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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘co-existence’

Day 3: Arab Peacemakers Still Imprisoned by Palestinian Authority; Human Rights Groups Silent

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Efrat Local Council head Oded Revivi says he’s concerned about the fate of four Palestinian Authority Arabs who were arrested and taken into custody on Thursday for the “crime” of visiting their Jewish neighbor’s sukkah.

The Arab visitors paid a visit on Wednesday to the Sukkah of Peace, an annual celebration of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles – in Gush Etzion, Judea, hosted by Revivi.

“Three days have passed and our visitors from Wadi Nies are still being held,” Revivi told JewishPress.com on Saturday night. “They have not been released from the Palestinian Authority prison.

“It’s not clear to us where they are or what their condition is. It bothers me to see that humanitarian organizations, human rights groups are not making any outcry about this situation.

“I’m also puzzled by the indifference of the Israeli media to the plight of these four Arabs, who simply expressed their desire for peaceful co-existence and good relations with their neighbors, and chanted slogans of peace.”

The celebration in the Sukkah of Peace attracted more than a hundred guests on Wednesday, and was an opportunity for Arab leaders from nearby Bethlehem and Hebron to mingle with senior IDF and Israeli Police officials, as well as others in the area.

Revivi told JewishPress.com he is trying to intervene on behalf of his Arab guests, but “the fact that human rights groups and Israeli media have taken no interest in this is very disturbing,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Vows to Reduce Gaps Between Arabs & Jews in Resources, Law Enforcement

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday in opening remarks at the weekly government cabinet meeting to reduce the gaps between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

It’s not the first time that Netanyahu has expressed his determination to achieve that goal, nor is it the first time his government has launched plans aimed in that direction.

But part of closing those gaps, said the prime minister, also means holding the Arab population responsible for its criminal elements and enforcing the law equally.

That has never been done in Israel; it is impossible to know what the reaction would be – domestically and worldwide – if the state were actually to fully enforce the housing regulations, building codes and the legal/illegal squatter laws in the Arab sector.

Aside from the fact that there would suddenly be an enormous amount of open space, there would also be an incredible number of homeless people to contend with. It’s not practical, and every Israeli government has had to quietly, judiciously decide how and when to impose those laws.

The one solution that might present itself in dealing with that issue, however, could be to legalize the illegal villages, force them to meet the building codes and pay the same fees as all other Israelis.

At the same time, they too would have the same rights, and could demand the same benefits which they are often denied.

It is this issue the prime minister contends that his proposed project will address. Netanyahu said in his remarks that “any sensible person knows that there are large gaps between the Arab and Jewish population, resource gaps and disparities in law enforcement, gaps and discrepancies in rights and obligations.

“These gaps formed over decades, and it is time to make a major national effort to reduce them.

“In recent years, the governments which I have led have invested significant resources in the Arab sector, and the unprecedented government program approved ten days ago will do even more in this direction.

“At the same time, we will implement a comprehensive program for law enforcement in the Arab sector.

“I want to make it clear that nothing that has been done in various areas – infrastructure, tourism, education, trade, economy – can move forward if we do not address the question of enforcing the laws of the State of Israel in the Arab sector.

“These two programs are intertwined, and they will help and benefit the citizens of Israel, primarily Arab citizens.

“I believe that anyone who wants a genuine integration of all citizens of Israel into Israeli society will be a partner in this national effort that the Government will lead in the coming years. “

Hana Levi Julian

Gush Etzion Arabs and Jews to Rally against Violence

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Gush Etzion Jews and Arabs will hold a prayer vigil at the Gush Etzion intersection Sunday to pray for the complete and speedy recovery for the three remaining victims of Friday’s arson attack in Samaria and for peace between Arabs and Jews.

Shorashim/Judur, a grass-roots movement of local Israelis and Palestinian Authority Arabs for coexistence in Judea and Samaria, is sponsoring the  prayer vigil.

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a teacher at the Otniel yeshiva and one of the organizers of the rally, said the event would be a critical demonstration of unity between Jews and Palestinians at a time when tensions are rising on both sides of the ethnic divide.

Referring to the firebomb attack that set a house on fire and killed an 18-month-old baby, he stated:

This vile attack occurred on the eve of the Sabbath that Jews around the world read the 10 Commandments, including the holy words ‘Thou shalt not murder,’ and less than a week after we read the frightening rebuke of the prophet Isaiah – ‘Your monthly and holiday celebrations have become disgusting to Me… You will spread your hands out in prayer [but] I will hide my eyes from you… your hands are replete with blood.’The first thing the Bible teaches us about humanity is that we are all created in the image of God.

Arab  participants at the 6 p.m. rally will include Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Hawa and Ali Abu Awwad. Several rabbis will attend, including the heads of the Har Etzion Yeshiva and the  Makor Chaim Yeshiva High School.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Palestinian Authority Arabs and IDF Play Soccer [video]

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Don’t expect B’Tselem to show this video of “occupation” soldiers playing soccer with Arab youth.

Video of the Day

Young Muslims to Protect Oslo Synagogue as Jews Pray in Norway

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

A 17-year-old Muslim teen has rallied hundreds of young Muslims in Oslo who say they plan to protect Jews as they pray on Sabbath in synagogue this Saturday. The group says they’ll form a “peace ring” around the Jewish house of worship in the Norwegian capital.

Hajrad Arshad told state broadcaster NRK she initially called for 30 volunteers. Instead, at least 630 have risen to the challenge. She and her six co-organizers are part of a Facebook discussion forum called URETT AVSLØRES, “Injustice Revealed.”

The group intends to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims,” the young activist said. “We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening.”

Oslo Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn welcomed the initiative, welcomed the initiative, pointing out the group was willing to defend the city’s Jews with their own bodies. “What they are showing is that if anyone wants to do anything against Jews in Norway, they ‘have to go through us first’ – and I think that’s very positive.”

Kohn said the synagogue agreed to the initiative as long as more than 30 young Muslims showed up – because otherwise, “it may seem counterproductive. “But if you fill Bergstien (the street on which the synagogue is located),” he added, “it will be very good.”

Arshad told Vårt Land the group had decided on the project both as “fellow human beings and Muslims in Norway, to show that Muslims distance themselves from the anti-Semitism which Jews encounter daily.”

In a statement on the group’s Facebook, they write that “Islam is to rise above hate and never sink at the same level as the haters. [We as] Muslims wish to show that we take deep exception to all forms of hatred of Jews and that we are there to support them. This is why we shall be forming a human ring around the synagogue.”

Contrary to the poison spewed from countless televised and live sermons by radical Islamist imams in mosques around the world daily, not all forms of Islam are malignant, nor do all Islamic scholars or clerics preach hatred.

Turkish Islamic scholar Adnan Oktar warned Muslims to protect Jews and their synagogues as far back as 2008.  “The world ‘Israel’ is the name of Prophet Ya’qub (Jacob), peace be upon him, who is praised in the Qu’ran and remembered with great respect by Muslims,” Oktar writes. “The Magen David (Star of David), a symbol associated with King David is a holy symbol for us too. According to Qu’ran 22:40, Muslims must protect synagogues because they are places of worship. So why should members of the two religions not live together in peace?”

Oktar also warns Jews must “act in accordance with the moral valued and character of the King Messiah as revealed in the Torah… Judaic sources describe how the King Messiah will be a just person who protects the weak, honest, loving and peaceful… and make the world a place where everyone lives together as brothers in peace and security.” His writings on Muslim co-existence with Jews and other topics are translated into Norwegian in a special section of his website.  For his advocacy, Oktar has been vilified by numerous radical Muslim extremists and more than a few skeptical Jews as well.

Another courageous Muslim who has spoken out to advocate for peaceful Islam is Jordanian Sheikh Yassin Al-Ajlouni, who ruled last year that Jews should have a place of prayer on the Temple Mount — the estimated site of the Holy of Holies of both the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem.

In a video statement posted online December 18, 2014, the sheikh bravely called on “the religious ruling authorities in Palestine and Jordan” to allow Jews to build a synagogue on the site – the third holiest site in Islam as well – in the spirit of Islamic religious tolerance.

“There should be a special place of worship for the Jews among the Israelis under Hashemite and Palestinian sovereignty, and in agreement with the Israeli regime,” he said. “This by no means entails the harming of the Al Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Park of the courtyard, where there are trees, will be allocated for the prayer of the Israelis,” he prophesied, calling on other scholars in Jordan and among Palestinian clerics to “clarify their religious position regarding the building of a place of worship dedicated for the Israeli Jews.”

He commented also that he knew he was likely to face severe criticism or punishment for the statement. The Temple Mount is administered under the Jordanian Islamic Waqf Authority with the cooperation of the State of Israel.

Sadly, the sheikh was the recipient of severe criticism from nearly all quarters, including those of the Jordanian Iftaa Department, which issued a fatwa against him, calling him “ignorant” and having “no legitimacy.”

Within days, the sheikh was forced to recant his statement, and posted a poem on Facebook in which he called on Jews to avert plans to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Mount (there are none, of course) and exhorting them to convert to Islam.

“I am retracting my call, in my previous video, to allocate a place of worship for the Jews [ on the Temple Mount] he said in a follow-up video on December 28, 2014. “The Israelis interpreted this call as if I were saying that they have a right to Bayt al-Maqdis (the Temple Mount). I would like to emphasize that Bayt al-Maqdis is pure Islamic land. No one is allowed to give it up, trivialize it or to pass sovereignty over it to any non-Muslim party.”

