“See I will
bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the
earth… (Jeremiah 31:8)
This seems to be happening now before our very eyes, for the Jews are returning to their land and are filling it up very rapidly.
“ISRAEL AT 60: Living in Israel in the 21st century, one might wonder what Theodor Herzl would think of this modern-day state. The malarial swamps of pre-state Palestine have been replaced by rapidly growing cities with glitzy shopping districts, carefully landscaped parks, and six-lane highways that run between high-rise office buildings and limestone apartment complexes. The nation whose birth defied the odds in a war of independence against invading Arab armies to the north, east, and south has become a regional military superpower. In all likelihood, Zionism’s founder would not even recognize the place.”
(By Uriel Heilman, B’nai B’rith Magazine, Spring 2008)
“ISRAEL is turning 60 this year. What are her accomplishments and what issues, both political and social, does she face in the next 60 years?
“Well, Israel is an unbelievable, unparalleled success story. You look at the accomplishments in the past 60 years, and you cannot find any example similar: after 2,000 years, having to take in close to 6 million Jews from more than 100 countries [and] build a modern society, a vibrant society; being able to create and develop a very vibrant democracy, in an area where this is a great rarity, under very difficult conditions, with being at war imposed on us; [developing] an economy that is growing fantastically; and a young generation [developing] innovations, which is, again, remarkable ─ maybe, again, unparalleled ─ if you compare it to the size of Israel and the challenges that Israel has to face. If you look at every high-tech development in the world, you are quite likely to find an Israeli innovation in it.
“Also, Israel is a Western society that is maintaining a significant, positive growth rate, which I hope is a reflection of optimism, and a social system, that allows Israel to be, at the same time, more advanced [and] self-fulfilling without compromising various needs of family and children. So altogether, I think that anybody who is giving it an objective look ─ and not like mine ─ will tell you that this is almost a miracle.”
(By Sallai Meridor, B’nai Brith Magazine, Spring 2008)
“WOULD JESUS WANT TO CONVERT THE JEWS? But rather than merely lamenting this new effort by Christians to proselytize Jews, I believe that we might see it as an opportunity. Time magazine recently identified the new effort by scholars to re-Judaize Jesus as one of the 10 most important new ideas in the world.
“Using public forums to teach our Christian brothers and sisters of the essential Jewish nature of Jesus and his teachings is vital to a renewed relationship.
“Jesus was a Pharisaic rabbi. Everything he taught and lived was based on the Torah and the Talmud. From the proclamation that ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’ (Matt. 5:5) which comes from Psalm 37, to the famous Golden Rule of ‘Do unto others what you would they do to you,’ which derives from Leviticus 19, to his statement that Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, whose origin is the Talmud. Yoma threads of tradition were being unraveled due to the oppressive hand of the occupying Roman beast.”
(The Jerusalem Post, April 4-10, 2008)
Comment: John 4:22 says, “Salvation is of the Jews.” The New Covenant will be made with the Jews (Jer. 31:31-33) so all Gentiles will have to become Jews if they receive the blessings of the New Covenant. Also, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world, and all will be citizens of that world-wide Jewish country. “Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob: and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion [the true church, Head and Body] shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3)
“ISRAEL ─ UNIQUE AMONG THE NATIONS:
(1) Israel is home to the lowest point on earth in the DEAD SEA.
(2) Israel’s SHRINE OF THE BOOK Museum in Jerusalem houses the oldest Jewish manuscripts in the world.
(3) Israel has more Museums per square capita than anywhere in the world.
(4) Israel boasts over 500 different bird species and is a major stop for many birds’ migrations.
(5) Tel Aviv has one of the finest examples of Bauhaus Architecture in the world and is now a United Nations World Heritage site.
(6) Israel’s population comes from 120 Different Countries.
(7) In Israel, you hear the only spoken language that was RESURRECTED AFTER 2,000 YEARS.”
“THEODOR HERZL (founder of modern political Zionism): ‘Were I to sum it up the Basel Congress [First Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897] in a word…it would be this: ‘At Basel, I founded the Jewish State.’ If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in 5 years, certainly in 50, everyone will know it.”
“GOLDA MIER (Israel’s fourth prime minister (1969-74): ‘Peace will come when they love their children more than they hate us. Zionism and pessimism are not compatible.’”
(The above 3 items are from Bridges of Peace, April 2008)
“NEW YORK: The anti-Defamation League said on April 4 that the Vatican had not done enough to allay its concerns about the introduction of a Latin prayer calling for the conversion of Jews.
Abraham Foxman, the league’s national director, echoed earlier comments from Jewish leaders, who in March criticized the pope for his refusal to abolish the prayer in the Latin mass on Good Friday ─ the day that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus.”
(Jerusalem Report Staff, April 28, 2008)
“HATE TAX: A British taxpayers group claims that millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being spent to fund anti-Semitism in the Palestinian territories. A report issued in January by the ‘Taxpayers Alliance’ alleges that funding donated to the Palestinian Authority is being used to teach children anti-Israel and extremist propaganda.
“The report, entitled ‘Funding Hate Education,’ says Britain gave 47.5 million pounds in aid last year to the Palestinian Authority. According to the Alliance, a right-of-center group dedicated to lowering British taxes, Palestinian leaders are using these monies to produce textbooks calling for death to Jews among other violent messages.”
“FRANCO-ISRAELI FRIENDSHIP: French Jews are basking in the warmth of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s unprecedented words of friendship in late March. In remarks to an umbrella organization of 1,000 French Jewish leaders and citizens, the new president whose maternal family is of Jewish origins underscored the importance of Jewish life to the republic.
“This month, Sarkozy is scheduled to follow up with a visit to Israel, having promised a new era of open and friendly relations between the two countries. In recent times French Jewry has been shaken by a precipitous surge in anti-Semitic incidents.”
“GERMAN-ISRAELI TIES: Germany and Israel may disagree on several issues ─ such as dealing with Iran ─ but if recent meetings are indicative, they are forging strong and lasting ties. The two nations held joint cabinet meetings in February and say they are amenable to making the meetings an annual tradition.
“As a follow up, German Chancellor Andrea Merkel and her ministers visited Israel in March to consider programs of scientific and student exchange. Noted one expert on German-Israeli relations, the two nations have put the guilt and sensitivities of the Holocaust behind them.”
“SINATRA’S AID TO ISRAEL: Frank Sinatra was said to have played a part in smuggling guns to Israel in 1948, according to Brian Greenspun, son of Las Vegas entrepreneur Hank Greenspun, who admittedly helped back the illegal enterprise.”
“HEBREW AID HOAX: The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society refuted a report circulating on the internet that its clients got higher social security benefits than other Americans. A spurious email sent to media editors claimed that some Americans were only entitled to benefits of $791 a month whereas refuges could get $1,890 a month
“HIAS scrambled into corrective mode, advising editors that most aged refuges and asylum seekers receive a one time $425 grant and a monthly entitlement of only $637. Snopes.com was able to corroborate the Society’s corrections noting that the original email was indeed a hoax.” (The above 5 items are from World Jewry, May 2008)
“RICE: NO PEACE DEAL THIS YEAR: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL ─ The Bush administration conceded Thursday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by a year-end deadline is no longer possible. ‘We do not think it is likely it will happen before the end of the year,’ White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged as much as she arrived in Israel at the outset of a Mideast trip meant to secure the modest gains from a year of U.S.-sponsored talks between Israel and one part of the fractured Palestinian leadership.” (From Global News Services, November 7, 2008)
“MOBILE MEDICAL IMAGING: Hebrew University breakthrough uses cell phones to send medical images, enabling remote areas to access important health services. The device can be made with off-the-shelf parts that somebody with basic technical training can operate.”
(The International Jerusalem Post, May 9-15, 2008)
“PEACE WILL BE ISRAEL’S BEST ACHIEVEMENT: In the last 60 years Israel has achieved much. The greatest achievement is still to come, however, and Israel continues to work hard towards it.”
(Israel21c, May 20, 2008)
“THE AUGUST 2008 WAR AND PEACE INDEX: The question asked: When you think of the Middle East, what is the first word that comers to mind?
‘I can’t take it anymore!’
‘God help us.’
‘What the hell are we doing here?’
‘A nutcase region.’
“Professors Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann oversee the ‘War and Peace Index,’ funded by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution of Tel Aviv University. When the monthly report was released, it began: ‘The world of images that the concept ‘Middle East’ arouses in the Israeli Jewish population is mainly negative and includes adverse opinions, perceptions, and emotions.’
“On the positive side of the response, came a strong desire for peace in the region. While peace is an aspiration, 71% said they did not believe Israel will succeed in integrating into the Middle East politically; 52% were negative about future integration economically; and 59% saw no chance of merging culturally even over decades.
“While Israelis want their Jewish culture, they prefer to relate to the West (Europe-United States) in all three areas: politically (63% are interested in integrating with the West versus 28%, who are interested in integrating with the Middle East), economically (74% vs. 18%), and culturally (69% vs. 15%). When analysts crosschecked the surveys taken about a decade ago (February 1995), when Oslo process had just commenced, they found the preference for integration with the West has strengthened. The 2008 report states, ‘It is also worth emphasizing that the tendency to prefer the West is especially pronounced among young people up to age 29, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, third-generation Israelis, and seculars.’
“Those surveyed declared their pro-Western preference without shifting from their unique Jewish identity. In response to a question concerning which of the three cultures ─ Western, Jewish, or Arab ─ one feels closest to, over two-thirds (64%) said they felt closest to the Jewish culture, compared to 31% who felt closest to the Western culture.
“The press release provided by Tel Aviv University contained what I believe is the biggest shock at the end of the report: ‘The findings on the Israeli Arabs’ positions on these questions are particularly thought-provoking… the majority prefers integration with the West (Europe-United States) and not with the Middle East. In the political sphere, 49.5% prefer integration with the West vs. 39% with the Middle East; in business and economy, 63% vs. 39%; and particularly surprising is the preference for the West over the East regarding cultural integration ─ 49.5% vs. 23%... Yet, when asked about their closeness to one of three cultures that were mentioned, an overwhelming majority, 88%, said they felt especially close to the Arab culture…”
(Dispatch From Jerusalem, December 2008)
“THEOLOGICAL RIFT: The central council of Jews in Germany has severed relations with the Catholic Church over the resumption of a controversial prayer. Pope Benedict XVI recently opted to reuse a rare Latin prayer for Good Friday services that exhorts Jews to recognize Jesus Christ as their savior.
“In a reversal of what had been recently good interfaith relations, Jews say there is no place for the proselytizing prayer which could stoke the fires of anti-Semitism. Catholic Clerical leaders say the prayer is not a missionary statement but simply a hope that all peoples can be saved, specifically urging Catholics to ‘pray for all Jews’ to acknowledge Christ for salvation.”
(World Jewry, June 2008)
“IN BRIEF: More than 150 Jewish communities across Europe kept the lights of their local synagogues on overnight on November 9, as the Jewish world marked the 70th anniversary Kristallnacht ─ the Night of Broken Glass. The notorious 1938 Nazi pogrom was the first in a series of violent riots that effectively began Nazi Germany’s attempt to destroy European Jewry. The World Zionist initiative, calling on rabbis and community leaders to turn on all the lights in their synagogues ─ as well as to light candles and torches ─ was meant to commemorate the pogrom in a highly symbolic way, said WZO official Zvika Klein. ‘The Nazi objective was to darken Israel’s eyes and turn off the light of the world, the light of the Torah and prayer that shone out of synagogues and midrashot [centers for Jewish learning]’ read a joint message published by Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog and chief rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar. The idea was to illuminate synagogues on the memorial date was the brainchild of Rabbi Yechiel Wasserman, who heads The Department of Religious Affairs at the WZO.
(The International Jerusalem Post, November 14-20, 2008)
“RUSSIAN PHAMPLETS: JEWS USE CHILDREN’S BLOOD IN MATZOT: Hundreds of anti-Semitic pamphlets were distributed in the Russian city of Novosibirsk warning residents of supposed Jewish practice of kidnapping children to use their blood for Passover matzot [unleavened bread plural]. ‘Beware Russian parents. Keep watch over your children before the coming of April 2008, the Jewish holiday of Passover. These disgusting people still engage in ritual practice to their gods. They kidnap small children and remove some of their blood and use it to prepare their holy food [matzah]. They throw the bodies [of the children] out in garbage dumps,’ the notice read.”
(World Jewish Congress, June 2008)
“SERIAL HATE CRIMES: While multi-cultural South Florida ─ a major American Jewish stronghold and a second home to many Israelis ─ was gearing up for celebrating Israel’s 60th year, hate crimes reared its ugliness. On the third day of Passover, a Chabad Shul on Miami’s South Beach was the apparent target of extremist anti-Semites who not only torched the building but shredded the holy Torah ─ and only seven months after another suspicious and as yet unsolved Miami Synagogue fire.
“Only days before official local celebrations kicked off in May in many communities throughout the region, a Chabad Synagogue in the Fort Lauderdale area town of Parkland became a crime-scene of anti-Jewish graffiti replete with swastikas. While community and national political leaders have called for vigorous investigations, local investigative authorities were joined by the ATF and FBI to follow up on concerns that serial hate crimes including arson might be afoot in the lower sunshine state and to answer the larger question: who in a free and open society would act out such callow deeds.”
(World Jewry, July/August 2008)
“HOMES BEST: 77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than any other country in the world, a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government survey found. It also found that 73% of Jews and 94% of Arabs want Israel to be ‘a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities.’”
(The Jerusalem Report, July 21, 2008)
“UK: ANTI-ISRAEL HOTBED: Britain’s Israeli ambassador says that the UK has become a ‘hotbed’ for radical anti-Israeli expression. Ambassador Ron Prosser says extremists have ‘hijacked’ the debate over Israel, blindly advocating for a one-state solution while the media and public opinion totally ignore terror attacks on Israeli citizens.
“Citing traditional British values of liberal fairness, decency and common sense, the Israeli envoy says it is up to the British public ‘to prevent the radical fringe from monopolizing British-Israeli discourse.” (World Jewry, September 2008)
“SHEKEL GLOBALLY TRADED: Recognized as one of the world’s strongest currencies, the Israeli shekel is now accepted as legal tender internationally. Global Business Service says that Israeli companies can now make payments in shekels to overseas accounts and customers.
“This recent change comes as a result of CLS Bank International, a worldwide currency clearing house, recognizing the strength and stability of the shekel. It can now be tendered in overseas trading, as banks throughout the world participate in the financial system’s ability to handle and convert shekels to other currencies.” (World Jewry, September 2008)
“THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS PROJECT: Israeli antiquities experts say they are in the process of digitally photographing all of the thousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the intention of displaying them on the internet within two years. The historic and painstaking project will enable extremely high resolutions, high clarity photos of the 15,000 fragments making up some 900 separate documents.
“Found in the late 1940s in a cave near Jerusalem, the 2,000 year old scrolls are the record in papyrus and parchments of nearly intact Old Testament and rituals of a sect practicing during the time of Christ. Experts say that every exposure of the elements of the fragile pieces results in some degree of irreversible deterioration.”
(World Jewry, November 2008)
“FROM BARACK TO BARLAT: A Look Back at the November Elections ─ The just concluded Jerusalem election, while certainly not as important on a world stage as last week’s U.S. presidential contest, was in many ways spookily similar in its overseas counterpart.” (Israel21c)