Monday, May 08, 2017

 

AS WINDS OF WAR RISE, ISRAEL MUST DECIDE WETHER TO PULL THE PLUG ON GAZA.

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

As winds of war rise, Israel must decide whether to pull the plug on Gaza-The PA won’t pay for the Hamas-run Strip’s electricity any longer. Should Israel finance the power supply for a terrorist regime committed to its destruction?-By Avi Issacharoff May 5, 2017, 6:24 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

A. lives in the northern Gaza Strip. I have known him for years — seventeen years, to be exact. I have visited his home in the Gaza Strip several times, met his children and his relatives, and I hardly ever go to the Gaza Strip without seeing him.He has never expressed radical political views. On the contrary, he has always stayed in good spirits, always tried to hold on to his livelihood without getting into things that are none of his business. But in our last conversation, this week, he sounded like something inside him has snapped.“I have no food for my children,” A. said. “Believe me; you know that I don’t make things up. I have nothing to give them to eat. The situation here is so bad, I have no work, the children [the older ones] have no work. And I see nothing on the horizon. As far as I’m concerned, it would be better if a war started already. Maybe then people will notice Gaza and pay attention to us. We have no life here anymore. This is hell.”These are the words of a desperate man who cannot support his family. But he’s not the only speaking like this. Over the past month, more and more Gazans have begun speaking in positive terms about war as a means to break the status quo and perhaps climb out of the abyss into which the Gaza Strip has sunk.Gaza’s inhabitants — businessmen, government officials, journalists, people who identify with Fatah and with Hamas — reiterate that the next war with Israel is no longer an improbable scenario; indeed, that it is fast approaching.The Strip’s Islamic terrorist rulers are not interested in a violent conflict at this stage; they are still restocking and boosting their rocket arsenals and reportedly digging fresh cross-border attack tunnels. But no one is ruling out the possibility of a descent into war, mainly due to the economic situation — in other words, a repeat of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.In this scenario, Hamas starts off by allowing a trickle of rockets to be fired into Israel in order to extricate itself from a terrible economic situation (almost three years ago, it was a crisis over salary payments), using other groups as contractors working on its behalf. Israel responds with increasing severity. Hamas joins in the rocket fire, and presto, Israelis and Palestinians find themselves at war.The current economic situation in Gaza is even worse than it was in summer 2014, which places Israel before a near-impossible dilemma. Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah announced a week ago that the PA would no longer pay for the electricity — an estimated 120 megawatts — that Israel supplies to Gaza. In better times, Gaza’s power station supplied the Strip with approximately 60 megawatts of electricity. But owing to the shortage of discounted diesel fuel, the power station stopped working approximately a month ago.Since then, Gaza has relied on Egyptian power lines (which supply 23 megawatts) and Israeli power lines for its electricity. But the Egyptian power lines have also stopped working due to a malfunction. This means, right now, a cycle in which roughly four hours of electricity are provided to the homes in Gaza followed by a 12-hour break.The Palestinian Authority has asked Israel to stop deducting the price of the 125 megawatts that flow through the Israeli power lines to Gaza — NIS 40 million ($11 million) per month — from the tax refunds Israel transfers to the PA. What this means is that Israel will have to decide in the next few days whether to completely stop the flow of electricity to Gaza, thus increasing the danger of a humanitarian crisis, and with it the potential for violent conflict.Alternatively, Israel could “buy” some quiet by itself paying the Israel Electric Corporation the monthly NIS 40 million for the electricity that Gazans receive from Israel in order to avoid a complete blackout in Gaza. In such a situation, Israel would be supplying and paying for electricity for the offices of