When President Donald Trump announced that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Muslim world reacted with outrage and threats. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned of “dangerous consequences.” The spokesman for Turkish president Erdogan warned that the move was a “grave mistake” because “Jerusalem is our red line.” Bekir Bozdag, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the move would plunge the world “into a fire with no end in sight.” And Saudi Arabia’s King Salman warned that the move “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims all over the world.”
The leaders of the Western world reacted in similar fashion. Pope Francis, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron all criticized Trump’s announcement. Meanwhile, the patriarchs and heads of the local churches in Jerusalem sent a letter to President Trump warning that the transfer of the embassy “will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence, and suffering in Jerusalem.”
But there is an obvious contradiction here. As Jihad Watch editor Robert Spencer points out in a recent column, these leaders have a record of defending Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, which is being perverted by only a handful of extremists. Pope Francis, for example, has said that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” On another occasion he drew a moral equivalence between Islam and Catholicism, saying, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.” For over a decade now, various Church leaders and secular leaders have assured us that violence has nothing to do with Islam.
But if that’s what they really believe, why should they worry that moving an embassy would create – to quote from the letter of the church leaders in Jerusalem – “hatred, conflict, violence, and suffering.”
By assuming that Muslims would riot over the announcement, says Spencer, the pope and other leaders are inadvertently admitting the truth about Islam: “that the numerous incitements to violence and hatred in the Quran and Sunnah do lead Muslims to behaving violently at the drop of a hat, or the move of an embassy.”
After all, we are not talking here about a tiny minority whose actions would be rejected by the great majority, but about widespread rioting and violence on a global scale – “plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight,” as Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister put it.
And, apparently, the “fire” would be justified because, as King Salman said, the move “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims all over the world.” It’s a safe bet that King Salman understands Islam better than do Merkel, Macron, May, and the Holy Father. Yet he is even more concerned than they.
He seems to assume that Muslims are highly prone to violence. He understands that they are easily provoked because their religion and their religious leaders tell them to be. Moreover, as he must know, almost anything might be considered provocative. Last July, a “day of rage” resulting in the murder of an Israeli family was called because metal detectors had been installed on the Temple Mount as a security measure. Even Pope Benedict’s measured address to an academic gathering at the University of Regensburg led to global rioting and killing.
There is no end to the number of things that offend Muslims. This, along with numerous other differences, should lay to rest the quaint notion that there is a moral equivalence between Islam and Catholicism. They are very different faiths. No one worries about global rioting should Cath-olics be offended by a slight to their faith. Yet if any group has cause to riot, it is Catholics and other Christians. Christians in many parts of the Islamic world face daily persecution and extermination. They are beaten, raped, and decapitated, and their churches are burned to the ground.
So on the one hand, Muslim believers are ready to commit mayhem over an academic talk or the moving of an embassy, and on the other hand, Christians remain peaceful even though their brethren are being slaughtered and burned alive. How much longer, we wonder, will Church leaders collaborate in the false assertion that Islam and Christianity are equally peaceful faiths?
Religious and secular leaders are caught in a flagrant contradiction. They tell us that Islam is a religion of peace and justice, yet they warn us not to provoke its followers in any way. Don’t recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Don’t draw cartoons that might offend Muslims. Don’t wear religious symbols that might provoke them. Cover your women and your statutes. Don’t ring church bells in the vicinity of Muslims. Don’t criticize them for persecuting Christians because, as Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University told Pope Francis, such criticism is a “red line” that must not be crossed.
“Just stay quiet and you’ll be okay.” That’s what Mohamed Atta told the passengers on American Airlines flight 11 shortly before it flew into the World Trade Center. It wasn’t good advice then. And it’s not good advice now...
Time for Western Donors to Teach the PA a Lesson
Marcus Sheff, Times of Israel / uc4i.org
On Dec 10, 2017, Yasin Abu al-Qar’a got up early. He calmly left his home outside Nablus, traveled to Jerusalem and plunged a knife which he had specially bought into the chest of a middle-aged Jerusalem bus station guard, Asher Elmaliach.
During his indictment for attempted murder and as reported in The Times of Israel, al-Qar’a told his Shin Bet interrogators that he had identified Elmaliach as a Jew and that his attempt to kill was “based on what he’d been taught in Palestinian Authority (PA) textbooks”.
The PA curriculum was recently overhauled, taking three years to write. PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidem touted it as a curriculum for the Steve Jobs economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The sad fact is, rather than grasp the opportunity to teach values of progress, tolerance and peace, the new PA curriculum is a rallying call to extremism and martyrdom.
As our review and the examples here show, the new curriculum promotes radicalization to an even greater extent than before. The textbooks groom school children to sacrifice their lives and they promote hate. Negotiations with Israel are rejected, with children taught that a Palestinian state will be achieved only through violence and religious war. Martyrdom is preached as a life goal. Their reward is in heaven where 72 wives await. Girls find equality with boys through martyrdom. Dying, they are taught, is better than living.
Those who risk their lives are championed, while those who choose a path of nonviolence are denigrated as cowards. War is considered an eternal state of human nature, while even science is twisted to teach violence. The stated goal is to conquer Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, promoted through an Islamist and increasingly, a Salafist narrative. The curriculum’s focus is not merely on demonizing Israel, but to justify war as an ongoing and praiseworthy necessity.
Newton’s Second Law is taught in a Grade 7
science textbook through the image of a boy with a slingshot targeting
to explain power, mass and tensile strength. Asher Elmaliach currently lies in intensive care as a direct result of the PA Ministry of Education’s carefully crafted curriculum, which systematically encourages young Palestinians to become expendable martyrs...
‘Murdering Jews is the Most Lucrative Profession’: The Ofer military court on 29 Dec. 2017 began hearing the defense and prosecution's views on sentencing the terrorist who killed three members of the Salomon family in July 2017. The military prosecution demands 19-year-old Omar al-Abed be sentenced to three life sentences for the murders and a fourth life sentence for attempting to murder the rest of the family. Photos of the al-Abed in court show him smiling widely, possibly because he knows that for every month he sits in prison, he and his family will receive dozens of thousands of shekels in monthly payments from the Palestinian Authority.
In addition, al-Abed is aware that as he sits in prison, his colleagues are planning ways to release him. Potential terrorists know that today, the most lucrative occupation in the PA is killing Jews. The more Jews you kill, the more money you'll receive. The Israeli government must understand that the PA's incentives and indulgences, as well as the terrorists' families' visits, must cease. (INN) “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20.
