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Feature Article

Onward Christian Soldier: Life as a Non-Jew in the IDF

 By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 8, 2019 , 4:23 pm 

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com


In February, the IDF will promote a Christian soldier to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, making him the first soldier of his faith to achieve that rank. This comes as the result of a six-year process intended to help the indigenous Christian community integrate into mainstream Israeli society.


The identity of Maj. I must remain secret since he is slated to enter a high-level/high-risk security position. Maj. I, a Greek-Orthodox Christian and a resident of Nazareth Illit, the Jewish town next to Nazareth, is married and the father of a nine-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. He describes himself as an Armenian-Israeli Christian. The obligation to serve in the Israeli army applies only to Jews, Druze, and Circassians. Christians are not required to serve in the IDF and when Maj. I joined the IDF in 1999, only a few Christians volunteered, mostly serving in the Border Police. He graduated high-school with honors from the Salvatorian Sisters German Catholic School in Nazareth.


Maj. I stated that in his community, there was no animosity or fear of enlisting in the IDF. The vast majority of Christians chose to forgo military service in favor of continuing their studies and acquiring an education. Maj. I noted that among the Arabic-speaking Christians there are also those who opposed serving in the IDF for political reasons, mostly atheists, communists, or Pan-Arabists. Maj. I emphasized that this is an extreme and shrinking minority whom he perceives as being “detached from reality.” He also noted that these are generally people who are in denial of their Christian roots and history.


“The environment in which most Christians in Arab towns live is fertile ground pressuring and threatening men against enlisting,” Maj I said.


Upon completion of high school, he was accepted to study mechanical engineering at the Technion in Haifa but said that he was not at peace with himself. At the time, he had a Jewish girlfriend who was about to be drafted into the IDF. Maj. I already felt that he was an Israeli but also felt that something was missing. He decided to volunteer and join the IDF but as someone who did not attend a Jewish school, Maj. I  had no prior knowledge of the IDF. He lacked information about the recruitment process, about the service, the various IDF units, and the myriad possibilities available to those who served. He described his prior knowledge of the IDF as being “a soldier has a weapon and he is doing negative things.”


His father spoke with several Jewish friends who connected him with the IDF recruitment office. The recruiter informed him that he would be drafted into the Bedouin battalion.


“I had no idea what it was about,” Maj I said. “My personal information was not checked. I had completed a full matriculation certificate with high marks on the psychometric (pre-university) exam. Because of my lack of knowledge about army procedures, I was easy prey to be thrown into any unit they wanted. Like a few other Christians who volunteered and did not know anything, I was sent to the Bedouin battalion.”


“When I realized that this was a Bedouin unit I refused. The Christians do not have the professional ability or personal characteristics of the Bedouins. Even though we speak the same language, they are culturally cohesive and I would not fit in.”


Maj. I noted that later experience confirmed this belief.


“The Bedouins form a professional battalion with unique characteristics that is capable of performing functions that no Christian or Jew can carry out.”


Maj. I was also intent on serving in a multicultural unit that more closely mirrored Israeli society at large.


“I believe the Christians must serve in units in which everyone is familiar with all the different aspects and of Israeli society,” Maj. I said. “It is therefore very good that there are no homogeneous Christian units.”


Maj. I was transferred to the Golani infantry brigade and it proved to be a trial by fire.


“I did not get along very well,” Maj. I said. “I told everyone that I’m an Arab Christian. That’s what we learned at school; that we are Arabs. We have the same music, the same food, the same language as the Arabs. I have no problem with Arabs, not with the music, not with the good food and not with the rich language, but today I know that this is not my true identity.”


Self-identifying as an Arab, albeit a Christian-Arab, led to interpersonal conflicts with the Jewish soldiers in Golani. But Arabic is his mother-tongue and that proved to be enormously useful to the IDF. Maj. I was placed in a communications course and then in the Signal Corps. From there, he rapidly advanced.He received a Certificate of Appreciation for an operation in which he took part and that led to him being accepted into officers’ training. He served as an officer in an artillery battalion, and from there, advanced to other positions in different units, locations, positions, and ranks.


“Over the years, I went to four years of studies on behalf of the army,” Maj. I said. “I completed studies in electrical engineer and during the course of my studies, I was involved in recruiting young Arabic-speaking Christians to the IDF. Currently, I’m in the Military Academy, Command and Staff College and in February I’ll get a position in the Navy where I will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.”


