This Tuesday: ‘In Our Hands’ Shows Why Jerusalem Is Israel

Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is best known for shows like “The 700 Club,” but its documentary subsidiary has produced what should be a must-see for anyone who wants to learn more about why Jerusalem is properly the undivided capital of Israel.

The movie is called In Our Hands (the website is inourhands1967.com). It tells the story of the IDF soldiers who fought for Israel’s existence in 1967, and won its ancient capital as the undivided home of Jews worldwide.

From the website:

IN OUR HANDS tells the story of Israel’s 55th Paratrooper Brigade and how Israel Defense Forces risked everything for the sake of their homeland. With firsthand interviews and historical reenactments, this powerful docudrama focuses on the commitment and sacrifice of the soldiers who reunited Jerusalem.

The film is showing one night only: Tuesday, May 23 in a limited number of theaters. Find where to see it here. Obviously, the movie’s showing is fortuitously concomitant with President Trump’s visit to Israel, including his visit to the Western Wall–as the first sitting president to visit that site.

I am taking the whole family, including my 6- and 7-year-old kids. It’s never the wrong time for them to learn their Jewish heritage and the ever-present danger posed by those who would eliminate us all from the planet, and from all history, were it not for God’s supernatural intervention.

Find a theater here.

Ambassador Haley: Yes, Move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

God bless former South Carolina governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Say what you want about President Trump and his various cabinet picks, but it is this one woman who is standing head and shoulders above the fray, in terms of absolute boldness and right, in the face of madness.

Her steadfast defense of Israel, in what is the lion’s den of the anti-Semitic chambers of the UN is nothing less than an inspiration.

And now she appears to be speaking up against even her own colleagues within the Trump administration.

One of Trump’s bits of campaign bravado was that he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This move would be unprecedented, as it would signal that the United States views Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel, something that is a flashpoint within the region.

Over the last few weeks, however, it has become increasingly clear that Candidate Trump and President Trump take two different views on the issue.

In February, Trump stunned when he turned to visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference, and in an apparently off-script moment, suggested that he would appreciate it if Israel stopped building settlements along the West Bank.

That was a stance no different than that of Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is dependent on a peace deal between Palestine and Israel.

At any time in the short history of modern day Israel, when a “peace deal” is broached, it means territory and lives given up by Israel – not actual peace.

So while Trump and Tillerson are hedging, Haley is being far more resolute on the issue.

Speaking on Tuesday night, Haley said:

“Obviously, I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is,” Haley said in an interview on The Brody File.

Commonsense reasons for moving the embassy, but for the people of Israel, the meaning is much deeper.

Given the chaos surrounding the administration, it’s a relief to find this oasis of reason.

Thank you, Ambassador Haley.

Tillerson’s Israel Comments Have Angered One Billionaire GOP Donor

You heard it right here at The Resurgent: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Meet The Press this past weekend that President Trump’s promise to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv comes with a condition that the move won’t happen if it is deemed to be a detriment to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

While it is true that moving the embassy to Jerusalem could disrupt the region’s fragile peace, the same is true of many other actions. Sudden outbreaks of fighting could also be caused by a missile attack by Hamas, a kidnapping by Hezbollah, a crazed gunman or even an auto accident. Moving the embassy might bring war, but not moving the embassy won’t bring peace.

Tillerson’s statement doesn’t sit well with one of the GOP’s biggest donors. Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife contributed $80 million to Republicans in 2016, isn’t happy with what he heard – in fact, word is that he’s “furious” at what he sees as an about-face from the administration.

The sources say the Las Vegas billionaire doesn’t buy the argument that the embassy move should be contingent on the peace process. He has told Trump that Palestinians are impossible negotiating partners and make demands that Israel can never meet.

It’s clear that the Trump administration – or at least Tillerson – is utterly tone deaf to Israel policy. The Palestinians aren’t going to be happy with anything the United States does that puts Israel first, so why even worry? If all our decisions take the peace process under consideration, we may as well do nothing.

And it’s pretty obvious that Trump shouldn’t want to make enemies of Sheldon Adelson either. The GOP can’t afford for Adelson to close up his deep pockets or take his money elsewhere. He’s probably not the only donor who is angry at the administration’s bait and switch on the embassy.

Many conservatives – including those who, like me, didn’t put a whole lot of faith in Donald Trump – thought that his promise to renew our friendship with Israel was refreshing. After eight years of treating Israel like an annoyance, the idea of viewing Israel as a cherished ally again served as an encouragement. Sure, moving the embassy was just a symbolic gesture, but it seemed significant.

A promise is a promise, and the president told us before the inauguration that he doesn’t break his promises. Here’s hoping that trusting a frustrating peace process won’t lead him to change his mind on Israel.

Don’t Expect US Embassy To Move To Jerusalem Any Time Soon

One of President Trump’s campaign promises was to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Recent comments by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicate that the embassy staff probably don’t need to start packing anytime soon.

Appearing on “Meet the Press,” Tillerson said that the president needs more time to consider the effects of the move. “Well, the president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have,” Tillerson said.

“The president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine,” Tillerson added. “And so, I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process.”

Translated from diplomat-speak, Tillerson is saying that the president won’t move the embassy to Jerusalem if it has a negative effect on the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. The peace process has been in development since the establishment of Israel as an independent nation in 1948. The peace process has been interrupted sporadically by wars of annihilation by Israel’s Arab neighbors and, more recently, suicide bombings, kidnappings and missile attacks.

The city of Jerusalem is claimed as holy by both Jews and Muslims, as well as Christians. If Tillerson is saying that President Trump won’t move the embassy to Jerusalem if it hurts the peace process, then what Tillerson is really saying is that the embassy will never move to Jerusalem. Many of Israel’s Arab neighbors still reject Israel’s right to exist at all, much less to claim Jerusalem as its capitol.

While it is true that moving the embassy to Jerusalem could disrupt the region’s fragile peace, the same is true of many other actions. Sudden outbreaks of fighting could also be caused by a missile attack by Hamas, a kidnapping by Hezbollah, a crazed gunman or even an auto accident. Moving the embassy might bring war, but not moving the embassy won’t bring peace.

The Times of Israel notes that Congress passed a law in 1995 ordering the relocation of the embassy. The law allowed the president to sign a six-month waiver delaying the move. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all signed waivers delaying implementation of the law for the past 22 years.

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to finally make the move. “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” Trump told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The probably shouldn’t hold their breath.

Is President Trump Really a Friend of Israel?

Trump talks the talk well enough on Israel and the fate of Jews worldwide, but so far, he’s very far from walking the walk

President Trump, when campaigning, made several promises in dealing with Israel and her existential threats. First, he promised to tear up the “disastrous” Iran deal. Second, he promised to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (JEA).

The devil is always in the details for these kinds of promises, and Trump has left both promises unfulfilled by echoing the same policies of his predecessor.

Every six months, in accordance with the JEA, the president must renew a waiver to suspend the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, or face an automatic clawback of 50 percent of the State Department’s appropriated budget.

Every president since Clinton has dutifully completed this pro-forma exercise twice a year, while paying lip service (if even that) to the law’s other provisions. These are:

(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.
(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel;

While Trump joked and smiled with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he has also  reportedly decided to sign the waiver, just like former President Obama did.

And Trump gave the red carpet treatment to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is in a unity government with Hamas, a group unswervingly devoted to Israel’s destruction (regardless of what “moderating” story the media is pushing).

Further, Trump isn’t reticent to deal with Arab strongmen like Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Obama had a very cold spot in his heart for strongmen, favoring an “Arab spring” giving the people power (we’ve seen how that worked out). Yet Abbas, al-Sisi and other Gulf Arab monarchs and emirs are much more comfortable dealing with deal-making Trump than the erstwhile president who preceded him.

But with Abbas being fêted in the White House, and standing next to the new American president, his status and authority as Palestinian president is practically unassailable. He joins those pro-American Arab leaders, almost all his regional allies, such as the Gulf Arab monarchs and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, as one of Washington’s “traditional Middle Eastern partners” who were estranged under Obama but who are now being warmly embraced by Trump.

Netanyahu wasn’t smiling after Abbas’ public remarks from the White House, posting his response on Facebook.

