Trump decision praised: ‘A milestone on way to sovereignty in Judea, Samaria’

World Israel News (WIN)

Most Israeli politicians came out in support of the U.S. decision that spurned the idea that Israeli settlements are illegal.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli politicians from the right to the center-left praised the decision of the Trump administration on Monday to reject a State Department legal opinion from 1978 that found Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria to be illegal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first out of the gate to commend the decision, which was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Netanyahu said, “Today, the United States adopted an important policy that rights a historical wrong when the Trump administration clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently ‘illegal’ under international law.”

Other Israeli politicians followed suit.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who leads Israel’s opposition parties, said, “I bless the U.S. government on this important decision, which points again to its strong stand on the side of Israel and its obligation to the security and future of the Middle East in general.”

“The fate of the settlements and residents in Judea and Samaria needs to be set within agreements that stand up to the security demands and can advance peace. Agreements that will serve the two sides, and will reflect the reality in the area,” he said.

Likud MK Yariv Levin, who currently serves as Minister of Tourism, said “We’re talking about another historic step of the most friendly government that Israel has ever had. The recognition of the legality of the settlements is a meaningful milestone on the way toward Israeli sovereignty in all parts of Israel.”

Ayelet Shaked, co-head of the New Right party and a former justice minister, said “We’re talking about an important and meaningful decision. Therefore, better late than never. The settlements in Judea and Samaria don’t contradict international law, and it’s good that the greatest power in the world tells the truth and corrects this distortion of many years.”

Speaker of the Knesset and Likud MK Yuli Edelstein said, “The announcement of the American government is an outstanding Israeli victory against the scandalous ruling of the E.U. court that instructed that only products of Jews be identified.”

Edelstein referred to the fact that the U.S. announcement is generally viewed as a reaction to a recent E.U. court decision to single out products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria rather than just as “Made in Israel.”

“This is a historic and moral justice of the first rank that strengthens Israel. I commend President Trump on this unequivocal and courageous statement. The next step – establishing Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria,” Edelstein added.


Israel to “Apply Sovereignty” to Jordan Valley

Netanyahu approves Jordan Valley annexation bill after U.S. changes policy

Approval of bill by Netanyahu comes following change in US stance regarding the legality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank

Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo meet at the UN Security Council, September 26, 2018 (photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)
Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo meet at the UN Security Council, September 26, 2018
(photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his approval to advance a bill that would have Israel apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, after the US State Department reversed its stance of viewing Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.

Likud MK Sharren Haskel proposed the bill weeks ago, but decided to fast-track it in light of the change in US policy.
Haskel said “the bill has the prime minister’s full backing.”
In the days before the September 17 election, Netanyahu announced that, if he is elected, he would annex the Jordan Valley, and his cabinet voted to legalize the Mevo’ot Yericho outpost in the Jordan Valley as a new settlement.
Haskel submitted a request to exempt her bill to annex the Jordan Valley from the mandatory six-week waiting period for any new legislation, so that it can go to a vote in the plenum next week.
The request will be subject to a vote in the Knesset Arrangements Committee, a temporary version of the Knesset House Committee until there is a coalition and opposition. Blue and White MK Avi Nissenkorn currently leads the Arrangements Committee while his party’s leader Benny Gantz has the mandate to build a government.
Haskel called on Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Gesher to join the Likud’s efforts to annex the Jordan Valley, “in light of the one-time-only chance that we have before us” with US President Donald Trump’s administration.

Former Miss Iraq to Lead UN Event on Jewish Refugees from Arab States

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan

“The State of Israel must voice support for Jewish refugees and correct this historical injustice,” said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.

By United with Israel Staff

Israel’s Mission to the United Nations is leading a diplomatic campaign to recognize the more than 850,000 Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries after the establishment of the State of Israel, according to a Mission press release.

As part of the effort, the Mission, in an effort to put the issue on the agenda of the international community, will hold a unique event with Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) at UN headquarters in New York.

The event will take place the day after the General Assembly marks the anniversary of November 29th, 1947, the date the United Nations voted for UN Resolution 181, which sought to partition Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. The day is being commemorated this year on December 3rd due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Each year, the Palestinian delegation tries to focus UN attention on “Palestinian refugees” and calls for support for the “right of return,” which, if implemented, would grant five million Arabs the right to “return” to the Land of Israel.

Israel is working to focus on the Jewish dimension of the refugee issue.

Among the keynote speakers at the Israeli Mission’s event will be Sarah Idan, who was elected Miss Iraq in 2017. After being photographed with Miss Israel, Idan was forced to flee Iraq and then emigrated to the United States. She has since become an avid spokeswoman for Israel who spares no criticism of her homeland.

Idan condemned Hamas’ terrorist activities and systematic human rights violations in Iraq. In light of her statements, she was stripped of her Iraqi citizenship.

Elan Carr, the Trump administration’s Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism, will also speak at the event. He will likely share the story of his mother, who was forced to flee Iraq.

“The story of nearly a million Jews who were brutally expelled from their homes has so far received no UN attention and has even been deliberately downplayed to focus solely on the Palestinian narrative. The State of Israel must voice support for Jewish refugees and correct this historical injustice,” stated Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon.

“As we enter the fifth year of Jewish Refugee Commemoration Day, there is a growing urgency to center and elevate the voices of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews, whose collective experiences and perspectives provide an important lens to approach contemporary issues of antisemitism,  minority rights in the Middle East, and efforts to delegitimize Israel,” said Sarah Levin, executive director of JIMENA.

Will Jordan extradite woman convicted in Jerusalem bombing to US?


Article Summary
A US request that Jordan extradite Alham Tamimi, convicted for involvement in a 2001 terror attack in Jerusalem that cost American lives, has put King Abdullah II in a difficult position.

The March 15 request by the United States for Jordan to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, the Palestinian woman involved in the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing, surprised everyone — Hamas, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and to a large extend Israel as well. Tamimi, a one-time student at Birzeit University in the West Bank, was convicted in Israel for driving Hamas member Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri from the village of Aqaba, near the West Bank town of Jenin, to Jerusalem, where he perpetrated the attack.

The Sbarro bombing is one of the deadliest terror attacks of the second intifada (2000-2005), killing 15 people, including two Americans. Among the dead were seven children. Another 140 people were injured, among them Americans. Israeli troops captured Tamimi about a month after the attack, and a military court sentenced her to 16 life terms. She was freed in the 2011 prisoner deal between Israel and Hamas involving more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners being exchanged for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas. She never expressed remorse for her deed and even proclaimed that she would do it again.

Tamimi has been living in Jordan since her release. She was the most famous of all the female inmates freed in the swap, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal lauded her. When Meshaal greeted the freed women in Cairo, an event broadcast on regional TV channels, he turned to Tamimi with great excitement and addressed her as “our heroine sister.” She leaned toward him and pledged to work for the freedom of other Palestinians jailed in Israel. Tamimi has since embarked on a career as a presenter on a show dealing with the issue of Palestinians in Israeli jails on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV station.

The extradition request is a source of great embarrassment to Jordan, mired as it is in economic difficulties that threaten King Abdullah II’s continued rule and facing a US administration determined to prove itself tough on terrorism everywhere in the world. In fact, one could say that the US Justice Department has put Abdullah in a bind.

Tamimi had been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list for her role in the murder of American citizens. A case against her was filed under seal in 2013, but the extradition and arrest orders were only now completed and sent to Amman. Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for National Security, said the United States never forgets those who target its citizens.

Hamas has urged Jordan to reject the extradition request for the “freed heroine.” Movement spokeswoman Huda Naim claimed that the entire Palestinian nation stands behind the woman who has become a symbol of its struggle for liberation.

“This makes no sense,” a Hamas source told Al-Monitor, speaking on condition of anonymity about the US request. He argued that Tamimi was freed by Israel in a prisoner exchange deal, and any request for her to be extradited so she can stand trial for something that she has already been tried for violates international law.

The release of prisoners in the 2011 deal is the only achievement that Hamas can boast of, so it is intent on preserving it. The episode is praised at every event and rally in the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls. The only one raining on the parade is Israel, which re-arrested 54 of the freed inmates from the West Bank after the June 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens studying in the Etzion settlement bloc.

Yahya Sinwar, elected to lead the Hamas movement in Gaza earlier this year, has made the prisoner issue the movement’s top priority, so for Hamas, Tamimi’s extradition is a red line. Making the situation surrounding her even more relevant is that the Jordanian monarch expelled Hamas from the kingdom in 1996.

The Hamas source did not rule out the possibility that a Jordanian move to comply with the extradition request and arrest Tamimi, even for a day, would set off a wave of reprisals against Abdullah, not only by Hamas, but by all the Palestinian factions, who see her as a symbol and role model.

As mentioned, Jordan is in dire economic straits. Any shock to its stability could threaten the future of the monarchy. On March 8, Haaretz reported that Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, Einat Schlein, had briefed Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot on the deteriorating situation in Jordan and expressed concern about the stability of the monarchy.

Abdullah is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, he knows full well that any indication of a willingness to give in to the Americans would be a colossal problem for him. On the other hand, when he met with President Donald Trump on Feb. 2 at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, he was hoping to establish an open line of communication with the US leader. The last thing he wants now is to fall out with the new administration.

Unless the State Department grasps that no one in the Trump administration had thought through all the consequences, and that the repercussions of the extradition are too dangerous to chance, the Jordanian king will ultimately be forced to choose between the lesser of two evils

Chol v’Kochavim: Sand and Stars

What’s the difference between sand and the stars?

Why are the Jewish people compared to both in our parasha?


Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, 15/11/19 10:12 | updated: 12:09


Immediately after the Akeida, Hashem gave Avraham a wonderful blessing: ‘Veharbah arbeh et zaracha k’chochvei hashamyim v’chachol asher al sfat hayam’ I shall significantly increase the number of your offspring so they will be like the stars in the heavens above and like the sand which by the seashore.

Why this repetition?

Surely we don’t need both examples? Both the stars in the heavens above and the sand by the seashore, indicate a number so high that nobody could count them. The Midrash helps us, by saying that when Hashem says that the Jewish people will be like the stars above, that refers to a time when we are loyal to the words of Hashem. And that we’ll be like the grains of sand on the seashore below – that’s when we rebel against the words of Hashem. The Midrash explains that one cannot touch the stars – they are safe, they are secure and that represents the people of Israel in good times, whereas sand is trampled underfoot and that represents the people of Israel in challenging times.

I’m troubled by this peirush because the context here is one of pure blessing. It’s in the immediate aftermath of the greatest statement of faith in God – the akeidah. Hashem wants to reassure Avraham that thanks to the loyalty that we the Jewish people place in God above, He will forever bless us. So therefore both the stars and the sands must indicate blessing and therefore I’d like to suggest the following…

Like the stars in the heavens above – that means innumerable. Like the sand on the seashore is different. It’s not just ‘Chol – sand’. It’s ‘chol asher al-tsfat hayam’ – sand by the seashore, which is wet, like mud. It appears as one single entity. Though it is made up of separate grains, they are clasped together as one.
This is a further blessing! In addition to being like the stars above, Hashem is saying that the Jewish people will be blessed with unity. Each individual will retain his or her own unique identity but we will stand together as one great nation.

Through the ages, God has indeed blessed us to survive together as a nation, against the odds. And true to his word we have been like the stars of the heavens above.

Let us help Hashem to bless us just as the sand which is by the seashore and guarantee that we will always have unity within our midst.

Shabbat Shalom

im Yitzchaq: A Double Entendre


I read the commentaries but feel they do not convey the prophetic voice (decree) of Sarah. One must first ask why Sarah needs to say im bni “with my son,” then say im yitzchaq “with Isaac;” as Sarah has only one son!
See Rashi to 20.18 and 21.12.
Rashi to 20.18:

because of Sarah: Heb. עַל דְּבַר, lit., by the word of Sarah. Through the words of Sarah. — [from Gen. Rabbah 52:13] the wombs of Abimelech’s House were “closed up;”)

Rashi to 21.12:

hearken to her voice: (to the voice of the holy spirit within her.) We learn from here that Abraham was inferior to Sarah in prophecy. — [from Exod. Rabbah 1:1, Tan. Shemoth 1]

Here is the way I read the passuk (21.10) to eliminate the superfluity – “shall not inherit with my son, with laughter (mockery)” –


with my son, etc.: From Sarah’s reply, “For the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son,” you learn that he would quarrel with Isaac regarding the inheritance and say,“ I am the firstborn and should take two portions,” and they would go out to the field, and he would take his bow and shoot arrows at him, as it is said (Prov. 26:18f.): “Like one who wearies himself shooting firebrands, etc. and says: Am I not joking?” –

Ishmael mocked the Covenant of Circumcision as it says,

“And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, making merry [mocking].”

making merry:


making merry: Heb. מְצַחֵק. An expression of idolatry, as it is said (Exod. 32:6):“and they rose up to make merry” (לְצַחֵק) . Another explanation: An expression of illicit sexual relations, as it is said (below 39:17):“to mock (לְצַחֶק) me.” Another explanation: An expression of murder, as it is said (II Sam. 2:14):“Let the boys get up now and sport (וַיִשַׂחֲקוּ) before us, etc.” – [from Gen. Rabbah 53:11]

And some say,([in reference to 22.1])“ after the words of Ishmael,” who was boasting to Isaac that he was circumcised at the age of thirteen, and he did not protest. Isaac said to him,“ With one organ you intimidate me? If the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, ‘Sacrifice yourself before Me,’ I would not hold back.” – Cf. Gen. Rabbah 55:4.
I read 22.1 as “after the words [of Sarah]” – גָּרֵשׁ הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת, וְאֶת-בְּנָהּ:  כִּי לֹא יִירַשׁ בֶּן-הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת, עִם-בְּנִי עִם-יִצְחָק.
This phrase im Yitzchaq is a “double entendre;” as HaShem said, “I will establish My Covenant with Yitzchaq” and said, “for in Yitzchaq will be called your seed.”  See Tehillim 2.4
King David in Tehillim 105.9 prophesied that Yitzchaq’s name would one day be changed to Yischaq. (See also Jeremiah 33.26 where it is also spelled Yischaq).
The Netsiv points out that one day HaShem will vindicate the Children of Israel turning the mockery into laughter of the mouth:

“Says Netsiv, David foretold through divine inspiration that some day, the patriarch would be renamed to indicate the full joy that would replace the mockery.” Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin of Volozhin, Ha’amek Davar: Commentary on the Pentateuch, New York: Friedman.

Tehillim 126.2 “Then was our mouth filled with laughter שְׂחוֹק , And our tongue with singing; Then said they among the nations: ‘The L-RD hath done great things with these.’ “

Job 8.21 “Till He fill thy mouth with laughter, and thy lips with shouting. 22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the tent of the wicked shall be no more.”
Tehillim 37.13 “The L-rd doth laugh at him; for He seeth that his day is coming.”
If one reads im Yitzchaq as a proper name then there is superfluity but if one reads it as a prophetic decree then there is no superfluity!
Shavua Tov,
Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham

New Campaign Demands: Jordan Disconnect from Temple Mount in Exchange for River Island

Breaking Israel News

Terach took his son Avram, his grandson Lot the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Avram, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan; but when they had come as far as Haran, they settled there. Genesis 11:31 (The Israel Bible™)

An Israeli student organization called “Students for the Mount” wrote an appeal in Arabic to the Chairman of the Jordanian Parliament, Atef al-Tarawa, demanding that Amman adhere to the peace agreements with Israel signed in 1994, and abandon all of their demands relating to the Temple Mount.

As of Sunday, the enclave on the east side of the Jordan River, Nahariim (Peace Island) and Tzofar is now under the jurisdiction of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after 25 years of Israeli farmers cultivating the land in Naharayim and serving as an Israeli tourist site.

Ad reading: “We deferred Naharayim, now it’s time to kick Jordan out of Jerusalem!” (credit: Students for the Mount)

In 1994, as part of the peace accord with Jordan, the Israeli enclave achieved a unique status whereby Israel would recognize Jordan’s sovereignty on the site, while Jordan would recognize Israeli farmer’s rights to the land for 25 years. Regarding Naharayim, Israelis were considered to be the owners of the land.

In that same peace treaty with Jordan, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount was mentioned in the agreement saying “Israel respects the special role of Jordan’s Hashemite kingdom in Muslim holy places in Jerusalem. While conducting permanent status negotiations, Israel will give high priority to these historic Jordanian positions. “.

Students for the Temple Mount explain that these clauses make no room for any official role, control or intervention of Israel’s sovereign affairs on the Temple Mount.

Over the past several years, Jordan has intensified its efforts and has intervened in the Temple Mount, which, according to the movement, is a violation of the peace agreements and is void of any authority. Last August, following Arab riots on the Temple Mount on the 9th of Av, Jordan summoned reprimanded the Israeli ambassador, saying in an official statement that “the Temple Mount on all its 144 acres of land is a place of worship for Muslims only.”

The letter sent to the Jordanian parliament chairman in Amman says, among other things:”We, the people of the State of Israel, find now to be a good opportunity to remind you, the Jordanians, that during the last 25 years you have been demanding a foothold in the Temple Mount and in the heart of Jerusalem, to which you have no (direct) contact or control. Or sovereignty “…” We ask that you remove the Jordanian Waqf from the Temple Mount area and not interfere with the internal affairs of the State of Israel from now on, as we did not interfere in your unilateral decision on “Naharayim”.

At the same time, the movement called on Netanyahu to remove the Jordanian foothold from the Temple Mount saying: “While the Kingdom of Jordan unilaterally annexes the Naharayim enclaves, it’s time to make it clear to the Jordanians that their place is not in the Temple Mount. The Jordanian presence manages the Temple Mount through the Waqf, without any agreement or commitment by the State of Israel to do so.”

The movement added: “Just as the Kingdom of Jordan unilaterally annexes the enclaves and streams to it, it’s time to make it clear to Jordanians understand that their place is not in the Temple Mount, and they do not control it. It is time to take out the Jordanian presence that manages matters Temple Mount through the Waqf without any agreement or commitment by the State of Israel to do so. If they can, so can we. “