Jewish Youth Riot in Muslim Quarter of Old City

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Jewish youth rampaging through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem on Oct 11, 2017. (photo: Haaretz)

Palestinian shopkeeper is hospitalized after being beaten; police make no arrests.

By Nir Hasson / Haaretz / Oct 13, 2017


“If it were Palestinians who were rioting, they would have sent for reinforcements, and probably shot tear gas and stun grenades.”
— Louis Zorba, a resident of the Muslim Quarter


A Palestinian shop owner was hospitalized after hundreds of Jewish teenagers reportedly rioted in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday night.

According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, approximately 400 youths marched through the Old City from the Western Wall towards the Muslim Quarter’s Damascus Gate, allegedly shouting, beating the doors of houses and shops, throwing rocks and smashing car windows.

As they approached Damascus Gate, the youths stormed an open shop and attacked the shop’s Palestinian owner. The owner was taken to Hadassah University Hospital to be treated for his wounds and was released in the morning, his injuries described as “light.”

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Trump team, Netanyahu renew talks on US embassy move to Jerusalem

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L-R: Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.. Ron Dermer, U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell. and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman meet in Tel Aviv on August 24, 2017. (photo: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO)

Hot-button issue was “brought up by both sides” in discussions last week between the PM and US envoys Kushner and Greenblatt.

By Raoul Wootliff / The Times of Israel
August 28, 2017

[Ed. note: The U.N. Security Council has consistently maintained that East Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 War, is occupied territory subject to the Geneva Convention. The Security Council has declared Israel’s attempt to make Jerusalem the “eternal and indivisible” capital of Israel to be in violation of international law. There are 82 foreign embassies in Israel, none of them is located in Jerusalem.]

“Needless to say, the [U.S.] administration’s policy is ‘when not if.’”


Senior members of the Trump administration and Israeli officials renewed talks over the possibility of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a promise repeatedly made by the president in the 2016 election campaign, during high-level meetings in Israel last week, the Times of Israel has learned.

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday as part of a visit to the region in a bid to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

During that meeting, the embassy move “was brought up by both sides as part of a productive broad conversation about a number of issues,” a US source familiar with the discussions said Sunday, declining to reveal the specifics of discussion.

Trump backtracked on the pledge in June, signing a waiver which pushed off moving the embassy for at least another six months.

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Jerusalem Police: Jewish Peace Activists Are Human “Garbage”

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Protesters at the Flag March on Jerusalem Day, May 24, 2017. (photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

When the police officer wrenched back my arm I couldn’t tell if it was breaking. Now I am more sure than ever of the need for more direct action for equality between Jews and Palestinians.

By Ori Weisberg / Haaretz
May 31, 2017


“At the fall of your enemy, do not rejoice; at his stumbling, do not gladden your heart” (Prov. 24:17)


No day of the year demonstrates the division of Jerusalem like Jerusalem Day, which was marked last week. Most Israelis see it as marking the city’s “liberation” and “unification,” but Palestinians, who make up a third of the population, and a minority of Israelis, see it as the beginning of its occupation.

The Jerusalem municipality annually authorizes a march through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, shutting it down for the protection of its residents. These Jerusalemites are forced to sacrifice a half day’s revenue, which many of them sorely need, while marchers punctuate their songs with chants like “Death to Arabs!”, “Mohammed was a pig!”, “Burn the villages!”, and “Burn the mosques!” Residents are locked into or out of their homes for the duration while marchers bang on the metal shutters of their closed storefronts, often causing damage that they must repair at their own cost. Even if such a march proceeds peacefully, it would be still be experienced by Palestinians as a form of violence.

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Israelis Don’t Care If the U.S. Moves Its Embassy

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U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Getty)

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would confer no substantial benefit to Israel.

By Shalom Lipner / Politico
May 18, 2017


[President Trump] could authorize the move because he wants to keep his campaign promise, because America prides itself in doing the honorable thing or just because it makes sense. But he shouldn’t do it as a misplaced favor to the people of Israel. They can live without it. Especially now, in light of new allegations about Trump sharing confidential data with Russia, it’s clear that efforts to build Israeli confidence in his leadership can be invested more intelligently.


[Ed. note: There are 82 foreign embassies in Israel, none of them in Jerusalem.]

Presidents are used to receiving unsolicited advice. Here’s something for President Donald Trump to ponder as he packs his bags for Israel: Many Israelis really don’t care whether the United States moves its embassy to Jerusalem.

Latest reports now suggest that Trump has decided to forestall such a move for the forseeable future. His path to this destination, after indications that he would eschew the example of all his predecessors, has been tortuous.

Celebrating Israel’s 69th independence day at the White House, Vice President Mike Pence recently reprised administration rhetoric on the matter. “The president of the United States, as we speak,” he told applauding party-goers in the Indian Treaty Room, “is giving serious consideration into moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson struck a more tentative figure over the weekend, possibly foreshadowing Trump’s plans to indeed exercise his presidential waiver and leave the embassy where it stands. When Tillerson tried passing the buck, suggesting that Israel might view the move as “perhaps a distraction” to a peace initiative, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back that “the contrary” was in fact true. Adding to the confusion, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Tuesday, “Obviously, I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is.”

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Pence: Israel Embassy Move Under “Serious Consideration”

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The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, where all other countries have their embassies. (photo: Jack Guez / Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

By The Associated Press / The New York Times
May 2, 2017


“The president of the United States, as we speak, is giving serious consideration into moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . . To be clear, the president has also personally committed to resolving the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.”
— Vice President Mike Pence


President Donald Trump is giving “serious consideration” to moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday, the day before a scheduled White House visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump is also “personally committed” to becoming the U.S. president who finally ends the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Pence said.

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a politically charged act that would anger Palestinians who want east Jerusalem, which was captured in 1967, as a future capital and part of their sovereign territory. Such a move would also distance the U.S. from most of the international community, including its closest allies in Western Europe and the Arab world.

[Editor’s note: There are 82 foreign embassies in Israel, none of which are in Jerusalem.]

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Between The Dome of The Rock and a Hard Place

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The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. (photo: Getty Images)

By J. J. Goldberg / The Forward
April 13, 2017


Permitting Jewish presence on the mount is actually a controversial question among Israel’s Orthodox rabbinical authorities. The traditionalist Haredi rabbinate still upholds the centuries-old rabbinic ban on Jews even entering the Temple compound, for fear that they will tread on the long-forgotten spot where the forbidden Holy of Holies once stood. Traditionalists believe the Temple cannot be rebuilt until the Messiah comes and restores the ancient Jewish kingdom.

Religious Zionists maintain that the survival of the Jewish state against all odds proves that the messianic era is already underway and that Jews today should be working to restore the Temple.


Passover came early to Jerusalem this year when a group of Jewish religious nationalists gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem April 6 for a live reenactment of the original, biblical holiday ritual: sacrificing a lamb.

Hundreds gathered in the Jewish Quarter to watch barefoot, white-robed priests slaughter, skin and roast a lamb on a makeshift altar and hear speeches by rabbis and a Likud Knesset member. It was held in a public square outside the Hurva Synagogue, a stone’s throw from the Temple Mount where priests conducted daily sacrifices in ancient times

The event was an awkward reminder of the tight spot Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is in as it tries to balance the competing religious claims over arguably the world’s most volatile shrine. The government and its defenders have long been trying to debunk Palestinian accusations — deliberate lies, Israel argues — that Israel intends to build a third Jewish Temple on the site where Al Aqsa mosque and the iconic Dome of the Rock now stand. Unfortunately, events like the Passover reenactment illustrate the growing influence within the government itself of Jewish activists who aim to do just what some Palestinians accuse them of. Continue reading

Tomb of Jesus at Risk of Collapse

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The Edicule  inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. (photo: Oded Balilty / AP for National Geographic)

Newly restored, but new problems discovered.

March 27, 2017

After a $4 million restoration, the Edicule, enclosing what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus Christ inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, was reopened to the public. (The Guardian, The New York Times)

“For the first time in over two centuries, this sacred edicule has been restored. This is not only a gift to our holy land, but to the whole world.”
— Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem

However, the scientific team from National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) that completed the restoration is warning of a newly-discovered risk of the Edicule’s  collapse.

“When it fails, the failure will not be a slow process, but catastrophic.”
— Antonia Moropoulou, NTUA’s chief scientific supervisor

Ground-penetrating radar and robotic cameras reveal that the Edicle and the rotunda that protects it are built on an unstable foundation of the crumbled remains of earlier structures, honeycombed with tunnels. (National Geographic) Continue reading