Thursday, December 17, 2015



JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)


1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

GENESIS 12:1-3
1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I (GOD) will shew thee:
2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3  And I will bless them that bless thee,(ISRAELIS) and curse (DESTROY) him that curseth thee:(DESTROY THEM) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

ISAIAH 41:11
11  Behold, all they that were incensed against thee (ISRAEL) shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing;(DESTROYED) and they that strive with thee shall perish.(ISRAEL HATERS WILL BE TOTALLY DESTROYED)


7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;(ISRAEL) but he shall be saved out of it.

DANIEL 12:1,4
1 And at that time shall Michael(ISRAELS WAR ANGEL) stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:(ISRAEL) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation(May 14,48) even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,(WORLD TRAVEL,IMMIGRATION) and knowledge shall be increased.(COMPUTERS,CHIP IMPLANTS ETC)

Hamas political leader: Stabbers are ‘the most exalted, noblest of people’-Khaled Mashaal says Palestinians have given up on the idea of peace, must embrace jihad instead-By Stuart Winer December 15, 2015, 8:44 am-the times of israel

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has praised the recent spate of Palestinian attacks on Israelis and said that because Palestinians have come to the conclusion that the peace process is futile, the path of “Jihad, sacrifice, and blood” is the only way forward.“The Palestinians have reached the realization that negotiations with the (Israelis) are useless,” Mashaal said during a visit to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lampur on December 10. “The so-called peace process is futile. There is no peace. Only the path of Jihad, sacrifice, and blood (will bear fruit).”Mashaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, was in Malaysia last week at the head of a delegation of senior Hamas officials for a four-day visit to meet with government officials and politicians.“Our rights will not be restored through the UN Security Council but by means of recruitment,” he said in a speech, according to a clip posted and translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute monitoring group. “Two thousand verbal ‘rockets’ do not compare to a single rocket made of iron. The children and youth of the West Bank have absorbed the message.“Weapons like Kalashnikovs or missiles are not at hand, but there are knives and cars with which to run over the enemies,” he added. “By God, after the knives used by the people of the West Bank and Jerusalem, can anyone possibly have an excuse to abandon the path of jihad? Nobody can have such an excuse.”Some 20 Israelis have been killed in three months of near-daily stabbing, shooting, and car-ramming terror attacks by Palestinians targeting civilians and security forces. More than 100 Palestinians have also been killed, a large proportion of them assailants shot as they carried out attacks, including some who were teenagers. Other Palestinians have been killed during violent clashes with Israeli security forces.“Our Lord says, ‘Allah does not impose upon anyone a duty but to the extent of his ability,'” Mashaal continued. “He also said, ‘Prepare for them what you can.'”“Therefore, the young man who puts his life on the line and he heroic sister, with nothing but a knife at hand, are justified and Allah accepts them. This is up to Allah, but he accepts their Jihad and their martydom.“ By God, they are the most exalted and the noblest of people.”Israeli officials have repeatedly complained that incitement by Palestinian officials has been fueling the recent wave of attacks.On Monday, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research published the results of a recent survey of Palestinian public opinion in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which found that two-thirds of the population there support the current wave of stabbings against Israelis, with the same percentage backing a larger armed uprising.Hamas, which has been designated a terror group by Israel and the US, is the de facto ruler in the Gaza Strip.According to the survey, 65% of Palestinians also want Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resign, and the poll indicates that he would lose to Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas in a presidential election.

UN decries Palestinian attacks, ‘excessive’ IDF response-Human rights office calls stabbings ‘unacceptable,’ says Israel’s demolition of terrorists’ homes can only ‘aggravate’ situation-By Agencies and Times of Israel staff December 15, 2015, 4:24 pm

