Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

Why Jews Everywhere Should Be Helping Egypt’s Christians … – Algemeiner

And they didnt just pray. Their sincere concern for the well-being of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel. It is our honor to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldnt give me nearly as much joy and fulfillment, the pastor told me.

I left his house feeling awed and inspired. I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us, I thought.

July 26, 2017 10:41 am

Truth be told, on the whole, we as a people have done an excellent job in raising awareness among our children and our communities about the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world)of reaching out and supporting worthy causes beyond those that directly affect Jews. At almost every rally and peaceful protest, you can see an Israeli flag, the Star of David or another identifier of Jewish presence. We are helping Syrian refugees, standing up for womens rights and volunteering in the worlds poorest countriesjust to name a few causes we champion. Helping others who suffer from persecution, injustice or discrimination is a hallmark of the Jewish community, and I am proud of that.

But at the same time, there are cries that have gone unheard, such as those of the Christians being systematically persecutedand slaughteredacross the Middle East. Coptic Christians, an indigenous population inEgypt dating back to the 1st century AD, have been especially targeted. They represent almost 10 percent of Egypts population, and are being persecuted by Islamic terrorists.

At least 28 Coptic Christians, including many children, were ambushed and murdered on May 26 as they traveled by bus to a monastery. In April, two terror attacks hit crowded Coptic churches killing at least 44 people. Since January 2017, hundreds ofCopts have been targeted, murdered and systematically threatened.

In response to this horrific campaign of terror, I am astounded that the Jewish community has remained virtually silent.

The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (the Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the US and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the Jewish states economy and morale.

If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues that we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda?

For the last few years, Egypts Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history, and we have vowed never to let it happen again.

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Why Jews Everywhere Should Be Helping Egypt’s Christians … – Algemeiner

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July 23, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Jewish mother, Christian father and Muslim daughters under one roof in Egypt – StepFeed

The Muslim-majority country’s once-vibrant Jewish community has shrunk to a handful of people.

While there is no officialcount of the number of Jews living in Egypt today,it was reported to stand at 13 Jews in 2014, according to Egypt Independent.

In July 2016, Haroun mentioned that there are only six Jewish women in the country.

In the mid-1940s, Egypt’s Jewish community peaked at over 80,000 people, according to Time magazine. Since then, after the establishment of Israel, and former Egyptian presidentGamal Abdel Nasser’smass expulsion of Egyptian Jews, a majority of the latter fled toEurope, Israel, and the United States.

Haroun’s family was among those who chose to stay in the country. Haroun attended university in Cairo and eventually took on the family business, an intellectual property firm.

“I’m sick of it,” Haroun said about the diminishing community.

“Sometimes I wake up in the morning and Im crying because I dont know what will happen.

Its very hard to explain. Its very heavy. Its very sad. Its very frightening.”

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Jewish mother, Christian father and Muslim daughters under one roof in Egypt – StepFeed

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July 21, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Why Jews everywhere should be helping Egypt’s Christians – JNS.org

By Yael Eckstein/JNS.org

During Israels Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, I had dinner with a Christian pastor and his family in North Carolina. I was stunned and impressed that each time a rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel, the familys Code Red app blared on their cellphones and they stopped whatever they were doing to pray for Israelis in danger.

And they didnt just pray. Their sincere concern for the wellbeing of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel to help protect us. It is our honor to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldnt give me nearly as much joy and fulfillment, the pastor told me.

I left his house feeling awed and inspired. I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us, I thought.

Truth be told, on the whole, we as a people have done an excellent job in raising awareness among our children and our communities about the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world), of reaching out and supporting worthy causes beyond those that directly affect Jews. At almost every rally and peaceful protest, you can see an Israeli flag, the Star of David or another identifier of Jewish presence. We are helping Syrian refugees, standing up for womens rights and volunteering in the worlds poorest countries, just to name a few causes we champion. Helping others who suffer from persecution, injustice or discrimination is a hallmark of the Jewish community, and I am proud of that.

But at the same time, there are cries that have gone unheard, such as those of the Christians being systematically persecutedand slaughteredacross the Middle East. Coptic Christians, an indigenous population of Egypt dating back to the 1st century A.D., hundreds of years before Muslims even came on the scene, have been especially targeted. They represent almost 10 percent of Egypts population and are being persecuted by Islamic terrorists.

At least 28 Coptic Christians, including many children, were ambushed and murdered May 26 as they traveled by bus to a monastery. Two terror attacks hit crowded Coptic churches April 10, killing at least 44 people. Since January 2017, more than 100 Copts have been targeted, murdered and systematically threatened.

In response to this horrific campaign of terror, I am astounded that the Jewish community has remained virtually silent.

The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the U.S. and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the the Jewish states economy and morale.

If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer and for different just causes, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda?

For the last few years, Egypts Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (and sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history and we have vowed never to let it happen again.

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Why Jews everywhere should be helping Egypt’s Christians – JNS.org

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Christianity was founded by an observant Jew – Catholic Star Herald

Pope John Paul II greets Rabbi Elio Toaff at Romes main synagogue April 13, 1986. The meeting marked the beginning of a new era in Catholic-Jewish relations. It was the first time a pope had entered the Rome synagogue. CNS photo/Arturo Mari, LOsservatore Romano

I imagine we older Catholics could be forgiven if we presumed Jesus was a Catholic like us. After all, he started us off by giving Peter a new identity as Rock, or Cephas in Aramaic, when he said, You are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church. (Mt 16: 18). The fact is, he was a good observant Jew, practiced in reading the Hebrew Scriptures and attending shabat synagogue. Nazareths was where he preached such a fiery sermon early in his career that his own neighbors were infuriated enough to seize him and take him to the brow of a hill to throw him to his death. Today, bishops assign newly ordained priests away from their home parishes, especially if they have the courage to preach social justice homilies.

Mary and Joseph had taught him well, aware that parents are the first and best teachers in the ways of the faith who dont wait for later educators. Their Jewish loyalty saw to his being initiated into Judaism eight days after birth. It continued well past his visit to the Jerusalem temple at 12, when he discussed the Law with the amazed rabbis there, doing his Fathers business, even if his mother scolded him for getting lost for three days.

At one point his disciples, or students, asked him how to pray. The Lords Prayer was his answer, and it reveals his Jewishness on a couple of counts. Take the familiar Jewish dependence on God as provider of everything: Give me neither poverty nor riches. Provide me only with the food I need, lest being full, I deny you saying, Who is the Lord? Or being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God (Prv 30f).

Jesus called on his Jewish disciples familiarity with Sirachs Forgive your neighbors injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven (28: 2). Sirach and he made their own forgiveness of others to be the kind they could expect of the all-merciful God, who is not impressed with mere words when the deeds are absent. With the terrible burning of the Temple and Jerusalem with it by the Romans in July of 70 A.D. and the flight of the people from the city, the canon or official list of Old Testament books excluded Sirach because it originated outside Israel, in Egypt. Thus Jews and therefore Protestants do not consider Sirach, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Baruch and 1 and 2 Maccabees to be canonical, but they revere these as noteworthy. This makes the Catholic Bible seven books longer than those of our Jewish and Protestant friends. We formed our canon at the 1545-63 Council of Trent.

All of which should cause us Catholics and other Christians to respect our Jewish ancestors in the faith. As Pope John said, We all are spiritual Semites, he who did so much to rescue thousands of Jews from the Holocaust while serving in Turkey. We need reminders like this. As Swiss theologian Hans Kung said, anti-Semitism is the churchs longest-standing sin. By the end of the first century, the tail was wagging the dog. Gentile converts to Christianity were multiplying despite the emperors persecutions while Jewish membership fell off. Someone got the idea that it would be good religion to harass both Jewish Christians and Jewish non-Christians. How God was supposed to be pleased with this attack on Gods Chosen People, a designation never retracted, still mystifies.

The Holocaust it means wholly burnt sacrificial offering did not just start in 20th century Nazism. Economic explanations have been offered. A people uninterested in evangelizing because blood lines established membership, thus uninterested in getting new Gentile members, pulled together and made themselves stronger against the pogroms, becoming a formidable force in banking, the only field some countries left to them because money handling was considered beneath Christian dignity. Yet Christians did not hesitate to borrow from Jewish bankers.

In Venice, Jews were consigned to an island of their own after centuries of living well with Christians there. The Yiddish word for divorce then was ghet, Italianized to ghetto. Jews were divorced from mainstream society, required to live in Jewish compounds. Into the 20th century the city of Romes law forbade the entrance of a synagogue being placed on a main street. A 20th century pope was the first successor of Jewish Peter to visit a synagogue.

Hard to imagine Jewish Jesus approving much of this.

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Christianity was founded by an observant Jew – Catholic Star Herald

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

From Religions to Terrorism, African American Students Take In All Sides of Israel – The Jewish News

I write this article at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Soon I will be boarding a plane home after a 12-day trip throughout Israel. But the trip is hardly the typical trip American Jews take to Israel. I have been part of the faculty for 80 African American college students who went to Israel to build bridges of understanding between the U.S. and Israel as well as to connect with their Christian biblical roots.

The group is sponsored by Passages Israel, sometimes referred to as Birthright for Christians. They send more than 1,000 students a year to Israel. In their mission statement, they proudly proclaim that Israel is a force of good in the region and the world.

I was invited to join the faculty because of my involvement with AIPACs African American Outreach division. With Passages, my job was to get to know the students and then, when I return, help the organization develop curriculum so the students can stay connected to Israel and Judaism. A tall order, yes, but a privilege and an honor to undertake.

Im a firm believer that Jews must reach out to non-Jews. There are only 15 million of us in a world of 7 billion people, so we had better foster good relations outside of our tiny community. And a strong alliance with African Americans a people also victimized by unspeakable crimes and injustices throughout history makes perfect sense. Its a natural, and Im proud to do my part.

The students are very bright, inquisitive and kind. Each was hand-picked by their pastor as someone likely to be a future leader a pastor, professional, lawmaker, entrepreneur. Our Israeli guide, Tal Mageed from Jerusalem, and I are the only Jews on the bus. At first, I admit, that was an odd feeling, but that quickly dissipated as I came to know and appreciate each student.

A New Impression

Their initial knowledge of Israel (rather, lack of it) reflects the sparse, half-truth bias that often makes its way into America:that Israel is a big, bad, apartheid state with a tenuous claim to its own land. Yes, many believe, Israel has its biblical roots, but its modern-day goodness and right to even exist is debatable.

Israels brand if were really being honest is badly tarnished, perhaps irrevocably to many non-Jews.

So, visits to Israel, exposure to the facts on the ground, face-to-face relationships and constant education are the only ways to address this challenge. Passages, under the brilliant leadership of Scott Phillips, a former Christian AIPAC staff member who led Christian Outreach there, has carefully crafted a very strategic itinerary.

It was heavily Christian at first (Nazareth, Galilee, Stations of the Cross, baptisms in the Jordan River) and then a shift to Jewish experiences (a kibbutz outside of the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, Shabbat dinner at the home of an Orthodox family, the Western Wall, Yad Vashem and ending with the singing of Hatikvah at Independence Hall, in the very room where Ben-Gurion declared Israels statehood).

Interspersed throughout the trip was an impressive flow of dynamic speakers: an Israeli peace negotiator, an Orthodox scholar, a Palestinian journalist, an Ethiopian Israeli woman who served in the Knesset, a panel of IDF officers, a startup entrepreneur and a representative of a clinic that treats PTSD.

Tal and I are constantly telling the students things they had never heard before and are stunned to learn that there are Palestinian schools named after suicide bombers, that terror tunnels from Gaza continue to be dug, that when enemy rockets are launched Israelis have between 10 and 15 seconds to find a bomb shelter, that Hamas Charter calls for Israels destruction, that Hezbollah in Lebanon is now thought to have more than 100,000 rockets threatening Israel, etc.

The Israeli Reality

And just as the students are taking all of this in, something terrible happens. While we are in the Old City, there is a fatal stabbing, just minutes from us. A female police officer, just 23, was attacked by three terrorists who were all quickly shot dead. Some in our group even heard the shots. I look up her name and face and see the photo of a beautiful, youthful girl named Hadas Malka.

The sadness among the students is palpable; the school lesson is now all too real. We had been noticing young uniformed girls all day, just like Hadas. Some cry over the loss of her young life. For me, its like a death in the family. My heart is now officially broken.

At the Western Wall, I peel away from the group for some alone time. Anyone whos been there knows the power of that place and, of course, I am deeply moved. But when I return to the group I see something I never expected many of the kids are crying, some hysterically. They see me and we tearfully and silently hold onto long hugs. No words are necessary.

There were plenty of moments of joy for us on the trip. But it seemed joyful moments were constantly followed by tearful and sad moments, which I guess is the story of Israel.

The group sang, along with an Orthodox family at Shabbat dinner, and then sobbed at Yad Vashem. They explored the markets and laughed with people on the streets, and then cried when a kibbutz mother explained that she can only carry two of her children to the bomb shelters when the sirens go off.Joy, and then tears, and then joy, and then tears. The emotional roller coaster of this place is just on a constant loop.

As we depart, each person describes what especially touched them. Many mentioned the Ethiopian Jewish woman who described her incredible life experience, from abject poverty in Ethiopia to the Israeli Knesset. She said when she first came to Israel as a child she was shocked to see there was such a thing as white Jews. What claim do THEY have to Judaism? she thought.

The students have now experienced the real Israel, not the narrative of the media. Firsthand knowledge has replaced preconceived or misconceived notions. They each say they are forever changed, and I believe them. Once again, the Promised Land has delivered.

For me, I am happy and sad. I so love this place and get such joy out of seeing first-timers especially these kids experience it for themselves. But yet I also experience waves of great sadness when Im here.

Israel lives under an ominous cloud. Its enemies are everywhere; their weapons are getting more sophisticated; anti-Semitism is on the rise; and world support for Israel is waning. We Jews put on a brave face and embrace the future with faith and determination, but who can deny that we face increasingly daunting odds?

I see the Israeli kids on the beach in Tel Aviv joyfully playing volleyball. Around them, music is blaring, people are skateboarding, laughing in the cafes, couples are strolling along the waterside, watching a spectacular Mediterranean sunset, seemingly without a care in the world. I think: This is exactly the picture of what this place is supposed to look like.

David Ben-Gurion, Israels first prime minister, once said: In Israel, in order to be a realist one must believe in miracles.

I will take his lead. I am a realist and so I, too, must believe in miracles.

Jacobs and some students from Detroit at the Knesset menorah

Mark Jacobs with some of the students on the trip

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From Religions to Terrorism, African American Students Take In All Sides of Israel – The Jewish News

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Relative of Paris supermarket attack victim makes aliya, flees antisemitism – The Jerusalem Post

FRENCH POLICE OFFICERS stand guard outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris on January 10, 2015.. (photo credit:YVES HERMAN / REUTERS)

A sister-in-law of a victim in the 2015 Paris supermarket terror attack has immigrated to Israel, fleeing a sense of insecurity living as an Orthodox Jew in France.

Eva Saban was one of 150 French Jews who arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport Tuesday evening aboard a flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

We have been wanting to make aliya for a while, but after the terror attack at the Hyper Cacher we were left with no doubts. We are living in fear, Saban said. Her brother-in-law Philippe Braham was one of four people killed after being taken hostage in the kosher supermarket, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.

Our children go to an Orthodox school and as they leave the building they remove the kippa from their head. We no longer are sure of what we would like to do next, but we are confident that this is the right move for our children, and we pray to God it will all work out.

The immigrants ranged from one-month to 77 years of age. Among them were two families spanning three generations and 77 of the new olim were children.

Many of those arriving are from lower-middle class backgrounds and will receive assistance from the fellowship in their absorption. The olim plan to settle throughout Israel, including in Netanya, Ashdod, Ariel, Hadera, Haifa, Jerusalem, Modiin Illit, Raanana, and Tel Aviv, though most will live in Ashdod and Netanya.

According to the fellowship, about 80% of the olim come from suburbs of Paris where there are large Muslim populations and have expressed living in a state of tension and even persecution. Many of the parents said they sought a better and safer future for their children in Israel.

Aliya has always been and is still a determining factor in Israeli society, said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the fellowship. The olim coming on aliya from France have experienced some terrible incidents of hatred directed at them for one reason only simply because they are Jewish.

The Jewish Agency for Israel conveyed a contrasting message last week, when 200 French immigrants arrived in Israel on the largest aliya flight scheduled to arrive from Europe this summer.

Immigrants from France make aliya out of choice and not as an escape: a world of possibilities is open to them and they choose to come to Israel, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said. Their choice points to the importance of Jewish identity and the sense of belonging that the State of Israel can give to Jews who want to take part in the great Jewish story.

French immigration to Israel has surged since 2012, breaking records for aliya from Western countries. More than 10% of the French Jewish community has immigrated to Israel since 2000, with half of them arriving in the past five years alone.

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Relative of Paris supermarket attack victim makes aliya, flees antisemitism – The Jerusalem Post

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Christian Zionists still uncertain about Trump but know they’re glad Obama is out – Cleveland Jewish News

WASHINGTON Barack Obama is gone and the relief among the Christian Zionists and their Jewish friends who peopled certain corners of Washington, D.C., this week was palpable.

Gary Bauer, the veteran evangelical activist, laid it out at the opening session of Christians United for Israels annual conference on Monday.

A year ago, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the next, we had people who were not blessing Israel, they were cursing Israel, said Bauer, who was recently named director of CUFIs Washington office.

Now, Bauer said to applause, Pastor John Hagee, CUFIs founder, was able to attend White House meetings.

J Street and their supporters like George Soros are out and CUFI and Pastor Hagee are in! he said.

The audience let out a cheer, relishing the scathing references to the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby and the billionaire funder of liberal causes, including J Street.

Some 5,000 activists from across the country attended the 12th conference of the Christian Zionist group, which has over 3.5 million members. Members gathered to hear from top Jewish, Israeli and political leaders; lobby for legislation, includinga measure that expands anti-boycott laws and another that cuts nearly all U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it curtails incitement, and celebrate the new political climate in Washington.

Missing from the proceedings, though, was a full-throated endorsement, at least from the leadership, of the change agent: President Donald Trump.

On a panel Monday, Hagee voiced concerns about Trumps commitment to the conservative groups top priority, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Moving to Jerusalem would prove that our president stands by his word, Hagee said.

Allen West, a former Republican congressman who is immensely popular in the conservative pro-Israel community, was blunt speaking on the same panel.

If you have spoken about this and dont follow through, then its a matter of credibility, he said.

To be sure, the CUFI representatives were clear that they preferred Trump to Obama and specified why: Trump opposed the Iran nuclear deal that Obama negotiated, trading sanctions relief for a rollback of Irans nuclear program (although Trump has yet to withdraw from it).

Trump is friendlier with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and this was noted by speakers including Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Hoenlein spoke on the panel with Hagee and West.

The U.S.-Israel relationship is stronger than it was last year, more vibrant, more committed, the Jewish leader said.

Speakers mentioned Pence as soon as they mentioned Trump, reassuring themselves that they had at least one true friend in the White House.

I believe God Almighty has strategically placed Vice President Mike Pence at the side of President Trump, said Erick Stakelbeck, who hosts a CUFI-affiliated TV show.

In describing a visit to the Oval Office earlier this year by the CUFI leadership, Stakelbeck barely touched on Trump, instead lavishing praise on Pence, a Catholic turned evangelical Christian who became one of the countrys mostsocially conservativelegislators and governors.

There was no teleprompter, Stakelbeck said of Pence. I can tell you he spoke from the heart.

Pence, the star speaker of the conference, was not subtle in drawing the contrast with the Obama administration.

In President Trump, America once again has a leader who will stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies, he said in his speech Monday. And this president calls our enemies by their name.

Pro-Israel groups to the left of CUFI would contest many of the assumptions underpinning the conference. They would note that Obama substantially increased security assistance to Israel and pursued the Iran deal because he believed it to be the only means to keep Iran free of nuclear weapons.

Hagee in a passing remark said that under Obama, America took in fewer Christian refugees from the Middle East a myth popular among the former presidents critics. Nearly half of all the refugees taken in by the U.S. since 2013 are Christians, and Christian refugees were disproportionately represented among the Syrian refugees absorbed from that countrys civil war.

As he has in the past, Pence offered assurances that the U.S. Embassy in Israel would move to Jerusalem.

I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he said. It is not a question of if, it is only when.

As Indiana governor and before that as a congressman, Pence had a long and intimate relationship with the pro-Israel community. His state was among the first to pass laws targeting the boycott Israel movement.

For my part, like all of you, my passion for Israel springs from my Christian faith, he said. The songs of the land and the people of Israel were the anthems of my youth.

Trump, by contrast, had few Israel affiliations before his presidential run, although he has always had plenty of Jews in his orbit, not least his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

At his first encounter as a candidate with a Jewish group, in December 2015, when he spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump said he would prefer to remain neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and would not commit to recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Trump eventually adjusted his views on Israel to bring them mostly in line with the pro-Israel right, and enthusiasm for the president among the CUFI membership remains high. Hagee, launching the conference Monday morning, just had to mention Trumps name to elicit huge cheers. Notably, however, Hagee also coupled Trumps name with Pence.

God has provided Israel with friends like President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who are standing by Israels side and determined to defeat every boycott of the Jewish state, he said, repeating himself to be heard above the cheers.

Pastor Scott Thomas, who heads CUFIs Florida operations, said Trumps advent was a relief in and of itself.

Were very encouraged by the disappearance of daylight between the U.S. and Israel relations, he told JTA in an interview, an allusion to Obamas rejection of the concept of no daylight between the United States and Israel at the outset of his presidency. We want to see that closer and we believe this Trump administration is bringing that. We love the affinity that weve seen witnessed between Trump and Netanyahu.

CUFI remains ostensibly nonpartisan there were no Democrats speaking at the conference, but they were invited, staff said.

But deference to bipartisanship, eagerly observed once upon a time, was treated almost as an amusing afterthought at this conference.

Quipped John Bolton, a former ambassador to the United States, Unlike the last eight years thats sort of a random number we dont have bad state-to-state relations with the government of Israel anymore.

(JTA Washington intern Giovanna Paz contributed to this report.)

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Christian Zionists still uncertain about Trump but know they’re glad Obama is out – Cleveland Jewish News

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Islamic body orders Muslim clerics hold Friday prayers near Temple Mount – The Jerusalem Post

Israeli policemen secure the scene of the shooting attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City July 14, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

The Jerusalem Islamic Wakf instructed preachers and imams in Jerusalem not to deliver sermons in the holy citys mosques and instead attend prayers adjacent to the Temple Mount, Wakf Director Azzam al-Khatib said on Wednesday.

They [preachers and imams] will not deliver sermons in the mosques, but rather go to the blessed al-Aksa Mosque, Khatib said, referring to the mosque located on the Temple Mount, a holy site to Jews and Muslims. The Wakf is the branch of the Jordanian government that administers the Temple Mount and other Islamic sites in Jerusalem.

The Wakfs decision to order preachers and imams not to deliver sermons in Jerusalems mosques comes after Israel installed metal detectors in front of the entrances to the Temple Mount on Monday. Preachers and Imams traditionally lead Friday prayers in Jerusalems mosques.

While the Wakf has rejected the metal detectors and called on Muslim worshipers not to go through them in order to enter the Temple Mount, the Police has said that the metal detectors are meant to ensure security after finding weapons there.

The police discovered a handful of weapons on the Temple Mount last weekend after closing the site for two days following a shooting attack near one of its entrances. The attack left two police officers dead.

On Wednesday, Muslim worshipers prayed for the fourth consecutive day adjacent to the Temple Mount in protest of the metal detectors.

I cant go through those metal detectors because they are meant to humiliate me, Obada Ghoul, a 21-year-old resident of Silwan, said on Monday.

The Police has said hundreds of worshipers have passed through the detectors without any problems.

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Hagee: Israel will always be the victor – The Jerusalem Post

Members of Christians United for Israel march to show solidarity with Israel, in Jerusalem, in 2008. . (photo credit:ELIANA APONTE/REUTERS)

For almost 70 years, the State of Israel has seen its enemies attempt numerous wars and many different methods of attack. But for all that they try, they will never have the advantage, Pastor John Hagee said.

Israels enemies may continue to adapt but they will never be able to outmaneuver the hand of almighty God, he said at the 12th annual Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington on Monday to thundering applause.

Celebrating 50 years of Jerusalems reunification, the San Antonio pastor and founder of the CUFI organization told the audience how Israels enemies constantly changed tactics, going from conventional war, to guerrilla fighting, to terrorists planting bombs in buses, to suicide bombers blowing themselves up in cafes, to firing rockets and trying to infiltrate Israel via terrorist tunnels. Mentioning the newest front the boycott, divest and sanctions movement Hagee said that the threats will continue.

BDS is a manifesto void of any ideology, other than hatred with the sole mission of total and complete destruction of the economy of the State Israel, he said.

God will always be there, but that doesnt mean that the role Christians, including the 3.5 million grassroots members of the organization, must play has diminished.

[The war on BDS] will yield less bloodshed, but the same result [as a conventional war is what the enemy is trying to achieve]: the destruction of Israel, he said. BDS is economic antisemitism, and it must be stopped in every state of the United States of America.

Hagee said that 22 states already passed legislation to sanction companies that sanction Israeli companies, shutting them off at the gate, and he previously mentioned that by the end of the year, CUFI expects more than half the states in the Union to have advanced anti-BDS measures.

If you think you are going to punish Israel, we are going to punish you, he said. Victory is going to be ours. In his opening remarks, Hagee said that the organization held its first summit just as Israel was beginning the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and it has been supporting the Jewish state at its summit in other difficult times, such as 2014s Operation Protective Edge and in 2015 when the Obama administration reached a deal regarding Irans nuclear power, which was an absolute betrayal of Israel and the Jewish people.

Things are different in 2017, however. Mentioning how God provided friends like US President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence who are determined to help Israel, the audience gave a standing ovation.

Recalling the events of the 1967 Six Day War, Hagee said UN peacekeepers just ran away from protecting Israel before the war when the Egyptian president asked them to because he wanted to attack Israel. The UN seems to never change.

Yaki (Jacob) Hetz, a 55th Brigade reservist paratrooper who fought in the battle to liberate Jerusalem, received an award from CUFI. Fighting in the trenches in Ammunition Hill, Hetz took over command, being wounded by shrapnel, and eventually led his men to victory, receiving Israels highest military decoration.

I am receiving the [CUFI] award, but I am the representative of hundreds of thousands of Israeli fighters, he said. A grandson of a Holocaust martyr, Hetz said that he prayed for the Isaiah 2:4 prophecy to be fulfilled, but in the Middle East, Israel must remain strong.

David Brog, the director of CUFI, said that the anti-Israel propaganda on university campuses must be stopped. 50 years ago the Jews dared to fight back and dared to survive. Thats not a tragedy. Thats a miracle! sign up to our newsletter

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Hagee: Israel will always be the victor – The Jerusalem Post

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Why Jews Everywhere Should Be Helping Egypt’s Christians … – Algemeiner

And they didnt just pray. Their sincere concern for the well-being of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel. It is our honor to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldnt give me nearly as much joy and fulfillment, the pastor told me. I left his house feeling awed and inspired. I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us, I thought. July 26, 2017 10:41 am Truth be told, on the whole, we as a people have done an excellent job in raising awareness among our children and our communities about the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world)of reaching out and supporting worthy causes beyond those that directly affect Jews. At almost every rally and peaceful protest, you can see an Israeli flag, the Star of David or another identifier of Jewish presence. We are helping Syrian refugees, standing up for womens rights and volunteering in the worlds poorest countriesjust to name a few causes we champion. Helping others who suffer from persecution, injustice or discrimination is a hallmark of the Jewish community, and I am proud of that. But at the same time, there are cries that have gone unheard, such as those of the Christians being systematically persecutedand slaughteredacross the Middle East. Coptic Christians, an indigenous population inEgypt dating back to the 1st century AD, have been especially targeted. They represent almost 10 percent of Egypts population, and are being persecuted by Islamic terrorists. At least 28 Coptic Christians, including many children, were ambushed and murdered on May 26 as they traveled by bus to a monastery. In April, two terror attacks hit crowded Coptic churches killing at least 44 people. Since January 2017, hundreds ofCopts have been targeted, murdered and systematically threatened. In response to this horrific campaign of terror, I am astounded that the Jewish community has remained virtually silent. The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (the Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the US and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the Jewish states economy and morale. If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues that we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda? For the last few years, Egypts Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history, and we have vowed never to let it happen again.

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July 23, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Jewish mother, Christian father and Muslim daughters under one roof in Egypt – StepFeed

The Muslim-majority country’s once-vibrant Jewish community has shrunk to a handful of people. While there is no officialcount of the number of Jews living in Egypt today,it was reported to stand at 13 Jews in 2014, according to Egypt Independent. In July 2016, Haroun mentioned that there are only six Jewish women in the country. In the mid-1940s, Egypt’s Jewish community peaked at over 80,000 people, according to Time magazine. Since then, after the establishment of Israel, and former Egyptian presidentGamal Abdel Nasser’smass expulsion of Egyptian Jews, a majority of the latter fled toEurope, Israel, and the United States. Haroun’s family was among those who chose to stay in the country. Haroun attended university in Cairo and eventually took on the family business, an intellectual property firm. “I’m sick of it,” Haroun said about the diminishing community. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and Im crying because I dont know what will happen. Its very hard to explain. Its very heavy. Its very sad. Its very frightening.”

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July 21, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Why Jews everywhere should be helping Egypt’s Christians – JNS.org

By Yael Eckstein/JNS.org During Israels Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, I had dinner with a Christian pastor and his family in North Carolina. I was stunned and impressed that each time a rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel, the familys Code Red app blared on their cellphones and they stopped whatever they were doing to pray for Israelis in danger. And they didnt just pray. Their sincere concern for the wellbeing of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel to help protect us. It is our honor to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldnt give me nearly as much joy and fulfillment, the pastor told me. I left his house feeling awed and inspired. I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us, I thought. Truth be told, on the whole, we as a people have done an excellent job in raising awareness among our children and our communities about the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world), of reaching out and supporting worthy causes beyond those that directly affect Jews. At almost every rally and peaceful protest, you can see an Israeli flag, the Star of David or another identifier of Jewish presence. We are helping Syrian refugees, standing up for womens rights and volunteering in the worlds poorest countries, just to name a few causes we champion. Helping others who suffer from persecution, injustice or discrimination is a hallmark of the Jewish community, and I am proud of that. But at the same time, there are cries that have gone unheard, such as those of the Christians being systematically persecutedand slaughteredacross the Middle East. Coptic Christians, an indigenous population of Egypt dating back to the 1st century A.D., hundreds of years before Muslims even came on the scene, have been especially targeted. They represent almost 10 percent of Egypts population and are being persecuted by Islamic terrorists. At least 28 Coptic Christians, including many children, were ambushed and murdered May 26 as they traveled by bus to a monastery. Two terror attacks hit crowded Coptic churches April 10, killing at least 44 people. Since January 2017, more than 100 Copts have been targeted, murdered and systematically threatened. In response to this horrific campaign of terror, I am astounded that the Jewish community has remained virtually silent. The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the U.S. and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the the Jewish states economy and morale. If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer and for different just causes, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda? For the last few years, Egypts Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (and sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history and we have vowed never to let it happen again.

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Christianity was founded by an observant Jew – Catholic Star Herald

