Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat might have converted to Christianity before his death in 2004, suggested Christian writer and speaker RT Kendall, a close friend of his. Kendall revealed that Arafat wept while watching Mel Gibson's epic "The Passion of the Christ" a decade ago, and said that he would not be surprised to see his friend in heaven.
"It wouldn't surprise me to see him in heaven,' Kendall said in an interview with Premier. Christianity magazine. 'I'll tell you why. I prayed with him five times, anointed him with oil, I gave him a [salvation] prayer … I'm not saying I know that he's saved; I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised."
Kendall talked about how he initially met Arafat in 2002 during a visit to Israel and Palestinian territories. During the meeting, which went on for longer than planned, the two discussed the nature of Jesus — whether He died, was resurrected and ascended to heaven, as Christianity teaches, or whether He did not die, as the Quran suggests. more >>
The Israeli cabinet approved a new bill on Sunday aimed at easing the process of converting to Judaism, which advocates say could encourage hundreds of thousands of Israelis to join the religion.
"It is a very good day for Israel," Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, chair of the Jewish Home party, told The Times of Israel on Sunday. "It will solve many problems for thousands of Israelis."
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, added: "This is a day of good news: After struggles and obstacles, the reform in conversion passed in the government today with a large majority. more >>
Sweden has become the first major European Union member to officially recognize the state of Palestine. The controversial move has been strongly criticized by Israel, which recalled its ambassador in protest.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "is looking for a way not to return to the negotiating table, and Sweden just gave him a perfect excuse," an Israeli Foreign Ministry source told The Times of Israel.
The source added that Sweden's recognition of Palestine could destabilize fragile relations in the Middle East, where a long term ceasefire between Israel and militant group Hamas from earlier this year is still holding. more >>
During a 2009 interview on France's Canal+TV channel that is just now being reported widely, President Obama claimed that Americans needed to be better educated on Islam and that, if we compute the total number of Muslims in America, we would be one of the biggest Muslim countries in the world.
In stark contrast, and with reference to a number of President Obama's recent comments, Rev. Franklin Graham claimed that the president "was 'fundamentally mistaken' about radical Islam . . . and argued that Islam 'is a false religion' and that 'it is impossible for a false religion to be a true religion of peace.'"
Who's right? more >>
Feathers are flying—in Washington and in Jerusalem—over the off-the-record comments by a senior Obama administration official to the respected Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. The unnamed dovish Obama policy maker said "the thing about Bibi [Netanyahu] is he's a chicken****!" Direct quote, characterization included.
State Department Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, hastened to disavow the quote, without divulging who said it. Jeffrey Goldberg is the go-to writer whom this administration relies upon to get its message out. Goldberg, seasoned and serious, is nonetheless a faithful adherent of the Obama administration's view that it is Israeli intransigence that is to blame for lack of progress toward a Middle East peace settlement.
Goldberg is an adult. But he is reporting the childish words and even more childish antics of this puerile administration. Goldberg writes Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. Actually, writer Goldberg is correct in one sense. There is a crisis, but it is not between the Americans and the Israelis, or even between the U.S. government and the coalition government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The crisis exists between President Obama and Israel because the president is wrong. more >>
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has announced that an inquiry is being set up into the high number of civilian deaths that occurred during the Israel-Hamas conflict over Gaza earlier this year. The inquiry will also investigate reports of Palestinian militants storing weapons at U.N. facilities.
"I look forward to a thorough investigation by the Israel Defense Forces of this and other incidents in which U.N. facilities sustained hits and many innocent people were killed," Ban said at the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, according to BBC News.
"I am planning to move forward with an independent board of inquiry to look into the most serious of those cases, as well as instances in which weaponry was found on U.N. premises." more >>