Thursday, January 25, 2018


JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

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

Pence visits Western Wall, says it’s a ‘great honor’-US VP says Psalm at holy site, writes 'God bless the State of Israel' in guestbook; female journalists kept in separate area-By TOI staff-JAN 24,18

US Vice President Mike Pence visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Tuesday, wrapping up a two-day visit to Israel, amid an escalating dispute with the Palestinians over the status of the city.Pence, whose visit to the Western Wall lasted all of 10 minutes, read a short prayer from the Book of Psalms, placed a note in the Wall, and lay his hand upon the ancient stones. He then signed the Wall’s guestbook before heading out.“It is my great honor to pray here at this sacred place. God bless the Jewish people and God bless the State of Israel always,” he wrote.The site — the holiest place where Jews can pray — is in the Old City, annexed by Israel after the 1967 Six Day War, but considered by most of the international community to be occupied Palestinian territory-Pence was met by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the rabbi of the site, who told him of a visit to the Wall 147 years ago by Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, William H. Seward, who praised the “exalted” prayer he witnessed there.“The light of Jerusalem is a light of love, of care for the world, of peace,” said  Rabinovitch. “For 2,000 years Jerusalem was tossed from hand to hand, and only now, when it has been returned to its people, can worshipers of all peoples and all faiths come to Western Wall and pray there.”In May, Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall, though he painstakingly avoided referring to it as part of Israel. On December 6, when he officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he avoided stating which parts of the city he was referring to.“We are not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved,” he declared.A week and a half later, a senior administration official said that the White House “cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel.” However, he added, the “specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement.”After the Western Wall visit, Pence was scheduled to hold a reception for Israel-based US diplomats at the US Consulate in Jerusalem, before heading back to Washington.Pence arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday afternoon, as part of a wider tour of Middle Eastern countries, amid simmering Palestinian anger at Trump’s December declaration on Jerusalem.Welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli leaders across most of the political spectrum, Trump’s recognition infuriated the Palestinians, who seek the Israeli-annexed eastern sectors of the city as a future capital. They accused the US of siding with Israel, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the move disqualified Washington from acting as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.After Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, Abbas said he would not meet with administration officials and called off a meeting with Pence that had been scheduled for mid-December. Pence subsequently postponed his visit to the region for this week, and did not, unlike previous senior US officials, foray into the Palestinian territories.In the latest expression of that snub, Abbas overlapped with Pence in Jordan from Saturday evening until midday Sunday, when the Palestinian leader flew to Brussels for a meeting with European Union foreign ministers Monday. There, Abbas urged EU member states to recognize a state of Palestine in the pre-1967 lines, and to step up their involvement in mediation.Female journalists covering Pence’s stop at the Western Wall were separated from their male colleagues and sent to a separate fenced-off area with limited visibility of Pence. Israeli journalist Tal Schneider posted an angry tweet, writing, “…if you are a male you can do your work and get the best front seat and if you are a second class citizen as I am, this is what we see & report.”Follow me for a “clear” shot of the @VP visit to the western wall where if you are a male you can do your work and get the best front seat and if you are a second class citizen as I am, this is what we see & report— Tal Schneider (@talschneider) January 23, 2018-MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) blamed Rabinovitch, the Western Wall rabbi.“Again, the Western Wall rabbi creates unnecessary international drama and taints a diplomatic achievement at a beautiful and important moment in Israel’s relations with the US,” she said. “Separating female journalists and placing them behind a barrier during Vice President Pence’s visit is an outrageous decision that proves he regards the plaza as his private property.”

Hamas chief accuses US of preferring ‘Zionist entity’ over Arabs-Ismail Haniyeh calls Pence's Israel trip 'unwelcome,' says Jerusalem move and UNRWA cuts target 'the principles of the Palestinian cause'-By Agencies and TOI staff-JAN 24,18

