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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 03:35PM

The dedicatory ceremony of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is now widely regarded as Israel's 70th birthday present.

Happy birthday, Israel !! Am Israel Chai.

"Timing. Independence Day is designated to be on the 5th day of Iyar (ה' באייר) in the Hebrew calendar, the anniversary of the day on which Israeli independence was proclaimed, when David Ben-Gurion publicly read the Israeli Declaration of Independence. The corresponding Gregorian date was 14 May 1948."
Independence Day (Israel) - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(Israel)

"Today is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. According to the Jewish calendar, the celebration was marked last month, but in the encyclopedia with its Gregorian calendar that I grew up with, May 14 is the date of Israeli independence."

https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/distinctly-catholic/celebrate-israels-70th-anniversary-without-reluctance

"The United States opens its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, a 70th birthday present for the Israelis that builds on Washington’s recent recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s capital. The anniversary party will be held in April to avoid clashes with May religious observances."

https://newsahead.com/united-states-delivers-birthday-present-on-israels-70th-anniversary/

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2018/may/us-embassy-move-to-jerusalem-is-lsquo-birthday-present-rsquo-for-israel-rsquo-s-70th-israeli-says

"Given the shared importance of Jerusalem to all three Abrahamic religions, Zaki also prefers treading carefully.

“If [Trump] recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, it is against justice for the other two, and against Palestinians themselves,” he said.

“Keep it as the capital of all three religions.”

But even among Middle Eastern Christians, religion is a dividing factor.

“I am true to what I see the Torah teaching on this subject matter,” said Friedman, highlighting prophesies in Joel and Zachariah, as well as “Yeshua’s” words in Matthew 5.

“Jerusalem is part of the covenantal land inheritance granted in God’s mercy to the descendants of Jacob, and God’s covenants are eternally valid.”

Mansour’s interpretation differs.

“Jesus makes it clear that specific places of worship are not important but rather that people matter,” he said, highlighting John 4.

“When the Psalmist asks us to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem,’ it involves acting to preserve the human dignity of everyone living there.”

International religious leaders tend to agree with Mansour—or at least against Trump. Pope Francis has called for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected. The patriarchs and heads of local churches in Jerusalem did the same.

Evangelicals in the US tend to agree with both—but mostly with Friedman.

“Evangelicals are ecstatic,” said Moore. “At the heart of the friendship between Israel and the United States is the friendship between evangelical Christians and the Jewish people."

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/december/trump-jerusalem-embassy-capital-israel-pray-for-peace.html

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 04:18PM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> “Jerusalem is part of the covenantal land
> inheritance granted in God’s mercy to the
> descendants of Jacob, and God’s covenants are
> eternally valid.”


...and that's the part that has no business being used to conduct politics in the 21st century.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 05:42PM

It has everything to do under Halachic Law. Israel is divided between religious covenental claims between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

For the Jewish faith who came before the Islamic or the Christian faith, it is at the center of their Universe. The competing claims will remain at odds as long as the religious factions are contesting ownership of the land. For now it is Israel's sovereignty that trumps the others claims. Does that make it permanent? Not in a historical context; but it is the current reality.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 05:44PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 05:53PM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It has everything to do under Halachic Law. Israel
> is divided between religious covenental claims
> between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

That was my point -- toss the "covenental claims."
Everybody.
Stop claiming "god gave us this land!"
It's idiotic. No matter who makes it.

> The competing claims will remain
> at odds as long as the religious factions are
> contesting ownership of the land.

So stop with religious factions contesting ownership of the land. All of them, including Jewish claims. It's the 21st century for crying out loud.

Jerusalem could be a model for the future: make it a true "open city." Let no one lay "claim" to it, especially "god gave it to us!" claims. Focus on education and intellectual industries -- and even tourism. Make it a model of peaceful prosperity and co-existence.

But, no..."god gave it to us!" "No, god gave it to us!" "No, you crucified our messiah, it's ours now!"

Sigh.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 05:31PM

Sung by Ofra Haza w/English subtitles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH8gtdDA5x0

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Posted by: Jimbo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 05:42PM

Now if they could get a Prime Minister who isn't a warmonger,treat Arab citizens as full citizens and stop sending thier young people to USA shopping malls to sell Dead Sea salt perfume I would be happy. . That and stop occupying land that is not thiers to occupy in violation of one UN resolution after another.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 06:01PM

I ask this seriously because I believe our political orientations are quite different but what you post here makes perfect sense to me.

Given what you have written, why is it okay for the US to recognize Jerusalem and move the US embassy there? I mean, those moves give greater legitimacy to the Israeli expansion into Palestinian territories and encourage more settlements--thereby increasing the probability of military conflicts, especially now that Iran occupies a more prominent position in Syria?

