As far as Israel is concerned, denial of the Jewish historical and religious connection to this land, and especially to Jerusalem, is the primarily roadblock to peace at present.
Finally, it would seem that the American government agrees.
US President Donald Trump’s special Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, on Thursday blasted Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for failing to mention that Jerusalem’s connection to the Jewish people.
On Tuesday, Abbas addressed a Palestinian youth festival and repeatedly told the young Arabs that Jerusalem is and always has been a city for Muslims and Christians. No mention of Jews.
According to Greenblatt, that kind of rhetoric only pushes peace further away.
“Pres. Abbas states about Jerusalem: ‘it is Arab, Muslim, and Christian.’ And makes no mention of any Jewish ties. Nothing peaceful or productive can come from statements like this,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter.
“Lasting peace will not be achieved by denying Judaism’s thousands of years of ties to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews,” he added.
All of the Palestinian Authority’s most hard-line positions are based on the premise that the Jews have no right to be here.
Furthermore, Israel believes that a genuine, long-lasting peace can only be achievable if it’s built upon a foundation of truth and acceptance of documented historical fact.
PHOTO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Jason Greenblatt in Ramallah, March 14, 2017. (Flash90)
“I hate to agree with Donald Trump, but it doesn’t happen often, but I do. I don’t know why Israel — it has been their capital since 1949, it is where their government is. They’ve won all the wars thrown against them. I don’t understand why they don’t get to have their capital where they want,” he said.
“When you win a war you don’t get to take the other side’s land,” newly-minted New York Timescolumnist Michelle Goldberg said.
“Actually, you do,” Maher responded.
“Especially because they were attacked. I mean the country was divided, which they were okay with. They were attacked more than once and they took land in those wars that they won and there has been peace offers on the table ever since to give part of that land back,” he added.
Maher asked why is it always up to Israel to come up with a two-state solution, and when they do it is rejected and blamed for making it “impossible.” He said what is making a two-state solution impossible is the “perpetually hostile,” “coiled snake” that is Palestinian leadership.
“But what is making the essential thing that is making the two-state solution impossible is that one party is perpetually hostile, a coiled snake,” Maher said in an argument with guest panelist Michelle Goldberg.
He also said Israel has given back land, including Gaza, and said the result was not hospitals and schools but tunnels and rockets.
“Israel gave back Gaza and what was the result? Did they use the funds to build schools and hospitals? No. They used them to build tunnels to get weapons and they invited Hamas in to shell Israel across the border,” he said. RealClearPolitics
“The Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, and this finding thus reveals that such a position was actually held by someone in the city some 2,700 years ago,” said Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the site on behalf of the IAA.” IsraelInTheUsa Facebook
Archaeologists excavating in the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem unearthed a unique clay seal from the First Temple Period, inscribed in ancient Hebrew script.
The important find was discovered over the course of the IAA’s excavations at the site, carried out in cooperation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
According to the excavator, Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, “the Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, and this finding reveals that such a position was actually held by someone in the city some 2700 years ago.”
This extraordinary find is a lump of clay, stamped and pre-fired. It measures 13×15 mm and is 2-3 mm thick. The upper part of the sealing depicts two figures facing each other, and the lower part holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script. The seal was presented to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, during his visit to Davidson’s Center, near the Western Wall, last week. After the completion of the scientific research, the seal will be displayed temporarily in the mayor’s office.
The seal, its use unknown, was retrieved by Shimon Cohen while wet-sieving the soil from a late First Temple-period building (seventh-sixth centuries BCE).
Speaking on behalf of the IAA, Weksler-Bdolah said she believes that “the seal had been attached to an important transport and served as some sort of logo, or as a tiny souvenir, which was sent on behalf of the governor of the city.”
“It is likely that one of the buildings in our excavation was the destination of this transport, sent by the city governor. The finding of a seal with this high-rank title, in addition to the large assemblage of actual seals found in the building in the past, supports the assumption that this area, located on the eastern slopes of the western hill of ancient Jerusalem, some 100 m west of the Temple Mount, was inhabited by highly ranked officials during the First Temple period.
“This is the first time that such a sealing is found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2700 years ago.”
Hebrew University’s Professor Tallay Ornan and Tel Aviv University’s Professor Benjamin Sass described the seal:
“Above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment. In the register beneath the double line is an inscription in ancient Hebrew, with no spacing between the words and no definite article.”
“The inscription denotes ‘lesar ha’air,’ or ‘belonging to the governor of the city.’ The title ‘governor of the city’ is known from the Bible and from extra-Biblical documents, and refers to an official appointed by the king. Governors of Jerusalem are mentioned twice in the Bible: in 2 Kings, Joshua is the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles, Maaseiah is the governor of the city in the days of Josiah.”
“It is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem,” Barkat said upon seeing the seal. “This shows that already 2700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.”
“Jerusalem is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, continually populated by the Jewish people for more than 3000 years.” INN
Video: Seal from First Temple Period found near Western Wall (Israel Antiquities Authority)
The president of Guatemala says the Central American country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted earlier this week with the United States when the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on his official Facebook account Sunday that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he decided to instruct his foreign ministry to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move.
The resolution passed as the UN declared the US action on Jerusalem ‘null and void’.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned fellow nations that President Trump would be taken note of the countries who defied America in the count.
The 128-9 vote was a victory for Palestinians but fell short of the total they had predicted. DailyMail
Guatemala and Honduras voted with the U.S. against the UN motion rejecting the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Two nations in this category stick out: Guatemala and Honduras.
Both nations, which have seen steep surges of emigration to the U.S., are desperate for an immigration accord with the U.S. Guatemala’s president, Jimmy Morales, who was elected a few years ago as the Guatemalan Trump on an anti-corruption platform, likely has real sympathies with the U.S. leadership. It’s also obvious that he has some needs, too. Last September, he laid this out at the U.N., according to U.N. News:
“Institutional and international action on migration was an important issue for Guatemala, President Morales continued, including partnership with Mexico, Honduras and the United States. Guatemala was counting on the efforts of Member States to negotiate an agreement on safe, regular and orderly migration. Turning to the situation of the so-called “dreamers” in the United States, he said Guatemala hoped that the American people’s sense of humanity would lead to the US Senate adopting legislation that would allow “dreamers” to enjoy legal status in that country.”
Should these countries be rewarded with amnesty for their illegal emigrants over this vote? Maybe not a full amnesty, but it wouldn’t hurt for us to help them out, given that it took a lot of courage to give those “no” votes. Perhaps extended temporary protected status for Honduran and Guatemalan nationals would be workable, which Honduras got as a six-month extension few weeks ago and seemed grateful for. Extending it also would send a message to the others (such as El Salvador, a gigantic exporter of illegal aliens, which is seeking an extension for its own 195,000 nationals here illegally in the states in January) that good things come to nations that vote to respect U.S. sovereignty at the U.N.
The net effect of this “no” vote assures us that this really matters to these countries and that they are going to meet us halfway in obtaining their goals. Call it the art of the deal. AmericanThinker
Saving money – we now have a list of countries that the President can minimize funding.
The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted by a decisive vote of 128 to nine, with 35 abstentions, a motion rejecting the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
President Donald Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that “we’re watching” and threatened reprisals against countries backing the measure, which reaffirms that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations…
The United Nations was always a garbage idea — the very notion of countries where citizens have been reduced to eating dogs (Venezuela) or thrown in jail for dissent (Turkey) declaring American sovereign policy “null and void” with regard to reinforcing a historical and verifiable truth is insulting. The foreign community has zero control over our foreign policy, and particularly over our placement of our embassy. DailyWire
“The vote is a victory for Palestine,” said Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah. “We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.” France24
Video: Nikki Haley at UN General Assembly on America embassy in Jerusalem (C-SPAN)
Video: PM Netanyahu’s Response to UN General Assembly Vote
This is an affront and challenge to U.S. sovereignty.
Wow, USA foreign aid with strings attached.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favour of a draft United Nations resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly will hold a rare emergency special session on Thursday – at the request of Arab and Muslim countries – to vote on a draft resolution, which the United States vetoed on Monday in the 15-member U.N. Security Council.
The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a letter to dozens of U.N. states on Tuesday seen by Reuters, warned that Trump had asked her to “report back on those countries who voted against us.”
She bluntly echoed that call in a Twitter post: “The U.S. will be taking names.”…
A senior diplomat from a Muslim country, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of Haley’s letter: “States resort to such blatant bullying only when they know they do not have a moral or legal argument to convince others.”
Responding directly to that comment on Twitter, Haley said: “Actually it is when a country is tired of being taken for granted.” Reuters
U.S. Foreign Aid
According to figures from the U.S. government’s aid agency USAID, in 2016 the United States provided some $13 billion in economic and military assistance to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and $1.6 billion to states in East Asia and Oceania.
It provided some $13 billion to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, $6.7 billion to countries in South and Central Asia, $1.5 billion to states in Europe and Eurasia and $2.2 billion to Western Hemisphere countries, according to USAID. Reuters
The Palestinian Authority, which receives more than 50 percent of its foreign financial aid from the U.S. AmericanThinker
Challenging U.S. sovereignty
Under pressure by the Palestinians and Arab and Muslim nations, the president of the UN General Assembly has called an emergency session of the General Assembly for Thursday to consider a resolution similar to the one presented to the Security Council for the sole purpose of condemning the U.S. again.
These 14 countries, including supposed American allies that are supported financially by the U.S., did not mind embarrassing, humiliating, and insulting President Trump on the international stage and challenging U.S. sovereignty. The UN Security Council with its 14 members was trying to interfere and dictate to the U.S. what its foreign policy should be while being hosted by the U.S. on American soil and being supported financially by the generosity of the American taxpayers. These nations chose to vote for and appease Mahmoud Abbas, the corrupt Palestinian leader who was the second in command to the notorious terrorist Yasser Arafat, the financier of Palestinian anti-Israel and American terrorist attacks for decades, a Holocaust denier, and an unelected tyrant, over the leader of the free world.
In forcing the U.S. to use its veto, the other countries emboldened America’s enemies and adversaries by highlighting the isolation the U.S. faces on the world stage. All this on the same day Trump presented his administration ‘s national security strategy. As U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said “what we witnessed here today in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten. For the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the U.S. was forced to defend its sovereignty. The record will reflect that we did it proudly.”
The 14 members of the security council included supposedly very strong U.S. allies such as Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Sweden, and Egypt, which was the one to introduce the resolution. France and Britain stated they voted for the Security Council resolution in the search of peace in the Middle East. The other countries were Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Ukraine, and Uruguay, China, and Russia. Ironically, the U.S. has its embassies in all those countries’ own designated capital city. AmericanThinker
“We as Arabs have to recognize that Jerusalem is a Jewish religious symbol as sacred to Jews as Mecca and Medina is sacred to Muslims.” – Abdul Hamid Hakim
The retired Saudi official, Abdul Hamid Hakim, was interviewed regarding his views about the recent statement by U.S. President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel…
Hakim heads the office of the Middle East Institute located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and was among those who joined retired Saudi General Anwar Ashiqat, who visited Israel on July 22, 2016, according to Abu Ali.
The blogger wrote that “Ashiqat, a consultant who is close to the Saudi royal family, would not have come to Israel had he not first received permission from the king.”
Hakim told the ALHURRA interviewer, who was broadcasting from the United States, “The Arab mind must free itself of prejudice and perceptions of political Islam, Sunni and Shiite, and from the hatred of Jews and the denial of their historic rights in the region.”
Abu Ali underscored the importance of Hakim’s position as “a well-known Saudi official, living in Saudi Arabia,” adding that there are “clear connections between him and the Saudi royal family, reflecting the unprecedented manner in which the historic rights of the Jewish people in Jerusalem [are being addressed]. JewishPress
Israel Education Minister Naftali Bennett
During an interview with Steven Sackur on the BBC program Hard Talk, MK and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) qualified Palestine as a “fake state.”
“The Palestinian issue is a fake issue, just like the notion of a Palestinian state is a fake state,” he said, when asked about the effects of US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Bennett then changed the subject, charging that the states in the region were focused solely on countering Iran, and that the only people focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were “studios in London.”
When challenged about the consequences of Trump’s move on the prospects for a peace and the future for a Palestinian state, Bennett deflected, questioning the Sackur instead of the other way around, leading to an awkward silence and a smirking education minister.
“No one in the Arab world ever accepted the notion of a Palestinian nation. They wouldn’t grant them a state. We’ve granted them a state in Gaza and they turned it into Afghanistan in the heart of Israel. We aren’t about to make that mistake again.” JPost
Video: Bennett on BBC HardTalk defends Netanyahu & Jerusalem: “Palestine” is a Fake State
Eight countries opposed to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital asked for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. The eight council nations that requested the meeting: Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, United Kingdom and Uruguay.
The resolution did not pass.
Nikki Haley: “This is the first time I have exercised the American right to veto a resolution in the Security Council. The exercise of the veto is not something the United States does often….
We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance.”…
“The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.”
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley delivered her remarks on the matter in a manner referred to by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “on Hanukkah, like a Maccabee.”… JewishPress
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley:
To the United Nations’ shame, this has been a disproportionately hostile place for the Middle East’s most enduring democracy.
The United States refuses to accept the double standard that says we are not impartial when we stand by the will of the American people by moving our U.S. embassy, but somehow the United Nations is a neutral party when it consistently singles out Israel for condemnation.
For decades, Israel has withstood wave after wave of bias in the UN and its agencies. The United States has often stood beside Israel. We did not on December 23, 2016. We will not make that mistake again. JewishPress
Full Transcript: US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s Remarks After Jerusalem Resolution Veto
.@USUN Ambassador Nikki Haley: Given the chance to vote again on Resolution 2234, I can say with complete confidence that the United States would vote no; we would exercise our veto power. pic.twitter.com/HZQ2YcjdVs
US astronaut Randolph Bresnik tweeted a series of photos of Israel from the International Space Station last week, capturing the coast by day and Jerusalem by night in his photography.
Using the hashtag #OneWorldManyViews, on October 29 Bresnik tweeted photos of the lights of nighttime Jerusalem, which he called a “golden city” important “to so many.”…
On November 11, Bresnik again tweeted a photo of the Holy Land, this time a larger-scale image of the entirety of Israel, seen “upside down”, with southern Israel and the Sinai at the upper left of the photo and its northern tip at the bottom right. Its two largest bodies of water, the Dead Sea and the larger Sea of Galilee, are clearly visible. BreakingNewsIsrael
He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every large house he burned with fire. Jeremiah 52:13
New finds in the City of David confirm the veracity of the biblical account of the Babylonian capture and conquest of First Temple period Jerusalem. The event is commemorated next Tuesday on the Hebrew date Tisha B’av (August 1) in a day of fasting and mourning, Israeli experts said.
According to Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dr. Joe Uziel, co-director of the current excavations at the City of David, findings discovered in the site’s eastern slope, including a row of 2,600-year-old rooms and their contents — all covered with visible layers of charcoal ash — aid in understanding the days leading up to and the act of the destruction.
Within the collapsed rooms were uncovered rare artifacts, including a unique, apparently Egyptian, ivory statue of a nude woman, and smashed pottery jars with a rosette seal which was in royal use during the final decade before the fall of the First Temple, according to co-director Ortal Chalaf.
“These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty. Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system,” said Chalaf.
Additionally, charred remains of wood, grape seeds, and fish scales and bones will be carbon dated by members of the interdisciplinary cooperative team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists and Weizmann Institute scientists Elisabetta Boaretto and her postdoctoral fellow Johanna Regev, who were present at the dig site.
According to biblical descriptions, in 586 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar vanquished the Judaean king Zedekiah and razed his capital city, Jerusalem. The Babylonian captain of the guard Nebuzaradan was dispatched into the city, where, as told in the Book of Jeremiah, he “burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great man’s house, burned he with fire.”
At the dig site, the rampant destruction caused by a fiery inferno is clearly seen. Burnt charcoal layers of destruction preserved flooring and utensils in situ, giving a stark picture of the immediacy of the blaze. TimesOfIsrael
Video: Evidence of Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem Found at the City of David
Ancient Jerusalemites from the Second Temple period were kosher and dined primarily on sheep and goat, while cows and chickens came in a distant second and third, Tel Aviv University researchers reported in the most comprehensive study of its kind.
Gadot, a senior lecturer at the university’s department of archeology said on Sunday that the protracted dig took place some 800 meters from the Temple Mount.
“We began digging three years ago in a [ancient] landfill devoted to garbage disposal during the Roman occupation,” he said by phone. “One of the main components found there was food waste, including over 12,000 animal bones, of which we identified 5,000.”
An exhaustive analysis of the bones determined that Jerusalem’s ancient inhabitants strictly adhered to kosher dietary laws and primarily consumed sheep and goat meat.
“We found no pork bones or shellfish whatsoever and that 70 to 80% of the bones were from sheep and goat, with a little cow and chicken bones,” Gadot said.
“What was surprising was that there were no pigeon bones, because we know that they were [breeding] pigeons and that it was quite a big industry,” he said. “In the other landfills closer to the Temple Mount, past researchers found a lot of pigeon bones, and now we understand that they were not bred for food, but rather for cultic activities on the Temple Mount.”
Gadot added that a substantial amount of vegetable and fruit remnants, including figs and dates, were also found in the City of David landfill, although the researchers focused primarily on animal refuse.
“They were definitely eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, wheats and barleys, which we will study in future research,” he said.
Gadot said the cuts of meat from the animals indicates that the inhabitants of the ancient city were decidedly middle class.
“The better parts of the animals were not consumed, which shows us that they were not very rich and not very poor,” he said. “When you go to a restaurant, you see the good cuts of the animal, and we didn’t see that here.”
According to Gadot, the livestock, which were raised in herds nearby, were slaughtered at a facility in the capital.
“You can see by the marks on the bones how they were slaughtered,” he said. “We already had a basic idea of the diet then, but when you conduct research at a garbage dump, you see everything, so this is the most comprehensive study of its kind.”
Apart from the animal bones, Gadot said numerous antiquities, including coins and broken pottery, were discovered during the dig. JPost