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Baking Passover Matzah in Israel’s Heartland

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 05:41

Yishai takes us to Beit El in Israel’s heartland, the location of Yaakov’s (Jacob’s) ladder, to bake matzot (unleavened bread) the old fashioned way by hand. A crew of old friends and neighbors carefully follow the detailed processes laid out in Jewish Law (Torah) for preparing and baking the matzah in less than 18 minutes total.

Kushner: No Middle East Peace Plan Till Early June

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 04:07

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner reportedly told a group of ambassadors on Wednesday that the highly anticipated Mideast peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians will be released after Israel forms a new government and after the Islamic holiday of Ramadan, which starts on May 5 and concludes on June 4.

The proposal has been kept a closely guarded secret and, according to The Washington Post on Sunday, will “stop short of ensuring a separate, fully sovereign Palestinians state.”

The Trump administration held a closed-door meeting with more than 70 Jewish and pro-Israel leaders at the White House on Tuesday that included talk about the peace plan, though no specifics were revealed, according to an attendee at the meeting.

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“I know a lot of people are concerned that the peace plan is going to be coming out soon,” said Dermer, reported Jewish Insider. “But I have to say, as Israel’s ambassador, I am confident that this administration—given its support for Israel—will take Israel’s vital concerns into account in any plan they will put forward.”

“I will never blame any American president or secretary of state or envoy for the failure to achieve peace—anyone who does that doesn’t understand why we don’t have peace. The Palestinians have to cross the Rubicon. It’s going to be up to them,” he added.

“But what you can be is better or worse, facilitators to get them to that point. And I could not think of better facilitators, with better relations both with Israel and the Arab world, to take advantage of this historic opportunity. I know that you all join me in wishing the best for the initiative that will come in the weeks and months ahead,” said Dermer.

ESTHER 9:22

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 03:58

When King Ahasuerus offered Esther up to half of the kingdom, this was not merely a show of generosity, but it referred to a specific geographic location. Jewish tradition states that the halfway mark of Ahasuerus’ empire was the site of the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple). Ahasuerus tells Esther that he is willing to do anything to make her happy, short of allowing the rebuilding of the Temple. Although Cyrus, his predecessor, had allowed the Children of Israel to return to Israel and begin reconstruction of the Beit Hamikdash, Ahasuerus was adamantly against it.

Pelosi: ‘No Taint of Antisemitism in Democratic Party’

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 03:43

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that the Democratic Party has “no taint” of antisemitism amid such remarks coming from congressional members, especially Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whom Pelosi said is not an antisemite.

“I don’t think that the congresswoman is antisemitic,” Pelosi told CNN.

CNN

@CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t think Rep. Ilhan Omar is antisemitic: “I wouldn’t even put those in the same category.”

She criticizes President Trump for his tweet, saying he used video of 9/11 “as a political tool. He was wrong to do that.” http://cnn.it/2Gp1kc1 

Instead, Pelosi blasted President Donald Trump for tweeting a video, criticizing Omar for labeling at the Council on American-Islamic Relations’s Greater Los Angeles branch last month the 9/11 attacks as “some people did something.”

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The speaker said the president used the video “as a political tool.”

In terms of Jew hatred in her party, Pelosi said, “We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party, and just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean … that we take that bait.”

On Tuesday, Trump expressed no regrets about posting the video.

“No, not at all. Look, she’s been very disrespectful to this country, and she’s been very disrespectful to Israel,” Trump told KSTP-TV in Minneapolis. “She is somebody who doesn’t really understand life, real life, what it’s all about.”

“It’s unfortunate, she’s got a way about her that is very, very bad, I think for our country,” he added. “I think she is extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”

Report: Amid Concern Over US Crackdown, Iranian Oil Exports Hit New Low

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 03:30

Amid renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, the country’s oil exports hit a new low in 2019, reported Reuters.

The report, citing tanker data and industry sources, said that “buyers are curbing purchases before Washington clamps down further on Iranian shipments as expected next month.”

In November, the United States reimposed sanctions lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but gave several countries waivers over importing Iranian oil, which are set to expire next month.

“Shipments are averaging below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) so far this month, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and two other companies that track such exports and declined to be identified,” the report said. “That’s lower than at least 1.1 million bpd as estimated for March.”

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Whether the waivers will be extended is currently unknown, though U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook said in February they will not be renewed.

“So much of this boils down to how important the Iran maximum pressure campaign is to the administration, relative to other priorities that come with sanctions enforcement,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “It also depends on how important the Iran issue in U.S. foreign policy is towards the target country that receives the waiver.”

He added, “The goal should not be to keep providing exemptions to countries that are permitted to continue purchasing oil, but rather, how best to use the time between the issuance of these exemptions to make sure the oil market is adequately supplied, inform banks, businesses, and nations about the Iranian threat, as well as to help countries find alternative sources of crude and condensate.”

Meir Panim: Sheltering Sderot’s Kids From Rockets and Hunger

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 03:12

Irit Levy, 17, remembers the night that she and her friends decided to sleep over at Meir Panim’s Sderot Youth Center. “After four “Tzeva Adom” red alert sirens,” Irit explained, “my friends and I decided it would be safest to spend the night at the youth center; a converted bomb shelter.” Upon arrival, Irit and her friends were ushered in, by smiling reassuring staff members and volunteers. Tables of refreshments were set up, along with games and activities.

Passover is a particularly challenging time for Sderot residents. Meir Panim’s professional staff has been working hard to meet the herculean task of providing Passover food baskets and personalized shopping cards to traumatized and impoverished individuals and families.

 

Meir Panim’s Youth Center: Refuge from Hunger and Terrorism

Following 10 years of rocket fire aimed toward Sderot, the city nicknamed the “Bomb Shelter Capital of the World,” enjoyed a few years respite. Unfortunately, terrorism has returned to the area with a vengeance, and the city of Sderot, with a population of more than 26,000, is suffering.

A shelter shaped as an imaginary creature at a children’s playground in Sderot, Southern Israel. (Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

It is clear why so many other teens, kids, and families had sought out shelter at Meir Panim. Irit explained to Breaking Israel News, “We all feel so at home here. Many local children are enrolled in the after-school program, where they receive free lunch, one-on-one tutoring, and fun activities. My friends and I love playing pool, participating in fun workshops and volunteering in community service opportunities.”

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“The financial stability of so many families has been shattered, explained Mimi Rosmaryn Director of Global Development at Meir Panim to Breaking Israel News, “we are desperately trying to ease their financial burdens, associated with the Passover holiday by providing Passover necessities like matzah to individuals and families.”

“It costs $1,000 a year to feed one hungry child,” continued Rosmaryn, “Normalizing the lives of Sderot’s poverty-stricken citizens is our top priority.”

Boxes of matzah. (Courtesy Meir Panim)

“I recently met a family” Rosmaryn continued, “whose children attend our after school hours club. The father is gainfully employed at a nearby factory, but only earns about 4,000 shekels ($1,000) per month, is trying to pay bills and feed a family with five traumatized children.”

 

This Passover, Take A Stand Against Hunger

We will shortly start the Passover Seder and proclaim, “All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate Passover!”

This Passover, Take A Stand Against Hunger! Help Meir Panim fulfill its mission of providing a feeling of freedom from poverty, hunger, and loneliness to the people of Sderot’s neediest individuals. Say NO to hunger, by becoming a monthly donor and ensuring that Sderot’s hungry and needy receive lunch – every day.

We Need YOUR Help!

Give $45, and Meir Panim can serve 10  lunches.

Give $135, and Meir Panim can serve 30 lunches.

Together, let’s distribute hot lunches to children, meals at our Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen, and deliver Meals-On-Wheels to Sderot’s homebound, disabled and elderly.

Just as the Ancient Hebrews were delivered from Egyptian bondage, let us do our part to help free those who continue to suffer the scourge of poverty in Israel.

Especially the impoverished families facing daily terror in the city of Sderot.

Written in cooperation with Meir Panim.

To donate to Meir Panim’s Passover Campaign, please click here.

Israeli Doctor Honored for Helping Wounded Syrians

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 02:11

Over the course of the Syrian civil war, many wounded Syrians – both civilians and rebels – were medically rescued in Israel. One of the key figures to be recognized for his valiant efforts in humanitarian aid is Dr. Salman Zarka,  Ziv Medical Center Director General.

Passover Lessons From Life’s Highways

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 02:00

When learning to drive a car, one must quickly understand the value of utilizing two important yet opposite tools… the windshield and the rearview mirror. When learning the life-changing lessons of the Passover story, one might just do the same.

For drivers, windshields show what is ahead. You can see potential dangers and promising opportunities. You can observe the actions of others while you plan your next turn. A near destination is right in front of you and a desired destination in the distance remains possible.

On the other hand, rearview mirrors remind drivers of what is behind. Driving school instructors might well inform you that seeing where you have been before can be both educational and encouraging. If your journey has included storms and wrecks and engine trouble, you can be encouraged that those obstacles have been overcome and are now in your past. If the streets  you have traveled included sunny days and smooth roads and friendships with fellow drivers, you might say a prayer of thanksgiving with a smile on your face.

For travelers on life’s spiritual highways, the power of Passover lies in looking forward to what is ahead while being ever mindful of what is behind.  Passover calls us to trust God today because He heard our cries yesterday.

In Exodus 12:2, the Lord established His calendar and explained the annual spiritual starting line called the month of Nisan. “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” The “beginning of months” is the perfect time to peer through the windshield and discern where your current path is headed. Have you planned a route that leads toward holiness and obedience or one barreling toward selfishness and rebellion? As this Passover begins, do you know where you are going spiritually?

If your rearview mirror contains the heartache of slavery, you would rightly long for a deliverer. In Exodus 12:3, God commands Moses and Aaron to lead their people on the courageous path to freedom. “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.’ ”

Continuing to encourage forward movement, God says, “You shall keep it (the lamb) until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.” ‭‭(Exodus‬ ‭12:6-7‬)

This week across the globe, Bible students will read about God’s unusual assignment given to Hebrew slaves in Egypt, to sacrifice an unblemished lamb and then spread its blood on the doorposts of their homes. Obedience by faith to this seemingly strange command proved to be the decisive factor in determining which families experienced death and which families were passed over, thereby preserving life and the opportunity for a future.  As we learn from Leviticus 17:11, life truly is in the blood.

In 2019, as the dates of Passover and Easter coincide, Christians and Jews can celebrate God’s past faithfulness in the rearview mirror while anticipating our futures in the windshield.  These two faith groups can unify around their shared spiritual heritage this week as Christians recall the Jewishness of Jesus. The New Testament records Jesus of Nazareth visiting the Upper Room in Jerusalem and participating in a Seder meal with His disciples during the Last Supper.

Those celebrating Easter this weekend will quickly connect the sacrificial deaths of countless lambs in Egypt with a place called Golgotha, remembering the crucifixion of Jesus on that first Good Friday. Christians will pack churches around the world this Sunday because they believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus, the shedding of His blood, is what provided for their spiritual deliverance, their exodus from a slave’s life separated from God.

Families gathered around their Seder tables this week, in Israel and Texas and elsewhere, will gaze backwards as they read the Haggadah and tell stories about God’s unbroken covenant faithfulness. Young children will ask what is so special about this holiday (as promised in Exodus 12:26) and their elders will quote Exodus 12:27 as they explain that “it is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’”

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Maybe you have never compared the Haggadah, the fascinating tale of that original Exodus, to a rearview mirror on a redemptive journey. Please note that people of faith are often told to look back, to recall the goodness of their gracious and mighty God. Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.” (‭‭Isaiah ‭46:9‬)

Maybe you wouldn’t connect the Lord’s instructions in Exodus 12:42 to the windshield of a car, but I believe that the Passovers before us appear inviting and deserve our celebration. “It is a night to be observed for the Lord for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the Lord, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations.”

In the midst of all the Jews celebrating Passover and all the Christians celebrating Easter, there will be a lot of remembering this week, a lot of spiritual lessons passed from one generation to the next.

The most important memory of all, however, belongs to the Creator God Himself. Please consider these words as your thoughts turn toward holiday celebrations… “He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.’” ‭‭(Psalm‬ ‭105:8-11‬)

I encourage your family and mine to look ahead AND look behind this week, to dream AND to remember. Passover seems like the perfect time for both a biblical windshield and a spiritual rearview mirror.

