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US Finally Says it Opposes Unilateral PA UN Bid
By IsraelNationalNews.com & Israel Hayom
The United States finally stated on Thursday that it will not support the Palestinian
Authority (PA) resolution submitted to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, which demands
that Israel withdraw from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem by 2017.
Washington has seen the text of the draft resolution and "it is not something that we
would support," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, reported AFP. "We think
others feel the same and we are calling for further consultations. The Palestinians
Aside from the 2017 deadline, the resolution, which was presented by Jordan, sets a
12-month deadline for "peace" negotiations. "We wouldn't support any action that would
prejudge the outcome of the negotiations or would set a specific deadline for withdrawal
of security forces," Psaki said. While the US has often supported UN resolutions on Israel
in the past, Psaki said "obviously the content is important. We've been clear about what
our principles are, and the fact that we could support certain forms of resolution, but
those discussions are private."
While the US has historically opposed such unilateral moves, its response has been less
than clear up till now. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly on Tuesday finally
promised to use the veto. However, on Wednesday, he said "we don't have any problem with
them filing some resolution, providing it's done in the spirit of working with people to
see how we could proceed forward in a thoughtful way that solves the problem, doesn't make
A UN Security Council diplomat on Thursday said the US opposes unilateral moves, but
left open the possibility that the US would get behind it if it was redrafted. "There is
not the basis for consensus on the text as drafted and that is why we need to do some
work," the diplomat told AFP. "The issue now is how do we get something that really does
command consensus. The objective that we have is to achieve consensus, which means we want
to have a text that everybody can agree."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded on Thursday, saying Palestinian Authority
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas "thinks he can threaten us with unilateral steps. He does not
understand that they will result in a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria, just as
previously occurred in Gaza. We will not allow this to happen. We will never agree to
unilateral diktat. We will always safeguard our security. This is our lesson both from the
days of the Maccabees and in our day."
As mentioned by Netanyahu, Hamas expelled the PA in 2007 when it rose to power; Hamas
already tried to stage a coup against the PA in Judea and Samaria earlier this year which
was foiled by the IDF.
"It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered,
have learned nothing," Netanyahu said on Wednesday, in response to a wave of anti-Israel
moves made by the European Union. "But we in Israel, we've learned. We'll continue to
defend our people and our state against the forces of terror and tyranny and
'Mossad Spy' Headed Hizbullah's Foreign Operations
The purported Mossad agent recently caught by Hizbullah was named Thursday as Mohammed
Shurba from the Natbiyeh area in south Lebanon by an al-Jazeera reporter. Sources told the
network he was arrested last month and had acted as the chief of the unit in charge of
foreign operations. He was promoted to the position in 2008, after the assassination of
Imad Mughniyah, then head of Hizbullah's operations unit, in Damascus, which Hizbullah
blamed on Israel.
According to the report, which has not been substantiated by additional sources, the
investigation of Shurba revealed that he initiated contact with Mossad and offered his
cooperation. Shurba allegedly provided valuable information on all of Hizbullah's foreign
activities to Israeli intelligence over a period of years. The report repeated assertions
that his information helped capture a large number of the group's operatives in several
countries, most recently in Peru.
Hizbullah announced the discovery of the alleged spy on Tuesday, although the arrest
apparently came weeks ago. Shurba was purportedly entrusted with a wide range of
responsibilities, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai said Wednesday at one point even
overseeing Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah's security detail. Hizbullah ousted senior
members following the discovery, said the newspaper, and boasted that they were "rid of
the bacteria" after the arrest.
Jews Afraid to Bury Kin at Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem is one of the most ancient Jewish burial grounds
in the world, not far from the Temple Mount, but recently some Jews have not wanted to
bury relatives there.
The security situation, Palestinian vandalism, and stone throwing along the routes
leading to the mountain have contributed to the decline. Leaders from the "Chevra Kadisha"
organization in Jerusalem met with President Reuven Rivlin, whose parents are both buried
at the Mount of Olives, and requested his help to encourage the public to return to the
The cemetery has been estimated to contain between 70,000-100,000 graves from various
eras, including luminaries such as Nahmanides, Yoel Moshe Salomon, Menachem Begin, Eliezer
Ben Yehuda and his son Itamar Ben-Avi, "Olei Hagardom" Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barazani,
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the poet Zelda, and others.
"The absurd thing is that if a Jerusalem resident dies, he'll be buried somewhere
else," said Rabbi Yitzhak Gelbstein, head of the Kadisha organization. "If he wants a
proper funeral, the only place he can be buried and for free is the Mount of
Olives. But because of the security situation, people are afraid, because families don't
want to get close to the Mount of Olives."
Kadisha officials said the president promised that "the Mount of Olives will never be
abandoned. The place embodies the history of the Jewish people in Jerusalem over
generations." Rivlin promised he would continue visiting the mountain regularly for his
"We took it upon ourselves to return the people of Israel to the mountain," said Rabbi
Hillel Horowitz, Director of Cemeteries in Jerusalem. "I'm happy to say that the mayor and
police commissioner realized there is a problem and now we can see improvement. We asked
the president to continue this trend of improvement."
The Zohar's Secrets of Sexuality
When his marriage fell apart, Ricardo (Ezra) Adler, a secular Jew from Venezuela,
suffered a serious crisis that led him on a journey. He sought out many religions and
sects in his quest to discover the secret of a stable relationship, but it led nowhere.
Some friends who saw how distressed he was dragged him to an Orthodox rabbi, where he was
first exposed to what he calls "the secret of Jewish sexuality."
