Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

3000 years of Jews in Holy Land of Israel

In an article about a growing tide of African migrants sneaking into Israel, Joel Greenberg, the Washington Post’s Jerusalem correspondent, draws a false parallel between Israelis as a nation of recent refugees seeking to cope with a new wave of refugees from Sudan and Eritrea (“In Israel, flow of migrants poses dilemma — Some fear state’s Jewish character is threatened amid an influx of African refugees” page A8, April 16)

“Their presence,” Greenberg writes, “has created an acute dilemma for Israel, a state founded as a haven for Jewish refugees.” And he adds:”The controversy over the African migrants touches on core questions of Israel’s self-definition as both a Jewish and democratic state — a nation of immigrants created as a shelter for Jews after the Holocaust.”

A nation of immigrants created as a shelter for Jews after the Holocaust?

Greenberg simply has his history wrong by a margin of 3,000 years. The roots of Jewish nationhood go much deeper and cover a far longer historical span than the arrival of Holocaust survivors after World War 2. Jews ruled the Holy Land for a thousand years before the Common Era — with only a brief, half-century exile in Babylon. After the Roman conquest, there was a continuous Jewish presence in Palestine until modern times.

Israel as a post-Holocaust shelter for Jewish refugees? Think again. Jews have rightful claims to the Holy Land as its most indigenous people since David conquered Jerusalem.

A few historical samples that illustrate Israel’s historical ties to the land — not as immigrants, not as refugees, but as permanent local residents:

–In the 6th Century of the Common Era, there were 43 Jewish communities across all parts of the Holy Land

–In the 11th Century, Jews were among the fiercest local fighters in defending Haifa against the Crusaders.

–From 1,267 on, there were an unbroken Jewish presence in Jerusalem until Jordan briefly seized the city in 1948.

–In the 16th Century, Kabbalists flourished in Safed, whose Jewish population grew to 30,000 by the end of that century.

–By mid-19th Century — a hundred years before the Holocaust — Jerusalem was preponderantly Jewish.

When Jewish survivors of the Holocaust arrived in Israel, they were welcomed in Israel by a vibrant local Jewish community whose roots pre-dated the Holocaust by many centuries.

Jews as migrants or refugees in their own land? Greenberg needs a refresher course in Middle East history. Jews aren’t migrants or refugees when they come to settle in Israel. They may be refugees or immigrants elsewhere, but once in Israel, they’ve come home.

Thus, there’s no parallel between African migrants who cross into Israel and Israelis as a supposed post-Holocaust “nation of immigrants.”

If there’s a moral quandary in Israel about what to do with these African migrants, it’s not because both Israelis and Sudanese arrivals can be lumped together as foreign immigrants.

Rather, Israelis — as locals with an indigenous identity of three millennia — are commanded by their Creator to always be mindful, respectful and sensitive to the needs of the “stranger in your midst for you also were strangers when you were slaves in Egypt.”

As usual, the Bible has it right, while Greenberg has it wrong — Jews have been strangers, migrants, refugees not only in Egypt but around the world. Except in one place — the Promised Land. There, they have been and remain fully at home.

No Such Thing as a Palestinian (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Palestine 2.0 a Gun Aimed at Every Jew (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Islamorealism, Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Decision of Truman to Recognize Israel was correct

See on Scoop.itTruth Revealed

The Decision of Truman to Recognize Israel was correct.  A two state solution will be Romney’s to decide, but only if it is the present borders and with Jerusalem fully united as the capital of Israel.  This article explores briefly Truman’s decision to recognize Israel.

See on mondoweiss.net

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama is no friend of Israel

USA declares a united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

Obama has erred. This is the official declaration by this citizen that the United States of America suspends President Obama’s powers to invoke section 7(a) of the Act, and that United States of America declares all of Jerusalem is now and forever the capital of the Medinat Yisra’el (Israel).

Obama Signs Document That Tells Israel Jerusalem Is Not Your Capital

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Suspension of Limitations Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act

Obama signed this on June 3, 2011 – Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45) (the “Act”), I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.

Obama’s stance was proof that neither the U.S. nor the world recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Rudeineh told the agency.

You are hereby authorized and directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, accompanied by a report in accordance with section 7(a) of the Act, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.

This suspension shall take effect after transmission of this determination and report to the Congress.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act Explained

Congress in 1995 passed a law recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stating that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” An inbuilt waiver authority allowed the president to postpone the move, in the interests of “national security,” for consecutive six-monthly periods. Reflecting the strong level of support in the U.S. for Israel and for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed 374-37 in the House and 93-5 in the Senate.

President Clinton was not enthusiastic about the legislation, which he warned “could hinder the peace process.” He allowed it to become law, but without his signature.

Should the Jerusalem embassy not be opened by May 31, 1999, the law stated, the State Department would be barred from spending 50 percent of the funds allocated to buy and maintain official properties abroad during that fiscal year. The due date came and went, and then on June 17 Clinton issued the first “Suspension of Limitations Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act” notice.

President Bush continued the policy every six months, to the continuing frustration of pro-Israel lawmakers who argued that the intent of Congress was for the waiver would only be justified in the case of a genuine security threat. A striking difference between Obama’s waiver notifications and those of President Bush is that in Bush’s case, he inserted into the legal jargon a sentence stating, “My Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem.” The phrase appeared in all 16 Bush waiver notifications.

Obama’s stance was proof that neither the U.S. nor the world recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Rudeineh told the agency.

“The world has made it clear that East Jerusalem has been occupied since 1967 and that it is the capital of the State of Palestine in the framework of the two-state solution.”

Israel insists that Jerusalem is its “eternal, indivisible” capital, a claim it says dates back some 3,000 years, to the reign of the biblical King David from the city. Historians note that while Jerusalem was fallen under the control of many empires and powers, no nation other than the Jews ever declared it its capital.

The Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

“Jerusalem is the crux of the question of Palestine and the key to war and peace in the region,” the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission to the United Nations declares on its Web site.”

Original Article Here

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Pending Classification | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Jerusalem Teddy Bear | Accessories | israeli-T.com

Jerusalem Teddy Bear | Accessories | israeli-T.com

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel forever. Let this bear witness to the eternal flame of hope for God’s people.

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, World Affairs | , , , , | 3 Comments

Song of Solomon 5:16

Song of Solomon 5:16

But perhaps the best example to illustrate the difficulty in exchanging one word for another is found in the Song of Solomon, chapter 5, verse 16. In this passage Muslims claim that the Hebrew word machmad (“altogether lovely”) can be translated “praise” or “Ahmad.” Following is the text of the passage as translated in the Bible (NIV):

 

Song of Solomon 5:16: “His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Song of Solomon is a poetic love story between the Beloved and her Lover. It is a piece that explores the beauty of a marriage relationship between a king and his wife.

Muslims believe that the adjectival clause “altogether lovely” can be changed to a proper noun, “Muhammad.” The text, they state, should then read, when translated into English:

 

“His mouth is sweetness itself; he is Muhammad. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

This rendering, however, begs a number of difficult questions according to the context of the entire book.

 

  1. Who are the daughters of Jerusalem? Did Muhammad ever court one of his many wives in Jerusalem? 
  2. If this is Muhammad, which of his wives is speaking? Was Muhammad ever married to a dark woman he wooed from Lebanon? 
  3. Did Muhammad ever claim kingship? 

What, then, is this prophecy saying? The stressed words in the text above are the English renderings of the Hebrew word, machmad. Strong’s concordance defines machmad as: desire, desirable thing, a pleasant thing.

So, can machmad signify Muhammad? Wise men allow that when one verse is in doubt it is justified to explain one passage of the Bible by another. The word machmad appears another twelve times in the Old Testament. Since Muslims are so intent on finding the Arabic name of Muhammad in the Hebrew word machmad, it is important that they remain consistent. Therefore, we have printed three of the twelve prophetic verses below and leave it to you to ascertain whether they fit. (Note: we have been consistent in now translating this word as the long-neglected “proper noun” which Muslims claim it to be.)

 

  1. 1 Kings 20:6
    “Yet I will send my servants to thee tomorrow about this time, and they shall search thy house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, [that] whatever is Muhammad in thy eyes, they shall take [it] in their hand, and carry [it] away.” 
  2. Lamentations 1:11
    “All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their Muhammad things for food to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile.” 
  3. Ezekiel 24:21
    “Speak to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellence of your strength, the Muhammad of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.”

If this mutilation of Scripture seems to you ridiculous, it is meant to be as it shows the quality of the theory behind such an idea. But don’t just take our word for it. Look up the other nine references which employ machmad and see for yourself whether Muhammad would fit. They are: 2 Chronicles 36:19, Isaiah 64:11, Lamentations 1:10, Lamentations 2:4, Ezekiel 24:16, Ezekiel 24:25, Hosea 9:6, Hosea 9:16 and Joel 3:5.

When taken to its logical conclusion it makes a mockery of Hebrew grammar. Why should an adjectival clause be translated a proper noun? Machmad already has a proper noun counterpart, ‘Chemdan’ (or ‘Hemdan’, the eldest son of Dishon of Anah the Horite). If machmad should have been written as a proper noun the author would have written Chemdan.

Bible

August 13, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Christian Communities of Israel

The Christian Communities of Israel


The Orthodox Churches
The Non-Chalcedonian Churches
The Latin and Uniate Churches
The Protestant Churches
Freedom of Religion
Holy Places
Communal Autonomy
“Recognized” Communities

The history of the Christian communities in the Land of Israel begins with the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. After his death the early Apostolic Church, at least that in and around Jerusalem, remained Judeo-Christian until the rebuilding of Jerusalem (c. 130 CE) by Hadrian as the Roman city of Aelia Capitolina. Since this date the local Church has been entirely gentile in composition. It was also one and undivided, until the early Ecumenical Councils. By the time of the Muslim conquest the Church in the East was already subdivided into various sects, although they seem to have continued to share in the use of the Holy Places. It was only with the Crusader Kingdoms, and the paramountcy (praedominium) enjoyed by the (Latin) Church of the West, that contention arose regarding the Holy Places and continued unabated through the Mamluk and Ottoman periods until the declaration of the Status Quo in 1852.

Of the 6.5 million people living in Israel today (September 2001), Christians constitute 136,000 or 2.1% of the population (Muslims constitute 15.2%, Druze – 1.6%). This data does not include the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where no census has been conducted since 1967. At that time, the Christian population of these areas was roughly estimated at 33,000. (The data given below is based on estimates provided by the different communities, with reference to their areas of jurisdiction, which may include Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jordan and other neighboring countries). It may be noted, however, that the Christian population in Israel has increased, while in Judea, Samaria and Gaza the number of Christians has decreased.

The communities may be divided into four basic categories – Orthodox, Non-Chalcedonian (Monophysite), Catholic (Latin and Uniate) and Protestant – consisting of some 20 ancient and indigenous churches, and another 30, primarily Protestant, denominational groups. Except for national churches, such as the Armenian, the indigenous communities are predominantly Arabic-speaking; most of them, very likely, descendants of the early Christian communities of the Byzantine period.

The Orthodox Churches

The Orthodox Church (also termed Eastern or Greek-Orthodox Church) consists of a family of Churches all of which acknowledge the honorary primacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Historically, this Church developed from the Churches of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate considers itself to be the Mother Church of Jerusalem, to whose bishop patriarchal dignity was granted by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Since 1054 it has been in schism with Rome. However, in 1964 a historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras, was held in Jerusalem.

After 1099 and the Crusader conquest, the (Orthodox) patriarchate of Jerusalem, already in exile, was removed to Constantinople. Permanent residence in Jerusalem was not reestablished until 1845.

Since 1662, direction of Orthodox interests in the Holy Land has rested with the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, which has sought to safeguard the status of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Places, and to preserve the Hellenistic character of the Patriarchate.

The parishes are predominantly Arabic-speaking, and are served by Arab married priests as well as by members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher. The community numbers about 120,000 in Jerusalem, the Galilee, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Two other historic Orthodox national churches also have representation in the country: the Russian and the Rumanian. Being in communion with the Greek Orthodox Church, they are under the local jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

The Russian Orthodox mission was established in Jerusalem in 1858, but Russian Christians had begun visiting the Holy Land in the 11th century, only a few years after the Conversion of Kiev. Such visits continued over the next 900 years, eventually growing into the great annual pilgrimages of the late 19th century, which continued until World War I, and ended with the Russian Revolution.

Since 1949, title to Russian church properties in what was by then the territory of Israel has been held by the Russian Orthodox Mission (Patriarchate of Moscow); title to properties in areas then under Jordanian control remains with the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission representing the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile. The two missions are each led by an archimandrite, who is assisted by a number of monks and nuns.

A mission representing the Rumanian Orthodox Church was established in 1935. It is led by an archimandrite and consists of a small community of monks and nuns resident in Jerusalem.

The Non-Chalcedonian Churches

The Non-Chalcedonian churches are churches of the East – Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian and Syrian – that rejected the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon (451) on the double (divine and human) nature of Christ. The non-Chalcedonian churches hold the Monophysite doctrine that in Christ there was but a single, divine nature.

The Armenian Orthodox Church dates from the year 301 and the conversion of Armenia, the first nation to embrace Christianity. An Armenian religious community has been present in Jerusalem since the 5th century. Armenian sources date the first Patriarchate to a charter given by the Caliph Omar to Patriarch Abraham in the year 638. The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem was established in 1311.

Throughout the 19th century and during and immediately after World War I, the local Armenian community grew with the absorption of survivors of the Anatolian massacres, particularly those of 1915. Before 1939 the community numbered more than 15,000, and was the third largest Christian group. Today, the community numbers about 4,000 – in Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and Bethlehem.

The Coptic Orthodox Church has its roots in Egypt, where most of the population became Christian during the first centuries. They claim to have arrived in Jerusalem with St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. This church had an early influence on the development of desert monasticism in the wilderness of Judea. The community flourished during the Mamluk period (1250-1517), and again with Mohammed Ali in 1830. Since the 13th century the (Coptic) Patriarch of Alexandria has been represented in Jerusalem by a resident archbishop. The community numbers just over 1,000 members-in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has had a community in Jerusalem since at least the Middle Ages. Early Church historians mention Ethiopian pilgrims in the Holy Land as early as the 4th century. What is certain is that during the centuries that followed the Ethiopian Church enjoyed important rights in the Holy Places, but lost most of them during the Turkish period, prior to the declaration of the Status Quo.

Today the Ethiopian Church in Israel is a small community led by an archbishop and consisting mostly of a few dozen monks and nuns (although the lay community is growing), living in the Old City and around the Ethiopian Church in West Jerusalem. Since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Ethiopia pilgrimage has increased – with almost 1,000 Ethiopian pilgrims participating in Holy Week observances in 1995.

The Syrian Orthodox Church is a successor to the ancient Church of Antioch, and one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East. Among its traditions is the continued use of the Syriac language (Western Aramaic) in the liturgy and prayers. They are also known as Jacobites (after Jacob Baradaeus, who organized the Church in the 6th century). Their patriarch is resident in Damascus. There have been Syrian Orthodox bishops in Jerusalem since 793; permanently, since 1471. Today the local Church is headed by a bishop, who resides in Jerusalem at the 7th century monastery of St. Mark. The community numbers about 2,000, most of whom live in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

The Apostolic Church of the East (sometimes erroneously called Nestorians), originating from the border area between Turkey, Iran and Iraq, follows the liturgy and prayers in the Syriac language (East Aramaic). Since 1917, its patriarch resides in Chicago and Kerala (India). The church’s presence in Jerusalem was established in the 5th century. Today it is represented by an archbishop.

The Latin and Uniate Churches

Whatever the relations between Rome and Constantinople, there was no attempt to establish a Western Church in the Holy Land independent of the Orthodox Patriarchate until the Crusader period, during which a Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem was in existence from 1099 till 1291. The office was again constituted in 1847. Until then, responsibility for the local church rested with the Franciscan Order, which served as Custodian of Latin holy places since the 14th century.

Today the Latin Church of Jerusalem is headed by a patriarch, assisted by three vicars (resident in Nazareth, Amman and Cyprus). The community in Israel numbers about 20,000 (with another 10,000 in the West Bank and Gaza).

The Maronite Church is a Christian community of Syrian origin, most of whose members live in Lebanon. The Maronite Church has been in formal communion with the Roman Catholic Church since 1182, and is the only Eastern church which is entirely Catholic. As a Uniate body (an Eastern Church in communion with Rome, which yet retains its respective language, rites and canon law) they possess their own liturgy, which is in essence an Antiochene rite in the Syriac language.

The Maronite community in Israel numbers about 6,700, most of whom live in the Galilee. The Maronite Patriarchal Vicariate in Jerusalem dates from 1895.

The Greek Melkite Catholic Church came into being in 1724, the result of a schism in the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. (The term ‘Melkite’ dates from the 4th century and refers to those local Christians who accepted the Definition of Faith of the Council of Chalcedon and remained in communion with the “Imperial” see of Constantinople.)

A Greek Catholic archdiocese was established in the Galilee in 1752. Twenty years later, Greek Catholics of Jerusalem were placed under the jurisdiction of the Melkite patriarch of Antioch, who is represented in Jerusalem by a patriarchal vicar. The present population of the Greek Catholic diocese of Galilee is about 50,000; the diocese of Jerusalem, about 3,000.

The Syrian Catholic Church, a uniate breakaway from the monophysite Syrian Orthodox church, has been in communion with Rome since 1663. The Syrian Catholics have their own patriarch (resident in Beirut), and since 1890, a patriarchal vicar in Jerusalem has served as spiritual leader of the small local community there and in Bethlehem, which totals about 350. In July 1985, the community consecrated the new patriarchal church in Jerusalem dedicated to St. Thomas, apostle to the peoples of Syria and India.

The Armenian Catholic Church separated from the Armenian Orthodox Church in 1741, though previously an Armenian community in Cilicia (in southern Anatolia) had been in contact with Rome since the Crusader period.

The Armenian Catholic patriarch is resident in Beirut because at the time, Ottoman authorities forbade residency in Constantinople. A patriarchal vicariate was established in Jerusalem in 1842. The Armenian Catholic community in the Holy Land numbers about 900 members, living in Jerusalem, Bethany, Ramallah, Haifa and Gaza. Though in union with Rome, the church has good relations with the Armenian Orthodox Church, and both cooperate for the benefit of the community as a whole.

The Coptic Catholic Church has been in union with Rome since 1741, but only in 1955 did the uniate Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria appoint a patriarchal vicar to Jerusalem, where the community today numbers about 35.

The Chaldean Catholic Church is a uniate descendant of the ancient Nestorian (Assyrian) church. Its members still preserve the use of Syriac as their liturgical language. It was established in 1551, and its patriarch is resident in Baghdad. The community in the Holy Land numbers no more than a few families; even so, the Chaldean Catholic Church retains the status of a ‘recognized’ religious community. Since 1903, the Chaldeans have been represented in Jerusalem by a non-resident patriarchal vicar. Of major significance for the Catholic Churches in the Holy Land, was the signing, on the 30th of December 1993, of a Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel which lead to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between them a few months later.

The Protestant Churches

The Protestant communities in the Middle East only date from the early 19th century and the Western missionary ‘re-discovery’ of the Holy Land. The intention of these missions was to evangelize the majority Muslim and Jewish communities, but their only success was in attracting Arabic-speaking Orthodox faithful.

The Jerusalem Bishopric of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East (Anglican) was founded in 1841 and became an Archbishopric in 1957. In January 1976 significant changes were made to mark the end of the Archbishopric and the creation of a new Diocese and Province in Jerusalem and the Middle East, with the election and consecration of the first Arab bishop. There are some 4,500 Anglicans in the Diocese (2,500-3,000 in Israel), making it the largest Protestant community in the Holy Land. The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem has his seat in the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr in Jerusalem.

The roots of the Lutheran Church in the Holy Land date back to 1841, when the Queen of England and the Prussian king decided to establish a joint Protestant Bishopric in Jerusalem. In 1886, the English and the German parts separated. The German congregation attracted increasingly Arabic-speaking people. Since 1979, the Arabic-speaking congregations have their own bishop and both churches exist independently of each other on the premises of the Propstei on Muristan Road in the Old City. The Arabic community numbers about 500, and the German – about 200.

German Lutheran property, which had been confiscated by the British in 1939, was purchased by the government of Israel in 1951 as part of the reparations agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1982, the Norwegian Mission to Israel transferred authority and administration of its two mission churches in Haifa and Jaffa to the responsibility of the local congregations.

The Baptist Church in the Holy Land began with the formation of a congregation in Nazareth in 1911. Today the Association of Baptist Churches has a total of ten churches and centers in the following places: Acre, Cana, Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Kfar-Yassif, Nazareth, Petah-Tikvah, Rama and Tur’an. The community numbers about 900, the majority of whom are Arabic-speaking.

The Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) sent out its first mission to the Galilee in 1840, and for the next 100 years was actively engaged in the fields of education and medicine. Today a small, mostly expatriate community, serving pilgrims and visitors, the Church of Scotland maintains a church and hospice in both Jerusalem and Tiberias. The independent Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society maintains a teaching hospital for nurses in Nazareth.

The Church of God (Pentecostal) has a small community in Jerusalem, Nazareth and the West bank (about 200 in all), with an International Center on the Mount of Olives.

Three Protestant communal agricultural settlements have been established in different parts of Israel in recent years. Kfar Habaptistim, north of Petah Tikvah, was founded in 1955, and besides farming provides conference and summer-camp facilities for the Baptist and other Protestant communities in the country. Nes Amim, near Nahariya, was founded by a group of Dutch and German Protestants in 1963, as an international center for the promotion of Christian understanding of Israel. Just west of Jerusalem, Yad Hashmonah, founded in 1971, operates a guest-house for Christian visitors and pilgrims from Finland.

In addition to those already mentioned, there are any number of other, numerically small, Protestant denominational groups present in Israel.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) established a small community in Haifa in 1886, and in Jerusalem in 1972. The membership of the church today numbers almost 200, with an additional 170 students of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies – a branch of Brigham Young University of Provo, Utah (USA).

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was founded in 1980, to demonstrate worldwide Christian support for Israel and for Jerusalem as its eternal capital. It is a center where Christians from all over the world can gain a biblical understanding of the country and of Israel as a modern nation. The ICEJ international network includes offices and representatives in 50 countries worldwide.

Freedom of Religion

The basic attitude of the state toward religious pluralism found expression in the 1948 Declaration of Independence:

The State of Israel . . . will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the Prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture . . . .

The document “expresses the nation’s vision and its credo,” and adherence to these principles has been assured by law. Each religious community is free to exercise its faith, to observe its own holy days and weekly day of rest, and to administer its own internal affairs.

Holy Places

Israel has many sites which are considered holy by the three Monotheistic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Freedom of access and worship is ensured at all of them.

“The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of members of the various religions to the places sacred to them, or their feelings with regard to those places.” (Protection of Holy Places Law, 1967).

Among the holy sites which are of significance to Christianity are the Via Dolorosa, the Room of the Last Supper and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem; the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth; and the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha and Capernaum near Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).

Communal Autonomy

By their own volition, the Christian communities have remained the most autonomous of the various religious communities in the country. In recent years, however, there has been an increasing tendency on the part of the Christian communities to integrate their social welfare, medical and educational institutions into state structures, without in any way compromising their traditional independence.

Though responsible for meeting the ritual needs of all communities, the Ministry of Religious Affairs deliberately refrains from interfering in the religious life of the Christian communities. The Ministry’s Department for Christian Communities serves as a liaison office with the governmental system to which the Christian communities can turn with problems and requests that may arise out of their situation as minorities in the Land. The Ministry also serves as a neutral arbitrator in ensuring the preservation of the established status quo in those holy places where more than one Christian community has rights and privileges.

“Recognized” Communities

Certain Christian denominations have the status of being a ‘recognized’ religious community. For historical reasons dating from Ottoman times, the ecclesiastical courts of such communities are granted jurisdiction in matters of personal status, such as marriage and divorce.

Currently, the “recognized” Christian communities are the Greek Orthodox, the (Melkite) Greek Catholic, the Latin, the Armenian Orthodox, the Syrian Catholic, the Chaldean Catholic, the Maronite, the Syrian Orthodox, the Armenian Catholic, and – since 1970 – the (Anglican) Evangelical Episcopal.

 

July 30, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Luke Chapter 24 Verses 44 and 45

Luke 24:44 Now He said to them, “ These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Luke 24:45 “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures”

June 9, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jerusalem

Oh Jerusalem … Oh Beloved City of Peace.
Oh Jerusalem … Oh Cradle of Civilizations.
Oh Jerusalem … Oh Land of the Prophets.
Oh Jerusalem … Oh Eternal Capital City of Israel!!

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Correct Understanding of Psalm 137 8 and 9

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, March 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy – that taketh and dasheth thy little ones – That is, So oppressive hast thou been to all under thy domination, as to become universally hated and detested; so that those who may have the last hand in thy destruction, and the total extermination of thy inhabitants, shall be reputed happy – shall be celebrated and extolled as those who have rid the world of a curse so grievous.

These prophetic declarations contain no excitement to any person or persons to commit acts of cruelty and barbarity; but are simply declarative of what would take place in the order of the retributive providence and justice of God, and the general opinion that should in consequence be expressed on the subject; therefore praying for the destruction of our enemies is totally out of the question.

It should not be omitted that the Chaldee considers this Psalm a dialogue, which it thus divides: – The three first verses are supposed to have been spoken by the psalmist, By the rivers, etc. The Levites answer from the porch of the temple, in Psalm 137:4, How shall we sing, etc. The voice of the Holy Spirit responds in Psalm 137:5, Psalm 137:6, If I forget thee, etc. Michael, the prince of Jerusalem, answers in Psalm 137:7, Remember, O Lord, etc. Gabriel, the prince of Zion, then addresses the destroyer of the Babylonish nation, in Psalm 137:8, Psalm 137:9, Happy shall be he that rewardeth thee, etc. To slay all when a city was sacked, both male and female, old and young, was a common practice in ancient times.

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Under Fire

Israel Under Fire

No Such Thing as a Palestinian (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Palestine 2.0 a Gun Aimed at Every Jew (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Western Wall – Al-Kotel Al-Ma’aravi (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Paul see Jesus on the Damascus road when he was converted

Did Paul see Jesus on the Damascus road when he was converted?

It was after Jesus ascended to heaven he was glorified (Jn.7:39;12:16; Heb.7:28).
Saul on the road to Damascus for his next capture and elimination of believers saw a light, he heard him speak but he did not see him in his human form he had on earth prior to his glorification.

Acts 9:3-8: “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” And the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.”

Saul had a conversation with the one clothed in glory, He identified himself as Jesus and Saul immediately submits to him. The light focused on Saul and brought fear to him as he was questioned and became conscious of whom it was. While others heard a sound it was not clear to them what was being said, because it was meant for Saul.
Paul (formerly called Saul) tells this story Acts 22:6-11: “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ “So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. “So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Real Palestine IS Israel

The Real Palestine IS the “Land of Israel” is a direct translation of the Hebrew phrase ארץ ישראל (Eretz Yisrael), found in the Five Books of Moses known as the Torah)

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the geographic term “Palestine” was predominantly associated – from biblical times until the 1948 establishment of Israel – with the Jewish people, Jewish history and Jewish geography. It was the crux of Jewish national aspirations, the Jewish homeland.

In 135 A.D., Judea was renamed “Palestina” by the Roman Emperor Hadrian following the suppression of the Jewish uprising, in order to eradicate Jewish nationhood and to uproot the inherent Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel. Similarly, Jerusalem was renamed “Aelia Capitolina,” in honor of Aelius Hadrian and the Roman Capitol, in an attempt to obliterate Jewish association with the spiritual and physical core of Judaism.

Since 1949, and increasingly since 1967, the term “Palestine” has been employed by Israel’s enemies in order to delegitimize the existence of the Jewish state. In April 1950, Judea and Samaria were renamed “the West Bank” by the Jordanian occupation, in order to assert Jordanian rule and expunge Jewish connection to the cradle of Jewish history. Until 1950, all official Ottoman, British and prior records referred to “Judea and Samaria” and not to the “West Bank.”

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“Palestine” is a derivative of the Hebrew term “Plishtim” (invaders), the Biblical name of the Philistines, non-Semites from the Greek islands and from Phoenicia, who migrated in the 12th century B.C.E. to Pleshet, along the Mediterranean. The term “Palestine” was established, in the 5th century B.C., by the Greek historian Herodotus and adopted in 135 A.D. by the Roman Empire in an attempt to erase “Judaea” from human memory.

According to Professor Bernard Lewis, the icon of Middle East historians (International History Review, January, 1980), “the earliest attempts at a territorial definition of the country later known as Palestine are in the Bible.” In its attempts to devastate Jewish national aspirations, the Roman Empire attached Palestine to the province of Syria. In 400 A.D., Palestine was split into Palestina Prima – with its capital in Caesarea – and Palestina Secunda – with its capital in Bethshean, further diminishing the stature of Jerusalem.

Lewis notes that the 7th century Arab conquest of Palestine perpetuated the neglect of Jerusalem, while elevating the status of Lydda, Ramla and Tiberias:

In the early medieval Arabic usage, Filastin [Palestine] and Urdunn [Jordan] were sub-districts forming part of the greater geographical entity known as Syria … Under Roman, Byzantine and Islamic rule, Palestine was politically submerged. It reappeared only under the Crusaders … the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem …

“Under the successors of Saladin, and still more under the Mamluks, the country was redistributed in new territorial units … with its capital in Damascus…. After the Ottoman conquest in 1516-17, the country was divided into Ottoman administrative districts … subject to the authority of the governor-general of Damascus … [The term Palestine] was no longer used by Muslims, for whom it had never meant more than an administrative sub-district and it had been forgotten even in that limited sense …

With the British conquest in 1917-18, Palestine became the official name of a definite territory for the first time since the early Middle Ages…. Palestine at this moment included both banks of the Jordan … On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the U.N. adopted a [non-binding] resolution approving the partition of mandatory Palestine into three components: a Jewish state, an Arab state and an international zone … [The Arab] rejected the partition resolution and went to war to prevent its implementation … The Palestine entity, formally established and defined by Britain, was formally abolished in 1948 with the termination of the Mandate.

The Land of Israel (Palestine) has played a critical role in Jewish history, religion, nationalism, culture, language and personal and communal relationships, compared with the marginal role played by Palestine in Arab and Muslim history. Hence the moral high ground for mandating the establishment of a Jewish state by the 1917 Balfour Declaration (on both sides of the Jordan River) and the 1922 League of Nations’ British Mandate for Palestine (from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean). Article 80 of the U.N. Charter upholds the “Mandate for Palestine” which has not been overruled until today.

The fact that most Arab towns and villages in Judea and Samaria have retained their original Biblical Jewish names highlights Jewish roots in the Land of Israel (Palestine). For example, Bethlehem, Hebron, A-Dura is Biblical Adora’yim, A-Ram is Haramah, Anata is Anatot, Batir is Beitar, Beit-Hur is Beit Horon, Beitin is Bethel, Mukhmas is Mikhmash, Seilun is Shilo, Tequa’ is Teqoah, etc.

These sites are not occupied by the Jewish state. They are the epitome of the Jewish moral high ground and statehood in the Land of Israel, Palestine.

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Christianity / God, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

USA declares a united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

USA declares a united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

December 10, 2011 Posted by | Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, World Affairs | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Problem Is Palestinian Rejectionism

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

Israel

The Problem Is Palestinian Rejectionism

Why the PA Must Recognize a Jewish State

Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed miserably. The reason, write two senior Israeli government officials, is not disagreement over specific issues, such as settlements or Jerusalem, but something much more fundamental: the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

YOSEF KUPERWASSER is Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and former head of the Analysis and Production Division of the Israel Defense ForcesDirectorate of Military Intelligence. SHALOM LIPNER has served in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office since 1990.

Nearly two decades of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed miserably. The key reason for this failure is the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The basic paradigm of the Oslo accords, signed in 1993, held that both the Israelis and the Palestinians were, at long last, prepared to recognize the legitimacy of each other’s national rights and aspirations. With that essential threshold crossed, it was thought, all that would remain was to work out a compromise on core issues: where to draw borders, whether and how to divide Jerusalem, and how to resolve the Palestinian demand that refugees from the 1948 war be allowed to return to Israel.

That, at least, was the theory. Yet over the course of the last 18 years, during which negotiations were conducted along these lines, the rhetoric and actions of the Palestinian leadership have proved that paradigm wrong. The Palestinians have not in fact recognized the legitimacy of the national rights of the Jewish people. Consider, for example, the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate with Israel over the past year, a result, they say, of continued settlement construction in Jerusalem and beyond the 1967 lines. This is a dubious claim given that the Palestinians have never made halting construction a precondition before. And when Israel did freeze settlement building for ten months in 2009–10, the Palestinians still refused to talk, only agreeing to do so at the last moment and even then only to prevent a crisis in their relations with the United States.

CONTINUED HERE:

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136588/yosef-kuperwasser-and-shalom-lipner/the-problem-is-palestinian-rejectionism

October 27, 2011 Posted by | Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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