“This is the law of tzar’at”

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“This is the law of tzar’at”
(Leviticus 14:57)
Iyar 4, 5781/April 16, 2021
This week’s double Torah reading of Tazria-Metzora deals exclusively with the subject of ritual purity and impurity, a very difficult concept for our modern minds to fully comprehend.
To make things even more obscure, following the opening verses concerning the birth of a baby boy or girl, the mother’s subsequent period of purification, concluding with the bringing of an offering to the Holy Temple, parashat Tazria-Metzora focuses exclusively on the even more obscure issue of tzar’at, a particular type of ritual impurity caused by the appearance of lesions upon one’s flesh, discoloration in one’s garments or a mold-like discoloration of the stones of one’s house.
What are we to make of this? That tzar’at, often mistranslated as leprosy, was a psychosomatic, or spiritual-somatic ailment is made clear by Torah’s assigning of the kohanim (Temple priests) to both diagnose and prescribe the ritual cure for the outbreak of the malady.
The cure involved immersion in pure waters and the bringing of an offering once the symptoms had disappeared and the the individual reentered into a state of purity.
Similar, but somewhat more extensive means were applied concerning a person whose garments or house became afflicted with tzar’at.
While certain aspects concerning ritual purity are still relevant to a modern Jewish lifestyle, the vast majority of the commandments concerning ritual purity are no longer applicable, by virtue of the fact that the Holy Temple is currently not standing.
Naturally, being deprived of the actual application of these laws of purity for two thousand years has made them much more foreign to our modern sensibilities, much more difficult to grasp intellectually. What does Torah intend by the terms tahara (purity) and tum’a (impurity)?
Note that Torah doesn’t employ an equivalent of our modern qualifier “ritual” in discussing purity. The modern use of the word ritual in this context is merely an admission of a lack of true understanding.
In the Torah mindset tahara and tum’a are two very real realities unto themselves.
To put it simply, to be tahor, (in a state of tahara) is to be connected to the life giving force of the Creator. To be ta’mei, (in a state of tum’a) is to be disconnected from G-d’s life giving energy.
The Holy Temple is the place on earth of the highest level of purity.
It is there where G-d’s Presence, known as Shechinah, is greatest on earth. This is why we cannot enter into the inner Temple courtyards unless we have been sprinkled by the waters of the ashes of the red heifer, which render us pure of any impurity contracted through contact with death.
Clearly, we aspire to be pure, to be connected to HaShem, and as close to His Presence as possible.
When the woman with whom parashat Tazria-Metzora opens, gives birth, she is rendered impure, due to the fact that her body has been temporarily rendered unable to produce new life, thus creating a temporary disconnect from G-d’s life giving force.
The new mother’s impurity is not a negative reflection of her, neither morally nor spiritually, G-d forbid, but a physiological reality into which she has temporarily entered. Her subsequent period of waiting the prescribed amount of days and immersing in the pure waters of a mikvah, returns her to her former state of purity.
Our natural state is to be connected to G-d’s life generating energy and therefore pure.
Impurity is a temporary disconnect from this reality that can be readily rectified via the Torah prescribed remedies discussed above.
As for the mysterious tzar’at, a phenomenon which seems to have passed from the world many thousands of years ago, what was it all about?
Identifiable by physical symptoms, it nevertheless was a spiritual malady, which, according to what we have learned, was somehow brought on by a disconnect to the life force? How so?
Our sages teach us that tzar’at was the result of lashon hara – evil speech – speaking negatively of others, being careless, insensitive and hurtful in how we speak of others, either to their faces, behind their backs, or, today, on social media.
To speak ill of someone, Torah tells us, is a form of murder by diction – character assassination.
Once upon a time, the speaker of lashon hara would come down with a case of tzar’at. His use of evil speech would be immediately exposed, and shameful as that was, he or she was afforded a path back to purity and rehabilitation. Today, of course, it is much easier to “get away with” speaking ill of others.
But suddenly this archaic, ancient, extinct affliction known as tzar’at doesn’t seem quite so obscure or dubious.
For it makes explicit the power of language, the need to keep our sharp tongues sheathed and to speak only life affirming words of positivity.
For even necessary words of criticism can be couched positively. How the world might benefit today by a return of the tzar’at affliction, as a guard against evil speech. But even without the reappearance of tzar’at, we have the teachings of Torah and our sages to remind us that we need to be on the side of life and always in the life affirming presence of G-d, and must be ever so careful of every word which exits our lips. For in our words is the power of life and death. Let’s choose life – and guard our tongues!

The Islamic Occupation & Liberation of Tzion

  • 2728 Jewish Year From Creation (1008 BCE) David ascends the Throne of Israel in Hebron.
  • 2735 Jewish Year From Creation (1015 BCE) King David Establishes Y’rushalayim (Jerusalem) as the Capital of the United Monarchy of Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).
  • 4370 Jewish Year From Creation, (610 CE) Muhammad invented Islam on the basis of monotheistic Judaism and pagan (Christian and pre-Islamic Arab) teachings.

4395 Jewish Year From Creation, (635 CE) Muslim Arabs invade Tzion.

4397 Jewish Year From Creation (637 CE) Muslims Conquer Y’rushalayim (Jerusalem).

5708 Jewish Year From Creation, (1948 CE) Modern State of Israel declares Independence and Israeli Defense Forces liberate and secure portions of Eretz Yisrael from Islamic Arab Occupiers. (Note: The 5708th verse in the Torah is Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30.5: “And the L-RD thy G-D will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it;and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers….”

5727 Jewish Year From Creation, (June 1967 CE) Israel Defense Forces liberate Jerusalem, Hebron, Judea and Samaria from illegal Islamic Jordanian Annexation and Occupation.

The rest is history if you can read prophesy Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30….

Americans killed by Palestinian Arabs: The forgotten terror victims

How many more Yom Hazikarons will come and go before any of the Palestinian killers of Americans finally face American justice?. Op-ed.

