Wednesday, July 13, 2016
HUNDREDS GO TO THE TEMPLE MOUNT IN SUPPORT OF 13 YEAR OLD GIRL KILLED BY ARAB MURDERER.
1 And there was given me a(MEASURING) reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out,(TO THE WORLD NATIONS) and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.(JERUSALEM DIVIDED BUT THE 3RD TEMPLE ALLOWED TO BE REBUILT)
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.(3RD TEMPLE REBUILT)
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,(AT THE MIDPOINT OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD)(3RD TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED BY DICTATOR) and the abomination that maketh desolate set up,(TO WORSHIP THE DICTATOR OR DIE) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.(1,290 DAYS)(AN EXTRA 30 DAYS AT THE END OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD FOR JESUS TO DESTROY THE ARMIES AGAINST JERUSALEM.AND TO JUDGE THE SHEEP AND GOAT NATIONS OF MATTHEW 25:31-46-HOW THEY TREATED ISRAEL DURING THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.AND THEN I BELIEVE JESUS WILL REBUILD THE 4TH TEMPLE 25 MILES FROM THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT.AND THEN JESUS RULES FOR THE 1,000 YEARS-THEN FOREVER FROM THAT 4TH TEMPLE.)
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(THE DICTATOR SITS IN THE REBUILT 3RD TEMPLE CALLING HIMSELF GOD AT THE MIDPOINT OR 3 1/2 YEAR PERIOD OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.OR 7 YEAR PEACE TREATY BETWEEN ISRAEL-ARABS AND MANY OF DANIEL 9:27)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Family of Slain Teen Hold Heartening Memorial Ceremony on Temple Mount [WATCH]-By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz July 12, 2016 , 10:30 am-BREAKINGISRAELNEWS
“And my people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.” Isaiah 32:18 (The Israel Bible™)-Five hundred Jews gathered Tuesday morning by the entrance to the Temple Mount, to ascend in memory of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a teenage girl who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian on June 30.In a YouTube video released last week, Amihai Ariel, Hallel’s father called on the Jewish nation to join himself and his family on the Temple Mount on Tuesday for a memorial ceremony.Rina Ariel, Hallel’s mother, wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his diplomatic trip to Africa last week, requesting that a group of 250 friends, family and supporters be permitted to hold the ceremony on the Temple Mount.“We and Hallel have always felt a deep connection to the Temple Mount,” Rina wrote, according to Ynet News. “We visited it and will continue to do so, as we believe that it is the house of God, and that it gives strength and life to each and every house in Israel.”“Just recently, 200,000 Muslims performed a mass prayer at the site,” Rina wrote, referring to the traditional commemoration for Muslims at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. “Would a Jewish group made of a tenth of that number not be allowed to convene there for a single hour?” she continued.“The terrorist butchered our daughter in her heart, and our heart is in the Temple Mount,” Rina Ariel told the press last week while mourning her daughter. “Anyone who can come strengthen our heart [should], not through war and not through hate. Support us so that our strength and our heart should continue beating.”Yael Kabillo, Hallel’s aunt, told Breaking Israel News that the Prime Minister’s office contacted the Ariel family Monday night, telling them that no Jews would be allowed on the Temple Mount on Tuesday due to security concerns. They were resigned to that disturbing possibility but resolved to pray for a reverse in the verdict. Indeed, several hours later, the PM’s office called again to say a small group of family members would be permitted into the site.Approximately 200 Jews entered the Temple Mount compound for the ceremony, which was closely monitored by Muslim officers to ensure it contained no words of prayer.The private ceremony was accompanied by jeers and angry shouts of ‘Allahu Akhbar’ (God is great) from the Muslims, but the Israeli police kept the crowds under control. Two Jews were arrested for violating the agreed-upon terms for visiting.Should non-Muslims be allowed to pray on Temple Mount? Amihai’s cousin, Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel, was forbidden by the government from joining his family on the Temple Mount in accordance with the Israeli law prohibiting Knesset members from ascending.Yishai Fleisher, prominent correspondent and spokesperson for the community in Hebron, gave an impassioned call for “basic human rights” in Jerusalem.“We aren’t asking to deny anyone else’s rights. We aren’t asking to be the only ones,” he explained. “We are asking for basic human rights.”“We have a right to pray in our holiest place! This is a humiliation we cannot stand,” he called out to the cheering crowd. Fleisher addressed the recent motion in UNESCO, in which they denied, for the second time, any Jewish connection to its holiest site.“But who cares about letters or what they say?” Fleisher continued. “If our own government won’t let us go up, everything else is meaningless.”Rabbi Yehudah Glick, the newly appointed Likud MK, was also prevented from entering the compound.“We conquered the Temple Mount and all of Judea and Samaria in 1967,” Rabbi Glick said to the crowd. “But that’s not true. It wasn’t the army. The ones who really conquered the land are the small child walking to kindergarten, the mother who goes to the store. The same thing is true here at the Temple Mount. We can scream at the politicians all day, but it won’t do a thing. We need all these people to be here all the time.”Rabbi Glick then intentionally misquoted the commentary on Song of Songs (5:2), which says, “Open up for me an opening like the eye of a needle and in turn I will enlarge it to be an opening through which wagons can enter.” Rabbi Glick changed it to, “I will enlarge it to be an opening the size of the Temple.”In the YouTube video, Amihai Ariel also asked that the Mughrabi Gate, the only gate through which non-Muslims are allowed to ascend to the Temple Mount, now be called the Hallel Gate, in memory of his daughter. Hallel, a popular name in Israel, means “praise” and is the collective name for the psalms that were sung in the Temple service.The Mughrabi Arch, a wooden bridge and the only access to the gate, has been the focus of controversy, with the Waqf (Muslim authority) claiming that Israeli attempts to make a more permanent structure are intended to weaken the foundation of the Dome of the Rock.
Theresa May, Jews and Israel — 6 connections-Cameron’s successor, a vicar’s daughter, is a firm supporter of Israel, of the Jewish community… and of a celebrity Israeli chef-By Times of Israel staff July 12, 2016, 2:50 pm
Britain’s new prime minister, like her trailblazing female predecessor Margaret Thatcher, is a firm supporter of Israel, and of the Jewish community… and of a celebrity Israeli chef. As Theresa May prepares to succeed David Cameron, here are six Jewish or Israeli links, ranging from her mother’s name to her cooking preferences.Biblical echo: Thatcher was the famously driven daughter of a grocery store owner. May, too, comes from a relatively unprivileged background — both of her grandmothers were domestic servants. Her parents both died when she was in her mid-20s — her father in a car crash and her mother of multiple sclerosis. Her father was a vicar, the Rev. Hubert Brasier. Her mother’s first name was Zaidee, an unusual name reportedly chosen for its Old Testament echoes — Zaidee or the more common Sadie deriving from Sarah, wife of the biblical Abraham.Israel trip: May visited Israel for the first in June 2014 — three months after Cameron had delivered an exceptionally supportive speech in the Knesset. Hers was a relatively low-profile trip, focused on her areas of responsibility as home secretary — policing, human trafficking, cyber-security — although she also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and placed a wreath in memory of those killed in “the most terrible crime of history.” She later said of the visit that she was “delighted to see first-hand the flourishing partnership between the UK and Israel.” She also later lamented the murder of three Israeli teenagers at the time of her visit, and hailed the brave Israeli soldiers who have paid “the ultimate price” to defend Israel in wartime and against terrorism.Elle est Juif: In the aftermath of last year’s Paris Hyper Cacher and Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, May was photographed holding a “Je Suis Juif” placard, and she has spoken since of the importance of Anglo Jewry to Britain. Addressing the Bnei Akiva youth movement’s Israel Independence Day event this year, for instance, May bewailed the “tragic fact of history that the Jewish people have had to protect themselves against repeated attempts to obliterate them.”She said she was “appalled” by the reported rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, including in the UK — “no one should live in fear because of their beliefs,” she said. She acknowledged that “many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful… I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say that they were fearful of remaining here in our country,” she said. “We cherish the enormous contribution you make… Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain.”No quenelles please, we’re British: In 2014, she banned the French anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne from entering the UK.Hanukkah upgrade: May has spoken at a variety of Jewish events — including the annual dinner of the Community Security Trust, a dinner for London’s Orthodox Hasmonean High School, and the Bnei Akiva Independence Day event. Last December, she “stood in for David Cameron at the Downing Street Chanucah party, lighting the menorah alongside Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis,” the Jewish Chronicle noted on Monday. “Little could she have dreamt that this year she would be repeating the feat as Prime Minister herself.”Yummy Yotam: In a recent interview, May said she had 100 cookbooks in her collection. Asked about her preferred culinary guides, she eschewed celebrity British chef Delia Smith as being too “precise,” and instead cited Israel’s own Yotam Ottolenghi. That choice inspired a rave psychological assessment on The Spectator website, where writer Melanie McDonagh called the choice “gobsmacking.”Ottolenghi, she noted, “is, among other things, a Guardian columnist (vegetarian) and for good measure a gay secular Jewish Israeli, who is married and has a son by a surrogate mother. His business partner is a gay Palestinian, and the kitchen staff are a collection of every nationality under the sun. On top of all that, Ottolenghi does things with Middle Eastern flavours that no one else does… He is the man who took pomegranate molasses from Iranian grocers to the trolleys of the middle classes.”Concluded McDonagh, “It is, frankly, astounding that the Home Secretary is an Ottolenghi woman. I’d have unhesitatingly billed her as a Delia person myself – controlled, reliable, very very good but safe with it. What she’s telling us here is that there’s another, different side to her.”We’re all about to find out.