The UN voiced deep concern Tuesday over an “unacceptable” wave of Palestinians attacking Israelis, but also slammed Israeli authorities’ ostensible “excessive use of force” in response to the attacks.“We continue to be gravely concerned at the unrelenting violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel,” Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters.“We call on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act decisively to de-escalate the situation,” she added.Since October 1, almost daily attacks by Palestinians and clashes with Israeli soldiers have left 21 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean dead and scores more injured, she pointed out.Some 117 Palestinians were killed, most of them in the midst of carrying out terror attacks on Israelis. Some were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces.Young Palestinians have grown frustrated with Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the complete lack of progress in peace efforts in addition to their own fractured leadership, the Palestinian Authority says. Israel blames the PA for inciting the terrorism through the relentless demonization of Israel.Pouilly warned that although international attention appeared to be waning, “the level of killings, injuries and arrests has continued, with an average of one person dying every day.”“The unacceptable wave of stabbings, shootings and car rammings continues to kill and injure Israelis,” she said, adding that “the response from Israeli security forces has resulted in alleged attackers, protesters and even bystanders being killed and injured.”She pointed out that in the H2 area of the divided city of Hebron alone, 16 of the 17 Palestinians allegedly involved in attacks against Israelis since October 1 were shot dead, while one had been injured and arrested.“We again voice deep concern over reports of excessive use of force by Israeli forces,” Pouilly said.She insisted that “all instances of the use of force resulting in death or injury by law enforcement officers should be the subject of prompt, independent and impartial investigations.”She also warned Israel that “punitive demolitions of Palestinian houses and the withholding of bodies of alleged attackers from their families can only aggravate this situation.”

IDF gears up to raze homes of 2 Palestinian teen attackers-Houses of two 16-year-olds inspected by engineering troops; NGO says 64 houses mapped out in recent weeks-By Raoul Wootliff December 15, 2015, 12:51 pm-the times of israel

Israel Defense Forces troops entered Hebron and an adjacent village in the early hours of Tuesday morning to map out the homes of two Palestinians who carried out separate stabbing attacks in recent weeks. The mapping procedure is conducted ahead of home demolitions.In Hebron, IDF soldiers and engineers took measurements of the family home of 16-year-old Lama al-Bakhri, who tried to stab an Israeli in the settlement of Kiryat Arba on Friday morning, the army said. Bakhri was shot and moderately to seriously wounded by IDF soldiers during the attempted stabbing.Meanwhile, troops went to map the home of 16-year-old Mus’ab Ghanimat in the nearby Palestinian village of Surif. Ghanimat stabbed an Israeli soldier in October in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem. The soldier shot Ghanimat in the shoulder, and other troops shot him in the knee as he tried to flee.Overnight Sunday combat engineering troops also mapped out the Nablus home of the Bassam Amin Muhammad Sayyah, one of the planners of the October 1 killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin.The Israeli couple, both in their 30s, were driving in their car near Nablus with their four children when they came under attack from Palestinian gunmen. The two were shot dead in front of their children; the children, aged 9, 7, 4 and 4 months, were unharmed. On October 5, the Shin Bet security service announced it had arrested a five-member Hamas cell, including Sayyah, in connection with the attack.In mid-November the IDF demolished the homes of three other members of the Hamas cell responsible, as part of a government policy aimed at deterring future attackers.The NGO B’Tselem says the army has mapped out 64 houses for demolition in recent weeks.The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by nongovernmental groups, but officials have defended its use as a deterrent against attacks.Critics claim that in addition to being a form of collective punishment, house demolitions could motivate family members of terrorists to launch attacks themselves.Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

The Times of Israel-A third of Hezbollah’s fighters said killed or injured in Syria-With 1,300-1,500 dead, Iran-backed Lebanese militia, campaigning to defend embattled Assad regime, is no longer hiding its losses-By Avi Issacharoff December 15, 2015, 2:20 pm

The Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah has seen between 1,300 and 1,500 of its fighters killed in battles in the Syrian civil war, which means that together with the wounded it has lost as much as a third of its fighting force, according to Israeli estimates.Some 5,000 of the organization’s members have been injured in fighting alongside regime troops against rebel groups, including the Islamic State.Last weekend, Arab media published reports that Hezbollah had lost 14 fighters in battles with IS in the area of Baalbek near the border with Syria, and pictures of the fighters were published in Lebanese media. According to those reports, IS also took sustained casualties, with dozens of its members killed and many more injured.Recently, Hezbollah has been publishing details of its members killed in Syria and is not trying to hide its losses, in contrast to its policy during the early years of the Syrian civil war, which broke out in 2011.Fighters are now given official funerals and their coffins are covered with Hezbollah flags.Along with its operations in the vicinity of the border between Syria and Lebanon, the Hezbollah campaign is also being carried out in other regions, such as the area known as Alawistan near Latika in northwestern Syria, the stronghold of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.Over the last three months Hezbollah has also battled Syrian opposition groups in the Idlib area alongside members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and regular Syrian army forces, while enjoying massive Russian air cover as part of Moscow’s efforts to prop up its ally Assad.However, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have also taken heavy loses: According to Iranian media reports 80 soldiers have killed and some were taken captive by various Syrian militia groups.In July, Israel Radio reported that Hezbollah had arrested 175 of its own fighters after they refused to take part in battles in the Syrian city of Zabadani, close to the border with Lebanon.The report also quoted the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat as saying that Hezbollah fighters dispatched to Syria to shore up the regime there had begun to show reluctance to confront the rebel groups seeking to overthrow Assad. According to the report, the hesitation began after 120 Hezbollah fighters were killed in confrontations with opposition groups and another 200 were wounded.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.

