Christian Coalition

Which is the true face of radical Islam—the coat and tie or mask and fatigues? No 

matter what the attire, the goal remains the same: the eradication of Jews, Christians and all those who do not embrace radical Islam. 

The two faces appear contradictory, but they’re not. They represent two strategies with one goal which is known as jihad or holy war. For the well-dressed radical jihadist, a close shave (for some), or silk suit and tie is 21st-century battle gear for waging diplomatic jihad. For others the uniform consists of masks and fatigues and their tools are guns and machetes.

"Our negotiations with world powers are a source of national pride," said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. During the Iran-Iraq War, our “brave generals stood against the enemy on the battlefield. Today, our diplomatic generals defend us in the field of diplomacy. This, too, is jihad."

Diplomatic jihad is but one prong of the long-term global strategy to influence, infiltrate and defeat the West, including Israel. Its diplomatic initiative gained momentum due to jihadists’ frustration with Western military might, which they see as a deterrence to their plan to reestablish a caliphate by violent means, and then supplant all other religions with radical, Sharia based, Islam.

From as early as the mid-’60s, the goal of the PLO has been the “liberation of Palestine.” Radicals have embraced armed struggle to accomplish this goal which, of course, means the destruction of Israel. During its first 10 years, the PLO pursued this goal in a bloody terrorist war. But after the Arab armies’ defeat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, PLO leader Yasser Arafat understood that violent terrorism alone was not achieving the desired results so he incorporated a new strategy into the struggle – public diplomacy. Arafat realized that terrorist brutality was not good for public relations and would gain him no friends from the outside Western world. To gain legitimacy and delegitimize Israel, Arafat deliberately launched diplomatic and political offensives using terrorism as the springboard. Arafat’s efforts peaked at his 1974 address at the United Nations where he presented the PLO as peace-seeking freedom fighters with legitimate claims, and gained observer status in the world body. Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a Abu Mazen) is both the current PLO chairman and the president of the Palestinian Authority and he is building upon Arafat’s plan and methods.

The “aha” moment for radical Islam is not new. It is deeply embedded in radical Islamic ideology which includes the eradication of Christians and Jews and all others who do not embrace radical Islamic teachings. It is generally accepted that there are basically six tracks of the jihadist master plan: economic jihad such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns against Israel (known as BDS); ideological jihad including “jihad of the pen” and penetrating academia; political jihad; intelligence jihad by infiltrating a country’s institutions; subversive jihad to sap a country’s defenses from within while protected by its laws such as freedom of speech in the United States; and diplomatic jihad to manipulate foreign policy. Militant or radical Islamists have become masters at directing such operations and implementing these subversive takeover plans.

From this foundation stem the multiple faces of militant Islam. Compare this to Israel, which has never called for undermining or destroying the Palestinian people or questioned their right to exist. Radical Islam demands slave-like adherence to its brutal ideology abhorring diversity, freedom of religion and critical thinking. On the other hand,  Arabs living within Israel’s borders enjoy the rights and privileges of democracy including freedom of religion, free speech and free choice.

The Israel-Arab conflict is ultimately a clash between two worldviews—a result of irreconcilable foundational precepts. Any initiative to tackle the Israel-Palestinian equation requires discerning their respective foundational documents, and exposing and addressing the on-the-ground applications. Those who use diplomacy for peace—not jihad—would do well to consider this premise.

Many conservative Christians voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election due to his commitments on several issues—one being to support Israel and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Here are several compelling reasons why this is the time to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Righting Historic Injustices

This move would right a historic injustice: the one country in the world where the US Embassy is not located in the functioning and declared capital city is our closest and most democratic ally in the Middle East. A country whose citizens love America, weep when we weep, celebrate when we celebrate, and share our values, deserves this type of recognition.

It also would end an unrealistic requirement in UN Resolution 181 known as the 1947 UN Partition Plan. This resolution was a proposal to partition Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate making way for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States. Jerusalem was not included in either state—Jew or Arab—and was to have a special international regime overseeing it for ten years after which the residents could vote regarding their status.