The sheikh was then arrested by Jordanian authorities shortly after the second video was posted, and a lawsuit was filed against him by the “General Mufti Department” attorney general.

Oktar has repeatedly said that the Qu’ran states there is “no compulsion” in Islam, and warns it is forbidden to try to coerce anyone to convert to the faith. Tragically, al-Ajloun himself was forced by his own government to declare that Islam will be “victorious over the Jews” and that there is “still time to convert.”

Sheikh and professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, who is the secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association, was born in Rome to a Syrian Arab woman and an Italian Muslim father. Palazzi, an imam, is another Muslim cleric who challenges the typical terrorist poison broadcast around the world about Islam.

“The Qur’an foretells that before the Day of Resurrection the children of Israel will come back to the Land of Israel from which they were exiled twice,” Palazzi told Alex Maist of Novosty Nideli. “As about the right to create a state, this is not specified either for the Jewish people or for any other people,” he said.

“The Qur’an does not specifically contain the notion of a ‘capital,'” Palazzi added, “but mentions that Jerusalem was the center of the kingdom of David and Solomon and the seat of the Temple which Solomon built with the help of human beings and invisible beings. If this is not exactly the concept of a capital, it is nevertheless very close to it,” Palazzi pointed out.

Hana Levi Julian

Presbyterians Do Repentance and Drink SodaStream

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The supposed Presbyterian Church support of the Boycott Israel movement is suffering a wicked backlash from the little guys in the pews who are horrified at some of their elitist leaders who have taken upon themselves to speak in the name of the entire church.

The “Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church” in the United States has issued a study guide that that describes Zionism as inherently discriminatory.

The IPMN is an independent entity, noted the Christian newswire.com, although it was created by the Presbyterian Church’s assembly in 2004. The group has targeted Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola, all of which do business with the Israeli military and therefore are considered non-kosher participants in the alleged “Occupation.”

The Israel-based SodaStream company has become the latest favorite victim of the Boycott movement, also known as BDS, for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions.

The “church” is far from monolithic. Its anti-Israel activists failed to win approval for disinvestment when the issue came up for a vote in 2012 at the United Methodist General Conference and Presbyterian Church, but it will come up again for discussion at the General Assembly in June in Detroit.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a conservative group that  challenges church that focuses much of its criticism on the policies of the Methodist, Episcopal and the Presbyterian churches in the United States, is outraged at church leaders; support of BDS.

“Jewish groups rightfully are upset,” said IRD President Mark Tooley, “but Christian groups and all persons of good will interested in basic fairness should also be upset that once again a venerable church tradition is squandering its moral capital on a malevolent cause.

“The new semi-official Presbyterian anti-Israel resource illustrates the focused animus of many old-line church elites and activists against Jewish Israel.

“While Presbyterian and other church bodies remain almost completely silent about global persecution of Christians, anti-Semitism, and widespread human rights abuses especially against free speech and religious liberty, they oddly obsess over Israel’s transgressions, real and imagined.”

The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, the president of New York’s Auburn Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian-affiliated institution, wrote in an statement issued to JTA that the guide “Zionism Unsettled  “purports to be about love but it actually expresses demonization, distortion and imbalance.”

Some Presbyterians involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue say they are pressing the leadership of their church to renounce the study guide and plan to raise the issue at their mainline Protestant denomination’s General Assembly this summer. They have declared that the IPMN guide does not reflect the beliefs of the church’s members.

“My first response to my friends in the Jewish community with whom I associate on a monthly basis in a Jewish-Presbyterian dialogue group is to assure them that this does not represent even close to a majority opinion,” said the Rev. Mike Cole, a Houston-area Presbyterian leader.

The Presbyterian church officials have tried to do limited damage control by sitting that the guide “was neither paid for nor published by the Presbyterian Church,” but the officials have not repudiated it.

Jan Armstrong, a Presbyterian church leader in Santa Barbara, Calif., told the JTA that the study guide “is so unrepresentative of the Membership of the PCUSA as to be considered purely propaganda.”

The Rev. Chris Leighton, a Presbyterian minister and the executive director of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore, published a lengthy open letter to the Presbyterian church on the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies website in which he wrote that the guide “betrays the Church, the truth, and the spirit of reconciliation to which we are called.”

The “big issue” raised by the study guide, said John Wimberly, a co-convenor of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, “is the desire to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

A dozen Jewish drivers woke up Wednesday morning to find that their tires had been slashed by Arabs in the Jewish-Arab neighborhood of Abu Tur, located on a hill opposite the Old City.

No Arab-owned vehicles were touched, and police are investigating.

As in other areas of Jerusalem where Jews and Arabs live in the same neighborhood,  relations were good until the Intifada ignited Arab violence against Jews and destroyed peaceful co-existence.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/136103/2013/07/17/

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