More Evidence of Jerusalem's Glorious Past

The IAA excavated the former Schneller army base ahead of the planned construction of residential buildings on the site.

Various discoveries were made during the dig, including a large winery from either the Roman or Byzantine period, around 1,600 years ago. Archaeologists found a white mosaic surface surrounding a pit that was part of the wine press used to extract juice from grapes.

Eight structures around the press were probably used for storing grapes and possibly to blend wine. Archeologists surmised that the press was part of a large manor house whose residents may have traded in wine.

"Whenever one turns over a stone, ancient artifacts will be found related to Jerusalem's glorious past,” said archaeologist Alex Wiegmann, excavation director on behalf of the IAA. “The archaeological finds discovered here help paint a living, vibrant and dynamic picture of Jerusalem as it was in ancient times up until the modern era.”

Remains of a bathhouse were also found, including terra cotta pipes used to heat the bathing facility and clay bricks stamped with the title of the Tenth Roman Legion, one of the four legions that took part in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Units of the legion remained garrisoned in the city until around 300 CE.

The close proximity of the Schneller site to the International Conference Center, where the remains of a large pottery and brick production center were previously found, led archaeologists to believe that Schneller was an auxiliary to the main site.

Excavations and investigations indicate that the remains of a Jewish community at the Schneller compound dated from the late Second Temple period, around the time of Jesus.

During its more recent history, the site housed the Schneller orphanage from 1860 until World War II. During the British Mandate its German occupants were expelled and it became a military base. In 1948 it was taken over by the Haganah — the precursor to the IDF — and it later became an IDF military base that was active until it was closed in 2008.

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68 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Israel

To mark Israel’s 68th Independence Day, the Foreign Ministry produced this video highlighting 68 facts about modern Israel of which most people are unaware.

There are some facts that are today well-known, such as Israel’s disproportionate number of technological achievements, and some that are less known, such as Israelis’ tremendous love for dogs and planting trees.

With the way the mainstream international media covers the region, it’s easy to think of Israel as little more than a place of conflict and ancient tourist sites. But as the above video demonstrates, it’s so much more than that.

 

Shooting Inside the Humvee

The downward spiral of newly resigned Minister of Defense Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon began with his premature conviction of Elor Azaria, the soldier who shot dead a wounded terrorist, and ended with what seemed to be his approval of the IDF's deputy chief-of-staff's comparison of some right-wing Israelis to Nazi Germany.

Insinuating that Israel's right-wing constituency is verging on a slippery-slope fall leading to Nazism is now being supported by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who said on Channel 10 during the Friday night news show that "the government of Israel was infected by shoots of fascism … life-seeking Zionism and shoots of fascism can't coexist." 

Barak pointed to the situation of pre-World War II Europe to make the point that Western democracies are vulnerable to fascism.

As in other instances, this is another case where an important Israeli figure is making liberal democracy a moral issue, rather than just letting it be a political system. This is a transparent attempt to create a moral divide between the liberal sons of light and the conservatives, who alone allow the shadows of darkness to lurk in their midst. 

More disturbing is the failure to realize that the fascist-based argument against a major Zionist faction is a double-edge sword for, it must be remembered, one of fascism's distinctive traits is ethnic superiority. Given that Israel is a Jewish state, once fascism is brought into the ideological fray there is no way to shut the mouths of those labeling all Zionists as fascists.

In the hope that Barak didn't intend such a conclusion, given George Orwell's observation – "I have heard [the word fascist] applied to farmers, shopkeepers … fox-hunting, bull-fighting … women [and] dogs" – Barak may have just used the "F" word to defame his political opponents. 

This, too, however, can't be a conciliation since once out of the bottle, the fascist demon can't be contained. Sadly, therefore, Barak is the latest example of how people of common interest can mortally wound one another. Israelis have a vivid expression for this kind of behavior: "Shooting inside the Humvee."

 

Our New Range of Anointing Oils from Jerusalem

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Oh, the Irony! Palestinian Museum Opens With No Exhibits

The Palestinian Authority last week officially opened The Palestinian Museum of Art, History and Culture just outside their de facto capital of Ramallah.

Now, as those who take historical accuracy seriously are aware, the people today known as “Palestinian” Arabs bear no distinction from the Arabs living in the nations roundabout, nations that only gained their current borders and distinct nationalities in the past century.

As such, there is no distinct “Palestinian” history or culture.

And, so, it was absolutely fitting that The Palestinian Museum of Art, History and Culture opened its doors with NO EXHIBITS.

The facility, which cost a whopping $24 million, was described as modern and luxurious by The New York Times.

The newspaper spoke to the museum’s chairman, Omar al-Qattan, who confirmed that he had opened the doors of an empty building. But, al-Qattan insisted, the move was of symbolic importance.

He and other Palestinian officials said they hope to at some point put actual exhibits in the museum.

 

Myths That Shape Reality

Israel tends to scratch itself until it bleeds. Not a day goes by without a brawl fueled by a ratings-thirsty media. 

As Israeli society struggles to make sense of the difficult reality it routinely faces, some public debates that touch core issues are simply inevitable. Such was the case with deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan who compared some fringe elements of Israeli society to 1930s Germany. His problematic comparison created a whirlwind that has yet to subside.

Many of the public debates, however, are the result of well-planned campaigns designed to advance a certain political agenda. 

A case in point is the comeback of the play "Fleischer," now being performed at Israel's national theater, Habima. Yigal Even-Or wrote Fleischer in the mid-1980s, shortly after the publication of Benjamin Tamuz's dystopian Jeremiah's Inn, a futuristic fiction describing Israel under a despotic Orthodox regime. 

In Fleisher, the same theme of the strenuous relationship between secular and religious Jews is picked up. In the play, the demographic change takes place in a run-down Tel Aviv neighborhood that has been swamped by new Orthodox arrivals. 

Though the play dwells primarily on prejudice and bigotry, when asked why Fleischer was chosen for the new lineup at Habima, art director Ilan Ronnen said that "it is important to revive this play given the background of Israeli society becoming more Orthodox."

Quite coincidentally, Channel 10 TV is currently airing Avishai Ben Chaim's documentary on the breakdown of the Orthodox community, in which he dispels the myth of a future Orthodox majority. If anything, today the Orthodox community is shrinking.

One would expect that the art director of Israel's national theater should have known a little bit more about demographics and social trends. Instead he is busy propagating a myth that does nothing but irritate. 

What's more disheartening is that most likely Ronnen formed his understanding of Fleischer on hand-picked snippets. One such snippet from the play demonstrates the harsh dialogue between secular heroine Bertha and Hond, the Orthodox realtor. Exposing her tattooed hand right in front of his eyes, she says to him: "Do you have such a certificate? This one is given only by Hitler, and believe me, Mr. rabbi, he knows who is a Jew and who isn't. He had never made a mistake."

Just as Ronnen and Habima see the play as serving a political agenda, so too do his opponents, who most likely neither saw the play nor read the script. 

When Fleischer was first performced in the early 1990s, some Members of Knesset were enraged by what they saw as verging on anti-Semitism. What we see here, said religious MK Avner Shaki, who didn't see the play, is "labeling a huge number of people. We are talking about the degradation of Judaism…"

Yet, if anything, this play is about unfounded secular prejudice toward the religious. 

Though the hero, Fleischer, who owns a non-Kosher meat shop, is critical of the Orthodox community, what Ronnen and so many others who base their opinion on well-chosen YouTube snippets fail to see is that the secular characters are behaving worse than those they criticize. Most notable is retired teacher Rosa, who says: "Had I not been born a Jew I would have been the greatest anti-Semite. I hate Jews."

Fleischer himself, who has to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get a Kosher certificate, is contemplating under-the-counter selling of Hungarian horse meat sausage and bacon – blatant non-Kosher delicacies.

Had this play not been exploited for political ends, it could have been a helpful tool to teach Israelis about the way in which myth-based fears are shaping social realities. Instead, what we are left with is a play destined to fruitlessly pit one Israeli against the other.

 

High Political Drama Leads to Major Netanyahu Gov Shakeup

The past few days have seen a tremendous amount of political drama in Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been ruling for the past year with a narrow 61-seat majority coalition, and has been anxious to further bolster that number and avoid early elections.

Netanyahu made serious overtures recently to opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor), who was himself anxious to enter the coalition and flex his political muscles.

But internal party politics scuttled the possibility of a unity coalition, leading Netanyahu with take his government further to the Right, which resulted a mini-revolt within his own Likud party.

For a full analysis of the winners and losers from this current round of political drama in Israel, be sure to read this article over at Times of Israel.

 

Messianic Jews and Their History

Israel’s Messianic congregations today hold official government status, and have been allowed to develop freely.

The full article appears in the May 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Israel's Iron Dome at Sea

The Israeli navy has successfully mounted and tested its vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system on warships patrolling the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Yesterday, the navy released a video of the tests, which took place in February.

Officials say that being able to make use of the Iron Dome at sea will enable Israel to more effectively protect its strategic natural gas reserves.

 

Palestinian State Would Be Oppressive Police State

A Palestinian university student has provided further evidence that an independent Palestinian state would be an oppressive police state. In fact, it already is.

Earlier this week, Emad Halayqa, a student at Beirzeit University in Ramallah, posted to Facebook that he would far rather be arrested by Israel than by the Palestinian Authority.

“The last time [PA] intelligence arrested me, one of their investigators told me: ‘I warn you not to tell anyone that we have beaten you,’” according to Halayqa.

Stories of widespread human rights violations in the Palestinian-controlled territories have been leaking out through social media for years. But few in the mainstream media pay them any attention.

The West is too invested in its grand scheme of a “two-state solution” to acknowledge that the Palestinian regime it created is anything but a peaceful and democratic entity.

“The democracy you talked about before the elections has been exposed in its ugliest character after the elections,” continued Halayqa, telling his own Palestinian government: “I am not your servant and I will not be. Send me the Jews. I wish they would arrest me and save me from your violations.”

 

IDF Reservists Call ‘Breaking the Silence’ Activities Tantrums...

The organization "Reservists in the Front" was born and have been setting the record straight regarding the IDF and their humane handling of civilians especially during times of military conflict.

Instead of merely proving that most of the material presented by leftwing NGOs contains outright lies or taken out of context, Reservists in the Front has developed its own action plan to deal with moral issues which present themselves during IDF activities, as well as bringing specific events to the attention of the IDF top brass.

Major (Ret) Amit Deri, one of the founding members of "Reservists in the Front", has begun to document "Breaking the Silence" activities in the Hebron, area proving that the group engages in spreading lies.

According to reserve officer Shachar Debi, even when leftwing groups report events truthfully, they do it in a way that places doubts on what the IDF is about, rather than keeping them in proportion to everything the IDF is doing right while dealing with its never-ending mission of protecting civilians against countless enemy attacks.

“The kind of conflict we are engaged in exists the world over, and the IDF's behavior can set an example for others — it shouldn’t be dragged to the negative place these leftwing organizations take them", said Debi.

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The Changing Face of Christianity in the Middle East

"Israeli Knesset members are asking for access to our contacts," says a Messianic leader involved with "Muslim Background Believers."

The full article appears in the May 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Does God See the Jews As Enemies?

To those of us who love Israel, that question sounds preposterous. Yet many Christians suffer from what I call a Replacement Theology hangover. They finally made room in their eschatology for a restoration of Israel, but they do not accept the present return of the Jews to their ancient homeland as part of that restoration.  They point out that most Jews in Israel and abroad are still unbelievers in Jesus and therefore must be considered God’s enemies. They’ll quote Paul’s words, “that from the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies” (Rom. 11:27). If they’re enemies of the gospel, they argue, then they are enemies of God.

Sadly, these Christians have taken Paul’s words in Romans 11 completely out of context. After warning all the non-Jewish believers grafted into Israel’s tree  “to not be arrogant towards the branches [that had been cut off],” Paul instructed us concerning the Jews in their present state of unbelief. “From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, BUT from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the Fathers, for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (vs. 28, 29).

From an earthly standpoint we should expect them to oppose the promotion of the gospel, tooth and nail.  And that for our benefit! God had deliberately made them enemies of the gospel to drive it out into the nations where we could hear it and get saved. 

But then Paul urges us to look past their angry opposition and view them from God’s perspective. He says, “that from the standpoint of God’s choice” they are still beloved. In other words, don’t think God has rejected them and put them in the same category as every other unbeliever in the world. No, they are still His people – even in their unbelief! The promises to the fathers had not been nullified.  

Over and over He assured Israel that “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2). So even though a majority rejected Yeshua, their unbelief did not cancel out His eternal commitment to them.  “Though some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? May it never be!” (Rom. 3:3,4). God had put them in a state of suspended, militant unbelief until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in [to Israel].”  Then He’ll provide the same mercy and grace to the Jews He gave to us. “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all” (v. 32)

What these undiscerning Christians don’t realize is that a paradigm shift has taken place in God’s dealing with the Jews. Everything changed with the founding of Israel in 1948. We know this because God always deals with Israel in the same way. 

Whenever the nation’s disobedience finally exhausts God’s patient warnings He allows them to be conquered and thrown out of the land. It happened when Assyria invaded the northern kingdom in 722 BC, when Babylon conquered Judah in 586 BC, and when Rome exiled them again in 70 AD. But those times of exile had an expiration date. We know Judah’s time of punishment, which culminated with the Holocaust, has ended – because they’re back in the land. Their miraculous return, impossible victories against overwhelming odds and rejuvenation of the land, all confirm God is with them, and again fighting for Israel! 

So, yes, the Jews have come home in unbelief. But that’s exactly what had been prophesied. “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. THEN I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean” (NAS Ezek 36:24,25). And again, in Ezekiel’s famous dry-bones prophecy, it is after the nation is restored from extinction that the prophet is commanded, “say to the breath…Come from the four winds and breathe on these slain, that they may come to life” (Ezek 37:9).

I believe that Breath will soon come. And it will be accompanied by those believers who have awakened to the Hebraic roots of their faith. For if you noticed in my recounting of Israel’s three exiles, there is still one scattering that has not been resolved. Namely, the worldwide banishment of the northern ten tribes of Israel. I have no doubt that all believers who have joined themselves to Messiah from among the nations are their lost descendants. If so, then the next thing on God’s restoration calendar would be to make it possible for us to make _aliyah. _Along with many more Western Jews.

“In those days, ten men from among the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech 8:23).

Brian Hennessy is author of Valley of the Steeples

 

VIDEO: Israeli Divers Find Massive Roman Treasure

The Israel Antiquities Authority has put on display the contents of an ancient Roman cargo ship that sank off the coast of the Israeli coastal town of Caesarea some 1,600 years ago.

The treasure was discovered by two Israeli divers, and includes bronze sculptures, thousands of coins and other well-preserved pieces.

Israeli officials are calling it the largest and most important find in the past 30 years.

 

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Israeli Pride, or Is It?

Israel's entrant in last week's Eurovision 2016 song contest, the openly homosexual Hovi Star (Chovav Skoltch), and our local TV host for the event, drag queen Talula Bonet (Tal Kallai), made many Israelis proud. 

In whichever way one justifies the phenomenon of LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queers), there can be little doubt that the biblical law Israel is supposed to uphold explicitly forbids same-gender sexual activity (Leviticus 18: 22, 20:13). Lest I be misunderstood, the same law treats adultery just as severely, if not more so, being one of the Ten Commandments. 

Yet Israelis seem to be proud of violating the first, and careless regarding the second. Though certainly much less severe, today many Israelis are also tattooing themselves from head-to-toe, thus showing disregard for another law forbidding this practice (Leviticus 19:28).

These are just a few of the more glaring examples of the disdain shown for Israel's religion, a phenomenon that is acutely relevant because of the direct bearing it has on the anti-Semitic tidal wave emanating primarily from the Western liberal camp.

With few exceptions, Israelis are attempting to justify Israel's existence on its being the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Again and again, one can hear Israeli officials emphasizing the values of our Western democracy, while downplaying our identity as Jews. By so doing they rest the existence of the Jewish state on security and the secular values of a particular ideology. 

This kind of argument overlooks Israel's inherent value. And it is one reason why so many liberals can say that Jews might as well exist in one form or another in a different place entirely.

In his helpful attempt to understand the hate so many left-wingers harbor for Israel, David Bernstein concludes that for liberals the Jewish state "is nothing but reactionary nationalism based on at best foolish sentimentality, and at worst racist notions of Jewish superiority." 

Correct as this conclusion is, and as much as Bernstein wants to affirm Jewish ethnicity, he, too, will not dare invoke any spiritual significance for the Jewish state, thus again leaving Israel's existence problematically unexplained.

But there are those, like Minister of Education Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), who understands well that “our path and sacred values have accompanied us for generations, and compromising them would likely lead Israel into the abyss." For those who think like Bennett, as much as democracy is valuable, and to an extent irreplaceable, it can't be guarded at the cost of Judaism.

