Why a Growing Number of Christians Are Fighting to Protect Israel

Some 20 years ago on a parade ground in central Israel, a class of graduating junior officers marched proudly to accept their lieutenant bars. The parents of those graduating watched proudly from a reviewing stand as the new commanders were sworn in. There were also quite a lot of journalists in attendance, for this wasn’t the routine ceremony. One of the officer’s candidates being commissioned that sunny spring day was Caroline Kharman, a resident of a village in the hills of northern Israel who just happened to be the first Christian woman to become an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. Kharman, who wore a shiny gold cross around her neck, proudly proclaimed, “I feel I can’t fight for my rights without fulfilling my obligations. It’s my moral duty to serve my country.”

There are approximately 170,000 Christian citizens in Israel—roughly 2 percent of the country’s population—and they encompass a multitude of different church affiliations, including Greek Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Maronites, Armenians, Copts, Assyrians and Protestants. Christians are not conscripted into the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), but increasingly army-age Christian 18-year-old men and women have found themselves determined to fulfill their national responsibilities and to serve. All are fluent Arabic speakers and these highly-motivated volunteers serve in combat units, as liaison officers and in the Border Guards.

The Christian community in Israel is thriving. Democracy, freedom of religion and speech, as well as a booming economy, has provided this minority with a sense of belonging inside the Jewish State. And that sense of being integrated into Israeli society has been threatened by conflict inside Israel’s borders and outside. The violence of the last 20 years, including a bloody Palestinian suicide bombing offensive and a war with the terrorist Hezbollah organization in Lebanon, prompted a sharp increase in the number of Christians volunteering for military service. In 2012, a Greek-Orthodox priest named Father Gabriel Nadaf founded a group that works toward more young Christian Israelis joining the IDF.

The opposite, though, is happening inside the Palestinian Authority. For centuries, ever since Mohammed’s armies brought Islam to the entire region, the Christians in Levant were subjected to Muslim rule. The Christians were known as dhimmis, or protected persons, under Ottoman Rule, although in most cases that meant that the Christians were nothing more than second-class citizens. Christian Palestinians, primarily Greek Orthodox community, were prominent leaders of the various terrorist organizations that fought Israel since the 1970s. Many claimed that these Christians felt a need to display they were every bit as dedicated to the Palestinian cause, and its war against Israel, as the Muslims. But when the Oslo Peace Accords ushered in the autonomous Palestinian Authority in 1994, there was hope that Christians would be considered equals inside the newly established entity and could possibly serve as a bridge toward rapprochement.

Dreams soon evaporated, especially as Palestinian Authority Chairman, Yasser Arafat consolidated his power turning the areas under his control into nothing more than a mafia-like fiefdom. Islamist fundamentalist groups like Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, supported by Iran and the Gulf Arab states, have waged a holy war defined by suicide bombing and stabbing attacks in order to create an Islamic State in Palestine. There was no room for a Christian minority in this Jihad-inspired campaign. To many Christians inside the Palestinian Authority, their future is grim. Many have migrated to the European Union, to Canada and the United States, and as far away as Australia. Today, according to sources, there are only 40,000 Christians remaining inside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Christians were once the majority in Bethlehem. It is believed now that they constitute no more than 20 percent of the population. The same is true for Ramallah, once a thriving city for Christians that is now the seat of the Palestinian Authority.

One reason for the dwindling Christian population is a Palestinian campaign of unadulterated abuse and discrimination. According to the Gatestone Institute, the policy of human rights violations against the Christian minority is institutionalized. The Palestinian Authority’s constitution has declared that Sharia, or Islamic law, will rule all legislation; Christian land owners are not protected in local courts or in business disputes, and taxation discrimination severely hampers Christian-run businesses. More than a dozen different Palestinian Authority security services enforce these policies, which do not protect the civil rights of these supposedly safeguarded minority communities. As such, money has been extorted, land and property confiscated and many hesitate to complain out of fear and intimation.

he official campaign of harassment has escalated into state-sanctioned assault. There are reports of sexual abuse and even rape targeting Christian women, and many more incidents that are never reported at all. Christian girls have been subjected to forced marriages and even ordered to wear the hijab. Christian gravestones have been overturned. Churches have been vandalized.

Remarkably, the enforcers of these abominable efforts targeting Christians, the Palestinian security services, have received billions of dollars in United States and European Union aid. There have already been calls in the congress to cut off all funding until the Palestinian Authority cuts any and all ties to terrorist organizations that infest their communities. Half of the money donated to the Palestinian Authority in 2016, close to $344 million, paid for the salaries of terrorists behind bars in Israel, as well as to the surviving family members of suicide bombers. The Taylor Force Act, named for a young American student who was stabbed to death in a terrorist attack in Israel, has been gaining support in Congress and will likely be signed into law in December. The Act seeks to deduct the amounts that the Palestinian Authority pays to its imprisoned terrorists from any American foreign aid to the Palestinians.

Accordingly, it is imperative that any measure to limit or end aid to the Palestinian Authority must also demand that the senseless policies of discrimination against the Christian population come to an immediate end. It is inconceivable and unacceptable that Christians are being systematically abused and forced out of the land that is the very birthplace of the Bible.

Until lawmakers in the United States and Europe realign their moral compasses and leverage their generous bundles of aid money to the Palestinian Authority to safeguard the Christian population, the young volunteers to the Israel Defense Forces who proudly and openly wear crosses around their necks alongside their dog tags will be the only ones fighting to preserve the history of Christianity in the region, as well as its hope for survival.

 


New Jersey town illegally targeted Orthodox Jews, lawsuit says

Mahwah bans out-of-state residents from using local parks after residents complain about overcrowding and their use by Orthodox Jews from New York • In lawsuit, state likens town officials’ conduct to that of “1950s-era white flight suburbanites.”

New Jersey sued one of its towns Tuesday over two recent ordinances the state says illegally targeted a Jewish community from nearby New York, likening the conduct of town officials to the “1950s-era white flight suburbanites” who sought to keep blacks out of their neighborhoods.

The lawsuit against Mahwah and its township council seeks to block the ordinances and the return of more than $3.4 million in state grants the town has received from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The state contends Mahwah violated New Jersey’s Green Acres Act by banning out-of-state residents from its parks. The state notes that land acquired under the law cannot be restricted on the basis of religion or residency.

One of the measures cited in the suit limits the use of a public park to state residents. The second effectively bans the building of an eruv, a religious boundary created by placing white plastic piping on utility poles.

“In addition to being on the wrong side of history, the conduct of Mahwah’s township council is legally wrong, and we intend to hold them accountable for it,” Attorney General Christopher Porrino said.

“To think that there are local governments here in New Jersey, in 2017, making laws on the basis of some archaic, fear-driven and discriminatory mindset, is deeply disappointing and shocking to many, but it is exactly what we are alleging in this case,” Porrino said. “Of course, in this case, we allege the target of the small-minded bias is not African-Americans, but Orthodox Jews. Nonetheless, the hateful message is the same.”

The park ban was created in July after residents complained about overcrowding at parks and their use by Orthodox Jewish families from New York. Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli raised concerns at the time that the ban was illegal, and Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal advised police not to enforce it.

The Bergen Rockland Eruv Association and two New York residents filed a federal lawsuit in August alleging the town was violating their constitutional and civil rights with is ban on their religious boundary.

Some Orthodox Jews consider the boundary necessary to allow them to do such activities as carrying keys and pushing strollers on Shabbat. Mahwah officials, though, said the markers violate local laws that prohibit signs on trees, rocks and utility poles.

Bill Laforet, Mahwah’s independent mayor, said he had “repeatedly warned” council members about the consequences they and the town could face and reminded them of the police chief’s concern. He said he also voiced concern about the “severe potential financial penalties” taxpayers could face.

