Trump Picks Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Yesterday, Republican and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump named David M. Friedman as his choice for U.S. ambassador to Israel. Friedman--a Jew who speaks Hebrew fluently--is a bankruptcy lawyer with no diplomatic experience. He also has been an outspoken opponent of the two-state solution. He suggests it would not be against international law for Israel to unilaterally annex the entire West Bank. And Mr. Friedman strongly advocates moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.During … [Read more...]

West Bank Jews Ecstatic About Trump

The traditional two-state solution for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has died another death with President-elect Donald Trump about to take hold of the reigns at the White House on January 20th next year. And Jews inhabiting West Bank settlements are celebrating it. Why? Donald Trump says the settlements are not "an obstacle to peace." That's according to Trump's Israeli advisor, American Jason Greenblatt, as reported by Israel Army Radio. A surprising 17% of West Bank Jews also have … [Read more...]

No More Jacob Neusner at SBL

Jacob Neusner died on October 8 this year at 84 years of age. He was a very prolific scholar who highly influenced American Jewish studies of religion. Neusner was a pioneer in studying Judaism in relation to Christianity. And he was a fixture at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, which will occur this weekend. I'm sure Dr. Neusner will be sorely missed there by many, especially his publishers. Jacob Neusner is most known for having written or edited 950 … [Read more...]

Trump for Israel?

Donald Trump--a non-politician and multi-billionaire real estate magnate--became president-elect of the USA last Tuesday. It is turning the USA upside down. Almost all of the dozens of professional pollsters were wrong. They had the Democratic nominee--former First Lady and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton--ahead by an average of 5% of the popular vote. Actually, she did barely win the popular vote but still lost because the USA has a unique Electoral College that decides the victor.What is … [Read more...]

Were the Ancient Philistines “Sea Peoples”?

Sometimes, myths are propagated as true history, and they need to be deconstructed. Such is the case with ancient Philistines. They were a migrant people who settled in southwestern Palestine to become the arch rival of the ancient Israelites. The historical books of the Jewish Bible are full of narratives about conflicts and battles between the Israelites and the Philistines. Both peoples were migrants to this portion of The Levant. The Bible is quite clear about how the Israelites came into … [Read more...]

Palestinians Try Again to Unite

Yesterday, three Palestinian leaders met in Qatar with its emir,¬†Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to attempt reconciliation after ten years of feuding. In recent years, Qatar has tried to help Palestinians achieve their aspirations, which is to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But the division between the Palestinian Authority, which controls Palestinians living in the West Bank, and Hamas, which governs those in the Gaza Strip, has negatively affected the peace … [Read more...]

Egyptian General Who Destroyed Gaza Tunnels Assasinated

Yesterday, militants gunned down Egyptian Army Brigadier General Adel Ragai in front of his home in Cairo, Egypt. He was commander of the Ninth Armored Division that had been deployed in Egypt's chaotic North Sinai, between Gaza and the coastal city of El Arish, the capital of North Sinai.¬†Three militants believed to have committed the killing were seen with assault rifles in a vehicle in front of Ragai's home.For the past three years, ISIS has been seeking to take over the North Sinai … [Read more...]

Continuing Jewish Settlements in West Bank

For multiple decades, both the United Nations and the USA--Israel's #1 ally and sugar daddy--have denounced Israel's continuing policy of increasing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Why? It is hoped that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved by creating a Palestinian state in the discontiguous Gaza Strip and West Bank, or portions thereof, with an approximately twenty-mile corridor joining the two land parcels. Why this land? That is where most Palestinians have lived and are still … [Read more...]