Monday, June 26, 2017
PM NETANYAHU HALTS PLURALISTIC WESTERN WALL DEAL.
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.)
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)
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
Projectiles from Syria land in Golan Heights; no injuries-IDF says no damage from spillover fire; incident the seventh time missiles hit Israel in a week-By Times of Israel staff June 25, 2017, 4:44 pm
A number of projectiles from Syria landed in the northern Golan Heights on Sunday for the second time in as many days, in what the IDF said was spillover fire from the Syrian civil war.The army said the missiles hit an open field and caused no injuries or damage.It was the seventh such incident in a week and came as fighting between President Bashar Assad’s regime and the numerous rebel groups in southern Syria escalated in recent weeks.On Saturday, an errant mortar shell landed in the Golan, prompting retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Syrian military positions in southern Syria which reportedly killed 2 soldiers.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor which has been reporting on Syria’s six-year war, quoted Syrian officials as saying that Syrian army forces had been engaged in fighting with forces of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front at the time of the Israeli strikes.They accused Israel of striking Syrian army targets to aid the rebel forces.Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned that the regime would continue to “suffer the consequences” of any attack on Israel emanating from its territory.Israel, he said, had “no intention of accepting challenges to our sovereignty and threats to our security, even if they are caused by ‘spillover’” from Syrian infighting.“We will respond strongly, resolutely and with level-headedness to any such case,” he said. “As far as we are concerned the Assad regime is responsible for what occurs in its territory and will continue to suffer the consequences if such events recur.”
Unveiling clock showing 8,411 days left for Israel, Iranians rage against Jewish state-Parliament speaker calls Israel ‘mother of terrorism’ as Islamic Republic parades missiles, rallies in support of Palestinians and against raft of enemies-By Agencies and Times of Israel staff June 23, 2017, 11:00 am
TEHRAN — Iran held major anti-Israel rallies across the country Friday, with protesters chanting “Death to Israel” and declaring that destroying the Jewish state is “the Muslim world’s top priority.”Iranians participating in Quds Day rallies also called for unity among pro-Palestinian groups against the “child-murdering” Israeli government, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.Marchers in Tehran headed from various points of the city to the Friday prayer ceremony at Tehran University. Similar demonstrations were held in other cities and towns in Iran.Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard used the demonstration in the capital’s Valiasr Square to showcase three surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, including the Zolfaghar — the type that Iran used this week to target the Islamic State group in Syria. The Guard said it fired six such missiles on Sunday at IS targets in the city of Deir el-Zour, more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) away. The Guard said the airstrike was in retaliation for an IS attack earlier in June on Iran’s parliament and a shrine in Tehran that killed 18 people and wounded more than 50.Another missile on display at the Tehran rally was the Ghadr, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) that can reach both Israel and US bases in the region.Iran’s ballistic missile program has been the subject of persistent concern in Washington and the target of repeated US sanctions.Iran claimed its missile strike on Sunday killed 360 Islamic State fighters. Israeli sources, by contrast, said the strike was a “flop,” that most of the six or seven missiles missed their targets, and that three of them fell to earth in Iraq and didn’t even reach Syria.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in remarks carried by the official IRNA news agency, said Israel supports “terrorists in the region.”Parliament speaker Ali Larijani, in a speech to Tehran demonstrators, called Israel the “mother of terrorism” and said that in the “20th century, there was no event more ominous than establishing the Zionist regime.”The rally also inaugurated a huge digital countdown display at Tehran Palestine Square, showing that Israel will allegedly cease to exist in 8,411 days.In 2015, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei predicted that after 25 years — by 2040 — there will no longer be a State of Israel.“Death to the House of Saud and Daesh,” demonstrators chanted, using another name for the Islamic State. “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, “Death to the UK.”This year’s commemoration comes amid an intensifying battle for influence in the region between Shiite Iran and its Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia who have had no diplomatic relations since January last year.State media put the number of participants at over 1 million.The anti-Israel rallies are an annual event marking Al-Quds Day, a historic Arabic name for Jerusalem. Iran says it’s an occasion to express support for the Palestinians and emphasize the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims.Iran doesn’t recognize Israel, calls for its demise, and staunchly backs terror groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah.In comments ahead of the day, Khamenei said the rallies were meant to “fight arrogance and global hegemons,” likely hinting at recent tensions with Sunni Gulf states.“Defending Palestine today is defending a reality much greater than the issue of Palestine,” he said, according to the semi-official Tasnim News site.Iran holds al-Quds day rallies held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to end this weekend. Iran has marked the day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution, when it cut relations with Israel.On Sunday, marchers in the annual Quds Day parade in London blamed a fire in a low-income apartment complex there that left at least 58 dead on “Zionists.”
