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Wed, 03/14/2018 - 08:00

In ancient times, olive trees were harvested with a stick, causing the olives to fall to the ground. The commandment in Deuteronomy 24:20 hints to the blessing of abundance in the Land of Israel. Hashem (God) promises that the Land will yield so much produce that the farmers will only need to harvest what falls off with the beating of the branches; they will not be bothered to use a ladder to reach the fruit at the top of the tree. As pictured above, the Land of Israel is ripe with countless groves of hearty olive trees demonstrating the fulfillment of Hashem’s promise.

The post DEUTERONOMY 24:20 appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Competition Aims to Give Start-Ups a Major Role in Fight Against Terror

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:30

Gideon Miller, Chairman of the Combating Terrorism Technology Start-up Challenge (CTTSC) explains what kind of start-ups will be participating in the competition.

The post Competition Aims to Give Start-Ups a Major Role in Fight Against Terror appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Hamas Must Not Be ‘Let Off The Hook,’ Says Trump’s Mideast Envoy

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 05:00

US Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt emphasized the need to not let the Hamas terrorist organization “off the hook,” while addressing an international conference in the White House on Tuesday that focused on solving humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip.

“I want to be clear. The goal here is not to let Hamas off the hook and create a situation similar to what exists in Lebanon today,” Greenblatt said.

“We need to be sure that the projects and assistance are appropriately conditioned to avoid such an outcome.”

Greenblatt also recommended that all those participating in the conference visit the nearby areas where underground terror tunnels built by Hamas, were discovered.

“I would like to suggest that we visit the border between Gaza and Israel and Gaza and Egypt together, and take a tour given by the Israelis and Egyptians to see the significant challenges that Egypt and Israel face, including the attack tunnels built by Hamas,” he continued.

“It is essential to tour these areas and meet these people to understand this terribly complex and tragic situation,” he added. “Perhaps, after understanding those challenges, we can come up with other realistic ideas.”

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There was a diverse array of diplomats at Tuesday’s conference all of whom represented relevant actors. Not only did representatives come from Israel, Egypt, the United Nations and European Union but also from several countries in the region that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Palestinian Authority however, still angry about the Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, did not show up in protest.

“We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today,” Greenblatt said. “This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety, and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis, and Egyptians.”

The post Hamas Must Not Be ‘Let Off The Hook,’ Says Trump’s Mideast Envoy appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: February 2018

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 03:00

“I’d like to know whose bright idea this was. It is ridiculous and not the business of a Government department. I can’t see the Foreign Office promoting Christianity or the handing out of crosses.” — Tory MP Andrew Bridgen in response to a decision by Foreign Office officials to give away taxpayer-funded Islamic headscarves, claiming they symbolized “liberation, respect and security.”

A review chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui, a professor of Islam, proposed legislative changes that would require Muslim couples to undergo a civil marriage before or at the same time as their Islamic ceremony, to provide women with legal protection under British law. Nearly all those using Sharia councils were females seeking an Islamic divorce.

“We, the United Kingdom, produced Jihadi John. Something in our cities and towns… have produced the most infamous terrorists. We need to start asking: what is it in our culture, in our cities, in our towns that is producing these sorts of monsters.” — Maajid Nawaz, British counter-extremism activist.

Islamic charities vulnerable to extremists receive £6 million a year from taxpayers in gift aid, according to a new report. The report accused charities of supporting “the spread of harmful non-violent extremist views that are not illegal; by providing platforms, credibility and support to a network of extremists operating in the UK.”

February 1. Foreign Office officials invited 1,800 female staff members to wear Islamic headscarves to mark World Hijab Day. The department gave away taxpayer-funded headscarves, claiming they symbolized “liberation, respect, and security.” Critics, citing the compulsory veiling of women in Islamic countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, said the garment is a symbol of male oppression. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said, “I’d like to know whose bright idea this was. It is ridiculous, a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and not the business of a government department. I can’t see the Foreign Office promoting Christianity or the handing out of crosses.”

February 1. Max Hill QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, declared that it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the phrase “Islamist terrorism” to describe attacks carried out in Britain and elsewhere. Hill said that the word terrorism should not be attached “to any of the world religions” and that the term “Daesh-inspired terrorism” should be used instead. Tory MP Philip Davies blasted Hill for “pandering” to political correctness: “It might not be acceptable in the trendy metropolitan circles he moves in, but all he’s doing is showing how out of touch he is with the public at large. I suggest this politically-correct snowflake gets out more.”

February 1. The Home Office published the report of an 18-month independent review into the application of Sharia law in Britain by so-called Sharia councils. The review, chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui, a professor of Islam at the University of Edinburgh, proposed legislative changes that would require Muslim couples to undergo a civil marriage before or at the same time as their Islamic ceremony. Such a requirement would provide women with legal protection under British law. The review said that nearly all those using Sharia councils were females seeking an Islamic divorce. As a “significant number” of Muslim couples do not register their marriages under civil law, “some Muslim women have no option of obtaining a civil divorce.” The report also recommended that Sharia councils be subject to regulation.

February 4. Paul Song, a 48-year-old pastor, was fired from his job as a chaplain at Brixton prison in south London after the managing chaplain, Imam Mohammed Yusuf Ahmed, accused Song of promoting “extreme” Christian views. Song, who said he was ousted on the basis of false claims by a Muslim prisoner, said the imam was intent on changing “the Christian domination” inside the prison.

February 4. A British intelligence agent warned that hundreds of Islamic State jihadists have returned to Britain and are intent on recruiting more jihadists to carry out attacks in the United Kingdom. He said that most of the returnees have taken cover in areas with large Muslim populations, including Birmingham, Leicester, London, and Luton. “The best place to hide a tree is in a forest, and this is what those who have fought for ISIS are doing,” he said. “They have basically relocated their HQ from Syria to the UK. The fear is they will begin recruiting and will wage terror on British soil.”

February 8. The number of sheep slaughtered in Britain without first being stunned has doubled to more than three million, according to official statistics. The increase was attributed to the Muslim community eating more sheep meat and “an enhanced religious observance.”

February 8. Mohammed Farooq, a 44-year-old man from Croydon who threatened to “blow up” the Crescent Primary School in Selhurst, walked free after his defense attorney persuaded the court that “he was not aware of what he was doing.” She told the court that he had been drinking as a result of the break-up of his 18-year marriage, and was “stressed out” because he had not seen his children. Farooq received a four-month suspended prison sentence.

February 9. Ahmed Abdoule, a 33-year-old Somali living in East Hull, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping a teenage girl. Hull Crown Court heard how Abdoule threatened to kill the victim if she told anyone. Judge Mark Bury told Abdoule: “She told you she was a virgin to try and get you to stop. You said to her, ‘You cannot be, you are white.'”

February 10. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamud, a 31-year-old terror suspect with 17 aliases was found to be working at London’s Heathrow Airport. An investigation found that Mohamud lied about his criminal past — he has multiple convictions for robbery, sexual assault, and money laundering — and that no full background check was conducted before he was granted access to the airport’s tarmac.

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February 11. Brian Walker, a 63-year-old scoutmaster from Bristol, was ousted for comparing a Muslim scout leader who wore a face-covering niqab to the Star Wars villain Darth Vader. Walker complained to Scouting magazine, the Scout Association’s official publication after it featured the woman who it said “cut a striking figure” “in her full Islamic veil” “when she takes the girls out canoeing.” Walker emailed: “Canoeists don’t dress like this; they need all-around unobstructed vision so they protect the group. They will most likely drown wearing that Darth Vader tent!” Walker also accused the association of increasingly promoting political correctness and interfaith issues above Christian values.

February 13. The British government unveiled a tool it says can accurately detect jihadist content and block it from being viewed. Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC she would not rule out using the law to force technology companies to use it.

February 13. Maajid Nawaz, a counter-extremism activist, blamed Britain, not Islam, for creating the “Jihadi Beatles,” four Britons who tortured and executed foreign aid workers and journalists in Syria. On LBC radio, he said:

“We, the United Kingdom, produced Jihadi John. We, the United Kingdom, produced his other acolytes around him in the so-called Jihadi Beatles. Something in our cities and towns, something in the atmosphere within our communities in this country have produced the most infamous terrorists, at least in my lifetime. We need to start asking that question: what is it in our culture, in our cities, in our towns that is producing these sorts of monsters.”

February 14. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former head of the Ofsted education regulator, said that there are 150 schools in Britain which require children to wear hijabs and that the government was too politically correct to crack down on the problem.

February 16. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said it was “utterly wrong” for the head teacher of a leading primary school to have suffered abuse after banning the hijab for girls under the age of eight. His intervention came after Neena Lall, head of St Stephen’s primary in Newham, came under fierce personal criticism — which likened her to Adolf Hitler — after banning young pupils from wearing the Islamic headscarf in school. The decision was reversed following a backlash from parents. “Schools are in charge of what is okay to wear to school and nobody should be subject to abuse and harassment — no school leader or school governor — as a result of that,” Hinds said.

February 18. More than 200 mosques in Britain opened their doors to non-Muslims to mark Visit My Mosque Day, an “interfaith initiative” of the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

February 18. London Modest Fashion Week showcased the latest styles in hijabs, abayas and long hemlines. The event was aimed at “breaking down stereotypes” in the fashion industry.

February 19. Blackburn Cathedral announced that would host a seminar called “Jihad of Jesus” which aims to “create a safe space to explore common ground and discuss the differences between the Muslim and Christian faiths.” The announcement of the seminar came after the BBC aired a documentary questioning the relationships between religious communities in Blackburn. Senior Anglican clergy said that the BBC Panorama program “White Fright” did not paint an accurate picture of Blackburn.

February 20. Aweys Shikhey, a 38-year-old Dutch national originally from Somalia, was found guilty of trying to join the Islamic State. The court heard how Shikhey, a London delivery driver who has two wives, one in Holland and one in Kenya, was planning to elope with his Somali-Norwegian jihadi fiancée and travel from London to Turkey, and then on to Syria. The court also heard how he talked to other jihadists about attacking Queen Elizabeth, shooting Jews in Stamford Hill, north London, and football fans as they left Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium. Shikhey awaits sentencing.

February 22. Zana Abbas Sulieman, a 27-year-old asylum seeker living in north-west London, was sentenced to nine years in prison for various terrorism offenses, including possessing and sharing a bomb-making video. Police said they found 32 Facebook accounts linked to Sulieman that contained terrorist-related material.

February 23. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in a new book, Reimagining Britain, that Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system. He said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws, which have developed over 500 years on the principles of a different culture. Welby also said that the arrival of large numbers of Muslims in Britain has led many to challenge the values of the majority population:

“Sharia, which has a powerful and ancient cultural narrative of its own, deeply embedded in a system of faith and understanding of God, and thus especially powerful in forming identity, cannot become part of another narrative.

“Accepting it in part implies accepting its values around the nature of the human person, attitudes to outsiders, the revelation of God, and a basis for life in law, rather than grace, the formative word of Christian culture.”

Welby’s position reverses the one taken by his predecessor Lord Williams, who backed incorporating Sharia into the British legal system.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in a new book, Reimagining Britain, that Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system. He said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws, which have developed over 500 years on the principles of a different culture. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

February 23. Ruzykhan Sayadi, a 23-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was sentenced to 20 days in a rehabilitation program for threatening to carry out a terrorist attack by plowing a car into a group of white people and going on a knife rampage. Sayadi’s lawyer successfully persuaded the judge that his client was frustrated at the slow pace of Britain’s asylum process and had not intended to follow through with his threat. “He is in a pretty low state at the moment,” Peter Du Feu said. “He is really at a low point because of his determination to achieve asylum status in this country.” During sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle said, “You do need some assistance and some change if you are going to establish yourself as a lawful citizen of this country in due course.”

February 25. Islamic charities vulnerable to extremists receive £6 million ($8.3 million) a year from taxpayers in gift aid, according to a report by the Henry Jackson Society. The charities are accused of promoting hardline speakers by giving them platforms, spreading their literature, providing them with credibility and enabling access to beneficiaries and the general public. The report accused charities of supporting “the spread of harmful non-violent extremist views that are not illegal; by providing platforms, credibility, and support to a network of extremists operating in the UK.”

February 25. The National Crime Agency (NCA), which is investigating child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, needs 100 more officers to tackle the unprecedented scale of abuse, according to the Guardian. The NCA has identified more than 1,500 potential victims and 110 suspects. Paul Williamson, the senior investigating officer on Operation Stovewood, said his team of officers had been able to contact only 17% of the possible victims because of a shortage of specially trained detectives. The operation is believed to have cost about £10 million ($14 million) to date.

February 26. Ten members of a Muslim sexual grooming gang appeared at Bradford Crown Court on charges of raping a 16-year-old girl. The men were arrested after a friend of the girl called the BBC, which had just aired a report about Muslim sex gangs in Rotherham.

February 26. Aryan Rashidi was sentenced to 14 years in prison for raping a pregnant woman at knifepoint in her bed after climbing into her house through an open window. Rashidi, an Afghan national who had entered Britain illegally in a truck, said he did not know his birth date and claimed to be 15 or 16. A dental examination showed Rashidi to be at least 22 years old.

February 26. The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in London increased by almost 40% in the past year, according to Scotland Yard. There were 1,678 anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in the capital in the year up to January 2018, up from 1,205 the year before. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned perpetrators they face arrest and prosecution under a “zero-tolerance” approach.

February 27. Gary Staples, a 50-year-old convert to Islam, was sentenced to three years in prison for posting homemade videos on YouTube glorifying the Islamic State. The father of four, who is unemployed and lives on welfare, was convicted of seven charges of encouraging acts of terrorism and one charge of disseminating terrorist material.

February 27. Radio Dawn, a Muslim radio station based in Nottingham, was fined£2,000 ($2,750) for broadcasting a nasheed (an Islamic chant) which stated that violent acts committed against non-Muslims would bring honor to Islam. The nasheed, which was in Urdu and recited by a young boy, also included pejorative references to non-Muslims, who were repeatedly referred to as “Kuffar,” the Arabic word for the disbeliever, and, “Kaafir I Murdaar,” meaning filthy disbeliever in Urdu. Ofcom, the British communications regulator, said the nasheed constituted hate speech. Station manager Sana Tariq said he did not agree with the song: “I was in disbelief, I couldn’t believe something like this had been played. It’s not something Radio Dawn believes in. Islam gives the message of peace and that’s what we try to present.”

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

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Israel Practices Rocket-Fire Drill Across The Country

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 03:00

Israelis took part in a nationwide emergency preparedness drill on Tuesday, with alarms sounding in the morning and evening.

As part of the Home Front Command drill, Israeli schoolchildren and teachers, government offices, military bases, public buildings and workplaces practiced taking cover in the event of incoming rockets.

One siren sounded at 11:05 a.m. with another scheduled for 7:05 p.m. In addition, alerts were set to broadcast on television, radio, websites, the Home Front Command’s smartphone application and special warning beepers for the hearing-impaired.

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The exercise is part of a massive Israel Defense Forces’ and Home Front Command drill.

If actual rockets are launched during the practice, the alarms will sound twice. The public was encouraged to enter designated bomb shelters upon hearing the sirens.

“The goal of setting off the alarms is to practice the general public having to enter bomb shelters in their workplaces and homes, as well as to check that the national siren system is in working order,” the IDF said in a public statement.

Army search-and-rescue units, as well as local civilian government and emergency services, also take part in the drill.

The post Israel Practices Rocket-Fire Drill Across The Country appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Fake Antisemitism and Real Antisemitism

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 02:00

After weeks of outrage at the close ties between top Democrats and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of an anti-Semitic hate group, the media finally condemned anti-Semitism by a top political official.

President Trump and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney had referred to outgoing NEC Director Gary Cohn as a “globalist.” And “globalist,” according to Think Progress, the Huffington Post, Salon, and Vox, is an “anti-Semitic slur.” Those are the same media outlets that had no problem using “globalist” as a slur when targeting Trump. HuffPo had published a piece tarring him as “Trump: The Globalist Plutocrat” and Vox had described Trump going to Davos, “the world’s biggest party for globalist elites.”

Both Trump and Mulvaney were praising Cohn and minimizing a globalist-nationalist split. That’s why President Trump said, “He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He’s seriously globalist, there’s no question, but you know what, in his own way he’s also a nationalist because he loves our country.”

And why Mulvaney wrote that “I never expected that the coworker I would work closest, and best, with at the White House would be a “globalist.” Gary Cohn is one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with. Having the chance to collaborate with him will remain one of the highlights of my career in public service.”

Can’t you just spot the “anti-Semitic dog whistles”?

There are some in the alt-right who use “globalist” as an anti-Semitic slur, just as there were those on the left who used neo-conservative as an anti-Semitic slur. But that’s not what those terms mean.

When Stephen Miller, a Jewish Trump adviser, told CNN’s Jim Acosta, a Cuban-American, that he was suffering from a “cosmopolitan bias,” Politico accused Miller of using an “anti-Semitic dog whistle.” While “cosmopolitan” was an anti-Semitic euphemism in the USSR, Miller isn’t a Russian Communist, he’s a Jewish conservative.

But a congressional Democrat recently did use an anti-Semitic dog whistle.

Rep. Danny Davis defended his ties to Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, by arguing, “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that.”

About the only people who think there’s a “Jewish question”, these days are anti-Semites. When Hitler and Marx weighed in on the Jewish question, it was to denounce the Jews. Unlike “globalist,” when the term is used by the alt-right today, (shortened to JQ), its meaning is unambiguously hostile.

But the national media chose to ignore Rep. Davis’ remarks. It embargoed the story, just as it embargoed the recent release of a photo of Obama and Farrakhan and the controversy over Women’s March leaders’ ties to Farrakhan. And Farrakhan, who once praised Hitler, has been venting a stream of anti-Semitic invective at the “Satanic” Jews because he knows that the national media won’t touch him.

The controversy over Obama, Davis, Keith Ellison, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory has played out in the Jewish and conservative media. But no one in the mainstream media is willing to ask why Obama, the No. 2 man at the DNC, the Congressional Black Caucus and the next generation of intersectional feminist leaders are comfortable hanging out with a racist who suggested that Jews use pot to make black men gay. But the media will only discuss anti-Semitism is when it serves its political agenda.

ThinkProgress had the chutzpah to accuse President Trump of using an “anti-Semitic dog whistle” when the lefty advocacy site had been forced to clean house over actual anti-Semitic dog whistles. The uproar over the use of “Israel firsters” by the site led its editor-in-chief to denounce the “terrible, anti-Semitic language”. But Salon, which also denounced Trump’s “globalist” remark, had published pieces defending TP’s anti-Semitic language while smearing the lefty group’s Jewish critics. Some of the same culprits are now targeting Bari Weiss at the New York Times for her willingness to call out anti-Semitism on the left.

But while its personnel was using anti-Semitic dog whistles, TP accused Sarah Palin of using an “anti-Semitic term” when she defended herself against false accusations of being responsible for the Arizona shooting by accusing the media of a “blood libel”. The accusation that Palin was being anti-Semitic made as much sense as Politico suggesting that Stephen Miller was using Soviet anti-Semitic slurs against CNN.

But the left is happy to invent fake anti-Semitism while refusing to address its own real anti-Semitism.

It will pretend that Mulvaney, Trump, and Miller are using anti-Semitic language, but it won’t speak up when a member of the Congressional Black Caucus talks about a Hitler-lover and the “Jewish question”.

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The left doesn’t just use anti-Semitism as a political weapon while refusing to renounce it. It will even deploy accusations of anti-Semitism as a political weapon in support of anti-Semites like George Soros.

The same media outlets that won’t talk about the genocidal threats by Iran’s regime and by its terror proxies in Gaza have been accusing the critics of Soros, a billionaire lefty donor, of anti-Semitism. Soros, a former Nazi collaborator, had called his wartime activities “the most exciting time of my life.”

Soros described growing up in a “Jewish, anti-Semitic home” with a mother whom he called, a “typical Jewish anti-Semite” who hated his first wife because she was “too Jewish.”

After he compared Israeli Jews to Nazis at an event honoring a Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel had declared, “I heard what happened. If I’d been there—and you can quote me—I would have walked out.” That same year, Soros had blamed the Jewish State for a “resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe”.

And Soros’ J Street, an anti-Israel group, is still mulling whether to stop endorsing Rep. Danny Davis. That’s their version of the Jewish Question. How much is anti-Semitism by a progressive ally too much?

The left treats anti-Semitism as another identity politics counter to be tossed in whenever convenient. It wants to be racist while accusing Republicans of racism. It wants to assault women while accusing Republicans of sexism. And it wants to be anti-Semitic while accusing Republicans of anti-Semitism.

Even while it appropriates anti-Semitism, treating it like another microaggression, triggered by terms like “globalist”, “cosmopolitan” or “blood libel” that have some anti-Semitic associations, but not in the context where they are presently being used, the left ignores what anti-Semitism actually is.

Anti-Semitism is not just another of the many intersectional expressions of bigotry as the left sees it. That misguided view of anti-Semitism makes it too easy to dismiss it as part of a bundle of attitudes that progressives don’t share. Emphasizing “globalist” and “cosmopolitan” appropriates anti-Semitism and reduces it to the worldview of people who don’t think about the planet the way that progressives do.

But anti-Semitism is ubiquitous. It’s not just a general phenomenon, but a specific one. It can pop up in any political worldview. It’s a black hole that curves ideologies and religions around its event horizon.

Appropriating anti-Semitism as a partisan political weapon lends cover to internal anti-Semitism within a political movement by externalizing it. The media can spot anti-Semitism in a random Trump quip, but not in the affinity of a former president, the second-in-command at the DNC and numerous members of Congress for Louis Farrakhan, a racist who praised Hitler and accuses Jews of running the country.

When Islamic terrorists kill Jews, when campus BDS thugs intimidate Jewish students, when their own party pals around with an anti-Semitic racist, they’re nowhere to be found. The left traffics in classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, supports rabid bigots and aids anti-Semitic regimes, but the moment they hear a whistle from the other side of the fence, they come barking as loudly as they can.

It’s bad enough that the left aids anti-Semitism from Berkeley to Tehran. It’s even worse when it appropriates anti-Semitism as a political weapon even while it remains an anti-Semitic movement.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

The post Fake Antisemitism and Real Antisemitism appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Palestinian Activist Backs Israel on 2010 ‘Mavi Marmara’ Flotilla Incident

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 02:00

A leading pro-Palestinian activist involved in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which set out to infiltrate Israeli waters on the way to Gaza in May 2010, has now verified Israel’s version of the events that led to several deaths and a major diplomatic impasse between Israel and Turkey.

Eight Turkish and one Turkish-American activists were killed after IDF commandos attempted to take control of the illegal vessel as it made way from Turkey to Hamas-controlled Gaza in contravention of an Israeli security perimeter aimed at preventing the terror group from importing arms.

Posting in a secret pro-Palestinian British Facebook group, co-founder and spokesperson of the Free Gaza Movement Greta Berlin argued that Israeli troops did not open fire until after Ken O’Keefe, a former U.S. Marine aboard the Mavi Marmara, wrested a gun from one of the soldiers.

“He was responsible for some of the deaths on board the Mavi Marmara,” wrote Berlin. “Had he not disarmed an Israeli terrorist soldier, they would not have started to fire. That’s enough. Most of you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

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Berlin’s comments, which were posted to the Palestine Live group in 2014, were uncovered by researcher and blogger David Collier, who also revealed the membership of Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The IDF commandos reported being attacked with clubs, knives and metal rods as they descended to the boat on ropes from helicopters, with three soldiers being taken captive.

However, the activists—including Berlin, who was not on the vessel—consistently claimed that Israeli forces opened fire as soon as they boarded. Both Berlin and Corbyn used their version of events to blast Israel in the public forum.

“You think it was smart that he took the gun away from these crazies on board the MM [Mavi Marmara]?” Berlin asked in another post. “Then hid it so that the Israelis could say they found a gun on board? Right.”

O’Keefe had previously said Israel “must be destroyed,” and that the Jewish state was “directly involved” in the 9/11 attacks.

The post Palestinian Activist Backs Israel on 2010 ‘Mavi Marmara’ Flotilla Incident appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Muslim-on-Muslim Violence Is Israel’s Fault, Says ‘World’s Most Influential Muslim’

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 01:00

One way or the other, Israel is to blame for all of the Middle East’s problems, claim many leading Muslims.

Consider the logic of the highly respected Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb—once voted the “most influential Muslim in the world”— as expressed during a televised interview.  After claiming that “the genocides perpetrated by the Zionist entity” prompt aggrieved Muslims to turn to terrorism, he added:

[T]here would never have been any problem [had Israel not existed]. The Middle East and the region would have progressed, and the Arab individual would have been like any other person in the world, enjoying a good life, or at least enjoying the right to live in peace. However, this is… Allah willing, if we have time, I will explain how come this place was selected in the days of British colonialism, and how a most devious and malicious plot was hatched to plunge this dagger into the body of the Arab world, so that it would remain sick [emphasis added].

Thus, for those unconvinced by the “grievance” myth—that Israel “provokes” Muslims to resort to terrorism—Tayeb offers another angle: Israel itself is the creator and controller of Islamic terrorism.  Continues the well-respected imam:

Recently, I’m sad to say, we had to swallow a dose of poison. It is manifest in our own preoccupation with our own [infighting], while the [Zionist] entity can relax. All we hear about is Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, whatever, the “Arab Spring,” or the “Arab Hell”… Has anybody heard anything about Israel or the Zionist entity recently? Has it occurred to people that this might be premeditated?

In other words, those Arab/Muslim nations everywhere are experiencing internal turmoil and fighting one another—while the Jewish/infidel state is left to “relax”—must be proof that the latter is controlling events behind the scenes.

Such are the conspiracy theories that top-ranked Muslim clerics, above and beyond al-Tayeb, regularly disseminate throughout the Muslim world.

For the record, I am not one to dismiss what are labeled “conspiracy theories” out of hand—since to believe that there are no conspiracies and that whatever the powers-that-be think or do is “transparent” and will be reported to the average citizen is also irrational.  The problem, however, with this conspiracy theory is that, just as Islamic doctrine and history gainsay the grievance accusation against Israel, so do they gainsay the “Israel as puppet master” claim.

For starters, beginning with the Sunni/Shia split that traces back to 656, Muslims have been at each other’s throats for 1,292 years before the creation of Israel in 1948.  There’s a reason that Shias are so associated as to be conflated with the doctrine of taqiyya: for centuries, Shia minorities living amid Sunni majorities had to pretend to be Sunnis or else risk being slaughtered.

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But there has been plenty of Sunni on Sunni violence as well—always justified in the context or pretext of who is more “pious” and upholds Sharia:  the Persianized Abbasid caliphate slaughtered and ousted its Arab predecessor, the Umayyad caliphate; both were Sunnis.  Sunni Turks—most notable among them the Seljuks—overran the Abbasid caliphate.  Ottoman Turks and Mamluks—both Sunnis—slaughtered each other for centuries.   African Almoravids invaded and overthrew Andalusia’s Muslim rulers—only to be later slaughtered and overthrown by other African jihadis, the Almohads; all were Sunni.  The mighty Timur—who despite modern apologias is portrayed in Islamic sources as a pious Muslim—slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Muslims, both Sunni and Shia.

One can go on but the point should be clear.  Even so, during his conspiratorial rant, Tayeb added that “If you looked for a logical reason for what is going on among us Arabs, you wouldn’t find any. Nor would you find a reason for what is going on among Muslims—between us and Iran and Turkey. Isn’t Iran a Muslim country? Isn’t Turkey a Muslim country? Why do we fight one another? Ultimately, this serves the interests of the well-known [Zionist] entity.”

But what was the “logical reason”—aside from simple power grabbing on the pretext of Islamic piety and jihad against apostates/heretics—between the years 656 to the birth of Israel in 1948 behind the nonstop Muslim infighting that left millions of Muslims dead and caused, to quote Tayeb, the Arab world to “remain sick”?  As for Turkey and Iran, they waged about a dozen brutal wars between the 16th and 19th centuries alone; they left countless dead and indescribable destruction in their wake.

Rather than continue to blame the 70-year-old Jewish state for what Muslims have been doing to each other for nearly fourteen centuries, it is high time for Islam’s leaders to engage in a bit of self-reflection and introspection—if such a thing is possible.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Raymond Ibrahim

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Trump Cites Iran-deal Wrangles in Decision to Fire Tillerson

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 01:00

President Donald Trump fired U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, while announcing that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would replace Tillerson at the State Department.

“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” Trump tweeted early on Tuesday. “He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”

The surprise, yet not-so-surprising, firing of Tillerson—a longtime former CEO at Exxon-Mobile—comes after a short and rocky tenure at the helm of the State Department in which the two men disagreed on a number of issues, most notably on Trump’s decisions to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal.

In comments shortly after the announcement, Trump specifically pointed to the Iran nuclear deal as a factor in Tillerson’s ouster.

“Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,” Trump told reporters after the announcement. “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was OK. … So we were not really thinking the same. With Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well,” he added.

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Reports had suggested that Tillerson, along with U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, had urged Trump to remain in the Iran nuclear deal as it was believed that pulling out would harm America’s global standing, as well as its leverage to persuade allies to put more pressure on Iran.

Nevertheless, Trump announced in January that he would no long renew a sanctions waiver on Iran—effectively ending U.S. participation in it—and gave U.S. and European negotiators a 120-day deadline to implement changes to beef up the deal. Currently, both sides are working on a solution that may include a demand to end Iran’s ballistic missile testing, allowing nuclear inspectors to Iran’s military sites and ending sunset clauses in the deal.

Replacing Tillerson at the State Department is former Kansas House of Representatives member and CIA director Mike Pompeo, who has long been known for his hawkish views on Iran and warm ties to Israel.

During his 15-month tenure at the CIA, Pompeo reportedly has good working relations with his intelligence counterparts in Israel, according to Haaretz. At the same time, Pompeo also worked to maintain ties between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority’s security and intelligence forces.

Pompeo, who has long been rumored to replace Tillerson, has been notable in his disdain towards Iran. As a member of the House of Representatives, Pompeo was a strong critic of the Iran nuclear deal forged by President Barack Obama, and following his nomination as CIA director, Pompeo tweeted: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

At the same time, during a visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015, Pompeo called the Israeli leader a “true partner for the American people.”

“Our conversation was incredibly enlightening as to the true threats facing both Israel and the United States,” Pompeo said at the time. “Netanyahu’s efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are incredibly admirable and deeply appreciated.”


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Ambassador to Israel Watches Joint US-Israel Juniper Cobra Exercise

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 00:00

“We’re really seeing in real time, firsthand, the extraordinary commitment that America has to Israel’s safety and security,” said US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman after watching the Juniper Cobra exercise. “It makes me very proud to be an American.”

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Poverty is Colorblind: Meet Liya

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 11:00

Poverty is ageless and colorblind. Just ask Liya Abera, age 10.

The child of Ethiopian immigrants who were rescued by the Israeli government shortly after Operation Solomon in the 1990s, Liya is often home alone and hungry. Her parents, Aaron and Nyala, are trying their hardest. But like many Ethiopian immigrants, their absorption into Israel was largely unsuccessful.

“When my mum goes to the bank, she still doesn’t know how to deal with it in Hebrew,” says Liya. She explains that she is embarrassed by this – but also saddened. “I just want to be Israeli.”





Ethiopian Jews have been in Israel for more than three decades, yet the vast majority continue to live in Israel’s social periphery. Major socioeconomic gaps exist between Ethiopian immigrants and their descendents, and non-Ethiopian Israelis.

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For example, according to a report published in 2012 by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem, some 65% of the children of Ethiopian immigrants are defined as poor. In contrast, only 15% of children of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and 23% of children in the veteran population are considered poor.

Furthermore, the report showed that only 55% of Ethiopian immigrants are employed, compared to 72.5% of the overall Jewish population.

Last year Liya became restless and irritable, and was struggling in school. Meir Panim’s After-School Youth Club offered Liya academic assistance – and hope for her future.

“The first to suffer the effects of the economic hardships confronting so many families in Israel are children,” explains Danielle Rubin, Project Director at American Friends of Meir Panim. “The lack of nourishing food and endless hours spent alone while parents work late paint a dismal picture. Kids go to school with empty stomachs and are unable to concentrate.”





Meir Panim’s After-School Youth Clubs help these at-risk children obtain their academic goals, giving them an opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty.

Today, Liya still struggles. But she also smiles.

“Thanks to Meir Panim, I have a new outlook on life,” she says.

For $1 a day, you can help a child like Liya. Make a gift>>






This article was written in cooperation with Meir Panim.


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New Album Features Jewish Yemenite Music Mixed with R&B and Reggae

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 10:05

Adir Kochavi speaks about the style of Jewish Yemenite music that incorporates rhythm and blues, reggae, and other styles, while giving a sneak peak on his second album.

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Yad Vashem to Honor German Righteous Gentiles

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 10:00

On Wednesday, Yad Vashem will host a ceremony posthumously honoring Arthur and Paula Schmidt from Germany as Righteous Among the Nations.

The Schmidts risked their lives to save seven Jewish children during the Holocaust. The grandson of the Righteous couple, Arthur Schmidt (named after his grandfather) from Hamburg, will attend the ceremony and accept the medal and certificate on behalf of his late grandparents.

Arthur and Paula Schmidt’s names will be added to the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.

Also in attendance will be Holocaust survivor Ginger Lane, German Ambassador to Israel Clemens von Goetze, members of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations, and family members. Irena Steinfeldt, Director of the Department of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem, will present the medal and certificate on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

In 1925, Alexander Weber converted to Judaism. A year later, he married Lina Banda, a Jewish woman from Hungary. The couple moved to Berlin, where they raised their seven children. In their building, at 48 Dragonerstrasse Street, was a shop rented by a farmer named Arthur Schmidt. Schmidt used the shop to store the fruit and vegetables he brought from his farm in Worin, Brandenburg.

In March 1943, the Weber family was arrested. Alexander and the children were released at the beginning of the summer, and when Alexander began to look for a safe place for his children, Arthur and Paula Schmidt offered to take the children to Worin and shelter them there. For almost two years, the Schmidt couple cared for the children, sharing their food with them. Only the mayor of Worin knew the children’s true identity.

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Lina Weber was deported to Auschwitz in December 1943, where she was murdered. After the war, the Weber children immigrated to the United States, where they were later joined by their father.

On May 26, 2015, Yad Vashem recognized Arthur and Paula Schmidt as Righteous Among the Nations. The Schmidt family is the 601st family to be recognized from Germany.

To date, Yad Vashem has recognized some 26,500 Righteous Among the Nations from over 50 nations worldwide.

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New Sounds And Lights at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Celebrate Past, Present and Future of King David’s Capital City

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 09:00

The Bible will be in full color in Jerusalem, as the Tower of David Museum’s new “Night Spectacular” sound and light show is set to open to the public on April 1, 2018.

The show features the Biblical story of David, from shepherd-to-king, projected on the walls and archaeological excavations of the ancient citadel. The site of the Tower of David, although a misnomer, represents a historical connect that is relevant to the modern discussion of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

A Historical Disconnect

Calling the ancient citadel near the Old City of Jerusalem the “Tower of David,” is a misnomer dating back to the Crusaders, as the tower is not located in what we know today was the City of David. Renee Sivan, an archaeologist and the concept creator and curator of the Night Spectacular, told  Breaking Israel News, “there is no connection between the Tower [of David] and David, but there was a myth that it was connected.”

Nevertheless, she said the “multi-fascinated and fascinating character of King David who has inspired artists for hundreds of years was certainly a most fitting subject to explore at the Tower of David.”

Byzantine Christians believed the site to be the palace of King David and derived the name “Tower of David” from a Bible passage in Song of Songs, attributed to King Solomon, King David’s son:

“Your neck is like the Tower of David, Built to hold weapons, Hung with a thousand shields— All the quivers of warriors.” (Song of Songs 4:4)

The Tower of David, home to the Tower of David Museum, is the citadel at Jaffa Gate next to the entrance to the Old City. It is a structure from the time of King Herod with Ottoman additions. However, the true City of David is an archaeological site located just outside the Old City Walls, south of the Dung Gate.

Capture of the Tower of David Museum’s “Night Spectacular” on the Biblical story of David (Credit: Naftali Hilger – Tower of David Museum)

Eilat Lieber, director of the Tower of David Museum, commented on the archaeological disconnect, calling the connection “symbolic.”

“For 2000 years there has been a symbolic connection between the site where the citadel stands today and King David,” Lieber told Breaking Israel News. “It began with the writings of Joseph Ben Matityahu – Josephus Flavius – who described Herod’s palace and the impressive three-tower fortress built next to the palace as the Citadel of David because of its strength and magnificence.”


googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-in_article'); }); A Historical Connect: Past, Present and Future

Although the site of the Tower of David is not truly David’s tower, the modern relevance of story of David, illustrated upon the walls of the Tower of David, is undeniable.

“There is no historical person more connected to Jerusalem than the Biblical figure of King David,” Lieber said. She that today, a time when so many voices deny the Jewish peoples’ connection to Jerusalem, the story of King David illuminates the Jewish past, present, and future in Jerusalem.

Capture of King Saul listening to King David play the harp in the Tower of David Museum’s “Night Spectacular” on the Biblical story of David (Credit: Naftali Hilger – Tower of David Museum)

King David’s story is the story of Jerusalem, and the story of its establishment as the capital of the Jewish homeland 3,000 years ago, when King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established the capital of his kingdom there. It remained the capital of the Jewish kingdom for 400 years, until the destruction of the first Temple at the hands of the Babylonians, which is well documented in the Biblical books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, and in the books of various prophets.

The shared heritage between Jews and Christians began in Jerusalem during the time of King David.

“He was a universal king, and unifies the tribes,” Sivan said, explaining that in Judaism, David is the father of the Davidic dynasty, from which according to tradition, the Messiah will come. Christianity also bases its faith on the Davidic dynasty.

In addition, Sivan said, David has been the inspiration for artists for centuries and is one of the most well-known Biblical figures in the history of art. Part of the show features the great works of art by Chagall, Matisse, Michelangelo and others in an artistic tribute to the artists, painters and sculptors who immortalized the image of the celebrated King David.

In addition to the citadel telling relevant stories of Jerusalem’s past, the Tower of David is ensuring Jerusalem’s future.

According to Amir Halevy, Director-General for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, the Tower of David Museum’s Night Spectacular show is “a very important product” for Jerusalem. Over 2 million people have already seen the first Night Spectacular, which highlighted the various powers and tumultuous history in Jerusalem’s 4,000 year history, and he maintained that it has greatly contributed to 2017’s record year for Israeli tourism.

“In February, we had 300,000 tourists, 28 percent more than last year,” Halevy told Breaking Israel News. We are always asking ourselves how we can create the new product that will give tourists a reason to stay another night in Jerusalem, and this is the product we need, and why the Night Spectacular is so important.”

Capture of the Ein Gedi Oasis pre-show of Tower of David Museum’s “Night Spectacular” on the Biblical story of David (Credit: Naftali Hilger – Tower of David Museum)

Likewise, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat lauded the new night experience at the Tower of David as showcasing the cultural renaissance happening in Jerusalem.

“The Tower of David is an essential Jerusalem landmark that makes our city’s rich history accessible to visitors from Israel and around the globe,” the mayor said. “The new night experience at the Tower of David combines past, present, and future with advanced technology for an engaging display of Jerusalem’s unique role in the world.”


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Did Geologists Discover ‘Fountains of the Deep’ From Genesis Flood?

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 08:00

A team of scientists studying diamonds found as far as 500 miles underground has discovered a form of crystallized ice that has never been observed in nature before. The discovery indicates that huge water reserves flow through the earth’s mantle in a manner that very much resembles the “Fountains of the Deep” mentioned in the book of Genesis.

The team, led by geoscientist  Oliver Tschauner from the University of Nevada, investigated crystals that formed inside diamonds, which originated 250-500 miles underground, a region of the earth’s mantle known as the “transition zone.” The findings were published Thursday in the journal, Science.

The researchers discovered crystals were from the type, “ice-VII” that is formed under enormous pressure. The scientists estimated that the transition zone, where minerals are more soluble, holds up to ten times more water than other geologic regions. The samples of the diamonds were collected in China, South Africa and Botswana, suggesting that underground pockets of water can be found all over the world.

The ice-VII found in these diamonds was the first scientific evidence of aqueous fluid from the deep mantle. Ice-VII is a solid on the earth’s surface but is in liquid form at the depths from which it originates.

Dr. Oded Navon, professor of geology at Hebrew University, reviewed the study and was willing to discuss the applicability of the discovery of ice-VII to the Bible on a hypothetical level, concluding that the discovery of ice-VII was not evidence of the “Fountains of the Deep” mentioned in the book of Genesis..

“The study did not find proof of a layer of water under the earth,” Professor Navon said to Breaking Israel News.

Though Navon does not personally believe that the Bible describes actual historical events, he suggested how the discovery could be read into Biblical stories.

“If you believed in the Bible as a description of creation, the water in the earth’s mantle would not fit the description of the ‘water below.’”

Hashem made the expanse, and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse. And it was so. Genesis 1:7

“The waters were divided by the ‘rakia,’ (firmament) which is like a thin layer,” the professor said, citing the verse in Genesis.

Hashem called the expanse Sky. Genesis 1:8

“The study did suggest the possibility of pockets of water,” Dr. Navon said. “If you want to relate this to the Bible, it would fit nicely with the description of the Flood of Noah in which the flood resulted from rain and water from below.”

In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day All the fountains of the great deep burst apart, And the flood gaates of the sky broke open. Genesis 7:11

Although respectful of religion, Dr. Navon does not believe it has any relevance to his studies.

“The Torah is a beautiful Jewish mythology written by people I adore. It undoubtedly has great worth, but it is mythology, especially in relation to nature,” he said.

“To try to make a connection between the story of creation and science does not bear serious results. There are too many things the Torah does not mention. If God wrote it, he clearly did not intend for us to use it as a scientific manual.”

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Dr. Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jewish physicist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), believes the opposite is true; that the new discovery relates to the story of Creation.

“There is enough water there to easily flood the earth, but I don’t think this is the source of the water for the flood,” Dr. Schroeder told Breaking Israel News, explaining his interpretation of the Biblical flood as limited to a specific region.

“When the rain fell before the creation of Man, the Hebrew term used is ‘pnei ha’adamah (the surface of the earth).’”

But a flow would well up from the ground and water the whole surface of the earth. Genesis 2:6

“For the flood in the time of Noah, the words used are ‘pnei ha’aretz’ (surface of the land),” Dr. Schroeder noted.

And on the seventh day the waters of the Flood came upon the earth. Genesis 7:10

“‘Ha’adamah’ never appears again by itself in the Torah,” he noted. “Ha’adamah refers to a global phenomenon, but ‘haaretz’, as it describes the flood, refers to a regional phenomenon.

At the same time, Dr. Schroeder does not believe that the discovery of ice-VII is not relevant to Noah’s Flood.

“This scientific discovery has nothing to do with a specific region so it has nothing to do with the Biblical flood story,” he claimed.  “The flood certainly happened, but it did not destroy the entire world.”

Dr. Schroeder does feel however, that the discovery helps to emphasize the role that water plays in creation.

“The word ‘shamayim’ (heaven) means ‘sham mayim’ (there is water),” he explained. “Heaven was the first thing God created.”

Dr. Schroeder feels this Biblical aspect of water is lalso reflected in its physical characteristics.

“Water is an essential,” he said. “Nature likes water. Hydrogen and oxygen combine very readily. That’s why water is everywhere in the universe.”

This dual explanation, combining religious and scientific concepts, comes naturally to Dr. Schroeder. He sees science and religion as not only compatible but two fields which must necessarily coexist.

“People who know a lot about science usually get it wrong when they criticize Torah because they don’t know Torah,” Dr. Schroeder added.

“And vice versa. When people try to cancel out either science or Bible, they bend them, and that’s when conflicts occur.”

After a lifetime of religious and scientific studies, Dr. Schroeder sees the two seemingly divergent disciplines coming closer to each other.

“I see these discoveries through the lens of science that is coming closer and closer to seeing the world through the lens of Torah,” he said. “After all, science and Torah have the same author.”


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JOB 14:7

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 07:41

Iyov (Job) contrasts the passing of man to the death of a tree. Once a man has passed, he cannot be brought back to life. A tree, on the other hand, though seemingly lifeless can be revived. The children of Israel are compared to a tree; at times it has appeared that the Jews are being annihilated and will cease to exist, but a holy remnant always remains from which the Children of Israel grow anew and flourish. Pictured above is a stunning photo of a tree in the badlands of Ruhama, in Israel’s Negev region.

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Abbas Blames Hamas for Assassination Attempt on Palestinian Authority Prime Minister

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 05:00

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning as an explosion struck his convoy, according to a report by the Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his office said the Hamas terrorist organization bears responsibility for “the premeditated aggression” against Hamdallah’s convoy, Wafa added.

“This attack against the convoy of the prime minister aimed at efforts and steps by President Mahmoud Abbas to end division and achieve reconciliation,” Abbas’ office was quoted as stating.

“The attack is a desperate attempt that serves the interest of those who want at this critical period to liquidate the Palestinian cause and to deny the Palestinian people their right to achieve freedom and independence.”

According to Wafa, Hamdallah was on his way on Tuesday to an inauguration ceremony for a wastewater treatment plant. Neither he or PA Intelligence head, Majid Faraj who was also in the convoy, were harmed in the explosion. However, at least seven people were reported to have sustained light injuries.

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For its part, Hamas rejected Abbas’ accusations.

“Hamas condemns the ready accusations by the Palestinian presidency against Hamas, which calls for the security services and the ministry of interior to open an urgent and immediate investigation into the incident in order to know who is responsible for it and to bring the perpetrators to the court,” the organization said in a statement.

“Hamas condemns the crime of targeting the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, considering it part of the attempt aiming to destabilise security in Gaza and to foil efforts to achieve national unity,” Hamas wrote in an earlier Twitter statement.


Hamas condemns the crime of targeting the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah, considering it part of the attempt aiming to destabilise security in Gaza and to foil efforts to achieve national unity.

— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) March 13, 2018

Although Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, the terror organization has attributed blame for many attacks on other Islamic terror organizations operating in the territorial enclave.



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Guns Don’t Kill People, Ideas Do

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 03:00

“The copycat phenomenon is real,” Andre Simons, of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. One group of researchers found that up to 20 or 30 percent of attacks can be influenced by previous attacks.

During Omar Mateen’s rampage at the Pulse nightclub, the Muslim terrorist searched for news coverage of the ongoing attack. He wanted to see what the media was making of his massacre.

Shootings that are widely covered by the media produce a cluster effect. After each attack, the risk of copycat attacks goes up for 13 days. If the media covers the attack, the copycat killers will come.

On Dec 3rd, 2012, Naeem Davis, a homeless Muslim refugee from Sierra Leone, shoved a middle-aged Korean man in front of an oncoming Q subway train in Times Square. A photographer snapped a shot of him waiting to die that appeared on the cover of the New York Post and then went around the world.

And that was that… except it wasn’t.

On December 28, there was another shoving murder. After the round of murders, suicides and accidental deaths, seven people had died under trains in 2013; a number that does not include the deaths previously mentioned. In Feb 2013, two people committed suicide by jumping in front of trains. Another was killed in a possible accident. One lost a leg. Two others were seriously injured. And then there was another suicide.

These numbers are not normal, but they are predictable. And that photograph and its consequences have dark implications for school shootings, mass shootings in general and human nature.

Around the same time that the American Revolution was getting underway, the German writer Goethe wrote a book that would become the Catcher in the Rye and Twilight of its day. “The Sorrows of Young Werther” had the dubious honor of being disowned by its author, starting a fashion trend and another deadlier trend.

Werther Fever spread around the world. Readers wrote parodies of the book or imagined different endings for the characters. Some wrote themselves into the story or wrote poems about the story. There were unauthorized sequels, people dressing up like the characters and all the usual things that we have now come to take for granted, but that was still somewhat new and surprising then.

And some committed suicide like Werther. The Werther Effect was born and it had a sneaky way of resurfacing whenever and wherever the book became popular again.

Some 200 years later, German television debuted “Death of a Student”, a six-part series about Claus Wagner, a high school student who commits suicide by jumping under a train. Each episode began with Claus jumping under the train. The series was supposed to teach teenagers that suicide was wrong, but it had the opposite effect.

The real message of “Death of a Student” was the same message as that of “The Sorrows of Young Werther” if you kill yourself, lots of people will pay attention to you.  And suddenly the number of teenage boys killing themselves by jumping under a train increased by 175%. Having failed to prevent enough suicides, the show aired a second time. This time fewer people were watching and the suicide rate for teenage boys only went up 115%.

A few years later in neighboring Vienna, suicides went up when they were featured on the front page and fell 75% when they were pushed to the back page, run sans photos and without mention of the word, “Suicide.” Young Werther, in his blue-tailed coat and yellow vest, stopped chasing the trains of the Vienna underground.

The suicide cluster is a well-known phenomenon, especially among teenagers; it is why the media avoids coverage of teenage suicides… with one exception. A teenager who hangs himself in his garage jumps under a train or turns on the gas will generally not make the front page or even the back page. But if he takes a gun into a school, opens fire and then commits suicide,  Young Werther will be front page news for days, weeks or even months.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” John Donne wrote, “every man is a piece of the continent.” And some pieces of the continent are more easily invaded than others.

Suicides spike after front page coverage of a suicide. After Marilyn Monroe’s death, 197 more people killed themselves than the statistical norm. Suicides rise even after fictional suicides on soap operas. And murders are also influenced by the coverage of real and fictional murders. The rise in the number of shootings after a heavily publicized shooting isn’t a mysterious conspiracy, it’s Werthers being Werther or Lanza or Holmes.

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People are not mere machines who repeat back what they are given, but nor are ideas empty signals shouted into a void. Society is built on such signals. As is civilization. And it is foolish to pretend that the streams of communications that surround and connect those islands do not also influence the direction in which they drift. In a society where fame is the object, media coverage acts as both reward and punishment. And like any other training method, it produces its results.

Stick a photo of a man about to be hit by a train on the cover of a citywide newspaper, and more people will be pushed under trains and jump under trains. Spend weeks making a mass shooter famous and others will decide that resolving their problems with a shooting spree makes sense. Bad ideas are like bad signals, even if disapproved of, they are imitated if they are broadcast loudly enough. And the modern media is a deafeningly loud broadcast mechanism with many hypocritical agendas.

That does not mean that we ought to push the 1st Amendment under the train, the way that the media has been trying to do to the 2nd Amendment, but it does call for soul-searching and responsibility not by the people who make guns or defend the right to carry them, as the media insists, but by the people who make school shootings and subway suicides. The people who insist that everyone must search their souls, but them.

Stephen King, who recently jumped into the fray with his own gun control screed, was credited with inspiring one of the first clusters of school shootings in the United States. To his credit, King has wrestled with the question, withdrawing “Rage” from sale and conceding that it had an incendiary effect on troubled minds. To his discredit, King has used that action to argue that gun owners, manufacturers, and civil rights groups should agree to a ban on the mythical assault rifle.

Ideas are more powerful than weapons. Weapons can kill a man, but ideas can cause a man to kill. Nevertheless, the United States is a country built on the premise that ideas and weapons should be available to all. We are a country with high capacity magazines of both kinds. That experiment in human liberty is a dangerous one, and even though some Americans get on the wrong track, it is a profoundly worthy experiment because it allows us to choose who we are.

A totalitarian society cannot be moral. It can only be immoral. The few moral people in it retain their morality only by defying authority. In such a society, the Young Werther isn’t a screwup, he’s a saint. In our society, morality is a choice. Even as we drift into a totalitarian consensus that exchanges choice for obedience, individual opinions for mass media and civilian weapons for a police state, the power of choice still allows us to choose the right track or the wrong track.

The American can still choose to push a man in front of a train, kill a class full of children or vote to turn over his freedom and that of his friends, neighbors, and countrymen to the state. Those are all choices that come up on the wrong track. The wrong track is the mass track. It is the track of letting the signals make the choices and of a willingness to kill and die just to appear for a moment as a ghost in the media’s fame machine.

Choice requires a moral culture. It requires a weight of decency to overcome the darker impulses that lead men to take the wrong track. It requires us to think not only of our destination but how we get there. It demands that we see ourselves not as the train running over a fragile body or as the passengers clumping together for safety while turning over the movement of the train to the driver, but as the drivers of our own train.

A moral society is based on the awareness of choice. Not the empty Wertheresque drama of it, but the knowledge that our choices define our lives and those of our neighbors. They call on us to be good people because the goodness of our society does not come from the law or the state, but from ourselves.

When the American society was hijacked by a consensus of the people and transformed into a top-down programming mechanism, its morality also became a top-down operation, rather than a bottom-up faith, and as the media management has decayed, its mixed signals and the ugly madness that it often broadcasts for its own profit and entertainment have become the ugly madness and mixed signals that lead some of its viewers and listeners to seek fame and power at any cost.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

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Israel’s Police Launch Operation to Tackle Terror and Crime in Arab-Israeli City

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 03:00

In the past few days, a large police observation Zeppelin has been hovering above the city of Umm el-Fahm and the Arab communities of Wadi Ara on the highway between Hadera and Afula in north-central Israel, Israel hayom reported Monday.

The balloon is on an intelligence gathering mission – surveillance and prevention of criminal activity. It is part of a comprehensive plan formulated by the Israel Police to eradicate criminal and terrorist crime in Wadi Ara, particularly in Umm el-Fahm.

Umm el-Fahm is a blatant example of the growing lawlessness in parts of the Israeli Arab community, which makes up 20 percent of Israel’s population. A terrifying 59% of all murders are committed in Israel by Arabs, according to police.

The government has recently invested in a multi-billion-dollar plan to boost policing in Arab municipalities. And, in view of the fact that a large number of crime cases have taken place recently in Umm el-Fahm and the Wadi Ara communities, by crime families and organized crime, as well as the alarming rise in the activity of the Islamic terrorist organizations and the attempts to recruit and activate Israeli Arab citizens, including residents of Wadi Ara – the police are fully invested in the plan to eradicate criminal and national crime in Umm el-Fahm and the surrounding area.

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The plan was formulated by the police to improve the security of the residents of Wadi Ara includes a massive allocation of resources and the reinforcement of forces in the area, including the use of advanced technological intelligence measures and an unprecedented and extensive intelligence deployment of a network of security cameras in Umm el-Fahm and the rest of Wadi Ara.

According to the commander of the Menashe District of Israel Police, Commander Shimon Ben Sahvo, this is a focused activity aimed at preserving the public’s normative security and raising its sense of security, and an uncompromising treatment of the perpetrators of crime.

“We are carrying out extensive intelligence activities, and the Zeppelin is part of a complete intelligence network that includes security cameras and other advanced, undisclosed technological means, and we do not hesitate to use them to expose criminal activity. The Zeppelin is an operational tool that is in the service of the police and helps us in a variety of areas,” Ben Shavo said.

“We are working with large forces in an open and covert way, and the normative citizens who want to live in security provide us with support and support,” the commander continued, concluding, “The residents of Umm el-Fahm and Wadi Ara have the same security as the residents of Caesarea and Afula, for example, and there is no reason why it should not be so.”

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From Togo To Tel Aviv: Israel’s Latest Christian Pop Sensation

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 02:00

As he walks in downtown Tel Aviv near the trendy Sarona market, Stephane Legar is stopped time after time by adoring teens asking him to pose for a selfie. A model, singer and dancer,  Legar is Israel’s latest social media sensation: His first video, “The Step Fun Challenge,” released two years ago received 22 million hits and his Youtube channel has 71 thousand subscribers.

Born in Israel to Togolese parents, the 19-year-old sings with some of the Israeli pop scene’s top names  like Ivri Lider, Giulietta, and Itay Levi. His calendar is fully booked for the next year, and he is highly sought after for advertising campaigns.

Currently serving in the IDF in a unit that explains the recruitment process to high schoolers, Legar is a veritable mixture of worlds: His parents arrived on a diplomatic mission in Israel 25 years ago and decided to stay because of their deep connection with Christianity. His mother tongue is French: “I dream and count in French,” he says,  but he speaks perfect Hebrew and studied at an Israeli school in Rishon LeZion, a suburb of Tel Aviv.  He is Christian, but secular and loves to celebrate Jewish holidays with friends, as well as Christmas.

As a child, Legar  spent most of his holidays in Togo visiting relatives. “Africa is a completely different world from Israel,” he recounts.  “I loved going to Togo because there was so much sand to play with, now I realize that there was so much sand because the roads are not paved. In Africa, technology is not developed as here, but people smile more. I love going around the streets of Lomé (the Togolese capital) and seeing everyone smiling, instead of looking at their smartphones like they do here.”

Although he grew up listening to international music, Stephen is enchanted by the sounds of Israeli Mediterranean music, and his purpose as an artist, he says,  is to unite the two worlds

“My latest clips are collaborations with Giulietta and Itay Levi, who I think are among the best Israeli performers of oriental music. I also love very much Eden Ben Zaken,”  he says.

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When he posted “The Step Fun Challenge,” a short hip-hop choreography, in which he dances flanked by two girls, Legar had no idea it would be such a huge hit.

“At first I just thought I  would put up a song just to see how it goes. I had no great expectations. But then people looked forward to something else, so I began to work on another song and so on,” Legar told Tazpit Press Service at an interview held a coffee shop near the IDF’s Kirya base in downtown Tel Aviv.

Legar says his success is a source of motivation for many young people, especially young persons of African origin.

“I realize that I represent a real revolution. It is not easy for a young black man to become a famous singer. I am happy to have succeeded, and I hope that my example shows that if you want to you can reach anything, ” Legar says.

He adds that he himself has been a victim of racist events in the past. “Sometimes I heard people used racist words against  me,” he says. “It happened a few years ago. Now, sometimes I read racist phrases on the internet, not about me, but when it happens I  react immediately. It is very important for me to use my success to educate young people”.

While he still has over a year left of his military service – he still manages to perform almost every night – Legar says his dream is to create a school of music in Togo.  “I love Israel, and I would like to bring some of Israel’s music technologies and skills to my parents’ home country. I hope one day I will succeed, maybe even to open a modern music school.

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