Israel Defends the Jewishness of Jesus – TWTW … ending 25 January, 2014

Shalom all and a blessed 2014.

This week’s TWTW is more like the month that was due to health issues in the family, including a brief hospitalization for me. Still have a few more tests to do but, hopefully, everything will turn out well.

The passage of time does not diminish the number of events that took place in and around here, but reviewing them all would be a gargantuan task that could fill up a small book. So, I’ll just touch on a few of them to bring everyone up to date, while some of them will be dealt with more at length below.

Attempts by the President of the “Palestine” Authority to once again “Palestinianize” (how’s that for a term?) Yeshua (Jesus) were rebuffed by the official spokesman for the Israel Foreign Ministry. More terrorists with blood on their hands were released as part of Israel’s commitment to the on-going negotiations. One Member of Knesset introduced legislation trying to restrict the government from giving away territory. Secretary of State John Kerry has completed close to a dozen trips to the region to push the American agenda regarding the negotiations with the “Palestinians”, which, according to recent reports is doomed to failure. Mahmoud Abbas threatens to take the cause of the “Palestinians” to the court of world opinion. Land and population swaps were proposed and are being considered by Israel. Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, visited Israel and gave a powerful, pro-Israel address at the Knesset, much of which is quoted verbatim below. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died and was laid to rest. Israel to provide free abortions for women between 20-33. Underage marriage is punishable by imprisonment.

Israel Defends the Jewishness of Jesus.
At a time when political lies and deception are capturing the attention and beliefs of nations around the world, one more fabrication was made by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the “Palestinian” Authority. A few days before Christmas, Abbas published a lengthy Christmas Greeting in which he referred to The Lord Yeshua (Jesus) as “a ‘Palestinian’ messenger who would become a guiding light for millions around the world”.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, responded to this oft-repeated “Palestinian” distortion of history by stating: “He should have read the Gospel[s] before uttering such offensive nonsense, but we will forgive him because he doesn’t know what he’s doing” and added that Abbas’ statement is an “outrageous rewriting of Christian history”.
However, it would seem that Abbas not only knew what he is doing, but that he tried to milk it to the end. Every effort is being made by “Palestinian” representatives to deny the historic Jewish presence  in Jerusalem and the rest of the land of Israel. Abbas, being their senior representative, has consistently denied the Holocaust. His willingness to claim national affinity with The Lord Yeshua (Jesus), while denying the Biblical descriptions of His identity, Person and work is nothing short of hypocrisy for the purpose of political gain.

David M. Weinberg, in his article entitled, Palestinian Christ persecuted by Israel?, which appeared in Israel Hayom (Israel Today) newspaper on December 27th, stated:

“On the most important week of the year for Christian faith, you would think that churches around the world and the Western media would bear witness to the accelerated persecution of Christians in Arab lands by the forces of Islam. You would think that the de rigueur bashing of Israel might be put aside for a moment of Christian self-defense and solidarity.

“Think again.

“Much of Western media devoted its Christmas ink, and many Christian nongovernmental organizations dedicated their Christmas appeals, to purveying the false impression that Christians are under assault by Israelis; and worse still, that Jews are crucifying Christians smack in the heart of Bethlehem.

“The singular, outstanding exception to this was Christa Case Bryant of the Christian Science Monitor, who published a finely researched, 3,700-word article detailing the Muslim assault on Christians across the Middle East, often with government encouragement and support.”

Then, after showing the real reason why Christians are suffering in Bethlehem, namely, oppression from the “Palestinian” Authority and radical Islam, Mr. Weinberg went on to say:

“The result has been an inexorable and ongoing Christian exodus from Bethlehem; a city captured by the PA and taken over by a very intolerant strain of Islam.

“None of this stopped the current PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, from this week releasing a malevolent Christmas message in which he cynically called Jesus Christ a ‘Palestinian messenger,’ and went on to blast Israel for denying “millions” of Christians their ‘right to worship in their homeland.’

“This is an ugly attempt to apply replacement theology (in which Christians are said to have superseded the Jews in a covenant with G-d) to the Palestinian assault on Israel. In Abbas’ reversed and warped world, the Jewish and Christian Jesus has been replaced by a Palestinian Christ, and Christianity is under attack by the Jews, not the Arabs and Muslims.
(underline = my emphasis)

“Few Christian leaders, and no prominent Western journalists, publicly took Abbas to task for arrogating Jesus to Palestinian propaganda. Turning the other cheek, they apparently thought, alas, that challenging Abbas just wouldn’t be in the Christmas spirit of justice, peace, charity, and love. (underline = my emphasis)

“Unfortunately, Abbas’ perverse and perfidious statement is in keeping with the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing denial of Jewish history and rights in the historic Land of Israel. It doesn’t augur well for the peace process.”

Palmor, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, commented that Abbas’ unfriendly statements were “not exactly in the spirit of Christmas” and cynically added: “Maybe he needs a hug from Santa?” Actually, I think that he needs to sit down and read the Bible. Nothing like a dose of truth to dispel a lie, an infusion of wisdom to cure a wrong perspective and light to bring one out of darkness.

“Palestinians” are not happy – threaten to take their case to the court of world opinion.
Both sides are looking for progress in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. But, none of the players in this end-time scenario wants it more than John Kerry, who is coming close to making a dozen trips to Israel for this purpose. Actually, considering how often he has been coming here, with no entry-visa problems, maybe it would be a good idea to make him a temporary citizen and allow him to live here for about six months or so, so that he can experience first hand what it means to live under the constant threat of annihilation by our neighbors, both near and far. And Israel, realizing that a deal might not be consummated within the nine months originally contemplated and agreed upon to birth a “peace agreement”, was willing to sign a document that states that the two sides are willing to extend the negotiations for another year in an effort to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

But, not all is well in lala-land. There is tremendous hesitancy on the part of the “Palestinians” to sign a framework agreement, which would require them to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and which, among other things, would require Israel to recognize the need of the “Palestinians” to form a nation. As long as the “Palestinians” refuse to do so, Prime Minister Netanyahu will also refuse to draw out a future “Palestinian” state on a map. At least, so it appears from the various media outlets.

According to certain sources, the “Palestinians” believe that Kerry’s plan is an “over-arching draft for all the core issues leading to a permanent accord … Abbas has stressed that he will refuse any temporary solution regarding core national issues, such as the status of east Jerusalem and recognizing Israel as the nation of the Jewish people.” In a similar vein, the same source indicated that Kerry’s proposal includes Israeli demands for security arrangements on the border of a prospective, future “Palestinian” state, that requires, among other things, Jordanian-Israeli-“Palestinian” security cooperation and added: “Abbas told Kerry that the Palestinians will not tolerate an Israeli presence [in the Jordan Valley], but have not ruled out an international force.” How’s that for a statement from someone who is supposed to be a partner in a dead “peace process”?

Still, in yielding to what is obviously political arm bending by the U.S., Netanyahu decided to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, in an apparent effort to further this possibility of strategic cooperation, as it would be an absolute necessity with regard to Israel’s willingness to concede territory in the Jordan Valley.

But, very recent developments indicate that the negotiations are not producing fruit, either the way that, or as rapidly as, the “Palestinians” want and they are threatening to go to the court of world opinion to push things along in their favor, by launching an all-out diplomatic war against Israel. According to a major news report that was aired on Israel’s Channel 2 last Friday night, such efforts on the part of the “Palestinians” would include, among other things: pushing for boycotts of Israel and seeking legal rulings against Israel in international legal tribunals. This threatened initiative to renew its diplomatic war against Israel is based on the belief by the “Palestinians” that it would receive backing from the international community that would see them as the injured party and blame Israel for the failure of the negotiations.

According to the TV report, which quoted “Palestinian” sources, the “Palestinians” were outraged that Kerry’s latest plan was offering them a state “with no borders, no capital, no [control over] border crossings…and without Jerusalem.” I personally don’t see a problem here. In my opinion, it sounds like a decent plan. They wanted to create something out of nothing and this is their chance to do so.

Regarding the issue of Jerusalem: P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is demanding total control over all areas of the city, including the Old City, that were captured by Israel in the 1967 war. Kerry’s plan, however, proposes the establishment of a capital in one of the city’s outlying neighborhoods such as Isawiya, Beit Hanina, Shuafat or Abu Dis (where construction of a “Palestinian” parliamentary building was actually begun in 2000).

One day before the airing of the above TV report, “Palestinian” negotiator Nabil Shaath accused Kerry of endorsing Israel’s position on two central issues in the negotiations, namely: recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a continued Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley. Both of these issues have been repeatedly rejected by the “Palestinian” Authority. Other issues, such as “Palestinian” refugee demands, borders, land-swaps and security proposals are also said to be included in Kerry’s latest, soon-to-be-released proposal. Abbas took a further step away from reaching an agreement when he hardened his position on the return of “Palestinian” refugees.

On the same day that Nabil Shaath was making accusations against Kerry, P.M. Netanyahu accused the international community of hypocrisy in its opposition to the proposed expansion of existing settlements, which have no bearing on the on-going negotiations.

“Palestinian” news agency lists Abbas’ positions.
Lest we forget, Mahmoud Abbas is a politician and one that presented a paper denying the Holocaust as his doctoral thesis. Over the years, he has learned how to “play the game”, bemoaning the state of affairs of his fellow “Palestinians”, while being afraid to make a genuine commitment that might lead to a temporary stop of hostilities. Not necessarily peace, but a temporary cessation of violence. One of these commitments has to do with temporary Israeli military presence in a “Palestinian” state. This will not be rejected outright by Abbas. instead, he will present it to the Arab League, which will reject it, thus keeping him “clean”.

But, more than this, the views and positions of Abbas were listed by Ma’an, the “Palestinian” news agency and include, in part, as follows: (1) He will refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state; (2) He will reject any interim agreement proposed by Kerry, but will call, instead, for a “final solution”; (3) He will reject any proposal that would require the new state of “Palestine” to be unarmed. There are more, having to do with Jerusalem and return of refugees, among others, but these are critical. Abbas knows that words carry a lot of weight and are intended to have the the natural meanings attached to them. So, use of the words “final solution” would obviously strike a chord in the collective memory of the Jewish people, as the expression given by Adolf Hitler and his ilk to his genocidal plan to eliminate all of the Jewish people. I really have a difficult time trying to understand why Netanyahu kept pleading with him to sit down and negotiate with us.

The failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state will ultimately prolong the conflict, by the “Palestinians” making more demands after an agreement is signed and, therefore, it is an essential part of Israel’s demands in the negotiations. Nevertheless, Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, who is scheduled to retire in a few months, commented in closed session that such recognition is not necessary, thereby once again, sticking his nose into policy matters, concerning which he should remain silent. By expressing his opinion in this matter, he gives a wrong message and a wrong impression to the “Palestinians”, making these ill-fated negotiations even more difficult.

M.K. Yuval Steinitz (Likud), who serves as the Minister of Strategic Affairs, Intelligence and International Relations, said, “Every negotiation for peace starts with mutual recognition. [The “Palestinians”] still haven’t recognized the existence of the Jewish people and its right to a state of its own. That’s the heart of the conflict. As long as the Palestinians do not recognize us as a Jewish state, there will not be peace, it will be a joke.”

Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) added that “Dividing Israel is more important to Peres than peace…His disregard for the consistent refusal of the “Palestinians” to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is sticking his head in the sand, ignoring the true face of the enemy.״

Theoretically, the “Palestinians” say they are willing to accept the right of the “Israeli nation” to live next to them in peace and security, that is, as long as it is not a Jewish state. And so, in essence, they are willing to recognize an “Israeli nation” as a state for all its citizens, where the national identity of the State and its Jewish identity are separate and distinctive. This, in turn, would give further opportunity to the “Palestinians” to claim that multitudes of their refugees should be able to enter Israel, with the obvious goal of demanding more and more territory until all of Jewish Israel no longer exists.

Nevertheless, we stand at the threshold of another U.S. proposal being offered, a modified interim agreement, where it is expected that the “Palestinians” will be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, as well as give up their claim to the return of the so-called refugees, who are, essentially, second and third generation descendants of those who left here before the outbreak of the War of Independence. If Abbas agrees to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which he already has repeatedly said that he will not do, then, according to one source, P.M. Netanyahu would be willing to say within the framework agreement that the negotiations will continue on the basis of the pre-1967 cease-fire lines, with territorial exchange that will include certain settlement areas. Even with such a willingness to compromise, it would be difficult to believe that Netanyahu would be willing to give up areas of historic importance to Israel, such as Beit El (Bethel),  Shiloh and Hevron, among others.

One final note regarding territorial waiver and compromise: One media source indicated that Netanyah has succeeded in convincing Yair Lapid (“Yesh Atid” party), Tzippi Livni (“HaTnuah” party) and Naftali Bennett (“HaBayit HaYehudi” party) of the fact that Jerusalem is the symbol, the history, the cultural foundation, the past and present capital of the Jewish people and, therefore, it should remain undivided. If this is, indeed, the case, then Netanyahu has succeeded in bringing about a political coalition of left and right, who are of one mind regarding the future of Jerusalem, after two prior Prime Ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, were willing to carve her up. And, if there is agreement not to divide Jerusalem, then Abbas will have to settle for another location for the capital of a “Palestinian” state, which will mean a tremendous “loss of face” for him and could bury the already dead “peace process” along with him.

Kerry was not gaining points and was not influencing the people.
Last week wasn’t a great week for Kerry. Not only did the “Palestinians” get on his case, but Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, did as well. Ya’alon was apparently getting fed up with all of the demands to concede this point or that point that were being made upon Israel by Kerry and his boss, who sits some 6,000 miles away from here. According to media reports, he accused Kerry of pushing his agenda with an “inexplicably obsessive” and “messianic” zeal, while describing Kerry’s security proposal as “not being worth the paper it is printed on”. (Are we listening?) The press of politics caused Ya’alon to issue an apology for those comments, but at least he stood his ground and didn’t deny them. Kerry, for his part, said that he would not allow “one set of comments” to sidetrack him from his efforts.

Israel frees more terrorists and murderers.
Just before the new year, Israel kept her promise to the “Palestinians” and released another 26 terrorists and murderers. This was the third of four such releases that were planned to release a total of 104 people, who were lawfully convicted of causing or being involved in the murder of Israelis. This release, like the two previous ones, poured salt on open wounds that will not heal. The only positive aspect of such a release is that Israel no longer needs to provide, at public expense, those who actually killed or tried to kill us.

It should be noted that such releases were urged by the U.S., as a good-will gesture to the “Palestinians”. Yet, at the same time, the U.S. is telling Israel that it should have no interest or concern over the release of Jonathan Pollard. From the Israeli perspective, Pollard’s release is a matter of principle. He is paying the price for an error which Israel has confessed to. Yet, he continues to be punished, not so much for endangering the security of the U.S., but for helping Israel, an ally and trusted partner in the war against terror, a war in which both countries are now willing to compromise. We are willing to release 104 terrorists with blood on their hands. The U.S. is not willing to release one prisoner, who didn’t kill anyone.

Among those in the third prisoner release were five murderers from East Jerusalem and an unsuccessful petition was filed with the Israel Supreme Court to prevent their release. Relatives of the victims were outraged and expressed grief, dismay and disappointment: “We feel that releasing terrorists, especially those from east Jerusalem, is a slap in the face.” Another remarked: “This is a dark day for the State of Israel. I’m ashamed of my country today, for abandoning the bereaved families and the public’s security.” And yet another stated: “This is a national disgrace…These terrorists are killing Jews. Putting them in jail means nothing if all we do is release them.”

But, not everyone was disappointed with the release, as the “Palestinian” Authority gave the released prisoners a national hero’s welcome. P.A. President Abbas said: “This day is a happy day for all of us, for our people, for our families, and for our hero prisoners who were freed today to live free. They were also free in the prisons.” He added: “We will not sign a final peace deal with Israel before all the prisoners are released.” O.K., enough said. We can form our own opinions about the release of terrorists.

Land Swaps and People Exchanges
Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, reintroduced an old proposal that appears to be gaining momentum and wider acceptance in Israeli political circles, at least as the same relates to the on-going negotiations. The plan involves a land swap that carries with it a people exchange. As Lieberman states: “It’s appropriate to talk about an issue that is not exactly politically correct…I’m talking of course of the exchange of territory and populations. And if someone thinks that I’m talking about an exchange of territory and ‘the triangle’ and Wadi Ara [both areas mostly populated by Israeli Arabs] – indeed, that’s what I am referring to.”

After stating that Kerry’s proposal is probably the best offer to expect from the international community, taking into account Israel’s security needs, Lieberman then explained that his proposal would mean a “Palestinian” state along the 1967 cease-fire lines, with land swaps, that would include the transfer of large Arab-Israeli population centers to the “Palestinian” state. Without both aspects included, he would not support the deal. It needs to be understood that notwithstanding Lieberman’s proposal, any agreement would include the removal of isolated settlements and the eviction of about 100,000 settlers. Although Netanyahu is ready to “deal” now, he is not ready to remove settlements now, but maybe in a few years.

There is a simplicity and a politically-strategic brilliance about Lieberman’s proposal. It does not entail the removal of Arab populations, just a redrawing of border lines that would include large populations of Arabs in the “Palestinian” state, without requiring them to physically be uprooted and physically transferred. This would be in exchange for transferring settlement areas, presently claimed by the P.A. and large segments of the international community to be in “occupied territory” and include them within territorial Israel. The outcry of many Arabs in the areas that would be affected was immediate and very vocal. All of a sudden, those who supported the establishment of a “Palestinian” state did not want to be included in that state. Lieberman’s proposal was not rejected outright by the U.S., nor was it rejected by P.M. Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzippi Livni (which, by itself, means that consideration is being given to it by our government), but it will undoubtedly be rejected by Abbas. However, his proposal fails to take into account a sizable portion of the Arab Israeli population, who are happy and even proud to be Israelis, who would be affected by this plan. It is still too early to know whether his proposal will become a realistic part of the negotiations. We will keep an eye on it.

Canada’s Prime Minister speaks to the Knesset.
Stephen Harper’s message to the Knesset was one of unequivocal support for Israel. It was heckled by Arab Members of the Knesset, who eventually walked out in the middle of his speech. Important excerpts of his comments are repeated below.

“Shalom. And thank you for inviting me to visit this remarkable country, and especially for this opportunity to address the Knesset. It is truly a great honour…The friendship between us is rooted in history, nourished by shared values, and it is intentionally reinforced at the highest levels of commerce and government as an outward expression of strongly held inner convictions…As well, our military establishments share information and technology. This has also been to our mutual benefit. For example, during Canada’s mission to Afghanistan, our use of Israeli-built reconnaissance equipment saved the lives of Canadian soldiers. All such connections are important, and build strong bridges between us.

“However, to truly understand the special relationship between Israel and Canada, one must look beyond trade and institutions to the personal ties of friendship and kinship. Jews have been present in Canada for more than 250 years…[H]aving met literally thousands of members of this community, I can tell you this: They are also immensely proud of what the people of Israel have accomplished here, of your courage in war, of your generosity in peace, and of the bloom that the desert has yielded, under your stewardship.

“Canada supports Israel because it is right to do so. The understanding that it is right to support Israel because, after generations of persecution, the Jewish people deserve their own homeland and deserve to live safely and peacefully in that homeland. Now let me repeat that: Canada supports Israel because it is right to do so…It is, thus, a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just, regardless of whether it is convenient or popular.

“Israel is the only country in the Middle East which has long anchored itself in the ideals of freedom, democracy and the rule of law…These are not mere notions. They are the things that, over time and against all odds, have proven to be the only ground in which human rights, political stability, and economic prosperity, may flourish. These values are not proprietary; they do not belong to one nation or one people. Nor are they a finite resource; on the contrary, the wider they are spread, the stronger they grow.

“Likewise, when they are threatened anywhere, they are threatened everywhere. And what threatens them, or more precisely, what today threatens the societies that embrace such values and the progress they nurture? Those who scorn modernity, who loathe the liberty of others, and who hold the differences of peoples and cultures in contempt. Those who often begin by hating the Jews, but, history shows us, end up hating anyone who is not them. Those forces which have threatened the State of Israel every single day of its existence, and which, today, as 9-11 graphically showed us, threaten us all. And so, either we stand up for our values and our interests, here, in Israel, stand up for the existence of a free, democratic and distinctively Jewish state, or the retreat of our values and our interests in the world will begin…

“Ladies and Gentlemen, support – even firm support – doesn’t mean that allies and friends will agree on all issues all of the time. No state is beyond legitimate questioning or criticism. But our support does mean at least three things.

“First, Canada finds it deplorable that some in the international community still question the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel. Our view on Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is absolute and non-negotiable.

“Second, Canada believes that Israel should be able to exercise its full rights as a UN member-state, and to enjoy the full measure of its sovereignty. For this reason, Canada has spoken on numerous occasions in support of Israel’s engagement and equal treatment in multilateral fora. And, in this regard, I should mention that we welcome Israel’s induction this month into the western, democratic group of states at the United Nations.

“Third, we refuse to single out Israel for criticism on the international stage. Now I understand, in the world of diplomacy, with one, solitary, Jewish state and scores of others, it is all too easy “to go along to get along” and single out Israel. But such “going along to get along” is not a “balanced” approach, nor a “sophisticated” one; it is, quite simply, weak and wrong. Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, we live in a world where that kind of moral relativism runs rampant. And in the garden of such moral relativism, the seeds of much more sinister notions can be easily planted.

“Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state. Think about that. Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that. And so we have witnessed, in recent years, the mutation of the old disease of anti-Semitism and the emergence of a new strain. We all know about the old anti-Semitism. It was crude and ignorant, and it led to the horrors of the death camps. Of course, in many dark corners, it is still with us. But, in much of the western world, the old hatred has been translated into more sophisticated language for use in polite society. People who would never say they hate and blame the Jews for their own failings or the problems of the world, instead declare their hatred of Israel and blame the only Jewish state for the problems of the Middle East.

“As once Jewish businesses were boycotted, some civil-society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel. On some campuses, intellectualized arguments against Israeli policies thinly mask the underlying realities, such as the shunning of Israeli academics and the harassment of Jewish students. Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state. Think about that. Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: A state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish, as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history, that is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism. It is nothing short of sickening.

“But this is the face of the new anti-Semitism. It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel and attempts to make the old bigotry acceptable for a new generation. Of course, criticism of Israeli government policy is not in and of itself necessarily anti-Semitic. But what else can we call criticism that selectively condemns only the Jewish state and effectively denies its right to defend itself while systematically ignoring – or excusing – the violence and oppression all around it? What else can we call it when Israel is routinely targeted at the United Nations, and when Israel remains the only country to be the subject of a permanent agenda item at the regular sessions of its Human Rights Council?

“Ladies and gentlemen, any assessment – any judgment – of Israel’s actions must start with this understanding: In the sixty-five years that modern Israel has been a nation, Israelis have endured attacks and slanders beyond counting and have never known a day of true peace. And we understand that Israelis live with this impossible calculus: If you act to defend yourselves, you will suffer widespread condemnation, over and over again. But should you fail to act you alone will suffer the consequence of your inaction, and that consequence will be final, your destruction. For too many nations, it is still easier to scapegoat Israel than to emulate your success.

“The truth, that Canada understands, is that many of the hostile forces Israel faces are faced by all western nations. And Israel faces them for many of the same reasons we face them. You just happen to be a lot closer to them. Of course, no nation is perfect. But neither Israel’s existence nor its policies are responsible for the instability in the Middle East today. One must look beyond Israel’s borders to find the causes of the relentless oppression, poverty and violence in much of the region, of the heartbreaking suffering of Syrian refugees, of sectarian violence and the fears of religious minorities, especially Christians, and of the current domestic turmoil in so many states.

“So what are we to do? Most importantly, we must deal with the world as we find it. The threats in this region are real, deeply rooted, and deadly and the forces of progress, often anaemically weak. For too many nations, it is still easier to scapegoat Israel than to emulate your success. It is easier to foster resentment and hatred of Israel’s democracy than it is to provide the same rights and freedoms to their own people.

“I believe that a Palestinian state will come, and one thing that will make it come is when the regimes that bankroll terrorism realise that the path to peace is accommodation, not violence…

“Ladies and gentlemen, Let me conclude with this thought. I believe the story of Israel is a great example to the world. It is a story, essentially, of a people whose response to suffering has been to move beyond resentment and build a most extraordinary society, a vibrant democracy, a freedom-loving country with an independent and rights-affirming judiciary. An innovative, world-leading “start-up” nation. You have taken the collective memory of death and persecution to build an optimistic, forward-looking land, one that so values life, you will sometimes release a thousand criminals and terrorists, to save one of your own. In the democratic family of nations, Israel represents values which our Government takes as articles of faith, and principles to drive our national life.

“And therefore, through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.

“Merci beaucoup. Thank you for having us, and may peace be upon Israel.”

Felonious Marriage – protect the minor and send him to jail!
The Ministry of Justice issued a brief bill! pursuant to which marriages between couples who are younger than the recently adjusted minimum age of 18 will constitute a felony. The updated Marriage Law raises the minimum marriage age from 17 to 18, but does not address couples who had already set their marriage dates before the law had passed, which would make them criminals upon marrying. The law will not be enforced until March of this year, allowing 17 year olds to marry until then. Interestingly,the purpose for the revised law was to bring Israel’s marriage law in line with international norms regarding minors. So, in an effort to protect the minor, the law makes them felons for getting married, with parental permission, at the age of 17. Go figure.

And THOSE were the weeks that were.

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings…Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 4:2-3)

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.

Have a simply great week.

p.s.: The next time you read about boycotting Israel, flotillas and embargoes, take a look at this:


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