Wednesday, December 28, 2016



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)

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

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

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

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

Abbas: UN settlements vote ‘paves way’ for Paris conference-PA president says he hopes January confab will reinforce resolution damning Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, West Bank-By Times of Israel staff and AP December 27, 2016, 3:16 pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday expressed the hope that the upcoming Middle East conference in France will set in place a mechanism to end Israel’s settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.Abbas’s public remarks were his first since Friday’s United Nations Security Council resolution, which condemned Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of international law. Abbas told a meeting of his Fatah party late Monday that the resolution “paves the way for the international peace conference” scheduled to take place in Paris on January 15.A day after the vote, Abbas hailed the UN resolution as setting “the legal basics for a solution,” as it “reiterated that Israeli settlement is illegal.”“The world said its word that settlement in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, is illegal,” Abbas said Saturday night, while calling on Israel “to sit together at the negotiation table to discuss all the outstanding issues between us and resolve them with good intentions…we are neighbors on this holy land and we want peace.”Israel has refused to attend the January 15 gathering, with officials insisting that only bilateral negotiations can lead to a peace agreement. The Palestinians support the French initiative, which will see representatives of some two dozen countries convening in a bid to jump-start moribund peace efforts.Channel 10 television said Sunday that Netanyahu fears the Middle East Quartet — the US, UN, Russia and EU — will coordinate positions at the Paris summit, and then return to the Security Council in the very last days of Barack Obama’s presidency to cement these new parameters on Mideast peacemaking.On Monday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called the planned peace conference a “tribunal against the State of Israel.” He branded it “a convention whose sole aim is to harm the security of the State of Israel and its good name.”Liberman also likened the conference to the Dreyfus Affair, saying that “we are talking about the modern version of the Dreyfus trial, except that this time instead of one Jew in the defendant’s chair, the whole nation of Israel is there.”The 1894 trial — in which Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish captain in the French army, was wrongfully accused of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment before being exonerated when the real culprit was revealed — is seen as a seminal anti-Semitic event of modern times.Theodor Herzl is said to have been spurred into writing his great treatise on Zionism, “The Jewish State,” after covering Dreyfus’s trial as a newspaper correspondent and hearing the crowd scream out “Death to the Jews!”France rejected Liberman’s comments on Monday, according to Israel Radio. Paris said the conference was organized to “re-affirm the international community’s commitment to two states, living side-by-side in safety and security and to re-emphasize how crucial the [two-state] solution is,” officials in the French Foreign Ministry said.Gavin Rabinowitz and AFP contributed to this report.

Abbas confidant: We’ll take ‘hundreds’ of IDF soldiers to ICC this year-Prominent Palestinian journalist says there are lists of names, photographs of Israeli troops, says he’s ‘waiting for them at The Hague’-By Times of Israel staff December 26, 2016, 1:08 am

A prominent Palestinian journalist and confidant of PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday the Palestinians were collecting the names and photographs of “hundreds” of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, with the intention of bringing them to the International Criminal Court in 2017.“In 2017, we are going to The Hague,” said Nasser Laham, according to Channel 2. “We have hundreds of pages of names of IDF officers. Every pilot and every officer and every soldier — we have his photo, we have his name, and we are waiting for him at The Hague.”“If we are successful with one, just one, it will be a different world,” the editor of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency was quoted saying.In his remarks, Laham urged the Palestinians to renounce violence and allow the Palestinian leadership to focus on international efforts to prosecute Israeli military officials.“I told my people in a live broadcast — in suits and ties we will take the Israelis to The Hague, we will handcuff them,” he said. “Don’t use violence, don’t explode.s is a war without bullets. Just wait, give us another chance.”Since the 2014 Gaza war, Palestinian officials have sought to prosecute Israel in the international court. Palestinians formally asked the ICC in 2015 to investigate the Jewish state, which is not a party to the treaty that governs the court, for alleged war crimes.While Israel vehemently opposes any ICC investigation, officials have said they will cooperate with the body to convince it of the competence of the state’s own court.Laham’s remarks came as Israeli officials fumed over Friday’s UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements, which Jerusalem has argued will encourage the Palestinians to seek solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the international arena and rule out direct talks.Also Sunday, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal applauded the UN resolution. Speaking in Istanbul, Mashaal said the “UNSC resolution gave the world a signal about the danger of settlements that threaten our land.” The leader of the Gaza-based terror group thanked “everyone who condemned Israeli settlements,” but added the resolution is “not enough.”Mashaal said Hamas is preparing for a new round of violence with Israel.“The resistance in Gaza is smuggling weapons and digging tunnels in Gaza to prepare for a confrontation with the [Israel], which will taste its woes on the edge of the Gaza Strip.”A furious Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reported on Sunday night to be attempting to “recruit” the incoming Trump administration and the US Congress to block another feared bid by the outgoing Obama administration to have the Security Council approve principles for a Palestinian state.Netanyahu’s fear is that US Secretary of State John Kerry will set out principles or parameters for a Palestinian state in a speech that he has said he will deliver in the next few days on his Middle East vision. The prime minister fears that, in its final days, the Obama administration will seek to have a resolution enshrining those parameters adopted by the UN Security Council, the Channel 2 report said.France is to hold a conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 15, and Netanyahu expects that Kerry will attend, that the Middle East Quartet — the US, UN, Russia and EU — will coordinate their positions at that summit, and that they will then turn to the Security Council in the very last days of the Obama presidency, a Channel 10 report further suggested.Such speculation was not confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office, but Netanyahu has made public his outrage at the Obama administration several times since Resolution 2334 was passed, claiming that the president initiated and helped draft the resolution “behind Israel’s back.” He has variously called the resolution skewed, shameful and ridiculous — in part because it brands Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, “occupied Palestinian territory.”Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

