Friday, July 14, 2017
QUARTET FOR MIDEAST PEACE MEETS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE TRUMPS ELECTION.
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
Quartet for Mideast peace meets for first time since Trump’s election-JULY 13,13-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Ambassadors from the US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — the so-called Middle East Quartet — meet in Jerusalem “to discuss current efforts to advance Middle East peace, as well as the deteriorating situation in Gaza,” according to a joint statement from the envoys.US President Donald Trump peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, currently visiting Israel, represents the US.“The Envoys expressed serious concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and discussed current efforts to resolve the crisis,” the statement says.The meeting is the first for the Quartet since Trump’s election last November.
Israel, Palestinians reach landmark water deal for West Bank, Gaza-New desalination project is part of wider plan to run water through pipeline from Red Sea down to Dead Sea; US envoy Greenblatt hopes it’s a ‘harbinger of things to come’-By Raphael Ahren and Melanie Lidman July 13, 2017, 1:42 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Thursday announced an agreement that will provide millions of cubic meters of drinking water to the Palestinians from a desalination process.While the Palestinians made plain that the deal, brokered by US President Donald Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt, has no impact on final-status issues in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Greenblatt hailed it as a “harbinger of things to come.” At a joint press conference in Jerusalem, however, Greenblatt refused to take any questions regarding his bid to relaunch peace negotiations.The agreement announced Thursday is part of a larger trilateral agreement for the construction of a 220-kilometer (137-mile) pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea — the lowest body of water on earth — to benefit Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, and replenish the dwindling Dead Sea. As the water runs down the gradient it will be used to generate electricity that will also power a desalination plant to produce drinking water.“As we all know, water is a precious commodity in the Middle East,” Greenblatt said. “The US welcomes the agreement reached by the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel, which will allow for the sale of 32 million cubic meters of water from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, we hope that the deal will contribute to the healing of the Dead Sea and that will help not only Palestinians and Israelis but Jordanians as well.”Trump has made it clear that reaching lasting peace agreement is a “top priority for him,” Greenblatt added. “This agreement is an example of the parties working together to make a mutual beneficial deal,” he said.“I am proud of the role the US and international partners have played in helping the partners reach this deal land I hope it is a harbinger of things to come,” Greenblatt said.The US envoy, who earlier this week met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Palestinian negotiators as part of a bid to relaunch talks, noted that Thursday’s agreement is the second recent deal between Jerusalem and Ramallah to improve the daily lives of Palestinians. On Monday, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah attended a ceremony launching a new Jenin electrical substation.Thursday’s water deal was reached under the tutelage of Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who hailed the so-called Red Sea-Dead Sea Conveyance project as the “biggest and most ambitious project event initiated and exercised” in the area.“Unfortunately, in our neighborhood we don’t always have a reason to smile. This morning we do,” Hanegbi said. “After years of stalemate, and thanks to the passionate negotiations of Jason Greenblatt and thanks to the pragmatic and professional approach of both delegations… we reached an important agreement,” he said.The agreement announced Thursday showed that “water can serve as means for reconciliation, prosperity, cooperation rather than calls for tensions and dispute,” Hanegbi said.The deal was also applauded by the pro-settler Yesha Council. “We are very impressed by Jason Greenblatt’s ability to achieve a substantive agreement on water that will change people’s lives on the ground,” the group’s foreign envoy, Oded Revivi, said. “We have long said that true peace must be built from the ground up, one step at a time.”Environmentalists hailed the deal as a significant step toward addressing water shortage issues, especially in water-starved Gaza. Gaza needs about 200 million cubic meters of water per year, but natural aquifers can only provide 50 million. For years, Gaza has been overpumping its aquifers, causing seawater to seep into the groundwater and salinity levels to rise. Currently 97% of Gaza’s water is not potable. When Gazan water is mixed with Israeli water, however, the salinity levels drop enough to make it safe for human consumption, according to Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli co-director of EcoPeace Middle East, a joint Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian environmental organization.“[Greenblatt] identified water as a low-hanging fruit, and this water deal between Israel and the PA is really significant, because it is going to help improve the water situation first and foremost in Gaza,” said Bromberg.