Tuesday, September 27, 2016

 

ISRAEL-JORDAN SIGN HISTORIC 15 YEAR-10 BILLION DOLLAR GAS DEAL.

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)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

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)

EZEKIEL 20:47
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.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
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.

MALACHI 4:1
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.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Israeli chief rabbi calls on court to accept US conversions-Rabbi David Lau urges officials to recognize as Jews those converted by senior American Orthodox rabbis-By JTA September 26, 2016, 11:48 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau sent a letter urging a mid-level bureaucrat in the Chief Rabbinate to accept conversions certified by the head of a prominent American Orthodox rabbinical court.Lau “asked me to clarify to you once more that his position is to recognize the certifications given from the Beth Din of America and signed by Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, and they should be trusted in the matter of confirming [conversion] certificates received from the United States,” the chief rabbi’s assistant, Pinchas Tenenbaum, wrote to Itamar Tubul, the rabbinate official who single-handedly decides which Jewish conversions meet the threshold for Orthodox marriage in Israel.Tubul rejected three conversions overseen by Schwartz, who heads the Beth Din of America, the rabbinical court of the centrist Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America. Those three conversions, as well as a fourth certified by Schwartz, were rejected by the Chief Rabbinate’s municipal rabbinical court in Jerusalem.In 2007 and again in 2014, the RCA announced that it had entered agreements with the Chief Rabbinate wherein the rabbinate would automatically accept all conversions certified by the RCA. In the letter to Tubul sent Monday from his office, Lau vouched for Schwartz and wrote that the rejection of his conversions violates the 2007 agreement.The endorsement by Lau, however, will not by itself ensure the conversions’ approval. Lau also endorsed a conversion overseen by Haskel Lookstein, a prominent New York Modern Orthodox rabbi, but in July, Israel’s Chief Rabbinical Court still rejected it.

Atop Mt. Olympus, Israeli pilots test their mettle-Air force concludes two-week exercise in Greece with helicopters, light transport planes-By Judah Ari Gross September 26, 2016, 11:10 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The Israeli Air Force completed a 16-day exercise in Greece this week that included a landing atop the 2,918-meter (nearly 10,000-feet) Mount Olympus, the fabled home of the Greek gods, the military said.Israeli Blackhawk and Sikorsky CH-35 heavy transport helicopters — in Hebrew the Ya’sur and Yanshuf, respectively — along with a Beechcraft King Air B-200 light transport plane, known as the Tzofit in Israel, took part in the exercise, according to the air force.The IAF craft flew some 200 sorties during the 16 days and nights in the Hellenic country, often alongside their Greek counterparts.The drill put Israeli pilots in unfamiliar locations, performing landings at higher altitudes and in different conditions than they experience in Israel.“Our goal is first and foremost to train our crews in new conditions,” head of the IAF helicopter and air support squadron Brig. Gen. Nir Nin-Nun said, in a video released by the air force.“Israel’s an amazing country, but it’s small,” he said.Unlike in the Jewish state, where a smattering of rain in September is considered abnormal, Greece experiences regular rainfall and more severe weather.The 2,918-meter (9,573-feet) peak of Mount Olympus also provides a significantly higher altitude for landing than Israel’s Mount Hermon, which has a peak of 2,236 meters (7,336 feet).“The exercise included cooperation between different IAF divisions and squadrons and cooperation with the Hellenic Air Force while flying in unknown territory, changing topography and tall mountains,” according to the commander of Palmahim Air Force Base, who also led the exercise. (For security reasons, his name cannot be revealed.)-The exercise also provided the first opportunity for the head of the IAF helicopter and air support squadron to meet his Greek counterpart, Brig. Gen. Christos Iliopoylos, director of the Hellenic Army’s aviation branch, the IAF said.“Greece is a strategic partner of the State of Israel. This exercise is part of a priceless cooperation. In the past, the Greeks traveled to Israel to train with us,” Nin-Nun said.The exercise required six months of planning, including a month and a half of preparing the equipment that made the trip over the Mediterranean Sea, the air force said.It was the fourth time Israel took part in an exercise in Greece.In 2015, Greek pilots flew in Israel’s Blue Flag exercise, the IAF’s largest international exercise to date. In the two-week drill, the Hellenic Air Force flew alongside Israelis, Americans and Poles, across the entire country.Last month, the Israeli Air Force also took part in the US Air Force’s Red Flag exercise, flying with pilots from the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, two countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties.

