Tuesday, May 27, 2014

From Ian:

Shmuley Boteach: Pope Francis’ Failure to Confront Evil
No one can deny that Pope Francis is a man who walks the walk. While many disagree with his neo-socialist world-view, who can feel anything but respect for a world leader who eschews the perks of office to champion the poor and the oppressed? The Pope is also courageously confronting the Church’s obsession with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception in favor of spiritual values that directly address the materialism, narcissism, and rot of the modern world.
But there is one area where the Pope must do more. And that’s in his confrontation with evil. Over the past few days we’ve heard the Pope repeatedly invoke the need for Middle East peace. We have seen him walk a tightrope of neutrality between Israel and the Palestinians. But as the world’s foremost religious voice, can he afford to be silent in the face of a grotesque moral affront? When the Pope prays at an Israeli security barrier in front of graffiti that compares Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto, he has taken neutrality to an extreme and risks being party to trivializing the Holocaust.
Pope Francis, who is a global inspiration and a great light of the Church, must learn from the poor example of his predecessor not to be vague when it comes to mass murder. Platitudes about Middle East peace that refuse to condemn Hamas terrorism or its genocidal charter’s against the Jews risks compromising the great Pope’s moral standing. A security fence built solely to protect innocent Israelis from being dismembered dare not be compared to a fence designed to cage Jews prior to their gassing.
The Pope can surely find a different place to pray.
Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language
Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words on Monday over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back. (h/t MtTB)
The meanest bastards in history VIDEO
So the Pope celebrates Mass in Bethlehem, but they can’t turn down the volume of the PA system at the nearby mosque?
Somebody was apparently trying to make a point, in case anyone wondered who’s in charge in Bethlehem.
UN Watch: What happened to the U.N.?

Khaled Abu Toameh: Pope's Visit Coincides With Campaign Against Christian School
Pope Francis was probably unaware that during his visit to Bethlehem earlier this week, a Christian school in east Jerusalem was being attacked by Palestinian families for allegedly banning their daughters from wearing the hijab, the veil that covers the head of Muslim women.
The families claimed that the administration of Rosary Sisters' School had prevented their daughters from attending a graduation ceremony because they were wearing the hijab.
The school decided several years ago that it would not allow Muslim girls to attend graduation ceremonies while wearing the hijab. The decision has triggered a war of words between supporters and opponents of the ban and highlighted tensions between Christians and Muslims.
On May 22, the families, in an unprecedented move, staged a demonstration against the Rosary Sisters' School, accusing its directors of "racism" and "intolerance".
Breaking historic taboo, Lebanese Christian leader visits central Israel
The head of Lebanon’s largest Christian denomination visited a parish in central Israel on Monday, becoming the first Lebanese religious leader to come to the Jewish state since its creation in 1948.
Cardinal Bechara Ra’i, a Maronite Catholic, made the trip despite opposition at home. His critics have said the pilgrimage implies normalization with Israel at a time when the two countries remain formally at war.
Pope Rescinds Palestine Recognition: ‘Evil Terrorist Bastards’ (satire)
Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel, May 26 – Pope Francis took the opportunity upon his departure from the Holy Land to retract the Vatican’s recognition of the State of Palestine this evening, calling the leaders of the Palestinian government and nationalist movements evil terrorists who deserve damnation and suffering, not legitimacy.
The normally congenial pontiff minced no words in his parting remarks for his first official visit here, though during most of the trip he had seemed to endorse, if mostly by silence, Palestinian national aspirations and grievances against Israel. Calling “every last one” of the Palestinian leaders murderers and thieves, Francis performed a complete diplomatic reversal that places the Vatican at odds with both all other European governments and its own circle of diplomats and advisers.
“I am by nature a man who grins and bears the intolerable,” noted the pope, “even to the point of smiling warmly and patiently while others continue to sin, knowing that not all offenses require an immediate, harsh response. However, I have now become convinced, after visiting both sides of the divide, that only one side seeks genuine peace while the other seeks nothing but to vilify, delegitimize, isolate, and ultimately destroy the other.”
At the Guardian, Pope Francis morphs from ‘independent’ to an ‘appeaser’ in 24 hours
So, to recap: the pope’s visit to a site which Palestinians seek to draw attention to is a sign of independence, while his subsequent visit to a site which Israelis seek to draw attention to is act of appeasement.
Evidently, it didn’t occur to Beaumont that the pope’s visit to the terror memorial (a day after his visit to the security fence) likely represented an acknowledgement that though the fence causes hardships for Palestinians, its construction was motivated by the ethical imperative to save innocent lives – a decision based on moral calculus so simple that even cynical foreign journalists should understand.
Groups Pounce BDS with Joint Effort
Of all the divestment failures for the BDS on college campuses, none has been as definitive as the thrashing it received at the University of Washington, where divestment lost by a vote of 59-8 (with 11 abstentions.)
That’s right – 87% of those who voted, voted against divestment.
How did pro-Israel students at the University of Washington rally such an impressive win? By setting aside ideological differences and working together.
“With BDS, many of us have different perspectives,” pro-Israel activist David Weingarten told Haaretz. “But, at the end of the day, we can all come together in the understanding that BDS is not something we can support as a means of supporting a two-state solution – and everyone is clearly for a two-state solution.”
The Good News from Campus
Despite our success this school year, Israel’s detractors will not relent, and we are likely to see a greater volume and variety of anti-Israel campus initiatives during the next academic year.
Meeting these challenges will require more supporters of the Jewish state to invest additional resources in these students and in coordinated strategic efforts to help them create a positive campus climate for Israel.
In the final analysis, the good news we are seeing from campuses across America reveals an important lesson for our community. When we work together, we can achieve great things. We are stronger together, smarter together, and better together.
Why Do Israel Haters Want to Silence Their Academic Critics?
During the Modern Language Association’s meeting of the Delegate Assembly this past April, the MLA voted to approve Resolution 2014-1. This new resolution passed by a vote of 60 to 53, and urges the State Department to “contest Israel’s denial of entry to the West Bank by US academics” and to support the boycott of Israel. Additionally, it calls for the United States to stop buying Israeli goods and for the American academic community to cut off all communication with Israeli academic institutions. The MLA’s decision, based on documented falsehoods, along with the recent actions of the American Studies Association, sets a dangerous precedent within the realm of academic freedom.
The Guardian fetishizes the ‘culture’ of Palestinian terrorism
However, the PLO was founded in 1964, three years before Israel was ‘occupying’ any Palestinian – or, more accurately, Jordanian – territory, and the (clearly stated) goal of the “popular struggle” was not to “regain their homeland”, but to annihilate the Jewish state.
Nabulsi not only fails to note that the weapons depicted in her beloved Palestinian art were used to murder unarmed Jewish civilians, but characterizes the PLO and other Palestinians terror groups as culturally vibrant, progressive, and humanistic social welfare-based institutions:
CAIR Officials on Memorial Day: Do U.S. Troops Merit Honor?
Virtually all Americans come together on Memorial Day to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the country’s freedom and safety. Two Council on American-Islamic Relations’ officials spent the holiday weekend differently: Questioning whether U.S. troops deserve to be honored and tweeting that the country was “established upon white supremacy.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group labeled by the Justice Department as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial, disingenuously claims that it is a moderate organization.
A political earthquake of hatred
In those elections, a psychological roadblock was breached in France in particular and in Europe in general: You could vote for the extreme Right and not be skewered for it. Even worse, it gave birth to the possibility that the far Right could win in post-World War II Europe.
On Sunday, France added another shameful date to its history books, but so did Europe: The National Front, now led by Marine Le Pen (the talented, to our regret, daughter of Jean-Marie), won 25 percent of the vote, quadrupling her result from 2009. This was not merely a victory in a local election (shameful), or a cantonal election (shameful), or succeeding in adding representatives to parliament (shameful). This time it is a victory on a national scale, in the elections to the European Parliament. France will not look good in the coming years sitting in the display window of Europe. French newspaper Le Figaro was right by describing the election results as "a political earthquake." Thirty years after the European elections in 1984, when the National Front made its initial yet barely noticeable foray onto the political scene, Le Pen has made sure that her party is now clearly on the map. It is hard to conceive that the National Front can expect to command 74 seats, one-third of France's entire parliamentary delegation in Strasbourg.
Your home is not in Europe
Teichtal quotes Rabbi Simcha Bunim Bonhart of Peshischa, who died in 1827 and correctly predicted the painful history that was to unfold in Europe: "If, however, we do not strive to return to our Land willingly … we will suffer the agony and pain of the staff of our enemies until they force us to run … to Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel]."
Dear Jews, there is nothing left for you in Europe. Europe expelled its Jews and received instead tens of millions of Muslims. Come back home to Zion, before it is too late. This is the fitting response to anti-Semitism. Here you can share your fate with your brothers and sisters, contribute toward a good future for the Jewish people and live a sovereign life in an independent Jewish state. Come home.
European Parliament set to usher in first neo-Nazis
The leader of Germany’s Jewish community denounced the gains made by far-right parties and urged democratic forces to block their path and defend European values.
Dieter Graumann, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the extremist parties performed “shockingly well”, as feared, in Sunday’s European parliamentary vote.
Graumann pointed to France, Hungary and Greece, saying in a statement: “Right-wing MPs are now coming into the European Parliament from all over Europe in order to implement their anti-European and extremist course.”
“Democratic parties are now called on to curb this way of thinking and to defend and maintain European values,” Graumann said.
He also said that the “specter of anti-Semitism” had become a “brutal reality” after a gunman shot dead four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels Saturday. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Spanish Jews welcome name change for ‘Camp Kill Jews’
The statement Monday by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, or FCJE, came after a majority was reached Sunday at a town hall meeting in favor of changing the name of the village of Castrillo Matajudios to Castrillo Mota de Judios, a name which means “Camp Jews’ hill.”
The decision corresponds with “the municipality’s desire to remain faithful to the true history of the village, whose name became Matajudios because of an error in translation and not because of any bias against Jews,” the statement read.
Crusader-era monastic seal discovered in Jerusalem
The double-sided seal is of a kind that was used to ensure the privacy of church correspondence, and is confirmed to have originated at the Monastery of St. Sabas, an ancient Greek Orthodox monastery overlooking the Kidron Valley, between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
The seal, called a bulla in Latin, is some 800 years old and is in “excellent condition,” the IAA said. The seal “shows a bearded bust of a saint wearing a himation [a kind of ancient Greek robe] and holding a cross in his right hand and what is likely a Gospel in his left hand. Surrounding it is a Greek inscription naming the saint: ‘Saint Sabas.’ On the back of the bulla appears another longer Greek inscription ‘This is the seal of the Laura of the Holy Sabas.’”
"Israel" Mentioned Even Earlier in History
From Malcolm H. Wiener in his "Dating the Emergence of Historical Israel in Light of Recent Developments in Egyptian Chronology" published in TEL AVIV: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, Volume 41, Number 1, 2014:- "Recent evidence strongly supports a reduction in the duration of the pharaoh Horemheb’s reign from 28 to 14 years. Further evidence strongly favours raising the accession year of Ramesses II from the previously conventional 1279 BCE to 1290 BCE to reflect the Horemheb reduction together with other minor adjustments. The first recorded appearance of the term ‘Israel’ from the Victory Stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah* should accordingly be placed at ca. 1220 BCE, about a decade earlier than previously believed..."
Israel snags top spots for innovation in business survey
Israel placed first in several categories in a business competitiveness survey of 60 developed countries.
Israel placed first for entrepreneurship, innovation, cyber-security and business-sector research and development in the survey, put out by the IMD World Competitiveness Center of the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. Israel also took second and third place in several categories relating to technology and government investment in research and education,the survey said.
Israeli tech streams World Cup to world’s living rooms
LiveU, an Israeli start-up, is gearing up to deliver television-quality video of World Cup coverage via cellular connections to broadcast centers and the Internet, using a network of 200 of the firm’s mini-broadcast boxes, devices about half the size of a laptop. Over 30 international broadcasters are scheduled to beam the games from stadiums in the 12 host cities across Brazil, where games will be held during the month-long quadrennial tournament.
LiveU will thus be responsible for ensuring that broadcasts of most of the games get out to the rest of the world. It’s a heavy burden, but one LiveU CEO Samuel Wasserman believes the company can manage.
Israeli farmers name new variety of melon after Justin Timberlake
Agrarians in Ein Yahav, the moshav which lies in the northern Arava just near the border with Jordan, are naming a new variety of melon after Timberlake.
The new “Justin” melon is yellow on the outside and orange on the inside. It is known for its sweet taste and its three-week shelf life.
The farmers at Ein Yahav hope that the melon will also serve as a good-luck charm for Timberlake, bringing him a long, healthy life and continued success in his musical career.
Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood: Dylan told us to come to Israel
Ronnie Wood, guitarist for The Rolling Stones, revealed Monday that Bob Dylan put the idea in the Stones' circle to include Israel as a tour stop.
In an interview with Channel 2 in response to written questions ahead of the Stones' Israel debut on June 4, Wood said that one time after seeing Dylan perform, the singer made the suggestion.
He was coming offstage and said "we're going to Tel Aviv." He had a big smile on his face, and he said he loved it there," said Wood. "I said, we've never been there, so we'll have to go play there one day, so there you go."
Stones promise voter ‘Satisfaction’
Band, set to play in Tel Aviv next week, rolls out an app to let audiences choose their encore
With the Rolling Stones’ long-awaited June 4 performance not yet sold out, the band sent several messages to its Israeli audience this week.
“We’ll play all our hits and a few small surprises,” said Keith Richards, in an announcement publicized by local producer Shuki Weiss.


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