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What Zionism and Israel’s Reestablishment Mean to Me

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 03:13

By Yotam Eliach

I have been truly fortunate to be born and live at a time in Jewish History where I get to realize the dreams of close to 100 generations of Jews; namely the Return to Zion, for which Jews have prayed, for 19 centuries. To me that is remarkable on a religious and a historical level. There are prayers I get to recite daily (some three times a day) that speak of the return of the Jewish people from all four corners of the Earth to the land of Israel, that speak of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, that speak of a new light shining on Zion, that to past generations were aspirations for the future, that for me are affirmations of my present!

The simplest way for me to share what the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty has meant to the Jewish people from my perspective is by telling a story that involves relying on a principal from science fiction, namely time travel.

Imagine that time travel was possible. If it were I would set my time machine to transport me back in time to the following dates and places: Southern Europe during the years 1095 – 1099 when the Crusaders were on their way to the Holy Land and killed tens of thousands of Jews. Spain, the summer of 1492 when after centuries of Jews living in the country and at times being fully integrated into the country’s life; all are expelled. Parts of Ukraine (In the Jewish Super Ghetto known as the Pale of Settlement.) during the years 1882 – 1903 when horrible violent riots were taking place in Jewish towns – pogroms – that were either sanctioned by the Russian Government or ignored by it. Finally, from September 1, 1939 – May 9, 1945 in all the countries of Europe and North Africa where the Nazis were exterminating Jews, in what we now call the Shoah – Holocaust.

Being that I have been privileged to have been to Israel well over 50 times and in total having spent over 5 very intense years in the country. I would bring with me a photo album of pictures I have taken during my travels as well as aerial photographs of Israel. At each one of the above mentioned stops I would tell the Jews around me that I am from their future, and I would describe in detail what the sovereign re-established Jewish state looks like and how many, and what types of Jews live there.

I would show them photographs of the country, and its people. I would describe what the Kotel Plaza (Western Wall) looks like, and what it’s like on Friday nights when thousands of different types of Jews come there to pray. What it looks like on Sukkot when thousands come to be blessed by the Kohanim (Priestly Caste), and what it looks like when soldiers from the IDF are sworn in there. I would tell them about the Knesset, the Israeli Flag and the Menorah which is the emblem of the Jewish state.

I would tell them about the IDF, and a little about what it has accomplished since 1948. I would show them my own swearing in ceremony when I received my Tanach and M16. I would tell them about the millions of Jews in Israel who come from well over 150 countries, and how they have all returned to the land of their forefathers. I would tell them about the many accomplishments of the Jewish state in science, technology, medicine, and its archeological finds, that link the Jewish present to the Jewish past.

They would see pictures of the green fields of the Hula Valley, and the forests that surround Jerusalem, and of some of the thousands of synagogues and yeshivot in Israel. I can guarantee that at each one of these historical stops the Jews I would be speaking to and showing pictures would begin to weep with joy, and probably would just want to touch me since I would be representing something holy and unbelievable to them. I would not be surprised is some of them would probably ask me to describe the Mashiach (Messiah) since surely in their minds he has arrived. I would smile and tell them that we are still waiting for him, but that our present is the future that they have all been dreaming of. The re-established State of Israel with all the problems that running a sovereign state entails, is nothing less than the embodiment of a 2000-year-old dream!

In my book Judaism Zionism and the Land of Israel, I take the reader on the journey that began with the Patriarch Abraham until the present. My hope is that when you complete the book you will have an attachment to the re-established State of Israel that is religious, emotional and cerebral.

The post What Zionism and Israel’s Reestablishment Mean to Me appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Beneath the Surface: The Untold Story of US Christians Unearthing Israeli Archaeology

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 01:12

Can archaeology bring biblical history to life?

According to historian and Deputy Minister Michael Oren (Kulanu), it depends who you ask.

Speaking at a June 10 Jerusalem event celebrating the opening of the “Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered” exhibit at the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation in Oklahoma and 50 years of archaeological collaboration between the Armstrong Foundation and Israel, Oren said that in Jerusalem, archaeology serves as a tool for proving the Jewish people’s roots in the land.

“By digging down into the earth of the holy land and finding our answers in there, we established our roots here and showed…we’re not interlopers or migrants, we‘re not survivors of the Holocaust that Europe dumped here,” as even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed as recently as a month ago. “We are indigenous people.”  

Archaeology, said Oren, is key to “our validity, legitimacy and security… Archaeology is not just about revealing the past. It is about acquiring the present and ensuring our future.”

Oren said this notion rings especially true with the most recent findings of Hebrew University Biblical archaeologist Eilat Mazar: The seals of Hezekiah and Isaiah.

In a rare public speech, Mazar explained the significance of the 2,700-year-old royal seal impression of King Hezekiah and the purported seal of the Jewish prophet Isaiah, both foundational pieces of the Oklahoma exhibit. The seals were found 10 feet away from each other in the same layer of soil in 2009 and are dated to the eighth-century.

The Hezekiah seal – upon which it is written, “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah” – is the only seal impression belonging to an Israelite or Judean king ever found in a controlled scientific excavation.

It took several years for Mazar to complete her studies of the findings. The seal of Isaiah was only reported this year because Mazar and her team had difficulty interpreting it.

The Hezekiah bulla. (Eilat Mazar)

There continues to be debate if the seal really belonged to the prophet. But Armstrong Foundation founder Gerald Flurry is in no doubt. He said the seal dates to precisely the time the prophet was alive in Jerusalem. It was found near the royal Ophel area, where Isaiah served. Hezekiah and Isaiah are mentioned together in the same biblical verses 16 times.

“Let the stones of Hezekiah and Isaiah speak,” Flurry said. “They have a thundery voice of hope.”

The June 10 event was the first time the seals were open to the media. They were on display via live video from the Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma.

The partnership between the Armstrong Foundation and Mazar goes back 50 years, to Mazar’s equally well-known grandfather, archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, whom Israel commissioned in 1968 to run Hebrew University’s massive archaeological dig near the Temple Mount.

