Israelis speak out for religious freedom on Temple Mount
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Jonathan David
Recently, Knesset member Danny Danon (Likud) said it’s time for Jews to have religious freedom to pray on the Temple Mount. Israel Today’s Jonathan David talked to Israelis on the streets of Jerusalem to get their reaction.
Amity Lerer: “Yes, it’s important. They say it in the Knesset (parliament), but they don’t really want to do it because they’re afraid of the Arabs.”
Aline Szewkeis: “I think it’s important for everybody to have freedom of religion in Israel. My particular opinion is I think we can give the Temple Mount to all religions.”
Rali Ben David: “It’s not important to me because I’m secular, but it’s important to the Jews. I think they should give us the ability to pray over there.”
Arlene Alyehs: “It’s the site of our Temple and there’s no reason for the Arabs to have control of the Temple Mount, except that the Jews are always giving in to them in hopes of peace. If there’s any restrictions it should be on the Arabs, but that may be too much to hope for.”
Eliran Maalumi: “Yeah, religious freedom is important, because it’s Israel. It’s the Jewish land.”
Naom Shiff: “I think that if everyone had religious freedom on the Temple Mount, it would create a friction that wouldn’t be good for the area.”
Agee Gottdiemer: “The rabbis say otherwise, at least certain rabbis. They say it’s forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount.”
Tamar Roller: “It is important to me, but because I’m a religious Jew, I know that it’s not the time of our redemption yet. So, I know that whenever God redeems us, the mosque will be demolished and our Temple will be built over there. Now, we have to fix ourselves internally and be better Jews and do whatever God wants us to do.”
Yosef Simon: “Religious freedom on the mountain site is based on the purity of the Jewish people. A lot of Jewish religious people don’t hold that you should really go up there unless we have the right purity… It’s important that the Messiah will come, because the Messiah will actually tell us the right way to purify ourselves.”
Israel’s new ‘Power’ at the UN
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Connie Fieraru
Samantha Power is set to be the next US ambassador to the UN following overwhelming approval during her Senate Foreign Relations Committee appearance on Tuesday. Power made special note of her intention to defend Israel in the world body and work to secure a seat for the Jewish state on the Security Council by 2018.
After her approval by all but two of the 18-member Senate committee, Power is expected to easily win confirmation from the rest of the Senate.
Power, 42, is an expert on genocide, a champion of human rights, and a Harvard professor. She will replace Susan Rice, who has been appointed as America’s next National Security Advisor. Power earned a degree at Yale and worked as a journalist covering the Yugoslav wars from 1993-1996 before returning to the US and graduating from Harvard Law School.
Power is known to be ‘blunt and outspoken’ and has made a career out of her intellectual and critical engagement with human rights policy, especially on the topic of genocide. She promised to utilize her strong character traits an expertise to advocate America’s interest in the UN and to eliminate bias against Israel.
However, Power has not been received without criticism, especially in light of statements made about Israel in a 2002 interview at the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies. During the interview, Power was asked to conduct a “thought experiment” on how she would intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to protect human rights. Power responded that, given the opportunity, she would advise the president to “sacrifice billions of dollars in aid to the Jewish state” and instead allocate those funds for “the new state of Palestine instead.”
But now Power is seen openly condemning the UN’s “unacceptable bias” against Israel and pledging to “lobby hard” to get Israel a seat on the Security Council. So, what swayed her thinking? Maybe it was her marriage to Jewish lawyer Cass Sustein in 2008, or perhaps it was her more recent work with the administration in Washington that alternated her perspective.
During the recent confirmation hearing, Power stated, “What I believe in terms of Middle East peace is, I think, what is obvious to all of us here which is peace can only come about through a negotiated solution. There is no shortcut. That’s why Palestinian…unilateral statehood efforts within the UN system — shortcuts of that nature just won’t work.” With such comments Power quickly won over her critics in the pro-Israel community.
But Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of only two to vote against Power, was unconvinced, saying she had “failed to distance herself” from past statements “and offered insufficient explanation, leaving me with serious concerns about some of her views.”
