Thursday, February 23, 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

Detention, deportation without due process puts the most vulnerable at risk'-US Jewish organizations decry new immigration rules as ‘cruel,’ ‘dangerous’-Trump administration enforcement guidelines could mean deportation for millions who entered US illegally, including children-By Times of Israel staff and AP February 22, 2017, 3:33 am

Jewish groups expressed alarm Tuesday over new federal rules on immigration and border security unveiled by the Trump administration.“These new rules are extremely ill-advised and counter to our values as a nation that has always served as a beacon of hope for people around the world,” Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.“The guidelines released today treat vulnerable people, many of whom are unaccompanied children and asylum seekers, like criminals,” warned Mark Hetfield, president of the Jewish refugee rights group HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.Under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration, millions of people living in the United States illegally could be targeted for deportation — including people simply arrested for traffic violations.Any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority, according to Homeland Security Department memos signed by Secretary John Kelly. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor offenses — or simply having crossed the border illegally.“This step is deeply problematic on many levels. It removes critical due process rights for new immigrants and imperils countless numbers of refugees fleeing extreme violence in Central America,” the ADL statement said.“Perhaps most concerning of all, however, are the efforts to effectively turn local law enforcement officers into de facto immigration agents,” Greenblatt added, referring to a plan by the administration to review a program that allows local police and jailers to act as immigration agents and a program that used fingerprint records from local jails to identify immigrants who had been arrested.“That threatens to drive a dangerous wedge between law enforcement and communities they have sworn to serve and protect,” Greenblatt warned. “When a community starts to fear the police, it creates an underclass that is particularly vulnerable to becoming targets of crime, it makes police officers’ jobs much harder, and it makes all of us less safe.”The HIAS statement criticized the new priorities as “cruel” and “dangerous.”“HIAS remains committed to fighting this and every action that endangers the lives of refugees and asylum seekers, and that jeopardizes their ability to obtain the protection they need and deserve,” the group’s statement read. “Our history and values, as Jews and as Americans, compel us to continue fighting to preserve the American traditions of welcoming and of providing refuge.”It added: “Prioritizing detention and removal over protection and due process is not only cruel, it is dangerous. Such detention and deportation without due process would violate US obligations under the Refugee Convention, and put the most vulnerable at risk of being summarily returned to countries where they would face persecution and torture.”The Trump administration memos replace more narrow guidance under the Obama administration focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.Under the former policy, immigrants whose only violation was being in the country illegally were generally left alone. Those immigrants fall into two categories: those who crossed the border without permission and those who overstayed their visas.Crossing the border illegally is a criminal offense, and the new memos make clear that those who have done so are included in the broad list of enforcement priorities.Overstaying a visa is a civil, not criminal, offense. Those who do so are not specifically included in the priority list but, under the memos, they are still more likely to face deportation than they had been before.The new enforcement documents are the latest efforts by US President Donald Trump to follow through on campaign promises to strictly enforce immigration laws. He’s also promised to build a wall at the Mexican border — he insists Mexico will eventually foot the bill — and Kelly’s memos reiterate calls for Homeland Security to start planning for the costs and construction.Trump’s earlier immigration orders, which banned all refugees as well as foreigners from seven Muslim-majority countries, have faced widespread criticism and legal action. A federal appeals court has upheld a temporary halt.Kelly’s enforcement plans call for enforcing a longstanding but obscure provision of immigration law that allows the government to send some people caught illegally crossing the Mexican border back to Mexico, regardless of where they are from. Those foreigners would wait in that country for US deportation proceedings to be complete. This would be used for people who aren’t considered a threat to cross the border illegally again, the memo says.That provision is almost certain to