Friday, November 28, 2014

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: What about the Jewish Nakba?
Let's set the record straight. The disintegration of the empires, beginning with the Ottoman, through to the Austro-Hungarian, and on to the British, intensified the demand on the part of various peoples for self-determination – no more multi-ethnic states under imperial rule, but nations with a sense of independent identity instead. Some would call it an imaginary heritage, but that's not important.
The result was huge waves of population transfers, beginning in 1912 and through to the years following World War II. Around 52 million people underwent the experience, including tens of millions in the period after the war.
Millions of Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, Turks, Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, Indians, Pakistanis and more and more were forced to leave their birthplaces to make way for national entities, old and new. One would be hard pressed to find a single conflict during the period in question that did not end without a population exchange.
The population exchanges between Greece and Turkey also served as a backdrop for the commission's decision. At the time, this was the position held by statesmen, scholars and intellectuals. Furthermore, in 1930, the Permanent Court of International Justice, the highest international judicial instance at the time, approved population transfers by force when it ruled that the purpose of mass population transfers was to "more effectively aid the process of pacification of the Near East."(h/t Elder of Lobby)
When the Mayflower docked in Haifa
Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn, New York, native Philip Levine had the same ecstatic reaction as countless other American Jews on November 29, 1947. That was the day the United Nations voted to partition British Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state — the Jewish leadership accepting and surrounding Arab countries rejecting the decision.
“It was shortly after the Jewish holidays and we were all glued to the television listening one by one as they counted the votes,” Levine, now 86, recalled from his home in Jerusalem.
“When it was finalized we all exploded with joy and began contacting former US servicemen asking for binoculars, uniforms, and even guns that could be collected and sent to Palestine because we knew war was imminent,” he said.
Weeks later Levine realized he had to do more and volunteered his services to a Jewish organization called Land and Labor for Palestine.
Land and Labor’s mission was ostensibly to send American Jews to kibbutzim where they would replace the local workforce who were called up to the army. However, from the moment Levine signed up he wasn’t trying to fool anyone.
Talking ‘Turkey’ to President Obama
In my Thanksgiving dream, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to visit St. Louis and the local community of Ferguson to try to help restore calm.
“We call on both sides to show restraint,” said Netanyahu, sending a copy of his message to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
“We hope that America can live up to its democratic ideals,” said the Israeli foreign ministry spokesman (in my dream). It was clear he was enjoying the irony of throwing the State Department’s words back at it.
“We hope that American security officials will use minimum force and not commit any hate crimes or war crimes,” declared (in my dream) Labor Party leader Yitzhak Herzog, perhaps remembering how Barack Obama spoke about Israel’s use of force against terrorists firing rockets at Israeli cities a few months ago.
“We call on U.S. law enforcement to institute a full and open investigation of the use of deadly force,” wrote Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett in a separate letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
But this was only a dream.
The Truth About Israel’s Jewish State Law
The law is often bashed from an American standpoint as being out of tune with Western values. Former Israeli Education Minister Yuli Tamir claimed it was the opposite of the U.S. Constitution, while Avital Burg at The Forward mocked the bill by noting that if it existed in the U.S. it would read “Protestant values will serve as inspiration to lawmakers and judges.”
But what these voices miss is that many states in the world enshrine in law various aspects of their national and religious identity. Michael Freund writes at The Jerusalem Post, that “in Great Britain the Queen is required to be a member of the Anglican Church” and in Denmark the Lutheran Church is guaranteed state support. Israel’s nation state law, and Israel’s existing character as an overwhelmingly Jewish state with Jewish symbols, are similar to most other countries, such as Greece, Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Iran, Japan, or Malaysia. Israel may be out of step with American conceptions of liberal democracy but not necessarily with the rest of the world.
There is a cartoon going around the web showing David Ben-Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence and someone shouting “fascist” at him, mocking how people are calling the nation state bill “fascist.” Israel’s Declaration of Independence, that critics of the law claim strikes a “balance” between Jewish and democratic, actually uses the word “Jew” twenty-four times. It never uses the word democratic. It does speak of the “natural right of the Jews to be masters of their own fate” and”right of the Jewish people to a national rebirth” and “right of the Jewish people to rebuild its national home.” The declaration’s has one paragraph devoted to the “complete equality of all its inhabitants” and says that the state will provide those inhabitants freedom “as envisioned by the prophets of Israel.” Those criticizing the Jewish nation state bill as out of step with Israel’s declaration of independence or original view of Zionism evidently didn’t read the declaration.

Elliott Abrams: The British royals, Arabs, and Israel
There are really only three logical explanations. The first is that the British royals only like to visit royals, and try to stay away from republics. But Prince Charles has visited Egypt time after time, so there goes that theory. The second possible explanation is fear -- fear that any kind of royal visit to Israel would harm the U.K., if, for example, Arab lands retaliated by cutting trade ties with Britain. This is silly.
Prince Charles visited Jordan last year and could easily have helicoptered over for a day in Israel. Princes Andrew or Harry could have stopped by while in the Middle East as well. Given the current tacit alliance of Israel and the Gulf monarchies against Iran and Islamic State, the likelihood that such visits would have harmed the U.K. is impossibly small.
The third possible explanation for the continuing refusal of the British royals to set foot in Israel is that either they or the Foreign Office harbor deep and undying enmity toward the Jewish state.
You pick.
Unpaid Consultants To Palestinian Terror
Former U.S president Jimmy Carter and former UN human rights high commissioner and president of Ireland Mary Robinson are in another category altogether. They are open supporters of Hamas’s interests. In an article in Foreign Policy, they state that the way to solve the conflict is via Israel’s lifting of the blockade of Gaza and Israel’s recognizing Hamas as a legitimate partner in a Hamas-Fatah unity government.
In short, Hamas’s policies of exposing the Palestinian populace by shooting from residential areas and using civilians as human shields, thus increasing the number of deaths among its own people, has given it bonus points in the UN and parts of the Western world. Further, the costs of repairing any damage in Gaza will be paid for by others.
With so many free consultants and various countries willing to apologize for Hamas and foot the bill for the damage caused by that terrorist outfit, it’s clear that genocide-promoting groups can have quite a good image these days – particularly if the group is Palestinian.
Words Matter: How Vocabulary Defines the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Settlements or Jewish communities? West Bank or Judea and Samaria? East Jerusalem or eastern Jerusalem? Those are some of the language choices that journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are faced with each day—and those choices should not be taken lightly, experts say.
“It’s the terminology that actually defines the conflict and defines what you think about the conflict,” says Ari Briggs, director of Regavim, an Israeli NGO that works on legal land use issues. “Whereas journalists’ job, I believe, is to present the news, as soon as you use certain terminology, you’re presenting an opinion and not the news anymore.”
“Accuracy requires precision; ideology employs euphemism,” says Eric Rozenman, Washington director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
Liberman’s peace plan calls for funding Arab emigration
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman published his own proposed peace plan Friday in which he calls for funding the emigration of Arab citizens of Israel.
In a manifesto of his Yisrael Beytenu party, Liberman said he favors ceding Arab-majority areas in northern Israel to a future Palestinian state and providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis — about 20 percent of Israel’s population — who do not identify with the state to encourage them to leave the country, and make a future Palestinian state their home.
An offer to Israeli-Arabs “who feel part of the Palestinian people [to leave the country] will solve the problem of divided loyalties and ‘split personality’ they suffer from. They can decide if they are part of the state of Israel or Palestine.”
“Those who decide that they identify as Palestinian could give up their Israeli citizenship and become citizens of a future Palestinian state. The State of Israel should encourage this via a system of economic incentives,” the plan states.
EU involvement in Illegal Building in Area C
Over many years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has benefitted from the virtually unqualified support of the European Union.
Unqualified in its automatic siding with the PA and against Israel on diplomatic issues, and unqualified in its financial support and regular donations amounting to hundreds of millions of Euros annually.
In recent years, European support has moved from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to a situation of active cooperation in illegal building which the Palestinian Authority has been advancing unilaterally since 2009, as part of its strategic plan to create a Palestinian state de facto, while avoiding the need for negotiations with Israel.
One of the central goals of this plan is the development of building initiatives specifically in Area C, (which is defined by the Oslo Accords as under full Israeli control) with the intent of chipping away at this area bit by bit, and thus creating a strip of territory between the area of Hebron, Samaria, and Jericho. This strip would endanger the security of the State of Israel and its ability to defend itself within defensible borders.
This position paper is the product of meticulous research, documentation and mapping of hundreds of residential structures which the European Union has built in a series of outposts in the Adumim area—the eastern corridor leading to Jerusalem from the Jordan Valley. In addition, it demonstrates clearly the purposeful change in the conduct of the European Union, as appears in their official documents, and analyses the significance of these illegal initiatives in the area.
French FM: Paris will recognize Palestinian state if peace efforts fail
France said on Friday it was working with partners on a "final" diplomatic push to overcome the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, including by setting a two-year timeframe to end the conflict through a UN-backed resolution.
"If this final effort to reach a negotiated solution fails, then France will have to do what it takes by recognizing without delay the Palestinian state," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told parliament.
Lawmakers are set to hold a symbolic parliamentary vote Tuesday on whether the French government should recognize Palestinian statehood as, a move that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called a "grave mistake." The vote has raised domestic political pressure for the government to be more active on the issue.
Fabius told deputies that, were they to adopt the motion, it would not change Paris' immediate diplomatic stance.
France calls for international Israeli-Palestinian peace conference
French President Francois Hollande said Thursday that France has a role to play in renewing stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and was seeking to organize an international peace conference for the purpose.
“France must take the initiative to find a diplomatic solution” to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict “that has been going on for decades,” the French president said in a joint interview to France 24, TV5 Monde and RFI.
Hollande indicated that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius would make the announcement Friday during a parliamentary debate on a vote to recognize a Palestinian state set for Tuesday.
Hollande did not mention a potential date for said conference or list the participants.
Denmark set to vote on Palestine recognition
The Danish parliament will hold the first debate on December 11, then vote in early January, according to the EU Observer.
“The parliament directs the government to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign state within pre-1967 borders and, by extension, provide the state of Palestine with full diplomatic rights,” says the draft text.
Three small left-wing parties — the Socialist People’s Party, the Red-Green Alliance, and Greenland’s Inuit Ataqatigiit — introduced the proposal.
Denmark’s foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, said the timing was not right.
“The positions of member states are evolving. This, in my view, makes sense as the peace process is not showing any progress,” he said. “Denmark will also come to recognize Palestine, but the timing has to be right.”
UNRWA declares state of emergency in Gaza after torrential rains
Flooding from two days of heavy rains forced hundreds of Gaza City residents to flee their homes on Thursday, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency declared a state of emergency in the area.
The bulk of the damage was in areas around Sheikh Radwan lagoon, according to UNRWA, which added that no injuries were reported.
“We are very concerned about such severe storms this early in the season and on the back of unprecedented damage and destruction caused by the recent conflict,” said UNRWA’s Director of Operations Robert Turner in Gaza.
United Nations: Gaza flooding catastrophe caused deliberately by Israel's Iron Dome system (satire)
The United Nations has declared Gaza a disaster zone today after torrential rain and flooding forced at least 5 people to flee their homes without umbrellas. The UNWRA spokesman in Gaza, Mr Jihad Hamas Islami, declared that the disaster was deliberately caused by Israel's iron dome system. In front of the world's press he declared:
"The iron dome system was switched on to divert heavy rain targeted at the Zionist entity directly into Gaza."
Hamas spokesman, Mr Islam Jihad Islam, said
"This despicable act of war will open up the gates of hell for the Zionist oppressors"
However, the PA President Mr Mahmood Abbas did not fully agree with the Hamas prognosis regarding the Gates of Hell, cautioning:
"President Obama has disclosed to me that the Zionists now have an advanced version of the Iron Dome system which will shoot down the Gates of Hell before they are able to swallow up all the Jews."
Israel Boycott Motion Shot Down in Local British Council
A local British municipal council has dropped a motion to boycott all products from the State of Israel, UK's Jewish News reported Thursday - amid a rising trend of British councils, chains, and groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish State.
The Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) of West Midlands - near Birmingham in West Midlands [Central England, between Liverpool and London - ed.] - was considering adopting a boycott, days after Leicester city council adopted a similar motion.
Dudley Labor councillor Qadar Zada's proposal urged the municipality to cease “existing and future procurement of goods and services where there is a direct benefit to the State of Israel, including through the supply chain, subject to legal compliance with all relevant procurement, contractual, legislative and regulatory requirements until such time as the State of Israel complies with international law."
Announcements that the DMBC was considering the move were met by strong protests from Jewish leaders, Tory (conservative) party members, and UK Independence Party (UKIP) representatives.
Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) head Simon Johnson welcomed the news that the motion had been dropped Thursday night.
Israeli Dismissed From U. Minn Post by BDSers Vows to Overturn Ruling (VIDEO)
Ilan Sinelnikov, a senior at the University of Minnesota told The Algemeiner Thursday that anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred by a boycott advocate was behind his being barred from candidacy for an administrative position at the school.
“I got accepted to the job, I got hired, in 4th place out of 21 other candidates,” for the role of financial administrator on the student services committee, according to the business and marketing major.
The 22-year-old Rehovot native, and the others were then to then be voted on by the undergraduate Student Association, and then by the graduate body, to receive final approval.
The body oversees some $30 million for 800 different student groups. The body makes recommendations to the Board of Regents on distributing the funds, which then decides on whether to implement the recommendations.
Enter Damien Carriere, the student representative to the board, and a well-known BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) campus activist.
“As soon as he heard that an Israeli – who established the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) group – got the position, he started a poisonous campaign against me,” Sinelnikov said.
BBC misleads on Arab Jerusalemites’ citizenship status yet again
The Abu Jamal cousins lived in Jabel Mukaber: a district located within the Jerusalem municipality. Contrary to Connolly’s assertion, they were therefore entitled to apply for Israeli citizenship like any other resident of the areas of Jerusalem which came under Israeli control in 1967. If they chose not to exercise that entitlement, they would still remain permanent residents with the right to vote in municipal elections and to receive the same social security benefits, education, pensions and healthcare as any other Israeli. Regardless of whether or not they hold Israeli citizenship, Arab residents of Jerusalem have a blue ID card of the same format as any other Israeli citizen – not “an East Jerusalem ID” as was claimed in the Radio 4 programme – with the exception being that those who have chosen not to take Israeli citizenship would have the nationality clause left blank.
This is not a complicated issue but as we see, the BBC repeatedly gets it wrong and hence materially misleads its audiences on the topic.
Jewish Lord Alan Sugar Mocks Soccer Club Chairman After Anti-Semitism Charges
British-Jewish business icon Lord Alan Sugar on Thursday poked fun at the chairman of Wigan soccer club, Dave Whelan, after the latter was charged by the Football Association for making offensive comments about Jewish and Chinese people.
“Wigan Dave Whelan been charged by the FA,following his comments about Jewish & Chinese people. His 100′s of Jewish friends to give evidence,” Sugar wrote on Twitter, referring to Whelan’s defense of his racist comments in an interview on Sky News. “I would never insult a Jewish person. I have got hundreds and hundreds of Jewish friends. I’ve got loads of Chinese friends and I would never, ever insult the Chinese,” the soccer boss said.
CST releases new report on antisemitic discourse in the UK
CST’s latest Antisemitic Discourse Report represents the British charity’s final report of the year detailing the “use of antisemitic language and images in politics and the media” – including within the social media.
Venezuelan MP says ‘Zionists,’ Bush family financed Hitler
A Latin American Jewish group has called for the removal from office of a Venezuelan lawmaker who said during an interview that “Zionists” were the main financiers of Hitler.
Congressman Adel El Zabayar, a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly, told the Hezbollah-sponsored Al Manar TV headquartered in Lebanon that: “In order to understand what is happening today in the Middle East and what happened in the world in the First and Second World Wars we must examine the original Zionist conspiracy.
“If we look into who financed Hitler before World War II, we will see that the main financiers were the Zionists — the Bush family, in fact. The Bush family made its fortune as a result of what happened in World War II. The goal was to destroy Europe in order to impose the American economy and the dollar currency on it,” he said.
The Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, posted on its website the November 14 interview, with a translation from the Arabic, during which El Zabayar also declared: “If you study the history of the killing of the Jews in Europe, you find that Hitler killed those Jews who belonged to progressive organizations.”
Milan Jews ask authorities to bar neo-Nazi concert, rally
The Milan Jewish community joined a long list of other organizations in urging authorities to bar a neo-Nazi concert and rally planned for an outlying district of Milan.
An appeal issued Thursday called on “democratic forces, institutions and authorities” to “intervene in order to impede” Saturday’s event, known as Hammerfest 2014 and associated with the international white supremacist group Hammerskin.
The gathering is expected to draw neo-Nazi bands and hundreds of skinheads and other right-wing extremists from various countries.
Thursday’s appeal, signed by the Milan Jewish community and a score of other organizations, including anti-Fascist groups and political parties, was one of several protests and petitions launched against Hammerfest in recent weeks.
Polish town plans to turn Jewish cemetery into apartment complex
The Jewish community of Warsaw and local activist Robert Augustyniak, who is not Jewish, have protested the plan.
The City Council in Grodzisk Mazowiecki held a public discussion on the plan on Monday. Following the meeting, Mayor Grzegorz Benedykcinski suspended action on the plan pending clarification of the cemetery’s boundaries.
The Jewish cemetery in Grodzisk was divided after World War II with a small section maintained as a cemetery and the remaining area acquired by Samopomoc Cooperative. Today, a private company that buys and sells scrap metal manages the site.
An historic cemetery gate with Hebrew inscriptions from the 19th century remains on the site.
Augustyniak offered his objections to the plan during the town hall discussion. “I showed the map of the area from 1927 and 1934,” he told JTA. “It clearly shows that the area of the cemetery was much larger than it is today. It seems that the council did not know about it. I hope that now they will change their plans.”
Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found at Torah Study Center in Moscow
The “Limmud” Torah Study Center in Moscow was vandalized on Monday with anti-Semitic graffiti that read “This is a Zionists lair. Out!” local blog AsiaNews reported.
“These days, when all the synagogues in Russia are praying for the victims of the attack in Jerusalem, anti-Semitic incidents like these are especially painful for us,” said Mikhail Savin, head of the Russian Jewish Congress, referring to a brutal terror attack early last week in which Jewish worshippers were hacked and shot to death in a Jerusalem synagogue. “Their impunity inevitably causes new manifestations of ethnic and religious hatred.”
Savin reported the incident to the Russian news agency Interfax. He also urged the police to investigate the matter and “punish the vandals.”
More art in German trove identified as looted by Nazis
The Jewish Claims Conference said Friday it has already identified a painting stolen by the Nazis among a newly published inventory of hundreds of works that belonged to late German collector Cornelius Gurlitt, and pushed for more time to investigate others.
Executive vice president Greg Schneider said in an email to The Associated Press that a Pissaro among about 250 artworks found in Gurlitt’s Salzburg property matched one on a looted-art list.
Switzerland’s Kunstmuseum Bern, which inherited the collection, posted lists of the Salzburg works and some of the 1,280 others found in Gurlitt’s Munich apartment online Thursday.
ADL pans football player for Ferguson-Palestine comparison
The Anti-Defamation League blasted NFL player Reggie Bush Thursday for posting a comment on social media which seemingly equated between the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Palestinian cause.
On Tuesday, a day after a grand jury handed down its decision that it would not seek to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old in August — prompting widespread unrest and violent riots in the US — Bush posted a photo on Instagram of a man holding a sign saying “the Palestinian people know what mean [sic] to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity #Ferguson #Justice.”
“Racially motivated violence is never acceptable,” said Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s National Director. “The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not based on race, it is a political dispute based on claims to land, and by conflating the death of Michael Brown with the conflict in the Middle East, Reggie Bush demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of both issues. He should stick to football.”
Bush then posted another photo on Instagram, this time of a young woman holding a sign that read “Ferguson with love from Palestine” and in the accompanying comment denied equating between the two issues based on race.
PreOccupied Territory: Ferguson Protesters Puzzled By Security Council Inaction (satire)
Spokespeople for the protesters stopped short of accusing the UN and its ilk of outright hypocrisy, but voiced their displeasure nonetheless. “It’s disheartening to find that the very institutions so prepared to step up for Palestinian human and political rights haven’t convened even a single session to discuss Ferguson,” said local resident Jamal Whitewash. “White oppression and discrimination have been going on far longer than anything Israel has done, but I don’t see any perpetual or special UN committees focused on our situation.” The protests do receive prominent attention in the international press, notes Whitewash, so ignorance of current events cannot account for the silence.
Indeed, Russian state media in particular have seized upon the Ferguson story as an illustration of American hypocrisy on issues of equality and civil rights, while myriad other nations have engaged in barely-concealed schadenfreude at such a prominent display of underachievement in human rights by a country that loves to lecture others on the issue. Despite the satisfaction, however, representatives of those repressive regimes sought to strike a balance between gleefully pointing out American human rights shortcomings and playing up the issue of human rights in general, fearful of attracting attention to their own abysmal records.
That factor, says analysts, accounts for the silence of the UN organizations on Ferguson. “The nations whose representatives sit on the Security and Human Rights Councils have horrible human rights,” notes political science author Ray Ciszt. “I hope the demonstrators in Missouri and elsewhere aren’t holding their breath.”
Israeli Seeking Papal Backing for Major Regional Conference, Including Netanyahu, Abbas, Iran‏
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas will gather in Milan in May at a major regional health and social welfare conference hosted by Pope Francis I, if one Israeli has his way, according to an unconfirmed report on Thursday in Israel’s NRG News website.
“The goal is to organize the 43 Mediterranean countries in order to build a huge health system in the Middle East,” said Prof. Aaron Meirov, 62, a senior Israeli physician who has resided in Italy since 1991, and heads an international emergency fund.
Last weekend Meirov met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and introduced him to the program, and said he had received Papal patronage and support.
“It will be the world’s first geopolitical start-up sparking deep change that will bring about deep, dramatic dialogue via the health care system,” Meirov told NRG.
 Taiwan, Israel seek further cooperation on water technology
Taiwan and Israel held a seminar in Taipei Friday aimed at seeking closer cooperation in the area of water resources management to meet demands for daily and industrial uses.
Noting that water scarcity is a challenge faced by many countries, Yang Wei-fuu, director general of Taiwan's Water Resources Agency, said that the seminar was an opportunity for participants from the two nations to explore potential future cooperation.
The seminar was organized by the Water Resources Agency and the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and brought representatives of seven Israeli water technology companies to meet with Taiwanese officials and businesspeople from the semiconductor, chemicals, agriculture and other sectors.
Although Israel does not have much rainfall, it has over the years developed advanced technologies to reuse water to meet its people's needs, said Simona Halperin, Israel's representative to Taiwan.
Fast-Growing Hispanic Evangelical Population Steps Up Support for Israel
NHCLC/Conela recently formed a partnership with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), one of the largest Christian Zionist organizations in the world. Since 1980, ICEJ has hosted the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem to coincide with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. This year, the event drew more than 5,000 Christians from 80 countries.
Rodriguez sees the partnership with ICEJ and the Feast of Tabernacles as a rallying point for Hispanic Evangelicals to come to Israel every year and experience the country.
“The Evangelical movement has experienced tremendous growth in the Latino world over recent decades and it is exciting to see their support and enthusiasm for Israel,” ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Juergen Buehler told
“It is an indigenous expression of solidarity based on solid biblical grounds, and we are thrilled that our annual Feast of Tabernacles will be a channel for these Hispanic Christians to convey their love and concern directly to the Israeli people,” added Buehler.
Israel First Country to Recognize Aramean Nationality
Lost in the uproar over the proposed Israeli Nationality Bill has been the historic recognition of Arameans as a separate nationality in Israel. Israel is the first country in the world to recognize the Arameans. And this historic recognition has empowered and emboldened Arameans to seek better treatment in other countries they live in.
On Wednesday, November 26, the World Council of Arameans (WCA) will be addressing the Seventh Session of the Forum on Minority Issues at the United Nations in Geneva. Shadi Halul, an Aramean from Gush Halav in the Galilee, will be traveling to Geneva in order to address the assembly. His two year old child was the first person to be registered under the new identity in Israel, one month ago. Halul was invited by the WCA.
Part of his statement will read as follows: “We, Aramean Christian Israelis, want all the nations of the world to see the historic democratic move of Israel in recognizing the nationality of ‘Aramean’ within the Christian citizens of the Jewish and democratic Israel. We look specifically to Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to recognize the Aramean people in their countries, to protect the minority in their historic homelands, and their basic democratic rights, and preserve their culture, language, and history.”

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