Chag Pesach Sameach.

Media Dwells on Threats to Rep. Omar, Ignores Threats to Republicans

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 01:00

In early April, a man was arrested after making a threatening phone call to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office. Also, around that same time, a woman was arrested for sending a white powder to Senator Susan Collins’ office. The Collins letter claimed that it was coated in ricin and declared, “Good luck to you Susan, in the next life.” Another letter implied that it had a fatal dose of anthrax inside.

After the senator’s husband opened the letter, hazmat teams went to the house. Her husband and the dog, a lab named Pepper, had to be quarantined. A screening system was set up at the local post office where employees also feared being exposed to hazardous materials. The attacker is allegedly a member of the leftist Green Party who was angry about the senator’s vote to confirm Justice Kavanaugh.

The same media outlets that have behaved as if Rep. Omar might be killed at any moment because she received a threatening phone call have showed very little interest in a potential anthrax or ricin attack on a senator. And the media, which helped whip up the hysteria over Kavanaugh and Collins, has accused President Trump of incitement for merely quoting Omar’s hateful words about 9/11.

This wasn’t even the first fake ricin attack targeting Republican senators over Justice Kavanaugh.

Two staffers working for Senator Ted Cruz were hospitalized after a package with a white powder was sent to his office in the fall of 2018. Around that same time, traces of ricin were detected on an envelope sent to the White House and addressed to President Trump. The media showed less interest in an attempt to assassinate the President of the United States than in a threatening call to Omar’s office.

Speaker Pelosi urgently claimed that she had worked “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.” Where was Pelosi’s concern when Republican House members were being threatened and physically assaulted.

Despite Pelosi and the media’s implications, threatening calls to members of the House are routine.

They’re usually ignored because they keep happening to Republicans.

By the summer of 2018, there had been over 1,600 threats against members of congress. In 2017, there were around 2,000. That August, two people were arrested for death threats against 3 Republican House members, including Rep. Steve Scalise, who had already been shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter.

The threats were not just made against Scalise, but even against his children.

Somehow a death threat against a House member who had nearly been killed once was less newsworthy than the incredible victimhood of Rep. Omar’s office merely receiving death threats.

If we do the socialist thing and divide 2,000 threats among 435 House members, each honorable representative would be entitled to 3 or 4 individual threats. It would be much more newsworthy if Rep. Omar, especially considering her toxic habit of saying foul things about Jews and America, somehow weren’t receiving death threats. The media broadcasting the commonplace fact as if it were the biggest story of the year isn’t reporting, it’s an attempt to spin the threats to make Rep. Omar into the victim.

In the fall of 2018, Rep. Andy Harris was assaulted in his own office by protesters. Rep. David Kustoff was nearly run off the road the year before. But the media acts as if mere threats, a few among thousands, to Rep. Ilhan Omar, are more newsworthy than actual physical assaults on Republican congressmen.

Protests at then Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s office even injured a 71-year-old female staffer.

Are the threats against Rep. Omar more newsworthy than the threats to kill Rep. Tom Garrett’s wife, his daughters and even his dog?

No, but they are more politically useful.

By dwelling on the threats, Democrats don’t have to defend Rep. Omar’s hateful comments about America and Jews. Instead they can accuse her critics, including President Trump, of inciting violence.

But if President Trump criticizing Rep. Omar incites violence, aren’t Trump’s many media critics guilty of inciting violence against him and against House Republicans? The Huffington Post ran a piece calling for the execution of Trump. A senior Newsweek writer had tweeted of Republicans, “It should be their loved ones who die.” “If the shooter has a serious health condition then is taking potshots at the GOP house leadership considered self-defense?” wondered a regular at the New Republic and the Washington Post.

Even as the media was choking on its outrage over Trump’s implied criticism of Rep. Omar, the Boston Globe was trying to explain why it ran a piece encouraging waiters to taint the food of Trump officials.

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Now that’s actual incitement.

This is the sort of misbehavior that even major media outlets traffic in even while they white knight for Rep. Omar, acting as if the vile bigot is a damsel in distress who needs to be rescued from Republicans.

Speaker Pelosi showed more concern over threats to Rep. Omar’s office then she has over any of the threats and even violent assaults inflicted on her Republican peers and colleagues.

Even when those threats have come from inside her “House”.

In the fall of last year, an intern for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of her party, doxed 5 Republican senators during the Kavanaugh hearings, posting their home addresses and home phone numbers online. The intern, Jackson Cosko, comes from a connected family and his mother had posed with Pelosi.

There is no sign that Pelosi ever condemned his actions or expressed concern about the senators.

Speaker Pelosi’s histrionics over Rep. Omar’s safety are a shameful exercise in cynical hypocrisy. Her party and its associates have been instrumental in violating the security of Republican elected officials, in the House and the Senate, so that they could be confronted and threatened. The organizations behind that harassment often intersected with the funding sources of her political movement.

The media’s pearl clutching is even more pathetic when it can hardly interrupt its own calls for the harassment of Republicans to pretend that any criticism of Rep. Omar is certain to lead to violence. After falsely claiming that President Trump was a Russian spy, that Justice Kavanaugh is a serial rapist, and that anyone who supports Trump is fair game for anything from harassment to execution, the media has as much moral authority on incitement to violence as Charles Manson and Jim Jones.

The only reason the media is emphasizing the death threats against Rep. Omar is because her rhetoric is too repulsive to defend by any conventional means. The media is trying to change the subject and smear Omar’s opponents because it’s too cowardly to make the case for anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

Being the recipient of death threats does not make you a good person. It doesn’t mean that you’re in the right. Rep. Omar has received death threats. As have Nazi, Communist, KKK and Black Lives Matter leaders. Being a public figure means that you will receive death threats. Using them to hide from a reckoning for your rhetoric is a political stunt worthy only of an institution as discredited as the media.

And, when it comes to threats of violence, and of their actual implementation, the facts are clear.

Republican elected officials have suffered disproportionately from harassment and threats of violence. The only House members to be physically assaulted in the last few years have been Republicans.

