Sull'"Elogio dei riformisti" di Roberto Saviano        
1. Affinità e divergenze fra Saviano e noi. Considero Gomorra uno fra i libri letterariamente più importanti di questi anni nonché fra i capolavori del giornalismo d'inchiesta italiano. Ammiro e rispetto Roberto Saviano, anche se a volte non sono stato d'accordo con lui su alcune delle sue prese di posizione (ad es. sulla politica dei governi israeliani, oppure sugli scontri di piazza che hanno contrassegnato l'ultima fase del governo Berlusconi).

Ho trovato molto superficiale e semplicistico l'articolo di Saviano uscito su "La Repubblica" del 28 febbraio, dedicato all'elogio del riformismo.

Prendendo spunto da un recente libro di Alessandro Orsini sulla storia della sinistra italiana, libro che contrappone Turati a Gramsci, Saviano traccia una riga sulla lavagna, mettendo da una parte i riformisti e dall'altra i comunisti. I primi sarebbero pacati, realisti, tolleranti e liberali, i secondi sarebbero fanatici, violenti, malati di dogmatismo e d'ideologia.

Scrive Saviano: "i comunisti hanno educato generazioni di militanti a definire gli avversari politici dei pericolosi nemici, ad insultarli ed irriderli. Fa un certo effetto rileggere le parole con cui un intellettuale raffinato come Gramsci definiva un avversario, non importa quale: 'La sua personalità ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato'. Invitava i suoi lettori a ricorrere alle parolacce e all'insulto personale contro gli avversari che si lamentavano delle offese ricevute [...]. Arrivò persino a tessere l'elogio del 'cazzotto in faccia' contro i deputati liberali. I pugni, diceva, dovevano essere un 'programma politico' e non un episodio isolato".

Viceversa, sempre secondo Saviano:

"in quegli stessi anni Filippo Turati, dimenticato pensatore e leader del partito socialista, conduceva una tenacissima battaglia per educare al rispetto degli avversari politici nel tentativo di coniugare socialismo e liberalismo".


Questa contrapposizione fra estremisti e riformisti, dice Saviano, si protrae fino ad oggi:

"Naturalmente, oggi, nel Pd erede del Pci, non c'è più traccia di quel massimalismo verboso e violento, e anche il linguaggio della Sel di Vendola è molto meno acceso. Ma c'è invece, fuori dal Parlamento, una certa sinistra che vive di dogmi. Sono i sopravvissuti di un estremismo massimalista che sostiene di avere la verità unica tra le mani", sono quei "pacifisti talmente violenti da usare la pace come strumento di aggressione per chiunque la pensi diversamente". Eccetera.

Quindi tutto lineare, nello schema di Saviano. Tutto semplice. Riformisti, buoni, in parlamento; comunisti, fuori dal parlamento, cattivi. Chiaro, no?

E però, se si va a verificare nel dettaglio gli esempi storici addotti da Saviano, ecco che le cose si complicano.

2. Cosa c'era prima degli assorbenti. Vediamo ad esempio la prima frase "incriminata". Di un suo avversario politico ("non importa quale", dice Saviano), Gramsci scrisse: "La sua personalità ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato".

La similitudine usata da Gramsci, al nostro orecchio di contemporanei, suona senza dubbio molto sgradevole. Intollerabilmente sessista, fra l'altro. Proviamo però a collocarla nel suo contesto. La frase è tratta da un articolo di Gramsci, allora venticinquenne, pubblicato sull'edizione torinese dell'"Avanti!" il 19 aprile 1916. In quel periodo la redazione di Torino dell'"Avanti!", di cui Gramsci era giornalista, stava conducendo una campagna di stampa sugli sprechi e sulle ruberie di cui si erano resi responsabili i promotori dell'Esposizione Universale di Torino del 1911. Come spesso succede in Italia quando si tratta di "grandi opere", anche questa era stata accompagnata da malversazioni, che Gramsci e i giornalisti dell'"Avanti!" avevano puntualmente denunciato.

Fra i bersagli di questa campagna di stampa c'era il conte Delfino Orsi, che all'epoca faceva parte della direzione della "Gazzetta del Popolo", un giornale monarchico, filogovernativo e interventista. L'articolo di Gramsci del 19 aprile 1916 è appunto una risposta ad un altro giornalista che aveva accusato l'"Avanti!" di aver attaccato Delfino Orsi non per il ruolo di quest'ultimo nello scandalo dell'Esposizione Universale, bensì invece perché Orsi era "una delle più influenti figure dell'interventismo subalpino".

Teniamo sempre presente il contesto storico. In Italia, nel 1916, lo scontro politico fra governo e opposizione era polarizzato sul problema della guerra. Era soprattutto lo scontro fra interventisti e pacifisti. Era in corso la Prima guerra mondiale, un conflitto che oggi praticamente tutti gli storici valutano come un'orrenda ecatombe, una catastrofe che segnò l'inizio del declino della civiltà europea, e che, in Italia, aprì la via al fascismo. In Italia il bilancio della guerra fu di circa 680.000 morti e quasi 500.000 invalidi permanenti. Il Partito Socialista Italiano, nel quale all'epoca militavano sia Gramsci sia Turati, era su posizioni pacifiste, e si opponeva compattamente alla guerra. A favore della guerra erano invece i nazionalisti, i liberali e il Partito Socialista Riformista Italiano, composto perlopiù da riformisti, come Bonomi e Bissolati, che erano stati espulsi dal P.S.I. già nel 1912 per il loro appoggio alla guerra di Libia.

Tale era il contesto della polemica fra l'"Avanti!" di Gramsci da una parte, e la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi dall'altra.

Quando, nell'agosto 1917, a Torino la popolazione diede vita ad una rivolta spontanea contro la guerra e contro la mancanza di pane (rivolta che fu ovviamente repressa nel sangue, con circa 50 morti e 200 feriti fra gli operai e le loro famiglie), la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi fu tra gli organi di stampa che giustificarono la repressione.

Più tardi, coerentemente, Delfino Orsi fu deputato nel Parlamento fascista, ed era ancora tale quando morì nel 1929 (mentre Gramsci era in carcere). Il gerarca Federzoni, nel suo elogio funebre pronunciato alla Camera dei Deputati l'11 dicembre 1929, disse di Orsi fra l'altro: "egli poté rinverdire i fasti patriottici della Gazzetta del Popolo, levando ancora la gloriosa bandiera del Risorgimento per le nuove battaglie dell'intervento nella grande guerra, della difesa delle aspirazioni nazionali, della rivoluzione fascista".


Delfino Orsi era appunto l'uomo che Gramsci paragonò ad uno "straccio mestruato". Un epiteto certamente poco gentile. Ma possiamo veramente dire, con Saviano, che "non importa quale" individuo egli fosse, né in quale periodo storico fosse situata la polemica fra lui e Gramsci?

Che diremmo di un giornalista il quale scrivesse, di alcuni suoi concittadini (non importa quali, direbbe Saviano), che essi sono "vigliacchi, in realtà", un "manipolo di killer", "abbrutiti e strafatti", un "branco di assassini" che "vivono come bestie"? Sono insulti pesanti e hanno ben poco di mite e di liberale. Ma se collochiamo questi epiteti nel contesto dell'articolo da cui sono tratti, scopriamo che si riferiscono ad una banda di camorristi responsabili di svariati omicidi, e che l'autore del pezzo è Roberto Saviano ("la Repubblica", 22 settembre 2008). Dobbiamo condannare il giornalista per la sua eccessiva violenza verbale? O non dobbiamo piuttosto ritenere che l'indignazione di Saviano, seppure si esprima in termini poco urbani, sia alquanto giustificata dalle circostanze?

3. La nobile arte. Vediamo, ancora, un altro passo gramsciano cui si riferisce Roberto Saviano. Si tratta dell'articolo intitolato "Elogio del cazzotto", uscito sempre sull'"Avanti!" il 12 giugno 1916. L'episodio cui si riferiva Gramsci in questo articolo era il seguente. Dei deputati socialisti, come gesto dimostrativo, avevano lanciato nell'aula di Montecitorio alcune cartoline con l'effige di parlamentari russi che erano stati deportati in Siberia a causa della loro opposizione alla guerra (c'era ancora il regime assolutista dello zar, e la Russia era alleata in guerra con le potenze della Triplice Intesa, con l'Italia, e contro la Germania e l'Impero asburgico). Un deputato interventista, Giuseppe Bevione, in quell'occasione accusò i socialisti di essere al soldo del nemico. Ne nacque un tafferuglio, durante il quale il socialista Nino Mazzoni colpì Bevione con un pugno. Questo, nello specifico, fu il "cazzotto" cui si riferisce Gramscì nel suo articolo, scrivendo fra l'altro:

"Non siamo entusiastici ammiratori del diritto del pugno; eppure quei pugni vibrati robustamente sul ceffo di Bevione ci riempiono di giubilo e di ammirazione".

Anche qui: possiamo dire che sia davvero ininfluente collocare la citazione di Gramsci nel suo contesto?

4. Vota Antonio. Veniamo ora ad un'altra delle dicotomie che Roberto Saviano delinea nel suo pezzo: quella fra opposizione parlamentare Vs. opposizione extraparlamentare. La prima riformista e "buona", la seconda estremista e "cattiva". E confrontiamo questa dicotomia con un esempio storico.

Nel giugno 1924, dopo il rapimento di Giacomo Matteotti, i parlamentari dell'opposizione antifascista decisero di disertare le aule del Parlamento, dando così luogo a quella forma di protesta extraparlamentare che passò alla storia come "secessione dell'Aventino". Fra loro c'era Filippo Turati, assieme a tutti i socialisti riformisti. C'era anche la piccola pattuglia dei deputati comunisti, che però, nel novembre 1924, verificata l'inefficacia della protesta aventiniana, decisero di rientrare in Parlamento, dove rimasero a contrastare la maggioranza fascista, praticamente da soli, per altri due anni, fino a quando il partito comunista non fu messo fuori legge. (A che tipo di pacifica dialettica parlamentare fossero avvezzi i deputati fascisti lo si può vedere consultando la voce di Wikipedia dedicata a Francesco Misiano).

Quindi, ricapitolando. Nel 1925 abbiamo il socialista riformista Turati fuori dal parlamento. In parlamento c'è una maggioranza parlamentare "estremista" fascista e una minoranza comunista (parimenti "estremista" secondo Saviano) di cui Gramsci fa parte. Comunque si voglia giudicare la situazione, si tratta di un caso in cui la realtà storica si rivela più complessa dei rigidi schematismi delineati da Saviano.

5. Conclusione. Con tutto questo discorso non voglio dire, naturalmente, che la violenza verbale nella lotta politica va sempre bene, che è sempre giustificata. Sono d'accordo con Saviano nel condannare certe forme di settarismo inutile e controproducente (di cui è un esempio il giudizio su Turati espresso da un Togliatti al peggio del suo stalinismo, citato da Saviano nel suo articolo). Né intendo affrontare discorsi astratti sul punto se sia meglio la lotta extraparlamentare o quella parlamentare.

Dico che ogni situazione fa storia a sé, che occorre giudicare caso per caso, e che generalizzazioni astratte e astoriche, come quella proposta da Saviano nell'articolo in questione, non hanno alcun significato.
          '..another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism.' (no replies)        
'..until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

'Economists pondering about human action distinguish between four types of individual incomes; the Koran permits only two, which explains much poverty in the Muslim world. Economists speak of labor income which flows from services rendered either in self-employment or working for an employer; the Koran smiles upon this basic kind of income. Economists also discern interest income which, reflecting human frailty and mortality, flows from the differences between man’s valuation of present economic goods and future goods; the Koran condemns “riba”, that is, interest income, and threatens all creditors who may be tempted to demand “riba” with “the fire prepared for unbelievers.” Economists also like to wax eloquent about entrepreneurial income, commonly called profits, which may be earned through correct anticipation of economic changes; failure to anticipate changes correctly may inflict entrepreneurial losses. The Koran simply prohibits economic activity that involves uncertainty, risk, or speculation and may earn “ghara.” The prohibition obviously discourages and hampers economic changes, adjustments, modernizations, and improvements that are uncertain and risky.

..

Muslim clerics are the tutors and preceptors not only of Islamic theology but also of social and economic ideology. Surely, they may not descend to the level of envy but may fly into anger and passion about the sinful behavior of all non-believers, that is, Christians and Jews, who grow rich in market economies, engaging in uncertain, risky, and speculative economic activity and prospering on riba and ghara. For some clerics the United States is the “Great Satan” and Israel his little offspring. It cannot be surprising that faithful followers abhor, fear, and hate the Great Satan and wish him evil. When a few Muslim fanatics flew into the World Trade Center in New York, killing more than 2,900 men and women, and another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, killing 189 employees, jubilant masses thronged streets across the Muslim world, celebrating and rejoicing about the destruction and massacre.

..

..Today, the United States is in the early stages of a long struggle with radical Islamism that has been waging war against this country for some thirty years. Radical Islamic states have been breeding, sheltering, and financing the terrorist armies and radical clerics are invoking divine favor upon them.

The Western world, and especially the United States, is facing the prospect of a long and bitter war with a fanatical enemy. It is a desperate enemy because powerful forces of change are eroding its very ideological foundation. Modern communication technology has opened the windows of the world and is allowing people everywhere to observe Western mores and living conditions. A network of communication satellites, for instance, is continuously receiving, amplifying, and rebroadcasting signals to earth. Western ideas are reaching the minds of people everywhere and changing social, economic, political, and educational institutions. It cannot be surprising that Muslim autocracies like to keep the windows closed by monopolizing and disallowing access to such technology.

It is doubtful that the U.S. military will crush and completely render inactive a desperate enemy consisting of an organized guerilla force of Allah-fearing men and women. A small army of suicidal fanatics, a diminutive percentage of one billion and three hundred million Muslims in 206 countries, may wear away the patience and resolve of the American public and its political and military commanders. Such a possibility does not in any way intimate a victory and sway of Muslim fanatics over the forces of the West. Its paramount strength does not rest on brute military might but on its free and open way of life, its private property order and individual enterprise system. Its windows are wide open and its busy subjects are at work all over the world, simple ambassadors or even missionaries of its order. Even if the United States should ever stumble and lose its way, the windows are wide open and the bright light of individual freedom and the private property order would remain visible in many other parts of the West. It is unlikely that it can ever be extinguished.

The U.S. military is not going to conquer many Muslim countries, but individual freedom and the private property order may in time..

..

We shall know the future only when it comes. But our thoughts like to live in the future, and what they see is another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism. They see the Muslim world in a crisis which causes a few revolutionaries to strike at Americans. Insurgents may continue to lash out until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

- Hans F. Sennholz, In Another Cold War, 2004


Context

'..the battle of ideas taking place in the Muslim world..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?'

          The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..' (no replies)        
'.."What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II..'

'Deist: One thing that’s so remarkable about the Christmas Truce is this whole question of what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier or be somehow limited. Weintraub addresses this in his book. We may not have had the rise of communism, the Russian Revolution and Stalin and Lenin, we certainly would not have had Versailles. As a result, we might not have had Hitler or Nazism or maybe even FDR. I mean, it’s remarkable to think about, isn’t it?

Denson: That’s right and that’s counterfactual history at its best. Weintraub, in his last chapter, entitled "What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II, as I have argued in the past, World War II was simply a continuation of World War I with a truce, and World War I was to see if you could remake the world to benefit the English, the British, and the Russian Czar. World War II was to see if you could keep it that way, what they’d done in World War I. So, it would have changed the whole history, in my opinion, of the twentieth century. And, we are still in the Middle East, suffering the results of the treaties that ended World War I. I mean, the treaties that created Iraq, tried to give Syria to the French, and Israel was created in the middle of an Arab world and it’s still a problem that was created by the World War I treaties. So, all of that, the whole twentieth century, I think, would have been completely different, if it could have ended, say when the troops stopped at Christmas of 1914. It’s amazing to think about that.

..

..H. Kingsley Wood, a cabinet minister, got up and made a speech and he said, he had been in the trenches, he said in the front trenches in Christmas 1914 and he said, I took part in what was well known at the time as a truce. We went over in front of the trenches and shook hands with many of our German enemies and a great number of people and I think we did something that was degrading or wrong and refused to stop, he said, the fact is, we did it. And I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves, there never would have been another shot fired. For a fortnight, the troops went on and we were on the most friendly terms and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary for us to start trying to shoot one another again.

And he blamed the resumption of war on “the grip of the political system which was bad, and I and others who were there at the time, determined there and then, never to rest until we had seen whether we could change it.” And then it concludes. There are people that thrive on war, the military industrial complex and one of the results of the World War I revisionism showed that the people that do the armaments and make money off that, help cause war. There are people, bankers, that have an interest. JP Morgan had a big interest in America getting into World War I and he financed the British Army..'

- The Christmas Truce and the Future of War, December 24, 2016


Context

(Haptopraxeology) - '..We have lost three centuries as a result of ignoring our scholars!'

Christmas Truce of 1914

In The Electric Universe a Future of Peace and Love


'..the mismanagement and corruption of bankers and politicians..

Economics in One Lesson

          Commentaires sur New York : comment la police a disparu par New York: une explosion "intentionnelle" fait 29 blessés, dont un grave | femininisrael.com        
[…] Manhattan, a fait 29 blessés, dont un grave, selon les pompiers de New York. Le maire de la ville, Bill de Blasio, a évoqué un « acte intentionnel ». « Il n’y a aucune […]
          Sperm is healthiest in winter, early spring        
Autumn is the time of year most associated with bumper crops of new babies, and that may be because human sperm are generally at their healthiest in winter and early spring, according to a new study from Israel.
          Burn After Reading        

Who’s Who
What’s What

In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors




NEW BOOK:

The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
By WAYNE MADSEN
ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9


Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].

EXCERPTS:

From the Introduction


One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.

*

An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

*

The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.

*

As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.

SELECTED ENTRIES

Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project



  •           Burning through the Desert         
    Dan Rielger & Ayala Moriel

    A few months ago (the last day of April, to be exact, which was also the first day of my Orientals week-long course), I had the pleasure and honour to host a special guest throughout the day: Dan Riegler of Apothecary's Garden - a purveyor of fair trade resins from around the world - especially frankincense and myrrh that are wild crafted in the traditional methods in countries such as Somalia, Yemen and Kenya. He also sources Cretan labdanum, and other rare raw materials, and sells resin-centrered products that he concocts himself, which you can find on his online shop. One of them being a highly fragrant moustache wax which basically surrounded him with a cloud of frankincense - so obviously he made an instant good impression on me!

    We started the day at the Baha'i Gardens in Akko (which deserve a full post dedicated to them) and then went to my studio to make incense - and burn a bunch too. Little did I know what I was signing up for. On top of the usual things I burn for this class (palo santo chips, sandalwood incense sticks, one type of myrrh and frankincense resins and my own rendition of Egyptian Kyphi) - Dan had a trunk-load of resins that he just imported from Africa, and was immensely kind and generous to share with us the most incredible incense resins with me and my class. We spent the afternoon burning rare myrrh, olibanum, and also some gums I never knew existed, namely Sandarac and Ammoniacum, the latter of which totally blew my mind.

    I learned so much from Dan, about the resins (and the other raw materials he curates and sells), how they are harvested and collected, the chemical makeup of the resins and how it affects the stages of burning (it turns out that incense resins also have top, heart and base notes) - and this post is just a little taste of all the beautiful resins we burnt when he was here. I'm looking forward to meeting him again on his next visits in Israel on the way to the African continent.

    Boswellia carterii
    Frankincense usually comes in "tears" shape as this Boswellia carterii - but not always. Below is a specimen of the less known B. neglecta that look more like a chunk of resinous granules. B. carterii has the characteristic, most unmistakable scent of frankincense - beginning with sweet citrus notes of lemon drops and orange candy and continuing into more resinous, woody and even balsamic, caramel-like nuances as the incense burns on the charcoal.

    While looking pretty much the same, other frankincense species provide further nuances and a whole frankincense burning comparative study (or incense games a-la Japenese Koh-Doh) can easily occupy half a day. Compare this to Maydi (Boswellia frereana) which albeit its slightly herbaceous (sage-like) opening, is more subtle, woody and perfumey. In fact, it smells almost powdery like violet and iris. Ethiopian frakincince (Boswellia papyrifea) is even finer with its suave, light perfume notes, slightly sweet and with notes of burnt sugar at the end of the charcoal burning process.

    Boswellia negoecta - black and white

    Boswellia neglecta is endemic to north Kenya and comes in white and black forms (as you can see in the photo) and is not widely known. The white and the black smell significantly different. The white begins resinous-green, piney and mysterious, surprisingly juice like crushed leaves with hints of parsley, galbanum and ammonia (smells a lot like amoniacum).  It has a hint of sweaty note, a little like coriander seed. The final burning moments bring to mind the smoke coming out of autumnal piles of fall leaves.

    The black neglecta smells completely different - you wouldn't think it came from the same plant: it smells dark and looming, like moss, mushrooms, decaying fall leaves, peat, forest floor and hints of campfire. It's surprising and magical that a resin can possess so many different facets.

    Sandarac
    Sandarac (tetraclllyris) comes from Malta and just like its pure milky appearance, burns clean with a woody-balsamic-resinous scent that is fine and very pleasant. It's a little bit like elemi, a little like mastic but not quite. There is a tiny hint of seashore to it that I only detected after many times of burning. It is quite lovely, even if underwhelming at first impression.

    Ammoniacum
    Ammoniacum is intense and pungent, like a mixture of galbanum, asafoetida, sulphur, greens. It it a very interesting odour but I suspect it would have better effect in magic and exorcism ceremonies rather than contemplative incense rituals.

    Commiphora confusa

    Commiphora confusa, as the name suggests, is a type of myrrh that is hard to identify, and for several reasons: the flowers look different on each plant, the resin looks different as well - and the most surprising of all: it smells more like frankincense than myrrh.

    Commiphora myrrha

    Commiphora myrrha (from Ethiopea) has the characteristic bitter, rubbery scent when burnt, and is what I'd imagine the Queen of Sheba to wear on her neck when seducing King Solomon.

    Commiphora karat

    Commiphora kataf (from Kenya) has pieces of wood in it (which would change the smell of the smoke depending on which chunk you burn). It has a strange, sulphuric-sweaty odour. I guess you could call it spicy, as it has a hint of cumin in it too. Overall it reminds me more of the smell of food than incense - barbecuing kebabs comes to mind.

    Commiphira holziana
    Commiphora holtziana does not smell like myrrh at all to me. It's more woody than C. myrrha, and a tad fresh to start with. Dan describes it as briny and sea-like but I'm not getting it.

    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh
    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh is by far the most incredibly beautiful myrrh resin I've ever burnt. Although it came in a strange looking chunk, containing pieces of the plastic bags used by the collectors, and even a piece of wool yarn, it has the most fantastic scent, like a perfume on its own accord. It reminds me of the unique "version" of frankincense that B. papyrifea offers. I would love to have this as an essential oil and create a perfume with it.


              Za'atar         
    Summer Za'atar on the border with Lebanon
    There is a little confusion around the name "Za'atar" and what exactly does it refer to: A condiment? A spice mix? An herb? And if so - which herb exactly - Hyssop? Thyme? Oregano? Marjoram?

    The truth is that za'atar is an Arabic word used interchangeably for a number of wild herbs that grow wild in the Mediterranean region, and all contain thymol and carvacrol. Hence their similar sharp and warm aroma, bitter taste and spicy, almost hot "bite". They also share similar medicinal properties, most of them used in folk medicine for most digestive ailments and respiratory complaints. The mixture known to us as "Za'atar" is in fact a misnomer. Za'atar is originally the name of the plant now classified as Origanum syriacum, but in Arabic it is loosely applied to several other related wild and not so wild herbs.

    Zaatar

    The name for the condiment is in fact "doukka" (pronounced often as "Do-ak" with a very throaty "K" that almost sounds like an "A" so in reality the word sounds more like "Do-ah"). In Arabic this means "to grind". Each region in the Arab world has its own "Doukka", which is either sprinkled on food, or more commonly covered in olive oil to which the traditional regional bread is dipped. For example - Egypt has a complex nut-based doukka with toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, to which toasted or untoasted spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, green peppercorns and sweet fennel have been added.

    In the Levant "doukka" happens to be made primarily of a mixture of thymol-containing herbs, with "The" Za'atar (Origanum syriacum) being the star of the show. Lesser amounts of other herbs, will be added - the most important of which are "Za'atar Farsi" (winter savory), Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatus), Zuta זוטה לבנה ( Micromeria fruiticosa barbata), a delicate wild white mint known in English as White-Leaved Savory (which does not even belong to the savory genus, but to micromeria because of its tiny leaves). Common oregano (Origanum vulgare) makes a good addition, albeit cannot substitute for the real Za'atar or Syrian oregano if you actually know the real deal. Likewise, marjoram and thyme can also make a good addition but not be at the centre. Even though their profiles are similar - there are some nuances that will be lost if using only the garden variety oreganos and thymes and none of the wild stuff.

    Many other things can be added to the mix, the most important being sumac berries (Rhus coriaria) for their wonderful salty-sour flavour, and toasted sesame seeds for their pop-in-the-mouth nuttiness. But you'll also find spices sometimes, including more obscure ones such as butum (بطم) - toasted terebinth fruits (Pistachia palestina), which are really like tiny pistachios with the outer red peel intact. I've got a few of those drying right now, because I've never seen them in any market before and I'm very curious how they taste as a spice.

    The following are several authentic Za'atar recipes I've collected - and of course you are welcome to browse google's universe of shared recipes, but be cautious of a few things if you want to make an authentic za'atar:
    1) Use actual Origanum syriacum even if a generic "oregano" is called for
    2) Do not by any stretch of the imagination use "fresh" leaves. They must be dried first. And only then will you grind them up with the rest of the ingredients. This is a dried herb and spice mix. Not a fresh herb concoction.
    3) Usage of salt, although found in many recipes, seems very superfluous to me, unless you are not using sumac berries. These have a unique taste - equally salty and tangy. The whole point of using them is so you do not need to use salt. Likewise, using citric acid is a way to fake the sumac effect. Which I'm not quit sure why would anyone do that aside from laziness. Sumac berries are difficult to grind manually (or even in a coffee grinder) - but you can find ground sumac easily in many spice shops and markets.

    When shopping for pre-made spice mixes, or any ground spices for that matter, the main culprit is adulteration and using old raw material that are "dressed up" as authentic. It's hard to teach someone who've never tasted or smelled za'atar what to look for, but some things are a telling sign. For example: if you don't see the dark maroon red and still taste salt or tanginess, it is probably from salt and citrus acid, and not from the (missing) red sumac berries. Secondly, another visual sign - za'atar leaves are rather grey in colour when dried, so any other colour you see (olive green) is either food colouring or a combination of other types of "za'atar" herbs (i.e.: thyme, za'atar farsi, etc.). Best sign is by taste - if it taste like dust (and looks like dust) it's either too old or just a fake.

