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Worldwide 'Shema' Wednesday


An appeal has been made to every Jew around to world to simultaneously read the first lines of the prayer known as Shema: "Hear O Israel, The L-rd is Our God, the Lord is One" on Wednesday. The prayer is intended to ask for Divine help to prevent violence toward the planned expulsion of Jewish residents from Gaza and northern Samaria and for Divine intervention to cancel the plan. The prayer is organized under the motto, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. The prayer will be recited at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem and at 2 p.m. in New York

Israel Threatens Retaliation if Palestinians Attack During Gaza Pullout

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem), &

Israel is warning of harsh retaliation if Palestinians attack it during the upcoming pullout from the Gaza Strip. In another development, the Israeli government expects half of the Gaza settlers will refuse to leave their homes voluntarily.

Israel is planning to launch a massive ground operation if Palestinians fire on Israeli soldiers and settlers during the Gaza pullout, which is due to begin in mid-August. "We would halt the evacuation of settlers for 10 days to two weeks and inflict a severe blow," said Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim. He said the army would send 12,000 to 15,000 troops to Palestinian towns near Jewish settlements in Gaza. The evacuation would resume once the army stops Palestinian fire.

The Palestinian Authority has promised to ensure a peaceful Israeli withdrawal, but Israel doubts that Palestinian forces are willing or able to control powerful Islamic terrorist groups led by Hamas. But Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said his side is ready. "We are determined to deliver, and to control, and to ensure that the 'disengagement' will take place in a smooth and peaceful atmosphere."

Under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, 21 Gaza settlements will be dismantled, and more than 8,000 Jews removed from their homes. Israeli officials said they expected that about half of the settlers slated for evacuation would refuse to leave. One such settler, Rachel Sapperstein, told VOA that it is a duty to resist what she calls "ethnic cleansing. And it is a shameful thing on the part of the government of Israel to be doing this to the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. It is a terrible, terrible shame,"

The settlers who refuse to leave have a lot to lose. They could forfeit tens of thousands of dollars in government compensation, and the army will remove them by force. But many settlers have vowed to resist until the bitter end.

Flyers appeared around Jerusalem during the night, with the banner "Seeking anti-Semitic soldiers to expel Jews," police reported on Sunday morning. The public circulars added "The Disengagement Authority is establishing a special unit to carry out the expulsion, seeking highly motivated soldiers in excellent condition to expel Jews... Preference given to non-Jewish soldiers who would appreciate the anti-Semitic aspect." The flyers concluded, "Gentiles do expel Jews!"

And the Israeli military plans to replace rubber bullets, which have caused dozens of fatalities, with a new sand bullet for riot control. An IDF spokesman said, the army said that the new sand bullets, which can be fired from a regular rifle, have already been used in the West Bank. The military maintained that the rubber-coated metal bullets were not deadly, but Palestinian protesters were often killed when the rubber bullets were fired from too close a range.

Police Threaten to Prevent Tuesday's Three-Pronged Gaza March


Israel's police are threatening to prevent anti-Disengagement rallies and marches, scheduled to leave from three western Negev towns Tuesday and head toward Gush Katif. Senior police officials said Sunday that they were considering the option of blocking anti-expulsion protesters from traveling to southern Israel altogether in order to prevent protesters from reaching Sderot, the Kassam rocket battered town set to be the starting point of the marches.

Statements by police officials on Israel's state-run radio stations followed a lengthy meeting with Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi Saturday night. The officials said that although a final decision had not been reached, the police are not willing to enable the scenario whereby marchers would move toward Gush Katif from Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim - as is planned.

Minister of Public Security Gideon Ezra (Likud) announced his support for the police decision. "We cannot enable them to drive this country crazy two weeks before the Disengagement," he said. "We are speaking about a demonstration whose target is to thwart the Disengagement Plan. If we were talking about a simple rally, then I have no doubt that the police would authorize it."

Ezra later announced that the rally would be permitted if there were a guarantee made to prevent activists from trickling into Gush Katif as a result. "The Prime Minister must announce that he is allowing this demonstration to take place without pre-conditions," Sderot mayor Eli Moyal told Army Radio.

Education Minister Limor Livnat, who has been demanding the police allow the demonstration against the Disengagement to take place, plans on bringing the matter up at Sunday's cabinet meeting. "This large segment of the public must be allowed to express its protest and remain within the context of the law," she said. "The behavior of the Yesha Council at Kfar Maimon revealed responsibility and an ability to control the situation - therefore, solutions must be proposed now, in order to find a way."

Residents Fighting to Prevent IDF Blockade of Northern Samaria


Residents of northern Samaria are actively struggling against upcoming plans by the IDF to blockade the region and prevent all non-residents from reaching the towns slated for expulsion. According to the information obtained by the residents, the IDF plans to isolate the communities slated for expulsion beginning Thursday, preventing citizens not registered as residents of the towns from entering them.

The residents of northern Samaria have already demonstrated to the IDF that they do not plan to allow preparations for the deployment of a blockade to take place. Last week, they succeeded in preventing the establishment of a military roadblock at the southern entrance to northern Samaria aimed at controlling the entry of residents. "If just 100 people succeeded in preventing the establishment of a checkpoint, at the moment of truth, thousands will be able to prevent and thwart the Disengagement," said Yossi Dagan of Sa-Nur.

The IDF originally claimed, two weeks after an attempted bombing in Shavei Shomron, that the checkpoint was necessary for security purposes. The residents were unconvinced and investigated the matter within the military establishment. They discovered that the checkpoint was set to be built on the main road and had nothing to do with the security of Shavei Shomron, as the IDF had claimed.

