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.
Pope Francis warned on Monday against a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements and criticized countries that try to solve the migration crisis with unilateral or isolationist actions.
The pope, speaking to diplomats in an annual speech known informally as his “state of the world” address, suggested such movements and closed-door policies were turning the clock back 100 years to the dangerous period between the world wars.
A Montreal man facing hate crimes charges has been ordered to stay away from Jewish institutions as a condition of his bail.
The Canadian Press reported that Robert Gosselin, 55, has been charged with two counts of issuing violent threats and one count of inciting hatred over messages he is suspected of having posted on the Facebook page of Le Journal de Montreal newspaper.
The year 2018 has provided a series of reminders that antisemitism, the world’s oldest hatred, is alive and well in our country.
Reprinted from JPost.com.
In October, 11 Jews were massacred in Pittsburgh as they prayed on the Sabbath. It is just the latest in a series of violent attacks that have targeted the Jewish community in recent times, which come not only from the radical right but also from the radical left, and from radical Muslims.
The enemies of the Jewish people don’t only physically attack us from the outside. They have also long worked to divide the Jewish people by turning our own against us. For example, a number of Jewish individuals and organizations have become leaders within the BDS movement, which seeks to destroy the Jewish state.
The battle between the Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration continues over the construction of a border wall along the U.S./Mexican border.
Many political battles are fought over hypothetical arguments. This debate, however, is well-grounded in cold, hard, irrefutable facts and in the deaths of far too many innocent people, who have fallen victim to aliens who entered the United States illegally, often repeatedly.
Let me be clear, in my judgement, the Democrats have left the administration with no choice but to take the action of shutting down a part of the government. As a former INS agent I can certainly empathize with the federal employees. All too frequently the employees of the government suffer from the bad decisions of our political leaders. However, America faces many threats and challenges that are the direct result of multiple failures of the immigration system and our nation must finally address these failures beginning with securing our borders.
Behind the Left’s war on Jewish schools.
In 2016, a poll showed Trump beating Hillary Clinton 66% to 22% among Orthodox Jews. This wasn’t as unusual as it sounds. In New York City, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods light up as islands in a lefty sea.
Traditional religious beliefs are associated with conservative politics among Jews the same way that they are among Christians. 60% of Jews who attended weekly religious services disapproved of Obama while those who didn’t, mostly supported him. Why do American Jews lean much more to the left? Because only 11% of American Jews attend weekly synagogue services. Well below the 40% national average.
Only 34% of American Jews are certain that they believe in G-d. What do they believe in? When asked what it means to be Jewish, 56% mentioned social justice, 42% comedy and only 19% percent mentioned anything involving religion. Meanwhile 63% of Israeli Jews believe “completely” in G-d.
Israel’s “Young Turks” have created a new political party, and this week received an important new ally.
Caroline Glick, a long-time writer for the Jerusalem Post (and, of late, Breitbart), is running for a Knesset seat for the new Hayemin Hehadash (The New Right) Party. The party was founded by rising stars Naftali Bennett, Education Minister, and Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Justice Minister. For what it’s worth, they are the new breed; both look like they could carry lead roles in a James Bond movie.
When Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat was photographed several days ago cheerfully stepping on an image of the Israeli flag at a trade union complex in Amman, she sent a clear and unmistakable message of hostility and contempt for the Jewish state.
In doing so, Ghunaimat was adding insole to injury, providing a stark glimpse of the rising tide of hatred and invective that has been swelling across the border in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The United States of America (1787-2018) came to a swift and sudden end last week as the government shut down. The nation which had survived Pearl Harbor, the War of 1812 and Jimmy Carter ceased to exist.
The savage population, which had only been kept in line through a policy of rigorous gun confiscations, food stamps and lectures on the environment unleashed its pent up rage in a spree of riots, looting and mass murder that had only previously been encountered in Somalia, Russia and a Walmart in downtown Atlanta.
US President Donald Trump appeared to slow down his decision to withdraw from Syria after meetings on December 30. This came just ten days after he had abruptly decided to leave Syria. Trump apparently made the decision on December 14 in a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He told National Security Advisor John Bolton to prepare the process. For five days nothing changed until Trump began to Tweet about the decision.
“I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.” – Bhagavad Gita, cited by American nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945
Quite literally, at any moment in 2019, US President Donald Trump could be faced with unprecedented challenges to American security. The most plainly serious threats will concern some forms or other of nuclear strategy and nuclear war. “Will he be ready?” – we must immediately inquire – “for any such conspicuously daunting challenges?”