“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace.”
Judgments That Are True
Greetings! Below is a radio broadcast featuring Paul McGuire and Bob Cornuke. The broadcast first appeared on NightLight recently with Simon Perterson from Kampala, Uganda. It was heard all over East Africa and on NightLights international podcast on the Internet.
The program was done in collaboration with People of the Keys and our friend and colleague Simon, involving the upcoming documentary concerning the correct location of Solomon's and Herod's original temples.
The interview with Bob Cornuke is part of the material that is being incorporated into the documentary.
Bob's material will appear with the other high definition material which is now nearing completion.
Hope you find it interesting and inspiring.
Have a great week ahead.
Incidentally, at the end of September, People of the Keys just completed its seventh year on the Internet.
Hugh Jackman, Meet Jesus
OCTOBER 18, 2015POSTED BY THEA118
Hugh Jackman is leaving the X-Men but taking the Road to Damascus. Next year he will star in a new movie on the life of the Apostle Paul. (So if you like Marvel comics and the Bible, you’re in for a treat.)
The movie will be among the most high-profile Hollywood Christian production since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. It is a Warner Brothers motion picture that will be produced by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman himself.
Jackman who is a student of transcendental meditation, previously attended the international School of Practical Philosophy. But he told Parade magazine in 2009 that he was raised by a devout, born-again Christian man, who met Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade.
When Hugh was 8 years old, his parents divorced and his mother moved back to England. But he grew up watching faith in action. He compliments his dad by saying, “What he did was herculean, to bring up five kids with a full-time job!”
And every time Billy Graham would come do a crusade in Sydney, Hugh Jackman was in attendance. He was not interested in going but his father was convinced by the promise, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Paul in Acts 16
So here we are. The award-winning actor is now playing the man who wrote the very words that gave his father hope.
Hugh also had this to say about his dad, “He takes his religion very seriously, and would prefer I go to church. We’ve had discussions about our separate beliefs. I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive.”
That word is in contradiction to the Good News; for it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. – Paul in Galatians 5
Yet once again, the church is known for its restrictions, not its freedoms. And once again a talented young man, who was raised in a Christian home, decides to follow a different way.
How is it that our message of peace, hope and joy has been so contaminated? And how come the loudest voice in the church has been the boring-and-angry, God-hates-fags, only-vote-conservative, one?
We happy sons and daughters need to raise the volume! The time has come for arts and permission to be our sound, for smiles and hope to be our style, for freedom and love to be our beauty.
We’ve had enough of Christ being misrepresented by a few Christians. It’s time to love hard, sing louder, and preach Christ crucified (not the “Christ” who is crucifying everyone else!)
We’re not the religion of anti-gay, anti-beer, anti-fun… We are the followers of Jesus. And Jesus came to give us an abundant life.2
Not only an abundant life for selfish reasons; it’s a life of true fulfilment. You see, Jesus lived among the broken. He shared his meals with the ungodly. He was never stuck inside the prison of religion. He is true freedom and everlasting joy.
When society restricted people from touching the sick, Jesus healed them. When holy men restricted themselves from being with sinners, Jesus befriended them. And when the religious system restricted people from having access to God the Good Father… God the Perfect Son, came in the flesh to be among them, to love them, to save them… to be them.
So why is that a man who was exposed to the ultimate truth has chosen not to believe?
No doubt, it’s his choice. But there’s also the possibility (as with many of our unbelieving family and friends) that the “truth” that was presented to Hugh Jackman was just the ethics of the Christian religion. The rules of Western Christianity. The sad modifications of what otherwise should be a happy, exciting faith.
As I wrote in the article Why is Christianity so Embarrassing?, “The Gospel is different to Christianity. The Gospel Paul talks about is God’s perfect statement of love and grace, Christianity is just our response to that message. The Gospel is the Good News of Salvation, to all people, everywhere. Christianity is the imperfect expression of the people who receive and acknowledge those news. While the Gospel is the finished work of Christ, Christianity is just the unfinished work of men.”
This Christ is not interested in making Christianity famous. He cares about being Jesus (Salvation) to the infamous ones. He’s passionate about the homeless drunk who stole your cell phone, the young girl stripping at the club, the rich man snorting cocaine, and the famous actor who’s searching for the truth in every philosophy there is.
I think God has personally hired Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman, to preach the gospel. (It’s Bourne, Batman and Wolverine to the rescue.)
Because the story of Paul is different to the stories of Moses, or David or Noah. These Old Testament narratives have become another “fantasy” genre in Hollywood. They make for great spectacle. They move the Christian masses. But they stay away from the ultimate message of Scripture.
However, making a movie about the Apostle Paul is a whole other ball game. This is the story of a religious man (a murderer and a terrorist) who has an encounter with the glorified Christ and ends up writing 40% of the New Testament. His story is the Gospel in its purest form.
It has a life of religion and sin, transformed to a life of revelation and sacrifice. It’s the story of a man who thought he knew the truth, until Truth Himself knocked him out in love.
Hugh Jackman gets to play this role. And as all great actors do, he will immerse himself into the life and writings of Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul.
And I have no doubts in my mind, God is getting ready to knock Wolverine out too.
Join me in praying for a radical encounter. I’m believing that the testimony of Hugh’s father, combined with the revelation of Scripture, will become a louder voice than the restrictions and the judgments of the story he was once told.
Jesus is the desire of the nations. Every human being alive (whether they recognise it or not) is hungry for an encounter with Christ. The church has sometimes given the world religion and rules and cheese, so they have been confused. They assumed wrongly. They disregarded Jesus thinking that they had already encountered him.
But the Savior is on a mission to win the hearts of men. He will do whatever it takes to save the lost. He paid too high of a price for grace to be wrongly translated by us. Because, “God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – Paul in 1 Timothy 2
Jesus stands in the center of culture and Hollywood is paying attention.
And maybe, just maybe, the promise made by God, via Paul, to Hugh’s dad, will be fulfilled, “You and you household will be saved.”
I pray and I hope.
Having Courage in the Face of an Anti-Christian Culture
Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Friday, October 23, 2015
Daniel Murphy has accomplished something no one else in baseball history has done. Not Babe Ruth, or Hank Aaron, or Mickey Mantle. He has hit home runs in six consecutive postseason games. His latest helped the Mets defeat the Cubs and earn their first trip to the World Series in fifteen years.
But Murphy is making headlines beyond his baseball heroics. Reporters are replaying an incident that occurred last spring, when he made this statement regarding homosexuality: "I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent." Critics are deriding him today for such "intolerance.".
But here's how Murphy explained his statement: "Maybe, as a Christian, we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree with the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me. It's the same way that there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ."
Humble courage is essential to Christian witness today. In our culture, believers face criticism and slander for their biblical convictions. In other cultures, they face far worse. A Catholic charity has released a report on the "deepening plight of Christians" around the world. It states that "Christians are fast disappearing from entire regions" and warns of "the very real possibility that Christianity could soon all but disappear from much of its ancient homeland."
Radical Islamists are behind much of this rise in persecution. And their ideology is spreading far beyond the Middle East. For instance, eight men in Cologne, Germany, were charged with looting churches and schools to give money to ISIS. The former commander of Britain's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons regiment is warning that ISIS will "inevitably" gain and use weapons of mass destruction.
Jesus warned us: "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20). Those who hate God hate the people of God. Satan knows that he cannot attack our Father, so he attacks his children. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote and proved, discipleship comes at a cost—always.
The next time you face opposition for your faith, remember these biblical statements:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).
When facing enemies, "do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
In an immoral culture, "be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Courage is a strong witness when we are "not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God" (Philippians 1:28).
When you are called to defend your faith, "the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say" (Luke 12:12).
Martin Luther King, Jr. was right: "We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear." Theologian A. A. Hodge observed, "It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it."
END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
18 REASONS WHY I DON’T CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN
This year, 64 percent of all Americans will celebrate Halloween, but I will not be one of them
Photo: Creative Commons
by MICHAEL SNYDER
OCTOBER 29, 2015
This year, 64 percent of all Americans will celebrate Halloween, but I will not be one of them. For me, it is a wretched, horrible holiday that celebrates the darkest side of humanity, and it is deeply rooted in ancient pagan traditions that would get people thrown in prison if they attempted to duplicate them today.
With each passing year, the sexually suggestive costumes being marketed to our young girls become even skankier, the horror movies become darker and even more demonic, and the number of Americans that participate in occult ceremonies just continues to grow. In fact, it has been estimated that the number of self-identified witches in the United States is doubling every 30 months. Those that are deeply into the occult take this holiday very seriously, and the dark forces that they are dealing with are very real. So no, I don’t want anything to do with this festival of death. In no particular order, the following are 18 reasons why I don’t celebrate Halloween…
#1 I don’t want anyone in my family to observe a holiday that celebrates death, witchcraft and the occult. This year, millions of Americans will participate in activities that could potentially open up a door for demonic activity.
#2 The average American spends $74.34 on the holiday. I would rather save the money.
#3 Millions of women use Halloween as an excuse to dress like street walkers, and millions of men use Halloween as an excuse to act like sexual predators.
#4 Even little girls as young as three years old are being dressed up in sexually provocative costumes. What kind of message does this send to them?
#5 Dressing up little children as ghosts, demons and vampires is not healthy for them. In recent years, there has been a trend to make costumes for children as hellish as possible.
#6 Originally, costumes were worn on October 31st “to change the personality of the wearer to allow for communication with the spirit world“. For 11 years in a row, dressing up as a witch has been the number one costume choice for adults in the United States.
#7 In ancient Britain, the festival known as Samhain was celebrated on October 31st. It was supposedly a day when dead souls would revisit their old homes. Personally, I don’t want anything to do with contacting the souls of the dead.
#8 According to the History Channel, Samhain was also the day when the Druids “gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities”.
#9 As I have written about previously, the fastest growing religion in America still practices a holiday known as “Samhain” to this very day.
#10 According to Wiccans, Halloween is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is considered to be the thinnest. They believe that on this day their god “dies” and is reborn every year on the Winter Solstice. This year the winter solstice falls on December 22nd.
#11 In ancient times, the resurrection of the sun god required human and animal sacrifice. The following is what occult expert Bill Schnoebelen says that the Druids would do at this time of the year…
Druids worshiped the sun god, called by names like Bel (Ba’al?) or Chrom. On October 31, they believed that he died and went into the kingdom of the dead, Anwynn. The purpose of Samhain was to insure his return. Even witches admit this involved human sacrifice.
Both animal and human blood were believed to be needed to resurrect Bel on Samhain. Human blood was believed to open the gates of Anwynn and released the spirits for a night. Thus, October 31 came to be associated with ghosts. This is not just history. Samhain is still celebrated by Pagans and is the most solemn ceremony on their “religious calendar”.
#12 To this day, animal torture and sacrifice is still practiced on Halloween by occultists. Many animal shelters will not adopt out black cats during the month of October for this very reason.
#13 In the early seventh century, a Catholic Pope known as Gregory the First decided that the best approach to ensure the continued spread of Catholicism was to “christianize” existing pagan holidays and practices…
As a result of their efforts to wipe out “pagan” holidays, such as Samhain, the Christians succeeded in effecting major transformations in it. In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued a now famous edict to his missionaries concerning the native beliefs and customs of the peoples he hoped to convert. Rather than try to obliterate native peoples’ customs and beliefs, the pope instructed his missionaries to use them: if a group of people worshipped a tree, rather than cut it down, he advised them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its continued worship.
#14 The tradition of “trick-or-treating” was one of the existing pagan traditionsthat was later “Christianized”…
The idea of trick-or-treating is further related to the ghosts of the dead in pagan, and even Catholic, history. For example, among the ancient Druids, “The ghosts that were thought to throng about the houses of the living were greeted with a banquet-laden table. At the end of the feast, masked and costumed villagers representing the souls of the dead paraded to the outskirts of town leading the ghosts away.”
As already noted, Halloween was thought to be a night when mischievous and evil spirits roamed freely. As in modern poltergeist lore, mischievous spirits could play tricks on the living—so it was advantageous to “hide” from them by wearing costumes. Masks and costumes were worn to either scare away the ghosts or to keep from being recognized by them.
#15 The tradition of carving out a “Jack-O-Lantern” also comes from paganism. The following comes from wicca.com…
Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was not advised.
And as Bill Schnoebelen has noted, pumpkins eventually replaced turnips, but the meaning remained the same…
Here it’s a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, or a skull with a candle in it. This serves two symbols, 1) the lord of the Dead, a “god” just like a Buddha – in short, an idol. 2) The fearsome face represented the god, Samhain, who would drive off less powerful demons that night. The lights in the Jack-o-Lantern symbolize the “faery fires” or “Will’o the Wisps” which were believed to be the lost souls flitting through the night. They also hearken back to the huge Samhain “balefires” which were lit to help conjure back the god from the darkness.
#16 On all Satanic holy days, there are children that get ritually abused. This has been documented repeatedly, and yet most people (including most Christians) don’t want to hear about it.
#17 For Satanists, Halloween is one of the most important celebrations of the year. On page 96 of the Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey wrote the following…
“After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween.”
#18 The Scriptures are very clear about this sort of thing. Deuteronomy 18:9-13 says the following: “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults with the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord”.
(Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:10)
IS THE POPE TOYING WITH HERESY?
Pat Buchanan looks at opposing views coming out of recent synod
Published: October 25, 2015
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN About
Pat Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party's candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of The American Conservative. Buchanan served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national TV shows, and is the author of 10 books. His latest book is "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority."
Are Catholic truths immutable? Or can they change with the changing times?
This is the deeper question behind the issues that convulsed the three-week synod on the family of the 250 Catholic bishops in Rome that ended Saturday.
A year ago, German Cardinal Walter Kasper called on the church to change – to welcome homosexual couples, and to permit cohabiting and divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
Retorted traditionalists: This is heresy.
Had the pope followed his friend Cardinal Kasper and ordered Catholic teaching and diocesan practice changed, he could have provoked a schism inside the Church.
Such a change in doctrine would have called into question papal infallibility. Defined at the Vatican Council of 1869-70, that doctrine declares that when the pope teaches ex cathedra, on matters of faith and morals, he is protected from error by the Holy Ghost. Doctrinal truths, taught by popes in communion with the bishops, down through the ages, cannot change.
But if Catholic truths about the indissolubility of marriage and intrinsic immorality of homosexual unions can be changed, then, either the Church has been in grave error in the past, or the Church is toying with heresy today.
Saturday, the Washington Post described the synod as a “brawl over Francis’ vision of inclusion.”
Reporter Anthony Faiola compared the synod deliberations to a tea party rebellion in John Boehner’s House caucus, and the pope to a change agent like Barack Obama who finds himself blocked and frustrated by conservatives.
Saturday’s document from the synod ignored the call for a new Church stance toward homosexual unions. And it did not approve of giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, whom the Church considers to be living in adultery.
Yet, in Sunday’s sermon the pope seemed angered by both the defiance of the resisting bishops and the conclusions the synod reached. To Pope Francis, the traditionalists appear to be placing the strictures of moral law above the Gospel command of mercy.
“None of the disciples stopped, as Jesus did,” said Francis of the blind man. “If Bartimaeus was blind, they were deaf. His problem was not their problem.
“This can be a danger to us. … A faith that does not know how to grow roots into the lives of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts.”
The pope seems to be saying that the dissenting bishops, no matter their command of moral law, are lacking in charity, the greatest of the three theological virtues.
Where does the bishops’ synod on the family leave the Church?
In confusion, and at risk of going the way of the Protestant churches that continue to hemorrhage congregants.
Recall. With its acceptance of birth control at the Lambeth conference of 1930, the Church of England started down this road, as did its sister, the Episcopal Church. The process led to the decline of both.
From birth control, to divorce and remarriage, women priests, gay clergy, homosexual bishops, same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Church first broke apart and now appears to be going gentle into that good night.
Indeed the Church of England began in schism, when Henry VIII broke with Rome after Pope Clement VII refused to approve his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Boleyn. According to Cardinal Kasper, Clement should have cut Henry some slack.
In this battle between traditionalists in the synod and the bishops who favor acceptance of some or all of Kasper’s recommendations, the pope seems to stand squarely on the side of the reformers.
Yet, it was the Protestant Reformation that destroyed the unity of Catholicism, five centuries ago, as it divided nations and led to conflicts of religion and nationalism, such as the Thirty Years War.
How the Catholic Church can avoid greater confusion among the faithful – after the pope’s virtual blessing of the Kasper recommendations and the synod’s rejection of them – escapes me.
What does the pope do now?
If he ignores the synod’s dissent and moves the Church toward the Kasper position, he could cause a traditionalist break, a schism. Third World bishops might well refuse to change.
If he does nothing, he will disappoint Western bishops, priests and secularists who have seen in his papacy hope for an historic change in Catholic teaching and practice.
If he permits the bishops to follow their consciences in their dioceses, he will advance the disintegration of the Church.
The inevitable result of any of these courses that the pope chooses will be, it seems, to deepen the confusion of the faithful.
As for Pope Francis himself, he, too, must choose.
He can emulate Cardinal Wolsey – or Thomas More.
Pope Francis is victim of internal conspiracy to 'manipulate' him, Vatican alleges
Speculation that conservative "enemies" of the Pope within the Catholic Church planted the story in order to undermine his authority
Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square, Vatican CityPhoto: Rex
By Nick Squires, Rome
4:44PM BST 22 Oct 2015
The Vatican alleged on Thursday that Pope Francis was the victim of an internal plot to undermine his authority after a false story was leaked to the Italian press claiming that he was suffering from a brain tumour.
The front-page story was published by Quotidiano Nazionale, an Italian daily, on Wednesday, but was indignantly denied by Vatican spokesmen.
It took to new heights the atmosphere of skulduggery and Machiavellian intrigue that swirls around the Holy See at the best of times.
Cardinals and others within the Catholic Church hierarchy suggested that the unfounded story about the tumour was an attempt by “enemies” of the 78-year-old Pope to discredit him and to suggest that his judgment was impaired.
The bishops are due to present their final report to the pontiff on Saturday.
In a forthright notice, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s own newspaper, called the story about the tumour “false” and “unfounded”.
“The moment (that was) chosen reveals an attempt to raise a cloud of dust in order to manipulate," the broadsheet said.
Walter Kasper, a liberal cardinal from Germany who is closely in step with the Pope’s views, said: “It's evident to me that some people don't like this Pope. Maybe they were trying to influence us (in the Synod).”
“Certain people, both inside and outside the Church, are nervous about the outcome of the Synod," he said.
The tumour story was an attempt to “upset” the final days of deliberation at the gathering, the cardinal said.
Italian newspapers speculated about “the shadow of a plot”, alleging that it may have been the work of conservatives within the Church who are aghast at Pope Francis’s reformist agenda and the sympathetic line he has taken towards homosexuals, diverging from the traditional Vatican view that they are “intrinsically disordered”.
“Who wants the Pope dead?” was the headline of Il Giornale, a conservative daily, which said the Church was “in chaos”.
Whoever leaked the tumour story to Quotidiano Nazionale was aiming to undermine the “legitimacy” of the Pope, said Massimo Franco, a leading Vatican expert.
“This nasty story seems to have been concocted by the enemies of Jorge Mario Bergoglio (as the Pope was known before his election in 2013) to let him know that he is in their sights,” he wrote in Corriere della Sera.
The underlying aim may have been to cast doubt on the Pope’s mental acuity, insinuating that his actions and statements were a result of “his brain not functioning properly,” Mr Franco suggested.
It was a “subliminal and disturbing” message that the Pope’s enemies were hoping to spread, amid a growing conservative backlash against some of his statements and decisions.
Antonio Spadaro, the editor of Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit publication, said: “After various other lies that have been put out there, they are now inventing an illness. They don’t know what else to do. They’re getting desperate.”
But it remained unclear who exactly was behind the alleged plot.
Most Vatican observers believed that if it really was engineered by insiders, it may have been the work of conservatives at the Synod.
They have been particularly alarmed by the Pope’s suggestion that the Church should show more compassion towards Catholics who have divorced and then remarried without seeking an annulment.
They are currently banned from taking Communion because the Church teaches that they are living in sin and committing adultery with their new spouses.
A group of 13 cardinals wrote to the Pope during the Synod to complain that they felt it was being rigged by the pontiff in order to ensure a more liberal outcome.
Victor Manuel Fernandez, a bishop from the Pope’s native Argentina, called the alleged attempt at spreading false rumours “the strategy of the Apocalypse”.
It was a bid to “discredit some who is in power, to speak ill of him, to disseminate absolutely false stories about him. To speak of someone in this way shows the intention to destabilise him.”
In its story, Quotidiano Nazionale claimed that the Pope had been secretly visited at the Vatican by a Japanese surgeon, who had found a benign, treatable, brain tumour.
But the Holy See issued three, increasingly exasperated denials of the story and the brain cancer specialist, Dr Takanori Fukushima, released a statement saying that he had never medically examined the Pope.
The Rev Federico Lombardi, the chief Vatican spokesman, said the report was “totally unfounded,” calling the story “seriously irresponsible and not worthy of attention. As all can see, the Pope continues to exercise his intense activity without interruption and in an absolutely normal way".
But the newspaper continued to stand by its story. Andrea Cangini, the editor, said his journalists had worked for months to double-check the information and make sure their sources were reliable.
The Synod was hit by scandal before it had even started. The day before it opened, a Polish priest who had held a senior Vatican position for years, sparked outrage in the Church hierarchy by publicly came out as gay.
Krzysztof Charamsa was dismissed by the Vatican within hours, and on Wednesday he was defrocked by the Polish Church.
Monsignor Charamsa, 43, who revealed that he had a Spanish boyfriend, was a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican department responsible for safeguarding doctrine.
He said the majority of priests were gay and lambasted what he called “institutionalised homophobia in the Church”.
Netanyahu: I Don't Want a Binational State, but We Need to Control All of the Territory for the Foreseeable Future
'I'm asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes,' says prime minister.
Barak Ravid Oct 26, 2015 2:20 PM
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that although he doesn't want a binational state, "at this time we need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future."
The Washington Post
We are lifelong Zionists. Here’s why we’ve chosen to boycott Israel.
An Israeli soldier detains a Palestinian boy during a protest in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in August. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)
By Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl October 23
Steven Levitsky is a professor of government at Harvard University. Glen Weyl is an assistant professor of economics and law at the University of Chicago.
We are lifelong Zionists. Like other progressive Jews, our support for Israel has been founded on two convictions: first, that a state was necessary to protect our people from future disaster; and second, that any Jewish state would be democratic, embracing the values of universal human rights that many took as a lesson of the Holocaust. Undemocratic measures undertaken in pursuit of Israel’s survival, such as the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the denial of basic rights to Palestinians living there, were understood to be temporary.
But we must face reality: The occupation has become permanent. Nearly half a century after the Six-Day War, Israel is settling into the apartheid-like regime against which many of its former leaders warned. The settler population in the West Bank has grown 30-fold, from about 12,000 in 1980 to 389,000 today. The West Bank is increasingly treated as part of Israel, with the green line demarcating the occupied territories erased from many maps. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin declared recently that control over the West Bank is “not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism.”
This “basic fact” poses an ethical dilemma for American Jews: Can we continue to embrace a state that permanently denies basic rights to another people? Yet it also poses a problem from a Zionist perspective: Israel has embarked on a path that threatens its very existence.
As happened in the cases of Rhodesia and South Africa, Israel’s permanent subjugation of Palestinians will inevitably isolate it from Western democracies. Not only is European support for Israel waning, but also U.S. public opinion — once seemingly rock solid — has begun to shift as well, especially among millennials. International pariah status is hardly a recipe for Israel’s survival.
At home, the occupation is exacerbating demographic pressures that threaten to tear Israeli society apart. The growth of the settler and ultra-orthodox populations has stoked Jewish chauvinism and further alienated the growing Arab population. Divided into increasingly irreconcilable communities, Israel risks losing the minimum of mutual tolerance that is necessary for any democratic society. In such a context, violence like the recent wave of attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank is virtually bound to become normal.
Finally, occupation threatens the security it was meant to ensure. Israel’s security situation has changed dramatically since the 1967 and 1973 wars. Peace with Egypt and Jordan, the weakening of Iraq and Syria, and Israel’s now-overwhelming military superiority — including its (undeclared) nuclear deterrent — have ended any existential threat posed by its Arab neighbors. Even a Hamas-led Palestinian state could not destroy Israel. As six former directors of Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, argued in the 2012 documentary “The Gatekeepers,” it is the occupation itself that truly threatens Israel’s long-term security: Occupation forces Israel into asymmetric warfare that erodes its international standing, limits its ability to forge regional alliances against sectarian extremists and, crucially, remains the principal motive behind Palestinian violence.
In making the occupation permanent, Israel’s leaders are undermining their state’s viability. Unfortunately, domestic movements to avert that fate have withered. Thanks to an economic boom and the temporary security provided by the West Bank barrier and the Iron Dome missile defense system, much of Israel’s secular Zionist majority feels no need to take the difficult steps required for a durable peace, such as evicting their countrymen from West Bank settlements and acknowledging the moral stain of the suffering Israel has caused to so many Palestinians.
We are at a critical juncture. Settlement growth and demographic trends will soon overwhelm Israel’s ability to change course. For years, we have supported Israeli governments — even those we strongly disagreed with — in the belief that a secure Israel would act to defend its own long-term interests. That strategy has failed. Israel’s supporters have, tragically, become its enablers. Today, there is no realistic prospect of Israel making the hard choices necessary to ensure its survival as a democratic state in the absence of outside pressure.
For supporters of Israel like us, all viable forms of pressure are painful. The only tools that could plausibly shape Israeli strategic calculations are a withdrawal of U.S. aid and diplomatic support, and boycotts of and divestitures from the Israeli economy. Boycotting only goods produced in settlements would not have sufficient impact to induce Israelis to rethink the status quo.
It is thus, reluctantly but resolutely, that we are refusing to travel to Israel, boycotting products produced there and calling on our universities to divest and our elected representatives to withdraw aid to Israel. Until Israel seriously engages with a peace process that either establishes a sovereign Palestinian state or grants full democratic citizenship to Palestinians living in a single state, we cannot continue to subsidize governments whose actions threaten Israel’s long-term survival.
Israel, of course, is hardly the world’s worst human rights violator. Doesn’t boycotting Israel but not other rights-violating states constitute a double standard? It does. We love Israel, and we are deeply concerned for its survival. We do not feel equally invested in the fate of other states.
Unlike internationally isolated states such as North Korea and Syria, Israel could be significantly affected by a boycott. The Israeli government could not sustain its foolish course without massive U.S. aid, investment, commerce, and moral and diplomatic support.
We recognize that some boycott advocates are driven by opposition to (and even hatred of) Israel. Our motivation is precisely the opposite: love for Israel and a desire to save it.
Repulsed by the Afrikaners’ ethno-religious fanaticism in South Africa, Zionism founder Theodore Herzl wrote, “We don’t want a Boer state, but a Venice.” American Zionists must act to pressure Israel to preserve Herzl’s vision — and to save itself.
A Plague Upon the House of Erdogan
As Turkey gears up for one of the most important elections in its recent history, the country appears, as one analyst noted, to be coming apart at the “seams”:
Longstanding tensions with the country’s Kurdish population have broken out into open war.
A Kurdish-led left political party is under siege by rightwing nationalists and the terrorist organization, the Islamic Front.
Independent journalists have been attacked by mobs led by leading members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan, his family, and leading figures in the AKP have been entangled in several major corruption schemes.
The economy has stalled, inflation is on the rise, unemployment is at a five year high, tourism is tanking, and the Turkish lira is plunging, driving up the national debt.
All Turkey lacks these days is a rain of frogs and rivers of blood, but there is still time before Nov. 1 election.
Some of these plagues are long standing, but most are the direct result of Erdogan’s determination to reverse the outcome of last June’s election that saw the AKP lose control of the parliament, and the President’s grand plan for an all-powerful executive—run by him—died aborning.
In the June 7 election, Erdogan’s AKP lost its absolute majority in the legislature. The defeat was mainly due to a breakthrough by the Kurdish-led, leftist, People’s Democratic Party (HDP) that took 13.1 percent of the vote and won 80 seats, seats that in the past usually went to the AKP.
Almost before the final tallies were announced, Erdogan moved to prevent the formation of a government and force another election. Key to this has been an all-out campaign to suppress the HDP and prevent the party from getting at least 10 percent of the vote, the required threshold for representation
And in true Old Testament fashion, he has unleashed the furies.
First, he ended negotiations and a two-year old ceasefire with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and began bombing Kurds in Syria and Iraq. He also charged that the HDP was a front for the PKK and demanded that the HDP’s dynamic leader, Selahattin Demirtas, be charged with supporting terrorism. HDP offices have been targeted by rightwing nationalist mobs from the AKP and the extreme rightist National Action Party.
Several anti-Erdogan newspapers and magazines were also set upon, attacks that the government either ignored or belatedly condemned.
The kind of suicide bombings that plague much of the Middle East have made an appearance. Some 32 leftist Kurdish activists were killed July 20 in the border town of Suruc, and on Oct. 10 a peace demonstration in Ankara organized by the HDP was bombed, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds more.
While the culprit in both cases was likely the Islamic State, paranoia is running rampant these days. Turkish Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu blamed the PKK—extremely improbable, given that the rally was protesting the war against the Kurds—and HDP leader Demirtas blamed the government. Others charge it was the work of the National Action Party’s “Gray Wolves,” a shadowy death squad that killed thousands of Kurds and leftists in the 1980s and ‘90s.
Not only did the government remain silent for several days after the massacre, Turkish security forces broke up memorial demonstrations in Ankara and Istanbul.
A decade ago, Turkey was at peace with its neighbors, its economy was humming, democracy was flowering, the country’s coup-minded military relegated to the barracks, and the 40-year war with its Kurdish population appeared to be over. Turkey, with its efforts to find a peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis with Iran, had also become an international player.
Today, Turkey is engaged in an unpopular war in Syria, its economy is troubled, its people are polarized, its relationships with Egypt and Israel are hostile, the Kurdish peace is shattered, and democracy is under siege. It has alienated Russia, Iraq and Iran, and even failed to get re-elected to the UN Security Council.
Much of it goes back to the man who has dominated Turkish politics these past 12 years, and who would like to run the country for another decade, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He bears limited responsibility for some of this. For instance, the economy is bad, but so are most economies worldwide. But much of what has happened in Turkey—for good and bad—is in large part due to his creation of a moderate Islamic regime that curbed the power of the military and the secular elites who had dominated Turkish politics since the nation’s foundation in 1923.
Erdogan and his allies—allies he has since fallen out with—reined in a military that had carried out four coups since 1960. He also made peace with the Kurds, ending a war that took 40,000 lives and cost $1.2 trillion. A side benefit for that was that many rural and religious Kurds migrated into the AKP, giving it a significant edge over all other parties in the parliament.
But things began to go off the rails in 2010, when the Arab Spring took the Middle East by storm and Turkey made two fateful steps: backing insurgents trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The first step trapped Ankara in a quagmire, wrecking its relations with Russia, Iraq and Iran, and the second was a bad bet: the Egyptian military, bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, overthrew the Brotherhood in 2013.
It is all this sturm und drang that makes these elections so critical for the AKP, and Erdogan in particular. A failure to win an outright majority will be seen as a repudiation of the Kurdish war, Ankara’s Syria policy, and may resurrect the corruption changes that the AKP has managed to dodge so far. “For him, this is existential,” one former Turkish official told the Financial Times. “There is still accountability in this country and he knows it.”
This “existential” nature of the Nov. 1 vote is the reason why Erdogan has pulled out all the stops, but polls show that the outcome is likely to be much like last June’s election. The AKP may pick up a percentage point or two, but it will fall far short of the majority it requires to push through its constitutional changes and create an all-powerful presidency.
The polls also show that Erdogan’s major pre-election target, the HDP, may do slightly better this time around, in part because he has totally alienated the Kurdish community. The Kurds make up 20 percent of the population and about 17 to 18 percent of the voting population.
If the polls are correct, Turkey will have a divided government, and that will create its own dangers.
First, there are the President’s increasingly authoritarian strategy.
Erdogan, for instance, says he is no longer bound by the constitution because he is the first directly elected president in Turkish history. He won that post with 52 percent of the vote in 2014. Presidents are normally appointed by the parliament and are supposed to be non-partisan. Abdurrahim Boynukalin, the leader of the AKP’s youth wing and a deputy in the parliament, said recently that, “Whatever the results of the election on November 1, we will make him [Erdogan] the leader.”
Second, the AKP may form an alliance with the ultra-rightwing National Action Party, which would almost certainly mean an escalation of the war against the Kurds and put into positions of power an organization that celebrates violence and is openly contemptuous of democracy. While the merger would still not give the AKP the 400 seat super majority it needs to amend the constitution, it would have a chilling effect on political activity.
There is also the possibility of a “grand coalition” government with the secular People’s Republican Party, the second largest in the parliament. But that would require sharing power, not one of Erdogan’s strong suits.
There are, however, strong counter-trends.
In spite of Erdogan’s flirtation with authoritarian rule, Turkey is still a democracy, and its military shows no interest in intervening in civil affairs. Indeed, there is some unrest in the military over the Kurdish war, and the government has been denounced at several military funerals. The military has also made it quite clear that they have no interest in getting involved in the Syrian civil war.
Erdogan calculated that re-igniting the Kurdish war would unite the country behind him, but it has not turned out that way, and his international allies are lukewarm about the whole endeavor. While saying that Turkey had the right to defend itself, The Europeans and the U.S. call for a “proportional” response, not the massive bombing Ankara has launched on Kurds in Northern Iraq and Syria.
Of course, the allies discomfort is a reflection of the fact that while the AKP government draws no distinction between the Islamic State (IS), the PKK, and the latter’s Syrian offshoot, the Kurdish Democratic Union, the allies consider the Kurds their most reliable and effective forces against the IS. The Turks recently complained to Russia and the U.S. about their arming of Syrian Kurds, a complaint that neither country is likely to pay much attention to.
The Syria war has been a disaster for Erdogan. Some 63 percent of Turks oppose the AKP’s Syria policy, and only 20 percent back overthrowing Assad. Over 65 percent oppose one of Erdogan’s fixations, the formation of a buffer zone inside Syria.
And, while in the past the AKP can say it delivered on the economic front that is a hard sell these days.
The next few weeks will be fraught with danger. The AKP and the ultra-nationalists will try to suppress the vote, particular in Istanbul and the Kurdish east and south. The PKK declared a ceasefire for the election, but the Turkish government has ignored it. Will Erdogan use the war as an excuse to cancel the election in the Kurdish regions?
Erdogan may even refuse to accept the results of the election if the AKP does poorly, and he has already demonstrated his willingness to use violence. His brutal crushing of the 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations is a case in point.
But Erdogan can no longer claim the support of a majority of the Turks, and what he does internally will be watched closely by the international community, focused as it is on the refugee crisis that the Syrian war has generated.
In less than two weeks, the Turks will vote in an election that will have major regional and international implications. Its outcome may decide whether the Middle East slides deeper into war and chaos, or begins to move in the direction that the Arab Spring originally envisioned.
CBS: Fire erupts at another U.S. nuclear site near major city — Witness: Flames within feet of radioactive waste — TV: “You can see the smoke for miles… A big-time scare” — EPA emergency response specialists deployed
KTVI, Oct 24, 2015 (emphasis added): Brush fire at West Lake Landfill sparks concern — Smoke could be seen for miles as fire crews responded to a brush fire at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton Saturday… The fire was started by a faulty switch… inside the landfill’s perimeter. The switch overheated, causing hot metal to drop below and ignite a fire… Area residents and elected officials gathered near the scene of the fire Saturday to see if it would move into a restricted area where an underground fire is burning. Residents were concerned that the fire would reach area where radioactive waste is buried…
KTVI Transcript, Oct 24, 2015: You can see the smoke for miles… A big-time scare for residents out there tonight… Dawn Chapman, resident: “This fire came within feet of it, within feet of radioactive waste“…
CBS News, Oct 27, 2015: No one knows for sure what will happen if the fire comes into contact with it… some low-level radiation has moved into neighborhoods… But it’s not just the underground fire that is a concern – this weekend a grass fire erupted within some 75 yards of the radioactive waste. This region also sits near an earthquake fault line.
AP, Oct 26, 2015: On Saturday, a fire blamed on a faulty utility pole ignited brush on the West Lake Landfill’s grounds… [EPA official Mark] Hague said testing showed no immediate evidence residents were in peril.
St Louis Public Radio, Oct 27, 2015: Stoking many fears was [a] brush fire at the Bridgeton Landfill… which was first called in to the fire department by a resident. Some took that as a sign that the landfill’s owner, Republic Services, does not have an adequate handle on the site… [EPA] sent a letter reprimanding Republic Services for the incident.
BAGHDAD ALLOWS RUSSIA TO BOMB ISIL TERRORISTS RUNNING FROM SYRIA INTO IRAQ
ISIL militants aren't going to find a safe haven from Russian airstrikes in Iraq
Image Credits: Krasimir Grozev, Wikimedia Commons.
OCTOBER 25, 2015
As Russian airstrikes push ISIL terrorists from Syria into Iraq, Moscow and Baghdad agreed to hit the militants in Iraq, said Hakem al-Zameli, the head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Commission, according to Fars News Agency.
ISIL militants aren’t going to find a safe haven from Russian airstrikes in Iraq after the country’s parliament gave Russia the green light to conduct airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq.
“Iraq agreed with Russia, which leads the joint data center, to hit the ISIL militants heading from Syria into Iraq,” al-Zameli said, highlighting the fact that the move would also cut off ISIL supply routes from Iraq int
The approval comes amid security coordination between the governments of Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria — all of which seek to destroy ISIL. The four nations launched the Baghdad Information Center to coordinate their military actions against the terrorists both in Syria and Iraq.
On September 30, Russia launched precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria bordering Iraq following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said earlier that Baghdad had not requested similar assistance.The Russian military operation has been widely praised by Iraqi Shiites. For instance, the members of the Shi’ite Badr Organization have claimed they would “strongly welcome” both air attacks conducted by Russians in Iraq and an increasing role of Russia in the entire Middle East region, as the US’ approach to fight with ISIL militants is “not serious.”
Immediately following Russia’s airstrike campaign in Syria, Russian and Iraqi officials left open the possibility of expanding Russia’s anti-terrorist airstrikes from Syria into Iraq. Earlier this month, Iraq Prime Minister Haider Abadi said he would welcome Russian airstrikes against ISIL positions in his country if the Russian military succeeded in Syria.
Wake Up World
This Man Found the Cure for All Diseases
Dr Sebi: Man Found “Cures For All Diseases” AND Has The Supreme Court Ruling To Prove It!
By Carolanne Wright
Oct 26, 2015
Meet Dr. Sebi, a pathologist, biochemist and herbalist. He came to the U.S. from Honduras and is on a mission to heal humanity. As it happens, he has been curing some of the most deadly diseases on the planet for almost 30 years. AIDS, cancer, diabetes, lupus and epilepsy are just a few of the ailments he has completely reversed. In fact, he is so committed to his work that he took on the Attorney General of New York in a Supreme Court trial — and won.
Standing Up to the Food and Drug Administration
Back in the 1980’s, Dr. Sebi ran a variety of ads in newspapers like the New York Post, stating: “AIDS has been cured by the Usha Research Institute, and we specialize in cures for Sickle Cell, Lupus, Blindness, Herpes, Cancer and others.” The ad caught the eye of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the agency subsequently sued Dr. Sebi for false advertisement and practicing without a license.
The judge presiding over the case requested that Dr. Sebi provide one witness for each disease he claimed to have cured. When he instead furnished 70 witnesses to support his argument — showing without a doubt that he did in truth heal all the diseases listed in the ad — the judge declared the doctor not guilty on all counts.
Even with his outstanding victory in court, along with testimonials from celebrities and a multitude of people cured by his method, Dr. Sebi’s protocol is still suppressed to this day.
Healing with Electric Foods and Botanicals
The basis behind Dr. Sebi’s approach is clearing the body of excessive mucous, which is believed to be the root of all disease. He explains:
“Our research reveals that all manifestation of disease finds it genesis when and where the mucous membrane has been compromised. For example, if there is excess mucous in the bronchial tubes, the disease is bronchitis; if it is in the lungs, the disease is pneumonia; in the pancreatic duct, it is diabetes; in the joints, arthritis.”
Moreover, mucous in the retina of the eye will cause blindness; if it is found around the thyroid gland, cancer of the thyroid is the result. Basically, disease will arise in the body wherever there’s an accumulation of this stagnant toxin.
According to Dr. Sebi, blood and starch in the diet are the main reasons we can be overrun with clogging plaque. He believes starch is a chemical that wreaks havoc on health, mainly because it causes acidity within the body. The same with animal products. On the whole, an acid body will create toxic mucous and congest the system — leading to inflammation, whereas an alkaline pH will do just the opposite and support vitality.
You may have guessed by this point that consuming an alkaline diet is key. But Dr. Sebi takes his protocol a step further by recommending fasting, along with taking botanical remedies which detox each cell and replace depleted minerals.
The remedies are classified as natural vegetation cell food and nourish cells at a very deep level. Because of this, many find their appetite disappears when they begin using the botanicals. Dr. Sebi notes:
“Although the natural vegetation cell food compounds were designed to extract mucus from a given area of the body, it is also necessary for the body to be cleansed as a whole. What makes our compounds unique is the manner in which they work to cleanse and nourish the entire body.”
The healing diet is found below. It’s important to keep in mind that “Dr. Sebi has recommended the foods that are listed here for the reversal of disease for over 30 years. If your favorite food is missing from the list, our research and results have proven that it has no nutritional value and may be detrimental to your health.”
Amaranth greens – same as Callaloo, a variety of Spinach
Chayote (Mexican Squash)
Izote – cactus flower/ cactus leaf – grows naturally in California
Lettuce (all, except Iceberg)
Mushrooms (all, except Shiitake)
Nopales – Mexican Cactus
Poke salad – greens
Sea Vegetables (wakame/dulse/arame/hijiki/nori)
Tomato – cherry and plum only
next week...keep on believing.
God said, Behold I have given to you every seed-bearing herb sowing
seed which is upon all the earth, and every tree which has in itself
the fruit of seed that is sown, to you it shall be for