Good News Friday

So the world is melting down all around us while here in Israel, things aren’t exactly quiet and peaceful. But as I’ve mentioned many times, Shabbat is still approaching and we want to read some good news to put us into a better frame of mind. With that in mind, here is this week’s Good News Friday installment.

Hacking away at the Toyota Israel Tech Center event

Starting with the “Israel is not isolated” theme, Japan hosted an Israeli hi-tech delegation to promote innovation across its industries:

After running a successful hackathon in Israel in October, Toyota has decided that it wants more Israeli innovation – and this time it’s bringing that innovation to its home base.

This month, the company is holding an event during which members of an Israeli delegation are meeting some 50 representatives from the purchasing and R&D departments of the company.

The event is just one of several that the newly established Israel trade office in Osaka is setting up. The new branch, in one of the world’s leading financial centers, will open up new economic opportunities for Israeli companies, including Japan’s large automakers, said Amit Lang, director general of the Israeli Economy Ministry, who is in Osaka to inaugurate the new center as well as lead a delegation of Israeli automotive supply companies as part of his working visit to the country.

The goal of the Israeli delegation, organized with the Israel Export Institute, is to create business ties between Israeli companies and potential business partners in the field of auto services in an effort to increase exports to Japan, said Lang. It also aims at presenting Japanese companies with possibilities of investing in Israel.

“Over the past year, there has been a noted increase in the interest of Japanese companies in Israel in a variety of fields, evidenced by the arrival of Japanese companies to Israel and their willingness to host Israeli companies in Japan,” Lang said.

According to the Economy Ministry’s Foreign Trade Administration, trade between Israel and Japan reached $2.3 billion in 2014, with exports reaching $800 million and imports $1.5 billion.

This is excellent news for both Israel and Japan. Long may this mutually beneficial relationship continue and strengthen!

Speaking of the Far East, Israeli tech ties with China are also booming, and the ties are growing stronger:

China and Israel established diplomatic relations a mere 20 years ago, but the countries are steadily drawing closer over a common vision – expanding the innovation economy. Israel and China already have in excess of $10 billion in trade since the start of 2015, with China recently asking Israel to join the Asia Infrastructure bank as a founding member, suggesting that Israel may become a major economic ally.

The last year has seen a real surge in investment funds and private investors coming to Israel from the Land of the Dragon, in part due to the easy access to the Middle Eastern country’s markets and the riveting can-do attitude of local entrepreneurs that the Chinese say they can identify with.

It is Israel’s open, innovative and risk-taking approach to tech that initially attracted notable Chinese billionaire Li Ka-Shing to invest in ten Israeli companies, including Waze, in 2012 alone. Through his fund Horzions Ventures, Li set the stage for tech relations with Israel, showing his country’s business elite that it was financially sound and even necessary for the future of the Chinese economy to invest in emerging technologies.

According to Gigi Levi, one Israel’s top angel investors, China may even “look up” to Israel for its Startup Nation title. “Israel is a small nation that has managed to become a high-tech superpower,” he tells NoCamels, “This is something that is very appealing to the Chinese business person.”

The article reports that the Chinese are most interested in mobile phone technology and clean-tech, all of which are Israel’s specialities. It’s not all rosy of course. China comes with its own set of problems, both political and economic, but it is still a gigantic market ready for Israel.

A Tel Aviv beach

Next on my “Israel is not isolated” list is the news that a British travel group is to hold its annual conference in Israel:

While different organizations in the United Kingdom are calling for a boycott of Israeli products and institutions, the British Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) has decided to hold its annual conference in Israel of all places.

The three-day ITT Conference 2016 will take place in early June at the Hilton Tel Aviv Hotel. During this visit to Israel, the guests will tour different tourist sites such as the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Jerusalem.

ITT is a British institute dedicated to promoting and training professionals in the travel industry and its members include individuals involved in travel and tourism – whether employed by a travel agency, airline, tour operator, hotel, tourist office, car hire company or any other travel related business such as PR, law and marketing.

Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi said ITT’s decision to hold its conference in Israel was a significant show of faith in the Israeli tourism industry.

This is really very good news, both for Israel’s tourism industry and for our trade relations with Britain. And of course it’s a very nice kick in the teeth for the BDS bigots. 🙂

Kol hakavod to the ITT who made the excellent decision to hold their conference here. I’m sure the participants will have a fantastic time and let’s hope it will lead to many more British tourists visiting Israel.

On a similar theme, Jerusalem was chosen as one of the best cities in the world by the Conde Nast Travellers Readers’ Choice Awards:

Israel features in 11 categories in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 28th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Jerusalem, El Al, and select Eilat, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv hotels were chosen as among the world’s best in their different travel groupings.

Jerusalem was named as one of the Best Cities in the World.

Goodness! El Al?? I well remember the days when El Al stood for “Every landing always late”. 😛

Seriously, well done to Conde Nast, and of course to our beloved Jerusalem.

itai adn his archeological find

Itai and his archaeological find

And now a cute archaeological story: An 8-year old Israeli “Indiana Jones wannabe” stumbled upon a 1st Temple-era figurine in Bet Shemesh:

An eight-year-old Israeli boy on a daytrip with his family in the Beit Shemesh area accidentally made an important archaeological discovery last week, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

Itai Halpern of Pardesiya was granted a certificate of honor after discovering the head of a statue from the First Temple period and turning it in to Antiquities Authorities’ officials. Halpern’s school class was also invited to take part in an archaeological dig.

Halpern was hiking with his family when he picked up a round object from the ground. He soon realized that the ceramic object was the head of a sculpture.

The family quickly reported their discovery to the Antiquities Authority. Archaeologist Alexander Glick met the family and informed them that they had made a discovery of historical significance. Itai told Glick that he had recently seen an Indiana Jones movie and wanted to be like him when he grows up. Finding the statue was a dream come true for Itai.

Alon de Groot, an IAA expert on the Iron Age, identified the finding as the head of a sculpture of a fertility goddess.

De Groot added that “these figurines serve in our research as a marker for the area controlled by the Kingdom of Judah.”

How fascinating! I’m sure that Itai will never forget that day trip!

Israeli Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Aaron Ciechanover is interviewed by Ayala Shapira

Another child prodigy, a real heroine, is Ayala Shapira who was so badly burned last year in a terror attack and who has made a remarkable recovery. She still has a way to go in her rehabilitation from the terrible burns she received, but she doesn’t let that keep her down. This week she interviewed Israeli Nobel Prizewinner Aharon Ciechanover in his chemistry lab in Haifa University. This is what she writes:

The emotional meeting took place in Ciechanover’s laboratory in the Faculty of Medicine’s building at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. This is what she wrote:

When I got to interview the Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry I expected to see an honorable man, perhaps in a suit. I was surprised when a likeable man walked in wearing jeans, with dozens of car models made of wood lying on his desk. He was as energetic and enthusiastic as a child.

Prof. Ciechanover patiently answered my questions. I tell him that I also love technology and science and mathematics, and am very interested in learning and research. I reveal to him that every time a device breaks down at home I ask to take it apart and see how it is built and how it works.

“The important thing is to do what you most love in the best way,” he advised me. “If you love literature, you could be a great writer, and perhaps one day become a Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature.”

Prof. Ciechanover is right. Ayala is truly a remarkable girl who has gret determination to recover and get on with her life. With that indomitable spirit, she will indeed go very far indeed. Kol hakavod Ayala! You are a true hero of Israel, may you continue in your recovery from strength to strength!

And finally, on a happy but bittersweet note, as I write this post on Thursday evening (Fridays are too short in the winter) the postponed wedding of Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel is taking place. Sarah is the daughter of Rabbi Yaakov Litman Hy’d who was murdered in a terror attack near Otniel just two weeks ago along with his son Netanel Hy’d, Sarah’s brother, as the family was on the way to Ariel’s Shabbat Chatan.

The shiva ended earlier this week, and now the family have heroically turned their mourning into celebration. Arutz Sheva has some amazing pictures and videos. Get your tissues ready!

Sarah-Tehiya Litman had to postpone her wedding after her father and brother were murdered in a drive-by shooting near Hevron almost two weeks ago, but on Thursday night she and her fiance Ariel Beigel went from tears to joy as they got married in Jerusalem.


Noa Litman is overcome with emotion at her daughter’s wedding


Aside from those attending, yet others are donating to help, and Jews have arrived from as far as the US and Canada to take part in the mitzvah (commandment) to bring joy to the bride and groom.

Action photo of the groom breaking the glass under the Chuppah

Action photo of the groom breaking the glass under the Chuppah

Litman’s father, Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, and her brother Netanel Litman, were gunned down by an Arab terrorist as they made their way to a Shabbat Hatan – the Sabbath celebration for the groom before a wedding – at Beigel’s home.

Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel celebrate at their wedding

Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel celebrate at their wedding

Shortly after the wedding ceremony, Sarah-Tehiya and Ariel thanked the public that arrived to help them celebrate.

“Up until two weeks ago no one knew or was interested in me and Ariel, and then in one moment on Friday at the peak of preparations dad and my brother were murdered by a cruel terrorist,” said Sarah-Tehiya.

“There isn’t a moment that I don’t miss Netanel’s smile, or father’s humility and modesty, and that will always accompany me,” she said. “But precisely from the pain in the month of courage before Hanukkah we will, together with all the nation of Israel, spread a great light of joy, giving and love that the nation of Israel has inundated upon us.”

Here is Sarah as she starts on her way to her wedding, throwing sweets to kindergarten children in celebration as her friends accompany her with singing:

And here is a short video of the Chuppah:

Just as all of Israel and the Jewish people have been invited to join in this wedding, and so many people have donated gifts and money to the young couple, I’m sure you all join me in wishing Sarah Techiya and Ariel a hearty mazal tov and all the blessings in the world for a happy future together. May they build a strong home in Israel, fill it with many children, and may the whole family be comforted by the blessed memory of their father Rabbi Yaakov Litman Hy’d and his son Netanel H’yd. I am sure they are smiling down from Heaven.

May the coming week hold only blessings and peace for all of Am Yisrael. I would also like to wish Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom!

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3 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. JudyPT says:

    I watched the wedding last night, it was truly moving to see how many people took part.Even Sara Netanyahu came and hugged the bride Sara is a very hands on partner to Bibi ,my grandaughter worked with her during her National Service and said all the horrid gossip about Sara dont know the real person.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, I saw those pictures too. They were posted after I wrote this blog. Sarah Netanyahu gets very bad press from a hostile media, and they don’t pay attention to all the good things she does on a voluntary basis.

      The wedding was truly beautiful and moving. I think all of Israel had tears in their eyes as they celebrated along with Sara and Ariel.

  2. YJ Draiman says:

    The true basis for a lasting peace in The Middle East

    jerusalem by yjd

    A far-sighted Arab-Jewish agreement was arrived at 85 years ago but was never fully implemented. This still-legal agreement provides the basis for a solution today and should become widely publicized and supported.
    In 1919, following the end of World War I, an international Paris Peace Conference was convened by the victorious Allies to settle international questions. Delegations attended from around the world including an official Arab and Zionist delegation. The Arab delegation was led by Emir Feisal I, who agreed that the entire Palestine territory of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 would become the Jewish national home and expressed that position in separate letters to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Felix Frankfurter.
    In return for Arab support the Zionists promised economic and technical assistance to the local Arabs and the Allied powers agreed to grant eventual sovereignty to many of the Arab peoples in the region that were previously under control of the former Turkish Ottoman Empire. The Arabs-Muslims received over 5.5 million square miles of territory after WWI, and the Jewish people were to receive about 70,000 square miles, which is Palestine.
    This conference, and a subsequent one in April 1920 at San Remo Italy, amicably settled the issues among the parties with voluntary, legally binding, international agreements.
    In 1922 the League of Nations in implementing the treaties, assigned Britain as trustee for the Mandatory to faithfully carry out these agreements. It was British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill who unilaterally and in violation of the treaty divided Mandatory Palestine into an exclusively new Arab sector (Trans Jordan) and a Jewish sector. The Arabs received 78% of the original territory previously allocated for The Jewish people, comprising 70,000 square miles, located east of the Jordan River. That left the Jewish sector with only 10,000 square miles out of their original 70,000 square miles, which was still less than 1% of the combined Arab areas of over 5.5 million square miles.
    That remaining Jewish sector is today contested with the ‘Arab-Palestinians’ claiming the ‘West Bank’ aka Judea and Samaria and Gaza to create, in effect, a second Arab-Palestinian state. (Jordan is inhabited by mostly Arab-Palestinian.) It was the British, in 1919, who began to violate the treaty and undermine their own Mandate and to instigate the Arabs against Jews.
    The treaties reconstituted the Jewish National Home in Palestine in 1920 with Jewish control and sovereignty when they consist as majority. “Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved exclusively for the Jewish People as the Jewish National Home, in recognition of their historical connection with that country, dating from the Patriarchal Period. … The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel: … The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state. … The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish People by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended (the U.N. has no authority to legislate and it cannot modify international laws and treaties) the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine. … Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the doctrine of Estoppel that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world.”
    It has been argued, by scholars of international law, that the agreements of the international Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the 1920 San Remo Conference and their formal assignment to Britain as trustee for the Mandatory by the League of Nations, continue to be legally binding on all parties under international law. In addition to Jewish legal claims based on the 1922 law a case can be made that it is also morally binding and that England is guilty of violating international law and treaties and bad faith, for having engaged in deliberate sabotage of that agreement, because they wanted control of the oil. A most promising beginning for Arab-Jewish relations in the Middle East was deliberately undermined by England and this part of history must be brought to bear upon the present conflict.

    Israel has a right to make full land claims under international law and treaties and its implementation in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine by the League of Nations. The Arabs should also be made aware that it was England that instigated them against the Jews in pursuit of British imperial interests and to the disadvantage of both Arabs and Jews.
    Significantly, Arab support for a Jewish state was clearly manifested at the Paris Peace conference of 1919. This should also be part of the legally binding Arab obligations to acceptance of a Jewish state with full rights. Emir Feisal I, son of Hussein, Sheriff of Mecca led the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Excerpts of two letters from Emir Feisal to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weizmann and to Felix Frankfurter indicate their friendly relations and high hopes for Jewish – Arab cooperation. Also note in the following text the term ‘Palestine’ clearly refers to the Jewish national home and not to any Arab entity or people.
    From Emir Feisal to Dr. Weizmann:
    “His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish People, and realizing that the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following Articles:” … Article IV: “All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlements and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights, and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.”
    From Emir Feisal to Felix Frankfurter:
    “… We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppression’s at the hands of the powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together.” “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.” …. “People less informed and less responsible than our leaders and yours, ignoring the need for cooperation of the Arabs and the Zionists have been trying to exploit the local difficulties that must necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some of them have, I am afraid, misrepresented your aims to the Arab peasantry, and our aims to the Jewish peasantry, with the result that interested parties have been able to make capital our of what they call our differences. …” (To read full text go to and

    What remains now is for all parties to courageously and boldly cast off the mindless schemes of Oslo and the Road Map and return to the sanity and statesmanship of the 1919 agreement. Those Arabs who have an acquired identity as ‘Arab-Palestinian’ should be given a far better alternative option than to be buried alive inside a non-viable illegal micro-state carved out of the Israeli heartland.

    The Win-Win solution
    Contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Israeli conflict has a reasonable solution. An orderly resettlement elsewhere of the so-called Palestinian Arabs would solve this long-standing ‘intractable’ problem. (The Arab-Palestinians could be resettle in the 75,000 square miles of land the Arab countries confiscated from the million expelled Jewish families). To propose this solution today elicits automatic rejection by almost everyone and perhaps even anger and hostility at its very mention (although attitudes may finally be changing). This is because the minds of many have been so thoroughly conditioned, with layer upon layer of repeated falsehoods, such that open-minded reconsideration is almost impossible. But resettlement could become the basis of a win-win solution for both sides.
    For example Saudi Arabia comprises some 750,000 square miles. It has a very low population density of only 33 per square mile vs. 1,200 for Israel including the territories. A modest 4% of Saudi Arabia, some 30,000 square miles, should be set aside for a new Arab-Palestinian state. That state would be 13 times the size of the present Arab-Palestinian area proposed under the Road Map and would now have ample space for natural growth. All of the intractable problems facing both Jews and Arabs, arising under the present schemes, would be eliminated. The Arab-Palestinians could now construct their own state with full political independence, self-rule and full dignity. The funds contributed by the nations of the world used for weapons, terror and conflict should be used for developing housing and industry. The sources of friction between them and Israel would now be removed along with all the immense human and material costs associated with the current conflict.
    Arab-Palestinians could begin using their legitimate ‘right of return’ to exit the territories, and the refugee camps, and migrate back to their ancestral home in Arabia and thereby also be closer to Mecca and Medina. A fraction of the countless billions spent on weapons by the Arab governments could fund the cost of establishing new settlements for the Palestinians. Israel would be free of Arabs, and the Arab-Palestinians would be free of Israel. The deep wounds of both peoples would now have a chance to heal.
    In early 2004 a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion shows 39% willing to emigrate in return for a home, a job and $250,000. And this is before a far better deal has been offered, including true self-rule, peace and security, plus their own ample territory. What if ‘Arab-Palestinians’ were offered a homeland territory, drawn from lands donated by one of the more spacious Arab countries, one expressing continuous concern, love for, and outrage at the treatment of these very same folk? Al Sisi President of Egypt was willing to give part of the Sinai added to Gaza for an Arab-Palestinian state.
    Israeli Arabs could play a constructive role in this because of their higher level of education and their experience living as full citizens in democratic Israel. They would become the managerial and entrepreneurial class and provide valuable assistance and leadership for fellow Arab-Palestinians who were stagnating in refugee camps inside other Arab countries. This crime was committed by their own brother Arabs, who refused to allow them to settle.
    Once the migration starts toward a far better future the movement could well accelerate voluntarily because the first ones to relocate would receive the best ‘ground floor’ opportunities and the last ones to move would get what remains. Today there are tens of millions of people on the move around the world in search of better living conditions, so relocation is a long established and viable option for everyone. That includes the millions of refugees from Syria.
    Another important advantage is that Israeli-Palestinian interaction would be limited to the selling of Arab homes in the territories and an orderly exit. No more frustratingly complex agreements as with Oslo (which is no longer valid) where Israel honors all commitments and Arabs violate all commitments, and even U.S. assurances prove worthless. The less need for Israel to depend on agreements with Arabs, Europeans and even Americans the better.
    Part of the problem are those Arab governments who deliberately keep the Israel-Palestinian conflict alive to divert attention from their own corrupt regimes. Also, western governments still pander to their corrupt Arab clients for purely expedient reasons. But new progressive voices are emerging among Arab intellectuals and even among some Muslim clerics that call for Arab societal reform, and who also recognize Jewish peoples rights in the land of Israel. These voices need to be encouraged and enlisted in this quest for sanity.
    Another option is to set the Palestinians in Sinai. This proposal was made after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It should be reconsidered.
    What is also needed is Saudi cooperation and active support. The Saudis have long been responsible for promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-American hatred along with funding terror and the teaching of a hateful form of Islam. With their ‘royal’ family of thousands of princes living lavishly, off of oil income and the labor of foreign workers, they are a cesspool of corruption that even Osama bin Laden finds offensive and other Muslim groups feel the same.
    It is time to demand that the Saudis make a major contribution to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. They caused much of the problem and they must now assist with the solution. It is time for the American administration to make the Saudis ‘an offer they can’t refuse’ and have them realize they have a direct interest in providing ‘land for peace’.
    For too long many people have labored under a collective mindset resembling a bad dream where big lies become entrenched wisdom and truth is constantly strangled. Unless we change direction there will be dire consequences extending well beyond the peoples of the region. Those who still have minds and morals intact now have an obligation to think clearly and with sanity and support this approach to finally resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    The mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Allied Powers at its San Remo meeting in April 1920. Negotiations between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the Palestine mandate were successfully concluded in May 1922, adopted and approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922. The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

    The Jerusalem Covenant
    As of this day, Jerusalem Day, the twenty-eight day of the month of Iyar in the year five thousand seven hundred fifty-two; one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two years after the destruction of the Second Temple; forty-four years since the sovereignty and founding of the State of Israel; twenty-five years since the Six Day War during which the Israel Defense Forces, in defense of our very existence, broke through the walls of the city and restored the Temple Mount and the unity of Jerusalem; twelve years since the Knesset of Israel reestablished the ‘Jerusalem, unified and whole, is the Capital of Israel’; the State of Israel is the State of the ‘Jewish People’ and the Capital of Israel is the Capital of the People of Israel. We have gathered together in Zion, national leaders and heads, of our communities everywhere, to enter into a covenant with Jerusalem, as was done by the leaders of our nation and all the people of Israel upon Israel’s return to its Land from the “Babylonian exile; and the people and their leaders will dwell in Jerusalem, the Holy City.
    Once again, ‘our feet stand within your gates, O Jerusalem – Jerusalem built as a city joined together’ which ‘unites the people of Israel to one another’, and ‘links heavenly Jerusalem with earthly Jerusalem.’
    We have returned to the place that the Lord vowed to bestow upon the descendants of Abraham, Father of our Nation; to the City of David, King of Israel; where Solomon, son of David, built a Holy Temple; a Capital City which became the Mother of all Israel; a metropolis for justice and righteousness and for the wisdom and insights of the ancient world; where a Second Temple was erected in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. In this city the prophets of the Lord prophesied; in the City the Sages taught Torah; in this City the Sanhedrin convened in session in its stone chamber. ‘For there were the seats of Justice, the Throne of the House of David’, ‘for out of Zion shall go forth Torah, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’
    Today, as of old, we hold fast to the truth of the words of the Prophets of Israel, that all the inhabitants of the world shall enter within the gates of Jerusalem: ‘And it shall come to pass at the end of days, the mountain of the House of the Lord will be well established at the peak of the mountains and will tower above the hills, and all the nation shall stream towards it.’ Each and every nation will live in it by its own faith: ‘For all the nation will go forward, each with its own Divine Name; we shall go in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.’ And in this spirit the Knesset of the State of Israel has enacted a law: The places holy to the peoples of all religions shall be protected from any desecration and from any restriction of free access to them.
    Jerusalem – peace and tranquility shall reign in the city: ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may those who love you be tranquil. May there by peace within your walls, and tranquility within your palaces.’ Out of Jerusalem, a message of peace went forth and shall yet go forth again to all the inhabitants of the earth: ‘And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.’ Our sages, peace be upon them, said. In the future, The Holy One, the Blessed, will comfort Jerusalem only with peace.
    From this place, we once again take this vow: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its strength; may my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not raise up Jerusalem at the very height of my rejoicing.’
    And with all these understandings, we enter into this Covenant and write: We shall bind you to us forever; we shall bind you to us with faithfulness, with righteousness and justice, with steadfast love and compassion. We love you, O Jerusalem, with eternal love, with unbounded love, under siege and when liberated from the yoke of oppressors. We have been martyred for you; we have yearned for you, we have clung to you. Our faithfulness to you we shall bequeath to our children after us. Forevermore our home shall be within you.

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