Hezbollah head: ‘Hundreds of thousands’ of Muslim fighters will respond if Israel attacks-In ‘al-Quds Day’ remarks, Nasrallah says any future conflict ‘would open the door’ for gunmen from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan-By AFP and Times of Israel staff June 23, 2017, 10:57 pm
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The head of Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, on Friday warned Israel against attacking Lebanon or Syria, saying “hundreds of thousands” of Arab and Muslim fighters would be ready to strike back.“The Israeli enemy should know that if it launches an attack on Syria or Lebanon, it’s unknown whether the fighting will stay just between Lebanon and Israel, or Syria and Israel,” Hassan Nasrallah said.“I’m not saying countries would intervene directly — but it would open the door for hundreds of thousands of fighters from all around the Arab and Islamic world to participate in this fight — from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan,” he said.Nasrallah made the remarks in a speech broadcast on television to mark Jerusalem (Quds) Day, an annual show of solidarity with the Palestinians marked by marches and speeches that rail against Israel and the West.The commemoration was first launched by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late revolutionary leader of Iran — a main sponsor of Hezbollah and staunch rival of Israel.Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, and others from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, are battling alongside regime forces in Syria to defend the government of President Bashar Assad.The powerful Shiite movement and Israel have fought many battles including a devastating 34-day war in 2006 that killed 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.Border skirmishes have broken out occasionally since then, and Nasrallah on Friday said any future confrontation would be “very costly for Israel.”Tensions were rising this week along the frontier, with Israel accusing Hezbollah of expanding observation posts to conduct reconnaissance missions across the border under cover of a purported environmental NGO.Israel’s military intelligence chief on Thursday released film and photographs of the Hezbollah positions at the border fence.In a letter to the UN Security Council, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Danny Danon, pointed to an incident in April, in which a patrol of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was denied access to an observation post flying the flag of the NGO “Green Without Borders,” by a group of locals.Hezbollah’s purported use of such facilities under cover of the NGO is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, passed at the end of the Second Lebanon War in August 2006.Danon denounced the “dangerous provocation” and called on the council to demand the Lebanese government dismantle the Hezbollah outposts, as required by the resolution.The UN rejected the claim on Friday with the UNIFIL reporting that Green Without Borders members have planted trees in the area, but it “has not observed any unauthorized armed persons at the locations or found any basis to report a violation of resolution 1701,” said UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko.Danon’s letter came on the same day that IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Hertzl Halevi released video and photographs the IDF said showed the installations in question.“Hezbollah is using an environmental organization as a cover for activities along the border with Israel,” Halevi said.Earlier this week, the head of Israel’s air force said it would have “unimaginable” military power at hand in any future conflict with Hezbollah.“What the air force was able to do quantitatively in the… Lebanon war over the course of 34 days we can do today in 48-60 hours,” Major General Amir Eshel said on Wednesday.“This is potential power unimaginable in its scope, much different to what we have seen in the past and far greater than people estimate.”
As Islamic State wanes, Iran and Hezbollah could turn on Israel-With Russia’s help, the Syrian regime and Shiite axis are vanquishing the opposition – and drawing dangerously close to Israel’s border-By Avi Issacharoff June 25, 2017, 4:59 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Recent developments in the war between the Syrian regime and rebel forces show that the relative comfort zone that Israel has long enjoyed along its northern border is narrowing. The recent pummeling of the dreaded Islamic State group makes an escalation in hostilities between Israel and the forces of President Bashar Assad along with his staunch ally, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, increasingly likely.The terrible civil war ravaging Syria has for several years forced Hezbollah, deployed to the battlefield on Assad’s behalf, to limit the resources and energy it expends on confronting Israel. Some 2,000 Hezbollah fighters have been killed and 6,000 injured fighting in Syria — about a third of the organization’s fighting force. The same has been true for Syria’s standing army, which looked exhausted, almost defeated, until Russia swooped in to turn the tide.In recent weeks, the cumulative effect of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts has helped swing the pendulum in favor of Assad, Hezbollah, and other Shiite militias active in the arena on behalf of Iran. The battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq, is drawing to a close, and it is clear that next in line to fall will be Raqqa, the group’s stronghold in Syria.In other fronts, too, the Syrian army is scoring major victories, including in the Deir Ezzor region in the country’s northeast, where Assad’s forces, aided by Shiite militiamen, have broken through to the area of Abu Kamal, on the Iraqi border. It is a region where Kurdish and other forces that receive US support have been very active. Hence the recent rise in friction between the US army and Syrian forces that led to the downing of a Syrian jet.The various military factions in Syria – both pro-Assad and against – are fighting over the scraps of territory from which the Islamic State is withdrawing. Naturally, the area that worries Israel – and its neighbor to the east, Jordan – most is around Daraa, in the country’s southwest. It is where the civil war broke out in 2011, and it is a likely spot for a future last stand by Syria’s moderate opposition.The battles raging in that area, and on the nearby Syrian Golan Heights, are the ones from which ricochets occasionally fly over the border into Israeli territory. But there is no deliberate Syrian fire, and anyway Israel’s main concern isn’t errant shells. The most significant danger is that Shiite militias backing Assad will approach the borders with Jordan and Israel. While Jerusalem and Amman are cooperating on the matter, it is doubtful such cooperation can stem the advance of pro-Iranian forces, be they Hezbollah or other militias emanating from Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan.The Shiite axis is on the march, and the Islamic State is no longer in the breach, where it was keeping the Shiites occupied. The unofficial Israeli approach to the Syrian conflict, a prayer for the success of both sides, is becoming increasingly irrelevant as one side — that of the regime — pummels the other.The consequences of the latest developments in Syria and Iraq are echoing in Lebanon in the form of belligerent declarations by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who has vowed that his group’s next war with Israel will pave a path for “thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of fighters from all the Arab states and the Islamic world” to fall upon the Jewish state.
Israeli Arab man indicted for attempting to join Islamic State-Muhammad Ahmed Azzam, 24, of the Galilee town of Kafr Manda, allegedly contacted jihadists abroad, prepared to join them-By Times of Israel staff June 25, 2017, 4:14 pm
An Israeli Arab man was charged after he made preparations to join the Islamic State terror group, the Shin Bet security agency said Sunday.The man, identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Ahmed Azzam of the Arab town of Kafr Manda, was detained in a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police operation on June 6, the security agency said.He was arrested “in the wake of information to the effect that he supports and identifies with Islamic State, that he is in contact with IS militants and supporters, and that he was making preparations to join the organization and the fighting,” according to an official statement.Azzam allegedly has expressed support for IS ideology, was following its activities and propaganda online, and made “tangible preparations,” including establishing contact with IS operatives, to leave Israel in order to join the group’s fighting units. The statement did not specify where Azzam planned to meet up with the group, which has various affiliates and forces throughout the Middle East, from its rapidly shrinking base in Syria and Iraq to Sinai, Libya and elsewhere.Haifa district prosecutors filed an indictment against Azzam at the Haifa District Court on Sunday.The Shin Bet said Sunday it views the phenomenon of Israelis found supporting IS “as a severe strategic threat,” and promised to “continue to monitor suspects and take the necessary enforcement measures in order to thwart the dissemination of IS ideology in Israel and prevent Israelis from joining its ranks as fighters.”The Islamic State is in retreat in Iraq and Syria, pushed back by often-conflicted factions that include world powers like the US and Russia, regional actors like Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and local forces from opposing Sunni groups, Syrian government forces and Shiite militias like Hezbollah.According to the Shin Bet, as IS has fallen back, its propaganda arms have continued to broadcast a “seemingly positive picture… to potential recruits.”Islamic State does not have widespread support in Israel, and the Shin Bet estimates that 50 Arab citizens of