Jerusalem Notebook: A New Year in a Broken World

Those who have the healthy habit of working out at a gym several times a week will soon be complaining about the massive – and often annoying – “New Year’s resolution crowd” that throngs every fitness center starting on Jan. 2. They will be equally relieved, on about Feb. 3, when the entire mass of newcomers are virtually all gone – their New Year’s resolutions broken and forgotten. Instead of working out, their time will soon be consumed with other distractions like Netflix. Or cooking classes. Or social media. (Read More...)

Palestinian Industrial Zone?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have approved the construction of 2,500 new homes across Judea and Samaria. Most of the world calls this biblical heartland the West Bank, referring to the 1948 - 1967 when Jordan occupied the area west of its Jordan River boarder; hence, "West Bank." "We are building and we will continue to build," Netanyahu said. Lieberman added, "We are going back to normal life in Judea and Samaria." (Read More...)

Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump's Refugee Ban

Despite previous plans to admit the highest number of refugees in decades, the United States will shut its doors to thousands displaced by conflict in the Middle East—at least temporarily—under an executive order President Donald Trump signed Friday. Christian aid groups responsible for resettlement mourned and criticized the president’s decision to stop accepting any refugees into the United States for the next four months. The order puts an indefinite ban on refugees coming from Syria and a month-long pause on anyone entering America from a handful of Muslim-majority nations. (Read More...)

Israel Bringing in 100 Children Orphaned in Syrian Civil War

Prime Minister Netanyahu, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri approve framework to enable foster families in the Arab sector to care for the children • Once the children are safe in Israel, authorities will try to bring their close families to Israel as well. (Read More...)

Re-set to Proceed at Slower Pace?

Three days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, the US-Israeli reset appears to be taking shape. Trump called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, and invited him to visit the White House early next month to further cement what both sides proclaim will be a new golden age of bilateral relations, devoid of the wedge of “daylight” that split the alliance for the last eight years. Trump promised to consult closely with Netanyahu on addressing the threats posed by Iran, and offered to help Israel in what he stressed needed to be strictly bilateral Israeli-Palestinian talks on peace — music, doubtless, to Netanyahu’s ears, and quite the contrast with Barack Obama. (Read Mo

Thousands of Israeli Arabs Protest Home Demolitions

Thousands of protesters gathered in the Arab town of Arara in northern Israel on Saturday to protest the recent wave of government-ordered home demolitions in the Bedouin and Arab communities. (Read More...)

Exploring the Family of Jesus

Did Mary of Nazareth, Jesus’ mother, have other children? A number of biblical texts suggest an affirmative answer. Among them one finds the following: (Read More...)

FOX Biased, Too?

Fox News correspondent Conor Powell is at it again, substituting balanced reporting and informed analysis with partisan, parroted phrases and biased, unsupported assertions. Reporting on the January 15th Mideast peace conference in Paris, Powell editorialized: Trump is an avid supporter of Israel's building settlements on Palestinian land, and he's vowed to shift the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would undermine any hopes of a negotiated two-state agreement. Israeli officials are overwhelmingly excited for a Trump administration, but his policies have the potential to fracture European support for Israel, which it desperately needs. (Fox Report Weekend, Fox News, J

Khalidi Warns of Jewish Infiltration

A Columbia University professor who has campaigned for boycotts of Israel said in a radio interview on Tuesday that supporters of Israel are going to “infest” the United States government after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. (Read More...)

Eclipse Explains Biblical Miracle?

According to the biblical story, Joshua got help from the sun to earn the Israelites one of their most epic victories. Now, a team of Israeli scientists say they’ve figured out how: The battle coincided with a solar eclipse. (Read More...)

Meeting Anne Frank for the First Time

A few nights ago, I stayed up late to finish reading the Everyman’s edition of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. I bought the book after visiting the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The museum featured a powerful exhibit on Anne Frank, her family and the people who tried to protect her. This brave Jewish girl spent two years with seven other people – including her parents and older sister – hiding in an apartment in Amsterdam in an effort to escape the Nazis who were occupying Holland. (Read More...)

Kushner to Broker Peace Deal?

US President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that he intends to use his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner to try to broker an elusive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. (Read More...)

German Synagogue Torched

A German regional court in the city of Wuppertal affirmed a lower court decision last Friday stating that a violent attempt to burn the city's synagogue by three men in 2014 was a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies. Johannes Pinnel, a spokesman for the regional court in Wuppertal, outlined the court’s decision in a statement. Three German Palestinians sought to torch the Wuppertal synagogue with Molotov cocktails in July, 2014. The local Wuppertal court panel said in its 2015 decision that the three men wanted to draw “attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel. The court deemed the attack not to be motivated by antisemitism. (Read More...)

Obama's Betrayal of Israel

The Middle East is in chaos. More than half a million people have been killed in the Syrian war and the number is rising. Bashar al-Assad's army used chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilians; Russia has bombed schools and hospitals. Syrians, Christians, Yazidis, Libyans, Yemenis and Egyptians all face lethal treats. Iranian leaders still shout "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" while buying nuclear equipment with money from lifted sanctions. Turkey is sliding toward an Islamist dictatorship, and unable to stem attacks against it. (Read More...)

Splitting Jerusalem?

Mike Huckabee is an ordained Christian minister, newsman, author and musician who served as the 44th governor of Arkansas. He also ran for the office of President of the United States in 2008 and 2016. After dropping out of the race in February 2016, he endorsed Trump with whom, as the US President-elect, he now consults. This week Huckabee was in Israel, representing the US Jewish Chamber of Commerce. (Read More...)

Thousands of New Settlements?

In an otherwise fair interview, PBS' Judy Woodruff fails to challenge or correct Ben Rhodes, President Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, on his outrageous and completely false claim that Israel has built "thousands of new settlements." In the Dec. 23 "Newshour" interview, Rhodes falsely states: (Read More...)

JoAnn Magnuson Leading Tour to Israel

NCLCI Director JoAnn Magnuson explaining the peace plaque placed by the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary at the Church of St. Anne inside the Lion Gate.

Israel and the Trump Administration

In just two weeks, a new US administration will enter the White House. It may well prove to be a turning point for Israel, reversing the tide of global hostility of the past eight years, in which the outgoing administration regarded us diplomatically as a rogue state rather than an ally. (Read More...)

Abbas Warns US on Embassy Move

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday not to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. (Read More...)

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