Thursday, June 29
From The Jerusalem Post:
Eliyahu (Photo: FIBA Europe)
"Lior Eliyahu, was selected by the Orlando Magic with the 44th overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft in New York City..."
Halperin (Photo: Ales Fevzer)
And, "most analysts projected Yotam Halperin to be the first Israeli player drafted since the Los Angeles Clippers picked Doron Sheffer with the 36th selection of the 1996 Draft. Halperin surprisingly dropped to the Seattle Supersonics with the 53rd pick.
"In other basketball news, Pini Gershon, who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to three European titles, signed a contract to coach Greek team Olympiakos."
Yossi Klein Halevi in the New Republic:
"Nothing unites Israelis in outrage more than the seizure of hostages. On July 4, Israel will mark the 30th anniversary of the Entebbe operation that freed over a hundred Israeli hostages, and little has changed since then in the national ethos of rescue. The last Zionist ideal still shared by most Israelis is the determination to fight back. An Israeli soldier held hostage is a taunt against the Zionist promise of self-defense, an unbearable reminder of Jewish helplessness.
"Our obsession with hostages is a tactical weakness but a strategic strength. It allows terrorists a stunning psychological advantage: With a single random kidnapping, they hold an entire society emotionally hostage. Strategically, though, hostage-taking only strengthens Israeli resolve."
Now, please contrast and compare the following. There will be a test. Actually, it's already begun:
"The pain is great, almost too great to bear," said Miriam Asheri, mother of slain Itamar resident Eliyahu Asheri in an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday.
"But one thing I feel, despite all this… is that in the wake of disagreements between our brethren, with our different worldviews and different relationships to the land of Israel that creates a lot of conflict, a lot of anger, a lot of argument - many times, I've asked G-d that he should first of all grant me love for everyone in my heart, and… that He should show me the special quality of the nation of Israel, and that I should succeed - that we should all succeed in loving each other… truly from the heart."---
“The abduction was easy to carry out, and the hostage was alive for two days," said Palestinian Resistance Committee spokesman Abu Abir said on Thursday.
"Before we issued the announcement of his kidnap and after, the Israeli security system couldn’t decide who the kidnapped person was. Of course this only encourages us to continue the blessed Jihad and we promise more abductions in the near future.
“Operation ‘Cavaliers’ Wrath’ will turn Israelis’ lives into hell. Soldiers and settlers will find us everywhere; we will come out at them from under the ground and above it. We will to attack from every direction. The Salah a-Din Brigades are completing preparations for the next big operation. We will kidnap and murder more Zionists,” he said.
A moving, mutual Israeli-Jewish Diaspora shoutout over at Jblogosphere on this difficult morning:
“Those of us, who live in Israel are not isolated from the rest of the Jewish world. We in Diaspora, do care, and do think of Israel, and Israelis, as a nation (not just the Land, but the nation!) all the time. And for those of us, who live in Israel, we should not fall victims to illusion that once you become an Israeli, you forget about being a Jew. Wherever we are, we are one nation.
We have been separated through history, and wound up living in different parts of the world - but all those factors have not succeeded in breaking us, nor taking away our common identity. Israel, the symbol of our nationhood, stands strong, and whether you're religious or not, left-wing, right-wing, or somewhere in the middle, whether you're from Europe or the Middle East or the United States, you're all welcome there. And at the same time, whatever difficulties Israel experience, she is not alone. We're all here, ready to put aside our differences, the moment she needs our help.”
(In related news, later today I'll be posting a powerful, different take on this issue, and a disturbing cry of despair over Israel by an editor at a major New York Jewish newspaper, in an exclusive Israel At Level Ground Podcast with noted immigrant author, columnist and speaker Judy Lash Balint. Stop back here throughout the day and listen in. Meanwhile, Judy's latest: "Former Mossad Head: "Hamas Could Implode")
"As the Israel Defense Forces continued its land-based operation in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israel Air Force also struck targets in the south in continued efforts to pressure Palestinian militants into releasing a soldier seized Sunday in an attack on a military position near the Gaza border.
"The IAF before dawn Thursday struck a weapons warehouse managed by Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees in Khan Yunis. Witnesses also said three missiles fell in an open field used for training by Hamas militants.
"Israel aircraft also bombarded seven roads the IDF said were used by Qassam launch crews."
Palestinians in northern Gaza claimed earlier to have fired a chemical-tipped Kassam into Israel, although the IDF says they have no information of such an attack.
"Has Israel decided (YNET) that like the Taliban & like Saddam's regime of brutality, that the Hamas Terrorist Government's day has come?"
"Among those arrested during the operation, which began shortly after midnight in Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilya, Jenin and Jerusalem, are Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nasser al-Shaer, Hamas government Labor Minister Muhammad Barghouti, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arfa and many other top officials. Senior Hamas members Mahmoud Abu Tir and Mahmoud Atuan were apprehended in Jerusalem; most of the Palestinian Legislative Council members on Hamas’ behalf were also detained in various West Bank cities."
An anguished morning in Israel:
From The Jerusalem Post:
"The IDF confirmed early Thursday a report the Popular Resistance Committees issued from Gaza that it had executed Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar, who was kidnapped earlier this week in the West Bank.
"For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here.
"IDF combat engineers and Shin Bet agents, acting on intelligence, found Asheri's body Wednesday night in an abandoned car in an open field outside of Ramallah. The youth appeared to have been shot to death, and initial findings indicated that he may have been killed as early as Sunday.
"Asheri's family has been notified."