Israel Announces “Donald Trump Train Station” In Jerusalem: Israel Railways has decided to name the final stop on its soon-to-open high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line after USA President Donald Trump. The much-anticipated rail line was originally supposed to terminate at a new station being built adjacent to Jerusalem's Central Bus Station and the International Convention Center. But an underground extension was added taking the train to the entrance of the Old City of Jerusalem. About a year ago, Transportation Minister Israel Katz proposed another extension, taking the train (again, underground) all the way to the Western Wall. That final station near the Western Wall is the one Israel Railways intends to name "Donald Trump Train Station." That honor is being bestowed in recognition of Trump's decision to finally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Israel Today) Vision for Israel, PO Box 7265
Jerusalem 9107301, ISRAEL
The Muslim King Who Saved Jews During World War II
Source: Accidental Talmudist
King Mohammed V of Morocco saved his country’s 250,000 Jews from persecution and death at the hands of France's pro-Nazi Vichy regime during the Holocaust. King Mohammed was determined to preserve Morocco's ancient Jewish community, and he extended his unwavering protection for three long years of Nazi occupation.
Born in 1909, Mohammed ascended to the throne as Sultan in 1927, when he was only 18 years old. Morocco was a French protectorate, so when Germany invaded France in 1940 and installed a collabo-rationist regime, the North African nation also fell under Nazi rule.
The Nazi regime immediate-ly tried to pass laws in Morocco to ban Jews from various professions, expel them from the best schools, and create a ghetto. The young king (32 years old) blocked all anti-Jewish legislation. He refused to identify the nation’s Jews. “There are no Jews in Morocco,” he said, “only subjects."
He stood firm against ghettoizing and deporting Moroccan Jews despite constant pressure from the Vichy authorities. In a proud show of defiance, the king invited all the rabbis of Morocco to attend the royal throne celebration in 1941.
In 1948, King Mohammed became troubled by anti-Jewish incitement in the Arab world against the new state of Israel. He issued a stern warning to his subjects not to hurt Jews, reminding them that Jews had always been protected in Morocco.
Mohammed V died in 1961, at age 51. For his strong stance against Nazi persecution, he was honored posthumously by the Institute for World Jewish Studies with the Reverend King /Rabbi Heschel Award. The December 2015 awards ceremony in New York was attended by Princess Lalla Hassna, granddaughter of King Mohammed V. She brought a message from her brother, the current monarch King Mohammed VI:
are living at a time and in a world in which the collective imagination of our
societies is too often impaired, not to say poisoned, by regression and
archaism. By capitalizing on the depth and resilience of the legacy left by my
revered grandfather His Majesty Mohammed V, we can, together, set out to
recover the lost expanses of reason and mutual respect which have vanished from
many parts of the world.”
Israeli Arabs Have Highest Life Expectancy in Muslim World - 4 Jan 2018 - Israeli Arabs have the highest life expectancy among 21 Islamic or Arab countries, even higher than that of wealthy Gulf States, such as Qatar and Bahrain, according to a study released this week. The study also showed that infant mortality among Israeli Arabs was lower than most of the same Islamic and Arab countries surveyed.
The study conducted by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel noted, “thus, the relative status of Arab Israelis in terms of life expectancy at birth is good when compared with that of all other Arab or Muslim populations, and is equal to that of the general United States population.”
The life expectancy for Arab-Israelis, the report noted, however, “is lower than that of Israel’s Jewish population, and falls below the average for the 23 developed countries of the OECD, excluding the United States and Israel.”
One of the factors that contributes to the disparity between the life expectancy of Israeli Arabs and Jews are the higher infant mortality rate. The report also suggests that “a relatively high incidence of road accidents and chronic, smoking-related lower respiratory disease among Arab Israelis” may contribute to the lower life expectancy of Israeli-Arabs compared to Israeli Jews.
Source: The Israel Project & Bridges for Peace
Poll: Most Israeli Jews Think Trump is Helping Israel
Jan 4, 2018 | Israel Today Staff
There has been wild speculation that US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will damage the peace process and ultimately hurt the Jewish state. It's a scare-mongering tactic that has long been used to coerce Israel into abandoning its historical claims and red lines.
But Israelis are no longer buying it. The monthly Peace Index survey released this week revealed that a firm majority of Israeli Jews believe Trump truly understands Israel's concerns and is helping the Jewish state, despite hysterical reactions to the contrary.
According to the poll, 65% of Israeli Jews believe Trump's Jerusalem declaration was in Israel's best interests. Roughly the same percentage of Israeli Arabs said the opposite. A strong 59% majority of Israeli Jews said that in general, Trump understands Israel's interests and is acting to their benefit.
Rami Aziz, an Egyptian researcher and political analyst, whose research focuses on the growth and development of political Islam in Europe, recently responded to a group of Israeli Arab students who last week left a Tel Aviv University lecture hall after having interrupted and taunted the lecturer inside. Their victim was Egyptian American Sociologist and one of Egypt’s leading human rights and democracy activists, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who delivered a talk on Israeli-Egyptian relations and ways to preserve them.
“Millions of students in the Arab world envy you, you should thank God that you live in Israel, you bunch of hypocrites and liars,” Aziz said in his angry video, representing a familiar trend in Arab society these days, which is too busy with its own serious issues, such as the Iranian threat, to bother with crybaby Israeli Arabs.
“Only in Israel can Arab students shout at an Egyptian lecturer that he is a traitor for coming to a Zionist university. And what exactly are they doing at a Zionist university? There is no limit to the hypocrisy, disgust and aggravation of Israeli Arabs. How much can you bite the hand that feeds you?” Aziz said.
Netanyahu: UNRWA Needs To Pass Away: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday 7 Jan. 2018 opened the weekly cabinet meeting on the issue of stopping USA support for UNRWA. "I completely agree with Trump's sharp criticism of UNRWA. This is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem and also perpetuates the narrative of the so-called right of return in order to destroy the State of Israel. UNRWA needs to pass from the world," Netanyahu said. There is a UN commission for the treatment of the other refugees in the world. This absurdity must be stopped." Netanyahu said he also told the Americans that he believed UNRWA funds should be transferred gradually to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which deals with refugees worldwide. (Arutz-7)
As an Israeli Member of Knesset, Einat Wilf, put it: "No other refugees in the world are afforded refugee status for generations. Even the charter by which UNRWA was created maintains that it was supposed to be only a temporary institution.” A report from the Global Research in International Affairs said UNRWA actually helps promotes terrorism and holds Palestinians back from rebuilding their lives. It charged UNRWA schools with becoming hotbeds of anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Semitic indoctrination and recruiting offices for terrorist groups. It said also UNWRA facilities are used to store and transport weapons, actually serving as terrorist military bases. Indeed, during Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, on several occasions Hamas rocket stockpiles were found stored in UN schools in the Gaza Strip.
By 2040, Muslims Predicted To Outnumber Jews in the USA: Muslims will replace Jews as the United States’ second-largest religious group by 2040, according to projections by the Pew Research Center. Muslims currently make up some 3.45 million people living in the USA, or about 1.1 percent of the total population, while a major Pew study last year suggested some 6.7 million Americans, or 2.1% of the population, identify as Jews. But that gap is unlikely to last, the group said in a recent statement, explaining that “our projections suggest that the USA Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population.”
The Muslim share in the overall USA population has grown quickly, from 0.4% of all Americans in 2007 to 0.9% in 2014, according to a previous 2014 study by Pew. Jews’ share grew too, but more slowly, from 1.7% to 1.9% in the same period. The fastest-growing religious identity in the USA is “unaffiliated,” which grew by 6.7 percentage points in just seven years, from 2007 to 2014, from 16.1% to 22.8%. (Times of Israel) Intercede that increasing numbers of Jews in the USA will take the steps to make their homes in Israel. If there is to be a decreasing gap between the Jewish population and that of the Muslims in the USA, let it be because growing numbers of Jews are making Aliya.
Vision for Israel, PO Box 7265
Jerusalem 9107301, ISRAEL
Palestinian Authority Paid Terrorists $358 Million in 2017
- Lilach Shoval
The Palestinian Authority spent $358 million on payments to terrorists and their families in 2017, the Israel Defense Ministry said Tuesday, an amount representing 7% of the PA's total budget. In 2016, the PA spent $322 million on terrorists' stipends. Terrorists serving a life sentence receive a monthly stipend of $2,900. To compare, the average monthly salary of Palestinians in the West Bank is $580.
"The Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families over a billion shekels a year, thus encouraging and perpetuating terrorism," Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday. "It constitutes financing terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. Nothing demonstrates the Palestinian Authority's support of terrorism more. It is our duty to stop it," he said. (Israel Hayom)
Note: The Palestinian Authority also encourages
terrorism in their media and schools. Terrorists are considered to be heroes
and are considered to be martyrs if killed in the act.
In Jerusalem there is a “Martin Luther King Street” with a sign stating that he was an “American Leader and Fighter for Universal Human Rights”. Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King are both memorialized with forests of trees planted in Israel in their memory. Mrs. King and Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. were among the founding members in 1975 of BASIC - Black Americans to Support Israel Committee, which was led by the legendary Bayard Rustin.
On the occasion of the annual national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday the American Zionist Movement, consisting of 25 national Zionist organizations, representing millions of Americans, is proud to highlight here some of the notable remarks and writings of Dr. King:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish People
"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."
"When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”
“The whole world must see that Israel must exist, and has the right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world.”
“Israel’s right to exist as a state of [with] security is incontestable.”
"I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews -- because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all."
“I cannot stand idly by, even though I live in the United States and even though I happen to be an American Negro, and not be concerned about what happens to my brothers and sisters who happen to be Jews in Soviet Russia. For what happens to them happens to me and to you and we must be concerned.”
An Orthodox Response to Yeshua
The following comments and responses are from www.chabad.org, which is the website for the "Ultra-Orthodox" Lubavitch sect of Judaism. Down below are communications on their website from someone named Sandy and responses from Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads the Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author who of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth.
Comment from "Sandy":
My dad and my mom are Jews but they converted to Christianity so I am not a Jew.
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman's response to Sandy:
Sandy, you are a Jew. Your parents are Jews. 100%. Don't let any-one tell you otherwise. Once a Jew, always a Jew. Tzvi Freeman
Sandy's response to Tzvi Freeman:
I accepted Jesus in my heart. My Dad stopped talking to me. I don’t agree with this state-ment “ once a Jew always a Jew"! People’s free will is important too.
Rabbi's response to Sandy :
The man you accepted in your heart was also a Jew—to the very end. He ate matzah on Passover, fasted on Yom Kippur, wore tzitzit on his garments and wrapped tefillin. He kept kosher as well. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Editor's Note: Chabad is a worldwide movement, with Chabad centers in several dozen different countries. Chabad definitely does not believe in Yeshua as Messiah. However, Chabad does many wonderful works of charity, feeding the poor, and bringing wayward Jews back to Torah and to their Jewish heritage. Also, Chabad is also highly Zionistic, always taking a strong stand for Israel. (Some of the other so-called Ultra-Orthodox Jews sects such as Satmar are highly hostile to the existence of Israel.)
by Chuck & Karen Cohen,
Last year ended with political fireworks! On December 6th US President Trump recognized Jeru-salem as Israel's capital, advancing the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:2-3. Having often cited these verses, we were not too surprised, but it is im-perative for us to remember that it is not Trump, or Israeli Prime Minister [PM] Bibi Netanyahu, or religious Jews or Christian Zionists, who make Jerusalem a target; it is our Creator God (12:1). He brings His plans to pass in His time, regardless of man's plans. (Ps. 33:10-11)
"Behold, I, [YHWH],
make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the peoples all
around…" Most of Israel's Arab neighbors despise Jerusalem remaining
under Jewish sovereignty. "In that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome
stone for all peoples. All who lift it shall be cut to pieces, though all
nations of the earth will gather together against it." (Zech. 12:2-3) Today, this
is occurring in the geo-political realm; in the future in actual combat, yet
note God's decree: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will
seek to utterly annihilate all nations that come against
Israel's reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 was God using His city to challenge the nations and spiritual powers. This is the place where He has set His name (Deut. 16:11; 1 Ki. 8:29; Isa. 18:7) and where God the Son, the King of the Jews, died for the sins of the world (Luke 13:33). Here He was buried and resurrected. From here He ascended to heaven, and to here He will return (Acts 1:9-12). God's indwelling Spirit shows us why the god of this age hates this city. As God's enemy, Satan hates all that God loves – which includes Zion (Ps. 87:2), the nation of Israel and the Jewish people (Deut. 7:7-8), the true Church (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2) and the unsaved sinner (John 3:16).
Satan, who knows God's Word, knows that Messiah's return to the Mount of Olives spells the end of his pseudo-reign over the affairs of man (Zech. 14:2-4; Rev. 19:11-16; 19:21-20:3).
Ultimately, New Jerusalem will descend from
heaven as God's capital city on a new earth. From there King Messiah will reign
with His Bride, the Overcomers (Rev.
21:1-11). That is a surety. How we get from here to there is one
of the reasons He calls us to pray – so that His kingdom comes and His will is
done, with as much mercy as possible (Luke
11:2; Ezek. 22:30).
Most of this Watchmen issue deals with the huge global, political and prophetic effects of Trump and his "Jerusalem decision." Why was world reaction so vehement? Trump made no decision on the city's final borders, but left that to be decided by Israel and the Palestinians. Still, the demonic realm was stirred up. There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9b). "When Sanballat…and Tobiah…heard, it grieved them greatly that a man came to seek the welfare of the children of Israel." (Neh. 2:10)
We rejoice at Trump's words, yet as faith without works is dead, so are words without actions. We pray for Trump and his team to follow-up his words with actions in line with God's Word. Senior US administration officials told reporters before his speech that Trump's recognition of "Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," is recognition "of the historical reality that Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish faith for thousands of years," and is today where all "government ministries, the Supreme Court and central authorities" are located.
