Monday, August 31, 2015

Germany's Muslim Demographic Revolution

  • The surge in Germany's Muslim population — propelled by a wave of migration unprecedented since the Second World War — represents a demographic shift of epic proportions, one that critics of the country's open-door immigration policy warn will change the face of Germany forever.
  • "There are 20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe." — Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.
  • According to Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, attendance at many mosques has doubled in the past month alone.
  • A large number (40%) are from countries in the Balkans, including Albania and Kosovo. This implies that nearly half of those arriving in Germany are economic migrants, not refugees fleeing war zones. — Thomas De Maizière, German Interior Minister.
  • Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of an imam. Once in Germany the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a "single parent with children." — From an exposé broadcast by RTL television.
  • "For us today, what is at stake is Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations, and more precisely formulated, their transformation beyond recognition. Today, the question is not merely in what kind of a Europe we would like to live, but whether everything we understand as Europe will exist at all." — Viktor Orbán, President of Hungary.
Germany's Muslim population is set to skyrocket by more than 700,000 in 2015, pushing the total number of Muslims in the country to nearly 6 million for the first time.

The surge in Germany's Muslim population — propelled by a wave of migration unprecedented since the Second World War — represents a demographic shift of epic proportions, one that critics of the country's open-door immigration policy warn will change the face of Germany forever.

At a press conference on August 19, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière revealed that a record 800,000 migrants and refugees — the equivalent of nearly one percent of Germany's total population — are expected to arrive in Germany in 2015, a four-fold increase over 2014. He said that 83,000 migrants had arrived in July alone, and that the figure for August would be higher still.
De Maizière said that although many of the migrants are from the Middle East and North Africa, a large number (40%) are from countries in the Balkans, including Albania and Kosovo. This implies that nearly half of those arriving in Germany are economic migrants, not refugees fleeing war zones.

According to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the Berlin refugee center pictured here receives up to 2000 applications for asylum per day. (Image source: Deutsche Welle video screenshot)

Of the 800,000 migrants and refugees arriving in Germany in 2015, at least 80% (or 640,000) are Muslim, according to a recent estimate by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland, ZMD), a Muslim umbrella group based in Cologne. This estimate is not in dispute.
In addition to the newcomers, the natural rate of population increase of the Muslim community already living in Germany is approximately 1.6% per year (or 77,000), according to dataextrapolated from a recent Pew Research Center study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe.

Based on Pew projections, the Muslim population of Germany reached an estimated 5,068,000 by the end of 2014. The 640,000 Muslim migrants arriving in Germany in 2015, combined with the 77,000 natural increase, indicates that the Muslim population of Germany will jump by 717,000, to reach an estimated 5,785,000 by the end of 2015. This would leave Germany with the highest Muslim population in Western Europe.

By way of comparison, the surge in Germany's Muslim population would be equivalent to the Muslim population of the United States increasing by 3 million in just one year.

Critics say that German officials, under pressure to solve Europe's migration crisis, are ignoring the long-term consequences of taking in so many migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition to security concerns (Islamic radicals are almost certainly trying to enter Germany disguised as refugees), they say, the surge in Muslim immigration will accelerate the Islamization of Germany, a process that is already well under way.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Germany. This is evidenced by the fact that an increasing number of churches in Germany are being converted into mosques, some of which are publicly sounding calls to prayer (the adhan) from outdoor loudspeaker systems. The increase is such that some neighborhoods in Germany evoke the sights and sounds of the Muslim Middle East.

Islamic Sharia law is advancing rapidly throughout Germany, with Sharia courts now operating in all of Germany's big cities. This "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany, experts warn, but government officials are "powerless" to do anything about it. At the same time, German judges are increasingly referring and deferring to Sharia law in German law courts.
Polygamy, although illegal under German law, is commonplace among Muslims in all major German cities. In Berlin, for example, it is estimated that fully one-third of the Muslim men living in the Neukölln district of the city have two or more wives.

According to an exposé broadcast by RTL, one of Germany's leading media companies, Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of an imam (Muslim religious leader). Once in Germany the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a "single parent with children."

Although the welfare fraud committed by Muslim immigrants is an "open secret" costing German taxpayers millions of euros each year, government agencies are reluctant to take action due to political correctness, according to RTL.
Spiraling levels of violent crime perpetrated by shiftless immigrants from the Middle East and the Balkans have turned parts of German cities into "areas of lawlessness" — areas that are de facto "no-go" zones for police.

In Wuppertal, groups of bearded Muslim radicals calling themselves the "Sharia Police" have tried to enforce Islamic law on the streets by distributing yellow leaflets that explain the Islamist code of conduct in the city's Sharia zones. In Hamburg, Muslim radicals have infiltrated dozens of primary and secondary schools, where they are imposing Islamic norms and values on non-Muslim students and teachers.

In Berlin, local officials have waived rules prohibiting religious dress in public buildings so that Muslim women can wear headscarves. In Bavaria, Muslim children are being exempted from mandatory visits to former concentration camps as part of Holocaust education programs.

In Bremen, city officials signed an agreement with the city's 40,000-strong Muslim community. The agreement guarantees the protection of Muslim community properties, the approval of the construction of mosques with minarets and domes, the allotment of land for Muslim cemeteries, the supply of halal food at prisons and hospitals, the recognition of three Muslim holidays, Muslim representation in state institutions and other rights and privileges.
More than 700 German Muslims have joined the Islamic State and traveled to Syria and Iraq, and some of them have continued to receive welfare benefits from the German state while on the battlefields of the Middle East. Jihadists who have returned to Germany and pose an acute threat to national security threat are nevertheless eligible to receive benefits once again.

Germany is home to more than 7,000 Salafists who adhere to a branch of radical Islam that is vehemently opposed to Germany's democratic order. German officials say that 1,000 of these individuals are especially dangerous (some are believed to have joined sleeper cells) and could attack at any time.
At the same time, however, Salafists are allowed to openly proselytize on German streets to find new recruits and thereby increase their numbers. In a recent recruitment initiative, Salafists launched an unprecedented nationwide campaign, "A Koran in Every Home," to distribute 25 million copies of the Koran, translated into the German language, to every household in Germany, free of charge.

And yet the guardians of German multiculturalism have been working overtime to silence critics of the rise of Islam in Germany. In Bavaria, for example, German activists opposed to the construction of a mega-mosque in Munich have been classified as "extremists" and are beingmonitored by German intelligence.
German media consistently accuse commentators on the rise of Islam of engaging in hate speech, in an underhanded effort to try to intimidate them into silence. A particular object of wrath is a very popular German-language website called Politically Incorrect (PI), which over the years has grown into a major information resource for people concerned about the spread of Islam in Germany. PI's motto reads "Against the Mainstream, Pro-American, Pro-Israel, Against the Islamization of Europe." Not surprisingly, German media elites want PI shut down.

It is quite possible that German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who recently admitted that German multiculturalism has failed — views mass immigration from the Muslim world as the solution to Germany's collapsing birth rate, which is among the lowest in the world.

The German government expects the population to shrink from roughly 81 million today to 67 million in 2060, although Germany's statistics office, Destatis, recently reported that high levels of immigration would cause the country's population to shrink more slowly than previously expected.
study by the Hamburg-based World Economy Institute has warned that the low birthrate threatens the long-term viability of the German economy. "No other industrial country is deteriorating at this speed despite the strong influx of young migrant workers," the report said. "Germany cannot continue to be a dynamic business hub in the long-run without a strong jobs market."
Germany will need to do a far better job of integrating immigrants if they are to be a net gain for the German economy. A recent study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research showed that Muslim immigrants were more likely to be unemployed and living off the social welfare state than any other migrant group in Germany. The report said that root cause for the high unemployment rates is the lack of educational attainment and job training qualifications.

Meanwhile, the migration crisis shows no sign of abating. At a summit on migration held in Vienna on August 27, the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said: "There are 20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe. Ten to 12 million in Syria, 5 million Palestinians, 2 million Ukrainians and about 1 million in the southern Caucasus."

On August 21, Germany suspended the so-called Dublin Regulation — a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach — for asylum seekers from Syria. This means that Syrians reaching Germany will be allowed to stay while their applications are being processed. Critics say the move will encourage even more migrants to make their way to Germany.

Most Germans seem to be unfazed by what is happening to their country. An August 21 poll for German broadcaster ZDF showed that 60% of Germans thought their country could cope with the high number of refugees, and 86% said that Germany was a country of immigration.

In an interview with the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, Aiman Mazyek, the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said that so many Muslims have been flowing into the country that attendance at many mosques has doubled in the past month alone. Commenting on the demographic revolution sweeping Germany, Mazyek summed it up with an understatement: "The number of Muslims in Germany will increase significantly."

In nearby Hungary, President Viktor Orbán has been one of the few European heads of state to sound the alarm. "A year ago I said that we live in times when anything can happen, and I still say so today," he said recently. "Who would have thought that Europe would not be capable of protecting its own borders against unarmed refugees?" He added:
"For us today, what is at stake is Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations, and more precisely formulated, their transformation beyond recognition. Today, the question is not merely in what kind of a Europe we would like to live, but whether everything we understand as Europe will exist at all."

A Christian-Zionist Revolution is Brewing in Britain

A new group is looking to emulate the success of the Christian pro-Israel movement in America - and they are rapidly succeeding.

(from INN)
By Ari Sofer
Christian supporters of Israel rally in London
Christian supporters of Israel rally in London
Mordecai Voice
When it comes to Christian Zionism, most people think of the United States - and with good cause. Groups like Christians United For Israel (CUFI) have been among the leading lights in Israel advocacy, with a highly motivated and active grassroots base and support from a diverse range of senior clergymen and women. In terms of numbers, they outstrip even their Jewish pro-Israel counterparts, and in terms of commitment and activism, they often put them to shame.

Less well-known are the Christian Zionist movements outside of the US, for example in Europe. This fact is also, to an extent, not without good cause: for a variety of reasons, Christian Zionists in Europe, while certainly active, have never managed to emulate the success of their American counterparts.

But that could be about to change. In the UK, something of a revolution is brewing, thanks to the vision and tireless efforts of one quietly-determined pastor in reaching out to both Christian and Jewish communities alike.

Dr. Oliver Manyemba is a Pentecostal Christian pastor, as well as a trained investment banker and lecturer at a top London university. He is also a one-man powerhouse who is shaking up the face of UK Christian Zionism - and, by extension, both wider Israel activism and Jewish-Christian community relations.

Born in Zimbabwe, Manyemba was active for several years in some of the more established Christian Zionist organizations in London, but noticed a frustrating trend: while longstanding groups were indeed working hard to fight Israel's corner, they were doing so without reaching beyond a very narrow demographic base of white, middle-aged (or older) Church of England Christians. Millions of potentially sympathetic Christians, most notably among Black and Asian communities, were not being reached, and Manyemba resolved to fix that.

It was at that point that our paths first crossed, some three years ago. At the time, this author was also on the London pro-Israel activist scene, and as part of efforts to cultivate ties with non-Jewish allies I was introduced to Oliver, who was looking to study the Bible's authentic Jewish interpretations. Apart from becoming my first (and so far only) Christian Bible-study partner, he shared with me his incredibly ambitious vision to mobilize hundreds of thousands of previously un-engaged Christians nationwide to the cause of Israel - a vision which at the time appeared a thousand miles away.

Today, he leads Christian Watchmen over Zion (CWZ), a group that most British Jews will have never heard of, but which is now rapidly realizing that vision by emerging as the fastest-growing pro-Israel movement in the country.
CWZ is mobilizing Christians nationwide 
Credit: Christian Watchmen over Zion
It is nondenominational, with members spanning the gamut of the confusing mesh of Christian denominations in Britain; from Roman Catholics to Church of England and Eastern Christians. But CWZ's core constituency and driving force is the rapidly-growing Pentecostal movement, particularly among the African and Afro-Caribbean communities.

Its objective is to reconnect Christians to authentic Biblical teachings - most importantly, the place of the cause of Israel or "Zion" and Jerusalem as a central focus of Christian belief.

And its success in just two years has been staggering, drawing in thousands of grassroots members along with an ever-increasing number of churches and a diverse range Christian leaders.

Dispelling ignorance, standing with Zion
One of them, Archbishop Dr. Abraham C. C. Evangelou, was present along with a larger CWZ delegation at a farewell party for the outgoing Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub last month. It was the largest and most diverse Christian group present, and the only one to include such senior clergy, underlining the central position the group has already taken on the pro-Israel scene.

Evangelou, who started his ministerial career in the Greek Orthodox Church, now heads the Apostolic Christian Church and Ixthus Church Council, the latter of which boasts some two million members worldwide, including 1,500 ordained ministers, and has 40 churches in England alone.

CWZ's core message, he explained, is summed up by the Psalmist: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

"Our aim is to educate the Christian world as to the relationship we should be having with Israel, and to build a relationship with our Israeli and Hebrew brethren who are the foundational background to our Christian roots and Christian faith. We feel indebted to them for preserving the Scriptures for us to benefit from."
Archbishop Dr. Abraham Evangelou (C) and Pastor Oliver Manyemba (L) led a delegation to outgoing Israeli Ambassador Taub's farewell dinner Credit: Ari Soffer

"CWZ has been received very warmly in my churches, and many of our members have already joined. Many of my bishops who I consecrated have become prominent members of CWZ," he said. "​We also have a good relationship with Christian Friends of Israel, and I work with them too - anything positive, pro-Israel, we support that."

But why, given the prominence of the Land of Israel and its connection to the Jewish people in the Bible, do Christians need educating about it at all?

"Ignorance, misconceptions and also sometimes anti-Semitism," answers Dr. Evangelou.

"The early church had a negative perception of Judaism and the Jewish people," he notes, rejecting out of hand the replacement theology still found in some corners today, including most of those which gravitate towards the anti-Israel movement. "We're disqualifying that perception and showcasing all the good things about Israel and the Jewish people. I believe education is the most important thing, and that discredits any prejudice, racism or anti-Semitism."

That message - reconnecting to the Bible's "Hebrew roots," rejecting replacement theology (and with it the imperative to proselytize Jews), and focusing on the centrality of the Holy Land in Christian doctrine - is to a great extent the driving-force of contemporary Christian Zionism, from major groups such as CUFI to emerging innovators like Hayovel.

Oliver Manyemba's vision for CWZ is to be the doctrinal or ideological powerhouse of that movement.

What that requires, first and foremost, is to "open Christians' eyes" to the real-life application of the Bible. It might sound strange, but even many church-going, Bible-believing Christians often fail to associate the "Israel" of the Bible with the real thing.

"In Zimbabwe, when we prayed for the peace of Jerusalem, we thought of our families or our village. But that's not what God had in mind - He was talking about the real, physical Jerusalem!" Manyemba explains.

It's a message echoed by another prominent CWZ leader, Bishop E. O’Reilly Buchanan - one of the most senior Christian clergy involved in the movement. A charismatic speaker and humanitarian activist, he oversees churches from the UK to Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Bishop E. O’Reilly Buchanan Credit: Ari Soffer

He describes CWZ as a movement whose emergence is long overdue. "It's like an oasis, a glass of cool water after journeying in the desert."

But Bishop Buchanan also emphasizes that the potential was always there. Quoting the Biblical Prophet Hosea ("My people perish for lack of knowledge") he too insisted that ignorance, rather than hatred or conscious anti-Israel sentiment, was responsible for the lack of active support for Israel among many Christians.

CWZ's rapid success (their bi-annual conferences attract thousands already, including both Jewish and Christian community figures) is merely the logical result of opening people's eyes to the truth, he said. "It's like a spring that comes up from the ground - even if you block it, it will always find a way to burst forth."

In just 2 years of activity, CWZ conferences already attract thousands
Credit: Christian Watchmen over Zion

Another key to their success is a focus on young blood. Reverend Jacqueline Brown, a pastor of Jamaican origin, runs CWZ's Youth Program.

She also regularly takes Christian groups to visit Israel - something she believes is a must for any self-respecting Christian supporter of Israel.

"Standing with Israel means physically going there as well, to experience the holy sites, the people, the land, and to connect with them," she explained.

That includes places like Shiloh, Bet El, Har Grizim and other key Biblical sites in Judea and Samaria. One thing all the CWZ activists I met had in common was their rejection of efforts to delegitimize Israel's presence in those areas, particularly given its centrality in the Biblical - and Jewish-historical - narrative.

A grassroots revolution?
While CWZ's efforts are largely education, the groundswell of pro-Israel sentiment it is fomenting is encouraging an emerging grassroots movement of Christian activists on the ground.

Pastor Tim Gutman founded "Mordecai Voice" several years ago, with the single aim of "standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel and the Jewish community." His inspiration for the movement - as its name hints - is the Biblical Mordechai's fateful words to Queen Esther, which he says underlines the role Christians should take in supporting Israel: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"

Like CWZ it seemed to emerge out of nowhere, and its first event (in 2011)saw an eclectic mix of Christians joined by a handful of curious Jewish activists at a solidarity rally for Israel outside the British parliament.
Mordecai Voice rally outside UK parliament Credit: Mordecai Voice

Gutman - whose father was a Jewish refugee from Europe - says he's greatly encouraged by the sudden invigoration of the UK Christian-Zionist scene. While not formally linked, his group now works closely with CWZ, and he hopes the movement will swell in numbers, giving a sometimes embattled, demoralized Jewish community (at least vis-a-vis Israel activism) a much-needed boost.

"I feel the work of groups like CWZ and the Israel Key conference [another emerging Christian pro-Israel group - ed.] are seeing a groundswell of unprecedented support for Israel and there is a real sense of optimism that this will translate into a louder and louder voice of love for Israel - the kind America enjoys today," he said.

