The Day In Israel: Wed Oct 6th, 2010

The iman of the mosque subject to arson has gone on the attack.

Rabbi Iman


Residents are trying to return to their regular lives after the arson, but will not forget the destruction. The mosque’s imam, Ali Taqatqa, tried to clear up the place a little for VIP visits but did not entirely erase the evidence.

“I am leaving it as it was after the fire on purpose, so that people will see what those settlers did, so that the media and history will be witness to the crime that was committed here yesterday (Monday),” he said.

Taqatqa also said he intends to preserve the carpet fragments and the partly-burned Koran, and put them in a display case in the mosque. He said when it was built in the 80s, just before the Intifada, there were attempts to destroy it.

“However, we managed to maintain the prayer room, and when the (Palestinian Authority) took over, we expanded it into a worthy mosque,” he said. Taqatqa is certain that whoever is responsible for the arson wanted to remold the conflict along religious lines, though he hopes it will not come to that, because “that will be much worse.”

Sorry to break it to Taqatqa, but his people have been framing the conflict along religious lines for a long time.

Taqatqa called on the IDF to show the footage from cameras which “film every ant that goes in and out of the village.”

“How is it that they can’t find the perpetrators?” he said. “I can imagine if a Palestinian from the village had torched a synagogue, they would have burned down the whole village already. But they know it’s our weak point, that we don’t harm religious sites, because we believe in holy places and in the prophets, and we wouldn’t dare to harm them.”

Palestinians have committed all sorts of atrocities, yet I do not recall us burning down entire villages. As for his contention that they don’t harm “religious sites,” I can only suggest he gets an agent because a future in stand-up beckons.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

6:38PM: Separated at birth?

6:20PM: The NY Times: When History Speaks.

6:15PM: Hamas has threatened to attack senior PA officials if the PA continues to ‘hunt down’ Hamas members.

I just love the threat of intra-terrorist organization violence.

4:10PM: Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber – last seen wearing a yamulke –  is set to perform in Israel next year. And he seems to be quite the businessman.

The cost of bringing Bieber to Israel is estimated at $1.5 million at least, of which between $600-800 million will go to the star himself.

1:10PM: According to Arab media outlets, UEFA is thinking of banning Israel.

The head of European soccer’s governing body told a senior Palestinian Authority official that Israel is in danger of eviction from UEFA if its government does not change its policies limiting the freedom of movement for Palestinian athletes, according to reports in Palestinian and Arab media outlets.

During a late September meeting in the West Bank with Palestinian Olympic Committee chairman Jibril Rajoub, UEFA President Michel Platini reportedly pledged to exert his influence in removing Israel from European competition over the authorities’ refusal to permit members of the Palestinian national soccer team to attend games due to “security reasons.”

“We accepted Israel into Europe and it must abide by the laws and regulations which require freedom of movement for players,” Platini is said to have told Rajoub. “If Israel does not do this, it will bear the serious consequences and it is liable to be thrown out of Europe.”

In other news, it is good to see that Jibril Rajoub has landed on his feet.

1:05PM: A new terror group is not too popular with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine:

The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Tuesday accused Gaza government security forces of appropriating their name.

The movement said it bore no affiliation to the newly formed Islamic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a branch within Gaza’s security forces.

“There is no link between this group and the PFLP … stealing the name of the Popular Front is a desperate attempt that will not affect it,” the statement read.

Now if only both groups would settle this by killing each other.

12:05PM: Palestinian Media Watch reports:

In spite of the peace talks the PA continues to educate its people to envision a world without Israel, presenting Israeli cities and regions as “Palestinian.”

Last week, PA TV rebroadcast an educational documentary that has been broadcast numerous times since 2007. The documentary describes the Israeli cities of Haifa, Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa and the Sea of Galilee as Palestinian.

PA TV is under the direct control of the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The following is the transcript of the excerpt of the PA TV documentary:

“The West Bank and Gaza have another section in Palestine which is the Palestinian coast that spreads along the [Mediterranean] sea, from …Ashkelon in the south, until Haifa, in the Carmel Mountains. Haifa is a well-known Palestinian port. [Haifa] enjoyed a high status among Arabs and Palestinians especially before it fell to the occupation [Israel] in 1948. To its north, we find Acre. East of Acre, we reach a city with history and importance, the city of Tiberias, near a famous lake, the Sea of Galilee. Jaffa, an ancient coastal city, is the bride of the sea, and Palestine’s gateway to the world.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 1, 2010, and dozens of times 2007 – 2010]

Just so you know what they mean by “settlements.”

9:00AM: This day 37 years ago, the Yom Kippur way broke out.

In commemoration of the war, minutes of top secret cabinet meetings held during the war have been released.

Following the release on Monday of minutes of prime minister Golda Meir’s meeting with her war cabinet on the second day of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the state archives yesterday released the minutes of eight additional meetings that the prime minister held during the war’s first four days.

The documents provide a rare look at the military and diplomatic efforts made just hours before the Arab attack on Israel. They also attest to the existence of an intelligence source who provided credible information of an imminent attack, enabling Israel’s political leadership to consider a preemptive strike on Egypt and Syria.

IDF chief of staff David Elazar suggested during the meetings “When there are skirmishes we tell the truth, but during wartime we must not tell the truth.”

The documents show the close ties between King Hussein of Jordan and Israel’s leadership on the eve of the war. They also again reveal Israel’s complacency regarding the Arab armies’ military might.

On the day the war broke out, Yom Kippur, the chief of military intelligence, Eli Zeira, was still expressing the belief that Egyptian president Anwar Sadat would not start another war with Israel. Despite that view, and against the recommendations of then-defense minister Moshe Dayan, Meir decided to mobilize 200,000 reserve soldiers so as to provide a substantial boost to the military in the event that war broke out.

Meir and senior defense officials also worked to procure additional military hardware, in the form of 40 fighter jet and 400 tanks, from the United States. The prime minister even considered a secret meeting with U.S. president Richard Nixon without the knowledge of the cabinet, in a effort to convince the American leader to come to Israel’s assistance.

October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, 8:05 A.M.

Meir convened an emergency meeting in Tel Aviv with senior defense officials. Six hours before the outbreak of the war, Israeli preparations for a general offensive by Arab armies finally began. The warnings of the intelligence source were being taken seriously, as was the fact that the Russians were pulling families out of Egypt and Syria, a sign of approaching war. But U.S. intelligence was not predicting war.

Minister Yisrael Galili said a source had suggested the war could be prevented by leaking information that would reach the Egyptians and Syrians, so they would knew their plans for attack had been discovered.

Jordan also preoccupied those in attendance, because it wasn’t clear if the kingdom would join in the assault on Israel.

Initially, Meir deliberated between Elazar’s call for a full mobilization of the reserves and Dayan’s request for a limited call-up.

“If you approve a major mobilization of the reserves, I won’t resign,” Dayan said. But with an eye to international reaction, he added, “A full mobilization before even one shot is fired – they will say right away that we are the aggressors.”

At 9:20 A.M., a full mobilization was approved.

October 7, 1973

A discussion at the Prime Minister’s Office centered on how to enlist American support at the United Nations and head off a cease-fire that would hurt Israel. Meir suggested putting together a list of requests.

The forum considered presenting U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger with a partial, distorted picture exaggerating Israel’s poor situation to win the Nixon administration’s support. Meir rejected the suggestion out of hand.

“We should telegraph him the details; he should get the real picture,” she said. “We can’t play hide and seek with him.”

Minister Yisrael Galili asked in response, “Do we sell him the fact that we’ve moved out of the populated areas?” Meir replied, “I don’t object to us saying, there’s also risk to populated areas … I want to give him the real picture. I’m not under the impression the situation is doomed … We should tell it to him convincingly. Tonight was a bad night.”

11:50 P.M.

A meeting of the ministers with senior defense officials. Yitzhak Rabin returned from a tour of the southern front and told the meeting, “The whole issue of the dead and wounded is complicated. There are 400 wounded and 80 killed. [GOC Southern Command Shmuel] Gorodish estimates there will be 150 to 200 killed before the counteroffensive.” Rabin said he had no information on Egyptian losses.

October 8, 7:50 P.M.

Maj. Gen. Haim Bar-Lev and minister Yigal Allon report to the prime minister after a tour of both fronts. The Israeli forces’ situation is beginning to improve, while the enemy forces are beginning to suffer serious damage.

“What they achieved today as compared to yesterday is enormous,” Allon said. “The front was breached yesterday. If the Syrians had been more daring, they’d have made significant gains.”

Bar-Lev explained the Egyptian and Syrian successes as being partly due to technological superiority. “Both have the new Soviet tank plus infrared,” he said. “They have an advantage there. On the first night we were surprised; we only knew they had it in theory … Today we know about it and take it into account.”

9:50 A.M.

Elazar asked Meir’s permission to attack four Egyptian targets along the coast. Meir agreed.

“These are good targets,” Elazar said. “Make them worry. We need to press them. After all, they too are only human.”

October 9

Dayan voiced confidence in the Israeli forces’ ability to overcome Syria and asked permission to bomb targets in Damascus. “There’s an order: No retreat on the Golan,” he said. “Fighting to the death and not moving … What I’m suggesting and asking for approval of [is] bombings inside the city.”

Meir asked whether he meant within the city itself, and Dayan confirmed this. He said the IDF can’t muster a column to march on Damascus even as a decoy, but bombing in and around the city could “break the Syrians” – though he conceded, “you can’t say the population wouldn’t be hurt.”

“Why would it necessarily break them?” Meir asked. “Would a bombing here break us?

Elazar replied: “A heavy bombing here, on Reading and Ramat Aviv, would seriously disrupt things.”

Meir suggested leaving on a secret, 24-hour mission to Washington, without informing the cabinet, to personally explain the gravity of the situation to Nixon. “I’d like to suggest a crazy idea: What if me and an appropriate military official go to Washington for 24 hours? … Maybe he’ll say he can offer nothing but sympathy. Maybe his personal pride will be roused by what they [the Russians] are doing to him … I have the feeling that I’m at a point where I need to talk to him, and a feeling that he will understand.”

Meanwhile, the Ynet report on this includes some telling passages that show how our leaders at the time understood the Arabs’ goals.

“They (Arabs) want to go for the entire Land of Israel,” Dayan said. Golda responded, “This is the second round since 1948.” “It is a battle for the Land of Israel,” Dayan declared, “The Arabs won’t stop the war, and if they agree to a ceasefire – they may resume (the fighting). If we withdraw from the Golan Heights, it won’t solve anything.”

Golda added: “They have no reason not to continue. They smelled blood.” Dayan said, “To conquer Israel, finish off the Jews.”


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

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