    I suggest you start with the most basic three ingredients, and then play with the proportions and adding other herbs and/or spices. You can even start with equal amount of za'atar leaves, sumac and sesame and adjust to taste.

    Safta Ada's Za'atar Recipe 
    This is my mom's handmade recipe that she would make from wild harvested za'atar (before it was illegal to pick any) and would even send it to Vancouver so I can enjoy a taste of home.
    1 cup dried za'atar leaves, coarsely crushed between your palms, or pounded with mortar and pestle to a finer powder
    4 Tbs ground sumac berries (I suggest you purchase them pre-ground, otherwise their seeds can break your teeth!)
    2 Tbs toasted brown sesame seeds, whole

    May Bsisu wrote an excellent book, The Arab Table, which I highly recommend, and it includes a unique Palestinian style of za'atar that includes caraway:
    10oz oregano (I assume she means za'atar)
    5oz thyme
    3 Tbs sumac, ground
    1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
    2-1/2 Tbs coarse salt
    1/2 tsp allspice, ground
    1/4 tsp caraway seeds, ground 

    Easy Lebanese Recipes provides a "Traditional Rich Recipe" for za'atar that I'm compelled to try, with dried za'atar, roasted sesame, sumac, marjoram, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, aniseed and salt.

    Mamma's Lebanese Kitchen recipe contains thyme, marjoram, sumac, sesame, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and salt.

    How to consume za'atar?
    Use your za'atar mixed with olive oil as a dip for bread, on top of labneh (strained yoghurt cheese) or as a substitute for butter under any other soft or hard cheese, avocado, etc.
    It's also a nice addition to salads, and for baking fish or poultry. I also like to add it to chickpeas that I fry whole in olive oil, after they've been cooked and drained.

    Fresh za'atar leaves come in late winter and can be enjoyed all through spring, and can be fried in olive oil much like tender sage leaves and become this wonderful crispy topping for fresh bread, pasta, roasted vegetables, etc. Also, they can be used as they are in salads (May Bsisu has a recipe for fresh oregano salad in that book as well), with lots of onion and tomatoe. The Druze use it to season the dough or the fillings for various savoury pastries, such as sambusak (a flatbread that is folded in half to conceal a thin layer of highly seasoned stuffing, and baked in the tabun) and fatayer (little dough pockets filled with cheese), and the dried whole leaves can be used much like oregano in meat and pasta sauces, in soups, stews, breads, etc.

    Now, let's explore the Za'atar "group" of plants:

    Hyssop (Wild Oregano)

    Ezov (the Hebrew word for the Biblical Hyssop - not the European Hyssopus officials which is also a medicinal plant, and produces a rather toxic essential oil), which is now classified as an oregano, Origanum syriacum (formerly Majorana syriaca). Like many of the other aromatic plants from the Lamiaceae family, za'atar has a winter and spring foliage and a summer foliage, which is smaller in order to preserve water and survive the long arid season. I suspect the essential oils also aid with the survival of these plants in such harsh conditions - because whenever they are grown in regions where the water is more abundant (British Columbia, for example) - their flavour is largely lacking. What you see above is the luscious winter "look", which features soft and larger leaves, and their colour is much greener, and therefore more similar to the common oregano (Origanum vulgare).

    Satureja

    Za'atar Farsi (meaning Persian Za'atar), or as it is called in Hebrew צתרה ורודה - Tzatra Vruda (Pink Tzatra) which really is winter or mountain savory (Satureja montana). Its long needle-like leaves have a sharp, spicy taste. When we were growing up my mom would spice the egg for French Toast with them and make them literally savoury.

    Thymbra spicata צתרנית משובלת
    Mediterranean Thyme (Thymbra spicata), in Hebrew צתרנית משובלת Tzatranit Meshubelet is also called in Arabic "Za'atar farsi", and has a very similar leaf shape (only a bit longer, narrower and softer) and almost identical odour and aroma profile. It has flowers that look a bit more like chaffs of wheat (not unlike those of Lavandula dentata, and is even more rare to find than Satureja montana.

    Coridothymus capitatus
    Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatis / Thymus capitatus / Thymbra capitata) or in Hebrew Koranit Mekurkefet קורנית מקורקפת is also known by many other names - Israeli oreganum (oil), Cretan thyme, Corido thyme, Headed savory, Thyme of the Ancient, Conehead thyme and most commonly - Spanish Oregano (even though it is not classified as "origanum"). This oil is what is often sold as "oregano oil", by the way. This is now a rare plant that in our area grows only along the rocky seashores of the North Coast leading to Lebanon. The leaves are tiny and sharp, like a miniature version of the Pink Tzatra, but they grow more dense and close together to form clusters around the tip of the branches. The branches are woody-looking almost like bonsai trees that crawl all over the rocks - and the flowers tiny and purplish-pink. The aroma is clean and maybe a little more simple than that of za'atar, but also the taste is much more sharp and phenolic.




               Top of the Land        
    Wild Rose (Rosa canina) on the peak of Mt. Hermon
    After picking a bunch of cherries to complete our breakfast we drove to the peak of Mount Hermon (Jabal A-Sheikh) - elevation 2,224m, which is accessible with chair lifts. It was a relatively hot day but still much more pleasant than the rest of the country - somewhere around 26c or so, with a very harsh sun yet a nice dry cool breeze ever so often.

    Cherry Picking
    The vegetation is somewhat sparse but very special and with many varieties growing on this mountain. Some plants can be found in other northern places (for example: the now protected Wild artichoke (Gundelia tournefortii) - עכובית הגלגל, which grew in most parts of the country before), but others are endemic to this mountain alone, because of its exceptional conditions and placement. It is covered in snow all winter, and once it melts resembles a cool desert land, covered with white rocks and with no trees in sight. Dog roses (Rosa canina) are native to Israel, but are quite a rare sight otherwise. To find a bush in full bloom at the peak of Mt. Hermon was elating. Of course, it has a heavenly fragrance.

    Peak of Mt. Hermon

    Up on the peak, there is a sense that many of the plants here has some mysterious medicinal value, for some very specific and possibly rare conditions. I am imagining a time when climbing the mountain on foot would be a great ordeal (well, it still is - but most people use the road and then the gondola!). People would only go up the mountain for an important mission set forth by a divine guidance, a royal order, or a great and pressing need to save someone's life from a rare illness...
    פריגה חלקת פרי
    This poppy (Glaucium oxylobum פרגה קרחת/פריגה חלקת פרי), for example, is unique to Mt. Hermon and can't be found anywhere else in the country (but it can be found in high elevations - upwards of 1,100m - in the mountains of Turkey and Iran). I love its bright dual colours and contrasting "eyes". It blooms for a very long season - six months to be exact, from April when the snow melts, till the total dryness of September. There is a great variety between flowers, but they all share this startling, sudden contrasting colour change, and unusual display of three colours.
    Salvia microstegia מרווה בוצינית + Alyssum baumgartnerianum אליסון חרמוני
    Salvia microstegia (the hairy big leaves with white flowers), the thistle-looking plant is Cousinia hermonis (קוסיניה חרמונית), the yellow flowers are of Alyssum baumgartnerianum Bornm. (אליסון חרמוני), AKA madwort. It is not the only yellow flower found on Mt Hermon  - so don't confuse it with Lebanese St. John's Wort (Hypericum libanoticum) in Hebrew - פרע לבנוני, or with the two types of Achilea that grow there - Achillea biebersteinii (אכילאה קטנת-פרחים) and the endemic Achillea falcata (אכילאה גפורה).

    There might also be a type of catnip (נפית קילקית?) Nepata - of some kind that I'm yet to completely ID), or a horehound in the pic. Which also reminds me of the unusual Lebanese horehound (Marrubium libanoticum Boiss) - in Hebrew מרוביון הלבנון/מרמר הלבנון, which is also a highly medicinal plant.
    Israel|Syria border - view from peak of Mt. Hermon
    Israel & Syria - view from above. Where the green ends Syria begins... It's sad but true, due to over-forestation and roaming in Syria, and on the other hand much planting of trees all across Israel.

    Lastly, here is me and Miss T standing against this dramatic backdrop.

    Israel|Syria Border - Peak of Mt. Hermon





              Druze Tea        

    Herbal arrangement for tea brewing
    For those unfamiliar with the Druze culture, it is unique to the Levant (Lebanon, Syria and Israel). This minority group originated about a thousand years ago in the Ismaillia sect of early Islam, and was largely prosecuted after splitting off from it. Therefore, mate

    they usually dwell on mountains and have long tradition of bravery since they've always needed to fend for themselves in a rather hostile environment. In Israel, the Druze communities are all located in the north - from Mount Carmel in the largest Druze town Daliat el Carmel and all the way up north to the Western Galilee, the Golan Heights especially around Mount Hermon.

    Near my village alone there are four Druze villages - Jath, Yanuh, Yirka and Julis. We've held strong friendly relationships with our Druze neighbours. Growing up, two elders from the village Yanuh will travel on foot or by donkey and come help us build our village - they taught our parents how to built terraces from the many rocks around here so that we can grow crops along the hillsides, how to cultivate wild olives and do the grafting so the trees grow strong and bear good fruit, and we went every summer to the miller and grind our wheat (when we still grew our own), and every autumn to line up with all the other olive growers and press our olives into fine olive oil and buy handmade olive soap that was made on the spot from the pommace left from the pressing process. As the nearby village Yirka developed into a small town bustling with businesses - we go there also to do most of our shopping and other business (that's where I usually go to the ship my online orders, by the way), and continue to build business and work relations with our neighbours. My house (both the old and the new part) was built almost entirely by a Birka-Born team of construction experts who became my closest new friends since moving here, and their wives come to practice Pilates with me.

    Growing up here, I remember my mom being especially enthusiastic about learning from the Druze women about the bounty of edible and medicinal wild plants around here. From them she also learned to drink olive oil in the morning on empty stomach, and how to make a special scorpion antidote (from the scorpion that stung you, fried in olive oil). I never tried either, and probably never will. But I do love to learn from them about the nearly magical properties of the plants that grow everywhere around here. It's as if there is an entire pharmacy out in the open, here in the wild. 

    Besides, there is much to be learned from the Druze traditional way of living, which is very family centred and values hospitality and taking the time to sit and enjoy a cup of anything - tea, coffee, and more and more coffee. The latter is served everywhere you go - from the hardware store to the mobile phone shop. And of course you can't enter a home without being invited for at least a cup of coffee, and if it's dinnertime - to break bread with the whole family.

    Ka'kat Isfar
    As is widespread in all of Israel - among both the Arab and Jewish population - the Druze adore za'atar, sage and the many wild harvested and then dried herbs from around here. They are  popular as digestifs or medicinal brews for various ailments or as preventative measures: wild sage, white mint, savory, wild oregano, and more are either infused on their own or added, dried or fresh, to black tea.  The love for za'atar is so profound that it is even added to some sweet pastries, such as this traditional ka'akat isfar ("yellow cake") - a mildly sweet yeasted flatbread that is coloured with turmeric and additionally spiced with sesame and nigella seeds, hints of za'atar (this umbrella name could be wild oregano, savoury or thyme - more on that in another post), and hints of mysterious spices that I'm yet to identify (I detected nutmeg and perhaps even some cardamom or allspice but I can't be sure of the latter two). It has become a favourite of mine, but is never found in a pastry shop. Some families would sell their traditional homemade ka'kat isfar when they make it, and the recipes vary. The first one I tried was only spiced with turmeric. This particular version that I'm very fond of was made by a random person I met on one of my traveling tea parties, and I doubt I will be able to taste ever again. The only recipe I found that seems close is written in Arabic and I'm far from being proficient enough to follow a recipe in that language.

    Many of my Vancouver perfume studio guests have been indirectly introduced to Druze culture through the special tea I would brew each winter (we fondly called it "witch brew") of dried hulnejan (a particular type of dried galangal root) and ginger roots, which is simmered forever in a large pot, simultaneously cleansing the air, warming the chest and keeping colds at bay. It is often served with pecan nuts sprinkled on top, and a lot of sugar, which is how most Druze like their teas. I personally prefer it unsweetened, and like to add cinnamon bark which has its own natural sweetness. Sometimes I would add honey but not often.

    But Hulnejan is not the only interesting thing about the Druze tea culture. As it turns out, in the 19th Century, many Druze - especially from Syria - left for Argentina, and they brought back with them mate, and a special fondness for this unique South American concoction. They drink it socially, sharing the same bombilla (the silver straw), traditionally sucked from the tea which is brewed in a dried decorative gourd.

    Mate, Druze-style

    In this photo, I am holding a dainty cup of mate that was offered to me on the streets of Majdal Shams, a remote Druze village come ski tourist town on Mount Hermon (Jabal Sheikh), formerly part of Syria. 

    On Saturday morning, we were having a hard time finding a place to eat breakfast. The breakfast place recommended to us the night before was still closed at 8:30am - it turns out it was them who had the wedding the night before with the parade that blocked the streets) - and so we were directed by a local lady to a corner shop that sells coffee, cigarettes, local cherries and freshly whipped before your eyes malyukh (Druze flat bread that is baked on top of a saj - an iron dome much like an upside down wok) on top of open fire. The bread is baked only on one side, than folded and smeared with generous amounts of labneh (soft cheese made from strained yoghurt), za'atar mixture, and homemade hot sauce that I swear was spiked with cinnamon.  We were also offered black tea "on the house" which turned to be fragrant with "Ootra" - Arabic for the popular Pelargonium graveness. The lady was impressed with my Arabic (very basic, but still better than nothing) and even more so that I recognized what she put in the tea and know the Arabic name for it.

    I chatted her up as I was munching on the malyukh and sipping the tea, and learned that while Majdal Shams is not as big as Yirka - it is a lot more "modern" to her words. There is a high percentage of post-secondary education, most of which was acquired in Syria, where up until the civil war was offered for free to all Syrian citizens. As a background - you should know that up until 1967, the Golan Heights and Mt. Hermon, including the four Druze villages  there - Majdal Shams, Mas'ade, Ein Kiniya and Buq'ata - were under Syrian rule, and their culture is quite different than what you'll find in the Galilee. One thinks of the border between Israel and Syria (sworn enemies since the establishment of the state of Israeli in 1948) as hermetically sealed, but in fact there was a dynamic flow of the Druze population between the countries - especially for weddings and for family reunions, but also for studying abroad. This lady's brother lived in Syria for many years - he went there to study medicine, got married and lived there until the war started, and then requested to return, and came back to Israel via Jordan with his wife and their children.

    We finished our delicious breakfast, thanked the lady and crossed the street to where our car was parked, right in front of a bakery (the only other place that was already open by 9am). In front of it, two ladies sat on a bench and a couple of upside-down plastic grocery boxes, boiling water on a portable gas stove and sipping non other than mate from a dainty little jug. I was so astonished I could not hold my gasp of delight. In return, they offered me to sit down and join them, rinsing the bombilla with boiled water from the kettle and pouring fresh water over and over the mate to bring out the flavour time and again. I was so thrilled that even though we're only two hours drive from home, and are already experiencing new culture that is so different yet invites us to share a cup of tea together.
    I had a couple of jugs of mate with them and thanked the big spirit that's in this world that encouraged me to finally set up on my tea journey. 

              Tea with Pan        
    Danger - Mines! Golan Heights

    When arriving in the arid, volcanic and mine-dotted land of the Golan Heights, it is hard to imagine that within it hides some of the most luxurious water resources of the country.

    Golan - Banias

    The strip of lush green in the midst of dead, dry grasses is in fact the creekside forest of the Banias creek. It is named after the Greek goat-god, Pan (Arabic does not have the letter "P" so it was replaced over the years with a "B" and stayed that way) , and the city of Panias that dwelled around its springs at the foothill of Mount Hermon (all the snow that melts penetrates the earth and comes out of these springs, and some others, into three creeks - Haztbani, Banias and Dan, which later joint forces to become the Joradn river). And inside that greenery hide sites such as this lovely waterfall:

    Pan's Waterfall
    We took two separate hikes, one to the Banias Fall (seen above) and another to the Banias Springs and the Temple of Pan. In contrast to the heat and dryness above the creek's canyon, it is hard to imagine a more befitting place for worshipping the green god Pan. You truly can feel the presence of the life force running through the creek, and even eighteen years in water-rich BC does not taint the wonder at such sight. The vegetation is spectacular, and includes side by side fig trees and Syrian maples, carobs, oaks and even ferns that grow alongside the pebbled creek and on the waterfall's rocks. There is a hanging trail there for part of the hike as well. And one more interesting point is a colony of rock hyrax that not only saw from up-close, but also smelled their dungy droppings - a mixture of civet, castoreum and maybe even a little bit of funky smell of goat droppings... you can see one of these creatures (a youngster) hiding among the carob tree's nooks and crannies, in the photo below. It looks a little bit like a squirrel because it is so blurry - but it does not have the typical long tail. Or any tail at all, for that matter.

    Carob Hyrax Colony


    Temple of Pan
    Our second hike began at the springs of the Panias and the sacred area of the Temple of Pan which in fact are the ruins of three ancient Greek temples that were the core of the city of Panias): One for Pan, which is in the cave you can see in the photo of the springs, to which goats were sent as sacrifice, to ask Pan to bless the livestocks with fertility and health. Goats that disappeared in the river were considered to be received; those who left traces of blood were signs for trouble and prayers that were not accepted. Next to it was a temple for Zeus. And on the very far right - the temple and gravesite for the dancing holy goats. I am assuming these are the ones that were received as sacrifice. There are many other sites and remains along the Banias creek, namely a Druze prophet's graveyard at the top of the cave for Pan (Nabi Khader, which is their name for the prophet Eliyahu AKA Elijah), Agripas' palace, an old flour mill (operated by the creek), a synagogue, and more. The caves below formerly had statues of Pan and other gods and goddesses.

    Temple of Pan

    I was overjoyed by the wonderful smell of fig leaves, so green, fresh and slightly milky. The true scent characteristics of any watery area in Israel. And also there were maple trees, some reaching giant proportions, with many impressive hollows and hiding places. Fig leaves and cool creek's pebbles are a classic scent combination, made entirely by nature... I wish I could bottle that!

    Traveling Tea Party at Pan's Creek
    As we walked towards the old mill and Agripas' palace, we found a cool, shady spot to brew a cup of tea. And speaking of classic combinations: I brewed lemon verbena tea, and poured the concoction into my gourd to make a truly South American mate. Lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) also originates in Argentina. We enjoyed it with some halva and ka'akat isfar which I will tell you more about at a later post. My only regret is not having more cups and not inviting the American tourists that sat next to us to catch their breath. Something to think about for party.
              My New Love        
    Wild Israeli Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus) on the rocky north coast 
    They met by the sandstone cliff overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the Lebanese border. He was there waiting for her for a while, and already found entire colonies of Coridothymus capitatus (Israeli Thyme). He held the little sprigs gently to her nose, allowing her to inhale its clean, warm, spicy, wild scent of mountains; exotic yet at the same time with the strong homecoming reassurance of za'atar in all its mundane glory.

    Under the sandstone cliff there was a half-cave, protected from the wind and from prying eyes. And there he lay a straw mat and simmered water in a portable kettle with an improvised wooden handle on his little gas burner. From his knapsack he extracted what seems like a whole apothecary - little containers of dried herbs from his garden, raw brown sugar, yerbamate.

    In they went, after he carefully examined each herb, as if communing shortly to see if it's the right leaf or twig, recalling the exact branch from which he picked them and which sunny spot in the garden they soaked up their healing powers: marjoram...wild white mint...thymbra...lemongrass... sensing which is right for this evening of almost-full-moon, and finishing off with the delicate spearmint, so it does not scorch.
    Coridothymus capitatus

    This entire brew was then poured into a fine little gourd finjan which was packed with dry mate. They sipped it from a delicate silver straw - savouring the mingled herbs and the astringent, tobacco-like mate.

    The almost-full-moon lit the top of the salty waves with white streaks of light, competing with the red dots that lit along the sea-border. Maybe that is the time when love potions are supposed to be taken. When the moon is only almost full, so there can be a rerun the next night and the next?

    Slowly their hearts opened and got closer. Or maybe it was just the poison of thymol seeping in through their veins and making them more brave than common sense would suggest. Or perhaps it was a metaphoric counter balance to the two dark silhouettes of the IDF navy boat patrolling the north frontier, approaching each other, ignoring each other, merging with one another. Blacking out.

    Whether the thymol is their poison or medicine, they're yet to find out. For now let them enjoy the salty air mingled with juicy watermelon and coridothymus' floral, warm and cleansing purifying aura that erases from the heart all such worries.


              My Little Herb Garden         
    Treasures from the mountain

    The last two weeks I've delved right into exploring the medicinal wild plants that grow around here. For a short time I had a herbalist to show and share with me some of this wealth of plant wisdom. Now that this guide is gone, I'm lead only by the pleasantly infectious inspiration. There is an overwhelming abundance that is going to provide me with a lifetime of learning (according to Floral Palestina, this land is blessed with close to 2,700 species of wild plants!). I've been hiking in the surrounding areas and conservatively collecting branches for slips and re-planting in my little herbal garden. This of course will is part of the Perfumer's Botanical Garden I'm establishing around the studio.

    I'm showing you the early beginning, although they look quite unimpressive on camera. In person they have the charm of new beginnings as well as virgin strip of land and stony terrain and distant view of the Mediterranean; I am also delighted by the gentle healing energy that emanates from the plants for those who connect to these types of being. And for those who find it more difficult to connect to plants that way - the scents that each provide speak for themselves. Even a little stroke on each plant will give off the scent and you can mix and match to create your own "finger perfume".

    Morning in the medicinal herb garden

    From the wild, I've adopted some amazing plants - both old and new to me, that grow on the mountain behind my house. So all in all, my botanical collection is rapidly growing - even beyond the original wishlist I've created. And I'm rather happy with it.

    From my slip foraging, I managed to keep alive a couple of types of germanders - Cretan germander (Teucrium creticum), which looks a lot like rosemary but smells completely different - more like olive leaf, actually, and likewise has an intensely bitter taste; and cat-thyme germander (Teucrium capitatum), which has a sweet, almost resinous fragrant silvery foliage. The latter is highly medicinal and rivals only the local wild sage (Salvia fruticosa), more of the Savory of Crete (Satureja thymbra) and a similar plant, with an almost identical flavour and fragrance that has flowers with a structure similar to Lavandula dentata, which is called Spiked Savoury (Thymbra spicata). It would be difficult to find information online in English on many of these plants because they are unique to Israel.  I've also adopted some cistus plants, although they are not the Cistus ladaniferus I am seeking but two other local species that are not as resinous, yet somewhat fragrant depending on the season. And I am crossing my fingers that two seedlings of bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) that my herbalist guide carefully uprooted from the wadi (dry creek) floor, will also survive and make it to the miniature forest I want to create behind the perfume studio. And most immortally - I am hoping that the two little twigs of Israeli Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus) that we found on the rocky North beach will grow up some roots and flourish. They are quite rare site here inland, and in fact a protected species. They have a striking look when they get mature and an intense yet slightly floral aroma that I love. It truly deserves a post of its own, with photos and all. Along with Origanum syriacum (also grown in my garden), the other varieties of thyme and savoury I mentioned before, some sumac and sesame seeds it forms the spice mixture called "Za'atar" that some of you may be familiar with from Lebanese grocery stores and Middle Eastern restaurants.

    Thymbra spicata צתרנית משובלת

    Naturally growing wild in my garden is also white horehound (Marrubium vulgare), a highly medicinal plant that grows in astounding abundance, several mastic bushes and probably more plants that I did not know were medicinal but will find out later. There are also still two plants that I found on the mountain to make slips that I haven't identified yet, so the search is not over. Lastly, I scattered seeds of blood helicrysum, a local wild plant (Helichrysum sanguinum) which I also hope will come out next winter. By that time I hope I will forget about it altogether so it will just be a pleasant surprise...

    Dam HaMakabim (Helicrysum sanguinum) coming into seed

    Lastly, to be fair and square, I promised to tell you which plants I put in from the nursery (the ones my brother brought me), so that you know if you guessed it right. They were several types of lavender (mountain Savory of Crete (Satureja thymbra), several types of lavender (Lavandula pinnate, L. dentate, L. angustifolia), one artemisia and - to my utmost excitement - two immortelles (Helicrysum italicum), often called "curry plant".

    Morning in the medicinal herb garden

    Also you should know, that among those who participated in this context, we got two worthy winners who will receive a sample kit of all my herbaceous fragrances,  are Ruby Clover and Melissa Menard. The kit includes ArbitRary for the basil, Ayalitta for the sage, Immortelle l'Amour for the immortelle of course, l'Herbe Rouge for the lemongrass, hay and lavender and Lovender - which is quite obvious. I've also included a sniff-peak of Inbar, my new, wild-oregano infused amber concoction which is not even for sale quite yet :-)

    Putting together the kits made me also realize how little attention I've been giving the herbaceous notes.




              Early Beginnings         
    Perfumer's Garden - Mountain Path

    Do not mistake my lack of posting for lack of action. It's been quite the opposite - the most action-packed few months of my life. Here is what I've accomplished - to put your minds at ease and satisfy any curiosity that might have remained among those of you who haven't given up on SmellyBlog yet:

    - Designed, planned agonized over and built a new Perfume studio, Pilates studio - and renovated my old home) while making new friends with the builders and architects involved
    - Lived in a yurt for 4 months (November through March) while I was at it - and also found myself adopting a cat of all creatures (not intentional, but seems to work out)
    - Transitioned my daughter into a Hebrew-speaking high school for another two years of education
    - Moved from the yurt to the house
    - Adopted a rescued female Doberman (that was a dream come true)
    - Taught two Perfumery Courses back to back: Fougere and Orientals (while meeting with Dan Riegler - a Canadian- Israeli from Ontario who gifted me with the most incredible incense resins imaginable - more on that in a separate post
    - Became auntie to one more niece and nephew (that was quite effortless!)
    - Continue to try and establish my perfumery studio (and Pilates studio) in the new surroundings
    - Try my best to be with my grandma, who's 93 years young and had a heart event about a month ago. Every moment with her is so pure and precious.
    - Planning and beginning to plant my Perfumer's Botanical Garden, which is truly taking much of my time and is the main reason I haven't been blogging. The photo above is from the section of it that is on the mountain and is dedicated to fragrant Mediterranean plans and medicine herbs.

