web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bethlehem’

When Palestinians Blow Themselves Up, Before Reaching Israel

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Here’s a small and modest experiment.

Since we believe Palestinian Arab casualties that result from Palestinian Arab mis-handling or misfiring of Palestinian Arab explosives, guns, rockets, mortars and the like almost never get reported in the mainstream news media, we will be watching to see how much coverage this incident below gets. It appears at this moment on a Bethlehem-based (and somewhat Hamas-hostile) Palestinian news site.

Shooting themselves and their families, friends and neighbors is an everyday event in the catastrophic societies (both Gaza and Judea/Samaria) occupied and created by the Palestinian Arabs. But the news channels wake up only when there’s an Israeli party to blame.

Man wounded in Gaza explosion  (updated) 08/11/2012 10:35 GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was wounded on Thursday morning when a home-made bomb exploded in central Gaza, a medical official said. Ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza ministry of health spokesman, said that a 23-year-old was moderately wounded in al-Maghazi refugee camp. He was transferred to al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah.

We don’t know but It’s possible this 23-year-old Gazan’s injuries are related to one of two incidents, both evidently self-inflicted, reported at this hour on the GANSO site:

Separately:

* 11/08/2012 - 07:50: MU, 08 NOV: Overnight, 1 HMR fired from E of Rafah toward the Green Line. No injuries reported.

* 11/08/2012 - 10:45: 08 NOV, 1010hrs: An explosive device went off E of Al Bureij, MA. 1 Pal. injury reported.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Schrauger on the Situation for Christians in Bethlehem

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Bethlehem is a central city for Christians and to discuss the current situation in the city, Yishai is joined by friend and activist Brian Schrauger.  Together, they discuss discrimination faced by Christians, especially Christian Arabs, by the Palestinian Authority and how day-to-day life can become difficult within Bethlehem due to their beliefs.  The situation is certainly eye opening and be sure to listen here to get the inside scoop!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

The Lehi Fighter and Kever Rachel (Video)

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The 11th of Marcheshvan marks the traditional anniversary of the passing of Rachel Imeinu (the Matriarch Rachel).

For centuries, Jews have prayed in Bethlehem at Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb), a symbol of the Biblical promise of the Jewish return to their homeland.

In 1945, Yaffa Tevuah was a 22-year old Lehi fighter imprisoned by the British in the women’s prison in Bethlehem. While being taken back and forth to Jerusalem for questioning at the British Police headquarters, she passed by Kever Rachel and recognized the landmark from pictures that hung in her home as a child in Moldavia. Seeking courage when facing her British interrogators, she drew strength from Rachel Imeinu and comfort from her sense of returning home.

Visit the Muqata.

The Palestinians Reveal the Jewish Connection to Palestine

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

The Palestinians have inadvertently contributed to the truth of the historic relationship of Jews with the land of Israel.

How?  By asking the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO.  Unwittingly, the Palestinians have given the world the opportunity to learn about a historic relationship.

The Palestinians in October 2011 were granted full membership in UNESCO, which they hoped would lead to international recognition of a state of Palestine.  As a consequence of this membership, they are a party to the proceedings of the WHC, which has 21 changing members, presently including Russia, Qatar, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, but not including the United States or Britain.

The request regarding the recognition of Battir is connected with the Palestinian’s more ambitious claim to be accorded by UNESCO the heritage over the basilica of the Church of the Nativity, regarded as the birthplace of Jesus, and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem.  Already, UNESCO has designated two Jewish sacred sites — Rachel’s Tomb, the burial place of the matriarch Rachel, the wife of Jacob, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron — not as Jewish holy sites, but as mosques.  Only the United States voted against this proposal that was approved by 44 of the 58 members of the board of UNESCO.

The claim made by the Palestinians for Battir to be recognized as a Heritage Site is ostensibly based on its unusual topography of historic terraces and its Roman irrigation system.  The Palestinian Authority (PA) asserts that that it is a “historically sensitive area … where a millenary irrigation system is still in use to water the vegetable gardens of Battir.”  The village, which has grown in recent years to a population of 4,000, does have seven natural springs, an old Roman bath, and an irrigation system that waters fruit and vegetables.

However, the reason for the Palestinian request is more political than aesthetic.  The PA argues that Israel is planning to build part of its security fence through the valley and that it will damage a site that it claims, in accordance with the UNESCO operational guidelines concerning the acceptance of World Heritage Sites, is “representative of a culture.”

The Palestinian complaint is that the Israeli fence will deny the ability of the residents to enjoy their natural heritage and sustain the land.  The village, they argue, should be maintained as a landmark of Palestinian and humanitarian heritage.  The complaint has gone to the Israeli Supreme Court, which will adjudicate the question of the exact route of the fence, whether it should be rerouted, and whether the route is in accordance with Israeli security considerations.

