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Posts tagged ‘Jewish state’

Israeli Minister: Kerry Pressuring the Wrong Side.


An Israeli minister on Sunday said Washington’s top diplomat was “wrong” for pressuring Israel in peace talks, a day before Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas visits the White House.

His remarks came two days after US Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

“John Kerry is wrong because he is putting pressure on the wrong side,” said Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, who is considered close to Netanyahu.

“Kerry should be asking Abu Mazen (Abbas) why he is stubbornly refusing to recognise Israel as the Jewish state,” he told public radio.

The demand, which was only placed on the table several months ago by Netanyahu, has been consistently rejected by the Palestinians and is now threatening to derail the peace talks ahead of an April 29 deadline.

Kerry waded into the debate on Friday, saying he believed it was a “mistake” to raise the issue over and over again — in what was taken as open criticism of Netanyahu.

“I think it’s a mistake for some people to be raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude toward the possibility of a state and peace,” Kerry told a congressional hearing, adding that Washington had made its position “clear.”

He said such recognition was clear in UN resolutions and it was also confirmed by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1988 and in 2004.

The Palestinians, who recognised Israel as a state in the early 1990s, have said that accepting its religious character would ignore its Arab minority and amount to giving up on the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees.

Israel has not formally responded to Kerry’s remarks.

Kerry is facing an uphill battle to get the two sides, which have reportedly failed to agree on anything, to clinch a framework proposal which would extend the talks beyond the April deadline until the end of the year.

On Saturday, another senior member of Netanyahu’s cabinet poured cold water on Kerry’s peace efforts by saying Abbas was not a partner for peace.

“He is not a partner for a final agreement that would include the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and that would end the conflict and all claims,” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon told private Channel 2 television.

“I’m sorry to come to this conclusion, but this (peace agreement) will not happen in my time,” said Yaalon, one of several hardliners in Netanyahu’s government.

Abbas will meet US President Barack Obama on Monday, and is likely to raise the issue of Israel’s pledge to release another 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners, which is due to take place on March 29.

Israeli officials have said that without any movement in the peace talks, the release is unlikely to happen.

© AFP 2014

Source: Newsmax.com

Kerry: Israel Insistence on Jewish State Declaration a ‘Mistake’.


US Secretary of State John Kerry has criticised Israel’s insistence that the Palestinians publicly declare Israel to be a Jewish state.

Kerry said Thursday that recognition had already been made in UN resolutions and by the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and it is a mistake for Israel to keep insisting on it as the two sides work towards a two-state peace agreement.

“‘Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in (UN) Resolution 181 where there are more than 40– 30 mentions of ‘Jewish state,'” Kerry testified at a Congressional hearing.

“In addition, chairman Arafat in 1988 and again in 2004 confirmed that he agreed it would be a Jewish state. And there are any other number of mentions,” he added.

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“I think it’s a mistake for some people to be raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude toward the possibility of a state and peace, and we’ve obviously made that clear,” Kerry said in a session of testimony on the State Department budget.

Israeli public radio on Friday broadcast Kerry’s comments, followed by what it said was a recording of Arafat commenting on a 1988 decision by the Palestinian National Council, the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s parliament-in-exile at the time.

“The PNC had accepted two states, a Palestine state and Jewish state,” Arafat says in English.

There was no official Israeli response to Kerry’s comments, but the radio quoted an unidentified political source as saying that it was “easier for the Americans to pressure Israel to give up on the demand for recognition of a Jewish state than to deal with the Palestinians.”

Israel and the Palestinians have been locked in talks that US Secretary of State John Kerry fought hard to kick-start in July after a three-year hiatus, but the negotiations have faltered over key issues.

After a meeting chaired by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday, the PLO Executive Committee blasted “attempts to extract recognition of the Jewishness of the State of Israel in order to erase Palestinian history and rights in one sentence”.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

© AFP 2014

Source: Newsmax.com

Palestinian Authority President Flunks History.


Harry Truman
U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Abba Eban, and Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in the White House on May 1, 1951. The Israeli leaders presented Truman with a menorah. (Fritz Cohen)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated that he won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and he’s claiming support for that position from an unlikely quarter: former U.S. President Harry Truman. But a closer look reveals that Truman’s words are being misrepresented.

In a Feb. 3 interview with the New York Times, Abbas was asked about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state—something both the Israeli government and President Barack Obama have said the Palestinian Authority needs to do.

“This is out of the question,” Abbas said.

To justify that position, Abbas handed the Times interviewer a packet of documents, the first of which was a statement by Truman from 1948 in which the words “Jewish state” were crossed out and replaced by “state of Israel.”

