12/17/14
Fatal Compassion

The Compassion of the Religion of Peace is Fatal

By: Richard Cameron
Blasted Fools

 photo SudanRefugees_zpsf2a9e735.jpg

One of the main issues that commenced my fallout with George W. Bush, was the incredible statement he made that “Islam is a religion of peace”. From that moment forward, I began to see the fiction of the ‘War On Terror’ in an entirely new light. There could be no war on terror if the ideology behind the terrorists was being redefined by the leader of the free world as something other than the vicious, hateful and divisive creed that it is.

It was my first, but not last clue that regards whatever war we were conducting –  defeating terror and opposing the foundational beliefs inspiring it, wasn’t the object of our mission. If the Koran and the other related commentaries of Islam were dictating attacks on infidels and we weren’t at war with it, just what were we at war with?

Later, our government stripped away all pretense of such a purpose, by mothballing the expression ‘War on Terror’ altogether.

It’s interesting to hear apologists for Islam claim that hateful behavior of Muslims is not mainstream, but only from radical groups that have “hijacked the faith”.  As a rationale for dismissing the likelihood that Islam contains within itself something inherently toxic, progressives will argue that the actions of certain individuals bombing abortion clinics, demonstrate that there are extremists in all religions.

The obvious problem with that argument is that if persons representing themselves as Christians committed even a tiny fraction of the number of barbaric acts that Muslims perpetrate, we would be inundated with reports of them in the mass media.

Islamic hate crimes are the statistical norm among the followers of that religion, whereas, sectarian crimes by Christians, Buddhists, Jews and Hindus are anomalies by comparison.

From Africa to Syria to Pakistan and Egypt and throughout the Islamic world, the conditions of fear and terror that Christians and other religious minorities live under on an hour to hour basis, defy imagination.

One can only read the testimonies of the survivors to begin to conceive of the atrocities committed by Islam’s faithful – and a full accounting of the thousands of such attacks would fill several volumes. What’s more, these would be in addition to the well publicized activities of the Islamic State.

According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes. Of 50 countries where Christians are under attack, 42 have either a Muslim majority or have sizable Muslim populations. That would indicate to any reasonable observer that there is something in the Islamic ‘water’.

Most people have heard the accounts of school children in Nigeria abducted by the hundreds by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. Garnering less publicity are the distressing accounts of ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by the group.

It was reported in August by Voice of the Martyrs that Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a six-year-old boy on June 1 because he was a Christian. The attack occurred in Attagara, Gwoza district, Borno State – a predominately Christian community. Over 100 militants descended upon the village, slaughtering men, women, and children.

In this incident, a man named Sawaltha Wandala witnessed children being murdered on his way to church service. A six-year-old boy had been slashed and thrown into a ditch, but was alive. Wandala picked him up to carry him to a hospital in Cameroon, when he was confronted by a gang of terrorists. They took the child from Wandala, cut his head off then beat 55 year old Wandala and struck him over the head with a large stone, leaving him to die.

During another attack on Attagara, John Yakubu returned to his family’s home to gather their animals so his family wouldn’t starve in the refugee camp in Cameroon. He was spotted by Boko Haram members and taken captive.

“We know you’re John,” they said to him, according to Voice of the Martyrs. “You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death.” When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.

“Can you become a Muslim now?” “You can kill my body, but not my soul,” Yakubu cried out. The men continued to cut his feet and back with a machete and knife to torture him. “We will show you.”  Yakuba’s head was slashed, and an axe was driven into his knee, reaching the bone. He lost consciousness and was left tied to the tree for three days before someone found him, after which he was taken to the hospital in a coma.

In another incident,  a teacher of a school for boys in Northeast Nigeria described the group’s killing of 29 young men. The militants locked the door of one dormitory where male students were sleeping and then set it ablaze, slitting the throats of those who tried to clamber out of windows and gunning down those who ran away, said teacher Adamu Garba.

Rape of Christian women and girls is widespread in Muslim countries such as Pakistan –  one of America’s counterfeit ‘allies’. The attorney of one victim –  a 12 year old, who was raped by a gang of Muslim men, describes the government’s collusion with Islamic criminals:

“In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished. Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance.”

No one, whether it be a Catholic nun, a small child, a baby, a young girl not yet in puberty, or the elderly – are spared the ferocity of hate and spiteful treatment from these denizens of Hell. Their targets are not limited to just those of the Christian faith. Jews, Hindus, Yazidis and others are subject to their wrath as well.

Kirsten Powers of USA Today recounts an interview with Human rights lawyer Nina Shea, in which Shea described the horror in Mosul . “(The Islamic State) took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money.

One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have 100 dollars?’, and they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off.  “We now have 5,000 destitute, homeless people with no future,” Shea said. “This is a crime against humanity.”

The men of faith who have stood in the eye of the Islamic storm have a message to us in the West.  Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younnan, head of the Syrian Catholic Church in Lebanon, describes the campaign against Christians as religious cleansing:

“I want to tell American Christians to stand up, wake up and no longer be a silent majority. American-elected representatives need to stand up for their principles on which the U.S. has been founded: the defense of religious freedom … and respect for human rights.”

The exiled Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, warned the West that its turn will come.  Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona, writes:

Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.

You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.

And Archbishop Nona’s warning has unfolded as reality in the U.K, America and in Europe, wherever followers of ‘The Prophet’ have migrated. Breitbart reports that school health services in the small Swedish city of Norrköping have found 60 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) among schoolgirls since March, with evidence of mutilation found in all 30 girls in one class, 28 of the most severe form.

And in England, Muslim men have committed thousands of rapes of children which the public authorities have taken great pains to ignore and cover up. The courts have so made themselves instruments of permissiveness that the U.K.’s military is forbidden to even raise their voice to militants during questioning.

In a follow up report, we will examine how American foreign policy has made religious minorities, particularly in the Middle East, more vulnerable to the savagery of the ‘religion of peace’.

12/17/14
Cuban Flag

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Cuba Betrayed Edition

The Watcher’s Council

With today’s announcement by President Obama that the U.S. will be normalizing relations with Cuba, American foreign policy took a very dark turn. Just at the point when this hideous regime was on the verge of collapse, our president took action that will not promote freedom for the Cuban people, but will throw an economic lifeline to a brutal dictatorship to enable it to stay in power. Disgraceful and shameful beyond words.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Greg at Rhymes With Right was quoted in Breitbart.

My latest, Fear And Loathing – Labor And Livni’s Hatnua Join Forces is up at the Times of Israel.

This week, The Political Commentator, IOwnTheWorldReport.Com and Blazing Cat Fur earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

12/16/14
Israel

Light the Lights

Arlene from Israel
Tonight we light the first light in the eight day Festival of Chanukah. A time for joy and hope.

Credit: ebay

Actually, there are two stories of Chanukah: One has to do with the miracle of the oil, which burned in the Temple for eight days although there was only enough oil for one day.  In commemoration of this, we eat foods associated with oil – potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts).

Credit: ourtastytravels

Credit: Jerusaleminsiders

In truth, if we are going to talk about miracles: the existence of modern Israel is a miracle. We should be ever mindful of this, and ever grateful.

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Then there is the historical Chanukah story of the Maccabees battle against the Greeks – which enabled them to regain and rededicate the Temple after it had been defiled.  There are lessons here in terms of determination and bravery (for the war was very long and bitter) and dedication to our traditional practices and our faith.  All very much lessons for today.

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A particular determination is required right now.  For these are very tough times, no matter how you cut it.

I held off posting yesterday to see what would evolve with regard to the UN Security Council and anti-Israel resolutions to be brought forward.  But there is nothing definitive to report yet.

Prime Minster Netanyahu, who met with Secretary of State Kerry yesterday, seems to be holding tough.  He says he will not agree to any UN coercion.

