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Want to make peace in the Middle East? First stop terror

Stop terror

Visiting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem yesterday, President Trump shared a key insight.  He noted that “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”  As Trump seeks to end a conflict that has resisted the best efforts of each of his predecessors going back to Ronald Reagan, he’d be wise to keep these words in the forefront of his mind.

The only way that Trump can succeed where these others have failed is if he identifies the mistake they’ve made and avoid repeating it.  While there’s plenty of blame to go around, there’s one clear lesson that emerges from the decades of failed peace efforts: so long as the Palestinians continue to support terrorism against Israel, they’ll never make the deep compromises that a peace deal requires.

From its earliest days, the fundamental premise behind the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was finally ready to put down its guns, give up its dream of destroying Israel, and compromise. The process has failed because this premise has been false.

It’s important to remember that American presidents up to and including Jimmy Carter refused to speak to the PLO.  They rightly recognized that there was no point in a dialogue with a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction. In 1988, President Reagan let it be known that he’d be willing to talk to the PLO if it renounced terror.  So PLO leader Yasser Arafat called a press conference and said something that sounded like a renunciation of terror (accounts of what Arafat actually said vary).  Reagan opened the promised dialogue.

Read More: Fox News

Czech Parliament recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Czech Parliament recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of IsraelAdd heading

The Czech Parliament approved on Wednesday the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Jerusalem Day celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city’s unification under Israeli sovereignty. In addition, the Czech Republic decided to condemn the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) following its recent anti-Israel resolutions.

112 of the 156 MPs in Prague supported the resolution. Members of Parliament called on their government to adopt the resolution and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, alongside opening direct and unconditional negotiations with the Palestinians.

The parliament also condemned the recent UNESCO decisions that do not recognize the rights of Jews to Jerusalem, and call on the government to stop payments to UNESCO, in light of the incitement against Israel and the politicization of the organization.

Following the Czech Parliament’s vote, a special event was held in Prague on the occasion of Jerusalem Day at St. Vitus Cathedral. The event, attended by Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman, was attended by hundreds of Jews and Christians.

The decision was made following a move promoted by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, the largest Christian-Zionist organization in the world, through its Czech Republic Branch Manager, Vladimir Kalos. In the past few months, he has led the attempts to persuade members of parliament to approve the law.

Read More: Y Net

Fifty years on, Six Day War paratrooper on the iconic photo that ‘eternalised history’

Fifty years on

It’s the iconic photo taken in the immediate aftermath of brutal fighting in Jerusalem at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967: three Israeli soldiers first looking upon the Western Wall.

For Izack Ifat, the 24-year old paratrooper in the middle, it was a moment he may never have had, having only an hour earlier survived a bayonet charge from a Jordanian adversary in the battle of Ammunition Hill in East Jerusalem.

Now a retired gynaecologist living in Rishon Lezion, Dr Ifat has ever since answered questions about that photo, and his troop’s fight for the city almost 50 years ago, having become instantly famous as the centre of a trio snapped by photographer David Rubinger.

The photo itself was never really valued by Rubinger, who died earlier this year. At the time he thought little of it and gave it to the Israeli Government’s press office, whose officers disseminated it far and wide. The rest, as they say, is history.

In March, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the photo “eternalised history as it will be forever etched in our memories,” and for Ifat, in London this month, those memories are still crystal clear.

“We were planning an operation in Egypt, but as we were about to go in, we were told that the Jordanians had launched an attack on Jerusalem, so we had to get in the bus and go, to everyone’s disappointment,” he recalled this month.

“We arrived with no plan. We were welcomed by women offering coffee, then Jordanian bombing. We approached the west-side of Ammunition Hill under heavy fire, then face-to-face fighting with Jordanian soldiers. It was like hell. I had many friends killed.”

Read More: Times of Israel

Nechama Rivlin’s moving gift to Melania Trump and the First Son

Nechama Rivlin's

US First Lady Melania Trump was the recipient of one very moving gift dedicated to her 11-year-old son Barron by none other than Israel’s First Lady, Nechama Rivlin (wife of President Reuven Rivlin) during the former’s stay in Israel.

Melania accompanied her husband, US President Donald Trump, on his maiden tour abroad as sitting president. Israel was the second stop on the president’s journey, and the pair paid  visits to sites such as the Western Wall, Holocaust museum Yad Vashem and the Church of the Holy Sepluchre in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Trump and his wife also spent an afternoon visit at the President’s Residence in the capital on Monday, where Nechama surprised Melania with the touching present: a book about a mother-son relationship meant for the First Lady to enjoy alongside her son, Trump’s fifth and youngest child.

The book, titled “Hug,” and given to Melania in copies in three languages (English, Hebrew and Arabic) was written by world-renowned Israeli author David Grossman. Grossman, a Man Booker Prize nominee, is mostly known for his adult literature, and has penned significant oeuvres that were translated into 30 languages such as “Some to Run With,” “Be My Knife,” and “To the End of the Land.”

"The Hug," a children's book written Israeli novelist David Grossman and given to First Lady Melania Trump by Israel's First Lady Nechama Rivlin. “The Hug,” a children’s book written Israeli novelist David Grossman and given to First Lady Melania Trump by Israel’s First Lady Nechama Rivlin.

“Hug” tells the story of a mother and a son who go on a walk. The child, named Ben, expresses his concern that he is alone in the world because he is “special.” His mother reassures him that despite his being one of a kind, he will never be truly alone.

Nechama Rivlin appears to have picked the present carefully, as its plot seems to be a nod at the struggles Trump’s only child may possibly be facing as his family is at the center of public attention, making the First Son a very special boy indeed.

Read More: Jerusalem Post