"We have a real sense of excitement at the growing love and understanding among the Christian Community for the importance of Israel and our passion is to see us proclaim this publicly, so the Jewish community will know and of course Israel will know: we stand with you shoulder to shoulder."

As part of those efforts, Mordecai Voice holding a solidarity rally in Golders Green, the heart of London's Jewish community, on September 20. The date was picked to coincide with the latest planned installment of neo-Nazi activities targeting British Jews. Although previous far-right efforts flopped spectacularly, Gutman says it's clear British Jewry is under attack, usually from the same people who constantly vilify the Jewish state.

"Our aim is to show the Jewish community both in the UK and of course Israel that there are thousands upon thousands of Christians who support, love and believe in them," he said. "We want to see Christian and Jewish groups united to proclaim publicly that Israel is not alone and the Jewish community are not alone in the face of increasing anti-Israel rhetoric and blatant anti-Semitism."

To his fellow Christians his message is simple: put your money where your mouth is and be active.

"Lots of Christians say 'Yeah, we love Israel,' so we're telling them: Come out and show your love!"

Sunday, August 30, 2015


About those rabbis who’ve signed on to the Iran deal.

By  (from the American Spectator)
Wikimedia Commons

Three hundred and forty — count ’em — Reform and Conservative rabbis have signed an open letter to the United States Congress, asking the members to vote to confirm the deal negotiated between John Kerry and the government of Iran. They are taking whatever moral, ethical, spiritual, and religious chips they have and trying to cash them in for political capital.

Interestingly, the number of three hundred and forty, when converted into Hebrew letters (the sh sound has a value of three hundred and the m sound equals forty) can spell either ‘sham’ or ‘shame.’ Both of these fit nicely here, as we have sham rabbis whose behavior brings shame upon them and upon the religion they presume to espouse.

Although this is terribly disappointing, it is hardly surprising. These so-called clerics have long since abandoned any moral link to Judaism as a guide to proper behavior and character.

Reform and Conservative call themselves “denominations” of Judaism, and at one time that was true in the sense that a ten dollar bill is no less of a denomination than a hundred dollar bill. So if Reform was only practicing ten percent of Biblically prescribed conduct and Conservative was doing thirty, they could still fairly be described as players on the Jewish team of Divine morality. They were engaged in the practice of the same religion as the Orthodox Jew, they were just doing “less” of it.

I recall back in 1981 inviting a professor friend of mine to hear the Book of Esther being read on the holiday of Purim, at the Orthodox synagogue I attended. Afterwards, he thanked me effusively, because it was the first time he heard the entire book read. He explained that his Conservative temple only read selected excerpts from the text. I was scratching my head, trying to fathom why you would take the book written to describe the events being celebrated on that day, and abridge the epic into a verbal movie trailer.

But at least that abbreviated performance had the virtue of being an authentic segment of the original. They did not rewrite the material; they simply trumpeted the high points of the narrative and let the congregants decide if they wanted to finish reading the rest of the story.

Most of the observances and rituals have been shrunk or eliminated now. The answer they offer is simple. There is a limit to what can be asked of people. The modern world leaves us less time for the demands of faith. We are forced to prioritize. We have to look at the Bible and the Talmud and the tradition and decide what matters most. If God knew He could only get one piece of the tapestry He bequeathed us, what would He prefer? The answer is: social justice.

And so they threw out all the bathwater. The dietary laws, the sexual limits, the special garments, and the detailed rituals for weekday and holiday prayer. They were careful to protect the baby. There he is, a picture of pink-cheeked health, swaddled in his blankets and snuggled in his crib, still fresh and clean from the days we had bathwater.

Except that here too they copped out and they sold out. The Torah’s brand of social justice was not popular. It involved going into battle on behalf of the unborn child, preserving God’s Creation in its incipiency, in its potentiality, in its emergence. It involved taking up the cause of precious souls near the end of life, protecting them from being unplugged from their last moments upon this Earth. It involved standing against the corruption of human sexuality and for the mystic bond of matrimony as a Divine gift to teach us to love the other, the opposite.

All this would put them at odds with the Democrat party. It would bring them to heresy against the New York Times editorial page. The cocktail parties of Manhattan and Beverly Hills and Georgetown would be closed to them. They would be labeled fundamentalists and fanatics.

And so they sold out the one part of the Torah they swore to cherish. They practice social justice as a fig leaf for protecting the abortionist and killing the child, protecting the euthanist and killing the helpless. They collude in the term ‘marriage’ being applied to those who sexualize sameness and abandon the voyage of seeking love in unifying opposites.

Is it a surprise that these same “leaders” are prepared to sell out the heroic citizens of Israel? That they put their loyalty to the Democrat party and the New York Timesahead of their obligations to God and His People and the ancestors who dedicated their lives to the truth of Torah? Disappointing yes, surprising no. The sham rabbis have earned their shame. It is high time for their congregants to reject them as quislings and find their way back to reclaim their noble patrimony.

As for non-Jews, they need not assign their respect for Judaism to these practitioners of Democrat partyism. There are enough solid honest Jews out there, in various shades of religious observance, who recognize truth when they see it and who do not recast their obligations to match their shortcomings. Those Jews, along with their non-Jewish compatriots, can read the entire Book of Esther and learn how to stand up to Persians plotting to annihilate the Jewish People.

The Ayatollahs Consider the US their Chief Target

By Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger

Enclosed you'll find my politically-incorrect columns on the most critical threat to US national security and economic intereststhe nuclearized Ayatollahs. They conduct hate-America education system, bankroll global anti-US Islamic terrorism, terrorize all pro-US Arab regimes, co-developnuclear and ballistic missile capabilities with anti-US North Korea, collaborate militarily with anti-US Venezuela, egregiously violate civil liberties and systematically abrogate agreements. 

