Tuesday, October 25, 2016

 

JEWS-CHRISTIANS COME TOGETHER TO DELIGHT IN THE BIBLE.AND PALESTINIANS ANNOUNCE YEAR LONG CAMPAIGN AGAINST CRIME OF BALFOUR DECLARATION.

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

Palestinians announce year-long campaign against ‘crime’ of Balfour Declaration-Marking centenary of 1917 document that led to revived Jewish state, PA seeks to ‘remind world to face responsibility’ for the Jewish ‘colonialist project’-By Times of Israel staff October 24, 2016, 5:57 pm

The Palestinian Authority has announced a year-long campaign to commemorate 100 years since the “crime” of the Balfour Declaration, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Monday.Activities and events will take place worldwide, will be launched on November 2 and end on November 2, 2017 — the 100-year mark since British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour announced his government’s intention to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in the Land of Israel.Signed by Balfour in 1917, the declaration was seen as giving the Zionist movement official recognition and backing on the part of a major power, on the eve of the British conquest of the then-Ottoman territory of Palestine.Calling the declaration a “colonialist project,” Taysir Khalid, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Monday the new Palestinian effort was intended “to remind the world and particularly Britain that they should face their historic responsibility and to atone for the big crime Britain had committed against the Palestinian people.”In July the PA said it was preparing a lawsuit against the British government over the 1917 document that paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel.PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said at the time that London was responsible for all “Israeli crimes” committed since the end of the British mandate in 1948.The decision, al-Malki said, “gave people who don’t belong there something that wasn’t theirs.”Last month at the UN, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the PA over the plan, characterizing it as another example of Palestinians refusing to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.“That’s almost 100 years ago,” said Netanyahu. “Talk about being stuck in the past! The Palestinians might as well sue Iran for the Cyrus declarations, or file a class action suit against Abraham, for buying land in Hebron,” he added, referencing a Persian edict allowing Jews to return to Judea in 539 BCE and the Biblical patriarch.Reiterating that he remains “committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two people,” Netanyahu said that “One thing I would never negotiate is our right to the one, only Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.“This conflict is not about the settlements, it never was,” he said. “It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state.“If the Palestinians had said yes to a Jewish state in 1947 there would have been no war… and when they do finally say yes to a Jewish state we will be able to end this conflict once and for all,” Netanyahu said.

If Palestinian elections were held, Abbas 'would be deposed'-Liberman to Palestinian paper: Israel would ‘completely destroy’ Hamas in next war-Defense minister says Hamas has spent over $500 million on arms; insists Israel doesn’t seek another war, would rebuild Strip once rockets, tunnels cease-By Times of Israel staff October 24, 2016, 10:56 am

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Hamas “completely” in a future war, but told the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper in an interview published Monday that Israel has no interest in initiating a new offensive in Gaza.The hawkish Yisrael Beytenu party leader told the Arabic newspaper that Israel would be the first to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip, lift the blockade and build crucial economic infrastructure in the Palestinian territory — such as a seaport and airport and industrial zones — if rocket launches, attack tunnels and gun running were to stop.Israeli officials have expressed support for helping construct a seaport in the Gaza Strip, so long as there’s Israeli oversight to prevent the import of weapons to the Palestinian enclave.Liberman’s remarks were published the same day rocket sirens sounded along the Gaza border after a rocket was fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave.If Israel is forced into another war with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, it will be Hamas’s last war, Liberman warned: “We will destroy it completely.”At the same time, he said, Israel has no interest in reconquering the Gaza Strip, which it evacuated civilians and troops from in 2005 in a unilateral withdrawal. That comment was an apparent turnaround from his repeated insistence in previous years that the only way to stop rocket fire was for Israel to reoccupy the Gaza Strip.Liberman charged that Hamas has invested over half a billion dollars in military infrastructure in Gaza in recent years, while reconstruction of Palestinian homes destroyed in the 2014 war with Israel has moved at a snail’s pace. The defense minister denied there was direct dialog between Israel and Hamas.In the interview he voiced support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and restated his advocacy of a controversial “transfer” of Israeli Arab towns, including Umm al-Fahm, to a future Palestinian state, while Israel would keep major settlement blocs in the West Bank. If the residents of Umm al-Fahm, a large Arab town in northern Israel, “regard themselves as Palestinians, let them live in a Palestinian state,” he said. Current West Bank settlement construction was being done within the confines of existing blocs, he also said.Liberman criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for not making difficult decisions and striking a final peace deal with Israel, and for presiding over a corrupt hierarchy. If Palestinian elections were held today, he said, “[Abbas] would be deposed.”The defense minister’s comments largely echoed those made by an unnamed Israeli defense official in June of this year. Speaking to reporters earlier this year, shortly after Liberman took office in a cabinet reshuffle, the official said Israel does not seek another war, but says “Hamas is a growing threat” and conflict was inevitable.The official also lambasted Abbas as the “number one problem for Israel,” saying he wasn’t interested in peace with Israel.