At that time, Herbert Armstrong, an ambassador of the Worldwide Church of God‎, and Mazar came into contact. According to Brad Macdonald, curator of the “Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered” exhibit, Armstrong and Benjamin Mazar struck up a friendship and Armstrong started sending students to volunteer on the excavation. Ultimately hundreds volunteered, and Armstrong financially supported the excavations for almost 10 years.

When Armstrong died in 1986, his successors abandoned his legacy, until in 1989, Gerald Flurry, an Ambassador graduate and Worldwide Church of God minister, opened the Philadelphia Church of God to continue Armstrong’s legacy. In 1996 he established the Armstrong’s Ambassador International Cultural foundation and then Herbert Armstrong College.

Flurry got in touch with Mazar in 2005 after she started digging in the City of David. In 2006, Flurry sent two college students. It went so well, said Macdonald, that since then, more than 50 have been sent by Armstrong College to Jerusalem to work on Mazar’s excavations. The students comprised most of the laborers on Mazar’s most recent dig, which was also fully funded by the foundation.

Together, Mazar and the students unearthed evidence of King David’s palace, King Solomon’s royal quarters, the governor Nehemiah’s wall, the seals of two Judean princes mentioned in Jeremiah 37 and most recently, the golden Menorah Medallion and bronze coins.

Mazar said she remembers when the students supported her grandfather’s work.

“I was 10 or 11 at the time, and I used to go into the field and talk to them, which helped me learn English,” Mazar said. “They were so enthusiastic, really amazing, just like they are now when they come to my excavations. Nothing has changed.”

Mazar called Armstrong’s students Israel’s best archaeological collaborators who no one knows about.

Because the Herbert Armstrong College students helped Mazar uncover both the Hezekiah and Isaiah seals, the foundation was granted the honor of hosting the artifacts’ world premiere, said Macdonald. The exhibit will be open in Oklahoma until August 19 and then the artifacts will return to Israel.

Flurry said the exhibit is the “story of repentance, redemption and national salvation. It is the story of how God, through a remarkable king-prophet alliance, saved a city and its people from terrorism, war and conquest. It is the ultimate story of hope.”

Macdonald said the archaeological exhibition will illuminate how Jerusalem avoided annihilation at the hands of the Assyrian army at the end of the 8th century B.C.E. He said he hopes the exhibit will “bring biblical history to life and connect people to their roots, allowing the past to empower the future.”

He said that for him these findings are among a long list of artifacts found that directly relate to the Bible and prove to him its validity.

“In archaeology, there is all kinds of evidence the Bible is true,” said Macdonald.

Mazar said she is not quick to jump to conclusions. While one might consider the Bible a historical source, she said when an archaeologist starts digging, “you must put aside what you think you know because when the artifacts are found, they will teach you what you need to know. You cannot force your own ideas on them.”

But she said her team found Hezekiah’s seal – “you cannot argue with that.”

“The result of my work is that such a huge percentage of the Bible turns out to be accurately described,” she said. “The power of archaeology is that you have tangible evidence.”

The post Beneath the Surface: The Untold Story of US Christians Unearthing Israeli Archaeology appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

9th Century Ayyubid Amulet Praising Allah Discovered in City of David

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:32

Last week, archaeologists at the City of David in Jerusalem discovered a tiny ceramic amulet from the 9-10th century with an Arabic inscription praising ‘Allah.’

The one centimeter long piece of clay pottery was inscribed with two lines that were translated by Dr. Nitzan Amitai-Price from the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University:

“Karim (a first name) will trust in Allah

‘Rabbo” (master) of the worlds is Allah’”

Amitai-Price noted that stamps made of semi precious stones that bear similar inscriptions are a common find from the Abbasid period, but this type of clay object, especially one so tiny, is a relatively rare archaeological find. The new discovery is also unusual in that most amulets of this type contain only one line.

According to the directors of the excavation, Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “the size of the object, its shape, and the text on it indicate that it was apparently used as an amulet for blessing and protection.”

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) press release, “The wording of the first line is familiar from seals made of semiprecious stones, as well as from roadside inscriptions (graffiti) along the pilgrims’ route to Mecca (Darb al-Haj) from the 8th-10th centuries CE. The lower portion of the letters in the second line are faded, and its interpretation is based on similar wordings that appear on personal seals and in several verses from the Koran.”

The inscription seemed strangely appropriate given that the amulet was found in the last days of Ramadan, the month-long Muslims fast, when Muslims greet each other with the phrase, “Ramadan Karim”.

The piece was discovered in the flooring of a structure believed to have been built in the 9-10th century during the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate that ruled the region from 750 CE to 950 CE. Archaeologists conjecture that the amulet was intentionally placed in the flooring when it was constructed. It was found near pottery sherds and a nearly intact oil lamp marked with black soot. The the small room also contained an oven.

“Unfortunately,” the researchers said in the IAA press release, “the poor preservation of the architecture make the purpose of the structure difficult to determine. It is interesting to note that several installations indicate cooking activities that occurred here. Modest structures from the same period were found in prior excavations at the same site, including residential homes interspersed with stores and workshops. It is reasonable to assume that this structure was used as part of that same industrial zone.”

The archaeological dig is in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavations near the Old City of Jerusalem.

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8 Soccer Legends Uncover Their True Origins With MyHeritage DNA

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:14

For any sportsperson, pulling on their home nation’s jersey is the pinnacle of a young player’s career. But what if genetically, you may have been playing for the wrong team all along? An Israeli company helped 8 world-renowned soccer legends to find out their true origins.

 

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Israeli Gene Testers Help Soccer Legends Learn About Their Ethnic Backgrounds

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:58

Even a soccer player who represented his country on the field for a number of years and on the world’s biggest stage, may be mistaken about his ethnic origins. In honor of the FIFA World Cup about to open in Russia, an Israeli gene-testing company produced some big surprises for eight legendary European and South American players.