    I spend very little time around the computer (after months of wifi & electricity-free yurt life and bad battery in my laptop - old habits have been broken to little shreds and I only post quick updates via my phone on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts)
    Hopefully I've gotten to the point when I'm settled down to return to regular blogging - as demanding as life has been all these months, I know deep in my heart that it does do me good to write regularly. It's not just a fragrance/perfumery blog, but also functions as a personal journal to me.
              Yurt Life         
    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today!

    While waiting for our permanent home to be renovated (which, as it turns out, takes even longer than building a new home) - we've been living semi-nomadic life for close to four months now, about three of them in a yurt.

    Life in the yurt is different. There is no way around it (pun intended). For one thing, it provides a round space, that encompasses most of life's functions in one area: cooking, eating, reading, puzzling, snuggling, cat-feeding (an extra duty we've picked up on the way to freedom - not unlike an unwanted pregnancy that you just can't get herself to terminate), office work (whenever my MacBook Air has enough power to work for me - not to mention its battered battery now needs replacement, which turns out to be a HUGE ordeal in the land of milk and honey), Pilates practice, and even occasional entertaining (when it rains even my dear family avoids it like the plague). It's not truly all in one space, because it actually has an annex to the north, with the washroom (including a shower and a compost toilet - a killer combination for dirt and cleanliness), as well as a sleeping den which has beautiful greenery all around it, as it is built from old wooden windows.

    That beauty comes with the price of this space being as cold as the outdoors in the winter. In the summer this room is actually a lifesaver, because the yurt collects way too much heat, although it is much better insulated than the sleeping den - even when its skylight is open. We don't have an oven, but were able to pull together delicious and nourishing meals from the two-flamed gas stove, and have even prepared some raw treats for our daily tea parties. To be perfectly frank - mostly, we've been lazy and buying baklava and cookies whenever we are in the vicinity of a bakery - so I am now in the know of where to get good baked goods. I'm sure this knowledge will come in handy in the not so far future, even after we're back to our productive baking life. When it comes to baking, it's always good to have a good back-up plan.

    Of course, that did not stop us from being experimental in the kitchen, trying new ingredients such as nigella seed spread and authentic freekeh, which is an amazing way of preparing green wheatberries by burning them off the wheat chaff. The result is a smoky, nutty grain that is delicious and easy to cook (and digest) and really gives unmistakable character to dishes (the one I bought in Canada was actually stale wheat dyed green). More on that in another post!

    To sum it up - living in a yurt is "an experience". Just like camping is an experience. In camping terms this is a five star facility. I'm sure with its running water and gas-operated refrigerator it is also considered a luxury in comparison to straw huts in Africa or yurts in the Mongolian steppes. You get the picture. It's an experience. And we're three months into it and can't wait to experience something else.

    To lift the edge off the nervous anticipation for proper housing, I've decided to compile a little list of fragrances (both mundane and wearable) that will let you into this experience, even if just a little... This compilation is a random array of fragrance fit for yurt life, even though I imagine most people who choose to live in this humble abode would rather dab some animal fat and cooked cabbage juice behind their ear than any designer's fragrance. Nevertheless, I find the task amusing, and I hope it will make for a fun read.

    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today! Here is a view of the inside.

    I also hope that my mom does not get hurt because apparently in our parts of the world, patience ("Savlanut") is considered a virtue (which very few uphold), and also belongs grammatical to the same root as the word suffering ("Sevel"). And in this part of the world, stating the facts is considered complaining... I'm sure those who choose to live in a yurt or even just stay in it for a short amount of time will thoroughly enjoy it - it is cute, rustic, pretty, calm and completely in tune with nature. You get to experience all the elements - fire (sun), air (wind), water (we have running water, and thankfully also very little of water leakage despite its very temporary feel); and last but not least - you can't get any closer to earth than this. It is a very, very earthy dwelling and you really feel Mother earth's belly as you tickle it with your slippers walking to and fro. Last but not least: nothing compares to coming out of the yurt at night and seeing the clear black skies dotted with bright stars.

    Muscs Kublai Khan - for the obvious body odour effect - musk-enhanced unwashed hair and sweaty armpits with hints of rose and aldehydes.

    Kiehl's Fig Leaf & Sage - milky herbacous weirdness. It's unusual yet very easy to wear and has a freshness without being boring. It also goes well with the cucumber and parsley scented products we currently have in the house - hand wash, shampoo and conditioner. Something green and clear-smelling yet non pretentious.

    Aromatics Elixir - an earthy, big sage scent that is sophisticated yet at the same time rustic enough to wear in the wilderness. Especially grateful for it on cold wintry days.

    Arabie - the spice market, sweat and dusty cobblestones - and all the spices I have in storage (and don't have in my kitchen) kvetched into one bottle. Awesome.

    Coco Noir - the opposite of yurt life: polished, elegant, artificial and urban. Jasmine, berries and plums, rose, patchouli, musk and vetiver with a a dusting of cocoa.

    Poivre Samarkand - because I heard that there are also yurts in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). Can't find any perfume inspired by Mongolia (which is where the yurts supposedly originate). Besides, it's a perfect sprinkle of heat on those chilly nights when the shower runs only boiling water or ice cold ones, and when you step out of the shower it's the same temperatures as outside (not as extreme as in Canada, but 5-11c is cold enough to feel like real winter).

    Musc Nomade (Annick Goutal) - I'm picking this one because of the name alone. I remember smelling it very vaguely and that is was vegetal and delicate... Admittedly I'm also too lazy to go digging in my shipping container now and find the little box where I "filed" all my music samples but I'm pretty sure I've only tried it once when I was in Paris.

    Tam Dao - if you've ever encountered compost toilet, you know that it's the human equivalent of hamster cage. pine or cedar shavings are used to cover up the mess, and the result is a more subdued version of human waste, that eventually turns into a nice scent of the forest floor. Anyway, this explanation made me think of Tam Dao, which is a fine sandalwood and cedar fragrance and also has some clean smelling musks underneath, to make you forget all the other business.

    Tea for Two - We've been enjoying my limited selection of teas that I make a point of finishing off. True to form, we've been brewing lots of chai, which I've been already giving you plenty of recipes for... And of course Hulnejan - the wonderful root brew of galangal, dried ginger and cassia bark.
    Zangvil also reminds me of this "witch brew" with its notes of fresh and dried ginger, honey, amber, jasmine and ginger lily.

    Finjan - we've been drinking lots of espresso on the stove top mocha machine, and lots of Arabic/Druze/Turkish coffee (each nationality claims it as their own - but essentially this is very dark roasted coffee with cardamom that is brewed on the stove). The latter is well represented in the perfuem I created titled Finjan (the name of the little porcelain "shot" cups that you sip the coffee from; mistakenly, most Israelis refer to the little pot used to brew it as "finjan" - but its real name is "Ralai").

    Mastic - Whenever it rains or gets really chilly, the mastica bushes and wild ivy behind the yurt release their fresh, green-balsamic scent. Grin's smell encompasses this verdant freshness with its notes of galbanum, violet, oakmoss and a classic floral bouquet.

    Geranium and Wild Oranges - My citrus orchard was overcome by wild orange shoots, and I've really let it go. We finally pruned the orchard this fall, which mean an overwhelming amount of wild oranges that had to be put into use somehow. The result? An orange cello with a touch of herbs from the yurt's garden, among them rose geranium. One sip of this liquor is enough to uplift the spirits.





              Location, location, location...         
    Medieval Citadel
    view from one of the trails within the village, overlooking the medieval fort in the nearby kibbutz Yehiam (it's about an hour hike from the studio)
    As of Spring 2017, our courses will take place at Ayala Moriel's new studio in Clil, Israel. This charming little organic village is situated in one of the country's most fascinating regions, the Western Galilee, and is overlooking the Mediterranean sea (gorgeous beaches are only 20min drive), Haifa Bay and Mount Carmel. Clil provides a unique experience for students who choose to stay here* - I'd describe it as a 180 from Vancouver, for better or for worse. Here are a few details so you can get the picture (and photos from different seasons too!).
    This off-the-grid village is solar-powered and has small population of under 1000 people, who live in custom-built homes and semi-temporary dwellings (yurts, teepees, modified train cars and shipping containers, etc.) that are scattered among ancient olive groves and wild bush and Mediterranean garrigue (comprising of carobs, oaks, pistachia and thorny bushes). Despite its size, the village is a community bustling with life and culture: our neighbours are the village's cafe (inside a tent) that is opened Thursday-Saturday and hosts live concerts, and there. A large percentage of the population are alternative healers (we're just across the "street" from an integrated holistic clinic offering massage, acupuncture, ayurvedic treatments, and more) as well as creative artists, who have their ateliers in the village - and some would also be happy to show you around - painters, sculptors, potters, glass artists, silversmiths and goldsmiths, basket weavers, etc. 
    Dusty pastoralia #clil
    Clil in summer: View of the village from the mountain behind my house.
    Amenities:ʉ۬
    There is a bakery that is opened twice a week (Sunday and Thursday) and offers Pizza Nights on Tuesdays. On all other days, fresh sourdough breads by other artisanal bakeries can be pre-ordered by phone, or purchased at the local Organic Garden (which tops off their own produce with other fruit and vegetables and organic goodies produced in the village and by nearby artisans). Also less relevant but sometimes handy are the village's book exchange and clothing exchange, which is open 24/7 and is completely free (take what you want and leave what you no longer use - it can come handy if you forgot to bring a hoodie or a book to read). There are three restaurants in the village - Smadar b'Clil, Cafe Clil and Chef Hagit Lidror's Vegan & Vegetarian kitchen (she will be providing most to the catering to our courses, by the way) - which also makes healthy smoothies and mouthwatering raw chocolate treats (she also teaches raw chocolate making workshops!).
    Made in Clil
    The "shop local" sign, where you can find various things made in the village. It's located right next to Cafe Clil (which is our next-door neighbours to the east)
    Accommodations within the village include one boutique hotel, one guest house (India-style "hostel" on the second level of one of our neighbours) and countless cute cabins for short-term rent - some also offering breakfast as part of the service. Sublets among the village's inhabitants are often listed and could be arranged if booked enough in advance, and also near Cafe Clil there is a small campsite for those who enjoy a fully rustic experience, as well as Meshiv Nefesh - the centre for meditation, which also has plenty of camping space around it for individuals and groups. If you choose to stay outside of the village - we are only 20-30min drive (depending on traffic) from lovely towns that offer also many wonderful attractions to visitors - i.e. Acre and Nahariya. 
    In short - there are plenty of places to explore and people to meet in Clil, so I'm sure you will enjoy your visit and find things to do and discover outside of the classroom. 
    Olives and Donkeys
    Ancient olive grove in winter, at the centre of the village. Near it there is now an organic garden and grocery store
    Attractions:
    You can enjoy the many hiking trails in the village all on your own (including one in Wadi Yehiam leading to the medieval citadel in Kibbutz Yehiam) - or hire the local tour guide who knows the place from the day he was born (happens to also be my brother!). There are also trail rides on horses. Thursday evenings there is a little market in the village's playground, weather permitting. And watch out for the live music at the cafe - where you can listen to up and coming artists and even already famous ones, in a very intimate setting (and the artists is usually kept as a surprise till the last minute, to prevent over crowding of the venue). The beaches nearby (only 20 minutes drive) also offer year-around conditions for swimming, surfing, SUP, and sea kayaking.
    Clil is not only a place where people live differently, but also offers an alternative culture for visitors who seek to take a break from the fast-paced modern lifestyle. It's no ordinary rural place - it is bustling with music, culinary innovations, art, healing and meditations workshops and alternative medicine gatherings, and a place where one can engage and interact with artists and artisans that live here. In short - it seemed like the perfect place to return to and continue my artisan perfumery work - and create a sanctuary for this art.
    * You don't have to stay within the village - there are also plenty of interesting places around to stay in, such as Akre and Nahariya - but keep in mind that in that case vehicle is a must as public transit in and out of the village only comes twice a day, very early and very late. 


              Coco Noir        
    Coco Noir

    Sometimes we get attached to perfumes because they speak to us. Other times, it is pure coincidence that creates an imprint on our minds and adds meaning to the scent that we would have otherwise not found in it.

    These past few months I've been wearing copious amounts of Coco Noir. I've received the parfum extrait from a friend as a goodbye gift, and somehow it did not seem right to stuff it on the shipping container. Probably because I was too curious about it. At the same time I was too scared to open it, because starting a new perfume at a time of great change can create too strong of an impression - and I knew that there are many challenges ahead of me. I definitely did not want to open it at the time of our departure - I was an emotional mess, after three months of intensive packing and very little sleep... So I waited for a while for the dust of traveling to settle, and opened it about a week or two after arriving in Israel. It was a time of terrible weather (weeks and weeks on end of dry desert wind and over-the-top temperatures) not to mention - great emotional turmoil and immigrant adventures - and we are still in the midst of it, but I have enough levelheadedness now to reflect a bit, as things are finally starting to fall into place: my daughter will start school on Sunday, our home renovations are about halfway through, and my mental state allows me to pass entire days without crying (but still happens about once a week, because I end up hitting a brick wall of some sort at least in that frequency).

    Coco Noir is a modern "dark" concoction, which means that instead of oily aldehydes and animalic base, it has clean florally laced with white musks and underlying notes of vetiver and patchouli. It isn't exactly a fruitchouli, but it borders on that territory, with a clean ambreine accord (not unlike Prada Ambre Intense Pour Homme) - which means it has vanillin, patchouli and bergamot galore in it. However, there is also a spicy cacao accord (or perhaps it's just an illusion of that - created by the spicy cloves notes alongside the benzoin, vanillin and coumarin) which is quite prominent, which reminds me of Notorious - only that it continues much better in my opinion (it does not have as much musk, which in Notorious gives me a piercing feeling through my nostrils). It gradually softens and develops around the heart of jasmine and rose, and leads smoothly to the end: Dryout is a mellow, powdery confection, with hints of heliotrope (not unlike La Petite Robe Noire - but with non of the saccharine qualities of the latter).

    Coco Noir is more accessible, in my opinion, than Coco is. I love the original, even though I do not own it. It has a big persona and feels over-the-top for daily wear. I would only imagine wearing it when I'm all dressed up for a very sepcial event in the middle of winter. Instead, it provides with a very modern comfort in my overtly rustic living arrangement (which is only temporary, sort of...). It's a scent that inevitably will conjure up scent memories from this time of re-settling in my home village: having this sleek, elegant, opaque black glass square bottle around reminds me of my urban side and that I'm not going to be forever wading in mud to and from the yurt, and struggling with every little aspect of life. There is still place for elegance and luxury in my life even in this off the grid spot in between two major life periods.

    Another great reminder of this truth: whenever I stick my nose inside my shipping container, which smells still like my very fragrant home studio in Vancouver. My friend chose this fragrance because it reminded him of how my perfume smelled. I think I now get what he's talking about: it's very much like this "smell of everything, all at once" that you get from my workspace: dried coumarinic herbs (liatrix, tonka), vetiver roots, patchouli, countless flowers, herb oils and spices... All mingled with woodsy oils and the scent of antique furniture.

    I'm grateful for having this point of view portrayed to me via a bottle of fragrance chosen for me.

    Top notes: Cedarwood, Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit
    Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine, Narcissus, Geranium, Peach, Carnation, Cloves
    Base notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Frankincense, Musk, Vanilla, Heliotropin, Tonka
              MyHeritage Acquires Millennia Corp. and its Legacy Family Tree Software        
    Israel-based genealogy website MyHeritage announced late yesterday that it has purchased Millennia Corp., developer of Legacy Family Tree software and the Legacy webinars program.

    "The acquisition will introduce MyHeritage users to Legacy’s valuable genealogical webinars, and will also provide Legacy’s hundreds of thousands of users with improved resources and access to new services," say spokespeople Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage and Geoff Rasmussen of Millennia in a joint email.

    Here's what this means for you:

    Legacy Family Tree Software
    Legacy Family Tree software will continue to be offered. The next version (10), now underway, will feature optional syncing with family trees on the MyHeritage website and with the MyHeritage mobile app.

    Legacy Family Tree already syncs with the FamilySearch unified Family Tree, but it's currently the only one of the top genealogy programs that doesn't sync with a website that allows members to keep their own, limited-access family trees. Competitors Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic software both sync with Ancestry.com member trees in addition to the FamilySearch tree. 

    Family Tree Builder Software
    MyHeritage has its own software, a free program called Family Tree Builder that syncs with MyHeritage online trees and with the MyHeritage app. Horowitz told me that Family Tree Builder also will continue to be offered, but I wouldn't be surprised if MyHeritage eventually streamlines its software offerings.

    Webinars and Discounts
    Legacy Family Tree customers will receive discounts on MyHeritage services and DNA kits, and MyHeritage will keep offering Legacy Family Tree webinars. All Millennia employees will be retained as employees of MyHeritage.

    See more details on the MyHeritage blog and Millennia's Legacy News blog.


              Coup de cœur Cinéma: My Old Lady        
    Réalisé par Israel Horovitz Avec Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas Au cinéma le 06 mai 2015 Mathias, la cinquantaine, new-yorkais, divorcé et sans ressources, débarque à Paris [...]
              Jerusalem family gets temporary reprieve from eviction        
    Charlotte Silver 11 February 2016

    Israeli court stays eviction of Sub Laban family from house they’ve lived in since 1953


              Jerusalem children squeezed out of school by Israeli discrimination        
    Charlotte Silver 3 January 2016

    Shortage of classrooms has dire effect on tens of thousands of Palestinian students in the occupied city.


              No, BBC, Jerusalem is not "Israel's capital"        
    Amena Saleem 17 December 2015

    Broadcaster’s reporting doesn’t align with reality in the occupied city.


              Has Israeli college in East Jerusalem deceived its EU donors?         
    David Cronin 25 August 2015

    Hebrew University of Jerusalem may have given misleading information when applying for EU grants. 


              Pressure grows on US firm selling homes in Israel's settlements        
    Charlotte Silver 9 March 2015

    RE/MAX International tries to dodge its role in selling homes on occupied Palestinian land. 


              Candid video reveals NYT bureau chief Jodi Rudoren's Zionist bubble        
    Max Blumenthal 2 August 2014

    In private meeting shown on video, Rudoren calls Abe Foxman, head of pro-Israel ADL, “my personal defamation protector.”


              Judge to decide if BBC's misreporting on Jerusalem is propaganda or journalism        
    Amena Saleem 1 July 2014

    BBC journalists continue to refer to the whole of Jerusalem as “Israeli.”


              Why does the BBC hide the truth about Jerusalem?        
    Amena Saleem 8 April 2014

    Senior BBC executives and the BBC Trust seem to have accepted Israel’s illegal creation of facts on the ground in Jerusalem.


              Senior BBC official insists that all of Jerusalem is an “Israeli” city        
    Amena Saleem 17 May 2013

    From its refusal to acknowledge international law to the withholding of facts from its audiences, the BBC’s reporting wholly favors the Israeli agenda.


              Palestinians silently transferred from East Jerusalem        
    Jillian Kestler-D'Amours 19 April 2011

    The Israeli government has been increasingly revoking Jerusalem residency IDs and using tax collection as a means of forcing Palestinians out of the city. Jillian Kestler-D’Amours reports.


              DO ÁPICE AO FUNDO DO POÇO EM APENAS UMA TEMPORADA        

    Flu (1) pode se juntar ao Milan (2) como campeão num ano e rebaixado no outro




    O tradicional Fluminense pode entrar num rol nada agradável neste domingo na última rodada do Brasileiro. O tricolor das Laranjeiras pode se tornar o 60º clube da história do futebol a ser rebaixado para a segunda divisão nacional apenas uma temporada após ter sido campeão. 

    Dentre os atuais 59 constam times da grandeza de LDU/EQU, Universidad Católica/CHL, Manchester City/ING, Olympique de Marselha/FRA e Milan/ITA. Entretanto, esses dois últimos caíram por motivos extracampo. 

    A equipe inglesa caiu após ser campeão de uma forma curiosa na temporada (1937/38): com saldo positivo de gols, marcando 80 vezes - mais até que o então campeão Arsenal. Entretanto o número de derrotas culminou com a ida à segundona.

    Já Olympique (1994) e Milan (1980) foram campeões na temporada anterior e rebaixados na seguinte  em suas respectivas ligas devido a escândalos de manipulação de resultados, que custou até a participação dos franceses da decisão do Mundial Interclubes de 1993.

    A Juventus de Turim chegou a ser campeã italiana em 2004/2005 e  na temporada seguinte disputar a Serie B. Contudo, o título da Vecchia Signora foi retirado pela Federação Italiana.

    A Noruega e a Suécia são os países em que mais esse tipo de situação aconteceu: 4 vezes. Curiosamente a Finlândia e a Dinamarca aparecem logo a seguir com 3 ao lado de mais alguns outros pelo planeta, fazendo até parece que tal situação estranha é uma especialidade nórdica.

    Editado (às 21h10 do dia 08/12/2013): O Fluminense tornou-se o 60º clube a ser rebaixado uma temporada depois de ter sido campeão nacional após a última rodada do Campeonato Brasileiro neste domingo.

    Abaixo, a lista dos 60 times que foram do céu ao inferno no intervalo de apenas uma temporada. Entre parênteses, na ordem, os anos em que foram campeões e rebaixados logo a seguir. 


    * Alemanha

    - 1.FC Nürnberg (1968 - 1969)


    * Argélia

    - Entente Sportive de Sétif (1987 - 1988)
    - USM El Harrach (1998 - 1999)


    * Andorra

    - Constel-lació Esportiva (2000 - 2000)
    Obs.: Rebaixado na mesma temporada por envolvimento em irregularidades financeiras.


    * Aruba

    - San Luis Deportivo (1984 - 1985)


    * Áustria

    - FC Tirol Innsbruck (2002 - 2002)
    Obs.: Rebaixado pela federação por não ter suas contas aprovadas.


    * Brasil

    - Fluminense (2012 - 2013)


    * Bolívia

    - Universitario de La Paz (1969 - 1970)
    - Jorge Wilstermann (Apertura 2010 - Clausura 2010)


    * Camarões

    - Aigle Nkongsamba (1994 - 1995)


    * Chile

    - Universidad Católica (1954 - 1955)


    * Costa Rica

    - El Carmen FC (1961 - 1961)
    Obs.: Rebaixado na mesma temporada após conflitos com outros clubes e a federação, que formularam a disputa de um "playoff" após o campeonato nacional e que terminou com o atual campeão ficando na última colocação.


    * Dinamarca

    - KB (1950 - 1951)
    - Hvidovre (1973 - 1974)
    - Herfølge BK (2000 - 2001)


    * Equador

    - LDU (1999 - 2000)


    * Finlândia

    - Ilves-Kissat (1950 - 1951)
    - TPV (1994 - 1995)
    - Haka Valkeakoski (1995 - 1996)


    * França

    - Olympique Marseille (1993 - 1994)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após escândalos de manipulação de resultados.


    * Guiné

    - AS Kaloum Star (2007 - 2008)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após dois WO's no campeonato por problemas contratuais com patrocinadores.


    * Guiné-Bissau

    - UDIB (2003 - 2004)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após WO's nas duas primeiras rodadas da temporada
    - Atlético Bissorã (2011 - 2013)
    Obs.: Não houve competição em 2012.


    * Holanda

    - RC Heemstede (1953 - 1954)


    * Ilhas Faroe

    - B71 (1989 - 1990)


    * Indonésia

    - PSIS (1999 - 2000)
    - Petrokimia Putra (2002 -2003)
    - Persebaya (2004 - 2005)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após se recusar a disputar a última partida do playoff em 2005.


    * Inglaterra

    - Manchester City (1937 - 1938)


    * Irlanda

    - Shelbourne (2006 - 2006)
    Obs.: Rebaixado pela federação por não ter as contas aprovadas.


    * Israel

    - Hapoel Kfar-Saba (1982 - 1983)
    - Hapoel Tel-Aviv (1988 - 1989)


    * Itália

    - Milan (1979 - 1980)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após escândalos de manipulação de resultados.


    * Jamaica

    - Violet Kickers (1996 - 1997)


    * Luxemburgo

    - Union Luxembourg (1927 - 1928)


    * Macau

    - Monte Carlo (2008 - 2009)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após divergências com a federação e com o Macau FC.


    * Malta

    - Rabat Ajax (1986 - 1987)


    * México

    - Marte (1954 - 1955)


    * Nigéria

    - Stationery Stores (1992 - 1993)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após vários WO's nos jogos fora de casa.
    - Shooting Stars (1998 - 1999)
    - Bayelsa United (2009 - 2010)


    * Noruega

    - Freidig (1948 - 1949)
    - Fram (1950 -1951)
    - SK Brann (1963 - 1964)
    - Lyn (1968 - 1969)


    * País de Gales

    - Barry Town (2003 - 2004)
    - Rhyl (2009 - 2010)
    Obs.: Rebaixado após não conseguir a licença para a disputa da nova liga criada.


    * Polônia

    - Ogniwo Bytom (1954 - 1955)
    Obs: Rebaixado após fundir-se com o Szombierki Bytom e mudar seu nome para Polonia Bytom.


    * República do Congo

    - Saint Michel de Ouenzé (2010 - 2011)


    * República Dominicana

    - Deportivo Pantoja (2001 - 2002)
    - Baninter/Jarabacoa (2003 - 2005)
    Obs.: Não houve competição em 2004.


    * Rússia (então União Soviética)

    - CDSA Moscou (1951 - 1952)
    Obs.: Rebaixado pela federação após a pífia participação soviéticas nas Olimpíadas de 1952, no qual o time era a base da seleção de futebol.


    * Santa Lúcia

    - Roots Alley Ballers (2009 - 2010)


    * San Marino

    - La Fiorita (1990 - 1991)


    * Suécia

    - Helsingborgs IF (1934 - 1935)
    - GAIS (1954 - 1955)
    - Djurgårdens IF (1959 - 1960)
    - IFK Göteborg (1969 - 1970)


    * Uzbequistão

    - MHSK Tashkent (1997 - 1998)


    * Vietnã

    - Cang Saigon (2002 - 2003)





    Foto 1: André Durão - Globoesporte.com
    Foto 2: Autor desconhecido

              Moldovan local public authorities' representatives invited to MUNI EXPO 2018, MUNI WORLD 2018        

    Two meetings of the representatives of the municipalities MUNI EXPO 2018 and MUNI WORLD 2018 will take place in Tel-Aviv, Israel, on 13 – 15 February 2018, the government’s communication and protocol department has reported.

     

    The events will provide municipal leaders with opportunity to interact with business and service providers, familiarizing themselves with innovative products, solutions and services in various fields such as infrastructure, environment, construction, engineering, information technology, education, social, culture etc.

     

    The sessions will take place under of the Israeli Federation of Local Public Administration’s (FLAI) patronage, with participation of municipal delegations from different countries, including the Republic of Moldova. The travel expenses are to be provided by the participants.

     

    The representatives of the local public administration in Moldova who wish to participate in those events are asked to send a message including the name, surname, function, contact details to e-mail addresses: victoria.cujba@gov.md  or grigore.butucea@mfa.md within 20 days.

     

    More details about events can be found at: http://www.muniexpo.co.il.


              ReprezentanÅ£ii administraÅ£iei publice locale din Republica Moldova – invitaÅ£i la MUNI EXPO 2018 şi MUNI WORLD 2018        

    În perioada 13-15 februarie 2018, în orașul Tel-Aviv, Israel, vor avea loc două reuniuni a reprezentanților municipalităților  MUNI EXPO 2018 și MUNI WORLD 2018.

     

    Evenimentele vor oferi liderilor municipali posibilitatea de a interacţiona cu mediul de afaceri şi prestatorii de servicii, familiarizându-se cu  produse, soluții și servicii inovatoare în diverse domenii precum infrastructura, mediul, construcţiile, ingineria, tehnologii informaţionale, educaţie, social, cultură ş. a.

     

    Reuniunile se vor desfășura sub patronajul Federației israeliene a administrației publice locale (FLAI), cu participarea delegațiilor municipale din diferite țări, inclusiv din Republica Moldova. Cheltuielile pentru deplasare urmează a fi asigurate de către participanți.

     

    Reprezentanţii administrației publice locale din Republica Moldova care doresc să participe la aceste evenimente sunt rugaţi să expedieze un mesaj care să includă numele, prenumele, funcția, date de contact la adresele electronice: victoria.cujba@gov.md și grigore.butucea@mfa.md), în termen de 20 de zile.

     

    Mai multe detalii despre evenimente pot fi accesate la: http://www.muniexpo.co.il.


              Comment on Guestbook by Petros Tenezakis        
    My journey to Shatila Refugee Camp began many years ago. At the time I was working in Balatah Refugee Camp of Nablus in the Israeli-Occupied northern West Bank. A refugee camp that suffered greatly due to the massive reooccupation of the West Bank. As the Jenin massacre occured during Operation Defensive Shield, Israeli forces cracked down on Nablus city and its adjacent refugee camps, Askar, Balatah and al-Ain. Parts of the attrocities, that can only be described as a massacre went unseen due to massive focus on Jenin and other areas of the West Bank. And as the tanks, helicopters, APC:s and F-16 attacked the city, only a few of us were preset to document the onslaught. As I arrived in the emd of the onslaught, Balatah Refugee Camp was target for daily attacks. There amid the smell of blood, the dust and the debris I was constantly thinking about what happened in Shatila and Sabra. I promissed myself to visit the camps in Lebanon as well. In 2005 I was arrested by Israeli authorities and denied access to Palestine for the upcoming 1o years, due to my involvement in peacefull activities against the occupation and solidarity with the Palesinian people. By then I had witnessed more violations, killings and injuries than most people in our priviliged western world has witnessed during a lifetime, including myself injured in the chest during an invasion of the old city of Nablus. As I was held in a tiny cell, humiliated and threatened daily I still felt privileged. I could at leave. Since my denial of entry came into effect I planned to visit as many palestinians as possible with a hope to visit Shatila and its residents. That dream finally came true last year. As a photographer I travelled directly to SHatila Refugee Camp. I was welcomed by Mr Abu Moujahed, and his wonderful staff at the CYC, Palestinian Centre for Children and Youth that runs a centre for the youth in Shatila and Nahr-el-Bared Camps. My home for bacame their guest house. A great oppurtunity for internationals to experience the camp and interat with its citizens. I quickly forgot the camera, most times I just interacted with the camp residents. I set up meetings with the Baker, Pharmacist, nurses, political representatives, survivors of the massacre, and enjoyed the time spent with the youth. Sadly I had to leave, 3 weeks passed quickly. I am sure that I will return. Palestine and all Palestinians, world citizens and friend will allways prompt me to work and fight for freedoom. A freedoom that has been denied for decades. I warmly recommend evryone to visit Shatila and stay the night at the CYC guesthouse. And undoubtebly upon departure I am sure your tears will fall, just as mine did. Dear Mahmoud Abbas Abu Moujahed, Manar, Sabah, Marwa and all the staff at CYC, all the children and youth, internationals and camp citizens. I am with you at all times, and our reunification is not a matter of If, its a matter of When. With love and hugs from Sweden.Your friend, Petros Tenezakis
              Is the Negative Voice the Evil Inclination?        
    negative III was listening to one of my favourite podcasts today - Jonathan Roche's No Excuses Weight Loss on Blog Talk Radio. It isn't really about weight loss, although that may well be a welcome side effect of listening to Jonathan in the long term. It's really about the Lizard Brain, the Imposter Police, or what Jonathan calls the Negative Voice. Jonathan encourages listeners to exercise, eat well, but most importantly, to learn to silence that voice that tells them that they aren't worthy of all those loving efforts.

    So why am I blogging about this now? I've been listening to Jonathan for years. I enjoy his direct approach, his gentle humour, and his uncanny ability to put his finger on the real issues his callers are struggling with. But today he spoke with a long-time listener from Israel, a guy named Steve. That was interesting enough in itself as the overwhelming majority of Jonathan's callers are female, although Jonathan handles male callers with the same ease and aplomb, with no hint of awkwardness. Steve has been dealing with some major health issues, but he's been doing well recently - swimming, walking and becoming more fit. That's all good, but then Steve said something I found quite fascinating. Jonathan commented on his positive attitude in the face of his health challenges, and Steve said that the Negative Voice was "what we call in Hebrew the yetzer ha'ra  - the Evil Inclination."

    According to Jewish tradition, children are born with the Evil Inclination, but start to develop the Good Inclination (the yetzer hatov) after they become Bar or Bat Mitzvah (13 or 12 years of age for boys and girls, respectively). The Good Inclination's job is to control the Evil Inclination, to make a child who is only interested in pleasure into a responsible adult who is an asset to the community. It is a long struggle.

    But the rabbis did not see the Evil Inclination as a demon to be exorcised - it is considered the source of many good things in life. If the Evil Inclination were banished, there would be no marriage or procreation, no one would bother to work or invent anything, ambition would be gone. The Evil Inclination drives people to desire.

    How can this powerful force for creation be the Negative Voice or the Lizard Brain? The Evil Inclination is not fearful. It doesn't call us names - on the contrary, it flatters us into action we may regret. Maybe it convinces us to eat cake we don't need, but I imagine that the desire to increase health and energy comes from the same source. The Good Inclination doesn't lead to the kind of fierce joy we get from being strong. If anything, it is more likely to put us in our place - maybe the Negative Voice is more related to the Good Inclination? How confusing.

    It seems that the traditional Jewish concepts of Evil and Good Inclinations don't map easily onto the idea of a Negative Voice or Lizard Brain or Resistance that is trying to keep everything status quo, keep your head down and don't rock the boat. If anything, that much-lauded Good Inclination would play the bad guy role, as it takes the Evil Inclination's wild energy and bops it on the head and pushes it into socially acceptable directions. Yet, anyone who does not learn how to function in society, at least minimally, is going to be seriously distracted from their creativity and art by the difficulties of everyday life. Wheels within wheels and layers within layers!
     
    This has turned out to be a somewhat abstruse blog post, but I really love combining different parts of my life in this way. I hope you like thinking about these things, too.





              Just Eat Real Food        
    This is a picture of my JERF shirt. I've worn it a few times, but I'm still too vain to post pictures of myself in a tank top. One of these days, maybe.

    One of my favourite podcasters these days is Sean Croxton at Underground Wellness. He makes YouTube videos, has a podcast and a blog and a book and everything people need to have nowadays to make an impact. He's a reformed personal trainer who has gone from the "Eat Less, Move More" mantra of the low-fat paradigm to a holistic, paleo-type version of reality. He has hosted the Paleo Summit and the Real Food Summit, and the latter has become his latest passion. Since that is a passion I share, I'd love to talk about it some more.

    When I was growing up in Israel, there were fast food restaurants, and I believe we may have patronised them from time to time. There were definitely real and good restaurants, and I have fond memories of going there, especially a Yemenite restaurant in Tel Aviv called Zion, which absolutely had the best hummus I have ever eaten anywhere, any time.

    But most of the time, we ate at home. We shopped at the local grocery store and there was a "yarkan", a greengrocer, who came by once or twice a week to sell fresh produce from the surrounding farms. Later, when I was older, we went to the supermarket in the nearby town. Now the little local grocery store in the village is closed up and I don't know what happened to the "yarkan", but my family members who live in Israel still mostly buy and prepare real food. I should add that these are people who work full-time, so they are just as pressed for time as anybody else. They just care about what they put in their mouths. I remember my mother being creative with leftovers - Friday night's chicken usually ended up in chicken fried rice by Wednesday or so.

    The same was true when I was a student in Amsterdam in the eighties. We ate out, but it was real food cooked in a restaurant kitchen. We mostly cooked at home and invited each other over for dinner. Real food was our life. If we had no money, we bought cheap food, but it was still food. Cooking for your friends was the ultimate expression of love for them.

    I'm not sure when and how those concepts got lost in North America. Somehow it seems to be elitist to be interested in the provenance of your food, and you are expected to pay extra for the privilege of eating food that isn't drenched in Roundup. How did this happen, and why?

    I know the story of the munitions factories that needed to be converted into fertiliser producers after the war, and of women who were sold the myth that they were much too busy to cook for their families. I remember TV dinners - we lived in the US for a few years in the sixties and seventies, and I think my mother bought a few out of curiosity. They certainly weren't a staple - ugh! I remember making my mother buy horrible cotton-like bread because I wanted the Bicentennial stickers (anybody remember those?). And yet that food was probably more nutritious than what we are feeding our children today - and there were no giant sodas.

    I have busy children who sometimes have activities that keep them away from home at dinnertime. I hate those weeks - the dinner table is such an important place to reconnect at the end of the day. My wallet, their nutrition and our relationship all suffer when they are away from our dinner table too many nights a week. We are all sugar addicts but we are working diligently on taking better care of ourselves, and that means real food as much as possible. Fruit, nuts and cheese will make you feel so much better than granola bars or cookies.

    Real food not only nourishes our bodies, it connects our souls and helps us feel rooted to our families and our land. What are you doing to feed yourself and those you love real food?


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              Con buenas prácticas agrícolas se cubre seguridad alimentaria        
    Sagarpa tiene cooperación de Israel, cuya innovación en el sector le permite producir 95 % de sus alimentos
              Â¿Se leen los conflictos de manera distinta con el paso del tiempo?        
    ¿Se leen los conflictos de manera distinta con el paso del tiempo?

    Por Sara Plaza

    No deja de ser curioso observar cómo han ido evolucionando las distintas lecturas de los conflictos –tanto de los que ya terminaron, como de los que perduran– a lo largo del tiempo. A veces, ni siquiera tienen que pasar siglos pues bastan unos pocos años para hablar de modo distinto de un mismo problema que, indudablemente, con el paso del tiempo habrá sufrido numerosos cambios para permanecer sin solución o terminar resolviéndose.

    Se acaban de cumplir 60 años desde la creación del Nuevo Estado de Israel en una región cuyos límites y nombres han variado a lo largo de la historia.

    Hagamos un poco de memoria y repasemos un pedacito de la que enmarca esa zona.

    Los primeros restos humanos datan de hace 500.000 años. Doce milenios a.C. la cultura Natufiense elaboraba herramientas de madera, piedra y hueso, y las primeras comunidades agrícolas se asentaron en aquellos territorios entre el 10.000 y el 5.000 a.C. Nuevos grupos migratorios que utilizaban el cobre llegaron de una cultura originaria de Siria, y entre el 3.000 y el 2.200 a.C. fueron creadas las primeras ciudades–estado cananeas independientes. Las civilizaciones de Egipto, Mesopotamia, Siria y Fenicia tuvieron gran influencia en Canaán a través de las relaciones comerciales y diplomáticas que establecieron entre sí, y en 1190 a.C. arribarán los filisteos, quienes se mezclarán con las poblaciones locales e introducirán el uso del hierro y del carro tirado por caballos.

    Se estima –aunque algunos historiadores cuestionan incluso su autenticidad– que entre 2.000 y 1.000 años a.C., Abraham marchó desde la antigua ciudad de Ur (antigua Mesopotamia) hasta Harán (actual Turquía), y que una vez allí se apartó de su tribu y dejó de lado la idolatría para encaminarse, junto a su familia y rebaños, hacia Canaán y fundar –por mandato celestial– un pueblo monoteísta. Los cananeos denominaron a Abrahán, Ibri y quienes le acompañaban serían conocidos como ibrim ("del otro lado"), palabra que dio origen al término "hebreo". Se cuenta que Isaac, el hijo de Abraham, se trasladó todavía más al sur de esa "Tierra Prometida", hasta el desierto de Néguev y que el menor de sus hijos, Jacob, después de engañar al mayor, Esaú, huyó a Mesopotamia, donde pasó a llamarse Israel ("El que disputó con Dios"). También se dice que Israel tuvo 12 hijos y que su favorito fue José. Él fue el primero de los hermanos en marchar a Egipto. Años más tarde, el hambre en Canaán obligaría a los demás y a su padre a seguir sus pasos. Con la llegada al poder de Ramsés II los judíos fueron esclavizados y no sería hasta la aparición de Moisés –al parecer llamado también por Dios para refrendar el acuerdo celebrado con Abraham y guiar a los israelitas a la tierra prometida–, y el azote de aquellas famosas siete plagas cuando el faraón permitió salir a los esclavos de Egipto. Durante 40 años estuvo Moisés en el desierto, al cabo de los cuales regresó a Canaán. El testigo pasará entonces a su discípulo, Josué, quien recorrerá el Jordán y tomará Jericó, para conquistar después toda Canaán y repartirla entre las 12 tribus de Israel.

    Durante los primeros siglos en Canaán, los israelitas fueron gobernados por una sucesión de "jueces". De ellos, quizás el más famoso fuese Sansón, traicionado por la filistea Dalila. El primer rey judío fue un guerrero campesino, Saúl, a quien sucedería en el trono su yerno David, vencedor en la lucha frente al gigante filisteo Goliat. Con el tiempo David conquistó una pequeña población en la colina de Salim y la convirtió en Jerusalén. Bajo la dirección de su hijo, Salomón, estos pueblos alcanzaron su máximo esplendor, pero a su muerte las discordias internas desgarraron el territorio en dos nuevos reinos: Israel al norte y Judá al sur (de ahí vendrá la palabra "judío"). Estos reinos coexistieron junto a otros, entre ellos varias ciudades–estado filisteas.
    Las tribus del norte fueron vencidas por los asirios 200 años más tarde y pasaron a ser conocidas como las "Diez Tribus Perdidas". En el 587 a.C. Nabucodonosor capturó Jerusalén y los judíos, junto al resto de los sobrevivientes, fueron llevados cautivos a Babilonia. Solamente se les permitió volver cuando Ciro, el rey persa, conquistó Babilonia en el 538 a.C. El Imperio Persa caerá ante las tropas griegas de Alejandro Magno y a los judíos de Judá se les limitará su autonomía religiosa y administrativa. Fascinados por la cultura griega algunos judíos reformistas se enfrentaron a los más ortodoxos y esta división interna, que terminaría en guerra civil, posibilitó la invasión del sirio Antíoco IV Epifanes. Los sirios serán expulsados de Jerusalén por Judas Macabeo en el 167 a.C. y los judíos volverán a progresar bajo los macabeos por un corto espacio de tiempo. En el 63 a.C. aparecen los romanos y llamarán Judea a Judá, convirtiéndola en colonia y nombrando, años después, a Herodes el Grande como "rey de los judíos". Judea se rebelará contra el Imperio Romano en el 66 d.C. y el territorio será asolado por las legiones de Vespasiano y Jerusalén tomada por su hijo Tito en el año 70. Los judíos se diseminarán y Judea junto con Galilea, Samaria e Idumea serán conocidas a partir de entonces como una nueva provincia romana denominada Siria Palestina en honor a los filisteos.

    En los siguientes siglos esta zona sufrirá otras muchas ocupaciones. Entre ellas las de los árabes allá por el 636, de los cruzados en 1099, de los tártaros en 1244 y de los turcos en 1517. Para ser nuevamente ocupada en el siglo pasado, durante casi tres décadas, esta vez por los británicos. Al finalizar la Primera Guerra Mundial, Gran Bretaña había vencido a los turcos otomanos con la ayuda de rebeldes árabes, pero no pudo cumplir su promesa de crear un gran Estado árabe independiente porque en el 1920 Francia expulsará al rey Faisal de Damasco y Gran Bretaña dará prioridad a los acuerdos con los franceses. En 1920, el Consejo Supremo Aliado (Gran Bretaña, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia y Japón) se reunió en San Remo y Gran Bretaña aceptó un mandato para Palestina, aunque quedaron pendientes las condiciones y los límites del mismo. En 1922, la Liga de Naciones le conferirá a Gran Bretaña dicho mandato internacional en esa región, donde ya se había concedido a los judíos el derecho a organizar su hogar nacional. Habían pasado cinco años de la declaración de Balfour, en la que se reconocía la conexión histórica del pueblo judío con Palestina. Durante el mandato, mientras Gran Bretaña favorecía a los judíos, éstos mantuvieron una política de negación de la población autóctona.

    En los años que siguieron a las Segunda Guerra Mundial, el control británico sobre Palestina se volvió cada vez más incierto. Finalmente, a principios de 1947 el gobierno británico anunció su deseo de finalizar el mandato argumentando que era incapaz de encontrar una solución aceptable para ambas partes, la judía y la árabe, y cedió su responsabilidad sobre Palestina a las Naciones Unidas. Éstas aprobaron la partición del Mandato de Palestina en dos estados, uno árabe y otro judío, quedando el área de Jerusalén bajo control internacional. Los líderes judíos estuvieron de acuerdo, pero no así los árabes palestinos. No obstante, el Nuevo Estado de Israel fue proclamado el 14 de mayo de 1948, y los estados y ejércitos árabes vecinos atacaron Israel inmediatamente después de su declaración de independencia provocando la guerra árabe–israelí de 1948. Durante esta guerra, de acuerdo a las estimaciones de Naciones Unidas, alrededor del 80% de la población árabe tuvo que abandonar el país. Al finalizar el conflicto armado, Israel quedó establecido la mayor parte del territorio mientras que la restante, que comprendía la Franja de Gaza, el margen occidental del río Jordán y Jerusalén del este, fue ocupada por Egipto y Jordania, y conquistada con posterioridad por Israel durante la Guerra de los Seis Días en 1967.

    Hasta aquí el ejercicio de memoria y esbozo de la historia que les proponía.

    Veamos ahora cómo se han tratado un par de momentos de la más reciente en dos textos que estuve consultando estos días mientras revisaba lo expuesto hasta ahora en un par de enciclopedias. Uno de ellos es el artículo "El sufrimiento como identidad" escrito por el periodista especialista en política internacional, Andrés Criscaut, en la edición internacional para Argentina del diario Le Monde diplomatique, "el Dipló" de mayo de 2008. El otro es un libro titulado "Israel" de Robert St. John y los redactores de LIFE en español, publicado en 1962 perteneciente a la colección "Biblioteca Universal de LIFE en Español".

    Así es como Andrés Criscaut escribe sobre lo sucedido entre 1936 y 1939:

    "Los árabes de Palestina, tanto urbanos como campesinos, se vieron por primera vez solos y ante una colonización judía que creció de 12.500 personas en 1932 a 66.000 en 1935, cuando se intensificó la huida de la Alemania nazi.

    Entre 1936 y 1939 se produjo una revuelta espontánea –similar a la ocurrida en la última década con las dos Intifadas– compuesta básicamente por campesinos y marginados de los centros urbanos, conocida como al Gran Revuelta árabe de Palestina, y que tomaría por sorpresa a la pequeña elite de dirigentes palestinos (sólo un 9% participó, y menos de un 5% dirigió acciones armadas o de guerrilla).

    El levantamiento, si bien fue disparado por los desafíos y las inequidades ante el creciente enclave judío en el Mandato, tuvo una orientación abiertamente antibritánica, ya que la Corona era responsable directa de este desequilibrio. Pero en su etapa final terminó siendo una verdadera guerra civil entre palestinos. La revuelta puso en serios aprietos a la administración del Mandato, que desplegó más tropas en la pequeña zona de Palestina que en todo el subcontinente indio". (p. 33)


    Y de esta manera lo hace Robert St. John:

    "A mediados de la década de 1930, el antisemitismo de Alemania, Austria y Checoslovaquia, y la renuencia de Australia y de los países aún poco poblados de América a abrir sus puertas a los judíos que huían de Europa Central para salvar sus vidas, hizo que muchos de éstos optaran por buscar refugio en Palestina. Ahora los árabes, en señal de protesta, organizaron una rebelión en gran escala que principió durante la primavera de 1936. Los motivos comenzaron en Jaffa y se extendieron a todos los lugares donde había árabes y judíos. Hubo muchos muertos y la vida en las poblaciones se trastornó por culpa de un paro general decretado por los árabes. Los británicos enviaron fuerzas militares desde Egipto, Malta y la propia Inglaterra y finalmente el orden fue restaurado". (pp. 39–40)

    Habría mucho en lo que fijarse, pero lo que primero llamó mi atención fue que el primero denomina revuelta a lo que el segundo considera rebelión, y la espontaneidad atribuida a la primera se contrapone con la organización de la segunda. De lo que no quedan muchas dudas es de los métodos británicos.

    Fijémonos ahora en cómo ha cambiado, en el transcurso de los 44 años que separan la escritura de St. John de la de Criscaut, la denominación de la contienda que finalizó en 1948, un año después de que las Naciones Unidas decidieran dividir el territorio de la Palestina británica en dos estados, uno judío y otro árabe.

    Criscaut explica:

    "Para los israelíes, 1948 fue el año en que los judíos ganaron la ‘Guerra de la Independencia' y crearon el Estado de Israel. Para los palestinos, fue el año de la Nakba (el Desastre), el año en que perdieron Palestina y su sociedad fue devastada". (p. 33)

    St. John manifiesta:

    "Pero durante la guerra que siguió al retiro de las fuerzas británicas en 1948, [Jerusalén] fue escenario de sangrientos combates entre israelíes y árabes ... desde que rechazaron a los ejércitos árabes ... [los israelíes] orgullosamente llaman a esta contienda ‘Guerra de la Liberación'". (pp.12–14)

    En las líneas extractadas ambos textos hablan de los mismos hechos, ¿cómo pueden parecerles tan distintos a sus autores? ¿Ha sido el tiempo el causante de sus diferentes miradas? ¿Se ha modificado con él nuestro propio análisis? Opino que el tiempo juega un papel importante, pero quizás nuestros prejuicios intervengan mucho más. En muchos casos, cuando no contamos con la experiencia o la información suficientes –o recibimos información incorrecta– los autores y los lectores seguimos partiendo de ideas preconcebidas para llegar a conclusiones preconcluidas.

    Antes de finalizar esta entrada, les invito a que busquen y hagan lo posible por encontrar y sentarse a ver la estupenda película del director Severio Costanzo, "Private" (Italia, 2004, 35mm, AM13, 90'). Fue premiada en varios festivales y Costanzo recibió el David di Donatello al director revelación en 2005. Podrán ponerse un poquito en la piel de una familia palestina a quienes el ejército israelí les confisca su casa. Tendrán oportunidad de hacerse un montón de preguntas y posiblemente no encuentren muchas respuestas, pero vale la pena quedarse con la duda y seguir pensando sobre ello.

    Ilustración.

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    O post Força Aérea Israelense aposenta caças F-16A/B ‘Netz’ apareceu primeiro em Poder Aéreo - Forças Aéreas e Indústria Aeronáutica.


              Israel recebe dois primeiros caças F-35        

    Israel recebeu no dia 12.12.16 seus dois primeiros aviões F-35 Lightning II, tornando-se o único país do Oriente Médio a possuir um caça de quinta geração. A Força Aérea dos EUA ajudou na entrega fornecendo um avião-tanque KC-135 para reabastecer os novos aviões pelo trajeto. Oficiais militares que participaram da entrega dizem que o evento […]

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              Israel vai receber mais 10 caças F-15D        

    A USAF vai transferir 10 cacas Boeing F-15D para Israel, após a assinatura de um Pacote de ajuda militar de US$ 38 bilhões de 10 anos entre os dois países. Os F-15 são “excess defense articles”, em vez de “Foreign Military Sales” (FMS). A USAF transferiu oito aeronaves do tipo a Israel até agora. Israel […]

    O post Israel vai receber mais 10 caças F-15D apareceu primeiro em Poder Aéreo - Forças Aéreas e Indústria Aeronáutica.


              Israel recebe o 30° e último jato M-346 Lavi        

    A Força Aérea de Israel recebeu sua última aeronave M-346 Lavi da Alenia Aermacchi, informou o Ministério da Defesa de Israel. A entrega do 30° avião conclui um acordo que viu os primeiros jatos desembarcaren em Israel em 2014, disse o ministério em um comunicado. O fabricante italiano Alenia Aermacchi, agora extinto, era uma subsidiária […]

    O post Israel recebe o 30° e último jato M-346 Lavi apareceu primeiro em Poder Aéreo - Forças Aéreas e Indústria Aeronáutica.


              Little League Lament        
    I guess something had to really annoy me to get me out of hibernation - and this is it:

    Whose bright idea was it to run a bunch of little league games on the Sunday of Erev Shavuot??? The whole notion is just so, so wrong.

    Why is it a wise idea to have people who will be ostensibly pulling all-nighters to learn for Shavuot spend the day leading up to it exhausting themselves by running around coaching/playing ball in 85-degree temperatures?

    Also, did it occur to whichever shul youth directors or league organizers who planned the little league calendar that perhaps us mothers stuck in the kitchen simultaneously attempting to clean up from Shabbos and cook for Yom Tov might prefer to have an extra couple of pairs of hands available around the house to help out or to run errands?

    If little league participants can get a week off for the Salute to Israel parade, there's no reason that the kids can't get another week off to properly prepare for the holiday of Matan Torah. There are some games scheduled for 3 PM on Sunday - which means there will actually be games in progress until just a few hours before the Chag begins!

    It just seems to me to be a poor lesson for our children to be learning. I'm all for kids getting exercise and participating in team sports, but is it absolutely necessary to have them doing so in such an awkward and inopportune time slot? I'm sure not. The whole point behind the Orthodox little leagues is so that games can be scheduled for Sundays instead of Saturdays as in typical leagues, which would preclude Shomer Shabbat kids from participating. The decision to run the games this Sunday hardly seems to be in line with the concept of making the games in any way convenient for Orthodox participants.

    Which reminds me of a similar situation we found ourselves in this winter. One of the orthokids plays in a popular hockey league in a local Orthodox high school. Games are generally played on weeknights. Somehow, it was decided when the calendar was planned that the Thursday night of Thanksgiving was off-limits for scheduling games, yet there were games scheduled for every night of Chanukah - and even running into the time to light candles, which meant that the whole family had to delay candlelighting until after my child's game. All in all, a poor show of prioritizing for my kids, in my opinion.

    But hey, that's just me.
              More Obama-Bashing        
    This is classic (emphasis all mine):
    Assemblyman Dov Hikind yesterday predicted that Jewish voters would make "a mass movement toward Sen. McCain" if Barack Obama knocks Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the race in tomorrow's critical Democratic primaries.

    Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose Borough Park district includes the largest Hasidic bloc in the United States, blasted Obama for what he called his half-hearted support of Israel and his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who has repeatedly praised anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has endorsed Obama.

    Hikind, a Democrat who has yet to endorse a candidate for president, said Obama had not satisfactorily distanced himself from Wright, his Chicago-based personal pastor, noting, "This is a man who thinks Farrakhan is a great guy and God's gift to the world."

    Hikind went on, "Obama has said that you can be a supporter of Israel even if you're for giving up land to the Arabs, which is true - but for a guy running for president to take a position like this in advance of getting into office, combined with everything else going on in the Middle East, that scares the hell out of me.
    Huh? It "scares the hell" out of Hikind that Obama says you can support Israel and still be for giving up land for Israel? What world does he live in? Does he think Hillary Clinton feels otherwise?? Most US politicians would admit that any peaceful settlement would include some concession of land to the Palestinians. Does Hikind actually expect Mr. Obama to take a public position on the matter that is to the right of GWB's current position?? And then what? Flip-flop after the election to a position more in line with just about every other politician in the country?? That sounds like a super idea. And did Mr. Hikind somehow miss when Mr. Obama clearly rejected and denounced Mr. Farrakhan, and called him out for being an anti-Semite? That Mr. Hikind feels that Obama hasn't distanced himself enough from Rev. Wright, who is claimed to be close to Farrakhan, is no more than guilt by association. Is such association more or less damning than Mr. Hikind's past association with Meir Kahana's militant Jewish Defense League and various other controversial settler groups?

    I would guess Mr. Hikind is simply trying to do more of the same ignorant fearmongering about Obama that we have seen recently from other members of the Jewish community.
              Local Rabbi Has it in for Barack Obama        
    On the heels of one local Rabbi who made what can be misconstrued as an inappropriate comment regarding Barack Obama a few weeks back, another local Rabbi really went to town on the candidate in shul today. In a diatribe that, according to my unofficial polling, many congregants present found completely improper, he went off on Obama in a completely over-the-top fashion. The Rabbi criticized Obama's position Israel, and said he surrounds himself with Sonei Yisrael (haters of Jews) and Sonei Eretz Yisrael (haters of the land of Israel). The Rabbi compared Mr. Obama to Haman, to FDR (that people loved FDR too and didn't realize what a Rasha he would turn out to be), and in what should really just invoke Godwin's Law, he actually compared the man referred* to... Hitler himself (that people dismissed Hitler too as just being all talk).

    Now, I don't believe at all that Obama is anti-Israel. I just don't. Aside from these compelling arguments (I, II, III), I just refuse to believe that the candidate has ulterior motives regarding Israel based solely on a whisper campaign regarding false claims about Obama being Muslim - as opposed to on his good record on Israel issues. I had a conversation with a very intelligent and well-read family member who completely believed the forwarded e-mail she received that claimed that Obama is Muslim (false), was sworn into office on a Koran (false), and she even went so far as to call me out as being "naive" for not believing those claims, and for not seeing as clearly as she does that Obama is nothing more than a Trojan horse for terrorists. It was truly painful.

    But all things considered, not as painful as a religious leader making such claims from the pulpit in front of a captive shul-going audience. That's just plain wrong.

    *UPDATE: Edited to concede a valued commenter's point that it was not a direct comparison between Obama and Hitler, but a reference (though clearly a reference inviting a comparison).
              Another Ban        
    It's about time:
    Leading rabbis and the Jerusalem Municipality have joined forces in a battle against the widespread habit of smoking in the haredi public, in light of studies indicating that the sector has the highest rate of smokers in Israeli society.

    The Health Ministry and local haredi authorities will also take part in the effort.

    In a campaign that will be launched Thursday, rabbis will issue halachic rulings banning smoking. The rulings will be posted on bulletin boards and buses, and published in the community's pamphlets.

    The decision to launch the campaign ahead of Purim was based on the fact that during the holiday it is usually considered legitimate for children to smoke cigarettes.
    As opposed to last week's screed against Jewish music concerts, this is a ban I can wholeheartedly get behind.

    I lived in Israel for a time, and I will never forget the sight on Purim day of Charedi adolescents smoking cigarettes all over Jerusalem. Smooth-faced young boys were dragging away on cigarettes at every street corner. In certain Israeli Charedi circles it's almost as if allowing adolescents to smoke is one of the positive commandments of the Purim holiday - almost as widespread as the widely kept Purim "mitzvah" of drinking enough to vomit all over the sidewalk.

    We can only hope a Rabbinic ban on underage drinking on Purim is soon to follow.
              Quick Thoughts on the Concert Ban        
    Reading about the recent Jewish music concert ban and the resulting cancellation of a widely promoted upcoming Jewish music concert in Madison Square Garden made my head spin. How did this happen? I mean, I know that a similar ban had gained foothold in the Israel Charedi world - but for some reason I thought things were different here. There are also apparently members of the Israeli Charedi community who seem to find it appropriate to spray women dressed in clothing deemed inappropriate with bleach, or get violent with a woman sitting at the front of a public bus. I guess I should have paid closer attention to the warning bells going off in the back of my brain. After all, recent events have brought us a boycott over headshots of women displayed in a storefront on a main public thoroughfare, and calls for elementary school Rebbes to stop playing ball with their Talmidim - we've even graduated to rioting over in the ostensibly more mixed Charedi neighborhood of Boro Park (before you disagree, remember that in BP, as compared to the Israeli Charedi neighborhood of Bnei Brak, men and women still shop in the same stores and walk on the same side of the street, and restaraunts in BP still seat groups of men and women eating together).

    But I can still admit to being shocked that views that I consider to be so extreme have started to affect my world. Do I expect a Jewish music concert ban to come to the more moderate Yeshivish/Charedi Lite segment of the Five Towns any time soon? Well, no... but I am starting to worry that the possibility might not be as implausible as it seemed just a few years ago. I know locals who had planned to take their kids to the now-canceled concert in question - their kids were (almost) as excited for the concert as the multitudes of shrieking tween girls I saw lined up in a news story about a Hannah Montana concert. I'm not suggesting that Orthodox Jews need our own version of Hannah Montana, but I am suggesting that kids need an outlet that allows them the opportunity to have some fun and let off some steam.

    The Jewish Star actually reports that the text of the ban would seem to imply that all Jewish music concerts are affected - though a Rosh Yeshiva who signed the ban seems to dispute that, leaving the whole situation a bit confused:
    ...the text of the ban was identical to that of a ban enacted in Israel last year, which succeeded in shutting down a joint performance of Mordechai Ben David and Avrohom Fried. It included references to Israel and called for a complete end to Jewish music concerts. That made it unclear if the document was intended to apply only to the Madison Square Garden event, or if American Charedi rabbonim intended to follow the lead of Israeli colleagues and enact a sweeping prohibition against Jewish music.
    In an interview with The Jewish Star, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky, a rosh yeshiva in Philadelphia who signed the ban, said, “It is very general, you’re right, but I don’t think it will refer to all concerts. You have to have an outlet for kids.”
    I can certainly get behind the sentiment that our kids need an outlet. It's one thing to live a lifestyle that encourages our barely pubescent kids to spend long hours in the Beit Midrash, 6 days a week. I can fully appreciate that sort of commitment to Torah study - but how can we realistically expect our kids to sign on for said lifestyle when the opportunities for getting some release via "kosher" fun get taken away, one by one? Are we entering an era where just about everything we teach our children includes the word "don't" or "can't"? Say it ain't so...
              Freakonomics on Shemita and the Law of Unintended Consequences        
    The always-interesting Freakonomics guys (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) had a fascinating column in this weekend's NYTimes Magazine. It covers the law of unintended consequences and links some seemingly unrelated topics:
    What do a deaf woman in Los Angeles, a first-century Jewish sandal maker and a red-cockaded woodpecker have in common?
    I recommend reading the column to find out - as well as to catch how the Shemita-year device of Heter Mechira figures into the discussion. Though their point - that every action can incur all manner of unexpected results - might seem obvious, it doesn't make reading about some specific unintended consequences any less interesting.

    This is the relevant passage from the column as regards to Shemitta and Heter Mechira:
    How long have such do-good laws been backfiring? Consider the ancient Jewish laws concerning the sabbatical, or seventh year. As commanded in the Bible, all Jewish-owned lands in Israel were to lie fallow every seventh year, with the needy allowed to gather whatever food continued to grow. Even more significant, all loans were to be forgiven in the sabbatical. The appeal of such unilateral debt relief cannot be overestimated, since the penalties for defaulting on a loan at the time were severe: a creditor could go so far as to take a debtor or his children into bondage.

    So for a poor Jewish sandal maker having trouble with his loan payments, the sabbatical law was truly a godsend. If you were a creditor, however, you saw things differently. Why should you lend the sandal maker money if he could just tear up the loan in Year Seven? Creditors duly gamed the system, making loans in the years right after a sabbatical, when they were confident they would be repaid, but then pulling tight the purse strings in Years Five and Six. The resulting credit drought was so damaging to poor people that it fell to the great sage Hillel to fix things.

    His solution, known as prosbul, allowed a lender to go to court and pre-emptively declare that a specific loan would not be subject to sabbatical debt relief, transferring the debt to the court itself and thereby empowering it to collect the loan. This left the law technically intact but allowed for lenders to once again make credit available to the poor without taking on unwarranted risk for themselves.

    The fallow-land portion of the sabbatical law, meanwhile, was upheld for centuries, but it, too, finally gained a loophole, called heter mechira. This allowed for a Jew to temporarily “sell” his land to a non-Jew and to continue farming it during the sabbatical year and then “buy” it back immediately afterward — a solution that helped the modern state of Israel keep its agricultural economy humming.

    The trouble is that many of the most observant Israeli Jews reject this maneuver as a sleight of hand that violates the spirit of the law. Many of these traditionalists are also extremely poor. And so this year, which happens to be a sabbatical year, the poorest Jews in Israel who wish to eat only food grown on non-Jewish land are left to buy imported goods at double or triple the regular price — all in order to uphold a law meant to help feed the poorest Jews in Israel.
    They make an interesting point. When the Shemitta-year law of forgiving all debts created a situation in which those who needed loans were being refused in pre-Shemitta years, thus harming those (the poor) who most needed the reprieve ostensibly offered by Shemitta, Hillel instituted a system whereby that unintended consequence could be averted. However, while the law of Shemita that commanded that all fields must lie fallow may have allowed poor Jews living in Israel to help themselves to produce during that year, the similar though admittedly far more recently instituted Heter Mechira has not at all been accepted among Charedi Jews. This has created a situation where the Charedim, some of whom number among the poorest of Israeli citizens, instead spend their meager funds on imported produce to avoid buying fruits and vegetables grown on Jewish-owned land with a Heter Mechira - or worse, these families are forced to go without much in the way of fresh produce altogether.

    Now, the fact that that individual Halachot might have unintended consequences is far from a Chiddush. I think it's fair to state that just about every law - whether religious or secular - will have some unintended or unplanned-for consequence. Nor should that fact necessarily be a criteria to attempt to change normative Halacha. That said, there is a halachic concept of considering the societal or financial fallout of a psak before rendering it. I have personally seen such a practice in action, when in a situation that forced me to ask a Shaila of a quite eminent Rav regarding the need to replace a certain kitchen appliance that had been rendered unkosher. When I posed the question to the Rav, his first ruling was that we were required to replace a certain component of the appliance only, as opposed to the entire appliance. When I mentioned that I had researched the pricing and found it almost as expensive to do so as to replace the appliance entirely, he paused, told me he was unaware as to how costly the component in question was, and told me to call him back later that evening after he did some research. When I called back later that evening he had decided on a more lenient ruling, and told me how to perform a technique to kasher the appliance instead of replacing the component or the appliance entirely. At first blush, that might seem to be a cop-out of sorts, a less than strict adherence to Halacha in the face of what might have amounted to a bit of financial discomfort. But clearly this very learned Rav felt comfortable amending his ruling based on the hardship a stricter ruling might cause. I should probably add, however, that the same Charedim who do not hold of Heter Mechira might very likely not hold of the ruling I received regarding my kitchen appliance. I will also add the the usual disclaimers regarding how one ruling has absolutely nothing to do with the other aside for the seeming differences in flexibility when it comes to the question of a strict adherence to halacha when it imposes financial hardship.

    Some might also find it interesting that the very same Rav who gave me my kitchen appliance psak does not approve of eating produce grown with Heter Mechira. So in the interests of full disclosure, I must note that the OrthoFamily ourselves do not purchase Heter Mechira fruits and vegetables.

    Go figure.

    (A previous post on Heter Mechira.)
              Go Directly to IVF - Do Not Pass Go?        
    A new study seems to suggest that couples suffering from infertility should not waste their time or money on less invasive fertility treatments, but instead should con sider going straight to in-vitro fertilization:
    So it makes sense that some researchers are pushing to skip the middle step and go straight to IVF when the first-round effort fails. In a study presented last month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, doctors from Dartmouth Medical School and Boston IVF concluded that women who were fast-tracked to IVF got pregnant three months faster on average, and spent $10,000 less than those who went through the usual preliminaries.
    Considering how many couples I know who tried most or all of the less invasive treatments before finally being successful with IVF, this study would seem to be recommending the exact opposite approach. What's particularly interesting is that I had a conversation with a close friend regarding the halachic parameters of fertility treatments, and her halachic authority was definitely recommending that she and her husband try other treatments before approaching IVF, and seemed to treat IVF as pretty much a last resort (short of treatments such as surrogacy and sperm/egg donors, which can raise more complicated halachic questions). One of the reasons seemed to be a psychological - that the couple should not pull out all the stops treatment-wise, and then be dejected if the holy grail of fertility treatments doesn't show immediate results. While I can understand the motivations behind that, this study would seem to show that such waiting, considering the lower rate of success from the less involved treatments, might be more of a cruel and unusual psychological punishment in and of itself, as the article notes:
    Shorter waits bring welcome psychological relief. One study claimed that women going through infertility treatment were as distressed as women diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, or HIV. Fast-tracking can mean fewer episodes of dashed hopes. That could lead to less depression, anxiety, and stress, which hurts marriages and, some claim, may lower one's chances of conceiving.
    Another reason seemed to be because her Rav was concerned about the supposed higher rates of multiple births with IVF, and the fact that such multiple pregnancies entail a higher risk for both mother and children - however, that IVF does have a higher propensity for multiple births seems to be disproved from the study noted above.
    The first is the potential to prevent higher-order multiple births—triplets, quadruplets, and beyond, which carry a greater risk to the mother's and babies' health. Women who get pregnant from injections with insemination face a 10 percent to 15 percent chance of carrying litters because the drugs can make them release six or more eggs. There's no way to control how many get fertilized. With IVF, by contrast, doctors create embryos in a lab and choose how many to transfer back to the womb, bringing the risk of triplets and beyond down to 2 percent to 4 percent. (The odds of conceiving triplets naturally are between 1 in 6,000 and 1 in 8,100.) That IVF figure is likely to decline further as doctors increasingly transfer fewer embryos.
    So the question is, will the halachic recommendations change as a result of these findings, as the medical recommendation is hopefully going to - if they haven't already? Feel free to chime in with your experience as to whether halachic guidance given to infertile couples jibes with this medical recommendation to fast-track IVF. Though I know a few people who received halachic guidance to wait on IVF until other treatments have been tried, I know of at least one friend, living in Israel, who received a psak to go straight to IVF - but that obviously might have been complicated by her specific situation. So I'd love to hear some weighing in - anecdotal though it might be - on what seems to be the halachic consensus at this moment.

    More on halacha and infertility here, from the indefatigable Chana's excellent notes from a medical ethics conference she attended at YU.
              Heroine of the Day        
    Here:
    It has been 62 years since deaf and mute Irena Walulewicz risked her life to save a Jewish neighbor from the Nazis, but her heroism was never forgotten.

    "I've thought about her so much," Golda Bushkanietz said tearfully as she hugged her savior for the first time since 1945 at Kennedy Airport Friday.

    "I'm 94. I never thought I would see her again. I cannot fully express how grateful I am."

    Desperate and terrified, Bushkanietz staggered into the Walulewicz household in Swieciany, Poland, after escaping a ghetto whose population the Nazis were preparing to kill.

    "I knocked on a window and they let me in," said Bushkanietz.

    "I thought there was an angel in the house."

    For six months, the Catholic Walulewicz and her mother, Zofia, hid and fed Bushkanietz in their attic.

    "I still remember lying under Irena's bed, trying to keep quiet because the family had friends in their house," said Bushkanietz.

    "They opened their home and their hearts to me, risking their own lives in order to save me. Their altruism and bravery is what has allowed me to live and build a wonderful family of my own."

    "I knew it was dangerous. I knew I could be killed at any time," Walulewicz, 82, said through a translator yesterday.

    "I'm so happy to see her again. I didn't know she was still alive."

    The reunion was planned by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

    After the war, Bushkanietz reunited with her husband, who had fled the ghetto with her and had been fighting with partisans.

    The couple moved to Israel. They have two children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    "It's difficult for me to travel to the U.S. at my age, but to see Irena was a special treat," she said.

    Walulewicz, who still lives in Poland, kissed Bushkanietz's son and grandson, who were with her yesterday.

    "None of us, the whole of our family, could be here without Irena's heroic acts," said Jonathan More, 26, Bushkanietz's grandson.

    "It's hard to put into words."

              Shabbat Gadgets        
    I thought this was interesting:
    Observing Shabbat but have to call your grandmother? Have to have a cup of coffee when you come back from weekend services? The halachic institute for science and technology has just the thing for you.

    A group of engineers at the halachic institute, which specializes in Halacha-friendly technological developments, has come up with several new technological breakthroughs designed to ease the religious public's life, while keeping with all Shabbat-related mitzvahs.

    The gadgets include, among others, a Shabbat air-conditioner, a Shabbat phone and a kosher, Shabbat espresso machine.

    Many of the institute's developments are already in production, both in Israel and abroad, and several have been introduced to the public at a special show arranged by the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

    These devices, said the MAI, have a potential $10 million a year market."We have gadgets that are meant to make life easier, such as the coffee machine and on the other hand, we have things like the Shabbat phone, that could help people in medical need," said Dov Zioni of the halachic institute.

    One of the show's biggest hits was the Shabbat pen, which uses self-dissolving ink that disappears 24 hours after writing. "We're not talking about life and death situations here, when one's need to desecrate Shabbat to save a life goes without saying," added Zioni, "but for all those little grey areas we all encounter in our day-to-day lives."

    "The industry finally realized the financial potential of developing products specifically for the ultra-Orthodox public," Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai, who visited the show and was visibly pleased, told Ynet.

    "We get to develop different technologies, create jobs and observe Shabbat. It's a win-win situation," he added.
    I can't imagine that these products are going to gain much popularity in the ultra-orthodox community, as trade minister Yishai suggests in the article. I just don't see invisible ink pens or Shabbat phones making their way into Charedi homes for regular use on Shabbat and Yom Tov. That said, the gadgets would probably prove very useful in the army, or for hospital or Hatzalah use. Even though, as the article notes, using a phone or a pen isn't an issue in Pikuach Nefesh (life-saving) situations, it would be interesting to see these products in use for situations that are not clearly life-or-death. The products might also hold interest for those who are less observant, and would consider using a non-Shabbat phone or pen on Shabbat. In a case such as that, why not use one specially made to skirt the prohibitions of Shabbat?
              F35 LOCKHEED MARTIN        


    Dodici miliardi di euro, una finanziaria potenzialmente spesa in 90 cacciabombardieri F35 Lockheed Martin, mentre il paese langue in una delle sue peggiori crisi, con una disoccupazione giovanile terribile un P.I.L. negativo, tagli in atto su tutti i fronti, anche a servizi essenziali come scuola, giustizia, previdenza e sanità (settori in cui a dire il vero,  molto può essere fatto per contenere le spese).  A tutto questo si aggiunga un abbattimento selvaggio dei risparmi degli Italiani e una pressione fiscale diretta ed indiretta a livelli ormai insostenibili ed il quadro a tinte fosche è completo.

    La prima domanda che sorge è come sia possibile, come possa accadere che sia aperto un capitolo di spesa enorme a fondo perduto (i cacciabombardieri non fanno certo uscire dalla crisi) in un momento di così grande difficoltà. Per trascurare a denti stretti i risvolti etici di una scelta di questo tipo e senza che un Parlamento ormai in vacanza e ipnotizzato da tempo, sia scosso da un moto di orgoglio e indignazione corale.
    La Lockheed in passato non è stata estranea al pagamento di tangenti al fine di corrompere politici e governanti. Visti gli interessi in gioco, influenzare le scelte è stato storicamente un costo sostenibile, e si noti bene a livello Europeo e di gerarchie militari.
    Cosa è cambiato oggi? Qui possiamo farci un’idea del progetto e sbirciare fra gli ordini. Come mai l’Italia dopo USA e Gran Bretagna ha la maggior commessa all’interno della UE superando per ordini uno stato come Israele (con ben altre problematiche di difesa)? Come mai paesi nella tempesta economica come Spagna, Grecia, Irlanda, Portogallo, i P.I.G.S. per intenderci, ne sono rimasti saggiamente fuori? Domande per ora inevase. Mi chiedo dove siano i giornalisti d’inchiesta, mentre sulle testate dilagano scialbi opinionisti con la barba grigia o bianca, o massicci pachidermi in vena di pontificare per l’una o l’altra parte, consiglieri di principi inesistenti. Questo atteggiamento della maggior parte dell'informazione serve solo a conservare interessi particolari, distrarre, non far ragionare, ma far parteggiare, quando invece ci sarebbe da scoprire quali sono le effettive e irrinunciabili priorità di una spesa semplicemente folle. Quali sono le minacce alla nostra integrità nazionale che la giustificano in un drammatico frangente economico come l’attuale?
    Una penosa evidenza è manifesta. Quella di apparati, in questo caso l’esercito, che in modo autoreferenziale si cibano di risorse economiche senza alcuno scrupolo, mancando evidentemente da decenni urgenze difensive a livello nazionale ed Europeo. Detti apparati cannibalizzano lo stato di cui dovrebbero essere componenti, divorando capitali che potrebbero aiutare la crescita economica, produrre occupazione e ricerca. Si sa all’interno di dette strutture questi e anche danni peggiori sono considerati collaterali, necessari e sostenibili. Lo sono anche per i comuni cittadini?
    Ci sono organizzazioni, in questo caso gli eserciti, che hanno la tendenza ad autoalimentare il loro potere ed inevitabilemnte ed indipendentemente da chi le guida si espandono nel corso dei decenni come una proliferazione cellulare incontrollata e possono arrivare all’estremo di soffocare lo stesso organismo che dovrebbero proteggere, lo Stato, come accaduto in America Latina, Africa e Asia a più riprese. La mancata cancellazione di questa assurda commessa per 131 velivoli da combattimento, passata ora a 90 velivoli, certificherebbe l’avvenuta separazione fra gli interessi dei cittadini e del paese, ora in una gravissima crisi, rispetto all’esercito che dovrebbe tutelarne il benessere. E’ una divaricazione da evitare salvo poi andare incontro ad amare conseguenze.

              Why Anthropologists Failed to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions        
    By: Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar In 2016 the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions for their involvement in the illegal occupation of Palestine both gathered significant steam and faced a huge roadblock. In the United States, the country that largely underwrites and funds the Israeli occupation, the call to boycott initiated in 2004 by … Continue reading Why Anthropologists Failed to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions
              Are Palestinian Scholars Our Colleagues? Boycott and the Material Limits of Friendship        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions publishes this powerful reflection by Alireza Doostdar on how opposition to the boycott rests on an unquestioned assumption that Israeli academics are our colleagues while Palestinian academics are not. This assumption is bolstered by the structures of inequality that the boycott itself is meant to address. Accept … Continue reading Are Palestinian Scholars Our Colleagues? Boycott and the Material Limits of Friendship
              Violating the Right to Education for Palestinians: A Case for Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents anthropologists of education Thea Abu El-Haj and Fida Adely. The authors discuss the extreme violations of Palestinian youths’ right to education and why the boycott is an important and necessary tool for educational justice. Voting is open at the AAA until May 31. To vote “yes” … Continue reading Violating the Right to Education for Palestinians: A Case for Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions
              Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 3: It’s in the Resolution        
    This is the third post in a three-post series of personal reflections on the AAA boycott vote. The first post discussed my own childhood Zionist education, while the second post addressed the false claim that the boycott unfairly singles out Israel. Last November anthropologists attending the AAA business meeting in Denver voted by an astounding … Continue reading Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 3: It’s in the Resolution
              A Moment of Truth: On the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents this timely and poignant essay by Mick Taussig, calling us to a moment of truth in the discipline. Addressing concerns about academic freedom in the larger context of the brute terror that the Israeli state inflicts daily upon Palestinians, he asks how History will judge our … Continue reading A Moment of Truth: On the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions
              Why I have voted in support of BDS: Ghassan Hage        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is pleased to present Ghassan Hage‘s eloquent essay on the urgency of voting for boycott in a desperate situation of settler colonial violence — where calls for more critique of the Israeli occupation and dialogue are simply not enough, and where the Israeli academy’s existence is dependent … Continue reading Why I have voted in support of BDS: Ghassan Hage
              Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 1: David vs. Goliath        
    UPDATE: The second post in this series is now up. And now the third post as well. Last November anthropologists attending the AAA business meeting in Denver voted by an astounding 1040-136 to endorse the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions, but this was just a resolution to put the boycott to a vote, not … Continue reading Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 1: David vs. Goliath
              A Smear in Disguise: Comments on Starrett        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is pleased to present  Charles Hirschkind‘s powerful rebuttal to Gregory Starrett’s recent essay in Anthropology News that discredits the call to boycott. Voting on the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions is open to all AAA members from April 15 – May 30. You can watch an … Continue reading A Smear in Disguise: Comments on Starrett
              Dialogue as Diversion        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents this incisive critique of the dialogue approach to ending the Israeli state’s occupation. Fida Adely and Amahl Bishara reveal how calls for dialogue mask a grossly asymmetric power relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. For more information on the upcoming boycott vote at the AAA, Friday … Continue reading Dialogue as Diversion
              Israel revisited        
    Back from the trip to Israel. Here are some observations (some of them just for myself, some could be useful for other tourists).

    It was a somewhat overwhelmingly social holiday, but it was awesome to see everyone we managed to see, and in fact we didn't even manage to see everyone who was there. Next time, I guess, or maybe they'll visit me here in sunny Finland.

    Not surprisingly, there were a lot of historical sites, good restaurants, and awesome beaches.

    I wasn't sure if the early November was a bit too late in the year, but it wasn't. The temperature varied from 16 (Jerusalem) to 32 (Ein Bokek), and there was just one rainy day. The water was warm (25 or so) both in the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.

    November is off-season, most national parks close early, like at 3pm.

    Jerusalem is full of tourists, and Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea have quite a few, but the national parks are almost empty apart from some school groups.

    There are a lot of public toilets, almost all of them free. The ones in the restaurants are often unisex. Although pretty much anywhere I've been in Asia, from Turkey to Japan, they had more public toilets than pretty much anywhere in Europe.

    The public transportation doesn't work from Friday sunset till Saturday sunset. If you are not in a religious area, some restaurants and convenience stores will be open.

    The stores appear to stop selling beer by 11pm. Not sure if it's a law, company policy, or Tel Aviv city ordinance.

    They are building and renovating a lot.

    Almost everyone speaks very good English, and a lot of people speak very good Russian as well, but most of the written stuff is written only in Hebrew, so unless you read Hebrew you will feel a bit lost while shopping for groceries. I generally asked some friendly local people for help, and they always helped.

    The places we stayed at were Tel Aviv - Jerusalem - Ein Bokek - Haifa - Tel Aviv. Did day trips to Herodion, Sorek cave, Masada, Ein Gedi, Mamshit, Ein Avdat, Avdat, Beit Guvrin, Akko, Tel Megiddo, Beit She'an and Tsippori.

    Here's place by place, with links to the pictures:

    Tel Aviv: a big city with a lot of restaurants and the greatest beach ever. Lots of Bauhaus buildings but they didn't impress me. Some nice markets. Yafo old city. A very nice area in the old port.

    Jerusalem: I am sure even a bad tourist guide will have more details than I can describe here. One thing that a bad tourist book might not mention: the Western Wall tunnels.

    Herodion: Herod's palace. You can go up the mountain, and then down inside the mountain.

    Haifa: many residential neighborhoods are on the mountain, which makes for pretty cool views on the city. The main tourist attraction is the Bahai shrine gardens. The area around Sderot Ben Gurion has a lot of nice cafes.

    Akko: a very pretty Arab town reminiscent of a few medieval places in Southern Europe. An undeground tunnel, a pretty mosque, and the underground crusader city in the citadel. Don't miss the genuine crusader toilet seat.

    Ein Bokek: a touristy place on the Dead Sea shore. There is nothing there, really, except some Russian tourists (not many, because it's out of season) and one decent restaurant, but the sea looks lovely at sunrise, and it's a good base for visiting a lot of sites. The biggest minus: the pool and the beach closed at 5pm. WTF is that?

    Sorek (Soreq, Avshalom, whatever) cave: a little but beautiful cave with stalactites, beautifully lit. In a way you've seen one of them, you've seen all, but I still enjoyed it. Quite a way down from the parking lot. The tour was supposed to be guided and photography forbidden, but the guide didn't mind us wandering around and taking pictures without flash.

    Masada: the famous fortress on a high hill. If your map app is showing you two entrances you really want to use the one from direction of the Dead Sea. This one has a cable car, the other ones doesn't.

    Ein Gedi: we came there late and didn't see much besides the rock hyraxes. Loved watching the rock hyraxes though.

    Mamshit and Avdat: old Nabatean towns. Very interesting. There are two more, but we didn't have time for that. If you have even less time, Avdat is the biggest of the four.

    Ein Avdat, aka Avdat canyon, not to be confused with Avdat. A canyon right next to Avdat. Also a national park, with a separate ticket. The entrance about 4 kilometers north from Avdat (the only one Google Maps currently show) is the top entrance, from where you can look at the canyon from above, and are not allowed to go down (falling in is also forbidden). If you want to come in from below (that's where all the really nice pictures are taken) and climb up, use the entrance near Ben Gurion university (may the road signs be with you).

    Beit Guvrin: that's a really big and great park, and when the park rangers tell you what to see in what order they really know what they are talking about. Bell caves (beautiful, unusual and easily accessible), Sidonian burial caves with paintings, the ruins of Maresha and much more.

    Tel Megiddo: not really that much to see, except that you get to tell your friends that you've seen the real Armageddon site. If you do get up there, don't miss the Hellmouth, aka the water system. you can go down there. It's right on the way from Haifa to Beit She'an, so if you are going there you might as well.

    Beit She'an: a huge and awesome Roman ruin. Don't miss.

    Tsippori/Zippori: beautiful mosaics and lots of cactuses.


              Kritik an Twitter: Hassbotschaften in die reale Welt gesprüht        
    Der israelisch-deutsche Künstler Shahak Shapira hat in Hamburg Hassbotschaften vor das Büro von Twitter gesprüht. Er protestiert damit gegen die Löschpolitik des US-Konzerns.
              â€œLa Fiesta” d’Israel Galván en direct du Festival d’Avignon le 19 juillet sur Arte : olé !        
    “La Fiesta” audacieuse d'Israel Galván en direct du Festival d’Avignon le 19 juillet sur Arte, olé !

    Rendez-vous ici : “La Fiesta” d’Israel Galván en direct du Festival d’Avignon le 19 juillet sur Arte : olé !


              16 vagas - Israelândia/GO: está aberto concurso para gari - Últimos dias para garantir a participação no concurso da Prefeitura de Israelândia. As inscrições encerram dia 8 de março        
    Últimos dias para garantir a participação no concurso da Prefeitura de Israelândia. As inscrições encerram dia 8 de março
              And the Oscar goes to...        

    Alla vigilia lo avevano dato in rimonta su "Brokeback mountain": "Crash" di Paul Haggis ha vinto la statuetta di miglior film strappandola alla pellicola di Ang Lee, premiato come miglior regista. Miglior attore protagonista Philip Seymour Hoffman per "Capote". Miglior attrice Reese Whiterspoon per "Quando l'amore brucia l'anima". Nulla di fatto per Cristina Comencini candidata nella sezione miglior film straniero con "La bestia nel cuore".

    "Brokeback Montain" e "Crash" ottengono tre statuette ciascuno, colonna sonora e migliore sceneggiatura non originale, al primo e montaggio e sceneggiatura originale al secondo. Un anno fa Hollywood scelse un altro film controverso, il capolavoro del conservatore Clint Eastwood "Million Dollar Baby" che racconta una storia di eutanasia. 
     
    George Clooney, che era candidato in tre categorie diverse, torna a casa con una sola statuetta, per il suo agente della Cia in disgrazia in "Syriana": migliore attore non protagonista. All'asciutto invece il film che ha scritto e diretto "Good Night, and Good Luck". Il premio come migliore attrice non protagonista è andato a Rachel Weisz per "The Constant Gardener". 
     
    Non ce l'ha fatta Cristina Comencini, che era entrata nella "top five" dei migliori film stranieri dopo essere stata selezionata dall'Anica come rappresentante dell'Italia agli Oscar. Il vincitore della serata è il sudafricano "Tsotsi" di Gavin Hood, che racconta i sei giorni di violenza del leader di una gang di Johannesburg. Non è stato premiato neppure "Paradise Now", una produzione internazionale del regista palestinese (ma con passaporto israeliano) Hany Abu Assad.

    Nessuna fortuna per gli altri due italiani in concorso, il compositore Dario Marianelli che ha firmato la colonna sonora di "Orgoglio e Pregiudizio" e Gabriella Pescucci che ha disegnato i costumi di "Charlie e la fabbrica del cioccolato" di Tim Burton. 

    L'Oscar alla carriera, già annunciato da tempo, è stato consegnato al regista Robert Altman che ha fatto il possibile per ricordare ai colleghi della Academy di essere ancora in piena attività, a teatro e al cinema. Ha sottolineato di avere subito un trapianto di cuore, lasciando con il fiato sospeso il Kodak Theatre: "Nel mio
    petto batte il cuore di una ragazza di trent'anni - ha detto, misurando la suspense - questo significa che mi restano ancora almeno quarant'anni dietro la telecamera". Il regista ha da poco compiuto ottantuno anni.
     
    Il colossal dell'anno, "King Kong" di Peter Jackson, si deve accontentare di una manciata di premi "tecnici" mentre quello di Steven Spielberg "La guerra dei mondi" resta a secco. La stessa sorte è toccata a "Munich", l'altro film di Spielberg in corsa nella notte degli Oscar.
     
    Il film d'animazione dell'anno è "Wallace & Gromit, La maledizione del coniglio mannaro" di Rick Park. Gli eroi di plastilina non sono nuovi agli onori del Kodak Theatre: avevano già vinto in due occasioni nella categoria cortometraggi animati. La statuetta per il migliore documentario dell'anno è stata assegnata invece a "March of the Penguins", un avvincente racconto sulla vita e la riproduzione dei pinguini dell'Antartico, narrato da Morgan Freeman.
     
    Maestro delle cerimonie è stato Jon Stewart, il conduttore del tg satirico "Daily News" sul network "Comedy Central". Stewart ha cercato di animare una kermesse da anni in crisi di ascolti con le sue battute pungenti e sketch che hanno avuto come protagonisti numerosi attori. Il risultato potrebbe essere piaciuto ai giovani, il suo pubblico di riferimento e una fascia di telespettatori che da anni dedica poca attenzione agli Oscar.

    (da TGCom)


              Ada Lovelace Day and The SAP Community Network        
    Thanks to a Facebook invite from the inimitable Sandy Kemsley , I learned about Ada Lovelace Day a few months back.
    Suw Charman-Anderson, herself a fascinating woman wrote: “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.”

    By the way, for those of you, who like myself weren’t sure who Ada is, Suw Charman-Anderson explains: “Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built.”

    Now as a value add in my job as an SAP Community Evangelist, I have the privilege of knowing some of the smartest techies on the planet. So my first and only challenge in role models was finding “A” woman… as in limiting myself to a single role model.

    I found that approach a tiny bit…well…limiting. And soon realized rather than to try to name every remarkable woman in Technology I know or know of, I could introduce people outside my SAP Community Network and perhaps even inside that community, to some of the women of the community I admire. So I’ll name just a few (second huge challenge) of my local heroines and by linking you to their blogs, tweets, or wiki profiles allow you all the pleasure of discovery or perhaps further introduction.

    Bhanu Gupta – I first met Bhanu during SAP TechEd in September 2006, when she attended the first Business Process Expert Day, but I had been a fan of this Business Intelligence nova for a long while before that, as she rapidly became one of the most prolific forum participants on the SAP Developer Network attaining top contributor ranking internationally. She told a great community story as many of the folks in the community didn’t realize she was a woman.

    Anne Kathrine Petteroe – Ann also told a great community story of how twitter facilitated our meeting her in the SAP headquarters during an SCN Meetup in Walldorf – Later, I had the privilege to meet with Anne again when she came to TechEd Berlin 2008 as one of the developers of ESME and a powerful contestant in “Demo Jam”.

    Moya Watson – Technical evangelist and all around SAP superstar, Moya, writes like a dynamo and shepherds software solutions to release. Moya introduced me to the world of digital anthropology through her blog posts on the SAP Developer Network and celebrated women in technology by pointing to the book O'Reilly Goes Live with Women In Technology Series

    Dafna Yanay a tools mentor and community evangelist for Visual Composer . This Israeli who studied industrial engineering garnered comments and followers on her blog posts from every corner of the globe and is a frequent speaker at SAP TechEd.

    Ginger Gatling was my teacher and mentor in a number of SAP related technical courses and has been a colleague for over a decade. Can’t say enough good things about the way she transfers knowledge to thousands of people online and at live events. She has this way of explaining technology that makes you feel “you get it”. She introduced me to Susan Keohan who goes under the code name SAP Workflow Goddess and who is an active ASUG (SAP User Group) volunteer leader who in turn introduced me to Gretchen Lindquist who has been “working in SAP Security since 1997… the lead configurator and technical support analyst for an SAP partner system in her ERP landscape” and somehow it seems like I’ve know forever yet another ASUG leader Karin Tillotson, Technical Lead for Valero’s SAP Data Archiving Project.

    And lastly, one of my newest …and perhaps youngest heroines, another colleague and community member Jen Robinson whose simple list of places you can find her “Elsewhere” belies the depth, maturity and passionate commitment those activities have her engaged in.

    And now since I see my list is already 9 women, I’ll conclude with a warm acknowledgment and shout out to the other techie women in our SAP Community Network, colleagues, mentors, fellow community members whose ranks thankfully are swelling and can be seen coaching Business Expert topics, mentoring developers, coding solutions, supporting process integrations and representing a world of talented women, who have chosen to follow a career path in technology.
              8 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me        

    When tapped to share “8 things you probably didn’t know about” James Farrar he noted that blogging is quite the “exhibitionist” activity. Much of my blogging experience these past years has been more in audience capacity; a vicarious blog explorer, rather than an active onstage character. Vicarious means I observe certain events by “imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experiences of another”.

    Others’ blogs expose me to great examples of: storytelling, journalism, innovation and when done expertly well, art. While exploring, I’m often wondering what it would be like to write as prolifically or as creatively or as knowledgeably as the bloggers whose contents I follow. Fair, although hardly shy, I do feel a bit the wallflower while the nimble waltz me by with dizzyingly and dazzlingly clever insights, observations, perceptions and opinions.

    I’ve imagined what I would write on the off-chance that someone might tag me for the “8 things you probably don’t know about me” meme. But I was caught off guard (gobsmacked as the brits would say) when I happened upon my name in James’ blog: the Wisdom of Clouds. It’s like someone asked the ungainly girl at the school party to dance to be nice. Thanks James.

    Eight is a lot. I’ll start chronologically.

    1. When I was 4, my sister was born on my birthday. For years afterwards I assumed that all families had that same arrangement, meaning siblings who were not twins also shared a common birthday. The realization that my belief system was faulty was very traumatic.

    2. When I was about 8 years old, I separated from my parents while on board the Sternwheeler (steamboat) called the "The American". We were visiting an ill-fated and short-lived amusement park in the Bronx (New York) called: Freedomland U.S.A. There is a certain irony to all this. The year was 1960 and the civil rights movement was coming into its own with the Greensboro Four staging a peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina, breaking down the segregation walls in the south. Back on the steamboat, my parents found me quickly. I was staging my own sit-in of sorts, in the steamship’s bandstand. There they found me sitting entranced on a trumpet player’s lap. His name: Louie Armstrong. I’ve always loved his voice and music.

    3. When I was 10 I decided to have a “penny fair” and created an amusement park in my yard. I gathered $5.57 cents from all of our neighborhood children (a great many pennies). Although rather pleased with my entrepreneurial success, I wound up donating the money to a school for mentally handicapped children. The principal sent me and the neighborhood children a very nice thank you letter.

    4. When I was 16 I discovered that although my sister and I shared the same birth date, it wasn’t the one recorded in our birth certificates. My mom had changed them both by a few days to give us the opportunity of starting kindergarten early. I think it was a shocking revelation that documents could be misleading or doctored.

    5. At 20 I took a road trip across the US. It was the summer of ’74 and in California, after a day of many driving mishaps; I got pulled over by the police. I had gotten a ticket earlier that day for speeding on the freeway. While paying my speeding ticket, I parked in a no-parking zone. I then proceeded to run a stop sign. It was a bad-hair driving day.When I saw the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror I was baffled. Couldn’t think of a single additional infraction I might have committed other than the fact that our car was a real jalopy with only one workable door, totally dust-covered and we (my future husband and I) looked a bit like ’70’s hippies after our 6 weeks on the road. I roll down my window (I’m the driver) and ask: “yes officer?”, failing to notice the growing number of squad cars accumulating behind us. The policeman looks oddly tense. “Did you hear about the bank robbery?”, says he. “Oh sure”, says I., “I’m Bonnie and this” (pointing to my future husband) “is Clyde”. The policemen weren’t particularly amused as they pulled me out of the car thinking I was the fugitive kidnapped newspaper heiress turned militant, Patty Hearst .

    6. I studied theater directing in the Tel Aviv University drama department. In 1979 I turned down an invitation by the national theater to assistant direct and work with theater luminary Joseph Chaiken on “The Dybbuk”. What we do for love. I was expecting my first child.

    7. In the early eighties, before “Glastnost” and the subsequent transparency policies of Gorbachev, I went on a small mission to meet with prisoners of conscience and human rights activists in a number of cities in the Ukraine and found myself and travel partner “interviewed” by the KGB concerning our activities in each city. I think I’m a “persona non grata” in the former Soviet Union.

    8. In the middle nineties started a grassroots movement of citizens concerned about environmental hazards and the rights of local residents and was invited to speak in the Israeli Parliament, together with my Bedouin neighbors.

    Now, grannimari is quietly and sedately working as an online community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. And looking to the community members who inspire and challenge her thinking. In that spirit of letting no good deed go unpunished, I’ll tag: Jim Spath , Eddy De Clercq , Jen Robinson, Thomas Ritter, Dick Hirsch and Ram Tiwari


              Beyond holiday - putting a little "community care" in the luggage        
    Just as I was putting finishing touches on my personal end-of-2007 vacation itinerary and finalizing SAP TechEd '07 Bangalore plans, I met with James Farrar, who is VP of Corporate Citizenship at SAP and author of the sustainability and CSR blog: Wisdom of Clouds. This coincided with a growing interest of the SAP community members in such matters and plans for the launch of a new area under the Business Process Expert Community called Corporate Social Responsibility.

    I was very excited about the inauguration of the website: SAPfeedingknowledge and our SAP Community initiative to help provide "Food for Points".
    But here I was ending the 2007 year with personal plans for a full month's break/vacation itinerary and the longest hiatus ever from my engagements with the SAP SDN and BPX community....or was it to be so? Was I to be a voyeur or an emissary in my travels, or a bit of both.
    On Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 2007, my 16-year old son, Dahn and I set out for Bangalore with further plans for Cochin, Madurai, Vietnam and Cambodia. Upon arriving in Bangalore, we had arranged to link up with my dear friend of (gasp) 35 years, Naomi Tocher. Naomi is a Kiwi who, ever since we met volunteering together on a kibbutz in Israel those many years ago, has dedicated her life to working in social services and of late heads support services for interpreters and translators in New Zealand. Naomi, Dahn and I had been formulating our travel plans together. Naomi had almost apologetically suggested we detour a bit from the usual tourist stuff and get to interface with locals. She had many personal contacts from within the Cambodian and Vietnamese refugee resources she worked with, and so was able to broker some "home stays". She also raised the possibility of our visiting a Children's home outside of Madurai and perhaps a rehabilitation hospital in Cambodia and made the tentative arrangements.

    We agreed, never guessing how the worlds of exotic adventure travel and a more humanitarian and human set of experiences would coincide.

    What follows are some journal notes from one of the most intriguing, disturbing, inspiring and moving trips I have ever had the privilege of taking. And truly, thanks to all those that contributed to this enriching journey: family, friends, work colleagues and the SAP Community, which in this hyper-connected world of ours is also a combination of all those entities.Especial thanks to the generous, brave, kind and helpful people of all those places we visited. I hope to tell some of your stories.


    December 1st, 2007

    We call the Illam "Children's Home" (orphanage) in Nilakottai near Madurai and ask if we can visit and what we can bring. School supplies? Books? They modestly say fruit. So armed with the only shopping bag at our disposal we head off for the market to buy 70 kilos, one for each child we visit.

    We are greeted by Mr Khader, the head master of the school. We are welcomed and introduced in the most delightful way. You can see more photos of our day with the students here.
    Everything resonated goodness. The foundation DHAN associated with the school has a microfinance program at work helping empower women in the community. The school absolutely indoctrinates the children with the goals of professional achievement. And these children, many of whose families, if they have any, are so destitute that they cannot afford to have them schooled, are also imbued with a pay-it-forward education. Each child successfully completing this program has vowed to help another child achieve those goals as well.
    And if I understand it correctly, this whole project started through an individual's vision and dream. Her name is Jean Watson, and she is a 74-year-old Wellingtonian (New Zealander) who spends some of her time with her community in India. I've just finished speaking with her by phone in Wellington and thanking her for the gift she unwittingly gave us as well. As I write this, my friend Naomi shares her correspondance with Jean.
    Naomi writes to Jean:
    "We received a beautiful welcome from the children, Gero, some teachers and Mr.Kadher. After a traditional welcome, the children danced for us, showed us around their home and talked with us. We sang them a song and began to teach it to them. We had a scrumptious lunch - the cook is a real find. We also visited the lush garden at the back of the Ilam and learnt of your future plans for it.
    I promised to bring back love to you from everyone at the Illam and let you know about the visit. They talk about you all the time and are looking forward to you being back with them.Jean, you are a real inspiration. I am so impressed by your foresight and your commitment to follow through on your vision. And what a satisfying result it must be to have a houseful of such lively, happy and talented children. I am particularly impressed by the encouragement given to each child to be successful in their life, and even more by the "obligation" that they will help another child."


    Genromani volunteers as a teacher and Mr. Khader encourages the students who engage with us, to share with us some of their dreams and aspirations: computer engineers, teachers, health-care givers abound in the breathless and excited gaggle of grins and curiosity about us. These kids have lofty goals. And they make us believe they will attain them. We came to bring gifts. The truth is we received them. Amazing what ordinary people can do....feeding knowledge.
              Reconciliation and Peace in the Middle East        

    Let us ask ourselves forthrightly, which is the driver of human progress—total victory or reconciliation?

    Imagine if current flashpoints in world politics - the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Shia-Sunni divide, or the Syrian civil war, for instance - were to end in the total defeat of one side? The loss to human civilization would be so catastrophic that the mere thought of such a scenario should make even the most irrational actors think beyond narrowly-defined self-interests.

    The post Reconciliation and Peace in the Middle East appeared first on United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).


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              Israel's Blindness in Part        
    A new MP3 sermon from Center Effingham Baptist is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Israel's Blindness in Part
    Speaker: David L. Gilpatric
    Broadcaster: Center Effingham Baptist
    Event: Sunday Afternoon
    Date: 7/17/2016
    Length: 30 min. (64kbps)
              Comentario en SERMON 15 EL VERDADERO CÓDIGO DE LA NACIÓN HEBREA – ISRAEL por Zuly        
    Equivocada estrategia en la lucha crnota el terrorismo isle1mico. No se puede dejar en libertad a quien predica el odio desde una mezquita.La lucha antiterrorista se tiene que luchar en muchos frentes. El militar es importante pero no el fanico. Hay que reformar las leyes en todos los paedses Occidentales para poner fuera de la ley a toda organizacif3n que predique el odio. A toda mezquita que sirva de soporte material o espiritual para cometer actos terroristas. Las leyes deben permitir la expulsif3n de individuos extranjeros que hagan apologeda del terrorismo.Parece que en Londres no tomaron nota del brillante e histf3rico discurso de Winston Churchill ante la ce1mara de los Comunes el 13 de mayo de 1940: Tenemos ante nosotros una prueba de la me1s penosa naturaleza. Tenemos ante nosotros muchos, muchos, largos meses de combate y sufrimiento. Me pregunte1is: bfCue1l es nuestra poledtica?. Os lo dire9: Hacer la guerra por mar, por tierra y por aire, con toda nuestra potencia y con toda la fuerza que Dios nos pueda dar; hacer la guerra crnota una tiraneda monstruosa, nunca superada en el oscuro y lamentable cate1logo de credmenes humanos. Esta es nuestra poledtica . No tengo nada me1s que ofrecer que sangre, esfuerzo, le1grimas y sudor .
              Kommentar zu Absage Tutzinger Akademie – Wer macht hier Druck? von Hiltrud Fürst-Bransch        
    Es ist geradezu grotesk, dass alle Journalisten, Politiker und andere Instituionen sich über Erdogan empören und sein diktatorisches Verhalten und seine Maulsperre für Meinungsfreiheit als himmelschreiendes Unrecht anprangern, aber in München geschieht doch dasselbe im Hinblick auf Israel. Leider hat der Akademiedirektor kein Rückgrat - ist das in anderen Städten Deutschlands genauso oder gibt es da noch Meinungsfreiheit in Bezug auf Israel? Wäre interessant zu wissen.
              Kommentar zu von Thomas de Lates        
    Gut, dass es diesen Newsletter gibt, der sich um die Belange der unterdrückten Palästinenser kümmert. Und Danke, dass die Schikanen gegen friedliche Israelkritiker in Frankfurt angeprangert werden. Schade, allerdings, dass in diesem Newsletter die nicht minder bedenkliche Tatsache nicht erwähnt wurde, warum die Vereinigung Salam Shalom ab sofort im Münchener Eine Welt Haus keine Räume mehr bekommt, nachdem die Stadtverwaltung massiven Druck ausgeübt hat - wegen angeblichem Antisemitismus in den Veranstaltungen dieser Gruppe. Welche Gründe haben Euch zu diesem Schweigen bewogen? Liebe Grüße Thomas de Lates
              Kommentar zu von Antonio Bruck        
    Nirit trifft den Nagel auf den Kopf. Es stimmt, sobald man die leiseste Kritik an Israels Siedlungspolitik etc. äussert, wird man von irgendwem als antisemitisch beschimpft.
              Israeli Soldier Elor Azaria Enters Military Prison        
    You can kind of tell from the smile on his face in this video that Elor Azaria is convinced he’s a hero. And of course he has been hailed as such in Israel. Not that shooting a bullet into the head of a semi-conscious man as he lay wounded on a city street required any […]
              Roger Waters Blasts Radiohead for its Performance in Israel        

              Three More Senators Sign on as Co-Sponsors of Israel Anti-Boycott Act        
    Three more US senators have added their names as co-sponsors of S.720, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a bill that would make it a felony for Americans to support a boycott of Israel. The latest three senators to add their names are: Steve Daines of Montana, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama. […]
              Ich will gegen das Geläut der Leute …        
    Donnerstag: Israel baut 1.500 neue Siedlerwohnungen. Mal wieder. Gegen die Warnungen aller Freunde, allen voran die USA. Auf dem Ölberg habe ich solche Siedlungen gesehen, zwischen der lutherischen Augusta-Victoria-Kirche und er Apostolischen Delegation: die Wohnungen sind illegal und werde noch … Weiterlesen
              Flying Over the Boycotts of Israel         
    How’s that movement to boycott Israel going?

              The Next Israel-Hezbollah Conflict        
    During the Obama years, concerns about Israel’s security situation focused on the Iranian nuclear

              Genesis: More and Less, Or, What I Didn’t Learn in Sunday School        
    As I am preparing to teach the “Christianity and Judaism” segment of my upcoming Humanities course, I’ve returned to some of the Biblical stories that I haven’t thought about for many years. With adult eyes, training in literary and feminist theory, and quite a bit of distance from my evangelical Christian upbringing, I am discovering that many of these stories are quite different than I remember. Indeed, they are both more and less than how they were presented to me in Sunday School: more in that together they demonstrate the beautifully complex human construction of a religious tradition, a way of making sense of and being in an unpredictable and often brutal world, and less because, by way of uncompromising misogyny and an assumption of “racial” superiority, they exclude most of humanity from the chosen people. For me, these stories represent a certain literary greatness, but I don’t find them particularly helpful in guiding my own spiritual growth. In this post, I point out some discrepancies between the ways that these stories are typically taught in Christian settings to children in their spiritually formative years and how they are actually presented in Biblical verse.

    For the sake of brevity, I’ll just stick with one book, the foundational book of Genesis. And, as a disclaimer, I am no theologian, so my claims may not bear out against those of Biblical experts. All the same, my interpretations represent the careful, reasoned responses of a layperson to the incidents recounted in Genesis.

    Here are some things about Genesis mythology that in my day were—and likely still are—glossed over, misrepresented, or simply ignored in Christian Sunday School:

    1. Genesis is clearly not a linear, singularly-composed narrative, and nor even are its individual “stories.” There are in fact two renditions of human creation, for example, and, what’s more, they contradict each other. In the first one, God creates man and woman at the same time. In the second one, God creates man and then woman out of man’s rib. It is this second story which also includes the legend of “the fall.” Indeed, there is no indication that “the fall” portion of the tale is connected in any way to the first story of human creation, which comes to a full stop before the second one is introduced with the concluding statement: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created” (Gen. 2:4). One could easily read these two versions of the story—one in which men and women are created as equals and God sees them as “very good” (Gen. 1:31) and the other in which God positions man as superior to a female being who ultimately brings about the onset of human suffering—as indicative of the changing status of women as ancient cultures moved from hunting and gathering to agriculture and, therefore, became more male-centered and militaristic over time. In any case, these are two different stories of creation, probably circulated orally in different eras and/or among different Hebrew sub-sets and likely recorded at a much later date as alternative versions of the same mythology. Other stories also repeat or overlap, such as the conception and birth of Seth, in Gen. 4:25 and again in Gen. 5:3. These repetitions of stories, of course, calls into question the belief, so relied upon in contemporary Christian churches, that the Bible is more than a book of stories, that it is in fact a divinely inspired narrative of the development of the one true religion.

    2. In contrast to this belief in the singular “truth” of the Christian doctrine, Genesis presents the God of the Hebrews as not all that different from other gods of the ancient world. Indeed, the mythology surrounding this God is fairly unexceptional compared to that surrounding the gods of Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. Although most historians and theologians understand a monotheistic belief system as unique to the Hebrews, the assumed monotheism of this group is at least questionable. In one place in Genesis, for instance, God calls himself “us” (Gen. 3:22). Most Biblical scholars argue that he is here referring to himself and his host of heavenly beings, namely the angels. This is problematic because it implies that he does indeed share power with other superior beings. Certainly, the angels interact physically with the characters of these Biblical stories, not unlike Athena in The Odyssey or Cupid in The Aeneid. Furthermore, in a couple of scenes at least, the narrator(s) refer(s) to an angel as “Lord,” the same name that he also calls God (Gen. 16:11-12 and Gen. 19:2). Is it not likely that the angels are Hebraic representations of Zeus’s or Jupiter’s host of less powerful gods? It seems also significant that the narrator(s) implicitly compare(s) God to other higher beings by repeatedly referring to him as the “Most High” (Gen. 14:17-20). Clearly, God is the supreme protector and ruler of the Hebrews, but this doesn’t foreclose the possibility that the people depicted in the Biblical stories believe in other opposing gods of surrounding peoples, just as the people of Uruk, for example, saw Inanna as their protectress from the powers of other Mesopotamian deities. It is certainly possible that the Hebrews perceived monotheism in very different terms than we perceive it now, in terms that allowed for the presence of “lords” in heaven and gods of other lands.

    3. The mention of temple prostitution in Genesis also seems to imply a tolerance for other gods. In one scene, Judah has intercourse with a woman whom he assumes is a temple prostitute (Gen. 38). This scene is of course interesting in many ways. In that Judah is a married man, this story’s inclusion in the book of Genesis might imply an early acceptance that male “needs” sometimes exceed legitimate female accessibility. Even more shocking, this anecdote might also indicate that the Hebrews did indeed worship gods other than God. Temple prostitutes were revered in ancient Mesopotamian culture as physical conduits to fertility gods and goddesses. Was Judah’s casual copulation with a woman he thought was a temple prostitute simply his way of getting the action he is denied at home, or is it an act of worship?

    4. Whether or not he is the only god whom the Hebrews worshiped or believed in, the God of Genesis certainly behaves in ways similar to the polytheistic gods mentioned above. He engages in very human activities and acts upon very human emotions, for instance. In a seeming assertion of his superiority over man, for example, he wrestles with Jacob and, after much struggle, manages to land a final injurious blow to Jacob’s thigh (an incident that inexplicably leads to the declaration that Hebrews should consequently refuse thigh meat) (Gen. 33:22-32). God is also fickle, “opening and closing the wombs” of Jacob’s wives with seeming caprice, for instance, transferring allegiance from Leah to Rachel and then back again as the two wives vie for the title of giving Jacob the most sons (Gen. 30). Finally, like other polytheistic gods, God requires sacrifice as a way of giving thanks and ensuring his continued good favor. I think that we can all agree that, as an institution, sacrifice makes no logical sense. Why would God need human food? Why would he require his people to give up their precious sustenance? Like all of the gods of the ancient world, though, God wants his choice cuts of meat. (In Exodus, in fact, it appears that his choice cuts of meat include first born sons [Ex. 22:29], but that is a topic for another day.) God’s similarities to other gods clearly points to the development of the Judeo-Christian tradition out of the religious beliefs of other ancient cultures.

    5. Again like other religious groups of the ancient world, the Hebrews of Genesis had no conception of hell, and instead seem to have believed in a shadowy underworld, a place that they called “Sheol.” Pretty much everyone in Genesis goes to Sheol when they die, except for a few named exceptions in Gen. 5, who are chosen by God to join him in heaven. The fact that hell becomes part and parcel of Christian doctrine but does not exist in Genesis shows, of course, the fine-tuning of the Judeo-Christian belief system over time.

    6. It is also important to note that, in Genesis, deceit is acceptable under certain circumstances. Both Abraham and Isaac, during times of famine or journey, lie in order to earn the favor of rulers in surrounding areas (Gen. 12, Gen. 20, and Gen. 26). Both, in fact, present their wives as sisters in order to allow the inclusion of these women into the royal harems of Egypt and then Gerar and to secure the aid of those in power. (In this way, of course, arranged prostitution seems also acceptable under certain circumstances; more on that later.) To name another example, Rachel’s theft of her father’s “household gods” (the existence of which also call into question the monotheism of the Hebrews) and her false insistence on being in “the way of women” in order to disallow the search of her person for these items also show that it is okay to lie (Gen. 31). Whether Rachel took the idols because she wanted to deny her father access to their power or because she wanted to worship them herself, the implication seems to be that her quick thinking here aids in her husband’s successful escape of his overbearing father-in-law, and, more importantly, Isaac’s return to his people and fulfilling of his important in God’s plan for the Hebrews.

    7. This brings me to a crucial point, perhaps especially for all of those female Sunday School teachers out there: with the possible exception of the woman in the first creation story, women in the book of Genesis exist only as tools through which men fulfill God’s plan for the Hebrew nation. Women bear sons and, in this way, further the lineage of God’s chosen people (read: chosen men). Now, this fact can become obscured by the rhetoric of the portions of Genesis that name both mothers and fathers as ancestors of important Hebrew figures. It would appear that, in this way, female lineage is as important as male lineage. Just as in other ancient cultures, though, it seems most likely that female lineage is presented as significant in this way only because it represents the joining of two male-headed households. Isaac, for instance, enjoins his son to find a wife among the daughters of Laban, his wife’s brother (Gen. 28:1-4). Decrying other possible wives of the “Canaanite women,” Isaac thus works to ensure the pure Hebrew lineage of God’s chosen people, Jacob’s sons who later become the heads of the tribes of Israel. Because women are important only in helping men to fulfill their covenants with God, it makes sense that they should be sacrificed sexually for the Hebrew cause when necessary. If Sarah or Rebekah must be prostituted for the patriarchs to avoid starvation or death, as I mentioned above, the stories in Genesis imply, then so be it.

    8. Indeed, female sexuality is quite frequently presented as an invaluable bartering chip. To name another instance of male trading of women’s sexuality, Lot is willing to hand over two likely adolescent daughters to a band of angry “sodomites” in order to preserve the purity of his male guests, saying, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof” (Gen. 19:7-8). As in The Odyssey, then, hospitality it tied to male honor, and women are sacrificed to preserve the ties between men.

    9. As outrageous as it seems, the narrator(s) of Genesis present(s) women as taking pride in their purposes as embodied representations of the ties between men and as reproductive units. In order to ensure the continuation of their father’s male lineage, for instance, Lot’s daughters are, in a later scene, willing to deceive him into copulating with them—presumably multiple times—until both are pregnant with male heirs (Gen. 19:32-36). These nameless women are then venerated as the mothers of the male ancestors of the Moabites and the Ammonites (Gen. 19:37-38). When Sarah, Rachel, and Leah experience periods of barrenness (due to God’s inexplicable “closing of their wombs”), they are ashamed and, in seeming atonement, offer their slave women to their husbands for the procurement of male children (Gen. 16 and Gen. 30). These incidents clearly show that women in Genesis are in fact rendered heroically when they prostitute themselves and other women for the future of Israel!

    10. Now for a word about slavery: simply put, the early Hebrews were for it, and God never disallows it. (Even after their captivity in Egypt, not incidentally, the Hebrews functioned under codes and laws, passed directly from God to Moses, regarding the proper treatment of slaves, but that gets into Exodus.) What I am most interested in, though, is not slavery in and of itself—because obviously it was a bad thing—but the relationships between wifehood, concubinage, prostitution, and female slavery. All of these are mentioned in Genesis, and they seem to overlap in significant ways. As I have already demonstrated, wives and daughters are sometimes nearly prostituted (in each of the cases that I’ve mentioned, the “foreign” men who are offered the Hebrew women in trade reject these offers), and slaves seem to be routinely prostituted. Also, it appears that many of the patriarchs of Genesis held multiple wives, concubines, and female slaves and seemed to use them somewhat interchangeably. There is a definite slippage between these classes of women, and one passage demonstrates this point most succinctly. It picks up after Abraham has already had Ishmael by Hagar, Sarah’s slave, and Isaac by Sarah. After Sarah’s death, “Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him [six sons who went on to sire a total of ten more sons]. All of these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country” (Gen. 25:1-6). In this passage, Keturah is given the title of “wife,” but she is clearly classed with Abraham’s other “concubines” when Abraham sends all of his sons away except for Isaac, whom God has chosen as a leader of the Hebrew people. Hagar is presumably also considered a “concubine” in this instance, as Ishmael is grouped in with all of the other sons who are sent away. In sum, it seems that there is little difference for a man of God in Genesis between a wife, a prostitute, a concubine, and a female slave. They each exist for the sole purpose of producing male heirs in the Hebrew line and aiding in male endeavors to fulfill pacts with God.

    Culturally, historically, and literarily, the Biblical stories in Genesis are extraordinary. But their being taught to children in Christian settings as morality tales and as evidence of a coherent religious tradition is perplexing to me. The morality here is shady at best, and the tradition is almost certainly both composite and constructed to promote the solidarity and empowerment of an exclusive class of Hebrew men.
              Daily Jewce: Rabbi Opens Marijuana Dispensary, Jews who Mooned, and more        

    In the news today: Gilad Shalit meets Mayor Bloomberg, lacrosse comes to Israel, Judd Apatow gives advice, and more Read More

    The post Daily Jewce: Rabbi Opens Marijuana Dispensary, Jews who Mooned, and more appeared first on Jewcy.


              Exclusiva: Eva Ugarte, Israel Elejalde y José Manuel Poga fichan por la 2ªT de ‘Bajo Sospecha’        

    Se unen a Concha Velasco, Gonzalo de Castro, Leticia Dolera y muchos más.

    La entrada Exclusiva: Eva Ugarte, Israel Elejalde y José Manuel Poga fichan por la 2ªT de ‘Bajo Sospecha’ aparece primero en Mi Zona TV.


              A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing, and the Struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestine        
    A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing, and the Struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestine
    author: Mark Braverman
    name: Sara
    average rating: 4.50
    book published: 2013
    rating: 5
    read at: 2017/07/20
    date added: 2017/07/20
    shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
    review:


              The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy        
    The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
    author: John J. Mearsheimer
    name: Sara
    average rating: 3.92
    book published: 2006
    rating: 5
    read at: 2016/10/05
    date added: 2016/10/05
    shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
    review:


              Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel        
    Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel
    author: Alice Walker
    name: Sara
    average rating: 3.90
    book published: 2009
    rating: 3
    read at: 2016/05/23
    date added: 2016/05/26
    shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
    review:


              One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse        
    One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse
    author: Ali Abunimah
    name: Sara
    average rating: 4.19
    book published: 2006
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2016/04/29
    shelves: to-read
    review:


              Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories (Travel Guide)        
    Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories (Travel Guide)
    author: Lonely Planet
    name: Sara
    average rating: 3.88
    book published: 2015
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2016/04/28
    shelves: sara-s-exciting-travels
    review:


              Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians        
    Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians
    author: Gary M. Burge
    name: Sara
    average rating: 4.34
    book published: 2003
    rating: 5
    read at: 2016/03/17
    date added: 2016/03/17
    shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
    review:


              Muslim Liberals Caught in No Man's Land        
    Originally published in Huffington Post
    Muslim Liberals Caught in No Man's Land
    "Islam is the motherload of bad ideas." - Sam Harris
    "That's just a fact." - Bill Maher
    When the host of Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher, tag-teamed with 'new atheist' Sam Harris, to lead an assault on Islam last week, it was Batman-to-be Ben Affleck who stood up as the inexplicable first line of defense against the disjointed attack. Rounding out the panel of record, was New York Times activist Nicholas Kristof and Republican-lite Michael Steele. The debate - in which, of course no Muslims participated - quickly went viral. In the messy aftermath, Sam Harris even claimed that the media reaction vindicated him and proved his point. 
    While Maher and his sidekick, Harris - and for that matter the entire Dawkinsian crew - may not be the bigots that Affleck accused them of being, they certainly should not feel any sense of self-absorbed vindication. They are not emissaries of the truth nor do they represent the vanguard of neo-enlightenment. Rather they come across as pseudo-intellectual bullies driven by a vain desire for celebrity, feigning any concern for the 'victims of Islam' they cite in remarks branching from their central diatribe against the religion. In effect, they silence the very Muslim liberals and champions who are leading the charge for a more just, equal, and tolerant (i.e. liberal, I guess) Muslim world, forcing on them a Faustian and false choice between identity and values. 
    Just today, Malala Yousafzai, the ardent campaigner for girls' education from Pakistan and a proud Muslim, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, five of the last twelve recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have been Muslim. These five alongside millions of others seek to promote progressive and positive change in the Muslim world. They constitute everyday Muslims, not necessarily Islam incarnate. The reason this distinction is important is that treating as equal the Muslim world and the ideology of Islam is a misdirection that confuses an evolving 1,400-year philosophy with a disaggregated non-body politic of 1.5 billion people. As I wrote on these pagesseveral weeks ago, it does not mean ignoring a problem but diagnosing it accurately: 
    "There is no crisis in Islam. But, there is, conversely and unmistakably, an existential crisis (or crises) in the Muslim world...The approach of religious discourse divorces us from what is the larger crisis facing the Muslim world, which is one of being mired in a political, social and economic malaise, characterized by hollow leadership and disintegrating states, an environment into which extremism seeps."
    Malala and others are the vanguard in the fight being waged by Muslim liberals, one that is just unfolding, and which contests a broad range of injustices, inequalities, and intolerances in Muslim-majority countries. Yet, these individuals are also caught in a tripartite 'battle' that is ongoing: within the West, within the Muslim world and between the West and Muslim world. These battles are not clear-cut by any means, but each places the Muslim liberal effectively in no man's land. 
    Within the West, we are witnessing the rise of xenophobic and anti-immigration sentiment broadly in the conservative movement, and in the United States, most acutely, on the fringes of the Republican Party. This has been exacerbated by the War on Terror, in which, domestically, the Muslim constitutes the ubiquitous bogeyman. So mainstream is this sentiment, that a series such as Homeland entertains many Muslim Americans, even though it not-so-subtly portends that every Muslim from a secular journalist to a CIA agent could be a threat, simply because he or she is Muslim. More tangibly, in terms of everyday consequences, each new mosque in the U.S. now faces anti-Sharia protestors, including from sitting politicians (who conveniently forget the meaning of the First Amendment). 
    In Europe, however, while there has been similar sentiment from the conservative side of the spectrum, such as from political parties such as the UKIP or BNP in the United Kingdom, it has often dovetailed with a similarly xenophobic liberal view, such as that espoused by Sam Harris. Much akin to the convergence of the liberal humanitarian perspective with the neoconservative movement in recent years (e.g. prior to the Iraq War in 2003), this neo-liberalism is partly a revivalist movement of the White Man's Burden. Overall, within this battle, Islam is portrayed as a flawed essence, and there can be no equivocation. When an assured liberal such as Reza Aslan appears on CNN, he is forced to choose between Islam and liberalism, and asked to re-confirm that indeed Islam is the threat. Meanwhile, the anchors (on CNN) fail to realize that this would mean he would be asserting that he himself (and many members of his family) have an essentialized evilness about them. Whether or not a person like Reza Aslan is liberal is cast aside due to this inability to disavow Islam.
    Yet, it is not just Muslims on the American side of the Atlantic who are caught up in this game. In the Muslim world's own multi-dimensional civil war, we see hyper-nationalists and Islamists battling it out, overlaid with a layer of sectarian strife. Muslim liberals - a term used loosely without weighing the religiosity of individuals - are often the last ones in the streets pushing for open societies. Take the example of the exemplary Alaa Abdel Fattah in Egypt, who, fresh off from being released from prison on bail after being charged for encouraging a demonstration, had his nomination for the prestigious Sakharov Prize revoked. He, like all Muslims, inevitably faced the pro-Israel test, and (two weeks ago) failed. Already under threat of condemnation from within their countries, Muslim liberals within Muslim countries are abandoned in their hour of need by the haughtier-than-though 'critics' in the West. Muslim liberals may be fighting for democracy, against gender discrimination, and for the rights of minorities, but they likely have not reconciled with Zionism. Ask Malala for her views on Israel: you may not like the answer
    Finally, since 9/11 (and before as well), Western countries have increasingly been at war in the Middle East and within other majority-Muslim countries. The recent strikes against ISIS are just one recent example. In this battle, again the Muslim liberal is caught in no man's land. On one hand, he or she will surely be in favor of crushing the cancer that is ISIS but not by any means necessary nor will this mean broad support for the securitization of the interaction between the West and the Muslim world. When a recent video surfaced on Fox News from the Harvard campus, where many students alleged that the U.S. had a more detrimental footprint, overall, on the world stage than ISIS, the headline read, "Twisted Ivy: Harvard students say US bigger threat to world peace than ISIS." Imagine, a Muslim making the same statements as in the video. Game over. 
    When Bill Maher and Sam Harris pontificate from their plush perches, criminalizing a faith, which has 1.5 billion adherents, they think they are doing the world a big service. Nothing could be further from the truth. It should be pointed that Muslim countries are not uniquely in crisis and that broadly there are many countries in crisis in the developing world. In addition, America's homophobia is only now beginning to subside for example, and in many ways is still real (so no real claim can be made of some type of civilizational superiority). And many of Burma's Buddhist monks would have something to say about religious militancy being the dominion of Islamists only. Nevertheless, there are indeed a myriad of unique problems within the Muslim world, which is in a deep crisis. Yet, there are also countless Muslim leaders, intellectuals, clerics, philanthropists, and others, facing these problems, and trying to stand-up to illiberal phenomena in their communities and societies. They already are well aware of the challenges in front of them and do not need lectures from people far-removed from the very violence they face. 
    Maher's (and others) self-titillating orgies of intellectual masturbation demonstrate a total lack of awareness. Perhaps they'll be comforted by the controversy they spawn, indulging their egos as they eye retweets and dollar signs. As for the Muslim liberals on the frontlines? Once again they are caught in No Man's Land.
    Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taufiq-rahim/muslim-liberals-caught-in_b_5965546.html

              Malala Yousafzai and the Missing Brown Savior Complex        
    On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman accosted a bus carrying 15 year-old Malala Yousafzai and her schoolmates, and coldly shot them at close range. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan not only claimed responsibility for the blatant assassination attempt of the teenage education activist, but as it emerged that Malala would survive the attack, the movement also reiterated its desire to kill her. Miraculously through the efforts of friends and family, the local community in Swat Valley where she is from and where she was shot, and the Pakistani army that airlifted her to Peshawar, Malala Yousafzai survived (as did the other victims). Given the seriousness of her condition, it was imperative she was treated by the best doctors, and a generous gesture by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi allowed her to be flown by air ambulance to England for major surgery. Fast forward just one year later, Malala has recovered and is even more emphatic in her message against the Taliban, promoting the empowerment of young women like her across Pakistan, and all around the world. And expectedly, the global media, including The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, have been celebrating her courage (perhaps caught in the moment of it all).

    Great story, right? And what could be wrong about the alleged 'overexposure' of a young girl expressing words of peace and fighting for girls' education against a religious patriarchy? Apparently a lot. In fact, in Pakistan and in her hometown, her global coronation is treated with derision: "Malala is spoiling Pakistan's name around the world." Others have more sinister accusations of a CIA conspiracy involving both Malala and the gunman, claiming the entire affair is a Western plot. Yet, in recent days, an article written by a blogger in July on Huffington Post has been making the rounds on social media, entitled, "Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex." It argues, "Please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala."

    The truth is there is no white savior coming for Pakistan or for any Muslim country, the vast majority of which are characterised by pernicious politics, inequitable economics, and irrational intolerance. Lecturing the chattering classes about geopolitical realties and distributing treatises on Western imperialism won't change anything. Fundamentally it will only be the indigenous leadership - helped or not helped by outsiders - that will drive change. Yet, when leaders do emerge, it seems that the local media (and now social media) are pre-occupied with tearing them down rather than building them up. People instead squander their energy on misguided diatribes, as the case of Malala has unfortunately shown. The real reason that the 'white savior complex' even is relevant is that we fail to champion the very 'brown saviors' in our midst.

    Malala Yousafzai was thrust into the spotlight after her initial attack, which was so jarring that all Pakistani leaders came out in strong condemnation. Then Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari - himself a questionable character to say the least - labelling the attack as one against "all civilized people." Prior to the attack, Malala had rose to prominence as an activist, encouraged by her father, for girls education and against the policies and values of the Taliban, which was why she was targeted in the first place. Without picking up a gun, her message was considered a threat to their movement, which is amazing in it of itself. Yet, it was on July 12 earlier this year, speaking on her birthday to the United Nations that Malala brought tears to the eyes of millions of people around the world. Having remarkably recovered from her wounds (and having undergone partial facial reconstruction), and still facing death threats, Malala stood steadfast in front of a global audience, and spoke with fortitude and confidence: "The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."

    It was such a powerful moment, that almost every international news outlet carried the speech of this young woman live across the world. And for the first time in a long time, the Pakistani and Muslim in the spotlight was not an extremist but someone standing up to extremism. The plaudits continued to come, especially in the last few weeks, as Malala released a book about her experience and was awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize from the European Union. In fact, she was the rumored favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize, which in the end was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in a surprise but perhaps deserving win. Of course, the Western media in particular have a penchant for over-hyping (if not over-milking) and over-sensationalizing such stories of heroism. And it will be very difficult for Malala to not only live up to such hype but also to prevent the perception that she is over-shadowing other deserving heroes. Yet, is that not the story of all figures of change who inspire us? Was Nelson Mandela really the only Black leader in South Africa's prisons? Was Martin Luther King Jr. the only individual marching in the South? Was Aung San Suu Kyi the only fighter for freedom in Burma?

    It does seem increasingly, however, that Malala is a leader denied a strong constituency back home. It is easy to dismiss the allegations that she is a CIA agent - although the photo-op with the Obama's won't help - as well as the gloating of Taliban supporters after she was not awarded the Nobel Prize. Yet it is harder to dismiss the cacophony of criticism in Pakistan, in Swat Valley, and on the social media pages of Pakistanis, and for that matter, Muslims from around the world. As one government official said: "Everyone knows about Malala, but they do not want to affiliate with her." The primary complaints include the following:
    • This is another example of the West trying to portray themselves as a savior of the East. 
    • Malala is a secular heroine not a Muslim heroine. 
    • While her case is tragic there are other victims who deserve prominence. 
    • The crimes of the West through drones and in Iraq and Afghanistan, far outweigh the crimes of the Taliban. 
    • This is an effort of the West to try to avoid its own complicity in the situation in Pakistan that led to Malala's shooting. 
    As with most disinformation campaigns, this one is based on kernels of truth. For starters, the world does neglect the stories of deserving others. One such example would be of the tour-de-force Pakistani social worker  Parveen Rehman who was shot dead in Karachi earlier this year. Additionally, it has been the Western media that has largely driven the popular support for Malala globally; that, however, has to be attributed to the dismal failure of the Pakistani media to not do so instead (in my humble opinion). Finally, and the most valid critique is that the story of Malala should not negate the very pivotal role the United States and the West has played and continues to play in creating the current perilous conditions in Pakistan and in contributing to the deaths of innocents there, and in other countries. 

    Firstly, U.S. policy has been heavily involved in the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan, which it tacitly supported alongside Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's intelligence service in the mid-1990s. Moreover, the United States and Saudi Arabia (and some other Western and Muslim powers) cooperated to support radical jihadism (even printing textbooks to that effect for Afghanistan) and Islamism as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and communism. In fact, Israel also supported the radical group Hamas as a counterweight to the secular Fatah movement of then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Yes, the world was and is screwed up, and the powers of the world have much complicity in that. 

    Secondly, and more importantly, the military operations carried out by the U.S. in particular in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq have led to thousands of deaths of innocent people in recent years. These actions have largely gone unpunished and the victims have been forgotten. Certainly it is not just the Taliban that are killing and the world cannot dispense justice selectively. 

    Does saying all of that make Malala Yousafzai any less of a hero (or heroine)? Is her courage dimmed by the crimes of others? Is her movement for the empowerment of young girls in Pakistan any less important? Of course not. Criticisms of the West will bring no one closer to emancipation. And it cannot mask the very pure fact that today's purveyors of disaster and death in the world also include Muslims.

    Who bombed the church in Peshawar slaughtering 85 worshippers? Who attacked Westgate Mall in Nairobi killing dozens of innocents? Who murders dozens of men, women and children in Iraq every week? When a Muslim rises up - a so-called brown savior - to fight such crimes and the movements behind them, we should put him or her on our shoulders and not try to chase that person into the darkness. There is no shame in admitting Brown and Muslim guilt in the world's crimes, and it does not negate the wider reality and context around the violence that does occur. In fact, our fear of partial guilt in particular should not misguidedly cause us to throw out the very sparse examples of (counter-) leadership in Muslim countries that emerge and strike fear in the heart of radical extremists. 

    It has become far too easy on all sides to blame the other rather than introspect inward. Above all, instead of blaming the West for its 'white savior complex' maybe it's time to develop our own brown savior complex to save ourselves from ourselves. 



              The Goodness and Severity of God        
    A new MP3 sermon from Merriman Hills Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: The Goodness and Severity of God
    Subtitle: Romans
    Speaker: Mike Perry
    Broadcaster: Merriman Hills Baptist Church
    Event: Sunday - AM
    Date: 7/9/2017
    Bible: Romans 11
    Length: 47 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: In God's sovereign will He has allowed the nation of Israel to reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah for the time being so that the Gospel can be spread among the Gentiles. God will use the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy in order to draw them back to Himself.
              10 Questions on the Conflict in Syria        
    A potential military strike by Western powers on Syria now appears to be a fait accompli and is being touted as long overdue. Given the spiralling humanitarian disaster that has overtaken the country during the last two years of conflict, continued inaction appears to be an untenable reality. The death toll is now well over 100,000 (although the proportion of civilians to combatants is unclear). There are 2 million refugees, half of whom are children, and over 4 million more internally displaced persons (IDPs), amounting to a quarter of the country's overall population. Yet, it was the apparent chemical weapons attack in the suburbs around Damascus known as Ghouta last week that has served as the impetus for international military intervention into the conflict. Amidst the rhetoric and war rehearsals, clarity on what is really happening seems to be cast aside in the media, in favor of faux-spontaneous leaks, retired generals, and trumpeters of past wars. Here are ten questions to try to set the record straight.


    1. Were chemical weapons used in Syria?

    When the initial attack unfolded last Wednesday, August 21 in the suburbs in Damascus known as Ghouta (near the town/suburb of Jobar), news quickly spread to local, regional and international media. Claims were made of hundreds of deaths, with some activists claiming the death toll was 1,300. Moreover, the Government of Syria immediately denied responsibility and has continued to do so. However, the attack did unfold amidst a series of army strikes on Jobar, which is a rebel-held area, and has been for quite some time. The Government conversely claimed to find chemical weapons supplies in tunnels in the same area, and it is alleged that some Hezbollah fighters were also exposed to chemical toxins.

    A week on, it appears incontrovertible that chemical weapons were used, not just from YouTube videos but also from visits by independent journalists, and of course by a report by Médecins Sans Frontières that has documented at least 355 deaths from local hospitals. It is likely that the chemical agent used was a neurotoxin or nerve gas, most likely sarin gas. What is still not clear, is how they were delivered (i.e. in what form and carried on what type of weapon) and from where.

    It should also be kept in mind that this was not the first attack that has been alleged. There have been numerous claims by rebels, and counter-claims by the government on the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. Here's a map of those events. In fact, this is precisely why the team of UN inspectors had arrived in the country, the day before this latest incident (and massacre) took place. In fact, what is interesting is that their investigation of other sites has now been put on the back-burner due to the latest developments.

    2. Do we know who actually used the chemical weapons? 

    The United States, United Kingdom, and France have all stated they are certain that the Government of Syria has undertaken the attack last week. On the U.S. side, at the forefront of the rhetoric has been Vice President Biden - who has said there is 'no doubt' - and Secretary of State John Kerry, who made an evocative plea for action several days ago. Of course, the next speech is the most important, and it would be one made by President Barack Obama. In light of this certainty, it would be difficult to question the attribution of blame. A leak from the US government also claims to have intercepted a murky call between commanders in the Syrian army that supposedly is evidence of culpability on the Syrian side.

    There is tremendous reason to doubt U.S. claims. Firstly, it should not be forgotten that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented ironclad evidence to the United Nations Security Council of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that Saddam Hussein possessed, a finding that was later proven to be utterly false, but which was the basis of a war that continues until today. Secondly, the U.S. claimed that there was incontrovertible proof that the Government of Syria was responsible for earlier chemical attacks this year, but that finding has been contested, and some experts apportioned blame to the rebels fighting the government. And finally, in this case, no evidence has been presented, as of yet to make such a determination, at least not conclusively.

    Does that mean the Assad and his regime are not responsible? No. It is very likely given the ongoing military operations in the same area that the Syrian government launched such an attack. Yet, more evidence needs to be presented to make a definitive conclusion. The other scenarios that could be possible are:

    - Extremists groups like Jubhat al-Nusra, who have previously seized advanced weaponry and possibly chemical weapons from Syrian army bases and positions, were attempting to use them on Syrian soldiers (or conversely to cast blame on the Syrian army);

    - The Government of Syria inadvertently hit a stockpile of sarin gas releasing the toxins (although unclear if this would lead to the effects that we've seen); or

    - Rogue elements within the chain of command used chemical weapons intentionally or inadvertently.

    Russia, Iran and China have of course cast doubt on western claims but that is to be expected.

    3. What would be the basis or justification for US intervention?

    The U.S. intervention would likely be on the basis of Obama's previously stated red line on Syria, which would be the mass use/movement of chemical weapons. It is not in fact about humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect framework, developed in the 1990s to prevent genocide and mass civilian deaths. If it was, then the humanitarian case for intervention has been present for some time, and other massacres by the Syrian regime, such as in Houla in 2012, would have provided sufficient pretext. Obviously, the U.S. and other Western powers, and regional countries, have their own interests at play that are much more geopolitical in nature, but the justification or casus belli being offered is around the issue of chemical weapons, and chemical weapons alone.

    4. Will anybody else be involved in the military strikes besides the US and will this affect whether they are 'legal'?

    Given Russian and Chinese opposition, and a likely veto of any resolution by the United Nations Security Council supporting such a military strike on Syria - especially in light of the intervention in Libya, which Russia regretted supporting - a 'coalition of the willing' will need to be developed. This coalition would be broader than the Iraq War in 2003, and would be similar to the coalition carrying out the strikes against Serb positions vis-a-vis Kosovo in 1999. While the U.S., U.K. and France will likely lead an effort, Turkey would also be critical as a staging ground (as it borders Syria from the North), and thus there will be an attempt to launch such an attack under the auspices of NATO. Despite its reluctance, Jordan, given its reliance on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia politically and economically, will have no choice but to support . The two other neighbours of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are squarely against any military strike. And of course, the other neighbor - Israel - would sit this one out but would provide intelligence to the U.S. and other parties on Syrian positions, given that it has already undertaken a number of air strikes on Syria in the past two years.

    Further afield, it is likely the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will support military intervention, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates possibly sending fighter jets to participate in a strike to give it regional cover and credibility. Finally, while many groups within the Arab and Muslim world, and the 'left' of the West, will oppose military intervention, many others will support it, because of the spiralling humanitarian situation in Syria.

    Technically speaking if the military intervention is not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and there is no imminent threat that the U.S. and other parties can point to towards its own territory or its assets, it would be illegal under international law. However, that has not stopped NATO or other countries (i.e. Russia in Georgia) form undertaking military action in the past. And before the Iraq War, some scholars claimed that while such an attack would be illegal it would be legitimate, and demonstrated retroactively to be legal. Given the state of world affairs, 'legality' is likely not a determining factor for a strike on Syria.

    5. Are we seeing a repeat of Iraq in 2003? 

    No. The situation today with Syria is different than it was in 2003 in Iraq, for many reasons, despite some passing similarities. In Iraq, the U.S. claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction while in Syria, we already know Bashar al-Assad possesses chemical weapons, and the question is whether he used them (small aside, it was released this week that thirty years ago, the U.S. obstructed a UN investigation when it knew Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons). In Iraq, the U.S. alleged that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qaeda (and related groups), while in Syria, Bashar al Assad is widely acknowledged to be fighting Al Qaeda (and related groups) in addition to the 'Free Syrian Army' (and in addition to crushing peaceful demonstrators). In Iraq, there was no active state of conflict that was leading to a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe (and the potential use of WMDs), while in Syria there is not just a violent conflict, but also WMDs have been used by somebody (even if the culprit is not yet clear).

    What should be noted, however, is that both Iraq in 2003 and Syria in 2013, are in complex environments, and any removal of government or sustained military intervention would have dramatic unforeseen consequences. It seems like the media debate in the U.S. is also similarly anaemic (but slightly better) this time around.

    6. What is the real motivation for the United States and other powers?

    As with all things in this world when it comes to international relations, the primary interest is not humanitarian but geopolitical. This is not absolute, however, and it could be argued that Turkey has been insisting on humanitarian intervention from an early stage. However, the regimes (not peoples) in the Gulf, most notably Saudi Arabia, are exclusively concerned with dislodging Syria from the Iranian orbit, and severing connections between Syria and Hezbollah. Humanitarian concerns are a by-product. And for the United States, something similar is at play. As noted above, if this was about humanitarian concerns, action would have been taken long before 100,000 deaths had occurred.

    For the U.S. it has been looking for regime change in Syria for a while. However, these strikes if they occur, will be about sending a message and asserting America's position in the Middle East, given the red line that Obama drew. Ultimately, it may tip the scales in the rebels favour or improve the U.S.'s negotiating position vis-a-vis Iran. The chemical weapons attack in a morbid way, opened a door of opportunity for Western powers (with GCC support) to do something limited without a full-scale intervention.

    7. Will military intervention solve the Syrian conflict?

    No. Military intervention no matter how small or how big will not solve the Syrian conflict. In fact, it could very much exacerbate the situation on the ground even further (if that can be imagined). What is being reported currently is that the U.S. and allies will undertake a series of 'surgical strikes', a euphemism for a large-scale assault on key military and strategic installations, such as army positions, air bases, radar installations, communications infrastructure, supply routes, and, where appropriate, power stations (among other targets). More than anything this will be intended to send a message to the regime and weaken its capabilities. Yet, it would not be a fatal blow. And it would not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the rebels. It may in fact mobilize certain parties to support the regime, if there are civilian casualties from the intervention.

    The solution to the Syrian situation has to be political, if it is going to lead to stability or peace. Yet, if the military intervention escalated and led to the removal of the Syrian regime, that would still not be the end of the conflict. After the Soviets were booted out of Afghanistan, the country devolved into a civil war for five years until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Somalia has only recently stabilised (somewhat), more than 20 years after the assassination of its leader, President Siad Barre. And neighboring Lebanon, took 15 years of conflict (1975-1990) to reach an end, which was brought about by ironically Syrian military intervention (which committed its own crimes), that produced a - audible gasp - political settlement.

    8. What could potentially go wrong?

    Everything. The potential for disaster following military intervention in any country is great (see Black Hawk Down, Iraq, Afghanistan and the list goes on). Yet, in Syria it could be apocalyptic. Here is a list of what that could entail:

    - Chemical weapons are used by Syria against its neighbors such as Jordan and Turkey, or U.S. military positions in those countries;
    - U.S. planes/helicopters are shot down leading to an escalation of U.S. involvement requiring boots on the ground;
    - Syria sends a volley of missiles into Tel Aviv and other places in Israel, leading to a regional war;
    - Proxy forces of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, launch a sustained campaign against Israel/U.S. interests, including attacks embassies within Lebanon/Palestine/Israel but also in other countries, in the short and medium-term;
    - Al Qaeda forces in the region, while opposing the Assad regime, oppose U.S. intervention especially if there are masses of civilian casualties, and use it as a pretext for attacks in places such as Yemen;
    - Russia objects to the U.S. strike, and mobilizes warships to the Mediterranean, leading to a standoff with Europe and the U.S.;
    - Negotiations with Iran, still in embryonic stages are suspended irrevocably;
    - Six party talks with North Korea are suspended by Russia, China, and North Korea irrevocably;
    - The Syrian regime goes all out in its conflict and begins to bomb with even more abandon civilian areas controlled by rebels, leading to thousands of casualties, and counter-massacres by enraged rebel fighters;
    - The Syrian regime is removed by force from power by the intervention, leading to a power vacuum sinking the country further into civil war for over a decade of even more violent strife and a possible Al Qaeda style government;
    - Tensions rise in the Middle East, especially in places of sectarian division (i.e. Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq) leading to civil strife and attacks on governments, and counter-attacks on populations; and
    - World War 3.

    9. What could potentially go right?

    It may seem that what is written above is slightly alarmist and that's true. Many things can go wrong (most of which, to be honest, are hard to predict as they will be unforeseen consequences or as Donald Rumsfeld, ironically calls them, unknown unknowns). However, the U.S.-led strikes could be quite effective. Firstly, if they are limited in scope, they can be completed in one day, reducing the risk for a military entanglement and civilian casualties. Secondly, if they are from the air, there is limited risk for casualties on the side of the intervening forces. Thirdly, an attack that is forceful and hits Syrian military positions, will send a message to Assad that there is a limit to what he can do, which thus far has not been the case, and may entice him to reach a political settlement. Fourthly, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime would retaliate, for a short strike on positions, against Israel, knowing that they cannot afford to fight a war on so many fronts (and thus far they have yet to retaliate to any Israel air strike). Finally, the systematic destruction of Assad's air capabilities could be instrumental in limiting civilian casualties by the regime in the future.

    All of this is one possibility of what could occur.

    10. Let's cut to the chase - should I support or not support military intervention?

    There is no clearcut answer. Ultimately, military intervention should not be supported as a solution to the Syrian conflict. It is not, and whether we like it or not, a political solution/settlement is the only way the current situation moves towards peace and stability. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Vietnamese negotiated with the U.S. The Lebanese negotiated with each other. The Dayton Accords to end the Bosnian War were signed with Slobodan Milosevic. It may not be easy, it may be unlikely, and it will not work perfectly, but political discussions involving all parties is the only way to find a real solution.

    That being said, if a case is made with overwhelming evidence by independent parties (not U.S. conjecture) that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, then military intervention on a limited scale, and for a period of 1-2 days only, should be undertaken, ideally with UN support - and if not with broad support of half of the members, i.e. 90, of the UN General Assembly to demonstrate legitimacy - against military targets only, which will both send a message about the use of these weapons and damage the capabilities of Assad.

    What is clear is that whatever happens, there are no clear answers with regards to the conflict in Syria.

              The Seed of Abraham        
    A new MP3 sermon from Merriman Hills Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: The Seed of Abraham
    Subtitle: Romans
    Speaker: Mike Perry
    Broadcaster: Merriman Hills Baptist Church
    Event: Sunday - AM
    Date: 6/18/2017
    Bible: Romans 9:1-23
    Length: 47 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: Paul so strongly desires that Israel be saved that he would be will to be accursed himself. With many Old Testament references Paul shows that God's promise to Abraham is given to all who believe in Jesus Christ. This does not change the fact the the promises to Israel are still to Israel.
              The Middle East’s New Divide: Muslim Versus Muslim         

    This article appears on Al-Monitor.com, where you can find the full version. 

    On June 8, a devastating clash between residents and militia members erupted at the headquarters of the Libya Shield Brigade in Benghazi, Libya, leaving dozens dead and scores more injured. Meanwhile, the next day on the Sunday talk show circuit in the United States, amid continued partisan discussion of the September 2012 consulate attack in Benghazi, there was scant mention of the major clash from the day before. The disconnect exemplified the chasm between the new battle lines on the ground across the Middle East and the political discourse a world away.

    For much of the last decade, most have digested the narrative of a Muslim-West divide. It was so pervasive that newly elected US President Barack Obama, portrayed as a symbolic messiah bridging two worlds, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize before even completing a year of his term. Twelve years after the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, much of the discussion about the "Muslim world" has internalized this language, and why not? The conflict between the Palestinians and US-supported Israel remains unresolved, US drone strikes continue unabated in Pakistan and Yemen and terrorist attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing are still occurring in deadly fashion.

    These days, however, one is more likely to see the burning of a Syrian government flag than an American flag amid the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict, for which the United States is criticized primarily for not intervening. One is more likely to see Iraqis killed in a terrorist attack than Americans. In fact, in recent years approximately 90% of terrorism-related fatalities have been Muslim. One is more likely to see the demonization of a Shiite than a Jew by an extremist Muslim ideologue. The battle lines have shifted from Islam versus the West to Muslim versus Muslim, and it is time for politicians and pundits in the United States and the Middle East alike to catch up.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/new-middle-east-muslim-versus-muslim.html#ixzz2c5fRQCzj

              Another Coup for the Outgoing Emir of Qatar        
    In July 2010, the (now outgoing) Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, traveled to South Lebanon to bask in the gratitude for his country's largesse in supporting reconstruction following the Israeli bombardment just four years earlier. The $300 million (and beyond) committed by the Gulf state was very much appreciated by the Shiite armed movement Hezbollah, who ensured billboards in the South and on Airport Road in Beirut were decorated with notes of thanks to the Emir. It was a conspicuous visit because Qatar had stood out amongst the GCC in taking a strong if not controversial stand. Hand-in-hand with Hezbollah, the Emir, was not apparently one of the "half-men" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pointed to in the Gulf during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war. In fact, the Emir and Assad were quite close, if not close friends, and were frequently in touch.

    In 2013, Qatar finds itself at the forefront on a number of regional issues, most notably the conflict in Syria, which had pitted the Emir in direct opposition to his old friend Bashar Al Assad. In fact, on the sectarian front, hosting firebrand spiritual figure, Yusuf al-Qaradawi who recently called for a Sunni-led jihad, and allying almost openly with Muslim Brotherhood movements in the region (which brought criticism from people as far afield as Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef), has increasingly prompted the question: Has the politically adept Qatar lost its touch?

    Once again, however, the Emir of Qatar (who I'll refer to by his initials HBK) shocked the region with another unprecedented move - this time the transfer of power to his 33-year old son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (the 'new Emir'). In doing so, HBK put Qatar back on the political front-foot and raised the pressure on regional allies. And in typical style, he added another deft touch in his address to the nation with a quote (and the only quote outside from scripture) from Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph in Islam and the first Imam of the Shi'a Muslims: 'Teach your children other than that what you were taught; as they are created for a time other than yours."

    It was nearly 18 years to the day, on June 27, 1995 [although official Qatari sites list his 'start-date' as June 26] that the outgoing Emir, HBK, came to power in a bloodless coup with the aid of his current outgoing Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamid bin Jassim al-Thani (HBJ) and other figures. He dislodged his father, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, at the time, under largely benign circumstances but also as Qatar was starting to truly increase its economic base. When HBK took the reigns, the country was bit-player on the regional scene, with a GDP of $8bn. Today, the country is a regional powerhouse, punching far above its weight with a GDP in upwards of $170bn. The transformation, after HBK's rise, began in a number of areas:
    • In 1995 (August), the Emir alongside his wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, launched what has become one of the largest foundations, Qatar Foundation, dedicated to 'knowledge' and social development in the country and wider region;
    • In 1996, the State of Qatar launched Al Jazeera, initially only in Arabic, which shocked the region by becoming literally the only widespread outlet of independent voices (from the 'regimes') in the region; 
    • And in 1997, Qatar Airways was relaunched and became a symbolic flagship for the country, although it is not clear whether the carrier will ever truly be profitable.
    Economically, with growing revenues from natural gas over the last decade and a half, the departing Prime Minister, HBJ, effectively became the CEO of the country. In addition, to governing national investments through the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund, HBJ also built up constituent vehicles like Qatari Diar, which looked to deploy billions of dollars in capital throughout the region, including in places that would traditionally be 'off-the-grid' like Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Territories.

    Yet, while the transformation of Qatar happened on several levels - and Sheikha Moza led a number of key initiatives that have separately built up the profile of the country - the Prime Minister & Emir particularly forged a formidable political duo, implementing a plan for political leadership which led to alternating reactions of admiration and consternation in the region. HBK & HBJ became in recent years, the guiding and influencing force on a number of key regional files. It was a strategy of multi-faceted engagement and relevance, often replete with paradoxes, that even until now has confounded observers and analysts, who were always late to the party in understanding and engaging with Qatar.

    For example, while condemning Al Jazeera Arabic for links to Al Qaeda, the U.S. government in September 2002 began moving its Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in part to Doha. Qatar maintained an Israeli trade office since the late 1990s (closing intermittently during the Intifada and in 2009 during the Gaza War), while also building up relations with Hamas throughout the 2000s. The country maintained strong links within the GCC, and also with Sunni allies such as leader of the Future Party Saad Hariri, but in 2008 it was their ties with Hezbollah that allowed them to forge the Doha Agreement, averting what could have been a dark period of civil strife in Lebanon. There was no end to the political engagement: peace talks on Darfur, engagement with the Taliban, mediation between Chad and Sudan, and the list goes on.

    On the political level, while the period prior to the Arab awakening was characterized by engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, in early 2011, it seemed that Qatar was starting to play a much more partisan role. Previous allies such as Syria's Assad, and Libya's Gaddhafi fell by the wayside very quickly, with Qatar in fact leading efforts in the fight to topple both dictators. And in other 'revolutionary' environments such as Egypt and Tunisia, where the ruling parties are Islamist, Qatar has become the political football for its perceived support for Islamist movements. Critics ask why figures like Qaradawi (mentioned above) are based in Qatar? Why was the state mosque in Doha named after the founder of Wahhabism, the particularly conservative brand of Islam, in 2011? And why has a station like Al Jazeera portrayed only one side of the story, often with an 'Islamic' bent, the last two years especially?

    Yet, the criticism has only grown commensurate with the prominence of Qatar in the region. On one hand, the policies of Qatar were simply part of its strategy of engagement in the region, to demonstrate leadership but also fundamentally relevance - important for a small country that previously lived in the shadow of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Arab uprisings and subsequent rise of Islamist movements in the region was a tremendous opportunity for Qatar to provide indispensable leadership. Yet, leadership and unique prominence, has consequences, and it is likely that the inflection point of a transfer of power, provides a moment for reflection, especially as the region comes to terms with its new (and oft-changing) dynamics. What was immensely popular in late 2011 no longer is definitively so. For example, in Egypt, President Morsi's approval rating has notably dropped from 70% to 40%.

    Thus, the transfer of power to a new ruler, in Sheikh Tamim, means that Qatar can assess its strategic position and alignment. Perhaps, the country could benefit from a broader engagement given rising divisions in the region, and once again capture the role of lead mediator? Domestically, Sheikh Tamim will play close attention to catalyzing the role of his generation in the country's leadership. After all, Qatar had yet to enact the legislative or Shura Council that HBK promised when he rose to power, and enshrined in the Constitution ratified 9 years ago. The first step will be the announcement of a new cabinet that will replace what is increasingly seen as a gentrified political elite with new or younger faces. It is also expected that there may be a rise in salaries of Qataris employed in the public sector, at a smaller scale, however, to a similar announcement in 2011. Most important, however, will be a new dialogue and series of consultations that the new Emir will have with Qatari citizens, whose expectations have risen with new-found wealth and prosperity. In particular, with 70% of Qataris under the age of 30, engaging youth will be a priority. Do they feel included in the governance of the country and its institutions? Are there sufficient opportunities for employment and growth? And do public services meet their expectations?

    As Sheikh Tamim assesses the domestic situation, he does have a strong ally in his mother, Sheikha Moza, and the institutions she leads that address youth, health and education. And he will rely on  experienced hands like Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani to evaluate macro-projects like the Qatar World Cup preparations and the development of the national railways. Yet, both on the national and international fronts, the new Emir is not without experience or preparation. While observers were caught off-guard, it is thought HBK had planned for this day far ahead of time. The ascension of the Crown Prince to the leadership, began in earnest over the past two years. In fact, when significant announcements like the salary increase from 2011 were made, it was from Sheikh Tamim's office. He was also front and center, for example, when the move was made to shift Hamas headquarters out of Syria. And the then Crown Prince had been taking an increasing "foreign affairs role" amidst the Arab uprisings.

    While the policies that Qatar will follow will likely be unchanged in the short-term, we will have to wait and see what path the new Emir forges in the long-term. Yet, his father has assured that he enters on the political front-foot. Even in his departure, the outgoing Emir left as he came in - with a coup. Upending traditions in the region, he ensured that he would leave the scene at the ripe (for the GCC) age of 61, leaving power to his son who is only 33. This is next to countries such as Saudi Arabia, where the King is 91 (if not older) and where power has never been transferred to the 'next generation', passed instead from brother-to-brother among the descendents of King Abdelaziz (since his death in 1953). Or take Bahrain, where the Prime Minister, Khalifa bin Salman, has helmed the government for over four decades without interruption.

    Certainly, the move by HBK has not ushered in a democracy in Qatar; it is still an authoritarian state. And the ascension of Sheikh Tamim does not automatically assuage any of the concerns (real or perceived) ranging from migrant rights to nepotism to regional interference. Nevertheless, in its own way, Qatar has provided the region with a new revolutionary moment. Now we wait to see how the day-after, always the hard part, plays out.


               For President Obama on Day One: A New “New Beginning”         
    On Day One: A New “New Beginning”
    There was never a question that President Barack Obama represented a symbolic break with the past – someone who could redefine relations with the Muslim world. However to add substance to the symbolism of change, early on in his first term, President Obama went to Cairo to make a speech entitled, “A New Beginning.” Yet, as he begins a second term it is clear that this new beginning needs to be reinvigorated in both style and substance. That initial speech, while poignant then, today rings hollow. If indeed President Obama and the administration are to achieve a definitive step change in relations with Muslim communities, there must be a renewed effort for honest dialogue, robust development initiatives, and tangible shifts in policy.

    At the onset of the Iraq War in 2003, President George W. