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Turkish President Says Muslims Must Assert Dominance over Jerusalem

(Photo: wikicommons/ Randam)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Randam)

Even as Israel was celebrating the reunification of its Holy City on Jerusalem Day, elsewhere those who stand against the Jewish state were calling for its fall. Breitbart’s Mary Chastain reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proclaimed this week that Muslims should assert dominance over Jerusalem:

“We Muslims lost our way towards Jerusalem,” he proclaimed. “The warer of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that was destined to beat for Jerusalem in now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.”

Erdogan was in the city to promote numerous service projects, but the speech continued to be about Jerusalem.

“When you mention the worse ascension, the first thing that comes to mind is Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in the Old City of Jerusalem and is said to be the third holiest site in Islam. It sits right on Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism. Israel is in control of the Old City, but the mosque is controlled by Jordanian and Palestinian officials. Despite this, Erdogan told his countrymen to “ask God to restore the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the infallibility of the Muslims.”

Erdogan is known for his anti-Semitic views. Breitbart London documented the many times Erdogan spewed his anti-Israel rhetoric since he was mayor of Istanbul…

The open hatred espoused towards Israel appears to have encouraged anti-Semitic behavior in Turkey. In the summer of 2014, protesters threw stones at Israel’s consulate in Istanbul. The people wrote, “Die out murderer Jew” on the building. Protesters in the capital of Ankara also targeted the consulate, but the riot police did not do anything to stop them. Bulnet Yildirim, the head of the Turkish IHH NGO, said that “Israel is acting like a spoiled child” and the “Turkish Jews will pay dearly” for Israel’s actions against Gaza.

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Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 at 8:17 AM  | Stand for Israel

Netanyahu: Jerusalem “Only Ever the Capital of the Jewish People”

(Photo: facebook/IsraeliPM)

(Photo: facebook/IsraeliPM)

Yesterday the people of Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day, which marks the reunification of the Jewish people and the Holy City. At the official ceremony in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the city is the Jewish people’s capital and will never be divided again:

Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the war dead from that conflict on Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill, the site of one of the fiercest battles in the Six Day War, Netanyahu vowed that “Jerusalem won’t become once again a wounded and bisected city. We will forever keep Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty.”

“On this special day it is clear to us that a divided Jerusalem is a memory. The future belongs to the complete Jerusalem that shall never again be divided,” he said.

Netanyahu’s message was not meant for Israelis’ ears alone.

“Jerusalem was only ever the capital of the Jewish people, not of any other people,” he said in comments his office then sent to the media. “Here our path as a nation began, this is our home and here we shall stay.”

Netanyahu also lauded the city’s progress under Israeli sovereignty. “Jerusalem is now in one of its most glorious epochs. We continue to build and nurture her, to expand her neighborhoods, and we have much still to do and to improve in all parts of the city for all her inhabitants.”

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Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 8:48 AM  | Stand for Israel

Jerusalem and the Prophet’s Tomb

(Photo: flickr/Set Frantzman)

(Photo: flickr/Seth Frantzman)

Sunday was a glorious day for Israel. It was Jerusalem Day – the day on which the Holy City was reunited with the Jewish people after nearly two thousand years of separation, after its Jewish population had been driven out, persecuted, and terrorized for simply being Jews.

Instead of venturing into Jerusalem for the day’s celebration, I decided to visit the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet on a hilltop overlooking the ancient city of Jerusalem like a guardsmen. It’s not that I was trying to avoid the large crowds in Jerusalem; there were thousands of worshipers at Samuel’s tomb, as well, because the date of Jerusalem’s reunification and Samuel’s day of passing coincide. I made my decision because I simply felt moved to pay a visit to the Prophet’s grave.

It is no coincidence that Samuel’s day of passing would be the day that Jerusalem would be liberated thousands of years later. Samuel anointed King David, who captured the city in ancient times, and whose son King Solomon erected the Holy Temple.

It was also Samuel and King David who traversed the Judean mountain range in an effort to locate where the Temple –the holiest site in Jerusalem – would eventually rest. This hilltop where both Temples once stood is the same spot where Abraham bound Isaac and where Jacob dreamed that a ladder stretched all the way up to the heavens.

Of course, King David and Samuel had to guide them to the exact location. Divine inspiration led them to the site which serves as Judaism’s holiest place, the city of Jerusalem and its Holy Temple.

Samuel the Prophet never saw the building of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem; he died before its construction. But his resting place overlooking Jerusalem has witnessed all the city’s highs and lows – its construction, destruction, rebuilding, devastation, and in 1967, its reunification.

For thousands of years, Jews from far and near would travel with their young sons to give them the traditional first haircut at Samuel the Prophet’s grave on the day…

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Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 8:45 AM  | Stand for Israel

Photo Friday: I Will Put My Name Forever

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

“In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.” (2 Chronicles 33:7)

Starting at sundown on Saturday, and lasting through Sunday, Israel will celebrate Jerusalem Day – remembering the reunification of the Holy City in 1967. Here, members of the IDF’s Givati Brigade take their oath at the Western Wall, an oath to protect God’s chosen people, their Holy City, and their country. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 3:37 PM  | Stand For Israel

Jerusalem Then and Now: A Journey in Photos

(Photo: wikicommons/Snapshots of the Past)

(Photo: wikicommons/Snapshots of the Past)

As Israel prepares to celebrate Jerusalem Day this weekend, photographer Noam Chen takes us on a historical journey through the Holy City, sharing both photos from more than a century ago, as well as those that show Jerusalem today, from the Damascus Gate to the Western Wall to the Mount of Olives:

Jerusalem Day commemorates the unification of the city in 1967 under Israeli sovereignty, when IDF soldiers liberated the Old City from Jordanian occupation.

Only then were Israelis able to return to the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people, the Western Wall, after 20 years during which they had been denied access to the site.

I decided to celebrate 48 years of the unification in a special way, by inviting you to join me on a journey through time in Jerusalem — a journey in photos.

Recently, a rare collection of photographs was unveiled by the U.S. Library of Congress, uncovering some stunning scenes from Jerusalem during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

I selected 25 of these amazing early photographs of the city, and compared them with photos from my own collection. Some were taken from the very same angle, others from a similar point of view, but all of them show remarkable differences and similarities alike.

(Photo: Library of Congress)

(Photo: Library of Congress)

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Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 8:33 AM  | Stand for Israel

Jerusalem Day: City of Peace

(Photo: flickr/goldberg)

(Photo: flickr/goldberg)

Starting at sundown on Saturday and continuing all day Sunday, Israel will celebrate Jerusalem Day, remembering the reunification of the Holy City in 1967. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Shlomo Riskin tells of the biblical history of Jerusalem, the city of peace and “Israel’s heart”:

What is so special about Jerusalem? The fact is that Jerusalem – unique among the cities of Israel – is completely identified with our Jewish national mission, expressing by its very name “City of Peace” our prophetic vision for the world.

When the Almighty initially elected Abraham, he gave him a mandate: “Through you shall be blessed all of the nations of the earth” (Genesis 12:3). It was for this universal purpose that Abram’s name was changed from Av Ram (exalted father of one nation, Israel) to Avraham; father and teacher of a multitude of nations.

Abraham’s descendants will eventually erect a Temple to which all the nations will flock in order to learn and accept the Torah of peace: “To beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, so that nation will not lift up sword against nation and humanity will not learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).

Jeru means “city” in ancient Semitic languages and Shalem means “peace” (wholeness)…

Let us fast-forward 4,000 years. In 1978, at the end of the Camp David peace talks between US president Jimmy Carter, Egyptian head of state Anwar Sadat and prime minister Menachem Begin, Carter pressed Begin to sign a letter in which he would “merely” agree to place the final status of Jerusalem on the negotiating table. Begin refused. With great emotion he explained that in the Middle Ages there lived a beloved, wise rabbi: Rav Amnon of Mayence, who was pressed by the bishop at least to consider converting to Christianity.

After a lengthy argument, the rabbi agreed to ponder the issue for three days.

As soon as he returned home, the rabbi was smitten by deep despair; at the end of the three days, he returned to the bishop. “Punish me, O…

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Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 8:19 AM  | Stand for Israel

7 Children Killed in NYC Fire Buried in Jerusalem

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

This weekend, we were horrified to hear of a house fire in New York City that claimed the lives of seven children. The Times of Israel reports that the youngsters’ bodies were flown to Jerusalem for burial today, and that their grieving father remembered them as “beautiful lilies”:

Seven Jewish siblings who were killed in a devastating New York house fire over the weekend were laid to rest Monday after their bodies were flown to Israel for burial.

Hundreds of mourners, including the chief rabbi of Israel, attended the emotional service, which was repeatedly interrupted by anguished cries.

“Why seven? Is one not enough? Seven beautiful lilies,” their father, Gabriel Sassoon, cried out during a eulogy. “So pure. So pure.”

Sassoon — who lost seven of his eight children in the deadly blaze — said the kids were “innocent lambs.”

Quoting a verse from the Song of Songs 6:2, “My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies,” Sassoon said: “God plucked seven lilies.”

“To you God I give everything. My soul. Everything. This is my feeling,” he added.

David Lau, Israel’s chief rabbi for Ashkenazi Jews, described the fire as an unspeakable tragedy and urged the family to remain strong. “Each one is a flower in God’s garden,” he said.

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Monday, March 23rd, 2015 at 3:33 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: The Mysteries of God

(Photo: flickr/spindexr)

(Photo: flickr/spindexr)

Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
    Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7)

A lunar eclipse occurs over the wall of the Old City. Please pray to our Almighty for peace in Jerusalem, in Israel, and for all the world. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, November 7th, 2014 at 2:01 PM  | Stand For Israel

Standing Up to Intimidation

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

This week, amidst the East Jerusalem riots centered around the Temple Mount, a Jerusalem resident affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist group tried to assassinate Rabbi Yehudah Glick in a horrific act of violence, singling out Glick for his religious and political beliefs and escalating the situation further. The Jerusalem Post writes that when violence is used to terrorize and bully a group into abdicating basic human rights, it becomes a threat to the foundations of democracy:

What makes this crime all the more tragic was the fact that Glick, who is a vocal activist for the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, is also a strong defender of Muslims’ right to freedom of religious expression on what they call Haram a-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary. Unlike some proponents of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount who call to destroy Muslim houses of prayer and replace them with a rebuilt Jewish Temple, Glick advocates joint Jewish-Muslim prayers on the site that is so sacred to both religions. …

The socioeconomic plight of Jerusalem’s Arabs is sometimes cited as the cause of violence, as is the “incitement” of Jews such as Glick who dare to demand to visit the Temple Mount, the holiest place on the earth for Jewish believers.

We must disabuse ourselves of the idea that innocuous acts such as Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount are the trigger for Muslim rioting, stone-throwing, destruction and murder. Rather the Arabs who commit these offenses choose to lash out against Jews in order to intimidate them into ceding their rights. And this violent behavior does nothing to improve the socioeconomic situation of Jerusalem’s Arabs, it only deepens the rift between Jews and Arabs.

Permitting Jews – or members of any other religion for that matter – to visit the Temple Mount and even pray there should be a religious freedom that is carefully protected by a democracy. Many brave men and women have given their lives for this freedom and others, which we often take for granted. Caving in to the demands of militant Muslims out of a desire…

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Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 8:48 AM  | Stand For Israel

Fatah Calls for “Day of Rage” in Jerusalem on Friday

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we noted that Mahmoud Abbas declared that the closing of the Temple Mount – due to heavy Palestinian rioting in Jerusalem – was a “declaration of war.” Now The Times of Israel reports that Abbas’ Fatah party has called for a “day of rage” on Friday:

Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called for a “day of rage” Friday in the defense of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, after Israel closed the site Thursday amid continuing East Jerusalem riots and after the attempted assassination of a right-wing activist.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported the call to action on Thursday.

“Fatah calls to its fighters and to the masses of the Palestinian people to aid the Al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied Jerusalem,” Fatah said in an announcement that was translated into English by Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch.

Israel has since announced it would reopen the site for Friday prayers.

WAFA also reported that the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission had “called to set tomorrow as a day of rage throughout the homeland and in countries which are home to refugees, to express the Palestinian people’s opposition to any attack on the holy places and foremost among them the Al-Aqsa Mosque… And to consider desecration of Al-Aqsa as a declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations.”

The declaration came after Israeli police closed the compound early Thursday out of fear of clashes in the wake of the shooting the night before of Yehudah Glick, a right-wing activist who campaigns for Jewish access to the site, and as Israeli right-wing groups vowed to march on the Temple Mount.

Glick was left in serious but stable condition at Shaare Zedek Medical Center after being shot by an assailant on a motorcycle Wednesday night as he left a conference entitled “Israel returns to the…

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Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 2:21 PM  | Stand For Israel