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Sunday, October 31, 2010


President Obama Shells a Whopping $100 Billion to the United Nations
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D. - The Last Crusade, October 8th, 2010

The U. S. State Department today announced that the Obama Administration has agreed to contribute $4 billion to the United Nations Global Fund to fight AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria from 2011 to 2013.

The $4 billion represents a 38% increase over the previous U.S. commitment to the fund.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that a total of $11.7 billion has been raised from 40 countries, the European Commission, faith-based organizations, private foundations, and various corporations.

This means that over one-third of the money will come from the pockets of US taxpayers.

Oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates contribute next to nothing, and China, which holds most of the US $14 trillion debt, agreed to provide a measly $14 million.

In addition to the annual gift of $1.33 billion to the Global Fund, President Obama has agreed to provide billions more for UN projects. These allocations are set forth in a 28 page document as follows:

· Funnel $63 billion to the Global Health Initiative during the next six years

· Make $1 billion annually to education programs

· Give $475 million to the Global Agricultural and Food Security Program

· Provide $800 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa. An additional $3.2 billion will be provided by private equity capital sources to these Muslim nations.

Shell out millions more available through USAID for developing tech hubs in Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, and Senegal.

Dole out $80 million through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for small to medium enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa

Cough up $2.5 billion annually to 90 countries to “strengthen governance and democratic institutions.

Make available $30 billion through the Obama’s Climate Change Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, $100 billion a year will be provided through taxpayer and private resources to deal with the alleged threat of global climate change.

The United States is assessed at 22% of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27% for U.N. the peacekeeping budget. Mr. Obama has requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget for 2011.

The United States is also assessed for numerous other United Nations organizations as well. More than $6.347 billion went to U.N. organizations in FY 2009.

The United States also provides money to the U.N. through the State Department, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies.

Andrea Lafferty of The Traditional Values Coalition writes: “The U.S. taxpayer is forced to pay billions to an inefficient organization run by world leaders who hate America and the free market system. This doesn’t make any sense – nor does our paying 22% of the cost to keep this bureaucracy alive when we have only one vote in the General Assembly.”

Several candidates have called for the U.S. to sever its relationship with the United Nations. The list includes Dennis Ross, a Republican candidate for Congress from the 12th Congressional District of Florida,

In a statement to The New American, Mr. Ross said:

An organization that allows nations like Iran and Libya to chair committees dedicated to human and women’s rights makes a mockery of both. The UN, like any bureaucracy, must constantly be evaluated and put to the test, and if found lacking, be dismantled. I believe the US government is perfectly capable of conducting bilateral and multilateral relations with other nations on our own. Despots, human rights violators, and tyrants should be confronted, not congratulated.

Such concerns over the U.S. involvement with the UN are not new.

Senator Barry Goldwater was quoted in 1971 by the Congressional Record as saying:

The time has come to recognize the U.N. for the anti-American, anti-freedom organization that it has become. The time has come for us to cut off all financial help, withdraw as a member, and ask the U.N. to find a headquarters location outside the United States that is more in keeping with the philosophy of the majority of voting members, someplace like Moscow or Peking.

A working Juke Box -- MY GIFT TO YOU !!!!!!!!!

This really works. Go to any year, any song on juke box.


It's a Juke Box!

Pops up with 20 hits of that year!

40's JuKeBoX
1955 JuKeBoX
1956 JuKeBoX
1957 JuKeBoX
1958 JuKeBoX
1959 JuKeBoX
1960 JuKeBoX
1961 JuKeBoX
1962 JuKeBoX
1963 JuKeBoX
1964 JuKeBoX
1965 JuKeBoX
1966 JuKeBoX
1967 JuKeBoX

1968 JuKeBoX

1969 JuKeBoX

1970 JuKeBoX

1971 JuKeBoX

1972 JuKeBoX

1973 JuKeBoX

1974 JuKeBoX

1975 JuKeBoX

1976 JuKeBoX

1977 JuKeBoX

1978 JuKeBoX

1979 JuKeBoX

So Funny!!!!!! Grandparents

1.She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, "But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I will probably
never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye....

My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was,
and I told him, 62. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair.. As she heard the children getting more and more
rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a tremblin voice, "Who was THAT?"

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like. "We used to
skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front
yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was
wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma do you know how you and God are
alike?" I mentally polished my halo and I said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor... She told him she
was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her.
I would point out something and ask what color it was She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"

When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in.
Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are
coming after us with flashlights.."

When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure." "Look in
your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine says I'm 4 to 6."

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We
learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried
to keep her cool. "That's interesting." she said. "How do you make babies?" "It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."

Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy
wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside
to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked. "Sure," said the young boy
confidently. 'It means carrying a child."

A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one child. "No," said another. "He's just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close."They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."

A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to th airport."

Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! He teaches me good good things, but I don't get to
see him enough to get as smart as him!

My Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks and they blame their dog.

your post office

Unions and Postal Service Reform

The U.S. Postal Service is close to maxing out its $15 billion line of credit with the Treasury and could run out of operating cash by the end of the year. But its contract with the postal unions is preventing the USPS from implementing the cost reductions it needs to get its finances under control.

Labor accounts for 80 percent of the USPS’s costs — the Service has the second largest civilian workforce in the nation, behind only Wal-Mart — and 85 percent of workers are protected by the collective bargaining agreement.

“The unions have become a giant anchor on an already sinking ship,” Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute, wrote in an article appearing on The Daily Caller. Last year the average postal worker received about $79,000 in total compensation, compared to $61,000 for the average private sector employee.

But the union contracts “inhibit the flexibility required to efficiently manage the USPS workforce,” according to DeHaven. He cited the “no-layoff” provisions that protect most workers, which forces the USPS to lay off lower-cost part-time and temporary workers before it can fire a full-time employee.

Union contracts also make it difficult for the USPS to hire part-time workers, which could result in savings and give managers flexibility in dealing with fluctuations in workload. Only 13 percent of USPS employees are part-time, compared to 53 percent for UPS and 40 percent for FedEx.

Despite the USPS’s difficulties, the American Postal Workers Union — which represents more than 200,000 workers — is in contract negotiations with the Service and union chief William Burrus insists a pay increase for his members is an “entitlement.” He said the union wants “more money, better benefits.”

DeHaven concludes: “The postal unions are likely betting that in a worst case financial scenario for the USPS, policymakers will tap taxpayers for a bailout. Unfortunately, if recent history is a guide, they’re probably correct.”


Jerusalem Post: British director cancels visit over “Israeli policies”

CNN’s Reliable Sources video: Helen Thomas retracts apology to Israelis

JTA: Despite pressure, Pete Seeger won’t cancel participation in Israeli-organized peace rally

The Jerusalem Report: Battling the Boycotters by Robert Horenstein

Boston Globe: The Undeniable Jewish State by Jeff Jacoby


The Wall Street Journal Europe

June 4, 1999 Stephen P. Halbrook

In 1994, when the U.S. Congress debated whether to ban "assault weapons," a talk show host asked then-Senator Bill Bradley (New Jersey), a sponsor of the ban, whether guns cause crime. The host noted that, in Switzerland, all males are issued assault rifles for militia service and keep them at home, yet little crime exists there. Sen. Bradley responded that the Swiss "are pretty dull."

For those who think that target shooting is more fun than golf, however, Switzerland is anything but "dull." By car or train, you see shooting ranges everywhere, but few golf courses. If there is a Schuetzenfest (shooting festival) in town, you will find rifles slung on hat racks in restaurants, and you will encounter men and women, old and young, walking, biking and taking the tram with rifles over their shoulders, to and from the range. They stroll right past the police station and no one bats an eye. (Try this in the U.S., and a SWAT Team might do you in.)

Tourists--especially those from Japan, where guns are banned to all but the police--think it's a revolution. But shooting is the national sport, and the backbone of the national defense as well. More per capita firepower exists in Switzerland than in any other place in the world, yet it is one of the safest places to be.

According to the U.N. International Study on Firearm Regulation, England's 1994 homicide rate was 1.4 (9% involving firearms), and the robbery rate 116, per 100,000 population. In the United States, the homicide rate was 9.0 (70% involving firearms), and the robbery rate 234, per 100,000. England has strict gun control laws, ergo, the homicide rate is lower than in the U.S. However, such comparisons can be dangerous: In 1900, when England had no gun controls, the homicide rate was only 1.0 per 100,000.

Moreover, using data through 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice study "Crime and Justice" concluded that in England the robbery rate was 1.4 times higher, the assault rate was 2.3 times higher, and the burglary rate was 1.7 times higher than in the U.S. This suggests that lawfully armed citizens in the U.S. deter such crimes. Only the murder and rape rates in the U.S. were higher than in England. The small number of violent predators who commit most of these crimes in the U.S. have little trouble arming themselves unlawfully.

The U.N. study omits mention of Switzerland, which is awash in guns and has substantially lower murder and robbery rates than England, where most guns are banned.

Here are the figures: The Swiss Federal Police Office reports that in 1997 there were 87 intentional homicides and 102 attempted homicides in the entire country. Some 91 of these 189 murders and attempts involved firearms. With its population of seven million (including 1.2 million foreigners), Switzerland had a homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000. There were 2,498 robberies (and attempted robberies), of which 546 involved firearms, resulting in a robbery rate of 36 per 100,000. Almost half of these crimes were committed by non-resident foreigners, whom locals call "criminal tourists."

Sometimes, the data sound too good to be true. In 1993, not a single armed robbery was reported in Geneva. No one seems to be looking at the Swiss example in the U.S., however.

Congress is stampeding to pass additional firearm restrictions in response to the events of April 20, when two students used guns and bombs to murder a dozen classmates and a teacher in Littleton, Colorado.

Yet in 1996, a man who legally owned guns under England's strict regulations went on a rampage, murdering 16 children and a teacher in Dunblane, Scotland. Parliament then banned all handguns and most rifles.

But there have been no school massacres in Switzerland, where guns and kids mix freely. At shooting matches, bicycles aplenty are parked outside. Inside the firing shelter, the competitors pay 12-year-olds tips to keep score. The 16-year-olds shoot rifles with men and women of all ages. In fact, the tourist brochure, "Zurich News" recommends September's Knabenschiessen (boy's shooting contest) as a must-see: "The oldest Zurich tradition consists of a shooting contest at the Albisguetli (range) for 12 to 16 year-old boys and girls and a colorful three-day fun-fair." The event has been held since 1657, and attracts thousands of teenage participants and spectators.

While many shoot for sport, all males aged 20 to 42 are required by militia system regulation to keep rifles and/or pistols at home. In addition, gun shops abound. Yet firearms are rarely used in crime.

Homicide is tied to a willingness to resort to violence, not the mere presence of guns. The prevalence of firearms in the home and the participation of youth in shooting matches bind youth to adults and discourages a generation gap.

By contrast, homicide rates are highest in the underdeveloped countries, many of which ban private firearm possession. In some, private murder does not compare to the genocidal murder committed by governments against their unarmed subjects.

In America, firearms take on a sinister reputation from the nightly news and violent movies. But in Switzerland, firearms symbolize a wholesome, community activity. The typical weekend shooting festival brings out the entire family. Beside the range is a huge tent where scores or hundreds of people are eating, drinking, and socializing. With cantonal and rifle club banners fluttering in the wind, the melody of rifle fire blends with Alpine music and cow bells.