REVELATION 12:12-17
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon (SATAN) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (MARY) which brought forth the man child. (JESUS IS JEWISH)(ISRAEL PERSECUTED THE WORST IN HISTORY YET)
14 And to the woman (ISRAEL) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time,(3 1/2 YRS) from the face of the serpent.(PROTECTED FOR 3 1/2 YRS IN PETRA JORDAN)
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.(A TSUNAMI I BELIEVE SATAN WILL TRY TO DESTROY ISRAEL WITH)
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.(GOD PROBABLY CREATES A QUAKE TO STOP THE TSUNAMI WATERS)
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,(SAVED) which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Israel consortium signs ‘historic’ 15-year, $10b gas deal with Jordan-Amman electric company to purchase 45 billion cubic meters of gas from Leviathan field in the Mediterranean-By Times of Israel staff September 26, 2016, 4:45 pm

An Israeli gas consortium on Monday signed what Israel called a “historic” $10 billion deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company to supply the Hashemite Kingdom with natural gas for 15 years.The agreement will provide Jordan with a total of approximately 45 billion cubic meters of gas from the Leviathan offshore gas field, turning Israel into its largest gas supplier.The Leviathan consortium, which includes the US-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, aims to bring the massive Leviathan oilfield online in 2019. The field is thought to contain over 500 billion cubic feet of gas and is expected to transform Israel into a regional energy powerhouse.Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) on Monday praised the deal as “an extremely important national achievement.”“This is an important milestone in strengthening the ties and strategic partnerships between Israel and Jordan and the entire region,” he said, according to Channel 10.Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said the deal marked “a historic day,” according to the Hebrew-language NRG website. The agreement “establishes the Leviathan oilfield as a serious player on the energy map,” he said.“Supplying natural gas to Jordan will enable our neighbors in Jordan to benefit from efficient, clean and cheap energy, just like the citizens of Israel,” he said. “It will contribute to the prosperity of Israel and Jordan and will strengthen ties and active partnerships between the two.”“The Leviathan consortium will continue to push forward additional deals including with Egypt, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority,” he added.One of the sticking points of the deal had been who would build the pipeline between the two countries, according to the Financial Times. The 26-kilometer (16 mile) pipeline is expected to cost around $70 million. It was not immediately clear whether the issue was resolved.In 2014, Israel signed a separate deal with Jordan to supply $500 million worth of gas to the Hashemite Kingdom from the Tamar natural gas field in the Mediterranean.Leviathan, discovered in 2010, is estimated to hold 18.9 trillion cubic feet (535 billion cubic meters) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.Development of its own energy resources is seen as a major strategic asset for Israel, which has no oil and little water.Noble-Delek’s proposed deal to develop Leviathan and number of other natural gas reserves discovered offshore Israel in recent years has faced persistent opposition from critics who say the partnership would create a monopoly in the gas market and lead to higher prices for Israeli consumers.Over the last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has performed political cartwheels to override Knesset and public opposition to the consortium’s proposal before finally pushing an amended deal through the cabinet in May.Netanyahu touts the gas deal as having the potential to bring would bring energy self-sufficiency and billions of dollars in tax revenues and transform Israel into a regional energy powerhouse.Israel is reportedly in gas exportation talks with Turkey, Egypt, the Palestinians and the European Union.Tamar Pileggi and AFP contributed to this report.

As Gaza spirals downward, the IDF watches, digs in for the next fight-Palestinians in the Strip facing growing economic despair, arrested reconstruction and no hope for the future, senior officer says-By Judah Ari Gross September 25, 2016, 10:40 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The Gaza Strip and its residents are barreling towards disaster, brought on by crippling unemployment, a nonexistent economy, water and electricity shortages, a growing population and the “Islamic dictatorship” of Hamas, while the IDF is trying — and thus far succeeding — to keep the coastal enclave’s terrorist leaders deterred and contained, a senior IDF officer from the Southern Command said Sunday.The army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, rattled off worrying statistics from the Gaza Strip: 41.2 percent unemployment, the highest unemployment rate in the world, according to the World Bank; a per capita GDP of NIS 6,488 ($1,725), which if Gaza were a country, would put it near the lowest in the world, between Haiti ($1,750) and Burkina Faso ($1,724), according to the International Monetary Fund; an economy that is mostly made up of foreign aid and charity from international organizations; and a population of 1.9 million — and growing.Moreover, reconstruction following the 2014 Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge, has been slow, in part because Hamas has siphoned off a substantial portion of the reconstruction materials in order to create new attack, defense and smuggling tunnels, according to Israeli authorities.“Hamas is not rebuilding Gaza, it’s rebuilding its military capabilities,” the officer told reporters.As Hamas is working around the clock to rearm and dig deeper fortifications and attack tunnels, the IDF and Defense Ministry are shoring up Israel’s protection against the threat of terror attacks and rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and preparing for the next round of conflict, he said.Though many details of the project remain secret, Israel is in the process of creating “a barrier that will provide a response to above-ground and below-ground threats,” the officer said.The barrier will include an underground concrete wall to prevent tunneling at certain depths, along with a sensor-laden fence.“If the budget comes at the right rate, then the barrier will be built in a matter of months,” the officer said.The IDF is also working to improve its subterranean fighting tactics, along with its strategies to defend — and potentially evacuate — Israeli communities along the Gaza border.“We’re turning the underground into a death trap for Hamas. We’re putting a lot of effort into that,” the officer said.“We’re preparing to protect communities during an operation and improving the defenses. We’re also preparing a plan to evacuate communities. There will be flexibility in making decisions of if we have to evacuate communities, and which ones,” he added.In June, a senior Defense Ministry official (who was almost certainly Avigdor Liberman) told reporters that Israel could not stomach a drawn-out war of attrition so “the next confrontation must be the last in terms of Hamas’s regime.”The senior officer in the IDF’s Southern Command would not confirm that the army’s battle plans include the ousting of Hamas from the Strip, but said the next bout would be “heavy” and would deliver a “harsh blow” to the terrorist organization.Beyond that, the officer would only say that “the plans were are preparing will follow the instructions that are set for us on the political level.”The senior officer, echoing claims made with other defense officials and politicians, noted that a worsening economic and social situation in Gaza creates a sense of desperation, that “there is nothing to lose.”In what has become a constant refrain over the past two years, the officer added: “An outburst, in our opinion, is just a matter of time.”However, he stressed, for now Hamas is deterred.-To hell in a handbasket-Despite Israeli and international attempts to control the flow of building materials, cement coming into the Strip, first goes to the military wing of Hamas where they “take what they need” and from there it goes to civilians, the official said.As such, only a fraction of the buildings that have been approved for construction have actually been built, the officer said.In addition to the illicit pilfering of materials and funds coming into the Gaza Strip, Hamas has also levied “draconian taxes” on the people of Gaza, charging NIS 5 ($1.33) for every package of cigarettes and NIS 30 ($8) on every carton of fruit, according to IDF figures.Hamas’s alleged commandeering of building materials and funds further disincentivizes Israel from easing the restrictions on imports into Gaza and allowing residents of the Strip to enter Israel to work.“Hamas is using every alleviation we give for its own interests,” he said, pointing to recent attempts to illegally bring cars and electronics into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings.“People who leave through Erez, pass messages [to Hamas operatives in the West Bank] and direct attacks, and Kerem Shalom is being used for smuggling,” the officer said.Besides the beleaguered Strip’s economic woes, Gaza is on track to almost entirely run out of potable water by 2020 and become “uninhabitable,” according to a 2015 United Nations report.The postponement of elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip only adds to the atmosphere of desperation and unrest in the coastal region, the senior officer said.When asked about some residents of the Strip who reportedly cross into Israel with weapons, not to carry out attacks, but specifically in order to get arrested, the official responded: “As they say, sometimes an Israeli prison is better than life in Gaza.”Two weeks ago, in a “abnormal” incident, an 8-year-old Palestinian child entered Israel, the officer said, only to be picked up by security forces and eventually returned to Gaza.-The calmest in decades-Though Israel’s military sees conflict with Hamas as a matter of when, not if, the years since Operation Protective Edge have seen little violence emanating from the Gaza Strip.‘The past two years haven’t been the quietest in a decade, they’re the quietest in decades’-“The past two years haven’t been the quietest in a decade, they’re the quietest in decades,” the officer from the Southern Command said.Since the 2014 war, Israeli forces have wounded hundreds of Hamas members and killed 34, the majority of them in clashes along the security fence; yet there has only been one case of Hamas hitting back — a few shots fired at troops in the Gaza Strip as they uncovered and destroyed a tunnel into Israel.“That points to deterrence,” the officer said.None of the 40 rockets from Gaza that have hit Israel have been fired by Hamas, but rather by Salafist and other more extreme groups, usually as a result of “internal conflict,” according to the officer.The Israel Air Force strikes Hamas installations in response to the rocket fire, regardless of its origin, in order to force Hamas to better control the “rebellious groups” in Gaza, the official said.“We’re trying not to hit civilians, and we’re trying not to hit civilian infrastructure,” he said.Brushing off the allegation that Israel strikes “sand dunes” in Gaza, the officer showed slides of recent targets, including antennae, factories that produce concrete structures for tunnels and military outposts.Over the past two years, those retaliatory air and artillery strikes have been more measured, with the notable exception of a massive aerial bombardment in August against key Hamas strategic assets, after a rocket struck Sderot.“We took advantage of an opportunity” — i.e., the rocket attack on Sderot — “to both send a message and to test some of our capabilities,” the officer said, being deliberately vague about what those capabilities were.With no end to Hamas or permanent solution for Gaza in sight, the officer had little hope to offer, other than the vigilance and preparedness of the IDF for the war to come.