high-ranking leaders, including Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, of a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. Even the electricity in Hamas’s headquarters comes from Israel these days.Israel’s decision-makers face a truly unenviable dilemma.Many people on the Israeli side and in Hamas’s upper echelons hope that one international party or other will help everyone save face by stepping in to pay Gaza’s electricity bill. Perhaps Qatar, or another Arab country. Or maybe the PA will change its mind. Some Hamas officials expect Israel to continue deducting the 40 million shekels from the PA’s tax money even though the PA has asked Israel not to do so.But the electricity bills are far from Gaza’s only problem. This crisis is only one of many hardships that will worsen in Gaza if the PA follows through on its declared decision to disengage from the Strip if Hamas does not relinquish control.The next measures that the PA is considering include stopping payments for medications and medical equipment that the West Bank supplies, and forcing approximately 34,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority’s former security services in Gaza into early retirement. These employees will receive 70% of their pension, which will save the PA millions of shekels each month — and also cause a further severe slowdown in Gaza’s economy.That, in turn, will lead to a reduction in the import of goods from Israel and beyond, and a consequent decrease in Hamas’s tax revenue. Not coincidentally, most members of the PA’s former security services in Gaza are associates of Mohammed Dahlan, Abbas’s principal adversary from within Fatah’s support base. In other words, this measure will both hurt Hamas’s revenue and weaken Mohammed Dahlan’s supporters financially.For now, neither side is budging. Fatah officials insist that unless Hamas relinquishes control over Gaza and dismantles the administrative committee that it recently appointed, the PA will disengage from the Strip and Hamas will bear the responsibility and pay the price. On Thursday, fresh from a warm welcome at Donald Trump’s White House, Abbas vowed that “things will be painful” for Hamas, and one of his top officials said flatly that the PA aims to “dry up” Hamas’s finances, and will no longer finance its decade-old coup.Hamas’s leaders, who violently seized control of Gaza from Fatah in 2007, are adamant that they have no intention of giving in to Fatah’s demands. “Abbas has put himself in a confrontation with the Palestinian people,” a Hamas spokesman said in response to the PA leader’s comments. “Its consequences will be catastrophic and disastrous, not only for Hamas, as they think, but for all Gazans.”Most Gazans blames Mahmoud Abbas for the crisis. Hamas has begun a vicious smear campaign against the PA leader, calling him a traitor. Hamas supporters recently hanged an effigy of Abbas during a protest. These are unprecedented steps, even for Gaza.In the past few days, Hamas also arrested dozens of Fatah activists in Gaza after they tried to organize a kind of support rally for Abbas under cover of backing the two-week-old Palestinian security prisoners’ hunger strike.Hamas took down a protest tent that Fatah had set up in Saraya Square in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners. Hamas members carrying their movement’s flag streamed toward the location and a brawl broke out. The melee was dispersed by Hamas’s police force; those who were in the tent were also sent away. Quiet has since returned, and with it the tent, for now. But plainly the relationship between Fatah and Hamas has deteriorated further — and Israel may bear the brunt.The problems of ordinary Gazans, meanwhile, are multiplying. These include many inhabitants’ addiction to Tramadol (a painkiller that causes fatigue and disorientation), incidents of domestic violence, and a spate of murders. All this, at a time of economic crisis, has shaken the confidence that use to characterize Hamas’s rule.A few days ago, in Khan Yunis, the family of a prisoner who had died in a Hamas jail went on a rampage in the city. In response, Sinwar, Hamas’s ruthless new leader in Gaza, went out on a very public walk around town, to demonstrate that, no matter how deep the dissatisfaction and anger, he does not fear for his life. Sinwar’s swaggering stroll, needless to say, will do nothing to alleviate Gazans’ suffering.Neither would a war.

