Archive for June, 2009

Poverty Of The Soul

June 28, 2009

EstherJungreis

Author: Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

In our society, we tend to associate poverty with financial depravation.

But there is another poverty that is by far more devastating, and that is poverty of the soul, when a person doesn’t know who he is or from whence he has come.

When he lacks self esteem because he feels rootless and empty, he is suffering from poverty of the soul. In vain is such a person heir to a great fortune – his ignorance of his inheritance renders him a pauper. Such is the condition prevalent among many of our brethren nowadays. Descendants of Mamlechet Kohanim, a Kingdom of Priests; Goy Kadosh, a Holy Nation that stood at Sinai, they have no memory, no recollection of their past.

Their G-d-given inheritance is unknown to them.

This spiritual deprivation holds sway throughout the world, but it is especially visible among our secular government leadership in Israel. The stakes are high, for if they live in ignorance of their Divine heritage, of the fact that it was G-d Himself, who granted them this land, then the very presence of our people in the land is at risk, and alas, that is exactly what has been happening.

But even those of us who are aware very often remain unaware. As dichotomous as this may sound, it is part of the reality of the machinations of the yetzer hora. We became oblivious of the obvious and take for granted that which is readily available. We no longer wonder at the miracle of having returned to the land, of standing in places where for centuries, our forefathers could only have dreamt of standing.

I remember interviewing many years ago for my TV program, Yosef Mendelovitch, a prisoner of conscience who had just been freed from the notorious Soviet prison system.

“Tell me,” I asked, “while you were sitting in the horrible darkness of solitary confinement, did you ever dream that you would be free again?”

“I never gave up hope, I never stopped dreaming,” came his immediate reply.

“Did you ever try to imagine the very first place that you would visit upon being
granted freedom?”

“Yes, I knew exactly where I would ask to go,” he answered without hesitation.”
“Could you tell me?”

“Hebron.”

“Hebron…” I repeated. The words shot out like a bolt of lightening, pierced the walls of the studio, spanned the centuries, and took us thousands of years back to our roots, to the cradle of our existence, to our patriarchs and matriarchs. Today, we can all go to Hebron – we can all pray at the grave sites of our holy ancestors…Today we can all stand in the presence of the shechina, before the Wall in Jerusalem. Today, we can all breathe the air of our holy land, but somehow, we’ve lost it. We don’t feel the magic – We no longer have the vision. We have forgotten our royal past. As for our secular leadership, regarding them you can’t even say they forgot – they just never felt it.

Time and again, through this column and my speeches, I have posed a simple question to those who are our policy makers: If we have no right to Hebron, then by what right are we in Tel Aviv? This question has become especially poignant since the ill-fated Oslo accords, but amazingly, no one wakes up. No matter how many terrorist attacks Israel is subjected to our leadership continues to make suicidal concessions (and it doesn’t seem to matter who is in office, from the far left to the far right, they all fall prey to it).
On the very day that the horrific bus bombing took place in Jerusalem and innocent people were killed, seriously wounded and maimed, on that very day our leadership continued to negotiate with the murderers, releasing hundreds upon hundreds of terrorists with blood on their hands.

“What should Israel do?” you might ask. “After all, Israel has no option but to face reality and recognize a Palestinian state.”

We are a nation that lives by the laws of a different reality. Our reality stems from the Torah – from our G-d given destiny. But I’m not even going to discuss that, for our secular brethren scoff at such truths, so may I suggest that they deal with what they consider to be reality and heed the advice of a former PLO terrorist, Walid Shoebat. Through independent study of the Bible, Mr. Shoebat came to realize the error of his ways and now lectures to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. In a recent address at the campus of the University of Toronto, he said, “Most Jews believe in a two-state solution. I do not believe in this. A Palestinian state will concoct its own rules and laws to continue the killing of Jews.” He suggested instead, that “Israel wake up and smell the Hummus. Israel must return to the status quo – the occupation. There were jobs then, people went to work and supported their families, and whoever got involved with terrorism was exiled or imprisoned. – like in any modern country in the world. I think Israel should stand strong and fight – dismantle Hamas and take away all the weapons, and return to the way it used to be. The introduction of weapons into Palestinian society by Israel (under the Oslo accords Israel gave assault rifles to Arafat’s police force) was a disaster and they must be confiscated. (The latest tragic bus bombing in Jerusalem was executed by one of these PLO policemen).

