Monday, February 06, 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

Livni: Outpost legalization bill will land IDF troops in ICC-Likud minister Hanegbi also expresses opposition to legislation, which is set for final vote on Monday-By Times of Israel staff February 4, 2017, 8:26 pm

Top opposition Zionist Union lawmaker Tzipi Livni warned Saturday that a bill to legalize Israeli settlements built on private Palestinian land “will lead IDF soldiers” to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.Livni, speaking at a cultural event in Ness Ziona, said the so-called Regulation Bill being promoted by the right-wing was more harmful to the country than any of the Israeli rights groups often demonized by the right.“The Regulation Bill is causing us more damage than any ‘Breaking the Silence,’ ‘B’Tselem’ or other organizations,” she said.As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to Washington to meet with US President Donald Trump on February 15, Livni said, “he must decide whether he’s going as [head of the pro-settler Jewish Home party Naftali] Bennett or as someone who is maintaining Israel’s interests.“Netanyahu already said the bill will lead [Israel] to the UN Security Council and The Hague,” she said. “Passing the bill will lead IDF soldiers to The Hague.”Referencing Trump’s portrayal of himself as an ultimate deal-maker, Livni expressed her belief that, “Only one deal will keep Israel Jewish and democratic — a separation from the Palestinians.”Meanwhile, Tzachi Hanegbi, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, also expressed his opposition to the legislation, and said he did not believe it would pass the upcoming Knesset votes.“People on the right did not have the courage to tell the settlers the truth,” Hanegbi said about the bill’s chances of being enacted, Israel Hayom reported. “It is fair to assume that it will not pass.”Livni’s fellow Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli branded the bill “a legal, moral and democratic terror attack.”“We will do everything to stop it,” he said, according to Israel Hayom. “This is another dangerous step on the way to an attempted annexation of the Palestinian territories and a loss off the nation’s Jewish majority thanks to messianic delusions.”The Regulation Bill passed its final committee vote on Tuesday, putting the controversial legislation just one step away from becoming law.The bill was narrowly approved by a vote of seven to six in a joint meeting of the Knesset’s Law Committee and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.The bill is scheduled to face its second and third readings — the two final votes required to become law — on Monday.Condemned by the Obama administration, the European Union, the United Nations and even Israel’s own attorney general, the bill has been hailed by the settlement movement as a turning point. Once passed, supporters say, the era of evacuating illegally built Israeli settlements will be over.The bill was put on ice late last year as Netanyahu reportedly sought to avoid any additional fights with the Obama administration before its end on January 20. Netanyahu announced the bill’s return on Sunday.The final draft of the bill outlines the procedures for legalizing unauthorized construction on private Palestinian land and compensating the landowners. It also immediately freezes administrative proceedings in 16 West Bank settlements for a period of 12 months.The bill stipulates that settlement construction in the West Bank that was carried out in good faith, without knowledge that the land was privately owned, would be recognized by the government, provided the settlers show some kind of state support in establishing themselves at the site. This support could in some cases be as minimal as having access to public infrastructure.Under the terms of the bill, the government will be able to appropriate land for its own use if the owners are unknown. If the owners are known, they will be eligible for either yearly damages amounting to 125 percent of the value of leasing the land, a larger financial package valued at 20 years’ worth of leasing the plots, or alternate plots.Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has warned that the bill breaches both domestic and international law, and indicated that the High Court was likely to strike it down.Marissa Newman and Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.

Analysis-On Israel-Palestine, Trump might end up another George W. Bush-Seeking to seal ‘ultimate deal,’ new president is not rushing to dramatic changes. He doesn’t mind Israel building in settlements blocs, but could soon push for two-state solution-By Raphael Ahren February 3, 2017, 10:14 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Donald Trump’s grandiose pre-election promises notwithstanding, the new president is starting to make it fairly clear that he will neither quickly move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem nor give Israel an entirely free rein on the Palestinian question.Trump and his foreign policy team emphatically seem more inclined to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital than the last administration. They evidently also do not share Barack Obama’s “not-one-brick” policy that condemned Israel for every single housing unit built outside the pre-1967 lines.Indeed, in its first cautious statements on Israeli settlements, the Trump White House seems to be deviating substantially from the consistent position all previous US administrations — that settlement expansions are an obstacle to peace and need to stop.And yet, the Israeli far-right’s jubilation over Trump’s anticipated Israel policy might turn out to be exaggerated.“While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday. The new administration “has not taken an official position on settlement activity,” he stressed, adding that Trump looks forward to discussing the issue with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their February 15 meeting in Washington.Some hawks took this statement as a victory. Eugene Kontorovich, a right-leaning American-Israeli international law professor, said it signaled “a huge change of policy” since the US now “broadly accepts all building within settlements,” including in outlying West Bank communities outside of blocs.While the White House might not embrace new settlements — as Netanyahu pledged to build this week to compensate the evicted settlers of Amona — the vast majority of construction over the Green Line takes place within already existing communities, Kontorovich argued.“Since all building for 20 years has been within existing lines, and all planned building is within existing lines, this is as big an authorization as it gets,” he posited.Such confidence seems, at best, premature.Despite Jerusalem’s pledge not to surprise the White House, this week’s announcement of an additional 3,000 housing units in existing settlements and of plans to build an entirely new one were not coordinated in advance with the administration, a senior official in Netanyahu’s office told The Times of Israel. It remains to be seen how Trump will talk about the settlements once he forms a coherent position based on deliberations with his advisers and his interlocutors in the Arab world.Much will depend on the president’s February 15 meeting with Netanyahu at the White House. Maybe the prime minister will be able to convince Trump that it’s in Israel’s interest to build as much as possible, across the entire West Bank. But maybe he won’t even attempt to do so.It’s possible that Netanyahu, a professed opponent of a one-state solution, will explain to Trump that in a week in which his right-wing government had to demolish a 20-year-old settlement because of a court order, he needed to authorize extensive new construction elsewhere in the West Bank. His political survival depended on it, the prime minister might argue. But now that the dust has settled, he will slow down the pace of settlement expansion, especially outside the blocs, to safeguard the option for a future demilitarized Palestinian state.Trump will likely allow Israel to build in the settlement blocs, and perhaps occasionally outside, and continue to vow to move the embassy at an opportune time — as previous presidents did — without actually doing it. And as he starts discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with world leaders and diplomats in the US State Department, the new president might eventually embrace the idea of a two-state solution, if he hasn’t already done so.Allowing Israel to strengthen communities that are generally assumed to become part of Israel in any conceivable peace agreement, while limiting growth of outlying settlements, would also seem to be in line with Trump’s declared intention to reach a Palestinian peace deal.An Israeli-Palestinian agreement “can only be negotiated directly between the two parties,” the White House stated after the Trump-Netanyahu phone call last Sunday. It is hard to imagine the US trying to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians while encouraging Israel, even by silent assent, to build settlements across the West Bank. While the administration does not view existing Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace — there are ways to deal with them in a final peace agreement — Trump has never disavowed the two-state solution.Trump’s disinclination to quickly relocate the embassy, paired with his spokesman saying the White House will “consult with” the State Department and other “stakeholders” — probably the leaders of Arab states — suggests that Trump might soon align himself with the rest of the international community in endorsing the two-state formula.Even some settler leaders understand Trump might not be everything they had hoped for. “We need to understand that the US has interests of its own, which don’t always go along with our interests,” said Oded Revivi, the chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, an umbrella group for Jewish communities in the West Bank.Many of those who advise the president on Middle East affairs — people like Jared Kushner, Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman — know the history of the conflict well and are very sympathetic to Israel and the settlement movement.“If you look at the vice president and some of the cabinet members — they all are strong supporters, some of whom have even reached deep into their pockets and donated to institutions in Judea and Samaria,” Revivi said. “But between that and the complete adoption of the position of the [settlement movement] or the Israeli government is still a big difference.”-Will Trump adopt a version of the 2004 Bush letter? Trump is always good for a surprise, so Israeli leaders would be well advised to prepare for all eventualities. The new president will certainly continue to proclaim ironclad support for the Jewish state, but decision-makers in Jerusalem should not be caught off guard were he suddenly to announce support for a two-state solution and urge a freeze of settlement expansions outside the larger blocs.Similar to what George W. Bush did in his 2004 letter to then prime-minister Ariel Sharon, Trump could declare that “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949” — a de facto recognition that the settlement blocs will remain under Israel sovereignty — while at the same time reasserting that the US “supports the establishment of a Palestinian state that is viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent.”Or he might — after a bid to restart peace talks inevitably fails — grow frustrated, move the embassy to Jerusalem, and tell Netanyahu to do whatever he wants in the West Bank.But given the cautious statements from White House officials over the last few days, the former scenario seems much more likely.

OU bars women from serving as clergy in its synagogues-A response to handful of women with ritual or prayer leadership roles, ruling forbids formal religious guidance positions or delivering sermons during services-By JTA February 3, 2017, 2:11 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The Orthodox Union released a new policy barring women from serving as clergy at its 400 member congregations across the United States.Adopted at a board meeting Feb. 1 and reported Thursday in the Forward, the ruling cites Jewish law, or halacha, in declaring that “a woman should not be appointed to serve in a clergy position.”The ruling bars women from holding a title such as “rabbi,” or even from serving without title in a role in which she would be performing “common” clergy functions. It lists those functions as ruling on halachic matters, officiating at lifecycle events, “delivering sermons from the pulpit during services, presiding over or ‘leading services’ at a minyan and formally serving as the synagogue’s primary religious mentor, teacher, and spiritual guide.”Seven leading modern Orthodox rabbis contributed to the ruling — a response to a small number of synagogues that have hired female clergy ordained by institutions representing a left-wing, or “open” faction, within modern Orthodoxy. Yeshivat Maharat, a New York-based yeshiva, has already graduated 14 female Jewish clergy.At least four synagogues that are members of the Orthodox Union currently employ women in clergy roles, according to the Forward.Representatives and champions of such groups expressed disappointment at the new policy.“There are various ways of practicing Judaism, halachic Orthodox Judaism,” Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, told the Forward. “We are disappointed, however, that the OU is attempting to squash that healthy debate and impose their [religious ruling] on hundreds of synagogues, thus centralizing power … and not giving autonomy to communities’ lay and professional leaders.”In a statement accompanying the ruling, the Orthodox Union asserted that the “synagogue experience would be enhanced by … an even greater presence of women functioning as educated, knowledgeable and halachically committed role models, teachers, and pastoral counselors,” and that it would encourage dialogue in order for women within Orthodoxy to “assume greater lay and professional roles” and to remove “barriers that impede women from further contributing to our community, in halachically appropriate ways.”


EZEKIEL 39:11-12,18
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)

EZEKIEL 39:17-21
17  And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18  Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19  And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20  Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21  And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22  So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

EZEKIEL 38:1-7
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

EZEKIEL 39:1-8
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

WH to refocus anti-extremism program on radical Islam-Some groups have already begun rejecting grants, fearing the government may use initiative for surveillance purposes-By Times of Israel staff February 3, 2017, 5:27 pm

The Trump administration wants to overhaul and rename a US government program intended to counter violent ideologies so that it focuses only on Islamist extremism, according to the Reuters news agency.The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be renamed “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” Reuters reported Friday, quoting unnamed sources.The new program would no longer target groups such as white supremacists, who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.The existing program aims to deter groups or lone attackers through community partnerships and educational programs or counter-messaging campaigns in cooperation with companies like Google or Facebook.But now the Trump administration wants to switch the focus exclusively to combating “radical Islam.”During the campaign, President Donald Trump criticized former President Barack Obama for being weak in the fight against ISIS and for refusing to say the words “radical Islam” in describing it. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks on civilians in several countries.Proponents of the program fear that renaming it might make it harder for the government to work with the Muslim population in America, already hesitant to trust the new administration. A further rift in relations between Muslim Americans and the White House came last week with Trump’s executive order that temporarily blocks travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.Some Republicans in Congress have criticized the existing program as politically correct and ineffective, asserting that singling out and using the term “radical Islam” as the trigger for many terror attacks would help focus efforts to deter attackers.On the other hand, others claim that branding the problem as “radical Islam” would alienate more than three million Americans who practice Islam peacefully.Many community groups, meanwhile, had already been cautious about the program, partly over concerns that it could double as a surveillance tool for law enforcement.Leaders Advancing & Helping Communities, a Michigan-based group led by Lebanese-Americans, has declined a $500,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security it had sought as part of the CVE program, according to an email the group sent that was seen by Reuters. A representative for LAHC confirmed the grant had been rejected but declined further comment.“Given the current political climate and cause for concern, LAHC has chosen to decline the award,” said the email, which was sent last Thursday, a day before Trump issued his immigration order.