Contentious UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem shelved-Sponsors fail to garner enough ‘yes’ votes; Israeli diplomats have been working to stymie draft’s passage, official says-By Raphael Ahren and Dov Lieber July 12, 2016, 1:42 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) delayed Tuesday a controversial vote on a draft resolution that would challenge Jewish historical ties to the Old City of Jerusalem.The vote was postponed minutes before the proceedings began when the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations, which had proposed the resolution, could not secure enough votes to ensure its passage. It is unclear if and when they will propose the resolution again.Israel has put pressure on UN members to reject the vote, including in a letter Monday by Foreign Ministry chief Dore Gold, and vocal complaints from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a previous UNESCO vote on Jerusalem in April.Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the Jewish state’s diplomats had worked hard to reach attain this outcome.“Israel is constantly working, both directly and through friendly countries, to prevent the resolution’s proposal, as well as to ensure a majority is not reached,” he said.The revised joint Palestinian-Jordanian draft resolution on “the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls” was submitted to the 21-member committee, which convened for its annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 10-20.The text calls for a return of the Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to what it called “the historic status quo” following the 1967 Six Day War, under which the Jordanian Waqf religious authority had the right to administer all aspects of the sites “including maintenance, restoration, and regulating access.”Under arrangements agreed to by Israel after it captured the area, non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site but not to pray. The Palestinians says Israel is seeking to change this, a charge the Jewish state adamantly denies.A similar resolution adopted by UNESCO’s executive board in April infuriated Israel.The complex, which was the site of the two biblical temples, is Judaism’s holiest site. Muslims regard the compound — today it houses the Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock mosques — as the third-holiest site in Islam.While Jews are allowed to enter the site, their worship there is banned under arrangements instituted by Israel when it captured the area from Jordan in 1967.The site has been a focal point of violence wracking Israel and the West Bank over the past 10 months, amid claims by Palestinian leaders, vehemently denied by Israel, that the government plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. Some 40 victims have been killed in Palestinian stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks.In the UN document, Israel is repeatedly referred to as the “occupying power” while being accused of causing damage to the site, conducting illegal excavations and preventing the Jordanian Waqf, which administers the site, from conducting repairs and renovations. The text also refers to the Western Wall plaza in quotation marks, after using the Arabic term Al-Buraq Plaza without qualification.In the draft, the Jordanians and Palestinians accuse Israel of “intrusive constructions, tunneling and underground excavations” and “aggressions against religious sites and prayer places.”The April resolution criticized Israel for “excavations and works” in East Jerusalem, and urged it to stop “aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access” to their holy site. The resolution also accused Israel of “planting fake Jewish graves in Muslim cemeteries” and of “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.”The April resolution was approved by 33 states of the 58-member body, including Russia, Spain, Sweden, France and Brazil. The latter two have since backtracked, calling their respective votes a mistake. Seventeen countries abstained while six voted against — the United States, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
EU: NGO law risks undermining Israel’s democratic values-28-nation bloc says reporting requirements ‘go beyond the legitimate need for transparency,’ urges Israel not to curtail free speech-By Times of Israel staff July 12, 2016, 2:14 pm
The European Union said Tuesday that the recently passed NGO law goes “beyond the legitimate need for transparency,” appears to be aimed at limiting the activities of certain groups, and risks undermining Israel’s democratic values.The law — approved by Knesset late Monday night — mandates that non-government organizations that receive more than half their funds from foreign governments or state agencies disclose that fact in any public reports, advocacy literature and interactions with government officials, or face a NIS 29,000 fine ($7,500).The Israeli government has defended the law as a way to increase transparency of foreign government intervention in Israeli affairs. Critics, meanwhile, maintain the law unfairly targets left-wing and human rights organizations, many of which receive funding from European countries.“The reporting requirements imposed by the new law go beyond the legitimate need for transparency and seem aimed at constraining the activities of these civil society organizations working in Israel,” the European Union said.“Israel enjoys a vibrant democracy, freedom of speech and a diverse civil society which are an integral part of the values which Israel and the EU both hold dear. This new legislation risks undermining these values,” it added.The 28-nation bloc also urged Israel “to refrain from actions which may complicate the space in which civil society organizations operate and which may curtail freedom of expression and association.”The German government last week said it was “concerned” about the “one-sided” legislation.“The Federal Government [of Germany] is concerned about the legislation’s one-sided focus on financial support from governmental donations. For private donors, which are very significant in Israel, there are no transparency regulations,” the German government stated last week in a written reply to a question posed by an MP, a copy of which was obtained by The Times of Israel.“The Federal Government is also concerned about the domestic political climate in Israel in which this law came to being, and about the increasingly polarized debate about the work of nongovernmental organizations in Israel.”The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel further said that it has followed the debate over the bill in the Knesset “very attentively and critically” and has made its position clear in high-level discussions with the Israeli government.According to a Justice Ministry analysis of the law’s effect, nearly all the roughly two dozen existing Israeli organizations that are expected to be affected by the new rules belong to the left, including anti-occupation advocates B’Tselem and Yesh Din, as well as pro-Palestinian groups like Zochrot, which advocates for the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Some Arab groups that advocate for equality for the Arab minority will also be subject to its stipulations.Nonprofit organizations that stand to be affected by the NGO law slammed it as unfair and antidemocratic.In a statement, the New Israel Fund, which helps fund many of those groups, said in a statement: “This legislation targets organizations working for human rights and democracy, while allowing ultranationalist organizations to keep their sources of funding hidden despite their claim that the law increases ‘transparency.'”The law has been criticized by Israeli opposition lawmakers for failing to include donations from private individuals. Most right-wing advocacy groups enjoy significant support from Jewish or Christian donors or activist organizations abroad.“The only thing transparent about this law is its true purpose: to intimidate and silence the civic sphere, and those advocating for an end to the occupation in particular,” NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch said.“This is a deeply anti-democratic move, and Israelis from all sectors of civil society are already feeling its chilling effect. Those of us committed to a vision of Israel as a democracy that offers complete equality to all of its citizens as envisioned in the Declaration of Independence must redouble our efforts. Not only is freedom of expression for Israelis on the line, so is Israel’s standing as a liberal democracy. The stakes are high, and so is our commitment to working toward the future we believe in.”The NIF’s statement said the Knesset “should never have seriously considered — much less passed — the repressive NGO bill…. the legislation makes no new information available to the public, allows ultranationalist extremist organizations to hide their sources of funding, undermines Israel’s democratic character and contributes to a damaging chilling effect on the freedom of expression in Israeli society,” the NIF said.The NIF cited a Peace Now report that said “NGOs affiliated with the political right exploit loopholes in existing law to obscure the sources of their funding. The report showed that 94% of the funding to 9 organizations was hidden from the public. If the Israeli government was genuinely interested in greater transparency for NGOs it would have sought to close those loopholes and apply the same rules to all organizations.”Several attempts to expand the NGO bill to include private donations were rebuffed by coalition lawmakers.Sari Bashi, who now serves as the Israel and Palestine Country Director for the New York-based Human Rights Watch, echoed the NIF’s criticism, saying the new law “targets and burdens human rights and left-wing groups by imposing onerous reporting requirements and hefty fines for noncompliance. If the Israeli government were truly concerned about transparency, it would require all NGOs to actively alert the public to their sources of funding – not just those that criticize the government’s policies.”Bashi is a co-founder of Gisha, one of the groups whose funding sources make it subject to the new rules.The veteran anti-occupation group Peace Now vowed to appeal the law to the High Court of Justice.Calling it “a blatant violation of freedom of expression,” the group said its “true intention is to divert the Israeli public discourse away from the occupation and to silence opposition to the government’s policies.” The law was part of a trend of “severe deterioration in Israel’s democracy,” the group said in a statement.“We will continue to fight this anti-democratic wave in the streets and intend to challenge the NGO law’s validity before the [High] Court.”Supporters of the law, including one of its authors, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, said Monday that it was intended to create public awareness about large-scale foreign governmental intervention in Israel’s domestic politics. The law’s authors charge that advocacy groups funded by foreign governments “represent in Israel, in a non-transparent manner, the outside interests of foreign states.”
EU ‘sidelining’ diplomats’ advice to press Israel on settlements — report-Despite repeated European rejection of West Bank construction as illegal, recommendations to penalize Israel are dismissed, according to Guardian-By Times of Israel staff July 12, 2016, 5:36 pm
The European Union has been “sidelining” calls from its top diplomats in Israel to step up pressure on Jerusalem to abandon the settlement enterprise, according to a report Tuesday.According to the London-based Guardian newspaper, the EU has disregarded requests to increase moves to “halt trade” with the settlements, despite Brussels’s repeated claims that they are illegal and threaten the two-state solution.Late last year, a group of European diplomats, known as the Heads of Missions in Israel, filed a report with the EU warning of growing “despair… anger and a loss of hope in the future” among Palestinians, in light of the ongoing construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as the fear among Palestinians that Israel intends to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount, a claim that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly denied.The Guardian claimed to have obtained a copy of the EU diplomat’s secret report, which calls for a number of actions to be taken by the European body to prevent a further deterioration of the possibility of a two-state solution, including additional measures to not recognize settlements as officially part of Israel.These steps were also said to include: Ensuring the “full and effective implementation” of the European commission’s 2015 requirement to label products coming out of Israeli settlements; examining the “development of further EU guidelines on differentiating between Israel and Israeli settlements in other relevant fields;” adopting a “comprehensive communications strategy” to ensure a better understanding of the EU’s policies on settlement, including the European body’s opposition to boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts against the Jewish state itself; and educating European businesses about the dangers of conducting “financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements and services” with Israeli settlements.Though the Heads of Missions in Israel made those recommendations more than seven months ago, they have not been implemented by the European Union, the Guardian reported.Earlier this month the European Union joined Washington and the United Nations in condemning recently announced Israeli plans for new building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying the move “threatens the viability of the two-state solution.”In a statement, the EU’s External Action Service said the move “calls into question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.”The assessments made by EU diplomats differ slightly from recommendations made by the Middle East diplomatic Quartet earlier this month, which put blame on Israel for settlement construction, but also accused the Palestinian Authority of inciting its people to violence.“Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development,” said the Quartet report.Such actions were “steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution,” said the report, which is intended to serve as the basis for reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has been comatose since a US initiative collapsed in April 2014.“This raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions, which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state,” it added.The report also addressed the wave of Palestinian violence, resulting since October in the deaths of at least 214 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese. Israel says more than two-thirds of the Palestinians killed died in the act of attacking Israelis.“The Palestinian Authority should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including by clearly condemning all acts of terrorism,” the Quartet said.
