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Jordan Tag

Tomorrow (June 5) is Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). The newest addition to the Jewish calendar, it’s held on the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar—six weeks after the Passover seder and one week before the eve of the holiday of Shavuot. In June 1967, 28 Iyar was the third day of the Six Day War. As I discussed in a post for last year’s Yom Yerushalayim, the day celebrates the reunification of Israel’s capital city, when Jewish forces brought Jerusalem “back to Jewish sovereignty”. There’s a huge amount of information and research on the two-day (June 6-7, 1967) Battle for Jerusalem, when the 55th Paratroopers Brigade retook the Old City and liberated Jewish holy places from an illegal Jordanian occupation.

This past week, during the intermediate days of Passover (Chol Hamoed), nearly 900 Israeli Jews, roughly 100 to 300 per day, ascended Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Thousands of tourists also visited the sacred place over the course of the week. The site is the place of the two Jewish Temples in antiquity. It’s considered Judaism’s “holiest of holies” and is treasured by Jews across the planet. [caption id="attachment_136001" align="alignnone" width="600"]The Jewish Temple, replica The Jewish Temple, replica[/caption]

Amidst growing concerns of his lack of knowledge of foreign policy, Dr. Ben Carson headed on Friday to Jordan to visit a refugee camp in Jordan. From ABC News
"Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has traveled to a refugee camp in Jordan on a "fact finding and information gathering mission."
Is this a smart move by the campaign? Carson is viewing the trip as an opportunity to see up close the complexities surrounding the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis:
“I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression.”
Carson's itinerary includes not just a visit to the United Nations-run refugee camp, but to a clinic and hospital as well. The famed neurosurgeon is looking to become a student of these experiences.

Yesterday July 26, 2015, Jews worldwide marked Tisha B’Av, an annual fast and day of mourning that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples. The 37-acre Temple Mount compound (roughly about the size of 15 football stadiums) in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, where the Temples once stood, is Judaism’s most holiest site. The Jewish Temple, replica Jerusalem The Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) has been the focus of Jewish longing for millennia. According to Jewish tradition, it’s the location in which God’s “shekhina” (presence) is thought to reside. The area is also considered sacred to Muslims who call it the Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary, and see it as the third holiest site in Islam. It is commonly considered the “furthermost sanctuary”—the site from which the Prophet Muhammad made his Night Journey to the Throne of God. Today it houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. [caption id="attachment_136002" align="alignnone" width="600"]The Dome of the Rock The Dome of the Rock[/caption] Tisha B’Av is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.

Hey, remember when Hamas was lobbing thousands of missiles at Israeli cities, trying to kidnap people, and killing when they got lucky? Of course you remember it. It has happened every couple of years since Hamas took over Gaza. And before that, the Palestinians strapped bombs on their loved ones and sent them to blow up restaurants, supermarkets, buses, and anything else they could sneak into. And before that .... But always the question is whether Israel's response is proportionate, like pointed out in this Al Jazeera column:
... on June 26, [2014] the UN Human Rights Council deliberated on the situation in Palestine and other Arab-occupied territories. During the deliberations, the council issued a warning to Israel that there may be serious repercussions as a result of its campaign against the Palestinian people, which constituted a continuing violation of international humanitarian law, following the abduction of three Israeli teenagers.
EU leaders on Gaza: 'Israel has right to protect itself but it must act proportionately':