Jesus First? Letter To Donald Trump From A Presbyterian Minister
Jesus Lifted Me
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953-1961
The near-bankrupt Libyan economy is facing the threat of a forced devaluation of its currency and an end to fuel subsidies in a move that could spark a wave of popular anger and the fall of the teetering UN-backed government in Tripoli.
The credibility of Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord is waning, despite the support of the US, France, Italy and the UK, and with its leadership unable to unite the country.
Western leaders and financial institutions including the World Bank were forced this month to intervene directly in Libyan economic decision-making, bringing Libyan politicians and technocrats to meetings in Europe to hammer out an agreement.
As a result of meetings in Rome and London, it was agreed that a Libyan economic plan for 2017 will be published by 1 December.
Calculations of Libya’s cumulative GDP losses since 2011 are at more than $200bn, arguably making the country the worst-hit from the political upheavals caused by the 'Arab spring'.
In the wake of his arrival in Tripoli in March 2016, Serraj’s authority, never strong outside the capital, has dwindled.
“Trying to get the economy to move more smoothly is an absolute requirement in terms of the credibility of this government,” said one western diplomat..
Powerful factions in the east of the country, led by Egyptian-backed General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, have resisted working with the Serraj government. He has won control of the Libyan oil crescent and driven out islamists from Benghazi, suggesting his claim to be a major player is strengthening.
The UK remains committed to Serraj. “He is a good man trying to do a very difficult job,” said one British source.
“A fundamental obstacle in Libya is there is very little sense of national identity. The concept of negotiating and compromising for the greater good of the country is not something that comes naturally to people.”
"That what is sacred in the world is man"
"Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator".
Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.
"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." (Green Book)
For religious humanists, it is the human and the humane which must be the focus of our ethical attention.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has strongly dismissed a United Nations proposal concerning the establishment of an autonomous region run by foreign-backed Takfiri militants in the eastern part of the strategically northwestern city of Aleppo.
“This was completely rejected... This is a violation of our sovereignty,” he said in a televised news conference following a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, in Damascus on Sunday.
Muallem then made it clear that the incumbent Syrian government has no intention to decrease attacks on terrorists’ position in the eastern flank of Aleppo and the Damascus administration does not accept leaving civilians there to be taken hostage by militants.
“We agreed on the need that terrorists should get out of east Aleppo to end the suffering of the civilians in the city,” the top Syrian diplomat said. Muallem further pointed out that that government will spare militants that lay down their weapons and turn themselves in to authorities across the country.
Muallem called on US President-elect Donald Trump to put an end to Washington’s support for militant groups inside Syria..
During an interview with Qatari channel Al-Jazeera last week the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Egypt of providing support to the opposition Gulen movement, led by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara accuses of masterminding the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in July.
“We differentiate between the Egyptian people and the administration,” he told the Qatari satellite channel.
“We are against governments that come to power through coups and against the violation of freedoms,” said Erdogan. “We are the guardians of democracy....”
Professor of political science Tarek Fahmi says Erdogan is playing an old tune, and he seems determined not to change. “His comments have always conveyed a single message, that he is unwilling to recognise the regime in Egypt,” Fahmi told Al-Ahram Weekly.
Fahmi pointed to the timing of Erdogan’s statements - one day before 11 November, the date on which protests against the government’s economic policies had been called – suggesting it sends a clear message that the Muslim Brotherhood still enjoys the Turkish president’s wholehearted support.
Last month Erdogan said in an interview that Turkey can only normalise relations with Egypt if Mohamed Morsi and his allies are released from prison. He claimed the Egyptian government came to power as the result of a military coup that overthrew a democratically-elected predecessor.
Turkish-Egyptian relations blossomed during the Brotherhood’s one year rule when Cairo and Ankara signed 40 agreements covering trade, scientific cooperation, banking, tourism and other areas. They soured following Morsi’s ouster in July 2013 since when Erdogan has relentlessly criticised the Egyptian government and repeatedly demanded Morsi be released from prison.
In August 2014 Erdogan called on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Egypt. Turkey’s relations with Egypt will not return to normal, he insists, until Morsi is released, all capital sentences are annulled, all political prisoners released and the ban on religious political parties lifted.
yusuf qaradawi (muslim brotherhood): supporter of nato-backed coups in libya and syria
fatwa's: kill gaddafi (destroy the green party) - kill assad (destroy the baathists)
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed his “shock” at Erdogan’s representing himself as a “guardian of democracy and protector of freedoms at a time when his government is arresting hundreds of professors and media personnel and tens of parliamentary members, as well as shutting down newspapers and eliminating thousands of civil servants, army officers and judges from their jobs on the pretext of their participation in the coup”.
Since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 35,000 people have been arrested and tens of thousands more - military officers, judges, teachers, civil servants and journalists - have lost their jobs in the subsequent crackdown.
sirte - libya: 2011, 2015, 2016
The Islamic State [IS] group's beleaguered Libyan stronghold of Sirte has been devastated by months of fighting, the second time in five years it has been wrecked. Tanks roar through rubble-strewn streets while explosions and gunfire rock gutted buildings.
Most of the 120,000 residents have fled, either in fear of militants or forced out by pro-NATO forces who have been battling since May to oust IS from what was once its north African headquarters.
The 2011 (Islamist) uprising that toppled its most famous son, Muammar Gaddafi, laid waste to Sirte.
Residents rebuilt the city after the war, but this year's fighting has once again left the coastal town in ruins.
Apart from fighters, Sirte is now a ghost town with no electricity or phone coverage within a hundred kilometres [60 miles]. Pro-Nato Libyan forces backed by American airstrikes are gradually tightening the noose on the few remaining IS fighters holed up in District Three in the east.
For some of the fighters battling IS, the destruction of Sirte is justice.
"When we see the number of martyrs and wounded when we liberated Gaddafi's home town in 2011 and again today, we can say the residents of Sirte deserved what they got," said Mohammed, a fighter from Misrata.
Another fighter agreed: "It's war," he said. "We can't do anything about it, and they deserve what's happening to them."
"They want to punish us.." said a local official, who did not want to give his name because he feared for his safety.
"After 2011, a new militia arrived in our town every month or two," he said. "We were unarmed and every time we had to submit to their authority. Finally it was Daesh that arrived."
"The worst thing is that after calling us Gaddafists, now they label us Daesh supporters." "We can forget the destruction, the poverty and the hunger, but not the humiliation. That will stay with us for life."
They Be Blind Leaders of the Blind
Syrian regime forces advanced quickly in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, pressing a new offensive in defiance of international concern over the fate of the city and its residents.
Both US President Barack Obama and the UN's Syria envoy expressed pessimism about the future of the city, where more than 250,000 people are besieged in the rebel-held east.
The (London based) 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor' said government forces backed by Iranian and Russian troops and fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah had captured the eastern part of the Masakan Hanano neighbourhood.
"It is the most important advance inside the eastern neighbourhoods that the regime has made so far," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman. "If they take control of Masakan Hanano, the regime will have line of fire control over several rebel-held neighbourhoods and will be able to cut off the northern parts of rebel-held Aleppo from the rest of the opposition-held districts."
Abdel Rahman said the advance had both strategic and symbolic significance, because Masakan Hanano was the first neighbourhood to fall to rebels in 2012.
Syria's Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government, described the neighbourhood as the "biggest and most important stronghold of the gunmen" in Aleppo.
"As a soldier, I've served with the most brave people in an institution that's built on integrity, honor, and duty. This is why I'm working very hard to support Senator Sanders. He understands the cost of war.. A commander in chief who has a military mind-set is not someone who's talking tough, chest puffed up, wearing the Air Force bomber jacket, talking about carpet-bombing entire countries in the Middle East. A military mindset is objectively analyzing a planned course of action and anticipating the likely consequences before you take that action." Tulsi Gabbard, 11-3-2016
"I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives"
Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, left her position as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to support Sanders. In the House she has broken with Democrats on the Syrian civil war (she supports keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power) and Syrian refugees (she voted for a GOP bill last year to conduct stricter background checks on refugees).
This afternoon she released a long statement on her meeting with Trump, saying he asked to meet with her about "our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other foreign policy challenges we face.” She said they had a “frank and positive conversation in which we discussed a variety of foreign policy issues in depth."
"I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the president-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government — a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families," she said in the statement, adding that she would not let politics get in the way of meeting with the president-elect. "I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives."
"We cannot allow continued divisiveness to destroy our country … I shared with him my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country and the world," she said.
"We discussed my bill to end our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government and the need to focus our precious resources on rebuilding our own country and on defeating al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups who pose a threat to the American people."
Bernie Sanders: "Every great religion in the world — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism — essentially comes down to:
It has been a rough 24 hours for the jihadist rebels in Aleppo, as they have lost four commanders during intense clashes with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah around the provincial capital.
The first major casualty for the jihadist rebels was the top commander/emir of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Abu Al-Harith Al-Halabi; this militant was killed during clashes with the Syrian Arab Army in the Sheikh Sa'eed District in southern Aleppo.
The top commander for Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, 'Umar Al-Hajji, was killed inside the Sheikh Sa'eed District after an intense battle with the Syrian Arab Army's 800th Regiment of the Republican Guard.
The situation for the jihadist rebels would not get any better on Tuesday, as two more commanders from the Karm Al-Jabal Martyrs Battalion were reportedly killed during clashes with the Syrian Army in southern Aleppo.
Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki
Ideology: Conservative Salafism, Islamism - Allies: Al-Nusra Front, Islamic Front
Opponents: Syrian Armed Forces
Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, is an Islamist group involved in the Syrian Civil War. In 2014–15 it was part of the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council and received U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles. As of 2014, it is reportedly one of the most influential factions in Aleppo.
Nour al-Din al-Zenki was formed in late 2011 by Shaykh Tawfiq Shahabuddin in the Shaykh Salman area north-west of Aleppo.
It is named after Nur ad-Din Zengi, atabeg of Aleppo, an emir of Damascus and Aleppo in the 12th century. Nour al-Din al-Zenki took part in the initial battles that started the Battle of Aleppo in July 2012.
