Archive for May 29th, 2011

“IN MEMORY OF HERB ZWEIBON Z”L – AFSI SPRING CHIZUK MISSION TO ISRAEL” by Fern Sidman

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Helen Freedman, executive director of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI), has announced that their upcoming semi-annual “Chizuk” mission to Israel will be dedicated to the memory of their beloved chairman Herbert Zweibon, Z’L who passed away in January of 2011. The tour will run from May 29th through June 7th.

Having founded AFSI in 1970 out of a deep concern for the future of Israel, Mr. Zweibon is best remembered for his generosity, kindness and tireless devotion to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. “Herb was the heart and soul of our organization and a stalwart advocate for the rights of Jews to live anywhere in the land of Israel. The most fitting tribute we could pay to this exemplary “Ohev Yisroel”(lover of the Jewish people) is to dedicate our Spring Chizuk mission to his extraordinary life and legacy”, said Ms. Freedman in a statement to the media.

Coming on the heels of some tense times for Israel is terms of the dramatic foreign policy shift emanating from Washington, the focus of the trip will be the celebration of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) and visits to crucial sites in Judea and Samaria. “The Prime Minister of Israel addressed the status of Jerusalem in his speech before the joint sessions of Congress, and we at AFSI are here to reiterate our steadfast support for Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided, and only capital of the Jewish nation” declared Ms. Freedman.

In terms of Israeli retention of settlement blocs in any future peace deal with the Palestinians, Ms. Freedman said, “When we hear the words ‘painful concessions’ spoken by Prime Minister Netanyahu, we know exactly what that translates in to. We are also mindful that the prospect of removing Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria is totally unacceptable and thoroughly intolerable. Based on previous negotiations, we know that the Arabs will never utter those six magical words, “I will accept a Jewish state”. We fervently pray, however, that no more token concessions and “sacrifices for peace” will be necessary to appease the enemy appetite.”

With these sentiments in mind, participants in the AFSI Spring Chizuk mission will be visiting the former residents of Gush Katif now living new communities in the southern part of Israel. In addition, a very special visit will be paid to the beleaguered town of Sderot where a new soccer field has been built with contributions from AFSI members. Under the guidance of Israel Danziger of Mishmeret Yesha the tour members will also be visiting the residents of Gush Etzion, Hebron and the Hebron Hills. It is there that the AFSI members will get some hands-on training in rifle practice under the tutelage of the Mishmeret Yesha rapid response team.

Yom Yerushalayim will be spent in a grand and glorious fashion as tour members partake in an ebullient celebration of the day that Jerusalem was liberated from Arab forces by joining a gala dinner at Beit Orot, while rejoicing with them upon the completion of new apartments for Jews at Shimon HaTzaddik. No AFSI trip to Israel would be complete without a visit to the Temple Mount, and as in previous years, the tour will be led by Rabbi Chaim Richman of The Temple Institute. Having the rare and unique opportunity to celebrate the privilege of being present in Israel’s capital city; this most special day will be enhanced by an enlightening tour of East Jerusalem and the Old City, led by Dan Luria, executive director of Ateret Cohanim.

Providing succor for communities that might be threatened with expulsion also takes precedence in the AFSI itinerary. As such, the tour will proceed to such settlements as Shilo, Chavat Gilad and Itamar, among many others. Heading north, a visit to the mixed city of Carmiel will take place, where many Jews feel that they are under demographic siege by the influx of Arabs into their city. Trips to Haifa, Tzfat, Kiryat Shemona, the Golan Heights and such locations in the Jordan Valley as Hemdat, Maskiot, Massua and Mevo’ot Yericho are also planned. The tour members will also engage as active participants in meetings with prominent personalities in the settlement movement. Among them are: Professor Steven Plaut of the University of Haifa, Rabbi Adam Kennisberg of the Yeshivat Hesder in Akko, Nadia Matar, MK Effie Eitam, Aharon Pulver of the Israel Independence Fund, Sephy Choter and Ramona Bar-Lev, wife of Sami Bar-Lev, the mayor of Katzrin.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Obama Offers Condolences, Encouragement to Joplin Tornado Victims

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

President Obama received warm applause and a standing ovation Sunday from members of the Joplin, Mo., community after pledging that the nation isn’t going to stop helping recovery from a devastating tornado even when the cameras go away.

Appearing at a memorial service after a tour of the neighborhoods damaged by an EF5 tornado, Obama said no one can answer when a storm will strike or the severity of the devastation, but that does not mean the community of 50,000 is powerless in the face of adversity.

“How we respond when the storm strikes is up to us. How we live in the aftermath of tragedy and heartache, that’s within our control. And it’s in these moments through our actions that we often see what makes life worth living in the first place. That’s what in the last week Joplin has not only taught Missouri, or has taught America, it’s what Joplin has taught the world,” Obama said.

“Your country will be with you every single step of the way,” he continued.”We’re not going anywhere. The cameras may leave, the spotlight may shift, but we will be with you every step of the way until Joplin is restored, until this community is back on its feet.

The president spoke following remarks by ministers and laymen heavily doused with scripture and praise for Jesus. Many in the town have not had much more to rely on but faith and federal aid after a near mile-wide tornado last week killed at least 139 people and took out 2,000 buildings in its destructive wake.

The bereaved survivors are trying now to recover from the worst tornado in decades, in what has racked up to be the deadliest tornado season in more than 50 years.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and others greeted Obama on the tarmac before they set out for their walking tour of a destroyed neighborhood. Nixon said that he personally had been moved by the show of volunteers, hundreds who traveled across the nation to be there to pass out blankets, pillows, sunscreen, sandwiches and flashlights.

“You need a flashlight because it gets pretty dark here at night, especially when you’re standing in the middle of the street, staring at the pile of match sticks that was once your home,” Nixon told the memorial service audience.

Nixon said Joplin’s re-emergence will be the result of those living out the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritans.

“One year from today, Joplin will look different, and more different still in two years, and three and five. And as the years pass, the moral of our story will be the same: Love thy neighbor,” he said.

Original Link.

“AMERICA’S COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL IS ‘NON-NEGOTIABLE’ – SAYS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID” by Fern Sidman

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

“Our mood is not one of celebration. Our mood is one of caution and concern. Unease sits heavily on our shoulders”, declared US Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at the 2011 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Expressing concern about the security of Israel he said, “At no time in Israel’s history has her future faced such tension and such serious tests. Uncertainty awaits us on many fronts.”

In the midst of such unprecedented global acrimony directed at the Jewish state, Senator Reid pledged his continued support for Israel. “I stand with Israel, the Congress stands with Israel and America stands with Israel because the values that have cast our histories are one and the same. And our futures will be intertwined even more than our history has been. You know these values: Democracy, opportunity, justice. Strength, security and self-defense. Innovation. Peace. These values fasten the unbreakable bond between the United States and the State of Israel”, he said.

Addressing the recent assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALs, Senator Reid told his audience that the United States based its tactical approach on previous Israeli operations of this magnitude. Referencing the history making “raid on Entebbe” conducted in the summer of 1976 by Israeli commandos when a plane was hijacked and Jewish passengers were separated from the rest, Reid said, “Many of the elements of the Entebbe story sound familiar to the details we’ve heard in recent days about the raid that brought another hijacker to justice. Before both missions, intelligence services surveyed the targets. Troops built and trained on an exact model before flying through the darkness, to unfamiliar foreign terrain, to do what they had to do. The surprise mission was carried out with staggering speed and success.”

Recalling the history of the modern state of Israel, Reid said, “For 63 years, a strong, vibrant democracy has flowered in the unlikeliest of deserts. It’s a democracy dedicated to progress and prosperity and to the values that anchor the free world. So the thousands of us here tonight say in single voice: if you believe in democracy, believe in Israel.”

Supporting President Obama’s foreign policy objective of a “two-state solution” to the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Reid said, “I support a strong democratic, Jewish state of Israel living in peace and security with a Palestinian state. Like you, I hope sincerely for a true and lasting peace between Israelis and the Palestinian people.” He took exception, however, to President Obama’s call for a peace settlement based on the 1967 borders. “The place where negotiating will happen must be the negotiating table – and nowhere else. Those negotiations will not happen – and their terms will not be set – through speeches, or in the streets, or in the media. No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building or about anything else.”

Echoing the sentiments of other speakers at the conference who have condemned the recent partnership of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization with Hamas, Reid said, “Palestinians cannot bring to the negotiating table a terrorist organization that rejects Israel’s right to exist. Nowhere else in the world is one party expected to compromise with a partner who denies its very existence. A peace process can happen only when both sides seek peace. And two partners cannot build a bridge when one party refuses even to admit there is something on the other side of the span.”

Quoting former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Reid intoned, “a government that includes Hamas is a threat not only to Israel – it is a threat to the creation of a Palestinian state, a threat to the legitimacy of a new state and a threat to stability in the region.” Proffering his opinion on the proposed United Nations forum scheduled for September in which the world body will be asked to vote on the creation of an independent Palestinian state, Reid added, :”Palestinians cannot simply stop by the negotiating table on their way to the United Nations, where they seek recognition that is at once purely symbolic and dangerously counterproductive.”

Articulating this views on the existential threat posed to Israel and the Western world by a nuclear armed Iran under the leadership of its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Reid stated, “The threat from Iran has not subsided. It cannot be underestimated or overstated. It is a common threat, a common enemy to both Israel and America. The president of Iran has made anti-Semitism his policy. He preaches vile propaganda and has articulated his regime’s goal of erasing Israel from the map.”

In a voice of deep conviction, Reid continued, “As long as the terrorist state of Iran supports terrorist organizations in the Middle East, including Hamas and Hezbollah – as long as it hides behind these terrorists and uses them as proxies against Israel – as long as Iran continues to defy the international community by enriching uranium and brazenly defying United Nations Security Council resolutions – America will stand against Iran – for our sake, and for Israel’s.”

Concerning the possibility of exploring a US sponsored military option vis-a-vis Iran, Reid strongly intoned, “None of us wants to go to war with Iran. We all hope economic pain on the other side will prevent human suffering on ours. But we will not wait forever. And we will not take any options off the table.”

Reiterating his theme of continued American support for Israel, Reid concluded by saying, “Before the ink had even dried on the declaration of Israel’s independence – with the name of the new state literally penciled in – America was the first nation to recognize Israel’s right to self-determination and self-defense. We were there from the beginning, and we will be with her for all time. America’s commitment to Israel is incorruptible. It is non-negotiable. And we will never leave her side.”

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.