EU-Israel labels row on hold for Quarter talks-By EUOBSERVER-dec 16,15

Today, 16:20-Israeli officials have told press they'll meet the EU delegate, Fernando Gentilini, in the Quartet, a UN body on the Arab-Israeli conflict. They'd earlier said they'd ban EU officials from talks because of new code on labelling settler exports. EU on Monday urged all member states to implement the code.

Jerusalem okays almost 900 new homes over Green Line-Committee approves plan for 891 apartments in Gilo neighborhood, which was delayed so as not to coincide with Netanyahu visit to US-By Times of Israel staff December 16, 2015, 11:56 pm

The Jerusalem Municipality on Wednesday approved the construction of nearly 900 housing units in Gilo, a southern neighborhood over the Green Line.The Planning and Construction Committee approved the plan to build 891 apartments in the Mordot Gilo South bloc, located on land between Gilo and the Arab neighbor hood of Beit Jala.The plan was tentatively approved in November, but the vote was delayed because it coincided with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States and meeting with President Barack Obama.The plan was initially approved in late 2012.According to a Yedioth Ahronoth report, the land where the apartments are slated to be built was owned by multiple entities, including the Jewish National Fund and the Israel Land Authority. In November City Hall approved unifying the plots and granting a construction permit.Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and maintains it has the right to build in any part of the city. Housing announcements over the Green Line often draw condemnation from the international community, which does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over areas captured in 1967.Deputy Housing Minister Jacky Levy said in a statement following the construction’s approval that “we must build up [Jerusalem] and strengthen it as much as possible.”Ir Amim, an NGO which “seeks to render Jerusalem a more equitable and sustainable city for the Israelis and Palestinians who share it,” said in a statement that the municipality’s green light was “another example of the cat and mouse games the Israeli government plays with the Americans regarding building in East Jerusalem.”“Continued unilateral steps, such as this, will only deepen the crisis that Israel is descending toward in lieu of a diplomatic agreement and will destroy any chance of reaching a real and just solution in Jerusalem,” the group said in a statement quoted in Haaretz.

Rather than carry Israelis, Kuwait Airways drops NYC-London route-US officials say refusing to transport Israelis violates US law, airline notes doing so risks violating Kuwaiti law-By JTA December 17, 2015, 1:55 am-the times of israel

Kuwait Airways is eliminating service between New York and London after the US Department of Transportation ordered the carrier to stop refusing to sell tickets to Israelis.Namrata Kolachalam, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation, announced the airline’s decision, USA Today reported Tuesday.On September 30, the department announced that the airline had acted illegally when it refused to sell a ticket to Eldad Gatt, an Israeli citizen, in 2013. On October 29, the department ordered the airline to “cease and desist from refusing to transport Israeli citizens between the US and any third country where they are allowed to disembark,” USA Today reported, citing a letter from the department’s assistant general counsel for enforcement.The newspaper reported that Kuwait Airways explained its refusal to sell Gatt a ticket by saying it needed to comply with a Kuwaiti law barring citizens from agreements “with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship.”The airline filed a counter suit against the department on November 24, which it has not yet withdrawn.If it prevails, it may resume the New York-London flights.