Again, this is a sincere question.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 06:19PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Given what you have written, why is it okay for
> the US to recognize Jerusalem and move the US
> embassy there? I mean, those moves give greater
> legitimacy to the Israeli expansion into
> Palestinian territories and encourage more
> settlements--thereby increasing the probability of
> military conflicts, especially now that Iran
> occupies a more prominent position in Syria?

This is part of my position, too.

The "settlements" (new communities of Israelis in Palestinian territory) are, in my opinion, unethical and immoral--and the land used for the settlements, and for their connecting road system is, to me, clearly theft.

The fact that many of the Israeli settlements are basically Israeli "paradise" in many ways--significantly lower in price compared to the "inside Israel" real estate market inventory...VERY attractive and appealing (intentionally designed to reflect the very best of Southern California suburbia)...with what are universally acknowledged as "great" schools for their offspring, thanks to Israeli government subsidies--just makes the whole thing ethically and morally worse.

(In the beginning of the first Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, the "settlements" were largely dilapidated trailers, close to each other for security purposes and because there were few utilities available to the settlers, with dirt tracks for roads, and no amenities available for long distances...now these settlements look like they are part of the more affluent areas of the San Fernando Valley...at a small fraction of the cost.)

They are often truly beautiful, but they should not exist on Palestinian land.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 06:22PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 06:33PM

I just want peace.

There are so many complicating factors (intra-Arab conflicts, the Arab-Iranian and Israeli-Iranian dynamics, etc.) that a solution is a long way off. But accelerating the displacement of Palestinians just ensures that the possibility of progress recedes further into the future.

Meanwhile, the nature of the Israeli state is at risk. A country born of tragedy and dictatorship that was in 1948 committed to democracy and civil rights is by dint of demographic trends in danger of embracing minority rule--a variant of apartheid. It is difficult to see how that could happen without Israel abandoning many of its foundational values.

Implicitly encouraging movement in that direction through new settlements and annexations strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do both for Israel and for regional stability and peace. And anything disturbing the regional geopolitical balance is adverse to US interests as well.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 06:43PM

Israel is about the same size as New Jersey. I ask my fellow Americans, would you be okay with China and Russia seizing New Jersey and filling it up with communist immigrants? Because that's what the USA and the UK did to the Middle East.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 06:51PM

donbagley Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Israel is about the same size as New Jersey. I ask
> my fellow Americans, would you be okay with China
> and Russia seizing New Jersey and filling it up
> with communist immigrants? Because that's what the
> USA and the UK did to the Middle East.

Are you talking about twenty-first century Israel, or pre-1948 [what became Israel]??

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 11:28PM

I think there's room for Israel in Texas. Wouldn't they like to get out of the middle east?

I'm imagining the boon to the tourism industry:

Take a log ride through the holy land . . .

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 07:30PM

The land was taken in 1948. Before that it was occupied by Palestinians, and it was called Palestine. But yes, I'm talking about the present day trouble with expanding occupation.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 08:01PM by donbagley.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 08:21PM

I almost jumped in when Tevai did. The truth is that the British and Americans never really controlled Zionism and at times were very, very unhappy with it.

There were always Jews in Palestine, descendants of people who had lived there for centuries. The nationalism that swept through Europe in the middle-19th century spawned Zionism and led to an accelerating rate of immigration of European Jews from about 1870 onward. Then in 1917 the British endorsed the idea of a Jewish "homeland" as a means of undermining Ottoman (and by extension German) influence in the region. The British, however, were not entirely comfortable as Palestine's protector and tried unsuccessfully to regulate immigration to prevent ethnic trouble. By the late 1930s, IIRC, Palestine was somewhere around 50/50 demographically.

The end of World War Two changed the situation fundamentally. Educated Jews from Europe--many of them with extensive military, intelligence, and espionage experience--then flooded into Palestine and gave the fledgling state a huge advantage over the Arabs. The British, who had a League of Nations mandate (essentially imperial rights) over the country lost control and abandoned the place in 1948.

The US and several other Western countries did not want to recognize the fait accompli, but the USSR recognized Israel and the West then followed suit and sought to establish strong ties to Tel Aviv even though the post-war American administrations had mixed feelings about the moral and political wisdom of supporting a state that treated the Arabs so badly.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that the transformation of Palestine into Israel was basically a spontaneous phenomenon, one that the West hesitated to embrace. The US may be a critical piece of Isreal's security and political infrastructure today, but the relationship is complex because the two countries have so many contradictory interests. It is therefore, as you intimate, unfortunate when someone comes to power in either (or both) of the countries with a simplistic understanding of regional dynamics and does things that result in bloodshed both immediate and very possibly long term.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 08:22PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 09:27PM

I looked it up, and the original agreement had Jerusalem as a neutral territory overseen by the U.N. The Jewish state has seized control of the city, and the Palestinians are also losing land to illegal Israeli settlements. Israel is infused with our money and weapons. We are no longer neutral. We are the empire, and Israel is our client state.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 09:38PM

Yes, the UN deal was the fig leaf to cover the British failure. And as the British withdrew, the Israelis expanded. That is absolutely true, as is your description of the illegal settlements (which Tevai will doubtless second).

Israel is indeed infused with US weapons and money. I would not, however, describe the United States as the empire and Israel as an American client. Israel has a lot of influence over US policy and has often manipulated Washington into doing things that are inimical to US interests.

It is a relationship of mutual manipulation, I fear, and not one that Washington can extricate itself from. In effect, Trump's policies show that. Israel has cultivated close relations with Christian fundamentalists, who are a (recently decisive) force in US politics. To consolidate his base, Trump has moved the American embassy--something that harms the US, and probably Israel, but which appeals to Netanyahu and the American fundamentalists.

Sometimes it seems like the US is the client state. . .

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 09:51PM

donbagley Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I looked it up, and the original agreement had
> Jerusalem as a neutral territory overseen by the
> U.N. The Jewish state has seized control of the
> city, and the Palestinians are also losing land to
> illegal Israeli settlements. Israel is infused
> with our money and weapons. We are no longer
> neutral. We are the empire, and Israel is our
> client state.

Jerusalem has been controlled by Israel since the SiX-Day War in 1967. It has overseen the annexation of the West Bank and settlements since then. America has been Israel's ally since 1948. The only thing that has changed is the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capitol. That is what has caused the uprising and revolt in Gaza today because of furthering the division (and partition) between the Palestinians and Israelis. It's also a propaganda tool by Hamas and the PLO to instigate acts of mayhem and to incite uprisings.

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Posted by: carameldreams ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 09:58PM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> The only thing that has changed is the move of the
> embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to recognize
> Jerusalem as Israel's capitol.

WOW.

Better kiss the ring of King Trump, AJ 'cuz you're being played like a fiddle.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 09:59PM by carameldreams.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 10:11PM

YouTube has a three-part program on settlements and the West Bank which does an admirable job of making what frequently seems UNexplainable, understandable.

One personal note: I said in a previous post that the settlements are like being in a Southern California/San Fernando Valley suburb (because Israel and Southern California are in the same climatic zone, so to me, being in some of the settlements is like being in stereotypical Southern California suburbia, with the same trees, the same quality of sunlight, etc..

The narrator of this series is obviously from New Jersey, because HE says being in the settlements is like being in New Jersey. :D However: My parents lived in New Jersey during the last years of their lives...and being in the settlements, in MY opinion, is NOTHING AT ALL like being in New Jersey!!!

For anyone who is interested in this subject, I highly recommend this three-part series, titled:

"Israeli settlements, explained | Settlements Part One"

Part Two and Part Three can be easily accessed from the earlier sections.

I cannot get the link to work, so you will need to do a search on YouTube to get to Part One.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 10:18PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 10:14PM

Thanks, Tevai. I'll look at that tomorrow.

It may be a settlement my daughter lives in, on her meager stipend.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 10:50PM

Since my interest was piqued I ended up watching all three parts this evening. They were short enough to get through. That, and Rachel Maddow has the night off. :D

Very interesting series, and informative. It doesn't bode well for a future Palestinian state though. It's similar to the US "Manifest Destiny" of America in some respects. Except for the Jew it is a homecoming. For Americans we were transplants.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 10:52PM

The need for Israel to seize land in Palistinean territories is at least partially a result of unfriendly Palistinean laws. If Israel does not take some of the land and protect it from control of a Palistinean government, then Isreli people who want to live in an area where Jews have lived for thousands of years, will not be able to live and worship freely there. Women's rights will not be respected, and Jews who want to live there peacefully will be subjected to sharia law and other Islamic laws. When you're dealing with an oppressive theocratic government, insanity reigns. Though the Israli government is heavily influenced by Judism, it is a democracy.

When anyone takes land away from an oppressive government and sets up a democracy there, the concept of land theft somehow doesn't seem to be valid. It's not so different than when someone escapes a country like North Korea. They had to break the law to become free. But did they act immorally by simply escaping. Is it unethical to take land away from bad guys and give it to good guys? Maybe when the Palistinean government abandones Islamic law and becomes a true democracy, Israel can start giving land back.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: May 14, 2018 11:21PM

But can you land grab anywhere because the government there is not a democracy? If so, the world order would be toppled and there would be even more constant conflict. (Not saying that it isn't desirable that some places would change for the better). And whose definition of an OK govt would we use?

If it weren't the Arab/Israeli conflict would it be less OK to take land?

Just asking. I've long wished for a peaceful solution for all, everywhere. I agree that as long as entrenched religious beliefs are predominant a good outcome remains unlikely.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 12:57AM

The Arabs have been in Palestine every bit as long as the Jews since they are both descendants of Canaanites. There is probably more genetic fidelity in the Arab population because those people experienced nothing as substantial as the Jewish diaspora. Any notion that the Jews have a superior claim to the land is therefore nonsensical.

Israel is a democracy for Israelis but not for Palestinian Arabs. Moreover, absent a two-state solution the number of Muslims in Israel will soon exceed the number of Jews--meaning, again, apartheid. An apartheid state is not a democracy even if some minority of its citizens have the franchise.

As for your notion that it is okay to take land away from "an oppressive government" and set up a democracy, there are a couple of problems. One is the fact, again, that it does not not apply to the settlements. Israel has both a democratic and a tyrannical side, and it is the latter that is expanding into Arab Palestine. Another problem is that contrary to your claim, no one is taking land away from "an oppressive government." What the Jewish settlers are doing is dispossessing Palestinian peasants.

Your North Korean comparison is likewise inapt. Escaping from tyranny is not the same thing as taking land and political and civil rights from poor people. There is no equivalence.

Anyone who favors Israel must hope the country gets this figured out soon. Israel was founded, however brutally, on the twin pillars of security for Jews and Western values. The settlements jeopardize both.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 03:25PM

Wish we had an agree/disagree button. So many points that I agree with without wanting to respond.

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Posted by: Jimbo ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 10:10PM

How bout that murder of over 50 unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Wesupport this apartheid state ? Time has come for AIPAC to stop controlling all of our Middle East foreign policy .This was murder pure and simple . Murder. not self defense but Murder

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Posted by: Anon2018 ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 08:09AM

I think Israel is just fed up and reached the threshold of tolerance for terrorism. So while the Palestinians in Gaza this time around may have not represented a terroristic uprising (who knows what the soldiers experienced) to Israel it's just more of the same, i.e. missiles, IAD, suicide bombers, knife attacks, etc on their citizens. It is hard for them to decipher and piece apart what is terror and what is not because they have tolerated so much. Israel is a civilized, and industrious nation, whose people are courageous, embattled, and have a long history of terror being inflicted upon them.

As far as I am concerned - they won the 6 day war. Jerusalem is theirs.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 09:11AM

In agreement on this. Albeit the "war" is still being fought and is ongoing.

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Posted by: Anon2018 ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 09:18AM

Folks, like the liberal Jewish demonstrators in New York recently, who want to denounce the Israeli response - don't live there and were not there on that day. When you have 1000's of people rushing the fence, trying to tear it down - same folks who kill (usually at knife point) your innocent women and children - if you are a soldier manning the line. It's a tough call. Given the violent history toward innocent Israeli citizens from previous violence, it's is difficult to find fault in the rationale of the ministry. What we are seeing is a people of have had enough - they have reached their threshold.


The Israeli foreign ministry has said it was “protecting its citizens from thousands of violent rioters from Gaza, who have been trying to break the fence and cross into Israel, with the goal of killing or kidnapping Israelis.”

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 09:24AM

Not a single one of the "fence-rushing" protesters were the "same folks" who killed anyone in Israel. Unless, of course, you're the "same folks" who owned slaves in the US, or who are KKK members (because, hey, you're all white, right? So you're the "same folks"!).

And it's not a "tough call."
And it's not at all hard to find fault in the rationale of shooting at people throwing rocks and bottles.
And I don't care if they've "had enough" -- their actions are at best the equal of those they hate, at worst they're much more despicable.

Oh, and what the foreign ministry said was a flat-out lie.

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Posted by: Anon2018 ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 11:49AM

Again you don't know any of this..you were not there. Strawman response by you anyway.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife (nli) ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 01:35PM

Were you there?

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Posted by: Mossad ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 01:44PM

Only if you say I was.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 10:02AM

Palestinian children are educated to hate Israel early on.

A Palestinian convert to Christianity who has since moved to Toronto, explains it like this:

"Christian convert Sandra Solomon from Ramallah recalls jubilation in Arab society during the intifada 'even when children were killed'; says prevalence of hateful education and vilification of Israel convinces her 'Palestinians don't want peace.'

A Palestinian woman, who is also the niece of one of the founders of the Fatah movement, recently stated her unequivocal disapproval of terror attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israelis, citing violent education as the root cause of the phenomenon’s continuation.

Sandra Solomon, a Palestinian born in Ramallah who converted to Christianity more than ten years ago and became a supporter of Israel, condemned the recent Halamish attack in which a terrorist broke into a home and killed three members of the Salomon family.

“The Palestinian terrorist who murdered a family on Friday evening in Halamish; where did he get the idea to enter a home and kill the people who were in there?” asked Solomon. “The young Palestinians who carry out attacks are already murdered from a psychological point of view by the education that is given to them.”

The 39-year-old Solomon, originally called Fida, is the niece of a Fatah official Sahar Habash who was a close confidant of Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat.

“As a child, I was brought up to hate Israel,” she admitted during a visit to Israel. “The most important thing to us was the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the liberation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the State of Israel.

“We watched the second intifada on television” she said as she recalled her childhood between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. “After every big terror attack—including when children were killed—candy was given out. The education that was given to me was that only Palestinians are the victims, that they are oppressed in this conflict and that the Zionists are the occupying criminals who took the land for themselves.”

The life changes Solomon underwent and her decision to turn away from the culture of hate instilled within her didn’t take place overnight.

Originally, she made the decision to convert to Christianity due to her criticism of Islam's treatment and oppression of women and the lack of freedom of expression it offers.

“I didn’t agree to walking around with a Hijab (a headscarf worn by Muslim women) as women were obligated to do in Saudi Arabia,” she said.

After managing to divorce her husband after being forced to marry him when the two had a baby, she left for Canada with her little boy, where the two continue to live today in Toronto.

“When I explained to my family in Jordan that I had converted, my sister threw her suitcase to the street and threw me out of the house,” she added.

As a result, Solomon remains ostracized by her family as an outcast but the sense of foreboding can never fully diminish. “If they knew exactly where I was today, they would surely kill me. I know that,” she claimed."

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5001245,00.html

In April, the EU passed legislation in effort to stop the teaching of hate in Palestinian schools, something that gone unchecked heretofore:

"The European Parliament adopted on Wednesday legislation intended to prevent EU aid given to the Palestinian Authority for educational purposes from being used to teach hate.

The legislation was introduced by the parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control in March, and aims to ensure that all programs financed with EU money should “reflect common values such as freedom, tolerance and nondiscrimination within education.”

https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/EU-passes-bill-to-promote-anti-hate-education-in-Palestinian-schools-551175

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 09:58PM

"Originally, she made the decision to convert to Christianity due to her criticism of Islam's treatment and oppression of women and the lack of freedom of expression it offers."

As an aside to the main issue (sorry if that's bad play), the rules, guidelines, beliefs, expectations vary, depending on which sect of Christianity a person converts to.

Friends have invited me to go with them to many different churches, most of which I later came to realize were way over on the fundamentalist side of the scale. Women's heads had to be covered in some (and nobody told me so I was the wild wicked woman unawares), no playing instruments ("work") on Sundays (singing only), not allowed to speak to a divorced person (including shunning their children), isolating oneself from the outside world, women not allowed to speak in church (thanks Apostle Paul) (to the point that once when I called out a scripture that a male speaker was having trouble finding it caused a ruckus - oops), no female leaders in any capacity, separate meetings for males and females (a la Mormonism, for instance, with the separated priesthood and RS sessions on Sundays) and let's not forget the full head covering/veil and long gown for women in the LDS temple (it gets so hot you feel smothered) and many other examples of patriarchy, OTT zeal, and obsolescence.

Lack of freedom of expression is also rampant in many Christian groups. Just try and present a different idea about even a minor Bible verse or worse, say you are having trouble accepting this or that accepted ideal of theirs. Or merely ask a question. I was puzzled many a time by the stony atmosphere when I made an inquiry about anything. I have rarely felt welcome to say how I really feel or what I honestly think.

Group think. The order of the day in still all too many places.

So I understand a woman's yearning for more freedom. Absolutely. But it's not only in Islam that monolithic barriers are alive and well, in particular for females.

(I even have leftover anxiety about posting a comment re Christianity that will look negative, prejudiced, ill-informed or bad-intentioned to any Christians reading my words. I don't mean it as a judgement or indictment or criticism even. Just saying how I feel. I hope that feelings can be shared without starting a religious war or being consigned to hell by a reader or listener. But all too often, my hopes are dashed).

As for the woman who is making a new home in Toronto, I wish her all the best. I hope she found a good church home where she can be more free and happier.

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