Tuesday, May 09, 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

Shrugging off criticism, Netanyahu backs Jewish state bill-Despite opponents saying bill discriminates against Arab minority, prime minister says ‘no contradiction’ between proposed legislation and equal rights in Israel-By Raoul Wootliff May 8, 2017, 6:13 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday threw his support behind a controversial bill that would enshrine Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people,” dismissing criticism that the measure discriminates against Arabs.Speaking at his weekly Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said the bill, which passed in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, “flies in the face of everyone who tries to deny our right to Israel.”The latest incarnation of the proposed law, like many of its predecessors in recent years, has already stirred objections from opposition lawmakers who contend the bill would discriminate against the country’s Arab minority.Slamming criticism that calls the proposal discriminatory to Israel’s Arab and other minority populations, Netanyahu says “there is absolutely no contradiction between the Jewish state bill and equal rights in Israel.”Judaism is already mentioned throughout the country’s laws, and religious authorities control many aspects of life, including marriage. But the 11 existing Basic Laws deal mostly with state institutions like the Knesset, the courts or the presidency, while Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty defines Israel’s democratic character. The nation-state bill, proponents say, would put Jewish values and democratic values on equal footing.According to the language of the proposal, while every individual has the right “to preserve his culture, heritage, language and identity,” the right to realize self-determination “is unique to the Jewish people.”In another controversial clause, Arabic would be relegated from an official language to one with “special status,” which would ensure its speakers the “right to accessible state services.”“The bill constitutes an overwhelming response to all those who deny the deep connection between the Jewish people and their land,” the prime minister said.Netanyahu said the bill would be brought to the Knesset within 60 days and he “expects all the Zionist parties to support it.”Opposition leader Isaac Herzog criticized the bill drafted by Likud MK Avi Dichter as threatening to “trample on the delicate balance between Jewish and democratic.”Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said he supports the idea of a nation-state bill to define Israel as a Jewish state, but cannot back the law in its current form.“We support the Jewish state law, but what was passed yesterday was not the Jewish state law,” Lapid told his weekly faction meeting, referring to Dichter’s bill.Lapid and Herzog both said they supported Likud MK Benny Begin’s version of the law, which is just a short paragraph-long declaration of the Jewish nature of the state.Lapid said he would not support Dichter’s, which includes a number of controversial clauses, including downgrading Arabic from an official language to one of “special status.”“If the coalition is serious and it really wants to pass a nation-state bill with wide support, then we will support it,” Lapid said.“But with this, they are trying to create chasms within Israel and it’s unnecessary. The bill creates many, many problems,” he adds.Asked what specific changes would be needed for the bill to receive the support of the party, Yesh Atid MK Yael German told The Times of Israel that it would need to enshrine, in writing, “equal rights for all citizens.”

Again and again we try to find a set of dictators that will bring us peace. It will never happen'-At ToI event, Sharansky talks of freedom, and how Israel went wrong propping up a dictator-The former Soviet refusenik serves up serious analysis, with a side of levity, to a packed Jerusalem English-speaking audience-By Amanda Borschel-Dan May 8, 2017, 3:43 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

As a Soviet Prisoner of Zion, Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky was repeatedly threatened with death. But he knew that while his body was imprisoned for nine years, he would die as a free man.“I liked very much during interrogations, to tell [the team of interrogators] anti-Soviet jokes,” recounted the former refusenik now known as Natan Sharansky.“And they were almost bursting with laughter and they could not. And I said to them, ‘You cannot even laugh when you want to laugh, and you want to tell me that I’m in prison and you’re free?'” said Sharansky to a packed Jerusalem audience at Sunday night’s Times of Israel Presents event.Upon his release in February 1986, Sharansky immigrated to Israel and rejoined his wife, Avital, who had spearheaded the international effort to win his freedom. There he continued his activism on behalf of Soviet Jewry. By 1995, lacking the political tools to help his compatriots, he cofounded Yisrael Ba’Aliyah with fellow refusenik Yuli Edelstein. Their joking slogan was, “Our leaders first go to prison, and then into politics.”However, even after garnering seven seats in the 1996 elections and serving in a variety of ministerial positions, by 2006 Sharansky, always a reluctant politician, resigned one last time from the Knesset. (He had resigned in protest from previous governments over policies such as prime minister Ehud Barak’s planned partition of Jerusalem and prime minister Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement plan.)-Explaining how an uncompromising dissident makes for a poor politician Sharansky quipped, “I was in four different governments and I resigned twice. I was in four different prisons, and I never resigned.”‘I was in four different governments and I resigned twice. I was in four different prisons, and I never resigned’However, in his current role, he is perhaps most well-known for his ability to bring all segments of the Jewish people to the table. Since June 2009, Sharansky has served as the head of the Jewish Agency where he has controversially reshaped the institution’s focus from immigration to Jewish identity. Although he had announced his retirement for this year, with no successor — and the much-negotiated Western Wall egalitarian prayer pavilion still unimplemented — he was asked by the board to serve an additional year.With a generous helping of palatable levity, in a wide-ranging on-stage interview with journalist Matthew Kalman, Sharansky delivered a healthy serving of deadly serious political and social analysis.The following are highlights from Sharansky’s thoughts on the true meaning of freedom, how the Oslo Accords’ fostering of a dictatorship only led to more strife, and the “strange prejudice” Israelis have against 65 percent of American Jewry.On growing up Jewish under Soviet ‘double speak’It was life deprived of two things: identity, and I lived in an absolutely assimilated surrounding, where we knew very well that we were Jews because that is what was written in the ID of our parents. All the conversations at home were about discrimination, anti-Semitism and restrictions. And at the same time we didn’t even know the words like Pesah or Hanukkah or bar mitzva or brit milah — the words didn’t even exist in our lives. So to be Jewish was a kind of disease that you had to get used to.‘To be Jewish was a kind of disease’And the second thing from which we were deprived of was freedom. From the age of five, from the day that [Soviet dictator Joseph] Stalin died, I remember exactly that moment when Stalin died that my father explained to me that it was very good [he had died] because he was very dangerous for us, for Jews, and for many people. I should remember that a miracle happened — Stalin died when we were in big danger — and that I should not tell it to anybody and I should do what everybody does.The next day I went to kindergarten and I was crying together with all the children, and I was singing together with all the children about how grateful we all were for the son of all the people, for this happy childhood.So I was singing, I was crying — and I remembered a miracle happened and I should be very happy. That’s a typical state of mind of a Soviet citizen and that’s how we lived. Without identity, without freedom. And then when we got both of them together, it was a very powerful feeling.-Freedom is a state of mind-Freedom is never theoretical. Or you are free or you are not. I was lucky really to experience the life of a Soviet slave, from the age of five at least till the age of twenty-something when I stopped playing this double life, and I became a free person.So the fact that physically I was put into the prison under such and such conditions, doesn’t matter. The moment you say a thing that you believe in, and do a thing you believe in, and the moment you decide that from now only I can humiliate myself and I can be ashamed of what I’m doing or not ashamed — and if I’m not ashamed of what I’m doing, if I’m a free person, if I feel myself part of this great historic process, and I am true to the image of God in which we are created — I am a free person.The moment you feel it, the moment you enjoy it, then nobody can take it from you and it’s not theoretical anymore.-Oslo Agreement as a ‘crime’ against the Palestinian people-You have to try to make peace with the partner you have. But you can’t be deceived: Peace with a dictator can be based only on your power. If the dictator is afraid, you’ll have peace.With democratic countries it’s different, why? Because democratic countries, the government, the leaders, depend on their people and as a result they have to deliver the goods to their people, and as a result peace is in their own political interest.‘The challenge of the dictator is to keep his own people under control, and that’s why he needs you as an enemy’In a dictatorship, the people depend on the dictator, so the challenge of the dictator is to keep his own people under control, and that’s why he needs you as an enemy.I believe till this day that one of our biggest mistakes — almost crimes — was the Oslo Agreements. Because the Oslo Agreement was all based on the idea, and Yitzhak Rabin z”l expressed in the best possible way, he said how good it is for us that Arafat is the dictator. “Without the Supreme Court, without free press, without human rights organizations, Arafat will fight for us against Hamas much better than we can fight Hamas.”That’s what was said two weeks after signing the Oslo Agreement, and that’s when I wrote my first article against it. I said, we will do everything so he will be a strong dictator. And he, as a strong dictator, he will do everything so that his people will hate us. There is no other way for a dictator to survive.The fact that we are ignoring it again and again, not only Israel — America, the free world — again and again we try to find a set of dictators that will bring us peace. It will never happen. If they are dictators, peace will only be brought with the help of our strong army.What I was told during the Oslo process, when I started speaking about what we have to support, then deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin told me, “Anatoly, you speak about things which will probably take how much? 10-15 years?” I said, “Maybe.” [Beilin said,] “And we’re going to make peace in three years.” That was what he said. That was the Oslo Agreement — “peace in three years and so we cannot lose any time.” And this attempt to make peace in three years continues in every government.-The Israeli prejudice against Reform and Conservative Jewry-I don’t know how successful or less successful [the Reform and Conservative movements] will be [in Israel]. What I do know is that if Israel wants to continue its role as it is declared by its leaders and its leaders believe in it, that we are the home for the all the Jewish people, we cannot say to 65% of American Jewry that you are welcomed in Israel, but not with your community and not with your rabbi. We have to be a place for every community and every movement in the world.‘So many of us Israelis have such strange prejudices against Reform and Conservative Jews’What I found out, I was invited to many forums to speak, and I found out that so many of us Israelis have such strange prejudices against Reform and Conservative Jews. I said once, “What you are saying now, it reminds me of what in the Soviet Union people were saying about Jews.” Some secret plot of Reform Jewry to destroy world Jewry by forced assimilation and intermarriage. And now they want to bring intermarriage to Israel and they want to conquer Israeli society by destroying the Jewish character. And you hear it from very normal people who have simply never met Reform Jews.Just now we had a delegation of eight members of Knesset [to the United States] and one of them is a representative of the most right-wing part of our spectrum. He, for the first time in his life, was in America, in San Francisco in a Reform shul… and I asked him, “So now you’ll vote differently?”And he said, “No, I have to keep the line of my party. But I tell you, now I understand that they are a part of my people and I have to be in contact with them.”So only for this it was worth paying the money for his ticket, I have to say.

Rivlin thanks French victor Macron for stance against anti-Semitism-Without mentioning Le Pen, Israeli president says hatred of Jews rearing its head around world, pledges support to new French president in standing up to racism and hatred-By Stuart Winer and Times of Israel staff May 8, 2017, 5:38 pm

President Reuven Rivlin on Monday congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential elections, thanking him for his strong opposition to anti-Semitism and offering Israel’s help in countering terrorism.“I want to thank you for your strong stance against anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism, which have once again raised their ugly heads around the world,” Rivlin wrote in an official letter.“Standing up to such voices of intolerance and hatred, defending our citizens against vicious acts of terror, is a task of paramount importance that stands before us all, and Israel is your partner in this mission,” he told Macron, a 39-year-old former investment banker who has never held elected office before.Macron, a centrist, won the presidency on Sunday with 66 percent of the vote, beating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen of the National Front party. He will be sworn in next Sunday.“I know that on your visit here in 2015, you were greatly impressed by Israeli innovation and technologies,” Rivlin said. “I share your deep belief in innovation as an engine for both economic and social prosperity for all peoples. Moreover, our growing cooperation and partnerships in this area offer a solid foundation for the ongoing deepening and strengthening of the strong ties between our two peoples, and two countries.“I hope that the relations of friendship and cooperation between France and Israel will continue to expand and strengthen under your presidency.”“Allow me to wish you much success and personal satisfaction in this highly significant and challenging role as leader of France, ” Rivlin said.On the eve of the election Macron stated in a French television interview that he backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that unilaterally recognizing Palestine would cause instability and would harm France’s relations with Israel.Le Pen, 48, had portrayed the ballot as a contest between the “globalists” represented by her rival — those in favor of open trade, immigration and shared sovereignty — against the “nationalists” who defend strong borders and national identities-The vote, falling in the middle of a three-day weekend, was the first in the six decades of the Fifth Republic in which neither the traditional left nor right parties had a candidate.Despite his convincing win, Macron must now pull together a majority of lawmakers for his year-old political movement to run in the mid-June legislative election.His party is changing its name to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) as it prepares a list of candidates. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory Sunday.Macron will be France’s youngest-ever president and was a virtual unknown before his two-year stint as economy minister, the launchpad for his presidential bid.He left the Socialist government in August and formed En Marche! (On the Move), a political movement he says is neither of the left nor the right and which has attracted 250,000 members.Macron campaigned on pledges to cut state spending, ease labor laws, boost education in deprived areas and extend new protections to the self-employed.He is also fervently pro-European and wants to re-energize the soon-to-be 27-member European Union, following Britain’s referendum vote last June to leave.Agencies contributed to this report.