In describing what life in Judea and Samaria was prior to 1967, he said, “We did not particularly mind Jordanian rule. The teaching of the destruction of Israel was a definite part of the curriculum, but we considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then, all of a sudden we were Palestinians – they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all of a sudden we had a Palestinian flag.”

Shoebat feels very strongly that the ongoing war against Israel has nothing to do with an Arab desire for a Palestinian state.

“Never in history was there a Palestinian state,” said Shoebat, “we’ve never wanted a Palestinian state – even today the Palestinians don’t want a Palestinian state”.

“Then what do they want?” he was asked.

“They want the destruction of the Jews, period. It’s a religious holy war. It’s in the tradition, the culture. Arafat is a chip off the same block as Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Ahmed Yassin – they are all birds of a feather, they have a small difference, but are birds of a feather.”

Asked what his message to the Jewish people today is, Shoebat thought for a moment and responded: “Your G-d is an awesome G-d and your land and your people are awesome. Hold tight and be strong. Do not be weakened by the nations of the world and all those trying to weaken you and take your land.”

Amazing words from a Muslim, and his story is equally amazing. Shoebat was a religious Muslim who grew up hating Jews. The first song he learned in school was, “Arabs are our beloved and Jews are dogs.” ‘I used to wonder who the Jews were,’ he confided, but he repeated the words with the rest of the kids without any knowledge of the meaning. As a Muslim, he was imbued with the prophecy of Mohamed, which foretold a battle in which the Holy Land would be recaptured and the elimination of the Jews would take place in a massive slaughter. ‘The day of judgment shall not come to pass until a tribe of Muslims defeat a tribe of Jews,’ it said, ‘in Jerusalem and the surrounding nations’.”

Shoebat became involved in various terrorist activities including Arafat’s Fatah group. He was indoctrinated to believe that the way to get to heaven and atone for his sins was to die fighting and killing Jews, and if he did, Allah would grant him a special place in heaven with beautiful women to fulfill his most secret wishes. He had been imprisoned in Israel for his terrorist activities, following which he came to the U.S. where he continued to be a PLO activist. His change of heart occurred when he married his Christian wife who challenged him to prove his Islamic belief that Jews corrupted the Bible and were prophet killers. In response, he obtained his first copy of the Bible to demonstrate to his wife the lies and corruptions for which the Jews were responsible. It was then that he saw the light and realized that it was he who had been fed a pack of lies, and the land was the G-d given inheritance of the Jewish people.

Shoebat expressed deep regret over his past which caused him to be branded a traitor among his own people and compelled him to go into hiding. Nevertheless, he is on a mission, determined not only to warn the Jewish people against the dangers of negotiating with Arabs, but he also feels the urgency of speaking out among his own people. “My dream is to go to the prisons where I used to be – Ramallah prison, Muskavit prison – whatever prison – to go there and say ‘hey, there is a different way you can live from the way Yassir Arafat and Ahmed Yassin are brainwashing you to believe. I want to debate them and tell them why there are not 72 virgins waiting for them in the heavens, or any of the other garbage that is being taught in their schools.”

Shoebat urges his Jewish audiences to take back the Land. “You are G-d’s people. It belongs to you.”

How sad it is that it is strangers who have to remind us of that – alas, poverty of the soul.

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Critical Mass

June 21, 2009

Iranium

The Future Belongs to Israel

June 20, 2009

Eidelberg
Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Israel is rotting in politics. So must it be before Israel’s eventual ascendancy as a light unto the nations. The seed must rot before the flower emerges.

One does not have to be a political scientist to smell the odor of politics. Political scientists merely affirm the commonplace when they define politics as a struggle for power, a lust for self-aggrandizement. We all know that this lust is couched in honorific terms, like “democracy” or “peace” or the “common good.” We know that politicians manipulate the unwary, mislead them by spin or misleading language—even outright mendacity. We see this in America, we see this in Israel.

Although democracy doesn’t have a monopoly of disinformation, money and the mass media have trashed Jeffersonian democracy, which was supposed to foster reason and rational debate. America has lost its bearings. What about Israel?

Unlike America, founded on Judeo-Christian ideas and values, Israel was founded on a truncated form of Zionism—“secular” Zionism. But Zionism can’t be secular without eviscerating original “Zion,” which involves three interrelated ideas: (1) the People of Israel, (2) the Land of Israel, and, most emphatically (3) the Torah of Israel. This third idea had no role in the reestablishment of the State of Israel. It may well be argued that the founders of the state, who wanted to create a “new Jew,” wanted to relegate Judaism not merely to the home and the synagogue, but to the dust heap of history.

Indeed, if Israel had as its leaders, when the Second Temple was destroyed, secular Zionists like David Ben-Gurion, Shimon Peres, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Jewish people would have become as extinct as the dodo. No serious person will dispute the fact—affirmed even by Ben-Gurion—that it was the Torah that preserved the Jewish people during two thousand years of dispersion, torture, and decimation.

Nevertheless, the secularists Zionists—mostly socialists—who founded the State of Israel thought they could dispense with the Torah. We see the results: their political descendants—not only the “post-Zionists”—are willing to abandon Israel’s heartland, Judea and Samaria, as well as the 300,000 Jews who live on this land. Hence, they are willing to amputate the first and second ideas of “Zion”!

Still, one sometimes hears voices from the “Right,” including the Likud Party, that deplore the abandonment of Zionism, without realizing that this began with the abandonment of the Torah. It’s important to recognize that secular Zionism died some sixteen years before Prime Minister Netanyahu buried it at Bar-Ilan University, once a stronghold of religious Zionism.

Politics in Israel is therefore devoid of any ideology, of any distinctively Jewish national goal. This can be most promising, provided Israel awakens to the fact that the death of Zionism is a logical consequence of the flawed foundations of the State. As mentioned on previous occasions, and as may be seen in the first sentence of its Declaration of Independence, Israel’s reestablishment was based on the territorial nationalism of nineteenth-century Europe—Europe, where the nation-state is succumbing to the multiculturalism and internationalism also manifested by post-Zionism! Irony of ironies, this is why a secularist like Netanyahu supports the territorial surrender involved in the “two-state solution” initiated by post-Zionist Shimon Peres.

Let us not despair. Israel is shedding what was at best a make-shift ideology—the secular Zionism that contributed to Israel’s physical redemption. Needed is Israel’s spiritual redemption, and this is coming. Never has there been so many Jews returning to the Torah; never so many yeshivas. A veritable renascence is taking place in the study of Jewish law, revealing its great rationality and relevance.

Meanwhile, a convergence of science and Torah has been taking place with every advance in astronomy, physics, and molecular biology. “The Science of God” is the title of two books; “God and the new cosmology” the title of another; “God and the new physics” still another. Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis refuted Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion twenty years before that tract of Darwinian fundamentalism was published. But this is not all.

Consider what is happening in the United States. At last the U.S. has a president that dispels the stultifying illusion that Israel’s salvation depends on America. This will prompt more Jews to turn to God.

But what about that bizarre pro-Muslim president? That a man long associated with anti-American malcontents and scoundrels, a man who, according to Islamic law is a Muslim—and, so far as we know, he may not even be an American—that this man was elected president of the United States signifies that democratic politics is intellectually and morally bankrupt and that America—short of a spiritual revolution—is approaching its nadir as a Judeo-Christian nation.

America was the model of mankind. Its decline is a precondition for the eventual ascendancy of Israel. This will be hastened by Islamism, whose spearhead is Iran. Iran’s threat to “wipe Israel off the map” should be understood not simplistically as a manifestation of Jew-hatred but as a dim foreboding—now of universal scope—that the future belongs to Israel.

Muslims Kill German Christians In Yemen

June 16, 2009

img

YEMEN: 7 FOREIGN TOURISTS KILLED [BODIES MUTILATED] , 2 CHILDREN FOUND ALIVE

Just in..

(AGI) – Sana’a, 15 Jun. – There has been a massacre of tourists in the Yemen: the bodies of seven foreign tourists who were kidnapped on Thursday in the north of the country have been found not far from the city of Saada. Two children who were part of the group have been found alive. According to tribal and government sources, the victims were shot dead. They were part of a group visiting Saada: a German doctor with his wife and three children and two German nurses, a British engineer and his wife, and a South Korean teacher.

SAN’A, Yemen (AP) — Three German women abducted in a group of foreigners last week in Yemen were found dead early Monday, their bodies mutilated, a Yemeni security official said.

Shepherds roaming the area found the women’s remains in the mountainous northern Saada province near the town of el-Nashour, known as a hideout for al-Qaida militants, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

The three women were among a group of nine foreigners, including seven Germans, abducted Friday in the remote area. The Interior Ministry said the foreigners, who were not identified by name, were kidnapped while on a picnic north of the capital, San’a.

In Berlin, the Foreign Ministry said it could not confirm the reports that the Germans had been killed. A spokesman, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said that a ministry crisis team and the German embassy in San’a were working together to try and get more details.

Yemeni authorities said the group included a German doctor, his wife and their three children, as well as a Briton and his South Korean wife and two other German nationals. They were all working in a hospital in Saada, the state news agency said.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry identified their national by her family name, Eom, and said she is a 34-year-old aid worker in Yemen.

The killing of hostages is not common in Yemen, where tribesmen often kidnap foreigners to press the government on a range of demands, including a ransom, but usually release them unharmed.

A tribal leader in the area, who also spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason as the security official, blamed al-Qaida for the Friday abduction and the killing.

In March, four South Korean tourists in Yemen died in an apparent suicide bombing blamed on al-Qaida.

Earlier, the Yemeni government had accused a local Saada rebel group, led by Abdel Malak al-Hawthi, but the group issued a statement saying it has not been involved in any abductions of foreigners.

Thousands of people have been killed in Saada, which lies near the border with Saudi Arabia, since a Shiite rebellion erupted there in June 2004. The rebels say the government is corrupt and too closely allied with the West. The rebels negotiated a fragile cease-fire with the government last year, but serious tension remains in Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, had long been a haven for Islamic militants and was the scene of the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

Yemen is also the Arab world’s poorest nation — and one of its most unstable — making it fertile territory for al-Qaida to set up camp.

Obama Will Not Make a Difference

June 6, 2009

prof

Sivan 12, 5769, 04 June 09 02:14by Prof. Sami Alrabaa(IsraelNN.com)

Barack Obama is undoubtedly a good orator and a charismatic figure. These two traits have certainly helped him get elected as president of the United States of America.

Islamic terrorism and a severe global economic crisis added impetus to his success. Rhetorically talented and charismatic figures usually flourish in crises.

But will rhetoric and charisma help Mr. Obama succeed at home and in the Middle East?

I doubt it. Unless Obama calls a spade a spade, he will fail. Unless he calls things by their real name with regard to the Middle East, he will fail. Unless he uses the language of Ronald Reagan, Obama will never succeed – especially as far as Islamic terror is concerned.

Instead of highlighting the root causes of Islamic terrorism and lack of democracy in the Middle East, Obama repeats himself ad nauseum. He advocates that America become partners and dialogue with Muslims. America no longer wants to impose its values on the rest of the world. He also uses aphorisms like, “Democracy brings peace and prosperity to all of us.”

Had Western leaders during the Cold War confined themselves to general rhetoric with regard to Communism, the Berlin Wall would have stayed and the Soviet Union would have survived until now.

Obama must address the root causes of Islamic terror and the lack of freedom and human rights in the Middle East and Islamic societies if he wants to make a difference. Obama must speak loudly and specifically. He should tell his audience in Cairo and elsewhere:

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: Stop preaching hatred, violence. Stop practicing oppression, and discrimination against women. Introduce democracy and freedom of expression. Close down those mosques and madrassas that preach fanaticism. Stop exporting Wahhabism and fanaticism. Scrap those school books which incite to hatred and violence against non-Muslims. Allow religious freedom, and let Christians, Jews and followers of other faiths build their own temples and practice their own religion, as you are allowed to do so in other countries. Introduce democracy and freedom of expression. Stop oppressing women. We are not living in the Middle Ages.

