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Jerusalem News-725
23 Shebet 5768, 29 January 2008
1. Palestinians Overflow into "Egyptian"-Occupied Sinai
2. The Sabbatical (Shemittah) Year
3. "Palestinian state temporary ruse to destroy Israel'


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1. Palestinians Overflow into "Egyptian"-Occupied Sinai
From: Leah Rafaeli <>
Subject: The Lekarev Report
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 04:54:24 -0500 (EST)

Iran Offers Help to Egypt on Border Crisis   
Iran yesterday offered to help Egypt deal with growing chaos on its breached border with Gaza, according to a spokesman for Egypt's Foreign Ministry.

 The offer came during a rare visit to Cairo by a top Iranian diplomat, Ali Asghar Mohammadi, who serves as the Iranian Foreign Ministry's director-general for Arab, Middle East and North African affairs. He met Sunday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Egypt and Iran have had no formal relations in nearly three decades, but government ministers from the two countries have met frequently in the past two months. Last week, the Iranian President, Ahmadinejad telephoned his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, for the first time to discuss the Gaza border crisis.

Mohammadi offered Iran's "cooperation with Egypt to provide help to the Palestinians," said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki. He did not give details of the Iranian offer, but said Egypt welcomes cooperation between the two countries through their Red Crescent branches.

We have now learned that part of the advance planning of this border breach which Hamas admitted to last week, included a $300. grant to each of the half a million Gazans in flight, one-third of the total population, which accounts for the shopping spree they could suddenly afford. Hamas was able and willing to spend $15 million on a maneuver designed to seize control of a region in northern Sinai.

Early this morning Jan. 28, Cairo deployed a border guard brigade in the northern Sinai town of El Arish, to hold the line against the spread of the Palestinian tide into the largest town in the peninsula.  This move came after large numbers of Egyptian border guards were unable to contain the rising tide of Palestinians overtaking the Sinai.  Attempts to hold them back with gunfire simply drew more gunfire from within the Palestinian mobs.

Egypt is deeply concerned that if the Palestinians take over El Arish in the Sinai, they will use it as a springboard to advance further into Egypt proper.

Egyptian forces have in the last 24 hours, apprehended 30 Palestinians on their way to the Suez Canal armed with weapons, explosives and devices for monitoring Egyptian and Israeli security communications, and a second group heading for the unfenced 220-km Egyptian-Israeli border.
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2. The  Sabbatical (Shemittah) Year
This year is a Sabbatical (Shemittah) Year.
According to the Bible every seventh year the ground had to be left fallow:
"You may plant your land for six years and gather its crops. But during the seventh year, you must leave it alone and withdraw from it. The needy among you will then be able to eat just as you do, and whatever is left over can be eaten by wild animals. This also applies to your vineyard and your olive grove." (Exodus 23:10-11)
More details concerning Shemitta may be found in the Wikipedia article on the subject.

It should be noted that according to many authorities the Shemitta Year is only obligatory when ALL the Twelve Tribes are settled in the Land of Israel and the Jubilee Year is also upheld.
At present the Shemitta Year is a Rabbinical Enactment though one that is considered quite stringent.
The difference between a Rabbinical Enactment and a direct Torah Law is that in time of need the Rabbinical Enactment is considered more elastic and other Rabbinical Enactments may be used alleviate its effects when there is a need for such alleviation.
In the case of the Shemittah Year a good proportion of the population of Israel relied on the "Heter Mechira"by which the land was fictitiously sold to a Gentile and land sold to Gentile according to many (but not all) opinions is not obligated by the Shemittah Laws.
Most of the Ultra Orthodox and many of the merely religious however never relied on the  "Heter Mechira".
Instead they buy imported produce, or produce from the Arabs, or produce from land whose owners have technically relinquished possession of for the duration of the Shemittah Year.
There were many justifications in the past for the "Heter Mechira" but these days they may no longer be valid.
The  "Heter Mechira" was never meant to be a permanent solution but only to be used when the Jewish Settlement
in Israel would be in danger due to lack of agricultural produce or lack of control over vacant lands.
On the whole such conditions no longer apply.
What is more from an ecological point of view as well as from a sociological and economical one observing the Shemittah strictly could bring a lot of benefits to Israel.
The land would lie fallow, pesticides and artificial fertilizers would not be used, the air and water resources would have a chance to recuperate,
Experts warn nature not getting adequate share of fresh water reserves
In addition, superfluous agricultural projects could be reconsidered, priorities adjusted,  and agricultural workers in some cases be retrained etc.
In addition to all this the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel for the last 100 years or more have always adhered to the Shemittah Laws with great dedication at times suffering because of it.
Even though it is probably nowadays only a Rabbinical Enactment it is related to in some circles as if it were a Torah Commandment.
There is some value in this from a nationalist Zionist point of view in so far as we should want to see a revival of the ancient Biblical Laws in the Land of Israel, a Return to what once was or at least to what the Almighty indicated in the Torah that there should be.

In light of the above the following excerpts may be of interest:

Emuna News Analysis: The Shmitta-Iran Connection
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Extracts Only:

This year, 5768 in the Hebrew calendar, is a shmitta or seventh year, when the Torah requires the land of our holy and beloved homeland to lie fallow, for this is a year of rest for the land. Jews are not allowed to eat vegetables illegally grown during the seventh year, and must either purchase our veggies from non-Jewish farmers or from abroad.

For the last four months, since Rosh Hashanna [Hebrew New Year], the anti-emuna [belief] regime in Israel has been waging a covert war on the Torah-observant populace. Sanctioned with the backing of the Prime Minister himself, the ministries of agriculture and trade made staunch protests during cabinet meetings, calling for the government to ban the import of vegetables as well as outlaw the sale of Gaza-grown vegetables within Israel. Even the Israeli Supreme Court intervened to force the state Rabbinate to grant kosher certificates to vegetables that were grown on Jewish-owned land according to the heter mechira, which the ultra-orthodox population doesn't recognize.

The situation was bleak, with vegetable prices rocketing sky-high in Haredi [Ultra-Orthodox] neighborhoods. With the government attempt to coerce the Haredim to lower their halachic standards, supplies were dwindling and prices were constantly rising. This was acute, especially in light of the fact that we Israelis consume a large amount of fresh vegetables.

Hashem decided to put an end to the Israeli government's newest sanctions against the Torah-loyal population. Not only have the last four months - our annual rainy season - been as dry as a bone, but we are just now emerging from a devastating nationwide frost that has destroyed virtually all the vegetables that have been planted during this current shmitta year. So, not only is the Haredi (ultra-orthodox) population eating vegetables from overseas, but the general populace as well. The same government ministers that tried to prevent Hashem's loyal sons from strict observance of the shmitta year by refusing to allow them to import veggies are now eating salads made with carrots from Morocco, onions from Egypt, and tomatoes from Jordan.

Hashem is showing us that He can overturn the silly schemes that the anti-emuna government devises at any given moment. If Hashem decides what's for dinner, He'll also decide our future. Therefore, we need not lose a moment of sleep about the government's poorly-pondered pointless puppet-style peace plans.

If you're still sceptical, all of Israel is talking about the  shmitta miracle
of two adjacent banana orchards: Despite the frost, the one managed according to Halacha was completely spared, while the other plot was destroyed in the frost. Hashem is talking to us loud and clear: "Beloved sons and daughters - when shall you throw away your follies and begin to believe in Me!"

*The Shemittah or sabbatical year is a Biblically-ordained, year-long period during which Jews are forbidden to work the Land of Israel.  It is observed once every seven years. Some 120 years ago, when Jews began to return to the Land of Israel after nearly two millennia of exile, they began farming the land for their livelihood.  When the first Shemittah year arrived, in 1889, leading rabbis ruled that the farm land could be sold to non-Jews for the Shemittah year, and could be then farmed almost as usual - with the condition that major agricultural activities such as plowing be performed by non-Jews.  This arrangement was known as the heter mechirah, literally, the "sale dispensation."  Other leading rabbis did not accept it, however - setting the stage for a century-plus of disputes on this issue.

3. "Palestinian state temporary ruse to destroy Israel'
Official television network calls for 'liberation' of 'all Palestine'
by Aaron Klein

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