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Investing in the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people

Israel and the UN 2017

By Dr. Theresa Newell
This week saw a flurry of Israel issues surface at the United Nations in New York.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, UNITED WITH ISRAEL group reported the following:
The secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) on Friday rejected a report, authored by UN officials, that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime,” prompting the resignation of the head of the agency that authored it. The resignation was by UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf of Lebanon who has championed anti-Israel rhetoric in the UN. 
The report, compiled by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid: Palestine and the Israeli Occupation,” was produced by Princeton Professor Emeritus Richard Falk, the UN’s former Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and American political scientist Virginia Tilley of Southern Illinois University.
Both have a long history of anti-Israel activism.
The report “concludes, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, and urges swift action to oppose and end it.”
ESCWA is comprised of 18 Arab states.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for the report to be removed from ESCWA’s website.
On Monday March 20, The Times of Israel had reported that the US issued a strongly worded statement accusing the United Nations Human Rights Council of longstanding bias against Israel.
The State Department announced it would boycott the council’s entire Monday discussion about alleged human rights abuses committed by Israel and vote against any resolutions that came from it. Specifically, the United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the existence of the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item Seven. Agenda Item Seven is a permanent fixture requiring the council to discuss three times each year any alleged abuses of human rights committed by Israel against Palestinians.
Addressing the UN on March 1, US Envoy and career diplomat Erin Barclay stated:  “No other nation is the focus of an entire agenda item… The obsession with Israel… is the largest threat to this council’s credibility. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this council. The United States will oppose any effort to delegitimize or isolate Israel.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would reiterate its “strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.” Tillerson wrote that the US was concerned as well about membership in the council of countries accused of human rights violations, such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
When the UNHRC was created out of the discredited UN Human Rights Commission in 2006, then-US president George W. Bush refused to join the new group, believing that it would lack credibility and that, like its predecessor, it would allow human right violators to become members.
In 2009, then-President Barack Obama reversed that decision, hoping to improve the UNHRC.
“With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system,” then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton said at the time.
In the article below, the CMJ UK Director of Communications Charles Gardner brings to light telling comments by Israeli Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, about UN reports accusing Israel of being an “apartheid” state. Mr. Gardner’s report, "Apartheid Claims Exposed," follows.

Apartheid Claims Exposed

Arab ACE card trumps anti-Israel campaign

By Charles Gardner
As genocide is being committed against Christians, Yazidis and even "dissident" Muslims across the Arab world, the international finger of criticism continues to point at Israel.
The latest example is a UN report urging swift action to oppose and end Israeli “apartheid”.1
Thankfully, my Christian Friends of Israel colleague David Soakell has produced an "ace" card exposing all this nonsense with a timely series of testimonies from Arabs which I have aptly titled Apartheid Claims Exposed (ACE).2
He tells us that Israeli Arabs – both Christian and Muslim – are risking disapproval from their own communities by volunteering for the Israeli Defence Forces in increasing numbers, disproving the lie that Israel is a racist, apartheid state. (Non-Jews are not obligated to serve in the IDF).
One Muslim female soldier said: “I wanted to enlist because it is my duty to serve and protect my country.” And she is even allowed weekly visits to her family during the Ramadan fast, so there is no difficulty with her practicing her religion in the Jewish state.
Ibrahim Bari, an African Muslim refugee, went public with his testimony, saying: “In the army, I made friends for life [and] would do everything to defend Israel.”
Elinor Joseph, an Arab Christian serving in the IDF, says: “This is my country. When I see the [Israeli] flag waving in the wind I get excited.”
Another Arab-Israeli soldier, Monaliza Abdo, adds: “I came to serve my country and my home.”
And Major Ala Wahib, the highest-ranking Muslim in the IDF, asks: “Is Israel inherently racist – an apartheid state? Well, do you think that such a country would tolerate a person like myself getting to the position I am today? Someone who has not only fought alongside Jewish soldiers, but now trains them too? ...I do not serve in the army to kill people – I serve in it to save people. When Hamas fires rockets, or Fatah encourages stabbings, we are here to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.”
Adam Ram has also decided to “break the silence” by standing against the slander and constant defamation of Israeli soldiers. A Bedouin serving as a combat soldier in Hebron, a particularly tense area, he says: “The war is against all Israelis, regardless of who you are, because when a terrorist leaves his home with a knife, planning on murdering a soldier or a civilian, he does not care if his victim is a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian …As long as you hold a blue Israeli ID card, you are a fair target.”
Furthermore, Palestinians he has met on the streets see them as their protector, preferring them to the failure that is the Palestinian Authority which, incidentally, contributes just 10% of the cost of medical care for Palestinians treated in Israel – the rest is paid by the Israeli taxpayer.3
“As opposed to Daesh and other Islamic regimes, Israel is democratic and extends rights even to those who are not citizens of the state,” Adam adds.
Contrast this with the blatant discrimination against non-Muslims in much of the surrounding Arab world, where even Muslim women do not share the rights of their menfolk.
Meanwhile a group of North African journalists from Muslim Arab countries, visiting the Jewish state as guests of the Foreign Ministry, have described their first impressions of Israel as “appearing Western and free” and as “an opportunity to see the real Israel without the media acting as a middle man.” 4
Even if all this criticism of Israel was justified, it is out of all proportion to the reality that exists in the region. The tiny Jewish state has had to suffer wars and rumours of wars on a constant basis since she emerged once more onto the world stage as a new nation in 1948.
The world, particularly in the shape of the United Nations, is largely silent as terror stalks the streets of Jerusalem, but at the same time condemns the Jews for stealing land allegedly not their own.
The sabre-rattling of Israel’s enemies involves guns, knives, rockets, missiles and even the threat of nuclear weapons. But more than anything it is a battle for truth in the midst of ferocious spiritual warfare which demands the engagement (in prayer and other ways) of all who love the truth, perfectly revealed in our Messiah Yeshua. And we must stand up for Israel against such shocking bias that is so transparent it demands a rewriting of history.
Accusing Israel of being an "apartheid" state is just the latest in a long line of anti-Semitic attempts to invoke the wrath of a world effectively rebelling against the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah.
First there was identity theft as Yasser Arafat invented a "Palestinian" nation where Jews were once known as Palestinians; then the Jews were accused of stealing "Palestinian" land they had inhabited for thousands of years, which God himself had given them according to the Scriptures, and to which they even acquired an international legal right through a treaty signed at San Remo on the Italian Riviera in 1920. And now, in raising their protests during the recent Israel Apartheid Week, students have abandoned their inquiring minds in pursuit of a vendetta of lies and propaganda against the only democracy in the Middle East.
Open their eyes, dear Lord!
1Produced by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, according to World Israel News, March 15, 2017.
2CFI’s Watching over Zion newsletter, March 9, 2017.
4United with Israel, March 16, 2017.

Moon Walkers

Our CMJ UK correspondent has offered this piece on US astronauts and their strong belief in their Creator God -- as they looked at Earth from outer space! Here is an astounding story told about one of those astronauts, Neil Armstrong, when he visited Israel:
"When Neil Armstrong visited Israel in 1994, he asked his host, archaeologist Meir Ben Dov, if there was a place where Jesus would undoubtedly have walked when he was on earth. Dov, one of the excavators of the Temple Mount, was sure that he would have used the southern steps as he walked up to the Temple. So when Armstrong got there, the man who is more famous for his statement “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” is understood to have bent down and kissed the ground, saying that this was an even more exciting moment for him than walking on the moon."
Photo: Southern Wall of the Temple Mount enclosure, stairs leading to the triple Hulda gates [Wikimedia Commons]

Keeping Chanukah at Home

For the fourth time in the last 100 years, Chanukah falls on Christmas Eve 2016. Lights are part of the celebration of each of these feasts: Chanukah for the miraculous supply of oil in the rededicated Temple; and Christmas lights for the star of Bethlehem and the Messiah-God coming in flesh as the Light of the world! As with Christmas, at Chanukah there are also traditional food and family games and gift giving. Here are some ideas of how you can celebrate Chanukah at your house this year. Did you know the “Feast of Dedication/Chanukah” is mentioned only in the New Testament in John 10: 22, 23?

Lighting of Candles 

As you light up your Christmas tree this year, you can also light the candles of Chanukah at your family dinner table. At Amazon.com, you can find a Chanukah menorah with its eight candle holders, plus a special "servant" or shammus candle holder for the candle used to light the others for the eight day feast. If you don't have one, here is a link to several good options: Amazon.com + hanukkah candle holder.
 (Please use smile.Amazon.com and designate CMJ-USA to help the ministry! See the link on the right-sidebar for more details.)
Each night of the feast, a candle is lit – one the first night, two the second night, etc. Light the Shammus candle first and recite the blessing while holding the candle. Begin lighting the candles each night from right to left (the direction Hebrew is read).
The first night for lighting the candles this year is Saturday, December 24.

Blessing over Candles

Light the Shammus candle first, and then recite the blessings while holding the candle. Do not light the other candles until the blessings are done! 
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe 
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us 
l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)
to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen) 
[Continue reading for recipes and games to play at home...]

Secret Weapon Against Anti-Semitism

In the culture wars in Western Europe and America, the growth of anti-Jewish movements have rightfully been viewed with alarm by the Jewish communities of the world. In this article published recently in The Forward, (the largest Jewish weekly published in the US), writer Sam Kestenbaum asks if messianic believers are “a secret weapon in the anti-Semitism fight with the *‘Alt-right’,” and postulates that it is perhaps the Jewish believers in Jesus who are the bulwark against anti-Semitism as they take a vocal pro-Jewish stand for their own people!
CMJ USA stands with our messianic Jewish brothers and sisters quoted in the article--Jews for Jesus, Chosen People Ministries and the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA)-- in their outspoken position against any form of anti-Semitism. We base our love for the Jewish people on the biblical truth that they are “the apple of His eye” and the people of His choosing. We believe God when he promised Abraham that “[He] will bless those who bless you [Jewish people], and whoever curses you [he] will curse” (Genesis 12: 3). As the dark clouds of anti-Semitism once again gather, let us pray diligently for and stand courageously with His Jewish people.
* “Alt-right” is a shortened version of Alternative Right, which was a white supremacist website created by Richard Spencer and Colin Liddell in 2010. Followers of the Alt-right movement swung away from the traditional “conservative” movement in the US. Its ideology often embraces anti-Semitism. (Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_right)
by Dr. Theresa Newell, CMJ Board Member
[Photo:  Dr. Newell with Rabbi Paul Liberman, Executive Board Member of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) and Executive Director of the Alliance for Israel Advocacy (AIA)]

UNESCO Resolution

by Dr. Theresa Newell, CMJ USA Board Member
On Thursday, October 13, 2016, UNESCO’s Executive Board meeting in Paris adopted a resolution put forth by an Arab delegation on behalf of the Palestinian Authority that effectively disregards Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem holy sites, and has led Israel to cut ties with the cultural body. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an arm of the United Nations. The resolution is titled “Occupied Palestine.” The Jerusalem Post reported that the six-page draft resolution claims that the Western Wall is part of the Temple Mount and therefore Islamic. It broadly condemns Israeli actions in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
The Israeli ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen called the resolution “a total Islamization” of a site revered by Jews as well as Muslims. The Post pointed out that the Western Wall is a retaining wall built 2,000 years ago by King Herod. The purpose was to create an acropolis or flat area for the enhancement of the Jewish Temple, which stood on the mount at that time. This was the Temple that stood during the life of Jesus. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, a Byzantine [Christian] church stood on the spot in the 3rd and 4th centuries. 
“To disconnect the Jewish people from the Western Wall is one step too much, even for nations that are the most anti-Israel,” Hacohen said. He noted that “the timing is also problematic, since the Temple Mount issue has already sparked Palestinian violence against Jewish citizens.” 
The Temple Mount is under the custodianship of the Wakf Muslim religious trust and the Jordanian monarchy. Jordon voted for the resolution. Palestinians have accused Israel of wanting to change the status quo of this arrangement – a charge which Israel has repeatedly denied. 
An aerial view of the Dome of the Rock, left, in the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s old city, and the Western Wall, center, the holiest site for Jews, October 2, 2007. (AFP/Jack Guez)
UNESCO’s Executive Board chairman Michael Worbs told Israel’s Channel 10 that when Jerusalem was declared a World Heritage Site, its importance to the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) was highlighted. He stated, “I am very well aware of that [importance] and personally would never deny that,” referring to Jewish historical connection to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Golden future for Jesus followers

[Charles Gardner, CMJ Communications Director in the UK, posted this reflection on the recently completed Olympics and those who stood for Jesus and took home gold -- from a view from England and reminiscing on the famous 1924 Paris Olympics win by Eric Liddell  when he honored the Sabbath by refusing to run a heat that day...]

Olympic athletes give praise where it is really due

By Charles Gardner
As the Olympic Games show increasing signs of returning to its pagan[1] roots, the humility amid personal brilliance of a few outstanding Christian competitors shines out like stars in a darkened universe.
And its promotion as a showpiece for world peace and unity was tarnished by the hostility shown to the 47-member Israeli delegation[2] –- 44 years after eleven Israeli athletes were massacred at the Munich Olympics by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
For Britain, bursting with pride after collecting a staggering 67 medals and finishing second in the table to the United States at Rio, it was an event to savour after some of our politicians had downplayed patriotism in favour of staying within the European Union.
It seems the British bulldog spirit has instead received a belated boost. But the prowess of our athletes isn’t enough; what the human body can achieve should not be an opportunity for self-congratulation, but for giving honour where it is really due as in the case of South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk, who gave glory to God just moments after his spectacular win in the 400 metres –- echoing the gold medal won in the same event at the 1924 Paris Olympics by legendary Scottish athlete Eric Liddell, who went on to be a missionary in China.[3]

New Orleans-style Shakshuka discovered in Pennsylvania

Here's a surprise find by our board member Theresa Newell, from the Sunday magazine of her local newspaper (in Lancaster County, PA)...  "Louisiana Shrimp Shakshuka" by an Israeli chef associated with a famous restaurant in New Orleans! Dr. Newell remembers the first time she tasted shakshuka in Jerusalem. She assumed it was a Latin American dish (it reminded her of huevos rancheros), only to find out it is a Mediterranean dish. 
Another surprise is Chef Alon's addition of shrimp and okra (he IS in New Orleans, after all). It may not be kosher, but Theresa says it is delicious. (She recommends substituting a few red pepper flake for the hot sauce, if you're from the North.)

Christ Church Numbered Among Treasures in the Old City

Inside Jaffa Gate: Christ Church Jerusalem is numbered among other treasures near the Jaffa Gate in a Times of Israel travel article, entitled "Inside Jaffa Gate: remembering the Caliph who revered the Temple Mount" [click here to read the article]. Christ Church is located directly across the street from the Citadel, also noted in the article.
[Image: CMJ's "Christ Church, also home to the Christian Heritage Center, a 2,000-year-old water reservoir, and a guesthouse." (Shmuel Bar-Am)]


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