Laforet said he’s “sorrowed by the loss of reputation for Mahwah,” which he described as a diverse, tolerant and welcoming community.

He puts much of the blame on City Council President Rob Hermansen. “His race-baiting bantering has now bitten him back,” Laforet said.

Hermansen said the prosecutor’s office and the attorney general’s office both rejected requests to help town officials create laws that would be neutral and could be enforced.

“It’s astonishing to know that we told them what we were looking to do and they rebuked us, and we’re now being sued over this,” he said.

Hermansen said the ordinance was written by the township attorney, not the council, and under those circumstances “we deem it to be good law when we receive it.”

He also disputed Laforet’s remarks about him and how the measures were handled, saying “the mayor has an issue with telling the truth.” He also said he was “getting tired of the mayor slandering me and my family. His attacks need to stop.”

A town spokeswoman said Mahwah would not be commenting on the suit on the advice of its attorney.

Hermansen, who has condemned anti-Semitic comments people have made about the Jewish community in some online postings, has said the ban was not created to be discriminatory. He noted that Mahwah residents began complaining this year about vehicles from New York occupying parking lots at Winters Pond, a recreational area across from the town’s train station.

The ordinance, he has said, was intended to curb the number of people from outside Mahwah using parks, not to target Jews.

“We had incidents where Mahwah families could not use the parks,” he said last month, so the council wanted to find a way to “put Mahwah residents first.”

 


Report: Hezbollah to leave Syria to prepare for conflict with Israel

breaking israel news lebanon

Hezbollah is planning to withdraw its forces from Syria in 2018 in order to bolster its presence along the border with Israel, Lebanese news site Lebanon 24 reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Hezbollah’s high command issued a new order mandating that the last remaining Hezbollah fighters must leave Syria in early 2018.

For the past five years, Hezbollah forces have been fighting alongside the Syrian military in the country’s brutal civil war. It is believed that the Shiite terrorist group, alongside other Iranian-backed militias, helped turned the tide in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad. [ Source: Israel Hayom  ]

For the past five years, Hezbollah forces have been fighting alongside the Syrian military in the country’s brutal civil war. It is believed that the Shiite terrorist group, alongside other Iranian-backed militias, helped turned the tide in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The measure is designed to ensure the organization would be able to have a sizable presence along the Lebanese border with Israel should hostilities resume.

According to the report, Hezbollah’s commanders realized that its operatives were stretched too thin, to the point that 85% of the group’s fighting force was in Syria. Another reason cited was the heavy casualty rate – more than 1,800 Hezbollah operatives have been killed in the Syrian civil war – and the need to train more operatives.

The site further claimed that the first phase of the withdrawal was scheduled to begin in the coming days and could involve 60% of the forces, with the other phases spreading over a period of several weeks.

Meanwhile, the IDF on Tuesday revealed Munir Shaito as Hezbollah’s “southern commander” in Syria. Shaito is believed to be responsible for establishing the Shiite terrorist organization’s military infrastructure on the Syrian Golan Heights.

Shaito, also known as Hajj Hashem, commands all Hezbollah territory west of the Sweida-Damascus line in southern Syria, and further south from Daraa to the border with Israel. His rank is equivalent to that of the Syrian Army’s 1st Corps commander, Mahmoud Al-Quzi, and is subordinate to the head of all Hezbollah forces in Syria, Ahmed Saleb and to the Syria Corps of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.

Hezbollah’s Munir Shaito (far right), dressed in a Syrian army uniform, tours southern Syria with top Syrian army brass

Shaito, 50, is married with four children and resides in a village in southern Lebanon, but spends most of the week in Damascus. The majority of his attention is focused on southern Syria, where his task is to ensure Hezbollah’s interests.

This essentially marks the first time that Shaito’s name and face have been exposed, as until now he has managed to work in secret. Arab media had little to no information about him, and he has managed to have virtually no digital footprint.