The leader of the Hamas terror group accused the United States of preferring its alliance with Israel over its interests in other parts of the Middle East.Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday that US Vice President Mike Pence’s tour in Israel was “unwelcome,” adding that his speech before the Knesset a day earlier “proves the USA has a strategic alliance with the Zionist entity.”America “doesn’t take the interests and requirements of the Islamic and Arab nation into consideration,” Haniyeh said in a televised speech from Gaza, which his terror group controls.He accused the Trump administration of targeting “the principles of the Palestinian cause” by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and cutting funds to UNRWA, the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinians refugees and their descendants.Following US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Haniyeh called for a violent uprising in response to the move that he vowed would continue until “Jerusalem’s liberation.”While not directly calling for violence, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also reacted angrily to the move and said the US was no longer and honest broker in peace talks.As a result of Abbas’ refusal to engage with the US on peace talks, the White House froze over $100 million in aid destined for UNRWA last week.Pence’s visit to Israel has come as Abbas is in Brussels to urge European Union member states to recognize a Palestinian state. Pence did not meet with Abbas or other PA officials while in the region.On Monday, Hamas praised Israel’s Joint (Arab) List lawmakers after they held up up signs reading “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine,” during Pence’s speech to the Knesset.Hamas hailed the “Palestinian” lawmakers for protesting against Pence’s “racial speech” in a post on its official English Twitter account.It also said “Al-Quds is the eternal capital of #Palestine,” using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

PA boycotting Trump team, but open to US role in multilateral peace bid-Diplomatic adviser to Abbas says Security Council powers or Quartet, both of which include Washington, could form basis to revitalize peace process-By Dov Lieber-TOI-JAN 24,18

The Palestinians remain insistently opposed to having the United States as the sole sponsor of peace talks with Israel, but are now open to Washington taking a role within a multilateral framework to pave the way to a Palestinian state, a senior Palestinian official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.Following the US decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinian leadership declared that Washington could no longer fulfill the historic and central role in the peace process it has held for over two decades.Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has been boycotting the US administration since US President Donald Trump’s December 6 declaration on Jerusalem, and has refused to meet with any members of the Trump peace team, including US Vice President Mike Pence.Instead, Abbas has been seeking a new international framework through which the Palestinians can win an independent state, traveling to Brussels this week to seek EU support for a new peace push.Majdi al Khalidi, Abbas’s most senior diplomatic adviser, told The Times of Israel that the Palestinians would be willing to work with the US if Washington was part of a multi-party international effort.“We cannot accept the United States alone. But we are not against the United States being part of a multilateral mechanism,” he said.Khalidi said there were two models the Palestinians are looking at for such a multilateral framework. The first is organized around the Middle East Quartet, which includes the US, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union, as well as the possible addition of other countries.The other framework is through the permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.Like with the Quartet model, Khalidi said other countries could be included within the latter model.The Security Council powers along with Germany provided the framework for the landmark Iran nuclear agreement signed in 2015.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has been adamant that Jerusalem will accept only the US as a peace broker.“There is no alternative for American leadership in the diplomatic process,” he told Israeli ambassadors Sunday. “Whoever is not ready to talk with the Americans about peace — does not want peace.”The US has brokered the last several rounds of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, including a short-lived effort in 2010, and a several-month peace push in 2014, both of which eventually broke down.On Monday, European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini said Brussels was ready to take a “central role,” alongside the United States, expanding the international role in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians.“We affirmed our conviction that the framework has to be multilateral. We will continue working within the Quartet, which includes the US, Russia and the UN, enlarging this to a few Arab countries, and possibly Norway,” she told reporters after meeting with Abbas in Brussels on Monday.“The Palestinian president was perfectly fine with this idea of not having the United States as the only interlocutor for the peace process, but of having a multilateral framework in which the European Union has a central role that is together with others, including our partners in the Quartet, including the United States,” she added.Abbas, in his remarks on Monday, made in Brussels, asked EU states to “swiftly” recognize the state of Palestine, arguing it would help Palestinians hold out their hopes for peace.In an interview with AFP on Sunday in Brussels, PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said the EU recognizing the state of Palestine would be “a way to respond” to Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.But diplomats and officials in Brussels on Monday said that recognition for Palestine is not on the cards — the EU leaves recognition in the hands of individual members — and the best Abbas can hope for is progress toward an “association agreement” with the bloc.Raphael Ahren and AFP contributed to this report.

Second to Trump, but president of the pro-Israel fan club-Pundits marvel that Mike Pence’s speech made him more pro-Israel than pretty much any Israeli-By Joshua Davidovich-TOI-JAN 24,18

Last week, the US embassy in Britain moved from one part of London to another. The transfer went off with little fanfare, with attention only sparked by a negative tweet by US President Donald Trump about the decision.In Israel, Trump’s deputy, Vice President Mike Pence, announced from the Knesset rostrum Monday that the US Embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of the next year, and the announcement leads already extensive coverage of his visit to Israel in the print press Tuesday morning.The Pence statement was not even that new, similar pronouncements having been made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump in recent days in less formal settings, but the size of the coverage goes to highlight both the excitement and consternation around the planned move, which is quite unlike pretty much any other embassy move anywhere in the world.Leading the excitement side of the equation is right-wing Israel Hayom, which devotes its first 15 pages to the visit, each leaf bordered by American and Israeli flags (Yedioth Ahronoth’s four pages of coverage also have a healthy dose of red, white and blue graphics.)-The excitement reaches its climax with a front page cartoon of a picture of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl looking at Pence and remarking “Wow!” the obvious implication being that even the father of Zionism is impressed with the vice president’s superlative and homily-laden speech before the plenum.It is not only Zionists ghosts that are impressed, as the paper’s many commentators fete Pence, led by editor Boaz Bismuth, who also fetes himself for reporting on the Trump administration, accompanying his column with pictures of past front pages, many of which contain pictures of him with Trump.“In the most friendly speech ever heard by a foreigner in the Knesset, Mike Pence reminded the plenum — in case anyone forgot — that Israel is on the right side against the Palestinians, against Iran and against the world. And maybe most important of all: Israel is on the right side of history. It’s no surprise that Israel’s elected representatives (aside from the Joint List) stood for him for long minutes. It seems not a single MK could write a better speech,” Bismuth drools.Similarly, in Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Shlomo Pyoterovsky writes that it is hard to imagine a more “pro-Israel speech,” and claims it even supersedes the mercurial nature of Trump administration decisions and statements.“The speech wasn’t just just a hodgepodge of warm words. Pence also brought with him a ‘dowry’ of real significance, with the clear timetable for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. This dowry is important in and of itself, but it’s more important for the side message it brings: it makes clear that the support of the administration of Trump and his vice president for Israel isn’t just a matter of feeling, but of actual deeds,” he writes.In Haaretz, analyst Chemi Shalev agrees that the speech was perhaps the most pro-Israel ever heard in the Knesset, but isn’t so sure there’s more there than bombast.“Pence not only talked the talk that was music to right-wing ears, he came up with some tangible crowd-pleasers as well. He made real news by pledging that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv will be moved to Jerusalem by the end of 2019. He reaffirmed earlier news by asserting that Donald Trump would no longer certify the ‘disastrous’ Iran nuclear deal. And he concocted some very skewed history, by declaring that Trump had done more for bilateral ties than any US president, ever,” he writes. “By Pence’s account, apparently, Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital eclipses Truman’s recognition, Kennedy’s defensive weapons, Johnson’s offensive weapons, Nixon’s life-saving airlift in 1973, Carter’s peace with Egypt, Reagan’s strategic MOU, Bush the First’s decimation of Iraq, Clinton’s peace with Jordan, Bush II’s stalwart support and Obama’s long term defense treaty. In the year of our lord Twitter in 2018, words are stronger than deeds, especially if they’re Trump’s.”The protests by Arab lawmakers are also widely covered, and in Yedioth, which contrasts the standing ovations with the demonstration and MKs getting booted, op-ed page columnist Alon Pinkas notes that Pence should thank the Joint List for bringing some actual attention to his speech.“It was an embarrassing moment for the Knesset on both sides, and a successful one for the vice president. Until then, his visit to the Middle East got almost no US media attention, and thanks to [the protest] was now widely covered,” he writes. “Waving banners during the speech of the vice president is not a respectful protest like a walkout, but a walkout would not get headlines in the US. Pence’s staff should send a bouquet of flowers to [Joint List] MK Jamal Zahalka.”In Haaretz, Oudah Bisharat is nonplussed as to how Pence could dare use the word “democracy” after the plenum was cleared out of Arabs (though, there are several Arabs in other parties) and chides other opposition parties, especially Meretz, for not joining the protest “but sitting there and acting well-behaved.”On the other side of the ideological fence, Israel Hayom calls the move a “joint provocation,” and columnist Amnon Lord writes pretty much the exact opposite of everyone else, saying that the media only cared about Netanyahu and Pence and not the protest, praising the opposition for behaving nicely, and claiming that the Joint List was the one subverting democracy with its protest.“Absolute contempt for symbols of Israeli statehood is like contempt for democracy. The Arab MKs didn’t despise the vice president but the Knesset. The capital of Israel,” he writes.While the government has plenty of love for one white foreigner, it has less sympathy for black foreigners set to be deported, with protests surrounding that plan also making top news.Haaretz reports on asylum seekers being arrested after hiding in an Ashdod attic, and while the attic part is highlighted, the paper is smart enough to keep from hammering home the obvious parallel; it also quotes the police saying the raid actually had nothing to do with the wider deportation campaign.“In a statement about the arrests, police said two asylum seekers were arrested ‘after fleeing, upon the policemen’s entry into the business, to the attic, where they tried to hide in a shower stall,’” the paper reports frankly.Yedioth meanwhile focuses on El Al pilots saying they will refuse to fly deportees out of the country, with the pilots alluding to a certain historical parallels.“Especially we as Jews need to be more attentive, empathetic, ethical and leaders of public opinion in the world in dealing with deporting refugees who suffered and are still suffering in the places they came from,” one pilot is quoted saying. “ True, Israel needs to have clear closed borders and immigration needs to be controlled. But, and this is big but, refugees who have been living among us can’t be thrown out like wild dogs and returned to their lands.”

Animal rights group urges tourists to boycott Jordan’s Petra-PETA cites cruel treatment of pack animals used to haul sightseers up to ancient temple; demands motorized vehicles be used instead-By Stuart Winer-TOI-JAN 24,18

A leading animal rights group on Tuesday called on Israeli and other tourists to stay away from one of Jordan’s most famous attractions, citing the treatment of pack animals at the site, which it said are whipped, overworked, and denied proper water and veterinary treatment.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued what it called a “travel advisory” against visiting the ancient city of Petra, a sprawling archaeological site of tombs and monuments carved into rose-hued desert sandstone some 2,000 years ago by traders known as Nabataeans.Noting that many tourists travel to Jordan via Israel, the group said the warning came as a follow-up to an investigation it published last week looking into the abuse of over 1,300 donkeys, camels and mules that serve the archaeological attraction.The animals are “routinely beaten and whipped to force them to haul visitors on their backs or in carriages in blistering heat without shade or water,” PETA said.“PETA is calling on residents of Israel to stay away from Petra until these exhausted animals are replaced with modern conveyances, such as golf carts, so that tourists can appreciate the city’s rich history without witnessing cruelty to animals, which can ruin a trip and blight the country’s reputation,” urged PETA Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker.“It’s an outright disgrace that weak, wounded animals in Petra are being hit and whipped and denied water and shade in the desert heat every single day,” Baker declared.Some of the work involves climbing 900 steps to reach the top of the site, and then down again, or pulling carriages on 10-kilometer trips through the desert several times a day.“Between rides, the animals are tied so tightly that they can’t even lie down and are forced to stand in the sun until the next customer comes along,” the PETA statement said. “Often, the animals appear to be receiving no veterinary or farrier care, and many suffer visibly from apparent lameness, colic, and exhaustion.”Although a sign at the site from the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority asks tourists to report any cruelty they see, the email address it provides does not work, PETA said.The group said it had contacted hundreds of travel agencies about the abuse and the companies responded by promising to not promote trips to Petra until motorized vehicles are used instead of the animals.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In Jerusalem, Pence urges Europeans to change Iran nuclear deal-At the president's residence, US vice president says speedy relocation of US Embassy a 'tangible sign' of US-Israel alliance-By Raphael Ahren-TOI-JAN 24,18

US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday urged Europe to agree to open the Iranian nuclear deal, threatening that Washington will quit the landmark pact if its “sunset provisions” are not entirely removed.Speaking next to President Reuven Rivlin at his Jerusalem residence, Pence also praised US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, calling it a “tangible sign” of America’s commitment to the Jewish state.“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in the battle against radical Islamic terrorism,” Pence told Rivlin. “I thank you, Mr. President, for your government’s courage, for the courage of your military. And I pledge to you continued collaboration and cooperation on behalf of our mutual security.”The US stands together with Israel against Iran, the vice president continued, calling the Islamic Republic the “leading state sponsor of terror.”“And just know that in PresidentTrump’s recent decision to announce that the waiver that he would sign on sanctions under the Iran nuclear deal would be the last one,” he said.“We are sending a signal to our European allies that the time has come for changes in the Iran nuclear deal that will ensure that the sunset provisions in the deal are completely eliminated, and that punitive sanctions will be available for many years to come, to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said, referring to clauses in the deal that critics warn will allow Tehran to break out the bomb as soon as the deal expires.The US is committed to “work closely with our allies around the world to achieve that,” he told Rivlin. “If our allies will not join us, President Trump has made it clear we will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately. But we hope in the months ahead to able to strengthen it, to contribute to the security of the region, Israel’s security, and the security of American interests as well.”Pence also spoke at some length about the US plan, which he revealed Monday in a speech to the Knesset, to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2019.“Let me say that President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, we hope, is the clearest sign yet of the unwavering commitment of the United States of America to Israel,” he said.Trump has directed the US State Department to work with the American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, “to complete the transition of moving our embassy here to Jerusalem by the end of next year, and we look forward to that as a tangible sign of our enduring commitment and alliance to the State of Israel and the people of this great nation,” Pence said.“The bond between us, we believe, has never been stronger, but under President Trump’s leadership we are committed to make it stronger still.”He went on to note that Trump had asked him also to “reiterate our nation’s deep commitment to peace.” The president truly believes that the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “will set the table for the opportunity to move forward in meaningful negotiations to achieve a lasting peace and end the decades long conflict,” he said.Rivlin, replied: “Inshallah, as we say in Arabic, with God’s help.”Earlier during their meeting, Rivlin thanked Pence for the administration’s decision on Jerusalem, noting that he was a seventh-generation Jerusalemite.He lamented that for 100 years, his ancestors lived “in harmony” with the local Arabs, but “unfortunately, we are now in a sort of tragedy for both of us… most of them refusing to recognize the very existence of the State of Israel.” Confidence must be restored if progress is to be achieved, he added.“You are very proud, always, to stand very firm behind your words in actions,” Rivlin told Pence, “and for that we have only one word to describe you: You are a mensch.” Translating for the benefit of Israelis, Rivlin said, as the vice president laughed, Pence is “a real human being.”Stuart Winer contributed to this report.

Key European body to vote on condemning Trump’s Jerusalem recognition-Palestinians said to push draft stating US's position as a peace broker 'undermined' by move, calling for greater EU role in talks-By Dov Lieber-TOI-JAN 24,18

The leading European human rights assembly on Tuesday was set to discuss a resolution that would condemn the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and call for an increased European role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, an Israeli official told the Times of Israel.The resolution, which will be voted on in the Council of Europe on Thursday, was advanced by the Palestinians, Israel’s Hadashot TV news reported Monday.“The role of the USA as a serious broker in the peace process was undoubtedly undermined by the declaration of its President on Jerusalem,” the draft resolution states.“Europe should increase its role in the peace process, alongside the USA,” it reads, adding that the US “should still have an important role to play based on a renewed attitude of neutrality in this process.”The draft  advocates for an increased European role in the peace process alongside with the US and adds that “decisive” action should be taken by the international community, including the Council of Europe, to create conditions for relaunching the peace process.It also says the council believes the peace process “no longer seems to be a priority for the USA, for Europe and for some Arab States.”Israelis and Palestinians have not sat together at the negotiating table since US-backed talks fell apart in 2014.The draft condemns continued construction in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, arguing that such activity is “undermining the feasibility of the two-state solution.”It also condemns the failure of rival Palestinian factions Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to reconcile. It says the lack of reconciliation harms the “credibility” of the Palestinians in negotiations.The Council of Europe contains 47 European states, including 27 EU member states. Israel has an observer delegation in the council, while the Palestinians have a “partner for democracy delegation.”“There is once again a proposal in which the Palestinians and the European left are trying to drag Europe into extreme unilateral positions that have never promoted nor will ever promote peace or anything positive, just hypocrisy and illusions,” Israel’s ambassador to the European Council, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, told Hadashot.“Whoever views President Trump’s declaration and construction in Judea and Samaria as obstacles to peace while not seeing the financing of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority, incitement in the education system and the raising and digging of terror infrastructures as the fundamental problems, and ignores their existence, is detached from reality and is the last person who can preach morality to the US and Israel,” he added.The report said there have been diplomatic efforts to soften the language of the draft resolution.Following the US decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinian leadership declared that Washington could no longer fulfill the historic and central role in the peace process it has held for over two decades.Instead, Abbas is now seeking a new international framework through which the Palestinians can win an independent state. The main players in that arena, from his point of view, are the EU, the UN, Russia and China.On Monday, European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini said Brussels was ready to take a “central role,” alongside the United States, expanding the international role in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians.“We affirmed our conviction that the framework has to be multilateral. We will continue working within the Quartet, which includes the US, Russia and the UN, enlarging this to a few Arab countries, and possibly Norway,” she told reporters after meeting with Abbas in Brussels on Monday.“The Palestinian president was perfectly fine with this idea of not having the United States as the only interlocutor for the peace process, but of having a multilateral framework in which the European Union has a central role that is together with others, including our partners in the Quartet, including the United States,” she added.Abbas, in his remarks on Monday, asked EU states to “swiftly” recognize the state of Palestine, arguing it would help Palestinians hold out their hopes for peace.In an interview with AFP on Sunday in Brussels, PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said the EU recognizing the state of Palestine would be “a way to respond” to Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.But diplomats and officials in Brussels said Monday that recognition for Palestine is not on the cards — the EU leaves recognition in the hands of individual members — and the best Abbas can hope for is progress toward an “association agreement” with the bloc.Raphael Ahren and AFP contributed to this report.

Qaeda leader urges attacks on Jews, Americans over Trump’s Jerusalem recognition-Yemen-based Khalid Batarfi publishes video saying Muslims in 'the occupied land' must kill using every weapon available-By AFP and TOI staff-JAN 24,18

A senior Al-Qaeda leader has called on Muslims “everywhere” to rise up and kill Jews and Americans in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.In a video released Monday, Khalid Batarfi said Trump’s decision was “a declaration of a new Jewish-Crusader war” and every Muslim had a duty to “liberate” the holy city, the SITE Intelligence monitoring group reported.“No Muslim has the right to cede Jerusalem no matter what happens,” said Batarfi, a top commander with the terror group’s powerful Yemen-based branch. “Only a traitor would give it up or hand it over.”“Let them (Muslims) rise and attack the Jews and the Americans everywhere,” he said, in the 18-minute video entitled “Our Duty Towards Our Jerusalem.”Breaking with decades of US policy, Trump on December 6 said his administration would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city. Trump insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. It also provoked fury from the Palestinians, who said the US could no longer serve as a peace mediator, and prompted condemnations from much of the international community.Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.On Monday, in a speech to the Knesset that saw Arab lawmakers expelled after they shouted in protest, US Vice President Mike Pence pledged to move the embassy by the end of 2019.Jerusalem is holy to both Jews and Muslims.The US decision to recognize Jerusalem triggered protests across the Muslim world, and was also criticized by several US allies.In the video, Batarfi dismissed US allies’ protests as not genuine and “nothing but dust thrown in the eyes.”“The greatest responsibility lies upon the Muslims in America and the Western countries in the world,” he said. “The Muslims inside the occupied land must kill every Jew, by running him over, or stabbing him, or by using against him any weapon, or by burning their homes.”Batarfi is a senior figure with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), described by the US as the worldwide jihadist network’s most dangerous branch.The group has abducted foreigners and claimed responsibility for the deadly 2015 terrorist attack in Paris on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, targeted for its cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.The US stepped up its air attacks on AQAP since Trump took office last January.

IDF’s ‘sky riders’ fly high under first female commander-Artillery Corps' elite drones unit sheds light on its operations as two new UAV models are set to be put to use-By Judah Ari Gross-TOI-JAN 24,18

As rabbis and politicians squabble over the role of women in the Israel Defense Forces, the first female commander of the IDF’s “sky riders” is leading the unit to greater heights, with two new types of drones designed to provide longer flight time and higher-quality intelligence gathering capabilities.Lt. Col. Reut Rettig-Weiss took command of the Artillery Corps’ elite Sky Riders Unit, also known by its Hebrew acronym Rochash, this past July.The unit, which was officially formed in 2010, gathers intelligence before and during missions using small, relatively low-cost drones, known in English as Skylarks and in Hebrew as Sky Riders.“It’s hard for me to think of a recent major operation that we didn’t take part in,” Rettig-Weiss’s deputy, Maj. Nimrod, told The Times of Israel on Monday. (For security reasons, the major can only be identified by his first name.)-According to Nimrod, this included the Israel Police’s raid on a house in the Palestinian city of Jenin last week, during a search for the terrorists believed to be responsible for a shooting attack earlier this month that killed an Israeli man. They also were involved in the army’s recent activities around the Gaza Strip, searching for and destroying terror groups’ attack tunnels that enter Israeli territory from the coastal enclave.“The need for [visual intelligence] has changed. There are more tunnels now, more enemies hiding among a civilian population,” he said.“This platform has broad capabilities to address this,” he said.Lest he run afoul of the military censor, Nimrod refrained from discussing in too fine a detail the intelligence-collection capabilities of the Skylark drones, but said, “Let your imagination run wild.” He was similarly mum on the drone’s potential offensive abilities.To provide additional examples, the military on Monday released video footage from two operations for which Skylark drones provided intelligence.In one, the small, fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle flies over southern Syria to help direct Israeli artillery fire at a Syrian army position, after a mortar shell fired from the area struck the Israeli Golan Heights. The army would not reveal the exact date of the incident, but said it took place in 2017.The second operation, an arrest on September 12, also took place in Jenin, but was unrelated to last week’s raid. In the footage, Israeli troops can be seen surrounding a house in the Palestinian city, and moving in to arrest the suspect. The drone then followed the soldiers on their way out of the city to ensure they left the area safely.The 20 teams that make up the Sky Riders Unit are spread throughout the army’s Northern, Central and Southern Commands. A select group of soldiers has also been specially trained to take part in missions alongside the IDF’s Commando Brigade, including during an exercise last month, Nimrod said.The unit is made up of both male and female soldiers, who serve in gender-segregated teams.“The female soldiers participate in every aspect of the fighting, cross the borders and take an equal part in operational activities,” Rettig-Weiss told reporters on Monday.The main difference between them is that the male soldiers take part in missions that require them to carry the Skylark drone and accompanying gear, which can weigh up to half their body weight, on their backs, while female soldiers carry out missions where the equipment can be transported in vehicles.Collectively, the Sky Riders Unit clocks thousands of flight hours each year, and that figure is increasing by about 20 to 30 percent annually, Nimrod said.As the Skylark drones are flown more and more, they’ve also had a propensity to crash more and more, in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip.This past year, in particular, saw a period in the spring and summer in which drones were crashing at a higher rate than normal. But Nimrod said the unit and the army did not get overly “emotional” about them, as the drone is designed to be cheap, compared to full-scale unmanned aerial vehicles like the IDF’s Hermes 450 model.He said the different crashes were the result of unrelated technical problems with the system, which have since been addressed.“You’ll notice recently there haven’t been as many reports of crashes, even though our flying hours haven’t gone down,” Nimrod said.Though the Skylark has been around since the unit was formed nearly a decade ago, it has been upgraded a number of times, allowing it to have longer flights and carry more-advanced cameras and detection systems. The current version is referred to as the Skylark 10.It too will soon be improved, with an even higher-definition camera and improved flight capabilities, Nimrod said.In addition, the unit has received a new, larger variety of drone to be used for more-complex missions. The new model is now referred to as the “sky galloper,” Nimrod said, but this is only a placeholder.The mazlat mahat — in Hebrew, brigade commander’s drone — and the Skylark 20 have both also been as temporary names for the new model, he said.Both the improved Skylark 10 and the as-yet-unnamed larger drone are in the process of entering operational service and are expected to do so within the coming months, Nimrod said.