“The original 2013 water deal did not include Gaza at all; the original deal was only for the West Bank,” Bromberg added. “It’s because of the crisis in Gaza; both sides realize that it’s not just a water security issue, it’s a national security issue. If more water is not provided to Gaza, there could be a potential outbreak of pandemic disease, which even Prime Minister Netanyahu has said won’t stop at the border.”The water sharing deal reached on Thursday calls for an Aqaba desalination plant in Jordan to sell water to southern Jordan and Eilat, while water from the Sea of Galilee will be sold to northern Israel and Jordan. Israel will sell 32 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority from Mediterranean desalination plants — 10 million to Gaza and 22 million to the West Bank — according to Bromberg, whose organization is heavily involved in water research and advocacy.Besides providing a yearly total of 100 million cubic meters of drinking water to Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis, the Red-Dead project will produce “green energy” and replenish the Dead Sea, which is currently shrinking at a drastic pace, Hanegbi said.The Israeli government now has to allocate a budget for the project — which is located entirely in Jordan but will be run by a joint administrative board — before construction can commence, he said. It is expected to be completed in four to five years, he said.Experts have estimated the canal will cost $10 billion, and the EU, US, Japan and Italy, among others, have already committed to part of the cost, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.Bromberg’s EcoPeace, however, dismissed the idea that the canal will “replenish” the Dead Sea. The canal will bring an estimated 80-100 million cubic meters to the Dead Sea per year, just 10% of the amount the Dead Sea needs to stay at its current level. The Dead Sea, dropping at a rate of more than a meter per year, requires 800 million cubic meters per year just to stay stable, meaning the expensive project will provide needed water but won’t “save the Dead Sea” as advertised to global donors, it said.The head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Mazen Ghuneim, welcomed the deal.“This will alleviate the suffering of Palestinians that they surely face, especially in the hot summer months,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.Water is primarily a humanitarian issue, he added, stressing that the deal struck this week has no bearing whatsoever on the overall Israeli-Palestinian peace process.Greenblatt and Hanegbi refused to comment on current US-led efforts to relaunch peace negotiations, though the Israeli minister said Thursday’s agreement teaches that “when you focus on the issues, and not history or background or personal emotions or other disturbing elements, the common denominator’s much bigger than what separates us.”
IDF raids Palestinian news station suspected of incitement-USB drive and memory card taken from offices of Al Quds radio station in Hebron-By Dov Lieber July 13, 2017, 4:34 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The Israeli army on Thursday morning raided the offices of the Palestinian news station Al Quds located in the West Bank city of Hebron.The IDF said the operation was carried out after the station was suspected of having “inciting materials.”“As part of the ongoing efforts against incitement in the Judea and Samaria region, forces confiscated a USB drive and a memory card suspected to contain inciting materials from a radio station in Hebron,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement.Videos on social media showed the aftermath of the raid.The Al Quds station is seen as sympathetic to the Hamas terror group, which controls the Gaza Strip.Over the past few years, IDF raids have targeted several Palestinian media outlets in the Hebron region suspected of incitement.The Israeli military stepped up its operations against Palestinian media accused of incitement follow the beginning of the “lone-wolf intifada,” an ongoing, though waning, terror wave that began in October 2015.Since September 2015, mainly Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, a Palestinian man and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 250 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.
These rabbis have no idea why they’re on the Chief Rabbinate’s ‘blacklist’-Jewish leaders on list complain of a lack of transparency, say they are being targeted for their opposition to body-By Ben Sales July 13, 2017, 6:53 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
NEW YORK (JTA) — In 2012, Rabbi Jason Herman wrote a letter to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate certifying that a friend of his who wished to get married was Jewish and single.The letter was declared invalid.But several months later Herman, spiritual leader of the Orthodox West Side Jewish Center in Manhattan, obtained a license from the Chief Rabbinate to conduct that wedding in Israel — and did so, legally, with no problem.Herman’s case illustrates the bureaucratic confusion that has accompanied the publishing of the Chief Rabbinate’s so-called “blacklist,” including some 160 rabbis from 24 countries whose letters confirming the Jewish identities of immigrants were rejected by the Chief Rabbinate in 2016. The list contains the names of 78 North American rabbis from all three major denominations, and its publication last week has led to outrage, defiance and lots of head-scratching.Itim, the Israeli organization that obtained the list from the Chief Rabbinate, calls it a blacklist meant to delegitimize rabbis who do not meet the rabbinate’s cryptic standards. The rabbinate claims the list is more innocuous and not meant to impugn the rabbis’ reputations. Rather, according to the rabbinate’s director-general, Moshe Dagan, the problem was with the letters sent by the rabbis, not the rabbis themselves.But a handful of rabbis on the list told JTA that they had never heard of any problems with their letters. None had received calls from the rabbinate in 2016, the year their letters were ostensibly rejected. And some wondered why, if the rabbis’ credentials were not at issue, the list was solely of rabbis’ names.“If there is a problem, and the rabbinate is dealing with so many of these letters, isn’t it their responsibility to share with rabbis in the Diaspora what they’re looking for, how they expect the letter to be written?” asked Rabbi Avi Weiss, a liberal Orthodox rabbi from Riverdale, New York, whose name is on the list. “This is not about documentation. This is about a blacklist.”The rabbinate is the only body authorized to conduct Jewish marriages in Israel. Rabbinate spokesman Kobi Alter said every immigrant who wishes to wed must provide a proof-of-Judaism letter from a rabbi, as well as their parents’ Jewish marriage certificate, called a ketubah.Alter told JTA that the list indicated errors in documents sent in 2016, not problems with the rabbis. He declined to discuss the cases of specific rabbis, but said one letter was dated 2016 when the rabbi in question died in 2012. In another case, only one witness had signed the ketubah rather than the two required by Jewish law.Alter said the list should not have been published with the rabbis’ names, and referred to a letter Sunday from the office of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau apologizing for its publication.“The list went out in the wrong way,” he told JTA. “The list isn’t a list of rabbis but a list of documents.”Alter added that some rabbis on the list had submitted several letters in 2016. If all were accepted except for one, the rabbi still made the list. Alter said the rabbis should feel free to contact the rabbinate to ask why their names appeared on the list.Herman told JTA that in 2013, he did speak with Rabbi Itamar Tubul, the bureaucrat who alone approves or rejects every letter. Tubul asked him a few basic questions — whether his synagogue was Orthodox (yes), whether it had a barrier dividing men and women (yes), where he received his rabbinic ordination (Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a liberal Orthodox seminary founded by Weiss) — and thanked him for his time.Herman found out his letter was rejected only when his friend, the bride to be, called him in tears with the news.But that didn’t stop Herman from being able to conduct the wedding with a license from the Chief Rabbinate — approved by someone other than Tubul.“It’s ridiculous,” Herman said. “You’re willing to let me do a wedding, but not willing to let me say the bride is Jewish for the same wedding. I understand it’s a different person in the bureaucracy, but it’s ridiculous. There’s a culture there that allows for the bureaucratic screw-up.”Several rabbis on the list said the problem is a lack of transparency. Tubul’s office has no set criteria for judging whether a rabbi is authorized to write a proof-of-Judaism letter. In December, the rabbinate announced it was drafting criteria, a process that’s ongoing. What that means is that some rabbis have written letters that were approved by the rabbinate in the past, only to find their names on the list this week.“I’ve never gotten anything in response saying, ‘There’s a problem with this letter for this particular person,’” said Rabbi David Seed of the Conservative Adath Israel Congregation in Toronto. “If there were, maybe I could find out more information. I’ve never received anything.”Sometimes the letters in question aren’t even written for the rabbinate. Rather they are written to certify that someone is Jewish for the purposes of immigration to Israel, and then forwarded to the rabbinate once the immigrant wants to marry. That’s why some of the rabbis — including rabbis who died a few years ago — appear on the list even though they did not write any letters in 2016.Rabbis told JTA that their process for writing immigration letters is straightforward. Often the person they are certifying is a congregant or close acquaintance. The letter simply states that the prospective immigrant is Jewish, born to a Jewish mother and a member of their local synagogue.One 2015 letter, by Rabbi Morris Allen of the Conservative Beth Jacob Congregation in Minnesota, reads: “I attest that [name redacted], son of [redacted], is Jewish and born of two Jewish parents who are and have been members of Beth Jacob Congregation for several years. [Redacted]’s bris, which took place at Beth Jacob Congregation, was presided over by Rabbi Asher Zeilengold, a local Chabad rabbi in town. [Redacted] celebrated his bar mitzvah with us in December of 2004 …”Allen and Herman believe they were put on the list not because of an error in the letters but because of their rabbinic backgrounds and careers. Herman’s seminary is not recognized by Orthodox rabbis on the right wing of the movement, while Allen angered some traditional kosher supervision agencies when he founded Magen Tzedek, an effort to bring ethical standards to kashrut. He is also a vocal opponent of the rabbinate.“I believe I was probably included on this list because of my work as a rabbi on behalf of the Jewish people,” Allen said. “I have been a passionate defender of pluralism in Israel, and I am not quiet about my belief that the Chief Rabbinate needs to be dissolved.”The rabbinate’s criteria for marriage are stricter than those for Israeli citizenship. While people with only one Jewish grandparent may gain automatic citizenship in Israel, one must be Jewish according to Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law, or halachah, to register for marriage with the rabbinate. The rabbinate controls all Jewish marriage in the country.The Chicago Rabbinical Council, an Orthodox body that provides a service writing proof-of-Judaism letters to the rabbinate, requires applicants to provide statements from two acquaintances attesting to their Jewish identity. It also asks applicants to list their parents, grandparents and great-grandmothers. Applicants must also sign a sworn statement that they are single.The rabbis who spoke to JTA acknowledge that it’s possible that a letter they wrote several years ago for immigration purposes was sent to the rabbinate last year and rejected without their knowledge. But they all wondered, if the problem was with the documentation and not with them, why the rabbinate never reached out to them to clear up errors in the letter.“The only conclusion I can reach is: If a congregant of mine was rejected, it was because of me and not because of the case particulars,” Adam Scheier, a past president of the Montreal Board of Rabbis, wrote in an email Wednesday to JTA. “If that’s not the definition of a blacklist, then I don’t know what is.”
PM says corruption insinuations are a left-wing plot against him-As probes into Netanyahu’s confidants reverberate around him, his political allies insist on his innocence-By Stuart Winer and Times of Israel staff July 13, 2017, 4:39 pm
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday told a gathering of his political allies that a series of corruption allegations linked to him and his associates are the consequence of “a coordinated campaign of leftists who want to undermine my government.”In a meeting with cabinet ministers and lawmakers viewed as his closest allies, the prime minister insisted that he has “evidence for everything.”“It’s all lies,” he reportedly said, in the closed-door meeting, of the various scandals to which he is being linked.Netanyahu was referring, in particular, to the fast-escalating “Case 3000” inquiry into alleged corruption in the purchase of German-made naval boats and submarines for the IDF, and a new state comptroller report that alleges violations of transparency rules related to regulating the Bezeq telecom giant.Netanyahu is not officially a suspect in the submarines affair, but his long-time attorney David Shimron and other associates are. Shimron has been questioned for several successive days. Similarly, there are no criminal suspicions directed at the prime minister in the Bezeq report, but the state watchdog did accuse the prime minister of failing to disclose his close ties with Bezeq head Shaul Elovitz in time to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest while he was also serving as minister of communications.“I’ve been wronged by the media. They’re trying to connect my name with two investigations that have nothing to do with me — Elovitz and the submarines,” Netanyahu said.“Elovitz isn’t my friend. He’s my acquaintance in a sense that doesn’t require reporting. As soon as the baseless article in Haaretz was published, I acquiesced to the attorney general’s suggestion and stopped dealing with [issues related to] Bezeq,” Netanyahu reportedly said, claiming that the Justice Ministry had ruled that all his dealings with Bezeq were handled correctly, based on substantive issues and not outside interests.Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Environment Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev and Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis all gathered at the prime minister’s bureau at noon. Coalition chairman MK David Bitan along with lawmakers Miki Zohar and Amir Ohana, all from the Netanyahu-led Likud party, were also in attendance.In the meeting with Likud lawmakers, Netanyahu said the steady stream of corruption allegations was meant to create an “atmosphere of rampant corruption” to hurt him in the next election.“This will soon be obvious to all,” he said.Netanyahu’s supporters vowed to fight back on his behalf. “We are going on the attack,” said Likud MK Miki Zohar said after the meeting.“We are fed up with all the unforgivable slander about the prime minister,” Zohar said. “We have clear details that show that he [Netanyahu] had no connection with any of the cases in question. It is time to stop blaming him for everything that is happening the country.”“This unreasonable approach in which the prime minister is always guilty until proven otherwise must be stopped,” he said.The get-together came as director-general of the Communications Ministry Shlomo Filber was called in for a second day of questioning by the Israel Securities Authority on suspicion of ethics violations and securities fraud.In a separate police investigation, Netanyahu’s personal attorney and cousin Shimron was questioned for the fourth time on Thursday at the police Lahav 433 fraud unit in connection with the so-called submarine affair, and two other figures in the scandal were ordered kept behind bars.Shimron is a suspect in “Case 3000,” in which authorities are investigating possible corruption and bribery involved in multi-billion-shekel naval deals with German shipbuilding company ThyssenKrupp.Police have said Netanyhau is not a suspect in the investigation, which has also seen the arrest and questioning of former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef and ThyssenKrupp’s Israeli agent Miki Ganor. However, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon has accused Netanyahu of corruption in the case.A Rishon Lezion court extended the detention of Bar-Yosef and Ganor until Monday.On Wednesday, the state comptroller report also raised suspicions that Netanyahu and Filber had made decisions at the Communications Ministry in favor of the telecom giant.While Netanyahu is not a suspect in those cases, he is being investigated in two other corruption cases.In Case 1000, police are looking into gifts including hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of cigars and champagne said to have been given to the prime minister and his wife Sara by Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.A separate investigation, known as Case 2000, focuses on an alleged clandestine quid pro quo deal made between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher and owner Arnon “Noni” Mozes, in which the prime minister is said to have promised Mozes he would advance legislation to reduce the circulation of Yedioth’s main commercial rival, the freebie Israel Hayom, in exchange for friendlier coverage from Yedioth. No such deal was ever implemented. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.After the comptroller report was released Wednesday, Netanyahu dismissed it as a “futile” attempt to manufacture a scandal.State Comptroller Yosef Shapira said that Netanyahu did not originally report his personal connection to Elovitz in a conflict of interest declaration, casting a shadow over the way the Communications Ministry treated Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications firm.Shapira wrote that there was a lack of transparency over decisions made by Netanyahu regarding Bezeq before he was barred from involvement with the company and handed over decision-making to Filber.Filber was appointed to the post by Netanyahu in June 2015, and has been criticized for his lenient policies toward telecom firms, including Bezeq. In an interview with Bloomberg in 2015 Filber suggested that competition in the telecom market had gone too far. He later denied saying that.The watchdog said that Filber may have acted in ways that benefited Bezeq, citing several cases.Shapira questioned whether it was possible for Filber to make unbiased decisions against Elovitz in light of the prime minister’s close connection with the Bezeq head.The report found that Filber acted in ways that benefited Bezeq numerous times.
Were the Jack the Ripper murders an elaborate anti-Semitic frameup?-Author Stephen Senise says it’s no coincidence that Britain’s most infamous unsolved crime is alleged to have been committed by a Jew — it was planned that way all along-By Robert Philpot July 13, 2017, 4:13 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
LONDON — It is the greatest whodunit in British history. For nearly 130 years, writers, criminologists, historians and amateur sleuths have pondered the identity of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer who stalked the East End of London in the autumn of 1888, butchering women in a series of macabre and brutal murders.The sheer number and celebrity of those who have been accused of the crimes, and the fact they have remained unsolved, has ensured the Ripper remains firmly embedded in the British psyche. Aside from largely anonymous suspects — such as a fish porter at Billingsgate Market, a Whitechapel barber and a Russian doctor described by Scotland Yard detectives as “a homicidal maniac” — the artist Walter Sickert, Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, Sir Winston Churchill’s father, Randolph, and Queen Victoria’s doctor, surgeon and eldest grandson have all come under suspicion of being Jack the Ripper.The Ripper himself is the subject of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction. “Ripperologists” can choose from at least three magazines devoted to his murderous reign, and tourists to London can visit the controversial Jack the Ripper Museum. Such is his notoriety that readers of the BBC History Magazine have voted Jack the Ripper the “worst Briton” in history.Five women — the so-called “canonical victims” — are generally accepted to have fallen victim to the Ripper during his 12-week killing spree (some believe a number of other murders outside of this time-frame, possibly up to a dozen, may also have been attributable to him). But it is the location of the crimes in which they lost their lives — Whitechapel, a poverty-wracked slum in London’s East End — which, a newly published study of the case claims, offers the most important clue not just as to whodunit, but why.Described at the time of the murders as “a fragment of Poland torn off from Central Europe and dropped haphazard into the heart of Britain,” Whitechapel and its surrounding neighborhoods stood at the center of the huge late 19th century influx of Jewish immigration into Britain.In many parts of the East End, Jews constituted a majority of the local population; that number was almost certainly much higher around the streets where the Ripper struck. Sunday Magazine labeled the area “the Jewish colony in London.”Thus, believes “Jewbaiter Jack The Ripper: New Evidence & Theory” author Stephen Senise, “the setting of the tale is no mere coincidence… it is fundamental in being able to put together what happened.”An Australian, Senise has been captivated by the Ripper case since childhood.“Australia was quite isolated when I was growing up,” he explains, “so the very idea of old London Town came with a fair bit of fascination attached. The notion of this dark story, set in 1888 among the London slums, just pulled me in.”Reading about the case in adulthood, he became increasingly aware of “the anti-Semitic overtones permeating key parts of the story.”As Senise acknowledges, Jews have featured in the Ripper story from the outset. But they were, he believes, neither simple bystanders nor — as some have later claimed — potential culprits, but central to a methodical and elaborate attempt to stir the already simmering pot of anti-Semitism.Certainly, the atmosphere for Jews in the autumn of 1888 was sulfurous. Newspapers’ letters pages regularly contained attacks on “pauper foreigners” who were “a pest and a menace to the native born East-Ender.” The trade unions called for tough limits on immigration as elements of the labor movement denounced “Rothschild leeches.” Rabble-rousing politicians railed against “overcrowded” England becoming “the human ashpit for the refuse population in the world,” while physical attacks on Jews were not unknown.The concerns about immigration did not stem simply from ingrained anti-Semitism. Even when harshly expressed, legitimate concerns about “sweated labor” — in which Jews, working long hours for low pay in poor conditions, undercut the position of native Britons — pointed to the fact that both migrants and indigenous workers were subject to exploitation.Nonetheless, as Senise argues, the tensions between newly arrived Jews and elements of the British workforce were “essentially one-sided, directed at an easy group of scapegoats.” Newspapers began to warn of “Judenhetz [systematic persecution of the Jews] brewing in East London.”This was the combustible mix, Senise theorises, that Jack the Ripper was determined to set light to. Ironically, the fuse may have been lit by the fact that a parliamentary inquiry into sweated labor — one of two examining issues related to Jewish immigration — had announced that it would shift its focus away from the East End of London at the end of its autumn session.However inadvertent, Senise suggests, the committee’s widely reported announcement “had the effect of setting the clock ticking and turning the spotlight on.” It would prove the “deathknell” for a number of impoverished women whose murders the Ripper intended to use in his “bloody campaign to try and target the standing of the Jewish community and close the door to Jewish immigration.”The terror commenced in the early hours of Friday, August 31, 1888, with the discovery of the grotesquely mutilated body of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, a 42-year-old alcoholic prostitute, just off of Whitechapel Road. A week later, on Saturday, September 8, the Ripper struck again, murdering Annie Chapman in the early hours of the morning. Once again, his target was a heavy-drinking, middle-aged prostitute, and, once again too, her body had been horribly mutilated.As the Ripper intended, almost immediately the finger of suspicion for the “Whitechapel murders” began to point at the Jews. A possible witness suggested she had seen Chapman with a “foreign” man.Even before the discovery of a leather apron near to her body, the press was speculating about the potential identity of the killer. Nicknamed “Leather Apron,” this “sinister” knife-carrying figure was described in one newspaper as “a Jew or of Jewish parentage, his face being of a marked ‘Hebrew type.’”On the day Chapman’s body was discovered, the press later reported, “young roughs” began to threaten the local Jewish population. Cries of “down with the Jews” were heard, suggested a newspaper which headlined its report of the disturbances “A Riot Against the Jews.”None too subtly, the coroner examining Chapman’s case suggested the murderer had displayed “Judas-like approaches.” Police hauled John Pizer, a second generation Polish Jew, into custody on suspicion of being “Leather Apron,” releasing him when his alibi was shown to be irrefutable.‘Here was a native local who knew exactly what he was doing’“I believe that the anti-Jewish rioting which broke out in the East End in direct response to the murders was consistent with Jack the Ripper’s intentions,” says Senise. “Here was a native local who knew exactly what he was doing, the community’s paranoias, its raw nerves and exposed sinews.”On the night of the final Saturday of September, the Ripper carried out his most audacious killings. The double murders of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes left a further trail of clues as to his anti-Semitic motives. The locations of the attacks were chosen with care. Stride was attacked in a yard where a radical Yiddish newspaper was printed and published which was, in turn, next to a working men’s club frequented by Jewish socialists. Eddowes was murdered in Mitre Square, in close proximity to the capital’s Great Synagogue.Senise argues the evening also provided the only two “near indisputable” pieces of communication from Jack the Ripper. The content of both were highly revealing and purposefully so. As an FBI report about Jack the Ripper carried out in 1988 on the 100th anniversary of the killings suggested, when serial killers make public statements about their crimes, “they generally provide information relative to their motivation.”The first came as a man thought to be the Ripper was spotted attempting to assault a woman, later identified as Stride. A passer-by, Israel Schwartz, subsequently told police that he was scared off from intervening after the killer shouted “Lipski” at him, a local anti-Semitic term of abuse recalling a Hungarian Jew who had been hanged for murdering his wife the previous year.The second came after he had murdered Eddowes when police discovered a bloody item of her clothing underneath freshly scrawled graffiti. The words — “the Juwes are the men that Will not be Blamed for nothing” — had been written on a block of flats on Goulston Street, most of whose residents were Jews. On the orders of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the graffiti was wiped clean before daybreak; a sign of the authorities’ concern that the embers of the anti-Semitic fire which had led to the “riot against the Jews” should not be stoked further, as the Ripper clearly intended they should be.The brutality of the murders was designed not simply to shock, but also to tap that most ancient of anti-Semitic slanders, the “blood libel.” Two infamous European “blood libel” cases — the killing of a teenage girl at Tisza Eszlar in Hungary in 1883 and the murder of an allegedly pregnant young woman in Poland in 1881 — had received much attention in the British press in the years prior to the Ripper’s attacks.Two infamous European ‘blood libel’ cases had received much attention in the British press in the years prior to the Ripper’s attacks.Even when dismissed, the notion of the “blood libel” was frequently a feature of the reporting, particularly after the killing of Stride and Eddowes. These cases from the continent, Senise suggests, “gave the murderer the basis for his plot,” allowing him to appropriate “a racist slander, every bit as dangerous as a weapon.”The press swiftly took the bait Jack the Ripper had laid, alluding to the fact that, as one newspaper put it, one would need to go to “the wilds of Hungary” to find crimes “more sickening and revolting” than those which had been committed in Whitechapel.There was, indeed, some speculation at the time of the murders that, as the Jewish Chronicle put it in October 1888, “a deliberate attempt to connect the Jews with the Whitechapel murders” was underway.‘Early on during the investigation, the police did countenance that someone was trying to frame the Jewish community’“Early on during the investigation, the police did countenance that someone was trying to frame the Jewish community,” says Senise.But Senise does not simply have a motive — he also has a suspect, a man who would reveal himself after the Ripper claimed his fifth victim, Mary Jane Kelly, just over a month after he had last struck.The killing was his most brutal and his victim much younger and more attractive than those he had hitherto targeted. Kelly’s killing, speculates Senise, may have been intended to draw comparisons with the much reported recent grisly murder of two teenage sisters in Moravia, a crime which had parallels with those in Hungary and Poland which the press had previously salivated over.On the day that the inquest into Kelly’s murder was concluded — timing that was possibly far from accidental, as it allowed his story to avoid scrutiny by the coroner — George Hutchinson, a young man in his late 20s, walked into the Commercial Road police station, claiming to have seen Kelly with a man on the night of her killing.His account provided color and detail no other purported witness could match, a fact that almost immediately provoked skepticism. Crucially, however, Hutchinson said that the man he had seen Kelly cavorting with prior to her death was “of Jewish appearance.” Later expanding his story for the press, Hutchinson slyly claimed that he had previously seen the man on Petticoat Lane — described in one contemporary book as “the stronghold of hard-shell Judaism” — and a reference that few readers at the time would not have grasped the significance of.Hutchinson’s statements, Senise asserts, cleverly revived elements of the “Leather Apron” story, threw potentially useful chaff into the police inquiry should he himself become a suspect, and — in contradiction to the other principal eyewitness account from that night and, indeed, all others made in connection to the five killings — suggested Kelly’s attacker was a Jew.Senise has painstakingly tracked Hutchinson’s movements. An underemployed laborer, he lived at the Victoria Home for Working Men on Commercial Street, close to Petticoat Lane in the heart of the Jewish community. The salubrious Victoria Home, moreover, was strategically placed in terms of the places where the Ripper struck, as well as the pubs and boarding houses where he may well have spied upon, and staked out, his victims. Hutchinson’s depiction of the man he supposedly saw with Kelly on the night of her death as a wealthy Jew, Senise claims, gives an insight into the racial and class hatred which drove his crimes.However, when helping his daughter with a history project looking at key witnesses to the Ripper’s crimes, Senise uncovered a trail which brought him rather closer to home than he had expected.Hutchinson, he is confident, fled the scene of his crimes the following summer, using the opportunity created by the Great London Dock Strike of 1889 to join a union-busting crew aboard a ship bound for Australia.Unsurprisingly, Hutchinson then disappeared, re-emerging seven years later, Senise has discovered, when he was convicted and jailed for sexually assaulting two young boys.The photograph and physical description of Prisoner 1166 he uncovered from the New South Wales State Archives bears an uncanny resemblance not only to sketches of Hutchinson made at the time he interjected himself into the case following Kelly’s murder — but also to many of the witness statements collected by police in their hunt for Jack the Ripper. The case, Senise now hopes, “has finally started to give up its ghosts.”
Mother Russia returns to grand duke’s Jerusalem compound-Sergei’s Courtyard, part of a 19th century complex built with stone imported from Russia, has been renovated for Russian Orthodox pilgrims; 22-room hotel opens next month-By Jessica Steinberg July 13, 2017, 6:49 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
It’s been decades since Russian pilgrims slept in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound. That hiatus is about to end.Sergei’s Courtyard, a former luxury hostel and outbuildings built in the late 19th century by Russia’s Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society to serve Russian pilgrims traveling to the holy land, will be ceremoniously unveiled on July 18, following several years of significant renovation and restoration.The newly refurbished space is a nine-acre complex of verdant gardens with two Renaissance-styled towers (that now house public bathrooms) and surrounded by a square of two-story stone buildings. That now includes a 22-room hotel, which will open next month — to all, not just Russian pilgrims. Also planned is a library and museum detailing the entire compound’s rich history.“It’s a five-star hostel,” said Boris Lemper, the Russia-born Israeli attorney who has been working with the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society for several years on the project. “The Russian pilgrims will want to come here. They can walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.”The courtyard and hostel were named for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, brother to Czar Alexander III and president of the Orthodox Palestine Society, considered a scholarly organization.With buildings made from hewn stone shipped from Russia, the structures in Sergei’s Courtyard were known at the time as the most marvelous buildings in the city.They were constructed as part of the 17-acre Russian Compound, a complex next to Jerusalem’s City Hall that included a church, consulate, hospital and hostels.The construction for the Russian Compound was a massive undertaking at the time, with building materials and furniture shipped from Russia. The buildings were constructed in Renaissance style, with massive wooden doors, paned windows and high ceilings. Most of the structures included inner courtyards with stables, chicken coops, water wells and laundries.The heart of the Russian Compound was the Sergei Courtyard, an urban gem housing exclusive lodgings for rich pilgrims, royalty and dignitaries.With the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917, the compound’s priests and staff were expelled and the Turkish soldiers of the Ottoman Empire occupied the compound.Russian pilgrims stopped arriving in Israel and there was no money to maintain the area. It was later rented to the British authorities, who used it as a center of government administration, turning one of the hostels into a central prison.The Israeli government purchased the compound land in the 1960s, and it eventually became known as a center of Jerusalem nightlife, with popular bars and restaurants named Sergei and Glasnost, and frequented by the city’s students and younger residents.Sergei’s Courtyard was used for years as a rundown office site of the Agriculture Ministry; Moshe Dayan reportedly had his offices there during a brief stint as the agriculture minister. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and Parks and Nature Authority had their Jerusalem offices in Sergei’s Courtyard until 2012 and held gatherings and environmental programs around the gardens and fishponds.In 2008, then prime minister Ehud Olmert decided to offer Sergei’s Courtyard as “reconciliation gift” to Russia.The two countries had clashed over Moscow’s interest in selling weapons to Syria and Iran, and its lack of interest in increased international sanctions against Iran. The move, however, was sharply protested by some in the Israeli government, who didn’t like the idea of giving up parts of Jerusalem for geopolitical reasons.“I am not expecting the Russians to change their policies on account of the Sergei Courtyard,” said Michael Eitan, a Likud member, to the Los Angeles Times, in an October 2008 article.It was around that time that Lemper began representing the Orthodox Palestine Society in Israel.“They wanted to figure out what were the rights of the Russian government in Israel,” said Lemper. “It was a huge mess, and they wanted to restore what they’d had.”The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, a right-wing civil rights group that also struggled against Israel’s 2005 disengagement in Gaza, petitioned the High Court of Justice against the title transfer of Sergei’s Courtyard back to Russia. But the High Court ruled the government had the right to decide on the move.It took another few years for the property transfer to go through, and for Russian President “Putin to get stronger,” said Lemper. “He started looking for other Russian properties around the world, and at the time, Russia and Israel were getting along well.”The site has been carefully restored, down to the large, sashed windows of the two-story buildings surrounding the courtyard, and the dining room, a grand space replete with crystal chandeliers and muraled ceilings featuring Jesus and his disciples.The 22-room hotel, which is slated to open in August, harkens to the style of the original hostel, with flocked wallpaper and heavy wooden furniture, the walls decorated with scenes of Russia.“They wanted it be what it had been, going back to its roots,” said Lemper. “It looks like the old days, and that’s good, because it’s super important to the Kremlin.”
EU takes on Hungary over NGO law seen as targeting Soros-European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans says demand that nonprofits reveal foreign funding doesn’t comply with union’s regulations-By AFP July 13, 2017, 4:51 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The EU launched legal action against Hungary on Thursday over a crackdown on foreign-backed civil society groups that critics say targets US billionaire George Soros.The move came hours after the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it would end a poster campaign attacking Soros that has been accused of anti-Semitism.Brussels also announced that it is advancing a separate case over an education law that could shut a Soros-backed university, risking a fresh confrontation with Orban.“We have studied the new law on NGOs carefully and have come to the conclusion that it does not comply with EU law,” European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said.Timmermans said civil groups were “the very fabric of our democratic societies and therefore should not be unduly restricted.”“We await a reaction from the Hungarian authorities within a month.”Hungary’s parliament approved the law last month which will force groups receiving more than 24,000 euros ($26,000) annually in overseas funding to register as a “foreign-supported organization,” or risk closure for non-compliance.They will also have to use the label “foreign-supported organization” on their websites, press releases and other publications.Orban’s government says the measures are aimed at improving transparency as well as fighting money laundering and terrorism funding.-‘Anti-Semitic’ posters-Separately, the EU said it had moved onto the next formal stage in a legal case that it launched against Hungary in April over an education law, sending Budapest a “reasoned opinion” about the clash between that legislation and EU law.“We expect a reaction from the Hungarian authorities within a month. If the response is not satisfactory, the commission can decide to go to the court,” Timmermans said, referring to the European Court of Justice, the EU’s top judiciary body.Budapest has been outspoken in its opposition to Soros, claiming that his donations of billions of euros (dollars) to rights groups in the region are a bid to force Hungary to take in migrants.Brussels launched legal action against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic last month over their refusal to take their share of migrants under an EU scheme aimed at easing the pressure on Mediterranean states from Europe’s migrant crisis.But the campaign against Soros has stepped up in recent weeks with the posters showing the Hungarian-born Jewish emigre laughing, with the caption: “Let’s not let Soros have the last laugh.” Some have been daubed with graffiti such as “Stinking Jew.”Soros, 86, called the imagery “anti-Semitic” in a rare statement Tuesday.A Hungarian government statement said the campaign, which also included print, radio and TV ads, would end on Saturday, three days before a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Government officials insisted the campaign was not about Soros’s background but informing Hungarians about the security risks posed by his alleged support for mass immigration.
Links to this post: