Friday, December 23, 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

France to convene Middle East peace conference on Jan. 15-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-December 22, 2016

PARIS (Reuters) - France will convene some 70 countries on Jan. 15 for a Middle East peace conference in Paris, its foreign minister said on Thursday, and will invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet separately at its conclusion.France has repeatedly tried to breathe new life into the peace process this year, holding a preliminary conference in June where the United Nations, European Union, United States and major Arab countries gathered to discuss proposals without the Israelis or Palestinians present.The plan was to hold a follow-up conference before the end of the year with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas involved to see whether the two sides could be brought back to negotiations and revive moribund peace talks.Netanyahu had repeatedly rejected the conference proposal."France is still determined to hold a conference in Paris to reaffirm the necessity of a two-state solution," Jean-Marc Ayrault told journalists."January 15 is the date that has been fixed and 70 countries are invited. We are not going to give up now."A French diplomatic source said invitations would also be sent to Netanyahu and Abbas to meet French president Francois Hollande to outline the results of the conference.The source said that with uncertainty surrounding how the next US administration would handle the issue it was more important than ever to deal with the issue."You can see that it's even more justified in this context," the source said.Ahead of a UN Security Council vote at the UN later on Israeli settlements, Ayrault declined to say how Paris would vote, but repeated that settlements were illegal."We will look at this text carefully. The ongoing settlements completely weaken the situation and create tensions and move Us away from a two-state solution".(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Maya Nikolaeva and Richard Balmforth)

Oh Hanukkah! So many ways to celebrate the festival of lights-From candlelit menorah walking tours to interactive museum exhibits, there are more than enough activities to keep the kids busy over holiday break-By Jessica Steinberg December 21, 2016, 2:12 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

With eight days of Hanukkah and seven days of school vacation, there’s a serious need to keep kids occupied and happy in between the massive intake of oil and sugar in daily doses of doughnuts and latkes.Luckily, local museums and cultural venues are prepared for the holiday onslaught, with numerous performances, events and programs planned for families. Many of the events are even free.Below are a list of options, ranging from candelighting ceremonies and candlelit menorah walking tours to new museum exhibits and film screenings. There are eco-tours, including one to save Ashdod’s sand dunes, a recycling effort at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, and do-it-yourself art at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. 1) There are several options at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, but one that is particularly good for families is “Different Than Usual,” a hands-on exhibit of painting, collage and 3D that is created each day, starting December 24, by visitors to the museum. During the week of Hanukkah there are also plays and other activities for kids nearly every day. Check the museum website for more details. 2) The Children’s Museum in Holon has an exhibit on urban street art, with a host of activities and workshops to keep the kids busy, including drawing graffiti, playing a game of time travel trivia, and the always-fascinating Dialogue in the Dark, where blind guides lead visitors through dark spaces. Entrance fees are NIS 50 for kids and NIS 65 for adults. Call ahead at 03-650-3000 for reservations. 3) Haifa has some interesting museum events, including a comic workshop with artist Uri Fink at the Hermann Struck Museum on December 29. There is a course for ages 8+ from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and one for teens and adults from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; NIS 50 per person. Over in the Haifa neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas, as part of the Holiday of Holidays festival, there’s Play Haifa, a set of installations created by artists at Beit HaGefen, the Arab-Jewish cultural center. The artworks, situated inside and outside the center’s buildings, are designed to spark dialogue between visitors and passersby. 4) Looking for something free and outdoors? Head towards the Nitzanim Sand Dune Park between Ashdod and Ashkelon on December 27 for a Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) environmental education tour. SPNI and the local Ashdod municipality are hosting tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Keeping with the environment, on December 20 at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be recycled arts and crafts, talks on composting, and even a ride on a recycling truck to understand how it all works. 5) Over in Lod, the Festival in the East takes place on December 25 and 26, with musical performances from Shimon Buskila and the sisters of A-Wa, a performance of piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems), street theater and dance, and some poetry slamming as well. Some events require tickets, so be sure to go to the Facebook page and ticket website for more information.For more performances, there’s the Razel family singing together, as siblings Yonatan, Aaron and Ricka gather on Saturday night, December 31, at 8:30 p.m., at Jerusalem’s Gerard Behar Theater. 