Pro-Abbas Lauder, hawkish Adelson said battling to influence Trump on Mideast-Jewish billionaires fighting a quiet war for president’s ear as they seek to shape his approach to the conflict, NY Times reports-By Times of Israel staff May 6, 2017, 7:33 pm

US President Donald Trump’s effort to reignite the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has created a contest for influence between two Jewish billionaires with close ties to the president and opposing worldviews, The New York Times reported.Ronald S. Lauder, a long-time friend of the president, is said to be pushing Trump to advance a new peace initiative while tightening relations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Lauder hosted a dinner for Abbas at his Washington, DC home on Tuesday — the night before the Palestinian leader was warmly received by the president at the White House.On the other end of the spectrum is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who was a top donor for Trump during his presidential campaign and is known for his close ties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson is reportedly worried by those voices urging Trump to adopt a more measured approach to the Middle East conflict — rather than the staunchly pro-Israel position he ran on during the campaign.The Times noted that conservatives uncomfortable with Trump’s overtures to the Palestinian leadership still feel that his approach is a considerable improvement over former president Barack Obama.Still, the battle for the president’s ear is raging quietly behind the scenes.Lauder is reportedly in close contact with Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt — who has met with both Abbas and Netanyahu, as well as Arab leaders and other regional officials with influence on the peace process. Hardliners are said to be worried that Greenblatt too could become too sympathetic to the Arab position.Adelson, meanwhile, is said to be incensed by Trump’s failure so far to follow through on his promise to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and has not donated to any pro-Trump groups since the inauguration.Trump has not yet ruled out the possibility that the embassy move may still happen; he must decide by June whether to renew the longstanding presidential waiver of Congress’s 1995 decision to relocate the embassy.Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is said to represent Adelson’s interests in the president’s inner circle, and is himself fighting to prevent Lauder’s enthusiasm for bold action from infecting the president.Questioned by the Times, an associate of Lauder denied he was trying to push an alliance with Abbas, but said he was an optimist.Meanwhile, hardliners opposed to a new peace push were proudly pessimistic — saying any keenness by the administration to make progress in the peace process would soon be snuffed out by the realities of regional politics.“The administration is likely to discover what its predecessors learned: that there is no deal to be had right now because the parties have unbridgeable positions on most of the issues,” Republican strategist Noah Pollak told the Times.He expressed hope that “the process of the administration proving to itself that no deal is possible will be quick and undramatic.”Trump will make a one-day visit to Israel on May 22 along with his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, and his senior advisers, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner. He will stop first in Saudi Arabia, where he has said he will meet leaders from the Muslim world and intends to work with them on fighting terrorism.Trump has pledged to work for a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and there has been speculation that he will seek to convene a Middle East summit soon after this month’s trip. Israel’s Channel 2 said Friday that the administration has also expressed interest in a possible Israel-Jordan-Saudi Arabia train route, and in pushing a much-discussed Red Sea-Dead Sea canal project.During the Israel leg of his trip, Trump will meet with Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin as well as Abbas. The US president is not expected in Ramallah but may visit Bethlehem.When Abbas visited the White House this week, Trump expressed optimism in his ability to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and praised Abbas for speaking out against Islamic State terrorism. Abbas said in his remarks that young Palestinians are being educated toward peace, a claim that was derided as untrue by Netanyahu.“We will get it done,” Trump promised of a peace accord. “We will be working so hard to get it done. It’s been a long time, but we will be working diligently, and I think there’s a very, very good chance,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Abbas.The president, who has referred to a Mideast peace agreement as “the ultimate deal,” said he would be willing to play whatever role was needed to strike the coveted accord.

House launches probe into claim Obama hurt national security to seal Iran deal-Following Politico story, House and Senate members demand documents on Iranians freed or let off the hook to reach nuclear accord-By Times of Israel staff and JTA May 6, 2017, 6:09 pm

Congress will investigate whether the Obama administration undermined its own counterproliferation efforts in order to secure implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran, Politico reported.The House oversight committee said Friday it had launched an investigation into Politico’s April 24 report that the administration had dropped prosecutions against several Iranian fugitives accused of posing threats to national security, while publicly downplaying the danger posed by Iranians freed in a January 2016 prisoner exchange.Republican committee leaders Jason Chaffetz and Ron DeSantis said they had asked the State and Justice Departments to provide documents on the various cases referenced in the report by May 19, as well as make officials available for briefings by May 25.Meanwhile 13 Republican senators have also requested numerous documents from the two departments, as well as the Treasury, in light of the allegations made in the report.The senators said they were “concerned that President Obama and certain previous administration officials intentionally suppressed the seriousness of the charges against these individuals in order to garner public support for the nuclear deal with Iran, and we fear that these individuals may still pose a threat to the national security of the United States.”Politico’s original report claimed that through its actions, the administration undermined its high profile National Counterproliferation Initiative “at a time when it was making unprecedented headway in thwarting Iran’s proliferation networks.”It quoted former Obama administration officials, without identifying them, as saying that the dropping of charges was a result of weighing one exigency — pursuing a deal that they believed would neutralize Iran’s nuclear weapons capability — against another, pursuing the individuals seeking to advance that capability.The prisoner exchange that took place in January 2016 was meant to secure the implementation of the nuclear deal reached in 2015 between six major powers and Iran that swapped sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program, as well as gain the release of five Americans who were being held by the Islamic Republic. At the time, the administration described the seven freed Iranians as “civilians” accused or suspected only of “sanctions-related offenses” and “violations of the trade embargo.”The Politico investigation asserted that as far back as the fall of 2014, as negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal continued, the Obama administration dialed back significant investigations and prosecutions of Iranian procurement networks operating in the US. The article cited interviews with key participants at all levels of government and an extensive review of court records and other documents.Politico reported that many experienced agents and prosecutors now say they are reluctant to pursue counterproliferation cases for fear they won’t go anywhere.“It’s entirely possible that during the pendency of the negotiations, that folks who were doing their jobs, doing the investigations and bringing cases, having no understanding of and insight into the other process, were frustrated because they don’t feel like their stuff is moving forward,” an anonymous Obama official told Politico. “Or they were not getting answers, because there are these entirely appropriate discussions happening on the policy side. That doesn’t strike me as being, a, unusual or, b, wrong,” the official added. “But I completely understand why it’s frustrating.”Politico said the “biggest fish” released in the prisoner swap was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who had been charged with being part of a conspiracy that from 2005 to 2012 procured thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Iran through China, including hundreds of US-made sensors for Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges.New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House, told the New York Post that the report on the prisoner swap suggests that the Obama administration’s foreign policy was “brutally incompetent.” Senior officials from the Obama administration told Politico that the prisoner swap was “a bargain for the US,” and that the Justice Department and FBI vetted the 21 Iranians.Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent and private detective who went missing from Iran’s Kish Island in 2007 during what has since been revealed as a rogue CIA operation, was not among the five Americans released, though the Obama administration said Iran had pledged to help track him.The Trump administration has pledged to review US policy toward Iran, as have both houses of Congress. In certifying that Iran is living up to the deal in word, Trump has said Iran is “not living up to the spirit of it.” He also told The Associated Press that it was “possible” that the United States would not remain in the nuclear deal.

Ismail Haniyeh elected new head of Hamas-Haniyeh replaces Khaled Mashaal who served two terms as the terror group’s political bureau chief-By Times of Israel staff and AFP May 6, 2017, 3:08 pm

Hamas’s former chief in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, has been elected to lead the Palestinian terror group, succeeding Khaled Mashaal, the organization announced Saturday.Mashaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, has completed the maximum two terms in office. He became the leader of Hamas in 2004 following the Israeli assassinations of Hamas founders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi.“The Hamas Shura Council on Saturday elected Ismail Haniyeh as head of the movement’s political bureau,” the group’s official website announced.Hamas rules the Gaza Strip while the Palestinian Authority, dominated by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, controls the West Bank.Haniyeh is expected to remain in the Gaza Strip, though this may make it harder for him to manage the group’s international ties abroad, as traveling in and out of the Strip is difficult.Haniyeh had long been seen as the leading candidate, with others in the running including Mashaal deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk and senior figure Muhammas Nazal.Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the group hoped Haniyeh’s election “would see opening to the region.”The 54-year-old takes charge of Hamas as it seeks to ease its international isolation. On Monday the group issued a new program that accepts the notion of a Palestinian state in territories captured by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967 while still calling for the destruction of Israel.The program, which does not replace Hamas’s founding charter, rejects the establishment of the State of Israel as “illegal,” asserting a Palestinian claim to the entire land of Israel, and a so-called right of return for all descendants of refugees. It also reserves the right to wage “resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine.”Israel has dismissed the new document as an attempt to “fool the world” into believing Hamas has softened its stance.Haniyeh was elected Palestinian prime minister in March 2006 following general elections which saw major gains for Hamas. He was dismissed in June 2007 by Abbas after the Hamas coup in Gaza. He has continued to act as Gaza’s de facto political leader ever since.Mashaal, 60, has led the Hamas political bureau since 1996. He is a veteran with close ties to regional powers Qatar, Egypt and Turkey. He has been key to Hamas’s attempts to break out of political isolation following its violent takeover of Gaza.AP contributed to this report.

Abbas to meet Putin in Russia next week-Meeting comes between two rounds of talks between the Palestinian leader and US President Donald Trump-By Times of Israel staff May 5, 2017, 11:51 am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to Russia next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian media reported.The meeting will take place in Sochi on May 11, Palestinian envoy to Moscow Hafiz Nofal told the TASS news agency on Thursday.The meeting will come just days after Abbas was hosted at the White House for a first meeting with US President Donald Trump and ahead of Trump’s historic first visit to the region as president later in the month.Nofal told Tass that Abbas and Putin will discuss the results of the recent Arab League summit and Abbas’s meeting with Trump.“The Russian and Palestinian leaders will also discuss bilateral relations and intra-Palestinian reconciliation,” Tass quoted Nofal as saying, referring to Abbas’s ongoing power struggle with the Hamas terror group that rules Gaza.After an initial frosty start to relations between the Palestinians and Trump, Abbas received a warm welcome at the White House, and the US president expressed optimism in his ability to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.“We will get it done. We will be working so hard to get it done. It’s been a long time, but we will be working diligently, and I think there’s a very, very good chance,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Abbas.The president, who has referred to a Mideast peace agreement as “the ultimate deal,” said he would be willing to play whatever role was needed to strike the coveted but elusive accord.On Thursday, Trump announced that he would again meet with Abbas when he makes his first overseas visit later in May to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.

Archbishop of Canterbury makes surprise Gaza visit-Head of Church of England tours two hospitals and a World War I British cemetery as part of his 10-day Holy Land trip-By Times of Israel staff May 5, 2017, 10:09 am

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, made a surprise visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip during his 10-day visit to the Holy Land, his office said.Welby on Thursday spent more than three hours in the beleaguered Islamist-dominated coastal strip, which has a small persecuted Christian community.During the visit, his first to Gaza, Welby visited the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital and the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, which is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The archbishop led a prayer service in the hospital chapel.Then, accompanied by Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, he visited the World War I Commonwealth Gaza War Cemetery, where he laid a wreath.Archbishop of Canterbury @JustinWelby visited #Gaza today. Read more: https://t.co/txW1qUPfC0 pic.twitter.com/WSL6G4rVSu-— Lambeth Palace ن (@lambethpalace) May 4, 2017-The archbishop also “joined a lunch reception to hear from the Christian community about the particular challenges they face in Gaza,” his office said.There were some 3,000 Christians in Gaza, but in recent years the number has declined to just 1,300. While the community is officially tolerated by the Hamas terror group that rules the Strip, there have been persistent reports of persecution and even forced conversions.Many have also left due to the harsh conditions in Gaza, hit by frequent conflicts with Israel and an Israeli and Egyptian blockade on the strip aimed at stopping Hamas from importing weapons.Welby visited Jerusalem on Wednesday, and was joined by UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis for prayers at the Western Wall.In what Mirvis described as “a unique moment in history,” the two religious leaders toured the Old City of Jerusalem and visited Yad Vashem.“It was a very special afternoon for me, to be able to walk through the Jewish Quarter with the Archbishop, to show him memories of my own, where my wife and I lived for two years, and to live and breathe the Jewish history of the city, leading to the prayer together at the Kotel,” Mirvis told the Jewish Chronicle.Welby invited Mirvis, a personal friend, to join him for his trip to Jerusalem in what is the first time heads of the two faith communities visited the city together.Grateful for the opportunity to pray for peace with @ChiefRabbi at the Western Wall in Jerusalem earlier today. pic.twitter.com/bBTV4PSGzA— Justin Welby ن (@JustinWelby) May 3, 2017-After visiting the Western Wall, Mirvis spoke of the historic moment when the head of the Church of England and the leader of Britain’s Jewish community prayed together.“I would so love to send a message of hope back through the annals of history — to Clifford’s Tower in York, to the medieval communities who endured the scourge of the blood libel and to those whose lives were devastated by the Crusades — to let them know that a Chief Rabbi and an Archbishop of Canterbury would one day pray alongside one another, as close friends, in the holy city of Jerusalem,” according to a reporter for The Times.Strong words from @ChiefRabbi Mirvis after he visited the Western Wall with Archbishop @JustinWelby today in Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/pEaGCSLPzk— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) May 3, 2017-Earlier the two faith leaders visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, where they laid a wreath and signed the visitors’ book.At the museum, Welby spoke of anti-Semitism as the root of all European racism.“Within European culture, the root of all racism, I think, is found in anti-Semitism. It goes back more than a thousand years,” he said. “Within our Christian tradition there has been century upon century of these terrible, terrible hatreds. One people, who contributed more to our culture as a people than almost any other that one can identify, was also hated more specifically, more violently, more determinedly and more systematically, than any other group.”#Exclusive: Messages left by Archbishop of Canterbury @JustinWelby & @ChiefRabbi Mirvis in @YadVashem Book of Remembrance pic.twitter.com/rQJQZXyokw— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) May 3, 2017-The archbishop also spoke of the need to counter the rise in anti-Semitism.“Coming here today I am reminded how important that is, and particularly when having spoken to members of Parliament over the last few months who are Jewish, they have spoken of the upsurge in attacks on them and the wickedness that they have suffered,” he said.Mirvis stressed the importance of personal friendship and of building bridges between the faiths.“So by being here together, the two of us are sending out a very strong message. Today in Jerusalem we prayed together for peace and today in Jerusalem we call on all others, not just to yearn and pray for peace, but to do something proactive to guarantee that we within our fragile and divided world, will indeed achieve peace. That will be the ultimate tribute for us to pay to the victims of the Shoah. May their memory be for an eternal blessing.”"She was such a kind presence" The Chief Rabbi & the Archbishop of Canterbury hear tributes to Hannah Bladon from her friends @HebrewU pic.twitter.com/JMMoKUX48S— Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) May 3, 2017-The two religious leaders paid a visit to Hebrew University, to pay tribute to UK student Hannah Bladon who was murdered last month in a terror attack.Welby visited Israel as part of a 10-day tour of the region, his first visit since 2013. He will also visit the Palestinian Authority and Egypt.His Majesty King Abdullah II receives the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby #Jordan pic.twitter.com/eZ4zdpCN1H— RHC (@RHCJO) May 2, 2017-Earlier on Wednesday he was in Jordan where he led prayers at the Bethany Beyond the Jordan archaeological site, believed to be the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus of Nazareth.He called for greater support for those in need, saying: “In this place where we hear birdsong and running water we are surrounded, within a few kilometers (miles), with violence.”The archbishop met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and also visited St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Amman. Following his visit, he commented that “it is an extraordinary place — a congregation made up of Jordanians, a few Egyptians, some Syrians (though many of these have been resettled) and Iraqi refugees.”He also stressed the role of Christians in the Middle East.“We must also find ways of improving things in this region. We do not want a Middle East without Christians. Christians have a long history in the Middle East, they are still here, and they surely must be part of its future.”AP contributed to this report.

US, Saudi Arabia negotiating major arms deal — report-Countries said working to seal weapons contracts worth tens of billions of dollars ahead of Trump’s visit-By Alexander Fulbright May 6, 2017, 8:31 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The United States is seeking to finalize arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh later this month, Reuters reported Friday.Trump is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia in late May as part of his first foreign trip since becoming US president, after which he will visit Israel. He is also set to travel to the Vatican, as well as NATO and G7 summits in Brussels and Sicily.The proposed weapons contracts are said to include the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system (THAAD), which costs $1 billion and was recently deployed by the US in South Korea to defend against the threat of North Korean missiles.Also being discussed as part of the package are the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the M109 artillery piece, as well as the Littoral Combat Ship, according to Reuters.In addition, some $1 billion-worth of munitions are said to be part of the deal, including armor-piercing warheads and laser-guided bombs.A weapons deal of this magnitude would need the approval of Congress, which is legally required to ensure that any potential weapons sales do not erode Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.Furthermore, a number of US lawmakers have previously objected to weapons deals with Saudi Arabia over concerns of the kingdom’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war, although proponents say they are necessary to act as a deterrent against Iran and to combat the Islamic State terror group.The Reuters report came as a Saudi delegation led by Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir met in Washington this week with top US lawmakers and officials, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.Members of the Saudi contingent also held meetings with White House officials on Monday and Tuesday to lay the groundwork for Trump’s visit, during which they also discussed the proposed arms sales and cracking down on terror financing, according to Reuters.The US has long been the main military backer of Saudi Arabia, ever since US president Franklin Roosevelt promised to guarantee the country’s security in exchange for access to the kingdom’s abundant oil reserves during a 1945 meeting with Ibn Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.AP contributed to this report.



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