“I look forward to discussing with President Trump the best ways to advance peace. This is something we fervently share with the President. I heard President Abbas yesterday say that the Palestinians teach their children peace. That’s unfortunately not true. They name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists. But I hope that it’s possible to achieve a change and to pursue a genuine peace. This is something Israel is always ready for. I’m always ready for genuine peace.”

The Israeli PM also slammed the media for their fawning over the Palestinian position and Hamas’ removal of its desire to kill all Jews worldwide from its guiding documents–they only want to kill Israelis now. At least Trump and Netanyahu have that in common: they both know how to call out “fake news.”

The question is what will Trump do in pursuit of a deal? At some point, the interests of Israelis in living within secure borders and without an internationally protected staging area for its enemies to launch invasions directly into its heart may come into conflict with the cause of obtaining “peace.” When that happens, where will Trump land?

The biggest near-term threat to Israel is nuclear annihilation by Iranian missiles. One dirty warhead launched into the heart of Tel Aviv is all it will take to destroy Israel. Iran is a big country. Even with Israel’s guaranteed nuclear response, Iran wins and Israel ceases to exist. This isn’t a negotiating point, it’s a strategic fact. The only option Israel has is to prevent Iran from ever getting the chance to execute this plan.

In 1981, Israeli F-16 pilots destroyed Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor. In the early 2000’s, the U.S., probably with Israel’s help, deployed Stuxnet, which wreaked havoc on Iran’s nuclear uranium enrichment facilities. Following that, the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal with the P6+1.

Now Trump’s administration, in its required statement to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, has adopted language identical to the Obama administration.

“The United States will approach questions of JCPOA interpretation, implementation, and enforcement with great strictness indeed,” the statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) 35-nation board said, citing the deal’s full name: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

So much for tearing up “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

As bad as Obama was in dealing with Israel–which was mostly a personal vendetta against Netanyahu, who he despised–the former president supported Israel’s defense. In 2014, Obama approved $225 million to fund the expansion of Israel’s Iron Dome system, after previous rounds of funding for the system’s initial development.

In the end, Obama, despite the mutual antipathy with the Israeli PM, continued every policy of military cooperation and funding for Israel, even going beyond former President George W. Bush. Only at the very end did Obama’s petty, parting shot find its mark in the anti-Israel UN.

Sure, Trump’s position in the UN, and his absolutely terrific UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, are much friendlier to Israel than the Obama-Kerry cold shoulder. But, really, the UN is a dog with very little bite, unless the U.S., Russia, or China decide to do something. The UN is basically window dressing, while the pressing issues of Israeli security require dealing with details.

Trump talks the talk well enough on Israel and the fate of Jews worldwide, but so far, he’s very far from walking the walk. Continuing Obama’s Israel and Iran policies might not make him more of an enemy within liberal Jewish political groups (most of whom hate him simply because he breathes air), but it doesn’t necessarily make him Israel’s friend either.

The jury is still out on that question. There are still many opportunities for Trump to keep his promises, but I think he’s more interested in deals than promises.

Netanyahu Illustrates the Appropriate Response to Fake News

You can tell a lot about a person by the way he responds to his enemies. A man who is self-confident and recognizes his strengths and weaknesses either responds calmly and with reason or doesn’t respond at all.

Today’s case in point: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In response to news declaring that Hamas was “moderating” its position on a prospective Palestinian state, Netanyahu recorded a public message to remind the world that Hamas is a terrorist organization bent on the complete annihilation of Israel.

The PM begins by specifically calling out CNN, Al Jazeera, and The Guardian for presenting fake news before making his case.

“Hamas murders women and children. It’s launched tens of thousands of missiles at our homes. It brainwashes Palestinian kids in suicide kindergarten camps.”

Netanyahu’s calm demeanor and rational presentation of facts is a primer on how to handle fake news, and it concludes with a great mic-drop moment.

See for yourself:

 

Sympathy for Terror in the Classroom

The Blaze has a disturbing report based on an investigation they’ve been conducting into an educational program called “Dying to be a Martyr” that appears to be designed to engender sympathy for Palestianian terrorism.  The lesson plan, which has been featured for over ten years on the website of the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting System, features videos of would-be terrorists explaining why they wage jihad against Israel and shows teachers how they can frame questions in such a way so that students can identify with those who carry out terror attacks:

Among the other biased aspects of the lesson plan are instructions for teachers to “Check for understanding by asking students to respond to the focus question. (Mohanned, feels he would rather die and by a martyr than live his life, sees his life as hollow—in contrast he sees Israelis as happy, going out, having fun, traveling.) Ask your students why Mohanned may feel that way (Answers may include: Palestinians have less land, fewer privileges, cannot come and go as they please.)”

A new investigation into the lesson plan and its origins show the plan was developed in New York state and was, until just a couple of weeks ago, promoted by the New York State Education Department. Following a request for comment from state officials, NYSED abruptly altered its website without a comment, essentially covering up the fact the website ever contained the “Dying to be a Martyr” material.

So basically the New York public school system, which thought it was jim-dandy to feature the lesson plan so long as it remained in the shadows, abruptly consigned it to the memory hole as soon as they got caught.  Just move along, folks, nothing to see here.

An investigation by The Blaze reveals the teacher who authored “Dying to be a Martyr” is still teaching at Ballston Spa High School, a public school in Ballston Spa, New York, located in Saratoga County. At Ballston Spa, the teacher leads courses covering world history for 9th and 10th graders. A review of classroom notes posted to the teacher’s website shows she covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in great deal in her course. Among the many questions students are asked to answer are “What is Hammas’ view ?” and “How were Palestinian refugees treated?”

What’s missing is that Hamas has already made that view perfectly clear in its charter:

The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The day of judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’

Which brings us back to the fundamental problem that has prevented a long-term solution to the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis:  the Palestinians want the Israelis dead, period.  Compromise with people like that isn’t really an option.  As for the kind of sympathy that “Dying to be a Maryr” would seek to inspire, that would be an interesting trick–considering that genocide is the terrorists’ ultimate goal.

Now contrast that with another story that’s developing in my neck of the woods down in Florida:

The Pinellas County School District is looking into why a controversial, anti-Muslim propaganda film was played in a high school classroom.

A parent of a student at Tarpon Springs High school said his daughter told him she watched the movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” in her sophomore history class on Wednesday.

The Council on American Islamic Relations says this film has no place in schools.

“This film is pure propaganda that is really used to demonize the Muslim religion by a group, the Clarion Project that was designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group,” said Thania Diaz Clevenger, the Civil Rights Dir. with CAIR.

So on the one hand, we have a public school system hawking a lesson plan that presents an uncritical view of radical Islamic terrorism–and nobody has boo to say about it.  On the other hand, we have another public school presenting a documentary on the dangers of radical Islamic terrorism–and all hell breaks loose.  All because one parent complained, and then the Council on American Islamic Relations got involved.

So what exactly is the film Obsession all about?  WFLA, the TV station that covered this story, seems to take at face value CAIR’s assertion that it’s nothing more than bigoted, anti-Islamic propaganda.  The film itself, however, draws from interviews with mainstream sources who are very well-informed about the threat posed by global jihad–people such as Steve Emerson from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Daniel Pipes from the Middle East Forum, and Caroline Glick from the Jerusalem Post.  In other words, it ain’t the work of fringe kooks who are out to bash Mohammed.  Obsession also takes care to point out that radical Islam is not all Islam, and that the vast majority of the victims of jihad are actually Muslims.  The film has also drawn a lot of praise from many quarters, all the way from Glenn Beck at the Blaze to Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy.

CAIR, meanwhile, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a fundraising scheme for Hamas, a terrorist organization.  Call me cynical, but I think that undermines their credibility just a bit.  For an organization that shills for jihadis to label anything as propaganda–and be taken seriously by a major media outlet–would be laughable, if it weren’t so scary.

The greatest irony, however, came unwittingly from CAIR’s own civil rights director:

“How you could use that in an educational setting, especially for someone as a high school student, kind of boggles our mind,” said Clevenger.

With such a pointed statement, she could have just as easily been talking about “Dying to be a Martyr.”  But we all know better, don’t we?