Further dispelling the myth that Israel is hostile toward it’s Christian population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Christian media representative to Jerusalem.
But he did more than just invite foreign Christians to see how their brothers and sisters in Messiah live in the Holy Land.
Netanyahu openly decried the mistreatment Christians in nearly every other part of the Middle East, and the world’s indifference to their suffering.
Said the prime minister:
“Christians have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services, brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith. Some world leaders are willing to ignore this oppression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them.”
He took particular issue with Iran’s treatment of Christians, referencing the imprisonment of pastors and those who dare to convert from Islam to Christianity.
“I think that how a country treats religious minorities is a very good indicator of how it will treat its other citizens and its neighbors,” Netanyahu said.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Member of Knesset Merav Michaeli’s talk at the Australian ABC Q&A show from September 11 has gone viral on Israeli social media. Michaeli, from the leftist Labor Party, is a strange bird in the Israeli political scene to begin with. Her annoying Hebrew that changes pronouns to suit her feminist agenda is a symptom of the world in which she lives. And bizarre as her world is, the fact that she got elected to the Labor Party Knesset list means that there are enough people in that camp who support her ideas.
In Michaeli’s nightmarish world the state would be the custodian of all children instead of biological parents.
“This is not funny,” she says to the audience with a stern face. “The core family as we know it today, unfortunately is the least safe place for children … the custody, this total custody that we have in this structure of marriage, which still gives men … complete domination over the children and too often over the women, who are called ‘wives’, is the part, really, the unbelieve[!] hurt in children.” Her make-believe world doesn’t stop here.
“I believe that instead of marriage, the state should offer two kinds of default agreements. One is custody over children. A child can have more than two parents. They don’t have necessarily to be his biological parents, or her biological parents. The person who takes responsibility for the child … needs to be obligated for certain criteria that the state should actually decide on … a shared household cannot necessarily have to rely on couplehood or sexuality or romance. It can be roommates, it can be sisters, it can be friends and it can be a couple who love each other and wants to live together happily ever after.”
The idea that instead of biological parents the state will be the custodian of all children is Orwellian to the core, and enough futuristic movies were made that well portray this kind of nightmarish world. From the many social media comments debunking Michaeli’s vision stands out that of Roy Iddan, who wrote, “Cambodia 1970s. In the picture children who were taken from their dangerous parental custody to the state’s bosom. Some of them were privileged enough to execute their parents in a distinctively progressive and anti-patriarchal act.”
Lawmaker Michaeli thinks that the biological advantage of straight people to reproduce violates equality.
Putting Michaeli’s views in biblical perspective, her idea of family is the exact opposite of the one described in Genesis 2:24. What she suggests is in fact the return to the self-destructive pre-flood society that was plagued with theft and incest (homosexuality included). The family she envisions is sterile, which means that her future family will not produce life, but will take it from others. It is exactly this kind of life-taking society that had ignited the wrath of God. IsraelToday
Egyptian-brokered talks between rival Palestinian factions are being held under the direct auspices of Egyptian President el-Sisi (the meeting was proposed and supported by President Trump.)
He [el-Sisi] wants a deal to permanently halt the movement of militants between Gaza and Sinai, where an Islamic State affiliate has damaged Egypt’s tourist industry as well as the broader recovery El-Sisi wants to portray. Ending the rift in Palestinian ranks could also ease Gaza’s suffering and bolster their hand in future peace talks with Israel. Put together, they point to an assertive Egypt looking to reclaim its role as a regional powerhouse.
There’s the “sense of wanting to re-establish Egyptian leadership and foreign policy activism — putting Egypt back in its rightful place,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation in Washington. Bloomberg
Previous attempts at reconciliation between the two sides were unveiled with fanfare and declarations of unity, only to quickly end.
Pressure on Hamas
“The Egyptians have certainly put a lot of pressure on Hamas, but they’re under no illusions about the possibility of this agreement’s early demise,” Eran Lerman, a lecturer at Shalem College in Jerusalem and a former member of Israel’s National Security Council, said. Bloomberg
Relations between Iran and Hamas cooled due to differences over the conflict in Syria. In 2017, Iran agreed in principle to renew its funding for the Hamas terror group, stated the Times of Israel.
International largesse from Europe, American, NGOs… goes to the Palestinian Authority. It is supposed to use the money for all the Palestinians including those in Gaza, which it uses it uses to assert authority in Gaza.
Beginning in April and during the summer the PA stopped paying the Gaza utility bills to Israel. The PA also cut the pay by 30 percent of Gaza government officials and workers who do not work but have remained on the payroll.
Fatah then sent a stark message to Hamas: Reconcile and allow the Palestinian Authority to assume control in Gaza, or manage alone.
“Part of this is Abbas showing he is in control and he is the boss,” said Mahdi Abdul Hadi, director of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, an independent research institute in East Jerusalem. “The message to Hamas is: If you want to govern it, take it.” NYTimes
Hamas holds few cards. Egypt keeps the Rafah border crossing in Gaza mostly closed. Qatar reduced funding to Hamas and Iran has only discussed the renewal of funding.
Hopes for the agreement, signed under the watchful eye of Egyptian intelligence, were tempered by the knowledge that many previous Palestinian initiatives have failed. Yet there is optimism that this time may be different, partly because the stakes are so much higher.
Hamas, which controls Gaza and has fought Israel three times, said it was ready to cede control of Gaza’s borders and allow the rival Palestinian Authority to effectively take over the day-to-day running of the territory.
Solomon’s Pools are three ancient reservoirs located in the West Bank near Bethlehem, which provided water to Jerusalem during the Second Temple Era.
The construction of the pools surrounded by pine trees is attributed to King Solomon who built the pools in the 2nd or 1st century BC. King Herod completed the second phase of the pool construction to carry water to his fortress at Herodium.
The pools may have been mentioned in the Book of Ecclesiastes 2.6 when King Solomon says, “I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.”
It is believed one of the Solomon pools is mentioned in John 9:1-11, in which Jesus commands a blind man to wash mud from his eyes in the pool of Siloam so he may be healed.
“and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.” John 9:7
This is fine if the money is kept track of.
Ancient pools that provided water to Jerusalem around the time of Jesus and the Second Temple are to be restored in a $750,000 project funded by the United States, officials said Tuesday.
The three Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem in the West Bank were built by Herod the Great around 2,000 years ago and were key sources of water for the Second Temple and the city, according to archaeologists.
An aqueduct carried the water from the pools to Jerusalem 21 kilometers away (13 miles).
In the 2,000 years since, they have fallen into disrepair and only two of the three are full with water, with the oldest one in poor condition…
The US Consulate in Jerusalem, which has provided the funds for renovations, hopes to see the pools become part of a major tourism site in the West Bank.
“This project is about more than just protecting history. It is about protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people living here today,” US Consul General Donald Blome said…
The grant comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is trying to convince Palestinian and Israeli leaders to restart stalled peace negotiations. Economic support to the Palestinians has been a key pillar of such attempts.
“(Trump) has made it clear that a necessary element for the achievement of peace would be unlocking the full potential of the Palestinian economy,” Blome added. TimesofIsrael
Two Saudi guards were shot dead and three others injured on Saturday morning when a man drove up to the gate of the royal palace in Jeddah and began shooting, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news.
Royal Guards killed the gunman, who was identified in the statement as Mansour al-Amri, a 28-year-old Saudi national.
The attack occurred at a checkpoint outside the western gate to the Peace Palace in Jeddah, where the royal family conducts official business during the summer months.
Saudi King Salman is currently outside the kingdom on a state visit to Russia.
The statement did not elaborate on the whereabouts of his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, although recent state news reports have placed him in Jeddah.
Security forces seized Kalashnikov rifles and petrol bombs that had been in Amri’s possession.
Amri did not have a criminal record or any known connection to extremist groups, said Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki, speaking by phone to al-Arabiya television. DailyMail
Vision 2030 to reform the economy, spearheaded by deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key part of the reform effort is to increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30% from 22%.
Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, overturning a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.
The change, which will not happen immediately, was announced on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington. It highlights the damage that the policy has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is a Muslim monarchy ruled according to Shariah law. Saudi officials and clerics have provided numerous explanations for the ban over the years.
Some said that it was inappropriate in Saudi culture for women to drive, or that male drivers would not know how to handle women in cars next to them. Others argued that allowing women to drive would lead to promiscuity and the collapse of the Saudi family. One cleric claimed — with no evidence — that driving harmed women’s ovaries. NYTimes
Saudi cleric suspended for saying women can’t drive due to brain shrinkage
A Saudi cleric who said women should not drive because their brains shrink to a quarter the size of a man’s when they go shopping has been banned from preaching, state television said.
Saad al-Hijri was suspended from all religious activity after advising against allowing women to drive in a speech that contained comments “diminishing human value,” the broadcaster quoted a spokesman for the governor of Asir province as saying. JPost
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sold out France!
On August 4, the English press — not the French press — revealed that French prosecutors are actively investigating two events: the awarding the 2022 World Cup of football (soccer) to Qatar, and the purchase by “Qatari Diar”, a state-owned investment company, of a stake in the French utility firm Veolia.
At the center of the investigation is former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. To be sure, Sarkozy has not been formally indicted (and he may never be), but the evidence is overwhelming.
First, the World Cup. That the State of Qatar, known for decades for its active support of Islamic terror organizations, and with a temperature among the highest in the world — in addition to zero tradition in the world of football — was awarded the 2022 World Cup is, of course, a source of wonder ever since the award was announced by FIFA, the international governing body of football….
It is doubtful if the French investigators will ever get to the bottom of these two cases. The judiciary in France has a long tradition of submitting to the government. Since 1789, the French judiciary has not even been an independent power — as are the Legislative and the Executive — but a mere authority with a more limited scope.
It is revealing that these two investigations were exposed, not by the French press, but by the English press.
What we already know for sure is the following:
A state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, was allowed to buy France’s leading soccer team, Paris-Saint-Germain, with the help of then-president Nicolas Sarkozy. The former owner of the PSG was a private fund controlled in Europe by one of Sarkozy’s close friends. There would have been no deal without the direct consent of Sarkozy — that is the way France functions.
A state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, was not only allowed, but actively courted, by French officials to invest in some of France’s largest companies, including defense companies, such as Veolia, as well as the Airbus parent company, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS); the energy group EDF; the construction firm, Vinci; and the media and defense group Lagardère.
A state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, was actively supported in its 2022 bid for the World Cup by the government of France and Nicolas Sarkozy, who declared after the FIFA vote in 2010: “Sport does not belong to a few countries. It belongs to the world… I don’t understand those who say that events should always be held in the same countries and the same continents.”
There is a significant part of the French political class that seems to consider the Embassy of Qatar in Paris some sort of automatic teller machine (ATM), as has been showed by renowned journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot in their book, Nos très chers émirs(Our Very Dear Emirs) and deplored by the new ambassador of Qatar in France, Meshaal al-Thani.
Since 2008, a state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, has benefited from a huge tax break in France: the exemption of profits on property sales. In France, profits on property sales are not only taxed at 19%, they are subject to a further CSG/CRDS and social tax (15.5%), resulting in a combined total minimum tax rate of 34.5%. The rule is the same for everyone, whether a person or a corporation. Everyone, that is, but the State of Qatar, when the administration of Nicolas Sarkozy decided to exempt it from the tax. As a result, Qatar’s royal family and sovereign fund have since built up a huge portfolio of assets in France, one that dwarfs the portfolio of a state such as Saudi Arabia. Qatar’s portfolio ranges from a Champs-Élysées mall to the Lido Cabaret. “Our deficit has destroyed our freedom,” said Nathalie Goulet, a centrist senator from Lower Normandy, in 2013. “The Qataris are here to buy, while we are selling our family jewels.” Which they did. 
Qatar and other Gulf states try to benefit from tax exemptions everywhere in the world, but this convergence of facts — the selling of assets, sports clubs, defense companies and governmental representatives — is unique to France. It is through these tax breaks — this is only one of them — that the Qataris are buying the “jewels” of France. GateStoneIntitute
Iraq and Russian authorities to bring Russian speaking orphans to Russian. The children’s pictures were shown on RT, some of the children were recognized by their relatives in Russia. These children are traumatized, very young, and have no official papers.
According to Samih Beno, a Jordanian politician of Chechen origin, 48 minors, presumably children of Russian citizens, are now being held in different Iraqi shelters. Beno, also the head of the Chechen Republic’s Friends Association in Jordan, helped begin the evacuation and serves as a mediator during talks between representatives of different countries and international public organizations. No concrete date as to when minors could be brought back home can be set at the moment, as the process of their return is full of legal complications. T
o bring the children back, it must be confirmed they are all Russian citizens, which is not easy as the minors lack documents proving their identity and can hardly tell the authorities anything about themselves or their family aside from a name. According to Beno, the kids will have to undergo a DNA test to prove they are relatives with people who claim so. RT
Just this week, two more children, whose parents are believed to be Russian-speaking, were brought into the orphanage in Baghdad. However, getting the new arrivals to open up and talk has proved to be a difficult process.
Mouhamed allegedly speaks a mixture of Russian and Arabic, but says nothing to reveal his identity. He has an injury on one of his knees. Haddja says nothing at all. She is suffering from a wound to her ankle, in what appears to be a severe burn.
One of their mates said both children were brought into the orphanage at night, and she has not heard either of them speak Russian since. The team working on the ground is now trying to establish if the children are of Russian descent. RT
Arriving In Russia
A four-year-old Chechen boy has been brought back to Russia after living with his jihadist father, who was fighting alongside ISIS in Mosul. Russian authorities are now seeking the return of several dozen such children from Iraqi orphanages.
Bilal Tagirov’s mother hadn’t seen him for two years. In October 2015, the child was kidnapped from his native Chechnya by his father, Khasan Tagirov, who went to fight alongside Islamic State jihadists, first in Syria and then in Iraq.
RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev traveled to the Russian republic of Dagestan, after grandparents of two sisters – Hadija and Fatima came forward. Both said they hadn’t slept for three days since they saw the video with the girls.
The girls were taken by their parents to Mosul some two years ago, then both parents were killed in a drone strike, leaving the children orphans, Gazdiev said, citing the girls’ grandparents.
“Our children secretly left us. How could they take away their own helpless kids? If you are leaving why do you need to traumatize the kids? I still don’t understand it,” the grandfather of the girls said passionately.
“We are waiting for our girls,” their grandmother added. RT
Mariam can hardly pronounce her name. At first she stayed silent, but then managed to speak of her injuries and the ordeal she suffered when the house she lived in with her family came under fire one day.
“Someone began shooting at the house. After that they threw grenades. And this is when the fire started,” she says. “Then I was hit by shrapnel. And this is how blood spilled from my head. Lots of blood,” she said, touching scars on her face, apparently left by shrapnel.
Mariam says that her mother was shot dead and she doesn’t know where her father is.
“There were snipers across the river. The snipers shot at my mother right here,” Mariam says. “They shot her in the arm. The head and the arm. And then she died.”
Hours after RT aired the report about Mariam, a woman from the Russian Republic of Dagestan contacted the channel, claiming that the girl in the video was her granddaughter.
“It’s my granddaughter!” the woman identified as Patimatzagra said through tears, adding that her daughter’s name was Madina. She was in shock to hear the girl say that her mother had died…
Mariam’s parents took the girl and left Dagestan in 2014, the woman said. From time to time Madina sent her photos and videos of Mariam and two boys, presumably, Mariam’s siblings. However, she stopped answering calls in January this year.RT
Mariam had problems even pronouncing her own name when she was discovered by RT in an Iraqi orphanage earlier in August.
The girl suffered immense psychological and physical trauma after her mother was killed by a sniper in front of her eyes and she herself was hit by shrapnel.
However, she was seen smiling for the first time in a long while as she was surrounded by the caring family in Grozny.
Earlier in August, a four-year-old Chechen boy, Bilal Tagirov, returned to Russia after living with his jihadist father, who was fighting for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Mosul.
Around 50 children of Russian citizens currently remain in various shelters, Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, told RIA Novosti.
Their return home is a complicated affair due to the kids lacking passports, bureaucratic hurdles and the difficult security situation in Iraq. RT
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected American demands that he stop using foreign financial aid to pay stipends and salaries to the families of jailed Palestinian terrorists.
Abbas met last week with US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt as part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to restart Middle East peace talks.
According to Israeli journalists present at the meeting, Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, reiterated the long-standing demand that the Palestinian Authority not reward terrorism with financial gain.
Congress has repeatedly threatened to halt all foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority over the payments to jailed terrorists, nearly all of whom are incarcerated in Israel for carrying out attacks on Jewish men, women and children.
The Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds reported that Abbas’ response was to “inform Kushner that he would never stop paying these salaries until his dying day, even if this cost him the presidency.”
For the record, this is not a defense of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas or of funding terrorists. It is simply an explanation of what is taking place. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that the idea of ending payments to Palestinian terrorists and their families is a challenging one, to say the least. Old habits, especially of hate, are hard to break.
The practice of paying salaries to terrorists and the families of “martyrs” is as old as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was founded in 1964. It did not start after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994. Nor did this practice start after Abbas was elected as president of the PA in January 2005.
Prior to the establishment of the PA, the PLO relied solely on Arab and Islamic financial aid to pay salaries to imprisoned terrorists and the families of those killed in terror attacks against Israel.
But after most of the Arab countries turned their backs on the PLO, following its support for Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent establishment of the PA, the Europeans and Americans became the major donors to the Palestinians — including payments to the terrorists and their families.
Is a massive shift in attitude possible?
A plan to dry up the funds that support terrorists and their families, is doomed from the start unless these leaders reverse their behavior and embark on a process of de-radicalizing their people…
Under Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, countless institutions have been established to support terrorists and their families. At one point, they even set up a special ministry called the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs. Its main goal: “to ensure a decent life for prisoners and care for their children and their families.” Why should any Palestinian go to university and search for a job when he can make a “decent living” murdering Jews?
Turkey has begun building a Turkey-Iran border wall similar to the one on the Turkey-Syria border. Ankara said the step is necessary to increase security measures at the border.
Tehran welcomed the move. “We welcome all kinds of actions that will increase security and stability at the border. We are in favour of deeper bilateral dialogue to increase coordination in this regard. Border security is important for both Iran and Turkey and the necessary efforts should be made by both countries,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by a local daily shortly after Turkey’s announcement in May 2017. IBT
Turkey has begun building a “security wall” along part of its border with Iran, regional officials said Tuesday, in a move aimed at stopping Kurdish separatists.
Pictures showing huge concrete blocks being moved into place were published on the governor’s website for the eastern Agri province.
Turkish authorities announced construction of a 144-kilometer (80-mile) long barrier in May as a means of blocking cross-border movements by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The entire Turkish-Iranian frontier is around 500 kilometers long.
To beef up security on its Syrian border, Turkey began constructing a similar wall two years ago to prevent Islamic State group fighters moving easily between the two countries and to clamp down on illegal crossings.
In June, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said 690 kilometers out of a planned 828 kilometers of the wall had been completed along the frontier with Syria.
He added that further border security measures would be put in place once the construction had been completed. TimesOfIsrael
Turkey is building a “security wall” along its border with Iran in a move aimed at stopping infiltrators. pic.twitter.com/CxSvVP5lfi