Its essence, founded on two cardinal values — the unity of God and his mercy — has been transformed over the ages into political ideologies, myths and legends, folklore, commerce and medical and psychological cure-alls.
It has been utilised by institutions and individuals throughout history. It has been encumbered with successive layers of accretions, the accumulated mass of which has shrouded its major wellsprings and altered its nature and essence, as has occurred with other religions. It is for these reasons that Islam needs reform.
Salafis may leap up and say, “we’ll take charge of that.” After all, they claim to want to return to fundamentals. But they lack scientific method and the critical approach that seeks to unearth the objective truth...
Many say that everything is to be found in the Quran, the “founding text” of Islam. As long as we have that, we can go back to the origin as revealed to the prophet. However, this assertion overlooks four main issues:
-- First, the true approach to the Quran has been forgotten with time, meaning that it has become something that is read and recited in order to acquire divine blessings, rather than a book to be contemplated, studied, and probed for its deeper meanings and truths using modern methods of critical analysis.
For all the above reasons we need religious reform... It should be stressed that religious reform does not mean changing the faith. It means rethinking the many forms of religiosity and the many pieties that transform religion into a political ideology, a folklore, a mode of commerce or a palliative.
There can be no progress towards enlightenment unless we accept five basic principles.
-- The first is that faith is a personal matter.
In the end, we could say that the core principle of Islam is mercy. I suggest that we search for this and that wherever we find it we will find true Islam, regardless of the hair-splitting of those who have claimed to be the guardians of Islam in the course of its long history.
How to Become a Visionary Person
"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin.
Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome.
They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart." Muamar Gaddafi, in his Green Book
Cairo has been hosting talks in an effort to unify Libya’s various military bodies. According to Radi, Serraj thanked Sisi for this.
Yesterday, an array of Libyan military leaders from the east and the west of the country were in Cairo in for the fourth round of talks to bring about a unified army.
Libyan National Army spokesman Ahmed Mismari, one of those taking part, said “we have made excellent understanding to reactivate the military establishment.”
“The Cairo meetings demonstrate the ability of the Libyan armed forces to confront the current crisis,” he added.
Mismari was insistent that, while he supported the current political process, it was still vital that efforts to unify and strengthen the army were carried on regardless of it.
Flashback 2002: Sharon's provocations
"The Palestine National Authority (PNA) considers Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon as being responsible for the cycle of terror. Sharon’s army is continuing its policy of destruction, killing and collective punishment, to paralyze the Palestinian society...
The Iranian president stressed the importance of boosting cordial relations between Tehran and London after the implementation of the landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
The British foreign secretary, for his part, said that London did not regard Trump's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as an appropriate move. He said the JCPOA was a positive accord, which should be upheld in a way that the Iranian nation could take advantage of its economic benefits. Johnson also expressed Britain's willingness to participate in Iran's investment projects.
Flashback: Iranian capital to host international conference on Palestine
Jesus, the anti-Zionist |
& True Worshipers
“Woman,” Jesus said, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain [Gerizim] nor in Jerusalem..
A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21
Netanyahu, the Zionist, & The Bible
Netanyahu cited 'the Bible' [NOT the New Testament] as proof of the position, saying that the Bible makes it clear Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, saying it was “absurd” of European officials not to accept that position out of hand.
The status of Jerusalem, in reality, is intensely contested, because it is religiously significant to multiple religions, and is claimed as the cpaital of not just Israel, but of Palestine as well. That Israel has expanded the definition of “Greater Jerusalem” to include large amounts of Palestine only makes such declarations more controversial.
Indeed, the occupation is a big reason why up Trump’s declaration, no nation had accepted Israel’s claim of Jerusalem as a capital, and everyone had their embassies in Tel Aviv. The rest of the world largely maintains that such a position will remain until the resolution of the occupation and the establishment of permanent borders.
U.S. President Donald Trump wished the Jewish people a happy Hanukkah as the Festival of Lights gets underway at sundown on Tuesday.
“Hanukkah is a time for Jewish families around the world to come together around the lighting of the menorah and celebrate the miracles of the past and promises of the future...” Trump said in a statement.
