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Jerusalem Tag

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been working behind the scenes to prevent European Union member countries from recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the newspaper Jerusalem Post reported. The revelation was made by Tomas Sandell, the director of the European Coalition for Israel in Brussels. Chancellor Merkel made a series of calls to European leaders in April while "many of the nations were seriously considering moving their embassies." Sandell said. "This is not the Germany we once knew. This is not the even Angela Merkel we once knew when she was elected."

A very rare stone engraved with ancient Hebrew letters has been discovered in the rubble of a Jerusalem excavation site. The extremely tiny stone, called a “beka”, was used as a counting weight during the First Temple period. Only a few similar stone beka weights have been unearthed in Jerusalem, and according to experts, none of those previously discovered have the same exact inscription as the one that was just found.

In a highly unusual ruling, one of Israel’s chief rabbis has allowed a Palestinian Arab man to be buried in a special plot, reserved for those without religious faith, in the Jewish Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem. At issue is the decision of Aryeh Stern, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, to enable the West Bank-based family of Ala’a Qarash (also spelled Alah Kirsh) to bury him at the Jewish cemetery as an “exception” because the “Muslims themselves are unwilling to bury him” and he was a “righteous gentile” who “showed good will” to Jews.

Today (May 14) the U.S. embassy will officially move from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city. The move, widely regarded as historic and “momentous” for Israel and the Jewish people, will coincide with the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence 70 years ago on the Gregorian calendar. It also comes one day after Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), which marks the reunification of the city during the 1967 Six Day War, and the return of Jewish heritage and holy sites to Jewish sovereignty.

United States lawmakers Scott R. Tipton (R-Colo) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va) were stopped and questioned by Israeli police on the morning of February 22nd while they were visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to media reports of the incident (see, for example, here and here), Tipton and McKinley were detained by Israeli officers guarding the site after the Waqf—the Jordanian-funded Islamic Trust that administers day-to-day activities there—brought to their attention that one of the congressmen had apparently taken an olive branch that he had found lying on the ground while touring the place.

A whopping 70,000 people gathered in Calcutta, India Wednesday to show their support for Israel. Protestors marched, demanding the Indian government recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The rally was held on the tenth anniversary of the founding of Hindu Samhati, an organization reportedly dedicated to unifying Hindus in Eastern India.

Bill Maher can be infuriatingly liberal, but when he gets something right, he gets it really right. And what he frequently gets right are issues related to free speech, political correctness, liberal intolerance and false accusations of Islamophobia. And Israel. Here are some of the things he has gotten really right that we have previously covered:

Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has angered the Palestinian Authority leadership so much that they cut off diplomacy with the U.S. regarding peace talks with Israel. Mahmoud Abbas tried, unsuccessfully, to get the Europeans to substitute for the U.S., and has launched nearly deranged tirades against the Trump (and also denied Jewish history in the region).

I reported this weekend on reports that the U.S. planned to move our Embassy from Tel Aviv, to Israel's capital Jerusalem, by the end of 2019. This timetable, which was faster than the 3-4 years previously discussed for building a new Embassy, was based on renovating the existing U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, the main location of which was built in 2010 and is actually larger than the Tel Aviv embassy.

Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordering preparations to commence to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, did not lead to the widespread violence that critics predicted. It has, however, caused the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to lay bare his decades old anti-Semitism in a recent tirade, and to engage in a name calling spree against Trump. The delay, to some uncertain future date, of the actual Embassy move was seen as making the recognition somewhat symbolic. And called into question whether it ever actually would happen.
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