When the media and Pelosi ignore those facts, they are declaring that Republican lives don’t matter. And that Rep. Omar’s feelings are more important than the feelings and safety of House and Senate Republicans. And, like Omar’s hateful comments, that attitude is un-American and deeply wrong.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

Reform Islam Now or Get More Ilhan Omars

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 00:00

The Murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane, two attempts on the Twin Towers, 9/11, Al-Qaida, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Iran, Boko Haram, Abu Sayyaf, Little Rock, Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, the Vaughan Foods beheading incident, the attacks on two military installations, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Paris attacks, 7/7 the London underground bombings and the list goes on and on and on.

It’s about time the Muslim community in America does some serious soul-searching, reforms itself, and vomit out of its midst, its filth; if they want decent law abiding Americans to not suspect every Muslim, as a potential terrorist!

Good decent Muslim citizens of America, have to take a stand, as did those righteous people in Nazi Germany against their regime at the time. They have to publicly denounce their extremists and potential extremists, work with authorities to weed them out of their communities, and press for a more Reformed version of Islam.

A Reform Islam that no longer looks at non-Muslims as infidels. A Reform Islam that denounces Jihadism. A Reform Islam, that renounces the goal of the religion, as, to put the world under the reign of Allah, i.e. Islam, and Muslims. A Reform Islam that takes a live and let live attitude toward non-Muslims, and yes, even toward “wayward” Muslims!

Muslim on Muslim violence is one of the lesser spoken about tragedies. “Honor killings,” usually done to daughters, must stop. Bullying by extremists within the Muslim community, to tow the “Sharia Line,” whether in America, France, Britain, or anywhere else in the Democratic West, needs to be dealt with seriously, if all Muslim citizens don’t want be suspect. To the outsider, who can tell the victim from the victimizer?

Which brings me to Rep. Ilhan Omar… And, her disgusting recent, “Some people, did something,” reference to the 9/11 Twin Towers tragedy.

“Terrorists and all those who support them…” is what George W. Bush said after 9/11.

Those Muslims and Muslim organizations that don’t denounce and actively work to uproot; passively, quietly support. Or, at least are legitimate targets of suspicion from non-Muslims.

By contrast, Omar in her recent Council of American-Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles’ speech, wrapped herself and the Muslim community in Victimhood, not from their internal extremists, but American society at large.

“And I feel extremely lucky to to be here in California with all of you — fighting for justice, for equality, for the right for us to equally exist in this country. Many people expect our community to feel like it needs to hide every time something happens. But repeatedly, we have shown them that we are not to be bullied. We are not to be threatened. We are not to be terrorized. We are strong, resilient and we will always show up to be ourselves…”

Continuing the Victim Narrative, “So we are coming off a tragic, tragic nightmare that has happened to Muslims in New Zealand. Many of us know that this is not a one-off incident. Many of us were not shocked or surprised. Many of us were kind of holding our breath for a really long time thinking when will something like this happen…”

And then without missing a beat, no soul-searching here, she came out swinging, “…the reason I think that many of us knew that this was going to get worse is that we finally have a leader, a world leader, in the White House, who publicly says Islam hates us, who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is okay to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying…”

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Did Trump start Jihadism against the West, or is he responding to it?

Fact check: In 2011, Pres. Obama ordered the entire federal national-security apparatus to get rid of counter-terrorism training material that instructed agents to focus on Islam itself, rather than specific terrorist groups. So what is she talking about, the American government long ago stopped a maybe overly general policy, which did actually make sense right after 9/11.

Maybe if Muslims like Omar took on their own thugs, instead of blaming the “infidels,” like Trump or “the Jews”, non-Muslims would be less suspicious of Islam and Muslims.

She continued, “…if you one day find yourself in a school where other religions are talked about, but when Islam is mentioned, we are only talking about terrorists and if you say something you are sent to the principal’s office. So to me, I say, raise hell, make people uncomfortable. Because here’s the truth: For too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.”

By the way, this MO, of playing victim, then, when becoming strong enough, attacking, goes all the way back to Muhammad himself. After fleeing his enemies in Mecca, Muhammad and his entourage arrived in Yathrib (later Medina) near destitute. He started a “peace process,” between warring Arab tribes, became a person of stature, and negotiated a “Covenant of Medina,” which also promised “equality” for the Jews living there. Later when he became stronger, he broke the agreement, worked to convert the Jews to Islam, and when rejected, turned on them, attacking and killing two Jewish tribes and driving out the third.

If American Muslims don’t want to be conflated with terrorism, (which is most often carried out by Muslims, globally, I might add), or with anti-Semitism and hate, then they need to stand up, and put down their own self-appointed representatives like Ilhan.

Its either reform Islam now, or face getting more Ilhan Omars…

Temple Mount Fire Misreported by Media

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 07:56

While flames were engulfing the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday night, a pillar of smoke was spotted on the Temple Mount. Though the Jerusalem fire was quickly extinguished, it was misreported in the media.  

A small fire was reported on the rooftop of a guard station outside of the Marwani prayer room in the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director general of the Jerusalem Waqf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, suggested that the fire was set by small Arab children. The fire was reportedly extinguished in under ten minutes. Other than the loss of the guard booth, no damage was reported.

Responding to the incident, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned anyone against targeting the holy site, emphasizing the need to preserve the compound’s “great religious and humanitarian value.”

The underground space is referred to as Solomon’s Stables since it was used by the Crusaders a stable for the cavalry. It is a space some 600 square yards in size 41 feet below the Temple Mount courtyard. In the mid-1990s, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, called for the construction of a synagogue at the site. In response, the Waqf began construction in 1996, without a permit and in gross violation of the status quo agreement signed two years earlier in which Israel granted custodianship to Jordan. The builders used heavy equipment to clear the site, destroying artifacts of immense archaeological importance and damaging the structural integrity of the southern wall of the Temple Mount. It is now a dedicated Muslim prayer site referred to as the Marwani Mosque though it is rarely used as such.

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The incident is being misreported in many media as having occurred in “al Aqsa.” Al Aqsa is, in fact, the silver-domed Mosque in the southern area of the Temple Mount. The gold dome covers the Dome of the Rock, a shrine that was built at the end of the 7th Century in the precise location where the Jewish Temples once stood. Referred to as Qubbat al-Sakhrah in Arabic, it is not a Mosque.

When the IDF unified Jerusalem and conquered the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War, al Aqsa was the only mosque at the site. The Muslims broke into Sha’ar Rachamim in late February, an area that was closed 16 years ago by court order after it was used as a meeting place for Hamas-related organizations. They declared it to be a mosque in contravention of the status quo agreements with the Israeli government.

The Temple Mount has been referred to as the third holiest site in Islam. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran. The sanctity of Jerusalem is not universally accepted in Islamic theology and many Islamic scholars believe it is based on a misreading of the text referring to “the distant Mosque”. 

BIN Exclusive: Secret Story of the Prayer for Redemption Taking Over the World

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 06:25

A prayer to hasten the Messiah is circling the globe, with millions of copies transferred from hand to hand, one copy at a time. For the first time, Breaking Israel News reveals the story of the remarkable prayer, how the prayer’s roots were almost lost 200 years ago and recently rediscovered, and provides an English translation of the prayer.

The man who composed the prayer prefers to remain anonymous but, at the urging of Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion and a member of the Sanhedrin, he agreed to tell the remarkable story of the prayer. Rabbi Berger is convinced that along with the prayer, charity is the final key to bringing redemption. As such, he and the composer of the prayer are working in close conjunction with a very special charity organization.

Twenty-three years ago, an earnest five-year-old boy living in Israel came to a turning point in his devotions. He decided that he needed to focus his prayers specifically on hastening the redemption. After researching the subject, he discovered several traditions of prayers specifically for doing so. He composed a prayer based on teachings of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, an 18th-century Italian kabbalist, and philosopher known by the acronym Ramchal.

“I knew that the Ramchal had studied secret teachings about how to pray for the Messiah,” the composer of the prayer told Breaking Israel News. “Many of the books of the Ramchal were burned or lost and it was said that they would only be revealed when they were needed, just before the Messiah. I conferred with rabbis all over Israel who were surprised that a young boy was interested but none of them could help me. Finally, I came to Rabbi Moshe Leib Rabinovich. He taught me these lost teachings of the Ramchal, which he had rediscovered 40 years ago.”

Rabbi Rabinovich is a noted Torah scholar and the spiritual leader of thousands of Jews of the Munkacs branch of Hassidut. With the help of Rabbi Rabinovich, the young boy compiled the prayer to hasten the Messiah, intending to keep it private for his own use. People from his community who saw him praying from the paper became curious and inquired. When they found out what the prayer was about, they requested copies. The requests became more frequent and even extended beyond his community. People came to him, requesting larger quantities to distribute.

 

(Courtesy Karmey Chesed)

The boy had limited resources and despaired of fulfilling the requests for copies of the prayer. One day, he was praying for the Messiah at the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem when a stranger approached him and insisted that the prayer had to go out into the world. It was just then that a man from another community who had heard of the prayer approached him and asked if he could print up several thousand copies in memory of a deceased relative.

As the years passed, many more people requested copies to distribute but at the same time, many people offered to pay for printing copies.

One mother had copies printed up for all of the soldiers in her son’s military unit. People traveling overseas requested copies to distribute outside of Israel. People asked for printed copies for special occasions or as an act of thanksgiving. The man did so on the condition that his identity as the composer of the prayer remains anonymous.

Since that day, he has printed more than 1 million copies of the prayer using his own resources when possible while allowing people to help if their intention was honorable. In addition, the prayer he composed made its way into prayer books. The man, who is no longer so young, described how the prayer has taken on a life of its own.

“One day, when I was traveling for my work, I entered a prominent yeshiva to pray. I was shocked when the entire yeshiva, several hundred students, began to pray in unison, reciting the prayer I had composed. Without my knowledge, they printed it out themselves as an insert for their prayer books.”

A copy of the prayer made its way into the hands of Ohad Moskowitz, an Orthodox Jewish vocalist who is one of the superstars of the contemporary Jewish religious music scene. He was so inspired that he composed a Hebrew based on the prayer.

Taking on a life of its own, the prayer, composed by a young Israeli boy, has spread and can be found in synagogues all over the world and to this day, no one knows the identity of the man who has helped millions of people around the world join in prayer to hasten the Messiah.

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For the first time, Breaking Israel News is providing a translation of this prayer to hasten the Messiah. In addition, there are five blessings that according to Jewish tradition should be recited upon seeing the Messiah which are included so that when the prayer comes to fruition, the supplicants will be prepared.

May it be your will, God and God of our Fathers, that you will receive willingly the prayers of your nation Israel, who have prayed to you in every generation and in every place in the world, and particularly in the holy land of Israel, and in the merit of this prayer, may it be your will to judge us favorably, to grant Israel a complete redemption in kindness and mercy, with wonders and miracles, and subjugate the blood that is the  Kingdom of Edom, and the fat which is the kingdom of Ishmael, and in the merit of all the truly righteous that are with us today and for the longing we have to see the complete redemption, and in the merit of your mercy and kindness, please send us now the Prophet Elijah , your servant, and reveal the Messiah-king, and crown him over all of Israel and over the world, Please, God, do not send us away from you empty-handed. We trust in you. Please answer us without delay. We are waiting for your salvation. May what I say and my thoughts be your will, my rock and redeemer.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who redeems Israel.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who has given us life and sustained us and allowed us to reach this occasion.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who has granted of His wisdom to those who fear Him.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who has granted His honor to those who fear Him.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who knows all secrets.

“At first, I was shocked but I saw this as a sign that people are waking up to geula,” the man said. “It began because, as a young boy, I simply wanted to pray for the Messiah to arrive. Now, I see that so many people also want to pray. People are coming together, wanting the Messiah and in love of Israel, love of their fellow man. This is what will make the Messiah truly want to come. ”

Rabbi Berger emphasized the need for action via prayer and charity.

“We have all witnessed unprecedented developments in recent years that show without a doubt that the Redemption is near indeed,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “Charity grants huge merit. This is something that cannot be taken away from you. This merit will serve you when the Messiah comes and cannot be taken away from you. If you have the money but haven’t given charity, it will already be too late to earn this merit. The time to give charity is right now before the Messiah arrives.”

Last week, Breaking Israel News reported on a message given to Rabbi Berger by several hidden tzaddikim (righteous men) who assured him that the upcoming Passover Seder night has enormous potential to open the doors to Geula (redemption). The key to this is charity, which was a key element to the Exodus from Egypt.