Israel almost entirely halts citizenship approvals for East Jerusalemites-The government claims to offer citizenship to eligible residents who came under Israeli sovereignty after 1967. In fact, after many years in which applications were handled relatively efficiently and about half were approved, the process has now all but stopped-By Dov Lieber September 26, 2016, 8:55 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

About seven years ago, Sufyan Dabash applied to be a citizen of his country of birth, Israel. His application was rejected. The 37-year-old taxi cab driver — a lifelong resident of the Sur Baher village on the southeastern outskirts of Jerusalem — couldn’t prove he was a Jerusalemite.“I have no citizenship. I have nothing,” he recently told The Times of Israel. “I want to feel like I’m from here. I don’t want to feel like I’m a second-class citizen.”Since Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, it has formally offered residents living in that area the option to apply for Israeli citizenship. Until around a decade ago, very few did, as the vast majority identified, and still do identify, as Palestinian. Recent years, however, have seen a surge in the number of Palestinians seeking Israeli citizenship. But Israel, which in the decade from 2003 to 2013 denied or delayed about half of the citizenship applications by East Jerusalemites, has more recently been failing to accept almost all of them, The Times of Israel has established.Currently, there are some 350,000 Arab East Jerusalemites, around 37 percent of the capital’s population. As permanent residents, they pay taxes and are entitled to state benefits like healthcare and social security. However, they cannot vote in national elections, apply for an Israeli passport, nor run for mayor in their own city. They can vote in municipal elections, yet most choose not to, in protest of what they — and the broader international community — consider Israel’s illegal occupation of their land. Around 80% of East Jerusalemites live under the poverty line, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.Dabash is among the 14,629 permanent residents of East Jerusalem who have applied to become Israeli citizens since 2003.According to statistics obtained by The Times of Israel (PDF), between 2003 and 2013, Israeli citizenship was denied or delayed to about half of East Jerusalemites who applied for it. However, over the past three years, the processing of citizenship applications for East Jerusalemites has come to an almost complete halt. Between 2014 and September 2016, of 4,152 East Jerusalemites who applied for citizenship, only 84 were approved and 161 were rejected. The rest of the applications are pending — formally, still being processed.Dabash says he is now readying his papers to apply for citizenship again. “I want to officially be Israeli,” he said. He also wants his wife and family — two children, with a third on the way — to be naturalized.“It’s not about Israel or Palestine,” he said, shrugging of any political motives. “This is a democratic country and I would like to be a citizen. I don’t want my children to feel like I do.”Some East Jerusalemites and the lawyers who deal with their citizenship requests say the government deliberately makes the application process itself difficult in order to discourage East Jerusalemites from even requesting citizenship. This includes the long-standing demand they have proficient Hebrew, even though Arabic, their native tongue, is an official language of the Israeli state.The Population and Immigration Authority, which is responsible for the process, strongly denies this accusation, and contends that it is carrying out its responsibilities under the law.“The claim of allegedly posing obstacles is unfounded and each request is examined in its own right,” the authority’s spokesperson told The Times of Israel.In a response to the question of why, in the past three years, the number of applications processed has so greatly decreased, the authority argued: “Since there is a great number of requests for naturalization, processing them takes time. The requests that are dealt with in these years are usually not those submitted in the same year. This situation has existed for many years.”For many years, indeed, applications have almost never been processed in the same year that they are submitted. But from 2003-2013, the authority did manage to either approve or reject a total number of applications that was close to the total number submitted that same year. In other words, it wasn’t building up a growing backlog.In 2009, for example, there were 1,656 applications — a relatively high number for the period. That same year, 1,609 were either approved or rejected. In stark contrast, so far in 2016, 1,102 applications have been submitted, while only nine applications have been approved and two rejected.The Times of Israel pressed the Population and Immigration Authority for an explanation of why the pace