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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Huckabee Denies Ambassador to Israel Offer, Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Former Arkansas Governor and longtime Republican friend of Israel Mike Huckabee tweeted early Saturday morning: “Media buzz that I was named Amb to Israel is NOT true. Was never discussed with PE Trump; slot probably not picked until State Dept in place.”

Israeli and US media Reported Huckabee’s appointment Friday morning, noting that should the news be confirmed, the appointment would signal a sea change in US foreign policy under President Trump.

Huckabee was one of the guests invited to a sit down with President Elect Donald Trump on Friday, after which a presidential transition official told DailyMail.com that he would be “America’s top diplomat in the Jewish state.” The same official also said Huckabee would supervise moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “That’s going to happen,” the transition official said on Friday morning, “Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.”

The author of several best-selling books, an ordained Southern Baptist evangelical minister, a musician, a public speaker, Huckabee, 60 was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007. He came third in the GOP presidential primaries in 2008, behind the nominee John McCain and Mitt Romney, and dropped out of the race early in 2016. He is a Christian Zionist, who organizes trips for the believers in the Holy Land.

Huckabee’s The Israel Experience website argues that “for believers, a visit to Israel is more than just a trip to a fascinating foreign country – it’s an opportunity to experience the complex and beautiful Holy Land that was the setting for the teachings, the battles, and the miracles of the Bible.” The website promises that “you’ll learn about Israel’s heritage from both a Biblical and a historical perspective.  You’ll hear from top Israeli officials about the strategic place Israel holds today and why America is such a valuable ally to her.”

From 2008 to 2015, Huckabee hosted the Fox News Channel talk show Huckabee. From April 2012 to December 2013, he hosted a daily radio program, The Mike Huckabee Show. He is. He is also a political commentator on The Huckabee Report.

JNi.Media

Hekdesh Benvenisti Suing to Evict 9 Arab Squatter Families from Eastern Jerusalem

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

The Hekdesh Benvenisti submitted this week eviction suits against nine Arab families in the Kfar HaShiloah (Silwan) neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. To date, the association has sued 72 Arab families it wants evicted, based on the fact that the entire neighborhood belongs to Yemenite residents who settled there in the early 1920s.

Kfar HaShiloah is located on the eastern slope of the Kidron Valley, above the outlet of the Gihon Spring opposite the City of David.

The Hekdesh Benvenisti is an association established in 1899 for the purpose of building the Yemenite neighborhood. According to Daniel Luria, the executive director of Ateret Cohanim-Israel, the Ateret Cohanim NGO assists the Hekdesh facilitate acquisitions in the area, which has been conducting a legal campaign against the Arab squatters who took over the Jewish-owned homes following the 1949 armistice, when the Jordanian Legion governed eastern Jerusalem. The bulk of these Arab families took over the properties in the 1950s and 60s, and today there are some 80 Arab families there.

The Hekdesh went to court after the squatters refused the offer of money to vacate the Jewish properties.

Currently there are more than 50 Jewish families living in the area, some in homes purchased from Arabs, some in Beit Yonatan, an apartment building in the neighborhood, owned by Ateret Cohanim. Last year an Arab family was evicted from what used to be the century-old Yemenite synagogue, and the building has undergone renovations, complete with a glow-at-night star of David on the rooftop. Two additional apartment buildings have been redeemed over the past year, and are also being renovated to accept future Jewish families.

The Jewish residents of the area are often attacked by the Arabs, in many cases requiring intervention by police and Jewish security personnel. The process of removing the Arab squatters promises to be lengthy, but the association expects big rewards in terms of establishing a major, thriving Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.

In 2014, White House spokesman Josh Earnest described the new, legal occupants of Kfar HaShiloah as “individuals who are associated with an organization whose agenda, by definition, stokes tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.” Prime minister Netanyahu was “baffled” by the criticism, deeming it “un-American.”

Attorney Avraham Moshe Segal, noted that “various courts, led by the Supreme Court, have determined that the Hekdesh is the exclusive owner of these lands, and we expect that the courts’ rulings be honored precisely.”

JNi.Media

Cisco Fires Another 90 (Former NDS) Employees in Israel

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Four years ago in 2012, US-based Cisco purchased the (British-) Israeli company NDS for 5 billion dollars. It was the largest hi-tech purchase in Israel.

Founded in 1988, with its headquarters in Jerusalem, NDS was a hi-tech company building encryption solutions for pay TV networks. Rupert Murdoch bought the company in 1988 for 15 million dollars. In 1999, the company was listed on NASDAQ.

What made NDS most notable was the sheer number of Olim that worked there from English-speaking countries, the former Soviet Union, and France. Olim made up the bulk of the company. It was a cornerstone company for the Anglo community in Israel.

When Cisco made the purchase, they absorbed 5000 NDS global employees, 1500 of them in Israel. Cisco soon afterwards shut down the NDS Korea offices and business units in Hong Kong.

In 2013, Cisco laid off dozens of their Jerusalem workers.

This week, Cisco laid off another 90 from the Jerusalem development center.

A former Cisco-NDS employee said there are now less than a 1000 employees in Israel.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Global Mayors Meet in Jerusalem, Will Visit Yad Vashem

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Mayors and governors from more than two dozen cities around the world are visiting Israel this week as part of the 31st International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem.

The American Jewish Congress and American Council for World Jewry are acting as hosts for the mayors this year in Israel.

The delegation is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local Israeli municipalities that include Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Nazareth.

Representatives from cities such as Beverly Hills, Miami Beach, Salzburg, Odessa and Lvov are scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum on Tuesday (Nov. 15).

The mayors will participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

During their four-day trip they are set to visit hi-tech, energy and cyber firms, as well as urban development experts, in addition to the Jerusalem Innovation Center, ‘Bezeq Telecom’ and to enjoy a Tel Aviv start-up tour. The officials will meet with Israeli entrepreneurs working in the fields of health, security, water and the environment.

Hana Levi Julian

The Trumportunity for Israel

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Op·por·tu·ni·ty: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

Trump·or·tu·ni·ty: A set of circumstances created by the improbable victory of Trump, which makes it possible to further many issues in the US and the world, especially in Israel and the Middle East.

Three Upsets

Just as the world seemed to be progressing towards a post-national, post-family, post-God globalism, three stunning upsets proved that there was a rebellion afoot against those values.

First, Netanyahu won big in the last Israeli election and established a right-wing government, despite serious US intervention and dire predictions of failure. Then, the British people rejected Europeanism and chose Brexit, despite major European pressure and dire predictions of failure. Finally, Trump won while facing a relentless, super-hostile media and dire predictions of failure. These three events were really referendums on the Euro/Obama worldview. Global voters gave a clear response — we want our countries back; we want our values back.

If we are smart and focused, we can make powerful progress in Israel under this new zeitgeist. In particular, the new Trump administration — with its strong ties to Israel, and even to Judea and Samaria, and its repudiation of the Obama worldview — offers three big Trumportunities:

The death of the two-state paradigm

In the Six-Day War, Israel was under threat of total annihilation. And then, providence handed the Jewish heartland back to the Jewish people, and Israel’s enemies fell to the IDF in an incredible victory.

But we blew it. We did not annex the heartland. Instead, in time, we allowed an alternative anti-Israel atmosphere and narrative to metastasize in that land and later globally. Later on, instead of fixing the problem and making Israeli law the law of the land, the Jewish state drank the Palestine Kool-Aid, and entered a process of giving away the land to a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

This was in spite of the fact that “two-state” was never going to work. There was never a way to split the tiny landmass of Judea and Samaria, rip it away from its rightful residents — the Jewish people — and instead empower the jihadists to fight the rest of Israel from the strategic high ground. Yet this is precisely the formula that Israel’s leadership went for, and which subsequent US administrations have adopted. The two-state solution has been taught ad nauseam as the only solution to the conflict, and has been stuffed down Israel’s throats by every US administration since Jimmy Carter was president.

But change is on the horizon. Recently, the Republican party unanimously voted to drop support for the two-state solution in its national platform; rejected the notion of Israel as an “occupier;” and “specifically recognize[d] that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is antisemitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”

In a recent Statement from Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, wrote: “The US cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant.”

With the Trump election, a window is opening to finish the work of the Six-Day War and to further a plan of action to assert Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and dismantle the PA. The first step towards that aim is clear: If freezing construction in those areas was a concession to President Barack Obama, then now is the time to rectify that sin and build, build, build. Maybe we can even put up a Trump Tower in Kiryat Arba.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

The first clear test of the Trump administration will be the promised move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thereby recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Actually, Trump won’t have to do anything to make that happen. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a US law — passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995 — for the purpose of relocating the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel. The law was adopted by the Senate (93–5) and the House (374–37). Nevertheless, it has never been implemented, because of opposition from presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, who have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

All Trump has to do is not sign that waiver and the law — the will of the American people — will be fulfilled. This is a Trumportunity to instantaneously erase the disgrace of Israel’s great ally not recognizing the Jewish right to Jerusalem.

Push back Iran and Jihad

This is what Trump’s Advisory Committee on Israel has written:

“Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the US State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism  — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US must counteract Iran’s ongoing… quest for nuclear weapons.”