PA: Liberman speaks of two-state solution as his bulldozers bury it-Ramallah says defense chief ‘deluding himself he’ll find partner to fit his views’; Hamas: Former defense ministers have threatened us and they’re all dead-By Times of Israel staff October 24, 2016, 5:03 pm

Palestinian Authority and Hamas officials responded with disdain Monday afternoon to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s statements on the Middle East conflict in an interview with a Palestinian newspaper.In his conversation with the Al-Quds daily published earlier in the day, Liberman voiced his support for the two-state solution and accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas of shying away from the difficult decisions necessary in order to achieve peace.A statement from the PA said Liberman was “deluding himself that he can find a Palestinian peace partner who will fit his views.” It accused the Israeli minister of “deviously attempting to drive a wedge between the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership” but maintained that his comments sounded like “a broken record.”It also laughed off the minister’s stated support for two states, saying that as he spoke, the “bulldozers of the occupation” were working to bury the remains of that solution — a reference to ongoing construction in West Bank settlements.Hamas too responded with derision to Liberman’s threat that the terror group would be “completely” destroyed in any future war, and his vow to help rebuild the Gaza Strip if the organization stops its military activities against Israel.“We are a people under occupation,” a spokesman for the group was quoted by Channel 10 News as saying. “We have a right to hold military capabilities in order to defend ourselves.”“All former defense ministers threatened us and they’re all dead,” said the group’s former interior minister Fathi Hamad. “We’re not afraid.”The Yisrael Beytenu party leader repeated his support for a land-swap and the controversial “transfer” of Israeli Arab towns, including Umm al-Fahm, to a future Palestinian state, while Israel would keep major settlement blocs in the West Bank. If the residents of Umm al-Fahm, a large Arab town in northern Israel, “regard themselves as Palestinians, let them live in a Palestinian state,” he said. Current West Bank settlement construction was being done within the confines of existing blocs, he insisted.These statements were met with anger by left-wing Israeli lawmakers.“Liberman is treating Israel’s Arab citizens not as human beings, but as merchandise to be swapped,” said Meretz party leader Zehava Galon. “He is in effect saying they are citizens on probation.”MK Yousef Jabareen of the Joint (Arab) List said the minister was motivated by racism and was seeking to “incite and delegitimize the residents of Umm al-Fahm.“I don’t understand why we must be under constant threat that our citizenship will be stripped, as if [that citizenship] is some magnanimous deed by Liberman, and not a basic right in our homeland,” he said.Liberman also told the newspaper that Israel had no interest in initiating a new offensive in Gaza. He claimed Israel would be the first to rehabilitate the Strip, lift the blockade and build crucial economic infrastructure in the Palestinian territory — such as a seaport and airport and industrial zones — if rocket launches, attack tunnels and gun running were to stop.Israeli officials have expressed support for helping construct a seaport in the Gaza Strip, so long as there’s Israeli oversight to prevent the import of weapons to the Palestinian enclave.But, he said, if Israel were forced into another war with the Islamist group that controls Gaza, it would be Hamas’s last war. “We will destroy it completely,” he warned.Liberman’s remarks were published the same day rocket sirens sounded along the Gaza border after a rocket was fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave. Israeli aircraft later carried out a retaliatory strike in Gaza. There were no reports of casualties on either side.Liberman noted that Israel has no interest in reconquering the Gaza Strip, which it evacuated civilians and troops from in 2005 in a unilateral withdrawal. That comment was an apparent turnaround from his repeated insistence in previous years that the only way to stop rocket fire was for Israel to reoccupy the Gaza Strip.Liberman charged that Hamas has invested over half a billion dollars in military infrastructure in Gaza in recent years, while reconstruction of Palestinian homes destroyed in the 2014 war with Israel has moved at a snail’s pace.Liberman accused Abbas of presiding over a corrupt hierarchy. If Palestinian elections were held today, he said, “[Abbas] would be deposed.”

Air force hits Gaza after rocket siren wails in south-Projectile apparently fell short and landed inside Strip; no damage or injuries reported on either side-By Times of Israel staff October 24, 2016, 7:21 am

Sirens warning of an impending rocket attack blared early Monday morning in communities in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel. The projectile reportedly landed inside the Gaza Strip.The Code Red alarm sounded just before 7:00 a.m. on Monday. The IDF said in a statement shortly thereafter that they didn’t identify any rocket impacts in Israeli territory.In response, Israeli air force jets struck “terror infrastructure belonging to the Hamas organization in the northern Gaza Strip.” Palestinian media also reported Israeli tank fire at Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in either incident.Earlier this month, tensions between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip flared after a series of rocket launches into Israel and Israeli retaliation.One of the rockets hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot and exploded in the middle of a street, causing some damage to the road, cars and nearby homes. Three people were hospitalized after suffering anxiety attacks.The Islamic State-affiliated Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group took responsibility for that attack. In a statement, the group said the attack on Sderot was a response to Hamas arresting several members of the organization.In response, the IDF struck Hamas targets, first with tank fire and then with a series of airstrikes in Gaza, hitting “key Hamas strategic infrastructure,” according to a military official.In a statement, the IDF explained that Hamas ultimately “bears responsibility for every terror incident emanating from” the Gaza Strip.”After the airstrikes Hamas reportedly sent a message to Israel calling for calm and saying the terrorist group was not interested in a further escalation of tensions.A Hamas official said the group told Israel it would not allow other terrorist groups within Gaza to further inflame the situation, according to Israel Radio. He said that the group passed on the message via a third party, Israel Radio reported.

Jews, Christians come together to delight in Bible-Members of Kibbutz Gezer reform community are joined by Prague clergy to celebrate Simhat Torah-By Times of Israel staff October 24, 2016, 7:42 pm

Simhat Torah festivities saw some interfaith reveling Sunday night at Kibbutz Gezer, in central Israel.The Kibbutz’s Birkat Shalom synagogue, a reform community led by Rabbi Miri Gold, welcomed clergy from Emmaus Monastery in Prague to celebrate.Simhat Torah, a festival of the Jewish Bible, is celebrated at the tail-end of the week-long Sukkot holiday. It marks the end of the previous year’s cycle of Torah readings, and the beginning of the next.The group at Gezer was also joined by rabbinical students from Hebrew Union College, who helped lead the service.The congregation, guests, clergy from Emmaus and the students all danced together with the Torah.Sarah Tuttle Singer contributed to this report.

Drop Russia from UN rights council, over 80 NGOs say-Ahead of Friday vote on members, watchdogs say Moscow’s ‘targeting of civilians’ should disqualify them from UN body-By AFP October 24, 2016, 7:58 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

UNITED NATIONS — More than 80 human rights and aid organizations on Monday urged UN member states to drop Russia from the Human Rights Council over its military campaign in Syria.Human Rights Watch, CARE International and Refugees International were among the signatories of the appeal launched ahead of elections to fill 14 seats at the 47-nation council on Friday.Russia, Hungary and Croatia will be running for two seats representing the Eastern European group at the council, which is tasked with addressing rights violations worldwide.The organizations urged UN member states to “question seriously whether Russia’s role in Syria — which includes supporting and undertaking military actions which have routinely targeted civilians and civilian objects — renders it fit to serve on the UN’s premier inter-governmental human rights institution.”Russia has been supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s war against opposition rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State group since September 2015.On Friday, the UN General Assembly will cast ballots to elect the members for a three-year term beginning in 2017.Other than Russia, China and Saudi Arabia are almost guaranteed to win seats as their regional grouping is putting forward a clean slate of four countries for four seats. The other two are Iraq and Japan.Brazil, Cuba and Guatemala will be battling for two seats representing Latin America.Africa is also presenting a clean slate, with Egypt, Rwanda, South Africa and Tunisia set to win seats.The United States and Britain are seeking election to the two seats representing the Western Europe and others group.Created in 2006, the rights council monitors violations and in particular set up a ground-breaking commission of inquiry on North Korea that led to calls for war crimes prosecutions of the Pyongyang regime.The council last week asked the commission of inquiry for Syria to carry out a special investigation of rights abuses in Aleppo.

Ohio State student opened dorm door to find next-door neighbor drawing a swastika on it-NY, California universities among ‘hotspots’ of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic activity-Brandeis survey of 50 US campuses finds one of the strongest predictors of hostile climate toward Jews and Israel is an active Students for Justice in Palestine group-By Times of Israel staff October 24, 2016, 7:08 am

The City University of New York in Brooklyn, Northwestern University and many of the schools in the University of California system are among the most hostile campuses for Jewish students, with high rates of anti-Semitic harassment and anti-Israel activity, researchers have found.According to a major new study at Brandeis University into anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on US campuses, these universities are “hotspots” for such activity.The study, released this month, was conducted by researchers at the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and was based on findings from a survey taken in the Spring of 2016 among Jewish undergraduate students at 50 US campuses. All the students selected for the study were US applicants to the Birthright-Israel program, whether they attended the free 10-day trip to Israel or not. Of the more than 19,000 surveys send out to the Birthright applicants, 4,010 were completed which provided the basis for the study.According to the report, the campuses were not selected randomly, “but were purposely sampled based on the estimated size of the campus Jewish population, geographic diversity, public/private status, selectivity, and prior evidence of high levels of anti-Israel hostility or anti-Semitism.”At the university campuses labeled hotspots, a majority of the Jewish students surveyed said that they “perceive a hostile environment toward Israel,” with one-quarter saying they felt “a general environment of hostility toward Jews” on their respective campuses.The report found that the high rates of anti-Semitic harassment and hostility at these campuses “are largely driven by hostility toward Israel.”On other US university campuses, including Wisconsin, Rutgers and Illinois, hostility and anti-Semitic harassment were found to be high but were not strongly connected to criticism of Israel, the report found; rather, “at these schools, more traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes, rather than criticism of Israel’s politics, seem to be driving the perceived hostility toward Jews.”The report cited another study this year by the AMCHA initiative this year, which tracks and investigated anti-Semitic incidents on US campuses, and which found that “57 percent of the 113 US schools [surveyed] with the largest proportions of Jewish undergraduates had incidents involving the targeting of Jewish students for harm, anti-Semitic expression, or BDS activity.”One of the strongest predictors of a perceived hostile environment toward Jews and Israel on campus, according to the Brandeis study, “is the presence of an active Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group.”A junior at Rutgers university surveyed for the study told of an incident involving the SJP during Israel Apartheid Week on US campuses.Members of the SJP “stood in front of the dining hall wearing white shirts with red ‘blood’ spatter across from them. They had signs saying ‘this is what the Jews did to us.’ I felt extremely harassed; even though it was not personally to me, when I stood there I saw complete hatred that they had to all of the Jews walking by. There were even some people, a part of SJP, shouting profanities and giving the middle finger to the Jews that were just standing next to them.”Another junior at Northeastern University said campus life became “unsafe” when “a group on campus put eviction notices on the dorm room doors of Jewish people.” The incident, and other like it, was reported in the press to be the work of SJP members.Other incidents related to general anti-Semitism: a student at Ohio State University said that while living in a dorm, he or she once “opened my door to my next-door neighbor drawing a swastika on my door.”According to the study, about 75% of those surveyed reported hearing hostile remarks toward Israel and over 20% reported “being blamed for Israel’s actions because they are Jewish.”Around one-third of the respondents reported witnessing “some form of anti-Semitic harassment, often Israel related.”At the University of Illinois and the University of Texas, 22% of respondents said they had been the target of a personal anti-Semitic attack or harassment. Almost 30% of those surveyed in the California university systems said they were personally the target of witness an anti-Semitic attack, with 40% saying they witnessed an attack on social media.A majority of the hostility or attacks emanated from other students, according to the study, with a not insignificant proportion coming from the faculty and other campus staff.The study also documented students’ personal feelings about speaking up on Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus and the effect of their experiences on their connection to Israel.

Black rabbinical student leads ‘Army of Moms’ in fighting Chicago gun violence-Tamar Manasseh is working to curb street shootings one corner at a time — but would like to see more local Jews stand up alongside her-By Ben Sales October 24, 2016, 3:46 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

CHICAGO (JTA) — The same week Tamar Manasseh’s African-American son was going to become a bar mitzvah, gang violence killed two 13-year-old black boys who were also from Chicago’s South Side.As she picked out the bar mitzvah suit for her son, Manasseh couldn’t shake the image of the slain boys’ mothers, who were likely also picking out suits — for their sons to be buried in.Manasseh, a lifelong Chicagoan who attended Jewish day school and is now studying to be a rabbi, has always been proud to be Jewish and black. But gun violence, which has surrounded the 38-year-old since she was a kid, has accentuated both the tensions and connections between the two parts of her identity. While most South Side Jews lived in the relatively affluent neighborhood of Hyde Park, she grew up in nearby Englewood, an area that she described as “Afghanistan.”“I was always taught that Jews were survivors,” Manasseh told JTA. “The Holocaust happened, and Jews survived that, right? Black people were never taught that we were survivors. If anything, we’re pretty much taught that we were born to die. Being Jewish, I was never able to look at things like that.”Manasseh — a mother of two children, ages 18 and 20 — has taken it upon herself to stop gun violence in Englewood. During the summer months, when programs to keep kids off the streets are scarce, she and several other parents — who she dubs an “Army of Moms” — spend hours sitting on the corner of 75th Street and South Stewart Avenue chatting to passers-by and offering them barbecue.The food and talk, she said, has been enough to stop gun violence there. And the statistics back her up: The corner, in the middle of a violent neighborhood, has seen zero shootings this year.“I felt like if I didn’t do something, it would come for my kids eventually,” said Manasseh, who sells real estate and studies for her ordination in her spare time. “So I’m more afraid of what happens if I don’t get out there and do something than I am if I do. I’m more afraid of one of my kids being shot than I am of me being shot.”Chicago has become a hotbed of gun violence in recent years — especially on the South Side. Nearly 6,000 people have been shot since the beginning of 2015, and Chicago experienced 78 homicides in August alone, making it the deadliest month the city has seen in nearly two decades. Some residents have nicknamed the city “Chi-raq,” a portmanteau of Chicago and Iraq, because it can feel like a war zone.Manasseh, however, has found some success in curbing the violence, and she’s looking to build upon it. She founded a nonprofit, Mothers Against Senseless Killings, which has raised approximately $20,000 to fund the street corner presence and support cash-strapped young men who might otherwise turn to crime.Following a dispute with the landlord of the building next to their usual spot, the group, known as MASK, is raising more money to buy the vacant lot across the street, where they can set up a permanent play area for kids. MASK has spawned offshoots in Staten Island, New York, and Evansville, Indiana.‘All it took was people being there. Some of these kids, they’ve never had anybody there looking out for them’“When your parents are home watching every move you make, would you and your siblings set the house on fire? Probably not,” she said. “All it took was people being there. Some of these kids, they’ve never had anybody there looking out for them.”Manasseh grew up attending Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, an African-American Hebrew Israelite congregation on the South Side, as well as Akiba-Schechter, a local Jewish day school that was affiliated with the Conservative movement at the time. Before Manasseh was born, her mother had “reverted,” in Manasseh’s words, to Judaism.Although she was born and raised Jewish, at age 30 Manasseh decided to undergo a confirmation of her Judaism, which involved immersion in a ritual bath, supervised by Rabbi Capers Funnye, who leads Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken. Her children underwent similar processes at the time of their bat and bar mitzvahs.Last year, Funnye was appointed head of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, an African Hebrew Israelite body. Although the Hebrew Israelite movement is usually considered outside the mainstream by Judaism’s main denominations, Funnye has undergone a conversion by Conservative rabbis and is a member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis.Manasseh is pursuing her rabbinic ordination at the Israelite Academy, the Hebrew Israelite rabbinical school, where she’s been studying part-time for seven years. Should she graduate next year, she will be the first woman to receive ordination from the academy. But though she was raised in the movement and is set to hold its rabbinic degree, she does not identify as a Hebrew Israelite. She identifies as a Jew — full stop.