Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Religion Clause Blog: Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that a Tel Aviv Family Court has broken new legal ground by granting a divorce to a same-sex couple who had married in Canada but lived in Israel.
ABC: The historic vote recognizes Palestine as a state and gives Palestine the right to join U.N. agencies. It opens the door for Palestine to become a party to the International Criminal Court, allowing them to bring cases against Israel.
AP: The Palestinians are certain to win U.N. recognition as a state Thursday but success could exact a high price: Israel and the United States warn it could delay hopes of achieving an independent Palestinian state through peace talks with Israel.
AP: Germany says it won’t back a Palestinian drive for statehood in a U.N. vote this week – putting it at odds with France and other European countries.
AP: The French foreign minister says France plans to vote in favor of recognition of a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week.
Reuters: A bomb exploded on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 15 people in what Israeli officials said was a terrorist attack that could complicate efforts to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Christian Newswire: In the latest in a string of vandalism incidents to hit Christian holy sites in Israel this year, Calvary Baptist Church was defaced yesterday.
Religion Clause: The Greek Orthodox Church claims that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre– believed to be by the site of Jesus’ crucifixion– has always been given special treatment and exempted from water fees.
Haaretz: On the anniversary of the Jewish matriarch Rachel’s death, devout Jews from around the world bring their prayers to her tomb.
Religion Clause Blog: Arutz Sheva reported yesterday on a religious discrimination lawsuit filed in Israel against the city ofModi’in because it closed its popular Anabe Park to non-residents of the city last month during the holiday of Sukkot.
Chicago Sun Times: “The Christian community is vanishing, and it is not because of Islamic terrorism,” the Rev. Dr. Donald E. Wagner, program director of the Friends of Sabeel North America told the Sun-Times Editorial Board last week. “It is because of losing land, of having economic deprivation and just little future for the kids.”
The Christian Century: Jews from Manhattan to Mozambique held prayer vigils on Monday (Oct. 22) to protest the arrest and incarceration of an Israeli feminist as she was leading 250 American Jewish women in prayer at the Western Wall.
The Hill: Cantor released his report on “The Imperial Presidency” on Tuesday as a closing indictment of all that Republicans think is wrong with Obama’s leadership. Among the 40 or so examples are two instances of foreign policies included under the heading “ignoring the plain letter of the law and failing to faithfully execute the law.”
Education News: Rumors of a UN decision to re-introduce Holocaust studies in schools run by UNRWA — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees — have raised the ire of Jordanian teachers, who say they will refuse to teach history that “harms the Palestinian cause.”
CNSNews: A leading Jewish human rights group is urging President Obama to sever ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood after its top leader called for “holy war” against Israel.
AP: Israel’s foreign minister has condemned the vandalism of the Romanian church in Jerusalem, the latest in a string of attacks on Christian sites in the Holy Land.
Fox News: Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the perpetrators defaced a wall leading to the Church of the Dormition. The century-old structure is built on the site where tradition says the Virgin Mary died. The graffiti, which read “Jesus, son of a whore, price tag,” had already been removed by midmorning, said Rosenfeld.
University of CA Student Association condemns entire country of Israel of ‘racism’ in secretive vote
Ed News: The University of California Student Association (UCSA) secretly passed a resolution last month which condemned the nation of Israel of “racism.”
U.S. security at stake? LA Times cover up alleged, Breitbart.com offers $100,000 for Obama Khalidi tape
Breitbart News is doubling its reward–to $100,000–for one of the missing pieces of Barack Obama’s past, which may be the key to understanding his collapsing Middle East policy: the “Khalidi tape,” a video kept under wraps by the Los Angeles Times since April 2008.
New York CBS Local: On the region’s subways and buses, most ads we see don’t get much attention. But that may change with a pro-Israel ad that will soon grace MTA property which reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
AP: After a series of attacks by vandals on Christian holy sites in Israel, normally tight-lipped Roman Catholic officials are beginning to speak out, publicly appealing to authorities to take a stronger stand against the violence.
Wall Street Journal: Mitt Romney said Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel and that establishing a Palestinian state is far easier said than done, according to additional sections of a recently surfaced videotape that have already caused a headache for the Republican presidential nominee.
Washington Times: Israel Science and Technology, the national database and directory of science and technology-related websites in Israel, has published an article asserting the long-form birth certificate released by the White House is a forged document.
Reuters: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on all Muslims to back the rebels in Syria, saying the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad would bring them closer to the ultimate goal of defeating Israel, according to an audio recording posted on the Internet on Thursday.
Wall Street Journal: Does President Obama want Israel to bomb Iran before the election? If we had more faith in this Administration’s competence, we’d be tempted to think so.
Religion Clause Blog: According to Haaretz today, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has for the first time under Israeli law held that owners of a reception hall may not refuse on religious grounds to host a same-sex wedding reception.
HAARETZ: The White House’s response marks a new low in relations between Netanyahu and Obama, underscored by the fact that this is the first time Netanyahu will visit the U.S. as prime minister without meeting Obama.
Religion Clause Blog: The Palm Beach Post reports that Palm Beach County, Florida, Democratic Party Chairman Mark Alan Siegel resigned Friday, two days after making controversial remarks about pro-Israel Christians.
Catholic Church condemns ‘price-tag’ attack on monastery, urges Israel to change ‘culture of contempt’
Haaretz: Statement by top clerics, including Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch, urges authorities to apprehend those responsible; Netanyahu: Israel will punish perpetrators severely.
Washington Free Beacon: Several pro-Israel sections of the 2008 Democratic Party platform have been removed from the 2012 platform—on Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Hamas.
Reuters: Western envoys are urging Arab states not to berate Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at the U.N. atomic agency’s annual conference, fearing this could imperil wider efforts for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, diplomats say.
AP: Israeli officials said Tuesday that Egypt is violating the historic 1979 peace treaty between the two countries by deploying tanks in the demilitarized Sinai desert near the Israeli border.
TimesofIsrael.com: TV reporter adds: ‘I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince PM to delay a possible attack’ . . . The report added that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak believe Obama would have no choice but to give backing for an Israeli attack before the US presidential elections in November.
AP: Israel’s existence is an “insult to all humanity,” Iran’s president said Friday in one of his sharpest attacks yet against the Jewish state, as Israel openly debates whether to attack Iran over its nuclear program.
Washington Post: Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula warned the Egyptian military on Wednesday against cracking down on jihadis and claimed they were not behind a sneak attack earlier this month that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. In a statement posted on a website which usually carries al-Qaida and similar groups’ statements, the militants said their main focus is Israel and that they do not target Egyptians soldiers.
AFP: Mosque officials said they expected a total of 300,000 worshippers although it was not known how many would be from the West Bank, Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem or from Israel’s Arab minority.
Richard Landes at Wall Street Journal: But Israel (which neither book examined) and the Arab world (which only the Landes book examined) illustrate the primacy of culture as both necessary and sufficient for economic development. Israel, a country with no natural resources, an economic backwater even in the Ottoman Empire, rose to the top of the developed world in a century on culture alone. The Arab nations, on the other hand, illustrate the necessity of a certain kind of culture: Even those with vast petrodollars still have among the least productive economies in the world.
Mitt Romney at National Review: But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it is a particular kind of culture that has made us the greatest economic power in the history of the earth. Many significant features come to mind: our work ethic, our appreciation for education, our willingness to take risks, our commitment to honor and oath, our family orientation, our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves, our patriotism. But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality.
JTA: A White House spokesman noted that Mitt Romney’s calling Jerusalem the “capital of Israel” contradicts United States policy over several successive administrations.
YNetNews.com: Military Rabbinate forbids soldiers from reciting ‘Avinu Malkeinu’ prayer in protest of universal draft
FoxNews: Mitt Romney on Sunday gave his unequivocal support to Israel and its effort to thwart Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability, saying the United States has “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” to help in that effort.
Reuters: Gaza Islamist leader Ismail Haniyeh met Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Thursday in an official visit that signaled a big shift in Cairo’s stance toward the Hamas movement after the election of a Muslim Brotherhood head of state in Egypt.
Rasmussen: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that Israel will attack Iran in the next year while just 23% see such an attack as unlikely.
Sacramento Bee: An anti-Islam activist has won a preliminary round in her First Amendment fight to place New York City bus ads calling enemies of Israel “savages.” || The Volokh Conspiracy discusses the case.
Religion Clause Blog: In Israel yesterday, the Kadima Party withdrew from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government after only 73 days when negotiators were unable to reach a compromise on a new law to provide for the drafting of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews into the Israeli military.
AP: Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews are protesting in Jerusalem against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military.
AP: An Israeli parliamentary committee on Monday denounced a ruling in Germany banning ritual circumcision, saying the decision infringes upon religious freedom . . .
Daniel Pipes at National Review: The Russian and Chinese actions point to these alliances shaping the foreign policies of outside powers, too. Whereas the European Union and the U.S. government are increasingly sympathetic to Islamism, in part as a way to tame their own Muslim populations, Moscow and Beijing have a history of open conflict with their Muslim populations and therefore adopt policies more hostile to Islamism in the Middle East.
AP: Palestinian spokesman Hanan Ashrawi said the vote was an affirmation of Palestinian sovereignty over the site which marks the place where Christians believe Jesus was born.
YNet.com: Warning from Putin: Visiting Russian president cautions Israel against hasty military action in Iran, says ‘look at what happened to the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan’ . . . “Iraq has a pro-Iranian regime after everything that has happened there. These things should be thought out ahead of time before doing something one will regret later,” he said. “One should not act prematurely.”
AP: Israel is expelling an additional 150 South Sudanese as part of its campaign to reduce the number of African migrants who have slipped illegally into the Jewish state
CNN: The Palestinian group Hamas says its military wing has agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel following a sharp increase in violence between the two sides.
Foreign Policy: Palestine, recognized last October as the 195th member state by the U.N. Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), recently launched its first initiative as a full-fledged government in the Paris-based agency, nominating the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and a traditional pilgrimage route to be listed as an endangered site on the World Heritage List.
Boston Globe (AP): Militants crossed from Egypt’s turbulent Sinai desert into southern Israel on Monday and opened fire, killing an Israeli worker, defense officials said. Two assailants were shot dead in a gunbattle with Israeli troops responding to the ambush.
Religion Clause Blog: Zenit reports that the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met in the Vatican on June 12 to discuss an agreement that has been under negotiation for the last 13 years.
AP: African migrants who entered Israel illegally will be given cash incentives if they leave on their own soon, or they will face expulsion, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
AP: Drag queens, dancers and shirtless men are partying through central Tel Aviv as thousands pack the streets for the city’s annual gay pride parade.
Religion Clause Blog: Haaretz reports today that in Israel, the Public Council for Soldiers’ Commemoration will recommend to Defense Minister Ehud Barak that in Memorial Day ceremonies at military cemeteries the service use a remembrance reading that does not mention God.
Israel National News: An Iranian official called this week for an ‘Islamic Awakening’ movement to help Palestinian Authority Arabs “demolish the Zionist regime”, the IRNA news agency reported.
Fox News: “We are seeing the dream of the Islamic Caliphate coming true at the hands of Mohammed Morsi,” the cleric, Safwat Hegazy, blared from his podium. “The capital of the Caliphate and the United Arab States is Jerusalem, God willing,” he added . . .
AP: Militants who have vowed allegiance to al-Qaida attack security forces in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula close to Israel and enjoy unchallenged control of two border towns.
AP on Findlaw: Israel’s Foreign Ministry has criticized a U.N. statement that places the country on a list of nations it says are moving to further restrict advocacy and rights groups.
Weekly Standard: Former Palestinian intelligence official Muhammad Abu Shahala has reportedly been sentenced to death by the Palestinian Authority for selling a Hebron home to Jews.
AP: After the death of their spiritual leader, more than 2,000 Egyptian Copts have poured into the Holy Land for the Easter holidays, defying a ban he imposed on visiting Jerusalem and other Israeli-controlled areas.
CBN: The so-called Arab Spring has given a big boost to radical Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood. For Christians, it’s been a much different story. Believers in Jesus are suffering major persecution throughout the Middle East and North Africa. But there is one place left in the region where they don’t have to fear: Israel.