Talmud – Early Christian Writings: New Testament …

At a Glance

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The Babylonian Talmud is huge and occupies thirty volumes in the Soncino translation. The Mishnah is the earliest material and constitutes about 20% of the whole Babylonian Talmud. Amazingly, this great mass of material was passed on in oral form for generations of rabbis. The Mishnah was codified by Rabbi Judah before his death in 217 CE, but this may not have involved writing the material down on paper.

Only the tiniest portion of the Talmud may refer to Christianity in any definite way. The three most noteworthy references are given in links above: the hanging of Yeshu on the eve of Passover, the bastard son found in a book of genealogies, and the account of a certain Yeshu of around 100 BCE. Only the first of these can be related to Christianity with reliabilty.

Here is what is written in Baraitha Bab. Sanhedrin 43a, probably second century:

On the eve of Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover! – Ulla retorted: Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defence could be made? Was he not a _Mesith_ [enticer], concerning him Scripture says, _Neither shalt though spare, neither shalt thou conceal him?_ With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government for royalty [i.e., influential]. Our Rabbis taught: Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni, and Todah.

Robert Stein writes (Jesus the Messiah, pp. 33-34):

Several passages dealing with the treatment of heresy have also been suggested as possible allusions to Jesus even though his name is not present.

b. Berakot: “May our company not be like that of Elisha, from which issued Gehazi. _In our bread places_: may we produce no son or pupil who disgraces himself in public.” One manuscript (M) adds to the end of this saying, “like the Nazarene.”

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Talmud – Early Christian Writings: New Testament …

Purim: 'Minor' Jewish holiday is fun

Published: Saturday, 2/28/2015 – Updated: 2 days ago

BY TK BARGER BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

Purim is party time.

It’s a Jewish holiday, from sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday this year, but it’s a minor holiday because it isn’t mentioned in the Torah.

Minor doesn’t mean it isn’t celebrated in a major way, though.

There’s actually some saying from the Talmud, that one should drink until you can’t tell the difference between Mordecai and Haman, said Amanda Winter, the cantor at Temple Shomer Emunim, referencing the telling of the story of Esther, one of the scrolls in the Hebrew Bible.

Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and adoptive father, is the good guy and Haman, the king’s chief advisor, is the villain in the Esther scripture.

There isn’t much drinking at the Temple, Cantor Winter said, but if you were to go to Israel, it’s like Halloween for adults. It’s a huge party, lots of drinking, especially among the religious ones.

Instead of too much alcohol, there will be another kind of play at both the Temple and Congregation B’nai Israel the Purimspiel, a way to tell the story of Esther in a different and silly manner each year, rather than reading the whole megillah, the complete book of Esther.

You’re telling the same story every year, said Meira Zucker, who with her daughter Deena wrote the Purimspiel to be staged at B’nai Israel, The Sound of Shushan with Rodgers and Hammerspiel, set as a Broadway show and using tunes from The Sound of Music. It will play Wendesday at 6:30 p.m. at B’nai Israel, 6525 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania.

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Purim: 'Minor' Jewish holiday is fun

The Israeli Prime Minister to appear before the U.S. Congress

By Rachel Eliasi Kohan, New York

Netanyahu’s last attempt against Iran’s nuclear agreement (front page of Iran daily)

Deja vu all over again, the much hyped up appearance of Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the U.S. Congress, purportedly to warn the legislatures about the possibility of Iran developing its own nuclear arsenal, would only amount to his usual ostentatious rhetoric, bogus theatrical diagrams, and frivolous pontificating allegations for which he has no independently verifiable evidence. In fact substantial number of congress members have already boycotted tomorrows fiasco, in part to demonstrate their growing concerns for any foreign leader, the Israeli leader now included for the first time, to dictate how the sovereign U.S. should independently administer its own internal affairs and foreign policy.

As evidenced by the Israeli right of the past few decades, Bibis ulterior motive in reality is not the Iranian nuclear issue, but rather, keeping the water muddied up so as to once again push the U.S. into another costly but futile war of no end in sight. In reality however, unpopular by over half the voters, Bibi struggles to win reelection in two weeks by portraying the facade of his strong foreign policy through deterring the Americans from any rapprochement with anyone in the region let alone with Iran, which might as a result discount the power grip Israel has exploited over the U.S. and the region for decades. It must be equally stressed that IRI the current regime in Iran is no angel by any remote measure; its myriad failed economic and international policies, and its suppression of the aspirations of its nearly 80 million citizens for their basic human and constitutional rights (e.g., democracy, equality, empowerment, justice, etc.) 150 years lingering, are of grave concerns. That said, however, are other so-called allied governments in southwest Asia, be it Israel or Saudi Arabia just to name two, more democratic when it comes to safeguarding the same pillars of modern civil societies? Upon closer examination of Israel with over 8 million citizens as a self-proclaimed Jewish democratic state, one could discern the lack of equality and racial/ethnic/religion discrimination not only against the 25% indigenous Muslims and Christians, but also against many Jews whose origins are of Arab Jews, Sephardic-Yemeni-Mizrahi-Ethiopians and not of European immigrants.