After it became clear to the residents that the checkpoint was being built solely to solidify control on the main artery in order to prevent Jews from reaching and reinforcing the communities slated for destruction, residents decided to act and dismantle it. "It is important that there be people in northern Samaria and a public that will be ready to heed the call," said Dagan. "Despite the checkpoints, people will be able to arrive by way of the mountains, and the IDF will not be able to prevent it. With determination we can prevent the Disengagement - the main thing is not to be complacent."

Bringing the Falashmura to Israel will Cost 3.3 Billion NIS


The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption announced that the cost of bringing and successfully settling the 13,000 Falashmura in Israel is approximately 3.3 billion NIS ($730 million). This estimate, given to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday, is 50% higher than previous program estimates. The Jewish Fund claims that there are 18,000 people eligible for aliyah, a significantly higher number than the Ministry's number.

The government decided in February to increase significantly the pace in which the Falashmura are brought to Israel, but, so far, the program has been held up, mainly due to bureaucratic and financial difficulties. In addition, it turns out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not reached an agreement with the Ethiopian government, which would allow the implementation of the program.

The Ministry of the Interior also received its criticism when it was revealed that the examinations, which they are doing in order to determine who is eligible, are proceeding very slowly. So far, only a few thousand people have been checked. Thus, the number of eligible immigrants is still not known.

Porush: Pope Refuses to Back Down; Vatican Returns to Hatred


The Vatican told critics of its failure to condemn terror against Israel it "cannot take lessons" from others on what to say. Knesset Member Menachem Porush (United Torah Judaism-UT) said the pope has returned to a policy of hatred of Jews. Israel initially expressed anger that the new, Pope Benedict XVI, omitted Israel in his condemnation recent Arab terror in Egypt and Britain.

After the Vatican did not respond, except for issuing a statement that it could not react to every attack in Israel, the Foreign Ministry charged Pope Benedict with encouraging violence against Jews. The Vatican responded, "The Holy See cannot take lessons or instructions from any other authority on the tone and content of its own statements." It added that the pope's predecessor, John Paul, often refused to condemn Arab terror against Israel because Israel's retaliations were "not always compatible with international rights."

Porush said that the Pope's statements and lack of condemnation of Arab terrorism against Israel show that the reign of Pope John was a temporary lull in the "hatred that characterized the Vatican throughout history, reaching its worst during the Second World War. "The people of Israel always will remember the normal relations [the Vatican] established with the Third Reich, [its refusal] to denounce the Holocaust and its being careful not to mention the word 'Jew' in all of its officials declarations" on the mass murders by Nazis.

The Vatican's reasoning for not condemning terrorism against Israel because of retaliation actually "claims that Jews can be murdered but cannot defend themselves as is accepted among other nations," according to Porush.

Isn't It Time To Face Up To The Truth?

By Barry Shaw (Commentary)

I am sick and tired of hearing cries of victimhood from Muslims as Islamic Jihadists carry out the most horrendous crimes worldwide. I was saddened and sickened when members of the Bigley family accused Tony Blair of having blood on his hands as we saw brother Kenneth having his severed head held up in the bloodied hands of his Muslim murderer.

I was angered when the educated British Muslim who trapped Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, and cut off his head, blamed Jews and Israel for driving him to carry out this piece of inhumanity. Pearl's parents have been trying to build a bridge between the West and Islam since their son's murder in 2002. They have given up in despair. They have been overwhelmed by the passionate fanaticism of Islam.

I am in despair when the mayor of a great city like London can spout anti-Semitic rubbish and still keep his job. He also advocates the motivation of a Palestinian homicide bomber; while his own citizens live in fear from the same sick mind-set that has sent over 24,000 terrors attacks against Israel.

I am appalled by Christians worldwide who remain silent when Muslims falsely accuse Americans of destroying their Koran while Saudi Arabia routinely shreds Christian Bibles if found in their country. I am amazed when people describe Islam as being a religion based on peace and tolerance. It is a religion based on domination, intolerance, and submission to its creed.

I am for living in peace and harmony with neighbors of differing faiths and cultures. I wish my neighbors truly shared my wishes. They do not. I fear they never will. I hear nothing that tells me they are willing to accept a Jewish state alongside a peaceful state of Palestine. This war chant against us is echoed around the world. It murmurs among the British 'moderates' who condemn bombers who could kill them, but sympathize and support their co-religionists who carry out a religious obligation to kill the Jews of Israel.

They may protest that they support the Palestinians, but this is untrue. Palestinians are despised in all the Arab states, despite the rhetoric. The Palestinians are useful only in that they are in the vanguard of the Muslim desire to eradicate the Jewish State. Did you not notice that not one of the hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers has been a Christian? Are they not as frustrated as their Islamic countrymen?

It seems to me that people, generally, have not come to terms with the reality and intent of what is developing in their country, their town, and their street. They continue to hoodwink themselves that the majority wants a peaceful, harmonious, existence to enjoy the benefits and wonders of Western life. It is time for people to realize that the silent majority of British Muslims will remain silent until their leaders demand loyalty to Allah and Jihad instead of to Queen and country. Assimilation and integration into the existing culture is not what they are about. They want society to change to their norms and their standards. They will not be satisfied until your town, your country, is under Sharia'a Law. They may engage is double speak that will lull you into a sense of multiculturalism. But, deep inside, they despise you and your culture while taking advantage of its benefits.

I am sure that Britain has weathered this first wave of Islamic radicalism. With the excellent police and intelligence work in Britain the bombers will move over to a softer target country in Europe to continue their mayhem. However, in the threatening words of The Terminator, they'll be back! When that day comes, when the bombers and radicals return, will London and Britain be more, or less, Islamic?

(This commentary was written by Barry Shaw

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