New Zealand Jews urge Israel to keep embassy open after UN vote-Following recall of ambassador over Security Council anti-settlement resolution, local community ‘hopes no further action is taken’-By JTA December 26, 2016, 4:24 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

SYDNEY — After New Zealand was one of four countries to sponsor a resolution in the United Nations Security Council condemning Israel, the country’s Jewish community has called on the governments of New Zealand and Israel to work together to keep the Israeli Embassy in Wellington open.The plea follows the recall to Israel of its ambassador in New Zealand, in the wake of the passing Friday of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s continued settlement building.New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses said the Israeli Embassy is important to the Jewish community.“The Israeli Embassy plays a vital role in Jewish life in New Zealand. It supports and promotes Jewish festivals and cultural activities, and facilitates business links between the two nations. The Embassy also has a key role in engaging with other religious groups throughout New Zealand,” she said.She also said that the embassy is playing a pivotal role in next year’s commemorations of 100 years of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps campaign in what is now Israel. “It would be disappointing if the cooperation between the two countries on this historic event was lost,” she said.“New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully has said Ambassador Itzhak Gerberg has been recalled for consultation. The New Zealand Jewish community hopes no further action is taken and both governments will focus on keeping the Israeli Embassy open,” she concluded.

In wake of UN measure, hundreds of East Jerusalem homes set to be okayed-618 housing units in capital reportedly expected to be green-lighted for construction, while another 5,600 will be considered-By Times of Israel staff December 26, 2016, 10:47 am

The Jerusalem municipality will likely approve the construction of hundreds of homes in East Jerusalem this week, days after the United Nations Security Council resolution angered Israel by labeling construction there as a “flagrant violation under international law.”During the meeting, the Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee is expected to give the green light to the construction of 618 housing units, of which 140 are in Pisgat Zeev, 262 in Ramat Shlomo and 216 in Ramot, according to a report in the Haaretz daily.The meeting to approve the construction of the homes was reportedly scheduled prior to Friday evening’s passage of UNSC Resolution 2334, which labeled all construction over the Green Line — land beyond the 1949 armistice line that Israel captured during the 1967 Six Day War — as illegal, including in Jerusalem.Despite Jerusalem being Israel’s capital city, construction in the city’s east has long been condemned by the international community, which does not recognize Israel’s annexation of that half of the city. Israel says the city is united and maintains it has full rights to build anywhere in the capital.The Jerusalem District Zoning Committee is also scheduled to meet on Wednesday, during which it will deliberate the construction of 5,600 homes in East Jerusalem, including 2,600 housing units in Gilo, 2,600 in Givat Hamatos and 400 in Ramot, Israel Hayom reported.Construction in Givat Hamatos, a sparsely settled hillside near Jerusalem’s southern edge, has failed to get off the ground because of fierce international opposition, with critics saying the addition of Israeli homes there would cut off the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa from nearby Palestinian areas of the West Bank, making it more difficult to divide portions of East Jerusalem from the rest of the city.Jerusalem municipal officials view the election of US President-elect Donald Trump as an opportunity to launch a building spree in East Jerusalem, which has been much lower in recent years due to pressure from the Obama administration.Ir Amim, a Jerusalem-based NGO that monitors Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, wrote on Twitter on Monday that in the past month and a half over 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem have been approved, more than double the number approved last year.Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman, who also chairs the Jerusalem District Zoning Committee, told Israel Hayom on Sunday that the recent UN resolution will have no effect on Israeli building plans in East Jerusalem.“We remain unfazed by the UN vote, or by any other entity that tries to dictate what we do in Jerusalem,” he said, while adding that “I hope the Israeli government and the new US administration will support us, so we can make up for the lack [of construction] during the eight years of the Obama administration.”