Knesset aides say unprepared MKs fail to oversee government-As Israel’s legislature returns from recess, parliamentary assistants offer insider insights into the work of its lawmakers-By Raoul Wootliff May 8, 2017, 5:36 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

In a country where the nightly news consistently rates as the most-watched program on television, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, can sometimes be the source of the most flamboyant and bombastic reality TV stars.But behind the political scandals and fiery altercations, the Knesset, which returns Monday from a month-long recess, is also a place of somber legislative and constitutional work. And behind the Knesset members is a vast staff of parliamentary aides who provide the backstage support to the on-screen talent.While these assistants usually remain behind the scenes, only coming into the public light when they too are the center of a mini-scandal, a new poll of Knesset staffers, the first of its kind, reveals their insights into the work, good and bad, of their MK bosses.According to the survey conducted by the Guttman Center and released Sunday by the Israel Democracy Institute, a sweeping majority of parliamentary assistants think Knesset members are failing in one of the key roles of the institution — supervising the government.A staggering 92 percent of aides questioned say they think MKs do not come prepared for Knesset committee meetings, one of the key apparatuses of government oversight, and 95% said the Knesset does not sufficiently oversee the work of the executive branch.Despite this, some 65% of aides say the MKs they themselves work with invest the appropriate amount of time on meetings related to professional parliamentary matters, on party-related activities (57%), on public duties unrelated to parliamentary matters (67%) and on media-related activities (55%).While holding the exclusive authority to enact laws as Israel’s legislative branch, the Knesset has a number of roles beyond forming and amending legislation. According to the Basic Law: The Knesset, the parliament is supposed to act as the “supervising body over the executive.” In recent years, however, with increased coalition control of key committees and stricter use of coalition disciplinary measures, some have argued that government oversight has all but disappeared.In February, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud), along with Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), presented a proposal to streamline and improve the work of the Knesset. In what they’ve dubbed “the legislative revolution,” they are seeking to limit the use of private members’ bills — a parliamentary apparatus that has seen a drastic increase in use in recent years as MKs seek a way to have their voice heard — in return for more tools to oversee the work of the government. The Israel Democracy Institute has supported the proposal, writing in a March statement that the initiative was “a step in the right direction and is essential for Israeli democracy.”The responses of Knesset aides in the poll show that while they believe MKs are investing time and effort in parliamentary work, they think that lawmakers lack the tools to successfully supervise the government.In terms of the work of the Knesset, 57% of aides say MKs invest more than 10 hours drafting each bill, and 67.5% report they believe MKs are trying to fulfill their duties.Aides were split, however, on the effectiveness of the tools available.Sixty-two percent said that committee discussions were a good method to oversee government ministries and 60% praised Knesset questions hours, recently reformed to allow MKs a full 60 minutes to grill ministers. But just 47% said that the regular channel of parliamentary queries was effective and only 37% said budgetary discussions provided adequate oversight of the government.“The poll proves the problem is not just on the personal level or with regards to the public obligation of one MK or another,” Israel Democracy Institute President Yohanan Plesner said in a statement. “As long as no parliamentary reform is implemented – decreasing the number of committees and increasing the Knesset’s professionalism – we will continue to be disappointed by the quality of its work.”Researchers surveyed aides to 40 of the 91 MKs who are not ministers or deputy ministers. Of the 40 total respondents, 12 work with MKs from the coalition and 28 with opposition lawmakers. While that represents a 70% split in favor of opposition lawmakers, the questions in the survey focus on the MKs each aide works with, and the general role of the Knesset, and did not solicit opinions on the actions of the government or the coalition.As for the celebrity status of MKs and the “Big Brother”-esque Knesset often portrayed on evening newscasts, the aides, who spend much of their time working from the parliament chambers or sending notes from sidelines of the plenary, were in agreement: A near-unanimous 97% said they believe the media unfairly reports on MKs and is too focused on gossip.

Iran’s Rouhani says election rivals are ‘violent extremists’-Incumbent president faces uphill battle against hardliners in campaign to improve civil liberties-By AFP May 8, 2017, 4:57 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani launched a scathing attack on his conservative election rivals on Monday, saying their era of “violence and extremism” was over.“The people of Iran shall once again announce that they don’t approve of those who only called for executions and jail throughout the last 38 years,” he told a packed stadium in the western city of Hamedan, referring to the Islamic revolution of 1979.“We’ve entered this election to tell those practicing violence and extremism that your era is over.”Rouhani faces a tough battle for re-election on May 19 as conservative opponents attack his failure to revive Iran’s stagnant economy.Analysts say his surprise victory in 2013 was largely down to his promise of improved civil liberties, and he has again made this a dominant theme of his campaign this year.“Your logic is prohibition and nothing else. Our young people have chosen the path of freedom,” he told his opponents.Rouhani raised an old threat, often leveled at hardliners, that they want to segregate men and women on public footpaths.“You don’t know them, I know them. They wanted to create segregated pavements the same way they issued a directive for sex segregation in their work place,” Rouhani said in a swipe against one of his main challengers, Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who reportedly tried to split the sexes in his city council offices.The allegation was dismissed by one of his opponents.“This ridiculous and repetitive accusation fools no one,” said leading conservative Alireza Zakani in a tweet.“By contrast, the economic wall between this government of money-makers and people’s empty plates is perfectly understood,” wrote Zakani.Rouhani’s government has tamed rampant inflation but failed to kick-start the wider economy despite a nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions.He has therefore pushed his liberal credentials, attacking the security services for interfering in people’s lives, and posing with women wearing loose and colorful headscarves that are still opposed by hardliners despite becoming commonplace in wealthier parts of Tehran.He is due to address a women’s rally on Tuesday.Rouhani also attacked the continued detention of reformist politicians such as Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest since 2011 for his part in protests two years earlier.“Why have you confined to their houses our dear personalities who were of service to this nation… who showed Iran’s real image to the world? Under what law?” he asked.“We will go to the ballot boxes on 19 May to bring back our noble men to society,” he said, although Rouhani made this promise in 2013 to no avail.

Cornerstone laid for $50 million Jerusalem arts campus-Bezalel Street site designed to house four academic institutions and host performances-By Jessica Steinberg May 8, 2017, 4:46 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The cornerstore for a multipurpose, nearly 2.5-acre arts campus on Bezalel Street in downtown Jerusalem was laid Monday morning by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.The $50 million campus will bring together four Jerusalem academic arts institutions — the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio, the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, the School of Visual Theater and the Center for Middle Eastern Music.Located next to the Gerard Behar Center on Bezalel Street, the campus is expected to accommodate 1,110 students in total.It will also be designed to serve as a main thoroughfare through the central neighborhoods of downtown Jerusalem, drawing pedestrians and visitors from Nahlaot, the nearby Mahane Yehuda market area, and the satellite Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design campus just up the block.Barkat called the campus, designed with an outdoor courtyard and performance venues, one of Jerusalem’s most strategic projects, intended to help the city continue its “cultural revolution” by providing much needed infrastructure and support for artists and the cultural institutions of the city.The compound will be named for the Kirsh family of New York, which donated $10 million for the campus, a project of the UJA-Federation of New York, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Eden Company and the Jerusalem Foundation.The campus is slated to open in January 2020.

New Hamas chief backs ‘heroic’ hunger-striking prisoners-Netanyahu says Jewish state bill will uphold equal rights; Palestinian charged with attempted murder for Tel Aviv terror attack; Iran accuses rival Saudi Arabia of pandering to Israel-By Tamar Pileggi May 8, 2017, 2:01 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

19:29-Macron win sends ‘powerful message’ to far-right, top Europe rabbi says-One of Europe’s top rabbis welcomes pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election, saying voters sent a “very powerful” message to the country’s far-right.Macron’s sound defeat of far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the run-off vote is “very good news for France,” says Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the influential Conference of European Rabbis.“The fact that two-thirds of French voters didn’t want a far-right government is a very powerful statement,” Goldschmidt tells AFP.Many of the votes cast were not for Macron, rather “it was a protest vote against Marine Le Pen,” he says.— AFP-19:25-Herzog: Jewish state bill not the Israel Herzl envisioned-Opposition leader Isaac Herzog criticizes the Jewish state bill, as formulated by Likud MK Avi Dichter, which was adopted by ministers yesterday, while praising a similar nation-state proposal by Likud MK Benny Begin.Speaking at the plenum session on Herzl, Herzog lashes out at the government for “collecting files on journalists, threatening judges, and harming the independence of the legal system,” saying this was not the Israel Herzl envisioned.“And in particular, in the model society [envisioned by Herzl], in the Jewish and democratic state, you don’t trample on the delicate balance between Jewish and democratic, as you are supporting in the Jewish state bill in the new version, as opposed to the precise, and correct version presented by Dr. MK Ze’ev Binyamin Begin in his Jewish state bill,” he says.Earlier, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said his opposition party would support Begin’s version of the bill.Begin’s version of the bill is a paragraph-long declaration of the Jewish nature of the state. Dichter’s bill includes a number of controversial clauses, including downgrading Arabic from an official language to one of “special status.”— Marissa Newman-19:12-Damascus: No international force for Syria safe zones-Syria’s foreign minister dismisses the idea of international forces patrolling four safe zones that are to be established under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey, suggesting Damascus would only settle for Russian “military police,” who are already on the ground in the so-called de-escalation zones.Damascus will abide by the agreement signed in the Kazakh capital of Astana last week, Walid al-Moallem tells reporters at a news conference in the Syrian capital, but cautioned it is “premature” to tell whether the deal will succeed.“There will be no presence by any international forces supervised by the United Nations,” al-Moallem says. “The Russian guarantor has clarified that there will be military police and observation centers.”Though he does not specify who the military police will be, he appears to be referring to Russian observers already in Syria.Al-Moallem also vows that Syrian government forces will respond “decisively” to any violation or attack from the opposition’s side.The Russia-Iran-Turkey cease-fire deal went into effect over the weekend and brought a general reduction in violence across the country, but clashes continued, particularly in central Syria. There are still questions about how the deal will be enforced.— AP-19:02-PM: Critical UN resolutions only strengthen Israeli resolve-Prime Minister Benjamin says UN resolutions, like the UNESCO statement that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem approved last week, merely “strengthen our belief in our right [to the land].”Speaking at a special plenum session honoring Zionist founder Theodor Herzl, the prime minister also dismisses criticism of the Jewish state bill. “There is no contradiction between being a democracy and a state for the Jewish people,” he says.Netanyahu is hailing Israel’s foreign relations as unprecedented in its history.He says US President Donald Trump will “be received with warmth, as appropriate for a true friend” to the Jewish state during his upcoming visit later this month.The prime minister also says a meeting with the German president on Sunday was “warm.”— Marissa Newman-18:01-Egypt issues new life sentence against Muslim Brotherhood leader-An Egyptian court sentences the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie to life in prison for “planning violent attacks” in a retrial, says judicial officials and a lawyer.Badie is part of a group of 37 people accused of conspiring to stir unrest during protests that followed the July 2013 military-led ouster of Egypt’s former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood.The court condemns Badie to a life term along with Mahmoud Ghozlan, a Brotherhood spokesman, and Hossam Abubakr, a member of its guidance bureau, say the officials and defense lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud.The retrial comes after Egypt’s court of cassation scrapped a 2015 ruling under which Badie and 13 others were condemned to death, and 34 defendants given life terms.— AFP-17:38-New Hamas chief backs ‘heroic’ hunger-striking prisoners-New Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh pledges support for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in his first comments since being elected as head of the group that runs the Gaza Strip.Haniyeh, who was chosen by the party as its new leader on Saturday, says the terrorist organization stands with the hundreds of prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.“This visit is a message to our heroic prisoners that your cause was and will remain a top priority,” he says during a visit to a protest in support of the strikers in Gaza.“Your freedom is a national duty and your dignity is our dignity,” the 54-year-old adds.Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails have been refusing food since April 17.— AFP-16:54-Rivlin congratulates French President-elect Macron-President Reuven Rivlin today sends a letter of congratulations to the president-elect of France, Emmanuel Macron, following his election yesterday.“On behalf of the State of Israel I have the honor and the pleasure of congratulating you on your election as president of the French Republic,” the president writes. “Allow me to wish you much success and personal satisfaction in this highly significant and challenging role as leader of France.Rivlin also thanks Macron for his “strong stance against anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, which have once again raised their ugly heads around the world.”“Standing up to such voices of intolerance and hatred, defending our citizens against vicious acts of terror, is a task of paramount importance that stands before us all, and Israel is your partner in this mission,” Rivlin says.Macron yesterday defeated the far right’s Marine Le Pen, winning 66.1% of the vote to her 33.9% in the second round of France’s presidential election.-16:10-Lapid says he supports Jewish state bill, but not current version-Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid says that he supports the idea of a nation-state bill to define Israel as a Jewish state but cannot back the current version of the law being put forward by Likud MK Avi Dichter.“We support the Jewish state law, but what was passed yesterday was not the Jewish state law,” Lapid tells his weekly faction meeting, referring to yesterday’s vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation allowing the law to progress to the Knesset.Lapid says he would vote for Likud MK Benny Begin’s version of the law, which is just a short paragraph-long declaration of the Jewish nature of the state. He will not, however support Dichter’s, which includes a number of controversial clauses, including downgrading Arabic from an official language to one of “special status.”“If the coalition is serious and it really wants to pass a nation-state bill with wide support, then we will support it,” Lapid says.“But with this, they are trying to create chasms within Israel and its unnecessary. The bill creates many, many problems,” he adds.Asked what specific changes would be needed for the bill to receive the support of the party, Yesh Atid MK Yael German tells The Times of Israel that it would need to enshrine, in writing, “equal rights for all citizens.”— Raoul Wootliff-15:41-Liberman says ‘no place’ to interfere with court’s Shabbat ruling-Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tells members of his Israel Beytenu party there is “no place” for efforts by his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners to circumvent a High Court ruling allowing mini-markets to open on Shabbat.“We are living with a status quo that has been created over many years,” he says, opining that the issue should be handled on a local municipal level.“I think that this intervention on the matter of Shabbat in Tel Aviv has no place,” he adds.He also dismisses the Palestinian prisoners hunger strike, maintaining the matter is a political battle between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and imprisoned terror leader Marwan Bargouti. On the latter, who was allegedly caught on camera sneaking food, he remarks: “I wish him bon appetit,” to titters.— Marissa Newman-15:40-New Hamas chief makes 1st public appearance in native Gaza-The new Hamas leader makes his first public appearance, visiting a solidarity tent for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.Ismail Haniyeh stops by the tent, two days after Hamas announced that the former Gaza prime minister replaced Qatar-based Khaled Mashaal in the terror group’s top position.Haniyeh’s rise is the latest sign of a power shift in Hamas from the diaspora to Gaza, which has been under Hamas rule since a 2007 takeover.This shift comes at a time of growing financial pressure on Gaza by Hamas’ main rival, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is trying to force the group to cede ground.— AP-15:27-US military chief Dunford arrives in Israel-US military head Joseph Dunford lands in Tel Aviv to meet his Israeli counterparts to reportedly discuss fighting the Islamic State on the Jewish state’s borders.Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.The Hebrew-language Ynet news website yesterday said Dunford would also meet with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.#CJCS General Joseph F Dunford landed today in #Israel for an official visit as the guest of the IDF Chief of Staff Lt General Gadi Eizenkot pic.twitter.com/yrD0PWxCns— USEmbassyTelAviv (@usembassyta) May 8, 2017— Judah Ari Gross.-15:27-Liberman expects Trump peace push to be ‘real,’ ‘honest’Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says he does not know the details of US President Donald Trump’s anticipated peace push, but is certain the plan will be “real” and “honest.”Ahead of the US president’s Israel visit later this month, Liberman says the administration is “very friendly, and understands our issues in the Middle East.” Israel has “many reasons to be pleased” with the new US leadership, he adds.Speaking at the start of the weekly Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting, Liberman, who is marking 72 years since the Nazis were defeated, links the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini with contemporary Palestinian terror groups and Arab Israeli lawmakers, saying both seek Israel’s destruction.“Today, too, we see the bearers of Husseini’s legacy,” says Liberman, listing Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, the Northern Islamic Branch leader Raed Salah, and former MK Basel Ghattas who was caught smuggling cellphones to Palestinian terror prisoners. He later adds Arab MKs who skipped former president Shimon Peres’s funeral to this list.— Marissa Newman-15:02-Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of pandering to Israel-Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of pandering to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an effort to provoke Israeli action against its regional rival.Iran’s defense minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan in an interview slams Riyadh for what he describes as close ties with the US and Israel, suggesting it goes against “interests of Muslim nations.”Dehghan tells a Hezbollah-owned TV station that the Saudis seek to “please” Netanyahu for the “purpose of provoking Netanyahu’s action against us.”Dehghan’s interview comes in response to remarks made by Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman who said last week that there was no space for dialogue with Tehran due to its Shiite ambitions “to control the Islamic world.”-14:44-First evacuations from Damascus rebel district-Syrian rebels and their families begin evacuating from a district of Damascus for the first time, bringing the government closer to recapturing all of the capital.The evacuation begins days after regime backers Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey signed a deal to implement “de-escalation zones” where the government and opposition will halt hostilities.Earlier, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem rejected any role for United Nations or international forces in monitoring the zones.— AFP-14:39-Palestinian teen charged with terror, attempted murder for Tel Aviv attack-A Palestinian teenager is charged with terrorism and four counts of attempted murder for carrying out a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv last month.According to the indictment, Imag Agbar, 18, from Nablus, confessed to going on a stabbing spree with wire-cutters in the lobby of the Leonardo Beach hotel on April 23.Four people, including a man in his 70s and a woman in her 50s, were hospitalized with light injuries as a result of the attack.The indictment says Agbar told investigators that he decided “to kill Jews because they are Jews, and also so that when he would be killed or arrested he would become a martyr or a hero.”Defense officials later said Agbar entered Israel from the West Bank on a one-day permit group known as “Natural Peace Tours,” which is supposed to forge relationships between Palestinians and Israelis.-14:19-Route 1 reopens after Holon-area brush fire forces road closure-Route 1 reopens after a brush fire briefly closed the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway in both directions.The highway was closed for over an hour while firefighters worked to put out the blaze outside Holon.Traffic between Ganot and Kibbutz Galuyot Interchange remains heavier than usual.-Route 1 closed in both directions due to fire-Route 1 is closed in both directions near the Ganot Interchange as firefighters work to put out a brush fire.Train service is also halted near the interchange outside of Holon.Police are urging drivers to avoid the area, and are redirecting drivers to Route 4.Heavy traffic is reported between Ganot and Kibbutz Galuyot Interchange.

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