Israeli Sovereignty Conference – It is Possible – It is Vital

“The Time Has Come for Sovereignty” proclaimed a large backdrop to the dais as over 100 people gathered in a large white tent in the Oz VeGaon Nature Preserve in Gush Etzion on Friday morning, November 10 for the first in a series of eight conferences this year promoting the application of Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Other conferences will take place (in Hebrew) in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ra’anana, Haifa, Petah Tikva, Givat Shmuel and Sderot. The Oz VeGaon Nature Preserve was established by the Women in Green movement, with the encouragement of the Gush Etzion Council, in memory of the three boys – Gilad, Ayal and Naftali – abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists three years ago, as an immediate and appropriate Zionist response to this brutal act of terrorism. Oz VeGaon has developed into a vibrant and impressive center of education, culture and tourism.

The 9th issue of the Sovereignty Journal, hot-off-the-press, in both Hebrew and English, published by the Sovereignty Movement (founded by the Women in Green), was distributed at the Conference and participants could be seen eagerly turning the pages and browsing the articles during the program.

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Balfour Declaration: ‘State’ or ‘Homeland’?

Presumably if the headline of an article on the Balfour Declaration states “what it means for the Middle East today,” shouldn’t that include both Jews and Arabs? Not for The Independent, which focuses solely on portraying the Balfour Declaration as the root of all evil when it comes to Palestinian victimhood.

Bethan McKernan, no stranger to taking a one-sided approach to her reporting, may as well have reprinted Palestinian Authority talking points in her Balfour story. For her, the framing of the story is purely about alleged Palestinian suffering. Jewish rights to self-determination or any other rights are simply ignored in favor of the Palestinian narrative.

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Israeli Lawmaker: Iran Believes It Can Deceive the West

Editor’s note: Read the original essay, by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, that prompted this response.

Reading through the Iranian foreign minister’s article in The Atlantic this week, one is struck by paradox. It is so full of lies, distortions, and half-truths that in the end it yields one fundamental truth—it’s not a set of errors, it’s a methodology. The goal is to turn Iran into a regional nuclear power. The method is to make the West believe it isn’t happening.

There is no need for a sustained intelligence effort to expose the blatant lies in Zarif’s piece, so I will highlight just a few of the most egregious examples: Iran didn’t improve the accuracy of its missiles to avoid “civilian or non-combatant deaths” (I admit I had to read that sentence twice to believe he wrote it), but rather to intensify the threat and ability to sow destruction. Iran is not a democracy, as he portrays it, because a democracy doesn’t hang homosexuals from cranes, doesn’t enshrine in law the right to stone adulterers to death, and doesn’t maintain a force like the Basij, an Iranian paramilitary of around 11.5 million people whose role is to enforce Sharia law and prevent Western influence. Iran isn’t the victim of terror as Zarif pretends, but the country that funds and arms Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and a long list of other terror organizations. Iran does not show “good will and peaceful intentions,” because if it did it wouldn’t have sent the Revolutionary Guard to help the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad murder more than half a million people in Syria and create over 11 million refugees through the use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. Iran is not interested in the “promotion of peace, stability, progress, and prosperity in the region” because earlier this year Zarif’s boss, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, called Israel “a cancerous tumor” and a “fake entity” which needs to be destroyed. On another occasion he announced that Iran will support anyone who aims to “wipe Israel off the map.

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In Memory of Holiday Pilgrimage, Ascending to the Temple Mount On Sukkot [PHOTOS]

[Editor's Note: UCI encourages you to recognize the many inequities and prejudices listed below regarding Jewish access to their own Temple Mount. Perhaps soon these injustices can be recognized and corrected.]

“Gad came to David the same day and said to him, “Go and set up a mizbayach to Hashem on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” II Samuel 24:18 (The Israel Bible™)


Ascending the Temple Mount (Photo by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)

A Sukkot visit to the Temple Mount, currently a mostly-empty site full of ancient stones, graphically illustrates how far away the Biblical reality is. Though the glory of the Temple is still in ruins, the glow of holiness is still evident.

On a desperately limited basis, Jews are permitted to walk quickly through the site, closely guarded by police and Waqf Muslim Authority guards, who ensure that the only prayers emanating from the site are uttered in Arabic. Despite 2,000 years of exile and the Muslim veneer, the site still glows with the Holy presence that, according to Jewish tradition, has never left the site since Solomon first established his Temple.

Jews who wish to visit their holiest site are only permitted to enter the Temple Mount via one gate and at set hours that are severely limited and prone to cancellation at any signs of Arab violence. Separated out from tourists, Jewish visitors are organized into groups. No religious articles, books, signs of Israeli nationalism or laptop computers are allowed. Visitors must present identification and background checks are conducted. Jews are scrupulously checked and must pass through a metal detector. In comparison, Arabs have access to the site via eleven gates and there are no security measures.


Jews ascending to the Temple Mount (Photo by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)

The Temple Mount Compound has a total area of 37 acres. Though the focus is on the two main buildings, the silver-domed Aqsa Mosque and the gold Dome of the Rock, most of the site is empty, filled with olive and pine trees, empty stone-flagged courtyards, or simply rocky areas.


Grove of trees on Temple Mount (Photo by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)
Grove of olive trees on Temple Mount (Photo by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)

Undoubtedly one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the secrets are hidden behind an Islamic wall of silence. The Waqf (Muslim Authority) frequently carries out unauthorized construction using heavy equipment with disregard for any artifacts. The Temple Mount Sifting Project began in 1999 after illegal construction dumped over 9,000 tons of dirt mixed with Temple artifacts as garbage in the Kidron Valley. While the Islamic Authority claims that no signs of Jewish presence at the site, the Sifting Project has discovered thousands of artifacts from the Temple, and have reconstructed a section of the floor from the Second Temple.

Artifacts on the Temple Mount (Photo by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)

The site has several sections covered in rough cut stones, likely remnants of the Jewish Temple.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, was forced to appear at a Royal Commission which was convened to condemn the Jews’ insistence on praying at the site of the destroyed Temple.  “After all,” countered an English officer. “It is just a bunch of rocks one on top of the other.” Rabbi Kook replied, “Just as there are hearts which are made of stone, so too there are stones which are made of heart.”

Stones on the Temple Mount (Photo by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)

The Sha’ar HaRachamim (gate of Mercy) is known as the Golden Gate in Christian literature. It is believed to be the location of the Shushan Gate but this is unsubstantiated since no archaeological work is permitted here. According to Jewish tradition, the Shechina (divine presence) used to appear through the Eastern Gate, and will appear again when the Messiah comes. Jews used to pray in medieval times for mercy at the former gate at this location, another possible reason being that in the Crusader period when this habit was first documented, they were not allowed into the city where the Western Wall is located. Hence the name “Gate of Mercy”….

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