at which citizenship applications are definitively processed has so dramatically slowed in recent years.The spokesperson, Sabin Hadad, responded: “We do not know how to explain trends. This is also not our job.”If this was normalization, they’d make it easier-Sara (not her real name), a 20-something female who didn’t want her age or profession published for fear she may be identified, said she applied two and a half years ago for Israeli citizenship.As an East Jerusalemite, she has no citizenship and therefore no passport, and wanted one because she travels a lot for work. As things stand, she can only leave the country with temporary documents and must get a visa every time she does, no matter where she goes. She said she became sick and tired of the hassle.The large majority of East Jerusalemites have Jordanian passports — a remnant of the time Jordan controlled their neighborhoods between 1948-1967 — but no Jordanian citizenship.Sara refuses to be a part of such a system.“If I get a Jordanian passport, it means I’m a part of the Jordanian state. But I don’t belong to there. I belong here, to the place I was born, where I live, where I pay taxes and where I work. I do all my obligations. I should be able to live here as a citizen, not a resident,” she told the Times of Israel.East Jerusalemites, like all permanent residents seeking Israeli citizenship, must give up any other citizenships, passports, or residency statuses — like a US green card — on gaining Israeli citizenship. (Different rules apply to those seeking citizenship under the Law of Return, who may retain foreign passports.) In the case of most East Jerusalem applicants, that means renouncing Jordanian citizenship.Since applying for Israeli citizenship, Sara said, her hassles have compounded. Every six months, she goes to the Interior Ministry’s office to check on the status of her application, and each time is asked to bring in updated documents.When she asks why her application is taking so long, “they have no answer for me except for that it’s a long line,” she said.Her own conclusion: “They aren’t rushing to give citizenship to East Jerusalem residents. As much as they can elongate the process, they do.”Is Sara concerned about her application for Israeli citizenship contributing to “normalization” — a term used to describe the strong taboo of Palestinians cooperating in any way with the Israeli government and sometimes with Israeli civilians? “At the end of the day, if this was normalization, the government would give us citizenship with ease,” she said. “But we work so hard to get it. In order for normalization (to take place), the other side has to accept you and welcome you. But they (Israel) don’t welcome us — the opposite,” she said.-What East Jerusalemites must prove-In seeking citizenship, East Jerusalemites must meet the same Israeli legal requirements as any foreign national who has attained permanent residency status in Israel — perhaps through marriage, or having come to Israel to play for a sports team.As in the case of Sufyan Dabash, the primary reason requests for citizenship are denied to East Jerusalemites is because they cannot prove Jerusalem is their “center of life.”Adi Lustigman, an independent Israeli attorney who has worked extensively with East Jerusalemites seeking citizenship, said proving center of life includes (but is not limited to): producing three years of water, electricity and municipal tax bills, bank slips, confirmation by social security offices and letters from employers, and if one has children, their vaccination records.For some East Jerusalemites, producing the bills is impossible, as their homes get these resources outside of the state companies. Additionally, rent may have been agreed upon without a formal contract, and those who work in construction — a popular career — switch workplaces often, so can’t get a letter saying they’ve been working in the same place for three years.Hadad told The Times of Israel many East Jerusalemites have difficulty proving Jerusalem is their “center of life.”Even for the ministry itself, she said, confirming an applicant’s “center of life” is so arduous that the process almost always takes more than a year.-Why the surge in citizenship requests? The majority of East Jerusalemites apply for Israeli citizenship for one reason, according to Ahmad al-Khalidi, a field worker in East Jerusalem: to ensure they won’t be expelled from the city.