The UN Partition Plan was not law and is considered a non-binding resolution. However, it did express international backing for Jewish and Arab statehood in Mandatory Palestine. As a result, Jewish leaders declared statehood, and for this reason alone the Partition Plan is to be appreciated.

The Arabs, however, did not announce statehood and instead rejected the Plan, declared war on Israel, and attempted to take over Jerusalem—and all of Israel if possible. At the end of the war, Jordanian Arab forces occupied the entire Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount—the holiest site in the Jewish faith. They destroyed the synagogues in their territory, killed or expelled all Jews, and made the eastern part of Jerusalem Jew-free until 1967 when Israeli forces gained control of eastern Jerusalem as well as the entire West Bank.

The UN Partition Plan had the best of intentions but was a total failure due to its rejection by the Arab leaders. Now is the time for the world to recognize this failure and give up on the notion that any of it still applies today, especially the provision of placing an international regime over Jerusalem.

Even if the city had been internationalized in 1948, the Partition Plan only called for a ten-year regime after which the residents could vote on their status. Today, after 50 years of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, most residents would vote to remain under Israeli governance. Recent polls indicate that just over half, or 52 percent, of Arab residents of Jerusalem would prefer Israeli citizenship, and many would move to Jewish neighborhoods to stay under Israeli rule if necessary.

Peace Through Strength

Opponents of the embassy move often caution against it out of fear of a violent reaction. No one wants to be the cause of unnecessary bloodshed, but we need to learn from Israel not to allow terrorists and jihadists to dictate our policy. Also, this President has more political leverage than any other in years and could very well pull this off with minimal reaction if he plays his cards right. The entire Sunni Arab world wants his help against Iran and will be willing to concede in other areas to get it.

Then there is the fear of derailing peace talks. There is no better way to get the Palestinians to the table than to place the US Embassy in west Jerusalem. Doing so would demonstrate that the longer the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, the more ground they will lose. Now, that is the way to get peace negotiations started!

Honoring Israeli Peacekeeping

It is time for the nations to recognize that Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has kept the peace—not blocked it! Under Arab control, the Old City experienced ethnic cleansing and complete destruction of the Jewish quarter including its synagogues. Under Israeli control, the city has been rebuilt, holy sites have been maintained, and freedom of worship has been protected for all faiths. As a Christian organization based in Jerusalem, the ICEJ can attest to this. In all honesty, we owe Israel a big “thank you” for the freedom of access to the sites holy to our faith!

An Anniversary Worth Celebrating

This year is the anniversary of several significant events beginning 120 years ago, in 1897, when Theodor Herzl declared at the First Zionist Congress the Jews would have a state within 50 years. One hundred years ago, in 1917, British General Allenby entered the city of Jerusalem on foot ending some 1,300 years of Muslim rule over the city. Seventy years ago, in 1947, the UN Partition Plan paved the way for statehood, and 50 years ago Israeli sovereignty was established over all of Jerusalem. What better time for the nations to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel than 2017—the 50-year anniversary of its reunification under Israeli sovereignty.

Jesus predicted these days when He said Jerusalem would be “trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). Two-thousand years later gentile rule over Jerusalem has ended, and it is time for the nations to accept it!

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org. Her writings are found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog    


This Monday, May 29th, we will honor our nation’s veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all of America's wars while serving in the United States armed services. 

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to honor those who perished in that war.  But in the 20th century, it was extended to include all those who have died while in military service.

I would like to ask all Americans to take a moment to remember all military personnel who made that ultimate sacrifice while serving on active duty.  Today there are nearly 200,000 American troops stationed in over 150 nations around the world; many of whom are active in Middle East combat zones. Please remember them in your prayers.

Let us thank and honor all the fallen for their sacrifice in defense of the United States of America and the values we so cherish.  May God bless each and every one, as well as their families this Memorial Day.


 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit with U.S. President Donald Trump has bolstered Israel’s security and global standing. It also shored up Netanyahu’s political leverage. 

After Bibi’s contentious relationships with Obama and Clinton, he needed results from this trip that would boost his influence at home—and the restoration of a strong Israel-U.S. alliance fits the bill. Though he didn’t get reassurances from Trump on every point he wanted, the visit was a success. For the first time in 11 years, a Republican president and friendlier, GOP-majority Congress welcomed the prime minister of Israel. 

Yet the trip took place under the long shadow of the gravest political threat Netanyahu has ever faced—police investigations into alleged corruption and accepting illegal gifts—details of which are leaked daily by anonymous sources. The fact that the sources are veiled makes it harder for his coalition to stand with him against the pressure to resign—for fear of political backlash against them from unidentified but potentially powerful actors. This political scheme is being conducted in the dark, stealthily. Even if Bibi doesn’t resign, the smear campaign has been eroding his support.

 

Netanyahu is also down in the polls to charismatic, center-left leader Yair Lapid, and he faces battering in his coalition from Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home Party and Likud activists to aggressively build new settlements, annex areas of the West Bank, and reject the two-state solution. Another thorn in his side is the recent state comptroller’s report on Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which blames his administration for failing to adequately brief his security cabinet on Hamas terror tunnels. With controversy swirling about him, rightwing politicians are lining up in the wings with an eye on taking the helm.

 

In light of the domestic turmoil, “Netanyahu does not need a green light to build in the West Bank, a commitment to move the embassy, or a vow to tear up the Iran deal. What he needs is no hint, no sign, and no leak of the slightest public or private disagreement with Trump,” said Michael Koplow, Israel Policy Forum director. His success in reaffirming the U.S.-Israel relationship “should demonstrate his capacity to keep that relationship unbreakable.” And that ace in the hole strengthens Israel, and helps neutralize Bibi’s political opponents. 

 

Pressures from the Right

 

Several White House statements such as building new settlements or expanding existing ones  "may not be helpful in achieving [peace]" will help Netanyahu resist pressure from Bennett and right-wing Likud ministers on settlement policy, said former U.S. mediator Dennis Ross. A compromise with the United States that permits building only in large West Bank settlement blocs likely to remain part of Israel in a future deal would also help him withstand pressure from the Right.

 

 Nevertheless, his hard-right coalition members were jubilant when neither leader endorsed the two-state model as the sole solution for peace with the Palestinians.  This stance instantly won Netanyahu support and credibility from his political base. The dramatic break with what has been the bedrock of U.S. Middle East policy since the Clinton administration, and is widely viewed as the formula for peace, has also been the mantra of the Israeli Left–“led by military and legal fraternities and the media—enemies of Netanyahu from the beginning,” said journalist Caroline Glick.

 

Pressures from the Left

 

 After Netanyahu’s strained encounters with Obama, political rival Lapid accused him of damaging Israel’s alliance with the United States with a “condescending and disparaging attitude toward Israel's closest friend in the world, a country whose relationship with us is our greatest security asset.”  Then along came Trump, warmly welcoming the Prime Minister of Israel to the White House. In a sign of the center-left’s disarray, they issued no statement in response to the Trump-Netanyahu visit.

 

The two leaders  have found common ground—not only in center-right ideology and leftist “shadow” agendas working to undermine them—but also in strategies for fighting their nations’ common enemies—especially radical Islam.

 

“By working together, Trump and Netanyahu can defeat the common foes of their countries,” Glick said, “and the success of their joint efforts will bring about the defeat of their bureaucratic enemies and the establishments working to undermine them.” 

After a hiatus of relative calm, anti-Semitism has been accelerating at an alarming pace across the globe. Its most ominous surge is in Europe, Australia and North America—those traditional bastions of equal rights. All is not quiet on the Western front. Global anti-Semitism rose 30 percent in 2013 and 40 percent in 2014; in Europe, it increased sevenfold from the 1990s to the 2000s. "These are the worst times since the Nazi era," German Jewish leader Dieter Graumann told The Guardian. “It's pure hatred against Jews, nothing else.” Last year, anti-Semitism exploded exponentially, prompting U.S. Jewish leader Malcolm Hoenlein to warn of a “pandemic in formation.”

Europe is the seedbed of global anti-Semitism. Its roots are so deeply embedded in European culture and institutions that any type of spark can trigger a fire. Sparks fly from rightwing and leftwing extremists, nationalist political parties, radical Muslim refugees and allies, the Israel-Arab conflict, society’s discontented fringe elements, social media use - all these play a role. But anti-Semitism boils down to hatred - irrational, double-minded and deluded. And in the hands of institutional power elites - governments, academia, media, corporations or misled religious institutions - it’s increasingly dangerous.

Like locusts lying dormant for years before emerging as a destructive horde, resurgent European anti-Semitism should surprise no one. Nazi Germany alone did not spawn the Holocaust - sympathizers in Western and Eastern Europe plundered and murdered scores of Jews. Despite dormant periods, anti-Semitism never disappeared in Europe. It just went underground.

In America, overt discrimination against Jews reared its ugly head from the early 20th century until after World War II. While pockets of snobbery and racism remained, from the late ’60s to the late ’90s, a nearly global reduction in institutional anti-Semitism put Jews more at ease. According to author Alan Dershowitz, anti-Semitism in America reached an “all-time low” during that period; public expressions were rare, even among power elites, and anti-Zionism dipped slightly. That welcome respite witnessed “the virtual elimination of institutional anti-Semitism in most parts of the world.”  

The distinction between institutional, officially approved anti-Semitism and individual bias is key. Consider the change after Barack Obama took office in 2009, and placed pro-Muslim cronies in positions of influence in government, the courts, academia and other institutions. Obama’s grip on power opened the floodgates to anti-Israel and anti-Christian expression in America.

Poland in the 1930s provides a parallel warning. Immediately after the 1935 death of leader Josef Pilsudski, a strong supporter of equal rights for Jews and other minorities, those Poles previously intimidated from launching a full-fledged attack on their nation’s Jews moved publically to purge the Jews from Poland. Likewise, in the Jewish Scriptures, after a pharaoh arose in Egypt “who knew not Joseph,” the Hebrews were forced into slavery for 400 years until G-d sent Moses to free the captives on the first Passover.

Arguably, the most dangerous form of anti-Semitism is state-sponsored and institutionally implemented. Public institutions and other power elites wield great influence. If they embrace anti-Semitism, their influence could infect many, and anti-Semitism could mutate to “normal” thus putting Jews at grave risk. The good news is the brave men and women who speak the truth in the face of oppostion. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley is confronting anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. Recently, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova publicly rebuffed all efforts to deny Jewish history in Jerusalem—contrary to the positions of UNESCO’s member states.

No matter what form anti-Semitism takes, religious, racial or anti-Zionist; no matter how its disproportionate hatred and double standards are manifested, civilized, rational truth-seekers must fight this poison before it’s too late. Anti-Semitism undermines and attacks not only Jews, but all of us. No being has more institutional governmental authority than the G-d of Israel. And He has issued the decree: Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, and he who curses Israel will be cursed.

One of my most memorable experiences in Israel happened many years ago right outside the Old City of Jerusalem. I was living at a school on Mount Zion at the time, pursuing a master’s degree in Judeo-Christian Studies. As students often do, we came up with a bright idea that provided adventure while burning off pent-up energy from days spent in class. Our idea was to hike to the top of the Mount of Olives to watch the sunrise.

Early one morning, while it was still dark outside, a group of about six of us began the hike around Mount Zion, alongside the southern walls of the Old City, down into the Kidron Valley, and then up the Mount of Olives, passing the Garden of Gethsemane along the way. We had only just begun our trek around Mount Zion when we unexpectedly heard a rooster crow.

In the still of the night, the sound of that rooster reverberated off the stone walls and hills of Jerusalem and could be heard throughout the area. I was immediately transported back some 2,000 years. It was in this same vicinity of Jerusalem that Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times before hearing a rooster crow for the second time, just as Jesus had said would happen. I could just imagine how loud it had sounded to Peter, jolting him into the realization of what he had done and how Jesus had predicted that very moment.

A rooster crowing in the middle of Jerusalem was not something I would have expected to hear. “But then again,” I thought to myself, “it is the Middle East.” What I did not know then, but I came to learn some years later, is that we were walking right beside the church that commemorates this story in Scripture—and this church keeps a rooster on the premises. We probably woke the poor bird up!

 

The Beginning of Jesus’ Sufferings

The church is called St. Peter Gallicantu and is thought to be built over the remains of the High Priest Caiaphas’ palace. Peter's triple rejection of Jesus "before the rooster crows twice" took place in the courtyard outside of the High Priest’s house (Mark 14:30).

The remains of a first-century aristocratic home can be seen beneath the church, and below the home is a dungeon, chiseled out of the Jerusalem bedrock, that was used to hold prisoners. From the dungeon guards could look down into a deep, dark pit that was used to hold someone in solitary confinement.

This dungeon is always a very moving experience for Christian visitors. Whereas prisoners would have been lowered by rope into the dark pit below, tourists today can walk down a set of stairs and gather inside to pray and read Psalm 88. What a moving place to meditate on the loneliness and rejection Jesus would have felt in the pitch-black darkness of a cold stone pit.

Whether this is truly Caiaphas’ house and where Jesus was held overnight is not known. But his house would have been in this general proximity and would have included a place for holding prisoners—just like this one.

If this house is not that of Caiaphas, then Jesus walked right beside it, because next to the church is a set of first-century stone stairs climbing Mount Zion from the Kidron Valley. We can be certain that Jesus climbed those stairs, bound and guarded by soldiers, as He was taken from the Garden of Gethsemane to be questioned by the Sanhedrin in Caiaphas’ house.

This was the beginning of Jesus’ imprisonment and sufferings leading up to His crucifixion. While Peter stood outside in the courtyard and denied knowing Him, Jesus may have been crying out to God from inside a dark pit:

 

You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the depths …

You have put away my acquaintances far from me;

You have made me an abomination to them;

I am shut up, and I cannot get out. (Psalm 88:6, 8)

 

St. Peter Gallicantu is a “must” for any Christian tour group. It allows a small glimpse into the loneliness and abandonment Jesus felt on His final night when He was “despised and rejected by men,” while He bore “our griefs,” and carried “our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3–4).

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org and her “Lessons from the Land” articles can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog. For information on the ICEJ’s tours to Israel go to www.icejusa.org/tours.

 

 

 

"He is risen!"

Matthew 28

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

As immigration protests surge at airports and cities across the United States and in other places around the world, President Donald Trump continues to stand by his Jan. 27 executive order, with some adjustments, restricting immigration and his pledge to safeguard the citizens of the United States. Acknowledging America as a nation of immigrants, he vowed “compassion to those fleeing oppression…while protecting our own citizens and borders.” The importance of protecting borders from illegal entry is something Israel has known for a very long time yet she is unjustly criticized by the international community for protecting her citizenry from those whose objective is to perpetrate acts of terror.

President Trump’s order temporarily suspends immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries that sponsor terrorism and provides improved vetting of radical Islamic terrorists. With certain exceptions such as those with work permits, refugee entry into the U.S. has been largely curtailed for Syrian refugees and those traveling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Unlawful entry is a detriment to the national security of democratic countries. It opens the door to terrorist infiltration and, in the case of Israel, would have a major negative impact on the demographic balance of the Jewish state.

Nevertheless, President Trump’s immigration policy stirred up a hornet’s nest around the world. In the United States, lawsuits challenging the order say it is discriminatory and violates constitutional rights. But case law overall indicates that noncitizens do not enjoy such rights. In all the brouhaha, a crucial and determining factor for keeping America and other Western democracies safe is being overlooked by the media and is missing from public discourse. Islam’s own immigration strategy is not part of this discourse but it should be.

In the Muslim Brotherhood’s 1991 “General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” purposeful Muslim immigration is Stage One of radical Islam’s battle against the West and Western values.  The 1987 Muslim Brotherhood Project presents Islam as a “civilization alternative” supporting a “global Islamic State” through jihad ...“to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within, and to sabotage its miserable house…so it is eliminated…so that Islam is victorious over all other religions.”  Islam is on a global caliphate mission with a country-by-country political strategy of subjugation in four stages beginning with immigration (“settlement”) and population expansion. The second stage is “consolidation of power”—via demands for deferential treatment, religious accommodation, judicial, cultural and educational non-integration, and covert efforts to destroy the host society from within. This is achieved by undermining the power base of non-Muslims and their religions, especially Jews and Christians. The third stage is “Open War.” The fourth is transformation of the host state to an Islamic theocracy under sharia law, which denies and destroys non-Muslims’ rights, freedoms, religions, culture, worship and populations. Most global jihadist organizations embrace this theology, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian militants who threaten Israel from the southwest, north and from its own heartland, squeezing her forcibly from three sides.

The only two countries that acknowledge radical Islam’s goal of a worldwide caliphate are Israel and the United States, though political correctness misleads some. Israel is a Jewish state and the United States historically was founded on Judeo-Christian values. In democracies, immigrants are free to live and worship as they choose, but not to unravel the fabric of the society, culture and country that has welcomed them. Democracy’s "melting pot" doesn’t mix with radical Islam, because Islam and freedom cannot coexist.

House Majority Leader McCarthy & Chairman Black Op-Ed in NR: Conservative Repeal and Replace is Here

Our health-care system is broken. It was inefficient before Obamacare, and Obamacare’s Washington-knows-best-mandates made it many times worse. The American people have suffered as a result. We can’t return to the pre-Obamacare status quo, because Americans need more access to health care. But we also can’t leave the American people tied to a sinking Obamacare ship, forced to face higher annual premiums and fewer provider choices.

We need relief based on clear principles: Government shouldn’t dictate our health-care choices, health care should be driven by market principles, and we must help those who truly need our help.

This week, House Republicans introduced legislation rooted in those principles. Our market-driven, patient-centered reforms offer relief from Obamacare, providing a stable transition to a new and reformed health-care system. Big problems require big fixes, so we’ll take this opportunity to lay out clearly what our repeal-and-replace legislation does and why... (READ MORE)

 
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The Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to activist organizations through a Department of Justice slush fund scheme, according to congressional investigators.

“It’s clear partisan politics played a role in the illicit actions that were made,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, told Fox News. “The DOJ is the last place this should have occurred.”

Findings spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee point to a process shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism.

“Advocates for big government and progressive power are using the Justice Department to extort money from corporations,” Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Fox News. “It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.”

There is a recent effort by Republicans to eliminate the practice, which many believe was widely abused during the Obama administration... (READ MORE)

 
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Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee today sent a letter to Director James Comey calling on the FBI to follow all legitimate investigative leads regarding Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as leads regarding the mishandling of classified information. Members signing the letter also renewed their request for a briefing on these matters and allegations made by the President over the weekend that he and his associates were under surveillance during the presidential election.
 
Members signing the letter are: Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Crime Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)... (READ MORE)

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Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 1301, the FY 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations:

“Defense is and remains our government’s highest priority. If we don’t defend our nation, we can’t do anything else. Our nation faces an increasing number of threats abroad and we must be sure our military has everything necessary to overwhelm any challenge. This legislation funds a pay raise for our military personnel, supports readiness programs, and ensures our military has the resources it needs now and the technology it will need in the future. I would like to thank Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) for his work on this bill to get Democrats, Republicans, the House, and the Senate all together for the sake of our national defense”... (READ MORE)

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JERUSALEM­ - for the Christian reader it’s a name that invokes the Psalms describing its beauty, its spiritual significance, and the importance of praying for its peace.  For others it stirs a wide spectrum of emotions and a quagmire of international disagreement. Here are several reasons for the multilayered controversy over Jerusalem.
 
THE UNITED NATIONS, WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, AND SIX DAY WAR

Over the last 150 years, as Jerusalem expanded beyond the ancient walls of the Old City, Jews and Arabs lived interspersed on both the eastern and western sides. A complicating factor was introduced in 1947 when the United Nations drew up the Partition Plan, offering swaths of land for both Jewish and Arab states, and keeping Jerusalem separate as an internationally managed city. The Jews begrudgingly accepted the plan and declared statehood, while the Arabs rejected it outright and, instead of statehood, declared war on the new-found Jewish State... (READ MORE)

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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.

Barkat is “politically correct” in the most positive sense of the phrase. He is also legally and historically correct. In property disputes over land ownership, lawyers search property records for deeds, liens and related issues in order to identify the real legal owner(s). They also use mandatory “discovery” to demand that the opposing party provide all relevant documents, inspections and depositions that pertain to the dispute. In the courtroom, the presiding judge determines whether the proceedings and evidence of both sides are represented in a fair and balanced way.

The U.S. abstention of Resolution 2334 and John Kerry’s specious rhetoric laying out his two-state agenda were mockeries of the these basic processes and premises of justice. As further evidence of’ the resolution’s shaky legal grounds, it conflicts with tenets of international law in the Palestine Mandate, UNSC Resolution 242, the Oslo Accords and Camp David Summit.

The Bible clearly defines ancient boundary lines and one of the oldest title deeds in the world is recorded in the Tanach, where King David purchased the future site of the Jewish Temple from Araunah the Jebusite for 600 gold shekels. David’s son, King Solomon built the First Temple on that site. There’s ample additional biblical, archeological, religious and historical evidence of Israel’s abiding connection to Jerusalem that pre-dates Palestinian claims. The Jews governed Israel for a thousand years, and lived there continuously for the past 3,300 years. According to Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs researcher Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital during that time, never a capital of any Arab or Islamic entity.

Despite Israel and the Jewish people’s deep and abiding historical, cultural and religious connection to Jerusalem, the Palestinians, who began to define themselves as a people only about 100 years ago, insist they will never sign a peace deal that does not include Israel’s surrender of East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount. (Under international law, this area is disputed, not “occupied.”) Meanwhile, the Palestinians continue to deny Israel’s right to exist and incite violence and terrorism against her. As Dr. Joel Fishman wrote, “It is simply not possible to build [a state] on a foundation of myth and ignorance.”

Mayor Barkat and many others rightly discerned the previous administration in Washington D.C. as being anti-Israel long before Resolution 2334 reared its ugly head. Over the past eight years the U.S. has pressured Israel to halt “illegal” Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem. In recent years Barkat slammed the Obama Administration for criticizing Israel’s plans to expand the suburb of Ma'aleh Adumim—an effort to provide affordable housing in the over-crowded capitol. "I don't know of any city in the world whose regulator is the U.S. president," the mayor remarked. Efrat Mayor and pro-settler leader Oded Revivi added, “Israeli building policies are set in Jerusalem, not New York.”  Based on the latest news reports, it now appears that the Trump Administration are starting to sideways waffle on the topic of settlements.  Let’s hope these news reports are mistaken as they so often have been.

What country doesn’t have the right to its unified capital, and to develop and build it?  I pray the Trump Administration will focus its efforts at the United Nations against terror and stand strong on Israel’s side against any and all attempts to delegitimize the only democracy in the Middle East.