As Easter approaches, Israel’s UN ambassador warns of “the Middle East war on Christians,” rising persecution in Islamic countries. Notes that Israel’s Christian population is growing.

crossAs Jews celebrate Passover and Christians celebrate Easter this week, Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, has written an excellent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on the intense persecution followers of Jesus Christ are facing in Islamic countries.

He notes that there is an “exodus” of Christians leaving the Middle East today, just as Jews had to flee many Arab countries in the 20th century. That said, he also points out that Israel “is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population. Its Christian community has increased from 34,000 in 1948 to 140,000 today, in large measure because of the freedoms Christians are afforded.”

I commend the article to your attention, and encourage you to share it with others.

THE MIDDLE EAST WAR ON CHRISTIANS

Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews.

By Amb. Ron Prosor, Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2014

This week, as Jews celebrate the Passover holiday, they are commemorating the Bible’s Exodus story describing a series of plagues inflicted on ancient Egypt that freed the Israelites, allowing them to make their way to the Holy Land. But over the past century, another exodus, driven by a plague of persecution, has swept across the Middle East and is emptying the region of its Christian population. The persecution is especially virulent today.

The Middle East may be the birthplace of three monotheistic religions, but some Arab nations appear bent on making it the burial ground for one of them. For 2,000 years, Christian communities dotted the region, enriching the Arab world with literature, culture and commerce. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26% of the Middle East’s population. Today, that figure has dwindled to less than 10%. Intolerant and extremist governments are driving away the Christian communities that have lived in the Middle East since their faith was born.

In the rubble of Syrian cities like Aleppo and Damascus, Christians who refused to convert to Islam have been kidnapped, shot and beheaded by Islamist opposition fighters. In Egypt, mobs of Muslim Brotherhood members burn Coptic Christian churches in the same way they once obliterated Jewish synagogues. And in Iraq, terrorists deliberately target Christian worshippers. This past Christmas, 26 people were killed when a bomb ripped through a crowd of worshipers leaving a church in Baghdad’s southern Dora neighborhood.

Christians are losing their lives, liberties, businesses and their houses of worship across the Middle East. It is little wonder that native Christians have sought refuge in neighboring countries—yet in many cases they find themselves equally unwelcome. Over the past 10 years, nearly two-thirds of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christians have been driven from their homes. Many settled in Syria before once again becoming victims of unrelenting persecution. Syria’s Christian population has dropped from 30% in the 1920s to less than 10% today.

In January, a report by the nondenominational Christian nonprofit organization Open Doors documented the 10 most oppressive countries for Christians; nine were Muslim-majority states noted for Islamic extremism, and the 10th was North Korea. These tyrannical regimes uphold archaic blasphemy and defamation-of-religion laws under the guise of protecting religious expression. In truth, these measures amount to systematic repression of non-Islamic groups.

Last year in Saudi Arabia, two men were prosecuted for the “crime” of converting a woman to Christianity and helping her flee the Islamic kingdom. According to the Saudi Gazette, one of the men, a Lebanese, was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes, and the other man, a Saudi, was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes. Those are relatively mild sentences in Saudi Arabia, where conversion to another religion is punishable by death.

The “justice system” in other Islamic nations is not particularly just for Arab citizens, but it is uniquely oppressive for Christians. Radical Islamists in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa are using an ancient law called the “dhimmi pact” to extort local Christians. The community is faced with a grim choice: pay a tax and submit to a list of religious restrictions or “face the sword.”

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressions of political dissent are regarded as acts of blasphemy. Last summer, three Iranian Christians caught selling Bibles were found guilty of “crimes against state security” and sentenced to 10 years in prison. They were relatively lucky. The regime has executed dozens of people for the so-called crimes of “waging war against God” and “spreading corruption on Earth.”

The scene unfolding in the Middle East is ominously familiar. At the end of World War II, almost one million Jews lived in Arab lands. The creation of Israel in 1948 precipitated an invasion of five Arab armies. When they were unable to annihilate the newborn state militarily, Arab leaders launched a campaign of terror and expulsion that decimated their ancient Jewish communities. They succeeded in purging 800,000 Jews from their lands.

Today, Israel, which I represent at the United Nations, is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population. Its Christian community has increased from 34,000 in 1948 to 140,000 today, in large measure because of the freedoms Christians are afforded.

From courtrooms to classrooms and from the chambers of Parliament to chambers of commerce, Israeli Christians are leaders in every field and discipline. Salim Joubran, a Christian Arab Israeli, has served as a Supreme Court justice since 2003 and Makram Khoury is one of the best-known actors in Israel and the youngest artist to win the Israel Prize, our highest civic honor.

Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest living in Israel, recently told me: “Human rights are not something to be taken for granted. Christians in much of the Middle East have been slaughtered and persecuted for their faith, but here in Israel they are protected.”

Nations that trample on the rights of their people sow the seeds of instability and violence. The uprisings that have erupted across the Middle East are evidence that the region’s Holy Grail has become the pursuit of freedom, democracy and equality. Let us hope that this quest bears fruit before it is too late for the region’s remaining Christians.

Mr. Prosor is Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.

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>> Report on my meeting with Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.S.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Mainstream Media Warns: Fort Hood Shooter Was “Stockpiling Weapons and Ammunition”

As investigators attempt to put together the pieces surrounding the most recent mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, it didn’t take long for the mainstream media to begin fabricating its own narratives as to why Ivan Lopez may have targeted twenty soldiers last week.

Following reports that Lopez was an outspoken critic of previous mass shootings via his Facebook page and that he was suffering from symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder, CNN’s Pamela Brown says she spoke with an anonymous source who indicates the disturbed shooter was stockpiling large amounts of ammunition, having returned to the local Killeen, TX gun shop where he bought his gun on multiple occasions to purchase additional rounds.

And though Brown spent all of 20 seconds explaining the ammunition connection in the video report below, at no time did she mention that Lopez owned or purchased anything other than the .45 caliber handgun he used to commit the shooting.

Yet that didn’t stop the CNN editorial team from running a prominent headline suggesting Lopez, “Stockpiled Weapons, Ammunition.”

fort-hood---stockpiling-ammo-weapons

Within the report itself, CNN claims Lopez purchased a “large amount of ammo,” and they even included a graphic in their news report of what a bulk purchase of ammunition might look like, though Brown failed to specifically mention how much ammunition was actually purchased:

fort-hood---ammo-screen-shot

You can view the CNN video report below, but pay attention because if you blink you might miss it (starts at about 0:40):

Army specialist Ivan Lopez was creating a stockpile of ammunition.

Sources say when Lopez bought his 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun at this store, Guns Galore, in Killeen, TX on March 1st, he also purchased what one source calls a ‘large amount of ammo.’

CNN has also learned that the 34-year old returned to the store repeatedly to buy even more bullets. 


(Watch at CNN)

It’s not clear where CNN gleamed this information, how much ammunition was purchased, or how it is relevant to the investigation itself.

The fact that CNN chose to run a headline indicating that the stockpiling of ammunition also included a weapons cache is indicative of a new narrative being formed, likely to be followed up by more ‘extremist’ behavior that may include visiting ‘radical’ web sites or forums.

In December of 2011 Senator Rand Paul gave a speech on the House floor in which he warned Americans of activities that were now considered terrorism by the U.S. government. Paul specifically cited the storage of ammunition and guns as red flags for law enforcement and national security officials:

Know good and well that some day there could be a government in power that is shipping its citizens off for disagreements. There are laws on the books now that characterize who might be a terrorist.

Someone missing fingers on their hands is a suspect according to the Department of Justice. Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weatherproofed, someone who has more than seven days of food in their house can be considered a potential terrorist.

If you are suspected by these activities do you want the government to have the ability to send you to Guantanamo Bay for indefinite detention?

This latest “investigation” by CNN seems like an obvious attempt to engage in a strategy of predictive programming, whereby they are hinting to the American public that those who store, collect or stockpile ammunition and guns are a danger to society and should be reported as such to officials.

fort-hood---large-amount-of-ammo


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

The Tiger Awakens: China Warns of “Retaliatory Action” and “Unforeseeable Consequences” Over U.S. Monday Deadline

tiger

Yesterday Secretary of State and flip-flopper extraordinaire John Kerry advised Russia that Vladimir Putin has until Monday to pull back his forces from Ukraine. Failure to do so would lead to serious repercussions. Kerry was light on details, but we can assume he was talking about some sort of economic sanctions:

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a top critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, asked what the administration would do if Russian forces advance farther into the eastern area of Ukraine, and the new government in Kiev asks the U.S. for weapons to fight the Russians.

Kerry responded carefully, saying “we have contingencies – we are talking through various options that may or may not be available.”

“Our hope is not to create hysteria or excessive concern about that at this point in time,” he said. “Our hope is to avoid that, but there’s no telling that we can.”

It’s quite obvious, based on Kerry’s statement, that the Obama Administration really has no idea what to do, as they are still talking through “various options,” something that probably should have been worked out well before President Obama began slinging rhetoric over the crisis.

What the Obama administration assumes will happen is that they’ll force Russia into compliance by coming after their economy. Obama will hit the Late Night TV circuit to tout his success, we’ll all laugh about it, and then go on our merry way. Putin will be left embarrassed and laying in the fetal position sucking his thumb. At least that’s the plan.

But two can play at that game and China, which has stood by Russia’s show of force in Europe since the get-go, has now upped the ante.

It’s a brilliant move designed, once again, to show the world that President Obama and the United States are no longer running the show.

Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences,” warns China’s envoy to Germany adding that “we don’t see any point in sanctions.” On the heels of Merkel’s warning that Russia risked “massive” political and economic damage if it did not change course, Reuters reports ambassador Shi Mingde urged patience saying “the door is still open” for diplomacy (though we suspect it is not) ahead of this weekend’s referendum. Russia’s Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev responded by promising “symmetrical” sanctions by Moscow. So now we have China joining the fray more aggressively.

Via Reuters,

China’s top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control. In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.

“We don’t see any point in sanctions,” Shi said. “Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don’t want this.”

Using her [Merkel’s] toughest rhetoric since the crisis began, she warned in a speech in parliament on Thursday that Russia risked “massive” political and economic damage if it did not change course in the coming days.

Russia’s Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev responded by promising “symmetrical” sanctions by Moscow. But Shi urged patience, saying the door for talks should remain open even after a referendum on Sunday in which Ukraine’s southern region of Crimea could vote to secede and join Russia. Merkel and other western leaders have denounced the referendum as illegal and demanded that it be canceled.

“We still see a chance to avoid an escalation. The door to talks is still open. We should use this possibility, also after the referendum,” Shi said.

Zero Hedge via The Daily Sheeple

The White House’s deadline for Russia to pull back is Monday.

Will Obama blink again, as he did in Syria?

Let’s remember that China holds trillions of dollars of US debt. All they have to do is hint (not even actually do it) that they will pull back on Treasury purchases and we’re toast within days.

We shouldn’t be at all surprised if, on Monday, Vladimir Putin thumbs his nose at the west again and actually sends his troops across the Crimean border into Ukraine.

One thing’s for sure. President Obama’s foreign policy has been a complete and utter disaster on every front. Either this destruction of America’s worldwide credibility is pre-planned or there is a gaggle of idiots in charge at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Perhaps both.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

British PM Cameron on 1st state visit to Israel warns of Iran’s “despotic regime” with “nuclear intentions.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Knesset, March 12, 2014 (photo credit: Knesset spokesperson/Times of Israel)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Knesset (photo credit: Knesset spokesperson/Times of Israel)

On his first state visit to Israel, British Prime Minister David Cameron today told the Knesset he has Jewish roots, including a relative who wrote the first Yiddish novel, and vowed that Britain would always stand as a friend to Israel and the Jewish people.

He spoke out strongly against international efforts to delegitimize Israel, and warned that Iran’s government is a “despotic regime” with “nuclear intentions.” He vowed to work with all in the region to help make peace while standing firmly behind Israel’s right and need for security.

“You have a British prime minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable and whose commitment to Israel’s security will always be rock-solid,” Cameron said.

Speaking of the IDF’s intercept of an Iranian ship offensive arms to Gaza, Cameron said this was “yet another despicable attempt by the Iranians to smuggle more long-range rockets into Gaza….It gave me a renewed understanding of what it must be like to be afraid in your own home.”

The trip is brief — just 24 hours — and Cameron will also be meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

Cameron called for an end to Palestinian incitement, and also for a cessation of settlement building.

UPDATE ON CAMERON’S SPEECH AND TRIP

  • “British Prime Minister David Cameron, in an address to the Knesset Wednesday afternoon, stressed his country’s backing for Israeli efforts to achieve peace and security, and promised his support in combating international attempts to boycott and sanction the Jewish state,” reported the Times of Israel.
  • “Delegitimizing the State of Israel is wrong,” he said. “It’s abhorrent. And together we will defeat it.”
  • “You have a British prime minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable and whose commitment to Israel’s security will always be rock-solid.”
  • The British prime minister emphasized his support for “the long and rightful search of a people for a nation. And the right for the Jewish people to live a peaceful and prosperous life in Israel.”
  • Cameron was adamant about his position against efforts to boycott Israel.
  • “Britain opposes boycotts. Whether it’s trade unions campaigning for the exclusion of Israelis or universities trying to stifle academic exchange Israel’s place as a homeland for the Jewish people will never rest on hollow resolutions passed by amateur politicians.”
  • Cameron also referenced his own Jewish great-great-grandfather, and another ancestor who penned the first Yiddish novel.
  • Painting a picture of a vibrant and open Middle East after a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, Cameron said he understood Israeli security concerns, and backed Jerusalem’s right to defend itself.
  • “I will always stand up for the right of Israel to defend its citizens. A right enshrined in international law, in natural justice and fundamental morality, and in decades of common endeavor between Israel and her allies.”
  • Turning to last week’s interception of the Klos C ship carrying Iranian arms, Cameron called the incident “yet another despicable attempt by the Iranians to smuggle more long-range rockets into Gaza… It gave me a renewed understanding of what it must be like to be afraid in your own home.”….
  • Cameron directed harsh criticism at Iran. “There is no rule that says if Israel and the Palestinians make peace, Iran is somehow going to dismantle its despotic regime or abandon its nuclear intentions.
  • “That can only be done through sustained international pressure. I share your deep skepticism and great concern about Iran. I am not starry eyed about the new regime. A nuclear armed Iran is a threat to the whole world — not just to Israel and with Israel and all our allies, Britain will ensure that is never allowed to happen.”…..
  • The British prime minister praised ongoing efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to forge a peace agreement between Israelis and the PA.
  • “We back the compromises needed — including the halt to settlement activity and an end to Palestinian incitement too.
  • “And we recognize the difficult and courageous decisions both sides are taking, not least with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s decision to release terrorist prisoners, with all the anguish that can bring for affected families.”
  • Cameron outlined a vision of “a proper lasting peace that allows a strong moderate Palestinian government to end the fears of a failed state on Israel’s border… A deal that means an end of all claims — and an end of all conflict.
  • “Israelis and Palestinians no longer each other’s enemy, but actually working together to maintain security against those who would seek to harm us all.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog