Remember, Thomas's "Thank God for Hezbollah?" Well, one good praise deserves another, I suppose.
Hezbollah MP Hussein Moussawi said in a statement, "Respected American journalist Helen Thomas's answer shows ... a courageous, bold, honest and free opinion which expresses what people across the globe believe: that Israel is a racist state of murderers and thugs."Nuff' said.And folks, she's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the real feelings of old-media members in the MSM. Let the purging continue.
Labels: Helen Thomas
Labels: Chernobyl» Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac» KGB» Russia
Whenever something big is expected to happen in the world, it is difficult for those who know about it to say and do nothing in advance. Russian policies and pronouncements often provide signals to the wise. Prior to the Russian invasion of Georgia, the intended war and its diplomatic exploitation was alluded to in a speech delivered by President Dmitri Medvedev on 15 July 2008 at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. In another prescient sequence, Russia urged China to dump Fannie and Freddie bonds in August 2008, a month before the historic U.S. financial meltdown. It is worth noting that the Russians sold $65.6 billion in Fannie and Freddie debt at the beginning of that same year. (As it happens, Fannie and Freddie were seized by regulators on 6 September 2008.) The Russians have spies everywhere, who keep close tabs on global finance, military affairs and politics. The Russians piggy-back on international organized crime, which is a key source of information on corruption and the global underground economy.
The Russians also do more. They make the future, directly, instead of merely reacting to events. Back in the 1980s, for example, you might ask whether Europe was going to use Russian natural gas or continue to build nuclear power plants. The answer appeared by way of a nuclear reactor accident at a place called Chernobyl. Europe's future dependence on Russian natural gas was thereby sealed. To take another, more recent, example: a KGB analyst in Moscow has predicted civil war in the United States. According to Russia's Igor Panarin, America's breakup will occur sometime around 2010 or 2011. In this instance, the Chernobyl component has yet to be detonated.
Labels: Barack Obama» Flotilla» flotilla's guided hand
"The White House demanded that Israel exercise extreme caution and restraint in any scenario," a diplomatic source said.The Obama administration demands were relayed through Israeli Defense
Minister Ehud Barak and Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, the sources said.
They said Barak, who has sought advanced weapons from Washington
persuaded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree that the Israel Navy would not use anti-riot equipment, including tear gas, to stop the flotilla.
The sources said the Israeli intelligence community had informed the
White House that the flotilla contained scores of Turks trained in weapons
and hand-to-hand combat. They said the Turkish-flagged ship Marmara was
believed to have contained weapons and components ordered by the Hamas
regime in the Gaza Strip.
In the end, Netanyahu approved a plan for the Israel Navy to board
Marmara with commandos armed with paintball guns. The commandos were quickly overpowered by Turkish
fighters until the Israeli commander ordered live
fire, which killed nine passengers, eight of them Turks.
Obama, whose aides were said to have been in contact with the flotilla,
did not condemn the Israeli naval interception. But within hours
of the bloody clash, the president withdrew his invitation to Netanyahu to
come to the White House.
"The last thing the president wanted was to stand next to Netanyahu as
he defended this action and blasted Hamas and its supporters in the West,"
another source said.
The sources said Barak and Netanyahu decided on the details of the
interception without consulting a seven-member security Cabinet committee.
Later, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, a former chief of staff,
asserted that the naval operation had endangered the commandos.
"The prime minister decided to settle everything with the defense
minister," Ya'alon was quoted as saying. "Netanyahu shouldn't have left such
fateful decisions to an irresponsible defense minister drunk with power."
In wake of the clash, Obama has sought to ease tensions with Turkey. On
June 2, Obama telephoned Prime Minister Recep Erdogan amid rising Islamist threats against Turkey's Christian and Jewish communities. The following day, a Roman Catholic bishop was killed by an alleged Islamist.
"Obama told Erdogan 'Don't rock the boat too much. We'll take care of
business,'" another diplomatic source said. "It was a very friendly
On June 4, the administration, which reinvited Netanyahu, demanded the
easing of Israel's siege of the Gaza Strip. The White House said the United
States was working with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to "develop new
procedures for delivering more goods and assistance to Gaza, while also
increasing opportunity for the people of Gaza and preventing the importation
"The current arrangements are unsustainable and must be changed," White
House spokesman Mike Hammer said. "For now, we call on all parties to join
us in encouraging responsible decisions by all sides to avoid any
unnecessary confrontations and to ensure the safety of all involved."via worldtribune.com
Labels: boycott» Diamonds
The government of Israel has a chance to exercise valuable leadership on a critical international human rights issue — and it has nothing to do with the Palestinians.
Israel holds the annual chairmanship of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, an international body designed to choke off the trade in “blood diamonds.” On June 21-23, Tel Aviv will host the first of two big Kimberley Process conferences this year, with a unique collection of bedfellows who have come together to keep the diamond trade from harming innocent people: representatives from more than 75 countries, large-scale private diamond traders, multinational companies and civil society activists who have helped make “blood diamonds” a cause célêbre.
The diamond wealth of West Africa provoked — and financed — a series of vicious local wars in the 1990s, and the Kimberley Process was meant to stem the public relations disaster that subsequently threatened the revenues of everyone from De Beers and the Kremlin to the corner jewelry shop. Consumers don’t like the idea that their engagement ring helped buy weapons that slaughtered thousands of civilians. Hollywood helped raise the profile of the issue with a Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster set in Sierra Leone in 1998.
An unusual blend of human rights idealism and commercial motives, the Kimberley Process is not an easy gathering to chair. Israel will have to deal with perhaps the most vexing issue of its chairmanship: what to do about diamonds from Zimbabwe.
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe keeps himself in power by stealing elections, trumping up legal charges against members of the opposition and civil society, and having his political enemies tortured and even killed. He has reduced Zimbabwe, a country that had one of the highest levels of productivity and education in southern Africa, to a state of pitiful economic collapse. And now, in his late 80s, he has been blessed with a fantastic piece of serendipity: the discovery of potentially very large diamond fields in the eastern part of his bankrupted country. Those diamonds are helping to keep him in power.
Labels: Jesus» Jewish Commentary» Luke» Maimonides» Mathew» Paul» Pharisees
Noah's additional Note :By Tabatha, 20 November, 2009,
There’s no doubt about it: the Pharisees are the bad guys of the Christian Bible.
They’re portrayed as nothing short of selfishness and hypocrisy personified. Indeed, the very word ‘pharisee’ legalistic. has become part of the vernacular and is shorthand for someone who is hypocritical, arrogant and, above all,
Legalism being, of course, one of the basic things that Christianity has always condemned about Judaism.
In the Bible, the Pharisees are portrayed as being fixated on adhering to man made laws, especially those that pertain to ritual purity. Jesus is presented as being the exact opposite: dismissive of the Jewish laws, and instead, concerned with ‘love’.
One typical example: according to the New Testament, Pharisees wanted to punish Jesus for healing a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath. However, no historical Rabbinic rule has been found according to which Jesus would have violated the Sabbath.
The Christian Scriptures aren’t subtle in condemning the Pharisees, either.
In fact, they give us the ‘Woes Of The Pharisees’ – an entire list ofcriticisms by Jesus against Scribes and Pharisees. The Woes are found in the Gospel of Luke11:37-54 and Gospel of Matthew 23:1-36.
Crucially, in some places within the Christian scriptures, it’s clear that ‘pharisee’ is used to represent Jews, period. Thus it’s important to examine the way that, historically, Christianity has presented this particular Jewish sect.
Is the New Testament depiction an accurate one?And if not, why did the authors demonize this particular group?
Well, there’s an easy answer to the latter point. Of all the Jewish sects, it was the Pharisees that most resisted the influence and ideology of early Christianity. For Jews it was always incomprehensible for anyone to state that G-d would take human form.
So the Christian belief that a deity, in mortal form, could ‘die’ was rejected as being inherently ‘pagan’ by the Pharisees. Understandably so, since a deity in mortal form is a motif that we find in many Pagan religions and cults.
Similarly, the idea of the ‘trinity’ was irrational in the view of the Pharisees, who would have seen it as Polytheism, since it seemed to violate the sacred Jewish teaching of G-d being One.
Given their disagreement with core Christian beliefs, is it any wonder that the Pharisees are presented so negatively in the Christian Scriptures…?
Yet the evidence suggests that the Christian Bible is far from accurate when it comes to the Pharisees.
For instance, though the New Testament presents the Pharisees as obsessed with avoiding impurity, Rabbinic texts reveal that the Pharisees just tried to offer ways of removing impurities, so that a person could again participate in the community.
And while in the New Testament the Pharisees objected to Jesus approaching outcast groups such as beggars and tax-collectors, Jewish texts actually stress the availability of forgiveness to all.
Indeed, much of Jesus’ teaching, for example the Sermon on the Mount, is consistent with that of the Pharisees and later Rabbinic thought.Some scholars believe that those passages of the New Testament that are most hostile to the Pharisees were written after the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 C.E., at a time when it had become clear that Jews knew Jesus was not their Maschiach.
Mark 13:1-4. "As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, 'Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!' 'Do you see all these great buildings?' replied Jesus. 'Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.' As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 'Tell us, when will these things happen?'"
(the reason this was clear was because while Jesus had claimed the temple would fall, the claims of the messiah are that he would bring very obvious signs of improvement)
There's a thought in Judaism: "If you're planting a tree and you hear that the Messiah is coming up the road, finish planting the tree. THEN go see if it's the Jewish Messiah."
From "Judaism for Everyone" by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
The only Messiah recognized by the Jewish faith is he who fulfills the prophecies of gathering in all Jewish exiles, rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, and establishing a permanent era of peace on earth. Maimonides establishes beyond the shadow of any halachic doubt that a great Jewish leader who causes the Jewish people to re-embrace their tradition and fights God's moral battles has the possibility of being the Messiah. But if he dies without having fulfilled the relevant prophecies, he is seen as an inspired leader who brought the world closer to redemption, but is not the redeemer himself. Unlike Christianity, which insists that Jesus was either divine or an impostor, we Jews have no patience for god-men, so distant as they are from our struggles and tribulations. What really turns us on is imperfect people who wrestle with their nature and contribute vastly to the perfection of the world. It was not the early Jerusalem Church's insistence on the messiahship of Jesus that broke them off from normative Judaism, but rather Paul's later abrogation of the law. Early Christians did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, only that he was the long-promised Messiah. There was nothing inherently heretical about this belief, even if it was not normative.
At this time Christians sought new converts from among the Gentiles; they thus had to be able to explain why converts should listen to them, rather than the Jews, concerning the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh.
Of course, the Pharisees were just one of several sects within Judaism at the time of the second temple. They were the most significant group, though, because it’s from their traditions that contemporary Judaism arose.But contrary to the Christian portrayal of them, the Pharisees were by far the most egalitarian sect. They believed that everyone, whether rich or poor, deserved an education, and that Torah should be accessible to all Jews. The Pharisees, then, were the ‘blue collar’ Jews of their time.
One of their staunchest beliefs was in the importance of the Oral Torah. This was given by G-d to the Jews at Mount Sinai, along with the written Torah. The Oral traditions were not codified until centuries later, and today we know it as the Talmud. Prior to that, the traditions were passed along orally, from father to son.
The Pharisees also believed in an ‘afterlife’ of some sort, and that those who were wicked on earth would be punished accordingly after death. Finally, they were sure that the Jewish Maschiach would arrive – the Messiah who, as we believe today – will fulfill the 23 Jewish prophecies and usher in world peace. The Messianic Age, in other words. So far, then, we can see that the Pharisees adhered to core, traditional Jewish beliefs.
But perhaps most crucially, the Pharisees were responsible for ensuring that Judaism survived, unadulterated by the influences of other, conflicting faiths and lifestyles.
This was a time when the Greeks were keen to assimilate the Jewish people by trying to combine their own, multiple deities, with Jewish theology. The Pharisees resisted any attempt at violating or diluting core Jewish tenets, and they were probably vocal about it. Nothing terrible about that, though.
Rather than recognising the devout nature of the Pharisees, though, the New Testament condemns them as taking part in the Jewish rituals without being spiritually involved in them. Over and over and over, Christian Bible tells us that the Pharisees were abject hypocrites.
Other Jewish sects, less passionate about preserving Judaism, are not indicted in this manner. The Sadducees, for instance, were far more relaxed and open to the Hellenic influences that many Jews encountered. The Sadducees also rejected the Oral Torah, instead preferring to focus on the Temple and all the associated rituals.
They also disagreed with any notion of an afterlife. Perhaps it is not surprising that after the Romans destroyed the temple in AD 70, the Sadducees faded into obscurity. They are not portrayed nearly as negatively.
There is a certain irony, also, in that the Christian scriptures show Jesus bitterly castigating and condemning the Pharisees. Yet from what we do know of his attitudes, Jesus actually agreed with many of the Pharisees’ conclusions.
In particular, he agreed with much that was taught by Hillel, who always taught ‘love thy neighbour’, long, long before Christianity adopted it and attributed it to Jesus.
The Pharisees also supported Gentiles who wished to convert to Judaism. Other sects were less supportive. Again, it is therefore somewhat strange that it’s the Pharisees who are consistently demonised in the New Testament.
One of the most bewildering aspects of the Christian Bible for Jews, or at least those of us who read it, is this idea that Paul was a Pharisee. Frankly, he didn’t seem to get even the basics of Judaism.
And there is not a single Jewish reference, anywhere, to any rebel student of Gamaliel who had a life changing vision either on the road to Damascus or anywhere else. Nor is there any mention of any follower of Gamaliel who suddenly became a heretic and started urging other Jews to abandon Torah and all the Jewish religious laws!
Paul spoke out against keeping the Kosher rules, and against circumcision, yet nowhere do we find even a fleeting mention of him! Why?
Other miscreants and heretics are certainly referenced in the Jewish texts, warts and all.
And if Paul was such a brilliant student, why are all his references from the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, the Septuagint?
How is it that he seems so lacking in knowledge of the Hebrew Tanakh, and so ignorant regarding Halacha, the Jewish religious law?
Indeed, some writers question whether Paul was Jewish at all.
Hyam Maccoby, for example, has raised some intriguing points about Paul. And he reminds us that there were good reasons for Paul claiming to be a Pharisee, even if he wasn’t:
It should be noted that modern scholarship has shown that, at this time, the Pharisees were held in high repute throughout the Roman and Parthian empires as a dedicated group who upheld religious ideals in the face of tyranny, supported leniency and mercy in the application of laws, and championed the rights of the poor against the oppression of the rich.Maccoby and several others have pointed to the writings of the Ebionites, an early group who believed Jesus was a normal mortal and nothing more. They had some very definite views on Paul. Maccoby explains:
The undeserved reputation for hypocrisy which is attached to the name ‘Pharisee’ in medieval and modern times is due to the campaign against the Pharisees in the Gospels — a campaign dictated by politico-religious considerations at the time when the Gospels were given their final editing, about forty to eighty years after the death of Jesus. Paul’s desire to be thought of as a person of Pharisee upbringing should thus be understood in the light of the actual reputation of the Pharisees in Paul’s lifetime; Paul was claiming a high honour, which would much enhance his status in the eyes of his correspondents.
Their writings were suppressed by the Church, but some of their views and traditions were preserved in the writings of their opponents, particularly in the huge treatise on Heresies by Epiphanius. From this it appears that the Ebionites had a very different account to give of Paul’s background and early life from that found in the New Testament and fostered by Paul himself.
The Ebionites testified that Paul had no Pharisaic background or training; he was the son of Gentiles, converted to Judaism in Tarsus, came to Jerusalem when an adult, and attached himself to the High Priest as a henchman. Disappointed in his hopes of advancement, he broke with the High Priest and sought fame by founding a new religion.The Ebonites, then, stated categorically that Paul was not Jewish. Their statement on this is to be found in the writing of Epiphanius in the 4th century, which says:
This account, while not reliable in all its details, is substantially correct. It makes far more sense of all the puzzling and contradictory features of the story of Paul than the account of the official documents of the Church.
The Ebionites were stigmatized by the Church as heretics who failed to understand that Jesus was a divine person and asserted instead that he was a human being who came to inaugurate a new earthly age, as prophesied by the Jewish prophets of the Bible.
Moreover, the Ebionites refused to accept the Church doctrine, derived from Paul, that Jesus abolished or abrogated the Torah, the Jewish law.
They were the same group that had earlier been called the Nazarenes, who were led by James and Peter, who had known Jesus during his lifetime, and were in a far better position to know his aims than Paul, who met Jesus only in dreams and visions. Thus the opinion held by the Ebionites about Paul is of extraordinary interest and deserves respectful consideration, instead of dismissal as ’scurrilous’ propaganda — the reaction of Christian scholars from ancient to modern times.
“They declare that Paul was raised in a pagan household. He went up to Jerusalem and when he had spent some time there, was seized with passion to marry the daughter of the high priest; and this was the reason he became a proselyte (Jew) and went through the Jewish ritual of circumcision. But when the lady rejected him, he flew into a rage and wrote against circumcision and against the Sabbath and the Jewish Law.”(Pamarion 30.16.6).
There is one final irony in the awful portrayal of the Pharisees in the Christian scriptures. And that is the possibility advanced by some that Jesus was himself a Pharisee.
Several scholars have argued that Jesus’ arguments with the Pharisees is a sign of inclusion rather than any real enmity. Debate was, after all, the main narrative mode employed in the Talmud as a search for truth, and not necessarily a sign of opposition.
As we touched upon earlier, Jesus’ teaching of ‘love thy neighbour’ reflects the teaching of the school of Hillel.
But Jesus’ views of divorce, are closer to those of the school of Shammai, another Pharisee.
Hyam Maccoby writes:
“In my earlier book on Jesus, Revolution in Judaea, I showed how, in the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus speaks and acts as a Pharisee, though the Gospel editors have attempted to conceal this by representing him as opposing Pharisaism even when his sayings were most in accordance with Pharisee teaching.
In the present book, I have used the rabbinical evidence to establish an opposite contention: that Paul, whom the New Testament wishes to portray as having been a trained Pharisee, never was one. The consequences of this for the understanding of early Christianity are immense.”
Indeed, much of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, is consistent with that of the Pharisees and later Rabbinic thought.One thing seems certain: the Pharisees were probably far more decent, and far less sinister, than is suggested by certain parts of the Christian bible.
Labels: Hilarion Capucci
On a symbolic level, the appearance of a man of the cloth at a protest rally gives the protestors an aura of credibility. The logic is that members of the clergy are responsible to God, and theoretically to the churches they serve, and therefore would not endorse an unworthy cause, much less a violent one.It is for that reason that the Free Gaza Movement was lucky to have former Melkite Bishop Hilarion Capucci participating in its most recent effort to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. To the uninformed, Capucci's presence in the flotilla gives credence to the notion that the flotilla's intentions were peaceful and innocent. Consequently, Capucci was on board a boat that was intercepted on its way to Gaza in in 2009. It was also why he participated in the flotilla that was recently boarded by Israeli soldiers in 2010.People who are aware of Capucci's past will interpret his presence on these flotillas in a completely different manner.In 1975, Capucci was convicted of smuggling guns from Lebanon into the West Bank. Moreover, he rebuked an American held in Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.
this guy is not just a political and religious figure. Read more about this villain at camera.org
The Islamic prayer is now going digital, with a prototype of a new prayer mat with built-in sensors, lights, and a display screen to show scripture, alert the user to the next prayer time and find the direction of Mecca. “It will increase their understanding of the scriptures and the quality of the prayer,” says the Muslim inventor Wael Aboulsaadat.
How it works…
The sensors embedded in the rug can detect the user’s posture and if the worshipper makes an error (such as missing or adding a step in the prayer sequence) the sensors will vibrate. It’s a subtle way to help correct the error without breaking the user’s concentration, Aboulsaadat says. “It’s important not to interrupt flow, because that interrupts the focus of prayer.” As well, the user can recite and follow along with the scripture on the screen. “You can customize and choose which prayers to read.”
In addition to the eRug’s prayer mode, the device also has a notification mode that alerts the user to upcoming prayer times (devout Muslims are expected to pray five times a day facing the direction of the holy city of Mecca) and important religious holidays. The eRug’s third mode acts like a compass – complete with a 3D model of the mosque in Mecca – so the user can find its direction wherever he or she may be.
Aboulsaadat will be planning to do simular things for people of other faiths, but since he’s a Muslim he started with the e-rug first.
Pam Geller’s new poster vandalized by leftist, so sanctimonious she can’t even see why she was arrestedMona Eltahawy is a darling of the feminist progressive left. She was recently attacked in Egypt's Tahrir square. ...another left win...
well, good! This will allow the public to talk about Islam. The more free conversation on the issue the better. they can't frame the con...
it did work for Obama though. Remember Obama Girl? image from the South Florida Chronicle It_is_not_clear_where_or_how the g...
Liberal multiculturalists insist that Islam is the same as other major world religions. As usual, they are full of shit.. The l...
but the Third Intifada pages are OK?
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2013/06/stuxnet-was-out-of-control-we-had-to.html How many large-scale cyberattacks have taken place to th...
Jordan recently seized 20 tons of chemicals trucked in by confessed al-Qaeda members who brought the stuff in from Syria. The chemicals i...
The CURSE is BACK! ( Wiz Bang ) If you weren’t watching ESPN this evening you missed some serious baseball drama. The Boston Red Sox an...
creeping Biting the hand that feeds them halal (see links below). via The Arab American News – Local McDonald’s stops serving h...
Ron_Paul_demands_Sixth_Amendment for Anwar al-Awlaki because he is a U.S. citizen. How many murders must happen for Ron Paul's reptili...