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Monday, September 12, 2011

Knesset Member in Portland

Nadene Goldfoot
The Portland Jewish Federation was privileged today to have MK Yariv Levin, the Chairman of the House Committee of the Knesset visit.  A breakfast meeting was called so we could hear this young lawyer's views on what was happening in Israel.

Yariv mentioned that we have a birthright to Israel as well as a strong historical right.  Enemies of Israel are trying to erase these facts with their people. We are not occupiers.  This was and is our land.   Hopefully, we will have peace among our different people.  This could happen before peace comes between  the nations.

Israel wanted peace so badly and have such a regard for life that they gave the Sinai to Egypt in return for peace, which worked as long as Sadat and Mubarak were rulers.  Now  with the Arab Spring, one can worry as the gas lines in the Sinai bringing gas to Israel and Jordan have been attacked 3 times and Israel's ambassador and staff have been ousted in Cairo.  We gave up the Gaza Strip just to see it taken over by Hamas terrorists, so that again didn't work out  in the name of peace.  Israel will have to be less "giving"  in their need for peaceful neighbors from now on.  I personally don't think we'll see Israel as an easy mark or a patsy from now on.  They're gaining strength from their bad experiences. 

The term, "settlements" was brought up.  Yariv explained that towns and cities are just experiencing continued building as needs arise.  Right now there is a huge need for housing as a recent demonstration in Tel Aviv let this be known. 

It should be explained that most all Israelis live in apartment houses.  I was lucky to have two friends in Safed who actually had houses.  I myself lived in the bottom of a 13 floor apartment building and had bars on all my windows for protection from terrorists.  Most likely apartment buildings are being created as new housing.

The question about September 22nd when the Palestinian Abbas will go to the UN in an attempt to create a Palestine was discussed.  The affect of this may create a huge march of possible unarmed Palestinians into Israel  illegally  which is itself a threat.  The IDF will be prepared and will do everything possible to protect life, including their own and their citizens. 

Turkey was brought up.  I had not realized Turkey is such a superpower within the Muslim nations.  They have not accepted the ruling that Israel was in the right when they invaded as part of an invading flotilla and their people attacked ours.  Now they threaten to send their navy with the next ship.  Hopefully there won't be anymore.  It should be noted that Turkey recently was turned down as a full fledged member in the European Union.  The earliest this could happen is 2013 but may take as long as till 2021.   Perhaps they are making a statement of how important they are.  As events have changed, Turkey and Iran had been long term friends of Israel under different political regimes.  With today's polital group turning more towards the Muslim Brotherhood, I would think this should be more of a disadvantage to belonging to this union. 

We have had peace with Egypt from Sadat which was carried over by Mubarak honoring the contract, but now that he is overthrown, we see the people not in agreement.  Iran's people are good people wanting peace but their government is not of this mind at all and has threatened Israel's life with possible atomic destruction. 

Jordan was discussed and we wonder how it would deal with a Palestine next door. They're having their own problems  with the surrounding "Arab Spring."  Hopefully they would rather have things as they are right now knowing that Israel is a peaceful neighbor. 

I did not realize how many people  from all over the world do go to the Knesset to visit and discuss matters, but they do have constant communication face to face with many.  Yariv said that the Maronite Christians and the Druze are good friends of Israel and hopefully conditions for them are improving as they are deserving people. 

Resource: Breakfast Meeting at Federation

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