President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel skirted the question of the city’s final boundaries under Israeli sovereignty, leaving them to be determined by final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. His stance is in line with the Oslo Accords, to which both parties agreed amid fanfare and a White House lawn ceremony.
But despite the Palestinians’ signatory acceptance of Jerusalem’s disputed status, their disregard for international law and diplomacy has consistently undermined peace efforts.
The battle over Jerusalem has extended to higher education. A firestorm erupted over Israel’s offer to East Jerusalem Arab schools to teach the Israeli curriculum instead of the Palestinian one. The Israeli curriculum could open the door for Arab students to take the Israeli matriculation exams and study at its high-ranked colleges and universities. Many East Jerusalem parents realize that access to Israel’s colleges and universities would boost their children’s careers.To that end,the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry designated 20 million Israeli shekels (more than $5.5 million) for physical plant upgrades to the seven East Jerusalem municipality schools that accepted the option.
The attainment of social justice has been a utopian goal throughout history. While God created all equal, there is no society in the world where this actually exists in a pure form. There have always been advocates and champions for the poor and downtrodden so the call for social justice will always be with us. It is right to want to help those less fortunate but we must not be deceived into believing a lie over the honest truth.
Israel and the Jewish people have been miraculously resilient over the millennia having survived attack after attack from her enemies near and far. Although they’ve been dispersed to the four corners of the earth, somehow they have maintained their unique Jewish identity and are now regathering in the land of Israel just as the Bible said would happen. Against all odds, the Jews have retained their ancient religion, culture and original language.
Days after UNSC Resolution 2334 condemned Israeli settlements in the “occupied Palestinian territory” of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation under international law” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat issued a strong rebuke: The mayor and his planning-committee director announced the committee’s intent to approve building 618 previously planned housing units in East Jerusalem—a first step toward an additional 5,600 units in the city. “I’m not ever going to stop building. No construction will be stopped by me as mayor,” he said. While the Obama administration harmed its ally by strengthening its enemies, if President Trump holds to his promises perhaps things will change going forward but there is already talk of backpedaling.
The Bible talks much about self-examination and is filled from cover to cover with lessons of morality, honor, integrity and values. Christian history as it relates to Israel and the Jewish people is not one of which those who claim the name of Christ ought to be proud. In fact, it is cause for us to hang our heads in shame and disgrace. Time and again when the people which God Himself calls the ‘Apple of His eye’ needed us - needed anyone - to come to their rescue, we turned our back
Those who participate in singling out and attempting to hurt Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns are anti-Israel and not pro-Palestinian as they often claim. The purpose of BDS is purely anti-Semitic meant only to inflict harm on Israeli businesses and the Israeli economy and not to help the Palestinians or any others for that matter. If this were not so, those who support BDS would recognize that many Palestinians and Arabs freely and happily work for Israeli companies on both sides of the imaginary “Green Line.” When Israeli industries and factories suffer, Palestinian and Arab workers suffer too.
This past year for Israel has been a raucous one. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu has had to skillfully wend his way politically through the innuendoes of friend and foe alike. If only other political entities were so good at providing leadership, the world might be in a better place.
Netanyahu risked a lot earlier in the year vigorously contesting the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) commonly known as the Iranian Nuclear Deal, that was prodded through by the unyielding American president. The relationship between the United States and Israel was contentious at best and arguably made worse by the Prime Minister accepting an official invitation to speak before the U.S. Congress to share his insights about the Iranian Deal.
While it’s no longer news, it’s still shockingly unbelievable that President Obama and the P5+1 group (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany), have agreed to a nuclear deal with Iran; the world’s largest supporter and exporter of terror. Iran currently has a nuclear program in place and, despite denials from the White House, this new deal has opened a pathway for Iran to enrich weapons-grade uranium and be ready with a nuclear bomb in ten years or less. Furthermore, part of the nuclear deal will lift current economic sanctions resulting in a windfall to Iran in excess of one hundred and fifty billion dollars.
An agreement has been released by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and in it he referred to the “State of Palestine.” The agreement deals with aspects of “the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine.”
This treaty is very disturbing in that the Vatican is officially stating its unilateral recognition of Palestine as a state which it is not. This is a political hot potato in which the Pontiff has no business delving. The Pope has wittingly or unwittingly entered into an arena that is beyond the church’s scope and beyond the authority of his governance of the religious life of Catholic’s.