“They consider themselves to be Palestinians, but request citizenship to guard their residency status,” he said.Al-Khalidi’s contention has some corroborative evidence.Despite the state having transferred its authority onto their neighborhoods after 1967, Israel applies the 1952 “entry into Israel law” to them. This law, which was not legislated with East Jerusalemites in mind, gives the Interior Ministry the right to revoke the residency status of anyone who has been out of the country for seven years, has received the status of permanent resident in a foreign country, and/or became a citizen of a foreign country.In 1995, without any public statement, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Interior Ministry began demanding East Jerusalemites prove the capital was their center of life. Retroactively, thousands of families were legally liable to have their residency statuses revoked — and that’s what happened, with revocations in many subsequent years reaching numbers beyond anything East Jerusalemites had previously experienced.This policy hit its peak in 2008, during which an unprecedented 4,577 East Jerusalemites had their residency statuses revoked, according to Interior Ministry statistics obtained by Hamoked, an Jerusalem-based rights group. This was nearly four times more than in any year since 1967.The following year, the number of applications by East Jerusalemites for citizenship jumped from 1,025 to 1,656 — a 61% leap and by far the highest increase since 1967.Lustigman said some of her East Jerusalemite clients say they want to “live in equality and be the same as anyone else.” But many she said, specifically say they want citizenship because they are afraid they may need to go abroad, or their children may need to go abroad, and may not be allowed to return if they are away for more than seven years.“If they aren’t citizens, the state can take away their residency status like flies,” she said.-The ‘ridiculous’ Hebrew requirement-“Doesn’t meet requirements,” was the second-most cited reason for denying citizenship to East Jerusalemites. The majority of cases in this category of refusal, according to a response from the ministry, related to the failure to prove sufficient Hebrew-language proficiency. (A rejection by Israel’s security establishment was the third most-cited reason for denying East Jerusalemite citizenship applications.)-The ministry said that by law, all permanent residents seeking Israeli citizenship, not just East Jerusalemites, must learn Hebrew. This requirement has been in force since 1967.Lustigman, however, argued that it’s “ridiculous” to force East Jerusalemites to learn Hebrew, when Arabic, their native tongue, is an official language of Israel.She added that there is a clause in the law that would allow the ministry to waive the Hebrew requirement for East Jerusalemites, and said it was choosing not to provide such an exemption.Additionally, the Hebrew test is not standardized, according to Lustigman and several applicants who spoke to The Times of Israel. Rather, it consists of speaking and writing on a random subject chosen by an interviewer from the ministry, who judges on the spot whether the applicant has strong enough Hebrew to become Israeli.According to Khaled Salhab — who is by default the highest ranking East Jerusalemite in Jerusalem City Hall, because he’s an aide to a Jerusalem city council member — the Hebrew requirement is troublesome for applicants from East Jerusalem because the language is hardly taught in their schools.Around 20-30% of schools in East Jerusalem are managed by the Palestinian Authority or the Waqf (Muslim Trust); in these schools, no Hebrew is taught.But the schools directly managed by the city or private schools funded by the municipality, Salhab said, aren’t much better. Hebrew is given around the same amount of hours as sports, he said.Salhab said he went to a city-funded school and didn’t know “a word of Hebrew” when he finished the 12th grade. Today, he is fluent in Hebrew, after paying thousands of dollars to take courses at the Hebrew University.-‘A duty to serve all residents of the city equally’-Yoav Yeivin, a city council member (for the Hitorerut/Wake-Up Jerusalem movement) who has taken up the issues of East Jerusalem on his own accord, and to whom Khaled Salhab serves as an aide, said Israel has a duty to “serve all residents of the city equally.”“The statistics show that as the years pass, the residents of East Jerusalem are submitting more and more requests to become citizens, in order not to be second-class citizens: They want to improve their lives in a significant way, to be able to travel freely, to trade around the globe and more.”“The more residents of East Jerusalem will be able to earn a decent living, raise their standard of living and education, the better it will be for the city of Jerusalem and the State of Israel,” he said.Lastly, he said: “integrating the population of East Jerusalem into Israeli society is an important step to reduce tensions and mitigate the hostility that many residents of East Jerusalem are absorbing from radical Islamic organizations.”Whether or not the Interior Minister shares this assessment, the hard figures show a fast-growing backlog of thousands of applications, and a near halt to their resolution. This, despite Israel’s formal insistence that it offers citizenship in good faith to the residents of East Jerusalem and their descendants who came under Israeli sovereignty, as part of the expanded, unified capital, in 1967.

70 US intellectuals urge boycott of settlement goods-In open letter, prominent figures say they oppose ‘economic, political, or cultural boycott of Israel itself,’ urge peace talks-By JTA September 26, 2016, 11:16 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

More than 70 American intellectuals called for a targeted boycott of all goods and services from Israeli West Bank settlements.The boycott call was published as an open letter in the most recent issue of the New York Review of Books, which is dated October 13, 2016.Among the signers are Bernard Avishai, Peter Brooks, Peter Beinart, Todd Gitlin and Martin Sherwin.The letter said the signatories “oppose an economic, political, or cultural boycott of Israel itself as defined by its June 4, 1967, borders,” which they refer to as the “so-called Green Line.” This boundary, according to the letter writers, “should be the starting point for negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian parties on future boundaries between two states.“To promote such negotiations, we call for a targeted boycott of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, and any investments that promote the Occupation, until such time as a peace settlement is negotiated between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.”The letter also calls on the US government to remove Internal Revenue Service tax exemptions from West Bank entities and to exclude the settlements from Israeli trade benefits.

As bombs, knife attacks strike US, terror conference in NY looks for answers-In panel called ‘What Is ISIS and How Can It Be Defeated,’ retired Army Col. Brynt ‘Guy’ Parmeter, who served in areas now in ‘the caliphate,’ says there is only one way — from within-By Cathryn J. Prince September 27, 2016, 12:27 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

NEW YORK — As law enforcement fanned out across the city in search of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami last week, authorities in St. Cloud, Minnesota, investigated a stabbing attack at a shopping mall that wounded 10 people.Meanwhile, a clutch of counter-terrorism experts was gathered at New York City’s Yale Club to attend the two-day Eyes Only conference organized by the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center. They were there to discuss, among other things, the nature of Islamic State and how to defeat it.“It is not irrational anymore to be fearful of terrorism, but this is where we need to remember a more pragmatic approach is needed,” said retired Army Col. Brynt “Guy” Parmeter in an interview with The Times of Israel.As a battalion commander and brigade operations planner, Parmeter served multiple deployments in areas now under IS control. During his time there he and the soldiers under his command saw the rise of the militant Sunni movement.“I personally think, and this is anecdotal, that IS was the successor to Al-Qaeda in Iraq who were kicked out by the US and Iraqi Security Forces. When we left they came back much more lethal, and the version of IS that exists now is what they wish they could’ve been then,” he said talking about his last deployment, which extended from late 2008 through late 2009.A self-proclaimed Islamic state, IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) holds territory in western Iraq, eastern Syria and Libya. It aims to establish a caliphate and claims political and theological authority over the world’s Muslims.“People get all tangled up in their britches trying to decide if it’s a lone wolf or directly connected. These are all mindless debates. We need to recognize it as a war, a war that needs to be won and the only way to do it is to call it what it is,” Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in his keynote address at the conference.But figuring what “it” is isn’t necessarily vital to fighting the terror group, said Parmeter who took part in a panel discussion “What Is ISIS and How Can It Be Defeated?”Because IS claims it’s a caliphate, many foreign policy experts worry its ambitions extend beyond the borders of Iraq and Syria. A multitude of insurgent groups in Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan have sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.Additionally, thousands of foreign fighters have joined conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Intelligence agencies in the west and the Middle East are concerned these citizens will return to their home countries to carry out attacks, as they did in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, and now, New York.There are also the so-called lone wolves who act in IS’s name.‘If they were a startup they would be the hottest thing right now’-Whether attackers are part of a larger cell or acting on their own, IS is a savvy organization that knows how to harness social media to attract young recruits, Parmeter said.“If they were a startup company they would be the hottest thing right now. They know their customers; they know their product. And we’re like Kodak. That’s an oversimplified way of putting it, but it gives [you] a basic concept of the situation and we have to figure out how to disrupt this,” Parmeter said.As such, fighting IS will involve military, counter-terror and humanitarian measures, said Parmeter, who now works as a consultant and partner at BMNT, a San Francisco-area consulting firm.One thing Parmeter doesn’t support is sending in massive amounts of American ground troops. It’s a view shaped from his own combat experience in Iraq.“It would be very easy to tactically defeat IS, but we would take on an unreasonably high amount of casualties and an unreasonably high amount of civilian casualties. We would seize that terrain back, but then what? Nothing is easy or cheap,” Parmeter said.Another panelist at the conference, Ahmed Meligy, a peace activist at The Peres Center for Peace, took a different stance.“The US has to be on the offensive. You have to send ground troops. I know this is hard. I know this is your sons and daughters,” Meligy said, adding that Egypt, Israel, France and other western nations must join the fight.For Parmeter, however, ultimately IS is more of Muslim problem than a problem for the rest of the world.“It’s tearing it apart from the inside and making it much, much less tolerable to the rest of the world. Because of this, it’s ultimately going to have to be solved from within. It’s convenient for the leaders of the Muslim world to blame the Western nations and their policies as the reason for IS. This masks the real and inconvenient truths of their shortcomings,” Parmeter said.“That said, whatever we can do to facilitate and enable an environment where Islam polices itself, along with the carrots and sticks of cyber, financial, legal actions and other forms of influence and leverage, should all be on the table,” said Parmeter.