face opposition from civil libertarians and Mexican officials, and it’s unclear whether the United States has the authority to force Mexico to accept third-country nationals. But the memo also calls for Homeland Security to provide an account of US aid to Mexico, a possible signal that Trump plans to use that funding to get Mexico to accept the foreigners.Historically, the US has quickly repatriated Mexican nationals caught at the border but has detained immigrants from other countries pending deportation proceedings that could take years.The memos do not change US immigration laws, but take a far harder line toward enforcement.One example involves broader use of a program that fast-tracks deportations. It will now be applied to immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the United States longer than two years. It’s unclear how many immigrants that could include.Since at least 2002 that fast deportation effort — which does not require a judge’s order — has been used only for immigrants caught within 100 miles of the border, within two weeks of crossing illegally.The administration also plans to expand immigration jail capacity. Currently Homeland Security has money and space to jail 34,000 immigrants at a time. It’s unclear how much an increase would cost, but Congress would have to approve any new spending.The American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the directives.“These memos confirm that the Trump administration is willing to trample on due process, human decency, the well-being of our communities, and even protections for vulnerable children, in pursuit of a hyper-aggressive mass deportation policy,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.However, Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, applauded the Trump effort, saying the memos “overturn dangerous” policies from the Obama administration.The directives do not affect President Barack Obama’s program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals remains in place, though participants could be deported if they commit crimes or otherwise are deemed to be threats to public safety or national security, according to the department.During the campaign Trump vowed to immediately end that program, which he described as illegal amnesty.The directives indicate that some young people caught crossing the border illegally by themselves may not be eligible for special legal protections if they are reunited with parents in the United States. And those parents or other relatives that the government believes helped the children would face criminal and immigration investigations.Under the Obama administration, more than 100,000 children, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, were caught at the border. Most were reunited with parents or relatives living in the United States, regardless of the adults’ immigration status.The enforcement memos also call for the hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, but it’s unclear how quickly that could take place. Currently, two of every three applicants for Customs and Border Protection jobs fail polygraph exams and there are about 2,000 vacancies.

Canada to welcome 1,200 Yazidi refugees from Iraq-Vulnerable religious minority targeted by Islamic State as heretics, being taken in by Ottawa at ‘controlled pace’-By AFP February 22, 2017, 3:35 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

OTTAWA, Canada – Canada will resettle 1,200 Yazidi refugees who faced persecution by the Islamic State group, the immigration minister said Tuesday.Some 400 have already been airlifted to this country.“Our operation is under way and individual survivors of Daesh have been arriving in Canada for resettlement in the last number of months and this began on October 25, 2016,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, using an Arabic name for the Islamic State.“Our government will resettle approximately 1,200 highly vulnerable survivors of Daesh and their family members in Canada,” he added.The initiative follows Parliament’s resolution last fall to take in Yazidis facing “genocide” in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic extremist IS group.The original aim was to bring over women and girls at risk, but Hussen told a news conference that Ottawa had learned that “Daesh has also deliberately targeted boys and as such we are helping to resettle all child survivors of Daesh.”Hussen said the migrants are arriving on commercial flights at a “controlled pace” to avoid overwhelming Canada’s refugee system.The operation is expected to cost Can$28 million (US$21 million).Since coming to power in late 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has resettled 40,000 Syrian refugees.The Yazidis taken in have been subjected to comprehensive security checks and medical examinations, Hussen said.Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking minority with a pre-Islamic religion thought partly to have its origin in the Zoroastrianism of ancient Persia. They are neither Arab nor Muslim and IS considers them polytheistic heretics.

Analysis-Cabinet musical chairs continues after Netanyahu’s latest reshuffle-Prime minister’s resignation as communications minister sparks hope of promotion for at least one unsatisfied Likud colleague-By Raoul Wootliff February 22, 2017, 6:34 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Since the complicated and at times messy process of finalizing his cabinet after the March 2015 elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never gone too long without changing his ministerial personnel, constantly making minor adjustments in a continuous reshuffle.On Monday, the latest period of calm was broken with the government announcement that Netanyahu would resign from his ancillary position of communications minister amid a High Court petition and a criminal investigation into his alleged collusion with major media outlets.Speaking to reporters on his flight back from a state visit to the United States last week, the prime minster said that Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, himself only appointed to that position in December, would replace him as communications minister for an interim period of three months.Netanyahu’s resignation letter, however, which stated that the resignation will take place “according to article 22 of The Basic Law: The Government,” means he will not be able to designate a temporary replacement. While he could reappoint himself in the future, his resignation was permanent and a permanent minister must be designated in his place.But with Hanegbi, who two months ago was a minister without portfolio, now set to take on his second full ministry, the music has started again in Netanyahu’s everlasting game of cabinet musical chairs.Minister without portfolio Ayoub Kara said Tuesday that if Hanegbi becomes Minister of Communications he “expects” Netanyahu to take the Ministry of Regional Cooperation from him and give it to Kara.“It’s not logical that I am being attacked for the prime minister appointing me as a minister without portfolio when he has two ministries,” Kara told The Times of Israel, referring to criticism of the practice of appointing someone to the cabinet without giving them a ministerial portfolio.-From the hospital to the cabinet-“I set up and managed the ministry for regional affairs and even got praise from the government for succeeding in all of its projects,” Kara said.Kara has been lobbying for a ministerial portfolio since before the formation of the coalition but has been repeatedly disappointed, at times with sensational consequences.In May 2015, having threatened to vote against the new coalition if he wasn’t given a post, a dramatic scene played out on the day of the government’s swearing in with Kara rushed from the Knesset to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital after complaining of pains in his chest. While Netanyahu had derided his threats as “toothless,” with a then-slim 61-seat coalition in the 120-member Knesset, he needed Kara on board and in the parliament to vote.Almost miraculously, Kara arrived at the Knesset just in time and announced he had been appointed deputy minister of regional cooperation with “the status of a full minister.”In December, when Hanegbi was put in charge of the ministry, Kara renewed his fight to become a full minister, lobbying his Likud colleagues to put pressure on the prime minister to promote him, according to coalition sources. While the campaign apparently worked, with Kara being made minister without portfolio last month — Israel’s second ever Druze cabinet member — he now has his eye on running the ministry he just left.“I expect and am relying on the prime minister to appoint me,” he added Tuesday.A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office told The Times of Israel, however, that there are no plans for any further cabinet changes.Kara has caused controversy in the past. In November he posted to his Facebook page details of a security-related incident involving the Jewish state, all details of which are still under a gag order. The post was quickly taken down, but not before journalists and others saw the information.A month earlier Kara drew condemnation from the Foreign Ministry when, during a visit to Italy, he suggested that powerful earthquakes in that country were divine retribution for anti-Israel actions in the United Nations.Kara’s statement, made days before a state visit by Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Israel, provoked outrage in Italy. He later apologized for the comments and was summoned for a talking to by Netanyahu.His latest comments, while far from causing a diplomatic crisis, are also likely to irk the prime minister as they threaten to further destabilize the fragile peace in his sometimes chaotic coalition.-Balancing egos-In the 21 months since Israel’s 34th government was sworn in, Netanyahu has made no less than 18 changes to the make up of his cabinet and dozens of other adjustments to the specific roles of various ministers.The first changes came just over a week after the swearing in ceremony, with Likud heavyweight Gilad Erdan agreeing to join the cabinet following a dispute over which role he would receive. In the end, he was given charge of the Public Security and Strategic Affairs Ministries, pushing aside Likud colleagues Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin who had to settle for other postings. Erdan’s addition also meant that veteran lawmaker Benny Begin had to resign from the cabinet after just 17 days due to coalition agreements on the number of ministers per party.But Elkin, who was only left with the immigration and absorption portfolio, was not happy and weeks later was assigned the additional position of Jerusalem Affairs Minister, despite Netanyahu having promised Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to not entrust the office to a cabinet member other than himself.A year later, Elkin lost the Immigration and Absorption Ministry to Yisrael Beytenu MK Sofa Landver in a coalition-building maneuver that saw Avigdor Liberman replacing Likud’s Moshe Ya’alon as defense minister and bringing his Yisrael Beytenu party into the government. Ya’alon resigned from politics in protest, even though he was said to have been offered the Foreign Ministry, which was and still is held by Netanyahu.In June this year, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who leads the Kulanu party, took on the economy portfolio, allowing Elkin to receive the Environmental Protection Ministry which had been held by Kulanu’s now-resigned (and running for Labor Party leader) Avi Gabbay.The Economy Ministry had been held by Netanyahu since Shas leader Aryeh Deri resigned from the position in November 2015. Deri later took up the Interior Ministry in January 2016 after Likud veteran Silvan Shalom resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct. Kahlon had been holding the Environmental Protection Ministry since May 2015, when Gabbay resigned in protest over the appointment of Liberman as defense minister.Last month, at the same time that Hanegbi was appointed regional affairs minister, MK Eli Cohen of Kulanu was put in charge of the Economy Ministry, taking over the post from Kahlon.Perhaps the simplest of all personnel changes was when Science Minister Danny Danon resigned to become Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and was replaced by fellow Likud member and then-minister without portfolio Ofir Akunis.Throughout the life of the coalition, Netanyahu has faced pressure to give up some of his own portfolios, which at various points included the ministries of economy, health, regional cooperation, communications and foreign affairs, in addition to the premiership.In 2015 the High Court of Justice ruled 4-1 that the prime minister could continue holding all four portfolios, but justices said that it was hard to believe that Netanyahu could properly manage so many ministries and that the situation was not appropriate in a democracy.Soon afterwards, Netanyahu gave the health portfolio to Yaakov Litzman of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party after that party’s rabbinic leadership, for the first time, gave its approval to one of its members officially sitting at the cabinet table of the Israeli government.With Monday’s announcement that he is giving up the Communications Ministry, Netanyahu is now just prime and foreign minister, two positions he is determined not to cede.Each time someone is given a new title or some powers are transferred from one minister to another, the careful balance of power between the different personalities and parties in the coalition is disturbed. With every promotion, a new compromise must be reached with some other power broker in order to keep everyone happy.And that is what may happen with Kara — some form of compromise position allowing him to claim victory without forcing yet another re-calibration of the careful balance of ministerial egos. At least, until the music starts again.

US torpedoed regional peace bid by trying to impose terms, Israeli official says-Secret effort to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which saw a Feb. 2016 Aqaba summit with Netanyahu, Kerry, Sissi, Abdullah, was doomed by US, official close to PM claims-By Times of Israel staff February 22, 2017, 1:09 am

The administration of former US president Barack Obama ruined the chance for a regional peace deal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last year by trying to impose its terms for the accord, a senior Israeli official reportedly said late Tuesday.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly confirmed on Sunday that he attended a secret US-led summit with Arab leaders in early 2016 meant to jumpstart efforts toward a regional peace push, but told Likud ministers that he, and not then-US secretary of state John Kerry, was the initiator of the meeting.The February 21, 2016 meeting in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba was attended by the prime minister, Kerry, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah.The first report about the summit, published in Haaretz Sunday, said Kerry had started the ball rolling with a US-crafted two-state proposal for ending the conflict, which would include broad Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state, a key demand Netanyahu has sought in peace talks with Palestinian Authority leaders.Netanyahu ultimately expressed doubts over Kerry’s plan and presented his own, which would have brought Gulf states into the bargain alongside Jordan and Egypt, but the initiative never got off the ground, according to that report.The revelations of the year-old initiative came just days after Netanyahu called for such an initiative at his first meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington.The new comment by a senior official close to Netanyahu was reported late on Tuesday by Israel Radio. According to this source, the regional peace effort failed because the Obama administration sought to impose the terms of an agreement, and “Netanyahu could not agree to this,” the radio report said.In public comments Sunday ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu did not mention the report on the regional initiative, but said he and the new US president agreed on the need for regional partners to be involved in any possible future negotiations.“We see the possibility of trying to provide a basis for the growing regional interests that are forming between Israel, the US and countries of the region both to rebuff Iran and to develop other opportunities and normalization,” Netanyahu said. “In the end we hope to achieve peace. This is a fundamental change and, I would say, has accompanied all of our discussions and has formed the infrastructure of all the agreements between us.”In the Sunday report, sourced to former Obama administration officials involved in the discussions last year, Netanyahu is said to have told Kerry he would not be able to get approval for the US-proposed framework from his hawkish coalition partners.Following the Haaretz report, lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum criticized Netanyahu either for not pursuing the chance for peace, or for going down the two-state track in the first place.Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who heads the Zionist Union faction, criticized Netanyahu, writing on his Twitter account that “history will definitely judge the magnitude of the opportunity as well as the magnitude of what was missed.”The report noted that this initiative was the basis for coalition talks between Netanyahu and Herzog at the time over the possibility that the center-left Zionist Union would join the Likud-led government in order to pursue the regional talks.Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) tweeted that Netanyahu “was right when he raised reservations to the ‘Arab initiative’ in the Obama-Kerry era (if there was one). Why would Israel enter discussions on the basis of the ’67 lines?” Erdan asked. “And with Kerry as the initiator and mediator? To our sorrow, Kerry did not display a deep understanding of the region and of the Israeli interest (even if his intentions were good). The words ‘regional initiative’ do not mandate automatic agreement by Israel to every demand and condition.”Jewish home lawmaker MK Bezalel Smotrich tweeted that his pro-settlement Jewish Home party, which opposes the two-state solution, will continue to “safeguard the State of Israel and Zionism and prevent political adventurism.”Zionist Union MK Omer Bar-Lev, referring to the recently passed Regulation Law that enables the legalization of unauthorized settler outposts built on privately held Palestinian land, wrote that the prime minister was hiding behind the excuse of a lack of sufficient coalition support, noting that “he has a coalition for an anti-constitutional law, but can’t proffer one as a response for a regional initiative,” Haaretz reported.Head of the dovish Meretz party MK Zehava Galon tweeted that Netanyahu has demonstrated that ending the conflict and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state are not what really interests the prime minister.“The goal is always the same: to buy time,” she wrote. “The problem has always been Netanyahu, not the lack of opportunities” to make peace.Kerry had organized the summit after complex bargaining with both Israel’s regional neighbors and its internal political players. Details of the proposal and the secret meeting came from former senior officials in the Obama administration who asked to remain anonymous, Haaretz said.The Prime Minister’s Office has refused to comment publicly on the report.Immediately after the February 2016 summit meeting, Netanyahu reportedly called opposition leader Herzog to update him on the talks in an attempt to persuade Herzog to join to coalition. That conversation developed into weeks of talks between Netanyahu’s Likud party and Herzog’s Zionist Union.Despite intense efforts by an alliance of foreign leaders to secure a national unity government, talks fell apart when it was revealed that the right-wing party Yisrael Beytenu would join the governing coalition, with its leader, Avigdor Liberman, taking the Defense Ministry portfolio.Last week, at a joint news conference with Trump, Netanyahu said some Arab countries see Israel “increasingly as an ally,” suggesting they are driven by concern over Iranian expansionism and the spread of Islamic militancy. “This change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace,” he said in urging Trump to “seize this moment together.”AP contributed to this report.

