Toy drone, social media fed rumors of Riyadh ‘coup’ that never happened

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 4 hours 22 min ago

The drone incident revealed how social media can spread rumors faster than governments or even those on the ground can contradict them.

Sex scandals, boycotts and ISIS threats: Iraq prepares for elections

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 5 hours 37 min ago

Almost 7,000 register to run in elections, one quarter of the candidates are women.

Jews and Christians Join Together in Day of Praise for Israel’s 70th

Breaking Israel News - 6 hours 1 min ago

Last Wednesday night, approximately 350 Jews and Christians came together in an emotional ceremony organized by the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC). In a uniquely Israeli experience, the ceremony took them from the depths of sadness over Israel’s losses in wars for survival, to the heights of joy on Israel’s 70th anniversary.

When the ceremony was complete, Yom Hazikaron (the day preceding Independence Day and set aside to remember fallen soldiers and terror victims) had ended and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th Independence Day, had begun. The multi-faith gathering joined together in Hallel, comprising Psalms 113 – 118, which is recited as an act of praise and thanksgiving.

David Nekrutman (Photo via Facebook CJCUC)

“Imagine churches around the world saying Hallel, praying the same liturgy, on Yom Haatzmaut,” David Nekrutman, director of the CJCUC, told Breaking Israel News. “There is no reason this can’t be happening right now and so many reasons it should. So many people on both sides want it to happen.”

Under the direction of Nekrutman, the CJCUC held its bi-annual Day to Praise event at the  John Hagee Center for Jewish Heritage at the Academic College in Netanya. The group recited Yizkor, lit a memorial candle and recited Psalms as Yom Hazikaron, had ended.

“The Christians came to be with us in our grief on Yom Hazikaron, reciting Psalms and the Yizkor (the memorial prayer for the deceased) service,” Nekrutman said. “They got to experience the Jewish tradition of going directly from the sadness of losing our soldiers into the joy of Hallel which is the expression of prophecy.”

Nekrutman was enthusiastic about the event’s impact, which has seen increased attendance over the four years since its inception.

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“On our day of praise, Jews and Christians were saying the same words, for the same reasons, on the same day,” Nekrutman said. “Some people have been waiting 30 years for this.”

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, Associate Director of the CJCUC who spoke at the event, sees joint prayer as a Jewish imperative of the highest order, though one that he says may be difficult for both Christians and Jews, citing the Prophet Zephaniah as an explanation.

For then I will make the peoples pure of speech, So that they all invoke Hashem by name And serve Him with one accord. Zephaniah 9:3

“The Hebrew says we will serve God with ‘one shoulder,’literally ‘shoulder-to-shoulder,’” the rabbi explained. “This makes a lot of Jews and Christians uncomfortable, worshipping God together, so closely connected, physically and spiritually.”

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki (photo via Facebook CJCUC)

Rabbi Wolicki understands that with two millennia of difficult relations between Christians and Jews, this type of gathering that brings people from the two religions into close contact may seem unlikely.

“My great grandparents in Poland would have thought it absurd that millions of Christians would thank God for the good he has done to Jews, but that is what happening today,” he said.

Despite the discomfort of two religions with such a difficult past coming together, Rabbi Wolicki sees this union as necessary to the Jews for the realization of Biblical prophecy as stated in Psalms.

“Our mouths shall be filled with laughter, our tongues, with songs of joy. Then shall they say among the nations, “Hashem has done great things for them!” Psalms 126:2

“Christians praying for Israel is not a convenient political agenda,”.Rabbi Wolicki explained. “It is an essential piece of the prophetic puzzle. If we had everything we needed for a Jewish geula (redemption), the Temple and the Messiah, even if we had everything we needed politically and economically, these prophecies about Israel’s future geula wouldn’t be complete with these Christians coming to praise Hashem (God, literally “the name”).”

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Iran says 'either all or nothing' on nuclear deal

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 8 hours 7 min ago

US allies and rivals spoke out in support of the Iran nuclear deal ahead of President Trump's May 12 deadline to "fix" it.

Global donors to seek more than $6 billion for Syrian aid

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 9 hours 37 min ago

The international funds will go to reconstruction, humanitarian aid, and land mine removal.

Global donors to seek more than $6 billion for Syrian aid

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 9 hours 42 min ago

The majority of aid is likely to go to help the refugees outside Syria and the millions displaced within.


Breaking Israel News - 9 hours 45 min ago

The Torah (Bible) talks about the importance of chasing a mother bird from its nest before taking its fledglings. Commentators believe this reflects the state of the Jewish People in exile. The mothers bird who has been chased away cries about the separation from her children. When Hashem (God) hears these cries, he compares the suffering of the mother bird to His own fate. Hashem’s presence has been driven out of the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple), and His children have been driven into exile. The Jewish People must return to their homeland and restore the Beit Hamikdash so that Hashem’s presence can once again dwell in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).

The post DEUTERONOMY 22:7 appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Russia Warns Of ‘Catastrophic’ Consequences If Israel Strikes S-300 Defense System in Syria

Breaking Israel News - 10 hours 43 min ago

Russia could be about to supply the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria and has warned of “catastrophic” consequences for all sides should Israel attack the missile batteries, according to a report in the Russian daily Kommersant, citing anonymous military sources.

According to Kommersant, Russia could supply the long-range surface-to-air missiles free of charge to Damascus within the framework of its military aid to the Bashar Assad regime.

The report said that components of the S-300, including radar stations, control posts and  launchers would soon be delivered to Syria by the Russian military either by air transport or via the Russian Navy, which has a base at Tartus on the Syrian coast.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that following a joint United States, French and British strike on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack by regime forces, Moscow was no longer morally bound not to supply Assad with the S-300 system.

“We promised not to do it around a decade ago at the request of our partners, and we took into consideration their argument that this would destabilize the situation, despite this [S-300] being a purely defensive system,” Lavrov said.

“We heeded their call. But now we have no such moral obligation,” he added.

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Russia had originally signed a contract in 2010 to supply Syria with four S-300 batteries, however after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war the following year and following pressure from Israel, Moscow cancelled the deal.

Kommersant noted that while Jerusalem has yet to respond to the current reports that Moscow will supply Syria with the anti-aircraft system, whose range extends into Israel itself, former high-ranking military officials, including the ex-head of military intelligence Maj.-Gen (ret) Amos Yadlin have said that the IDF would likely react by striking the S-300 batteries.

“If I know the air force well, we have already made proper plans to deal with this threat. After you remove the threat, which is basically what will be done, we’re back to square one,” Yadlin said in regard to the possible deployment of the S-300 in Syria during an interview with Bloomberg news last week.

According to Russian military experts interviewed by Kommersant, it would take some three months to train Syrian officers to manage the S-300 and during that time, Russian military advisers would be stationed at the batteries alongside Syrian experts. If Israel were to decide to inflict rocket strikes on the locations of the S-300 deployment, the consequences, according to Kommersant’s sources would be “catastrophic for all sides.”

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Impact of 2 Fallen Soldiers Continues Through Agricultural Youth Camp

Breaking Israel News - 10 hours 43 min ago

Two former IDF soldiers who passed away in 2014 continue to impact the world for the better through a new agricultural youth camp in Israel’s southern Negev region.

The post Impact of 2 Fallen Soldiers Continues Through Agricultural Youth Camp appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Syrian opposition says U.S. cannot afford to leave Syria yet

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 10 hours 52 min ago

"Daesh [ISIS] is not finished," said Syria's chief opposition negotiator.

How Islam Took Over the Bible

Breaking Israel News - 12 hours 44 min ago

Many of the political conflicts between the Arabs and Israel can be traced back to Biblical stories the Quran usurped and reworked in disturbing manners to suit the goals of Islam. Some scholars recognize this phenomenon as an even more egregious form of Replacement Theology than Christianity ever was, leaving no room for compromise.

“The entire basis of the regional conflict is based on religion and begins inside the holy books,” Dr. Bat-sheva Garsiel, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar Ilan University, told Breaking Israel News. “Islam agrees that God gave the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai but the details and the differences are what fuel the conflict.”

Muslims believe the Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Jibril (Gabriel ) over a period of 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE. Written more than 500 years after the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 CE and almost 2,000 years after Rabbinic sources claim God gave Moses the Torah at Mount Sinai, the Quran acknowledges that it is based the Torah. The Torah basis is unmistakable as there are  no less than 50 characters in the Quran that have their sources in the Bible.

The commonalities between the Quran and the Jewish Torah are indeed extensive and Dr. Garsiel has written several authoritative books on the convergence of Judaism and Islam. She believes the differences between the texts are significant have real-world implications.

The common elements shared by the Torah and the Quran first appear at the very beginning, with the story of Adam and Ḥawwā (Eve) and continue with Cain and Hābīl (Abel). For the most part, the stories in the Quran and the Torah are very similar. These common elements are intentional from the side of Islam.

“Islam  believes that both the Quran and the Torah came down from heaven at Sinai,” Rabbi Garsiel said. “The Arabs of Muhammad’s time respected the Jews and held them in high regard. Scholars of Islam believe that because of the status of Jews, Muhammad learned directly from Jews in Saudi Arabia.”

“Ibn Ishaq, a Muslim Arab author who wrote about the life of Muhammad less than one hundred years after his death, wrote that Muhammad used to go to the Jewish readings of the Torah which the Jews read first in Hebrew and then in Arabic for the Arabs who came to hear the reading.”

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Dr. Garsiel noted that there are many differences in the Biblical accounts as they are related to in the Quran.

“Since Muhammad did not write it down, many of the details differ from the Jewish tradition though the main themes are the same,” Dr. Garsiel said. “The Muslims explain this by saying that Jews changed the Torah. There are also some aspects of the Torah, for example some of the laws of keeping kosher, that Islam believes are specific to the Jews and not relevant to the Muslims.”

These similarities, rather than bring Islam and Judaism closer, are actually the basis for the inter-religious conflict, beginning with the story of Abraham, who is described very differently in the Quran.

“Abraham is revered as the biological father of Isaac but he is described in the Quran as establishing Islam,” Dr. Garsiel explained. “Despite Abraham being a devout Muslim, the people around him did not believe in Allah. This did not change until Muhammad who re-established Islam and purified the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia (Islam’s holiest site) which, according to the Quran, was first established by Adam.”

The textual conflict between the Quran and the Torah continues with the Jewish patriarch, Isaac and the Arabic patriarch, Ishmael.

“When it comes to the Binding of Isaac, there is an ongoing dispute within Islam as to which of Abraham’s son was on the altar,” Dr. Garsiel said. “The Quran only describes him as ‘the son.’ This is a dispute with major implications since the son who was on the altar has greater merit. This is further confused since many of the aspects of Isaac in the Torah were adopted by the Quran to describe Ishmael.”

This dispute between Ishmael and Isaac is still expressed today in the ancient city Hebron. At the heart of the city is a large structure built by King Herod, the king of Judea in the first century BCE. The structure is the location of the Cave of the Patriarchs, the burial site of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs. Abraham’s purchase of the site is mentioned in the Torah.

And then Avraham buried his wife Sarain the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre—now Chevron—in the land of Canaan.Genesis 23:19

Despite the Quran’s rejection of Isaac’s spiritual relevance and his bloodline, Islam has laid claim to the Cave of the Patriarchs and in the 12th century, the entire site was converted into a mosque. Though Muslim interest in the site is clearly due to the significance of Abraham and his purchase of the site as it is related in the Quran. Nonetheless, it is, ironically, the Hall of Isaac that is designated for solely Islamic use and Jews are forbidden to enter.

“Isaac is revered by the Muslims because he was related to Abraham and Ishmael,” Dr. Garsiel said as an admittedly less than optimum explanation for the current situation in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

The burial site of Moses is unknown and therefore, not a source of dispute. But he is the Biblical character whose representation in the Quran has been the basis of the century-long conflict in Israel between the Muslims and the Jews.

“Moses in the Quran is more or less similar to what the Torah wrote about him,” Dr. Garsiel said. “The biographical details are almost identical. The Quran wrote that Moses brought the Jews out of Egypt and God gave them the Torah at Mount Sinai. It does not mention the Jews going into Israel. The Jews went into ‘the Holy Land’ or the “Promised Land’. This is understood to be ‘Greater Syria,’ which includes parts of today’s Syria, Israel and Jordan.”

On the basis of the Quranic Exodus narrative the Jews should have a clear claim to Israel, but it is specifically this story which is the basis of Islam’s rejection of the Jewish State.

“Modern Islam, especially radical Islam, has changed the precise meaning of what is written in the Quran in this regard,” Dr. Garsiel said. “Islam believes that the land was indeed promised to the Jews but since the Jews sinned, the land, all of ‘Greater Syria,’ no longer belongs to the Jews.”

“They acknowledge that Jerusalem and Israel was Jewish, are still Jewish in their essence, but it is no longer relevant,” Dr. Garsiel emphasized.

Another interesting difference between the Quran and the Bible that has present day political implications is based on the differences between the versions as they relate to the story of the Prophet Samuel anointing King Saul.

“In the Bible, Samuel initially resists the imperative to anoint a king,” Dr. Garsiel noted.

Shmuel was displeased that they said “Give us a king to govern us.” Shmuel prayed to Hashem. I Samuel 8:6

“In Judaism, a flesh-and-blood king is not the optimal condition,” Dr. Garsiel explained. “In the Quran, Samuel is immediately enthusiastic, indicative of the Islamic emphasis on its role as a political structure.”

This conflict over Biblical narratives is even greater between Islam and Christianity with regards to their different interpretations of Jesus. Dr. Timothy Furnish who teaches history at Reinhardt University, has a PHD in Islamic studies. As a devout Lutheran, the appearance of Jesus in the Quran is personally significant to Dr. Furnish.

“The Quran does tell about Jesus as a Muslim Prophet,” Dr. Furnish told Breaking Israel News. “But the Quran changes many of the details, denying the role Jesus has in Christianity. The Quran specifically rejects the crucifixion story and resurrection, and the Hadiths (Islamic oral traditions) explain that Judas was crucified in his place. Islam claims that Jesus went straight to heaven without dying.”

“In the hadiths, it is written that when the Mahdi (the Muslim messiah) arrives to conquer the world for Islam, Jesus will also arrive and work with him,” Furnish continued. “He will kill all the swine since they are impure and break all the crosses since the crucifixion never happened. He will offer the Christians the choice of converting to Islam or dying.”

Dr. Furnish described Islam as basing itself upon Replacement Theology, a belief that it has replaced all previous religions. Replacement Theology was a core tenet of Christianity. Subsequent to and because of the Holocaust, some mainstream Christian theologians and denominations have rejected Replacement Theology, also known as supersessionism.

“Tahrif, Islamic Replacement Theology, is a much more extreme form than Christianity ever was,” Dr. Furnish claimed. “There are many branches of Christianity that allow for other religions, but there is no branch or interpretation of Islam that allows for any other religion.”

Dr. Garsiel agreed with Furnish’s characterization of Islam.

“As its basis, Islam believes that every other religion, especially Judaism and Christianity, are no longer valid,” Dr. Garsiel said. “Islam acknowledges that the Torah and New Testament were both given from heaven but since Muhammad’s arrival, there is no place for other religions in the world. At its core, Islam believes that everyone must be Muslim.”


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What’s The Biblical Significance of the Number 7?

Breaking Israel News - 13 hours 43 min ago

The number seven is particularly significant in the Bible and in Judaism.

Not only does it represent creation of the world itself (“On the seventh day Hashem finished the work that He had been doing. Genesis 2:2), it also relates to holidays, blessings, the Land of Israel, Jewish traditions and luck. In fact, mazal-מזל=luck has the Hebrew numerological value of 77!

“It is well known that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh,” said Roni Segal, academic adviser for the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, an online Hebrew language and Biblical studies organization, to Breaking Israel News. “What’s fascinating to note is that the entire world functions on a seven day week, whether they are Bible believers or not. Many people don’t realize that a seven day week is a Godly creation.”


For over 3,000 years, the seven-branched menorah-candelabrum has been a symbol for Judaism and is now an emblem for the State of Israel. Used in the Holy Temple in ancient Jerusalem, the menorah represents the mission of the Jewish people to be a “light unto the nations.” (Isaiah 42:6)

Though the Jewish people have 613 Biblical commandments, non-Jews are meant to live by what are commonly known as the seven laws of Noah. These are: not worshipping idols, not cursing God, not murdering, not committing adultery or sexual immorality, not stealing, not eating the flesh torn from a living animal and establishing courts of justice.

There are seven patriarchs and matriarchs from which the Jewish people were formed: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah.

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Two Jewish holidays each last seven days, the Feast of Tabernacles-Sukkot, as it says, “You shall live in booths seven days.” (Leviticus 23:42) and Passover, as it says, “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.” (Exodus 12:15)

On Sukkot, there is a custom to symbolically invite seven important Biblical “guests” into your sukkah: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David.

The holiday after Passover is Shavuot, which actually means “weeks,” as in the Feast of Weeks. It is a Biblical commandment to count each day and each completed week for seven weeks, from Passover to Shavuot, to demonstrate the anticipation of the day when God gave the Jewish people the Bible.

In ancient times, part of the Shavuot celebration was for farmers to bring the seven special species the Land of Israel is praised for to the holy temple in Jerusalem. They are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (Deuteronomy 8:8).


In contradistinction, it is a Biblical commandment to let the Holy Land lie fallow every seven years for one entire year. Called “shemittah-שמיטה”, it is also referred to as the sabbatical year, shvee-it-שביעית, which means “seventh.” The Bible states, “In the seventh year, the land shall have a Shabbat of complete rest, a Shabbat of Hashem: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.” (Leviticus 25:4)

At Jewish weddings, the bride encircles the groom seven times to symbolically demonstrate that her husband is the center of her universe.

In addition, seven blessings are said under the wedding canopy. Following the wedding, each night for seven days, parties are made for the new bride and groom. These parties are called “sheva brachot-שבע ברכות” (seven blessings), and the same seven blessings said at the wedding are repeated at this celebration.

The significance of the number seven not only relates to worldly matters like holidays and agriculture but is also connected to a mourner. When any one of seven close relatives dies – father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister and spouse – the mourner sits in his or her home for seven days and accepts condolences from visitors. This is called “shiva-שבעה” after the number seven. Shiva is considered an important process for an individual to begin to confront and overcome his or her grief.