Stephen M. Flatow , Apr 14 , 2021 11:00 AM Share
Yom Hazikaron Ceremony

Yom Hazikaron Ceremony Police Spokesperson

Yom Hazikaron, observed today, is the day on which Israel remembers not only its fallen soldiers, but also civilians who were murdered by Arab terrorists. But there is one category of terror victims who, while technically included in that designation, have been almost completely forgotten—American victims of Palestinian Arab terrorism.

Since 1968, a total of 146 U.S. citizens have been murdered, and more than 200 wounded, in Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks. Most were tourists or college students spending a summer, six months, or a year of study in Israel—like my daughter, Alisa. Others were dual American-Israeli citizens living in Israel.

The parents of these victims reacted like Israeli parents do in the face of loss. They sit shiva for their children, siblings or parents, then go about putting one foot in front of the other trying to rebuild their shattered lives. Some of us try to participate in the on-going building of the State of Israel and move here. I did it; not because of Alisa’s murder but because of her life.

Obviously, in many respects there is no difference between a terror victim who was a citizen of one country and one who came from another country. What all of them have in common is that they were innocent targets of brutal savages.

Yet in several important respects, American victims are different.

To begin with, the United States has contributed more than $1-billion in taxpayers’ funds to the Palestinian Authority over the past 27 years. Therefore, it has a special right to demand that the PA surrender terrorists who have harmed Americans.

Legally, too, there is a very important difference. U.S. law —18 U.S.C. 2331 and 2332— makes it a crime to kill or injure (or to conspire to kill or injure) an American national outside the U.S. in furtherance of a terrorist cause, whether or not the Americans were not the intended targets. Even when they are visiting, studying, or living overseas, U.S. citizens are still U.S. citizens. The U.S. government has a legal responsibility to act when they are harmed by terrorists abroad, just as it has an obligation to act if they are harmed by terrorists within America’s border.

Tragically, however, U.S. officials have consistently applied a double standard when dealing with the American victims of Palestinian terrorism.

On many occasions, the U.S. has pressured various other governments to hand over terrorists who killed Americans abroad. Yet, incredibly, the U.S. government has never asked the PA to surrender any of the Palestinian killers of Americans. This, despite the fact that the names of many of the suspects have been revealed by the media. Some of the killers are even serving in the PA police or security forces—meaning they could be easily located and apprehended.

The U.S. Justice Department maintains a website that offers rewards for information leading to the arrest of killers of Americans abroad. Yet the site, www.rewardsforjustice.net, offers rewards in only two of the nearly 150 attacks in which Americans have been harmed by Palestinians.

The site also obscures the fact that the attacks were perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs; that section of the site euphemistically refers to those attacks as “Violence in Opposition to the Middle East Peace Negotiations.”

That description is a slap in the face to the victims and their families. My daughter Alisa was not murdered because she had something to do with “Middle East Peace Negotiations.” She was murdered because she was a Jew.

Over the years, I have occasionally had the opportunity to speak with U.S. diplomats or other officials about this issue. The excuses they have offered for America’s inaction are astounding—and obviously dishonest.

For example, they have claimed that the U.S. cannot seek the surrender of Palestinian terrorists because there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority. Dennis Ross, who was the top Mideast envoy in several administrations, was the first to make that claim. Other U.S. diplomats have said likewise.

But the “no treaty” excuse is nonsense. Ross and the others know that the U.S. does not need an extradition treaty in order to get another government to hand over a prisoner. Financial and other pressure by the U.S. will do the trick.

The real reason that no U.S. administration has never asked the PA to hand over killers of Americans has nothing to do with treaties. It’s because every administration knows that the PA will strongly resist handing over terrorists—whom it regards as heroes—and therefore making such a demand means a potential U.S. confrontation with the PA. For administrations that put a priority on having friendly relations with the PA, then, seeking justice is a non-starter. In other words, politics trumps justice.

How long will this outrage continue? How long will the plight of American victims of Palestinian terrorism be buried and ignored? How many more Yom Hazikarons will come and go before any of the Palestinian killers of Americans finally face American justice?

I would like the answers to those questions, but I don’t expect to hear anything from the Biden administration as it seeks to renew ties with the Palestinian Authority and simultaneously violate another law, the Taylor Force Act, which cut aid to the Palestinian Authority because of it’s ongoing “pay to slay” policy.

Although I am living in Jerusalem, I won’t be at any official Israeli memorial programs this year, but this year will be very different for me.

When the siren sounds, I won’t be in front of my computer as in past years; this year I’ll be on my apartment balcony with tears in my eyes.

Stephen M. Flatow is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.” He and his wife are olei chadashim living in Jerusalem.

Tags: Taylor Force Act Stephen M. Flatow Terror Victims

1500 Rabbis Warn Biden Administration is Funding Terrorism

“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration would abandon the successful pro-peace policy agenda of its predecessor,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, CJV’s Israel Regional Vice President.

By United with Israel Staff

On Thursday, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) condemned the decision of the Biden administration to renew funding to both the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

CJV is a US-based non-profit that advocates for classical Jewish ideas and standards in matters of American public policy. It is the largest rabbinic public-policy organization in the US, representing over 1,500 traditional Jewish leaders.

Neither the PA nor UNRWA has implemented any of the reforms demanded by humanitarian groups and the Taylor Force Act, which was signed into law in 2018, the group notes.

The Taylor Force Act, which received bipartisan support, was named for 28-year-old American tourist Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016.

In particular, the Palestinian Authority retains its infamous “Pay to Slay” program, which provides generous rewards to Palestinians – or their families – who murder innocent Israeli and American citizens.

UNRWA was forced to admit earlier this year that its “educational materials,” including math textbooks, encourage suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism. On multiple occasions during earlier conflicts, its schools were used as storage sites and launch facilities for missile attacks against Israeli civilians, incriminating UNRWA itself in war crimes.

“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration would abandon the successful pro-peace policy agenda of its predecessor,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, CJV’s Israel Regional Vice President.

“The Biden administration has chosen to support organizations that continue to encourage and reward acts of terror and, thus, have not shown a hint of necessary reform,” said Pruzansky. “Three Israelis were murdered in 2020. Fortunately, that is the lowest number since the 1940s. But if that now rises, the current administration will be directly implicated.”

Israeli Commandos Strike Iranian Military Ship in Red Sea

Israeli Commandos Strike Iranian Military Ship in Red Sea

Iran says Israeli operatives set off explosions that damaged an Iranian vessel.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Israeli commandos attached mines to the hull of an Iranian ship sailing through the Red Sea on Tuesday night and the explosion damaged the ship, the Tasnim news agency reported.

The Saviz, owned and run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has been stationed in the Red Sea for the past few years to support Iranian commandos who are sent to escort commercial vessels.

The full extent of the damage or number of casualties is unclear.

Iran officially confirmed the attack on Wednesday and said it would launch an investigation into the incident. Israel has remained silent on the reports.

An American source told The New York Times Wednesday night that Israel had informed the US that it was behind the attack on the Iranian intelligence ship that was attacked off the coast of Eritrea.

According to the same source, Israel carried out the attack in retaliation, following previous Iranian attacks on Israeli vessels.

“The Israelis had called the attack a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels, and that the Saviz had been damaged below the waterline,” the U.S. intelligence source is quoted as saying.

Iran has recently attacked several Israeli-owned ships. The last one was reported on March 25, when the Lori, was hit by an Iranian missile in the Arabian Sea. No casualties or significant damage were reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported in mid-March that in the past two years, Israel has attacked at least 12 ships controlled by the IRGC that transported oil and weapons to Syria.

Iran has been exerting efforts to arm its proxies and militias in Syria and in Lebanon, and chiefly the Hezbollah terror organization. Using transports on land through Iraq, flights to Damascus and arms shipments by sea, the IRGC has been working to build a strategic threat against Israel on its northern borders.

Iran and Hezbollah’s military build-up in Syria remains a red line for Israel. The Israeli Air Force has carried out thousands of attacks to thwart Iranian entrenchment in the war-torn country.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly declared that they will not tolerate an Iranian threat on its northern border with Syria, vowing to take all necessary measures to ensure that such a menace does not emerge.

U.S. State Dept. Report Shifts Policy

New U.S. State Department report shifts policy on the Israel-Palestinian conflict to the left

Dear Friend of FLAME:

Supporters of Israel have been rubbing holes in their Quija boards guessing how much further to the left the Biden Administration will push U.S. Middle East policy from Trump’s iconoclastic positions. A new report indicates there will indeed be leftward shifts, but probably not all the way back to Obama’s strategy.

Until now—aside from a few minor pronouncements, a smattering of political appointments and a delay in President Biden calling Prime Minister Netanyahu after assuming office—there has been little to gauge Washington’s new approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

However, the release of the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices this week, which the State Department annually produces, does reveal pointed indications about what Middle East watchers can expect.

On the plus side, the Biden Administration maintained the phrase ” Israel, West Bank and Gaza,” introduced by the Trump administration, which replaced the phrase “Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories” used by the Obama administration.

On the negative side, the report reintroduced the term “occupied” to describe Israel’s liberation of territory over the ‘Green Line’ during the 1967 Six Day War.

This language shows what some have long suspected—that the new administration will be less friendly than the previous one, but not as unfriendly as the one led by President Obama, which was one of the most hostile to Israel in recent years.

Nonetheless, language matters. The use of the terms “occupied” and “occupation” reflects the Palestinian narrative that Israel’s presence in its historic heartland of Judea and Samaria is somehow illegitimate.

Yet in the report’s favor, not using the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” except when quoting other bodies, tells a story. Using the term OPT supports a particular narrative and designates the legal basis of ownership over the territories in question.

This might seem like hair-splitting for many, but when divining foreign policy intentions, these minor nuances indicate policy direction and how the State Department interprets international law. In fact, there is no such thing as “Palestinian territories” under international law.

Likewise, how the U.S. phrases its position on the “settlements” reveals its attitude toward Israeli communities over the Green Line. The U.S.—unlike much of the world—has never designated these communities as “illegal.”

Rather, it has edged toward that position, as in the decision by the Obama administration at the tail end of its second term in 2016 to abstain from a controversial United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory—which allowed it to pass easily.

It was the first time in nearly 40 years that the Security Council has passed a resolution critical of Israeli settlements—because the U.S. had always used its veto. Obama had also used language during his tenure very close to the “settlements are the obstacles to peace ” line used frequently by Europeans and others.

The latest report makes little mention of the settlements, and when pushed on this issue during a subsequent press conference US State Department spokesman Ned Price clarified the position. He asserted that the US position had not changed, and explained it further: “We—as you have heard me say before—we continue to encourage all sides to avoid actions—both sides, I should say—to avoid actions that would put the two-state solution further out of reach,” Price said.

In other words, without saying so precisely, the U.S. believes the settlements are not an exercise of the Jewish People’s right to build communities in its historic and ancestral homeland. Rather, they are potentially standing in the way of a Palestinian state.

This is an implicit agreement with those who repeatedly state that Jews have no right to live in Judea and Samaria, because it is the land of the Palestinians—an analysis that contradicts history, international law and the rights of indigenous people.

This form of diplomatic speak essentially indicates firm buy-in to the Palestinian position about whose territories they are. This is important because the issue will impact many decisions in the coming years.

One other notable element of the State Department report was recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019. The report neither rescinds that pronouncement nor does it use previous Democratic administrations’ term, “Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.” For this we can be tentatively thankful.

As for the Palestinians, the new State Department Report justifiably describes their human rights record harshly. The report acknowledges the “reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, torture, and arbitrary detention by authorities; holding political prisoners and detainees . . . serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, unjustified arrests and prosecutions against journalists” by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

In short, the recently released Human Rights report gives us valuable indications as to the direction this administration will take. Good news: It does not seem there will be a return to the incendiary rhetoric of the Obama administration towards Israel, but Biden’s team will instead allow the changes by the Trump administration to retain their impact.

However, the new administration will certainly move the needle of favor back toward the Palestinians. This is evidenced by the recent quiet resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority, even as a US government watchdog, the General Accounting Office, found that the US Agency for International Development has failed in the past to properly vet beneficiaries for terrorist ties.

Bad news: This new set of values will certainly embolden the Palestinians, who rightfully believe they have a sympathetic ear in the new U.S. administration. It will ensure they maintain their maximalist positions on the conflict—meaning there is very little chance of making peace with the Palestinians, or even moving forward on regional peace by advancing the historic Abraham Accords.

I hope you will point out to friends, family, colleagues and your elected representatives that the Biden team’s acceptance of Palestinian recalcitrance, plus U.S. financial support—with no quid pro quo—is what has ensured no end to the conflict.

This position prevents a peace that would benefit both Israelis and Palestinians. It also means the mistakes of the past are doomed to be repeated, and the people of the region will continue to suffer.

I hope you’ll also take a minute, while you have this material front and center, to forward this message to friends, visit FLAME’s lively Facebook page and review the P.S. immediately below. It describes FLAME’s new hasbarah campaign—which exposes the dangerous folly of the U.S. trying to entice Iran back intro the failed “Iran Deal” of 2015.

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)

State Dept Returns to Citing Israeli ‘Occupation’ in Human Rights Report

Palestinian protest against Jewish presence in biblical city of Hebron, part of a campaign called “Dismantle the Ghetto , take the Occupation out of Hebron.” (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

Hebron protest occupation

Annual report brings back the term “occupation” but slams Palestinians for horrific abuses against their own people; confirms Jerusalem as Israeli capital, while validating the PA’s right to parts of the Old City.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday released its annual human rights reports on countries around the world, bringing back the term “occupation” that the Trump administration had removed from the diplomatic vocabulary to reflect the reality on the ground.

However, the Biden administration did not go back to the Obama term of “Israel and The Occupied Territories” and instead now calls them “Israel, West Bank and Gaza.” The explanation is that these are “territories that Israel occupied during the June 1967 war.”

In the report, the Biden administration confirms that “in 2017 the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” but leaves open where the future municipal boundaries of the city might be.

“Language in this report is not meant to convey a position on any final status issues to be negotiated between the parties to the conflict, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the borders between Israel and any future Palestinian state,” the report states.

Significantly, the separate report on Israel states that “the United States recognized … Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019″ and does not offer any language to take back that statement. Previous Democratic administrations had included the area in the annual report under the heading “Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

The report on the Palestinians shows that their leadership is brutal in the treatment of its own people. The State Department researchers found that Palestinians violate most of the values of freedom and liberty that Americans hold dear.

Both the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas terror group that controls Gaza under military rule are hammered in the report for their human rights abuses.

“Reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, torture, and arbitrary detention by authorities; holding political prisoners and detainees; significant problems with the independence of the judiciary; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, unjustified arrests and prosecutions against journalists, censorship, and site blocking,” the report states, reading almost the same list of atrocities carried out by both the PA and Hamas.

The report details how the pledges by the Palestinian leadership over the years for democratic freedom are a total fraud.

The report lists “substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including harassment of nongovernmental organizations; restrictions on political participation, as the Palestinian Authority has not held a national election since 2006; acts of corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women; violence and threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism; anti-Semitism in school textbooks; violence and threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex persons; and reports of forced child labor.”

The human rights situation for the Palestinians is not getting better, as every year the State Department report is the same, detailing the systematic human rights abuses by the Palestinian leadership.

An Open Letter to US Congress

Congressman Blumenauer

Senators Wyden and Merkley:
Shalom.
I would like to know why our most vulnerable citizens (those receiving government benefits) have yet to receive the 3rd stimulus payment.
As an Orthodox Jew it is my obligation to purchase Kosher L’Pesach (Kosher for Passover) foods and beverages for the 8 days of Pesach (Passover). While I was able to purchase Kosher l’Pesach foods and beverages for the First Passover Seder, I am unable to make additional purchases for the remainder of the Passover Holiday as I did not receive a stimulus payment.
I notice that the US government has pledged 15 million in humanitarian aid to Arab terrorists (Palestinians) in contravention of the Taylor Force Act.
It is inconceivable that law-abiding Americans must suffer hardship during Passover while Arab terrorist gloat over the death of Jews (claiming a right to resist occupation as an exercise in self-determinism)!!!
The Arabs voted by delegates at the December 1948 Jericho Conference for Abdullah I to be their sovereign. Now as hostile belligerent nationals of Jordan, they claim a right to secede from the Hashemite Crown and demand a right to exercise sovereignty over Jewish Territory in violation of the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924!
In closing, it is time to end funding for the Islamic Occupation of Tzion.

No Justice: No Peace: The case of the Sbarro murders mastermind

The case of Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, Sbarro Pizzeria massacre mastermind is a travesty of justice and proof that crime pays. Op-ed.

Dr. Alex Grobman , Mar 29 , 2021 11:19 AM Share
Sbarro terrorist attackSbarro terrorist attackFlash 90

On March 8, 2021, Interpol declared Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, a Jordanian national in her mid-30s, who participated in the August 9, 2001 suicide bomb attack at the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, would no longer be a “subject to an Interpol notice.” This change was announced in a letter published in the Arabic-language media. Apparently, her name had also been deleted from the Interpol’s website. [1]

No mention was made as to why the Red Notice had been cancelled, which notifies law enforcement in all their member countries about fugitives who should be arrested until “extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.” Red Notices assist police in bringing criminals to justice who have committed murder, rape, child abuse or armed robbery, even when the initial crime had been committed many years before. [2]

The Sbarro bombing killed 15 people, including two US nationals. Four other US nationals were among the approximately 122 others injured in the attack. [3]

Accompanying a Suicide Bomber to the Target

On Aug. 9, 2001, Al-Tamimi met the suicide bomber, 23-year-old Izzedine al-Masri from Silat al-Harithiya, a member of the Hamas military wing Iz a Din al-Kassam, in Ramallah. Together, they went by car to Jerusalem. Having a young Arab woman dressed in a tight-fitting dress accompany a male suicide bomber to his target enabled the couple to seem part of the urban landscape, and less likely to arouse any suspicion. This is exactly how Al-Tamimi, at the time a 21-year-old journalism student at Birzeit University, guided the suicide bomber to the Sbarro pizza parlor in the heart of Jerusalem, without being detected.

As a resident of Ramallah, Al-Tamimi had been to Jerusalem on countless occasions, spoke fluent English with only a minor trace of an Arab accent, and possessed a Jordanian passport. If stopped, she would attempt to convince the police she was a Jordanian tourist on holiday.

Al-Tamimi had been the first woman the Hamas military wing recruited. After her first mission to hide a bomb in a beer can at a Jerusalem supermarket caused only minimal damage and just a few casualties, she wanted to prove women had a role in the all-male Hamas organization.

As they walked toward Sbarro’s at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road, Al-Masri carried a guitar case on his back. Al-Tamimi had chosen Sbarro’s because the restaurant was generally packed with families with young children.

After she left Al-Masri at the entrance to Sbarro, she fled on foot to the Damascus Gate and immediately boarded a sherut (taxi) to Ramallah. She described her experience on TV that the news of the bombing, heard on the sherut’s radio in “the Zionist language,” caused elation among the other passengers. The death toll was initially low (three dead Israelis), but it rose steadily. [4]

After returning to Ramallah, she went to the Palestinian Arab television studio where she was a newsreader and reported the horrific terrorist attack that she had planned and directed. [5]

An Israeli military court convicted Al-Tamimi to 16 life sentences. She completed only eight years before being freed on October 18, 2011, as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. Included in the exchange was Gilad Shalit. Upon her release, she was deported to Jordan. [6]

Nizar Tamimi, who had participated in the 1993 murder of Chaim Mizrahi of Bet El, and sentenced to life in prison, was also freed as part of the agreement. Once Nizar, her cousin, and Al-Tamimi were released, they married. [7]

Attempts to Extradite Her to the US

Jordanian courts decreed that their constitution prohibited the extradition of Jordanian nationals, yet both countries signed the 1995 Extradition Treaty.

The US has worked to obtain custody of Al-Tamimi so she can be held accountable for her role in the terrorist bombing in accordance with the 1995 Extradition Treaty between Jordan and the US. Charges were brought against her in Washington on July 15, 2013, but sealed by the judge, while the US negotiated unsuccessfully, to have Jordan extradite her under the treaty. The FBI placed Al-Tamimi on its Most Wanted Terrorists list on March 14, 2017. [8]

Laith Nasrawin, a constitutional law professor at the University of Jordan, rejected the idea that Jordan was legally bound to extradite Al-Tamimi. “The 1995 extradition treaty, having not been ratified by the parliament, does not carry the weight of the law and is invalid from the court’s perspective,” she said. The treaty “may carry weight on an international level between the US and Jordan, but domestically and legally, the treaty is unconstitutional.” [9]

Yet, in 1995 Jordan extradited Eyad Ismail Najim, a Jordanian citizen linked to the 1993 New York City bombing, right after the two countries signed the treaty. According to Jordanian officials acquainted with the case, Najim was extradited only after he formally agreed to be tried in the US, not because of a legal ruling. [10]

In Jordan, Al-Tamimi’s case is a highly contentious issue, since the majority of Jordanians regard Israel as their adversary. Scores of Jordanians expressed their support for her on social media and appealed to the government to deny the request to extradite her. [11]

Al-Tamimi pleaded guilty in an Israeli court in 2003 to multiple counts of murder arising from the Sbarro suicide bomb attack and was sentenced to 16 life terms of incarceration. In the US, the maximum penalty for a person convicted of this charge is a life term of incarceration or death. The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. [12]

Upon her discharge, she asked “Why is Ahlam defined as ‘a terror[ist]’? I’m part of an independence movement, a national liberation movement, a resistance movement acting for its freedom. The clauses of the UN General Assembly [charter] are on my side.” [13]

In an interview with Israeli TV Channel 1, she boasted “I have no regrets, and no Palestinian prisoner regrets what he or she has done. We were defending ourselves. What are we supposed to regret? Should we regret defending ourselves? Should we regret that the Israelis killed one of us, so we killed a different one of them? We have no regrets.” [14]

During an interview broadcast on a Jordanian website, she was asked if she would participate in or conduct another terror attack, she responded: “Of course. I don’t regret what happened, absolutely not. That is the path; I give myself for the sake of Allah, to Jihad for Allah. I carried out [my mission] and Allah made me successful: You know the number of victims who were killed. All that was thanks to the success from Allah. Do you expect me to abandon what I did, saying [I regret it]? Regret is something that is out of the question. If time could go backwards, I would carry out what I did, in the same manner.”

On Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, Al-Tamimi described the suicide bomber with admiration: “It’s important to say that I was walking with a spiritual person. Next to him, I sensed a sort of divine aura surrounding us.” [15]

In Jordan, she hosted a talk show between February 2012 and September 2016 called Nasim Al-Ahrar [Breeze of the Free] on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV. Her show focused on Palestinian Arab prisoners in Israeli jails. In an interview with Saleh Arouri, who was responsible for Hamas prisoner’s and participated in the negotiations that led to the prisoner exchange agreement. Arouri proclaimed that only by continued “resistance” and kidnapping IDF soldiers could they obtain the release of additional Palestinian Arab prisoners from Israeli jails. [16]

Crime Does Pay: Pay for Slay

Until she was released from prison, Al-Tamimi received $51,836. Al-Masri’s family has received $53,689 overall, the bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti has collected $213,848. [17]

Palestinian Arab terrorists have known that whether they are killed in action or incarcerated in Israeli prisons because of their crimes, their families will be compensated by the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and/or other Palestinian-Arab terror organizations. [18]

The longer Fatah terrorists remains in prison, the higher the salary he/she receives. 24 [19] The “greater the crime,” the greater the compensation. There is a sliding scale. Murderers can receive up to $3,500 a month, observes Elliot Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Those sentenced to five years in prison or less receive a base salary of $350 per month. “The excuse that these payments are meant only to help prisoners’ families survive does not wash,” he says, “because if that were the goal, the stipend would depend on family size. Instead, the worse your crime, the more money you get.” [20]

Terrorists are exempt from paying for education, health care, and professional instruction. Once freed, they are offered substantial positions in Fatah and the PA. Those incarcerated for five years or more are eligible to a job in a PA institution. Terrorists who served are entitled to a more prestigious title in the government and a higher compensation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has stressed more than once “the prisoners are top priority.” [21]

To compensate the terrorists, the PA employs least 550 individuals with a budget of $350 million. This compares to the $220 million allocated for their main welfare program. [22]

Taylor Force Act

To stop providing funds to terrorists, the US congress introduced the Taylor Force Act. “This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority: is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force; is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual. [23]

Beneficiaries of PA stipends include the family of Bashar Masalha, who stabbed 11 people near Tel-Aviv and murdered 28-year-old Taylor Force, who was visiting Israel on a break from Vanderbilt business school. Force, a West Point graduate, had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Taylor had been walking on the Mediterranean boardwalk promenade with friends in Tel Aviv, when he was brutally knifed to death on March 8, 2016. [24]

Police killed Masalha, but his relatives collect monthly payments equivalent to several times the average Palestinian Arab salary. The Wall Street Journal concluded that “With special offices and more than 500 civil servants assigned to distribute these funds, the PA’s message is clear: Terrorism pays.” [25]).

Biden Administration and the Taylor Force Act

When asked whether the Biden Administration intended to resume aid to the PA to spur the Israeli-Palestinian Arab “peace process,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price” said “our intent to provide assistance to the benefit of all Palestinians, including to Palestinian refugees. We are in the process of determining how to move forward with the resumption of that assistance, consistent with US law, consistent with our interests.” [26]

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Taylor’s father Stuart Force and Sander Gerber, a New York hedge fund executive and fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, asserted that if the Biden Administration is sincerely interested in helping the Palestinian Arabs, “it should insist that the PA cannot be a peace partner until it stops the glorification of terrorists. The PA’s refusal to make peace with Israel, accompanied by its celebration of violence, is the real source of economic and humanitarian problems in Palestinian society, not the loss of U.S. aid.”

Should the administration attempt to circumvent the Taylor Force Act, it would guilty “of money laundering for terrorists.” [27]

To continue paying terrorist “salaries” after terrorists are released from prison and evade Israeli anti-terror law enacted in July 2018 and dupe donors, terrorist salaries are made to appear like conventional wages. Released terrorists are already being incorporated into the PA security system and government and civil positions according to Palestinian Media Watch. Although terrorists receive a “salary,” they are not obligated to work in their alleged positions, unless explicitly “requested” to do so.

Paying prisoners still incarcerated, which is viewed as a sacred task, the PA is in contact with the American administration, European governments, and Israeli authorities. The Palestinian Authority-funded PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, assembled to find a solution, working even on vacation days, to fund the prisoners’ salaries only through the banks.[28]

Attempting to Bring Al-Tamimi to Justice

“Trying to bring the central figure in our daughter’s murder to justice has been one of the hardest and most painful things my wife [Frimet]and I have ever had to do,” declared Arnold Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malki” was killed in the blast. Al-Tamimi “should have been put on trial in Washington under US law a long time ago. The charges against her were unsealed by Senior Department of Justice officials almost exactly four years ago to the day, on March 14, 2017,” he pointed out.

Furthermore, he said, “It is inexplicable to us that Jordan, which signed a treaty with the US more than a quarter century ago for the mutual extradition of fugitives like A l-Tamimi, remains in flagrant breach of that treaty even while it continues to be a recipient of colossal sums in US foreign aid each year.”

Roth added that “the blunt and unwelcome announcement by Interpol on March 8, 2021 that it has succumbed to pressure from the fugitive’s family, lawyers and clan in Jordan and has cancelled the Red Notice, which operated until now to encourage member governments to arrest her if she enters their jurisdiction.” [29].

In a plea to President Biden, Frimet Roth criticized Jordan’s King Abdullah’s regime for consistently rejecting to honor the extradition treaty. “We truly hope,” she said, “that you… will impress on Jordan that the existential support lavished on the Hashemite Kingdom is contingent on this evil woman being brought to justice. [30] .

One Final Note

The failure of the US to have Al-Tamimi extradited to the US for trial, and the attempt to circumvent the Taylor Force Act sends a message of hope to those who wish to destroy the Jewish state. Added to this is the Biden Administration’s restoration of relations with the Palestinian Arabs, reinstating aid to Palestinian Arab refugees and new support for “a mutually agreed” upon two-state solution. [31] (Edith M. Lederer, “U.S. announces restoration of relations with Palestinians,” Associated Press (January 26, 2021.) The Palestinian Arab state would ostensibly include about 70% of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, with its capital on the peripheries of East Jerusalem. [32]

There are also plans to reopen Palestinian Arab diplomatic missions presumably such as the PLO mission in Washington, DC, the US Consulate General in Jerusalem that have afforded direct communication between the Palestinian Authority and Washington.[33]

Why the return to the failed policies of the past? The centrality of the peace process had become a “peace religion” with its own dogma according to Aaron David Miller, former advisor to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations (1978-2003).

These “articles of faith,” he explains are: “First, pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S. interests; second, peace could be achieved, but only through a serious negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition.”

Failure to resolve the conflict would “would trigger ruinous war, increase Soviet influence, weaken Arab moderates, strengthen Arab radicals, jeopardize access to Middle East oil, and generally undermine U.S. influence from Rabat to Karachi.”

Miller realizes that the belief “that there’s a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems — from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial — it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability.”

“These tenets endured and prospered,” he said, “even while the realities on which they were based had begun to change.” In other words, there has been “more process than peace.” [34]

Elliot Abrams adds another act of faith that has become part of American diplomatic canon. This is the belief that even when there is little hope in achieving a sudden or dramatic diplomatic break though, the standard response is “Okay, but what’s the harm in trying? As former president Bill Clinton used to say, “We always need to get caught trying—fewer people will die.”

The assumption that no harm ensues when the US attempts to find a comprehensive peace accord and that lives are saved in the process, is simply false Abrams contends as continuing acts of terrorism demonstrates. Furthermore, Abrams asserts the prestige and stature of America and the president are diminished when these efforts end in failure. [35]

At a meeting with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on November 17, 2020, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had the opportunity to express his vision for peace. Instead, he used the occasion to attack the Arab states who signed the Abraham Accords, negating their right to protect their own crucial interests.

Ambassador Dore Gold, the former director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, believes that “Shtayyeh is probably hoping that selective reinterpretations of the Middle East peace process can be used to the Palestinians’ advantage. Describing the stipends granted to families of those who engaged in terrorism as a ‘social welfare’ program might work as a strategy if the audience hearing this argument is either incredibly or ignorant.” [36]

Endnotes

[1] The Times of Israel staff, “Interpol said to drop warrant for Sbarro pizzeria bomber Ahlam Tamimi,” The Times of Israel (March 12, 2021); https://arabi21.com/story/1343778/.

[2] https://www.interpol.int/en/How-we-work/Notices/Red-Notices.

[3] “Individual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans,” The United States of Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs (March 14, 2017).

[4] Email from Arnold Roth, March 22, 2021; Samuel M. Katz, The Ghost Warriors, The Ghost Warriors: Inside Israel’s Undercover War Against Suicide Terrorism (New York: Berkley Caliber, 2016) 194-198; Brian Whitaker, “Who carried out suicide bombing?” The Guardian (August 9, 2001).

[5] Meir Indor, “Regards from Amman: The Tamimi Family and the Good Life,” The Jewish Press (June 27, 2012).

[6] “In dividual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans,” op.cit.

[7] Jackson Richman, “Report: Jordan Expels Nizar Tamimi, Husband of US-Wanted Terrorist,” Algemeiner (October 2, 2020); Indor, op.cit.

[8] “Individual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans,” op.cit; Phoebe Greenwood, “Palestinian families wait to hear prisoners’ fate,” The Guardian (October 11, 2011).

[9] Ali Younes, “‘Close the file’: Jordan king urged to deny US extradition demand,” Al Jazeera (June 18, 2020).

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Individual charge,” op.cit; Interestingly, Daled Amos noted that “In 2011, a photographer named Nariman al-Tamimi staged a video [see Yishai Goldflam, Tamar Sternthal, “UPDATED: B’Tselem Photographer Stages Scene,” CAMERA (May 19, 2011), that made it appear that when Israeli police arrested an 11-year-old boy for throwing stones, they refused to take the boy’s mother in the car. Nariman al-Tamimi is the name of Ahed Tamimi’s mother.”

[13] Ahlam Tamimi pleased Jordan refuses to extradite her to the US: Why am I a “terrorist”? – “I’m part of a resistance movement,” Al-Jazeera website (Arabic) (March 28, 2019) quoted by Palestinian Media Watch (March 28, 2019).

[14] “PA TV rebroadcasts Israeli interview with terrorist Tamimi, who smiles upon hearing her attack killed 8 children,” Palestinian Media Watch (October 23, 2011).

[15] Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “A Palestinian hero in the media- The woman who aided suicide terrorist who attacked the Sbarro restaurant and killed 15,” Palestinian Media Watch (November16, 2011); “Suicide bomber’s accomplice about killing 15: If time could go backwards I would do it again,” Ammon News, independent news agency (Jordan) (Oct 19, 2011) quoted in Palestinian Media Watch (Oct 19, 2011). “Released Hamas Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi on Palestinian Public’s Delight at Suicide Bombings,” MEMRI (July 12, 2012).

[16] Khaled Abu Toameh,” Female terrorist hosts talk show on Hamas TV” The Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2012).

[17] “Report: Terrorists behind Jerusalem pizza bombing received more than $910K,” JNS (August 8, 2019).

[18] PA TV repeats Abbas’ vow to pay terrorists no matter what – even are left with only one penny” Official Palestinian Authority TV Palestinian Media Watch (March 13, 2021); “PA law grants promotions in rank to terrorist prisoners from PA Security Services WAFA, official PA news agency,” Palestinian Media Watch (December 12, 2013).

[19] Bassam Tawil, “Palestinians: Why Abbas Cannot Stop Funding Terrorists,” Gatestone (June 26, 2017).

[20] Elliot Abrams, “Stop Supporting Palestinian Terror,” National Review (April 17, 2017); “Pay for Slay in Palestine,” The Wall Street Journal (March 27, 2017); Thane Rosenbaum, “Palestinians are rewarding terrorists. The U.S. should stop enabling them,” The Washington Post (April 28, 2017).

[21] Yossi Kuperwasser, “Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (December 30, 2016); Maurice Hirsch and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “PA salaries to terrorists rise by 11.8% in 2019 – amidst self-inflicted financial crisis, “Palestinian Media Watch (July 3, 2019).

[22] Mike Pompeo, Sander Gerber, and Stuart Force “Is the Biden Administration Planning on Violating the Taylor Force Act, as the PA Continues Its Despicable Anti-Israel, Anti-America Pay-for-Slay Policy?” American Center for Law and Justice (March 1, 2021); Maurice Hirsch, “Murderers of the Fogel family set to get 50% salary increase from the PA,” Palestinian Media Watch (March11, 2021);Gilad Erdan, “The Truth About the Palestinian Hunger Strike,” The New York Times (May 1, 2017); “Palestinian ploy to deceive donors PA will stop giving $130 million a year to terrorist prisoners, but PLO will pay the terrorists instead,” Palestinian Media watch (June 3, 2014); Yigal Carmon, “Palestinian Authority Support for Imprisoned, Released and Wounded Terrorists and Families of ‘Martyrs,’” Written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, for “Financially Rewarding Terrorism in the West Bank,” MEMRI (July 6, 2016).

[23] “https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1164; Taylor Force Act Talking Points https://emetonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Taylor-Force-Act-Notes-.pdf.

[24] Eric Shawn, “Bill in Congress would pressure Palestinian gov’t to cut off terror-tied payments,” Fox News Politics (April 30, 2017); Itamar Marcus, “Fatah celebrates murder of American tourist,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 9, 2016).

[25] “Pay for Slay in Palestine,” The Wall Street Journal (March 27, 2017); Itamar Marcus, “Fatah celebrates murder of American tourist,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 9, 2016); See also, Shoshana Bryen, Close the PLO Office in DC,” Israel Policy Center (April 19, 2017); Kevin Derby, “Ted Cruz, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Renew the Fight to Kick PLO Out of Washington,” Sunshine State News (May 6, 2017).

[26] “State Department Ned Price Press Conference Transcript February 11” https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/state-department-ned-price-press-conference-transcript-february-11.

[27] Mike Pompeo, Sander Gerber, and Stuart Force “op.cit; Stephen M. Flatow, “Will Biden tolerate ‘pay for slay?’” Israel National News (Dec 1, 2021).

[28] Maurice Hirsch, “PMW initiative creates havoc for the PA Pay-for-Slay policy,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 17, 2021); PA TV repeats Abbas’ vow to pay terrorists no matter what.” (op.cit); “PA’s trees for terrorists planted in school garden to teach kids about “heroic prisoners” Palestinian Media Watch (March 14, 2021); Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “PA plants trees to honor 35,000 “Martyrs” – including all suicide bombers,” Palestinian Media Watch (February 2, 2021); see also “Israel: Law on Freezing Revenues Designated for the Palestinian Authority,” The Law Library of Congress, Global Legal Research Directorate (March 2019).

[29] 11-Mar-21: Interpol and justice); Arnold Roth, “Why does BBC‏ ‏promote my daughter’s murderer?” (October 13, 2020); For other reaction, please see “Wiesenthal Centre to INTERPOL: “Return Terrorist Al -Tamimi to ‘Most Wanted’ Status,” (March 12, 2021); https://www.wiesenthal.com/about/news/wiesenthal-centre-to-30.html;” EMET IS APPALLED THAT INTERPOL HAS DECIDED TO DROP THE ARREST WARRANT FOR AHLAM TAMIMI, A KNOWN TERRORIST AND KILLER OF AMERICAN CITIZENS,” Press Release (March 15, 202).

[30] Frimet Roth, “To President Biden: I remember shedding tears that day – it is four years later,” Israel National News (March 18, 2021); Frimet Roth, “Mother of Israeli Suicide Bombing Victim: Do Not Free My Daughter’s Murderer,” Haaretz (October 16, 2011).

[31] Edith M. Lederer, “U.S. announces restoration of relations with Palestinians,” Associated Press (January 26, 2021).

[32] “Biden administration to restore aid to Palestinians,” BBC News (January 27, 2021); Lee Smith, “Biden Torpedoes Abraham Accords Summit,” Tablet (March 22, 2021); Israel Kasnett, “Former Ambassador Friedman sifts through ‘transformative’ accords and their future success,” JNS (March 18, 2021).

[33] Tovah Lazaroff, “Biden envoy: US to reopen diplomatic missions for Palestinians,” The Jerusalem Post (January 27, 2021).

[34] Aaron David Miller, “The False Religion of Mideast Peace,” Foreign Policy (April 19, 2010); Aaron David Miller, The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (New York: Bantam Books, 2008), 27-28; Joe Klein, “Q&A: Obama on His First Year in Office,” Time Magazine (January 21, 2010); Alex Grobman, “Exposing the Myth of Linkage,” The Jewish Press (December 13, 2016); Dennis Ross, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), 346.

[35] Elliot Abrams, “The Harm in Trying: The downside of the Middle East ‘peace process,’” The Weekly Standard (July 3, 2017).

[36] Dore Gold, “Diplomatic fantasies at the Council on Foreign Relations,” Jerusalem Post (November 27, 2020).

Alex Grobman is senior resident scholar at the John C. Danforth Society, and a member of the Council of Scholars for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME). He has an MA and PhD in Contemporary Jewry from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Tags: Sbarro Restaurant Bombing Dr. Alex Grobman Taylor Force Act

Senators Spar Over Sabbath Day…. While Americans Struggle to Make Ends Meet!

While Americans Struggle to Make Ends Meet for Passover, Senators Spar Over Sabbath Day and grant 15 million in “humanitarian aid” to Arab terrorists….

Republican senator quotes the Bible to say Sunday is the sabbath, but Democratic senator points out Old Testament places the sabbath on Saturday.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a Republican colleague a bible and civics lesson after Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said voting on Sunday would not be allowed in her state because it would violate the holy sabbath, media reports said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Hyde-Smith backed a move by southern Republican senators to ban electoral activity on Sundays, claiming the new legislation was justified because Sunday is the Sabbath day.

“I can speak for Mississippi on why we would never do that on a Sunday or hold an election on a Sunday,” Hyde-Smith told Schumer.

Holding up a dollar bill she said: “This says the ‘United States of America in God we trust.’ Etched in stone in front of the U.S. Senate chamber is ‘In God we trust.’ When you swore in all these witnesses, the last thing you said to them in your instructions, was ‘so help you God.’”

“In God’s word in Exodus 28:18, it says, remember the Sabbath and keep it holy,” Hyde-Smith said at a meeting of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Schumer, from New York, is Jewish and reminded Hyde-Smith that America cannot make laws based on one religion over another.

“Another member (Hyde-Smith) of the committee defended limits to early voting on Sundays, a day when many African-Americans go to vote after church, by quoting the bible and the commandment to keep the sabbath holy,” Schumer said during a speech in the Senate.

“I don’t know where to begin with that one, but I’ll start by reminding my colleagues of the separation between church and state, and frankly, the Bible passage she talked about comes from the Old Testament when the Sabbath was on Saturday,” Schumer said.

“Senator Hyde-Smith comments are emblematic of the push by lawmakers in GA and other states to disenfranchise racial minority, low-income, elderly, rural, disabled, and student voters,” the ADL tweeted. “Equally as offensive, she totally disregards the Sabbath of Jews, Muslims and some Christians.”

Jews and some Christian Churches observe the Sabbath on Saturday, while Friday is the holy day of the week for Muslims.