Clinton, Trump set for high-stakes showdown in TV debate-An estimated 90 million people expected to tune in for 90-minute debate as presidential hopefuls — neck and neck in the polls — go head-to-head-By Agencies September 26, 2016, 10:49 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — After months of tangling from afar, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will confront each other face-to-face for the first time in Monday night’s presidential debate, laying out for voters their vastly different visions for America’s future.An estimated 90 million people were expected to watch the Democratic and Republican candidates go toe-to-toe for 90 minutes starting at 9:00 pm (0100 GMT Tuesday) on the stage at Hofstra University in New York.The high-stakes showdown — the first of three presidential debates — comes as both candidates are viewed negatively by large numbers of Americans, with Democrat Clinton facing questions about her trustworthiness and Republican Trump struggling to convince many voters that he has the temperament and policy depth to be president.Moderated by NBC anchor Lester Holt, it will revolve around three themes: “America’s direction, achieving prosperity, and securing America.”In a close race, the debaters’ real prize may be the estimated nine percent of voters who have yet to make up their minds.A Washington Post-ABC News poll on Sunday found Clinton tied with Trump at 41% among registered voters.On Monday, a national poll by Quinnipiac University also found them in a virtual dead heat, with Clinton at 43% to Trump’s 42% among likely voters. The poll found that, by a margin of 41 to 32 percent, likely voters expect Clinton to win the debate. And 84% said they intend to watch.Ahead of the debate, Clinton’s camp is worried that Trump will be held to a different standard and is particularly concerned that the notoriously hot-headed businessman will be rewarded for simply keeping his cool.“We also are concerned that Trump is going to continue to lie,” Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said Monday.Bloomberg TV told Politico that it will display on-screen fact-checks of statements made by Clinton and Trump during the debate, a departure from the coverage of most other networks who are more likely to leave fact-checking to post-debate analysis phase.-Last-minute preparations-The debate about the debate was still unfolding in the hours before the two candidates were to take the stage.Clinton backers were publicly pressing Holt to fact-check Trump if he tries to mislead voters about his record and past statements. But Trump’s campaign pushed back, accusing Clinton’s team of trying to put its thumb on the scale by enlisting the media to do Clinton’s job for her.“It’s unfair to ask that Hillary Clinton both play traffic cop with Trump, make sure that his lies are corrected, and also to present her vision for what she wants to do for the American people,” Mook told ABC on Monday.“All that we’re asking is that if Donald Trump lies, that it’s pointed out,” Mook said.Asked about Trump’s incorrect statement that Holt is a Democrat — he’s registered as a Republican in New York — Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said it wasn’t a lie because Trump simply didn’t know Holt’s voter registration.“He didn’t lie. A lie would mean he knew the man’s party affiliation,” Conway said on MNSBC.The centerpiece of Trump’s campaign has been a push for restrictive immigration measures, including a physical wall along the US-Mexico border and an early proposal to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from coming to the US. But he’s been less detailed about other ideas, including his plan for stamping out the Islamic State group in the Middle East, and Conway suggested he’d be similarly coy in Monday’s debate.“You will get his view of how best to defeat the enemy — without telling ISIS specifically what it’s going to be,” Conway said, using another acronym for IS.Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, is banking on voters seeing her as a steady hand who can build on the record of President Barack Obama, whose popularity is rising as he winds down his second term in office. She’s called for expanding Obama’s executive orders if Congress won’t pass legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration system and for broader gun control measures. Overseas, she’s called for a no-fly zone in Syria but has vowed to keep the military out of a large-scale ground war to defeat the Islamic State group.For Clinton, victory in November largely hinges on rallying the same young and diverse coalition that elected Obama, but has yet to fully embrace her. Mook told “CBS This Morning” that she fully understood she still needs to earn voters’ trust.“When she’s had the opportunity to talk about not just what her plans are to make a difference in people’s lives, but how this campaign is really part of a lifelong mission to fight for kids and families, she’s done really well,” Mook said.Trump has tapped into deep anxieties among some Americans, particularly white, working-class voters who feel left behind in a changing economy and diversifying nation. While the real estate mogul lacks the experience Americans have traditionally sought in a commander in chief, he’s banking on frustration with career politicians and disdain for Clinton to push him over the top on Election Day.The billionaire’s advisers have indeed been urging him to keep calm on stage, mindful of voters’ concerns about his temperament. On Saturday, Trump showed a glimpse of the traits his advisers want to keep in check, announcing on Twitter that he might extend a debate invitation to Gennifer Flowers, a woman who had an affair with Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton.Trump’s campaign said the candidate was responding to Clinton’s decision to invite businessman and Trump critic Mark Cuban to the debate, and that Trump floated the invitation to remind people of his ability to punch back. By Sunday, his campaign said Flowers would not be attending.Clinton’s team announced Monday that a host of prominent supporters, including Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, would be on hand on the debate’s sidelines to help her make her case with reporters covering the event.Clinton has debated more than 30 times at the presidential level, including several one-on-one contests against Obama in 2008 and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016. But Monday’s contest will be her first presidential debate against a candidate from the opposing party.Trump was often a commanding presence in the Republican primary debates, launching biting personal attacks on his rivals. But at times, he appeared to fade into the background, especially during more technical policy discussions — something he’ll be unable to do with just two candidates on stage.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.



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