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From: Dunggate10/16/13 9:37 AM 
To: All  (1 of 4410) 
While the Vatican has denied that The Pope will visit Israel in March they said he does plan to visit soon. 
Although The Pope has expressed his eagerness to visit Israel, that visit may not be as soon as initially expected.  Israel’s Channel 2 News had picked up a report from Italian media which suggested the pontiff was planning a springtime visit, along with his close friend, Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka.  A Vatican spokesman, however, told Israel’s Army Radio on Monday morning that the rumored March visit was not to be.
“The Pope is eager to visit the Holy Land and Israel, but at the moment, we don’t know when exactly that visit will be,” the vatican representative said, leaving the door open for a visit at a possible later date.
According to the earlier report, the Pope had told Skorka, an old personal friend, that it was his lifelong dream to visit Israel, including Bethlehem.
Over the past year, several Israeli leaders visiting the Vatican extended personal invitations to the pontiff, with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein last week offering to personally host him.  To each Pope Francis responded enthusiastically, telling Edelstein, “I’ll come, I’ll come.”
Both of the last two popes, Benedict XVI and John Paul II, visited the Holy Land during their tenures, in 2000 and 2009, respectively, including visits to the Palestinian territories in Judea and Samaria.

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From: Dunggate10/16/13 9:39 AM 
To: All  (2 of 4410) 
 9959.2 in reply to 9959.1 

"Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. (Genesis 11:7)

Ayman being interviewed on Egyptian television. (Photo: al-Nahar TV/MEMRI TV
If it weren’t for the story of the tower of Babel, perhaps Ayman, a lawyer in Egypt, would never have been arrested.  He was reported in September by the owner of the Internet cafe in which he was sitting.  His offense — learning Hebrew.
The cafe owner claimed he noticed Ayman speaking Italian, French and Hebrew on the phone, and surfing the Mossad website.
Ayman  told Egypt’s al-Nahar TV, in a clip posted and translated by watchdog group MEMRI, that he is “the kind of person who always wants to do unusual things,” and that he hoped the additional language would give him a professional edge.  Few Egyptian lawyers speak Hebrew.  He claims he made the decision to learn the language before the recent round of bloodshed in the country.
During the interview, TV host Riham Saeed asked if Ayman was aware that, according to both the Quran and the New Testament, “America and Israel have devised a global plot to take over the Middle East.”
Ayman had only just begun learning Hebrew when he was arrested, mastering the alphabet and some basic greetings.  “I was on my way to learn the Hebrew language, and Allah willing, I will,” he said.  At the time of his arrest, he only knew three or four sentences.
Ayman believes normalization of relations with Israel is a realistic possibility.  The cafe owner rejected his approach.  If the Egyptian people refused normalization, the individual could not instigate it on his own.
“That’s unacceptable,” the cafe owner said. “He’s got to be a spy.”  The owner also claimed one of the Hebrew messages Ayman received read, “Shalom Ayman, you are the State of Israel’s eternal ambassador in Egypt.”


From: Dunggate10/16/13 9:41 AM 
To: All  (3 of 4410) 
 9959.3 in reply to 9959.2 

"And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with thee (Numbers 11:16)
The new Knesset session kicked off Monday with a large agenda packed with controversial issues looming, according to The Times of Israel. The winter session commenced with speeches on possible intervention with Iran and the chances of peace with the Palestinian Authority.
President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich focused most of their Monday speeches on the diplomatic agenda.
Many believe this will be one of the more dramatic Knesset sessions in recent history with a number of domestic issues set to ignite ferocious debate within and without the parliament walls. The key issues on the Knesset’s domestic agenda could see the ulta-Orthodox public enraged, send Arab lawmakers packing, ease the housing shortages that sent hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets in 2011, and, unthinkably, choose Peres’ successor.
n November, the Knesset is set to vote into law the so-called Better Governance Bill, a collection of reforms to the rules for electing and running the government proposed by Yesh Atid and Yisrael Beytenu. The most dramatic of the bill’s stipulations: doubling the electoral threshold — the number of votes a party must win to be eligible to receive Knesset seats — from two percent to four. That figure may well erase any chance of election for Israel’s far-right and far-left parties, who will have to merge with larger, more centrist blocs if they wish to participate in political life at the national level.
In another upcoming slug-fest, a possible raising of the mandate threshold to be included in the government could have all three Arab parties, the communist Hadash, nationalist Balad and Islamist Ra’am-Ta’al, on the outside of the Knesset looking in. At the end of the last session, Arab MKs staged a protest in the Knesset plenum in which they used their allotted speaking time during the Knesset debate to stand silently at the podium. “You want a Knesset without Arabs,” one railed at coalition MKs.
Proponents of the threshold increase, which was originally proposed by the Labor Party, argue that far from diminishing Arab representation, it would force the narrow ideological parties based in the Arab sector to pursue broader agendas and alliances in order to attract larger audiences. The result would be a political system that favors compromise and unity rather than the current one, which encourages political differentiation and extremism.
The bill has a majority in the Knesset and so looks set to pass into law by next month, though an effort is underway, led by Hatnua party MKs, to make the threshold increase gradual, raising it to 3% during the next Knesset elections and 4% in the one thereafter.
The next four months will also prove vital with regard to the current peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Labor has vowed — most recently in Yachimovich’s Knesset speech on Monday — to support the Likud-led government if it seeks to make a peace deal that will be unpalatable to the more hawkish coalition partners. That offer is an acknowledgement of the difficulty Netanyahu faces in bringing any peace deal to a government that includes senior ministers, especially Jewish Home’s Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who in principle reject any territorial withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
The Knesset will also resume the contentious debate over drafting ultra-Orthodox men into military or national service. The issue played a part in the collapse of the last government, and is central to the election platforms of two major coalition partners, Yesh Atid and Jewish Home. Attempts to rally support for the policy in the Haredi community has been met with violence.
The government is also working on legislation to extend new zoning laws instituted during the last government that makes it easier to initiate construction of new housing.
Come spring, and Shimon Peres’s imminent retirement, the Knesset will also vote for the next president. Potential candidates include former Knesset speaker MK Reuven Rivlin, Labor MK Binyamin Ben Eliezer, former Likud ministers David Levy and Natan Sharansky, and others.


From: Dunggate10/16/13 9:46 AM 
To: All  (4 of 4410) 
 9959.4 in reply to 9959.3 

Coalition Chairman, Yariv Levin, On Upcoming Knesset Session
The upcoming Knesset session promises to be a contentious and significant one.


Egyptian Accused of Spying for Israel 
Egyptian arrested for knowing Hebrew.


Pope Accepts Invitation to Visit Israel 
Israeli President Shimon Peres met Pope Francis at the Vatican, making him one of the first world leaders to visit the pontiff, who took office last month.


From: Dunggate10/16/13 9:48 AM 
To: All  (5 of 4410) 
 9959.5 in reply to 9959.4 

In this Hebrew month of Elul, the “glory” of God is closer to us than at any other time. A Jewish “mashal” (analogy) compares this to...
The voice of God is upon the waters, the God of glory thunders; God is upon vast waters. (Psalms 29:3)
In this Hebrew month of Elul, the “glory” of God is closer to us than at any other time. A Jewish “mashal” (analogy) compares this to a benevolent king who steps out of his palace once a year to visit all of his citizens, making it easier for them to approach.


From: Dunggate10/16/13 10:36 AM 
To: All  (6 of 4410) 
 9959.6 in reply to 9959.5 
Israel’s President Launches Q&A Facebook Application
"Son of man, speak to the children of thy people… (Ezekiel 33:2)

Israeli President Shimon Peres launched a new application on his Facebook page Monday, which will allow him to directly address the questions and concerns of people from around the world, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The app, named “You Ask, President Peres Answers”, will allow anyone to submit questions to the former Prime Minister, with the top queries being answered directly from Peres in writing and even video message.
The new project is aimed at creating a direct link between Peres and people all over the world who are interested in the State of Israel, a statement issued by a spokeswoman for the president said.
Peres launched his Facebook page in March 2012 from Mark Zuckerberg’s personal computer in Silicon Valley, alongside the Facebook founder. Since then, he has maintained an active online presence through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in the project known as “Peres 360” which aims to create transparency and accessibility to the president through social media.
This is not the president’s first foray into social media. His previous efforts include a “one-on-one” conversation application, a voter turn-out project for Israel’s elections, live video streaming and the “Be My Friend For Peace” launch video.


From: Dunggate10/16/13 10:41 AM 
To: All  (7 of 4410) 
 9959.7 in reply to 9959.6 
"Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together; a great company shall they return hither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them; I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way wherein they shall not stumble; for I am become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My first-born. (Jeremiah 31:7-8)
The Israeli Cabinet, with a unanimous vote in the affirmative, approved “Israel Return”’s proposal to bring 899 Bnei Menashe to the Holy Land on Sunday.
The Bnei Menashe are descendants of the tribe of Manasseh, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who were exiled by the Assyrian empire more than 2700 years ago.
By bringing 899 souls to the Jewish State, “Israel Returns” will be more than tripling the number of Bnei Menashe they have brought to Israel in the past year.
“Israel Returns” founder and chairman Michael Freund told Breaking Israel News that they, “plan to bring the first batch of 200 people before the end of the year, followed by 400 people next year and 300 in 2015. This of course is all contingent on funding.”
The cost for all 899 immigrants is a staggering $2.7 million. The Israeli government will likely chip in, but the majority of the money will need to be raised by “Israel Returns”.
“After 2,700 years, the return to Zion of a Lost Tribe of Israel continues,” a joyous Freund added, “may we merit to witness their complete return soon.”



From: Dunggate10/16/13 4:20 PM 
To: All  (8 of 4410) 
 9959.8 in reply to 9959.7 
Posted by: Doni Kandel  October 16, 2013 , 2:05 pm
"And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it. (Deuteronomy 20:12)
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a special session marking 40 years since the Yom Kippur war, at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, on October 15, 2013. (Photo: Flash 90)
At a commemoration for the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War at the Knesset on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a fairly transparent speech that would appear to be a defense for a preemptive strike against Iran, according to The Times of Israel.
In a speech to MKs about the war, in which Israel was surprised by a coordinated Arab invasion on the northern and southern fronts, Netanyahu explained that IDF soldiers who fought in the bitter battles of that war “saved us from paying the price of complacency.”
“In the end we won a great victory, but the lessons of the war have stayed with us these 40 years,” Netanyahu said.
“The first lesson is to never underestimate a threat, never underestimate an enemy, never ignore the signs of danger. We can’t assume the enemy will act in ways that are convenient for us. The enemy can surprise us. Israel will not fall asleep on its watch again,” he vowed.
The second lesson, he added, was that “we can’t surrender the option of a preventive strike. It is not necessary in every situation, and it must be weighed carefully and seriously. But there are situations in which paying heed to the international price of such a step is outweighed by the price in blood we will pay if we absorb a strategic strike that will demand a response later on, and perhaps too late.”
Netanyahu added: “A preventive war, even a preventive strike, is among the most difficult decisions a government can take, because it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it had not acted. But the key difference between the [1967] Six Day War and the [1973] Yom Kippur War lies first of all in the fact that in the Six Day War we launched a preventive strike that broke the chokehold our enemies had placed on us, and on Yom Kippur the government decided, despite all warnings, to absorb the full force of an enemy attack.”
Sources close to the Prime Minister’s Office suggested the Tuesday speech was directed at the Iranian issue.
Netanyahu also offered hints at Israel’s negotiating position in peace talks with the Palestinians.
“The third lesson” of the war, he said, “is the strategic importance of buffer zones. [Israel’s] control of the Golan [Heights] and the Sinai Peninsula [in 1973] prevented an enemy penetration deep into the country” in the first days of the war.
Press reports sourced to leaks from the peace talks with the Palestinians have suggested in recent days that Israel seeks to retain security control over the Jordan Valley as a buffer zone to the east.
And, Netanyahu said, “there is a fourth lesson: Peace is attained from a position of strength. In the Yom Kippur War, despite the enemy’s excellent opening position, they learned they could not best us with weapons. Five years later, [Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat and [prime minister Menachem] Begin signed a peace deal, and later [peace accords were signed] with Jordan.
“Now we are engaged in a serious investment in [making] peace with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu added. “Peace was achieved when our neighbors understood we are powerful and will not disappear.”


From: Dunggate10/16/13 4:23 PM 
To: All  (9 of 4410) 
 9959.9 in reply to 9959.8 
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
Israel’s National Library struck a deal with Italy’s Biblioteca Palatina to digitize one of the world’s largest compilations of Judaic texts. (Photo: Deror_avi/Wikimedia Commons)
Israel’s National Library, located on the campus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, reached an agreement last week to produce high-definition images of one of the world’s premier collections of Judaic manuscripts, according to The Times of Israel. The deal, struck with Italy’s Biblioteca Palatina in Parma had both parties agreeing to convert centuries of parchment and paper Hebrew documents to high-quality digital files which will be available to Israeli scholars. A selection of those files will be uploaded to the Internet for general access.
Dr. Aviad Stollman, head of the National Library’s Judaica collection and overseer of the digitization project, said the library’s aim was to have “the heritage of the Jewish people in one room.” Speaking at the library in early October, Stollman praised the Palatina’s cooperation in the project, and said that the National Library was negotiating similar agreements with Oxford’s Bodleian Library and the Vatican Library.
Sabina Magrini, director of the Palatina Library, explained in a Skype conversation with The Times this week that its collection was significant not only because of the size of its Hebrew manuscript collection, but because it was “very rich and various,” with materials fromboth the Ashkenazi and Sephardi worlds from the 13th to 18th centuries.
Of the Palatina’s collection of 6,600 manuscripts, just shy of a quarter are Hebrew texts, the crown jewel of which is an 11th-century codex of the Mishna, Judaism’s core legal treatise. The Mishna, a compiled redaction of Jewish oral tradition, was first set to parchment in the 7th or 8th century CE. Written around 1073 in Palestine, the Parma codex is the second-oldest known version of this compendium of Jewish legal thought.
The founder of the Hebrew manuscript collection, Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi, an 18th-century Italian Christian Hebraist, “was very interested in the Bible,” said Magrini. “Consequently his interest is reflected in his collection, so there are lots of Bibles, lots of manuscripts about biblical texts.” Five hundred or so of the 1,600 Hebrew manuscripts are biblical, but the remainder are a varied assemblage of biblical exegesis, halacha, Kabbalah, Talmudic texts, piyyutim [liturgical songs], prayerbooks, philosophy and astronomy.
Israel’s desire to amass all of the Jewish texts in one place began with its first prime minister David Ben Gurion. Just like the founding of Israel aimed to ingather scattered Jewish communities, Ben-Gurion envisioned an ingathering of Jewish textual exiles in a single institution. “It is incumbent upon the State of Israel to gather in these far-flung [documents] — the far-flung spirit of Israel in the Diaspora,” Israel’s first prime minister wrote to Kaplan on March 5, 1950.
“I don’t envision the possibility of obtaining and concentrating original manuscripts in Israel,” Ben-Gurion wrote, “but sophisticated photographs by new techniques do not fall short in their practical value from the manuscripts themselves, and that is what we must do immediately, without delay, and with every effort.”  


From: Dunggate10/16/13 4:27 PM 
To: All  (10 of 4410) 
 9959.10 in reply to 9959.9 
Posted by: Michael Freund  October 16, 2013 , 10:08 am
For a country often portrayed as isolated and alone in the international arena, Israel sure does seem to have a lot of thriving friendships.
Indeed, notwithstanding efforts by the media and the Left to paint a picture of the Jewish state as solitary and ostracized, Israel’s popularity appears to be on the upswing.
In just the past two weeks, the Jewish state has hosted the president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, as well as an intergovernmental meeting with the entire Greek cabinet.
Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres visited Holland, where he addressed the Dutch parliament and had an audience with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
And Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin is off to South Korea this week on a diplomatic trip.
This flurry of activity came on the heels of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to the US, where he met with President Barack Obama and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in addition to delivering a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Not bad for lonesome little Israel.
Indeed, in what may be a sign of the times, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor announced earlier this month that the Jewish state has decided for the first time to run for one of the rotating seats on the UN Security Council in 2019-20. Asserting that Israel deserves to have a much-coveted seat at the table, Prosor said, “We’re going all-out to win. It’s about time.”
While that goal might seem overly ambitious, particularly given the UN’s traditional hostility toward Jerusalem, it nonetheless signals a growing sense of confidence about Israel’s standing in the world.
And that confidence is not without reason, as an increasing number of countries look to Israel to boost commercial, cultural and scientific ties in a range of fields.
Serbia, Singapore, Kenya and Colombia are just a few of the nations spanning several continents that have very close ties with Israel and are keen to tighten them still further.
Relations with emerging powers such as India and China have never been better, with intensive and extensive economic, trade and security links forging closer bonds of cooperation.
Other prominent countries, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, are all solidly pro-Israel, defying criticism from the Palestinians and their supporters to cool their relationship with the Jewish state.
Clearly, the myth of Israel’s isolation is little more than a canard, one that is trumpeted by the Left for cynical political reasons.
Depicting Israel as forlorn and all but anathematized by the international community is a convenient way to press their agenda; insisting that if only Israel would capitulate to the demands of the Palestinians, the world would embrace us, and perhaps even like us, too.
But nations act out of their own self-interest and fortunately, Israel has a great deal to offer, in fields ranging from agriculture to biotechnology to hi-tech.
And in a world where economic strength is increasingly based on knowledge and know-how, the Jewish state’s importance is sure to grow.
Believe it or not, but African nations anxious for aid and technology, Asian countries hungry for trade and eastern European governments hankering for innovation have agendas that extend far beyond what might be happening in Ramallah or Gaza.
Obviously, then, Israel is neither a pariah nor a rogue state – we play an active part in the international community.
To be sure, there are critical issues such as the Iranian nuclear program or the future of Judea and Samaria where Israel’s position diverges from that of most countries. And we most certainly do seem to be on the receiving end of far more than our fair share of criticism.
But that is only one part of a much larger, and more nuanced picture, one in which our web of relationships is far more extensive than many of us realize.
The Left wants us to believe that Israel’s foreign affairs rotate solely around the axis of the Palestinian issue, as though that were the totality of our dealings and discussions with other countries.
Well guess what? It isn’t.
Israel is a lot more popular than the Left would have us believe.
Published in The Jerusalem Post  


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