“The miracle of Hanukkah began more than 2,000 years ago, when the practice of Judaism was made punishable by death. A small band of Jewish patriots rose up and reclaimed their Jewish identity by vanquishing a mighty army. In their pursuit to rededicate their holy temple, the Jewish heroes found only enough oil to light the temple's menorah for one night. However, a miracle occurred and with God's grace the oil lasted for eight days.”
“On this holiday, we are proud to stand with the Jewish people who shine as a light to all nations...” he concluded.
Hannukah & Zealotism
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Hellenist Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE.
The Maccabees: Heroes or Fanatics?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met at his office in Jerusalem with senior White House adviser and son-in-law to U.S. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Trump Special Representative to International Negotiations Jason D. Greenblatt, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman (21-6-2017).
Answer: The move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem brings on a flood of thoughts. Briefly: This completes the UN creation of Israel on Nov. 29, 1947. Coincidentally, it came 70 years and 7 days after the UN vote. Also of note, it came 3 days shy of the centenary of British conquest of Jerusalem from the Ottomans. As a specialist on the Middle East, I hate to admit it, but this step results from fresh faces breaking with a stale past.The move sends exactly the right to the Palestinians: your continued attempt to eliminate the Jewish state of Israel will cost you.
The Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim obsession with Jerusalem stems not from a religious interest in the city but a desire to control it. Put differently, where Zionists tread, Palestinians follow.
Trump's December 2017 moving the embassy neatly checks and refutes Obama's December 2016 abstaining from U.N. Security Council resolution 2334.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has rejected the United States' decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the group's secretary general announced.
Yousef al-Othaimeen, speaking on Wednesday at the opening of an OIC summit in Istanbul, urged Muslim leaders to work together to present a united response to the move.
"The OIC rejects and condemns the American decision," he said. "This is a violation of international law ... and this is a provocation of the feelings of Muslims within the world.."
Speaking ahead of Othaimeen, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the US has "disqualified" itself from future Israel-Palestine peace talks after proving its "bias in favour of Israel".
"We shall not accept any role for the United States in the peace process, they have proven their full bias in favour of Israel," he said. "Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine."
Palestinians envisage East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel says Jerusalem, which is under Israeli occupation, cannot be divided.
The extraordinary OIC summit was called for by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Trump's announcement.
Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, reporting from Istanbul, said Erdogan was seeking to "unite the Muslim world" and "come up with a concerted response" to the US' move.
"He faces a daunting task," our correspondent said. "In the hall that he was addressing, there were countries who are not willing to go beyond rhetoric opposition at the expense of sacrificing their relationship with the United States..."
"The U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, above all, means punishing Palestinians who have proven numerous times that they side with peace instead of violence", President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit that convened in Istanbul.
He called upon "all just countries" to protect Jerusalem as Palestine's capital, adding that Muslim countries would never give upon the sovereignty and independence of Palestine.
"While the occupying state is being recognized, there is no logical reason for the party that wants peace, that lives in one fifth of historical Palestine to not be recognized." (Daily Sabah, 13-12-2017)
In 2002 all of the 57 states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen included!) expressed their support for the Arab Peace Initiative.
Who is Netanyahu?
Father-Jabotinski-Irgun: "From the pit of decay and dust - With blood and sweat - Shall arise a race - Proud generous and cruel - Captured Betar, Yodefet, Masada - Shall arise again in all their strength and glory.."
Netanyahu: Those who threaten us risk being destroyed. Arutz Sheva, 24/04/2017
Netanyahu: OIC Jerusalem statement
Appearing to call for ethnic cleansing, a retired IDF general seeking to become a key figure in the Labor [Zionist Union] party said that if the Palestinians continue to violate their agreements with Israel, the military should “tear them apart” in a future war and forcibly transfer them to “the other side of the Jordan River.”
Amiram Levin criticized longstanding left-wing policies, espoused the expansion of Jewish settlements and called for the rejection of the 1967 borders, in excerpts published Wednesday from an interview with the Maariv daily set to appear on Friday.
“The Palestinians caused the occupation. They didn’t accept the borders of the partition plan [after the 1948 War of Independence], and they started the war [of 1967]. We were right to take Judea and Samaria,” he said, referring to the West Bank.
