This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Third Temple
Obama vs. Israel
Jesus in Israeli Metal
Israel’s 62 Independence Day
printed in Israel
On April 20th, Israel celebrated its 62nd Independence Day. But before the festivities, there was Remembrance Day for the Fallen, honoring the more than 22,600 Israelis who have been killed in the nation’s wars and terrorist attacks. They died that Israel might live. Israel is a small country and most of us have known some of the victims personally. I think of my army comrades, Oren Kamil, Ron Weissman, Alex Singer and Shmuel Adiv, who fell in the 1980s in Lebanon. As we say in Hebrew: May their memory be blessed. Life is God’s most precious gift. Yet life in Israel is a struggle to survive, individually and as a nation. This is conveniently forgotten by the world when it describes Israeli acts of self-defense as aggression and war crimes. With that in mind, the picture below caught my eye. Now even America—Israel’s loyal friend for so many years—is turning its back on Jerusalem and cozying up to Israel’s enemies. Our so-called friends are losing patience with Israel. How about you? Do you still have patience for Israel? As long as God’s patience does not run out, we can continue to follow His example. And we encourage you to do the same. It’s easy to become biased against Israel listening to the statements of world leaders and the international media. True friends, however, reserve judgment and believers discern the truth. We would like you to know how much we appreciate you. Your faithfulness is an incentive that keeps us going and enables us—with God’s help—to continue bringing the news about Israel that others leave out.
COVER - HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! (photo: Israel Images LTD)
Aviel Schneider and the israel today editorial staff
3 4 6 7 8 9
Obama, a ‘Strategic Catastrophe’ The Third Temple and the Third World War Holocaust Remembrance Day Former Female Soldier Charged with Espionage Mufti Contradicts Muslim Travel Guide Journalists Punished for Ties with Israel Palestinians Squandering Foreign Aid Olmert Implicated in New Corruption Scandal Obama and the Muslim Agenda For You Are Our Father Israel’s Exile Israel: One People, One Land, One State From Natural Disasters to End-Time Blessings Christian Friends of Israel at 25 Orphaned Land: Jesus in Israeli Metal Jerusalemite Designs Olympic Gold Byzantine Shopping District Uncovered New Frontiers in Design New Drone Fleet for IAF Fishing Banned in Sea of Galilee Israel’s New Smartphone Israeli Paramedics in Ghana
ArAb Press PAlestiniAns
Focus on JerusAlem oPinion
Word From JerusAlem bible study
messiAnic PersPective diAsPorA
22 23 24
ArchAeology culture militAry
NEVER AGAIN: Mossad chief Meir Dagan: ‘LOOK! This is my grandfather kneeling to the Nazis just before he was killed. I look at this picture every day and I guarantee you, it will never happen again.’
Publisher: nai – israel today | Founder of nai: Ludwig Schneider | Editor-in-Chief: Aviel Schneider | Co-Editor & Art Director: Michael Schneider | Senior Editor/Correspondent: Shlomo Mordechai | Editor: Barry Rosenfeld | Website/Staff Writer: Ryan Jones | Managing Editor/Director of Marketing: Lorraine Rubinow | Administrator: Daniel Goldstein Biblical Commentary, Word from Jerusalem, Debate, Prophecy: Ludwig Schneider | Politics, Focus on Jerusalem, Arab Press: Aviel Schneider, Ryan Jones | Messianic Jews, The Land, Profile, In Brief: Michael Schneider, Tzvi Sadan | Military, Tourism, Nature, Archeology, Jewish Affairs: Netanel Doron | Christians, Diaspora, Culture, Economy: Judith Jeries | Islam: Victor Mordechai | Text Advisor: Dov Chaikin | Financial Director: Anat Schneider | Translator: Judith Jeries, Beverly Bayliss | Graphic Designer: Pavel Permyakov, Larisa Kaplan
Israel Today magazine – News About Israel – is published monthly, directly from Jerusalem | One-Year Subscription: $43 (US, Israel); $53 (Canada); £30 (UK); 33 euros (Europe); $66 (Australia); $83 (New Zealand); $49 (all other countries) 1 Shmuel HaNagid St. - P.O. Box 7555 - Jerusalem 91070, Israel | Tel: +972.2.622.6881 | Fax: +972.2.622.6882 | TOLL FREE ORDERING: 1.866.854.1684 (North America) | 00.800.60.70.70.60 (UK/Norway/)
Obama, a ‘Strategic Catastrophe’
lthough Israeli officials publicly play down the crisis in relations between Jerusalem and Washington, privately the language is much different. Sources close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describe Obama as a “strategic catastrophe” for Israel. Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, speaking on condition of anonymity to the nation’s top newspapers, see the Obama administration as a serious threat to the future of the State of Israel. On the record, Israel and the US have a “strategic partnership that is unbreakable”; off the record, the terminology is blunt to say the least. “President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have drawn a clear line, supporting the Palestinian position at the expense of Israel,” said one Netanyahu confidant. “It is insane, it is sick. Relations between Jerusalem and Washington are simply disastrous; the situation has never been so dangerous. This US President wants to establish a Palestinian state at any price and hand them Jerusalem on a silver platter.” Netanyahu has repeatedly distanced himself from such statements, but commentators say the government speaks with a forked tongue. “Israel’s relations with the US are at a low point, and Obama poses a danger to Israel,” wrote Nahum Barnea in the nation’s biggest newspaper Yediot Ahronot. The feeling among the Israeli public is that Obama is appeasing the Muslim world at the expense of Israel. “The American President told me in confidence that he is a Muslim,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Nile TV. That could
explain why Obama has instructed that the term “Islamic extremism” no longer be used in official government documents and statements. Furthermore, the US is now accusing Israel of harming American interests in the Middle East. General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, said Israel’s intransigence on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians is endangering US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the US Congress considers Obama’s behavior toward Netanyahu humiliating. Three-quarters of the House of Representatives, 337 of 435 members, signed a bipartisan letter to Clinton expressing “deep concern over recent tension” between the two countries, and demanding that it be smoothed over quickly and in private. “Obama is a real problem for Israel,” a senior official told told Yediot. “He is Israel’s biggest strategic catastrophe.” The newspaper also quoted another official who believes that for the first time Washington has switched sides. “The Obama White House is putting pressure only on Israel but does not expect anything from the Palestinians,” he said. “These American demands are unacceptable.” “The Americans know very well that Israeli construction has always been happening in East Jerusalem and building in Jewish neighborhoods has never been frozen,” said another official. “The Americans use excuses like [the Jewish neighborhood of] Ramat Shlomo and the Shepherd Hotel [another Jewish building project in East Jerusalem] to confront Netanyahu.” So during Passover, Netanyahu invited Nobel
Prize-winning author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel to his private residence in Caesaria. He urged Wiesel, who is an American citizen, to make it clear ot his good friend Obama how important Jerusalem is to the Jewish people. “Jerusalem was, is and always will be the united capital of Israel,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. “Construction in all parts of Jerusalem will continue.” According to a poll by the Independent Media Review & Analysis, 70 percent of Israeli Jews oppose a construction freeze in East Jerusalem, compared to only 19 percent who support it. The survey also found that 69 percent believe the division of Jerusalem with international control of the Old City would lead to ongoing conflict rather than peace. Officials in Netanyahu’s inner circle believe Obama’s strategy is to force a change of government in Israel. By forcing Israeli concessions on the “settlement” issue, hawks could bolt the coalition, pushing Netanyahu into an alliance with the dovish Kadima party. Kadima is led by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who, under the previous Olmert government, offered the Palestinians an independent state in 97 percent of the disputed territories with a capital in East Jerusalem. Obama has been buoyed by his domestic success in passing the historic health care reform bill. And he may believe that he can extend that victory to the international arena by resolving the Middle East conflict. But if Obama continues to underestimate Israeli resolve on Jerusalem, his peace efforts are doomed to failure. Y
By Aviel S chneider
The Third Temple and the Third World War
B y Av i e l S c h n e i d e r
sraeli Muslims seem to take the possible building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem much more seriously than the nation’s Jews. This became a hot-button issue with the reconstruction of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City (see pages 16-17), which Israeli Arabs and Palestinians saw as a sign that the Jews are planning to rebuild the Temple. Muslim politicians and clerics issued dire warnings: “Save Jerusalem from the Jewish threat!” “Save the the Mosque of Al Aksa from destruction!” “Contruction of the Third Temple is a Jewish conspiracy to control the world!” From their point of view, the Third Temple is a recipe for the Third World War. The Islamic Movement in Israel and the Islamic terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip led the campaign of incitement. “The Jews have no right to Jerusalem. Every grain of sand in Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims!” railed Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy leader of the Islamic Movement, on Israel Radio. “You who dedicate the Hurva Synagogue today will see it in ruins tomorrow.” “You [Israel] have murdered your own prophets and always dealt with greed,” said senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar. “Your destiny is destruction! You are in league with the devil!”
stands near the Temple Mount, which is home to the Mosque of Al Aksa and golden Dome or the Rock. The Temple Mount is the focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the site of the two biblical Temples it is the holiest place in Judaism, and Muslims claim it as the third holiest place in Islam. It represents the clash between two revelations, the Bible and the Koran, and between Jewish and Muslim nationalism. To analyze this “clash of civilizations,” israel today conducted a series of interviews with Israeli Jews and Arabs.
Jerusalem and the Mosque of Al Aksa are private Islamic property, not Jewish property.”
Then there are conspiracy theories, such as an alliance between Israel’s rightwing government and Jewish extremists. “Speaking of a Third Temple is not just fantasy but a real danger,” said former Israeli Arab Cabinet Minister Raleb Majadele. “I have always worried about bad things happening on the Temple Mount and the Al Aksa Mosque being torched by extremists. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his government support these dangerous plans for building the Temple in Jerusalem.” Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi said construction of the Third Temple is the “biggest and most dangerous nightmare facing the region.” “Until now, building the Temple was the dream of Jewish fringe groups,” he said. “But now these groups are backed by the Netanyahu government. It is Netanyahu who permits excavations under the Al Aksa Mosque and who Judaizes Jerusalem. Eventually, he will expel the Muslims from Al Aksa, so the Jews can build their Third Temple.”
The Road to Armageddon
“Any plan to build the Third Temple will lead to the Battle of Armageddon,” Arab Knesset member Taleb el-Sana told us. “It’s about time for the Jews to realize that a Third Temple is out of the question and inciting a world war. More than one billion Muslims would attack Israel because of it.” Arab Knesset member Ibrahim Sarsur, a leader of the Islamic Movement, agreed. “The Jews can continue to dream, as can the Christians, about a heavenly and earthly Jerusalem. But as soon as the Jews wake up from their dream, and really start building the Third Temple, World War III will break out. In this war, Israel will disappear, not the one billion Muslims.
A Biblical Perspective
“Arabs believe their own lies,” said Messianic Jewish scholar Tsvi Sadan. “It is nothing new to have Muslims
Clash of Civilizations
The Hurva Synagogue is an explosive issue for two reasons: First, there is a rabbinical prophesy that when the synagogue is rebuilt for the third time, it would lead to the building of the Third Temple. And second, the Hurva 4 | May 2010 | www.israeltoday.co.il
spreading lies about alleged Israeli plans to build the Third Temple. But apart from a small number of Israeli Jews, the majority is content with simply dreaming about the Third Temple. People hope it will appear supernaturally one day. No one wants war. The Arab Knesset members are reminding Israel that this is a struggle for the biblical inheritance.” Middle East expert Yechiel Shaby said Muslims want to drive a wedge between the State of Israel and its biblical history and inheritance.“If the Palestinians succeed, with Western backing, in separating Israel from its historic and legitimate connection to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, then Zionism would merely be colonialism. Zionism without Judaism could be compared to the Boers in South Africa, the French in Algeria and the Crusaders in the Holy Land. This is dangerous, but it is precisely the goal of the Arab politicians here in the Land.” Messianic Jewish historian Gershon Nerel says the dispute over Jerusalem is a clear sign of the end times. “The Temple Mount is the center of Jerusalem. And the prophet Ezekiel spoke explicitly about an extraordinary Temple that would be built there in the future,” he said. “In our times, Jerusalem has become a central issue and stumbling block for the whole world. In the end, all nations will come against Jerusalem and Islam will play a leading role in this coalition of war. After that, the Messiah will return and reveal Himself to His people.” quered the Holy Land in the 7th century,” said Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli expert on the Muslim religion. “Back then, Ramle was the capital. Mohammed, who died in 632, never came to Jerusalem. And 25 years after his death, Damascus, not Mecca, was declared the capital of the Islamic Empire.” “To make Jerusalem relevant to Muslims, the story of Mohammed’s ‘night journey’ to the ‘most distant mosque’ [al aksa in Arabic], near Mecca, was interpreted as Jerusalem,” Kedar said, adding that when the Koran was written, there was no mosque in Jerusalem yet. “Ultimately, they believe that Islam should be built on the ruins of Judaism and Christianity.” “Furthermore, Jordan controlled East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967,” he continued. “Why did no Arab country ever demand a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital back then? No one took a stand for the Palestinians.” With Jews returning to the Promised Land, the rebuilding of the Third Temple has become relevant again, and that poses a serious threat to Islam. Therefore, the Muslim nations seek to make Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state. “Palestinian sovereignty over Jerusalem is effectively Islamic control over Jerusalem,” says Kedar. “That is why the Arabs will never compromise on Jerusalem. They would be seen as traitors by the Muslim world.”
TEMPLE OR MOSQUE? The Temple Mount embodies a conflict of religion, revelation and nationalism
It is instructive that Jerusalem is mentioned 632 times in the Old Testament but does not appear once in the Koran. “We cannot stress enough that Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Islamic nation, even when Islam con-
Arabs and the God of Israel
Despite the saber rattling and incitement, not all Arabs fear the building of the Third Temple; on the contrary, some are learning to fear the God of Israel. “I don’t believe Jews can erect the Third Temple in Jerusalem,” said Arab
parliamentarian Masud Ganaim, who has taken part in Bible studies at the Knesset. “I know a little about theology and that the Third Temple will appear from the heavens according to Jewish believers. Whenever God allows that to happen, I will not be against it.” In biblical times, there were those who realized that it was better to join God’s people than fight against them. This is what happened to Rahab the Harlot, when she sheltered the two Israelite spies: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you” (Joshua 2:9). Though it is the exception and not the rule, this remains relevant today. “We have watched Israel’s development closely since it became a state,” a 70-year-old Palestinian from the Hebron area told israel today. “There is blessing upon blessing. Maybe the God of Israel is stronger than Allah after all.” Y
Holocaust Remembrance Day
A somber observance is overshadowed by new threats from Iran and a surge in anti-Semitism
the ashes of the Holocaust; and back in its own land, with the ability to defend itself, a catastrophe of this magnitude will never happen again. With that in mind, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew a parallel between then and now. Today, the Jewish nation faces a new threat of annihilation, and once again, the world is silent. “The leaders of Iran are rushing to develop nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said at Yad Vashem. “In the face of repeated statements to wipe the Jewish
‘WE MUST NOT REMAIN SILENT…in the face of evil’
ETERNAL LIGHT: Holocaust survivor Eliezer Ayalon lights a memorial flame
srael observed Holocaust Remembrance Day with a solemn ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. As the choir sang a mournful dirge, six torches were lit for the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II. Places of entertainment were closed, and radio and TV programs dealt with personal testimonies of horror and heroism. The theme this year was the “Voices of the Survivors.” They are dying out, but their legacy is being passed on to the next generation. The annual observance shows how deeply the Holocaust affects the national ethos and psyche. The message is clear: Israel was established on
THE HALL OF REMEMBRANCE at Yad Vashem
state off the face of the earth, in the best case we hear a weak protest which is also fading away…We still do not see the necessary international determination to stop Iran from arming itself.” Netanyahu did not openly repeat Israeli threats to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but he warned that Israel would not sit idly by if the world fails to act. “If we learned anything from the lessons of the Holocaust it is that we must not remain silent and be deterred in the face of evil,” he said. “And in this generation we must fortify our strength and independence so that we will be able to prevent the current enemy from carrying out its plan.” Y By Shlomo Mordechai
Gaza War Spurs Anti-Semitism
n Israeli report published on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day shows that 2009 had the most anti-Semitic acts since monitoring of such incidents began 20 years ago. According to the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, the number of violent incidents totaled 1,129 last year compared to 559 in 2008. The report attributed the surge in anti-Semitic acts to the Gaza War in January of 2009. Israel’s massive invasion of the Gaza Strip and the high Palestinian casualty toll sparked outrage and demonstrations around the world. Robert Wistrich, a professor of Jewish History at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says the new form of anti-Semitism is anti-Zionism: “All kinds of new pretexts can serve to ignite anti-Semitism, particularly through anti-Israel feeling, through anti-Zionism. And above all
it is Israel that has become the obsession of the antiSemites.” The report said that Muslim and left-wing activists have joined forces to demonize Israel on college campuses in the United States and Europe. “One of the extraordinary paradoxes,” Wistrich said, “is that the very places of learning where you expect to educate [and] to enlighten, in many cases they have become a kind of fountain for anti-Semitism, wrapped up of course in their anti-Israel human rights rhetoric.” The report also attributed the rise in anti-Semitism to the growing Muslim population in Europe. The highest number of violent anti-Semitic incidents was in Britain: 374 in 2009 compared to 112 in 2008; France recorded 195 violent events compared to 50 in 2008; and the US, 116 compared to 98. Y By Shlomo Mordechai
Photos: Yossi Ben David/Yad Vashem
Former Female Soldier Charged with Espionage
Theft of military documents pits the press against the state
former female Israeli soldier has been charged with espionage for leaking 2,000 military documents, including 700 classified as “Top Secret.” The soldier, Anat Kamm, copied the documents while working for MajorGeneral Yair Naveh, who commanded Israeli forces in Judea and Samaria. Then she handed them over to a reporter at the Israeli left-wing daily Ha’aretz. Prosecutors said the leak poses a serious threat to state security. “We are talking about documents that include…detailed plans for military operations…and deployments,” Raz Nizri, a senior aide to the attorney general, told Israel Radio. “Obviously, the consequences would be disastrous if this information falls into the hands of hostile elements.” The indictment says that Kam, a 23-yearold, left-wing journalist, leaked the documents for ideological reasons—namely to expose Israeli “war crimes.” “When I copied the material, I thought history has shown that people who have raised an alarm over war crimes were forgiven,” she told investigators. The leaked documents revealed that the army was defying a Supreme Court ruling banning targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists, often referred to as “assassinations.” “It was right to publish these documents because they cast a heavy shadow over the behavior of the army with regard to Supreme Court instructions on the treatment of wanted Palestinians,” said Kamm’s lawyer Avigdor Feldman, adding that the charges of espionage are ludicrous. The case goes to the heart of an international debate over how to deal with terror-
ists: Should they be treated according to international human rights law, or should every necessary measure be taken to prevent them from carrying out heinous acts of terror and murder? The left-leaning Supreme Court, which often protects Palestinians at the expense of the security of Israeli citizens, ruled that targeted killings amount to illegal extrajudicial killing. Proponents, on the other hand, argue that the measure enabled the army to quell a Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings and shooting attacks during the Second Intifada (uprising). Under a deal with Israel’s Shin Bet security service, Ha’aretz reporter Uri Blau agreed to return the documents in exchange for immunity from prosecution. But now, the Shin Bet charges that Blau withheld hundreds of documents and is holding them in London. The state is demanding that he return to Israel for questioning, but the newspaper has refused. “Reporters have the right to protect their sources,” said Ha’aretz editor Dov Alfon. “The state’s position amounts to an attack on freedom of the press.” Blurring the divide between the theft of top-secret military documents and freedom of the press points to a serious flaw in the thinking of Israel’s far-left wing. Peace Now tattles to the US and EU about Israeli settlement construction, Gush Shalom joins Palestinian stone throwers in protests against the “occupation,” and Mordechai Vanunu sells Israeli nuclear secrets to a British newspaper (in 1986). The extreme left cannot seem to differentiate between legitimate criticism of their own country and aiding and abetting the enemies of the state. Y
By Shl omo Mordechai
WHISTLEBLOWER OR TRAITOR? Anat Kamm
DEADLY ATTACK A Thai worker was the first casualty since the war
450 Rockets and Mortars since Gaza War
ven though Palestinian crossborder attacks have dropped off drastically since the end of the Gaza War, sporadic violence has continued with a spike over the past couple of months. And looking at the statistics, it’s hard to describe Gaza as a “quiet” border. Since Israel’s massive three-week assault on Gaza ended in January 2009, 450 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from the Hamasruled Gaza Strip. In March, a worker from Thailand was killed when a rocket slammed into an agricultural community—the first casualty since the war. Then, two Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush. Under Israel’s new policy of deterrence, the army responds to every Palestinian attack, usually with air strikes on smuggling tunnels and weapons factories. At this point, the tit-for-tat attacks are on a low burner. But there is always the danger of an escalation. Y
By Aviel S chneider
Ads Call for Third Temple
SIGN of the times?
undreds of public buses traveling the streets of Jerusalem during Passover carried an advertisement calling for the construction of the Third Temple. Paid for by Our Land of Israel (also known as SOS-Israel), the ad depicted the rebuilt Temple on the disputed Temple Mount in place of the Mosque of Al Aksa and Golden Dome of the Rock which now dominate the compound. Alongside the image were the words, “May the Temple be built speedily in our days,” taken from the Siddur, the daily Jewish prayer book. SOS-Israel officials said they hoped the campaign would remind Israelis that rebuilding the Temple has been the desire of the Jewish people for millennia, and that it is time for Israel to move toward realizing that dream despite international opposition. Y By Ryan Jones
‘BE AN EXAMPLE of good deeds’ (Titus 2:7)
Mufti Contradicts Muslim Travel Guide
the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which David built an altar unto the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.” This shows that up until recent krima Sabri, the Mufti or Muslim times, the Muslims recognized the spiritual leader of Jerusalem apmount as the original site of the biblipointed by the Palestinian Authority, is cal Temples. But since Israel captured at the forefront of an Islamist campaign the Old City during the promoting the myth that there never was a Jewish Six Day War in 1967, the Temple. “There is not a Palestinian Muslims have single stone in Jerusalem grown more militant and that bears witness to a sought to eradicate all Jewish heritage,” Sabri Jewish and historical says. “Jews, therefore, claims to the Land of have no legitimate claim Israel in general and the to even one square meter Temple Mount in parof Jerusalem.” ticular. But this myth is relaToday, the popular betively new and contradicts lief among Palestinians is an English-language tour- ISLAM AND THE TEMPLE MOUNT that there never was a bibist guide entitled A Brief lical Temple. The brochure A revealing Muslim testimony Guide to al-Haram alby the Supreme Moslem Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary, known to Council proves otherwise, but when Jews as the Temple Mount) published by you rewrite history and replace it with the Supreme Moslem Council in 1935. myths, facts can become irrelevant. Y The guide states that the site “is one of By Michael S chneider
Good Deed for the Day
resident Shimon Peres, 86, participated in the Day of Good Deeds. Together with officials and employees of the President’s Residence, he helped paint a kindergarten playground in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood. This was the fourth annual Day of Good Deeds. High school and college students, soldiers, groups of employees from dozens of companies, and just ordinary people gave a few hours to help the needy. More than 68,000 participants volunteered in some 1,000 initiatives around the country, including oldage homes, hospitals, parks, and homes for abandoned animals. Y
Journalists Punished for Ties with Israel
ARAB POLITICAL CARTOONS
ive Palestinian journalists, three from Gaza and two from the socalled “West Bank,” have been blacklisted and may face even worse retribution after they attended an event with Israeli journalists in Tel Aviv. The event was sponsored by The Israel Project and brought together journalists from both sides of the conflict for briefings by Israeli military and political spokesmen. After learning of their participation, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, which is controlled by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction, charged the five journalists with “promoting normalization with Israel” and threatened them with expulsion from the organization. The syndicate established a special committee to question the journalists, and is considering new punitive measures
to be meted out for future violations of the ban on normalizing relations with Israel. The journalists from Gaza may face even harsher retaliation after Hamas labeled them “collaborators.” Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel are often executed in the most brutal fashion. Few in the West realize that while the Palestinians speak of peace and accuse Israel of holding up progress toward that goal, it is a punishable crime for Palestinians to actually coexist peacefully with their Israeli neighbors. This is especially serious when it comes to Palestinian journalists, as the ban on interacting with Israelis violates freedom of the press and guarantees that news reports will always paint Israel in a negative light.
AMERICAN TUNE: The US and Israel control the UN Security Council (the record player) Tishrin (Syria)
PA Shuts Down Christian TV Station
n a sweeping action against television and radio broadcasters who had purportedly failed to renew their licenses, the Palestinian Authority (PA) shut down Bethlehem-based Al-Mahed (Nativity) TV, the last Christian television station in the Palestinian-controlled territories. AlMahed and several other stations had been broadcasting for over a decade before the PA suddenly decided they were not authorized to do so. Some members of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate slammed the move as a violation of freedom of the press, but their remarks were later removed from all reports on the matter. The PA said the closure was a temporary one-month suspension aimed at giving the broadcasters time to “sort out” their finances and pay for the proper permits. But the closures bore the hallmarks of attempting to control media outlets that do not always toe the line of the ruling regime. The Palestinian Authority, under heavy international scrutiny, eventually permitted the stations to reopen, but Al-Mahed owner and manager Samir Qumsia insisted he would not resume broadcasts until he received a public apology from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
MUFFLING the press
THE ROADMAP: Obama holds the Israeli ‘occupation’ by the hand while leading the Palestinians in chains Al Jazeera (Qatar)
TUNNEL VISION: The US sees the world through Israel’s eyes Tishrin (Syria)
ORIGINAL SIN: Israel takes a bite out of Gaza Yasser Ahmad (Syria)
C ompiled by Ryan Jones
TOLL FREE ORDERING: 1.866.854.1684 (N. America) 00.800.60.70.70.60 (UK/Norway)
Palestinians Squandering Foreign Aid
CORRUPTION AND MISMANAGEMENT The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has wasted billions of dollars in international aid
he Arabs living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria (the socalled “West Bank”) have received more than $1 billion in international donations annually over the past decade, by far the most foreign aid per capita of any people group on earth. The annual amount of aid is greater than one-fourth of the entire Palestinian economy. Such an influx of capital should have an extremely positive impact. And yet, the Palestinian economy continues to sputter as more and more cash pours in. A top Palestinian economist acknowledged in an address to the United Nation’s Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People that most of the foreign aid is either being siphoned off by corrupt officials or simply squandered by mismanagement. Dr. Ghania Malhis of the Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah estimated that foreign governments have donated over $12 billion to the Palestinian Authority since its inception 10 | May 2010 | www.israeltoday.co.il
in 1994. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA, which is responsible for Palestinian refugees) have pumped even more into the Palestinian economy. Malhis explained that these sums are enormous considering that the Palestinian Authority’s GDP is only about $4.5 billion a year, and that there are only around three million Palestinians living in the PA territories. “One cannot but feel that these resources have been wasted,” Malhis said. “When the outcome of more than a $12-billion investment results in such disastrous numbers, then it is obvious that immense mistakes were made on a strategic level.” In addition to mismanagement, the PA is rife with corruption. For example, the website of the Palestine Think Tank revealed that the brother of an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “purchased” a plot of land from a deceased person in an Israeli-controlled, military no man’s land along the Jordan River!
“The land does not exist, but a total of $2,700,000 was paid by the Palestinian Authority from an account at the Bank of Jordan for the land,” wrote Palestine Think Tank researcher Kawther Salaam. “Of this sum, $750,000 was reportedly paid as ‘fees’ to the Bank of Jordan itself, which hints at the involvement of this bank in the embezzlement of funds donated by the international community to support the Palestinian people.” Malhis noted that the Palestinian Authority spends about 60 percent of its overall budget on its public payroll and armed forces, disproportionate amounts for a regime that is supposed to be building a viable and independent economy. Typically, she tried to pin blame on Israel, claiming that aggressive Israeli security measures were stifling the Palestinian economy and that if the “occupation” would end, prosperity would ensue. But Malhis betrayed her own argument by pointing out how much better the Palestinian economy had been when the area was still under Israel’s economic sphere of influence. The Palestinian Authority’s GDP was 13 percent higher in 1995 than it is now, and personal income was a whopping 30 percent higher. The difference between then and now is that prior to 1995, the Palestinians were not receiving handouts and Israel was directly managing the allocation of capital and resources and maintaining a healthy economic atmosphere. In comparison to the rest of the Arab world, the “West Bank” experienced an economic boom after falling into Israel’s hands in 1967. That only began to transform into hardship after the First Intifada (Palestinian uprising) erupted in 1987. Then, the prosperity that followed the Oslo Accords in 1993 collapsed in a wave of violence and terror when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat launched the Second Intifada in 2000. Arafat was unwilling, or unable, to make the transition from guerrilla leader to statesman, and the Palestinian people have been paying the price ever since. Y
By Ryan Jones
Focus oN JerusAlem
Olmert Implicated in New Corruption Scandal
Probe targets top officials in Jerusalem Municipality
he nation has been riveted by what is being described as one of the biggest corruption scandals in Israel’s history. Former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, was arrested on allegations of bribery. But the main suspect is former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was forced to resign in 2008 over separate corruption charges for which he is currently on trial. Police suspect that millions of dollars changed hands in a controversial construction project that has marred the Jerusalem landscape. Dubbed the “concrete monster,” the Holy Land Project has further tarnished the image of Israel’s public servants. Olmert, 63, allegedly took more than $800,000 in bribes when he was mayor of Jerusalem in the 1990s to get the luxury apartment project approved, despite zoning laws and opposition from green groups and local residents who saw the high-rise buildings as an eyesore on the biblical
landscape. Other senior municipality officials are also among the suspects. As in previous scandals that have dogged him, Olmert denied any wrongdoing. “I have never been offered bribes and I never accepted bribes,” he said. He described the allegations as “character assassination.” Olmert’s political downfall began two years ago when American-Jewish businessman Morris Talansky testified that he gave Olmert envelopes stuffed with tens of thousands of dollars in cash to support a lavish lifestyle, including
fancy cigars and hotels and first-class travel. In a separate case, he is accused of double- and triple-billing Jewish organizations for public trips abroad and pocketing the difference. The Holy Land affair is the latest in a series of political scandals. For instance, a former finance minister was convicted of embezzlement and senior income tax authorities are facing charges of bribery and fraud. This points to a crisis in leadership that has eroded public confidence in the government. It is worth noting that Olmert’s political and legal woes spiraled at about the same time that he was offering the Palestinians a state in 97 percent of the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria and a capital in Jerusalem. Y
By Shl omo Mordechai
'CEMENT MONSTER': Millions of dollars in alleged bribes changed hands
Holy Week in the Holy City
espite Israel’s much-maligned rule over Jerusalem, it is only the Jewish state that has been able to guarantee freedom of worship in the Holy City and maintain a delicate statusquo of coexistence between Jews, Christians and Muslims. This was evident during Easter Holy Week, which coincided this year with the weeklong biblical holiday of Passover. The Eastern Orthodox and Western Churches celebrated Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Eastern Sunday on the same days for the first time in years, so the Old City was awash with the faithful.
HE IS RISEN! Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Jewish and Christian pilgrims mixed with Arab shopkeepers, who were doing a brisk business, in the narrow, cobblestone alleyways. On Thursday for instance, thousands of Jews gathered at the Western Wall for the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:23-27), and on Friday thousands of Christians joined the traditional Good Friday procession, retracing the footsteps of Jesus to the 14 Stations of the Cross. “It’s so wonderful to see so many people from different places who come together to pray,” Bud Baker of WinstonSalem, North Carolina, told israel today. In its unique role as the Holy City, Jerusalem draws believers in Jesus from all over the world who come to worship and intercede, and who are a testimony of faith. “Before I was just reading out of the Bible, but now it became reality,” said Romel Viloria of Manila in the Philippines. “I’m here in the Holy Land and I feel happiness and joy.” Holy Week culminated on Resurrection Day. “I definitely got just a reconfirmation of things I already knew in my heart,” said Alex Wheatley of Los Altos, California. “Jesus Christ lives and He’s my Savior and Redeemer!” Y
By Shl omo Mordechai
Obama and the Muslim Agenda
he clear agenda of the Obama administration to isolate Israel in deference to Arab demands reminded me of a testimony I heard in a church in Washington State in 1998. A Christian sailor, today the pastor of that church, saved his ship in an act of great heroism. In return for this, he was recommended for promotion to an officer’s course. But first, he had to pass a “loyalty” test. The question was: “What would you do if you were captain of this ship and ordered by Washington DC to launch a nuclear strike on Tel Aviv?” The sailor shrugged and laughed.“Why are you laughing?” asked the captain. His answer was: “First, I am a Christian. God promised that Israel would never be destroyed. Second, I wouldn’t want to be on that ship because God would destroy that ship and all on board.” The captain asked the sailor what he was doing in the US Navy. How could a man holding these Christian beliefs follow orders from Washington? We are not talking about the Russian, Turkish or Arab navies, but rather the navy of the so-called greatest Christian nation on earth, the United States of America. Indeed, Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush (Sr.), Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were also subservient to the Arab agenda, under the guise of the “land for peace formula.” Even George W. Bush, who is widely regarded as one of the best friends Israel ever had in the White House, coined the phrase: “A Palestinian state in 2008.” But worse than a so-called “Christian” president doing the bidding of the Arab/Islamic agenda, is a Muslim president flying under the radar with no one politically incorrect enough to stand up and say: “The emperor has no clothes!” Today, the United States has a president by the name of Mubarack Hussein Obama. Until proven otherwise I believe he is a Muslim. My wife Rachel, who monitors Arab language broadcasts for Israel Radio, picked up a revealing statement on the “Round Table Show” on Egypt’s Nile TV. Egyptian Foreign
Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said he had a one-on-one meeting with Obama, who told him that he was a Muslim, the son of a Muslim father and stepson of Muslim stepfather, that his half-brothers in Kenya were Muslims, and that he was sympathetic to the Muslim agenda. He asked the Arabs to show patience. Obama promised that once he overcame some domestic American issues (like healthcare reform), he would show the Muslim world how he would deal with Israel. Pro-Arab, so-called Christian presidents are one thing. But how concerned should we be if the US President is a Muslim who is loyal to the Muslim agenda to isolate and weaken Israel? When the Palestinians talk about nothing but war with Israel and its annihilation, and the president of what was our strongest ally backs their demands for a state with Jerusalem as its capital, and adheres to the same faith, should we not be warning the American public? I can understand why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is so adamant not to offend Obama. But I think it would behoove us to work with the US Congress, three-quarters of which recently sent the Obama administration a letter demanding that it stop harassing Israel (see page 3). Congress still stands with Israel. In addition, Obama is losing support among American Jews. While 78 percent of US Jews voted for him in the 2008 elections, a new poll shows that today, 48 percent are unhappy with his performance and only 42 percent still support him. Polls also show that more than 60 percent of American Christians support Israel. It is time to create an awakening among our true brethren and allies in America: Congress, the Jews and the Christians. We must work together to thwart the emerging alliance between the US and the Arab-Islamic agenda. We must pray for an awakening among the Jews and a Christian revival for Israel’s survival. Y
By Victor Mordecai
For books and info: www.vicmord.com
HEAD OF THE NATIONS: Obama gathered world leaders, but Netanyahu stayed away. Israel feared its nuclear program would be targeted, taking the focus off Iran.
Stand in the Gap
Intercession for Israel
“And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)
*אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim – We pray that you would give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government strength to withstand US pressure on Jerusalem. May Jerusalem be inhabited and built! (Isaiah 44:26). Thwart all attempts by the Obama administration to sell Israel out to the Arabs, and raise up the US Congress and American Christians to stand with Israel. (Pages 3, 16-17) *אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim – May the Messiah come speedily in our days and may the Third Temple be built, according to Your will and plan. Use the explosive issue of the Third Temple to reveal biblical truths to Jews and Arabs alike. Vindicate Your holy Name in the sight of the nations (Ezekiel 36:23). Fulfill the promises of the Bible and expose the lies of Islam. (Pages 4-5, 8) *אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim – Give the Israeli government and army wisdom about how to deal with Iran, and reveal if and when to launch a pre-emptive strike. Protect Israel from the Iranian nuclear threat. (Page 6) *אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim –
Expose the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and turn the Palestinian people away from both the PA and Hamas. May the PA and Hamas remain divided, for a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25). (Page 10)
100 Names of the Messiah
B y Ts v i S a d a n
“Infant” (tinok), one of the more fascinating names of the Messiah, comes from Isaiah 53:2: “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot.” The Hebrew word for “tender shoot” is yonek, from which comes tinok— a nursing infant. Isaiah’s description indicates that the Infant lacks pedigree: He has no father. He comes from nowhere—or better still, from above. A further hint comes from Psalm 8:2: “From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength.” This verse leaves one wondering about the might of such children who are able to give power to God himself. These two verses, together with Isaiah 9:6, speak of a person who is simultaneously blameless and wiser than the sages. Little wonder that mystical writings ascribe a unique role to the Infant. One such text appears in the Zohar in a section called Yenuka (“infant” in Aramaic). It describes how Rabbi Yitzhak and Rabbi Yehuda, two prominent sages, arrived in the village of Sichnin and met the little child of Rabbi Himnuna—himself a mysterious figure. The mother asks the child to approach the sages and receive a blessing from them, but he refuses, telling them they cannot give a blessing since they have not yet prayed the Morning Prayer. Amazed at the child’s prophetic ability, they lift up their hands and bless him. At this point, a remarkable conversation takes place in which the Infant proceeds to teach the sages Torah. Utterly astonished by such remarkable wisdom, R. Yehuda says: “We have never heard such words; therefore, I say, he is not a human being.” R. Yehuda then asks the child another question, addressing him with the words: “Beloved son of the Holy One, blessed be He.” Although the child consistently defies their wisdom—an act of utmost insolence—the sages continue to kiss him on the head, bringing to mind yet another reference to the biblical Infant: “Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry” (Psalm 2:12). The incident recorded in the Zohar almost seems to constitute a continuation of the New Testament account Luke 2:46-47: “Then, after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.”
*אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim – Remove corruption from the Land. Expose corrupt officials and bring them to justice. (Page 11) *אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim – Continue to bring Christian pilgrims to the Land to pray, intercede and be a testimony to the nation. Bless the Christian ministries that seek to bless Israel. (Pages 11, 20) *אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim – Prosper the Israeli economy and continue to move the country forward in the hi-tech arena. (Pages 27, 29) *אבינו שבשמייםAvinu She’BaShamayim –
Increase aliyah and bring the Jewish people back to Israel. (Page 31)
* Our Father in Heaven
word From JerusAlem
For You Are our FATHer
By Ludwig Schneider
verybody has a maker, a procreator. Even when we do not have good fathers, we should not be ungrateful to them, for this is one of the worst traits that a child can have. He is not only ignoring the fact that his very existence depends on his father but also that the blessing of a father—no matter what kind of father he is—cannot be “drowned in water nor burned by fire,” as the prophet Isaiah describes the blessings from our heavenly Father (43:2). This attitude enables us to fulfill the commandment to “honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 5:16). This was also confirmed by Yeshua (Jesus): “Honor your father and mother, [for] he who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death” (Matthew 15:4). God is saying that we should love our parents unconditionally. Even the people of Israel, who were severely disciplined by God, testified, “You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name” (Isaiah 63:16). A father is someone who has fathered children. Thus God is our procreator. For some people this triggers a negative association: This person may have fathered me, but then he took no further interest in caring for me. God, however, is not a man, so these negative characteristics do not apply to Him. God stands by His decision of having chosen the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 7:7) and the Church of Jesus (John 15:16), and thus of having fathered or begotten them. As Paul says, “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3:14-15). 14 | May 2010 | www.israeltoday.co.il
The Jews regard God first and foremost as their Father and only then as their King. This is confirmed by one of their oldest prayers, Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King), which is an important part of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy. The prayer has 25 verses, each one beginning with Avinu Malkeinu. It is prayed with a chant and reflects the need to hold fast to God as Father. When Jesus was asked how one should pray, He answered, Avinu she’ba’shamayim…—“Our Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). The concept of God as Father appears in Isaiah 63:16: “Ki ata avinu” (for You are our Father). This declaration affirms faith in God as our Father—no matter what—for God is not like our human father; He is always with us, He has no faults and we can depend on Him. If God is dependable, if He is always standing by us, then how is it that His people Israel and the body of Messiah (the Church) stray from the correct path? Shouldn’t He, as our loving Father, prevent this from happening? After all, Our Father is God, for whom nothing is impossible. The answer lies in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). We go astray of our own free will, but in the end, all who return to God as Father will be received by Him with open arms. Indeed, the Israelites finally reached the Promised Land, in spite of the many detours caused by their unbelief. “For whatever is born of [fathered by] God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). This should encourage us to see “Our Father” as the omnipotent, yet merciful, Creator of heaven and earth. Through His power and mercy, “those who err in mind will know the truth, and those who criticize will accept instruction” (Isaiah 29:24). Y
The Hebrew word for exile is Galut or golah, and denotes the Jews living outside of Zion— their biblical home of Judah and Israel. History records four periods of exile:
I. The exile of Jacob’s descendants in Egypt lasted 430 years until the Exodus, which became a prototype for redemption when, under Moses’ leadership, God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. II. The exile of the Ten Tribes from northern Israel started in 722 BC. They are known as the “Ten Lost Tribes,” but in our day they are returning to Israel. Examples are Jews from Yemen, Ethiopia and even India, which lies on the far side of the legendary Ten Tribe river, the Sambatyon. III. The Babylonian Exile began with the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC, when the “Two-Tribe” Kingdom of Israel was taken captive: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137:1). This exile ended when Cyrus the Great issued an edict in 538 BC, allowing the Jews to return home. IV. The Fourth Exile began with the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The actual dispersion of the Jews throughout the nations, however, only began in 135 AD, under the Roman Emperor Hadrian who renamed Israel, “Palestina.” According to the promise in Amos 9:14-15, there will not be a Fifth Exile: “‘I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” Y
By Ludwig S chneider
(from 17th of Iyyar to 18th of Sivan 5770)
The Sabbath (Shabbat) Readings
May 1 Shabbat Emor – Say Leviticus 21:1-24:23; Ezekiel 44:15-31 May 8 Shabbat BeHar/Behukotai – Mt. Sinai; My Statutes Leviticus 25:1-27:34; Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 May 12 Jerusalem Day May 15 Shabbat Bemidbar – In the (Sinai) Desert Numbers 1:1-4:20; Hosea 2:1-22 May 19 Shavu'ot – Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) Genesis 19:1-20:23; Numbers 28:26-31; Ezekiel 1:1-28; 3:12; Book of Ruth May 22 Shabbat Nasso – Take the Sum Numbers 4:21-7:89; Judges 13:2-25 May 29 Shabbat Behalotecha – When You Light Numbers 8:1-12:16; Zechariah 2:14-4:7
abylon and Rome are analogous as the two world powers that destroyed the Temple. That is why many people interpret Babylon in the Book of Revelation as referring to Rome. By the end of the Fourth Exile all of the Jewish people will have returned home to Zion. As of today, over three million have already returned to Israel from 127 countries. According to Messianic expectations, the building of the Third Temple will take place at the end of the Fourth Exile. Then, the Messiah will come, which for Chris-
tians will be the Second Coming of Jesus. Following the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1897, Theodor Herzl spread the hope of a return home to Zion. However it took the horrors of the Holocaust to finally convince the Jewish people of the importance of their biblical homeland given to them by God, where they could have their own state and maintain their own defense. This led to the founding of the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948.
MODEL DESIGN from 1912
Famous Jerusalem Landmark Rebuilt
THE SYNAGOGUE in 1935
Photos: The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter
orty-three years after Israel captured Jerusalem’s Old City from Jordan during the Six Day War in 1967, the historic Hurva Synagogue has been rebuilt! The synagogue was founded in the early 1700s by followers of Judah he-Hasid, but it was destroyed a short time later in 1721. A financial dispute developed over construction of the synagogue, and as a result, unknown vandals set the building on fire and it was left a ruin (hurva in Hebrew). In 1864, the Perushim (an ascetic group of the time) rebuilt the synagogue. Although officially called the Beit Yaakov (House of Jacob) Synagogue, it retained its name as the Hurva. It served as the main Ashkenazi (Jews of European origin) synagogue until it was reduced to rubble by the Jordanian army during the War of Independence in 1948. The Arabs hoped to destroy Israeli morale by razing the center of Jewish life in Jerusalem. After the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, there were various proposals for what to do with the site. It was finally decided to place an arch there as a reminder of the synagogue’s once magnificent dome and the desecration committed by the Arab Legion. The arch remained until the synagogue was rebuilt. Over the past 100 years the Hurva has served as a link between Jews of all backgrounds: Ashkenazim and Sephardim (of Oriental origin), secular, religious and Zionist. Reconstruction of the synagogue was discussed for nearly 40 years until 2006, when the Israeli government decided to rebuild the landmark using old blueprints, sketches and maps. Y By Michael Schneider
MICROCOSM: “If you look at the Hurva’s history, you see the history of the Jewish nation,” said PM Netanyahu. “That’s why it should be rebuilt, just like the state of Israel.”
THE ARCH was a symbol of loss and gain
FULL HOUSE with 400 soldiers in 1942 ARK OF THE COVENANT in 1920
THE ARTIST at work
IsrAel Israel Israel Israel
By Ludwig Schneider
One People One Land One State One Community
The name “Israel” is derived from the patriarch Jacob (Genesis 25), who was renamed “Israel” by God (Genesis 32) after wrestling with the Lord. Israel means: “The one who struggles [or wrestles] with God” or “The one for whom God fights” or “El [God] battles.”
Israel – as a People
The biblical nation of Israel consisted of the 12 tribes which bear the names of the 12 sons of Jacob, or Israel. Apart from the kinship shared between the tribes, the people of Israel were united by their common Hebrew language and their faith in the one God. This was unique within the prevalent culture of paganism and polytheism at that time. God (YHVH), who led the descendants of Jacob out of slavery in Egypt, made a covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai. From then on Israel was the nation chosen by God as a people for His own possession (Deuteronomy 7:6-8), to whom God gave not only the Ten Commandments and the Torah (the Five Books of Moses), but also the entire Bible including both the Old and New Testaments. The Kingdom of Israel, founded under Saul and David, collapsed after the death of Solomon in 926 BC. After this only the Northern Kingdom, made up of 10 tribes, continued to use the name “Israel,” while the two tribes in the South, Judah and Benjamin, became the Kingdom of Judah. At that time the name “Jews” (from “Judah”) began to be used instead of “Israelites.”
Some see it as a great realm stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates, but it must also be pointed out that this region was promised to all of Abraham’s descendants. As “the father of many nations,” which is what his name means, Abraham had not only Ishmael, born to him by Hagar, and Isaac, by Sarah, but also the six sons of Keturah. Therefore, some scholars believe the region between the Nile and the Euphrates belongs to all eight of Abraham’s sons. In Ezekiel 47:13-20, the borders of the Land of Israel are outlined in detail and conform precisely to the borders given by Moses to those sent to “spy out the Land” (Numbers 34:1-12). This could mean that these are the future borders of Eretz Yisrael which lie in the midst of the Arab nations, descended from Abraham, and who will one day live together with Israel in peace. The popular view among Orthodox Jews, dispensationalists and Christian Zionists is that Isaac was the son of the promise, not Ishmael (Genesis 17; Galatians 4), and therefore these lands will be the inheritance of the Jewish people.
The first impetus toward the establishment of a Jewish state came through the founding of modern Zionism at the end of the 19th century by visionary Theodor Herzl. As a result of anti-Semitism and the consequent annihilation of European Jewry by the Nazis, the creation of a Jewish state became a vital issue for the threatened Jewish people. The State of Israel was established as a parliamentary democracy. The citizens of Israel are not only Jews, but also Muslims, Arab Christians and other minority groups.
Israel – as a Community
Following the 6th century BC Babylonian exile, the sacrificial worship in the Temple was supplemented by worship services in the synagogues, which focused on the reading of Scripture and prayer. Since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, Jews have only been able to worship in synagogues. “Israel” is therefore also the community, or congregation, that gathers in a synagogue. It could be identified as the “Israelite Religious Community” or the “Jewish Congregational Community.” To describe the Church as Israel leads to Replacement Theology—the doctrine that the Church has replaced Israel—which neither Jesus nor the apostles taught. At the same time, the concept of the Church—the community or congregation of Yeshua (Jesus)—is established on Jewish roots. Y
Israel – as a State
On May 14th, 1948, the independence of the State of Israel was declared based on the UN Partition Plan of November 1947, which called for a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jews accepted this plan, but the Arabs rejected it and launched a war of annihilation against the fledgling Jewish state.
Israel – as a Land
Geographically, the concept of “the Land of Israel” (Hebrew: Eretz Yisrael) is interpreted in several different ways. 18 | May 2010 | www.israeltoday.co.il
From Natural Disasters to End-Time Blessings
ur lives as human beings, which relatively speaking had remained the same for thousands of years, have in the last 100 years or so changed rapidly. Take the introduction of steam power followed by electricity, the use of crude oil especially in the internal combustion engine, atomic energy, high-speed trains, modern cruise ships and jumbo jets. The use of chemical fertilizers now makes it possible to reap massive harvests. These tremendous advancements have heralded a new age of mass communications with radio, television, cellular phones and the Internet spreading news throughout the world at lightning speed. At the forefront are developments in atomic energy which can be used for good or evil. When used wrongly they result in horrific catastrophes, such as in August 1945 when atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan took the lives of more than 200,000 people. Sixty-five years on, the nuclear weapons industry has developed ever greater and more sophisticated weapons of mass destruction. Is it a coincidence that these sources of energy, which appear to be unlimited, are coming into their own at a time when our world is facing the cataclysms which will bring history to an end? First the world will go up in flames at the time of the Last Judgment, and then the dawn of the Golden Age will change our planet to such an extent that everything will become new. God has a thousand ways and means of achieving what He wills. He will not only make use of these miraculous sources of energy that have been discovered by man to bring about the Last Judgment, but also to renew the earth. Just as at the time of the flood in biblical times, God continues to make use of natural events such as the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, whose gigantic waves claimed the lives of more than
230,000 people. Such natural disasters, as well as the weapons of mass destruction created by man, should cause us to sit up and take the ancient words of the prophets to heart. Yet God’s plan of salvation does not end with death and destruction, but rather with a completely new world: “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17). The present natural disasters, which are causing fear and horror to come upon mankind, are just the birth pangs that precede the coming of the Messiah and the culmination of God’s plan of salvation. After the fall God spoke to mankind through Adam: “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and…by the sweat of your face you will eat bread” (Genesis 3:17-19). But later on, there is redemption: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For…the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery
to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now” (Romans 8:19-22). If the earth is to pass into its promised fruitfulness then the curse that was laid upon it must first be lifted. The first morning rays of salvation history can already be seen in Israel, which has made the desert bloom: “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up; and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up” (Isaiah 55:13). This culminates in the Millennial Kingdom, when the scourge of Original Sin will be removed: “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat… the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:6-9). Then the earth will no longer be devastated by natural disasters, for Satan, to whom God has granted a certain freedom to act (see Job 1, 12, 16, 19) will be defeated. Mankind will return to its original situation in Paradise, in which God will once again be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28). Y
By Ludwig S chneider
BIRTHPANGS OF THE MESSIAH The Bible says natural disasters will precede the coming of the Lord
Christian Friends of Israel at 25
B y R ya n J o n e s
ay and Sharon Sanders can hardly believe it’s been 25 years since the Lord called them from the United States to Israel to set up a ministry of blessing and goodwill to the Jewish people. Like most ministries, Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) started out small, but already in 1985 Ray and Sharon knew God was doing something special, and they were thrilled to be part of it. “Twenty-five years ago it was a very exciting and prophetic time in Israel,” Sharon Sanders told israel today. “The Jewish people were coming home and we were on the ground here to welcome them.” But it was not with banners and a grand welcoming committee that the Sanders first greeted and aided incoming Jews. Their first encounter with these immigrants happened near their new home in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion, where many of the Ethiopian Jews arriving in the airlift known as Operation Moses were being housed. The Sanders recognized the enormous needs of the newcomers and immediately called for help from Christians abroad. The first gift was several boxes of clothes from Britain. From that point on their mission was clear, and CFI has been growing ever since. Its ministries include an outreach to Israeli soldiers, food distribution and other assistance for the
CALLED TO ISRAEL: Ray and Sharon Sanders
needy, a ministry to comfort Holocaust survivors and a program to provide for the needs of new immigrants. The latest additions to CFI’s portfolio are projects to assist Israelis affected by the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and to bring comfort and financial support to the Jews uprooted from Gaza in 2005. “One of the main things we wanted to do was to try to not only be a blessing, but also to undo the damage,” the
HELPING THE NEEDY: New immigrants at the CFI Distribution Center
Sanders say. “That’s the key thing. To undo some of the damage that historical Christianity did to the Jewish people, in the name of God and in the name of the Lord Jesus. To accomplish that, we really felt that we had to come humbly, not pridefully, to the Jewish people.” Despite its broad reach, CFI maintains a relatively modest public profile. The Sanders say this was one of the conditions God gave them when laying the foundations of the organization: “There was a prophecy given to us, and it directly states who we are. The word came that we would not explode into the heights but work in the depths. That meant we would never be the biggest, brightest star in the heavens, but rather one that shines and brings light to the lives of people. That’s been our work.” With that mandate constantly before them, CFI has “concentrated on sharing our hearts, letting the Jewish people know that we are so sorry for what took place for so long in the history of Christianity, letting them know that we are different, and that God has spoken to our hearts to come humbly to ask forgiveness and to be a blessing.” But with obedience often comes trials. Together with most other Evangelical Christian ministries in Israel, CFI has been hit hard by the Ministry of Interior’s crackdown on visas for foreigners, which has decimated Christian volunteer staffs. Having weathered plenty of storms in CFI’s 25-year history, the Sanders are not worried. “We are blessed to be cradled in the heart of Jerusalem because it’s strategic where God has planted us. We get to be right in the center of Jerusalem, which we believe is close to God’s heart,” Sharon said. “We look forward to the future as God leads step by step. We live in a difficult world, and we need to take it day by day with the Lord.” Y
CFI will mark its 25th anniversary with a special conference May 31-June 3 in Jerusalem. For more information: www.cfijerusalem.org.
messiANic PersPective Jesus in Modern Hebrew Culture
Orphaned Land: Jesus in Israeli Metal
B y Ts v i S a d a n
ists of light.” In the song His Leaf Shall Not Wither, Farhi sings in English, Hebrew and Arabic: “Break bread with us, nomad, hear our tale how brother fought brother as fire burnt the sails.” This welcoming attitude, particularly towards Muslims, has turned the band into a unique phenomenon, with Muslim fans in Jordan and Dubai tattooing its logo on their bodies and thousands coming to listen to them in Istanbul. In an interview with the Israeli Internet Metal Magazine, Farhi was asked about the unusual phenomenon of an Israeli heavy-metal band wrapped up in Jesus. In his response, Farhi appears to realize something few others are willing to acknowledge: “See what happened with Jesus Christ…Instead of speaking with him—he was Jewish—instead of coming to him and saying, ‘Hey listen, let’s talk about it. What’s your problem? Let’s hear what you have to say…they crucified Jesus…This is the biggest problem we’ve ever had. This is something we don’t know how to deal with. The monsters created from these circumstances are unbelievable. It’s so huge. It’s so big.” This does not mean that Farhi “believes in Jesus.” For him, Jesus was a wise Jewish human being whose message is worth listening to rather than fighting over. “Jesus was cool” he says. He was a channel of light, just as Farhi seeks to be a “warrior of light.”. Y
Serving the Traditional & Evangelical Christian World
• Experience first-hand the land where our faith was born • Grow in a deeper understanding of the scriptures • Witness the miraculous restoration of the nation of Israel
Sar-El Tours specializes in:
• Biblical Study Tours • Customized Church Pilgrim Tours • Christian Conferences & Seminars • Bible Colleges & Student Tours
‘WARRIORS OF LIGHT’: An Israeli band considers light and darkness
8, Ha Hoshen St., Mevasseret Zion 90805
Tel: 972-2-533 8000 • Fax: 972-2-579 02 03 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.sareltours.com
y attention was drawn to the band Orphaned Land not by the music or lyrics but by the front cover of their newest album, The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR. The strange word “ORwarriOR” is a combination of the Hebrew word or (light) and the English “warrior”—hence, “warrior of light.” The main concept is the battle between light and darkness. The cover represents the lead singer, Kobi Farhi, in the classic image of Jesus with a crown of thorns and halo around his head. Next to him stands the guest singer, Shlomit Levi, possibly meant to be Mary Magdalene. Flanking these two figures are two Arabs praying from the Siddur, the Jewish daily prayer book, while in front of them two Orthodox Jews kneel in the position of Muslim prayer. This picture symbolizes the band’s attitude toward the three monotheistic religions that are in conflict with one another in the Middle East. On a DVD attached to the album, Farhi explains that “the Warrior of Light can be variously interpreted as the Messiah, the Savior, [or] Neo of the Matrix.” The album itself carries a clear message, inviting us all to become “terror-
Let us go to the house of the Lord. Our feet are standing in the gates, O Jerusalem (Psalm 122:1, 2)
‘JESUS WAS COOL’ Lead singer Kobi Farhi
Cairo Synagogue Bombed
‘GATE of heaven’
ployees of the Israeli Embassy and Jewish-American exchange students, is only used on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Two additional synagogues are due to open in the near future in Cairo’s Jewish Quarter, the Rambam and Karaite Synagogues. They will serve the remnant of a Jewish community that has existed in Cairo for hundreds of years. In the 1940s, prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, there were 80,000 Jews in Egypt. This number drastically diminished during the following decades, which were marked by wars between Egypt and Israel, up until the Camp David peace treaty in 1979. Today, there are only about 100 Jews living in Cairo. Y
LAST REMNANT of a thriving Jewish community
Jerusalemite Designs Olympic Gold
bomb was thrown at Cairo’s historic Shaar Hashamayim (Gate of Heaven) Synagogue, which was built in 1899. The homemade explosive device, consisting of a bottle of sulfuric acid attached to four containers of gasoline, exploded in the street. There were no injuries or damage and the assailants escaped. The synagogue, which serves Cairo’s tiny Jewish community, em-
efore the athletes competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, another competition took place—to decide who would design their medals. And the winner was Jerusalem-born architect and industrial designer Omer Arbel, who lives in Canada. Arbel said that he wanted each medal to be unique, to evoke the emotional and personal aspects of the Olympic journey for each winner. The design includes an undulating surface reflecting the topography of the Canadian province of British Columbia where the Olympics took place. Superimposed on each medal is artwork by local aboriginal artist Corinne Hunt, another finalist in the design competition. At 6 ounces (170 grams), the medals are among the heaviest in Olympic history.
Marrano Rabbi Returns to Spain
n a rare occurrence since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain during the Inquisition in the 15th century, a rabbi of Marrano decent has returned to the land of his ancestors. Marrano (Spanish for “swine”) was a name given to Spanish or Portuguese Jews who forcibly converted to Catholicism, but who secretly kept practicing Judaism. Rabbi Nissan Ben-Avraham, a father of 12, is from the settlement of Shiloh in Samaria. He was appointed as a representative to the Marranos by Shavei Israel (“Those Who Return to Israel”), an organization dedicated to seeking out the Lost Tribes of Israel. As a rabbi in Spain, his mission is to seek out descendants of the Marranos, bring them back to their Jewish roots, and encourage them to make aliyah BACK to the Diaspora (immigrate to Israel). Y 22 | May 2010 | www.israeltoday.co.il
GOLD MEDAL for Israel
Asked about his connection to Israel, Arbel, who moved to Canada with his parents at age 13, said, “Hebrew is my first language. When I dream, that’s the language that my dreams are in.” But he added that his work “transcends language and place.” Y
By Michael S chneider
Byzantine Shopping District Uncovered
X MARKS THE SPOT Archaeologist Ofer Sion with the Madaba Map
adaba is a medium-sized city in Jordan, located 15 miles (25 km.) southwest of the capital, Amman. It is called the “City of the Mosaics” for its many mosaics dating back to the Byzantine Period in the 6th and 7th centuries AD. The most famous of these is the Madaba Map, a 6th-century mosaic that bears the oldest existing map of the Holy Land. Clearly visible is the western gate into Jerusalem leading into the main street. Archeological excavations down through the years have revealed many of the buildings portrayed in the map. Some still exist today, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. But until now, the main shopping district of ancient Christian Jerusalem has escaped detection. In the past, excavation of the site was impossible because it followed the Old City’s main traffic route which could not be disturbed. Recently however, the necessity for public works near Jaffa Gate at the entrance to the Arab shuk (open-air market) cleared the way for archeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Archeologists have uncovered the paving stones of the Byzantine shopping street, which were found under 4.5 meters (15 feet) of earth. “Finally we have proof that the street really existed,” said the head of the excavation, Ofer Sion. “It followed the exact path that is marked on the mosaic [Madaba] map. The person who
LAYERS OF CIVILIZATION The ancient shopping district is in the same area as today’s Arab bazaar in Jerusalem’s Old City
created this map must have known the Holy Land very well.” The exposed 6-meter (20-foot) section of the street passes from the west into the center of Jerusalem’s Old City and stands upon a large cistern that supplied water to the city’s 40,000 residents. The base of the cistern covers 96 square meters (1,000 square feet) and is 5 meters (16.5 feet) deep. Multiple openings allowed inhabitants access to the water. In addition, pottery, coins and bronze weights used to measure precious metals from Byzantine times were found. “This street was the center during the most [commercially] successful period in the history of [ancient] Jerusalem,” Sion said. “It is wonderful that [today’s street] actually preserved the route of the noisy street from 1,500 years ago.”
The excavation also revealed an ancient aqueduct of Jerusalem, dating from the second or third century AD. It was found beneath the road in the vicinity of the David Citadel Museum and the shops on David Street. “The side of the aqueduct was discovered during the course of the excavation,” Sion said. “When we removed the stones in its side and peeked into it we saw a splendidly-built aqueduct covered with stone slabs where one can walk crouched down for a distance of approximately 40 meters [131 feet]. It is very exciting to think that no one has set foot there for many hundreds of years.” Following the excavation, the findings will be recovered to restore the flow of traffic in the Old City. Y
By Netanel D oron
Israel Museum Gets a Facelift
he landmark Israel Museum in Jerusalem is nearing completion of an impressive renovation project, including additional wings and a makeover of all of its galleries. The museum contains treasures of classical and contemporary art, as well as the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. Two foreign artists were commissioned for key exhibits which will go on display when renovations are completed in July 2010. “Whenever the Rainbow Appears” is the creation of Olafur Eliasson of Denmark. It consists of 300 individual paintings that represent the progression of colors in the spectrum of light visible to the human eye. From a distance it takes the form of an extended continuum of color. Anish Kapoor of India has created EARTHEN VESSELS housed the Dead Sea Scrolls
TREASURE TROVE of art and history
BACK TO THE FUTURE A model of the biblical Temple
a sculpture of polished stainless steel in the shape of a 5-meter (16-foot) high hourglass. It will be placed on the Museum’s Crown Plaza, at the highest point of the 20-acre facility. “Eliasson and Kapoor are recognized for creating visually striking works that inspire engagement, interaction, and awe,” said museum director James Snyder. “These new works will enhance the experience of our visitors with our unique site, setting, and architecture, while also continuing our notable history of engaging with contemporary artists.” Y
By Kerstin Braun
New Frontiers in Design
he Design Museum, Holon, with its wavy facade of Corten steel that changes color according to the outside temperature, has been opened to the public. Holon, near Tel Aviv, declared 2010 as the “Year of Design” with special exhibitions around the city and the opening of the Design Museum featured as the main event. The museum, which has the appearance of a bright red rollercoaster when seen from a distance, was created by Israeli designer and architect Ron Arad. Its design has already been honored in exhibitions at Pompidou Center in Paris and the New York Museum of Modern Art, where it was recognized as one of the most original architectural achievements of the 21st century. In addition, it won the annual Innovation and Design Award bestowed by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. The London-based Arad, who is considered one of the world’s top architects, is delighted with his first project in his home country: “When I look and walk inside the museum today, after five years of models, simulations, talks, and constant visits to the work area, I’m pleased to say not only, ‘Yes! This is what we planned,’ but also to discover new aspects and directions that are surprising even to us.” Y By Kerstin Braun
ISRAELI INGENUITY: The museum is an innovation in design
behiNd the sceNes
MEMORIAL DAY at the Western Wall
s a journalist, I have been covering Israel’s national holidays for more than 20 years—the somber ceremonies of Memorial Day for the nation’s war dead followed by the celebrations of Independence Day. And each year, I never cease to be amazed by the deep biblical symbolism that ties modern Israel to its ancient past. It is a unique connection to salvation history—past and present. Memorial Day begins at sundown at the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Temple. And the Temple is all about God and revelation: the Shekinah of God’s Presence was there, the sacrifice and atonement. This is not lost on Israel’s secular Zionist leadership. Standing before these powerful symbols, one cannot but believe. “Israel’s strength springs from the strength of its
- Yossi, did you hear about this? The Jordanians are finally demanding the return of the Dead Sea Scrolls that Israel stole from them. - They are right.
faith,” said President Shimon Peres. “And we must thank God for our wonderful country.” This is also reflected in the cantor’s mournful dirge, “God Full of Mercy,” for the nation’s 22,684 victims of war and terror. There can be no celebration of independence without honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. “We know that without the sons who have fallen, there would be no future for the children that will be born,” Peres said. This is an important message to a world that would deny Israel its right of self-defense. It’s really quite simple: without the Israeli army there would not be a State of Israel. It is a biblical concept: Joshua conquered the Promised Land with an army, and King David established Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with the sword. “One hand is outstretched to our neighbors who wish for peace,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “And the other hand holds the sword of David to defend our people from those who seek to harm us.” Independence Day ceremonies begin with another act of symbolism: 12 torches are lit representing the 12 Tribes of Israel. “Independence Day celebrates a double miracle in the life of the Jewish people,” said Netanyahu. “The first miracle is the restoration of Jewish sovereignty…The other miracle is building: what we have built in this land.” As they say, “Israel is the Land of Miracles.” And that, too, is biblical. Y By Shl omo Mordec hai
- Really??? - Sure, Ahmed. They obviously understand the importance of these scrolls, which prove the existence of the people of Israel thousands of years ago and the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem!
- This is a Jewish conspiracy to build the Third Temple!
Up to 20% off Until May 31, 2010!
Moraz Herbal Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
An herbal extract and mineral-based shampoo for daily use in treating dandruff that contains 85% rosemary extract. Soothes the scalp, eliminates dryness and itchiness, and delays the development of dandruff bacteria. Size: 8.5 fl.oz.
ALEPH BET WATCH for Men
Remember Dad this Father's Day with a special gift from Israel!
$62 $49.60 KCL009
Classic men's watch with matching bracelet, white dial with aleph-bet Hebrew numerals.
$18 $14.40 CZH001
Ein Gedi King David Eau De Toilette
All the chief spices: spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with frankincense, myrrh and aloes. Size: 3.4 fl.oz.
$36 $28.80 CGP005
Show your support for the Israel Defense Forces with this hooded sweatshirt featuring the IDF logo on an army green background. Sizes: S-XXL
IDF Hooded Sweatshirt
$40 $32 DTS071
$36 $28.80 CGP004
A distinctly rugged fragrance for the ultimate expression of masculinity. Especially for him! Size: 3.4 fl.oz.
Ein Gedi Eau de Toilette - King Solomon
Strong. Refined. Confident. The standard of excellence. A cool refreshing scent for men, a year-round favorite! Size: 3.4 fl.oz.
Ein Gedi Lion of Judah Eau de Toilette
The symbol of the strongest air force in the Middle East. With both female and male pilots in the Israeli Air Force, this attractive very dark navy blue shirt looks great on guys and girls alike. Sizes: S–XXL
Israel Air Force T-Shirt
$23 $18.40 DTS014
$36 $28.80 CGP002
Prayer in Hebrew for travelers on the back side. Metal Dog tag 1" x 3/4" with 18" metal beaded chain.
Metal Dog Tag with I.D.F and Jerusalem City Motif
Adorn yourself with this handmade leather belt, featuring the word “Jerusalem.” A camel and palm tree design on the leather and stylish buckle with the word, “Jerusalem.” Size: 1½” wide, 43" long
Jerusalem Leather Belt (Wide)
$9.50 $7.60 JNC109
$23.40 $18.70 DWB002
Metal Dog Tag with Star of David and Jerusalem City Motif $9.50 $7.60 JNC110
(See description and size above)
Prayer Shawl made from high quality wool and acrylic. Motifs of: shofar (ram's horn), tablets of the 10 Commandments, Scroll of Esther, candlesticks, wine goblet, Sabbath, Hebrew inscription. Comes with a bag. Size: 19.75” x 72.75”
Tallit (Dark Blue with Jewish Motifs)
With the Hebrew words “Am Israel Chai,” which means, "The people of Israel live." Size: 2’’ long
Map of Israel Key Ring – Made from a Rocket
$70 $56 YTL003
$17 $13.60 KKY015
1-866-854-1684 - US & Canada | 00-800-60-70-70-60 - UK & Norway P.O. Box 7555, Jerusalem, 91070 ISRAEL | email@example.com
$ = USD
New Drone Fleet
he Israel Air Force (IAF) has a new addition to its fleet of drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)—the Eitan or Heron TP developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The fleet’s newest unit has been delivered to Tel Nof Airbase in central Israel. Air Force Commander Idan Nechustan “christened” the plane by attaching a Star of David to its body prior to the maiden flight. Although it is being called a prototype, it is believed that the Eitan went into service in October, 2007. Media reports say Israel deployed Eitans in the alleged airstrike on a Gaza-bound Iranian arms convoy traveling through Sudan in 2009. This latest prototype, however, is new and improved and represents the formation of a new fleet.
LONG-RANGE BOMBER? The Eitan can fly all the way to Iran
SHIELD OF DAVID: Israel is a world leader in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
The Eitan boasts a payload of 2,000 kilos (4,400 pounds), a length of 13 meters (43 feet), and its wingspan of 26 meters (85 feet) is equivalent to a Boeing 737 passenger jet. The drone is powered by a 1200 hp Pratt and Whitney turboprop engine and can reach a distance of 7,400 kilometers (4,600 miles), making it a possible threat to Iran’s nuclear facilities. It flies at an altitude 13,700 meters (45,000 feet) and has an endurance of 70 hours of flying time. These credentials have prompted some military experts to describe the Eitan as the best UAV in the world. Y
Women Soldiers in Pre-State Palestine
he Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) Museum in Tel Aviv is honoring women who served with British forces during World War II. Historically, the decision to serve with the British against the common German enemy was problematic for men and woman alike because this occurred at the time that the infamous White Paper drastically limited Jewish immigration into British Mandate Palestine. On the other hand, Jews were anxious to help allied forces fight the Nazis, who were systematically destroying European Jewry. The stormy debate was also about gender at a time when the perception of the role of women in society was much more conservative than it is today. Would it be right to allow the women of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) to serve in uniform side by side with British troops? In the end, the recruiting campaign was a success. Volunteers were called to
These posters form a part of the exhibit along with video-taped interviews with several of the volunteers and photos depicting the roles of Jewish women in the British army: They worked in hospitals, served as clerks, cooks and nursing aides, and worked in the quartermaster’s store. Chen, the Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), drew its first commanding officers from those who trained in the ATS. Y By Netanel D oron
CHANGING ROLES: Women in the army was a revolutionary idea
enlist in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) of the British army, and posters were published showing women in uniform working at various jobs and calling it one’s duty to join. www.israeltoday.co.il | May 2010 | 27
Fishing Banned in Sea of Galilee
Old City Flora and Fauna
he Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel has revealed that despite thousands of years of urbanization, animal and plant life still thrives in Jerusalem’s Old City—including 44 species of birds, toads, bats, martens, and about 100 types of plants. “The study was meant as a conservation tool,” said its author Ido Wachtel. “Some of the plants we found are very rare and were preserved in the city thanks to the delicate balance between humans and nature.” The Old City reflects the ecological link between two climate zones—the edge of the desert and the Mediterranean region. This is reflected in its flora and fauna. Hezekiah’s Pool contains a variety of toads, and bats and swifts dip and dart over the water. The Temple Mount has ancient olive trees, while its domes and towers provide perfect nests for lizards and birds. The Western Wall is home to about 40 nesting pairs of swifts. Y
n the place where Yeshua (Jesus) gathered His disciples and promised to make them “fishers of men,” fishing has been banned! The Agriculture Ministry decided on the measure following a drastic drop in the fish population in the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s biggest reservoir. The drop in the number of fish is attributed to the low level of the lake after years of insufficient rainfall; and migrating birds have feasted on the shallow waters. Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon has proposed establishing a 15 million shekel ($4 million) fund to compensate fisherman. He said severe action was necessary to avert an environmental catastrophe. Y By Netanel D oron
‘LET DOWN YOUR NETS?’ (Luke 5:4): The place where Jesus called the disciples is facing an ecological catastrophe
Giant Spider in the Desert
iologists from Haifa University have discovered a rare and unknown type of spider in the Arava desert north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat. With a leg span of 5.5 inches (14 cm.), it is the largest spider ever found in Israel and could be the biggest in the entire Middle East. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it is already an endangered species. “Industrialization is threatening this unique creature,” said Dr. Uri Shanas, who is heading research in the area. Shanas says the Israel Land Administration intends to renew mining projects in the area, which will endanger the existence of the spider, called Cerbalus Aravensis, and other species. “This new discovery shows how much we still have to investigate and that there are probably many more species that are unknown to us,” Shanas said. “If we do not preserve the few habitats that remain for these species, they will become extinct before we even discover them.” Y
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS: The newly-discovered spider is almost extinct
Peres’ Secret: Fruit
resident Shimon Peres, still active and energetic at the age of 86, says his secret is fruit. “In the morning I drink freshly squeezed lemon juice and three times a day I eat fruit salad,” says Peres. “There is no better and fresher way to stay healthy.” Peres was speaking to a group of farmers who presented new varieties of fruits and vegetables, such as blue, red, black and and apple-flavored bananas, jackfruit, Japanese raisins and Indian plums. “Israel’s hi-tech agriculture is a source of pride for the state and known around the world,” Peres said. “In the whole world, you cannot find better fruit than here in Israel.” Y
‘FRUIT OF THE LAND’ (Numbers 13:26)
Israel’s New Smartphone
‘GAME CHANGER’: The ‘First Else’ will compete with top international brands
he Israeli electronics firm Else has developed a smartphone which it says can outperform bestsellers such as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. The First Else will be available in the US and Europe by mid 2010 and the company says it will be a “game changer.” “Our approach to this device is to ensure that it provides users with the experience they want,” says Else CEO Amir Kupervas. “If users want to take a picture with the device, we want to make sure it functions as a high-level camera, similar to a digital camera. If the users want to watch video, the First Else will enable them to watch video with the highest quality graphics possible.” Other features include a GPS system and eligibility to download over 4 million songs from the Internet. Y
Increase in Alcohol Sales
Job Market Improves
survey conducted by the research company Business Data Israel (BDI) revealed that Israelis spent more money on alcohol in 2009 than in the preceding year. The most popular drink (excluding beer and wine) is vodka, of which 16 million bottles were sold. This represents about 75 percent of all alcoholic beverages consumed.
BOOZE is business
ne of the top job placement agencies in the country, Manpower Israel, has announced an increase this year in available jobs. “In most economic areas, we noticed a higher need for workers,” said Manpower director Orna Segel. “This matches the prognosis of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The trend is clearly moving toward a stabilization of the market. The unemployment rate is declining and the number of available jobs is increasing.” Israel’s unemployment rate is 7.4 percent, compared to 9.7 percent in the US and 7.8 percent in the UK. Most of the new jobs that are being offered are in the financial and insurance sectors, which show an increase of 6 percent compared to the end of last year and a whopping 51 percent increase over the beginning of 2009, during the height of the global meltdown. Y
Israeli Banks Honored
lobal Finance has announced its annual awards for the World’s Best Banks in Developed Markets. The international magazine selects winners in 25 countries. This year’s award for Bank of the Year in Israel went to the Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. The magazine also lists the World’s Best Trade Finance Banks, and in Israel the award went to Bank Hapoalim. The magazine bases the awards on service, growth in assets, profitability, geographic reach, strategic relationships and new business development. Y A total of 21 million bottles of alcoholic beverages were sold in 2009, 5 percent more than in 2008. Expenditures on alcoholic beverages increased by 3 percent to 1.65 billion shekels ($450 million). BDI attributed the growth to an increase in advertising and development of a cultural acceptance regarding the consumption of alcohol. Y
HIGH FINANCE: Israeli banks are winning international recognition
generAtion to generAtion: When British diplomat Herbert L. Samuel (1870-1963) took over as the first high commissioner for British Mandate Palestine in 1920, he also became the first Jew to rule over the Holy Land since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Samuel, whose Hebrew name was Eliezer Ben Menachem, served in the position until 1925. Eighty-five years later, his grandson, who has the same Hebrew name, took part in the inauguration of the rebuilt Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City (see pages 16-17). JerusAlem rebuilt: Following the reconstruction of the Hurva Synagogue, the next project is the Tiferet Yisrael (Glory of Israel) Synagogue which is also in the Jewish Quarter. This once magnificent edifice, built in the mid-19th century, was destroyed by the Jordanian army during the War of Independence in 1948, as was the Hurva.
‘GATES OF ZION’ (Psalm 87:2) ‘SHOUT JOYFULLY, you waste places of Jerusalem!’ (Isaiah 52:9)
‘GRANDPA’S SECRETS’: An Israeli soldier makes an emotional visit to Auschwitz
Jewish and Nazi Roots
fficer M. serves in the Israeli Air Force as assistant to the head of the “Golden Eagle”—the 140th Squadron of F-16 fighter jets. She has an interesting story which came to light when she joined a delegation of officers who visited the Auschwitz death camp in Poland as part of the “Witnesses in Uniform” program. She has a grandfather on her father’s side who fled from the Nazis as a child, leaving behind an entire family that later perished in the Holocaust. At the same time, her mother’s father was a member of the Hitler Youth and served in the German Air Force during World War II. “My story began 30 years ago,” said
the young officer. “My father took a vacation in Germany and fell in love with a German woman. She converted to Judaism and they came to live in Israel. They had three children and I am one of them.” The stories of the two grandfathers cannot be more different. Her father’s father, Alex, was put on a train out of Germany by his mother at the last minute, saving his life. M.’s mother’s father, Hans, learned the racist doctrine of the Nazis in the Hitler Youth. “I do not blame anyone,” says M. with mixed emotions. “How could I? Fortunately I was not alive during that time.” Y
Herzl’s Grave Leads to Zionist Romance
hAil the emPoror! Austrian Emperor Franz Josef I (1830-1916) visited Jerusalem in 1870. While touring the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue with its Austrian-born Rabbi Nissan Bek, the emperor asked: “Where is the dome?” Rabbi Bek quipped: “In honor of Your Majesty’s visit, the building took off its hat!” The emperor asked: “How much would it cost to complete the synagogue with a dome?” Consequently Josef, respected for his benevolence, donated 1,000 francs for the 23foot (7-meter) high dome. Y 30 | May 2010 | www.israeltoday.co.il ionist visionary Theodor Herzl probably would have been delighted by the following events associated with his gravesite. American Jeremy Hulsh, 31, and Vera Wister, 32, of Slovakia, happened to meet at that location in Jerusalem. Hulsh originally visited Israel as a part of Taglit (Birthright), an organization that encourages young Jews to connect to their roots in Israel. He later returned to serve in the army and fought in an artillery unit during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Following the war he founded Oleh!Records, a company which promotes aspiring Israeli musicians. Wister was a journalist, fluent in eight languages and a maker of documentary films.
Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree Lives On
Israeli Paramedics in Ghana
nne Frank’s famous old chestnut tree had to be cut down, but not before shoots were taken from it and planted throughout the world, carrying on her legacy. In her famous diary, Anne mentions the chestnut tree standing next to the attic in Amsterdam where she and her family were being hidden from the Nazis. She called it “a symbol of freedom and hope.” One shoot from the chestnut tree was planted in Amsterdam Park by city councilwoman Marijke Vos. Another was brought to Israel and planted at Ramat Naftali near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, in honor of fallen paratroop commander Major Eitan Belachsan. He was killed in Lebanon in 1999 during a battle with Hezbollah fighters. “We feel very much honored,” said the late soldier’s father Claude Belachsan. “Eitan was fighting for his country, and Anne Frank is a symbol of resistance against the enemy and the struggle to survive.” Y
srael’s Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David) first aid organization has joined forces with the International Red Cross to teach emergency medical techniques to doctors and paramedics in Ghana. “We can only profit from the experience of the Israeli team of Magen David Adom,” said Ghana Red Cross President Kwabena M. Bosompem. “It is one of the best emergency and rescue organizations in the world.” Israeli paramedics Asi Dvilansky and Boriya Kozokin taught CPR, emergency procedures for dealing with heart attacks and choking, and how to bandage different kinds of wounds. Y
WHAT a doll! INROADS in Africa
Israel in Paris
aris has a new city square named after Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, situated along the River Seine. The square, containing a fountain and statue of the late Israeli leader, was inaugurated by President Shimon Peres. But Peres got a stormy welcome from pro-Palestinian protesters who accused Israel of war crimes. Israel’s ambassador to France, Daniel Shek, played it down saying, “President Peres is the most prominent and popular Israeli in France.” By the way, France Square in Jerusalem also contains a beautiful fountain, donated by Mayor Bertrand Delanoë and the citizens of the French capital. Y They met while attending a conference for young Jewish entrepreneurs from all over the world, which included a visit to Herzl’s grave. Not long after, while hiking together on Mount Meron in northern Israel, Hulsh proposed marriage. That did it for Wister who then made aliyah (immigrated to Israel). “I grew up in a Zionist family and when Jeremy proposed to me it was a wonderful surprise,” she said. “It has been my dream to settle in Israel!” The wedding took place on the beach in Tel Aviv. Y
are for the A rabbi tells his congregation to prep reading Exocoming Shabbat (Sabbath) sermon by in agreement. The dus, chapter 41. Everyone nods congregation: following Shabbat, the rabbi asks the Almost ev“Who among you has read Exodus 41?” s up from his eryone raises their hand. The rabbi look has 40 chapters. text and says: “The book of Exodus lying.” Appropriately, my sermon today is on
C ompiled by Michael S chneider
Your faithfulness will be rewarded!
Many of you have recommended israel today to your friends and acquaintances. As a reward for each new subscription you recommend, you will get three months of israel today for free!
1 new subscriber – 3 magazines for free value: $10.75 2 new subscribers – 6 magazines for free value: $21.50
This is how you get your reward:
The new subscriber puts down your name and address when ordering the magazine.
Give us the name and address of the new subscriber by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll free: 1-866-854-1684 - US & Canada 00-800-6070-7060 - UK & Norway
* The free issues will be sent to you upon receipt of payment of the new subscription.
You save money and Israel wins new friends...
Ambassadors for Israel like you!
www.jerusalemdepot.com | 1-866-854-1684 - US & Canada | 00-800-6070-7060 - UK & Norway P.O. Box 7555, Jerusalem, 91070 ISRAEL | email@example.com | Fax: +972-2-622-6882
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.