Despite western pressure as illustrated by multi-layered international and American economic sanctions imposed on Iran, Iran has since the 70s remained a signatory to NPT and IAEA protocols on the development and use of nuclear technology. There has been excessive and unannounced number of IAEA inspections of Irans nuclear facilities for over a decade. Iran has further reaffirmed repeatedly its pledge to avoid a nuclear development policy that could lead to military applications. Paradoxically Hippocratic, Israel which has cried foul while declining to sign onto NPT and IAEA protocols since the 70s, has developed nuclear arsenals with the sole military purpose, and currently is presumed to hold to several hundred medium to long range ballistic nuclear warheads.

Israel, 70 years in the making and born out of a Eurocentric-ally inflicted holocaust should now feel sufficiently matured to realize that the U.S. diplomatic relations with others in the region must not be misconstrued as leaving Israel out of the equation. The U.S. and the west would inextricably remain supportive of Israels right to exist securely and peacefully. Such long standing commitment must not any longer be [mis-]interpreted by Israel as a carte blanche to get away from its chronic policy of apartheid against one third of its own populations, or to preemptively wage war inflicted on its own neighbors, and, or the inalienable right to coerce the U.S. and the west into futile wars of adventure against its fictitious or even real adversaries.

Is it not hypocritical that Israel which has continuously complained about the divisive strategy of the colonialists, namely, to divide and conquer, that has since inception resorted to same strategy?! The case of conceiving and supporting radical criminal Islamic forces is just one example. Is it not time that if Israel cannot finally accept a two states solution living side by side with mutual security, that it has to inevitably revert for the ultimate alternative of one secular nation for all where every citizen has one vote?

The need and merit for substantive peaceful American/western engagement in the southwest Asia, leading to the empowerment of grassroots for educational and socio-economic reforms and opportunities is more far urgent than ever.

The Author,born in Iran in a diverse family comprised of the Shiite and Sunni Muslims as well as Bahai, Jewish, Armenian/Assyrian Christian and Zoroastrian lineage, is a naturalized American who has resided in the U.S. for nearly forty years. As the steward of nature, she has come to believe in and advocate for secular universal humanism and equal [blind] justice for all on earth.

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The Israeli Prime Minister to appear before the U.S. Congress

Ashkenazi | people | Encyclopedia Britannica

Alternate title: Ashkenazim

Ashkenazi,plural Ashkenazim, from Hebrew Ashkenaz (Germany), member of the Jews who lived in the Rhineland valley and in neighbouring France before their migration eastward to Slavic lands (e.g., Poland, Lithuania, Russia) after the Crusades (11th13th century) and their descendants. After the 17th-century persecutions in eastern Europe, large numbers of these Jews resettled in western Europe, where they assimilated, as they had done in eastern Europe, with other Jewish communities. In time, all Jews who had adopted the German rite synagogue ritual were referred to as Ashkenazim to distinguish them from Sephardic (Spanish rite) Jews. Ashkenazim differ from Sephardim in their pronunciation of Hebrew, in cultural traditions, in synagogue cantillation (chanting), in their widespread use of Yiddish (until the 20th century), and especially in synagogue liturgy.

Today Ashkenazim constitute more than 80 percent of all the Jews in the world, vastly outnumbering Sephardic Jews. In the late 20th century, Ashkenazic Jews numbered more than 11 million. In Israel the numbers of Ashkenazim and Sephardim are roughly equal, and the chief rabbinate has both an Ashkenazic and a Sephardic chief rabbi on equal footing. All Reform and Conservative Jewish congregations belong to the Ashkenazic tradition. Compare Sephardi.

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Ashkenazi | people | Encyclopedia Britannica

Israel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 31N 35E / 31N 35E / 31; 35

Israel // or //, officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: , Mednat Yisr’el, IPA:[medinat jisael]( listen); Arabic: , Dawlat Isrl, IPA:[dawlat israil]), is a country in Western Asia, situated at the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories comprising the West Bank and Gaza Strip[10] on the east and southwest, respectively, and Egypt and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south. It contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.[11][12] Israel’s financial center is Tel Aviv,[13] while Jerusalem is the country’s most populous city and its designated capital, Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is internationally disputed.[note 2][14]

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine. Borders for a new Jewish state were specified by the UN but ultimately not recognized by either Israel or neighboring countries.[15][16] The end of the British Mandate for Palestine was set for midnight on 14 May 1948. That day, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” which would start to function from the termination of the mandate.[17][18][19] Neighboring Arab armies invaded the former Palestinian mandate on the next day and fought the Israeli forces.[20][21] Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states,[22] in the course of which it has occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula (195657, 196782), part of South Lebanon (19822000), Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank.[23][24][25][26]Efforts to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict have not resulted in peace. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have successfully been signed. Israels occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem is the world’s longest military occupation in modern times.[note 3][27]

The population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2014 to be 8,146,300people. It is the world’s only Jewish-majority state; 6,212,000 citizens, or 74.9% of Israelis, are designated as Jewish. The country’s second largest group of citizens are denoted as Arabs, with 1,718,400 people (including the Druze and most East Jerusalem Arabs).[28][29] The great majority of Israeli Arabs are Muslims; the rest are Christians and Druze. Other minorities include Maronites, Samaritans, Dom people, Black Hebrew Israelites, other Sub-Saharan Africans,[30]Armenians, Circassians, Roma, Vietnamese boat people, and others. Israel also hosts a significant population of non-citizen foreign workers and asylum seekers from Africa and Asia.[31]

In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic State.[32] Israel is a representative democracy[33] with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage.[34][35] The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel’s legislative body. Israel is a developed country and an OECD member,[36] with the 43rd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2012. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East and the fifth highest in Asia,[37] and has the one of the highest life expectancies in the world.[38]

Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name “State of Israel” (Medinat Yisrael) after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel (“the Land of Israel”), Zion, and Judea, were considered and rejected.[39] In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term “Israeli” to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett.[40]

The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish nation respectively.[41] The name “Israel” in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob (StandardYisrael, Isrl; Septuagint Greek: Isral; “struggle with God”[42]) who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord.[43] Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob,[44] led the Israelites back into Canaan during the “Exodus”. The earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word “Israel” is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).[45]

The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bah’ Faith. From 1920 the whole region was known as Palestine (under British Mandate) until the Israeli Declaration of Independence of 1948. Through the centuries, the territory was known by a variety of other names, including Judea, Samaria, Southern Syria, Syria Palaestina, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, Retjenu, and Canaan.

The notion of the “Land of Israel”, known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael, has been important and sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical times. According to the Torah, God promised the land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people.[46][47] On the basis of scripture, the period of the three Patriarchs has been placed somewhere in the early 2nd millenniumBCE,[48] and the first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE. Subsequent Israelite kingdoms and states ruled intermittently over the next four hundred years, and are known from various extra-biblical sources.[49][50][51][52]

The first record of the name Israel (as ysrr) occurs in the Merneptah stele, erected for Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah c. 1209 BCE, “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.”[53] This “Israel” was a cultural and probably political entity of the central highlands, well enough established to be perceived by the Egyptians as a possible challenge to their hegemony, but an ethnic group rather than an organised state;[54] Ancestors of the Israelites may have included Semites native to Canaan and the Sea Peoples.[55] McNutt says, “It is probably safe to assume that sometime during Iron Age a population began to identify itself as ‘Israelite’”, differentiating itself from the Canaanites through such markers as the prohibition of intermarriage, an emphasis on family history and genealogy, and religion.[56]

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Israel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Israel : Geography, History, Politics, and More

President-elect: Reuven Rivlin (2014)

Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu (2009)

Land area: 7,849 sq mi (20,329 sq km); total area: 8,019 sq mi (20,770 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 7,821,850 (growth rate: 1.46%); birth rate: 18.44/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.98/1000; life expectancy: 81.28

Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Jerusalem, 791,000 Note: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the U.S., like nearly all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

Other large cities: Tel Aviv-Yafo 3.381 million; Haifa 1.054 million

Monetary unit: Shekel

More Facts & Figures

Israel, slightly larger than Massachusetts, lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Egypt on the west, Syria and Jordan on the east, and Lebanon on the north. Its maritime plain is extremely fertile. The southern Negev region, which comprises almost half the total area, is largely a desert. The Jordan, the only important river, flows from the north through Lake Hule (Waters of Merom) and Lake Kinneret (also called Sea of Galilee or Sea of Tiberias), finally entering the Dead Sea 1,349 ft (411 m) below sea levelthe world’s lowest land elevation.