Mr. Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, release all those political prisoners who demand democracy and human rights. Stop prosecuting them. Establish real democracy and free media. Stop confining freedom of expression. Stop prosecuting bloggers who criticize your regime. Stop prosecuting religious reformers. Fight for power through democracy and fair play.

King Abdullah of Jordan: Stop cementing your police state. Release all those political prisoners. Stop squandering our aid of billions of dollars on your palaces, luxury yachts and motorcycles. Invest the money in development projects and create jobs for the poor.

Hamas leaders: Scrap your charter in which you call for wiping out Israel. This is barbaric and there is no place for barbaric people on this Earth.

Arab and Muslim leaders: protect those scholars who call for religious freedom and modern interpretation of Islam. Stop those fanatic chaplains from preaching fanaticism.

That is the kind of specific language and content which Mr. Obama should use in his speech in Cairo. Had Mr. Obama spoken clearly and straightforwardly he would encourage people to demand political and religious freedom and isolate radical Muslims. Radical Muslims are emboldened because they are tolerated by Arab and Muslim regimes, and the West is unspecific and inactive.

Mr. Obama, and for that matter most Western leaders, are hypocritical. While they incessantly demand the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, they never demand the release of political prisoners in the Arab world. They never criticize “friendly:” Arab regimes for lack of democracy and abuse of human rights. Obama avoids being specific in relation to Arab regimes. As a matter of fact, he contradicts himself. While he always repeats that he wants to help Muslims build democratic societies, he defended totalitarian regimes like the Saudi and the Egyptian ones in interviews with BBC (June 1, 2009) and French media (June 2, 2009).

When Justin Webb from BBC asked Obama what he thought of the authoritarian regime of Egyptian President Mubarak, Obama said that he did not like to use such “labels”. Then he defended Mubarak and argued that the man is a “force of stability”. In other words, democracy and freedom must be sacrificed for the sake of “stability”.

Webb also asked President Obama about human rights abuse in Egypt. According to Amnesty International, there are thousands of political prisoners in Egypt. “Oh, well, there are thousands of political prisoners around the world.” Obama said, and added, “It is not our job to lecture on human rights.”

Later in the interview with BBC, Obama said, “Action is required, not words.” But obviously this does not apply to the Arab world. He wants “to open a dialogue with Muslims to remove misapprehensions on both sides.” Obama added, after 9/11, the level of misapprehension has increased.

Oh, 9/11 is simply a “misapprehension”! To add insult to injury, Obama added, “There are cultural differences between us and the Muslim world, and we must understand these differences.” Besides, “There are many Muslims who live among us, and that makes us part of the Muslim world.”

So 9/11 and all the terror launched by Islamic jihadists is due to “cultural differences” and misunderstanding of these differences? The free world “misunderstands” the Islamic culture of hatred and violence?

The question is, Mr. President, who is rejecting whom? Who is inciting to hatred and violence? Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Bahais? It is Muslims, their Koran and their Hadith.

In his recent interview with French media, Obama also defended Saudi Arabia, the worst despotic and fanatic regime in modern history. He commended Saudi Arabia for being a loyal strategic ally of pivotal importance for the West.

My Saudi friends tell me that the totalitarian regimes in Burma and elsewhere are actually paradise compared to life in Saudi Arabia, which lacks all kinds of basic human rights. Obama’s defense of Saudi Arabia is music to the ears of King Abdullah and his clan. They can relax and carry on their totalitarian rule. The most important power in the world approves.

Bowing to the Saudi king, the way Obama did in London, and talking about Saudi Arabia like that is suspicious. I suspect that he received millions of dollars, directly or indirectly, during his presidential campaign. The Saudis are very good at that. They bribe influential people to keep them quiet.

On the other hand, how come Obama was so specific as far as Israel is concerned? He urged the Israeli government to stop building settlements in the West Bank, but failed to urge Hamas to stop its terrorist attacks and its denial of Israel’s right to exist.

Obama’s address at Cairo University on June 4, 2009, I am sure, will be rhetoric-filled speech that is void and unspecific.

Obama is maybe a good orator, but as a politician he will fail – in particular, in the Middle East.

http://www.IsraelNationalNews.com© Copyright IsraelNationalNews.com

Obama’s Islamic Speech

June 5, 2009

Satellite

There was a time when Barack Hussein Obama wasn’t eager to highlight his ties to Islam. Just a year ago, he was a presidential candidate trying to counter false Internet rumors that he was a Muslim as he sought the support of American voters.

Today however, Hussein Obama is the U.S. president and his audience is bigger and more diverse: a world that includes 1.5 billion Muslims.

On Thursday, Obama sought common ground with Muslims by tracing personal links to Islam throughout his life as he laid out his vision for a strengthened relationship between America and followers of that faith.
President Hussein Obama delivered his landmark speech to the Islamic world quoting the Koran and emphasizing his Islamic roots by mixing religion and policy to bring great words of appeasement to the Islamic world.

He said “I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the Azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith. . .That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

And, he quoted from the Quran as he issued a greeting of peace, saying “Assalaamu alaykum.”

President Obama finished his whirlwind tour of Islamic dictatorships. He received golden gifts and gave, in exchange, golden complements, saying of Saudi King Abdullah, “I’ve been struck by his wisdom and graciousness” as well as “his generosity”. The President spoke with reporters before touching down in Saudi Arabia, declaring that he “thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek His Majesty’s counsel”. – Remember, this president of the United States just recently bowed to the Saudi King in England?

Hussein Obama’s Islamic ties go back to his schooling in a Jakarta “Madrassa.” Both his father and stepfather are Muslim, and Sarah Hussein Obama of Kenya, Obama’s step-grandmother, is a lifelong Muslim. According to Islam, anyone who willingly submits to the will of Allah is a Muslim. And while Obama may not identify as a Muslim, he may not know not how the Arabs and Muslims see it. – In Arab culture and under Islamic law, if your father is a Muslim, so are you. And once a Muslim, always a Muslim. You cannot go back. In Islamic eyes, Obama is certainly a Muslim. He may think he’s a Christian, but they do not.

You may object that millions of Muslims today leave Islam and convert to the Christian faith. But according to Shariah law, whoever critiques Muhammad is an enemy of Islam, and thus deserves the death penalty. Regardless of whether the Muslim embraces Christianity (as is happening today with millions of the Indonesians) or becomes an atheist, Islamic law declares that he must be killed. Also, anyone who rejects any of the basic ordinances of Islam or insults the prophet or the Qur’an (as Salman Rushdie did) will be regarded as an apostate and must be killed. – Have you ever asked yourself why do Muslims not object to Obama’s Christianity????

Obama went on saying during his speech, that all of us have a responsibility to work for the day when “the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.” This man claims to be a Christian, yet promotes a Quranic story that Moses, Jesus and Mohammed were together in prayer.

Sura Al-Isra (Arabic: سورة الإسراء, Sūratu al-Isrā, “The Night Journey”), also called Sura Bani Isra’il (ie Children of Israel), is the 17th chapter of the Qur’an, with 111 verses. This Surah takes its name from the first verse, which tells the story of the Isra and Mi’raj, the transportation of Muhammad during the night to what is referred to as “the farthest Mosque”. The location of this mosque is not explicitly stated in the Qur’an, although in Islamic Hadith this is commonly taken to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The story of Isra begins with Muhammad (570–632) resting in the Kaaba in Mecca, when the archangel Gabriel comes to him, and brings him the winged horse Buraq, the traditional lightning steed of the prophets. The Buraq then carries Muhammad to the “farthest mosque”. Muhammad alights, tethers Buraq, and leads other prophets in prayer. He then re-mounts the Buraq, and in the second part of the journey, the Mi’raj, is taken to the heavens, where he tours the circles of heaven, and speaks with the earlier prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and then is taken by Gabriel to Allah. Allah instructs Muhammad that Muslims must pray fifty times a day; however, Moses tells Muhammad that it is very difficult for them and they could never do it, and urges Muhammad to go back several times and ask for a reduction, until finally it is reduced to five times a day.

This story has however no evidence. It was established by other companions of Muhammad. Although some accounts describe the Prophet as having visited Al-Aqsa mosque, this is an anachronism since Al-Aqsa was only built many years after the ”Prophet’s” death.

After Muhammad returned to Earth and told his story in Mecca, the unbelieving townspeople regarded it as absurd. Some went to Muhammad’s companion Abu Bakr and told him, “Look at what your companion is saying. He says he went to Jerusalem and came back in one night.” Abu Bakr in reply, told them, “If he said that, then he is truthful. I believe him concerning the news of the heavens — that an angel descends to him from the heavens. How could I not believe he went to Jerusalem and came back in a short period of time — when these are on earth?” It was for this that Abu Bakr is said to have received his famous title “Us-Siddiq”, The Truthful.

Ahmad Muhammad ‘Arafa, a columnist for the Egyptian weekly Al-Qahira, which is published by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, wrote an article rejecting the established Islamic belief that the Prophet Muhammad’s celebrated “Night Journey” (Koran 17:1) took him from Mecca to Jerusalem. ‘Arafa, presenting a new analysis of the Koranic text, asserts that the Night Journey in Surat Al-Isra’ (that is, “the Sura of the Night Journey”) in the Koran does not refer to a miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, but to the Prophet’s emigration (Hijra) from Mecca to Medina.

This would seem more logical to me also, since Mecca and Medina were always were Islam’s holy places.
Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Qur’an, yet, it is mentioned 823 times in the Bible, and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, and sometimes “the Land of Israel”), appears 161 times. Of the 823 mentions of Jerusalem by name in the Bible, 669 of them are in the Old Testament, and 154 times in the New Testament.

Please tell me how Jerusalem became a holy place for Islam?

– Lilo

Do you feel the ice-cold wind blowing from the White House?

June 1, 2009

OL

Dear Friends,

Do you feel the ice-cold wind blowing from the White House?

Just last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States to make it a priority of stopping Iran from pursuing the nuclear bomb that threatens Israel’s existence.

Netanyahu didn’t go to the White House seeking a photo opportunity. He went to ask for American leadership and support in dealing with the out-of-control Iranian nuclear threat that is primarily directed against the Jewish state. Israel’s leader simply asked the US to help stop Iran from acquiring the means to inflict a holocaust on the Jews.

But the Obama administration refused. “Get going with the two-state solution”, Obama shot back, “and we’ll be better able to deal with Tehran. If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way,” the American President Hussein Obama said. “To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians – between the Palestinians and the Israelis, then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with the potential Iranian threat.” – The president went on to suggest that he might reassess his “let’s talk” approach to Iran if, by year’s end, there was no sign it was having an effect.

Netanyahu’s position was that it is necessary to deal with Iran first, and with the “Palestinian” question later. – Netanyahu expressed his appreciation, but administration officials “close to Obama” later quickly emphasized that no deadline had been set.

I find it interesting that just two days after Netanyahu met with Obama, Iran successfully test fired a ‘Sajil’ surface-to-surface missile with a 1,200 mile range.

Israel is less than 1000 miles from Iran just over one week later, America was standing on the edge of a potential nuclear conflict with North Korea, which test-fired an atomic warhead and launched a handful of surface-to-surface missiles in a defiant show of force. – How interesting then, that exactly one week after spurning Israel’s appeal, the United States this week suddenly finds itself confronting a nuclear-detonating, missile launching North Korea?

It looks like Israel stands alone against the threat, but nobody will help America either.

When, in 2004/5, the Sharon government was preparing to uproot the Jews of Gaza, destroy their homes and hand over that territory to the Palestinian Arabs because America pressured Israel to expel the Jews from Gaza we had the Hurricane Katrina that caused the people to flee their homes at the exact same time. – :

“Was Katrina the fist of God?”

As we do unto Israel, so will it be done to us.

It’s just an observation, a thought of mine. What do you think?

Shalom – Lilo