Weekend News Briefs

Friday, January 11, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

An international law expert has explained that even from a secular point of view, Israel has every right to settle Jews in Judea and Samaria, those territories that the world calls the "West Bank" and which the Palestinian Arabs claim as their sovereign homeland.

Dr. Alan Baker pointed out that numerous international documents, most especially the Balfour Agreement and the original British Mandate for Palestine, unequivocally grant Jews the legal right to settle all of the territories in question. Those documents have never been rescinded or amended.

There is also the question of history. It is painfully obvious to anyone willing to even glance at the archeological evidence that the Jews have a long history in these territories. Should centuries of forced exile preclude their right to return and settle the land?

For Bible believers the issue is much simpler, of course. God in His Word granted this land to the children of Israel, and declared through his prophets that following their punishments, the Jews would return. And so they have.

Earlier this week, the head of a small break-away Catholic sect declared that the Jews are the enemies of the Christian Church. Not an unsurprising position coming from the Catholic Church, though rarely are such positions expressed so brashly in today's world.

The pronouncement elicited widespread condemnation from Jews and many Christians.

On Wednesday, a representative of Pope Benedict XVI denounced the anti-Semitic remark, and noted that it was impossible for the Jews to be the enemies of the Church since the Messiah and all scripture holy to Christians came from Israel and the Jews.

The head of the Israel pro-life group Efrat was awarded a prize by the tenth annual Jerusalem Conference this week, but was surprised to find that a number of women had gathered outside the convention center to protest his being honored.

Efrat does not fight against those seeking or performing abortions, but rather tries to provide alternatives to those women who believe they have none.

Efrat noted that the protests had only increased awareness of and interest in its work, and even more women were now seeking assistance in order to avoid doing abortions.

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