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Israeli Forces Capture Terrorist Behind Murder of 29-Year-Old Rabbi

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 01:00

The terrorist who stabbed 29-year-old Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal to death in February was caught in Nablus, also known as Shechem, early Sunday along with numerous suspects who hid him from law enforcement.

Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, an Israeli-Arab resident of Jaffa, disembarked at the Ariel Junction bus stop on Feb. 5, walked up to Ben Gal and attacked him with a knife. The rabbi managed to flee to a bus across the street, where he pounded on the door and yelled that he had been attacked before collapsing.

Al-Karim managed to flee despite being run down and hit by the car of an off-duty IDF officer who witnessed the attack. An unidentified accomplice picked him up at the scene and took off.

Al-Karim was arrested in a joint operation utilizing forces from the Shin Bet security services, the Israel Police’s counter-terrorism Yamam unit and the IDF’s Samaria territorial brigade.

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The arrests were the culmination of more than a month of intelligence gathering, raids and arrests of accomplices.

“Let every murderous terrorist know we will get to him and settle the score with him,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in response to the arrests. “I congratulate the security forces for a successful intelligence operation.”

Miriam Ben Gal, the rabbi’s widow and mother of his four children, called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve 800 new homes in Har Bracha, where they live, as “the real answer to Itamar’s murder.”

She said that the arrest of Al-Karim “won’t prevent another terrorist from rising and murdering again, and destroying another family.”

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Trump to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Agreement: Senate Committee Chairman

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 00:00

US Senator Bob Corker (TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CBS on “Face the Nation” that he expects for US President Donald Trump to pull out of the international nuclear agreement with Iran.

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Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 12:43

An Israeli security guard was seriously wounded by a Palestinian in a stabbing attack near the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon. The terrorist was shot and killed by an Israeli policeman.

Video from the scene shows police and rescue services running down the alleys of #Jerusalem’s famous Old City Shuk. Critically wounded security guard said to be in the 20s, terrorist reportedly shot and killed

— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) March 18, 2018

The terrorist was identified as 28-year-old Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, from the village of Aqraba, near the city of Shechem (Nablus)in Samaria. Earlier reports from Israel’s Channel 10 television stated that Turkish identity papers were found on the body of the alleged assailant later proved to be inaccurate.

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“I pray for the health of the person injured in the terror attack in Jerusalem,” Gilad Erdan, the public security minister, said in a tweet. “I praise the police officer who reacted swiftly and killed the terrorist and prevented further injuries.

“The Israel Police will continue to take action against despicable terrorists who are incited [to violence] by the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem and throughout the country,” he added.

On Friday, two Israeli soldiers were killed and two others were injured when a Palestinian man rammed his car into them as they were standing outside a military observation post near the town of  Mevo Dotan settlement in Samaria.

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20 Dead Sea Scrolls in Major Israeli Antiquities Exhibition in Denver

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 08:00

Fascinating manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls collection will appear in public for the first time as part of the new Israel Antiquities Authority exhibition opening at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature will open at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature on March 16.

The large-scale exhibition features some 600 artifacts, including a stone weighing 3 tons from the Western Wall, the largest and most impressive lintel ever discovered in Israel from a First Temple era royal estate, and the stars of the show – 20 Dead Sea Scrolls.

A scroll dealing with matters of ritual purity and impurity will be shown, and part of the scroll known as Musar la’Mevin (Instruction to the one who understands), also known as the Sapiential Work Scroll, containing apocalyptic messages.

Conserving the Scrolls at the Israel Antiquities Authority laboratories in Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Although the exhibition will remain open for six months, the first 10 scrolls on display—under strictly monitored conditions, will be sent back to Israel in three months, to be replaced by 10 other scrolls. The scrolls returned from the exhibition will be kept for at least five years in the Israel Antiquities Authority climate-controlled vault, in conditions simulating those of the Judaean Desert caves in which they were discovered.

The scroll on rules of ritual purity, designated 4Q274 Taharot (Purities) A, was written in Hebrew at the end of the first century BCE and deals with matters of purity and impurity according to the Bible. Because only the ritually pure could deal with sacred matters, those who were ritually impure had to return to a state of purity. Ritual impurity could pass from an individual or object to another. To once again become ritually pure, certain actions had to be taken, such as ritual immersion or isolation. The numerous ritual immersion baths and stone vessels found in archaeological excavations of the Second Temple period in Israel show that the laws of ritual purity were very significant in daily life in Hasmonean times and throughout the Second Temple period.

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This scroll, shown in public in Denver for the first time, is further evidence of the centrality of this issue in the daily lives of Jews of that era. It states that ritually impure individuals had to be isolated not only from those who were ritually pure, but also from those with a different form of impurity. This attitude also appeared later in the ancient rabbinic literature.

Fragments of Scroll 4Q418, Musar la’Mevin (Instruction to the one who understands), also to be shown for the first time in the Denver exhibition, is part of a wisdom composition from the end of the first century BCE. It is similar in character to the biblical book of Proverbs, although it contains apocalyptic messages. Written by a teacher or a sage, it contains instructions to a disciple on the moral conduct that will enable him to avoid evil acts and achieve success in all areas of life, and the high spiritual level attained by the most righteous individuals.

The instructions for daily living include advice on fair business practices as well as on marriage. One unusual characteristic of this work is the constant repetition of the Hebrew phrase raz nihyeh, a term whose meaning is still a matter of scholarly debate. Some scholars translate it as “the secret of existence,” but it can also mean “the emerging secret.” The messages in this scroll are presented as information coming directly from God and conveyed through the sages to their disciples.

Israel Antiquities Authority conservator Tatiana Treiger holding a fragment of the Taharot scroll, on public display for the first time at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. (Photo credit: Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Also among the Dead Sea Scrolls on exhibit in Denver are Biblical, extra-Biblical and sectarian scrolls from the Qumran Caves, reflecting the literary richness of the collection, as well as a document from the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132–135 CE).

The Dead Sea Scrolls are considered the most important archaeological find of the twentieth century, and this year marks the seventieth anniversary of their discovery. They present a unique picture of the spectrum of religious beliefs in Judea in ancient times as well as daily life in the stormy Second Temple period. These delicate fragments of parchment and papyrus, including the most ancient copies of the Bible, were preserved for 2,000 years in the dark, dry conditions of the caves in which they were hidden, and now they continue to be preserved in conditions that simulate the caves, in the Israel Antiquities Authority scrolls storeroom.

