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US Supreme Court to Decide 'Jerusalem, Israel' Passport Case

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The US Supreme Court is about to decide Monday in the Zivitofsky vs. Hillary Clinton case, that involves a demand by a US citizen to have his birthplace denoted as "Jerusalem, Israel" on his passport.

At the center of the struggle between the Congress and the presidency is Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002 to two American parents. His passport says "born in Jerusalem" but his parents want "Israel" added to the place of birth, putting them at odds with the State Department. Jerusalem is Israel's capital, but most of the international community refuses to recognize it as such.

Shortly before Menachem's birth in 2002, lawmakers passed new provisions urging the president to take steps to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to have their place of birth listed as Israel.

However, when then-president George W. Bush signed the law in 2002, he said he wouldn't follow it because it "interferes with the president's constitutional authority to conduct the nation's foreign affairs." In 2002, president George W. Bush signed the bill declaring Israel as Jerusalemites' nationality into law, but he added a signed statement condemning it as unacceptable interference in the president's powers to conduct foreign policy.

In March 2012, the top court ruled that the Zivotofsky suit was legally admissible, without pronouncing on the underlying issue. After the case was thrown out twice - most recently, in June, 2013 - the Court will decide this time whether the president alone has the authority to say who Jerusalem belongs to, in the eyes of the United States. The Obama administration argued at a hearing in November 2011 that to list Israel as the country of birth would be tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the country.


Netanyahu: People of All Faiths Can Worship at Temple Mount

By VOA News

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is vowing to keep longstanding worship arrangements in place at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, saying that Muslims can continue to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Netanyahu called Sunday for calm and restraint in the face of rising tensions over the site that have sparked almost daily clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police. Jews consider it their holiest site, because of the temples that stood there in biblical times, while Muslims consider it their third holiest, after the cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The Israel leader told his weekly cabinet meeting that the site is open to people of all faiths, a message that he said has been relayed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We will not change the worship arrangements and the accessibility that has been customary at the Temple Mount for decades. We are committed to preserving the status quo to Jews, Muslims and Christians. What is needed now is calm, what is needed now is responsibility and restraint. We are determined to maintain the status quo for all religions in order to prevent escalation from the Temple Mount, inside the Temple Mount and around the Temple Mount. It is very easy to ignite a religious fire but much harder to extinguish it. These messages have been relayed in the sharpest way possible to Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and all the elements, and when I say all the elements, I mean all the elements in the space and also among us, what is needed now is calm," Netanyahu stated.

Abbas called the Israeli leader's call for the status quo a "step in the right direction." The fate of the hilltop in east Jerusalem is part of the longstanding dispute between Israel, which captured it in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians, who want the area as part of the capital of a future Palestinian state. Both Jews and Muslims are allowed to visit but only Muslims are allowed to pray there. Jewish activists are pushing for changes in the rules to give them the right to pray at the site.

Violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinians erupted last month after Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian gunman who wounded an ultra-conservative rabbi. The rabbi had attended a conference on granting Jews the right to pray at the Temple Mount.

Meanwhile, Israel has closed two border crossings with Gaza, the Palestinian enclave along the Mediterranean. The military said it decided to close the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings Sunday after a rocket was fired Friday into Israel from the Palestinian side without causing any damage or injuries. Israel said humanitarian aid will be allowed through the Erez crossing. Israel said the rocket incident was the second strike since the end of Israel's 50-day war against Gaza terrorists in July and August.


Netanyahu: It's Time That the World Condemn Abbas

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night strongly condemned Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who sent a letter of support to the family of the terrorist who shot Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. "When we are trying to calm the situation, Abu Mazen sends condolences over the death of one who tried to perpetrate a reprehensible murder. The time has come for the international community to condemn him for such actions," the Prime Minister said.

In the letter, Abbas condemned Israel for killing the man who shot Glick. "We received with anger the announcement about the despicable crime perpetrated by the gangs of killing and terror in the Israeli occupation army, against the son, Muataz Ibrahim Hijazi, who rose to the heavens as a martyr for the defense of the rights of the Palestinian nation and the holy places," he wrote. Israel's "barbaric" operation, added Abbas, "joins all of the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people since the Nakba and the historic injustice that accompanies it since then."

The letter was condemned by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said, "The letter of support indicates, more than anything, that Abu Mazen is, indeed, a partner: a partner to terror, a partner to terrorists, a partner to murderers."

"Abu Mazen's despicable letter constitutes open support for terror and encouragement for additional murders," said the foreign minister. He called upon the international community "to vomit [or purge - ed.] and denounce this man, who is leading the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to violent, terrible places."

Glick - who founded and heads the LIBA Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount - was shot in the chest on Wednesday night outside the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, after the shooter pulled up in a motorcycle or scooter, and confirmed Glick's identity before shooting.

He had been speaking, minutes before being shot, at an event for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount that had hosted leading religious figures and MKs. Glick has been slowly recovering, after arriving at Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition shortly after the attack.


Nov. 2, 1917: The Balfour Declaration

By Larry Domnitch (Op-Ed)

As nations issued statements of support for the Balfour Declaration, the British statement granting statehood to the Jews in the Land of Israel, issued on Nov. 2, 1917, Jewish communities around the world paused and celebrated.

The American Jewish Zionist Newspaper, the Maccabaean, termed the Balfour Declaration, `The Jewish Magna Carta,' The American Jewish Chronicle, "A Turning Point in Jewish History," The Canadian Jewish Chronicle, the "The End of the Galut."

The Religious Zionist movement, Mizrahi, issued a statement that "It seems that Holy Providence which guided Israel in its long night of exile is about to reward the Jewish people for all their suffering and tribulations."

In one celebration, a reported crowd of 100,000 danced outside the US Consulate in Odessa. Christian Zionists around the world were elated as well. On Sunday evening Dec. 2, 1917, crowds gathered in the London Opera House, which was filled to capacity with over 2,700 in attendance. An overflow crowd met simultaneously in the Kingsway Theatre of London. The rally was entitled a "Great Thanksgiving Meeting," by the London Jewish Chronicle and it featured members of the British Government and leaders of British Jewry.

At the rally, speeches were delivered with the frequent theme portraying the British as liberators of the Jewish people from millennium of suffering. British Member of Parliament, Col. Mark Sykes called the event a "turning point in the history of the whole world." MP Robert Cecil proclaimed, "The keynote of our meeting this afternoon is liberation." MP Herbert Samuel, who would later become the first British High Commissioner over the Middle East, pronounced the words, "Next year in Jerusalem" and decried those who had doubted that British promise of Jewish statehood.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the English Zionist Federation, who had an integral role in the promulgation of the Declaration, called upon those present to rise and take an oath, which quoted a passage from Isaiah, "If I forget thee Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its power."

Among the speakers was the eminent Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook from the city of Jaffa who due to circumstances related to the war was in London at the time. Kook's message was quite different, "I have not come here to thank the British nation, but even more, to congratulate it for the privilege of making this declaration. The Jewish nation is the `scholar' among the nations, the `people of the book,' a nation of prophets; and it is a great honor for any nation to aid it. I bless the British nation for having extended such honorable aid to the people of the Torah, so that they may return to their land and renew their homeland."

Kook offered recognition to the British but not thanks. If Britain offered the pledge, then it fulfilled a role for which it was destined. He believed the British need not be thanked for giving the Jews what has been rightfully theirs for over 3000 years, or for offering the Jews the land which was taken from them by Roman conquerors 1800 years earlier.

Furthermore, the British issued the declaration, but they had not yet delivered on its promises of Jewish Statehood. Despite the euphoria, Britain would soon abandon its promises.

By 1919, members of the Jewish Legion who fought valiantly with the British to expel the Turks from Palestine in 1918 were prohibited from entering Jerusalem on Passover. One year later, during Passover, an Arab pogrom broke out in Jerusalem. Five Jews were murdered and hundreds were wounded, 18 of them critically. Synagogues were desecrated, shops were looted, and homes were ransacked.

The British military authorities rejected the Jews' demands to dismiss the Arab police who participated in the pogrom. The Jews as a whole condemned the response by the British, and accused them of complicity in the pogrom. Accusations were also subsequently leveled that the British incited the violence.

Weeks later, as the British were granted a mandate over Palestine signifying a possible shift in policy, another event expressing gratitude was held. On the same page of the London Jewish Chronicle, on April 30, 1920, which contained eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Passover pogrom, an advertisement appeared calling for a `Thanksgiving Meeting' to be held on May 2, "In Gratification for the Granting of the Mandate to Great Britain and the Establishment in Palestine of the New Jewish Homeland."

With the new mandate granted, the British were again showered with words of appreciation, but the Palestine mandate continued and the promises of Jewish Statehood were not fulfilled.

Over five years later, on Nov. 11, 1925, crowds filled the `Hurva' synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem to commemorate the armistice which concluded the First World War. As thunderous cannon fire ushered in a two minute moment of silence.

Rabbi Kook addressed the audience, "We the Jewish people, have kept silent not only for two minutes but for 2000 years. The nations robbed our Land from us; they plundered our cherished soil; they spilled our blood; and we always kept silent. We suffered for 2000 years of indescribable afflictions, but we kept our peace. … Our silence today is our protest, our outcry: Return the theft! Return our holy places, which you took by force!"


'Committed to Your Spiritual Safety': El Al Safety Video Parody

By YnetNews

"Gentlemen, and unfortunately, ladies," the announcement featured in a satirical in-flight safety video by Jewish-American comedy writers Stephen and Joel Levinson begins. The parody of El Al's flight safety video presents guidelines for passengers, following recent cases in which flights were delayed after ultra-orthodox Jewish men refused to take their seats next to women. http://vimeo.com/110568828

In one of the latest of such incidents, which was first published by Ynet, passengers aboard an El Al flight from New York to Israel described their trip as an "11-hour long nightmare" due to disruptions caused by Haredi travelers during the flight.

According to the passengers who were on the plane, their fellow ultra-Orthodox travelers refused to sit next to women prior to the takeoff, which not only delayed the flight, but caused actual chaos to ensue on the plane.

Tablet, the Jewish online magazine that posted the video in question, mentioned the recent cases in which haredi passengers demanded that secular travelers change seats, and added that "to help the airline better articulate its policies, and to educate passengers on what they might expect on their 11-hour journey to the Holy Land, we turned to our friends the Levinson Brothers, who produced an in-flight safety video El Al could screen as passengers board at JFK airport."
























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