Tuesday, June 27, 2017


LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Liberman: No plans to attack Syria, but we won’t ignore provocation-Defense minister rebuffs predictions of upcoming conflict on northern border despite recent skirmishes-By Raoul Wootliff June 26, 2017, 2:11 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman said Monday that Israel has “no intention of launching a military operation” against Syria or rebel groups operating within it even as tensions have spiraled in recent days.Speaking at the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs committee, Liberman rejected predictions made by some in Israel’s political echelon that the next conflict with either Hezbollah in the north or Hamas in the south is just around the corner.“If you read the newspapers it seems that we have many prophets predicting a hot summer,” the defense minister said. “Let me be clear once again: We have no intention of initiating a military operation, neither in the north nor in the south.”But Liberman said that despite the military establishment’s hope for calm on Israel’s borders, it will not tolerate any provocations, even accidental fire that spills over from a neighboring conflict.“We won’t hold back if necessary and when needed we will respond with all our might,” he said, adding that Israel will not allow Syria to become a base for attacks against Israel.“Anyone that wants to turn Syria into an Iranian base against Israel should think again. We will not allow Syria to become another front against Israel,” he said.In the past three days there have been three incidents of errant shells landing in Israel. The IDF has responded with force, targeting Syrian army installations, which Israel holds responsible for all incidents originating from Syrian soil.Around 10 mortar shells from Syria struck the Golan Heights on Saturday, prompting an Israeli response that reportedly killed two Syrian soldiers. On Sunday, several more projectiles hit Israel in what the army said was spillover fire from fighting between regime forces and rebels.The IDF on Sunday again responded to the errant fire, confirming it targeted a Syrian military vehicle. Arabic media reports said five people were injured in the Israeli raid.Earlier Monday the IDF said that stray fire from Syria reportedly hit a United Nations peacekeeping position in the Golan Heights. No injuries were reported. The army launched searches following reports that two mortars had landed on the Israeli side of the frontier, but no signs of shelling were found.Instead, “heavy machine gun bullet holes were identified in a UNDOF post near Zivanit, adjacent to the border,” the army said.The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force monitors a 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.Syria responded Sunday to Israel’s strikes with its own warnings-“The general staff of the Syrian army warns of the dangers of these aggressive actions and holds the Israeli enemy responsible for the grave consequences of these repeated actions, despite any excuse there may be,” the Ynet news site quoted the Syrian military as saying.The Syrian general staff also published photos of at least three men it said were Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli strikes. It did not provide a date or any other information on when they were killed.Also on Sunday, Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al-Freij visited troops in southern Syria to mark the end of the Ramadan monthlong fast where he vowed the regime would continue fighting until it conquers “every morsel of the homeland.”Israel has largely stayed out of the Syrian civil war, which broke out in March 2011, but has over the years acknowledged that it helps treat wounded Syrians who arrive at its border, and provides some of them with humanitarian assistance.It has also claimed a number of airstrikes in Syria it says were meant to prevent terror group Hezbollah from acquiring advanced weaponry from Iran via Damascus. Israel has repeatedly confirmed that it was actively working to disrupt Hezbollah’s arms smuggling operations in Syria and its buildup of capabilities on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

US, Israel set up team to combat cybersecurity threat-The world needs Iron Dome ingenuity as threats move from missiles to malware, US official Thomas Bossert says at Tel Aviv conference-By Shoshanna Solomon June 26, 2017, 4:18 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Israel and the US are set to collaborate in cybersecurity, a senior White House official said at a conference in Tel Aviv Monday.“I announce today the commencement of an Israeli US bilateral cyber working group,” Thomas Bossert, assistant to the US President Donald Trump for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism said at the Cyber Week 2017 conference in Tel Aviv Monday.The group will strive to defend critical infrastructure against attackers and to track down perpetrators. It will be led by Rob Joyce, the US White House cybersecurity coordinator, and Israel’s Eviatar Matania, director general of the National Cyber Directorate. It will include US and Israeli representatives from various ministries and defense organizations including foreign affairs and justice, and the secret service.The team will convene this week, Bossert said.“The meetings this week will focus on a range of cyber issues — critical infrastructure, advanced R&D, international cooperation, and workforce,” Bossert said, adding that these will be the first steps in strengthening bilateral ties in cyber issues.The agencies will be… “focused on finding and stopping cyber adversaries before they enter networks, before they reach critical infrastructure and identifying ways to hold bad actors accountable,” Bossert said. “We believe the agility Israel has in developing solutions will resolve in innovative cyber defenses that we can test here and take back to America.”Bossert said that increased cyber defense and deterrence are critical today, in a world in which the cyber threat from nations is growing, and an international consensus needs to be built regarding what is “responsible state behavior.” International norms must be set out and implemented, he said. And those who do not comply with these norms should be punished.“It is time to consider different approaches,” he said, and the US is seeking to set up bilateral agreements with other partners globally who hold the same values. “There should be consequences for destruction,” he said.The cyber sphere “is one of the biggest strategic challenges since 9/11,” he said, “because while physical borders are important, cyberspace knows no boundaries.”“Nations have the ability to steal sensitive information and data and destroy systems and the trend is heading in the wrong direction,” Bossert said. Destructive attacks are being executed by belligerent nations – North Korea attacked Sony and Iran attacked Saudi Arabia in cyber attacks – and “neither of theses countries have near the sophistication and resources of China and Russia.”It was the kind of technology evident in the Iron Dome missile defense system, Bossert said, that the world needs as the threat moves from missiles to malware.Bossert said he was at the conference to talk about cybersecurity, but he was also there to say that “President Trump understands that the United States cannot lessen our engagement in this region… and cannot lessen our support for Israel.”When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his objection to “appeasing Iran” and enabling its nuclear aspirations, he did so at “great professional risk and took political criticism for stating an unpopular truth,” Bossert said. “He was right, he was courageous, the American people agree with him and now he is a partner with President Trump and the Israeli people have a stronger and deeper relationship with the US.”At the conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israeli technology and its cybersecurity leadership are opening doors to the world, breaking down hostilities and the Arab boycott.“Once it was a disadvantage to say you are from Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Today when you talk about cyber or advanced technologies, it is an advantage. It is advantage to say I am an Israeli company.”“There used to be a thing called the Arab boycott; that’s dissipating, for many, many reasons: strategic, and the prominence of Israel in the technological field,” he said.Israel’s National Cyber Defense Authortity helps its members, who are from government and business organizations, to communicate in a secure way with each other to “not only to respond to attacks but to prevent them,” he said.Every month Israel experiences dozens of cyber attacks at a national level, and at “every given moment, including right now, there are probably three to five attacks on a national level that emanate from various sources,” he said.Cooperation between nations is important, Netanyahu said, “because we are better together,” and Israel has become an “attractive target” for cybersecurity investment, garnering about 20 percent of global private cybersecurity investment in 2016.


1 And there was given me a(MEASURING) reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out,(TO THE WORLD NATIONS) and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.(JERUSALEM DIVIDED BUT THE 3RD TEMPLE ALLOWED TO BE REBUILT)

27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

MICAH 4:1-5
1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2  And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3  And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4  But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
5  For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

DANIEL 11:31
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.(3RD TEMPLE REBUILT)

DANIEL 12:11

MATTHEW 24:15-16
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(THE DICTATOR SITS IN THE REBUILT 3RD TEMPLE CALLING HIMSELF GOD AT THE MIDPOINT OR 3 1/2 YEAR PERIOD OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.OR 7 YEAR PEACE TREATY BETWEEN ISRAEL-ARABS AND MANY OF DANIEL 9:27)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