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Israel : Geography, History, Politics, and More

Israel, Iran react to speech

Story highlights Iranian ministry spokesman: Speech a “deceitful theater play” full of “lies” Israelis are split on the speech and Netanyahu ahead of upcoming elections there

In an address before the U.S. Congress punctuated by one-liners, Netanyahu claimed that ongoing talks about Iran’s nuclear program “would all but guarantee that Iran gets nuclear weapons, lots of them.”

He portrayed Iran’s leaders as untrustworthy and bloodthirsty, intent on annihilating Israel and threatening its allies.

That viewpoint, not surprisingly, didn’t play well in Tehran.

While the speech wasn’t carried live, Iranians quickly pounced with heated condemnations of Netanyahu and characterized him as a liar. TV banners labeled the speech an example of “Iranaphobia,” with commentators saying that it humiliated U.S. President Barack Obama and deepened the wedge between Israel and its longtime allies.

“This speech was a sign of the weakness and extreme isolation of radical groups,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said of what she called “a deceitful theater play.”

“… The continued lies of Netanyahu regarding the aims and intentions of the peaceful nuclear program of Iran are repetitive and sickening,” she said.

The reaction in Israel was more diverse, albeit predictable, reflecting the divisions there ahead of its March 17 election.

Isaac Herzog — the Labor Party chairman hoping to become Israel’s next Prime Minister — said that Netanyahu’s speech, “as impressive as it may be, did not prevent the Iranians’ nuclear program” nor did it impact talks now underway in Montreux, Switzerland, to address it.

What the speech did accomplish, according to Herzog, is “greatly undermine … the relationship between Israel and the United States,” with Obama opposing Netanyahu’s speech as a political move that threatened to thwart the nuclear talks.

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Israel, Iran react to speech

Jews win right to pray on Temple Mount

Reuters

The old city of Jerusalem.

Police are now required by law to ensure that Jews are able to pray on Temple Mount, a court ruled on Sunday in a landmark victory for Jewish activists.

Despite Jews holding the right to pray and worship at the holy site according to the Supreme Court, Israeli security services have previously barred non-Muslims from doing so, insisting that it risks triggering Palestinian violence.

Rabbi Yehudah Glick has been personally banned from visiting the site on several occasions. He has since lost income from leading groups up the mountain, and took the police to court. On Sunday, he was awarded NIS 500,000 (over 80,000) in damages.

Judge Malka Aviv labelled his ban “arbitrary” and said it was given without appropriate consideration.

“There is nothing in the deeds of the plaintiff [Glick] that justified in any way the punishment that he received,” she ruled.

“This day will be remembered for generations in the annals of the struggle for the return of Jews to the Temple Mount,” activists said in response to the decision, according to Israel National News.

Glick’s lawyer, Aviad Visoly, said in a statement that the verdict “has made prayer on the Temple Mount ‘kosher’. In essence, the court took the Supreme Court’s rulings about the Jews’ right to pray on the Temple Mount, and implemented them.

“This is almost the first ruling and certainly the most sweeping in which the court implements the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. From today, every Jew is allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. The prayer itself is not an offense,” he added.

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Jews win right to pray on Temple Mount

How Israel Sees Benjamin Netanyahus Speech to Congress

TIME World Israel How Israel Sees Benjamin Netanyahus Speech to Congress Amos Ben GershomGPO/Getty Images Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2015 Policy Conference on March 2, 2015 in Washington, DC. Israelis are divided on the prime minister’s trip to Washington, just two weeks before they go to the polls

If recent history is any indication, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to receive a number of standing ovations when he speaks before Congress on Tuesday to warn lawmakers about what he predicts will be a bad deal on Irans nuclear program.

But just as members of Congress are voting with their feet whether to attend the controversial speech that the Obama administration has deemed destructive to U.S.-Israel ties, Israeli voters are preparing to vote with their ballots as they narrow down their choices ahead of national elections exactly two weeks later, on March 17.

The diplomatic tempest over Netanyahus address, which comes at the invitation of Republican House Speaker John Boehner without any coordination with the White House, is also casting a cloud over Israels internal debate, with politicians and pundits speaking about little else.

Some analysts say the storm of attention may actually help Netanyahu, who has built himself a reputation as Mr. Security since he took the premiership for the second time in 2009 (He was elected for a third term in 2013). Conservative voters who feel Israel must never compromise its defense by relying too heavily upon others believe that even the so-called special relationship with the United States should be kept in check. This rightist constituency likes the idea of a leader who will defy what they perceive as pressure from Washington and Europeans capitals to make concessions, whether to the Palestinians next door or to the Iranians in a deal on nuclear enrichment.