Jewish groups seek action from Trump to match his words on anti-Semitism-After weeks of combative, dismissive posture from White House, community leaders skeptical at president’s long-awaited condemnation-By Ron Kampeas February 22, 2017, 4:55 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON (JTA) – He hates it, he really hates it. Now what’s he going to do about it? President Donald Trump on Tuesday culminated three weeks of missed opportunities to condemn anti-Semitism and doubling down on missed opportunities to condemn anti-Semitism with a statement unequivocally condemning anti-Semitism.“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said Tuesday after touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture.Message back from a Jewish community longing to hear these words: Great. Now how do you plan on dealing with the problem? “Glad @POTUS stated #antisemitism is horrible,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League CEO, said on Twitter, using the acronym for president of the United States. “Now need @whitehouse to share plans on how to ‘stop’ it. ADL ready to help.”Greenblatt’s “whaddya got” posture pervaded the organized Jewish community.David Harris, the American Jewish Committee CEO, explained why Jewish groups that might otherwise have welcomed a simple statement of intent to combat anti-Semitism were sounding a more skeptical tone.“To date, the administration’s response has been disappointing, to say the least,” Harris said in an email to JTA.“We’ve only just reached the stage today — thankfully, if belatedly — of hearing President Trump acknowledge the issue and call it by its rightful name — anti-Semitism,” he said.“For reasons that escape me, until now it’s been about generic words like ‘hatred’ and ‘intolerance,’ or about the President defending himself against non-existent charges that he’s an anti-Semite. It’s elementary: to combat a problem you first have to define it, and the definition of this particular problem is anti-Semitism, pure and simple. Then you need a robust plan of action. Let’s hope it will be forthcoming — and soon.”The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has been supportive of Trump, called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to establish a task force to track down the perpetrator of bomb threats against Jewish community centers, and said Trump must “outline his Administration’s plan to combat surging anti-Semitism.”Of the major groups who commented, the Orthodox Union seemed the most inclined to declare “case closed.”“We appreciate that President Trump spoke directly to this matter. The words of a President of the United States carry great weight and it is important that Mr. Trump addressed the American Jewish community and all our fellow Americans at this time,” the OU said in a statement about Trump and the bomb threats. “We appreciate that the FBI and Department of Justice are investigating these incidents and the ‘possible civil rights violations’ they entail. We also appreciate the work of the Department of Homeland Security that supports the safety of our Jewish community institutions.”The Jewish community has been grappling with how the new president deals with anti-Semitism since Jan. 27, when the White House marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a statement that noted “victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust,” but did not mention the Jews.What at first seemed like an oversight soon calcified into suspicion that it was part of a worldview, as White House officials doubled down on the omission, condescending to explain to their critics that one must be inclusive in marking an event that uniquely targeted Jews for elimination.Officials calling critics of the statement “asinine” and “pathetic” didn’t help, nor did the revelation that a bid by the State Department to mention Jews in a statement was rebuffed by the White House.Fueling suspicion that there was more to the omissions than clumsy oversight was the presence on Trump’s staff of top advisers like Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka, who emerged from a political culture of European-style nationalism that rejects what it terms “identity politics” and argues that minority complaints about discrimination are overstated.The White House visit last week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented an opportunity to make amends, and at first it seemed Trump was game.“The State of Israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression,” Trump said in prepared remarks at a joint Feb. 15 news conference with Netanyahu. “I can think of no other state that’s gone through what they’ve gone — and of survival in the face of genocide. We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured.”So there it was: “genocide” and “Jewish people” adjacent. All was good.-For about 20 minutes.An Israeli reporter asked Trump about the spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, and whether the president believed it had anything to do with Trump’s rhetoric.Trump replied by noting the breadth of his Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton and a statement expressing love for his Jewish daughter, Ivanka; her husband, Jared Kushner, and their children.It became weirder the next day at a news conference when a friendly reporter, Jake Turx from the haredi Orthodox Ami magazine, reassured Trump that no one in his community thought the president was an anti-Semite.Turx proceeded to ask what Trump was planning to do about the waves of bomb threats against Jewish community centers that have severely disrupted Jewish life in North America.Trump would not allow Turx to complete his question and launched a broadside against the baffled reporter and anyone else who suggested that he was anti-Semitic. Trump called Turx “a liar” and said he hated the question.What turned Trump and led to his statement Tuesday morning? His spokesman, Sean Spicer, would not say, except that Trump thought a tour of the African-American museum was an appropriate occasion to expound against hate and discrimination. Trump’s remarks were prepared.Two precipitating factors may have been the fourth wave of bomb threats on Monday against JCCs, coupled with massive vandalism at a St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery. The White House may have wanted to head off a new round of criticism that it was ignoring anti-Semitism, especially as Jewish groups were heading to Twitter with impatient calls for a strong denunciation from the president.Another factor may have been Ivanka. Whereas the press office’s initial statement Monday night on the JCC threats again omitted any mention of Jews, Ivanka Trump followed it up with a tweet that at least alluded to Jews, adding to her call for religious tolerance the hashtag “JCC.”Trump’s erstwhile targets also sensed an opportunity to hit back: Clinton, who infrequently pronounces on issues of the day – and has been oblique when she does pronounce – directly challenged Trump on Twitter to speak out. Muslim groups, targeted by Trump’s rhetoric, raised funds for a reward for the perpetrator of the threat and to repair the toppled headstones at the cemetery.Calls by Jewish groups for actual plans, and not statements, were not the only sign that Trump’s remarks were unlikely to allay tensions.Spicer opened his briefing with reporters on Tuesday by repeating Trump’s words, and delivering an impassioned plea for Americans to visit the African-American museum and its National Mall companion, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. He then turned combative.“’Is he going to denounce this one, is he going to denounce this one?’” he asked, mocking reporters. “At some point the question is asked and answered!”(Spicer also responded to the US-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, which issued a statement mocking Trump’s statement as a “pathetic asterisk of condescension.” He said of the group: “I wish that they had praised the president for his leadership in this area. And I think that hopefully as time continues to go by they recognize his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all Americans.”) Trump’s Democratic critics weren’t letting go either. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, running for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, peppered his Twitter feed with follow-up questions for Trump.“Why has it taken @realDonaldTrump so long to even say the word ‘anti-Semitism?’” Ellison wondered. “Perhaps it has something to do with placating his base?”Rep. Joe Crowley, D-New York, whose bid earlier this month to force a vote on his resolution emphasizing that the Holocaust targeted the Jews was blocked by Republicans, said Trump needed to be more consistent in his condemnations.“Trump’s statement is long overdue and doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what needs to be done,” he said in a statement.

Alumni, former staff at Jared Kushner’s yeshiva ask him to oppose travel ban-In open letter signed by 180, graduates, students, parents and educators at New Jersey school recall the plight of Jewish refugees-By JTA February 22, 2017, 4:38 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Some 180 alumni and former staff of a New Jersey yeshiva high school implored graduate Jared Kushner to use his influence with US President Donald Trump, his father-in-law, to ease the path for refugees coming to the United States.In the open letter from “members of the Frisch School Community,” the signatories expressed “alarm” at Trump’s executive order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations. Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to the president, is a 1999 graduate of Frisch, a co-educational Orthodox school in Paramus.The letter called it a “rare opportunity” to have a Frisch alumnus play “such a critical role in guiding the future of our country.”“As fellow graduates, students, parents and educators of the Frisch School and proud members of the American Jewish community, we are alarmed by the President’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim majority nations. Your family and all of ours know too well what can happen when America shuts its doors to those most in need,” read the letter, which was made public over the weekend.Earlier this month, as the letter circulated, the Frisch School’s Facebook page featured a notice saying that the open letter “is in no way representative of the school’s administration, faculty, or board of trustees.”“Healthy political discourse and debate is a key component of our democratic society,” the notice continued, adding that the school “will continue to remain as a politically neutral space.”Since the letter began circulating, federal courts, responding to challenges, placed a temporary stay on the executive order on constitutional grounds.A revised version of the order could be released this week, The Associated Press reported. According to AP, the new version would focus on the same seven countries, but would only bar entry to those without a visa and who have never entered the United States.Trump says the refugee ban, meant to be temporary, is necessary to put into place “extreme vetting” procedures to prevent terrorists from entering the country.In opposing the travel and immigration ban, the Frisch alumni and former staff invoke their families’ experiences, and those of Kushner’s family, as immigrants and refugees. Kushner’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors who came to the United States after spending over three years in a displaced persons camp in Italy.“Like you, many of us are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who escaped to this country when the lands of their birth promised almost certain death; like those of your grandparents, many of their parents, siblings and extended families did not make it to our shores and perished in the Holocaust. The memory of the St. Louis rings fresh in our minds as we see refugees from some of the most war-torn countries on this planet barred from entering our country,” the letter continued.The letter references the Torah calling on Jews “to love and welcome the stranger, for we too were once strangers in Egypt.”“We implore you, as a Jew and as a graduate of an institution that instilled you with Jewish values, to exercise the influence and access you have to annals of power to ensure others don’t suffer the same fate as millions of our co-religionists. We ask you to ensure they gain the second chance our grandparents received to succeed and thrive in America,” it concluded.

Trump administration may overturn Obama transgender policy-LGBT groups alarmed after White House says issue should be left to states, not imposed by federal order-By Maria Danilova February 22, 2017, 3:15 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is working on a new set of directives on the use of school bathrooms by transgender students, the White House said Tuesday.The announcement alarmed LGBT groups across the country that have urged President Donald Trump to safeguard Obama-era guidelines allowing students to use school restrooms that match their gender identity, not their assigned gender at birth.White House spokesman Sean Spicer did not provide any details on the new guidelines that are being prepared by the Justice Department, but said Trump has long held that such matters should be left to the states, not the federal government, to decide.“I think that all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time, that this is not something the federal government should be involved in, this is a states’ rights issue,” Spicer said.The Obama administration’s guidance, issued last May, held that transgender students can access restrooms and participate in school athletics according with the gender they identify with. Schools were also instructed to treat students in line with their expressed gender identity without requiring any medical proof.While the move was hailed by rights organizations, it was attacked by conservative groups, which called it federal overreach and an infringement on the personal space and safety of all other students.A patchwork of state laws and policies on the issue is emerging.Fifteen states have explicit protections for transgender students, and many individual school districts in other states have adopted policies that recognize students on the basis of their gender identity, said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign. Just one state, North Carolina, has enacted a law restricting students’ bathroom access to their sex at birth. But so far this year, lawmakers in more than 10 states are considering similar legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.Vanita Gupta, who was head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama, blasted the Trump administration’s attempt to alter the guidelines.“To cloak this in federalism ignores the vital and historic role that federal law plays in ensuring that all children, (including LGBT students) are able to attend school free from discrimination,” Gupta said in a statement.The National Center for Transgender Equality said Tuesday that even without Obama’s guidelines, federal law — called Title IX — would still prohibit discrimination against students based on their gender or sexual orientation. Still, rescinding those directives would put children in harm’s way, the group said.“Such clear action directed at children would be a brazen and shameless attack on hundreds of thousands of young Americans who must already defend themselves against schoolyard bullies, but are ill-equipped to fight bullies on the floors of their state legislatures and in the White House,” NCTE said in a statement.But Ryan Anderson, a senior research fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the Obama guidelines were unlawful because Title IX protects students based on their sex, not their gender identity. He also said that those directives violated the rights of other students, especially girls who may have suffered from sexual abuse in the past and do not want to be exposed to male anatomy. “It’s understandable when a 16-year-old girl might not want an anatomical male in the shower or the locker room,” Anderson said.He said that students, parents and teachers should work out “win-win” solutions at the local level, such as equipping schools with single-occupancy restrooms or locker rooms or allowing students to access the faculty lounge.“We can find a way in which the privacy and safety of transgender students is respected while also respecting the privacy and safety of all other students,” Anderson said.About 150,000 youth — 0.7 percent— between the ages of 13 and 17 in the United States identify as transgender, according to a study by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.Amber Briggle, a small business owner in Denton, Texas, said that it is vital to allow transgender children like her 9-year-old son Max to feel safe and comfortable when going to the bathroom at school.“It’s heartbreaking,” Briggle said by phone. “If a child’s basic needs cannot be met, if he cannot empty his bladder …. then our schools are failing our kids, they are not doing their job.”But another parent disagreed.In Jefferson City, Missouri, Alissa Johnson, a volunteer with the Christian group Concerned Women for America, said that her 17-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter would be “horrified” to share school bathrooms.“I don’t believe that tolerance means that we have to give up our rights or our freedoms for another group,” said Johnson. “To be compassionate, let’s accommodate.”

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