Coming to Power’s aid was Shmuley Boteach, perhaps America’s most famous rabbi, who wrote in the Times of Israel that when Power was taking questions regarding the accusations against her in a closed door meeting with 40 American Jewish leaders, “she suddenly became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her.”
Boteach continued: “Tears streamed down her cheeks and I think it fair to say that there was no one in the room who wasn’t deeply moved by this incredible display of pain and emotion. More than a few of the leaders of the room came over to me afterward and said that, based on her comments and her unabashed display of emotional attachment to the security of the Jewish people…they would never again question her commitment to Israel’s security.”
In the words of Boteach, “the greatest challenge now facing Power will be changing the UN.”
We wait in hope.
Two shot dead in downtown Jerusalem
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | Tommy Mueller
A shopping center and office building in downtown Jerusalem was the scene of tragedy on Tuesday morning when a lone gunman entered a attorney’s office and shot dead two people.
According to police, the suspected gunman, a 30-year-old Jewish man who worked as a security guard in a nearby building, carried out the crime on the third floor of the Clal Building, adjacent to the Mahane Yehudah market.
The victims were a 50-year-old man and his 20-year-old daughter.
The perpetrator was captured by a former police officer as he tried to flee the scene. Police believe the motivation for the crime had to do with a financial dispute. The suspected gunmen is currently under interrogation.
Early news of the crime sparked panic in the local Messianic body, as the basement of the Clal Building is home to the local “King of Kings” congregation. The English and Hebrew-speaking congregation also has offices on the upper floors of the building.
A decision ‘written by American hands with Zionist ink’
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | Connie Fieraru
“The blacklisting of Hezbollah is Israel forcing its way on the EU,” was the response from Lebanon’s Al-Manar TV to the European Union decision to add Hezbollah’s military wing to its list of terrorist organizations on Monday.
Al-Manar quoted European sources as saying that the EU’s decision was based on a “cause of formality” in response to the terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria last year that killed five Israeli tourists and their local bus driver.
Hezbollah are alleging that the EU gave in to “Zionist American pressure in a dangerous way and took dictation from the White House,” adding, “It seems that this decision was written by an American hand with Zionist ink.”
Walid Sukariyeh, a pro-Hezbollah legislator, also claims that the decision was a result of American pressure and states that Hezbollah have not carried out any terror attacks in Europe or outside Europe. He defines Hezbollah as a “resistance movement that fought to liberate occupied land from the Israeli enemy.”
The idea of Hezbollah becoming a ‘resistance’ movement against Israel was solidified following Israel’s sudden withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000. It’s ‘resistance,’ however, should not be confused with ‘deterrence,’ nor is it resistance to Israel alone. Hezbollah’s resistance ideology is firmly rooted in Islamic revolutionary doctrine, which has a global agenda.
Hezbollah started as an Iranian-backed militia group (it is still largely funded by Tehran) that evolved into a ‘nationalist resistance group’ in the 90’s, and finally morphed into the ‘mainstream political party’ (with a huge standing private army) that we know today. It was only in the 90’s when Hezbollah became ‘Lebanonized’ (began infiltrating and integrating into parliamentary democracy and political processes) that it managed to distance itself from international associations and reject its ‘terrorist’ label.
It was this artificial dichotomy of ‘Lebanization’ that kept Hezbollah off the EU’s blacklist for decades. But, as US Secretary of State John Kerry noted last week, this new move by Europe sends a strong message that “will have a significant impact on Hezbollah’s ability to operate freely in Europe by enabling European law enforcement agencies to crack down on Hezbollah’s fundraising, logistical activity, and terrorist plotting on European soil.”
The blacklisting will also impose visa bans and asset freezes on organizations in association with the group, though the implementation of these provisions will be more complicated due to the divisions in Hezbollah’s conceptual framework between military and political.
Currently the Board of Deputies of British Jews is pushing for Hezbollah’s political wing to be listed alongside the military wing as a terrorist organization, since the divisions within the group are ‘clearly artificial’. As William Hague stated, blacklisting just the military wing will not have serious adverse consequences or destabilize Hezbollah.
Palestinians say peace talks might not happen, after all
Monday, July 22, 2013 | Ryan Jones
While American and Israeli leaders are already patting themselves on their respective backs over the reported resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the other party to the talks, the Palestinian Authority, is saying everyone should instead hold their respective horses.
Israel is already setting up negotiating teams, and the Obama Administration is praising itself over ostensibly “closing the gaps” that had previously seemed like insurmountable obstacles.
But on Sunday, two of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ most senior advisers said it was by no means certain that bilateral peace talks would take place in the coming weeks, as claimed by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh and Yasser Abed Rabbo, official spokesmen for Abbas, said the Palestinian leader had merely agreed to send a team to Washington to continue the low-level preliminary talks that had already been taking place.
Both Rudeineh and Abed Rabbo would likely be on any official negotiating team. But they aren’t heading to Washington, because official negotiations are not on the schedule.
Both men said that from the Palestinians’ point of view, the talks scheduled in Washington next week are aimed at convincing Israel to meet the remainder of Palestinian preconditions so that official negotiations can resume at some future date.
Kerry’s announcement that official peace talks are about to resume would seem, at best, premature, in light of this clarification.
Iran’s ‘moderate’ new president takes aim at ‘Zionist enemy’
Monday, July 22, 2013 | Ryan Jones
Once again the West hailed the election of a perceived “moderate” Muslim leader, and once again that leader has revealed just how easy it is to hoodwink the heads of Europe and America by simply saying different things in different languages.
This time around the ruse was executed by Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani, who, despite his prominent role in the Islamic Republic’s defiant nuclear program, was held aloft as a sign of positive change when he was voted into office earlier this month.
Rohani’s election was also said to herald a calming of tensions between Iran and Israel.
To be sure, Rohani has more tact than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but his recent public pronouncements in his native tongue and to Arab leaders demonstrate that his end goal is very much the same.
Mocking the threat of Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear program, Rohani last week told a gathering marking the anniversary of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War that “when a miserable regional country says such things, it makes you laugh. Who are the Zionists to threaten us?”
Far from taking a conciliatory position in foreign affairs, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported that Rohani had reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah so that together they could better deal with “our enemies in the region, especially the Zionist regime.”
Meanwhile, Rohani presents himself as the face of moderation to the international community as the two sides continue to dance around the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.
Israel greatly fears that the Rohani ruse will be all too easily swallowed by an international community eager to avoid open conflict with Iran. But it is Israel that will ultimately pay the price for such short-sightedness.
“Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants -
how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many peoples.” Ps 89:50
NETANYAHU CONGRATULATES BRITAIN ON BIRTH OF HEIR: PM Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated on Monday evening Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, on the birth of their baby boy. “On behalf of me and my wife Sarah, I congratulate Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their first son,” Netanyahu said. “From all the citizens of Israel I send greetings to the Queen of Great Britain, to Prince Charles and all residents of the Kingdom. Mazel Tov!” (Arutz-7) UPDATE: The newborn prince has been named HRH George Alexander Louis.
EU BANS HIZBULLAH MILITARY WING: In a compromise to avoid labeling the Lebanon-based Hizbullah group a terror organization, the European Union voted Monday to place its military wing on the list of terrorist entities. The council of 28 EU foreign ministers could not reach a unanimous vote on the issue, although a majority was reached. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said the vote came after many years of hard work by the ministry in the halls of European foreign ministries. It is also widely believed the Iranian-backed group’s decision to intervene militarily in the Syrian Civil War, on behalf of the Assad regime, convinced many of those who previously opposed a ban to make the move. Israel has in the past urged the EU to list the entire group as a terrorist organization, but this decision has been welcomed as a partial victory. Monday’s decision by the EU to label Hizbullah’s military wing as a terrorist group will have far-reaching implications in terms of economic and other impacts on the organization, including visa bans on certain individuals and the freezing of assets belonging to the group.(Arutz-7)
NETANYAHU: HIZBULLAH POLITICAL WING SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN EU BLACKLIST: PM Netanyahu on Monday welcomed the EU’s decision to include Hizbullah’s military wing on its list of terrorist organizations. He stated, however, that Israel did not view any distinction between the organization’s armed and political wings. “As far as Israel is concerned, Hizbullah is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable.” Netanyahu added that Hizbullah “has imposed terrorist rule on wide sections of Lebanon, has converted them into an Iranian protectorate and is stockpiling tens of thousands of rockets there. These have been placed in the heart of civilian populations and are designed to be fired at population centers in Israel.” The premier thanked the leaders of the EU’s 28 member states and expressed his hope the decision would lead to “tangible steps against the organization.” (J.Post) Intercessors, please continue to stand in the gap until the powerful grip of this terrorist entity is completely broken. Pray the political wing of Hizbullah will also be blacklisted by the EU as a terrorist faction. This will further promote and speed up effective European sanctions and penalties against this brutal entity.
PALESTINIANS, ISRAELIS PLAY DOWN CHANCES OF IMMINENT TALKS: Israelis and Palestinians played down on Monday the prospects of their envoys meeting in Washington any time soon, and the White House said getting the two sides to agree to a peace deal remained an “enormous challenge.” Palestinians said negotiations could not begin unless it was clear in advance they would be about a future state based on the pre-1967 lines. “If they reach an agreement over the details, in accordance with the Palestinian demands, then the launch of negotiations will be announced,” Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Monday. (Reuters) Pray that both Palestinian and global leaders, including well-meaning John Kerry, will understand there is absolutely zero chance Israel is going to agree to a future Palestinian state based on pre-1967 lines. It is a ludicrous demand.
PM DEMANDED US FREE POLLARD, AS ISRAEL WILL LET TERRORISTS GO: Among the “gestures” the US suggested Israel undertake to resume talks with the Palestinian Authority was the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons. It would not have been the first time Israel agreed to such a “gesture” at Washington’s request – but this time, PM Netanyahu sought to make it a three way deal. Israel would be prepared to release terrorists in order to jumpstart the talks, Netanyahu told the Americans. But Israel wanted something in return: The release of Jonathan Pollard from an American prison. Needless to say, the Americans immediately refused the proposal. At this point, it is not clear if the negotiations are on or not. Early Monday, PA officials said they had no information on the reopening of talks with Israel, and could not say when, if ever, they would take place. (INN)
THE HIGH PRICE OF KERRY’S VICTORY: Ahmed Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member, told media sources that US Secretary of State John Kerry would endorse the 1967 lines as the starting point of negotiations and assured the Palestinians that Israel would free a number of terrorist prisoners gradually in the coming months. Thus, the Palestinians have already made it abundantly clear they won’t actually negotiate in good faith but will only show up expecting the US to deliver Israeli concessions to them on a silver platter. The Palestinians had no interest in returning to negotiations they’ve been boycotting for four and a half years. But both Israel and the Palestinians didn’t wish to obstruct Kerry’s desire for talks. He might have left off once the Palestinians demonstrated their lack of interest, but since he persisted, they felt they had no choice but to show up. Abbas and the PA are too weak to agree to any deal that would conclusively end a conflict that neither Hamas nor much of Fatah actually wants to end. Recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn, is something no Palestinian leader can afford to do at this point in history. The culture of Palestinian politics that has revolved around the delegitimization of Israel and Jewish history makes it impossible. That’s why they’ve rejected three Israeli offers of a Palestinian state. (Commentary Magazine)
GERMANY BACKS AWAY FROM EU SETTLEMENT DIRECTIVES: Germany has distanced itself from the “controversial European Union guidelines” banning cooperation with Israeli entities beyond the Green Line. A spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party said, “Israel is the recognized administrative power in the territories without which approved development projects like solar energy or sewage works could not be installed.” (J.Post) Pray all European nations will come to the obvious conclusions that last week’s EU banning of cooperation with Israeli enterprises and individuals outside the Green Line is bias, unfair, and unworkable. It will cause endless red-tape and loss of money for Israel as well as for Europe. Additionally, it could eventually render many Palestinians jobless who are presently employed by Israeli enterprises in Judea, Samaria, and E. Jerusalem - as well as the Golan.
HAREIDI DRAFT LAW PASSES: The Knesset passed the “Perry Law” for drafting hareidi men into the military by a vote of 64 to 21 Tuesday morning. The bill passed in the first reading and requires two more readings in order to become the law of the land. The vote took place around 5:00 a.m., after a long night of deliberations in the plenum. In the course of the debate, Finance Min. Yair Lapid turned to the hareidi MKs and reminded them of the Torah passage that speaks of working six days every week before the Sabbath. “It does not say ‘you shall sit in the yeshiva for six days and someone else will work for you,’” he added sarcastically, “or ‘you shall sit in the yeshiva for six days and the secular public will be the Messiah’s donkey for you. We have ceased to be the Messiah’s donkey,” Lapid said - in a reference to a teaching of Rabbi Avraham Kook, which likened the present generations of Israel to “the donkey of the Messiah,” to be followed by the Messiah himself. United Torah Judaism MKs took scissors in hand and cut their clothes in the manner of Jewish people whose close relative has died, calling out: “This is a dark day for the Israeli Knesset.” (Arutz-7)
NEPAL STUDENTS TO RECEIVE AGRICULTURAL TRAINING IN ISRAEL: Some 200 students from Nepal will be arriving in Israel for advanced agricultural training this year at the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) in the Negev. The first batch of 55 students will land in mid-August for the week-long program. After returning from the training, the students are expected to share their knowledge apply modern technology and learned skills from Israel with the fellow farmers in Nepal. (Nepal News) “In you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen 28:14
News Update March 27th 2013
JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.” Ps 5:11
ABBAS ACCUSES ISRAEL OF ‘DESTRUCTIVE’ JERUSALEM PLAN: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused Israel of carrying out a “destructive” plan against Jerusalem and urged the Arab and Islamic countries to work toward preventing it from implementing its scheme. Abbas’ accusation came during a speech he delivered at the Arab summit in Doha, Qatar. “The Israeli occupation is systematically and continuously working toward Judaizing east Jerusalem,” Abbas told the Arab heads of state. He said Israel was also seeking to expel its Palestinian residents and assault Islamic and Christian holy sites. Abbas urged the Arabs and Muslims to go to the UN and other international organizations to stop Israel from pursuing its “destructive scheme.” Abbas also sought the help of the Arab and Islamic countries in putting pressure on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, whom he described as “brave.” Abbas told the summit that during his recent meeting with US President Obama in Ramallah, the two discussed all the final-status issues. Abbas quoted Obama as stressing that the US was resolved to achieve the two-state solution through negotiations. “We reiterated to Obama our commitment to the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002,” Abbas said. “We also emphasized that halting settlement construction and releasing Palestinian prisoners were not Palestinian pre-conditions, but Israeli obligations in accordance with signed agreements and the Road Map.” (Arutz-7) Palestinian leaders unceasingly feign peaceful intentions, while slandering and making impossible demands of the Jewish state. Meanwhile the Obama administration would dearly love to gain a political feather in its cap by bringing about so called “peaceful solutions” in the Middle East. As we go around the “peace process” mountain for the hundredth time, continue to pray for backbone, strength and wisdom for Israeli leaders. Israel has made dozens of good will gestures towards the Palestinians including multiple releases of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails. The PA, in return, has rendered not a solitary token of peace towards the Jewish state or kept its part of Road Map obligations- rather ongoing violence and animosity.
TURKS EXPECT ‘TENS OF MILLIONS’ IN COMPENSATION FROM ISRAEL: Justice Minister Tzippy Livni on Sunday spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, discussing the possibility that Israel would pay reparations to the families of nine Turkish supporters of Hamas who were killed in 2010 aboard the Mavi Marmara, after they attempted to attack and murder IDF soldiers boarding the illegal flotilla. Turkey’s vice-premier, Bulenbt Arink, confirmed that a dialogue for compensation had taken place, but he gave no details. Turkish media reported Sunday that the families were due to receive “tens of millions of dollars” in compensation. Turkish PM Erdogan told reporters Turkey had set forth three conditions for restoring relations with Israel. One of those was a demand for a full Israeli apology. “They wanted to express regret, but we said no. We insisted they use the word ‘apology,’” he said. (Arutz-7)
UN MOVES STAFF OUT OF CONFLICT-RIDDEN SYRIA: The UN is moving half of its 100 international staff still in Syria out of the country due to the growing danger. The Damascus office of UN-Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, will be closed as part of the new measures, diplomats confirmed Monday. “The UN has told us this is due to the growing danger in Damascus. There have been suicide bombs and a number of attacks very near the UN mission,” said an unnamed official. The UN has a huge humanitarian operation in Syria aiming to feed and help more than two million Syrians caught in the two-year-old conflict. Most of the distribution work is now handled by Syrian staff and through the Syrian Red Crescent. (INN)
JORDAN SHUTS SYRIA CROSSING: Jordan closed its main border crossing with Syria on Monday after two days of fighting there between Syrian troops and rebel fighters, Jordan’s information minister confirmed. Border traders said passengers were turned back at the Jordanian border crossing of Jaber and prevented from entering in the first such closure of the crossing since the revolt against President Assad’s rule started two years ago. According to a Jordanian official, “The border post is effectively closed because there have been clashes since yesterday and they are continuing.” The crossing is a thoroughfare for passengers and was a transit route before the Syria conflict for hundreds of trucks daily carrying goods to Turkey from the Gulf and vice versa. Situated near the Jordanian border, Syria’s southern Deraa province is a critical battleground. Rebels in the last month have stepped up fighting for control of the border area and Deraa town after gaining territory in the countryside and capturing several army bases. They have also over-run several towns near the Golan Heights, fueling tensions in the sensitive military zone. (J.Post)
IRAN AND HIZBULLAH ACCESSING TREASURE TROVE OF SYRIAN WEAPONS: Syrian President Assad’s forces have reportedly lost 13,000 men and another 40,000 have deserted. Iran and Hizbullah are gaining access to a treasure trove of weapons in Syria, “obtaining air defense capabilities, shore-to-sea missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and other capabilities,” IDF Military Intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi disclosed this week. “Hizbullah and Iran understand that Assad’s fate is sealed, and they’re preparing for the day after.” (Ha’aretz)
CYPRUS VERDICT COULD INHIBIT HIZBULLAH OPERATIONS IN EUROPE: The conviction in Cyprus of a Hizbullah operative plotting to attack Israelis could undercut efforts by the terrorist group to carry out additional attacks outside the Middle East. Last week’s guilty verdict was the second confirmation in recent months that Hizbullah is active on European soil. The first was when Bulgarian authorities identified the Lebanon-based terrorist group as being behind the July 2012 bombing in Burgas that left six people dead, five of them Israelis. Hizbullah is also believed to be behind recent plots against Israelis and Jews in India, Thailand and Azerbaijan. The Cyprus conviction makes Europe likelier to list Hizbullah as a terrorist group, and that would bring new restrictions on Hizbullah that would have immediate operational consequences for the group, says Daniel Benjamin, a top US counterterrorism official. “If Hizbullah has to increase its operational security in Europe, if it can’t use Europe to fund raise or travel through, it will be challenged to innovate to avoid being caught by European authorities,” said Benjamin. Meanwhile on Tuesday in Bahrain, lawmakers voted to label the Lebanese Hizbullah a terrorist organization. Tensions have been high since Bahrain, situated on the western shores of the Persian Gulf, accused Hizbullah trained insurgents in Lebanon and Iran of seeking to overthrow its government in 2011. (JTA/INN) Continue to pray Hizbullah will be officially listed as a terrorist group by European nations - facilitating sanctions and a debilitating blow to its murderous activities on European soil as well as abroad. This ground is slowly being gained through intercession and as European nations are being furnished with ongoing concrete proof of Hizbullah’s terrorist actions and intents. This Lebanon-based terrorist entity is one of Israel’s leading foes. From the inception of Hizbullah to the present, the elimination of the State of Israel has been one its primary goals. Translations of Hizbullah’s 1985 Arabic-language manifesto state that “our struggle will end only when Israel is obliterated.”
ISRAEL FIGHTS OFF LOCUST SCOURGE ON PASSOVER EVE: Crop-dusting planes on Monday bombarded a scourge of locusts with pesticides in an effort to cull the biblicaly timed plague that threatened to annihilate crops in southern Israel. Israel has battled swarm after swarm of the voracious insects for the past three weeks, with ever-larger plagues of the destructive insects arriving daily from neighboring Egypt. Unlike previous swarms that have entered Israel in the past month, the locusts that hit Israel Sunday are yellow and fertile and, in this stage of their metamorphosis, pose less risk to crops because they eat significantly less. Once the insects lay eggs and they hatch, however, Israeli farmers will face the threat of this wave’s insatiable brood, which will eat anything green in their path. “The planes spray the swarms and stop them from going further into the country,” a Ramat Negev Regional Council official said. “You spray them in the morning to stop them from arriving at moister areas, where they would lay eggs and the larvae would eat everything in sight.” The latest swarm to hit Israel on Passover eve carries biblical significance: Of the 10 plagues which, according to the Bible, smote Pharaoh to ensure the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, the eighth was locusts. (Times of Israel) Pray ongoing hoards of pests will be driven back and destroyed.
PASSOVER SEDER IN THE WHITE HOUSE: US President Barack Obama and his family hosted about 20 Jewish friends and staff for the traditional Passover seder, Monday evening, which included the reading of the Haggadah and eating of traditional holiday dishes made by the White House chef. As he said in his speech in Israel last week, the president sees great importance in the story of Passover and its link to liberty and freedom throughout the world. The White House seder meal included the use of a seder plate given by PM Netanyahu’s wife Sara to first lady Michelle Obama. (Arutz-7)
POPE FRANCIS EXTENDS PASSOVER GREETINGS TO JEWISH COMMUNITY: Pope Francis on Monday extended his wishes to Rome’s chief rabbi and Jews worldwide in a gesture aimed at strengthening relations between the two religions, as the Jewish world marked the beginning of the holiday of Passover. In his message to Rabbi Riccardo di Segni, the pope said he hoped “that the Almighty, who freed his people from slavery in Egypt by guiding them to the Holy Land, continues to free them from all evil and accompany them with his blessing.” The pope also requested prayer from the Jewish community: “I ask you to pray for me - as I assure you my prayer - confident of being able to deepen the bonds of mutual respect and friendship,” he said. A large delegation of rabbis attended the pontificate’s inaugural mass on March 19, underscoring the strong ties between the two religions. (INN)
PLAN EARLY TO JOIN US FOR THE 2013 SUCCOT CELEBRATION IN ISRAEL: This year’s Vision for Israel Succot Celebration will take place September 22-24 in downtown Jerusalem. Visit our Succot Celebration website at which you can reserve your spot early, obtain helpful information and view exciting glimpses of past festivities. If you would like to register for the 2013 Succot Celebration in Israel, or obtain further details, go to www.succotcelebration.com . Dynamic speakers and Spirit-filled worship leaders planned for this coming joyful and prophetic event will be posted on this website in the near future.
Asharq Al-Awsat - Syrian Shiite sources confirmed to Asharq Al Awsat that Hezbollah and Iran are intervening in the Syrian crisis in order to “protect” Shiite towns, villages and religious shrines against the “Takfirists”. The sources revealed the presence of “Hezbollah training centers in the Beqaa valley to train up young Syrian Shiites, paying them salaries to fight in Syria”. Syrian opposition figures confirmed that there are roughly 1,500 Hezbollah elements in Syria, and the same number of Iranians assisting the Syrian regime, but said that the talk of 5,000 elements is an exaggeration.
So, the Shiite / Sunni divide DOES exist. These guys are so predictable. If ever there was an ideology that has “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” as a central component, that ideology is Islam, which also adds another component; drop your “friend” in the grease as soon as you don’t need him anymore.
For years, Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has advocated an alliance between Hamas (a militant arm of the Sunni Brotherhood) and Hezbollah, the militant arm of Shiite Iran. Why? because both had a common enemy – Israel. Hezbollah would attack primarily from the north (in Lebanon) while Hamas was firing rockets from the west, in Gaza. Now, however, the rubber is meeting the road in Syria, which is considered prized territory for both Sunnis and Shiites. Sunnis (the Brotherhood) desperately want to take it from Assad, who has been backed by Iran for years. Iran desperately wants to hold it.
We’re seeing the Islamists show us their true colors, folks. In many ways, this is a good thing. It’s called “unmasking.” It allows us to truly see our enemies. In the case of Qaradawi, that’s especially good news because with Muruna, he has commissioned a strategy of deception that allows his followers to forego every religious restriction – including blasphemy – if it is done in the name of a higher calling.
But, alas, Qaradawi is now targeting Hezbollah as the villain.
At a public conference on the first anniversary of the Syrian revolution, at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, Thursday, Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, called upon Syrian military personnel to regain their sense of pride, of honor and manhood, their will and resolve, to reject Assad’s repression, to leave Assad’s army as soon as they can, and to join the Free Syrian Army. The renowned scholar stressed the importance of all Syrian opposition working together in this defining moment to face the escalating crimes against the Syrian people. Further, Al-Qaradawi described Bashar al-Assad as a “rat”, accusing him of murdering the Syrian people with missiles and guns without a thought to Islamic or human considerations. He also criticized Hezbollah and Iran strongly, saying: “This is not Hezbollah (party of God), because it treads a path of transgression, murder and tyranny”. Addressing Syrian revolutionaries, Al-Qaradawi said: “You’re not alone. All the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia, and all the Arab peoples and the free men and women of the whole world are with you.
As we’ve said countless times on this website, the notion that the United States should support the Syrian rebels borders on criminal. Qaradawi’s Brotherhood is behind them and he’s proving it with this statement.
Like I said, these guys are as predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow.
Hezbollah's leadership is considering the possibility of taking control of Beirut and effectively carrying out a military coup in Lebanon should the current Syrian regime fall, the al-Arabia network reported Tuesday. According to the report, Hezbollah members have expressed concerns over the escalation of the civil uprising in Syria, which could lead to the fall of Bashar Assad's regime. The Syrian president is an ally of the Lebanese Shiite group. Related stories:
Sources tell al-Arabia network Shiite group planning to ‘seize parts of Beirut’ should Assad’s regime fall for fear of foreign intervention in Lebanon
Hezbollah's leadership is considering the possibility of taking control of Beirut and effectively carrying out a military coup in Lebanon should the current Syrian regime fall, the al-Arabia network reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Hezbollah members have expressed concerns over the escalation of the civil uprising in Syria, which could lead to the fall of Bashar Assad's regime. The Syrian president is an ally of the Lebanese Shiite group.
According to the source, Hezbollah will explain that the takeover “as an act that is aimed at countering Lebanese forces plotting to suppress the resistance in cooperation with foreign elements - headed by Israel – and take advantage of (Assad’s downfall) to annihilate Hezbollah.”
About a week and a half ago Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel and the US that a war against Iran and Syria would lead to an all-out regional conflict.
"They should understand that a war on Iran and Syria will not remain in Iran and Syrian territory, but it will engulf the whole region and there is no escaping this reality,” Nasrallah said during a televised speech honoring "Martyrs’ Day."
"They should understand that a war on Iran and Syria will not remain in Iran and Syrian territory, but it will engulf the whole region and there is no escaping this reality,” Nasrallah said during a televised speech honoring "Martyrs’ Day."