Israeli archaeologists excavating caves near the Dead Sea had a rare find! [Ed. - Read Psalm 102:13&14] Under a sediment thrown up by a nearby spring, they discovered jewelry used 2500 years ago, including a necklace of 130 beads of semiprecious stones and gold; a scarab; an agate medallion of Babylonian origin; and a silver pendant with an engraved crescent moon and pomegranates. This find confirms the Biblical accounts of Jews returning from exile in Babylon. When the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah (597 B.C.) he sent Jews into exile. Later Jews and their descendants were allowed to return by the Persian monarch, Cyrus (538 B.C.).
THE JERUSALEM POST:
Jews in Bagdad: In 1940 there were about 150,000. Today only 24. In 1969 Saddam Hussein hanged 11 Jews on gallows in downtown Bagdad. They were some of Iraq’s most prominent men whom he accused as “Israeli spies”. Then his terror-driven regime drove 125,000 Jews out of the country. Thousands fled their homes and livelihood to Israel or abroad. Even after Saddam’s demise, the few in Iraqi Jewish community do not feel safe. Today Sunni Wahabi clerics have issued religious decrees ordering the execution of any Jew who purchased property in Iraq, or any Muslim selling them property. Local newspapers blame the Jews for all that has happened in Iraq, and openly accuse “the Jews” of instigating the U.S. invasion.
A Christian Israeli Arab woman, who was one of the Israeli protesters in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague (during the hearing about Israel’s Security Fence) spoke in Arabic of her husband, George, who was killed at Haifa’s Maxim Restaurant where he worked: “The female suicide bomber exploded herself and my husband who had served her lunch just minutes before. She thanked my husband by sending a metal shard into his skull…This woman in an instant destroyed the life of my family. This is why I came to you to say that terrorism must be stopped.”
Israel’s Muslim population is 16% of the total population. The increase is more than double the increase of Jewish population and is the highest rate of increase in the world. In 2002 the average Muslim woman had 4.6 children; average Jewish woman had 2.6.
Israeli architect Michael Arad’s “Reflecting Absence” design was chosen from some 5,000 entries to memorialize the victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. His father, Moshe, was former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Arad, 31, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture, has designed plans for two police stations in his job at the New York City Housing Authority.
Seven years ago, Bezeg, Israel’s national telephone company, began transporting faxes to crevices of the ancient wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount from people who are unable to make the pilgrimage on their own. Now e-mails will also be accepted. In a different development, construction work has begun at the adjacent section of the “Wall” which will serve as a new site for women’s prayer services.
Israel is ranked 29th out of 155 countries in the 2004 Index of Economic Freedom, published by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The authors of the report noted that Israel carries a heavy defense burden since gaining independence in 1948.
NATIONAL UNITY COALITION FOR ISRAEL:
While Christians, Muslims and Jews all have ties to Jerusalem, these ties are not equal. [The Hebrew Bible] mentions Jerusalem over 600 times [the N.T. 141 times], but it is never mentioned even once in the Koran. Arafat and Co. denies a Jewish Temple ever existed there. They call the Temple Mount “Buraq’s Mount” after Muhammad’s supposedly winged horse. But a mention of Jerusalem itself is nowhere to be found in the Muslim holy book. Interestingly it was recorded in many other places besides the writings of the Jews themselves 1,500 years before the rise of Islam.
[Excerpts from Robbie Friedman] Perhaps the Palestinians are not after “a state” but rather terror for the sake of terror, using terror as a strategy. In Iraq (where Israel is not a player) the Muslims kill more Muslims than anyone else. The culture of death glorifies murder and genocide, and has little to do with territorial aspirations or with the Israel-Palestine dispute. [Read Ezekiel 32 about those who “cause terror in the Land of the Living”.]
THE JEWISH PRESS:
A French court is investigating Yassir Arafat’s wife for money laundering. She made a number of major transfers from accounts in Switzerland to Paris accounts recently (about 10 million dollars).
A new Internet site is archiving copies of Hebrew newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries. The online catalog is maintained by the Jewish National Library of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It features papers from Europe and Israel, including private collections and can be searched by date, author or subject. To access the site: http://juji.ac.il/dl/newspapers. Users’ computers must have the Java program.
European Anti-Semitism: In a public opinion poll conducted in nine European nations, 35% said Jews should stop “playing the victim” in the Holocaust. 15% said it would be better if Israel did not exist. The poll covered Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Britain. The poll found that German, Austrian, Spanish and Italian hostility toward Jews was higher than that in the rest of the countries surveyed. In all countries anti-Semitic sentiment was positively correlated with anti-Israel sentiment. Natan Sharansky, Israel’s minister for Diaspora Affairs says 47% of all anti-Semitic attacks in Europe last year occurred in France.
United States has stripped a former Nazi collaborator of his U.S. Citizenship. Adam Friedrich persecuted individuals when he served as an armed guard in the SS Death’s Head Guard battalion and the Gross-Rosen concentration camp during World War II. Friedrich, 82, who has been living in St. Louis, failed to disclose his wartime actions when he immigrated to the U.S. in 1955.
Christian-Jewish Group is funding 500 explosives detectors to screen passengers boarding buses in Israel. This latest attempt to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from blowing up public buses is being sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. There have been 111 Palestinian suicide bombings over the last three and a half years, killing 500 people in Israel. [The number increases constantly.]
Palestinian (Nablus) Mayor Ghassan Shakah announced his resignation, accusing the Palestinian Authority of failing to rein in armed thugs who are terrorizing Palestinians in his city and other Palestinian communities. This resignation is regarded as a severe blow to P.A. Chairman Yassir Arafat who is not curtailing Palestinian violence and criminal activity in the West Bank of murder, rape, armed robberies, kidnapping and distortion. It comes at a time when Arafat is facing unprecedented rebellion inside his ruling Fatah faction. “Chaos has become a general situation, lawlessness and the absence of order and security have become a daily practice and the rule of the jungle has become a view,” Shakah said in a statement published in Palestinian newspapers.
US has sent $20 million to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, authorized from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Fund to be distributed through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East. President Bush authorized this in response for an appeal for $193 million.
A grisly chapter in the history of Hamas (an Arab terrorist organization) was written when a married mother of two small children killed herself and four Israeli security personnel at a Gaza checkpoint crossing into Israel. Daily 6,000 Palestinians must pass through the Gaza Eretz crossing to work in Israel. Previously Hamas had disallowed women to carry out bombings. A rising number of the bombers were women, though this is the first time one was married or was a mother.
Queen Elizabeth II has awarded an honorary knighthood on Simon Wiesenthal (95) in recognition of “a lifetime of service to humanity” by helping to right some of the awful wrongs of the Holocaust.
Tourism to Israel increased by 31% in 2003, attributed in part to Christian tourism. Israeli Minister of Tourism Benny Elon presented to Pat Robertson Israel’s “Ambassadors Award” for extraordinary effort in support of the State of Israel. The award was presented at a breakfast sponsored by Israel Ministry of Tourism at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Charlotte, NC.
In an article titled, “Sleeping Better at Night With George W. Bush in The White House”, Joseph Yudin said, “With each passing day another mass grave is found in Iraq, confirming what we already knew: Saddam Hussein was murdering anyone who did anything that did not meet his approval.”
An Israeli Navy patrol and a helicopter assisted an Egyptian vessel that was calling for assistance 30 miles west of Atlit as the result of a severe storm. The vessel was carrying vegetables from Egypt to Syria and was towed and allowed temporary docking in the port of Haifa. [Ed. – Israel acted according to Exodus 23:4&5.]
DISPATCH FROM JERUSALEM (Bridges for Peace):
Radiometric tests on Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an underground aqueduct that served as the main water source for ancient Jerusalem, confirms that its construction dates back to 700 B.C., verifying Biblical accounting dating it to King Hezekiah. (II Kings 20:20 and II Chronicles 32:30). A discovery (1880) of an inscription inside the tunnel describes its building that matches the Biblical account.
Why Passion Plays Arouse Fears in Jews was the name of an article by JoAnn Magnuson (BFP’s US Community Relations Director), in which she said, “One of the classic vehicles for the transmission of Jew hatred in the Middle Ages was the Passion Play. . . There are reasons why we make our Jewish neighbors nervous. I advise learning the history before joining the chorus in defense of a new Christian film.”
FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS
As a resurgence of anti-Semitism spreads through Europe, ”anti-Zionism” is showing up on college campuses across the United States. At the University of California-San Diego, Israel-bashers distributed hundreds of copies of a homemade publication ridiculing Jews. In Lawrence, NY, a heavily Jewish area, a swastika and an anti-Semitic slur were scrawled on a newly opened rabbinical college. In California, a Jewish professor’s car at Claremont McKenna College was spray-painted with racial epithets against Jews after she spoke at a forum on the First Amendment and hate speech.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Psalm 122:6