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This week’s troubling ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court highlighted the fact that much of the world does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s. But when the American military’s Chief of Staff visited the Jewish state this week – in meetings that did much to show what friends the two nations are – Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin made sure to stress that the Holy City belongs to his country and people:
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President Reuven Rivlin hosted U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey for a meeting at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Dempsey, set to retire in October, is visiting Israel for the final time as head of the U.S. military.
“We are proud to have you as a friend,” Rivlin told Dempsey. “We salute and appreciate you, and your friendship will be well remembered.”
Rivlin made a point of welcoming Dempsey to “Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.” He was referring to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this week that struck down an existing but unenforced law that would have let American citizens born in Jerusalem have Israel listed as their country of birth in passports.
“I am a seventh-generation Jerusalemite, and even though I was born nine years before the State of Israel was established, I was born in Jerusalem and I am Israeli,” Rivlin said.
“Of course, we have no criticism of the decision of the Supreme Court in Washington. We salute the rule of law, and we appreciate and understand that they have decided not upon if Jerusalem is part of Israel or not, but who is going to decide upon those matters once it is a matter that goes between the Congress and the administration and the president.”
Dempsey thanked Rivlin for the warm reception and pledged that America’s “deep commitment” to its relationship with Israel would continue.
Friday, June 12th, 2015 at 8:16 AM | Stand For Israel
In the minds of the world, Anne Frank will always be the teenage girl whose words have moved so many and one of the millions of Holocaust victims who died at the hands of the Nazis. But, to one woman Anne was a friend. On what would’ve been the young diarist’s 86th birthday, we bring you Epoch Times’ Amelia Pang’ story about Anne’s childhood companion and what she has done in the decades since she lost her best friend:
For decades, Jacqueline van Maarsen told no one. She did not want people to know she was Anne Frank’s best friend. As much as Anne Frank’s diary was about a girl who was eager to live, to talk about Anne Frank was to remember that she was dead. And to remember that Anne Frank was dead, was to remember that van Maarsen’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and most of her classmates were dead.
After the second world war, van Maarsen salvaged what she could of her life and tried to move on. She married a childhood friend, had three children, and worked as a successful bookbinder in Amsterdam.
“I told my children not to tell their friends at school that their mother was Anne Frank’s friend,” she said. “If people knew they would always ask me questions.”
The mention of Anne Frank would unleash a deluge of disturbing images in her mind: A shivering, bald Anne dying of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; van Maarsen’s favorite young cousins slowly writhing to death in a gas chamber in the Sobibór extermination camp.
“I did not want to think about these things all the time,” she said.
She knew she would not be able to handle the public’s questions about Anne Frank because she could barely handle the inquiries from Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father.
To the grief-stricken father, van Maarsen was a conduit for Anne Frank’s psyche.
Around two months after the second world war ended, a rail-thin Otto Frank showed up at van Maarsen’s house in Amsterdam.
“It was so strange to see him…Read More » Comments (10) »
Friday, June 12th, 2015 at 8:14 AM | Stand For Israel
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted the U.S. Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to discuss negotiations over Iran. General Dempsey reassured Israel that the U.S. is looking out for their interests, as well.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• The U.S. Supreme Court this week issued a controversial ruling against using “Israel” on passports of Jerusalem-born Americans.
• A new study from a U.S. nonprofit research organization reported that both Israel and the Palestinians would benefit economically from a peace deal.
• This week, President Obama said G7 leaders strongly support Ukraine and warned that more sanctions are coming against Russia if a peace plan fails.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on what can happen only in Israel.
Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 5:00 PM | Tanaja Williams
In what is becoming a more frequent occurrence, red alert sirens sounded in southern Israel today. Yediot Achronot reports that a rocket was launched at the southern city of Ashkelon:
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Rocket alarm sounds in Ashkelon, IDF confirms at least 1 rocket fired from the northern Gaza Strip. Residents of the Ashkelon area reported hearing an explosion north of the city.
Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 2:36 PM | Stand For Israel
The deadline for nuclear talks between Iran and the United States and Western powers is June 30, less than three weeks away. In the meantime, The Weekly Standard’s Lee Smith writes about a troubling U.N. report about Iranian sanctions violations:
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“The current situation with reporting could reflect a general reduction of procurement activities by the Iranian side or a political decision by some member states to refrain from reporting to avoid a possible negative impact on ongoing negotiations” between Iran and the P5+1, the UN panel said in its June 1 report, and made public today.
“This is a clear political decision not to publicize these examples of sanctions evasion in order to ensure that public reporting on this doesn’t in any way jeopardize the talks or harden congressional resolve,” executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Mark Dubowitz told Bloomberg Business. “The Obama administration has bent over backwards to try and whitewash Iranian violations both on the nuclear side and also on the sanction-busting side.”
A possibility raised in an AP piece this afternoon is that the White House has put itself in a position where it has no choice but to look the other way. As Matt Lee and Bradley Klapper report, it will be very difficult for the White House to disentangle the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran from other sanctions, like those related to terrorism, or ballistic missile research…
Counter to the White House’s demurrals, eliminating the non-nuclear related sanctions would provide an enormous windfall for the clerical regime in Tehran and its regional allies, including Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite terrorist groups with American blood on their hands.
Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 8:14 AM | Stand For Israel
The Holocaust was the darkest moment in the history of the Jewish people, but the killing of Jews during World War II did not occur only in the ghettos and death camps of Europe. Writing at Arutz Sheva, Edwin Black tells of another horror experienced by the Jewish people – when Nazism and Arab nationalism resulted in the Farhud massacre of 1941:
“Violent dispossession.” In an Arabic dialect, the word is Farhud. For decades after it occurred, many thought the nightmare was a sudden and unexpected convulsion that afflicted the Iraqi Jewish community, one that lived in that land for some 2,600 years. But in truth, the wild rape and killing spree of June 1–2, 1941 was not unexpected. For years, the Jew hatred, anti-British rage, and Nazi agitation seethed just below the surface, like a smoking volcano waiting to erupt.
Soon after Hitler took power in 1933, Germany’s chargé d’affaires in Baghdad, German Arab specialist Fritz Grobba, acquired the Christian Iraqi newspaper, Al-Alem Al Arabi, converting it into a Nazi organ that published an Arabic translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf in installments. Then, Radio Berlin began beaming Arabic programs across the Middle East. The Nazi ideology of Jewish conspiracy and international manipulation was widely adopted in Iraqi society, especially within the framework of the Palestine problem that dominated Iraqi politics.
As Arab Nationalism and Hitlerism fused, numerous Nazi-style youth clubs began springing up in Iraq. One pivotal group known as Futuwwa was nothing less than a clone of the Hitler Youth. In 1938, Futuwwa members were required to attend a candlelight Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. When the delegation came back from Germany, a common chant in Arabic was, “Long live Hitler, the killer of insects and Jews.”
By the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and a coterie of transnational Palestinian agitators, had thoroughly permeated Baghdad’s ruling circles. For example, Taha al-Hashimi, Iraqi Chief of Staff, doubled…Read More » Comments (12) »
Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 8:09 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the annual Herzliya Conference, stating that if peace is to be reached, the Palestinians must be demilitarized and also must recognize Israel. Watch his speech above.
Netanyahu’s vision of a peace agreement with the Palestinians includes continued Israeli security control in Judea and Samaria.
“These are not whims, these are not pretexts, excuses, arguments,” Netanyahu said. “This is real. How do you prevent tunnels from being dug from Qalqilya to Kfar Saba? … Who will go into Qalqilya and stop it? Who will prevent the smuggling of weapons?”
“Today, the problem in Gaza is not the smuggling of weapons,” Netanyahu said. “There isn’t much of that. The problem is self-production [of weapons] in Gaza. … This doesn’t happen in Ramallah, because, ultimately, Israeli security forces are the…Comments (4) »
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Stand For Israel
We finish our six-day commemoration of the 1967 Six-Day War with memories of Israelis approaching the Western Wall once Jerusalem was once again Israel’s. An IDF paratrooper and a veteran Zionist recall the joy felt upon entering the Holy City for the first time:
“We ran there, a group of panting soldiers, lost on the plaza of the Temple Mount, searching for a giant stone wall. We did not stop to look at the Mosque of Omar even though this was the first time we had seen it close up. Forward! Forward! Hurriedly, we pushed our way through the Magreb Gate and suddenly we stopped, thunderstruck. There it was before our eyes! Gray and massive, silent and restrained. The Western Wall!
“Slowly, slowly I began to approach the Wall in fear and trembling like a pious cantor going to the lectern to lead the prayers. I approached it as the messenger of my father and my grandfather, of my great-grandfather and of all the generations in all the exiles who had never merited seeing it – and so they had sent me to represent them. Somebody recited the festive blessing: “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who has kept us alive, and maintained us and brought us to this time.” But I could not answer “Amen.” I put my hand on the stones and the tears that started to flow were not my tears. They were the tears of all Israel, tears of hope and prayer, tears of Chasidic tunes, tears of Jewish dances, tears which scorched and burned the heavy gray stone.”
– Moshe Amirav, IDF paratrooper
“Narrow alleys, filthy passageways, garbage at the entrances of shuttered shops, the stench of dead legionnaires – but we paid no attention. Our eyes were fixed on the golden dome which could be seen from a distance. There, more or less, it had to be! We marched faster to keep up with the beating of our hearts. We were…Read More » Comments (15) »
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday, Stand for Israel reported on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against allowing those Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace. Summoning the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, Israel Hayom’s Nadav Shragai writes that Israel and her supporters must unite for Jerusalem:
Yiddish speech is peppered with the phrase “Hat er gazant.” David Ben-Gurion tended to use it, and later translated it into a somewhat weaker Hebrew version: “So, he said it!”
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that American citizens who are born in Jerusalem cannot have Israel listed as their country of birth on their U.S. passports. We can and should revisit our birthright to Jerusalem; the historic Palestinian fraud; the hypocrisy of U.S. President Barack Obama (whose policy the Supreme Court upheld). We can prove that the ruling is ridiculous, but it looks like the most appropriate response in this case is actually the sarcastic, “So, he said it!”
Because Jerusalem is one of the cases in which the State of Israel has an obligation to do what is good for the Jews and think less about what the goyim say. To be committed to the dream and try a little harder to make it come true, and care less about the reality…
This is the vision that guided the State of Israel to stand up against the entire world to unite Jerusalem. Let the boycotters make threats, and the judges hand down worthless rulings — we will do our part and answer them once and for all in the words of Ben-Gurion: “Hat er gezant.”
Because Jerusalem is a special case, and we won’t let the diplomatic reality — however difficult — confuse us.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at 8:21 AM | Stand For Israel
On our next-to-last day of bringing you Israelis’ memories from the 1967 Six-Day War, we look at letters written by Rona Hart, the woman whose remembrances we also shared yesterday. In these letters, Ms. Hart details the dread felt by Israelis, as well as their hopes and triumphs:
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June 5th 1967
“Well, hostilities commenced today, and I don’t know how long this will take to get to England, if at all, but I hope so.
“…I already feel as if the war has been on for ever. The radio is playing “Shalom Aleichem”  Huh! So far I have felt calm, even with the bombing of Netanya which you will have heard of, and which we heard too.
“Maybe the UN will succeed in stopping it. I feel as if the Jews get bashed about in every generation and if this happens to be our turn then G-d help us! I hope He does… you should have seen the older members of the kibbutz. I wondered what they were remembering – getting out of Germany & working on the land here for over 20 years. My biggest worry is that you are worrying. This is how it is, these things happen, we just have to do the best under the circumstances…
June 6th 1967
“We just had the news that the Old City is in our hands! You should see the rejoicing – the radio is playing songs about Jerusalem.
“There is thankfulness, unbelief, and joy – tinged as it is with sorrow and worry…
“I hope there will be peace soon.”
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at 8:09 AM | Stand For Israel