The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported (August 21, 2018) that during a speech in July, 2018, the Episcopal Church Bishop Suffragen Gayle Harris claimed that “she had witnessed Israeli security forces arrest a 3-year-old on Temple Mount and shoot a 15-year-old in the back 10 times after making a comment to a group of soldiers.” Harris is the second-highest ranking Episcopal official in Massachusetts. As it turned out, these were bogus and unfounded allegations. Harris later apologized, saying they were second-hand stories. She said, “I had heard and unintentionally framed them as though I had personally witnessed the alleged events.” It has become symptomatic of left-leaning mainline Protestant church people to believe such stories tinged with anti-Semitic overtones, which are disseminated by Palestinian-Arab propagandists.
Earlier, the Episcopal News Service headlined its April 12, 2018 issue with, “The Episcopal Church Joins Call for End to Gaza Violence and Measures to Protect Palestinians.” The transparent anti-Israel bias of the statement by the 15 mainline Protestant churches was reflected in the comments made by reader Charles Banks who stated: “The suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza is agonizing to all of us, but what about the suffering of the Israelis, who are the victims of random, murderous Palestinians (especially Hamas) aggressions?”
Mainline Protestant churches have habitually used the phrase “Palestinian rights” in their condemnation of Israel. Few of those voices elaborated on what those rights were, and where those rights apply. Everyone, including most Israelis, agree that Palestinians should have human and civil rights, religious freedom, and the right to live in peace and security. Those same rights however, are ignored by critics of Israel in the mainline Protestant churches when it comes to Jewish-Israeli rights to live in peace and security.
First, let us point out that Israel is a democracy where civil and human rights are respected and religious freedom is extended to all its citizens – Muslim, Christian, Arab or Jew. This is not the case with the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas based in Ramallah, and certainly not in the case of Hamas in Gaza. In the latter, Christians have been persecuted and killed by Islamist fanatics, and as for Jews, the area is “Judenrein.” Palestinian-Arabs have no rights in Israel since they are not citizens of the state. However, Israeli-Arabs do have such rights, and they are exercising them.
Most Palestinian-Arabs live under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has full control over all the cities in the West Bank, also known under the Oslo Accords as Area A. The PA also controls all civilian affairs in area B, which are the suburban areas adjacent to the cities. In adding these two areas it is clear that the vast majority of Palestinians live under Palestinian control. A minority of Palestinian-Arabs live in area C, where Israel has military and administrative jurisdiction. Gaza is independently governed by Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S.
Jerusalem is a separate issue. Israel unified the city in 1980, and provided its Palestinian-Arab population with the choice of becoming Israeli citizens. Most of them refused. Some have indeed accepted the status as permanent residents and they enjoy all the rights Jewish-Israeli citizens have including the right to vote in municipal elections.
Mainline Protestant churches hypocrisy is clearly seen in criticizing Israel where Arabs-Muslims are freer than in any other place in the region, and at the same time ignoring the tremendous human rights abuses Palestinians endure under Hamas and the PA. It is the Palestinian regimes in Gaza and Ramallah who encourage violence against Israel and Jews, while deliberately putting their own people at risk. In Gaza, Hamas is using its people as human shields, while lobbing rockets at Israeli kindergartens.
Where conflict arises between Palestinians and Israeli security forces is in check points to enter Israel, and Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. The long history of Palestinian terror against Israel and Jews continuing to this day makes it absolutely essential for the Israeli government to ensure the safety of its population. It is for this reason that the Security Fence was constructed that has dramatically reduced Palestinian terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Gaza. The check points have likewise helped in stopping would be Palestinian suicide bombers and other forms of terror.
At the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) 2018 General Assembly, several anti-Israel resolutions were considered including opposing federal and state anti-BDS laws, one that calls for more debate on Israel’s “illegal” military occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, etc.
What then is it that mainline Protestant anti-Israel social justice warriors seem to want? An end to the so-called “occupation?” Yasser Arafat (Palestinian chairman of the PA and head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization) bolted the Camp David Summit in July, 2000. President Bill Clinton noted and decried Arafat’s callousness toward his people. In his autobiography Clinton wrote: “Right before I left office, Arafat, in one of our last conversations, thanked me for all my efforts and told me what a great man I was. Mr. Chairman, I replied, I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.” Clinton went on to say “Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak (Israeli Prime Minister at the time-JP) accepted it was an error of historic proportions.”
A Palestinian State could have been created in November, 1947, when the UN voted on the Partition Plan of Palestine. The Jews accepted the Plan, while the Arabs rejected it. The Oslo Accords were again an opportunity for the Palestinians to assert their self-determination, but Arafat chose instead terrorism and the Second Intifada. His intention then and Hamas’ intention today is not to live side-by-side with Israel, but to destroy the Jewish state and replace it with an Arab-Islamic state or another Arab authoritarian regime. Camp David was yet another opportunity the Palestinians blew away, and story continues with the same pattern. Israel offering compromised solutions and Palestinian leaders rejecting them. In 2008, Israel’s Prime Minister offered far-reaching concessions on Jerusalem and even on refugees, which Mahmoud Abbas rejected.
The “occupation” with its negative connotation is the wrong term to use. The West Bank and Gaza are “disputed territories.” Israel has as much right to them as the previous owners Jordan and Egypt had. And since there was never a Palestinian state, who was Judea and Samaria (West Bank) taken from? Jordan captured it in 1948, and the Palestinian-Arabs rejected statehood in these areas at the same time. The Arab states and Palestinian-Arab irregulars launched a war in 1948 to annihilate the newborn Jewish state. The Palestinian leadership has rejected negotiations with Israel on the principle of a Two-State solution. They seek instead to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. They hope to gain “Statehood” through the UN General Assembly. Israel though, remains the rightful administrator of the territories. Moreover, no restrictions were placed on Israelis settling in Judea and Samaria.
Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, addressing the statement issued by the 15 mainline churches wrote: “One more banal mainly mainline Protestant rehash of decades old talking points against Israel that doesn’t admit threats against Israel or self-destructive policies by Palestinians.”
It appears therefore, that what the Mainline Protestant churches seriously condone is the Palestinian right to kill Israeli Jews.
Jeremy Corbyn leads a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in 2014, one year before becoming Labour Party leader. Photo: File.
This marked a massive rise from the previous such survey, in which only 39% of Jews believed Corbyn was antisemitic.
British Jews also expressed an extremely low opinion of the Labour Party in general. The poll showed that 85.6% believed Labour suffered from “very high” levels of antisemitism.
Corbyn and his party have been beset with a series of high-profile antisemitism scandals for several years, which has resulted in the resignation and suspension of several prominent officials. Corbyn himself was recently caught on video saying that “Zionists” did not understand “English irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”
Makuya in Jerusalem 201 (YouTube)
Like an apple tree among trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the youths. I delight to sit in his shade, And his fruit is sweet to my mouth. (Song of Songs 2:3)
For ten days in late August, Israeli Rabbi Benny Lau and his wife, Rabbanit Noah Lau, traveled from Jerusalem to Japan to lead Bible study for groups of Makuya Japanese Christians. The Laus traveled to five Japanese towns and spent three days together at a weekend conference with 3,400 members of the Makuya group.
Makuya is Japanese for the Hebrew word Mishkan, the tent of meeting, where human beings come into contact with God. The Mishkan was the portable sanctuary that the Israelites used in the desert, before entering Israel and building the First Holy Temple.
The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. (Credit: Agencia O Globo)
Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in the upcoming presidential election in Brazil, was stabbed during a campaign rally Thursday and was undergoing surgery.
The far-right politician, whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others – -who accuse him of racism and homophobia – in a deeply polarized electorate, was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. Bolsonaro has performed strongly in recent opinion polls.
Those same polls suggested that he will likely receive the most votes in next month’s presidential elections, especially if the country’s former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (‘Lula’) remains blocked from standing. He is currently in prison, but is appealing against his candidacy ban – imposed after his conviction for corruption.
Republican lawmakers have made it clear they have no intention of repealing Obamacare in the current Congress.
Republicans in the nation’s top lawmaking body have never really wanted to get rid of Obamacare. They would prefer to present the program, which David Horowitz correctly describes as “the greatest assault on individual freedom and individual choice in our lifetimes,” as a villain and whip up sentiment against it and run against it every election. They view Obamacare as good for the business of politics. They may chip away at it from time to time or tinker with it at the margins, but make no mistake: these creatures of Washington want to keep it in place. This is the Republicans’ dirty secret.
The Trump administration has decided to reopen a case brought by a Zionist group against Rutgers University, previously closed by the Obama administration in 2014, alleging that the university had allowed Jewish students to be subjected to a hostile environment in violation of Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The issue, ignored by the Obama administration, was whether the students were discriminated against based on their actual or perceived Jewish ancestry or ethnicity. Kenneth L. Marcus, the new assistant secretary of education for civil rights, decided that the case deserved another look.
Nestled in the Han River in the middle of South Korea’s bustling capital of Seoul, Yeoui Island is hardly where one would expect to find the largest mega-church in the world. Home to the city’s business and financial district, its skyline dotted with skyscrapers, the island boasts some of the country’s most powerful institutions, such as the Korean stock exchange and the headquarters of LG, the international conglomerate.
The AfD’s opponents, who often brand the party as “far right” or “extremist,” claim that the party’s alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany’s constitutional order. The AfD’s supporters counter that Germany’s politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
Israel’s Palestinian foes regard “martyrdom” as the supremely highest expression of Islamic sacredness. Nonetheless, there are certain conspicuously prominent disjunctions between the relevant obligations of faith and expectations of international law. Unambiguously, only the latter set of obligations can offer a suitably authoritative source for assessing Palestinian resorts to armed force.
This is the case even when the stated objective of such resorts would be “self-determination” and/or “national liberation.”
“Setting fire to the ground,” a “major catastrophe,” bringing “new instability” are the headlines that have greeted Donald Trump’s unorthodox decisions over the past year. Withdrawing from UNESCO, moving the US Embassy, leaving the Iran deal and cutting funding to UNRWA and funding for Pakistan were seen as extreme decisions in the Middle East and around the world. Insofar as there is a “Trump Doctrine,” it has been to call this bluff.
In the mind-set of Trump and his team, the time has come for the United States to move quickly to reverse decades of foreign policy norms, ending the status quo, and ripping up what the previous administrations did.
The jihadi assault on and massacre of Christians continued unabated throughout the Muslim word. According to one report titled, “Armed gangs WIPE OUT 15 villages in mass Christian slaughter in Nigeria,” several Islamic terrorists “stormed through 15 villages to massacre Christians and destroy their churches in a violent crackdown against the religion…. Dozens of people have been killed after the gangs ransacked towns and villages to clear them of all aspects of the Christian faith.
Wars are raging in various parts of the Middle East, although there is a tendency not to call the conflicts by that name because of the fear conjured up by the word.
One conflagration is the war Iran is waging against those – headed by Israel – who stand in the way of its plans to take over the entire Middle East.
Another is the Assad regime’s war to take back control of the entire country, and a third is the PLO’s battle for survival.
Much has been written about the first of these wars, and reports have claimed that from early 2017 on, Israel has launched over 200 attacks in Syria, mainly at targets connected to Iran.