All posts filed under: Israel

Hebron Credit: Ronan Shenhav/Flickr/Creative Commons

UNESCO’s bizarre motions

Earlier this month, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) continued to rewrite history, which according to some is the organization’s favorite pastime. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declared Israel the “occupier of the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s old city” as part of its annual meeting held in Kraków, Poland July 2 to 12th. With eight abstaining, the 21-member committee approved the motion in a 10-3 vote on July 3, 2017. Israel’s Foreign Ministry described the vote as “sad, needless and pathetic.” Such motions do little more than politicize important cultural and religious sites in the Middle East and further enflames already heated tensions. Predictably the Palestinian Authority jumped on the vote using it as another platform calling for the removal of Israel’s control of Jerusalem, a city that has been a part of Jewish theology and history for thousands of years. Then a few days later in a secret meeting, the Word Heritage Committee continued its rewrite declaring Hebron and the cave of the Patriarchs as endangered “Palestinian” sites. Located 32 km south of Jerusalem …

Streets of Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea Credit: Keith Martin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did a mystical Jewish rabbi foresee 22 years ago the rising threat of North Korea?

Breaking Israel News (BIN) is reporting on the strange prediction that Rabbi Levi Sa’adia Nachamanii made in a 1994 speech, one month before he died. In it, he discussed who would be the greatest threat facing Israel. He said it would not be Arab countries, but in fact North Korea. “Not Syria, not Persia (Iran), and not Babylon (Iraq), and not Gaddafi (Libya),” Nachamanii said, adding that “Korea will arrive here.” Nachamanii is from a mystical branch of Judaism called Kabbalah. It is a centuries-old tradition in Judaism that is derived from two ancient texts — the Zohar and Sefer Yezirah. They tend to spiritualize every word and number in the Bible. Some believe they stray into the occult through magical rites such as using amulets for healing, the belief that lost souls can inhabit people requiring deliverance that Kabbalists perform and forcing oaths on demons. But Kabbalists also have an intense interest in the end times and the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Perhaps one of the strangest stories to come out of this …

Zoroaster temple in Iran Credit: Bastian/Flickr/Creative Commons

So Who is Zoroaster?

About three thousand years ago, probably in the times of David and Solomon in the Bible, a man named Zoroaster or Zarathustra began preaching about one God, and one great force of evil in the world. His home was probably near Afghanistan and his teaching came to dominate all Iranian people, from northern India to Greece, in Europe. Information about times and places is mostly lost, but scholars agree that someone tried to turn people to God, in central Asia, many centuries ago. According to Tabari, a Sunni Muslim who lived about a thousand years ago, Zoroaster the ancient prophet of Iran was from Israel and a disciple of Jeremiah, or he travelled with a Hebrew prophet. We know the Persians were often kind to Israel and their temple in Jerusalem. Kings of Persia (Iran) ordered the rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem: “Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “The …

View of the Dome of the Rock and Western Wall. Many believe the Muslim Dome of the Rock is built on the original site of the Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 AD. Credit: Boris G/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will God allow a third Jewish temple to be built?

Many orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians are looking forward to the day when Jews build a third temple in Jerusalem, replacing the one destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD during the Bar Kokhba Jewish revolt. Both groups believe its construction would fulfill Biblical prophecy. And recent events in Jerusalem added to the excitement. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), the Jewish Sanhedrin reenacted the Jewish Passover on Thursday, April 5, 2017 near the site of the original Jewish Temple. This was the fifteenth year that they held the Passover in Jerusalem that included building an altar and the actual sacrifice of a lamb using Jewish Priests. According to BIN, this year’s Passover was held closer to the Temple’s location than it had been in earlier years.  In order to accommodate a sacrifice this close to the Temple Mount, the Sanhedrin used the courts to get police protection. Jewish priests performed the sacrifice with instruments, utensils and clothing provided by the Temple Institute an organization dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish Temple. Attendance at the Passover …

