10/21/14

Body and Soul

Arlene from Israel

Last night I went to the premiere showing, here in Jerusalem at the Begin Center, of a very special new film by Gloria Greenfield: “Body and Soul – the State of the Jewish Nation.”

The showing was sponsored by Doc Emet Productions (Greenfield’s company), The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, the Vidal Sasson International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, and the Zionist Organization of America.

As its website explains, the film:

“presents a comprehensive examination of the broad and deep connections between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. World-renowned historians, archaeologists, political scientists, religious leaders, and international law and media experts trace the evocative evolution of the relationship between the Jewish People and their homeland that is over 3,000 years old.

”’Jewish identity is born in a journey to the Land of Israel’, declares Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the United Kingdom. That journey moves through the First and Second Temple periods and the Middle Ages, then to modernity, where the development of political Zionism catalyzed the blossoming of a new Jewish spirit. That renewal of Jewish spirit resulted in the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the Land, an event that Harvard University Professor Ruth Wisse declares ‘a miracle of truly Biblical proportions.’”

I urge you to visit the website: http://www.bodyandsoulthemovie.com/.

View the trailer, which will give you a good sense of what it is all about.

See the impressive list of commentators featured in the film: http://www.bodyandsoulthemovie.com/about-us/featured-commentators.html

Then, if you are in N. America, search the list of screenings that are already scheduled: http://www.bodyandsoulthemovie.com/screenings-and-media/index.html . If the film is scheduled to show near you, then please go and see it, and – most important – encourage others to do the same.

If it is not scheduled to show near you, you might get in touch with Gloria Greenfield directlyggreenfield@docemetproductions.com – regarding arrangements for a showing in your area.  Or order the DVD, see the video yourself and then arrange private showings so others can see it.

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Many of my readers in N. America lament the ignorance about Israel exhibited by many people.  They have a lack of understanding of the ancient and intrinsic Jewish connection to the Land, and are unaware of the extent of Jewish legal rights to the Land.

Gloria has done a magnificent job in presenting this case.

Here is an opportunity for you to pick up on this and run with it, to further understanding about Israel.

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After the premiere showing last night, there was a marvelous panel discussion.  Participants were:

Yoram Hazony, an Israeli philosopher and political theorist, and currently president of The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem.

Credit: YoramHazoni
Robert Wistrich, Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the head of the University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism

Credit: Manhattan College
Eugene Kontorovich, professor at Northwestern University School of Law, and an expert in constitutional and international law

EugeneKontorovich

Credit: TribuneJuive
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The primary message of this session was that we must pull back to basics and be sure of who we are as Jews.  Jewish self respect is the cornerstone of Zionism.

There was a time when the Bible (the Tanach – Torah, Prophets and Writings) was seen as a major pillar of Western civilization.  It is a national, historical and philosophical document.

Unfortunately, it has been delegitimized. With the enlightenment came intellectual attacks on the Bible, which was reduced to the status of mythical nonsense. German academics, way before Hitler, founded their universities on the basis of eliminating the Bible as a document to be respected and studied. Post-modern ideology has the same approach.

Thus Jews are hesitant to refer to the Bible when making the case for Jewish connection to the Land.  This is true of such organizations as AIPAC, Birthright and a host of others.  Yet the Bible is absolutely intrinsic to this connection.  There is a triad of the People, the Bible and the Land that cannot be divided.  Ben Gurion understood this when he said that “The Bible is our Mandate.”

Traditionally observant Jews see the Torah as having come from God. But this perspective is not essential to making the broader case that it has moral and historical significance that speaks to the world.  Once this position is promoted with pride by Jews, the historical case for the Jewish connection to the Land becomes obvious.

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Yoram Hazony explained that there is one strand of Christianity that has stayed connected to the Jewish Bible – believes Christianity is founded on the Hebrew Bible.  Adherents of this position are eager to learn its lessons.  This is not true of progressive denominations of Christianity, which tend to embrace replacement theology and focus on New Testament.  He suggests that Jews may have a role to play in working with Christians who have a deep interest in the Jewish Bible.

