A Letter of Appreciation To Mrs. Esther Levens, CEO of Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI)

Jewish Press
Remarks by PROF. LIVIA BITTON-JACKSON:


“Mrs. Esther Levens,

We, the members of the Zionist Women’s Organization in Israel, wish to salute you and thank you for the remarkable work you have been doing for our country.

As founder of UCI in 1991 and now its Chief Executive Officer, you representing millions of Jews and Christians, have provided material information not only on Israel but also on the history and culture of the twenty-two Arab nations that surround it.

You have conducted a wide-educational outreach to all segments of American society by bringing together secular and religious media with those on college campuses, with American government representatives and Israeli Knesset Members.

You coordinated seven major conferences in Washington, introducing experts on the true picture of Israel and the Middle East. You hosted the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on two occasions at festive breakfasts that attracted thousands of people. The UCI co-sponsored the First Jerusalem Summit, a newly formed international think-tank. Simultaneously, you have sponsored numerous press conferences on Capitol Hill, at the National Press Club, and at the National Religious Broadcasters annual conventions. Amazing as all this seems, you also co-sponsored the annual Embassy of Israel Solidarity Seminar in Washington, DC, and the annual pro-Israel KC Gathering.

Aware of your amazing competence and knowledge, three U.S. presidents appointed you to serve on three U.S. Presidential Advisory Councils: the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, the National Advisory Council on Vocational Education and the National Advisory Committee on Education of Handicapped Children.

To say that you, Mrs. Esther Levens, are a true Eishet Chayil, a Woman of Valor, is an understatement. In addition to the above-mentioned activities, you have also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ), of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), of the National Council of Jewish Women and of the Republican Jewish Coalition!

You once said that you loved and supported Israel long before “the state was even a state.” You said you started believing in the importance of a Jewish state when you were a young woman in Kansas City working for United Jewish Social Services.

“I realized early on how really vulnerable Jews felt around the world,” you said.

As a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, you worked with the first wave of European refugees here following the Holocaust. You met them at the railroad station and were charged with finding them housing and kosher food.

The work you did with survivors was instrumental in arranging some of the first Yom Ha’Shoah remembrance services in the state of Kansas, leading to your appointment by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

You and your late husband, Vrem, worked together for a variety of causes, and when he passed away in 1983, his causes became yours.

You had worked as a professional for Israel Bonds and said that this experience led to your forming Voices United for Israel, the forerunner of the remarkable United Coalition for Israel. Today, the UCI has convened an alliance of Christian and Jewish organizations to actively work together to generate support for Israel – more than 200 autonomous partner organizations, representing more than 40 million people, making it the largest network of pro-Israel groups in the world!

Our dear superwoman of valor! How can we thank you?”

 


Published: 20 Av 5774 – August 15, 2014 
Latest update: August 15th, 2014

 Source: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/a-letter-of-appreciation-to-mrs-esther-levens-ceo-of-unity-coalition-for-israel-uci/2014/08/15/

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Defining Terrorism Legally

Defining terrorismThe American public needs to know when it faces the true threat of terrorism, and our officials must be able to diagnose and combat it properly.

Government agencies are not in agreement about the technical definition of terrorism. The CIA uses the definition contained in Title 22 of U.S. Code: “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

The FBI acknowledges there is “no single, universally accepted definition of terrorism,” but builds from the Code of Federal Regulations to arrive at this description of domestic terrorism: “The unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Add the element of foreign direction, and you get the FBI’s working model of international terrorism, which “involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state.

These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. International terrorist acts occur outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.”

The FBI’s more precise definitions are significantly different because they allow for the destruction of

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Western Democracy and Christianity

America ChristianHow has Christianity helped the development of Western Democracy?

“There is not a land beneath the sun where there is an open Bible and a preached gospel, where a tyrant long can hold his place” preached Charles Spurgeon… “Let the Bible be opened to be read by all men, and no tyrant can long rule in peace. England owes her freedom to the Bible.”

The word democracy was coined in ancient Greece; Athenian democracy was a classical democratic system developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, but it did not last. In the modern age, the story of the democratic state was founded on the cornerstone of Western Christian civilisation with the belief that if God made all equal, then some are not more equal than others. The development of democracy in England and the U.S. was a slow process of the gradual transition of power from the crown or state to the people.

The cornerstone of all freedom in the English speaking world is Magna Carta, the great Charter of freedom, where the rights and freedoms of the barons against the king was made legally binding. The author was a Christian inspired by the Bible. This was not democracy, but it is the foundation of liberty in the free world.

The first great peoples uprising was the 1381 peasants revolt,

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Why should Muslims Feel Entitled to Move to America?

IslamicCenterofAmerica_Dearborn_Michigan(Photo: Islamic Center of America, Dearborn, Michigan)

Why should Americans feel obligated to open our borders for Muslims to move here en masse?

Foreign nationals in foreign countries do not have U.S. Constitutional rights. As the Supreme Court has held, an unadmitted and nonresident alien “had no constitutional right of entry to this country as a nonimmigrant or otherwise.” (Mandel, 408 U.S. at 762; see Plasencia, 459 U.S. at 32.)

Beyond this fact, the president has plenary power over foreign affairs and this includes, under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the power to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals if he determines their entry “would be detrimental to the interest of the United States.” The president as commander-in-chief is given this power, not New York Times columnists, not wailing Democrats, not the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the many activists groups calling for massive increases in Muslim immigration.

Remarkably many supporters of enhanced vetting to protect Americans have gone into a protective crouch and have not articulated reasons why we should be very careful about admitting more and more Muslims into America.

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Islam and Democracy

we the peopleNational Endowment for the Humanities | HUMANITIES, November/December 2016 | Volume 22, Number 7}

The relationship between Islam and democracy in the contemporary world is complex. The Muslim world is not ideologically monolithic. It presents a broad spectrum of perspectives ranging from the extremes of those who deny a connection between Islam and democracy to those who argue that Islam requires a democratic system. In between the extremes, in a number of countries where Muslims are a majority, many Muslims believe that Islam is a support for democracy even though their particular political system is not explicitly defined as Islamic.

Throughout the Muslim world in the twentieth century, many groups that identify themselves explicitly as Islamic attempted to participate directly in the democratic processes as regimes were overthrown in Eastern Europe, Africa, and elsewhere. In Iran such groups controlled and defined the system as a whole; in other areas, the explicitly Islamic groups were participating in systems that were more secular in structure. The participation of self-identified Islamically oriented groups in elections, and in democratic processes in general, aroused considerable controversy.

People who believe that secular approaches and a separation of religion and politics are an essential part of democracy argue that Islamist groups only advocate democracy as a tactic to gain political power. They say Islamist groups support “one man, one vote, one time.” In Algeria and Turkey, following electoral successes by parties thought to be religiously threatening to the existing political regimes, the Islamic political parties were restricted legally or suppressed.

The relationship between Islam and democracy is strongly debated among the people who identify with the Islamic resurgence in the late twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Some of these Islamists believe that “democracy” is a foreign concept that has been imposed by Westernizers and secular reformers upon Muslim societies. They often argue that the concept of popular sovereignty denies the fundamental Islamic affirmation of the sovereignty of God and is, therefore, a form of idolatry. People holding these views are less likely to be the ones participating in elections. Many limit themselves to participating in intellectual debates in the media, and others hold themselves aloof from the political dynamics of their societies, hoping that their own isolated community will in some way be an inspiration to the broader Muslim community. Many prominent Islamic intellectuals and groups, however, argue that

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America and Jewish Values in Democracy

America and Jewish values“…it would be a mistake…to ascribe to Roman legal conceptions an undivided sway over the development of law and institutions during the Middle Ages… The Laws of Moses as well as the laws of Rome contributed suggestions and impulse to the men and institutions which were to prepare the modern world; and if we could have but eyes to see… we should readily discover how very much besides religion we owe to the Jew.”  – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson 

The United States was the first country to be created, from its inception, as a democracy. And the Bible played a major role in the process. The basic framework of America clearly reflects the influence of the Bible and power of Jewish ideas in shaping the political development of America. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Whereas, these words echo the Enlightenment’s—specifically John Locke’s—idea of “the inalienable rights of man,” without a doubt, the concept that these rights come from God is of Biblical origin.

This and the other documents of early America make it clear that the concept of an God-given standard of morality is a central pillar of American democracy. Thus we see that it is with the birth of American democracy that we have the next milestone in the process of the spread of Jewish ideas in civilization. For the first time in history, Jewish ethical ideas were legally enshrined into the laws of a non-Jewish nation. That country, the United States, would, in turn, become a powerful model to be emulated by numerous countries around the world.

The creation of the United States of America represented a unique event in world history. Unlike other countries where democracy evolved over a period of hundreds of years, the United States was the first country to be created, from its inception, as a democracy. And the Bible—and Jewish values—played a major role in this process.

 …

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Netanyahu and Trump: A Shared Focus on Terrorism

trump-israelIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit with President Trump at the White House. It will be a true meeting of minds. Trump’s presidency and his upcoming meeting with Netanyahu, it’s worth trying to understand the role that Israel and Netanyahu himself have played in defining terrorism.

Scholars of terrorism credit a specific 1979 symposium in Jerusalem as a turning point in the U.S. and international usage of “terrorism” as we understand it today.

The Jonathan Institute, founded following the death of Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother Yonatan during a raid to rescue hostages from a PLO hijacking, hosted a 1979 conference in Jerusalem— and a follow up in 1984 in Washington—on “International Terrorism.”  Directed by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jonathan Institute maintained close ties to the Israeli government. Current and former Israeli officials across the political spectrum—including Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ezer Weizman, Moshe Dayan, and Shimon Peres—dominated its administrative committee.

Lisa Stampnitsky, in her 2013 book Disciplining Terror, discusses how the Jonathan Institute helped internationalize Israel’s use of the term to describe terrorist violence as both irrational and illegitimate in both means and ends, and as primarily targeting democracies and “the West.” Previously, she notes, terrorism referred largely to

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Hackers Claiming ISIS Took over the US Central Command's Twitter Account

HackersHackers claiming to be working on behalf of Islamic State militants seized control of the Twitter and YouTube sites of the military's U.S. Central Command on Monday, but the Pentagon swiftly suspended the sites and said no classified material was breached.

The Twitter site was filled with threats that said “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.” Other postings appeared to list names, phone numbers and personal email addresses of military personnel as well as PowerPoint slides and maps.

Most of the material was labeled “FOUO,” which means “For Official Use Only,” but none of it appeared to be classified or sensitive information, suggesting the hackers did not breach classified material.

One of the documents appeared to be slides developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center focused on national security. The slides appeared to depict what it called “scenarios” for conflict with North Korea and China.

The tweets came shortly after U.S. Central Command posted its own tweets about

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Dr. Sebastian Gorka on ISIS Threat and Jihadi Game Plan

Dr. Sebastian GorkaDR. SEBASTIAN GORKA: “We are at war with global jihadism,” – “We’ve arrested or killed more than 125 ISIS terrorists in America since the Caliphate was redeclared two-and-a-half years ago, from Mosul.

They want things like the Berlin attack, the Nice attack, the double Paris attacks, not to happen on U.S. soil. So they understand that we need to review all our immigration policies and build a wall. It’s really that simple, Alex.”

“Your critics on the Left would say this is about seizing the moral high ground for the next terror attack. What is your response to that?” Marlow asked.

“I would say playing politics with the safety of American citizens is reprehensible,” Gorka replied.

“The fact is, we know that ISIS has declared in English, in its publications, in its videos, ‘We will use the refugee streams and mass migrations to insert our jihadis into your cultures.’ We know at least one of the attacks …

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Illinois Man Accused of Trying to Join Islamic State May Face Trial

Mohammed Hamzah KhanA federal judge said he wanted to set a trial date for a Chicago-area man accused of trying to provide support to Islamic State militants, as prosecutors and the defense failed to reach a plea deal in the case.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 20, of the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook is charged with trying to provide material support to Islamic State militants after he tried to travel with his two younger siblings to the Middle East to join the group.

Khan's defense lawyer and federal prosecutors have been trying to reach a plea deal, but were not ready to present one to the judge at a status hearing in federal court in downtown Chicago on Tuesday.

“I'm inclined to set a trial date. I don't want to blow up negotiations but that would be my preference,” U.S. District Judge John Tharp said at the brief hearing. Tharp set a new status hearing for Oct. 1 and asked both sides to “come with a real plea agreement.”

Khan's lawyer, Thomas Durkin, told the judge that he had just received the plea agreement from the prosecutors on Monday and that he had a lot of reservations, particularly regarding supervised release conditions. – Khan was 19 at the time of his arrest in October 2014 at O'Hare International Airport as he tried to board a plane to Vienna en route to Istanbul with his two younger siblings, who were then 17 and 16. He has been in detention ever since.

The Islamic State militant group has seized a third of Iraq and swathes of Syria and declared a modern caliphate. A U.S.-led coalition has spent billions training and equipping Iraqi forces to take on the militants and conducting air strikes against them in Syria and Iraq. The Khan siblings left behind notebooks and letters indicating that they wanted to join Islamic State. Their parents have said they had no idea of what their children were up to and that the three were radicalized by online propaganda. A handful of Islamic State recruits have been prosecuted in the United States.

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