N. Korea nuclear attack would trigger ‘overwhelming’ response, says James Mattis-On tour of Far East, US secretary of defense says White House will deploy American missile defense system in South Korea-By Hwang Sunghee February 3, 2017, 5:16 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Any nuclear attack by North Korea would trigger an “effective and overwhelming” response, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said in Seoul Friday as he sought to reassure Washington’s Asian allies following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.Mattis was in the South Korean capital before going on to Tokyo, on the first overseas tour by a senior Trump administration official as concerns rise about the direction of US policy in the region under the protectionist and fiery leader.South Korea has enjoyed US security protection since the 1950-53 Korean War, but on the campaign trail, Trump threatened to withdraw US forces from it and Japan if they do not step up their financial support.Some 28,500 US troops are based in South Korea to defend it against the nuclear-armed North, and 47,000 in Japan.Pyongyang was continuing to “engage in threatening rhetoric and behavior,” said Mattis, who first came to the South as a 21-year-old lieutenant in the US military.“Any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming,” Mattis told reporters ahead of a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Han Min-Koo.He was in Seoul to “underscore America’s priority commitment to our bilateral alliance” and make clear the administration’s “full commitment” to defending South Korea’s democracy,” he said.Han added that the alliance “reaffirms its firm will and strength to remain unwavering against all challenges and adversaries.”North Korea carried out two atomic tests and a series of missile launches last year, and casts a heavy security shadow over the region.Leader Kim Jong-Un said in his closely-watched New Year speech that Pyongyang was in the “final stages” of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, prompting Trump to tweet: “It won’t happen!”-‘Top priority’-On Thursday Mattis and South Korean prime minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn agreed to push through with the deployment of a US missile defense system strongly opposed by China.The two confirmed that they will go ahead with the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the South this year as planned.Beijing fears it will undermine its own ballistic capabilities, weakening its nuclear deterrent. It has repeatedly condemned the move as destabilizing regional security, and imposed measures seen as economic retaliation in South Korea.The dispute makes it harder to convince Beijing — the North’s most important diplomatic protector and main provider of aid and trade — to act against its neighbor, analysts say.“Deepening tensions between China and the US adds to the North’s strategic value in the eyes of China,” Lee Ji-Yong, a professor at South Korea’s government-financed Institute for Foreign Affairs and Security told AFP.“It will make it more difficult for the US to persuade China to cooperate in pressuring the North to give up its nuclear arsenal.”Mattis’ visits to South Korea and Japan, he added, were “a message that the Trump administration is giving top priority to ensuring security on the Korean peninsula against North Korea’s nuclear saber-rattling and the US is a reliable security partner in the region.”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — who is scheduled to meet Trump next week in Washington — told lawmakers he intends to press Mattis about “the significance of the Japan-US alliance.”Mattis’ tour comes as relations between the US and other world powers such as Mexico and Australia get off to a rocky start.The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Trump ripped into his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull during a call last week, with the US president apparently fuming at a refugee accord he called “dumb” and cutting the conversation short.Australia is a close US ally, and one of the so-called “Five Eyes” countries with which the US routinely shares sensitive intelligence.Trump has meanwhile angered Mexicans by ordering the construction of a massive border wall and vowing to make their country pay for it.

Trump sidelines Palestinians, as aide rules out building ties for now-Meeting unofficial representatives of Abbas, Jason Greenblatt indicates that administration will engage with PA after Trump meets Netanyahu on Feb. 15-By Avi Issacharoff and Times of Israel staff February 4, 2017, 7:12 pm

Two weeks into his presidency, the administration of Donald Trump appears to be entirely ignoring Palestinian leadership.On Friday, London-based Arabic-language newspaper A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that Washington has not responded to overtures by the Palestinian Authority, reinforcing top negotiator Saeb Erekat’s claim to that effect earlier this week.The Times of Israel has learned that Jason Greenblatt, the administration’s special representative for international negotiations, met on Friday with three Palestinian businessmen with close ties to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and informed them that the administration does not intend to build relations with the PA at this juncture.According to Palestinian sources, the three met Greenblatt in their capacity as businessmen, and not as formal representatives of the PA, although they did have Abbas’s blessing. The sources said the three told Greenblatt that they believe a strong Palestinian economy is essential for the two-state solution to become reality.According to the Palestinian sources, Greenblatt told the three that, for now, the administration has no intention of engaging with the PA. It was understood that the administration will likely only do so after Trump meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15, the sources said.The three businessmen did not respond to efforts to reach them on Saturday evening.American relations with the PA may soon be put to the test, in light of Trump’s repeated promises to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The prospect of a relocation has angered Palestinian and Arab leadership, with the former threatening such action would create a regional crisis.Since his inauguration, Trump has appeared to back away from that pledge, saying in a recent interview that the move was “not easy” and giving it no more than “a chance” of occurring.In another development that may encourage PA leadership, the White House said Thursday that settlement expansion “may not be helpful,” in a possible blow to Israeli leadership that has seen the Trump administration as wholly supportive of the settlement enterprise.In late January, a senior Palestinian source told The Times of Israel that Washington froze the transfer of $221 million which was quietly authorized by the Obama administration in its final hours.US officials conveyed to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that the funds were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.Erekat lashed out at the White House on Monday, telling Newsweek that if Trump’s first days in office were representative of the shape of things to come, “God help us, God help the whole world.“We have sent them letters, written messages, they don’t even bother to respond to us,” he said of the new administration.“It’s time for President Trump to… focus on what this region needs,” Erekat said. “What we need in this region is peace, what we need in this region is dialogue, what we need in this region is to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the table.”On Thursday, Trump met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. According to Jordan’s official news agency Petra, the two “agreed on the need to intensify efforts to reach a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”Stuart Winer contributed to this report.

Thousands march in Tel Aviv over demolition of Arab homes-Jewish, Arab protesters accuse officials of racism, incitement against minorities, say treatment vastly different to that of settlers during Amona evacuation-By Dov Lieber and Times of Israel staff February 4, 2017, 10:52 pm