Israel have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join the group in recent years. Over the past few years, several Arab Israelis have been jailed for efforts to join Islamic State.An Israeli Arab man was convicted on June 13 of being a member of Islamic State.The Haifa District Court found Wissam Zabidat, 42, from the northern Arab town of Sakhnin guilty of several charges, including membership in a terrorist organization, membership in an illegal group, illegal military training, and contact with a foreign agent.Wissam and his 30-year-old wife had traveled to Iraq along with their three children and spent over a year with the jihadist group before eventually escaping and making their way back to Israel, the Shin Bet security service said in a statement in October, when charges were filed against the two.The couple were tried separately, and in March wife Sabrin was sentenced to 50 months in prison.AP contributed to this report.
Israel getting better grip on online incitement, justice minister says-Year-old task force tackles offensive posts within 24 hours, Ayelet Shaked notes at cyber conference in Tel Aviv-By Shoshanna Solomon June 25, 2017, 3:41 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Sunday that a task force set up in March 2016 to combat online hate and incitement has managed to take down the majority of the 3,500 pages it found with offensive content to date, and that average reaction time to deal with these posts was less than 24 hours.The task force was set up following a wave of hundreds of attacks that began in October 2015, which security services said was fueled by online incitement.“Very soon it was discovered that in seven out of 10 cases, the terrorists were influenced by incitement for violence and terror to which they were exposed in social media and the internet,” Shaked said at a conference during Israel Cyber Week. “The link between incitement and terror is a new and dangerous phenomenon with strategic significance.”The unraveling of events in which Israel came to be attacked from within “made us feel vulnerable. We thought maybe we should bring down the internet in the whole area. We thought the physical forces, army, police cannot deal with this virtual penetration of our sovereignty.”This new reality required a new way of thinking and operating, she said and the legal system “acted very fast,” against its traditional “DNA, and suggesting new solutions.”Among these was the new task force, which identified offending posts and obtained court orders to take them down; increased collaboration with social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube to be more active in restraining and taking down hate and incitement posts; and the proposal of new laws.In December, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation advanced the so-called Facebook bill, which would allow the state to seek court orders to force the social media site to remove certain content based on police recommendations.The government says the bill will only be invoked in cases of suspected incitement, when there is a real possibility that the material in question endangers the public or national security.Shaked said that an additional bill aims to block access to content that supports terror. The bill is in advanced stages of legislation, she said. In addition, Shaked said Israel plans to host an international conference to be attended by justice ministers to discuss the matter. She did not provide further details.At the conference on Sunday, Edna Arbel, a former Supreme Court judge who is heading a committee that investigates legal solutions to combat internet incitement and hate speech, said the legal system must be able to adapt to new realities and challenges. She said she supports “in principle” the creation of additional tools to fight the online threat, but a balance must be struck with freedom of expression and preservation of privacy.Shai Nitzan, the state prosecutor, called the internet the “new city square,” but with the crucial difference that speakers on the internet can be anonymous and reach thousands and millions of people around the world.Since the end of 201 Israel has indicted some 250 people for incitement, of which some 25 indictments were this year, he said.Increased policing by governments-Even so, Tehila Shwartz Altshuler, the head of media reform and open government projects at the Israel Democracy Institute, warned against overreaction and the curbing of civil liberties. Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are not just high-tech companies but also media firms and they should be regulated as such. Cooperation is the best way to get results, she said, without infringing on privacy and freedom of speech rights.The main problem, however, is that globally and also in Israel “governments are trying to use technology to increase their policing of citizens,”” she warned, including the proposed Facebook law, the biometric database that is being set up, and widespread use of online surveillance methods.Noa Elefant-Loffler, senior public policy manager at Google Israel, said that Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution and have been working to curb incitement and hate speech for a number of years.The main problem, however, she said, is context. “Context is king,” she said, “No machine can understand context yet,” so Google employs teams of people to take context into account regarding posts that are flagged as offensive or dangerous.Google pledges to be even more aggressive in its policies against incitement, she said, and recently announced a series of steps in this direction. These include devoting more resources to machine learning capabilities that will flag posts for review; increasing the number of employees devoted to the subject; and restricting the reach of content that is borderline, in which there is no clear violation of Google’s community code — this content will carry no ads or comments and will not be able to be recommended or shared by others.“This will help limit access to these posts,” she said. But, “there is no magic solution.”