They told the Palestinian Authority [PA], "Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for seven decades now…This recognition of reality should not affect the peace process." ("Trump to recognize Jerusalem, order embassy move," Arutz 7, 6 Dec. 2017)
Jordan's King Abdullah warned Trump of
"the danger of taking any decision outside the context of a comprehensive
solution that establishes a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem."
So he has his mind made up. He added, "Jerusalem is the key to achieving
peace and stability in the region and the world." While this is not true
geo-politically, it is true biblically!
tells Jordanian King US embassy to be moved," Arutz 7, 6 Dec. 2017)
Some excerpts from his speech, with our main comments in brackets: "In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize" that city as Israel's capital. Since then every "president has exercised the law's waiver," thinking that by delaying this, it "would advance the cause of peace." Yet today "we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement…It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.
"Therefore…it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel…This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process…" [We pray this becomes the death of this anti-biblical "divide-God's-land-for-peace" process.]
"Israel is a sovereign nation with the
right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital."
[Amen! Yet it is not Israel who has chosen Jerusalem; this is God's city which
He has given to His people (2
Chr. 6:6; Psa. 132:13; Zech. 3:2).] .......
A frightening glimpse into the European future - and its dire warning to America: After every Islamic terrorist attack, whe-ther in Europe or the U.S., people ask what can be done to prevent it from happening again. But when the obvious solutions are pro-posed, they are invariably met with the objection that “you can’t do that,” or “that’s unconstitutional,” or words to that effect.
Some of the obvious solutions are to close radical mosques and radical Islamic schools, to monitor suspected mosques, to deport radical imams, and, of course, to restrict Muslim immigration or ban it altogether. If you dare to say such things, however, it quickly becomes apparent that—for many, at least—only politically correct solutions are acceptable. The trouble is, the politically correct crowd doesn’t have any solutions. In the memorable words of (former) French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, “France is going to have to live with terrorism.”
Catholics are frequently in the forefront of those who object to these “drastic” measures for preventing terrorism in the West. Pope Francis, for example, has made generosity to refugees and immigrants a hallmark of his papacy. Christians, he has reminded us... should build bridges, not walls. Others, Catholics among them, have objected that restrictions on Islamic immigration would violate the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution—as would surveillance of mosques and Islamic societies.
Catholics are understandably touchy about the subject of religious liberty. But concerns over Christians being forced to bake cakes for same-sex weddings shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow some other basic questions about religious liberty.
One of the questions is this: does a religion that doesn’t believe in religious freedom for others qualify for First Amendment protection? Another, related question might be framed as follows: Is a religion that calls for the subjugation of other religions entitled to the “free exercise” of that mandate? The underlying issue, of course, is whether or not Islam really qualifies as a religion. As any number of authorities have pointed out, Islam is a hybrid—part religion and part a geo-political movement bent on world domination.
The “world domination” bit, by the way, is not confined to the fevered imaginations of right-wing fanatics. In a recent interview with Religion New Service, Cardinal Raymond Burke said “there’s no question that Islam wants to govern the world.” “Islam,” he continued, “is a religion that, according to its own interpretation, must also become the State.”
Here’s what I had to say about the matter four years ago:
Does this [the 1st Amendment] make the exercise of religion an absolute right to do anything in the name of religion? Should the free-exercise clause be extended to protect suicide cults or virgin sacrifice? The First Amendment also prohibits the establishment of a state religion, but one of the main purposes of Islam is to establish itself as the state religion. It can be argued that Islam’s raison d’etre is to be the established religion in every nation. Hence, another question must be asked: does the First Amendment protect its own abolishment?
Cardinal Burke is a canon lawyer—a profession that requires one to choose words carefully. Hence, when he talks about Islam becoming the State, he should be taken seriously. According to him, “when they [Muslims] become a majority in any country then they have the religious obligation to govern that country.” As we have seen, however, long before Muslims become a majority they begin demanding that their fellow citizens comply with Sharia laws regarding diet, dress, and blasphemy. Allowing Muslims the full and free exercise of their faith is tantamount to restricting the freedom of others. Or, as Dutch MP Geert Wilders likes to say, “more Islam” means “more intolerance” for everyone else.
Wilders is referring to the consequences that follow upon the mass migration of Muslims into Europe. Although his was once a lonely voice, numerous polls show that the majority of Europeans now believe along with him that Islam does not belong in Europe. Pope Francis, on the other hand, has been in the habit of chiding Christians for their opposition to accepting more Muslim immigrants. He recently went so far as to warn them that they will have to answer to Christ at the Last Judgment because he (in the guise of the migrant) was homeless, and they did not take him in.
But, although charity is the paramount Christian
virtue, there is another virtue that governs the exercise of charity. It’s
called “prudence.” And prudence would suggest that spiritual leaders and
secular leaders should exercise caution when advocating acts of charity that
put the lives of others at risk. In Europe, there are now numerous prudential
reasons for slowing or halting the flow of Muslim immigration: the Charlie
Hebdo massacre, the Bataclan Theater massacre, the massacres at the Brussels
airport and subway, the massacre at Nice, the Munich mall massacre, the axe
attack aboard a German train, the bomb attack on a wine bar in the city of Ansbach,
and the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults which targeted over 1,200 German
Golda Meir was Prime Minister of Israel from February 1969 to June 1974. The following is an op-ed she wrote for The New York Times in 1975.
To be misquoted is an occupa-tional hazard of political leadership; for this reason I should like to clarify my position in regard to the Palestinian issue. I have been charged with being rigidly insensitive to the question of the Palestinian Arabs. In evidence of this I am supposed to have said, “There are no Palestinians.” My actual words were: “There is no Palestinian people. There are Palestinian refugees.” The distinction is not semantic. My statement was based on a lifetime of debates with Arab nationalists who vehemently excluded a separatist Palestinian Arab nationalism from their formulations.
When in 1921 I came to Palestine – until the end of World War I a barren, sparsely inhabited Turkish province – we, the Jewish pioneers, were the avowed Palestinians. So we were named in the world. Arab nationalists, on the other hand, stridently rejected the designation. Arab spokesmen continued to insist that the land we had cherished for centuries was, like Lebanon, merely a fragment of Syria. On the grounds that it dismembered an ideal unitary Arab state, they fought before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry and at the United Nations.
When the Arab historian Philip K. Hitti informed the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry that “there is no such thing as Palestine in history,” it was left to David Ben-Gurion to stress the central role of Palestine in Jewish, if not Arab, history. As late as May 1956, Ahmed Shukairy, subsequently head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, declared to the United Nations Security Council, “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” In view of this, I believe I may be forgiven if I took Arab spokesmen at their word.
Until the 1960’s, attention was focused on the Arab refugees for whose plight the Arab states would allow no solution though many constructive and far-reaching proposals were made by Israel and the world community.
I repeatedly expressed my sympathy for the needless sufferings of refugees whose abnormal situation was created and exploited by the Arab states as a tactic in their campaign against Israel. However, refugee status could not indefinitely be maintained for the original 550,000 Arabs who in 1948 joined the exodus from the battle areas during the Arab attack on the new state of Israel. When the refugee card began to wear thin, the Palestinian terrorist appeared on the scene flourishing not the arguable claims of displaced refugees but of a ghoulish na-tionalism that could only be sated on the corpse of Israel.
I repeat again. We dispossessed no Arabs. Our toil in the deserts and marshes of Palestine created more habitable living space for both Arab and Jew. Until 1948 the Arabs of Palestine multiplied and flourished as the direct result of Zionist settlement. Whatever subsequent ills befell the Arabs were the inevitable result of the Arab design to drive us into the sea. Had Israel not repelled her would-be destroyers there would have been no Jewish refugees alive in the Middle East to concern the world.
Now, two years after the surprise attack of the Yom Kippur War, I am well aware of the potency of Arab petrobillions and I have no illusions about the moral fiber of the United Nations, most of whose members hailed gun-toting Yasir Arafat and shamefully passed the anti-Semitic resolution that described Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, as racist.
But though Israel is small and beset, I am not prepared to accede to the easy formula that in the Arab-Israeli conflict we witness two equal contending rights that demand further “flexibility” from Israel. Justice was not violated when in the huge territories liberated by the Allies from the Sultan, 1 percent was set aside for the Jewish homeland on its ancestral site, while in a parallel settlement 99 percent of the area was allotted for the establishment of independent Arab states.
We successively accepted the truncation of Transjordan, three-fourths of the area of historic Palestine, and finally the painful compromise of the 1947 partition resolution in the hope for peace. Yet though Israel arose in only one-fifth of the territory originally assigned for the Jewish homeland, the Arabs invaded the young state.
I ask again, as I have often asked, why did the Arabs not set up a Palestine state in their portion instead of cannibalizing the country by Jordan’s seizure of the West Bank and Egypt’s capture of the Gaza Strip? And, since the question of the 1967 borders looms heavily in the present discussions, why did the Arabs converge upon us in June 1967, when the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Sinai, the Gaza Strip and old Jerusalem were in their hands?
These are not idle questions. They go to the heart of the matter – the Arab denial of Israel’s right to exist. This right is not subject to debate.
"Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We'll Kill You All" by Raymond Ibrahim
GATESTONE INSTITUTE, January 15, 2018
· A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco's Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the "Koran requires the killing of apostates." — Morocco.
· Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, "it's not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it's your problem." Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.
· In the name of "fighting terrorism," Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.
A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East's Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity "will vanish" from its ancient homelands in a few years' time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 -- roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities "have lost almost all of their Christian population."
Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.
Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the "vicar of Baghdad," had said that, "the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited."
Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: "Now is the time. We have an administration that's open to doing something," he said, indicating the US Trump administration.
Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high
hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an
extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI,
while saying, "Remember this, you kuffar
[infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah
willing]." The narrator of the video also vowed that, "After all
their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The
crusaders' enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of
youth." When asked about this, the pope's top aide said, "Pope
Francis hasn't changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore,
he'll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With
Muslims and Christians."...
Egypt Tells Palestinians To Accept Trump’s
Jerusalem Decision: In a
hushed, roundabout way, Egyptian
authorities are pressing the Palestinians to accept USA President Donald
Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as the new reality. A
senior intelligence officer speaking on behalf of Egypt's defense establishment
was taped phoning a number of popular local television talk show hosts to encourage
them to deliver that message to their viewers. The officer, identified as
Captain Ashraf al-Kholi, went so far as to tell one celebrity host, Azmi Megahed,
that if the Palestinians truly want an independent state, they should accept
Ramallah as their capital and give up their insistence on controlling eastern
Jerusalem. "How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?" asked
Kholi, hinting at what many other Muslims in the region have been acknowledging
of late - that Jerusalem doesn't really hold much religious significance for
Islam. (Israel Today)
US Cuts Contribution to UNRWA in Half, Following Its History of Corruption, Terror Support - 18 Jan 2018
The Trump administration announced that it was conditioning roughly half of a periodic contribution to UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East). The administration will transfer roughly $60 million immediately, but the remaining pledge of $65 million has been withheld “for future consideration.” The administration had previously indicated that funding would be withheld in response to a lack of movement towards peace by the Palestinian leadership.
The Hypocrisy of Child Abuse
in Many Muslim Countries
Shaista Gohir, theguardian.com UC4I.ORG
Child marriage and pederasty are tolerated in Muslim societies where homosexuality is strictly condemned. Some Muslims are fond of condemning western morality – alcoholism, nudity, premarital sex and homosexuality often being cited as examples. But Muslims do not have a monopoly on morality. In the west, child marriages and sex with children are illegal. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many Muslim countries.
I recently saw the documentary on the Dancing Boys of Afghanistan. It exposed an ancient custom called "bacha bazi" (boy for play), where rich men buy boys as young as 11 from impoverished families for sexual slavery. The boys are dressed in women's clothes and made to dance and sing at parties, before being carted away by the men for sex. Owning boys is considered a symbol of status and one former warlord boasted of having up to 3,000 boys over a 20-year period, even though he was married, with two sons. The involvement of the police and inaction of the government means this form of child prostitution is widespread.
The moral hypocrisy is outrageous in a country where homosexuality is not only strictly forbidden but savagely punished, even between two consenting adults. However, men who sodomize young boys are not considered homosexuals or pedophiles. The love of young boys is not a phenomenon restricted to Afghanistan; homosexual pederasty is common in neighboring Pakistan, too. In my view, repression of sexuality and extreme gender apartheid is to blame.
And in the Middle East, it's young girls who are considered desirable and men are able to satisfy their lusts legally through child marriages. In Yemen, more than a quarter of girls are married before the age of 15. Cases of girls dying during childbirth are not unusual, and recently, one 12-year-old child bride even died from internal bleeding following sexual intercourse. In another case, a 12-year-old girl was married to an 80-year-old man in Saudi Arabia...
and Adultery in Islam
religionofpeace Staff, thereligionofpeace.com
Why are rape
victims often punished by Islamic courts as adulterers?
Under Islamic law, rape can only be proven if the rapist confesses or if there are four male witnesses. Women who allege rape without the benefit of the act having been witnessed by four men (who presumably develop a conscience afterwards) are actually confessing to having sex. If they or the accused happens to be married, then it is considered to be adultery.
Quran (2:282) - Establishes that a woman's testimony is worth only half that of a man's in court (there is no "he said/she said" gridlock in Islam).
Quran (24:4) - "And those who accuse free women then do not bring four witnesses, flog them..." Strictly speaking, this verse addresses adultery... However it is a part of the theological underpinning of the Sharia rule on rape, since strict Islamic law does not recognize rape if there are not four male witnesses or a confession...
Islamic law rejects forensic evidence such as DNA in favor of testimony. An interesting situation thus sometimes develops in cases where a victim alleges rape but the man denies that sex even took place. In the absence of four male witnesses, rape cannot be proven. The woman's testimony then becomes a "confession" of adultery. She can even be stoned, even though the male is unpunished since he never admitted to a sexual act.
Some clerics blame rape on the woman. Australian Sheik Feiz recently said a rape victim "has no one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world... to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature." Even his successor, who was brought in to mitigate the backlash, compared unveiled women to "sweet pastries," tempting 'hungry' men....
Muslim Brotherhood Fact Sheet
standwithus.com January 19, 2018 UC4I.ORG
... The Brotherhood uses democracy, but once in power it will replace democracy with fundamentalist shariah law because it is the “true democracy.” “The final, absolute message from heaven contains all the values which the secular world claims to have invented....Islam and its values antedated the West by founding true democracy.” —Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, Nov. 2007
The Brotherhood’s view of women’s rights is to subjugate and segregate women: The ideal society would include “a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior…segregation of male and female students; private meetings between men and women, unless within the permitted degrees of relationship, to be counted as a crime for which both will be censured… prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes." —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, “Five Tracts”
The Brotherhood supports Female Genital Mutilation: “[the Americans] wage war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the Pharaohs.” —Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, 2007
The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit in the New Jersey District Court against several officials and teachers of the Chatham Middle School and the School District of the Chathams, located in New Jersey.
The lawsuit, claiming several violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was filed on behalf of Libby Hilsenrath and her minor son. Seventh-grade students at Chatham Middle School were forced to endure Islamic propaganda and an explicit call to convert to Islam through a disturbing set of videos in their World Cultures and Geography class.
TMLC’s affiliated New Jersey attorney, Michael Hrycak, filed the
lawsuit. TMLC staff attorney, Kate Oliveri, the principle drafter of the federal
complaint, observed: “The Board of Education and other Defendants are waging a
war against the religious protections afforded by the First Amendment. They
attack religious liberty by enticing young school children with a direct call
to convert to Islam and providing a step-by-step guide on how to effect that conversion.”
One of the videos, linked in this press release, seeks to convert students to Islam and is filled with the Islamic religious beliefs presented as facts, as well as pure Islamic propaganda. This five-minute video ends with the prayer: "May God help us all find the true faith: Islam.”
This video includes the following phrases as facts:
· “Allah is the one God who created the heavens and the earth, who has no equal and is all powerful.”
· “Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the last & final Messenger of God. God gave him the Noble Quran.”
· “Lo, We have sent thee (O Muhammad) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner.”
· “What is the Noble Quran? Divine Revelation sent to Muhammad (S) last Prophet of Allah. A Perfect guide for Humanity.”
· “The Noble Quran: Guidance, Mercy and Blessing for all Mankind.”
· “The Noble Quran: Without any doubt and an eloquent guide from Allah.”
· “The Beautiful Quran: Guidance for the wise & sensible.”
· “Islam: A shining beacon against the darkness of repression, segregation, intolerance and racism.”
This propaganda video also contains excerpts from the Quran stating that Islam is “perfected” religion and the only religion for mankind. And it ends with a call to conversion: “May God help us all find the true faith, Islam.”
However, just as shocking is the background music which includes the poem “Qaseedah Burdah” in Arabic, describing Christians and Jews as “infidels” and praising Muhammad in gruesome detail for slaughtering them:
· “He [Muhammad] kept on encountering with them (infidels) in every battle until they looked like meat put on butcher’s bench (they were the lesson for those who were willing to encounter with the Muslims)” (parenthetical in original).
· “It is as though the religion of Islam was a guest that visited every house of those (infidels and was) extremely desirous for the flesh of enemy. . .” (parenthetical in original).
Muslims made their) white shining swords red (with the blood of infidels) after
they were plunged; (and the majority of) enemies were having black hair (i.e.,
most of them were young).” (parenthetical in original).
See video: vimeo.com/252231316/45e5c86977
Clearly, seventh graders were given a sugarcoated, false depiction of Islam. They were not informed of the kidnappings, beheadings, slave-trading, massacres, and persecution of non-Muslims, nor of the repression of women — all done in the name of Islam.
Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel remarked, “What would people say if
our public schools taught Christianity as the true faith? After watching this
video, I can’t imagine any reasonable person saying this is not Islamic
indoctrination. Chatham Middle School made a mockery of the First Amendment’s
Continued Thompson, “When Libby Hilsenrath brought her concerns to the school board’s attention, on Feb 6, 2017, they were disregarded. And when she appeared on the Tucker Carlson Show on Feb 20, 2017 to express her concerns to the Nation, the school community pilloried her. Clueless school administrators across our Nation are allowing this type of indoctrination to take place, and it’s up to vigilant and courageous parents like Libby Hilsenrath to stop it.”
Because of Libby Hilsenrath’s attempts
to get the Board of Education to remove the videos and end the Islamic
indoctrination of her son and the other seventh-grade students, she was subjected
to a barrage of personal attacks from her own community: “hateful,” “ignorant,”
“intolerant,” “racist,” “closed minded,” and the list goes on. These attacks
significantly intensified after she appeared on the Tucker Carlson Show.
The new survey, conducted earlier this month by the Pew Research Center, found that 79%of Republicans sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, while only 27% of Democrats share that sentiment.
Dr. Michael Koplow, policy director of the dovish Israel Policy Forum, argued in The Forward Jan. 23 that “the drop in Democratic sympathy has occurred almost entirely in the past two years,” citing the 16-point decrease from 43% in an April 2016 poll, to 27% in the new survey. In his view, the decline must be connected to the rise of President Donald Trump.
According to Koplow, many Democrats “are... conflating their feelings about Israel with their feelings about Trump, associating Israel with the American president… Democrats watch the love affair between Trump and Israel, and immediately decide that their sympathy for Israel must be misplaced.”
Some earlier polls, however, indicated an even steeper decline than the 16% cited by Koplow for 2015-2016. A Gallup poll in February 2011 found 57% of Democrats sympathizing with Israel; that number dropped to 39% in a December 2012 Pew survey.
A number of political scientists take issue with Koplow’s thesis. Dr. Richard Cravatts, an author on various political subjects and president emeritus of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East nonprofit, told JNS that the deterioration in pro-Israel sentiment among Democrats “started not with the election of Donald Trump but as early as 2008, with [President Barack] Obama’s election and his visible shift away from unqualified U.S. support for Israel.”
Cravatts said the Obama administration’s frequent criticism of Israel and “the creation of J Street by Democrats” were “clear signals to the Democrat base that Israel’s policies and behavior should be critiqued and condemned, and the Palestinians would receive, for all intents and purposes, a pass.”
Some experts believe the trend began earlier. Dr. Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum think tank, told JNS that “the Democrat-Republican divide was already apparent in early 2000, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and it has steadily widened through his three successors.”
In Pipes’s view, the cause for the divide “lies not in the specific actions of presidents but the trajectories of the two parties.” Democrats, he said, “increasingly see Palestinians as underdogs deserving their support while Republicans increasingly see Israelis as a unique moral, religious, intellectual, commercial and strategic partner.”
Dr. Miriam Elman, asso-ciate professor of political science at Syracuse Univer-sity, agrees that the trend is older than the election of Trump. The reality is that liberal Democrats have been sympa-thizing less and less with Israel for well over 15 years,” Elman told JNS.
“A major reason for these shifting attitudes,” she said, “is the virulent anti-Israel messaging that young people are being exposed to on many U.S. college campuses and in America’s mainline churches—where far-left, liberal faculty and clergy dominate and are constantly casting Israel and Zionism in a negative light.”
Elman also connects the recent Pew findings to what she calls “the Democratic Party veering closer and closer toward the far left” in recent years. “It’s not surprising to find dropping sympathy for Israel as this happens, because for the far left, identity politics dominates as an overarching world view, in which both Israel and America are cast as white supremacist, colonialist, and capitalist oppressors of minority rights and liberties.”
Dr. Mitchell Bard, executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise nonprofit, believes the Democrats’ level of support for Israel in the past was never as high as is widely assumed. He examined 24 Gallup polls since 1975 and found that the average support for Israel among Democrats was 46%.
“Democratic sympathy for Israel was never overwhelming and in the last Gallup poll [in February 2017], it was exactly the same as it was in 1975,” Bard told JNS. The Pew polls have tended to find lower levels than Gallup of Democratic support for Israel.
“I stick with Gallup because of its reliability and longer trend data,” Bard said. He believes that the next Gallup survey on the subject likewise will produce higher numbers on Democratic support for the Jewish state than the recent Pew poll. “What has changed—and Pew got this right—is that support among Republicans has skyrocketed,” Bard added. The gap between Republicans and Democrats on Israel in last year’s Gallup poll was 35 points.
“Critics are quick to blame Israel’s
policies today for the gap,” he said, “but then how do they explain why support
among Democrats was so low before the failure of Oslo, the growth of
settlements, the Gaza blockade and all the other issues typically used
to explain the party’s current dissatisfaction with Israel?”
President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Speaker Edelstein, Leader Herzog, members of the Knesset, justices of the Supreme Court, citizens of Israel it is deeply humbling for me to stand before this vibrant democracy to have the great honor to address this Knesset, the first Vice President of the United States to be afforded that privilege here in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.
And I bring greetings from a leader who has done more to bring our two great countries closer together than any President in the past 70 years -- the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. Thanks to the President’s leadership, the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger, and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. And I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel.
u We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.
u We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.
During his historic visit to Jerusalem, President Trump declared that the bond between us, in his words, is “woven together in the hearts of our people,” and the people of the United States have always held a special affection and admiration for the people of the Book.
In the story of the Jews, we've always seen the story of America. It is the story of an exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope.
My country’s very first settlers also saw themselves as pilgrims, sent by Providence, to build a new Promised Land. The songs and stories of the people of Israel were their anthems, and they faithfully taught them to their children, and do to this day. And our founders, as others have said, turned to the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible for direction, guidance, and inspiration.
America’s first President, George Washington, wrote with favor to “the children of the stock of Abraham.” Our second President, John Adams, declared that the Jews, in his words, “have done more to civilize man than any other nation.”
And your story inspired my forebears to create what our 16th President called a “new birth of freedom.” And down through the generations, the American people became fierce advocates of the Jewish people’s aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers to claim your own new birth of freedom in your beloved homeland.
The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that “even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens," from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed.
Through a 2,000-year exile, the longest of any people, anywhere, through conquests and expulsions, inquisitions and pogroms, the Jewish people held on to this promise, and they held on to it through the longest and darkest of nights. A night that Elie Wiesel proclaimed “seven times sealed.” A night that transformed the small faces of children into smoke under a silent sky. A night that consumed the faith of so many and that challenges the faith of so many still.
And tomorrow, when I stand with my wife at Yad Vashem (Israeli Holocaust Museum) to honor the 6 million Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust, we will marvel at the faith and resilience of your people, who just three years after walking beneath the shadow of death, rose up from the ashes to resurrect yourselves, to reclaim a Jewish future, and to rebuild the Jewish state.
And this April, we will mark the day when the Jewish people answered that ancient question -- can a country be born in a day, can a nation be born in a moment? -- as the State of Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its birth...
Seventy years ago, the United States was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize the State of Israel. But as you well know, the work we began on that day was left unfinished, for while the United States recognized your nation, one administration after another re-fused to recognize your capital.
But just last month, President Donald Trump made history. He righted a 70-year wrong; he kept his word to the American people when he announced that the United States of America will finally acknowledge Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
The Jewish people’s unbreakable bond to this sacred city reaches back more than 3,000 years. It was here, in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God.
It was here, in Jerusalem, that King David consecrated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. And since its rebirth, the modern State of Israel has called this city the seat of its government.
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. And, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year...
In his historic speech to the Knesset in Jerusalem, Vice-President Mike Pence reaffirmed American recognition that Jeru-salem is Israel’s capital, des-cribed the Jewish people’s 3,000-year-old unbreakable bond with Jerusalem, stated that the US will transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, thereby hav-ing chosen “fact over fiction,” called upon Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) to return to the negotiating table, reaffirmed that the US will no longer certify the “ill-con-ceived” “disaster” of the Iran nuclear deal, and that the U.S. will immediately withdraw from the deal unless it is fixed.
Pence also solemnly promised that the US will ensure that the brutal, radical Shia Iranian regime will not obtain nuclear weapons and that the US will no longer tolerate its involvement in international Islamic terrorism.
In describing the Jewish connection with the biblical homeland, Pence referred to biblical milestones — the binding of Isaac, the consecration of Jerusalem by King David as his capital — in outlining this millennial connection.
On Israeli/Palestinian Arab negotiations, Pence affirmed that President Trump strongly urged the Palestinian leadership to return to the table. “Peace can only come through dialogue … any peace agreement must guarantee Israel’s ability to defend itself by itself,” he said
Pence spoke of the necessity of fixing or jettisoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (a “disaster”) that has greatly enriched and emboldened Iran in the region, freeing tens of billions of frozen Iranian funds and assets, while also enabling Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons breakout capacity in perhaps as few as ten years.
Pence affirmed that the U.S. would “no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement” and clarified that President Trump’s decision to extend a sanctions waiver was done solely to avail the US Congress and the European countries sufficient time to toughen penalties for Iranian violations.
He said that “unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed, President Trump, the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately… Beyond the nuclear deal, we will also no longer tolerate its support of terrorism [and oppression of its people]. We are your friends and the day is coming when you will be free from the evil regime that suffocates your dreams and buries your hopes.”