The scrolls can be viewed online in the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, which contains photographs and information on about 1,000 ancient manuscripts.

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PSALMS 92:13

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 07:46

King David compares a righteous person to a date palm tree, like the one pictured above. Just as the date palm produces numerous fruits, so too do the deeds of a righteous person bear fruit. In addition, righteous individuals will enjoy fruitful rewards for their actions in both this world and the next. Standing tall and straight with leaves that wave in the wind, date palm trees were depicted on the ancient coins minted by the Maccabees (110-63 BCE) in the Land of Israel and have always been considered a national symbol of victory and strength.

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Revolutionizing Diabetes Treatment With An Artifical Micro-Pancreas

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 07:30

Shay Horchovici, Co-Founder & Director Of Business Development at Betalin Therapeutics explains how his company is offering much more effective solutions in treatment of diabetes, which will include an artificial micro-pancreas.

The post Revolutionizing Diabetes Treatment With An Artifical Micro-Pancreas appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

IDF Demolishes Fourth Underground Terror Tunnel Since November

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 06:00

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) destroyed two underground terror structures in the Gaza Strip, one of which was an old terror tunnel that was being reconstructed by the Hamas terrorist organization.

“Using precise intel and new tech, IDF thwarted (an) attempt by Hamas to renew (an) old terror tunnel near Kerem Shalom,” said Jonathan Conricus, the IDF’s International Spokesman and Head of Social Media, in a statement on Twitter.

“Hamas is responsible for all hostile acts from Gaza and we will continue to defend our people and border.”

Conricus added that it was the fourth terror tunnel that has been destroyed by the IDF since November.

The “old terror tunnel” was built before Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the third war between Israel and Hamas since 2008. During the 2014 war, the tunnel was partially destroyed, and Hamas was attempting to rebuild it by connecting whatever was left of the tunnel with another underground passageway.

A second underground target located in the central Gaza Strip and referred to as a “subterranean complex” by Conricus, was demolished as well over Saturday night.  The IDF has been using advanced methods of late to demolish the underground terror structures.

“Systematically, while making use of quality intelligence and groundbreaking technology, Israel is destroying tunnel after tunnel,” said Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman after Sunday morning’s operation.

“Whoever thought they would succeed in attacking us [from] underground, has run into an iron wall.”

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also vowed to completely obliterate the entire underground terror network by the end of the year. Netanyahu made a similar commitment as well on Sunday morning.

“The IDF destroyed two more terror tunnels last night,” he said. “It is our policy to act with conviction against any attempt to harm us, and to systematically eradicate the tunnel infrastructure, and we will continue to do so.

Netanyahu also claimed that foreign assistance to Gaza was being placed in such underground structures.

“Its time the international community recognizes the fact that the foreign aid money to Gaza is buried underground,” he added.

Netanyahu’s remarks were made against the backdrop of an international conference at the White House last week, which covered the issue of solving the ongoing humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip.

US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, told the participants at the conference that visiting the locations where underground terror tunnels were discovered was crucial for understanding how to effectively transmit foreign aid to the population in Gaza.


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An Obama Photo Worth a Thousand Lies

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 03:00

When a major Obama news photo story broke, the media was there to capture it. A 2-year-old girl was photographed looking at a really terrible painting of Michelle Obama.

“‘A moment of awe’: Photo of little girl captivated by Michelle Obama portrait goes viral,” Washington Post cheered.  “Little girl awestruck by Michelle Obama’s portrait believes she’s a queen,” urgently reported CNN. The sum total of this story is that a little girl looked at a portrait of Michelle.

Eat your heart out, North Korea. Our fake news propaganda is even tackier than yours.

Recently, a photo was released of Barack Obama meeting with Louis Farrakhan. The photo had been suppressed all these years to protect Obama’s career. Farrakhan was the racist leader of a hate group who had praised Hitler and described Jews as “satanic”. And yet he had met with the future president at a Congressional Black Caucus event. A CBC member, Rep. Danny Davis, had even praised Farrakhan.

You might think there’s a story in all that. And you would be wrong.

There isn’t a single Washington Post story on the photo. Not one. The same paper that believed its readers needed to be informed that a little girl had been photographed looking at a bad painting of Michelle Obama hasn’t found the time to report on the cover-up of a meeting between top Democrats, including a future president, and the leader of a racist hate group that had once allied with the KKK.

It’s not that the Washington Post can’t report on Farrakhan. Or use Farrakhan to attack a president.

In ’15, the Post ran, “The bigotry of Trump and Farrakhan” and in ’16, “Why the Nation of Islam is praising Donald Trump”. Its stories about Obama and Farrakhan insist that the two men hate each other. A ’15 piece even attempted to link Farrakhan to Clarence Thomas, instead of Obama.

The Washington Post can report on Farrakhan when attacking Republicans. It just won’t report on Obama’s links to Farrakhan. Neither will CNN. The only mentions of the photo on its site come from CNN personalities like Jake Tapper and Michael Smerconish. CNN found the time to report on a photo of a dog’s ear that it claimed looked like President Trump. But not on a photo of Obama and Farrakhan.

I reached out to Washington Post editor Marty Baron and media columnist Margaret Sullivan asking them to explain their paper’s embargo on the Farrakhan photo.  There has been no response.

Instead of coverage, the Washington Post has engaged in a cover-up.

Ever since Obama left office, the media has reported on all sorts of photos of him. None of these photos are actually significant. The stories are puff pieces of the kind you expect to find in North Korea.

The New York Times, the Washington PostTime and other media outlets found it vital over the years to report on a photo of a boy patting Obama on the head. They continued revisiting the photo even after Obama was out of office. And then ran stories of the boy looking back on that “historic” head patting.

If only they had done a fraction of the research on a photo of Obama meeting with a hate group leader at an official Democrat function as they did on a photo of him mugging for the camera with a little boy.

“Photo speaks volumes about Obama and race,” is how the Washington Post wrote it up. Does the photo of Obama with a black nationalist racist leader who praised Hitler say anything about race?


The Washington Post dedicated yet another piece to yet another photo of Obama and a little boy.  “A touched cheek and hope for the future,” it declared. CNN, for its part, ran, “Obama reacts to child’s White House tantrum.” The media finds staged photos of its beloved leader as newsworthy as any state propaganda agency in a dictatorship. But actual newsworthy photos get buried out back at midnight.

The propaganda photos were mostly taken by Pete Souza, Obama’s Official White House Photographer. Souza had been brought on board to do his best Leni Riefenstahl shtick since 2005 when the Chicago Tribune assigned him to “document” Obama’s first year in the Senate. That turned into a book, “The Rise of Barack Obama”, released just in time for the full launch of the Obama presidential campaign.

New senators don’t normally have a former White House photog following them around. But Obama was being groomed for the White House even before he walked into the Senate. Souza was selected for the Chief Photo Propagandist gig by the Tribune’s Jeff Zeleny in ’04. Zeleny later became infamous, after switching to the New York Times, for asking Obama how “enchanted” he was by his first 100 days.

Obama wasn’t enchanted, but the media was. It was the Chicago Tribune whose dirty trick of unsealing the divorce records of Obama’s Republican opponent got him to the Senate.  And having used dirty tricks to get him there, it funded his hagiography without reporting it as a campaign contribution.

Behind the cute propaganda, photos were a darker truth.

The White House Correspondents Association protested the ban on independent photographers. “Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties,” they complained.

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While President Trump allows the media to photograph him as much as its shutterbugs want, Obama’s official image was a carefully manufactured collaboration made to appear casual and natural.

Instead of risking unflattering shots, Obama Inc. just tossed out propaganda pics from Pete. But photojournalists also participated in staging photos of Obama. During his live speeches, still, photographers would be kept out to avoid any unflattering pictures of the beloved leader moving his simpering lips. Then when he had finished speaking, the photogs were allowed in to take posed shots of Obama pretending to speak even while he was saying nothing.

That is a good summary of how the media covered Obama and how it’s still covering for him.

The media found the time to turn 5 different photos of Obama posing with kids into stories. It pretended that some of these photos, taken with African-American children, said something about race.

No, they didn’t.

The photo that does say something about race is the one of Obama smiling next to a notorious racist. And how many other photos like it remain buried? How many are locked away in a vault somewhere, like the Los Angeles Times’ infamous Obama Khalidi tape, awaiting the day when they no longer matter?

The Obama Farrakhan photo can’t be locked up again. But the mention of it can be locked away by the media which will instead urgently report on a photo of a little girl looking at a portrait of Michelle Obama. Or a photo of a little boy patting Obama on the head. Or Obama with a baby.

Just like the countless propaganda photos and posters of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Kim Jong-un with the kiddies. Here’s an adorable photo of the North Korean dictator at an orphanage. You won’t believe how cute this photo of Stalin holding a little girl is. Especially once you find out he murdered her parents. This snap of Hitler with the daughter of his chief propagandist, who was murdered when Hitler’s doctor forced cyanide tablets into her mouth, was meant to make people think he wasn’t a monster.

And this shot of Saddam Hussein ruffling the hair of a 5-year-old British hostage will melt your heart.

There’s a reason that dictators are often depicted with children. Yes, it makes them seem cuddlier. But it’s also the essence of tyranny for the servants of the people to play the parents of the people instead.

The people are their children who need to be told what to do and disciplined when we misbehave.

Soviet propaganda named Stalin, “Father of Nations”. (When he invaded other nations, he was just exercising his parental prerogatives.) Hitler was the “Father of the German People”. And Obama?

“The President of the United States is, you know, our boss. But also, you know, the president and the first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen, “ said Chris Rock, at a gun control rally back in the Obama era.

And you don’t need to ask why daddy is kissing Louis Farrakhan. It’s none of your business.

That’s what the media is really telling us. And it’s telling that we have the same media as Russia, China, and North Korea that runs propaganda photos of its beloved leader while smearing his opponents.

The media’s Obama kiddy photos and its sullen silence about the Farrakhan photos do tell us something. They tell us that we narrowly survived a cult of personality. And that we aren’t out of the woods yet.

The dictator is out of the White House. But his lackeys still control the news.

The change will come when the Berlin Wall of silence about the Farrakhan photo falls and when the Fuhrerbunker in which the Khalidi tape is buried pops open. We’ll know when the spying, the lies, the dirty tricks of the tyranny under which we’re still living come crashing down around its heads.

And then we’ll know that we are finally free.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

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Christians United For Israel Tops 4 Million Members

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 03:00

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) announced this week that the group had topped 4 million members, making it one of the largest pro-Israel organizations worldwide.

“We could never have predicted that when 400 Christian leaders met in 2006 to establish CUFI, we would reach 4 million members in just over 12 years, yet here we are. CUFI is more than an organization; it’s a movement of millions of Christians who choose to abide the biblical mandate to stand up and speak out for the children of Israel,” said CUFI founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee.

Since its establishment in 2006, CUFI has held 3,000 pro-Israel events in cities and towns across the country; brought nearly 1,000 leading pastors to Israel; and trained more than 3,000 pro-Israel activists at some 350 universities. CUFI’s annual summit in Washington is attended by 5,000 pro-Israel activists.

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“From advocating that the Trump administration move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, to supporting the nomination of Ambassador [to Israel] David Friedman, to advancing the Taylor Force Act, we have seen unprecedented success in advancing our policy agenda,” said Hagee. “We have members in every state and congressional district, and we will ensure their voices are heard by our leaders.”

“This firmly establishes CUFI as not only the largest pro-Israel organization in America, but as one of the largest grassroots organizations in the country,” stated CUFI founding executive director David Brog. “Israel continues to be a top priority for this community; their support is both growing and intensifying; and there remains enormous potential ahead.”

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[Photos] 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 02:00

1.     Just outside of Zikhron Ya’akov, on the breathtaking hillside of Mount Carmel, is Ramat Hanadiv, the nature park and memorial gardens for the Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Along the garden path, one may enter and walk for free, enjoy the views, and learn about the story of Israel’s early pioneers and benefactors.

