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Israel Palestinian conflict : Swingers Discussion 200102101151
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TOPIC: Israel Palestinian conflict
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Episcopal Church rejects Israel divestment resolution

July 11, 2012

(JTA) -- The U.S.-based Episcopal Church adopted a resolution at its General Convention Assembly calling for “a negotiated two-state solution” and “positive investment” as responses to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Also at the meeting in Indianapolis, delegates tabled a resolution urging “corporate engagement” by the church and dissemination of “information on products” made in the West Bank.

The moves “distanced the church” from the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, according to an American Jewish Committee statement.

“The Episcopal Church has demonstrated its commitment to a negotiated resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and a rejection of unhelpful one-sided judgments aimed at Israel that do not advance the cause of peace,” Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC's director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, said in the statement.

Marans attended the General Convention Assembly as an invited guest.

“The Episcopal Church has heard from the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem and other Christians, and has recognized that divestment is not a path to peacemaking -- the same conclusion reached by every other American church that has considered the strategy,” Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, told JTA.

Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) narrowly defeated a resolution calling to divest its portfolio from three companies that it says is helping Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. At the same time, its delegates handily defeated a resolution likening the occupation to apartheid, but also approved a boycott of products made in the West Bank.

In May, the United Methodist Church turned down a divestment initiative.

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I'm still waiting for some excavations that prove the palestinian claim to the land.

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Stunning Synagogue Mosaic Discovered in Galilee

**A monumental synagogue building dating to the Late Roman period (around the 4th-5th centuries CE) has been discovered in archaeological excavations at Huqoq in the Galilee.

Huqoq is an ancient Jewish village located approximately two to three miles west of Capernaum and Migdal (Magdala). This second season of excavations has revealed portions of a stunning mosaic floor decorating the interior of the synagogue building.

The mosaic, which is made of tiny colored stone cubes of the highest quality, includes a scene depicting Samson placing torches between the tails of foxes (as related in the book of Judges 15). In another part of the mosaic, two human (apparently female) faces flank a circular medallion with a Hebrew inscription that refers to rewards for those who perform good deeds.

“This discovery is significant because only a small number of ancient [Late Roman] synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes, and only two others have scenes with Samson [one is at another site just a couple of miles from Huqoq – ed.],” said Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the department of religious studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.**

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Armed gangs are believed to control wide swaths of territory, smugglers have helped thousands of African migrant workers sneak into Israel and various Arab militant groups, some believed to have ties to al-Qaida, operate freely.

Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, said the Egyptians would "have a lot to lose" if they canceled the peace, including Western investment and billions of dollars in U.S. aid. Even so, he warned, the treaty was not safe.

In the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of joyous Palestinians took to the streets across the territory after the result was announced.

Gunmen fired automatic weapons in the air, and mosque loudspeakers reverberated with prayers. Some revelers handed out candy on street corners.

The celebrations were marred when one person was killed and six others wounded by celebratory gunfire.

Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood's ascent to power in Egypt has raised hopes that Gaza's relations with its powerful southern neighbor will improve.

"Today is new era for us in Gaza. The days of suffering due to the Egyptian authorities are over, said Rawhi Talab, 51, a food store owner.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told a rally in downtown Gaza that "the heart of Jerusalem has started to beat again," adding, "We are not asking Egypt to fight on our behalf." Hamas does not recognize Israel.

Mubarak collaborated with Israel in a blockade of Gaza. The blockade, first imposed after Hamas-linked gunmen captured an Israeli soldier in 2006, was tightened the following year when Hamas violently seized power in the seaside strip.

Israel said the blockade was needed to prevent arms shipments to Hamas. Under heavy international pressure, Israel lifted some limits two years ago and Egypt eased travel restrictions after Mubarak's ouster.

Morsi has not yet said what plans he has for dealing with Gaza, which shares a 15-kilometer (nine-mile) border with Egypt, which ruled Gaza from 1948 to 1967.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned Morsi to congratulate him on becoming Egypt's first Islamist president. "This is a victory for all Arabs and Muslims, and this is God's promise to his believers," the Hamas leader said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a secular leader who governs in the West Bank, also congratulated Morsi. "The president expressed his respect for the choice of the great Egyptian people," according to a statement from the official Wafa news agency.

The leaders of Kuwait and Bahrain sent cables to Morsi congratulating him, according to statements carried by their official news agencies.

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JERUSALEM — The Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egyptian presidential elections, announced Sunday, has raised fears in Israel that its strategic 1979 peace agreement with its southern neighbor could be in danger.

In contrast, in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, ecstatic residents flocked into the streets, fired guns in the air and handed out candy in celebration.

Israel's peace agreement with Egypt, its first with an Arab country, is a cornerstone of Israeli security. The agreement ended decades of hostilities, with five wars and thousands of deaths.

While relations have never been warm, Egypt has upheld the deal, keeping its bordering Sinai peninsula largely demilitarized, allowing the Israeli military to focus on other hostile borders with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he respected the results of Egypt's democratic process and hoped the peace agreement would remain intact.

"Israel expects to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace agreement between the two countries, which is of interest to the two peoples and contributes to regional stability," he said.

With the Egyptian military still the ultimate power in Egypt, senior Israeli defense officials who maintain contacts with Egypt said Sunday that they do not expect any immediate changes in relations. Over the long term, they warned, the Brotherhood may seek to cancel the peace agreement. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a sensitive security assessment.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a pan-Arabic movement that favors creation of a Muslim state that encompasses the entire Middle East. It has never given up that goal, but as it gains official power in Egypt, winning parliamentary elections and now the presidency, it has indicated pragmatic willingness to accept the existence of Israel.

Addressing his nation Sunday evening, Morsi declared he had a "message of peace. We will respect all international agreements," he said, without mentioning Israel.

Although some Brotherhood leaders have said they will never meet with an Israeli official, they have been careful to say they would not cancel the treaty. Like many other Egyptians, they favor amendments – primarily to allow more Egyptian troops into the Sinai. Israel has already permitted an increase of troops there, demanding that Egypt bring violent extremists under control.

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I almost can't believe it, but Israel is on a roll! Shhh!.. First the Goldstone Report... Goldstone recants... Then the blockade of Gaza was found legal in International law (Turkey was NOT happy)...Then the Palestinian bid for admission to the UN got bottled up and died....Now this Unesco report re the Church of the Nativity...What going on??

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The draft resolution will be considered by UNESCO’s 21-nation World Heritage Committee at a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, later this month. The panel has the power to overturn the expert-drafted text but insiders say that Arab states may not win the required two-thirds majority, noting that Russia, as the host country, may be hesitant to upset an objective evaluation submitted by UN professionals. “This is the first time in recent memory that a draft resolution circulated by the United Nations — let alone by UNESCO, which recently elected Assad’s Syria to its human rights committee — openly rejected a Palestinian claim or position,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch monitoring group. “At the UN, whose General Assembly each year adopts more resolutions criticizing Israel than on the rest of the world combined, this is a spectacle as rare as Halley’s Comet.”

Notice, though, that after all the drama of whether UNESCO should accept "Palestine" as a member, it is clear from the PLO's very first official nomination to the World Heritage List is based on naked political ambition to slam Israel and not at all based on facts.

Proving that the Palestinian Arab view of "culture" is a bit at odds with what the word normally means.

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From UN Watch on June 10:

Under intense pressure by the PLO and its allies, the upcoming meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from June 24 to July 6, is liable to find that the “Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route, Bethlehem” is under urgent danger and worthy of special UN protection, a declaration that could only further inflame the region. What news reports fail to mention, however, is that the PLO’s submission — its first nomination to the World Heritage List since UNESCO voted to admit “Palestine” as a member in October 2011 — has been completely rejected by the professional body charged with evaluating country applications. In its submission, the PLO claims that “the Israeli occupation,” which is “hampering the supply of appropriate materials,” creates an “emergency situation” that needs to be addressed by “an emergency measure.”

Yet a comprehensive investigation and report by The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) – a Paris-based entity that advises the World Heritage Committee on which nominated properties to list — said the very opposite:

“[T]he Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route in Bethlehem, Palestine should not be inscribed on the World Heritage List on an emergency basis. . . ICOMOS does not consider that the conditions required by paragraph 161 of the Operational Guidelines are fully met, concerning damage or serious and specific dangers to the Church of the Nativity that make its condition an emergency that needs to be addressed by the World Heritage Committee with immediate action necessary for the survival of the property.”

ICOMOS also found that, contrary to the Palestinian submission now before the UNESCO committee, the Church of the Nativity was neither “severely damaged,” nor “under imminent threat”. There was no “immediate action… necessary for the survival of the property”. Despite the Palestinian claims, Israel was not found to be a major obstacle to the preservation of the Church of the Nativity. In fact, the report pointed out that the church’s roof – said to be at greatest risk – was repaired “most recently in 1990, when works were implemented by the Israeli military authorities.” Accordingly, ICOMOS suggested that the PA “resubmit the nomination in accordance with normal procedures for nomination.”

Amazingly, though, UNESCO's draft resolution rejects this obvious use of UNESCO for political ends:

The United Nations circulated a draft resolution rejecting a Palestinian bid to list the birthplace of Jesus as an endangered World Heritage site, citing a report by international experts who investigated and dismissed claims that the Church of Nativity was under any specific danger. CLICK HERE FOR UNESCO TEXT.

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Antisemitic incident in Norway.

A 16-year-old Jewish student was branded with a red-hot coin at a school barbecue on Monday in Oslo, Norway, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported on Wednesday.

According to Jewish-Danish website Israwhat.c om, the perpetrator of the attack, an ethnic Norwegian student, pressed the hot coin into the back of the victim’s neck, resulting in visible burning. School officials did not contact the family after the incident.

The student has reportedly been the target of repeated anti-Semitic bullying and violence because his father is Israeli. He said he planned to hide his Jewish identity when he transfers to a new school and would not associate with ethnic Norwegians or Muslims, the main sources of the bullying.

The student’s mother had complained in 2010 in a radio interview about the anti-Semitic atmosphere in the school and said that the school’s administration had not intervened.

“I see this avoidance as a dangerous development among both ethnic Norwegian and immigrant groups. And nobody, neither teachers or principals, intervenes in this matter. There is a refusal to address this issue — it is too sensitive,” she said at the time.

In a letter to the Norway Department of Justice, the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote that “these young school hatemongers point to a new generation of Breivik-style racists for Norway’s future. You have a responsibility to protect every threatened child and, especially, this victim targeted simply for being Jewish. The silence of the school, the police and your government is too reminiscent of another Norway, under the WWII Nazi collaborator, Quisling.”

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Seduction - I'd love to see that on television. It might be quite an eye opener to some.

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