I Am Israel

This is Israel. (HD)


Through the desire to come to Eretz Yisrael, this brings about great parnassa (livelihood)

Through the desire to come to Eretz Yisrael, this brings about great parnassa (livelihood)

The Volunteers: Answering the Call of History

Mark Twain in the Holy Land, 1867, and the Innocents Abroad

Quotations from The Innocents Abroad

Mark Twain's Palestine
On Jerusalem
It seems to me that all the races and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the fourteen thousand souls that dwell in Jerusalem. Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound.

Close by is the Golden Gate, in the Temple wall–a gate that was an elegant piece of sculpture in the time of the Temple, and is even so yet. From it, in ancient times, the Jewish High Priest turned loose the scapegoat and let him flee to the wilderness and bear away his twelve-month load of the sins of the people. If they were to turn one loose now, he would not get as far as the Garden of Gethsemane, till these miserable vagabonds here would gobble him up,–[Favorite pilgrim expression.]–sins and all. They wouldn’t care. Mutton-chops and sin is good enough living for them. The Moslems watch the Golden Gate with a jealous eye, and an anxious one, for they have an honored tradition that when it falls, Islamism will fall and with it the Ottoman Empire. It did not grieve me any to notice that the old gate was getting a little shaky.A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is. The appearance of the city is peculiar. It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt-heads. Every house has from one to half a dozen of these white plastered domes of stone, broad and low, sitting in the centre of, or in a cluster upon, the flat .The population of Jerusalem is composed of Moslems, Jews, Greeks, Latins, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, Greek Catholics, and a handful of Protestants. One hundred of the latter sect are all that dwell now in this birthplace of Christianity. The nice shades of nationality comprised in the above list, and the languages spoken by them, are altogether too numerous to mention. It seems to me that all the races and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the fourteen thousand souls.

On the land of Palestine

Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee sleep in the midst of a vast stretch of hill and plain wherein the eye rests upon no pleasant tint, no striking object, no soft picture dreaming in a purple haze or mottled with the shadows of the clouds. Every outline is harsh, every feature is distinct, there is no perspective–distance works no enchantment here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land.

Small shreds and patches of it must be very beautiful in the full flush of spring, however, and all the more beautiful by contrast with the far-reaching desolation that surrounds them on every side. I would like much to see the fringes of the Jordan in spring-time, and Shechem, Esdraelon, Ajalon and the borders of Galilee–but even then these spots would seem mere toy gardens set at wide intervals in the waste of a limitless desolation.
Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists–over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead– about whose borders nothing grows but weeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch. Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed, lies a moldering ruin, to-day, even as Joshua’s miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the Saviour’s presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang Peace on earth, good will to men, is untenanted by any living creature, and unblessed by any feature that is pleasant to the eye. …. The noted Sea of Galilee, where Roman fleets once rode at anchor and the disciples of the Saviour sailed in their ships, was long ago deserted by the devotees of war and commerce, and its borders are a silent wilderness; Capernaum is a shapeless ruin; Magdala is the home of beggared Arabs; Bethsaida and Chorazin have vanished from the earth, and the “desert places” round about them where thousands of men once listened to the Saviour’s voice and ate the miraculous bread, sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes.Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition–it is dream-land.

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects Bedouin have land right claims in Negev “Al Arakib”

Jerusalem-80-percent- Jewish-British-1864-CensusAn important piece of evidence: The British Palestine Exploration Fund survey map – 1871-1877 –  The PEF people delineated every wadi, every settlement, tree, and home. They crisscrossed the territory, and an examination of the map shows how empty and barren the land was, and how few people lived there.

26May2015  http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2015/05/israels-supreme-court-rejects-bedouin.html#.VYYddaH7tC0

From Israel Hayom: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12671

Something happened in the legal world this week. The High Court of Justice rejected out of hand a petition filed by the Bedouin, backed by leftist organizations, about the village of Al-Arakib in the Negev desert. The place has become a symbol and a flashpoint for everything having to do with state lands. The Bedouin claim ownership of land in the northern Negev on the basis of “ancient rights.” The petitioners spoke of “historical land” from which they had been banished, and argued that the Aloukabi clan had worked those lands at the beginning of the 19th century.

Professor Oren Yiftachel lent his assistance to the plaintiffs by serving as an expert witness, arguing that there had been an ancient Bedouin settlement in the area of Al-Arakib, but all his arguments were rejected. Both the district and the High Court of Justice criticized him severely. Judge Sarah Dovrat wrote: “It became clear that he [Yiftachel] was relying on sources and quoting them without having taken the trouble to read them.” In the High Court ruling, Justice Esther Hayut wrote: “An analysis of the evidence reveals that Professor Yiftachel’s argument is not supported by objective perspective.” A Bedouin tribe might have stopped at the place in question during its peregrinations, but this does not prove that there was ever a pre-existing settlement there.

The interesting thing was the discussion about the desolation of the Negev in the 19th century. The expert witness for the prosecution, Professor Ruth Kark, argued that the plots of land at Al-Arakib were not settled and farmed with any regularity until the start of the British Mandate. She made her case using land surveys, historical maps, official documents, and travel logs. The importance of the legal debate goes beyond the individual story of Al-Arakib and pertains to the historic claim to the land of Israel as a whole, which was mostly wilderness, both in terms of agriculture and population.

An important piece of evidence was the British Palestine Exploration Fund survey map, a thorough mapping survey conducted from 1871-1877 and published in seven volumes.

The map was so detailed that it was printed in 26 issues (which are available today online.) The PEF people delineated every wadi, every settlement, tree, and home. They crisscrossed the territory, and an examination of the map shows how empty and barren the land was, and how few people lived there.

The Bedouin plaintiffs claimed a right to the lands in question because they were “native sons,” but the court cast doubt on that argument, because according to their own version of events the clan had arrived in the Negev after it was already under the control of the Ottoman Empire, and therefore were not a native minority that had been conquered by a foreign regime. The verdict makes it clear that the Bedouin who filed the suit testified that their tribe, the Aloukabi clan, had fought alongside Arab armies against Israel in the War of Independence. After they lost, some of the tribe were dispersed to the Gaza Strip and Jordan. At no stage was a deed of ownership presented — not even a record that the land had been registered to the tribe under the Ottomans. Nor was any evidence presented that either the Ottomans or the British Mandate government had acknowledged that the Bedouin had any native rights. The High Court struck down in principle the attempt to “generate rights out of nothing.”

This is a ruling of unparalleled importance and it should serve as a basis for settling the matter of Bedouin lawsuits over Negev land. This is a powder keg that has ramifications for our linkage to the land of this country. This issue can’t be left hanging. The new government should take note.


Important:: One of the 3 supreme court judges who wrote this verdict is the Arab judge Salim Joubran.

Map of Palestine, Oslo II Accord (1995). Administrative Divisions: Areas A, B and C.

West Bank Areas in the Oslo II Accord

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Bank_Areas_in_the_Oslo_II_Accord

The Oslo II Accord divided the West Bank into three administrative divisions: Areas A, B and C. The distinct areas were given different statuses, according to their governance pending a final status accord: Area A is exclusively administered by the Palestinian Authority; Area B is administered by both the Palestinian Authority and Israel; and Area C, which contains the Israeli settlements, is administered by Israel. Areas A and B were chosen in such a way as to just contain Palestinians, by drawing lines around Palestinian population centers at the time the Agreement was signed; all areas surrounding Areas A and B were defined as Area C.[1]

Come Back – Nefesh B’Nefesh

The much acclaimed NBN video that brought so many people back home. Made by veteran filmmaker Daniel Remer founder of Remervision Video Productions. The simultainious arrival of three flights of new immigrants arriving in Israel on August 16th 2008. This video required a crew of 5 camermen; one on each of the three flights and two at the airport as the flights arrived.

It’s time to come home! Nefesh B’Nefesh: Live the Dream 1-866-4-ALIYAH UK 0800 075 7200 Come home to the Land of Emuna

Nefesh B'Nefesh: Live the Dream 1-866-4-ALIYAH UK 0800 075 7200 Come home to the Land of Emuna

Click the Banner for www. nbn.org.il

You Have Reached Your Destination

Part of a new campaign of the Jewish Agency in Britain to encourage Aliyah. The video was produced in London and Israel with a real family actually making Aliyah this coming July, and dozens of volunteers. Enjoy, and come to Israel!
Lead music track Lead Track ‘Summer Hi’ by www.groovalicious.co.uk

Heaven & Earth – BBC 1 – Aliyah

Many people consider emigrating to start a new life in a new country. Sometimes it’s for the weather, sometimes to be with family, but for one group of people, it’s for more spiritual reasons. Since it’s formation in 1948, Israel has had an open door policy for Jews from all over the world who want to settle in the land. The name for this act of returning is Aliyah. Lately there has been a worldwide decline in people taking up the offer, but immigrants from the UK have increased by 45%. Part of the reason for this is because an agency which helps cut through the red tape of immigration has started operating in the UK. Mark and Miriam Kaye are one young couple who have chosen to move from their home in London, to start a new life in Jerusalem.

2014 Mega Event Presentation Video

Aliyah to Israel (music by The Maccabeats)

About The Nefesh B’Nefesh Post Aliyah Department

Israel an economic miracle!

1984 2014
1. Population 4.1 million 8.2 million
2. Annual Inflation 447% 1.5%
3. Bank Interest (p.a.) 771% 5%
4. Government Debt (% of GNP) 17% 2.5%
5. Defense Spending (% of GNP) 20% 5.5%
6. Foreign Currency Reserves $3.3 billion $90 billion
7. Exports $10 billion $90 billion
8. Information Technology Exports $0 $28 billion
9. Female Employment 30% 53%
10. Exported Goods and Services $30 billion $320 billion
11. Per Capita GNP $7,000 $39,000
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