Period: June 2012


 Visit 'Peace In Jerusalem'
for more comprehensive ongoing reports by Retired Pastor/Teacher James McCutchan -

Poll Finds Suspicion of Christian Right, Even Israel Supporters
Evangelical Christian support for Israel has not dampened the distrust many Jews feel for them, a new poll reveals.
By Nathan Guttman - Published April 16, 2012, issue of April 20, 2012.
Washington — Advocates for improved relations between Jews and Christian evangelicals had hoped that years of working together to support Israel would build bridges between the two otherwise distant communities. But a new poll indicates that mistrust and suspicion still run deep, at least on the Jewish side.
Only one in five Jewish Americans holds favorable views of those aligned with the Christian right, a category that includes most of Israel’s evangelical supporters. “I find this shocking and concerning,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the first major group to engage evangelical Christians in support of Israel. Eckstein and other activists working on Jewish-evangelical relations expressed a sense of betrayal, accusing Jewish liberals of being prejudiced against Christian conservatives and of clinging to pre-conceived notions and stereotypes about evangelicals’ beliefs and goals.
The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and published April 3, asked Jewish respondents to rate the favorability of several religious groups. Mormons received a 47% favorability rating, Muslims 41.4%; the group described as “Christian Right” was viewed in favorable terms by only 20.9% of Jewish Americans. In contrast, the general American population, as shown by other polling data, views evangelicals more favorably than Muslims and Mormons.
“Most liberal Jews view the Christian right as wanting to impose a Christian America on them,” said Marshall Breger, professor at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and leading voice on inter-religious relations. “To the extent to which the bulk of Jews are liberal, both politically and culturally, they’ll have negative views of the Christian right.” Continued:

"The peace process is clinically dead and the Israeli side is definitely the one responsible," says PA boss.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/17/2012, 9:20 PM - Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said Sunday that the peace process with Israel is "clinically dead" just days before PA negotiator Saeb Erakat meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"The peace process is clinically dead and the Israeli side is definitely the one responsible," Abbas said at a conference in Ramallah, according to the AFP news agency. "The ball is in their court."
Negotiations between Israel and the PA have been moribund since late 2010, with the PA refusing to return to negotiations without a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron). The PA also demands that Israel agree to accept 199 Armistice lines as the basis for the talks.
Israel has said it wants an immediate return to the negotiating table -- but without these preconditions.
"I was assigned by President Abbas to inform US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of our position on resuming negotiations once Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and release of prisoners, among other obligations," Erakat told AFP on Sunday. "These are not preconditions but obligations and Israel must abide by them," he said.
"We hope the American administration compels the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations in order to get the peace process back on track." Source:

Putin had to swallow hard when Abbas named a road in Bethlehem in honor of his guest. In Europe, the honor is reserved for the dead.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu - First Publish: 6/27/2012, 8:14 AM
Abbas and Putin walk past an honor guard in Bethlehem Tuesday
Reuters Russian President Vladimir Putin had to swallow hard Tuesday when Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas surprised him by naming a road in Bethlehem in honor of his guest. In Europe, as in Israel, the honor is reserved for those who are dead.
Putin, speaking in Jordan after his visits to the Palestinian Authority and Israel, admitted he was "at a bit of a loss" when Abbas named the Bethlehem street after him.
"I would like to live a bit longer," Putin laughed, half seriously. "Just as in this case and in others, I'm usually told in advance and for me this was completely unexpected. To be honest, I am at a bit of loss but there's nothing you could do” since he did not want to insult Abbas by protesting.
Abbas went all out to welcome Putin, who has consistently backed the PA for its claims of sovereignty on all the land restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.
During his short visit to Israel, Putin visited the Western Wall but made his appearance there at 2 a.m. His aides explained the odd hour was in order to allow him “privacy,” but it may have been timed to avoid media exposure of his visit, which could be interpreted by the Palestinian Authority as tacit approval of Israel’s sovereignty over the holy site.
During his talks with Abbas, Putin praised the PA leader, who used the opportunity to call for an international peace conference in Moscow. Source:

Roman Catholic Church says the granting of world heritage status to the Church of the Nativity is a "diplomatic victory" for PA.
By Elad Benari - First Publish: 7/3/2012, 5:16 AM
Church of the Nativity
ReutersThe Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land on Monday hailed the granting by UNESCO of world heritage status to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, AFP reported.
The report said the Roman Catholic Church said the UNESCO decision was a “diplomatic victory” for the Palestinian Authority, but it also called on the PA to respect existing arrangements dividing care of the site between the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches.
“There is an internal regulation, the status quo, which regulates the relations between the various Christian communities and their rights and duties in relation to the operation and maintenance of the (Church of the) Nativity,” AFP quoted a statement from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. “"It is desirable that UNESCO and the Palestinian Authority respect this and intervene only in exceptional cases.”
On Friday, UNESCO's World Heritage committee approved a Palestinian Authority bid to place the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its list of sites of World Heritage in Danger. The 21-member committee, meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, voted 13-6 to include the church and pilgrimage route on its list of sites. There were two abstentions.
Israel angrily denounced the vote. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ilana Stein said the decision “has turned UNESCO into a theater of the absurd.”
"This is a sad day for the World Heritage Committee," she said. The move was seen by some nations as dangerously mixing politics and culture.
The drive to get the church quickly recognized as a World Heritage site is part of the PA’s bid to win international recognition. Continued:

Saturday, June 30, 2012 (Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
"It has been proven that UNESCO is motivated by political, not cultural, considerations. Instead of the Palestinians carrying out steps that will advance peace, they take unilateral steps that only push peace further away.
The world needs to remember that the Church of the Nativity, which is sacred to Christianity, has been desecrated in the past by Palestinian terrorists. Source:

Archaeologists have discovered the first evidence outside of the Bible that Bethlehem was part of the First Temple era Kingdom of Judah.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu - First Publish: 5/23/2012, 10:29 AM - Clay seals confirms Bethlehem part of Judah
IAA photo by Clara Amit
Archaeologists have discovered the first evidence outside of the Bible that Bethlehem was part of the First Temple era Kingdom of Judah.
The dramatic archaeological find was announced Wednesday, five days before Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Shavuot and hear the recital of the Book of Ruth, which takes place in Bethlehem.
A half-inch clay seal was discovered at the ongoing excavations at Ir David (City of David) located across the road from the Western Wall.
The stamp, with ancient Hebrew script, is one of a group of seals used to stamp official documents that were to be opened only by authorized officials.
Three lines in the stamp state:
Ref: (Bishv’at)
Ref: (Bat Lechem)
Ref: ([Lemel]ekh)
The writing means that the stamp was sent from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem in the seventh year of his reign.
Eli Shukrun, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that it is unclear if the reference to the king is to Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah.
The stamps, or seals (called bullae), were used to seal tax shipments in the Kingdom of Judah in the late eighth century and the seventh century BCE.
“The tax could have been paid in the form of silver or agricultural produce such as wine or wheat,” according to Shukrun. He added,” This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible, in an inscription from the First Temple period, which proves that Bethlehem was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods”. Continued:

Sudanese Muslims torched a Catholic church in Khartoum, part of clashes between Sudan and South Sudan over control of an oil town.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu - First Publish: 4/23/2012, 12:03 PM -
Reuters: Sudanese Muslims torched a Catholic church Sunday in the capital of Khartoum, part of clashes between Sudan and South Sudan over control of an oil town. Sudanese warplanes bombed a key South Sudanese town Monday.
Khartoum media said that church was part of a school complex used by South Sudanese Christians and Ethiopian refugees, and that fire trucks were not able to extinguish the blaze. South Sudan, mostly Christian, last year ceded from Sudan, which is overwhelmingly Muslim. Israel and South Sudan have established diplomatic ties.
The attack on the church by a mob of several hundred Muslims was part of a larger battle over borders between the two countries and control of the oil town of Heglig.
The Monday morning bombings of Bentiu killed at least one child and virtually eliminated hopes that a previous withdrawal of South Sudanese troops from Heglig would end the fighting. The bombs destroyed a bridge and a market, where one person said that three civilians were killed.
The Muslim that attacked the church also invaded a farm run by the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum on Saturday.
The church’s pastor Yousif Matar Kodi was quoted by AFP as saying, "They burned Bibles and torched the school for training clergy on the farm, as well as the residence of the students.

A local Arab man hurled a firebomb at a car as a woman and her young children sat inside in the central Israel city of Ramle. (Jews are endlessly terrorised by Arabs not just in Judea, Samaria or Gaza)
Ramle Terrorist Tries to Burn Family Alive
A terrorist in Ramle threw a firebomb at a car where a mother sat with her young children.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/24/2012, 5:17 PM - PA Arab throws firebomb at Israeli forces.
Reuters: A terrorist attack in the central Israel city of Ramle could have ended in tragedy Friday. A local Arab man hurled a firebomb at a car as a woman and her young children sat inside.
The attempt to burn the car was thwarted when the father of the family, Dvir Koula, appeared in time to put out the flames before they could ignite the vehicle.
Suspects have been arrested in the attack.
The Koula family is part of the local Garin Torani (Torah nucleus group), a group of religious-Zionist families that lives in the city and works to bolster Jewish presence and Jewish tradition in the area. The family lives on Eliyahu Hanavi street in the mixed neighborhood known as “The Ghetto,” where the attack occurred.
Dvir Koula said the attack was definitely an attempt to murder his family, not simply vandalism. It was a miracle that he returned in time to put out the flames, he said.
Previous firebomb attacks on vehicles have caused serious injury and even death.
The Garin Torani in Ramle is one of the largest in the country, with 60 families. Ten of the families live in mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhoods, Koula said. Those families are often victims of Arab harassment, including name-calling, threats, rock attacks, vandalism, and even arson. Continued:

Occupied Jerusalem, Palestine -- In a sign of a major failure and a lack of leadership on the part of the Obama's Administration, the United States has given up on pressuring the Israelis in building the illegal settlements in the occupied territories in the West Bank and Jerusalem. This point proves the United States has lost its leadership role in the Middle East, and Israel is able to do as she likes not afraid of any international pressure or sanctions. In the past, sanctions against the Israel were vetoed by the United States.
Palestinian negotiator says the peace process is failing because of Israel's stance. Mohammad Shtayeh, member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said Israel's daily settlement activity is sabotaging the peace process, he said.
Mohamoud Abbas, the Head of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, on Wednesday threatened to resign his post and dissolve the Palestinian Authority if Israel does not stop building its illegal settlements. A threat, which is expected to carry no weight or influence as Abbas is famous of not being a sincere leader for the Palestinian people. But, an Israeli and an American collaborator of sort. A child in the occupied territory said," let them build, one day, or, another, we will liberate our lands, and these settlements will be occupied by our people, the Palestinians." Continued:

Jordan tightening borders re Syria spillover
Jordan Times 30 June '12: "Egypt's Mursi sworn in as president, vows support for Palestinians, Syrians", Agence France Presse "He repeated that Egypt would respect its international treaties, in an allusion to its 1979 peace accord with Israel"
CAIRO –– Mohammed Mursi took the oath of office on Saturday[30 June] to become Egypt's first Islamist president and its first elected head of state since Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year. . . .
"I swear by the Almighty God to sincerely preserve the republican order and to respect the constitution and law, and completely care for the people's interest," he said at the ceremony at the court.. . .
"The elected institutions will return to fulfilling their roles. And the great military will devote itself to the task of protecting the country," he told his audience, which included the military's leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
He then set out some of his international and domestic objectives, saying he would be a "servant of the people" in a "democratic, modern and constitutional state".
Internationally, he said Egypt respected would back the Palestinians and called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria.
"I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Palestinian people until they regain all their rights," he said.
"We support the Syrian people. We want the bloodshed to stop," he added.
He repeated that Egypt would respect its international treaties, in an allusion to its 1979 peace accord with Israel.
"We carry a message of peace to the world, accompanied and preceded by a message of right and justice."
. . . The Brotherhood is vehemently opposed to Syrian president Bashar al-Asad and supports the uprising against him. But as president, Mursi is not expected to radically change his country's foreign policy, especially towards Israel, in which the military is expected to exercise its clout.
In a Friday speech before tens of thousands of supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the revolt that ousted Mubarak, he said that he would insist on retaining all the presidency's powers. Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA Continued:

In 2003 United States, as the leader of the "quartet" composed of the United States, European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, formally presented the "Middle East Road Map" to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with its objective being the creation of a Palestinian State by 2005. Embodied in this document, that was created by international community, are the plans to solve the status of Jerusalem, borders of the Holy Land, problem between the Palestinians and the Israelis and bring the long absent peace to the Middle East.
In June 2003 President George W. Bush traveled to Middle East and signed it together with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon), and Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestinian state which, officially, at that moment did not exist.
Link to Hamas manifest.On September 20, 2005, during a press conference at the United Nations, Condoleezza Rice (USA), Xavier Solana (European Union), Kofi Anan (United Nations), And Sergey Alafrov (Russia), representing all nations of the Earth, stated that they all are present to reaffirm the international community support for "Roadmap For Peace".
However, there is another most important party that has not been present at that event - the God of Israel with whom Israelites have a long lasting covenant that "Road Map" is in collision with.
Soon Sharon got ill and fell in coma, and Hamas then won democratic elections.
Hamas, a Palestinian anti-occupation organization closely related to the Muslim Brotherhood created in 1987, is best known throughout the world for carrying out attacks against Israeli civil and military targets to further its goal of creating a Palestinian state in the area that is, at this time, recognized as present-day Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip, started to govern part of that what is, at present, part of Holy Land on March 28, 2006.
Hamas believes that "the land of Palestine is an Islamic trust consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day," and as such, the land cannot be negotiated away by any political leader.
The Hamas emblem, which is linked to their manifest shows the Dome of the Rock, two crossed swords, Palestinian flags, and a map of the land they claim as Palestine.
The primary covenants mentioned in the Holy Bible are the one between God and the Israelites (Old Testament) and the one between God and the Christian Church (New Testament). It is believed that the first one was the basis for Torah, and the claimed status of the Israelites as God's "chosen people."
According to the terms of this covenant, Israelites understand that God had promised to undertake certain things on their behalf, and that they owed God obedience and worship in return.
In Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-18; 15:1-21; 17:1-22 can be found that God promised to Hebrew patriarch Abraham:
-to make of Abraham into a great nation and to multiply his seed exceedingly
and to make him a father of great many nations,
-to bless Abraham and make him great,
-to make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth,
-to bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him,
-to give Abraham and his seed forever all the land which he could see,
-to give him a sign of the covenant (circumcision).
The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible referred to also as the "Old Testament" by Christians), in Genesis 15:18-21, describes what is referred to in Jewish tradition as Gevulot Ha-aretz ("Borders of the Land") and regarded as the full extent of the land God promised to Abraham: Continued: