Relatives of victims of Palestinian terror attacks on Friday warned Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt — the two emissaries of US President Donald Trump charged with reviving direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations — that a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be impossible until it definitively ends both funding for the families of imprisoned terrorists and wider incitement against the Jewish state.
“This is madness,” Arnold Roth — whose 15-year-old daughter, Malki, was murdered along with 14 other people when a suicide bomber struck the Sbarro pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem on August 9, 2001 — told The Algemeiner.
“No progress towards peace will ever come if we tolerate the ongoing sanctification of terrorism by the Palestinian Arabs,” Roth said.
Roth was speaking following reports from Palestinian sources that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was said to have been “fuming” following a meeting with Kushner on Thursday during which American objections to the practice of “martyr payments” to terrorists and their families — to tune of $183 million annually — were raised.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sent out mixed signals regarding its policy on the payments. But after Thursday’s meeting with Kushner, one PA official complained to Haaretz that Kushner and his team “sounded like (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s advisers and not as honest mediators.”
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A prominent Islamic expert is comparing the bishops’ silence on terrorism to sex abuse cover-up. Robert Spencer, an Islamic terror expert and author of 16 books on Islam, released an editorial Sunday excoriating the U.S. bishops’ actions to punish clergy and schoolteachers who speak out against Islam, including Spencer himself.
“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops moves actively and swiftly to silence and demonize voices that tell the truth about the Muslim persecution of Christians,” Spencer noted, naming various bishops who’ve refused him, as well as other Muslim critics, a platform in their dioceses.
“You can reject every element of the Nicene Creed and everything the Church teaches, and still the U.S. Catholic Bishops will consider you a Catholic in good standing,” he continued. “But if you believe that Islam is not a religion of peace, you have no place in the U.S. Catholic Church.
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Tragic stories of Christian experiences under the Islamic State continued to emerge throughout the month of January. A Christian doctor who forfeited the chance to escape his Syrian village after ISIS had captured it because he wanted to stay and help the sick and needy, both Christian and Muslim, was kidnapped by the Muslim terrorists and ordered to renounce Christ for Muhammad. When he refused, they publicly slaughtered him. Similarly, after ISIS ordered another Christian youth in Syria to embrace Islam, he too refused and was slaughtered for it. His mother — who was prevented from burying her martyred son’s body — recalled that when ISIS first invaded their village, he reminded her of Jesus’ assertion in the New Testament: “If you deny me before men I will deny you before the Father.”
After members of ISIS raided the home of Zarefa, an elderly Christian woman in Iraq, they discovered crucifixes and Christian icons. “They forced me to spit on the Cross,” she recalled.
“I told them that it was not appropriate, that it was a sin. He said that I must spit. ‘Don’t you see that I have a gun?’ he asked me. I said to myself, ‘Oh, the Cross! I am weak, I will spit on you. But Lord, I ask you to take revenge for me. I cannot escape from this.'”
According to the report, “The shame is still visible on Zarefa’s face when she recounts the memory; her town, Qaraqosh, is liberated now, but she is still recovering from the traumatic two years that are only just behind her.”
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