Someone who didn’t know better might think Abbas had scored a point. But in fact, the document in question does not provide evidence of American opposition to a Jewish state.

Here’s how that cross-out came about.

On May 15, 1948, just before David Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the state of Israel, Truman decided he would extend U.S. recognition to the state as soon as it was proclaimed. A senior aide to the president, Clark Clifford, telephoned Eliahu Epstein (Elath), who was the state-to-be’s chief representative in Washington. Clifford told Elath to submit a formal request for recognition as soon as possible.

Elath wrote up the request during the minutes before the state was proclaimed. He did not yet know what its name would be. So he typed “the Jewish state.” He gave the document to his assistant, Zvi Zinder, who ran outside to get a taxi to the White House.

Moments after Zinder left, Elath’s secretary rushed in to say she had just heard on their shortwave radio that the state had been declared, and it would be called the state of Israel. Elath sent his secretary after Zinder and caught up to him at the gates to the White House.

Elath didn’t want to delay recognition by having Zinder return and retype the letter. So he had instructed his secretary to make the correction by hand. Hence the famous cross-out to which Abbas referred. It was not a political or ideological statement; it was the equivalent of a typographical correction.

But none of this is a secret. Ambassador Elath described it in his book The Struggle for Statehood: Washington 1945-1948, which was published back in 1979, and it has appeared in other books since then. It’s required reading for scholars and diplomats who have a serious interest in America-Israel relations. It’s difficult to believe that Abbas and the PA aides who helped assemble his packet of clippings are unfamiliar with these well-known facts.

On the other hand, history has never been Mr. Abbas’ strong suit.

Last year, he told a Lebanese television station that David Ben-Gurion and the Zionist movement collaborated with the Nazis.

“I challenge anyone to deny the relationship between Zionism and Nazism before World War II,” he said. He claimed to have authored 70 books on the topic.

So far, only one of those 70 books has been published. That 1983 book, based on Abbas’ Ph.D. dissertation at Moscow’s Oriental College, argued that fewer than 1 million Jews were killed by the Nazis—and that those Jews were the victims of a secret partnership that Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders formed with the Nazis in order to have a basis for demanding a state.

“Since Zionism was not a fighting partner, it had no escape but to offer up human beings, under any name, to raise the number of victims, which they could then boast of at the moment of accounting,” Abbas wrote. “Having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiation table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over.”

The historical record can play an important role in addressing the conflicting claims by Arabs and Israelis about territories, refugees and other issues. But that record is ill-served when Holocaust history and American history are twisted into political cannon fodder by those who are less interested in the facts than in scoring points against Israel.

Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C., and co-author, with Chaim I. Waxman, of the Historical Dictionary of Zionism.

For the original article, visit jns.org.

How an Israeli With Cerebral Palsy Beat the Odds and Became an IDF Officer.


IDF Captain Yehonatan Cohen
Israeli Defense Forces Captain Yehonatan Cohen (IDF.il)

Captain Yehonatan Cohen is noticeably different from other officers in the Israeli army. As a result of a severe disability, he is bound to a wheelchair and unable to move his hands.

He needs help with most day-to-day functions—including eating, drinking and bathing. With significantly impaired vision, he relies on others to read aloud to him. Cohen was born two months premature, and because oxygen was cut off from his brain at birth, he developed cerebral palsy—a condition that left him physically disabled.

Despite his physical limitations, Cohen’s exceptional intellect and determination have allowed him to succeed.

“My parents are people who didn’t give up on me along the way,” he says, joking that his use of the phrase “didn’t give up” may be an understatement. “They really taught me that I’m capable, and I grew up with that feeling.”

At his parents’ insistence—and driven by a deep desire to integrate into Israeli society—Cohen attended high school with non-disabled students and graduated with honors.

A Struggle to Serve

Like many Israeli teenagers, Cohen eagerly reported to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enlistment office, determined to join the military and serve his country.

“When all of my friends received their orders to enlist, I decided that despite everything, I wanted to enlist too,” Cohen recalls, explaining his devotion to the IDF and the Jewish state. “The truth is that it’s something that’s been with me since childhood. We are a family that believes that the state of Israel is above everything. Before everything else, you have the state of Israel; this is something that was very important in our education and in the values of our family.”

Accompanied by his medical aide, Cohen approached an officer in the enlistment office but was immediately told that his condition would prevent him from serving.

“In my family, there was no such thing [as not enlisting],” Cohen says. “We enlist—no matter what. It’s true that I wasn’t obligated to enlist in a formal or legal sense, but from an ethical and Zionist standpoint, I certainly was.”

Although the IDF exempted him from service, Cohen insisted the army accept him as a volunteer.

“That’s how the process of my enlistment began,” Cohen says of that first day in the IDF office.

Over the next year and a half, he wrote letters and made his case to officials throughout the IDF, speaking with some of the army’s most senior officers about his commitment to serve. He eventually met the head of the IDF’s manpower branch, who spoke with him about opportunities to enlist as a volunteer. After a long and determined struggle, Cohen finally fulfilled his dream and received the order to join the Israeli army.

Inspiring Others

Cohen earned a distinguished position in the Education Corps, where he became an adviser for Israeli teenagers about to start the army. He immediately connected with the role, realizing it would allow him to impart his passion to other people his age. Through presentations to groups of students, he helped hundreds of young Israelis understand why they should be motivated to serve in the IDF.

“There is the official requirement to serve,” Cohen explains, referring to the obligation of all Israelis to enlist in the army, “but there is another stage, another level, which is the privilege to serve.

“There are a lot of obligations in the state of Israel—paying taxes and stopping at a red light, for example—but here you have a privilege to come and say, ‘I am serving the state of Israel; I am serving the IDF,’ or, as I would say, ‘I contributed, I acted, and I didn’t leave the fate of my country in the hands of others.’”

These moving words became a central part of Cohen’s message to Israeli youth during his time as an adviser. Today those words still motivate him to serve and contribute as a full member of Israeli society.

Becoming a Leader

After nine months in the army, Cohen left for the officers’ course and returned to his unit as a lead adviser. Recognizing his talent for teaching, the IDF later promoted him to an elite intelligence role, where he taught Islamic history to soldiers.

After more than a year, Cohen left the army to earn a degree, but he stopped his studies in the middle and came back to the military.

“I had an enormous hunger to return to the IDF—a hunger that returns every time I find myself at a crossroads, and I tell myself, ‘Good, I want to leave the military because I’m a little tired.’ Suddenly, this hunger comes back.”

He returned to IDF Intelligence and after several promotions reached his current role as a senior officer in the spokesperson’s unit.

“Until today, every time I’m about to sign an extension of my service, I say, ‘OK, maybe it’s enough,’” he explains and laughs, but suddenly becomes very serious. “But, no, I had this hunger, and I continued.”

When asked if he has a message for others with disabilities, he doesn’t hesitate for a second: “I think that we disabled people have to try as much as we can to enter the so-called ‘normal’ society and try hard to continue the revolution that we are starting in Israel and all over the world. We are part of this society. Just keep going and keep fighting.”

For the original article, visit idf.il.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ STANDING WITH ISRAEL.

IDF.IL STAFF

‘Christian Palestinianists’ Rebuked by Calvary Chapel Movement Founder.


Lynne Hybels
Lynne Hybels speaking about the Arab-Israeli conflict at Catalyst East in 2012. (Photo courtesy of the Balfour Post)

In a dramatic showdown last week within the Calvary Chapel movement, the leadership of the California-based association of churches distanced itself from an event held at North Coast Calvary Chapel that featured a presentation by Palestinian activists.

Called “Hope for the Holy Land,” the seminar program aims to present the Palestinian narrative to church audiences. Observers are saying that what made the North Coast event such a flashpoint was the fact that, since its inception, Calvary Chapel has been staunchly pro-Israel.

Israeli officials and American Jewish leadership have long known that Calvary Chapel is a staunch supporter of the Jewish state.

Calvary Chapel remains so, as evidenced by Chuck Smith’s public rebuke, which aired last week, just ahead of the Friday event, which spotlighted discussions by Sami Awad, Lynne Hybels and Mae Cannon.

Sponsored by the relief organization World Vision, “Hope for the Holy Land” purports to offer a balanced, nuanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some who attended the North Coast event say the presentations were heavily tilted toward the Palestinian view, which claims the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian suffering.

On May 9, one day before the North Coast event, Smith, who founded the Calvary Chapel movement 40 years ago, denounced the decision of North Coast to hold the event. On his World News Briefing via HisChannel, Smith made it clear that North Coast’s approach to this issue was an anomaly for Calvary Chapel.

“I’m really shocked,” he said. “I understand that one of the Calvary Chapels down in the San Diego area is having these fellows who are really friendly to the Palestinian cause, and anti-Israel, and they’re having them to speak there at a church that is affiliated with the Calvary Chapels. I just have such a difficult time with that, to try to understand why a pastor would have an anti-Israel speaker, in these days.”

