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Sanhedrin Calls for Nations To Observe Sexual Purity for Role in Third Temple

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:00

As part of its initiative to establish an Organization of 70 Nations to replace the United Nations, the Sanhedrin made a call for the nations to adhere to principles of sexual purity. Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the spokesman for the Sanhedrin, explained that this was extrapolated from the Rabbinic law which states that there are three sins that a Jew must choose to martyr himself rather than commit: idolatry, murder, and sexual transgression.

The first two sins are forbidden as part of the Noahide code incumbent upon all of mankind.

“The nations must purify themselves,” Weiss explained to Breaking Israel News. “This is a process of purifying your thoughts from idolatry. It also includes removing the sin of murder from their midst, which is expressed today through abortion and euthanasia. This also includes sexual purity.”

The rabbi emphasized that this was a matter of survival.

“Today, a person can choose to do good or evil. But in the end-of-days, only those who choose to take part in the Temple will survive,” Rabbi Weiss said, quoting the Prophet Zechariah.

All who survive of all those nations that came up against Yerushalayim shall make a pilgrimage year by year to bow low to the King lord of Hosts and to observe the festival of Sukkot. Zechariah 14:16

“The world is in a deep state of impurity in which marriage itself is being challenged,” Weiss maintained. “The culture has become one of desire run amok. If women do not give birth in purity, in a proper manner, then the fabric of society will come apart.”

Rabbi Weiss noted that marriage is an issue that lies at the root of many of society’s existential threats.

“As single-parent homes become the norm, crime and violence rise,” Rabbi Weiss noted.

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He emphasized that one of the battlefields for sexual purity was the internet, which he characterized as the embodiment of the sin described in the Tenth Commandment which forbade coveting.

“It is no coincidence that the internet also enables the sin of slander to a level never before seen,” Rabbi Weiss said, noting another phenomenon that the prophets claimed would appear before the Messiah.

Ah, Those who call evil good And good evil; Who present darkness as light And light as darkness; Who present bitter as sweet And sweet as bitter! Isaiah 5:20

“This slander on the Internet is especially focused on making good look like evil and normalizing what has always been considered evil throughout human history,” Rabbi Weiss said.

The requirement for sexual purity is, of course, incumbent upon Jews, mandated in the Book of Leviticus.

Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, Hashem your God, am holy. Leviticus 19:2

Weiss cited Maimonides who interpreted this to mean that the Jews must maintain a high level of sexual purity.

Illustrative: Sanhedrin coin with the image of Nikki Haley (Courtesy)

As part of the Organization of 70 Nations initiative, the Sanhedrin issued a commemorative coin featuring an image of Nikki Haley, the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, whom they invited to serve as the organization’s honorary president. Proceeds from sales of the coin are used for holding Temple reenactments, creating utensils to be used in the Third Temple, and education about the Temple. The Sanhedrin also oversees the production of olive oil, wine, and grain offerings produced under stringent conditions of purity.

Several countries including Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico have already signed a pledge to take part in the organization and join Israel in bringing about the Third Temple.

Coins can be purchased on the Sanhedrin’s website.

Biblical Art: The Love of Naomi and Ruth

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 07:41

Artist Chana Helen Rosenberg writes on Chabad.org, “Ruth was so dedicated to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and to G‑d, that she did not want to go back to Moab, rather to go with Naomi to Bethlehem, as shown in this famous passage (which is the inspiration for my painting). I have depicted Ruth clinging to Naomi, her mother-in-law, in the desert, on the way to Bethlehem. Ruth says to Naomi, ‘Do not urge me to leave you. Wherever you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people, and your G‑d is my G‑d’. (Ruth 1:16)”

Painting by Chana Helen Rosenberg

Chana Helen is an Israeli artist with an Art Degree from Maidstone, U.K., who is now living in the Negev City of Be’er Sheva.  The artist uses movement and colour to express different moods and atmospheres in her work on the Jewish Festivals, Biblical themes and her local surroundings in Israel, as well as other subjects. She brings her own observations of contemporary Jewish life into her expressive, imaginative work.

Chana Helen paints mainly in oils, but does also use acrylics, colored inks and other media. Recently she has begun creating digital art alongside her other work.  She also produces simple limited edition hand-pulled lino cuts using black ink only.

Word Study: Ahavah – “Love”

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 07:22

Let’s talk about ahavah (love), Biblical style! This video explores the various ways the Hebrew authors used the word “love.” There are many stories of love in the Bible. Biblical love depicts God as the ultimate source and goal of all human love.

DEUTERONOMY 1:1

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 07:21

Deuteronomy contains Moshe’s (Moses’) farewell speeches to the People of Israel. They are camped on the banks of the Jordan River, finally ready to cross over and inherit the land that Hashem (God) promised to their forefathers. Since Moshe is not allowed to enter the land, he takes this opportunity to impart to them the thoughts, laws and ideas that he wants them to consider as they prepare for their entry into the land. Moshe makes sure to speak to the entire nation, as the Land of Israel belongs to everyone. Young and old, rich and poor — everyone can find his or her place in this special land. Find your inspiration in with The Israel Bible Daily Inspirations devotional.

Isaac and Rebekah

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 07:13

Genesis tells that Rebekah married Isaac and he loved her greatly. She comforted him when Sarah, his mother, died.

Isaac and Rebekah birthed two sons – Esau, father of the Edomites and the Amalekites, and Jacob. After wrestling with God, Jacob changed his name to Israel. Through Israel, the Messiah will be born, fulfilling the covenant made to Abraham by God.

Hamas Operatives Gassed in Tunnel…by Egypt

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 07:01

One Hamas operative and a civilian worker were reportedly killed last night in a smuggling tunnel after Egyptian forces identified the opening and pumped poisonous gas.

The initial report was confirmed by Iyad al-Bozm, a spokesman for the Hamas regime in Gaza said Monday. The Hamas terrorist was identified as 39-year-old Abdel Hamid al-Akker and the second Gazan killed, was identified as 28-year-old Sobhi Abu Qarshin. The latter was said killed during a rescue attempt. The type of gas used has so far not been revealed.

Palestinian civil defense teams rush to rescue 9 missing workers inside a smuggling tunnel in Rafah after Egyptian forces identified the opening on their side and pumped the shaft with poisonous gases.

— Gaza Report – اخبار غزة (@gaza_report) February 10, 2019

Hamas made similar claims about Egypt using poison gas to attack its terrorists operating in cross border tunnels between Gaza and Sinai two years ago. In February 2017, three Palestinians were killed in a tunnel in very similar circumstances.

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According to a report in The Jerusalem Post, in January, “the Egyptian military announced that it had destroyed 37 cross-border tunnels linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula over the past year.”

Since the 2013 ousting of Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian military has increasingly cracked down on Hamas’ cross-border tunnels. Morsi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been a long-time funder and ideological inspiration for Hamas.