Indeed, the Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump victories are signals from us global voters that we are tired of concessions to jihad — and we want it pushed back. In the UK and and the US, people want an end to dangerous unchecked immigration, and here in Israel we must demand of our leaders to strike at the jihadist infrastructure that exists within the borders of our country. The Obama era encouraged Iran and global jihad; the Trump era is an opportunity to push that dark genie back into the bottle.

But jihadist are not only waging war in Iran, Syria and Gaza. They are also on American campuses and in the media. Much of the intellectual force of jihad against Israel actually sits in offices like those of the New York Times and on campuses like Berkeley — places that affect millions with their incessant teaching and broadcasting of the delegitimization of Israel. In response, Trumps advisers on Israel have written: “The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.”

Indeed, there is now a Trumportunity to counteract anti-Israel sentiment throughout the world as Trump’s election is, in part, a repudiation of “progressive “ ideology, and within that, of course, is anti-Israelism.

Opportunity to work hard

The Trumportunity is by no means a guarantee. The opportunity here is just that, an opportunity. Just as in the Six-Day War, it can be harnessed or squandered. Now is the time for us Israelis to push hard on our leadership to maximize this moment. Now is the time for pro-Israel Americans to hold the Trump administration to its promise to fulfill its pro-Israel mandate and the Republican platform. Now is the time for all of us to get out and push this wagon all the way home. The victories of Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump are a good start, but nothing here is going to happen automatically. Let’s get to work and take hold of the Trumportunity. May God give us strength to succeed.

Yishai Fleisher

I Want to Ride my Bicycle

Monday, November 14th, 2016

A Haredi man rides his bicycle near Yafo (Jaffa) Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Photo of the Day

A ‘Passage to Israel’ is a Visual Journey Through Israel’s Beauty

Monday, November 14th, 2016

For those who love Israel, the ability to describe the look and feel of the place feels imperative. How can anyone who hasn’t been to Israel recognize the vast beauty of the tiny space?

Karen Lehrman Bloch felt that imperative and, with a career of looking at, cataloguing and curating beauty, undertook a quest to mine and then share the beauty of the Holy Land. Bloch’s quest was in itself an act of beauty: the process of culling Anemones in the Negevexceptionally gorgeous pictures of Israel developed into ever-deeper understandings of Israel’s essence, and an embrace of the many different ways in which Israel is beautiful.

Jaffa Beach

The result of Bloch’s journey is an incredible, ethereal, upliftingly soulful work of art, Passage to Israel, (Skyhorse Publishing). The book is being launched at an exhibition starting Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Anderson Contemporary Gallery, in the South Street Seaport at 180 Maiden Lane in New York City. Bloch’s many years as a curator of beauty honed the skills essential to conveying the beauty of Israel in a dramatic and stunning book.

Passage to Israel is divided into four chapters: Land, Light, Life and Soul. These divisions are a welcome refusal to cleave the land into parochial categories, either geographically or religiously. Bloch also

Morning

rejected banal beauty, the postcards from the Holy Land kitsch. The fading sunlight playing through the clouds and fog over a wave-breaker in Tel Aviv, or a bicycle race along the Dead Sea – each picture in Passage to Israel is a delight and a surprise.

tzachiyaffeagamonhulachaosElah Valley

In more than 200 photographs taken by 35 photographers, not one gives fuel to the misguided but widespread belief that Israel is a militaristic nation defined entirely by the conflict. Perversely, it was the 2014 Gaza War which drew Bloch’s focus to Jerusalem children

Ethiopian worshippersIsrael. A neophyte on social media, the hatred and ugliness expressed there towards Israel eventually inspired Bloch to find a form of healing through what she knows best: beauty.

“I wanted to put something beautiful and positive out there about Israel,” she told the JewishPress.com. Bloch’s previous books, The Inspired Home: Interiors of Deep Beauty and The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex & Power in the Real World, both dealt with aspects of beauty. She felt up to the task.

Five of the photographers whose work is featured in the book will be at the launch scheduled for this Thursday.  And Mattisyahu, the Grammy-nominated Israeli singer, will be performing. Bloch explained that Mattisyahu was, “in many ways integral to the book. He uses his poetic, often soulful lyrics to touch people both emotionally and spiritually. That’s what I want these images to do.”

When Bloch saw that the gallery where the launch is being held, she knew she wanted him to perform on opening night.

The “Passage to Israel” exhibition runs at the Anderson Gallery from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, 2017. Bloch plans to take the exhibit to cities such as Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, London and Berlin. The exhibit will have its final showing in Jerusalem, sometime next year.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/a-passage-to-israel-is-a-visual-journey-through-israels-beauty/2016/11/14/

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