Maj. I was wounded by shrapnel during a Hezbollah bombardment of a facility he was commanding in Southern Lebanon 19 years ago. In 2012, he was serving as an officer in the Armored Corps in Operation Pillar of Defense on the Gaza border. At nights, he slept in his car near the tanks. A group of reservists serving in the area invited Maj. I to join them for an overnight barbecue, promising to return him to his tanks in the morning. He returned the next day to find that his car had taken a direct hit from a mortar. Reserve soldiers of the unit called me and told me that they are on their way to pick me up for a barbecue and return me in the morning.


“My first reaction was to be upset at a brand new electric razor that had been in the car,” he said. “After I calmed down, I realized it was a miracle that I had been saved.”


Continue reading...  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/120011/idf-promotes-highest-ranking-christian-soldier/

Articles

Pastors Josimar Salum and Robert Stearns holding the Israeli flag at a recent CAMERA event.

Meet the pastors behind Brazil’s new pro-Israel foreign policy

See the full article published by JNS, here


Like their American cousins, Brazil’s evangelicals have become a political force to be reckoned with.


(November 29, 2018 / JNS)

Brazil used to be known as an anti-Israel country. Dominated for years by the leftist Workers’ Party, its elite society was largely shaped by anti-Israel intellectuals, academics and political activists for Arab countries.

But behind the scenes, a grassroots revolution was taking place. Masses of people began flocking to the country’s evangelical and Pentecostal churches. There, they heard a different message about Israel than the story being told in the left-leaning Brazilian press and educational system.

And the new message resonated. Evangelicals in Brazil grew from 6.6 percent in 1980 to 22.2 percent in 2010, according to the 2010 census. Today, evangelicals constitute an estimated 27 percent of Brazil’s population. By comparison, American evangelicals make up about 25 percent of the religious landscape in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center.

Like their U.S. cousins, Brazil’s evangelicals have become a political force to be reckoned with. The evangelical caucus in Brazil’s congress is among the largest with nearly 200 members. Overwhelming evangelical support for Jair Bolsonaro is widely credited for his presidential victory last October.

Although often disparaged in the media, Bolsonaro received loyal support from evangelicals after he promised to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem.

One of those supporters, Dr. Josimar Salum, met with Bolsonaro multiple times, worked on his campaign and has been part of a group of pastors who urged Bolsonaro not to waver on Jerusalem.

“We had a meeting with Jair Bolsonaro in October 2017 in New England that included about 70 Brazilian pastors,” said Salum. “In the same time period that President [Donald] Trump was speaking about moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, we were able to make the case that Brazil needed to change its foreign policy towards Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.”

Asked to explain their goals, Salum said: “Brazilian Christian Zionism is a movement to bless Israel not only with words, but with concrete actions. It is no use merely to carry the flag of Israel, to sing songs and to speak good words about Israel. Christian Zionists must engage in the daily defense of Israel, be defenders of the Nation of Israel in their spheres of influence, and stand against anti-Semitism around them.”

Salum has been at the forefront of forging ties with influential pro-Israel groups such as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), one of the oldest educational pro-Israel organizations in the United States.

“CAMERA provides the education we need to understand the issues in relation to Israel, and the constant need to be vigilant concerning the antisemitism that Jews face everyday,” Salum said.

Last weekend Salum presented a conference in collaboration with CAMERA titled a “Night to Bless Israel,” which was hosted by the pro-Israel Brazilian pastor Elias Monteiro of International Community Church in Framingham, Mass.

The well-attended event brought together an array of organizations: the Brazilian Ministers Network, the Pastors and Leaders Fraternal Alliance, and the Brazilian Evangelical Pastors Association of the USA.

The keynote speaker was influential evangelical pastor Dr. Robert Stearns, who heads Eagles’ Wings, a global network of pro-Israel evangelicals.

According to Dr. Tricia Miller of CAMERA, the “Night to Bless Israel” was a historic and precedent-setting event that signals the new bonds between American and Brazilian evangelicals.

“It was the first time the Brazilian Christian community in the U.S. hosted such an event, which was designed to educate and mobilize Brazilian Christians for effective, informed support of Israel,” said Miller. “Plans are already in the works for educational seminars to be held in other Brazilian churches, followed by the second annual ‘Night to Bless Israel,’ to be held in the fall of 2019.”