Calvary Chapel is an ongoing supporter of the Jewish state, especially since mainline American churches have traditionally supported the Palestinians and a growing number of evangelical churches and ministries seem to be willing to listen to the Palestinian Christian perspective (as espoused by Awad and his family), which differs little from grievances long aired by the Palestine Liberation Organization and its modern manifestation, the Palestinian Authority.

Despite requests to cancel the event, North Coast Calvary Chapel proceeded on Friday, May 10, and Awad, Hybels and Cannon presented their views.

Standing With Israel will have updates on this story as information becomes available.

For the original article, visit balfourpost.com.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ STANDING WITH ISRAEL.

JIM FLETCHER/BALFOUR POST

Calvary Chapel Movement Founder Rebukes ‘Christian Palestinianists’.


Lynne Hybels
Lynne Hybels speaking about the Arab-Israeli conflict at Catalyst East in 2012. (Balfour Post)

In a dramatic showdown last week within the Calvary Chapel movement, the leadership of the California-based association of churches distanced itself from an event held at North Coast Calvary Chapel that featured a presentation by Palestinian activists.

Called “Hope for the Holy Land,” the seminar program aims to present the Palestinian narrative to church audiences. Observers are saying that what made the North Coast event such a flashpoint was the fact that, since its inception, Calvary Chapel has been staunchly pro-Israel.

Israeli officials and American Jewish leadership have long known that Calvary Chapel is a staunch supporter of the Jewish state.

Calvary Chapel remains so, as evidenced by Chuck Smith’s public rebuke, which aired last week, just ahead of the Friday event, which spotlighted discussions by Sami Awad, Lynne Hybels and Mae Cannon.

Sponsored by the relief organization World Vision, “Hope for the Holy Land” purports to offer a balanced, nuanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some who attended the North Coast event say the presentations were heavily tilted toward the Palestinian view, which claims the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian suffering.

On May 9, one day before the North Coast event, Smith, who founded the Calvary Chapel movement 40 years ago, denounced the decision of North Coast to hold the event. On his World News Briefing via His Channel, Smith made it clear that North Coast’s approach to this issue was an anomaly for Calvary Chapel.

“I’m really shocked,” he said. “I understand that one of the Calvary Chapels down in the San Diego area is having these fellows who are really friendly to the Palestinian cause, and anti-Israel, and they’re having them to speak there at a church that is affiliated with the Calvary Chapels. I just have such a difficult time with that, to try to understand why a pastor would have an anti-Israel speaker, in these days.”

Calvary Chapel is an ongoing supporter of the Jewish state, especially since mainline American churches have traditionally supported the Palestinians and a growing number of evangelical churches and ministries seem to be willing to listen to the Palestinian Christian perspective (as espoused by Awad and his family), which differs little from grievances long aired by the Palestine Liberation Organization and its modern manifestation, the Palestinian Authority.

Despite requests to cancel the event, North Coast Calvary Chapel proceeded on Friday, May 10, and Awad, Hybels and Cannon presented their views.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Syria alleges to discover Israeli spy devices.


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  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows devices that were found in country’s coastal region, northwest of Damascus, Syria, Thursday, March. 7, 2013. Syria's state-run media said were placed by Israel to spy on Syria. SANA’s report says the devices are designed to photograph, register and transfer data. Syria and Israel are at a state of war and fought several battles over the past. (AP Photo/SANA)View PhotoIn this photo released by the Syrian …
  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, devices that were found in country’s coastal region, northwest of Damascus, Syria, Thursday, March 7, 2013. Syria's state-run media said were placed by Israel to spy on Syria. SANA’s report says the devices are designed to photograph, register and transfer data. Syria and Israel are at a state of war and fought several battles over the past. (AP Photo/SANA)View PhotoIn this photo released by the Syrian …

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian authorities have discoveredIsraeli spying devices that were apparently hidden in objects that resembled rocks, Syria’s state news agency said Thursday.

SANA’s report said the devices are designed to photograph, register and transfer data. The agency said the objects were uncovered inSyria’s coastal regions, but gave no further details.

The Israeli military declined comment.

State-run TV aired footage of an object consisting of what looked like a camera and a satellite dish, and other objects that resembled rocks. Plastic boxes resembling batteries and cables were shown lined up in a room.

Lebanon also discovered similar devices in recent years, and said the objects were planted by Israel.

Syria and Israel have fought several wars since the Jewish state‘s creating in 1948, and the two nations remain technically in a state of war even now.

Israeli warplanes carried out an air raid near Damascus in January. U.S. officials said the target was a convoy of sophisticated Russian SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. Syria said a research center was hit.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Associated Press

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