U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (center) next to Pastor Mario Bramnick (bottom left), president of Latino Coalition for Israel, at the Aish Hatorah World Center in Jerusalem on May 15, 2019. (Credit: Courtesy.(
A group of more than 200 evangelical faith leaders, organized by the Latin Coalition for Israel, gathered at the Aish Hatorah World Center in the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday to celebrate the one-year anniversaries of the American and Guatemalan embassies’ moves to Jerusalem.
The meeting, which overlooked the Western Wall plaza and the Temple Mount, was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman; First Lady of Guatemala Patricia Marroquín, the wife of President Jimmy Morales; and Guatemalan Ambassador to Israel Mario Bucaro Flores.
Speaking of the positive developments for Israel that have come about thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump, Latin Coalition for Israel President Mario Bramnick likened him to Cyrus, the Persian king who permitted the Jewish people to return to Israel to build the Second Temple.
“As a Cuban American, I have never felt more proud to be an American than now having President Trump as our President. President Trump has done more to support the nation of Israel than any other President in the history of the United States,” Bramnick said.
Friedman likened him to the biblical prophet Daniel, and extolled the group to do its utmost to support Israel and to spread that support to others.
He praised the group’s support for Israel, saying “to see how the Jewish people have so many friends is deeply moving, and I am deeply appreciative.”
“Not everyone thinks like us,” he added. “Not everybody appreciates the miracles we are living. I think people take much for granted.”
Bramnick pointed out that along with all the positive developments, Israel’s enemies are intensifying their efforts to harm the Jewish state. “We see these two forces moving simultaneously,” he said.
“We are seeing an unprecedented rise of anti-Semitism in the United States,” he said. “We’ve never seen synagogue shootings. We’ve never seen anti-Semitic cartoons in The New York Times. We’ve never seen an anti-Semitic congressman on the Foreign Affairs Committee. We’ve never seen the Democratic Party stand silent.”
He suggested that “communities as large as the evangelical community in the United States get up and make these complaints as much as possible. There is strength in numbers. Don’t be afraid to use that strength.”
At the same time, he voiced his faith in Israel’s ability to meet the challenges facing it. “Israel today, like it was thousands of years ago in history, is still facing formidable enemies in all directions. The risk is growing, but Israel’s strength is growing faster,” he said.
Friedman then spoke of the new forms of anti-Semitism taking hold around the world.
“We used to think of anti-Semitism in terms of Nazis and neo-Nazis,” he said. “Those are ugly and despicable people, but they’re easy to spot. The more difficult form of anti-Semitism that has emerged, not more lethal but more difficult, is anti-Zionism.”
It is anti-Zionism, he said, that “accounts to some extent for rocket fire that Israelis experience.”
To fight this new anti-Semitism, the ambassador said he recently “led a delegation of ambassadors from various European countries on the March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau, trying to send the signal as powerfully as we could that the disease of anti-Semitism—and it is a disease—has to be eradicated.”
Commenting on growing anti-Semitism in America, Friedman said “there are people who hate Israel that are given platforms all over the United States. They apply double standards to Israel that they wouldn’t think of applying to other countries in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.”
‘We hate the violence, we hate the rejectionism’
In preparation for the Mideast peace proposal set to be released by the Trump administration, Friedman said the discussion on Israel and its relationship with the Palestinians “is too often presented as a zero-sum game—that someone has to win and someone has to lose. The issue is always put in political terms and almost never in human terms.”
“The politics [of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas] we are totally against,” he said. “We hate the violence, we hate the rejectionism. But we don’t hate the Palestinian people. And that message doesn’t get out enough. We can be strong Zionists, but we can be sure that every person of any religion that lives on this soil can have the human dignity that every[one] should have under God.”
Guatemalan First Lady Marroquín told the audience in Spanish that she had just prayed at the adjacent Western Wall and “thanked God for the great privilege that he has given us to live in these times. Because he has chosen President Morales to serve his country, to do what is right” in moving the Guatemalan embassy to Jerusalem.
Friedman related his personal journey from son of a Long Island rabbi, to New York City lawyer, to ambassador to Israel. He took special note of the location of the gathering, calling it “a beautiful venue 100 yards from … the site where [biblical prophet] Abraham brought [his son] Isaac to the altar, and the place that David purchased for the nation of Israel—the place where David wrote so many psalms.”
Speaking about a nearby archeological excavation at the City of David that has uncovered a pathway leading from a large pool to the Temple Mount, Friedman told the Christian leaders, “if you asked what is the probability that Jesus walked that pathway, archeologists would tell you: 100 percent.”
Friedman said he will attend an opening ceremony for this path in June together with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Citing the biblical episode of the 12 spies, in which only two out of 12 spies sent into Canaan by Moses encouraged the Jewish people to enter the land, Bramnick said that “President Donald Trump and President Jimmy Morales are like Joshua and Caleb,” the righteous spies that urged the Jews to enter Israel.
Aug 16, 2019 0
Aug 16, 2019 0
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei speaks following his election victory. Photo: Reuters/Jose Cabezas.
A prominent Guatemalan supporter of Israel who once said, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” won the country’s presidential election with 58.5 percent of the vote, results on Monday confirmed.
Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei emerged victorious in the vote in the second round of elections on Sunday, beating his rival Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer.
German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.
Sales to Iran plunged by 48 percent to 678 million euros ($758.8 million) from January through June year-on-year, data from the Federal Statistics Office reviewed by Reutersshowed. Imports from Iran declined by 43 percent to nearly 110 million euros.
The New York Times logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A New York Times editor is in trouble for what the Times calls repeated poor judgment on social media.
The editor, Jonathan Weisman, works in the Times Washington bureau with the title “deputy Washington editor” and is the author of the 2018 book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age Of Trump.
Canadian Observer to Post: Canada has niche capabilities to help in such a scenario.
“Mighty Waves,” the Navy’s large-scale multinational exercise simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
The five-day, large-scale multinational exercise, with 10 foreign fleets off the Haifa coast simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake, has brought the Israel Navy to “another level” of preparedness.
Dubbed “Mighty Waves,” the drill saw the participation of hundreds of troops on six ships at sea. Five helicopters also took part in the exercise, which focused on the after-effects of a significant 7.5 earthquake that leaves thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
A food market in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher vis Wikimedia Commons.
CTech – Israel has a reputation for being the Startup Nation, but Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, predicts that in coming years Israel will be known as the FoodTech Nation.
“Foodtech and biotech are two fields that are climbing to the top of the tech industry,” Machluf told Calcalist in a recent interview. “This push is happening for a reason.
Aug 16, 2019 0A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch. Another rabbi has been attacked in the streets of Berlin, the German capital, by male assailants who pushed him to...
Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States, but their sudden rise is ballooning into a shocking nationwide epidemic. Many blame a toxic political culture that is accentuating divisions rather than commonalities between Americans, and the ease in which Americans can access guns, including automatic assault rifles.
If Saturday’s horrifying terrorist attack in an El Paso Walmart had taken place in Jerusalem, leaving 22 Israelis dead, the killer would rot in jail knowing his family would be taken care of, paid every month by his government.
What, one has to ask, does Iran’s Islamic regime have to fear from the country’s Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Sunni Muslims, or Jews? Yet its treatment of these minorities is so repressive that it seems not unreasonable to ask if the clerics might be afraid of what they consider challenges to their fantasy of pure Islamic identity.
The fate of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 executive order barring state contractors from participating in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is in the hands of a federal judge. The order violates First Amendment rights, a lawsuit filed by a former Maryland state legislator claims. wsuit.
This week my family and I have the privilege of celebrating two significant and interrelated milestones. We celebrate the 15th anniversary of our arrival in Israel, taking on citizenship and planting our roots firmly in our historic homeland. And we celebrate (yes, celebrate) the induction into the IDF of our oldest son.
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem, we knew that he would serve in the army, an obligation and privilege as an Israeli Jew, pretty much as genetic as his actual DNA. But when our oldest son was born in N.J., we didn’t know this would be his destiny.