The group has gone through many affiliations since it was founded. It was initially a branch of the al-Fajr Movement, then went on to join the al-Tawhid Brigades during the attack on Aleppo, before withdrawing and allying with the Saudi-backed Authenticity and Development Front. On 24 September 2016, al-Zenki joined the Army of Conquest. (Wikipedia)
Mark Toner (US State Department): Als long as they're not attacking us.., they're good
During US State Department briefings (august 2015), spokesman Mark Toner downplayed the possibility that the US would stop arming Nour al-Din al-Zinki. Toner said that the US focus was on backing “the moderate opposition,” and differentiating Nour al-Din al-Zinki from other groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, because those groups have aspirations to attack not just in Syria, but also against the West.
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:15 A.M.) - Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, confirmed his support for the Syrian, Libyan, and Iraqi armies during a live television interview with RTP TV on Tuesday.
"There should be international support for the Libyan, Iraqi & Syrian National Armies to ensure security in their countries," the Egyptian President stated to RTP TV.
In this context, Sisi urged to deal seriously with the terrorist groups in Syria and to disarm them, in order to preserve the unity of Syria and to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could help make peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Speaking to the New York Times in New York, Trump said he "would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians," adding that it would be a "great achievement," according to a reporter's tweets.
On Wednesday, Trump requested top secret security clearance for Kushner, according to an NBC News report. The request for clearance was unprecedented and would allow Kushner to sit in on Trump's presidential daily brief, despite not being an official member of the White House staff.
Kushner, a real-estate developer and publisher of the New York Observer, served as a key adviser in Trump's successful presidential campaign - including to help draft Trump’s speech to AIPAC last summer.
Throughout the campaign, Trump delivered contradictory messages on the subject of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
In one instance, he said he will be "neutral" in his attempt to promote the peace process, a remark that brought criticism from Israel's supporters in the U.S. On another occasion, he said that he will not exert any pressure on Israel and will even allow as much settlement building as it wishes.
Earlier in November, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he will try and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians in order to bring an end to what he called "the war that never ends."
Priority is to dismantle the Iran dealBefore marrying Jared Kushner in 2009, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s older daughter, converted to Judaism. She went through a rigorous conversion process under the tutelage of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. She and her husband describe themselves as “Modern Orthodox”.
Modern Orthodox Judaism (also Modern Orthodox or Modern Orthodoxy) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world. Modern Orthodoxy draws on several teachings and philosophies, and thus assumes various forms.
In the United States, and generally in the Western world, "Centrist Orthodoxy" – underpinned by the philosophy of Torah Umadda ("Torah and Scientific Knowledge") – is prevalent.
In Israel, Modern Orthodoxy is dominated by Religious Zionism; however, although not identical, these movements share many of the same values and many of the same adherents.
Modern Orthodox Jews tend to adhere more closely than Conservative or Reform Jews to the commandments of Jewish law.
The problem with Jewish Law is that it claims 'absolute truth'...
There's only one way to God: the Jewish path...
"Torah Judaism strongly believes that there is an absolute Truth which exists in the world. That Truth is the key which unlocks the riddle of our existence and purpose in this world. We also believe that that Truth is in the Torah, as it is called the “Torah of Truth” (Toras Emes)." (aish.com: ask the rabbi)
Flashback: British Chief Rabbi Sacks asks to stop printing of his controversial book|
by DOUGLAS DAVIS, Jerusalem Post, 13-11-2002
British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has asked his publisher, Continuum, to stop promoting and printing The Dignity of Difference until he has completed revisions for a second edition.
Bezalel Rakow and Joseph Dunner, leaders of Britain's haredi community, declared that the book is "irreconcilable with traditional Jewish teachings" in an advertisement published in London's Jewish Chronicle.
Read more: Saddam's Death, page 63
Iran's spiritual leader, ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has said that Iran would respond if the US proceeded to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) which expires at the end of 2016.
The US House of Representatives voted for a 10-year extension of the ISA earlier this month, but to become law, the bill has to be endorsed by the Senate as well and signed by the US president.
“So far, the current US government has committed several violations with regard to the nuclear agreement,” Ayatollah Khamenei told members of the volunteer Basij forces in Tehran.
“The most recent of them is the 10-year extension of the sanctions. If these sanctions are extended, it will surely constitute a violation of the JCPOA and they (the US) should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it,” he added.
Last week, the US House also passed a bill that would block the sale of commercial aircraft by Boeing and Airbus to Iran, with the Obama administration admitting that the legislation would be a violation of the nuclear pact.
Last week, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani addressed US officials in a strident tone, warning them about a possible breach of the deal.
“If you extend the sanctions, this will mean kicking the JCPOA away and we will confront it through implementing powerful technical packages,” he said without elaboration.
US President-elect Donald Trump has said it would be hard to destroy a deal enshrined in a United Nations resolution.
In August 2015, he said he would not "rip up” the nuclear deal, but that he would "police that contract so tough they don’t have a chance.”
" A violently active, dominating, brutal youth – that is what I am after.
There must be no weakness and tenderness in it.
I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men."
Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf
MEPs in Strasbourg have voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls for the EU to “respond to information warfare by Russia.”