6) The artsy streets of downtown Jerusalem, around the pedestrian streets of Bezalel, Shmuel Hanagid, Shatz, King George and Hillel will become the location for street performances produced by alternative theater Hazira on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, December 27-29, from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. 7) Try out some alternative films at the first Female Directors’ Week at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, eight days of 50 new films by 50 Israeli female directors, from December 18-25. The films haven’t been screened yet, and they offer an alternative set of voices, from Jewish and Arabic, religious and secular, straight and LGBT, about relationships, experiences and matters of the heart. One of the screenings is an episode of “Landing on Their Feet,” a new comedy series for YES starring Mili Avital and Shani Cohen (“Eretz Nehederet”). 8) Candlelighting is an activity all in itself this season, and Yad Yitzhak Ben Zvi has several Hanukkah-related tours this season, with candlelighting tours of the Jewish Quarter and Nachlaot, to see and learn about the customs of lighting Hanukkah menorahs (hanukkiyot, as they’re known in Hebrew). The Jewish Quarter tours are December 26 and 27, from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., NIS 35 per child, NIS 60 per adult. The Nachlaot tour is December 28, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., and includes candlelighting with local families, and costs NIS 50 per person. Register by calling 02-539-8855. Discounts available for those who register online at the Yad Yitzchak Ben Zvi website.Other Jerusalem candlelighting ceremonies will take place on the streets of the Mahane Yehuda market from December 26-28, at 5:30 p.m., with street artists, clowns and jugglers taking part in the fun. 9) Candlelighting ceremonies abound in Tel Aviv, with the menorah art installation at Tel Aviv’s northern port, an enormous candleabra made of clear pipes that will be lit each night of Hanukkah, at 5:30 pm.There’s also the Night Light Festival in the neighborhood of Neve Sha’anan, which was designed in the shape of a menorah back in 1923. This year, the multicultural neighborhood will recreate its original street menorah with light installations and projections, and celebrate with musical performances, food stalls marking the local culinary influences of the Filipino, Eritrean, Sudanese, Ethiopian and Chinese residents, tours of the local streets and block parties. December 22 and 24, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. 10) In honor of the Festival of Lights, the historic Israel Electric building in Tel Aviv’s Gan Ha-hashmal (Electricity Garden) will be open on December 28 and 29, from 6 p.m. to midnight.There’s also the Lights Market Festival at Givon Square in Tel Aviv, when the city hosts Nazareth’s famed Christmas market, with music, street performances and food stalls on December 27-29, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., at the juncture of Ha’arba’a Street and Hashmonaim streets.Finally, head to Jaffa to view the lighting of the 15-meter-high Christmas tree at the clocktower. Crowds, and lights, abound.

While religious institutions continue to oppose the dual-faith education model, interfaith families are voting with their feet'-Is the Jewish community ready for a very merry interfaith Chrismukkah?-Over 60% of US Jews who married since 2000 have non-Jewish spouses. Will today’s youth be raised inside, outside, or maybe with one foot in the American Jewish community? By Amanda Borschel-Dan December 22, 2016, 2:46 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

As a five-year-old, Ella Goldberg suspected Santa wasn’t real. After all, he never came to her house, just to her grandmother’s. Finally, her mother confirmed her suspicions, but made her swear not to tell her friends at school.“She said she couldn’t lie to me because ‘it wasn’t part of your tradition,'” Goldberg said this week. Goldberg, whose mother is Catholic and father is Jewish, converted to Judaism as a baby and grew up in the faith.“From a young age, it was always very clear to us that Christmas was ‘mom’s holiday.’ We knew that Hanukkah was our tradition and we were proud of it,” she said. “My younger sister Lauren brought in a Hanukkiah [candelabra] for ‘show-and-tell’ in first grade and proudly proclaimed that ‘you all have one day of presents and we have eight!'”It’s relatively easy for interfaith families to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah — when the holidays are distinctive dates. In a true December dilemma, this year the two coincide. (According to a nifty Vox article replete with charts and graphs, the convergence of the first day of Hanukkah with Christmas Eve or Day has occurred on seven other occasions since 1900.) As jokes fly about Chrismukka or Hanukmas, in Jewish circles the volume on the constant communal intermarriage conversation has moved to full blast.There is objective cause for concern among those working towards Jewish continuity: Over 60 percent of Jews who married since 2000 have non-Jewish spouses.Add to this mix another — even more pervasive — push factor: the rise of the religious “nones.” According to the 2013 Pew Survey, “A Portrait of American Jews,” 22% of adult US Jews consider themselves “Jews of no religion.”In an increasingly secular United States, this religious disaffiliation is hardly unique to Jews. “Nearly eight-in-ten Millennials with low levels of religious commitment describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or ‘nothing in particular,'” according to a 2016 Pew report, “The factors driving the growth of religious ‘nones’ in the US”But this combination of intermarriage and increased secularization creates for the makings of a perfect alarmist storm: “Intermarried Jews, like Jews of no religion, are much less likely to be raising their children in the Jewish faith,” according to the 2013 Pew Survey.As interfaith families such as Goldberg’s are increasingly common, the question now goes beyond whether they will observe Christmas, Hanukkah — or both, a la Natalie Portman’s first Christmas tree — on December 24, the first night of candle lighting.Even as their parents struggle to remain in the pews, will today’s interfaith youth be raised inside, outside, or maybe with one foot in the American Jewish community? -No longer a Solomonic compromise?-In many cases of interfaith marriage, there may be more “oy gevalt” among the Jewish leadership than perhaps need be.“The Jewish community is always tense about the relationship between Hanukkah and Christmas in so-called interfaith families. I say ‘so-called’ because so many practice what I would call civil religion with a smattering of Christmas and Hanukkah rather than actually raising their children in two faiths or practicing two faiths in one family,” said Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, the executive director of Big Tent Judaism.Trans-denomination organization Big Tent Judaism tries to find and engage those that Pew would label “Jews of no-religion.” There are Jews who are unaffiliated, marginalized, or disenfranchised by mainstream institutionalized Jewish practice. The idea is to welcome them and their partners on their own terms, and give resources and support towards a fulling Judaism in their lives.“Often the family’s religion is Judaism but there is a nod to the other religion practiced in the family, usually by the other adult partner,” said Olitzky.While that doesn’t seem so dramatic, the statistics sound dire: According to the 2013 Pew Report, “79% of married Jews of no religion have a spouse who is not Jewish, compared with 36% among Jews by religion. And intermarried Jews, like Jews of no religion, are much less likely to be raising their children in the Jewish faith.”But maybe the phrase “in the Jewish faith” should be prefaced by the word “only” as blended families increasingly choose to expose children to both families’ heritages. This was the case for Ella Goldberg, whose interfaith childhood is no longer rare in a Jewish community where intermarriage rates have significantly risen over the past 50 years.-‘Interestingly enough, it was my Catholic mom who made sure we had a Jewish home, observed all of the holidays and attended Hebrew school’-Far from growing up confused or torn apart by her parents’ “competing” cultures, Goldberg said, “Interestingly enough, it was my Catholic mom who made sure we had a Jewish home, observed all of the holidays and attended Hebrew school.”Her Jewish education produced a strong Jewish identity: Eight years ago, Goldberg immigrated to Israel. Today, she is married to an Israeli and has a four-month-old baby Eitan.“Religiously, I only practice Judaism and continue to have a strong Jewish identity (I did make aliyah after all!),” she said. At the same time, her mother’s Catholic heritage is also an acknowledged part of her make-up. “I also still continue to enjoy the traditions from my childhood by enjoying Christmas music, hanging a stocking and exchanging gifts with my immediate and extended family,” she said.It is possible to embrace ‘both’-Journalist Susan Katz Miller, the author of “Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family,” is both an interfaith child and an interfaith parent. Her father is Jewish, her mother is Protestant, as is her husband.Based on Pew data, she told The Times of Israel that “some 25% of Jewish parents in interfaith marriages are raising children with more than one family religion.” Her family included: Katz Miller, a Reform Jew, and her husband raised their children in a community of interfaith families, the Interfaith Families Project of Greater Washington DC.“I found that these parents, whether they are religious or secular, want their interfaith children to have interfaith literacy. They want their children to have bonds of affection with both family religions. They want their children to be informed and knowledgeable and fluent with the traditions of both family religions. And they want both parents to be able to play an equal role in passing on family traditions,” said Katz Miller.In one of her many blogs on the subject, Katz Miller writes, “After experiencing both the ‘choose one’ pathway as a child, and the ‘choose both’ pathway as a parent, my contention is that there is no way to exclusively raise a child with one religion in an extended interfaith family… Family is family, and in the end, a claim that we are raising children exclusively in one religion means trying to exclude the emotional weight and sensory memories of the family traditions we experience together.”For Goldberg, for example, growing up Jewish while honoring and observing some of the traditions of her Catholic mother was a net positive.“I am especially grateful for my interfaith upbringing as I feel it helped to make me aware of and sensitive to people who are different from me… I’m proud of our multi-cultural family and I plan to continue to teach Eitan (and our future children) about his grandmother’s traditions as he grows up as I feel there is enormous value to learning about and being exposed to different cultures and faiths,” Goldberg said.-Rabbi expelled for performing interfaith weddings-Although Reform Judaism’s Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) members are officially discouraged from officiating at interfaith weddings, the movement has pursued serious outreach to blended families from the late 1970s. Additionally, in 1983, the movement ruled that a child whose father is Jewish and is raised in a Jewish home may be considered Jewish.But the issue of interfaith marriage is still a minefield and forbidden in much of institutional Judaism, including all forms of Orthodoxy and the Conservative movement.Just this week, Conservative Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom was expelled from the movement’s rabbis’ association, the Rabbinical Assembly, for performing interfaith weddings — including that of his stepdaughter to her non-Jewish spouse.In response, Rosenbloom told JTA, “It’s a futile policy, a policy that will eventually be overturned because the trend of history is against it.”The Conservative denomination, which considers itself a halachic movement (even though, anecdotally at least, most of its adherents do not fully commit to Jewish law), refuses to condone intermarriage. At the same time it is cognizant of the repercussions.“How we work with families where not everyone in the family is Jewish is tremendously important to us,” Rabbinical Assembly executive vice president Rabbi Julie Schonfeld said. “A tremendous amount of effort is invested by the Conservative movement and the Conservative rabbinate in making our synagogues really welcoming places for everyone.”‘It is not clear whether being intermarried tends to make US Jews less religious, or being less religious tends to make US Jews more inclined to intermarry’-In parsing out the whys and wherefores, for some in Jewish leadership, intermarriage is construed as a “failure.” But according to the 2013 Pew report, “It is not clear whether being intermarried tends to make US Jews less religious, or being less religious tends to make US Jews more inclined to intermarry, or some of both.”However, where many Jewish leaders see a problem, some organizations see a chance for deeper learning and mutual respect.Big Tent Judaism, for example, is hip to the void in institutionalized Judaism in terms of interfaith families. “The future of the North American Jewish community will be determined by the warmth, wisdom and caring with which we welcome and engage intermarried families and unaffiliated Jews into our midst,” reads the Big Tent website.Unfortunately, for many children of interfaith families, or Jews marrying non-Jews today, Big Tent’s style of outreach may be too little, too late.“Millennials are disaffiliating from religious institutions that are dogmatic or inflexible about how to teach interfaith children, or that try to place restrictions on how interfaith families get to educate their children or celebrate in their own homes,” said author Katz Miller. “Interfaith families are learning that interfaith education can be a joyous intellectual process, and can inspire their children to be bridge-builders and peacemakers in the world.”Today, for those who are attempting to raise children in two faiths, there are several independent organizations to support their decision.“While religious institutions continue to oppose the dual-faith education model, interfaith families are voting with their feet,” said Katz Miller.-An opportunity, not a problem-One such support network is the New York-based Interfaith Community, which was initially founded as an informal association of families in 1987. By 2003, it was legally incorporated as a nonprofit organization, began curriculum development, and opened programs in other locations.Currently the Interfaith Community has five chapters, with a sixth in formation, throughout the New York metropolitan area. Its programs include education for pre-school through 8th grade, in classes that are team-taught by 20 part-time Jewish and Christian professional educators.According to Dr. Sheila C. Gordon, the volunteer president of Interfaith Community since 2001, the chapters vary in size and membership fluctuates. “This year altogether we have about 90 paid member households and about 140 children enrolled in classes. We have served many hundreds of couples and families over the years,” said Gordon.In an increasingly diverse world, said Gordon, families can — and must — accommodate, respect and nurture their differences. “The traditions families incorporate are not only Jewish and Christian, but also include cultural differences from each,” said Gordon.“Jewish families include different heritages,” Gordon said, citing an Israeli-born member married to an American from a Roman Catholic background in a New York chapter who has introduced everyone to sufganiyot, a Hanukkah staple in Israel.“Our primary focus has been on educating families – and helping them to sustain authentic religion in their lives. But of great importance to us is our role in explaining interfaith families to the world,” said Gordon.-‘We are aware of how rapidly attitudes toward our dual-tradition families have changed in just a few years’-And headway is being made. As one of the older kids on the interfaith block, “we are aware of how rapidly attitudes toward our dual-tradition families have changed in just a few years,” said Gordon.Olitzky of Big Tent Judaism is also cautiously optimistic.“While the general tension with regard to interfaith families is less, I do not think it’s less regarding Hanukkah and Christmas issues,” he said.“Unlike most of the organized Jewish community, I do not assume that the presence of a Christmas tree presumes that this is a family that is raising their children in two faiths… I am also among the few who believe that you can have a faith experience in another faith without compromising one’s religious identity,” Olitzky said.