Gaza

Making Waves For Gilad Shalit

On Thursday, a small "flotilla" of boats will make their way down the Hudson River and up the East River to the U.N. to call attention to the plight of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier imprisoned by Hamas for what will soon be four years. What's the point, some people will ask. Is this the best way to help?

Senators To Obama: Probe Flotilla Leaders

06/22/2010

The Obama administration should probe whether the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation —  whose activists engaged in a violent clash with Israeli soldiers aboard a Gaza flotilla ship on May 31 — is tied to terrorist groups, 80 U.S. Senators said in a letter to the president this week.

Israel’s Friends In ... Finland

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

Throughout the Arab world and the anti-Israel community in theWest, protestors burned the Israeli flag in recent weeks, following Israel’s fatal attack on the Gaza blockade-busting flotilla.

Last week, some supporters of Israel made their voices heard, too.

At rallies here, in Vienna, Brussels, Hamburg, London, Montreal, Los Angeles and Miami, Jews and non-Jews rallied side-by-side for the Jewish state.

Photo By Stas Voronin

R&R For The Heart And Soul: Chabad-Style NY Welcome For Wounded Israeli Veterans

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

A year and a half after the left side of his body was torn head-to-toe by shrapnel in the Gaza war, 23-year-old Ron Lichi was enjoying a relaxing tour of the Empire State Building, the White House and the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gravesite, among other American tourist destinations.

Israeli soldiers wounded in Gaza war visit the Statue of Liberty, top, and meet with Chabad leaders here. Bentzi Sasson

U.S. State Department Warns Against Travel in Israel

06/22/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. State Department warned Americans to "exercise a high degree of caution" while traveling in highly trafficked areas in Israel.

It also said that Americans should avoid West Bank demonstrations because of dangers posed by Israeli troops dispersing protesters, and should not attempt to enter the Gaza Strip by sea.

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

In Congress, J Street, AIPAC fight over Gaza flotilla letters

Update: I had a call this afternoon from an AIPACer who took me to task for writing that the 79 Senators who signed the AIPAC-endorsed letter - now over 80 - was "not a slam dunk."

Point taken; getting 4/5 of the Senate to sign anything is no mean achievement.

San Francisco Protesters Prevent Israeli Ship from Unloading

06/21/2010

(JTA) -- Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Port of Oakland to prevent an Israeli cargo ship from unloading.

About 500 protesters gathered at the port at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday to meet the Zim shipping lines cargo ship. They convinced dockworkers to agree not to unload the ship when it arrived in the port.

The ship did not arrive until 6 p.m. on Sunday. A second shift of dockworkers, at the request of the demonstrators, agreed not to cross the picket line and did not arrive to unload the ship.

Israel Surrenders - Blockade Eased Without Shalit

Israel did what it was told, giving in on the blockade without getting anything back, not even a Red Cross visit for Shalit, so everyone can feel better about themselves -- particularly those leftist American Jews who have had such a hard time supporting Israel lately -- except Shalit and his family won't feel better about themselves, Shalit still is in his his fourth year of isolated suffering, getting nothing out of this.

We'll see how much pressure anyone keeps on Hamas to release Shalit. Everyone who wanted Israel to be "smart," well, this is what they asked for. Let's see how much the pro-Beinart bloggers will ever mention Shalit again. And now let's see if it works for Shalit or if this whole episode will be exposed as yet another scamming of Israel. The Palestinians see this for what it is, a sign that they can take even more chances  -- with Israel increasingly being stripped of its right to self-defense.

"Are You Or Have You Ever Been A Zionist?"

Jeffrey Goldberg, the usually liberal Atlantic journalist and one-time IDF soldier, has increasingly been defending more conservative positions on Israel.  So when he opened last night's discussion with Jeremy Ben-Ami, the J Street founder and former Clinton aide, with the interrogation-like question -- "Are you or have you ever been a Zionist?" -- you might have expected the night to end in a brawl.  

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