US issues Israel travel warning over terror attacks-Americans urged to ‘be aware of their surroundings at all times,’ face ‘security risks’ in major cities, State Department says-By Times of Israel staff December 17, 2015, 1:13 am

The US State Department issued a travel warning for American citizens in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Wednesday in light of an ongoing wave of violence now in its third month.The statement warned Americans of “heightened tensions and security risks” in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa in light of frequent Palestinian terror attacks, which are occurring at a rate unseen in over a decade.“The security situation can change day to day, depending on the political situation, recent events, and geographic area,” the State Department said. “A rise in political tensions and violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank has resulted in injuries to and deaths of US citizens.”The State Department noted that since the beginning of 2014, more than a dozen American citizens have been killed or injured in attacks — but doesn’t specify the circumstances of culprits in those attacks.The most recent such incident occurred last month, when Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old American studying in Israel, was killed in a West Bank shooting near the Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem.The warning added: “The Department of State also recommends that US citizens maintain a high state of situational awareness, be aware of their surroundings at all times, avoid any unattended items or packages, and report any unusual or suspicious activities or items to police or other security officials.”American diplomatic officials in the country have been told that they must obtain special permission to travel to certain high-risk areas, the statement said.

US Congress set to rein in visa-free travel amid terror fears-Citizens of and visitors to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan among those who will be ineligible for automatic entry-By AFP December 17, 2015, 1:38 am-the times of israel

WASHINGTON — The US Congress struck a sprawling spending deal overnight that included a measure tightening the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by excluding certain travelers deemed by Washington to be a risk.Republican and Democratic negotiators included the measure in a catch-all spending package agreed to late Tuesday and unveiled in the dead of night that sets federal expenditures at $1.149 billion through September 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year.The text, which is expected to be voted on within days, includes legislation adopted by the House of Representatives last week which excludes citizens from VWP countries who are also dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.It would also exclude anyone from the 38 participating nations, mainly in Europe and largely US allies and stable democracies, who has traveled to those four countries, or to a country Washington has listed as supporting terrorism, since March 2011.The effort reflects calls by US lawmakers and authorities to reduce security vulnerabilities in the aftermath of the deadly terror strikes last month in Paris, where some of the attackers were French and Belgian nationals who could have traveled unrestricted to the United States to carry out attacks.The affected foreign nationals will not be barred from traveling to the United States, but they will be required to obtain a visa prior to their visit through standard means, which includes a face-to-face interview at a US consulate.About 20 million people each year come to the United States without a visa for stays of less than 90 days, including about 13 million Europeans.They apply online, presenting biographical data through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, and pay a small fee.European diplomats, led by European Union ambassador to Washington David O’Sullivan, have warned of potential retaliation against the United States, arguing the program is based on reciprocity.On Wednesday O’Sullivan described the bill as “excessively rigid,” and regretted that the changes would “cause some complications for many good faith travelers.”Officials in Europe — where five of the 28 EU nations have yet to join the Visa Waiver Program — have planned a review of VWP next year, and the US action could complicate that process.“It is clear that to the extent that this new legislation creates new discriminatory treatment, then that will be part of that review process in April,” O’Sullivan told AFP in an interview.Non-profit groups have also called the measure discriminatory since it punishes certain European citizens based on their national origin from Muslim-majority countries.“ Once again, members of Congress are using the government funding bill to pursue their extremist agendas,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of civil liberties group ACLU.Some US lawmakers had sought to kill or amend the measure, expressing concerns that European nations would offer reciprocal treatment against US travelers.

The curious incident of the flag at the Haaretz conference-Op-ed: Did anyone suggest to Erekat that he might appear with both an Israeli and a Palestinian flag on stage beside him? What a graphic representation of coexistence that would have been-By David Horovitz December 15, 2015, 3:23 pm-the times of israel