Kerry himself is waffling, and this is very unsettling.  Netanyahu put on a good front before meeting with Kerry, saying that there was no reason to believe that the US would diverge from its traditional position of vetoing Security Council measures that are anti-Israel.  But that is not really the case.  We know what a lame duck Obama is capable of.

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At a press conference today, Kerry said that the parties themselves must resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict – it cannot be done from the outside.

Nu?  That means it cannot be resolved via UN attempts to force Israel to move back to the ‘67 line.  No?

But in that same press conference he offered no assurances about his readiness to veto what might yet be proposed.

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Kerry-A-solution-to-the-Israeli-Palestinian-conflict-cannot-be-imposed-from-the-outside-384833

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Of course, it is possible that the Kerry “indecision” is a tactic aimed at getting Netanyahu to cave on agreeing to negotiate. So far I have no indication that Netanyahu has agreed to anything.

One of the things I picked up today was a reference by Kerry about “the cycle of violence,” which invariably infuriates me. This is a false moral equivalency. There is no cycle of violence, only Arab terrorism and Israeli response.

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The PA may bring forward a proposal this week that would require Israel to return to its situation prior to the 1967 war by February 2016; it would acknowledge eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, and would make provision for the “Palestinian refugees.”  There is no precise wording of this proposal available in its entirety yet.

The French are working on a different proposal that would, as I understand it, require that negotiations between Israel and the PA be completed in two years.  Somewhat less horrendous than the PA version, but neither viable nor acceptable.

Please, dear readers, do not panic about any of this.  It’s a long way from a PA-proposed resolution in the Security Council, which has not yet materialized, to a real shift in Israel’s situation.

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Relevant to this, I believe, is the announcement by the PA that they would not be cancelling security cooperation with Israel over the death of Abi Ein, as had been threatened. A PA official now admits that they never intended to follow-through with the threats.  They rely on Israel, said this official.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.631570

Hey, no surprise there.  Abbas wouldn’t last a week if not for Israel’s control of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

What we see then is that the PA leadership makes threats that it doesn’t necessarily intend to act upon.  And that Israel has some leverage over the PA.

So…stay tuned.

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The PA says that if its proposal does not pass in the Security Council it will go to the International Criminal Court and level charges of war crimes against Israeli leaders.  This may be yet another threat.  Abbas has already been warned by our leaders that this path would work two ways. In any event, there is no guarantee that the ICC would accept “a Palestinian state” as a member.

But see what one very wonderful legal warrior in Israel, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat Ha-Din – the Israel Law Center, is doing: filing claims in the ICC against Abbas and Hamas leaders.  She is taking the offensive and hopes to make Abbas think twice.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-best-defense-against-palestinian-lawfare-is-offense/

 

Credit: Wikipedia

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Let me turn here, then, to a brief update on the political circus:

Eli Yishai has made it official. He has broken with the Shas party and is forming a new party, Yahad – Together.  It is being watched very closely, for it appears that it will not be just a duplicate of the haredi party, Shas, but will bring in national religious elements as well.  It aims to be a party that, indeed, unifies people in their concern for religious values and political nationalism.  Although it is early to make predictions, it carries genuine promise.

What we know so far is that Yoni Chetboun, who just left Habayit Hayehudi because of some deep discontents, will be joining Yishai. And now all eyes are on the relationship between Uri Ariel and Naftali Bennett.  If Uriel walks out of Habyit Hayehudi with his Tekuma faction, he would very likely join Yishai.

There are very early predictions that when the dust settles this new party might bring in as much as seven mandates.  Aryeh Deri, who now heads Shas, is having conniptions. But on Aryeh Deri, who is not exactly the model of an upright politician, it looks good.  Apparently Yishai – who was pretty much shafted by Deri – will take a fair amount of support with him and has already received the endorsement of some significant rabbis.

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Finally…Chanukah, songs.  First a medley of some traditional songs with a pleasing twist:

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/taking-tradition-to-a-whole-knew-level/  (Yes, it should be a “new” level, but the singing is nice.)

And then, a very lovely new version of the classic Maoz Tzur, by much-loved Israeli entertainer and cantor Dudu Fisher:
https://soundcloud.com/algemeiner/maoz-tzur-dudu-fisher-mix

Enjoy, and Chag Chanukah Sameach!

12/16/14
Pakistani School Children

Cowardly attack in Pakistan’s Peshawar


© Mohammad Sajjad/AP Photo – A plainclothes security officer escorts students evacuated from a school as Taliban fighters attack another school nearby in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in over a year.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Taliban militants disguised as soldiers stormed an elite army high school in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 132 students and teachers and bringing defiant pledges to strike back harder against terrorism after one of the country’s bloodiest days.

Yesterday Sydney, today Pakistan: Muslim Militants slaughter 132 in Peshawar incl 100+ school kids

Some children were beheaded. These are the savages that Barrack Hussein Obama praises, negotiates with and frees, that Hillary Clinton empathizes with and that Democrats want us to apologize to. Who will be next?

via Pakistan School Attack: Taliban Militants Kill 126 in Peshawar, Take Hostages – NBC News.com.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Uniformed militants attacked a school, killing at least 126 people and taking hostages on Tuesday, an official said – an atrocity condemned by the U.S. as “senseless and inhumane.”

“The gunmen entered class by class and shot some kids one by one,” a student who was in the school at the time told local media.

Provincial official Bahramand Khan said at least 126 people were killed and 122 injured. More than 100 of the dead were school children, he added. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, which appeared to be targeting the the children of senior military officials.

Bombs planted by the attackers slowed rescue efforts, a military official said, adding that operations at the scene were “closing up”.

Commandos exchanged fire with gunmen who entered the Army Public School in Peshawar. Five “heavy” explosions were heard from the school at around 5 a.m. ET. The Pakistani military later said six Taliban militants had been killed.

About 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside the site when gunfire erupted, although it was unclear how many remained inside the school.

A military source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told NBC News that the attackers were wearing police uniforms and suicide vests. “They burnt a teacher in front of the students in a classroom,” he added. “They literally set the teacher on fire with gasoline and made the kids watch.”

Some child hostages were thought to be held at gunpoint by militants in the school’s main auditorium. The military-run school has students in grades one through 10.

TALIBAN SLAUGHTERS SCHOOL CHILDREN IN PAKISTAN

‘Revenge’ for Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize…

126 killed, mostly children…

‘Burn teacher alive in front of pupils and behead children’…

Obama omits ‘Taliban’ from condemnation…

12/15/14
Pakistani Students

Women Jihadists In Pakistan

By: Farrukh H.Saif

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled: Ready or Not They are Coming,” which was published by many blogs. In that write-up, I mention how ISIS is planting their roots in Pakistani society; it is really an alarming situation for religious minorities as well as modern Muslims.

But surprisingly, the Pakistani Army officials stated that: “There could be isolated cases where they are trying to show their presence or to become relevant, but I don’t see this growing into a major threat,” whereas these militants, who are either Taliban or al-Qaeda, were always a major threat to our country. The militants have entered into army installations dozens of times and twice into Pakistani airports where attacks took place. What If these militants joined hands with ISIS? Would this not be a threat to the Pakistani community? According to available information, many Taliban commanders have already joined ISIS, as well as many other Islamic groups and those who were associated with Al-Qaeda also accepted Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as their Caliph.

However, the former Pakistani Ex-Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed that he had documentary evidence about the presence of ISIS in Pakistan. He stated: “I have solid proof that ISIS has established its contacts with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and it is quite possible that one of the Taliban’s leaders will soon be named as its chief in Pakistan,” he said. When asked about documents he possessed, the PPP leader said: “I will brief the nation about documentary proof and will make them public in a couple of days.”

And as of yesterday, one of the trustees of the Lal Masjid Shuhada Foundation “Ihtashamul Haq” filed a petition against the police; he claimed that after the release of a video message by students of Jamia Hafsa, the Islamabad Police have started harassing them.

The Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) and Jamia Hafsa previously grabbed headlines in 2007 when the then President Gen. Musharraf ordered the army to hold an operation in Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa.

You will be surprised that these students of Jamia Hafsa released a video message in which they openly support ISIS. Here is the video and after watching it, if you still think that there is NO ISIS and that their supporters in Pakistan don’t exist, then you are living in a fool’s paradise.

References:

12/15/14
Nativity Scene

What drives a Latter Day Saint?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Nativity SceneThis evening my wife and I attended a Christmas Devotional Service for Temple Ordinance Workers who serve in the Houston Texas Temple.  For us it’s become something of a tradition, a means of kicking off the Christmas Season.  This year was no different as we heard talks which touched our hearts from members of the Temple Presidency and their wives, short explanations of gratitude for all who serve along with insightful messages as pertain to the workings of the Temple.

President Brad Crane addressed us near the close of the meeting with an historical perspective based on his attending the Nauvoo Temple’s dedication.   I should mention this was the 2002 dedication for a replacement Temple for one which the Saints had to abandon in 1846 when they were driven out of their homes in the middle of winter and began their 1250 mile trek which eventually brought them to the Salt Lake Valley.

LDS TemplePresident Crane wondered aloud what could provide enough motivation for a family to leave their home in the middle of winter, cross the frozen Mississippi River and plod along in the wilderness day after day and continue to rejoice in the Lord?  Thousands were starving, sick or died as they faced hardships along the way and yet they persevered and even flourished upon reaching their new ‘home’ in the desert where nothing grew.

How could this be so?

It must have something to do with what the Saints learned in the Nauvoo Temple, a place they would only get to visit once prior to being forced to leave everything behind.  What could you learn about God and your relationship from ordinances which are performed in the Temple?

I pondered what was being offered at the Christmas Devotional as it became clear that each Saint who crossed the Great Plains under extreme conditions, many lost family and friends along the way; these Saints learned of God and His love for each them to such an extent that their testimonies were strengthened beyond their physical weaknesses and permitted them to complete the journey.

There’s an account as recorded from the Family Record of Francis Webster Written by William R. Palmer which documented the testimony of a surviving member of the ill fated Martin Handcart Company.  (please take the time to read the included link)

Many years later during a Sunday School lesson a discussion was being held on the foolishness and lack of planning that went into the Martin Handcart Company and tragic consequences that befell so many Saints.  An old man who had been sitting quietly through the discussion could take no more as he stood up and silenced the class by explaining that he had been one of the survivors.

“We suffered beyond any thing you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation; but, did you ever hear a survivor of that Company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that Company ever apostatized or left the church because every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities. I have pulled my hand cart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.

Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company.” The speaker was Francis Webster, and when he sat down there was not a dry eye in the room.”

I suppose my original question, “What drives a Latter Day Saint?”, has an answer; but even so, few outside the Church can wrap their arms around it.  The driving force behind Latter Day Saints has to do with understanding their eternal relationship with our Father in Heaven, His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The ordinances available in the Temple are of an eternal nature.  The blessings enumerated in these ordinances are combined with covenants with the Lord which detail our responsibilities and commitment to building up the kingdom here on Earth.  If an individual understands his/her place in the eternities along with the rewards for faithfully adhering to the covenants made in the Temple; then hardships, sickness and even death have little power over such a testimony.
In closing I’m reminded of a particular Hymn,  Come, Come Ye Saints.

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell—
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!

We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we’ll tell—
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell—
All is well! All is well!

Text: William Clayton, 1814-1879  Music: English folk song

May this Christmas bring you closer to your Father in Heaven and the gift He gave us through His Only Begotten Son, our Savior, even Jesus Christ.  Amen.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

12/14/14
Israel

Tight Position

Arlene from Israel

Things are never easy for Israel, but matters do seem to be getting tougher, day by day, with regard to the international community.  To begin with, the parliament of one European nation after another has adopted a non-binding resolution of some sort regarding recognition of a “Palestinian state”:

On Friday, the Portuguese parliament passed a resolution recommending that the government recognize “Palestine.” Just days before, the Irish and French parliaments, in symbolic votes, did likewise and Denmark was gearing up towards a similar effort.  Back in October, the parliaments of the UK and then Spain passed non-binding resolutions in support of recognition of “Palestine,” while at the end of October, the Swedish government actually did vote to recognize “Palestine.”

A vote by the EU parliament on the issue, which had originally been scheduled for late November, was postponed because of disagreement within the EU and strong lobbying by Israel.  It is due to come around soon.

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I emphasize again that the key issue here is not legal.  “Palestine” does not fulfill the criteria for a state, and the votes of various European parliaments and governments does not change this essential fact.  Especially is this the case because the “Palestine” that the European nations seek to recognize is within borders that the PA does not control.

What these votes – even if symbolic – do is set a tone that is anti-Israel, encouraging the BDS movement and similar actions again Israel.

There is no way to avoid the perception that what is taking place here, with regard to all of these resolutions and votes, is more anti-Israel than truly pro-Palestinian Arab. The Palestinian Arabs simply do not merit the attention they receive, except for the fact that they impinge upon and challenge Israeli rights.

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But there is more:  Switzerland has invited the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to attend a conference in Geneva on December 17.  The Fourth Geneva Convention on the Rules of War was adopted in 1949 in an effort to ensure that the horrific behavior of the Nazis with regard to the occupation of Europe would never be repeated.  This Convention is utilized as a weapon against Israel – as it is said that the Convention makes Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria an illegal occupation.

See what international lawyer Alan Baker, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, had to say about this:

“…both the text of that convention, and the post-World War II circumstances under which it was drafted, clearly indicate that it was never intended to refer to situations like Israel’s settlements. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC], Article 49 relates to situations where populations are coerced into being transferred. There is nothing to link such circumstances to Israel’s settlement policy…(see more below)

“The continued reliance by the international community on the Geneva Convention as the basis for determining the illegality of Israel’s settlements fails to take into account the unique nature of the history, legal framework, and negotiating circumstances regarding the West Bank.”

For more:  http://jcpa.org/article/the-settlements-issue-distorting-the-geneva-convention-and-the-oslo-accords/

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Switzerland – as the depository of the Accords – is supposed to behave in a neutral and apolitical manner. Yet, when the PA joined the Convention, and then requested that the conference be held, Switzerland acceded. Needless to say, Israel is furious and will boycott the conference.  The US, Canada and Australia are expected to boycott as well.

What we can expect is condemnation of Israel for “illegal occupation” in Judea and Samaria.

Since 1949, the High Contracting Parties have met only twice: in 1999 and 2001, both times in order to discuss Israel.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-blasts-Switzerland-for-acceding-to-Palestinians-convening-Fourth-Geneva-Convention-384429

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It is important to note here that the ICRC, the official arbiter of the Geneva Conventions, finds that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Israel, i.e., that Israel is an occupier.  But I should note here as well, that officially the International Committee of the Red Cross is associated with the Red Cross and the Red Crescent [the equivalent of the Red Cross in Muslim countries.].

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My readers know that I have mentioned the Legal Grounds Campaign, which I co-chair with Jeff Daube, several times now.  But you what you’ve heard to date is just the beginning: Jeff and I, seeing the threats leveled against Israel, understand the major importance of promoting Israeli leadership prepared to speak out strongly on our rights.

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With everything else, Mahmoud Abbas of the PA is threatening to go to the Security Council by the end of this year, submitting a draft resolution for Israel’s withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem within two to three years.

The US could simply veto this. But Kerry is trying a different – more worrisome – approach.  Said the Secretary of State:

“There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction…We’re trying to figure out a way to help defuse the tensions and reduce the potential for more conflict, and we’re exploring various possibilities to that end,”

To that end, Kerry is meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu in Rome on Monday.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/188597#.VI24zZv9nIV

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ibtimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: ibtimes

UH OH!

All pulling in the same direction?

This is what I envision Kerry saying to Netanyahu:  “Bibi, old buddy, we’ve got to present a united front here.  If we are going to keep Abbas from the UN we have to show the world that you are on board for negotiating a Palestinian state…then I can make the case that Abbas should hold off.”

The picture I provide above is simply one that I consider illustrative of how our prime minister may be feeling tomorrow – never mind that in Rome he’ll probably be all smiles for the cameras.

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At the beginning of the Cabinet meeting today, Netanyahu made this statement:

“Tomorrow I will leave for Rome to meet with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and US Secretary of State John Kerry.  I will tell them that Israel, to a large degree, stands as a solitary island against the waves of Islamic extremism that are washing over the entire Middle East.

“Until  now we have successfully withstood and repelled these attacks and now we also stand against the possibility of a diplomatic assault, i.e., an attempt to compel us – by means of UN decisions – to withdraw to the 1967 lines within two years. This will lead to Islamic extremists [coming] to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem.

“We will not allow this.  We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/188632#.VI3Ebpv9nIV

Well…there some nice words here, but they don’t satisfy me, for they sound like rhetoric.  What does “We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this” mean?

Netanyahu speaks about the possible UN demands.  But he says nothing about what he will or won’t agree to in consultation with Kerry.

Stay tuned.

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What perhaps grieves me the most – and is for me the most incomprehensible – is the attitude on the Israeli left, which is that we should go back to the negotiating table, and should try harder to please the world.  (The anti-Semitic world, that is, but why quibble.)

Even centrists such as Michael Oren (about whom more below), who is a “two-state” man, says there is no one to negotiate with now. And yet, the delusion persists amongst such people as Livni and Herzog.

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This leads me to a very brief review of the ever-changing political circus:

Right wing activists have decided to form a party to the right of Habayit Hayehudi, which will be called Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) and headed by Michael Ben-Ari – a former MK (with the National Union) – who will be working with Itamar Ben- Gvir and Baruch Marzel.
Former MK Michael Ben Ari in 2012 (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash 90

They will not run with Habayit Hayehudi, but if there is a breakoff from Habayit Heyehudi (with Uri Ariel – who is to the right) they might join with that.

They might also join with the Eli Yishai (pictured), who looks like he is going to break off from Shas because of tensions with Arieh Deri.  I’ll have more on this.

Credit: Lior Mizrachi

Or the three might run together.

What’s important with these small parties is passing the electoral threshold for getting into the Knesset. That threshold is now 3.25 percent of the vote, which translates to a minimum of four seats.

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As to Habayit Hayehudi itself, former Yesha Council chair Dani Dayon (not to be confused with Danny Dannon of Likud!) has joined their ranks.


Credit: TOT

Here is a man very clear on the legality of Israel’s communities in Judea and Samaria.

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There are very strong rumors that Michael Oren, immediate past Israeli ambassador to the US, will be joining the Kulanu party of Kahlon.

Lieberman continues to be all over the place.  The only thing that seems clear is that Lieberman’s first concern is Avigdor Lieberman.

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And the good news:

The Israeli Embassy in Senegal has established a farm utilizing Israeli-innovated slow drip irrigation, ideal for a region of drought.  Water is saved and the produce is superior.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4603023,00.html

This is just one example of the outreach Israel does to help impoverished communities in Africa.

12/14/14
Judge Jeanine Pirro

Judge Jeanine Pirro – 12/13/14

Hat Tip: BB