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Among the many points made by Kantorovich is that it is more effective to focus on other parallel situations, rather than on Israel, when making a case regarding international law.

When it comes to Israel, people tend to lose perspective that they often retain when considering less volatile situations. Last night he used as example the fact that the Crimea, which has been seized by Russia, remains part of the Ukraine according to international law. This illustrates a principle known as “the persistence of borders” – a principle that applies as well to Judea and Samaria, which were encompassed within the Mandate borders.  Recently he had written about this:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/crimea-international-law-and-the-west-bank/

10/21/14

ICLA Applauds Former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din For His Recent Remarks on the Importance of Establishing a Civil State in Iraq

ICLA

ICLA is concerned about the negative impact sharia law can have on human rights. It made this point at the recent OSCE Human Dimension meeting in Warsaw, Poland. Its intervention was delivered in French but is now available with English subtitles in the video below:

In the video below former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din seems to be expressing similar concerns to those that ICLA has been voicing. He suggested the importance of man made law (secular law) as an alternative to Islamic law (the fiqh). ICLA applauds him for his comments and suggests that Western governments take note of his words when they make plans to confront ISIS in Iraq and Islamism more generally. Ayad Jamal Al-Din is a man that they should be listening to as well as organisations like ICLA that have been making these points for many years.

The following video of Ayad Jamal Al-Din’s remarks was posted by MERMRI TV:

10/21/14

Qatar Awareness Campaign – FIFA @StopQatarNow


QATAR AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA-Strasse 20,
P.O. Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland

Dear Mr. Blatter:

This letter is being sent to you on behalf of the Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition. The purpose is to inform you and the public of the activities of Qatar. FIFA is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar’s capital city of Doha and this decision has proved anything but uncontroversial. Not the least, because of bribery charges.

In September 2013, the UK’s The Guardian ran a feature story on Qatar’s “World Cup slaves.” These slaves, foreign workers who are flown in from countries such as Nepal, India and Bangladesh, are deprived of basic human rights, including:

  • Access to clean water and food, and lack of decent and sanitary habitations.
  • The right to leave Qatar, as their passports are seized upon entry and they are denied exit visas.
  • Just and timely compensation, as many of these workers are routinely denied pay for months at a time.

And yet, one aspect of the Qatari-FIFA World Cup scandal has been overlooked. The architectural firm contracted to build the stadiums is Albert Speer & Partner. Mr. Speer is the son of Albert Speer, the infamous Nazi who revolutionized slave labor in the Third Reich for his friend and Führer, Adolf Hitler. Albert Speer was the chief organizer and executive of the Nazi war machine, in charge of munitions and supplies production. He enslaved conquered “racial minorities” across Europe, including Slavs and Jews, in war factories.

Is it not tragically ironic that his son is using slave labor to build FIFA’s soccer stadiums? Consistent with history, the Muslim Brotherhood, which Qatar welcomes with enthusiasm, was an ally of Hitler’s Germany during the war.

Furthermore, Qatar Airways is in a partnership with F.C. Barcelona, one of the world’s most recognizable football clubs. Qatar and soccer have a complicated relationship. In April, it was reported that in 2011, a Qatari, Mr. Mohammed bin Hamman, had deposited £2 million into the bank account of the daughter of a Brazilian FIFA official. The money is believed to have been transferred into the 10 year old’s account by the then-president of F.C. Barcelona, Sandro Rosell. This amounted to a bribe and Qatar was subsequently awarded the 2022 World Cup.

Here are some pertinent additional facts regarding FIFA, Qatar, terrorism and the 2022 World Cup:

  • In 2011, Mohamed bin Hamman was banned from FIFA after the Ethics Committee ruled him responsible for cash gifts totaling, $1 million “to officials from associations belonging to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) at a meeting in Trinidad on May 10.”
  • A previous head of the Qatar Football Association, Abdul Rahman al-Nuaimi, was accused of supporting terrorism through al Qaeda in Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and other countries. He was designated by the U.S. Treasury a “global terrorist.”
  • Prominent FIFA officials have openly questioned the decision to hold the World Cup 2022 in Doha. Citing scorching temperatures in Doha during the summer, FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger stated, “I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar. Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions.”

