Category Archives: History

Turkey: A dictatorship by any other name

I could not resist to reblog this nice overview by the musician Philip Lee, of what a dictatorship implies or means. I would have loved it to be placed on my private blog Marcus Ampe’s Space, but at the moment I am very far behind by posting my personal visions and non-religious articles. Not fitting yet in the series nor in my other blogspot “Our World” I am publishing it here in the hope you may enjoy it too.

In his article the writer looks at how a dictatorship gives total power to its ruler and its hallmark which is often a cult of personality. In Turkey Erdogan managed to built up his personal ‘cultus’ very cleverly, being patient enough to get his goal. As the the 12th President of Turkey since 2014 Erdogan has done all he could to bring the country back to 80 years ago concerning the way of life but this time in an economically much improved country, that must be said. though he handy made use of war to divert attention from domestic problems.

Today we not only see a dictatorship in Russia and Turkey, soon there is one looming around the corner with Trump and some other nationalists, who get the citizens in their trap by telling them lots of lies and making them cross against those who were before them so that attention on any default of them is taken away by diversion.

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Remember

  • current State of Emergency rule = wide net targetting coup conspirators + Erdoğan’s opponents => After 2016 coup, thousands arrested + thousands of civil servants (supporters of the many secular-oriented officials who opposed Erdoğan in the past) ousted from their jobs => eliminating any criticism or opposition.
  • President Erdoğan targeting anyone who doesn’t support him > silence anyone who is critical of the ruling AKP party >by ongoing state of emergency
  • Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) >  breakdown of a peace process + escalating conflict between Turkish security forces + armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party => mounting civilian deaths + multiple human rights violations.
  • Freedom of expression + freedom of the press curtailed or drastically censored > shutdown of newspapers + magazines

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Related articles

  1. Erdogan warns Europeans’ risk being ‘unsafe’ as feud rages with EU — Unless this stops “no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully.”
  2. Erdogan Turkey Germany – CWEB.com
  3. Did President Erdogan Threaten Europe Amid London Terror Attack?
  4. Turkey: The Unholy Clash of Interests, Terrorism and Politics, Islam and Islamists
  5. Video: Erdogan Treatens Europe Hours Before UK Terrorist Attack
  6. Turkey’s Move to Lead the European Caliphate
  7. Is it not time to call a halt to Erdogan’s fascism? Video Turkey’s President Erdogan: Soon Europeans ‘Will Not Walk Safely on Their Streets’ — The Muslim Issue
  8. Turkey: The Return of the Sultan
  9. Trumpocalypse 2017: At least we’re not Turkey
  10. Erdoğan Threatens Europe
  11. Erdoğan: Turks Must Outbreed Whites
  12. Is Turkey’s President Erdogan Working Directly With ISIS to Bring Terror
  13. Turkey, NATO: Getting Closer to Divorce

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A dictatorship gives total power to its ruler and its hallmark is often a cult of personality.

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Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

judenstaat

The American rabbi is convinced that many have been scratching their heads trying to figure out why on earth the government of Israel and writes in “Zionism’s Marriage of Convenience to Anti-Semitism” that so many staunch Zionists are just fine with the election of Donald Trump

– the darling of the anti-Semitic alt-right.

Zionism not being new he does find it having a

cozy, if somewhat Faustian relationship with anti-Semitism since its very origins.

He argues that

Theodor Herzl (born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl) also known in Hebrew as חוֹזֵה הַמְדִינָה‎, Chozeh HaMedinah (lit. “Visionary of the State”) an Austro-Hungarian journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who was one of the fathers of modern political Zionism. – in Basel, 1897

The founder of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl never made a secret of his belief that his new movement would have to depend upon anti-Semitism and anti-Semites in order to create a Jewish state. In his pamphlet, “The Jewish State,” he suggested raising money for the effort by means of a “direct subscription,” adding that “not only poor Jews but also Christians who wanted to get rid of them would subscribe a small amount to this fund.”

Scholars such as Yehuda Bibas, Zvi Hirsch Kalischer and Judah Alkalai were already promoting Zionist ideas before him.

Herzl grew to believe that anti-semitism could not be defeated or cured, only avoided, and that the only way to avoid it was the establishment of a Jewish state where there would be place to co-operate with those anti-Semites he even thought could become their most dependable friends and allies. {his diary}

Russian imperial statesman Vyacheslav von Plehve, whose efforts to uphold autocratic principle, a police-bureaucratic government, minister of the interior and an infamous anti-Semite who encouraged the Kishinev pogroms on April 19 and 20, 1903, and a second, smaller riot that erupted in October 1905.

Herman S. Shapiro. “Kishinever shekhita, elegie” [Kishinev Massacre Elegy]. New York: Asna Goldberg, 1904. Irene Heskes Collection. The illustration in the center of this elegy depicts the April 1903 Kishinev massacre.

The most popular newspaper in Kishinev, the Russian-language anti-Semitic newspaper Бессарабец (Bessarabetz, meaning “Bessarabian“), published by Pavel Krushevan, regularly published articles with headlines such as “Death to the Jews!” and “Crusade against the Hated Race!” (referring to the Jews).

The Times published a forged dispatch by Vyacheslav von Plehve, the Minister of Interior, to the governor of Bessarabia, which supposedly gave orders not to stop the rioters.

Today it is again that same region in eastern Europe where again such hate against the Jews is growing and infecting the West of Europe, by mouth of the right wing neo fascist groups. As in the previous century Plehve’s would not have worried

as long as the Zionists encouraged emigration of Jews from Russia, the Russian authorities would not disturb them.

perhaps several living in the Balkan, East and West Europe would not mind giving them time to leave.

Rabbi Brant Rosen looks at British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour who is perhaps best remembered for his World War I statement (the Balfour Declaration) expressing official British approval of Zionism. Though he may be long been lionized as a Zionist hero, he wasn’t particularly well-known for his love for Jews or the Jewish people.

(see: 1917 Balfour Declaration, 1905 Aliens Act)

The rabbi writes:

Balfour spoke of the “undoubted evils which had fallen on the country from an alien immigration which was largely Jewish.” Balfour, like many Christians of his class, “did not believe that Jews could be assimilated into Gentile British society.”

In this regard, it is worth noting that the sole Jewish member of British government, Edwin Montagu, strongly objected to the Balfour Declaration, submitting a memorandum to the British cabinet in August 1917 that resonates with haunting prescience today:

I wish to place on record my view that the policy of His Majesty’s Government is anti-Semitic and in result will prove a rallying ground for Anti-Semites in every country in the world…When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants…

When the Jew has a national home, surely it follows that the impetus to deprive us of the rights of British citizenship must be enormously increased. Palestine will become the world’s Ghetto. Why should the Russian give the Jew equal rights? His national home is Palestine. Why does Lord Rothschild attach so much importance to the difference between British and foreign Jews? All Jews will be foreign Jews, inhabitants of the great country of Palestine.

He also looks at the most troubling example of Zionist association with anti-Semitism which occurred in 1933, when the Jewish Agency struck a deal with the Nazis’ Economic Ministry known as the Ha’avrah (Transfer) agreement.

Today we may wonder how it could come so far that the Zionist movement came to negotiate with Nazi Germany in order to facilitate the transfer of German Jews and their property to Palestine.

(see also an essay for Yad Vashem’s Shoah Resource Center, Israeli historian Y’faat Weiss pointing out that the Nazi regime’s participation in the agreement was motivated both by a fear of the boycott and its desire to rid Germany of its Jews.)

For the rabbi

it is not difficult to understand why, on a practical level, the Zionist movement would find a perverse kind of common cause with anti-Semitic regimes. As a form of ethnic nationalism, Zionism has always been dependent upon the maintenance of a demographic majority of Jews in the land. It makes sense that Zionists have been willing to deal with nations that were more than happy to rid themselves of their Jews in order that they maintain their own national ethnic homogeneity.

Would there be a big problem that there was taken a “Faustian bargain” like Brant Rosen calls it?

I would not think that Zionism from its origin has

necessarily fed off the existence of anti-Semites to justify the need for a Jewish state.

because normally every Jews and sincere Christian would know that God had promised a Holy Land to the descendants of Abraham. What I well can see is that several secular Jews saw a good opportunity to enlarge their power and to get some own state where they would be really their own boss.

Even more tragically, as Edwin Montagu predicted, Jewish ethnic nationalism did indeed result in a “population in Palestine driving out its inhabitants.”

I think one big problem is that Israel has too many secular politicians who allow the extremist fundamentalist Jews to take in the land of others and are not worrying about the respect human beings have to show to other creations of the Most High Elohim.

Our Christian believe that Jerusalem shall have to become the capital of the Holy Land and God’s Kingdom should be known to all lovers of God and to be a reality the world has to cope with. In the end God His Kingdom shall anyway establish.

Like rabbi Brant Rosen writes Millenarianism has taken on many forms, most of which were rooted in the belief that the physical restoration of the Jews to the land would be a necessary precursor to the apocalypse and the eventual second coming of the Messiah. This religious dogma, brought by a.o. English Puritan colonists but also by very liberal non-trinitarian Christians to North America, could evolve into previous century and present-day Christian and Jewish Zionism.

Clean-shaven man in his 60s, with gray hair, wearing glasses, dressed in a dark suit and blue tie, speaking from behind a dark, varnished wooden lectern, with his right arm outstretched.  The front of the lectern is emblazoned with the Great Seal of the United States.

John Charles Hagee, the 5th of 6 pastors in his family, all of whom were named John Hagee, dating back to the colonial era.

In his second article he looks a.o. at Pastor John Hagee, founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a charismatic megachurch in San Antonio, Texas. He also is the the CEO of his non-profit corporation, Global Evangelism Television (GETV) and founder and National Chairman of the Christian-Zionist organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI), incorporated on February 7, 2006, the largest coalition of Evangelical Zionists in the world.

Hagee, who believes the Bible commands Christians to support the State of Israel and the Jewish people, is one of those American ‘prophets’ and doom preachers who makes his apocalyptic religious views clear.

The rabbi also looks at Hagee’s 2005 book (and not 2007) Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World, where Hagee interprets the Bible to predict that Russia and the Islamic states will invade Israel and will be destroyed by God. This will cause the antichrist, (for Hagee) the head of the European Union, to create a confrontation over Israel between China and the West, getting Israel to be covered in “a sea of human blood.” .

Hagee’s attack against Christian antisemitism in his book Jerusalem Countdown claimed that Adolf Hitler’s antisemitism derived especially from his Catholic background (calling Hitler “a spiritual leader in the Catholic Church”), and that the Catholic Church under Pope Pius XII encouraged Nazism instead of denouncing it (pp. 79–81)

[The book echoes predictions made in The Late, Great Planet Earth, the best-selling 1970 book co-authored by Hal Lindsey and Carole C. Carlson.]

Rabbi Rosen also looks at Hagee’s more recent book, “Four Blood Moons,” in which Hagee promotes the Blood moon prophecy, and states that a tetrad (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses —coinciding on Jewish holidays — with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse is a sign of the end times as described in the Bible in the Book of Joel, Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12. The tetrad ended with the lunar eclipse on September 27-28, 2015. (see what Haggee wrote).

[In January 2014, Mike Moore, the then General Secretary of Christian Witness to Israel, wrote a lengthy article dismissing the claims of Biltz and Hagee. Moore’s view was that no significance can be drawn from the eclipses]

PressConf.jpg

David Brog, Executive Director of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), an American pro-Israel Christian organization

Further the rabbi looks at CUFI’s Jewish Executive Director, David Brog, who clearly serves to give cover to Christian Zionists, painting them as “mainstream” and not nearly as scary as their beliefs would indicate.

Steve Bannon at 2017 CPAC by Michael Vadon.jpg

Bannon at the 2017 CPAC

Next former naval officer, banker, radio host, research director, film producer and media executive, Breitbart editor Stephen Bannon, currently serving as assistant to the President and White House chief strategist in the Trump administration comes under the attention. His documentary “Destroying the Great Satan: The Rise of Islamic Facism (sic) in America” can give us an idea how his mind may be tormented by the fundamentalist evangelist teachings.

While most of the Jewish concern toward Bannon has primarily focused on his alt-right leanings and his personal comments about Jews, less attention has been given to his apocalyptic world view. Strongly influenced by generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe’s book “The Fourth Turning: What Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny”  Bannon ascribes to the theory that American history has operated in four-stage cycles, moving from major crisis to awakening to major crisis.

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Preceding article

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

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Further reading

  1. Zionism in Palestine
  2. The relationship between Ariel Sharon and the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson)
  3. Israel loves wars.
  4. Six Years Ago: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind The 2011 “Protest Movement”?
  5. Abby Martin and Eran Efrati on Institutionalized Israeli War Crimes and Oppression of Palestinians
  6. From Washington to the Middle East, Should the World Brace for March 15?
  7. Steve Cohen’s ‘That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic’
  8. Does Feminism Have Room for Zionists? – The New York Times
  9. Emily Shire’s Zionist Feminism
  10. From Washington to the Middle East, Should the World Brace for March 15? | James Perloff
  11. The false teachings of Zionism & dispensationalism
  12. How did the Talmudic “Noahide Laws” Become Part of American Law?
  13. A Liberal Zionism for the Trump Era
  14. The control-freakism of the CIA, UK and other western supposed “intelligence” organizations!
  15. Origin Of The Oppression Of Palestine By israel
  16. Canada offers tax deduction for promoting ethnic nationalism, war
  17. Will the Royal Family Celebrate 100 Years of Shame by Endorsing Israel?
  18. Pro-Palestinian activist: Zionism and feminism don’t go together
  19. What Linda Sarsour Said
  20. Zionism vs Islam – Which is More Dangerous?
  21. The Millet System & Minorities in Israel/Palestine
  22. The Charge of Replacement Theology is a Cover for Fuzzy Theology
  23. Alliel – A Window Into Tribal Arrogance
  24. “Many American left-liberal Jews believe that Israel only deserves to exist…if Israel serves as a ‘light unto the nations…’ and is ethically perfect”
  25. The Rise of Anti-Seminism
  26. What Type of Utopia Will Israel Be?
  27. Italian rabbis accuse biblical conference of fueling anti-Judaism
  28. On anti-Semitism, anti-Islam and fictitious alliances in U.S.
  29. US 2018 Budget Guarantees Foreign Assistance Only for Israel, State Dept. Says
  30. German newspaper backtracks after listing Netanyahu as a ‘crazy world leader’

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Shalom Rav

gettyimages-632915360-1280x720 photo credit: Getty Images

In my previous post, I explored how Zionism has historically fed off of anti-Semites and anti-Semitic regimes to justify the need for a Jewish state. In this post, I’d like to discuss a phenomenon that has even more ominous resonance for the current political moment: the willingness of political Zionists, Israeli politicians and right wing Israel advocates to court the support of Christian millenarians and apocalyptic extremists.

Some history: In the century after the Protestant reformation, the religious ideology of millenarianism began to spread throughout Europe. Millenarianism took many forms, most of which were rooted in the belief that the physical restoration of the Jews to the land would be a necessary precursor to the apocalypse and the eventual second coming of the Messiah. This religious dogma was eventually brought by English Puritan colonists to North America, where it evolved into present-day Christian Zionism.

It is safe to…

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A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

As the anniversary of the signature of the EU’s founding treaties is approaching, a group of over 300 European academics and personalities are endorsing this appeal to relaunch European integration and inviting civil society, academia, young people and citizens to participate to the March for Europe in Rome on March 25.

Alberto Alemanno for VoxEurop

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957. – AP Images – Treaty of Rome, originally (1957–93) Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, succeeded by (1993–2009) Treaty Establishing the European Community and (2009– ) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; also called, together with the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

25 March 2017 is the day of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties which have made the EU project the most successful experiment of peace and integration ever.

This date may go down history as yet another self-praising, boring, closed-door party of 27 EU leaders or as the germ of a first conscious, popular and patriotic European manifestation. A March for Europe – mimicking the one that took place in London in the aftermath of the Brexit vote – has been announced by the Union of European Federalists. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects – a few pro-European organisations – are behind this one-in-a-generation opportunity to show how many citizens of Europe support and share its ideals, values and lifestyles. Despite its high-potential in prompting a genuine, pan-European manifestation calling for a renewal of the EU project through an inclusive, constituent process, the risk that it may reveal a flop is dangerously high.

The appeal below intends to pierce the typical Brussels bubble currently surrounding the March for Europe, by broadening its audience to a much wider public. There has never been a better opportunity to federate – in a critical moment of its existence – the multitude of associations, movements and grassroots actors who believe in the European project. There has never been a better opportunity to make your voice heard and contribute to the emergent European public space. There has been never been a better opportunity to shape your history and that of the generations to come.

See you in Rome on 25 March. Help us spread the call below through the hashtag #MarchForEurope2017!

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

We ask national politicians and the media to stop depicting integration as a zero-sum game, thus pitting nations against one another. In an interdependent world no nation can satisfy all of its citizens’ basic needs and appeals for social justice. In this context, integration and supranational government is a positive-sum game. Our European social model based on liberal democracy and a social market economy can only survive in a multi-level framework of government, on the basis of the subsidiarity principle.

Dutch passportEstonian passportWe European citizens are aware that globalisation is transforming the world. We need a European government to foster our common values and contribute to the solution of the global problems threatening humanity. The world needs an outward-looking cosmopolitan Europe to help build a more effective and democratic global governance to cope with climate change, peace, global poverty, and the transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy.

Seat

The European Central Bank (ECB; French: Banque centrale européenne) = central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world.

Phrygian cap on pole.svgWe European citizens recognise the EU as an incomplete Res Publica. It has a ridiculous budget (0.9 percent of GDP) and no financial autonomy from Member states, while its current competences are out of date for what is necessary to successfully answer the challenges of the current crises. It has a federal like legislative, judiciary and central bank. But democracy is the possibility for citizens to choose the government and make it accountable. For the Union to work and be democratic its decisions, including budget, foreign and defence policy, and the reform of the Treaties, should primarily be taken by a qualified majority representing the majority will of European citizens and states. The Commission should evolve into a fully-fledged government, setting and promoting a political agenda legitimated through elections. European parties should present their candidates to the Presidency at the European election.

The alternative is a directly elected President of the EU merging the Presidencies of the Commission and the European Council.

On 14 February 1984 the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, the so-called Spinelli Project, pointing towards a political union, which Member states disregarded. On 14 February 2017 we call upon the European Parliament, the only directly elected body of the EU, to take a new initiative to kick-start the EU on strengthened democratic basis. Talking about banking, fiscal, economic, energy, security, defence and political unions makes sense only within a genuine democratic European Union, with all those policies under a European government.

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Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the Jerónimos Monastery of Lisbon, Portugal, 13 December 2007, which entered into force on 1 December 2009

On 25 March 2017 the Heads of state and government will celebrate the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1957. We call upon them to match the vision of the Founders. They should open the way to the re-foundation of the EU on the basis of the European Parliament proposal, and immediately exploit all the Lisbon Treaties’ instruments to strengthen EU institutions and policies, especially on foreign and security, economic and social policies.

We call upon the Europe’s youth, its civil society, workers, entrepreneurs, academia, local governments and European citizens to participate in the March for Europe in Rome on 25 March. Together we shall give the political leaders the strength and courage to push forward the EU to a new beginning. European unity is key to solve our common problems, safeguard our values and ensure our welfare, security and democracy.

This Appeal was drafted by Roberto Castaldi with Giuliano Amato, Yves Bertoncini, Stefan Collignon, Anthony Giddens, Ulrike Guérot, and Miguel Maduro. It is available in various languages for further adhesions at March for Europe with the list of signatures and the info on the March.

Marcus Ampe

March for Europe: in Rome on March 25

Flag of the European Union

English: Constituency for the European Parliam...

English: Constituency for the European Parliament election in 2009 Español: Mapa por el Elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2009 Français : Circonscriptions aux élections européennes en 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

F: Une véritable Union européenne pour garantir le bien-être, la sécurité et la démocratie

D.: Eine echte Europäische Union die Gemeinwohl, Sicherheit und Demokratie gewährleistet

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, World affairs

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

Anti-European movements seem to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. This demonstrates how Euroskepticism has become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

Although the EU considers itself a unity, it is unable to introduce a united policy. In the absence of such policy, it is impossible to overcome the growing economical and social inequalities between the citizens of the Member States.

The European Economic Community, founded 60 years ago, was meant to maintain and guarantee peace. More than ever nowadays, in an unsafe world where hundreds of thousands are fleeing the horrors of war, we should embrace and take care of this precious gift of peace. Though many people today are willing to step out of the union, this is not the moment. It would be reckless to put all of it on the line.

People may not forget that we have already so many years of no war experience. In our regions the EU also managed to protect democracy: the freedom of press, freedom of speech and a free choice of religion (those being just a fraction of the inviolable rights Europeans enjoy).

All Member States of the EU have to ensure democratic guidelines, and countries aiming to join the EU cannot hinder reform processes. This contributes to the broadening of democratic values.

Two essential aspects of the European Union are the free movement of persons and a single currency. Admittedly, they Euro Series Banknotes.pngare not perfectly elaborated; the Euro being the most commonly criticised aspect. However, in the Euro Zone, currency exchange disappeared along with the attached fees. We can cross the borders of all EU countries without passport control or visa requirements. It is really a pity that the last few months we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined. That agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

No border control: Border crossing between two Schengen Agreement states, view from Germany to the Netherlands. The Netherlands begins at the red line added to the photo.

The ex-communist countries by putting up walls are forgetting what it meant to be inclosed and are taking on a very selfish attitude. Free movement across our internal border-states is necessary, but also an allowance for people and goods entering our community.

Map of Europe indicating the four member countries of the Visegrád Group

Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.[

All the Visegrád countries now have leaders who could be fairly described as national-populists. In Western Europe, their rhetoric would often put them at the far-right of the political spectrum: they typically reject migrants and Islam, and do not wish to reproduce the Westerners’ experiment in multiculturalism in their own countries. This has led to clashes with Western Europe, notably Angela Merkel’s Germany, and the European Commission, who have advocated the welcoming of millions of refugees and the distribution of thousands across Central Europe.

Furthermore, all these nations – with the exception of Poland – have made various pro-Russian statements, and implied that they would ideally want a reconciliation and reinforcement of economic ties with Moscow. This bodes ill for the maintenance of the EU’s sanctions against Russia, in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea, and which can only be maintained by unanimity. More generally, Trump’s traumatic surprise electoral win in the United States is likely to embolden Central European conservatives in challenging Brussels and Berlin’s leadership of the EU.

Central Europe according to The World Factbook (2009),[17] Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (1998)

The area in which this is most apparent is perhaps demographics. Central Europe faces severe medium-term decline in the face of ongoing emigration – while wages have risen, they remain much higher in the West – and extremely low fertility, which goes from 1.3 children per woman in Poland to 1.5 in the Czech Republic.

As a result, the European Commission projects that all these nations, with the exception of the Czech Republic, will see a drastic decline in population between now and 2080, falling by as much as 25 percent. In Poland, this would mean almost 10 million less people. This will inevitably mean a weaker Central Europe in the world, with a rapidly-shrinking labour force obligated to commit an ever-greater share of resources to an exploding population of pensioners.

The case of demographics shows the weaknesses of Visegrád’s alternative vision for Europe. Borders and national sovereignty are indeed means of slowing change, including undesirable change. But in themselves, they would do little to halt Europe’s decline to an elderly collection of statelets on the western Eurasian periphery. No doubt more creative and forward-looking measures are needed to prevent such a scenario and secure a sovereign Europe’s place among this century’s leading powers.

Everywhere in Europe we have to face the problem of the older getting population. Europe shall need young men and women to strengthen our workforce. When we can help rescuing people fleeing for the horrors of war we should open our borders.

Therefore, we can only shake our heads when we hear that others plan on building walls. Europe is familiar with such division. We must not let it come to that point anymore. To question the free movement of persons, on anyone’s behalf, would be a major setback for this free and diverse community.

The EU is not perfect but it assures peace and safety in Europe. To criticise it, is legitimate. To destroy it, is not.

We cannot deny that reforms and innovations are needed to make the EU fit for the future. However, these reforms can only be completed through unity and cohesion and not through antipathy and inner conflict.

A strengthening of the European Union is very overdue.

Isn’t it a privilege to be able to call our neighbours our friends? To move freely without passport control? Not to have to exchange currency? And moreover: to live in peace?

For us Europeans, these privileges have become self-evident, just like so many other things in the EU. And yet so many are beginning to question it all.

With thanks to Vox Europe

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Preceding articles

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

Challenges and impact on freedom of movement within the EU

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Additional reading

  1. Migrants to the West #1
  2. Migrants to the West #2
  3. Migrants to the West #3
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  7. 2015 Human rights
  8. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  11. Problems by losing the borders
  12. Brexit: The mother of all uncertainties
  13. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts

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  11. Poland ‘alone’ in the EU after Tusk re-election snub — Anti-European Union storm clouds — “The EU is in Germany’s sphere of influence.”
  12. Ordanoski: There is only one direction for Balkan countries – west
  13. As ECB Charts Economic Course, Politics Complicate the Picture
  14. EPRS circular economy infographic
  15. Berlin calls for dialogue to mitigate risks in Balic Sea region
  16. Reactions to the ECJ decision on asylum law in EU
  17. Europe: Poland fails to stop Donald Tusk EU re-election
  18. Donald Tusk re-elected as European council president
  19. Much to Poland’s Chagrin, Donald Tusk Wins Second Term as European Council President
  20. The European pass or how to expel more

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Filed under Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Reciting the Aleinu as a warning against temptation of idolatry

From a review completed by a MA student at the University of Chicago Divinity School, with a focus on modern Jewish thought, Joel Swanson. Joel is interested in the intersections of phenomenology and Jewish theology, and in the unique insights that the rabbinic hermeneutic tradition can contribute to our understanding of postmodern philosophy.

Late in his life, Moses Mendelssohn found himself forced to defend the daily Jewish prayer Aleinu in a public contretemps with the Christian community of Königsberg. Two verses in the prayer, translated as

“For they worship vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god who cannot save,”

were widely viewed by Christians as an attack on Jesus, a reading based upon the testimony of a fourteenth century Christian convert from Judaism. As a result, in 1703 King Friedrich of Prussia signed an edict forbidding the recitation of these two verses of the Aleinu, and appointing Christian inspectors to enforce this ban. Seventy years later, David Kypke, an orientalist appointed as the inspector of the Königsberg Jewish community, filed a complaint alleging that the Jews purposely mumbled their recitations of the prayer, and therefore that he could not be sure they were not reciting the offending verses. The Jewish community of Königsberg prepared a response to these allegations, and naturally, it fell to Moses Mendelssohn to serve as the emissary to the Christian community and deliver this response.

According to Mendelssohn, Jews continue to recite the Aleinu not to attack other religions as idolatrous, but as a warning against the temptation of idolatry that lurks within all monotheists. Mendelssohn’s defense of Aleinu is a masterful use of emerging Protestant notions of pluralism and interiority to defend a particular Jewish tradition.

Freudenthal, did in fact see these two verses in the Aleinu as an attack on Christians, and no amount of creative rewriting of history on Mendelssohn’s part could change this. In order to defend Judaism before Christian authorities, Mendelssohn wound up redefining his own tradition.

Continue reading: “Moses Mendelssohn: Enlightenment, Religion, Politics, Nationalism” edited by M. Gottlieb

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Filed under History, Religious affairs

Inquisition also bad for Jews

A Catholic bishop granting plenary indulgences for the public during times of calamity. Note the almsgiving in the background. Wall Fresco by Italian Artist Lorenzo Lotto, Suardi, Italy, circa 1524.

The Roman Catholic Pope in the 1200s was annoyed that there where people who called themselves Christians but did not want to worship Jesus as their god. Those true Christians said there was only One God, Who is one, and which was not the god of the Catholic Church but the God of Israel. This was a blow in the face of the Roman Catholic Church which also could see a lot of money not coming in their hands because those Christians who refused to worship the Trinity also said that people paid for their sins by their death and not by ecclesiastical indulgences.

The Pope not pleased with those lay preachers who could undermine his establishment got enough clergy interested to battle those who had other thoughts than they. He established the “Holy Inquisition Against Depraved Heresy” to deal with breakaway ‘Christian sects’. At first it was a judicial procedure set to be able to judge all sorts of people who did not want to go with the Roman Catholic Church. But later an institution was established by the papacy and, sometimes, by secular governments to combat heresy and to act like we now see Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL or Daesh, Boko Haram and other fundamentalist Islamic groups to press what they believe would be the only true faith everybody had to have.

First being relatively powerless, as secular rulers, suspicious of Papal meddling in their own internal affairs, did not allow it access to their countries, in a period of more than 200 years, very few heretics were burned at the stake. In 1481, at the peak of the Ottoman power, however, after extracting a promise from the Pope that the Inquisition would remain under the Crown’s control, thus ensuring that confiscated assets of heretics would revert to the throne, Ferdinand and Isabella established the Inquisition in Seville (Reconquista). While it is commonly assumed that the Inquisition was brought to Spain out of a concern that Jews were trying to influence conversos to leave the Christian fold, one prominent historian is of the opinion that by 1481 Jewish consciousness was virtually nonexistent among the conversos, and that Jews did not attempt any such outreach. Rather, he believes, the Inquisition was an outgrowth of the attitudes of Spain’s Old Christian population. In the words of one Spanish historian,

“The Inquisition was a genuine expression of the soul of the Spanish people.”

When we hear about the Inquisition we most often do not think of the Jews, with good reason, because most damage was done to sincere godly people who had taken Jesus as the son of God and their saviour and not as their god. Though the horrible action taken by the Roman Catholics, undertaken in the twelfth century and following centuries to find “Christian heretics” who would be punished or killed, had her eyes also set on the Jewish community. Eventually, Jews too were open to such charges of heresy, simply for being Jewish; and torture was routinely used to extract “confessions.”

These coming weeks we also remember how this coming up time to Pesach was a very dangerous time for Jews, because they could be caught cleaning their houses and linen and buying vegetables before Pesach, blessing children without making the sign of the cross, fasting on Yom Kippur, and refraining from work on the Sabbath.

Interestingly enough, Jews who never converted to Christianity were not under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, and could practice their religion freely and openly. It was only conversos who were considered heretics for forsaking the Christian creed and practising Judaism. Worse for the Catholic Church was that some of those converts did not become a Catholic but accepted rabbi Jeshua as the Messiah, the son of God but not a god son, like the Roman Catholics did. Those having gone in the water to become a Baptist, became with that group a target for prosecution, according to the Roman Catholics being a dangerous ‘cult’ and with other protestants to be removed from this earth.

Marranos: Secret Seder in Spain during the times of inquisition, an 1892 painting by Moshe Maimon

Mainly because of persecution, Muslims and Jews in Spain at that time found it socially, politically, and economically expedient to convert to Catholicism, but where not really practising that faith and at home kept their ow practice of faith. In 1481 the Inquisition began to function in Spain to expose the secret Jews, known as the Anusim (who were forced to abandon Judaism against their will) or Marranos, who converted to the Christian faith to escape persecution but who continued to practice Judaism secretly, but over the years spread to many countries. The Spanish Inquisition was anti-Jewish more than in any previous countries. The first public sentencing and burning alive of six marrano men and one woman by the Spanish Inquisition was held on this date in Sevilla in Southern Spain.

All sorts of torture where good for the unsparing cruel fanatics, of which many also set their eyes on the Jews and certain Christian groups or monasteries their assets.

Differently with the present day inquisition groups of Islam the Roman Catholic Church did not want to spill blood, but only “save souls”. For not having their clergy to become accused for having blood on their hands they made use of civilians and secular authorities for the many executions, whereby they found it was best to use bloodless deaths, such as strangling and burning alive.

For ISIS the colour today is orange, but at that time the condemned people wore yellow sanbenitos, cloaks, with red crosses and the letter X painted on them. Those given the death penalty wore tunics with paintings of flames and devils. The procession marched through the town to the burning area where the judges sat. The cases involving lesser penalties were judged first, then those receiving strangulation before burning, and finally those condemned to be burned alive.

The first auto-de-fe was held in 1481, and the last in 1731, an old woman who was accused of

“being influenced by the Devil, after which she laid eggs with prophecies written on them.”

Torquemada.jpg

Tomás de Torquemada (Thomas of Torquemada) Castilian Dominican friar, and the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain’s movement to homogenize religious practices with those of the Catholic Church in the late 15th century, otherwise known as “The Spanish Inquisition.” (Wikipedia)

In 1483, Queen Isabella’s personal confessor, the Dominican priest Tomas de Torquemada, was appointed head of the Inquisition. Of converso origin, Torquemada was a fanatic Jew-hater who was wholly incorruptible. He was convinced that only the total expulsion of the Jews from Spain could end Jewish influence in the national life.

Torquemada did not cut the grass from under the Jews’ feet and quickly began taking steps to weaken the unconverted Jewish community and eventually expel it from Spain. In 1485, he forced all rabbis, under pain of death, to report conversos who were practising Judaism, and to pronounce a rabbinic curse on any Jew who failed to notify the Inquisition of such behaviour. This cruel edict badly split the Jews of Spain. Alarmed by the greatly increasing power of the Inquisition, that year a group of conversos plotted to kill the inquisitor of Saragossa, Pedro de Arbues, hoping to begin a popular uprising against the Inquisition. However, the assassination had the opposite effect. The townspeople were enraged, rampaging through the streets, killing many conversos. All the conspirators were caught and executed, and the Inquisition grew even stronger.

Purity of faith became the national policy of the Catholic sovereigns, and thus came about the final tragedy, the edict of expulsion of all the Jews from Spain on March 31, 1492. Portugal promulgated an edict of expulsion in 1497 and Navarre in 1498. It was under de Torquemada his guidance that the Inquisition became such a terrifying institution, amassing enormous assets confiscated from its victims, much of it used to finance the war to conquer the last Muslim stronghold of Granada.

In 1680, the most spectacular of all autos-de-fe was held to celebrate the wedding of King Carlos and his bride. At that time, the Inquisition spread to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the New and Old Worlds, with victims burned in Havana, Cuba; Mexico City, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Goa, India. After 350 years, the Inquisition was finally abolished in 1834, the year the Liberal Wars ended in Portugal and pro-republic uprising fails in Piedmont. In all, more than 400,000 people were accused of heresy, with 30,000 of those put to death.

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Please do read:

The Spanish Inquisition by Yosef Eisen

Books on Conversos a listing by Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education

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Additional reading

  1. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  2. A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun
  3. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform

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Further reading

  1. Individuality in the Age of Heresy
  2. Say it in Latin, Mortui Vivos Docent
  3. A Jolly Old Pope
  4. Moors in the Occitan
  5. Inquisitively Questioning Inquisition
  6. The Papacy: Inception to Inquisitions End
  7. Does torture work
  8. A Tribute to Galileo
  9. The Memoirs of Luis Carvajal
  10. Millions Executed During The Inquisition?
  11. The Spanish Inquisition According to Mel Brooks
  12. Silence (Scorsese; 2016)
  13. And of These Chains
  14. Anti Hindu Laws in the Christian State set up by the Portuguese in Goa
  15. Anne Brenon: Les Cathares
  16. Basque Country – Following The Converso Escape Route
  17. Secret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism
  18. Granada, Spain – The End of Sephardic Jewry
  19. Returning to Egypt: Conversos who Returned to Spain and Portugal
  20. Books on Conversos
  21. A Conversation between the Spice Trader’s Daughter and her Lover, a Fortnight after She Burned at the Stake
  22. When will the Catholic Church apologise for the Goa Inquisition? – Shefali Vaidya
  23. Vatican has never apologised for its crimes, and will not apologise for the Goa Inquisition – Aravindan Neelakandan
  24. Books on the Inquisition
  25. Another book about the Inquisition in France…imagine!
  26. Book Review: The Shadow of the Cross
  27. The Ancien Régime was Less Bloody than the Enlightened World
  28. Inquisition 2015
  29. Going Back in Time
  30. Inquisition: la torture
  31. Spare a prayer
  32. Inquisition 
  33. Plausible Deniability, the Jesuits and Citizen Cain – Missionaries of The Anti-Christ
  34. The 2nd Amendment and The Inquisition
  35. The Elder
  36. The world order inquisition
  37. Jihad in the cause of Allah – Maria Wirth
  38. Benjamin Netanyahu and his Sephardic Roots
  39. Feelings in a nutshell
  40. Who we are (Inq worldpeace)

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, History, Juridical matters, Religious affairs

Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

In the people of God their year 2448 (1313 BCE), on the 6th (or 7th) day of the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar, Sivan, after Moshe was called up at the mountain of Sinai, God told his chosen one what to tell to the people. With the Shemoth or  Exodus from Egypt only three months in the past, the Jews arrive at Mount Sinai to hear a terrible noise and to see flashing lights. They saw a mountain which was been touched and burned with fire and to blackness and to darkness and to tempest.

“Now all of the people were seeing the thunder-sounds, the flashing-torches, the shofar sound, and the mountain smoking; when the people saw, they faltered and stood far off.”
(Exodus 20:15 SB)

“The people stood far off, and Moshe approached the fog where God was.”
(Exodus 20:18 SB)

Moshe having entered into the thick ‘darkness’ of the clouds, came to hear the Voice of God, the Most High Divine Creator. God spoke to Moshe

“… Say thus to the Children of Israel: You yourselves have seen that it was from the heavens that I spoke with you.”
(Exodus 20:19 SB)

V11p133004 Torah

V11p133004 Torah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There God gave to the Children of Israel what is by most Christians known as the “Ten commandments” but would be better referred to as the (literal translation) ““The Ten Sayings” or Decalogue. These Sayings including more than ten actual mitzvahs. Later Jeshua would tell that he has come not to take that Law away, like so many christians think, but to explain it and to fulfil it.

“Do not suppose that I came to tear-down the law or the prophets; I did not come to tear-down, but to fulfil.”
(Matthew 5:17 MLV)

“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one serif of the law to fall short.”
(Luke 16:17 MLV)

“Now I am saying this: the law, which happened four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not invalidate a covenant* validated beforehand by God in reference to Christ so as to do-away-with the promise.”
(Galatians 3:17 MLV)

Many thousand years ago God found it time that what He wanted people would know very well what He expected from them. He wanted to make it clear to them what His expectations were.
He made it clear what He wanted man to keep to.

For those who doubt it, or use graven images in their worship places God made it clear He does not like such things.

“You are not to make beside me gods of silver, gods of gold you are not to make for yourselves!”
(Exodus 20:20 SB)

No body, who wants to be a child of God, may have more than One God before him or may become unequally yoked with unbelievers and take part in pagan rites and pagan festivals (like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, just to call a few).

It was on Sivan 2 that the Almighty God tells Moshe that He not only wants to give the Jews the Torah, but also wants to make them His chosen, set apart or holy nation, who will follow His commandments. The Jews wholeheartedly agree, replying,

“All God wishes we will do.”

On the third day of the month Moses relays the Jews’ answer to God and then returns to the Jews to tell them that he will be the messenger for the Ten Sayings; that what God told him up high on the mountain.

This weekend, Adar 6, 5777, we remember the giving of Torah and this transitional moment in our history — a moment known as Matan Torah (the Giving of the Torah). No longer were we merely the descendants of a great man named Abraham, or simply a Middle-Eastern people known as the Israelites. We had now become God’s people, chosen to learn His Torah and keep its laws. It’s a moment we celebrate every year on the festival of Shavuot, and this year will take place from May 30–June 1.

The Torah and Talmudic sources describe the delivery of the Ten Commandments as a unique experience — complete with thunder, lightning and a smoking mountaintop — and an event of historic significance. Yet the Talmudic account itself actually makes it quite difficult to understand what was so earth-shattering about

“the giving of the Torah.”

It was not that people did not yet know God’s Will. A significant body of legislation and moral lore was already in existence long before the historic event described as “the giving of the Torah.” Indeed, even without the Talmudic tradition it would seem that all of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai are either philosophical axioms (e.g., monotheism), moral imperatives and ideals (e.g., do not murder, do not steal, honour your father and mother, do not covet), or previously received mandates (e.g., the Sabbath). In other words, not the sort of material that would seem to warrant a divine revelation — and certainly not one of such grandeur.

But we should know that it was no simple handing over a book of lore …  God gave man the basic rules to live by, the Ten Commandments.

Please do understand, though the name of the event — the Giving of the Torah — implies that the entire Torah was given that day, this is not the case. In fact, only the Ten Commandments were taught to us that day, and even they were only transmitted verbally. The physical luchot—the tablets — were not given for another 40 days.

Nevertheless, the name remains, as it marks the day the Elohim began the process of giving us the Torah. In that light we should remember this weekend which great gift we were given so that it would be much easier for us to know how to keep in line with God’s desires.

First we were taught the Ten Commandments. Then, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to learn from God, for 40 days. We too can take such 40 days to meditate and wonder about our relationship with the Most High. You can call it a time of reflection. Also Jeshua took such a time to think about what God wanted from him and his followers. He too had gone in the desert for 40 days to contemplate. Jeshua also took time to cogitate and was not afraid to deny the requests from others to denounce God or to test God. Also God’s people had to wait such a long time before they saw Moshe back. Though they proved not to be as strong as Moshe and Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who thought it most important to do the Will of God and not his own will. Though it is clearly impossible for Moshe to have learned ‘all 385 commandments’, he did learn the rules they are based on, and so it is considered as if he actually learned them. On stone tablets the basic 10 sayings cover most rules. The rest of the Torah was communicated in stages throughout the Jews’ 40-year sojourn in the desert.

In short we could say

The Ten Commandments

  1. Believe in Only One God.
  2. Do not believe in other deities.
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain.
  4. Keep Shabbat.
  5. Honour your parents.
  6. Don’t murder.
  7. Don’t commit adultery.
  8. Don’t kidnap.
  9. Don’t give false testimony.
  10. Don’t covet another’s possessions.
The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The Ten Commandments, In SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This our the basic rules for man to follow. The 4 first ones you could consider laws believers in God should follow, but the 5th until the 10th commandment form the basic rules for all people, who should take care to be able to live with each other in the best and most peaceful conditions. By obeying those given ethic laws for humanity man should be able to live in peace.

Although Matan Torah is known as the time when God gave us His Torah to study and keep, there were a few Israelites who had kept the entire Torah of their own volition before Matan Torah.

Now the moment had come that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah asked man to take the act of making a conscious choice or decision. It had become time man had to show for Whom he wanted to stand. From the beginning of times God had given man freedom to act or judge on one’s own. Now it is time for man to show that he has the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.

Man has to make the choice how he is going to behave in a community. He has to choose the position he is going to take opposite others and how he is going to treat them.

Before Matan Torah, those who observed Torah did so entirely of their own accord. It was their own choice and we can not tell in what way they wanted to do it. We can only guess how they saw it as a matter of having a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Probably their connection to God, therefore, was only as deep as their understanding and feeling. Like today people who come into the faith cannot know yet all what they have to keep to and have to go on a path of learning to come to know what God really wants from them.

English: The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Mo...

The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Moshe ben Maimon haRambam, published in Venice in 1575 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us tonight having Matan Torah in our mind, we look at the time the Elohim connected His Essence to the Torah and gave it to mankind and as such also to us. Each of us has the own responsibility now to decide to accept that given Torah or to deny it. Each of us should see how The Law of God is our safeguarding but also our inner set apart (holy) contact with the Most High. When we observe the Torah, therefore, we are connected to God’s essence, no matter who we are and how much we understand or feel. {Likutei Sichot, vol. 28, pp. 11-12.}

Fear may have seized those at the fields before the mountain of Sinai, but we should not be in fear, because “God has visited his people!” and given His instructions so that they could live according to the Wishes of God. We should know that in every place where God’s Name is recorded He will come to us and will bless us.

“Moshe said to the people: Do not be afraid! For it is to test you that God has come, to have awe of him be upon you, so that you do not sin.”
(Exodus 20:17 SB)

“A slaughter-site of soil, you are to make for me, you are to slaughter upon it your offerings-up, your sacrifices of shalom, your sheep and your oxen! At every place where I cause my name to be recalled I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 SB)

“I will make a great nation of you and will give-you-blessing and will make your name great. Be a blessing!”
(Genesis 12:2 SB)

“So are they to put my name upon the Children of Israel, that I myself may bless them.”
(Numbers 6:27 SB)

Moshe wrote down the Words of God and that way even today we can read what God wants from His creatures.

“Now Moshe wrote down all the words of YHWH. He started-early in the morning, building a slaughter-site beneath the mountain and twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.”
(Exodus 24:4 SB)

English: Moses repeated the commandments to th...

Moses repeated the commandments to the people, detail by a Carolingian book illuminator circa 840 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Our life depending on faith

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

29. Laws that Value People

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Luther’s misunderstanding

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Additional reading

  1. Statutes given unto us
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  4. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  5. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  6. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty GodJudeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  8. Hello America and atheists
  9. 1,500 to 1,700 years old Chiselled tablet with commandments sold at auction

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Further reading

  1. Our Competition With God
  2. A Summary of Exodus
  3. February 6, 2017-The Beginning of Law’
  4. Intro to the Ten Commandments or The Ten Words
  5. Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
  6. Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights
  7. The first commandment – Putting God first
  8. God verses our gods
  9. God’s nature revealed as Law
  10. The 10 Commandments
  11. The Ten Commandments
  12. The Ten Commandments and Prophesy
  13. Daily Prompt: Ten
  14. Do You Keep the Ten Commandments
  15. 10 Rules Worth Following
  16. Ten Commandments
  17. Do the Ten Commandments apply to Christians?
  18. The beginning
  19. Can the Old Covenant be abolished if the Ten Commandments are not?
  20. “The Catechism in Six Parts: The Ten Commandments”
  21. How Not to Learn from The Bible
  22. God the Father – “I did not create you so that you could do whatever you want…”
  23. Want What You’ve Got! (Lent)
  24. Christian Parenting, Ten Commandments, and Les Miserables
  25. It Depends
  26. Idolatry & The Shack
  27. Honor Your Parents
  28. What I’m Reading: Are You Normal?
  29. Simple Standard
  30. Rules of the Road
  31. Sabbath, Creation, Guarding and Observing
  32. Top Ten Secrets From The Foundation Of Our World
  33. Simply following the Ten Commandments isn’t enough
  34. Seven Fundamental Practices: Sabbath Rest
  35. Sermon: Who Do You Love?
  36. Love and the Meaninglessness of Scripture
  37. Lying
  38. Lust of the eyes
  39. Morality and neurochemical impulses
  40. Shorty*: What Ultimately Comforted Job?
  41. Jesus Christ – “Remember, you are not here to please man with your actions but God – God’s Laws never change”
  42. I’ll Do It My Way -the terrible harvest of moral relativism

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Filed under History, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

These days we can find more than one politician trying to sow division in his own country and in the world. The are very handy bullies who can keep their outlook unchanged like a good strong high quality wig. their periwig may be their trade mark, hiding what is underneath that peruke. Like postiches are fake people may not forget those words spoken by such politicians may also be fake.

We can hear those politicians, which claim to be Christians, picking on Jews, Muslims and immigrants, trying to hide the internal more important matters, and trying to please the people their tickling ears, who want to find a scapegoat for all the problems of their own country. The last few years our Jewish community already felt the pressure, having to face an increase of bullying, making that several Jews decided to leave Belgium and to go to Israel, where the violence seems to frighten them less than here in Belgium.

Shoebat asks why Christians, before they start ‘picking on Jewish, Muslim or immigrant dumpsters, are joining another dumpster instead of cleaning up the growing neopaganism in their own backyard?’

Fact is, so many, be they Catholic, Orthodox or Evangelical, are looking the other way, that for the sake of being anti-immigrant, they support the heathen. {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

He should know, like the whole world should know, that at this present day satan, the adversary of God, is throwing a lot of seeds on this globe which shall infect many other seeds wanting to grow up on this earth which is warming up for a less pleasant climate change and for bad times to come.

It are those seeds sown by the adversary of God, which are clearly no seeds of love, or seeds of peace, who by growing up, getting bigger than the slower growing seeds of godly people, that want to convince those who believe in the True God, that they are wrong and that they should believe in the god of the world, making that they shall have it much better than now as believing naive guys.

Those contemporary seeds want those who believe those very old books to come to see that the symbols they are carrying are the signs for better times. They are proud of their tattoos which should be a sign for the world that the world belongs to them. In a way, they are right. The world belongs to them. God has given the world in the hands of man. The adversary of God already for some time has the right to proof to the Divine Maker he can do it better than the Creator Himself.

In ancient times there where the idols of Egypt and it looks like we are gone back to them. We can see many carrying again those very well known symbols of the sun and pagan elements.

Europe and many of the slavs are veering away from Christ’s church returning back in masse to pre-Christian paganism, all with deities that honor “the sun” just as John predicted in Revelations. {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

At the closing times there will be division. People shall come to fight each other for many reasons, one of which religion shall taken as a point of discussion. The different religious groups fighting against each other, even Christians forgetting the agapé love of the preaching of Christ and his apostles, not willing to be open minded for people who have an other faith or come from other nations.

Isaiah 19 speaks of neopaganism spread from Egyptian mythology which will be the hallmark of the world prior to Christ’s coming. The ultra-nationalist movements from Europe all the way to slavic nations derive from Thor, the sun god in Norse mythology was also the Egyptian Osiris and Kneph, the Phœnician Bel or Baal, and it is accepted freely when slavic neopagans call upon the same God when they invoke Perun.

The American and European Alt-Right’s obsession with a mythical ancient Egyptian deity, Kek, is also Egyptian, while “the Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Celts have all yielded striking comparisons [to each other], and the Norse Gods display significant resemblances to members of other pantheons” (A History of the Vikings, Oxford University Press, P.p, 319). {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

In the previous years we could feel how the right wing movements became more into the light, not hiding any more, but shouting loud, wanting to get rid of Jews and Muslims. Again Christian churches where silent, in the same way a mosques did not come out to tell people ISIS and other  Muslim fundamentalists where not real Muslims but bringers of hate, not acting like a Muslim should do.

All over Europe we can see the right wing parties getting stronger, making people afraid of the Muslims, Jews and of those who come to look for refuge. The refugees and immigrants are not welcome for them. There is no place in their heart to foster for those in need or fleeing from the war regions in the East or South.

1442206658849

The Lambda. The symbol of identitarians and many neo-Nazis

Shoebat writes

The devil will use antisemitism, stupid, where every evil is blamed on the Jews. And this is currently brewing like never before since WWII. While critiquing Jews is valid, the evil is this unbalanced view that is sweeping western nations like a storm accusing Jews to supersede gentiles in doing mischief. And its coming from claiming Christians who do not consider that antisemitism in Christianity is a heresy, condemned by the church as mortal sin since it stems from ultra-nationalists leading their nations to commit genocide. Today, there is a tremendous rise in antisemitism. It has become a silent reality getting us ever closer to fulfilling Zechariah 12. {A Horrific Storm Of Evil Is Rising Up And Is Sweeping The World, It Is Leading Europe Into The Hands Of The Antichrist}

According to him

Saddam Hussein appearing in a courtroom after his capture, Baghdad, Iraq.

Saddam Hussein, also spelled Ṣaddām Ḥusayn, in full Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti whose brutal rule was marked by costly and unsuccessful wars against neighbouring countries.

The first phase began around three decades ago when the West declared war hailing Saddam Hussein as the major threat to the world. And when the true prophets warned “this is a bad idea” the prophets were burned alive. Then it took a decade or two to recognize the prophets were right all along.

Then the next evil phase began when a new spring gushed forth out of the bottomless pit declaring that Middle East dictators are the major threat to the world. The false prophets declare it “an Arab Spring” and they blessed it. And when the true prophets said “this too is wickedness” more true prophets were burned alive. The west then went full-throttle on pumping this Arab Spring to gush forth the waters which became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

The west, as it turns out, commenced an evil plan. Germany aided the Islamist evil dragon Turkey which spewed a flood of Muslim immigrants, locusts if you will, into the heartland of Europe. Now the European masters did not have to convince the masses to aid in the ultimate evil plan, the third phase. Instead the masses on their own declared and complained to their masters that aided and abetted this wormwood shouting that the Muslim immigration is the ultimate major threat to the world. {A Horrific Storm Of Evil Is Rising Up And Is Sweeping The World, It Is Leading Europe Into The Hands Of The Antichrist}

We can clearly see how anti-Semitism was growing in Europe and now has reached the United States of America as well. It is stemming not just from the typical anti-Israel liberals, but according to Shoebath from western conservatives who do not heed Zechariah’s warning.

Today the rise of neopaganism reveals a disturbing trend becoming the fastest growing religion globally and is also virulently antisemitic and contra-believers of God, be it Jews, real or non-trinitarian Christians or real Muslims. We should be alert that there are also groups who may see what is happening to the Jews but want to blame the followers of the prophet Mohammed, making people afraid of those believers of One God.

We must be careful, for those who are trying to frighten people for the worshippers of Allah. First of all those making others afraid of the worshippers of Allah, is that they forget ‘Allah’ is a title which denotes a god and the God. In Belgium and many other countries ‘Allah’ does not pose so many problems because it is a general title being used to denote a god or God, Who gets also other titles over here like ‘Ene’ or ‘Enige’ (‘One’ or ‘Only One’), Elohim, Dieu and Gott, el (not for the girl of female ‘el’) and El Shadai. I got the impression on the net (for the short time I’m presenting there my own ‘Immanuel site’ or blog) that English speaking people want all others to use the same word for God as they do and how many say the Jews killed Jesus and therefore should be punished and done with. (It would be the same as Jews now saying to a Caucasian “you killed my forefathers so I have to kill you’, though perhaps it could well be that this Caucasian’s father or grand parent really has Jewish blood on his hands, though Christ was long ago put to death not by Jews but by the Romans, which many Christians seem to forget.). Some even want that we all would speak English and use what is according to them the only valuable Bible ‘The King James Version’ as if God would only want to reach His people in English. The other-way round in some Muslim countries there are leaders wanting to forbid Catholics and protestants to use the general term for god or God ‘allah’ because they claim ‘Allah’ is only the God of Muslims. Both should know that Allah is the God of all. They also should know that Allah or God  has a name which is even Holy or set-apart, and which should be known all over the world. That Holy Name is Jehovah and is the Name given to the Most High Almighty God of gods, Who is a Spirit and not a human being or a being of flesh, blood and bones, like Jesus Christ was. He is also a singular God and Being One He wants all to worship Him alone and not having people bowing down in front of graven images or making any pictures or sculptures of Him or any other gods.

ps-copy

Today we can see that the pagan rituals are very much increasing again and that lots of people prefer to take part in those human rituals and pagan festivals, instead of holding to the festivals the Most High Elohim has given or demands His people to keep.

By having gone so far away from the mitzvah or commandments of God, man became ‘bewildered’ and has lost the North. Not having a good compass any more man has chosen for the wrong and more attractive paths.

Walid Shoebat seems not to believe that his American compatriots are also infested with the same pesticide as the European evangelicals. He writes

Most Americans think that Evangelicals are the same universality, believing that these are ‘Israel flag wavers’ just like them. The American evangelical being unique is the most ill-informed. When it comes to this issue, they do not realize that the bulk of what identifies itself as European Evangelicals are quite the different breed. Germany is exploding with Odin worship with a church in kahoot with it, while in the U.S. Evangelicals don’t say much fearing to appear as pro-immigrant. {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

and continues

While westerners are made to focus on “creeping Sharia,” they forget how Christians in Germany welcomed “creeping Nazism”. The rise of Nazism in 1933 upheld “Christian values”. Just as the Next News Network, Gary Franchi Jr, the Evangelical supporting the Soldiers of Odin for their good deeds, likewise, during Nazi Germany, Germans were persuaded by the statement on “positive Christianity”:

“We demand the freedom of all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not jeopardize the state’s existence or conflict with the manners and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The Party as such upholds the point of view of a positive Christianity without tying itself confessionally to any one confession. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit at home and abroad and is convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only be achieved from within on the basis of the common good before individual good.” (from Article 24, 1920 Nazi Party Platform)

And just as these deceived Europeans during Nazism, they are doing it again. Everything repeats, there is nothing new under the sun.

And just as it was in WWII, what they all have in common is “antisemitism” “ultra-nationalism,” and a “racialized” understanding of morality.

Kirchenratswahlen am 23. Juli 1933: Wahlpropaganda mit SA-Unterstützung vor der St.-Marien-Kirche am Neuen Markt in Berlin

And if one thinks it is the Catholic, or the Orthodox who were the main players, I remind, it was the Evangelicals in Germany who were the bulk of the masses deceiving while being deceived in the 1930s. These comprised of 28 regional churches or Landeskirchen, the bulk of German churches, that included the three major theological traditions that had emerged from the Reformation: Lutheran, Reformed, and United. Most, the bulk majority, of Germany’s 40 million Protestants, were members of this church, although there were smaller so-called “free” Protestant churches, such as Methodist and Baptist churches that withstood Nazism.

Flag of the Deutsche Christen or German Christians 1934

During the 1920s, a movement emerged within the German Evangelical Church called the Deutsche Christen, or “German Christians.” The “German Christians” embraced many of the nationalistic and racial aspects of Nazi ideology, which is exactly what we see rising today. Once the Nazis came to power, this group sought the creation of a national “Reich Church” and supported a “nazified” paganized version of Christianity.

{The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

Wandlung der DC-Embleme 1932 – 1935 – 1937

It is very clear for us in West-Europe that we can see a very similar situation as in the 1920ies1930ies and that we similar dictatorial right wing figures rising up and misleading the citizens of their country. America being the first country in the series where the right wing weapon lobby has won and is going to do everything to get other coloured and other believers out of ‘their nation’. Soon we might see Wilders in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen following in the footsteps of the new dictator Donald Trump, who shall take care that all those who do not agree with him shall disappear from the stage of his theatre.

Europe and other countries should be aware how they should be careful not to fall in the trap of those bad seed, the weeds being sown all over America and Europe, not to become infested with a dangerous virus, which not only shall kill many of the ones not like by many, but worst of all, killing lots of innocent people and bringing horror all over the world.

We should be warned and better know our real enemy.

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Preceding

Seeds to be planted soon

Seeds of promise

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Unbelief, faith and mustard seed

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

 

++

Additional reading

  1. Hamas the modern Philistines
  2. Religious Practices around the world
  3. Unprecedented violence against protesters and social protest
  4. Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
  5. Protest against Tzahal concert in Antwerp
  6. Migrants to the West #6
  7. 2014 European elections
  8. 2015 In the Picture
  9. Israel the Oil and Gas Opportunity
  10. Foreign workers and immigrants
  11. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  12. A world with or without religion
  13. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  14. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  15. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  16. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  17. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  18. French Muslims under attack
  19. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  20. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  21. Bible sayings about God
  22. Two states of existence before God
  23. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  24. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  25. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  26. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations
  27. Picking Stones
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. Have no other gods besides Me
  30. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  31. Bearing fruit
  32. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  33. Improving the world by improving the Faith

+++

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  1. An Another Way
  2. What Seeds Are You Planting? (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 293)
  3. Sowing the Wind
  4. We Do Not Save, Only Plant
  5. our words matter…
  6. Spread the Gospel
  7. ignite hope…
  8. The art of Love
  9. The Harvest
  10. The Apple Tree
  11. The Orchard of Your Life, Tom Moore
  12. Faith’s Checkbook: Pruning For Fruit-Bearing
  13. Matthew 21:18-22: Withering the Fig Tree
  14. Be A Fruitful Tree In Harsh Weather
  15. Planted to Bear Fruit
  16. You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits…But What is Fruit?
  17. Bearing Fruit
  18. Bearing Fruit for God – John 15:6-8
  19. The First Year of Marriage: Being Spiritual is Not in Tongues-Speaking
  20. The Thin Line Between Pride And Greed
  21. Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 92)
  22. Discernment and God – Philippians 1:9-11
  23. What! No Fruit?
  24. Cookie a day: Don’t Be A Tree That Gets Cut Down
  25. Sanctification by God – John 15:1-4
  26. Post-Truth Bears No Fruit
  27. 4 Keys To Pleasing God
  28. Through Christ – You Can Do All Things
  29. Our Fruit Is Found In Christ
  30. “Fruit Bearing”
  31. Unity: Wisdom is Justified by her Children
  32. Why Don’t You Feel Him With You?
  33. Abiding in the Lord
  34. Following the Leader
  35. rise up and resist…
  36. Restored faith in humanity
  37. Was It Worth It?
  38. What a “normal” day for God looks like
  39. Life Transformation~ Starts with the Seed, the Word of God
  40. Religious Pluralism and Common Sense on Trump’s Inauguration Day
  41. Hate Still Great as Trump Administration Begins
  42. Here’s What Dr. Seuss Thought About “America First”
  43. David Icke and the meaning of Jewish power
  44. To anyone who still supports Donald Trump
  45. Mario Silva: Persistence of anti-Semitism shows world has yet to learn lessons of the Holocaust
  46. What’s in a name? Identity in a reactionary age
  47. Defend The Jews: We Must Never Forget The Holocaust
  48. Tam Dalyell and anti-semitism
  49. London Mayor Sadiq Khan: We Must ‘Redouble Our Efforts’ to Stop Anti-Semitism
  50. Populism is breeding racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: UN chief
  51. Never Forget… Unless You Are The Russian Usurper Donald Trump
  52. Rachel Rozsa *************************** In memory of my grandmother on Holocaust Memorial Day
  53. Remember the Shoah, Not Just the Holocaust
  54. ‘You Get a Gold Star!’: Alt-Righters Celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day
  55. Alan Dershowitz’ Long Reach
  56. After Trump orders entry ban, airlines bar Iranians from US-bound flights | The Times of Israel
  57. Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Speech Doesn’t Mention Jews!
  58. Lobby: Trump’s ‘America First’ slogan is antisemitic!
  59. The anti-Semite with the Jewish wife
  60. Anti-American & Un-Jewish (Jared Kushner)
  61. Speak Out In Times of Great Moral Crisis
  62. Redemption is sweet
  63. Watch “What’s Holding the Arab World Back?” ~ PragerU
  64. Hasbara is Desperate to stop David Icke (video)
  65. Deepa Kumar: hating Israel, loving Hamas
  66. Know Your Enemy
  67. Nationalists’ approaches to Jews, Israel and Zionism: Complex relationships
  68. United in Idiocy: Milo Yiannopolous vs the University of Berkeley Students
  69. Next Week in Jerusalem
  70. A former skinhead explains why it’s a mistake for the US to stop targeting right-wing extremists
  71. United States Donald Trump news update

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From Guestwriters 2016 in review

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

Each day million articles are published, looking to find a reading eye. Every day thousands of new articles appear on WordPress. In 2016 one hundred seventeen billion nine hundred thirteen million one hundred forty-eight thousand three hundred fifty seven words got published on WordPress. {Automattic WordPress year-in-review-2016}

2016 in view

The year that David Bowie and Prince passed away, like several very well known figures of the arts world, it looked like some people who made it in their life did not want to stay here any longer. It was also the year of lots of terrorism and political correctness, where those who are different than the mainstream (disabled, transgender, refugees, extreme religious and non religious groups, jihad fighters,) got lots of attention.
In the United States of America Obama Care which at last had become a reality came back under threat. North America saw in Boston in November, the Disability Policy Consortium accepted proposals and held a Disability Intersectionality Summit. Presentations included topics on the intersections of being undocumented, being LGBTQ+, being a person of colour, having mental health disabilities, on #DisabilityTooWhite – the hashtag and movement around the the disability community’s failure to represent racially diverse voices – and more. Lots of things came on the American roller-coaster, having Michigan banned non-emergency restraint and seclusion for disabled students and Georgia’s governor speaking in favour of Employment First policies for disabled people in Georgia.

2016 Nice attack.png

Route of the attacker from west to east at the Promenade des Anglais, Nice

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the jihadi‘s made sure they would not be forgotten; ISIS/ISIL and BokoHaram being the new strongholders. In Europe the fear took so many people that politicians saw the opportunity to fuel the extreme right and come with absurd laws, like banning burkini‘s. All the fearmongering having fueled by the March 22 suicide bombings at Brussel’s Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station, leaving around 35 victims dead and 360 seriously injured, ISIS claiming responsibility.
America also got its portion of  ISIS-madness with a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49, injuring 53 – one of the bigger mass shootings in the U.S.A.. September 17 a terror bomb in Chelsea, New York injured 29 people. Lots of Americans got so frightened of Muslim people, looking at them if they all would be terrorist, though they under their own white Christian population had more victims by weapon violence this year than by terrorism. Several times the world could see how racism is still a big problem in the States and how police can not keep themselves in control when arresting black people. (African American Alton Sterling shot by Louisiana police in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile shot by police in St Paul Black on July 6; American Keith Lamont Scott September 20)
The Islamic militants for sure where very active all over the world. Some events called for more attention worldwide, having foreigners also under the victims or by being considered the country’s worse terror attack for the year, like at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a fighter killed 20 hostages and 2 police on July 1. The next day (July 2) a large lorry bomb in Baghdad killing at least 125 people and wounding 150, Islamic State claiming once more responsibility.  On December 11 a bombing at a chapel in Cairo, Egypt, killed 25 and wounded 45. December 19 again a truck was used to kill many people, like in Nice on the 14th of July now the target was a Christmas market in Berlin killing 12, injuring 48.

Terroranschlag-Berlin-Breitscheidplatz-2016 (2) (31731061626) (square crop).jpg

Aftermath of the 2016 Berlin attack

In the States of America on January 17 the Fourth Democratic presidential candidates debate showed how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over healthcare and gun control in Charleston, South Carolina, and gave us an idea that though perhaps the best candidate of all Bernie Sanders would not going to make it to president elect. Two days later Sarah Palin officially endorsed Donald Trump‘s presidential bid at a Trump rally in Ames, Iowa. What nobody thought possible occurred when this man made it to the preselections, then to the selection to finally become what nobody would ever dreamed possible, him becoming president elect. November 8 Republican Donald Trump became elected President of The United States of America, defeating democrat Hillary Clinton despite Clinton winning 2.9 million more votes. Europe fell on its back for the second time, the first one having been the vote for the Brexit (June 23), who nobody had thought would come through. These two unexpected events show clearly how careful we must be when we think it not necessary to spend time on such personalities and situations.

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Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

For that reason we should much more react on what is going on on ecological level. The Paris Agreement on climate change signed in New York (on April 22) binding 195 nations to an increase in the global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C is only the beginning of a long road to run. Global warming is not only blamed the cause of many people having to flee for the rising water-level. On August 1 there was an anthrax outbreak in the Russian district Yamalo-Nenets, Siberia killing one and infecting 8 others, also killing 2,300 reindeer. Indian government declared levels of air pollution in Delhi an emergency situation, closing schools and construction sites on November 6.

Though 2016 seemed to be the year that people where more concerned about the whereabouts and the look of their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Social media being the major interest gainer of the year. Most people more concerned about their outfit, fashion, style and strangely enough books and films again.

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Lots of people running with their heads in the skies did not notice that US astronauts Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to earth, on March the 2nd, after nearly a year (340 days), setting an ISS record. For the earthly matters it became time that the U.S.A. did something positive to restore the relations between them and Cuba. March 20 Barack Obama became the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 2 day tour.

The ‘Big Joke of the year’ (in April) was to see how many politicians who said something had to be done against fraud and how people had to pay honestly their taxes, their names could be found on the 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca , the Panama Papers exposing widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest ever data leak.

On April 11 UN-backed ceasefire came into effect in Yemen conflict between Iranian-backed Houthis rebels and government forces.

June 7 with a car bomb attack on a police bus in central Istanbul killing 11 was just a beginning of a whole series of bombings in Turkey of which there is no clarity if they are orchestrated by some political forces to have Erdogan in an even stronger dictatorial position. June 28 presented again a suicide bombings and gun attacks, at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport killing 42 and wounding more than 200. We have no idea if the coup d’etat was something set up by Erdogan himself. It gave him way to hold a big clean up and to get rid of all those who stood in his way.

In Colombia more than 50 years of conflict came in its last stadium, the governement and Farc rebels signing a ceasefire agreement on June the  23rd, followed by many talks to have the rebels not being sued.

2016 for this platform

WordPress Administration

WordPress Administration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of the 595,795,035 posts written on WordPress we only presented a mere 358 articles, hoping our humble little site could catch some interest by the many people who are scanning the worldwide internet for something interesting to read. From our tiny country not having any funds, not having serious backing and not able to afford much money on writers, designers or even having our own publishing space, just using the private limited funds of the editor and responsible publisher Mr. Marcus Ampe, we sincerely try to find some interesting literature on the net and present it to our readers and visitors. Because not having much GBites we are limited in re-blogging because pictorial content eats our internet data space, but when a must read is found with lots of photos we still do hope to be able to discuss it or to present it in one of our articles.

English: Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging

Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We must confess that we did not catch many readers for the many work-hours we invest searching for additional and further reading material. Luckily this was the first year we did not very angry letters of people being onerous that we included their article in the listing. In 2016 for the first time we even got a letter thanking us for having brought 1000 readers to someone’s site. Though we put a lot of work in creating all the links in the articles and in the accompanying list of interesting articles, to our sense or liking not enough people make use of those links and referential titles. For that reason from now on we shall perhaps start putting less url-backgroundlinks to words or tags, but still shall continue to try to offer you a list of noteworthy article by other bloggers.

It is a pity we only could find 7 782 views of only 4 827 visitors coming along.
Officially opened to the public on 2014/03/2 we got 1 847 visitors the first year and 2 764 visitors in 2015, so we may be satisfied it is a line going upwards. Though published from Belgium in the European Union, our ‘home-country’ only delivered 269 views. The United States being at the top with giving us 3745 views, followed by the United Kingdom delivering 852 views and our northern neighbours the Netherlands offering us 532 views may encourage us to continue.

The home page caught 2 118 views, followed by 349 for the About page. Of the articles “Religious celebrations in May 2016” got the most views (only 103) and got only 4 likes.

People naturally have to find us. 1 437 do so by using search machines, whilst 783 use the WordPress facilities. 155 come along by Facebook. But we too are happy to find other WordPress users referring to us and bringing readers to our site. Naturally our own authors or own sites like our ecclesia site (9 views), the Belgian Biblestudents and the Bijbelvorsers (each 8) and Stepping Toes (7), but non connected writers like ridzerdvandijk.wordpress.com with 8 views and sneakytwistedlittlewildheart.wordpress.com (good for 6), entering the promissedland (5), discoveronething (5), eternalhunt (5) and some others bringing us each 4 or less viewers.

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from t...

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from the May 1913 issue of National Geographic Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most used search terms were ‘hoopvolle slogans’ and ‘bezinningsteksten zelfkritiek’ with each 3 hits.
We ourselves brought 110 readers to our other site “Our World” and for for other sources Wikipedia got 56 readers from us, whilst the Collins dictionary got 21 and the very good Encyclopaedia Britannica only 18 views. Abortion and crime rates by wordlifeandlight managed to get 6 views from us and Lizaborstlap received also 6 visitors, as far as we can see from our statistics.

imageThis last person who has always been a person with a to-do list is also one of the people who wanted to share some writing on this platform. But there were many days when she became a slave to her lists and she had to face that things don’t always happen as planned and that she would feel like a failure if she wasn’t able to cross out all the tasks that she allocated to a specific day.{a goal should scare you a little and excite you a Lot!}

She may perhaps had to become, like us, more specific and to be realistic in what she can (and can’t) achieve in one day; but we did want to reach so much and sometimes got frustrated not seeing our accomplishment for the day.

We are still looking for authors who would not mind to write about lifestyle, interior design, fashion, cooking, family life, gardening, nature and ecological matters and some persons who would not mind tackling the history and people who would love to write about education and health. There are so many subjects not covered yet by people who can tell more about it than we can.

From the end of 2016 onwards we added two viewpoints, namely two comparators, on one site the Muslim world and on the other site the Judaic world and traditions.

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know that certain subjects are not tackled here. Marcus Ampe would love to find some one talking about family matters, family life being one of the cornerstones of our society. To his regret he must also establish that in 2016 not enough regard was given to ecological matters. Man having to live in surroundings which are too polluted and which are filled with buildings and cars, but not given the freedom to have enough green to bring enlightenment and fresh air to people. It is really getting time that more people warn others about us, man, to take care of mother earth, before it is too late.

Whilst on WordPress in general 112 million posts were liked, we did not have many likes. 8 billion e-mails were send on WordPress, but in those there are not counted the very many e-mails we got in our own e-mail box, instead of reacting on the blog articles themselves. This is a pity, because other readers can not read the reactions and oh so often we have to reply to very similar questions, which is more time consuming than having a reply which can be read by thousands on the internet.

For 2017 may we hope that if there are even more articles written on the internet than the 595,795,035 posted on WordPress in 2016 and the huge amount of comments, making it up to 457,596,906 comments on WordPress, you shall be able to  find some very interesting articles and comments here too.

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fashion Show, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2016 we saw that it is possible that those with the biggest mouth and do not mind trampling over many can get their cause. 2016 may have been a disastrous year on several issues and lots of important issues where not even mentioned or got not the right attention. For this new year we love to repeat our call to get more people daring to come out for the poor and the maltreated. We also once more want to ask people to wake up the majority of the population who still keeps their eyes closed for what is really going on in this world. There is a need of more people who are willing to stand up to preserve and encourage the progress of humanity while resisting the forces that threaten to turn it backwards.

We have to be very cautious for what certain people try to do with their nation but also with the world. As citizen we should be aware that politicians are nothing without their people and that folks if they really want can be much stronger than those politicians, who dare to look away from the citizen who needs help and encouragement. Those who call themselves Christian should be there to give a hand to all that need help, not forgetting nature, plants and animals who do not have a voice. therefore we do hope to find more blogs tackling their problem, and would love to have an author on ecology writing for us from this year onwards.

Without you reader we are nothing and can do nothing. We thank you for being here with us and for the followers we are grateful and do hope we can please you with a varied menu.

Wishing everyone a great 2017.

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Preceding article

2014 in review

In 2015 finishing our first year: From Guestwriters 2015 in review

Pokémon craziness

2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Children of Men

Max Lucado: I Had a Dream That Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reached a Truce

Leaders in disguise

Looking at man’s closest friend

Looking at an American nightmare

The twist of politics and expression

Tribes Redux

Darkest just before dawn

Bruxelles Ma Belle

Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away

Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised

An American Embassy to the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem

Humanity Quote for Pax Populi

When will it stop

Not limiting others but sharing peace with all

Not missing your appointment in 2017

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Additional reading

  1. EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) asylum seekers and Eastern neighbours
  2. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  4. Suffering brothers and sisters in Malawi, Mozambique and surrounding areas
  5. Not much interest for English articles
  6. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  7. 2016 American Bible survey
  8. On April 21 brother Nelson, in the world better known as Prince was lost
  9. Social media, sympathy & shocks
  10. Foreign workers and immigrants
  11. A stain of shame for the European Union
  12. Voted against their system
  13. A sleeper cell of militants was said directing attackers sent back to France from Islamic State’s de-facto capital in Raqqa, Syria
  14. Daesh hits heart of Europe
  15. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  16. March 22 2016, attacks in Brussels at airport and metro
  17. A Black day for Belgium – Brussels Airport ravage
  18. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  19. For those who call the Brussels Airport attacks a fake or a conspiracy of the government
  20. Terrorist attacks in brussels
  21. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  22. US President, Barack Obama Condemns The Outrageous Brussels Attacks
  23. What Associated Press released on Wednesday 23 March 2016
  24. Mediterranean bloodshed
  25. Nice attack, terror everywhere and coup attempt in Turkey
  26. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  27. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  28. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  29. France and the Burkini
  30. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  31. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  32. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  33. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  34. You are what you wear
  35. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  36. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  37. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  38. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  39. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  40. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of miscunduct
  41. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  42. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  43. When so desperate to hold onto power
  44. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  45. Brexit and British business
  46. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  47. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  48. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  49. Bosphorus bloodshed
  50. Belgian aftershock from the Turkish coup d’état

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  157. a year in the life
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United Congregational Church plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center

In Europe we find that many Christian Churches which have not enough members any more to fill their churches and to cover their costs for keeping those churches open have to close them down and sell them. Many Christian churches in Holland are sold to private owners to give them different apartments or shops, or are finding a new use as community centre, library or theatre.

Perhaps in the States the churches are also facing a similar problem. One of the oldest and historic Christian Churches in Bridgeport, CT, The United Congregational Church said Monday it plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church, built in the 1920s, to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center for $1 million.

The two groups will also form a partnership to provide community programs including soup kitchen and a homeless shelter from the site of the current church.

In recent years, more Muslim communities across the U.S. have begun to engage in the types of fundraisers and social-service projects that Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues often host or organize, said David Grafton, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn.

“As the national landscape has become much more suspicious of Muslims, and as Islamophobia has become more common, Muslim communities have consciously engaged in the process to normalize—or become part of the religious landscape of organizing into voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American civil and religious life,”

he said.

The lineage of the United Congregational Church dates back to colonial days. It was first established in 1695 and called the Ecclesiastical Society of Stratfield. It later merged in 1916 with another congregation to form the United Congregational Church.
Rev. Sara Smith said the Bridgeport church had 3,000 members when the main structure was built, but the numbers have now dwindled to 300. She said it made financial sense for the congregation to look for a new home.

UnitedCongregationalChurchBridgeport.jpg

877 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut – United Congregational Church: a historic large brick Georgian Revival structure designed by architects Allen & Collens and built in 1925-26 for a congregation with nearly 300 years of history

The United Congregational Church will be renting space in another part of Bridgeport till they find a new space to buy, Rev. Smith said.

“We are not dying, we are just moving,”

she said.

It has been a challenge for Muslim organizations to find real estate for mosques or other religious uses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that challenge has become more difficult in recent years, said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.

“The Muslim community has had to reach out to places of worship to buy their properties in Connecticut towns and cities like East Hartford, Avon and New London,”

Dr. Mansoor said.

Ahmed Ebrahim, the leader of the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center, said his organization bought the church because it had the space needed for prayers and was zoned for religious use. About 1,000 families in the greater Bridgeport region are expected to use the mosque.

“It’s a perfect fit for our needs,”

Dr. Ebrahim said.

The main sanctuary will be used as a prayer space, Dr. Ebrahim said. The congregation from the United Congregational Church will help prepare the space by removing a cross from the altar and modifying the stained-glass windows in the church.

Ellen Carter from Fairfield, Conn., says her family has been a member of the church for 11 generations.

“It’s sad”

we are moving locations, Ms. Carter said.

“On the other hand, it’s necessary, and we are happy it’s again going to be used as a house of worship.”

The closing of the sale is scheduled for May 1. The church was designed by Allen & Collens, the architectural firm that also designed the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. {Source: The Wall Street Journal}

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