REBUILT 3RD TEMPLE
1 And there was given me a(MEASURING) reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out,(TO THE WORLD NATIONS) and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.(JERUSALEM DIVIDED BUT THE 3RD TEMPLE ALLOWED TO BE REBUILT)
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.(3RD TEMPLE REBUILT)
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,(AT THE MIDPOINT OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD)(3RD TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED BY DICTATOR) and the abomination that maketh desolate set up,(TO WORSHIP THE DICTATOR OR DIE) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.(1,290 DAYS)(AN EXTRA 30 DAYS AT THE END OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD FOR JESUS TO DESTROY THE ARMIES AGAINST JERUSALEM.AND TO JUDGE THE SHEEP AND GOAT NATIONS OF MATTHEW 25:31-46-HOW THEY TREATED ISRAEL DURING THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.AND THEN I BELIEVE JESUS WILL REBUILD THE 4TH TEMPLE 25 MILES FROM THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT.AND THEN JESUS RULES FOR THE 1,000 YEARS-THEN FOREVER FROM THAT 4TH TEMPLE.)
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(THE DICTATOR SITS IN THE REBUILT 3RD TEMPLE CALLING HIMSELF GOD AT THE MIDPOINT OR 3 1/2 YEAR PERIOD OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.OR 7 YEAR PEACE TREATY BETWEEN ISRAEL-ARABS AND MANY OF DANIEL 9:27)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Bowing to ultra-Orthodox pressure, PM halts pluralistic Western Wall deal-Israel’s Reform movement says freezing the plan to build mixed-gender prayer plaza harms Israel and its connection to the Jewish people; Jewish Agency expresses ‘deep disappointment’-By Amanda Borschel-Dan and Alexander Fulbright June 25, 2017, 4:06 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday suspended a government-approved plan to establish a pluralistic prayer pavilion at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, following calls by his ultra-Orthodox coalition allies to scrap the deal.The announcement was swiftly condemned by Israel’s Reform Movement and the Jewish Agency.In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu instructed Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman and Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi to formulate a new plan for the site.It also said construction work on the southern edge of the Western Wall plaza — where the pluralistic prayer pavilion was slated to be built — would continue uninterrupted.Netanyahu’s decision to freeze the plan came amid calls from Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox lawmakers to dial back the plan to establish an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall, which was approved by government ministers in January 2016.It also coincided with a High Court of Justice deadline Sunday for the state to respond to petitions on its failure to implement the agreement and construct the mixed-gender plaza near Robinson’s Arch by this week.“From our point of view this is a huge embarrassment,” the head of Israel’s Reform Movement Rabbi Gilad Kariv told The Times of Israel minutes after the announcement. “The government has acceded to the demands of the ultra-Orthodox parties,” he said, and delegitimized the government decision that was passed on January 31, 2016.“I think it is a failure of the Netanyahu government and harms the interests of Israel and its connection with the Jewish people,” said Kariv. who learned of the government decision from the media.Kariv told The Times of Israel that the High Court case was progressing apace and he hopes it may still be able to resurrect the deal.