My Heritage, founded by Gilad Japhet in his living room 15 years ago and today based in the Israeli city of Or Yehuda (close to Ramat Gan), is an  online genealogy platform that makes it possible for users to create family trees, upload and browse through photos, search billions of global historical records and discover their ethnic origin. The company, which has additional offices in Tel Aviv, California, Utah and the Ukraine, has collected 35 million family trees on its website. Over a million customers have undergone testing so far.

Customers can order a MyHeritage DNA kit containing a cotton swab used to take a sample of epithelial tissue from the inside of the cheek. The end of the swab is swished around in liquid in a tube that is mailed to the company for analysis to discover ethnicity (on a percentage basis) and identify relatives and ancestors by comparing the results with the database. The results are sent by email within about four weeks.

The $69 DNA test examines the first 44 (non-sex-linked) autosomal chromosomes, analyzing the genetic material inherited from your mother and father, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on – to provide you with a breakdown of your ethnic percentages and connect you with relatives descended from any of your ancestral lines within the last six generations.

The results enable customers to find out more about themselves, their ethnic group and geographical region of origin – to find long-lost relatives, complete family trees and to settle paternity issues. While the results can be fairly broad and tend to be more accurate for multiethnic users, the company offers cutting edge DNA testing, as well as market-leading family tree services.

The former soccer stars who were tested were; Lothar Matthaus, who played on for Germany on its national team from 1980 to 2000 and captained them to World Cup triumph in 1990; Clarence Seedorf of the Netherlands, from 1994 to 2008; Robert Pires of France, 1996 to 2004; John Barnes of England from 1983 to 1995; Hernan Crespo of Argentina, from 1995 to 2007; Gilberto Silva of Brazil, 2001 to 2010; Luis Garcia of Spain, from 2005 to 2008; and Gianluca Zambrotta of Italy, from 1999 to 2010. The company brought all eight together after they were tested to exchange information about their ethnicity, check whether they had joint origins and to reminisce about their experiences on the field and old fierce rivalries.

The players had thought they were quite sure of their origins, but upon receiving the results, they were surprised at the source of the genetic load they were carrying. They were also able to study their family histories, complete with historical records and pictures of some of their forebears.

Aviram Levi, the company’s chief marketing officer for the last three years, said that the soccer legends – aged between 40 and 50 – learned that they have more ethnic variety than they had thought.

“Getting the eight stars together was a joint idea in the company. They met in London three months ago. It wasn’t easy to get them together. Most of them will be at the World Cup games,” said Levi.

The biggest surprise was that Garcia of Spain found that 11.3% of his DNA on his mother’s side belongs to Sephardic Jews. This means that theoretically, according to Jewish law, he could be Jewish. If we knew this in advance,” joked Levi, “we could have converted him and put him on the Israel national soccer team,” which then might have participated in the World Cup competition.

Matthaus, who lives in Germany, was surprised to learn that he is 24.3% English. Pires, of France, learned that he was 38% Italian. Barnes, a British citizen but born in Jamaica, found that 16% of his genes were of Scottish, Irish and Welsh origin. No genetic connection was found among the eight soccer legends, Levy said.

The company tests people around the world, except – ironically – those who live in Israel and Poland (which is the ethnic origin of many Israelis). Levi explained that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is not too keen about testing of genetic origins because it can cause problems related to illicit relationships. “It isn’t illegal to test in Israel, but we don’t want to take risks,” said Levi, who did undergo testing himself and was not surprised to hear that he is mostly Yemenite and Moroccan in origin, with a bit of Italy mixed in. But Jews who live outside Israel like to know where they come from, as do many non-Jews in Europe and the US.

The post Israeli Gene Testers Help Soccer Legends Learn About Their Ethnic Backgrounds appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Prophecy Guided Mining Company Finding Hidden Treasure in Israel Just in Time for Third Temple

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:19

Many people read prophecy, some understand its relevance in current events, but Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, took it one step further and founded a multi-million dollar mining and exploration company based on prophecy. Seventeen years later, prophecy is still at the core of his successful corporate vision.

Taub grew up in the precious stones business. His family had a diamond polishing plant and dealt in manufacturing and marketing jewelry. In 1989, Taub, a follower of Chabad Hasidut, visited Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The rabbi, known to his followers simply as “the Rebbe,” was spiritual leader to millions of followers of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism, who passed away in 1994. With very little explanation, the Rebbe told Taub to begin mining. Taub entered into an unsuccessful project in Australia. He struggled to understand the Rebbe’s message. Through a friend who was also a follower of the Rebbe, Taub was made aware of a video in which the Rebbe made a remarkable statement , given to then-mayor of Haifa, Arye Gurel in 1988.

“In Haifa, there is a sea. One shouldn’t become intimidated by something that is deep,” the Rebbe said to Gurel. “This is the uniqueness of Haifa – that it has a sea and that there is a valley and in the valley are precious stones and gems. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, did a wondrous thing; he concealed them in the depths of the earth, and in any case, in the depth of the river.”

Taub searched for more clues and found that the Rebbe discussed these hidden gems again in a public lesson in 1991. The Rebbe explained new and unprecedented knowledge and material resources, hidden since the Creation of the World, will be discovered as the redemption approaches. The Rebbe specified that precious stones and gems will be for the purpose of giving additional charity and performing other mitzvoth (commandments) to hasten the Messiah in its final stages.

Taub went searching for other clues to hidden gems in Israel  and found hints that the region assigned to the tribe of Zevulun was hinted at in the Bible as the source of hidden wealth. This was based on Moses’ blessing to the tribe in Deuteronomy.

And of Zevulun he said: Rejoice, O Zevulun, on your journeys, And Yissachar, in your tents. They invite their kin to the mountain, Where they offer sacrifices of success. For they draw from the riches of the sea And the hidden hoards of the sand. Deuteronomy 33:18-19

The Meam Loez, an 18th century commentary on the Bible initiated by Rabbi Yaakov Culi, wrote the following on that verse.

“There are vast amounts of natural treasures that are hidden in the sea and in the earth in the portion of the tribe of Zevulun. These treasures include the rare “chilazon” from whose blood the aqua color is obtained for ‘tzitzit’, precious stones and gems – diamonds – most of which afforded the Land of Israel vast wealth, generally speaking, and especially for the tribe of Zevulun!”

Taub was satisfied that all of the clues pointed towards Israel to find these hidden gems the Rebbe had told him to search for. He had no way of knowing that another hidden treasure, the Leviathan natural gas fields discovered off the coast of Israel in 2010, were also included in this prophecy.

In 1999, Taub and several other Chabad Jews established Shefa Yamim Co. Ltd. with the intention of locating precious stones and gems in Israel. As per the Rebbe’s instructions to Haifa’s mayor, Taub focused his company’s efforts along the Kishon riverbed in the Zevulun Valley, the Carmel Mountain Range bordering Haifa, and the area of Ramot Menashe. Their company based in Akko is in the final year of exploration and Taub anticipates that they will begin production next year.

They made important discoveries while drilling and taking soil samples, including a kimberlite, the source of diamonds, 77 diamonds of various sizes, as well as hundreds of thousands of mineral indicators that accompany diamonds and gems such as sapphires and rubies.  A 3.5 mm moissanite, the largest example of this precious and rare stone found anywhere to date, was also discovered in the Zevulun region. The company recently upgraded the factory in Akko to handle more volume.

“All of the geologists, all of the experts were in shock. We succeeded in proving that faith is shaking hands with science,” Taub told Breaking Israel News. “Every day we are making new finds.”

The success went public about five months ago when Shefa Yamim began trading on the London Stock Exchange. Taub noted the timing of the discoveries of Israel’s hidden treasures.

“These stones could have been discovered ten years ago, or one-hundred,” he emphasized. “The Rebbe told us to begin now because he knew the Moshiach (Messiah) was coming and that was when these stones were to be brought to light.”

“This was the special trait of the Rebbe,” Taub explained. “He was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the 20th century and certainly the most influential leader for so many Jews. But he connected prophecy and current events, the Bible with science.”

This is evident in the Rebbe’s personal story. Before becoming the leader of the Chabad movement, the Rebbe studied in some of the most important universities in the world, such as the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Berlin, receiving at least three PhD degrees in physics, philosophy and mechanical engineering. An imperative given by such a man was not to be taken lightly. Taub noted that on the High Priest’s breastplate, every tribe was represented by a precious stone.

“It would be so much greater if all the stones from the breastplate came from inside Israel,” Taub said. “We are hoping to make that possible in time for the Third Temple.”

Coincidentally, in the high-priest’s breastplate, Zevulun’s name was engraved on a diamond. The only source of native diamonds in Israel is from the territory belonging to Zevulun and the only company mining these diamonds is Shefa Yamim.  

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Haley Decries ‘Morally Bankrupt’ UN

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 07:13

The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to condemn Israel for using “excessive force” against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.

The resolution, “Protection of the Palestinian civilian population,” which was proposed by Algeria and Turkey, was passed with 120 “yes” votes to eight “no” votes, and 45 abstentions. A similar resolution was rejected by the U.N. Security Council earlier this month after a U.S. veto.

According to the language of the resolution, it condemned the “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians,” while calling on U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to submit a report within 60 days on his proposals for “ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinians.”

Prior to the resolution’s adoption, the United States attempted to add an amendment condemning Hamas. However, that amendment, which was supported by a slim majority of countries, 62-58, was ultimately rejected on procedural grounds after failing to achieve a two-thirds majority.

“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. body.

In his address prior to the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon harshly criticized the countries supporting the resolution.

“The resolution before you today does not protect innocent Palestinians. It does not protect innocent Israelis. It does not condemn, does not even mention, Hamas the internationally recognized terrorist organization directly responsible the violence in our region,” he said. “By supporting this resolution, you are colluding with a terrorist organization. By supporting this resolution, you are empowering Hamas.”

Turning to the sponsors and supporters of the resolution, Ambassador Danon said: “I have a simple message for those who support this resolution. You are the ammunition for Hamas’s guns; you are the warheads for its missiles.”

Following the vote, Haley issued a statement saying that the United Nations “made the morally bankrupt judgement that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault.”

Nevertheless, Haley did praise the countries that supported her amendment to address Hamas’s role in the Gaza violence, saying that the “common practice of turning a blind eye to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias is changing.”

“We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side,” she said.

In a statement issued before the final vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office said that it appreciates the Trump administration’s “steadfast support for Israel at the United Nations.”

“The U.N.’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organization. It also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community,” the statement said.

Netanyahu also slammed Hamas, saying it is responsible for the “terrible” situation there, as well as for the loss of life and suffering in recent weeks.

“Rather than improve the lives of the people of Gaza,” he said, “Hamas is using the civilian Palestinian population as human shields in its unremitting terror war against Israel.”

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Israel’s Technion Launches $1.8 billion Funding Campaign

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 07:00

Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology has launched a $1.8 billion global campaign to raise support for the university a it seeks to continue its focus on technological innovation well into the 21st century.

The fundraising campaign, the largest of its kind by an Israeli university, was officially launched this month by the school and is expected to run through 2024.

According to the university, it seeks to deliver funding to “amplify Technion’s impact in sectors including the environment, sustainability, alternative energy and water conservation; health and medicine; artificial intelligence, information and communication; quantum science, matter and engineering; and advancing Israel security, leadership and diversity.”

Additionally, the campaign will help the Haifa-based school boost areas of need, including fellowships, faculty recruitment and retention, research infrastructure and capital projects, said the university.

“This campaign is truly global in nature,” Professor Peretz Lavie, president of the Technion, said in a statement. “Not only does it involve our societies around the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, France, Israel and the United States, but it will result in global benefits, such as better quality in soil, water and air; easy-to-use sources for clean and renewable energy; engineering aid to developing countries; advancing breakthroughs in fighting cancer; and much, much more.”

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, will serve as the honorary chair of the Technion Global Campaign.

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IDF Arrests Slain Soldier’s Suspected Palestinian Murderer

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:35

The moment when the IDF soldiers arrested Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky’s suspected Palestinian murderer, Islam Yussef Abu Hamid, a resident of the Al-Ama’ari refugee camp near to Ramallah.

 

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JOSHUA 3:5

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:13

As the Children of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, Yehoshua (Joshua) instructs them to sanctify themselves, as Hashem (God) is about to perform the miracles of parting the Yarden (Jordan River) and the conquest of the Land of Israel. In our own era, Hashem has continued to perform miracles resulting in the rebirth and flourishing of the State of Israel. The Children of Israel have been gathered from around the world and delivered to the Land where Jewish sovereignty has been restored! With Hashem’s continued deliverance and blessings, the once barren and desolate Land of Israel is blooming before out eyes! Israel’s economy steadily continues to grow, the Defense Forces of Israel are able to defend the Land and the People of Israel, and the nation continues to absorb immigrants from the four corners of the earth. Pictured above is a family hiking through the blooming Negev desert. With the return of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel, the barren deserts of the country have come alive and demonstrate Hashem’s blessings over the Land.

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“Kites for Peace” Event Supports Under-fire Gaza Border Communities

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:12

Dozens of participants took part in “Kites for Peace” event Monday, in Los Angeles’ Balaboa Park. The event, which the organizers hope will be repeated around the world, was held to raise awareness of the latest wave of kite terrorism, affecting Israel’s southern border communities with Gaza.

Several dozen children and their parents took part in the event, preparing and flying the kites together in a unique display of love and support for the residents of Israel’s border communities with the Gaza Strip and the IDF soldiers protecting them. The project, called “Kites for Peace,” was the initiative of World Bnei Akiva (WBA) emissaries in LA, Eli and Shani Skaist. During the evening, the mostly elementary school children, learned about the nefarious use of kites by Palestinians in Gaza – who have released similar projectiles, not in the name of enjoyment but destruction. Their actions have caused damage to more than 740 acres of Israel’s agricultural land. Participants wrote greetings and messages to the residents of Gaza border communities and IDF soldiers on their kites which were then flown on a small aircraft.

“This has been such a heartwarming event,” said the Skaists, the Bnei Akiva emissaries who initiated the event. “The enormous physical distance between us and those who lives in the Gaza border communities is a difficult distance to bridge. Our hearts are with Israel and we felt that we had to do something to help.  So, we decided to call on Los Angeles residents to come out and identify with the residents of Israel. We are all praying that the kites flown by the children of Los Angeles yesterday will be an important reminder to everyone that the kite is an innocent toy, light years away from the destruction it has caused in Israel.”

“Initiatives such as the ones we saw yesterday in Los Angeles are a source of strength for all of us,” said Roi Abecassis, Director of World Bnei Akiva. “Our emissaries have taken on an important and painful cause. In the name of World Bnei Akiva, I call on our branches all over the world, and indeed on youth movements in general to continue this incredible initiative, and to call upon Jewish communities worldwide to support the people of Israel in this difficult time, ” he concluded.

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Israeli Organization Leading Faith-Based Kidney Donations

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 05:28

“Worldwide we are seeing a gradual fall in the availability of organs, including kidneys,” doctor of nephrology and internal medicine Walter Wasser, MD FASN, told Breaking Israel News.

In the recently published BMC Nephrology research article, “Emergence of an Israel faith-based community organization facilitating live donor kidney transplantation,” he and Professor Geoffrey Boner, former Head of the Department of Hypertension and Kidney Diseases at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, showed that despite excellent results of living kidney donation, the annual number of living kidney donors is declining in many countries, including the US.

“In Israel, a non-profit organization, Matnat Chaim (“Gift of Life”), a faith-based initiative, has emerged as a major force for arranging living donor kidney transplantation mainly by facilitating altruistic living unrelated donor transplantation,” their research stated.

Noted the study, “The 2014 Consensus Conference on Best Practices in Living Kidney Donations recognized live donor kidney transplantation as the best treatment for late-stage kidney disease, yielding superior graft and patient survival, improved quality of life, fewer requirements for dialysis and increased cost-effectiveness compared to deceased donor kidney transplantation.”

Since the organization’s inception in February 2009, a retrospective review of the records of live kidney donations facilitated by the Matnat Chaim organization and Israel transplant centers was performed and compared to published data from the Israel Ministry of Health. The review found that since Matnat Chaim’s founding until the end of 2017 it has facilitated 494 live kidney donations. Of the 124 live kidney transplants performed in 2016, 111 (90%) were shown to be altruistic and unrelated. This large number of donations was associated with a doubling of the total number of kidney transplantations, performed in Israel.

“In the religious community, it became obvious from the data that the risk of donating is quite low (0.3% attributable risk for eventual kidney failure after kidney donation), so it was judged as a big mitzvah (good deed or commandment) to donate a kidney,” Dr. Wasser told Breaking Israel News. “That changed the view in the religious world about donating a kidney.”

Concluded the report, “The success of an Israel community organization in the promotion of kidney transplantation may serve as a model for other religious and non-religious communities worldwide.”

“Jewish law and Jewish custom have helping others as a very fundamental thought,” Judy Singer told Breaking Israel News.

Singer donated a kidney in late 2013 and has been working for Matnat Chaim for nearly four years as a fundraiser. “This is the way God wants us to act – to find out where we can help each other, and make the world a better place,” she said, adding, “In Judaism its called tikkun olam, repairing the world, and doing what we can to make things better for others.”

There are few faith-based, non-profit kidney transplant organizations reported globally, and the only other similar organization Singer knew about is one in New York called Renewal (established around the same time as Matnat Chaim), which she said is a “smaller but similar organization run by religious Jews.”

“It’s not just religious Jews leading these efforts, but also religious Christians,” maintained Singer. “It’s an interesting phenomenon of the correlation between faith and this particular act, which occurs in the context of a value system that includes giving and generosity, and thinking about other people as a given. The population that has a personal tradition of helping others largely corresponds to religious community.”

Singer related the words of the director of Matnat Chaim, who reportedly said, “I have never met a kidney donor for whom that was the first good deed he ever did in his life.”

While Singer maintained that it is largely religious people leading this phenomenon, she added, “it is certainly not only religious people who are doing this, they do not have less developed ethical systems and I am confident that if non-religious people saw our educational material they would donate as well, as altruism is not only a Jewish value but a humanitarian and moral one.”

According to Singer, the altruistic act not only saves another person’s life, it changes the donor’s life as well: “The donor benefits from it as much or more than the recipient,” she said.

“I know this from my own experience and dozens of other kidney donors – they feel they got more than they received. The way this one act upgrades your life is quite extraordinary, and almost unbelievable. You really feel you’ve done something amazing, you’ve helped a person to an extent that most people don’t get to do. You save a life and that’s an amazing privilege that changed my life in many ways.”

Singer maintained that the desire to help another person is associated with the Biblical commandment stated in Leviticus 19:18, which is also embodied by Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan and popularly known as the Golden Rule:

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am Hashem.” (Leviticus 19:18)

“Every time you’re giving someone a hand, you are fulfilling this value and kidney donation is a slight extension of that idea. I really believe that when you have the ability to help someone, you should grab it,” she said.

In the same way that people with money donate to the poor and people with time volunteer, Singer related, “we don’t think of good health as something to share with others, but I’ve been really blessed with good health and it’s really an incredible privilege to be able to share it.”

Singer noted, “It is important to understand that kidney donation is a safe procedure and a low risk surgery for a healthy donor – we are not encouraging people to put their lives at risk. Only half of the healthy potential kidney donors who apply are accepted.” To demonstrate that the surgery does not change the active lives of donors, Matnat Chaim has a team of 60 runners in the Jerusalem marathon whose shirts say ‘one kidney, but ahead of you.’

She voiced her gratitude for the medical technologies that have “made this miracle seem commonplace,” as well as her country, Israel, for leading the world in altruistic kidney donations and pioneering interest towards becoming, in the future, one of the first countries that has no waiting list for kidney donations.

Singer, who sees this as a real possibility, said that it would be yet another way in which Israel is a light unto the nations. “With organ donations, Israel and the model that Matnat Chaim has brought forward can absolutely be a model for other faith-based communities around the world. I’m convinced that this can make an important change, and we are right on the cusp of it,” she said.

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Will The Middle East Be Trump’s Next Peace Deal?

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:00

“The Israeli nation had been constructed as a sort of gateway by which the sparks of purity would shine upon the whole of the human race the world over.”  The Arvut, Baal HaSulam

The Trump-Kim summit generated a renewed sense of hope along with questions about the future. Will we witness a new and peaceful North Korea? Will Trump’s deal-making skills become instrumental in promoting world peace? And specifically among Israel analysts: Will Trump be able to make a deal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Firstly, when major changes happen in international politics it’s not due to specific characters and personalities. It is the accumulation of various circumstances leading to an urgency for change. It’s part of how nature works.

As Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag writes, “the duration of every political phase is just the time it takes to unveil its shortcomings and evil. While discovering its faults, it makes way for a new phase, liberated from these failings. Thus, these impairments that appear in a situation and destroy it are the very forces of human evolution, as they raise humanity to a more corrected state.” (The Nation).

The newly improved relationship between the US. and North Korea is a positive step, and it sends a message to other countries that it’s worthwhile to relieve nuclear tension. Yet, I don’t consider it something that is bound to change the world dramatically. While North Korea has made a lot of noise, it is a secluded authoritarian regime whose global influence is very limited.

In regards to implications on Israel, I believe we will see some gradual changes happening. As the Trump-Kim relationship moves forward, we can also expect North Korea to stop the provision of weapons to countries like Iran and Syria.

So, will Trump be able to extend his deal-making skills to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and kick-start a dramatic change in the region? Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening. And once again, the reason has to do with nature itself.

Three thousand 800 years ago in ancient Babylon, a special “deal” was made at the cradle of human civilization. Representatives from the various groups, tribes and clans decided to come together and coexist under the principle of unity above all their differences.

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It was nature’s way of planting the seed of unity for the entire human race. In other words, nature made a deal with them: making them a mini-model of global unity, which ultimately has to set an example for the world.

Israel Must Generate Healing Force of Unity to Achieve Peace

That group of representatives later became what we now refer to as “the people of Israel.” The deal is that they are like a central junction within the vast network of humanity, through which the influence of unity can spread to all nations, including Israel’s neighbors, whose actions depend on this influence the most.

Therefore, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a different deal altogether. The only way to move from the current hostility into a state of friendship and coexistence, is when Israel generates the healing force of unity, first within itself and then onto the world.

And as with all natural processes, the accumulation of circumstances will eventually lead us to the urgency for change.

Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/2l73py7

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Temple Micah of Washington D.C.: Don’t Give Israel Boycotters a Forum

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 00:00

Shamefully, in a few weeks, on Friday, June 29, Temple Micah, a Washington D.C. temple, intends to host a program by the New Israel Fund, an organization which openly supports a boycott of the State of Israel.

Former NIF President Naomi Chazan will speak following Shabbat services.

A synagogue should not be open to an organization that unashamedly supports a boycott of Israel – The New Israel Fund continues to openly advocate a boycott of Israel, actively opposes the IDF and has funded the defense of families of Hamas terrorists in the Israeli Supreme Court.

This radical, extremist anti-Israel organization, misnamed the New Israel Fund, has been called an “anti-Zionist organization” by the Likud and is opposed across the Israeli political spectrum.

Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote on Facebook “The New Israel Fund is a foreign organization that receives funding from foreign governments and elements hostile to Israel, such as from the fund of George Soros. The ultimate objective of the fund is to erase Israel’s Jewish character and turn it into a state of all its citizens (a term used in Israel for non-Jewish, ed.), alongside a Palestinian nation-state that is free of Jews on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital. For decades the fund has funded anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian organizations, including those who slander IDF soldiers such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem and those who fight for Palestinian terrorists such as Adalah.”  

“I do not know any Western democracy, especially the United States, which over time was prepared to tolerate hostile activity funded by foreign countries, as has been happening here in Israel with the fund for decades. Therefore, I asked coalition chairman Dudi Amsalem to lead the process of establishing a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the activities of the New Israel Fund, which endangers the security and future of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”

Let us say it loud and clear: An organization which harms Israel has no place in a synagogue. An organization which boycotts Israel must not be given the stage in any temple.

In 2014 Chazan explained her position on the boycott to an audience of supporters in the U.S. (Partners for Progressive Israel):

“Because of the ambiguity, in practical terms, boycotting Israel is only going to get the majority of Israelis riled in the wrong direction. It is not an effective move, politically… That is not true of targeted measures against settlements and against businesses and economic activities that relate to the Occupation… I think that is the right direction to go. I think it’s very, very important. Many of us have not bought settlement products for 46 years, knowingly. We check, when we go to the supermarket, where products are made. And we do not buy. That message conveys to Israelis that there is a price to Occupation, and you’re paying it with your pocket, and that’s why it’s effective, and that again is strengthening the connection between economic measures and perhaps bolstering a willingness to entertain agreements that perhaps there was no rush to do in the past, because it’s beginning to hurt.”

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Do you get it?  Chazan promotes a boycott of the post 1967 areas (including, say, the Western Wall) as an effective means for pressuring Israel. Chazan does not denounce the general boycott of Israel, but explains that promoting a full boycott is simply a tactical error: “It is not an effective move, politically.”

Israelis across the board, including centrist MK Yair Lapid says that the boycott “is not about policies, or about the settlements, or about the peace process.”

Vladimir Lenin called those who work against their own people’s best interests in support of their enemies “useful idiots,” and throughout history there has never been a shortage of people or groups from within the Jewish community who harm Jews. The most effective stick for beating Israel over the head is often a Jewish stick.

There must be a red line drawn against extremist organizations that advocate any form of a boycott of Israel, whether from extreme anti-Zionist Neturei Karta or the New Israel Fund.

Rabbi Zemel of Temple Micah is a life-long passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel, and he must tell his congregants that there are limits. The New Israel Fund has the right to its position, but Temple Micah must not provide it with a forum because it is a boycotter of Israel.

We ask the trustees and board members of Temple Micah to say no, we will not allow our temple to be used for advocating a boycott of the State of Israel. It is not too late.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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Shin Bet: 250 Terrorist Attacks Thwarted in First Half of 2018

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:25

Intelligence services have thwarted some 250 ”significant“ terrorist attacks since the beginning of 2018, including suicide bombings, abductions and live fire, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said Wednesday.

To coincide with an international conference of homeland security professionals in Jerusalem, Shin Bet officials said in a statement that the terrorist threats are spread out across the Palestinian Authority. In contrast to the Second Intifada, however, during which PA bodies took an active role in planning and executing attacks, the Shin Bet said that the current challenge includes “lone wolf” attackers who respond to incitement or extreme language used by PA officials, television commercials or publications.

To combat both institutional and lone wolf terrorism, Shin Bet relies on “critical human capital,” as well as a range of tactics and technologies encompassing the realms of artificial intelligence and Big Data. That investment has given intelligence officers expanded abilities to predict terrorist attacks before they are carried out, rather than simply responding to attacks after they occur.

“As an organization that flies the flag of multi-faceted operations, ingenuity, strategic collaboration with relevant bodies in Israel and abroad, as well as with Israeli and foreign hi-technology companies, the Shin Bet is committed to scuttling ‘traditional’ terrorism as well as to using a variety of data-collection methods to preventing attacks,” according to a statement.

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US Negotiation Team Heading to Israel, ME to Push Peace Plan

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:14

US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and White House special adviser Jared Kushner will arrive to Israel as part of a Middle East tour next week to discuss previously undisclosed details of a peace plan being promoted by US President Donald Trump.

The delegation is also expected to visit Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The trip may be further expanded to include additional countries.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman traveled to Washington early in the week to help finalize the plan along with Kushner and Greenblatt ahead of their trip.

While the Trump administration is viewed favorably among Israelis–due to his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the moving of the US embassy in May, and the cancellation of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal–the administration has lost credibility within the Palestinian Authority. PA leader President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to take part in any peace initiatives led by Trump, and has cut off all formal contact with the administration, including a refusal to meet with Vice President Mike Pence in January. Recently, Greenblatt and top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat engaged in a war of words, with Erekat accusing Greenblatt of promoting Israeli policy.

The American tour will also focus on easing the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Israel, Egypt, and the international community provide relief aid to the region, yet Hamas–which governs the strip–often misappropriates funds and supplies for terror activity. During recent protests, terrorists similarly attacked infrastructure that provides Gazans with basic resources including electricity and natural gas.

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Israel 70: The Home of Hope

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:58

Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks – is currently on an extensive speaking and engagement tour of Israel. Here, he outlines the miracle of Israel.

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New Genetic Study: 90% of Species Appeared Almost Simultaneously

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:50

A new gene study presents serious difficulties for the scientific theory of evolution, while bringing science one giant step closer to the Biblical story of creation.

Dr. Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jewish physicist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was unperturbed, noting many ways in which new discoveries such as this show how science and religious belief can be complementary.

Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland analyzed mitochondrial DNA collected from 100,000 animal species stored in the US government-run GenBank database. Their findings were recently published in the journal Human Evolution.

In analyzing the DNA barcodes, the researchers found an indicator that showed nine out of ten of all the species of animals alive today emerged about 100,000-200,000 years ago, approximately the same time that Homo sapiens appeared.

The researchers did not provide an explanation as to what led to this sudden explosion of life, but Dr. Schroeder, did suggest a theory for this phenomenon.

“We have seen that when men show up in an ecosystem, they tend to kill off the large animals,” he told Breaking Israel News. “The presence of the first Homo sapiens 100,000 years ago may have caused a man-made bottleneck and caused a significant change in the animal population. Humans have a disproportionately significant role in these natural processes, which may be what was meant in Genesis.”

Hashem blessed them and Hashem said to them, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.” Genesis 1:28

When discussing the timeline, Dr. Schroeder explained that the 100,000 year timeline did not contradict the Hebrew calendar which sets man’s creation at 5,778 years ago.

“The Biblical calendar of 6,000 years does not relate to the beginning of species,” Schroeder argued. “All animals have a nefesh (animal soul) but only Man has a neshama (human soul). Homo sapiens as a species did appear about 100,000 years ago but they wouldn’t be recognized as a person in the same way that we are. They had a nefesh but didn’t have a neshama. In scientific terms, people, as Homo sapiens, go back 100,000 years. But the Bible’s definition of a person is different. It includes a neshama. Science will not see the break, the change that occurred in man 6,000 years ago when we received a soul.”

Dr. Gerald Schroeder (YouTube)

“The neshama is what gives us the ability to be compassionate for someone outside your immediate clan,” Dr. Schroeder said. “Animals have a nefesh and can be compassionate to their own clan but they see anyone outside their clan as a threat. The ability to see the ‘other’ as something other than a threat, to have compassion and empathy, is what defines the neshama.”

Remarkably, man’s receiving a neshama did have an effect that even science recognized. Dr Schroeder related a visit he paid to the British Museum in London several years ago. An entire wing of the museum was dedicated to a change that occurred in mankind that museum curators believed to be the landmark that defined human society; the beginning of cities. A large brass plaque on the museum wall proudly proclaimed that this change occurred spontaneously around the world 5,500 years ago. Dr. Schroeder explained that the reason for science has yet to fully understand this sudden universal change, but can be understood in Biblical terms as the moment when man was instilled with a neshama.

“The beginning of farming 10,000 years ago led to a population explosion but without a neshama, men would not be able to live together with other people not from their clan,” Dr Schroeder explained. “One hundred thousand years ago Homo sapiens appeared, but they only had a nefesh. That is what science sees. 5,778 years ago, men were instilled with a neshama and had enough compassion, enough of a sense of the ‘other,’ to organize themselves into large societies.”

In addition to the new timeline of 100,00 years, the results of the new study are problematic for classical evolutionary theory which is based on long sequences of random mutations followed by natural selection. The gene study found a lack of variation in so-called “neutral” mutations, which are the slight changes in DNA across generations that neither help nor hurt an individual’s chances of survival. This would result in species with large, dispersed populations becoming more genetically diverse over time. The study showed that this was not the case, bringing into question evolution as it has been taught for almost 100 years.

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JOSHUA 21:41

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:05

In the days of Yehoshua (Joshua), Hashem fulfilled His promise to the People of Israel by bringing them into the Promised Land. There are three aspects to the Jewish People’s obligation regarding the Land of Israel. The Jewish People are commanded to live in the Land, to build up the Land through strengthening it’s Jewish community, and to maintain a sovereign government over the Land of Israel. This week marks the 70th birthday of the modern State of Israel. After 2,000 years of Jewish exile from the Land of Israel, in 1948 Hashem once again fulfilled his ancient promise and restored the Jewish People to their ancestral homeland. Pictured above is Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, the location of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

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Time for Treasury Dept. to Designate Palestinian Leaders as Terrorists

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 05:03

With the recent passage of the Taylor Force Act, Congress called on the Palestinian Authority “to stop payments for acts of terrorism … and to repeal the laws authorizing such payments.” In response, the Palestinian Authority reaffirmed its “national right” to financially support terrorists — and has even increased its budget to do so.

This is a blatant disregard of US policy, and it’s time for the Treasury Department to target the administrators of the Palestinian “pay-to-slay” practice for sanctions.

United States Executive Order 13224 gives the Treasury Department a powerful tool to combat terrorism. It focuses not only on the obvious villains — those who pull the trigger or smuggle explosives — but also on those who assist terrorists, often behind the scenes. The legislation specifically targets those who provide banking services to terrorist groups, and funding for terrorist attacks.

This executive order can also be applied to those who provide material assistance for acts of terror. One such person is Issa Qaraqe. He must be designated for what he is — a facilitator and sponsor of terrorism.

Qaraqe is the director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs. He heads a department that is committed solely to providing financial remuneration and other support for Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel.

The commission’s website states that Palestinians who commit acts of terror “deserve the legal and legitimate title of warrior.” Qaraqe’s ministry provides monthly stipends to prisoners and released prisoners who, as defined under Palestinian law, are “anyone incarcerated in the occupation’s prisons for his participation in the struggle against the occupation.”

This means anyone who has aided or carried out a terrorist attack against Israel.

The list of recipients of money from the ministry is a who’s who of cold-blooded killers, including Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub, who murdered American teen Ezra Schwartz and two others. Also featured on the ministry’s pay list is Bilal Abu Ghanem, the killer of Richard Lakin, an elderly Israeli-American.

In 2017, the Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs had a budget of $161 million, all spent to incentivize terrorism and support terrorists.

The US executive order allows the designation of “persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury … [who] assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of … acts of terrorism.”

Qaraqe’s designation by the Treasury Department could help efforts to reform the Palestinian Authority by sending a message that the US government will not allow a Palestinian exemption for terrorist financing. Concerning Qaraqe himself, this designation will bar him from US travel, prohibit him from conducting business with US companies, and freeze his assets in the US.

Designating specific individuals has been used against Iranian officials, such as the recent designation of the head of the Iranian central bank. Now it is time for the Treasury Department to employ this measure against Palestinian terror leaders as well.

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