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Jerusalem — May 1948

In May of 1948, John Philips, a photojournalist for Life magazine, was in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, documenting the Arab Legion’s attack. From May 18-25, he captured the destruction, capture, and evacuation of this historic region. These photos are now in a permanent exhibit, “Alone on the Walls,” in the Jewish Quarter. If you’re not able to visit the site, a collection of the images – including the two here – are posted online.

The destruction of the Porat Yosef synagogue, May 1948

Before the evacuation, May 1948

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Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 2:02 PM  | David Kuner

Military deploys in Cairo as protesters defy curfew

More chaos in Egypt, as the government cracks down hard:

Egyptian military units deployed in the streets of Cairo on Friday, and protesters targeted offices of the ruling party, as massive crowds of anti-government demonstrators defied an overnight curfew.

In some parts of the capital, the protests appeared to grow more violent, and there were reports that demonstrators were attacking government buildings and a police station.

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Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 1:04 PM  | David Kuner

Egypt “pulls the plug” on the Internet

Powerful testimony to the pivotal role social media and other forms of electronic communication are playing in anti-government protests in Egypt: Facing renewed calls for President Hosni Mubarak to end his 30-year rule, the Egyptian government has taken an unprecedented move by shutting down all Internet and cellphone service:

Computer experts say what sets Egypt’s action apart is that the entire country was disconnected in an apparently coordinated effort, and that all manner of devices are affected, from mobile phones to laptops. It seems, though, that satellite phones would not be affected.

“Iran never took down any significant portion of their internet connection – they knew their economy and the markets are dependent on internet activity,” Mr Cowie said.

When countries are merely blocking certain sites – like Twitter or Facebook – where protesters are coordinating demonstrations, as apparently happened at first in Eqypt, protesters can use “proxy” computers to circumvent the government censors. The proxies “anonymise” traffic and bounce it to computers in other countries that send it along to the restricted sites.

But when there’s no internet at all, proxies can’t work and online communication grinds to a halt.

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Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 7:02 AM  | David Kuner

Egypt "pulls the plug" on the Internet

Powerful testimony to the pivotal role social media and other forms of electronic communication are playing in anti-government protests in Egypt: Facing renewed calls for President Hosni Mubarak to end his 30-year rule, the Egyptian government has taken an unprecedented move by shutting down all Internet and cellphone service:

Computer experts say what sets Egypt’s action apart is that the entire country was disconnected in an apparently coordinated effort, and that all manner of devices are affected, from mobile phones to laptops. It seems, though, that satellite phones would not be affected.

“Iran never took down any significant portion of their internet connection – they knew their economy and the markets are dependent on internet activity,” Mr Cowie said.

When countries are merely blocking certain sites – like Twitter or Facebook – where protesters are coordinating demonstrations, as apparently happened at first in Eqypt, protesters can use “proxy” computers to circumvent the government censors. The proxies “anonymise” traffic and bounce it to computers in other countries that send it along to the restricted sites.

But when there’s no internet at all, proxies can’t work and online communication grinds to a halt.

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Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 7:02 AM  | David Kuner

Commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day

In areas of Europe once controlled by Hitler’s Third Reich, memorials and ceremonies honor those who perished.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed worldwide Thursday on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz death camp to commemorate the 6 million Jews annihilated by the Nazis over 60 years ago.

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Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 9:59 AM  | David Kuner

Archaeological Dig Completed Under Old City Walls in Jerusalem

The Israel Antiquities Authority has completed an archaeological dig of a tunnel located under the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. The ancient tunnel was formerly used for drainage and dates back to the Second Temple. It links the City of David in Silwan with a location near the Western Wall:

The Antiquities Authority stressed that the newly uncovered tunnel does not come near the Temple Mount and that it has no plans to dig in that direction.

The digging had been going on for seven years and was delayed for about a year by order of the High Court of Justice, after Silwan residents filed a petition claiming the dig was damaging their homes.

In September 2009, Supreme Court Justice Edna Arbel rejected the petition and lifted the halt on the dig. Since then, work has been stepped up and in recent weeks the segment of the tunnel between the City of David and the Davidson Center was completed.

Even though no opening was made giving access to the Davidson area, there are plans to do so in the future.

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 4:09 PM  | David Kuner

Security vs. popularity

Four Palestinians have been indicted for the murder of Kristen Luken, an American tourist who was stabbed to death while hiking in a forest near Jerusalem this past December. The suspects are believed to have been connected to a string of robberies, murders, and rapes, and were arrested along with nine other men who are believed to have been accomplices.

The perpetrators of these heinous crimes reside in the Hebron region in the West Bank, and were able to penetrate into Israel through gaps in the security fence. Although not connected to any large terror organization, the men consider themselves an independent terror group. They were also behind the attempted murder of an Ethiopian couple on February 2010, which they claimed was in retaliation for the assassination of a Hamas’ terror chief last January in Dubai.

The fact that these men were able to terrorize Israeli citizens by entering Israel through gaps in the Security Fence is an affirmation that Israel must continue to build the fence in order to defend her people from such attacks. Many have called the fence an “apartheid wall,” and Israel has been condemned internationally for its construction. But it is clear that when it comes to defending its own citizens, Israel needs to do what is best for its own security without caving in to international pressure, which is often based less on concern over particular Israeli policies than it is on blatant anti-Israel bias.

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 12:47 PM  | afarkas

Egyptian protesters denounce Mubarak; 3 killed

More turmoil in the Middle East:

Thousands of anti-government protesters, some hurling rocks and climbing atop an armored police truck, clashed with riot police Tuesday in the center of Cairo in a Tunisia-inspired demonstration to demand the end of Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30 years in power. Three people were killed in confrontations around the country.

After a day of violence, thousands of demonstrators stood their ground in downtown Cairo’s vast Tahrir Square, steps away from parliament and other government buildings. They promised to camp out overnight, setting the stage for an even more dramatic confrontation.

Throughout the day, police blasted crowds with water cannons and set upon them with batons and acrid clouds of tear gas in an attempt to clear demonstrators crying out “Down with Mubarak” and demanding an end to Egypt’s grinding poverty, corruption, unemployment and police abuses.

UPDATE: Here’s a fascinating article on how social networks are fueling the revolt.

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 3:33 PM  | David Kuner

Palestinian Embassy to Open in Ireland

The Irish government has officially upgraded the Palestinian mission in Ireland to embassy status. Ireland is the first country in the E.U. that has made such a bold move, causing concern in the Israeli government that other European countries will follow suit.

The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) has been lobbying for international recognition of a Palestinian state in the absence of a peace accord with Israel. In such a scenario, the Palestinians would gain statehood without having to make concessions to the Jewish State.

Israel sent a warning to European states that such recognition of the P.A. will only embolden those elements that want to destroy the chances of peace.

While Ireland has upgraded the status of the Palestinian mission in their country, it does not mean that Ireland recognizes a Palestinian state. It is, however, one step closer towards official recognition and is of great concern to the Israeli government.

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 2:44 PM  | afarkas

Terrorist bomb rocks Moscow airport; 29 dead

Breaking news from the Washington Post:

An explosion at an unsecured section of Domodedovo Airport, on the southeast outskirts of Moscow, killed 29 people in a waiting area for arriving passengers Monday afternoon, in what appears to be a terrorist attack.

At least 50 people were hospitalized, authorities said, and 35 were listed in critical condition.

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Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 12:23 PM  | David Kuner
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Heartbreak, Courage - and Unity

The news from Israel has been heartbreaking. Ten more IDF soldiers were killed yesterday, five while fighting Hamas terrorists who crossed into Israel through tunnels…


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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