The articles are based on my 40 year experience  - as a researcher, diplomat (Ambassador), lecturer, writerand consultant to members of the US Congress and Israel's Knesset -  in the areas of Middle East politics, US-Israel relations and US policy in the Middle East:

1. Iran's School Textbooks – can Congress afford to ignore the most authentic reflection of the Ayatollahs' inherent anti-US tactics & strategy?
2.  Saudi Arabia VS. President Obama and Secretary Kerry (the pro-US Arab regimes consider the nuclear deal a lethal threat).
3. The Nuclearized Ayatollahs would compound major threats, to vital US interests, posed by the conventional Ayatollahs.
4. Iran and the suspension of disbelief - can the US afford a nuclear Iran?
5. Iran – there are reasonable alternatives!
6. The US voter is very clear on the Iran debate.
7. Military options/threats prevent war.
8. Israel's unique contributions to the US national security:

Will Israel Give Judea & Samaria to Iran?

By Rob Muchnick
Dear Friends,
I wish to ask you a question.
Will the Israeli government — the government of the Jewish State — give Judea and Samaria to Iran?
That may seem impossible.
First, because our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, daily warns that Iranian leaders wish to destroy us.
Second, because the media, although they discuss the connection between Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, never mention the deeper ties that bind Iran and PLO/Fatah (better known as the ‘Palestinian Authority’).
And what is not in the news goes to sleep in the mind.
But a few days ago, Iran’s official news agency brought this connection back into view by reporting that PLO/Fatah and Iran have signed an “all-out cooperation agreement.”
PLO/Fatah will cooperate fully with Iran!
As a recent documentary reminds me, such cooperation is nothing new. (1) (2)
In the Second Intifada, the Iranian ayatollahs were running PLO/Fatah’s deadliest terrorists, the Al Aqsa Martyrs, and mobilized them to ensure that Mahmoud Abbas became Yasser Arafat’s replacement. At the same time, Iran also sent the Karin A freighter with 50 tons of weapons to the PLO/Fatah. Thankfully, this ship was intercepted by Israel.
But the relationship is older.
In 1979, when the Iranian Islamist regime came to power, the New York Times reported on its front page that PLO/Fatah had been architect of that revolution:
·         Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas armed and trained Ayatollah Khomeini’s troops;
·         Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas were invited, before any others, to celebrate with Khomeini in Teheran; and then
·         Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas helped created the Iranian security services and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
As they celebrated in Teheran, Arafat declared that PLO/Fatah and Iranian aims were identical: the violent destruction of the Jewish people and State.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Abbas explained to Arab reporters how it would be done:
First, promise peace. Then, gain some territory. And last: annihilate Israel. Abbas called it the ‘Plan of Phases’; the media called it the ‘Peace Process.’
So far, all goes according to plan. But will they conclude it?
Will we let them?
Join me, as Israeli citizens and Jews worldwide, in demanding from our prime minister answers to these questions:
Why is PLO/Fatah still in Israel?
Will our government give Judea and Samaria to Iran

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Divine Way to Wage War

By Moshe Feiglin

(From this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10)
This verse is simple in its optimism. Israel goes out to war and G-d gives them victory. Simple as it may be, it is the Divine recipe for victory in war.
First of all, “When you go out to war”. War – not a “low intensity conflict” and not “containment.” The first condition is to define the situation as war and to invest the resources and fortitude necessary for war.
Secondly, “against your enemies.” In a war, there is an enemy. He must be clear and defined. But in order to define the enemy, one must first define himself. If you know who you are, you can know what threatens you, and find the strength and courage to define and defeat it.
When Israel will integrate its Jewish identity into its national life, it will easily define its enemies. And then, G-d promises, He will “give them into our hands.”
Shabbat Shalom.

The Essence of Existence

By Rabbi Oury Cherki
Rav, Machon Meir, and Kehilat Beit Yehuda, Jerusalem

The Prophet Yeshayahu turns to the community of Yisrael with consolation: "Be happy, barren woman who did not give birth" [54:1]. Who is this person to whom the prophet turns? Is there a personality that stands alone, which has a dialogue with the Creator? The answer is that it is the entire nation, throughout all the generations, which is viewed as a single collective personality, and which is addressed by a collective noun denoting fondness – a companion, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a mother, or a virgin from Yisrael.

The community of Yisrael appears as being in competition with other communities. In this week's Haftarah (the first verse of which is quoted above), it is described as a desolate woman whose husband left her, as opposed to the "possessed one" which represents an attempt to establish "a mystical enlightenment, recognized to be faithful, which can be external to the existence of the nation" [Rav Abraham Yitzchak Kook, Orot, page 17]. In the annals of history, this desire was fulfilled within Christianity and Islam, which during the time of exile wanted to absorb the enlightened approach of the community of Yisrael without maintaining any contact with the nation of Yisrael itself.

Such attempts are possible only at a time when the light of the Shechina – the holy presence - which appears within Yisrael is diminished and when the community of Yisrael appears as a spiritual movement similar to others, in a status of "low-level uniqueness." However, at the time that the nation returns to its land, when the "high-level uniqueness" is revealed, all other spiritual insights disappear by comparison to the community of Yisrael, and in fact they are absorbed within it. The result is that the community of Yisrael is revealed in its true state, not as one religion of many or as one nation among all the others, but rather as the essence of all existence – a point of reference which includes everything that is encompassed by the boundaries in a worthy way (see Orot, page 138).

In such a perfect situation, an encounter with secular life and general culture is no longer dangerous, since "when the power of Yisrael is great and its soul shines within it spectacularly, and its practical branches are completely in order, with sanctity, uniqueness, and blessing, with respect to the Temple and the government, prophecy and wisdom – then the expansion to include the secular, to give pleasure to spiritual and physical senses, to look penetratingly into the lives of many different nations and peoples, including their works and their literature, and the increasing strength of natural life, are all good and have the ability to broaden the good light." [Orot, page 67].

The prophet brings the news of expansion of the sanctity to include all of the realm of the living: "Expand the place of your tent, let the curtains of your dwelling-place be stretched out, do not hold back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your tent stakes, for you will expand to the right and to the left and your offspring will inherit other nations and settle desolate cities." [54:2-3].

Redemption cancels out the shame of the Christian claims against Judaism: "Have no fear, for you will not be put to shame, do not feel humiliated for you will not be disgraced, for you will forget the shame of your youth and you will no longer remember the humiliation of being a widow." [54:4].

Redemption also renews a world-encompassing approach of Divine guidance which is not limited by the boundary of Yisrael as it was in the time of exile but which turns towards the entire world: "And your redeemer, the Holy One of Yisrael, will be called the G-d of the whole world" [54:5].

Increasing Good Thoughts

By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

“Remember what G-d did to Miriam on your way out of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 24:9). 

Rashi comments, “If you would like to avoid being smitten with leprosy, speak no Lashon Hara [evil gossip]. Remember what was done to Miriam, who spoke about her brother and was smitten.” 

Why must we recall precisely the failure of Moses’s sister Miriam, the most important and pedigreed woman in Israel? The Torah was teaching us that even important people unfortunately are liable to speak Lashon Hara. As we see from Miriam, importance and greatness do not immunize one from Lashon Hara and its bitter consequences. 

Another major principle derived from Miriam about guarding the tongue is this: The greatest amount of Lashon Hara is spoken within the family. Parents sometimes speak it about their children, children about their parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, in-laws about one another, precisely the same way that Aaron and Miriam, from the most prestigious family in Israel, fell prey to Lashon Hara when Miriam spoke about Moses. Therefore, the main effort to guard the tongue, an act that purifies the soul, has to take place within the home. 

Today, we are in the midst of the month of Selichot, days in which man seeks to rectify his relationship with G-d and with his fellow man, a time of repentance and purifying the soul. At this time, our greatest effort at rectification must take place within the home -- both the private and the national home. 

Every Jew in his own home must increase his good thoughts. These will lead to positive speech and to good deeds. As far as our national home, our national leaders must be careful not to speak evil about one another. By such means we will emerge meritorious on Rpsh Hashanah and be sealed for a life of goodness and peace. 

Looking forward to complete salvation, 
Shabbat Shalom.

Selective Forced Feeding

By Rabbi Yisrael Rosen
Dean of the Zomet Institute

"Do not allow yourselves to see the ox of your brother or his sheep go astray... You shall return it to him" [Devarim 22:1-2].

"How do we know that this is still valid if he is about to lose something from his own body? It is written, 'You shall return it to him.'" [Sanhedrin 73a].

The Difference between a Sick Person and a Terrorist

Here is a pronouncement made by Dr. Leonid Adelman, the head of the Israeli Medical Association: "Doctors are prohibited from participating in forced feeding of prisoners, because this is a matter of torture... This is a dangerous procedure which is forbidden according to our laws of ethics." This statement is a challenge of the "Law of Forced Feeding" for security prisoners who start a hunger strike (why only them?). The law was passed a month ago by the Knesset in the wake of a new "weapon" used by the terrorists – a hunger strike to the death, thereby calling for a "worldwide protest" against Israel. Without a doubt, this pseudo-medical ruling carries with it a number of hidden messages that are political and cultural in nature, as is plain for all to see. In principle it is similar to calls for revolt from various directions against laws of the land in the realms of settlements and security, economics and taxes, culture and education, religion and the state, and many similar issues. Can yeshiva heads who call out for their students not to report for registration with the security forces point to the worthy Dr. Adelman as a source for their advice?

On the tip of my tongue, I find it necessary to take note of something that demonstrates the political links of Dr. Adelman's declaration: Why was the voice of the Israeli Medical Association not heard when a youth recently refused chemotherapy in the Rambam Hospital? "The whole world" was called on to join in the effort to force the boy to take the treatment. Where were Dr. Adelman's ethical limits which forbid coercion? Perhaps we might try to make a difference between an adult and a child, but my heart tells me that the good doctor differentiates between a Jew and a Gentile, or more precisely – between a sick person and a terrorist. And it seems that only the latter is protected by ethical rules!

Ethics and Halacha

In my comments below I will make an effort to completely leave out my nationalistic feeling, which leads to a conclusion that we should be more stringent with terrorists than with other human beings. I will also ignore my feelings based on security issues, that we are in a war with our enemies, and that sometimes, as often happens during a war, it is necessary to take steps that are not the most ethical actions in the world. I will also ignore the strong background noise about "what the other nations will say," which we can assume echoed in the respected head of Dr. Adelson, who is so afraid of "torture." What I write below is purely from the Jewish point of view.

I am not familiar with "the laws of ethics" and with those who wrote them. One thing I do know: It is clear and definite according to the laws of our Torah, which is the basis of all of our ethical thought, that if a person is about to starve to death he must be saved even if this means to use force to make him eat. This obligation comes straight from a verse in the Torah: "Do not stand idly by when the blood of your colleague is in danger" [Vayikra 19:16] (which if anybody cares, was adopted by the Knesset). And this was expanded in the Talmud based on a verse in this week's Torah portion, quoted above, as an extension of the laws of returning a lost item.

(We might suggest that Dr. Adelman accepts that there is a difference in the need to save a life depending on whether the person is a Jew, as is written in the verse quoted above, "your colleague." After all, we have been taught that the law for a Gentile is that "he is not to be lowered into a pit, but neither is he pulled out." However, I seriously doubt that Dr. Adelman ruled on the dispute between the early commentators, whether the lack of an obligation to rescue a Gentile is only valid for the Seven Nations of Canaan or for every Gentile, or perhaps only for those who do not observe the Seven Commandments of Bnei Noach. Note that there is also a specific dispute about the status of Moslems in this case. The entire subject awaits further study in depth.)

As I have said, I am not an expert in the ethical rules of the "religion of personal rights" and European morality,but I do know that in the volumes of Techumin (the halachic series published by Zomet Institute) there have been three articles published on "forcing a sick person to be treated." This includes a responsa by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Techumin volume 5, 5756–1996, later reprinted in Igrot Moshe, volume 2, 73), where he rules that"the physicians must do what they can, including coercion," as long as the necessary treatment is not dangeous. In volume 2, Rabbi Moshe Raziel wrote an article based on a responsa of the Radbaz that "a person should be fed by force," and in volume 25 the brothers Rabbi Naftali and Dr. Yechiel Bar Ilan wrote a comprehensive review article of the entire matter. And in all cases the point of departure is the level of danger involved in the forced treatment. However, with respect to "food and drink," all the articles agree that the patient "must be stuffed." (Note that all these articles refer to Jews and not Gentiles.)

That is our ethical approach! And all the ethics committees in Europe, and in the universities, and those in Israel who let their eyes wander abroad, have no standing against the ethical Jewish halacha, which is the most moral of all, no matter what the Israeli Medical Association says.

Yisrael and the Nations

As hinted above, my heart tells me that between the lines in the declaration of the Israeli Medical Association there is a hint of another message. It is something like: We are not interested in the Torah of Yisrael! The question of security of the State of Israel is not an issue for us! We never took an oath to be loyal to the laws of the Knesset! We want to be able to visit London and Rome, Munich and The Hague, without being arrested for the silly elements of Israeli security. We see a difference between forced feeding or a medical treatmentof a Jew – which is permitted, and possibly even desired – and forced feeding to save the life of a terrorist. This is not allowed, since it is protected by the laws of international ethics...

Do You Love Being a Jew? HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Ki Taytzai 5775

Parashat  Ki Taytzai  5775 
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Do You Love Being a Jew?

Starting with the month of Elul until after Shmini Atzeret our lives are centered around tshuva. Repentance for one’s sins is basic to our relationship with the Creator. A better way is when one conducts his life by preventing the performance of a sin in the first place.
Rabbi Akavya ben Mehalalel in Pirkei Avot chapter 3 lays down a formula for sin prevention intended to dispel the negative compulsions stemming from one’s ego:
מאין באת מטפה סרוחה, ולאן אתה הולך למקום עפר רמה ותולעה ולפני מי אתה עתיד ליתן דין וחשבון לפני מלך מלכי המלכים הקדוש ברוך הוא:
Consider your lowly biological origins, consider where you will be eventually laid to rest, and consider before Whom you will have to present “a reckoning and an accounting” of your life – before the King of Kings, the Holy One Blessed be He.

What is the difference between a “reckoning” and an “accounting”, which the great rabbi said is in store for every one of us?
I submit that the “reckoning” is the minute-by-minute playback of each one’s life – all our thoughts and deeds.
The “accounting” is a different quantum level of interaction between the soul and its Creator. Here the King of Kings closes the big book of your biography and says: “Now let’s talk tachlis! Did you love being a Jew?”
HaShem will ask if we were proud to be a part of the select few chosen by the Creator to be His own. He will ask if we were proud to be in the workplace and in the street with a kippa and tzitzit. He will ask a married woman if she was proud to cover her hair without sneaking out a few hairs – here and there.
To love Hashem is the real story that is behind the Akaida of Yitzchak episode. The call to sacrifice YItzchak was directed to Avraham and not to Yitzchak. So, in fact, Yitzchak had the prerogative to refuse. Had he done so, Avraham would have been exempted from his obligation due to causes beyond his control; and Yitzchak could not have been held liable, because he was not commanded.
Yet, Yitzchak agreed to be the sacrifice demanded by HaShem for one reason, he knew that it was HaShem’s will that he be sacrificed on the altar on what was to become the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim.
Yitzchak’s love of HaShem drove him to do what he knew was HaShem’s will, despite the fact that he was not commanded.
I recall the testimony of a survivor of Treblinka in the Yerushalayim trial of the mass murderer Ivan Demjanjuk. Although he was physically sitting on the witness chair, his thoughts were still in Treblinka. He kept repeating, Shabbos, Yom Tov, Paisach. He was again in the lowest hell of gentile inhumanity longing for the beauty of Yiddishkeit – he spoke as one who longs for a long-lost love.
He loved being a Jew even at the enormous price he had to pay.
One of my Roshei Yeshiva passed away. During the hespedim, his son-in-law related that his father-in-law had been sent to Siberia right after his wedding at the age of nineteen. When he returned five years later, he told the yeshiva bocherim that he never knew how much he loved Torah and Yiddishkeit until it had been taken from him in the camps of Siberia.
Avraham Aveinu at the Brit Bain HaBetarim, was informed by HaShem of the cost he and his descendants would have to pay in order to be partners with the Creator as His chosen people. This price would be exacted in the form of destructions and exiles, pogroms, blood libels, the Shoah and more. Avraham accepted all the difficulties in order for him and his descendants to be close to HaShem in this world and the next – just as a person very much in love must at times sacrifice in order to be with his beloved.
At the end of the day, it comes down to one simple question: “Do you love being a Jew?”
I have never met two people in love who did not want to be together all the time. The Jews in the galut, regardless of their levels of spirituality, are not in love with being Jewish.
For some it is a fact of life, and they abide by the Torah for all sorts of reasons. Many even view their Judaism as an oppressive yoke that they cannot get rid of.
If you love HaShem and love being Jewish, you live in the Promised Land of HaShem. Many “talk the talk” but only a tiny minority “walk the walk”. Eretz Yisrael is the big divide between the “boys” and the “men” when it comes to profound, sincere, inner spirituality.
David Hamelech repeats the word “Ahavti” (I love) 12 times in Tehilim. He expressed his love for HaShem, for Torah and mitzvot, and for Yerushalayim.
However, HaShem the Creator of all and certainly of the holy language of Ivrit called love AHAVA. The root (shoresh) of AHAVA is HAV meaning to give.
True AHAVA cannot remain in the realm of emotions. It seeks avenues of expression, foremost of which is to give to the object of one’s love. The object could be the love of two people, parents to children, and even the love of a person towards an ideology. In all cases, love that remains an emotion will not endure without real acts of giving.
The concept that HaShem loves the Jewish people is repeated often in the liturgy. HaShem expressed His love by giving us the sacred land of Eretz Yisrael and He blessed those who live here.
No one has said it better than the prophet Yishayahu in this week’s haftara:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy.”

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5775/2015 Nachman Kahana

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Warning about Borders to Israel and the US

  • In Germany, where traffickers are now dropping off illegal immigrants on Autobahns, authorities have reacted -- not by trying to intercept or discourage traffickers, but by putting up new road signs alerting drivers of potential pedestrians on the highway.
  • Last month alone, more migrants landed on the shores of Greece than in the whole of 2014.
  • If the mainstream media keep reminding everyone how the rioting immigrant youths in France or Britain are driven by economic inequality now, imagine the scale of unrest once European welfare states cannot finance "half the planet" anymore and are forced to cut welfare benefits.
  • No one, however, especially the media, blames migrants for their own actions.
  • This is the real tragedy of the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe: apart from those fleeing combat zones, most migrants swarming European borders and coastlines do not appear to be in any real or dire need.
With the European Union surrendering its immigration policy to people smugglers, the immigration crisis in Europe keeps reaching staggering new heights. The word has gone out that Fortress Europe is scalable. From Morocco to Turkey, people smuggling has turned into an irresistibly big business.
From small-time thugs to the terror outfit Hamas -- for $2500-$3000 per person smuggled -- many evidently want to seize a slice of this lucrative business that was created by the EU's collective inaction.
In Germany, where traffickers are now dropping off illegal immigrants on Autobahns, authorities have reacted -- not by trying to intercept or discourage the traffickers, but by putting new road-signs alerting drivers of potential pedestrians on the highway.

Even before this year's mass immigration began, Germany was struggling to deal with roughly a quarter of a million asylum applicants -- without even accounting for the illegal immigrants already in the country. The recent wave of migration would push those figures to record heights.

The trend in Germany merely reflects the overall scale of the European immigrant crisis. In July 2015, an estimated 50,000 refugees entered Greece, a surge of 750 percent. Last month alonemore migrants landed than in the whole of 2014.

In Germany, the head of Lower Saxony's Municipal Federation, Marco Trips, told local reportersthat the "system has already collapsed." This sentiment is apparently shared by municipalities across Germany. In a historic move, the German federal government has now called in the military to assist in setting up new tent cities and providing basic amenities for ever-rising number of refugees.

The majority of those entering Europe illegally seem not to be fleeing armed conflicts, but seeking a better life in a welfare paradise. Europe's answer is to throw money at the problem -- money Europe does not have. Britain's Defence Secretary has suggested that the UK's £12 billion ($19 billion USD) foreign aid budget can "discourage" mass migration.

The European welfare system, funded increasingly by governments' debt in recent decades, is showing signs of an impending collapse. There is no end in sight for Greece's debt crisis, despite repeated bailout packages to the tune of €326 billion ($375 billion USD). Slow economic growth, high youth unemployment and an aging population makes the European welfare model increasingly untenable.
If the mainstream media keep reminding everyone how rioting immigrant youths in France or Britain are driven by economic inequality now, imagine the scale of unrest once European welfare states cannot finance "half the planet" anymore and are forced to cut welfare benefits.

African migrants camp out on the beach in the northern Italian town of Ventimiglia, along the French border, as they wait for the opportunity to cross into France. (Image source: AFP video screenshot)

Europe's answer to this imminent financial doom is to create still more welfare dependents or, even better, "invite" them by failing to secure the borders.

EU bureaucrats not only refuse to implement basic border controls but rebuke any EU member state moving to secure its borders. European politicians and the mainstream media are up in arms against Hungary's move to erect a border fence along its southern border. American public broadcaster PBS ran a report telling its viewers about Hungary's "new Iron Curtain." The Associated Press quoted unnamed "critics" who compared the Hungarian fence to "Communist-era barriers like the Berlin Wall."
The EU bureaucrats in Brussels want to force a single asylum policy on all 28 member states, asking that they take in more migrants. According to this common asylum policy proposed by Brussels, asylum seekers entering EU would be divided among EU members.

Hungary, with 60,000 migrant arrivals so far just this year, entering mainly from Serbia, remains the most vocal opponent of the EU's proposed policy.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been virtually ostracized by European politicians and media, for not complying with EU's immigration policy. Contrary to the EU's position, he has called for a "distinction" between EU member-state citizens moving within Europe and non-EU foreigners. "There are economic immigrants who are just in search of a better life... Unfortunately in Hungary we can't give jobs to all of these immigrants," Orbán said, and called the EU's proposal for member states to take in more refugees "absurd, bordering on insanity."

Europe, itself reeling under a financial crisis, cannot provide housing, employment and social benefits to the thousands who each day land on European shores and cross over borders. German newspapers are full of countless reports of immigrants disappointed after arriving in Europe, almost always followed by a reporter's plea for urgent action to address the said grievance. These "disappointments" often turn into violent clashes. Police across Germany have their hands full just to keeping rival migrant gangs from turning on each other or on officials.

No one, however, especially the media, blames migrants for their own actions. The mainstream media in Germany apparently refuse to connect the dots, so as not to "feed into negative stereotypes." A columnist for Germany's Tageszeitung even wrote of an elaborate government conspiracy that drives immigrants to turn violent -- allegedly just to give them a bad name.

Tageszeitung also ran a story lamenting the "alarming conditions" of refugees landing on Greek islands. The article was accompanied by a photograph of smiling, well-fed, sturdy young men, posing for "selfies" on their smartphones while holding cigarettes in their hands. One of them was thoughtful enough to bring along a selfie-stick for his smartphone, to capture the moment he fled a "war zone" or acute "economic misery."

This, however, is the real tragedy of the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe: apart from those fleeing combat zones, most migrants swarming European borders and coastlines do not appear to be in any real or dire need. Economic disparity on other continents should not oblige Europeans to open its own floodgates for mass migration.

This crisis seems to be one of Europe's own making -- that seems to be the logical conclusion of Europe's debt-driven welfare system and the EU's contempt for national boundaries.