Tuesday, 13 August 2013


My 2 years as an IDF spokesperson  

Reflecting on the past two years representing the IDF in the West Bank, so many thoughts run through my mind – lessons learned, ideas discovered, emotions felt, and experiences had. For the past two weeks, I have tried to sum it all up, rather unsuccessfully. Overwhelmed with ideas, emotions and experiences, it has been difficult for me to write a comprehensive summary of all that I’ve seen, heard, felt, thought and learned. Nonetheless, this is my attempt at doing so, so that I can share with all of you – my friends, family, colleagues, and those who have joined me digitally – my final reflections before I leave my position as Spokesperson for the Judea and Samaria Division. (I urge you read my post from last Friday.).)
Whenever I brief on the situation in the West Bank, I am consistently struck by the complexities and intricacies of the IDF’s critical mission in the area. While I have spent the past two years explaining incidents that involve our troops, this past Tuesday (Aug. 6, 2013), I found myself in the midst of a security event that could have ended very badly.(Read more…)

Land withdrawal referendum passes Cabinet  

This referendum bill is totally unacceptable for two reasons
1. It doesn’t require a super majority to pass and
2. It doesn’t apply to give aways of Judea and Samaria.
Since no one expects there will be a deal this time around to give up Jerusalem or the Golan, the referendum will not be needed. But if there is to be an interim deal, it will include give aways of Parts of Judea and Samaria. The public should also have the right to vote on such giveaways. Ted Belman
The Israeli Cabinet approved a measure that would require a public referendum or vote on any peace agreement that involves withdrawing from land Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.
(Read more…)

State Dept. Spokeswoman Psaki Denounces ‘Enemies of Islam’  

A series of horrific car bombings in Baghdad yesterday have reportedly left more than 80 dead and many more injured. The attacks appeared to target festivities marking the end of Ramadan in Shi’ite neighborhoods, which prompted comment from State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said in an official statement:
    The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks today in Baghdad. These attacks were aimed at families celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community. (HT: Alim Haider)

The Death of the U.S.-Egypt Alliance  

Egypt protesters carry anti-Obama postersPresident Obama’s misguided attempt to bend Egyptian political affairs in the Muslim Brotherhood’s favor is unravelling the carefully nurtured military and economic alliance between the United States and Egypt, which has served for decades to stabilize that vital part of the Middle East.
First, after throwing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak under the bus, the Obama administration did everything it could to portray the Muslim Brotherhood as a worthy organization committed to democratic principles of governance. The United States was seen by many secular Egyptians, including those who spearheaded the original revolution that led to Mubarak’s overthrow, as helping to unfairly tip the scales in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidates.
(Read more…)

PA Fleeces new Palestinian City  

It’s called Rawabi, an entirely new Palestinian city with an expected population of 40,000. It’s located halfway between Jerusalem and Nablus. Its developers already have sold more than 600 apartments. But, no surprise, they’ve also encountered a few snags, especially from Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
But that’s not the way the New York Times reports Rawabi’s problems. In an Aug. 11 dispatch, Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner instead turns the tables to make Israel the fall guy, although Rawabi’s travails stem far more from obstacles created by the PA. To Kershner and the Times, objective reporting counts for very little. The more important thing is to engage in Israel bashing. Starting with a blame-Israel headline: “Birth of a Palestinian City Is Punctuated by Struggles — Project Depends on Israeli Cooperation — Cement has to be imported, and there is no port or airport.” (Page 9)
(Read more…)

Israel should condition prisoner release on the PA accepting the tenders  

The tenders for Jewish construction announced Sunday by the Ministry of Housing and Construction are only the first drops from “a giant wave” of construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, according to Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slumiansky. MK Slomiansky, who heads the Knesset’s FinanceCommittee, was quoted by IDF Radio as saying that the tenders are part of a larger deal between his party and the prime minister. “This will, with G-d’s help, be a harbinger of very widespread construction – which is the way things should be,” he said. “There are things that we spoke about, and this is the

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is demanding that Israel cancel its decision to market about 1,200 new housing units in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, even before the next round of “peace talks” scheduled for Wednesday. Voice of Israel public radio quoted an anonymous senior PA official as saying the PA leadership has informed the United States of this decision and is awaiting a response. The official said that if this is the way Israel wants to reach peace, then there is no need for negotiations and “let Netanyahu make peace with Bennett.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) went on the radio Monday to scold Yesh Atid leader and Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, over his criticism of the decision to build 1,200 more homes in the cradle of Jewish national life – Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. MK Elkin told IDF Radio, “Lapid’s reaction is harsher than that of the Americans. After that, people wonder why the world attacks us.”

Ted Belman
Jerusalem, Israel