Speaking at the Israel Prize ceremony that takes place annually on Independence Day, Bennett reminded us all of the spiritual value of Israel, without which it can't exist. “The goal of Judaism’s history is to heal a wounded world," which is why the next generation of Zionism should invert the present form of Zionism, meaning that "instead of searching for universal solutions for the problems of the Jews, we’ll find Jewish solutions for the problems of humanity."  

This, for those who might have missed it, is a modern expression of Isaiah's vision, in which the prophet sees Israel as a place from which "the law will go forth."

As difficult as it may be for Israelis to understand, taking pride in tolerance for different expressions of gender and certain sexual behaviors does anything but legitimize Israel's existence.

The same can be said about justifying Israel's existence on security grounds. If anything, today it is the existence of Israel that poses the greatest threat to Jewish life. 

In terms of Israel's prophetic call, it must stand upon both its Jewish and democratic legs, or it will fall. It would be fair to say that a growing number of Israelis are beginning to realize that giving up on a meaningful Jewish identity is no longer a viable option.

 

King of Togo in Israel, Wants to be Recognized as Jewish

King Ayi of the West African nation of Togo arrived in Israel on Sunday with an unusual request - he wants the Jewish state to officially recognize his people as a lost tribe of Israel.

The king, who has become well known among the Orthodox Jewish community, met with Religious Affairs Minister David Azulai, who told the African ruler that Israel’s Chief Rabbinate will have to investigate his claims to being descended from Israel.

“My desire is to come to the Western Wall with my people next Sukkot and shout ‘Shema Israel,’” the king told his Israeli hosts.

In an interview with the Orthodox Israeli news portal Kikar Hashabbat, King Ayi explained that “a nation that doesn’t recognize God and has no religion is a nation that doesn’t know where it is going. …I can tell you that as a professor of religion, there is no religion as close to my heart as Judaism.”

Asked how he discovered his own Jewish heritage, King Ayi said that “our teachers in Togo taught us that we are Jews. Before Togo became a republic, it was a kingdom known as ‘the Jewish Kingdom of West Africa.’ Our founding fathers came from Israel over 2,000 years ago.”

The king noted that his people have long kept Jewish biblical customs, such as various kosher dietary laws, circumcision on the eighth day after birth, and observing the Sabbath.

He went on to state that all the kings and queens of Africa must come “and see what the God of Israel has done.”

Responding to skepticism concerning the Jewish roots of Togo, King Ayi said that any who doubt need to “go read the Torah, where it is written that the lost tribes are beyond the River Sambation [the legendary ‘Sabbath River’ beyond which the 10 Tribes were supposedly exiled]. In the Last Days, all Jews in the world will be discovered, and people from afar will return…”

 

BDS Spreads Anti-Semitism Across U.S. Campuses

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Anti-Semitic incidents seem to spring up each week on college campuses throughout the United States. According to a study, “The strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus” is the presence of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The greater the BDS activity, especially involving faculty members, the more likely anti-Semitic episodes become, said the study issued last month by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, and combating anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses.

One recent example occurred on April 15, when the City University of New York Doctoral Students’ Council passed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel, 42-19. Weeks earlier, a CUNY professor and BDS advocate claimed that the killing of Palestinians in Gaza “reflects Jewish values.” On CUNY campuses, the New York Observer reports, Jewish students were harassed, with “Jews out of CUNY” uttered in at least one instance, and a professor who wears a yarmulke was called a “Zionist pig.”

On April 21, two-thirds of a union representing about 2,000 graduate students at New York University voted to approve a motion to support a BDS resolution against Israel. The motion also urges the union and its affiliate, the United Auto Workers, to divest from Israeli companies. The resolution asks NYU to close its program at Tel Aviv University, claiming the program violates NYU’s non-discrimination policy.

About a month earlier, NYU’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), one of the main organizing forces behind the nationwide BDS campaign, hosted Israeli academic Ilan Pappé, described by Benny Morris as “one of the world’s sloppiest historians.”

As reported by AMCHA:

“Pappé blamed Jews, perceived historically as evil, for antisemitism stating, ‘The [Jewish] Israelis...are responsible for bringing antisemitism back.’ He denied Jews self-determination and demonized Israel stating, ‘evil Zionism will come to an end – all immoral regimes do’ as well as suggested rich Jews should leave Israel as a process of ‘decolonization.’ He further demonized Israel throughout accusing Israel of carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing’ multiple times. Pappé delegitimized Israel consistently referring to Israel as a ‘settler colonialist project,’ ...[and] promoted BDS.”

The Jewish Law Students Association at Harvard University and Harvard Hillel co-sponsored an event April 14 on “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & the U.S.” During the question and answer session, Husam el-Qoulaq, an HLS student and head of SJP at the school, insulted  Israeli Knesset Member Tzipi Livni by asking, “How is it that you are so smelly?... A question about the odor of Ms. Tzipi Livni, she’s very smelly, and I was just wondering.” The student’s question resurrected the anti-Semitic stereotype of a “smelly/dirty Jew.” Incredibly, some “progressive” HLS Jewish students later defended el-Qoulaq.

As BDS campaigns spread on campuses, anti-Semitic expression increasingly follows – from swastika-filled vandalism at UC Davis and Purdue University to student “debates” at Stanford University that implicitly dignify classical anti-Semitic tropes about Jews controlling the media and economy. Among other recent incidents: 

  • April 20: At Michigan’s Grand Valley State University, there have been six anti-Semitic incidents reported on campus since last December. These involved swastikas on walls or doors of residence halls, messages including “I am a Nazi” and “Hitler did nothing wrong,” a faculty member making anti-Semitic gestures in a classroom, and a Star of David with an “X” scratched into it on the window of a bus.

  • April 19: At the University of Maryland, about two dozen protesters arrived at a Hillel and Jewish Student Union event called, “Israel Fest” and, for about an hour, chanted, “Fight the power; turn the tide; end Israeli apartheid” and held signs saying “Zionism kills.” 

  • April 15: At the University of Notre Dame, a letter published by three students in the school newspaper accused Israel of apartheid and directed readers to the Anti-Semitic site “IfAmericansKnew” and the site for a major BDS group, Jewish Voice for Peace. 

  • April 10: At Atlanta’s historically black Morehouse College, participants at the U.S. Universities Debating Championship (USUDC) were forced to justify the motion, “This House Believes That Violence By Palestinians Against Israeli Civilian Targets Is Justified.” 

According to AMCHA, 2016 already has seen 171 anti-Semitic/BDS incidents as of April 21. At this rate, 2016 will see a 36 percent increase in incidents over last year.

Faculty members have become increasingly active in BDS efforts and smears. During a talk at Vassar College in February, Rutgers professor Jasbir Puar accused Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs and conducting scientific experiments in “stunting” the growth of Palestinian bodies. Last month, 40 Columbia University professors signed a BDS petition. More recently, one pro-BDS professor even tried to link campus rape to Israel. As Rochester Institute of Technology lecturer A.J. Caschetta notes, “at a time when much of academe is jumping on the BDS bandwagon, there is little risk to academics who join the movement, whereas opposition to majority leftist positions often leads to a perilous path.”

Indeed, academics who buck this trend may be endangering their careers. At Connecticut College, one of the few professors who defended Andrew Pessin, who hasn’t been in his classroom for the past year after a hate-filled campaign miscast hiscomments about Hamas as a smear on all Palestinians, says his stance cost him a promotion. Manuel Lizarralde, associate professor in Ethnobotany, wrote in a faculty-wide email Jan. 26 that the college “acted like vigilantes and found the perfect scapegoat,” in Pessin.

Within days, Lizarralde said, he was called in by the administration for a scolding. Noting that he was recently denied promotion, Lizarralde suggested in a recent email that this was payback for his support of Pessin. Connecticut College has “a sense of racism since we are Latinos, Jews and advocate for social injustice...[and we] are being punished [for such activism].”

Responding to the negative media coverage generated by the Pessin case, Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron published an email to the faculty March 28, in which she championed “the right of all its members to express their views freely and openly.” She failed to explain how that principle applied to Pessin, who was hounded off campus for expressing his views, only to see them twisted and turned against him. She said that the school should promote “reasoned and informed debate about the most complex issues of our time,” but Pessin’s absence leaves the school with no pro-Israel voice. When asked about the contradictions between her email and the Pessin affair, she declined to comment.

Meanwhile, outrage against Connecticut College continues to build, with a petition to investigate the Pessin affair and revoke the school’s accreditation now exceeding 1,500 signatures.

Just as the character assassination targeting the only pro-Israel voice at Connecticut College appeared as a total surprise, BDS campaigns to influence student government votes across the country pop up with minimal notice, just weeks before the vote, giving the opposition little time to organize. That strategy helped secure SJP a BDS victory at the University of Chicago undergraduate student government in March. It failed to persuade the university’s administration, though.

Who is funding BDS? Analyst Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently told members of Congress that former employees of Hamas-linked charities now work for the Illinois-based organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which is “arguably the leading BDS organization in the US, a key sponsor of the anti-Israel campus network known as Students for Justice in Palestine.” Schanzer noted that AMP provides money, speakers, training and even “apartheid walls” to SJP campus activists. More surprising, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has given anti-Israel BDS organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center.

On campus after campus, the BDS movement has proven itself to be well organized and determined to poison the minds of impressionable students against Israel. It will take an equally concerted and sustained effort to oppose BDS in academia.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

 

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Bill Clinton Blames Palestinians for Lack of Peace Deal

Former US President Bill Clinton, who oversaw the bulk of existing Israeli-Palestinian peace deals, has reiterated that the Palestinian leadership is to blame for the lack of a final status agreement.

“I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” said Clinton while campaigning for his wife, Hillary Clinton, last Friday. “I had a deal they turned down…”

It wasn’t the first time Bill Clinton had called out the Palestinian leadership for scuttling genuine peace efforts.

In his memoirs, the former president revealed that it was Yasser Arafat who prevented the high-profile Camp David talks in 2000 from resulting in an agreement. In fact, just months later the Palestinians launched the “Second Intifada.”

Clinton’s remarks on Friday came in response to a heckler who took exception with Hillary’s stated pro-Israel positions.

Most of the protestor’s comments focused on the 2014 Gaza war, at which time Hillary was serving as Secretary of State.

Bill noted that his wife had successfully worked with the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt to bring an end to the bloody 50-day conflict. He also defended Israel’s military actions, which sadly resulted in the deaths of many innocent Gazans.

“Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas,” Clinton explained. “They said they try to put the Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents.”

 

Britain's Hard Left Turn

We’ve been here before. History is repeating itself and I’m again experiencing that sense of déjà vu that prompted me (just ten days ago) to write about the anti-Semitism row within the British Labour Party in the context of Theodor Herzl’s Zionist campaign, which itself was prompted by anti-Jewish mania.

As I have contemplated the ongoing controversy, I am reminded with horror of how Hitler’s rise to power seemingly came out of nowhere. In a similar way, the Hard Left of British politics have moved from apparent obscurity to centre stage in virtually no time at all. It is almost too shocking to think about.

How on earth did this happen – and so fast? As Barry Segal of the Jerusalem News Network put it, “many observers will be shaking their heads in disbelief, wondering how the worst extremists of the far-left came to take over the UK’s leading opposition party so rapidly”.

Apparently Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s closest adviser, Seumus Milne, is the one pulling the strings. A former senior editor of the Guardian newspaper, Milne is said to have described the foundation of the State of Israel as a “crime” while hailing Hamas terrorism during an anti-Israel rally held during the Operation Protective Edge Gaza campaign in 2014.

Meanwhile Mr Corbyn’s close friend, ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone, has added fuel to the fire by describing the creation of Israel in 1948 as “a great catastrophe”, according to the Daily Mail, having earlier provoked a storm of controversy over claims that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s. Mr Corbyn was already in trouble with the Jewish community – until now Labour’s natural supporters – after it emerged that he regarded Hezbollah and Hamas as “friends”.

And in Sadiq Khan, we have a Muslim Mayor of London, possibly the world’s most important and prestigious capital. Zac Goldsmith, the wealthy Conservative candidate seeking to succeed the boisterous Boris Johnson in the mayoral hot seat, has been roundly castigated (even by fellow Tories) for concentrating his campaign on Khan’s alleged links with extremists. Khan’s response was to accuse Goldsmith of ‘Islamophobia’, but such concerns are surely valid in the light of radical Islam’s ambitions for global domination, not to mention the horrific attacks – in the name of Islam – on the London transport system on July 7 2005.

One of the newest figures to step onto the British political stage is Ruth Davidson, Scotland’s new Conservative leader who has been hailed a heroine for knocking Labour into third place in elections there. The openly lesbian former Sunday School teacher has been flagged up as a possible future Prime Minister.

So how has all this happened? I’ve mentioned some of the rising stars, but they are not the cause of the trouble. They are merely the symptoms of our malaise, of a Judeo-Christian civilization collapsing all around us because the foundations have been removed.

First we betrayed Israel: we did not vote for their statehood and put obstacles in the way of Jewish refugees trying to escape the Nazis when we had it in our power to save them. Then we went a step further by dispensing with the God of Israel, even to the extent of undermining traditional marriage by legislating for ungodly liaisons between people of the same sex. Now even a once highly influential evangelical Christian leader, Rev Steve Chalke, is advocating same-sex marriage ceremonies in his own (Oasis) network of churches.

Yes, we’re reaping the whirlwind.

I have just returned from a wonderfully relaxing holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, one of the loveliest parts of England. But it was so cold at the start of the week, with snow on the hills, that we were walking around with six layers of clothing. Yet within just a couple of days, the temperature had nudged 20C (68F). “Suddenly it’s summer,” was the cry!

We in Britain know only too well that winter can descend on us just as suddenly. I think it was Mrs Thatcher who described the myriad of strikes in 1979 as the Winter of Discontent. But we’ve now entered an ice-age of madness which only prayer and repentance will melt.


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

VIDEO: Netanyahu Casually Strolls Through His Neighborhood

Can you imagine US President Barack Obama out for a stroll with his dog? That’s exactly what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was doing on Friday afternoon, casually interacting with passersby in his downtown Jerusalem neighborhood.

Of course, Netanyahu and Kaiya (his dog) were surrounded by numerous soldiers and security agents, as well as staff members responsible for filming and photographing the stroll in jeans and sneakers in order to show the prime minister is just a normal person, like everyone else.

Israeli media, however, somewhat skewered Netanyahu for trying to appear spontaneous, when in fact such a well-publicized outing was clearly anything but spontaneous.

 

It's Not 'Palestine' That Hinders Israel-Arab Relations

We spoke to Israel's former ambassador to Egypt about the real reasons the Arabs can't or won't make genuine peace.

The full interview appears in the May 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Feast Your Eyes: Stunning Photos of Israel to Mark 68 Years

As a gift for this year’s Independence Day (modern Israel’s 68th) the online news portal Ynet published a collection of 20 stunning aerial photographs from across the Land of Israel.

The photos were shot by award-winning photographer Israel Berdugo over the past 12 months.

Berdugo has made a name for himself around the world, but says that there is nothing like photographing the Land of Israel.

“Each trip around the world only made me realize more that the region in which we live is nothing short of amazing. There is no more beautiful country than the Land of Israel,” he told Ynet.

Click Here to see the entire collection on Ynet

 

The whole country is full of flags...

On Wednesday evening, an amazing transformation will take place in Israel's mood. After commemorating Israel's 23,447 fallen, the sombre mood gives way to celebration as Israel celebrates her 68th Independence Day!

One of the songs sung on Independence Day is:
The whole country is full of flags
And the whole nation is dancing
The nation and her children are happy
Today is an Israeli celebration

Rona Ramon (widow of Ilan Ramon) will light one of the twelve torches during the Yom Ha'atzmaut opening ceremony. The torches symbolize the tribes of Israel. Rona's husband, Ilan Ramon, was Israel's first astronaut who died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003. Rona and Ilan's eldest son, Asaf followed in his father's footsteps and became an IAF fighter pilot. Asaf died tragically in a training accident in 2009.
Rona went on to study holistic health, has established a foundation in memory of her husband and son and now counsels others to cope with personal tragedies.

Celebrate together with us as we offer you 20% discount off the "Solidarity" category in our shop.



 

Israelis Help Palestinian Boy Seek Miracle

Israel Today meets with the Israelis raising money and acquiring permits for Palestinian Arab children in need of urgent medical care.


 

Israel Prepares to Remember Her Fallen

Israel’s Memorial Day begins Tuesday at sundown. A nationwide siren will sound for one minute at 8 pm, during which most of the country will come to a literal standstill as we remember those who have fallen in our defense.

Since its modern rebirth, 23,447 young men and women have perished defending Israel. That number includes 68 Israeli soldiers and police killed in the line of duty over the past year.

Memorial Day also commemorates victims of terrorism. 2,576 Israelis have been killed in acts of terror, 32 of them over the past year.

The sirens will again sound Wednesday morning at 11 am, after which an estimated 1.5 million Israelis (out of a population of 8.5 million) will take part in memorial ceremonies around the country.

It is a sad fact of Israel’s present reality that nearly every citizen knows someone who has been killed in this tragic and ongoing conflict.

CLICK HERE if you would like to show some love and support to our soldiers

 

Palestinian Terrorists Stab Elderly Jewish Women

At least two Palestinian Arab terrorists set upon a group of elderly Israeli women walking along the Armon Hanatziv promenade in southern Jerusalem on Tuesday morning.

Two of the five women were stabbed repeatedly in the upper body before the assailants fled in the direction of the nearby Arab village of Jabel Mukaber.

Israeli rescue personnel that responded to the scene listed both victims as being over the age of 80. Both were rushed to a nearby Jerusalem hospital in moderate condition.

Police later announced that they had arrested two suspects. At press time the manhunt was ongoing for suspected additional participants in the attack.

PHOTO: Illustration

 

Obama Admin: Yes, We Lied to Israel About Iran

Ben Rhodes, a deputy National Security Adviser to US President Barack Obama, revealed in a New York Times interview published last week what pretty much everyone already knew - the Obama White House lied to win approval for its Iran nuclear deal.

Getting a deal on the books was more important than the consequences of doing so, it was more important than the reality of an aggressive and nuclear-armed Iran.

That’s the gist of what Rhodes told the Times.

“We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the gulf countries don’t like it,’” Rhodes said. “It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation.”

Where Obama explicitly lied to allies and Americans was in describing the nuclear deal as having been struck with a “moderate” Iranian regime that had finally displaced a far more hard-line government in Tehran.

“The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration,” read the Times article.

Had Obama been honest about the fact that the foundation for his deal had already been laid with the former hard-line Iranian government, and that the new “moderate” regime wasn’t really all that moderate, a lot more people would have taken the Israeli view of the nuclear agreement.

Former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was also interviewed, noting that another lie was the notion that America under Obama would ever resort to military force should Iran violate the agreement and field a nuclear weapon.

Just days after these revelations, the Iranian new agency Tasnim reported that Iran recently tested a new medium-range ballistic missile capable of accurately striking any point in Israel.

 

Ohad's incredible journey to freedom

We first came to know Ohad Ben Yishai under not the most pleasant of circumstances. Ohad's story was not supposed to take the turn that it did, but fate dealt him a blow and decided otherwise. He was one of the most seriously injured soldiers during Operation Protective edge.

His memory was severely impacted, his speech was affected and he was confined to a wheelchair unable to walk. It was almost like starting his life from scratch. His good fortune was that he and his family did not give up hope and were determined to put all of their efforts into his battle to return to a normal life.

Today, almost 2 years after his injury, Ohad is reaping the benefits of his determination. He has not fully recovered and still has a long journey ahead, but he has progressed more than anyone could have dreamed of.

His Golani brigade's tradition is that every class that is drafted go on an overseas trip together upon their release from their compulsory service. His group were planning a trip to Nepal and Thailand together. Despite Ohad's injuries, his comrades-in-arms were determined to include him in their vacation.

This trip was not taken for granted as Ohad is still not independent as he cannot do many things on his own. His friends refused to break their tradition and would not accept travelling on vacation without him. Ohad's whole family was recruited, and together they made the impossible possible.

The highlight of the trip was when they all celebrated the Seder with his family, friends and many Israeli tourists on the island of Koh Samui. The Israeli tourists were excited when they heard that Ohad would be celebrating the Seder together with them. He was enthusiastically welcomed with a lot of love and appreciation.

There is no holiday that symbolizes freedom more than Passover, and there is no doubt Ohad’s long journey is getting closer and closer to what he seeks the most, to be independent, which means to be free.



 

Netanyahu Offers to School UN on Jerusalem's History

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited all United Nations staff members to a seminar on Jewish history, particular in Jerusalem and atop the Temple Mount.

The invitation, which appears to be genuine, came after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last month issued a resolution slamming Israel’s presence on the Temple Mount and totally disregarding all Jewish ties to the holy site.

“I was shocked to hear that UNESCO adopted a decision denying any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site,” read a statement issued by Netanyahu.

“It is hard to believe that anyone, let alone an organization tasked with preserving history, could deny this link, which spans thousands of years,” the prime minister continued.

No details were released as to when such a seminar would be held, assuming any UN staff would even show up, but Israeli officials hinted it could be as early as next week.

 

Canada: Israel's Peace Partners are Terrorists

Canada’s Federal Court last week upheld a decision that basically labeled Israel’s purported “peace partners” in the Palestinian Authority as terrorists.

Earlier, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada had denied asylum to Akram Muslih Anteer, a Palestinian man living in Sweden, because of his connection to Fatah.

Fatah is the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It is the largest and most dominant faction in the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.

The Canadians determined that “Fatah did not entirely disassociate itself from acts of terrorism against the Israeli state even after renouncing armed struggle and…the most notorious faction within Fatah, the AAMB (Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades), did not exist separately from Fatah as a whole.”

Unlike most Western power brokers, the Canadian government paid attention to the evidence demonstrating that “Fatah engaged in acts of violence and terrorism both before the denunciation of terrorism in 1989 and, through the AAMB, during the Second Intifada from 2000 to at least 2007.”

Many Israeli leaders, both left- and right-wing, have long maintained that they have no genuine partner for peace in the Palestinian Authority. It would seem the Canadians agree.

 

VIDEO: How Can You Help Israel?

Our favorite Messianic Jewish IDF soldier, Hananya Naftali, has put out another video, this time explaining to viewers how they can help Israel without even leaving their homes.

From prayer to buying Israeli-made products, there is a lot you can do.

 

Does Islam Support a Jewish State?

Israel Today speaks to representatives of two Muslim movements that fully support the reborn State of Israel.

The full article appears in the May 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

"I can't complain!" answered Laura Rusk - AKA 79564

Laura Rusk - AKA 79564 - witnessed hundreds of people at a time being herded to the "shower building" in Birkenau.

It was not long before it was her turn. As she was escorted to her impending doom, "inmate 79564" was called out over the loudspeakers. Being a political prisoner she had earned a temporary reprieve.

She was interrogated regarding her escape from Peterswaldau. The SS officers seemed impressed at her daring and courage. And then the fateful question was asked of the, by now, 22-year-old blonde blue-eyed young lady. "How do you like Auschwitz?" she was asked.

She immediately knew that life and death hung in the balance of her answer. "I can't complain!" she answered.

The full article will appear in the June 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to subscribe and read it all!

 

VIDEO: Palestinian Children's Play Featuring Murder

It is one of the great tragedies of the Middle East conflict that young Palestinian children are still raised to see Israeli Jews as bloodthirsty monsters that must be killed at all costs.

In fact, one of the more important stipulations of the so-called “Oslo Accords” (though Western power brokers all but ignore it) was that both sides educate their populations for peaceful coexistence, to ensure that future generations do NOT carry on in conflict.

Such demonstrations of violence as seen below are nowhere to be found in the Israeli schools attended by my children. In fact, the younger children have only a very fleeting realization that there is a conflict at all.

They are not taught to hate Arabs. In fact, some of their teachers are Arabs. They are certainly not taught to engage in violence. And even when these schools participate in campaigns to support the Israeli security forces, no mention, negative or otherwise, is made of the enemy against whom those soldiers and police are protecting us.

By-and-large, the Israeli education system is making a real effort (and a successful one in most cases) to prepare the next generations for peaceful coexistence with their Arab neighbors. Or, at the very least, to NOT prepare them for a future of hatred and violence.

As demonstrated by the following video, the same sadly cannot be said of most schools in the Palestinian education system.

Indoctrinating young impressionable minds in such a way is nothing short of child abuse.

 

Israeli Man Sues God for Treating Him Unfairly

A resident of the northern Israel port city of Haifa this week turned to the courts to seek a restraining order against God.

The man said that he had turned repeatedly to the police over the past three years, and on several occasions police were sent to his home to examine the complaint.

According to the suit, God has been treating the man unkindly.

The court protocols made note of the fact that the defendant, God, failed to appear at the proceedings.

In his decision, Judge Ihsan Kanaan called the request delusional, and said that the plaintiff clearly needs help, but not from the courts.

 

Wars and Rumors of Wars

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. (Matthew 24:6)

Rumors regarding the imminent coming of Messiah are bountiful today. The latest among them is that of the Riminov Rebbe (pictured), a Hassidic rabbi living in New York. 

Visiting his followers in Florida, the rabbi urged them to leave the United States as soon as possible. According to the Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim, on the seventh day of Passover the rabbi pressed his listeners to leave the Diaspora to Israel.

"Listen to me carefully dear Jews," said the rabbi, "whoever has in his hand to get up and go and go to the Holy Land Israel as soon as possible while it is still is possible, this includes leaving large parts of South America and most of Europe … also the United States will be a place of danger in the war and it is still too early to say which states within the United States will survive, but many parts will be destroyed and poisoned, even civil war will break out in the United States and states will cut themselves off from the federal government … the Land of Israel will be the safest place to survive the war, although there will also be terrible difficulties there."

To add credibility to this prediction the rabbi reminded his listeners that "I am one of the few men in our time who can say this since it has been published all over the world that my eyes see very far away, like [the] three boys in Halhul and dozens more who were missing, where others do not have permission to see … and this was planted in me by God and Divine Providence and when I had to talk to many and give instructions, I do it and the Divine Presence speaks from my throat, and wherever my name goes out to, it is known that those who listen to me shall be safe."

Interestingly enough, exactly a year ago a similar End Times prediction was made by the 106-year-old mystic, Rabbi Sasson Tabashi.

 On last year's Passover, Rabbi Tabashi said that "it was revealed to me from Heaven that a week after Shavuot (May 29, 2015), a giant war will break out in the Middle East, and it will be a difficult situation until Sukkot (September 2015), and afterwards, Messiah will come."

There is more than one way in which to relate to such "prophecies." If the prophecy of Jesus given in Matthew 24 is to be taken seriously, then the current abundance of such predictions may be a sign of the End Times.      

 

From Holocaust to Resurrection

Six million brothers
- by Yair Engel of blessed memory.

They look down on us from above,
Six million brothers.
They look down on us from above crying or laughing,
and we're down here, not understanding at all
sitting on another planet, crying and embarrassed.
How can a person get up in the morning
A seemingly normal person
And cut down the living plucking away dreams
Erasing yesterday's world
How can a simple man created from the earth
Bring desolation and ruin to the world,
That I will never understand.
And to think that everything was done so quickly
And systematically, it just drives me crazy.
And here's another group of people
So good, so innocent dying inhumanely
Their world erased between four walls.
And now it's late, people,
Very late only memories remain,
Only memories remain.
And even if we try and think a very long time,
We will never understand how they allowed themselves
To turn six million people into six million names.
That I will never understand.
And to think that everything was done so quickly
And systematically, it just drives me crazy.
And despite it all we need to continue
Living and be strong because
They look down on us from above, crying or laughing,
And his sons are so confident, his sons are so confident -
Six million brothers.
That I will never understand.
And to think that everything was done so quickly
And systematically, it just drives me crazy.

Yair Engel's grandfather was an Holocaust survivor. An high school visit to Poland's death camps touched and completely changed Yair's life. There, on Poland's bloody earth, he composed this poem. There he chose to serve as a IDF Navy Seal.

Yair passed away in 1996 in a tragic diving accident. After his death his mother found the above poem while cleaning his room.

Tomorrow, on May 5, 2016 - Holocaust Remembrance Day - this poem, written 20 years ago, will be performed in Poland during the "March of the Living".

Yair's father says that two circles will be closed for him, that of Yair and that of his father, an Holocaust survivor.



 

Trump to Israel: Keep Building Settlements

US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said in an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail on Tuesday that Israel should continue building settlements in Judea and Samaria.

Trump told the newspaper that if elected president, he’d love to negotiate a genuine peace, “not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again,” between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the meantime, regarding Jewish settlements in the territories claimed by the Palestinians, Trump said Israel should “keep moving forward.”

Trump took the opportunity to again lambast President Barack Obama’s treatment of the Jewish state.

“Look, missiles were launched into Israel, and Israel, I think, never was properly treated by our country. I mean, do you know what that is, how devastating that is?” asked the real estate mogul.

Trump went on to note that while he doesn’t know Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that well, “I think I’d have a very good relationship with him” as the next American president.

 

3 IDF Soldiers Hurt in Terrorist Car Ramming

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, one seriously, when a Palestinian Arab man slammed his vehicle into them at a checkpoint in Samaria on Tuesday evening.

Other soldiers stationed at the checkpoint immediately opened fire and killed the assailant.

Along with the wave of stabbings, this current campaign of violence has included numerous acts of vehicular terror.

 

"You shall tell your son on that day..." The truth about Israel!

The vast majority of the Israeli public sees a regional peace between Israelis and Arabs, Jews and Muslims as a “mission impossible.”

People abroad blame Israel for the lack of peace, and the growing BDS movement seeks to punish the Jewish state through Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions.

But whoever has a problem with items “Made in Israel” should know that the Bible was also "Made in Israel"!



 

Do Arab Knesset Members Want to Destroy Israel?

Are the Arab members of Israel’s Knesset, led by their firebrand spokesman MK Ahmed Tibi, really interested in a two-state solution, or do they share Hamas’ dream of wiping the State of Israel off the map?

That was the question posed by Israel’s NRG news portal in its reporting ahead of Tibi’s appearance before the Palestinian American Coalition (PAC) on Sunday.

Usually, NRG noted, Tibi is screaming about the ’67 borders, but according to the advertisement (pictured) for this week’s event, the entire State of Israel is reimagined as “Palestine.”

Tibi’s talk was titled “A Palestinian in the Knesset: Perspectives on identity, equality and advocacy for Palestine”.

Likud parliamentarian Dr. Anat Berko harshly criticized Tibi’s inflammatory speech and the promotional material.

“MK Ahmed Tibi has long fooled the Israeli public by adopting a ‘chummy’ demeanor,” said Berko, “[but] to the Palestinian public both here and abroad he is selling something different entirely.”

Berko continued by explaining that the “map of ‘Greater Palestine’ displayed alongside [Tibi’s] smiling face on the US invitation is but one example of this.”

Tibi’s office responded: “With all due respect, we do not determine what will be on their invitation, how they design their symbol or color their homeland, and there is a difference between a homeland and state.”

The statement went on to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers announce what borders, if any, they intend to give to a Palestinian state.

Tibi also insisted that he remains committed to the ’67 borders.

 

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* Offer valid until May 9, 2016!


 

Palestinians Furious After Eurovision Bans Their Flag

Call it not just a BDS failure, but a total reversal.

The official broadcasters of the upcoming Eurovision song contest have banned the audience from waving Palestinian flags, along with the flags of ISIS, Kosovo and the Basque movement.

Eurovision is wildly popular across the continent, as well as in Israel, which regularly sends a competing band or singer.

As part of the televised festivities, those in the audience wave the national flags of their favorite competitors.

Some like to use the opportunity to make a political statement by waving flags that have nothing to do with the competition.

Not this year.

The broadcaster has issued an “official flag policy” banning certain flags, including that of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is also the official flag of “Palestine.”

It should be remembered that the PLO was once the foremost terrorist organization in the world, similar to what Al-Qaeda is today.

Long-time Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who recently took over as secretary-general of the PLO, was outraged.

In a scathing letter to the European Broadcasting Union, Erekat called the Eurovision flag policy “discriminatory and a serious offense against our nation.”

Erekat noted that some 138 nations, including most of Europe, have officially recognized a Palestinian state. “We call upon you to immediately revoke this shameful decision,” he continued, demanding that the Europeans issue an apology to “millions of Palestinians around the world.”

 

British Labour Party Rocked by Nazi Row

I was struck with a mysterious sense of déjà vu when, having spent much of the afternoon researching the life and times of Theodor Herzl, inspiration for the Jewish nation, I heard on the news that a red-hot political row had broken out over anti-Semitism.

I had just been witnessing movie scenes of the shocking racist incidents that probably drove Herzl into an early grave as he vowed to do something about it.

Yet now, some 120 years after his campaign to establish a Jewish national home got off the ground, anti-Semitism is still rife in Europe’s corridors of power.

The Labour Party, Britain’s official opposition which has traditionally had the support of most Jews, is reeling from the shockwaves of anti-Jewish feeling expressed by some of its leading figures.

First we heard of the resignation of an Oxford University Labour group leader sickened by anti-Semitism in its ranks, then we learnt of a young Labour councillor forced to resign after it emerged she had tweeted that Hitler was “the greatest man in history”.

And now former London Mayor Ken Livingstone takes to the airwaves to defend a Labour MP suspended on similar grounds.

After claiming Hitler was a Zionist who, in 1932, believed Jews should be moved to Israel, Mr Livingstone invoked a tirade of invective not only from opponents, but from many within his own party including a Nottinghamshire MP, John Mann, who confronted him in the street and called him a “disgusting, lying racist” and “Nazi apologist”.

Around 30 Labour MPs, including several Shadow Cabinet members, demanded Mr Livingstone be expelled from the party (he has been suspended) and there was outrage over the decision by Labour leader MP Jeremy Corbyn to issue a public telling off to Mr Mann. Party chief whip Rosie Winterton (my own MP, as it happens) is said to have refused to suspend Mr Mann.

Labour peer Lord Dubs – who escaped the Nazis as a child through Britain’s Kindertransport scheme – is “enormously troubled” by the row. “What we need is firm leadership; the leadership has been a bit slow in responding (to anti-Semitism),” he told a British TV news programme.

And Jewish Labour donor David Abrahams, who has given £650,000 to the party, called for Mr Corbyn to resign, saying a new leader was needed to cut out the ‘cancer’ of anti-Semitism.

As for Mr Livingstone’s claim, historian Andrew Roberts says it’s a “grotesque mangling of the historical record”, adding: “The idea that Hitler ever wanted a fully-functioning successful Jewish state in Palestine…is ludicrous.”

Mr Corbyn, for his part, who has referred to terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”, denies the party is in crisis.

The chilling aspect of all this is that it is not something taking place in a dark corner. It’s in the public square, at the very centre of British politics. And I have a hunch what lies behind it.

The root cause, I believe, is the growing godlessness in the nation, and especially in the Labour Party. What a travesty for a political movement launched by devout Christians like Keir Hardie determined to let their faith make a difference to society by campaigning for a fairer share of wealth, for example. But what motivates them now?

People who are godless hit out at those who are special to God. That’s what happened in Hitler’s case; it led to mass murder and mayhem, but ended in disaster and defeat for the dictator and his people.

Steven Jaffe, a member of the UK’s Jewish Board of Deputies, made this point earlier in the year when he said that the Holocaust had been spawned by godlessness and the rejection of faith.

He said the exodus from Egypt was immediately followed by the battle with Amalek, who had no reason to attack Israel. There was no territorial dispute or history of conflict, for example. And they attacked the sick and the elderly – those who were most vulnerable. (Deuteronomy 25.17-18)

“The conflict with Amalek is not over,” he said. Amalek denied God and his power in the same way the Nazis did, and the latter mirrored their lack of mercy.

The poisonous view that God does not exist naturally leads to godless behaviour and thought. Pledges of never letting another Holocaust occur are not enough, in my opinion; without a recovery of faith in the God of Israel, there can be no guarantee that it won’t happen again.

The only safe place to be – in the long term – is in God’s hands, doing his work. I challenge the Labour Party to return to its Judeo-Christian roots.


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

The Fundamental Flaw in the Two-State Solution

The Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted a document concerning "occupied Palestine." It was drafted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. 

UNESCO's anti-Israel bias is so severe that Jerusalem does not grant visas to representatives of this organization. This latest document is further evidence of why, as it "deeply regrets," "deeply deplores" and "strongly condemns" the "Occupying Power" exercising sovereignty over the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem.

To justify such a misnomer as Israel's "occupation" of the Temple Mount, UNESCO has adopted the Muslim narrative that systematically erases any piece of evidence proving the Jewish bond to the Temple Mount and to the Land of Israel as a whole. 

In fact, throughout the document, the "Temple Mount" is not mentioned once. As if the Jewish name for this holy place were mere fiction, the document refers to it only as "Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif." Even the Western Wall has been made a victim of UNESCO's revisionism and called only by its Muslim name, "Al-Buraq Plaza."

Concealing the fact that the Jewish Temple existed for hundreds of years in Jerusalem goes far beyond the demand to create a Palestinian state in the "occupied territories." Indeed, it goes without saying that if the holiest Jewish site is under "occupation," then Israel is nothing but a colonial power, and not only in Jerusalem, but in the whole of the Holy Land. 

If the Temple Mount is not a Jewish site, how could one say that Jews have the right to live in places like Tel Aviv, which only loosely, if at all, have Jewish religious significance? It follows that if Israel occupies the Temple Mount, it also occupies Tel Aviv. 

The recent apology by British Labor MP Naz Shah, who in 2014 suggested that Israeli Jews be transferred to America, is but the latest example of how this line of reasoning brings millions to the conclusion that Israel is at best a non-sustainable Western colony. 

Therefore, the two-state solution can only be a half-house, a temporary solution leading to the final one in which Israel ceases to exist.

The danger in validating the Muslim/Palestinian narrative has been clear ever since Israel gained control over the Temple Mount in 1967. 

One of Israel's most respected poets and columnists, Nathan Alterman, in 1970 harshly criticized Labor Party members for beginning to sympathize with the idea of a "Palestinian people." Alterman astutely observed:

"By adopting this factitious notion we are turning the beehive over our right to exist in this land… At the moment we accept the national Palestinian fiction, from that moment Zionism as a whole becomes a matter of robbing a country from the hands of an existing people, and to the extent that we help root this idea in the world and in our own innerconsciousness, we are shaking the historical and human foundation of Zionism, thus placing it only on our bayonets.

"…If indeed we acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian Arab nation, then not only the 'occupied territories' are Arab territories upon which we shed our blood until the inevitable withdrawal, but also the state of Israel is an Arab territory… If there is an Arab nation who is fighting for its country, then our protests lose their meaning. International law and morality deem terror illegal as long as we say it is a tool in the hands of the Arab countries against us. But from the moment it becomes the weapon of the Palestinian people … who are fighting for their national existence, none of the pejoratives in which we describe their bloody actions would help us."

Israel rightly condemns UNESCO's attempt to erase the Jewish (biblical) history of the Temple mount. This protest, however, rings hollow when, in the name of realpolitik, Israel itself severely restricts the Jewish presence on the Mount and openly commits itself to the two-state solution. 

Israel's readiness to hand over the Temple Mount to the Palestinians is seen by the world as evidence of a state that places no value in its own historical heritage, and therefore has little right to exist.

It is time for Israelis to realize that by demoting the Temple Mount to a piece of real estate, they are bolstering UNESCO's efforts to prove that Israel is a colonial power that has no right to exist in the Promised Land.

 

Treat our soldiers to a "time out"...

Our soldiers almost never enjoy a "time out", not even during holiday times.

A "time out" is something that our soldiers very seldom enjoy because they are on call 24/7 even during those times when they do enjoy a breather from their operational duties. Our soldiers receive an extremely small allowance, which barely covers their basic personal needs, and are totally dependent on their parents. Every bit of support they receive, is very appreciated!

Israel traditionally celebrates Independence day by barbecuing. The forests, parks & even private gardens are all lierally converted into BBQ dens. Israel's citizens can freely celebrate, primarily due to our security personnel that sacrifice their time to ensure our freedom.

In honor of Israel's upcoming Independence Day celebrations, we would like to distribute free burger vouchers to soldiers so they can partake and enjoy a little respite from their day-to-day activities



 

Christian Priest to Light Independence Day Torch

More and more Christians see Israel as a home worth defending. Messianic Jews respond.

The full article appears in the May 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Survey: Palestinians Oppose Real Peace, Support Terror

A survey published this week revealed that most young Palestinians are only interested in the kind of solution to the current conflict that can be brought about by terrorist violence.

Conducted by the Palestinian NGO Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, the survey was conducted among Palestinians aged 16–30 in both Gaza and the so-called “West Bank.”

An overall majority of respondents said they support the current wave of terrorist stabbings and other attacks against Israeli Jews, and a similar majority felt the violence was beneficial to the Palestinian national cause.

Most interesting were the responses to questions regarding the peace process.

While a slim 53 percent majority supported a possible resumption of negotiations, 67 percent insisted that peace talks alone would not produce an acceptable outcome.

In fact, 64 percent of Palestinians indicated they have no interest in working with like-minded Israelis to find a non-violent solution.

In other words, peace negotiations must be combined with terrorism.

 

Israelis Happy That Obama's Almost Gone

Everyone knows that the current Israeli and American governments don’t get along very well. And the Obama Administration’s hostility toward Jerusalem only seems to be increasing in its waning days.

The Obama White House has experienced “overwhelming frustration” in its dealings with the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said US Vice President Joe Biden last week.

Speaking at a gathering of the left-wing Jewish organization J-Street, Biden accused Netanyahu of “moving us and more importantly…moving Israel in the wrong direction.”

In survey results published this week, Israelis signaled that the feeling was mutual concerning President Barack Obama and his handling of American affairs.

Conducted on behalf of Israel’s Channel One News, the poll found that a solid 51 percent of Israelis believe that no matter who wins the upcoming US presidential election, the end result will be a positive change for the Jewish state.

Only 8 percent felt there was a chance US-Israel relations could get worse than they are under Obama.

A 39 percent plurality remain certain Democratic contender Hillary Clinton will win the White House, while 30 percent said real estate mogul Donald Trump will be the next American president.

More Israelis feel Clinton will be overall better for their nation, though a plurality acknowledges that Netanyahu will get along better on a personal level with Trump.

 

WATCH: Thousands Pack Western Wall for Priestly Blessing

Tens of thousands of Jewish people from Israel and around the world gathered at the Western Wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Monday for the biblical Priestly Blessing.

The Priestly Blessing is performed at Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot - the three biblical festivals during which the people of Israel were required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The event is led by hundreds of Cohanim, those Jews who can trace their lineage to the family of Aaron, Moses’ brother and Israel’s first high priest.

The following words are recited by the priestly Israelis over the congregation:

“May the LORD bless you and keep you; May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace.”

They are the same words that Numbers 6:23–27 tells us Aaron and his sons recited over the assembly of Israel during their sojourn through the desert.

As always, security was tight, with thousands of police deployed in and around Jerusalem’s Old City to prevent terrorist attacks against the mass gathering.

 

The May issue of Israel Today Magazine is now available!

The May issue of Israel Today Magazine is now available!
Exclusively for subscribers to Israel Today Magazine:
Christian Priest to light Independence Day Torch
Does Islam Support a Jewish State?
Israelis Help Palestinian Boy Seek Miracle
The Israeli Army that No One Sees
Is Israel planning the demise of the Golden Dome?

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Leading Israeli Rabbis: Time for Messiah to Come

Just a day before the start of Passover last week, two of Israel’s most prominent rabbis got together to discuss the delayed coming of the Messiah.

Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch is head of the Rabbinical Court and a leader of one of Israel’s largest and most influential ultra-Orthodox communities.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky is considered a leading authority in ultra-Orthodox Jewish society.

The Orthodox news portal Kikar Hashabbat recorded their conversation:

Sternbuch: This is a difficult generation. Not a day goes by without someone cursing his friend. You deal with one situation, and immediately someone starts something else.

During the campaign on behalf of the Bnei Israel from India I worked with your father, and then we spoke of an abundance of Jews (to bring to Israel). But today they want to bring to the Land those who hold to the Christian faith, the so-called “Jewish Christians.”

Kanievsky: Foreshadowing of the Messiah.

Sternbuch: Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin interpreted what is said at the end of the Mishnah in Sotah (‘We will have no one upon whom to rely other than our Father in Heaven’ - Sotah 9:15) as a curse in and of itself, that in the generation of the foreshadowing of Messiah those who fear God will become tired and give up the fight against sinners. …We need to bring Messiah.

Kanievsky: The seventh (period of blessing) is not yet finished. ‘At the conclusion of the seventh the son of David will come.’ (Babylonian Talmud - Megilah 17:22)

Sternbuch: ‘The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.’ (Jeremiah 8:20)

Kanievsky: According to the signs recorded in the Gemara (rabbinic commentary on the Mishnah), the Messiah should already have come.

Sternbuch (reading from the Gemara): ‘The generation during which the Son of David comes will accuse the scholars.’ Rambam wrote that before the coming of Messiah, Christians and Ishmaelites would come to the Land of Israel.

Kanievsky: When Messiah comes everyone will repent, and those who were ‘barren trees’ will bear fruit and become scholars.

Sternbuch: It would seem that we are now in the ‘Generation of Messiah,’ and God willing will meet again at the coming of Messiah, may He come quickly. Then we will see the fulfillment of the verse, ‘When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.’ (Psalm126:1) It will seem like the world in which we lived until the coming of Messiah was but a dream.

 

Israeli Formula Driver Moves Up Rankings

Formula racing has increased tremendously in popularity in Israel of late, and many Israelis were thrilled to discover one of their own moving up the ranks in the racing world.

Roy Nissany currently drives for the Lotus team in the Formula V8 3.5 series, which held its fourth race of the season on Sunday in Hungary.

Racing in heavy rain, Nissany clocked the fastest lap of the race and ultimately came in second place. He is now ranked 6th overall for the season with another 14 races to go.

Roy is the son of Chanoch Nissany, a former test driver for Minardi Formula 1 Team.

In 2014, when he was just 21-years-old, Roy placed 17th overall in the Formula 3 European Championship.

 

Yom Ha'Atzmaut is fast approaching!

On May 12 Israel celebrates its 68th Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut).

Celebrate with us and be connected to the Jewish people!

With every order from Israel Today's shop we will give you a free Israel flag! *

* Offer valid until May 15, 2016!

 

Ever Wonder, 'Is Israel an Apartheid State?'

Many have heard of the Boycott , Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) against Israel. This is a growing international movement, calling people, educational institutions, and governments to place sanctions on Israel for perceived wrongs against the Palestinians.

A major tenant of the movement is that “Israel is an apartheid state!”

Many are quick to jump on the bandwagon, passionately repeating such slogans (there are 55 universities around the world hosting Israel Apartheid Week each year), without ever stopping to think about what they are really saying.

As one who is raising my family in Israel, I have some thoughts I would like to share, based on my experiences of living here, and talking to my Muslim neighbors.

What is Apartheid?

It was a system of racial segregation in South Africa, from 1948 to 1994, in which the white minority ruled, and the black people were eventually denied their South African citizenship. During this time, 3.5 million non-white South Africans were forcibly relocated, and put into segregated communities. They had no voice in the government. All education, medical care, beaches and public services were segregated.

Is Israel Apartheid?

Clearly, the answer is no.

Who am I to say this? Well, I am Jewish, and have a Jewish family, living in Israel since 2008. We live in a Muslim village called Abu Ghosh. It is a very unique Muslim village, in that the people of this village accepted the U.N. Resolution 181 on Partion Night, November 29, 1947, in which it was decided that the Jewish people did have a right to a homeland in the historic land of Israel (the only homeland the Jewish people have ever had, dating back to the me of Joshua in the Bible, about 1400 B.C.).

As I said, the people of Abu Ghosh accepted this decision and welcomed the Jewish people back to the land. However, in defiance to the U.N. decision, the rest of the Muslim villages in the land of Israel, as well as the surrounding Muslim nations, rejected this decision, and attacked, seeking to annihilate the Jewish people.

In an Apartheid state, the minorities do not have citizenship and cannot vote.

The Muslims in my village have full citizenship in Israel. They can and do vote. They have all the same rights as Israeli citizens that my family has.

In an Apartheid state, the minorities are not represented in the government.

Israeli Arabs have been represented in every government in the modern State of Israel, starting in the first Knesset in 1949, and continuing up to present time. There are currently 17 Arab members in the Knesset.

In an Apartheid state, minorities are forcibly relocated and put into separate neighborhoods.

The Muslims of Abu Ghosh are in the same village in which they have lived for centuries, and they have freedom to travel and live anywhere in Israel.

In an Apartheid state, education, health care, beaches, and public services are segregated.

In Israel, the Arab Israelis have free access to public education, health care, and all public services. On every beach and in every park, you will see Muslim families side-by-side with Jewish families, all enjoying the same public facilities.

The following is a quote from Benjamin Pogrund, a journalist who saw Apartheid up-close in South Africa for 26 years:

“I have now lived in Israel for 17 years, doing what I can to promote dialogue across lines of division. To an extent that I believe is rare, I straddle both societies. I know Israel today – and I knew apartheid up close. And put simply, there is no comparison between Israel and apartheid.

"The Arabs of Israel are full citizens. Crucially, they have the vote and Israeli Arab MPs sit in parliament. An Arab judge sits on the country’s highest court; an Arab is chief surgeon at a leading hospital; an Arab commands a brigade of the Israeli army; others head university departments. Arab and Jewish babies are born in the same delivery rooms, attended by the same doctors and nurses, and mothers recover in adjoining beds. Jews and Arabs travel on the same trains, taxis and – yes – buses. Universities, theatres, cinemas, beaches and restaurants are open to all.”

The Muslim village I live in is peaceful and has never had even one issue of interracial violence! This fact about Abu Ghosh is well-known by the Jewish people, and, because the village is known as a peaceful place, it is flooded every weekend with Jewish people, coming to frequent the restaurants here.

It is a clear testimony that any Muslim community in the land of Israel can live peacefully and be fully accepted, enjoying the benefits of living peacefully in the democratic State of Israel.

The Muslims living in Israel have more freedom than the Muslims living in any other neighboring country (which, incidentally, are all Muslim countries).

Are the Palestinians creating an Apartheid state?

The amazing irony is that if a person wants to identify an Apartheid state, he needs to look no further than the Palestinians, the very ones making the accusations toward Israel!

How can I say this? Let’s take a look.

In an Apartheid state, the minorities do not have citizenship and cannot vote.

In the “West Bank,” the Jewish residents (approximately 600,000) are not accepted as citizens, have no voice in the Palestinian Authority, and cannot vote in the Palestinian government.

In an Apartheid state, the minorities are not represented in the government.

In the “West Bank,” the Jewish residents have absolutely no representation in the Palestinian government .

In an Apartheid state, minorities are forcibly relocated and put into separate neighborhoods.

In August 2005, this very thing happened. Under international pressure, 21 entire Jewish communities in Gaza and 4 in Samaria (the “West Bank”) were forcibly uprooted from their homes and forced to move. There were over 8,600 Jewish people evicted from their homes, and subsequently had their homes demolished, along with 26 synagogues that were destroyed by Arab mobs.

Incidentally, this has made Gaza a “Judenfrei” zone (Judenfrei is a Nazi term, designating that a particular area had been “cleansed of all Jewish presence” during the Holocaust). This is now a reality in Gaza, and it is the intention of those wanting a 2-state solution by creating an autonomous Palestinian state in the “West Bank” that is Judenfrei.

It may be argued that the Palestinians are not the ones forcing out the Jews. But clearly it is in response to international pressure. And obviously this international pressure is a result of the demands of the Palestinians. This is the issue every time a Jewish home is built in the Jewish communities in the “West Bank” and the Palestinians cry that this is the block to all peace efforts in Israel.

The assumption is that this 2-state solution will produce a Palestinian state that has no Jews (like Gaza, where the Jews were evicted). And therefore any further building (ie. building an apartment for your children when they get married) is condemned, since it is moving in the opposite direction from the Jew-free state that is being proposed.

So the Palestinians decrying Israel as an Apartheid state is a case of “the pot calling the kettle black.” Or perhaps you could better say it is the pot calling the checkered kettle black!


Chaim Singerman and his family own and operate the Jerusalem Hills Inn, located in the picturesque village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem.

 

Pakistani Muslim on Why He Joined Zionist Movement

Pakistani author Noor Dahri, a proud Muslim, recently joined the Zionist Federation of the UK, and penned an op-ed explaining to fellow Muslims why he did so, and why they, too, should consider supporting Israel.

Dahri explained that while most fellow Muslims “welcomed my brave and courageous step to grasp the truth,” many others were confused and angered by his new affiliation with what he termed the “national liberation movement of the Jewish people.”

Addressing accusations of anti-Muslim apartheid and oppression in Israel, Dahri noted that “Muslims are living in peace and harmony under Israeli law and there are about 400 Mosques…which are protected by the Jewish state.”

He continued by stressing that “Zionism has never encouraged religious violence,” and further pointed out that “there is freedom of speech and freedom of religion for Muslims in the state of Israel.”

In fact, “Muslims live in the only democratic country in the Middle East without fear and persecution,” Dahri wrote. “We cannot find any religious discrimination against Arab Israelis in the Jewish state.”

Nor does Dahri see any religious contradiction in his position, expressing the same position as a growing number of other Muslim figures in recent years: “…the Quran itself defended Jews and their land of Israel.”

In particular, Dahri explained that “traditional commentators from the 8th and 9th century onwards have uniformly interpreted the Qur’an to say explicitly that the Land of Israel has been given by God to the Jewish people as a perpetual covenant.”

Click Here to read Dahri’s full article.

 

The Ominous Sign of Malia Bouattia's Election

Britain's National Union of Students (NUS) has elected Malia Bouattia as its president, and that is an ominous sign demonstrating just how easily the pro-Palestine crowd can turn hostile and even violent against Israel.

Bouattia is not only the first black Muslim president, a fact that in and of itself could be considered benign. She is also a malicious anti-Zionist activist who uses all the trendiest PC buzz words to promote her hatred of Israel.

She believes that "mainstream Zionist-led media outlets" are opposing her "uncompromising, anti-colonialist approach to the occupation of Palestine." She dreams about the emancipation of all "colonized people," but especially of the Palestinians. As a supporter in the "struggle against white supremacy," she doesn't like the way non-whites have "internalized anti-blackness" and "Islamophobia."

Though taking the palatable appearance of a moderate, enlightened Muslim, Bouattia is in actuality a militant and unpleasant persona. 

In campaigning for NUS presidency at an event dedicated to "Gaza and the Palestinian revolution"(Sep. 2014), Bouattia explained why she is worthy to be the student body's new head. Most important for her, and by implication for the body of students she would represent, is the advancement of the anti-Zionist agenda. "To consider that Palestine will be free only by means of … non-violent protest … is problematic". Boycott, she explained, "can be misunderstood as the alternative to resistance by the Palestinian people.”

The video of her speech, so reports The Tab ("a grassroots network of reporters who care about originality and know the value of real journalism"), was removed from YouTube, but following this week's election it has been restored to the website.

As a confederation of 600 student unions representing 95 percent of all higher and further education unions in the UK, the NUS represents no less than seven million students. The election of Bouattia therefore is a clear indication of what Britain's next generation is thinking about Israel. 

Though they'll swear to not being anti-Semites, by accepting the notion that Israel is a white colonial entity, and as such must be fought against by every possible means (including armed struggle), the NUS is effectively saying that they have accepted the false Palestinian narrative lock, stock and barrel. 

And in so doing the NUS has become a willful participant in the effort to put an end to the Jewish state. 

While they conveniently use the term "Zionist" to sidestep charges of anti-Semitism, a declared policy that calls for an end to the Zionist state is anti-Semitic, and should be deplored by those who claim to be building a better world.

As of yet, the young minds of Britain don't seem to get it.

 

Hassidic Rabbis to Take Lord’s Supper on Passover

Hassidic Rabbis will be taking part in the "Messiah’s Supper" this Passover. 

On the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday, many in the Hasidic Orthodox community in Jerusalem will participate in what they are calling a Seudat Moshiach, the Messiah’s Supper.

In an event directly correlating to the Lord’s Supper recorded in the New Testament, Rabbi Amichaye Even-Israel told Israel Breaking News that this year, “The main goal of the Messiah’s Supper is to try and internalize the issue of the coming of the Messiah as real, not just a myth or a fairy tale. This is why we eat and drink while discussing this issue – to symbolize that it is real and could be digested.” 

Jesus said, “Take, eat, this is my body broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me. As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (I Cor. 11)

The Messiah’s Supper was instituted in the 18th century by the renowned Rabbi Baal Shem Tov (literally, Master of the Great Name). Shem Tov taught that eating the Lord’s Supper is a way to “translate intangible faith into tangible action.” 

This is exactly what the Lord’s Supper means for Messianic Jews and Christians.

During the Orthodox Messiah’s Supper, the weekly portion comes from the Messianic prophecy in Chapter 11 of the Book of Isaiah: “There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”

This well-known description of the Messiah tells of a time when _“the lion will lie down with the lamb,” _and there will be peace on earth. According to the Rabbis, the last day of the week long Passover holiday is to be a memorial of the redemption and the coming Messiah.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, a 19th century leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, explained the connection between the first and the last days of Passover: 

“The first night of Pesach is our festival commemorating our redemption from Egypt by the Holy One, Blessed be He. It was the first redemption, carried out through Moses, our teacher, who was the first redeemer; it was the beginning. The last day of Pesach is our festival commemorating the final redemption, when the Holy One, Blessed be He, will redeem us from the last exile through our righteous Messiah, who is the final redeemer. The first day of Pesach is Moses’ festival; the last day of Passover is Messiah’s feast.”

The Apostle Paul says, “For the Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:7-8).

During the final day of the Passover holiday, as Hasidic Jews sit down to a Messianic Supper, they will sing songs, eat matzah (unleavened bread) and drink four cups of wine. During the Supper participants will focus their prayers on the arrival of the Jewish Messiah, the coming Kingdom of God, and the Final Redemption for all people. 

Even so, may we all join together and cry out this Passover, “Come quickly, Lord, Messiah King Yeshua.”

 

NASA Astronaut is 'Fascinated by this view'

Even from space, veteran NASA astronaut Jeff Williams can feel the pull of the Holy Land.

Williams is currently aboard the International Space Station, from where he has been posting stunning photographs of Earth to Facebook.

Earlier this week, as the space station passed over the Middle East, Williams uploaded a breathtaking shot of Israel and its neighboring countries under the headline “I have been fascinated with this view.”

“Every time we pass over,” Williams expounded, “I have been fascinated with this view considering it contains the vast majority of Biblical history.”

Williams suggested that fascination stemmed from an appreciation for history instilled in him by his father, a high school history teacher.

But that’s only part of the story.

It is well known that Williams is a committed Christian.

In 2009, after his third spaceflight, Williams wrote the book The Work of His Hands: A View Of God’s Creation From Space in which the astronaut reflected upon the “vivid lessons about the meticulous goodness of divine providence, God’s care for His creation, and His wisdom in ordering the universe.”

 

Palestinians Rally to Praise Jerusalem Bus Bomber

Hundreds of Palestinian Arabs rallied near Bethlehem on Wednesday to sing the praises of Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, 19, who died of his injuries earlier in the day, two days after detonating a bomb on a Jerusalem city bus.

Twenty other people were wounded, including one Israeli teenager who remains in serious condition, when Abu Srour carried out a suicide bombing Monday near Jerusalem’s Talpiot industrial area.

The bus he was on and an adjacent bus were both engulfed in flames.

Despite his heinous crime, Abu Srour, like all wounded terrorists, was taken to an Israeli hospital where doctors worked feverishly to save his life.

Following his death, Hamas issued a statement claiming Abu Srour had carried out the bombing on their behalf.

Palestinians across Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including Abu Srour’s own family, passed out candies to celebrate his violent act against Israeli civilians.

During the rally at the Abu Srour home near Bethlehem on Wednesday, demonstrators chanted pro-Hamas slogans, vowing to spill even more Jewish blood.

 

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Netanyahu Urges Jews to 'West Bank' During Passover

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged Israeli Jews to visit Judea and Samaria - what the world calls the “West Bank” and insists is Arab land - during the upcoming Passover holiday.

In a Passover greeting to Jewish community leaders in Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu said that he “admires your ability to maintain a daily routine despite heightened security in times of tension,” and vowed the State of Israel would continue to protect the right of Jews to live in Israel’s biblical heartland and everywhere throughout the Land of Israel.

“We established our sovereignty and returned control of our destiny to ourselves,” said the prime minister, in a veiled swipe at the international community, which just this week again reiterated that it does not recognize what it calls the “Israeli occupation.”

In closing the letter, Netanyahu called upon all Israelis to “go out during Passover and to see nature, visit the sites of the Bible and heritage sites scattered across the country.”

 

WATCH: Jewish Man Arrested for Quoting Bible

An English-speaking Jewish man was arrested this week for merely quoting a portion of scripture while standing atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Police accused the man of praying, and rejected protests by himself and those around him that quoting scripture is not the same as praying.

Israeli authorities are so afraid of offending and sparking Muslim violence that they have acquiesced to Sharia Law atop the Temple Mount, meaning Jews and Christians are forbidden to take any religious action there.

 

An Israeli Mother's Pain

It was difficult to watch Rachel Dadon speak to reporters on Israeli television on Tuesday.

Just a day earlier, Rachel and her 16-year-old daughter Eden were wounded when a terrorist’s bomb engulfed their bus in flames in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood.

Rachel Dadon approached the media microphones a broken woman after visiting her daughter in hospital for the first time since the attack.

“I had a healthy daughter and now it’s difficult to look,” said Rachel, who suffered light injuries in the blast. “No mother wants to go through something like this.”

Eden, her mother recalled, always liked to sit at the back of the bus, so that’s where she ran to as Rachel paid the fare and started making a phone call.

“…suddenly the whole bus blew up. There was soot and something went up in flames,” she said. “At the time I was confused, but in a second I remembered my daughter and looked for her.”

In that split second, Eden, who had sat almost exactly where the bomb was located, had suffered severe burns and other injuries.

“I saw her with burns and her whole skin peeling,” recounted the distraught mother. “She told me, ‘Mom it hurts, it burns.’ Eden sat on the ground and couldn’t move. She asked me to bring her water, but I didn’t have any.”

After that, “things became dark, everything was darkness and blood. I couldn’t find myself,” said Rachel.

Thanks to the quick response time of Israel’s medical services, Eden’s life was saved, but she isn’t yet in the clear. She remains on a respirator at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where doctors say Eden has improved, but remains in serious condition.

In the aftermath of such senseless violence perpetrated against her child and other innocents, Rachel Dadon sent the following letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau:

“I call on Netanyahu to wake up. Whenever I saw attacks and wounded victims, I prayed for their recovery. But now I am experiencing it. I can’t stand it. It’s not just me, it’s thousands of people who were left disabled and wounded. It’s scary to just go outside. I didn’t expect to go out to treat my daughter and come back wounded.”

 

US Presidential Candidate Sanders Ups Rhetoric Against Israel

Earlier this month, US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told the New York Daily News that during the Gaza war of 2014 Israel had killed “over 10,000” Palestinians, most of them civilians and most indiscriminately.

It was a remark right out of the Hamas propaganda playbook. No, it was worse. Even Hamas only claimed 1,400 deaths in the 50-day conflict.

Over the past week, Sanders, despite being the only Jewish candidate in the race, has upped his rhetoric against the Jewish state.

In a debate hosted by CNN last Thursday, Sanders told his opponent, Hillary Clinton, that “if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”

It was an odd remark, considering recent revelations that Clinton herself doesn’t think too highly of Netanyahu.

On Sunday, Sanders indicated to ABC News that he felt President Barack Obama, arguably the US president who has been most antagonistic toward Israel, hadn’t gone far enough in his support of the Palestinian cause.

The icing on the cake came this week as the candidates pushed for support ahead of Tuesday’s primaries in New York.

A significant percentage of New York City’s voters are Hasidic (Orthodox) Jews, and so many of the candidates, including Sanders and Republican Ted Cruz, launched Yiddish language campaigns there.

Yiddish flyers passed out by one group associated with Sanders urged local Jews to vote for the senator from Vermont because he “does not agree with the radical policies of Netanyahu, may the name of the wicked rot.”

 

Cyber War: Israelis Expose #OpIsrael Hackers

The annual #OpIsrael assault by the hacker group Anonymous was likely responsible for the recent shutdown of Israel Today's website. A tweet by Israeli Elite Force, a private Israeli hacker group that is fighting back, noted yesterday that "'Anons' got exposed by @Buddhax private hackersclub."

The Facebook page for Madsec Security LTD further clarified that the "Israeli Elite Force group managed to steal sensitive information and screenshots of some Anonymous operators who participated on #‎OpIsrael operation against Israel earlier this month. According to the tweet, some Anonymous hackers fell into [Buddhax's] 'trap' as part of the attack against Israel on this day. Inside the PDF file, we find live screenshots from their personal webcams, desktop screenshots, sensitive information related to terrorism (ISIS, Syria) and even usernames and passwords to personal and sensitive accounts."

The Israeli hacker known as Buddhax was able to expose the faces, names and addresses of eight hackers who participated in the latest attack on Israeli websites. Specifically targeted by #OpIsrael were the websites of Yad Vashem – Israel's Holocaust Museum, the Israeli Ministry of Education and Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.

The eight #OpIsrael hackers are from Indonesia, USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Turkey and Lebanon. According to Mako portal, Buddhax claims that the Lebanese hacker is son of an official at Lebanon's Institute of Middle East Studies. This hacker was using the family computer to which other family members were connected. Buddhax used this breach to hack the website of the Lebanese institute.

Already a year ago Israeli Elite Force released a YouTube video warning Anonymous of the outcome of their planned April 2016 cyber attack. 

With Psalm 121 playing in the background, a synthetic voice tells the Anonymous branch group "Anonghost": 

"One year ago [2013] you have declared war by starting the first OpIsrael. An operation that has failed miserably. Not only did you lie to your own followers about the outcome of the operation, but you have also made yourself an enemy which you cannot defeat. One year ago we took down your own website and the main site of OpIsrael. One year ago you have lost in a war that you yourself started. One year ago we have won … we are the Israeli Elite Force, and thou shall not mess with the best."

 

Support Israel and receive a gift!

Just in time for Passover we are giving away a copy of a Passover Hagadda with every purchase of any of our support packages.

Help us green the land, help children, support soldiers, new immigrants or support us as we get our media department up and running, and claim your free hagadda!

Offer valid until Monday April 25th, 2016

 

Bus Explodes in Jerusalem, 21 Wounded

Bus bombings returned to the streets of Jerusalem on Monday afternoon when a No. 12 passenger bus exploded and was engulfed in flames near the Talpiot industrial area.

So fierce was the fire that a second nearby bus and a passing car also caught on fire.

In all, 21 people were wounded, at least two of them seriously.

Authorities initially reported that the fire could have been caused by a technical malfunction on the first bus. But police later found evidence that a small explosive device had been placed near the rear of the bus.

Security forces on Monday evening were still hunting at least one suspect and urged the public to be vigilant.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that those responsible for the attack would be brought to justice.

At press time, no terror organizations had claimed credit for the blast.

 

PLO Wishes Israelis Happy Passover, Infuriating Palestinians

A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the ruling Fatah faction (and therefore of the Palestinian Authority) extended Passover greetings to Israelis on Sunday, sparking a wave of angry reactions by Palestinians.

Mohammed al-Madani is head of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, so it is his job to issue such statements.

But a growing number of Palestinians don’t want normalization and friendly relations with Israel, and so view al-Madani and his overtures as traitorous to the Palestinian cause.

Al-Madani came under similar fire last month when he led a Palestinian delegation on a condolence visit to the family of a senior Israeli general who had died in a plane crash.

In his Passover greeting, al-Madani wrote:

"Hearty greetings and congratulations to you for the holiday of freedom.

"May the Palestinian people also win freedom, and we would establish our state next to the State of Israel and peace would prevail in our region.

“They all said ‘Amen’. Happy Holiday.”

 

Hamas Terror Tunnel Found in Southern Israel

The Israeli army on Monday revealed that it had discovered and neutralized a long tunnel running from Hamas-controlled Gaza into southern Israel.

The tunnel’s exit point was several dozen yards from the Gaza border fence and not too close to any of the Jewish communities in the area.

Nevertheless, like the many terror tunnels utilized by Hamas in the last Gaza war, it posed a significant security threat to both IDF forces and Israeli civilians.

The tunnel was first discovered about two weeks ago, according to the IDF Spokesperson, who did not elaborate on whether the tunnel was collapsed or sealed.

“The working assumption is that Hamas continues to build [these tunnels]. Our job is to prevent attacks against innocent civilians,” military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told Army Radio.

Indeed, reports over the past year have indicated that a large percentage of the aid and building materials entering Gaza each month are confiscated by Hamas in order to dig and stabilize these tunnels.

At a rally in Gaza City last week, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said his group would continue trying to provoke Israel into another bloody armed conflict.

“Our message to the prisoners is a message inked in blood. The rifle and the tunnel are our commitment,” he told Hamas supporters.

 

Netanyahu: We Will Never Surrender Golan Heights

Israel’s Cabinet convened its weekly meeting atop the Golan Heights on Sunday so that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could pointedly inform the world that, in light of the current situation in the region, there is no chance Israel will ever return the strategic plateau to Syrian control.

“The time has come for the world to recognize our sovereignty here,” said Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader made similar remarks recently to US Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Netanyahu told, “We will not come down from the Golan Heights. The international community needs to accept this.”

The statement comes amid mounting assessments that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad will survive the ongoing civil war and maintain power in Damascus, largely thanks to the assistance of Iran and Russia.

For nearly 20 years the Golan Heights was used as a platform to launch attacks on the Galilee region, before being captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel officially annexed the Golan in 1981, but came under heavy American pressure in the 1990s to relinquish control as a first step toward making peace with Syria and the broader Arab world.

Had Israel succumbed to that pressure, its northern towns and cities would today be under tremendous and sustained threat from groups like ISIS and the various Al Qaeda-affiliated gangs fighting in Syria.

 

Hebrew in Gaza - Hope for a Better Future?

"If Palestinians come to understand Israelis through the language, hatred will gradually vanish."

The full feature appears in the April 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

The Miracle of Passover

Israel’s plight of being hemmed in on all sides by mortal enemies seems a particularly pitiful one. But it’s the best possible place for them to be, as the miracle of the first Passover reminds us.

Having seen their firstborn survive a plague of death through the blood of a lamb daubed on the doorposts of their houses, the way was now open for the Jews to escape slavery in Egypt as Pharaoh finally had his fill of disasters.

Sure, the blood of the lamb was the key to their salvation, but they needed to keep trusting the God of Israel for every step of their path to the Promised Land. And the first surprise was that a short cut was not the best route. That would have taken them through Philistine country, which was too dangerous. Instead he led them to an area where they were completely trapped, with the desert on one side and the sea on the other, and Pharaoh’s troops, having changed their minds about losing their services, now chasing down hard on their heels.

God takes us on a circuitous route in our discipleship for a reason. And when we find ourselves trapped and hemmed in on all sides, we are in Position A for a miracle. The Israelites panicked, but Moses said: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14.13)

The fearful Israelites were about to witness one of the greatest miracles of history; indeed, a picture of the coming resurrection of their Messiah Yeshua – and of all who follow him. They had nowhere to go; they were as good as dead. And that is just where God wanted them. In truth, there is never a situation when a believer has nowhere to go; even if he’s trapped in a war zone or a concentration camp, God is there. Notice that Moses’ instruction is not to retreat or do anything, but to “stand still” and let God do the work. He will bring about the miracle, but not if we interfere by trying to manipulate the situation. God will fight for you – “you need only to be still”.

How desperately we need to learn this lesson about taking our hands off the ’ark of God’s presence’ – remember when Uzzah tried to steady the Ark as it was being taken back to Jerusalem. He was struck down dead. (1 Chronicles 13.9f) We like to help God along with our puny efforts, but he doesn’t need them. He only wants our perfect trust.

Abraham, despite his legendary faith, couldn’t quite believe that God could provide a son through the aged Sarah, so he thought he’d give the Lord a hand by having sex with Hagar. And look what happened! We’re still suffering the consequences through the ongoing Arab-Jewish conflict.

I remember going through a very difficult time in my youth involving marriage, family and future, calling out to the Lord from the beautiful Yorkshire hills where I used to walk, and hearing the still, small voice of God saying: “Stand still, and see the salvation of your God!”

In time the Lord brought me through into verdant green pastures, but his timing is also vital as, over and over again since then, I have experienced the miracle of God’s perfect timing – not a moment too soon, and not a moment too late, as I usually discover afterwards. And I have found that music so often plays a part. I don’t know why that is; perhaps it’s because I so love praising and worshipping God as I go about my business that sometimes the Lord speaks back to me in song.

There was a time when I was struggling over issues concerning production of an evangelistic tabloid I started called New Life. As I anxiously mulled over the problems while driving to our offices, words of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber song Memory“I must think of a new life, and I mustn’t give in…” – came over the car’s audio-cassette player and soothed my soul in a way I shall never forget.

On another occasion I was writing of my experiences in Israel for my book, Peace in Jerusalem, when I recalled the encouragement I felt as I passed a man singing the Leonard Cohen hit Hallelujah in Zion Square. And at that precise moment, classical singer Katherine Jenkins struck up on my CD player with the very same song! I had forgotten it was on that album.

A third example of this occurred more recently during another turbulent time. I was writing an article entitled Bread of Heaven for a website, and not really sure I was doing the right thing. But as I was in the process of actually writing the words ‘bread of heaven’, a Welsh male voice choir echoed those very words (also on CD) – ‘Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me now and evermore!’

It was of course the chorus of the well-known hymn Guide me O thou great Jehovah. I was ecstatic. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, and that’s just it. You know that it’s God when you haven’t manipulated anything.

Yet even after he has taken us across the Red Sea as on dry land, and we have watched our pursuing enemies drown as the waters sweep over them, the journey to Canaan is not a quick one. But it’s in our years of wandering in the wilderness that we learn to trust in the God who provides manna from heaven and water from the Rock.

And yet Israel is now in the Promised Land, where they should be safe. But they are still hemmed in on all sides! The Jewish longing for what often seems the elusive hope of an eternal place of refuge has been beautifully expressed by some of their great modern composers and lyricists. I think of the “yellow brick road” leading to the magical castle of the Wizard of Oz, for which Over the Rainbow was such a hit, the breaking down of prejudice in South Pacific encapsulated in the song You’ve got to be taught to hate, and West Side Story’sThere’s a place for us, somewhere a place for us… peace and quiet and open air, wait for us somewhere… we’ll find a new way of living, we’ll find a way of forgiving, somewhere.”

Yet even in Israel the Jews are once again trapped, with nowhere to go, but God. “Then fly to His side (to adapt the lyrics from South Pacific’s Some Enchanted Evening) and make Him your own, or all through your life you will dream all alone!”

The lamb slaughtered for the enslaved Jews is now fulfilled by the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world, who “for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12.2)

 

Israel Today Back 'On Air' After Hacker Attack

Our faithful readers surely noticed that Israel Today was unreachable the past several days, nor were there any news updates via email.

Every year on April 7, the hacker network known as Anonymous launches a coordinated and sustained 24-hour assault on Israeli websites and servers.

Due to Israel’s world-class cyber-security, these attacks have never resulted in any major damage to the Jewish state. But they do cause no small amount of annoyance and inconvenience as websites are temporarily defaced or taken offline.

And that’s what happened to Israel Today during this year’s attack.

The Israel-based servers where our sites are hosted sustained repeated attacks, requiring extended maintenance.

Now we are back online!

Anti-Israel haters like Anonymous may succeed in causing minor inconvenience, but their efforts to silence voices like Israel Today are ultimately futile.

 

If Israel's Oppressive, Why Do Arabs Seek Treatment Here?

Israel is a racist and oppressive state that practices apartheid against non-Jews.

That’s what the Palestinian leadership and its cronies around the globe are trying to get everyone to believe.

But if that’s true, then why do so many Arabs, including those connected to the Palestinian leadership itself, seek medical treatment in Israel? Aren’t they afraid they’ll be mistreated, or worse?

The simple answer is that, no, they aren’t worried about any mistreatment, because despite the propaganda they themselves propagate, these Palestinian leaders known full well that Israel is NOT an apartheid state.

For example, in 2013, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh sent his granddaughter, Amal Haniyeh, to receive emergency medical care after she contracted an acute infection of her digestive tract.

Now, whatever else you might think of Haniyeh, we can pretty safely assume he loves his granddaughter.

So, why send her to “apartheid” Israel?

Haniyeh is a wealthy man. He could have sent the child to Egypt or Jordan or Saudi Arabia or even Europe. It wouldn’t have taken much longer to reach those destinations than it did to obtain the proper authorizations to transfer Amal into Israel.

And that’s another thing. If Israel is so hateful toward Arabs, why permit Amal to enter and save her life? After all, not only is she an Arab, she is the granddaughter of a man whose organization routinely attacks and murders Israeli Jews.

This phenomenon played out again these past few weeks, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ brother, Abu Lawi, was diagnosed with cancer and sought treatment in Israel.

Now, some might spuriously argue that Amal Haniyeh was only sent to Israel because it was the nearest destination with advanced medical facilities.

But the same certainly cannot be said for Abu Lawi. He lives in Qatar. And he’s also rich. He could have gone anywhere in the world, but Abu Lawi chose to have his cancer treated by Jews in the Jewish state.

He was this week yet again a patient of the luxurious (and expensive) Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv, where Abu Lawi has already received a number of treatments.

In fact, the doctors at Assuta have treated several members of the Abbas family, including the Palestinian leader’s wife (leg surgery in 2014) and his brother-in-law (life-saving heart operation in 2015).

Just food for thought for those who far too easily accept the “Israeli apartheid” claims without checking the facts.

 

Spring Cleaning for Passover

We are pleased to announce a 20% discount
Off our complete inventory this week.
Why?

Passover is traditionally the time
That total house cleaning is done.
Why?

A month before Passover you will already find
Every house in our country cleaned.
Squeaky clean windows.
The cabinet contents arranged.
Rid of a lot of the old stuff
Donated to charity organizations.
Why?

It gives a sense of release
To make room for new things.
After every years spring cleaning
Without fail, a dust storm arrives
Accompanied by rain and mud
Soiling everything already cleaned.
Why?

Understand that God desires
Clean hearts more than anything else.
And therefor...
Every year we should ask ourselves
What is our Egypt this year?
What enslaves us?
What makes us angry?
What causes jealousy and bitterness?
Every year we try to
Liberate ourselves from
The low and difficult times.
Why?

While we sit at the Passover Seder
We are determined to move from slavery to freedom...

Do not let the opportunity pass you by
To enjoy the freedom of Passover
To buy freely with a 20% discount off our complete inventory.

Happy Passover and Feast of Freedom.

Offer valid until Sunday April 24th, 2016


 

Poll 'Proves' Israelis Are Racist; Are They Really?

The latest manufactured scandal ensued after Voice of Israel Radio aired on April 5 that when possible maternity wards separate between Jews and Arabs. 

The expected knee-jerk reaction followed as planned. 

Politicians and journalists of a certain persuasion were quick to point out that this is yet further evidence demonstrating how dangerously racist Israeli society is becoming. 

The cries turned to rage after Member of Knesset Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) tweeted that "after birth my wife wants to rest and not have to be in the midst of noisy celebrations practiced by Arab families."  He also tweeted that "it is only natural that my wife will not want to be next to someone who just gave birth to a baby who in 20 years' time may try to kill her baby."

Smotrich's tweets scandalized our "morality brigades," who used them to show the whole world just how racist is Israel's right-wing constituency. The headline of the left-leaning newspaper Ha'aretz the next day screeched: "'Another Terrorist is Born': The long-standing practice of racism and segregation in Israeli maternity wards." 

Though most likely being facetious, Haaretz did suggest the possibility that ongoing anti-Jewish terror could be the cause for the perceived "racism."

As expected, a survey followed. A poll conducted by Channel 2's Meet the Press program found that 34 percent of Israelis overall support separating Jewish and Arab women in maternity wards, while 61 percent oppose such a practice. 

The numbers were far more polarized when breaking down left-wing and right-wing respondents. One the Left, 92 percent opposed maternity ward segregation, while on the Right 66 percent supported it.

The finding, therefore, is clear: Right-wingers are racists and Israel is in danger of becoming a fascist state!

Those who take such polls less seriously were quick to point out that the survey had failed to properly compare Jews with Arabs, as it did not ask the same question of the latter. 

Indeed, during a stormy Knesset session on Wednesday, Prof. Drorit Hochner, director of Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital's OBGYN department, revealed to shocked left-wing and Arab MKs that it is just as often Arab mothers who request not to be placed in a room with Jews.

"There are Arab women who after birth ask not to be with Jewish women, they ask bluntly and point-blank," Hochner revealed.

Even more hypocritically, some Israelis get all worked up over perceived Jewish racism, but seem to care little that the Palestinian Authority maintains a policy of seeking a Palestinian state devoid of all Jews, or that there are Israeli Arab towns in which Jews dare not live.

Furthermore, the poll failed to take into account the very real issue of terrorism, which has resulted in many Israelis becoming nervous whenever they meet an Arab. This fact alone paints the present scandal in a very different light.

In the wake of the scandal, Smotrich's wife, Revital, wrote the following on her husband's Facebook page: 

"I was wrong in thinking that one is allowed to say out loud what one thinks … maybe I was wrong in thinking that I am allowed to think differently, after my brother was wounded in a terror attack … after our good friends … lost four of their children … and to my sorrow the list is longer … I was wrong in thinking that alone I could stand up to the horde of hypocrites who try to blur the fact that a war is waging here for hundred years … we are still fighting for our right to exist in this land..."

The reality experienced by Revital Smotrich is indicative of a complex reality that doesn't yield easily to the clean-cut labels of "liberal" and "racist." Unfortunately for all, however, by reducing the topic of racism to petty politics by scandalizing every little tweet and jot, our moral brigades are turning racism into a partisan rather than a moral issue.

 

Former Iraqi Diplomat Visiting Israel

Hamad Al-Sharifi, who long worked for the Iraqi government as a diplomat to Jordan and Kuwait, is in Jerusalem this week as an official guest of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

His visit is considered a breakthrough due to the fact that Israel and Iraq still have no diplomatic relations.

During his time here, Al-Sharifi has met and will meet with Israelis of Iraqi origin, members of Knesset and Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders. He will also visit historic and national sites, including the Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem.

Before departing for the Jewish state, Al-Sharifi said he would one day like to be Iraq’s ambassador to Israel.

He also had kind works for Hassan Kaabiah, the Israeli Arab diplomat who serves as deputy spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, and who was instrumental in getting Al-Sharifi on a plane to Tel Aviv.

“I would like to thank Hassan Kaabiah…who convinced me to visit to see the true Israel, which we have not seen on anti-Israeli television,” he said. “One day, I hope that I will be the Iraqi ambassador to Israel and that Hassan will be the Israeli ambassador to Iraq.”

Al-Sharifi said that he considers himself “a friend of Israel.”

In remarks to Israel’s Ynet news portal, Yonatan Gonen, the head of Arabic-language digital diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry, noted that the “arrival of the former Iraqi diplomat demonstrates that there are no limits in today’s world. We receive many messages from Iraqis, expressing their support for Israel and their longing for the Jewish community.”

 

Anti-Israel Activists Protest Ben & Jerry's...Then Eat Their Ice Cream

You can’t make this stuff up.

A group of activists with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in America on Tuesday protested outside a local branch of Ben & Jerry’s over the fact that the company’s franchise in Israel has commercial contacts with “Jewish settlements.”

Was it mere coincidence that activists chose Ben & Jerry’s annual “Free Cone Day” to hold their demonstration?

