Tuesday, March 07, 2017

 

NETANYAHU-80% OF SECURITY THREATS AGAINST ISRAEL COMES FROM IRAN.

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)

EZEKIEL 20:47
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.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
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.

MALACHI 4:1
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

Washington unsure of whether to scrap nuke deal, UN watchdog says-Despite Trump’s vow to dismantle Iran pact, IAEA head says too early for US to tell what it will do, lobbies Tillerson on benefits of agreement-By Agencies March 6, 2017, 6:24 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The new US administration has not yet decided what to do about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the head of the UN atomic watchdog said Monday following talks in Washington.“The new administration of the United States just started and they are looking at this issue,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said.They are looking “not only at that issue but also at many other issues. So it is very early for them to give their assessment,” he told a news conference.Amano held talks on Thursday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior officials in Washington for the first time since Donald Trump became president in January.During his meeting with Tillerson, Amano told reporters on Monday that he emphasized the benefits of the nuclear agreement, and expressed confidence his message was heard by US officials.He further assured Tillerson that thanks to the 2015 agreement, the IAEA now has the “strongest verification” tools to monitor Tehran’s atomic activities and that “the nuclear activities of Iran are reduced.”Amano told reporters Monday that he is confident of “very good cooperation” with the United States on Iran.Trump said while campaigning for the presidency that he wanted to “dismantle” the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers including the United States.The agreement saw Iran scale down substantially its nuclear activities and submit to ultra-close IAEA inspections in exchange for relief from painful sanctions.The accord extends the “breakout time” needed for Iran to accumulate enough fissile material for a bomb to at least a year, giving the international community time to react, proponents say.Iran has always denied wanting nuclear weapons, saying its activities are purely peaceful. Amano said Monday the deal was a “net gain from a verification point of view”.Regardless of Trump’s barbs on the campaign trail, none of the five other major powers to the deal — Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany — want to end the agreement.The IAEA has said that Iran has complied with the accord’s conditions since it formally came into force in January 2016.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Liberman: Trump administration has warned us not to annex West Bank-Unilateral steps would cause ‘immediate crisis’ in Israel-US relations, DM says; Likud MK says he’s confusing Trump with Obama-By Raoul Wootliff March 6, 2017, 1:01 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that Israel has received a direct message from US President Donald Trump’s administration warning of an “immediate crisis” if the government were to annex the West Bank and apply Israeli sovereignty there.Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Liberman said that he had received calls from all over the world criticizing the idea of annexation, including a candid communique from the new US administration.“The coalition should make unequivocally clear that there is no intention at the moment to apply Israeli sovereignty,” the defense minister said.Furthermore, “we received a message directly — not indirectly, not a hint — from the US, that Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank means an immediate crisis with the new administration,” he added.A spokesman for Liberman declined to comment on who from the US administration had delivered the message.Liberman’s comments — made with journalists present before a closed door briefing to the high-level committee — came amid calls from some in the Likud and Jewish Home parties for the annexation of Ma’ale Adumim and other settlements, and after an interview given by Likud MK Miki Zohar on Sunday, in which Zohar called for full Israeli annexation of the West Bank.Zohar told i24News that were Israel to annex the West Bank, Palestinians would not be able to receive full rights. “The two state solution is dead; what is left is a one-state solution with the Arabs here not as full citizens,” he said, “because full citizenship will let them to vote for the Knesset. They will get all the rights like every citizen except voting for the Knesset.”Israel has controlled the West Bank since capturing it in the 1967 Six Day War but has never moved to annex any of the territory beyond extending sovereignty to East Jerusalem.Asked if his vision would still leave Israel as a democracy, Zohar said that he proposed allowing full citizenship for those who fulfilled certain criteria to prove their loyalty to the state, such as joining the army. “I promise you: they (the Palestinians) won’t (want to) serve in the army, they will (prefer to) give up the option to vote. They won’t vote in the Knesset. They would prefer not voting and not contributing to this country, believe me,” he said.Here's what Likud MK Miki Zohar told me today about the 1-state solution and voting rights for #palestinians on #TheSpinRoom on @i24NEWS_EN pic.twitter.com/vXMRvYS4JV— (((Ami Kaufman))) (@AmiKaufman) March 5, 2017-Liberman said that the interview sparked angry opposition from foreign countries, whose leaders called him to clarify the official Israeli position.“I’ve been getting phone calls from them asking me, ‘What’s the coalition’s position?’ I want to make it very clear, at least concerning my worldview: We need to separate from the Palestinians and not absorb Palestinians into our territory,” he said, citing the vast financial burden of offering “at least citizenship” to 2.7 million people, saying it would immediately cost Israel NIS 20 billion ($5.4 billion).“Zohar is a leading member of the coalition. I believe he’s the acting chairman of the coalition… I call on members of the Knesset and first and foremost on the coalition to act responsibly and take a clear and firm position,” Liberman added.Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) dismissed Liberman’s warning, saying he was trying “to dictate a reality that has not yet been created in Washington.”“The current [US] government has not yet formulated its strategic plan for the region… [It is] open to new political thinking and all options are still on the table,” she said.Speaking to The Times of Israel after the committee meeting, Zohar said that Liberman appeared to have confused Trump’s position with that of the previous administration.“I would not be so quick to bury US policy toward Israel under Obama’s positions,” he said. “The new administration is relying on Netanyahu to set policy for the good of Israel.”Despite Zohar’s assertion, coalition lawmakers agreed over the weekend to delay a contentious vote on extending Israeli sovereignty to the Jerusalem-area settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.Likud MK Yoav Kisch and Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich announced on Friday that at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they would postpone putting the annexation bill to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation until March 12.The proposed legislation, vociferously condemned by the international community, has already been postponed several times in recent months. At Washington’s request, it was delayed until after the February meeting between Netanyahu and Trump.While Trump has indicated he could be more tolerant of Israeli settlements than the Obama administration was, Netanyahu on Monday reportedly said the two leaders had yet to cement an agreement regarding his government’s policies in the West Bank. At their February press conference, Trump asked Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”Speaking at a Likud faction meeting last week, Netanyahu confirmed he was working with the White House to establish a “mechanism” for coordinating settlement construction, but added that “things are not as simple as you think they are.”Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Netanyahu: 80% of security threats against Israel emanate from Iran-At event commemorating 25th anniversary of Buenos Aires embassy bombing, PM says Israel constantly thwarts attacks on Israeli missions abroad-By Raphael Ahren March 6, 2017, 12:27 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Iran is the source of the vast majority of Israel’s security concerns, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at an event commemorating the victims of a 1992 Iranian-sponsored terror attack against Israel in Argentina.“Iran is the greatest generator of terrorism in the world in the world and we need to to fight this terror because it is just one arm of Iranian aggression, which also seeks nuclear weapons and advances its ballistic missiles program,” he said at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.Tehran continues to destabilize the region and to threaten Israel with annihilation, he went on. “One of our defense officials estimates that more than 80 percent of our security problems emanate from Iran.”On March 17, 1992, a suicide bomber killed 29 and wounded hundreds in front of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, in what still is the deadliest attack on an Israeli diplomatic mission. A group with ties to Iran and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah took responsibility for the bombing.Speaking at the memorial event, Netanyahu — who is also foreign minister — said Jerusalem knew right away that Tehran was behind the attack.“Iran initiated, Iran planned, and Iran, through its henchman Hezbollah, also executed it.”Another example of Iranian sponsorship of terrorism followed two years later when the AMIA Jewish community center was bombed, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds, the prime minister said.“We warned then of the growing monster of terrorism, sponsored by Iran, which sends metastases throughout the entire world, and it is still here,” he said. “Since the attack in Argentina, Iran and its proxy Hezbollah created a network of terror.”Addressing a hall full of diplomats, dignitaries and family members of the killed Israelis, Netanyahu said that Israeli diplomatic missions are under constant threat. Israel is thwarting planned attacks all the time, he said, vowing not to be deterred by Iran’s efforts to harm Israelis stationed across the world.“Since the terror attack in Argentina, Israel has grown much stronger,” he said. “We will forcefully oppose the arming of Hezbollah and dangerous weapons. Our red lines are thick and clear and we do not hesitate to act in order to enforce them,” he added, likely referring to air raids on weapons convoys smuggling game-changing arms from Iran to Hezbollah via Syria.Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Moscow on Thursday to discuss Iran’s role in a post-civil war Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin.“Syria and the effort to formulate an agreement there will be at the center of our conversation,” Netanyahu said during Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting. “In the context of this agreement, or without it, Iran is trying to establish itself permanently in Syria, with a military presence on the ground and at sea, and also a gradual attempt to open a front against us on the Golan Heights.”The prime minister vowed to convey to Putin Israel’s “sharp and vigorous opposition” to this scenario. “I hope we will be able to reach certain understandings in order to reduce possible friction between our forces and theirs, as we have successfully done until now.”

Family calls on Trump to bring back Jewish American from Iran-Relatives of Robert Levinson, ‘longest-held hostage in American history,’ demand president fulfill his campaign promise-By Times of Israel staff March 6, 2017, 1:34 pm

In his election campaign, US President Donald Trump vowed to return Iranian-held hostages to the US. Now the relatives of one of those men are asking the president to make good on his promise.The family of Robert Levinson, a Jewish American who went missing nine years ago in Iran, asked for a meeting with Trump, the New York Times reported Sunday. According to the FBI, Levinson is the “longest-held hostage in American history.”In the week of Levinson’s 69th birthday, his family called on Trump to bring back the incarcerated American. Trump said at a campaign rally in 2015 on Capitol Hill that “If I win the presidency, I guarantee you that those four prisoners are back in our country before I ever take office. I guarantee that.”He was referring to four Americans held by Iran, Levinson, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian. Abedini, Hekmati and Rezaian were released by Iran last year, but Levinson remains imprisoned.At the time Trump criticized the Obama administration for not linking the Iran nuclear deal to the return of the captives.Then-secretary of state John Kerry said during the deal negotiations that bringing Levinson back was a priority for the Obama administration.“As the president has said, and as I have told the Levinson family when I have met with them, we will never forget Bob, and we will not rest until the Levinson family is whole again,” Kerry said in a statement.“The US government in its entirety will continue all efforts to locate Bob and bring him home. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed to cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Levinson, and we are holding Iran to its promise.”A year later and Levinson’s family is no closer to knowing his whereabouts or his fate.Levinson disappeared during a trip to Iran’s Kish Island on March 9, 2007. A 2013 Associated Press investigation found he was working for the CIA on an unauthorized intelligence-gathering mission to find information about Iran’s nuclear program. US officials have said they are no longer certain he remains in the country.The 2013 AP investigation showed that in a breach of the most basic CIA rules, a team of analysts — with no authority to run spy operations — paid Levinson to gather intelligence from hotspots around the world, including the Middle East and Latin America.The official story when Levinson disappeared was that he was in Iran on private business, either to investigate cigarette smuggling or to work on a book about Russian organized crime. It has a presence on Kish, a tourist island.In fact, he was meeting a source, an American fugitive, Dawud Salahuddin. He is wanted for killing a former Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980. In interviews, Salahuddin has admitted killing the diplomat.The CIA paid Levinson’s family $2.5 million to preempt a revealing lawsuit, and the agency rewrote its rules restricting how analysts can work with outsiders. Three analysts who had been working with Levinson lost their jobs.Associated Press contributed to this report.

ISRAEL SATAN COMES AGAINST

1 CHRONICLES 21:1
1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

GENESIS 12:1-3
1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I (GOD) will shew thee:
2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3  And I will bless them that bless thee,(ISRAELIS) and curse (DESTROY) him that curseth thee:(DESTROY THEM) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

ISAIAH 41:11
11  Behold, all they that were incensed against thee (ISRAEL) shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing;(DESTROYED) and they that strive with thee shall perish.(ISRAEL HATERS WILL BE TOTALLY DESTROYED)

ISRAELS TROUBLE

JEREMIAH 30:7
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;(ISRAEL) but he shall be saved out of it.

DANIEL 12:1,4
1 And at that time shall Michael(ISRAELS WAR ANGEL) stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:(ISRAEL) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation(May 14,48) even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,(WORLD TRAVEL,IMMIGRATION) and knowledge shall be increased.(COMPUTERS,CHIP IMPLANTS ETC)

Chief rabbi urges Netanyahu to speak out against US anti-Semitism-Yitzhak Yosef implores premier ‘not to be silent’ about recent incidents, says Jews overseas ‘are looking to you’-By AP and Times of Israel staff March 6, 2017, 5:38 pm

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef implored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak up Monday about a recent wave of anti-Semitism and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries in the United States.Yosef called on Netanyahu and Israeli diplomats “not to be silent about the phenomenon of Jewish cemetery desecration.”“We have to raise a very clear voice to work as much as possible to stop these anti-Semitic acts,” he said.“Your voice is the voice our brothers in the Diaspora expect to hear. They are looking to you; you must do everything in your power to prevent these acts of hatred,” he added.Yosef spoke at a ceremony marking a deadly 1992 bombing at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.The past two months have seen three incidents of vandalism in Jewish cemeteries and a rash of over 100 bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions.Netanyahu is usually vocal against global anti-Semitism but has issued a fairly muted response to recent acts targeting US Jewish institutions. Critics in Israel say Netanyahu may be looking to protect his ally, US President Donald Trump, who is accused of stirring up xenophobia.During a visit to the White House last month, the prime minister defended Trump against charges of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism, saying “there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than Donald Trump.”After Trump issued his first explicit condemnation of anti-Semitism, which he described as “horrible,” “painful” and a “sad reminder,” Netanyahu said, “It is very important that President Trump took a strong stand against anti-Semitism.”Speaking at an event for the Jewish community in late February at the Great Synagogue in Sydney, during a state visit, Netanyahu described anti-Semitism as a growing trend that needs to be combated.“We have a battle against those who seek to demonize our people and against the resurgent anti-Semitism we see in many parts of the world,” he said, adding that “it is something that we need to fight together.”The prime minister said that in addition to Trump taking “a strong stand against anti-Semitism… it is important that we all continue to do so in the years ahead,” adding that it is “important in Europe, it is important in America.”

Jewish politicians dispute NYPD finding cemetery damage not vandalism-Local officials cast doubt on police assessment that neglect was to blame for 42 toppled headstones at Brooklyn graveyard-By JTA March 6, 2017, 6:58 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Jewish leaders in New York are disputing the New York Police Department’s finding that 42 headstones in a Brooklyn cemetery toppled due to neglect and not vandalism.The headstones at the largely Jewish Washington Cemetery originally were thought to have been toppled by vandals, following similar incidents at three other cemeteries — in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Rochester — in the last two weeks.But police determined after an investigation on Sunday that the headstones had fallen off of their bases due to neglect and bad weather conditions.New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the New York Post late on Sunday that the people who reported the damage to him had never noticed it before despite walking by the cemetery every week to go to synagogue services.“The people who first reported this to us were individuals who walk by … on the way to synagogue on Shabbos, and they were the ones who saw something that looked wrong to them,” Hikind told the newspaper. “If they had seen the [toppled stones] before,” they would have reported it, he said.He added: “We’re not talking about stones that are down, that they want to repair. We’re talking about tombstones where if you look at it, you say, ‘Someone vandalized it.’”Hikind, as well as New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield, also told the newspaper that police had discovered a three-foot hole cut into a razor-wire fence near the section of the cemetery containing the damaged headstones, which Hikind called an “obvious” breach.Cemetery general manager Marisa Tarantino told the Post that when headstones in the older sections fall over, they move them over the grave so that the spot remains memorialized. Cemetery workers concluded that many of the downed headstones noticed by the passersby had fallen down over time.In 2010, some 200 headstones were toppled in the same Brooklyn cemetery.

Trump said to reject FBI’s denial of Obama wiretapping claims-Spokeswoman says president ‘wants the truth to come out to the American people’-By Times of Israel staff March 6, 2017, 6:26 pm

A spokeswoman for US President Donald Trump indicated that the president doesn’t believe FBI Director James Comey’s denial of the claim that his predecessor, Barack Obama, wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.“No, I don’t think he does,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders told ABC’s “Good Morning America,” on Monday when asked if Trump accepted Comey’s denial.The president “wants the truth to come out to the American people and he is asking that it be done through the House Intelligence Committee and that that be the process that we go through,” she said.Trump tweeted on Saturday that Obama had ordered wiretaps on his phones during the presidential race.“Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” he tweeted.He followed that by claiming that there was a legal case for Obama to answer.I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017-“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” he wrote.Trump said in the tweets that he had “just found out” that Obama had ordered wiretaps, though it was unclear whether he was referring to a briefing, a conversation or a media report. The president in the past has tweeted about unsubstantiated and provocative reports he reads on blogs or conservative websites.On Saturday Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s explosive and unsubstantiated accusation, a claim Comey maintains is false and must be corrected, The New York Times reported Sunday.Comey made the request on Saturday because “there is no evidence to support it and it insinuates that the FBI broke the law,” the paper reported the senior US officials as saying.Trump made his claim in a tweet on Saturday, providing no evidence to back up the claim. Trump said the wiretapping happened in October at Trump Tower, the New York skyscraper where he ran his campaign and transition.“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process,” he wrote. “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017-Obama denied the allegation via a spokesman as “simply false.” Lawmakers in both parties have asked for proof.The Republican chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Devin Nunes, said his panel would also look into Trump’s claim.Agencies contributed to this report.

Government approves measure to decriminalize marijuana-Netanyahu says ‘we are open to the future… but also understand the dangers’; critics say new proposal watered down-By Alexander Fulbright March 5, 2017, 4:51 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will move forward with marijuana legislation in a “cautious, controlled manner” as the cabinet approved a blueprint for decriminalization of personal use and possession of the substance.During the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, ministers approved the proposed guidelines on decriminalization put forward by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), allowing for the establishment of an interministerial committee of directors that will decide how best to implement the measure.Speaking ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu said that government would not rush forward with decriminalizing cannabis.“On the hand one, we are open to the future,” he said, adding that “we also understand the dangers and we will try to balance the two things.”However, the move by the cabinet drew criticism from legalization campaigners, who said that recent last-minute changes to the proposals had undermined the effectiveness of it.Likud MK Sharren Haskel — who has strongly pushed for marijuana decriminalization — was quoted in the online Hebrew-language magazine Cannabis on Sunday as saying that the measure approved by the cabinet “is not decriminalization and opposes the recommendations” of the Anti-Drug Authority, which supported decriminalization.“The measure that Erdan and Shaked passed today is no less than a mockery of the committee’s findings, and is an attempt to undo them. In practice this measure will continue to criminalize cannabis users,” she said, while adding that “the reality is that this measure does not change [current polices] and even makes [them] more stringent.”According to a copy of the proposal published by Cannabis, the interministerial committee will present its recommendations to the government by May 7.Although Erdan’s announcement in January that he would accept the Anti-Drug Authority’s proposed “Portugal Model” — in which possession and use of the drug would be decriminalized and treated largely as a health issue — was met with widespread approval from supporters of marijuana decriminalization, the proposal approved by the government on Sunday does not in fact move toward full decriminalization.Under the Anti-Drug Authority’s recommendation first-time offenders would be charged a NIS 1,000 ($265) fine and escape having a criminal case filed them, but under the new proposal those caught will have to confess to smoking in order to avoid being charged, while police will still be able “to act in accordance with all of the powers it has been granted” even after a confession.For a second offense, the same conditions regarding a required confession and the ability of police to act as they see fit still apply, while the fine will be doubled to NIS 2,000 ($530).Punishments for third and fourth offenses remain largely unchanged under the new proposal from the Anti-Drug Authority’s version.Those caught for a third time could still escape prosecution on condition they accept a number of possible measures, including loss of their gun or driving license and participation in a rehabilitation program.Those caught smoking in public on a fourth occasion would be subject to automatic indictment.Also, whereas under the original proposal home use and possession of marijuana would carry no punishment, the version approved Sunday makes no mention whatsoever of those caught at home.

Massive 4,000-year-old Galilee tombs force rethink of Bronze dark age-In northern Israel, archaeologists excavate largest dolmen in the Levant, with 50-ton stones to rival those of Stonehenge in size-By Ilan Ben Zion March 5, 2017, 4:39 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Around 4,000 years ago, a man, a woman and a child were laid to rest in a barrow beneath a massive 50-ton slab of basalt on a hillside in the Hula Valley. Offerings in ceramic pots were laid by their sides, and above their heads mysterious symbols were etched into the stone.This enigmatic discovery, detailed in an academic article published in PLOS ONE on Thursday, upends our understanding of a little-understood dark age in the Levant following the collapse of Early Bronze Age cities.Their grave of boulders stacked to form a crude table, known by archaeologists as a dolmen, was one of a vast field of tombs recently excavated by archaeologists in what is now northern Israel. The multi-chambered barrow the three skeletons were found in, however, stood out from the rest.The excavation of the dolmens, near Kibbutz Shamir in the Hula Valley (a stone’s throw from a Roman manor described in a recent Times of Israel article), commenced after Gonen Sharon, a professor at Tel Hai College and lead author of the study, discovered the rock drawings in 2012. The field was first surveyed in the 1950s.The study, which took several years of excavation, research and 3D scanning of the rock art, was carried out as a joint effort of Tel Hai College, the Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Israel Antiquities Authority.Dolmens lie scattered throughout the Golan Heights, and appear in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. A recent survey of the Golan Heights turned up over 5,200 of the monumental rock tombs; the Shamir Dolmen Field has over 400.“The dolmens are problematic,” Sharon told The Times of Israel in a phone interview Sunday. “It’s a problem to date them because they are very obvious on the landscape and people have been using them since they were built 4,000 years ago or a little bit more than that.“But people have been using them since. We hear about them in the Talmud, they were used by Romans, so when you go in you have a problem to set the date,” he said. “Now we have a kind of consensus that the dolmens of the Galilee and the Golan should be dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age.”Based on the pottery found inside the grave, and the time period associated with this style of burial, the authors said the tomb dates to a hazy period straddling the end of the Early Bronze and start of the Middle Bronze, around 2350 to 2000 BCE.As archaeologists understood this period until now, the sophisticated city-state governments of the Early Bronze Age collapsed, the towns emptied out, and large-scale agriculture ceased. Some scholars link rapid climate change — a cooler, drier time — around 4,200 years ago to the collapse of societies across the Near East, including the Levant.“All these cities disappeared,” Sharon explained. “And then you have a few hundred years of practically nothing” until the emergence of the great cities of the Middle Bronze Age: Megiddo, Hazor, Ashkelon, Lachish.During that intermediate period, society decentralized into small villages and wandering nomads, and scholars assumed the social conditions weren’t ripe for monumental architecture.“What we do have is this dolmen,” Sharon said. The gigantic tombs force archaeologists to rework their understanding of that age.“Hundreds of dolmens are scattered in the Shamir Dolmen Field, yet one dolmen stands out, even among the giants,” the authors of the study wrote. “The largest of the Shamir dolmens and, to our knowledge, one of the largest dolmens ever reported from the Levant, is Dolmen 3.”The boulder capping the grave is over 13 feet long and nearly as wide, is just shy of four feet thick and weighs over 50 tons, making it “one of the largest stones reported to have been used in the construction of a dolmen in the Levant.” The structure itself is “one of the largest dolmens ever recorded in the Levant,” researchers wrote.To put it into perspective, the standing stones at Stonehenge, which is slightly older than the Shamir dolmen field, are each around 13 feet high, almost 7 feet wide and weigh 25 tons — half that of the capstone. All the stones of Dolmen 3 together weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 400 tons, the researchers said.It was also the first complex “multi-dolmen” reported in the Levant, with at least four sub-chambers, indicating some kind of social hierarchy.On the underside of Dolmen 3’s titanic slab were 14 etchings hewn into the volcanic rock, all variations on a unique motif: a vertical line with an arc at one end, each around 10 inches long. Three-dimensional scanning of the drawings shed light on the technique used to etch them into the rock.Each drawing differs slightly in the length and curve of the arc. The cryptic artwork has archaeologists stumped, but they suggest in the paper that they could be “schematic human forms or symbolic representations of the soul of the deceased,” perhaps indicating the path awaiting those buried therein. It’s a rare case, they said, where rock art is discovered in an archaeological context.The patina inside the carving matches the surrounding rock face, suggesting it’s of the same age as the dolmen tomb, researchers said.Digging below the surface of the tomb chamber, archaeologists found the fragmentary remains of an 8- to 10-year old child, a young adult and a 35- to 45-year-old adult, all buried around the time the dolmen was erected. Their bones were gathered up and interred in a secondary burial.“Despite the heavy fragmentation, the preservation of the bone tissue was surprisingly good and it was possible to identify remains from all parts of the skeleton, from skull to leg bones, in each concentration,” the researchers said. Now they’re trying to nail down their age with radiocarbon dating, “but the poor chemical preservation of the bones is challenging the dating process.”The presence of beads from a later period suggests that the dolmen was reused again at some point after the three were buried there.Altogether, the Shamir dolmens’ complex burial customs, hierarchy and symbolic art defies scholars’ conception of society in the region during this period.As author Bill Bryson pointed out with Stonehenge, “Can you imagine trying to talk six hundred people into helping you drag a fifty-ton stone eighteen miles across the countryside and muscle it into an upright position, and then saying, ‘Right, lads! Another twenty like that, plus some lintels and maybe a couple of dozen nice bluestones from Wales, and we can party!’ Whoever was the person behind Stonehenge was one dickens of a motivator, I’ll tell you that.”The same goes with the dolmen fields in the Galilee and Golan.“Even though we don’t have any regular archaeological evidence, like cities and towns and tels, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing here,” said Sharon. The Mongol Empire, the largest land empire in history, was forged by tent-dwellers who left little trace, he argued.“Dolmens suggest we’re looking at a much more complex governmental system. To build this kind of dolmen you have to gather enough people, you have to feed these people, you have to accommodate these people, you have to have the architectural and construction knowledge, and you must have a boss. Somebody needs to tell them what to do.”————————Follow Ilan Ben Zion on Twitter and Facebook



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