Temple Mount: House of Prayer for All Nations

Temple Mount: House of Prayer for All Nations

Israel Today speaks to Yehudah Glick regarding his vision for Jerusalem's Temple Mount, a vision that made him a target for assassination.

The full interview appears in the April 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Neither Israel Nor the Palestinians See Hope for Peace

Neither Israel Nor the Palestinians See Hope for Peace

Just prior to last week’s elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was no longer willing to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state, which in its current form would pose a severe threat to Israel.

US President Barack Obama and other Western leaders were frustrated by Netanyahu’s surprise announcement. But the fact he was so firmly reelected signified that his position reflects that of most Israelis, that the two-state solution no longer holds any hope of peace and security.

It was widely claimed that the election results signaled a shift to the Right in Israel, but that is simply not true. A strong majority among Jewish Israelis has always tended toward the right. Over the past 20 years of failed negotiations, Israelis have largely lost confidence in finding a peaceful solution with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians are likewise skeptical that what remains of the peace process will result in their demands being met. A 71 percent majority said there is little or no chance of a Palestinian state being established in the next five years, according to a survey by a Ramallah-based polling company.

“Even though I wish I had peace with the Jews in this country, I know it won’t be possible,” said Jamal (43) from the Arab village of Zurif near Hebron. “Politics and religion will never allow us to live in peace. There are far too many people determined to do more harm than good.”

For many Palestinians, that means returning to war. The same survey found that 48 percent of Palestinian Arabs would like to see a new terrorist uprising against Israel, while 68 percent support fresh rocket attacks on Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Both sides realize that the peace process today exists only on paper. On both sides there is deep distrust of the other.

 

Hawkish Hippies Refuse to Leave Golan

Hawkish Hippies Refuse to Leave Golan

Despite their alternative lifestyle, the group concludes that there is no room for pacifists on the Golan Heights.

The full article appears in the April 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Netanyahu Named Prime Minister, Coalition Talks Begin

Netanyahu Named Prime Minister, Coalition Talks Begin

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday night received the final results of last week’s elections and promptly tasked Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government, effectively naming the latter Israel’s next prime minister.

Netanyahu on Thursday began the first official coalition negotiations, and troubles surfaced almost immediately.

Moshe Kahlon, whose Kulanu Party won 10 seats, suddenly canceled his scheduled meeting with Netanyahu after learning that the ultra-Orthodox parties would be offered key economic positions in the Knesset.

Kahlon ran on a platform of further reforming the Israeli economy, an in particular tackling skyrocketing housing prices. He argues that giving the ultra-Orthodox control over Israel’s purse strings would prevent any meaningful progress.

Naftali Bennett, whose Jewish Home brings 8 seats to the coalition, kept his meeting with Netanyahu, but was adamant he would head to the opposition if not given either the Foreign Affairs or Defense ministries.

Avigdor Lieberman, whose Israel Beiteinu won just 5 seats, has also demanded the Defense Ministry, and has likewise stated his willingness to sit in the opposition should that condition not be met.

Inside Netanyahu’s Likud, senior party members have attacked the smaller potential coalition partners for not being more modest in their demands. The higher ranked of Likud’s 30 Knesset members also insist on being rewarded with ministerial posts.

 

'Anti-Missionary' Bill Pushed in Israel's Coalition Wrangling

'Anti-Missionary' Bill Pushed in Israel's Coalition Wrangling

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties didn’t make a particularly good showing in last week’s elections, but they did well enough to make firm demands as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to cobble together his next ruling coalition.

The anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim hopes one of those demands will be to advance new legislation targeting Messianic Jewish and Christian activity in Israel.

Israel does have an anti-missionary law, but it is limited to prohibiting the solicitation of minors and offering financial benefits for conversion. Most ultra-Orthodox sects completely ignore these prohibitions in their own missionary activity.

The legislation Yad L’Achim is pressing the Shas and United Torah Judaism factions to put before Netanyahu would much more specifically and substantially target the activities of those who believe in Yeshua (Jesus).

This legislation was tabled during Netanyahu’s last government, but was ultimately scuttled by officials who apparently had no taste for Yad L’Achim’s campaign of discrimination and fear-mongering.

A number of recent stories in Israel Today Magazine have shown that a growing majority of Israeli Jews no longer have a problem with Messianic believers in their midst, and are even increasingly open to exploring the person of Yeshua, if not faith in him as Messiah.

“We cannot emphasize enough how urgent it is to demand legislation against missionary activity in Israel,” read a frantic letter from Yad L’Achim to members of Shas and United Torah Judaism, which concluded by noting that “in the past 19 years, more Jews have converted to Christianity [sic] than in the 1,900 years before that.”

Local believers have expressed concern over the possibility of this legislation being passed, but have also noted that if Yad L’Achim is growing increasingly agitated, then perhaps they are doing something right.

 

The Racism Canard

The Racism Canard

In a hyper-sensitive world conditioned to unquestionably accept every accusation of racism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's legitimate concern that Arab turnout could tip the vote against him in last week’s elections is now cynically used by his adversaries to label him a racist.

Netanyahu’s now infamous Facebook warning, written four hours after polls opened, that "Arabs are flocking in droves to the polling stations" was quickly seized upon in a new smear campaign.

Among the first to flash the racist card was comedian Jon Stewart (pictured), who said a day after the elections that Netanyahu had exploited “racist fears of minority turnout for short-term political gain.”

Suggesting that those heeding this call were racially motivated is to label as racist not only Netanyahu, but all right-wing Israeli voters. Or, put another way, if Israelis elected a racist man to be their prime minister, the logical conclusion is that Israel is a racist state.

This is exactly what the BDS and other anti-Israel movements have been asserting since 2000. And now it seems this deceitful propaganda is infecting government officials from Israel, the United States and Europe.

As an Israeli, I deeply resent this baseless accusation.

If Israelis heeded at all Netanyahu's warning - and so far no one has provided evidence that they did - right-wing voters flocked to the polling stations because, unlike gullible Jon Stewart, they know that the United Arab List is anti-Zionist to the core. If they drove in hordes to the polls, they did it because they feared those attempting to hurt the Jewish state, be they anti-Zionist Arabs or Jews. Race had nothing to do with the victory of the Likud Party.

When Ultra-Orthodox Jews from the town of Beit Shemesh warned their constituency during the 2013 municipal elections that "seculars are flocking in droves to the polling stations" no one suggested racial motivation.

Likewise, no one suggested that head of the Yesh Atid Party, Yair Lapid, is racist after he stated at the ballot box that "we are here to fight for the State of Israel … it is possible that instead of good government that will bring hope … we will end up with Buji (Labor leader Isaac Herzog) and the Orthodox."

Most telling is that no one has suggested that head of the United Arab List, Ayman Odeh, is a racist even after he expressed racist views on Israeli radio by stating that every Arab voter choosing a Jewish party is contaminated.

As such, Netanyahu’s alert was, at worst, done in bad taste. And for this he apologized. But this apology was rejected by the same Odeh who more than anyone else in Israeli politics could be labeled as racist.

Knowing full well the effectiveness of the racism canard, Odeh now plays this car aggressively: "The regret of Netanyahu is an empty gesture aimed at justifying the racist regime of Netanyahu and his people," said he who fears "Jewish contamination."

This new accusation should not be brushed aside as some unfortunate anecdotal episode. In the epic battle for minds now raging, adding racism to occupation can turn out to be extremely dangerous for Israel. As has been shown, even the Obama Administration is using this card in a new effort to strong-arm Israel into a two-state solution that if implemented would certainly blow up in our faces.

 

Switzerland to Bankroll Hamas, Report Suggests

Switzerland to Bankroll Hamas, Report Suggests

Switzerland has put together a generous financial package to prop up the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after billions in promised foreign donations following last summer’s Gaza war failed to materialize.

That according to Palestinian officials who spoke to Israel’s NRG news portal, which reported that as part of the deal, the Swiss government would pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas members - many of whom are known terrorists - thereby propping up Hamas rule.

If true, the move would directly undermine Israel’s efforts to bring Hamas to its knees and affect the eventual downfall of a terrorist regime that has for the better part of a decade held the Gaza population hostage to its violent policies toward the Jewish state.

It would also make for an awkward situation back home since the European Union, of which Switzerland is not a member, has fought to retain Hamas on its list of recognized terrorist organizations, despite an EU General Court ruling last year that the group be removed from that list.

Being on that list means that all Hamas assets in Europe are frozen and it is illegal to do business with the Palestinian group. Switzerland’s reported decision to take the opposite approach to Hamas could result in some hard discussions with its neighbors.

 

Obama Using Netanyahu Spat to Divert Attention From Iran Talks?

Obama Using Netanyahu Spat to Divert Attention From Iran Talks?

The over-the-top nature of US President Barack Obama’s negative response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection has taken many by surprise, even after years of tense relations.

An ex-Israeli ambassador to the US accused Obama of acting “childish,” and a senior US senator said the president needed to get over his “temper tantrum.”

But far from being a spontaneous juvenile backlash, Obama’s behavior just might be a very calculated effort to divert attention from the details of Iranian nuclear talks that very few outside of the White House find acceptable.

Or so suggested a number of Israeli media outlets this week.

In response, Member of Knesset Yuval Steinitz, who served as minister of strategic affairs in the previous government, announced on Facebook that he and a team of Israeli officials had departed for Europe “to influence the details of the Iranian nuclear agreement being formulated” by the American government.

 

France, Saudi Arabia Also Still Oppose Iran Nuke Deal

France, Saudi Arabia Also Still Oppose Iran Nuke Deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent controversial appearance before the US Congress has made it easy for the Obama Administration to portray Israel as the sole obstacle to a negotiated solution to the Iran nuclear crisis.

But that simply isn’t the case.

Both France and Saudi Arabia this week reiterated that they, too, are displeased with the direction in which Washington has steered negotiations with Iran, and fear the resulting agreement would be more harmful than helpful.

“Do not give Iran deals it does not deserve,” warned Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Monday. Reminding everyone of the broad nature of the threat, the prince said that Iran was “interfering in the countries of the region and [seeking to] acquire a nuclear weapon that threatens regional and international security.”

Days earlier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius insisted “there won’t be an accord if the Iranians don’t back down.” He agreed with Israel that “we have to protect ourselves from the eventuality of an Iranian atomic bomb.”

Sensing a weak link in the Obama Administration’s push to conclude a deal seemingly at any cost, an Israeli delegation headed by Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz urgently headed to Paris this week to consult with the French.

“We don’t have a plan B, we only have a plan A and this is to try to prevent a bad deal with Iran or at least to try to make it more reasonable and to close some of the gaps and loopholes that made it even worse,” Steinitz said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Israel says the details of the agreement proposed by Washington would enable Iran to continue secretly working toward a nuclear bomb, perhaps even on an accelerated timetable.

But in a separate interview with Reuters, the Israelis indicated they had little hope of ultimately dissuading an American government that has taken a decidedly hostile stance toward Netanyahu. “We think it’s going to be a bad, insufficient deal,” said Steinitz.

 

World's Cyber Security Elite Converge on Israel

World's Cyber Security Elite Converge on Israel

Israel this week is receiving major support from the international community as cyber security officials from large corporations and government agencies around the world arrive to take part in the annual Cybertech Security Conference.

The event is taking place starting Tuesday at the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center in Tel Aviv.

The conference is a showcase for the Israeli cyber defense industry, and has this year attracted delegations from China, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Singapore, Italy, France, Finland, England and others.

Participants of note include the vice president of payment processing giant Alipay, the head of IBM’s Security Services Division (Kristin Lovejoy), Eugene Kaspersky of Kaspersky Lab, as well as the directors of cyber security for the UN, Coca-Cola, Boeing, AT&T, Sears and more.

Among the honored guests from foreign governments is Dr. Douglas Maughan (pictured), director of the Cyber Security Division of America’s Department of Homeland Security. Maughan and his division are responsible for handling cyber threats not only against the US government, but also those targeting the public sector.