Imagine the dilemma for the Haaretz conference organizers.They’re a newspaper, not a government office. They had no plans to put an Israeli flag on the stage for their day-long event in New York on Sunday.But then President Reuven Rivlin, whose presence on the program constitutes such important legitimization of everything they are doing, insists that the national flag must be on stage when he is addressing participants. They could hardly refuse him. So be it.Except that top PLO official Saeb Erekat, whose presence is also essential at a conference focused on debate over the Palestinian conflict, then tells them that he won’t speak with an Israel flag up on stage. And so the national symbol is hurriedly removed.Did the Haaretz planners know about these conflicting demands well ahead of time? Was their decision to acquiesce to both painstakingly weighed? Or were they making decisions on the fly? I don’t know.We do know that the Israeli flag was not, in fact, only placed on stage for Rivlin. It was there for other speakers, including former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, the New Israel Fund’s Daniel Sokatch and Talia Sasson, and Haaretz’s in-house speakers, as is clear in Haaretz’s own videos of the event. And it does not appear for speeches by Israeli Arab MK and party leader Ayman Odeh or US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.Does any of this matter? I think it does.I can understand Haaretz’s disinclination to get into the national symbols business. But like it or not, by inviting the speakers it invited to its event, with the demands that those speakers brought with them, it did get dragged in.And once you’re dragged into the national symbols business, you can’t so easily shrug it off.So, I’m wondering, was it suggested to Erekat that maybe he’d agree to speak in front of two flags — Israeli and Palestinian? There are, of course, precedents for that, over the years, at peace deal ceremonies and all manner of other meetings. One striking example was on July 31, 2013, when members of MK Hilik Bar’s Knesset Caucus to Resolve the Arab-Israeli Conflict hosted Palestinian Authority politicians in the Israeli parliament. Their meeting, attended by 33 MKs from parties representing 77 of the 120 MKs, was held in a room in which Israelis and Palestinian flags were carefully displayed — a much-ballyhooed Knesset precedent.Had Haaretz suggested it, and had Erekat agreed, what an encouraging symbol of potential coexistence that would have constituted. What a graphic representation of the conviction that Haaretz itself would surely wish to champion: that coexistence is both necessary and viable. What a tangible display of Erekat’s asserted desire for a two-state solution. What an affirmation of President Rivlin’s courageous insistence on addressing the event, in the cause of free speech and open debate, despite criticism that he was participating in a forum where the IDF-bashing Breaking the Silence NGO was also being given a platform? And what a graphic vindication of Haaretz’s Zionist outlook — its insistence that its hyper-criticism of the occupation, the settlement enterprise, and many of the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stems from the purest patriotism, born of the most passionate pro-Israel conviction and carried by the deepest concern that our leadership and its misguided stance on the Palestinian question are bringing this country ever closer to destruction.A different Palestinian leader might have seen fit not to demand, ‘Remove your flag’ but rather to suggest, ‘Add mine. Isn’t that what we’re all about here today?’Did anyone think to suggest the idea? Did Erekat refuse it? Or maybe the organizers worried that they’d then have to put up the Palestinian flag when Rivlin was speaking, and that he would have dismissed the idea. Or maybe he wouldn’t… Again, I don’t know.But the incident, and the headlines, and the predictable hysteria on the right, and defensiveness on the left, and the other differently nuanced reactions from elsewhere on the spectrum, only underline how powerful and resonant the symbols of nationhood really are. And the Haaretz Flag Dispute — at a conference declaredly dedicated to asking questions and seeking ways forward — symbolically re-emphasized the gulf between Israel and the Palestinians.A different Palestinian leader, a guest at a conference organized by an Israeli newspaper that seeks to persuade its readership of the imperative to advance toward coexistence with the Palestinians, might have seen fit not to demand, “Remove your flag” but rather to suggest, “Add mine. Isn’t that what we’re all about here today?”Apparently, Erekat didn’t. Just like his leader, Mahmoud Abbas, hosting a reciprocal visit by Knesset members in Ramallah in October 2013, three months after his representatives had been be-flagged at the Knesset, made sure there was no Israeli flag to be seen in the meeting hall, which was dominated by large Palestinian flags. Bar and his party leader Isaac Herzog did not issue demands for the hurried addition of an Israeli flag or removal of the Palestinian flags. They shrugged off the symbolic insult.The defenders of Abbas, and of Erekat, would doubtless argue that, come the day when Israel recognizes a Palestinian state, protocol will require the mutual display of national symbols and they will doubtless be only too happy to meet their obligations. The critics would argue that the very Palestinian resistance to displaying the Israeli flag illustrates a fundamental Palestinian refusal to accept the Jewish state’s legitimacy and thus to agree to the compromises necessary for an abiding, viable two-state deal.Plainly, obviously, national symbols resonate on both sides of our bloody, fraught, deadlocked divide — the very divide that the Haaretz event was convened to help bridge. And the symbolic asymmetry — the unreciprocated readiness of one side to display the other’s national flag; the unreciprocated readiness of one side to appear in a forum alongside the other’s national flag? Well, that resonates too.

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