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African Christian leaders hold Jerusalem start-up summit

(photo: Ilanit Chernick )

(photo: Ilanit Chernick )

By Ilanit Chernick - August 30, 2017 

Originally appeared here in the Jerusalem Post

Christian leaders from several African countries concluded meetings in Jerusalem on Wednesday with Israeli start-ups, politicians and businesses during the African Leadership Summit hosted by the Institute for Christian Leadership Development.

“Africa Celebrates Jerusalem” is this year’s theme for the summit, which aims to strengthen ties between Israel and Africa.

The main goal is for African Christian leaders to connect with the different sectors of the country including agriculture, economic and technology.

About 70 delegates from countries including Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania and Kenya took part in the four-day event. Read More

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Ancient Clay Seals Shed Light on Israel's First Temple Period

(Photo: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David)

(Photo: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David)

September 5, 2017 - Originally appeared here on CBN.com

JERUSALEM, Israel – Dozens of ancient seals dating to the First Temple period will be on display to the public for the first time this week at the annual archaeological conference at the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.

The well-preserved clay seals, used by the sender to officially close up letters, survived the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple in 586 BC.

The seals, known in Hebrew as bullae, from which the word "bul" (stamp) comes, showed the recipient if the letter had been opened. A broken seal indicated it had been opened before arriving at its destination. Read More

 

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Kurds Wave Israeli Flag in Solidarity with Jewish State at Independence Rally in Germany

(Photo: Enver Akkaya)

(Photo: Enver Akkaya)

By TheTower.org Staff - AUGUST 28, 2017

Originally appeared here in TheTower.org

At a rally in the German city of Cologne on Saturday, attended by some 20,000 Kurds from different parts of the world expressing support for an independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq, the Israeli flag was raised in solidarity with the Jewish state.

Kurdish people from Greater Kurdistan that includes all four parts of the Kurdish homeland divided among four Middle Eastern countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey—gathered at the rally, many waving the flag of Iraqi Kurdistan alongside the flags of Israel, the United States, and Germany.

One of the flags read “Thank you for your support,” referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment earlier this month when he expressed a “positive attitude” toward a Kurdish state. The Prime Minister told a delegation of US Congressmen that the Kurds are “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”

Jahwar Slemani from Iraqi Kurdistan told The Israel Project that he brought an Israeli flag to the rally to express his solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. “Kurds and Jews, we have the same enemies,” he said. “Jews know what it takes to survive as a minority in the Middle East. We have to stick together.” Read More

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Israel sends aid to flood-battered Texas

(Photo: Shutterstock.com)

(Photo: Shutterstock.com)

By Nicky Blackburn - August 29, 2017

Originally appeared here in Israel21c

Two teams of Israeli aid experts are on their way to Texas to provide vital relief and psychosocial support to the thousands of people who have lost everything in the catastrophic Tropical Storm Harvey.

The storm, which first hit Texas on Sunday and continues to plague the beleaguered state with pounding rain, has left nine dead, and tens of thousands of people homeless as flood waters have poured through city streets in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States. The storm is thought to have affected 6.8 million people in 18 countries, a quarter of the Texas population.

Humanitarian aid organization IsraAID aims to provide a two-stage response to the disaster, focusing on helping remove debris and clean homes in the wake of the catastrophic flooding, and offering psychosocial trauma support to shocked residents. Read More

 

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Jerusalem backgammon contest rolls winning dice for Jewish-Arab coexistence

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By David Horovitz - August 25, 2017

Originally appeared here in the Times of Israel 

In the end, it all came down to one throw of the dice. If Itzik Yakobovitch, he of the snazzy white hat and the implausibly youthful dance moves, could manage double 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, he would be crowned Jerusalem’s first-ever backgammon champion. If not, the title would go to the gleaming scalped, Chelsea soccer shirt-wearing Gadi Carmeli.

The prize was a nifty NIS 25,000 (almost $7,000). But though that was no trifling sum for the two finalists, this tournament was emphatically not about the money. It was, rather, almost certainly the most remarkable exercise in bringing people together from wildly different worlds ever to be held in the shadow of Jerusalem’s Old City walls… involving dice.

For much of the past year, at a range of venues across this strained mosaic of a city, about 500 Jews, Christians, Muslims and who knows who else have been playing in qualifying tournaments — in the garages of Talpiot, in the YMCA, all over the Old City, in Jewish and Arab neighborhoods — bidding to secure a place in Thursday night’s final event. Read More

 

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Israel to Host Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem in Mid-October

(Photo: Markus Bollen – Michael Hammers Studios Gmbh.)

(Photo: Markus Bollen – Michael Hammers Studios Gmbh.)

By JNS - August 24, 2017

Originally appeared here in The Algemeiner

Around 70 Christian media outlets are scheduled to convene in Jerusalem this fall for a first-of-its-kind Christian media summit.

The four-day event — sponsored by Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO), Foreign Ministry and Jerusalem Affairs Ministry — will see some 140 Christian media associates visit the Jewish state’s capital in mid-October.

The media summit will facilitate tours for participants, including a visit to Gush Etzion — Israel’s largest bloc of communities in Judea and Samaria. The Christian media professionals will also visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem’s Friends of Zion Museum, and will participate in conference sessions on topics related to news coverage of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other senior officials are expected to meet with the Christian media representatives during their visit to the Jewish state. Read More

 

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Love of soccer brings together Jewish and Arab kids

(Photo: Rauf Abu-Panne)

(Photo: Rauf Abu-Panne)

By Ynet - August 23, 2017

Originally appeared here in Ynetnews 

A quarter hour’s drive is all that separates Pardes Hana-Karkur from Kafr Kara, but the actual distance between these two communities is enormous and represents the growing rift between Jewish and Arab society in Israel. The "Soccer for Peace" camp attempts to bridge this gap by means of one thing that connects the two populations—the love of soccer.

Seventy-five Jewish and Arab children arrived earlier this month at Givat Haviva, where they spent three days at a soccer-themed summer camp. Between the games and the breaks, the staff talked to the children about the friendship, love, and solidarity possible between the two societies, Jewish and Arab.
 
The children, mostly sixth graders, come from towns and cities in Wadi Ara and the Triangle area. Jewish communities taking part include Pardes Hanna-Karkur and Gan Hashomron. The Arab children came from Baqa al-Garbiyeh, Barta'a, Iksal, and Kafr Qara. Read More

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IsraAID brings emergency flood relief to Nepal

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By Abigail Klein Leichman - August 20, 2017

Originally appeared here in Israel21c

Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization IsraAID sent a first-response team of 16 volunteers to southern Nepal on August 17 to bring medical, psychosocial and sanitation assistance in the wake of floods and landslides affecting six million people in 18 districts.

The surging waters have washed away thousands of houses and permanently damaged farmland, food stocks and water infrastructure only two years after an earthquake wreaked devastation in the Asian country. More than 120 people have lost their lives, and many more are still missing.

Dangerous flooding in southern Nepal poses a high risk of waterborne disease, according to IsraAID, whose team was one of the first on the ground. More than 400 flood victims benefited from IsraAID’s services and activities on the first day alone. Read More

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Israeli hospital treats Palestinian and Iraqi kids – and a princess from Bahrain

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By Heba Zoabi - March 11, 2017

Originally appeared here in i24News

In a Middle East wracked by political chaos, Israel has become in recent years a desirable destination for medical treatment for residents of countries that do not have official diplomatic relations with the country – and the number of patients has grown over the years, particularly from Arab and Muslim countries.

Hospitals in northern Israel have thus far treated some 1,320 wounded Syrians, including 150 children, according to recently released Health Ministry statistics.

Israel's military brings them to the hospitals, which have complained of a lack of government funding.

Wolfson Medical Center in Holon has admitted 4,100 children from outside Israel in the past two decades, most of whom suffer from heart ailments, and treated them for free. About half of the children were Palestinian, and hundreds were from Arab countries – mostly from Iraq, as well as several Syrian children and two from Afghanistan, while the remainder arrived as part of medical delegations that have worked with 53 developing nations around the world. Read More

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25 Syrian children, all terrified of us

By Lieutenant Colonel A - August 1, 2017

Originally appeared here in the Times of Israel 

I remember the beginning of Operation Good Neighbor as if it were yesterday. The truth is that we had serious doubts about whether it would really happen — whether the Syrians would actually arrive. Then, at 3:00 am in the freezing cold of the Golan Heights, we noticed them walking along the fence.

Twenty-five children holding their mothers’ hands passed through the gates in what seemed like a modern Exodus. The phrase “The Syrians are at the border” took on new meaning.

You could see the suspicion in their eyes. Tired and barefoot in the darkness, they met IDF soldiers for the very first time, we who had been so demonized by their culture. After many conversations with quite a few Syrians, I have come to realize that it’s no myth: up until the day they received our help, many Syrians genuinely believed IDF soldiers had horns and tails. Read More

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A Yazidi survivor lauds freedom of religion in Israel

(Photo: Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

By Giulio Meotti - July 27, 2017

Originally appeared here in Arutz Sheva 

Do you know of this most extraordinary girl, Nadia Murad? The Islamic State’s henchmen kidnapped her when they decimated the Yazidi, they raped her and sold her. She escaped. Today she travels the world to make it aware of the genocide of her people at the hands of those horrendous Islamic predators. Nadia Murad was recently in Israel and said incredible things. 

She praised “the ability of Jews to remain strong and preserve their culture”, she called the Jews “an example” and asked Israel for support. This girl did not study at Harvard and does not write for the Western mainstream media, but she has more courage and moral clarity than all those clumsy intellectuals and journalists who love to demonize Israel. 

Nadia is right. Israel has been a sanctuary not only for the Jews endangered all over, from Baghdad to Yemen, but also for the non-Jewish religious minorities. 

I saw what Israel did for  the Druze, the Bahai in Haifa,  the Bedouin,  Samaritans,  Alawites, and the Christians who fled the Lebanese civil war, for the Circassians and the Ahmadi Muslims. Read More

 

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Finds in Jerusalem shore up biblical account of Babylonian conquest

(Photo: Eliyahu Yanai, Courtesy of the City of David Archive)

(Photo: Eliyahu Yanai, Courtesy of the City of David Archive)

By Amanda Borschel-Dan - July 26, 2017

Originally appeared here in The Times of Israel 

New finds in the City of David confirm the veracity of the biblical account of the Babylonian capture and conquest of First Temple period Jerusalem. The event is commemorated next Tuesday on the Hebrew date Tisha B’av (August 1) in a day of fasting and mourning, Israeli experts said.

According to Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dr. Joe Uziel, co-director of the current excavations at the City of David, findings discovered in the site’s eastern slope, including a row of 2,600-year-old rooms and their contents — all covered with visible layers of charcoal ash — aid in understanding the days leading up to and the act of the destruction.

Within the collapsed rooms were uncovered rare artifacts, including a unique, apparently Egyptian, ivory statue of a nude woman, and smashed pottery jars with a rosette seal which was in royal use during the final decade before the fall of the First Temple, according to co-director Ortal Chalaf.

“These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty. Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system,” said Chalaf. Read More

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Iraqi Christian Youth Leaders look to Jewish History for Inspiration

By Seth J. Frantzman - July 18, 2017

Originally appeared here in The Jerusalem Post 

The terrorist attack on Friday in Jerusalem brought back memories of terror in Iraq for Diana, a member of a group of Assyrian youth leaders touring the country. “You go out and you don’t know if you are going to come back safely,” she recalls. “I saw people acting normally as if nothing happened, life goes on, memories came back.”

Her family of Chaldean Catholics left Kirkuk in Iraq in 2008 and moved to Canada, part of a wave of immigration of Christians who have left Iraq since the 1990s. She is one of 28 young Assyrians from North America spending a week and a half touring Israel.

In the last decades the population of Iraqi Christians has declined from some 2 million in the 1990s to less than 500,000 today. When ISIS attacked Nineveh plains around Mosul in 2014 more than 100,000 Christians fled numerous villages and towns that they have ancient roots in. Now a movement has begun abroad to encourage Christians whose families fled Iraq to take a new interest in rebuilding communities and reconnecting young people to their identity. Read More

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Israeli Wheelchairs of Hope donated in Vietnam

(Photo: MASHAV-Israel Embassy in Vietnam)

(Photo: MASHAV-Israel Embassy in Vietnam)

By Israel21c Staff - July 12, 2017

Originally appeared here in Israel21c

The Israeli Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, decided to take the budget allocated for a party celebrating Israel’s 69th Independence Day in May and use it to purchase 100 innovative lightweight wheelchairs from Israeli company Wheelchairs of Hope to donate to needy local children.

In a ceremony held at the Orthopedic and Functional Rehabilitation Center in Hanoi on June 22, Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Meirav Eilon Shaha presented 20 colorful Wheelchairs of Hope to a festive crowd, sending a message of solidarity and friendship. Read More

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Earliest mosaic of Jonah and the whale found in Galilee synagogue

(Photo: Jim Haberman/University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

(Photo: Jim Haberman/University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

By Amanda Borschel-Dan - July 7, 2017

Originally appeared here in The Times of Israel 

Unprecedented depictions of the biblical Jonah and the whale have been found at a fifth-century Roman synagogue in Israel’s lower Galilee. In the recently discovered mosaic, Jonah’s legs are shown dangling from the mouth of a large fish, which is being swallowed by a larger fish, which is being consumed by a third, even larger fish.

According to the team of specialists and students led by University of North Carolina, this is the first known depiction of the story of Jonah in an ancient synagogue in Israel.

This is the team’s seventh season at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq. Beginning in 2012, a series of other prominent biblical scenes, including Noah’s ark and the splitting of the Red Sea, in which Pharaoh’s soldiers are swallowed by large fish similar to the fish swallowing Jonah in the mosaic uncovered this summer, were previously found at the archaeological dig.

In addition to the Roman synagogue, the site also houses remains of what is possibly a Medieval synagogue as well. Read More

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With Tears of Joy, Long-Lost Ethiopian Jews Reunite With Family in Israel

(Photo: Jani Salokangas/ICEJ)

(Photo: Jani Salokangas/ICEJ)

By Abra Forman - June 8, 2017

Originally appeared here in BreakingIsraelNews.com

More than 200 families and supporters greeted a group of 72 Ethiopian Jews arriving in at the Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday evening on the latest aliyah (immigration to Israel) flight arranged by the Jewish Agency and sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).

Holding banners and waving flags, the Ethiopian Israelis were overjoyed to reunite with family members who have waited for years to return to Israel.

The Israeli cabinet decided last year to resume aliyah operations to bring the last remnant of the Ethiopian Jewish community to Israel. Tuesday’s flight was the first since the program was reinstated, and several more flights are planned for June. Some 9,000 Jews are still waiting in Ethiopia for Israeli government approval to make aliyah. Read More

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Why Israel is saving Syrian rebels

(Photo: Baz Ratner / Reuters)

(Photo: Baz Ratner / Reuters)

By Terry Glavin - June 20, 2017

Originally appeared here in Macleans.ca

On a hospital bed at the Ziv Medical Center, high in the Upper Galilee Mountains, a Syrian rebel who goes by the name Ramadan was still wincing in pain from a bullet that had torn through his right shoulder only 10 days before. But he said there was something important he wanted to tell me. The gruff-voiced, barrel-chested fighter sat up on his hospital bed and began.

“All the world is killing us, all the world,” he said. “All my life I was told Israel is my enemy. I grew up like that, to believe that Israel is the devil. But all the world is against us, and only Israel is our friend. The world is killing us. Israel is saving us.” Read More

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Israeli company that extracts water from air launches Florida pilot

(Photo: Courtesy of Mendy Studio)

(Photo: Courtesy of Mendy Studio)

By Andrew Tobin - June 21, 2017

Originally appeared here in The Times of Israel 

JTA — Large parts of Florida are suffering from severe drought, and hurricane season threatens to make things worse.

Enter Water-Gen, an Israeli company, whose technology captures humidity to extract drinking water from the air.

On Monday, the South Florida city of Miami Gardens announced it was launching a pilot program with the company to address its water problems — the first US city to do so.

“As representatives responsible for the quality of life and safety of our communities, preparedness and readiness to counter crises is mandatory,” Mayor Oliver Gilbert III said at a City Hall news conference. “Water-Gen’s pilot will enable us to measure its use for clean drinking water if needed for hurricane relief and any other emergency water situation that may arise.” Read More

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Robert Kraft-led trip to Israel has profound impact on Hall of Famers

(Photo: AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

(Photo: AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

By Mike Reiss - June 21, 2017

Originally appeared here in ESPN.com 

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis bleeds Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold, but as he boarded an airplane Tuesday set to return from Israel to the United States, he reflected on spending a week with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and laughed.

"I told my wife [Trameka], he has a new fan," Bettis said. "My phrase was 'I'm a friend of him, not of them.'"

That's how strongly Bettis -- who played several high-stakes games against the Patriots during his lengthy career with the Steelers -- felt about what transpired from June 13-21. Bettis was one of 18 Hall of Famers who joined Kraft on a trip to Israel.

"To have an opportunity for me and my wife to be baptized in the Jordan River, that was amazing. To have an opportunity, as a Christian, to see where Jesus Christ was born, was amazing. To walk in his footsteps. To go to the Church of Holy Sepulchre, those kind of things, things I read about in a Bible but to actually have an opportunity to walk and see it with my own eyes, they were amazing," Bettis said in a phone interview. Read More

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Palestinian official donates playroom to a Haifa hospital

(Photo: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

(Photo: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

By Israel21c Staff - June 13, 2017

Originally appeared here in Israel21c

Every year, an estimated 1,200 children and adults residents of the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories come to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa for medical treatment.

A few months ago, “M,” a senior figure in the PA who wishes to conceal his identity, was treated for cancer at Rambam. While hospitalized, he met many patients and their families from the PA areas, and began to take particular interest in the unique needs of hospitalized children.

“When I arrived at Rambam, I saw a medical team that treats its patients with dedication, but I also saw the suffering of sick children,” said M. “Palestinian children, Israelis, Syrians, and children from other countries are being treated at Rambam for serious illnesses and are in need of all the help they can get.” Read More

 

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