Israel has also been active in attempting to both destroy cross-border tunnels from Hamas-run Gaza into Israeli territory. In 2018, Israel claimed to have destroyed 15 attack tunnels. The Israeli security establishment argues the tunnels are not used to smuggle weapons or goods, but operatives to carry out mass casualty attacks and / or kidnappings.

Earlier in the year, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi claimed in a CBS News interview that Israel and Egypt enjoyed unprecedented military cooperation in the Sinai. In addition to cross-border Hamas smuggling tunnels, Egypt is also at the forefront of attempting to deal with ISIS in its Sinai region.

El Salvador’s New President is Palestinian… But May Be a Zionist

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 06:48

Some may take El Salvador’s newly elected president’s Palestinian heritage at face value but this enigmatic dark-horse may be Israel’s newest ally in Central America.

Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez, El Salvador’s newly elected president, is exceptional in many unanticipated ways.

At  37-years-old, he is the youngest man ever elected to the post looks the part, frequently appearing in a black leather jacket, since he both rides and sells Yamaha motorcycles. Though he began his political career in the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), he was elected as head of the right-wing Great Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party he founded just six months before the election.

El Salvador’s President-Elect @nayibbukele at the Western Wall in #Jerusalem, during our International Mayors Conference last February. This is what leadership looks like. pic.twitter.com/TDlj2JNlFf

— Jack Rosen (@JackRosenNYC) February 5, 2019

The victory came as a surprise since El Salvador, like the U.S., had a two-party system until Bukele won 54 percent of the vote last week. His upset victory, managed through an active social media campaign, came as a relief to the country’s populace who were tired of a government in which both parties were riddled with corruption.

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Bukele is one of the approximately 120,000 El Salvadorans with Palestinian ancestry. El Salvador has the second largest population of Palestinians in South America behind Honduras. His Christian grandparents, along with many others, immigrated to South America from Ottoman-ruled Bethlehem.

But his Palestinian identity does not define his relationship with the Jews or Israel. While attending an International Mayors’ Conference in Jerusalem last February, Bukele proudly told former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat that his wife’s grandfather was a Sephardic Jew (Video; 1:55). Bukele has not voiced any foreign policy plans and it is still unknown how he plans to relate to Israel.

His personal faith is enigmatic. Born to a Christian mother, Bukele has publicly stated that his family is Roman Catholic. His father converted to Islam and is a prominent imam in San Salvador, though Bukele claims his father “always considered [Jews] his brothers.” He stirred up controversy when a picture surfaced during the campaign showing him praying in a mosque in Mexico City. In an interview with AP last month, Bukele claimed he “had a belief in God but not organized religion.”

Israeli Technology Aids Brazil’s Water Crisis

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 04:22

Brazil will receive 10 generators that use Israeli technology to produce pure, clean-drinking water from ambient air, according to Brazilian Minister of Science Marcos Cesar Pontes.

The revelation came to light recently when Pontes was in Israel as part of Brazil’s mission to this year’s Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv.

During his visit, Pontes toured Watergen’s headquarters, where he tasted the fresh water produced by the GEN-350. He also met with Watergen’s president, Dr. Michael Mirilashvili.

Each of the 10 units is a GEN-350 atmospheric water generator, developed by the Israel-based company of Watergen. A single GEN-350 can produce up to 900 liters of water per day.

According to Pontes, the GEN-350s will be installed in schools and hospitals throughout Brazil, particularly in areas that lack safe drinking water.

Weighing just 800 kilograms, the GEN-350 is easily transportable and can be installed anywhere, even in remote places. It is provided with an internal water-treatment system and needs no infrastructure to operate except for electricity.

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Watergen’s donation to Brazil comes at a critical time for the country. Two weeks earlier, a dam at a mine in Brumadinho collapsed, leading to the deaths of more than 130 people and injuring about 200.

Brazil has also been coping with water shortages in recent years.

In 2018, authorities restricted millions of residents to daily water quotas due to a continuous drought. The previous year, Brazil declared an official emergency in hundreds of cities due to a significant lack of water.

A number of experts claim that the water shortage in Brazil, which affects more than 800 municipalities across the country, is due to climate change, the rapid expansion of agriculture, poor infrastructure and insufficient planning.

Israel’s technology has come to the rescue of other countries that have faced ecological and environmental disasters. Two of Watergen’s GEN-350 units were dispatched to India’s southern state of Kerala to help residents of the region recover from devastating monsoons that struck over the summer of 2018.

Watergen’s efforts to make clean water available around the world earned the company its place on the World Economic Forum’s list of the world’s top technology pioneers in 2018.

Russian Envoy: US Pushing Lebanon and Israel Toward War

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 04:00

Russia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin has warned the next war between Israel and Lebanon would be the result of “U.S. activity in the region and their campaign against Iran and Hezbollah.”

In an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency, Friday, Zasypkin said “as for the Israeli-Lebanese situation, it is difficult to assess what will be because the entire region is at a crossroads.”

He added that “the citizens expect a resolution to the problems, a return to peaceful lives and the development of cooperation.” But he said the Americans could spark new conflicts and that numerous other countries and ethnic groups could become involved in the fighting.

Zasypkin also said that instead of there being a give-and-take relationship with the Russians, the United States has chosen “to embark on a campaign against Iran and Hezbollah that makes the atmosphere in the region even more violent.”

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Russia’s Beirut envoy said he sees Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war as a positive factor. “They played an important part in the destruction of the terrorist cells. Hezbollah sided with the legitimate government in Syria from the outset of the war, as did Russia and Iran,” he said.

Zasypkin also lauded the Shi’ite terrorist group for being “a strong political party that is very active in parliament. They contribute a great deal to stability, security and peace in Lebanon.”

He further called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah “a unifying force in the country.”

Iran-backed Hezbollah has assumed control of three ministries in the government led by Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the largest number of portfolios it has ever held.

Preserving Memory of the Holocaust With Unlikely Friendship

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 03:42

The inspiring emotional story of an unlikely friendship between a 91-year-old holocaust survivor and a 23-year old volunteer from Latet.

“For the youth today I think it’s a must, to understand that they were people. They wanted things that every human wanted and still wants.”

Israel and Iran Go Head-to-Head in Twitter War

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 02:57

A tweet from the IDF’s official twitter account to Iran sparked an online social media war between the countries — or rather between their supporters. How are the bitter rivals using social media to sway public opinion?

Winter Weather, A Unique Challenge for Israel’s Elderly

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 02:47

Though some people prefer cold temperatures over Israel’s hot summers, the country’s struggling citizens and especially the elderly, find winter a particularly challenging time to live in dignity.

“Israel’s buildings are made from stone and cement,” explained Mimi Rozmaryn, Director of Global Development for Meir Panim charity organization, to Breaking Israel News. “This makes the inside of apartments colder than the outside!”