Ramat Hanadiv Garden Entrance (Eliana Rudee)












2. Edmond (Baron) Rothschild (1845-1934) is buried in the gardens. He was the third son of Betty (Batya) and James (Yakov), the head of the French branch of the Rothschild family. Taking little interest in banking, Edmond devoted most of his time to his love of art. He was originally buried in Paris, but his and his family’s remains were transported to the Ramat Hanadiv garden in 1954, where Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, offered a eulogy.

Baron’s final resting place (Eliana Rudee).





















3.     Baron is often credited for pioneering Ramat Hanadiv’s beautiful landscapes. His involvement with the Yishuv (the jewish community in the land of Israel prior to the establishment of the state) began in 1882 and became a lifelong passion. Ultimately referred to as the “well-known benefactor” and the “father of the yishuv,” the baron was a crucial partner in designing the new homeland of the Jewish people. His impact on its landscape, society, and culture during a period of historic transformation is unparalleled.

A beautiful Ramat Hanadiv fountain, representing one of the Rothschild sons. (Eliana Rudee)





















4.     After a malaria outbreak hit the Ramat Hanadiv community, the Rothschild family came and drained the malarial swamps and built agricultural and industrial enterprises. The Rothschild family strictly managed the area, but they never made a profit in the area, and eventually left. They later sold the land, encouraging the community to focus on grapes and they made wine to sell to the US.

Ramat Hanadiv landscape (Eliana Rudee)












5.      At the start of the 20th century, Baron transferred responsibility for the towns and agricultural settlements he had established to the Jewish colonization association (JCA) but continued to play a role in the management in activity in Palestine.

Ramat Hanadiv landscape and fountain (Eliana Rudee)





















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6.     When Baron let Ramat Hanadiv in 1893, he announced his hope that when he returned, all the residents would only speak the language of their forefathers: Hebrew. In 1925, when he returned, Baron was pleased with what he saw. He spoke of the flourishing of the land in the 50 years since he began his efforts and looking at the land later, he said it, “appeared to me that I am dreaming.”

An aroma garden in Ramat Hanadiv (Eliana Rudee)












7.     Baron’s son bequeathed his father’s funds to construct the building for the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).

Ramat Hanadiv gardens (Eliana Rudee)












8.     Baron is buried in a Second-Temple style burial typical of aristocracy 2,000 years prior, representing the fact that the Rothschild family was not just a family who came to Israel, but a continuation of the Jewish people who were in the land for thousands of years. At his grave, there is a courtyard with a cave and a family tomb. Also in the tomb is a place to wash one’s hands and a light, representing the hole typical of family tombs from the Second Temple period. It was said that the holes helped the souls to ascend.

Baron’s second-temple style burial cave, with a light for his soul to ascend. (Eliana Rudee)












9.   Ramat Hanadiv is full of planted pine and cypress groves, donated by Jewish communities from the four corners of the world.

A beautiful tree in Ramat Hanadiv (Eliana Rudee)





















10. Various archaeological digs have been carried out in Ramat Hanadiv. One of the most significant finds included a Jewish Hellenic era settlement from the times of the Second Temple.

See more photos and facts: Caesarea


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Trump’s Urgent Lebanon Problem

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 02:00

Since visiting Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon late last month, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been sounding the alarm about the growing danger of a devastating war between Israel and Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Ahead of his meeting Monday with President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that Iran and its rapidly expanding regional power, as well as its nuclear program, would be the major focus of their discussions.

Speaking Sunday on Fox News, Graham warned that the U.S. has no policy to push back Iran’s gains in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Specifically, regarding Lebanon, Graham warned, “Southern Lebanon is a nightmare. It makes Gaza look stable. The IDF, the Israel Defense Force, says there are over a hundred thousand rockets and missiles in the hands of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.”

Graham continued, “Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon years ago, the United Nations was supposed to police the area. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon [UNIFIL] has sat on the sidelines and watched Hezbollah dominate southern Lebanon with missile technology that now threatens every part of Israel. So it’s a matter of time until Israel strikes southern Lebanon.”

Last month, officers in UNIFIL — the 10,300-strong multinational force charged with preventing Hezbollah from deploying in southern Lebanon — told a French newspaper that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) blocks UNIFIL from fulfilling its mission. The officers explained that in undermining UNIFIL’s operations, the LAF is acting as Hezbollah’s agent.

As the Jerusalem Post reported, speaking to the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, a warrant officer from UNIFIL’s French contingent said, “In the evening we never leave the barracks because the Lebanese forces are not friendly.”

“We are caught in the aggressor’s grip. Doing the bare minimum has become a political choice,” he added.

A liaison officer with UNIFIL who recently completed his tour of duty with the force told the French newspaper cited by the Post, “When we would detect military activities in our area, especially near the Blue Line [border with Israel], the Lebanese Army would prevent us from posting observers. It is as if those decisions did not come from them. Everyone knows that Hezbollah is using the area for the next war.”

A Finnish officer serving with UNIFIL said that some of the UNIFIL forces spy for Hezbollah.

“I can assure you that Indonesian peacekeepers are constantly reporting Israeli movements to various Lebanese actors,” he said.

He also said that some of UNIFIL’s 585 local employees “do not hide their Hezbollah membership.”

The LAF routinely pays homage to and publicizes its ties with, Hezbollah. For instance, last July, 150 LAF officer cadets visited the Hezbollah museum in the southern Lebanese town of Mleeta. The museum features bombed-out IDF tanks and helmets, and replicas of Hezbollah’s underground bunkers and command posts.

The LAF cadets’ visit to the Hezbollah museum occurred a week after LAF forces participated in a Hezbollah-commanded military operation against a militant group in Syria formerly known as the Nusra Front. As Tony Badran from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies wrote at the time, “It was Hezbollah that laid out the battle plans … including what role the LAF would play in it. And it was Hezbollah’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah who announced the impending start of the joint operation with the LAF during a televised appearance.”

Last April, the LAF accompanied armed Hezbollah forces along the border with Israel.

And last week, LAF Commander General Joseph Aoun threatened to go to war against Israel. Aoun said the LAF “maintains its readiness on the southern border to confront any Israeli military aggression or any attempt to encroach on parts of the territorial and maritime borders.”