French FM said set to meet Hezbollah officials in Lebanon-Jean-Marc Ayrault visits in bid to break political paralysis that has left Beirut without a president since 2014-By Dov Lieber July 12, 2016, 1:31 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will reportedly meet with a political delegation of Hezbollah, whose military wing has been designated a terror group by the European Union, in Lebanon on Tuesday.The Lebanese news site al-Joumhouria quoted “well-informed” sources who said the delegation would include lawmaker Ali Fayyad, from Hezbollah’s political party Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, as well as the head of Hezbollah’s international relations, Ammar al-Musawi.Ayrault arrived in Lebanon Tuesday for a two-day trip in order to help the country move past the political paralysis that has prevented the election of a new Lebanese president since 2014.Hezbollah has a strong presence in Lebanon’s parliament. The group is also openly committed to destroying Israel, and its armed wing has an estimated 100,000-plus rockets and missiles aimed at the Jewish state.Deep divisions among the Lebanon’s Christians, Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Druze leaders have let to the political stalemate in the country.The tiny Mediterranean nation has been without a president since May 2014, when Michel Sleiman’s mandate expired, and parliament has extended its own mandate twice since 2009.As a result, government institutions are paralyzed and the country faces a myriad of problems, including the burden of hosting more than a million refugees from war-torn Syria — nearly a quarter of its population.Hezbollah, which currently has thousands of men fighting in the Syrian civil war, has been on the US’s list of foreign terrorist organizations since 1997. Several European countries — France is not among them — have designated it a terror group, while the EU has reserved that designation for its military wing.In April, the Arab Parliament, too, voted to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, weeks after both the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed upon that designation.Agencies contributed to this report.
Germany ‘concerned’ about political climate in Israel that led to NGO bill-Legislation is ‘one-sided,’ Berlin says; even head of Bundestag Israel friendship group slams it as ‘reminiscent of the Kremlin’-By Raphael Ahren July 12, 2016, 2:02 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Germany is “concerned” over Israel’s newly passed NGO transparency law and the fraught domestic Israeli political climate in which the controversial legislation was debated.The law, which passed late Monday by a Knesset vote of 57-48, obligates Israeli nonprofits that receive most of their funding from foreign governments — a group that includes almost exclusively left-wing organizations — to disclose that fact in their public advocacy and in their contacts with government officials.The bill passed its first reading in February but was frozen for half a year due to intense international criticism.“The Federal Government [of Germany] is concerned about the legislation’s one-sided focus on financial support from governmental donations. For private donors, which are very significant in Israel, there are no transparency regulations,” the German government stated last week in a written reply to a question posed by an MP, a copy of which was obtained by The Times of Israel.“The Federal Government is also concerned about the domestic political climate in Israel in which this law came to being, and about the increasingly polarized debate about the work of nongovernmental organizations in Israel.”The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel further said that it has followed the debate over the bill in the Knesset “very attentively and critically” and has made its position clear in high-level discussions with the Israeli government.While the proposed law only directly concerns Israeli NGOs, German foundations operating in Israel and the West Bank would be indirectly affected since they often partner with local organizations, the government’s statement notes disapprovingly.The question was posed to the government by MP Volker Beck, a member of the Green Party and the chairman of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group. In recent weeks, Beck — a well-known pro-Israel advocate — fought against planned anti-Israeli demonstrations in Berlin and has been urging the government to more stridently oppose Iran’s efforts to obtain materiel needed to advance its nuclear program.“If the Knesset will indeed pass this law, Israel will have achieved nothing, but the reputation of the Jewish and democratic state will have been damaged for absolutely nothing,” Beck told The Times of Israel on Monday.The final version of the law, which he expected to pass with a comfortable majority — the interview was held before its passage Monday night — was softened significantly from the original draft, Beck noted. “However, the approach remains wrong and somehow feels like it was inspired by the Kremlin.”The comment appears to be a reference to Russian governmental efforts in recent years to crack down on NGOs that are critical of the government. Bills have especially targeted foreign NGOs working in Russia.The NGO law has a lot to do with internal Israeli politics but “certainly nothing [to do] with transparency,” Beck said. “Otherwise, public money and private money from people and organizations would be put on equal terms. That would be real transparency.”The controversial bill, proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) and Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), has been roundly criticized by the Israeli opposition, domestic groups such as the Israel Democracy Institute, the US government, European MPs, and several American Jewish groups.Proponents argue the law is necessary because many of the most prominent groups advocating on key issues in Israel’s domestic politics are effectively beholden to the foreign governments that provide most of their funding.
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