“We knew that the government was discussing the issue, but it is important to note that it did not update us with its decision. This behavior, from our point of view, shows that it is impossible to negotiate with them,” said Kariv. “We only hope that the court can defend the principles of democracy for Israel.”Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, who was at the meeting in which Netanyahu announced his decision, said in a statement, “As chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and on behalf of our partners, I must express my deep disappointment at today’s decision by the Government of Israel to suspend the implementation of its own decision to establish a dignified space for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.“After four years of intensive negotiations, we reached a solution that was accepted by all major denominations and was then adopted by the government and embraced by the world’s Jewish communities,” he said.“Today’s decision signifies a retreat from that agreement and will make our work to bring Israel and the Jewish world closer together increasingly more difficult. The Jewish Agency nevertheless remains staunchly committed to that work and to the principle of one wall for one people,” said Sharansky.In a statement, the Women of the Wall organization slammed the government for “kowtowing to a handful of religious extremists.”“The fact that the prime minister, who himself initiated and led the agreement is bending and retreating from that historic decision is shameful to the government and its women ministers who were exposed using their vote against women,” said Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall. “It’s a terrible day for women in Israel when the PM sacrifices their rights while kowtowing to a handful of religious extremists, who want to enforce their religious customs while intentionally violating the rights of the majority of the Jewish world, 51% being women.”“Women of the Wall will continue to pray as we always have in the Women’s Section at the Western Wall, with a Torah scroll and prayer shawls, until women’s equality will be established at the Kotel [Western Wall],” she added.Last week, the ultra-Orthodox parties again demanded the “total cancellation” of last year’s plan, as Israel’s Chief Rabbinate demanded it be allowed to hire its own lawyers to oppose the deal in the High Court.The Rabbinate’s request was backed up by Jewish Home Minister Uri Ariel and his party member Betzalel Smotrich in a letter they penned to Netanyahu on Thursday, which also implored the Israeli leader to scrap the deal in defiance of “extremist elements across the sea,” in an apparent reference to Reform and Conservative Jewry.On Sunday, Ariel hailed Netanyahu’s decision to freeze the plan, saying that if allowed to move forward the decision “would harm Israeli society.”“I am happy that the government today approved the decision restoring the situation at the Western Wall to what it previously was, and with this [that] we succeeded in preventing an unnecessary split among the Jewish people and an attack on the social and religious fabric of Israeli society and the Jewish people,” the agriculture minister said in a statement.Despite the opposition to the egalitarian prayer plaza by religious lawmakers, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said earlier Sunday that canceling the compromise to create a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall was damaging and that his Yisrael Beytenu party would not back it.On Thursday, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism warned that nixing the plan would be a “slap in the face to the vast majority of world Jewry.”