In the early 2000s, Shaito served as Hezbollah’s deputy commander of the “unit for Palestine operations,” during which he dispatched the terrorists who in 2002 carried out the deadly attack near Kibbutz Matzuva, in which six Israelis were murdered.

He was eventually promoted to serve as a regional commander, a position he held during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. After the war, he was promoted to serve as deputy commander of the Badr unit, which is responsible for the area between the Litani and Awali rivers.

Shaito was reportedly appointed to his current position in June 2016. His predecessors were Jihad Mughniyeh – the son of Hezbollah’s iconic military commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in January 2015 in the Golan Heights; and Samir Kuntar, who murdered three members of the Haran family in Nahariya in 1979 and was also assassinated in 2015. Hezbollah accused Israel of both assassinations and in both cases retaliated from Lebanese territory.

However, while Kuntar and Mughniyeh were responsible for building a terrorist infrastructure on the Syrian Golan, to be utilized for attacking Israel, Shaito’s job is more official in nature. Similar to his Hezbollah counterparts in other parts of Syria, Shaito’s primary mission is to help the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad win the civil war and retake control of the bleeding nation. Once that mission is accomplished, his task would be to implement Iran and Hezbollah’s interests in Syria.

Within this context, Shaito is responsible for establishing Hezbollah’s infrastructure in the southern area of the Golan Heights. Several weeks ago Israel shot down a Hezbollah drone, controlled by Shaito’s operatives, flying near the border. He is responsible for additional Hezbollah operations in the sector as well, but the brunt of his effort is dedicated to helping the Syrian army defeat rebel forces in the area. His force comprises a group of junior Hezbollah officers and several dozen fighters under his command, a portion of who serve a few months of operational duty in the sector and then return to Lebanon to be replaced by others.

Avoiding escalation, for now

Hezbollah’s activities in Syria made headlines this week, after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the organization of firing rockets at Israel over the weekend. Lieberman even determined that the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, personally issued the directive in an effort to compartmentalize Assad and his army. IDF officials, who said the army had no evidence to support the defense minister’s claims, were caught off guard by his statement. It is safe to assume, however, that had Hezbollah fired the projectiles, Shaito would have given the order.

Regardless, IDF officials in recent years have pointed to Hezbollah’s strategy, orchestrated by Iran, of entrenching itself on the Golan Heights from where it can open another front against Israel. Military operations attributed to Israel – among them the Mughniyeh and Kuntar assassinations – were able to stymie the growth of the organization’s terrorist infrastructure. It appears, however, that Hezbollah adhered to its plan, which is now Shaito’s responsibility.

With that, defense officials believe Hezbollah wants to avoid anything that could lead to an escalation with Israel. The group’s priority, shared by its Iranian patron, is first and foremost to win the Syrian civil war and only then intensify its operations along the Israeli border – an area that is currently under rebel control, mostly by groups affiliated with Islamic State and al-Qaida.

 


Polish Archaeologists Unearth Mass Grave at Notorious Nazi Death Camp

Holocaust

Archaeologists in Poland uncovered a mass grave of around 300 prisoners at the site of the Nazi death camp Gross-Rosen located in southwestern Poland, and though it is believed to contain the remains of prisoners who died from starvation in the last days of the war, many of the corpses show bullet wounds.

The Gross-Rosen concentration camp was established in August 1940 and had about 125,000 prisoners, who were mostly Jewish. Overall some 40,000 people died at the camp, which was considered one of the most notorious Nazi labor camps. The camp was liberated in February 1945 by the Soviet Union.

“The discovery of human remains matches the account of one of the former prisoners of the camp, a Belgian man who was the camp doctor and was on the site during the last months before the liberation evacuation,” said Dr. Katarzyna Pawlak-Weiss, a historian studying the concentration camps set up by occupying German forces in Poland, Reuters reported.

“In his report, he mentioned 300 people buried here.”

Survivor reports from the camp indicate that the bodies of prisoners who died of illnesses and starvation in the last days of the camp’s operations were thrown into the pit. But archaeologists also found bullet wounds on the bones and will examine the remains further.

Archaeologists also are hoping to identify the prisoners. Unlike other concentration camps, such as Auschwitz that tattooed numbers on prisoners, Gross-Rosen used small metal plates with numbers sewn to prisoner uniforms. If the plates are found, historians may be able to use the numbers to figure out their names.

“After exhumation, the remains of the people we found in this pit will be transported to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Wroclaw where an inspection and autopsy will be performed. This will be done in order to determine their gender, age, health condition if this will be possible, and the cause of death,” said prosecutor Konrad Bieron from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.


Temple Mount Excavation Yields New Finds

Temple Mount Excavation Yields New Finds

Israeli archaeologists recently uncovered eight previously unearthed sections of the Temple Mount’s retaining wall in Jerusalem and part of a Roman-era theater in an area abutting the wall. Researchers estimate the theater is around 1,800 years old and believe the Roman Emperor Hadrian likely built it when he rebuilt the city of Jerusalem as a Roman colony.

It remains unclear why work on the theater appeared to stop abruptly. Joe Uziel, the archaeologist heading the dig, suggested the second Jewish revolt against Rome, A.D. 132–135, could have halted the construction.

The excavation will continue for another six months. The archaeologists hope they will uncover artifacts from the First Temple, built by King Solomon of the Old Testament and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem and built the Second Temple, which was dedicated around 515 B.C. Roman soldiers burned the temple and razed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Jews still consider the Temple Mount the holiest site on earth. Today the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic Dome of the Rock sit on the site.

“We have a great deal of archaeological work ahead, and I am certain that the deeper we dig, the earlier the periods we will reach, further anchoring the profound connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem,” Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel told the Times of Israel.

Uziel said he hoped further excavations would shed light on daily life in Jerusalem after the Roman attack.

 


Watch: Arab Terrorist Attacks 12-Year-Old Jewish Boy in Hevron

On Saturday afternoon, an Arab terrorist threw a large rock onto a group of 12-year-old Jewish boys in the Abraham Spring in Hebron.

One of the boys was hit in the head and fell unconscious into the spring. The other boys ran and got help. The boy was rushed to the hospital where he received 10 stitches and was kept for observation.

The attack by the “brave” Arab terrorist was caught on film.

The terrorist can be seen running past the spring the boys are in and then throwing a huge rock down on them from above.

As of this report, there is no information that the terrorist has been captured.

A Jewish boy from Hebron needed 10 stitches in his head after being attacked by Arabs. Oct. 21, 2017
A Jewish boy from Hebron needed 10 stitches in his head after being attacked by Arabs. Oct. 21, 2017

What Christians Should Know About the Balfour Declaration Controversy

On Wednesday, Palestinian Arab organizations called on Britain to apologize for the “crime of the Balfour Declaration,” a pronouncement that helped Israel become a nation and is almost 100 years old. In recent months, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has gone so far as to threaten to sue Britain over the document.

On November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur J. Balfour wrote a letter expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. International support for the idea grew after World War II and the Holocaust.  On May 14, 1948, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.

Wednesday’s statement came after a protest by the national and Islamic forces outside the office of the British Cultural Council in the West Bank.

According to Israel National News, a member of the PLO said the Palestinian Arabs are demanding Britain recognize it made an error.

When a similar demand was made last April, no apology was issued, and a British Foreign Office spokesman described the Balfour Declaration as “an historic statement” but added Britain continued to work for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

In 2014, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down.

In his book “Seven Signs of the End Times,” Christian author Mark Hitchcock says the ongoing hostilities between Israel and her neighbors are not accidents but events that set the stage for the final peace process ushered in by the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27).

Some Bible scholars believe the Bible prophesied the rebirth of Israel in the “last days” (Isaiah 66:8-9; Jeremiah 16:14-15; Jeremiah 30:1-3; Jeremiah 31:3-9; Ezekiel 36-39; Amos 9:11-15; Zechariah 10:6-10).

In Genesis 12:1-3, God promised Abram He would make him into a great nation and bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him.

The Jewish people are descendants of Abram.

 


‘We Will Wipe Out Israel’ :Hamas

At a rally in the Gaza strip on Thursday, Hamas’ second highest ranking military leader, Yahya Sinwar, said the terror group has no intention of recognizing Israel; instead, it still intends to wipe out Israel.

According to the Israel National News, Sinwar said:

“Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”

“No one has the ability to extract from us recognition of the occupation.”

“No one will disarm us. No one can disarm Hamas.”

Earlier in the week, Jason Greenblatt who is President Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East demanded that Hamas disarm, recognize Israel, and follow all other agreements and commitments the Palestinian Authority (PA) has made during the past 25 years.

Greenblatt said:

“All parties agree that it is essential that the Palestinian Authority be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza and that we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there.”

The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations.”

“If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements.”

Recently, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization-led Palestinian Authority signed a reconciliation agreement, establishing a united government for the first time in a decade.

Israel declared it would not negotiate with the unified Hamas-PLO government.

 


Top U.S. school district to ‘indoctrinate’ teachers against Israel

Attendee: Courses teach ‘Christians and Jews were always better off under Muslim rule’140318palestineisrael

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in America, is co-sponsoring a “professional development” workshop for K-12 teachers to “Learn about Islam and the Arab World” – and the district has apparently partnered with an anti-Israel group for lessons on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Learning about Islam and the Arab World” is the topic of a two-part course that began Oct. 14 and will continue Oct. 21. It is being led by LAUSD teachers Richard Jessel and Rosa Melendez, according to a posting on the website of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, or FORUSA.LAUSD

One person, who is Christian, attended the Oct. 14 class and told The Israel Group: “The workshop was nothing more than lectures proclaiming the virtues of Islam, while following the same party lines: All negative information about Islam was labeled as lies, mistranslations, ignorance, prejudice, and hoaxes; speakers stated that violent jihad is non-doctrinal, bulls–t; Christians and Jews were always better off living under Muslim rule and anyone who says otherwise is lying.”

LAUSD-class

According to the agenda for Oct. 21, some of the classes include “Palestine/Israel; Palestine Today: No Way to Treat a Child,” “The Changing Arab World: Overview of Politics, Society, and Refugees” and “Refugees from the Arab World.”

The Israel Group, which first discovered the class offerings and posted the information on its website, warned: “FORUSA is connected with and promotes the boycott movement against Israel (BDS), and aligns itself with Black Lives Matter, which holds decidedly anti-Israel platforms, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was found by a Muslim Brotherhood-related organization to promote Hamas financially and politically.”

YOU CAN HELP finally expose CAIR’s subversive and dangerous agenda, once and for all, by contributing to the legal defense of WND’s “Muslim Mafia” author.

Jeff Cooper, a part-time adjunct professor of history at Santa Monica College, is scheduled to teach the “Palestine/Israel” session this Saturday.

The Israel Group Founder and Executive Director Jack Saltzberg notes that one student complained about his “radical” views on the website RateMyProfessors.com, warning: “He has really far out radical left-wing political views. He hates the USA.”

Even a student who encouraged others to “stick it out in this class” said of Cooper: “He rants, he gets heated, and he tells you everything you once knew about history is wrong.”

Cooper offers a 40-page handout titled “Palestine, Israel, and the Arab-Israel Conflict: A Primer” (Part 1 and Part 2), which Saltzberg warns, “is nuanced anti-Israel propaganda from beginning to end, with thousands of inaccuracies, distortions, factual lies, and insidious misrepresentations.”

 

  • One of the sections in the handout is titled “The Creation of Palestinian Refugees and Ethnic Cleaning.”
  • Another section with the heading “The June 1967 War” states: “From 1948-1967, Israel’s military and political leadership was looking for a way to conquer and occupy the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
  • Cooper’s handout also discusses the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS: “Israel regards all forms of Palestinian opposition to the occupation as threats to its national security, including non-violent methods like calling for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions.”
  • The handout only uses the word “terrorism” three times. In one case, it talks about the Palestine Liberation Organization “renouncing” terrorism. In another reference, Cooper says, “This is why military occupations [Israel] are the highest form of terrorism.”

 

Another session is led by a Palestinian American, Rola Karam, and is titled, “Palestine Today: No Way to Treat a Child.” According to The Israel Group, Karam has taught the course for the LA Unified School District since 2009.

Saltzberg also notes that Karam has been a conference presenter on the “Nakba” (or “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948) for Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian liberation theology group in Jerusalem. The Israel Group writes: “Sabeel seeks to replace all of Israel with a Palestinian Arab state and specializes in working to turn Christians against Jews and Israel, and is among the ADL’s Top 10 anti-Israel Groups: ‘the worst of the worst.’”

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At least 200 K-12 teachers in the LA Unified School District have attended the “Arab, Islamic World” workshops since 2005, according to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2017/10/LAUSD-HQ-Wiki-Commons.jpg

headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District in downtown L.A. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District in downtown L.A. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

“Neither the Workshop web page on FORLA nor the Registration Form listed any of the pro-Palestinian courses sessions,” according to Saltzberg. “Those were only listed in the Class Agenda given at the Workshop.”

Previously, one presenter in the workshops has been Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of CAIR. As WND has reported, CAIR is an Islamic organization founded in Washington, D.C., by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.

CAIR was designated by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund Hamas that was tried in Texas. It also was designated by the Gulf Arab state United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization. CAIR has sued a co-author of a WND Books exposé, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented the group’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The trial is expected to take place this fall.

More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

As for the LA workshop, Saltzberg said he has three questions concerning the school district’s course offerings:

  • Why is a workshop about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being presented to LAUSD teachers entirely by an anti-Israel political activist group?
  •  Why was the educational content not vetted?
  • Why were no pro-Israel historians invited to present?

 

 

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Lost 200-seat Roman theatre revealed near Jerusalem’s Western Wall

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient, 200-seat Roman theatre inside the Old City of Jerusalem, along with a large section of the Western Wall that had been buried underground for around 1,700 years.

The discovery was made under Wilson’s Arch in the Old City, where researchers from the Israel Antiquity Authority have been excavating the site for the last two years.

The theatre is the first example of a rediscovered Roman public building in Jerusalem.

During the time of the Second Temple, which was destroyed in 70 BC, Wilson’s Arch was part of a raised walkway used by worshippers entering and leaving the holy site, above a road containing shops and water drainage systems.

In around 360 BC, the area was covered when earthquake damage led residents to fill the arch with debris to prevent it collapsing.

Youth hold their prayer shawls as they stand in front of the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayers site in Jerusalem’s Old City May 17, 2017.

‘The discovery of the theatre-like structure is a real drama,’ said one of the excavators, Joe Uziel. ‘From a research perspective, this is a sensational find. The discovery was a real surprise: we did not imagine that a window would open for us onto the mystery of Jerusalem’s lost theatre.

‘Like much of archaeological research, the expectation is that a certain thing will be found, but at the end of the process other findings – surprising and thought-provoking – are unearthed.’

Marks on some stones and half-finished steps suggest that the arena may not have been completed at the time it was filled in, and archaeologists said they believe it was never used.

The results of comprehensive dating tests on materials found at the site will not be known for several months but the team feels sure that the theatre dates from the Roman era. It hopes that further excavations, which are due to take place over the next six months, will reveal even older artifacts dating from the time of the First Temple, which was destroyed in 587 BC.

 

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