Prior to his current appointment, Maughan was a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and a senior computer scientist for the National Security Agency.

He was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on the need for greater cooperation between nations in the field cyber security.

Commenting on the event and its “star-studded” guest list, the head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau, Dr. Eviatar Matania, said: “Israel is a world leader in cyber innovation, and provides a breeding ground for breakthrough, world-class cyber security solutions.”

 

Media Chose Left, the People Chose Netanyahu

Media Chose Left, the People Chose Netanyahu

Check out our thorough analysis of Netanyahu's stunning electoral victory, his difficult road ahead, and what it all means for the future of Israel.

The full article appears in the April 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

'UN Condemned Israel, Forgot About Real Rights Violators'

'UN Condemned Israel, Forgot About Real Rights Violators'

Out of 193 member nations, Israel alone was condemned for violating the rights of women when the Commission on the Status of Women convened at UN Headquarters in New York last week. The commission did not deem it necessary to similarly condemn known women’s rights violators like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan or Syria.

The gathering was the climax of a global campaign that saw thousands of people attend hundreds of conferences around the world. And its single official decision was to blame Israel for the situation of Palestinian women.

The anti-Israel motion was submitted by developing nations on behalf of the Palestinians. It was opposed only by Israel and the US. The nations of the European Union abstained.

According to the decision, “the Israeli occupation continues to be the main obstacle to Palestinian women in relation to their advancement, independence and integration in the development of their society.”

In calling for greater international intervention in preventing this phenomenon, the resolution also condemned last summer’s Gaza war, “which killed and injured thousands of civilians, including hundreds of Palestinian women and children.” It made no mention of Hamas starting the war with its reckless rocket attacks on Israel, or of the terrorists’ use of the civilian populations as a shield.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, responded to the resolution thus:

“If anyone has ever doubted that the UN is biased against Israel, today we got further proof. Of the 193 member states in this institution, dozens slaughter innocent civilians and impose discriminatory laws that marginalize women and yet they all get a free pass. The Commission on the Status of Women itself includes some of the worst violators of human rights, such as Iran and Sudan.”

Prosor further added that the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian society are easily identified as the primary violators of women’s rights in the region.

“Honor killings in the Palestinian Authority are a matter of daily occurrence, and employment of women stands at only 17%,” he pointed out. “It is time for the Palestinians to finally take responsibility for something. Their mistreatment of women is a chance to start taking responsibility. It’s not enough for the Palestinians to cynically exploit this institution; they’ve now made it their mission to turn the Commission on the Status of Women into a politically charged forum.”

Representing Israel at the commission was diplomat Nelly Shiloh (pictured), who was born in Syria. She told the gathering in Arabic:

“Our vote against this resolution is not a vote against the Palestinian woman, but rather for her. This is not the appropriate platform, and this is not the way to improve the status of the Palestinian woman. Real change will come when the Palestinian leadership takes responsibility and works for the future. The Palestinians are exploiting the podium of the UN to demonize Israel, and their behavior will not help the Palestinians in general, or the Palestinian woman in particular.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued the following response to the farcical UN decision:

“We are fighting an all-out war regarding this decision, which is further evidence of the hypocrisy and ugliness that characterizes the behavior of UN member states. Israel has contributed significantly to the advancement of the status of women in the world, in part by providing Israeli expertise to UN bodies dealing with this issue. Israel will continue to advance the status of women through various UN mechanisms, and will continue to fight the Palestinian campaign against [us] at the UN.”

 

Israeli Ambassador: Obama Acting Like a Child

Israeli Ambassador: Obama Acting Like a Child

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon this week said that President Barack Obama’s hostile response to Israel’s reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was both harmful and childish.

Obama’s apparent desire for some kind of “revenge” against Netanyahu and a majority of Israel’s voting public began to manifest itself on Monday when the White House decided to skip an annual pro-Palestinian event at the main UN human rights forum.

Until now, the US has always made a point of attending the event in order to defend Israel against unfair and unbalanced condemnation.

“Following the elections, Netanyahu reached out to [Obama] in interviews with American media in which he reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution,” noted Ayalon in an interview with Israel’s NRG online news service.

“But what did Barack Obama do?” he continued. “Instead of acting in a measured way with an understanding that there is mutual interest in maintaining good relations, [Obama] gave Netanyahu a slap in the face. This is inappropriate and unprecedented in international relations.”

In short, Ayalon accused Obama of “behaving childishly, instead of as the leader of a great power. This will harm the US itself, [as well as] further destabilize the Middle East. And all out of a personal desire for revenge against Netanyahu…”

A similar assessment was offered on Sunday by US Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, who told CNN that Obama needs to “get over his temper tantrum” following Netanyahu’s strong electoral victory.

 

Associated Deceit

Associated Deceit

It is estimated that the Associated Press (AP) news content is seen by half the world’s population, according to the wire agency’s website. Yet even this most highly respected of news agencies used staged pictures and omitted information in a reckless attempt to paint Israel as a rogue nation indiscriminately slaughtering women and children during last year’s Gaza war.

For example, to the left is an emotionally stirring photo that provoked the world’s anger against Israel’s military operations against Hamas. It was picked up by more than 280 AP affiliates worldwide, 1,400 daily newspapers in America and thousands of TV and radio broadcast stations.

AP now admits, after an investigation by The Mideast Reporter, that the picture is staged and that they were using children to pose for this and many other photographs they distributed about the war in Gaza.

There are strict rules prohibiting news agencies from staging pictures, especially using children, but the AP had no problem breaking those rules while assuring their subscribers, customers and audience that their photos tell the unbiased truth.

Staged photographs are in direct violation of even AP’s own statement of News Values and Principles: “We don’t stage or re-enact events for the camera or microphone. We do not ask people to pose for photos unless we are making a portrait and then we clearly state that in the caption.”

This photo is certainly not a portrait, but a powerful piece of anti-Israel propaganda designed to stir condemnation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Nor did the original caption tell anyone that this picture was staged.

What the caption did state was even more deceptive. “The attack killed his father, a Hamas policeman.” The sign in Arabic reads, “House of martyr Mostafa Jamal Malakeh.”

But Malakeh was no “policeman.” He was a well-known Hamas militant. He was the local commander of the “Al-Zeitoun Battalions” of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. This is the same group that had fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel since 2005.

All of this is public information and can be seen on a YouTube video memorializing Malakeh. The AP chose to ignore these well known facts in reporting on Malakeh’s death in order to make it sound as though Israeli soldiers had killed a civilian policeman.


This is but one of many examples of late that have made clear that it is impossible to rely on the mainstream international media for a clear picture of the situation in Israel.

Israel Today is different. We can and do provide the context that others leave out.

We invite you to SUBSCRIBE TODAY to our monthly in-depth, feature-filled magazine to gain the full advantage of a reliable news source that truly understands the land and the conflict.

 

Israel Aids Storm-Ravaged Island Nation

Israel Aids Storm-Ravaged Island Nation

Israeli international aid organization IsraAID has dispatched an emergency team to the Oceanic island nation of Vanuatu after it was ravaged by a tropical cyclone.

More than 90 percent of the population of 250,000 has reportedly been left homeless and destitute by Tropical Cyclone Pam.

IsraAID is joined in providing food and other basic needs by several other international aid agencies, as well as UN and local government bodies.

Additionally, IsraAID will provide medical assistance and psychological programs to help the citizens of Vanuatu deal with the trauma of their ordeal.

Both the government of Vanuatu and local victims expressed great appreciation for IsraAID and Israelis in general for their willingness to provide voluntary aid. Many Israel-loving local residents reportedly followed the IsraAID team around during its first days on the ground in a demonstration of gratitude.

PHOTO: Courtesy of IsraAID.

 

Why is Obama Punishing Israel?

Why is Obama Punishing Israel?

Though it won’t admit as much, the Obama Administration appears poised to punish Israel for daring to re-elect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and by such a large margin.

The White House’s dissatisfaction with last Tuesday’s election results became apparent when it took no fewer than three days for President Barack Obama to call and congratulate Netanyahu on his victory.

American media was less subtle, openly suggesting that Obama was looking to punish Netanyahu, and by extension the majority of Israelis who voted for Likud and other right-wing parties.

The New York Times revealed that the Obama Administration was presently reconsidering its policies vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and might no longer use its veto to prevent unilateral moves by the Palestinian Authority at the UN Security Council.

More than anything, Obama seems upset that Israel so firmly placed Netanyahu back in office even after the latter declared just days before the elections that the creation of a Palestinian state is, at present, a non-starter.

Unless the Palestinians themselves come up with a creative and acceptable new solution, the bilateral peace process is for now dead, and that doesn’t bode well for Obama’s legacy.

Washington has also signaled disapproval of Netanyahu’s fear-mongering during the elections, when he declared that “the Arabs are storming the polls and will overthrow the government.” It is widely believed that tactic spurred a massive turnout of Likud voters, and sealed Netanyahu’s victory.

Following the elections, Netanyahu clarified that he and all of Israel continue to seek a political horizon with the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, but that the current situation under the current Palestinian leadership simply doesn’t lend itself to a positive outcome. For this, Israelis cannot be blamed.

 

What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover

What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover

Passover starts in just a couple weeks. Israel Today reviews a new book by a Jewish rabbi reaching out to Christians seeking to honor and keep this foremost of biblical feasts.

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Why the Likud Won

Why the Likud Won

On the morning of Election Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to be interviewed on Israel’s Channel 10, but not before requesting that reporter Ben Caspit leave the studio. "Those defaming me and defaming my family," he told his hosts, "there is nothing obligating me to honor them … they who disguise themselves as journalists."

Caspit is one of too many journalists who use their profession to shape public opinion against Netanyahu.

Mingling among the cheering crowd celebrating the Likud victory, Channel 10 reporter Israel Rosner asked one about his feelings. "Tomorrow, God willing, we are going to shut down Channel 10," the reveler beamed at the stunned reporter. "But I'll be without a job," complained the reporter. "Don't worry," the interviewee responded, "I'll get you a job at the post office."

Channel 10 is not alone. In an unprecedented move Netanyahu told his Facebook followers that the time has come "to put things on the table." Noni Moses, owner of Yediot Acharonot and Ynet, "is using any means possible to overthrow the government of the Likud under my leadership, shut down Israel Hayom and regain monopoly over the written media."

Netanyahu and the Likud activist suggesting Rosner work at the post office are not hyper-sensitive. Rather, they tell the story of a biased Israeli media that failed miserably in its scheme to outline the major currents of Israeli society.

If there was ever any doubt, the outcome of these elections is proof that "many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand" (Proverbs 19:21).

It is nothing short of amazing that massive support from the Obama Administration, Europe and Israeli and foreign media proved ineffective in ousting Netanyahu. The best propaganda minds, statistical analysts, campaign geniuses and anonymous donors were powerless in their effort to bring the Israeli Left back to power.

These powers have all failed to understand that these last elections were not about hope for better income, health services or affordable housing. As the Obama Administration revealed in its delayed congratulation to Netanyahu and its threat to impose the "two-state solution," these elections were about the identity and the future of Israel.

The Likud won in spite of Netanyahu, rather than because of him. Many Israelis are fully aware of the problematic domestic policies of Netanyahu, and they blame him for failing to defeat Hamas. And yet, they are willing to turn a blind eye because of his resolute stand against those seeking to compromise Israel's security.

The Likud won because the majority of Jews in Israel still prefer a "Jewish" democratic state over just a democratic one. Their healthy senses tell them that the Left's vision for democratic Israel will end up badly for all of us.

The Likud won because the majority of Israeli Jews want to replace the left-wing elite that still controls the Supreme Court, media and academia.

The Likud won because in reality Israel is not as bad as many would have them believe.

Israelis can see with their own eyes the enormous railway and highway projects. They know about the revolutionary desalination plants along Israel's coast, and they are aware of the support pouring now into Israel's south.

The Likud won because many Israelis sense that the leftist "Zionist Camp" has lost its desire to see the fulfillment of Israel' Declaration of Independence. A party that is willing to cooperate with anti-Zionist forces, they reason, will bring despair instead of hope, strife instead of peace.

Likud’s victory is also an Israeli response to disrespectful Obama and hateful Europe. Likud’s victory, therefore, is a vote for Jewish life, pure and simple.

 

No Room in Israel for Leftist Ideology

No Room in Israel for Leftist Ideology

Despite headlines to the contrary, the results of Tuesday’s elections were not really a big surprise. The right-wing bloc has traditionally made a bigger showing at the polls than the leftist camp. But this fact of life is typically overlooked, and all but ignored abroad.

The final results have the Right (including the ultra-Orthodox parties) sitting at 57 out of 120 Knesset seats: Likud 30, Jewish Home 8, Shas 7, Israel Beiteinu 6 and United Torah Judaism 6. Two years ago, in the 2013 elections, these same five parties garnered a combined 61 seats, four more than they won this time around.

Meanwhile, the leftist parties now have a total of 40 mandates: Labor (Zionist Union) 24, Yesh Atid 11 and Meretz 5. These three factions combined won six less seats than in 2013.

Even if one were to count the outside support of the Joint Arab List and its 13 seats, the Left still remains smaller than the right-wing bloc.

The message is clear: a firm majority of Israel’s Jewish population does not accept the agenda or policies of the Left, in particular the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Israelis have had their fill of making fruitless concessions to the Palestinians, and are now focused on their own security.

This is unacceptable to the West and the Palestinian Authority. “Israel has chosen occupation,” declared Palestinian media. Senior Palestinian Authority advisor Jibril Rajoub said the elections had demonstrated that “Israel is a fascist and racist people.”

Many Western leaders seemed to express similar sentiments, though in a far more subtle manner.

The final push for Netanyahu and the Right came in the final week before the elections. It suddenly became clear that without some aggressive campaigning aimed at waking the Right from its slumber, the Left could score a majority.

Controversially, Netanyahu also raised a red flag over the massive Arab voter turnout just hours before the polls closed, urging right-wing voters to cast their ballots.

“Although many right-wing voters have little love for Netanyahu, they fear much more a left-wing government,” said Yair Ravivo, mayor of the central Israel city of Lod.

In the end, Netanyahu was elected democratically because his policies represent a majority in Israel. His distrust of the Palestinians and their intentions and concerns for Israel’s security have been validated by the majority.

Like it or not, the international community must come to terms with this.

 

Israeli Christians: We'll No Longer Live a Lie

Israeli Christians: We'll No Longer Live a Lie

The National Zionist Congress for Youth convened last week to discuss the phenomenon of emigration from the Land of Israel. On what turned out to be a fascinating panel were Mia Morano, widow of IDF special forces officer Emanuel Moreno who was killed in the Second Lebanon War, Israeli priest Father Gabriel Naddaf and IDF Major Elias Karam, the first Arab Christian to join the naval officers’ school.

Naddaf opened the panel by recalling that he was born in Nazareth when the population was predominantly Christian with a Muslim minority. “Today it is the opposite,” he lamented, noting that Christians should find in Israel a natural home. “Christianity came from Judaism,” Naddaf stated. “Without Judaism, Christianity doesn’t exist.”

But in the rest of the Middle East, the situation is much different.

“During the ‘Arab Spring’ we saw the collapse of governments lead to the Muslim slaughter of Christians. And they still call them ‘brothers,’” said Naddaf. “I can not dress like this in my priestly garments in Iran or Saudi Arabia.”

Father Naddaf went on to address his own son’s recent enlistment in the IDF, which he encouraged: “I sent my son to serve in the Israeli army. The IDF is the most moral army in the world. We don’t arbitrarily kill people.”

As spiritual leader of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum that actively encourages all young Arabic-speaking Christians to join the IDF, Father Naddaf explained that he “understands that it is essential to connect Christian Arabs to Israel and the Jews.”

But the Israeli Arab leadership, he said, “has fooled us into living a lie. They call Israel an apartheid state, but when anyone suggests an exchange of territories, [these leaders] protest because they know life is better in Israel.”

Mia Moreno told the youth about her return to Jewish faith and being raised in the Sinai when it was still under Israeli control. “The Jewish faith does not require everyone to be the same,” she noted. “I sit here beside Father Naddaf, he a Christian priest and me a religious Jewish woman, and we can and must live in peace with one another.”

Major Elias Karam told the youth gathering that as an Arabic-speaking Christian he is proud to wear the uniform of the IDF. “I volunteered for the army. I could have been a doctor or a lawyer, but I chose a different path,” said Maj. Karam. “In doing so, I stayed true to my dream.”

Congress organizer Jacob Haguel of the World Zionist Organization said the event, co-sponsored by the Zionist Council in Israel, sought to “bring together the leaders of the next generation. This congress represents the beautiful mosaic that is Israel including…Druze and Jews, religious and secular, periphery and center.”

PHOTO: From left-to-right - Maj. Elias Karam, Mia Moreno and Father Gabriel Naddaf.

 

What Now for Israel's Government?

What Now for Israel's Government?

A brief, but stormy election campaign has come to an end, and not only is Benjamin Netanyahu still prime minister, he appears poised to establish a far more stable government made up only of right-wing parties.

In the coming days, President Reuven Rivlin will select the candidate best positioned to form the next government. Given Likud’s crushing victory over the left-wing Zionist Union faction, that candidate will be Netanyahu.

Rivlin has expressed his hope for a national unity government, and is expected to ask Netanyahu to consider such an option.

But while a coalition consisting only of Likud, the Zionist Union and one or two other parties would be an interesting prospect, it is far more likely that Netanyahu will capitalize on the results of the elections by building a coalition made up of right-wing and religious parties.

Likud brings 30 seats to the table. It has natural partners in Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home (8 seats) and Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu (6 seats). The new Kulanu faction (10 seats) of Moshe Kahlon, himself a former Likud heavyweight, is also expected to be an easy sell for Netanyahu.

That would already bring Netanyahu’s coalition to 54 out of 120 Knesset seats.

At that point, Netanyahu could again approach Yair Lapid and his centrist Yesh Atid party, but it is unlikely he will want that headache. It was Lapid who essentially brought down the last government over budget disputes.

Netanyahu’s other option is to woo the two ultra-Orthodox parties - Shas (7 seats) and United Torah Judaism (6 seats).

Getting Shas and United Torah Judaism into the government is easy, provided Netanyahu is prepared to offer the Interior Ministry, significant public funding for Orthodox yeshivas and to make compromises on legislation requiring ultra-Orthodox males to do military service like all other Israeli Jews.

If he’s willing to pay that price, Netanyahu can establish a coalition of 67 seats.

This coalition would still have some differences of opinion regarding economic and social issues, but would largely see eye-to-eye on security and diplomatic issues like Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

In other words, it would appear Netanyahu has the opportunity to form the coalition he wanted and one that might finally serve a full four-year term.

 

Netanyahu Scores Decisive Victory

Netanyahu Scores Decisive Victory

With 99 percent of the ballots counted by Wednesday morning, it was clear that Benjamin Netanyahu had for the fourth time been elected as Israel’s prime minister.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party ended up winning 30 out of 120 Knesset seats. The opposition “Zionist Union” made a good showing with 24 seats, but it wasn’t enough to propel party leader Isaac “Buji” Herzog to the premiership.

As expected, and to the great concern of some, the newly forged United Arab List became the Knesset’s third largest faction with 14 seats.

While there were few surprises with the smaller parties, the most recent pre-election surveys had shown Herzog unseating Netanyahu. Even preliminary results late Tuesday night had Likud and the Zionist Union neck-and-neck with 27 seats each, making it entirely unclear who would be tapped by President Reuven Rivlin to form the next government.

But hours later as the final ballots were tallied, there was no question that not only had Netanyahu won, he had effectively laid the groundwork facilitating the formation of a stable right-wing coalition. Gone was the need to rely on the center-left factions that had caused Netanyahu so many headaches in the previous government.

 

Apartheid? Meet the Arab in Charge of Israel’s Elections

Apartheid? Meet the Arab in Charge of Israel’s Elections

For the first time in the country’s history, an Arab judge is chairing the Central Elections Committee presiding over today’s national elections.

Justice Salim Jubran (pictured) is a Christian Arab who grew up in the north of Israel. In 2004, he became the first Israeli Arab to be appointed a permanent seat on the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, he was given the daunting task of overseeing all those hot-button, contentious and touchy election issues like who gets campaign funding, preventing voter fraud and determining what constitutes fair play in the rock’em sock’em world of Israel’s political propaganda wars.

For example, it was Judge Jubran who decided to halt funding for Sunday night’s right-wing rally in Tel-Aviv.

Now, what kind of democracy gives a minority Christian Arab authority to prevent government support for an all Jewish, settlement-supporting political party? Only in Israel.

As an Apartheid State, Israel Really Stinks

This Judge Jubran chosen to ensure the Jewish state’s democratic process ran smoothly and according to protocol is the same Supreme Court justice who has publicly refused to sing Hatikva, Israel’s national anthem.

In fact, Judge Jubran refrained from singing the anthem at his own swearing-in ceremony for the Supreme Court. He was castigated by many for doing so, but the Arab judge stood his ground and was supported by fellow justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who wrote that non-Jewish citizens should not feel obligated to sing words that do not speak to their hearts.

Eventually, even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised many by stating that he did not expect an Arab-Israeli to sing the national anthem, especially since it includes the words "a Jewish soul yearns."

Unlike Any Other Apartheid Nation

Jubran’s trials (forgive the pun) didn’t end there. In 2012, the Knesset’s Law and Justice Committee demanded he be dismissed. In an effort to oust the Arab Christian justice, committee chairman MK Michael Ben-Ari submitted a bill aimed at barring anyone who had not served in the IDF from being appointed to the Supreme Court.

[This is the same MK Ben-Ari who was caught on camera tearing up and trashing copies of the New Testament that has been sent to all 120 members of Knesset by Messianic Jewish leader Victor Kalisher of the Bible Society of Israel.]

But Israel would have none of Ben-Ari’s antics. The government, media, courts and people on the streets - Jews and Arabs - fought to keep Justice Jubran on the Supreme Court.

Then, in a move which should shake the hell out of Israel-haters everywhere, it is old Justice Jubran, an Arab Christian born in 1947 in Haifa who finished his graduate studies in law at Hebrew University in 1968, who was entrusted with overseeing Israel’s crucial national elections.

Many saw these elections as critical to the future of the Jewish nation, and nevertheless had little problem with putting their proceedings in the hands of an Arab Christian who has never served in the Israeli army, does not fast on Yom Kippur and will not sing our national anthem.

There is no place like Israel. I love this country!

 

Palestinian Views of Israel's Elections

Palestinian Views of Israel's Elections

Today Israel chooses a new leadership, and the Palestinian street has a deeply vested interest in the outcome of the ballot.

However, this time around most Palestinians understood that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was far from the central issue in the vote for the 20th Knesset, and that most Israelis would be casting their ballots based on economic issues plaguing the Jewish state.

From the Palestinian point of view, the situation is less than desirable, as their nationalist struggle is no longer the primary issue motivating Israeli voters. Most Palestinians realize that a majority in Israeli society has totally lost confidence in reaching a viable, lasting peace with the Palestinian leadership.

“It is only natural for us to be interested in the political process of our conquerors,” Mohammed Madani, a senior member of the ruling Palestinian faction Fatah, told Israel’s NRG news agency. “Their policies affect our lives, because Israelis are killing Palestinians daily [sic]. We don’t care who wins in Israel. What’s important for us is who can conclude a peace treaty.”

Taking to social media, many average Palestinians expressed hope for a fresh government in Israel, while others feared Netanyahu would only grow stronger. Many Palestinians were rooting for the United Arab List, which some pre-election polls suggested could possibly become the Knesset’s third largest faction, thus bringing the Palestinian issue back into the spotlight.

From its power base in Gaza, Hamas also closely followed the Israeli elections. “We don’t care who wins the elections in Israel,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “All parties in Israel have only one goal and that is to destroy Palestinian interests and Judaize the country.”

Gaza-based Palestinian analyst Talal Oukal stressed that the overriding agenda of any Israeli government would be to preserve a united Jerusalem under Israeli rule.

 

Attending the 'Scum Bag' Right-Wing Rally

Attending the 'Scum Bag' Right-Wing Rally

I was among the many thousands who crowded Tel Aviv's Rabin Square last night. My decision to join the pre-election right-wing rally was not to identify with any of the parties, but rather to protest against incitement and an attempt to use the law to muzzle this very rally.

The incitement came in the form of a Twitter post by Igal Sarna, a columnist for the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper.

Last week, at the left-wing rally held in this same square, artist Yair Garbuz demeaned Israel's Right by calling them "mezuza-kissers." Yesterday, Sarna tweeted that those planning to attend the right-wing rally were "scum bags."

"When you will have a Bennet Square," he sneered, "you could do there your mass demonstration against the incitement of the left. But in Rabin Square? Scum bags."

I almost never go to political events, but this time decided to confront Sarna's contempt by showing up at the rally of the scum bags.

On the morning of the rally, the extreme left Meretz Party appealed to the chairman of Israel’s Central Election Committee, Salim Jubran, to demand the right-wing affair be prohibited on the pretense of improper use of public funds. This shameful attempt to silence the majority is what sent me to the square.

Though Jubran eventually rejected the appeal, he nevertheless forbade popular singer Amir Benayoun from performing at the rally. In an act of defiance, during his speech Naftali Bennett, head of Jewish Home party, took a guitar and sang "Jerusalem of Gold" to the delight of the tens of thousands who had gathered.

As I was waiting for the speeches to commence in the overly crowded square, a journalist from Holland asked the reason for my being there. "I have been all over the political map," I told him, "but what’s at stake now is not left or right, but the future of the Jewish state."

It was then that I realized that I changed gears from protest to support. I had never attended a right-wing event before, but found myself right at home among the thousands who danced, sang and waved Israeli flags. I felt good when one speaker after another reassured me that the Jewish people can't be occupiers in their own land. I felt encouraged by a resolute Jewish mass unabashedly standing on their right to live in a Jewish state.

Crowded as it was, I felt perfectly safe. Not because of the presence of so many policemen, but because the atmosphere was peaceful. There were no inciters defaming the Left, the Arabs or anyone else. There were no offensive signs and not a single provocation could be detected.

People were there for one thing – to express their love and commitment to Israel, and thereby challenge all those who portray their state as a colonialist monster. In his speech, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated the phrase "pinitem asitem" to refer to the obsession of far too many Israelis with the idea of handing over land to the Palestinians.

This catchy rhyme means that as far as "Bupi" (the new name attached to Isaac "Buji" Herzog and Tsipi Livni in a play on Netanyahu’s own nickname of "Bibi") is concerned, the only criteria on which to differentiate a good government from a bad one is by its willingness to transfer Jews out of the West Bank.

Now, I am not a Bibi fan, never was. I didn't decide to attend this rally to support him or anyone else. However, there’s no question that after this rally I will vote only for a party that is absolutely committed to Israel, to its people and inheritance.

 

Using the Knesset as a Weapon Against Israel

Using the Knesset as a Weapon Against Israel

Many Israeli Arab lawmakers have long been accused of using the Knesset as a weapon against the Jewish state in service to the “Palestinian cause,” and now they are admitting as much.

In a pre-election interview with Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen news network, firebrand Arab Member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi (pictured) stated, “I don’t see myself as an Israeli Member of Knesset, but as a Palestinian. We are using the Knesset to advance the Palestinian struggle… [and] we are doing this from within ‘Occupied Palestine.’”

Zoabi’s constant antagonism against the state that pays her salary last month earned her a temporary ban from tomorrow’s election. But Israel’s Supreme Court later overturned the ruling and allowed both her and right-wing extremist Baruch Marzel to contest the 20th Knesset.

Zoabi is a member of the Balad Party, which recently merged with two other Arab factions to form the United Arab List.

In the current March issue of Israel Today Magazine, we examined how these parties had put aside their differences as communists, Palestinian nationalist and jihadists to focus on the common enemy of Israel, and how they were poised to score a dangerous victory in tomorrow’s vote.

You don’t want to miss this important article. CLICK HERE to read it all >>

 

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Jerusalem Court: Jews Can Pray on Temple Mount

Jerusalem Court: Jews Can Pray on Temple Mount

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court reaffirmed earlier this month that it is legal for Jews (and, therefore, Christians) to pray atop the Temple Mount, despite violent Muslim opposition.

That legal clarification came as part of a decision in the case of activist Yehudah Glick, who sued the Israel Police for banning him from the Temple Mount for a period of two years after he was filmed quietly uttering prayers while visiting the holy site in 2011.

Glick, who survived a recent assassination attempt by a Muslim terrorist, charged the police with failing to uphold Israel’s laws regarding freedom of religious expression.


Don’t miss our interview with Yehudah Glick in the upcoming April issue of Israel Today Magazine. SUBSCRIBE NOW >>


Israel’s Supreme Court had previously ruled that Jews do in fact have the right to pray in any and every place, as do adherents of all faiths, but that police could take measures to avoid violent Muslim backlashes atop the Temple Mount.

The Jerusalem court determined that the police had gone too far in its handling of Glick and other activists, and had crossed the line by impinging on Jews’ basic human rights.

Glick was awarded nearly USD $150,000 in damages. His lawyer further told The Jerusalem Post that the ruling meant that “starting from today, all Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. There is no longer any crime in prayer itself.”

Still, many remained skeptical that non-Muslims would now be permitted to openly pray and worship atop the Temple Mount, especially after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year assured the Muslim world that Israel would maintain the status quo there.


In the upcoming April issue of Israel Today Magazine, we spoke with Glick regarding the attempt on his life and his continued commitment to bringing Jewish prayer and worship back to the Temple courts. You don't want to miss it. SUBSCRIBE NOW >>


 

Expert: If Netanyahu Loses, Expect War

Expert: If Netanyahu Loses, Expect War

A leading Israeli expert on Middle East affairs warned on Friday that if Isaac Herzog wins Tuesday’s elections and becomes the next prime minister, Israel’s enemies will certainly take the opportunity to test the Jewish state’s new leadership militarily.

“If a government headed by Herzog is established, I will not be surprised if there is an attempt by the Iranian-Hezbollah-Hamas side to test it, very early on,” said Channel 2 analyst Ehud Ya’ari.

Channel 2’s security affairs reporter Ronny Daniel countered that the defense establishment, and not the prime minister, determines Israel’s military policies.

Of course, Israel’s enemies are not necessarily intimately familiar with the inner workings of its government. And it has been proved in the past that different prime ministers will approve different types of actions depending on the scenario.

In the course of his reelection campaign, Netanyahu has repeated warned that a victory for Herzog would pose a severe threat to Israel’s security as enemies around the region would view the new and untested government as vulnerable and weak.

 

Israelis Unsurprised by Probe of Obama Elections Interference

Israelis Unsurprised by Probe of Obama Elections Interference

The US Senate last week reportedly opened an investigation into charges that the Obama Administration had indirectly, but knowingly funded an Israeli campaign dedicated to unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Most Israelis were unsurprised.

An unnamed source told Fox News on Saturday that the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had accepted a bipartisan request to look into accusations that the State Department had provided government grants to the OneVoice organization, which in turn established and funded the Israeli grassroots movement V15, whose sole purpose is to encourage Israelis to vote against Netanyahu.

In an interview with Voice of Israel Radio last week, Netanyahu also claimed that “Scandinavian governments have spent millions of dollars on a campaign to remove me from power.”

The Obama Administration had previously adamantly rejected assertions that it had deliberately contributed to electoral campaigns targeting Netanyahu for removal.

But a poll conducted last month for The Jerusalem Post showed that Israelis are unconvinced, and that a firm 62 percent majority believe Obama has interfered in Israel’s electoral process.

 

Jerusalem's Temple Mount: God's Epicenter on Earth

Jerusalem's Temple Mount: God's Epicenter on Earth

One day a holy war will break out over the Temple Mount because the Muslims want to prevent the building of the Third Temple by any means possible.

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Israeli Left Admits Palestinians No Partner for Peace

Israeli Left Admits Palestinians No Partner for Peace

A feature of Israel’s heated electoral season has been the accusation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruined previous chances for peace with the Palestinians. But now Netanyahu’s chief challenger, Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog (pictured), admits the Palestinian Authority isn’t exactly the most viable peace partner.

“I’m not sure that we have a partner for peace,” Herzog said in a pre-election interview with the daily newspaper Israel Hayom. “I am not sure there is a party on the other side that is interested in peace. So far they have been very happy with their one-sided strategy.”

Herzog stressed that he remains committed to a two-state solution and preventing Israel from becoming a bi-national state, but pointed out that, like Netanyahu, he would insist on retaining control over large Jewish settlement bloc in the so-called “West Bank.”

The seeming similarities in their positions notwithstanding, Netanyahu was adamant that putting the peace process in the hands of Herzog and his co-leader Tzipi Livni would pose a grave risk to Israel’s security and future.

“There will be pressure to withdraw to the [pre-]1967 lines and divide Jerusalem,” Netanyahu warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, adding that should Israelis choose to vote for Herzog and Livni, “You will get prime ministers who completely prostrate themselves to any pressure. Not only can’t they stand up to pressure, they don’t want to stand up to the pressure. They just want to yield and give in.”

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said at a financial conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday that whoever becomes the next prime minister need beware that facilitating the birth of a Palestinian state on any portion of land would do tremendous economic damage to the Jewish state.

Bennett used the example of last summer’s Gaza war to point out that an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would allow groups like Hamas to position their missiles mere miles from Israel’s most densely populated and financially active regions.

 

How Can Anyone Support 'Evil' Israel?

How Can Anyone Support 'Evil' Israel?

Israel is the Middle East’s only full democracy. Israel shares cornerstone values with most of the West. But how can one possibly support Israel with all that negative press floating about?

Of course, the question is whether or not those reports can be trusted.

Earlier this week, we reported on how a number of mainstream media outlets had jumped the gun on reporting allegations that Israel had purposely flooded the Gaza Strip. Simple fact checks later revealed that Israel has no major dams capable of flooding Gaza. Some of the guilty media outlets offered retractions and apologies, but the damage had already been done.

As bad as mainstream media bias can sometimes be, anti-Israel bloggers and social media activists frequently take this nonsense to a whole other level.

These are the voices that are keen to portray Israel as an oppressive, racist and apartheid state. But apparently there is a dearth of evidence supporting such a conclusion, forcing these same voices to turn to “evidence” such as the following image, which purportedly shows two Israeli police officers brutally detaining a Palestinian Arab woman.

False Evidence

As Israeli blogger Aussie Dave pointed out in a quick analysis of the photo, these are not authentic Israeli police uniforms, and in fact resemble cheap Purim costumes. It would seem it takes very little to convince those who are predisposed to think the worst of Israel.

 

Up Close With ISIS

Up Close With ISIS

Israel Today speaks to a young Israeli cameraman who got as close as anyone would dare to the enemy.

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Israel Demolishes Illegal European House

Israel Demolishes Illegal European House

An illegally built house situated just a few hundred yards from the Hebrew University on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus was torn down by police this week.

The structure had been put up on state-owned land that is designated as a national park. It’s construction was not coordinated with Israeli authorities. The building bore the symbol of the European Union, which has of late been aiding the Palestinian Arabs in creating “facts on the ground.”

“After years of research into the phenomenon of illegal European settlement building in and around Jerusalem, we congratulate the local authorities for finally enforcing the law,” said Ari Briggs, director of Regavim, an NGO monitoring illegal construction on the Palestinian side, in remarks to Arutz 7.

Briggs noted that there are almost 500 more such buildings in the area.

The European Union’s complicity in such pro-Palestinian endeavors is no surprise, though the audacity of this particular European interference is on a different level from previous campaigns.

 

WATCH: Christian Wears Cross on Streets of Israel

WATCH: Christian Wears Cross on Streets of Israel

Israeli journalists and other Jewish activists made headlines last month after they walked the streets of Paris, London and other European cities while wearing a kippah (Jewish head covering).

In every instance, the Jewish man was insulted, harassed and even threatened numerous times.

A young Arabic-speaking Israeli Christian decided recently to do something similar by walking the streets of a major Israeli city while wearing a large, conspicuous cross around his neck.

The results were very telling. See below:

 

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Iranian Convert to Judaism

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Iranian Convert to Judaism

As the events of the past few months have demonstrated, anti-Semitism hasn’t gone away. In fact, it’s getting stronger. While many Jews prefer to hide their identity for fear of persecution, some people are ready to sacrifice everything they hold dear in order to become Jewish.

Israel Today spoke to one such person, a young Iranian woman living in Germany who fell in love with Judaism and Israel. Her real name cannot be revealed for security reasons.

Israel Today: You were born a Shia Muslim. How is it that you fell in love with Judaism and Israel?

Tannaz: I was born in Tehran back in the 1980s to Muslim parents, though they never saw themselves as such. With the eruption of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 life became very difficult for them. My father, who’s an intellectual, felt particularly in danger given the fact that the new regime of the ayatollahs didn’t tolerate people like him. Witnessing public punishments, tortures, blood and executions, my parents didn’t want their kids to grow up in an Islamic state that radiated fear. That’s why they decided to flee to Germany, hoping that one day – when the Islamic clerics are toppled – they will come back to Iran. This, however, hasn’t happened.

Even though I totally integrated into German society and identify myself as German, I never felt truly connected to this new home, although I am very grateful to this country for giving me and my family much needed shelter. I started looking for my real identity.

IT: And you found it in Judaism, even though it’s so unpopular to be Jewish nowadays?

Tannaz: I was never taught to hate the Jewish people or Israel, the opposite is true. My father has always told me stories about his Jewish friends that he left in Iran.

IT: But to actually become a Jew?

Tannaz: It was only the beginning of the process. My love for Israel intensified the more I learnt about this country. Six years ago, when I was still attending college, a friend of mine who was doing research about Israel invited me to visit the country and I couldn’t resist the temptation. But I was in for a bumpy ride because the moment I landed at Ben Gurion airport, I was taken in for questioning that lasted eight hours. The officer, who checked my German passport, noticed that I was born in Tehran and was convinced that I was working for the Iranian intelligence service.

IT: How did you go through this humiliation?

Tannaz: It was a very traumatic experience and at some point I called the German embassy in Tel Aviv and begged them to get me out of this horrible country. But that nightmare left me curious and I made up my mind to come back and explore Israel. This time around I applied for various internship programs, hoping that they would give me a glimpse of Israel. Ironically enough, the only internship program that agreed to take me in was a Palestinian NGO.

IT: So instead of exploring Israel, you ended up exploring the West Bank?

Tannaz: Correct. I stayed with a Palestinian family from Jerusalem and got very influenced by their powerful propaganda machine. I have to admit that for two years I was on their side. But that was also because I didn’t have the chance to “enter” Israeli society and to interact with Israelis.

IT: How did that change?

Tannaz: I have always been a thinking person. I never swallowed everything the media or the people around me were trying to feed me. I was extremely irritated by the fact that every time Palestinians would speak about Israelis, they would use the word “Jews”. It hurt me to hear that, simply because I was brought up in Germany where people are taught to remember the Holocaust. At some point I realized that I was tired of the Palestinian stance: the constant whining and pinning the blame on everyone but themselves. I was tired of their negative approach. At the same time, I was afraid to talk to Israelis, thinking they would push me away because of my origin.

I overcame this obstacle only in 2012, when a group of peace activists launched the famous campaign Israel Loves Iran. Shortly after, Israelis started adding me as a friend on Facebook and several of them have even invited me over.

IT: What was the most striking revelation for you when you got to know Israelis?

Tannaz: That they are so much like Persians: they have the Middle Eastern flair but they are modern and open minded. I realized that Israel is the place I wanted to be. 

IT: Was it at this time that you decided to convert?

Tannaz: I can’t put my finger on when exactly it happened but that was definitely before anyone told me that the process of conversion would be such a nightmare [laughing]. I made up my mind that I wanted to convert while I was on a trip outside of Germany but the moment I came back to the country I was paralyzed by fear.

IT: What kind of thoughts were running through your mind?

Tannaz: I was afraid to go through the process of conversion and immigration and end up having no decent job in Israel. This would mean that I would need to go back to Germany and live there as a Jewish woman, which often means that I would have to hide my real identity. But I didn’t want to live in a lie.

IT: Is it that scary to be Jewish in Germany?

Tannaz: Anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise in Europe. It got particularly fierce last summer during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. But apart from this, a lot of Europeans feel that they are losing their identity and that their countries no longer belong to them. Only recently thousands took to the streets to vent anger at Muslim immigrants, who – as they see it – don’t integrate into their society, but the truth is that the Jewish people are also on their target list. They might use their anti-Islamic stance as a cover, in a bid to gain more supporters, but their ideology goes against everything non-German.

IT: In your opinion, what’s the root of this anti-Semitic sentiment?

Tannaz: It is natural for people to sympathize with the weak, the underdog. Palestinians are winning the media war because they successfully managed to create the image of the oppressed people. Unfortunately, many people in the West don’t have the time or the energy to understand the conflict, to dig and ask inconvenient questions, so they end up relying on media, which is largely biased.

IT: Where do you currently stand with the process of your conversion?

Tannaz: I am struggling with my dilemma but if (or when) I convert, I will make sure to keep it as a secret from my family in Iran whose lives would be endangered. 

PHOTO: Illustrative only.

 

Israelis Rally Against Netanyahu, Know He'll Be Next PM

Israelis Rally Against Netanyahu, Know He'll Be Next PM

A weekend rally calling to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s leader in the upcoming elections drew an estimated 50,000 participants. At the same time, a national survey showed that a majority of Israelis accept that Netanyahu will remain their prime minister.

The Saturday evening rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square featured a lineup of speakers denouncing Netanyahu over the difficult economic situation in which most Israelis find themselves and the collapse of the peace process with the Palestinians.

“We have a leader who fights only one campaign — the campaign for his own political survival,” asserted keynote speaker and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who further claimed that Israel had “never been more stuck than in the six years” of Netanyahu’s premiership.

Dagan and the other speakers ignored entirely the Palestinians’ own culpability in the present situation.

While a vocal and growing minority is determined to oust Netanyahu, and polls show his Likud neck-and-neck with the opposition Zionist Union faction, a weekend survey commissioned by Channel 10 found that most Israelis still view Netanyahu as the best candidate for prime minister.

A 52 percent majority said Netanyahu will almost certainly be tasked with forming the next government, while only 25 percent said the same of Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog.

Thirty-four percent said they prefer a Likud-led right-wing government including the religious Jewish parties. Just 14 percent want a government led by Herzog, and a mere 9 percent approved of a national unity government under which Netanyahu and Herzog would share the premiership.

A 35 percent plurality said they would prefer another unspecified government make-up.

 

Israeli Army Brings 'Google Glass' to the Battlefield

Israeli Army Brings 'Google Glass' to the Battlefield

Taking inspiration from Google Glass and similar technologies, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are busily developing the battlefield command and control platforms of the future.

The IDF Spokesman on Tuesday announced that the Israeli army’s own version of “Google Glass” had been successfully tested using a homegrown logistics app.

“We have completed our first application that works on a mobile platform – mobile logistics transportation,” said Capt. Rotem, head of the IDF’s Development Branch.

The officer explained to the IDF Blog that the app “displays a map on the screen, showing the route they are taking to deliver logistics, trucks with weapons, etc. This enables the commanders to gather updates on the delivery during the fighting, when it will reach the area – and be able to control the means of transport.”

The idea is that Israeli combat soldiers in the field will be equipped with these glasses allowing them record and send data back to a command center, and in turn receive real-time updates and instructions from those with a broader overview of the battlefield.

“After [last year’s Gaza war], there became a greater understanding that mobility is a significant factor in combat,” added Capt. Rotem. “One of the things we’re working on is a change in the perception of mobility within the development branch of the IDF. In the coming year we will learn how to develop and utilize Android apps, and enter the realm of multi-faceted technology.”

 

Palestinian Human Rights Abuses Revealed

Palestinian Human Rights Abuses Revealed

“Hidden Injustices” remains the title of a groundbreaking and now updated report uncovering the extensive, atrocious and “hidden” abuses of human rights by the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian censorship and threats of retribution have traditionally prevented most human rights organizations and governments from revealing the full-blown picture of the suffering of the Palestinian people by their own leadership.

Researchers at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) spent hundreds of hours documenting the PA’s state sponsored abuse of human rights of the Palestinian people. “Sadly the Palestinian people have been (and remain) subject to numerous, severe violations of basic (human) rights —not primarily at the hands of Israelis, but from their own leaders,” concludes the bold and extensive report subtitled, “Palestinian Authority and Hamas Human Rights Violations in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Headed by Adv. Calev Myers, an Israeli human rights lawyer who has done much to defend the local Messianic Jewish community, the JIJ hopes the 57-page account of Palestinian human rights violations and an accompanying 32-page review dealing with the lack of religious freedom will convince the US Congress and the European Parliament that the billions given each year to support the PA must stop and be contingent on “their long-term commitment to better human rights conditions for their own people.”

In spite of the atrocious way in which the PA and Hamas treat their own people, “the Palestinians received aid exceeding 15 times the amount per person granted by the US Marshall Plan for the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe,” notes the JIJ report.

Here are a few examples taken from the report detailing Palestinian human rights abuses in the following categories:

Arbitrary imprisonment: In 2012, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) received complaints of 1,000 arrests in the West Bank and more than 750 in Gaza. Most of these are political arrests of reporters, teachers, university professors, students, mosque imams and others who opposed the reigning government.

Extrajudicial killings: In 2014, after the August 21st Israeli airstrike on three top Hamas militants in Gaza, Hamas quickly retaliated against its own people by carrying out 25 summary executions against alleged "collaborators." The killings were performed by masked gunmen in-or-near public parks and squares.

Torture and inhumane treatment: ‘Suspects’ of crimes against the government are beaten with sticks or electric cables; their arms are forced behind their back and their bodies suspended in mid-air until their shoulders are dislocated

Excessive force against peaceful protestors: Beatings with batons, punching, and breaking journalist’s equipment have been reported as commonplace at what are described as peaceful demonstrations, while plain-clothes policemen target women demonstrators for punitive, gender-specific violence.

Freedom of religion and the rights of minorities: Hamas members set fire to a bookstore belonging to the Bible Society and later kidnapped the storeowner in the middle of the night. His body was found mutilated and dumped in a nearby field.

Freedom of association: In the spirit of Hamas policy, in May 2010, a masked gunman, who accused the UN of promoting immoral values, attacked a summer camp for children operated by the UN in the Gaza Strip.

Freedom of the press: On March 26, 2012, the PA detained journalist Yusuf al-Shayeb following the publication of his article criticizing Palestinian government officials for corruption, spying, and nepotism.

Women’s rights: A wide range of human rights abuses are committed against women for such offenses as immodest dress, sex outside marriage or taking initiative to marry or divorce. These abuses include the so-called honor killings of women caught in adultery.

Children’s rights: Teaching children to violently blow themselves to pieces, to become child soldiers or to act as human shields, through their school textbooks, radio, television and print media, by religious clerics, schoolteachers and by their political leaders, is the main contributor to the manufacturing of terrorism. Such practices are a most egregious form of child abuse akin to mass infanticide.

 

Exploding Israel From Within

Exploding Israel From Within

Of the eight million citizens of the Jewish state, 1.2 million are Muslims who enjoy the full benefits of the democracy in which they live, including the right to publicly defame Israel as a racist state and even challenge its very existence.

Ayman Odeh (pictured), head of the new United Arab List running in the upcoming Knesset elections, announced recently that "our direct enemy is Zionism," which simply means that Israel must cease to exist as the Jewish state.

Though the Israeli Supreme Court does nothing to stop this party's stated goal to dismantle Israel, the fact remains that Israel was recognized as a Jewish state by the international community. The San Remo Resolution of 1920 confirmed that "under the Balfour Declaration, the British government had undertaken to favour the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities."

This resolution was reaffirmed in May 1947 by UN Resolution 181, which "called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state."

The State of Israel’s own declaration of independence in May 1948, drafted with these earlier resolutions in mind, first states the obvious that "the Land of Israel [Palestine] was the birthplace of the Jewish people," and then goes on to say that "this recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable. This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State."

The international community, with the exception of Israel's enemies, has accepted the historic right of the Jews to live in their land, albeit with reservations concerning the present borders, given that they were established along armistice lines. For its part, Israel is trying hard, both in theory and in practice, to ensure the rights of its minorities.

In contrast, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the most recent PLO convention on March 3 repeated his commitment to two uncompromising principles: Yes to a "Judenrein" Palestine, and no to a Jewish state.

According to the Palestinian leader, for there to be peace in this region Jews must not be permitted to live in a future Palestinian state, and Israel must not be allowed to continue existing as a Jewish state. And yet, it is Israel that is labeled as racist, despite the fact that Israeli Arabs enjoy full and equal rights.

Though the false accusations of racism cause many Israelis themselves to join the chorus of "viva Palestina" in a futile attempt to appease, there remain some who refuse to turn out the lights.

Controversial as he may be, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is right in saying that the new United Arab List, which shares Abbas' vision and now also enjoys his blessing, exposes a new Palestinian plan to "explode Israel from within."

Though shrewdly playing the racism card, the new Arab faction that shares Abbas' dream of a Judenrein Palestine prompted Lieberman to warn that this party is "preparing for us an intifada from within Israel."

Unfortunately, past experience tells us that only a few will take this warning seriously.

 

Israel Today Blesses Israeli Children on Purim

Israel Today Blesses Israeli Children on Purim

As one approaches Beit HaYeladim, a kindergarten in the Jerusalem suburb of Ramat Eshkol, it looks like any kindergarten in Israel. Immediately on entering the premises one notices a petting corner replete with chickens, goats and other animals in the menagerie. One wonders how many other kindergartens have a petting corner on the premises.

Then you start talking to the kindergarten's managers Shai and Michal Lifshitz and you start to realize how special this kindergarten is!

Among the children that attend Beit HaYeladim are a not insignificant number of autistic children integrated amongst the children without special needs. In each age group there are approximately 6 out of 26 children with Asperger's Syndrome.

Some 20 years ago, parents of an autistic child living in Jerusalem realized that the needs of their, and other parent's children, were not being met. That father embarked on a one-man sit-in protest on the doorstep of then-Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert. After about a week, as the legend goes, Olmert's wife gave him an ultimatum: "Do something about the guy out front! Either he goes or I don't come home. It's either him or me."

That father was Shai Lifshitz! Ehud Olmert convinced the Jerusalem municipality to allocate the current premises of Beit HaYeladim for the special school.

Dr. David Wilensky told us of the tremendous impact integrating the autistic children with normal children and how he has observed great improvements in the autistic children's progress during their attendance. We observed one child, Dennis, who was completely incommunicative when he arrived about 3 1/2 years ago. "Look at him now! About a year ago he started responding to those around him and now he is talking and communicating," Dr. Wilensky said.

Israel Today would like to thank you, our supporters and friends, that made it possible to cheer up the special children of Beit HaYeladim on Purim with gift bags of goodies!

Our programs supporting children, new immigrants and soldiers are year-round. If you would like to give and bless Israel, PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

How Easily Lies About Gaza Are Swallowed

How Easily Lies About Gaza Are Swallowed

Gaza is a difficult place to live, to say the least. And in its current condition, the terrorist-ruled coastal enclave provides a tantalizingly easy propaganda tool with which to smear Israel. Even mundane news about annual weather cycles can be used to feed the anti-Israel machine.

Such was the case late last month when media outlets around the world (not only the Arab Press) frantically reported that Israel was deliberately flooding residential areas in Gaza by opening dams in the southern Negev region.

The rumor naturally played well on the likes of Al Jazeera, but even mainstream Western media like France’s AFP and Britain’s Daily Mail got in on the action. A video posted to AFP’s wire service was titled “Gaza village floods after Israel opens dam gates,” while the Daily Mail accused Israel of “leaving hundreds of Palestinians homeless.”

Not only did these professional journalists fail to fact-check the story, they didn’t even bother to notice that the same false rumor has been propagated every winter for the past several years.

Had they done so, these gatekeepers of Western public opinion would have realized that Israel has no dams that can be opened and closed in its southern region, and that Gaza is simply a low-lying coastal area that unfortunately suffers severe flooding during winters with average-to-above average rainfall.

The Daily Mail did later publish a retraction, but, as usual, the damage had already been done.

One story most of these media outlets chose not to cover was the announcement last week that Israel would soon double the amount of fresh water it provides to Gaza. The coastal strip’s growing population is overtaxing the local natural water resources, and Israel is stepping in to help alleviate the crisis.

Also receiving little coverage was last week’s acknowledgement by Palestinian Authority spokesman Osama Qawassmeh that the bulk of Gaza’s residents want to flee not because of Israel, but to escape the cruelty of the Hamas regime.

“Do you know that more than 90 percent of our people in the Gaza Strip want to emigrate, if given the chance, so they could escape from your regime?” Qawassmeh asked Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, further wondering, “Do you feel any national responsibility toward the Palestinians and their cause?”

 

For Many Israelis the Pope Trumps the Rabbis

For Many Israelis the Pope Trumps the Rabbis

Israel Today speaks to local Catholics and Messianic Jews about two recent polls showing more Israelis approve of Pope Francis than their own chief rabbis.

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Terrorist Rams Pedestrians in Jerusalem

Terrorist Rams Pedestrians in Jerusalem

A Palestinian Arab man on Friday rammed his vehicle into Israelis waiting at a light rail train station in northern Jerusalem. Four Border Police officers and an Israeli cyclist were wounded in the attack.

After running down his initial victims, the assailant, identified as a resident of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amud, emerged from the car with a butcher's knife and attempted to stab passersby.

A Border Police officer and a light rail security guard quickly shot the terrorist and brought the attack to an abrupt halt.

The attack occurred as Israelis were celebrating the biblical holiday of Purim, meaning many young children were out in public.

 

‘Sometimes I Hide My Jewish Faith from Messianic Believers’

‘Sometimes I Hide My Jewish Faith from Messianic Believers’

We spoke to a young Israeli believer who is concerned over how negative fellow Messianic Jews are toward Judaism. His views echo those of many young Israeli believers.

The full interview appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Netanyhu's Speech: The Calm After the Storm

Netanyhu's Speech: The Calm After the Storm

In a well timed visit to Nir Moshe, a village near the Gaza border, Yitzhak Herzog, leader of the Labor Party-led "Zionist Camp" lambasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even as the latter was addressing the US Congress on Tuesday.

Netanyahu's speech, said Herzog, "severely sabotages Israel’s relations with the US." This marked a grating climax to a fierce political debate that had raged in Israel since US House Speaker John Boehner first invited Netanyahu, without White House consent, back on January 21.

As expected, arguments for and against Netanyahu’s speech were made along partisan lines. Those on the Right argued that, as Boehner had said, there was no one better qualified than Netanyahu to explain the dangers of the proposed "Iran deal." One the Left, the planned speech was panned as a pre-election scheme that would needlessly further agitate the already strained relations between Israel and the White House.

Herzog's description of Netanyahu as a saboteur signaled the rhetorical escalation depicting Netanyahu, and not Iran’s Supreme Leader, as most dangerous to Israel’s future. Naturally, this topsy-turvy logic was nourished by the Obama Administration.

Following the speech there was a sense of agreement among many Israelis that their prime minister had performed impressively. Omer Bar-Lev of the Labor Party said he could only dream of possessing Netanyahu's rhetorical skills, and others couldn't but agree with him.

But that’s where agreement over the speech ended. Israel’s Ynet news portal, a bitter critic of Netanyahu, chose the headline "Dr. Strangelove in Congress" to express its contempt toward the prime minister. The write-up played on metaphors used by American commentators like CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Though grasping at the coattails of leading American liberals seemed a rather desperate attempt to cling to a predetermined view.

Israel Hayom, the only Israeli newspaper openly supportive of Netanyahu, used Economy Minister Naftali Bennett’s words to describe the speech, headlining their lead story "Well Arranged, Thorough and Shuddering." Rather than quoting American pundits, the newspaper cited right-wing Members of Knesset like Danny Danon and Ayelet Shaked, who complimented Netanyahu on a job well done.

And yet, comments following the speech were surprisingly sparse. It was like the calm after the storm, which just goes to show that perhaps the commotion surrounding Netanyahu's speech was nothing more than the same old political opportunism.

The calm may also suggests that as good as it was, Netanyahu's speech was unlikely to affect the upcoming elections or the Iran deal.

 

'Obama Must Satisfy Netanyahu's Concerns'

'Obama Must Satisfy Netanyahu's Concerns'

While not taking a side in the debate over whether or not Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to address the US Congress in defiance of the White House, The Washington Post on Wednesday said President Barack Obama must nevertheless provide real answers to the Israeli leader’s “legitimate questions” regarding the Iran nuclear threat.

In his much-anticipated speech, Netanyahu noted that the deal the Obama Administration is currently negotiating with Iran would leave the latter in possession of a massive nuclear infrastructure and would put a time limit on any punitive sanctions should Tehran fail to comply.

Given those conditions, and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) confirmation that Iran has concealed significant portions of its nuclear program, Netanyahu argued convincingly that Washington was in effect “paving Iran’s path to the bomb.”

What’s more, Israel fears Obama could spark a Middle East nuclear arms race by tacitly accepting Iran as a nuclear power.

“Rather than continuing its political attacks on Mr. Netanyahu, the [Obama] administration ought to explain why the deal it is contemplating is justified — or reconsider it,” the Post recommended.

Unsurprisingly, Obama tried to downplay what many called a “historic” speech by Netanyahu, pointing out in an interview with Reuters that “as far as I can tell, there was nothing new,” and criticizing the Israeli leader for failing to “offer any viable alternatives” to the deal he is negotiating.

US House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was even more aggressive in her rebuttal, labeling Netanyahu’s speech “an insult to the intelligence of the United States.” Pelosi claimed to have almost cried over the perceived “condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran.”

But the position taken by Obama and Pelosi appears to have been shared by very few outside of Iran, which likewise dismissed the Israeli leader’s address as “boring and repetitive.”

During the speech itself, Netanyahu received no fewer than 26 standing ovations, despite saying “nothing new.” And in addition to widespread accolades in the US, Netanyahu found unlikely support from the Arab press.

“Despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei,” wrote Faisal J. Abbas, editor-in-chief of the English-language website of pan-Arab news agency Al Arabiya.

A day before the speech, a leading columnist for the Saudi daily newspaper Al Jazirah said someone had to take a bold stand against “the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents,” and insisted that Netanyahu’s appearance before the US Congress was beneficial for all peace-loving people of the Middle East.

 

Even Saudis Want Netanyahu to Address Congress

Even Saudis Want Netanyahu to Address Congress

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared on Tuesday to address the US Congress regarding the Iran threat, in direct defiance of the Obama White House, at least one nation outside of Israel was supportive of the move: Saudi Arabia.

Writing in the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Jazirah on Monday, columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj called Netanyahu’s appearance before Congress under such circumstances “unprecedented in US political history.”

Obama Administration officials and Netanyahu’s political rivals in Israel insisted the speech is a mistake and would only serve to damage US-Israel relations. But Dr. Al-Faraj said the Israeli leader was providing a vital service not only to the Jewish state, but the entire Middle East.

“I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress, despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury,” wrote the Saudi. “I believe that Netanyahu’s conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents.”

Al-Faraj hinted Obama’s naive and dangerous behavior in the Middle East had necessitated someone like Netanyahu taking a bold stand.

“…Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and…he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations,” he wrote, suggesting that any deal struck by this particular American president could simply not be trusted.

 

WATCH: Netanyahu in Lightsaber Duel With Obama

WATCH: Netanyahu in Lightsaber Duel With Obama

Never missing an opportunity to poke fun at the most serious of situations, Israelis have likened the current mounting tension between their own government and the Obama White House to the rift in the Jedi Order in the Star Wars movies.

Israeli comedy production company Hafakot 101 has produced a short Facebook video clip superimposing the likenesses of Netanyahu, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennet and US President Barack Obama on the characters participating in the climactic lightsaber duel at the end of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Retitled Jew Wars Episode 7: Revenge of the White House, the clip even includes a surprise guest appearance by David Ben-Gurion, who arrives just in time to save his fellow Israelis from the evil Obama.

Check it out:

OBAMA VS BIBI Jew Wars from 101 productions on Vimeo.



 

The Divided Loyalties of American Jewry

The Divided Loyalties of American Jewry

Why do American Jews vote for the Democratic Party and against the more conservative Republican Party? And why are Jews in America unfriendly toward Christians?

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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The King of Israel Goes to Washington on Purim

The King of Israel Goes to Washington on Purim

With Purim just days away, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preparing to address the US Congress tomorrow, we present this analogy of Israel’s past and present dealing with the Persian threat and associated world leaders.

And so it came to pass that the people rose up and declared to the Prime Minister of Israel, “O Mighty Minister of Israel, go now, even on the eve of Purim, March 3, 2015, and speak to that Man in the White House. Remind him once again of the plots and plans of that evil Tyrant of Teheran. Tell him, O Minister, of his devises to bring devastation, annihilation and destruction upon the Jewish people in all the lands that they dwell.”

“My dear people,” replied the Chief Minister of Israel, “Have I not already these many times entered into the Chambers of that Man in the White House. Indeed, I have gone down to Washington already these two times in 2012 and 2013 on the Festival of Purim to warn him of the Persian plots to destroy our people. Yea, have I not made it clear to all that that Teheranian Warlord will bring his sword not only upon my people, but upon the peoples of many nations?

“Amen, amen I say to you, I have warned all those with ears to hear of the schemes the terrible Tyrant of Teheran is plotting even now with the wicked Hezbollah, Hamas and other evil Jihadists, and of their violence and venom that has spread throughout many lands. I have shown them in detail of the new weapon of mass destruction being built in Teheran, a weapon more powerful than our chariots and horses. A weapon so great that it will turn the sun into darkness and the moon to blood, even as the prophets have spoken.

“But alas, the Man in the White House has not called on me these many months. He is now even refusing to allow me into his chambers and has sent his eunuchs and many other servants warning me not to come.

“Indeed a multitude of false media reports, as many as the grains of sand of the sea, have been spread throughout all the lands declaring that I am to be shunned and disregarded. My own people have believed the lies and they will cast me out of their presence and a new Prime Minister of Israel will arise, a leader who knows not the evil Persia. I cannot go!”

“O Mighty Minister of Israel,” shouted the people. “Who can we send but you? Who can speak of the evil deeds of Teheran’s tyranny? You alone have grown up in those troubled lands and come face to face with these evil powers fighting them with your own hands. You can bring light to that which is hidden in the darkness.”

And so it came to pass, that the King of Israel took it upon himself to go down to Washington on the Eve of Purim. And many peoples shouted this and that, but the King of Israel would not heed their complaints. Indeed, all of the shouting only strengthened his resolve to speak with greater immediacy and authority.

The Man in the White House, however, was afraid of what the King would say. And so he ran, hid in his chambers, locked the doors and stuck his fingers into his ears. But alas, the words of the King of Israel were so loud that they penetrated even unto the House and the Kingdom of America was in an uproar that their Emperor had acted so foolishly closing his ears to the King of Israel, his closest ally.

And it came to pass that once again salvation came to the Jews from another source. For the Lord threw the enemies of Israel into confusion and they began to fight each other. Muslim against Muslim, Shiites fought with Sunnis, Iraqis against Iraqis, Syrian against Syrians. And the Lord allowed yet another rinky-dink Islamic State to fight with all the other Muslim nations, who then began fighting back until all hell broke loose in the Middle East. And it came to pass that only Israel remained, unto this day, a place of joy and everlasting security under the wings of the Most High.

 

Christian Soldier: I Defend Israel, I Have No Other Home

Christian Soldier: I Defend Israel, I Have No Other Home

News has been swirling that ISIS is again on the rampage against Christians in Iraq and Syria.

Reports indicate that no fewer than 35 Assyrian Christian villages have been targeted in northeastern Syria in recent weeks. Most of these villages are now empty of inhabitants. The lucky ones fled, but dozens and perhaps hundreds have been abducted by ISIS and await a grizzly fate.

Those monitoring Arab media reported last week that at least 15 of the Assyrian Christians taken by ISIS have already been publicly beheaded because they had dared to take up arms in defense of their homes.

In posting that story to Facebook, a young Israeli Christian named George said it was a harsh reminder of why he and so many young Israeli Christians like him willingly and happily volunteer to serve in the Israeli army.

“I will continue to defend and protect the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, the Holy Land,” wrote George. “I have no other country,” he added, echoing the Jewish cry for the Land of Israel.

George further noted how ludicrous it was for activists on campuses around the world to protest Israel as an “apartheid” state when he and other Arabic-speaking Christians are free to speak out and defend this nation, even as fellow Christians are butchered just for being Christians in a neighboring country.

The young Christian soldier’s words were posted to the Facebook page of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, which encourages local Aramean Christian youth to serve in the IDF as a first step toward full integration with Israeli Jewish society.

PHOTO: Father Gabriel Naddaf, spiritual leader of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, joins several young Arabic-speaking Aramean Christians as they are inducted into the Israel Defense Forces.

 

'European Jews Have Been Abandoned'

'European Jews Have Been Abandoned'

Amidst calls from Israeli leaders for Europe’s Jews to make aliyah en masse, and counter-calls from European leaders for their Jewish constituents to stay put, Israel’s Foreign Ministry says all arguments aside, the growing threat of Islamic terrorism in Europe is making a mass Jewish migration inevitable.

“It is time to tell the truth - the Jews of Europe have been abandoned. The security afforded Jews in most of those countries is a joke. And they [the Jews] aren’t even permitted to arm and protect themselves.”

That according to Foreign Ministry officials following a terrorist shooting outside a Copenhagen synagogue in which an unarmed volunteer Jewish guard, Dan Ozen, was killed.

Senior Israeli officials spoke of an almost criminal approach to Europe’s treatment of Jewish communities that want only to protect themselves.

“The Europeans refuse to recognize the fact that Islamic terrorism is anti-Semitic because they want to remain politically correct and not upset the Muslim community in Europe,” said one Foreign Ministry official. “Without a proper diagnosis, there can be no treatment.”

Another senior staffer at the Foreign Ministry added: “There are some European countries that are doing more, and there are some that are doing less. But all of them need to improve security. No nation is immune to terrorism, but what is happening today in many European nations is the result of being irresponsible. The writing is on the wall, and the Europeans need to wake up.”

In Israel, there is fear that the recent string of attacks is just the beginning. As far as Jerusalem is concerned, there is a clear and worrying pattern whereby the Islamists first attack European values such as freedom of speech (see the recent shooting at Charlie Hebdo), and immediately after take aim at the Jews.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that these recent attacks “prove what we have been saying for years, that Israel and the Jews absorb these attacks first because we are the frontline in the war against terrorists that are ultimately targeting the entire free world.”

Lieberman insisted that Western nations “must not be satisfied with strong announcements and mass rallies against terror, but must shake loose of political correctness and launch an all-out war against Islamic terrorism and its roots.”

European Union officials have actually been attentive to the criticism coming out of Israel, and for the first time have invited Israeli officials to join a dialogue in Brussels next month regarding intelligence coordination in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

Israel initially requested this dialogue amidst concerns that European citizens who are today fighting for ISIS will soon return to Europe and attack Jewish and Israeli targets there.

 

Communists, Nationalist and Jihadists

Communists, Nationalist and Jihadists

A change to Israeli electoral laws has forced the smaller Arab parties to form a United List that could give communists, Palestinian nationalist and jihadists influence over Israel's future.

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Report: Saudis Ready to Help Israel Attack Iran

Report: Saudis Ready to Help Israel Attack Iran

European officials say that Saudi Arabia is just as concerned as Israel over the details of the nuclear agreement the Obama Administration is currently negotiating with Iran, and is even prepared to facilitate an Israeli airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, should it come to that.

“The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to attack Iran if an attack is necessary,” an unnamed senior European diplomat was cited as saying by Israel’s Channel 2 News.

The source added that Saudi Arabia is “completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran.”

The one condition Riyadh reportedly had for providing this kind of assistance is some kind of tangible progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The report, if credible, is a major blow to the Obama Administration, which insists that Israel’s urgent criticism of its proposed deal with Iran is unwarranted.

“Anybody running around right now jumping in to say, ‘Well we don’t like the deal,’ or this or that, doesn’t know what the deal is,” US Secretary of State John Kerry told a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz, responded by suggesting that perhaps it’s Kerry that lacks the full picture.

“We know all we need to know, and we have an excellent picture of the negotiations,” Steinitz told Israeli media. “Maybe [Kerry] doesn’t know everything we know.”

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook Praises Israel's Integration of Minorities

Apple CEO Tim Cook Praises Israel's Integration of Minorities

Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently in Israel to oversee the opening of a new Apple research and development center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya. Even as campuses around the world begin their annual “Israel Apartheid Week” festivities, Cook openly praised Israel’s integration of minorities in its burgeoning hi-tech sector.

“True innovation can only result from full access to education for all, regardless of race, religion, or sex,” said Cook, noting that Israel had done just that. “We would like to learn from your experience in the US, in bringing education and technology to periphery groups and communities.”

During a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, Cook said that he and all the Apple staff “have an enormous admiration for Israel, not just as an important ally for the US, but as a place to do business.”

Rivlin highlighted the presence in the delegation of Johny Srouji, an Israeli Arab from Haifa and graduate of Israel’s prestigious Technion Institute of Technology who today serves as Apple’s vice president of Hardware Technologies.

“We are so proud of him and all he has achieved,” Rivlin said of Srouji.

PHOTO: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Apple VP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, an Israeli Arab and graduate of Israel’s Technion Institute.

 

A Prime Minister From the Diaspora?

A Prime Minister From the Diaspora?

Israel lacks a leader with a vision and a mission. A person needs direction or he will get lost. A nation needs a leader who will not be tossed by the wind of public opinion.

The full article appears in the March 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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Ambassador to UN Gives 'Oscars' to Israel's Enemies

Ambassador to UN Gives 'Oscars' to Israel's Enemies

The UN Security Council this week held a special session on its commitment to peace and security in the world in honor of the world body’s 70th anniversary. Taking place a day after the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor mocked the gathering by handing out phony “Oscar” awards to Middle East abusers of human rights whom the UN has categorically failed to curtail.

“Last night the eyes of millions were turned towards Hollywood. If the Oscars for Maintenance of International Peace and Security were given at the UN, I would not be surprised if these candidates were awarded a prize,” Prosor opened his speech and began to detail the various categories sarcastically:

  • “In the Best Actor Category – for acting like a peace loving country while developing nuclear capabilities, denying the Holocaust, and threatening the destruction of another member state… the Oscar goes to Iran.”

 * “In the category for Best Supporting Actor – for its unrelenting support to the Assad Regime in killing hundreds of thousands civilians… the Oscar goes to Hezbollah.”

  • “In the category for Best Visual Effects – for making women disappear from the public sphere, the Oscar goes to… surprise surprise… Saudi Arabia. No competition there.”

  • “And finally, for rewriting history, the Oscar for Best Editing goes to… the Palestinian Authority. But the truth is – the Palestinian Authority already received enough prizes from this institution.”

Prosor concluded by saying, “If we want to pursue peace and security in the real world, it is time to bring down the curtain on this theater of the absurd and return the original values of the U.N. Charter back to center stage.”

Watch Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor:

 

Many Arab Voters Want Integration With Jewish State

Many Arab Voters Want Integration With Jewish State

The amount of nonsense Israelis are subjected to as election campaigns heat up is diverting attention the new United Arab List that poses a serious problem for the Jewish state.

The list is a merger of four Israeli Arab Knesset factions that run the gamut from communists to extreme Islamists. If this list wins the 12 seats surveys say it will win, the Knesset will play host to a powerful political faction that takes order and money from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Yet the consequences of such a large and subversive party in the Knesset are brushed aside by the Israeli media.

The United Arab List is headed by Ayman Odeh, though he is far less known than the outspoken Haneen Zoabi, who has made a career of cheerleading for the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah.

But a revealing interview in Al-Monitor showed that Odeh is no less dangerous than his more controversial underling. Odeh, who promises to fight against corruption, racism and discrimination - all code words for a serious anti-Israel platform - is the new kid in town who will further inflame and agitate already tense Israeli nerves.

This Arab Christian lawyer from Haifa has declared himself an enemy of Zionism, and is in all likelihood up to no good.

A little known fact is that a large percentage, perhaps a majority, of Israeli Arabs do not share the views of their Knesset representatives. At least that’s what Mahmoud Nujidat (pictured) and Atef Alkernawi, two Bedouins from Israel’s south, told me.

Meeting with Nujidat was a breath of fresh air. Sick and tired of the old guard, whom he views as having done nothing to improve the lives of Israeli Arabs, Nujidat has created a new party, Hope for Change, that calls for the nation’s Arabs to integrate with Jewish society.

Nujidat, a devout Muslim who twice made the pilgrimage to Mecca, hopes for his children to love and integrate with their Jewish neighbors.

“We can’t live in the same home without cooperating with one another,” he insists. “We can no longer fight against each other. Enough. It just can not be that we will educate an entire generation for alienation and hate.”

Instead, Nujidat wants to see Arabs take on the mantle of loyal citizens of the State of Israel. As far as he is concerned, Israel is his home, and like in any home, husband and wife must find the way to live in peace and harmony.

Hope for Change is not only about good relationships between Jews and Arabs, it is also about hope and change for Arab women. Any society, says Nujidat, is built upon educated and supportive wives. Improving conditions for women, he argues, will be the beginning of local Arabs’ success. “When a woman is educated, works and adds to the family’s income she honors herself and her husband.”

Above all, Nujidat believes that the values of Jews and Arabs should not be different. “We all have the same faith,” he asserts. “We have one God whom we believe in. I don’t understand how we managed to miss it. How we led ourselves to dark corners.”

The present Arab leadership, he says, are benefiting from hostility and animosity. They thrive upon hate. Hope for Change wants to change that. Nujidat and those supporting him want to live in a country where people love one another.

It is striking how different this message is from that of Odeh the Christian.

Sadly, however, the positive voice of Hope for Change that represents many Israeli Arabs is drowned out by the clamor of inciting rhetoric that, if given the chance, will frustrate any hope for peace.

 

Israel Cuts Electricity to Palestinians Amidst Enormous Debt

Israel Cuts Electricity to Palestinians Amidst Enormous Debt

The Israel Electric Company (IEC) on Monday decided that enough was enough and began throttling the flow of electricity to the Palestinian Authority, which for years has refused to pay its bills.

While the move garnered a lot of media attention, it really was less severe than portrayed, and less punishing than many believe the Palestinian Authority deserves.

What the IEC did was cut power to the “West Bank” cities of Nablus (biblical Shechem) and Jenin for a period of no more than 45 minutes. The company said it would repeat the short blackout daily until the Palestinian Authority starts paying off its nearly NIS 2 billion ($500 million) debt.

Palestinian officials tried to link the situation to Israel’s freezing of tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority over its unilateral diplomatic maneuvering at the UN and the International Criminal Court. But the truth is that the electrical bills have been mounting for a very long time, with no indication that the Palestinian Authority ever intended to pay.

That was especially infuriating to many Palestinians, who noted that they pay electric bills to the Palestinian Authority every month, begging the question, “Where’s the money?”

Palestinian government-controlled utility companies buy the electricity from the IEC (apparently on credit) and then resell it to the local population.

“I feel like a sucker,” Nablus resident Mahmoud Arafat told Israel’s NRG news website. “I pay my electric bills, but still suffered from the blackout.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that he had not ordered the blackout, and that it had been an internal decision taken by the cash-strapped IEC.

“It was an independent decision that wasn’t done on the orders of the political leadership,” officials in the Prime Minister’s Office told Ha’aretz.

Seemingly ignoring the circumstances, and the fact that the blackout lasted a mere 45 minutes, the Obama Administration expressed “concern” over the move.

Many Israeli politicians have called to use the frozen Palestinian Authority tax revenues to pay the outstanding debt. But, again, the Obama Administration has put pressure on Israel not to do so, insisting that without those funds, the Palestinian Authority could collapse.

It should be remembered that in addition to charging its population for the Israeli-supplied electricity, the Palestinian Authority is the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign financial aid every year.

 

IDF Trains to Repel Alien Invasion

IDF Trains to Repel Alien Invasion

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) put a somewhat humorous spin on a very serious training exercise this week, asking members of the Air Force cyber unit “Ofek” to disrupt and sabotage fictitious invading alien spacecraft.

The Jerusalem Post reports on the exercise, noting that it was part of increased efforts to train Israeli forces to handle and counter a growing number of cyber threats, but tailored to be more culturally relevant and interesting to a younger generation of soldiers.

“The goal was to make them understand the importance developing [cyber] defense. We adapted the exercise to Generation Y, which loves challenges. So we prepared the framing story of an alien invasion,” the commanding officer explained to the newspaper.

The drill had various teams within Ofek competing with one another to simultaneously hack the “alien” systems while protecting the IDF’s data from snooping and sabotage.

The IDF has for many years already been heavily engaged in cyber-warfare and defense. Units like Ofek have played major roles in a number of conflicts, including last summer’s Gaza war.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet approved the establishment of a National Cyber Authority that will similarly coordinate efforts to defend Israel’s civilian networks and infrastructure from cyber attacks.

 

They Called Him Rabbi Abraham Lincoln

They Called Him Rabbi Abraham Lincoln

We all know how much Abraham Lincoln did for African-Americans, but until now very little was known of the special place Honest Abe held in his heart for the Jews. In fact, Lincoln showed so much favor to the Jewish community of his time that they called him “Rabbi Abraham.”

When Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 there were fewer than 3,000 Jews in the United States. By the time he died there were 150,000. Many of Lincoln’s contemporaries were alarmed by this development. Anti-Semitism, like the plague, had spread from Christian Europe to the New World, but Lincoln, a staunch Christian Republican, stood up for the Jews, much in the same way he would for African-Americans.

Lincoln was a devote student of the Bible and often quoted from the Old Testament in his public speeches. Lincoln rejected the notion held by many Christians of the time that the Jews were responsible for killing the Son of God. He made it a point to treat the Jews with respect right from the beginning of his career. Lincoln boasted many Jewish friends, often represented them in his law practice, and even appointed Jews to offices in his administration. Many Jews served as President Lincoln’s personal advisors.

A number of Lincoln’s generals regarded the Jews as hostile intruders to the North American continent and tried to have them expelled. General Ulysses Grant tried to force them out by issuing an edict barring Jews from selling goods to Union soldiers. Lincoln would have none of it, and confronting his commanding general immediately rescinded the shameful order.

When the Union Army wanted to “appoint Christian Chaplains to care for the spiritual needs of our brave soldiers,” Lincoln insisted on also appointing Jews to serve as chaplains to the army, something that had never been done before. Lincoln then signed the act into law and Jewish chaplains have been serving in the US Armed Forces ever since.

It was Lincoln who was the first to acknowledge the need to recognize Judaism as an official religion of the United States. At the time it was common to call the United States a “Christian Nation.” In order to make sure that the growing Jewish population also be included, Lincoln insisted that America be called “a nation under God.”

In 1863 Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation declaring that “all slaves under the Confederacy were from then on forever free.” Shortly afterwards, Lincoln met with a Canadian Christian Zionist named Henry Wentworth Monk who explained to him that Jews who were being oppressed in Russia and Turkey also need to be emancipated "by restoring them to their national home in Palestine."

Lincoln replied that this, the rebirth of Israel as a nation-state, was "a noble dream and one shared by many Americans."

When Lincoln was assassinated, the Jewish response was unprecedented as communities around the country mourned him in the traditional Jewish way for seven days by sitting “Shiva.” Eulogizes for the fallen president were offered by rabbis in every synagogue across the nation.

In what surely must have been a divine toss of the coin, the new copper penny minted in 1909 in celebration of Lincoln’s 100th birthday and adorned with his own iconic portrait was designed by the Russian-Jewish immigrant Victor David Brenner.

More of this fascinating story can be found in the new historical documentary “They Called Him Rabbi Abraham” by Gary Phillip Zola.

 

Israeli FM Compares Knesset to a Kindergarten

Israeli FM Compares Knesset to a Kindergarten

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the right-wing Israel Beiteinu party, took a break from his pre-election campaigning earlier this month to give his granddaughter, Yarden, and 20 of her kindergarten classmates a tour of the Knesset.

The tour was actually scheduled before early elections had been announced, but Lieberman wasn’t about to let that little development cancel the children’s field trip. Together with his wife, herself a former kindergarten teacher, Lieberman happily guided the children through Israel’s halls of power, providing much insight based on his personal experience.

Lieberman explained to the children that there really isn’t that big a difference between the Knesset and a kindergarten: “At kindergarten there is a teacher, and in the Knesset there is a Speaker. The job of both is to make sure everyone speaks nicely. Both must break up fights. The essence [of both jobs] is the same.”

The curious children at one point asked Lieberman why Knesset members are required to vote on various laws and decisions, and why the prime minister doesn’t simply make decisions alone. “That is the essence of democracy,” the foreign minister responded.

PHOTO: Lieberman at the Knesset plenum with his granddaughter, Yarden. (Yossi Zamir)

 

Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Subdues Terrorist

Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Subdues Terrorist

Terrorist stabbing attacks are sadly becoming common enough that most are no longer surprised by news of the latest incident. But Sunday’s terrorist stabbing on the streets of Jerusalem did catch widespread attention because it was brought to a halt by none other than Mayor Nir Barkat.

The attack took place at IDF Square where the Jerusalem Municipality meets the corner of the Old City. A young Palestinian man, like many “lone wolf” terrorists before him, approached an Orthodox Jewish man waiting at a crosswalk and stabbed his victim from behind.

The Jewish man jumped and swung his bag to keep the terrorist at bay as he retreated across the street.

The terrorist began to slowly cross street, still threatening his wounded prey and other passersby.

It was at this point that traffic cameras (see below) recorded Barkat and his bodyguards bravely march into the intersection and confront the terrorist. Barkat demanded that the terrorist drop his knife. As soon as the weapon hit the ground, Barkat pounced, quickly subduing the attacker with the help of one of his bodyguards.

Barkat was then seen crossing the street to assist and comfort the victim, later identified as 27-year-old Avraham Goldschmidt, a local father of four. On Sunday evening, Barkat visited Goldschmidt at Jerusalem’s Sha’are Zedek Hospital, where the victim was listed in stable condition.

Goldschmidt recalled frantically calling out for help, and his surprise when that call was selflessly answered by Jerusalem’s mayor, who had seen the attack unfold while waiting in his vehicle at the intersection.

Watch traffic camera footage of the attack and Barkat (seen in a white shirt flanked by two bodyguards) confront and subdue the would-be killer:

 

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