“Not only does seven play a particularly meaningful role in Judaism, but also several other numbers have Biblical and historical significance,” said Segal to Breaking Israel News. “Many ritual practices are related to numbers and numbers help us better understand God and the purpose of creation. Studying the Hebrew view of numbers is important to better understanding the Bible and Divinity.”

To learn more, click here.

Written in coordination with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies.


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Trump Asks Netanyahu if he Really Wants Peace With Palestinians: Report

Breaking Israel News - 14 hours 43 min ago

In a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the approval of building projects in Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank, U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly asked the prime minister if he truly cared about making peace with Palestinians.

According to a report by the Axios news site, Trump thought Netanyahu’s plan to approve the building of new homes in Jewish communities in the disputed territory would anger Palestinians “so, in the course of a longer conversation that was mostly friendly and complimentary, [Trump] bluntly asked [Netanyahu] whether or not he genuinely wants peace.”

The report did not indicate Netanyahu’s response.

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Axios that the U.S. president “has great relationships with a number of foreign leaders but that doesn’t mean he can’t be aggressive when it comes to negotiating what’s best for America.”

Trump’s administration has made efforts to bring about negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Trump named his longtime attorney Jason Greenblatt his Middle East envoy and empowered his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, to try and bring the parties to the table. But following Trump’s December 6 announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has refused to meet with members of the Trump administration or take part in any talks facilitated by the United States.

Trump asked Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements” when the prime minister visited the White House in February 2017.

The post Trump Asks Netanyahu if he Really Wants Peace With Palestinians: Report appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Time to Cut JVP Down to Size

Breaking Israel News - 15 hours 13 min ago

Jewish Voice for Peace is a marginal group, by all accounts. The Jewish-run, anti-Zionist organization has perhaps a couple of dozen employees and anywhere between a few dozens and a couple of hundred committed activists in the US. Its positions – that Israel is evil and must be destroyed and that Jews should be disenfranchised and ostracized because they support Israel – is anathema to the overwhelming majority of American Jews.

Yet despite the fact that its bigoted positions are rejected by just about everyone, this group, which the Anti-Defamation League has listed as “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the United States,” is becoming increasingly influential in the US.

As the ADL report on JVP notes, in recent years, the little group has received millions of dollars in donations and has vastly expanded its operations. It has 35 chapters across the US including at several campuses. It has nearly a half million followers on Facebook and 75,000 followers on Twitter.

JVP doesn’t only attack Jewish supporters of Israel. It also attacks Judaism. JVP’s “rabbinical council” issues resolutions and publications in the name of the Jewish religion that are inherently antisemitic.

In 2012 for instance, JVP’s “rabbinical council” published an “alternative Haggada,” which included anti-Israel themes inside the Passover story of the liberation of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. One of the four cups of wine for the Passover Seder was dedicated to the BDS movement. Readers were instructed to add an olive to the traditional Seder plate to symbolize Palestinian suffering under Israeli rule.

JVP is open about its determination to serve as a Jewish fig leaf for antisemitic groups and operations. Its website states this mission explicitly, arguing that the group’s Jewish veneer gives it a “particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies” and the ability to distinguish “between real antisemitism and the cynical manipulation of that issue.”

It is a sign of the confusion within the American Jewish community that JVP’s strategy meets with success not only among the general public, which may not understand how marginal and extreme JVP’s positions are but within the Jewish community itself.

Consider a development this week at New York University.

On Monday, 51 campus groups published a declaration committing their members to adopting the BDS program including by boycotting two NYU Jewish student groups.

The pledge that NYU College Libertarians, the Asian American Women’s Alliance at NYU, and their comrades in 49 other student groups signed committed them to “boycotting NYU’s pro-Israel clubs, Realize Israel and TorchPAC, by not co-sponsoring events with them, as well as boycotting off-campus pro-Israel groups such as Birthright-Taglit, the Maccabee Task Force, Mosaic United, Zionist Organization of America, American-Israeli [sic] Political Action Committee and the Anti-Defamation League.”

There are two remarkable aspects to this declaration. First, it is remarkable that so many groups were willing to affix their signatures to a document that is so openly antisemitic. They found nothing objectionable about committing themselves to ostracize two Jewish student groups and six national Jewish organizations, which together represent the views of the overwhelming majority of American Jews.

The group that spearheaded the NYU anti-Jewish boycott is Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP is behind nearly every BDS initiative in the US. And JVP, which is a member of the coalition that pushed the NYU anti-Jewish boycott, serves as SJP’s Jewish fig leaf at NYU and on campuses throughout the US.

In any discussion about JVP and its role in legitimizing and normalizing anti-Jewish discrimination and hatred, it is important to bear in mind the nature of its partner and leader SJP.

In 2016, Jonathan Schanzer from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies revealed SJP’s pedigree in congressional testimony.

Schanzer explained that SJP, which is run by Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, is not a legal entity. It is just a name. SJP is a shell group directed in every way by a Chicago-registered organization called American Muslims for Palestine, which Bazian heads.

American Muslims for Palestine devises all of the SJP campaigns. It provides talking points to SJP chapters ensuring that the SJP message and operation is identical across all campuses.

American Muslims for Palestine is not a registered nonprofit. Its fund-raising arm, also chaired by Bazian, is called American for Justice in Palestine Education Foundation. Schanzer noted that AJP’s IRS Form 990s revealed that it raised $3.2 million in contributions between 2010 and 2014. Yet in apparent breach of the US tax code, AJP reported neither the sources of the funds nor how they were used.

Most important, Schanzer revealed that Bazian, American Muslims for Palestine and American for Justice in Palestine are up to their armpits in Hamas ties.

Before establishing SJP, AMP, and AJP, Bazian and his colleagues worked for three linked organizations: the Holyland Foundation, KindHearts and the Islamic Association for Palestine. All three were shut down following the 2008 verdict in the Holyland Foundation terrorism financing trial. That verdict found that the Holyland Foundation and its sister organizations KindHearts and the Islamic Association for Palestine were all terrorism financiers that raised funds for Hamas and al-Qaeda.

Schanzer noted that there is no evidence that Bazian and his associates at the follow-on AMP-AJP groups raise funds for terrorist groups now. But all the same, at AMP’s annual conference in 2014, participants were invited to “come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.”

No doubt ignorant of all of this, and immunized from allegations of Jew-hatred by JVP’s advocacy for the resolution, 51 campus groups at NYU decided to side with SJP-AMP-AJP and blackball two mainstream Jewish groups.

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Which brings us back to JVP and its pivotal role in advancing Jew-hatred in America, and to the second remarkable aspect of the NYU operation.

The response of the affected Jews at NYU make clear the corrosive effect JVP is having on the Jewish community’s capacity to defend itself against open discrimination.

Realize Israel and TorchPAC’s reactions to this egregious act of discrimination directed against them are notable for their docility.

Speaking to JTA, Realize Israel president Adela Cojab described the campus climate on Israel as “one of animosity.”

Cojab expressed surprise “about the scale” of the assault.

“I didn’t expect so many people and so many groups to turn against students the way they have,” she said.

Cojab then added, “They’re creating a rift between students that doesn’t exist. You can advocate for a cause without singling out two student groups, especially NYU groups that have been on this campus and have been contributing in a meaningful way to NYU campus life.”

TorchPAC president Rebecca Stern told JTA that her group wants to open a dialogue with the groups that just officially ostracized her group.

“They aren’t student groups that we particularly know much about, so we’re working on trying to talk to people and to see what exactly it is about this specific resolution that drew them to adopt it. We really want to establish ourselves as a tolerant, discussion-based community.”

Cojab’s and Stern’s decision to respond with passive, nonjudgmental statements to an openly bigoted assault against them personally, and against the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community which shares their positions generally, is noteworthy. It is similarly noteworthy that the response of the NYU’s professional Jewish leadership was arguably even more timid.

In a statement to JTA, the executive director of NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, said that the groups’ open ostracism of the Jewish campus groups “is a source of sorrow and disappointment to me.”

Sarna added, “The university should be about people coming together, not about people refusing to speak to those with differing views.”

The docile response of the affected Jews at NYU to their colleagues’ decision to ostracize them and ban them from the wider student body is an extreme example of the confusion and weakness of the Jewish community. JVP and other anti-Israel Jewish groups are making significant progress in their bids to paralyze the Jewish community from within. They work avidly to sow doubt, confusion, and embarrassment among American Jews about whether they have a right to civil rights and protection, let alone to respect and support when they express their support for the Jewish state.

An event in Durham, North Carolina, earlier this week points to the way that JVP is subverting the Jewish community.

This week, Durham, North Carolina, became the first US city to adopt BDS as official policy. The city council adopted a statement calling for the police department to ban all exchange programs with Israel.

The statement was the result of an intense, months-long lobbying campaign led by JVP.

According to sources inside the Durham Jewish community, JVP members have taken leading roles in two area synagogues and the local Jewish federation. Sandra Korn has been a JVP member since at least 2015. She is a trustee and the head of adult education at Durham’s Judea Reform synagogue.

Korn is also a staff member at the Durham/Chapel Hill Jewish Federation, employed as a youth teacher. She teaches religious studies at all area synagogues.

Korn allegedly led the BDS campaign at the city council. She was allegedly joined in her efforts, Lara Haft. Like Korn, Haft is a JVP member and Federation staffer. Haft teaches religious studies at Beth El synagogue in Durham.

Korn’s Judea Reform synagogue has something called the Israel Discourse Advisory Committee. Three of its members signed a letter to the city council in support of BDS.