Since its founding in 1291, Switzerland has depended on an armed populace for its defense. William Tell used a crossbow not only to shoot the apple from his son's head, but also to kill the tyrant Gessler. For centuries, the cantonal republic defeated the powerful armies of the European monarchs. Machiavelli wrote in 1532: "The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom."

This coincidence has not escaped the notice of those who oppose liberty.

Monarchist philosopher Jean Bodin, writing in 1606, denounced free speech and arms possession by commoners. Subjects must be disarmed to prevent democratic sedition, he said. The Swiss proved, Bodin wrongly averred, that arms bearing was "the cause of an infinite number of murders."

The Swiss militia model, however, preserved democracy and held Europe's despots at bay. In fact, it inspired the rebellious American colonists.

John Adams praised the democratic Swiss Cantons, where every man was entitled to vote on laws and to bear arms. Patrick Henry, another American Founding Father, lauded the Swiss for maintaining their independence without "a mighty and splendid President" or a standing army.

The Swiss influence is clear in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Today, it has become fashionable to hate this orphan of the Bill of Rights.

However, a quick glance at history shows that tyrannical governments kill far more than do private criminals. But first, governments must disarm their victims. In 1933, the

Nazis seized power via massive search-and-seizure operations for firearms against "Communists," i.e., all political opponents. In 1938, during the Night of the Broken Glass, they disarmed the Jews. When the Nazis occupied Europe in 1939-41, they proclaimed the death penalty for any person who failed to surrender all firearms within 24 hours.

There may be various reasons why the Nazis did not invade Switzerland, but one of those reasons is that every Swiss man had a rifle at home.

For this we have no better record than the Nazi invasion plans, which stated that, because of the Swiss shooting skills, Switzerland would be difficult to conquer and pacify.

European countries occupied by the Nazis had strict gun controls before the war, and the registration lists facilitated confiscation of firearms and the execution of their owners.

By being able to keep out of both world wars in part through the dissuasive factor of an armed populace, Switzerland demonstrates that civilian firearm possession may prevent large numbers of deaths and even genocide. The Holocaust never came to Switzerland, the Jewish population of which was armed just like their fellow citizens. In the rest of Europe, what if there had been not just one, but two, three, or many Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings?

Traditionally, the Swiss Cantons had few firearm regulations. The first federal firearms law was recently enacted. Certain firearm purchases require a permit, and others do not. On retirement, every soldier may keep his rifle or pistol. Surplus assault rifles may be purchased by any Swiss citizen from the Military Department.

The bottom line is one of attitude. Populations with training in civic virtue, though armed, do not experience sensational massacres or high crime rates. Indeed, armed citizens deter crime. Switzerland fits this mold. Similarly, America's lawful "gun culture" is peaceful. Sadly, some of its subcultures are not.


October 18, 2010

The current impasse over inserting pre-conditions between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas over what it will take to finally jumpstart the Middle East peace process – with Abbas insisting on a freeze in settlements while Netanyahu, holding out for Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish State – has some biblical precedent.

Rashi, in his monumental commentary on the Torah points out that G-d made the patriarch Abraham two promises, that he would have children, even though he was 100 years old, and that the land of Israel would be his. On having children, Abraham was willing to take G-d’s word for it. But when it came to the Promised Land, he insisted on a pre-condition - that G-d show him a sign of ownership and G-d concurred (Genesis 15, v. 8). For 3,500 years, land ownership in the Middle East has always required pre-conditions.

I understand where President Abbas and the Arab League are coming from – they want to freeze all settlement construction, to send a clear signal to every Israeli, especially the Israeli right, that the overwhelming portion of the land where the settlements are currently being built will, in fact, become the future Palestinian State with minor changes.

Still, I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is making the more fundamental point of what it would take to open up prospects for real peace in the Middle East. He is saying to the Palestinians and their backers in the Arab world, we have been down this path before with President Clinton at Camp David in 2000 when Prime Minister Barak offered Arafat more than 90% of the West Bank and a capital in Abu Dis (suburb of Jerusalem) and Arafat walked away and launched the Intifada. In 2005, when Prime Minister Sharon unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, hoping to inspire new Arab thinking and was rewarded by Hamas taking over Gaza and firing more than 8,000 rockets into Sderot. We can’t afford another failure. You know that given the current coalition politics, only a Likud Prime Minister can muster a national consensus to deliver the necessary compromises that must be made.

But to do so, you must be a real partner, willing to undo the mistakes of the past as Abba Eban used to say, “Never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” You, the leaders of the Arab world, have to finally tell your brothers and sisters the truth, that just as there are 23 Arab states surrounding Israel, and 56 Muslim countries with a population of 1.3 billion Muslims with vast natural resources.

At the same time, there is another people who have rights to this land. The Jews are not usurpers and strangers, they didn’t just come from Europe and America, and we cannot pretend that one day our Palestinian brethren will outnumber them and they will disappear. They are an ancient people with a 3,500 year ongoing attachment to the land, their prophets and kings lived in Jerusalem before there was a Saudi Arabia, a Syria, and a Jordan and they have the same rights here as we have. We must recognize that in our region, there will be a Jewish democratic State, Israel, that is here to stay and to them belongs a ‘piece of the rock.’

It is that kind of a change of attitude that can catapult us to a new place and finally cut through the umbilical cord of distrust and hate and usher in a new period of reconciliation and opportunity for Israel and her Arab neighbors.

*Rabbi Marvin Hier is the Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
and Museum of Tolerance


Support for Israel Costs Canada Seat on U.N. Security Council
America All But Disappeared in Maneuvering by Portugal, Brazil, and Cuba
By BENNY AVNI, Special to the Sun | October 12, 2010

UNITED NATIONS — Canada’s increasing ties with Israel and its defense of Jerusalem have cost it a seat on the United Nations Security Council, diplomats here are saying after days of maneuvering by Arab countries, Brazil, and Cuba in which the United States had nearly disappeared.

Canada’s failure to capture a seat on next year’s Security Council will break a tradition in which America’s northern neighbor has been elected to the most prestigious United Nations body in every decade since 1948. Diplomats here say Brazil was instrumental in handing defeat to Prime Minister Harper in an international contest that pitted Canada, a traditional U.N. power house, against one of the European Union’s least powerful countries – Portugal.

Canada withdrew its candidacy in today’s election for five available council slots after it realized that Portugal had sewn up enough General Assembly votes in the secret ballot to win the only contested seat. Several sources told me that members of a powerful voting bloc in the 192-member assembly – the 57 countries of the Organizations of Islamic Conference – were united in voting for Portugal over Canada, mostly because of Mr. Harper’s record of supporting Israel.

In addition to the OIC, anti-Western countries like Cuba and Venezuela have been active in opposing Canada’s candidacy. Mr. Harper’s right-of-center government, which had originally tried to stay above the fray, increased its efforts in the final weeks, mounting a world-wide campaign to capture the council seat.

But a diplomat familiar with the behind-the-scenes horse trading that marks the annual General Assembly vote tells me that top diplomats from Portuguese-speaking Brazil became particularly active in the last few weeks, convincing Muslim countries that “Canada’s vote on Israel-related issues will be no different than that of the United States, while Portugal would be more balanced.”

The U.N.-based correspondent of Canada’s National Post, Steven Edwards, reported yesterday that foreign ministry officials in Ottawa criticized the timing of a Tel Aviv visit by the country’s international trade minister, Peter Van Loan, in which he announced Sunday – on the eve of the U.N. vote – his intention to tighten Canada’s trade relations with Israel even further.

“That’s no way to win friends and influence people at the U.N.,” one diplomat here said today. While blocs that included the African and Latin American countries were largely thought to have split their vote on the contested seat, the Arab countries and the OIC were largely believed to have voted en-bloc to bar Canada entry to the council.

Mr. Harper’s government has become one of Israel’s more forthright defenders in organizations like the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, where members like Cuba and Libya often single Israel out and garner enough votes to condemn its human rights record.

Only a few years ago, the American ambassador here would have made a public issue in defense of Canada. But in the maneuvering leading to today’s vote, American diplomats were all but absent.

Conversely, Israeli diplomats who habitually count heads before the votes at international bodies do not see Portugal as a reliable ally among the members of the European Union, which often joins the majorities or abstains after attempting to “soften” anti-Israel votes.

Portugal ended up winning 122 votes in the first round of today’s General Assembly ballot – just short of the 127 needed. Canada got only 114 votes in the first round, and eventually withdrew in the second round, after which Portugal received 150 votes. The balloting is often marked by small bribery in the form of trinkets. Vials of Canadian Maple syrup — an ambrosia unequaled on the planet for its deliciousness — were found by ambassadors as they arrived at their seats before the vote.

There are 10 elected seats at the Security Council, of which five new members are chosen once a year for a 2-year stint according to regional affiliation. The group of democracies known as the Western European and Others Group fielded three candidates this year for the two available seats that were vacated by Turkey and Austria. Germany won easily, which left Canada and Portugal.

Three other regional groups sent one candidate for each available council seat. Colombia replaced Mexico, India replaced Japan, and South Africa – which has amassed a remarkable anti-Western and anti-Israel voting record in its last council stint – replaced Uganda.

On January 1, the five new members will be seated at the famous horseshoe-shaped table alongside the five countries that were elected last year – Bosnia, Brazil, Gabon, Nigeria, and Lebanon – as well as the five permanent council members, Communist China, Russia, Britain, France, and America.

The Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups

The Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups, as identified by ADL, are:

· Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER)

· Al-Awda

· Council on American-Islamic Relations

· Friends of Sabeel-North America

· If Americans Knew

· International Solidarity Movement

· Jewish Voice for Peace

· Muslim American Society

· Students for Justice in Palestine

· US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

"These groups demonize Israel through various public campaigns. Their messages are one-sided and fail to take the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into account," said Mr. Foxman. "They unfairly attack Israel while ignoring Palestinian terrorism and incitement. They apply a different standard to Israel than other countries, condemning it for implementing policies to protect its citizens."


What a shame that the U.S.A. has gotten to this point!

If You Choose To Delete You Are Part Of The Problem, Me? I'm Passing It On.
It seems to get worse daily.

This was written by the daughter of a murdered couple in Raytown , O , who owned a Bible and Bookstore. Just one more example:

When I had to testify at the murder trial of my parents a week ago, I was asked to raise my right hand. The bailiff started out "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

I stood there and waited but she said nothing.. She said "Do you?"

I was so stunned I blurted out "What happened to "so help me God'?"

She came back with "Do you?" I replied yes, but I was perplexed.

Then the judge said .. "You can say that if you want to."

I stopped, raised my right hand, and finished with "So help me God!"

I told my son and daughter that when it came time for them to testify, they should do the same.

It's no wonder we have so many problems in this country. If I'd had my wits about me I'd have told them that taking God out of the courtroom is only going to result in more criminals and murderers..

I don't know what can be done about it, but it's time for us to step up and DO something.

NBC this morning had a poll on this question.. They had the highest number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the percentage was the same as this:

86% to keep the words, 14% against. That is a pretty 'commanding' public response.

I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't.

Now it is your turn.. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.

Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why is the world catering to this 14%?

If you agree, pass this on.