There is already pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall. Here’s what would have changed-The Robinson’s Arch prayer area has been in use since 2000. So why the need for the wide-sweeping compromise that was frozen Sunday?-By Amanda Borschel-Dan June 26, 2017, 5:03 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Starting in the year 2000, following a long legal and public awareness battle, liberal Jews have had the right, granted by the State of Israel, to pray in the southern section of the Western Wall plaza. Alongside other liberal Jewish movements, the Israeli Conservative movement has since maintained prayer shawls and prayer books there in an effort to encourage pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall.The Western Wall is honored by Jews as a remnant of a wall supporting the Second Temple complex, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Because prayer on the Temple Mount itself is forbidden for Jews by the State of Israel, aside from the subterranean Temple Tunnels, the Western Wall (or Kotel, in Hebrew) is the closest to their holiest site Jews can worship.The egalitarian area is often nicknamed “Robinson’s Arch” for the famous archaeological artifact found there, in what is also the Davidson Archaeological Park. This area adjacent to the Western Wall currently contains two main areas of temporary prayer platforms, which are built over and among the archaeological remains.The larger section, which from below recalls rickety bleachers, does not actually touch the Western Wall but rather sits approximately 10 meters from it. The second, noncontiguous section, is broken up into several landings before reaching the Western Wall on a modest-sized platform.The 450-meter larger platform was opened with much fanfare in August 2013 by Naftali Bennett, then the religious affairs minister. At the time, Bennett said it was meant to be “an interim but primary place of worship for Jewish egalitarian and pluralistic prayer services.”Bennett was spurred by court cases brought by the Women of the Wall group, led by Anat Hoffman, whose members desire to worship at the Western Wall with prayer shawls and phylacteries and read from the Torah, especially in mass prayer services at the beginning of each Hebrew month.The Women of the Wall had won a District Court judgment that April which gave its members the right to pray in the women’s section of the main plaza with shawls and phylacteries. Bennett reportedly preferred to carve out a separate space for the women and liberal Jews in an effort to ease tensions between them and Orthodox worshipers.“The Kotel [Western Wall] belongs to all Jews no matter who they are and what stream of Judaism they come from,” said Bennett in 2013. “This new platform, built ahead of Rosh Hashanah, will help unify the Jewish people and enable all Jews to pray freely at the Kotel.”The 2013 temporary platform was met by skepticism — and in some cases disdain — by leaders of Diaspora Jewry and the Women of the Wall, who at that point sought a space at the more normative Western Wall complex, or, at the very least, a permanent solution.In 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tapped Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky and then Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit to aid in leading negotiation efforts to reach a compromise acceptable to liberal Jewry, the Women of the Wall, and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, otherwise known as the rabbi of the western wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch.The agreement of the ultra-Orthodox to such a compromise was vital, but difficult at best. Seeds of an impending ultra-Orthodox revolt were clear throughout the years of negotiations. Even back in April 2013, Western Wall rabbi Rabinovitch told Orthodox rabbis during a visit to North America that attempts to “divide the prayer plaza or delineate hours [designated for egalitarian services] will face strong opposition and bring about a civil war.”After years of negotiations, on January 31, 2016, the government passed a decision, colloquially called the “Kotel deal,” which was heralded by media the world over.The historic compromise was multifaceted in its impact: The egalitarian prayer would continue in the southern area of the Western Wall, but there would be one entrance for all to the Western Wall plaza, which would lead to pluralistic, men’s and women’s pavilions.There was to be a joint committee of two Reform leaders, two Conservative leaders, two non-Orthodox women representatives, the Jewish Agency chairman and six government officials overseeing the southern area. The existing Orthodox prayer pavilion would be administered by Rabinovitch. Additionally, the temporary prayer platforms would double in size and be more connected — giving much more access to the Western Wall for prayer in the Davidson archaeological park and room for up to 1,200.The plan called for a budget of NIS 35 million (almost $9 million) in 2016-2017. According to the cabinet decision, NIS 5 million would come from the Prime Minister’s Office, NIS 5 million from the Diaspora Ministry (2017) and NIS 5 million from the Finance Ministry. The Jewish Agency pledged another NIS 10 million and the Finance Ministry was to come up with the remaining NIS 10 million for 2016.For some, this 2016 compromise was not a victory, but a defeat: Senior archaeologists decried the decision to repurpose a park devoted to millennia of national heritage. Additionally, many members of the Women of the Wall splintered off into another group, which calls itself the Original Women of the Wall, and is determined to continue prayer in the women’s section of the Western Wall plaza, not in the egalitarian section.However, the main WOW group termed the compromise a feminist victory. “In approving this plan, the state acknowledges women’s full equality at the Kotel and the imperative of freedom of choice in Judaism in Israel. The creation of a third section of the Kotel sets a strong precedent in women’s status in Israel: women as administrators of a holy site, women as leaders, women as influential force not to be ignore or silenced,” wrote the Women of the Wall in a statement.Whether it was the triumphalist statements broadcast by world Jewry, or a delayed regret, within days of the government decision ultra-Orthodox members of Knesset decried the deal — even after having accepted it and voted for it — and vowed to derail its implementation.On June 25, 2017, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a terse statement announcing the cabinet vote ,which called for a “freezing” of the Western Wall pluralist prayer pavilion. Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Netanyahu’s Likud party and Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman have been appointed as government representatives for new negotiations, the statement said.However, according to a Facebook video released by Bennett, the temporary platform he constructed next to the Western Wall in 2013 is still set to be expanded and made more permanent.JTA contributed to this report.

Ministers were debating ‘the future of the Jewish people’-An inside account of the fateful cabinet session at which the Western Wall pluralistic prayer plan was cast aside-By Amanda Borschel-Dan June 26, 2017, 2:41 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

At the same charged meeting Sunday in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the freeze of the January 31, 2016, government decision to build a pluralistic prayer pavilion, the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) gave its annual assessment to the cabinet with a clear warning that not implementing the plan could have dire consequences on the Diaspora’s relationship with Israel.In spite of JPPI’s warning — and indeed those of other leading Israeli think tanks which have drawn similar conclusions — Netanyahu announced in a terse three-pronged statement Sunday that that government decision is now on hold. Additionally, Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Netanyahu’s Likud party and Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman have been appointed as government representatives for negotiations toward a new deal, and — puzzlingly — the preparation of the southern edge of the Western Wall pavilion, which is currently an archaeological park with a makeshift prayer platform, would “continue.”Speaking with The Times of Israel on Monday, JPPI co-chair Stuart Eizenstat said of Sunday’s cabinet meeting: “It was as if they were debating the future of the Jewish people — and in a way they were.”Initially scheduled as a 45-minute debriefing, the meeting stretched into an additional hour of emotional debate as, in the wake of Netanyahu’s announcement of the freeze, almost every cabinet member spoke.“I have never heard a meeting with more emotion,” said Eizenstat, who has served the United States in a number of diplomatic and government roles, including as ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996 and deputy secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to 2001.“My ultimate point was Israel is the Jewish state, but, as the prime minister articulates better than anyone, that it is also the state of the Jewish people. But it cannot be [the state of the Jewish people] if it is only for some of the Jewish people. It cannot be only for the ultra-Orthodox in the world,” said Eizenstat.At the meeting, according to Eizenstat, who has known and worked with Netanyahu for decades, the prime minister said he “understood the emotions of the Diaspora and very much sympathized, but he also understood how the haredi [ultra-Orthodox] community felt and that the best he could come up with was a compromise.”Eizenstat said Netanyahu emphasized that he was “not rescinding and not implementing, but freezing, hoping that a compromise could later be found.”Netanyahu said “he hoped he could play a role in mediating and helping catalyze another compromise,” said Eizenstat.At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Eizenstat warned of what he called a “double polarization” taking place in the US, which could affect the American-Israeli relationship.The first is the polarization in American politics in which the center has collapsed, he said, creating a danger that Israel is, or will soon become, a partisan issue. He cited a recent poll in which only 50 percent of self-identified Democrats support Israel over the Palestinian Authority, whereas 80% of Republicans do.The second polarization is in the predominantly politically and religiously left-of-center American Jewish community, in which some 65%-70% feel increasingly estranged from Israel, “a country that seemed to be moving further and further to the right.”Eizenstat said that he warned the cabinet that soon Israel is “not going to have the same religious and community ties to sustain and support it.” He further advised the politicians to “look at the American Jewish community as a major strategic asset for Israel.” However, “when these kinds of actions occur [the Western Wall freeze, as well as the announcement of a stringent conversion bill], they can potentially erode that strategic asset of support which is so vital.”The JPPI’s findings of a “slow erosion” of ties are not unique among Israeli think tanks.Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, said on Monday that “the longer we fail to give equal rights and recognition to the non-Orthodox streams of Judaism, the deeper the fissure between Israel and Jews of the Diaspora will become. If we expect Jews abroad to support the state of Israel, we must also ensure their religious equality. Israel’s national security is at stake.”The IDI is an independent, nonpartisan “think-and-do tank” which attempts to use research to influence government policy and public opinion. It is very active on the issue of religion and state, among others.“The decision not to decide, and leave the situation in limbo, widens the gap that has been opening up in the strategic and all-important relationship between the State of Israel and Diaspora Jewry,” said Plesner, who chastised the government for its inability to “make a minor decision, such as the approval of the Western Wall deal that had already been approved by the ultra-Orthodox parties.”This is creating an “absurd reality,” said Plesner. “The time has come for courageous decision making: to advance religious freedom so as to allow everyone to exercise their right to freedom of worship.”Another independent think tank, the Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute, was almost prescient in its March 2017 research paper on the State of Israel’s role as the nation state of the Jewish people in which it warned that “2017 is likely to be the site of renewed conflict around the status of Progressive Judaism in Israel. In 2017, this conflict will reach new heights due to the Israeli government’s failure to deliver on its promised ‘Kotel Compromise.’”Additionally, the report warned, “Conflicts such as these negatively affect the ability of a growing number of individuals, as well as Jewish communal organizations, to maintain a meaningful connection to Israel.” This lack of connection to Israel, in turn, causes a lessening of Jewish identity in the Diaspora, according to Reut.“The time has come for Israel to ask itself: What does it really mean to be the nation state of the entire Jewish People? What obligations does this role entail? How can Israel strengthen and protect the cohesion of the entire Jewish People?” asked Reut in a statement following the freeze of the Western Wall plan.However, according to Eizenstat, the time has also come for the Diaspora to ask itself several soul-searching questions.‘Diaspora voices are heard, but not listened to on issues which conflict with the political process’“At the end of the day, decisions are not made based on what the Diaspora thinks, but what on what is politically viable,” he said. “Diaspora voices are heard but not listened to on issues which conflict with the political process.”The only ways to truly inluence the political process would be to either immigrate to Israel and become a voter, or have a continuous on-the-ground presence lobbying for niche Diaspora issues.“Don’t make press statements saying you’re disappointed — become a player in the system,” he said. “If the Diaspora is not willing to do that, this is the kind of the result they’ll see.”Instead of making “wishy washy” statements, he said, it’s time to put the “shoulder to the wheel” and become an effective player within domestic Israeli politics.At the same time, all three think tanks contend that there is still much to be done to prevent an utter schism between Israel and the Diaspora. Foremost appears to be implementation of the pluralistic prayer pavilion plan.“The person who can do the most to heal this wound is the prime minister himself; he is very cognizant of it… I like to think that had there been a different coalition, the result would have been different. I don’t think this was a happy decision for him,” said Eizenstat.

Lawmaker seeks legal probe into cancellation of Western Wall prayer plan-Freezing of plan for mixed-gender worship spot at Jerusalem holy site was not on cabinet agenda, says MK Elazar Stern, calling move ‘underhanded’-By Sue Surkes June 26, 2017, 2:46 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