Hes actually speaking the language this audience wants to hear, says Professor Reuven Hazan, the chair of the political science department at the Hebrew University. Its beautiful politicking Two weeks before the election he is setting the agenda on Iran, which is where he wants it, and not on housing prices. It is increasingly perceived in this audience that Obama wants to reach an agreement at all costs, and Netanyahu will get a free hour of prime time across all the networks to broadcast that message.

But its not just political expediency driving Netanyahu to Washington, says Gideon Rahat, a senior associate at the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem. Its his deep belief that Obama doesnt understand the cruel world outside and hes trying to be too nice.

No matter how pure Netanyahus ideological motives are for speaking to Congress, the speech could end up hurting him. Critics in Israel and elsewhere say Netanyahus decision to speak Tuesday is turning support for Israel into a partisan issue, pitting Democrats against Republicans and threatening the relationship with Israels most valued ally. Among these are Commanders for Israels Security, a group of more than 200 retired officers who chimed into the chorus of critique over Netanyahus plans to address Congress against the wishes of the Obama administration. On Sunday they held a press conference at which they said Netanyahu had gone off course.

We decided that we need to publicly give our opinion that the prime ministers current policy is destroying the covenant with the United States, said Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amnon Reshef. The way to stop a nuclear Iran is by strengthening ties between countries, between the U.S. and Israel, between Israel an the international community.

Amiram Levin, a former northern commander in the IDF, offered that hed known Netanyahu as a young soldier and had taught him how to navigate while serving in an elite army unit. I tell him now, Bibi you are navigating incorrectly, Levin said, using the prime ministers nickname. The target is Tehran, not Washington.

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How Israel Sees Benjamin Netanyahus Speech to Congress

Kerry defends Israel against U.N. bias amid strains over Iran nuclear talks

In a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the bodys record on Israel was deeply concerning and that there had been a disproportionate focus on the country. (Reuters)

GENEVA Secretary of State John F. Kerry came to Israels defense Monday amid growing political tensions between the allies, saying that anti-Israeli bias by the United Nations top rights panel is undermining its mission.

Kerrys statements contrast with the Obama administrations deepening divide with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who plans address a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday and criticize talks U.S. efforts to reach a deal with Iran seeking to control Tehrans nuclear program.

But the White House also remains one of Israels main backers on the world stage a relationship that some of Netanyahus critics fear could be eroded by his visit to Washington to attack U.S. policies on the Iran negotiations.

No one in this room can deny the bias against Israel in the U.N. Human Rights Council, said Kerry, addressing a meeting of the U.N. organization shortly before he was scheduled to join envoys from five other world powers to resume nuclear talks with Iran.

Every year, five or six U.N. resolutions critical of Israel are introduced, Kerry said, singling out for special ridicule one by Syria regarding Israels presence in the Golan even as Syrian refugees were fleeing fighting to seek medical treatment in Israel.

Such resolutions, he said, are self-imposed roadblocks to progress by the U.N.s highest body dedicated solely to human rights.

It must be said: the HRCs obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization, Kerry added. It has the potential to limit the good we can accomplish.

Kerry promised that the United States would work to defeat anti-Israel resolutions it considers arbitrary.

The United States will oppose arbitrary efforts to delegitimize Israel, he said. Not just in the U.N. Human Rights Council, but wherever it occurs.

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Kerry defends Israel against U.N. bias amid strains over Iran nuclear talks

Pro-Palestine Group to Run Campaign across DC against Netanyahu

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus controversial speech at the US Congress nears, a pro-Palestine group has launched a new campaign across Washington, DC criticizing Netanyahus actions and urging the US to end aid to Israel.

The campaign will run ads on buses across Washington, DC during Netanyahus visit.

A Palestinian-American who helps coordinate boycott Israel campaigns Senan Shaqdeh told the Palestine Liberation Organization diaspora department Sunday that the controversy around Netanyahus congress speech on US media created an opportunity to educate average Americans about the crimes and violations of human rights Israel commits everyday using US taxpayers money.

An American pro-Palestine activist Jackie highlighted, according to the PLO diaspora department, that the ongoing Gaza blockade and the ban on entry of construction material for reconstruction is unfortunately supported and covered up by the United States.

The campaign was officially launched last Tuesday by American Muslims for Palestine. The group said in a statement that the campaign aims to use the Netanyahus contentious address to congress on the Iranian nuclear program to bring to focus the detrimental impact of US support of Israel.

The ads will make use of quotes from a speech Netanyahu made in 2001 before settlers living in illegal West Bank settlements, in which he reportedly described the United States of America as a thing you can move very easily. Netanyahu was apparently unaware that his statements were being filmed.

In the recording, Netanyahu emphasizes that he managed to terminate the Oslo accords and convince Washington to agree that Israel would not pull back from any areas he deemed as militarily strategic sites in the West Bank.

Netanyahu, who is scheduled to deliver the speech on Tuesday, is expected to speak against the deal unfolding with Iran over its nuclear program.

After receiving an invitation from Republican House speaker John Boehner, who reached Netanyahu without consent from the White House, his decision to address the Congress has received criticism from former Israeli security officials and added strain to Netayahus relationship with Obama and other officials in Washington.

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Pro-Palestine Group to Run Campaign across DC against Netanyahu

Pro-Palestine Group to Run Campaign across DC against Netanyahu

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus controversial speech at the US Congress nears, a pro-Palestine group has launched a new campaign across Washington, DC criticizing Netanyahus actions and urging the US to end aid to Israel.

The campaign will run ads on buses across Washington, DC during Netanyahus visit.

A Palestinian-American who helps coordinate boycott Israel campaigns Senan Shaqdeh told the Palestine Liberation Organization diaspora department Sunday that the controversy around Netanyahus congress speech on US media created an opportunity to educate average Americans about the crimes and violations of human rights Israel commits everyday using US taxpayers money.

An American pro-Palestine activist Jackie highlighted, according to the PLO diaspora department, that the ongoing Gaza blockade and the ban on entry of construction material for reconstruction is unfortunately supported and covered up by the United States.

The campaign was officially launched last Tuesday by American Muslims for Palestine. The group said in a statement that the campaign aims to use the Netanyahus contentious address to congress on the Iranian nuclear program to bring to focus the detrimental impact of US support of Israel.

The ads will make use of quotes from a speech Netanyahu made in 2001 before settlers living in illegal West Bank settlements, in which he reportedly described the United States of America as a thing you can move very easily. Netanyahu was apparently unaware that his statements were being filmed.

In the recording, Netanyahu emphasizes that he managed to terminate the Oslo accords and convince Washington to agree that Israel would not pull back from any areas he deemed as militarily strategic sites in the West Bank.

Netanyahu, who is scheduled to deliver the speech on Tuesday, is expected to speak against the deal unfolding with Iran over its nuclear program.

After receiving an invitation from Republican House speaker John Boehner, who reached Netanyahu without consent from the White House, his decision to address the Congress has received criticism from former Israeli security officials and added strain to Netayahus relationship with Obama and other officials in Washington.

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Pro-Palestine Group to Run Campaign across DC against Netanyahu

Will Netanyahu Speech Fracture U.S.-Israel Ties?

TEL AVIV, Israel Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu probably knew his decision to address Congress about Iran nuclear talks at the invitation of the GOP and without the White House’s approval would be controversial.

Did he know just how controversial it would be?

National Security Adviser Susan Rice has called Netanyahu’s plans “destructive to the fabric of the relationship.” Many leading Democrats have said they will not attend Tuesday’s speech, because Netanyahu is up for re-election on March 17. President Barack Obama has also declined to meet with the Israeli leader during his D.C. visit.

It has also raised fears in Israel that Netanyahu’s move could deeply damage the vital alliance. The U.S gives about $3 billion in aid to Israel annually.

“Ever since the creation of the State of Israel and the development of the bilateral relations it was always the policy of the government of Israel to make Israel a bipartisan issue a wall-to-wall issue,” said Oded Eran, senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, an Israeli think tank that deals with terrorism, security and military affairs.

“There is a danger now that this will be changed or perceived to be a partisan issue and I think it is unhealthy and very unfortunate,” he added.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Feb. 15.

Some worry that Netanyahu’s hard line could lead to anti-Israeli sentiment in the United States. Israel has depended on the U.S. vetoing anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations, but analysts says it is now conceivable this could change.

Other aspects of the close relationship also stand to lose, Eran said.

“There could be other variations relating to the transfer of military equipment, sharing experiences in developing weapons and intelligence,” he said. “I hope [none of that] is affected.”

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Will Netanyahu Speech Fracture U.S.-Israel Ties?

In Israel, Jewish Divorce Is Only Granted By Husband's Permission

In Gett, the character Viviane Ansalem wants a divorce but her husband will not give permission. In Israel, if you’re Jewish, even if you’re not religious, you have to be divorced by Jewish law. Courtesy Music Box Films hide caption

In Gett, the character Viviane Ansalem wants a divorce but her husband will not give permission. In Israel, if you’re Jewish, even if you’re not religious, you have to be divorced by Jewish law.

In Israel, religious law governs family matters.

For a Jewish divorce, an Orthodox rabbi oversees a ritual that begins with the husband placing a folded decree into the wife’s cupped hands. But that paper can be hard to get, because the husband can refuse to grant the divorce.

A new Israeli film playing in the U.S. shows how patriarchal Jewish divorce laws can trap even secular women for years.

The film is a drama called Gett: The trial of Viviane Ansalem. Viviane wants a divorce but needs her husband’s permission.

The scene is a small courtroom, one couple and their advocates in front of three Orthodox rabbis. In Israel, if you’re Jewish, even if you’re not religious, you have to be divorced by Jewish law.

But rabbi-judges cannot decree a divorce.

“How come a woman’s freedom is at the mercy of her husband?” asks Ronit Elkabetz, who co-directed the film and plays the lead role. “That law was written, I don’t know, maybe 4,000 years ago, but it’s put the woman in a place that they became invisible and helpless and most of the time, completely dependent on their husband’s will.”

In the film, the rabbis urge the wife to make up with her husband and do nothing as he skips repeated hearings. After several years, Vivian Ansalam breaks out in a fury.

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In Israel, Jewish Divorce Is Only Granted By Husband's Permission

anti-Semitism | Encyclopedia Britannica

anti-Semitism,hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The term anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns under way in central Europe at that time. Although the term now has wide currency, it is a misnomer, since it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs and other peoples are also Semites, and yet they are not the targets of anti-Semitism as it is usually understood. The term is especially inappropriate as a label for the anti-Jewish prejudices, statements, or actions of Arabs or other Semites. Nazi anti-Semitism, which culminated in the Holocaust, had a racist dimension in that it targeted Jews because of their supposed biological characteristicseven those who had themselves converted to other religions or whose parents were converts. This variety of anti-Jewish racism dates only to the emergence of so-called scientific racism in the 19th century and is different in nature from earlier anti-Jewish prejudices.

Anti-Semitism has existed to some degree wherever Jews have settled outside Palestine. In the ancient Greco-Roman world, religious differences were the primary basis for anti-Semitism. In the Hellenistic Age, for instance, Jews social segregation and their refusal to acknowledge the gods worshiped by other peoples aroused resentment among some pagans, particularly in the 1st century bce1st century ce. Unlike polytheistic religions, which acknowledge multiple gods, Judaism is monotheisticit recognizes only one god. However, pagans saw Jews principled refusal to worship emperors as gods as a sign of disloyalty.

Although Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples were practicing Jews and Christianity is rooted in the Jewish teaching of monotheism, Judaism and Christianity became rivals soon after Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate, who executed him according to contemporary Roman practice. Religious rivalry initially was theological. It soon also became political.

Historians agree that the break between Judaism and Christianity followed the Roman destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in the year 70 ce and the subsequent exile of Jews. In the aftermath of this devastating defeat, which was interpreted by Jew and Christian alike as a sign of divine punishment, the Gospels diminished Roman responsibility and expressed Jewish culpability in the death of Jesus both explicitly (Matthew 27:25) and implicitly. Jews were depicted as killers of the Son of God.

Christianity was intent on replacing Judaism by making its own particular message universal. The New Testament was seen as fulfilling the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible); Christians were the new Israel, both in flesh and in spirit. The God of justice had been replaced by the God of love. Thus, some early Church Fathers taught that God had finished with the Jews, whose only purpose in history was to prepare for the arrival of his Son. According to this view, the Jews should have left the scene. Their continued survival seemed to be an act of stubborn defiance. Exile was taken as a sign of divine disfavour incurred by the Jews denial that Jesus was the Messiah and by their role in his crucifixion.

As Christianity spread in the first centuries ce, most Jews continued to reject that religion. As a consequence, by the 4th century, Christians tended to regard Jews as an alien people who, because of their repudiation of Christ and his church, were condemned to perpetual migration (a belief best illustrated in the legend of the Wandering Jew). When the Christian church became dominant in the Roman Empire, its leaders inspired many laws by Roman emperors designed to segregate Jews and curtail their freedoms when they appeared to threaten Christian religious domination. As a consequence, Jews were increasingly forced to the margins of European society.

Enmity toward the Jews was expressed most acutely in the churchs teaching of contempt. From St. Augustine in the 4th century to Martin Luther in the 16th, some of the most eloquent and persuasive Christian theologians excoriated the Jews as rebels against God and murderers of the Lord. They were described as companions of the Devil and a race of vipers. Church liturgy, particularly the scriptural readings for the Good Friday commemoration of the Crucifixion, contributed to this enmity. Such views were finally renounced by the Roman Catholic Church decades after the Holocaust with the Vatican II declaration of Nostra aetate (Latin: In Our Era) in 1965, which transformed Roman Catholic teaching regarding Jews and Judaism.

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anti-Semitism | Encyclopedia Britannica

What is anti-Semitism? – Anti-Defamation League

The belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.

Hostility toward Jews dates to ancient times, perhaps to the beginning of Jewish history. From the days of the Bible until the Roman Empire, Jews were criticized and sometimes punished for their efforts to remain a separate social and religious group – one that refused to adopt the values and the way of life of the non-Jewish societies in which it lived.

The rise of Christianity greatly increased hatred of Jews. They became seen not merely as outsiders but as a people who rejected Jesus and crucified him – despite the fact that the Roman authorities ordered and carried out the crucifixion. By the high middle ages (11th –14th centuries), Jews were widely persecuted as barely human “Christ-killers” and “Devils.” Forced to live in all-Jewish ghettos, they were accused of poisoning rivers and wells during times of disease. Some were tortured and executed for supposedly abducting and killing Christian children to drink their blood or to use to it in baking matzoh – a charge known as the “blood libel.” A large number were forced to convert to Christianity to avoid death, torture, or expulsion, though many secretly practiced Judaism after their conversions. (In recent times, the Catholic church and other Christian churches have rejected these anti-Semitic falsehoods.)

In the 18th century, as the influence of Christianity began to lessen during the Enlightenment – which celebrated the rights and possibilities of men and women to a far greater extent than ever before – religiously based hatred of Jewishness gave way to non-religious criticism: Judaism was attacked as an outdated belief that blocked human progress. Jewish separatism was again targeted. As European countries began to take modern shape in the 19th century and national pride grew, Jews, who were still usually deprived of civil rights and lived throughout Europe as outsiders, were subjected to further hostility. This hostility resulted at times in deadly persecution, as in the late-19th century Russian pogroms — violent attacks on Jewish communities with the aid or indifference of the government.

At the same time, in response to the decline of Christian belief and the growing number of Jews beginning to join the mainstream of European society (a trend known as “assimilation”), anti-Semites turned to the new “racial science,” an attempt, since discredited, by various scientists and writers to “prove” the supremacy of non-Jewish whites. The opponents of Jews argued that Jewishness was not a religion but a racial category, and that the Jewish “race” was biologically inferior.

The belief in a Jewish race would later become Germany’s justification for seeking to kill every Jewish person in lands Germany occupied during World War II, whether the person practiced Judaism or not. In fact, even the children or grandchildren of those who had converted to Christianity were murdered as members of the Jewish race. The Holocaust, as this systematic mass extermination between 1939-1945 is known, resulted in the death of six million Jews — more than a third of the world’s Jewish population. While the rise to power of the Nazis (Germany’s leaders during World War II) in the 1920s and 1930s involved numerous social and political factors, the views that helped turn anti-Semitism into official government policy included belief in the inborn superiority of “Aryans,” or whites; belief that Jews destroyed societies; that Jews secretly worked together to gain control of the world; and that Jews already controlled world finance, business, media, entertainment, and Communism.

In the half-century since World War II, public anti-Semitism has become much less frequent in the Western world. While stereotypes about Jews remain common, Jews face little physical danger. The hatred of Jewishness and the conspiracy beliefs of past eras are for the most part shared only by tiny numbers of those on the fringes of society (although as the World Trade Center and Oklahoma bombings showed, even a handful of extremists can carry out acts of great violence). There are exceptions, of course: disagreement over policy toward the State of Israel has created opportunities in which the expression “Zionist” – support for Israel as the Jewish homeland – is often used as an anti-Semitic code word for “Jew” in mainstream debate. Holocaust denial and other recent re-writings of history – such as the false claim that Jews controlled the Atlantic slave trade – lie about the events of the past in order to make Jews seem underhanded and evil.

More seriously, many nations in Europe and in the former Soviet empire are struggling, mostly due to unsettled or chaotic economic and social conditions, with movements opposing “foreigners” – including recent immigrants and traditional enemies. These movements champion racial or national supremacy, and call for the type of charismatic, authoritarian leader that historically persecuted Jews and other minorities.

But while parts of Europe remain caught up in racial unrest, the Middle East is home to the harshest anti-Semitism in the world today. Nazi-like language is regularly expressed by the media and governments in the countries that oppose Israel and the West. And as dozens and dozens of terrorist incidents have demonstrated, there are many in Middle Eastern countries willing to act on these beliefs.

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What is anti-Semitism? – Anti-Defamation League