Daily TIP

Happy Veterans Day!

Posted by Tip Staff - November 11, 2016


 

We at The Israel Project would like to say thank you to all veterans for their service, and reaffirm the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States, bravely defending our shared values.
Today, an estimated 1,000 Americans are serving in the Israeli army, a tradition stretching back decades. The Israeli army accepts applications for the Israel Defense Forces regardless if they hold Israeli citizenship or not. Aluf stone, an IDF veterans association headquartered in New York, boasts members from across North America, Europe, and even Asia. The group also carries an affiliation with the American Veterans of Israel, an organization exclusively for veterans who served near Israel’s founding.
“They came to us when we most needed them, during those difficult, uncertain days of our War of Independence in 1948,” said former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Approximately 1,500 Jewish and Christian American and Canadian men and women came to Israel’s aid during the fight for her founding.
The modern U.S.-Israel relationship is strengthened by mutual regional interests; the military bond has only tightened over time. Earlier this year President Barack Obama committed to provide Israel with a $38 billion aid package over the next 10 years—the largest batch of military assistance the U.S. has ever pledged to another country.

 

Iran’s top-ranking general bragged that his country had developed and delivered missile technology to Hezbollah that was used in the 2006 war with Israel, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported Thursday. “Iran established the missile industry for Syria in Aleppo in the past years and they were used during the 33-day war against Israel,” General Mohammad Hossein Bagher, the chief of staff of the Iranian military, said at a ceremony in Tehran. In the 2006 war, Hezbollah fired 4,000 rockets at northern Israel and killed more than 50 Israelis.
 
Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of some 130,000 rockets, mortars, and missiles aimed at the Jewish state, much of it warehoused in residential neighborhoods in southern Lebanon. This arsenal of rockets is more than that of all non-U.S. NATO countries combined. In July, Hossein Salami, the deputy director of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps stated, “Today, more than ever, there is fertile ground – with the grace of God – for the annihilation, the wiping out, and the collapse of the Zionist regime...In Lebanon alone, over 100,000 missiles are ready to be launched.” He continued, “They are just waiting for the command, so that when the trigger is pulled, the accursed black dot will be wiped off the geopolitical map of the world, once and for all.”
Israeli officials have warned that another war with Hezbollah would be devastating. An Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May 2015 that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound” and that their lives were at risk. Geoff Corn, an international military law expert, explained to The Weekly Standard that if Israel were to strike in this instance, “both legally and morally, the cause of these tragic consequences will lie solely at the feet of Hezbollah.” Because of this, Corn said, “Hezbollah should be pressured starting today to avoid locating such vital military assets among civilians.”

 

The Palestinian Authority’s official television network has been broadcasting a new video multiple times a day that claims that Israel poisoned former PA President Yasser Arafat and is now targeting current president Mahmoud Abbas, the watchdog organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported Friday.
The PA often airs accusations that Israel poisoned Arafat on the anniversary of his November 2004 death in Paris of an undisclosed illness. A December 2013 forensic examination of Arafat’s remains concluded that the former terrorist leader had died of natural causes. And a panel of three French judges concluded in 2015 that there was no evidence Arafat had been poisoned by polonium, a charge frequently made against Israel.
The new video adds footage of Israeli leaders criticizing Abbas, with a narrator then saying, “The plot is renewed and history repeats itself.” The charge that Israel is targeting Abbas is curious given that in August 2014, Israeli security forces announced that they had foiled a Hamas plot to stage a coup against Abbas.
Abbas himself has played a role in promoting conspiracy theories about his predecessor’s death, declaring on Thursday that he knew who killed Arafat.

 

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shared on Facebook how the music of Leonard Cohen, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 82, affected him and his wife Nechama. “This morning we looked at each other and thought the same thoughts: ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ was the soundtrack to so many moments in our life as a couple and as a family,” he wrote. “It added, like so many of his songs, a spirit and depth of emotion into our everyday lives.”
“How sad to part from this man whose voice and face accompanied us for so many years,” he added. “A giant of a creator, open to all people, who also knew how to accompany the State of Israel in the fields of battle and in times of growth.”
Rivlin was referring to Cohen’s 1973 visit to Israel, during the Yom Kippur War. As The New Yorker recounted in a recent profile, “Cohen showed up in Israel, hoping to replace someone who had been drafted. ‘I am committed to the survival of the Jewish people,’ he told an interviewer at the time. He ended up performing, often many times a day, for the troops on the front.”
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who served in the 1973 war, also recalled Cohen’s performances. “I will never forget how he came during the Yom Kippur War to sing for our soldiers because he felt he was a partner,” Netanyahu tweeted. The prime minister described Cohen as “a talented artist and warm[hearted] Jew who loved the people of Israel and the state of Israel.”
 
Cohen, who was described by The New York Times as one of the “foremost songwriters of the contemporary era,” frequently wrote songs that touched on his Jewish faith. He is best known for his song “Hallelujah.” The song, which was originally rejected by his record company in 1984 for having insufficient commercial appeal, didn’t gain an audience until recorded by Jeff Buckley a decade later. Since then the song has been recorded by over 200 artists, including Bob Dylan and Justin Timberlake.
Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and received a Lifetime Achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization that runs the Grammys, in 2010.
At the end of his final concert in Israel, in 2009, Cohen recited the Jewish priestly blessing.


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