In God We Trust


Jews persecuted in Europe because of their "great love of money," teaches PA TV history program

Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:32 PM

"PMW Bulletin"

Oct. 28, 2010

Jews persecuted in Europe
because of their
"great love of money:"
PA TV history program

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

A history program on official Palestinian Authority television has repeated an odious PA distortion of history.

Since its inception, the PA has been rewriting the history of Zionism, teaching that the Jews came to Israel not because of their historical ties to the land, but because Europe wanted to be rid of "the burden of its Jews," [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 12, 1998] and "wanted to get rid of the Jews and their problems,"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 15, 2009].

This message has appeared again in a PA TV history program, Witnesses and Testimonies. The program featured two Jordanian academics, who explained that the Jews' behavior had been "harmful" to Europeans because of the Jews' "great love of money." They cited Shakespeare's fictitious character, the moneylender Shylock, as proof of this Jewish trait.

"This is how they harmed the societies that embraced them," one of the academics explained.

Click here to see excerpt from the TV program.

As Palestinian Media Watch has reported, the idea that Jews were a threat to every nation in which they lived, and therefore had to be expelled, is an essential concept in the Palestinian Authority's denial of the Jewish connection to Israel, and the denial of Israel's right to exist.

According to this historical revision, Jews never had a history in Israel and would therefore never have created and supported the Zionist movement. In order to explain the Jewish ties to Israel, the PA claims that the Jews were so despised and were such a threat to every country in which they lived that the European nations sent their Jews to Israel to be free of the Jewish "burden."

PA TV is controlled by the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. website about the PA's portrayal of Zionism as a European plot to get rid of the Jews.

Following is an excerpt from the program:

Jordanian academic Arafat Hijazi:
"150 years ago, when there were no Jews in Palestine, the Jews were in Europe, in Eastern Europe, but the Jews suffered from persecution by the European nations.
The reason was that they would harm the people of the lands in which they lived.
They had a problem: Wherever they went, they were expelled, and were imprisoned."

Jordanian academic Muhammad Dohal:
"The Jews are hated in every society in which they have lived, because of their behavior relating to their great love of money.
Their behavior led to [Shakespeare's] famous story, the story of Shylock about money lending, which clings to the Jews. This is how they harm ed the societies that embraced them."
[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 10 and 17, 2010]

PA TV: Tel Aviv residents
are also "settlers"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

In a PA TV program about the history of Jaffa (southern Tel Aviv), pictures of a Muslim cemetery in Jaffa included the caption: "Jaffa's holy sites are in the hands of the settlers."

The Palestinian Authority uses the term "settlers" to imply illegitimacy.

Palestinian Media Watch has reported on the PA's continued denial of Israel's legitimacy


For those who believe in segulot (A mystical Jewish formula for good mazel) and
who of us can't use that!?

G'mar Chatima Tova!
Please do not break! Just 27 words. "

G-D our Father, walk through my house & take away all my worries & illness
& please watch over & heal my family ... Amen."

This prayer is so powerful. Pass this to 12 people including me. A blessing is
coming to you in 4 mins of a new job, a house, marriage, good health, or financially

Do not break or ask questions.


Oskar Freysinger: Is Islam a Threat?

I reported last week on the difficulties faced by Oskar Freysinger, the leader of the Swiss People’s Party, when he attempted to give a lecture in Brussels. Twice denied a private venue, he eventually gave his talk in the Flemish Parliament, thanks to the intervention of Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter.

Mr. Freysinger gave his speech in French, and it has now been translated into English, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our French correspondent l’échappée belle. It is an excellent exposition of the extensive damage inflicted by mass Muslim immigration on the legal systems and national cultures of Europe.
Baron Bodissey

Oskar Freysinger: Is Islam a threat?

Conference in Brussels October 9, 2010

To preface, allow me to note that at the end of this first decade of the 21st century, questions and debate have become a challenge in the EU.

First, the Diamant Conference Center in Schaerbeek closed its doors to me under pressure from the mayor and the police on the leaseholder of the room, and then it was the turn of the Crowne Plaza Hotel to deny me a room. Its owner had at least the elegance, after having first accepted and then rejected the conference, to meet us, Marcel Castermans and me, to express his embarrassment of being unable to fulfill his commitment. “However,” he advised during this interview, “The Crowne Plaza is no exception as to its rejection. Currently, you will not find any hotel room in Brussels prepared to welcome you, as political pressures are too great. You see, I am a businessman, and cannot go against the system “. The manager of the Crowne Plaza didn’t know how right he was, because the owner of a third venue, who originally gave his approval, recanted just this morning. This is why Europe is running adrift: Not because of fanatics who occupy the land, but because of cowards who let them do it.

I am, however, happy with the outcome of this matter, which sees me now speaking in French in a Flemish parliament hall. Thanks to Philip Dewinter, the only person this morning to support free speech in this city of Brussels which has been placed under the wet blanket of an anti-liberty clique.

Intolerance and censorship are now the preserve of those who have only the words “openness” and “tolerance” on their lips. Paradoxically, our fight for freedom, is also conducted for them and their children, despite the fact they are trying to muzzle us.

For now, I’ll try to summarize in three quarters of an hour the argument that prevailed when we, Switzerland, decided to give a strong signal to Islam by banning the construction of minarets. Is Islam a threat? If yes, in which areas and in which ways? These are questions I will try to answer without any animosity toward Muslims as individuals, because they are often the first victims of a pitiless dogma leaving them little choice in managing their lives.

1. All religions on an equal footing

At the beginning of this reflection we should ask ourselves how any rule of law protects the religious peace within the state. This can be accomplished via a secular legal regime that places itself above religious dogma and which guarantees equal treatment to all faiths. The protector must be placed above the protected so that its protection is effective and granted in the same way to all.

Religious faith is inherently unprovable and therefore beyond any checks. That means for a legislator ensuring equal treatment to all religions, that faith X and faith Y are necessarily at the same level, and that men are free to choose their religion, so as to be able to move from one religion to another. Religious freedom is also the oldest fundamental right of any modern constitutional state.

However, once religious faith is politicized, the dogmatization of policy threatens. One religion then influences policy to the point that it eventually bans, isolates or oppresses all other religious beliefs (see Iran, Afghanistan, etc.), while at the same time imposing a dogma (unprovable and unchanging).

Let me point out some instructive cases related to the blasphemy law introduced some time ago in Pakistan, which presents itself as a democracy:

In early July 2010, the Christian Zahid Masih of Model Town, not far from Lahore, was forced to flee and hide with his family after being accused of blasphemy earlier in the month by the Muslim Manat Ali, who stirred up a fundamentalist lynch mob. Zahid is alleged to have used as a bathmat a panel on which are inscribed some verses from the Koran.

* The family of a 26-year-old woman from the Punjab, Rubina Bibi, the mother of three children, who was charged and imprisoned on false charges of blasphemy. Due to her desperation, she now believes she has come to an agreement with her accusers: the withdrawal of charges, and thus freedom, in exchange for her conversion to Islam. In March 2010, Rubina was accused by a Muslim trader following a discussion on the sale of a food product. Court hearings took place under heavy pressure from Islamic extremist groups. To reach an out-of-court settlement, the court told the Rubina family that charges would be dropped if she converted to Islam.

* In February 2010, Qamar David, a Christian from Lahore, in prison since 2006, was sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy. For three years his family and his lawyer have been subjected to threats and intimidation. “The conviction is based solely on the statements and testimony created artificially, the fruits of hatred and prejudice,” says the lawyer Parvez Choudry.

* In January 2010, Imran Masih, 26, from Faisalabad, was sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy. A neighbor accused him of burning a copy of the Koran. The young man was the victim of a trap: while cleaning his shop, he wanted to get rid of some books written in Arabic (a language he does not understand) and asked the advice of one of his neighbors who first authorized him to do so and then accused him of blasphemy.

Recognizing this, the problem that Islam poses to Western democracies is not primarily theological in nature, but above all political and legal.

2. Competing conceptions of law

In Switzerland, as in any democracy worthy of the name, every law is democratically legitimized. This means that our laws can change, unlike Islamic religious law, which is irreversible and autonomous because it is considered of divine origin: it is given once and for all, and is not accountable to anyone. Sharia is based on the Koran, which was given to the prophet Muhammad in a state of mystical ecstasy. The Koran exists as an uncreated law in heaven and was made accessible to humans by Mohammed. Sharia law is based on yet another source, the hadith, which by their source value are placed at the same level as the Koran and comprise information and actions taken from the prophet’s life. There are, according to Koranic schools, various viewpoints at this level. Certain hadith are accepted by some and rejected by others. Within the religious texts a great variety is found which leads to opposing views and practices.

Finally, all contradictions in the Koran as well as areas that are not resolved are set by the Ijma which represents a consensus of self-appointed lawyers (the scholars) who makes fatwa (legal rulings). The problem is that the alim (scholars, plural) are said to be the ones who “know”, and are therefore knowledgeable when it comes to scientific matters of faith. Thus we understand why faith is regarded as knowledge in Islam, that is, a scientifically verifiable area. This view is hardly reconcilable with our idea of faith, and leads to serious consequences in practical life. As opposed to the inhabitants of the 57 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Swiss people may, under our conception of law, broadly participate in the political process through the instruments of direct democracy. We could, for example, delete the reference to the Almighty in the Federal Constitution. In contrast, the populations of the Islamic countries mentioned above do not have the right to challenge Sharia, which in these countries is equal to immutable scientific knowledge, equivalent to the Swiss admitting the fact that earth is round and revolves around the sun. The time when the church tried to ban this knowledge is gone; Galileo virtually represents the beginning of the emancipation of modern science from religion.

The Turkish Constitutional Court has come to a decision, upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, that Sharia is the antithesis of democracy and intends to usurp the state’s role as guarantor of individual rights and freedoms. In this context, the following statement by Dalil Boubaker, former president of the French Council of the Muslim community, is remarkable: “Islam is simultaneously religious, community, law and civilization.” The Organization of the Islamic Conference of States — which as mentioned, includes 57 states — has made a similar observation: “Islam is religion, state, and complete organization of life.” Under this principle, the Organization of the Islamic Conference of States accepts the General Declaration of Human Rights only to the extent that it does not conflict with Sharia.
It is precisely this tendency of Islam to control both private life and the public organization of society, and thus its overall influence on the design of people’s lives, which distinguishes Islam from other religions.

Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. practice religion primarily as an individual conception of life without a significant legal and political component. They respect politics and the law, but also the sciences and the arts as autonomous “systems”, while writers and artists who criticize Islam should expect violent reactions from the guards of the Islamic religion. Remember the death sentence against Salman Rushdie by the Iranian head of state, Ayatollah Khomeini, in 1989, or the destruction of Danish property in Muslim states after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in 2006.

Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist, lives in hiding under the threat of a fatwa. Having survived three attacks, he often changes his town and country, never leaves home without armed escort and turned his home into a fortress. This hell has lasted five years. Enough to discourage other practitioners of “misplaced” humor.

3. Historical roots of Islamic law

The religious texts of Islam are not only ethical and moral, but also seek to influence the formation of the state. The Koran was compiled and written after 800 AD when the conquests of Islam spread to Spain. This expansion required the establishment of a set of normative legal rules to organize clans and tribes, which at that time did not qualify as Muslims, but rather Saracens. Contrary to what is commonly thought, mosques are not comparable to our churches, they are more civil registries because they deal mostly with legal proceedings and civil law.