Trying to see past the UN vote-Netanyahu remains Haaretz’s bete noir, and Obama Israel Hayom’s; Yedioth Ahronoth focuses on hospitals-By Ilan Ben Zion December 27, 2016, 4:24 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Israel’s ongoing diplomatic crisis in the aftermath of last week’s UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in the West Bank remains the main order of business in the Hebrew press on Tuesday, but the newspapers attempt to break out of just reporting on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s maneuvers.After days of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dominating the headlines with his diplomatic raging, Haaretz turns the spotlight back on the prime minister. After days of criticism, the paper reports that the police have been investigating possible criminal charges against Netanyahu. Now, it says, there’s been a significant development in the probe and the police are dealing with two major cases.Taking aim at the settlements at the crux of the diplomatic crisis, Haaretz also reports that Palestinians have submitted 1,253 requests to build in Area C of the West Bank — the part under Israel’s Civil Administration — in the past three years, and that only 53 were approved. Even more staggering is that the Civil Administration bulldozed 18 times the number of buildings approved for construction.Yedioth Ahronoth, which appears to have put the UN Security Council resolution behind it, pushes its reporting on Israel’s diplomatic crisis to after a report on the country’s hospital crisis. Old ladies in hospital beds in the corridors of overcrowded facilities generate greater outrage in the populist paper than the three-day-old snafu in the wake of the Security Council vote.“Your whole life you pay and what happens in the end? I’m an old lady in the corridor,” it quotes a distraught patient saying.When Yedioth Ahronoth gets around to reporting on Israel’s diplomacy, it writes that diplomats are seriously concerned about a plot by France and the United States at the upcoming Paris peace conference. Yedioth Ahronoth quotes unnamed diplomatic sources saying that the conference will try to set parameters for renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, including a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.Netanyahu’s defense of his handling of the diplomatic crisis remains the top story in Israel Hayom. It leads, as ever, with the prime minister’s statements and those of his envoy in Washington, Ambassador Ron Dermer, who charged that Israel has hard evidence that the Obama administration orchestrated the UN Security Council resolution against Israel.The paper adopts the same aggressive tone as the prime minister, who is quoted saying that Israel “is a state with national pride, and we don’t turn the other cheek.” He stands by his downgrading of ties and cancellation of the Ukrainian prime minister’s visit saying “it’s an enlightened, aggressive and responsible response.” In quick succession, the newspaper devotes its first seven pages of coverage to everyone from Alan Dershowitz to Republican congressmen joining in the cries against Obama for the UN vote.The paper’s pundit of the day, Mati Tuchfeld, blasts the Israeli opposition for criticizing the prime minister “when Israel is attacked by the world” and keeps up the daily newspaper’s blaming of the Obama administration for the UN Security Council vote.“After eight years in which President [Barack] Obama demonstrated complete hostility toward Israel, and after the US is considered a failure in everything concerning foreign policy, perhaps it’s too much to ask of the opposition and media in Israel to criticize the outgoing administration when there’s an easier target: Benjamin Netanyahu,” he writes.To nobody’s surprise, Haaretz’s editorial snipes back at Netanyahu, again blaming the prime minister for holding onto the foreign affairs portfolio “so that no one can disturb his work of destroying diplomatic relations with those states, some of whom are friends of Israel, that ‘dared’ to vote for the resolution.”“The journey of destruction encompasses the world,” the paper says. By ordering the Foreign Ministry to reduce almost completely working diplomatic ties with the 12 states that voted for the resolution with whom Israel has ties, the paper says, “Netanyahu is giving up communication channels that the State of Israel needs — now and in the future. In the framework of his familiar diplomatic paranoia, he’s concerned about additional steps that may be taken in the coming weeks, up to Obama’s departure.”“This catastrophe is happening when there isn’t a full time foreign minister to point out to him the great damage he’s causing,” it says. Netanyahu, the paper says, is incapable of seeing reality “and refuses to understand that an agreement with the Palestinians is the primary Israeli interest; the problem is that in this way the prime minister of Israel is dragging a whole state into the abyss.”

Analysis / For the PM, there is no damage Obama could do that Trump could not undo-Why Netanyahu refuses to ‘turn the other cheek’ in his response to the UN defeat-PM believes the carrot of Israeli cyber, intel and anti-terror expertise is so attractive that nations will ignore concerns about the Palestinians. He’s using the stick to make plain such expertise will be denied to those he sees harming Israel-By Raphael Ahren December 27, 2016, 2:49 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

One of the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith, compiled by the medieval philosopher Maimonides, reads as follows: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and although he may tarry, I wait every day for his coming.”Replace “the Messiah” with “a drastic increase in Israel’s global popularity,” and you’ll get the first article of faith from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s foreign policy gospel.It is his ironclad belief, despite significant evidence to the contrary, that Israel’s standing in the world is terrific and will imminently become even better that lies behind the array of dramatic punitive steps he took this week against the 14 countries who supported Friday’s anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council, and the one who abstained — the United States.Netanyahu’s deep-seated conviction that the world no longer much cares about the settlements, or Palestinian statehood, but is extremely thirsty for Israel’s high-tech prowess and anti-terrorism know-how, has been undented by even the most crushing diplomatic defeats.It was not shattered by the fact that the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of granting the “State of Palestine” observer status in 2011, or that UNESCO continually passes resolutions that ignore the Jewish people’s ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, or that, as a general rule, large majorities of the world’s countries still support the Palestinian cause and vote against Israel.In September, Netanyahu told the General Assembly that “Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution” and that the UN’s automatic anti-Israel majority will be a thing of the past less than 10 years from now.By late December, that very same General Assembly had passed 20 blatantly anti-Israeli resolutions, all with overwhelming majorities. A whopping 162 countries voted for Resolution A/C.4/71/L.14, for instance, which refers to the Temple Mount only by its Islamic name, “Haram al-Sharif.” Seven countries opposed and eight abstained.Resolution A/C.4/71.L.13, which asserts that Israeli settlements in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace,” received 165 yes votes, six no votes and seven abstentions.Friday’s Security Council vote on Resolution 2334, which condemns Israel’s settlement enterprise, was a particularly resounding slap in the face. The Obama administration, which had vetoed a similar text in 2011, abstained, and that abstention allowed the first anti-Israel resolution to be passed in the Security Council in nearly a decade.Netanyahu regularly slams the UN, but his reaction this time was unusually ferocious. He summoned a dozen ambassadors for dressing-downs, canceled foreign aid to Senegal and Angola, disinvited the Ukrainian prime minister, declined meetings with the leaders of China and Great Britain. He also instructed his ministers to curtail travel to the countries that voted in favor of the resolution, announced a “reassessment of all of our contacts with the UN,” ordered funding cuts to various UN agencies, and vowed that “there’s more to come.”In addition, after personally calling in the US ambassador, he also accused US President Barack Obama of collusion and betrayal, and likened him to the “deeply hostile” president Jimmy Carter. In unprecedentedly harsh language, a senior Israeli official said the resolution Washington allowed to pass provided a “tailwind for terror and boycotts.” His ambassador in the US went even further: “And what is outrageous is that the United States was actually behind that (UNSC) gang-up,” said Ron Dermer.But his core conviction that a change is going to come abides. As he asserted in an address on Saturday night, Friday’s Security Council vote will prove to be “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the turning point that will actually “accelerate” Israel’s triumphal elevation among the family of nations.“The resolution that was passed at the UN yesterday is part of the swan song of the old world that is biased against Israel, but, my friends, we are entering a new era,” he declared, predicting that the revolution “will happen much sooner than you think.”And in this brave new world in which all nations need what only the Jewish state can offer, he vowed, “there is a much higher price for those who try to harm Israel, and that the price will be exacted not only by the US [under the Trump administration], but by Israel as well.”‘Those who work against us will lose — because there will be a diplomatic and economic price for their actions against Israel’-Some pro-Palestinian activists accused Netanyahu of threatening violence, but that is not what he had in mind. Rather, the prime minister was warning the nations of the world that they won’t benefit from Israeli high-tech innovation and anti-terrorism expertise if they don’t change their voting pattern vis-a-vis Israel.“Those who work with us will benefit because Israel has much to give to the countries of the world. But those who work against us will lose — because there will be a diplomatic and economic price for their actions against Israel,” he said.Netanyahu’s message is clear: Israel will no longer be the world’s punching bag. From now on, countries will have to choose whether they’re with Israel or against Israel. If they support us in international forums, we’re happy to do business. If they insist on voting against us, they will have to live without all the vital goodies — the cyberdefense skills, the intelligence on terrorism, and other such vital modern commodities — that the startup nation has to offer.-Misunderstanding Netanyahu-Critics charge that Netanyahu’s punitive measures against countries that supported the anti-settlements resolution are wildly disproportionate. Even Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, his own Likud colleague, said Tuesday that she would have not curtailed contacts with other countries but rather engaged with them to explain Israel’s point of view.Some argue that Netanyahu’s was a deliberately exaggerated response aimed at scoring political points at home by portraying himself as a fearless leader willing to take on the world to protect Israel’s just cause.Others theorize that he is trying to keep the Security Council vote in the headlines in order to deflect attention from new developments in a probe into alleged corruption. Indeed, Netanyahu’s squabble with the world, especially with the US, has unsurprisingly received vastly more airtime than a report that the police might soon open a full-blown criminal investigation against him over alleged bribe-taking and aggravated fraud.But those familiar with the way Netanyahu sees Israel’s place in the 21st century know that his ostensibly exaggerated steps against Senegal and Spain, Ukraine, China, France, Britain, the US, et al, are not merely political maneuvers meant to hijack the headlines for a few days but form an integral part of his overall foreign policy doctrine.-Carrots and sticks-There is “no alternative to a determined response,” he said Monday, “because it is, in effect, creating the basis for a different approach in the future.” Not only will Israel’s relations with the international community not be harmed by his harsh reaction, he added, but “over time they will only improve, because the nations of the world respect strong countries that stand up for themselves and do not respect weak ingratiating countries that bow their heads… Under my leadership Israel is a strong and proud nation… Israel is a country with national pride and we will not turn the other cheek.”It is Netanyahu’s unfaltering belief that the carrot of Israeli technology and intelligence assistance is attractive and important enough for the world to embrace the Jewish state while ignoring the festering Palestinian problem. But, he evidently also feels, nations will only change longstanding, deeply ingrained anti-Israel voting patterns at the UN if they get the stick when they misbehave.This philosophy — that the world will respect you only when you project strength — also explains Netanyahu’s seemingly self-sabotaging attacks against the outgoing US administration.US President Barack Obama still has more than three weeks in office, during which he could cause Israel much damage. Secretary of State John Kerry is preparing to lay out parameters for a two-state solution, which might be adopted by the participants of the January 15 international peace conference in Paris and could, sooner than later, be given a stamp of approval by the Security Council.So why would Netanyahu and his team launch unprecedentedly bitter attacks against Obama rather than try to productively engage him? Since the White House appears eager to leave a lasting footprint regarding the peace process, why wouldn’t Israel employ quiet diplomatic channels to avert further damage rather than seeking further public confrontation? -Trump time-One part of the answer lies in the Netanyahu’s total confidence in Donald Trump’s pro-Israel bona fides. For the first time in his many years as prime minister, Netanyahu will get to work with a Republican president — a man who continues to assert that he will move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and who has appointed Orthodox Jews who support the settlements to key positions dealing with the peace process.There is no damage Obama could do that Trump could not undo, Netanyahu seems to think (even though it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to overturn Security Council resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian question).The other part of the answer has to do with Netanyahu’s credo that Israel has to project power and strength, even when it has lost the battle. Rather than walk away, accept defeat and discreetly attempt damage control, the prime minister prefers to go down guns blazing.This thinking also informed his strategy on the Iran nuclear agreement. Once he realized the world was headed toward approving the deal, he preferred to openly antagonize his opponents — in this case the Obama administration, which spearheaded the pact with Tehran — rather than acquiesce or attempt last-ditch efforts to at least soften the blow.“Enough of this Diaspora-think,” Netanyahu said Monday. “I tell you that there is no diplomatic wisdom in being ingratiating.”The history books, which are always in the back of Netanyahu’s mind, have duly noted both the Israeli prime minister’s vociferous opposition to the Iran deal and, now, to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, but the jury on his diplomatic wisdom is still out.Israelis would be all too happy to see a savior arrive to bring redemption from the UN’s anti-Israel obsessions, the threat posed by Iran, and other global challenges. Soon enough, we will all see whether President-elect Trump can provide the dramatic impact the prime minister anticipates. Soon enough, we will all see whether the prime minister’s prophecy of a new, thriving era of ties with the nations of the world is coming true, or if Israel under the insistently non-ingratiating Netanyahu is damned to growing international isolation.

Deputy FM questions PM’s diplomatic embargos after UN vote-In apparent jab at Netanyahu for canceling meetings with world leaders, Hotovely says ‘part of diplomacy is explaining our position’-By Raoul Wootliff December 27, 2016, 1:40 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Tuesday expressed reservations about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s harsh reaction to countries who voted for a UN Security Council vote criticizing Israel’s settlements, saying she didn’t think it was appropriate to cancel diplomatic meetings in protest.Speaking in two interviews on Israeli radio, Hotovely said she would prefer the opportunity to explain Israel’s position to representatives of the 14 countries who voted for the motion rather than boycotting them.“I don’t think that we need to cancel official visits,” she told Army Radio.“Part of diplomacy is explaining clearly what our position is and why these countries are damaging their own interests,” she added, in an apparent jab at Netanyahu’s recent decision to scupper a visit to Israel this week by Ukraine’s prime minister, his reported cancellation of a meeting with British leader Theresa May and his instructions to ministers to minimize working relations with the countries that supported the resolution.In a separate interview with Israel Radio, Hotovely said meeting with foreign leaders was the only way Israel could present its position fully.“We need to get rid of this false term, the phrase ‘occupied territory.’ This is Israel’s territory — the Land of Israel,” she added. “Israel doesn’t intend to tell any one what to do but will also not accept being told what to do by anyone.”But Hotovely also conceded that as foreign minister, Netanyahu has the right to make those decisions on his own and said she would “respect his position.”Since the measure was passed, Israel has taken a number of retaliatory steps against the countries that supported its passage, including an official dressing-down of the Security Council members’ ambassadors to Israel on Sunday, Christmas Day.Netanyahu on Saturday disinvited Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman after Kiev voted in favor of the resolution.Groysman, who became his country’s first-ever Jewish prime minister earlier this year, was scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for a two-day visit that would have included meetings with Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other senior officials.Netanyahu’s office has denied reports that he nixed a meeting with Theresa May next month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying that no meeting had been set. But the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Tony Kay, told The Times of Israel on Monday there had been plans for a sit-down, though Jerusalem had not told London it planned to cancel the meeting.Netanyahu has also reportedly ordered the Foreign Ministry to minmize all working ties with the 12 of countries that voted in favor of the decision with which Israel has diplomatic relations. Foreign ministers from the countries will reportedly no longer be able to meet with Netanyahu or Foreign Ministry officials.In addition, travel by Israeli ministers to the countries will be kept to a minimum, an official said.Of the 15 countries on the UN Security Council, 14 voted in favor of Resolution 2334, which demands a halt to all Israeli settlement activity — including in East Jerusalem — with one abstention, that of the US, whose veto would have nixed the measure.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Israel assures Pakistan it’s not making nuke threats-Pakistan’s defense chief had issued nuclear warning in response to fake news item; Jerusalem stresses reports are ‘entirely false’-By Times of Israel staff and AP December 26, 2016, 1:42 am

The Israeli Defense Ministry has reassured Pakistan it did not issue nuclear threats against Islamabad, after its defense minister responded to a fake news item with a veiled atomic warning to the Jewish state.In an apparent response to a fake story claiming Israel’s former defense minister threatened a nuclear attack against Pakistan if it sends troops to Syria, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif last week reminded Israel that “Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”Israel’s Defense Ministry tweeted back Saturday, saying the original story on the site AWD News was “never said” and is “entirely false.”AWD has been identified by fact-checking organizations as a fake news site. There was no immediate reaction from Pakistan to Israel’s response.On Friday, the Pakistani minister tweeted: “Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”@KhawajaMAsif reports referred to by the Pakistani Def Min are entirely false— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) December 24, 2016-Israel Radio said Saturday that Asif was responding to a fake news story on the website, which falsely reported that Israel responded to a Pakistani promise to send troops to Syria with a threat of nuclear attack.The unfounded story even mistakenly attributes the threat to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Ya’alon left the Defense Ministry in May and was replaced by current Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh.Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too AH— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) December 23, 2016-Israel has never publicly confirmed or denied possessing nuclear weapons, nor issued threats to use nuclear weapons. It would be beyond unlikely for it to brazenly threaten Pakistan that “we will destroy them with a nuclear attack,” as the report claimed that Ya’alon did on Tuesday. Such ostensible comments by Ya’alon would have caused major headlines worldwide.Asif’s tweet was roundly criticized on twitter, with many calling on him to act in a more responsible manner.“Oh Khawaja Saab, It’s a Fake News From Fake News Outlets. Act Like a Defense Minister,” wrote one commentator.It’s not the first time Asif has brandished his country’s nuclear arsenal.In September he threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons against arch-enemy India.

After years of conflict, Egypt eases Gaza blockade-Signaling interest in improving ties, Cairo allows more Gazans to exit through Rafah, okays commercial imports for first time since 2013-By Fares Akram December 27, 2016, 3:46 pm-AP-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — For most of the past decade, Egypt has been a quiet partner with Israel in a blockade on the Gaza Strip, introduced after a violent takeover by the Hamas terrorist organization. But after a three-year crackdown, there are signs that Egypt is easing the pressure in a step to repair its shattered ties with the Palestinian group.In recent months, Cairo has increased the number of people allowed to exit through the Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world. It also has begun to allow Gaza to import commercial goods through Rafah for the first time since 2013 and sent public signals that it is interested in improving relations.“There is a ball of hope that was thrown by Egypt,” said Ashraf Jomaa, a Gaza community leader who has taken part in recent meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss the changing ties. “The question is how we, the Palestinians, shall catch that ball and develop the hope.”The changes, while still in their infancy, mark a significant departure from what has been a tough Egyptian crackdown since the military ousted its then-president, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013. Hamas, an offshoot of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, enjoyed close relations with him and quickly fell into disfavor with the new government.Under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the former military chief who ousted Morsi, Egypt all but destroyed a once-thriving network of cross-border smuggling tunnels used by Hamas — robbing the group of its main economic lifeline and a key source of weapons.Targeting Islamic militant groups in Egypt’s northern Sinai Desert, it also destroyed hundreds of homes in the volatile border area to create a “sterile zone.” Egypt’s state-run media have repeatedly accused Hamas of collaborating with militants in Egypt, a charge the group denies.The crackdown has had a devastating effect on both sides of the border.The olive and palm trees that once lined the 40-kilometer (25-mile) road from Rafah to el-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai, have been razed and even small bushes have withered.The road is littered with checkpoints, tanks and mobile artillery units, manned by anxious young soldiers. In the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, where travelers used to stop to buy Egyptian mobile phone cards and snacks, stores were gutted, their doors bombed out. The bullet-riddled houses above them were turned into military positions, with sandbags covering the windows and snipers stationed on the roofs. The US-based Human Rights Watch estimates that thousands of people have been displaced — most of whom moved either elsewhere in town or to el-Arish.In Gaza, years of Egyptian restrictions, coupled with an Israeli blockade and three wars between Hamas and Israel, have devastated the economy and weakened Hamas.The UN and other international bodies estimate unemployment to be 43 percent, and Hamas has struggled to pay the salaries of the 40,000 police and civil servants it hired after seizing Gaza in 2007.An Israeli naval blockade, which Israel says is needed to prevent arms smuggling, means that most goods enter Gaza through Israeli-controlled cargo crossings. While most consumer goods are freely available, prices of fuel, cigarettes and other items have spiked because of limited supplies. Construction materials, badly needed to rebuild damage from a 2014 war, remain in short supply.But Egypt’s recent turnaround has begun to bring some relief. In the past six months alone, Rafah crossing has been opened more than 40 days, compared to just 26 in all of 2015, allowing thousands of people to leave for jobs, medical care, family visits and studies abroad.Last month, it allowed a top Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, to travel abroad for the first time since Morsi was toppled. In addition, it allowed a Malaysian official to enter Gaza to meet with Hamas officials. In another first, it allowed cargo to be shipped into Gaza through Rafah, including 40 new cars, painting materials and tar.In recent months, Egypt has invited three delegations of businessmen, academics, community leaders and journalists from Gaza for semiofficial conferences in Cairo. Participants said the issue of creating a trade zone between Gaza and Egypt was raised. Hamas has begun paving a patch of land on the Palestinian side of the crossing for what local media say will be an area to contain more imports from Egypt.At a recent meeting, Egyptian officials said they were interested in “opening a new chapter” with Gaza, said one official, who was not allowed to be identified under the briefing guidelines. “We are still evaluating the situation, and this is a long dialogue until we reach better relations.”Hamas has welcomed the moves, saying it is ready to shutter the tunnels if commercial activities increase above-ground. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said, “If the (Rafah) crossing opened commercially, what’s the need for the tunnels?”But Hamas, an armed group sworn to Israel’s destruction, has repeatedly seen its hopes dashed as it tries to emerge from isolation. It remains unclear how far Egypt is willing to help the group, especially if it continues using tunnels to bring in arms.“If the tunnels are used by the Palestinian resistance, then this is something else that doesn’t harm the Egyptian security,” Zahar said.Beverly Milton-Edwards, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, said any Egyptian moves toward Gaza are to promote its own national security interests. With Egypt still locked in battle against Islamic extremists in Sinai, any change will likely be slow and cautious, and could depend greatly on Hamas’ own actions.Egypt still fears Sinai militants will use the tunnels to escape or to bring in explosives from hard-liners within Hamas’ armed wing.“The signaling of intent is carefully calibrated to remind the Gaza government of the levels of control and power that Egypt can exert positively or negatively,” Milton-Edwards said. “If there is not enough evidence of compliance by the Hamas government then Cairo will not hesitate to halt all alleviating measures.”

Court unbans Temple Mount activist penalized for pig picture-Haim Brosh’s lawyer says he created image but didn’t post it on Facebook, argues that free speech permits mockery of holy sites-By Times of Israel staff December 27, 2016, 3:08 pm

Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday overturned a ban on visiting the Temple Mount imposed upon a right-wing activist for disseminating an image of a pig superimposed on the Old City holy site.Haim Brosh, 30, from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa was arrested Wednesday for incitement after calling Muslims “pigs” on social media. He subsequently received a 10-day ban on visiting the Temple Mount because of the digitally altered image of the pig drinking from a puddle on the Temple Mount, which was posted on Facebook.In the picture, the golden-capped Dome of the Rock can be seen reflected in the water of the puddle, and the accompanying caption reads: “The Israeli government lets live pigs rule the holiest site for the Jewish people, and everyone is crying out over a [dead] pig’s head at the tomb of a righteous man in anti-Semitic Europe?”His comparison was a reference to an attack early Wednesday morning in the Ukrainian town of Uman, during which a number of assailants threw a pig’s head into a building at the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman, founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, and daubed fake blood on the walls and floor of a synagogue at the site. Some Jewish worshipers present were attacked with pepper spray.Although Brosh did remove the image from the timeline of his Facebook account, he didn’t actually delete it, and it was still being shared by other users a day later in protest of his arrest.ISRAEL: Anti Semitic attack on Rebbi Nachmans Kever in UMAN , they put red juice and a pigs head all over the Taino— The Yiddish World (@TheYiddishWorld) December 21, 2016-Far-right lawyer Itamar Ben Gvir, who is representing Brosh, claimed that he was charged with the wrong offense. According to Ben Gvir, while Brosh did create the image it was others who uploaded it to his Facebook page. Ben Gvir argued that the creation of such an image is covered by freedom of speech, and is no worse than other artistic images that mock Jewish holy sites.In upholding the appeal, judge Carmi Mossek berated police for falsely charging Brosh, telling them that he failed to see why the alleged crime should cause him to be barred from the Temple Mount itself.Brosh’s Facebook feed includes pictures of previous visits he made to the holy site, as well as other references to Jewish right of access to the compound.Brosh said that in creating the image, he intended to protest the fact that “the Israeli government is letting a foreign body — the Waqf [Jordan-based Islamic trust administering the site] — control and act in an aggressive manner and harm the basic democratic rights of Jews who only want to go up and pray without any provocation.”“I go up to the Temple Mount and they harass me, curse me, and call me a pig,” Brosh said. “In every mosque they call Jews monkeys and pigs and they haven’t arrested anyone for offending [my] religion.”Jewish activists have advocated going up onto the Mount and praying on it to establish a Jewish presence on the site, on which the third-most important holy site in Islam — the Al-Aqsa Mosque — rests. The Mount itself and the area under the Dome of the Rock are the holiest sites in Judaism and the locations of both the ancient Jewish temples.Under Israeli law, Jews are allowed to visit the Mount but not to pray there, as part of a “status quo” agreement put in place by Israel after it captured the site from Jordan in 1967.Stuart WIner contributed to this report.

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