Pope John Paul II greets Rabbi Elio Toaff at Romes main synagogue April 13, 1986. The meeting marked the beginning of a new era in Catholic-Jewish relations. It was the first time a pope had entered the Rome synagogue. CNS photo/Arturo Mari, LOsservatore Romano I imagine we older Catholics could be forgiven if we presumed Jesus was a Catholic like us. After all, he started us off by giving Peter a new identity as Rock, or Cephas in Aramaic, when he said, You are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church. (Mt 16: 18). The fact is, he was a good observant Jew, practiced in reading the Hebrew Scriptures and attending shabat synagogue. Nazareths was where he preached such a fiery sermon early in his career that his own neighbors were infuriated enough to seize him and take him to the brow of a hill to throw him to his death. Today, bishops assign newly ordained priests away from their home parishes, especially if they have the courage to preach social justice homilies. Mary and Joseph had taught him well, aware that parents are the first and best teachers in the ways of the faith who dont wait for later educators. Their Jewish loyalty saw to his being initiated into Judaism eight days after birth. It continued well past his visit to the Jerusalem temple at 12, when he discussed the Law with the amazed rabbis there, doing his Fathers business, even if his mother scolded him for getting lost for three days. At one point his disciples, or students, asked him how to pray. The Lords Prayer was his answer, and it reveals his Jewishness on a couple of counts. Take the familiar Jewish dependence on God as provider of everything: Give me neither poverty nor riches. Provide me only with the food I need, lest being full, I deny you saying, Who is the Lord? Or being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God (Prv 30f). Jesus called on his Jewish disciples familiarity with Sirachs Forgive your neighbors injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven (28: 2). Sirach and he made their own forgiveness of others to be the kind they could expect of the all-merciful God, who is not impressed with mere words when the deeds are absent. With the terrible burning of the Temple and Jerusalem with it by the Romans in July of 70 A.D. and the flight of the people from the city, the canon or official list of Old Testament books excluded Sirach because it originated outside Israel, in Egypt. Thus Jews and therefore Protestants do not consider Sirach, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Baruch and 1 and 2 Maccabees to be canonical, but they revere these as noteworthy. This makes the Catholic Bible seven books longer than those of our Jewish and Protestant friends. We formed our canon at the 1545-63 Council of Trent. All of which should cause us Catholics and other Christians to respect our Jewish ancestors in the faith. As Pope John said, We all are spiritual Semites, he who did so much to rescue thousands of Jews from the Holocaust while serving in Turkey. We need reminders like this. As Swiss theologian Hans Kung said, anti-Semitism is the churchs longest-standing sin. By the end of the first century, the tail was wagging the dog. Gentile converts to Christianity were multiplying despite the emperors persecutions while Jewish membership fell off. Someone got the idea that it would be good religion to harass both Jewish Christians and Jewish non-Christians. How God was supposed to be pleased with this attack on Gods Chosen People, a designation never retracted, still mystifies. The Holocaust it means wholly burnt sacrificial offering did not just start in 20th century Nazism. Economic explanations have been offered. A people uninterested in evangelizing because blood lines established membership, thus uninterested in getting new Gentile members, pulled together and made themselves stronger against the pogroms, becoming a formidable force in banking, the only field some countries left to them because money handling was considered beneath Christian dignity. Yet Christians did not hesitate to borrow from Jewish bankers. In Venice, Jews were consigned to an island of their own after centuries of living well with Christians there. The Yiddish word for divorce then was ghet, Italianized to ghetto. Jews were divorced from mainstream society, required to live in Jewish compounds. Into the 20th century the city of Romes law forbade the entrance of a synagogue being placed on a main street. A 20th century pope was the first successor of Jewish Peter to visit a synagogue. Hard to imagine Jewish Jesus approving much of this.

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From Religions to Terrorism, African American Students Take In All Sides of Israel – The Jewish News

I write this article at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Soon I will be boarding a plane home after a 12-day trip throughout Israel. But the trip is hardly the typical trip American Jews take to Israel. I have been part of the faculty for 80 African American college students who went to Israel to build bridges of understanding between the U.S. and Israel as well as to connect with their Christian biblical roots. The group is sponsored by Passages Israel, sometimes referred to as Birthright for Christians. They send more than 1,000 students a year to Israel. In their mission statement, they proudly proclaim that Israel is a force of good in the region and the world. I was invited to join the faculty because of my involvement with AIPACs African American Outreach division. With Passages, my job was to get to know the students and then, when I return, help the organization develop curriculum so the students can stay connected to Israel and Judaism. A tall order, yes, but a privilege and an honor to undertake. Im a firm believer that Jews must reach out to non-Jews. There are only 15 million of us in a world of 7 billion people, so we had better foster good relations outside of our tiny community. And a strong alliance with African Americans a people also victimized by unspeakable crimes and injustices throughout history makes perfect sense. Its a natural, and Im proud to do my part. The students are very bright, inquisitive and kind. Each was hand-picked by their pastor as someone likely to be a future leader a pastor, professional, lawmaker, entrepreneur. Our Israeli guide, Tal Mageed from Jerusalem, and I are the only Jews on the bus. At first, I admit, that was an odd feeling, but that quickly dissipated as I came to know and appreciate each student. A New Impression Their initial knowledge of Israel (rather, lack of it) reflects the sparse, half-truth bias that often makes its way into America:that Israel is a big, bad, apartheid state with a tenuous claim to its own land. Yes, many believe, Israel has its biblical roots, but its modern-day goodness and right to even exist is debatable. Israels brand if were really being honest is badly tarnished, perhaps irrevocably to many non-Jews. So, visits to Israel, exposure to the facts on the ground, face-to-face relationships and constant education are the only ways to address this challenge. Passages, under the brilliant leadership of Scott Phillips, a former Christian AIPAC staff member who led Christian Outreach there, has carefully crafted a very strategic itinerary. It was heavily Christian at first (Nazareth, Galilee, Stations of the Cross, baptisms in the Jordan River) and then a shift to Jewish experiences (a kibbutz outside of the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, Shabbat dinner at the home of an Orthodox family, the Western Wall, Yad Vashem and ending with the singing of Hatikvah at Independence Hall, in the very room where Ben-Gurion declared Israels statehood). Interspersed throughout the trip was an impressive flow of dynamic speakers: an Israeli peace negotiator, an Orthodox scholar, a Palestinian journalist, an Ethiopian Israeli woman who served in the Knesset, a panel of IDF officers, a startup entrepreneur and a representative of a clinic that treats PTSD. Tal and I are constantly telling the students things they had never heard before and are stunned to learn that there are Palestinian schools named after suicide bombers, that terror tunnels from Gaza continue to be dug, that when enemy rockets are launched Israelis have between 10 and 15 seconds to find a bomb shelter, that Hamas Charter calls for Israels destruction, that Hezbollah in Lebanon is now thought to have more than 100,000 rockets threatening Israel, etc. The Israeli Reality And just as the students are taking all of this in, something terrible happens. While we are in the Old City, there is a fatal stabbing, just minutes from us. A female police officer, just 23, was attacked by three terrorists who were all quickly shot dead. Some in our group even heard the shots. I look up her name and face and see the photo of a beautiful, youthful girl named Hadas Malka. The sadness among the students is palpable; the school lesson is now all too real. We had been noticing young uniformed girls all day, just like Hadas. Some cry over the loss of her young life. For me, its like a death in the family. My heart is now officially broken. At the Western Wall, I peel away from the group for some alone time. Anyone whos been there knows the power of that place and, of course, I am deeply moved. But when I return to the group I see something I never expected many of the kids are crying, some hysterically. They see me and we tearfully and silently hold onto long hugs. No words are necessary. There were plenty of moments of joy for us on the trip. But it seemed joyful moments were constantly followed by tearful and sad moments, which I guess is the story of Israel. The group sang, along with an Orthodox family at Shabbat dinner, and then sobbed at Yad Vashem. They explored the markets and laughed with people on the streets, and then cried when a kibbutz mother explained that she can only carry two of her children to the bomb shelters when the sirens go off.Joy, and then tears, and then joy, and then tears. The emotional roller coaster of this place is just on a constant loop. As we depart, each person describes what especially touched them. Many mentioned the Ethiopian Jewish woman who described her incredible life experience, from abject poverty in Ethiopia to the Israeli Knesset. She said when she first came to Israel as a child she was shocked to see there was such a thing as white Jews. What claim do THEY have to Judaism? she thought. The students have now experienced the real Israel, not the narrative of the media. Firsthand knowledge has replaced preconceived or misconceived notions. They each say they are forever changed, and I believe them. Once again, the Promised Land has delivered. For me, I am happy and sad. I so love this place and get such joy out of seeing first-timers especially these kids experience it for themselves. But yet I also experience waves of great sadness when Im here. Israel lives under an ominous cloud. Its enemies are everywhere; their weapons are getting more sophisticated; anti-Semitism is on the rise; and world support for Israel is waning. We Jews put on a brave face and embrace the future with faith and determination, but who can deny that we face increasingly daunting odds? I see the Israeli kids on the beach in Tel Aviv joyfully playing volleyball. Around them, music is blaring, people are skateboarding, laughing in the cafes, couples are strolling along the waterside, watching a spectacular Mediterranean sunset, seemingly without a care in the world. I think: This is exactly the picture of what this place is supposed to look like. David Ben-Gurion, Israels first prime minister, once said: In Israel, in order to be a realist one must believe in miracles. I will take his lead. I am a realist and so I, too, must believe in miracles. Jacobs and some students from Detroit at the Knesset menorah Mark Jacobs with some of the students on the trip

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Relative of Paris supermarket attack victim makes aliya, flees antisemitism – The Jerusalem Post

FRENCH POLICE OFFICERS stand guard outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris on January 10, 2015.. (photo credit:YVES HERMAN / REUTERS) A sister-in-law of a victim in the 2015 Paris supermarket terror attack has immigrated to Israel, fleeing a sense of insecurity living as an Orthodox Jew in France. Eva Saban was one of 150 French Jews who arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport Tuesday evening aboard a flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. We have been wanting to make aliya for a while, but after the terror attack at the Hyper Cacher we were left with no doubts. We are living in fear, Saban said. Her brother-in-law Philippe Braham was one of four people killed after being taken hostage in the kosher supermarket, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack. Our children go to an Orthodox school and as they leave the building they remove the kippa from their head. We no longer are sure of what we would like to do next, but we are confident that this is the right move for our children, and we pray to God it will all work out. The immigrants ranged from one-month to 77 years of age. Among them were two families spanning three generations and 77 of the new olim were children. Many of those arriving are from lower-middle class backgrounds and will receive assistance from the fellowship in their absorption. The olim plan to settle throughout Israel, including in Netanya, Ashdod, Ariel, Hadera, Haifa, Jerusalem, Modiin Illit, Raanana, and Tel Aviv, though most will live in Ashdod and Netanya. According to the fellowship, about 80% of the olim come from suburbs of Paris where there are large Muslim populations and have expressed living in a state of tension and even persecution. Many of the parents said they sought a better and safer future for their children in Israel. Aliya has always been and is still a determining factor in Israeli society, said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the fellowship. The olim coming on aliya from France have experienced some terrible incidents of hatred directed at them for one reason only simply because they are Jewish. The Jewish Agency for Israel conveyed a contrasting message last week, when 200 French immigrants arrived in Israel on the largest aliya flight scheduled to arrive from Europe this summer. Immigrants from France make aliya out of choice and not as an escape: a world of possibilities is open to them and they choose to come to Israel, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said. Their choice points to the importance of Jewish identity and the sense of belonging that the State of Israel can give to Jews who want to take part in the great Jewish story. French immigration to Israel has surged since 2012, breaking records for aliya from Western countries. More than 10% of the French Jewish community has immigrated to Israel since 2000, with half of them arriving in the past five years alone. Share on facebook

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Christian Zionists still uncertain about Trump but know they’re glad Obama is out – Cleveland Jewish News

WASHINGTON Barack Obama is gone and the relief among the Christian Zionists and their Jewish friends who peopled certain corners of Washington, D.C., this week was palpable. Gary Bauer, the veteran evangelical activist, laid it out at the opening session of Christians United for Israels annual conference on Monday. A year ago, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the next, we had people who were not blessing Israel, they were cursing Israel, said Bauer, who was recently named director of CUFIs Washington office. Now, Bauer said to applause, Pastor John Hagee, CUFIs founder, was able to attend White House meetings. J Street and their supporters like George Soros are out and CUFI and Pastor Hagee are in! he said. The audience let out a cheer, relishing the scathing references to the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby and the billionaire funder of liberal causes, including J Street. Some 5,000 activists from across the country attended the 12th conference of the Christian Zionist group, which has over 3.5 million members. Members gathered to hear from top Jewish, Israeli and political leaders; lobby for legislation, includinga measure that expands anti-boycott laws and another that cuts nearly all U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it curtails incitement, and celebrate the new political climate in Washington. Missing from the proceedings, though, was a full-throated endorsement, at least from the leadership, of the change agent: President Donald Trump. On a panel Monday, Hagee voiced concerns about Trumps commitment to the conservative groups top priority, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Moving to Jerusalem would prove that our president stands by his word, Hagee said. Allen West, a former Republican congressman who is immensely popular in the conservative pro-Israel community, was blunt speaking on the same panel. If you have spoken about this and dont follow through, then its a matter of credibility, he said. To be sure, the CUFI representatives were clear that they preferred Trump to Obama and specified why: Trump opposed the Iran nuclear deal that Obama negotiated, trading sanctions relief for a rollback of Irans nuclear program (although Trump has yet to withdraw from it). Trump is friendlier with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and this was noted by speakers including Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Hoenlein spoke on the panel with Hagee and West. The U.S.-Israel relationship is stronger than it was last year, more vibrant, more committed, the Jewish leader said. Speakers mentioned Pence as soon as they mentioned Trump, reassuring themselves that they had at least one true friend in the White House. I believe God Almighty has strategically placed Vice President Mike Pence at the side of President Trump, said Erick Stakelbeck, who hosts a CUFI-affiliated TV show. In describing a visit to the Oval Office earlier this year by the CUFI leadership, Stakelbeck barely touched on Trump, instead lavishing praise on Pence, a Catholic turned evangelical Christian who became one of the countrys mostsocially conservativelegislators and governors. There was no teleprompter, Stakelbeck said of Pence. I can tell you he spoke from the heart. Pence, the star speaker of the conference, was not subtle in drawing the contrast with the Obama administration. In President Trump, America once again has a leader who will stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies, he said in his speech Monday. And this president calls our enemies by their name. Pro-Israel groups to the left of CUFI would contest many of the assumptions underpinning the conference. They would note that Obama substantially increased security assistance to Israel and pursued the Iran deal because he believed it to be the only means to keep Iran free of nuclear weapons. Hagee in a passing remark said that under Obama, America took in fewer Christian refugees from the Middle East a myth popular among the former presidents critics. Nearly half of all the refugees taken in by the U.S. since 2013 are Christians, and Christian refugees were disproportionately represented among the Syrian refugees absorbed from that countrys civil war. As he has in the past, Pence offered assurances that the U.S. Embassy in Israel would move to Jerusalem. I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he said. It is not a question of if, it is only when. As Indiana governor and before that as a congressman, Pence had a long and intimate relationship with the pro-Israel community. His state was among the first to pass laws targeting the boycott Israel movement. For my part, like all of you, my passion for Israel springs from my Christian faith, he said. The songs of the land and the people of Israel were the anthems of my youth. Trump, by contrast, had few Israel affiliations before his presidential run, although he has always had plenty of Jews in his orbit, not least his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. At his first encounter as a candidate with a Jewish group, in December 2015, when he spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump said he would prefer to remain neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and would not commit to recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital. Trump eventually adjusted his views on Israel to bring them mostly in line with the pro-Israel right, and enthusiasm for the president among the CUFI membership remains high. Hagee, launching the conference Monday morning, just had to mention Trumps name to elicit huge cheers. Notably, however, Hagee also coupled Trumps name with Pence. God has provided Israel with friends like President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who are standing by Israels side and determined to defeat every boycott of the Jewish state, he said, repeating himself to be heard above the cheers. Pastor Scott Thomas, who heads CUFIs Florida operations, said Trumps advent was a relief in and of itself. Were very encouraged by the disappearance of daylight between the U.S. and Israel relations, he told JTA in an interview, an allusion to Obamas rejection of the concept of no daylight between the United States and Israel at the outset of his presidency. We want to see that closer and we believe this Trump administration is bringing that. We love the affinity that weve seen witnessed between Trump and Netanyahu. CUFI remains ostensibly nonpartisan there were no Democrats speaking at the conference, but they were invited, staff said. But deference to bipartisanship, eagerly observed once upon a time, was treated almost as an amusing afterthought at this conference. Quipped John Bolton, a former ambassador to the United States, Unlike the last eight years thats sort of a random number we dont have bad state-to-state relations with the government of Israel anymore. (JTA Washington intern Giovanna Paz contributed to this report.)

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Islamic body orders Muslim clerics hold Friday prayers near Temple Mount – The Jerusalem Post

Israeli policemen secure the scene of the shooting attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City July 14, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD) The Jerusalem Islamic Wakf instructed preachers and imams in Jerusalem not to deliver sermons in the holy citys mosques and instead attend prayers adjacent to the Temple Mount, Wakf Director Azzam al-Khatib said on Wednesday. They [preachers and imams] will not deliver sermons in the mosques, but rather go to the blessed al-Aksa Mosque, Khatib said, referring to the mosque located on the Temple Mount, a holy site to Jews and Muslims. The Wakf is the branch of the Jordanian government that administers the Temple Mount and other Islamic sites in Jerusalem. The Wakfs decision to order preachers and imams not to deliver sermons in Jerusalems mosques comes after Israel installed metal detectors in front of the entrances to the Temple Mount on Monday. Preachers and Imams traditionally lead Friday prayers in Jerusalems mosques. While the Wakf has rejected the metal detectors and called on Muslim worshipers not to go through them in order to enter the Temple Mount, the Police has said that the metal detectors are meant to ensure security after finding weapons there. The police discovered a handful of weapons on the Temple Mount last weekend after closing the site for two days following a shooting attack near one of its entrances. The attack left two police officers dead. On Wednesday, Muslim worshipers prayed for the fourth consecutive day adjacent to the Temple Mount in protest of the metal detectors. I cant go through those metal detectors because they are meant to humiliate me, Obada Ghoul, a 21-year-old resident of Silwan, said on Monday. The Police has said hundreds of worshipers have passed through the detectors without any problems. Share on facebook

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Hagee: Israel will always be the victor – The Jerusalem Post

Members of Christians United for Israel march to show solidarity with Israel, in Jerusalem, in 2008. . (photo credit:ELIANA APONTE/REUTERS) For almost 70 years, the State of Israel has seen its enemies attempt numerous wars and many different methods of attack. But for all that they try, they will never have the advantage, Pastor John Hagee said. Israels enemies may continue to adapt but they will never be able to outmaneuver the hand of almighty God, he said at the 12th annual Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington on Monday to thundering applause. Celebrating 50 years of Jerusalems reunification, the San Antonio pastor and founder of the CUFI organization told the audience how Israels enemies constantly changed tactics, going from conventional war, to guerrilla fighting, to terrorists planting bombs in buses, to suicide bombers blowing themselves up in cafes, to firing rockets and trying to infiltrate Israel via terrorist tunnels. Mentioning the newest front the boycott, divest and sanctions movement Hagee said that the threats will continue. BDS is a manifesto void of any ideology, other than hatred with the sole mission of total and complete destruction of the economy of the State Israel, he said. God will always be there, but that doesnt mean that the role Christians, including the 3.5 million grassroots members of the organization, must play has diminished. [The war on BDS] will yield less bloodshed, but the same result [as a conventional war is what the enemy is trying to achieve]: the destruction of Israel, he said. BDS is economic antisemitism, and it must be stopped in every state of the United States of America. Hagee said that 22 states already passed legislation to sanction companies that sanction Israeli companies, shutting them off at the gate, and he previously mentioned that by the end of the year, CUFI expects more than half the states in the Union to have advanced anti-BDS measures. If you think you are going to punish Israel, we are going to punish you, he said. Victory is going to be ours. In his opening remarks, Hagee said that the organization held its first summit just as Israel was beginning the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and it has been supporting the Jewish state at its summit in other difficult times, such as 2014s Operation Protective Edge and in 2015 when the Obama administration reached a deal regarding Irans nuclear power, which was an absolute betrayal of Israel and the Jewish people. Things are different in 2017, however. Mentioning how God provided friends like US President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence who are determined to help Israel, the audience gave a standing ovation. Recalling the events of the 1967 Six Day War, Hagee said UN peacekeepers just ran away from protecting Israel before the war when the Egyptian president asked them to because he wanted to attack Israel. The UN seems to never change. Yaki (Jacob) Hetz, a 55th Brigade reservist paratrooper who fought in the battle to liberate Jerusalem, received an award from CUFI. Fighting in the trenches in Ammunition Hill, Hetz took over command, being wounded by shrapnel, and eventually led his men to victory, receiving Israels highest military decoration. I am receiving the [CUFI] award, but I am the representative of hundreds of thousands of Israeli fighters, he said. A grandson of a Holocaust martyr, Hetz said that he prayed for the Isaiah 2:4 prophecy to be fulfilled, but in the Middle East, Israel must remain strong. David Brog, the director of CUFI, said that the anti-Israel propaganda on university campuses must be stopped. 50 years ago the Jews dared to fight back and dared to survive. Thats not a tragedy. Thats a miracle! sign up to our newsletter Share on facebook

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed


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