Aoun added, “The army has the will to defend Lebanese rights through all the available assets and means, no matter how much the enemy’s threats and provocations may escalate.”

Israeli military commanders and political leaders alike are unanimous in their judgment that Iran controls Lebanon through Hezbollah. Hezbollah controls both the Lebanese government and the LAF.

The Sunni Arab states agree. At an Arab League summit in Cairo last November, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said that Hezbollah is “in total control” of Lebanon.

He added, “Iran’s biggest arm in the region at the moment is the terrorist Hezbollah arm.”

On Sunday, Bahrain provided further evidence that Hezbollah forces are controlled by Iran. The Bahraini government announced it had arrested 116 members of an armed network established and supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The members of the network were charged with attacking Bahraini forces, government officials, and oil facilities.

The government statement said that 48 of the 116 people arrested had received training at IRGC facilities in Iran and their affiliated locations in Iraq and Lebanon.

The threat Hezbollah poses to Israel from southern Lebanon is the greatest threat that Israel now faces. And it is made much worse by the fact that through its LAF subsidiary, Hezbollah is the fifth largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the world.

Since 2006 — the end of the Second Lebanon War — the U.S. has transferred advanced arms to the (LAF) worth $1.5 billion. The U.S. has also trained 32,000 LAF troops and officers.

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Over the past 18 months, the shipments have included a startling array of advanced weapons, including six A-29 Super Tucanos aircraft six new MD 530G light attack helicopters, six new Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles, 32 Bradley M1A2 fighting vehicles, 200 MK-19 Automatic Grenade Launchers, and 827 Copperhead artillery rounds.

Last August, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard announced that over the previous 12 months, the U.S. had provided the LAF with 40 M198 howitzers; 50 armored Humvees; an armed Cessna aircraft, with Hellfire missiles; 55 mortar systems; 50 Mark-19 automatic grenade launchers; 1100 marching guns, including 800 50-caliber machine guns; 4,000 M4 carbines; over half a million rounds of ammunition; 320 night vision devices and thermal sights; and 360 secure communications radios.

As Badran noted at the time, Richard’s list corresponded with Hezbollah’s wish list. Indeed, last month federal authorities charged three men with illegally exporting drone parts and other material to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The three men reportedly “conspired and attempted to export goods including inertial measurement units suitable for use in drones, a jet engine, piston engines and recording binoculars to Hezbollah in Lebanon from 2009 to 2013.”

In other words, between 2009 and 2013, the three Hezbollah agents in the U.S. conspired to provide Hezbollah with precisely the armaments the U.S. has just provided for Hezbollah’s front group in Lebanon – the Lebanese military.

Rather than accept the abundant evidence that the LAF is controlled by Hezbollah, like the Obama administration, the Trump administration insists that the LAF and the Lebanese government are independent institutions and that the U.S. supports both as a counterweight to Hezbollah.

Speaking at a security conference in Tel Aviv in January, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield stunned his audience when he said, “We will sustain our efforts to support legitimate state security institutions in Lebanon, such as the Lebanese Armed Forces, which is the only legitimate force in Lebanon.”

He added that the LAF “could well serve as a counterweight to Hezbollah’s desire to expand its own influence there, as well as Iran’s reach in Lebanon.”

Likewise, during his trip to the Middle East last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to indicate that the Trump administration accepts Hezbollah’s legitimacy in Lebanon. Tillerson said, “We also have to acknowledge the reality that they [Hezbollah] are also part of the political process in Lebanon.”

After giving a nod to Hezbollah, Tillerson traveled to Beirut. There, he was subjected to public humiliation as Lebanon’s Hezbollah-controlled president Michael Aoun kept Tillerson waiting uncomfortably in front of cameras before he came out to greet him.

During his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saed Hariri, Tillerson ignored the fact that Hezbollah is the controlling faction inside the Lebanese government and that it enjoys a collaborative — indeed, a commanding — relationship with the LAF. Pretending these hard truths away, while clinging to the myth of Lebanese governmental and military independence, Tillerson said, “Lebanon will never be truly strong and stable as long as Hezbollah continues to act outside the confines of the Lebanese government. Its provocations at the behest of its regional masters like Iran ultimately put the Lebanese people at risk.”

He added, “It is unacceptable for a militia like Hezbollah to operate outside the authority of the Lebanese government. The only legitimate defender of the Lebanese state is the Lebanese Armed Forces.” The U.S., Tillerson said, “has considered Hezbollah a terrorist organization for over two decades.”

Trump administration officials tell Breitbart News that despite America’s continuous supply of advanced weapons to the LAF, President Trump will not bat an eyelash if Israel destroys all of the weapons the U.S. has supplied Lebanon in a future war.

But there are two problems with that assurance. First, Israeli military officials are concerned that America’s vast investment in the myth of LAF independence will cause Washington to demand that Israel not strike LAF facilities and forces in the coming war with Hezbollah. Second, the very fact that the military forces arrayed against Israel in Lebanon are equipped with advanced U.S. weapons systems means that the threat against Israel is much greater than it otherwise would have been.

In other words, American military assistance to the LAF is not possible to dismiss. It significantly degrades Israel’s military position vis-à-vis Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon.

Senator Graham told Fox News that he is scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week to discuss his concerns about Iran’s growing control over Syria and the threat to Israel in southern Lebanon.

Graham said, “I will meet with General Mattis and tell him that seven senators – four Democrats and three Republicans — believe that Israel is in a no-win situation. The United Nations has failed miserably to protect Israel’s border regarding Lebanon and southern Lebanon. And it’s just a matter of time until Israel has to use military force. And the message is: You need to come up with a policy not just to destroy ISIL but to counter Iran.”

In other words, a year into the Trump administration, there is bipartisan support for Trump and his advisers to end Obama’s policy of supporting Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon and stand with Israel.

It is well past time — and indeed, it is urgent — that the administration heed the message.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Caroline Glick

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Trump and Putin: What’s Really Going On?

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 01:00

I like chaos.” — United States President Donald Trump, March 4, 2018

Credo quia absurdum. “I believe because it is absurd.” In the very best case scenario, President Donald Trump is “merely” incompetent, fundamentally incapable of meeting minimal intellectual and emotional expectations of the American presidency. In the worst case, he is acting consciously on behalf of his Russian counterpart, expressly driven by Vladimir Putin to sow chaos and eventual capitulation in the United States.

Significantly, however, even the second case explanation need not imply any hatred or disloyalty toward Mr. Trump’s own country. It suggests only that Mr. Putin has such overwhelmingly damaging personal information at his disposal that Donald Trump no longer maintains any “rational” alternative to collaborating against core American national interests. Following such more-or-less plausible extrapolations from ordinary logic, the people of the United States can now choose to examine all pertinent evidence with appropriate care and attention, or they can continue to assume that even an outrageously objectionable US president may nonetheless be sane and/or uncorrupted.

If they should choose the latter, they could commit a very familiar human error in reasoning, a fallacy, siding lazily with blind faith over science and truth. Undoubtedly, Sigmund Freud would have called this behavior a textbook example of “wish fulfillment,” the very same term he used to explain religion. All the more so, perhaps, because Mr. Trump now continues to express his fierce admiration for foreign dictators and “strongmen” in general, and to impose selective tariffs that would specifically undermine the US aerospace and defense industry.

If, however, the American People should opt instead for a properly systematic assessment, they might then offer their imperiled country a seemingly last chance to be taken seriously, and also to remain recognizably decent before the wider community of nations.

In the very early years of German National Socialism, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, speaking proudly against science and truth, intoned ominously: “Intellect rots the brain.” From the beginning, US President Donald Trump has deliberately surrounded himself with subordinates who routinely oppose any capable iterations of measured analytic thought. Even when his highest-level appointments have become downright caricatural or cartoonish – e.g., when his appointees are selected precisely because they oppose the objectives and interests of the federal department to which they are being directed – the public reaction somehow stops palpably short of any needed incredulity.

Certain other fundamental questions ought now to arise. Exactly what kind of American democracy stands solidly against human rights both inside and outside of its own borders, rights expressly guaranteed to all by the “sacred” founding documents of the United States?

(By their definition, the rights assured by the Declaration of Independence and Constitution can never be confined to only the people of the United States. This is because both documents were conceived by their authors as the indisputable codification of a pre-existing Natural Law. Although generally unrecognized, the United States was expressly founded upon the Natural Rights philosophies of the 18th century Enlightenment, especially Locke, Hobbes, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. Thomas Jefferson, an American president before Donald Trump, was well acquainted with the classic writings of political philosophy, from Plato to Diderot. In those early days of the Republic, it is presently worth recalling, an American president could not only read serious books but could also write them.)

The only correct answer, in this case, is a nation that is willing to violate not only relevant international law but also its own domestic or municipal legal rules. This is because international law, whether customary or codified, has long been unambiguously incorporated into the “supreme law” of the United States.

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When President Trump’s executive orders direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expand his coercive program of “expedited removal” (of selected immigrants, to their inhospitable countries of origin), he is frequently in violation of the legal principle known as non-refoulement, as codified (inter alia) at Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Automatically, owing to the prior incorporation of international human rights law into US law, these very serious violations extend as well to the authoritative immigration laws of the United States.

Similar and intersecting legal issues must now be raised with regard to this president’s explicit country preferences concerning future immigration to the United States. When Mr. Trump openly urges reduced immigration from “shithole countries,” which just happen to be in Africa and Latin America or the Caribbean, and calls instead for refugees from “places like Norway,” it is a thinly disguised retrogression to Third Reich-type criteria. In essence, and without any conspicuous subtlety, President Trump has been nudging America toward an immigration posture of “pure blood,” an inherently egregious stance that would openly prefer “pure” (read “Aryan” type) immigrants to all others.

The fact that such crude and inhumane presidential thinking is allowed to pass as merely “coarse,” “prejudiced,” “foolish” or “narrow-minded” misses a very key antecedent point. It is that determinedly racist stereotypes are integral to President Trump’s core persona, and thus help fashion his actual policies. In this connection, one need now be reminded that despite America’s codified and customary legal obligations to oppose genocide-like crimes in Syria – obligations discoverable, among other sources, at the 1948 Genocide Convention – Mr. Trump chooses to stand silently by the overtly murderous Syria policy of his never-criticized counterpart (“master”?) in Moscow.

Under absolutely no circumstances, it should be obvious, would this American president ever stand up against crimes of war and crimes against humanity where they have first been “authorized” by Vladimir Putin. For the United States, this stunningly unique presidential unwillingness means opposing our interests and our ideals at the same time. For us, moreover, this can signify nothing less than abandoning our indispensable rights and corresponding privileges for the sake of maintaining a contemptible and potentially catastrophic American presidency.

Going forward, when we should sometime look back at what we had once allowed, what will be the excuse for our de facto complicity with such plainly defiled American governance? Will it be that the apparent facts of Mr. Trump’s “cooperation” with Vladimir Putin were just never sufficiently clear or compelling? If so, then we may all soon have to learn to “love chaos.”

Reprinted with author’s permission from Jurist

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Does God Speak Through Donald Trump?

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 01:00

“God is still in control and God answers our prayers – regardless of what the anti-God people say,” Stephen Strang, founder and CEO of Charisma Magazine told Breaking Israel News.

Huddled together in the close quarters of a makeshift private room at the recent National Religious Broadcasters conference in Nashville, Strang made a statement to BIN that causes goosebumps and other hair-raising stress reactions to the Liberal media: “There was a supernatural aspect to the election of [US President Donald] Trump to the Oval office. I wrote this book to put it on record.”

“This book” is “God and Donald Trump,” written by Strang and published in November 2017 by FrontLine. The book tries to prove that whether the Left wants to believe it or not, “God is a true God and God did something they don’t approve of” in placing Trump in the Oval Office.

For Strang and his Christian readers of Charisma, Trump’s election was in some ways Divine. Strang said readers told him they were concerned about the direction of the United States, as they saw it moving further away from the truth of Scripture and morality. One Christian reader even said, “We were praying God would raise somebody up.”

God raised up Trump, according to Strang, much like he raised up British Prime Minister Winston Churchill just more than 70 years prior. During WWII, it was Churchill who urged the free world to rise and defeat Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime.

In a not-so-dissimilar book from Strang’s, “God & Churchill,” authors Jonathan Sandys (Churchill’s great-grandson) and former White House staffer Wallace Henley point out that Churchill led from a core belief in Divine destiny. Sandys and Henley say that as a 16-year-old school boy, Churchill prophesied to a friend that London would one day be attacked and that he would lead England to victory.

“To then state clearly and with confidence that not only are you going to be the leader in a time of war, but you’re going to lead your country to victory — that becomes absolutely impossible,” Sandys said in an interview with CBN. “But in the light of history in 1945, you see that’s actually the case.”

“God was intervening through this man in that period of history,” Henley said. “So, God will intervene in our history. He will raise up people like that.”

Strang said God historically uses flawed individuals to do His work. Jews, for example, reference Moses, who led the people out of Egypt despite his being “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue,” (Exodus 4:1). Similarly, God raised up Cyrus, King of Babylon, who allowed the foreign populations who had been deported to Babylonia to return to their old lands. This included the Jews, who returned to Israel and rebuilt the Temple.

“It is hard for us to understand God’s ways,” Strang said.

In his book’s epilogue, Strang tells the story of a Catholic “holy man” named Thomas Zimmer who according to sources prophesied that Trump would lead America back to God. The story goes that in the 1980s, Zimmer, who was known as the “Hermit of Loreto,” had a premonition that a certain man would lead America back to God, and that this man would be Trump.

Zimmer was so sure Trump would become a great spiritual leader than he wrote his name on a brick and had it placed in the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Holy Door after the Jubilee, so Trump would receive blessings from the many masses that would be said in the Vatican.

Though Strang said the story does not easily fit into the “God and Donald Trump” narrative as he presented it in most of his book, he chose to include the story “if only to make you wonder if it might be true and if it’s one more confirmation – from a very different perspective – that somehow God raised up Donald Trump.”

This holy man said that Trump would return the American people back to faith. Strang said he does not believe that Trump has yet turned the American people faithful. In contrast, he expressed irritation that the left media and others continually mock Christians and “do everything possible to remove God and moral authority from our schools and our culture.”

However, Strang said Trump has reawakened the national conversation about faith, religious liberties and moral decline, that he has bettered held at bay attacks against those of faith, and that he has made some legislative moves that put faith at the forefront.

“In some sense, when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, he turned America toward God,” Strang said. “On his first day in office, he gave executive orders that made abortion more difficult, for example.”

In Strang’s home state, Florida, the House of Representatives recently passed legislation requiring all public schools in the Sunshine State to post the words “In God We Trust” – the state’s motto – on all campuses where students and staff can see them. He believes Trump’s vote for faith encouraged these lawmakers.

“The Bible tells us to pray for righteous leaders, so we can live good and peaceful and Godly lives,” Strang said.

Trump’s support of Israel came through faith, too, according to the author. Strang said a lot of people don’t like Trump and they don’t like Israel, either. But Trump will stand by Israel out of faith.

According to Strang, Trump’s understanding of the need to support the Jewish state started in 2003, when he contacted Paula White Cain after watching her television show. They became quick friends and White introduced Trump to several other evangelicals.

“She is very pro-Israel and she and these other evangelicals have included him and influenced him,” said Strang.

Today, Trump makes pro-Israel decisions on his own.

“He gets it,” said Strang. “When he hears something right or wrong, he processes the information very quickly and he makes a lot of right decisions.”

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Strang said one can see that Trump’s decisions on Israel are so far correct. For example, when he announced the decision to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, “everyone said the Middle East would erupt in flames. It has not happened. And now there is information that he may be able to broker a deal where the Sunni Muslim countries are going to ban together with Israel against Iran. Who would have thought?

“I know people who actually think the Temple is going to be rebuilt.”

Strang understands that some might see his book as controversial in that he blurs the line between prophecy and the news. He said the concept of prophecy has always been controversial, and that not even all Christians believe in modern-day prophecy.

“I believe God does speak to people,” said Strang.

The author built his whole career based on this understanding. Strang is a trained journalist who started his career as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. But Strang said he was often marginalized among his colleagues because of his Christian beliefs. This led Strang to open Charisma in 1975, at first only a small magazine that served the charismatic community and covered items that many others choose to ignore. Today, Charisma Media is a multimedia publishing house.

“We are a publishing house and a ministry,” he told Breaking Israel News without apology.

While Strang said one must be cautious about seeing prophecy in every news item, he believes there are some news stories from which prophecy is clear.

“In 1948, when the news came out that Israel was a state, was that prophecy fulfilled?” Strang asked. “Of course.”

“In the same way, 1967 was in the news. We are now seeing scriptures in the news more clearly. Things seem to be coming to crescendo in human history,” he said.

And Trump?

Said Strang: “I think Trump feels a part of destiny.”

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Netanyahu Receives Elie Wiesel Award on Behalf of His ‘Martyred Brother’

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 00:00

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the Elie Wiesel award on behalf of his brother Yonatan “Yoni” Netanyahu who died in battle rescuing Jewish hostages in Entebbe, Uganda on July 4, 1976.

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Explosion on Gaza Border, IDF Retaliates

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 18:04

The IDF reported the detonation of an explosive device on Saturday on the border fence separating Israel from Gaza. No Israeli troops were in the vicinity at the time of the explosion and no injuries or damage was reported.

In response to the planted explosive, IDF tanks fired three shells at a Hamas military position in Gaza.

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This is the fourth explosive device planted on the security fence in the past four weeks. On Thursday, two improvised explosive devices (IED) detonated approximately 100 yards from an IDF patrol. No injuries resulted.

Last month, four IDF soldiers were injured when an IED was detonated along the southern Gaza fence. The IED was placed on the fence during a violent protest of Gazan civilians.

Similarly, on Friday, approximately 150 Gazans rioted along the border during a Day of Rage called by Hamas in response to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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2 Killed, 5 Injured in Suspected Terror Ramming Attack

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 11:36

Two Israelis were killed and five more injured in an apparent terror ramming attack at around 4:45 on Friday in Northern Samaria. The driver, a  26-year-old Palestinian from the town of Barta’a, was lightly injured and treated at the scene. He is in custody. The apparent attack took place on Route 585 from Mevo Dotan towards Hermesh.

חשד לפיגוע בשומרון: תיעוד מזירת האירוע

— חדשות עשר (@news10) March 16, 2018

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An Arab victim was lightly wounded. He was evacuated by a Red Crescent ambulance. He was lightly wounded.


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Against International Conventions, Arab Medics Steal Terrorist From IDF Custody

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 07:29

A group of Red Crescent medics trade blows with IDF Border Patrol Soldiers before carrying away two terrorists the IDF arrested. The confrontation occurred during a riot at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah in Samaria. As part of the International Red Cross, it is against international conventions for Red Crescent personnel to interfere with security personnel in this manner. Red Crescent has frequently been caught on video flaunting these conventions by transporting rioters during confrontations with the IDF and blocking Israeli motorists attempting to flee Arab lynch mobs. Red Crescent medics have also been accused of refusing to aid Israeli terror victims.

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UNRWA Gets $100 Million But Still a “Long Way” to Go

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 07:01

At a conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Rome on Thursday, the organization received pledges for $100 million but a pending shortfall of $350 million still leaves the agency facing the worst financial crisis in its 68-year history.

The US is the UNRWA’s largest sponsor, providing about one-third of the agency’s total budget. The Trump administration announced in January it was cutting $65 million this year from its budget for UNRWA pending reforms the US wants in the agency. UNRWA officials claim the actual budgetary cut was $300 million because the agency expected the US to provide $365 million in 2018.

The new funding was provided by Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India, and France.

“If UNRWA would not exist, if these services were not provided, the security of region would be severely undermined,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters at the conference’s conclusion. “Now it is very clear, it is absolutely essential, that the extraordinary unanimity in political support to UNRWA and its activities translates itself into cash.”

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Guterres told the conference that the budgetary shortfall “would have severe impact — a cascade of problems that could push the suffering in disastrous and unpredictable directions.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who along with his counterparts from Jordan and Sweden co-hosted the meeting made a statement to reporters.

“It is vital and it is necessary to address these very basic services, but also to provide dignity for multitudes of Palestinians and to (protect) many of them from the potential threats of radicalization and terrorism,” he said. “We recognize the important contributions of the United States in the past and look forward that it continues to play its fundamental role in support of UNRWA and in also support of the peace process to enable the establishment of the Palestinian state.”

URWA was established in 1948 to aid Palestinian refugees from the wars against Israel. It is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR, the branch of the UN that aids all other refugees. Unlike the UNHCR, Palestinians do not lose their refugee status after being resettled in a different country. The agency claims to provide health care, education, and social services to an estimated 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. A recent survey by the Lebanese government discovered that the actual number of Palestinian refugees in their country was 175,000, one third the number claimed by UNRWA. Since the UNRWA does not put a limit on the refugee status, most of the recipients of UNRWA aid are third and fourth generation descendants of the original refugees.

Investigations into UNRWA have discovered funds being used to support individuals involved in militant activities. UNRWA school textbooks have been discovered to espouse egregious anti-Israel agendas. In 2014, US Senators demanded an impartial investigation into UNRWA’s alleged participation in the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, accusing UNRWA of being complicit with Hamas.

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Fri, 03/16/2018 - 06:14

In his first vision, Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) is shown an almond branch. The almost tree is the first tree to blossom in the springtime in the Land of Israel. Pictured above is a beautiful blossoming almond orchard at Kibbutz Nachshon. When all else is dead, the almond tree with its bright pink buds, awakens the countryside from its winter slumber. By referencing this well known tree, Yirmiyahu hopes to inspire the Children of Israel to awaken from their spiritual slumber and return to follow the word of Hashem.

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Nikki Haley Makes Good on Threat: No Aid For Voting Against Jerusalem

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 06:00

US Ambassador to the UN  Nikki Haley is making good on her threat to cut US aid to countries that vote against the US in the United Nations.

In December, 128 countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. At the time, President Trump and Haley threatened that there would be grave repercussions for recipients of US aid who failed to stand by their benefactor on such issues.

On Thursday, Foreign Policy reported on a 53-page memo issued by Haley. Titled “America First Foreign Assistance Policy”, the new policy will make good on that threat.

“It is the opinion of the U.S. mission to the U.N. that all U.S. foreign assistance should be reevaluated to ensure that taxpayers dollars are spent to advance U.S. interests, not to fund foreign legacy programs that provide little or no return on investment,” the memo read.

The memo suggested there will be a general reassessment of the policy guiding US foreign aid.

“The autopilot nature of many U.S. foreign assistance efforts is leaving far too much ‘low-hanging fruit’ that should be either eliminated or leveraged into greater support at the U.N. and elsewhere,” the memo said.

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The paper proposed reviewing the aid given to nearly 40 countries that received a total of $100 million in 2016 yet vote against the United States 54 percent of the time. One such example noted in the paper was South Sudan, among the top 10 recipients of US aid in 2016 that “votes for U.S. interests at the United Nations a paltry 47.9% of the time.”

The new policy singled out the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a key offender, noting cuts to the PA “should serve as a fulcrum from which we use our foreign assistance leverage and measure its impact.”

The Foreign Policy report cited a few of the countries that would be targeted by this new policy.

“Haley’s staff cite three U.S.-funded projects worth reconsidering in view of the recipient countries’ frequent lack of support for U.S. positions: A $3.1 million job training program in Zimbabwe, a $6.6 million climate change program in Vietnam, and a $4.9 million school construction program in Ghana. The memo tallied $580 million in total U.S. support for those three countries in fiscal year 2016, but saw support for U.S. positions in the U.N. only 54 percent of the time from Ghana, 38 percent of the time from Vietnam, and 19 percent of the time from Zimbabwe.”

“None voted with us on Jerusalem, even though none have a strong domestic constituency compelling the vote,” Haley’s memo stated, justifying the aid cuts.

 Aligning with the US was not the only factor in the new aid guidelines and some of the more egregious offenders were spared. Iraq, one of the largest recipients of US largesse votes against it benefactor 60 percent of the time, yet the memo emphasized US aid would continue. Similarly, Egypt, which “often has a more antagonistic approach to the United States in the U.N. than Russia, China and Venezuela,” would likely be spared, according to the memo.

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