Friday, February 24, 2017



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

Israel successfully tests improved version of Iron Dome-Anti-missile defense system, using US made interceptors, put through paces and comes out with flying colors-By Times of Israel staff February 23, 2017, 1:33 am

The Israeli Defense Ministry completed a series of successful tests of an improved version of the anti-rocket Iron Dome missile system, the ministry said on Wednesday.The Missiles Defense Agency, along with the main contractor for the project, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, successfully put the system through its paces with a series of complex tests, a statement said. The system passed with flying colors.The Iron Dome fires Tamir interceptor missiles to engage and destroy incoming rockets. The latest iteration of the interceptors were made with components manufactured by US defense contractor Raytheon under Israeli supervision.The cooperation is a first for the Israeli program, which is jointly funded with the US, and reflects a joint manufacturing agreement signed with the US in 2014, after the rocket system, under development in Israel for over a decade, proved its mettle in its near-perfect record of knocking out of the sky rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli population centers.The Iron Dome system was developed, after much nay-saying, to counter the rocket threat from Gaza, a territory from which Hamas and other organizations have fired since 2001 upward of 15,200 projectiles at Israel. Sped to the field in a breakneck four years, the Rafael-made system was built to counter rocket threats from four to 70 kilometers away.It was not clear what improvements were made to the system, which was used to great effect in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge war in and around Gaza. During that war, Hamas and other terror organizations fired 4,594 rockets at Israel. Of those, the system chose to intercept 799 projectiles – it is designed to focus only on missiles deemed threatening to populated areas, ignoring those headed for empty fields or the sea — hitting 735 and missing or otherwise failing to destroy 64, according to a Channel 2 report.Toward the end of the war, Hamas focused on short-range mortar fire, which the system was not made to intercept. Other attempts have been made to increase the rate of fire so as to overwhelm the system and to acquire heavier and longer rockets that exceed Iron Dome’s limits.

Toronto police step up patrols of Jewish areas after anti-Semitic incident-Swastika notes stuck to doors of condo, mezuzahs vandalized; mayor says residents ‘should not have to face hatred on their doorsteps’-By JTA and Times of Israel staff February 23, 2017, 12:35 am

Toronto police have stepped up patrols of Jewish areas after a series of anti-Semitic messages targeted members of the city’s Jewish community, police said Wednesday.Yellow Post-it notes with hand-drawn swastikas and anti-Semitic language were stuck on the doors of a Toronto condominium building with many Jewish residents.At least one of the notes said “No Jews,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported. Also, mezuzahs on the doorposts of several apartments were removed or damaged, including a replacement for one that had been vandalized several days before the incident only hours after it had been mounted.The mezuzah is a small parchment scroll affixed to the doorpost and containing the text of the “Shema Yisrael” prayer. Religious believers commonly kiss the fixture upon entering or leaving a room or building.“Anti-Semitism has no place in Toronto,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement issued Monday. “Our Jewish residents should not have to face hatred on their doorsteps. These acts, and the people who carry them out, do not represent Toronto or Torontonians.”In a news conference on Wednesday, Sgt. Lawrence Sager of Toronto’s police said that they are “confident that whoever is responsible for this crime will be brought to justice.”He called on the public to help with any information they may have, saying that despite numerous tips, so far they have “no new information with regard to a specific individual.”Mayor @JohnTory condemns recent messages left targeting Jewish residents in North York. Toronto Police investigating as hate crime.— Kevin Misener (@Misener680NEWS) February 22, 2017-He said that police have increased patrols in Jewish areas in the wake of the incident.“We take this sort of criminal activity very seriously,” he said. “We recognize that these types of crimes have far-reaching repercussions. Toronto police enjoy a very, very close relationship with our Jewish community, and will support them in any way possible to ensure that they feel safe within their community.”The notes and vandalism were reported to Toronto police on Sunday night. The police reportedly are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.Residents reportedly believe the vandal is someone who lives in the building. There are no surveillance cameras in the hallway.

Pence visits damaged Jewish cemetery, condemns ‘vile’ vandalism-Vice president chips in with cleanup at St. Louis-area gravesite; most of 150 damaged headstones put back in place after large interfaith effort-By AP and Times of Israel staff February 22, 2017, 11:36 pm

UNIVERSITY CITY, Missouri — US Vice President Mike Pence condemned Wednesday a “vile act of vandalism” at a suburban St. Louis Jewish cemetery where more than 150 headstones were damaged earlier this week.Pence, speaking to small business owners at a business in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Missouri, called the incident a “vile act of vandalism.”He said he condemned “those who perpetrate it in the strongest possible terms.”The Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Missouri, was found Monday with 154 headstones vandalized, many of them toppled over.Since the vandalism, the cemetery has gotten a show of support from cleanup volunteers, well-wishers and financial contributors from across many faiths.Muslim groups have launched a crowdfunding campaign for the cemetery, with a goal of $20,000. It has raised nearly $75,000.Gov. Eric Greitens, who is Jewish, organized a volunteer effort to help in the cleanup Wednesday, and an interfaith service was planned for the afternoon. A large crowd attended a candlelight vigil at the cemetery Tuesday night.Pence later toured the cemetery with local officials and Jewish community members, helping to clean it up.Investigators have been reviewing surveillance video to determine who was responsible. The Anti-Defamation League offered a $10,000 reward for the vandals’ arrest and conviction. Police say there is no evidence of a hate crime, but haven’t ruled out the possibility.The vice president’s statement came a day after President Donald Trump broke his long silence on the reported uptick in anti-Semitic incidents, denouncing threats against Jewish community centers as “horrible” and “painful,” and saying more needed to be done “to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”Speaking after a tour of the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump said: “This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”The headstone damage was discovered hours after nearly a dozen Jewish centers were targeted with bomb threats, the latest wave in a string of similar scares. The threats continued Wednesday, with the New York headquarters of the Ant-Defamation League and a North Carolina Jewish school receiving bomb threats.Pence, who toured the Dachau concentration camp in Germany Sunday with a Jewish survivor, said he lauded people from across Missouri who have “rallied with compassion and support.”“You have inspired this nation,” Pence said.Karen Aroesty, St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the show of support from Christians, Muslims and other religions at the cemetery has been “extraordinary” but not surprising.“That’s always been true in this region,” Aroesty said. “When things happen, the interfaith community comes together.”Aroesty said the Jewish community was reeling.“The emotional impact on this community is something different than I’ve seen before, and it’s really striking,” she said. “It’s especially hard for those folks who have several generations at the cemetery.”Rosenbloom Monument Co. workers volunteered to put the toppled headstones back in place and by late Wednesday morning all but a few were restored.Rosenbloom Monument owner Phil Weiss said eight to 10 headstones were broken, all of them made of marble. Most of the others were made of granite and sustained little or no damage, he said.“Granite is pretty tough,” Weiss said.The University City Council released a statement saying the city “is and always has been a community of inclusion — the people of University City will not tolerate hateful and hurtful acts.”

US senator revives bill cutting funds to PA over funding for terrorists-Republican Lindsey Graham to reintroduce Taylor Force Act, named after American veteran killed in Palestinian stabbing attack-By Eric Cortellessa February 23, 2017, 3:25 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham will reintroduce legislation next week that would cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to provide monetary support to the families of those who commit acts of terror against Israelis.The bill, known as the Taylor Force Act, was first introduced last year by Graham with former Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats and Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. It was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time, but never came up for a vote.The legislation is named after former US army officer Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death in March 2016 by a Palestinian assailant while visiting Tel Aviv. Force was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University and was traveling with other students on a program studying global entrepreneurship.He was 29 years old at the time and had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.Graham’s office announced in a press release Wednesday he would reintroduce the measure during a press conference on Tuesday, February 28.Introducing the legislation last September, Graham said it “shines a light on a very real problem.”“Why is the Palestinian Authority paying young Palestinians to commit acts of terror against innocent Americans like Taylor Force or Israelis? The Palestinians need to decide – do they condemn these horrible acts or do they reward them?” he said.“You can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit terrorist acts. The choice the Palestinians make will determine the type of relationship they have with the United States in the years to come.”US foreign aid to the Palestinians is already under strict congressional oversight and restrictions based on concern that it could be “diverted to Palestinian terrorist groups.”All aid is thus relegated to US-administered project assistance and budget support for the Palestinian Authority, along with donations going to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Warsaw lists properties that pre-WWII owners can reclaim-Any listings not claimed in six months pass to city ownership; Jewish Holocaust restitution group urges extended deadline-By Vanessa Gera February 23, 2017, 2:40 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The city of Warsaw has begun publishing a list of properties that can be legally claimed by their pre-World War II owners — among them Holocaust survivors and their families — but only if they act quickly.Nearly 50 properties were published Wednesday that can be returned to original owners or their heirs who can prove claims, and more are expected to follow.The list is the result of a controversial 2016 law that gives original owners of properties seized by the communists six months to come forward, with the clock starting when the lists are published. Any properties not claimed within six months will be permanently transferred to the city.Gideon Taylor of the World Jewish Restitution Organization urged authorities to notify potential claimants and to “extend the very short deadline.”“It is unfair for claimants – particularly those who now live outside of Poland – to lose this last opportunity to reconnect with their past because of the administrative complexity of this law,” said Taylor, the organization’s chair of operations.The new law affects people who had property in Warsaw that they tried to reclaim after the war. At that time, the communist regime seized much of the prewar property, making it impossible in practice for anyone to reclaim property until communism fell in 1989.In the years since then, some original owners have reclaimed lost property in complicated legal proceedings, but it has been more difficult for those who settled abroad.Taylor said the matter underlines the need for national legislation to regulate property restitution.Poland is the only European Union country that has so far failed to pass a national law that returns property to Holocaust survivors and other Polish citizens who were dispossessed by the war or communism.


Gazans excited over territory’s new indoor mall-Western-style shopping center targeting middle-class Palestinians tries to change enclave’s international image-By Agencies February 23, 2017, 12:43 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

GAZA CITY — In a welcome sign of normalcy, a new Western-style indoor shopping mall — complete with an international retail chain, three-story bookstore and bustling food court — has opened in the Gaza Strip.The owners have overcome conflict in the enclave, which is ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization, and an Israeli-Egyptian blockade to build the gleaming 1,800 square meter (19,000 sq. feet) Capital Mall. Now, they just have to find enough free-spending customers to keep the place afloat.In many ways, the center is a reflection of the fragile local economy, which has been flooded by consumer goods from Israel that few people can afford. Stifled by the blockade, Gaza produces very little on its own, and poverty and unemployment have soared. The mall, like the rest of electricity-starved Gaza, requires a generator to keep the power flowing.In the short term, the mall appears to be thriving. Thousands of Gazans have visited as it slowly opened in recent weeks, buying shoes and clothes from the Turkish chain “De Facto,” searching for gifts and school supplies in the bookstore and heading up to the fourth-floor food court to enjoy burgers, pizza and ice cream. People can often be seen stumbling and giggling as they ride an escalator for the first time.“The mall has added a beautiful touch to the Gaza Strip. Instead of visiting more than one place, we go to a specific place and select everything we need,” said Hedaya Iqtifan, a university graduate who has been three times.While Gazans refer to a handful of small shopping centers as “malls,” the Capital Mall is only the second of its kind, after the Gaza Mall, opened in July 2010 in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City.There are stores that sell perfume and makeup, home decor and mobile phones. There are clinics and office space, two parking lots and plans to bring a supermarket. The busiest area of the mall is the food court, where a cheeseburger with potato chips and a drink costs about $5.“We made this according to international standards to relay an image to the world that Gaza has a mall similar to the malls in other countries,” said Mahmoud Haniya, the mall’s executive director.He noted that several international brands refused to allow franchises in Gaza due to the “stereotype they get about Gaza; a poor country with no economy.” He declined to identify them, but several international brands, including KFC and Domino’s Pizza, operate in the West Bank.Gaza’s already poor economy took a downturn after the Islamic terrorist group Hamas seized control of the territory from the internationally backed Palestinian Authority in 2007. Israel and Egypt quickly imposed the blockade in what they say is a measure to prevent Hamas, an armed group sworn to Israel’s destruction, from importing weapons. Hamas siphons off large amounts of international aid to build tunnels, used for smuggling from Sinai and for launching attacks against Israel, leading to huge poverty for the people.Today, nearly 80 percent of Gaza’s roughly 2 million people live below the poverty line. Unemployment is over 40% and electricity is supplied for eight hours a day at best. Israel and Egypt, hostile to Hamas, restrict travel in and out of Gaza.The Capital Mall spends $500 on diesel fuel for an industrial 400 KVA generator every 10 hours to keep the lights on. “It’s like one of our partners,” Haniya joked.The owners of the mall are well-known for running the “Mazaj” chain, a group of upscale coffee, desert and spice shops in Gaza City. They have no connection to Hamas, though the group will certainly benefit from increased tax revenues generated by the mall.The mall is banking on Gaza’s tiny middle class to stay in business. The Palestinian Authority continues to pay salaries to tens of thousands of former civil servants who have not worked for the past decade. Others include those who work for international aid groups or the United Nations, as well as some senior Hamas employees.A small number of businessmen have also managed to profit from the consumer sector. As Israel allows in mostly consumer products, businessmen compete on how to best attract buyers, opening lavish supermarkets. A recently opened meat and vegetable shop offers smoked salmon and caviar as well as fresh and frozen fish.On the other hand, restrictions on the delivery of raw materials and severe power shortages have kept most of Gaza’s factories closed.“We are talking about a full, large trend by Gaza businessmen to get away from industry into consuming,” said Mohammed Abu Jayyab, editor-in-chief of Gaza’s economic newspaper Al-Eqtesadia. The Capital Mall, and a handful of smaller outdoor shopping centers, “are an expression of a crisis in the industrial and productive investment sector.”On a recent day, families passed by the glitzy stores at the Capital Mall. A group of women sat at a cafe while their children shopped or ran about.“We hope there will be something bigger than this in the future, similar to what we see in other countries,” said Ibtessam Awaja, a mother in her 50s, who has traveled to Saudi Arabia for the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, as well as Egypt and Jordan.Construction on the mall began in 2012.Haniya said his mall has been full most of the time since it opened. But he fears that many people are coming just to look, and the number of visitors seems to be dwindling.“When we started building the mall four years ago, we were expecting that the situation would go in a better direction, but things have not improved,” he said. “We hope the coming days will be better.”

UN concerned over new West Bank demolition plans-UN humanitarian coordinator visits Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, near Jerusalem, where IDF is set to bulldoze illegal buildings-By AFP and Times of Israel staff February 22, 2017, 11:43 pm

The United Nations raised concerns Wednesday over newly announced preliminary demolition plans in a Palestinian Bedouin village in the West Bank that threaten dozens of buildings including an elementary school.Israeli officials have over the past week issued dozens of stop work orders threatening “nearly every structure” in a part of the village of Khan al-Ahmar, the UN said.The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Robert Piper, visited the village where the school is among 140 structures at risk of demolition.“Khan al-Ahmar is one of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank struggling to maintain a minimum standard of living in the face of intense pressure from the Israeli authorities to move,” he said in a statement.“This is unacceptable and it must stop.”Israel says the buildings were built without permits.The UN says such permits are all but impossible to obtain for Palestinians.The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories confirmed to The Times of Israel that all illegal structures in the village were given orders to “cease construction.”The body, which interfaces with Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza, made no mention of orders to leave the buildings but said that the residents were invited to a hearing about the buildings on Thursday where they would be able to present their case.A number of traditionally nomadic Bedouin communities are based east of Jerusalem, where rights groups fear demolitions could eventually clear the way for further Israeli settlement construction.This could partly divide the West Bank between north and south while further isolating the territory from East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as their future capital.The UN says there are 46 communities in the central West Bank at risk of forcible transfer, ousting approximately 7,000 residents.

Rouhani: Iran pays heavy price to support Palestinians-Iranian president says all Muslim countries must be ready to fight Israel, no matter the cost-By Times of Israel staff February 22, 2017, 8:33 pm

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that his country had “paid a heavy price” for supporting the Palestinian cause.Rouhani was speaking on the sidelines of an international conference in Tehran on the Palestinian issue, a day after Iran’s supreme leader called for a fresh uprising against Israel, terming the Jewish state a “cancerous tumor.”“The Iranian nation has paid a heavy price for supporting the Palestinian nation and opposition to the Zionist regime’s actions but it will continue its support with resolve and determination,” Rouhani told Palestinian National Council chairman Salim Zanoun, according to Iranian state-run media.He also said other Muslim countries should also be willing to fight Israel no matter the cost, Iran’s Fars News reported.Some 700 people from 80 delegations, mainly from Islamic countries as well as pro-Palestinian activists, are attending the two-day 6th International Conference on Palestinian Intifada, including ultra-Orthodox Jews from the anti-Zionist Naturei Karta sect.Every four years since the early 1990s, Tehran has hosted a similar conference in support of the Palestinian cause, assembling foreign guests and those who oppose Israel.The venue was decorated with a large map of Israel and the Palestinian territories covered in the colors of the Palestinian flag.Among the guests taking part in the conference were the parliament speakers of Algeria, Mali, North Korea, Lebanon and Syria, and the leader of the hardline Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, Ramadan Shalah.The speaker of the Syrian parliament, Hadiya Khalaf Abbas, claimed that one of the reasons Syria has been targeted by the Western world is because of its “principled stance in the defense of the Palestinian people and in support of the resistance front,” according to Syrian Sana news agency.Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has been implacable in its opposition to Israel and has provided extensive support to Palestinian terrorist groups. It expressed strong backing for the two Palestinian intifadas of 1987-1993 and 2000-2005.Speaking at Tuesday’s opening session of the conference, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei hailed the “resistance” against the “cruel occupation,” which he described as the worst case of oppression against one particular people recorded in history. He also accused Israel’s founders of being responsible for the current upheaval in the wider Middle East.A wave of terrorism some called a third intifada, which began last year and manifested itself mainly in stabbings and vehicular attacks against Israelis troops and civilians, is “moving forward in a bright and hopeful manner,” the ayatollah declared. “And by Allah’s permission, we will see that this intifada will begin a very important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will inflict another defeat on that usurping regime.”“From the beginning, this cancerous tumor has been developing in several phases until it turned into the current disaster,” he went on. “The cure for this tumor should be developed in phases as well.”Associated Press, AFP and Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

4 new Supreme Court judges tapped, as right starts to shift bench-‘Finally, a humane, judicious selection,’ says Justice Minister Shaked, hailing incoming justices, 3 of whom are considered conservative or non-activist-By Raoul Wootliff February 23, 2017, 12:01 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Right-wing lawmakers secured three conservative and non-activist judges out of four new appointments to Israel’s Supreme Court Wednesday, putting a large dent in what is seen as a liberal-dominated bench.The Judicial Appointments Committee for the court announced that it had appointed David Mintz, Yael Willner, Yosef Elron and George Kara to the 15-member Supreme Court, out of a shortlist of 27 candidates.Three of the four were on Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s list of preferred candidates, while the three judges on the nine-member judicial appointments panel, who voted as a bloc, failed to advance any of their nominees.Mintz, who currently serves as a Jerusalem district judge, was thought to have been Shaked’s top pick, hailing from the West Bank Gush Etzion settlement bloc and considered a strong advocate for conservative positions.Yosef Elron, the president of the Haifa District Court since 2013 and a known non-activist judge, was backed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), who also sat on the appointments committee. Shaked was also reportedly in favor of the religious Zionist Haifa District Court Judge Yael Willner.George Kara, a Christian Arab judge at the Tel Aviv District Court who was among the panel of judges who convicted former president Moshe Katsav of rape and sentenced him to seven years in prison, was considered a compromise candidate who gained the backing of the Israel Bar Association.The new appointees will replace outgoing Supreme Court justices Miriam Naor, Elyakim Rubinstein, Salim Joubran and Zvi Zilbertal.Speaking immediately after the announcement, Shaked said it was “a historic day” that could dramatically change the makeup of the country’s highest legal authority.“Finally, a humane and judicious selection that is needed as a mirror for the Israeli people. I wish them success,” she said in a statement.In recent years, right-wing lawmakers have accused the top legal body of interventionist judicial activism as pioneered by Aharon Barak, president of the High Court from 1995 to 2006, after the courts torpedoed a series of Knesset laws it deemed unlawful.Shaked, of the right-wing Jewish Home Party, has frequently spoken out in favor of reining in the High Court or changing the makeup of the justices to incorporate more conservative views.The nine-member panel tasked with choosing the new justices consisted of Shaked; Kahlon; two lawmakers from the governing coalition, Nurit Koren (Likud) and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu); two representatives of the Bar Association; and three Supreme Court judges, President Miriam Naor (due to retire in October), Elyakim Rubinstein (due to retire in June) and Salim Joubran (due to retire in August).Naor, despite failing to secure any of her preferences, welcomed the appointees. “I wish the best to all those who were chosen today to serve as judges in the Supreme Court, we will welcome all of them warmly,” she said in a statement.Israel’s highest court has 15 members, though only some of the judges are assigned to each case. The chief justice post is traditionally appointed automatically, based on seniority.For the Israeli right, the Supreme Court represents the old left-leaning political elite, a bench of like-minded figures that it is determined to replace.The left and opposition politicians fear that shifting the court’s ideological makeup will threaten Israeli democracy, upturn the system of checks and balances and leave open key issues that the fractious Knesset is unable to resolve, such as those pertaining to civil liberties, religious freedom and the rights of Palestinians.In November, Shaked and Naor locked horns over the bill, lodged by three Yisrael Beytenu MKs and apparently supported by the justice minister, which would see judges appointed with a regular majority of votes from the nine-person Judicial Appointments Committee.In a letter to Shaked, Naor wrote, “Submitting this bill at the current time represents, under the circumstances, ‘placing a gun on the table.’ It means that if some of the committee members do not agree to appoint certain candidates, preventing the appointments through a special majority, then the constitutional ‘rules of the game’ will be changed, such that they can be appointed with a regular majority by the committee members.“Therefore, I must inform you — with the support of [court] Vice President [Elyakim] Rubenstein and Justice [Salim] Joubran — that we have no intention to continue at this time with the dialogue and early consultations to formulate a list of candidates and regarding possible agreements,” she wrote.Ilyatov, who was involved in the drafting of the bill, pointed out at the time that it had not yet been presented to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and was therefore not yet an issue to create an uproar.The bill was later shelved and the judicial committee discussions resumed.

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