The journey eventually turned into a bold and intriguing documentary film, "The Lost
Key," which describes the process many couples experience on the way to "ideal sexuality,"
according to the Kabbalah. This revolutionary film which openly discusses sex was examined
and endorsed by rabbis, including Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who gave it the
"hechsher" (rabbinical product certification).
"Do you think a rabbi can teach you anything about sex?" Adler asked his interviewees
in a series of street polls conducted in the United States. They all reply with an
emphatic "no," until Rabbi Friedman steps into the frame. "With sex you don't need any
advice," he says. "The birds figured it out, you can figure it out. But if you want to
achieve intimacy, now that's a really ambitious plan. One of the most significant reasons
people choose to divorce is problems in the bedroom and lack of intimacy," said Adler.
"There was a moment when I said to myself that I should make a film in order to share this
hidden knowledge with the rest of the world."
The diverse spectrum of couples who appear in the film is surprising: Religious,
secular and ultra-Orthodox. Director Ricardo Adler inserted himself among the
interviewees. "It took me seven years to make this documentary," he said. "In addition to
Rabbi Manis Freidman who appears in the film, the process was escorted by two other
rabbis, a Sephardic one and an Ashkenazi one.
"I wanted to make a film about sex that would be totally kosher. The permits I received
do not apply to haredim who do not watch women at all or yeshiva students. But there were
certainly Orthodox rabbis who watched the film and enjoyed it very much. And yes, the
Chief Sephardic Rabbi gave his approval."
The kosher certificate does not reduce the direct and candid conversations about sex
that appear throughout the documentary. "We had to delete things that were 'too much' here
and there, but it did not diminish the intensity of the exposure. At the end of the day,
this is a film about intimacy and its significance in Judaism, but it is crafted in an
Adler was asked whether he was worried about such an intimate exposure "My character is
not the only one exposed in its most private moments. Most of the participants took this
daunting step, but we felt that this was a mission. There are a lot of couples who are
suffering in the world because their relationship has become unstable, and we have
something to give them. Secular couples who stayed secular reconstructed the sexual aspect
of their lives around these principles. Three out of four couples we turned to refused to
participate in the film. Those who did are the heroes, my heroes or heroes in their own
Adler, a graduate of Stanford, was born in England to a secular family. He grew up in
Venezuela, studied in the US and did not take any real interest in his Jewish-ethnic
roots. "The meeting with the rabbi, which I was literally dragged to by a couple who were
friends of mine, was an amazing experience," he recalled. "I was hypnotized. I started to
study more about the roots of Judaism, and in the end I also became religious. But I felt
that regarding sexuality, something was lacking. This surprised me, because it is one of
the most fundamental things, and in this case I needed to dig deeper, which I did."
"Through the exposure of deeply concealed sources about Jewish sexuality, I understood
that the whole way we perceived our relationships is fundamentally wrong. Sex in the
Western society has become something physical and technical. Hollywood has turned sex into
a bestial act, something that is only there for sexual satisfaction. The purpose of this
documentary is to reinstate sex as an act of intimacy, sex as a spiritual experience of
union of two that become one."
Adler was surprised to discover that religious Jews are not necessarily familiar with
the ideas that the film presents. "I have a lot of religious friends who live according to
the halachic laws, but they didn't understand at all what they were doing, or what the
result was supposed to be. If you do things in a mechanical way you don't get to see the
beauty and the places that this can lead you to.
"There are different levels of sex and intimacy that a person can create, and the film
seeks to bring the viewer as close as possible to what the mystics call "the union," that
point sex in which souls transcend the natural physical boundaries of the body and unite
as one physical and spiritual creation. My message to the viewer is that you can
dramatically change your marriage. You can be happier in the bedroom after implementing
the relationship principles of the Zohar. And the result is that if you are more connected
to your spouse, and you can have a long lasting and happy relationship.
"It has already happened to me and my wife, and we want other couples to experience a
different level of connection in their relationship. The sexual revolution of the 1960s
created a world of problems. We are trying to fix that by starting a different
sexual-spiritual revolution. If we can create a larger movement of people that understand
what living in real intimacy means, everyone will benefit."
How did people react to the movie in other film festivals? "Absolutely amazing
reactions that I did not expect. People are thirsty, they feel that something is missing
in their relationship, and in their lives and this film fills in the blanks for them. What
is interesting is that most people feel the connection to these ideas at one level or
another. At the end of one screening one guy came up to me and told me frankly "I don't
believe in God but I got some good ideas from the film."
'Harry Potter had Jewish classmates', Says Author JK Rowling
J.K. Rowling has confirmed that the student body of Hogwarts, the school for wizards
in her immensely popular "Harry Potter" book series, included Jewish youngsters.
Responding to a Jewish fan on Twitter, who asked if there were any Jews at Hogwarts,
Rowling wrote: "Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard."
She added: "To everyone asking whether their religion/belief/non-belief system is
represented at Hogwarts: the only people I never imagined there are Wiccans." Rowling said
the Wiccan religion did not seem compatible with the type of magic portrayed in the
Anthony Goldstein first appeared as a character in the fifth Potter book, "Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix." According to Harry Potter wiki, Goldstein, who was brought
up as a Jew, was Harry Potter's classmate at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
He was sorted into the Ravenclaw house and later joined Dumbledore's Army, a student
organization founded by Harry Potter.
The "Harry Potter" author also responded to one fan on Twitter who asked: "Do you think
there are a lot of LGBT students in modern age Hogwarts?". She replied: "It's safe to
assume that Hogwarts had a variety of people and I like to think it's a safe place for
LGBT students. Rowling has said in the past that "The Potter books in general are a
prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry."
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