Stolen Torah scrolls recovered – with PA assistance

Arutz Sheva

Five Torah scrolls stolen from Jaffa synagogue found in Hevron. Israeli police say PA authorities aided in recovery of holy items.

Five Torah scrolls were stolen from a synagogue in Jaffa over the weekend – only to be returned shortly afterwards, thanks to the cooperation of Israeli police and local Palestinian Authority forces in the city of Hevron, south of Jerusalem.

Torah scrolls, which are written out meticulously by hand by Torah scribes (sofers), cost tens of thousands of shekels to produce, and are frequently targeted by thieves.

Arab thieves operating in Jaffa, part of the city of Tel Aviv, stole five such scrolls from the Beit David synagogue on Bikkurei Tzion Street over the weekend.

After Israeli police were notified of the theft, Israeli authorities contacted PA security forces, who helped locate the stolen religious items in the city of Hevron, some 45 miles away in Judea, south of Jerusalem.

Chief Superintendent Danny Yisrael, who oversees all joint operations between Israeli police in Judea and Samaria with PA security forces, said the return of the holy items reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between Israeli and PA authorities.

“The return of the Torah scrolls is just one example of the cooperation between Israel Police and Palestinian police in a wide array of police activities, from the return of stolen property to its owners, to joint work solving murder cases and drug-related crimes. All of these [cooperative activities] are to the benefit of all citizens, and deny criminals refuge from the law.”

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Saudi Arabia’s Top Cleric: Fighting Jews Forbidden, Hamas a Terror group

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia issued a ruling forbidding war against the Jews and proclaiming that Hamas is a terror group.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, issued a surprising religious ruling, saying that fighting against Israel was inappropriate and that Hamas is a “terror organization.”

The Muslim cleric issued the ruling while answering a question on a television program regarding the Palestinian riots surrounding the Temple Mount in July, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.

Israel’s Communications Minister Ayoub Kara welcomed the unexpected decision and invited the Mufti to visit Israel.

“We congratulate Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the head of Ulema (Islamic scholars), for his fatwa [Muslim religious ruling] forbidding the fight against the Jews and forbidding to kill them,” Kara, a Druze, tweeted on Monday.

“He will be welcomed with a high level of respect,” Kara stated.

This was not the cleric’s only exceptional proclamation. In September 2016, he ruled that Iranians are descendants of Zoroastrians and are therefore “not Muslims.” Their “enmity to Islam, especially the Sunnis, is very old,” he said.

By: United with Israel Staff

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Jordanian Sheikh Causes Stir With Claims Israel Belongs to Jews

Sheikh Ahmed Aladoan, who visited Israel last year, based his assertions that Palestinian claims to Israel are false on the Koran.

Haaretz Feb 21, 2014

A sheikh from Jordan’s prominent Adwan tribe caused a stir recently when he said that Israel belongs to the Jews, and that Palestinian claims to the territory are false.

Sheikh Ahmed Aladoan of Amman, who made the remarks on his Facebook page, based his assertions on the Koran. In a post earlier this month he said that those who “distort the word of the Koran” are liars, and questioned the origins of the word Palestine.

“Allah is the protector of the Children of Israel,” he insisted, also saying that there was no such place as Palestine.

The Muslim cleric also accused Palestinians of violence, saying that they kill children, the elderly and women, that they hide behind human shields and have no mercy for their own children.

The sheikh’s remarks reportedly caused controversy in the Arab media, and the Adwan tribe released a statement distancing themselves from the assertions.

Last year, Sheikh Aladoan came to Israel, and paid a visit to Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu. The visit was filmed by Orot TV in Israel. The Jordanian told the rabbi “there is no name ‘Palestine’ for this land,” in the Koran, and that the Arabs should not therefore fight for the land.

