The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people.”
(Zechariah 12:1-3)
Cup Of Trembling



Trump ignores warnings, formally recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel

6 December 2017

© Ammar Awad / Reuters

Donald Trump has officially announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, where he plans to relocate the American embassy. The US President admitted the move will cause dissent, but says it could help resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious - that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality," said Trump in a pre-scheduled speech at the White House.

"Israel is a sovereign nation with a right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace,” continued the US President, who called Israel “one of the most successful democracies in the world."

The United States will become the only country to host its diplomatic mission in the city, which remains disputed territory, though Trump has ordered for the move to be delayed by six months.

The US President rejected warnings from the Arab world and Europe that the decision would imperil the already-stalled peace process between Palestine and Israel.

"After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians… We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past," said Trump.

Trump also left the door open for a two-state solution.

"The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif."

In a recorded statement released minutes after Trump finished talking, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his people would be “forever grateful” for the “historic decision” and urged other countries to follow America’s example.

Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia,” said Netanyahu. “The President's decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”

He vowed that there would be “no change whatsoever to the status quo at the holy sites” and promised to “ensure freedom of worship” for the three main religions for whom Jerusalem is a holy city.

Hamas: Decision 'opens gates of hell'

The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said that Trump’s decision meant that the US “abdicates”any role in mediating the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In a televised speech, he said he “condemned and rejected” the US decision, which he said will “serve terrorists” and “bring never-ending wars to the region.”

He insisted that Jerusalem remains the capital of any Palestinian state, and said that the decision would serve to unify all Palestinian factions at a “critical moment,” which he promised to gather for a discussion of the appropriate response.

Hamas, which is control of Gaza, and is regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States, said that Jerusalem’s new status would “open the gates of hell.”

It called upon other actors to “undermine” American interests in the Middle East, and reiterated its promise to stage “three days of rage” in response to Trump’s statement.

Trump’s decision will not succeed in changing the reality of Jerusalem being Islamic Arab land,” said a spokesman for Hamas, which officially does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Earlier Wednesday, Palestine and Jordan requested an emergency Arab League meeting on the issue. The regional organization are set to hold talks Saturday, Reuters reported.

The decision has also been condemned by the EU, Pope Francis, and both, Muslim and Christian religious leaders in Jerusalem itself.



Watch Israel's reaction: 'Arabs don't have a claim on Jerusalem'

December 7, 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu recommends people read the Bible (courtesy CBN video)

It didn’t take long for the rhetoric to turn white hot when President Donald Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced the beginning of a plan to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

While Muslims around the Middle East promised three “days of rage” over the announcement, a panel member appearing on ILTV’s special broadcast summarized the Israel argument.

“The Arabs don’t have a claim on Jerusalem. It was never an Arab capital. The Muslims don’t have a claim on Jerusalem,” said Ari Fuld, the COO of “Standing Together.”

“When you say it’s one-sided, yes, it’s the side of truth. … To give in to terrorism and to tell lies is not going to bring peace. When the Arabs realize the world is not playing their game anymore … if they want to make peace, then peace will come.”

His decision was based on the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act that instructed the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that city as Israel’s capital.

But it’s been bypassed ever since.

Trump had promised during his campaign to take this action, and fulfilled that promise on Wednesday.

World Israel News reported the city’s walls “were illuminated with the Israeli and U.S. flags in appreciation to Trump for recognizing the Israeli capital.”

The mayor released a statement that the recognition is “a historic declaration that sends a clear message to the entire world that the United States stands alongside the Jewish people, the state of Israel and Jerusalem.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained, “Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years.

Danny Canon, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, said it was righting an historic wrong.

“Now is the time for all U.N. member-states to follow the lead of our American friends and recognize our ancient capital of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.”

“Jerusalem was and will remain our eternal capital, but now there’s also recognition,” exclaimed Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

The message delivered from Arab interests contrasted. In addition to their promised days of “rage,” Ayman Odeh, chief of the Joint List, which is a group of Arab-majority political parties, blasted the U.S. president.

“Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the entire region on fire with his madness. The last few days prove decisively that the United States cannot remain the sponsor or arbitrator in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Trump explained his announcement is a “new approach” to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The law never has been followed, he said, because previous presidents believed “that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace.”

But after decades of that position, “we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and president of Christians in Defense of Israel, said, “In every country worldwide, the U.S. respects the choice of the nation state and locates its embassy in the capital. However, the embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv, despite the fact that Israel designates Jerusalem as its capital and despite the fact that Congress voted to move the embassy to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 passed the Senate by 93-5 and the House by 374-37 to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by requiring the withholding of State Department funds if was not moved. However, the law was never implemented because of opposition from former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.”

And Tony Perkins, of Family Research Council, said, “Today is a major milestone in America’s historic relationship with Israel. Under the bold and courageous leadership of President Trump, America is finally putting American interests and the interests of our key allies first. America’s foreign policy, as it pertains to Israel, is coming into alignment with this biblical truth: Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state.”

WND had reported earlier in the week that the decision was expected, and just the expectation was causing riots to break out among Palestinians.

European leaders in Britain, France, Germany and Sweden all criticized the move, as did the U.S. establishment media. The Washington Post, for instance, posted a headline that quoted the Swedish foreign minister calling Trump’s decision “catastrophic.”

These denouncements come on the heels of the United Nations passing six resolutions condemning Israel on Dec. 1, which the U.N. declared “Palestine Day.”

Joseph Farah, founder of and author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” issued the following statement:

Even though I knew this announcement was coming, it was historic and exciting to watch. Frankly, after being a close observer of American-Israeli relations and a frequent visitor to Israel, I doubted I would ever see this day come, given 28 years of waffling by U.S. presidents. All I can say is, “Thank you President Trump for fulfilling a campaign promise that the previous four president never kept.”

Israels Reaction



With Historic Announcement, President Trump Will Declare End to Jerusalem's 70-Year Exile

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz

December 6, 2017

When the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation and the land of the Chaldeans for their sins—declares Hashem—and I will make it a desolation for all time.” Jeremiah 25:12 (The Israel Bible™)

After a Biblically significant 70-year gap since an American president first recognized the state of Israel, White House sources announced on Wednesday that President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the US State Department will begin making plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv.

“On December 6, 2017, President Trump will recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” White House officials announced to the media.

“While President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, its Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s residence, and as such, it is the capital of Israel,” one of the officials said.

The official said that Trump will officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but will delay the opening of the embassy for at least six months.

The decision was sealed after President Trump called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, and Saudi King Salman to inform them of his upcoming announcement.

MK Yehudah Glick called the move “historically significant”, noting that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as a capital comes exactly 70 years after his predecessor President Harry Truman recognized Israel as a state.

“I think this is as historically significant as President Truman recognizing the state of Israel 13 minutes after [Prime Minister David] Ben Gurion declared a state exactly 70 years ago. This is not just for Israel but is part of a universal process. God willing, other nations will follow suit. Our dream is that the entire world will recognize Jerusalem as the city of God,” he told Breaking Israel News.

Incredibly, the White House announcement comes on the Hebrew date the 17th of Kislev, the same date on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine creating the state of Israel in 1947.

Seventy years is Biblically significant as the length of the Babylonian exile.

For thus said Hashem: When Babylon’s seventy years are over, I will take note of you, and I will fulfill to you My promise of favor—to bring you back to this place.” Jeremiah 29:10

The prophesied 70-year timeline is figured according to the Jews return to Jerusalem, beginning with the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and ending when the Jews dedicated the Second Temple. Just as the Jewish exile to Babylonia did not end until the connection with Jerusalem was reestablished, the current return to Israel will not be considered complete until the connection with its eternal capital is set firm.

Marc Zell, head of the Republican party in Israel, was optimistic that the move would be beneficial to the region.

“This is a step towards reality,” the Trump insider told Breaking Israel News. “For 70 years, America has been deluding itself that an unratified UN Security Council resolution declaring Jerusalem as an international city will somehow bring peace. The reality is that all of Israel’s government is in Jerusalem. Trump is trying to change the direction of Israel-Palestinian relations by changing a policy that has failed horribly all this time.”

Like Glick, Zell sees a larger, underlying motive behind the move, one that he believes will be successful to an unprecedented degree.

“This is changing the paradigm for the entire Middle East, not just for Israel’s sake,” Zell said. “This comes from a need to confront Iran which is the major source of instability and the major obstacle to peace in the region. This is going to prevent Iran from exerting hegemony over the region and is part of a larger plan to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

The announcement kicked off a strong negative response from the Palestinians and Arab world in general, with many leaders threatening violence and terror. Abbas responded to the development by warning ominously that President Trump’s actions would have “dangerous consequences”. The PA announced three ‘Days of Rage’ with major demonstrations being planned on Wednesday in Jenin and on Thursday in Ramallah.

However, while Hamas called for an intifada should Trump change Jerusalem’s status, a senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that “the Palestinian Authority is interested in carrying out marches of rage and protest, but there’s no intention to break the rules or lead to a frontal confrontation with Israel like the one that took place during the Second Intifada.”

In response to the threats, the US State Department issued a travel warning to government employees in Israel restricting them from entering Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho.

Zell understood the Palestinian reaction as an expression of a direct threat to the US.