“Today, so many Jews are in need, and this need is felt most strongly just before Passover,” Rabbi Berger said. “This is an echo of the past, an opportunity to give charity in the way that led God to open the doors and take the Jews out of Egypt.”

The man who composed the prayer and Rabbi Berger have endorsed Karmey Chesed, an intimate Israel-based organization that runs a wide variety of grassroots charity programs. Karmey Chesed is especially active just before Passover when many families are hard-pressed to provide meals.

Karmey Chesed’s Green Charity program collects old appliances and furniture from those who are remodeling or upgrading and delivers them at no charge to those less fortunate. Instead of filling landfills and polluting waterways, these discarded items become a lifeline for needy families.

Its programs include the Green Charity Program, Home Utilities Program, Food Distribution, Aid for IDF soldiers, Relief for Gush Katif Expellees, and an Emergency Housing Program, along with a full staff of volunteers and professional social workers and psychiatrists.

Readers can take part in Karmey Chesed’s efforts to help families for the Passover holiday by donating on their website.

Elements – Fire, Israel Antiquities Authority

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 05:18

How fire was deployed in the service of ancient industries, such as minting coins and glass making, and of lighting private homes.

ESTHER 5:3

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 04:33

When King Ahasuerus offered Esther up to half of the kingdom, this was not merely a show of generosity, but it referred to a specific geographic location. Jewish tradition states that the halfway mark of Ahasuerus’ empire was the site of the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple). Ahasuerus tells Esther that he is willing to do anything to make her happy, short of allowing the rebuilding of the Temple. Although Cyrus, his predecessor, had allowed the Children of Israel to return to Israel and begin reconstruction of the Beit Hamikdash, Ahasuerus was adamantly against it.

Netanyahu Expected to be Asked to Form Israel’s Next Government

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 04:25

Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to remain in his role for a fifth term, following his earning of 65 recommendations from the 120-seat elected parliament.

Netanyahu’s Likud  Party and his main challenger Blue & White, under the leadership of former Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff Benny Gantz, both received 35 seats a piece, final results published Tuesday showed.

Although coalition talks are still underway, Netanyahu is believed to be likely to form a government comprised of the Likud (35), Shas (8), United Torah Judaism (8), Union of Right-Wing Parties (5), Kulanu (4) and Yisrael Beytenu (5).

Despite attaining the proposed support of the necessary 61 MKs, Netanyahu’s coalition construction is far from straightforward. Potential partners are already replaying old disputes, some of which led to the dissolution of the Knesset and the elections last week. One of the most contentious issues – and one on which the ultra-Orthodox parties and Yisrael Beytenu are diametrically opposed is over the contentious legislation to exempt religious students from Israel’s mandatory military draft.

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It is interesting to note that Netanyahu was pushed beyond the majority threshold, after former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman – leader of secular-nationalist Yisrael Beytenu – agreed to support him. The two fell out earlier in the year, among other things, over the appropriate response to Hamas firing rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In consultations with President Reuven Rivlin about who should lead the country, the Blue & White Party only had the support of 46 Members of Knesset (MKs). The party won 35 seats at the election and was backed in coalition talks by Labor and Meretz – center-left and left wing parties.

Pre-election polling in Israel suggested that it would be a tightly fought race in terms of who would be the largest party – and so it proved. What it also showed, was that it seemed much more likely that Netanyahu would have the numbers – i.e. an ability to form a governing coalition.

President Rivlin is expected to give a mandate to form the government on Wednesday at 20:00.

Could Israel Be Bringing Back Legendary Spy Eli Cohen?

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 03:15

There are rumors that legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen’s body could be returned to Israel through negotiations with a third party. What is his legacy and who could be behind it?

Could Russia Be the Broker of an Israeli-Palestinian Deal?

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 02:42

The Palestinians are unwilling to negotiate a deal with Israel under the auspices of the United States, but could Russia step in to fill that role?

Scientists Get Sly, Use Deception to Fight Cancer

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 02:29

To combat cancer, an arch-enemy that kills millions of people around the world (and some 600,000 in the US alone), researchers sometimes revert to using trickery.

In recent years, it’s become clear that proteins that bind to RNA – ribonucleic acid, a molecule essential in various biological roles in codingdecodingregulation and expression of genes – play a major role in cancer growth. These proteins, active in all cells but especially in cancer cells, bind to RNA molecules and accelerate cancer cell growth. Unfortunately, no cancer treatment has targeted these proteins – until now. 

In an article titled “Specific inhibition of splicing factor activity by decoy RNA oligonucleotides” in the new issue of the prestigious journal Nature Communications, Prof. Rotem Karni and his team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem present a new technology to fight cancer. They designed decoy molecules that trick RNA-binding proteins into binding with them. Once attached, these RNA-binding proteins are no longer able to bind with the natural RNA molecules in cancer cells, and they lose their cancer-promoting activity. These “sterile” RNA molecule decoys are called oligonucleotides.

“Our technology is a new approach in the war on cancer. By understanding the biological function of RNA-binding proteins, we successfully designed decoy molecules that inhibit these proteins and move us ever closer to creating an anti-cancer drug,” explained Karni.

Oligonucleotide, the RNA-binding decoy molecule. (Credit: Rotem Karni/Hebrew University)

He and his Hebrew University Institute for Medical Research-Israel Canada (IMRIC) team, led by doctoral student Polina Cohen-Denichenko, developed several decoy molecules that inhibit the RNA-binding proteins that speed-up the growth of brain and breast cancer. To test the decoys, they treated brain cancer cells with decoy molecules.  When the cells were then injected into healthy mice, the cancer cells did not replicate and, soon after, the tumors died off. 

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Alhough this study tested the efficacy of decoy molecules on breast and brain cancer cells, Karni explained that his technology enables scientists to tailor-make decoys for other types of cancer, thereby speeding up and improving treatment for cancer patients. “We still need to examine the toxicity of the decoy molecules and to test their efficacy on animals before we can move on to humans,” cautioned Karni. “However, I’m optimistic, given that we’ve already succeeded at creating decoy oligonucleotides that inhibit RNA binding proteins in other kinds of cancers.” 

Karni recalls that his interest in science began when he was a small child in Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet in the north of Israel. “I used to catch reptiles and insects just so I could learn about them. My curiosity turned into ambitions of becoming a zoologist. I had dreams of studying animals in the South American rainforests.”

He decided to study biology at the Hebrew University and “fell in love with genetics and biochemistry. I specifically wanted to understand why and how cancer develops and progresses, affecting the lives of so many people around the world.” He spent five years on postdoctoral work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

“Today, in my lab at IMRIC we are interested in how the process of alternative RNA splicing (a fundamental step of gene expression) is deregulated in cancer and other diseases, and how the proteins that control this process (called splicing factors) contribute to cancer development, tumor progression and the metastatic process. 

To date, a patent describing this technology has been registered in the US and Europe by Yissum, the Hebrew University’s research and development company.

The Antisemetic Tweets of Murdered Saudi Writer Jamal Khashoggi

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 02:00

(This first appeared in The Jerusalem Post)

The late Saudi Arabian journalist, editor and kingdom-insider Jamal Khashoggi, writing on Twitter from 2011 until 2018, said Jews had no roots in historical Palestine, that one must know how to speak to Jews when meeting them, and that Jews were conspiring to divide al-Aqsa Mosque. The tweets, still online as of April 14, show a pattern of anti-Jewish views that even hinted at references to the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and complained that the West had laws preventing Holocaust denial.

Khashoggi was a well-known Saudi Arabian media titan who had close relationships to the kingdom’s diplomats and public-relations apparatus, until he fell out with the leadership, left the country and began writing abroad in 2017. A columnist for The Washington Post with close links to Qatar and Turkey, he was murdered in October 2018 in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, allegedly at the direction of the highest levels of the Saudi government.

Khashoggi was heralded as a dissident journalist following his murder, but his views on the Middle East were more controversial at home. He argued against Riyadh’s turn against the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview with Al Jazeera in November 2017, he said Saudi Arabia needed to return to its religious roots and have an alliance with political Islam and the Brotherhood. According to the article, he said Riyadh should work more closely with the Palestinians in the struggle against Israel.

It is now clear that his views on Israel were deeply entwined with his negative views of Jews, and that he harbored traditional antisemitic and conspiratorial opinions. A survey of his tweets in Arabic reveals his worldview, as it developed over time. In 54,000 tweets since 2009, written to some 1.7 million eventual followers, he rarely mentioned Jews – but when he did it was consistently negative. Only 30 references were found, but they present an important insight into his controversial views.

Khashoggi also showed some genuine interest in the makeup of Israel, tweeting in June 2011 about the role of Iranian Jews in the country. In a tweet that same month, he wrote about the “desperation of the Jews to deny the Protocols.” Belief in the antisemitic forgery of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion has remained common in the Middle East in both Arab nationalist and Muslim Brotherhood circles up until the present day. Former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hamas both pushed conspiracies regarding the text. These conspiracies were also advanced by Malaysian President Mahathir Mohammed in a 2003 speech to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. As such, Khashoggi would have been familiar with this view.

In December 2011 and July 2012, he referenced the marginalization of Jewish women by “religious Jews,” and the “superstition of the Jews” in reference to Israel and prayers at the Western Wall, calling Jews “deceivers” or “swindlers.”

In August 2012, he argued in relation to Israel: “There is no land that God has made for a people,” noting that while Jews defeated the Canaanites, the Romans defeated the Jews, and it was Muslims who made the land “for all religions.” He was also skeptical of Jewish heritage in the Land of Israel, a theme that returns several times in his tweets. In July 2014, he referred to Jews in Israel as “usurpers,” implying they had stolen or occupied the land.

In September 2012 – when a controversial anti-Islamic video in the US led to riots in Egypt and Libya, and to the murder of the US ambassador in Benghazi – Khashoggi was asked why it was permitted to have a film critiquing Islam in the US, but not questioning the Holocaust. “The reason,” he replied, “is that the Jews passed legislation that criminalized the [questioning] of the Holocaust, while even Catholics failed to criminalize the abuse of Christ.”

On September 13, 2012, he tweeted, “If this was skeptical of the Holocaust, America would not allow it to be published, because the Jews succeeded in obtaining a law that would prevent it in America and Europe.” There is no such law in the US preventing Holocaust denial, but Khashoggi used the false claim to attack Jews.

Khashoggi was a passionate supporter of the Arab Spring protests, including the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and of opposition to Bashar Assad’s regime. In a November 2012 tweet, he compared Hamas fighting Israel to the Syrian rebels, comparing Assad’s power to Israel and implying that “everything can be ended by the rule of Assad and the rule of the Jews.” In each discussion of Israel, Khashoggi does not see Jews in the US or other places as separate individuals; they are simply “the Jews,” in his worldview.

In September 2013, he tweeted that Jews were being “pumped up” with a proposal to divide al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, spreading the conspiracy that Israel seeks to destroy the mosque and take over the Temple Mount.

“The Jews have no history in Palestine so they invented the Wailing Wall, which is a Mamluk structure, and after 1967 saw the tomb of Joseph in Nablus and they decided to take it,” Khashoggi wrote in October 2015. It was one of two tweets arguing that the tomb of Joseph near Nablus was a “Jewish lie,” and that it had been built during the era of Turkish rule.

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The actual tomb was once both a Muslim and a Jewish holy site. It was partly destroyed during the Second Intifada, and was again burned by Palestinian rioters in October 2015. That led to Khashoggi tweeting that Jews had invented an entire history in Palestine, which seems to go against an earlier tweet in which he said Jews came to Palestine after the Canaanites. Arguing that the Western Wall or the Temple Mount were constructed in the Mamluk era of the 13th century would seem to contradict the fact that al-Aqsa Mosque, which is above the wall, was constructed in the eighth century.

Khashoggi’s October 2015 tweet, claiming there is no Jewish history in historical Palestine, led to an exchange with another Twitter user named Jawad al-Hashimy. “Jews without history in Palestine! Sir, your knowledge of history is like my knowledge of the Korean language.” Khashoggi responded by saying the man should “go and look with them [the Jews], they have hunted long and found nothing.” When Hashimy noted that Islam took the name for Jerusalem from Jewish tradition, Khashoggi responded, “What a shame, Muslims have not stolen anything from the Jews, and I think you are a Muslim proud of your identity, don’t provoke me anymore.”