Abbas said enraged by Kushner meet, refuses to halt pay even to worst terrorists-Ramallah reportedly accuses US delegation of being mouthpiece for Israel, rebuffs watered-down demand to stop paying 600 prisoners serving life terms-By Times of Israel staff June 23, 2017, 1:31 pm
A meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and senior White House official Jared Kushner reportedly left the Palestinian leader fuming and refusing to agree to watered-down demands that Ramallah cut off payments for some convicted terrorists and their families.According to Palestinian sources quoted in Hebrew and Arabic media Friday, Abbas and his advisers accused the US of taking Israel’s side and refused a demand to stop paying salaries to several hundred prisoners serving time for the most serious crimes.Kushner, who is US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, met with Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, along with Trump’s international negotiator Jason Greenblatt.Kushner, making his first negotiating foray to the region, held two key meetings Wednesday– with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then with Abbas — before heading back to Washington.Kushner began his meeting with Abbas by stating all the Israeli concerns, including stopping the payments, according to Hebrew media reports, angering Abbas.“The American delegation accepted Israel’s position with regard to paying salaries to prisoners,” a Palestinian source told Ynet, “and described it as a means of inciting terror, demanding it be stopped.”According to reports in Arabic media, the Americans watered down their demand about payments to prisoners. Originally the US wanted all payments halted, but now they only want the Palestinians to stop paying salaries to some 600 prisoners serving life sentences who are responsible for the deaths of Israelis, Israel Radio reported, quoting Arabic media.On Thursday Abbas defended payments to Palestinian prisoners, including convicted terrorists, as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks.Later Thursday, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused the Netanyahu government of taking extremist positions.“Incitement and glorification of terror have been a longstanding policy by this extremist government,” Erekat said, and further accused Israel of trying to “deviate attention [from the stalled peace talks] by inventing new excuses, such as allegations of incitement.”Palestinian sources said the US officials had also taken the Israeli stance regarding incitement.“They sounded like Netanyahu’s advisers and not as honest mediators,” a Palestinian source told Haaretz.“They began by presenting Netanyahu’s claims,” the source said. He said that Abbas asked the Americans about their position on major construction projects over the Green Line recently announced by Netanyahu, “the core issues of the conflict,” but didn’t get any answer.“We told the Americans that the settlements were the source of the despair and terror because they remove any future hope for Palestinians to live in their own land,” a Palestinian source told Ynet.The source said, “We don’t have great expectations from these negotiations, but why should we pay such a high price as ending salary payments?”Reportedly Abbas refused to end the payments to prisoners, but instead insisted on restarting the trilateral committee on incitement. The committee includes Israeli, Palestinian and American officials and was formed as part of the Wye River Memorandum in 1998. The committee met every two months until the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000.Earlier this week, Netanyahu accused Abbas of lying that he wants peace and “poisoning” the minds of young Palestinians, amid a resurgent efforts at peacemaking by the US.“Palestinian President Abbas tells the world that he educates Palestinian children for peace. That’s a lie,” Netanyahu tweeted in one of a series of angry tweets, preceding the arrival in the region of Kushner and Greenblatt.Sitting down with Netanyahu on Wednesday before he met with Abbas, Kushner and other US officials discussed “potential next steps” to make progress on Trump’s goal of “a genuine and lasting peace” between Israelis and Palestinians, the White House said. The meetings are aimed at laying the groundwork for a resumption of negotiations for the first time in three years.US officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have said that they are pushing Abbas to end incitement to violence against Israel, and to stop paying stipends to terrorists and their families. At the same time, it is understood that the US does not want to impose preconditions that would prevent a resumption of substantive peace efforts.US sources confirmed that the payments to prisoners and incitement were discussed, but denied that they clouded the talks. They said that the talks mainly focused on hearing the Palestinian demands and their order of priority.But hinting at challenges facing peace efforts, both sides “underscored that forging peace will take time and stressed the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking,” a White House statement said.A senior Palestinian official said Wednesday that the preparatory meeting with Greenblatt on Tuesday had also not gone well and became tense over the payments to prisoners. He said the Americans “are buying” Netanyahu’s complaints about Palestinian incitement, and that Greenblatt was insisting on an end to the payments.The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a closed diplomatic meeting, said the Palestinians had rebuffed Greenblatt’s pressure and demanded an Israeli settlement freeze. He said a Palestinian delegation would head to Washington next month for further talks.In an official statement made after Wednesday’s meeting by senior Abbas aide, Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that Kushner addressed some of the thorniest issues on the table in his meeting with Abbas and stressed Trump’s commitment to restarting negotiations.“The meeting has deeply and clearly discussed all the permanent status issues, mainly refugees and prisoners,” Abu Rudeineh said, according to Palestinian media sources. “During the meeting, Kushner told President Abbas that President Trump is committed to reaching a serious peace deal.”A meeting between Trump and Abbas in Bethlehem in May was also reportedly tense, with the US leader angrily berating his counterpart over allegations of incitement.
Israeli economy pays price of elusive peace, World Bank official says-The Jewish state has done well economically, says Augusto Lopez-Claros. ‘But my point is, how much more could Israel do?’-By Shoshanna Solomon June 22, 2017, 5:40 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Israel’s economy is paying a price as its government fails to reach a permanent peace deal with its neighbors, a senior World Bank group official said in an interview this week with The Times of Israel.“There is a cost associated with an unresolved security situation,” Augusto Lopez-Claros, senior adviser, Development Economics at the World Bank Group said, speaking at the sidelines of a business conference in Jerusalem. “If one were to resolve on a permanent basis the security situation, there could be a potential driver of economic growth through increased trade and investment with the region.”The possibilities of greater regional trade and investment following a permanent resolution of the security situation are significant, he said, as Israel is geographically located in a region where there are large potential markets, which have potentially a high demand for its products including technology, agriculture and natural gas, he said. This potential is not taken into account at the moment.“There is a potential there that needs to be explored and exploited,” he said. Nations globally tend to trade and invest with their neighbors. “Geography is still important. You cannot completely neglect it. And you are disconnected. You are like an island.”For lack of peace with its Arab neighbors and amid the Palestinian conflict, Israel’s main trading partners are the US, the European Union and Asia.Lopez-Claros’s comments come amid a renewed push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians by the US administration. US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday night as part of a 24-hour visit to the region in an effort to advance the administration’s ongoing push for peace negotiations. Kushner has been tasked by the president with advancing peace efforts.Israel’s economy grew 4 percent in 2016, buoyed mainly by increased consumer spending, a rise in exports, and investments. Even so, the nation’s productivity is among the lowest of OECD countries and the high-tech sector has stopped being the growth engine of the economy.Policy makers and business leaders that gathered at the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society in Jerusalem earlier this week talked about two diverging economies developing in Israel — the innovation economy and the traditional economy, in which 90% of the population is employed. This divergence, in terms of wages, leads to an increase in economic inequality which must be halted, the speakers said. One of the keys to that aim is through increased education and vocational training.“If one were to resolve on a permanent basis the security situation, there could be a potential driver of economic growth through increased trade and investment with the region,” said Lopez-Claros, who has been with the World Bank for the past six years. This “doesn’t mean you trade less with Europe or Asia, or the US. Those will continue to remain important markets, but you can do more in the region. And that is something that cannot be neglected.”-Israel is doing well, but could be doing more-“Israel has done well — it is a much more prosperous country today than it was 20-25 years ago, it has managed to improve its infrastructure and has become a technological powerhouse. But my point is, how much more could Israel do? I think that that potential is somewhat being undermined by the unresolved security situation.”Peace could lead to lower defense spending, and those funds could be diverted to boosting education, he said. In a world that is undergoing digitization and automation, governments globally must channel more funds to education.“There is a gap between what the universities are delivering and what is needed,” he said. “This is a global problem. Some countries are doing it better than others: Scandinavian countries, for example. Israel does it well too, but it could do even better.”There must be more collaboration and feedback between universities and industries so that students attain the tools they need in a changing job landscape. “As they go through the various stages of education, students should spend every summer in Israeli companies so they can get a close look at what are the skills necessary in the marketplace.” This is already happening, Lopez-Claros said, but more is needed.-‘Disappointing’ ranking for Israel-Regulation in Israel should be cut back too, Lopez-Claros. Israel ranks 52 out of 190 in the Doing Business 2017 report of the World Bank.“For a country that is a high-income country — that has done so much already in other areas — this is a bit of a disappointment,” he said. “You would expect Israel to be in the top 10-15. It should be easily there” along with the other countries, such as New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and Norway, that top the rank. They, like Israel have developed economies and top universities and are important tech powerhouses, he said. “So why the gap?”“One of the reasons is that business regulation, the kind of environment that regulation has created to encourage entrepreneurship, is lagging behind,” he said. “Entrepreneurs could actually operate in an environment that is friendlier – not so bureaucratic and not so costly. This whole area of business regulation has not been given the importance it deserves and the importance other countries are giving it.”
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