“We need to engage in tough negotiations that do not take us back to the ’67 borders,” Levin said of Israel’s pre-Six Day War borders, which negotiators have generally agreed will form the basis for partitioning the land under a future peace agreement.
“We will give [the Palestinians] a carrot in the form of a state, and if they don’t want it, we will tear them apart,” he said. “I have said many times in the past that next time we have a war, they will no longer remain here, we will kick them out to the other side of the Jordan River. That’s how we need to fight. We were too nice in ’67.”
Levin ran an aborted campaign in July’s Labor leadership race, and has since been touted as one of the party’s security experts by new leader Avi Gabbay. In a sign of his unofficial status in the party, last month Levin escorted Gabbay on a trip with Labor lawmakers to the Gaza border.
The retired general said in the interview that he supported ending Israeli control over the millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank, but not out of concern for the Palestinians.
“They don’t deserve anything,” he said. “The problem is that controlling them corrupts us; it is a threat to us and I want to save our society.”
Levin’s comments were rejected vehemently by Arab Israeli lawmakers.
MK Jamal Zahalka of the Joint List said the comments “expose the true face of the Labor party that is overtaking Likud from the right.” “This is a party that is trying to be extremist in order to gain power,” fellow Joint List MK Hanin Zoabi echoed.
Last week Labor party chief Avi Gabbay said preserving a “united” Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty was more important than clinching a peace deal with the Palestinians.
More Palestinian news here: The electronic intifada
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin said that Israel needs to acclimate the international community to the idea of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria following US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the US embassy in Israel to the capital.
Minister Elkin said in an interview with Arutz Sheva that Trump's speech recognizing Jerusalem "has the meaning of a statement by the world's greatest superpower and a recognition of the simple reality that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, and no president has done so before Trump, so it certainly has significance."
-- Trump also spoke of the two-state solution.
-- "It is true that unfortunately Trump mentioned the two-state solution, but he made reservations by saying that it should be acceptable to both sides, which is a major change in the American approach and the European approach that we heard this week during the prime minister's visit.
I personally strongly oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state, and do not think that this is a viable solution."
-- But the prime minister's official position has not changed with regard to support for two states.
-- "This is a position of his own, not of the Likud movement and not of the Israeli government."
Gilad Atzmon, 12-12-2017:|
"Zionism was a promise to bring about a new civilised Jew. It vowed to make Jews people like all other people.
Zionism failed and its failure is a window into the core essence of Jewishness.
My study of Jewishness suggests that there is no collective remedy for the Jewish question.
If you care enough; break out, run for your life. Search for the universal, the ordinary, the bread, the butter and brotherhood."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. He gave the command during a surprise visit to Khmeimim Airbase in Syria’s Latakia province on Monday morning.
The Russian president was met by his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the airbase, which houses Russian forces assisting Syria in the battle against Islamic State terrorists (IS, formerly ISIS).
“I order the defense minister and chief of the general staff to start the withdrawal of Russian troops to the site of their permanent deployment," Putin stated, speaking in front of Russian military personnel at Khmeimim.
The Russian leader said that in the space of two years the Russian and Syrian militaries have “defeated the most battle-hardened grouping of international terrorists.”
syria 2013-2015: al-qaeda and isis terrorism
Putin added that he had made the decision that a significant number of the Russian military contingent in Syria should return to Russia.
He warned that should the terrorists try to “rear their heads” in Syria again, Russia will strike them as “they have never seen before.”
The Russian leader added that the conditions for a political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations had been created in Syria, and that refugees were returning home.
Putin said that the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria would continue its work, and that Russia would continue to use Khmeimim Airbase and the Syrian port of Tartus, which provides technical support for the Russian Navy.
After a short visit to Syria, the Russian president headed for Cairo, where he is scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
During his meeting with Assad and several Russian and Syrian military commanders, the Russian President praised the leader of the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces division, Major General Suheil Al-Hassan, for his heroics on the battlefield, as well his impressive results against the terrorist groups inside Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted to the lower house of Russia’s parliament an agreement to transform the Tartus navy refueling facility in Syria into a fully-fledged navy base, capable of harboring nuclear-powered ships.
The development would be for a term of 49 years and would grant the Russian Navy access to the territorial waters and to various ports of the Syrian Arab Republic. The revamped Tartus navy base would be able to accept up to 11 ships at once, including nuclear-powered vessels.
The document also acknowledges that military and technical cooperation between Russia and Syria is strictly defensive in character and does not target any other nations.
Former chief of staff of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, told Interfax that the expanded base would contribute to the navy’s “operative capabilities” in the Mediterranean Sea and Middle East as a whole. He also said that the developed navy base would be much larger than the current facility, which is used for refueling and technical support of ships.
“The base should be stretched over a decent tract of land, with all necessary security and defense facilities. The base can accept all ships, up to missile cruisers, allowing them to replenish all supplies and give some rest to the crew,” the admiral said.
Lower House MP Dmitry Belik told RIA Novosti that the Russian navy group that is currently stationed off the coast of Syria would maintain its current strength of over 10 combat ships and support vessels.
“Russian ships are a sea-front, created for fighting international terrorism. We cannot exclude that Islamic State terrorists would attempt a landing operation and, in such situation, the Russian navy remains a powerful containment factor.."
The collapse of agreements on the Iranian nuclear program will send a wrong signal to those who hope to solve the crisis over North Korea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, on Friday.
According to Lavrov, the root cause of the current tensions in the world is the "consistent egoistic and cynical policy of a number of countries led by the United States."
The Western countries, which believe in their superiority and impeccability and that their approaches must be perceived as the ultimate truth, "try to obstruct a natural process of building a new more fair and democratic polycentric world order," Lavrov said.
"Those who disagree are subject to a broad range of repressions, including blackmail, the introduction of unilateral sanctions and direct meddling in their domestic affairs," he said.
The deal on Iran’s nuclear program, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015.
In October, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s new strategy against Tehran.
Thus, it says that the United States will seek to offset Iran’s destabilizing influence and will call on the international community to get consolidated to exert pressure on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (Iran's most powerful security and military organization).
Apart from that, the US leader refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal and pledged Washington would seek to amend the JCPOA.
Flashback: "That what is sacred in the world is man" General Mufti of the Syrian Arabic Republic, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun
"You are human beings from among those He has created.
Turning to education, Dr Hassoun said, "Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator".
Christian and Muslim spiritual leaders meeting in Bkirki (Lebanon) warned that U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration on Jerusalem represents “a provocation against over three billion people which targets the core of their faith.” The spiritual leaders “reject this decision and demand its reversal,” the summit's closing statement said.
Trump's decision “violates international laws and conventions and insults the symbolism of the city of Jerusalem as a unifying spiritual city,” the statement added.
The summit was called by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, who said in opening remarks that the U.S. declaration is “an unjust decision against Palestinians, Arabs, Christians and Muslims.”
“It violates U.N. resolutions and international law,” al-Rahi lamented. “We categorically reject the Judaization of [Jerusalem],” he added.
U.S. President Donald Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to that city [..] led to worldwide condemnation and rejection. The United States still has a chance to rescind its decision and accept East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine. This is the only way that the peace process can be revitalized.
One of the good things that has come out of the misguided Trump decision is that while the Palestinian question has been left in oblivion since the start of the Arab Spring movements and the rise of Daesh terrorism, the U.S. decision has put it back at the center of the global agenda again.
This new momentum should now be utilized to find a fair and lasting peace.
Over the past several years, Palestinians have done more than their fair share to lay the groundwork for the peace process.
Earlier this year, Hamas unveiled a new political document that accepted the formation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and made an important distinction between the religion of Judaism and the Zionist project.
In October, Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal to engage in negotiations as one. Yet again, they lack a true and serious counterpart on the Israeli side to move the process forward.
Israelis and their American and European supporters must realize that the troubles in the Holy Land will not go away until the Israeli occupation ends...
The U.S.-Israeli 'might makes right' approach is self-defeating and the biggest threat to peace and security.
Jerusalem is not up for trading in populism and unilateralism, and it is certainly not for sale for any price.
If the Trump administration is serious about peace in the Middle East, it must urge Israel to end its decades-long policy of occupation, humiliation and dispossession, a policy that must be condemned and rejected as an affront to humanity in the 21st century.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for the United Nations to replace the United States as the No 1 mediator between the Palestinians and Israelis... At least in the UN, the Palestinians would find a party that shows concern over their plight.
Since its founding in 1948, the Security Council has adopted over 80 resolutions directly related to the Arab–Israeli conflict, most of them on the side of the Palestinians.
In the last five decades, the UN has endorsed several resolutions regarding Jerusalem, including resolutions 465, 476, 478 and 2334 that emphasized that any unilateral measures taken to change the historic or legal status of Jerusalem would be null and void.
The UN has also sponsored several peace negotiations between the parties and has maintained a central role in the region, especially by providing support for Palestinian refugees and by providing a platform for Palestinian political claims.
All resolutions issued by the UN Security Council insisting that Palestinians had a right to self-determination and should not be forcibly removed from their lands were simply ignored by Israel.
With the US using its veto power in the Security Council, Israel was shielded from any accountability and provided cover to continue its illegal occupation and crimes against the Palestinian people.
Which is why the claim by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley that the US will not allow the UN to “bully” Israel anymore, defies logic.
Israel has been allowed to turn the position upside down.
Turkey is starting initiatives at the United Nations to annul a decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move which has faced strong opposition from the international community, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday (dec 15).
"We have shown that our brothers in al-Quds (Jerusalem) are not alone.
We are launching new initiatives at the U.N for the annulment of the U.S. decision. No country in the world is above international laws," Erdoğan said, and continued by adding that the Muslim world's opposing stance is not a retaliation, but rather, a "struggle for justice."
"Separately, we are starting initiatives to increase [the number of] states who recognize the state of Palestine," he stressed.
Erdoğan also said that Muslim countries will start new funds to protect Palestinian families, "preventing Israel's seizure of neighborhoods, houses, and workplaces belonging to Muslims."
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Miko Peled: Get ready for ‘de-Arabization of Jerusalem'
Miko Peled (born 1961 in Jerusalem) is an Israeli-American activist. He has written one book, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.
Peled wrote in a June 2012 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times that, “Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland.."
The Judaization of Jerusalem
The Israeli government is attempting to Judaise East Jerusalem, and maintain a Jewish majority against the demographic threat of a higher Palestinian birth rate. Despite the rapid grow of the Jewish population since 1967, its relative size has decreased due to a higher growth rate among the Arab population. |
The Government has sought to increase the Jewish population by establishing Jewish neighborhoods, viewed by International Community, and Left-Wing Parties and NGOs within Israel as illegal Israeli settlements, in and around Jerusalem.
Surrounding Arab villages, who traditionally have close cultural and economic connections with Jerusalem, are cut off from the city by the Israeli West Bank barrier. At the same time, the wall tightens major Jewish population centres to Jerusalem.
Another major aspect of Israel's effort to Judaize Jerusalem was to replace the Arabic names of streets, quarters and historical sites with Hebrew names.
The Jordanian newspaper, al-Ra'i, published a list of such names and accused the Israeli government of changing the Arab names systematically to erase Arab heritage in Jerusalem and prevent the reassertion of Arab sovereignty over the city.
The attempts to Judaize Jerusalem, in the words of Jeremy Salt, "to obliterate its Palestinian identity" and thicken 'Greater Jerusalem' to encompass much of the West Bank, have continued under successive Israeli governments.
The United Nations has criticised Israel's efforts to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem in several resolutions.
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction on Saturday called for a massive demonstration next week to protest against a visit to Jerusalem by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
"We call for angry protests at the entrances to Jerusalem and in its Old City to coincide with the visit on Wednesday of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and to protest against Trump's decision," Fatah said in a statement quoted by AFP.
"We will not accept any changes to the 1967 border of east Jerusalem," Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, said Saturday. "This American position proves once again that the current U.S. administration is completely out of the peace process," he added.
Saturday’s statements also came a day after a senior official in Washington said the U.S. expects the Western Wall in Jerusalem to be part of Israel.
“We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be a part of Israel. But as the President said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement,” the official told Israeli public broadcaster Kann. The official also noted that Pence’s visit to the Western Wall as part of his upcoming trip to Israel will be an official visit and not a private one.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Egypt circulated a draft resolution that would affirm that any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be rescinded.
Diplomats said the council could vote on the proposal as early as Monday, with the United States expected to use its veto power to block it but with most, if not all, of the 14 other council members backing the measure.
Israel Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon slammed the resolution, saying, "In these days, when the Jewish nation is celebrating when Jerusalem was liberated thousands of years ago, the Palestinians continue to try and reinvent history.”
"No vote or discussion will change the clear facts: Jerusalem is and has always been the capital of 'Israel'. This time, too, we will continue to defend our historical truth, together with our allies," he added.
History of Canaan|Palestine
In 168 the Maccabean Revolt established a small Jewish state in the area. Aside from the Israeli clans of the pre-Assyrian period, this was the only premodern Jewish state to have Jerusalem as a capital.
Jerusalem was Roman/ Byzantine until 614 CE, when the Iranian Sasanid Empire again conquered it. In 629 the Byzantines took it back. The capital of Roman/Byzantine Palestine was not Jeruzalem, but Ceasarea.
Ceasarea was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE as the port city Caesarea Maritima. It served as an administrative center of Judaea Province of the Roman Empire, and later the capital of Palestine during the classic period.
Following the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, in which it was the last city to fall to the Arabs, the city had an Arab majority until Crusader conquest. It was abandoned after the Mamluk conquest. It was re-populated in 1884 by Bosniak immigrants.
The Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and ruled it until 1099, when the Crusaders conquered it. The Muslims under Saladin took it back in 1187 CE and allowed Jews to return. Muslims then ruled it until the end of World War I, or altogether over a millennium. Jerusalem during that time was not a Jewish city, but a Muslim city.
Sensationalism is a grave sin, Pope Francis has warned. News should encourage a healthy critical sense, the pontiff said.
“We must not fall prey to the ‘sins of communication’: disinformation – that is, giving just one side of the argument – slander, which is sensationalistic, or defamation, looking for outdated and old things, and bringing them to light today,” the pontiff said, addressing members of the Italian Periodical Press Union on Saturday.
So doing constitutes a “grave sin” which damages “the heart of the journalist” and harms people, the Pope said, adding that journalists have a very important mission which is to inform correctly and to offer everyone “a version of the facts conforming as closely as possible to reality.”
And now media is often dominated “by the drive for sensationalism” and “overheating of emotion” rather than “thoughtful reflection.”
The world needs “reliable information, with verified data and news, which does not aim to amaze and excite, but rather to make readers develop a healthy critical sense, enabling them to ask themselves appropriate questions and reach justified conclusions.”
netanyahu: the messiah is a wordly king and he will fight the wars of god...
His statement followed a report by the Reuters news agency on Saturday that the UN Security Council was considering a draft resolution that would nullify Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.
The text, drafted by Egypt, “affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council,” Reuters reported.
It also calls upon all states not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, demanding that “all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding Jerusalem” and not recognize “any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”
In December 2016 the Security Council voted through a resolution that “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.” Bitterly opposed by Israel, the vote passed 14-0 with the US abstaining.
The United States was further isolated on Monday over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn.
The remaining 14 council members voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem."
The UN draft resolution affirmed that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
"What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote.
It was the first veto cast by the United States in the Security Council in more than six years, Haley said. "We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance," she said. "The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council."
The draft UN resolution had also called upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
"The United States has a sovereign right to determine where and whether we establish an embassy," Haley said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked US President Donald Trump and Ambassador Haley on social media for their continued support.
"Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi... Thank you, @nikkihaley," he tweeted.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in response to the veto that they willl call for an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly.
"We are moving within 48 hours ... to call for an emergency meeting of the General Assembly," al-Maliki told reporters in Ramallah. He said the international community would "consider the decision by president Trump as null and void."
Maccabean Revolt: Hellenized Jews wanted to abolish Jewish practices |
and adopt Greek ways; opposed by Traditional Jews.
"The battle for liberty must be repeated. There was a first century struggle found in the New Testament for spiritual liberty. Legalism is an ongoing issue and we must be aware. It is as relevant today as at any time."
The Curse of the Law
Law and Legalism
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi underlined his country's willingness to further broaden ties and cooperation with the friendly states in different military fields.
"The Iranian navy declares its preparedness to develop interactions in training, exchange of information and visits by fleets of warships with all friendly states with the aim of establishing sustainable security in the sea," Rear Admiral Khanzadi said, addressing a meeting with foreign military attaches of 25 countries in Tehran.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran's Armed Forces want cooperation and expansion of military ties with the friendly and neighboring countries," he added.
Rear Admiral Khanzadi also underlined that Iran believes security in the region is established by the neighboring and regional states and in absence of trans-regional troops.
Rouhani: "We are proud of our Iranian nationality and Islamic culture"
Press TV, Apr 30, 2015
The Gate of All Nations, the Gate of Xerxes. This gate bears a trilangual inscription: Great is Ahura Mazda, God, who created this Earth, who created the heavens, who created humanity, who created happiness for humanity."
Rouhani: "We are proud of our Iranian nationality and Islamic culture" Press TV, Apr 30, 2015
The Gate of All Nations, the Gate of Xerxes. This gate bears a trilangual inscription: Great is Ahura Mazda, God, who created this Earth, who created the heavens, who created humanity, who created happiness for humanity."
Iranophobia at heart of accusations
President Bashar al-Assad received on Monday a Russian official and economic delegation headed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin.
President al-Assad said that the continuous victories achieved in the fight against terrorism in Syria provide the necessary conditions for accelerating and strengthening the process of reconstructing what has been destroyed by terrorism in many Syrian regions, which should open wide economic prospects and further opportunities for cooperation between Syria and Russia.
He added that in view of the historical relations between the two friendly countries and peoples and the honorable positions adopted by Russia towards Syria and its people, which have been consolidated in the framework of confronting the terrorist war against Syria, it is natural for Russia to be an important partner in the process of reconstruction in various sectors.
For his part, Rogozin underlined the significant progress in Syrian-Russian economic cooperation and the efforts exerted by the Syrian-Russian Joint Committee for expanding this cooperation further to benefit the peoples of the two countries.
He stressed that Russian government and companies are always ready to provide all support and expertise available to contribute effectively to the process of rebuilding Syria and supporting the Syrian people to achieve their aspirations of progress and prosperity.
Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad said that the war on terrorism will only end when the last terrorist in Syria is eliminated, affirming that significant strides have been made in the war on terror by eliminating the main hotbeds of Daesh (ISIS).
He stressed that the war on terrorism isn’t over yet; it is still ongoing, but significant strides have been made in it by eliminating the main hotbeds of Daesh, which constitutes a significant victory.
President al-Assad noted that the world is focusing on Daesh alone in order to distract attention from the fact that terrorism – represented mainly by Jabhat al-Nusra – still exist and is supported by the West, so Daesh doesn’t represent the entirety of terrorism; it is just a part of it.
He asserted that war on terrorism will only end when the last terrorist in Syria is eliminated, at which point there can be realistic talk of victory.
Regarding de Mistura and France holding the Syrian Arab Republic delegation responsible for the lack of progress in the most recent round of Geneva talks, the President said that it’s natural for them to do so because they don’t want to hold groups that work for them responsible, adding that these comments by France or other Western countries prove that those groups work for them, and not for the sake of Syria’s interests.
“They are vocal groups that work for dollars, meaning that if you give them a dollar, they will make a sound, and if you give them ten dollars, they will make various tunes of sounds according to how much dollars you give them...”
Regarding France, President al-Assad said “Since the beginning, France has been the spearhead of supporting terrorism in Syria.
France’s hands are covered in Syrian blood and it has no right to evaluate any peace conference. Those who support terrorism do not have the right to talk about peace, let alone the right to interfere in the Syrian affairs. All there statements mean nothing to us and have no value.”
"I have a friend in France"
The United States imposed itself as mediator between the Palestinians and Israelis, but it has never behaved as an honest broker but has vetoed all UN resolutions that condemn Israel and its crimes against the Palestinians.
Trump’s decision is the latest of such actions on the part of the US administration in supporting Israel over all its unjust acts and atrocities against the Palestinians and their occupied homeland.
Analysts are of the view that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is no less dangerous than the shameful Balfour Declaration made by the British Foreign Secretary a hundred years ago to make Palestine a national homeland for the Jews. Both men gave something that is not in their possession to those who do not deserve it.
Following the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinians and the Arabs were not ready to give up their cause but made a great effort to defeat the plan. However, the British plot against Jerusalem and Palestine succeeded in planting the State of Israel in the heart of the Arab world.
The Arabs lost the 1948 war due to their differences plus the conspiracies of the Western powers. Then they lost the 1967 war for the same reason. Later, they managed to achieve an incomplete victory in the 1973 war.
Egypt’s signing of a peace agreement with Israel after breaking away from the ranks of the Arab world was the first nail in the coffin of the Palestinian cause. Subsequently, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, following the Oslo Accords inked between the Palestinians and Israel.
The signing of the Oslo Accords achieved nothing for the Palestinians because Israel does not want peace and seeks negotiations only for the sake of negotiations. Israel also wants to buy enough time to continue Judaizing Jerusalem and building settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinian position, declared by President Mahmoud Abbas, provides no role for the United States of America in the peace process, as the Palestinians no longer trust it to help resolve the issue. This was after their full realization that the US is an unfair mediator as it is biased in favor of Israel, which continues its occupation of the Palestinian territories and its persecution of the unarmed Palestinian people.
Where are American values and human rights? Where is the respect for law on the part of the US?
Why does it stand by Israel’s false claims? Did not Israel excavate for half a century in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and did it find any single piece of evidence that gives it the right for any claim on the holy mosque?
Are not all the claims of Israel based on myths and lies that do not amount to historical and archaeological facts? ..
The world knows the facts and stands by them. It knows Israel’s lies, racism and injustice to the Palestinian people. The world also knows the falsity of Israel’s democracy and its practice of abhorrent apartheid against the Palestinian people, no less than the apartheid practiced by the white minority in South Africa. International pressure led to the abolition of apartheid in South Africa and its replacement with democracy with the participation of all the people of the country.
It is high time for the world in general and the United States in particular to come forward to stand by justice and truthfulness in the case of the Palestinians.
" Excavations in Jerusalem [...] undermined the fantasies about the glorious past [and] failed to find any traces of an important tenth-century kingdom, the presumed time of David and Solomon.
"All the old gentile religions of the world will disappear"
Chabad message: What is the true key to salvation?
As described in many places, including Jeremiah 16:19-21 and Zechariah 8:20-23, all the old gentile religions of the world will disappear, and their followers will turn to the Jews for spiritual leadership. Until then, Christians are spiritually blinded, and cannot yet understand G-d's wisdom in the Bible.
Ours is the last generation of the era of sin and evil and the first of the Messianic Era. Indeed, for the first time in history, there is a growing consensus of leading rabbis willing to name the man most suited to be the Messiah, and they are agreeing that he is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
-- Question: I was accosted at the beach today by a guy from Jews for Jesus. He offered me a New Testament in Yiddish and said that many Jews have been "saved" by accepting Jesus as the messiah. I just ignored him. Then I saw a big ad in the newspaper from the same people. My question: Can a Jew believe in Jesus?
During the Messianic Era, the Moshiach will serve a dual role. He will be a monarch, ruling over all of humanity and upholding the law of the Torah—613 commandments for the Jews, and seven for the non-Jews. He will also be the ultimate teacher.. (chabad.org)
Never under any circumstances does a knowledgeable Jew ever turn to That Man
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a letter to several US allies ahead of the upcoming UNGA meeting that Trump will closely follow the vote on the status of Jerusalem and asked her to inform him about countries who vote against the United States. According to Haley, Trump would “take this vote personally.”
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki has slammed the US over “threatening” the UN General Assembly members ahead of a vote condemning President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Zionist entity.
According to al-Maliki, the US leadership is “committing another mistake when they have distributed this famous letter trying to threaten countries, [and] threaten their sovereign decision to choose how to vote.”
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favor of a draft United Nations resolution against his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we're watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care," Trump told reporters at the White House.
The 193-member UN General Assembly will hold a rare emergency special session on Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim countries on the controversial U.S. decision.