PM: Another terrorist has bitten the dust, although it does not seem like he was mabhouh-ed.

Nativity Church deportee Abdullah Dawood, 48, former director of Bethlehem intelligence service, died on Wednesday in Algeria, his family confirmed.

Brigadier Dawood was admitted to the military hospital in Algiers on Saturday to undergo emergency surgery for a heart bleed and a burst coronary artery. His wife, Kifah Harb, arrived in the Algerian capital three days earlier, where her husband remained in the intensive care unit.

Dawood, from the Balata refugee camp east of Nablus, was deported by Israeli forces from the Nativity Church in 2002, following an Israeli siege on the church.

The brigadier was first deported in 1992 after Israeli forces surrounded the An-Najjah University in Nablus. He returned to Palestine with the PLO following the Oslo Agreement in 1993.

Between 2 April and 10 May 2002, Israeli forces surrounded the Nativity Church in Bethlehem during Operation Defensive Shield at the height of the Second Intifada. The operation had sought to capture Palestinian militants, who sought refuge in the church. An agreement was reached, after long negotiations, to deport the besieged Palestinians to Europe and Gaza.

Predictably, though, Israel is being blamed.

Speaking with Ma’an, Kanan said “We hold the Israeli occupation responsible for Dawood’s death because they deported him. His mother and sister died while he was in exile. They also prevented his family members from visiting him in exile after they accused him of masterminding an operation against Israelis.”

The spokesman explained that psychological pressure the deportees and their relatives suffer makes them prone to illness.

Note: Dawood is not to be mistaken for this man.

Or this one.

4:22PM: You never know when your IDF training may come in handy.

It was just another minor household task to be dealt with when, in October 2008,  Matti Minsk entered the IGA supermarket in the Perth suburb of Wembley Downs to stock up on fruit and veggies.

He told J-Wire: “As I parked my car, I could smell smoke but didn’t think too much about it. When I entered the supermarket, the door shut behind me. It was a one way door and the only exit was at the other side of the store…a long way off. In front of me I saw two old women, a teenage girl and a woman holding a baby shopping in the fruit and veg section. Suddenly, thick black smoke starting pouring out of the air conditioner vents. I tried to open the entry door but eventually had to smash a metal plate to get it to open. I screamed at the shoppers to get out but only the teenager made a run for it. The others seemed frozen where they stood…too scared to move. Suddenly, there was an explosion in the ceiling so I left the door, which slammed shut on me again, and ran to the group grabbing the two old women and screaming at the young mother to follow. I had to force the door open again and got the women out…but the mother and her child had not followed us and were still rooted to where they were standing. By now the smoke was really thick and I could barely see. Instinct took over and I dashed back into the supermarket and grabbed the young mother and baby, pulling them out just as the ceiling crashed down on the spot where they had been standing.

I got her into her car which was parked very close to the building but I noticed she had not moved. I ran back to the car and she told me: “The baby is not strapped in”. I screamed at her to just get out of there and strap the baby in around the corner…she then drove off…and I called triple-O.”

The shopping centre was destroyed in the ensuing blaze.

Matti Mintz, now 33, was born in Kibbutz Avikim moving later to Meot Golan where his parents still live. He met his wife Jenny in Thailand when travelling after completing his military service in the Duchifat Unit of the Israeli Defence Force…a unit specialising in counter-terrorism.

He told J-Wire: “Jenny and I lived to London where we were married in 2002 before moving back to settle in her home town of Perth.

Mintz, a lawyer who works for the National Australia Bank, will receive his National Bravery Award in September. He has received a letter of commendation from the NAB Chairman, Michael Chaney. He said: “I have been told I can now use the letters B.M. after my name! But I am looking forward to the ceremony at which I think the Governor will award the medals.”

He told J-Wire: “I have no idea who I saved. I have tried so hard to make contact with them but up until now have failed to do so. It would be good to meet them.”

Asked if he thought his IDF training had played a pivotal role in gaining the award, Mintz said: “It was fight or flight. People needed my help. I fought.”

Mintz is now an Australian citizen. He still lives in Wembley Downs with his wife Jenny and their daughters Maya and Noa.

For the record, I do not know Matti since he seems to have moved to my home town of Perth after I had already moved to Israel.

1:30PM: The meeting between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama is over.

Or to be more exact, both of them are.

U.S. President Barack Obama held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday as Israel sought to smooth over a diplomatic spat sparked by the announcement of Israeli construction in east Jerusalem.

Efforts to restore ties may have hit a roadblock, however, with the approval Tuesday of a further 20 east Jerusalem homes beyond the Green Line at the site of the former Shepherd Hotel.

The two leaders met for around 90 minutes. The White House had no immediate comment on what they discussed.

At the end of the meeting, Obama departed to his living quarters at the White House, while Netanyahu met with his advisers for over an hour in the Roosevelt Room. Netanyahu then requested another meeting with the U.S. president, and the two spoke again, one-on-one, for a half an hour.

“President Obama and the prime minister met privately for an hour and a half, the atmosphere was good,” Netanyahu spokesman Nir Chefetz said in a statement several hours after the meeting ended.

He said the two leaders’ advisers “continued discussions on the ideas raised at the meeting” and would hold further talks on Wednesday.

In spite of attempts on both the Israeli and American sides to bring the crisis to an end, there is still lingering tension and lack of trust within the Obama administration toward Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, while Netanyahu’s office said there was a “good atmosphere”, other reports seem to indicate otherwise.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama met twice during a dramatic evening in the White House, but no signs emerged of a breakthrough in a row over Jewish settlements.

Obama hosted Netanyahu in the Oval Office late Tuesday for 90 minutes, but with the two sides embroiled in their most testy disagreement in years, unusually did not appear before the cameras with his visitor.

As an evening of intense diplomacy developed, Netanyahu then asked to consult privately with his staff, a US official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

After just over an hour ensconced in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing, the Israeli leader asked to see Obama again, and the president returned from his family quarters for a second Oval Office encounter of 35 minutes.

Shortly afterwards, Netanyahu swept away from the White House in his limousine, without glancing at reporters.

White House officials declined to describe the tone or the substance of the talks or to say if any agreements had been proposed or reached.

9:40AM: Ynet reports:

US aviation security to adopt Israeli model

Oh great, not again.

6:08AM: With the mainstream media reporting about Britain’s expulsion of an Israeli diplomat, the man who announced it, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, calls it something else.

Possibly hoping to calm the waters, Miliband, speaking later in the evening, stressed that this had not been an expulsion per se, but a request.

“He has been asked to leave which is not the same as being expelled,” the Minister told the Foreign Press Association. “We asked – and the embassy agreed.”

5:55AM: Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met in the White House for 90 minutes, with no photo opportunities, press briefing following the session or immediate comment on what was discussed.

I wonder if this was:

Just before the meeting, reports surfaced of yet another controversial construction project approved in the eastern part of the capital, this time in Sheikh Jarah. PM Netanyahu entered his meeting with Obama without being aware of the new building permit. Officials at the PM’s Office declined to comment about the issue for the time being.


Want to learn how to shoot with top Israeli anti-terror experts? Click here for more details.


About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Scroll to Top