MIDDLE EAST & ASIA
- HISTORIC VATICAN ACCORD WITH PALESTINE TAKES EFFECT
AFP - January 2, 2016 - The Vatican signed the accord in June,
just over two years after the Roman Catholic Church recognised
the Palestinian territories as a sovereign state (AFP Photo/Filippo
Monteforte) Vatican City (AFP) - The Vatican's first accord with
the Palestinians -- an agreement that Israel has attacked as
counter-productive to the Middle East peace process -- has come
into force, the Holy See announced Saturday. The accord was signed
in June, just over two years after the Roman Catholic Church
recognised the Palestinian territories as a sovereign state in
February 2013. The accord covers the operation of the Church
in areas of the Holy Land under Palestinian control but its significance
has been seen in broader terms as a symbol of growing international
backing for a Palestinian state.
- "With reference to the Comprehensive Agreement between
the Holy See and the State of Palestine, signed on 26 June 2015,
the Holy See and the State of Palestine have notified each other
that the procedural requirements for its entry into force have
been fulfilled," a Vatican statement said. "The agreement...
regards essential aspects of the life and activity of the Church
in Palestine, while at the same time reaffirming the support
for a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict in the
region." In June, the Vatican hailed the agreement, which
includes provisions to protect the rights of Christians, as a
model for other Arab and Muslim states in their relations with
Christian minorities facing increasing persecution in the Middle
East. Israel attacked the accord as premature and counterproductive
to efforts to get the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations
with the Jewish state.
- The Vatican's recognition of the state of Palestine -- joining
dozens of others -- followed a November 2012 vote in favour of
recognition by the UN General Assembly.
- The Church has had diplomatic relations with Israel since
1993 but has yet to conclude an agreement on Christian rights
there. Negotiations on the subject have been running since 1999
but have repeatedly run into deadlock over the status of Jerusalem.
- WHAT POPE FRANCIS SYNAGOGUE VISIT SAYS ABOUT CATHOLIC-JEWISH
- Pontiff to meet with Romes chief rabbi, solidifying
interfaith relations that started with John Paul IIs visit
30 years ago
- By Ruth Ellen Gruber Pope Francis addresses the crowd during
his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican
on November 18, 2015. (AFP/Andreas Solaro)
JTA When Pope Francis crosses the Tiber River to visit
Romes Great Synagogue on Sunday, hell become the
third pontiff in history to do so. But his 1.5-mile journey to
the towering Tempio Maggiore shows that what was once unthinkable
is now the norm.
- Our meeting, Rome Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni
told the Catholic newspaper LAvvenire, aims to convey
a very topical, important and urgent message that belonging
to a faith, a religion, should not be a cause of hostility, hatred
and violence, but that it is possible to build a peaceful coexistence,
based on respect and cooperation.
John Paul IIs visit 30 years ago marked a dramatic watershed
in Catholic-Jewish relations. By crossing the threshold of the
Tempio Maggiore, warmly embracing Romes then-chief rabbi,
Elio Toaff, and famously referring to Jews as Christianitys
older brothers, the Polish-born pontiff broke down
barriers that stretched back nearly 2000 years.
- The visual impact alone of the pontiff and the chief rabbi
embracing sent out a powerful message of reconciliation.
Formal dialogue between Catholics and Jews had begun only two
decades before Pope John Paul IIs visit, with the Vaticans
1965 Nostra Aetate declaration that repudiated the charge that
Jews were collectively responsible for killing Jesus, stressed
the religious bond between Jews and Catholics and called for
- For centuries before that, as Brown University historian
David Kertzer wrote in his 2001 book, The Popes Against
the Jews, the Vatican worked hard to keep Jews in
their subservient place barring them from owning property,
from practicing professions, from attending university, from
traveling freely. Jews were confined to ghettos and often
subjected to expulsions, forced conversions and other persecutions.
In Rome, the Great Synagogue stands where the papal rulers kept
Jews confined to a crowded ghetto until 1870.
- John Paul made fostering relations between Catholics and
Jews a cornerstone of his papacy.
- What he did was to assert that one could not be a Christian
without recognition of ones roots in the Jewish community,
said Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, a longtime participant in
Catholic-Jewish dialogue and a former vice president of the World
Union of Progressive Judaism.
- Pope Benedict XVI, who had been a key advisor to John Paul
and an architect of his theological policy, followed John Pauls
lead. But Pope Benedict lacked his predecessors charisma,
and some of his policies strained relations with the Jewish world.
- NETANYAHU PLANS FENCE AROUND ISRAEL TO PROTECT IT FROM 'WILD
- Israeli PM says proposed barrier would also solve problem
of Hamas tunnels from Gaza, but plan already has critics in his
Binyamin Netanyahu has announced his intention to surround
all of Israel with a fence to protect the country from
infiltration by both Palestinians and the citizens of surrounding
Arab states, whom he described as wild beasts.
- The Israeli prime minister unveiled the proposal during a
tour of the Jordan border area in Israels south, adding
that the project which would cost billions of shekels
would also be aimed at solving the problem of Hamas infiltration
tunnels from Gaza, a recent source of renewed concern. He called
the border project a part of a multi-year plan to surround
Israel with security fences to protect ourselves in the current
and projected Middle East.