Strangely, it is the affirmation of the bonds between the US and Israel — rather than disagreement on specific Trump Administration policies relating to Israel, the PA and Iran — that has led some critics on the left to inveigh against Pence’s speech. Yet, on the subject of the U.S. and Israel, what did Pence actually say?
He said that “America stands with Israel … because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny… In the story of the Jews, we’ve always seen the story of America. It is the story of an Exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope … as the State of Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its [re]birth.”
In short, Pence avowed the commonality of values and moral outlook — that of free peoples and their struggles to realize their highest aspirations. How exactly this reflects, according to Forward writers, a “fictional Israel” (Jay Michaelson), or is negated by the existence, in the past and present, of anti-Semitism in America (Jane Eisner) is not explained.
Both liberal and conservative supporters of Israel over the decades have been emphatic about the great commonalities of values, outlook and liberty that are reflected in the US-Israel relationship. Here, instead, the critics are not content to give Pence his due and prefer to digress on Pence’s Christian beliefs and to mock his concern for Middle Eastern Christians, which was the original reason for his visit to the region when originally scheduled last December.
Yes, concern for Christians — endangered as far a field as North Africa and the Persian Gulf, not only Palestinian Arabs — motivated Pence, but I don’t recall it ever being stated by anyone that this means that all Middle Eastern Christians necessarily agree with him on all issues... In any case, Christians who refused to meet with Pence or to invite him into their sanctuaries, either because of his support for Israel and Jews or out of genuine fear of PA Arab/Muslim reprisals, merely underscore the abiding problem of the Arab/Islamic war on Israel — the refusal to peacefully accept the legitimacy and permanence of the Jewish State of Israel.
The critics’ biggest problem with Pence’s speech appears to be that they don’t share his politics and religion, but that is no good reason not to applaud a speech characterized by moral and strategic clarity, both of which will be necessary for both countries to face the enormous challenges that lie ahead.
...We have reached a bizarre point when one
of the most pro-Israel speeches ever delivered by a high US official is greeted
by a segment of Jews with suspicion and misgivings bolstered by red herrings.
Every Israel loving, peace loving, terrorism hating person should be thrilled
by this extraordinary, clear thinking speech.
John Kerry to the Rescue
by Ron Cantor, firstname.lastname@example.org
He reportedly (jpost.com) sent word to President
Abbas (the leader of the Palestinians Authority) to encourage him. Just
so you know, Abbas replaced Arafat—the father of modern terrorism. Abbas turned
down a sweetheart peace deal in 2008. He celebrates when suicide bombers kill
Israelis and names streets, squares and schools after terrorists. And Kerry
felt the need to lift up his spirits.
Since President Trump recognized Jerusalem (as the capital of Israel), Abbas has been in full-on rage mode, declaring in public that he doesn’t need America or her money (the next day, Trump took 65 million dollars in aid off the table) and is spewing out the wildest conspiracy theories. Of Trump, he said, “May your house be demolished,” the most venomous curse in Arab culture. The 82-year-old leader is fuming mad.
But Kerry, a failed diplomat, is encouraging the alleged Holocaust denier, through a confidant, telling him to:
1. “Hold on and be strong.”
2. “Don’t give into Trump. He will not be in office for more than another year.”
3. Put your own peace plan together.
Yes, an American politician is telling a terrorist supporter to stay strong. And there is little chance that Abbas will present his peace plan, because war is better for him. The Palestinian leadership has never shown and real desire for a state of their own, alongside Jewish Israel.
It is also being reported that Kerry told the confidant to tell Abbas that he is considering running against Trump in 2020.
Saudi-Based Muslim Body Rejects Holocaust Denial: A Saudi-based Muslim group rejected Holocaust denial in a letter to the USA Holocaust Memorial Museum. “History is indeed impartial no matter how hard forgers tried to tamper with or manipulate it,” said the letter sent 22 Jan. 2018 to the museum by Mohammad Al Issa, the secretary general of the Muslim World League, five days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Hence, we consider any denial of the Holocaust or minimizing of its effect a crime to distort history and an insult to the dignity of those innocent souls who have perished. It is also an affront to us all since we share the same human soul and spiritual bonds.”
The letter was posted on the site of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Al Issa suggested the letter was prompted in part by his friendship with the think tank’s director, Robert Satloff, who has written extensively about North African Muslims who protected Jews during the Holocaust. A former justice minister, Al Issa took over the Saudi-funded Muslim World League in 2016. The appointment of Al Issa appears to be a piece of Saudi Arabia’s pivotal westward turn under its new crown prince, Muhammad bin Sultan, Satloff said. “Taking his lead from Moham-mad bin Salman, the current crown prince who has vowed to cleanse his country of extremism and return it to ‘moderate Islam,’ Al Issa seems to have a specific mandate to transform the MWL from an organization synonymous with extremism to one that preaches tolerance,” he said. (INN) Vision for Israel, PO Box 7265
Jerusalem 9107301, ISRAEL
Iran Spends Billions On Weapons Programs, Terrorism While Ignoring Iranians’ Basic Needs: A report, issued by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), states that the Jan. 2018 uprising against the regime was due to what it says are the “grueling high prices and economic strains on an array of social sectors.” It claims that this is a result of the regime putting its resources “toward domestic suppression, warmongering and expansion of terrorism abroad,” which has led to poverty and deprivation among Iranians. The report states that over the years Khamenei has taken over the “bulk of Iran’s economy." It claims that the organizations and institutions, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), show that Khamenei-controlled-companies make up over 50% of Iran’s gross domestic product.
The report compares what it calls funding for “warmongering and suppression” against other state expenditures. It claims Iran’s total health care budget for 2018 is $16.3 billion, which is a third of its total war budget. The report also reveals that for the last six years the total spent on its Syrian activities is around $15-20 billion a year. It describes how protesters shouted during the January protests, “Leave Syria, think about us, I dedicate my life to Iran.” The report also compares paltry welfare payments made to those living under absolute poverty with the larger sums of money paid to Afghan mercenaries bankrolled by Iran to fight in Syria. According to statements made by Afghan mercenaries, each mercenary is paid between $600-700 a month. Doing the math, nearly 20,000 Afghan mercenaries cost the regime $12-$14 million a month. Compare that to the nearly $70 monthly stipend Iranians living under the absolute poverty line receive, according to the report. (Fox)
 Apparently, the parents converted to nominal Christianity, not the "born-again" variety.
 The surrounding Arab nations told the Arab inhabitants that Arab armies would soon kill all the Jewish inhabitants of what was then called "Palestine." The Arabs were told to leave for their own safety and then return to acquire the property of the dead Jews. These Arabs voluntarily left, expecting to return after the war. However, Israel won. These Arabs became the Palestinian refugees. Their descendants are also called Palestinian refugees. RAC