A woman prays near the Tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Credit: Jelle Drok/Flickr/Creative Commons

About Jerusalem

In recent years, I have been blessed to spend several weeks in the eternal city of Jerusalem. This is the only city on the earth which the LORD God of Israel declared, “In Jerusalem, I will put my name forever” (2 Kings 21:4-7). During my time in Israel, Psalm 122:6 was constantly before my eyes;  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.” Jerusalem is the most prayed for city in the universe.  At every meal, Jews pray the blessing, “Blessed are you, O LORD, who will build up Jerusalem in mercy.” Every Monday the Jews recite Psalm 48 from their Prayer Book; “Walk about Zion and go all around her” (verse 12). Jerusalem is a spiritual city (not sinless), set apart for a Holy God. Many days I spent just walking around Jerusalem and was constantly reminded of the  blessings connected with Israel that can only come from the true LORD God.  Indeed the peace of Jesus Christ is evident in the streets and there are places where one can …

The main hindrance to constructing the Third Jewish Temple is the Muslim Dome of the Rock that Orthodox Jews believe sits on the original site of the Jewish Temple. Credit: Davit Ortmann/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jewish Sanhedrin re-introduces the half-shekel Temple Tax

A report in Breaking Israel News (BIN) says the nascent Sanhedrin has introduced an official half-shekel temple tax. Referred to as the mitzvah or commandment, the money will be dedicated to operating a third Jewish temple if it is ever built. The half-shekel tax was first set up under Moses to help fund the tabernacle. Jews paid it when Israel conducted a national census (Exodus 30:15). The Jewish leadership then introduced a one-third temple tax during the rebuilding of the temple under Ezra and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 10:32; Ezra 6:8). It was collected annually. The tax was re-introduced when Herod built the second temple in 20 BC. The half-shekel tax, worth about $4 today, was collected three times a year during annual pilgrimages to the temple. They had actual tax collectors whose job was to collect the tax. We even have an account of Jesus and Peter paying the temple tax (Matthew 17). However, it is clear that Jesus felt no obligation to pay the mitzvah (verses 25-26). So why did Jesus pay it? He agreed …

Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine, not a mosque. Credit: Monidas De Mon/Flickr/Creative Commons

More trouble on the Temple Mount is reporting a confrontation with Muslim authorities that happened November 17, 2016 on the Temple Mount. editor Joseph Farrah along with Jonathan Cahn — a Messianic rabbi most famous for his New York Times‘ best seller, The Harbinger — were co-leading a group of 406 people on a visit to Israel. Part of this trip included a visit to the 40-acre Temple Mount located in the heart of Jerusalem. It was the original site of the First and Second Jewish Temples. The Romans destroyed the second temple used in Jesus’ day in 70AD. Today, the site is home to two Muslim buildings — the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Though Israeli government controls  the site, it has given the Jordanian Waqf, essentially an Islamic police force, considerable leeway on controlling the Temple Mount. Among other things, the Waqf monitors dress and ensures that Jews and Christians don’t pray on the site. That latter provision has forced the Jews to pray at the Western Wall down below. As part of the trip to …

Muslim quarter of Old Jerusalem. Credit: meghamama/Flickr/Creative Commons

2,700 year-old reference to Jerusalem discovered on a piece of papyri

On October 26, 2016, archaeologists announced they uncovered the earliest non-Biblical reference to Jerusalem. This proves once again that the indisputable Jewish connection to Jerusalem predates the Muslim arrival by thousands of years. They discovered the name Jerusalem on an ancient piece of papyri radio carbon dated to 7 BC that antiquity robbers had pillaged from Judean desert caves in the West Bank. This is the oldest extra-Biblical reference to Jerusalem found so far. The 2,700 year-old papyri was uncovered in an operation undertaken by Israel Antiquities Authority who became aware of the theft and mounted an operation to seize back the stolen antiquities before the robbers sold it on the black market. The small piece of papyri written in Hebrew reads “From the king’s maid servant, from Na’arat, jars of wine to Jerusalem.” Because the writer specifically calls herself a servant of the king, archaeologists suspect the document — referring to the transfer of two jars of wine to Jerusalem — was part of a tax payment. It was made during the reign of …

When national leaders choose to believe a lie

The Nation of Israel and Jews have been part of the Middle East for thousands of years. One of the earliest non-Biblical references to Israel is found on the Merneptah Stele in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. The stele, a 10 foot high (3 meters) granite stone monument, was discovered in 1896 during archaeological work on the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes Also called the Israel Stele, it is dated to the reign of the Egyptian king Merneptah (1213 BC – 1203 BC). It outlines his various military victories. The last three lines list his defeat of Canaan including Israel: “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not;” Yet despite this find and thousands of other archaeological discoveries, in a recent UN vote Egypt along with 23 other nations passed a motion that effectively denies any Israeli connection to Jerusalem’s temple mount and Western Wall (the Jewish Wailing Wall). This  motion declaring the Temple Mount a purely Muslim site was passed in a 24-6 vote by the United Nations Educational and Scientific and …

The Temple Mount Photo: Jordan Pickett/Flickr/Creative Commons

Shocking news: Jewish Sanhedrin appoints a High Priest

Breaking Israel News reports that Israel’s “Nascent Sanhedrin” has just appointed a high priest. His name is Rabbi Baruch Kahane, a prominent Jewish scholar knowledgeable in Jewish sacrifices. The announcement was a bit surprising considering there is no Jewish Temple. But a spokesperson for the ‘Nascent Sanhedrin’ explained that they wanted to have a High Priest in place in case there is a sudden change in policy on the Temple Mount. The ‘Nascent Sanhedrin‘ also called the developing Sanhedrin was set up in Israel in 2004. It is considered a national court of Jewish Law. Over the last 500 years, there have been six failed attempts to establish a Sanhedrin. This is the most successful so far. The major obstacle to constructing a Temple is that the Temple Mount with its Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock is controlled by the Muslims. Because of this, the Israeli government limits Jewish access to the site and forbids prayer on the Temple Mount. When Jews visit they are not allowed to pray including bowing their heads …

The Dead Sea Photo: Daniel Godwin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is Ezekiel’s prophecy about the Dead Sea coming to life?

At 429 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest land spot on earth. And as its name suggests due to its salt density (nearly 10 times denser than the ocean), nothing is able to live in the water. This includes fish and other aquatic life. It doesn’t even have plant life along its shore because of the layers of salt. The sea which is 50 kms long borders Israel, Palestine and Jordan. It is a popular Mediterranean tourist destination, and due to the water’s density, people float more than swim in its water. Because of its high mineral concentrations, many believe its water and mud have medicinal qualities. Apparently, even King Herod the Great had a health spa of sorts along its shores. The Bible talks about the Dead Sea a few times. The first is found in Genesis 14:3. But perhaps one of the stranger mentions is an end-time prophecy by Ezekiel that one day the Dead Sea will come back to life. Its dead putrid waters will be healed. 8 Then …

Hundreds of Orthodox Jews turning to Christ. Photo: Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem Claudius Prober/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report on Israeli website states hundreds of Orthodox Jews are accepting Jesus

An article published on a Hebrew website, MyNet, intended to warn Jews living in Petach Tikva, Israel of Christians/Messianic Jews preaching Jesus has instead revealed hundreds of Orthodox Jews are accepting Christ as the Jewish Messiah. Kehila News, a Messianic website, was the first to report on the curious article on MyNet which functions as a news portal for the Israeli City of Petach Tikva.  Kehila describes the reaction among Orthodox Jews as a “spiritual meltdown.” Located in Central Israel, Petach Tikva has a population of 225,00, of which 70,000 are considered Orthodox Jews or haredim. The strength of the Orthodox population is seen in the 300 synagogues and eight ritual baths in the city. MyNet accused Christians/Messianic Jews of sharing propaganda. Even the city’s acting Mayor Uriel Boso waded into the controversy voicing his concern. Boso specifically cited Jews for Jesus as one of the main offending groups. According to Kehila, Boso described the number of Jews becoming Christians as a “dire phenomena.” The article on MyNet is in Hebrew, and below is a rough …

Saint Elijah's Monastery in Mosul, Iraq. Dated to the sixth century, it is the oldest monastery in Iraq. Photo: Doug/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Forgiving through the fire

  Earlier this month, Islamic extremists burned a 12-year old Christian girl to death. She was living in Mosul, Iraq with her family when ISIS terrorists showed up at their home demanding the Coptic Christian family pay jizya. The jizya is a tax that over the centuries Muslims have forced Christians and Jews living in their territory to pay. The Muslim Qur’an mentions jizya , but does not specify how much the tax should be. Traditionally, it has been looked upon as a tax non-Muslims pay to practice their faith in Muslim countries. If paid, it is supposed to protect Christians from Muslim attacks.  It also indicates that the people being taxed are in submission to their Muslim rulers. Some Muslim Imams (teachers) even consider it a form of punishment for not being Muslim. Most Muslim nations do not impose the jizya, but it has made an appearance recently in areas controlled by ISIS and the Taliban. According to the British Newspaper The Express, when the jihadists showed up they demanded the family pay the …

The Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem seen from the Mount of Olives. Photo: Boris G./Flickr/Creative Commons

If you want to be a Temple priest in Israel, make sure you weren’t born in a hospital

Jerusalem’s Temple Institute has just announced it is accepting applications for priests to serve in a yet to be built Jewish Temple. The Institute, which started in 1987, is dedicated to seeing a third temple built in Jerusalem replacing the Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Over the years, it has completed a number of items in preparation for this third Temple. This includes constructing 70 pieces of temple furniture part of which one is a massive altar, that can be taken apart and moved to the Temple once it is constructed. Everything was meticulously prepared according to Biblical instructions.  They have also ordered the architectural drawings for a third temple. This is a tricky task because it must meet Biblical specifications as well as modern building practices. The Institute is even creating a herd of red cattle using imported embryos from red Angus beef in America. An unblemished red heifer is necessary for some of the Temple sacrifices. Recently the Temple Institute announced it is now accepting applications for positions of Temple …

Old Jerusalem Photo: Eugene Kaspersky/Flickr/Creative Commons

As the Jewish population returns to pre-holocaust numbers, a Hitler clothing store opens in Cairo

According to a report released by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), in 2015 the number of Jews in the world has nearly returned to population numbers seen in the 1930s before World War II. During World War II, as part of his final solution, Nazi leader Adolph Hitler slaughtered an estimated six million Jews in his death camps –Auschwitz, Auschwitz–Birkenau, Treblinka, Bełżec, Majdanek, Chełmno and Sobibór. The Jewish population in Europe was decimated with 66% of European Jews murdered between 1941 and 1945. By the end of the war, the Jewish population was estimated at about 11 million. According to its annual report, JPPI states the Jewish population has been steadily increasing since the War and today sits at 16.6 million. This includes 14.2 million with two Jewish parents and the remainder made up of people with one Jewish parent, who nevertheless identify themselves as Jewish. The fastest growth spurt took place between 2005 and 2015 which resulted in an 8% increase attributed largely to orthodox families. Averaging three children per family, Jews typically have larger …

Soldiers with Israel's defense forces praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Mor/Flickr/Creative Commons

Described as unprecedented: Orthodox Jews call for three-day fast in Israel

Describing it as unprecedented, Breaking Israel News (BIN), a Jewish news site, is reporting the Orthodox Jewish group HaTzom is calling for Israelis to fast for three days commencing Sunday night, March 20. The fast, which will end 72 hours later, will be done during the Jewish feast of Purim, held annually this time of year. The feast of Purim is derived from the Book of Esther when Queen Esther called for Jews to fast for three days before she entered the throne room of her husband, the Persian king, to expose a planned massacre of the Jews organized by a senior bureaucrat in the Persian administration. HaTzom, whose name in English means “The Fast,” has over 22,000 participants agreeing to join in the three-day fast. They organized the fast because of the unrelenting terrorist attacks in Israel and the growing hatred around the world to their country. BIN recently reported three attacks that took place on March 8 and 9. On the first day, Palestinians riding motorbikes opened fire on Jerusalem police guarding a …

Game-changing oil discovery in Israel? Photo: Brennan Browne/Flickr/Creative Commons

Game-changing Promise of God? Oil found in Israel

Israel is a bit out of sorts with the rest of the Middle East. While huge quantities of oil have been found in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran among others, Israel has not found any and has been forced to import oil. Some Israelis blame Moses for the lack oil, joking if he had turned right instead of left, Israel would be swimming in black gold. But that was not the direction to the Promised Land. However, this may have all changed. This past fall, Afek Oil and Gas (AOG) announced a major oil discovery in the Golan heights found in Israel near the border of Syria. Israel took this land from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War started by the Egyptian President Gamal Nasser who was attempting to unite the Arab world to wipe out Israel. Though this Arab coalition suffered a disastrous defeat, the area is still a bone of contention with Syria. Speaking on behalf of AOG in an interview with Foxnews, geologist Yuval Bartov said: “We are talking about …

Neriyah Youtube capture One for Israel

An Orthodox Jew’s journey to faith in Jesus

On his interesting website, God Reports, Mark Ellis writes about the conversion of another Jew to Jesus in Israel. When 17-year-old, Neriyah Arabov immigrated with his family from the Soviet Union to Israel, one of the first things he noticed was no one was calling him a “dirty Jew” anymore. He was the only Jew who attended his school in Uzebeki, Russia and his unusual name and olive skin made him standout. Though he didn’t understand why his parents had moved, after he joined the army for his obligatory Israeli military service his appreciation for his new country began to grow. He realized his journey to Israel was prophesied as the Old Testament prophets spoke of the rebirth of the nation of Israel and about Jews from around the world returning to the Promised Land. 21 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and …

The Bible predicted a time when the Jews would return to Israel. Jews at the Western Wall wearing their tradition Kippah or skullcap. Photo: delayed gratification/Flickr/Creative Commons

Israel’s regathering hitting record levels

One of the sign posts on the second coming of Christ was the restoration of Israel as a nation. People who study end-times prophecy, such as Isaac Newton (1642-17260), believed it was necessary.  Though Israel did not exist in Newton’s day, from his study of the Bible he said it needed to happen before Christ’s second coming. There are several verses that spoke of the nation of Israel being restored (see Amos 9:14-15; Ezekiel 37:10-14; 37:21-22; 34:13; Deuteronomy 30:3-5). The prophet Isaiah writes: “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. (Isaiah 66:8 NASV) That event predicted in the Old Testament miraculously happened on May 14, 1948. But along with this, the prophets also predicted that the Jews would pour back into the promised land from nations around the world. They would literally flood in: And He will lift up a standard for the …

Photo: Stefans_Box/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is ‘Facebook’ anti-Israel?

Over the past few years, Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center (SHILC) has received numerous complaints that Facebook is allegedly allowing pro-Palestinian groups to post hateful articles and comments against Israel and Jews. SHILC is a legal civil-rights group based in Tel Aviv, Israel dedicated to fighting terrorism and protecting the rights of Jews around the world through legal means. On December 28, 2015 it launched a social media experiment to find out if Facebook had a bias when it came to Israel. Called “The Big Facebook Experiment,” the organization created two Facebook pages. It called one page “Stop Palestinians” and the second “Stop Israelis.” Launched simultaneously, SHILC began to post essentially identical articles inciting hatred towards Palestinians on the “Stop Palestinians” page and hate messages against Israel on the “Stop Israelis” page. Over the next couple of days, they posted similar articles, images and comments while slowly increasing vitriol against the two groups eventually culminating with posts calling for “Death to all Jews!” and “Death to all Arabs!” on the respective pages. At the end of …

Israeli officers saluting their flag Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who does ISIS really fear?

As ISIS works to set up a Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East with hopes of extending its influence into even Europe, there is only one country it fears — Israel. This is according to a German reporter who spent 10 days with ISIS in 2014. Because of a unique relationship he had developed with ISIS leaders, Jurgen Todenhofer received permission to embed with the Islamic extremists. During this time he was able to interview several Jihadi fighting in Iraq and Syria. Though several countries such as America and Britain have military in Iraq, Todenhoffer said in an interview with Jerusalem News that ISIS is not scared of them because they lack the commitment and experience needed for city guerrilla warfare. As one fighter pointed out, Mosul, Iraq has 1.5 million people and ISIS has 10,000 fighters scattered throughout the city and Western armies lack the experience for that type of urban fighting. ISIS’s headquarters is based in Mosul. In addition, ISIS fighters are prepared to die for their cause, and they do not believe …

Orthodox Jews walking down a street in Old Jerusalem. Photo: Rico Grimm/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are Orthodox Rabbis changing long-held opinions on Jesus?

Maybe the time predicted by the Apostle Paul is nearer than we think. Quoting from Isaiah 59:20, Paul stated one day that all Israel would be saved:  “and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’” (Romans 11:26 NASV) In the Old Testament verse that Paul cited, the Deliverer is none other than Jesus and His removal of the ungodliness from Jacob speaks of the nation accepting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, a belief they have rejected for two centuries. But in what may be another step towards this acceptance, Israel Today is reporting that just before Christmas 25 prominent Jewish rabbis issued a statement calling for a remarkable change of attitude towards Jesus. Though they have not reached the point of accepting Christ as the Messiah, it is nevertheless significant. The group is made up of prominent rabbis of congregations, seminaries and Jewish institutions in Israel and around the world including the UK, Canada and the US. Since its …

Make your fields white for harvest. Photo: Cristian Malevic/Flckr

Is John 4:35 the most misunderstood verse in the Bible?

It seems every year, pastors preach the obligatory message on evangelism. It is an annual event in most churches. Invariably they will turn to the Gospel of John and quote Jesus’s words: “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (John 4:35 NASV) The message is we need to share our faith, because the fields are white for harvest. The grain is ready to fall off the stem and we just need to be there to gather it in. Of course, everyone knows it isn’t true. Sure a few people are getting saved now and then, but for the most part our communities are a hard place. Maybe the fields are white somewhere else, but they are not white where we live. So was Jesus wrong? No. But the point we miss is that Jesus made the fields white for a harvest and it is something we can do as well. Jesus said these words after He encountered a woman at a well …

Orthodox Jews Photo: Arnoffoto/ CC BY

Is Paul’s prediction that all of Israel would be saved on the verge of happening?

Sid Roth is an American Messianic Jew. He started a ministry focused on the super natural working of the Holy Spirit. Though he ministers to all ethnic groups, his focus has been to the Jews first (Romans 1:16). He recently reported on a major move of God among the Jewish community in Odessa, Ukraine. With a population of one million, Odessa is the Ukraine’s fourth largest city. Located on the Baltic Sea it is the provincial capital of Odessa Oblast. There are about 12,400 Jews living there today. But historically, Odessa was home to a large Jewish population. Prior to the start of World War II, the city had 201,000 Jews — then about 30% of the population. Thousands died in Nazi concentration camps during the war and after it ended most remaining Odessa Jews immigrated to Israel. According to his website, Roth described the recent one-day event as the most successful outreach he has ever experienced in evangelistic meetings geared towards a Jewish audience. He reported that nearly 1,000 Jews accepted Jesus as their …

Images of Kristallnacht -- Left to right: Destroyed Jewish owned shop, buring synagogue, Image appearing in a Nazi newspaper depicting Kristallnacht

Is there a connection between the Jewish festival of Purim, Kristallnacht and ‘Umeå Against Nazism?’

Israeli media outlet, Artutz Sheva 7, reports that organizers of Sweden’s Umeå Against Nazism have told Jews not to attend this year’s memorial held last week.  Umeå is the 12th largest city in Sweden and the event is sponsored by its city council. It was intended to remember Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht (in English the Night of the Broken Glass), when Nazi Brown Shirts initiated a coördinated attack against Jews in both Austria and Germany over the night and morning of November 9-10, 1938. Many believe this marked the start of the Nazi holocaust where they exterminated six million Jews in concentration camps. The Swedish event has been celebrated for years to protest antisemitism. However, for the first time this year’s organizers have decided not to invite the Jews. Pro Palestinian groups — Muslim extremists, leftist and union organizations — have hijacked the event and are using it to promote their antisemitic and anti-Israel opinions. Over the years an increasing number of Palestinian flags have showed up at the rallies and last year there was one banner …

Orthodox Jews praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Nico_/Flickr

VICTORY: Palestinian Authority drops resolution to have UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim holy site

UPDATE: It is now being reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has withdrawn its resolution that the UN designate the Western Wall a Muslim holy site.  It is being called a rare victory for Israel at the UN. Apparently the public backlash against this claim forced the Palestinian group to change its mind. The organization still wants the UN to designate Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as Muslim sites. Israel said it will continue to aggressively fight these ludicrous claims. The Palestinian Authority put forward a motion via UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to have the UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim religious site earlier this week. It was expected to go to a vote on October 21, 2015. PA claims it is part of an old wall surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque built on the Temple Mount. The Jews have prayed at the Western Wall for centuries believing it is the last remains of the outer wall of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans …

Jerusalem's Temple Mount Photo: David Ortmann/Flickr

The battle for Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

While Muslims clash with Jews over access to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, workers with the Temple Mount Sifting Project continue to find artifacts solidifying Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount (called Mount Zion in the Bible) and Jerusalem. There are actually some who challenge the Jew’s historical claim to the Temple Mount and even Jerusalem itself. The Temple Mount was the site to the third Jewish Temple visited by Jesus, who also prophesied its destruction (Mark 13:1-2). The Romans destroyed this temple in 70 AD. At the present there are two Muslim buildings on the Mount — the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque. Muslims consider the Dome of the Rock their third holiest site. Some Muslims believe the archangel Gabriel took Muhammad to visit heaven at the spot where the Dome sits, while others believe it happened at the nearby mosque. Muslim extremists, using the al-Aqsa mosque as their base, have attacked Jews who try to pray on top of the Mount instead of the Western Wall down below. The wall is considered …

Jerusalem Photo: Flickr/Imke Stahlmann

The Miracle of the Lost Passport

[by Julie Holstein] I am a Canadian believer in Jesus Christ and over the last few years have been experiencing the Holy Spirit drawing me to the land of Israel. A few years back, I went on a tour of the Holy Land and this year, knew I had to return. I was happy to be able to hook up with Marlene, a female pastor evangelist from Regina who had the similar goal to attend the Feast of Tabernacles and to share our faith in Jesus. One day we took a bus to the city of Tiberias, rented a car and toured the Galilee region. My passport, ID and some cash were in a pouch which was fastened around my neck. Upon our return to the Jerusalem, we went through a security check at the bus station. Somehow my pouch either fell off or was stolen from me. When I realized all my identification papers were missing, my two traveling companions and I reported their loss to security and the police. As well we searched …

Pope Francis: Catholic Church of England and Wales/Foter/CC

Jewish Sanhedrin to put Pope Francis on trial unless he repents?

According to a report in Breaking Israel News, a Jewish Sanhedrin plans to put Pope Francis on trial September 20, 2015 unless he retracts his statements that Israel is not entitled to Jerusalem and the land of Israel. The newly minted, self-proclaimed Sanhedrin is made up of 71 important Jewish Rabbis in Israel. However, unlike its Biblical predecessors it does not have any legal authority. Earlier versions of the Sanhedrin were used to convict Jesus, though even then it had to appeal to Rome to carry out its sentence (Matthew 26:57 -27:2). Peter and Paul were also put on trial before the Sanhedrin. The new Sanhedrin is a re-establishment of the tradition set up by Moses that righteous men would be chosen to judge disputes in Israel.  “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22 Let them judge the people at all times; …

Is this any way to treat your friends?

[by Dean Smith] The way things are going, it seems the last friends left for Israel are Evangelical Christians. Yet, some orthodox Jews seem intent on driving Evangelicals away. According to reports, The Jerusalem Municipality, that runs the city of Jerusalem, will now receive prior approval from a group of Jewish Rabbis before allowing Christian events at the Jerusalem Pais Arena (JPA) — a multipurpose facility that seats up to 11,000 people. This happened because a group of orthodox Jews referred to as haredi accused Christians holding an event at JPA of forcing Jews to convert.

Did the Turkish president just call for Muslims to invade Jerusalem?

[by Dean Smith] Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been president of Turkey for 13 years. In a recent speech to admiring supporters in the Turkish city of Erzincan, Erdogan called for Muslims to invade and conquer Jerusalem. In his speech, reported by the Anadolu Agency, Erdogan said: “We Muslims have lost our way toward Jerusalem. The water of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that are destined to beat for Jerusalem is now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.” In the last part of the statement, he was referring to the bitter rivalry between Shia and Sunni Muslims who have warred with each other for decades. Instead of fighting each other, Erdogan said the two groups must unite against their common enemy Israel.

Why all this hatred for the Jews?

As Jewish worshipers were ending their sabbath early Sunday morning, March 22, 2015, an angry mob of 20 people attacked the synagogue. Nothing new here, as extremists have launched attacks against Jews for decades. But what is different is the location. The Ahavas Torah synagogue is found in London, England. Shortly after 1 am Sunday morning, a drunken group stormed the synagogue screaming “kill the Jews.” Inside the Jews struggled to hold them back, some picking up chairs to defend themselves.  A couple of Jews were hurt, windows smashed and the synagogue vandalized.

U.N. condemns only one country for human rights violations against women — Israel

This past week, the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held its annual meeting in New York and of the 193 U.N. member countries, the commission only condemned one nation for violating the rights of women — Israel. During its meeting, the CSW issued 9 reports, 8 of which were procedural, and one which condemned Israel as the world’s only abuser of women because of its conflict with Palestine. This despite reports, the honor killing of women happens regularly in Palestine and Hamas used civilians as human shields in the war it provoked against Israel.

Jesus a Palestinian?

[by Dean Smith] Just before Christmas, the Palestinian Authority rewrote history. It has become a bit of an annual event in Palestine. Over the past few years, a few days before December 25th, the Palestinians roll out a number of officials who make statements claiming Jesus was a Palestinian. This year was no different. According to the Wafa News Agency on December 22, 2014, Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas said: “We celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace.”

Jerusalem Made of Gold

[by Earl Blacklock] May 15 is the date that marks Israel’s independence, and in 1967 thousands of people gathered at Jerusalem’s Nation Hall to hear songs commissioned for the occasion. Jerusalem was at the time divided, in the hands of Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. The Mayor of west Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, had asked that one of the songs be about Jerusalem. Naomi Shemer responded to his call. Shemer’s Polish parents had taken her as a child to a number of Jerusalem’s biblical places that were closed to Jews in 1948. She was inspired to write a song about the Jerusalem that Jews from Israel could never see – the Wailing Wall, the temple, and even the “Dead Sea by way of Jericho”. She called her song Jerusalem Made of Gold. [A YouTube version of the song is available at the end of the article.]