-How to be a Jew and ‘observe’ Xmas-Ella Goldberg is currently in the US for the holidays — both of them. Her strong Jewish identity, she said, is a result of a combination of factors. Foremost among them appears to be basic acceptance and support on the part of both sides of her religious equation.“My mom’s total commitment to raising her children in the Jewish faith, celebrating holidays with my Jewish relatives, attending Hebrew school (three times per week through grade 8) and finally but perhaps most importantly, Israel,” all contributed in shaping her religious identity.“My Jewish identity, while always existent, was hesitant to be expressed until I experienced and moved to Israel. I still vividly recall my first trip to Israel with Birthright and standing on the shore of the Kinneret [the Sea of Galilee] in tears, overwhelmed by the sense of belonging I felt,” said Goldberg.And so it is from a place of utter security in their Jewish identities that Goldberg and her husband prepare to introduce their baby Eitan to Christmas.“My mom bought him a stocking with his name on it and it will be filled with small gifts for him. This year we will be at her house through Christmas and New year’s, so we will celebrate with my mom and her family,” she said. “In the future if we are in Israel for the holiday I plan to celebrate, but not in the same way that I would at my mom’s house with a tree and stockings.”

Israel urges Washington to veto resolution on settlements-Senior official says US vote in favor of motion would violate its ‘longstanding commitment,’ as affirmed by Obama at UN-By Raphael Ahren December 22, 2016, 3:12 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The US would be in breach of its commitment to not back one-sided anti-Israel resolutions, if the administration were to allow an Egyptian-proposed resolution on settlements to pass Thursday at the United Nations Security Council, a senior Israeli official said Thursday.“We hope America doesn’t breach its longstanding commitment to advance peace through negotiations,” a senior official told The Times of Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If they don’t veto, it will be a last gasp by the Obama administration, as they expect policy to change with the new [Trump] administration. We hope President Obama stays true to his words in 2011 that peace won’t come through statements at the UN.”At his speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2011, Obama declared: “Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”Over the last few months, as Jerusalem prepared for a possible anti-Israel resolution at the Security Council, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often quoted that passage from Obama’s speech, insisting that the White House block any effort to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace effort via international forums.“The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday,” Netanyahu wrote in a tweet posted early Thursday.The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 22, 2016-Late Wednesday, in a surprise move, Egypt — which currently holds a non-permanent seat and represents the Arab Group in the council — circulated a draft that will be voted on at 10 p.m. Israel time Thursday.The most recent draft of the resolution, which is subject to change due to last-minute negotiations, calls on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”It further expresses “grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution.” It calls on all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967,” which some analysts say invites boycotts of Israeli settlements goods.On the other hand, the draft also condemns “all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,” which some in the international community understand as turning the resolution into a “balanced” text.On Thursday, top Israeli officials spoke out against the resolution and urged the US administration to veto it.Education Minister Naftali Bennett, in a video message, called the UN Security Council meeting a “record in hypocrisy” in light of the slaughter in Syria, and said those who support it are backing “the bad guys” and “the forces of evil.”“Just a short plane ride from here, in Aleppo, there is a genocide going on,” he said. “Yet the UN Security Council is going to convene to tell us not to build a house here in Jerusalem, pave a road, open up a kindergarten. That is from the UN Security Council’s perspective, the number one issue… We expect the decent free world to support the world’s number-one fighter against radical terror, Israel.”“We expect our greatest friend not to let such a one-sided and anti-Israel resolution pass,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said. “A resolution like this won’t advance any [peace] process, but will only serve as a prize by the UN for the Palestinian policy of incitement and terror.”“Whoever truly supports peace must reject this resolution and all other contemptible efforts to promote a boycott against Israel through the United Nations,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said. “President Obama and many US states already passed legislation opposing any form of boycotts. I call on the American administration to veto this resolution immediately.”Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that backing the Palestinians at the UN would harden their “extremist positions” and distance peace. “We expect from the United States, our friends, to cast a veto, since such resolutions damage any future chances of reaching an agreement.”Stuart Winer contributed to this report.

Israeli envoy: US embassy move to Jerusalem a ‘step forward’ for peace-Ron Dermer urges Trump to follow through on campaign pledge to relocate embassy, says it would send a ‘strong message against delegitimization’-By AP and Times of Israel staff December 21, 2016, 3:38 am

The Israeli ambassador to the United States has urged the incoming Trump administration to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, telling guests at a Hanukkah reception at the Israeli embassy in Washington on Tuesday that the controversial move would be a “great step forward” for peace.Trump and his nominee for US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, have pledged to move the embassy. But previous Republican presidents have made that promise without following through.Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer added at the reception that such a move would send a “strong message against [the] delegitimization of Israel.”The US and nearly every other country have their embassies in Tel Aviv. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, but Palestinians claim part of eastern Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state.US presidents have repeatedly waived a law requiring the embassy to be moved, but Trump has signaled real intention to go ahead with his campaign promise.Trump’s transition team has begun exploring the logistics of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, and checking into sites for its intended new location, Israeli TV reported last week.Israel’s Foreign Ministry is involved in the matter, with officials in Jerusalem checking into when a possible site for the embassy, in an area that includes the Diplomat Hotel in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, would be available, Channel 2 reported.Also last week, Trump’s senior aide Kellyanne Conway said moving the embassy was a “very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump.” Conway told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, in a lengthy interview discussing Trump’s transition to the White House: “He made it very clear during the campaign, and as president-elect, I’ve heard him repeat it several times privately, if not publicly.”During the election, Trump pledged to end the longstanding White House policy to perpetually defer a 1995 Congressional decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the embassy there.“It is something that our friend Israel, a great friend in the Middle East, would appreciate and something that a lot of Jewish-Americans have expressed their preference for,” Conway said. “It is a great move. It is an easy move to do based on how much he talked about that in the debates and in the soundbites.”Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama renewed a presidential waiver that again delayed plans to relocate the embassy for another six months.In keeping with every other presidential administration over the last 20 years, Obama cited “national security interests” in waiving Congress’s 1995 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there.The most often cited argument against Washington recognizing Jerusalem as the capital and moving its embassy, is that such a move should only come after the successful conclusion of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. The status of Jerusalem is subject to bilateral negotiations, diplomats generally argue, and relocating the embassy as a gesture to Israel before a final-status agreement is signed would greatly anger Palestinians and the larger Arab world, sending an already moribund peace process to its certain death.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that it would be “great” if Trump made good on his campaign promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, even as some Israeli security and diplomatic officials, according to reports, are worried about the consequences of an immediate relocation, with fears of adverse reactions from the Arab world and on the streets of Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

There’s more than one way to move a US embassy-Op-ed: You can announce the relocation as an in-your-face rejection of all non-Israeli claims to Jerusalem. Or you can highlight the fact that the site is in pre-1967, ostensibly non-disputed Israeli West Jerusalem, and assert that its opening prejudges nothing. And a whole host of other ideas besides-By David Horovitz December 21, 2016, 5:10 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

In September 1996, brand-new Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized the opening of a second exit, an unassuming aperture on Via Dolorosa in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, for visitors to the subterranean Western Wall tunnels that run alongside the Temple Mount. Whatever had or had not been agreed with the Waqf (Muslim Trust) and other authorities, this relatively minor act of construction in the ultra-sensitive Old City was immediately denounced by PLO leader Yasser Arafat as an assault on Islam. Protests erupted in the territories, and in the subsequent armed clashes 17 Israeli soldiers and 70 Palestinians were killed.Twenty years later, US President-elect Donald Trump is said by his aides to be making a high priority of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and his intended ambassador David Friedman has declared, in a Trump team statement, that he anticipates working from the Israeli capital.The current Palestinian leadership is already warning of dire consequences if Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to relocate the embassy to what he called “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” In a conference call this week, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said the PLO would revoke its recognition of Israel, the peace process would be over, and there would be turmoil in the region. Furthermore, he predicted, America would be forced to close its embassies throughout the Arab world, since the Arab citizenries would not tolerate their ongoing presence.Put it another way, the violence prompted by the opening of the Western Wall tunnel exit would look like a stroll in the park by comparison.Netanyahu, today the longest-serving Israeli prime minister bar David Ben-Gurion, affects to be unfazed. It may be that Netanyahu doesn’t think often these days of what happened in September 1996; or maybe he thinks about it frequently and reminds himself that the violence died down in the end and that the second entrance to the Western Wall Tunnels is still open.Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s ambassador to the United States and very close adviser, on Tuesday, hailed the anticipated opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem as a “great step forward” for peace and a “strong message against delegitimization of Israel.” Netanyahu, who earlier this week hosted the entire Times of Israel editorial staff for an unprecedented, lengthy, but strictly off-the-record briefing packed with insights into his thinking, has thus far publicly confined himself, when discussing the embassy move, to an enthusiastic “great.”Such enthusiasm is self-evident. Jerusalem is the reason the Jewish state is here. It’s our historic capital. It is central to our faith. And much as UNESCO and other skewed international forums might seek to revise history, much as an intensifying Palestinian narrative seeks to disconnect us, Jerusalem has nestled in the heart of our nationhood for 3,000 years.Having regained sovereignty in the west of the city with independence, and recaptured the Old City and the east in the Six Day War, Israel has always sought to have the international community recognize Jerusalem as its capital. The United States, like most nations, has not done so. Until 1980, there were 13 countries that maintained their embassies in the city, but subsequently Israelis watched with sorrow the departing stream to Tel Aviv — Costa Rica and El Salvador being the last to go in 2006. Now Trump is apparently bent on reversing that diplomatic boycott. How could the prime minister of Israel, and his people for that matter, do anything but exult? Netanyahu plainly sees in Trump’s intended embassy move an extraordinary act of friendship and support for Israel, along with the clearest of signals to the Palestinians and the Arab world that change has emphatically arrived in Washington. A fervent believer that Israel must both be strong and project strength in order to survive in this treacherous region, the last thing Netanyahu is instinctively inclined to do is suggest to Trump that he reconsider his intended act of presidential Zionism because of doomsday threats from the likes of Saeb Erekat.There are, however, many ways for a US president to move an embassy. You can, as the head of Republicans Overseas in Israel, Marc Zell, suggested last week, simply change the plaque on the current US consulate. Or you can spend years building an entirely new structure. You can announce the move as an in-your-face rejection of all non-Israeli sovereign claims throughout the city. Or you can highlight the fact that the location is in pre-1967, ostensibly non-disputed Israeli West Jerusalem, and assert that its opening prejudges nothing in the disputed East. You can calibrate the announcement as the intended culmination of the peace negotiations you intend to convene. Taking a leaf out of a French diplomatic book, you can make plain that you seek to broker an accommodation, but that, come what may in those talks, you’ll be moving your embassy to Jerusalem on a specific date.And a whole host of other ideas besides.Along with his promise to relocate the embassy, Trump, that supreme artist of the deal, emphasized in recent months that he’d love to seal that “toughest” deal of all, the one that resolves the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and promised he’d “give it a shot.” It could be argued that utterly alienating one of the two sides by preempting negotiations with a step that could doom the effort is not the smartest course for a peace-broker to take. Others would doubtless counter that making plain to the other side that the rules of the game have changed, and it better wise up fast, is the best possible opening gambit.As with so much about the imminent Trump presidency, we watch, we wait, we wonder. And we also hope — we lovers of Jerusalem, we who live in Jerusalem, we whose daily lives play out against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s uniquely resonant and incendiary sensitivities — for wisdom from our leaders.

Trump: US should veto UN resolution on settlements-Police arrest brother of Jerusalem terrorist; court seeks clearer commitment to non-violence at Amona; Putin mulls expanding nuclear arsenal-By Sara Miller December 22, 2016, 2:09 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

15:40-Trump calls for US veto of UN resolution on settlements-President-elect Donald Trump call for the US to veto an Egypt-drafted UN resolution demanding that Israel immediately halt its settlement activities in the Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem.“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” the Republican says in a statement issued ahead of the vote.“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” he says.15:32-Meretz head: UN draft on settlements is ‘lifeline’ for peace process-The head of the left-wing Meretz party, Zehava Galon, praises the UN draft resolution on settlements, calling it a “lifeline” for peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.“This is a lifeline for the two-state solution,” Galon says, according to Channel 10. “The proposal presented by the Egyptians is balanced in its language.”15:25-Court to Amona residents: Say you will go peacefully regardless of timeframe-The High Court of Justice rejects a declaration by residents of the Amona outpost that they will evacuate the site peacefully, saying it does not go far enough to guarantee there will be no violence when security forces do move in.Channel 2 says the court has given the settlers until 5 p.m. to come up with a new version of the declaration, one which states there will be no opposition to the evacuation whether or not it approves a state request to extend the court’s December 25 deadline for the removal of residents.“The statement the [Amona] residents were supposed to deliver according to our decision yesterday was meant to be an unequivocal declaration of peaceful evacuation without resistance,” the court says. “We are allowing the Amona residents to present an unequivocal statement as we requested yesterday, by 5 p.m. today.”15:14-Erdan: UN draft on settlements is height of hypocrisy-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan lashes out over the UN draft on settlements due to be voted on this evening, calling it a new height of “hypocrisy.”“The Egyptian proposal represents a new record in the hypocrisy of the United Nations,” Erdan says, according to the Walla news website.“Boycotts of any kind only harm the tens of thousands of Palestinian workers who make a living in the joint [West Bank] industrial zones, as well as efforts to revive the peace process,” he says. “Those who truly support peace must reject this decision and every contemptible effort to promote a boycott against Israel via the United Nations.”14:48-Putin urges Russian nuclear weapons boost-Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for the country to reinforce its military nuclear potential and praises the army’s performance in its Syria campaign.In a speech recapping military activities in 2016, Putin says the army’s preparedness has “considerably increased” and called for continued improvement that would ensure it can “neutralize any military threat.”“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems,” he says.“We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country.”He says Russia’s military has successfully demonstrated its capabilities in Syria, showcased its technology to potential arms buyers and helped the Syrian army make considerable advances.“The Syrian army received considerable support, thanks to which it carried out several successful operations against militants,” he says. “The effective use of Russian weapons in Syria opens new possibilities for military-technical cooperation. We must take maximum advantage of this. We know there is interest in modern Russian weapons from foreign partners.”–AFP-14:36-Man held for Hamas contacts is brother of terrorist who killed 2-The East Jerusalem resident arrested yesterday for contacts with Hamas officials abroad is the brother of Mesbah Abu Sabih, the terrorist who killed two Israelis in an October shooting attack in the capital, Channel 2 reports.Abu Sabih was killed during a shootout with Israeli security forces in the moments after the attack.The report says the brother received a call last night from Qatar-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal, who congratulated him on the attack. The call came shortly after the family’s home was demolished by Israel.14:10-2 Haredi men arrested for blocking non-segregated Beit Shemesh bus-Two ultra-Orthodox men are arrested in Beit Shemesh for obstructing the passage of a bus that did not have separate seating for men and women.The two were among dozens of Haredi protesters who blocked a road along which the bus was traveling. They were taken in for questioning by police when they refused to heed repeated calls to disperse, Channel 2 reports.14:10-East Jerusalem man arrested for contact with Hamas officials abroad-Police say a resident of the East Jerusalem village of a-Ram was arrested for suspected contact with members of the Hamas terrorist organization abroad.According to the police spokesperson, the man in his 30s was detained yesterday on suspicion of contact with a foreign agent. He was to appear in court today for a remand extension hearing.— Ilan Ben Zion.

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