There is a special relationship between the Muslim and Allah through Sharia, Islamic norms. In Islam, morality is based on the law while in our conception of law is the law based on morality. An example to illustrate this: here, a moral principle decrees that it is wrong to kill, but the law resulting from this moral principle must take into consideration that, in the case of self defense, a human may kill another without being punished afterwards. It is still wrong to kill, but the legislator admits legitimacy in certain emergency situations. It is quite different in Islam. Sharia rules define precisely when, under what conditions, and exactly how some people may be killed or not. Morality simply requires that this catalog is followed; conversely, it is immoral to ignore this code. Morality is derived from the statutory standard, so comes after the law, which is logical in the conception of Islam as the law is divine and is therefore not created by man; it is immutable.

When a Muslim recites the Quran, he recites a text that is somewhat similar to our Civil Code. The difference is that the laws of Islam are of divine origin and therefore immutable. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Muslim who renounces his faith is subject to the death penalty and that 94% of the sins that the Koran punishes by hell concern doubt or criticism of Muhammad or Islam.

By themselves, these contradictory conceptions of the origin of law show how the coexistence of both views is difficult and almost impossible to achieve in practice.

4. Territorial problems

If compatibility problems between Islamic and Western culture are not religious, but legal, it is because Sharia precedes the formation of the state and is essentially the foundation on which an existing state is built (the Islamic nomocracy). Islam distinguishes three territorial situations: in the Dar al Islam (land of peace), Islam has triumphed and reigns supreme; in the Dar el Harb (land of war), the infidels are in power; and in the Dar el Suhl (which can be translated as land of armistice), Islam is still a minority and therefore must adapt, but every Muslim who lives there must do everything possible to make his religion triumphant someday. In this understanding, minarets, separate cemeteries, as well as Koranic schools and mosques become small extraterritorial regions in impure land, beachheads of Islam in the territory which, even if modest, only Islamic law applies.

In Dar es Islam, the holy land where Islam has previously been established, no law competing with Sharia — for example, our criminal and civil law — is allowed. This “holy land” of Islam in Europe now includes many urban neighborhoods in France, Great Britain and Germany. Muslims there are the majority, they have their own cemeteries, their mosques and their Koranic schools. These places are spread throughout the West and grow in number and size. The minarets are furthermore symbols of this penetration, in the image of the little flags that generals stick on their maps to mark the progress of their troops. The word minaret comes from “Al Manar”, the lighthouse. However, these “lighthouses of jihad” or the “bayonets of Islam,” in the words of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, are not required by the Koran and play no role in the religious ritual of Islam. The muezzin was invented much later, but his presence is often justified by a questionable parallel with the bells of Christian churches. In fact, the minaret is the foremost symbol of a conspicuous total submission to a doctrine and related intolerance — even if the latter is controversial among different Islamic currents. If we tolerate the construction of minarets on Swiss territory, the conflicts that take place in the East, for example between the Ottoman and Alawite Muslims will happen here. Instead of encouraging mutual tolerance and religious harmony, we stir up conflicts in the great doctrinaire diversity of Islam. Indeed, for the Alawi or secular Muslims, the minarets are an affront and a sign that a certain expression of Islam seeks to position itself as the only representation of this religion in Switzerland.

In the universal design of radical Islam, all the world regions that were once Muslim should be Muslim again. The way to achieve this goal is jihad, which in 97% of instances where it appears in the Koran, means “holy war against infidels”, whereas in only 3% of cases may this word be understood as an “internal battle, a “spiritual cleansing” or “research”. Every place where a minaret is visible and each region which can be seen from a minaret must become Islamic. Faced with this demand, we understand that this building, frequently underestimated by the Europeans, plays a much bigger role than is commonly attributed to it.

A 21-meter-high minaret is currently under construction in Poitiers, a city where Charles Martel put the Saracens to flight in 732. Speakers will be installed. But they have promised the public that they will remain silent. So why have they been installed? The fact is that in many places where the construction of a minaret was authorized, the voice of the muezzin sounds now several times a day. This applies, for example, in Grenada, Bosnia, Oxford, London, New Delhi, and even in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Resistance occurs elsewhere, and for understandable reasons: the purpose of this movement is to install Islamic norms worldwide, and the minarets are only the visible — and often loud — manifestation of this invasion. The Islamic Council of Great Britain made clear in March 2008: “The call to prayer will become an integral part of life in Britain and Europe.” But this call announces the following principle five times a day: “Allah is greatest. I testify that there is no God but Allah. I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer. Come to felicity. Allah is greatest. There is no other true God but Allah “. Alongside this profession of faith, the bells of our churches are remarkably neutral — especially since they serve mainly to indicate the time.

5. The practice of religion is not an absolute right

The free exercise of religious practices — such as the ritual slaughter — are only permitted in national and international law within the limits of the law. Restrictions are quite possible. Article 9 para. 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 29 para. 2 of the Charter of Human Rights the UN and Article 36 of the Federal Constitution permit a limitation of religious freedom if this restriction is in the public interest and is appropriate to the situation. For this reason, the [Swiss] Federal Council and Parliament were forced to admit that the initiative against minarets is not against the law and should therefore be submitted to the people.

However, we now find that the government cares little for the clearly expressed will of citizens in the vote that followed, as it did not intend to oppose the construction of a minaret in Langenthal under the false pretext that the building application was filed before November 29, 2009. Yet on the evening of the vote, the Minister of Justice said out loud that the people’s will would be respected and that minarets will no longer built in Switzerland. Even worse: In the government’s response to the European Court of Human Rights on 15 September 2010, the Federal Council indulged in a reckless disregard of the concept of sovereignty and ignored the will expressed by popular vote to affirm that “the recent decisions of the Federal Court are examples admitting the primacy of international treaties (and a federal law) against a provision of the Constitution.” And a little further: “This law could be applied to the relationship between international and constitutional standards, particularly since that article 190 Cst. does not mention the Constitution as the relevant law.” Thus, direct democracy and universal suffrage are giving way to a “democracy of judges” whose democratic legitimacy is much less, since they are co-opted by the system. In this way, the system can silence the people by declaring democracy undemocratic and the political process illegal wherever they contradict the orthodoxy of globalization.

6. Dhimmitude and integration

Because the U.S. state of Michigan no longer requires that veiled women uncover themselves during identity checks, it has created a competing legal situation on its own territory. On behalf of postmodern legal pluralism and tolerance, the territorial legal regime is gradually diluted. The same thing occurred in a school in the Oise, which allows teens to take their final exams covered with a full veil (Le Figaro, 19 June 2010). The Appeals Committee with regard to an asylum case decided that “Swiss law could not hold itself higher than a foreign law”; based on this statement, it accepted a marriage concluded with a minor in the absence of the husband. A particularly striking example of legal pluralism: in Germany, a judge refused to grant a divorce “because in Islam, the corporal punishment of the wife is permitted.” These examples show that Western democracies are now ready to tolerate on their territory a different and competing legal system to the detriment of their own regime.

Respect for ourselves and caution should encourage us to prevent the spread of laws in our land which are opposed to the Swiss legal system and based on a totally different conception of human rights. As noted by the European Court of Human Rights, Sharia is incompatible with our conception of law particularly in the areas of marriage law, human rights and criminal law. The acceptance of the veil by Muslim teachers or segregated swimming lessons for Muslim children are examples of concessions justified by the tolerance of foreign cultures, which seem unimportant, but in fact open Pandora’s Box in terms of law. These apparently modest changes of laws and rules are intended to recognize a parallel right in Switzerland which is totally alien to ours. Regarding such arranged marriages of minors, it is recognized that fundamental rights (the right to marry) will be violated on behalf of other humanitarian rights (the right to religious freedom).

But a society where the fashionable practice of dhimmitude – this sensitive prophylactic servility to keep the wrath of Allah off our backs – is not encumbered by reflections on the scope of our concessions to Islam. Have we not seen Mr. Delanoë, the Mayor of Paris, congratulating Muslims for Ramadan and the National Councilor Hugh Hiltpold do the same in Geneva? Never have we heard these same people congratulating the Christians for Lent. And we never will we see them congratulate the participants of a “sausage-plonk” street party!

However, this “dhimmitude” (submission by the “infidels” to Islamic demands) is not only the reality in European countries. So when I heard (Le Temps, 28 May 2010) that Morocco has intensified the expulsion of foreign Christians, I can not help but think that this exercise is a concession by the king to the Islamists, whose influence is growing. After these concessions, he too, as kingly and Moroccan as he is, may find a caliphate in place of the nation state. It is not in pretending to be more Islamic than the Islamists, that he will succeeds in curbing their growth, because the fanatics do not care about gestures; they are blinded by the demands of dogma.

7. Cultural ghettos, individualistic society and clan system

This paralleling of two different legal systems in the same state is particularly dangerous because of the increasing isolation of certain ethno-religious groups in ghettos. Since the Enlightenment our society has been built on the principle of individualism; society is therefore not prepared to welcome and integrate groups that function as quasi-inaccessible enclaves. Individualism encourages the free formation of opinions, and thus the innovative force characteristic of Western societies. Meanwhile, it slows nepotism by weakening the clan system. Individualism, in freeing the individual from the grasp of his clan, allows each person to approach another who would previously have been considered foreign. The ultimate consequence is that the general interest, the well-being of all citizens, is placed above the interests of clans. But this system only works in a more or less homogeneous society whose members know and respect the general rules. In addition, the state must be ready to impose these rules. The problem is that most non-European societies operate on a completely different principle, the interests of clans and families are placed above the general interest, which is an abstract concept in such a framework.

The higher the number of immigrants coming from countries with a pronounced clan structure, the more problems our society has. For example, it is shocking that we therefore allow, under the pretext of “family reunification”, which refers to the core of the European family, not only the wife and children, but also brothers, sisters, grandparents and cousins to join the EU area. The biggest problem of modern European states is the fact that uncontrolled immigration and the weakening, even removal of external borders causes the emergence of many internal borders, sometimes invisible.

If we refuse to seek answers to such problems, if we make them taboo in order not to deal with them, the EU, a promising area of freedom, is likely to become a region of societies in conflict. Switzerland is no exception to this trend, because the cumulative impact of Schengen/Dublin, the free movement of persons and the influx of asylum seekers barely allows us to control our border crossings.

This has resulted in the importation of behavior that is difficult to assimilate and is protected by regrouped clans.

That’s how polygamy has reappeared almost everywhere in Europe. I recall here the emblematic case of Lies Hebbadj, who made the headlines April 23, 2010, for having publicly challenged the ticket given to one of his companions for driving while wearing the niqab. On June 9, Lies Hebbadj was indicted for welfare benefit fraud — “de facto polygamy” allowing him to benefit from unfair state aid — fraud and unreported employment. Since then, he was again indicted for aggravated rape. Stay tuned.

In hospitals too, fundamentalist customs are appearing: husbands refusing to let their wives be treated by male doctors, refusal of treatment etc. This leads to absurd situations. In Liberation on July 7, 2010, Isabelle Levy recounts the case of a patient who was never examined during her pregnancy and who went to the emergency room because she had contractions. She refused to be examined by male doctors, and she left with her ongoing contractions. Suddenly, the staff heard screams. The woman was giving birth on the lawn. The nurse told her: “You refused to be examined by a man, but you have just given birth in front of a hundred people!”

Yet the list does not stop there. The social and cultural conflict can take even more dramatic forms. What about the tragic case of young Swera, 16, a Swiss citizen of Pakistani descent who speaks “Schwyzerdütsch” like her classmates, killed by her father for stealing cigarettes, which he felt to be his duty to cleanse with blood, according to his religious beliefs? The blood of his blood? To uphold honor, to avenge the insult. But behind this terrible incident, how many girls are muzzled, put under guardianship, beaten? The code of silence reigning in the clan environment is total. Transgression is lethal.

Based on these findings, I would like to conclude this presentation by making the following recommendations:

Our state law has a duty to require immigrants to be in full compliance with our legal system and to avoid any concessions, however modest they may appear, which could encourage, if only vaguely, the establishment of parallel legal systems. Recognizing that the segregation of groups, particularly the Islamic population, through exceptional rights such as separate cemeteries, general exemptions from swimming lessons, and forced marriages, we prevent them from experiencing our cultural heritage, such that the vaunted integration is nothing more than useless posturing.

Although we may risk interfering with residential freedom, we must prevent the formation of ethnic ghettos, and thus the emergence of parallel societies indifferent to each other. The parallel lives of ethnic groups have nothing to do with integration.

We must prevent fanatical religious leaders from getting their hooks in certain ethnic groups by speaking more harshly against these extremist leaders.

4. We must endeavor to limit the flow of immigration, to welcome immigrants in lower numbers, but to integrate them better.

Finally, it is hoped that Islam may reform itself in the years to come and that it goes through a sort of Enlightenment, which puts a definitive end to fanatical Islamism. As this is not yet the case, we have a duty to protect our state against all forms of subversion. It is not acceptable that our liberal principles of rule of law are being used as the instruments for its disintegration, and ultimately its destruction. This also concerns the freedom and security of Muslims themselves, especially those who truly seek to integrate with us. Let me remind you of the sad fate of the imam of Drancy Chalgoumi Hassan, who has spoken publicly for banning the full veil in France. Since then, all the prayers he leads are disrupted. The 43 believers he had collected in 2009 at the conference of imams in France to promote “dual cultural and Republican mission of the imams” exempted themselves one after the other. Now Chalgoumi is increasingly isolated and lives under state protection, threatened for a few words spoken against fundamentalism and anti-Semitism. To fight against the excesses of Islam in Christian lands is perhaps above all to protect the Muslims from their “brothers”.


Compliments of Anglo Raannana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

“You go to the Middle East if you´re looking for oil and you wouldn´t even stop in Israel, but if you´re looking for brains, energy and integrity, Israel is the place to be.”

Warren Buffet – (Financial Wizard and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire)

* Beat this if you can! We’ve mentioned that Israel is a hi-tech super power and that includes such weird and wonderful things as nano-tech, bio-tech, clean-tech etc. and when the achievements in these areas, in this tiny country, with a total population smaller than that of Greater London are as amazing as they are [see quote for the week above] then you tend to get a little blas?. But even we were mightily impressed by the following: There’s an organization called GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and it’s all about cellular phone technology. Well, said organization presents awards to the industry that are held in very high regard – the awards that is – and for this purpose they divide the world into four; the Americas, [North and South]; Asia Pacific [India, Singapore, Korea etc.]; EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] and…Israel – in a class of its own, bursting with innovation in this vital field!

* The TASE (TEL AVIV STOCK EXCHANGE) isn’t doing that badly either. On Monday the benchmark TA-25 Index rose 0.4% to reach a new record high of 1,259 points at the close. So you’d expect some of what investors call profit taking, which is what happened and the Index dropped on Tuesday and Wednesday as people converted shares to cash, only to surge back on Thursday, finishing the day and the week on yet another record high of 1272.25 with a turnover of NIS2bn for the day. The other indexes followed suit and the mavens are saying that the bears are hibernating and the bulls are behaving as if they’re at Pamplona.

* Delegations from 26 of the 33 OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development] member states began arriving on Tuesday evening of this week for an OECD Tourism Conference in Jerusalem with a special focus on sustainable, environmentally-friendly tourism. Founded in 1961 and based in Paris, the Tourism Conference is held once every two years and this is only the second time that these countries will be meeting away from home base. Perhaps it’s fitting that the Organization has given this honor to its newest member, – we’ve only been an OECD State for a few months – Israel, But there’s also no getting away from the fact that it’s a significant vote of confidence in us, our economy and our tourist industry, which…

* Has registered a 27% rise over last year, a pretty good year to start with, and we seem to be racing towards three million guests by December, a number that does have a certain magic about it.

* British Airways chooses 10 destinations out of the hundreds it has on offer every year and designates them as ‘Top Cities” and Tel Aviv is right up there with the best of them. The Big Orange’s selection comes in the wake of being chosen by National Geographic as having one of the top ten beaches in the world so no wonder that all of this is happening against the backdrop of a tourist boom that Israel is enjoying right now [see the figures in the item above].

* Jerusalem has always been a top tourist attraction for its sites, holy to all three religions and as recently as a month ago Travel and Leisure Magazine rated it as one of the top destinations in the Middle East but now website, TripAdvisor that boasts more than 40 million travel reviews culled from tourists all over the globe, ranks it as one of the ten top go-to places in the world not for religious pilgrimage this time but… wait for it, culture and sightseeing and that places it together with London, Rome, Paris and well, you can guess the rest.

* Last week [in GN 15 10] we said about the Chilean miners that, quote : “They’re not Israeli and if they’ve heard of Israel they’ve never been here [it would be a nice gesture if one of our hotel chains would offer them a spell of R&R in the Holy Land]” Unquote. Our superstar Minister of Tourism, Mr Stas Misezhnikov must have read GN because this week he said: “It would be a great honor for us to welcome you as our guests in the Holy Land. This December, Christians around the world will celebrate Xmas. During that time, we welcome tens of thousands of pilgrims and we would be pleased to offer you this uplifting and extraordinary experience at no cost.” Just by the way 58% of our visitors last year were of the Christian faith.

* “Business activity continued to expand in the third quarter of 2010, at a pace similar to that since the beginning of the year,” says the staid and conservative Bank of Israel in its Companies Survey for the Third Quarter of 2010. It adds, “Expectations are that activity will continue to increase in the fourth quarter” and perhaps most significant of all, the business community is displaying optimism and confidence re the future. And just to prove our point “Israel offers incredible investment opportunities, and I say this as a major investor in the Israeli economy through The Arison Group.” Said no less a person than Shari Arison, still one of our favorite business people, in a speech at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the fourth annual Israel Day [Yes, that august institution has an annual day honoring the State of Israel].

* Business, hi-tech, scientific discoveries, they’re exciting stuff but how did it all start? Well if we can take you back to pre-state days it was the Jewish farmer, inevitably a kibbutznik, who was the man or the woman of the hour simply to be overshadowed in time by business… etc. But two things have happened in the past couple of weeks; one is that agricultural crops are back in the news with amazing developments in the quality and types of produce and predictions are that revenues in 2010 will reach NIS26bn way up on 2009 and the other is that the kibbutz, that so many had written off as going the way of the dinosaur has roared back on the 100th anniversary of its birth, somewhat altered in ideology but still producing bananas, avocadoes and a lot else. So GN salutes them both, the collective farm and the farmer, vibrant, productive and providing that touch of romantic nostalgia that makes life interesting.

* Israel’s national under-19 team got its qualification campaign for Euro 2011 off to a flying start this week by beating Armenia 3-0. Two goals in the first five minutes, one after just two minutes and the second, three minutes later, gave Israel a lead that never looked like being threatened. Drawn in the same group as Spain, Lithuania and Armenia, the team has a way to go yet and it will be GN if the first match is the shape of things to come.



See where Obama's wrath is headed after midterms

President holding back, believes acting now could harm Democrats

Posted: October 26, 2010

9:25 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

President Barack Obama (R) walks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on September 1, 2010. This was one of several meetings between the President and Middle East Leaders in advance of the opening of the first direct talks in two years between Israel and the Palestinian Authority scheduled to begin at the State Department in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

JERUSALEM – White House officials told the Palestinians that President Obama is waiting until after the Nov. 2 midterm elections to press Israel harder for a deal to create a Palestinian state, a senior Palestinian Authority official told WND.

The PA official said Obama believes pressure against Israel now could have a negative impact for Democrats in local elections, including in many districts where support for Israel has become a campaign issue.

After the midterms, the U.S. will continue to press Israel to agree to a complete halt to Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank, the senior PA official said.

Also, the White House is considering backing a United Nations declaration to create a unilateral Palestinian state if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not agree to demands in peace talks, said the official.

The official said there is a growing sense that Obama has adopted many of the positions of the PA, including on starting talks at the point of the final borders for a Palestinian state, as the PA had wanted. Netanyahu wants to focus talks on security issues before addressing final border status.

An extensive poll released earlier this month showed a growing number of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians and will vote for political candidates based on their stance regarding the Jewish state.

The survey, commissioned by the Emergency Committee for Israel, showed 53 percent of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate they perceive as being "pro-Israel." Fifty four percent said that even if they agreed with a candidate on important domestic issues, they could not vote for him or her if the candidate were "anti-Israel."


Marxism in America" Lt. Gen. (Ret.) W.G. Boykin Video



The Jewish Soul and Psyche

God's Love

Jew Vs. Judaism

What is freedom of choice?

Questions and Answers



Bayefesky notes that even though at the conclusion of this session, the UN Human Rights Council maintained its record of having adopted more resolutions and decisions condemning Israel than all other 191 U.N. states combined, the Obama administration still described it as an “historic” session advancing human rights.

“This administration’s message is that demonizing Israelis is a price worth paying for the sake of other people’s human rights,” concludes Bayfesky. “’Several developments’ for anybody else trump several losses for the Jewish state. Legitimizing the Human Rights Council with American membership and financial support is justified regardless of the threat that it poses to the safety and security of the Jewish people [and by extension to the U.S.A., also]. The American administration ought to know better. Equality and human dignity cannot be built on the inequality of the few.”






Israelis not happy with synod statement, angry over bishop's remarks

By Sarah Delaney
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Several prominent Israelis expressed concern over a statement by the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, which said Jews cannot use the Bible to justify injustices.

But tensions increased when a U.S. bishop told reporters at the synod that Jews could no longer regard themselves as God's "chosen people" or Israel as "the Promised Land," because Jesus' message showed that God loved and chose all people to be his own.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said Oct. 25 that the final message of the Synod of Bishops reflected the opinion of the synod itself, while the remarks by Melkite Bishop Cyrille S. Bustros of Newton, Mass., were to be considered his personal opinion.

The statement by Bishop Bustros provoked an immediate reaction from Israel. In a statement, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the Vatican should distance itself from what the bishop said and that the remarks should not be allowed to jeopardize their relations.

Bishop Bustros spoke at a news conference at the Vatican Oct. 23 to present the message agreed upon by the synod participants.

Father Lombardi told reporters the final message was "the only approved, written text" issued by the synod.

"There is a great richness and variety of contributions offered by the synod fathers that, however, should not be considered as the voice of the synod in its entirety," he said in the statement.

The overall assessment of the work of the synod fathers is "largely positive" in the words of Pope Benedict XVI and in general opinion, Father Lombardi said.

Under the section dedicated to relations with Jews, the synod message warned against inappropriate use of the words of the Bible. It said that "recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable." It was generally interpreted to refer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his own elaboration of the passage, Bishop Bustros said, "For us Christians, you can no longer speak of a land promised to the Jewish people." The coming of Christ, Bishop Bustros said, showed that Jews "are no longer the preferred people, the chosen people; all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people."

What the bishops wanted to say, he said, is that the theme of the Promised Land can't be used "to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the expatriation of Palestinians."

In the Israeli statement issued Oct. 24, Ayalon said, "We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks against Israel, in the best tradition of Arab propaganda."

Ayalon called on the Vatican to distance itself from Bishop Bustros' comments, which Ayalon said "are a libel against the Jewish people and the state of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican's official position."

Ayalon also said that the synod had been "hijacked by an anti-Israeli majority."

In a telephone interview with Catholic News Service Oct. 25, Mordechay Lewy, Israel's ambassador to the Vatican, called Bishop Bustros' comments "outrageous" and said, "the Vatican should take a clear distance from them because it will give every Jew a reason to be suspicious of rapprochement with the Catholic Church."

He said that while he had "no problem" with the 44 resolutions approved by the synod, he disagreed with parts of the synod's final message, including the passage that provoked Bishop Bustros' remarks.

"The Israeli government does not use the Bible to determine our political borders," he said.

Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee and the only Jewish representative to address the synod, said it was "appalling that in their final statement ... the bishops did not have the courage to address challenges of intolerance and extremism in the Muslim countries in which they reside, and rather chose to make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict their first focus."

Rabbi Rosen, who addressed the synod Oct. 13 in his capacity as Jerusalem-based adviser to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, said Bishop Bustros' statement reflected "either shocking ignorance or insubordination in relation to the Catholic Church's teaching on Jews and Judaism flowing from the Vatican II declaration 'Nostra Aetate.'"

He urged the Vatican to issue a "clear repudiation" of the bishop's remarks.

The 185 bishops and patriarchs with full voting rights at the synod represent the dwindling number of Catholics in mostly Muslim countries in the Middle East, although eight synod members came from Israel.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was discussed at length by synod participants.

During a Mass to close the synod Oct. 24, Pope Benedict urged greater commitment to finding a lasting peace in the region.

In a front-page article in its Oct. 23 edition, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, called the construction of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank "those houses that block peace."
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Contributing to this story was Judith Sudilovsky in Jerusalem.
As a Christian who is from this region, I find it the apex of hypocrisy that Israeli government officials are upset that they are being held to the standards that they claim to hold. The biggest lie that the government of Israel told the world community in their protest of the actions of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops is that Christianity is thriving. Just prior to the founding of the State of Israel, Christians made up 20% of the population; today we form only 2.1%. Therefore, if the native Christian population was permitted to stay in their homes instead of being driven away by well documented Jewish terrorism, more than 1.4 million Christians would be living in the internationally recognized borders of Israel. This means that more than 1.3 million Christians, native to the Holy Land, are either refugees, or forced transplants to other nations.

Further, the lie that the Christian population is thriving is further shown when it becomes clear that other than natural growth through births, the number of "new" Christians are actually from either the former Soviet Union or Ethiopia. These folks are mostly the spouses of Jews, Christians who have Jewish forebears (see the Falasha Mura from Ethiopia) and the like.

For those Christians who wish to live their faith, do not be fooled by Zionism. It like militant Islam is an enemy of Christianity and seeks to eliminate Christians from the Holy Land. No enemies of Israel hijacked this synod. What happened is that Christian leaders from the region did what they were ordained to do, which is decide what policies would be in the best interest of the Eastern Catholic Christian Communities, first and foremost, and the Christians of the region secondarily.
The Civic State and Middle East Christianity (Part 1)

Interview with Jesuit Father Samir Khalil

By Robert Cheaib

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2010 ( The role of the civic state in stressing values such as citizenship is key in keeping a place for Christians in the Middle East, says Jesuit Father Samir Khalil.

Christians in the Middle East are not victims of a systematic persecution,(FALSE, ESPECIALLY IN EGYPT) but they are subjected to a discrimination that is slowly extinguishing their presence in that region.

The Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, which is under way through Sunday, has a crucial responsibility in proposing a remedy to this phenomenon that the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Archbishop Louis Sako, called "the hemorrhage of Middle Eastern Christians."

In this interview with ZENIT, Father Khalil, an expert in Islam and the history of the Middle East, gives an historical-religious picture of the present situation in that region, analyzing the most urgent challenges and suggesting some solutions.

Part 2 of this interview will be published Friday.

ZENIT: Although it is not the only argument treated by the Synodal Fathers, we note, however, the great importance given to the geopolitical aspect of the Christian presence in the Middle East and in particular their relationship with Islam. Is this perhaps the most important and truly decisive aspect of their existence and permanence in the Middle East?

Father Khalil: There is no doubt that being a minority that does not exceed 10% of the population of the Middle East -- whereas the vast majority is of the Muslim religion -- our existence depends on the consent of this majority, above all because Islam is conceived as state and religion.

And as for more than 30 years now the majority of the Middle Eastern states have adopted an Islamist approach to the state reality, where religion decides all the particulars of daily social and political life.

It goes without saying that in these conditions our situation depends on the good will of Muslims and of the Islamic system. It's not surprising therefore, that the issue has been given much importance, as you rightly noted.

ZENIT: You are of Egyptian origin, but you live in Lebanon, and being an expert of Islam you are often in direct contact with Muslims. How would you describe your relationship with them?

Father Khalil: I make immediately a distinction between Muslims on an individual level and Islamic systems, simply because with Muslims taken individually it is possible to establish a very beautiful dialogue and an intercultural and religious encounter.

Allow me to recount an anecdote to confirm what I say: Yesterday evening I was contacted on Skype by a Sunni Muslim of northern Lebanon, whom I met by chance on a plane a month ago.

Our conversation was centered on the Trinity and prayer. During the conversation he said to me: "Doctor, I would like to introduce you to my wife." In the East, this gesture means that you are now part of the family.

Therefore, taken individually the Muslim -- paradoxically -- is much closer to us Eastern Christians than a European citizen. There is a religious sense that is shared and unites us.

But if we must speak of Islamism the discourse changes radically because it is a political project with a religious background.

As Eastern Christians, we would like to be treated simply as citizens with a constitution that transcends all religions. But in the greater part of cases in our countries the constitution is based essentially -- if not totally -- on Islamic law. And this is our problem. Apart from a few cases such as Lebanon, even the states that are constitutionally secular, as is the case of Tunisia, Syria and Turkey, they are culturally Islamic countries and favor citizens of Muslim religion.

ZENIT: The Islamic revival is a very complex phenomenon that has different origins: the currents of "ressourcement" such as Wahhabism; the antagonistic reading of the West presented in the mid 20th century by personalities such as Sayyid Qutb, founder of the Muslim Brothers; the different cultural prejudices which erroneously make the West and Christianity coincide; the recent American wars considered as crusades against Islam; Western partiality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, in your opinion, what is the pivot of this exponential development of political Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism?

Father Khalil: On one hand there is an Islamist wave, born at the beginning of the 70s.

Beginning in 1973, an economic phenomenon occurred following the war between Israel and the Arab countries, which saw the price of crude oil quadruple in a few months. Thus the oil countries found themselves unexpectedly with a mountain of petro-dollars.

Saudi Arabia, not knowing what to do with this immense fortune, used it to a great extent to build mosques and Islamic schools. Saudi Arabia financed the Muslim Brothers in Egypt and their plan was clear: to Islamize Egyptian society because it wasn't sufficiently Muslim. Then it carried out the same operation in all the countries of the Middle East.

Thus at the beginning of the 80s, the Muslim Brothers became so numerous as to be considered a danger in Syria, and the Syrian president, Hafez al-Assad, subjugated them with force.

Indonesia, a couple of decades ago, was considered the paradise of religious liberty in a Muslim country; so many priests were converts from Islam. Now this is an impossible phenomenon.

The same in Nigeria: In the last decade the number of provinces that have implemented Islamic law has risen from four to 12. Europe, with about 5% of Muslims, already feels invaded and threatened.

Thus German chancellor Angela Merkel launched the alarm a few days ago announcing the failure of the model of integration, because it is precisely they who do not wish to integrate. And why don't they integrate? Because they have a religious project, whereas the states where they live have religious-national projects.

ZENIT: In the face of this rather complex and critical situation, what has the Synod of Bishops done and what does it intend to do?

Father Khalil: We Christians of the East live in the midst of this rampant phenomenon, where Islam gains a footing day after day, to such a point that in the Arab League the first question is always this: How to address Islamism.

And the synod is giving particular attention to the relationship with Islam. Those seated in the synod are asking why people are leaving their lands, the cradle of Christianity.

In the Arab world there isn't persecution against Christians, but there is discrimination. Christians are not treated in the same way as Muslims. Muslims are the normal citizens, recipients of the laws. Others, constitutionally, are citizens, but concretely the laws -- in as much as they stem from the Muslim system -- leave Christians in a disadvantaged condition.

Moreover, liberty of conscience is non-existent; there is only tolerance that consists in putting up with Christians staying in Muslim land but with so many limits. It's not possible, however, to leave Islam for another religion. All these situations have been in recent days the focus of attention of the synodal fathers.

ZENIT: The diagnosis you have given touches on different causes of suffering for Christians of the East, but the question is: Is there a way out, or are the proposals and resolutions only a utopia and will they remain only a reserved prognosis?

Father Khalil: There is only one way out, and that is to point to certain shared concepts, such as that of "citizenship" or of "Arab membership," both mainly recognized by Muslims.

Movements that promoted these values at the beginning of the 20th century had so much success because they carried with them a breath of novelty that invited coming out of the tribal view; but lately this view has been set aside and replaced by the concept of the Umma, the Islamic nation.

During Nasser's presidency, up to the mid 70s, the concept was the Umma al-Arabiyya [the Arab nation], but from the mid 70s and after the concept prevailed of the Umma al-Islamiyya [the Islamic nation], which does not leave room for non-Muslims.

The solution is to try to propose to Muslims and Christians a modern concept of state, not only at the political level, but also at the cultural level.

ZENIT: The proposal is concrete but somewhat unrealizable in the cultural scene of the East. How can the feasible be made factual?

Father Khalil: Precisely here the proposal of the synod for the Middle East comes in: It is not about devising a Christian project, and much less so a project of Christians or for Christians, because in this way we reflect our being a minority seeking to be protected.

We are not seeking protection for ourselves, but what we say reflects the word also of so many Muslims who recognize, as we do, that the Arab nation is not well because it suffers from a breakdown in the exercise of democracy, in the distribution of riches and in the establishment of social justice and of a state of law, in the reform of the health system.

Islam is very sensitive to these dimensions. Liberty of conscience and of expression is desired by so many, and this not because people want to distance themselves from Islam, but because they want to live Islam in a more personal way.

In the Islamic world there is a sense of modernity and liberty that does not dare to manifest itself. A Christian can write criticizing his patriarch or bishop, whereas it is difficult for a Muslim to do so. Not because someone in particular prohibits him, but because the culture itself impedes him. The imam are the ulema [the learned] and their learning is not disputed.

And I confirm that with the above-mentioned proposals it is not about rendering Muslims less Muslims or Christians less Christians but of saying that faith is a personal issue even if it has its social dimension, and each one must live his faith as he is inspired by God.
Arab Christians as Symbol
Disappearing Christians of the Middle East

by Hilal Khashan
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2001, pp. 5-12

Arabic-speaking Christians have been one of the main casualties of the destabilizing events of the twentieth century, and especially of the Western-created system of modern Arab states. This religious community found itself deeply immersed in a series of global changes that it could not influence, let alone shape.
We shall identify the major Christian groups in the Arab world, touch on their plight, and propose an agenda for their full integration into their own countries.

A Long-standing Problem

The Christian problem in the Arab world did not begin recently but has deep and antique historical roots. The original Muslim conquests of the seventh century caused a dominant population to be rendered first powerless and then turned into a minority. On the eve of those Muslim conquests, there were more than 15 million Christians in the Near East: 9.1 million in Iraq, 4 million in Syria, and 2.5 million in Egypt. In percentage terms, Christians represented more than 95 percent of the population in West Asia and Egypt. Christians dropped dramatically around the period of the Ottoman conquest in 1516, but credible population estimates are not available. Famine, plague, and population migrations have sharply reduced the population of Egypt and Syria toward the end of Mamluk rule. In Egypt, Coptic percentages remained constant at nearly 8 percent, but the percentage of Christians in Syria and Iraq grew to 20 percent before the breakout of the First World War. Today, the less than 12 million Christians in Arabic-speaking countries, including the nearly two million recent converts in southern Sudan, constitute less than 6 percent of their population.
Christians became a minority in the Arab East for a variety of reasons: the forceful advent of Islam, and the Arabization of West Asia, North Africa, and much of the Nile Basin. It also resulted from the rise and fall of indigenous and conquering empires, massive population migrations, and arbitrary state formations by European powers. The European Crusaders in the twelfth century put Arab Christians in the unenviable situation of having to choose between their coreligionists and their compatriots. Ironically, the Crusades ushered in Christianity's decline in the region of its birth. The diversion of international trade from the Near East and the inception of Western colonialism accelerated the retreat of Christianity from the region.

Numerically significant Christian minority groups include the Copts of Egypt, the Maronites of Lebanon, the Assyrians of Iraq, the Greek Orthodox and diaspora Armenians of Syria and the tribal members (Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk) of the southern Sudan. But numbers tell only part of the story. Copts and Assyrians gradually declined over the past millennium from the predominant population groups into minorities with little or no political power. The Maronites of Lebanon, long aloof and dominant in the rugged Lebanese mountains, have since the beginning of the nineteenth century come into direct political contact with other confessional groups having different historical and spiritual experiences. In fact, it is the Maronites, the spirit and soul of Lebanese nationalism, who give shape and meaning to modern Lebanon. There is nothing more illustrative than the recent call, in September 2000, of the Council of Maronite Patriarchs, upon Syrian troops to pull out of Lebanon. The African tribes of the southern Sudan have since independence in 1956 resented their political marginalization and the efforts of the dominant Muslim north to assimilate the Christian and animist South religiously and culturally.

Christianity's decline has accelerated to the point that in recent years many Christian communities fear for their demise: some have responded to this perceived danger by taking up arms (as in Lebanon and Sudan), while others languish under increasing persecution (as in Iran and Egypt). Should the current rate of attrition continue, Christians could decline to less than 6 million by the year 2025, or just half of their numbers today.

Civil Wars and Low Intensity Conflicts

Considering the magnitude and intensity of the problem surrounding the persecution and decline of Christian minorities in Arabic-speaking countries, it is surprising that the world community and statesmen in Arab countries have paid scant attention. It is ironic to note that the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has received infinitely more media coverage, has taken a far smaller human and material toll than the civil wars in just three Arab countries (Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon). The combined Arab-Israeli wars since 1948 have resulted in the death of 150,000 Arabs; those civil wars have lead to the deaths of at least one million. In terms of material losses, the toll is even greater. Take just the Sudan, which is potentially the breadbasket for the entire Arab world; it finds itself stricken by a severe food shortage that has decimated much of the population of its embattled south.

Religion has been a decisive factor in most civil wars in Arabic-speaking countries. In Algeria, fundamentalist Islam has pitted itself against a secularizing, albeit inept, state. In Iraq, the religious underpinnings of the 1933 massacre, in which hundreds of Assyrians lost their lives, seem to have redefined the status of Iraqi Christians as victims of persecution. The three main civil wars touching on Christians have been in Lebanon, Sudan, and Egypt.

Lebanon. The source of the problem lies in the Christian, essentially Maronite, sense of particularism and distinction. Since 1840, Lebanon has succumbed to four religiously-inspired civil wars, the latest (1975-90) being the most ferocious and destabilizing. Independence in 1943 did not bring even a modicum of political stability to this inherently tormented country. Most Christians feel that they had already made a significant compromise when-according to the 1943 National Covenant that regulated confessional relations in the country-they accepted that Lebanon had an Arab face. Persistent pressures from the Muslims for greater identification with Arab nationalism and a more aggressive involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict threatened the majority of Lebanese Christians. They saw in the demands by their Muslim counterparts, including new ones for a revised formula for sharing the system's meager political and economic resources, an abrogation of the terms of the 1943 National Covenant, and a recipe for renewed sectarian conflict. In 1975, Lebanese Maronites took up arms against the Palestinian-supported leftist-Muslim alliance in a spectacular, yet perplexing, demonstration of anger and frustration that is only now being sorted out. The Lebanese conflict today centers on the bitter legacy among Christians concerning societal disenfranchisement and Muslim domination.

Sudan. Christian fears in the Arab world are best epitomized by the behavior of the Sudanese central government since independence in 1956. At the heart of the problem is that missionary-minded, Arabized, and Islamized northerners shattered the fragile unity of the country as they sought forcibly to convert southerners to Islam. The tribal peoples of the south, Christian and animist, are convinced that the Muslim North is intent on dominating them politically. There is indeed evidence to suggest that northern politicians have not been entirely sincere in recognizing an autonomous role for the South or in treating its inhabitants on an equal basis. The Muslim North has consistently approached the non-Muslims of the South with an assumption of superiority; the problem of the South's political differences and wishes for autonomy would be solved through its Islamization and Arabization. The entrenched notion among the ruling elite in Khartoum perceives southerners as their "lost brothers" who must find redemption in Islam at the hands of the northern Muslims. This attitude reflects the fact that Muslims, devout or otherwise, tend to believe that Islam, the ultimate divine truth, is destined to prevail at the expense of other religions. As a result, Sudan has been engulfed in a civil war between its northern and southern regions since 1964, just eight years after the country's independence from Britain (although the country did enjoy a period of relative tranquility in the years 1972-83).

Great Britain and Egypt, the condominium ruling countries, had already agreed to Sudan's right to self-determination and called for a national plebiscite to determine the country's future. Prime Minister Isma`il al-Azhari maneuvered "whereby the Sudanese parliament bypassed the projected popular plebiscite and confronted the condominium powers with a proclamation of independence." The military government of General Ibrahim ‘Abud in the early 1960s strikingly displayed such a mentality when, simultaneous with pursuing outright secularist policies in the North, it insisted on a comprehensive Islamization of the South. Furthermore, the Sudanese government displayed ill-will in the implementation of the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972 that called for southern autonomy. The central government in Khartoum manipulated the southern vice-president and eviscerated his power. In addition, its exploitation of the South's oil reserve alarmed politicians there; the decision to build an oil refinery in an area under full northern control only confirmed these worries, for the refinery would have made much more sense located near the oil-fields. To add insult to injury, the government of Ja‘far an-Numayri, beset by intense opposition from northern parties and the intelligentsia, chose in 1983 to implement Islamic law (Shari`a) in the South, a measure that re-ignited the civil war which has not yet subsided and that has taken a huge number of lives. The continued practice of slavery, in which northern merchants are actively involved, has aggravated tensions and spurred southerners actively to seek an alternative cultural, political, and religious course separate from the Arabized North. This is the Christian nightmare made real.

Egypt. Bonds of brotherhood and a strong sense of ethnic homogeneity and national identity brought Muslims and Copts together at the inception of modern Egyptian nationalism in the middle of the nineteenth century. However, under British occupation, these bonds slowly eroded. In 1911, for example, the organizers of a Coptic conference demanded equality with their Muslim compatriots (such as the recognition of Sunday as a holiday, government spending on Coptic schools, and including Coptic deputies in the national parliament). Unfortunately, these basic Coptic demands fell on deaf Muslim ears. While participation in national politics and preoccupation with getting rid of the British occupying power overshadowed religious differences and inequality, the rise of Islamism in Egypt and the writings of prominent Islamist thinkers who spoke negatively about Christianity (such as Sayyid Qutb) antagonized the Copts, who saw in this the roots of political vegetation and second class citizenship.

The arrival of Anwar as-Sadat to the presidency following the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970 coincided with the ordination of the dynamic and charismatic Pope Shenouda III as the 117th successor to St. Mark a year later. The Islamist policies of Anwar as-Sadat antagonized the Copts and exacerbated religious tensions that continue to the present. In Egypt, a low intensity assault against Copts has been advancing for the past thirty years. Islamists equipped with medieval religious zeal (such as jihad) and coming from marginalized and poverty-stricken societal strata, have been involved in frequent bloody attacks against their Christian compatriots. The most recent major attack occurred in January 2000 in the village of Al-Kosheh in southern Egypt, in which twenty Copts lost their lives.
A clash with a defensive Islam, be it the official or the militant variety, lies at the heart of the plight of Christian minorities in Arabic-speaking countries. At least in part, this is attributable to the universalistic and exclusivist nature of the Islamic faith which, among other things, emphasizes conformity through uniformity. During the intifada that began in 1987, for example, most Palestinian Muslims refused to consider fellow Christians shot dead by Israeli troops as martyrs. This points to a fundamental divide between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East, one that nurtures suspicion and fosters confrontation. Mutual Fears
The legacy of discrimination against Christians-one that is hardly moderated by the Muslims' religious tolerance of the "peoples of the book"-has culminated in a series of bloody confrontations over the past few decades that served to pull Muslims and Christians further apart. Segregation at virtually every avenue of human interaction engendered an atmosphere of mutual fears.

Christian. In the absence of the rule of law as established in Western democracies, Christian minorities in the Arab Middle East tend to fear the preponderance of Sunni Arabs. Their fears are rooted in history. They worry that Christian well-being depends on the good will of the ruling elites as well as the ability to maintain friendly relations with the Muslim majority. This puts severe strains on their behavior, forcing Christians to be continuously conscious about the possible implications of their actions. Thomas Michel dwells on this matter and notes that Christians feel that Muslims associate them with the West, a perceived identification that makes Christians vulnerable in times of international crises. He succinctly remarks that "when Muslim public opinion is indignant at the actions of one or another Western power, their anger is frequently directed, not at those distant Christian nations of the West who are safely beyond their reach, but towards local Christians." Drawing on consequential historical events, Christians have apparently not forgotten the fall of Constantinople and the destruction of invaluable Christian art, nor the practice of Ottomans capturing Christian boys and forcing them to adopt Islam and serve the sultan as Janissaries.

Levantine Christians feel small and isolated among the huge populations of Muslims among whom they live; and in the eastern countries, they are also swamped by great numbers of Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucians. They are wary of secular Europe, concerned that its historical predisposition of concern with Arab Christians exists no more. Copts in Egypt feel especially isolated: first, they are overwhelmed by their Muslim compatriots; second, they never sought or enjoyed European patronage. To the contrary, their experience with the British during the colonial period was often caustic. And yet, commitment to Egyptian nationalism and involvement in the national struggle against the British did not put the Copts on a par with the Muslim majority. Restrictions on church building, limitations on political participation and allocation of public posts injured the Copts' collective pride, causing them to lose faith in the integrity of Egypt's political system.

Levantine Christians, pioneers in fostering Arab nationalist tendencies in the nineteenth century and disproportionately over-represented in its various twentieth-century manifestations (such as the Ba‘th Party and the Arab nationalist movement), eventually grew wary about its radical and assimilationist tendencies, for many Arab Muslims perceive Arab nationalism and Islam as the same thing. The ease with which Islamism has supplanted Arab nationalism simply attests to Christian frustrations and identity disorientation.

Muslim. Muslims have their own apprehensions which must not be viewed as irrelevant, even if they may be exaggerated, or even if more imagined than real. To begin with, Muslims are highly aware of the educational, professional, business, and cultural edge enjoyed by Arabic-speaking Christians. This gap results from the Christians' historically greater exposure to Europe and their greater readiness to accept Western values and norms, as well as the solicitous attention of Western missionaries.

Ironically, their minority status as dhimmis (Jews and Christians, the two "peoples of the book" given a protected but secondary status in Muslim-ruled countries) had the effect of excluding many Christians from political participation - and may have channeled their energies to more educational and mercantile goals, which served them well in the long term. Although this gap has been significantly narrowed during recent decades, Christians still have a proportional qualitative edge in education and greater across-the-board wealth.

In addition, Arab Muslims, who for centuries fought Western domination and eventually succumbed to it, tend to find it convenient to identify Arab Christians with European colonialism. Although many Arab Christians-with the exception of the Maronites of Mount Lebanon- disassociated themselves from the Crusaders, they nevertheless began increasingly to identify with militarily and economically triumphant Europe, as Levantine Orthodox identified with tsarist Russia. Also, there are other historic memories: Damascene Christians developed relations with the Mongols in the thirteenth century, and Catholic, Maronite, and Protestant Christians' acceptance of Western secular education and cultural values, as well as economic collaboration with France and Britain; these were probably sufficient to aggravate the apprehensions of defensive and historically-conscious Muslims.
Conspiracy theorists among the Muslim majority go further and see Arab Christians as Western agents, while condemning Christian missionaries from the West as spies for their governments' intelligence agencies. Abu Nidal, leader of an extremist underground Palestinian organization, even accused the Vatican of conspiring against the Palestinian people "possibly in league with Middle Eastern Christians." Most Middle Eastern Muslims, arguably with the exception of Turks, find themselves devastated by a decline in their economic and political standing that has lasted for centuries. This is one reason why they have fallen victim to conspiratorial fantasies; and local Christians provide convenient scapegoats premised on largely baseless fears.

Obstacles to Change

The predicament of Christians in Arabic-speaking countries will continue until many obstacles have been overcome:
Communal identities in most parts of the Arab world are characterized by the prevalence of religious, tribal, or local leaders who exercise disproportionate influence among their followers. The preeminence of communal leaders retards inter-group interaction and intensifies the primordial differences (such as sectarianism) that predominate in Arab societies.
The novelty and complexity of the Western concept of the nation-state makes popular identification with the state difficult, especially in Arabic-speaking countries. Accordingly, communal commitments continue to demonstrate a far greater vitality than national and crosscutting interests.
Even in the more liberal Arab countries, such as Lebanon and Egypt, the government makes it exceptionally difficult for truly independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to form or function. This weakness of NGOs precludes the possibility of the populations identifying with broader interests, such as human rights and political accountability.
Expatriate workers in the Persian Gulf states have a difficult time because most governments there do not appreciate the importance of ordained priests for the performance of religious functions in the Christian faith. Since religious hierarchy is absent in Islam, especially among Sunnis, Gulf Muslims appear to believe that Christians can exercise their religious duties privately without ecclesiastical intervention. This absence denies spiritual guidance to the large expatriate Christian community working in the Persian Gulf and adversely affects their faith.
Governments prevent Christians from building churches. In Egypt, for example, the authorities rely on a nineteenth-century Ottoman ordinance restricting the number of churches that can be built by Copts.
Middle Eastern Arab elites (and Western ones, too) have largely ignored the debate among liberal and moderate Islamists on issues relating to improving the status of Christians in a modern Arab-Islamic state, disproportionately focusing instead on problems of Islamic radicalism. Preoccupation with the adverse impact of Islamism on Middle Eastern regimes and Western societies has distracted attention from physical attacks against Copts in Egypt, starvation and violence that decimate the largely Christian population of the southern Sudan, and the unabating Christian emigration from Lebanon. Furthermore, it has not enhanced the integration in society of Christians in Syria and Jordan beyond business activity and superficial social transactions.
Some Muslims fear that close cooperation with Christians would result in revitalizing Christianity at the expense of Islam. Thus, they advocate introducing additional curbs on displaying Christian faith in Arab societies. The list includes restrictions on church building and the severe restriction or abolition of parochial schools.
Reciprocally, some Christians worry that interaction with Muslims will eventually cause the dissolution of the community. In Lebanon, for example, Christian clerics are adamantly opposed to the introduction of civil marriage. Apart from losing influence accrued to them by the political system's confessional arrangement, the clerics have reasons to worry about weakened bonds of communal identifications as a result of interfaith marriages.

Solving the Problem

Despite these long and deep difficulties, change is nonetheless possible. The agenda for improving communal relations involves two tracks, one immediate and another long term.

Immediate. The development of dialogue between moderate Christian scholars, intellectuals, and organizations and their Muslim counterparts, already under way, is the key. In a remarkable gesture of goodwill signifying Christendom's attitudinal change towards Muslims, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-65) sought to emphasize similarities between Christianity and Islam, rather than dwell (as in the past) on contentious issues. The council generated an atmosphere amenable to understanding and interfaith dialogue. This spirit continues: on August 24, 1990, an assembly of Middle Eastern Catholic patriarchs expressed intent to strengthen Christian-Muslim relations that recognized the sameness of their cultural heritage. Since then a spate of Christian-Muslim meetings, aimed at improving bilateral relations and inducing a favorable atmosphere of discourse, has taken place in nearly every corner of the globe.

But dialogue is not in itself an automatic solution; it must transcend formalities and tactful procedures to deal with difficult issues that will ultimately involve a fundamental change of perception in the Muslim camp, leading to an acceptance of Arab Christians as the political equals of the Muslims. Muslim clerics in turn need to pay more than lip service to interfaith dialog. Their real work lies in promoting a new value system among their constituencies, one that sees religious differences as an individualistic prerogative and as a source of cultural enrichment, not contention or antagonism. They should accept and teach their followers to accept that divine truth has different interpretations and to perceive them as mutually supportive, rather than exclusive.

Unfortunately, the Muslim political and religious elites have not prepared the masses for this eventuality, nor are they likely to any time soon. In states where political legitimacy is wanting, it is highly unlikely that the rulers will undertake consequential decisions that could erode their shaky control. Nevertheless, room continues to exist for well-meaning and organized individuals from all sides to work to build confidence and friendship, preferably without reference to the state. Members of both religions need to engage in reciprocity and cooperation, not exclusivity or confrontation.

Long term. Important as these measures may be, real progress will only come with genuine political transformation. Participatory democracy, sorely lacking in the Muslim Arab world, is the real answer to minority problems. Democracy allows for pluralism, which enables minorities to fully immerse themselves in their own cultural and/or religious preferences, without losing touch with the larger political arena.

Regimes in Arabic-speaking countries have displayed, however, an astonishing capacity for resisting meaningful political change. Unfortunately, the prognosis for political transformation is not good. If anything, Arab political systems appear to be rapidly decaying. Arab rulers seem more concerned about political survival than exacting genuine societal reforms. For example, President Husni Mubarak still refuses to admit that there is a Coptic problem in Egypt; instead, he reduces attacks against them to a security issue rooted in social and economic variables. The question of succession haunts many rulers and the Islamist forces of opposition seem predisposed to cause further instability. To avoid the specter of civil strife, Arab rulers must take measures to initiate gradual political reforms that, if successful, would ensure transition to representative democracy. If this happens, Christian minorities stand to gain as well.

Perhaps the best chance for Christians to stem the tide of their retreat and to assert themselves as citizens, not subjects, may result from economic changes now under way. The end of the cold war, the trend towards democratization in Eastern Europe, and the information revolution have ushered in a period of accelerating change in many places. The Arab world has not been entirely immune to the liberalizing effects of these developments, and economic integration, although still bumpy in virtually all Arab countries, is bound to establish at least a foothold there. And booming economic activity in turn normally invites social liberalization, eventually transferable into democratic concessions by the ruling elite. This will make it more likely that competent Arab Christian entrepreneurs, many of whom are currently functioning either in the West or in the Gulf region, will return to their countries of origin. In this era of globalization which places a premium on economic activity, Christian successes in this field would probably translate themselves into political gains, crucial for sociopolitical integration.
Arab political systems must open up, enfranchising the populations and liberalizing the economies. It will be in such an atmosphere that the Arab world's Christians can reassert themselves, not from a narrow communal perspective, but on the basis of an interactive national life.


The importance of improving majority-minority relations in the Arab world can hardly be overstated. This is a region where religion largely defines not just faith but also personal identity, so that how Muslims and Christians see each other affects politics, economics, and much more. Religious identity, in its divisive outlook, has had its toll on Arab societies. It set different population groups apart, reinforced tensions, and inhibited economic development. Still worse, it has produced distinct sociopolitical groups with incompatible worldviews that doomed the rise of genuine national politics. This is why a rapprochement between Muslims and Christians, one that puts the latter on a par with the former at all societal levels, would go a long way in modernizing Arab societies. These societies stand to benefit from Christian business expertise, significant financial assets, widespread contacts with the West, and profound desire to achieve.

Arab publics and ruling elites need to recognize the need for changing patterns of inter-religious and inter-group interactions; they also need to accept the challenge and risks that accompany change. Without daring leaderships willing to take the necessary risks in dealing with simmering problems (such as minority rights, political and economic liberalization, right to assemble and organize), tensions will continue to buildup and threaten the fragile fiber of society. Arab Muslims have to learn to become more religiously permissive and accept that others' religious differences do not necessarily clash with Islam's universalism. If Arab sheikhs and princes build mosques in Christian lands and brag about it, they should, on grounds of reciprocity, allow Christians to build churches to serve Christian migrant communities in the Gulf area.

Hilal Khashan, professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, is author of Arabs at the Crossroads: Political Identity and Nationalism (University Press of Florida, 2000). A version of this paper was presented at a conference sponsored by Caritas Internationalis in the Vatican.