“If you have to look a certain way to be a Jew, that’s a bad thing,” she said. “I think if you have to look a certain way to be a Hebrew Israelite, that’s a bad thing. So no, I’m just a Jew, I’m just Jewish. Because even the Hebrew Israelite movement is born out of the black nationalist movement, and it has something to do with race. And you cannot have race and religion occupying the same space.”‘If you have to look a certain way to be a Jew, that’s a bad thing… You cannot have race and religion occupying the same space’-MASK isn’t explicitly Jewish, but it is infused with Jewish themes and language. One of the group’s projects, which has planted 10 Crimson King maple trees around Chicago in memory of gun victims, is inspired by the Jewish arboreal holiday of Tu b’Shvat, she said. The trees’ leaves are red to symbolize the blood of the victims.Last week, the group held a concluding service for Yom Kippur that along with traditional elements like the Amidah prayer and shofar blowing featured volunteers reading out names of shooting victims.Manasseh isn’t the only Jewish activist working to fight gun violence. Last year, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a Chicago social justice group, joined a campaign to persuade the University of Chicago to build a trauma center on its medical campus to better serve shooting victims. The university broke ground on the center last month.“One of the ways we could add value was we had access to people in positions of power,” said Judy Levey, JCUA’s executive director. “We’re not there to target the Jews by any stretch, but in some campaigns, there are Jews in positions of leadership, and that helps.”In addition, Funnye is part of a coalition of faith leaders that helps combat gun violence by engaging with young men on the streets through local activist groups. While few black men on the South Side are Jewish, Funnye — who incidentally is a cousin of Michelle Obama — said his religion doesn’t get in the way of connecting with them.“Before they see me being a Jew, they see me as being a black man, and they see me as being a black man that’s interested in them, and then they see that I’m a rabbi,” Funnye said. “This is an individual they can interface with.”Funnye remembers Manasseh composing Jewish songs as a 14-year-old in his congregation, and isn’t surprised that she has applied her Jewish learning to community organizing.“Her pulpit is on the corner,” Funnye said. “She is practicing her rabbinate. I think that she is sincere, and I think the people she approaches on the block feel the depths of her sincerity.”While more than two dozen Chicago Jewish clergy pledged to support the trauma center campaign, and some have spoken out against gun violence or attended events, Manasseh wants to see more of them on the street with her.‘Her pulpit is on the corner, she is practicing her rabbinate’-Last week, she met with JTA at a chic Hyde Park cafe surrounded by greenery, upscale shops and University of Chicago buildings. It’s just four miles from her intersection, but psychologically a world away. It felt like an incongruous place to talk about gun violence in a poor neighborhood.But if Manasseh also felt the conversation was out of context, she wasn’t bothered by it. She wore a Chicago Cubs hat and sweatshirt — risky apparel on the South Side, which is White Sox country — and exuded confidence and focus. After a lifetime of sticking out — first by virtue of being a black Jewish woman, and then by becoming the first woman to try for ordination in her movement — she feels other Jews could benefit by leaving their comfort zone.“It’s all smoke and mirrors,” she said, referring to some Jewish efforts against gun violence. “There are many Jewish social justice organizations that are able to do as much as they can to make themselves look good, but nothing that will have impact in the long run. I want to see them be the Jews they claim they are.”

