Archived Post

Israel Update: November 11, 2012

Posted by rachelbercovitz on November 11, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

Israel Sends Warning Shots into Syria

Sunday, November 11

Israel fired warning shots into Syria – the first Israel has fired against Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War – after an errant Syrian mortar shell struck an Israeli military post in the Golan Heights. Syria’s firings follow another round that hit Israel the past few weeks.

These firings have intensified Israel’s fear of the possibility that Syria’s internal war would cross borders into the Golan Heights, thus dragging Israel into war. Further, that Syria’s stockpile of nuclear weapons – the largest in the world – would fall into the hands of militant groups.

In addition to the cautionary shots, Israel issued a complaint through the United Nations fighters working in the area to further emphasize that such firings into Israeli territory “will not be tolerated.” (Israel won and subsequently occupied the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 War). The Syrian shells caused no injuries.

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Palestinians in Gaza Hit Israel with 47 Rockets

Saturday-Sunday Nov. 10th & 11

Palestinians in Gaza have sent 47 rockets into Israel since midnight Saturday night. The rockets come in response to Israeli Air Force’s firings on three military sites: a weapons manufacturing, a weapons storage, and a rocket launching station in Gaza. The three individuals who suffered injuries were taken to hospitals for treatment.

These 47 rockets bring the total number of Palestinian firings to 75. According to the Israel Radio, Hamas has indicated he will also involve himself in the attacks.

Rocket sirens in response to these hits have sounded in Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gan Yavne, and other small communities.

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Palestinians in Gaza Fire Anti-Tank Missile at IDF Jeep

Saturday Nov. 10th

Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile (a missile designed to ruin armored military tanks) at an IDF jeep monitoring the Israeli portion of the Gaza-Israeli border. Israel responded to the firings, which hit the tank and led to four injuries. The Gaza Health Ministry, as reported by The New York Times, has estimated the number of Palestinians killed at 26, while The Jerusalem Post and The Washington Post have reported 4 Palestinian deaths and 25 injuries.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the second largest organization after Fatah comprising the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), has assumed responsibility for the attack.

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Palestinians Amp Up Efforts for UN Statehood Status

Palestinians distributed a draft resolution to the 193 member states of the United Nations at the UN center in New York. This resolution prefaces the UN vote, likely to be held on Nov. 29th, which will consider granting the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem statehood and altering the Palestinians’ status in the UN to Nonmember Observer State.

According to the Palestinians, 130 countries have expressed support for the fight. The distributed draft follows the Palestinians’ application last year to the Security Council for full member status, which, after the United States indicated its intention to veto the push, has settled in a committee and has yet to come to a vote. (The Security Council has veto power, while the General Assembly, for which resolutions are not obligatory, does not).

Israel has rejected this resolution, which it argues would subvert the possibility of peaceful negotiations. With the elevated status, Palestinians would be able to join UN committees, such as the International Criminal Court, and work to sue Israel, as emphasized by Mahmoud Abbas’ assertion that Palestinians would “pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations.”

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, met with Israel’s ambassadors to 24+ European countries on Friday, Nov. 9th to organize their response to the push.

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Israel Among Most Hated Countries

Half of the 24,090 respondents to the BBC 2012 Country Ratings Poll expressed negative views of Israel, ranking the country as only slightly above Iran (55% negative) and Pakistan (51% negative). The international poll asked individuals to indicate their impression of 22 countries as either “mostly positive” or “mostly negative.” 17 of the 22 countries polled viewed Israel as “mostly negative;” Kenya, Nigeria, and the US hold “mostly positive” views of Israel.

Spain, France, Egypt, Germany, and Britain garnered among the worst responses, with 60%-80% of respondents ranking Israel poorly. While these unfavorable ratings have continued to rise, responses from the US indicated that only 35% of Americans view Israel poorly, a decrease of 6 percentage points from the 2011 poll.

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Harvard Israeli Dining Menu Criticized by Lebanese Graduate

October 28–Nov. 9

A Lebanese Harvard graduate protested the Harvard Business School’s Israeli food menu for falsely claiming certain Middle Eastern foods as of Israeli origin. The woman, Sara el-Yafi, posted a complaint letter to her Facebook page, asserting that such a menu signifies Israel’s “appropria[ting] other peoples’ foods.” The menu listed such items as couscous and haloumi cheese as Israeli.

El-Yafi’s complaint has garnered over 4,500 “likes” on Facebook. Harvard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Brian Kenny, has expressed regret over the mislabeling, and has vowed such a move will never “happen again.”

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