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Israeli Ballot Divider (photo credit: Yiftach T. Wikimedia Commons)

ISRAELI ELECTION CAMPAIGN FOR DUMMIES

Bibi Netanyahu may be the most popular candidate for the next prime minister but two-thirds of Israeli voters do not want him.

 They are fed up with both his foreign and domestic policies. Israel has been suffering one diplomatic defeat after another in the international arena and the cost of living, mainly housing prices, has been skyrocketing during his tenure. And that is why the March 17th election is now up for grabs and why the ruling Likud party is now in trouble. While the polls show that no other candidate comes close to Netanyahu for being the most experienced 'in taking the telephone call at three AM in the morning', Israelis do not select the prime minister but vote for the list of candidates presented by the various parties running in the election. This is the crux of the current campaign. 

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Chanukah

Chanukah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.

 Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration.

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FEINSTEIN ON CIA TORTURE & ISRAELI METHODS

Israeli interrogations compared to CIA...

 How do Israel's security service interrogations of Jihadist terrorists compare with the 'enhanced terror interrogations' of the CIA that have been sharply criticized by the Feinstein Report in Washington? 'Moderate physical pressure' is the guideline rendered by Israel's Supreme Court on security service interrogations of suspected terrorists. Like the U.S. today, the Jewish state has wrestled over the years on just how far to go in interrogating terrorists in order to save lives. The issue came to a head in 1984 with the 'The 300 bus-line affair'. Four Arab terrorists from the Gaza Strip hijacked an Israeli bus and threatened to blow it and the passengers up unless Israel released prisoners. They ordered the bus driver to head for Egypt via the Gaza Strip, but on the way IDF soldiers shot out its tires. Later, Sayeret Matkal commandos stormed the bus killing two terrorists and capturing the two others. One Israeli passenger was killed and seven others wounded. Then, in blatant violation of Israeli law, the chief of the Shin Bet security service ordered his agents at the scene to exit the two captured terrorists. 

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What is Jewish Projects?

Jewish Start-Up: Social Network Fundraising for Jewish Non-Profits

 Chanan Ziderman, owner of a long established consultancy company to non-profits, and founder & CEO of Jewish Projects, launched the Sixth Chanukah Candle Campaign for Jews around the world at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington D.C., USA, on November 10.

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King-George Street in Jerusalem

The opening of King-George street marked the seventh anniversary of the conquering of Jerusalem by the British forces headed by General Allenby, and was named after the British king of that time - King George the fifth.

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The Jews of Portugal

From the Golden Age of Discovery to the Inquisition, Portugese Jewry went from the heights of wealth and success to the depths of anguish and despair.

 The history of Portugese Jewry is like that of many other places, where success and sadness go hand in hand. Walking along Lisbon’s streets, remnants remain of Portugal’s rich Jewish life. Sparks of Portugal’s past can be found in the remote mountain villages, where the some of the last remaining Marrano communities can still be found practicing Jewish rituals behind closed doors, fear of persecutions still looming. Today, the Jewish community of Portugal numbers approximately 600 people.

 

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ISRAEL'S EARLY ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 17

Israel is gearing up for one of its most stormy election campaigns in its history.

After Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu fired the leaders of two coalition partners from his cabinet, Israeli voters are headed for an early election on March 17th, 2015

 The process has been set in motion for the Knesset to dissolve parliament after just 18 months in office. There are no snap elections in Israel - the law stipulates some three months for an intensive election campaign that is funded by public money. Each party selects lists of candidates that are presented to the voters. After ballots are tallied, it will then be up to State President Reuven Rivlin to meet with the various elected parties with the aim of selecting the party leader with the best prospect for forming a new coalition government; in other words, one that can command a parliamentary majority in the 120-member House. 

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The Partition Plan כ"ט בנובמבר

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution, which adopted the plan for the partition of Palestine, recommended by the majority of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). 33 states voted in favor of the resolution and 13 against. 10 states abstained.

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TURKEY COLLABORATES WITH ISIL & HAMAS

Has Turkey now permitted an ISIL attack against the beleaguered Kurdish town of Kobani just over the Syrian border?

 According to the Associated Press, the ISIL assault was launched by a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle across the Turkish border:

"Beirut (AP): The Islamic State group launched an attack on the Syrian border town of Kobani - a first in the ongoing siege, a Kurdish official and activist said."

 He was identified as Nawaf Khalil a spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic party. In Khalil's words:

"ISIL used to attack the town (of Kobani) from three sides. Today they are attacking from four sides."

 There is no question that ISIL could not have launched the attack from across the Turkish border without the green light from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish Army has deployed a cordon of tanks along its border with Syria to bar Turkish volunteers from reaching Kobani, which has been under ISIL attack since September. 

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What about the Jewish Nakba?

For decades, the Palestinians have nurtured the ethos of the Nakba while Israel chose to downplay the persecutions and expulsion of the Arab Jews. It is time to set the record straight.

 "If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea." This statement was made by Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, about a month and a half after the declaration of the independence, and with the Egyptian Army already having invaded the territory allotted to the Jewish state. The Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, explained in his memoirs: "Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world."

 And the Arab League at the time also adopted two decisions, which materialized into a bill designed to seize the bank accounts of Jews and strip them of their possessions – a bill that was subsequently put into practice among well-established and wealthy Jewish communities in places such as Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Entire communities were destroyed.

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IRAN NOT BUDGING ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY

 Israel has breathed a collective sigh of relief. There is good news and bad news over the decision to extend the Nov. 24th deadline and negotiate on Iran's nuclear project for another seven months. The good news is that U.S. President Barack Obama and the other members of the 5P+1 have not agreed to a nuclear deal at any price - the bad news is they have acquiesced in Iran's stonewalling without increasing the sanctions. Iran's sweet-talking President Hassan Rouhani was more than pleased with the diplomatic outcome in Vienna:

 "We have achieved a significant victory - the negotiations will lead to a deal, sooner or later."

 And his boss, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that he would not budge in the upcoming round of negotiations:

 "The American and European colonialist countries gathered and applied their entire efforts to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not and will not." 

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Night of the Hang-Gliders

Four terrorists were sent on a suicide mission to fly 80 kilometers on motorized hang-gliders into an IDF army base next to the city of Kiryat-Shemonah. One of the attackers reached his target,  killing 6 IDF soldiers.

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Rafael Eitan (1929-2004)

Rafael "Raful" Eitan was an Israeli general, former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces and later a politician, a Knesset member and government minister. Born in Afula during the Mandate era, Eitan was raised in Moshav Tel Adashim, where he spent most of his life.

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ISRAEL - DESPERATE SITUATION REQUIRES DESPERATE REMEDIES

It's all-out war against Palestinian terrorism after the worst Palestinian terror attack in the current wave of violence.

 This was the message from Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, after two Palestinian terrorists, armed with a handgun and meat cleaver, ran into a Jerusalem synagogue and hacked and shot four Jewish worshippers to death and wounded eight other Israelis. This is what happened:

 At approximately 7:AM, Jewish worshippers were in the middle of the early morning prayer of Shaharit at the Tehilat Yaakov synagogue in the religious neighborhood of Har Nof, when two young Palestinians drove up in their car, parked it nearby, and then ran unhindered into the synagogue. (Most public buildings in Israel have armed guards at the entrance but synagogues do not - no one thought that Palestinians would stoop to executing terror attacks on holy sites.) They immediately began shooting and hacking at the unsuspecting worshippers, who were already wrapped in their prayer shawls. Eyewitnesses later described how the killers moved from one victim to another, one terrorist was firing all the time, and the other was hacking victims with his big meat cleaver. All the while they were shouting 'Allah Akbar!' 

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David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973)

On the anniversary of the death of Israels first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, IsraCast brings you Ben-Gurion's biography, two audio interviews from Canadian radio stations in the year 1961, and a transcript of highlights from the Decleration of Independence - read by him on May 14th, 1948.

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Abba Eban (1915-2002)

A brilliant orator, Eban served as diplomat, government minister and Member of Knesset. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, he sought to consolidate Israel’s relations with the United States and secure association with the European Economic Community. Before and after the Six-Day War, he led Israel in its political struggle in the UN.

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KERRY TO THE RESCUE OF TEMPLE MOUNT

For the first time in several months, thousands of Muslims have prayed peacefully on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

 While there was sporadic Palestinian rioting elsewhere, U.S. Secretary John Kerry's mission to Amman has succeeded so far in dousing the flames that threatened to ignite a third Palestinian intifada (uprising). Credit where credit is due, and this time hats off to Kerry. Meeting first with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and then together with Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah, Secretary Kerry was able to persuade the sides to take 'constructive steps, real steps, not rhetoric to de-escalate the situation'.

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Israel's Arab Leaders Are Only Selling Isolationism

Op-ed: Silent majority of the Arab community prefers Israel to any other country, and we would do well to give them a voice instead of their agitator MKs.

 Most Israeli Arabs are loyal citizens – and when I say most, I mean the vast majority. Within a population of around 1.25 million people (excluding East Jerusalem) there are not only hundreds of hooligans, but thousands, who are likely to have the support of an additional percentage or two. Troubled times see the extremists flourish. On the backdrop of Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah's ongoing incitement, it would only take one incident to set the sector ablaze. The majority don't attend the demonstrations. But hundreds of youths do. Maybe even thousands. The impression created stains the entire Arab minority.

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Welcome to the global intifada

Op-ed: Evil spirit is winning, and it has an army of supporters in West. Not just radical Islamists, but also intellectuals, professors, 'rights activists' and rest of members of anti-Israel campaign.

 In Canada, there were two terror attacks within two days. The first was a run-over attack, and the second was an attack on the parliament in the capital city of Ottawa. In New York, police officers were assaulted with an axe. In London, a cell of four members planned to murder Queen Elizabeth last week, armed with knives. A few months ago, France foiled a plot to blow up the Eifel Tower. In Israel, we have had a little of everything. Both run-over attempts and murder in a stabbing attack. Welcome to the global intifada.

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Bnei Menashe - The Long Way Home

 The Bnei Menashe (sons of Manasseh) community are a group of people from India's North Eastern regions who trace their ancestry to a distant forefather named Manmasi, who is believed to have been Menashe, son of Joseph, son of Jacob, making them descendents of one of the lost ten tribes of Israel.

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Hannah Szenes (1921-1944)

Szenes was one of 37 Jews living in Palestine, now Israel, who were trained by the British army to parachute into Yugoslavia during World War II in order to help save the Jews of Hungary, who were about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz. Szenes was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned and tortured, but she refused to reveal details of her mission, and was eventually tried and executed by firing squad.

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ANOTHER PALESTINIAN TERROR ATTACK IN JERUSALEM

 Jerusalem: It was only a matter of time - a Palestinian terrorist has again driven his vehicle at high speed into Israelis at a crowded intersection in Jerusalem. One Israeli border policeman was killed and thirteen other people were injured, several of them seriously. After deliberately crashing into the Israelis near a light rail station, the terrorist jumped from his van wielding an iron bar and clubbed bystanders. More policemen arrived quickly to shoot dead the attacker. Hamas has claimed responsibility for what it termed "the heroic running over operation." The assailant has been identified as Ibrahim Akari, a thirty-five year old resident from the nearby Shuafat refugee camp. He was the brother of one of the terrorists released by Israel in exchange for the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. The brother, who had murdered another policeman, was banished from Israel to Turkey, where President Erdogan has reportedly permitted Hamas to set up shop.

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Operation Atlas - Poisoning Tel-Aviv Residents

On 1941 the Arab Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini met with Adolf Hitler and discussed ways to 'solve the Jewish problem'. Three years later the Nazis and the Arabs of Palestine planned to poison the drinking water in Tel-Aviv with Arsenic poison.

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Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995)

Yitzhak Rabin was murdered on November 4th, 1995 by a Jewish assassin, Yigal Amir. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel from 1974 until 1977 and again from 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Rabin played a leading role in the signing of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and the peace treaty with Jordan, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize For Peace in 1994. Read More...

HAS ANYTHING CHANGED SINCE THE SUEZ WAR?

Joint Operation of Britain, France and Israel against Egypt

 On October 29, 1956 Britain, France and Israel launched a military operation against Egypt. In a swift, sweeping operation of 100 hours, under the leadership of then Chief of the General Staff, Moshe Dayan, the entire Sinai peninsula fell into Israeli hands, at a cost of 231 soldiers killed. This operation was held in response to the closing of the Suez Canal by the Egyptians and terrorist attacks on Israel that violated the armistice agreement between the two countries.

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