Special News Digest: U.S Embassy transfer to Jerusalem

#0202_A_View_From_West_Jerusalem

“Christian Evangelical preacher, John Hagee will speak at the ceremony in honor of the embassy’s transfer to Jerusalem today. Hagee has previously said that Hitler had Jewish roots, that he was sent by God to ‘hunt’ Jews, and that in the End of Days, Jesus will reign for a thousand years from the Temple Mount.

Robert Jeffries, another Evangelical preacher, will recite a special prayer at the ceremony. Jeffries has previously preached to Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and LGBT people that there is no salvation for them, and that they will all go to hell.

These preachers are our friends now, the people we allow to be guests of honor. We ask for blessings and recognition from these people.

We [Israelis], especially those of us who prioritise national honour, are inclined to strengthen our sovereignty in partnership with these people. We tell ourselves that became of them, Jerusalem is a little more ‘ours’.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, [1] hide your faces on this day.”

– Tomer Persico [2]

**
“For 70 years, Jerusalem has been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. President Trump has shown courage, and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status.
The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, is happy to honor the President for his love and support with a gesture of our own. The chairmen of the club – the owner Eli Tabib and the executive manager Eli Ohana – have decided to add to the club’s title the name of the American President who made history, and from now on [we] will be called Beitar Trump Jerusalem.
We have the greatest love for the President, and it will win! 🇮🇱🖤💛🇺🇸

– Beitar Jerusalem Football club [3]
[See photo in first comment]

[Selected Comments:]
– “Take me, Donald.”
– “We’ve gone totally crazy.”
– “I still hope it’s a joke, but every moment that passes I think it’s more and more real.”

**
“Trump: moving the Embassy won’t hide the occupation!

Join us on May 14th at 15:15 to demonstrate against Trump’s reckless and cynical act of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem!

Jerusalem is the home of both Jews and Palestinians – and must be recognized as home to both peoples. Moving the embassy plays into the hands of right-wing extremists and the Israeli government’s attempts to erase Palestinian ties and claims to the city. This will only add bloodshed and entrench the occupation!

The move will happen only 24 hours after Jerusalem Day, during which thousands of Israelis will march through Palestinian East Jerusalem and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Every year, the demonstrators shout racist and hateful slogans, attack Palestinian property, and force Palestinian shopkeepers to shut down and lose business.

Instead of condemning these actions – the Trump administration has once again aligned itself with the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, and undermined the last shred of Palestinian trust in the U.S.

We cannot stay silent. Let’s stand together against with a message of hope and solidarity.

Join members of All That’s Left as we stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Israeli activists in protesting the embassy move and demanding a just end to the occupation!”

– ‘All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective’
[See video in second comment]

**
“Now on Army Radio, Razi Barkai [4] interviews Ron Huldai.[5]

Q: Do you think it’s a political mistake to move the embassy to Jerusalem?
A: It is in no way a political question. Imagine Israel opening an embassy in Marseilles, and not in Paris. Jerusalem is the historic and eternal capital. I have wished every single ambassador who has served in the embassy in Tel Aviv, ‘next year in Jerusalem.’

Q: Have they already spoken to you about Eurovision in your city?
A: Jerusalem is our capital and Eurovision should be held there.

I have a lot of criticism for Huldai, but to hear him respond so decisively to Razi’s weakness, repeatedly looking for doubt in Jerusalem’s significance as a capital is just crazy. Good for you, Ron.”

– Avihai Shorshan

#0202_A_View_From_Haredi_Jerusalem

“The day has arrived. The US Embassy is moving to the Holy City. Security forces on high alert.

It’s been talked about it for years, but today it’s officially happening. The Embassy of the United States will open in Jerusalem
Who and how many people are expected to attend the evening ceremony?
Who is expected to deliver a speech in addition to President Trump?

[…] After Trump’s video speech, the official stone plaque will be unveiled, and the embassy emblem and dedication plaque to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will be visible. Then, President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak. Jared Kushner, a senior advisor and son-in-law to President Trump, is also expected to speak at the ceremony. An Israeli singer is expected to accompany the event with the songs, ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Peace will come upon us.’”

– Behadrei Haredim

**
“What did the Chief Sephardic Rabbi [6] whisper to Ivanka and Jared?

‘America has always been a kingdom of grace, but President Trump himself is a king of kindness,’ said the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel to US officials who came for the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, at a closed ceremony held this evening at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem.

‘51 years ago, we broke the walls and we lowered the barriers [7], so that Jerusalem could be a city of peace and unity. A city where every person can find his place,’ said the Rabbi. ‘On a day like this [8] in which we all give thanks to the Holy One, blessed be He, it is also appropriate to acknowledge the special connection that the State of Israel is privileged to hold with the United States.’
‘For years, Israel has been fighting for justice and truth…a difficult war against a world of hatred and evil, against incessant anti-Semitism. But the truth is set to come to light, we are privileged that there is a President who knows this truth unreservedly, and who announces it to all nations and religions. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.’

The Rabbi’s speech received applause and those who spoke after him even quoted him. After the speech, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, son-in-law and daughter of President Trump, took the opportunity to ask for the Chief Rabbi’s blessing and thank him for his support. The Rabbi whispered to the couple his request to convey the gratitude and esteem of the People of Israel, for the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem.

– Behadrei Haredim

#0202_A_View_From_East_Jerusalem

“A letter to the U.S. Ambassador on his first day in Jerusalem.

During my childhood, I used to walk around the western fields in my village of Sur Baher [9], where the new U.S embassy will now be operating. Hundreds of dunams [10] of land were plowed and planted, and groves of olive and fruit trees filled the area. After 1967, the settlers of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, which was founded on lands from my village, continued to plant huge swathes of land with apple and cherry trees. It was a beautiful area… I also remember that in my school years during final exam time I used to meet my friends there to study. We would sometimes meet foreign tourists who were staying at the Diplomat Hotel [11]…It never occurred to me or to anyone else that this area [in Sur Baher] would become so important…

In recent days the Occupation municipality’s employees have been working diligently, decorating the streets around the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Streets have been reworked, and Israeli and American flags have been hung in every corner. Soon the U.S. ambassador will move into his new office.

In his new office the ambassador will approach his window and he will be able to see the valley that is adjacent to the embassy. It was in this valley that my family and others owned hundreds of dunams of land. In the past we worked the land, but since 1948 we gradually lost this land in stages, the last of which was in 1987 when hundreds of dunams were confiscated from the village…

When he looks out his window the ‘royal ambassador’ will not be able to ignore my village. Sur Baher will be the site he’ll see every day since it is so close. He will hear the athan [12] and he will clearly be able to see the piles of garbage in the streets that the Jerusalem municipality does not collect. He will have to become familiar with the problems the residents of the village face – there is no sewer system, and the village’s educational system is neglected. The ambassador will also be able to see the clear bias in building permits issued to Palestinians living in Jerusalem vs. building permits issued to Jews. If they are lucky, Palestinians will be allowed to build a two-story building, but the ‘royal ambassador’ will be able to see the sky scrapers Jews are allowed to build, each one containing thousands of housing units.

I am curious how the ‘royal ambassador’ will react when he sees Israeli bulldozers heading towards a Palestinian home under the pretense of ‘building without a permit,’. This happens at the same time that the Municipality approves Temple movement plans to build on top of Palestinians neighborhoods.

The transfer and opening of the U.S embassy will only add fuel to the fire. It is another arrogant political step that Israel has taken against the Palestinians. This step forces that will remove the issue of Jerusalem off the negotiating table forever.

This continued neglect of Palestinian rights for years will not continue, and it will bring more catastrophes to the region as it has done in the past.”

– Fuad Issa Abu Hamed

**
“A commemorative coin has been issued to celebrate the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. On the coin, [Donald] Trump appears next to Cyrus the Great [14] who helped the Jewish people return [to Jerusalem] after their Babylonian exile.

A nation’s memory is not like a person’s memory which quickly fades away. Rather, a nation’s memory can last thousands of years, engraved in their hearts. The Jews have not forgotten that the Persians were their first allies in history, and that alliance is still in place. As for the current conflict [with Iran], that is only a show for media consummation.”

– Qalandia Media Center
[See picture in third comment]

—-
0202 Editor’s Notes:
[1] Isaiah and Jeremiah are Jewish prophets whose prophecies were canonised in the Jewish Bible. They prophesied messages about social justice and the Messianic Era.
[2] Tomer Persico is an Israeli academic and social activist. He writes a popular Hebrew blog on spirituality and religion.
[3] Beitar Jerusalem is Jerusalem’s largest professional football (soccer) club and plays in the Israeli Premiere League. Beitar has become a symbol of Israeli football culture and the Zionist movement, having been supported during its history by diverse Israeli politicians and having established itself as one of the major sports teams in Israel. The club is also infamous for its vocal supporters, who make up the controversial nationalist La Familia group, known for their anti-Arab chants and racially-motivated aggression towards Arabs. The club has been penalized several times for the behavior of its fans.
[4] Razi Barkai is an Israeli radio presenter and journalist.
[5] Ron Huldai is the current mayor of Tel Aviv.
[6] The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the most senior rabbinic and spiritual authority for Judaism in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel consists of two Chief Rabbis – one Sephardi and one Ashkenazi who are elected for a ten year term by senior Israeli officials. The current Sephardi Chief Rabbi is Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who was a former Chief Rabbi of Israel.
[7] This is in reference to the 1967 war in which Israel took control of the Old City of Jerusalem.
[8] Yesterday (Sunday) was Jerusalem Day, the Jewish anniversary that celebrates Israel assuming control of Jerusalem’s Old City. Religious Jewish groups in Israel celebrate this day.
[9] The new U.S Embassy is built on the lands of Sur Baher, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem.
[10] A dunam is a unit of land that encloses 1000 square meters.
[11] The Diplomat Hotel is now the location of the U.S embassy in Jerusalem.
[12] The athan is the Muslim call to prayer.
[13] According to the Bible, Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, was the monarch at the end of the Jews’ Babylonian exile. It is believed that in the first year of his reign, he was prompted by God to decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem for this purpose.

#US_Embassy #Politics #History #Beitar_Jerusalem #The_Old_City

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