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A personal perspective of the world as described in the Bible and reflected in the revelation of the unfolding details daily in this material world.

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    King Solomon, reputed to be among the Wisest of the Wise in Religious circles, wrote the title of this article in the opening verses of Ecclesiastes some 3000 years ago.

    Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines according to the Bible. The Concubines were not his wives, but kept women in his Palace for his personal pleasure.

    He must have been Wise to maintain Peace in his Palace, and pay the maintenance expenses. What Solomon was able to do so long ago, is the stuff of Dreams and Fantasy for many men in the world Today. Internet porn is the substitute.

    Getting Back To The Future and Today, it is reported

    Director of Public Prosecutions weighing charges against Del Mastro over campaign expenses

    For those who don’t know, Mr. Del Mastro is Prime Minister Harper’s Parliamentary Secretary.

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    A Rose by any other name is still a Rose. Those who write the Law in Parliament sit in Moses Seat, the Law Giver, to this very Day even though we think we are a secular society. Jesus described the leaders of the People this way then, and it still applies in this particular case, and for the man made System of Government in General in this world.

    Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not.
    For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
    But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
    And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
    And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

    But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and you are all  brothers.
    And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
     Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
    But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
    Matthew 23

    You are IN the world, but not OF the world.
    John 15

    Some 600 years before Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah had some choice words for the leaders of the people. Reading Israeli news media Today, with so many Public figures under a cloud for fraud or some other financial impropriety, there is nothing new under the sun.

    Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.
    To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? says the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
    When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
    Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
    Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them.
    And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
    Wash yourself, make yourself clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;
    Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
    Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land:
     But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.
    How is the faithful city become a harlot! it was full of Judgment; Righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
    Your silver is become dross, your wine mixed with water:
    Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loves gifts, and follows after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither does the cause of the widow come unto them.
    Therefore says the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies:
    And I will turn my hand upon you, and purely purge away your dross, and take away all your tin:

    Isaiah 1



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    Forced DemocracyProfessor Richard Falk is an International Law and International Relations Scholar who taught at Prinston University for 40 years. He is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Rights under Israeli Military Occupation. falk

    He has accepted this thankless job reporting in his Professorial style of writing, the facts on on an occupying power breaching International Law governing the rules for military governance of a people that lived on the land before it was captured in war. He is also Jewish, and the Jew Israelis love to hate.

    I first learned of him a few years ago reading in the news about the Secretary-General of The United Nations and the US Ambassador to the UN wanting him fired from his voluntary UN position. Without knowing any of the details, my 1st thought was he must be doing something right. gaza_war_crimes_by_latuff21

    Upon further investigation I understood why some special Beatitudesinterests would want to silence this gentle, intelligent, lucid, insightful and reasonable Law Professor reporting Israeli violations of International Law without prejudice from the unbiased perspective of a Scholar in International Law.For those having the mind and patience to read, weigh and consider words, and the ideas and visions behind them, I think the Professor is right on in this analysis and presentation of the information in his latest post, and the Signs of the Times. I can only hope my mind will be as lucid, disciplined and organized as his is if I live to be 83 like Professor Richard Falk.

    Polarization Doomed Egyptian Democracy

    Prefatory Note: I realize that some of the readers of this blog are unhappy with long blogs, and so I offer an apology in advance. My attempt is to deal with a difficult set of issues afflicting the Middle East, especially the seemingly disastrous Egyptian experiment with democracy that has resulted in a bloody coup followed by violent repression of those elected to lead the country in free elections. The essay that follows discusses the degree to which anti-Muslim Brotherhood polarization in Egypt doomed the transition to democracy that was the hope and dream of the January 25th revolutionary moment in Tahrir Square that had sent shock waves of joy around the world!

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    When Polarization Becomes Worse than Authoritarianism Defer Democracy

    Doubting  Democracy

    Marts 2013 AgileMindsetWe are living at a time when tensions within societies seem far more disruptive and inhumane than the rivalries of sovereign states that have in the past fueled international wars. More provocatively, we may be living at a historical moment when democracy as the government of choice gives rise to horrifying spectacles of violence and abuse. These difficulties with the practice of democracy are indirectly, and with a heavy dose of irony, legitimizing moderate forms of authoritarian government. After years of assuming that ‘democracy’ was ‘the least bad form of government’ for every national setting, there are ample reasons to raise doubts. I make such an observation with the greatest reluctance.

    There is no doubt that authoritarian forms of rule generally constrain the freedom of everyone, and especially the politically inclined. Beyond this, there is a kind of stagnant cultural atmosphere that usually accompanies autocracy, but not always. Consider Elizabethan England, with Shakespeare and his cohort of contemporary literary giants. There have been critical moments of crisis in the past when society’s most respected thinkers blamed democracy for the political failings. In ancient Greece, the cradle of Western democracy, Plato, Aristotle, and Thucydides came to prefer non-democratic forms of government, more fearful of the politics of the mob than that led Athens into imprudent and costly foreign adventures.

    Of course, there are times when the established order is fearful of democracy even in countries that pride themselves on their democratic character. Influential voices in the United States were raised during the latter stages of the Vietnam War in opposition to what were perceived by conservatives to be the excesses of democracy. Infamously, Samuel Huntington in an essay published by the influential Trilateral Commission compared the anti-war movement in the United States to the canine disorder known as ‘distemper,’ clearly expressing the view that the people should leave the matter of war and peace in the hands of the government, and not expect to change policy by demonstrating in the streets.

    EU-Nobel-PrizeIt was only twenty years ago that the collapse of the Soviet Union was hailed throughout the West as an ideological triumph of liberal democracy over autocratic socialism. Prospects for world peace during this interval inEuropean Peace the 1990s were directly linked to the spread of democracy, while such other reformist projects as the strengthening of the UN or respecting international law were put aside. European and American universities were then much taken with the theory and practice of ‘democratic peace,’ documenting and exploring its central claim that democracies never go to war against one another. If such a thesis is sustained, it has significant policy implications. It would follow, then, that if more and more countries become ‘democratic’ the zone of peaceful international relations becomes enlarged. This encouraging byproduct of democracy for sovereign states was reinforced by the internal experience of the European Union, which while nurturing democracy established a culture of peace in what had for centuries been the world’s worst war zone.

    This positive assessment of democratization at the national level is offset by the extent to which Western liberal democracies have recourse to war to promote regime change in illiberal societies. The motivations for such wars is not purely political, but needs to be linked to the imperatives of neoliberal globalization, and to the class interests of the 1%.

    democracy_comes_to_youIn the post-9/11 period the Bush presidency embraced ‘democracy promotion’ as a major component of a neoconservative foreign policy for the United States in the Middle East. Skepticism about the nature such an endorsement of democracy was widespread, especially in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Harsh criticism was directed U.S. Government self-appointed role as the agent of democratization in the region, especially considering the unacknowledged motivations: oil, regional hegemony, and Israeli security. By basing democracy promotion on military intervention, as in relation to Iraq, the American approach was completely discredited even without the admitted failure resulting from prolonged occupation of the country. The supposed antii-authoritarian interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya have not implanted a robust democracy in any of these places, but rather corruption, chaos, massive displacement, and persisting violent conflict. Beyond this disillusioning experience, foreign leaders and world public opinion refused to accept Washington’s arrogant claim that it provided the world with the only acceptable political model of legitimate government.

    Despite this pushback, there remains an almost universal acceptance of the desirability of some variation democracy as the only desirable form of national governance. Of course, there were profound disagreements when it comes to specific cases. There were some partial exceptions to the embrace of democracy. For instance, there was support in the Middle East for monarchies as sources of stability and unity, but even these monarchs purported to be ‘democratic’ in their sympathies unless directly challenged by their subjects/citizens.  Democracies maintained their positive reputation by protecting citizens from abuse by the state, by empowering the people to confer authority on the national government, generally through periodic elections, and by developing a governing process that was respectful of the rule of law and human rights.

    Issues during the last decade in the Middle East have brought these issues to the fore: the Green Revolution against theocratic democracy in Iran, the secular de facto rejection of majoritarian democracy in Turkey, and the various transitional scenarios that have unfolded in the Arab countries, especially Egypt, after the anti-authoritarian uprisings of 2011. The torments of the region, especially connected with the Anglo-French colonialist aftermath of the Ottoman Empire, followed by an American hegemonic regime tempered by the Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union, and aggravated since the middle of the last century by the emergence of Israel, along with the ensuing conflict with the dispossessed Palestinian people, have made the struggle for what might be called ‘good governance’ a losing battle, at least until 2011. Against such a background it was only natural that the democratizing moment labeled ‘the Arab Spring’ generated such excitement throughout the region, and indeed in the world. Two years later, in light of developments in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere it is an occasion that calls for sympathetic, yet critical, reflection.

    In the last several years, there has emerged in the region the explosive idea that the citizenry enjoys an ultimate right to hold governments accountable, and if even a democratic government misplays its hand too badly, Oil and Democracythen it can be removed from power even without awaiting of elections, and without relying on formal impeachment procedures. What makes this populist veto so controversial in recent experience is its tendency to enter a coalition with the most regressive elements of the governmental bureaucracy, especially the armed forces, police, and intelligence bureaucracies. Such coalitions are on their surface odd, bringing together the spontaneous rising of the often downtrodden multitude with the most coercive and privileged elements of state and private sector power.

    The self-legitimizing claim heard in Tahrir Square 2013 was that only a military coup could save the revolution of 2011, but critics would draw a sharp distinction between the earlier populist uprising against a hated dictator and this latter movement orchestrated from above to dislodge from power a democratically elected leadership identified as Islamic, accused of being non-inclusive, and hence illegitimate.

    The Arab Upheavals

    The great movements of revolt in the Arab world in 2011 were justly celebrated as exhibiting an unexpected surge of brave anti-authoritarian populist politics that achieved relatively bloodless triumphs in Tunisia and Egypt, and shook the foundations of authoritarian rule throughout the region. Democracy seemed to be on the march in a region that had been written off by most Western experts as incapable of any form of governance that was not authoritarian, which was not displeasing to the West so long as oil flowed to the world market, Israel was secure, and radical tendencies kept in check. Arab political culture was interpreted through an Orientalizing lens that affirmed passivity of the citizenry and elite corruption backed up, if necessary, by a militarized state. In the background was the fear that if the people were able to give voice to their preferences, the end result might be the theocratic spread of Iranian style Islamism.

    It is a sad commentary on the state of the world that only two years later a gloomy political atmosphere is creating severe doubts about the workability of democracy, and not only in the Arab world, but more widely. What has emerged is the realization that deep cleavages exist in the political culture that give rise to crises of legitimacy and governability that can be managed, if at all, only by the application of repressive force. These conflicts are destroying the prospects of effective and humane government in a series of countries throughout the world.

    Military DemocracyThe dramatic and bloody atrocities in Egypt since the military takeover on July 3rd have brought these realities to the forefront of global political consciousness. But Egypt is not alone in experiencing toxic fallout from severe polarization that pits antagonistic religious, ethnic, and political forces against one another in ‘winner take all’ struggles. Daily sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi’ia in Iraq make it evident that after an anguishing decade of occupation the American crusade to liberate the country from dictatorship has failed miserably. Instead of a fledging democracy America has left behind a legacy of chaos, the threat of civil war, and a growing belief that only a return to authoritarianism can bring stability to the country. Turkey, too, is enduring the destabilizing impact of polarization, which has persisted in the face of eleven years of extraordinary AKP success and energetic and extremely capable leadership periodically endorsed by the voting public: strengthening and civilianizing political institutions, weakening the military, improving the economy, and greatly enhancing the regional and international standing of the country. Polarization should not be treated as just a Middle Eastern phenomenon. The United States, too, is increasingly afflicted by a polarizing struggle between its two main political parties that has made democratic government that humanely serves the citizenry and the national public good a thing of the past. Of course, this disturbing de-democratizing trend in America owes much to the monetizing machinations of Wall Street and the spinning of 9/11 as a continuing security challenge that requires the government to view everyone, everywhere, including its own citizens, as potential terrorist suspects.

    The nature of polarization is diverse and complex, reflecting context. It can be socially constructed around the split between religion and secularism as in Egypt or Turkey or in relation to divisions internal to a religion as SCAF_to_restore_Mubarak_erain Iraq or as between classes, ethnicities, political parties, geographic regions. In the concreteness of history each case of polarization has its own defining set of circumstances, often highlighting minority fears of discrimination and marginalization, class warfare, ethnic and religious rivalry (e.g. Kurdish self-determination), and conflicting claims about natural resources. Also, as in the Middle East, polarization is not merely the play domestic forces struggling for ascendancy. Polarization is also being manipulated by powerful external political actors, to what precise extent and to what ends is unknowable. It is revealing that in the demonstrations in Cairo during the past month both pro- and anti-Morsi protesters have been chanting anti-American slogans, while the government invites a series of Western dignitaries with the aim of persuading the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood to accept the outcome of the coup.

    Egypt and Turkey

    The circumstances of polarization in Egypt and Turkey, although vastly different, share the experience of Islamic oriented political forces emerging from the shadow land of society after years of marginalization, and in Egypt’s case brutal suppression. In both countries the armed forces had long played an important role in keeping the state under the rigid control of secular elites that served Western strategic and neoliberal economic interests. Up to now, despite periodic trials and tribulations, Turkey seems to have solved the riddle of modernity much more persuasively than Egypt.

    In both countries electoral politics mandated radical power shifts unacceptable to displaced secular elites. Opposition forces in the two countries after enjoying decades of power and influence suddenly saw themselves displaced by democratic means with no credible prospect of regaining political dominance by success in future elections, having ceded power and influence to those who had previously been subjugated and exploited. Those displaced were unwilling to accept their diminished role, including this lowered status in relation to societal forces whose values were scorned as anti-modern and threatening to preferred life styles that were identified with ‘freedom.’ They complained bitterly, organized feverishly, and mobilized energetically to cancel the verdict of the political majority by whatever means possible.

    Recourse to extra-democratic means to regain power, wealth, and influence seemed to many in the opposition, although not all, the only viable political option, but it had to be done in such a way that it seemed to be a ‘democratic’ outcry of the citizenry against the state. Of course, the state has its own share of responsibility for the traumas of polarization. The elected leadership often over-reacts, becomes intoxicated with its own majoritarian mandate, acts toward the opposition on the basis of worst case scenarios, adopts paranoid styles of response to legitimate grievances and criticisms, and contributes its part to a downward spiral of distrust and animosity. The media, either to accentuate the drama of conflict or because is itself often aligned with the secular opposition, tends to heighten tensions, creating a fatalist atmosphere of ‘no return’ for which the only possible solution is ‘us’ or ‘them.’ Such a mentality of war is an anathema for genuine democracy in which losers at any given moment still have a large stake in the viability and success of the governing process. When that faith in the justice and legitimacy of the prevailing political system is shattered democracy cannot generate good governance.

    The Politics of Polarization

    InequalityThe opposition waits for some mistake by the governing leadership to launch its campaign of escalating demands. Polarization intensifies. The opposition is unwilling to treat the verdict of free elections as the final word as to an entitlement to govern. At first, such unwillingness is exhibited by extreme alienation and embittered fears. Later on, as opportunities for obstruction arise, this unwillingness is translated into political action, and if it gathers enough momentum, the desired crises of legitimacy and governability bring the country to the brink of collapse. Much depends on material conditions. If the economy is doing reasonably well, calmer heads usually prevail, which may help explain why the impact of severe polarization has been so much greater in Egypt than Turkey. Morsi has succumbed to the challenge, while Erdogan has survived. Reverse the economic conditions, and the political outcomes would also likely have been reversed, although such a possibility is purely conjectural.

    The Egyptian experience also reflects the extraordinary sequence of recent happenings. The Tahrir Square upheavals of January 25th came after 30 years of Mubarak rule. A political vacuum was created by the removal of Mubarak that was quickly filled by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAP), but accompanied by the promise that a transition to democracy was the consensus goal binding all Egyptians, and once reached the generals would retire from the political scene. The popular sentiment then favored an inclusive democracy, which in 2011, was a coded way of saying that the Muslim Brotherhood should henceforth participate in the political process, finally being allowed to compete for a place in the governing process after decades of exclusion. There were from the beginning anxieties about this prospect among many in the anti-Mubarak ranks, and the Brotherhood seemed at first sensitive to secular and Coptic concerns even pledging that it had no intention of competing for the presidency of Egypt. All seemed well and good, with popular expectations wrongly assuming that the next president of Egypt would be a familiar secular figure, almost certainly drawn from the renegade membership of the fuloul, that is, a former beneficiary of the regime who joined the anti-Mubarak forces during the uprising. In the spring of 2011 the expectations were that Amr Moussa (former Secretary General of the Arab League and Mubarak Foreign Minister) would become Egypt’s first democratically elected president and that the Muslim Brotherhood would function as a strong, but minority, force in the Egyptian parliament. As the parliament would draft a new constitution for the country, this was likely to be the first show of strength between the secular and religious poles of Egyptian political opinion.

    Several unforeseen developments made this initial set of expectations about Egypt’s political future unrealized. Above all, the Muslim Brotherhood was far more successful in the parliamentary elections than had been 2 secular_day.gifanticipated. These results stoked the fears of the secularists and Copts, especially when account was taken of the previously unappreciated political strength of several Salafi parties that had not previously shown any interest in participating in the government. Religiously oriented political parties won more than 70% of the contested seats, creating control over the constitution-making process. This situation was further stressed when the Brotherhood withdrew its pledge not to seek control of the government by fielding its own candidate for the presidency. This whole transition process after January 2011 was presided over by administrative entities answerable to SCAP. Several popular candidates were disqualified, and a two-stage presidential election was organized in 2012 in which Mohamed Morsi narrowly defeated Ahmed Shafik in the runoff election between the two top candidates in the initial vote. Shafik, an air force commander and the last Mubarak prime minister, epitomizing the persisting influence of the fuloul. In a sense, the electoral choice given to the Egyptian people involved none of the Egyptian revolutionary forces that were most responsible for the overthrow of Mubarak or representing the ideals that seemed to inspire most of those who filled Tahrir Square in the revolutionary days of January 2011.  The Brotherhood supported the anti-Mubarak movement only belatedly when its victory was in sight, and seemed ideologically inclined to doubt the benefits of inclusive democratization, while Shafik, epitomizing the fuloul resurgent remnant of Mubarakism, never supported the upheaval, and did not even pretend to be a democrat, premising his appeal on promises to restore law and order, which would then supposedly allow Egypt to experience a rapid much needed economic recovery.

    It was during the single year of Morsi’s presidency that the politics of extreme polarization took center stage. It is widely agreed that Morsi was neither experienced nor adept as a political leader in what was a very challenging situation even if polarization had not been present to aggravate the situation. The Egyptian people anxiously expected the new leadership to restore economic normalcy after the recent period of prolonged disorder and decline. He was a disappointment, even to many of those who had voted for him, in all of these regards. Many Egyptians who said that they had voted for Morsi expressed their disenchantment by alleging the ‘nothing had changed for the better since the Mubarak period,’ and so they joined the opposition.

    secular-vs-religious-webIt was also expected that Morsi would immediately signal a strong commitment to social justice and to addressing the plight of Egyptian unemployed youth and subsistence masses, but no such promise was forthcoming. In fairness, it seemed doubtful that anyone could have succeeded in fulfilling the role of president of Egypt in a manner that would have satisfied the majority of Egyptians.  The challenges were too obdurate, the citizenry too impatient, and the old Mubarak bureaucracy remained strategically in place and determined to oppose any change that might enhance the reputation of the Morsi leadership. Mubarak and some close advisors had been eliminated from the government, but the judiciary, the armed forces, and the Ministry of Interior were fuloul activist strongholds. In effect, the old secularized elites were still powerful, unaccountable, and capable of undermining the elected government that officially reflected the political will of the Egyptian majority. Morsi, a candidate with admittedly mediocre credentials, was elected to the presidency by an ominously narrow margin, and to make matters worse he inherited a mission impossible. Yet to unseat him by a coup was to upend Egypt’s fledgling democracy, with currently no hopeful tomorrow in view.

    The Authoritarian Temptation

    What was surprising, and disturbing, was the degree to which the protest movement so quickly and submissively linked the future of Egypt to the good faith and prudent judgment of the armed forces. All protest forces have received in exchange was the forcible removal of Morsi, the renewal of a suppressive approach to the Brotherhood, and some rather worthless reassurances about the short-term nature of military rule. General Adel-Fattah el-Sisi from the start made it clear that he was in charge, although designating an interim president, Adly Mansour, a Mubarak careerist, who had only days before the coup been made chief judge of the Supreme Constitutional Court by Morsi’s own appointment. Mansour has picked a new prime minister who selected a cabinet, supposedly consisting of technocrats, who will serve until a new government is elected. Already, several members of this civilian gloss on a military takeover of the governing process in Egypt have registered meek complaints about the excessive force being used against pro-Morsi demonstrations, itself a euphemism for crimes against humanity and police atrocities.

    Better Mubarakism than Morsiism was the underlying sentiment relied upon to fan the flames of discontent throughout the country, climaxing with the petition campaign organized by Tamarod, a newly formed youth-led Military Democracyopposition, that played a major role in organizing the June 30th demonstrations of millions that were underpinned in the final days by a Sisi ultamatum from the armed forces that led to the detention and arrest of Morsi,. This was followed by the rise to political dominance of a menacing figure, General Adel-Fattah el-Sisi, who has led a military coup that talks of compromise and inclusive democracy while acting to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood, and its leadership, using an onslaught of violence against those who peacefully refuse to fall into line. This military leadership is already responsible for the deliberate slaughter of Morsi loyalists in coldblooded tactics designed to terrorize the Muslim Brotherhood, and warn the Egyptian people that further opposition will not be tolerated.

    I am certainly not suggesting that such a return to authoritarianism in this form is better for Egypt than the democracy established by Morsi, or favored by such secular liberals as Mohamed ElBaradei, who is now serving as Deputy Prime Minister. Unfortunately, this challenge directed at a freely elected democracy by a massive popular mobilization to be effective required an alliance with the coercive elements drawn from the deep state and private sector entrepreneurs. Such a dependency relationship involved a Faustian Bargain, getting rid of the hated Morsi presidency, but doing so with an eyes closed acceptance of state terror: large-scale shooting of unarmed pro-Morsi demonstrators, double standards dramatized by General Sisi’s call to the anti-Morsi forces to give him a populist mandate to crush the Brotherhood by coming into the streets aggressively and massively. Egypt is well along a path that leads to demonic autocratic rule that will likely be needed to keep the Brotherhood from preventing the reestablishment of order. General Sisi’s coup will be written off as a failure if there continues to be substantial street challenges and bloody incidents, which would surely interfere with restoring the kind of economic stability that Egypt desperately needs in coming months if it is to escape the dire destiny of being ‘a failed state.’ The legitimating test for the Sisi coup is ‘order’ not ‘democracy,’ and so the authoritarian ethos prevails, yet if this means a continuing series of atrocities, it will surely lead to yet another crisis of legitimacy for the country that is likely to provoke a further crisis of governability.

    Signs and Symptoms Of FascismThe controversial side of my argument is that Egypt currently lacks the political preconditions for the establishment of democracy, and in such circumstances, the premature attempt to democratize the political life of the country leads not only to disappointment, but to political regression. At this stage, Egypt will be fortunate if it can return to the relatively stable authoritarianism of the Mubarak dictatorship. Because of changed expectations, and the unlawful displacement of the Morsi leadership, it has now become respectable for the Tamarod, self-appointed guardians of the Tahrir Square revolution to support the ‘cleansing’ the Muslim Brotherhood. It is sad to take note of these noxious odors of fascism and genocide now contaminating the political atmosphere in Egypt.

    The very different experience in Iraq, too, suggests that ill-advised moves to install democracy can unleash polarization in a destructive form. Despite his crimes, polarization had been kept in check during the authoritarian rule of Saddam Hussein, The attempted transition to democracy was deeply compromised by coinciding with the American occupation and proconsular rule. It produced sectarian polarization in such drastic forms that it will likely either lead to a new authoritarianism that is even more oppressive than what Saddam Hussein had imposed or resolved by a civil war in which the victor rules with an iron hand and the loser is relegated to the silent margins of Iraqi political life.

    In the post-colonial world it is up to the people of each country to shape their own destiny (realizing the ethos of self-determination), and outsiders should rarely interfere however terrible the civil strife. Hopefully, the Matthew6_33peoples of the Middle East will learn from these polarization experiences to be wary of entrusting the future of their country to the vagaries of majoritarian democracy, but also resistant to moves by politically displaced minorities to plot their return to power by a reliance on anti-democratic tactics, coalitions with the military, and the complicity of the deep state. There is no single template. Turkey, although threatened by polarization, has been able so far to contain its most dire threats to political democracy. Egypt has not been so lucky. For simplistic comparison, Turkey has had the benefits of a largely evolutionary process that allows for a democratic political culture to take hold gradually at societal and governmental levels. Egypt has, in contrast, experienced abrupt changes in a setting of widespread economic distress, and a radical form of polarization that denied all legitimacy to the antagonist, transforming the armed forces from foe to friend of the opposition because it was the enemy of their enemy. If this is the predictable outcome of moves to establish democracy, then authoritarian leadership may not be the worst of all possible worlds in every circumstance. It depends on context. In the Middle East this may require a comparison of the risks of democratization with the costs of authoritarianism, and this may depend on the degree and nature of polarization.

    Fascist CapitalismThe presence of the oil reserves in the Gulf, as well as Iran, Iraq, and Libya, along with Israel’s interest in avoiding the emergence of strong unified democratic states in the region makes the Middle East particularly vulnerable to the perils of polarization. In other regions similar structures of antagonism exist, but generally with less disastrous results. The dynamics of economic globalization cannot be divorced from the ways in which nominally independent sovereign states are subjected to the manipulative storms of geopolitics.



    ray032Forced Democracyfalkgaza_war_crimes_by_latuff21BeatitudesMarts 2013 AgileMindsetEU-Nobel-PrizeEuropean Peacedemocracy_comes_to_youOil and DemocracyMilitary DemocracySCAF_to_restore_Mubarak_eraInequality2 secular_day.gifsecular-vs-religious-webMilitary DemocracySigns and Symptoms Of FascismMatthew6_33Fascist Capitalismray032Forced Democracyfalkgaza_war_crimes_by_latuff21BeatitudesMarts 2013 AgileMindsetEU-Nobel-PrizeEuropean Peacedemocracy_comes_to_youOil and DemocracyMilitary DemocracySCAF_to_restore_Mubarak_eraInequality2 secular_day.gifsecular-vs-religious-webMilitary DemocracySigns and Symptoms Of FascismMatthew6_33Fascist Capitalism

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    Jonathan-CookJonathan Cook is an award winning British Journalist who has lived in Nazareth since 2001.

    From his unique perspective on the ground, he has written three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    This is his latest column that appeared in Al-Jazeera August 16, 2013 israel-palestine-war-peace mazeand re-posted here with his permission. He does not get much exposure in the Western news media, but he should.

    Nazareth, Israel – Israel’s secretive arms trade is booming as never before, according to the latest export figures. But it is also coming under mounting scrutiny as some analysts argue that Israel has grown dependent on exploiting the suffering of Palestinians for military and economic gain.

    A new documentary, called The Lab, has led the way in turning the spotlight on Israel’s arms industry. It claims that four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have Prevent_Holocaust_BOMB_IRANbecome little more than guinea pigs in military experiments designed to enrich a new elite of arms dealers and former generals.

    The film’s release this month in the United States follows news that Israeli sales of weapons and military systems hit a record high last year of $7.5bn, up from $5.8bn the previous year. A decade ago, Israeli exports were worth less than $2bn.

    Israel is now ranked as one of the world’s largest arms exporters – a considerable achievement for a country smaller than New York.

    Yotam Feldman, director of The Lab and a former journalist with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, says Israel has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for refining, testing and showcasing its weapons systems.

    His argument is supported by other analysts who have examined Israel’s military industries.

    Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, said: “You only have to read the brochures published by the arms industry in Israel. It’s all in there. What they are selling is Israel’s ‘experience’ and expertise gained from the occupation and its conflicts with its neighbours.”

    Inside Story – The shift in global arms trade

    Pre 1948 to TodayAnother analyst, Jeff Halper, who is writing a book on Israel’s role in the international homeland security industry, has gone further. He argues that Israel’s success at selling its know-how to powerful states means it has grown ever more averse to returning the occupied territories to the Palestinians in a peace agreement.

    “The occupied territiories are crucial as a laboratory not just in terms of Israel’s internal security, but because they have allowed Israel to become pivotal to the global homeland security industry.

    “Other states need Israel’s expertise, and that ensures its place at the table with the big players. It gives Israel international influence way out of keeping with its size. In turn, the hegemonic states exert no real pressure on Israel to give up the occupied territories because of their mutually reinforcing interests.”

    Suggestions that Israel is exploiting the occupied territories for economic and military gain come at a sensitive moment for Israel, as it returns this week to long-stalled negotiations with the Palestinians. The commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the talks has already been widely questioned.

    Booming arms sales

    Israel’s growing success at marketing its military wares to overseas buyers was highlighted in June when defence analysts Jane’s ranked Israel in sixth place for arms exports, ahead of China and Italy, both major weapons producers.

    However, Israel’s own figures, which include additional covert trade, place it in fourth place ahead of Britain and Germany, and surpassed only by the United States, Russia and France.

    Shemaya Avieli, the head of Sibat, the Israeli defence ministry’s agency promoting arms exports, said at a press conference last month that the record figure had been a surprise given the “very significant economic The Separation Wallchallenge” posed by the worldwide economic downturn.

    The [Israeli] defence minister doesn’t only deal with wars, he also makes sure the defence industry is busy selling goods.

    - Leo Gleser, specialist in developing weapons markets in Latin America

    The arms-related trade is reported to account for somewhere between one-tenth and one-fifth of Israel’s exports. The main buyers are Asian countries, especially India, Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and Latin America.

    The importance of the arms trade to Israel can be gauged by a simple mathematical calculation. Last year Israel earned nearly $1,000 from the arms trade per head of population – several times the per capita income the US derives from military sales.

    Israel’s reliance on the arms industry was underscored in June when a local court forced officials to publish data revealing that some 6,800 Israelis are actively engaged in exporting arms.

    Separately, Ehud Barak, the defence minister in the previous Israeli government, has revealed that 150,000 Israeli households – or about one in 10 people in the country – depend economically on its military industries.

    These disclosures aside, Israel has been loath to lift the shroud of secrecy that envelopes much of its arms trade. In recent court hearings it has argued that further revelations would harm “national security and foreign relations”.

    ‘People like to buy things that have been tested’

    Feldman’s film – which won an award at DocAviv, Israel’s documentary Oscars – shows arms dealers, army commanders and government ministers speaking frankly about the way the trade has become the engine of Israel’s economic success during the global recession.

    Leo Gleser, who specialises in developing new weapons markets in Latin America, observes: “The [Israeli] defence minister doesn’t only deal with wars, he also makes sure the defence industry is busy selling goods.”

    prisonersThe Lab suggests that arms sales have been steadily rising since 2002, when Israel reversed its withdrawals from Palestinian territory initiated by the Oslo accords. The Israeli army reinvaded the West Bank and Gaza in an operation known as Defensive Shield.

    There’s a lot of hypocrisy: they condemn you politically, while they ask you what your trick is, you Israelis, for turning blood into money.

    - Yoav Galant, head of the Israeli army’s southern command during Cast Lead

     

    In parallel, many retired army officers moved into the new high-tech field. There they found a chance to test their security ideas, including developing systems for long-term surveillance, control and subjugation of “enemy” populations.

    241_cartoon_us_arms_aid_middle_east_large

    The biggest surge in the arms trade followed Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s month-long attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09 that provoked international condemnation. More MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSthan 1,400 Palestinians were killed, as well as 13 Israelis. Sales that year reached $6bn for the first time.

    Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a former defence minister turned industry minister, attributes Israel’s success to the fact that “people like to buy things that have been tested. If Israel sells weapons, they have been tested, tried out. We can say we’ve used this 10 years, 15 years.”

    Nonetheless, The Lab‘s argument has proved controversial with some security experts. Shlomo Bron, a former air force general who now works at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, rejected the film’s premise.

    “It may be true that in practice the military uses the occupied territories as a laboratory, but that is just an unfortunate effect of our conflict with the Palestinians. And we sell to other countries only because Israel itself is too small a market.”

    The film highlights the kind of innovations for which Israel has been feted by overseas security services. It pioneered the airborne drones that are now at the heart of the US programme of extra-judicial executions in the Eviction from the landMiddle East.

    Israel hopes to repeat that success with missile interception systems such as Iron Dome, which was much on display when rockets were fired out of Gaza during last year’s Operation Pillar of Cloud.

    Futuristic weapons

    The Lab also underscores the Israeli arms industry’s success in developing futuristic weapons, such as the gun that shoots around corners. The bullet-bending firearm caught Hollywood’s attention, with Angelina Jolie wielding it – and effectively marketing it – in the 2008 film Wanted.

    Halper believes that Israel has made itself useful to powerful states not just in terms of developing weapons systems, but by becoming particularly successful at what he terms “niche-filling”.

    “The United States, for example, knows better than anyone how to attack other countries, as it did with Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel can’t teach it much on that score. But the US doesn’t have much idea what to do after the attack, how to pacify the population. That is where Israel steps in and offers its expertise.”

    Palestinian Identity checksThis point is underscored in The Lab. Its unlikeliest stars are former Israeli officers turned academics, whose theories have helped to guide the Israeli army and hi-tech companies in developing new military techniques and strategies much sought-after by foreign militaries.

    Shimon Naveh, a military philosopher, is shown pacing through a mock Arab village that provided the canvas on which he devised a new theory of urban warfare to deal with the second Palestinian intifada, after it erupted in late 2000.

    UN states fail to reach arms trade treaty

    SONY DSCIn the run-up to an attack in 2002 on Nablus’ casbah, much feared by the Israeli army for its labyrinthine layout, he suggested that the soldiers move not through the alleyways, where they would be easy targets, but unseen through the buildings, knocking holes through the walls that separated the houses.

    Naveh’s idea became the key to crushing Palestinian armed resistance, exposing the only places – in the heart of overcrowded cities and refugee camps – where Palestinian fighters could still find sanctuary from Israeli surveillance.

    Another expert, Yitzhak Ben Israel, a former general who is now a professor at Tel Aviv University, helped to develop a mathematical formula for the Israeli military that predicts the likely success of assassination programmes to end organised resistance.

    Ben Israel’s calculus proved to the army that a Palestinian cell planning an attack could be destroyed with high probability by “neutralising” as few as one-fifth of its fighters.

    Cast LeadThis merging of theory, hardware and repeated “testing” in the field has had armies, police forces and the homeland security industries lining up to buy Israeli know-how, Feldman argues. The lessons learned in Gaza and the West Bank have also had applications in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Yoav Galant, the head of the Israeli army’s southern command during Cast Lead, however, criticises the double standards of the international community.

    “While certain countries in Europe or Asia condemned us for attacking civilians, they sent their officers here, and I briefed generals from 10 countries,” he says. “There’s a lot of hypocrisy: they condemn you politically, while they ask you what your trick is, you Israelis, for turning blood into money.”

    A spokesman for the Israeli defence ministry called the arguments made in The Lab “flawed and illogical”.

    “Our success in defence industries reflects the fact that Israel has had to be resourceful and creative faced with an existential threat for more than 60 years as well as a series of wars with the Arab world.”

    My interest in this report calls me to question such a fundamental conflict of interest. Examining the reality in this world, the American-Israeli Axis proliferates more israel-cartoon-iran-drone-un-turing-a-blind-eye-on-dimonaWeapons of War, Death, Destruction and Intimidation to the world than all other Nations combined. These two Nations claim to behave with the highest morality, integrity and standards of Almighty God.

    When, O LORD, will you fulfill the words of your Servant, The Prophet?

    the word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
    And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and ALL NATIONS shall flow unto it.
    And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

    And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
    Therefore you have forsaken your people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.
    Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:
    Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:

    And the mean man bows down, and the great man humbles himself: therefore forgive them not.
    Enter into the rock, and hide yourself in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.

    The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
    For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
    And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,
    And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,
    And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,
    And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

    And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
    And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
    And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake terribly the earth.
    In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
    To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake terribly the earth.
    Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?

    Isaiah 2

    gaza

    Israel’s booming secretive arms trade

    18 August 2013

    Al-Jazeera – 16 August 2013

    Israel’s secretive arms trade is booming as never before, according to the latest export figures. But it is also coming under mounting scrutiny as some analysts argue that Israel has grown dependent on exploiting the suffering of Palestinians for military and economic gain.

    A new documentary, called The Lab, has led the way in turning the spotlight on Israel’s arms industry. It claims that four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have become little more than guinea pigs in military experiments designed to enrich a new elite of arms dealers and former generals.

    The film’s release this month in the United States follows news that Israeli sales of weapons and military systems hit a record high last year of $7.5bn, up from $5.8bn the previous year. A decade ago, Israeli exports were worth less than $2bn.

    Israel is now ranked as one of the world’s largest arms exporters – a considerable achievement for a country smaller than New York.

    Yotam Feldman, director of The Lab and a former journalist with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, says Israel has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for refining, testing and showcasing its weapons systems.

    His argument is supported by other analysts who have examined Israel’s military industries.

    Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, said: “You only have to read the brochures published by the arms industry in Israel. It’s all in there. What they are selling is Israel’s ‘experience’ and expertise gained from the occupation and its conflicts with its neighbours.”

    Another analyst, Jeff Halper, who is writing a book on Israel’s role in the international homeland security industry, has gone further. He argues that Israel’s success at selling its know-how to powerful states means it has grown ever more averse to returning the occupied territories to the Palestinians in a peace agreement.

    “The occupied territiories are crucial as a laboratory not just in terms of Israel’s internal security, but because they have allowed Israel to become pivotal to the global homeland security industry.

    “Other states need Israel’s expertise, and that ensures its place at the table with the big players. It gives Israel international influence way out of keeping with its size. In turn, the hegemonic states exert no real pressure on Israel to give up the occupied territories because of their mutually reinforcing interests.”

    Suggestions that Israel is exploiting the occupied territories for economic and military gain come at a sensitive moment for Israel, as it returns this week to long-stalled negotiations with the Palestinians. The commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the talks has already been widely questioned.

    Booming arms sales

    Israel’s growing success at marketing its military wares to overseas buyers was highlighted in June when defence analysts Jane’s ranked Israel in sixth place for arms exports, ahead of China and Italy, both major weapons producers.

    However, Israel’s own figures, which include additional covert trade, place it in fourth place ahead of Britain and Germany, and surpassed only by the United States, Russia and France.

    Shemaya Avieli, the head of Sibat, the Israeli defence ministry’s agency promoting arms exports, said at a press conference last month that the record figure had been a surprise given the “very significant economic challenge” posed by the worldwide economic downturn.

    The arms-related trade is reported to account for somewhere between one-tenth and one-fifth of Israel’s exports. The main buyers are Asian countries, especially India, Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and Latin America.

    The importance of the arms trade to Israel can be gauged by a simple mathematical calculation. Last year Israel earned nearly $1,000 from the arms trade per head of population – several times the per capita income the US derives from military sales.

    Israel’s reliance on the arms industry was underscored in June when a local court forced officials to publish data revealing that some 6,800 Israelis are actively engaged in exporting arms.

    Separately, Ehud Barak, the defence minister in the previous Israeli government, has revealed that 150,000 Israeli households – or about one in 10 people in the country – depend economically on its military industries.

    These disclosures aside, Israel has been loath to lift the shroud of secrecy that envelopes much of its arms trade. In recent court hearings it has argued that further revelations would harm “national security and foreign relations”.

    ‘People like to buy things that have been tested’

    Feldman’s film – which won an award at DocAviv, Israel’s documentary Oscars – shows arms dealers, army commanders and government ministers speaking frankly about the way the trade has become the engine of Israel’s economic success during the global recession.

    Leo Gleser, who specialises in developing new weapons markets in Latin America, observes: “The [Israeli] defence minister doesn’t only deal with wars, he also makes sure the defence industry is busy selling goods.”

    The Lab suggests that arms sales have been steadily rising since 2002, when Israel reversed its withdrawals from Palestinian territory initiated by the Oslo accords. The Israeli army reinvaded the West Bank and Gaza in an operation known as Defensive Shield.

    In parallel, many retired army officers moved into the new high-tech field. There they found a chance to test their security ideas, including developing systems for long-term surveillance, control and subjugation of “enemy” populations.

    The biggest surge in the arms trade followed Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s month-long attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09 that provoked international condemnation. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, as well as 13 Israelis. Sales that year reached $6bn for the first time.

    Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a former defence minister turned industry minister, attributes Israel’s success to the fact that “people like to buy things that have been tested. If Israel sells weapons, they have been tested, tried out. We can say we’ve used this 10 years, 15 years.”

    Nonetheless, The Lab’s argument has proved controversial with some security experts. Shlomo Bron, a former air force general who now works at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, rejected the film’s premise.

    “It may be true that in practice the military uses the occupied territories as a laboratory, but that is just an unfortunate effect of our conflict with the Palestinians. And we sell to other countries only because Israel itself is too small a market.”

    The film highlights the kind of innovations for which Israel has been feted by overseas security services. It pioneered the airborne drones that are now at the heart of the US programme of extra-judicial executions in the Middle East.

    Israel hopes to repeat that success with missile interception systems such as Iron Dome, which was much on display when rockets were fired out of Gaza during last year’s Operation Pillar of Cloud.

    Futuristic weapons

    The Lab also underscores the Israeli arms industry’s success in developing futuristic weapons, such as the gun that shoots around corners. The bullet-bending firearm caught Hollywood’s attention, with Angelina Jolie wielding it – and effectively marketing it – in the 2008 film Wanted.

    Halper believes that Israel has made itself useful to powerful states not just in terms of developing weapons systems, but by becoming particularly successful at what he terms “niche-filling”.

    “The United States, for example, knows better than anyone how to attack other countries, as it did with Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel can’t teach it much on that score. But the US doesn’t have much idea what to do after the attack, how to pacify the population. That is where Israel steps in and offers its expertise.”

    This point is underscored in The Lab. Its unlikeliest stars are former Israeli officers turned academics, whose theories have helped to guide the Israeli army and hi-tech companies in developing new military techniques and strategies much sought-after by foreign militaries.

    Shimon Naveh, a military philosopher, is shown pacing through a mock Arab village that provided the canvas on which he devised a new theory of urban warfare to deal with the second Palestinian intifada, after it erupted in late 2000.

    In the run-up to an attack in 2002 on Nablus’ casbah, much feared by the Israeli army for its labyrinthine layout, he suggested that the soldiers move not through the alleyways, where they would be easy targets, but unseen through the buildings, knocking holes through the walls that separated the houses.

    Naveh’s idea became the key to crushing Palestinian armed resistance, exposing the only places – in the heart of overcrowded cities and refugee camps – where Palestinian fighters could still find sanctuary from Israeli surveillance.

    Another expert, Yitzhak Ben Israel, a former general who is now a professor at Tel Aviv University, helped to develop a mathematical formula for the Israeli military that predicts the likely success of assassination programmes to end organised resistance.

    Ben Israel’s calculus proved to the army that a Palestinian cell planning an attack could be destroyed with high probability by “neutralising” as few as one-fifth of its fighters.

    This merging of theory, hardware and repeated “testing” in the field has had armies, police forces and the homeland security industries lining up to buy Israeli know-how, Feldman argues. The lessons learned in Gaza and the West Bank have also had applications in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Yoav Galant, the head of the Israeli army’s southern command during Cast Lead, however, criticises the double standards of the international community.

    “While certain countries in Europe or Asia condemned us for attacking civilians, they sent their officers here, and I briefed generals from 10 countries,” he says. “There’s a lot of hypocrisy: they condemn you politically, while they ask you what your trick is, you Israelis, for turning blood into money.”

    A spokesman for the Israeli defence ministry called the arguments made in The Lab “flawed and illogical”.

    “Our success in defence industries reflects the fact that Israel has had to be resourceful and creative faced with an existential threat for more than 60 years as well as a series of wars with the Arab world.”

    - See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2013-08-18/israels-booming-secretive-arms-trade/#sthash.nm2M6NtF.dpuf

    Israel’s booming secretive arms trade

    18 August 2013

    Al-Jazeera – 16 August 2013

    Israel’s secretive arms trade is booming as never before, according to the latest export figures. But it is also coming under mounting scrutiny as some analysts argue that Israel has grown dependent on exploiting the suffering of Palestinians for military and economic gain.

    A new documentary, called The Lab, has led the way in turning the spotlight on Israel’s arms industry. It claims that four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have become little more than guinea pigs in military experiments designed to enrich a new elite of arms dealers and former generals.

    The film’s release this month in the United States follows news that Israeli sales of weapons and military systems hit a record high last year of $7.5bn, up from $5.8bn the previous year. A decade ago, Israeli exports were worth less than $2bn.

    Israel is now ranked as one of the world’s largest arms exporters – a considerable achievement for a country smaller than New York.

    Yotam Feldman, director of The Lab and a former journalist with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, says Israel has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for refining, testing and showcasing its weapons systems.

    His argument is supported by other analysts who have examined Israel’s military industries.

    Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, said: “You only have to read the brochures published by the arms industry in Israel. It’s all in there. What they are selling is Israel’s ‘experience’ and expertise gained from the occupation and its conflicts with its neighbours.”

    Another analyst, Jeff Halper, who is writing a book on Israel’s role in the international homeland security industry, has gone further. He argues that Israel’s success at selling its know-how to powerful states means it has grown ever more averse to returning the occupied territories to the Palestinians in a peace agreement.

    “The occupied territiories are crucial as a laboratory not just in terms of Israel’s internal security, but because they have allowed Israel to become pivotal to the global homeland security industry.

    “Other states need Israel’s expertise, and that ensures its place at the table with the big players. It gives Israel international influence way out of keeping with its size. In turn, the hegemonic states exert no real pressure on Israel to give up the occupied territories because of their mutually reinforcing interests.”

    Suggestions that Israel is exploiting the occupied territories for economic and military gain come at a sensitive moment for Israel, as it returns this week to long-stalled negotiations with the Palestinians. The commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the talks has already been widely questioned.

    Booming arms sales

    Israel’s growing success at marketing its military wares to overseas buyers was highlighted in June when defence analysts Jane’s ranked Israel in sixth place for arms exports, ahead of China and Italy, both major weapons producers.

    However, Israel’s own figures, which include additional covert trade, place it in fourth place ahead of Britain and Germany, and surpassed only by the United States, Russia and France.

    Shemaya Avieli, the head of Sibat, the Israeli defence ministry’s agency promoting arms exports, said at a press conference last month that the record figure had been a surprise given the “very significant economic challenge” posed by the worldwide economic downturn.

    The arms-related trade is reported to account for somewhere between one-tenth and one-fifth of Israel’s exports. The main buyers are Asian countries, especially India, Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and Latin America.

    The importance of the arms trade to Israel can be gauged by a simple mathematical calculation. Last year Israel earned nearly $1,000 from the arms trade per head of population – several times the per capita income the US derives from military sales.

    Israel’s reliance on the arms industry was underscored in June when a local court forced officials to publish data revealing that some 6,800 Israelis are actively engaged in exporting arms.

    Separately, Ehud Barak, the defence minister in the previous Israeli government, has revealed that 150,000 Israeli households – or about one in 10 people in the country – depend economically on its military industries.

    These disclosures aside, Israel has been loath to lift the shroud of secrecy that envelopes much of its arms trade. In recent court hearings it has argued that further revelations would harm “national security and foreign relations”.

    ‘People like to buy things that have been tested’

    Feldman’s film – which won an award at DocAviv, Israel’s documentary Oscars – shows arms dealers, army commanders and government ministers speaking frankly about the way the trade has become the engine of Israel’s economic success during the global recession.

    Leo Gleser, who specialises in developing new weapons markets in Latin America, observes: “The [Israeli] defence minister doesn’t only deal with wars, he also makes sure the defence industry is busy selling goods.”

    The Lab suggests that arms sales have been steadily rising since 2002, when Israel reversed its withdrawals from Palestinian territory initiated by the Oslo accords. The Israeli army reinvaded the West Bank and Gaza in an operation known as Defensive Shield.

    In parallel, many retired army officers moved into the new high-tech field. There they found a chance to test their security ideas, including developing systems for long-term surveillance, control and subjugation of “enemy” populations.

    The biggest surge in the arms trade followed Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s month-long attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09 that provoked international condemnation. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, as well as 13 Israelis. Sales that year reached $6bn for the first time.

    Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a former defence minister turned industry minister, attributes Israel’s success to the fact that “people like to buy things that have been tested. If Israel sells weapons, they have been tested, tried out. We can say we’ve used this 10 years, 15 years.”

    Nonetheless, The Lab’s argument has proved controversial with some security experts. Shlomo Bron, a former air force general who now works at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, rejected the film’s premise.

    “It may be true that in practice the military uses the occupied territories as a laboratory, but that is just an unfortunate effect of our conflict with the Palestinians. And we sell to other countries only because Israel itself is too small a market.”

    The film highlights the kind of innovations for which Israel has been feted by overseas security services. It pioneered the airborne drones that are now at the heart of the US programme of extra-judicial executions in the Middle East.

    Israel hopes to repeat that success with missile interception systems such as Iron Dome, which was much on display when rockets were fired out of Gaza during last year’s Operation Pillar of Cloud.

    Futuristic weapons

    The Lab also underscores the Israeli arms industry’s success in developing futuristic weapons, such as the gun that shoots around corners. The bullet-bending firearm caught Hollywood’s attention, with Angelina Jolie wielding it – and effectively marketing it – in the 2008 film Wanted.

    Halper believes that Israel has made itself useful to powerful states not just in terms of developing weapons systems, but by becoming particularly successful at what he terms “niche-filling”.

    “The United States, for example, knows better than anyone how to attack other countries, as it did with Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel can’t teach it much on that score. But the US doesn’t have much idea what to do after the attack, how to pacify the population. That is where Israel steps in and offers its expertise.”

    This point is underscored in The Lab. Its unlikeliest stars are former Israeli officers turned academics, whose theories have helped to guide the Israeli army and hi-tech companies in developing new military techniques and strategies much sought-after by foreign militaries.

    Shimon Naveh, a military philosopher, is shown pacing through a mock Arab village that provided the canvas on which he devised a new theory of urban warfare to deal with the second Palestinian intifada, after it erupted in late 2000.

    In the run-up to an attack in 2002 on Nablus’ casbah, much feared by the Israeli army for its labyrinthine layout, he suggested that the soldiers move not through the alleyways, where they would be easy targets, but unseen through the buildings, knocking holes through the walls that separated the houses.

    Naveh’s idea became the key to crushing Palestinian armed resistance, exposing the only places – in the heart of overcrowded cities and refugee camps – where Palestinian fighters could still find sanctuary from Israeli surveillance.

    Another expert, Yitzhak Ben Israel, a former general who is now a professor at Tel Aviv University, helped to develop a mathematical formula for the Israeli military that predicts the likely success of assassination programmes to end organised resistance.

    Ben Israel’s calculus proved to the army that a Palestinian cell planning an attack could be destroyed with high probability by “neutralising” as few as one-fifth of its fighters.

    This merging of theory, hardware and repeated “testing” in the field has had armies, police forces and the homeland security industries lining up to buy Israeli know-how, Feldman argues. The lessons learned in Gaza and the West Bank have also had applications in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Yoav Galant, the head of the Israeli army’s southern command during Cast Lead, however, criticises the double standards of the international community.

    “While certain countries in Europe or Asia condemned us for attacking civilians, they sent their officers here, and I briefed generals from 10 countries,” he says. “There’s a lot of hypocrisy: they condemn you politically, while they ask you what your trick is, you Israelis, for turning blood into money.”

    A spokesman for the Israeli defence ministry called the arguments made in The Lab “flawed and illogical”.

    “Our success in defence industries reflects the fact that Israel has had to be resourceful and creative faced with an existential threat for more than 60 years as well as a series of wars with the Arab world.”

    - See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2013-08-18/israels-booming-secretive-arms-trade/#sthash.nm2M6NtF.dpuf

    is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001. – See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/about/#sthash.d27xWoeB.dpuf

    Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001.

    He is the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

    • Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State (2006)
    • Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (2008)
    • Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (2008)

    - See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/about/#sthash.d27xWoeB.dpuf

    Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001.

    He is the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

    • Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State (2006)
    • Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (2008)
    • Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (2008)

    - See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/about/#sthash.d27xWoeB.dpuf



    ray032Jonathan-Cookisrael-palestine-war-peace mazePrevent_Holocaust_BOMB_IRANPre 1948 to TodayThe Separation Wallprisoners241_cartoon_us_arms_aid_middle_east_largeMIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSEviction from the landPalestinian Identity checksSONY DSCCast Leadisrael-cartoon-iran-drone-un-turing-a-blind-eye-on-dimonagazaray032Jonathan-Cookisrael-palestine-war-peace mazePrevent_Holocaust_BOMB_IRANPre 1948 to TodayThe Separation Wallprisoners241_cartoon_us_arms_aid_middle_east_largeMIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSEviction from the landPalestinian Identity checksSONY DSCCast Leadisrael-cartoon-iran-drone-un-turing-a-blind-eye-on-dimonagaza

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  • 09/01/13--08:31: SIGNS OF THE TIMES
  • Liberty_Memorial

    In the Spirit of ’76, as a demonstrator, I was highly visible at The Liberty Memorial Mall in Penn Valley Park and The Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City the whole time of the Republican National Convention. President Ford, Vice-President Rockefeller, their organizers and partisans were staying there.

    Arriving in Kansas City, the 1st place I went to was the Roman Catholic Archdiocese Office of the Archbishop. I was received by his Secretary, a very pleasant priest, and we talked for a long time in his office. Getting to the purpose of my visit, I asked him if there was any bed available in the entire Catholic Diocese  where I could rest my head for the duration? I was surprised when he told me all the beds were taken. “People from the Vatican are here for the Convention” he said. I had to wonder what Business the Vatican had, and who were they meeting away from the Public eye, at this American Republican Convention?

    Having shoulder length long hair and beard, he said, “I know where you belong” and he drove me to the Liberty Memorial Mall. “You’re right” I said as I got out of his car.

    The opening night of the Convention, the Youth International Party (Yippies) had set up a microphone on top of a school bus on the grass of Penn Valley Park with speakers that reverberated against the Crown Center Hotel across the street.

    It was wonderful to see hundreds, thousands of young people from all over America come to exercise their democratic rights. The only bigger crowd I was part of was at Rock concerts, never for any political demonstration. When I saw the yellow school bus and the huge crowd on the slope of Penn Valley Park, I climbed on top of the bus to stand in line with the others who wanted to say something over the incredibly powerful system reverberating against the windows of the Crown Centre Hotel.

    Getting hold of the microphone, the words poured out in an extemporaneous expression of the ills and hopes of the world for an hour or longer. After a long time I became aware most of the other people on the roof of the bus were massaging my neck, shoulders or just rubbing my back. A one and only time in my life experience.

    I happened to be speaking when Vice President Rockefeller and a retinue came out on a balcony of the hotel at eye level with me, and I addressed my words to him. He was not pleased as evidenced by his reaction to my words you see in the picture below.

    Greeting him, I reminded him of a time earlier in his career I read about in newspapers, when he was in the blessed position to able give a friend a gift of $50,000 here, and another friend $100,000 there, and other friends even more as gifts. I reminded him the newspapers reported all his friends had powerful positions in regulatory agencies of government.

    I explained there were hundreds of people on this side who had hitch hiked here from all over America, and many without cash, to show the American Spirit of Democratic Freedom and Peaceful Protest, and that we cared for America and its future. I then reminded him how wonderful it must be to be in a position enabling you to be so generous to friends. I remember saying these words, “Mr. Vice-President, would you be kind enough to donate a few hundred dollar’s worth of groceries to feed the poor among us while we are here?”

    That’s when he gave me the finger.

    the finger

    When I got off the bus and started walking through the large crowd I looked down on the grass and there was a $20 dollar bill. O Lucky Day! I decided to spend it having dinner in a Hotel Restaurant, but as soon as I entered the Lobby because of my visibility among the protestors, I was surrounded by Republican Party Security who physically lifted me up and threw me out.

    The next Day the protest was moved from the Penn Valley Park to Washington Square facing the entrance to the Hotel. Police barricades were everywhere. Fortunately, I met the Hotel Manager on the other side of the barricade, and he invited me into the Hotel and bought me breakfast. After an hour of conversation he said to me, “This is my Hotel, and I give you permission to go anywhere you want. If anyone causes you any problems, you just call me.” O Joy!

    Walking softly and carrying my big stick, identifying them by name tag, I approached every Senator, Congressman, and Delegate talking in small groups within the thousands socializing in the Lobby of The Crown Center Hotel. My greeting was always the same, ¨Good Day!  My name is Ray and I would like to talk to you about some issues.¨ To my disappointment, walking through the constant crowds doing this for four days, not one Senator, Congressman or Delegate would talk with me as they dissolved and disappeared into the larger crowd. The event of this report happened the night of that fourth Day of that convention of silence.

    In the afternoon, before Ford won the nomination over Reagan, since no Republican on the floor would talk with me up to that point, I changed tactics. A woman in California gave me a booklet having white stars in a blue background on the cover. In the Oval red center part of the cover, in old script, it read Constitution of The United States of America. I walked into the Lobby with the booklet covering my heart and the #3 of the #13 jersey. Anyone coming toward me would only see 1-Constitution of The United States of America.

    For the first Time, what convention planners call a “spontaneous demonstration,” a crowd of Republicans gathered around me, peppering me with questions: “Who are you?” What are you doing?” “What is the significance of your action?”

    As I began to answer, Republican Party Security descended on the scene, telling me I had to leave the Hotel.

    Asking why? I was told I couldn’t walk around carrying a club. In my mind, it was always a stick, but it gave new significance to the old saying, “walk softly and carry a big stick.” I thought, ‘My God, they have the power in this world, and they are so paranoid in their perceptions in guarding the power?’

    I told the Republicans they had no power or authority to expel me from the Hotel. I have a Laissez-passer from Top Managerment. This was the first time since meeting 4 days earlier I had to call on him.

    Arriving on the scene, the Hotel Manager told the Republican Whips I was allowed to stay. The Whips did their job though, and the growing crowd disappeared within the larger crowd in the Lobby. I continued walking softly, carrying my big stick with the star studded pamphlet covering my heart.

    To my great surprise, on the restricted balcony, stood President Ford himself, surrounded by a retinue of about 25 people. He was no more than about 20 feet above my head and I addressed him saying, “Good Day, Mr. Ford. How are you Today, Sir!

    He acknowledge me with my shoulder length hair, beard and stick saying,” I’m fine, thank you. How are you?”

    Lifting up the pamphlet toward him, I said, “I’m doing great, but I’d love to talk to you about the Constitution of these UN-United States” On those words, within a nanosecond, The President and his large retinue moved on in unison, almost like a single organism Amoeba.

    .That night, President Ford won the nomination over Ronald Reagan.  My image, standing at the podium of The President of The United States on a Secret Service restricted balcony in the Crown Center Hotel, must have appeared revolutionary in that 1976 revolutionary year as thousands of witnesses in person, and ABC, CBS, & NBC broadcasting live, were looking up to that spot expecting The President of The United States to be there to be standing there.

    This is how it all unexpectedly happened to me.

    As a Canadian I was caught up in the Republican’s enthusiasm and excitement. I was looking forward to hearing a President give a speech in person for the 1st TIME. I had only seen that on TV.

    A band was playing Paul McCartney’s song ‘Let em in’  and I was having a grand happy and excited TIME, content being one in the crowd. At one point, a live TV camera with the red light on top signalling a live broadcast was about 15 feet behind me. I took off my #13 jersey and for an instant, to all the viewers of that TV network, all they saw was my #13 shirt filling their screens.

    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    To HIM THAT OVERCOMES will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I ALSO OVERCAME, and AM set down with my Father in his throne.
    He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    Revelation 3

    Spotting me in the compressed crowd below the restricted balcony, the Hotel Manager called out to me to come up out of all those Republicans! Since everybody was pressed against everybody, that was no quick or easy feat.

    Going up the stairs and escorting me past all the SS Security checkpoints, as a Canadian, to my great wonder and surprise, I found myself standing at the Podium of The President of the United States, with my shoulder length long hair and bearded hippie look, waving to the thousands of Republicans in person below.  The image is such a revolutionary contrast to the establishment standing at that symbol of the Power and Authority, nothing like it has been seen before or since.

    The Secret Service wanted to question me. Standing eye to eye with the SS Agent for some time at the Podium of The President answering his questions, he eventually asked to my astonishment, ¨Are you Jesus Christ?¨ Having no illusions about that then or now, I immediately answered “No.”

    The Agent then said, ¨Who are you then? A Prophet?¨ Not having entertained the thought before these exceptional circumstances I unexpectedly found myself in, and being temporarily dumbfounded, I was not as immediate in answering that question.

    Presidential_Podium

    They wanted to hold my stick for ¨security reasons” as the President was expected to be there momentarily. The ABC, CBS & NBC archive video of that live broadcast is out there somewhere. Being pre-Cable, there was nothing else to see on TV, and the Secret Service should have records of this scene.

    I had an exceptional American experience in a Mountain in Montana before the Convention on the 4th of July. At a gathering of The Rainbow Family I overheard others speculating my stick was the stick Judah and Joseph

    At the time I could not understand why the SS didn’t question me in some anti-room, instead of leading me to the podium of the President of The United States in full view of all the people and the TV Networks.  I can only speculate and wonder why God arranged that as a sign or symbol of authority, since there is such a great cloud of witnesses, Jews, Christians and Muslims, all claiming to speak for for Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is in it.

    Even after all these years I have no doubt if senior Republican Party leaders and younger Republicans who attended that Convention saw the picture today, they would have to admit after thinking on it, “Yes, I remember that guy.”

    On September 13, 1976 The Kansas City Times recorded and reported my visit to the City and the Republican National Convention.

    Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976 (2)

    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention  and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming  church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”

    These are the first two parts of the three part Writing On The Wall recorded in Daniel 5 during the Captivity of Babylon some 2600 years ago. It was not until 9/11 and 7 years later, with the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbor-Tsunami in the Fall of 2008, the whole world was able to see the Writing on the Wall for the 1st Time at the same Time. The world has ignored it, still thinking it is a money-things problem, when it is a Spiritual problem. There is Truth to Prime Minister Trudeau saying we, as a society, are materially rich, but Spiritually poor.

    The Gold Dome refers to the Gold Head of the terrible image in the nightmare of the king of the world’s first Imperial superpower, Babylon. See ‘The King’s Terrifying  Nightmare’ elsewhere in this Blog.

    The third part of the 2600 year old Writing on the Wall Bible story from the Book of Daniel, speaks of the decline of the world’s dominant economic-military Imperial Power, and a rising Persia/Iran. The Iranian Revolution also happened in 1979, concurrent with the signing of the Camp David Accord , the EITHER/OR choice recorded in The September 13, 1976 Kansas City Times article.

    Looking in the world all these years later, the current Syrian situation on the Road to Tehran/Persia/Iran, indicates the fate of the world may be sealed for Destruction, instead of the better choice of the Universal Brotherhood of Man I have hoped to see enveloping this world.

    belshazzar1 Writing On The Wall

    “And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

    This is the interpretation of the thing:

    MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it.

    TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting.

    PERES; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

    – Daniel 5

    Other specifics you will see at the end of the September 13, 1976 article, ¨He said this country is uncaring and apathetic and has just 30 months to change such attitudes. The 30 month figure stems from another Biblical prophecy, he said, concerning a treaty with Israel-and a Treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed last year.¨

    The article continues in quotation marks, ¨There are 30 months before the fate of the world will be sealed with EITHER Destruction OR the Universal Brotherhood of Man,¨ he said. ¨The 30 month figure concerned a Treaty between Israel and Egypt.¨

    NOTE: This does not say Universal Brotherhood of Man or Destruction in 30 months.

    Not 29 or 31, but exactly 30 months later, in March 1979, history shows a Treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed. The Camp David Accord.  History shows talks broke down on the 12th day and no Treaty was to be signed. Begin and Sadat were leaving. It was on the 13th Day, as in the date of the Article and the picture accompanying it, an unexpected window of opportunity appeared and opened the way for the Treaty to be signed.

    This signified the Universal Brotherhood part of the quote.

    Book review: ‘Thirteen Days in September,’ on Camp David accords, by Lawrence Wright

    March 26, 1979 Camp David Treaty

    As to the destruction part of the statement? The TV Movie made in Kansas City, ‘The Day After’ it was destroyed in a Nuclear Holocaust appeared 7 years later. It could have been made in any other city.

    On seeing it, I may have been the only human on earth to recognize after the destruction, the final frames of the movie stop at the pillar I am standing in front of in the All Souls Day, November  2, 1976 Kansas City Times report. This is the Lord’s doing as a sign for this generation. The choice of either or is still before us.

    Kansas City Times November 2, 1976 All Souls DayFinal frames 1983 Movie 'The Day After' Kansas City was destroyed

    This Public record and marker of time from 1976, besides reporting specific time related events for the Middle East, before the Time Line of History confirmed the letter, also records, “and explained his own  mission as  “waging war  against the beast” – the  beast defined as  government of man and tyrants.” The new Presidential limousine called “the beast” is an aptly named confirming Spiritual “symbol.”

    the beast of a limo

    It’s taken all these years, but the whole world and America can now see its days are numbered if radical reform is not started soon.

    Obviously, as regards the mission, I was not talking of my own personal action other than being a messenger in the right place at the right time, but since this report is from the Revolutionary Spirit of ’76, it is only now the Revolutionary Spirit of ’11 is beginning to overturn the tyrants and government of man in the Middle East. This we can see. It will soon spread worldwide.

    It would be tragic if the “little people” in America couldn’t relate to the “little people” in Afghanistan/Pakistan and other Nations.

    The bottom line is that they are people like the “little people” all over this earth, no matter what country, color, language or religion, and it is becoming perfectly clear all the “little people” everywhere are demanding “regime change.”

    Most Christian America is the most apostate of them all as to understanding and practicing the reason Christ died for all humanity, so humanity would be lifted up from its current downward spiral, rushing headlong on the Road to Destruction.

    The Bible says both good and evil would grow side by side until the time of the harvest. It’s time, and many more good people are needed to work in the vineyard to bring in a good harvest.

    PS: My thanks and appreciation go to  CRISTIAN MIHAI.

    I’m glad he introduced himself to me by liking an article. He is young, with an extraordinary Gift and Talent for writing, and I am now a fan of his. He helped me to edit and reformat the 1st article posted to this Blog on  February 23, 2011 on these same themes but having more detail and video, titled:

    From the Revolutionary Spirit of ’76 to the Revolutionary Spirit of ’11



    ray032Liberty_Memorialthe fingerPresidential_PodiumKansas City Times, September 13, 1976 (2)belshazzar1 Writing On The WallMarch 26, 1979 Camp David TreatyKansas City Times November 2, 1976 All Souls DayFinal frames 1983 Movie 'The Day After' Kansas City was destroyedthe beast of a limoray032Liberty_Memorialthe fingerPresidential_PodiumKansas City Times, September 13, 1976 (2)belshazzar1 Writing On The WallMarch 26, 1979 Camp David TreatyKansas City Times November 2, 1976 All Souls DayFinal frames 1983 Movie 'The Day After' Kansas City was destroyedthe beast of a limo

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  • 10/13/13--06:47: GOD! IS THAT YOU?
  • god

    You were on your way home when you died.

    It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

    And that’s when you met me.

    “What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

    “You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

    “There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

    “Yup,” I said.

    “I… I died?”

    “Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

    You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

    “More or less,” I said.

    “Are you god?” You asked.

    “Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

    god_in the beginning

    “My kids… my wife,” you said.

    “What about them?”

    “Will they be all right?”

    “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

    You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty. “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

    “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

    “Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

    try again

    “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

    “All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.” You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

    “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.” “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

    “Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

    I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

    “You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

    “How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

    “Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

    “Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

    “Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

    dali-s-clocks

    “Where you come from?” You said.

    “Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

    “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

    “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

    “So what’s the point of it all?”

    “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

    “Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

    I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

    “You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

    “No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.” “Just me? What about everyone else?”

    The-Helix-Nebula

    “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

    You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

    “All you. Different incarnations of you.”

    “Wait. I’m everyone!?”

    “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back. “I’m every human being who ever lived?”

    “Or who will ever live, yes.”

    “I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

    “And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

    “I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

    “And you’re the millions he killed.”

    “I’m Jesus?”

    “And you’re everyone who followed him.”

    You fell silent.

    “Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

    You thought for a long time.

    “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

    “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

    “Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

    “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

    “So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

    “An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

    the egg

    And I sent you on your way.

    This short story titled ‘The Egg’ was written by Andy Weir.

    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    To HIM THAT OVERCOMES will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I ALSO OVERCAME, and AM SET DOWN WITH MY FATHER IN HIS THRONE.
    He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    Revelation 3

    John3.3

    But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
    For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you.
    Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
    For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
    And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    Matthew 11

    You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway. 

    Mother Teresa



    ray032godgod_in the beginningtry againdali-s-clocksThe-Helix-Nebulathe eggJohn3.3ray032godgod_in the beginningtry againdali-s-clocksThe-Helix-Nebulathe eggJohn3.3

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  • 10/30/13--19:26: DEATH & RESURRECTION
  • CemeteryHalloween, at least in part, originally was a ceremony for the dead, and in the Christian context an interval to honour or pray for those who had died but were still parked, so to speak, in Purgatory, awaiting their eventual ascent to heaven. It was, and still is, underneath the costumery and fun, a time to think of the dead.

    PurgatoryDeath may be the only taboo left in the modern world. We cosmetize to delay its inevitable advent. Botox and surgery are our apotropaic — our effort to ward off carnal dissolution. But other eras were not so skittish about death.

    Connoisseurs of death can do no better than to read and read again the great 17th-century rhapsody of Sir Thomas Browne, known as Urne-Burial or Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk. It is a soaring meditation on how humans have sought to cheat oblivion, to secure themselves against time, by the manner and scale of their memorials. The Pyramids of Egypt are the most monumental. And every common headstone is but a poor man’s pyramid.

    ecclesiastes12_8Browne scoffs at all attempts: “But all was vanity, feeding the wind and folly. The Egyptian mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummy is become merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds and Pharoh is sold for balsams.” (By Browne’s time, the use of “mummy” as a drug was common, and there was a traffic in Egyptian mummies to Europe’s apothecaries.)

    He mocks the Emperors who sought to have their names live forever: “There is no antidote against the opium of time … our fathers find their graves in our short memories … Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks.”

    John Donne, a Church of England cleric whose works appeared in the early 17th century, was fascinated by the carnal sharing between the dominions of Eros (love) and Thanatos (death). Love’s urgency is seen as a flight from Death.

    Perhaps the greatest funeral oration ever given was Donne’s commentary on the text of Psalms 68:20, “Unto God, the Lord, belong the issues of death.” It is an obsessive, morbid-seeming, up-close mediation on the physical Psalm68_19-20decay attendant on death. And what is even more remarkable was that Donne rose from his own sickbed to preach it at Whitehall on the first Friday of Lent in 1630 — in essence, Donne preaching his own funeral sermon: “For this whole World is but a Universall Churchyard, but our common grave and the life and motion of the greatest persons in it, is but the shaking of buried bodies in their graves by an Earthquake. That which we call life is but Hebdomada mortium, a week of death…”

    As if in preparation for that sermon, he placed himself in his coffin, wrapped in a winding sheet. Donne was a genius of the erotic in his early life, and a genius of dissolution and decay in his later. The phrase that everyone knows of Donne, unearthed for a title by Hemmingway, is “for whom the bell tolls.” That was, of course, a funeral bell.

    In the 17th century, the grave and sex were verbally akin, the most common pun being “to die” signifying both the end of life and sexual climax. In Andrew Marvell’s famous “To His Coy Mistress,” the poet eerily woos the lady to “enjoy” while she can, for after death “then worms shall try / That long preserv’d virginity / And your quaint honour turn to dust / And into ashes all my lust / The grave’s a fine and private place / But none I think do there embrace.”

    Shakespeare, naturally, is another who never flinched. Romeo and Juliet is really a gothic love story, told in the shadow of death. Measure for Measure has the brutal soliloquy on the terror of death, from Portia’s imprisoned brother: “But to die, and goe we know not where / To lie in cold obstruction and to rot / This sensible warm motion to become / A kneaded clod.”

    So much of what is memorable in language about death comes from this period in history, when brilliant, word-mad minds, in full intellectual fever, sought in language a means to state their fears in order, partially, to quell them.

    But if you should want some lift from these dark and chilling ruminations, there is one 20th century poem by Wallace Stevens that has a, let us say, most pleasant tone, his “Sunday Morning.” For Stevens, “death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, alone / shall come fulfillment to our dreams / and our desires.”zKeSq

    Happy grey grim Halloween, everyone.

    Halloween

    Reprinted from THE NATIONAL POST

    Rex Murphy: Your quaint honour turn to dust

    As a young kid, I loved Halloween in my neighbourhood of Verdun, a poor English suburb of French Montreal. The last Time I went to a Halloween Costume Party was 40 years ago and I went as Father Time.

    My Vision and Understanding of Death

    There is a morbid fascination by this generation for Zombies, more than earlier generations. Toronto just had a Zombie parade with some real scary looking walking Dead.

    Zombies symbolize The Walking Dead among us, and in the context of your writing, most people are the Walking Dead, and without exception, are headed to the same finality in this world.Zombies rising on cemetery

    The vanity of the fancy Tombstone or Mausoleum is irrelevant. The Destination of the Grave is the same for all that do not believe Death is only a Doorway to another Dimension of Being.

    CalvaryCemeteryQueensJews and Gentiles, Princes, Paupers, Believers and Atheists, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in Death, end up as dust and ashes in the dirt of this earth by the Great Equalizer.

    If only the people could find that Equality while we’re still alive in this world?

    And Judgment is turned away backward, and Justice stands afar off: for Truth is fallen in the street, and EQUITY cannot enter.
    Isaiah 59Isaiah_59-14

    And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, (zombies)
    that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and
    should destroy them which destroy the earth
    Revelation 11:18

    When you can see it happening in this world, is it Revelation being revealed? Everyone can see the Nations are angry and more people will be sent to the finality of the Grave.

    The Christian Faith believes Death entered this world by the sin of one man, Adam, at the Beginning of the Sentient Human struggle thousands of years ago. Humans have gone to the Grave all that TIME.

    By the same Faith, Death is swallowed up by the blood sacrifice of one man, Jesus, enduring the Cross in Jerusalem, fulfilling once and for all, the requirement of the ritual blood sacrifice of the ancient Jewish religion.

    For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
    For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

    Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

    For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted.
    Hebrews 2

    What is the Object and Goal of that Faith in this world, before we get to the Grave? As an Individual, this is the single most important insight of the entire Bible of what is at stake to my Mind and Spirit.

    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    To HIM THAT OVERCOMES will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I ALSO OVERCAME, and AM SET DOWN WITH MY FATHER IN MY THRONE.
    He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
    Revelation 3

    Any Individual, recognizing the Spirit of the letter, and willing to have the Patience and Trust to endure whatever Life brings, can Overcome all Life’s difficulties, doubts, reverses and challenges. Then you will have much Time Alone to reason with God since most other people just don’t care, comfortable with their cocoon in The Matrix.

    By these words, God invites Humans TO BECOME God with God after Death, preparing for that while we are Alive, Resurrecting with the Risen Christ Day by Day in this world. The paid holiday of Easter is supposed to remind us of this.

    Resurrection

    Everyone can overcome if they Truly desire and believe with a sincere, humble heart, in finding The Way.



    ray032CemeteryPurgatoryecclesiastes12_8Psalm68_19-20zKeSqHalloweenZombies rising on cemeteryCalvaryCemeteryQueensIsaiah_59-14Resurrectionray032CemeteryPurgatoryecclesiastes12_8Psalm68_19-20zKeSqHalloweenZombies rising on cemeteryCalvaryCemeteryQueensIsaiah_59-14Resurrection

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  • 11/30/13--13:07: AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?
  • GAZA

    The following article is re-posted from the Blog of Professor Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Rights under Israeli Military Occupation. I selected and included all the images.

    Richard Falk is a recognized International law and International Relations Scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years. Since 2002 he has lived in Santa Barbara, California, and taught at the local campus of the University of California in Global and International Studies and since 2005 chaired the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

    Professor Falk is Jewish and the Jew Israelis love to hate for pointing out Israeli violations of International Law and UN Resolutions.

    The total economic war Israel is currently waging against the entire population of Gaza is beginning to take it’s terrible toll. Innocent civilians, not just the minority fighters resisting Israeli displacement of Palestinians from the land they occupied before the recreation of temporal Israel from the Bible after an absence of 3000 years, and the Jewish settlement expansion on the very land that is the purpose of Peace Negotiations, is part of Israeli policy regarding Palestinians. In effect, the Israeli position is; resistance is futile, but Palestinians will not be assimilated into Eretz Israel They have no Democratic Rights in the “Jewish” State expanding on Palestinian land.

    gaza-blockade-2

    Statement by Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister, June 14, 1967.
    “Wars are not always begun by shots. They are often begun by action and the action which really created the state of war in an acute sense was the imposition of the blockade. To try to murder somebody by strangulation is just as much attempted murder as if you tried to murder him by a shot, and therefore the act of strangulation was the first violent, physical act which had its part in the sequence.”

    People are people everywhere. The ordinary people of Gaza have the same material needs and feelings Jews did when Egypt imposed a partial economic blockade on Israeli shipping passing through the Strait of Tiran prior to Israel starting the military hostilities beyond words in the 1967 War.

    71646_540270649316919_646769804_n

    GAZA: The Unfolding Tragedy

    30 Nov

    GAZA: The Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe

    This material below was distributed by John Whitbeck, distinguished American lawyer and author, living in Paris,and doing his best to keep a group concerned with world affairs informed about latest developments, especially inthe Middle East. I also add a slightly edited text of a message sent by Robert Stiver from Hawaii, who has exhibited consistent empathy for the suffering of the Palestinian people.My press release below, although far less emotional than the cri de coeur that Robert Stiver wrote, issues from the same place of urgent concern for the brave and resolute people of Gaza. I hope that Robert is wrong however when he ends with self-tormenting words of despair: “What to do, in the name of common justice?  I know not; it seems useless, all useless.” Such feelings of futility are quite understandable, but let us do all within our power to make sure that this unfolding catastrophe ENDS before its full tragic character is totally realized.

    It hardly needs to be observed that the silence of the United Nations and the global media is a continuing disgrace, particularly given the pomp and circumstance of those mighty statesmen who self-righteously proclaim a new doctrine: ‘the responsibility to protect’ (R2P) those whose survival and dignity is at stake due to crimes of state or as a result of natural catastrophe.

    ******************************************************

    Cutting edge Middle East news analysis edited by Oliver Miles
     Web Arab News Digest
    Gaza: a disgraceAccording to a BBC report military action in Gaza between Israel and Hamas Palestinian smuggles calf through tunnel beneath Egyptian-Gaza border in Rafahhas been limited since the serious fighting a year ago in which about 170 Palestinians and six Israelis died. But tension remains high, as also between Hamas and Egypt where northern Sinai has been the scene of much fighting. Meanwhile living conditions for 1.7 million Gazans remain atrocious.Reuters reports that Turkey has pledged $850,000, $200,000 of which have already reached Gaza, to alleviate the fuel crisis which has closed Gaza’s only power station and a major sewage treatment plant, so that raw sewage is running in the streets. Fuel deliveries by the UN have started, and are reported to be promised by Qatar. The immediate cause of the fuel crisis is the destruction by Egypt of cross-border tunnels, and the longer term cause the Israeli blockade.We thank John Whitbeck for an “Action Alert” from the Friends of Al-Aqsa (a UK NGO) drawing attention to the first item below, a UN report on action needed to avert a humanitarian crisis. He comments that the Action Alert refers to the “smuggling” of fuel and other basic necessities into Gaza through tunnels on the border between Egypt and Palestine. ‘This terminology is standard media usage in Israel and the West, intended to semantically criminalize the victims, but, as a matter of both law and common sense, I believe that the use of the word “smuggle” is totally inappropriate in these circumstances. “Smuggling” is an illegal activity, usually involving a violation of the laws of the importing state. Under whose applicable laws is importing basic necessities into Gaza illegal? Certainly not the laws of the importing state, Palestine, or the current de facto government of Gaza, as to which Israel insists that it has not been the occupying power (and, accordingly, has had no responsibilities or obligations) since it withdrew its illegal settlers, locked the gates and, effectively, threw away the keys. If there is an Egyptian law banning the export of basic necessities from Egypt, I am not aware of it. The provisioning of Gaza 130501-gaza-tunnel-sheepwith the basic necessities of life should be characterized as humanitarian relief, those who prevent Gazans from receiving the basic necessities of life should be characterized as criminals and those who are aware of the situation and fail to speak out should be characterized as moral bankrupts.’The second item below is a report published by Al Jazeera on the impact of Israeli drones over Gaza, particularly on children. The author is a British journalist resident in Nazareth, Israel.Gaza fuel crisis: UN expert calls for urgent action to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

    GENEVA (26 November 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard Falk today called for urgent action to address the power shortage in occupied Palestine  that has left 1.7 million residents of the Gaza Strip in a dire situation. More than three weeks after the only power plant shut down due to a critical fuel shortage, power supply has been limited to six hours a day.

    “The situation in Gaza is at a point of near catastrophe,” warned the independent expert chargedAMnesty by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

    “The fuel shortage and power cuts have undermined an already precarious infrastructure, severely disrupting the provision of basic services, including health, water and sanitation,” he said. “The onset of winter is certain to make things even worse.”

    Less than half of Gaza’s total power needs are being met and disruptions to specialized health services, such as kidney dialysis, operating theatres, blood banks, intensive care units and incubators are putting the lives of vulnerable patients in Gaza at risk.

    Mr. Falk highlighted the plight of patients in Gaza unable to seek affordable specialized medical treatment in Egypt as a result of Egypt’s closure of the Rafah crossing in recent weeks. “The Israeli authorities have been more forthcoming in issuing permits to Gazans in need of urgent specialized treatment, but the high cost of medical treatment in Israel places it beyond the reach of most Gazans,” he noted.

    For the past two weeks, approximately 3000 residents, including children, living in or near the Gazan neighbourhood of Az Zeitoun have been wading through raw sewage on the streets after the largest sewage treatment facility in area overflowed due to a power failure.

    The Special Rapporteur stressed that other sewage treatment stations may soon also run out of petrol to fuel generators and result in more sewage overflowing onto the streets of Gaza. Medical experts have warned of the serious risk of disease, and even an epidemic

    “Up to 40 per cent of Gaza’s population receives water only once every three days,” he noted. “In this situation of dire necessity those who can afford to do so, are shockingly buying unsafe water from unregulated water vendors and distributors.”

    The human rights expert believes that the main trigger for the latest crisis is Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on the vast network of tunnels and fuel tanks near the southern border of Gaza, which allowed Gaza to avoid some of the hardships associated with the Israeli blockade maintained since 2007.

    Children of Gaza“We mustn’t forget that the underlying cause of a lack of adequate medical facilities and specialized care in Gaza is a consequence of Israel’s illegal blockade,” Mr. Falk said.

    The Special Rapporteur explained that, under present conditions, Israel has a special responsibility under international humanitarian law to take whatever measures are necessary to protect the civilian population of Gaza against this mounting threat to their wellbeing. “The failure to do so would be an aggravated instance of collective punishment, which is unconditionally prohibited by the 4th Geneva Convention,” Mr. Falk cautioned.

    He also urged the governing authorities in Gaza to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority in a joint effort to ensure that desperately needed fuel becomes available to the residents of Gaza at the earliest hour.

    “Israel must end its illegal blockade and exercise its core responsibility as the occupying Power to protect the civilian population,” the expert said.

    Last Tuesday, an aid convoy carrying medicine, medical equipment and canned food was reportedly permitted to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing for first time since June this year.

    “Under these conditions of humanitarian emergency, the international community also has a Gaza destructionresponsibility to take special measures to safeguard the acutely vulnerable people of Gaza from impending tragedy,” the Special Rapporteur underscored.

    In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights.

    Gaza: Life and death under Israel’s drones

    Drones buzzing overhead are a source of daily trauma for Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip.

    Jonathan Cook: 28 Nov 2013

    S-70 BATTLEHAWK Sikorsky-battlehawk-2Jerusalem – There are many things to fear in Gaza: Attacks from Israel’s Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets, the coastal enclave’s growing isolation, the regular blackouts from power shortages, increasingly polluted drinking water and rivers of sewage flooding the streets.

    Meanwhile, for most Palestinians in Gaza the anxiety-inducing soundtrack to their lives is the constant buzz of the remotely piloted aircraft – better known as “drones” – that hover in the skies above.

    Drones are increasingly being used for surveillance and extra-judicial execution in parts of the Middle East, especially by the US, but in nowhere more than Gaza has the drone become a permanent fixture of life. More than 1.7 million Palestinians, confined by Israel to a small territory in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, are subject to near continual surveillance and intermittent death raining down from the sky.

    There is little hope of escaping the zenana – an Arabic word referring to a wife’s relentless dronenagging that Gazans have adopted to describe the drone’s oppressive noise and their feelings about it. According to statistics compiled by human rights groups in Gaza, civilians are the chief casualties of what Israel refers to as “surgical” strikes from drones.

    “When you hear the drones, you feel naked and vulnerable,” said Hamdi Shaqura, deputy director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, based in Gaza City. “The buzz is the sound of death. There is no escape, nowhere is private. It is a reminder that, whatever Israel and the international community assert, the occupation has not ended. We are still living completely under Israeli control. They control the borders and the sea and they decide our fates from their position in the sky,” said Shaqura.

    The Israeli military did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests for comment.

    Suffer the children

    gaza-under-attack-women-and-childrenThe sense of permanent exposure, coupled with the fear of being mistakenly targeted, has inflicted deep psychological scars on civilians, especially children, according to experts.

    “There is a great sense of insecurity. Nowhere feels safe for the children, and they feel no one can offer them protection, not even their parents,” said Ahmed Tawahina, a psychologist running clinics in Gaza as part of the Community Mental Health Programme. “That traumatises both the children and parents, who feel they are failing in their most basic responsibility.”

    Shaqura observed: “From a political perspective, there is a deep paradox. Israel says it needs security, but it demands it at the cost of our constant insecurity.”

    There are no statistics that detail the effect of the drones on Palestinians in Gaza. Doctors admit itIsraels-UAS is impossible to separate the psychological toll inflicted by drones from other sources of damage to mental health, such as air strikes by F-16s, severe restrictions on movement and the economic insecurity caused by Israel’s blockade.

    But field researchers working for Palestinian rights groups point out that the use of drones is intimately tied to these other sources of fear and anxiety. Drones fire missiles themselves, they guide attacks by F-16s or helicopters, and they patrol and oversee the borders.

    A survey in medical journal The Lancet following Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s month-long attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09, found large percentages of children suffered from symptoms of psychological trauma: Fifty-eight percent permanently feared the dark; 43 percent reported regular nightmares; 37 percent wet the bed and 42 percent had crying attacks.

    Tawahina described the sense of being constantly observed as a “form of psychological torture, which exhausts people’s mental and emotional resources. Among children at school, this can be seen in poor concentration and unruly behaviour.” The trauma for children is compounded by the fact that the drones also disrupt what should be their safest activity – watching TV at home. When a drone is operating nearby, it invariably interferes with satellite reception.

    111224-gaza-anniversary”It doesn’t make headlines, but it is another example of how there is no escape from the drones. Parents want their children indoors, where it feels safer and where they’re less likely to hear the drones, but still the drone finds a way into their home. The children cannot even switch off from the traumas around them by watching TV because of the drones.”

    Israel’s ‘major advantage’

    Israel developed its first drones in the early 1980s, during its long occupation of south Lebanon, to gather aerial intelligence without exposing Israeli pilots to anti-aircraft missiles. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, said drones help in situations where good, on-the-ground intelligence is lacking. “What the UAV gives you is eyes on the other side of the hill or over the border,” he said. “That provides Israel with a major advantage over its enemies.”

    Other Israeli analysts have claimed that the use of drones, with their detailed intelligence-collecting abilities, is justified because they reduce the chances of errors and the likelihood of “collateral damage” – civilian deaths – during attacks.

    But, according to Inbar, the drone is no better equipped than other aircraft for gathering intelligence or carrying out an execution.

    “The advantage from Israel’s point of view is that using a drone for these tasks reduces the risk of endangering a pilot’s life or losing an expensive plane. That is why we are moving towards much greater use of these kinds of robots on the battlefield,” he said.

    ‘Mistakes can happen’

    According to Gaza human rights group al-Mezan, Israel started using drones over the territory from the start of the second intifada in 2000, but only for surveillance.Israeli drone crashes in besieged GazaThe_aftermath

    Israel’s first extra-judicial executions using drones occurred in 2004, when two Palestinians were killed. But these operations greatly expanded after 2006, in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal of settlers and soldiers from Gaza and the rise to power of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas.

    Drones, the front-line weapon in Israel’s surveillance operations and efforts to foil rocket attacks, killed more than 90 Palestinians in each of the years 2006 and 2007, according to al-Mezan. The figures soared during Operation Cast Lead and in its aftermath, with 461 Palestinians killed by drones in 2009. The number peaked again with 199 deaths in 2012, the year when Israel launched the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defence against Gaza.

    Despite Israeli claims that the intelligence provided by drones makes it easier to target those Palestinians it has defined as “terrorists”, research shows civilians are the main victims. In the 2012 Pillar of Defence operation, 36 of the 162 Palestinians killed were a result of drone strikes, and a further 100 were injured by drones. Of those 36 killed, two-thirds were civilians.

    Also revealing was a finding that, although drones were used in only five percent of air strikes, they accounted for 23 percent of the total deaths during Pillar of Defence. According to the Economist magazine, the assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari, which triggered that operation, was carried out using a Hermes 450 drone.

    Palestinian fighters report that they have responded to the constant surveillance by living in hiding, rarely going outdoors and avoiding using phones or cars. It is a way of life not possible for most people in Gaza.

    Gaza’s armed groups are reported to be trying to find a way to jam the drones’ navigation systems. In the meantime, Hamas has claimed it has shot down three drones, the latest this month, though Israel says all three crashed due to malfunctions.

    Last week, on the anniversary of the launch of Pillar of Defence, an Israeli commander whose soldiers control the drones over Gaza from a base south of Tel Aviv told the Haaretz newspaper that “many” air strikes during the operation had involved drones. “Lt Col Shay” was quoted saying: “Ultimately, we are at war. As much as the IDF strives to carry out the most precise surgical strikes, mistakes can happen in the air or on the ground.”

    Random death by drone

    It is for this reason that drones have become increasingly associated with random death from the sky, said Samir Zaqout, a senior field researcher for Al-Mezan.

    “We know from the footage taken by drones that Israel can see what is happening below in the finest detail. And yet women and children keep being killed in drone attacks. Why the continual mistakes? The answer, I think, is that these aren’t mistakes. The message Israel wants to send us is that there is no protection whether you are a civilian or fighter. They want us afraid and to make us turn on the resistance [Palestinian fighters].”

    Zaqout also points to a more recent use of drones – what has come to be known as “roof-knocking”. This is when a drone fires small missiles at the roof of a building to warn the inhabitants to evacuate – a practice Israel developed during Operation Cast Lead three years earlier, to allay international concerns about its repeated levellings of buildings with civilians inside.

    In Pillar of Defence in 2012, 33 buildings were targeted by roof-knocking.

    Israel says it provides 10 minutes’ warning from a roof-knock to an air strike, but, in practice, families find they often have much less time. This, said Zaqout, puts large families in great danger as they usually send their members out in small groups to be sure they will not be attacked as they move onto the streets.

    One notorious case occurred during Cast Lead, when six members of the Salha family, all women and children, were killed when their home was shelled moments after a roof-knocking. The father, Fayez Salha, who survived, lost a case for damages in Israel’s Supreme Court last February and was ordered to pay costs after the judges ruled that the attack was legitimate because it occurred as part of a military operation.

    A US citizen who has lived long-term in Gaza, who wished not be named for fear of reprisals from Israel, said she often heard the drones at night when the street noise dies down, or as they hover above her while out walking. “The sound is like the buzz of a mosquito, although there is one type of drone that sometimes comes into view that is silent,” she said.

    She added that she knew of families that, before moving into a new apartment building, checked to see whether it housed a fighter or a relative of a fighter, for fear that the building may be attacked by Israel.

    Shaqura said the drones inevitably affect one’s day-to-day behaviour. He said he was jogging early one morning while a drone hovered overhead.

    “I got 100 metres from my front door when I started to feel overwhelmed with fear. I realised that my tracksuit was black, the same colour as many of the fighters’ uniforms. I read in my work too many reports of civilians being killed by drones not to see the danger. So I hurried back home.”

    Palestinians on the way to work in the SettlementsBerlin vs Israeli Separation wall

    Robert Stiver’s message:

    “I seethe with helpless indignation and rage at the despicable members of the “human” race, including me, who (i) perpetrate and (ii) allow this unspeakable tragedy to continue, always worsening, most often vindictive, all too often indifferent to the hapless-victims aspects of it.  And I must admit that I am as outraged at the God who, via the vaunted “free will” He is credited with giving us, has not yet found “His time” to intervene and put paid to this unending stain on humanity — a stain that, in my 20th-21st Century view, begins and ends with militant/political Zionism and its ever-present worldwide practitioners.

    Sadly – how sadly – the Palestinian Authority and the quisling Fateh are in lockstep, fellow travelers with this miasma of shame and inhumanity.  Hamas and Fateh must overcome the USraeli “divide and rule” tactics and link arms as a solid force of resistance to the illegal occupation of their homeland.  Today, that must be the number one priority!

    ……..

    And thanks to Turkey and Qatar for having the scruples to toss a few coins to the suffering masses, perhaps alleviating but by no means solving their torment…as I am mystified that they don’t join hands, trek to Geneva or NYCity and demand a white-hot emergency meeting of the UNSC in demand that international law and countless supportive UNSC resolutions be enforced.  Failing any action there, a certainty because of the US’ enabling of pure evil, the Turkish-Qatari reps should trek to the UNGA and orchestrate a (I’ve forgotten the term…”Uniting for Peace”) proper response and accompanying action.  The “response” would be overwhelming – on the order of 150 pro, 5 opposed.  Why cannot this scenario take place?

    Let us pity – we have nothing else to offer – the brave, beleaguered residents of Gaza.  Our pity should be informed by mental images of the children there, slogging through a toxic mix of urine and feces, facing epidemics of pestilence ready to strike at any moment, lacking hope for any surcease of their everyday misery and for a future of human rights, normality and dignity — victims of a deliberately vicious, internationally illegal collective persecution (not “mere” punishment…persecution) of them and their families.

    Today/29th is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  Where is the solidarity?

    What to do, in the name of common justice?  I know not; it seems useless, all useless…”

    Goliath, Life and Loathing in Greater Israel – Max Blumenthal on Reality Asserts Itself pt1



    ray032GAZAgaza-blockade-271646_540270649316919_646769804_nPalestinian smuggles calf through tunnel beneath Egyptian-Gaza border in Rafah130501-gaza-tunnel-sheepAMnestyChildren of GazaGaza destructionS-70 BATTLEHAWK Sikorsky-battlehawk-2dronegaza-under-attack-women-and-childrenIsraels-UAS111224-gaza-anniversaryIsraeli drone crashes in besieged GazaThe_aftermathPalestinians on the way to work in the SettlementsBerlin vs Israeli Separation wallray032GAZAgaza-blockade-271646_540270649316919_646769804_nPalestinian smuggles calf through tunnel beneath Egyptian-Gaza border in Rafah130501-gaza-tunnel-sheepAMnestyChildren of GazaGaza destructionS-70 BATTLEHAWK Sikorsky-battlehawk-2dronegaza-under-attack-women-and-childrenIsraels-UAS111224-gaza-anniversaryIsraeli drone crashes in besieged GazaThe_aftermathPalestinians on the way to work in the SettlementsBerlin vs Israeli Separation wall

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  • 02/01/14--12:03: I AM THAT I AM
  • TODAY is my Birthday! Thirty-nine years have gone by since that unexpected, Wonder Filled Day when I was ‘Born Again” by the Spirit of God February 1, 1975. I was 29 going on 30, and never experienced anything like it before.

    Saving GraceThat Day, I came alive to God and/or God came alive in me. Before that unexpected Day I was like most people, never thinking about God. There was no time or room for God in Life, my thoughts, my calculations and questioning of Life and the systems of THIS world. Why it is the way it is?

    Before I was resurrected from the spiritually dead, I anticipated going no further than the grave and turning to dust, ceasing to exist in the expanse of Eternity. That would be Eternal Darkness and Damnation!

    In 1968 when I was 24, before The Faith came to me, my annual pay package, with a non taxable company car and expense account benefits to experience Fine Dining in Fine Restaurants, was $25,000. That bought me the stuff and lifestyle requiring $165,000 in Today’s Dollars. It was a very good Year!

    I don’t make $25,000 in Today’s Dollars, but in my own estimation, relatively speaking, and all circumstances considered, I am doing better than ever before, having found a Peace of Mind, Joy, and Satisfaction in Life I could not have imagined in 1968.

    February 1, 1975, I was lifted up to a much higher plane, dimension and perspective in looking at myself in this world, and everything in it. It was the 1st Day of a Life Long Journey of Discovery with rom-8-14-16no turning back. I describe what happened to me that Day here, without exaggeration or embellishment of the Truth.

    It does take a lot of  TIME, PATIENCE and TRUST within our 30 second byte Society where the people want everything now, to Spiritually mature and be able to declare Christ vs anti-Christunequivocally to the world, “Christ is come in my Flesh.” This I do here!

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
    Hereby you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
    And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world
    .

    With all the Red Lines being drawn everywhere for so many reasons all over the world these days, this is one more, signifying the Final Phase in the War between the Spirit of Christ and Antichrist.

    Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

    Revelation 12:12

    These words of Christ are in the Book for a reason,

    Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?

    THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD. I shall not want!

    Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
     Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
    Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again.
    The wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound of it, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these things be?
    Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?Walking alone in a crowd

    But as many as received him, to them HE GAVE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    My flesh body came into this world on May 21, 1944 in the last year of WWII. If it is True what they say, that ‘Life Begins at 40,’ I am looking forward to next Year. This picture was taken Today to mark the occasion of still being a ‘Child of God’ in my 70th year going on 40.

    Snapshot_20140201

    ……to be continued

    p.s.

    I have always been curious about History, especially with the turn of a page, Caesar, the Emperor of Rome disappeared, and the Pope of Rome reappeared in his place, wearing different vestments, but with the same Imperial powers.

    Imperial Rome

    For 1000 years, the Church of Rome controlled the thinking of the People from the pulpit. The People did not have access to the Bible to question or challenge the Absolute Authority of the Church.screamingpope

    Except for the challenge of Islam rising up in the Middle East at a Time when the Church of Rome, having exercised Power in the Name of Christ for almost 350 years, perverted and inverted all the Principles and teachings of Christ in their application of power, the Church had no opposition in Europe.

    What the Church did to Europeans with the Inquisition, and to the Jews and Muslims with the Crusades, was as much a crime against humanity as the worst of what the Islamic terrorists and other powers do Today. There was no challenge to the Church Dictatorship in Europe until The Gutenberg Bible was printed in the 1450s.

    Finally, the Bible was being disseminated to the General Public of Europe, and for the 1st Time, the People could compare the words and the actions of the Ruling Authority of the Church and see for themselves, how they conflicted with the recorded teachings of Christ._71479017_guten2

    The Biblical Babylon, (ancient Iraq) is the 1st recorded example of an Imperial economic-military Superpower, dictating to, and controlling the lessor kingdoms. The concept of Imperial Power from ancient Babylon, and it’s changing Face with the  subsequent Economic-Military Superpowers throughout the Ages, is carried over from the Old Testament to the New Testament, to the End of the Age, if not the End of the world.

    The US is the late, great Power to wear that Imperial Mantle in the Biblical pattern and mould of the Babylonian system of things.

    The tail did strike the head in 2003, setting in motion the ongoing series of events leading to the end of the Babylonian Economic-Military System described in Revelation 18.

    THE KANSAS CITY TIMES, September 13, 1976

    PROPHET CHOOSES PARK FOR VIGIL’

    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”

    …………….to be continued



    ray032Saving Gracerom-8-14-16Christ vs anti-ChristWalking alone in a crowdSnapshot_20140201Imperial Romescreamingpope_71479017_guten2ray032Saving Gracerom-8-14-16Christ vs anti-ChristWalking alone in a crowdSnapshot_20140201Imperial Romescreamingpope_71479017_guten2

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    Ancient Nineveh World City
    It is now 7 months since my last post, February 1st, on the occasion of celebrating the 39th anniversary of being “Born Again,” making me 70 going on 40. Since a Red Line was drawn in that article, and the Spirit moved me to insert “…to be continued” something I never did with any previous article, I had to pause and wait to see what would develop Spiritually and temporally in this world.

    In terms of crossing the Red Line, much has happened since February 1st. On February 21, a new regime took over in the Ukraine, setting Russia and the West on a collision course over Crimea. In my assessment, neither side is backing down, and with more and more economic sanctions being placed on Russia that will have a boomerang effect, what The Kansas City Times published September 13, 1976 is now activated and coming into view, “He wanted to bring to the public’s attention an idea being put out “subtly and deceptively by the government” That “we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

    The mini-world war in Syria is expanding into Iraq and the Middle East in General, with the Islamic State on the move, attempting to recreate the 600 year Ottoman Empire/Caliphate.

    The latest murderous bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Ghetto by Israel is also symptomatic of the hatred and violence increasing in this world since February 1st.

    This brings me to the latest ‘Sign of the Times’ we live in, and which happened since February 1. Those who keep watch, would find it interesting to note the latest move by the IS in Iraq. They just blew up the Islamic Mosque that contained the tomb of Jonah in the Whale fame, from the Jewish-Christian scriptures, recorded some 2900 years ago.

    ISIS threatens Iraq’s ancient past: The lost city of Nineveh

    For those who don’t know the story, the ancient Biblical World City of Nineveh was becoming wicked and violent. God chose Jonah, and told him to go tell the people of the city if they didn’t change their ways, the city would be destroyed.

    Naturally, Jonah didn’t want to do that and tried to get away. This would be the same as God telling anyone today to warn the world, starting with your friends and neighbours, to change or be destroyed. Who wants to be a buzz kill like that? Jonah tried to escape by taking a cargo ship to another City. A great storm came up, and the sailors, in fear for their lives, tried to lighten the ship by throwing all the valuable cargo overboard.

    Jonah escaping by boatThe terrified sailors found Jonah sound asleep in the bowels of the ship and woke him up.

    So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon your God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

    And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
    Then they said to him, Tell us, we pray you, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is your occupation? and where are you coming from? what is your country? and of what people are you?
    And he said to them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which has made the sea and the dry land.
    Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said to him, Why have you done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
    Then they said to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
    And he said to them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
    Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
    Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech You, O LORD, we beseech you, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.
    So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

    Personally, I always thought the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale or big fish was an allegory. Spending 3 nights in the belly of a fish symbolized there is no place to hide, to run to, to escape the hand of God as Christ Jesus said 850 years later.Jonah and the Big FishJonah finally did come to his senses, and returned to Nineveh to do what God commanded. It took 3 days to walk through the City, but just 1 day into it, everyone, from the king on down, resolved to change.

    And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
    So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
    For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
    And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
    But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
    Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
    And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

    JONAH IN NINEVEH JON 3Jonah was angry. He wanted God to destroy the City, and there are many Jonah type people among us Today.

    Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
    But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
    For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
    The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

    We now see the Sign with this recent event in Nineveh, Iraq

    In searching Google images for this article, I came across this one. Everyone should understand why it would be more interesting for me than for anyone else.

    Jonah_in_the_whale_detail_Verdun_altarWhat makes it more interesting to me than to any other, is the name of it, ‘Jonah in the Whale_Verdun_altar? I was born in Verdun, so I have to wonder more!

    And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth

    Revelation 11:18

    Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

    Revelation 12:12

    Everyone can see the Nations are angry, and getting angrier in this material world, but which wrath is which?

    God made or man made

    Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
    For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

    Let ALL those who seek YOU, Rejoice and be Glad in YOU. Let SUCH who LOVE YOUR Salvation say continually, The LORD BE MAGNIFIED!



    ray032Ancient Nineveh World CityJonah escaping by boatJonah and the Big FishJONAH IN NINEVEH JON 3Jonah_in_the_whale_detail_Verdun_altarGod made or man maderay032Ancient Nineveh World CityJonah escaping by boatJonah and the Big FishJONAH IN NINEVEH JON 3Jonah_in_the_whale_detail_Verdun_altarGod made or man made

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    The last post to this Blog August 13 was on the Biblical Jonah in the Whale story, in light of ISIS the Islamic militants, the newest, greatest threat to humanity, blowing up the Islamic Mosque reportedly containing the Tomb of Jonah in Nineveh, Iraq. Jonah is revered by Jews, Christians & Islam. What is the significance of this ‘Sign of OUR Times?’

    Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
    For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

    Naturally, perhaps more than any other, I would find it interesting to see this article appear in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz two months later, on October 7.

    This is a re-post of the Haaretz Story

    Netanyahu’s misguided prophecy

    Angry, hungry for the punishment of crime, incapable of managing ambiguity, lacking compassion: in short, missing a critical kind of self-consciousness. Jonah’s message for Israel’s prime minister.

    HaaretzJonahIsrael

    Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance, which fell this week, makes the Book of Jonah its liturgical centerpiece. For many, Jews and non-Jews alike, the connection of this text to repentance is all too clear. Perhaps the most famous sermon on the subject, certainly the most paradigmatic, is that of Father Mapple in Moby Dick, whom Ishmael hears just before he first sets sail:

    Shipmates, it is a two-stranded lesson; a lesson to us all as sinful men, and a lesson to me as a pilot of the living God. As sinful men, it is a lesson to us all, because it is a story of the sin, hard-heartedness, suddenly awakened fears, the swift punishment, repentance, prayers, and finally the deliverance and joy of Jonah.

    Mapple continues, explaining why Jonah ran away.

    All the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do – remember that – and hence, he oftener commands us than endeavors to persuade. And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists. With this sin of disobedience in him, Jonah still further flouts at God, by seeking to flee from Him. He thinks that a ship made by men, will carry him into countries where God does not reign but only the Captains of this earth. He skulks about the wharves of Joppa, and seeks a ship that’s bound for Tarshish.

    Father Mapple, en passant, ferrets out of the Book of Jonah Jonah’s own idea of what a Hebrew is, someone who knows God’s power, and who knows better than to expect mercy when sins are great:

    ‘I am a Hebrew,’ he cries- and then- ‘I fear the Lord the God of Heaven who has made the sea and the dry land!’ Fear him, O Jonah? Aye, well might you fear the Lord God then!

    We know what happens next. Jonah, admitting that the roiling seas are his fault, is tossed overboard by terrified shipmates. Then Mapple reaches his climax:

    He goes down in the whirling heart of such a masterless commotion that he scarce heeds the moment when he drops seething into the yawning jaws awaiting him; and the whale shoots-to all his ivory teeth, like so many white bolts, upon his prison.

    Jonah calls out to the Almighty. The fish pukes him up. Mapple says:

    And Jonah, bruised and beaten- his ears, like two sea-shells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean- Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. And what was that, shipmates? To preach the Truth to the face of Falsehood! That was it!

    That was it. The challenge is to preach the truth in the face of falsehood. To brave the fight, and scoffers be damned. The world is made up of people who know the truth and people who either don’t know it or resist it. And the way to get people to be good, or afraid to be bad – and what’s the difference? – is through a kind of permanent regime of deterrence: We warn like Father Mapple, warn like Jonah eventually did. And we will preach a force that will find you anywhere, idiot. All the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do.

    I thought of Father Mapple watching Benjamin Netanyahu explaining the struggle against militant Islam from the UN’s podium this past week. “To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late,” he said. As with Father Mapple, Netanyahu warned of two kinds of people, the peace-loving and the bloody-minded. Israeli leaders must therefore do something hard but inescapable: Bring a message of deterrence, preach the truth in the face of falsehood, bomb if you have to and the New York Times be damned. “Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.”

    I felt, I confess, sadly embarrassed for Netanyahu, our sanctimonious impresario of settlements, the way I imagined Ishmael feeling a little ashamed for Mapple, whose righteousness so clearly cut against his grain. Jews have had Yom Kippur longer than we’ve had the Likud. Was this really what the Book of Jonah taught? Why, really, did Jonah run?

    Actually, the people of Nineveh are not the real villains. They are not very bad: One perfunctory warning from the prophet and even the cattle are put into sack-cloth. No, it is Jonah the book is warning us about, that we should not be like him: Angry, hungry for the punishment of crime, incapable of managing ambiguity. Jonah finally admits to us, or God, the real reason why he ran, but only after God forgives Nineveh:

    I pray You, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my own country? Therefore I fled beforehand unto Tarshish; for I knew that You are a gracious God, and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy, and repent of the evil.

    Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech You, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’

    And the LORD said: ‘Are you greatly angry?’

    Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

    Jonah’s melancholy, you see, has nothing to do with fearing God’s mission. It has everything to do with fearing God’s compassion. You sort of get the feeling that Jonah builds the booth to look out onto the city in the forlorn hope that God would incinerate the sons of bitches after all. He obviously feels more comfortable far away from the people he was notionally saving—that he cares about humanity more than mere humans. He would rather die than live with the confusions brought into the world by forgiveness.

    Jonah, in other words, is hardly the hero in the book. God is. What’s missing from Netanyahu’s speech, and Father Mapple’s sermon is a kind of critical self-consciousness, which is the real lesson of God’s actions. The heart to be transformed is not in Nineveh—it is Jonah’s: God acts as a kind of cosmic therapist. God then sends a plant; Jonah falls in love with it—or at least with the shade it provides. God causes the plant to wither—not to prove his power some more, but because he realizes that, as with a numbed child, you can teach compassion only step by step. God asks Jonah if he is aggrieved by the death of the plant. Again, Jonah is so aggrieved he says he would rather die than live. God asks, finally talking past Jonah’s neurosis, so then how am I to feel about the people of Nineveh, who “do not know their right hand from their left”?

    Terrorism is not tolerable – that’s true. Members of my own family have been its victims. Still, the God of Jonah teaches, first and foremost, the renunciation of Manichean visions, this notion that life presents us with heroic struggles against evil forces—the idea that goodness rests merely, or even mainly, on the terrible power of good forces to intimidate the bad. How would God help Israel’s prime minister to see, to paraphrase the novelist David Grossman, the little Hamas in oneself? I suspect the future of what Jews mean by Jews will depend very much on the answers we provide to these questions.

    I have spent a good deal of time with another prime minister this past year, nobody’s hero now, who himself launched two wars against “the missiles.” He can speak for himself, but my impression of Ehud Olmert is that he is not at all certain in retrospect that Israelis saw enough of what Jonah’s God would have wanted us to. When I asked him about his proudest moment of statesmanship, he told me this:

    Olmert had sat in on meetings in which Ariel Sharon had treated Abbas as the representative of a defeated, insurgent enemy that needed to be intimidated. This often made Olmert cringe. So when he assumed office, and tried to set appointments with Abbas, he was not surprised that Abbas kept putting him off, determined, Olmert surmised, to avoid more humiliation. Finally, they set an appointment for a Thursday evening, and again Abbas cancelled at the last minute. So Olmert got him on the phone and said: “I understand why you might want to insult me, but why insult my wife?” Abbas was taken aback and said he did not understand. Olmert said: “When Aliza found that you would be coming, she spent the last 24 hours preparing your favorite dishes for dinner. What shall I tell her now?” Abbas came, eventually met with Olmert 36 times, and the two came closer to a comprehensive agreement than any previous leaders.

    This is not the kind of approach to truth and power Father Mapple, or Netanyahu, would have respected. But I like to think that the Book of Jonah’s God would have been relieved.

    Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
    But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
    For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

    1000 years to God is the same as a Day the Bible records. By that Time frame, we are at the 3rd Day when the Spirit of Christ will resurrect in the hearts of the People once again.



    ray032HaaretzJonahIsraelray032HaaretzJonahIsrael

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    Jerusalem_Dome_of_the_rock

    The Gold Dome is the most immediately identifiable image dominating the skyline of Jerusalem. It has stood there for 1300 years, longer in TIME than both the 1st and 2nd Jewish Temples. There is a growing movement of Jewish activist-extremists who want to see the Dome destroyed, and a 3rd Jewish Temple built in it’s place, restoring the Levite Priesthood and the animal blood sacrifice of sheep and goats in atonement for sin. A fundamental of Christianity is God’s requirement of animal sacrifice by Jews in the Temple ended when Christ Jesus, in offering his own body, fulfilled that requirement once, for all TIME, and for all humanity.

    The Temple Mount is a powder keg, and arsonists have the upper hand’ This is no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job. But who are the suspects? this morning’s headline reports in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

    Jerusalem is up in arms again. As violence spreads from the capital to other parts of Israel, it seems the question isn’t so much whether the country is teetering on the brink of an intifada, but how the upsurge should be characterized.

    Some are calling it “the Firecracker Intifada,” in honor of the firecrackers that Palestinian protesters are hurling at the police. Others are going simply with “the third intifada,” though many disagree with that moniker. In any case, the term “Silent Intifada,” previously used to describe the violence in Jerusalem, hardly seems appropriate now.

    At the center of this craziness stands the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, as it is known to Muslims. The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism and the third holiest for Islam. It’s one of the most sensitive religious sites in the world — a massive powder keg, if you will.

    Now that this powder keg looks to be on the verge of exploding, note that this was no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job.

    The immediate suspects, as many observers have pointed out, are the Israeli right-wing politicians challenging the decades-old status quo on the Temple Mount, over which the Muslim Waqf trust has retained religious control since Israel took over East Jerusalem in 1967. The right-wingers are insisting that Jews be allowed to pray there; they include Knesset members like Likud’s Miri Regev and Moshe Feiglin.

    These two, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and others have been key to the incredible resurgence of the Jewish Temple Mount movement in recent years, a resurgence that led to rumors that Israel sought to change the delicate status quo.

    Last week Feiglin visited the site yet again, despite warnings by the police. Others like another Likud MK, Tzipi Hotovely, expressed wishes to follow suit despite charges they were fanning the flames.

    Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon admonished them; in an interview with Channel 10, Ya’alon admitted that the current violence had at least been partly stoked by ministers and MKs who defiantly visited the Temple Mount.

    If Lieberman and Ya’alon have to tell you you’ve gone too far, you can be pretty sure you’ve gone too far.

    It’s not for nothing that Lieberman and Ya’alon, not to mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and much of Israel’s security apparatus, appear so agitated over the mount these days.

    Over the years, maintaining the status quo there by prohibiting Jewish prayer was critical to preventing an all-out religious war. The status quo wasn’t perfect by any means, but it allowed a delicate balance between the national and the religious.

    That balance is now eroding fast.

    Tension since 1929

    The history of the Temple Mount is, of course, fraught with conflict. For many years, extremists — both Jews and Arabs — have battled over, or against the backdrop of, this tempestuous holy site.

    In 1929, 133 Jews were killed by Arabs partly motivated by rumors of a planned Jewish takeover of the mount. In 1996, riots broke out there following Netanyahu’s decision to open the Western Wall tunnels — a decision that again led to rumors of an imminent threat to Islamic control of the site. Seventeen Israeli soldiers and more than 100 Palestinians died, and scores were wounded.

    In the 1980s, the Jewish underground, a terrorist organization formed by members of the right-wing movement Gush Emunim, almost blew up the mosques on the mount, including the Dome of the Rock. The idea was to further a messianic redemption that would culminate with the construction of a Third Temple.

    In September 2000, Ariel Sharon (then opposition leader) made a high-profile visit to the mount. The day after, riots broke out there following Friday prayers, launching the second intifada.

    But now, at the outset of what may or may not be a third intifada, something is different. It’s not the violence as much as the way the events are being framed.

    For the most part, the movement to regain Jewish control of the Temple Mount has been limited to extremists. Sharon’s 2000 visit, for example, was seen as a dangerous provocation. Until a few years ago, any talk of change at the Temple Mount was a surefire sign of religious madness, the stuff of eccentrics and the certifiably insane.

    Not anymore. These days there appears to be a wider acceptance for a Jewish Temple Mount, tracking Israel’s right-wing shift and the erosion of its resistance to messianic rhetoric.

    The movement, still a minority movement, has gained mainstream recognition in recent years and won influential supporters in the Knesset. Regev, chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, has chaired no fewer than 15 debates on the subject in the past year alone, hounding police officials for their “cowardly” response to the harassment of Jewish visitors to the mount.

    Outlandish no more

    Two weeks ago, hours before right-wing activist Yehuda Glick was shot by East Jerusalemite Mutaz Hijazi, Regev reminisced how she initially thought the Temple Mount movement was “outlandish” — before she was ultimately convinced.

    Glick, now in recovery, was, as my colleague Anshel Pfeffer has pointed out, key to the mainstreaming of the Temple Mount movement. An affable, red-bearded oddity, Glick — who went on a 53-day hunger strike last year after being barred from the mount — often befriended ideological rivals and depicted his struggle as a pure freedom-of-religion issue. By portraying the issue as a civil-rights debate, he played a key role in the massive PR resurgence of the Temple Mount movement.

    Glick’s affability aside, the proliferation of Israeli visits to the mount and the growing conversation about the site — much aided by opportunistic Hamas propaganda — helped increase tensions and led to the formation of local groups like al-Murabitun, self-proclaimed guardians of the site against the rumored “Jewish takeover.” The clashes that followed led to the violence we’re seeing now.

    The vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, of course, don’t want a religious war. Israel’s foremost religious authorities, among them Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, have reiterated their stance against Jewish visits to the mount. The vast majority of Israelis have never visited the place and probably have no intention of doing so. Most Palestinians, meanwhile, have more pressing material concerns.

    Unfortunately for those people, it seems there are plenty of arsonists among us. And right now they seem to be enjoying the upper hand.

    O JerusalemBehold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say to you, You shall not see me, until the time come when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.                         

    Luke 13:35

    Those Jewish extremists provoking a confrontation with the Arabs over the Temple Mount are not doing it for God, but for the Pride of Power over Palestinians, leading to Armageddon, the climax to this religious war already underway over there. The whole world will be caught up into it by ignoring it.

    Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build for me? and where is the place of my rest?
    For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

    Isaiah 66 -Christian translation

    Isaiah 66 – Jewish translation

    So says the Lord, “The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool; which is the house that you will build for Me, and which is the place of My rest? א. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאִי וְהָאָרֶץ הֲדֹם רַגְלָי אֵי זֶה בַיִת אֲשֶׁר תִּבְנוּ לִי וְאֵי זֶה מָקוֹם מְנוּחָתִי:
    And all these My hand made, and all these have become,” says the Lord. “But to this one will I look, to one poor and of crushed spirit, who hastens to do My bidding. ב. וְאֶת כָּל אֵלֶּה יָדִי עָשָׂתָה וַיִּהְיוּ כָל אֵלֶּה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְאֶל זֶה אַבִּיט אֶל עָנִי וּנְכֵה רוּחַ וְחָרֵד עַל דְּבָרִי:

    God is Great

    This solid earth is physically moving through space around the sun at a rate of some 100,000km every hour, while rotating on it’s axis around 1675km/hour. Do you feel it? Do you sense it?

    Why should it be such a great leap to believe in an invisible God who becomes visible to those who believe by Faith and look for God?

    Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    John 20

    In addition to the rising tensions over the Temple Mount, the following Haaretz reports detail some of the usual Israeli humiliation and provocation of the Palestinians in the 47 year Israeli Military Dictatorship in the occupied territories separate from Gaza.

    Ten torched mosques, zero indictments Since June 2011, 10 mosques in Israel and the West Bank have been set on fire by presumed right-wing Jewish extremists. No charges have been filed.

    When the Israeli FBI, Shin Bet, can find and kill a Palestinian suspect in hours, I can only imagine how frustrated and suffocated the Palestinians must feel with such double standards in police work and results.

     ‘Police failing to investigate Jewish hate crimes in West Bank, says NGO’

    Some 92 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians are closed and the criminal never found, according to a report by the Yesh Din human rights group, which has been tracking 1,045 complaints filed through the organization since 2005.

    The list of complaints includes shooting attacks, assault, stone-throwing, arson, cutting down trees, animal abuse, crop theft, construction on Palestinian-owned land, threats and attacks. All the actions mentioned in the complaints were committed by Israeli citizens.



    ray032Jerusalem_Dome_of_the_rockO JerusalemGod is Greatray032Jerusalem_Dome_of_the_rockO JerusalemGod is Great

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    Job……This is a Work of Faith in progress! Please be patient and revisit in a few days.

    This is 44 years later! Looks like their high paying Job-Work has been rough on their faces! I liked this Rolling Stones song since it came out in 1969. It has always served to govern any emotional over-reaction when I didn’t get what I wanted! Many other people react very negatively when they don’t get their way.



    ray032Jobray032Job

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    The following article by Professor Richard Falk is clear, incisive, objective and Righteous.Richard Falk

    Richard Falk is an International Law and International Relations Scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years. His term as UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Rights recently ended. He is the Jew the Israelis love to hate.

    I first learned of his being long before Charlie Hebdo, reading in the news The Secretary-General of the United Nations, The US Ambassador to the UN, and the Canadian Government were calling for him to be fired from his UN position for expressing his Rapporteur’s Freedom of Speech in the framework of his Legal Experience and Knowledge of International Law. Even though I knew nothing about him except his UN title, I instinctively knew if all those powerful people wanted him fired, he must be doing something right, and did some research. I discovered a man with a beautiful mind and soul.

    The Irrelevance of Liberal Zionism

    Frustrated by Israeli settlement expansion, excessive violence, AIPAC maximalism, Netanyahu’s arrogance, Israel’s defiant disregard of international law, various Jewish responses claim to seek a middle ground. Israel is criticized by this loyal opposition, sometimes harshly, although so is the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and activists around the world. Both sides are deemed responsible in equal measure for the failure to end the conflict. With such a stance liberal Zionists seek to occupy the high moral ground without ceding political relevance. In contrast, those who believe as I do that Israel poses the main obstacle to achieving a sustainable peace are dismissed by liberal Zionists as either obstructive or unrealistic, and at worst, as anti-Israeli or even anti-Semitic.

    Listen to the funding appeals of J Street or read such columnists in the NY Times as Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman to grasp the approach of liberal Zionism. These views are made to appear reasonable, and even just, by being set off against such maximalist support for Israel as associated with AIPAC and the U.S. Congress, or in the NY Times context by comparison with the more conservative views of David Brooks (whose son currently serves in the IDF) who published a recent ‘balanced’ column lionizing Netanyahu, “The Age of Bibi” [Jan. 2, 2014]. Of all the deformed reasoning contained in the column, perhaps the most scandalous was comparing Netanyahu to Churchill, and to suggest that his story has the grandeur that bears a resemblance to Shakespeare’s MacBeth, an observation that many would find unflattering. Of all Netanyahu’s qualities remarked upon, Brooks astoundingly finds that “his caution is the most fascinating.” According to Brooks, Netanyahu deserves to be regarded as cautious because he has refrained from attacking Iran despite threatening to do so with bellicose rhetoric. I would have thought that Netanyahu’s inflammatory threats directed at Iran, especially as combined with covert acts including inserting viruses to disable its nuclear program and assassinating Iranian scientists, would seem reckless enough for most observers. Since Brooks fails to mention the murderous attacks on Gaza, there is no need to reconcile such aggressive behavior with this overall assessment of caution.

    At the core of liberal Zionism is the indictment of the Palestinian leadership for “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity” to recall the self-serving quip of the Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban. Roger Cohen would have us believe that prior to the collapse of the April negotiations the U.S. Government had presented a framework agreement, acceptable to Tel Aviv, that the Palestinian Authority irresponsibly and unreasonably rejected. And not only rejected, but the PA behaved in a manner that was provocative, signed some international agreements as if it already was a state. [“Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Failed,” Dec. 23, 2014] This spin comes from Netanyahu’s chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, who is presented by Cohen as the voice of moderation, as the self-proclaimed champion of ‘two states for two peoples.’

    Livni who is the leader of a small party called Hatnua, which is joined in coalition with a revamped Labor Party headed by Isaac Herzog, contesting Likud and Netanyahu. Cohen never inquires as to what sort of state she would wish upon the Palestinians, which on the basis of her past, would be thoroughly subjugated to Israeli security demands as well as accommodating the bulk of settlements and settlers while rejecting the rights under international law of Palestinians in relations to refugees.

    When Livni was asked by Cohen whether she would suspend Israeli settlement expansion so as to get direct negotiations started once more, she indicated that she would “at least outside the major blocs.” Cohen calls her party ‘centrist,’ which is one way of acknowledging how far Israeli politics have drifted to the right in recent years. A reading of the leaked documents of the secret negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel represented by Livni showed how disinterested Israel seemed to be in two states for two peoples at that time of far less extensive settlement encroachment, as well as her overt rejection of the relevance of international law to the diplomatic process. [For a collection of the leaked documents showing Livni’s role see Clayton E. Swisher, ed., Palestine Papers: The End of the Road (2011)]

    This expresses a second element of liberal Zionism, that despite everything the two state solution is confirmed over and over again as the only path to peace. As such, it should be endlessly activated in accordance with the Oslo formula that keeps the United States in the absurd role of intermediary and continue to insist that any Palestinian reference to rights under international law is an obstacle to peace. After more than 47 years of occupation and over 20 years of submission to the Oslo approach it would seem that it is past time to issue a certificate of futility, and the failure to do so, is for me a sure sign of either bad faith or extreme denial.

    What is baffling is that those like Friedman and Cohen who surely know better play this game that never even raises the concrete question of how to reverse a settlement process that now includes as many as 600,000 settlers many of whom are militantly opposed to any kind of solution to the conflict that challenges their present situation. Conveniently, also, this liberal advocacy finesses the claims of the four million or so Palestinian refugees, including almost two million that have been confined to miserable refugee camps for decades, some since 1948. How can one possibly imagine a sustainable and just peace emerging from such a blinkered outlook!

     Liberal Zionists also oppose as irresponsible and unhelpful all efforts to challenge this framework, especially any call for holding Israel to account under international humanitarian law for its excessive violence. Alternative futures based on the equality of the two peoples, such as some kind of living together within a single political community are dismissed out of hand, either because of colliding with Zionist expectations of a Jewish state or because after decades of hatred any effort at social integration would be bound to fail. Intriguingly, my experience of many conversations with both Palestinian refugees and Gazans is far more hopeful about peaceful coexistence within shared political space than are the Israelis despite their prosperity, prowess, and far greater security.

    In a similar vein, liberal Zionists almost always oppose as counterproductive, activist initiatives taken under the auspice of the BDS Campaign. Their argument is that Israel will never make ‘painful sacrifices’ when put under pressure deemed hostile, and without these, no peace is possible. What these painful sacrifices might be on the Israeli side are never spelled out, but presumably would include disbanding the isolated settlements and maybe the separation wall, both of which were in any event unlawful. The real sacrifice for Israelis would be to give up the completion of the maximal version of the Zionist project, that of so-called Greater Israel that encompasses the entirety of the alleged biblical entitlement to Palestine. For the Palestinians in contrast their sacrifice would necessitate renouncing a series of entitlements conferred by international law, pertaining to settlements, refugees, borders, self-determination, sovereignty. In effect, Israel would sacrifice part of its unlawful dominion, while Palestine would relinquish its lawful claims, and the end result would be one of the inequality of the two peoples, not a recipe for a lasting peace.

    A final feature of liberal Zionism is to make concessions to the Greater Israel outlook along the following lines—Israel should be allowed to control the unlawfully established settlement blocs; Israeli security concerns should be met, including by stationing military forces within the West Bank for many ears, while any Palestinian security concerns are treated as irrelevant; Palestinian refugees would be denied the right to return to their pre-1967 places of residence; Jerusalem would remain essentially under Israel’s control; no provision would be made to ensure non-discrimination against the 20% Palestine minority living within pre-1967 Israel; no acknowledgement would be made of the past injustices flowing from the 1948 dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their place of residence and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people, the nakba, nor the recognition that the nakba is a process that has continued to afflict Palestinians to this very moment.

    Despite its claim of reasonableness and practicality, the liberal Zionist approach is an increasingly irrelevant presence on the Israeli political horizon, paralleling the decline of the Labor Party and the peace movement in the country, as well as the ascendancy of the Likud and the politics of the extreme right. The Israeli end game is now overwhelmingly based on unilateralism, either imposing a highly subordinated and circumscribed Palestinian state confined to parts of the West Bank or establishing Greater Israel and giving up any pretense of implementing the formula of two states for two peoples. The fact that liberal Zionism and the diplomacy of the West largely plays along with the discarded scenario of two states for two peoples is nothing more than subservience to a cruel variant of ‘the politics of delusion.’

    The denigration of liberal Zionism is not meant to belittle the effort of Jews as Jews to find a just and sustainable solution for both peoples. I strongly support such organizations as Jewish Voices for Peace and Middle East Children’s Alliance, and hail the contributions of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, and many others to the struggle for Palestinian empowerment and emancipation. 

    Fortunately, Palestinian resistance will likely stymie the two variants of the Israeli end game mentioned above, but much suffering is almost certain to ensue before sufficient momentum builds within Israel and throughout the world for living together on the basis of equality and even solidarity, accompanied by the necessary acknowledgement of past injustices via some kind of truth commission mechanism. After such knowledge, anything will be possible!

     



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    I am pleased to re-post this article that appeared in Pravda Today, and in other on line news outlets, written by someone I have known for many years. We both arrived at the same conclusion independently. It is the US, with it’s aggressive anti-Russian attitude, that has precipitated this crisis to further it’s Babylonian Imperial hegemonic control of this world and it’s resources.

    Since the US took over the Imperial Mantle from England after WWII, it has attacked and invaded only poor, 3rd world countries, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and other impoverished places. What it has done covertly via the CIA, Navy Seals or other groups operating in secret remains to be exposed. In it’s major invasions, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the US wanted out in a hurry with it’s tail between it’s legs. Perhaps this is an example of Divine Justice?

    Few remember it was the US in 2002 that unilaterally abrogated the 1st Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) signed in 1969 with the Soviet Union. That Treaty banned the deployment of anti-missile missiles and a new arms race. The US then proceeded to deploy those anti-missile missiles in a ring around Russia in the former Warsaw Pact Countries. This US action would have made US intentions suspect in Russia for legitimate reasons.

    The US engineered putsch/Coup D’Etat in Ukraine is only the latest aggressive action by the US to contain Russia, the last remaining obstacle to US world domination and hegemony. It’s all about the money and power.

    Ukrainian crisis: We didn’t get here by accident

    By Recalcitrant Hippy

    The Ukraine crisis started on Nov. 21, 2013; today we have a cease fire agreement. President Viktor Yanukovych had refused to sign a free-trade agreement with the European Union which included the same austerity measures that have nearly destroyed Greece.

    It was not in Ukraine’s best interest and Moscow was proposing a deal that was. Given the historic relationship between the two countries, the decision to choose Moscow’s deal seems obvious. Thousands, who had hoped to join Europe, descended on Kiev’s Independence Square. It was a peaceful and spontaneous protest dubbed the EuroMaidan, that went on for several days.

    There were no altercations. They sang nationalistic songs chanting that Ukraine was really European. Kiev received a much needed financial bailout from Russia totaling 15 billion US dollars. Moscow wrote off billions of dollars of unpaid gas debt. This story should have died at the end of that first news cycle but there was a subtext already in play.

    neonazis-ukraineAs soon as the bailout was announced, senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham denounced Yanukovych for denying the democratic rights of the protesters to join Europe? They said it was a Russian plan to reclaim the country and start rebuilding the USSR? They called for the people to rise up against the government and told them the American people would support them. The Right Sector and the Svoboda, recognized neo-nazi terrorist groups according to both American and European watch lists, appeared on the Maidan in number.

    They were masked, carrying Molotov cocktails, axes and guns. Under Yanukovych’s orders, the police showed heroic restraint night after night. Their shields were repeatedly whipped by chains. Petrol bombs thrown behind their lines sent many to hospital with severe burns.

    Officers who were isolated by the mob were brutally beaten. McCain exploded when people ukraine far rightsuggested that these were rioters. He championed them as fighting for democracy against despotic regime; although Ukraine was actually a democracy and elections would have happened in less than 2 years.

    Yanukovych could easily have been replaced by someone more favourable to the European Alliance. But something else was at stake. McCain turned up on the Maidan, cheering on the violence. He made contact with the leadership of Right Sector and the other neo-nazi groups involved. He told them America would help them in their cause.

    Victoria Nuland, American Deputy Secretary of State for Europe, turned up in Kiev with cookies and words of support for the rioters. Both of their actions were a direct violation of international law and the conventions of diplomacy.

    Before leaving the country, Nuland was caught in a telephone conversation with the American Ambassador to the Ukraine. They were discussing the State Departments choice of Arseni Yatzinuk for Prime Minister in the interim government. Yanukovych was still in Kiev, still president and he was negotiating with Right Sector to restore order. Even the United States refuses to recognize regimes that take power in this manner. If two Soviet era officials, had turned up at a Martin Luther King rally to offer him Moscow’s support; well… it’s easy to imagine what the Americans would have thought about that; most likely the same thoughts Ukrainians and Russians had while watching it actually happening in their backyard, and with neo-nazis.

    After Snipers assassinated several people including police on the Maidan, Yanukovych struck a power sharing deal with Right Sector to end the violence. That night he learned that they were coming to kill him instead of keeping their word. He fled the country. In unprecedented scenes of violence, the neo-nazi groups seized the parliament, physically beating and ejecting members from the house. Many officials were terrorized, threatened and forced to sign false statements. The police department was disbanded and some of them were assassinated. The United States pronounced the Right Sector under Arseni Yatzinuk, the legitimate government of Ukraine. No investigations were ever carried out.

    Fast forward and Petro Poroshenko has become President. He declares that Russian is no longer an official language, despite a third of the population, mostly in the Donbass, all being Russian speaking.

    Right after the coup, the neo-nazi groups had sent militia into the Donbass destroying vital infra structure, dragging people from their homes, threatening and terrorizing the population. The people resisted and conflicts began to turn ugly. People were dying. Armoured vehicles from the Russian military base in Sevastopol blocked all of the entrances to the city to protect it, after local authorities refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government and appointed a new head of the city.

    Attempts at attacking the city were pitiful and fruitless. Kiev offered to hold national elections so that the Donbass could elect its own representatives to his government and he restored the status of the Russian language. He had promised to go to the Donbass but he never went. The people felt betrayed and decided to hold a referendum before the elections. The Crimea decided to ask if they could join Russia. The rest of the region voted to stay in Ukraine and resolve the situation by negotiating a Federation within the country.

    Russia agreed to repatriate Crimea. Much of the population are Russian and it has been the site of one of the most important ports for the Russian navy since 1783. Ah… a prize worthy of deception and corruption to attain, perhaps? Those Ukrainians remaining, from the old Ukrainian army, at the time the regions began defending their territory, were unceremoniously disarmed and escorted out of the region.

    Anyone who wished to leave with all of their belongings was allowed to do so and many did, some to Russia, some to Ukraine. A humiliating defeat for Kiev and its supporters. Then they began bombing the Donbass and blaming Russia for invading Ukraine.

    The lies and the carnage have gone on for 14 months.

    The Americans continue to spearhead rhetoric without any evidence to support their allegations and without contributing towards a solution in any meaningful way. The Russians have been coy but they certainly have some involvement, the stakes are too high not to. The Europeans bear the brunt of the sanctions. They are also the ones who live under constant threat of another war on their soil. The Americans have so far given the Ukrainians barely 5 million dollars worth of flack jackets, first aid kits and ration packs. Now that a deal is at hand Congress suddenly approves 3 billion dollars in military aid. The US has a long history of both regime change and of torpedoing peace deals.

    The Normandy 4 have accomplished the near-impossible and we have a formula that might help bring an end to this conflict. The Americans have no stake in this fight; so why am I waiting to see what they will do? Secretary John Kerry said that the US may roll back sanctions if the agreement is enacted, no mention of curbing arms shipments though. There are many things the Americans say they may do.

    I was amazed at how little information remains on the search engines. I had to use stories that I wrote at the time for some of these details. All that is left is the vilainization of Vladimir Putin and the ever more vitriolic rhetoric. Never forget what happened people; confronting the truth of how this all began is where the key to a lasting solution is.

    McCain with Ukraine neo NazisU.S. Senator John McCain, center, speaks between Democratic senator from the state of Connecticut, Chris Murphy, left, and Oleh Tyahnybok, right, Opposition Leader and head of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine, December 15, 2013, inciting the crowd to overthrow the Democratically elected government before it happened.

    CIMG5387  Gord Cowie, 57, is the Recalcitrant Hippy in Montreal, Quebec. He has traveled to India, parts of East Africa, Bangladesh and the Caribbean volunteering to help orphaned children and single mothers survive in their own country. He has internationally adopted children. Self employed and doing residential construction and renovations for the last 20 years, Gord reads online news for about 4 hours every day and comments frequently. His diverse hobbies include history, temporal physics, cosmology and writing.

     

     

     

    The Kansas City Times published the marker of TIME below. If you expand the image, you will read during the American celebrations of the Revolutionary Spirit of ’76, I was warning about the “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” inciting for war with Russia. It is TIME! Gentlemen!

    Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976 (2)



    ray032neonazis-ukraineukraine far rightMcCain with Ukraine neo NazisCIMG5387Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976 (2)ray032neonazis-ukraineukraine far rightMcCain with Ukraine neo NazisCIMG5387Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976 (2)

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  • 04/13/15--11:02: WHEN SANER HEADS PREVAIL
  • Backtracking From the Brink in Ukraine

    By Jay Ogilvy

    Jay Ogilvy joined Stratfor’s editorial board in January 2015. In 1979, he left a post as a professor of philosophy at Yale to join SRI, the former Stanford Research Institute, as director of research. Dr. Ogilvy co-founded the Global Business Network of scenario planners in 1987. He is the former dean and chief academic officer of San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School. Dr. Ogilvy has published nine books, including Many Dimensional Man, Creating Better Futures and Living Without a Goal.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    If ever there were a flashpoint —  Ukraine is it. The fragile cease-fire now in place in eastern Ukraine is the pilot light to a new Cold War between the United States and Russia as their proxies poise to reload.

    At this critical moment, American media have been fanning the flames of this flashpoint. While Russia has hardly been innocent of violating international law in its annexation of Crimea, it is worth taking stock of some history, near and distant, to temper the narratives that could escalate into a shooting war that should be entirely avoidable.

    Ever since the lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the American media have been filled with Vladimir Putin bashing. For Americans, Putin is an easy target with his KGB background, bare-chested bravado and anti-gay policies. But this obsessive focus on Putin’s personality obscures much more important geopolitical realities.

    False Parallels

    The dominant U.S. narrative for Ukraine is that Ukraine is simply one more Eastern European country trying to pry itself out from under seven decades of Soviet oppression. This narrative is profoundly misleading. Ukraine is not Poland, and it is not Latvia or Romania. These countries are each largely united by a shared language and culture. They are also further fused through suffering from prior Russian incursions.

    Ukraine is different from most of its neighbors in Eastern Europe. It is both deeply divided, culturally and politically, and its eastern half is strongly bound to Russia.

    Just look at the maps of the presidential elections of 2004, 2010 and 2014.

    Note the similarity between these electoral maps and the distribution of Russian speakers:

    Eastern Ukraine is not equivalent to the former East Germany artificially divided from the whole. “Rus,” the identity that is the root of the Russian identity, was born in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, centuries before Moscow’s more recent accession to the central role. During the civil war that followed the Russian Revolution of 1917, some of the fiercest fighting over the founding of post-revolutionary Russia took place in Ukraine. Crimea, which was part of Russia until it was ceded to Ukraine after World War II, has long served as Russia’s equivalent to Florida — a vacation destination for the elite to escape winter’s cold or enjoy summer at the seashore.

    In addition to these historical and cultural realities that go back centuries, the U.S. media also ignore more recent history. The Soviet Union gifted Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, shortly after the death of Josef Stalin in 1953. The new leader, Nikita Khrushchev, felt a strong attachment to his favorite province of the Soviet Union. He had worked in a Ukrainian mine as a young man and took a Ukrainian woman as his wife. Shifting Crimea’s attachment from Russia to Ukraine was like moving money from his right pocket to his left. Khrushchev could hardly have imagined that his beloved Ukraine would cease to be part of the Soviet Union in less than 40 years.

    Moving still closer to the present, an amnesiac American media forgets that, after the fall of the Soviet Union, in the words of the last U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union in a Feb. 20 address at the National Press Club, “first President [George H.W.] Bush, at a Malta meeting in 1989, and then later, in 1990, almost all the Western leaders, told Gorbachev: If you remove your troops from Eastern Europe, if you let Eastern Europe go free, then we will not take advantage of it.”

    Despite that admittedly controversial “promise” — controversial because it was only verbal and never put in the form of a written treaty — the United States and NATO have moved steadily eastward toward the Russian border. Never mind juicy details like U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt getting caught on tape discussing the imminent coup of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. Never mind the dark shadow of anti-Semitism in groups like western Ukraine’s nationalist Svoboda party, or the out of control militias responsible for some of the worst of the fighting. There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of a very messy reality. The important thing is to appreciate that this mess has many hues other than black and white before righteously arming those poor Ukrainians against the vicious Putin.

    A Warmer Cold War

    Today it is almost hard to recall the warmer relationship between the United States and Russia before and immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain. As part of a decadeslong effort at citizen diplomacy, I traveled to Russia in 1983, 1985 and 1991. Those were heady days with talk of a “peace dividend” and “a new world order.” Our tiny group — Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy — numbered fewer than 50 individuals. Nevertheless, we managed to sponsor then-President Boris Yeltsin’s first trip to the United States, during which he experienced an epiphany. Faced with dozens of different brands of mustard in a Houston, Texas, supermarket (he loved mustard), he broke down in tears at what 70 years of communism had denied his people. He returned to Russia, quit the Communist Party, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    I tell this story to heighten the contradictions between what could have been, what is now and what might yet be. When I returned to Russia again in 2005, feelings were much cooler. I had the opportunity to conduct 28 high-level interviews over a period of 10 days and, time and again, what I heard was a message that said, in effect, “No, we are never going to go back to the old centrally planned economy; we renounce Marx; we embrace the market; but we want to do it our way. You Americans are overbearing and arrogant. Back off!”

    What had happened in the intervening years? In retrospect, I would say the United States simply got distracted around the time of the first Gulf War. We took our eye off the Russian ball. Various advisers and consultants confused Russia with Poland and advocated a sudden transition to a market economy. Lacking the requisite institutional infrastructure for managing a fair marketplace, many of Russia’s treasures fell prey to asset grabs by the now infamous oligarchs.

    When runaway inflation led to the devaluation of the ruble in 1998, millions saw their precious pensions evaporate overnight. Many Russians were not at all happy with their transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Perhaps the jokes had been true — “All Russians are equal: equally poor” and “We pretend to work; they pretend to pay us.” Nonetheless, those pensions had provided something of a safety net, however meager. The new world order was considerably more brutal — economically speaking — than the old regime.

    Further, as former President Mikhail Gorbachev has remarked, Americans indulged in what he calls “triumphalism,” which was all the easier to do when the Russian economy fell so far down. But as former U.S. Ambassador Jack Matlock argues vigorously in his book Superpower Illusions, the United States did not “win” the Cold War. Matlock was there with President Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev when they achieved what both sides regarded as a negotiated settlement that was to the advantage of both nations — at least at first. Only later, when the promise of Russian wealth did not materialize, did that negotiated settlement come to appear to the Russians to be every bit as punitive as the Treaty of Versailles had been to the Germans in the wake of World War I.

    The American media, with a few exceptions like Stephen F. Cohen, neglects these geopolitical realities. Instead it repeats over and over its cartoons of a demon Putin, its tales of unwarranted Russian aggression across Ukraine’s eastern border, its sympathy for a nation mistakenly believed to be united in its fear of Russia. But Ukraine is not united. It is riven by wounds that run deep. No winner-take-all solution to its problems is likely to succeed.

    What chance is there that Russia will use military force to achieve a winner-take-part solution? An earlier Stratfor three-part series began by gaming Russia’s options via several scenarios; then, in part two, considered possible responses by the West. Part three, Russia Weighs the Cost, wrapped up with the following paragraph:

    “The conclusion reached from matching up these scenarios with Moscow’s strategic imperatives is that no obvious options stand out. All of the scenarios are logistically feasible, though some would come at an incredible cost, few of them actually meet Russia’s needs, and none of them can be guaranteed to succeed as long as the possibility of a U.S. or NATO military response remains. If the prospect of such a military engagement deters the West from taking direct action against a Russian offensive, the West’s option to subsume the remaining parts of Ukraine significantly minimizes the benefits of any military operation Russia might consider. As Joshua, the computer in the 1983 movie WarGames, observed, ‘The only winning move is not to play.'”

    This scenario-based analysis reflects a disciplined effort to weigh the options from the perspective of Russian strategists: what is to be gained or lost for Russia, not for a cartoonish Putin.

    The point of this column is to overcome the simplistic narrative of Ukraine that has been painted in the U.S. media. If we fail to appreciate Russia’s real interests, if we obscure geopolitical realities with glossy dramas about Putin’s bare chest, then we are in danger of fanning the flames of old enmities at this critical flashpoint.

    Crimea was, is and will be part of Russia. Get used to it. For Donetsk and Luhansk this will also very likely be the case. But Russia (not Putin) has no real interest in advancing more deeply into eastern Ukraine: “The only winning move is not to play.” Unless, of course, the West — NATO urged on by the United States — presses needlessly for a winner-take-all solution. In that case many Russians, if not the strategists in the Kremlin, would almost surely be motivated to engage in a “humanitarian intervention” to protect their Russian friends suffering under “oppression” just over the border in eastern Ukraine. In this Western-pressured scenario, there will be blood.

    Pressure for a winner-take-all solution by the West would be unreasonable and totally in violation of those verbal assurances made when Reagan and Gorbachev negotiated the conclusion of the Cold War. Such pressure could build upon media-fed delusions about an undivided Ukraine. But a deeper understanding of the geopolitical realities, seen in the context of history, near and far, should give us pause before foolishly giving in to calls to arm the Ukrainians against an unlikely Russian offensive.



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    It was my intention to write and post an article about Pope Francis I Today, the 2nd article on the evolving Papacy.

    The Papacy and the Vatican Curia is the oldest continuing, functioning government on earth, having mutated from the power structure of the Emperor gods of Rome to the Pope of Rome with the turn of a page in history.

    The power structure of the Papacy was the mold and model for the power structures of the kings of Europe, and by extension, to the Americas, and the larger secular world beyond, these last 1500 years.

    Anyone having eyes wide open will see and understand, those power structures are being shaken to their very foundations these days. The traditional levers of power no longer work as they have in the past for the “kings of the earth,”  Bible language for The 1%, Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, and other IDOLS of the People these days.

    That project has been preempted by the unfolding events in Jerusalem and in particular, this article that appeared in Israel’s Haaretz on line newspaper Today.

    I start my Day reading Israeli news media, The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, because that’s where Armageddon the place is located, and where it starts, leading to Armageddon and that Battle of The Great Day of God Almighty. Even the secular, non religious people know and understand the implications in that word.

    WWI was supposed to be the War that ended all Wars, but the Signs of the Times are pointing to humanity just arriving at the threshold of that possibility with WWIII-Armageddon in the developing stages in Syria.

    Armageddon was derived from Har Megiddo located in occupied Judea and Samaria in Roman Palestine 2000 years ago. Israel did not exist as a kingdom then, having disappeared some 800 years earlier.

    Har Megiddo-Armageddon still exists as a physical place, but now it is located in temporal Israel recreated from the Bible after an absence of some 2800 years. It should be a wonder to thinking people to consider that after 2000 years, the most explosive issue confronting humankind these days is still over the occupation of Judea and Samaria in Palestine.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Orchestra Fanning the Flames Belongs to the Old Israeli Strategy

    Israeli public apathy to the Netanyahu government’s provocations in Al-Aqsa and incitement against the Palestinians cannot be explained without understanding the role of the Labor Party in falling in line.
    Yitzhak Laor Oct 12, 2015 5:56 PM

    Israeli IncitersThe orchestra fanning the flames: Naftali Bennett, Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman

    When my father wanted to explain to me how close the Revisionist right wing was to fascism, he went as far as the example he saw in Italy during his service in the British Army: In one of the towns in Calabria, he came to a square with an ancient and magnificent historical appearance, but behind the facades of the buildings there was nothing – empty stone scenery built during the time of Mussolini.

    My father may have made a mistake: Despite the brown shirts of Beitar in its early days and the “Tel Hai salute,” a sort of Roman straight-armed salute, Herut never became a fascist party. All that remained were the bombastic clichés. The Italians, if we can remain there for another minute, called Mussolini’s pompous language “trombone.”

    It could be that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trombone blasts, with the cymbals of Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett – the orchestra of those fanning the flames – belongs to the old Israeli strategy: Panic as a way to scare the people, and with the popular panic to garner support around the world, as in “They are killing Jews again!?” This method worked in 1967, when only the top brass of the army knew the truth about the “existential danger.”

    According to this explanation, the Palestinian knives, which killed and wounded Israelis over the past two weeks, are a successful replacement for the missiles that would have landed on us if Netanyahu had gone to war against Iran. That is why we must give praise: The knife panic accompanied by a trombone is better than a missile panic accompanied by sirens. And even if Netanyahu is truly panicking, we must glorify: If he has started a war, and instead of knives Shahab missiles were landing here, with what weapons would the incited and panicked citizens have been equipped?

    And if he is really immersed in a state of panic, it would be proper to calm him: As prime minister you have never done anything, nothing, except for political maneuvering; but the people are united, including Yair Lapid, no one has risen up against you, not during the time of the “social protests” not during Operation Protective Edge, and not even the dozens of Israeli dead in the operation gave birth to peace and refusal movements in the style of the 1980s.

    All around the carnival of executions celebrates. “Neutralizing” it is called by the press, who participate in producing the panic. Do you see? A little blood, and the media is already no longer against you, Netanyahu. The opposite is true: A sort of huge chameleon reddens with the first blood that is spilled in the streets, and will not rest until it turns into a flood, a reality production without any investment, with advertisements.

    The journalists themselves have lost all shame. After all, no one will remind them of their leading the herd. The national memory has shrunk: From the 2,000-year-old memory of the Temple to the two-day memory of Facebook.

    Relax, Barack Obama did not even mention Palestine in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, the administration will send weapons and you will be able to open a heroic war against the refugee camps. Once again the trombone will incite the terror and the eternity of Israel; planes will defeat the stones, bottles and knives; and demonstrators along the fence in Gaza will be shot like dogs, until the fire is really kindled. And then you will pass out medals and speeches.

    A united, courageous nation is behind you. There is no opposition, Netanyahu. Look at contemporary poetry and literature and be convinced: As with you, only the desire to be seen as successful rules them. Compare the number of demonstrators on behalf of animals with the number of Hadash and Meretz demonstrators last weekend, make yourself comfortable and listen to the spokesmen of the Labor Party, who accompany the flames.

    It is impossible to explain the public apathy to your government’s provocations in Al-Aqsa, and your incitement against the Palestinians, without understanding the role of the Labor Party in falling in line behind you. Its spokesmen are trying to copy your trombone using a flute. A flute that wants to be a tuba, and will vanish like a fart.

    Many streets will be named after you, Netanyahu, and parks, and centers for disabled veterans, but your achievements will amount only to Youtube clips of speeches at the United Nations, with unrivaled smooth talk. If only you stuttered a little, and thought about the horror that will befall the greater land of yours and your settlers.

    The article above is written by a Jew living in Israel. Not all Jews in Israel are Zionists.

    O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
    Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
    For I say unto you, You shall not see me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

    Matthew 23

    The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
    Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
    Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
    You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
    But the hour comes, and NOW IS, when the True worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
    God IS a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in Truth.

    John 4

    Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build for me? and where is the place of my rest?
    And all these My hand made, and all these have become,” says the Lord. “But to this one will I look, to one poor and of crushed spirit, who hastens to do My bidding.

    Isaiah 66

    I agree and see it like Pope Francis who said, “Inside every Christian lives a Jew.”

    גיָדַע שׁוֹר קֹנֵהוּ וַחֲמוֹר אֵבוּס בְּעָלָיו יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יָדַע עַמִּי לֹא הִתְבּוֹנָן:

    דהוֹי | גּוֹי חֹטֵא עַם כֶּבֶד עָו‍ֹן זֶרַע מְרֵעִים בָּנִים מַשְׁחִיתִים עָזְבוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה נִאֲצוּ אֶת קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל נָזֹרוּ אָחוֹר:



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    Gideon

    Gideon Levy is a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board.

    Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper’s deputy editor. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank gideon levyand Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper.

    Levy was the recipient of the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008; the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001; the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997; and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996.

    His new book, The Punishment of Gaza, has just been published by Verso Publishing House in London and New York.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I consider Gideon Levy to be one of the last of the Jewish Prophets calling for Truth and Justice for the Palestinian cause. He is despised by the Israeli right wing as a traitorous self-hating Jew, and recently has needed bodyguards because of Jewish extremist threats on his life.

    This recent article in Haaretz is the Ying to the previous Yang Haaretz article in this Blog.

    Israel’s Sleeping Beauties Have Awoken From Their Deathly Silence
    Israelis didn’t know about the Palestinians’ suffering beyond the dark mountains a half an hour away. For the most part, they didn’t want to know.
    Gideon Levy Oct 15, 2015 2:02 AM

    gideon pictureA Palestinian girl slings stones at Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. October 14, 2015

    What did you think, the Palestinians would sit still indefinitely? Did you really think Israel would continue on its course and they’d just bow their heads in submission?

    Do you know many historical examples of that? Is there one example of a brutal occupation that persisted without stoking resistance? Apparently that’s what you thought, otherwise there would have been public pressure long ago to act, because who wants terror?

    But Israel slid into a deathly silence, with darkness over the abyss, and now it’s acting surprised. It voted for the right, for ultra-nationalism, racism and messianism, and now it’s feelings are hurt.

    After all, what did it ask for but some quiet, to be left alone from the occupation to which it’s not even linked, and from the resistance that has fallen on it like a natural disaster. Sleeping beauty has awoken to the sound of stabbings and car-rammings, and through the cobwebs of sleep it’s asking: How did this happen? How can they be doing this to us again?

    You can’t blame Israelis — they were busy doing other things and knew nothing. Bar Refaeli’s wedding weighed heavily on people’s minds, as did events at the Allenby 40 nightclub. Israelis didn’t know exactly what was going on over there, beyond the dark mountains, half an hour’s drive from their homes — for the most part, they didn’t want to know.

    The media gladly succumbed to their wishes. They hid the crimes of the occupation from people’s sight — such pictures don’t buoy ratings. The image of a Palestinian as a human being doesn’t sell newspapers. The media never reported what those people go through and what they really desire. It sufficed with diversions, incitement and propaganda. That pays better.

    Politicians promised that everything would be fine, rabbis incited, settlers torched, the whole world is against us, just leave us alone. Then out of the blue those knife-wielding youngsters with murder in their eyes descended upon us. The quiet dissolved, security fizzled, businesses collapsed, dreams of jeep tours and quick vacations became uncertain.

    The government blames the Islamic State and the left blames the lack of “peace talks.” Experts on Arab affairs — the southern branch of the Shin Bet security service and Military Intelligence — say it’s because of “incitement.” The wise sages of security issues say, as is their wont, that this time the other side must be hit hard. Everyone agrees that the Arabs are to blame because they were born to kill. Through this stupefying haze all connection to reality has been lost.

    In the meantime, Jerusalem has become the capital of apartheid. No other city so discriminates and dispossesses or is so violent. Gun-toting Mayor Nir Barkat, who’s largely responsible for the discrimination and dispossession in his city, incites against a third of its population — an unbelievable phenomenon in its own right.

    And you thought 300,000 people would acquiesce? That they’d watch settlers invade their homes as city hall denied them minimal services amid maximal property taxes? That they’d look on while the occupier arbitrarily denied them residence status, as if they were migrants in their own city?

    That they would put up with Jewish gangs beating them up in full view of policemen and forgive? That a young man growing up in this reality — with his neighborhood a Soweto — would spend his life washing dishes and building homes for Jews with no chance of escaping his ghetto?

    Did you really think right-wing provocations on the Temple Mount would pass quietly? That the burning of the Dawabsheh family would pass with no response — and even more so the defense minister’s arrogant claims that Israel knew who the perpetrators were but wouldn’t arrest them?

    That their children would be burned helplessly with Israel not punishing anyone and they’d remain silent? That the response to all this would be more of the same: We’ll demolish, detain, dispossess, oppress, torture and kill more than ever — and (Jewish) Zion will be redeemed?

    Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
    Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

    Jeremiah 5

    ‘Holocaust makes Israelis think international law doesn’t apply’

    Gideon Levy was the most outspoken critic of Israel’s war in Gaza



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  • 10/30/15--11:09: JEWS AND PALESTINIANS
  • I start my Day on the computer reading The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, The Washington Post, and then move on to many other different on line news sites.

    Why do I start with Israeli news organizations? Because that’s where Armageddon is located and starts. Armageddon was derived from Har Megiddo located in Palestine during the occupation of Judea and Samaria 2000 years ago. Israel had ceased to exist as a kingdom some 800 years earlier.

    Har Megiddo-Armageddon still exists as a physical place, but is now located in temporal Israel recreated from the Bible after an absence of some 2800 years.

    It should be a wonder to thinking people everywhere, how it came to be, that after 2000 years of a bloody human history of Wars and Conquest, Nations and Empires, Invasions and Resistance, the most explosive and divisive issue confronting humanity Today, is still over the occupation of Judea and Samaria in Palestine?

    The following Editorial from Israel’s Haaretz newspaper tells us the reality of what is developing in Israel even though the Israel government and the settler supporters cannot or will not recognize it, and if they do, it’s because they naturally consider Jews to be superior to Palestinians, like the Nazis considered themselves superior to Jews in another place and Time

    Netanyahu’s Apartheid Vision for Israel’s Future

    In the real world, outside the realm of speechmaking, Netanyahu is only ready to hold empty and aimless talks with the Palestinians.

    Haaretz photo

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his current political vision to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this week. While saying that that he does not want a binational state, Netanyahu stressed that Israel “must control the entire area for the foreseeable future.” He explained that he was prepared to divide the land but “the other side is unwilling,” and that the Middle East is subject to Islamic religious influences that preclude any possibility for peace.

    The Separation WallOn the face of it, this position does not seem extremist. It’s accepted by most Israeli Jews, according to multiple surveys that have been conducted over the last 15 years, ever since the Camp David summit. Most people support the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but believe that it is not practical since there is “no partner” on the other side. The same majority, including Netanyahu, opposes the notion of a binational state with equal rights for all its citizens, Jews and Palestinians alike.

    Netanyahu has cleaved to this line for his entire tenure: Verbal consent to dividing the land – which distinguishes him from the extreme right and from settler leaders – security wallwhile in practice adopting policies that thwart the realization of such partitioning. He has consistently refused to talk about future borders with the Palestinians, demanding that they recognize Israel as “a Jewish state,” developing and expanding settlements across the West Bank and presenting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an enemy and instigator to violence.

    settlement buildingIn the real world, outside the realm of speechmaking, Netanyahu is only ready to hold empty and aimless talks with the Palestinians, or to discuss “small steps to reduce tension,” without relinquishing any control on the ground.

    His words this week acknowledged Israel’s total domination over the territories, discarding the dual pretense of a “temporary war-like situation,” which the state has regularly presented to the High Court of Justice for decades, and the pretense of a Palestinian Authority supposedly enjoying autonomy in managing Palestinian affairs, as Israel likes to present things.

    Netanyahu’s opposition to a binational state leads to a clear conclusion: As long as “Israel’s Palestinians on the way to work in the Settlementscontrol of the area” continues, millions of Palestinians in the territories will remain in the inferior status of subjects devoid of civil rights. Their settler neighbors, meanwhile, enjoy such rights unhampered.

    The regime described in Netanyahu’s vision has a name – it’s called apartheid. There is no other term for two populations living in the same area, one with political rights and the other under perennial military occupation. No security argument or warnings about the effects of Islam can whitewash the implications of this vision. Netanyahu’s words should shock anyone who is concerned about the justice of Israel’s cause and the country’s future. Concerned people should unite and form a national salvation front that will work to replace this government.

    Over 1,300 Palestinians Shot In Last 11 Days



    ray032Haaretz photoThe Separation Wallsecurity wallsettlement buildingPalestinians on the way to work in the Settlementsray032Haaretz photoThe Separation Wallsecurity wallsettlement buildingPalestinians on the way to work in the Settlements

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    Pope Francis Holds His Weekly General AudienceI just started to write this article when the horrific news out of Paris interrupted it.

    More interesting for me to note than for others obviously, because it happened on the 1 year anniversary of posting

    TEMPLE MOUNT AND THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY

    For those with eyes wide open, it’s becoming apparent reading the comments and opinions in high places and low, that Day is being hastened since that Friday the 13th!

    Pope Francis is going to visit 3 Countries in Africa this week, mostly Muslim, including to the Central African Republic, a current War Zone.

    God Bless and Strengthen Pope Francis for this arduous Mission!

    The Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

    “Make me a channel of your peace,
    Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
    Where there is injury your pardon Lord,
    And where there’s doubt true faith in you.

    Make me a channel of your peace,
    Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
    Where there is darkness, only light,
    And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

    O Master grant that I may never seek,
    So much to be consoled as to console,
    To be understood as to understand,
    To be loved as to love with all my soul.

    Make me a channel of your peace,
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    In giving of ourselves that we receive.
    And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

    O Master grant that I may never seek,
    So much to be consoled as to console,
    To be understood as to understand,
    And to love as to love with all my soul.

    Make me a channel of your peace,
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    In giving of ourselves that we receive.
    And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

    Make me a channel of your peace.”



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  • 01/13/16--14:47: KINGS OF THE EARTH
  • SSamual as a child Samuel being dedicated to the service of the LORD and presented to his Father the High Priest

    When I first learned how to read in the 1st Grade in 1950,  the 1st Book I read cover to cover was the Bible. I loved the history, the trials and tribulations of the ‘people of God,’ the kings, the wars, the palace intrigues, the rebellions.

    One of my favorite stories is about Joseph my namesake, who was sold into slavery by his own brothers, the sons of Jacob-Israel, the Patriarchs of the Tribes of Israel. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, and even in that unfair and unjust situation, he maintained his integrity and Faith in God and persevered. Ultimately, he became Prime Minister in Egypt. That was good for Pharaoh, Joseph and his Family, including his brothers who sold him into slavery, but the people of Egypt were the big losers in how it all turned out.

    Hundreds of years later, when no one remembered Joseph, his Family descendants were the slaves in the Egyptian economy. Moses, taking the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, represented the 1st Labour Movement in a sense.

    There is a lot of good guy vs bad guy in the Book, but Jesus, in my young mind, was the ultimate good guy and my Hero!

    There is nothing humans do today, that someone hadn’t already done thousands of years ago, and is recorded in the Book somewhere. The only thing that has changed, is the face of the Economy within which we live at different levels and stations, and all the stuff that is available these Days, like no generation ever had before in human history. Sometimes it seems there are so many things to want, people have lost sight of what they really need.

    This week, I revisited 1 Samuel 8 of the Old Testament, the record of events some 3100 years ago when Israel the Nation did not exist, and only the remnants of Jacob-Israel the man, the ‘People of God’ remained.

    Samuel was a religious hero in the history of Israel, represented in every role of leadership open to a Jewish man of his day—seer, priest, judge, prophet, and military leader.

    As he was getting older, he appointed his two sons to be Judges in Israel, but ‘his sons did not walk in his ways, and they turned after gain, and they took bribes and perverted justice.’

    The Elders of Israel came to Samuel and said, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now, set up for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

    Samuel was not pleased getting that request and prayed to God about it, who answered, “Listen to the voice of the people, according to all that they will say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them.” And now, listen to their voice; except that you shall warn them, and tell them the manner of the king, who will reign over them.

    The king who will reign over you; he will take your sons, and appoint them to himself for his chariots and for his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots. And he will appoint them to himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and to plow his plowing and to reap his harvest, and to make his weapons and the equipment for his chariots. And he will take your daughters for his perfumers, for cooks, and for bakers.

    And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive trees, and will give them to his slaves. And he will tithe your grain crops and your vineyards, and he will give them to his officers and his slaves. And he will take your male and female slaves, and your handsomest youths and your asses, and put them to his work. And he will tithe your flocks, and you will be slaves to him. 

    And you will cry out on that day because of your king, whom you will have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not answer you on that day.

    And the people refused to listen to Samuel’s voice, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us. And also we shall be like all the nations, and our king will judge us, go forth before us and wage our wars.

    For those with a little bit of imagination who can extrapolate, this is the Power Structure or “THE SYSTEM” we have with the kings ruling over us to this very Day.

    Capitalist Pyramid

    What about the kings of the earth these Days? The Bible’s Book of Revelation is about things that could be seen unfolding in Today’s material world, and this is where the kings are at:

    And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (false beliefs about God in Judaism, Christianity & Islam, and the People)
    For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth (the 1%, Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, and other Idols of the People) and of the whole world, (the rest of us) to gather them to the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty. (the escalating war between the 3 monotheistic religions)
    Behold, I come as a thief. (when you least expect it)                                                                Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
    And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. Revelation 16



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