Because the evangelical Zionist movement is relatively young in Brazil, the organizers of the event felt that more educational conferences are sorely needed.

“It is necessary for Brazilian evangelicals to learn about Israel so that their pro-Israel actions are conscious and not just sentimental,” said Salum. “Therefore, the ‘Night to Bless Israel’ has been established as a movement based on these four pillars: teaching, celebration, prayer and action.”

“We plan to encourage the movement with all we have,” said Miller. “In my eyes, Dr. Josimar Salum and the other leading pastors are genuine heroes. It is brave and principled men like Portuguese pastor John Amaral, and Brazilian pastors like Elias Monteiro, Marcos Aurelio Nogueira, Leidimar Lopes, Roberto Paiva and Flávio Souza who are making positive new changes not only in Brazil but throughout the world.”

“These Brazilian pastors represent a crucial counterweight to anti-Israel propaganda that manifests itself in some quarters of Brazil’s media and academic world, where BDS has gotten traction,” said Dexter Van Zile, a CAMERA analyst. “What groups like CAMERA offer is decades of professional research and knowledge that can help the pastors push back against the anti-Israel misinformation campaigns that flourish in their country. These pastors and their congregations are very proud of Brazil’s early support for Israel’s creation. They just need information.”

With ties being made between evangelicals in the United States, and with the help of educational organizations like CAMERA, the Brazilian pastors are not showing any signs of backing down. Shifting the largest country in South America in a pro-Israel direction is their unwavering goal.

Photo Credit:  AP

Hey Western world: Don’t get fooled again by Hamas

Jeff Robbins 

Friday, May 18, 2018 

Boston Herald

Photo Credit:  AP


On Wednesday an official of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist enterprise, acknowledged that of the 62 people reported killed during this week’s assault on the fence separating Hamas-run Gaza from Israel, 50 were Hamas members. Three others were members of Islamic jihad.


This should have surprised no one. The weekly mass rushes on the Israeli border — fueled and accompanied by Hamas’ exhortations to breach the border fence, enter Israel and kill Israelis — has been a Hamas production, a new variant of a long-running play: If we can bring about Palestinian deaths, goes the Hamas playbook, most of the world will blame Israel. The more Palestinian deaths, the more Israel will be denounced. That is the idea, and it generally works.


Israel’s critics, of course, have been hard-pressed to suggest what, precisely, it is supposed to do to prevent weaponized hordes of people, vowing to breach its border and just yards from doing so, from crossing into it. Warnings to Gazans to stay away from the border fence have not worked, naturally, since the marches are commandeered by an enterprise which rules Gaza with an iron fist, which routinely rips off humanitarian aid intended for civilians for its own purposes and which is ideologically committed to Israel’s annihilation.


The line that Israel is responsible for Gaza’s dire conditions is balderdash. Conditions in Gaza were dire long before Israel had anything to do with it, and Israel has had no presence in Gaza for 13 years. It is Hamas itself that has consigned Gaza to horrific poverty, doing so with a ruthlessness that has left it without support anywhere in the Arab world.


It is true that Israel has had the temerity to try to prevent Hamas from acquiring the materials with which to add to the 15,000 or so rockets it has already fired at Israeli civilian centers. There is no government desirous of keeping its citizens from being blown to pieces that would do otherwise.


Columnist Bret Stephens has termed the idiocy of so many on the Left when it comes to Gaza more of the “morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against Palestinian attacks.”


He’s right. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have grown used to assuming that no matter how gruesome or corrupt their conduct, many in the West can be played for fools.


They are right as well.


See our Resources:  Articles page for more valuable information

BDS Vote - Cambridge, MA

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CAMBRIDGE, MA CITY COUNCIL

 will decide whether to support the BDS campaign against Israel


The following Boston Herald article

 by Jeff Robbins

 provides some important information about the upcoming BDS vote:


Jeff Robbins Tuesday, April 17, 2018 


There was a time when demonstrating one's hypocrisy was considered a liability, or at least something worth avoiding. That time has passed, as the members of the Cambridge City Council seem poised to illustrate.

On April 23, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution calling for a boycott of Hewlett-Packard, offered by groups retaliating against the company for doing business in Israel. The resolution is orchestrated by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, funded by and comprised of the usual types who, wishing ardently for Israel to disappear, use the language of human rights to attempt to delegitimize her. They do this, of course, at the behest of some of the worst human rights abusers in the world.

The expected vote is accompanied by no shortage of irony. While professing to be exemplars of open, transparent democracy, council members have conferred in secret with BDS groups to develop the anti-Israel resolution, refusing to make it public so that those who take issue with it - and the public at large - could have the time to respond. It is much better, they calculate, to keep it secret until just before the vote, minimizing the public's opportunity to scrutinize it, and to ask questions about how it came to be conceived, and by whom.

The City Council's imminent invocation of human rights against Israel is especially rich. Just seven months ago it declared an official relationship with Dongguan, China, a notorious center of labor rights violations in a country that is a human rights violator on a massive scale.

The hand that Israel has been dealt is encirclement by some of the most depraved enterprises on the planet, each committed to its annihilation, each willing to use the lethal means at its disposal to bring that annihilation about.

There's Hamas, just yards from Israeli civilians, which has already fired 15,000 rockets into Israel and which has built underground tunnels into Israel to facilitate the massacre of its people. There's Hezbollah to the north, whose 100,000 rockets are positioned on command to hit every Israeli neighborhood.

There's Syria's Bashar Assad, who has slaughtered several hundred thousand innocents and whose chemical weapons sit kilometers from where Israelis live. There's ISIS and al-Qaeda, operating just outside Israel's borders. And there's Iran, funding Hamas and Hezbollah, launching explosive-packed drones into Israeli airspace - and which is months away from deploying nuclear weapons when it sees fit, threatening to use them to remove Israel from the map.

The Cambridge City Council, bless its soul, has not seen fit to take up a resolution condemning any of them. No, it is the Jewish state alone that interests it, and not in a good way, for reasons best left to psychologists to analyze.

The threats that Israel has to try to cope with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, are dangerous ones. They are complex. They are serious. And they are difficult. Israel's neighborhood bears little resemblance to the comfortable communities of Chevy Chase, Md., or Manhattan's Upper West Side - or Harvard Square. One cannot help observing that the challenges facing Israeli families and the government elected to protect them exceed even those faced by Cambridge.

Not every Israeli 19- or 20-year-old serving in her country's armed forces in order to protect it is perfect. Not every decision made by Israel's government - the product of a robust and real democracy matched nowhere in the Middle East and few places anywhere else - is one that everyone agrees is the right one.

But surely the Cambridge City Council can - if it wants to - resist the over-the-top haters who constitute the BDS movement and who want to take the council for a ride. Or, its members can permit themselves to be snookered, and in the process dishonor both the council and the citizens it was elected to serve.

Jeff Robbins is a Boston attorney and former U.S. delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. 


Your support is very important

The Monday, April 23rd vote has been POSTPONED

at City Hall in Cambridge, MA


See our EVENTS page for more information

Events

CAMERA focuses on Newton schools' Arab-Israeli conflict curriculum

News article posted by 

newton.wickedlocal.com
By Andy Levin alevin@wickedlocal.com
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at 10:15 AM

 

It's an issue that seemingly won't go away.

Discord over the way Newton's high schools teach the Arab-Israeli conflict and Islam began six years ago, when a Newton South parent, Tony Pagliuso, was made aware of a statement in an article his daughter had been assigned in a social studies class. The article, from the "Arab World Studies Notebook," claimed that Israeli soldiers had raped and murdered hundreds of Palestinian women.

There have been other curriculum-related issues brought to the public's attention since that time: a redacted Hamas charter, inaccurate maps of the conflict, and a superficial treatment of jihad among them. Critics of NPS' history curriculum say there is a gross imbalance in the way the conflict is presented. Moreover, they claim to have been brushed off and stonewalled by school officials in their attempts to find out more information about exactly what materials are being used in the classroom.

Some materials, including the "Arab World Studies Notebook," were discontinued. But the organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), led by resident Charles Jacobs, and others have continued to put pressure on the school district over the past several years to release more information and make additional changes in the curriculum that would balance presentation of the conflict.

Eventually, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch funded an ambitious public records request and received more curriculum information from NPS. That information was made available to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a media-monitoring group founded in 1982 that opened a Boston branch (based in Newton) 30 years ago.

The result is a monograph, published earlier this year, "Indoctrinating Our Youth: How a U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam." The publication expands upon the previous work done by APT and analyzes the curriculum controversy in a detailed narrative.

The CAMERA book traces what it describes as "an agenda-driven history curriculum" to an incident in which Noam Chomsky, a virulently anti-Israel MIT professor, was invited to speak at Newton South in 2007. A year later (as had been reported by APT) Paul Beran, then the director of the Outreach Center at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, was invited by a Newton teacher to take part in a discussion about the Oslo Peace Process. At the time, Beran was a leader of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the Boston area.

In 2010, CAMERA notes, Beran led a seminar for about 80 Newton teachers, advising them on how to teach the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Andrea Levin, president and executive director for CAMERA in Newton, spoke with the TAB about "Indoctrinating Our Youth" and the ongoing controversy with the high school curriculum.

CAMERA is known as a media watchdog. Why did it become involved in a curriculum dispute?

We've been involved in curriculum matters in the past, so it was something of a natural addition. And we were approached by citizens in the city who were frustrated that they were at a standstill getting some resolution and satisfaction in terms of knowing what was [being taught] in the schools... They just wanted a complete picture and for us to do this deeper look and analysis. That's why we took it on. It was a big, year long project.

Tell us about the source material for the monograph?
Continue reading...


Check out our Article Library for more articles about Israel   

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Robbins: Democrats’ vote against Ken Marcus worrisome

Jeff Robbins 

Friday, January 26, 2018 

Boston Herald Article

At last month’s Senate hearing on the nomination of civil rights lawyer Ken Marcus to be the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) praised Marcus for his advocacy on behalf of a Virginia Tech student threatened by a white supremacist working for the university.

Marcus and the Brandeis Center for Human Rights that he heads, Kaine said, “laudably, I think, helped the student out and weighed in with the administration of Virginia Tech and said, ‘You got to take this seriously; white supremacy is wrong; neo-Nazi ideas are wrong.’ ”

Having praised Marcus for doing the kind of work he has done for years, ­Kaine then proceeded to join all of the Democrats on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in opposing Marcus’ nomination, which only cleared the committee by a 12-11 vote because of Republicans’ unanimous support. For Democrats who find Donald Trump loathsome but worry that their party has lost its bearings, the Democrats’ vote against Marcus is more reason to worry.

Marcus’ “problem” is that he has devoted the last several years of his life to defending the rights of Jewish college kids who, caught in a vise between white supremacism on the far right and ugly, beyond-the-pale anti-Israelism on the far left, have been subjected to increasingly widespread, increasingly repugnant anti-Semitism on American campuses.

Jewish students face this challenge: Hostile conduct aimed at intimidating them — which would be readily understood to have the effect if not the purpose of delegitimizing students of color or women or members of the LGBT community — is regarded as acceptable in some quarters when directed at Jewish kids, particularly but not exclusively those who care about Israel.

The problem is both significant and growing. Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League in New England, says simply: “Campuses have become the incubator for anti-Semitism.”

This conduct strikes Marcus as deeply wrong, and he has challenged the right of certain groups, pro-Palestinian groups prominently among them, to engage in it. These groups, in turn, want to operate free from any scrutiny, and they have made the predictable accusations against Marcus and mobilized others to oppose his nomination.

That’s their prerogative. The question Democrats will have to answer is whether it is right or wise to be roped or cowed into doing the bidding of bullies simply because their goal is to have their bullying left unchallenged.

Boston attorney Jeff Robbins was a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in the Clinton administration.

Articles

Lappin Foundation Awards CJUI President: Ray Hanna with the 2017 Friend of Israel Award

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September 7, 2017

Jewish Journal

SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 – “Don’t break the chain” was the heartfelt message Lappin Foundation  President Robert I. Lappin conveyed to the cohort of teens who went to Israel with the foundation’s Youth to Israel Adventure this summer.On Sunday, August 27, more than 350 people attended the 2017 Y2I Welcome Home Event at Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly, which included 109 Y2I teens, their families, a delegation of Israeli teens from the Young Ambassadors School of  Petah Tikva, and community members.The Lappin Foundation honored Jeffrey Robbins with the foundation’s 2017 Y2I Award for his outstanding leadership in the Jewish community.Robbins, a Boston attorney who specializes in complex civil litigation, including allegations of fraud, First Amendment issues, and claims of defamation, is a former United States delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and a past chair of the New England Board of the Anti-Defamation League. Lappin thanked Robbins for his talents and passion that he gives in service to the Jewish community, noting that he is truly an inspiration for all, especially Jewish youth.Ray Hanna, president of Christians & Jews United for Israel, was awarded the Foundation’s 2017 Friend of Israel Award. Lappin thanked Hanna for fighting anti-Semitism, the BDS movement, and the vitriolic narrative against Israel that is rising on university campuses all over the US.