“Abbas clearly threatened the president, which has been the Arabs’ strategy all along,” Zell said. “Sometimes they do make good on their threats. This intimidates people from taking a stand, but this time, they don’t know who they are dealing with now.

“This is a president who has been threatened by other, more dangerous despots, like Kim Jong Un, with much more steel behind their threats. Unlike others before him, this president is totally unmoved by these threats.”

The announcement comes in the wake of President Trump missing the Monday deadline for signing a waiver that prevents moving the embassy. While authorizing the move, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed in Congress in 1995, allowed for a presidential waiver, to be renewed every six months. Since the law was passed, every president has signed the veto preventing the move. Trump signed the waiver in June.

Though the administration plans to move the embassy soon, Trump will sign the current waiver in the coming days, according to reports. If he left it unsigned and the State Department did not immediately enact the law by establishing an embassy in Jerusalem, it would lose 50 percent of its budget for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” until it complies, though this is unlikely to happen.

Until 1973, 16 countries had their embassies in Jerusalem. Currently, the only embassy to Israel in Jerusalem is the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). There are currently at least six embassies to Palestine in Jerusalem, including the Vatican Embassy.



'Trump will be remembered forever'

Chief Rabbi of Tzfat says that with Jerusalem recognition, President Trump following in the footsteps of Cyrus the Great.

Benny Toker, 08/12/17 11:52

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat and member of the Chief Rabbinate Council, congratulated US President Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

Rabbi Eliyahu was one of 250 rabbis who signed a letter of appreciation to president Trump thanking him for having the courage to acknowledge the reality that Jerusalem has always served as Israel's capital.

"The letter to President Trump is full of love," the rabbi said. "We said to the President of the United States: Sir, you have realized the vision of the prophets that the honor of Jerusalem rises among the nations, like the other prophecies that come true in our generation - the immigration to Israel, the collapse of our enemies and our economic success. In this personal act, you have realized the vision of the prophets and you are a symbol and an example to others."

"We mentioned to him in the letter that when [the Prophet] Nehemiah came to [Persian King] Cyrus, to establish Jerusalem, to strengthen and fortify its position, all kinds of people of little faith stood among the gentiles and - to our shame - from the elite of our own people, and sought to stop this. But he (Cyrus) was determined to do God's will and the designs of the other people collapsed, and eventually they too understood that God's will would be done.

"So we wrote to the president, 'Know that you are working together with the Holy One, Blessed be He, and that you will be remembered forever. You will be forever remembered for having stood up to all those of lesser faith, even within our people. You have done the right thing, and we will never forget it," he said.

Rabbi Eliyahu is convinced that the American president will be excited when he reads the letter, "With the help of Rabbi Avi Berman of the OU, we translated the letter into English and it was transferred to the White House. In my mind's eye, I see the president reading this and being moved, because unlike other cynics he is a believer who knows the importance of the Bible."



Ambassador: 'Trump's Decision on Jerusalem Will Affect Entire World'

6 December 2017

US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will open the door to a new Middle Eastern crisis, Basem Al-Aga, Palestinian ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), told Sputnik. The ambassador warned about the implications of the move for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the world in general.

The transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem will mean the recognition of Israel's occupation and the erasure of all efforts to achieve peace in the region, Basem Al-Aga, Palestinian ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), told Sputnik Arabic.

"This is what the great power, which should protect international law, is doing," al-Aga said, adding that the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by the Trump administration "will deal a blow to international law and the resolutions already adopted on this issue."

He stressed that "great powers must respect the earlier decisions and execute them."

It was reported that US President Donald Trump is due to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israelon December 6. He is expected to order the US State Department to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Palestinian ambassador underscored that the position of Palestine and the entire Arab world on the matter is well known. "Everyone is warning [the US] about the potentially dangerous consequences of this decision," he noted.

"Let me tell you one case," al-Aga continued. "When King Salman bin Abdul Aziz was the emir of Riyadh, he attended the opening ceremony of the Saudi Embassy in Algeria. There, in the presence of the ambassadors of Arab countries, he said the words which I now repeat: The Palestinian question concerns not only the Palestinian people, but all Arabs and all Muslims. The American leadership must understand that any action towards Palestine cannot be unilateral."

Commenting on the Palestinians' response to Washington's move, the ambassador suggested that Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority would hold an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis with the other Arab leaders. It would be followed by the summit of the leaders of Islamic countries. "That's where we start," al-Aga noted.

He neither confirmed nor rejected the possibility of the new Palestinian Intifada, stressing that "the people of Palestine are living in hope that the international law will prevail."

According to al-Aga, the US actions de facto protect Israel's occupation and the construction of new settlements on the territories seized from the Palestinians.

"If there is no peace in Jerusalem, then it will be none in the whole world," the ambassador said. "With all confidence, I would say that [Trump's] decision will affect the stability not only of Palestine, but of the region and the world."

When asked whether the Palestinians may counterbalance the US move, al-Aga responded: "We can kick off advances in all possible directions, so that the US understands that they cannot act so unfairly. We have international law and the Arab peace initiative at our disposal. But this is not enough."

Being a Palestinian Ambassador to the KSA, al-Aga shed light on Riyadh's stance on the matter, citing the statements of the Saudi Council of Ministers, the Foreign Ministry and the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Khaled bin Salman. He stressed that the American decision undermines all efforts of the KSA and Egypt for a peaceful settlement.

Al-Aga praised Russia's efforts aimed at solving the Palestinian issue, emphasizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin has always supported President Abbas on the peaceful resolution of the regional crisis.

The ambassador referred to the Tuesday phone conversationbetween President Putin and the Palestinian leader: "In my opinion, it was a sign of solidarity and support. President Vladimir Putin recognizes the necessity to resolve the conflict between the two countries, and [supports] international law and the efforts of M. Abbas."

Jerusalem is claimed by both the Israelis and Palestinians as their capital.

The UN decision of November 1947, which is known as the Partition Plan for Palestine (Resolution 181) envisaged the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with Jerusalem being established as a "separated body" with a special legal and political status, administered by the UN.

At the end of the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli War, the western part of the city was held by the Israelis. As the result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, also known as the Six-Day War, Israel occupied East Jerusalem.

The United Nations Security Council has repeatedly condemned Israel's attempted annexation of East Jerusalem. However, in response to the repeated pleas from its ally the US issued the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which envisaged the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999, which would open the door to Jerusalem's recognition.

On April 6, 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it reaffirms the Russian Federation's "commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state."

"At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," the Foreign Ministry statement issued on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement said.



'He's declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims': Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital TODAY despite international fury from the Pope, the UK, Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and Palestinians

  • President Trump is set to announce he's recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, and starting the process of moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv

  • International outcry was swift and furious ahead of speech expected at lunchtime in the U.S.

  • Palestinians said it would be 'a kiss of death to the two-state solution' and Trump is 'declaring war in the Middle East'

  • Pope Francis said he was 'profoundly concerned' and appealed that 'everyone respects the status quo of the city'

  • China, which has good ties with Israel and the Palestinians, expressed concerns over 'possible aggravation of regional tensions'

  • Iran's supreme leader said Trump's new stance represented 'incompetence and failure'

  • Russia, a key Middle East player, expressed concern about a 'possible deterioration' there

  • Moving the embassy to Jerusalem will unfold over 'years,' a senior White House official said; 'It won't be immediate, it won't be months, it won't be quick'


PUBLISHED: 08:56, 6 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:41, 6 December 2017

America's friends and foes unleashed fierce criticism on Wednesday ahead of Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital which is expected at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.

A senior administration official said the president would also say he is beginning a long process of moving America's embassy there from Tel Aviv.

'The president believes this is a recognition of reality,' he said.

While Israel welcomed the news, Palestinian officials declared the Mideast peace process 'finished' and Turkey announced it would host a meeting of Islamic nations next week to give Muslim countries' leaders an opportunity to coordinate a response.

In Gaza, U.S. and Israeli flags were burned and in the West bank Hamas declared Friday a 'day of rage,' raising the specter of mass violence in the occupied territories.

Israeli security forces braced for violence but said so far the situation was peaceful.

The Pope made a plea for Trump to rethink urgently and spoke out at his weekly general audience in Rome .

'I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,' Pope Francis said.

The Roman Catholic Pontiff told thousands of people at his general audience: 'I cannot keep quiet about my deep concern about the situation that has been created in the last few days.'

A Turkish government spokesman said that the move will plunge the region and the world into 'a fire with no end in sight.'

In the UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she would challenge the country's closest ally.

'I'm intending to speak to President Trump about this matter,' May told MPs.

'Our position has not changed, it has been a long standing one and it is also a very clear one.

'It is that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states.'

The harsh global reaction cast questions about the feasibility of a brewing U.S. peace plan that is expected to be presented by the White House in the near future.

Trump would effectively be making a declaration of war, the Palestinians' chief representative to Britain said Wednesday.

'If he says what he is intending to say about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, it means a kiss of death to the two-state solution,' Manuel Hassassian said in a BBC radio interview.

'He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims [and] hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel,' Hassassian added.

The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state and fear that Trump's declaration essentially imposes on them a disastrous solution for one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

'There is no way that there can be talks with the Americans. The peace process is finished. They have already pre-empted the outcome,' said Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi. 'They cannot take us for granted.'

The U.S. decision 'destroys the peace process,' added Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Top Palestinian officials were meeting Wednesday to plot their course forward.

U.S. officials said late Tuesday that Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests.

Moving the embassy will be a longer process.

'This will be a matter of some years. It won't be immediate, it won't be months, it won't be quick,' a senior administration official said Tuesday night.

'For instance,' he said, 'the United States was looking at moving out of Grosvenor Square in London for a long, long time. And I think that took something like eight years to get done and will be done in early 2018.'

'It is a practicable impossibility to move the embassy tomorrow,' another official said. 'There are about 1,000 personnel in the embassy in Tel Aviv. There is no facility they can move into in Jerusalem, as of today.'

'It will take some time to find a site, address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility – working with Congress, obviously – and build it. So this is not an instantaneous process.'

Israel is the only country where the United States has an embassy in a city that the host nation does not consider its capital.

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Facebook that 'Our historical national identity is receiving important expressions every day.' He said he would comment further later in the day.

Other members of his Cabinet were more forthcoming. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the nationalist Jewish Home party, praised what he called Trump's 'bold and yet natural' move.

'The sooner the Arab world recognizes Jerusalem as our capital, the sooner we will reach real peace. Real peace that is not predicated on an illusion that we are going to carve up Jerusalem and carve up Israel,' Bennett told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.

International leaders, however, swiftly criticized Trump's plan.

China, which has good ties with Israel and the Palestinians, expressed concerns over 'possible aggravation of regional tensions.'

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a news briefing that the status of Jerusalem was a complicated and sensitive issue and China was concerned the U.S. decision 'could sharpen regional conflict.'

'All parties should do more for the peace and tranquility of the region, behave cautiously, and avoid impacting the foundation for resolving the long-standing Palestine issue and initiating new hostility in the region,' Geng said.

Russia, a key Mideast player, expressed its concern about a 'possible deterioration.'

Two leading Lebanese newspapers published front-page rebukes of Trump.

Britain's Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, who had already expressed concern about the U.S. decision, on Wednesday said it was now time for the Americans to present their peace plan for the region.

'Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians - a negotiated settlement that we want to see,' Johnson said.

'We have no plans ourselves to move our embassy.'

In Brussels Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to dampen down the reaction.

'The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process,' Tillerson told reporters at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

He said a small team led by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner - a 36-year-old former property developer - has been 'engaged in a quiet way' in the region to try to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

'We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved and the president has a team that is devoted to that entirely,' Tillerson said.

Trump's Mideast team have spent months meeting with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders. Details of their long awaited plan remain a mystery.

'Clearly this is a decision that makes it more important than ever that the long-awaited American proposals on the Middle East peace process are now brought forward,' Johnson told reporters in Brussels.

In his speech, Trump was expected to instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. It remained unclear, however, when he might take that physical step, which is required by U.S. law but has been waived on national security grounds for more than two decades.

The officials said numerous logistical and security details, as well as site determination and construction, could take three or four years to sort out.

To that end, the officials said Trump would delay the embassy move by signing a waiver, which is required by U.S. law every six months. He will continue to sign the waiver until preparations for the embassy move are complete.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity pending Trump's announcement, said the decision was merely an acknowledgment of 'historical and current reality' rather than a political statement and said the city's physical and political borders will not be compromised.

They noted that almost all of Israel's government agencies and parliament are in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and other countries maintain embassies.

Still, the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital carries deep symbolic significance and could have dangerous consequences. The competing claims to east Jerusalem, the section of the city captured by Israel in 1967, have frequently boiled over into deadly violence over the years.

East Jerusalem is home to the city's most sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites, as well as its 330,000 Palestinian residents.

The United States has never endorsed the Jewish state's claim of sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem and has insisted its status be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiation.

The mere consideration of Trump changing the status quo sparked a renewed U.S. security warning on Tuesday. America's consulate in Jerusalem ordered U.S. personnel and their families to avoid visiting Jerusalem's Old City or the West Bank, and urged American citizens in general to avoid places with increased police or military presence.

Trump, as a presidential candidate, repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy. However, U.S. leaders have routinely and unceremoniously delayed such a move since President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1995 stipulating that the United States must relocate its diplomatic presence to Jerusalem unless the commander in chief issues a waiver on national security grounds.

Key national security advisers – including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis – have urged caution, according to the officials, who said Trump has been receptive to some of their concerns.

Trump has spoken of his desire to broker a 'deal of the century' that would end Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S. officials, along with an outside adviser to the administration, said the president's speech was not aimed at resolving the conflict over Jerusalem.

He isn't planning to use the phrase 'undivided capital,' according to the officials. Such terminology is favored by Israeli officials and would imply Israel's sovereignty over east Jerusalem.

One official also said Trump would insist that issues of sovereignty and borders must be negotiated by Israel and the Palestinians. The official said Trump would call for Jordan to maintain its role as the legal guardian of Jerusalem's Muslim holy places, and reflect Israel and Palestinian wishes for a two-state peace solution.

Elsewhere, however, reactions were skeptical, especially across the Muslim world. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the 'whole world is against' Trump's move, and the supreme leader of Iran, Israel's staunchest enemy, condemned Trump.

The state TV's website quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying that 'the victory will ultimately be for the Islamic nation and Palestine.'

Iran does not recognize Israel, and supports anti-Israeli militant groups like Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,' Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.



Jerusalem has been a contested site for centuries, and today three major world religions – Judaism, Islam and Christianity – lay claim to various holy sites and monuments there - all of them on the Temple Mount.

The crux is that Jews see the West Wall as their holiest site as this is all that remains of the Jewish temple after its destruction by the Romans; Christians see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as their holiest site because it was where Christ rose from the dead; and Muslims see the Dome of the Rock as their holiest site because the Prophet Muhammad began his journey to heaven there.

The importance of each has echoed down history. Medieval maps put Jerusalem in the center of the world, the Crusades tried to capture the city for Christians and the holy sites changed hands repeatedly in the Middle Ages.

By the 1800s Jerusalem had a population of just 8,000 people and was a backwater in the Ottoman Empire but that was to change rapidly as colonial powers fought over the Middle East, Christian revivalists moved into the city and Zionism became a significant political movement among the world's Jews.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire left Britain in charge of the heterogeneous city and its growing New Jerusalem as settlement spread beyond the city walls.

Jewish immigration boomed and tensions grew, with a pogrom in 1920, then growing attacks from Zionist groups on British forces. It was to presage a bloody aftermath of World War II as Jewish militias steppes up attacks on the British.

But the immediate roots of Trump's dramatic announcement lie in the messy history of the Middle East after World War II.

The U.N. plan which set up separate Jewish and Israeli states in what had been British-controlled Palestine in 1947 said Jerusalem was to be a 'separated body' administered by the United Nations.

The State of Israel was declared in 1948 and over the next year recognized by countries including the U.S. - but crucially on the basis of the U.N. plan, meaning Jerusalem could not be the capital.

Conflict which rolled into 1949 ended in an armistice which left Israel controlling the west of the city and Jordan the east, and Israel's president called the city Israel's 'eternal capital'.

But the world largely did not follow. The U.S., which wanted a negotiated settlement to replace the armistice of 1949, built its embassy in Tel Aviv, and most other countries followed.

The situation was upended in 1967 when the Six Day War's spectacular victories gave Israel control of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

That ushered in a new era for Israel, which took control of East Jerusalem and made it separate legally from the West Bank, and over the years repeatedly rejecting the 1947 U.N. position of the city's special status.

Repeated efforts to settle the issue have involved the final status of Jerusalem being part of the negotiations towards a deal.

The U.S., which has been in support of the major past efforts, kept its embassy in Tel Aviv as a result, and other major countries did the same.

Tel Aviv is the undoubted economic capital of Israel but the country's parliament and president are in Jerusalem and diplomats have to go there to be officially recognized and for many meetings with the country's government.

A handful of smaller countries have from time to time recognized Jerusalem as capital and even had embassies there, but no major country has until now made that declaration.

In Israel and Palestine both sides appear determined to have Jerusalem as their capital and no peace plan has ever got far enough to test whether potential compromises which have been offered - such as an international trust administering the holy sites, and the creation of a Palestinian capital in the suburbs - would actually happen.

Currently the city is roughly two-thirds Jewish and one third Muslim, and the historic Christian community makes up just two per cent of the population.



Iran says Trump's al-Quds move to spark another Palestinian Intifada

December 6, 2017

Protesters chant slogans and wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration against the US and Israel in front of the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on December 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has strongly condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem al-Quds, saying the measure will ignite a new Palestinian Intifada (uprising).

In a Wednesday night statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital is a “blatant violation of international resolutions.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stressed that the most important reason behind instability and insecurity in the Middle East is [Israel’s] continued occupation, the US’ relentless support for the Zionist regime, and denying the oppressed Palestinian nation the right to establish an independent state with al-Quds as it capital,” the statement said.

Describing the US move as “provocative and unwise,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned that “recognizing al-Quds as the Israeli regime’s capital” will “provoke Muslims and inflame a new Intifada and intensify extremism and violent behavior for which the US and the Israeli regime will be responsible.”

The statement also called on the international community to pressure the US not to go through with the embassy move or the recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli regime's capital.

The statement was issued shortly after Trump officially declared the disputed city of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital, despite warnings from around the world that the measure risks triggering a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East.

In a speech at the White House earlier in the day, Trump said his administration would also begin a years-long process of moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city.

The announcement was a major shift by Washington that overturns decades of US foreign policy.

Al-Quds eternal Palestinian capital: Abbas

In a televised speech after Trump's announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Jerusalem al-Quds is the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine."

Abbas added that the US president's speech was "tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator."

"In addition, these measures are considered a reward to Israel for denying the accords and challenging the international law," the Palestinian president stated, adding that the US "encourages the occupation policy, settlements, apartheid and ethnic cleansing."

Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip staged a demonstration against the US and Israel, condemning Trump's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement that the Palestinian people "know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries."

He added that the decision "will not change the facts of history and geography."

Turkey condemns 'irresponsible' US decision

Reacting to Trump’s speech, the Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced Trump's speech as an "irresponsible statement."

"We call upon the US administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem al-Quds," it said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said Trump's recognition does not automatically make Jerusalem al-Quds the capital of Israel.

"You can't come out and say, 'I'm a great power, I can do what I want.' There can be no understanding under which one can say I made such an announcement and it will become reality," Cavusoglu stated, adding that "the whole world opposes” what he described as Washington’s “dangerous” move.

US decision won't weaken Palestinian cause: Assad

The office of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismissed Trump's move, saying in a statement it would not undermine the "Palestinian cause."

"The future of Jerusalem al-Quds is not set by a state or a president, but by its history, will, and the determination of those loyal to the Palestinian cause, which will stay alive in the conscience of the Arab homeland until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," it said.

Trump's move 'legally null': Jordan

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani told state news agency Petra that Trump's announcement violated longstanding UN Security Council resolutions that "stipulated the non-recognition of the Israeli occupation" of Jerusalem al-Quds' eastern sector and the occupied West Bank.

The kingdom also considered "all unilateral moves that seek to create new facts on the ground as null and void", Momani added.

UN against 'unilateral measures'

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres implicitly criticized Trump's announcement, warning that the Palestinian city’s status must be resolved through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

"From day one as secretary general of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians," Guterres said.

Trump’s decision drew a chorus of condemnation from many other countries, including its close allies France and Britain.

"This is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of, and which goes against international law and all the UN Security Council resolutions. The status of Jerusalem is a question of international security that concerns the entire international community, and I'll reaffirm that the status of Jerusalem must be determined by Israelis and Palestinians in the framework of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations," said French President Emmanuel Macron.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also said her country disagreed with the US decision before reaching a “final status agreement.”

"We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region," May’s spokesperson said.

Israel lays claim to the entirety of Jerusalem al-Quds as its “capital” while Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of a future state for themselves.

Palestinian leaders have warned that the potential relocation would fuel strong reaction in the region and deliver a death blow to any prospect of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



Erdogan: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is ‘red line’ for Muslims

By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News

December 5, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “red line” for Muslims.

Erdogan, while speaking to Parliament, said such a step by President Trump would force Turkey to cut off all diplomatic ties with Israel. He pledged to rally other Muslim countries to oppose any move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The White House has been considering recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel despite growing calls from the Middle East and Europe to reconsider the move. The possible recognition might come this week.

Turkey is among the latest nations to publicly voice their opposition to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State, with some saying it will hinder the possibility of the peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians and will be an insult to the Muslim world.

The Palestinian leadership said Tuesday that they will “stop contacts” with the U.S. if Trump goes forward with the change. Palestinian officials also called for mass protests in the event of the recognition.

The Organization for Islamic Cooperation, an umbrella organization of Muslim countries, said Monday that the move would constitute “naked aggression” against the Arab and Muslim world.

In Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump during a telephone call on Monday that he was “concerned” about the plan and asked to reconsider the move, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“Mr. Macron reaffirmed that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly those relating to the establishment of two states,” Macron’s office said.

The opposition surrounds East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967 after Arab nations launched an all-out attack against the state, the home of a large Muslim population. Both Israel and Palestinian leaders see Jerusalem as their country’s rightful capital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Czech Republic follows Trump, recognizes Jerusalem

Czech Republic announces it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

Nitsan Keidar, 06/12/17 23:12

The Czech Republic on Wednesday evening followed in the footsteps of U.S. President Donald Trump and said it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

“The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967,” said a statement issued by the Czech foreign ministry.

The statement also stressed that the Czech Republic “considers Jerusalem to be future capital of both states, meaning the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine.”

“The Ministry can start considering moving of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only based on results of negotiations with key partners in the region and in the world,” it added.

Trump had earlier on Wednesday announced that the United States officially recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and announced that the American embassy in Israel would be relocated to Jerusalem.

"After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result," Trump said.

"Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

The Czech Republic is one of Israel's strongest allies. Its predecessor state, Czechoslovakia, was one of 33 countries to vote in favour of the 1947 UN Partition Plan recommending the establishment of a Jewish state, and was among the first countries to recognize the State of Israel. Czechoslovakia also supported the beleagured new Israeli state with critically needed arms. Relations were cut off during most of the years of Communist rule, but were re-established after Czechoslovakia's split into two countries.

International Business Times

Ancient copy of Jesus's secret papyrus teachings to his brother discovered

The first-known original Greek copy of the banned Christian manuscript was discovered in the Nag Hammadi Library at Oxford University.

    By Lara Rebello

    Updated December 1, 2017

Biblical scholars have discovered the first-known copy of a heretical text, which is thought to hold the secret teachings of Jesus to his brother James. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found the manuscript at Oxford University.

The writings are on a small piece of papyrus and are thought to be part of the Apocalypse of James, a book of the Bible that was banned by Emperor Constantine and was not part of the New Testament released in 367AD by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.

The text was part of the The Nag Hammadi Library —a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books that were first discovered in Egypt more than 70 years ago in 1945. The codices were reportedly hidden in a jar in the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi around 1,400 years ago and can be traced back to a time between the 2nd and 6th century CE.

Unlike the rest of the documents, the fragments recently discovered were not written in Coptic but in Greek.

"This new discovery is significant in part because it demonstrates that Christians were still reading and studying extra-canonical writings long after Christian leaders deemed them heretical," Geoffrey Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the two scholars who made the discovery, told Newsweek.

"To say that we were excited once we realised what we'd found is an understatement," he added to Science Daily.

The ancient document reportedly describes secret teachings Jesus shared with his brother James, and includes information about the heavenly realm and future events, including James' inevitable death. "The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus' life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James -- secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus' death," Smith said.

Brent Landau, a lecturer in the UT Austin Department of Religious Studies who worked on the find believes the text was used to teach students to read and write. "The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots. Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts," he explained.

Smith and Landau announced the discovery at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in Boston in November and are working to publish their preliminary findings in the Greco Roman Memoirs series of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

For many, the suggestion that James was a blood relative of Jesus is a matter of debate. In 2002, archaeologists discovered a 2,000-year-old ossuaryor "bone box" with Aramaic inscriptions that translated to: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus".

If proved to be true, this would be the first-of-its-kind of evidence to indicate that Jesus has siblings. "The New Testament says nothing about Mary being a perpetual virgin, it says she virginally conceived Jesus, and it certainly implies that she went on to have more children after that, and his brothers and sisters are in fact his brothers and sisters," Ben Witherington, a professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, had earlier told CNN in 2015.

(“While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.” Matthew 12:46

Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” Matthew 13:55

All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” Acts 1:14

But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.” Galatians 1:19)


Pope Francis: World Government Must Rule U.S. ‘For Their Own Good’

Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the United States of America has “a distorted vision of the world” and Americans must be ruled by a world government, as soon as possible, “for their own good.”

The Pope made the observation in an interview with La Repubblica reporter Eugenio Scalfari.

“Last Thursday, I got a call from Pope Francis,” Scalfari reported. “It was about noon, and I was at the newspaper when my phone rang.”

He said Pope Francis had been watching Putin and Trump at the G20 and had become agitated. The Pope demanded to see him at four that afternoon, according to a Google translation of the Italian report.

“Pope Francis told me to be very concerned about the meeting of the G20,” Scalfari wrote.

As translated into English by Agence France Presse, which picked up the story, the Pope said “I am afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Assad in the war in Syria.”

“The danger concerns immigration,” the Pope continued to La Repubblica. “Our main and unfortunately growing problem in the world today is that of the poor, the weak, the excluded, which includes migrants.”

“This is why the G20 worries me: It mainly hits immigrants,” Pope Francis said, according to AFP.

Belgian Red Cross Orders Crucifixes Removed From Its Buildings

By Michael W. Chapman | December 4, 2017 | 6:30 PM EST

The Red Cross in the Liege province of Belgium, near the border with the Netherlands and Germany, has ordered all 28 of its facilities to remove all Christian crosses and crucifixes on its walls in order to appear religiously neutral, according to the Belgian news outlet 7Sur7, and which was also covered and translated by Breitbart News in London.

Andre Rouffart, president of the Red Cross house in Verviers, in the Liege province, said an email was sent to the 28 Red Cross houses in Liege instructing the facilities "to respect the principles of the Red Cross, which is to say no distinction given to religion or race."

The Red Cross organization is "neutral," in that, as a humanitarian aid group it does not take sides in hostilities "or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature," states its website. Its symbol, the red cross on a white background, is the inverse of the Swiss flag (white on red), which traces its origins back to the time of Christendom and the Christian Emperor Charlemagne.

The situation in Liege, however, concerns crucifixes or Christian crosses hanging on the walls inside of Red Cross buildings.

According to 7Sur7, some Red Cross volunteers did complain about the email directive. One volunteer said, "Let things remain as they are. We used to say 'Christmas holidays,' now it's 'winter holidays.' The Christmas market in Brussels has become the 'Winter Pleasures.'"

Andre Rouffart said, "For a certain part of the population they think it is because of the Muslims that the crosses were removed in the Red Cross houses and, more particularly, in that of Verviers, but that has absolutely nothing to do with it."


In the train wreck of our present culture, we are witnessing the failure over the last 50 years to instruct and discipline our children in ways that as adults they are more likely to embrace the values that can lead to a virtuous life.

By Cal Thomas

Rarely has the idiom “virtue is its own reward” looked better than it does in light of the sex scandals sweeping the nation. The so-called “prudishness,” of a previous generation and the respect most men were once taught to have for women — and which Hugh Hefner and his disciples of “free love” mocked — are looking better with each passing day.

Conservatives have been told they can’t impose their morality on others, so how is its opposite working out for individuals and the culture?

Washington Post columnist Christine Emba writes, “…now could be the time to reintroduce virtues such as prudence, temperance, respect and even love.”

“What’s love got to do with it?” asked Tina Turner? Everything. If you love somebody or something — from institutions, to people — you are bound to treasure them, as opposed to what you dislike, don’t respect and treat like a disposable item that is useful for the moment, but is discarded when it has served your purpose.

Who decided traditional virtues were no longer viable and should not be taught to schoolchildren? Was a study conducted that found young people were being damaged from learning how to live and respect one another? Were they expected to catch these virtues on their own without guidance from elders? If so, why do we teach table manners, not interrupting when someone else is talking, sharing and many other things to counter what our lower nature doesn’t teach us?

The idea behind virtue being its own reward is that people who pursue virtue enjoy a layer of protection from the sins now being exposed in so many, from Washington to Hollywood and in between. People who are faithful to their spouses in marriage, honest in their financial dealings, respected for their character and integrity in public and in private don’t have to worry about being “embarrassed and ashamed,” as Sen. Al Franken said of his behavior toward some women.

Former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett published “The Book of Virtues” in 1993. It is a collection of moral tales designed to instruct us on the benefits of virtue and the consequences of its opposite.

The chapter titles reveal a list of ancient truths that seem increasingly scarce in modern society. They include some of the things Ms. Emba notes we are missing in today’s culture: Self-discipline, Responsibility, Courage, Honesty, Loyalty and Faith. Question: Would anyone argue these virtues have exceeded their “sell-by” date? It turns out that living by one’s own moral code, or none at all, has been a disaster for individuals and for the nation.

In the introduction to his book, Bennett writes of the necessity of reaching “the inner part of the individual, to the moral sense.” Today, he writes, “We speak about values and the importance to ‘have them,’ as if they were beads on a string or marbles in a pouch. But these stories speak of morality and virtues, not as something to be possessed, but as the central part of human nature, not as something to have, but as something to be, the most important thing to be.”

In the train wreck of our present culture, we are witnessing the failure over the last 50 years to instruct and discipline our children in ways that as adults they are more likely to embrace the values that can lead to a virtuous life. Why did we expect any other outcome after mostly abandoning these virtues? If you penalize and discourage virtuous things you will get less virtue; conversely, if you subsidize and encourage virtue, you will get more of it.

The scandals playing out in newspapers and on TV speak to this. The question now is will we “repent,” as the Scriptures advise, and seek a new path which, in fact, is a very old path that leads to a more virtuous life, or continue down the current path which leads to destruction?


Houthis claim takeover of Yemeni capital, president calls for ‘all people’ to rise against them

4 December 2017

A Huthi rebel fighter is seen atop an armoured vehicle in front of the residence of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on December 4, 2017. © AFP

The capital of Yemen, Sanaa is now reportedly under control of Houthi fighters, according to media citing the Interior Ministry. The group has allegedly retaken the city after the death of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh, who formally renounced his alliance with the Houthis on Sunday, was killed while trying to flee the capital, according to the Houthi-controlled ministry. It said their former ally “was creating chaos by working with militias of aggression” in the country, and “helping extremist militants.”

Having accused the former leader of betrayal and inciting even more violence in Yemen, the ministry said the Houthi forces have “ended the crisis” and now control “all positions” of opposing militias. There have been reports that the eldest son of the ex-president Ahmad Saleh, regarded as his likely successor, has been arrested.

On Monday, Yemen's embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi ordered his armed forces to launch a massive military offensive against Houthis in Sanaa. The government of Hadi, based in southern Yemen in Aden and backed by Saudi Arabia, has announced what it called "Operation Arabian Sanaa," Al Arabiya reported, adding that an amnesty has been promised to those fighters who cut ties with the Iran-backed rebels.

"The president will soon announce a general amnesty for all those who collaborated with the Houthis in recent months and who have retracted that allegiance," the Saudi Arabian media cited Hadi's prime minister, Ahmad Obaid bin Daghr, as saying. In a televised speech broadcast by Sky News Arabia, Hadi also called on people in all Yemeni provinces to "rise against" the Houthi forces.

Heavy fighting has been ongoing in Sanaa in recent days, with the Saudi-led coalition launching strikes on Houthi positions and having bombed Sanaa’s airport. The strikes come amid reports of extreme bloodshed in Yemen’s capital after ex-president Saleh pulled out of an alliance with the Houthi rebels.

Rubble and debris can be seen in a Ruptly video documenting the aftermath of the Saudi-led coalition's attack on Sanaa International Airport on Sunday evening. The footage shows pulverized concrete, burnt-out cars and the airport's abandoned VIP lounge.

Heavy fighting was reported around the diplomatic area near the United Nations compound in Sanaa, the UN said. Reporting that "air strikes have intensified" in the area, where a number of aid agencies are located, the organization said there are military vehicles in the streets and "roads are blocked."

The Saudi coalition, which is generously provided with munitions by the US and UK, also targeted Houthi positions west of the capital, as well as in the highlands south of Sanaa, including the hills of al-Rayyan overlooking Hadda city, according to Al Arabiya. However, on Monday, Houthis reportedly made gains against forces supporting the former president.

In 2015, a Sunni-Arab coalition led by Riyadh launched a military campaign against the Shiite Houthi rebels to prevent them from controlling Yemen. The Saudi-led operation has been a major contributor to the humanitarian disaster currently plaguing the war-torn nation. Some 20 million Yemenis, including 11 million children, are in need of urgent aid, according to the World Health Organization. The UN believes that the civilian death toll from the conflict could exceed 10,000.



YouTube Censors Polish Government’s Video Exposing Catastrophic Migrant Invasion

Google flags content as inappropriate, offensive to audiences

By Dan Lyman Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Polish government has fallen victim to YouTube’s selective censorship crackdown after the information giant banished a video exposing Europe’s manufactured migrant crisis to ‘limited state’ limbo.

The video is titled, “Europe opens its eyes and admits us right,” and was posted by Poland’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration.

Its description reads -

“The PiS government withdrew from the harmful decision of the PO-PSL government to bring immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa to Poland. We were the first to say that not every immigrant is a refugee, and only a few flee from war and terror. Two years after the Polish government's opposition to the admission of illegal immigrants, EU leaders are beginning to understand the absurd policy of compulsory relocation of refugees.”

The video features headlines and footage highlighting various ways the EU's open borders policies are endangering European civilization, and also demonstrates that Poland's ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), has been taking drastic measures to protect the Polish people while clashing regularly with authoritarian bullies in Brussels.

"This problem is connected with what the west of Europe is struggling with - decades of a policy of multiculturalism and political correctness," says Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak in the video. "Our government chooses a responsible way to fight the problem of illegal immigration."

Incredibly, the short presentation has been flagged as “age inappropriate,” and many standard YouTube features for the video are deactivated, including the comments section, sharing and embedding options, view count, and user rating.

This diminished status is known as ‘limited state,’ a virtual purgatory for content deemed as ‘offensive’ or ‘extremist’ by faceless information gatekeepers who regularly target subject matter that challenges the globalist-mainstream narrative - such as the ‘refugee crisis’ and all the propaganda that fuels it.

"Some borderline videos, such as those containing inflammatory religious or supremacist content without a direct call to violence or a primary purpose of inciting hatred, may not cross these lines for removal," YouTube explains in their policy center. "Following user reports, if our review teams determine that a video is borderline under our policies, it may have some features disabled."

The video is embedded below - but you'll have to jump through a few more hoops just to watch it.



Russia & China could set international gold price based on physical gold trading

3 December 2017

© Global Look Press

Since Russia, China, India, Brazil & South Africa are all either large producers or consumers of gold, or both, it is highly likely that the BRICS bloc they constitute could focus its cross-border gold trading network on trading physical gold.

Gold pricing benchmarks from such a system would be based on physical gold transactions, which is a departure from the way the international gold price is currently established.

Such a system would also be a threat to “gold” trading markets in London and New York. The London Over-the-Counter (OTC) and the New York COMEX futures exchange currently set the international gold price.

OTC and COMEX are really trading synthetic derivatives on gold, and are completely detached from the physical gold market. In London, the derivative is fractionally-backed unallocated gold positions which are predominantly cash-settled. In New York the derivative is exchange-traded gold future contracts which are predominantly cash-settled and backed by very little real gold.

The major gold producers Russia, China and other BRICS nations could change the way the international gold prices are set currently - in a synthetic trading environment which has very little to do with the physical gold market.

BRICS cooperation in the gold market was first unveiled in April by the First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Central Bank, Sergey Shevtsov, during a visit to China.

“We (the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the People’s Bank of China) discussed gold trading,” he said. “The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are major economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of the precious metal. In China, gold is traded in Shanghai, and in Russia in Moscow. Our idea is to create a link between these cities so as to intensify gold trading between our markets.”




Fires scorch Southern California, destroy homes, threaten landmarks

December 6, 2017

A dangerous new wildfire erupted in Los Angeles on Wednesday, threatening the pricey Bel Air neighborhood, but it was just one of multiple brush blazes that have scorched the region this week, chasing people from their homes, destroying structures and lighting up the nighttime sky like a Hollywood stage.

According to the Associated Press, the newest raging inferno erupted on the slopes of Sepulveda Pass, where Interstate 405 carries traffic past expensive homes, some of which already were ablaze.

That fire, called the Skirball, for Skirball Center Drive, was threatening several cultural centers, including the Getty Museum.

A state of emergency was declared by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who had made the same declaration just 24 hours earlier for the Creek Fire near Sylmar.

UCLA officials said they were operating on generators because the grid had failed there, and local schools were closed down.

Maurice Kaboud, whose multimillion dollar home already was in the reach of raging fires, said, “God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job.”

Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, whose business interests take him periodically to Los Angeles, warned his listeners: “This is not out in the valley. This is Hollywood. This is L.A. This is bad.”

He pointed out Southern California fires usually are in the spring to summer.

But Wednesday’s blaze, he said, “is Los Angeles, this is Bel-Air, this is Brentwood, potentially, this is Beverly Hills, potentially, Hollywood.”

“I take the route [Interstate 405] when I’m out there. This is the route that I take going to work every morning at 5:30, 5 a.m. straight out of Beverly Hills, hit the 405, zip up there. I’m not gonna tell you the final destination, ’cause that means the next time I’m there, there will be crowds outside the building. But that’s the highway I take to get where I’m going,” he said.

Bloomberg reported Rupert Murdoch’s Moraga vineyard was in the evacuation zone for the fire, and the series of of blazes ranged from Ventura, an hour’s drive north, to the suburbs of Los Angeles.

The report said no one answered the phone at Murdoch’s estate, where the media mogul lives with wife Jerry Hall.

KCBS reported firefighters were able to save a Christmas tree and a holiday wreath from one house, “all the homeowner wanted saved.”

The firefighters “pulled the tree filled with years of family ornaments, and the wreath to a safe spot near Via Ondulando in the Thomas Fire, the station said.

As with other massive uncontrolled infernos, some homes were leveled because there were so many demands on the firefighters they could not meet them all.

AFP reported the flames were whipped up by winds that swept across the state, from the dry desert regions to the coast.

The biggest so far has been the Thomas fire, estimated at some 70,000 acres. It forced 27,000 people to flee.

The fire continued Wednesday, more or less, unopposed. It has killed at least one and destroyed some 150 structures, mostly homes and businesses.

An estimated 12,000 more were at risk.

The National Weather Service warned winds to 70 miles per hour could be found in the region for at least another day.

The Rye fire was in the Santa Clarita area.

Mashable reported: “The fires have spread so quickly and grown so large thanks to the California weather phenomenon known as the Santa Ana winds. The east-to-west blowing winds come from the Pacific and tap into the warm and dry conditions inland. The winds push against the air coming from the LA basin’s eastern mountains, which compresses the winds and heat between the ocean and the mountains, further drying out vegetation that has dried out over the summer.”

President Trump spoke out on social media: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of California’s wildfires. I encourage everyone to heed the advice and orders of local and state officials.”


All News Pipeline

December 18th Is The End For These Hard-Working Americans - Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures, The Time For Truckers To Strike Is Now!

December 5, 2017

By Susan Duclos - All News PipeLine
ANP has detailed, multiple times, exactly what would happen if trucking stopped, no food or water on the store shelves as most grocery stores do not have enough in stock to run more than a few days without deliveries, and if there is a run on stores, as has happened during severe weather events, we have documented that within one day some stores are almost emptied of survival and basic food supplies such as milk, water, batteries, etc.....
With that said, and knowing the ramifications of how much damage a truckers strike would have on the economy, and the inability of those unprepared for disaster to survive for long, I am still saying, it is time for a truckers strike, since no one is paying attention to their dire circumstances, there pleas and their warnings of what is coming on December 18, 2017.
The issue is the ELD Mandate set to be enforced starting December 18, 2017, and while the 19,000-member group “ELD or Me” held nationwide rallies on December 4, 2017, notifying media, giving interviews, some of which will be seen below, it appears that "big business" and the national media, are completely ignoring them.
Local media reported as I can find articles and interview clips, but nationally, they are being cast aside. Understand that 97 percent of trucking companies operate fewer than 20 trucks, yet it is the other three percent of bigger companies that are behind this mandate that will actually come out on top, while these smaller businesses all are forced to lose money.
Via American Trucker in an article titled "Small business committee becomes the latest ELD battleground":

ELDs “are promoted as ‘silver bullet’ solution for highway safety despite distinct lack of evidence,” he said. “In reality, they are economic weapons for driving smaller competitors out of the market like me by increasing our operating costs.”
Wiederhold added that the ELD mandate is expected to cost the trucking industry $1.8 billion annually. “It is the most expensive regulation in trucking history,” he said.
He said there are currently 200 different ELD models avaibale ranging in price from roughly $100 to $1,000 per unit. “Then have monitoring fees, $30 to $40 to $50 a month. As a small business, a fleet like me; we’re not going to realize any savings from that,” Wiederhold noted.
However, he did point out that larger fleets can generate savings from ELD adoption. “They’ve got it figuring fuel taxes and cost of operations for them [and] some will actually gain money [by using] the technology,” Wiederhold noted.
He said one large fleet that said in Congressional testimony a few years back it would save $182,000 in one year using ELDs, which included the reduction of data transmission costs by $11,000 and the elimination of a $55,000 back office position.
“We won’t realize that,” Widerhold stressed – in part because his wife is the one managing his trucking company’s back office needs.
“The trucking companies I talk to are pleading to stop this mandate,” added Marty DiGiacomo, owner of True Blue Transportation out of Harrisburg, NC, who testified on behalf of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies.
“They just can’t afford a $700 GPS device with $30 to $50 monthly fees. Trucking always a fluctuating business; you cannot depend on everything staying same all the time,” he emphasized. “No one size fits all – you cannot work that way in trucking; we have crane companies, tanker fleets, towing and recovery, and food service operators. You cannot put one set of guidelines in place and run electronic logs for everyone; it will create a nightmare, havoc, and a lot of extra cost.”

While the ELD devices are being cast as a method to make conditions "safer" on the roads by electronically monitoring each mile on the road for truckers, no actual data has been presented to prove the assertions that it would make anyone safer, but the even bigger issue here is that whether the truckers are on the clock or not, these devices will be monitoring every movement they make.
As can be heard by a woman interviewed locally, she doesn't just use her truck to long haul, but the truck is her home as well, so it would be like the government telling any one of us that they have the right to monitor our movements in our own home, keep track of every person we visit, every stop we make, even when not "on the clock." Think about that, and listen below as the news reporter states clearly the ELD devices will monitor where these truckers are "at all times."
It is a massive violation of these truckers constitutional rights, treating them like criminals, even if they never even received a violation or a ticket.
Another man from the Fresno rally explains why this will force consumers to pay more for goods, and could cause some deliveries to slow down to a crawl:
Had these electronic devices been mandated only for those that have received multiple violations, it would be a different story, but these devices will violate the rights of law abiding citizens, the very people that put the food on those grocery shelves, and in our department stores, medical supplies to pharmacies, gas to the pumps, money to our banks, etc....

Pat Valenti, an owner-operator from Buffalo, New York, said he will be staying home when the ELD mandate takes effect unless things change by the Dec. 18 compliance date. An owner-operator for 20 years, Valenti said it’s not just a question of “ELD or Me,” a slogan associated with the anti-ELD movement.
“Having to have a GPS location on my truck at all times is an infringement on my rights,” said Valenti. He said he understands the need to keep track of his hours, but adds, “where I was is nobody’s business but my own.”

According to American Trucker, a little less than a third of trucks on the road are currently equipped with the electronic logging devices, meaning over two-thirds of the truckers on the road right now, are not equipped and would have to be by December 18, 2017, or risk huge fines, or forced to park their vehicles if they cannot comply.
Indiana's Attorney General Curtis Hill wrote a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, dated November 29, 2017, proposing an "immediate delay," in the implementation of the new requirements, saying that it would place "undue burdens on drivers and operators."
The truckers feel as if no one is listening to them, the national media is ignoring them, and as one of the rally organizers, Doug Hasner, an owner-operator from north of Watertown, New York, stated, "The Congress is not listening to us. The president is not listening to us. The media is not listening to us."
So perhaps it is time for those smaller companies that are about to get slaughtered by government over-reach and regulations that benefits the mega-carriers while threatening to destroy smaller trucking companies, to strike, park their trucks, refuse to deliver their goods, which will guarantee the mainstream media's attention, Congresses and the President's, because when the trucks stop...... so does the economy.

Sure the mega-carriers will continue running their hauls, but are they the ones that deliver to YOUR grocery store, are the big businesses carriers the ones that make sure you have meat, food, produce, toilet paper, etc..... or is it one of the 97 percent that makes up the majority of the trucking companies?

The truckers, like the ones speaking above have less that two weeks to either comply, allow their rights to be violated by being monitored 24 hours a day, or to risk violating the law, or to simply quit doing long hauls. They should use that time wisely, since the rallies didn't garner any attention, since the courts have turned a blind eye to them and since the government is allowing these onerous regulations to threaten their livelihood, perhaps they should speak with their trucks.
Park them.
Maybe then Americans that can't get their food and supplies for the week, will finally stand up for them, speak out, call their Congress people, and help them get their voices heard all across the nation.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and December 18, 2018 is literally the end for some of these hard-working Americans that cannot afford to comply with the EDL mandate, yet cannot feed their families without the work.
Something has to be done, now.



Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America's new nomads

Rising rents are leading Americans to live in cars and other vehicles, writes Jessica Bruder, the author of Nomadland

Jessica Bruder

The cause of the unmanageable household math that drives some people to become nomads is no secret.’ Photograph: Alamy

Millions of Americans are wrestling with the impossibility of a traditional middle-class existence. In homes across the country, kitchen tables are strewn with unpaid bills. Lights burn late into the night. The same calculations get performed again and again, through exhaustion and sometimes tears.

Wages minus grocery receipts. Minus medical bills. Minus credit card debt. Minus utility fees. Minus student loan and car payments. Minus the biggest expense of all: rent.

In the widening gap between credits and debits hangs a question: which bits of this life are you willing to give up, so you can keep on living?

During three years of research for my book, Nomadland: Surviving America in The Twenty-First Century, I spent time with hundreds of people who had arrived at the same answer. They gave up traditional housing and moved into “wheel estate”: RVs, travel trailers, vans, pickup campers, even a salvaged Prius and other sedans. For many, sacrificing some material comforts had allowed them to survive, while reclaiming a small measure of freedom and autonomy. But that didn’t mean life on the road was easy.

My first encounter with one group of the new nomads came in 2013, at the Desert Rose RV park in Fernley, Nevada. It was populated by members of the “precariat”: temporary laborers doing short-term jobs in exchange for low wages. Its citizens were full-time wanderers who dwelled in RVs and other vehicles, though at least one guy had only a tent to live in. Many were in their 60s and 70s, approaching or well into traditional retirement age. Most could not afford to stop working – or pay the rent.

There’s no clear count of how many people live nomadically in America. Photograph: Jessica Bruder

Since 2009, the year after the housing crash, groups of such workers had migrated each fall to the mobile home parks surrounding Fernley. Most had traveled hundreds of miles – and undergone the routine indignities of criminal background checks and pee-in-a-cup drug tests – for the chance to earn $11.50 an hour plus overtime at temporary warehouse jobs. They planned to stay through early winter, despite the fact that most of their homes on wheels weren’t designed to support life in subzero temperatures.

Their employer was Amazon.

Amazon recruited these workers as part of a program it calls CamperForce: a labor unit made up of nomads who work as seasonal employees at several of its warehouses, which the company calls “fulfillment centers”.

Along with thousands of traditional temps, they’re hired to meet the heavy shipping demands of “peak season” – the consumer bonanza that spans the three to four months before Christmas.

While other employers also seek out this nomadic workforce – the available jobs range from campground maintenance to selling Christmas trees and running amusement park rides – Amazon has been the most aggressive recruiter. “Jeff Bezos has predicted that, by the year 2020, one out of every four work-campers – the RV- and vehicle-dwellers who travel the country for temporary work – in the United States will have worked for Amazon,” read one slide in a presentation for new hires.

Amazon doesn’t disclose precise staffing numbers to the press, but when I casually asked a CamperForce manager at an Amazon recruiting booth in Arizona about the size of the program, her estimate was some 1,400 workers.

The workers’ shifts last 10 hours or longer, during which some walk more than 15 miles on concrete floors, stooping, squatting, reaching, and climbing stairs as they scan, sort, and box merchandise. When the holiday rush ends, Amazon no longer needs CamperForce and terminates the program’s workers. They drive away in what managers cheerfully call a “taillight parade”.

The first member of CamperForce I corresponded with at great length, over a period of months, was a man I’ll call Don Wheeler. Don had spent the last two years of his main career as a software executive, traveling to Hong Kong, Paris, Sydney and Tel Aviv.

Retiring in 2002 meant he could finally stay in one place: the 1930s’ Spanish colonial revival house he shared with his wife in Berkeley, California. It also gave him time to indulge a lifelong obsession with fast cars. He bought a red-and-white Mini Cooper S and souped it up to 210 horsepower, practicing until he was named third overall in the US Touring Car Championship pro series.

The fast times didn’t last.

When I started exchanging emails with Don, he was 69, divorced, and staying at the Desert Rose RV park near the warehouse in Fernley. His wife had gotten to keep the house. The 2008 market crash had vaporized his savings. He had been forced to sell the Mini Cooper. In his old life, he’d spent about $100,000 a year. In his new one, he learned to get by on as little as $75 a week.

By the end of the 2013 holiday season, Don anticipated he’d be working at the Amazon warehouse five nights a week until just before dawn, on overtime shifts lasting 12 hours, with 30 minutes off for lunch and two 15-minute breaks. He’d spend most of the time on his feet, receiving and scanning inbound freight. “It’s hard work, but the money’s good,” he explained.

Don told me that he was part of a growing phenomenon. He and most of the CamperForce – along with a broader spectrum of itinerant laborers – called themselves “workampers”. Though I’d already stumbled across that word, I’d never heard anyone define it with as much flair as Don. He wrote in a Facebook direct message to me:

Workampers are modern mobile travelers who take temporary jobs around the US in exchange for a free campsite – usually including power, water and sewer connections – and perhaps a stipend. You may think that workamping is a modern phenomenon, but we come from a long, long tradition.

We followed the Roman legions, sharpening swords and repairing armor. We roamed the new cities of America, fixing clocks and machines, repairing cookware, building stone walls for a penny a foot and all the hard cider we could drink.

We followed the emigration west in our wagons with our tools and skills, sharpening knives, fixing anything that was broken, helping clear the land, roof the cabin, plow the fields and bring in the harvest for a meal and pocket money, then moving on to the next job.

Our forebears are the tinkers. We have upgraded the tinker’s wagon to a comfortable motor coach or fifth-wheel trailer.

Mostly retired now, we have added to our repertoire the skills of a lifetime in business. We can help run your shop, handle the front or back of the house, drive your trucks and forklifts, pick and pack your goods for shipment, fix your machines, coddle your computers and networks, work your beet harvest, landscape your grounds or clean your bathrooms.

We are the techno-tinkers.”

Other workampers I spoke with had their own ways of describing themselves. Many said they were “retired”, even if they anticipated working well into their 70s or 80s. Others called themselves “travelers”, “nomads”, “rubber tramps”, or, wryly, “gypsies”.

Outside observers gave them other nicknames, from “the Okies of the Great Recession” to “American refugees”, “the affluent homeless”, even “modern-day fruit tramps”.

There’s no clear count of how many people live nomadically in America. Full-time travelers are a demographer’s nightmare. Statistically they blend in with the rest of the population, since the law requires them to maintain fixed – in other words, fake – addresses.

Despite a lack of hard numbers, anecdotal evidence suggests the ranks of American itinerants started to boom after the housing collapse and have kept growing.

The cause of the unmanageable household math that drives some people to become nomads is no secret.

Federal minimum wage is stalled at $7.25 an hour. The cost of shelter continues to climb. There are now only a dozen counties and one metro area where a full-time minimum-wage worker can afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.

At the same time, the top 1% now makes 81 times more than those in the bottom half do, when you compare average earnings. For American adults on the lower half of the income ladder – some 117 million of them – earnings haven’t changed since the 1970s.

This is not a wage gap – it’s a chasm.

The most widely accepted measure for calculating income inequality is a century-old formula called the Gini coefficient. What it reveals is startling. Today the United States has the most unequal society of all developed nations. America’s level of inequality is comparable to that of Russia, China, Argentina and the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And a bad as that economic situation is now, it’s likely to get worse. That makes me wonder: what further contortions of the social order will appear in years to come? How many people will get crushed by the system? How many will find a way to escape it?

Despite mounting pressures – including a nationwide crackdown on vehicle-dwelling – America’s modern-day nomads show great resilience. But how much of that toughness should our culture require for basic membership? And when do all the impossible choices start to tear people – a society – apart? The growing ranks of folks living on the road suggest the answer might be: much sooner than we think.

Excerpted from Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. © 2017 by Jessica Bruder. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.


Natural Blaze

10 Amazing Benefits Of Chamomile For Anxiety, Sleep And More

POSTED ON December 3, 2017

By Brent Chittenden

Chamomile tea, also known as manzanilla tea, is an herbal tea made from a plant in the Asteraceae family. It usually comes from one of two varieties of the chamomile plant—German chamomile and Roman chamomile—and has numerous health benefits due to the presence of flavonoids. Chamomile tea benefits include improving sleep, reducing anxiety, controlling blood sugar, and boosting cardiovascular health.

Ahead, we will cover the benefits of chamomile tea, as well as how to make it and how to use it, to reap all the health benefits that this tea has to offer.

In this article:

  • Chamomile Tea Benefits

  • Other Chamomile Tea Benefits

  • How to Make Chamomile Tea

  • How to Use Chamomile Tea

  • Chamomile Tea Side Effects and Precautions

  • Chamomile Tea Benefits You In So Many Ways

Chamomile Tea Benefits

What does chamomile tea do and what is it good for? Chamomile tea health benefits are numerous. Below are the most common health benefits of chamomile tea.

1. May Improve Your Quality of Sleep

Does chamomile tea help with sleep? Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant flavonoid called apigenin. Apigenin is the component in chamomile tea that provides its sedative-like quality. It can help you get to sleep if you suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia.

For the best results, try drinking three or four cups of tea. You should see a difference in the quality of your sleep—a deeper and more restful one.

2. Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are fairly common afflictions these days, and one of the benefits of chamomile tea is that it may help you deal with these issues. In the case of anxiety and depression, the same component in the tea that helps you sleep can help calm your anxiety and sway your depression.

As mentioned, the flavonoid apigenin in chamomile tea has a relaxing, sedating quality that can help you sleep. This same flavonoid can also take the edge off anxiety and depression, making it easier to deal with them. Although chamomile tea may help with anxiety and depression, it is not meant as a replacement for anxiety and depression medication.

3. Promotes Digestive Health

Chamomile tea has long been used all over the world as a digestive aid, especially for those who often have digestive issues. As it turns out, there is an actual scientific reason for it.

Chamomile tea contains a compound called bisabolol. Bisabolol is a compound that acts as anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. These properties can help soothe the stomach as well as relax the muscle lining of the digestive tract. This can help ease digestion and the passage of food through the intestinal tract.

Chamomile tea also contains a compound called anodyne. Anodyne can act as an anti-spasmodic agent. It is very useful in curtailing stomach cramping, constipation, and many symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Protects Against Cancer

Cancer is the ever-present boogeyman of disease. Many people are worried that they will get some form of cancer and will do anything to prevent it.

Chamomile tea may be able to help with cancer prevention. The apigenin contained within chamomile tea may also be able to prevent the formation of certain types of cancer.

Apigenin exhibits many antioxidant properties as well as the anti-inflammatory properties we mentioned in previous sections. These properties can help get rid of free radicals that may cause cancer, as well as possibly inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Specifically, apigenin may help prevent prostate, breast, skin, and ovarian cancer.

5. May Control Blood Sugar

Chamomile tea may be able to help control blood sugar levels. Numerous studies have shown that the antioxidants in chamomile tea can help lower blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes by preventing the progress of hyperglycemia and diabetic complications. Chamomile tea can help reduce HbA1c and serum insulin levels.

Chamomile tea can also inhibit the enzymes that can cause diabetic complications like diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), cataracts, retinopathy (retinal damage of the eye), and nephropathy (kidney damage).

6. Improves Cardiovascular Health

The research into the connections between cardiovascular health and chamomile tea is currently limited at best. However, there are some potentially useful components to chamomile tea that may help with the cardiovascular system.

Currently, research seems to point to antioxidants being able to help cardiovascular health, especially in relation to oxidative stress and blood pressure. And, both of these are important aspects of your heart’s processes and health. As apigenin is a fairly powerful flavonoid and antioxidant, chamomile tea may be able to help with heart health as well.

7. Boosts the Immune System

Chamomile tea may also help boost your immune system, allowing you to fight off colds and bacteria better. Drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis can help raise the body’s level of hippurate.

Hippurate helps your immune system kick into high gear when fighting an infection. Drinking chamomile tea may also help prevent colds and infections as the hippurate levels may make the body inhospitable for weaker infections.

8. Relieves Muscle Spasms

Chamomile tea can help with muscle spasms on two different fronts. One is due to the sedative qualities that come with the tea. Drinking a cup of chamomile can help relax the body and relieve muscles spasms.

As we noted earlier, chamomile tea also contains anodyne which acts as a muscle relaxant and works really will on muscle cramps in the stomach area. For this reason, chamomile tea is often recommended to women suffering from cramping caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Other Chamomile Tea Benefits

Along with the benefits that we’ve listed and explained above, chamomile tea has many other benefits that may help you and your body. These can include:

  • Chest colds

  • Sore throats

  • Many childhood-based conditions like chickenpox, diaper rash, and colic

  • Abscesses

  • Gum inflammation (gingivitis)

  • Acne

  • Psoriasis

  • Eczema

  • Minor first-degree burns

  • Stomach ulcers

For chest colds, sore throats, gum inflammation, and stomach ulcers, it’s chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that come into play. These properties can help calm any inflammation and clean out the bacteria causing the issues.

For skin-based issues, once again, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, help as they can reduce the inflammation of acne and eczema. They can also help get rid of the bacteria that causes these types of skin issues.

In treating skin issues, chamomile tea should be used directly on the skin as opposed to drinking it. This can be done by rubbing the tea into the affected area or directly applying chamomile tea bags to those areas.

How to Make Chamomile Tea

Now that you know what chamomile tea can do for you and your health, here’s how to make chamomile tea.

Making chamomile tea can be easy. The simplest solution is to buy chamomile tea bags from the grocery store and make a cup of tea like you would any other tea.

But if you are looking for a more potent version of chamomile, here is a recipe that you can use.


  • 10 ounces of water (for one cup of tea)

  • 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers


Using a kettle, bring the water to a boil. Once it is bubbling, remove the kettle from the heat source and pour the water into a tea pot.

Measure out two tablespoons of dried chamomile. Make sure it’s packed hard into the spoon.

Mix the dried chamomile blossoms into the tea pot and allow it to steep for approximately five minutes. Place a strainer over the cup or mug and pour the tea into the mug and enjoy.

Note, for weaker tea, don’t allow the tea to steep as long or use less chamomile flowers.

How to Use Chamomile Tea

Besides drinking chamomile tea, there are several ways to use the tea for various health and skin issues.

1. Burns and Scrapes

The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea can help treat burns and scrapes. Simply brew a strong cup of chamomile tea, using two or three times the bags or flowers you normally would. Once the tea has cooled, pour it directly on the wound and then wrap it with a clean cloth or bandage. This may also work for sunburns.

2. Dark Circles

Soak two tea bags in warm water for five minutes. Then place them on the dark circles under your eyes to help lighten or even get rid of them. This works best if the tea bags are left on the circles overnight.

3. Skin Lightening

Chamomile tea can help lighten the skin of your face. Start by brewing two chamomile tea bags or a particularly strong pot of chamomile tea. Once it gets to the point where it is steaming, place your face over the steam but not so close that you get burned. Allow your skin to absorb the steam (a towel can be used to stream it more to the face).

4. Acne Prevention

The steam method that we mentioned above can also be beneficial when fighting acne as the steam can open and enter the pores of the skin. This allows chamomile tea’s antibacterial effects help clean out any acne-causing bacteria.

5. Eye Issues

Some mild conjunctivitis and eye strain can be relieved by using a very mild chamomile mixture.

Using a very weak warm or cold tea, place a few drops into the eye using an eye dropper. Also, the antibacterial properties may be able to get rid of conjunctivitis.

Drinking a few cups of chamomile tea can also help reduce swelling and pain, relax muscles, reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, and ease muscle cramping and digestion issues in those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Chamomile Tea Side Effects and Precautions

When you are using chamomile tea, it is important to know about the possible chamomile tea side effects that may affect you when using the tea for medicinal purposes.

If you have an allergic reaction to chamomile tea, cease using it immediately. Pregnant women should also consider not using chamomile tea as its powerful anti-inflammatory properties may cause issues with the pregnancy including possible miscarriage.

Chamomile tea should also be avoided before any surgery as well. If you are taking any blood thinning medications, it can make clotting difficult.

Chamomile Tea Benefits You In So Many Ways

Is chamomile tea good for you? Yes, chamomile tea may be able to help you with everything from eye strain to preventing cancer. It is a relatively easy tea to acquire, and easy to brew and use.

Be sure to pay attention to the side effects mentioned above while using chamomile tea. If none present themselves, the health benefits are well worth a cup or two a day.

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Until next week...keep on believing.
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