RT and Sputnik news agency are alleged to be among the most dangerous "tools" of "hostile propaganda."
The EU Parliament's resolution demonstrates "political degradation" in regard to the "idea of democracy" in the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, commenting on the vote.
Putin pointed out that while "everyone tries to lecture" Russia on democracy, European lawmakers themselves resort to a policy of restrictions, "which is not the best way" to deal with any issues.
"The best approach is an open discussion, in which bright and solid arguments to support one's point of view should be presented," Putin said.
Adding that he hopes the Western move to "counter Russian propaganda" won't lead to serious restrictions, the president congratulated RT and Sputnik journalists on their work.
In the Wednesday vote, 304 MEPs supported the resolution based on the report ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, with 179 voting against it and 208 abstaining.
The report suggests that Moscow provides financial support to opposition parties and organizations in EU member states, causing disintegration within the bloc.
At the same time, Russia is accused of "information warfare," with such entities as RT TV channel, Sputnik news agency, Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) fund alleged to be among its most threatening propaganda "tools."
The document places Russian media organizations alongside terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
President-elect Donald Trump has offered South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and she has accepted, NBS reported on Wednesday.
It is a position of high importance to Israel, which faces opposition and condemnation at the UN at levels unknown to any other country.
Israel has relied heavily on US support to veto resolutions unfavorable to the Jewish State or promote movements which strengthen its position.
Luckily for Israel, Haley has a record which seems likely to translate to a pro-Israel stance at the UN...
The Purposes of the (Anti-Zionist) United Nations are:
*** To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace...
*** To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples...
*** To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems..., and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
*** To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends. (UN website)
The Islamic State is being crushed, its fighters are in retreat and the caliphate it sought to build in the image of a bygone glory is crumbling.
The biggest losers, however, are not the militants, who will fulfill their dreams of death or slink into the desert to regroup, but the millions of ordinary Sunnis whose lives have been ravaged by their murderous rampage.
The vast majority of the territory overrun by the Islamic State was historically populated by Sunni Arabs, whose interests the militants profess to represent. The vast majority of the 4.2 million Iraqis who have been displaced from their homes by the Islamic State's war are Sunnis....
"ISIS was a tsunami that swept away the Sunnis," said Sheik Ghazi Mohammed Hamoud, a Sunni tribal leader in the northwestern Iraqi town of Rabia, which was briefly overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 and is now under Kurdish control. "We lost everything. Our homes, our businesses, our lives."
The dangers are clear, analysts and Iraqis say. Sunnis are at risk of becoming a dispossessed and resentful underclass in lands they once ruled, creating fertile conditions for a repeat of the cycle of marginalization and radicalization that gave rise to the Islamic State in the first place.
Was Jesus a Secularist?
On the streets of Tikrit, people say they are glad to be home, but they wonder where their country is heading and whether their lives will ever be as they were.
Ahmed al-Kareem, the head of the provincial council in Tikrit, sees hope. There is a realization among most Sunnis that extremist groups will not solve their problems, he said, as well as a recognition by most Shiites that they need to accommodate Sunnis if they are to avoid yet another incarnation of the insurgency that gave rise to the Islamic State.
"But it is hard," he said. "There is mistrust. The whole policy of the country needs to change. We need to separate religion from politics..."
Aleppo, SANA, 25-11-2016 – Children from the kindergartens of the General Women’s Union in Aleppo painted a mural on the fence of the Union’s branch in Aleppo as a message of peace and love to the people of the city’s eastern neighborhoods.
If the US mainstream right wants to get America back on track, it can rely on Israel, Turkey and Arab states to form a right-wing 'Jewish (Zionist-Ultra-Othodox) - (Christian Zionist) Protestant - Salafist-Wahhabbi alliance’ in the face of the ‘Shiite - (Russian) Orthodox - US leftist alliance.’
For Gulf states (apart from Oman), Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and the American Protestant right-wing, there are certainly common points of convergence on various issues.
Firstly, it is the threat of the Iranian expansion. Iranians and their allies in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria do not hide their enmity to Israel and their desire to destroy it...
With Russia's support, Iranians are trying to go ahead with what their Shiite faith describes as a "Judgment Day" scenario by accelerating the destruction of Aleppo near Turkish borders where they believe an apocalyptic sacred battle will break out between the armies of Mahdi (forces of good) and the “False Messiah” (forces of evil)...
Russia’s involvement in Syria is more barefaced; it has established a naval base and intervened militarily with a daily cost of $3 million, not mentioning the four vetoes in favor of the Syrian regime. To emphasize more on the importance of the "holy war" in Syria, Russian media frequently run photos of priests blessing weaponry, including war planes, while Orthodox chaplains are embedded in most military units, at a time when the church’s dominance in Russian politics is increasingly growing.
The formation of a front, or at least mutual cooperation, between Israel, Turkey and Arab states, which includes backing armed Arab and Kurdish groups while taking into consideration the fears of Ankara and Kurdish ambitions, will definitely strike a blow to the Iranian-Russian project...
For eight years, Obama's policies resulted in a retreat of the United States’ world prestige....
Obama has adhered to a barefaced leftist ideology that tends to be allied with a "disciplined and centrally-directed Shiite terrorism,” according to his advisors and to what he personally hinted months ago.
Turkey, Israel and Arab states did not hide their discontent from Obama's lenient policy towards Tehran.. Even Saudi Arabia started to feel targeted by the American left...
The American mainstream left, which has big influence over the media, seems to be okay with the Obama Doctrine and does not believe in America's values.
Martin Luther King: The American Dream
“America desperately needs to have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment
in discussing our big dysfunctional, debt-ridden federal government.”
(Sarah Palin, Weekly Standard, 22-12-2012)
“No doubt, divine providence played a huge role in this election.” “I will boldly proclaim that. I saw it first-hand. I was there on the campaign trail. I saw how things were changing. I saw more and more people’s eyes open, and I think so much of that was based on the church in general, those people of faith who were praying to God that people would wake up.”
“Remember, our Founders dedicated this land, this new country that would be America, this idea of America, dedicated it to God,” she pointed out.
“If I were President, I’d re-dedicate us to God. When I was governor I proclaimed that, the state of Alaska, this is yours, Lord. May your will be done here. We need to do that again in America.”
“Prayer warriors across the country, we got to be on our knees asking for a change here, because we’re going down the wrong road. I was so grateful to see so many people step up in that realm,” Palin said.
She added a personal note, something she said she’s never talked about in public before: “I was very grateful to see that the church stepped up, because eight years ago, I felt that they didn’t.
Besides the attacks on my family and supporters, the most hurtful thing about the election, the vilification, the marginalization, the ridicule that hit us, my family and me, eight years ago, was that I didn’t feel that the church did circle the wagons and step up boldly and say, ‘What? No, that’s not what she’s saying,’ or ‘That’s not what she represents.’ Because some of them knew me.”
“So yes, thank God. Literally, I’m thanking God that this go-around, enough pastors, enough congregations, enough people know there is greater purpose in our lives...
More of the Church stepped up, prayed about this very hard (and they need to keep praying about it). They did their job,” Palin concluded.
Christian Zionism: Idolizing the State,
especially 'the absolute good' Jewish state
Christan Anarchism: Don't idolize anything or anybody.
No one is good or holy. Only God is good.
Rabbi Eyal Karim stated in the past that homosexuals were sick people. He asserted that the reason for halachic restrictions on women’s testimonies in a court of law was their “sentimental nature,” although he did not claim that this perception should be implemented in civil courts.
He was also quoted as saying that the Halacha allows Jewish fighters to rape good-looking gentile women in order to maintain the Hebrew army’s high morale.
On Wednesday, in a written statement to the High Court of Justice, Karim was more resolved: “In our times, the world has advanced morally,” he admits. “There are binding values and orders in the world that are not in line with the literal halachic orders and require a new interpretation that would match, for example, the army’s values and orders.”
Rabbi Karim represents the majority opinion, or at least the Orthodox majority opinion in Israel.
The mainstream halachic stance (“Israel’s Torah” in its Orthodox interpretation) is simply not in line with the universal equality values, which the State of Israel at least allegedly supports.
The Halacha does not believe in equality between men and women, and it definitely does not believe in equality between Jews and gentiles. There are different rules for each of these groups, which blatantly discriminate against the group that is perceived as inferior by the Halacha arbiters.
But that doesn’t mean that these rules are always implemented... The Halacha arbiters can issue a commentary that will halt the essence of problematic religious laws... They can also argue, as Karim did, that the world has changed, or that a different set of rules (the army’s values and orders) does not allow its implementation.
In any event, the sacred order itself and the sacred tradition it is wrapped in are not canceled. Rather, they are placed on the shelf, and the question of whether to use them halachically or not is put in the hands of the authorized commentators — namely, Rabbi Karim and his colleagues.
What will happen when “Israel’s hand will be firm,” then?
isis - right-wing sharia (religious law) cult
using law to sanctionize sadist, anti-feminist & anti-gay behavior
Cartoon from the UK Independent. It depicts The British PM and French president fighting over controls of the plane while in the back seat asleep is Obama (leading from behind) with the Emir of Qatar at the point of the aircraft with a wind direction detector to ascertain the political winds to follow.
Qatar is a top backer of rebels fighting Assad, working alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Western nations in a military aid program overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that provides moderate groups with arms and training.
Qatar was determined to carry on, Sheikh Mohammed said: "This support is going to continue, we are not going to stop it. It doesn't mean that if Aleppo falls we will give up on the demands of the Syrian people," he said.
"Even if the regime captures it (Aleppo), I am sure they will have the ability to capture it back from the regime..."
He said Assad was "the fuel of Daesh" because his forces' [fighting rebels] helped the hardline group motivate young Syrian recruits.
Sheikh Mohammed suggested that Trump's views about Syria might evolve once in office when he received intelligence reports about the "reality" on the ground. Sheikh Mohammed said the reality was that Assad and violence by his forces were the core security risk...
The minister hit out at Egypt, normally a close Gulf Arab ally, for appearing to side with Assad, and criticized Iran for what he said was interference in the affairs of Arab states.
"For us unfortunately Egypt is supporting the regime ... We hope that they come back and be with us," he said. Support for Assad is the same as supporting terrorism, he said, "because he is a terrorist and he is on equal footing with Daesh".
Flashback 2011: Qatar Admits It Fought
Rashid al-Ghannushi: No to Political Islam
Divine law (Principles) versus Human law (Sharia)
"Those who have divided their religion and become sects - you,
'Divine law' or 'natural law' consists of universal principles,
In all ancient civilisations 'Divine Law' was represented by the world of 'The Planets' (astrology):
Flashback 21-3-2013: Sunni cleric Ramadan al-Bouti killed
Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said: "We know that in the past years, he [Bouti] has been a prominent cleric against the Muslim Brotherhood movement (Political Islam)."
Regional leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party condemned the brutal crime in al-Iman mosque in Damascus: "This massacre adds to the crimes perpetrated by the mercenary terrorists against the Syrians.. they target everything including the mosques and houses of worship," the leadership said in statement. (SANA)
Read more: saddam's death, page 60
"The action being taken today in Libya is right.
It would be terrible tragedy if the mistakes of Iraq led to a retreat
from the principle of liberal interventionism" - Nick Clegg, 29-3-2011
Alepppo 2014: A source at the Aleppo Water Department told Al-Akhbar that “the terrorists control the pumping station in the Suleiman al-Halabi region and they do not respect any agreements with the Red Crescent...” He pointed out that “the Sharia Authority controls the station and there are major disagreements between its leaders and we as an institution have no direct relationship with them except through the Red Crescent, especially since they killed a number of our staff.”
Water crisis in Aleppo ends
November 2012 Al-Qaeda-affiliate al-Nusra Front founded a body it dubbed the Sharia Authority in Aleppo.
West threatens Russia with sanctions for liberating Aleppo residents
The French call for an emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Aleppo is an attempt to distract attention from humanitarian issues of the Western-backed operation in the Iraqi city of Mosul, said Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN.
Paris is pushing for the meeting in order to “distract attention from what is going on in Mosul where the situation – in many respects, including humanitarian – is much is more dramatic than in eastern Aleppo,” Churkin told reporters.
“With all the gravity of the situation [in eastern Aleppo] – where you have fighting going on – it has some indication of improvement,” he added.
The successful operation allowed humanitarian relief to be brought to tens of thousands of civilians and curbed the terrorists’ ability to prevent people from fleeing the besieged area.
Churkin also lashed out at recent claim by US State Department spokesman John Kirby, who said that “literally thousands of people every day die, are injured” in Aleppo due to the actions of the Syrian government, for which “Russia bears full responsibility.”
“This is outrageous… shameless propaganda” by the State Department, Churkin said, adding that Washington never backs up its claims with concrete facts.
The Russian envoy said that the strategic Castello Road can now be used without restriction for humanitarian aid deliveries to Aleppo. “There’s no need for discussions. As soon as the humanitarian workers are ready, they may start using the Castello Road,” he said.
"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. "
"We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal..."
Karl Popper, in the Open Society and its enemies
More than 27,000 Jewish students met with Arab youth over the past year in “coexistence meetings” organized by the Ministry of Education, the State Control Committee revealed last week. The meetings, which bring together Jewish and Arab students from across Israel, are intended to reduce cultural barriers, foster a sense of national unity, and combat racism.
”A day in which a person is not discriminated against due to his race has yet to come,” said committee chairwoman Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid).
During the committee hearing, Dana Friedman from the Pedagogical Secretariat, testified that 578 Jewish schools held meetings with Arab students over the past year.
A spokesperson for the Lehava anti-assimilation group blasted the meetings, chastising the Education Ministry for what the group claims amounts to encouraging assimilation in Israel.
“It is very sad that the Education Minister, who says we’ll fight against assimilation outside of Israel, is supporting assimilation in our holy country,” the group said in a statement to Arutz Sheva. Meetings between Jewish youth and Arabs is a certain recipe for assimilation.”
"The Education Minister should be encouraging meetings between secular and religious Jews and haredi Jews, not between Jews and their enemies.”
EZRA, the PRIEST: Father of the Racist, Theocratic State
"A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should gather together in Jerusalem... All the people, sitting in the open place before the house of God, were trembling both over the matter at hand and because it was raining.
Then Ezra, the priest, stood up and said to them: “Your apostasy in taking foreign women as wives has added to Israel’s guilt.
But now, give praise to the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do his will: separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign women.”
In answer, the whole assembly cried out with a loud voice: “Yes, it is our duty to do as you say!
The Book of EZRA, chapter 10
Some Arab MKs, on the other hand, were unimpressed with the government’s efforts, and demanded radical changes in the education system. Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen suggested the state compel schools which have not held coexistence meetings to do so.
Palestinian MP Sheikh Ahmed Ali, a senior Hamas leader in the West Bank, delivered a speech to the Fatah conference (7th General Assembly meeting of the Fatah Movement) and told them that “we are partners in the country and the Palestinian decision,” Safa news agency reported yesterday.
Ali delivered the speech on behalf of Hamas’ top leader Khalid Meshaal, and stressed that Hamas was ready to fulfil the “requirements of partnership” with Fatah and all the other Palestinian factions for the sake of Palestine’s interests.
Ali noted that Fatah’s conference is being held in exceptional circumstances that reflect on the Palestinian issue and the regional situation. “This increases our responsibilities,” he said.
Concluding his speech, he said: “We are partners in the country and in the Palestinian decision. We are ready for partnership with you, Fatah and all the other factions,” referring to the continuous efforts made for reaching an internal reconciliation. This comes despite an ongoing and often vitriolic relationship between the two largest Palestinian factions since Hamas forced the Fatah party out after gun battles raged in the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian parliamentary delegation currently visiting London has severely criticised statements made by MP Crispin Blunt regarding the Muslim Brotherhood...
The British MP was discussing a report he issued earlier in November about his vision on political Islam, dutifully noting that he is not, and never will be, affiliated with the Brotherhood. However, Blunt believes that a bulk of Egyptians support the outlawed group and that they should have stayed in power...
Member of the Egyptian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Tarek Al-Khouly said that the Egyptian delegation accepted the invitation of the UK parliament only to warn them against betting on the Brotherhood, because the Islamic group represents a danger to the UK. The parliamentary delegation headed to London on Sunday to discuss Egyptian-British relations, political Islam, and the Brotherhood.
The visit to London wasn’t Egypt’s first response to the report. On 18 November, parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee released a 10-page report in which the committee refuted all the statements made by the UK parliament...
In their response, Egypt’s parliament said it was odd that they were supporting religious rule, given that European politics are grounded in democracy and liberalism.
The report added that the Brotherhood did not rule Egypt based on the outcome of democratic elections, but rather due to their abuse of the Egyptian people’s strong religious beliefs.
Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, the state labelled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and banned its activities.
In addition, several violent clashes have taken place between Brotherhood supporters and security forces which have resulted in several deaths. Dozens of Brotherhood supporters are serving harsh prison sentences or remain in pretrial detention for excessively long periods.
Flashback 2012: Heated Debate About Safwat Higazi's Proposal
The reason for the failure of the intra-Syrian talks is the fact that the opposition is completely unprepared for serious consultations, Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told a meeting of the UN Security Council dedicated to the humanitarian situation in Syria.
"In general, we should recognize the failure of the ‘moderate opposition’ concept," he said. "It has not received any convincing expression in terms of politics, while in military terms members of the ‘moderate’ opposition have turned out to be soldiers of Al-Nusra and other extremist groups."
According to Churkin, now that humanitarian issues are considered by the UN Security Council increasingly more often, "it is time to organize a debate on the theme "The catastrophic consequences of destroying the statehood of the countries in the region due to outside interference."
"The number of victims is estimated in millions," he stressed. "However, we have heard no regrets on the issue from those responsible for those tragedies."
The war that began with the US-British invasion of Iraq has raged on for 13 years now. The disintegration of once prosperous Libya has led to the destabilization of vast areas in North Africa. Syria has been turned into a field of competition for regional leadership when the potential of outright terrorist organizations is used without hesitation."
Moreover, the humanitarian tragedies we have heard about today are not regarded as a sufficient ground for abandoning the bankrupt policies. Some are trying to cover up the failure of their geopolitical adventures with cynical moralism and just lies.
Churkin went on to say that the reason for the current situation in Syria and in Aleppo in particular is Washington’s failure to honor its commitments. He noted that "the current situation could have been avoided, if the US had kept its promise given to us by CIA Director John Brennan at the end of February to separate the so-called moderate militants, if they exist at all, from terrorists."
A key condition for any ceasefire and the beginning of the provision of humanitarian aid is "separating the militants who are not considered terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra," Churkin stressed.
Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun on Thursday rejected claims he had encouraged terrorism in Europe, during a rare visit outside Syria that has triggered outrage from rights groups.
"They say that I said I will send terrorists to Europe to kill themselves. I don't know why they lie in their translations," the top Sunni cleric said, speaking in Arabic through an interpreter.
"I said, don't bombard Syria or Lebanon. If fire gets burning in Syria or Lebanon there are dormant cells in the world that will be awakened. I feared for Europe," he said in comments before an Irish parliamentary committee.
Hassoun arrived in Ireland on Tuesday as part of a religious delegation of Syrian religious leaders and visited Trinity College Dublin on Wednesday.
The Irish (right-wing) Syria Solidarity Movement has called for Hassoun to be arrested for hate crimes. It said his support for Assad made him "repugnant"..
Ali Salim, a member of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, was quoted by The New Arab as calling him a "war criminal" and adding: "He's not welcome."
Ali Salim has always been strident in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood’s fundamentalist Salafi interpretation of Islam.
An assertion that the majority of Irish Muslims subscribe to this interpretation is simply not true but mirrors a model that has been replicated time and again in other European countries where the "Brotherhood" has infiltrated Muslim communities.
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland is a reactionary, conservative mosque that is apparently linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
It seems to be the main Muslim Brotherhood centre in Ireland, and one of the main Muslim Brotherhood centres in Europe. (Unamused Observer, december 2015)
Grand Mufti of Syria Underlines
Separation of religion and state|
European parlement, 15-1-2008
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".
Assassinations have become a near-daily occurrence
Assassinations have become a near-daily occurrence, especially in the central province of Homs, where academics and officials are targeted in a tactic reminiscent those used by the Muslim Brotherhood in their armed uprising between 1976 and 1982.
Hassoun: Religious parties target Arabs & Muslims
Syrian Arab News Agency, Nov 30, 2013
Damascus, (SANA) - Baath Arab Socialist Party on Saturday held the "Baath Forum for Dialogue" under the title "Citizenship: Duties and Rights… Citizen's Role in Ending Crisis".
In a speech during the event, Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi said that Syria is a unique model in the region, adding that the steadfastness of the country is a result of the patriotic citizens who constitute the vast majority of the Syrians.
For his part, Syria's Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badr Eddin Hassoun, said that Syria is upbringing its citizens on the mentality of 'one Arab nation', adding that the religious parties were made to fight the Arab nation and igniter sedition in the Muslim world.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor and columnist with the Veterans Today from Atlanta, told Press TV that every ceasefire in Syria has been a tool in the hands of the West and its allies to find a way to save foreign-backed militants.
“Every ceasefire we’ve had in the past not only made the [terrorists] able to rest in their recoup but they were resupplied and then actually went on the offensive as soon as the ceasefire was over,” Dean said on Thursday night. “The whole thing has just been a circus from the beginning,” he said.
Every ceasefire implemented by the Russians and the UN has "brought supplies up to the edge of the city and then the terrorists basically mortared and fired on them and wouldn’t let them in,” he said. “The Western press did not mention a word of that.
The Western governments and their media, Dean said, have buried all the reports that show the Syrian forces have helped civilians to escape from militant-held areas in Aleppo. The Western media have been “acting as a propaganda arm for the terrorists in Syria.”
Dean also criticized the international community for being hesitant to hold accountable state sponsors of terrorism, saying "the fact that the UN has never called for sanctions on any of these folks who have obviously aiding and abetting terrorism is a statutory criminal offense worldwide.”
Qatar & State-sponsored terrorism
Qatar has sponsored al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front, since 2013. The jihadist group, established within the framework of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s plans for an Islamic State in the Levant, has parted ways from ISIS in 2013 due to leadership conflicts.
The group was designated as terrorist entity by the UN, the EU, Canada, the U.S., Israel, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Australia.
Nonetheless, Qatar has continuously supported it through ransom payments and fundraising campaigns as a strategic ally in Syria, committed to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Jesus was not a Wallstreet-baby|
"There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger,
a feeding trough for animals."
Obama on the birth of Jesus"I hope we will focus on the message that this child brought to this earth some 2000 years ago,
the message that says we have our brothers keepers, our sisters keepers,
that we have to reach out to each other, forgive each other,
let the lights of our good deeds shine for all, care for the sick and the hungry..,
and of course to love one another - even our enemies - and treat one another the way we want to be treated ourselves...
It is a message of unity, a message of decency and a message of hope that never goes out of sight, a message that we all need very much today..."
Barack Obama, december 2016
A report by “Aid To The Church In Need” states that Christianity could become extinct in the Middle East within the next decade.
This is a sombre and grim prediction, and sadly it is likely that the Arab Spring and Western intervention in countries like Iraq and Libya has exacerbated the eradication of Christians, and other minorities like the Yazidis from the Middle East.
Saddam Hussain was a dictator, but the fact is that Christians under Saddam Hussein had freedom of religion, women were not forced to abide by any strict Islamic dress code and had rights, and Iraq was a secular one-party-state. [Baath party: 65% progressive Shiites, 35 % Sunnis. Conservative, anti-secular, Sjiites rejected partymembership]
The same was true in Libya under Gaddafi, which used to be Africa’s richest country before western intervention. Gaddafi ran a secular regime, women and minority religions had rights, and Christians had freedom of religion.
Libya’s economy under Gaddafi [Green Party, social-liberal] was relatively stable and because of this many black Africans from surrounding countries used to seek work in Libya, and Gaddafi used to encourage such immigration.
Gaddafi shared the oil wealth with the people. Under Gaddafi Libyans had free electricity, all newlyweds in Libya received US$ 50,000 from the government to buy their first apartment and to help start a family, and education and medical treatments were free.
Bashar al-Assad [Baath-socialist party], like Hussain and Gaddafi runs a secular regime, which gives rights to Christians and women, and Syria used to be a relatively safe country before the uprisings. I still recall the days when Syria used to be promoted as a tourist hotspot for Westerners because of its safety and the fact that the state was secular.
What’s so striking about the so-called 'war on terror' and Western interventions is the that fact that they seem to be targeted at deposing the Middle Eastern governments that have secular (socialist) leaders, while leaving Islamic theocracies like Saudi Arabia intact...
Secularism is a principle that involves two basic propositions. The first is the strict separation of the state from religious institutions (freedom)
The second is that people of different religions and beliefs are equal before the law (brotherhood).
The separation of religion and state is the foundation of secularism. It ensures that religious groups don't interfere in affairs of state, and makes sure the state doesn't interfere in religious affairs. (National Secular Society))