An opposition lawmaker on Monday asked the attorney general to probe the cabinet decision to cancel a plan for a pluralist prayer site at the Western Wall, saying the “underhanded” move was rushed through without following proper procedures.On Sunday government froze the plan, in an apparent concession to opposition from ultra-Orthodox coalition partners, prompting widespread outrage from Diaspora Jewish groups.“Cancellation of the Western Wall plan is causing a serious crisis between Israel and Diaspora Jewry and a decision like this, taken in an underhanded and secretive way, far from the public eye, and without the ministers being able to prepare in a proper way for a debate, casts a deep shadow over it,” MK Elazar Stern said in a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit,Because the issue was not on the agenda and there was no indication that it would be discussed, “no comments were received from the attorney general beforehand, the subject (which is controversial) did not go through any public debate before it was decided, and government ministers had no ability to prepare properly for a discussion.”The attorney general had also made known that he would not be attending the cabinet meeting, Stern said.He asked Mandelblit to look into “why the prime minister used his authority in regard to this controversial issue, of all times, just when all the federation heads are in Israel for the Jewish Agency board meetings in Jerusalem.”The request from Stern, of the opposition centrist Yesh Atid party, came as the fallout from the controversial decision continued to shake the Jewish world.On Monday, the Jewish Agency took the unprecedented step of criticizing the government, canceling an invitation to Netanyahu to attend a dinner with the board of governors, who are currently in Jerusalem for its thrice yearly meeting.Soon afterwards, Richard “Rick” Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism in the US, canceled a meeting he had scheduled with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying “there’s nothing to talk about with him,” Israel Radio reported.On Sunday, the cabinet suspended a plan, which had been years in the making, to create a government-funded pluralistic prayer area for mixed gender services separate from the existing, single-sex Western Wall prayer spaces.Ministers at the meeting said the subject was not on the agenda and was not even mentioned until the end of the discussions when the prime minister asked them to vote on the plan’s cancellation, Army Radio reported.Those who had left the meeting early did so knowing nothing about the planned vote and therefore could not leave a note indicating which way they wanted to vote.Government regulations specify that subjects for debate at a cabinet meeting must appear on the agenda at least 48 hours beforehand, together with background materials for participating ministers. The rules do, however, authorize the prime minister to raise issues he or she judges to be important even if they are not on the agenda.The Prime Minister’s Office told Army Radio that Netanyahu had raised this particular issue on the day that the government was required to respond to the High Court and therefore it was perfectly proper.One of the only ministers to be advised before the cabinet meeting that the issue would come up was Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who told the meeting that cancellation of the plan would cause “terrible harm to Jewish unity and to the alliance between the State of Israel and Diaspora Jewry.”Liberman also slammed a new bill that would require the state to recognize only conversions completed under the auspices of the ultra-Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate of Israel. “What the [rabbinate’s] Conversion Authority is doing is distancing people from Judaism,” he charged.He warned that the measures “will destabilize the coalition” and vowed to “oppose these initiatives aggressively.”The conversion bill was green-lighted by the powerful Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, lending it coalition support on its way to a Knesset vote.

Flanked by US liberal Jewish leaders, opposition skewers Western Wall flip-flop-From coalition, Liberman says rescinding prayer pavilion, and advancing conversion bill, is ‘religious coercion,’ but he won’t derail government-By Raoul Wootliff and Marissa Newman June 26, 2017, 5:03 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The leaders of the coalition Yisrael Beytenu and opposition Yesh Atid and Zionist Union parties railed on Monday against the cabinet decision to rescind a plan to build a pluralistic prayer pavilion at the Western Wall. Meanwhile, US Jewish leaders held a flurry of meetings with Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset, and strongly decried the surprise decision from within the halls of power.Flanked by leaders of US Reform and Conservative Jewry, Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and the Zionist Union’s Tzipi Livni, in separate meetings, took Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to task over Sunday’s Western Wall decision. They also protested a decision at Sundays Ministerial Committee for Legislation to give initial approval to a bill that cements the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over conversions in Israel.Earlier, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the moves amounted to “religious coercion.”The cabinet’s suspension of the plan for a pluralistic prayer area at the Western Wall, which it had previously approved, came following calls by Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition allies to scrap the deal.The plan would have seen the establishment of a properly prepared pavilion for pluralistic prayer — as opposed to current temporary arrangements — under joint oversight involving all major streams of Judaism.The reversal was immediately condemned by liberal Jewish groups around the world and by the Jewish Agency, whose chairman, Natan Sharansky, was intimately involved in making the deal.In Israel as part of the Jewish Agency’s annual conference, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, head of the Conservative movement, visited the Knesset hours after the Jewish Agency’s executive body passed a resolution calling on the government to rescind the decision, saying it contradicted the vision of Israel’s founding fathers and the spirit of Zionism.Speaking alongside Lapid at his Yesh Atid faction meeting, Jacobs and Schonfeld expressed their dismay at the decision, but said they would not set aside their support for the Jewish State-“What is most remarkable to us as Masorti, Conservative Jews is that we are so frankly misunderstood here, and of course quite distressed that we are handled with so little regard,” Schonfeld said emphatically. “How can it be that when we look to the ark and when we face Jerusalem and when we look to the Israeli flag of our Jewish homeland, that the message that is sent to us over and over again is, ‘You don’t belong here.’ We aren’t relevant here.”Jacobs said that millions of progressive US Jews “stand up against Israel’s deligitimization every day” but the actions of the government, “delegitimize us.”“We love the State of Israel and will continue to do. But we will not sit idly by while the State of Israel delegitimizes us and frankly says to the Jews of North America and the Jews of the world, ‘You do not matter,'” Jacobs said.Addressing the Knesset members in attendance, he said, “You matter to us, this state matters to us, and we are going to do everything in our power to build the strong bonds that this government has weakened.”Speaking in English, Lapid said that eventually the decision would be overturned and pleaded for US Jews not to stop supporting Israel.“Do not give up on us. We have no intention of giving up on you. We are one people. It might take time. It might take elections. But in a democracy the majority decides and the majority in Israel want us to be one nation. If you distance yourselves from us now, you reward those who are trying to divide the people of Israel,” he said.Jacobs also sat down with Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni and MK Robert Ilatov of the coalition Yisrael Beytenu party, in meetings that had been scheduled before the cabinet decision was announced Sunday. He was also seen conversing with Deputy Minister Michael Oren of the coalition Kulanu party, the former Israeli envoy to the United States.Jacobs on Monday also canceled a meeting set for Thursday with Netanyahu, saying: “We cannot go about our scheduled meetings as if nothing has happened.”Speaking ahead of his meeting with Livni, Jacobs said his Reform movement was still considering how to respond to the decision.“We’ve been in serious negotiations with the government for over four years. We are now quite perplexed as to what it means to be in negotiations and what it means to have an agreement with the government of Israel. Evidently, it doesn’t mean very much,” he said.“We are strategizing even more effective ways to stand up and say, zu lo haderech [this is not the way],” Jacobs said, adding that the decision wasn’t merely “a bump in the road” or “business as usual.”While he said his movement would “reassess” its partnerships with Israeli politicians, Jacobs denied it would align with any particular Israeli political party or camp, but rather with those who share its interests.In the United States, we “line up according to our values, not according to one political party, so any parties that share our common convictions, we will work with. ”Jacobs also commended Liberman, the defense minister, for voting against shelving the deal. “We’re very proud of [Yisrael Beytenu’s] stance and Avigdor Liberman’s vote in the cabinet yesterday,” he said.Speaking later at the Zionist Union faction meeting, Livni said the suspension of the Western Wall deal and the new conversion bill were “ripping apart the Jewish people.”“The prime minister who in the past whispered in the ears of rabbis that the left has forgotten what it means to be Jewish has himself forgotten what it means to be Jewish and what it means to be the prime minister of the Jewish nation,” she said.At the Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting, Liberman said that shelving the Western Wall pluralistic pavilion and attempts to cement the ultra-Orthodox monopoly on conversions constituted “religious coercion.”This is “not a religious matter, but the opposite — religious coercion,” he said.Liberman described the parallel decisions, at the prodding of the ultra-Orthodox parties, as an attempt “to transform Israel from a Zionist state to a halachic [Jewish legal] state.”“I am against religious coercion,” he added. “I am against a halachic state.”But Liberman also suggested he wouldn’t derail the coalition over the disagreements, saying he hopes that he can cut a compromise in the coming week.At their own faction meetings, ultra-Orthodox lawmakers criticized Reform Judaism as “destroying Jewish unity,’ and defended their opposition to the prayer space.The decision coincided with a High Court of Justice deadline Sunday for the state to respond to petitions on its failure to implement the agreement and construct the mixed-gender plaza near Robinson’s Arch.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.