The whole area is disintegrating'-Middle East’s ‘demons’ now an unstoppable force, writes veteran correspondent-In book of on-scene diaries ‘The Age of Jihad,’ Patrick Cockburn describes why the sectarian holy war in the Middle East is now an unclosable Pandora’s box-By JP O’ Malley October 24, 2016, 9:37 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

LONDON — In the closing sentence of “The Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East,” Patrick Cockburn gives a chilling warning to his readers.“The demons released by this age of chaos and war in the Middle East have become an unstoppable force,” the veteran Irish foreign correspondent writes.Existential threat is a phrase so overused in the political discourse of the Middle East nowadays, that it often tends to lose value or meaning. But for millions of citizens across Iraq and Syria, according to Cockburn, the term is an extremely frightening and very real prospect.“The whole area is disintegrating,” says Cockburn, who has worked as a journalist in the Middle East for the past four decades.“There are multiple reasons for this,” he explains. “Some are oil states. These look powerful, because they’ve got a lot of money. But they are much more fragile than they appear because the money is concentrated on the top.”Mismanagement of oil revenues is a huge problem for many Middle Eastern states right now, Cockburn believes. Primarily because of the hierarchical structures within governments they helped to create, exacerbating corruption and sectarianism in equal measure.The journalist cites Iraq as a typical example of a nation state where badly managed oil revenues has resulted in a chaotic failed state.“In Iraq, the population is around 33 million. Seven million are on the government payroll, so it’s really important who controls the government — because in a Shia government, the Shia community is going to be plugged into the only source of revenue and jobs. This enormously increases sectarianism, because the Sunnis are excluded.”Cockburn documents in his diaries — which first appeared as articles sporadically, in both The Independent and the London Review of Books — the civil wars, between 2001 and 2015, across Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya.While the Middle East has been far from stable in the 100 years since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Cockburn argues that the territory has now entered into an unprecedented phase: civil wars across the region where Sunni fundamentalist jihadis play a leading role.“What people often miss about [Sunni] jihadism is that if you have a suicide bomber it allows you to organize with great military precision a very powerful weapon,” says Cockburn. “That’s one of the reasons why IS (Islamic State) dominate the opposition in Syria and Iraq — because they are all lead by suicide bombers. They are fighting people who have air power and sophisticated equipment. But suicide bombing is the lethal precision that allows them to break through.”-A Saudi hand-There have been questions about Saudi involvement, whether it is secretly helping to finance IS’s takeover of northern Iraq, and if it’s true that the Sunni dominated Arabian kingdom is stoking an already escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across much of the Islamic world.“Well if you talk to people in Baghdad, they are convinced IS’s money still comes from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, partially through blackmail. And mostly through private individuals,” says Cockburn. “Also, you have to remember there isn’t much difference between the private and public [spheres] in Saudi Arabia.”‘People in Baghdad are convinced IS’s money still comes from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia’-While some Western strategic experts and academics on the Middle East say IS have become self sufficient through oil, taxes, and other means of self financing, Cockburn doesn’t agree.“When you have guys as ruthless as the leadership of Islamic State, you would have to suspect that they are looking at individuals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf for funds,” says Cockburn.“So experts in the West are wrong on this matter. There is much more money [coming] in the direction from the [Gulf] than people [first thought].”Cockburn covers the current Syrian war in his latest book, too, documenting the conflict in real time reporting, from 2011 to 2014. In a retrospective introduction to one of the pieces, entitled “Revolution to Sectarian War,” the journalist claims that there is a “balance of hatred and terror which makes it unlikely that anyone in Syria will win a complete victory.”What that exactly means requires some explanation.“Well what happens on the battlefield is very important here,” says Cockburn. “So who is winning and who controls the most population matters. And not just on the domestic front, either. It’s also about who gives backing from the outside. So you have this stalemate where the [Syrian] government does quite well, once it gets backing from the Iranians and Hezbollah. But then the backers of the opposition will pump in more money and more weapons, and it will go the other way.”Cockburn is keen to point out that the Syrian war is a deeply complex, multi-ethnic, and multi-faceted conflict.The US, for instance, he writes, would like Assad to go, but not if IS or al-Nusra Front replaces him. Turkey regards IS, the Syrian Kurds, and the Assad government as enemies whom it would like to see defeated. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies — in public at least — take a somewhat similar approach.‘Who is winning and who controls the most population matters’-But Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, are all determined that Assad should survive, says Cockburn.These internal and external pressures counter balance each other, the journalist claims.Unfortunately, this means that the horror the Syrian people are currently experiencing will go on until the regional players decide that nobody is going to win and bring the fighting to a stop.With the United States recently accusing the Kremlin of joining with the Syrian Air Force to carry out a brutal bombing campaign against the besieged city of Aleppo, talks with Russia have now been suspended.Still, Cockburn believes the Russians would have a lot to gain by hammering out a peace agreement in Syria. Primarily because it could re-establish them as a superpower. Moreover, achieving peace in Syria without the Russians is highly unlikely, he believes.“The Russians have always wanted to have a war on terror with the Americans to re-establish themselves,” says Cockburn, who served as a Moscow correspondent for The Independent from 1999 to 2001. From the Americans perspective, if they are not going to overthrow Assad militarily, then they need somebody who can put enough pressure on Assad to possibly abide by ceasefires.”The numerous crises and wars described in Cockburn’s book tend to cross-infect each other. And it’s impossible, he believes, to move one piece of the political chessboard across the Middle East, without impacting the other.It’s this crucial point, the journalist posits, that’s caused Western foreign policy in the region to sow such chaos since the beginning of this century.“One could take a broad sweeping view as to why all of these states [across the Middle East] are weak,” Cockburn explains. But one also has to be very specific as to why we have these wars in Iraq and Syria actually happen. They are not wholly inevitable.”-The fate of Israel-Cockburn was stationed in Jerusalem as The Independent’s correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In his last year, he wrote an article where he said he found “Israel had changed significantly for the worse.”“There is far less dissent than there used to be, and such dissent is more often treated as disloyalty,” he added at the time.Today, Cockburn seems less bothered to talk about Israel at length when asked.“Syria breaking up: is that in the interests of Israel or not?” he says rather nonchalantly. “You wouldn’t have a powerful Syrian army. But then the powerful Syrian army wasn’t attacking Israel. So you are choosing between the devil you know, and the devil you don’t know. But the devil you don’t know can be frightening.”So what kind of state will emerge in Syria? And how could that potentially affect Israel’s security? “There is a possibility that [Syria] could become something along the lines of a jihadi state,” says Cockburn. “And this would be very dangerous for Israel.”Given how drastically the politics of Sunni Muslims have changed across the Middle East over the last decade, things have changed for Palestinian cause, as well as their relationships with potential political and military allies.‘The problem doesn’t just disappear, and it always has the potential to reemerge at some point’“The Palestinians have been weakened by their own divisions and by their former allies in Damascus and elsewhere,” says Cockburn. “But on the other hand they are still there in the West Bank and Gaza. The problem doesn’t just disappear, even if it marginalizes in terms of international attention. There hasn’t been a resolution, and it always has the potential to reemerge at some point.”One really cannot comprehend the current war in Syria, and the rise of the Islamic State, Cockburn says, without understanding how the United States destroyed Iraq by opening up rife sectarian divisions between the country’s three communities, Shia, Sunni and Kurds.All three are presently in a permanent state of tribal confrontation, and this has a destabilizing impact on all of Iraq’s neighbors.-Rocking the boat-Cockburn claims that once the Americans came in and overthrew the state in Iraq in 2003, it was inevitable that there was going to be a social sectarian revolution.“The Americans never quite understood this,” says Cockburn. “The Shia were very keen to have a perfectly democratic election, because they knew that, having a majority of the population, they would win. So for quite some time the Americans were plugged into this social sectarian Shia revolution taking power.”‘For quite some time the Americans were plugged into this social sectarian Shia revolution taking power’The invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 essentially meant an internal revolutionary change in the country, because it ended Sunni Arab rule, which had been ongoing for hundreds of years — first under the Ottomans, then under the British, and then after Iraq’s Independence [in 1932].In 2003, the Americans dissolved the army and the security services in Iraq. Previously, these had been prime instruments of the Sunnis who had power over 80% of the population in Iraq, the Shia and Kurds.Cockburn says that while American officials may have seen themselves as mediating forces between competing Iraqi communities, their military presence actually made things worse, destabilizing the sectarian balance of power across Iraq and moving into neighboring states like Syria.Western ignorance played a huge role too, the journalist explains.Cockburn recalls one Iraqi he interviewed, who described how he met with then US president George W. Bush, who was intrigued to learn that Iraq is inhabited by two sorts of Muslims, Sunni and Shia, with deep differences between them.Did the United States deeply misunderstand Iraq from the moment they invaded in 2003? “Misunderstand, yes. But we should add the word underestimate too,” says Cockburn. “When people say misunderstand, it presupposes there was a great effort to understand Iraq. There wasn’t. The Americans or British didn’t really care what the Iraqis thought. But then they found out fairly rapidly that it mattered an awful lot what Iraqis thought. Because Sunnis started fighting and then later the Shia.”“Most Iraqis you talk to today say the Iraqi sanctions [imposed by the Americans as far back as 1990] destroyed Iraqi society, and that the American invasion [in 2003] destroyed the Iraqi state,” says Cockburn. “And they say they never recovered from either. It’s pretty hard to disagree with that assessment.”



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