"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Monday, October 31, 2016

Professor who Tweeted Against PC Culture is Out at NYU

Michael Rectenwald Photo: Douglas Healey

By Melkorka Licea, NY Post

An NYU professor crusading against political correctness and student coddling was booted from the classroom last week after his colleagues complained about his “incivility,” The Post has learned.

Liberal studies prof Michael Rectenwald, 57, said he was forced Wednesday to go on paid leave for the rest of the semester.

“They are actually pushing me out the door for having a different perspective,” the academic told The Post.

People have no tolerance for perspectives that run counter to their own. Everyone assume their truth is the truth and anyone who disagrees with them is completely wrong and has no right to question their beliefs. This is why American politics has become so insane.

Rectenwald launched an undercover Twitter account called Deplorable NYU Prof on Sept. 12 to argue against campus trends like “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings” policing Halloween costumes and other aspects of academia’s growing PC culture.

He chose to be anonymous, he explained in one of his first tweets, because he was afraid “the PC Gestapo would ruin me” if he put his name ­behind his conservative ideas on the famously liberal campus.

“I remember once on my Facebook I posted a story about a kid who changed his pronoun to ‘His Majesty’ because I thought it was funny,” he told The Post. “Then I got viciously attacked by 400 people. This whole milieu is nauseating. I grew tired of it, so I made the account.”

On Oct. 11, Rectenwald used his ­internet alter ego to criticize “safe spaces” — the recent campus trend of “protecting” students from uncomfortable speech — as “at once a hall of mirrors and a rubber room.”

Two weeks ago he posted on his “anti-PC” feed a photo of a flyer put out by NYU resident advisers telling students how to avoid wearing potentially offensive Halloween costumes.

His caption read: “The scariest thing about Halloween today is . . . the liberal totalitarian costume surveillance. NYU RAs gone mad,” he wrote.

“It’s an alarming curtailment of free expression to the point where you can’t even pretend to be something without authorities coming down on you in the universities,” Rectenwald told The Post.

But the Twitter feed soon sparked a “witch hunt” by the growing army of “social justice warriors,” he said.

In an interview published Monday in the Washington Square News, NYU’s Independent Student Newspaper, the eight-year instructor admitted he was the Deplorable NYU Prof.

“My contention is that trigger warning, safe spaces and bias hot-line reporting is not politically correct. It is insane,” he told the student paper. “The crazier and crazier that this left gets . . . the more the alt-right is going to be laughing their asses off [and] getting more pissed.”, he was quoted as saying.

The divorced father of three came forward because “I thought there was nothing objectionable about what I had said.”

But Rectenwald says he began getting “dirty looks” in his department and on Wednesday figured out why: A 12-person committee calling itself the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, including two deans, published a letter to the editor in the same paper.

‘Academic freedom: It’s great, as long as you don’t use it.’
 - Michael Rectenwald

“As long as he airs his views with so little appeal to evidence and civility, we must find him guilty of illogic and incivility in a community that predicates its work in great part on rational thought and the civil exchange of ideas,” they wrote of the untenured assistant professor.

“We seek to create a dynamic community that values full participation. Such efforts are not the ‘destruction of academic integrity’ Professor Rectenwald suggests, but rather what make possible our program’s approach to global studies,” they argued. Rectenwald likened the attack to “a Salem witch trial. They took my views personally. I never even mentioned them and I never even said NYU liberal studies program. I was talking about academia at large,” said the professor, a popular instructor who was graded 4.4 out of 5 on ratemyprofessors.com.

The same day the letter was published, Rectenwald was summoned to a meeting with his department dean and an HR representative, he says.

“They claimed they were worried about me and a couple people had expressed concern about my mental health. They suggested my voicing these opinions was a cry for help,” Rectenwald told The Post. “Then they said I should leave and get help.”

He said, “They had no reason to believe that my mental health was in question, unless to have a different opinion makes one insane.”

Students told him that professors openly discussed with students how he may be fired.

The leave has “absolutely zero to do with his Twitter account or his opinions on issues of the day,” said NYU spokesman Matt Nagel.

But Rectenwald is disheartened.

“I’m afraid my academic career is over,” he said Rectenwald. “Academic freedom: It’s great, as long as you don’t use it.”

If there is no freedom of speech in universities, there can be no freedom of speech anywhere. God help America.

Astonishing Coincidence or Flat-out Miracle

An Australian pianist and a New York taxi driver
Sarah Grundstein, J-Wire

In 1983 Sydney pianist Sarah Grunstein, who had moved to NY to study at Juilliard, stepped onto the curb on West 57th St. There were 7 empty taxis coming along. She got into the first, an old yellow checker cab…

New York at the time was dangerous and racist, filled with street crime. Sarah asked the driver to please take her to East 78th. The driver, about 60 years old, began to drive, all the while staring at her in his rear view mirror. At every traffic light he turned around and stared at her more, entirely fixated. 

She was so uncomfortable she wanted to exit the cab and get into another. No time for that, she thought.

He asked her if she was from England. “No, Australia”, she replied. She realised that as he spoke he stared at her less, so she preferred to engage in conversation, feeling more comfortable with dialogue than this man’s prolonged stare.

The driver said, “I know people in Australia.” Sarah wondered, out of some 14 million, I wonder whom he knows. He mentioned five names. “Sorry sir,” she replied, “I don’t know any of those.”

Taxi-driver: Are you from Sydney or Melbourne?

Sarah: Sydney.

Taxi-driver: No wonder you don’t know those people, they are all from Melbourne.
I know two people in Sydney but I can’t remember their last names.

Sarah: That will make it a bit difficult. Who are they?

T-D: Rapping hands on steering wheel: … Last name, last name, what was their last name …. First names Hania and Bolek, I can’t remember their last name …

Sarah: Who are they?

T-D: Last name, last name, I don’t remember their last name. During the war I was in concentration camps with Bolek in Poland and Germany. Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, we were in several concentration camps together. He mentioned 5 concentration camps. Bolek came from Warsaw. We escaped, got captured again. After the war we were all together in a Red Cross Displaced Persons’ Camp in Eggenfelden, Germany. Hania and Bolek, they were at my engagement of my wife and myself in Eggenfelden. Then Hania went to Sweden. I don’t remember why she went to Sweden. Bolek tried to follow Hania to Sweden but  for some reason he couldn’t get there. Then Bolek got papers to Australia. So he sailed to Australia in 1949, and she followed him in 1950. Then they got married the next year. They had a dress factory. Bolek and Hania … I am trying to remember their last names … their last names …

[Sarah was shaking so much she thought the taxi should be swinging from side to side.]

Sarah (through the glass divider of the checker cab): Was their last name Grunstein?

T-D: What?

Sarah: Grunstein, was their last name Grunstein?

T-D: Grunstein! You know them!

Sarah: Excuse me sir, do you know those two people are my mother and father?

The driver slammed his foot on the brakes. He had just told Sarah her parents’ entire, detailed history from 1943-1951. She was still shaking.

Before she left the taxi, he said to her, “I didn’t know if you were in the entertainment business, but you look exactly like your mother.”

On the following Shabbat, at the taxi-driver’s home in Queens NY, he gave her photos of her mother and Uncle Jozef, taken at the taxi-drivers’ engagement, dating from Eggenfelden, 1946.

The story told in her words by Sarah Grunstein

The sad part of this story is that some people reading it will think that it was just a coincidence. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the odds of such a 'coincidence' are so low as to be astronomic, in other words, literally impossible. 

5 Paris-Style Attacks Foiled in 2yrs, UK Counter-Terrorism Police Claim

What would life be like in Britain if all 5 jihadi plots had manifested?
Good work by counter-terrorism police might, I fear,
cause Brits to drop their guard and think they are safe
when safety in the EU is rapidly fading

© Neil Hall
© Neil Hall / Reuters

Terrorist attacks similar to those carried out in Paris last November were foiled before they could take place on the streets of Britain, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police have claimed.

Five jihadist operations were thwarted over the last two years after 800 licensed guns went missing among individual owners, the law enforcement agencies report.

“Despite our good work we know that firearms can enter the criminal market through a variety of means, including thefts from legitimate holders or dealers,” said the Met’s counter-terrorism chief, Mark Rowley.

“Law enforcement, together with security and intelligence services, are working tirelessly to locate these weapons, confront the terrorist threat and keep the public safe.”

Rowley said that out of 10 plots disrupted in the last two years, half had involved jihadis wanting to get guns. Britain’s tight gun laws and being an island means availability of guns is relatively low.

Rowley said terrorists were most likely to get the guns from criminals in communities they know. The main case that is publicly known is that of a group of west London youths arrested as they planned the most significant jihadi plot targeting Britain in a decade.

Police, soldiers and civilians were the intended targets of the conspiracy, and the would-be terrorists acquired a gun, silencer and ammunition from a London-based criminal.

Ringleader Tarik Hassane, 22, and his friend Suhaib Majeed, 22, were convicted of terrorism offences in March. Two other men, Nyall Hamlett and Nathan Cuffy, were convicted of firearms offences for sourcing and supplying the weapon. Hassane is suspected of associating with Mohammed Emwazi, who gained worldwide notoriety as Isis’s “Jihadi John”. 

Other than that, there is little here to indicate a genuine plot to kill numbers of Brits. It seems there is only the desire to acquire weapons which makes it seem premature to say that 'terrorist plots have been foiled'. Nevertheless, it is disconcerting to know that there are numerous jihadis in Britain who are seeking to obtain automatic or semi-automatic weapons.

Since then there has been an increase in gun crime, with the Met in July and August recording 202 firearms discharges in London, compared with 87 in the same months last year.

Weapons are believed to be coming from eastern Europe by a variety of methods, and national and regional law enforcement officers believe there are increasing numbers of guns on Britain’s streets.

Law enforcement officers seized at least 884 firearms last year including Czech-made Skorpion submachine pistols, Uzis, and Mac-10 weapons.

Armed police in central London.

The NCA director general, Lynne Owens, said: “Currently we believe we hold an advantage. There is low availability of illegal firearms in the UK compared with European and international partners, but it is not an advantage that we take for granted, and to maintain that advantage we must not stand still.

“Suppressing the availability of illegal firearms in the UK has never been a more significant priority for the law enforcement community. Criminal networks, who think nothing about who they sell firearms to, present a significant route by which extremist groups will try to access the sort of weapons used in recent attacks in Europe.”

Rowley is expected to be one of the candidates to apply to be the next commissioner of the Met, to replace Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Rowley is national head of counter-terrorism and an assistant commissioner for the Met. Prior to that he was chief constable in Surrey, as was Owens after him. She will not be a candidate to be Met commissioner, having chosen to take the job as NCA director-general instead.

The advert from the Home Office for the Met commissioner’s job is expected to be placed as soon as this week.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Israeli Justice Minister Claims BDS Wants to ‘Wipe the Jewish Nation off the Face of the Earth’

Amazing articles (2) not because of what the minister said,
but because of the remarkable naivety of the antisemitic media,
specifically RT and the Washington Post 

Ayelet Shaked, Israel's Justice Minister © Gali Tibbon
Ayelet Shaked, Israel's Justice Minister © Gali Tibbon / Reuters

30 Oct 2016 RT

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has accused the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement of wanting to “wipe the Jewish nation off the face of the Earth” and of being “deeply rooted in anti-Semitism.”

Shaked made the remarks Sunday at the opening plenary of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s latest board of governors meeting.

The board, which meets at least three times a year, is the central policy-making body of the Jewish Agency, a large nonprofit organization which says it aims to “connect the global Jewish family.”

Addressing the board in Jerusalem, Shaked warned “all those agents of ignorance and hatred” against testing Israel's strength and determination to defend the Jewish state, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The BDS movement is a global campaign, first launched in Palestine in 2005, to apply political and economic pressure to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

Shaked, however, insisted that the campaign has “no interest in promoting human rights, but in wiping the Jewish nation off the face of the Earth.”

She also referred to the movement as anti-Semitism dressed up as a platform for freedom and justice.

“It's deeply rooted in classical anti-Semitism that has spread all over Europe throughout the past few hundred years,” she said.

The justice minister also claimed the movement was “defeated” and referenced a Bloomberg report from June on foreign investment in Israeli assets.

Foreign capital flow in the country has nearly tripled since the launch of the BDS movement 11 years ago, with investments reaching a record high of $285.12 billion, according to the Bloomberg article.

Shaked is renowned for her anti-Palestinian rhetoric and sparked controversy in July 2014 before she became justice minister for a Facebook post, later deleted, referring to Palestinian children as “little snakes” and apparent warmongering.

She had quoted a former Israeli writer who was referring specifically to children who attack and murder Jews just out of hatred bred into them by their families and friends. RT makes it sound like she refers to all Palestinian children as such, which is not correct and reveals RT's bias.

“This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started...,” she wrote.

Again, this is a quote. See below.

Washington Post WorldViews

Israel’s new justice minister considers all Palestinians to be ‘the enemy’
By Ishaan Tharoor May 7, 2015 

Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party is known for her strident views on Palestinians and the Israeli left. (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)

An 11th-hour deal on Wednesday led to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forming the most right-wing government in his country's history. Netanyahu's slim majority in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, was secured after a pact with the Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, an ultra-nationalist who draws much of his support from Israel's settler population and rejects a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And he does that because Palestinians don't want a 2 state solution, they want Jews gone.

One of the terms of the alliance was that Netanyahu would tap Bennett's de facto lieutenant, Ayelet Shaked, to be the next justice minister. This is a move not without controversy.

Shaked is known for her strident (some would say extremist) (those 'some' would be RT and The Washington Post, just to name a couple) views regarding Palestinians and the enfeebled Israeli left. In July, in a controversial post on Facebook, the then-member of the Knesset posted the text of an article by the late Israeli writer Uri Elitzur that referred to Palestinian children as "little snakes" and appeared to justify the mass punishment of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The post has since been deleted, but an archived version remains.

It was put up shortly after the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens kidnapped last year while hiking in the West Bank. Their killing eventually escalated into a 50-day war in which Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave dominated by the militant Islamist group Hamas, which launched barrages of rocket fire at Israel. The Gaza war killed more than 1,400 Palestinian civilians and reduced whole swaths of the impoverished territory to rubble.

The leftist site Mondoweiss offers a full translation of Shaked's controversial posting, which quotes Elitzur, a former Netanyahu adviser, here. Some excerpts:

The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started...

Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

So it is obvious Elitzur was talking about terrorists here not every Palestinian child. The mention of destroying the homes of such terrorists as opposed to destroying the homes of all Palestinians makes that very clear. 

Even if these aren't Shaked's own words, the sentiment is noteworthy, and it reflects what critics say is the Israeli nationalist right's widespread intolerance of the Arabs in their midst, who make up one-fifth of the Israeli population.

So, why does The Washington Post insist on bending that quote to refer to all Palestinian children? Did the Editor simply overlook this piece of antisemitic trash or was he/she in agreement with it? Either way, it reflects very poorly on journalistic ethics and honesty.

Bennett and Shaked's Jewish Home party are avowed opponents of Palestinian statehood. Bennett's proposal for settling the "Palestinian question" involves the creation of semiautonomous territories that some have likened to the bantustans of apartheid-era South Africa.

Again, who are the 'somes' referred to here?

Shaked's appointment as justice minister also has raised fears that Netanyahu's new government will attempt to rein in the Israeli judiciary, as my colleague William Booth reports. Some are rather worried about what may follow.

"The demand to give Ayelet Shaked the Justice portfolio is like giving the Fire and Rescue Services to a pyromaniac," opposition lawmaker Nachman Shai told the Arutz Sheva news site.

OK, it's been nearly a year and a half and I'm still looking for signs of smoke!

Shaked, a photogenic former tech executive, doesn't seem too bothered about the opinions of her opponents. She once dismissed Haaretz, arguably Israel's most internationally respected newspaper, as a publication "read by a mere 30,000 Israelis."

Oh, no! She didn't say that, did she? She ought to be tried for treason, obviously! Good grief!

After all, Shaked is about to gain a cabinet post in a climate in which an Israeli former foreign minister can call for the "beheading" of disloyal Arabs with no political cost and in which warning of Arabs "voting in droves" helped Netanyahu's Likud party win Israel's general election earlier this year.

That's the difference between Israel and many of the Arab countries around them, 1) free speech, 2) free criticism, 3) an Israeli can call for beheading though it would never be taken seriously, but in Iran, Saudi Arabia and who knows how many Muslim countries, it's a frequent occurrence sanctioned by the government.

Yet, here, the Washington Post writer criticizes Israel for not condemning the man for mentioning it; rather than praising Israel for not adopting tactics that are more fit for Islam.

"Shaked is going and taking her place in the pantheon of the extreme right," says leftist Israeli legislator Michal Rozin, "and represents an ideology where her own racism doesn't embarrass her."

Rozin must be one of these 'somes'! So, the question here for Mr. Rozin is, would you be racist if you hated Nazis? Is it 'extremist' to hate people who want to kill you and everyone who is a Jew. Are you too dense to see that if the Palestinians had the capability of the 1930s-1940s Nazis, that they would surely try to accomplish the very same thing, the annihilation of the Jewish race?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

UN A Big Part of Palestinian Propaganda Machine

The UN has long been the leader in facilitating Palestinian propaganda.
Its dominance by Muslims and other Antisemitic countries has made
the little country of Israel the centre of UN attention
in spite of extraordinary atrocities happening
in many other countries. 

Palestinians are portrayed as living in abject poverty and hopelessness when in fact they are well-educated, and have many opportunities that most Palestinians living elsewhere in the middle east do not have. 

Check out this home of a Palestinian businessman:

Palestinian luxury

I mean, good grief, he must have put half of the West Bank to work building that palace. And where did he get the money? Israel is strangling the Palestinian economy, apparently, but it seems this guy doesn't know it.

Yes, there are slums in Palestine and 70% of the people live in them. This has less to do with Israeli economic strangulation than with UNRWA and the PLO doing their best to keep those people living in slums. The billions of dollars spent by UNRWA could have lifted those people out their slums if they were interested in helping Palestinians rather than garnering sympathy for them and making Jews look bad.

Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

In the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, those 'refugee camps' are apartment buildings, almost all of which have running water/sewer and electricity. Slums they are, but 'camps' they are not. For refugee 'camps' you need to go to other Arab states where the quality of life and the opportunity for education, medical care and employment is considerably diminished, if not non-existent.

READ: The Politics of Suffering
Syria's Palestinian Refugee Camps

Nell Gabiam
Gabiam’s analysis captures two forces in tension within the camps: politics of suffering that serves to keep alive the discourse around the Palestinian right of return; and politics of citizenship expressed through development projects that seek to close the divide between the camp and the city. Gabiam offers compelling insights into the plight of Palestinians before and during the Syrian war, which has led to devastation in the camps and massive displacement of their populations.

Have you heard about the massive suffering of Palestinians in Syria? I haven't, and I keep my ear pretty close to the Middle East ground. No UN resolutions about their suffering! You only hear how bad those living in the West Bank and Gaza have it.

The long-suffering people of Gaza

According to the 2012 Happy Planet Index – a survey conducted by the New Economics Forum to measure happiness around the world – the Palestinian Authority was the third happiest Arab country and the 30th happiest in the world, making the PA happier than many developed countries like the US, UK, Sweden, Australia and Canada.

Algeria – 52.2
Jordan – 51.7

Palestinian Authority – 51.2

Crazy, huh? Maybe we should all move to Gaza.

UN rights envoy slams Israel for imposing ‘epic’ poverty on Palestinians

© Mohamad Torokman
© Mohamad Torokman / Reuters

The UN human rights rapporteur has accused Israel of denying Palestine’s right to development thus causing rampant poverty, “epic" unemployment and economic stagnation, while illegal settlement activity is leaving hundreds of Palestinians homeless.

Over 1,100 people have been left homeless so far this year in Area C of the West Bank, as Israel demolished some 780 Palestinian homes, according to Haaretz. Area C is fully administered by Israel and comprises of some 60 percent of the total territory in the West Bank. It is the area where the Jewish settlements – illegal under international law – are located.

So far this year, Israel has destroyed 780 homes there, compared to 453 demolitions that were conducted in 2015. Last year's demolitions left some 580 Palestinians homeless, while this year 1,129 people were left without a roof over their heads.

In addition, the publication noted that further 125 Palestinian homes were also demolished in East Jerusalem since the start of the year. Last year's figures stood at 78 home demolitions. As a result, 164 Palestinians were left homeless this year in East Jerusalem. In 2015, that figure stood at 108 people.

In East Jerusalem, this, I believe, is a policy of retribution against families whose members attack or kill Jews just because they are Jews. In other words, they are terrorists and murderers, yet the UN and the news media would make them into victims. How pathetic! How outright evil!

Overall, more half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority considers West Bank to be a part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Illegal occupation remains one of the main stumbling blocks on the way to achieve a two-state solution with Israel.

Declared illegal by the UN and many liberal, antisemitic states who criticized Israel for winning the 6-day war in 1967, but have never criticized Syria, Jordan or Egypt for attacking Israel in the first place. Nor have they criticized these states or others, like Iran, which have frequently threatened to annihilate Israel at first opportunity. Is this not hypocrisy in the extreme?

The biggest stumbling block to a two-state solution is the fact that Palestinians do not want a two-state solution. They want Israel gone - period. Nothing less will satisfy them, so why pretend that there is any possibility of a two-state solution. Palestinians are teaching their children from kindergarten to hate Jews and to aspire to be a Jew-killer. Does that sound like a people who want peace?

A day earlier, Haaretz reported that as part of the Israeli government’s ‘carrot and stick’ policy, the country's security cabinet reportedly approved a series of Palestinian building plans in Area C.

The paper says the meeting took place on October 5, and was held in secret so as not to provoke the ultra-nationalist Israelis. The ‘carrot and stick’ approach, earlier voiced by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, is a plan devised to reward Palestinians who support coexistence with the Jewish state while at the same time punishing those who support terrorism.

The plans reportedly seek to expand Palestinian villages in the West Bank and the Palestinian city of Qalqilya. In addition, Israel agreed to expand an economic corridor between Jericho and Jordan and the construction of an industrial area near Nablus. Construction of a hospital in Beit Sahour has also allegedly been authorized.

Israeli activities in the occupied territories were discussed in a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights, who accused Israel of denying Palestinian development.

Wait a minute! Read the last two paragraphs above, again. Do you see any conflict in those two statements? Apparently, the RT writer of this article doesn't. Is that what bigotry is?

“Poverty is rising. Unemployment is rising to epic levels. Food insecurity is becoming more acute. The Palestinian economy is becoming more stifled and less viable under the occupation,” Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, said delivering his report to the UN General Assembly in New York.

Lynk said that Gaza suffers from a staggering 42 percent unemployment rate. Unemployment is as high as 58 percent among the youth population. Overall the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory has a 27 percent unemployment rate compared to only to 12 percent in 1999.

“The deepening of the occupation, the constriction of basic human rights and the utter absence of a political horizon leading to self-determination for the Palestinians have reinforced an atmosphere of despair and hopelessness,” Lynk said.

In Israel, human rights are constricted in direct proportion to the degree of distrust Israel has toward Palestinians. As long as they are determined to destroy Jews and run them out of the Middle East, their rights will have to be restricted. That they are only 'restricted' and not completely destroyed, like those of many Christians in Arab countries, is a testament to the tolerance and incredible patience of the Jews. Palestinians must change their attitude if they want to change their circumstances.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Egyptian Activist Hangs Israeli Flag, Calls for End to Media’s ‘Dishonest Reporting’ About Jewish State

by Shiryn Ghermezian 

Egyptian peace activist Ahmed Meligy called for an end to biased reporting against Israel. Photo: Facebook.

An Egyptian-Muslim peace activist expressed strong support for Israel on Monday and called on major media outlets to halt their biased coverage of the Jewish state.

In a video posted on Facebook, Ahmed Meligy criticized the media’s “dishonest reporting” and “brainwash methods” in relation to the current wave of violence in Israel. Filming from Egypt, he spoke to the camera with Israeli and Egyptian flags hanging on the wall behind him. After proclaiming his passion for his home country, the activist said he hung the Israeli flag as well because Israel has the right to be recognized “in a proper, decent, honest way.”

Meligy specifically mentioned the BBC and The Washington Post for “undermining what’s going on in Israel to the point that they are trying to bury it, so the world won’t know.” He cited specific headlines from both media outlets, which report on Palestinians being killed, but fail to identify them as terrorists and attackers.

If you think they are bad, and they are, try reading RT.

“Israel has the right to be recognized. What’s going on has to be mentioned fairly without these cheap tactics,” he said. “This [the biased reporting] has nothing to do with honesty. This has nothing to do with integrity and it’s a shame.”

The Egyptian activist urged the public to become the “true news reporters,” saying, “It is our duty to act and show the world what’s going on in Israel.”

Egyptian Activist: "We Were Taught to Hate Israel"

"We have so much in common. Some of my Israeli friends are more Arab then a lot of Arabs I know," said Egyptian activist Ahmed Meligy.

Ben Bresky & INN Staff

Ahmed Meligy in Tahrir Square 2011
Ahmed Meligy in Tahrir Square 2011  Photo Courtesy Ahmed Meligy

Hitler good; Jew bad

"When I was a kid, I wondered why they told us that Adolph Hitler was a good guy and that he did good by the Holocaust," reminisced Ahmed Meligy, a self described Egyptian peace activist. "This sounded like pure racism and ignorance, but I couldn't speak my mind or say that out loud," he continued. Meligy has been making waves since publishing a series of editorials in the Jerusalem Post and other media outlets about his opposition to a more radicalized, less democratic Egyptian government.

The young man gave a live phone interview from Alexandria, Egypt on Israel National Radio's News & Views call-in show with Tamar Yonah. 

"I cannot blame them," said Meligy, referring to anti-Jewish sentiment in Egyptian society. "Years ago while I was in school, we didn't have internet, or cable TV. We just had government TV and this was the only source of information we had," Meligy stated.

President Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt from 1981 until 2011 when he was ousted. The June elections in Egypt have caused Meligy and others concern that the new government will not allow any more freedoms then the old one.

"Our government was telling us whatever they wanted," continued Meligy. "We saw everything from their view. They were saying Israel is this very big monster. They were magnifying it."

Meligy said he has been seeking to communicate with non-Egyptians, specifically Israelis. He found Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio show host Tamar Yonah through Facebook. "I was very curious about the Jewish people and wanted to know everything," he said.

Meligy said he does not blame the Egyptian people for being anti-Jewish because "they were fed propaganda and hatred toward the Jewish world."

Meligy expressed initial shock when he first communicated with real Israelis. "One of the things they were telling us was that the Israelis have nothing to do with the Middle East and Israelis are nothing but Europeans and Americans," he enthused. "I used to believe that, until I started to have Israeli friends who listened to the same music I listen to, who play the same video games I play, who love soccer. We have so much in common. They are some times that my Israeli friends are more Arab then a lot of Arabs I know. So this is why I started my activism. I have to give to show the truth to my people and show the truth to your people that we are not terrorists," said Meligy.

Unfortunately, I am unable to find a good link to this interview.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The True Meaning of Separation of Church and State

Absolutely brilliant article on historical democracy in America

Image result for virginia state house
Virginia State House

Bill Flax ,   CONTRIBUTOR    Forbes
I explore the intersection of economics and culture.  
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Our nation was predicated on unalienable rights with governance through family, church and community, each rightfully sovereign within its sphere. Human dignity, legal equality and personal freedom reflect biblical values imparted on Western Civilization, which retains these values in secular form while expunging their Author from public discourse.

Americans are frequently reminded of what the revisionists deem our greatest achievement: “Separation of Church and State.” Crosses are ripped down in parks. Prayer has been banished from schools and the ACLU rampages to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Moreover, “Separation of Church and State” is nowhere found in the Constitution or any other founding legislation. Our forefathers would never countenance the restrictions on religion exacted today.

The phrase “separation of church and state” was initially coined by Baptists striving for religious toleration in Virginia, whose official state religion was then Anglican (Episcopalian). Baptists thought government limitations against religion illegitimate. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson championed their cause.

James Madison
Thomas Jefferson
The preamble in Act Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia (1786), affirms that “the Author of our Religion gave us our ‘free will.’” And that He “chose not to propagate it by coercions.” This legislation certainly did not diminish religious influence on government for it also provided stiff penalties for conducting business on the Sabbath.

Nor did the Constitution inhibit public displays of faith. At ratification, a majority of the thirteen several and sovereign states maintained official religions. The early Republic welcomed public worship. Church services were held in the U.S. Capitol and Treasury buildings every Sunday. The imagery in many federal buildings remains unmistakably biblical.

The day after the First Amendment’s passage, Congress proclaimed a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. The inaugural Congress was largely comprised by those who drafted the Constitution. It reflects incredible arrogance to reconfigure the Bill of Rights into prohibiting religious displays on public grounds. Hanging the Ten Commandments on the wall of a county courthouse no more mandates religion than judges displaying the banner of their favorite sports team somehow equates to Congress establishing that team as preeminent.

Our forefathers never sought to evict the church from society. They recognized that the several states did not share uniform values. We lived and worshipped differently. The framers were a diverse bunch with wildly divergent opinions on many issues, but eliminating the very foundations of America’s heritage would have horrified them. On few issues was there more unanimity.

Where the French Revolution and its official policy of “De-Christianization” quickly devolved into bloodshed and oppression, here freedom flourished. Our independence was seen as the culmination of a march toward liberty, not a rejection of America’s historical cultural moorings. Our forbears embraced tradition and left local autonomy largely intact.

Schools, courts and the public square were often overtly Christian and had been since their colonial beginnings. Few Americans would have tolerated a coercive central government infringing on their rights to post religious symbols on local schools, courts or anywhere else.

Americans built society from the ground up. Many had fled oppression. The colonies instituted local self-government indigenously to confirm the rights resident in their persons and property. Few would have willingly been dispossessed by Washington of the very freedoms which they had just secured from London.

Alexis de Tocqueville
Here men could and did rise as their efforts merited. Commoners were unshackled from feudal paralysis and freed to find God individually. Both the economy and church thrived. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans intertwined individual liberty with vibrant faith. “It is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

Even non-Christian founders thought religion essential. None would have wished to upend the very basis for education, law or culture. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Americans understood freedom without morality quickly devolves into debauchery. Whether from sincere faith, or, prudence instilling an honest, law-abiding, responsible and hardworking populace, all esteemed biblical morality as the bedrock of self government. George Washington believed, “Religion and morality are indispensable supports” for “it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

The phrase “separation between church and state” was reintroduced by former Klansman Hugo Black, historically one of our most liberal Supreme Court judges. In the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education, Justice Black invoked Thomas Jefferson stating, “The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ . . . that wall must be kept high and impregnable.”

Thomas Jefferson thought differently. The Danbury Baptists wrote to him congratulating his election and objecting to the First Amendment. They thought it implied government dispensed what was not government’s to give. Jefferson agreed.

His reply clearly applied “Separation of Church and State” to the establishment and not to the free exercise of religion. As he expressed, what communities did and how they worshipped were not federal affairs. Jefferson later said the central government was “interdicted from intermeddling with religious institutions.” Such were state matters.

Freedom of religion was partly moral – protecting our most cherished liberty – and partly pragmatic. Religious animosity tears society asunder, particularly when church is affixed to government. With freedom of conscience assured, conflict becomes less likely. The First Amendment was an insightful compromise between church and state, federal and local authorities. The framers desired to avoid the controversies which engulfed Europe.

As James Madison warned in Federalist 10, “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; . . . A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, . . . ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power . . . divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good.”

He could have written that yesterday.

Thus the Constitution decreed that Washington had no occasion or authority to interject itself into matters as obviously local as doctrines of faith. Congress was not empowered to establish a church because the framers feared that concentrated power, whether favored religions, standing armies, banking monopolies, or an overarching federal government, invited tyranny.

Church and state were distinct in that the Federal Government could not elevate one denomination over others. Nor could government and its flawed inhabitants usurp divine authority by harnessing politics to the church. Faith is no civil contract, but a personal matter not to be profaned by politics.

State controlled churches frequently exploited this latent power for evil. The Spanish Inquisition didn’t originate in the Vatican, but the Castilian court. It was not of the church, but the king. By Philip II, Spain had the makings of the first police state infused with the ill-gotten moral authority of a tyrannical clergy.

Much of our Bill of Rights was meant to prevent dictatorships such as Cromwell’s, which married church and state in such manner as to mar many of the freedoms our forefathers sought to enshrine.

The framers witnessed the incessant wars of the mother continent and understood official churches and centralized power fomented abuses. Having two or three competing factions spurred struggles between the parties to secure power, but divesting authority to innumerable smaller jurisdictions without the prospect of any gaining control promoted peaceful freedom.

Episcopalians in Virginia would live amicably next to Catholics in Maryland, Quakers in Pennsylvania or Baptists in their midst. None saw cause for contention because there was no threat that others would gain dominion over them or any prospect that they might gain such dominion themselves. Rivalry was unnecessary because “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Establishment has been redefined. Limitations on government have been altered into restrictions on religious expression, which clearly violates the amendment’s next clause: “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” and third clause “abridging the freedom of speech.” Meanwhile, Washington publicly imposes politically correct secular religions like worshiping diversity or the environment.

Are our rights inalienable or contrivances from courts? Is government still limited or its power undefined? Is the state answerable to the people or are we but subjects? Do our rights descend from God or derive from man?

America must decide.

Mammal Apocalypse - Two-thirds of Wildlife will Disappear by 2020, WWF Says

This story sounds pretty apocalyptic and seems to be presented in the media as such. But it is very misleading. What news outlets have not been very clear about is that the report predicts a 67% drop in wildlife from 1970 to 2020. One would think there was going to be a 67% drop in wildlife in the next 3 years and neither the media nor WWF seem to be in any hurry to clear that up.

Global populations have plunged 60% since 1970 amid
rising human activity
Thomson Reuters 

Two orphaned orangutan babies play in a tree at 'jungle school' at Indonesia's International Animal Rescue centre. Both the Bornean and Sumatran orangutan are critically endangered due to poaching, the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty)

Worldwide populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have plunged by almost 60 per cent since 1970 as human activities overwhelm the environment, the WWF conservation group said on Thursday.

An index compiled with data from the Zoological Society of London to measure the abundance of biodiversity was down 58 per cent from 1970 to 2012 and would fall 67 per cent by 2020 on current trends, the WWF said in a report.

The decline is yet another sign that people have become the driving force for change on Earth, ushering in the epoch of the Anthropocene, a term derived from "anthropos," the Greek for "human" and "-cene" denoting a geological period.

Conservation efforts appear to be having scant impact as the index is showing a steeper plunge in wildlife populations than two years ago, when the WWF estimated there had been a 52 per cent decline between 1970 and 2010.

"Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate," Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said in a statement of the group's Living Planet Report, published every two years.

"Biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans," he said.

"We are entering a new era in Earth's history: the Anthropocene."

The index tracks about 14,200 populations of 3,700 species of vertebrates — creatures ranging from pea-sized frogs to 30-metre long whales.

The rising human population is threatening wildlife by clearing land for farms and cities, the report said. Other factors include pollution, invasive species, hunting and climate change. But there are still chances to reverse the trends, it said.

Biscuit, left, a baby male snow leopard, lives with his mother Shikari at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Snow leopards live in the high mountains of Central Asia and the wild population is estimated to number in the low thousands. (Mario Tama/Getty)

"Importantly… these are declines, they are not yet extinctions," said Prof. Ken Norris, the society's director of science.

Deon Nel, WWF global conservation director, also told Reuters it wasn't all bad news.

"I don't speak at all about doom and gloom — we do see a lot of positive signs," Nel said.

A global agreement signed by almost 200 nations last year to curb climate change could, for instance, help protect tropical forests, slow a spread of deserts and curb an acidification of the seas caused by a build-up of carbon dioxide. And a 2015 UN plan for sustainable development by 2030, seeking to end poverty with policies that safeguard the environment, would also help if properly implemented.

Some species are recovering. Last month, the giant panda was taken off an endangered list after a recovery in China. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mother of Young Child Arrested, Isolated in Iran - No-one Knows Why

Petitioning Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May MP and 2 others

Free Nazanin Ratcliffe

Richard Ratcliffe United Kingdom   - Change.org

My wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37 year old charity worker, was on holiday visiting her family in Iran. She was at the airport returning to the UK on the 3rd April when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. She has been transferred to an unknown location in Kerman Province, 1,000 kilometres south of Tehran, and is being held in solitary confinement.

Gabriella Ratcliffe our 22 month old daughter (who has British citizenship only) has had her British passport confiscated, and is stranded in Iran with her grandparents.

Nazanin has not been allowed to access a lawyer or her daughter. She has not been able to call out of the country to speak to me, her British husband, and the Red Cross have not been able to make contact.

There have been no charges. Nazanin has informed her family that she has been required to sign a confession under duress, its content unknown. Her family have been informed that the investigation relates to an issue of ‘national security’.

It is hard to understand how a young mother and her small child on holiday could be considered an issue of national security. She has been to Iran to visit her family regularly since making Britain her home.

Nazanin currently works as a project manager for the Thomson-Reuters Foundation; which delivers charitable projects around the world. It does not work in Iran.

Nazanin has now been in solitary confinement for over 30 days.

Please help bring my wife and daughter home by signing my petition calling on our Prime Minister Theresa May to use her power and intervene.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What is Really Going on in Aleppo? It is Tragic and Infuriating!

Western powers, ie USA, Britain, France, Germany, etc., are supporting a rag-tag ensemble of rebels in an attempt to get them all on the same page in order to overthrow Assad. There are 22 different groups fighting in East Aleppo, all of whom are involved in the bombing and murdering of civilians including children in West Aleppo as they try to expand their territory westward. 

These are the people the west wants to win! These are the people the west wants to govern Syria. At the very least they are no better than Assad and because they are so fragmented, each with their own motivations and ambitions, they can never form a stable government and could easily end up a far worse regime than Assad's. They could also end up being a far bigger threat to Israel. 

The main force in this 'coalition' is the Al-Nusra Front which is associated with al Queda. Western powers are supplying them with weapons, finances, and propaganda facilities. According to the two very knowledgeable women interviewed below the apparently heroic 'white helmets' are trained mercenaries and murderers who are well armed and whose real purpose is to help resupply the rebels.

One point made several times is that western media are deliberately propagandizing western efforts overthrow Assad. Such a scheme is really only going to keep the war going ad infinitum until Syria is a complete wasteland, but it is really good for arms merchants to keep the inventory moving. It's hard to understand why left-leaning western media are playing into the hands of the military industrial establishment, but they are.

The narrative written below is a poor excerpt from the video. Please watch and listen especially to the reporter who is also interviewed.

West, Arab States ‘Protecting Terrorists’ Who Will Never Win in Syria – Mother Agnes

 © Bassam Khabieh
© Bassam Khabieh / Reuters

The West and the Arab states keep sponsoring and defending militants in Syria, despite the fact that they will never prevail against the government, Christian nun and Syrian peace campaigner Mother Agnes-Mariam told RT.

“It’s a tragedy for the civilians and for any person that’s living in Syria because there’s no security. And the security doesn’t exist because the international community is still financing and protecting the terrorists,” she said. 

The mother superior of the monastery of St James the Mutilated in Syria’s Homs province said that she couldn’t understand why the foreign powers are “gambling with the names” of terror groups.

Al-Qaeda’s offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra “changes its name and it becomes a moderate rebel [group]. And all this is threatening the lives of millions of people,” she stressed.

“Western and Arab powers are helping Jabhat al-Nusra as being the sole rebel power to be strong enough to stand facing the Syrian Arab Army,” Mother Agnes-Mariam said.

However, she said that this support will only add to the suffering of the population, but won’t bring the results desired by the militants’ sponsors.

“I don’t think that the opposition will end up in power because they’re… totally divided among them,” the Melite nun explained.

Mother Agnes-Mariam expressed regret that her humanitarian work in Aleppo has been distorted and even “demonized” by the Western media.

“The main stream media don’t care about what’s really happening on the ground. What they care about is to produce things that are more in harmony with their policies. It’s brainwashing. They can orient the public opinion towards what they would like the people to believe,” she said.

According to the nun, her group provides help to all the side of the conflicts, including the militants and their families.

“The rebels from the Free Syrian Army, they have esteem for what I might give them security, counseling and also humanitarian help,” she said.

“But the mainstream media and those who are standing behind them, they don’t care about any good we’re doing. They always try to translate what we’re doing into politics...  And it’s a real scandal,” Mother Agnes-Mariam added.

Palestinian Terrorism and Muslim Hypocrisy: An Open Letter from a Muslim Woman

JULY 1, 2016, 
by Nadiya Al-Noor - a young Muslim interfaith activist with a focus on Jewish and Muslim communities

While millions of children got out of bed on the morning of June 30, 2016, excited for summer vacation, one child did not. A young Israeli girl, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffe Ariel, was brutally murdered in her own bed by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist. He broke into her house and stabbed her to death. Another life lost to senseless violence. Another poor soul taken too early from this world. But few Muslims in this world will be mourning her death, because Hallel was an Israeli Jew.

I am a Muslim, and I know that when it comes to Palestinian terrorism, too many Muslims are hypocrites. I have seen firsthand the casual, destructive anti-Semitism that plagues the Muslim community. I have heard it from the mouths of our religious leaders, from our politicians, and even from our otherwise peaceful, liberal Muslim activists. I have witnessed in horror the desperate attempts to justify Palestinian terrorism from people who I once respected. Why? Why do we decry all other types of terrorism, but bend over backwards to legitimize violence against Israeli Jews?

We blame it on “Zionism.” We blame it on “occupation.” We blame it on “apartheid.” We lap up the tired, anti-Semitic lies fed to us by Al-Jazeera: “Israelis cut off the water supply!” “Israelis are going to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque!” We’re not even willing to admit that Israel is a country. We call it “Palestine.” We refuse to call violence against Israelis “terrorism,” and we hypocritically scream, “Resistance is not a crime!”

Let me tell you something. Stabbing pregnant women in the stomach is not “resistance.” Shooting people at a cafe is not “resistance.” Driving your car into pedestrians is not “resistance.” Bombing a bus is not “resistance.” Breaking into a woman’s home and murdering her in front of her children is not “resistance.” And stabbing a little girl to death in the one place where she was supposed to be safe is certainly not “resistance.” Terrorism is not resistance. Terrorism is an unjustifiable crime.

Muslims around the world are constantly decrying ISIS and most terrorism in the name of Islam. I know Muslims who are interfaith activists, peace advocates, doctors, gay rights activists, and more. We sincerely hate ISIS and terrorism with a passion. We’ll stand up against the persecution of Christians, atheists, Hindus, Shias, Ahmadis, and anyone else who is persecuted. We will sob to the heavens if a Palestinian is killed, but when it comes to Palestinian terrorism against Jews, we either turn a blind eye to it, or we twist the story to make the terrorists into the victims. This is unacceptable.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “If you say… ‘Violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ – then you too are part of the problem.” 

He is absolutely right. Terror is terror, even when it’s against Israelis. Do not try to justify or make excuses for the terrorism that happens much too often in Israel. Innocent people are being killed. Their lives are just as important as those killed in Paris, Brussels, Nigeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, or Syria. Their deaths are no more deserved.

Of course we must condemn instances where injustices are committed by the Israeli government or any other government or authority of any sort. Of course we must affirm the right to life of Palestinians, but one life is not worth more than another. An Israeli life lost is equal to that of a Palestinian. Tragedy is not a competition. We must mourn for both, and fight to prevent the loss of both. We must decry all terrorism committed. We must not bend over backwards to try to justify it. We must not blame innocent people for being slaughtered, or justify the actions of the terrorists who slaughter them. If we justify acts of terrorism, it is an indication that we do no really believe in peace.

When you make excuses for terrorists, you support terrorism. Period. Until we stand against terrorism in all its forms, against terrorists from every background, we Muslims are hypocrites. Allah does not love hypocrites.

The world lost a beautiful little girl on Thursday. We must not let Hallel’s death be ignored. We must fight anti-Semitism in all its forms, and that includes fighting against Palestinian terrorism. This was a terrible tragedy, and we must work to prevent it from happening to someone else’s child. In the words of my friend Afshine Emrani, an Iranian-American, “Dear God. Help us. We are not supposed to say Kaddish for a bat mitzvah girl.”

Argentina Requests Extradition of Former Iranian FM for Role in 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

by TheTower.org Staff

Ali Akbar Velayati  [Photo: Fars News ]

Argentina has requested the extradition of Iran’s former foreign minister due to his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aries, Agence France-Presse reported Friday.

The extradition of Ali Akbar Velayati, currently a close advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was sent by Investigating Judge Rodolfo Canicoba to the government of Iraq, where Velayati is currently visiting. Canicoba made similar requests to Singapore and Malaysia when Velayati visited those nations in July.

Argentinian authorities suspect five senior Iranian officials, including Velayati and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of being involved in the bombing, which killed 85 people and is the deadliest-ever terror attack on Argentinian soil.

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was charged with investigating the AMIA bombing, died of a gunshot wound to the head in January 2015 under mysterious circumstances. In March, a three-judge panel unanimously referred the inquiry into Nisman’s death to a federal court to be investigated as a political murder.

Nisman was also investigating a pact made by then-Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to jointly investigate the bombing with Iranian authorities. Nisman alleged that Kirchner and other senior Argentinian authorities were engaged in a quid pro quo to cover up Iran’s involvement in the bombing in exchange for favorable trade deals. He died shortly before (less than 24 hours) he was due to present his proof to the national congress.

A journalist investigating his death fled Argentina for his life after being threatened.

The murder also resulted in de Kirchner-Fernandez  dissolving the Argentine Secret Service which had been operating for nearly 70 years.

A court later declared that the joint investigation was unconstitutional. New president Mauricio Macri, who was elected last December, said that he would not renew the agreement to jointly investigate the bombing.

In Can Argentina’s New Government Deliver Justice for Its Victims of Iranian Terror?, which was published in the January 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Eamonn MacDonagh examined the possibility that the Macri government would bring the perpetrators of the AMIA to justice as well as the obstacles it would face in doing so.

There is no possibility that Velayati will ever be extradited from Iran or anywhere else for that matter, but cudos for trying. Does anyone still doubt that Iran's raison d'etre is to kill Jews?

Israel’s Next Gaza War will be the Last, Defense Minister Vows

There is no credit given, except for the photo, but I suspect this piece was written by Reuters as it is much too balanced for anything written by RT which I have accused of being antisemitic right on their own website.

The arguments on who's land Palestine is needs some scientific input, I believe, and I think I know how it can be achieved. Hebrew University should join a Palestinian university in a genetic research project. Thousands of random Palestinians and Jews should be asked for DNA samples and have those sample tested for historical heritage.

Palestinians would need to be researched back to 50, 100 and 150 years to determine where previous generations lived; Jews would need to be researched back to 2 and 3 thousand years. 

There would be no need to use names, simply assign each candidate a number based on whether they are Jew or Palestinian. It would be a good idea to separate out Gazans from other Palestinians as I suspect many quite recently moved to Gaza. It was less than 20 years ago, I think, that Gaza was predominantly Christian, but now there are few Christians left on the strip. There may be many explanations for this but migration may be one of them.

There is a school of thought that 'Palestine' was largely devoid of Palestinians just 100 years ago. After WWI Muslims began immigrating to Palestine to fight the British who had overtaken the territory from the Ottomans. Even then the numbers were pitifully small. As a previous post suggests, had there been one million Palestinians in Palestine in 1920, or at the turn of the century, there would be 40 million Palestinians today, not 4 million. Consequently, the numbers must have been much, much less than one million.

It is believed by some that Gazans have their roots in Egypt, and West Bankers in Saudi Arabia, and virtually all have migrated in the past 100 years. Jewish roots go back thousands of years to when Abraham was given the land by God Himself. And, except for 400 years in Egypt, was Jewish settled until the diaspora in the century following the Crucifixion of Christ.

   © Mohammed Salem / Reuters

Stressing that Tel Aviv has “no intention of starting a new war,” Israel's defense minister has vowed to seek the total destruction of Hamas if the militant group – which refuses to recognize the Jewish state – attempts to “impose” a conflict on Israel.

“As minister of defense, I would like to clarify that we have no intention of starting a new war against our neighbors in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, Lebanon, or Syria,” Avigdor Lieberman told Al-Quds daily.

However, he warned the Palestinian Sunni fundamentalist organization Hamas that if a conflict does erupt, Israel will be forced to protect itself.

“But in Gaza, like the Iranians, they intend to eliminate the state of Israel...if they impose the next war on Israel, it will be their last. I would like to emphasize again: It will be their last confrontation because we will completely destroy them.”

The last time Israel fought Hamas was in the seven-week Operation Protective Edge, in which 2,101 people died in the Gaza Strip. According to UN figures, at least 1,460 of those killed in Israeli air raids and ground operations were civilians. Israel lost 64 soldiers in the operation, in addition to seven civilians killed in Israel by rocket attacks.

Remember, Hamas fired rockets into Israel from school grounds, hospitals, and other civilian occupied facilities for the express purpose of drawing Israeli fire which they knew would result in civilian casualties. Hamas sacrificed over a thousand civilians, including children, for the sake of propaganda. They started the offence and then made themselves look like victims. That is typical Islamic terrorist propaganda.

“If Hamas stops digging tunnels, rearming and firing rockets, we will lift the blockade and build the port and airport by ourselves,”
Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Defense, Israel

Lieberman promised to lift the blockade on Gaza and help rebuild destroyed infrastructure if Hamas ceases its military activities against Israel.

“If Hamas stops digging tunnels, rearming and firing rockets, we will lift the blockade and build the port and airport by ourselves,” he said.

That sounds like an amazing deal! Why doesn't Hamas take them up on it? Why don't they test them on it, even for just a couple years while Israel is rebuilding Gaza's airport and seaport? The answer is obvious - Hamas does not want peace and prosperity for Gazans; they want death for Jews at whatever the cost. Two years of peace with Israel would be terrifying to Hamas - their under-the-table paychecks from Iran would stop, and the people might actually like peace and prosperity rather than the constant stream of hatred shoved down their throats by Hamas.

In response to the defense minister's statements, Hamas leader Fathi Hammad said the movement is “in no way afraid and this is a powerful message from Gaza to Lieberman,” AP reported.

Despite the relative calm between Hamas and Israel, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades – Hamas' military wing which has alleged ties to Iran – continues to carry out regular rocket attacks against southern Israel. While most of the projectiles fall in deserted areas, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continues to retaliate against the attacks, striking Hamas targets in Gaza air raids.

Gaza and the West Bank, which are divided by the Israeli state, comprise of territories claimed by the Palestinians as the State of Palestine. While both territories fall under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, Gaza, unlike the West Bank, has been ruled by Hamas since June 2007, after the group came to power in free elections a year earlier.

'Free elections', right!

While Hamas hinders negotiations of a two-state solution by refusing to recognize Israel, the Palestinian Authority and its Fatah party are pushing for international recognition of the state of Palestine along the 1967 lines.

That is the 'pre-1967 6 day war' lines, 6 days before Israel was attacked on three sides by Muslims trying to annihilate the Jews for the second time in 20 years. Remember, Israel returned the entire Sinai Peninsula, an area twice the size of Israel, to Egypt. They proved that Egypt couldn't attack them from the Sinai, so they had no need of it. But Syria can attack Israel from the Golan Heights, and Jordan from the West Bank, so why would they surrender control over land they won in a war when it makes them much more vulnerable to attack? Have you ever heard of that before?

In his Monday interview, Lieberman said that a two-state solution to the conflict is possible based on land swaps – included in proposals earlier voiced as part of the solution to resolve the decades-old conflict. The defense minister also said he is critical of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

But when asked whether he is ready to negotiate with Hamas, Lieberman responded that there is nothing to discuss.

“I cannot speak with someone who declares every day that he hates me and threatens to destroy the state of Israel and drive us into the sea,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian foreign ministry accused Lieberman of spreading lies in order to continue Israeli occupation and settlements.

What lies is he referring to?

“Lieberman declares himself to be in favor of a two-state solution while taking pride in being a settler and legitimizing the continued building of settlements and the Judaization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by Haaretz.

'Taking pride in'? Need I repeat, 'The defense minister also said he is critical of Israeli settlements in the West Bank'!

The ministry also accused Lieberman of “trying to explain away his carrot-and-stick policy with a web of lies that won’t be believed by the Palestinian people.”

Test him on it! Your biggest fear is that they will believe. 
Peace is a nightmare scenario for Jew haters

Six Day War Territories.svg

Monday, October 24, 2016

Corruption Creeping Back into Nigerian Military Gives Power to Boko Haram

83 Nigerian soldiers missing after Boko Haram attack
By Ed Adamczyk  

Nigerian army members with refugees from Boko Haram. Sources said 83 Nigerian soldiers remain missing after an attack on their installation in the village of Gashigar in Borno state. Photo courtesy of Nigerian Army/Facebook

GASHIGAR , Nigeria, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Eighty-three Nigerian soldiers are missing six days after a battle with Boko Haram forces, military sources said.

The soldiers remain unaccounted for after the Islamist insurgents attacked their base at Gashigar in Nigeria's Borno state. The Nigerian army confirmed the attack last week but has not offered updates nor mentioned the missing soldiers. The Nigerian newspaper Pulse, citing a story in the Premium Times, said top military sources confirmed the soldiers were missing.

The sources suggested the soldiers may have drowned in the Yobe River while fleeing the attack. About 22 soldiers were rescued from the river by Niger's army and are recovering in a Diffa, Niger, hospital, they said, but others were shot and killed as they attempted to escape in the river. 

Corruption - Soldiers unpaid, fed 1 meal per day

The sources added poor morale, brought on by unpaid salaries and only one meal per day, is affecting the Nigerian army as it seeks to control the insurgent group; they suggested commanding officers are skimming the daily pay and rations for their own benefit, a practice common during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan but allegedly changed by President Muhammudu Buhari.

President Buhari, your country is slipping back into its former ways of world-class corruption. It's time to clean house again. You do not want to be compared with Goodluck Jonathon.

A renewed show of strength by Boko Haram comes after several months of the Nigerian army's claims that it is winning the battle against the insurgents, and that combat operations will soon slow. The army announced Saturday that 21 people were arrested for livestock rustling, a common means in Borno state of funding Boko Haram.

    Gashigar is north of Maiduguri along the Niger border

Hidden Off-Shore Banking Set to Result in Dramatic Changes to Icelandic Government

Iceland’s Pirate Party poised for
Saturday election win – poll
Anti-elitism in Iceland appears to be more successful than Trump's orange revolution in America

Members of the Icelandic Pirate Party  © Píratar
Members of the Icelandic Pirate Party © Píratar / Facebook

Iceland’s national election is likely to bring unprecedented results, with a new poll suggesting the Pirate Party will win. Led by a poet and former WikiLeaks activist, it’s running on an anti-corruption campaign against the financial and political elite.

An opinion poll conducted by the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland and commissioned by Morgunblaðið newspaper found that one in five voters intends to cast their ballot for the Pirate Party on Saturday.

That figure puts the party in first place with 22.6 percent of the votes – 1.5 percent ahead of the center-right Independence Party, which is currently in power. Those numbers would give each of the two parties 15 MPs in the 63-seat parliament.

Such a win would be history-making for the Pirate Party, which is led by Birgitta Jónsdóttir – a poet, web developer, former WikiLeaks activist.

The party's forecast success is largely based on its campaign against perceived corruption among Iceland's elite.

Support for the party increased by a whopping 43 percent after the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson in April, after it was revealed that he and his family had sheltered money in offshore accounts. The party's cause was also helped by the Panama Papers, which revealed other prominent Icelandic politicians had done the same.

Earlier this year, Jónsdóttir called her party's success “strange and very exciting,” adding that it was “driven not by fear, but by courage and hope,” the Guardian reported.

However, she has acknowledged that the party – which was created less than four years ago as a movement against global copyright laws – is inexperienced when it comes to the economy.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir © Icelandic Pirate Party
Birgitta Jónsdóttir © Icelandic Pirate Party / Wikipedia

“We know that we are new to this and it is important that we are extra careful and extra critical on ourselves to not take too much on. I really don't think that we are going to make a lot of ripples in the economy in the first term,” she told Reuters last month.

However, the Pirate Party – whose campaign is largely crowdfunded – is after more than just looser copyright laws and less corruption from politicians. In an effort to get young voters on board, the party has asked the developers of the popular app Pokemon Go to turn polling stations into Pokestops – locations where players can collect the items necessary to catch Pokemon.

The party has also promised to grant asylum to US whistleblower Edward Snowden and accept the bitcoin currency. It has also pledged to give voters a direct say over policy and decriminalize drugs.

One caution for Icelanders: it is one thing to vote out a government that is corrupt, but please make sure the government you vote-in is one you actually want.

The Pirate Party last week ruled out the possibility of entering a coalition with the Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) or the centrist Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn). Jónsdóttir has suggested she would prefer to be the speaker of the Icelandic parliament, rather than becoming prime minister.

The party's predicted success will be a huge leap from the 2013 general election, when it gained just 5 percent of votes and three seats in parliament. That result was still extremely significant, however, as it made Iceland the only country in the world have members of the Pirate movement in government.

The Pirate Party first began in Sweden in 2006, and was created to bring about digital copyright reform. There are now 40 such parties around the world.