Study: Jew haters hate Israel’s existence, too

Israeli flag

A new report warns that Jewish students are facing more hostility on campus from Israel-related anti-Semitism rather than through classic anti-Semitism.

Israel-related anti-Semitism often includes threats of physical harm, destruction of property, and bullying, as opposed to outright expressions of bigotry.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA says Israel-related threats often come from a number of individuals or a group, which is much more intimidating than threats from one or two people.

AMCHA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism at colleges and universities in the United States.

The Sun Sentinel newspaper noticed the study, which analyzed anti-Semitic incidents from 2015 to 2018 and found more personal confrontations peaked in 2017 but dropped this year.

The most disturbing finding, says Rossman-Benjamin, is that anti-Israel anti-Semitism escalated into acts that are targeting individuals.

“But what we did see – a growing trend, and this was the most alarming thing that we found – was that it moved from trying to sort of shut down speech and Israel-related expression,” she says, “to actually trying to hurt and boycott and exclude specific students.”

AMCHA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism at colleges and universities in the United States.

“The next round of fighting with Hamas is just a matter of time

‘The Israel Bible’ merging Jewish, Christian history

Jerusalem (aerial view)

A Jewish scholar is touting a first-of-its-kind Bible that is designed to help give Christians a unique perspective on the people and land of Israel.

American Rabbi Tuly Weisz and a team of biblical scholars published The Israel Bible, a new commentary and study on the Hebrew Bible – the Old Testament Scriptures.

Weisz explained that the Hebrew text is found on the left side of the page – along with a parallel English translation on the right side.

“We provide all kinds of ways for readers to learn the Hebrew language by reading through the Bible,” Weisz informed.  “Then, of course, on the bottom of the page, we have hundreds and hundreds of study notes that really bring to life the land of Israel through the ancient text.”

Weisz – who has lived in Israel for the last seven years – told OneNewsNow that The Israel Bible is a “No. 1 New Release” in both Jewish and Christian Bible categories on Amazon.

“If you love Israel – if you love the Bible – then The Israel Bible is really for you,” the Bible scholar insisted. “The commentary was prepared by a team of Jewish scholars that was prepared for a Christian readership – the first Bible of its kind.”

Weisz – the founder of Israel 365 – pointed out that with regards to the history of Jews and Christians, the focus has always been on what separates the two. He says that this new publication sets out to do the exact opposite.

“[Our] focus is on that which unites us, and that’s the Old Testament – the Hebrew Bible,” Weitz stressed. “And that’s a holy text to both Jews and to Christians.”

Ancient Christian church discovered in Israel

The end is nigh at Armageddon – at least for an old Israeli prison near the ancient ruins of Megiddo, by tradition the site of the apocalyptic biblical battle between good and evil.

Half an hour’s drive south of Nazareth, Armageddon is a popular site for the coach loads of tourists visiting the sites of the Holy Land. There is also a busy programme of excavations.

In 2005, work to expand the aging Megiddo Prison uncovered the remains of a 3rd century Christian prayer hall, including a mosaic referring to ‘God Jesus Christ’.

The building with the mosaic was excavated, earlier artefacts found, and the site was covered up under the supervision of archaeologists.

Now, after years of legal and bureaucratic delays, the prison is to be relocated, freeing up the site for further exploration potentially as early as 2021.

The prospect already has archaeologists excitedly talking about an area they have started to call ‘Greater Megiddo’.

‘When the Christian prayer hall was first found beneath the prison, we were all excited for one minute,’ said Matthew Adams, director of the WF Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, who has spent years excavating at Megiddo.

‘And then we realised, “Oh, it’s in a maximum security prison, so we’ll never actually be able to do anything with it.”

‘Now that the government has decided to move this prison, we can explore this really amazing and interesting part of the development of early Christianity in a way that we didn’t think we’d be able to.’

The prison, whose inmates once included Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, lies a few hundred yards south of Tel Megiddo itself, the ancient mound at which archaeologists have found walls dating back at least 7,000 years.

Between the prison and the hill is the largely unexcavated Roman Sixth Legion garrison, thought to have been built by the Emperor Hadrian.

The name Armageddon is believed to be a corruption of the Hebrew words Har Megiddo – Mount Megiddo.

Click here to read the full article

The Winds of Megiddo: Before Armageddon  Just A Missionary Guns to the Gospel

Israel launches scores of airstrikes as Gaza fire persists

Israeli warplanes struck dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip and three people were reported killed there, while Palestinian militants from the territory fired scores of rockets into Israel in a fierce burst of violence overnight and into Thursday morning.

The flare-up comes as Egypt is trying to broker a long-term cease-fire between the two sides. At least three Palestinians died — a pregnant woman, her 1-year-old daughter and a Hamas militant, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

On the Israeli side, at least seven people were wounded.

Israeli and Hamas officials both threatened a further intensification of hostilities. The U.N.’s Mideast envoy appealed for calm.

It was not clear if the escalation, the latest in a series of intense exchanges of fire in recent months, would derail the indirect negotiations between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas militant rulers.

Air raid sirens signaling incoming rocket fire continued in southern Israel on Thursday morning, raising the likelihood of further Israeli reprisals.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007. Despite the animosity, the bitter enemies appear to be working through Egyptian mediators to avoid another war.

Hamas is demanding the lifting of an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade that has devastated Gaza’s economy, while Israel wants an end to rocket fire, as well as recent border protests and launches of incendiary balloons, and the return of the remains of two dead soldiers and two live Israelis believed to be held by Hamas.

But the continued outbursts of fire have jeopardized those cease-fire efforts. On Tuesday, the Israeli military struck a Hamas military post in Gaza after it said militants fired on Israeli troops on the border. Hamas said two of its fighters were killed after taking part in a gunfire parade inside a militant camp.

The incident occurred while a group of senior Hamas leaders from abroad were visiting Gaza to discuss the ceases-fire efforts with local leaders.

A top Hamas official told The Associated Press that the group waited for the delegation to leave Gaza before responding with rocket fire late Wednesday.

The Israeli military said over 150 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, and Israel carried out over 140 airstrikes targeting Hamas militant positions.

Gaza’s Health Ministry identified those killed in the airstrikes from Wednesday to Thursday as Hamas fighter Ali Ghandour, 23-year-old Enas Khamash and her daughter Bayan. The ministry said the militant and the civilians were killed in separate incidents.

Kamal Khamash, brother-in-law of the killed woman, said the family was asleep when the projectile hit the house.

The mother and daughter died immediately and the father is in critical condition, Kamal said.

“This is a blatant crime and Israel is responsible for it,” he said.

Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus insisted Israel only targeted Hamas military targets in Gaza.

In southern Israel, two Thai laborers were among the seven wounded by rocket fire, and rockets damaged buildings in the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon. The military said it intercepted some 25 rockets, while most of the others landed in open areas. Israel said it launched airstrikes targeting rocket launchers, weapons stockpiles, tunnels and other Hamas infrastructure.

Israeli Cabinet minister for construction and housing, Yoav Galant, said that “whatever is needed to be done to defend our civilians and soldiers, will be done, no matter what would be the price in Gaza.”

Conricus wouldn’t comment on Israeli media reports of troops preparing for a possible ground operation, but said Israel “had ground troops that are ready to deploy. We are reinforcing the southern command and Gaza division.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. special envoy who is involved in Egyptian efforts to broker a truce, said in a statement on Thursday that he’s “deeply alarmed” by “multiple rockets fired toward communities in southern Israel” the day before.

Mladenov warned that “if the current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people.”

On Wednesday, the Israeli military shelled the Palestinian territory after civilians working on the Gaza border fence came under fire. Hamas militants responded with a cross-border fusillade that sent Israelis scrambling for air raid shelters.

The Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing classified negotiations, said that cease-fire talks were in their final stage but that disagreements remained. He said Hamas is demanding the complete lifting of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, while Israel has offered only to ease the restrictions.

Tension along the Israel-Gaza border has escalated since late March, when Hamas launched what would become regular mass protests along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza. The protests have been aimed in part at trying to break the blockade.

Over the past four months, 163 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 protesters, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group. An Israeli soldier was killed by a Gaza sniper during this period.

Israel says it has been defending its sovereign border against infiltration attempts by Hamas. But it has come under heavy international criticism for its frequent use of force against unarmed protesters.

The Revelation is Taking Place Today!

“Be careful and guard your life diligently, lest you forget the events that your eyes saw.” (Devarim 4:9.)

