Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What Has Jerusalem to Do with America? - Fay Voshell

by Fay Voshell

Liberal hysterics over Trump's embassy decision reveal a deeper truth about the relationship between the spiritual and the secular.

Tertullian, a second-century leader of the Christian church, is well known for a statement he made concerning the importance of Jerusalem as contrasted with the secular city of Athens. He wrote, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?"

He continued, "After we become Christians, we have no need of Greek philosophy." Jerusalem and Athens were to have nothing to do with one another.

Those who have thought of faith and the "world" as entirely two separate domains sometimes do not realize that their arguments against the entanglement of religion and the world have been appropriated gladly by those who believe in radical separation of church and state, arguing that the world of faith is irrational and that the actual workings of the world should be left to secularists.

In other words, for many, Jerusalem has nothing to do with Athens – or America and the West.

Tertullian's draconian vision has largely been adopted by the left, which has a substitute, secular vision for the world. The substitute vision is presently called globalism. 

The division of the world into the spiritual and secular has also basically been absorbed by many conservative Christian denominations, who also see the structure of America as divided into two stories of faith and the "world," particularly the world of politics, national and global. Never shall the two mix.

Thus, for both the left and for some on the right, Jerusalem the Holy City as she presently exists is too often an irrelevant abstraction. For the left, Jerusalem gets in the way of a new world order. For the right, Jerusalem is important only as the eternal Holy City called Heaven. The real, concrete Jerusalem is merely a city like any other city.

The view of Jerusalem as entirely separated from the ordinary workings of the world was not always the prevailing outlook in the United States. Travels throughout the United States reveal eleven towns named Jerusalem. In fact, the American landscape, particularly in the East and South, is filled with biblical names given to towns and landmarks. 

All of them reflect in some way the biblical vision of Jerusalem as the place that was especially indwelt by the presence of God, the giver of the Ten Commandments and the Author of mankind's salvation.

Jerusalem is the holy city whose spiritual foundations John Winthrop, the future governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, hoped to put into place in the New World, saying of his brave venture, "We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us."

Sadly, his vision for a New Jerusalem was realized imperfectly, as Puritanism sometimes exhibited the same persecutory tendencies toward other denominations as were directed toward the Puritans themselves in England.

However, the spiritual ideals as reflected in the law given at Sinai and the idea that every person is made in the image of God and therefore equal under the law had a powerful impact on the founding fathers of our nation. Those ideals continue to be building blocks holding up the structure we call America.

The alternate vision known as globalism is adamantly opposed to the foundations built on Jerusalem, the Holy City. Globalism has a vested interest in destroying Jerusalem the Heavenly City by destroying Jerusalem the earthly representation of that city. For the secular left, there is no eternal city. There is only the temporal city.

The above is why globalist thinkers and leaders like French president Emmanuel Macron have gone ballistic over President Trump's announcement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The fact is that globalism has a deep interest in supplanting Judaism and Christianity, both of which share the eternal spiritual vision of Jerusalem as the holy city whose foundational principles are critical to any society choosing justice and righteousness above power and might. 

The globalist vision is against any particular identification by nation or religion. To acknowledge Jerusalem is to acknowledge the concretization of history of Jews in the Middle East. It is to affirm that the Jews are real people within a real nation. It is to acknowledge Jerusalem is a Jewish (and Christian) capital, both in reality and in spiritual significance. It is to acknowledge the concrete identity of the Jewish state of Israel. It is to ratify the cornerstone beliefs of Western civilization while the real desire is to allow two competitors for a new world vision to advance their dreams of empire. The one is the secularist vision of the E.U. and the United Nations; the other is the vision of a global caliphate.

A recent Reuters News headline says it all: "Arabs, Europe and the UN Reject Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem."

The reaction of the Arabs, Europe, and the United Nations also says a great deal. Palestinians switched off the Christmas light in Bethlehem, while a tree decorated with lights just outside the Church of the Nativity also went dark. Calls for protests arose even as the lights went out in the city in Judea that saw the birth of Christ, who proclaimed Himself the light of the world.

Are we to suppose that Hamas and other terrorist groups are satisfied with the extinguishing of a few lights in Bethlehem when their expressly stated purpose – over and over and over again--is to extinguish Israel and her capital city? Are we to suppose that extremists who wish to eradicate Israel and the Jews from the earth will spare Jewish and Christian sacred sites in Jerusalem? Would Jerusalem be spared the fate of Palmyra by people who wish her total destruction?

What is behind the rage? What is truly at stake? Why is there such outrage concerning the announcement that Jerusalem the Golden is the capital, physical and spiritual, of the nation of Israel?

What is at the heart of the debate over Jerusalem is the spiritual foundations of Western civilization. What is being sought is the extermination of the Judeo-Christian consensus that has animated the West and now increasingly much of the globe, ever more gradually over the last five thousand years. What is being hoped for is the actualization of an alternate vision, be it secular or Islamist, by assimilating or destroying Jerusalem. Opposing visions cannot tolerate the vision of the Holy City.

But the truth is that Jerusalem is like no other city. 

She is not like El Dorado, the Lost City of Gold that men vainly sought for attaining wealth and fame. Nor is she the city where the Fountain of Youth was sought that men might live forever. Nor is she like fabled Troy, city of Priam's treasure and the beauteous Helen, both exquisite but mortal. Nor is she the mythical city of Atlantis, powerful and beautiful but sunk forever into the dark seas.

All of those cities have perished, only to become myths, the legends of which continue to fade.

Jerusalem is the Eternal City allied with eternal truth. No one can take her identity from her, even though once again, as it has for thousands of years, a great Beast slouches toward Bethlehem.

She remains a light to the world – a beacon for the past, for the present and for the future.
Jerusalem is the Shining City on the Hill.

Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her a prize for excellence in systematic theology. She is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Her thoughts have also been published in many other online magazines. She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/12/what_has_jerusalem_to_do_with_america.html

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Decrying False Genocide, Palestinian Advocates Call for Genocide - IPT News

by IPT News

Imagine a pro-Israel rally featuring similar rhetoric – taunting Palestinians over a massacre or advocating the elimination of Palestinians as a people. Imagine a rally which demanded more violence.

Angered by President Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, Palestinian advocates took to the streets throughout the country during the weekend to express their anger and frustration.

But the message often was telling. Few echoed media analysts' concerns that the move might hurt future peace efforts. Instead, there were taunts of what Mohamed's army has waiting for Jews and calls for new violence.

"We don't want 2 states! We want 48!" was among the chants Friday night at a Times Square rally. The "48" refers to Israel's 1948 independence, and the message calls for a return to a world before there was a Jewish state.

Other chants at the rally, sponsored by a group of organizations including American Muslims for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine and Al-Awda/the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, similarly called for Israel's elimination or for a massacre of Jews:

"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!"

"Khaybar O Jews, Muhammad's army will return."

A Palestine "from the river to the sea" erases Israel from the map. "Khaybar" is a taunt invoking a 7th century massacre of Jews by Mohammed's army. It is considered a "battle cry" before attacks on Jews or Israelis.

Palestinians are quick to accuse Israel of genocide – the systematic destruction of a culture and its people – a sign at Friday's rally said, "Israel= racism + genocide."

Yet that's exactly what they pray would happen to Israel. We reported Friday on a Texas-imam's prayer that "Allah destroy the Zionists and their allies." The prayer generated an "Amen, amen" comment from Said Abbasy, a New York-based supporter of the "moderate" Muslim Brotherhood.

Abbasy appeared pleased by the attention, confirming the sentiment in Arabic on Facebook and justifying it because "the world Zionists are my enemies, because you are all killers and enemies of humanity."

Imagine what would happen if a mainstream pro-Israel advocate voiced a reciprocal sentiment. Imagine a pro-Israel rally featuring similar rhetoric – taunting Palestinians over a massacre or advocating the elimination of Palestinians as a people. Imagine a rally which demanded more violence. The international shock and outrage would dominate news coverage and debate for days or longer.

But in Times Square Friday night, Mohammad Qatanani did just that. Qatanani, the imam at Paterson, N.J.'s Islamic Center of Passaic County, has spent a decade battling the government's efforts to deport him over his failure to disclose Hamas ties, told the crowd that all peace efforts should be cut off.

[Editor's note: This video is now unavailable. Who is hiding it and why?]

"Our message to the Palestinian authority, you have to stop all kinds of peace process, no peace process and negotiation with the occupation in Palestine. Oslo has to be stopped and to be finished. We have to start a new intifada." He then led the crowd in chanting, "intifada, intifada!"

Previous intifadas featured deadly terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, shootings and deadly knife attacks.

We have chronicled the effect blind hatred for Israel has on Palestinian advocates. It leads them to treat terrorist murderers and their enablers as heroes. It causes otherwise rational people to see no moral distinction between Israel and ISIS.

No one expected universal praise for the new U.S. policy toward Jerusalem. What too many Palestinian advocates are doing here, however, is dropping any veneer of moderation or hopes for peace. They will only accept peace when an existing nation and its people are wiped.

There's a word for that.

IPT News

Source: https://www.investigativeproject.org/7051/decrying-false-genocide-palestinian-advocates

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The MIddle East 'Peace Process' meme: What peace process? - Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer

by Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer

'It will threaten the peace process." For the last fifty years, someone in a European capital and in the U.S. State Department has uttered that sentence at least once weekly.

Now that he formally has announced that the United States of America fully recognizes Jerusalem as the undisputed capital of the country of Israel, President Donald Trump once again has proven that he is the first American President since Ronald Reagan who actually fulfills campaign promises he made to the American people who elected him.

He promised to nominate to the United States Supreme Court a brilliant conservative judicial intellect in the tradition of the late Justice Antonin Scalia — and he named Neil Gorsuch to the High Court. 

He promised to continue naming impeccable conservative judges to the federal courts, and he continually has been doing so. 

He promised to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, to tighten the southern border and to begin the process of building a wall to choke off the opioids supply while addressing a broken and corrupted immigration policy. 

He promised to roll back taxes to make American businesses competitive with those around the world, while ramping up the economy and laying the foundation for the creation of more jobs. 

He promised to address the regulatory stranglehold that has choked American energy and commerce. 

He walked away from the European climate conference and the Trans-Pacific boondoggle.

He has confronted NAFTA and ended the nonsense of other multi-lateral global trade plans that always leave America subject to being cheated with little recourse. 

He is attempting to cut federal funds from Secessionist (“Sanctuary”) cities and “Resistance” states that defy the government of the United States.

He has taken demonstable steps to improve medical care for veterans. 

Hydraulic fracturing, oil exploration, clean coal development, and the entire gamut of all forms of energy harnessing now are back on the table, as he fulfills his promise to make America more energy-independent and thus less hostage to the fickle designs of tyrannical oil sheikdoms and two-bit dictatorships.

He does not bow down to sheiks nor salsa with tyrants.

And now he has fulfilled his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the country of Israel.

Bill Clinton made that exact same promise, too.  But he lied.  Then George W. Bush promised the same — and he lied.  Then Obama promised the same — If you like your capital, you can keep your capital — and he lied.  Each one looked voters squarely in the faces and made the same bold promise, backed fully by Congressional bi-partisan approval in a 1995 law that authorized such recognition, yet each knew he never would do it.  

And then came Donald Trump, uttering the same pledge — but this time honoring his word in his very first year in office. Thus, the promise to move America’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has become the Political Rosetta Stone of the Modern Age that deciphers whether a President is a bald-faced liar or can be trusted to do his best to honor and execute the promises that brought him into office.

As the chicken-hearted, yellow-bellied, lily-livered, gutless and spineless leaders of Western Civilization from Western Europe to New Zealand now shake and tremble in the face of a simple truth that they all know — that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel — we may expect to hear the meme interminably day-and-night, until the next television or movie icon’s pants fall, that “This decision now threatens the Middle East ‘Peace Process.’” 

For the last fifty years, someone in a European capital and in the U.S. State Department has uttered that sentence at least once weekly.  If Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston divorce, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.  If Megyn Kelly ever gets ratings on NBC, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.  If Hillary Clinton admits that she knowingly spoliated those e-mails and that they had nothing to do with yoga, yogurt, or Chelsea’s wedding, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.  If Netflix raises their prices again, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.  If Eli Manning does not start for the New York Giants, or if Colin Kaepernick does start anywhere, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.  If Bill Clinton admits that he raped Juanita Broaddrick, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.

So, while other experts debate the meme, let us share a secret:  There is no Middle East “peace process” and there has not been a “Middle East peace process” for decades.  It is a sham.

When Bill Clinton was President, only one person got to see him in the White House more often and closer-up than did Monica Lewinsky:  Yasser Arafat.  Arafat visited the White House more than did any other foreign visitor.  With Clinton brutally pressuring Israel’s most ineffective and hapless Prime Minister in its history, Ehud Barak, Arafat was promised virtually everything he always had said he was demanding — but the butcher turned it down anyway and instead launched a civilian war, the so-called “intifada.” 

Arafat and his cronies, chief among them Mahmoud Abbas, the current Palestine Authority dictator who now is entering the thirteenth year of his four-year elected term in office, never wanted a final agreement that would recognize the permanent existence of a non-Muslim, Jewish-majority country in the Middle East.  There never was a “Middle East Peace Process.” Rather, it was a “Piece Process”: Fool one American President to get us a piece of the Sinai, the next to get us a piece of the Golan Heights, the next to get a piece of Gaza.

There never was a “Peace Process” — and, if one simply pauses to contemplate the reality of the terrain and the demography, the painful conclusion is that a “Two-State Solution” is best when not contemplated. Consider:

Before June 1967, an Arab Muslim polity (Egypt) held Gaza, an Arab Muslim polity (Syria) held the Golan Heights, and an Arab Muslim polity (Jordan) held Judea and Samaria (misnomered the “West Bank”).  Yet in 1964, three years before June 1967, the Arab world created the “Palestine Liberation Organization” (PLO).  Which “Palestine” did that “organization” set about to “liberate” in 1964?  Not Gaza, Golan, and Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”).  Jordanian Olympic athletes were not attacked for “occupying the 'West Bank'.”  Nor were Egyptian school children for “occupying Gaza.”  Nor Syrian civilians for “occupying the Golan.”  Rather, all PLO terror attacks, from the PLO’s 1964 founding through June 1967, aimed within pre-June 1967 Israel.  That is what the PLO was organized to liberate: the “Palestine” that is Israel.  Not Gaza, Golan, nor Judea and Samaria.

(By the way, how fascinating is the term “West Bank”! The Arab world could not assert with a straight face that “Judea and Samaria” belong to the PLO.  So they gave it a different name.  Only . . . they had no other name for it because Judea and Samaria never were part of their universe.  Read the Torah.  Read the Christian Gospels.  Read the Encyclopedia Brittanica before the 1960s. So, since Judea and Samaria lands are west of the Jordan River, they denominated it the “West Bank.”  Anyone who has been there, to cities up and down Judea and Samaria, knows that most of the region is no river “bank,” not remotely close to the Jordan River.  The term is a joke — akin to labeling Jersey City, Bayonne, Secaucus, and Hoboken the “West Bank” because of its immensely closer proximity to the Hudson River or calling the states of Arkansas or Iowa the “West Bank” because of proximity to the Mississippi. 

(Yet the mainstream leftist media use the term “West Bank” rather than “Judea and Samaria” because they claim to shun the “Bibilical” name.  But they call everywhere else in that region by their Biblical names: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee, Jericho, Hebron, Negev, Syria, Damascus, Lebanon, Tyre, Nineveh, Sidon, Jordan, Egypt.  And Jerusalem . . . which brings back the fallacy of the “Mideast Peace Process” meme . . . )

Today more than 200,000 Jews live in the eastern part of Jerusalem and approximately 420,000 Jews live in approximately 150 cities and other communities throughout the rest of Judea and Samaria.  The mainstream left media label these cities and communities “settlements.”

The Ma’aleh Adumim “settlement”  in Judea has approximately 40,000 residents (comparable to New Hampshire’s third largest city, Concord; Vermont’s largest city, Burlington; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Bozeman, Montana; and other such American “settlements”).  The “settlement” of Ariel in Samaria has more than 20,000 residents and a full university. The “settlement” of Modi’in Illit has 70,000 residents.  The Beitar Illit “settlement” has 52,000 people. Karnei Shomron in Samaria has close to 10,000 residents.  The American “settlement” of Malibu is roughly the same size.

No one ever asks this question: Given that every single Arab Muslim polity — ever — has demanded that all Jews be uprooted and removed from East Jerusalem and from the rest of Judea and Samaria as part of any “Middle East Peace Process,” where exactly does that “Peace Process” contemplate re-settling those 620,000 Jews?  And how would they do it?  Would they refurbish Nazi Germany’s cattle cars, the only previous method used effectively in the last 500-plus years to relocate that many Jews from their homes?  And how exactly would they be rounded up — these 620,000 Jews being relocated from the homes they have built and in which they have lived for decades? The Nazis found it effective initially to relocate them into walled ghettoes.  But where would the “Middle East Peace Process” have them walled before forcing them onto the cattle cars?  Has the “Peace Process” identified suitable ghetto areas for temporarily confining those 620,000 Jews? 

And while thinking about it: After these 620,000 Jews are barbed-wired into walled ghettoes, and subsequently prodded onto cattle cars — exactly where will they be transported for a suitable final solution to house them under the “Middle East Peace Process”? 

Auschwitz-Birkenau is not available; it currently is in use as a museum and commercial tourist spot.  Dachau? Majdanek?  Bergen-Belsen? Buchenwald?  Treblinka?  Sobibor?  All fascinating options.  Or will Saudi Arabia offer them housing?  Presently, Jews and Christians arebarred from setting foot in Mecca and Medina, but there is tell that some women now may drive in some places there, often without being stoned.  Or Afghanistan?  Syria?  Iraq?

The earliest “Middle East Peace Process” for twenty years from 1948-1967 included a solution: simply drive the Jews to their deaths in the Mediterranean Sea.  Despite the solution’s neatness and elegance, the Arab Muslim world changed that meme from “Drive the Jews into the Sea” after the June 1967 war.  In time, it became “The Peace Process” — without any thought as to the actual relocation of 620,000 Jews.  But, if they are not to be slaughtered — a solution that the intransigent Israeli Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resolutely continues to oppose despite United Nations intractability, as do most other Israeli political parties — what indeed is that part of the “peace process”?

For those who would ask “Well, can’t Israel just absorb 620,000 people into . . .” — it’s tough to finish that sentence.  In August 2005, the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon uprooted 8,600 residents living in Gush Katif from the Gaza Strip so that Abbas could have that land as his own — land that rapidly was taken from his corrupt “Palestine Authority” and that instead became the home base of the Hamas terrorist campaign. More than a decade later, Israel still has been unable to resettle them and get their lives back to normal. They lost their homes, jobs, often families.  Thus, relocating and resettling 620,000 Jews is a puzzlement. 

One more thing:

Look at the logo of the Hamas terrorists.  See that green jagged “dagger” on the center-top?  Now look at the logo of the Palestine Authority’s Al Fatah terrorists.  See that same green jagged “dagger” in the middle, partially obstructed by the two superimposed rifles?  And now look at the logo of the terrorist Islamic Jihad.  See that same jagged “dagger,” only this time in red and in the middle? 

One picture is worth a thousand words — yet another meme. That depiction is not a jagged dagger.  Rather, it is the map of “Palestine” that Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad all are determined to attain as part of the “Middle East Peace Process.”  Thing is, for the uninitiated, that “Palestine” on their mind is not a map of Gaza and the “West Bank.”  Rather, that is the exact map of all of Israel, down to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Hadera, Tiberias, Masadah, Eilat, and Ben Gurion Airport. For the Arab Muslim world, “Palestine” is Israel — all of it.  Nothing has changed.  One need not be fluent in Hebrew nor in Arabic to grasp this, simply capable of looking at four pictures.  Want more pictures of more Palestine “Middle East Peace Process” aspirants?  Here they are — they all want the same thing as their “Palestine”: all of Israel. That’s all.

The “Middle East Peace Process”?  What Peace Process?

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/21393

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UN Security Council Bashes Trump’s Jerusalem Decision - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Welcome to a kangaroo court.

On December 6th, President Trump announced his decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to instruct the State Department to begin the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Two days later, at a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council, the other 14 members of the Council, including U.S. allies such as France, the United Kingdom and Italy, ganged up on the United States to condemn President Trump’s decision. Allies and adversaries of the U.S., one after the other, claimed that President Trump’s decision had defied international consensus on how to achieve a viable two-state solution, violated international law and risked destabilizing the region as well as imperiling the peace process. Bolivia’s ambassador was the most strident, demanding that the Security Council take action against President Trump’s decision if it wanted to avoid becoming “an occupied territory.”

To add insult to injury, the UN ambassadors from five member states of the European Union – the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Sweden and Germany - further criticized President Trump’s decision in a joint statement they read following the adjournment of the Security Council meeting. They claimed the decision “is not in line with Security Council resolutions and is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.” 

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, stood her ground in her remarks to the Security Council. She chastised those “countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.” All President Trump had done, she explained, was to formally acknowledge the reality that for nearly 70 years “the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel, despite many attempts by others to deny that reality. Jerusalem is the home of Israel’s parliament, president, prime minister, Supreme Court, and many of its ministries. It is simple common sense that foreign embassies be located there.”

President Trump’s change in American policy to reflect this reality does not mean that the United States has taken a position on the specific boundaries or borders within Jerusalem as a whole. “The specific dimensions of sovereignty over Jerusalem are still to be decided by the Israelis and the Palestinians in negotiations,” Ambassador Haley said.

Notably, President Trump’s announcement specifically called for maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. There is not even the slightest hint that the U.S. would be moving its embassy to the Old City or to any part of “East Jerusalem.” However, the critics of President Trump’s decision refuse to allow for the possibility of a U.S. embassy located anywhere at all in the entire city of Jerusalem - even in what is now referred to as “West Jerusalem,” which is an undisputed section of Jerusalem.

“Israel, like all nations, has the right to determine its capital city,” Ambassador Haley said. “In virtually every country in the world, U.S. embassies are located in the host country’s capital city. Israel should be no different.”

The principal objections to President Trump’s decision are that it sets back the chances for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution, it is apt to destabilize and trigger violence in the region and beyond, and it violates international law.

The first two objections can be given short shrift. For seventy years, there has been no peace because the Palestinians have consistently pursued an absolutist policy rejecting the idea of a Jewish state living side by side with an Arab state. The Palestinians and their Arab state neighbors rejected the partition recommended in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947. The Palestinians did not declare an independent state of their own when they had the chance. They embarked instead on a campaign of violence. Hamas, Palestinian President Abbas’s coalition partner, still calls for Israel’s destruction. Abbas, who has incited sectarian violence and rewards terrorists, spurned a peace offer from Israel in 2008 that would have resulted in Israel’s withdrawal from virtually all of the West Bank and the relinquishment of Israeli control of Jerusalem's Old City in favor of placing it under international control. Abbas has refused to this day to agree to direct unconditional negotiations with Israel, a position which long preceded President Trump’s decision.

As for the violence that critics of President Trump’s decision seek to lay at his feet, violence has indeed erupted, not only in the Middle East but elsewhere including Europe. However, President Trump’s decision is being used as a pretext for such behavior that Palestinians and Islamists throughout the world have displayed time and again. We have seen excuses for violence ranging from cartoons and an obscure anti-Muslim video to the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount (despite the presence of metal detectors at mosques in other countries). Foreign policy and national security decisions cannot be held hostage to mob rule. Giving in to threats of a violent reaction will only encourage the increased use of such threats to thwart other controversial decisions.

Turning to the objection to President Trump’s decision based on “international law,” the critics have claimed that his declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem violate a whole host of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. Sovereignty over Jerusalem, they have argued, is a “final status” issue to be negotiated between the parties themselves. They have argued this position while also holding on to the characterization of “East Jerusalem" as part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” in the various UN resolutions they cite. In short, the Israel bashers have no problem exploiting UN resolutions to pre-determine the final status of “East Jerusalem,” which contains the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as belonging to the Palestinians.

Moreover, the UN resolutions that the critics of President Trump’s decision rely upon to support their objections on “legal” grounds do little to help their case. As a matter of international law, there is nothing in the United Nations Charter that grants the General Assembly any power that would render its resolutions, declarations, or recommendations legally binding or enforceable. In any case, the Palestinians and their Arab state neighbors, including Jordan, which illegally seized and annexed the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948, completely rejected the original UN two-state partition resolution, Resolution 181. Their attempt to invoke that resolution or subsequent General Assembly resolutions now to rationalize their position on international law grounds is specious at best.

President Trump’s critics also point for support of their position to UN Security Council resolutions stating that East Jerusalem is part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” declaring Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem to be illegal, concluding that Israel’s assertion of sovereignty over a unified Jerusalem is null and void, and calling upon member states to withdraw their embassies from the Holy City of Jerusalem.  These resolutions were not explicitly adopted in the exercise of the Security Council’s Chapter VII enforcement powers, which is significant in determining whether they are legally binding unless they are expressly framed as “decisions” of the Council or, at the very least, use such words as “demand” in the applicable provisions. Words and phrases such as “calls upon,” “urges,” “reaffirms,” “underlines,” and “stresses” are deemed insufficient by legal experts in the field to reflect an intention on the part of the Security Council to create a legally binding obligation on any of the member states of the UN.

Many of the ambassadors speaking at Friday’s Security Council meeting invoked Security Council Resolution 478 as a principal basis for declaring President Trump’s decision to be in violation of international law. However, Resolution 478 used the word “decides” only in the context of refusing to recognize Israel’s “Basic Law” declaring Israeli sovereignty over the “Holy City of Jerusalem” and “such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem.” Resolution 478 then “calls upon” (not demands) the member states “to accept this decision,” which means it is up to each member state to agree or not. Moreover, Resolution 478 only “calls upon” the member states “that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City.” Again, this does not constitute a legally binding obligation. Moreover, it would not appear to apply explicitly to the western sector of Jerusalem, outside of the Old City where the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are located.

President Trump’s decision in no way is inconsistent with Resolution 478. To the contrary, as discussed above, President Trump specifically called for maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem and left it to Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate the final status of the boundary lines within Jerusalem as a whole. President Trump’s announcement of the intent to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, particularly if relocated outside of the boundaries of the Old City as it most certainly will be, would not be enjoined by Resolution 478's express provisions, which are not legally binding in any event. Moreover, it is way too premature to consider the legality of such a move since it is likely to take three years or more to occur.

The critics also have referred to Security Council Resolution 2334, passed at the end of last year after the Obama administration decided to abstain rather than exercise its veto power. Resolution 2334 principally addresses Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, which, as in previous resolutions, are said to include “East Jerusalem.” It states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” Although most of the resolution’s operative paragraphs use non-binding words and phrases such as “calls upon,” the resolution does once refer to the Security Council’s “demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.” (Emphasis added)

Whichever provisions of Resolution 2334 are legally binding on Israel and all other UN member states, President Trump’s December 6th decision does not have any bearing on the sensitive issue of Israeli settlements or on Israel’s claims to sovereignty over “East Jerusalem.” Thus, invoking this infamous anti-Israeli resolution in the context of President Trump’s decision is a red herring.

“Over many years," Ambassador Haley said in her remarks to the Security Council, the United Nations has been one of the world’s "foremost centers of hostility towards Israel.”  The Security Council became a kangaroo court on Friday, turning a perverted version of “international law” against the Trump administration for its just defense of the Jewish state of Israel and Israel's right to choose its own capital as every other member state has the right to do.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268688/un-security-council-bashes-trumps-jerusalem-joseph-klein

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ISIS: The Caliphate Dream Is Over - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

But the killing isn’t.

The caliphate is dead.

Last Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the Islamic State (ISIS) had been driven out of Iraq:
Today, our troops were able to purge islands of Nineveh and Anbar in full, and they (the forces) are now fully controlling the Iraqi-Syrian borders. These victories are not only for the Iraqis alone, though the Iraqis were themselves who achieved such victories with their sacrifices. But the victories are for all Arabs, Muslims and the world alike...Honorable Iraqis, your land has been completely liberated....The flag of Iraq is flying high today over all Iraqi territory and at the farthest point on the border.
With this, the Islamic State’s chief claim upon the allegiance of Muslims worldwide, and the reason why it was able to draw 30,000 Muslims from 100 countries to Iraq and Syria to join it, is gone.

On June 29, 2014, the group that had up to that point called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or Shams in Arabic (hence the synonymous acronyms ISIL and ISIS) announced that it was forming a new caliphate – the single unified government of all the Muslims, according to Sunni Muslim thought -- and would henceforth drop the second half of its name and call itself simply the Islamic State.

This claim to constitute a new caliphate became the basis of its appeal to Muslims worldwide, who have traveled in unprecedented numbers to Iraq, Syria and Libya to join it. Once it declared itself the new caliphate, the Islamic State swiftly began to consolidate its control over the large expanses of Iraq and Syria that it controlled – in its heyday, an area larger than the United Kingdom, with a population of eight million people. Blithely disregarding the world’s universal condemnation of its pretensions, it moved to assemble the accouterments of a state: currency, passports and the like. Its control of oil wells in Iraq quickly gave it a steady and sizeable source of wealth. It organized a police force, amassed an army of over 100,000 fighters, and became the world’s richest (and best-armed) jihad terror group.

The inability or unwillingness of the world to crush this rogue state in 2014, 2015 and 2016 supported its claim to be the caliphate. The caliphate in Islamic theology is the Islamic nation, embodying the supranational unity of the Muslim community worldwide under a single leader, the caliph, or “successor” – that is, the successor of Muhammad as the spiritual, political and military leader of the Muslims.

The caliph is considered to be the symbol and center of the unity of the Muslims worldwide. In traditional Islamic theology, the Muslims worldwide constitute a single community (umma), and are rightfully citizens only of the Islamic caliphate. The caliph, as the successor of Muhammad, is the only earthly authority to whom Muslims owe obedience.

Reliance of the Traveller, a manual of Islamic law that Cairo’s prestigious and influential Islamic university Al-Azhar (where Barack Obama delivered his outreach speech to the Islamic world in June 2009) certifies as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” explains more of why the caliphate is so pivotal for Muslims worldwide (or at least for Sunnis, who are eighty-five to ninety percent of the world’s Muslims; the Shi’ites have a very different idea of the authority within the Muslim community).

The caliphate, the Sharia manual says, is “both obligatory in itself and the necessary precondition for hundreds of rulings…established by Allah Most High to govern and guide Islamic community life.” It quotes the Islamic scholar Abul Hasan Mawardi explaining that the caliph’s role is “preserving the religion and managing this-worldly affairs.”

The caliphate is a “communal obligation,” according to Reliance of the Traveller, “because the Islamic community needs a ruler to uphold the religion, defend the sunna, succor the oppressed from oppressors, fulfill rights, and restore them to whom they belong.” The “sunna” is what is established by the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example as acceptable practice for Muslims.

Even more, only the caliph is authorized to declare offensive jihad. Reliance of the Traveller declares that the caliph “makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax.”

This jihad is an obligation upon the Muslim community as a whole, from which individual Muslims are excused if other Muslims are performing it. But jihad becomes an obligation for every Muslim when a Muslim land is attacked – that is defensive jihad and requires no caliph. All jihads, therefore, since 1924, even 9/11, have been classified as defensive, and their perpetrators and defenders justify them by reference to a long list of grievances. But once a caliph is in power, no such justification is needed: the caliph is obligated to declare jihad – and thus non-Muslims can expect that with the coming of the Islamic State caliphate, there will be even more jihad than there has been already.

Convinced and battle-trained Islamic State jihadis will continue to commit jihad mass murder in the Western countries to which they have returned, and which have foolishly let them back in. But its claim upon the world’s Muslims has been decisively repudiated by the victory of the Iraqi army. The caliphate dream is over. For now.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268685/isis-caliphate-dream-over-robert-spencer

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An Anti-Semitic Allahu Akbar in Amsterdam - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

This is what the new Nazi collaboration looks like.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Amsterdam’s HaCarmel restaurant sits between two other restaurants. The Jewish kosher eatery whose big blue sign boasts fish, meat and vegetarian options is sandwiched between a sidewalk café with its inevitable Heineken umbrellas on one corner of Amstelveenseweg and an ice cream place on the other corner. There’s an Italian restaurant across the street with some very nice front windows.

If the Muslim refugee had wanted to smash up any eatery, he had plenty of options. But he went to the Kosher restaurant. Inside were wooden chairs, white tablecloths and red roses. Outside came the guttural shriek of, “Allahu Akbar.” This was the battle cry with which Mohammed had inaugurated his massacre and enslavement of the Jews. The cuisine inside HaCarmel is Middle Eastern, but the attack showed why there are few Jews (or Christians) left in the Middle East outside Israel.

The Amsterdam cops had plenty of warning. The “Palestinian” was wearing a Keffiyah on his head, waving a large PLO flag in one hand and brandishing a club in the other while shouting, “Allahu akbar.”

Even in a city where 1 in 4 are Muslim, the attacker was putting on a hell of a display. He had done everything but put an ad in the paper announcing that he’s an Islamic terrorist. And so the police were already on the scene by the time the Islamic thug reached the Jewish restaurant.

Synagogues, kosher restaurants and any recognizably Jewish buildings in Europe are at risk of being attacked. Police officers and, in some countries, soldiers usually aren’t too far away from potential targets in nicer areas. But being there and actually stopping the attack is not at all the same thing.

Video shows the police officer arriving on the scene just in time. The Muslim refugee goes on shouting. Then he smashes HaCarmel’s front windows. The police, in typically European fashion, do nothing. Instead they stand there watching the Muslim thug as he smashes the glass with blow after blow as if they were attending the opening of an interesting art exhibit instead of a violent racist attack.

He starts smashing the door and the Amsterdam cops amble over for a better view. Their body language is casual and loose. They’re interested in the attack in the way that sightseers are. Maybe they’re admiring his Kosher restaurant window smashing techniques. But they’re not about to intervene.

A Muslim’s got a right to smash up a Jewish restaurant’s windows, is their attitude. Or maybe those are their orders. Their job is the usual job of cops to see that the situation doesn’t get out of control.

European cops do have their red lines. Even when it comes to outbursts of Muslim anti-Semitism.

Watching the video makes it clear what those red lines are. Muslims can safely smash Jewish windows while screaming, “Allahu Akbar”. It’s only when he finishes kicking through the glass and actually moves into the restaurant that one of the officers unhurriedly approaches him and urges him to come outside.

Then he’s finally tackled and arrested.

The European red line for anti-Semitism is that you can smash Jewish windows while the cops watch, but you won’t be allowed to potentially attack Jewish people. At least while the cops watch.

Once he was de-flagged, de-keffiyahed and taken down to the local police version of downtown, the “Palestinian” refugee told the police that he’s not anti-Semitic. It was just another of those Muslim attacks on Jews that have nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

Lefty politicians and the media rushed to blame Trump. But the Muslim refugee never mentioned Trump or Jerusalem. Muslims have been attacking Jews in Amsterdam long before Trump’s announcement.

Things were bad enough that cops dressed as Jews had been deployed to stop anti-Semitic attacks.

Rabbi Benjamin Jacobs, the Chief Rabbi of Holland, has had rocks thrown at him, he’s been called a dirty Jew and was nearly hit by a car. His house not far from Amsterdam has been vandalized five times. And the police have warned him not to travel by train. All this was before Trump had recognized Jerusalem.

Who’s doing all this?

According to the Jewish community’s anti-Semitism watchdog, 70% of anti-Semitic attacks in the Netherlands had been carried out by immigrants. And we aren’t talking about the Chinese.

Muslim harassment isn’t new at HaCarmel.

Passerby routinely spit at the windows. Nazi salutes and middle fingers are also commonplace. But the good people offering Nazi salutes to a Kosher restaurant aren’t the ones that the left expects. When a Jewish broadcaster filmed a Rabbi walking through a Moroccan neighborhood in Amsterdam, the men offering them Nazi salutes were as Aryan as Arafat, but as Muslim as Mohammed.

Supporting Muslim migration is the new Nazi collaboration. It’s smashing Jewish store windows, firebombing synagogues and driving Jews out of the cities of Europe.

HaCarmel isn’t located in a Muslim no-go zone. It’s a trendy area full of trendy eateries. The Heineken Experience and the Van Gogh Museum are less than 2 miles away. The Vondelpark is a few blocks away.

If this is what it’s like on Amstelveenseweg (“the new place to be in Amsterdam Old South”) imagine what it’s like in areas where the police won’t show up to stop the tourists from being too rattled. Imagine what it’s like to be in a synagogue that looks like an unremarkable concrete fortress and still gets vandalized every few weeks. Imagine what it’s like for ordinary Jews when even the Chief Rabbi regularly gets called a dirty Jew and has rocks thrown through his windows.

Left-wing politicians were quick to blame Trump. Reinier van Dantzig of D66, who touts Muslim refugees, blamed the “ill-considered statements of the leader of the free world.” But Trump didn’t come down to Amsterdam to smash a Jewish restaurant’s window. A Muslim migrant did that.

But meanwhile conservative Dutch politicians visited the restaurant in a show of solidarity.
That’s the usual shameful pattern in which the left excuses and defends Muslim anti-Semitism by blaming the Jews. “A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” Howard Gutman, Obama’s disgraced ambassador to Belgium, had argued.

The distinction is really an exception and a justification. Anti-Semitism is wrong unless Muslims do it. And Muslim anti-Semitism is just really a response to their oppression by the Jews.

The Kosher restaurant wasn’t the victim. It was the perpetrator.

Blaming Trump for anti-Semitic violence in Europe really blames the Jews. Trump just recognized the reality that Jerusalem is the center of Jewish religious, historic and political life. He didn’t create that reality. And so blaming Trump for recognizing the reality of Jewish Jerusalem just blames the Jews.

After the HaCarmel attack, Daniel Baron, the owner’s son, began sweeping up the mess. Friends from the Jewish community came by to help. But the customers haven’t come drifting back. Muslim terror has already depressed the nightlife in Paris and other European cities. And Jewish restaurants have long been the targets of Muslim violence. The closing act to the Charlie Hebdo attack was the massacre at a Kosher supermarket in Paris before the Sabbath. Obama famously described it as a random attack on “a bunch of folks in a deli." There have been lots of those "random” attacks by “lone wolves.”

But HaCarmel isn’t giving up.

“For what Trump did, they can break the windows ten more times,” Daniel Baron stated. “Jerusalem will still be Israel’s capital.”

The anti-Israel lobby of J Street, If Not Now, T’ruah and the rest of the gang often claim that they’re standing up to racists. But this is what actually standing up to racists, instead of collaborating with them, looks like.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268686/anti-semitic-allahu-akbar-amsterdam-daniel-greenfield

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Firebombing Jewish Children in Sweden - Bruce Bawer

by Bruce Bawer

Saturday's attack on the Gothenburg synagogue -- is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has been in place -- and systematically ignored -- ever since the Islamization of Western Europe began.

  • On Friday night, an anti-Trump rally in Malmö drew about 200 people, many of whom shouted anti-Jewish remarks and threatened to "shoot the Jews."
  • Saturday's attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump's recognition of Israel's capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied or played down by the news media and public officials, ever since the Islamization of Western Europe began.
On Saturday, December 9, masked men threw firebombs at a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden. The attack took place shortly after 10:00 pm, at a time when about thirty children and teenagers (the Swedish word "ungdomar", used in media reports, suggests they were teens, but could be younger or both) were attending a party at the Jewish Center adjoining the main building. When the assault began, the guards rushed them into the cellar, and finally allowed them to go home at about 11:30 pm. (Guards, of course, are a fixture at European synagogues these days.) A mother of one of the girls at the party received a text message from her daughter saying that she was scared and that there was a smell of gasoline.

Yes, in Western Europe, in 2017, a group of young Jews stood huddled in a basement, helpless, amid the gasoline fumes from firebombs. (It is not clear whether the people guarding them were armed, or why, facing the threat of a possible conflagration, they chose to send them into a cellar.)

The synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was firebombed on December 9. (Image source: Lintoncat/Wikimedia Commons)

Gothenburg, by the way, is the same city in which, as we reported recently, the churches will be opening their doors every night this winter to provide shelter for homeless immigrants -- whether legal or illegal -- but not for homeless Swedes. There is probably no direct connection whatsoever here, but it is hard not to find a certain dark irony in this juxtaposition of events.

A small fire did indeed spread out at the synagogue, but was soon extinguished by firefighters. Fortunately, there were no injuries; alas, there were only three arrests. When asked by the daily Expressen to say something about the identity of the suspects, a police spokesperson would say only that the three persons taken into custody were about 20 years old. In the aftermath of the attack, Swedish police have intensified security arrangements around the handful of other synagogues in the country.

Perhaps surprisingly, given their distaste for stories that challenge the narrative of a harmonious multicultural Sweden, the mainstream Swedish media have given this episode extensive coverage. Politicians have rushed to condemn the synagogue attack. Several commentators have suggested that it was motivated by President Trump's decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Dan Eliasson, head of the national police, said flat out that Trump's move had made the situation of Jews in Sweden more precarious. Should threats of violence, however, a form of extortion, really determine policy?

Svante Weyler, head of the Swedish Committee against Antisemitism, told the daily Aftonbladet that this probably will not be the last occurrence of its kind in Sweden. (That is a pretty good bet.) He further noted that anti-Semitism is, indeed, quite severe and on the rise in Europe -- especially in Sweden -- but, unless Aftonbladet cut something out, he was careful not to mention Islam. (That is par for the course.)

There was more from Weyler. In the wake of attacks on European Jewish targets, European Jewish leaders like him routinely distance themselves from Israel, underscoring that it is wrong for enemies of Israel to blame European Jews for Israeli actions. Weyler served up a version of this argument, pointing out that "those young people who were gathered together in the synagogue have no direct connection to what is happening in the Middle East or to what Trump does." Rarely does a European Jewish leader -- or anyone, for that matter -- simply stand up and defend Israel.

It is not just European Jewish leaders who, in such cases, feel driven to draw a sharp distinction between European Jews and the Jewish state. In an interview with Expressen, Jonas Ransgård, a member of the Gothenburg city council, lamented the fact that "Jews in Sweden are held responsible for what Israel thinks is right or wrong." Such remarks, of course, imply:
  1. that Swedish Jews, being Swedes, are surely too sensible and humane to agree in any large numbers with Israeli (or pro-Israeli) policies or actions, and
  2. that Israel, by virtue of its supposedly provocative behavior, is at least indirectly responsible for anti-Jewish attacks in Europe.
If the firebombing of the Gothenburg synagogue was motivated by Trump's decision on Jerusalem, it was not the only notable response to that decision in Sweden this weekend. On Friday night, an anti-Trump rally in Malmö drew about 200 people, many of whom shouted anti-Jewish remarks and threatened to "shoot the Jews." On Saturday, anti-Trump protesters marched in Stockholm and set fire to the Israeli flag. A search through the major Swedish online media did not yield any details about the ethnic or religious backgrounds of the participants in any of these incidents.

What, sadly, is hardly ever acknowledged by Europe's establishment media is that Jews -- and Israel, the only openly pluralistic country in the Middle East -- are under constant assault by Western European leaders, citizens, and (especially) so-called "new Europeans," as well as by the governments of no fewer than 21 Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump's recognition of Israel's capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied or played down by the news media and public officials, ever since the Islamization of Western Europe began.

Bruce Bawer is the author of the new novel The Alhambra (Swamp Fox Editions). His book While Europe Slept (2006) was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11534/sweden-jews-firebombing

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