Consider the impact that committed JVP activists are having on the Jewish community in Durham. The parents who pay good money to send their children to Hebrew school are in all likelihood uninterested in teaching their children that Passover is a cautionary tale about Jewish venality. And yet, it can be assumed that students who emerge from Korn’s and Haft’s classrooms will not be joining pro-Israel organizations when they go to college. It can be taken for granted that these Jewish youth, whose parents took the trouble to join a synagogue and send them to Hebrew school, will not understand why Jews have just as much of a right to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state as everyone else has to advocate on behalf of issues that matter to them.

There are two ways to deal with Jewish Voice for Peace. First, while the Obama administration refused to investigate Students for Justice in Palestine and its parent group’s ties to terrorist groups, the Trump Justice Department and Treasury Department can easily inquire into their pedigree. The federal government can take action against them if, as seems likely, investigators discover operational ties between these groups and illegal terrorist organizations.

Second, the Jewish communal groups need to block JVP activists and sympathizers from gaining positions of power and influence over their local institutions. Among other things, this requires investing in Jewish educators to attract more Jewish Americans to these professions.

JVP is punching above its weight because the Jewish communal leadership is punching beneath its weight. It is time to correct this imbalance.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

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Israel Arrests 19 Suspects From Hamas Terror Cell in Samaria

Breaking Israel News - 15 hours 43 min ago

Nineteen terror suspects were arrested in the Ramallah area in Samaria overnight on Saturday, in an operation carried out by the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security forces and Israel Border Police.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that 15 of the suspects were arrested after receiving instructions from Hamas officials in Gaza to perform terror operations throughout Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank.

A car that was purportedly given to the group in payment for their services was impounded by security forces. Also, a printing press used to publish and disseminate Hamas materials was shut down.

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“The exposure of such activity once again demonstrates Hamas’s unrelenting efforts to instigate terror activity in Judea and Samaria by transferring funds, providing missions and disseminating messages, without taking into account the impact on the fabric of life of the Palestinian residents in the area,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

“The IDF and Shin Bet will continue to act decisively against all terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria, and against terrorist operatives who will be in contact with Hamas terrorist operatives in the Gaza Strip.”

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Selling Illusions

Breaking Israel News - 16 hours 13 min ago

One front of Hamas’s “March of Return” is a war of words – to project a sympathetic brand of the Palestinians as victims in order to influence global public opinion.

While the terrorist group’s young recruits dress in kaffiyehs and sling Kalashnikovs over their shoulders, its leaders in coat and tie take their cues from leftist media and Madison Avenue’s finest – with techniques author William Safire calls “the gimmicky, slick use of the communications media to play on emotions.”

Possibly due to Israel’s superior defense technology, Hamas is emphasizing the war for public opinion – a strategy Islamist scholars call “jihad of the pen.” It has found a partner in the biased, anti-Israel media. But the truth is its Achilles heel.

During the 2014 war, Hamas cynically used footage of crying, distraught or wounded women and children to blame Israel for the hostilities they themselves started and inflamed by deliberately placing civilians in the line of fire.

They’re at it again in their extended protests at Israel’s border, dispatching women, children, and youth to the border fence, deliberately mixed with armed terrorists to bait IDF soldiers, willing to endanger their people for political gain.

Many major news outlets play into Hamas’ hands by overlooking the terrorist group’s strategy, said CAMERA, a media watchdog. For example, CNN reported: “The goal of the marches, Palestinians say, is to cross the border fence and return to their lands that became Israel seven decades ago.” A fair and balanced report would require a counterbalancing statement from Israel as to its land, which this story ignores, along with Hamas’s intent to use the march to subvert Israel’s 70th Independence Day and undermine US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by that date.

Scholar Bassam Tawil, for the Gatestone Institute, provides a clear perspective: The march aims first to force Israel to accept the “right of return” of millions of Palestinian “refugees” and their descendants, rendering the Jews a minority in their own country. “The next step would be to kill or expel the Jews and replace Israel with an Islamic state.”

Mimicking the Soros-funded activists bused to US cities for racially charged, anti-police demonstrations, Hamas forced bus drivers to transport protesters to the border, jailing those that refused, and paying off more than 20 bus companies, according to Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Further honing its branding and disinformation campaign, the terrorist group billed the march as “peaceful and non-violent” protests that would not approach or breach the border fence. But no one was surprised when, from day one, the “peaceful” protesters hurled rocks and firebombs, and fired weapons at the IDF soldiers defending their country’s borders, as militants mingling with the mob attacked border-fence sections, trying to infiltrate the country.