The last tweet about Jews from the insider-turned-critic was in response to a question about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting with Jews in the US. A photo shows the Turkish president meeting members of Jewish organizations in September 27, 2018. “Your comment, Mr. Jamal?” queries another Twitter user.

Khashoggi responded that meeting with Jews is “normal behavior, no comment. The leaders of the Americans Jews are influential and everyone meets with them. I personally delivered a lecture at the American Jewish Committee: what to say when we meet with them.” He seems to imply that it is important to consider how to speak to influential American Jews, in contrast to how one might speak elsewhere.

Khashoggi’s view of Jews was shaped by his environment. He was born in Saudi Arabia in 1958 and grew up in a time when Saudi textbooks contained antisemitism, an issue the Anti-Defamation League and US State Department have noted in the past. Saudi Arabia has sought to reduce antisemitism in recent years, but it would have been readily available to someone like Khashoggi, not only at home but also abroad.

Khashoggi was particularly critical of Israel and opposed any softening of Riyadh’s stance regarding it, an issue that led him to leave the kingdom and speak out in Qatar and Turkey. He referenced this issue in May 2018 in The Washington Post,asserting that the kingdom was having “discussions about an alliance with Israel to counter Iran.” But in his columns his terminology – referring to Israelis as “Jews” or attacking Jews as “usurpers” and swindlers – was not present.

Khashoggi was careful online in his discussions, not elaborating on his reference to the Protocols, but his decision to claim that “Jews” had passed legislation in the US preventing Holocaust denial was false. He also bought into the idea that Jews “lie” about the history of Judaism in Jerusalem, a claim that is in line with anti-Israel propaganda that asserts that the Jewish connection to the Western Wall and other historical Jewish sites is fabricated. Whether he altered his views after leaving Saudi Arabia and becoming more involved in writing in the US is unclear. However, it does appear that he reduced his references to “Jews” on social media.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Middle East Forum

European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched “Every Day”

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 01:00

In Germany, four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone. “In this country,” PI-News, a German news site, explained, “there is a creeping war against everything that symbolizes Christianity: attacks on mountain-summit crosses, on sacred statues by the wayside, on churches… and recently also on cemeteries.”

In virtually every instance of church attacks, authorities and media obfuscate the identity of the vandals. In those rare instances when the Muslim (or “migrant”) identity of the destroyers is leaked, the desecraters are then presented as suffering from mental health issues.

“Hardly anyone writes and speaks about the increasing attacks on Christian symbols. There is an eloquent silence in both France and Germany about the scandal of the desecrations and the origin of the perpetrators…. Not a word, not even the slightest hint that could in anyway lead to the suspicion of migrants… It is not the perpetrators who are in danger of being ostracized, but those who dare to associate the desecration of Christian symbols with immigrant imports. They are accused of hatred, hate speech and racism.” — PI News, March 24, 2019

Countless churches throughout Western Europe are being vandalized, defecated on, and torched.

In France, two churches are desecrated every day on average. According to PI-News, a German news site, 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) were registered in France in 2018. This represents a 17% increase compared to the previous year (2017), when 878 attacks were registered— meaning that such attacks are only going from bad to worse.

Among some of the recent desecrations in France, the following took place in just February and March:

Vandals plundered Notre-Dame des Enfants Church in Nîmes and used human excrement to draw a cross there; consecrated bread was found thrown outside among garbage.

The Saint-Nicolas Church in Houilles was vandalized on three separate occasions in February; a 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary, regarded as “irreparable,” was “completely pulverized,” said a clergyman; and a hanging cross was thrown to the floor.

Vandals desecrated and smashed crosses and statues at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, and mangled the arms of a statue of a crucified Christ in a mocking manner. In addition, an altar cloth was burned.

Arsonists torched the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris soon after midday mass on Sunday, March 17.

Similar reports are coming out of Germany. Four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone. “In this country,” PI-News explained, “there is a creeping war against everything that symbolizes Christianity: attacks on mountain-summit crosses, on sacred statues by the wayside, on churches… and recently also on cemeteries.”

Who is primarily behind these ongoing and increasing attacks on churches in Europe? The same German report offers a hint: “Crosses are broken, altars smashed, Bibles set on fire, baptismal fonts overturned, and the church doors smeared with Islamic expressions like ‘Allahu Akbar.'”

Another German report from November 11, 2017 noted that in the Alps and Bavaria alone, around 200 churches were attacked and many crosses broken: “Police are currently dealing with church desecrations again and again. The perpetrators are often youthful rioters with a migration background.” Elsewhere they are described as “young Islamists.”

Sometimes, sadly, in European regions with large Muslim populations, there seems to be a concomitant rise in attacks on churches and Christian symbols. Before Christmas 2016, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, where more than a million Muslims reside, some 50 public Christian statues (including those of Jesus) were beheaded and crucifixes broken.

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In 2016, following the arrival in Germany of another million mostly Muslim migrants, a local newspaper reported that in the town of Dülmen, “‘not a day goes by’ without attacks on religious statues in the town of less than 50,000 people, and the immediate surrounding area.”

In France it also seems that where the number of Muslim migrants increases, so do attacks on churches. A January 2017 study revealed that, “Islamist extremist attacks on Christians” in France rose by 38 percent, going from 273 attacks in 2015 to 376 in 2016; the majority occurred during Christmas season and “many of the attacks took place in churches and other places of worship.”

As a typical example, in 2014, a Muslim man committed “major acts of vandalism” inside a historic Catholic church in Thonon-les-Bains. According to a report (with pictures) he “overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, twisted a massive bronze cross, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows.” He also “trampled on” the Eucharist.

For similar examples in other European countries, please see herehereherehere, and here.

In virtually every instance of church attacks, authorities and media obfuscate the identity of the vandals. In those rare instances when the Muslim (or “migrant”) identity of the destroyers is leaked, the perpetrators are then presented as suffering from mental health issues. As the recent PI-News report says:

“Hardly anyone writes and speaks about the increasing attacks on Christian symbols. There is an eloquent silence in both France and Germany about the scandal of the desecrations and the origin of the perpetrators…. Not a word, not even the slightest hint that could in anyway lead to the suspicion of migrants… It is not the perpetrators who are in danger of being ostracized, but those who dare to associate the desecration of Christian symbols with immigrant imports. They are accused of hatred, hate speech and racism.”

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute