The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

Archive for June, 2014


Monday, June 30th, 2014

by Ari Soffer (Arutz Sheva News)

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, further restrictions have been imposed on Jews wishing to ascend the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

On Sunday morning, police announced that the Mount would only be open for a few hours in the morning for Jews and tourists to visit, with the rest of the day exclusively for Muslim worshippers.

“That would be a step up,” said Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman dryly, noting that last year the Mount was closed completely to Jews during Ramadan for all but a few hours the entire month.

Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, Jews who wish to visit the Temple Mount even on regular days may only do so during certain hours, and the size of Jewish groups are restricted in number. Jews, along with other non-Muslims, are also forbidden to pray or carry out any forms of religious worship on the Temple Mount – despite numerous court orders ruling that they should be permitted to do so.

Groups of visibly-Jewish visitors are regularly subjected to harassment and even physical attacks by Muslim extremists, and Rabbi Richman described how even during the heavily-policed visits during Ramadan, the violence is continuing unabated.

The rabbi himself led a group of ten Jewish visitors to the site Monday morning, and described how a peaceful visit soon degenerated into “basically a lynch”, after a group of Muslim women started to heckle the group. They were soon joined by others, and the crowd swelled to “hundreds”.

“It’s something which is impossible to describe,” related Rabbi Richman. “You have these women dressed in black who come into your face and they hold up three fingers and gloat – like ‘we have your children’ – it’s just the most unbelievable thing.”

The three fingered gesture has been adopted by Islamists and other anti-Israel extremists as a celebratory symbol for the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers more than two weeks ago.

New rule: no drinking on Ramadan

Instead of breaking up the Islamist mob the police “just stood there and filmed the whole thing,” he claimed. What’s more, in the midst of the violence, they warned the Jewish visitors “to be sensitive” to Muslim worshippers and avoid drinking water, despite the sweltering heat, out of respect for Ramadan.

“I saw reports in the Arab press stating that the violence was because a Jew was drinking on the Temple Mount during Ramadan,” said Rabbi Richman.

“I didn’t see anyone drinking, but the police warned us and said ‘please be sensitive because it’s Ramadan, and don’t drink.’

“These women are standing around us in their hundreds holding up these three fingers and they’re laughing at us, and a policeman comes over to me and says ‘please don’t have a drink’,” he continued. “It’s ludicrous.”

When the mob threatened to get out of hand, police ushered the Jews off the Temple Mount and closed it for the rest of the morning – despite other groups having waited for hours in the heat. They included 90-year-old Rabbi Moshe Tendler, a respected rabbinical scholar and son-in-law of the famed Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.

Rabbi Richman called on the government to “impose Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount and empower the police” to do their job.” They never apprehend any of the (Muslim) instigators, despite court rulings that Jews should be allowed to worship freely.”

But he said in the absence of political will it was up to the Jewish people to push for change.

In the past few years the harassment and violence has got a lot worse; but that, he said, is a sign that things were already changing, and that the monopoly on the holy site held by the Islamic Waqf trust is in its “death throws”.

“You didn’t have this phenomenon years ago… the reason they’re doing this is that they sense we are awakening and coming back and reconnecting to the Temple Mount, and that’s what’s driving them into a panic.

“You have a handful of Jews surrounded by hundreds of screaming, savage extremists. But the Jews are holding their heads high, the Jews are not afraid – only the police are in a panic.”

He noted that despite the harassment not only has the numbers of Jewish pilgrims increased but also “the diversity”; religious-Zionist, hareidi and secular groups can now be seen regularly ascending the site “to reconnect with their heritage” together.

“It’s so beautiful because that’s (Jewish unity) the function of the Holy Temple,” he said.

“The more Jews that come and see and feel this and bring other Jews and stand up – that’s how we are changing facts on the ground.”


Monday, June 30th, 2014

by Elad Benari

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked nine different terrorist targets in Gaza overnight Saturday.

In a statement, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the targets were a weapons manufacturing site in northern Gaza, a weapons manufacturing site and a terrorist center in central Gaza, and three concealed rocket launchers and three terrorist centers in southern Gaza.

The statement said the airstrikes were in retaliation for a rocket assault by Gaza terrorists on southern Israel.

Direct hits were identified and all aircraft safely returned to their bases.

“The IDF will continue to act with determination and as necessary against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel,” said the statement, which placed the blame for the rocket fire on Hamas and all its branches.

On Saturday night, hours after two rockets were fired from Gaza towards the Sderot area,setting a factory on fire and burning it down, two more rockets were fired by Gaza terrorists.

The rockets fell in open ground in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sedot Negev Regional Council areas.

No damage or physical injuries were reported as a result of the missiles.

The rocket fire from Gaza has escalated since Hamas terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teens on June 12. On Friday, the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted two rockets, just hours after a barrage of three rockets exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council, and a mortar shell was fired as well.


Monday, June 30th, 2014

by Israel Today Staff

Israeli minister concerned as local violence ramps up
Israel’s enemies turn on one another

Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip over the weekend fired into southern Israel a dozen missiles, one of which scored a direct hit on a factory in the besieged town of Sderot.

The plastics factory that was hit quickly went up in flames and an adjacent paint factory also caught fire. Both facilities burned to the ground, though firefighters were able, after an hour-long struggle, to prevent the blaze from spreading.

Four people were lightly wounded in the attack. Fortunately, because the missile strike took place on Shabbat, there were no workers inside the factories at the time.

Earlier in the weekend, two medium-range missiles fired at the southern Israel port city of Ashkelon were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Ashkelon is also home to a large industrial center that is extremely vulnerable to missile attack.

The attacks from Gaza have intensified since the June 12 abduction of three Jewish teenagers in Judea (the so-called “West Bank”).

Israel responded to the weekend barrage with pinpoint strikes on Hamas and other terrorist targets throughout Gaza. A Palestinian surveillance camera caught one such strike in which a vehicle transporting two wanted men suddenly exploded after being hit by an Israeli guided missile.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday said that Israel must once again seriously consider the option of reconquering the Gaza Strip.

“We have to decide if we are heading to a scenario of re-taking full control of the strip,” he told Army Radio. “We’ve seen that a limited operation just strengthens Hamas, so the alternative is clear. There is no scenario in between.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at the weekly cabinet meeting that all options were on the table.


Friday, June 27th, 2014

by Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), now in the second week of its lightning offensive that put large portions of Iraq under its control, continues to tighten its noose on the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

A Kurdish official on Tuesday stated that two towns on a crucial supply route linking Baghdad with the Shi’ite majority south of the country have been captured by the Sunni ISIS, reports the news site Breitbart, referencing unconfirmed reports.

The official, Jabbar Yawar, said by capturing the towns of Iskandariyah and Mahmudiyah, ISIS is as close as six miles from Baghdad. By capturing the supply route, it was predicted that the ability of Shi’ite reinforcements to the capital could be cut off and leave Baghdad isolated.

Meanwhile Iraqi security sources on Friday told Al Arabiya that ISIS had captured the town of Al-Mansuriya near Baghdad in the Diyala province, to the immediate east of the capital.

The town is only an hour’s distance from Baghdad.

Reports by the Stratford Global Intelligence agency, published by Breitbart, state that ISIS is currently staging an attack on Balad Air Base (formerly Camp Anaconda) located 35 miles north of Baghdad, and has already overrun part of the facility.

The report cites anonymous Iraqi defense officials saying that seven divisions, a full half of the Iraqi army ahead of the June 10 ISIS conquest of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, have been defeated or deserted.

Shi’ites have brutal militias too

As the Sunni ISIS Islamists approach Baghdad sectarian violence has been skyrocketing in the capital, with numerous reports of assassinations and atrocities being committed by local Shi’ite militias against Sunni residents.

One Sunni resident of Baghdad, Muthan al-Ani, told the New York Times that Shi’ite militias are patrolling the city in unmarked vehicles and capturing citizens without any reason or any explanation as to where they were being taken. He added that Iraqi soldiers are hesitant to confront the militias “because they are more powerful than us.”

The United Nations (UN) reported that last week at least 21 unidentified bodies, most of them shot in the head, were found in Baghdad, while police officials said they found 23 bodies. Many more simply disappeared.

“We certainly acknowledge there are unidentified bodies being found in Baghdad, and some evidence is emerging that people have been tortured,” said Jacqueline Badcock, deputy representative of the UN secretary general for Humanitarian and Development Affairs in Iraq.

A regional issue

The fighting in Iraq, which threatens to spill over into neighboring Jordan or Iran in a regional war that countries in the area are preparing for, has already killed 1,075 in Iraq in June, according to the UN.

The UN added the number is an “absolute minimum.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry told BBC on Tuesday that “every country in the region will combine in order to take on and expel ISIS because it is simply unacceptable to have a terrorist organization grabbing territory and challenging the legitimacy of governments.”

Kerry emphasized his push for a “political solution.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met with him on Thursday in Paris, and stated Israel is offering to aid “moderate” Arab states.


Friday, June 27th, 2014

by Tova Dvorin, Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

Both Spain and Italy published advisories on Friday warning their citizens against doing business with “settlements,” just days after a similar advisory was published in the French-language section of the French Foreign Ministry website.

The advisories warned against business in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, all areas liberated from Jordanian and Syrian occupation in the 1967 Six Day War.

The warnings claim Israel’s presence in the area is “unrecognized under international law,” and therefore “legal and financial risks” are posed to businesses and individuals doing business with Israel in the region, either by investing, transferring money, signing contracts, purchasing land or receiving tourist services.

“The current situation could cause disputes over land, water, minerals or natural resources that funds were invested in,” warned the Spanish advisory.

The Spanish foreign ministry told the Spanish news agency EFE that the warning is not a “sanction” or “boycott” against Israel, but rather an effort to follow EU decisions and follow the model of England, France and Germany.

“We have no intention to harm business or cooperation with Israel in the internationally recognized borders,” read the statement, indicating the 1949 Armistice lines.

The move comes after the French Foreign Ministry stated earlier this week: “due to the fact that the settlements are illegal in international law, the performance of financial transactions in the settlements – e.g. money transfers, investments, acquisition of property, provision of supplies or the performance of any [other] economic activities that benefit the settlements involves risks.”

The site alleged a “a high likelihood of land disputes or disagreements regarding water, quarries or other natural resources.”

“We call upon citizens or businesspeople who are considering becoming involved in economic activity in the settlements to seek appropriate legal advice before going ahead,” it adds.

The warnings bring to mind similar statements by the British government last December. However, the 2012 Levy Report found that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is completely legal according to international law.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded Friday that it would not be issuing a condemnation of the report, citing a lack of legal standing over the issue, Yedioth Aharonoth reported.

“This shows that Europe does not have a flattering view to settlements, but the statement itself is very limited, and there will be no penalties [over them],” a foreign ministry official said.

Responding to “Palestinian Pressure” Requests

The BDS warning by Italy comes a day after Fatah-Hamas unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met with the President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, on Thursday.

The Arab news site Wafa reports that Hamdallah called on Grasso and the Italian delegates with him to “pressure Israel and encourage the international community to force Israel to lift its unjust siege on the Gaza Strip.”

Hamdallah similarly claimed that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria “harms” the PA’s economy.

Likewise, Wafa reported that the Spanish Foreign Ministry on Thursday expressed “concerns” about the IDF Operation Brother’s Keeper to rescue the three Israeli teens abducted by Hamas terrorists two weeks ago.

Reportedly the Spanish ministry called on Israel to “exercise self-restraint,” and called for a return of negotiations.

The statement noted the Arab rioters killed in the course of the operation as they were involved in attacks on the IDF forces, saying “there should be no more loss of human life.”


Thursday, June 26th, 2014

by Tsvi Sadan (Israel Today News)

Finding a red heifer is like finding a needle in a hay stack. But early this week some overly industrious Jew managed to do just that in the United States of America.

This finding is all the more intriguing considering that on the coming Sabbath (Shabbat) Jews will read in the synagogues the Torah portion that begins with one of the mysterious commandments of the Red Heifer: “Tell the Israelites to procure for you a red heifer that is free from every blemish and defect and on which no yoke has ever been laid…” (Numbers 19:2ff).

The Red Heifer is an extremely rare creature. According to Jewish tradition, during the two thousand years from the time this commandment was given until the destruction of the Second Temple in the first century AD, only nine red cows that met the biblical criteria were ever found.

For a cow to be a Red Heifer it has to be without blemish, one that was never put to work and completely reddish. Jewish law requires keeping the young cow under strict care until it reaches three years old. During this time, leaning on the cow, riding it even once or even putting a piece of cloth on its back disqualifies it from becoming a Red Heifer.

Strict rules also apply to its color. Two single hairs of a color other than red automatically disqualify it from becoming a Red Heifer. A Red Heifer candidate that was discovered in 2000 was disqualified after two black hairs were found on it.

Likewise, a cow that meets all other criteria, but is older than four is disqualified. The present calf has a long way until, if at all, it will become a real Red Heifer.

In biblical times, the Red Heifer was to be completely burnt by a priest outside the Temple. Interestingly enough, the Red Heifer was burnt on the Mount of Olives, where the Dominus Flevit [The Lord Cried] Church is located today.

After being burnt, the Red Heifer’s ashes were mixed with water called the “water of remission,” which was used to purify people, especially those defiled by touching dead animals. This most serious form of defilement required Jews to undergo a ceremonial cleansing with the ash of a Red Heifer before they could again enter the Temple courtyards. In other words, without the Red Heifer, Jewish worship on the Temple Mount is not possible.

The discovery of a red calf that could potentially become a Red Heifer excites many Jews who believe that Moses prepared the first Red Heifer and Messiah will prepare the last one.

The possibility of finding a real Red Heifer prompted the Temple Institute to make the logistic preparations needed for bringing the American calf to Israel and to train priests that will perform this sacred and rare sacrificial ceremony.

At least in theory, this calf could help Jews sufficiently purify themselves to engage in real Temple activities. For now, however, believers will have to chew their nails for at least two and a half years before it will be known whether or not this import is the Red Heifer.


Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

by Ido Ben Porat, Gil Ronen (Arutz Sheva News)

Economics Minister and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett announced Wednesday that he intends to lead an effort to stop Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) from continuing the policy of payment of generous monthly salaries to convicted terrorists jailed in Israeli prisons.

“Did you murder Jews? Have you abducted children? Get up to 12,000 shekels a month from Abu Mazen!,” wrote Bennett sarcastically on his Facebook page. “Meet Abu Mazen’s ‘preferred employment’ track: murderers, terrorists and child abductors. We have preferred status for gas station attendants, Abu Mazen gives it to those who pour fuel on the fires of death and destruction.”

According to a report presented by Bennett, a terrorist serving 5-10 years makes 4,000 shekels a month; a terrorist serving 10-15 years makes 6,000 shekels, a terrorist serving 25-30 years makes 10,000 shekels, and terrorists who are serving over 30 years make 12,000 shekels a month.

“In addition, every Palestinian prisoner in Israel receives 400 shekels for private expenses, twice a year,” wrote Bennett. “There is also a bonus for married terrorists and a special addition for children. In Palestinian terms, these are huge salaries.”

“About 4,000 freed prisoners continued to receive salaries after their release,” he added. “The ‘preferred employment’ also has a pension. And so, Ziyad Awad, the murderer of Baruch Mizrahi z”l who was released in the Shalit deal, received a salary from the Palestinian Authority during his first imprisonment, was released and received a freed terrorist’s salary, and now his conditions will again be improved in Abu Mazen’s ‘preferred employment’ scheme – after all, he murdered a Jew and has returned to prison. Amazing.”

Bennett claimed that the funding for the salaries comes from European states and other countries, “which turn a blind eye and allow their money to reach terrorists in a roundabout path, whether through the Authority or through the PLO. Whoever abducts children on their way home from school knows he has nothing to lose: at the end of the road, there awaits a warm embrace from the Palestinian Authority and a good salary.”

“The system is simple,” Bennett explained. “With one hand, Abu Mazen ‘condemns’ the abduction, of course, and with the other, which hands out cash for terrorism, he encourages it.”

Bennett did not say how he intends to stop the payment of terror salaries and predicted that the legal establishment will say that the matter is “problematic” and that there are “legal obstacles” to blocking the payments. “But I do not know a less legal matter than the encouragement of terror,” he added.


Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

by Uzi Baruch, Tova Dvorin (IsraelNationalNews)

The World Committee For the Land of Israel and Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva (Torah academy) held a gala dinner in honor of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee Monday, in gratitude for his tremendous support for and activism on behalf of the State of Israel.

Huckabee referred to his visit at the home of kidnapped teen Naftali Frenkel this week in Nof Ayalon, repeating that the abduction of the teens on their way home from school is a “criminal act” that the world must condemn.

In addition, he argued that the international pressure on Israel to resolve the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” was not the independent decision of the international community, but rather the direct influence of factors wanting to see Israel’s destruction.

He added that the idea of a “Two-State Solution” is illogical, as the Jewish people is a sovereign people over the Land of Israel, and would endanger the State of Israel’s existence entirely.

Dr. Joe Frager, Chairman of the Committee and one of the founders of US Friends of Ateret Cohanim, noted the visit’s timing.

“The visit to Israel was planned seven months ago, along with Dr. Paul Brody and Odelia Jacobs,” he noted. “We did not think we would be landing at a time of crisis, when Hamas, the executive arm of Iran, would hold three yeshiva students hostage.”

“Immediately after landing in Israel we visited the parents of Naftali Frenkel,” he added. “The conversation lasted an hour and affected Huckabee and actually gave a different dimension to his visit here.”

Huckabee has appeared on many US media outlets defending Israel, a role he has stepped up in recent days by defending Israel’s crackdown on Hamas and wishing his best to the families of the abducted teens.

The former GOP presidential candidate promised that, if he runs in the 2016 election, he would campaign for Israel.

“If I will be President, or in any position close to the US Presidency, I will work at full strength and with all my heart for Israel,” Huckabee said. “As it says in the Bible, ‘those who curse you are cursed and those who bless you are blessed,’ and as a believer I would love to be blessed from helping the state of Israel as much as I can.”

Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs MK Ze’ev Elkin noted that the visit strengthens the US-Israel relationship.

“The familiar and common value that Israel and the US share is the Bible,” he said. “But there is another interest that binds us to the American people: the struggle against radical Islam.”

“Mike Huckabee is a true friend, who carries these messages of strengthening ties between the two countries. ”

In the realm of US-Israeli relations, where comforting platitudes are a dime a dozen, rare is the leader who will go beyond mere lip service and actually act on his convictions. Mike Huckabee, it seems, is one such leader.

The former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate is also a lifelong friend of the Jewish state, having visited dozens of times over the last four decades. Guided by his faith (Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister), the governor has been unwavering in his support of the Jewish claim to the entire Land of Israel, despite the ever-shifting winds of popular opinion.

This week’s visit to Israel came with a particular sense of urgency, with his first stop being the home of Israeli-American teenage abductee Naftali Frenkel, where Gov. Huckabee offered words of hope and encouragement to the boy’s beleaguered family.

The rest of Huckabee’s fact-finding tour, under the aegis of Ateret Cohanim (an organization dedicated to the redemption, by Jews, of Arab-owned real estate in Jerusalem and other Jewish holy sites), is being focused on the challenges facing Jews in East Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, as well as the threat of anti-Israel delegitimization efforts such as the BDS movement.

On Monday, Huckabee and his delegation—assembled largely through the efforts of American activists Dr. Joseph Frager, Dr. Paul Brody, and Mrs. Odelya Jacobs—toured the Old Jewish Quarter (better known as the Muslim Quarter) of Jerusalem’s Old City. While there, the delegation stopped at two recent Ateret Cohanim acquisitions: Beit Zion (a mechina, or preparatory academy for Religious Zionist high school grads prior to their army service), and Beit Wittenberg, an apartment once owned by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as an assertion of the right of Jews to settle anywhere in Israel’s capital.

The Wittenberg House, it has recently been discovered, is also the site of the 19th century Mediterranean Hotel, where Mark Twain stayed on his famed sojourn to the Holy Land.

Briefing Mike Huckabee and his colleagues of eastern Jerusalem’s extensive Jewish history, Ateret Cohanim’s Daniel Luria pointed out that 5,000 of the “Muslim Quarter”‘s 35,000 residents are Jewish. Moreover: “One doesn’t have to be a genius to recognize that there is no such concept of Arab East Jerusalem anymore. There are 250,000 Jews living in what the world says is ‘East Jerusalem.’

“The world is treading water when it says we’re going to divide Jerusalem,” he added.

Following their whirlwind tour of the Muslim Quarter, the Huckabee delegation had private audiences with Israel’s Ashkenazi and Sephardi rabbis, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef.

Looking quite at home in a yarmulke decked out with Israeli and American flags, Gov. Huckabee discussed the recent abductions with Chief Rabbi Lau, and the lack of a response from the American public: “I think it’s very tragic that there hasn’t been more attention, but as people do learn about it, it’s touching a nerve.

“It’s one thing,” said Huckabee, “if people hear that three Israeli soldiers have been kidnapped or captured. That gets our attention, but this hits our hearts very differently. When a person who is American hears this story, they don’t react as an American, they don’t react as a Zionist. I’m both, but I react as a father.”

Both chief rabbis offered words of blessing and encouragement, thanking Huckabee for his efforts at bringing knowledge of the present crisis to the American public.

The meeting with Israel’s top rabbis was brief, and followed immediately by a special caucus in the country’s parliament on the topic of combating the delegitimization of the Jewish state. The dignitaries in attendance included Knesset Members such as Rabbi Nissim Ze’ev of Shas (who was also present for the audience with the chief rabbis), Rabbi Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), Moshe Feiglin (Likud), Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), and Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, as well as numerous cabinet members such as Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel, and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.

Also present was Yonah Lloyd, president of SodaStream, whose company was thrust into the BDS limelight when celebrity Scarlett Johansson refused to be intimidated by anti-Israel activists into dropping a spokesmanship deal with the company, even leaving her position as global ambassador for Oxfam over the matter. Other speakers at the event included ZOA President Mort Klein, Lawrence NY Mayor (and RZA Chairman) Martin Oliner, and Ken Abramowitz of NGN Capital and Chairman of American Friends of Likud.

Representing the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, Dr. Joseph Frager lauded Mike Huckabee as Israel’s “best friend in America.” He went on to describe America’s non-Jewish friends of Israel as an important source of chizuk (strength).

Speaking about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran, Frager declared that it would ultimately fall upon Israel to act. Addressing the Israeli delegation, he said “I wish I could say that the President of the United States would be there for you and make it easy. I think he’ll come around, but first you’ve got to jump into the ‘Yam Suf,’ (Sea of Reeds; a reference to the Exodus) and then the waters will part.”

MK Feiglin also expressed the notion that the State of Israel must take responsibility for its own well-being, and not rely on the largesse of others. Feiglin spoke of the common ground he shared with Huckabee, stating simply: “I believe in God.” He went on to explain that there is no legitimacy to Israel without God as a key factor.

Taking perhaps the most radical position among his colleagues in one respect, Feiglin called for an end to US aid (military and monetary) to Israel. “We don’t need it,” declared Feiglin. Instead, said the Israeli lawmaker, the relationship between Israel and the United States should be based on shared values, e.g. freedom and respect for human rights.

Dovetailing quite naturally with Feiglin’s address, Gov. Huckabee explained his principled support for Israel. In his usual down-to-earth style, Huckabee spoke of his experience waiting in line as he passed through Israeli Customs, relating it to his relationship with Israel in general.

“It is typical,” said Huckabee, “that when I get in a line, I look for the short one, but it always takes longer. When people always ask me ‘Why are you so supportive of Israel?’ well … it seems like there are always very long lines of people who are ready to condemn Israel, who are ready to criticize Israel, even annihilate Israel. The line to stand with this unique country—whose only explanation for existence in the modern world is God’s providence—the line to stand with Israel is a very short one; and since I always like to get in the short line, I don’t mind being at the very front of that line.”

The governor regaled the Israeli dignitaries with the story of his visit this year to Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day, noting “I went there at my own expense because I believed that it was going to be an extraordinary opportunity to show solidarity, as a number of members of the Knesset went to Poland that day, to stand in victory on the very grounds that had been intended for their defeat.

“And I thought of what is said in the Old Testament, that as Joseph said to his brothers ‘What you intended for my harm has turned out for good.’ And sometimes we forget that even those things which are intended for harm cannot stop God’s greater purpose.”

“There are those who wish harm upon Israel,” Huckabee continued, “that’s undeniable. There are those who would love for Israel to not exist. And some of the most vicious, some of the most violent acts in human history, have been targeted towards Israel and a nation and the Jewish people as a whole.

“Some of the acts are irrational. How else can one describe the BDS movement, other than that it’s irrational? To punish Israel because it is a democracy? Because it does allow women the opportunity to have equal rights? Because it does give equal wages and benefits in companies like SodaStream … and they’re actually creating jobs for people, it doesn’t matter who they are? If that’s something that the world thinks that it needs to divest from, then we have a crazy world. But we do, and we have some very crazy people who are launching these initiatives.”

“It’s important that we get the truth,” declared Huckabee. “Truth is the best friend that Israel has.”

The Fox News commentator and potential 2016 presidential candidate went on to lament the abundance of falsehood generated by Israel’s enemies in their efforts to take legitimacy away from the Jewish state. He denounced the so-called “Two-State Solution” as unworkable insofar as it assumes that both parties are acting in good faith, when the Palestinian leadership clearly is not.

Huckabee concluded by recounting his time with the Frenkels, expressing admiration for their strength and courage, and reiterating his previous statements that whoever is behind these horrendous acts, if the teens are not returned immediately and unharmed, will “have hell to pay.”

The Knesset caucus was followed by a dinner reception at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel, which included many dignitaries from the day’s proceedings, as well as Chagai Ben-Artzi (brother-in-law of Prime Minister Netanyahu), noted expert on US-Israeli relations Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, former MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad, Women in Green co-chair Nadia Matar, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, and Ateret Cohanim executive council member Robert Kopell, who introduced Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin.

As of this writing, the Huckabee delegation is scheduled to visit the SodaStream factory in the Judean village of Kfar Adumim, east of Jerusalem, and several other sites of Jewish interest on both sides of the Green Line.


Monday, June 23rd, 2014

by Tova Dvorin (Arutz Sheva News)

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIS) takeover of Iraq earlier this month took the world by storm, as the successive fall of several major cities in the Sunni-dominated northwest left Iraqis fleeing and world leaders shaken.

But what if the blitz military conquest could have been prevented altogether?

Kurdish intelligence reported news of a strategic alliance and pact between Islamist groups to topple Mosul and other major Iraqi cities with ISIS’s help as far back as January, the Telegraph reported late Sunday.

Shortly after the fall of Fallujah to ISIS, an informant reportedly stepped into a Kurdish intelligence office to reveal the news that ISIS officials had networked with remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime and former Hussein deputy Izzat al-Douri to plan a large-scale invasion.

But while Kurdish handlers ran immediately to the US and Britain with the information, the West allegedly sat back and did nothing.

“We had this information then, and we passed it on to your (British) government and the US government,” Rooz Bahjat, a senior lieutenant to Lahur Talabani, head of Kurdish intelligence, told the Telegraph. “We used our official liaisons.”

“We knew exactly what strategy they were going to use, we knew the military planners,” he added. “It fell on deaf ears.”

He warned that the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was now a greater threat to western countries than Osama bin Laden had been in 2001.

But the West may be responsible for more than just the current waves of ISIS takeovers.

Both Bahjat and Talabani stated that the West’s lack of resolve to tie up all the loose ends in the 2003 invasion caused the current crisis on the grand scale – despite a common criticism that the invasion itself caused the crisis.

And the future does not look promising, they said.

“ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is now something bin Laden could only dream of being,” Bahjat said. “The sleep of reason produces monsters. It’s the lack of resolve in the West that is the most important thing.”

“Reason has been sleeping and now we have lots of monsters,” he added.

Cleaning up the mess?

ISIS has been beaten back slightly from the northwestern front since it first attacked earlier this month, as forces were driven out of Jalula after a brief takeover and resistance has fomented near Baiji and outside of Tal Afar.

However, ISIS forces continue to descend upon Baghdad as of Monday morning, as confused fighting continues in a steady line toward the capital city.

The US’s involvement in the fighting continues to be the source of ongoing controversy, with many claiming recent efforts to help Iraqi forces drive off the ISIS invasion are an utter failure.

US President Barack Obama has waffled back and forth on the American position on the crisis. Last Friday, he committed to not sending troops to Iraq – only to send over 500 marines, dozens of helicopters, and the aircraft carrier George HW Bush into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, he ruled out American airstrikes on ISIS, while hinting this was a possibility in last Thursday’s speech.

As of Monday morning, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his team have landed in Baghdad to help clean up the mess, spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated as of 11:30 a.m. IST. Kerry is part of a delegation of 300 “advisers” to Iraqi forces.

Meanwhile, Kurdish authorities say the mission has little hopes of making a difference.

“I have completely lost hope in America after listening to President Barack Obama,” Talabani said. “I blame him personally for what has happened in Syria, in the Middle East, in Iraq at the moment.”

“I have no hope any more.”


Monday, June 23rd, 2014

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential primary candidate Mike Huckabee arrived in Israel on Sunday. On Monday, Huckabee, who is also a television host, spoke at the Knesset.

Huckabee’s appearance at the Knesset comes in the framework of The World Committee For The Land of Israel, a Zionist American Jewish organization.

The former presidential candidate remarked that he has been coming to Israel for 41 years since the summer of 1973, and “seen nothing less than the miraculous transformation of this land.”

There are “long lines to condemn, criticize and even destroy Israel,” said Huckabee, but the line of those aware that the “only explanation for Israel’s existence is God’s providence is a very short one, and since I always like to get in very short lines, I don’t mind being in the very front of that line.”

“There are those who wish harm on Israel, that’s undeniable. …Some of the most vicious, some of the most violent acts in human history have been targeted toward israel as a nation and the Jewish people as a whole. Some of the acts are irrational. How else can one describe the BDS movement other than an irrational punishment of Israel for giving equality by companies like Sodastream, remarked Huckabee, noting the company whose headquarters outside Ma’ale Adumim in Judea has put it in the target of BDS.

Speaking of Sodastream’s representative actress Scarlett Johansson, who refused to submit to pressure by the BDS movement to remove her support, Huckabee praised her for showing “more courage than all the State Department.”

“If I ever become President, maybe you’ll see Secretary of State Scarlett Johansson, I’m pretty sure she’ll be more attractive than the two we just had,” remarked Huckabee tongue-in-cheek.

“Truth is the best friend Israel has. Unfortunately it doesn’t have many friends telling the truth,” commented Huckabee. He noted the historical, Biblical, theological and logical definitions supporting Israel’s right to exist, adding that it fits the United Nations description of an indigenous nation.

“The nonsense of two people sharing the same land is irrational enough to begin with, but if one of them thinks the other doesn’t have the right to exist, the continuation of the nonsense of the two state solution is no solution,” charged the former presidential candidate.

“Can anybody celebrate the kidnapping?”

Huckabee defended Israel’s right to demand that its “children live in a place that is safe and secure and is not threatened by mere single digit miles from those that wish to destroy them.” He noted that directly after landing on Sunday he visited the home of Naftali Frenkel, one of the kidnapped teens who happens to be an American citizen.

The former Presidential candidate says he spoke to Frenkel’s mother, saying “I’m not talking to you as an American to an Israeli, I’m not talking to you as simply someone who comes with a diplomatic mission. I’m looking into the eyes of a mother whose son was just coming home from school, and someone took him from here.”

“Will anybody on earth justify what happened to those three boys. Can anybody celebrate that? If they can, they are very sick indeed. And if there are those who think you can defend and justify such a horrid action…then those are people made of a very different cloth than me, and it is very important that there is across the world unified condemnation,” stated Huckabee.

Indeed, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s PA and Fatah faction have celebrated the kidnapping, and a senior Fatah official last Thursday justified kidnappings as the “only language that Israel understands.” Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) likewise justified the abduction.

Huckabee warned that if the three abducted teens don’t come home safely, then “whoever did this will have hell to pay for having taken on those boys and their mothers.”

The former governor added that the international delegitimization of Israel is “rabid irrational anti-Semitic hatred, and we cannot allow the world to pretend that this is simply a political viewpoint that sponsors movements like BDS. It is anti-Semitic hatred and bigotry.”

“The greatest friend we have in America today”

MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) chaired the meeting, and began by praising Huckabee as “the man who fought all year against the delegitimization (of Israel) by the United States and the international sphere.”

Ze’ev also praised Huckabee’s determination to raise awareness about the kidnapping of three yeshiva students in the US. While the Secretary of State’s office and individual politicians have condemned the abduction, US President Barack Obama remains silent – some 11 days later.

“The world is indifferent. …but, our friend Mike Huckabee, went directly from the airport to the Frenkel family to support them, and tell them we’re here together,” Ze’ev said. “The United States and Israel are united on this issue (of the kidnapping).”

Dr. Joe Frager, Chairman of The World Committee For The Land Of Israel, then opened the address, calling Huckabee “the greatest friend we have in America today.”

Frager warned that action would need to be taken on Iran’s nuclear program, likely this summer, but that it looks like Israel would need to act alone without waiting for US President Barack Obama to help. He closed by reciting Psalm 121 for the return of the captive teens.

Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) spoke in the meeting as well, saying Israel must act against the kidnappers of the three teens with a strong hand, doing “much more than the government is doing now” to bring the three home.

“Rescue the teens, Ramadan or not”

Also present at the meeting was Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud).

“You today visit Israel as a television host who supports Israel. I hope you will visit Israel soon as an American President who supports Israel,” said Danon.

Regarding the concern that the IDF operation to rescue the teens will run into increase opposition during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which starts this weekend, Danon said “I’m all for their having rights, but I demand rights to Jews, the rights of the families Sha’ar, Frenkel and Yifrah to see their kids at home. And therefore I call not to stop the IDF actions, even if it’s during Ramadan.”

Danon argued that the Jewish people’s rights to Israel are based on Biblical rights, historical rights, as well as rights under international law, for security reasons, and “common sense.”

“We won in war, we don’t give a prize to those who lost in war…no prize to attackers,” said Danon.

Danon closed by noting a law signed in by US President Barack Obama stating that no “Palestinian unity government” including Hamas would be funded, and asked Huckabee to help stop the transfer of funds “which go for incitement.”

“We’re our worst enemy”

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) then spoke, commenting to Danon “Israel continues to transfer funds to the Palestinians, what do you want from America?”

Speaking in English to address Huckabee, Feiglin said “our problem is not America, our problem is ourselves.”

“We have something in common, you and I. I listen to your speeches, and every time I hear you saying something that I hear myself saying all the time. You say, ‘I believe in God,” and without that the delegitimization will continue,” said Feiglin, arguing that the belief in God Who gave Israel to the Jewish people is the truth legitimization of Israel.

“If we run away from our identity, this is the open gate to De- legitimization. What do you want from the Arabs and the Americans? If we ourselves came and said in the Oslo agreement that the heart of the land belongs to a different group, and they’re not even a nation…once we did that we lost the strongest weapon – justice,” stated Feiglin.

Feiglin added “Israel doesn’t need the financial and military support (of the US), Israel needs America and America needs Israel to spread around the message of freedom, because we share the same values.”

Following Feiglin was Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who remarked he had received a letter Sunday from the International Parliamentarian Union (IPU) secretary general, saying jokingly that he felt there must have been a first letter that got lost in the mail.

The letter opened with “deep concern” over a “Palestinian parliament member” being arrested in the IDF operation to crackdown on Hamas and rescue the abducted teens. Edelstein remarked that he looked for the absent first line of the letter saying “I condemn the kidnapping.”

However, looking for such a condemnation Edelstein reports he found “nada, nothing.”

‘Double Standards are Anti-Semitism’

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke as well, calling Huckabee “one of Israel’s best friends” and adding that he “agreed with everything.”

“We might have many more enemies, but we have very strong friends with you,” he said. “You need some courage and integrity to support Israel against animosity, and anti-Semitism. This is extremely encouraging.”

Steinitz first made a few comments regarding the abduction of three yeshiva students, reiterating that Hamas is indeed responsible for the kidnapping.

“Those who are responsible directly for these terrible terrorist attacks are the Hamas people and the Hamas movement, this we know with confidence; I can say this as Intelligence Minister with confidence,” he affirmed.

Steinitz maintained that responsibility also falls on the Palestinian Authority, however.

“But we cannot exonerate the PA altogether for the kidnapping, including PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas,” he added. “They are in charge of preventing such attacks, and they failed.”

The minister named three reasons Abbas should be held responsible: that the terrorists “came from Area A, which is under the secure responsibility of the PA,” and that “if they failed now, there is a question they can be trusted in the future”; because the PA “sent up a joint government with a terror organization, Hamas”; and the major question of Palestinian incitement.

“Although it was done by Hamas, the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish incitement in the PA education system, government media, government television, is ongoing on a daily basis,” he stressed, “including some encouragement for kidnapping Israelis that was broadcasted on Abbas’s government station.”

“Abbas has condemned the kidnapping a little, denounced it a little, but we shouldn’t exonerate him until they crack down on terrorists, until they terminate this partnership with Hamas, and more important until they put a complete end to this horrific anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish incitement,” he added.

Steinitz then shifted his attention to BDS, as a “weapon of anti-Semitism” to “isolate Israel.”

“If Israel’s enemies use double standards, this is anti-Semitism,” he noted. “We have experienced a lot of anti-Semitism against the Jewish people over 2,000 years.”

“Modern anti-Semites are not anti-Semites; they are only against the Jewish state, not the Jewish people,” he said. “It’s forbidden to be against the Jewish people now after so long but to make it against the Jewish state is alright.”

“We are willing to accept criticism but not incitement and hatred,” he added.

Steinitz brought up the issue of Cyprus – the northern part of which has been occupied by Turkey – as a prime example of the international community’s double-standards.

“There are many territorial conflicts in the world,” he said. “The EU holds that northern Cyprus is occupied by Turkey.”

“Yet no one ever wants to divest from Turkish banks in Northern Cyprus or boycott products from Northern Cyprus,” he said.

“These are double-standards across the enormous Middle East, which is riddled with human rights violations, women’s rights violations – with murder, with execution orders,” he continued. “But within all of this sadness, there is an infinitesimally small state, a Jewish state, a Western state par excellence, and the West finds reasons specifically to harm this tiny Democracy – this is what we called ‘disguised anti-Semitism.”

Security and American values

MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) also spoke, telling his story about emigrating to Israel from the US and thanking Huckabee for upholding traditional American values.

“When I looked in the room and saw the American flag in the room, you just can’t look away, something stirred inside me,” Lipman said, noting an American flag hung outside his childhood home “365 days a year.”

He recounted how, when he was preparing to be sworn in after the last Knesset elections in 2012, “they asked me to raise my right hand and renounce my US citizenship, and I had tears streaming down my face. It was really hard to do.”

“It was hard to do so because of what America stands for and what the America I grew up in stood for,” he explained. “I always saw America as a country which saw truth, saw good, and would fight against evil, fight against falsehood. Then, all of a sudden, I found out that Israel is the cause of evil in the world and felt very isolated.”

Citing the recent Presbyterian Church decision to support BDS, Lipman thanked Huckabee for the “revival of core American values,” reflecting that even the early Presidents stressed the importance of the Jewish people and even a Jewish homeland.

Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) also spoke, thanking Huckabee for his work preventing IDF soldiers from being labelled as “war criminals”; and MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) asked Huckabee to relay to the State Department that Israel is “not willing to trade our security for US technology,” referring to the US framework for negotiations with the PA and the current fall in Iraq to ISIS as proof.

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