- Describing the need for new walls and fences on Tuesday,
Netanyahu said: In our neighbourhood, we need to protect
ourselves from wild beasts. At the end of the day as I
see it, there will be a fence like this one surrounding Israel
in its entirety. We will surround the entire state of Israel
with a fence, a barrier. Netanyahu said the Israeli government
was also examining ways of sealing gaps in the existing separation
wall that runs along large areas of the occupied West Bank.
- That separation wall ordered to be built at great
cost by former prime minister Ariel Sharon was originally
credited with a drop in the number of violent attacks by Palestinians
in Israel, not least suicide bombings, a key feature of the second
intifada in the first few years of this century. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/10/netanyahu-plans-fence-around-israel-to-protect-it-from-wild-beasts
- RUSSIA, ISRAEL TO SIGN 'FREE TRADE' AGREEMENT
February 12, 2016 - By: JNi.Media - Israeli agricultural facility
Russia and Israel are about to sign a free trade agreement in
the very near future, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey
Levin told TASS on Friday after talks with his Israeli counterpart.
- Weve discussed the prospects of forming a free
trade zone, which the government plans to put on paper within
the shortest period of time, Levin said, adding that the
issue had also been discussed at a meeting with Deputy Prime
Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
- Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel confirmed his intention
to go ahead with the plan very soon.
- The two sides agreed on reciprocal purchases of agricultural
products, setting up joint ventures and the introduction of agricultural
high-tech, Levin said. Russia would like to increase its sale
of wheat, beef and eggs to Israel, while Israel, a world power
in agricultural technology, is ready to share its expertise with
its Russian trade partners.
- ISRAEL DECRIES FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE POLICY ALLOWING ANTI-JEWISH
- February 15, 2016 - An official in the Israeli Ministry of
Foreign Affairs slammed Facebook and YouTube for rejecting repeated
requests to automatically intercept content that could lead to
assaults against Jews, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Monday.
- Akiva Tor, head of the Foreign Ministrys World Jewish
Affairs and World Religions Bureau, expressed his dismay during
a speech before a gathering of the Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday.
- Facebook and YouTube are hiding behind the First Amendment
of the US Constitution, Tor said. They are American
companies, and whenever we contact them [about this issue], we
are told to complain about individual posts, because they cannot
prevent content from being uploaded.
- Why are these companies, which are capable of sending
specific ads to target audiences any time they want, incapable
of blocking content that calls for causing physical harm to Jews
all over the world? Tor asked. Why is such content
Israel, France and the EU all feel that incitement
on Arabic social media sites leads to [violence against Jews].
So why is it continuing?
- MERKEL" GERMANY WON'T NORMALIZE TIES WITH IRAN UNLESS
IT RECOGNIZES ISRAEL
- Were talking to Tehran, but its not friendship,
says chancellor, with Netanyahu at her side, in response to Times
of Israel question
- February 16, 2016 - By Raphael Ahren - German Chancellor
Angela Merke and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu
talk prior to a lunch as part of a one day governmental meeting
at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.
BERLIN Germany will not normalize its relations with Iran
unless or until it recognizes Israel, Chancellor Angela Merkel
Merkel was answering a question from The Times of Israel at a
joint press conference alongside visiting Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu. Asked about the apparent rush by Germany to rebuild
relations with the regime in Tehran, Merkel answered: We
made very clear the federal government, all parties that
make up the coalition that there cannot exist normal,
friendly relations with Iran as long as Iran doesnt recognize
Israels right to exist.
- She said that this had been made plain to Iran at every relevant
opportunity: In all conversations [with Iranian counterparts],
my ministers, and I myself if applicable, have made this clear.
She said that while Germany and Iran were indeed now in contact
with each other, the ties could not be described as friendship
given Irans hostility to Israel. There is difference
between friendship and talking to each other, she declared.
- HEZBOLLAH CHIEF CLAIMS ISRAEL-TURKEY-SAUDI ARABIA WORKING
CLANDESTINE TOGETHER AS REGARDS SYRIA
- Nasrallah threatens to bomb chemical facility, kill thousands
of Israelis. Head of Lebanese terror group says strike on Haifa
amonia storage facility would have impact similar to nuclear
- February 16, 2016 - By Tamar Pileggi - Hezbollah leader Sheik
Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rare public appearance, in the
suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon in November 2013.
- Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.
- Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday insisted that
although his group isnt currently seeking war with Israel,
it could defeat the Jewish state in a future conflict by targeting
Haifas ammonia storage tanks, resulting in massive fatalities.
- Dismissing recent reports of a possible outbreak of hostilities
with Israel, Nasrallah said deterrence established by the terror
organization in the first and second Lebanon wars was keeping
Israeli aggression at bay.
- Israels psychological warfare is of no use against
us, he said in a speech that was broadcast by the Lebanese
Naharnet news site.
- As an example, Nasrallah said Israel feared the
groups cache of rockets capable of striking the ammonia
facilities in Haifa, an attack that he said would result in casualties
equivalent to those that would be caused by a nuclear attack.
- He quoted an unnamed Israeli official to the effect that
a strike on the northern citys ammonia storage tanks would
cause tens of thousands of fatalities. This would be exactly
as a nuclear bomb, and we can say that Lebanon today has a nuclear
bomb, seeing as any rocket that might hit these tanks is capable
of creating a nuclear bomb effect, he said, adding that
Hezbollah, which has reportedly lost many of its men in the Syrian
civil war, was continuing to boost its capabilities.
- ISRAEL IN PROPHECY: THIRD TEMPLE FORETOLD - BIBLE PROPHECY
- THE CITY OF JERUSALEM IS UNDER MOCK ATTACK
- The Iranians, Barack Obamas special friends and partners,
have erected a simulated mosque representing the Mosque of Omar
on the Holy Mount in Jerusalem. This is now their place to play
war games and train for taking Jerusalem and destroying every
Jew. This is happening right now while the world is totally involved
in our own security questions. Such an event in Iran should shake
the entire world but Paris and Brussels are so gripping, it is
hard to think about little Israel.
- Iran has been the primary sponsor of the terrorists and their
many attacks for decades. ISIS may appear to be separate from
Iran but we will soon know that this is totally untrue. Obamas
administration is so inept and biased toward Iran that truth
does not exist. Both Iran and ISIS are totally committed to the
birth of a worldwide caliphate. The West must be subjected to
their dream and our president has no ability to see the truth.
- We are entering the very last stages of the end times in
which Israel will be a cup of trembling to the whole
world. We may have thought this worldwide emotion had already
peaked. If so, we were wrong because it has only just begun.
The victories of the war in Iraq have served to enflame the emotion
of every enemy of Israel. Several months ago I said that the
war to liberate Iraq was more for Israel than for America or
anyone else. No, I do not believe that President Bush or his
advisors believed that or even considered it. It was a sovereign
thing; the prophetic action of our God who has already written
the script in Biblical prophetic truths contained in Scripture.
- Its breathtaking to sit in the earthly audience, even
to help others look upon the prophetic stage, and to watch our
God fulfill every nuance of His Holy Book. Israel will be hated,
not because our God wants them hated, but because they through
their own unbelief and evil ways have laid a foundation for judgment.
As that judgment is acted out, it will cause their God that loves
them and who has a plan for them to become angry towards their
enemies and to start the process of their redemption. Apostle
Paul said it better than I could ever say it, For God hath
concluded them (Israel) all in unbelief, that He might have mercy
upon all. (Romans 11:32)
Zechariah prophesied of this very day, and he painted a clear
picture for us to read. You can see the emotion of God Himself
as He called for this day and prophesied,
of the Word of the Lord for Israel. (Zechariah 12:1) It
did not please the heart of God to announce their terrible time
of suffering. God, the Father speaks these kinds of truths because
He is perfectly just, and because His chosen must pay for their
unbelief and sin just as justly as the wicked pay. He always
draws a contrast between holy things and the profane with every
aspect of His Word. Listen as the Holy Spirit speaks the Word
of God by Zechariah. The burden of the word of the LORD
for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens,
and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit
of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling
unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege
both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will
I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that
burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all
the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
- Not only will Israel be hated by the unbelieving world; but
also, those professing faith in the same Bible. Suicide bombers
will continue to strike. There is no way to stop the terror that
will reign until the Rapture and the seven years of wrath are
complete. Jerusalem, the holy city loved by God Himself, will
continue to be trodden down from within by angry
Gentile terrorists and fanatic Islamics. No one can change the
Word of God. Not even God Himself will alter His words spoken
by His prophets. He said, For ever, O LORD, thy word is
settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
- Isaiah spoke to the fact of Israels sorrows until the
Day of the Lord should come. Awake, awake, stand up, O
Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of
his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling,
and wrung them out. (Isaiah 51:17) They must drink the
last dregs and then wring them out to the last drop. But, as
they finish their hour of sorrow, God will step forth to punish
those that added to their sorrows and failed to rightly divide
the truth of His love for them. Isaiah made this very plain.
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth
the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand
the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou
shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the hand
of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down,
that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground,
and as the street, to them that went over. (Isaiah 51:22-23)
You can see in those last words the very compromise of the Israelis
toward the Palestinians occurring right now. Notice the words
that sound like those of these deceased Arafat and his followers,
Bow down, that we may go over and when they do, and
thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to
them that went over. As much as it breaks my heart to say
it, their sorrows are not over yet. Woe to the person, the national
entity, or the religious crowd that trashes the Jewish people
because their sufferings are not yet complete. http://www.pawcreek.org/open-bible-dialog/the-city-of-jerusalem-under-mock-attack
- ISRAELI TV: KERRY SET TO COME TO ISRAEL TO TRY TO RESTART
- February 8, 2016 - Worthy News - Israel-Palestinian Conflict
(Worthy News) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will come
to Israel in the next few weeks in a new effort to restart a
diplomatic process with the Palestinians, Channel 2 reported
Saturday evening. The TV report predicted that Kerry would seek
to revive some kind of limited political process,
even though the White House announced last year that it did not
believe a permanent accord could be attained in the remaining
period of the Obama presidency. The report suggested that, in
the absence of significant progress, the Obama administration
might seek to impose some kind of accord in the final
months of the Obama presidency after a new US president
has been elected, and before President Barack Obama steps down.
[ Source ]
- NETANYAHU TO RUN UNAPPOSED IN LIKUD PRIMARY
- January 11, 2016 - Likud party officials set to convene on
Monday to discuss implications of having only one candidate in
the leadership race Voters may be allowed to cast blank
votes "We must let the party members exercise their
democratic right," Likud member says.
- Mati Tuchfeld. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be
the only candidate on the ballot when the Likud party holds its
leadership election on Feb. 23. The deadline for joining the
primary race was on Sunday, and Netanyahu was the only candidate
to officially file papers.
- The party's Central Election Committee was set to convene
on Monday to discuss the implications of having only one candidate
for the leadership. Some party members have floated the idea
of scrapping the election entirely. But another idea, which appeared
to be gaining traction, was to let voters cast an empty white
slip as a protest vote, although blank votes will have no impact
on the final results. In any event, the committee was poised
to move the election up to early February.
- Netanyahu has asked the Likud's election officials not to
cancel the election, and on Sunday, Likud members said voting
was a key component of selecting a party leader. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=31029
IF U.N. POSITIONS ON SYRIA BORDER FALL TO RADICALS, ISRAEL
WILL HAVE TO RESPOND'
- January 13, 2016 - By YAAKOV LAPPIN - The United Nations
Disengagement Observer Force must retain control of its positions
on Mount Hermon on the Syria-Israel border, since their capture
by Sunni terrorist factions, or by elements from the radical
Shiite axis, would form a severe threat to IDF posts
in the area, a former senior military official warned.
- In a paper published in recent days at the Institute for
National Security Studies, where he is a senior research fellow,
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Assaf Orion said the IDF would have to respond
accordingly if UNDOFs border posts on Mount Hermon
in Syria fall to radical elements. Between 2010 and 2015, Orion
headed the Strategic Division of the IDFs Planning Directorate,
and had previously spent two decades in Military Intelligences
8200 signal intelligence unit.
- UNDOF was originally created in 1974 to separate the IDF
from the Syrian military. Today, however, after the Syrian militarys
withdrawal from the border with Israel, UNDOF mainly acts as
a communications channel between Israel and the Assad regime,
reducing escalations following cross-border incidents, whether
deliberate or accidental, Orion said.
- Israel should weigh new steps to grant UNDOF relevancy in
its new chaotic environment, at a time when an array of Syrian
rebel groups control the border area with Israel, and the Assad
regime lost the monopoly of military means in the area, he added.
The core goal of preventing war between Israel and Syria is no
longer relevant, Orion said.
- JEWS CONTINUE TO RETURN TO ISRAEL
- Friday Church News Notes, January 1, 2016, David Cloud -
Jewish immigration to Israel continues at a rapid pace. Fear
of growing anti-semitism in Europe and other places, combined
with economic incentives, is driving the immigration from a human
perspective, but from a biblical perspective it is a fulfillment
of prophecy. For the second consecutive year, the largest group
has come from France. A total of 7,238 French citizens immigrated
to Israel in 2015 under the Law of Return ("France is Israel's
largest source of aliyah," The Times of Israel, Dec. 22,
2015). This is 10% more than 2014, which was the highest number
from France since the establishment of the State of Israel in
1948. Some 19,000 French Jews have immigrated since 2012. Jews
continue to return from Russia as well, numbering more than 11,000
in the last two years. Nearly 3,000 per year emigrate from the
United States. "And he said unto me, Son of man, these bones
are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are
dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off! Therefore prophesy
and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will
open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves,
O my people, and bring you into the land of Israel" (Ezekiel
- NEW STUDY RANKS ISRAEL WORLD'S 8TH MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY
- January 21, 2016 By Ruthie Blum - Overall Best Countries
Ranking U.S. News & World Report
Israel is among the worlds most powerful countries, according
to a new study published in U.S. News & World Report on Wednesday.
- Ranking #8 out of 60 in the power category, Israel
scored below the US, Russia, China, Germany, the UK, France and
Japan in the study, which was developed by WPP and the Wharton
School, in consultation with U.S. News.
- But the Jewish state emerged as more powerful than Saudi
Arabia, South Korea, Canada, Iran, Australia, India, Italy and
Pakistan, among a long list of others. Power
one of nine sub-categories was defined by the study as
a leader, economically influential, politically influential,
strong international alliances, strong military.
- Israel scored lower on the Overall Best Countries Ranking,
reaching #25 out of 60 behind Russia and ahead of Greece
with Germany being #1. The authors of the study explained
the results and methodology:
- Behind a countrys wealth and success are the policies
that create possibilities, the people that drive the effort and
the history that shapes the environment and perspective. Globalization
has expanded a countrys presence beyond its physical borders,
and the 2016 Best Countries rankings seek to understand a nations
worth beyond hard metrics.
- The 2016 Best Countries report and rankings are based on
how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number
of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential
to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national
economies. Sixty nations were measured in the inaugural report.
Countries were ranked according to a set of 65 attributes presented
in a survey of more than 16,000 people from across the globe.
- OBAMA, NETANYAHU AT WHITE HOUSE SEEK TO MEND U.S.-ISRAEL
- November 9, 2015 By Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick -
WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that he remained committed
to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as
they sought to mend ties strained by acrimony over Middle East
diplomacy and Iran. Meeting Obama for the first time since the
signing of the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu said he backed a
vision of two states for two peoples, but maintained
that any Palestinian state must be demilitarized and recognize
Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, a condition Palestinians
- Patching up relations could help smooth the way for a new
10-year U.S. military aid package, which Obama told Netanyahu
he wanted to get a head start on negotiating. Israel,
Washingtons chief Middle East ally, is seeking a record
$5 billion a year, according to U.S. congressional sources. A
senior Israeli official confirmed that figure and said a U.S.
delegation would visit Israel next month to discuss details of
an aid package. Obama and Netanyahu, who have a history of testy
White House encounters, showed no outward sign of tension, looking
cordial and businesslike as they held their first face-to-face
talks in 13 months.
The meeting was clouded by Palestinian stabbing and shooting
attacks that have Israelis on edge at a time when Obama has concluded
that a peace deal is beyond reach during the final 14 months
of his presidency. Obama condemned the latest wave of Palestinian
violence and backed Israels right to defend itself, but
said he wanted to hear Netanyahus ideas for lowering tensions
and how we can make sure that legitimate Palestinian aspirations
- TWO-STATE SOLUTION - NETANYAHU'S RECOMMITMENT TO THE TWO-STATE
- The bedrock of U.S. diplomacy on the conflict for decades,
could satisfy the Obama administrations desire that he
clarify his position after he appeared to backtrack on his pledge
during a hard-fought re-election campaign earlier this year.
I want to make it clear that we have not given up our hope
for peace, Netanyahu told reporters allowed in at the start
of talks with Obama. U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israel
and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014. The eruption of violence
between the two sides last month has made an end to that bloodshed
a more immediate priority. The Obama-Netanyahu meeting was widely
seen as an effort to move beyond differences over how to resolve
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tensions over U.S.-led nuclear
diplomacy with Iran. [...]
- The meeting was seen as an important step in negotiations
for a new U.S. defense aid pact, which could help burnish the
right-wing prime minister's security credentials, challenged
by the violence at home. Israel receives $3.1 billion from the
United States annually and is seeking a total of $50 billion
over a decade for the next package, congressional officials have
told Reuters. One U.S. official predicted the sides would settle
for an annual sum of $4 billion to $5 billion.
- Obamas tangible support for Israels security
could help deflect accusations from Republican presidential hopefuls
that he and any Democratic successor are less pro-Israel than
they profess to be. "The security of Israel is one of my
top foreign policy priorities, and that has expressed itself
not only in words, but in deeds," Obama said.
- JOURNALIST REVEALS TACTICS BRAINWASHING INDUSTRY USERS TO
MANIPULATE THE PUBLIC
- January 15, 2016 - By Waking Times - Vic Bishop, Staff -
Our reality is carefully constructed by powerful corporate, political
and special interest sources in order to covertly sway public
opinion. Blatant lies are often televised regarding terrorism,
food, war, health, etc. They are fashioned to sway public opinion
and condition viewers to accept what have become destructive
- The practice of manipulating and controlling public opinion
with distorted media messages has become so common that there
is a whole industry formed around this. The entire role of this
brainwashing industry is to figure out how to spin information
to journalists, similar to the lobbying of government. It is
never really clear just how much truth the journalists receive
because the news industry has become complacent. The messages
that it presents are shaped by corporate powers who often spend
millions on advertising with the six conglomerates that own 90%
of the media: General Electric (GE), News-Corp, Disney, Viacom,
Time Warner, and CBS. Yet, these corporations function under
many different brands, such as Fox, ABC, CNN, Comcast, Wall Street
Journal, etc, giving people the perception of choice. http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/01/15/journalist-reveals-tactics-brainwashing-industry-uses-to-manipulate-the-public/
- AFTER LONG FIGHT, ACTIVISTS CHEER MIXED-GENDER WESTERN WALL
- Reform Movement head warns work still ahead after historic
compromise agreement; ultra-Orthodox lawmakers lambaste measure,
MK calls Reform Jews clowns
By Agencies and Times of Israel staff January 31, 2016 - Activists
and members of liberal streams of Judaism celebrated a historic
compromise officially allowing mixed-gender non-Orthodox Jewish
prayer at the Western Wall Sunday, even as ultra-Orthodox and
religious nationalist lawmakers came out strongly against the
move. Anat Hoffman, who has been at the center for the struggle
for a space as head of the Women of the Wall group, which advocates
for increased female prayer rights at the site, called the agreement
groundbreaking. After years and years of insisting
that we have an equal place for prayer, after enduring campaigns
of abuse against us, and being encouraged by a wave of Jewish
support from across the globe, we have accomplished this extraordinary
first step, Hoffman said in a statement released by the
Obama wishes Peres well after heart attack
- Obama voiced his appreciation to the elder statesmen for
his friendship over the years, a statement from Peress
I was lucky to be treated by a dedicated medical team that
worked around the clock, not only to open and improve my artery
but to improve my heart, Peres told the US leader. I
left hospital stronger than I entered.
- Peres praised Obamas use of diplomacy to tackle international
crises. Diplomacy is always the preferred route over war
and violence and you proved that through diplomacy you can reach
one-of-a-kind agreements, he said. Your immeasurable
contribution to citizens of the world will live for many years.
- Peres also thanked Obama for fighting to address climate
change and for championing the cause of science during his tenure
as president. http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-wishes-peres-well-after-heart-attack
NETANYAHU TO BATTLE SELF IN LEADERSHIP POLL
Party to hold formal vote next month even after nobody registers
to challenge PM as head of Likud
January 11, 2016 - By Tamar Pileggi - Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu will be the sole contender for the Likud party leadership
in next months primaries, the partys elections committee
announced Monday. Some 100,000 eligible Likud primary voters
will have the choice of two tickets: one in support of Netanyahu,
and one blank ticket signifying an abstention. The committee
unanimously agreed to go ahead with the February 23 vote, even
after no challengers announced their candidacy by the Sunday
deadline. The vote, a formality in the absence of other candidates,
will cost an estimated NIS 4 million ($1 million). [email]
- CHIEF RABBI OF MOSCOW: WE'RE FACING A RELGIOUS WORLD WAR
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt calls to close mosques that preach
radical Islam, block extremists from social networks.
February 1, 2016 By Arutz Sheva Staff - A statement issued by
the Chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt called to close
the mosques of radical preachers and imams and prevent them from
accessing social networks. "I believe that the 21st century
has reverted back to the religious wars of the Middle Ages. The
rise of Daesh (Islamic State) happened 15 years after the September
11 World Trade Center attack when Islam has become a major threat
to democracy," said Rabbi Goldschmidt. He called on governments
worldwide to fight the extremist Islamic indoctrination by closing
mosques where hate speech echoes, to arrest imams who preach
incitement against other religions and prevent their access to
social networks in order to stop them from spreading to their
"There are extremist aspects in many religions, especially
Islam. The fascist extension of Islam, Daesh (ISIS), is part
of Islam and must be addressed. We must recognize that we have
entered into a religious war, as was routine in the middle Ages.
If we very clearly define what Islamic extremism is, it will
be easier for the intelligence services around the world to keep
track of those who constitute a threat to western values, isolate
them and make sure that threat is not increasing," added
Rabbi Goldschmidt. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/207341#.Vrbq35v2ZXJ
- UN CHIEF FEELS 'ASHAMED' OVER ISRAELI-PALESTINIANS PEACE
- February 6, 2016 - Ban Ki-Moon - United Nations Secretary-General
JNS.org I feel guilty, ashamed of the lack of progress,
Ban said at a Chatham House think tank event in London, AFP reported.
- Basically its up to the leadership of Israel
and the Palestinians to put an end to the conflict, he
added, emphasizing that he is not working for a particular
country or a particular policy, but for the people in the region.
Ban drew widespread criticism late last month for saying regarding
the current wave of Palestinian terrorism that it is human
nature to react to occupation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu accused Ban of stoking terrorism through
those comments. But the U.N. leader doubled down on his statement
in a New York Times op-ed titled, Dont Shoot the
- AS TERROR RAGES IN ISRAEL, HUNDREDS OF EX-COMBAT TROOPS GET
- February 5, 2016 - JNS.org The Israeli Public Security
Ministry on Thursday issued 304 firearm licenses to former members
of the IDFs anti-terrorist unit, Duvdevan. The decision
was made in light of the dramatic rise in terrorism across Israel
in recent months, and as part of Public Security Minister Gilad
Erdans stated policy of easing the criteria for carrying
a firearm. Issuing gun licenses to former Duvdevan members
is a sensible step due to the security realities, and it will
enhance our response capabilities in cases of possible terrorist
attacks, Erdan said.
- There is a pressing need for far more trained civilians
in the streets, who can save lives, he added.
- Duvdevan representatives who met with Erdan and employees
of the ministrys firearms department thanked them for expediting
the licensing process. One former Duvdevan member said after
the meeting, We have a background in fighting terror, and
we want to take part and contribute to the security of the state
as caring citizens. Since the beginning of October 2015,
more than 15,000 civilians have submitted requests for firearm
licenses, compared to 3,000 in the same time period last year.
WORLD VIDEO EGYPT APPOINTS AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL, ENDS 3-YEAR
- January 4, 2016 CCTV.com - Egypt has appointed Hazem Khairat
as its ambassador to Israel, ending a three year vacancy in the
post. The Israeli Foreign Ministry says Hazem Khairat arrived
in Israel Friday, and immediately adopted his duties as Egypt's
envoy. The new appointment follows improved relations between
the two countries under President Sisi's administration. Both
sides have agreed to cooperate in securing both the Gaza Strip
and Sinai Peninsula. Egypt had no ambassador in Israel since
November 2012, when the then President Mohammad Morsi withdrew
his envoy, in reaction to Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense
in the Gaza Strip at the time. The two nations later saw relations
improve after Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became President of Egypt in
2014. The Israeli embassy in Egypt also reopened last September.
- ISRAELI OFFICIAL CALLS FOR OCCUPYING DAMASCUS
- January 4, 2016 - A senior Israeli official called on Saturday
night for the occupation of the Syrian capital Damascus based
on the teachings of the Jewish holy book the Torah, Felesteen
newspaper reported. During a TV show on the Israels Channel
2, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Bezalel Smotrich said
that Israeli borders are beyond the current borders and Jerusalems
borders reach Damascus based on the Torah. Smotrich, member of
the extremist Israeli party Jewish Home, suggested that Israel
temporarily accept the current borders, which include the Golan
Heights and the occupied West Bank, stressing that it has to
work to achieve what was dictated by the Torah. Meanwhile, the
MK reiterated that the extremist Israeli settlers who burnt the
home of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family were not terrorists.
He said such acts are only considered a kind of terror when they
are carried out by the enemies of the Jewish people who
are Arabs. He also called for the settlers leaders
to control all the lands of the occupied West Bank, considering
it Israeli land. In addition, he stressed that anyone who does
not accept Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank must
be expelled from this land, adding that there are 20 Arab
countries which can be their destination. He went on to stress
the importance of building a Jewish temple in place of Al-Aqsa
- UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER DEFINING ALL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS
IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AS ILLEGAL
- January 29, 2016 - King David Hotel - Binyamin Netanyahu
is the leader of Likud: the successor to the Irgun Zvai Leumi
movement that consisted of political militants who carried out
the first major terrorist bombing in the Middle East in which
92 innocent people were murdered. That was at the King David
Hotel in Jerusalem (right) which also housed the headquarters
of the British military authorities during the Palestine mandate.
Now Netanyahu continues the tradition of violating international
law by his authorisation for the building of yet more houses
for Israelis on Palestinian land in a further attempt to thwart
establishment of a Palestinian state in accordance with the will
of the United Nations.
- The UN Security Council is now considering a resolution by
President Abbas of the PA that will define all Israeli settlements
in the Occupied Territories as illegal under international law
and to make the Israeli state subject to sanctions. Such a resolution
is many years overdue. Full story: globalresearch.ca
- Comment: Far-right activists spying on Israeli human rights
community received funds from Netanyahu government. http://www.globalresearch.ca/behind-israels-campaign-to-vilify-peace-groups/5504654
- In a step towards joining an Israel boycott, the US is now
requiring goods originating from the West Bank to be labelled
separately from products from the rest of Israel, following the
European Union's crackdown on products from the disputed territories.
And France is ready to recognise a Palestinian State as Israel
CHINA'S PRESIDENT Xi IN THE ME: FROM U.S. REGIME CHANGE TO CHINESE
- February 3, 2016 - By Dr. Dan Steinbock - Global Research
- President Xi Jinpings three-nation tour in the Middle
East heralds a shift from US regime change to Chinese economic
development. President Xis tour took place amid a perilous
moment in the region. Saudi Arabia is struggling with the plunge
of oil prices, rapidly rising debt and a war against Yemen. In
Egypt, opposition is increasing against the perceived successors
of President Hosni Mubaraks three-decade long rule. In
Iran, sanctions have been lifted after decades of international
- In one way or another, all three countries are also involved
in Syrias civil war, battles against the Islamic State
and regional conflicts, along with Russia, the U.S. and European
powers; the continuing Israel-Palestine conflict; and the economic
and religious Sunni-Shia friction which contributes to
regional rivalries, splits several Arab states internally and
has been historically manipulated by foreign powers.
- Xis tour signals a shift away from the divide
and rule colonial legacies to economic development.
- Economic development with Chinese characteristics
- In his first stop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Xi met
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Deputy Crown Prince
Mohammad bin Salman. It was the climax of longstanding rapprochement.
Saudi Arabia established diplomatic relations with China only
after the Cold War in 1990. By the early 2010s, China supplanted
the US as Saudi Arabias largest crude oil client. At the
same time, bilateral trade has soared to $74 billion. China is
Saudi Arabias largest trade partner. During Xis visit,
Saudi Aramco and Chinas Sinopec signed a $1.5 billion agreement
for strategic cooperation. China also plays a role among Saudi
Arabias military suppliers. http://www.globalresearch.ca/chinas-president-xi-in-the-middle-east-
JEWS LAUD POPE'S INSISTENCE JEWS DID NOT KILL JESUS
March 3, 2011 - By Richard Allen Greene, CNN - Jewish groups
and leaders around the world are welcoming a clear declaration
from Pope Benedict XVI that the Jewish people are not collectively
responsible for the death of Jesus.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped to
soon offer his "deep appreciation" to Benedict for
his "forcefully rejecting ... a false charge that has been
a foundation for the hatred of the Jewish people for many centuries."
- "My fervent hope is that your clarity and courage will
strengthen the relations between Jews and Christians throughout
the world and help promote peace and reconciliation for generations
to come," Netanyahu wrote in a letter to Benedict, which
the prime minister's office made public.
- A key Jewish envoy to the Vatican said the declaration -
which she called "an excellent gesture" - shows that
Benedict is "very committed" to the "deep connections
between Christianity and Judaism" and to fighting anti-Semitism.
- Lisa Palmieri-Billig, the American Jewish Committee's liaison
to the Holy See, recalled a long conversation she had with Benedict
in the 1990s, before he became pope, and said he made "overwhelmingly
clear... the bond between Christians and Jews, the harmfulness
of theological anti-Semitism."
- "I know that this pope has been committed to all this
progress that we have made" in Catholic-Jewish relations,
said Palmieri-Billig. The pope says in a new book, due out next
week, that the Jews are not to blame for the crucifixion of Jesus,
underlining a key breakthrough in Catholic-Jewish relations
- HAMAS SAYS ITS 'HEROS' ARE PLANNING FOR NEW FIGHTING TO 'LIBERATE'
- Netanyahu Responds With His Own Threat.
- February 1, 2016 By Sharona Schwartz - Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday night that Israel would take
much stronger action against Hamas than it has in
the past after recent threats from the Islamist group that it
is preparing for a new military offensive. Of course, if
we are attacked from tunnels from the Gaza Strip, we will take
very strong action against Hamas, much stronger than we took
in Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli leader said,
referring to the round of fighting between Israel and Hamas two
- I do not suggest that anyone test us, he added.
- Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that fighters
are working apace in Gaza to dig tunnels into Israel and test
rockets with the aim of liberation of the land that
comprises the state of Israel, including Jerusalem.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with
his own warning to Hamas threats that the group is working both
above ground and below to prepare for new military action against
Israel. (Amir Cohen/AFP/Getty Images)
- In eastern Gaza, heroes are digging tunnels underground,
and in western Gaza, heroes above ground are conducting test
launches of rockets, Haniyeh said, according to a translation
by the Jerusalem Post.
- The Hamas leader said that militant groups were preparing
for the next round of fighting with Israel both above ground
- Haniyeh delivered his remarks at the funeral of seven Hamas
militants who were killed last week when the tunnel they were
in collapsed, burying them alive. Hamas has used underground
tunnels to smuggle goods and weapons as well as to launch attacks
on southern Israeli communities bordering Gaza.
- On land and at sea, we will not stop until the liberation
of the holy places [in Jerusalem], he said.
- GAZA ISLAMISTS CALL ON PA TROOPS TO TURN WEAPONS ON ISRAELIS
- February 1, 2016 - By Ali Waked - JAFFA, Israel Gaza
Islamists held a press conference on Saturday urging members
of the Palestinian Authority security forces to follow in the
footsteps of a Palestinian policeman who carried out a shooting
attack against Israeli soldiers in the West Bank earlier that
- They called on West Bank troops to join the intifada
and turn their weapons against the soldiers of the enemy.
- Islamic Jihad spokesperson Daoud Shihab said that the attack,
which injured three including two seriously was
a heroic action that marks a watershed in the Al
Quds intifada that opened the door to a flow of similar
attacks. On behalf of all the organizations, I call on the security
troops to follow the example of the martyr Amjad Sukari and attack
the Israeli occupation.
- Wishing to avoid calling on Palestinian Authority officials
to take up arms, Fatah did not take part in the press conference.
The movement accused Hamas of promoting unrest in the West Bank
in a bid to drive a wedge between the PA and the population while
preventing rocket fire from Gaza, fearing an Israeli retaliation.
- The press conference was preceded by a memorial vigil for
the terrorist, Amjad a-Sukari, 34, from Jammain. He was
part of the Palestinian security forces and worked as the driver
for Palestinian Attorney General Ahmad Hanoun in Ramallah.
- We admire the martyrs heroic act, said
Hamas spokesperson Ismail Radwan. Every Palestinian must
take part in the intifada, he said in a bid to send the
Palestinian Authority a message.
- CHINESE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR EAST JERUSALEM AS CAPITAL OF
- Xi Jinping addresses Arab League in Cairo before planned
visit to Iran, announces millions in aid to Palestinians.
- January 21, 2016 - DPA - Chinese President Xi Jinping on
Thursday called for establishing a Palestinian state within the
pre-1967-war borders amid efforts by Beijing to assert its economic
and political clout in the Middle East.
- Addressing the Cairo-based Arab League, Xi said the Palestinian
problem "should not be marginalized."
- "China supports the peaceful process in the Middle East
[and] the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital
being eastern Jerusalem," he added through an interpreter.
- Xi announced 50 million yuan ($7.6 million) in aid for the
Palestinians. The United States, an ally of Tel Aviv, have unsuccessfully
attempted to break a long-standing stalemate in Palestinian-Israeli
peacemaking. Tensions between the two sides have been growing
in recent months after a wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks
on Israelis and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.
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