The Day In Israel: Sunday July 4th, 2010

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Saeb ErekatChief PA Negotiator Saeb Erekat has denied an Al-Hayat report claiming PA President Mahmoud Abbas is willing to carry out a land swap for 2.3 percent of the “West Bank” to allow Israel to maintain some settlement blocks, in exchange for territory south of Hebron, and is also willing to allow the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem to remain under Israeli sovereignty.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

9:48PM: Well-made video exposing the lies of inflatable detestable terror enabler, Lauren Booth (vis CiFWatch)



7:00PM: A noble act or just plain stupid?

An unlikely benefactor. An Ashkelon resident who made a fortune in the European real estate business has decided to pay for the construction of a mosque in France for the benefit of the local Muslim community.

Father of four Robert Harush, 58, grew up in Ashkelon and having completed his military service tried his luck in the real estate business in Europe. His success has won him many hotels and buildings and he is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of shekels.

Despite his success Harush did not forget his hometown and has returned to Ashkelon and invested in local building ventures. For the past 10 years he has been dividing his time between Israel and France. His four children all speak Hebrew.

The businessman even chose to stay in the southern city during Operation Cast Lead. He remained in Israel also after a Grad rocket landed near his house.

Surprisingly, he has not harbored any ill-feelings against the Arab side and is a strong supporter of co-existence. He was recently approached by the mayor of Montereau, a French city adjacent to Paris, who informed him of his difficulties in financing the renovation of a large mosque in the city.

“I told myself ‘here is an opportunity to bring the people together’ and decided to donate the money,” Harush said. “People were dumbfounded. What does a Jewish-Israeli man have do to with refurbishing a mosque? The answer is simple: I’m sick and tired of the hatred. A sane voice must emerge.”

Harush explained that he built the mosque in order to promote co-existence. “It wasn’t a cheap venture but I did with all my heart.”

Leaders of the Montereau Muslim community have thanked Harush for the gesture and maintain a warm relationship with him.

The businessman, however, is not interested in supporting the Muslim community alone and has paid for the construction of one of the largest and most grandiose synagogues in Asheklon last year, which was named after his late father.

He is currently working on setting up a mikveh in the southern city to be dedicated to his late mother. “I myself am not a religious person but I feel that in the absence of upstanding politicians it falls on businessmen to bring together Jews and Arabs and seculars and the religious.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

4:52PM: Introducing ‘Gownsgate.’

University graduation ceremonies were interrupted in Jordan following local outrage over ‘Made in Israel’ labels found atop the graduation gowns.

A group of activists staged a sit-in Sunday at the southern gate of The Hashemite University in Zarqa, Jordan to protest the opening ceremony of graduation week after graduates of the 18,000 student institution found a ‘Made in Israel’ sticker on each graduation gown package.

Protesting students called on their colleagues to boycott the ceremonies, wear sashes reading “Not Made in Israel” and, in some cases, were seen burning their graduation gowns and an Israeli flag. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and student union took part in the protest.

Sad thing is, this is the level of hatred for us in a county supposedly at peace with us.

In any event, I think this story merits breaking out the Nelson.

4:36PM: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Fourth of July greetings at the residence of US Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham.

3:52PM: Saudi Arabia has denied a report in French daily Le Figaro, according to which Kind (bad typo-ed) Abdullah told the French Defense minister that “two states in the region do not deserve to exist: Israel and Iran”.

A Saudi official told the government-controlled Saudi Press, “This is untrue altogether”, and expressed bewilderment at the French paper’s willingness to make such charges without verifying the details.

The official added that Saudi Arabia’s position was “clear”.

Yes. They believe only one state in the region does not deserve to exist: Israel.

1:22PM: Some more bad PR for Israel.

Lindsay Lohan has a new lady in her life who is battlefield ready — she’s a former member of the Israeli Defense Force.

Sources close to the actress tell TMZ, Lindsay and Eilat Anschel — who completed her mandatory stint in the Israeli army — met a while ago in L.A. … but things have been getting pretty serious over the last month.

According to sources, Lindsay started using Eilat as a “shoulder to cry on” during the whole SCRAM thing … and then things just evolved as they do.

But again for Lindsay … love may prove elusive. Her friends understate the problem this way: “It’s not the healthiest relationship in the world.”  The friends say Lilo’s totally obcessing over the chick.

Seems like Lohan has a thing for Jewish girls.

Oy.

12:50PM: Lebanon’s Grand Shiite Head Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah has died.

Let’s bring out the reaper.

12:40PM: No doubt some nincompoops are going to use this next story to somehow implicate Israel in the latest spy scandal.

Anna Chapman, the 28-year-old flamed-haired beauty arrested in the United States last week along with several other alleged Russian spies, was dating a 60-year-old Israeli divorced father named Michel Bittan, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

According to the report, the New Jersey businessman “with deep pockets and influential friends” shared Chapman’s taste for the high life.

A fellow Russian party girl told the paper that “he was older, but he clearly loves surrounding himself with beautiful women, mostly Russian, and since the spring Anna was in his inner circle.”

Bittan, the report said, grew up in a poor Jewish family in Casablanca, moved to France and then to Israel before making his fortune in America.

According to the Daily News, the two met more than a year ago at the Russian hangout Mari Vanna IN Manhattan, and things heated up in the past two months, when he showed up more often at her apartment.

“I didn’t think it was exclusive on his part – he really loves hot women – but she enjoyed hanging with him,” a friend of Bittan said. “He moves in circles, knows celebrity chefs, meets politicians.”

The friend added that Bittan was “a very wealthy and successful guy. He made his money in jeans, real estate, pharmaceuticals, restaurants.”

The espionage affair was revealed last week by the US Department of Justice after the FBI had arrested 10 people for allegedly serving for years as secret agents of Russia’s intelligence organ, the SVR, with the goal of penetrating US government policymaking circles. Another suspect was arrested in Cyprus, but disappeared after being released on bail.

Chapman drew the media’s attention immediately after the affair broke out due to her beauty. Newspapers began reporting about her day-to-day-routine in America, focusing on her active social life and her Facebook friends, including well known economist Nouriel Roubini, who has been credited with predicting the global economic meltdown.

In another newsflash: she’s not all that. I do not understand why so many people are describing her as “hot.” At best, she is lukewarm.

Most of the female alleged Mossad agents from Dubai are more aesthetically pleasing.

9:12AM: Two Israeli universities – Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – have made the top 5 of the Best Places to Work 2010: Academia – Top 10 International Academic Institutions list.

6:28AM: Excellent article by a Muslim doctor on the flotilla incident and double standard when it comes to Israel.

Excerpt:

Much of the news coverage here in Britain has focused on the reality that Gaza has indeed remained under naval blockade and effectively under siege, deprived of many critical resources which would otherwise facilitate its rebuilding. Indeed while Israel permits the entry of significant amounts of aid, food, medicines, the details remain unclear in countless press reports, a deliberate oversight, in my opinion.

However, unfailingly, in every rendition, the May 31st Flotilla bearing humanitarian aid has been universally cast as a force for moral good, a symbolic ‘liberator’, as a response to a forgotten need. A colossal gesture of providing massive cargo bearing millions of dollars of aid is indeed philanthropic. But there is more to this than that.

From the first moments, I was flummoxed as to why these ships were suddenly arriving at this time, even though the blockade is over 3 years old. More intriguing was to consider why private interests in Turkey were underwriting this astonishingly expensive effort when their elected government has been an ally of Israel for years, even to the extent of engaging in regular naval exercises with the Israeli Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean.

For a long time, the portrayal of Israelis has been universally monolithic: oppressive, brutal, inhuman and heartless. The parallels between Israeli and Jew; military engagement with national identity; state policy with individual responsibility are conveniently blurred into one homogeneous, maligned, dislikeable edifice. Evidently we, the viewers, the invisible media auteurs, have lost all powers of nuance and discernment. In every report, Israeli brutality, whether on the ship, or in Gaza has been emphasized, both implicitly and explicitly.

Read the whole thing here.

6:12AM: Hizbullah is trying to stop UNIFIL patrols.

A number of recent clashes between United Nations soldiers in southern Lebanon and local villagers could lead to an escalation along the Israeli-Lebanese border as Hizbullah works to prevent peacekeepers from implementing Security Council Resolution 1701.

On Saturday, two UNIFIL vehicles, including an armored personnel carrier, were blocked by a large group of civilians as the convoy traveled on a road north of the southern Lebanese village of Kabrikha. Stones were also thrown at UNIFIL forces in another village on Saturday.

The civilians stoned the patrol, which decided to leave the scene, hitting a motorcycle that had been parked blocking the road. The crowd then surrounded the patrol, punctured the vehicles’ tires, smashed the windows, and tried grabbing weapons mounted on the vehicles. In response, the soldiers, from the French Battalion, fired warning shots in the air.

The commander of the patrol was attacked and his weapon was stolen. A group of civilians took him to a nearby home where he received medical treatment, UNIFIL said in a statement.

—-

Israeli defense officials said that the escalation in violence was due to increased UNIFIL activity throughout southern Lebanon since Cuevas, a Spanish officer, took command of the peacekeeping force in January. The officials also said that the so-called villagers who attacked the peacekeepers were likely affiliated with Hizbullah.

I don’t understand why the villagers go to such effort to stop UNIFIL troops. They need only conduct some funerals for terrorists.

6:05AM: Palestinian terrorist Mohammed Oudeh, the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack, yesterday died in Damascus.

And in other good news, Hizbullah’s spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, reportedly has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

5:55AM: With this level of ignorance about Israel on campus, it is no wonder academics are in prime position to poison students’ minds.

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