Israel in the News May/Jun 2014
U.S. Denies Israelis Visas
The U.S. State Department is rejecting nearly one out of 10 Israelis who apply for tourist visas to the United States. “This is more than a threefold rise in visa rejections in a mere seven years,” said a press release by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). ZOA President Morton Klein said Israelis are “being rejected in record numbers…for no apparent, justifiable reason.”
The U.S. denied 9.7 percent of Israelis who requested visas—some 12,000 people—in 2013, compared to 5.4 percent in 2012 and 2.5 percent in 2007.
Wrote journalist Jeff Dunetz, “The denial numbers have grown so dramatically that Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry [in March] demanding an end to the ‘State Department policy of categorically denying young Israelis tourist visas that makes it nearly impossible for any young Israeli to visit the U.S.’”
Tensions Mount After New Attacks
The terrorist group Islamic Jihad has warned Israelis in a Hebrew-language video, “Get out of our country” meaning all of Israel. The warning came after terrorists fired more than 60 rockets into southern Israel in a single day in March, the worse barrage since 2012.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is bracing for the potential of a larger-scale military operation. In response to the attacks, the Israeli Air Force struck 29 terrorist targets in Gaza.
In the video, a man dressed in black warned the “terrorist Zionist government” to show “restraint” if it wants his group to stop firing rockets. Then he addressed the “cowardly Zionist army”: “We in the Quds Brigades [Islamic Jihad’s military wing] are ready for your invasion. If you come you will have no choice: death or captivity.”
The video finishes with a message to the Israeli people: “Do not hand over your lives as hostages to the government of your leaders. We invite you to leave our country and to find your own country.”
Later, according to Israel’s Channel 2, a terrorist spokesman threatened longer-range rockets. “Every time they kill someone from among our people, the al-Quds Brigades is obligated to respond—and the response will not be a normal one. We will respond with violence and will respond with barrages of rockets. You have not seen even a bit of the capabilities of al-Quds until now.”
Israel gave Gaza to the Palestinians in 2005. The area is now run by terrorists.
Iran Lays Claim to Einstein!
An Iranian cleric claims in a video that has been circulating in Iran that German-born, Jewish scientist Albert Einstein, once nominated to be president of the State of Israel, was a Muslim.
Ayatolla Mahadavi Kani claims Einstein converted to Shi’ite Islam and was actually a Shi’ite Muslim, a follower of the eighth-century Shi’ite Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq. He also said Einstein got the idea for his Theory of Relativity from Muhammad’s ascension to heaven, which was “a process which was faster than the speed of light.”
Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, even though he was not an Israeli citizen. In declining the offer, he wrote, “I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became fully aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world.” Einstein died three years later, in 1955.
Hezbollah Calls Hollywood a Jewish Plot
Hezbollah says Hollywood is a conspiracy invented by Jews. Hezbollah-run Al Manar television network launched a program in March, translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) television network, saying Hollywood is a Jewish tool to “conquer all the world.”
Using Superman as an example, university professor Farroukh Majidi said Jewish people in Hollywood create outsider characters who do not fit into society but who are strong enough to overcome obstacles and even induce fear.
He specifically mentioned Joe Schuster, the Jewish man who created the popular comic book hero Superman in 1938. “Everybody wanted to be like Superman, the hero from outer space who could not fit in society as superman.”
He also said Universal Studios has perpetuated the story of the “so-called Holocaust” with the film Schindler’s List.
The Jerusalem Post (JPost.com)
Norwegian Ends Cruises to Tunisia
The Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line will no longer make port calls in Tunisia after Israelis were barred from entering the country.
Israeli passengers were not allowed to disembark in Tunis “because of a last-minute decision made by the Tunisian government,” the cruise line said. “In response to this discriminatory act, Norwegian Cruise Line…has cancelled all remaining calls to Tunisia and will not return,” the company said.
“We want to send a strong message to Tunisia and ports around the world that we will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests,” said CEO Kevin Sheehan, according to the news agency Agence France-Press. “We are outraged by this act and the fact that we were not notified in advance of this practice,” he added.
In January, Tunisia’s Tourism Minister Amel Karboul was forced to resign hours after being sworn in because she had made a trip to Israel for professional reasons.
PCUSA Study Guide Blames Zionism for…Everything
An arm of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) is taking another stab at trying to persuade its 2.4 million members that Zionism is the sole reason why there is no peace in the Middle East.
The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the PCUSA has released its newest educational resource: a 74-page, congregational study guide called Zionism Unsettled. It comes with a DVD. The package is called a “how-to guide for class leaders with focused discussion prompts.”
The guide is a condensed version of a book by Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land, due out this year.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called Zionism Unsettled an “outrageous screed [that] is the theological twin of the infamous 1975 UN ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution” and “a compendium of distortions, ignorance and outright lies,” reported The Times of Israel.
The Times said the study guide accuses Israel of all types of things and argues “Israel is entirely uninterested in peace, and does not negotiate in good faith.” It also misuses quotations, and “word tricks run throughout the work.”
The guide was released in time to try to influence the June meeting of the PCUSA General Assembly in Detroit, which is expected to vote on a resolution to divest church funds from companies doing business with Israel. PCUSA is a key player in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), hoping to cripple Israel economically and force it to turn its land over to the Palestinians.
A pro-Israel faction within the church, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace (PFMEP), has vowed to fight Zionism Unsettled and BDS, whose true agenda, it says, is “the end of the Jewish State of Israel.”
“The study guide reveals a desire by some in our denomination to transform Israel into a state of an unknown nature that would erase the claim of the Jewish people to a homeland,” PFMEP said.