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Is Jerusalem the Capital of Israel?

I answer that question with a resounding YES! YES! YES!  Every nation has every right to determine which of its cities is the seat of its capital and Israel should be no different!  It’s about time that the US stand up beside its best ally and recognize Israel’s choice.  Other world leaders need to get some backbone and do the same instead of cowering to the Palestinians, whose claims are completely without merit.  I also believe that this action brings us one more step closer to the soon return of Yeshua our Messiah.

The following articles were posted on Facebook by Daniel Juster, an author and advocate of Messianic Judaism.  He is also the Founder and Director of Tikkun International, a network of congregations and ministries in the United States and abroad dedicated to the restoration of Israel and the Church.

In these articles, Mr. Juster presents some of his reasons why the timing of President Trump’s action is right and maximizes the possibility for peace in the region.  It also includes some pertinent history.  This is a long post, but it is worth taking the time to read.  So, without further introduction, let’s see what Mr. Juster has to say regarding President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — he says it much better than I can.

Posted on Facebook, December 8, 2017

…Why I believe that this was a very good timing to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. My other reasons for support were in the last posts and the article by Dershowitz.  Also, a very good article is in the Post by Carolyn Glick, and I would say several other good ones.  In Israel, there is very strong majority support [for this action], I would say almost 90% of Jews.  Only Gal On of Meretz spoke against it. Lapid of Yesh Atid and Gabbay of Labor spoke in favor, and they are the opposition.

Why is the timing good? Right now the Sunni Arab world in good part is very concerned about Iran and much less about Israel. There is covert cooperation with Israel and signals that some will support a real peace plan. I know it is a stretch to hope this will happen, but they seek U.. S. and Israel support to counter Iran. Due to this, their reaction will be more moderate than if it had come before or perhaps even if it would come later. Therefore, I think the timing is very good.

Posted December 7, 2017

Why President Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem maximizes the potential for peace in spite of the received wisdom of the foreign policy elite in the U. S. and internationally.

Peace can never be made on the basis of negotiating on the basis of delusion. That the Palestinians think that the status of West Jerusalem is part of negotiations is outlandish, yet the nations of the world accept this idea. There are other Arab delusions, but this is [the] biggest one. What President Trump just did was remove this from the negotiation table and send a strong message to the Palestinians to get real.

There are other delusions. One is that the great-grandchildren of Palestinian refugees (at least a million) still count as refugees and can return to Israel proper whatever its borders are.  Another is that Israel will withdraw 300-400,000 people form the settlement blocks on the other side of the green armistice line.  Or that East Jerusalem will be all Palestinian Arab since that is the location of major Jewish neighborhoods of Gilo, Givat Zeev, Ramat, and Piscat Zev, and more.  This would include Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, Mt. Scopus.  These last were Jewish controlled areas before the ’48 war and were recovered in ’67.  Peace will not come if there are delusions about these areas being abandoned.  They are major Jewish neighborhoods.

Another delusion is that Israel will give up control of the Jordan Valley and its security. No, a U. N. or even Nato force cannot be trusted.  We have the test in Lebanon.  How is that working out with the so-call “robust force” that was to prevent re-arming.  They looked the other way!

Once destroy the illusions and the parameters of a two-state solution are pretty clear.  The one I believe that the Trump administration will put forth will be the one most free of illusions to date.  Time will tell.  Not that I am convinced that a two-state solution will be right.  I still see Palestinian areas over the Green Line connected to Jordan and Jewish areas connected to Israel.  We don’t need a 23rd Arab Muslim state.

I just read an amazing summary by Alan Dershowitz. I attach it here.

President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a perfect response to President Obama’s benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaism’s holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a “flagrant violation under international law.”  It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace.

It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaism’s holiest places to be illegally occupied.  Obama’s decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace.  It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president.

It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump.  President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution.

So if there is any change to the status quo, let the blame lie where it should be: at the hands of President Obama for his cowardly decision to wait until he was a lame-duck president to get even with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  President Trump deserves praise for restoring balance in negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians.  It was President Obama who made peace more difficult.  It was President Trump who made it more feasible again.

The outrageously one-sided Security Council Resolution declared that “any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem,” have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”  This means, among other things, that Israel’s decision to build a plaza for prayer at the Western Wall — Judaism’s holiest site — constitutes a “flagrant violation of international law.”  This resolution was, therefore, not limited to settlements in the West Bank, as the Obama administration later claimed in a bait-and-switch.  The resolution applied equally to the very heart of Israel.

Before June 4, 1967, Jews were forbidden from praying at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.  They were forbidden to attend classes at the Hebrew University at Mt. Scopus, which had been opened in 1925 and was supported by Albert Einstein.  Jews could not seek medical care at the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, which had treated Jews and Arabs alike since 1918.  Jews could not live in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, where their forbearers had built homes and synagogues for thousands of years.  These Judenrein prohibitions were enacted by Jordan, which had captured by military force these Jewish areas during Israel’s War of Independence, in 1948, and had illegally occupied the entire West Bank, which the United Nations had set aside for an Arab state.  When the Jordanian government occupied these historic Jewish sites, they destroyed all the remnants of Judaism, including synagogues, schools, and cemeteries, whose headstones they used for urinals.  Between 1948 and 1967, the United Nations did not offer a single resolution condemning this Jordanian occupation and cultural devastation.

When Israel retook these areas in a defensive war that Jordan started by shelling civilian homes in West Jerusalem, and opened them up as places where Jews could pray, study, receive medical treatment and live, the United States took the official position that it would not recognize Israel’s legitimate claims to Jewish Jerusalem.

It stated that the status of Jerusalem, including these newly liberated areas, would be left open to final negotiations and that the status quo would remain in place.  That is the official rationale for why the United States refused to recognize any part of Jerusalem, including West Jerusalem, as part of Israel.  That is why the United States refused to allow an American citizen born in any part of Jerusalem to put the words “Jerusalem, Israel” on his or her passport as their place of birth.

But even that historic status quo was changed with President Obama’s unjustified decision not to veto the Security Council Resolution from last December.  The United Nations all of a sudden determined that, subject to any further negotiations and agreements, the Jewish areas of Jerusalem recaptured from Jordan in 1967 are not part of Israel.  Instead, they were territories being illegally occupied by Israel, and any building in these areas — including places for prayer at the Western Wall, access roads to Mt. Scopus, and synagogues in the historic Jewish Quarter — “constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”  If that indeed is the new status quo, then what incentives do the Palestinians have to enter negotiations?  And if they were to do so, they could use these Jewish areas to extort unreasonable concessions from Israel, for which these now “illegally occupied” areas are sacred and non-negotiable.

President Obama’s refusal to veto this one-sided resolution was a deliberate ploy to tie the hands of his successors, the consequence of which was to make it far more difficult for his successors to encourage the Palestinians to accept Israel’s offer to negotiate with no preconditions.  No future president can undo this pernicious agreement since a veto not cast can never be retroactively cast.  And a resolution once enacted cannot be rescinded unless there is a majority vote against it, with no veto by any of its permanent members, which include Russia and China, who would be sure to veto any attempt to undo this resolution.

President Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital helps to restore the appropriate balance.  It demonstrates that the United States does not accept the Judenrein effects of this bigoted resolution on historic Jewish areas of Jerusalem, which were forbidden to Jews.  The prior refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was based explicitly on the notion that nothing should be done to change the status quo of that city, holy to three religions.  But the Security Council Resolution did exactly that: It changed the status quo by declaring Israel’s de facto presence on these Jewish holy sites to be a “flagrant violation under international law” that “the U.N. will not recognize.”

Since virtually everyone in the international community acknowledges that any reasonable peace would recognize Israel’s legitimate claims to these and other areas in Jerusalem, there is no reason for allowing the U.N. Resolution to make criminals out of every Jew or Israeli who sets foot on these historically Jewish areas.  (Ironically, President Obama prayed at what he regarded as the illegally occupied Western Wall.)

After the UN, at the urging of President Obama, made it a continuing international crime for there to be any Israeli presence in disputed areas of Jerusalem, including areas whose Jewish provenance is beyond dispute, President Trump was right to untie his own hands and to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor.  Some have argued that the United States should not recognize Jerusalem because it will stimulate violence by Arab terrorists.  No American decision should ever be influenced by the threat of violence.  Terrorists should not have a veto over American policy.  If the United States were to give in to threats of violence, it would only incentivize others to threaten violence in response to any peace plan.

So let’s praise President Trump for doing the right thing by undoing the wrong thing President Obama did at the end of his presidency.

Alan M. Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of, “Trumped Up! How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy,” which is now available. Follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter: @AlanDersh Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz.

Until next time…May you have a Merry Christmas and Blessed 2018, and most importantly,May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

A Rabbi Speaks on the Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel.

A friend posted this on Facebook. Rather than simply sharing with my Facebook friends, I’m reposting it here for those who are not my friends on FB.  Besides, it will now be in my archives.

Rabbi Sakes on the Status of Jerusalem

I welcome today’s decision by the United States to recognize as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, whose name means “city of peace.” This recognition is an essential element in any lasting peace in the region.

Unlike other guardians of the city, from the Romans to the Crusaders to Jordan between 1949 and 1967, Israel has protected the holy sites of all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and guaranteed access to them. Today, Jerusalem remains one of the few places in the Middle East, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims are able to pray in freedom, security, and peace.

The sustained denial, in many parts of the world, of the Jewish connection with Jerusalem is dishonest, unacceptable and a key element in the refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s right to exist in the land of their origins. Mentioned over 660 times in the Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem was the beating heart of Jewish faith more than a thousand years before the birth of Christianity, and two-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam.

Since then, though dispersed around the world, Jews never ceased to pray about Jerusalem, face Jerusalem, speak the language of Jerusalem, remember it at every wedding they celebrated, in every home they built, and at the high and holiest moments of the Jewish year.

Outside the United Nations building in New York is a wall bearing the famous words of Isaiah: “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Too often the nations of the world forget the words that immediately precede these: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

Those words, spoken twenty-seven centuries ago, remain the greatest of all prayers for peace, and they remain humanity’s best hope for peace in the Middle East and the world.

(Please note that this article is from Rabbi Sakes newsletter at http://mailchi.mp/rabbisacks/rabbi-sacks-statement-on-the-status-on-jerusalem.  It is under his copyright.  His website is http://rabbisacks.org/ )

Until next time…May you have a Merry Christmas and Blessed 2018, and most importantly,May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Pray that Today’s Paris “Peace” Conference Will Fail!

I am issuing an urgent call to pray for the failure of the anti-Israel “peace” conference in Paris today (1/15/2017)! No group of nations has any right to tell Israel, a sovereign nation, how to handle land that is legally theirs.

The goal of the conference is to finalize a plan to create a Palestinian state, dividing Jerusalem and changing the borders of Israel.  It may already be in progress as I post this.  Pray that the US will vote against this and not abstain or vote for it. If the US does abstain, it will be the same as voting to approve.

The following articles by Ron Cantor and Avner Boskey explain what is happening and the possible consequences better than I can.  Please take the time to read both articles as you pray.

Paris Conference takes Aim at Israel

I was thinking all day yesterday that I should write something about the Paris conference that takes place tomorrow. The goal of the conference is to see a Palestinian State created and for Israel to withdraw to our 1967 suicide borders, including relinquishing the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.

As I thought about what to write, I received an email from a dear friend in Beersheva, Israel, detailing the Paris Conference. Avner Boskey is highly regarded leader in the Messianic movement in Israel and has deep insights into the Middle East. He has graciously allowed us to repost his thoughts. Make sure to pray after you read.

Let me just add a few thoughts. The Bible says that when the nations seek to move Jerusalem, it will bring judgment upon them. We see this in Psalm 2 and in Zechariah 12:2-3, where it states:

I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

And Joel prophesied that God’s anger would be poured out upon the nations because they  “divided up my land.” God says that Israel is His land and He gives it to whomever he pleases.

And all this is happening five days before the anti-Israel Obama administration leaves and the pro-Israel Trump administration comes in. I believe with all my heart that if Hillary Clinton had won the election it would have brought judgment on America, as she would have continued the Obama/Kerry attack on Israel. I believe that because of President-Elect Trump’s constant pro-Israel message, the Lord will hold back His hand, despite what the “kings of the earth” do in Paris tomorrow.

Some have said that Secretary of State Kerry will seek another U.N. vote in favor of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders, just before Trump takes the oath. “He who watches over [Israel] will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Ps. 121:3) I am not concerned for the Promised Land, but the nations that oppose her.

Please take a few minutes and read Avner Boskey detailed analysis.  

Until next time…May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

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