“Thank you for standing with Israel and the Jewish people,” said Lappin. “When friends of Israel are in our midst, it is important to acknowledge and thank them, especially those individuals of other faiths who embrace and support Israel and the Jewish people.”Lappin presented awards to exceptional teens for their leadership and Israel advocacy efforts: Elana Zabar of Swampscott, the 2017 Exceptional Teen Israel Advocacy Award; and Ally Kramer of Beverly and Mason Quintero of Marblehead, the 2017 Exceptional Teen Leadership Award.“There was a lot to celebrate about 2017 Y2I,” said Lappin. It was the largest enrollment of rising juniors and seniors since Y2I’s first trip in 1971, and more than 50 percent of 2017 Y2I teens are from interfaith families.“I am deeply grateful for the community’s support of Y2I, which has grown to be our community’s most successful Jewish program for our teens,” added Lappin, adding that Y2I is the answer to Jewish continuity.In addition to pre-trip Israel educational programs for teens and parents and the two-week, fully subsidized teen trip to Israel, Y2I provides free, post-trip advanced Israel advocacy training for teens and a growing menu of social and volunteer opportunities.Plans are underway for Y2I 2018. Y2I is open to Jewish teens who are sophomores or juniors in high school as of September 1, and who live in or who are members of a temple in the Lappin Foundation’s service area.For more information about upcoming Y2I informational meetings, visit Y2I.org or contact Sharon Wyner at 978-565-4450 or email swyner@lappinfoundation.org. 

https://jewishjournal.org/2017/09/06/welcome-home-2017-y2i/

Robbins: Rights group goes astray on Hirsi Ali

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 Jeff Robbins Tuesday, August 29, 2017

http://www.bostonherald.com/

What separates humans from other species, the late William F. Buckley Jr. admonished a sanctimonious college student in his office 40 years ago, “is the capacity to make distinctions.” With a White House as relentlessly repulsive as this one is and significant elements of American society willing to indulge conduct reminiscent of 1930’s fascists, it is perhaps a bad time to expect that people will make distinctions, and the capacity of some people to do so has eroded badly.

A case in point is the decision of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an admirable organization founded in 1971 to combat hatred, to list human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the world’s most courageous voices against hate, as a practitioner of it.

Hirsi Ali, whose journey from an Islamist upbringing and a forced marriage to international stature as a critic of human rights abuses by radical Islamic state and non-state actors led Time Magazine to call her one of the most influential individuals in the world. And yet she was branded by the Center last year as a prominent “anti-Muslim extremist.” This kind of Alice-in-Wonderland stuff by a respected civil rights group can only have been cheered by actual extremists, who are pleased to see Hirsi Ali defamed, and would be even more pleased to see her disappear.

Hirsi Ali has long been considered Public Enemy #1 by apologists for Islamic extremism. She has been a powerful defender of the rights of women and girls both in Islamic countries and in the West who are victimized by honor killings, genital mutilation, sexual coercion, child marriage and other forms of degradation.

Her foundation provides training to law enforcement, shelters, educators and social service providers who work to protect women and girls. It also lobbies for the strengthening of protections against practices which, as Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company, put it succinctly, “have no place in the 21st century.”

read on...


Talking Politics with the Israeli Settler Leader Turned Diplomat

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By Nadine Epstein July 13, 2017, 

moment magazine

Dani Dayan has an unusual background for an Israeli diplomat. The Argentinian-born secular Israeli and successful tech entrepreneur was Israel’s chief advocate for the settlers from 2007 to 2013 as chairman of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Upon stepping down, he took the settler cause to the world stage as its foreign envoy. After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to appoint him ambassador to Brazil ran into resistance in Brasília, Dayan was assigned to be the consul general of Israel in New York City in 2016. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Dayan conducted by Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein.

What do you tell people who say settlements are the obstacle to peace? read on...

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Palestine is a Geographical Area, Not a Nationality

Eli E. Hertz

http://www.mythsandfacts.org

The Arabs invented a special national entity in the 1960s called the Palestinians, specifically for political gain. They brand Israelis as invaders and claim the geographic area called Palestine belongs exclusively to the Arabs.The word Palestine is not even Arabic. It is a word coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish revolts against Rome.In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine. During the next 2,000 years, Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule.Palestine was and is solely a geographic name. Therefore, it is not surprising that in modern times the name ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ was applied as an adjective to all inhabitants of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Palestine Jews and Palestine Arabs alike. In fact, until the 1960s, most Arabs in Palestine preferred to identify themselves merely as part of the great Arab nation or citizens of “southern Syria.”  read on...

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Prosor: Israeli Construction Not an Obstacle to Peace

Israel's UN ambassador responds to European nations' condemnation. "Settlements are not and never have been the main obstacle to peace."

Ron Prosor:  Reuters

Israel's building in its own capital is not an obstable to peace, but rather the Arabs' demands and incitement, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Ambassador Ron Prosor was responding to the condemnation by four European members of the Security Council of Israel's plans to build thousands of new housing units in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

"The planned construction is in neighborhoods that will be part of Jerusalem and Israeli sovereignty under any future agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,"  read on...

New Christian Zionist Film Celebrates Jewish Victory in 1967

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By Tricia Miller June 2, 2017  7:30 am
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) has produced a powerful new film, titled “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem,” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem under Israeli control. The docudrama shares the story of Israel’s extraordinary battle for survival in June of 1967, when four neighboring Arab nations mobilized for the purpose of wiping Israel off the map.


The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) partnered with CBN to promote the one night premier of the film in over 700 theaters in the United States on Tuesday, May 23, and again on June 1 and 6. In anticipation of the release of “In Our Hands,” CAMERA talked with Gordon Robertson, the CEO of CBN and the Executive Producer of the documentary, about the significance of the events portrayed in the movie.


“In Our Hands” is the most recent in a series of documentaries that CBN has produced about Israel. According to Robertson, it is the result of two years of research, including primary sources such as the diaries of soldiers involved in the battle for Jerusalem, and interviews with members of the 55th Paratrooper brigade, the first ones to enter the part of Jerusalem previously occupied by Jordan. The Israel Defense Forces helped CBN with the recreation of the battle scenes, all of which were shot at the actual locations where the battle for Jerusalem occurred.


As a result, the film gives the viewer an accurate historical picture of the events that occurred during the battle that reunited the city of Jerusalem. Robertson told CAMERA, “We wanted to make sure every line in this movie had an historical backdrop and was historically accurate.”

 read on...

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 The Zionist Message Hidden within Antique Pictures of the Holy Land

A 110-year-old trove of pictures taken by the Christian photographers of the American Colony in Jerusalem provides dramatic proof of thriving Jewish communities in Palestine. Hundreds of pictures show the ancient Jewish community of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish pioneers and builders of new towns and settlements in the Galilee and along the Mediterranean coastline. The American Colony photographers recorded Jewish holy sites, holiday scenes and customs, and they had a special reason for focusing their lenses on Yemenite Jews.  read on...

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Fact checking the settlement issue by Yoram Ettinger 

  1. Judea and Samaria (Jewish roots) or West Bank (Arab roots)? “Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Its Hebrew spelling combines one of God’s names: Jehova (יהוה) and one of God’s acronyms: ד'. Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was "Judea and Samaria" from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it "West Bank," as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N.
  2. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace?  read on…  

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Israel Supporters: Stop Using these 13 Phrases! 

Mainstream Western media coverage of Israel seeks to delegitimize the Jewish State by using certain words and phrases. The good news is that these terms were not written in stone 3,300 years ago, but created post-1948 in an attempt to attack Israeli independence. We must stop repeating these 13 phrases that forfeit our historical right to the Land of Israel,  read on...

Fox & Friends Article - Newton Schools

Feature Article from Fox News


Aug. 13, 2018 - 4:05 - Public school teachers in Massachusetts pledged to reject the 'call for objectivity' in the classroom in a group email; a Newton North High School parent reacts on 'Fox & Friends.' 

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Israel's 9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza commemorating the victims who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is made partially from steel taken from the wreckage of the Twin Towers and is the only memorial outside the U.S. that includes the names of all who perished in the attacks.


The 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, completed in 2009 for $2 million, sits on five acres of hillside, 20 miles from the center of Jerusalem.