Additionally, Qatar it is involved in Taliban narcotics trafficking through a relationship with the Pakistani National Logistics Cell and profits from operating a virtual slave state. A recent press report explained how a Qatari citizen was the money man for an Al Qaeda group in Syria. His alias? Umar al-Qatari.

The QAC Coalition and petitioners ask that you consider the attached sourced report on Qatar’s activities. The links cited are vetted and credible sources. We hope you take the time to verify the truth of the statements for yourself.

After doing so, the Coalition of the Qatar Awareness Campaign calls on you to exert due influence on the Qatari government to cease any type of involvement in all forms of Islamic terrorism, slavery, and drug trafficking!

Sincerely,

Lt. Col. Allen B. West (US Army, Ret)
AllenBWest.com

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Center for Security Policy

Pamela Geller
Atlas Shrugs

Walid Shoebat
Shoebat.com

Charles Ortel
Washington Times

Paul E Vallely, US Army (Ret)
Chairman, Stand Up America

Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
NoisyRoom.net

Trevor Loudon
New Zeal **

& the entire Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition.

Qatar Research Report: http://www.stopqatarnow.com/p/research-report.html
Sign the Petition! Visit www.stopqatarnow.com
Facebook: Stop Qatar Now
Twitter: @stopqatarnow

** Select signatures as of 9/27. The Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition is comprised of more than 25 journalists, national security experts, publishers, and independent researchers. To view all Coalition participants, please visit the Campaign’s website.

CC: FIFA Media Committee.

10/20/14

The Temple Mount

Arlene from Israel

I’ve written several times about the growing problems on Har Habayit – the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount

Credit: Wiki Commons

Again now I report on the situation, which is grave and most be considered with utmost seriousness.

Over the week of the Sukkot holiday, there was a rash of Arab violence that was clearly premeditated.  It began on Wednesday, the 8th of October: that evening began Sukkot and many Jewish worshippers came to ascend to the Mount (emphasis added):

The fighting began when masked youths threw stones, iron bars, cinder blocks and Molotov cocktails at police officers as the Mughrabi Gate opened to non-Muslim visitors earlier in the day.

“Police chased the demonstrators toward the Al-Aqsa mosque, where they barricaded themselves inside and continued hurling objects in the direction of the police, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

“Samri said the Palestinians had prepared for the confrontation ahead of time, and had set up obstacles at the holy site to slow down police. She said the Palestinians threw firebombs and rocks at police from within the mosque.

Police responded with ‘nonlethal riot control means,’ Samri said.

“A radical Islamic cleric in Israel, Raed Salah, had called on Muslims to be present at the mosque Wednesday morning. About 30 young Palestinians slept the night before at the mosque in preparation for the confrontation, according to Palestinian eyewitnesses.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/three-police-hurt-in-holiday-eve-melee-on-temple-mount/

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Credit: TheJerusalemConnection
The violence continued intermittently over the course of the week of Sukkot.  But finally, it seems, Israeli authorities, confronting the serious of the Arab threat, are responding with greater determination.  This is to be celebrated.  For many years, Arabs knew that all they had to do was riot or even threaten to riot, and Israeli police, citing security concerns, blocked entrance to the Mount for Jews.  The wrong people were being deprived of the opportunity to be on the Mount. But now (emphasis added):

“In a policy change since the beginning of the Jewish New Year, instead of closing the Temple Mount to [Jewish] visitors after Muslim rioting, the Israel Police push the rioters back inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and leave the Temple Mount compound open. But the policy may change again if the current situation persists, Aharonovitch said.

’If the Jews cannot go up to the Mount, the Muslims will not go up to the Mount,’ he said.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/19/temple-mount-tensions-reach-a-boiling-point-during-sukkot/

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What we are dealing with is a battle for control of the Mount.

Jordan, which controls the Muslim Wakf (trust, or authority) on the Mount, charged Israeli police with fomenting the problem.

“The forces of the occupation … prevented religious officials entering (the compound) and cleared it of all Muslims, while at the same time enabling Jewish extremists to storm it, and pray with security forces protection,” complained Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momeni.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185983#.VEQdM5txnIU

Note: “forces of the occupation” implies Israel has no right to be there.

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And now it has come to this (emphasis added):

”Palestinian Authority President (sic) Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinians on Friday to prevent Jewish ‘settlers’ from entering the Temple Mount.

”Addressing Fatah activists from east[ern] Jerusalem in Ramallah, Abbas also called on Palestinians to be present at the Temple Mount at all times to confront the ‘fierce onslaught on Al-Aksa Mosque, Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre Church.’

He said Fatah should spearhead the effort to stop ‘settlers’ from entering the Temple Mount.

“We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary in any way. This is our Al-Aksa and our church. They have no right to enter and desecrate them. We must confront them and defend our holy sites.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-calls-on-activists-to-prevent-Jewish-settlers-from-entering-Temple-Mount-379153

These statements by Abbas are always calculated.  Note the term “settlers,” which is pejorative, referring to Jews who are presumably where they do not belong.

And a “fierce onslaught” on the Holy Sepulchre Church?  (Which, by the way, is not on the Mount at all.) This is a ludicrous attempt to make it seem as if Muslims protect Christians from Israeli attack. The reality is that Muslims are massacring Christians, who are in fact safe no where in the Middle East except Israel.  Christians pray freely at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is in eastern Jerusalem.  But Abbas says what he pleases, with impunity and with no regard for the truth.

Abbas’s statement, which represents a new low, is incitement clear and simple.  This is the man with whom Israel should negotiate?  Let’s see how long it takes for Kerry to call him on this.

Just one day after this outrage, Abbas went even further:

In a speech yesterday to to the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah party, he referred to Jews entering the Mount as a “herd of cattle.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186265#.VEQjYptxnIU

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”Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blasted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night after Abbas said that Jews should be prevented from visiting the Temple Mount and that Palestinians should defend the site from them.

“Lieberman said Abbas’ remarks reveal his attempt to ignite the conflict by using the most sensitive place, the Temple Mount. In a statement released on Saturday night, Lieberman accused Abbas and the PA of being behind the disturbances of the residents of east Jerusalem.

”The foreign minister said that the remarks also reveal Abbas’ ‘true face’ as a ‘Holocaust denier who speaks about a Palestinian state free of Jews.’ He said Abbas was and remains an anti-Semite.

“’Behind his [Abbas'] suit and the pleasantries aimed at the international community, he ramps up incitement against Israel and the Jews and calls for a religious war,’ he said.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Liberman-calls-Abbas-anti-Semite-compares-him-to-ISIS-after-Temple-Mount-remarks-379154

True, all true.

 

Credit: jmpoint.hu
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I noted with particular interest a quote Martin Sherman provided in his most recent JPost column (and for which I thank him):

With the two-state solution… Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the chosen people? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse…. Then we will move forward.”

Abbas Zaki, senior PLO official. (ANB TV, Lebanon, May 7, 2009)

www.jpost.com/Opinion/Into-the-fray-The-two-stage-solution-379041

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Where Zaki refers to Jerusalem, with its spiritual status, read “Temple Mount,” which is at the very core of that spiritual status.  It must not be relinquished. Our presence on the Mount must be constant, and our security forces and authorities must be ever strong in defending our rights there.

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And the good news today? We had rain. A period of torrential rain that turned the streets to rivers.  I got caught in it, and I called it a blessing.  We began praying for rain on Simchat

Torah, Thursday.  The beginning of the winter season.  May it be a very wet one.

Credit: Marc Israel Sellem