Because despite the fact they want everyone else to boycott Ben & Jerry’s over its business ties with the Jewish state, the protesters themselves apparently had no problem accepting and devouring free “Israel-tainted” ice cream cones.

Their indiscretion was captured on camera by a counter-protestor associated with the pro-Israel organization Stand With Us.

 

Donald Trump and Israel

"I am unable to assess his worldview in general and potential policy towards Israel in particular," a leading expert says of Trump.

The full feature appears in the April 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Palestinian Authority Arrests Head of Orthodox Church

Palestinian Authority police on Saturday arrested the local head of the Syrian Orthodox Church as he visited Bethlehem.

Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that Archbishop Sewerios Malki Murad (pictured) was taken into custody during a parade near the Church of the Nativity.

He was reportedly returning from a celebration of Syrian Orthodox heritage when police blocked the archbishop’s entourage and arrested him.

A Palestinian police spokesperson said very vaguely that Murad faced “civil charges.”

Syrian Orthodox Christians are said to have appealed to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to release Murad, and have threatened to “leave Palestine [sic]” is such harassment of Christians continues.

 

US: Israel is Our Ally; Palestinians: We Hate the US

Rep. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was in Israel this week, and reiterated that the Jewish state is one of America’s closest and most important allies.

In an interview with Times of Israel, Ryan, who was Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 US presidential election, said that with the rise of Islamic terror, Washington needs to bolster its ties with Israel now more than ever.

“They’re coming at Israel, but they’re ultimately coming for us,” the representative from Wisconsin said. “So we are partners in this war on terror, radical Islamic terrorism. Israel is an indispensable ally in that. Israel is on the front line in so many ways with respect to it.”

Several days earlier, Jamal Muhaisen, a member of the central committee of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction, insisted that America is “the number one enemy of the Palestinian people.”

“The American people in the US are under Jewish-Zionist occupation,” claimed Muhaisen in an interview on official Palestinian Authority TV. “I reiterate: the number one enemy of the Palestinian people, and of the Arab and Islamic nation, remains the US.”

 

Israeli Group Aids Refugees Being Deported by Europe

(By IsraAID in Greece)

In accordance with the European Union’s decision and its agreement with the Turkish government, the deportation of refugees from Greece to Turkey began this week.

This decision determines that every refugee arriving after March 20th 2016 will be immediately deported back to Turkey. In return, Turkey will receive a financial compensation from the EU.

IsraAID, an international humanitarian aid agency, has been working since last year in Greece and other parts of Europe, including Serbia, Croatia and the refugees’ final destination countries.

IsraAID’s teams, made up of Jewish and Arab Israelis, continue providing aid through the distribution of equipment, conducting medical procedures and psycho-social support, especially now that the tension between the local government and the refugees is worsening

In recent days, refugees in different regions in Greece have begun protesting against the deportation decision.

IsraAID’s emergency teams, including medical professionals and psycho-social therapists, were deployed to accompany refugees and assure that they receive proper treatment and needed assistance during the deportation process.

Many of the refugees feel frustrated and face uncertainty regarding the future. Most of them have family members who already reached Germany, Sweden, Austria and Denmark, beginning to settle there with the hopes of reuniting with their families in the coming months. Although the deportation was expected to take place soon, many were caught unprepared and had to pack their few belongings swiftly, not knowing what will happen next.

The frustration grows in the camps containing thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and more, especially due to the fear of Turkey deporting refugees back to their countries of origin, which could cause life-threatening situations.

In 2015 alone, over one million refugees crossed the sea from Turkey to Greece hoping to reach refuge in countries like Germany by following the Balkan route. But the route was recently closed and thousands are stuck in refugee camps across Greece.

“IsraAID became a leading organization [across Greece], not only for its language advantage with Arabic-speaking teams, but also [in terms of] cultural understanding derived from cultural similarities and from IsraAID’s work in Jordan and northern Iraq,” said Naama Gorodischor, the organization’s International Programs Director.

 

Hamas: Goal Remains Israel's Destruction

Delusional Western figures like Jimmy Carter continue to claim that radical Islamist groups like Hamas are “moderating” and must today be seen as part of the solution, not the problem.

But Hamas itself is saying something very different, if only the international talking heads would listen.

“The Palestinians, wherever they are (ie. Israeli Arabs, too), do not accept dividing their land,” senior Hamas official Yahya Mousa told a gathering in Gaza last week. “We all have to declare that resistance (ie. terrorism) is the only path to return our land and to restore our stolen rights.”

The Palestinian news agency Al Qassam further quoted Mousa as encouraging all local Arabs to support and expand the current wave of terrorist violence, “because it is the way to return our rights, and to achieve our national goals.”

This week, the head of Hamas’ women’s movement, Faiza Al-Nashar, in remarks to the newspaper Palestine praised the young generation of local Arabs who are “going out to cut off the hands and slaughter the heads of those who attack the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

In other words, keep stabbing Jews who visit Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

 

Tuesday's are twice good!

During the creation story, as recorded in Genesis 1:9-13, there were two instances of creation, and it is recorded twice "... and God saw that it was good."

From this biblical source, a trend has emerged over the years in Israel. On Tuesdays many vendors make "2 for the price of..." offers. Quite often weddings are held on Tuesdays and radio stations will play back-to-back songs of the same artist. There is even a gas station in Jerusalem that offers really cheap gas only on Tuesdays!

This week we are offering a free Classic Star of David pendant when you order any piece from our jewelry collection!

or
Offer valid until Monday April 11th, 2016


 

Inoculating Christian Leaders Against Replacement Theology

Israel Today speaks to Robert Stearns of Eagles' Wings ministries about his efforts to inoculate young Christians against the new incarnations of Replacement Theology and anti-Semitism.

The full feature appears in the April 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

US Visa Website Fails to Mention Israel

American blogger Elder of Ziyon has pointed out a disturbing "sensitivity" of the "official U.S. VISA information and appointment services." Of the countries listed on this government website, Cyprus does not have a flag and capital city. This is probably an indication of the United States' displeasure over the island's division between Turkey and Cyprus.

Since this website is divided into rubrics representing countries, the rubrics separating between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv means that they represent two countries, but which? Since Israel does not appear on this list of countries, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem appear as some kind of unidentified, exterritorial cities.

If the removal of Cyprus' flag is an indication of Washington's disapproval with Cyprus, what should one think of the reasons behind the removal of a country's flag and name? 

The exposure of Hilary Clinton's emails, among them some that contain disturbing anti-Israel positions (one was even toying with the idea of a covert operation against the Israeli government), gave us a glimpse into the White House's true feelings toward "America's best ally in the Middle East."

Clinton's feelings toward Netanyahu's government, unpleasant as they are, are but one indication of America's displeasure with Israel. It would be unrealistic to think that she or John Kerry approved this visa website. 

Rather, these were administration personnel who instructed the webpage designers to hide Israel. If this is the case, then the separation of Tel Aviv from Jerusalem points to the consistent American refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

But how should we understand the removal of the country's name? Is this a sign of American displeasure with Israel's "occupation," or, as Elder of Ziyon suggested, is America, much like Europe, capitulating to Islam and accepting an attitude of "Western dhimmitude"? 

This may explain why Tel Aviv can be viewed by those in the State Department as just another occupied Palestinian city.

 

From an orphan to Miss Israel...

At just 21 years old, Yityish Aynaw has gone on a remarkable life journey from a little orphan girl to an Israeli beauty queen.

Aynaw was born in Chahawit, a small village in northern Ethiopia. Her father died when she was young and when she was just 12 years old she lost her mother to illness. Heartbroken, she arrived in Israel with her brother to live with their Ethiopian Jewish grandparents.

While still a child, Aynaw was suddenly faced with a new language, a new culture and all the rest of challenges that come with starting a new life in a foreign country.

Like the estimated 125,000 Ethiopian Jews who have arrived in waves over the years to Israel, Aynaw experienced the same struggle to assimilate into her new environment. But Aynaw threw herself at it, not shying away from all that her adopted country expected of her, including mastering Hebrew and serving in the Israeli army after school.

A few years ago, after finishing her army service, Aynaw started working as a sales clerk in a clothing store. Tall and beautiful, she had long had her eye on becoming a model. It was a friend of hers who entered her name into the Miss Israel competition.

Her winning the "Miss Israel" title changed her life instantly. Within a matter of weeks, her name and image were splashed across newspapers and websites, both in Israel and abroad.

As the first ever black Miss Israel, Aynaw is seen by some as a beacon of hope that racial prejudice is beginning to fade away in the country. Aynaw says that she's never been the victim of racism.

And although her future seems set to be filled with glamorous days, Aynaw says ultimately her formula for a happy life rests on her dream of, "...having a big family, a big house and a lot of kids," she says. "I want to give my kids the experience I never had. That is my great dream."

This Passover we, at Israel Today, are going to embark on a project to shed a little ray of hope into the lives of some of our Ethiopian immigrants that are having a difficult time assimilating into their new community.



 

'Hitler' Clothing Store Causes Stir in Cairo

A Egyptian store owner situated on a prestigious promenade often called the “Champs Elysées” of Cairo is defending naming his shop after Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

The front of the store bears Hitler’s name and even uses a swastika as its logo.

Store owner Osama Farouk insisted in remarks to Gulf News that his decision to use such symbolism was innocent. “I adore the name and the logo, and decided to put them on the front of my shop.”

To Farouk’s dismay, a number of Egyptians visiting the area have openly rebuked him and spit at the store in protest. At least one tried to forcibly remove the Hitler sign.

“It doesn’t deserve all this trouble,” Farouk maintained. “Why are people so angry? I don’t get involved in politics.”

But that’s only half the story. At least as many people have no problem with Farouk naming his store after one of history’s most notorious figures.

“Praise Allah, I have many clients who come to the store because of the quality of my goods,” he said.

Israeli diplomats have often explained that Hitler and the Nazis are seen very differently in Asia than in the West.

“A lot of people in Asia are not aware of what happened in Europe,” noted one diplomat. “Unfortunately, many people think that Hitler was a hero, not a monster, and so it is important we reinforce Holocaust education.”

But among most Arabs, the phenomenon cannot be written off as simple ignorance. Many Muslims joined the Nazi ranks at the behest of their imams, and the Palestinian Arab leadership was closely allied with Hitler.

For years Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf has been a best seller in the Arab world, not because local Arabs are unaware of who he was, but because the Nazi ideology speaks to the Islamist mindset.

 

Roseanne Barr 'Shaken' by Anti-Semitic Bigotry of Fellow Liberals

American actress and comedienne Roseanne Barr was in Israel last week to deliver a keynote address to a Jerusalem conference dealing with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) phenomenon.

Barr said that she had become a pro-Israel advocate after being “shaken” by what she called the naked bigotry of so many liberals who claim to only be criticizing Israel, but who are in fact anti-Semitic.

“Everything I’d ever believed about the left was severely shaken, and the scales began to fall from my eyes in many ways,” said Barr. “It was shocking to realize that what I considered criticism of Israel many, many times gave way to the garden variety anti-Semitism that I’d heard all of my life.”

Barr said she was privy to a lot of such talk because for a long time fellow Hollywood elite were unaware of her own Jewish background.

She eventually came to the realization that “many of those I considered comrades were naked bigots who had absolutely no interest in peace between Israel and Palestinians Arabs at all as I did.”

And the same is true of the “social activist” movement known as BDS.

“BDS [members] do not want peace, nor do they want peace negotiations,” insisted Barr.

Like the classic anti-Semites of old, the actress accused BDS activists of seeking to “isolate and disenfranchise Jews until it will all be Jew-free.”

 

Journalists From Largest Muslim Nation Visit Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week personally hosted a delegation of senior journalists from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation.

Official relations between Israel and Indonesia are cold, at best, though the two nations have long maintained quiet trade, tourism and security contacts.

Netanyahu hopes this visit will encourage warmer, more open relations.

“The time has come for official relations between Indonesia and Israel,” the Israeli leader said. “We have many opportunities to cooperate in the fields of water and technology. Israel has excellent relations with many countries in Asia, especially China, Japan, India and Vietnam.”

Netanyahu continued by noting that, just as with many Arab states, “we are in fact allies in the fight against radical Islam. Relations between Israel and Indonesia have to change. I have more than a few Indonesian followers on Facebook. It is time for a change. The reasons which have prevented these are no longer relevant and I hope that your visit will help .”

 

Arab Woman Names Newborn Baby after IDF Officer

An Arab woman visiting from Dubai named her newborn son after an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer this week in a touching demonstration of Israel’s care for its neighbors.

The woman was traveling from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) when she suddenly went into labor.

An IDF officer stationed at the Jordan Valley border crossing immediately administered medical treatment and accompanied the woman to a hospital in nearby Jericho.

After the successful delivery, the woman decided to name the baby “Hadi” after the officer, who is a member of Israel’s Druze minority.

 

Why is Israel Cutting Power to Jericho?

Israel will no doubt be condemned by those failing to take the whole situation into account, but it has been compelled to cut power to the ancient city of Jericho over a massive unpaid electric bill.

The Palestinian Authority currently owes the Israel Electric Company over 1.7 billion shekels ($450 million).

In yet another effort to force the Palestinian leadership to pay up, power will be cut intermittently to Jericho in the coming days.

An Electric Company official was quoted by Israel National News as saying the Jericho power outage would be “open-ended.”

But Israel has tried in the past to get the Palestinian Authority to honor its debts, only to roundly condemned by the US State Department.

The episode just confirms for many Israelis why the two-state solution as it stands will not lead to peace. A Palestinian state will remain wholly dependent on Israel for even basic needs like electricity, but will fail to pay for those services, confident that the international community would never allow Israel to demand recompense.

 

I Am My Brother's Keeper

Defying regional hatred, Israeli Jews are in the field bringing life-saving assistance to the Yazidis and other persecuted minorities.

The full feature appears in the April 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Moving to Israel to ESCAPE Terrorism?

A Belgian Jewish man said that after surviving last week’s airport bombings in Brussels, he’s planning to immigrate to Israel.

Walter Benjamin was standing in line to check in for his flight to Israel, where his daughter already lives, when a suicide bomber blew himself up just meters away.

Benjamin was fortunate - he lost part of his right leg in the blast. At least 32 others weren’t so lucky.

“I probably will pack my things, get on a plane and start looking for a small apartment in Israel,” Benjamin told Israel’s Channel 2 News when asked what he intends to do after recovering from his injuries.

As Islamic terrorism becomes an increasing problem in Europe, Jews living there have become a favorite target.

Age-old anti-Semitic tropes are being trotted back out in the guise of “legitimate” criticism of Israeli policies in efforts to justify the violence.

But the bottom line is the same - the Jewish people only have one true homeland.

And while that homeland is often portrayed as a place of perpetual conflict, the reality is that it’s a whole lot safer nowadays than many places in the West.

“Chicago has 10 murders per 100,000 residents each year. Jerusalem last year, in a bad year, had 1.5,” noted Mayor Nir Barkat at a recent press conference. “When I fly to America, I pray to come back home safely.”

 

The Right to Err

Apart from the question of whether or not the Israeli soldier who killed a wounded terrorist is guilty, the debate sparked in the wake of the incident portrays a false impression of a divided Israeli society where an enlightened minority fights vigilantly against trigger-happy Israeli fascists.

However, a poll conducted on Sunday showed very clearly that most Israelis think that, given the circumstances, the soldier's behavior was acceptable. This survey monitored social media networks, where 82 percent of Israelis voiced support for the soldier and his shooting the terrorist. 

Since last Thursday when the incident took place, more than 37,000 people have signed Facebook petitions in support of the soldier, who was condemned by the IDF chief-of-staff and Minister of Defense before the facts could be verified. 

According to the Mako news portal, which published the survey, the reason for such overwhelming support is general acceptance of the Jewish dictum "if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first."

Another survey done for Channel 2 TV reached similar results: 57% said that the soldier shouldn't have been arrested and no criminal investigation should be conducted against him. In sharp contrast, only 5% said that the killing of the terrorist amounts to murder.

The moral position held by most Israelis seems to upset those few who believe, for one reason or another, that killing a terrorist is a murderous act. It would be one thing for Palestinians to get upset over the killing of their "heroes." Israelis who are condemning such killings are a different matter altogether, for, so it seems, they opt for a moral standard that puts their own lives in danger.

A Channel 2 News report by Ohad Hemo provided one of the more disturbing examples of this moral trend.

Hemo, who routinely airs reports sympathetic to the Palestinians, outdid himself by casting the family of the above terrorist as the true victims in this case. He allowed the father of the terrorist to express his views unchallenged. "This is an army of barbarians," the father said, even as Hemo dared not ask whether or not the man condemned his own son's actions.

Hemo is but one. Razi Barkai, a daily two-hour talk show host on Army Radio, has called the soldier "murderer." Yigal Sarna, another journalist, implicitly condemned the soldier's officer as a murderer for his killing of a terrorist who in 2008 slaughtered eight Yeshiva students in Jerusalem. 

A minority though they be, these people who question the moral validity of "kill him first" are in positions to influence politicians and generals alike, and the quick condemnation of the soldier in this current case by Israel's Minister of Defense is perhaps an indication of that influence.

The outcry of the Israeli public, therefore, is perhaps the counter-weight that gives our politicians the needed strength to back-up our soldiers, including those who have erred under stressful conditions.

 

Jay Leno Defies Anti-Israel Pressure, Backs Jewish State

Famed comedian and longtime Tonight Show Host Jay Leno will be stepping up once again in support of Israel. For the third year running, Leno will headline a special night to benefit Israel. 

In 2014 and 2015, Leno hosted the Genesis Prize award ceremony in Israel, following which he was attacked on social media for his support. In a move that is completely in line with his character, Leno has turned a deaf ear to the naysayers and is headlining a night in support of Israel once again. This time it is a benefit concert for United Hatzalah of Israel, which will be taking place on Sunday, April 10, 2016, at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

The evening, which is being billed as “An Evening of Laughter and Music”, is being held as a fundraiser to support the work of EMS first responders in Israel who have been tirelessly saving lives every day in face of the ongoing terror wave that has struck Israel in the past six months. The funds raised during the evening will be used to purchase much needed medical equipment and supplies, such as defibrillators and ambucycles.

Eli Beer, the Founder of United Hatzalah, said that there were numerous reasons why Mr. Leno of all celebrities was asked to headline the event. Among them was his previous relationship with Israel and the high quality and cleanliness of his performances.

“Jay Leno has hosted two landmark events in Israel over the past two years, the Genesis Prize awards ceremonies, and has said wonderful things about the country. We need more good PR for Israel and we couldn't think of a better person to have headline the show than Mr. Leno.”  

Mr. Leno came to Israel in May 2014 in order to host the Genesis Awards and present an award to former New York Mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Leno stated at the time how much he liked Israel. “I love Israel, that’s why I’m here,” reported Yediot Aharonot news site.

A year later, Mr. Leno hosted the second Genesis Prize event that was awarded to Michael Douglas. At the time, Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation, called Mr. Leno “a true friend of Israel” in an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post. Mr. Leno said that he was excited to be in Israel and was honored to help out. He acknowledged that just visiting Israel could be interpreted as a political statement (although he said that he didn’t view it as such) and that there were some who encouraged him not to come.

This time as well, a source within United Hatzalah shared concerns that the BDS movement may target the concert. “We haven’t seen any active targeting yet, but the threat is there whenever one holds a major pro-Israel event abroad, even in New York. When a big-name celebrity gets involved the pressure is all the greater, as it becomes a bigger story.”  

For his part, Mr. Leno shrugged off the threats and encouragements to drop his Israel-related engagements. Last year Mr. Leno said, “I don’t get these boycotters. I don’t think they quite understand the whole situation. To me, if you want to understand a place you go there and you look the people in the eye and you get a feeling for it. Either it feels good, or it doesn’t feel good. And that’s what works for me.”

Leno, who has been a friend of Israel for some time went on further to explain why Israel has such a bad image and what it can do to change that image.

“It’s an odd situation that you have Israel here surrounded by a gazillion people… and somehow they’re the underdogs. I think Israel is so efficient in defending itself and so good at it, that to the rest of the world it looks like bullying. It’s mystifying.”

Uncowed, Leno is stepping out into the limelight for the third time in a very public forum to support Israel. Especially when the event is also honoring Lone Soldiers who went from the United States to volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). According to United Hatzalah, some of the sponsors of the evening, Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein together with Bob and Amy Book and Mendy and Barbara Silber, have teamed up to purchase one hundred pairs of tickets to be given out to the men and women in the greater New York area who have served as IDF Lone Soldiers sometime within the past five years.

This tremendous donation is a tip of the hat to those who volunteer to serve and protect in Israel, during a night which is honoring volunteer EMS personnel as well. “The idea of coming together, to unite in our support of saving lives in Israel, is what this evening is all about,” said Eli Beer. “What better way to show that than by inviting 200 of the people who literally went out of their way and put their lives on the line to defend our country. They volunteer in their style and the volunteer EMS personnel voluntarily drop everything they are doing to save lives in their style. It is a win-win situation for everyone.”   

An Evening of Laughter and Music will take place on Sunday, April 10th, at 7:30 pm at the Rose Theater, at the Lincoln Center in Central Manhattan. For tickets please call 1-646-833-7108 or e-mail: office@israelrescue.org

Lone Soldiers who live in the U.S. and who served in the IDF over the last five years can email the New York office of United Hatzalah at: office@israelrescue.org to claim your complimentary tickets. Please include your name and phone number to qualify for the ticket.

 

Tuesday's are twice good!

During the creation story, as recorded in Genesis 1:9-13, there were two instances of creation, and it is recorded twice "... and God saw that it was good."

From this biblical source, a trend has emerged over the years in Israel. On Tuesdays many vendors make "2 for the price of..." offers. Quite often weddings are held on Tuesdays and radio stations will play back-to-back songs of the same artist. There is even a gas station in Jerusalem that offers really cheap gas only on Tuesdays!

This week we are offering a free Foot Cream when you order a GoFix Inner Soles. Take care of your feet on your next pilgrimage through the Holy Land!

or


 

Muslims at the Western Wall

‘FOR MY HOUSE WILL BE CALLED a house of prayer for all the peoples’ (Isaiah 56:7)

The full feature appears in the April 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Trump Blames Palestinians for Lack of Two-State Solution

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the weekend made it abundantly clear that he sees the Palestinian leadership as being at fault for the lack of Middle East peace agreement.

Trump told The New York Times that while he supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is the Palestinians themselves that have prevented such an outcome.

“…the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …[and they] have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred,” the billionaire insisted, stressing that in order to reach a two-state peace deal “you have to get those basic things done.”

Trump was particularly disturbed by the ongoing incitement in Palestinian society.

“They have to stop the teaching of children to aspire to grow up as terrorists, which is a real problem,” he said.

Of course, the recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is also a major sticking point, with the current Palestinian leadership repeatedly refusing to meet that basic condition.

Trump noted that these shouldn’t be difficult conditions to accept, “except that the ingrained hatred is tremendous.”

 

Chief Rabbi: Gentiles Must Follow Torah to Remain in Israel

Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef on Saturday preached that if Gentiles want to live in the Land of Israel, they need to accept and obey those portions of the Torah that are relevant to them.

In the weekend sermon, Yosef insisted that “according to Jewish law, gentiles should not live in the Land of Israel.”

However, an exception could be made for those who “agree to take on the seven Noahide Laws” and serve Israel.

The Noahide Laws are a portion of the Torah commandments that deal with faith in God, blasphemy, murder, sexual immorality, theft and certain kosher requirements.

Yosef warned that when the Messiah comes, all Gentiles who have failed to live according to these biblical commandments will be expelled from the Land.

 

Our Spring Catalog Is Available...

New products, attractive sets, discounts and gifts! See for yourself!



 

Israelis Leftists Say Two-State Solution is Dead

US President Barack Obama and much of the international community blame Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the lack of a peace deal with the Palestinians. But even leading left-wing politicians admit it’s more complicated than that, and that a two-state solution is simply no longer viable.

“We have reached the point in time when there is no feasibility for the two-state solution,” said Zionist Union (Labor) MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin during a visit to the Etzion Bloc of Jewish settlements that she insisted “is a consensus in my party.”

Still, even without birthing a Palestinian state and while retaining control of large Jewish settlement blocs, Nahmias-Verbin believes Israel must find a way to separate from the Palestinians.

“We need to create a security solution and that for my party the separation is that solution,” she told Israel National News.

For Nahmias-Verbin and her party chief, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, the bottom line is that “we live with many Arabs, and we must find a way to co-exist.”

But for most Israelis, their vague vision of separation without enabling a hostile Palestinian state leaves many questions to be answered.

  1. Do they really believe the Palestinian leadership will take part in a bilateral separation that leaves Israel in control of large Jewish settlements?
  2. Do they really believe that the Palestinian leadership will relinquish its claims to Jerusalem?
  3. Do they really believe that both the Palestinians and the international community won’t treat this separation as the birth of a sovereign Palestinian state?
  4. Do they really believe true separation is maintainable should Palestinian groups continue to carry out terrorist attacks?
  5. Do they really believe the world will accept “separation” in lieu of a full-fledged two-state solution?

Many Israelis fear that the more likely outcome will be a situation mirroring what happened after Israel “separated” from the Gaza Strip.

 

IDF Soldier Executes Palestinian. What's Missing From the Story?

All anyone can talk about (at least in Israel) is last week’s execution of a disarmed Palestinian terrorist by a young IDF officer.

The incident was filmed by pro-Palestinian activists who were “coincidently” on the scene, and led to a public uproar and the high-profile arrest and investigation of the soldier.

In the meantime, Israel’s top political leaders are busy appeasing the mainstream media by publicly condemning the soldier even before the investigation has concluded.

Israeli Messianic IDF soldier Hananya Naftali made the above video to address the issue.

As Naftali notes, he and all other IDF soldiers are bound by a strict code of ethics, and if the soldier in question is guilty of murder, he will be punished.

But, the media coverage seems to be turning several important facts on their head.

First, the Palestinian in question was not an innocent victim. He was a terrorist who only moments earlier had stabbed someone.

Second, a lone Israeli soldier shooting an unarmed terrorist is making headlines around the world, but the media almost never covers the plethora of examples of Israeli soldiers providing medical treatment to Palestinians, including terrorists.

 

Our Easter Weekend Special Offer...

Due to popular demand we have extended our Easter offer of up to 60% off our entire inventory for another 24 hours. Our offer will extend until tomorrow Monday March 28th, 2016

If you are still looking for that sweet touch, enjoy any of our chocolates, sweet spreads, honey, teas, condiments & spices (straight from Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market). Or if you would like a piece of individual jewelry, judaica, anointing oil, some Dead Sea cosmetics or simply some Israeli products of your choice.


Offer valid only until Monday March 28th, 2016


 

Where Israel's Christian Minority Stands Today

Lt. (Res.) Shadi Khalloul (seen standing on Netanyahu’s left) has been interviewed by and written for Israel Today on several occasions.

As a leading representative of the Holy Land’s reborn Aramaic Christian community, Khalloul this week penned for the Gatestone Institute a summary of where Israel’s Christian minority stands today.

Khalloul noted that, like him, many local Christians today understand that serving in the Israeli military is essential.

The reason for this is simple: the Middle East is crumbling under the weight of jihad, and is therefore increasingly dangerous for Christians and other minorities.

“Israel,” insisted Khalloul, as he has so many times in past, “is the only island of safety that allows [Christians] freedom and democratic rights.”

Even under the Palestinian Authority, Christians do not enjoy anywhere close to the rights and quality of life enjoyed by Israeli Christians, he stressed.

Khalloul was adamant that “contrary to propaganda, there is no ‘apartheid’ of any kind in Israel,” pointing out that both Christians and Muslims hold high-level positions in every area of Israeli society. In fact, an Arab Christian is one of the senior justices on Israel’s Supreme Court.

 

An Easter surprise for you!

Enjoy up to 60% discount on Israel Today Shop's complete inventory this Easter weekend!

If you are still looking for that sweet touch, enjoy any of our chocolates, sweet spreads, honey, teas, condiments & spices (straight from Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market). Or if you would like a piece of individual jewelry, judaica, anointing oil, some Dead Sea cosmetics or simply some Israeli products of your choice.


Offer valid until Sunday March 27th, 2016


 

Purim by UN Standards

Were the United Nations around at the time, the festival of Purim that commemorates the events of the Book of Esther would never have made it into the Bible, and here’s why:

  • Ahasuerus (Xerxes), the Persian king, is the kind of guy who would throw feminists like Gloria Steinem in jail, if not worse;

  • The execution of Haman is cruel and inhumane. The death penalty is barbarism;

  • Mordechai is guilty of sex trafficking for giving his uncle’s daughter to pleasure the king;

  • Esther’s submissiveness undermines the achievements of the women’s liberation movement.

  • The Jewish lobby headed by Esther and Mordechai proves that Jews are planning global domination;

  • Haman’s planned “final solution” is a Jewish conspiracy;

  • Jews are committing a crime against humanity in Shushan, killing hundreds of innocent civilians;

  • Jews are lynching ten men whose only crime is being the sons of Haman;

  • Jews are racist, vindictive people who celebrate the deaths of the non-Jews they kill.

The only bright light in this otherwise unprintable book is Haman, whose brave attempt to save his country from the corrupting Jewish influence should have earned him an honorary place in the UN hall of fame.

Rumor has it that the UN Human Rights Council had recommended him for next year’s Nobel Prize for peace in an attempt to restore the reputation of this courageous human rights activist who, due to a skewed Jewish narrative, is still remembered in infamy.

PHOTO: Esther and Mordechai seen plotting a global Jewish takeover.

 

Iran’s New Ally Among the Palestinians

Israel Today spoke to leading Israeli and Palestinian experts regarding Iran's efforts to find a new ally to replace Hamas.

The full article appears in the April 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Purim's Passover Lamb!

I’ve been telling the story of Passover, and of its link with the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples, to classes of young schoolchildren in the UK. And I have mentioned how roast lamb is an important part of the meal because Yeshua was the ultimate Passover Lamb sacrificed for the sins of all who put their trust in him.

We do this every year as part of an ‘Easter Journey’ explaining the message of Christianity in many of the schools of our Yorkshire town.

Easter usually falls very close to Passover, making it easier to link the two feasts. But this year the spring festivals seem to be slightly out of sync, with Purim falling around this key Christian celebration instead, starting on Wednesday and ending on Thursday evening – the day before Good Friday, when Jesus died on the cross, and on the very night when the Last Supper is traditionally thought to have taken place.

So perhaps this fusion is particularly apt, after all, as Purim is the time when Jews celebrate their rescue from a genocidal plot by the Persian official Haman. Queen Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman, then risked her life by pleading with King Xerxes for her people to be spared without being officially invited into his presence, according to protocol. “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish,” she pledged (Esther 4.16), and thus became the means of redemption for God’s chosen people.

Today’s Persia (modern Iran) has declared their intention of wiping Israel off the map, perhaps with the nuclear missiles they are developing, in a similar way to Haman.

But now we have someone even greater than Queen Esther – the King of Israel, Yeshua HaMashiach – who has already come to their rescue.

Esther was prepared to die for her people; Jesus willingly died for his people, and for us all! He has already paid for their sins by going to the cross “like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53.7) and, when Israel’s enemies threaten to destroy her in the last days (which we appear to be witnessing now), he will fight against them (Zechariah 14.3). The Jewish race will not only be spared, but will also enjoy everlasting salvation (Zech 12.10, Romans 11.26) through the ultimate sacrifice of the ‘Lamb of God’, as John the Baptist described his cousin Jesus (John 1.29).

Whereas Esther brought redemption to her people in ancient days, Jesus is their Saviour now. Unlike Esther, “he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him…he was despised and rejected by men…But he was pierced for our transgressions…” (Isaiah 53.2-5)

And Isaiah’s message to the Gentiles is: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim…that her sin has been paid for…” (Isaiah 40.1, 2)

The joy of the Purim parties will overflow when the Messiah, who first appeared as a suffering servant riding on a donkey, is finally revealed as the King of Israel!

 

Trump Insists Palestinian Terror Must Be Confronted

Breaking with the traditional Western approach of trying to appease Palestinian terrorism, US presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Monday insisted violence against Israel must be confronted.

Trump was speaking at the annual gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he charged that “President Obama is the worst thing to happen to Israel.”

By contrast, if he wins the White House, Trump vowed a very different take at Middle East peacemaking.

The Palestinians “must come to the table willing to accept that Israel is a Jewish state and it will exist forever as a Jewish state,” he said, adding that any other type of deal “would reward Palestinian terrorism… You don’t reward behavior like that. You cannot do it. There’s only one way you treat that kind of behavior. You have to confront it.”

Trump also promised that as president he would “move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

Trump’s remarks won thunderous applause from an audience that many believed would be difficult to win over for the controversial billionaire.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton also addressed the conference. She spent most of her time on stage launched thinly veiled attacks on Trump himself, but also very subtly distanced herself from President Barack Obama’s contentious handling of Israel.

“If I am fortunate enough to be elected president,” she promised, “… we will never allow Israel’s adversaries to think a wedge can be driven between us. When we have differences, as any friends do, we will work to resolve them quickly and respectfully.”

It as almost a stab at the Obama Administration’s often harsh tone in publicly addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Tuesday's are twice as good!

During the creation story, as recorded in Genesis 1:9-13, there were two instances of creation, and it is recorded twice "... and God saw that it was good."

 

From this biblical source, a trend has emerged over the years in Israel. On Tuesdays many vendors make "2 for the price of..." offers. Quite often weddings are held on Tuesdays and radio stations will play back-to-back songs of the same artist. There is even a gas station in Jerusalem that offers really cheap gas only on Tuesdays!

 

We would like to start offering really good deals on Tuesdays! For a start when you order a Spring Basket, this week, we will donate a Purim package for needy Israeli children.



 

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