Despite the evidence, Hamas supporters and politicized media jumped on the buzzwords “peaceful,” “nonviolent” and “freedom of expression” in what looks like a well-orchestrated attempt to deny Israel’s right as a sovereign state to defend itself from aggression.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi: “We condemn Israel’s violence against peaceful protesters and the innocent lives who want to practice their right of expression to reject the occupation.”

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EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy leader Federica Mogherini: “Freedom of expression and…

assembly are fundamental rights that must be respected.”

PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour: The “peaceful demonstrators posed no threat whatsoever to Israel or its heavily armed soldiers, yet its trigger-happy soldiers used live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets.”

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem: “By the people maintaining that [these] marches are peaceful [we] strike a blow against the propaganda…

spread by the occupation.”

Let’s put these comments in perspective.

Media and PR strategists know that the effectiveness of a media or ad blitz depends on who’s listening – the “target” audience.

The fantasy of an Israeli “occupation” is as illusory as Coca-Cola’s classic ’70s TV ad, in which scores of fresh-faced youth from nations where Coke targets international sales dreamily harmonize: “Coke, it’s the real thing.” While Coke is a popular beverage, it’s no more “the real thing” than the “occupation” – a deceptive slogan to market the Palestinian political agenda.

Hamas changed its tune with a different audience and exposed the absurdity of its bogus claim to Israel’s land when political leader Fathi Hammad confronted Egypt for withholding fuel. In a TV broadcast translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Hammad urged Egypt to reconsider: “Half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. Brothers, half the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.”

Even top PA religious-affairs adviser Supreme Sharia Judge Mahmoud Habbash knows better. In a TV statement translated by Palestinian Media Watch, he accused Hamas of “slogans of heroism”: “Afterwards you discover they’re only selling illusions, trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims, [saying]: ‘You Palestinians, our people, go and die so that we’ll go to the TV and media with strong declarations.’ These [Hamas] acts of ‘heroism’ don’t fool anyone anymore.”

Let’s hope Habbash is right.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

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Trump’s Daughter Ivanka and Son-in-Law Kushner to Attend Opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem

Breaking Israel News - 16 hours 44 min ago

A sizeable delegation of American dignitaries will arrive in Israel to attend the official dedication ceremony for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, according to Sunday report on Israel’s Channel 10 news.

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham are among the estimated 40 politicians who will arrive from the United States as part of a 250-person American delegation.

U.S. President Donald Trump will reportedly not be in attendance.

Images of newly minted road signs directing drivers to the U.S. Embassy have been circulating on social media, confirming that concrete steps were being taken towards implementing Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement that the United States would move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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The ceremony will take place in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood on May 14, which will mark the secular 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence. The United States currently operates its Jerusalem consulate in Arnona. The new embassy will operate out of that space temporarily, and is expected to complete construction of additional office space at the compound to meet its needs.

A brand-new embassy complex will be constructed in the coming years.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last week that Israel’s Foreign Ministry will host a celebratory reception for “guests” coming to Israel on the occasion of the U.S. embassy dedication. He did not elaborate further at the current time.

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Analysis: How will North Korean moves, U.S. talks impact Iran’s nuke threat?

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 16 hours 54 min ago

How does all of this impact the Iran nuclear deal and the nuclear threat Tehran poses to Israel?

Shame on Natalie Portman

Breaking Israel News - 17 hours 14 min ago

Israeli born Actress Natalie Portman today announced she would not take part in the prize ceremony for the Genesis Prize, slated to be held in Israel in June 2018. The Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the “Jewish Nobel,” had previously named Ms. Portman this year’s awardee, until she notified Genesis that“ [r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

The Genesis Prize Foundation canceled the prize ceremony, saying that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”

Shame on Natalie Portman for bowing to those who boycott Israel.

Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev hit it right on the head noting that,“ …Natalie Portman fell into the hands of the BDS supporters. Portman, a Jewish actress born in Israel, joins those who tell the successful, wondrous founding of the State of Israel as ‘a tale of darkness and darkness.’

Sane people must agree with Hillel Neuer of UN Watch who told Portman that “If 30,000 rioters were at your borders & approaching your family in Los Feliz, and they were orchestrated by a terror group that advocates the murder of all Jews, I believe you would ‘in good conscience’ support officers doing their best to protect you.”

Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East, where all religions are protected, where women have equal rights.  Israel is a beacon of light.

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Shame on Natalie Portman for standing against Israel.

The Genesis Prize “honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.” They must revoke their decision to award her the prize immediately.

Shame on Natalie Portman.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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Iran Threatens to Resume Nuclear Program if Trump Pulls Out of Deal

Breaking Israel News - Sun, 04/22/2018 - 23:00

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif told CBS on “Face The Nation” that the Iranian regime is prepared to resume its nuclear program if US President Donald Trump decides next month to pull out of the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Tehran, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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