In Pirkei Avot, we find a rather radical statement made by one of the Sages: “Rabbi Dostai bar Yannai said, in the name of Rabbi Meir: ”Whoever forgets [even] one word of his [Torah] learning, the Scripture considers him worthy of death” (Ethics of the Fathers 3: 10), as it is said: “Be careful and guard your life diligently, lest you forget the events that your [own] eyes saw [at the Revelation at Mount Sinai], and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; and you shall teach your children and grandchildren about the day that you stood before God, your Lord, at Chorev…” (Devarim 4: 9-10.).

Why should people’s failure to remember a detail of Torah that they learned be considered proof that they forgot what they had seen with their own eyes when they stood at Sinai? Besides the fact that forgetfulness is a normal human condition, there is also a great difference between the power of sight and the act of learning. Regarding the people of the generation that stood at Sinai, we understand why they should be liable. They actually witnessed the Revelation, which must have been an unforgettable experience! But why should those who did not see the Revelation at Sinai, but “only” learned Torah and subsequently forgot part of it, be liable as well?

How could Rabbi Dostai compare people who lived thousands of years after the Revelation with those who actually stood at Sinai and witnessed the entire drama, even seeing thunder and the sound of the shofar (Shemot 20: 15.)? It was an event during which human faculties functioned on levels that were beyond normal.

In his commentary on the Torah, Ramban states that the verse in Shemotclearly focuses on the circumstances under which the Torah was given and not on the actual contents of the Torah. In that case, it is even more difficult to see how the observation by Rabbi Dostai is supported by the verse he quotes as his proof. He points to the fact that those who learn the contents of the Torah and then forget what they learned are liable to pay with their lives, but his proof is derived from a statement that speaks of the need to keep alive the circumstances under which the Torah was given, not its content.

It is rather interesting to note that the Sinai experience never gave rise to a special day in the Jewish calendar. Although it is true that Shavuot is traditionally seen as the day of the giving of the Torah, it is still remarkable that there is no such connection made in the biblical text; it was the Sages who made this association. Shavuot appears mainly as a festival celebrating the new harvest (Vayikra 23: 9-22.). The Torah does not command us to observe a special mitzvah to re-enact this unique moment in Jewish history, as is the case with the Exodus from Egypt and the Israelites’ sojourn in the desert. These historical events are translated into numerous mitzvot, such as eating matzah on Pesach and dwelling in the sukkah on Sukkot.

We must therefore conclude that while the Exodus and the desert travels need to be commemorated every year, there is no such necessity regarding the Revelation at Sinai. On Pesach and Sukkot we celebrate events that took place in the past, and by re-enacting them through observing their relative commandments, we can experience them once more.

This is not the case with regard to the Revelation, and this extraordinary fact begs the question: why?

I believe the reason for this is most telling. One does not commemorate something that takes place in the here and now, just as it would be offensive to memorialize a human being who is still alive and in our midst.

By refusing to commemorate the Revelation at Sinai, the Torah makes the crucial point that it is not a past experience that needs to be re-enacted in the present, as we do with Pesach and Sukkot. It is an ongoing adventure! At Sinai, the Revelation began, but never ended. Its extraordinary circumstances remain and persist. And how does this happen? Paradoxically, it endures through the Torah itself, by its study and contemplation. Learning Torah is itself revelation!

The Torah is not a record of what once happened at Sinai; it is an experience that takes place now while we study it. Yes, it is rooted in the moment at Sinai when it began to penetrate our universe, but that moment continues to unfold.

Consequently, learning Torah is neither the study of what happened a long time ago nor a record of what God once commanded humans to do. Rather, it is an encounter with the divine word at this present moment. Torah learning is made up of elements that are completely different from those of any other study known to humanity.

It is an encounter not with a text but rather with a voice. And what is required is not only listening to this voice, but also using a type of high-level hearing, which results from actively responding to the voice. This is accomplished, amazingly enough, through the careful observance of the commandments. The divine voice is captured and becomes tangible in the fulfillment of the mitzvot. “One hears differently when one hears in the doing,” said Franz Rosenzweig, famous philosopher and ba’al teshuvah (Franz Rosenzweig, On Jewish Learning, ed. N.N. Glatzer (Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1955), p. 122).

In other words, there is an experiential difference between the secular act of reading or studying a text and the religious act of learning Torah. Rosenzweig tells us that there is a great distinction between the giving of the Torah and the receiving of the Torah. The Torah was given once, but receiving it takes place in every generation. The underlying question is whether the Torah is a historical document, which can only be understood in its historical context (such as what Bible criticism is involved in), or whether its teachings are meant to detach themselves from their historicity.

Rabbi Dostai alludes to this very question. He maintains that the Torah is made of heavenly stuff, and history is only its most basic and external feature. Therefore, it does not conform to the criteria of history and its confines. One can only forget that which was, and consequently was only rooted in history; one cannot forget what is and what is beyond history.

Learning Torah is equivalent to standing at Sinai. Learning Torah is hearing it and consequently seeing its contents transmitted at Sinai in the here and now. So the learning of its text is a religious happening, the experience of something that normally can only be recalled. The moment one forgets Torah, one transgresses “Lest you forget the events that your eyes saw.” This can mean only one thing: when people have reached the point where their Torah knowledge has been forgotten, it must be the result of having merely read something instead of having heard or seen it!

When a person learns Torah as a religious experience and hears its revelation, the gap of several thousand years – from the Revelation until now – no longer exists. Accordingly, Torah is given today, and Rabbi Dostai draws our attention to a major foundation of Jewish belief.

It is indeed a terrible tragedy that very few people today hear Torah, while the majority keeps on learning it. If they would start listening, the question of whether or not the Torah is really from Heaven would never even be asked. Bible criticism would no longer be convincing and would easily be defeated.

It would behoove roshei yeshiva and teachers to create an entirely different mode of education. They have an obligation to ensure that their students hear Torah and Talmud, not just study them.

Iran Suing US in Hague Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice in the Hague has registered Iran’s complaint against the US arguing that its decision last May to renew sanctions on Tehran after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal violated a 1955 treaty between the US and Iran, IRNA reported Tuesday.

The complaint argues that the US’ May 8 decision to withdraw from JCPOA runs counter to its international commitments, and says the US is obliged to stop this offense and compensate Iran for damages.

In the complaint, Iran claims the US’ decision violated the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Relations, signed by the US and Iran in 1955, decades before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In that context it could also be argued that occupying the US embassy in Tehran and taking hundreds of US citizens hostage also violated the same treaty a little bit.

“The US shall fully compensate Iran for the violation of its international legal obligations in an amount to be determined by the Court at a subsequent stage of the proceedings,” Iran’s complaint reads, according to a statement from the court. “Iran reserves the right to submit and present to the Court in due course with a precise evaluation of the compensation owed by the US.”

The court confirmed on Tuesday it had accepted the complaint filed by Iran against the US. The same complaint also called for an immediate halt of the sanctions against Iran declared on May 8 by President Donald Trump, and the US should stop threatening to impose further sanctions.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday that “Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations.”

The court is expected to schedule a hearing in which the US will probably contest the legitimacy of Iran’s claim. According to Reuters, hearings on requests for provisional rulings are usually heard within several weeks, followed a few months later by a decision. ICJ decisions are binding, but the court does not have the power to enforce them.

Al Quds: Hamas to Gradually Reduce Incendiary Attacks Fearing Massive Retaliation

Hamas is moving towards a gradual reduction of incendiary attacks from the Gaza Strip towards neighboring Israeli towns, Al Quds reportedWednesday, citing Palestinian Authority sources.

The sources told Al Quds that the Hamas leadership has met a few hours ago in Gaza and decided to curb the arson attacks in order to prevent a massive war in the Gaza Strip at the present time, in consideration of the difficult conditions experienced by the population there.

According to the same sources, the terror group examined this option after several parties, including Egypt, pointed out the need to stop these attacks to prevent Israel from justifying the launch of a major military attack.

The sources suggested the firebomb kites and balloons may be stopped as soon as next week.

After close to 100 days of the firebomb kite and balloon terror attacks in the south, the economic damage to agriculture has produced about 120 claims to the Tax Authority for deductions. The claims have been filed for about 1,500 acres of agricultural land that were burned, and the Tax Authority’s estimates of the damage are around $3.3 million.

In comparison, the 2014 Gaza war yielded about 25,000 claims for damages.

Ancient Mosaics Discovered in Israel; One Depicts 2 Spies Sent out by Moses

Ancient Mosaics Discovered in Israel; One Depicts 2 Spies Sent out by Moses

Researchers have found mosaics in Israel, including one that appears to depict the two scouts Moses sent to explore Canaan.

The mosaic depicts two men carrying a pole with a cluster of grapes. In Hebrew is inscribed: “a pole between the two.”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced this week the discovery of the mosaics at the Huqoq site in Galilee.

The mosaic of Moses’ scouts appears to refer to the book of Numbers, where the men were sent to the land of Canaan after their exodus from Egypt. According to Numbers 13:23, the men “cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes” and returned to Moses.

“We went into the land to which you sent us, and indeed, it is flowing with milk and honey,” Numbers 13:27 reads.

Previously, Israeli officials and researchers have uncovered other mosaics, including ones showing Samson carrying the gate of Gaza, Noah’s Ark, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, the parting of the Red Sea and the construction of the Tower of Babel.

“The discoveries indicate villagers flourished under early fifth century Christian rule, contradicting a widespread view that Jewish settlement in the region declined during that period,” UNC-Chapel Hill said in a statement.

UNC-Chapel Hill professor Jodi Magness is leading the research teams. She has participated in some 20 different excavations in Israel and Greece. She is also president of the Archaeological Institute of America.

“The mosaics decorating the floor of the Huqoq synagogue revolutionize our understanding of Judaism in this period,” she said.

“Ancient Jewish art is often thought to be aniconic, or lacking images. But these mosaics, colorful and filled with figured scenes, attest to a rich visual culture as well as to the dynamism and diversity of Judaism in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.”

The mosaics have been removed from the site for conservation and excavations will continue in the summer of 2019.

Temple Mount Activist: We Are Writing the 25th Book of the Bible This Year

Last year set a record for the number of Jews ascending to the Temple Mount but this week, with two months still left until the Jewish new year, that record was broken. This rising interest in Judaism’s holiest site is hopefully paving the way for the Third Temple and one activist notes that current events may one day be written down as an addendum to the Bible.

Elisha Sanderman, the spokesman for the Temple Mount activist organization Yera’eh, told Breaking Israel News that 22,566 have gone up to the Temple Mount so far this year, more than visited the site all of last year. His organization tracks this statistic daily, beginning and ending on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

“It is difficult to estimate how many will arrive in the next few months,” Sanderman told Breaking Israel News. “Last year 2,264 Jews visited the Temple Mount on the 9th of Av, so it is reasonable to hope, though astounding to imagine, that twice that number will visit the Temple Mount on the 9th of Av this year.”

The 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, referred to as Tisha B’Av, is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both Jewish Temples. It begins on the evening of July 21 and ends the following evening.

“In these last two months leading up to Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur, we usually see more Jews go up as they begin to put a special effort into tshuva (repentance),” Sanderman said.

Sanderman speculated as to the reasons behind the powerful phenomenon.

“The police and government are being more supportive of Jews going up but that would be meaningless if it weren’t for a spiritual awakening among the Jews,” he said. “It used to be that just young men from the national religious movement visited the site. But now, we see all types of Jews, including Haredi, many of whom do so despite their rabbis’ objections.”

He even noted many non-religious Israelis who are taking an interest in Judaism’s holiest site. Sanderman told a moving story about a call he received from a secular Israeli who inquired about the religious laws pertaining to ascending to the Temple Mount.

“He said that he isn’t religious, but if he was going to go to the site, he wanted to do so in the one-hundred percent proper manner,” Sanderman related.

Yera’eh does not count the Christians who visit the site since they do not pass through the security checkpoint. Sanderman noted that there has been a new phenomenon of Christians and non-Jews who relate to the site as spiritually significant. He related how four non-Jews from Texas had taken an oath on the Temple Mount to uphold the Noahide Laws.

“We counted them along with the Jews in our statistics,” Sanderman said. “It was powerfully inspiring to witness their oath. In many ways, the Waqf (Muslim authority) guards relate to them even more harshly than they do to Jews. Their presence may not be as quantitatively impactful but it is no less significant in the struggle to return the Temple Mount to its role of ‘a House of Prayer for All Nations’.”

“We are witnessing history in the making. We know about 24 books in the Bible but we are writing the 25th book right now. One day, people will read about the construction of the Third Temple just as we read about Ezra and Nehemiah building the Second Temple and Solomon building the First Temple. Perhaps the 25th book of the Bible will even list names of people we know, those who have a special role in what is happening today in what we call politics but which is actually so much more.”