Generally, people heat their homes in the Holy Land through the use of air-conditioners that are also able to blow warm air, electric floor heaters or, sometimes, kerosene heaters, which are particularly dangerous and smelly. Each of these are expensive to run, especially when on a limited budget. Additionally, if one can actually afford to use a heating appliance, once turned off, the home immediately becomes cold again due to building structure.

Meir Panim Restaurant-Style soup kitchens, Meals-on-Wheels and after-school programs for youth at risk become especially busy during the winter months,” shared Rozmaryn. “Israel’s impoverished citizens and especially the elderly suffer from the blistering cold when home. They become desperate for a heated place to sit and have a warm, fresh meal.”

The Central Bureau of Statistics found that 21.2 percent of Israel’s population live in poverty. This is based on data from 2017, the most recent year for which comprehensive information is available. MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union) stated of this report, “Netanyahu speaks of ‘a victorious economy’ and Israel has once again maintained the dubious title of poverty champion of the West.”

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This alarmingly number hits Israel’s senior citizens especially hard as many are Holocaust survivors with no one to care for them. Pensions and welfare benefits, especially for those with little to no years of work in Israel since they immigrated from foreign lands at an older age or lacked the needed education to make a decent living in the country, do not even cover basic living costs, like food. Many elderly seniors can be found huddling under threadbare blankets in order to stay warm.

With minimal government assistance, many chilled citizens are forced to turn to charities to keep warm and enjoy a proper hot meal. “Meir Panim has five branches throughout Israel, four of which are in some of Israel’s coldest regions, northern Safed, Tiberias, Or Akiva, and mountainous Jerusalem,” continued Rozmaryn. “Especially during the winter, we make sure to prepare hot soups filled with fresh vegetables along with our daily chicken, meat and side dishes to warm people up.”

In 2017, Israel’s government passed a bill that provides approximately 247,000 senior citizens with an annual “heating grant” of NIS 562 (approx. $150). Unfortunately, due to the dire circumstances of so many of the recipients, this money is often used toward other essentials, like food and medicine.

“We, at Meir Panim, feel that anything we can do to ease the suffering of impoverished Israelis is our mission,” said Rozmaryn. “We are so grateful to our donors, who feel the same.”

To donate to Meir Panim’s winter-care campaign, please click here.

Why Won’t the British Left Pick on Someone Else?

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 02:00

Why are Labour members not speaking out loud about the need to boycott or overthrow such a regime as Iran, but instead focus all their venom on Israel, a country they demonize on wholly false grounds, especially considering the full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which Labour has technically adopted — while reserving the right, however, to criticize Israel as an apartheid or Nazi state?

Whatever its faults, Israel is a utopia for human rights that many self-congratulatory moralists identify as their personal preserve. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to uphold all the rights the Labour Party claims to hold precious. Yet, Israel is the only country in the world that the Labour party reserves for its censure, while other countries are ignored, mildly rebuked or even cosied up to.

In reality, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have largely governed their own people since 1994, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinians, however, continue to go through inconceivable suffering due to the atrocious governance by their own often corrupt and manipulative leaders. They continue to blame Israel and the Jews — preferable, apparently, to blaming themselves.

“Victimization is the pain-orientated version of privilege. If it suffices to call oneself oppressed in order to be in the right, everyone will fight to occupy that slot.” — Pascal Bruckner, An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt.

(Image source: iStock)

The 2018 annual conference of Britain’s Labour Party proved that, however strong the criticism, and however embarrassing the scandal, there are many in England who will get on with their top priority: slandering and libelling one of the world’s most outstanding countries, Israel. At the same time, they seem never to tire of singing the praises of the Palestinians, regardless of the savagery with which they govern their own people.

They also seem comfortable overlooking the Palestinians’ repeated rejections of peace, and their glorifying and funding non-stop terrorism.

The oddity of this approach generally escapes the mainstream media or is amplified by them, and is proliferated across all sorts of social media such as Twitter, and anti-Zionist blogswebsites, and YouTube channels, where it often merges with Holocaust denial, on sites such as Facebookneo-Nazi rantsMuslim anti-Zionist pages, and speeches by Muslim preachers who choose to live on the dark side of their faith.

The question, of course, is “Why Israel?” Are there not enough dictatorships and oppressive regimes in the world to keep any decent socialist busy on a hundred other fronts?

Not long after that Labour Party conference, your humble correspondent attended a smaller event in Newcastle upon Tyne on October 3, 2018, where a local Labour MP, Catherine McKinnell, addressed a packed hall to apologize for the blatant anti-Semitism in her party. It has to be said that McKinnell herself had nothing to apologize for. She is not Jewish, but she was among the hundreds of people protesting anti-Semitism in the Labour Party outside the Houses of Parliament on March 26 earlier this year. The protest brought home to many observers the simple truth that Jews were profoundly worried, if not afraid, to see a resurgence of anti-Jewish activity in the political party for which they had mainly voted all their lives.

There was one question for which McKinnell could not provide an answer. It began by referring to a news item from the day before, a story about a 24-year-old Iranian woman, Zaynab Sekanvand, who had just been executed two days after delivering a stillborn baby. Zaynab had been married at 15 to a husband who abused and beat her regularly, rejecting her wish to divorce, until one day she snapped and stabbed him to death. Arrested when 17, she was tried without legal representation or a medical report on her psychological state. She was then denied a retrial, even though the Iranian penal code itself stated that anyone who committed a crime when a minor must have a second court appearance. While in prison, she was married (probably through Iran’s legal temporary marriage) to another prisoner, and became pregnant. Just before giving birth, she was traumatized when her cellmate, another woman, was taken out and hanged. Shortly after, Zaynab gave birth to a stillborn baby. Two days later, she herself was taken out and hanged.

This story led to more comments on the Iranian Shi’ite regime: that Iran executes per capita more prisoners than China, the world leader in that respect; that Iran has long backed and funded a range of terrorist groups, notably Hamas and Hezbollah; that Iran has been expanding its violent behaviour from Iraq to Yemen to Syria to Lebanon; and that Iran has long threatened to destroy the state of Israel. More than that, Iran has an abysmal human rights record regarding women, gays, ethnic and religious minorities, and political opponents.

The simple question was: Given all this, why are Labour members not speaking out about the need to boycott or overthrow such a regime, but instead focus all their venom on Israel, a country they demonize on wholly false grounds, especially considering the full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which Labour has technically adopted — while reserving the right, however, to criticize Israel as an apartheid or Nazi state?

Mrs McKinnell, not surprisingly, had no answer.

Perhaps the most important aspect of that question lies in the sheer hypocrisy of the Labour Party’s supporters. To its credit, Labour strongly opposes the use of execution, and supports women’s rights, gay rights, ethnic minority rights and religious minority rights. Many of Labour’s supporters, like many others, are appalled to see Iranian women stoned to death, gay men hanged on cranes, and Baha’is, Christians and others fiercely persecuted and hanged.

In Israel, by contrast, women, homosexuals, and all racial minorities, are treated well, especially Arabs. According to Thane Rosenbaum, distinguished fellow at New York University School of Law and legal analyst for CBS News Radio:

“Arabs serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and can live, work and eat anywhere they choose, vote freely in elections and are represented in parliament. The only nation in the Middle East where civil rights exist for racial minorities, homosexuals and women is Israel”.

More could definitely be done, but for the most part, they have full citizenship rights and free access to virtually all the same opportunities and professions as everyone else in the country.

All religious communities are protected, all holy places are guaranteed freedom from molestation under law. Tel Aviv has been named more than once as the world’s “gay capital.”

Today, no one is executed for any reason in the Jewish state, not even Palestinian terrorists who have committed murder time and again, often in gruesome circumstances. Israel hosts the world centre and holiest shrines of the Baha’is, while Iran, by contrast, has demolished all their sacred sites and cemeteries. Israel has laws that protect and enforce these and all human rights. So, would Israel not be the country that the West would most admire? Whatever its faults, it is a utopia for human rights that many self-congratulatory moralists identify as their personal preserve. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to uphold all the rights the Labour Party claims to hold precious. Yet, Israel is the only country in the world that the Labour Party reserves for its censure, while other countries are ignored, mildly rebuked or even cosied up to.

These double standards have never been properly exposed or tested in a public forum at which Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes could be forced to explain themselves.

This disjuncture is, in fact, only part of a wider one that allows many in Great Britain to condemn all things Western while lauding Muslim countries without reservation. They even back extremist Islamic terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which Corbyn called his “friends”.

For all this sentimentalisation, it is “Islamophobia” that takes centre stage, with antisemitism paid mere lip service, if that.

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In his recently published book, An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt, the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner delves deeply into these issues. Those who do not have time to read it in full can peruse a long and accurate summary by David Mikics. For the present, a few quotations from the English translation must suffice to show why many left-wing ideas about Islam and Muslims are central to obsession with Jews and Israel.

The argument revolves around a number of linked notions. Led by Europe, the international left turned against Jews and Zionism after 1967, based on the claim that Jews had capitalized on their suffering during and after the Holocaust to gain privileges as the West’s favoured people on that account alone. For the left, a new variety of worthy oppressed people came into being, first the Palestinians, then Muslims in general. This sympathy for all Muslims who had supposedly been victims of Western colonialism — rather than as the invaders and colonisers of the great Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Hungary and the Balkans as well as Spain — moved into high gear. More and more politicians and so-called intellectuals began to support radical Islam, and deemed it a road to cheap oil and the promise of no terrorism at a time when many thought the West, as a former coloniser, was more powerful than, in their minds, it deserved to be.

Even Muslim terrorism came to be lauded as an antidote to European and American privilege.

Israel became the supposed centre of Western intolerance and outdated colonisation – even though Jews have lived in the area for nearly 4,000 years. In the minds of many, and following the anti-Semitic Islamic narrative, the Jews became the new Nazis, and the Palestinians became the new Jews. In reality, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have largely governed their own people since 1994, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinians, however, continue to go through inconceivable suffering due to the atrocious governance by their own often corrupt and manipulative leaders. They continue to blame Israel and the Jews — preferable, apparently, to blaming themselves.

Although following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there were roughly the same number of refugees — approximately 800,000 Jews from Arab lands, and 800,000 or quite possibly fewer than 300,000 Arabs from land then governed by the British (now mainly Israel) — the Palestinians are the only refugees in history who have been deemed entitled to their own UN agency and the freedom to pass their refugee status and resentment down through generations, rather than to be resettled, as other refugees have been under the legal stipulations of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Let us look at how Bruckner expresses some of these points. Bruckner, an opponent of political correctness, sets out the links between the political left and radical Muslims, an alliance that has reinforced existing antisemitism in Europe.

In 1994, Chris Harman, the leader of the [British] Socialist Workers’ Party… published a long article entitled, “The Prophet and the Proletariat”. In it, he advocated an alliance between left-wing activists and radical Muslim groups — that he thought would be wrong to describe as retrograde. On the contrary, he maintained, we should return these lost sheep of Islam to the fold of the left, and mobilize them in the service of the only cause that matters – the destruction of capitalism. (p. 39)

The left has lost everything – the working class, the USSR, China, Cambodia, the Third World – with the exception of Islam, the new International of the outcasts… Islam becomes the last great narrative to which they can cling and which replaces communism, decolonization, and pan-Arabism. In the category of the good revolutionary subject, the Mujahideen, the Fedayeen, the Jihadists, and the martyrs of Hamas or al-Qaeda replace the proletarian, the guerrillero, the wretched of the Earth, the Palestinian. (p. 43)

In a more classic left-wing register, Jean Baudrillard saw in the mullahs’ inspection of the revolution a proof of vitality. In his view, Iran presented itself as:

The sole active destabilizer of the two great powers’ terrorism and strategic monopoly. […] Whether it is at the price of medieval “barbarity”, so be it, it doesn’t matter. […] (p. 45)

The future will remember that in the twenty-first century, a large part of the Western intelligentsia made common cause with fundamentalist totalitarianism, just as their elders had communed with Nazism and communism. (pp. 55-56)

… this “theft of the Holocaust” … and the desire on the part of some Muslims to be more Jewish [i.e. more oppressed] than the Jews are contemporary with the rejection of the Hebrew state in the Middle East: “The hatred for Israel is the most powerful aphrodisiac in the Arab world”, the late king of Morocco, Hassan II, is supposed to have said. (p. 71)

By raising the word “Islamophobia” to the level of anti-Semitism, people can finally brandish their certificates of malediction as titles of nobility. Victimization is the pain-orientated version of privilege. If it suffices to call oneself oppressed in order to be in the right, everyone will fight to occupy that slot. Every conqueror likes to be seen as a martyr. No-one admires the Shoah more than the revisionists, to the point of wanting to steal it from those who suffered from it. (p. 77)

The new racism… culminates in the anti-Zionism about which [it was said] that it was “an unhoped-for windfall because it gives you the permission and even the right to be an anti-Semite in the name of democracy! Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism justified, finally made available to everyone. It is the permission to be democratically anti-Semitic. What if the Jews themselves were Nazis? That would be marvellous. It would no longer be necessary to feel sorry for them: they would have deserved their fate!”

In the name of the fight against colonialism, the first duty of an anti-racist is to be an anti-Zionist. (p. 84)

In his comments and judicious use of quotations, Bruckner lays bare the monstrous grievances and immoderate allegiances that underlie the antisemitism and anti-Zionism of the European Left and the British Labour Party. These include Jeremy Corbyn’s calling Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and supporting other extremists; his appearances on Iran’s Press TV; repeated support for the absurd claim that Israel has committed a “genocide” of the Palestinian people; calls to replace Holocaust Memorial Day with a World Genocide Day; Jewish Voice for Labour’s contempt for the Israeli army and vast claims that the Palestinians are the most oppressed of all people. Who can be more oppressed than the Palestinians? Well, how about the Tibetans, Yazidis, Middle Eastern and South Asian Christians, Jews, Baha’is and so on? But by Labour’s false logic, it is the Palestinians that should be the most deserving of support — meaning that only Israel (not North Korea, Iran, China, Sudan or Syria, among others) must be condemned time and again as ostensibly the most evil nation in the world.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

Big Data’s Subsidization of Big Media

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 01:00

The media is dying. Read about it in the media.

Facebook is pumping $300 million into the media. And that’s after the Google News Initiative shoved $300 million into fighting “fake news” and helping struggling media outlets like the New York Times.

These aren’t investments. They’re charitable donations by Big Data to Big Brother.

Take Jeff Bezos taking $250 million, a little more than the $215 million he makes a day, and using it to buy the Washington Post, not because it’s a good business opportunity, but a good political one.

The media isn’t worth investing in.

TV and cable news are the weakest holdings of the entertainment giants. That’s why AT&T is none too fond of the CNN white elephant it’s stuck with.

John Stankey, Time Warner’s new boss (and therefore also CNN’s new overlord) told CNN that the news network has a “special social responsibility”. That’s the same rhetoric about public service that has the emerging giant monopolies subsidizing media companies as a charitable cause, not a profitable venture.

Journalism is deader than disco. The shambling monster still squealing about the First Amendment while pressuring social media companies to censor its conservative opposition under the guise of a Russian conspiracy theory has as much to do with journalism as Nabisco’s ad agency or Biden’s spokesman do.

The media doesn’t report the news. It reposts tweets, recycles news stories from a handful of wire services and largely relies on outside interests to do its actual reporting for it. Sometimes that means outside hit pieces covertly embedded, like Fusion GPS’ Russian Trump conspiracy theory, other times it’s more openly financed, like NPR getting $100K from a pro-Iran deal group to report on the Iran deal.

Media once stood for the multiple mediums, print, radio and television, which required expensive infrastructure and allowed major corporations to reach a national audience with its mass media.

The internet 1.0 crushed the infrastructure advantage of the media and then internet 2.0 made the media dependent on a handful of social, search and commerce platforms for its traffic.

Staring death in the red digital eye, the media tossed journalism out the window as it went after two targets, President Trump and the social media giants that were starving it of ad revenue. The Russia conspiracy theory evolved to incorporate the entanglement between Facebook, Russia and Trump.

Soon, media outlets, desperately loathing and desiring Facebook, were filled with conspiracy theories explaining how Russian Facebook trolls had managed to swing the 2016 election. The conspiracy theories were nonsense. Actual analysis showed that the Russians had mostly targeted African-Americans on Facebook. But the media had dumped truth and the facts a thousand miles back.

The Trump-Russia conspiracy theories hatched by the Clinton campaign and distributed by the media were popular with the more hysterical breed of Democrat prone to marching around with pink hats and memorizing long Slavic names and their appearances at Trump hotels. They helped make the eyeball traffic of the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN great again, albeit very temporarily.

But, for the media, the real target of the conspiracy theories was Silicon Valley.

Internet 1.0 had humbled the media. Internet 2.0 had crushed its business model. But where internet 1.0 had been a cheerful thriving anarchy, the web of the college campus, the wild realm in which anything was possible, internet 2.0 was a gated community owned by a handful of giant monopolies.

A fortune in capital had been flowing into Amazon, Google, Facebook and its ilk. Media outlets could only greedily lick their lips and report on the latest viral surfing gorilla video accident trending on some app whose value had gone from nothing to billions overnight.

The media’s growing thrust leftward wasn’t just ideological. It was also practical.

The old business model of serving consumers, while injecting bias into the stories and broadcasts, wasn’t working anymore. Why bother watching the news when you can scroll through your Facebook feed? The new media model would be loud advocacy. And it would be treated as a public service and financed by the very people making a fortune off viral surfing gorilla videos.

They just had to be talked into it.

Amazon had shown the way when its megalomaniacal boss, Jeff Bezos, bought the Washington Post. Soon, the formerly respected establishment paper, took on the tone and professionalism of a social justice blog, combined with blatant opposition research, hit pieces and election interference.

Silicon Valley had eaten the media’s business model. Now the goal was turning Big Data corps into the patrons of a media acting in the public interest. And public interest, meant the interests of the Left.

Like many welfare recipients, the media has made its case with a combination of truculence and victimhood. Its papers and magazines never go out of business because the public isn’t interested. They’re always “murdered” or “sacrificed” to corporate greed. If the media suffers a downturn, it’s a conspiracy. And social media giants must do the “right thing” and keep the media in business.

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Or else.

The media is staying alive through the patronage of lefties convinced it will bring down Trump. But what happens when Trump is gone and there’s no Mueller or Russia conspiracy to pump for traffic?

The media is leveraging Trump conspiracy theories to win Silicon Valley patronage. But that’s just hooking one bad business model on another. When Facebook begins its deep dive, suddenly the hundreds of millions that it once casually threw about the way that Gilded Age tycoons lit cigars with hundred dollar bills will no longer be there for its media remoras. The media bet its future on Trump and FAANG stocks. It doesn’t have a Plan C. And that means that its future looks a lot like Myspace.

The media is becoming another Silicon Valley acquisition that will soon outlive its utility.

It’s out of touch with 99% of the country. But it’s in touch with the special interests, politicians and leaders who run the country. And so it can turn a silly conspiracy theory into the national agenda.

Content providers are snapping up content creators all around. But unlike cable providers buying their own studios, Facebook and Google don’t actually need the media. They make their money from user submitted content. The media’s business model has failed. It needs Silicon Valley sugar daddies. And in exchange the Silicon Valley sugar daddies buy into the national messaging arm of the Left.

Facebook and Google don’t need the media to reach ordinary people. Their own reach is as far beyond the paltry airport users glued to CNN or the EPA resistance members paging through the Washington Post on their iPhone X as the sun is to the moon. But what the media has and Silicon Valley needs is political access. The media’s eyeball range is laughable. But it’s a gateway to the political insiders.

Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post because it sets the agenda in Washington D.C.

Facebook is pumping money into the media because when it doesn’t, the media runs Facebook hit pieces. It’s cheaper for Facebook to toss $300 million at the media than to fight each negative media hit piece. $300 million sounds like a lot, but Facebook’s summer stock market beating amounted to a $100 billion loss for the company and a nearly $16 billion loss for CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Silicon Valley isn’t trying to buy the media. Even the people who pour hundreds of millions into any social app used by at least a single millennial know that’s a terrible idea. They’re buying influence.

The media, as we used to know it, no longer exists. Journalism is a joke. Local news coverage occasionally functions, but the national news means millennials fresh out of J-school writing up trending topics that exist only to be shared on social media and forgotten 5 seconds later, or older reporters writing up hit pieces on behalf of shadowy special interests operating behind the scenes.

Real journalists don’t work for the media. They’re employed in the shadowy netherworld where information warfare is cooked up by organizations like Fusion GPS, which hatched the Russia conspiracy theory that has hijacked our entire political discourse. The media is where the informational bombs are detonated by reporters who are too dumb and lazy to be any more than cutouts for the real players.

The media circa 2018 is just the messaging arm for the Left. And occasionally anyone influential enough.

This isn’t a business model. It’s the death throes of a dying industry making a compelling case why it can’t and won’t function as a business, and has no alternative except existing as a corrupt charity case trading political influence for cash from the monopolies destroying the last vestiges of freedom.

The continuing power of the media reveals how little say Americans have in running their own country.

The media is monetizing its political access to Silicon Valley. The media will spew lefty talking points and Big Data will subsidize its efforts to take out President Trump and anyone else it doesn’t like. Social and search will give the media a financial lifeline and an illegal competitive advantage by censoring conservative media on its platforms under the guise of fighting ‘fake news’.

That will mean that the big internet monopolies will have even more of a monopoly over the public marketplace than ever.

And that makes the very idea of free speech into the punch line of a tragic joke with its own IP address.

The internet monopolies were a huge threat to freedom before they became entangled with the media. Now they may be the biggest threat to our political freedoms in the entire history of the United States.

Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other internet monopolies are financing the media and censoring opposition media. That provides them with an unprecedented stranglehold on the marketplace of ideas.

If the elected officials don’t meet this unprecedented threat, elections will cease to mean anything.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

Why Palestinians Oppose an Anti-Iran Coalition

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00

It seems the Palestinian leadership would rather see Iran continue to pose a threat to Arab countries than see peace between those countries and Israel.

Several Arab countries appear completely fed up with the Palestinians, particularly the continued bickering between Fatah and Hamas. Egyptian intelligence officials have devoted years trying to convince Hamas and Fatah to work together for the benefit of the Palestinians.

Instead of doing so, however, Palestinian leaders are preoccupied with blocking Arab participation in a conference that could see the creation of a coalition against Iran — the same country Abbas and his loyalists hold responsible for the ongoing divisions among the Palestinians. Might it be possible that the Arab countries are finally rousing themselves from their long slumber and beginning to seek better lives for themselves and their neighbors?

The Palestinians have good reason to believe that influential Arab countries have given up on both them and the Palestinian cause. They fear that several Arab countries might be headed toward normalizing their relations with Israel. Pictured: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, during Netanyahu’s official visit to Oman, October 26, 2018. (Image source: Israel PM’s Office)

The Palestinians have good reason to believe that some influential Arab countries have given up on both them and the Palestinian cause. They fear that several Arab countries might even be headed toward normalizing their relations with Israel.

For several weeks now, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been waging a campaign against a US-Polish conference that is scheduled to take place in Warsaw later this month. US and Polish officials said that the conference will include sessions on the situation in Syria, Yemen, missile development, terrorism and illicit finance and cybersecurity. A US official said that the conference will also discuss “Iran’s destructive policies in the region.”

Why are the Palestinians so worried about the upcoming conference? Because they care about Iran or Yemen or Syria or missile development? No, the Palestinians are concerned because they have somehow convinced themselves that the main purpose of the conference is to bring the Arab countries closer to Israel. It is not clear on what the Palestinian claim is based, especially as neither the US nor Poland has mentioned the issue of normalization between Israel and the Arab countries as being on the agenda of the conference.

“The PLO considers the conference a form of direct and public normalization [between the Arabs and Israel],” said PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani. “This is an attempt to change the priorities in the Middle East so that confronting Iran would become the main issue instead of ending the [Israeli] occupation.” The PLO official called on the Arab countries to boycott the conference.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat also expressed concern over the planned conference in Warsaw; he said it was a “serious attempt to overturn the Arab Peace Initiative” that was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002. This 10-sentence initiative calls for normalizing relations between the Arab countries and Israel in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines (including east Jerusalem) and a “just settlement” of the Palestinian refugee issue based on UN resolution 194. The resolution states that refugees “wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practical date.”

Although Israel has expressed tentative support for the initiative, it also made clear that it cannot accept the relocation of millions of Palestinians into Israel. Such a move would mean the creation of two Palestinians states: one in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, and another in Israel, where Jews would become a minority in their country.

Erekat and other Palestinian officials seem worried that the Arabs planning to participate in the conference will abandon the Arab Peace Initiative, including the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel. They are also apparently concerned that their Arab brothers will abandon the Palestinian issue in favor of an anti-Iran coalition. Several Arab countries now consider the Iranian “threat” their main priority and believe that it should take precedence over the Palestinian dispute.

“The Palestinian cause is an Arab and Islamic issue par excellence,” Erekat said, echoing Palestinian fears of Arab indifference toward the Palestinians. “We have not authorized anyone to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. The US is planning, through the Warsaw conference, to first achieve normalization between the Arabs and Israel before peace [between Israel and the Palestinians].”

Even if the planned conference is aimed at creating a coalition against Iran, one would expect the Palestinian Authority to be the first to join it. In the past few years, the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly charged Iran with meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians, especially by supporting Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. It seems the Palestinian leadership would rather see Iran continue to pose a threat to Arab countries than see peace between those countries and Israel.

Recently, a senior Palestinian official accused Iran of being behind the weekly demonstrations that began in March 2018. “Iran is financing these marches,” the official said, referring to the demonstrations being held in the context of the Hamas-sponsored March of Return.

The “March of Return” is the name chosen by Hamas and other Palestinian groups to describe the weekly protests along the Gaza-Israel border. The groups say that their main goal is to force Israel to lift the Gaza Strip blockade, but by calling the demonstrations a “March of Return,” Hamas and its supporters are also saying that they want Palestinian refugees and their descendants to move into Israel as part of what they consider a “right of return.”

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Osama Qawassmeh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, also lashed out at Iran:

“Iran has not provided anything for the Palestinian people. It is shameful that some think that the economic crisis in Iran is because of its support for the Palestinians. We never heard that Iran helped build a school or hospital or university or any other developmental project.”

Iran’s support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he explained, does not mean that it supports the Palestinian people. “This is a huge misconception and mistake,” he said.

In addition, Abbas loyalists have accused Iran of supporting Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007. One official claimed that the Hamas terrorists who staged a coup against the Palestinian Authority back then had received military training in Iran and “some Arab countries.”

Another sign that the Arab countries have turned their backs on the Palestinians was provided by the recent convening of Arab foreign ministers in Jordan to build a consensus among Arab states on regional security issues. The Palestinians were not invited.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Ramallah should ask itself why is everyone disparaging the Palestinian cause,” said Palestinian political analyst Fayez Abu Shamaleh. “Why is the Palestinian cause no longer at the center of the attention of Arabs and Jews? Even the candidates running in the Israeli election have ignored the Palestinian issue.”

The Palestinian fears do not seem unjustified. Several Arab countries appear completely fed up with the Palestinians, particularly the continued bickering between Fatah and Hamas. Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries have tried in the past decade to help the two rival parties resolve their differences, to no avail. Egyptian intelligence officials have devoted years trying to convince Hamas and Fatah to work together for the benefit of the Palestinians.

Instead of doing so, however, Palestinian leaders are preoccupied with blocking Arab participation in a conference that could see the creation of a coalition against Iran — the same country that Abbas and his loyalists hold responsible for the ongoing divisions among the Palestinians. Might it be possible that the Arab countries are finally rousing themselves from their long slumber and beginning to seek better lives for themselves and their neighbors?

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

‘Jump-Starting’ Young Evangelicals Connection to the Holy Land

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 13:43

To an average passerby, the scene is typical of most late-night haunts: Men and women, grabbing a slice of pizza, most likely after a night out.

But upon closer inspection, something much more interesting transpired. The language is English, but the accents are diverse – some hailing from the deep south to others clearly spoken by a non-native speaker. Others are wearing kippas and tallit (skullcap and Jewish prayer shawl, respectively), while others have tattoos on their arms and wear a crucifix around their neck.

But they are all engaging in a deep conversation about not only their differences, but their commonalities.

“We stayed up until about one am last night with a bunch of Jewish kids at a pizza place,” Pastor Adam Mesa of the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, CA remembered with a smile. “They didn’t even know what a pastor was.”

There, a group of pastors from all over the world broke (cheesy) bread with other young Jewish men and women where they both discovered much about each other and broke down the many barriers that often come between those hailing from different religions and nationalities.

The pastors were part of a 30-person delegation who arrived to Israel last week courtesy of Eagles’ Wings – an organization dedicated to building bridges between Christians and Jews and strengthening the bond Evangelical Christians have with the Holy Land.

“What we find is that the parents and grandparents of these guys all came to Israel. It was a given. But we find that it’s not a given in this generation,” the organization’s Founder and Executive Director, Robert Stearns lamented.

“There’s less engagement among Millennial Evangelicals. So this is a jump start to something that’s stalled. But once it’s jump-started, and you have that catalytic moment, then – boom – it all falls into place and they’re re-engaged.”

Eagles’ Wings pastors meet U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman outside the U.S. Embassy. (Courtesy Eagles’ Wings)

Stearns, who has brought more than 25,000 Christians to Israel since the 90’s, chose these group of young men not just for their youth, but their influence.

Mesa alone, preaches to a congregation of 12,000 and has 17,500 followers on Instagram. His take on Israel, then, is not just his own – when he and the 29 others share their unfiltered perspective on Israel at the pulpit or their virtual platform, the potential to change hearts and minds is infinite.

“I feel privileged to be able to tell these stories and use my influence. People think I look like their neighbor, or someone they know, so they want to listen to what I have to say. That why I’ve taken on the responsibility to tell the story of Israel. This is our job,” Mesa, said.

Citing scripture, Pastor Calvin Battle of Tulsa, Oklahoma agreed, saying, “Apostle Paul said that the gentiles, in return for receiving spiritual things from the Jews, must give to them material things in return. We interpret that passage to say that we have a debt to the Jewish people and Israel. We must support her in material benefits.”

Among Eagles’ Wings pastors that means, holding Celebrate Israel events back home and engaging with their local Jewish community to understand how this relationship can be a two-way street.

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Sometimes, however, especially for those who have never been to Israel before, that friendship is not always obvious or easy to forge.

“I had a pastor on this trip say to me, “There is a synagogue on my street, and I’ve never visited it. I would have never felt comfortable, because I don’t know how to cross that divide,’Stearns recalled. “But then he added, ‘First thing I’m doing when I get home is visit this synagogue.’”

“I think it’s sad when I find a pastor who is in his late 60’s and they’re retired, kids are out of college and they finally tackle Israel as an item on their bucket list. How sad that they missed 30 years of preaching opportunity to be really engaged with Israel – the Israel that is not just a museum, but a living, thriving, home of the Jewish people,” Stearns said of the all-inclusive trip, which is fully sponsored by Eagles’ Wings.

That journey goes beyond visiting popular holy sites like the Western Wall, by setting up meetings with the Israeli political and diplomatic leadership, like US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and, like the aforementioned impromptu pizza-summit above, everyday Israelis.

“This is the ambassador who has the blessed privilege of seeing the embassy move to Jerusalem. I think there’s a certain prestige and honor to that,” Stearns said. “This current ambassador very much understands and is attuned to the rich dialogue between Evangelical Christianity and the Jewish people.”

While in Israel pastors are often overcome by the spiritual, emotional and physical experience in Israel, that they often coordinate a return visit for their congregants. Specifically, roughly 40% of the pastors who visited Israel through Eagles’ Wings have initiated a return trip, Stearns said.

Mesa is doing just that, with his third trip to Israel already in the planning stages. This time, he will come with members of his congregation and his wife.

His relationship with Israel is a deeply personal that Mesa chose to ignore for much of his life. A descendant of Spanish-Jewish immigrants, as a young boy, Mesa grew up proud of his Jewish heritage. But after suffering antisemitic bullying at school, eventually the Star of David around his neck and the Israeli flag adoring his walls came off and his connection to the land he loved so much was severed.

He credits Stearns and Eagles’ Wings for helping reignite that passion. He now feels it is a flame that will never be extinguished and hopes his infant son and young congregants will continue keeping the love for Israel alive in the next generation.

“It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to come here, and I stood in the halls of Yad Vashem, even though I had no personal connection to the Holocaust, hearing other stories of Jews who were persecuted, it just radically changed me,” Mesa said. “I want my son to develop that connection to the land at two, the way I did when I turned 28. It feels like being home. Now as my second time here, I feel more comfortable in Israel than being any other place in America.”

One-Minute Video Lesson on Israeli Classic: Hummus

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 10:44

A one-minute video gives a quick lesson on how to make the classic Israeli spread that is both healthy and delicious.

Hitler Paintings Go Unsold at Auction

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 06:25

Five paintings attributed to the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler went unsold at an auction in Nuremberg, Germany. The most expensive painting, a mountain view, was offered at a starting bid of $51,000. In addition to the paintings, a wicker chair featuring a swastika symbol was offered by the Weidler auction house in the controversial auction but the chair also remained unsold. Prices on Nazi memorabilia are on the rise as are prices for other paintings attributed to Hitler.

“There’s a long tradition of this trade in devotional objects linked to Nazism,” Stephan Klingen of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich told AFP. “Every time there’s a media buzz about it… and the prices they’re bringing in have been rising constantly. Personally, that’s something that quite annoys me.”

A watercolor attributed to Hitler of Munich’s old city hall sold for $137,000s in 2014.

The lack of buyers may have been due to difficulty authenticating the objects’ authenticity rather than any compunction in owning objects associated with the Nazi leader. Several of the objects that were supposed to go on sale were removed from the sale a few days before the auction due to difficulty in authentication.

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Prosecutors on Wednesday collected 63 artworks from the Weidler premises bearing the signature “A.H.” or “A. Hitler”, including some not intended to be auctioned.

Nuremberg-Fuerth prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation against persons unknown “on suspicion of falsifying documents and attempted fraud”, chief prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke told AFP. “If they turn out to be fakes, we will then try to determine who knew what in the chain of ownership,” she said.

Ironically, Nuremberg was the city in which many of the Nazi leaders were tried after the war in 1945. Before World War I, young Hitler was an unsuccessful artist in Austria.  He is thought to have produced approximately 2,000 pictures and most art critics consider his work to be mediocre at best.

According to Klingen, Hitler had the style of “a moderately ambitious amateur” but his artwork was similar to that of “hundreds of thousands” of other works from the period. This makes authenticating Hitler’s painting difficult.

 

RUTH 4:22

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 06:22

The Book of Ruth ends by emphasizing Ruth’s great reward for her selfless dedication to her mother-in-law and her late husband. She gives birth to a child who becomes the grandfather of King David, making Ruth the ancestress of the Davidic dynasty as well as its future descendant, the Mashiach (Messiah). Most other nations would have chosen a king with a perfect pedigree and impeccable lineage, yet King David descends from a Moabite convert. The lesson of King David’s humble origins is a powerful one. Ruth teaches us that salvation and redemption can come from unlikely sources. No matter what our background is, we all have the ability to play a great role in history and make a difference in the world if we align ourselves with the God of Israel, the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.

Report: State Dept. Lied About UN Textbooks Inciting Palestinian Violence

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 05:23

new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office accuses the U.S. State Department of misleading Congress over recent couple years regarding actions by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, over the distribution of textbooks that promote Palestinian violence against Israel, evidence that has long been documented.

UNRWA was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1949 to assist Arabs who became refugees during Israel’s War of Independence the previous year.

For months, the GAO blocked the report’s release due to the State Department requesting it be classified.

JNS filed a Freedom of Information Act request in December for a copy of the 65-page report titled “West Bank and Gaza: State Monitors Textbook Content but Should Improve Its Reporting to Congress GAO-18-227C,” but was unsuccessful.

In a letter to JNS, the GAO Chief Quality Officer Timothy Bowling said: “As an agency responsible to the Congress, GAO is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, GAO’s disclosure policy follows the spirit of the act consistent with GAO’s duties and functions as an agency with primary responsibility to the Congress.”

Bowling added that the GAO does not have the legal authority to declassify material.

However, the GAO report was released this week after Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) requested in August for its declassification.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch (R-Idaho) also advocated for its declassification and publicization.

According to the report, while the State Department submitted its required reports to Congress, in accordance with annual appropriations acts for fiscal years 2015 through 2017, it “included inaccurate information in all three reports.”

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“In its 2017 report, State noted incorrectly that UNRWA had completed training teachers and distributed complementary teaching materials to address textbook content that UNRWA deemed as not complying with U.N. values,” it continued. “In all three of the reports, State omitted information concerning whether UNRWA found that any educational materials used in its schools do not comply with 2 of 4 elements, dignity and not inducing incitement.”

In a joint statement, Zeldin and Perry hailed the report’s declassification and release, emphasizing the adverse nature behind content distributed by UNRWA, which the Trump administration slashed all U.S. funding to last August.

“The declassification of the UNRWA textbook report proves to the American people what we have known all along: The UNRWA textbook initiative is a sham,” said Zeldin. “Supplementary material purchased using U.S. tax dollars to counter the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias injected by the P.A., is being rejected and not utilized on the ground.

“It is unacceptable the textbooks that are used delegitimize Israel and demonize the Jewish people, it is unacceptable this program attempts to engrain this hatred in the hearts of children, it is unacceptable American’s hard earned[sic]money went towards its funding and its unacceptable the State Department lied to Congress about these very realities,” he continued.

Zeldin added, “We must ensure funding for UNRWA remains frozen while this and other important issues remain uncorrected, and, going forward, employ greater, accurate oversight and accountability internally within the State Department as well as over these foreign assistance programs ensuring those utilizing U.S. funding are aligned with our nation’s values.”

Perry echoed Zeldin: “The declassification of this report is a win for government transparency and the American public. The UNRWA textbook report sheds light on how misreporting from the Department of State directly interfered with the ability of the US Congress to conduct its constitutionally vested oversight.”

“The failures of the State Department and UNRWA allowed systematic anti-Semitic and anti-Israel ideas to flourish in UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza,” continued Perry. “The harsh reality is that the American taxpayers were unknowingly funding this systematic hatred because key information was withheld from the American public, including my constituents.”

‘This problem is not just confined to textbooks’

Pro-Israel organizations cheered the report’s declassification and release.

“After years of trying, we are deeply grateful to chairman [Risch] and to congressman [Zeldin] for getting the State Department report on the UNRWA textbooks in the schools declassified and released,” Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), told JNS.

“The report reveals that UNRWA has not been sowing the seeds for peace within the population, as is their mandate, but in reality, is doing quite the opposite,” she continued. “We will never have peace as long as our institutions, which carry the gravitas and imprimatur of the United Nations continue to educate young hearts and minds towards hatred of the Jew, the Christian and the Israeli. Unfortunately, UNRWA, which should be part of the solution, is part of the problem.”

B’nai B’rith International CEO Dan Mariaschin said to JNS that “incitement in Palestinian textbooks for too long has been minimized and not only in this report. Raising generations of Palestinians to hate Israel and to hate Jews only prolongs any possible resolution of the conflict. This problem is not just confined to textbooks. Incitement in Palestinian media and in statements by public figures adds fuel to this fire.”

“It has long been a problem that the State Department sanitizes the actions of the Palestinian Authority,” Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein told JNS. “During the years of the Oslo process, it made a political decision to ignore or avoid confirming Palestinian Authority violations of Oslo agreements.”

“Here, we have it accepting UNRWA declarations at face value, without proper departmental investigation. The reason is the same: to sanitize the P.A. so that the P.A. can be shown to be a supposedly genuine peace partner,” he continued. “This is a politicized fiction and its long past time something was done about it. The State Department’s job is to ascertain and report the reality, not to bend and distort it for political reasons.”

“This is yet another disturbing example of UNRWA’s corruption, which harms Israelis and Palestinians alike. They not only allow violent and racist indoctrination in their schools, but lie about it in order to preserve their sources of funding,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, told JNS. “The U.N., State Department and Congress must not allow UNRWA to continue supplying false information and perpetuating this unjust, decades-long conflict.”