According to the U.K.-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, the cleric’s supports the idea that Jordan is Palestine, and he believes that many Arabs, including Palestinians in the West Bank, would like to be Israeli citizens.
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Posted in Zionism, Israel, Palestine, Conflict Resolution, Islam, Rule of Law, Judea and Samaria, Exegesis | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Abba Eban: Americans say a Palestinian state is a very negative idea

Jpost Arab-Israeli Conflict

By Tovah Lazaroff
November 16, 2017

Preparations made by Israel in December 1967, for a series of negotiations with Jordan that it believed would erase the pos- sibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, were published for the first time on Thursday by Israel State Archives.

The archives released a set of transcripts from Israel’s Security Cabinet in 1967, recorded during the months leading up to and following the Six Day War, when in the flush of victory, Israeli pol- iticians imagined they were on the verge of peace with the Arab world.

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Of particular interest was the possibility, put forward by the United States, of negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan, whose country had controlled the West Bank and east Jerusa- lem for the 19 years from 1948 to 1967.

On December 20, then-foreign minister Abba Eban explained a peace deal with Jordan with regard to the West Bank, saying such talks would effectively erase the idea of a Palestinian state.

Eban said Hussein feared the creation of a Palestinian reality. He quoted American officials as urging Israel to enter into such talks with Jordan and to stay away from the Palestinian track.

“The Americans told us they believe that a Palestinian solution was a very negative idea and that a Palestinian state [would be] irredentist and radicalized,” with pro-Soviet tendencies, Eban said, and that it would push for more territory than Israel would want to give.

Records from that meeting and subsequent ones held in December reveal the terms that ministers believed Israel could provide in such a deal. Aside from Hussein, there was also the issue of Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol’s upcoming visit to the United States, in which he was scheduled to meet with pres- ident Lyndon Johnson. It was presumed that Johnson would want to know Israel’s stance on a peace deal.

Security was the primary con- cern. Ministers willing to debate ceding the West Bank back to Jor – dan wanted, much like today, to retain military control of the area. In particular, they feared that the Soviet Union, which had ties to the Arab world and possessed nuclear capabilities, could place a nuclear weapon within kilome- ters of Israel’s borders.

But those who believed that sovereignty should be imposed, or that Israel should not cede territory, were at a loss of what to do with some 600,000 Pales- tinians living in the West Bank and another 300,000 in Gaza. Some floated the idea of the IDF maintaining security, with Jordan retaining governmental control. Menachem Begin, who was then a minister in the govern- ment, was among those who argued for sovereignty, saying that nothing would come out of the idea of such talks.

He said it was “a mistaken prognosis to believe that Hussein will hold direct talks with us,” and that Israel had to determine for itself and for the United States what its terms were.

“This is the first time since the destruction of the Temple that this area [the West Bank] is in Jewish hands,” Begin said.

Posted in Peace Process, Israel, Palestine, Conflict Resolution, Mid East Policy, Rule of Law, Jordan, Judea and Samaria | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Joint declaration calls on US to demand Palestinians recognize Jewish state


Israel News
By Tamara Zieve
November 17, 2017

“The primary obstacle to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the near century of Palestinian rejectionism of the right of self-determination for the Jewish People”

It’s a demand that has been made of the Palestinians by various Israeli leaders in the past, but an unprecedented Knesset-congressional joint declaration issued on Wednesday called on the US administration to demand that the Palestinians recognize the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people as a precondition to future talks.

The declaration, signed by members of the congressional Israel Victory Caucus and the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus, declares that “the primary obstacle to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the near century of Palestinian rejectionism of the right of self-determination for the Jewish People”, and that, “only Palestinian acknowledgment of the Jewish People’s historic connection to the Land of Israel, and acceptance of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, will end the conflict.”

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The Israel Victory Project is an initiative of the Philadelphia- based Middle East Forum, whose stated aim is to shift the paradigm to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by declaring Israeli victory.

The declaration was signed during a visit to Washington and New York by co-chairman of the Knesset Caucus Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) and caucus member Avraham Neguise (Likud). The Israeli lawmakers met with their counterparts in the congressional caucus, from both sides of the aisle, as well as other senior US decision makers and opinion shapers, and Jewish and Christian leaders.

“Every attempt at negotiations with the Palestinians without demanding that they recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people will fail,” Forer said. “Together with members of Congress from both parties, we call on the American administration to demand from the Palestinians to recognize the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people as a precondition to future talks.

There can be no negotiations on our legitimate right to self-determination.”

“When [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas tries to sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration on its 100th anniversary it is obvious he is not interested in peace. If he intends to continue fighting we will defeat him again. Without victory there can be no resolution to the conflict,” Forer continued.

“The central message that we have brought to the US is that the Palestinians need to move from rejectionism to recognition… [We] are delighted at the support we have received from our friends in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, and we hope this is a message that will be taken on board by the Trump administration in any efforts or initiatives it pushes forward in the months ahead,” said Neguise.

The congressional caucus is comprised of over 30 members of Congress from both parties and is co-chaired by Representatives Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH). The Israeli caucus includes 16 Knesset members from most of the mainstream Zionist parties and is co-chaired, along with MK Forer, by Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid).

“It has been an honor to meet with the Israeli members of the (Knesset) Israel Victory Caucus this week and discuss the cherished friendship between our two nations,” Rep. DeSantis said.

“We agree that the greatest obstacle to peace is the refusal of Palestinians to acknowledge that Israel is the legitimate national home of the Jewish People.”

“I’m looking forward to working with our allies in the Knesset to advance the idea of an Israeli victory as an alternative approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – one where Israel stops making unnecessary concessions, and instead the Palestinians concede their goal of destroying Israel and accept that the State of Israel is here to stay,” Representative Johnson said.

“There can be no progress made towards peace until the Palestinians accept that significant but simple concept.”

The two caucuses were formed with the support of the Middle East Forum, led by Daniel Pipes, who launched the Israel Victory Project earlier this year.

“The Israel Victory Project is building political and intellectual support eventually to replace the current ‘peace process’ paradigm with one that will work better for both Israelis and Palestinians,” Pipes said

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Jordan switches on world’s largest solar plant in refugee camp

Jpost Middle East
November 13, 2017

LONDON/ZAATARI – Jordan has switched on the world’s largest solar plant inside a refugee camp, providing renewable energy to nearly 80,000 Syrians, the United Nations refugee agency said on Monday.

The 12.9 megawatts solar plant at Zaatari refugee camp, on the border of Jordan and Syria, will allow families to run a fridge, TV, fans and lights in their shelters, and recharge their phones to maintain contact with others abroad, UNHCR said.

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The 15 million euro ($17.50 million) project, funded by the German government, will provide electricity in Zaatari camp for up to 14 hours a day, the agency said.

“That allows the children to continue their studies, and also (for) the safety of women and young girls to go about. Camp life will be made much easier,” Stefano Severe, UNHCR representative in Jordan, told Reuters TV.

The UNHCR said the 40,000 solar panels will not only reduce carbon emissions by over 13,000 tons a year, it will also save the agency $5.5 million each year in running costs, which can then be re-invested into refugee support.

“Electricity is very important to us, it is needed by men, children, women, everyone needs it during the day,” Syrian refugee Anwar Hussein told Reuters TV.

“When we have electricity during the day, our children can stay home, they don’t go out in this weather and play in the dust and mud,” said Hussein, who has lived in Zaatari for nearly five years after fleeing the capital of Damascus.

From nearby Azraq camp in Jordan, to Dadaab in Kenya, solar power is being deployed to provide affordable and sustainable energy solutions for tens of thousands of displaced people.

In semi-arid eastern Kenya, Africa’s largest solar-powered borehole – equipped with 278 solar panels – is providing 16,000 refugees in Dadaab camp with a daily average of about 280,000 liters of water, which they use for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, according to the European Commission.

In Azraq, a 2-megawatt solar farm that started operating in May – the world’s first in a refugee camp – has enabled the UNHCR to provide free, clean electricity to 20,000 Syrian refugees, covering the energy needs of two villages connected to the national grid.

Yet while access to clean energy for refugees and their host communities is a global priority for UNHCR, analysts say millions of displaced people still lack access to sustainable, cheap energy sources because of a lack of funding.

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Was Deadly Earthquake Divine End-of-Days Judgment for Iran?

Breaking Israel News

“Tremble, you earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.” Psalms 114:7 (The Israel Bible™)

A 7.3 magnitude tremor, the largest earthquake in Iraq’s history, struck on Sunday just a few miles from the Iraq-Iran border, killing over 335 Iranians in what one prominent rabbi understood as divine judgment.

The earthquake, the largest to hit the Middle East in five years and the largest ever recorded in Iraq, struck at 9:18 PM local time on Sunday, followed soon after by over 100 aftershocks. Seven people were reported dead in Iraq, and over 350 wounded. The most disastrous results were felt in neighboring Iran, where in addition to 335 killed, over 4,500 people were injured.

At least 300 people have been killed in an earthquake that shook the border region between Iraq and Iran.

Rescue teams are still searching for survivors.

— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 13, 2017

The earthquake that was so devastating in Iran was felt as a gentle tremor in Israel, noticeable but not a cause for alarm.

BREAKING: Powerful earthquake strikes the Iraq-Iran border. It was felt as far as Israel. This is footage from an Israeli household

— Shulem Stern (@ShulemStern) November 12, 2017

Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a former member of the Sanhedrin, emphasized that this recent catastrophe in Iran should be perceived as divine retribution, since one of the Hebrew names for God, ‘Elohim’, represents the aspect of judgement brought about through nature.

“Though it is impossible to understand entirely God’s will or how he acts in the world, we are required to see his hand in everything that happens,” Rabbi Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “We have to recognize that God judges the world. It is our role to differentiate between good and evil, to be happy when good is rewarded and even to be happy when evil is punished.”

The rabbi cited Psalms as a source for this.

The righteous man will rejoice when he sees revenge; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Men will say, “There is, then, a reward for the righteous; there is, indeed, divine justice on earth.” Psalms 58:11-1

He added that the punishment is harsh. “Any country that threatens others with total destruction, like Iran has done, it is forbidden to show mercy, even to the individuals that are not directly guilty,” the rabbi said. “They will require you to show mercy but they do not ever show mercy.”

Rabbi Dayan stated that this is one of the lessons Israel learned at the parting of the Red Sea.

Sing to Hashem, for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea. Exodus 15:21

“What did the horses do that they deserved to be drowned?” the rabbi asked rhetorically. “Just so, even the Iranians who did not take part in the evil of their government are being judged along with their rulers. In the end-of-days, there will be a return of nations, and every person will be judged as part of a nation and not just as an individual.”
Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf

Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, a Jewish educator, disagreed, opining that while the death of innocents is indeed “up to God”, Jews should not rejoice at their judgment or withhold mercy.

“I pray three times a day that a catastrophic event hit Iran in order to destroy Iran’s nuclear and conventional weapons,” Rabbi Apisdorf told Breaking Israel News. “That doesn’t mean I want to see people get hurt. But how that happens, I leave it up to God.

“I am very happy when evil people die. When Yasser Arafat died, I was very happy. But when people die who don’t have their fingers on the triggers, people who on most levels seem innocent, I don’t rejoice. I accept it as the method by which God’s will was done.”

The question of whether to show mercy to an enemy is not just theoretical in this case. Israel is well known to be among the first to offer help to other nations in natural disasters all around the world. In 2016, the United Nation’s World Health Organization recognized the Israeli army’s field hospital as “the number one in the world.”

After Iran’s earthquake in 2003, Israel offered assistance, but the hand stretched out in friendship was slapped away.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran accepts all kinds of humanitarian aid from all countries and international organizations with the exception of the Zionist regime,” an Iranian government spokesman said at the time.

In 2012, two more earthquakes hit Iran. Israel did not offer assistance, nor has it offered any in light of Iran’s current crisis, though Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz officially expressed sympathy to the countries.

In any case, this recent catastrophe may be a prelude of things to come. Iran sits on a major fault line between the Arabia and Eurasia plates and deadly quakes are not uncommon. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck the city of Bam in southeast Iran, killing around 31,000 people.

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