All will almost certainly acknowledge the pleasant nature of the village and its picturesque character.  Yet the Palestinians’ ambitious claim is deficient in a number of ways.  Though the Roman irrigation system is historically interesting, in fact, the village gets most of its water from the West Bank Water Department, the public water network established in 1980.  The village has grown substantially since then, and the natural heritage there is threatened more by increased housing development than by any Israeli action.  Moreover, pretty though the area might be, it does not meet the objective requirements of UNESCO — namely, that a Heritage Site be a place of beauty, of importance, and of outstanding universal value.

But most important, the Palestinians have unwittingly drawn attention to the historic Jewish relationship with and claim to the land of Palestine.  The original name of Battir was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba (son of a star) in his revolt against the Romans in 132-135.  The revolt led to the creation of an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for over two years before being crushed by the Roman army of six legions.  The result was the killing of thousands of Jews — perhaps half a million — and the loss of Israeli independence and of Jewish religious and political authority.  The Romans did not allow the Jews to bury their dead in Betar.

A Jewish entity was not again the center of religious, cultural, and political life until the 20th century, but Betar remained an important symbolic reminder of the Jewish past.  The Revisionist Zionist youth movement, formed in 1923 by Vladimir Jabotinsky, took its name from the fortress.  The movement played a role in fighting against Nazi Germany in World War II.  Interestingly, Jabotinsky’s main political opponent, David Ben Gurion, is said by some to have taken his Hebrew name from one of the generals who fought in Betar.

Rocket Shelled Ashkelon Marked as Den of Apartheid by Sacramento Israel Haters, May Lose Sister City Bid

Friday, August 10th, 2012

While the Israeli city of Ashkelon has been physically assaulted by rockets and bombs hurled by Israel’s haters in Gaza, haters abroad are doing their best to assault Ashkelon in other ways.

There is a battle now taking place to prevent the city of Sacramento, California, from becoming a sister-city to Ashkelon, Israel.  The battle is being waged on the internet and phone lines, in the lead-up to a Sacramento City Council meeting on the topic which will take place on August 14.

Radical anti-Israel activists are distributing hate literature portraying  Arabs who live in Ashkelon  as second-class citizens “without the same rights, benefits or access to land as Jewish Israelis.”

Sister-cities are cooperative agreements between cities in different countries which are created to promote cultural and business relationships and, according to Sacramento City Councilman Steve Cohn, the goal of Sacramento’s sister-cities program is “to promote peace, through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.”  But Cohn admitted that the vehement attacks against naming Ashkelon as a sister-city has hardly been in keeping with that goal.

According to a group calling itself, “No Human Rights, No Sister City,” Ashkelon is such a den of overt discrimination, that if Ashkelon is approved as a sister city it will expose Sacramento to law suits because “discrimination on the basis of national origin is prohibited in the U.S. and California constitutions.”  Under this reasoning the more than forty cities across the United States which already have sister-city relationships with towns in Israel, many of which have been in existence for decades, are all vulnerable to discrimination suits.  Those cities include New York (Jerusalem), Los Angeles (Eilat), Chicago (Petach Tikva) and Boston (Haifa).

The anti-Ashkelon activists also describe Ashkelon as having been the thriving “Palestinian” city of Majdal Asqualan whose residents were thrown out in waves of ethnic cleansing by Israeli military, starting in 1948.

The ancient Biblical connection between Ashkelon and the Jewish people is not included in the hate literature.  Ashkelon is the site of the most famous haircut in Jewish history – it is where Delilah cut Samson’s hair, depleting his strength, in the famous Biblical story found in Judges XIV-XVI.

Although Arab Israelis have the same rights as do Jewish Israelis both in Ashkelon and throughout Israel, Sacramento does indeed have a sister-city where Apartheid reigns.

In 2009, the Sacramento City Council unanimously passed the Bethlehem Sister City Initiative, naming Bethlehem, Palestine as Sacramento’s sister city.  It is in Bethlehem, not Ashkelon, where laws are based on ethnicity, where certain people are prevented from owning property, running for office, and are denied the rights and privileges granted as of right to other ethnicities – Jews are the officially endorsed discriminated against ethnicity in Bethlehem.

Barry Broad, a lawyer and novelist, was the chair of the Sacramento Jewish Community Relations Council in 2009.  Broad is a pragmatist.  He didn’t see anything wrong with allowing the creation of a sister-city relationship with Bethlehem, even though he was well aware that those promoting the efforts had no interest in developing peaceful relations with the Sacramento Jewish community.

Broad told The Jewish Press that the Bethlehem Initiative supporters “refused to allow the mainstream Jewish community to be involved with the effort.”  He said he heard the people involved say some of the most anti-Semitic things he had ever heard, such as calling the Jewish Federation a “tool of a foreign government,” and stating as fact that “the Jews own the media.”  He also was under no delusion about the Palestinian Authority government, which he described as a “fascist regime,” and he explained that the Christian Arab population in Bethlehem is being “pushed out by Islamic terrorists.”

But Broad still supported the Bethlehem Initiative.  He and other members of the Sacramento Jewish community were satisfied because, when they approved the Bethlehem effort, the City Council at the same time issued a statement of intent that it would establish a sister-city relationship with a town in Israel.

The future is now, and the same people who clamored to have the earlier Bethlehem Initiative passed are now adamantly opposed to having Sacramento gain an Israeli sibling city. But, Broad points out, the threshold question has already been settled. He is confident that the Sacramento City Council will support its earlier decision.

My Machberes

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Yiddishkeit on Vacation

Though we all assume a somewhat more relaxed lifestyle during the summer months, our unique Jewish attribute of living lives of halachic exploration, questioning every aspect of our religious experience, continues unimpeded. So if one is in the Catskills, or if his rabbi is there, where should both routine and special sheilos be directed?

As a genuine annual service to the observant community, the Hisachdus Horabbonim, the chassidishe rabbinic organization headquartered in Williamsburg, issues its contact list of qualified rabbis who stand ready to receive and respond to sheilos during the summer months. An army of Torah respondents stands ready to respond to halachic inquiries as well as to explain the meaning of a critical word in Daf Yomi.

This is in conjunction with a number of general guidelines issued by the Hisachdus relating to proper conduct and religious observances incumbent during the entire year, including the summer months. The Hisachdus issues its list of directives every year. The list has been developed through long years of hard experience and is continually updated. The following conveys the Hisachdus spirit:

Summertime Erev Shabbos

Many camps, bungalow colonies, and hotels begin Shabbos earlier than the standard 18 minutes before sunset. In scheduling Friday departure times to the Catskills, or to anywhere else for that matter, confirm when exactly Shabbos begins at your destination. Under no circumstances should anyone begin to travel late on Friday afternoon. In addition to a long list of ongoing construction projects, highways and roadways are routinely congested at such times, even when the weather is nice. When heavy traffic opens up and begins to move, one might be tempted to speed and drive dangerously to make up lost time, something that must be absolutely avoided. If your drivers license is not in order, suspended, or revoked, your may very well spend Shabbos in jail. If in doubt, call 518-474-0841 to confirm validity of your drivers license. Also, do not forget the rule requiring drivers to move over for emergency vehicles.

Unavoidable delays may encroach on proper Shabbos times and create great difficulty in proper Shabbos observance. Many rabbis recommend that Friday travelers take with them candles, challahs, and a bottle of wine or grape juice. Those traveling to be with chassidisherebbes cannot rely on Divine intercession and must take all precautions and make all necessary preparations. In addition, last year several leading rabbis issued a proclamation advising that in the Catskills, because of its altitude, sunrise and sunset are a few minutes later than indicated in most directories and calendars. Therefore, they ruled, Motzaei Shabbos times are actually five minutes later.

Kosher Eruvin

Every camp, hotel, and bungalow colony must ensure that its eruv was properly designed and securely installed. A rabbi renowned for expertise in eruvin should be consulted to guarantee the eruv meets all halachic criteria. The Hisachdus, without charge, will dispatch such a rav upon request. A reliable, learned individual should be appointed to assume the responsibility of checking the eruvevery Friday to ensure it remains in full and exacting compliance with the instructions of the overseeing rav.

Kashrus on Vacation

While on vacation, one must maintain the kashrusstandards adhered to all year. Every food item purchased must be checked for a familiar kashrus certification. If unsure, use your cell phone to call your rabbi, or any rabbi listed here, or a rabbi known to you to be reliable. Kashrus Magazine’s summer issue is highly recommended as a great source of information.

Lakes and Swimming Pools – Strict Guidelines

Swimming pools must be secured to prevent toddlers and young children unauthorized entry. The gate must be locked and inaccessible at all times a supervising responsible adult is not present. When the gate is open, an adult, preferably one with life-saving training, must be present and in charge. Every swimming pool must have one individual designated as responsible to oversee all pool matters. Those swimming in lakes must be accompanied by at least one other person. Swimming pools must have appropriate partitions to preserve modesty.

Life Insurance

The issue of life insurance for family breadwinners (usually husbands) and family caretakers (usually wives) is a non-negotiable need and applies all year round. The advertisements and flyers seeking contributions to maintain families that have lost a parent sadly abound. One such tragedy is one too many. No one is immune. No one is exempt. The cost of term life insurance of $500,000 for a healthy man age 30 is approximately $20 per month. The obligation and necessity for life insurance must be taught at chassan-kallahclasses. Insurance acquired at an earlier age is considerably cheaper; hence the younger one begins the better. This is not only mandatory for a yeshiva rebbi; it is an absolute necessity for every family breadwinner and caretaker, regardless of profession.

Find a Mikveh

In selecting a mikveh during your vacation, ascertain that a qualified rabbi has approved it. No one should ever use a mikveh without another person present. A lake or a swimming pool does not constitute a kosher mikveh. In the Catskills and summer resorts, the following mikvehs are functioning and are under qualified rabbinical supervision: Bethlehem, NH 603-869-3336; Ellenville 845-647-4472 and 845-647-6846; Fleischmans 845-254-6349 and 845-254-4880; Liberty 845-292-6677; Monsey 845-371-0211; Monticello 845-794-6757 and 845-794-8470; South Fallsburg 845-436-3333; Swan Lake 845-845-292-3703 and 845-292-8031; White Lake 845-583-9702; and Woodridge845-436-4987 and 845-436-7960.

Behave in Public Picnic Areas

When using public picnic areas, whether in a park or comfort station on a highway, one is required to always act properly, maintain cleanliness, and not use any public grill. Foods purchased at picnic concessions must also have an acceptable kashrus certification.

Torah Lectures and Shiurim

In order to continually refresh the soul as well as the body, every bungalow colony and hotel must endeavor to arrange and organize Torah lectures, shiurim, and study sessions for men, women, and children. These shiurim should be arranged for Fridays, Shabbos, Sundays, and every weekday.

Stumped? Call a Rabbi

As questions arise during the summer months when one is away from home or one’s congregational rabbi may be serving elsewhere in a summer capacity, qualified rabbis are standing by at the ready to respond to your inquiries. Do not hesitate to call. The following is the updated and expanded list of Hisachdus and other qualified rabbis by location, in alphabetical order, on call:

Carmel Caves Voted a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

On the heels of UNESCO’s decision last week to name the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as “Palestine’s” first World Heritage Site, the UN body voted to list the Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nahal Me’arot (the Carmel Caves), located on the western slopes of Mount Carmel in northern Israel, are a group of prehistoric caves where early man lived continuously for hundreds of thousands of years. The caves were first excavated in the 1920s and 1930s; tools, animal bones, and human burials found in the Caves have “contributed greatly to the understanding of the physical and cultural evolution of man in the early phases of his existence,” according to a statement on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Nahal Me’arot joins seven other World Heritage sites located in Israel. These are: the Old City of Jerusalem; the Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee; the Biblical Tels of Megiddo, Hazor, and Beer Sheba; the Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev; Masada; the Old City of Acre; and the White City of Tel-Aviv.

Of course, the most dubious recent addition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was the Church of the Nativity, not least because it was admitted as a site under a state that does not exist – ‘Palestine’. This was made possible by the UNESCO’s vote last October to admit Palestine as a full member.

“This is proof that UNESCO is acting out of political considerations and not cultural ones,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time. “The world must remember that the Church of Nativity, which is sacred to Christians, was desecrated in the past by Palestinian terrorists.”

PA to UN: Make Church of Nativity World Heritage Site in State of Palestine

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The Palestinian Authority will attempt to register the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a world heritage site in the country of Palestine when the World Heritage Committee meets in Russia from June 24 to July 6.

Bethlehem, situated just outside of Jerusalem, is the resting place of the Matriarch Rachel, and features prominently in the biblical story of Ruth, as well as in that of her great-grandson, King David.  It is also significant in Christian theology as the birthplace of Jesus, and became home to a church commemorating his alleged birth at the site.  In the years following Oslo, Bethlehem has become overwhelmingly Arab and Muslim in population.

Earlier this month, the committee announced it would be considering registration of 36 heritage sites around the world, including the Church of the Nativity, which was submitted for consideration by the Palestinian Authority.  This marks the first time the committee has contemplated listing a world heritage site as Palestinian.

The PA has a right to submit its request for the Church of the Nativity recognition because the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized Palestine as its 195th member state in October, giving Palestine full state rights in all UNESCO bodies, including the right to register sites on the World Heritage List.  The UN General Assembly has not recognized Palestine as a state.

The PA seeks to register the church and an associated pilgrimage path under an emergency provision for endangered sites.  The International Council on Monuments and Sites has recommended that the PA application be rejected, as it found the site to be neither under imminent threat or severely damaged.  The group recommended the PA resubmit its application for regular consideration by the World Heritage List.

Committee members  to consider the application include Algeria, Cambodia, Colombia, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pa-to-un-make-church-of-nativity-world-heritage-site-in-state-of-palestine/2012/06/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: