Written by Right Side News
25 Av 5768
August 26, 2008
Barak Enroute to Egypt
While Egyptian efforts to stop weapon smuggling into Gaza have increased in recent weeks, Hamas is still continuing the illegal operations at a rapid pace, senior security officials told The Jerusalem Post Monday, ahead of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Alexandria for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Barak will travel to Alexandria this morning for a one-day visit during which he will meet with Mubarak, Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman and Egyptian Defense Minister Muhammad Tantawi. The focus of his talks with the Egyptian leaders will be the release of kidnapped soldier, Gilad Schalit. Barak will also urge the Egyptians to take on a more active role in stopping the flow of weapons and explosives from Sinai into Gaza.
"There has not been any real drastic change in the smuggling," a senior security official told the Post. "The Egyptians are basically working the same way today as they did before the cease-fire went into effect."
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset three weeks ago that Hamas was using the lull in violence since the cease-fire to smuggle new and advanced weaponry into Gaza which will extend the range of their rockets to encompass Ashdod as well.
Obama on Iran
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama declared Monday that the world must press Iran through sanctions and diplomacy to stop its nuclear program, so that Israel does not feel its "back is against the wall" and that it therefore has no choice but to attack.
Speaking at a campaign event in Iowa, Obama said that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a "game-changer for the region."
Obama stressed that Israel, "one of our strongest allies in the world," would feel hugely threatened given claims by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he would wipe it off the world map.
In response to a question from a crowd of about 250 supporters, he said: "My job as president would be to try to make sure that we are tightening the screws diplomatically on Iran, that we've mobilized the world community to go after Iran's program in a serious way and to get sanctions in place so that Iran starts making a difficult calculation.
"We've got to do that before Israel feels like its back is to the wall," he reiterated when asked if Israel felt that it had free reign to take action against Iran if the West did not convince Teheran to curb its nuclear ambitions.
"I don't want to speculate on whether or not Israel feels like it has a green light or not," he said. "What is not speculation is that we have to act much more forcefully and effectively on the world stage to contain Iran's nuclear capabilities."
UN: Smuggling from Syria to Lebanon Wide Open
Lebanon's eastern border with Syria is wide open to smugglers, according to a report submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday by a task force he appointed to study the issue.
The report harshly criticizes both Lebanon and Syria, saying there has been no improvement over the past year despite promises by both countries to address the issue.
Israel has long claimed that weapons from Iran and Syria flow freely across this border to Hezbollah, despite the embargo on such shipments imposed by Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006. This smuggling, Israel says, has given Hezbollah an arsenal that is both qualitatively and quantitatively superior to what it had before that war, and may even include sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles.
Mofaz: Prisoner Release a Big Mistake
After blaming Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday for "folding" because of her support for the 2009 State Budget, yesterday Shaul Mofaz went after her again saying this his political opponent in the race for leadership of the Kadima party "pushed" for the "bad decision to release more Palestinian prisoners," referring to yesterday's freeing of 198 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.
Speaking in Or Akiva the transportation minister said, "Releasing the Palestinian prisoners while (captive IDF soldier) Gilad Shalit is not yet with us inspires very difficult feelings in me. Making bad decisions is worse than making no decisions, and it leads to us having released 700 Palestinian prisoners for nothing. Sadly, Tzipi Livni pushed for this.
"We need a strong and decisive leadership that will protect our national interests and Israel's interest is to return Gilad Shalit," he said, adding that "we will be required to release prisoners for Shalit, the significance of this being we have to hold on to them until he is freed.
"The release is a very big mistake, and I say we should not give up valuable assets that harm the State of Israel."
Saudis Bail Out Palestinian Authority
Saudi Arabia will step in to help bail out the Palestinian Authority from its latest financial crisis, according to statements by a top PA official last Saturday."The Saudi finance minister told the Palestinian Authority that the decision was made to transfer $100 million," said Palestinian Information Minister Riyad Al-Malki.
Al-Malki said the funds, expected to arrive in the next days, were pledged as part of an aid package approved by Arab donor countries at a Paris conference last December.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad claims that in recent months his government has had difficulty paying its bills-specifically, the salaries of government workers-because a number of donor countries have failed to meet their pledges to send financial aid.
Former PA chairman and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat established a legacy of profound financial corruption in his administration. The Fatah-dominated PA is believed to have siphoned vast amounts of money, said to number well into the billions, from its subjects as well as foreign donors. In spite of this, the European Union continues to partner Arab states in keeping the PA financially afloat.
Hebrew Univ. Among Top 100 in the World
An international survey has listed Hebrew University of Jerusalem as the one of the world's top universities. According to the report issued by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Hebrew University is 65th among the world's top 100 universities in the new Academic Ranking of World Universities. The Jerusalem campus is the only Israeli institution included in the list, joining such top names as Harvard, Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)and Britain's Cambridge University.
The annual survey evaluates more than 2,000 universities around the world and ranks the top 500 among them. Other Israeli universities fell into ranking categories below the top 100. Tel Aviv University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology were ranked at 151. The Weizmann Institute came in at 200. Bar Ilan University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev were ranked at 401.
Rankings are based on a combined scale of academic criteria that include awards won by alumni and staff, articles published in leading scientific journals, and the number of highly cited researchers. The list is considered an authoritative mark of quality in the academic world.
Hebrew University President Prof. Menachem Magidor said the institution's inclusion on the exclusive list was an impressive achievement. "The fact that six Israeli universities are listed among the top 500 universities in the world with the Hebrew University ranked among the top 100 is most impressive, (especially) when we take into account the size of Israel," he said.
UPDATE: Operation Issachar
Later today, I will finally get to meet with the local Mayor regarding Operation Issachar. I will report back to you tomorrow about my meeting with the Mayor today.
I haven't said much about it at all in the last two weeks, in part because I am routinely reluctant to focus on fund-raising in this Report. Long time subscribers can attest to that fact.
Meanwhile, let me just say that our objective is to wrap up this project within the next 2-3 weeks, well in advance of the Jewish holiday of ROSH HASHANA which begins at sundown on September 29th. Thus far, about 25% of our list of some 7000 subscribers have donated to this project, some even donating two and three times over the summer. May you be doubly and triply blessed!
For our brand new subscribers this month, Operation Issachar is all about preparing northern Israel for the war we know is coming, in particular by focusing on the need to repair and re-supply bomb shelters that are essential for saving lives.
When we began this project in June, I noted that with 7000 subscribers, if every person who receives the report gave $2.68 we would reach our goal of completely renovating and supplying two large bomb shelters at a cost of $18, 750 each. A large portion of that figure has to do with renewing the concrete flooring, walls and ceilings of old bomb shelters which have fallen into disrepair.
Most of the contributions received thus far have been in the $50 - $100 range, with a handful of larger checks of $500 and $1000, proving once again a principle that every fund-raiser knows: success is achieved when everyone does what they are able to do and EVERY gift counts. Someone wrote me apologetically that they could "only give $10." No apology needed!!!! When only 2000 of our 7000 subscribers each give $10, another bomb shelter is covered!!!
So today - I want to particularly ask those of you who have not yet contributed, will you send $10 for this important project? Those of you who have already contributed, perhaps you could send just $10 more? Let's make these last three weeks a testimony to what $10 from hundreds of people can accomplish. I'm sure we can reach our goal by September 22nd so that all the funds can be delivered here in Israel BEFORE Rosh Hashana.
You who follow the news are deeply aware of Hizbollah's increasing militancy towards Israel, of Iran's defiance of the international community, and most recently, of the troubling developments with Russia which have deep implications for the world at large and certainly bring the prospect of war against Israel that much closer. We MUST complete this project - no other option is acceptable and time is NOT on our side.
Thank you in advance for standing with us all the way to the completion of this project.
To donate by mail, please send your check, made out to Lekarev to:
Lekarev, PO Box 410580, Melbourne, FL 32941-0580
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Click on "Send Money"
Fill in the information requested and click to submit your donation.
Shalom and blessings,
I will rejoice in Hashem, I will exult in the G-d of my salvation. Hashem, the L-rd, is my strength, and He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and He makes me walk upon my high places.