Thousands of Arabs and Jews demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening over government policy towards the Arab community, accusing the government of racism and incitement against minorities.The some 5,000 protesters voiced their anger over recent home demolitions in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran and in the northern Arab village of Qalansawe, saying the government’s handling of those incidents contrasted sharply with its treatment of settlers in the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona, which was evacuated this week.Majed Abu Balal, an activist from the Jewish-Arab group “Standing Together,” said the demonstrators were protesting the “racism of this government, which demolishes Arab homes in Qalansawe and Umm al-Hiran, sending policemen there ready for war” while treating the Amona settlers “with kid gloves.”MK Dov Khenin of the Joint (Arab) List accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “imitating the anti-Semites in Europe.”“In Russia supporters of the czar would say, ‘Strike the Jews to save Russia.’ With our prime minister it’s ‘Strike the Arabs to save Netanyahu.’ We cannot let the model of incitement against minorities spread here with us,” Khenin said.Speaking at the rally, the wife of a Bedouin man who ran over and killed a police officer during home demolitions in Umm al-Hiran on January 18 — before being shot dead himself — accused the current government of “unbridled racism” and called for an independent probe into the events that led to her husband’s death.Yaqoub Mousa Abu Al-Qia’an’s vehicle plowed into a group of cops during the Umm al-Hiran demolitions, killing officer Erez Levi, in what government ministers and police claim was a deliberate act of terrorism. Witnesses and relatives insist that Abu Al-Qia’an lost control of his car after being hit by police gunfire or while trying to flee the bullets.An initial autopsy showed Abu Al-Qia’an may have lost control of his vehicle after he was shot in the knee, causing him to slam into the officer. Further findings have thus far been inconclusive.On Saturday Abu Al-Qia’an’s wife, Amal Abu Sa’id, called for an end to “incitement, separation and racism” and urged a future of equality and coexistence.She accused the government of “declaring war on its citizens” at Umm al-Hiran and said Netanyahu was cynically using Arab home demolitions to mollify settlers angered by the court-ordered evacuation of Amona.“The choice to treat Bedouin citizens as enemies cost my dear husband his life as well as the life of officer Erez Levi…who in their unnecessary deaths paid for your reckless and irresponsible choices.”She called for the establishment of an independent investigative committee into the events in Umm al-Hiran.Abu Sa’id called the large and diverse crowd “proof Arab and Jews want to live together.”“Members of our government are proud to establish alternative facts,” Meretz MK Michal Rozin told the demonstrators.“They do this not from ignorance,” she added. “They are building a narrative of fear, racism and hatred of the other in a deliberate and sinister fashion which serves their political ends.”In a December video address, Netanyahu linked the order to dismantle Amona with a fresh offensive on unapproved Arab construction in Israel.“The law must be equitable; the same law which obliges vacating Amona also obliges removing illegal construction in other parts of our country,” he said.“Therefore I have given orders to speed up demolition of illegal construction… in all parts of the country and we shall do that in the coming days.”The protesters descended on Tel Aviv from across the country. Without funding, Arab citizens bused into Tel Aviv from the north and south, including Umm al-Hiran and Qalansawe.Protesters shouted “Housing for everyone. Enough of the demolitions, enough blood.”Many called for Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to step down, blasting them for incitement against the Arab-Israeli community.Anton Goodman, director of development for the coexistence organization The Abraham Fund called the demonstration “an outpouring of emotion from those who know from deep practical experience that better Jewish and Arab relations are attainable.”Fellow protester David Lasry said that the demolitions were an attempt by the prime minister to distract from his own police investigations for suspected corruption.“What happened in Umm al-Hiran is connected to the investigations into Netanyahu,” he said. “The Bedouin and the officer killed are the victims of his aggressiveness, and Erdan is his partner.”Saturday’s rally was the latest in a series of protests that have been held throughout the country in recent weeks following the events in Umm al-Hiran.AFP contributed to this report.

Visa holders hurry to board flights to US amid reprieve-Uncertain how long halt on travel ban will last, previously barred nationals from 7 Muslim nations rush to enter America before doors slam shut again-By TAMMY WEBBER February 4, 2017, 11:53 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

CHICAGO (AP) — Visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban hurried to board US-bound flights Saturday, fearing they might have only a slim window through which to enter the country after a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban.Those who could travel immediately were being urged to do so because of uncertainty over whether the Justice Department would be granted an emergency freeze of the order issued Friday by US District Judge James Robart in Seattle. The government on Saturday suspended enforcement of the week-old ban as it scurried to appeal Robart’s order, although an immigration lawyer said passengers in at least one African airport were told they couldn’t get on the planes.Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League in Dearborn, Michigan, told The Detroit News that her group is advising people to hurry.“We’re … instructing people who can travel immediately to the United States to basically go ahead and do that before anything further happens,” Aoun said, adding that one family intends to fly back from Egypt on Sunday. Another woman in Egypt, who had been denied a visa, is booking her flight to come as soon as possible, said Aoun, whose group filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Detroit asking a judge to declare Trump’s immigration order unconstitutional.US officials have said up to 60,000 foreigners had their visas “provisionally revoked” to comply with Trump’s order.Among them was Ammar Alnajjar, a 24-year-old Yemeni green card holder and student at Southwest Tennessee Community College who had traveled to Turkey to visit his fiancee and planned to stay for three months. When he heard the ban was lifted, he paid $1,000 to come back immediately. He arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.“I got to study. I got to do some work,” said Alnajjar, who said he fled civil war in Yemen and moved to the US from Turkey in 2015. “I’m Muslim. I’m proud of it. Islam means peace.”Although the government suspended enforcement of the travel ban while it sought an emergency stay of Robart’s order, some airlines reportedly still weren’t letting some people from the seven countries board their planes, at least initially.Royal Jordanian Airlines, which operates direct flights from Amman to New York, Chicago and Detroit, said it would resume carrying nationals from the seven countries as long as they presented a valid US visa or green card.But in the African nation of Djibouti, immigration attorney Julie Goldberg said a Qatar Airways representative told her that immigrants from all seven countries affected by the ban — Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran and Somalia — were not allowed to fly Saturday afternoon. A Qatar Airways spokeswoman said the airline would begin boarding travelers from those countries.Goldberg said she was trying to arrange flights for dozens of Yemeni citizens who have immigrant visas and were stranded there. She said a supervisor at Turkish Airlines told her that people holding immigrant and non-immigrant visas from the seven countries still were being banned unless they had a special email from the US Customs and Border Protection with the person’s name and passport number.A 12-year-old Yemeni girl whose parents and siblings are US citizens living in California was finally allowed to depart after “an hour-and-half of fighting” with officials, Goldberg said. It was unclear when she would arrive.“Her mother is on pins and needles … her father is on the plane with her,” Stacey Gartland, a San Francisco attorney who represented the girl, said in an email.The fate of some refugees still was in limbo.A Somali refugee said about 140 refugees whose resettlement in the US was blocked by Trump’s executive order were sent back to their refugee camp and it was unclear if or when they could travel.Nadir Hassan said the group of Somali refugees was relocated to Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya on Saturday. They had been expected to settle in the US this week and had been staying at an International Organization for Migration transit center in Nairobi. Officials at the International Organization for Migration could not immediately be reached for comment.“I was hoping to start a new life in the US,” Hassan said. “We feel bad.”American businesses affected by the ban also were jumping into action. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who quit Trump’s business advisory council this week under criticism of his initial response to Trump’s ban, said his company is buying plane tickets for some of its drivers who are stranded, tweeting Friday night that the head of litigation for the ride-hailing app is “buying a whole bunch of airline tickets ASAP!”Meanwhile, legal advocates waited at airports to offer assistance to new arrivals in case anything went wrong.Volunteer attorney Renee Paradis was among 20-25 lawyers and interpreters who stationed themselves inside JFK’s Terminal 4 in case anyone arrived Saturday needing help. They were carrying handmade signs in Arabic and Farsi “that say we’re lawyers, we’re here to help. We’re not from the government,” Paradis said.“We’re all just waiting to see what actually happens and who manages to get through,” she said.

Dutch Jewish wedding film from 1939 shines light on doomed community-The only known pre-Holocaust footage of an obliterated Frisian Jewish community, footage offers hope while memorializing Nazi victims-By Cnaan Liphshiz February 4, 2017, 10:13 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The Jews of Friesland, a region in the northern Netherlands, are not known for stories with happy endings.During the Holocaust, Friesland’s vibrant Jewish community was forever obliterated, including its endemic customs and distinct Yiddish dialect. It is one of the starkest examples of how the Holocaust decimated and irreparably changed Dutch Jewry.That’s why the recent surfacing of a unique film from 1939 showing the wedding of a Frisian Jewish couple who escaped the genocide is generating remarkable reactions from local media and Dutch state historians here over the past week.The film is the only known footage of Frisian Jewish life from before the Holocaust. Its discovery comes amid a wave of popular interest in the Holocaust in the Netherlands, including in films and series with record ratings and in the construction of monuments – most recently with the opening last year of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.The silent, black-and-white film was the subject of a special aired last week in prime time by the region’s public broadcaster, Omrop Fryslân. All the region’s main dailies reported on it, as did some national publications — including the Netherlands’ main television guide. Placed on YouTube by the Frisian Film Archive on January 25, it received thousands of hits, becoming the archive’s second-most-watched video over the past two years.The couple’s children handed it over this month to the Frisian Film Archive after finding it in their late mother’s suitcase in 2008. They had hung onto it for nearly a decade to “come to terms with it,” Andre Boers, one of the couple’s three children, told JTA on Tuesday.The seven-minute film posted online last week — excerpted from longer footage — shows the bride, Mimi Dwinger, wearing a form-fitting satin wedding dress and riding a horse-drawn carriage with her fiancé, Barend Boers. It’s a sunny spring day and the couple is headed from Leeuwarden City Hall to the local synagogue.As elegantly dressed women and men wearing top hats stream into the synagogue, other locals from the Jewish quarter of this poor, provincial city gather around the entrance for a better view of what seems to be an unusually opulent affair.Inside the synagogue, which seems full to capacity with wedding guests, the region’s chief rabbi, Abraham Salomon Levisson, officiates. He’s wearing the black hexagonal hat favored by Sephardic rabbis — an influence brought to Holland by Portuguese Jews. Smiling, Boers signs the ketubah, the religious marriage contract.The newlywed couple appears relaxed at the reception held at the local Jewish kosher hotel, The German Eagle-The ring is too small for a comfortable fit. Boers flashes an amused smile at the camera as Dwinger quickly licks her finger to make it easier to slip on the jewelry. Touchingly, Boers holds up her veil while she does this.The newlywed couple appears relaxed at the reception held at the local Jewish kosher hotel, The German Eagle. The guests chat and, after a few glasses of advocaat — Dutch eggnog — they giggle at the cameraman. The excerpt — the full footage was given on loan to the archive earlier this month — ends with Boers gently kissing his wife on the forehead.Nothing about the film suggests that the people featured in it had any idea their world was coming to an end.Just a year after filming, the people in the movie would come under the Nazi occupation that decimated the Frisian Jewish community, along with 75 percent of Dutch Jews — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.For example, the body of the congregation’s rabbi, Levisson, was found in 1945 inside a German cattle car that was full of dead or dying Jews when the advancing Russian army encountered it in Eastern Europe.‘The bride you see smiling in that film, she’s a woman running for her life’The bride’s father, Moses, was arrested and sent to the death camps in 1943. Fewer than 10 members of his extended family of about 100 survived the war, according to Andre Boers.Though the Jews in the film appear relaxed, Frisian Jews did have an inkling of the storm heading their way, according to Hans Groeneweg, a historian at the Frisian Resistance Museum, a state-funded institution entrusted with documenting the occupation years.“The bride you see smiling in that film, she’s a woman running for her life,” he told the Frisian Broadcasting Authority in a 25-minute round table discussion that aired January 25. Levisson was especially aware of the danger, as he had been helping settle in the Netherlands refugees from neighboring Nazi Germany for years.While few of their relatives and guests survived, the lovebirds plotted the escape that saw them survive against all odds.They escaped the Netherlands in 1942, through France and Spain to Jamaica. Boers enlisted to fight with the Allies, while his wife volunteered to work for the British War Office. Boers participated in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1944 as part of a Dutch brigade that fought embedded within the Canadian army.The couple returned to the liberated Netherlands. Boers died in 1979 at 69. His widow, Mimi, passed away nine years ago at 90. Her three children now live in Amsterdam and Israel. The Frisian Film Archive learned of the film’s existence after the family offered to give the 16mm footage to the archive on loan.“For decades we’ve been looking for footage from the Jewish community before the war, and now here it is,” Syds Wiersma, an archivist for the Frisian Film Archive, told the regional broadcaster last week.‘It offers hope — hope that not all the people in that film died in the camps’The film’s appeal, according to Groeneweg, the resistance museum historian, isn’t just its rarity.“It offers hope — hope that not all the people in that film died in the camps, that a few managed to escape, after all,” he said.But for Andre Boers, Mimi and Barend’s middle child, who is living in Israel, the film has a far more personal significance. Before the family found it, he had not seen moving images of many of the relatives featured.It’s a “highly emotional opportunity to see my grandparents, great-grandmother, uncles, aunties and many others just a few years before most of them were murdered by the Nazis,” he wrote last week on Facebook.

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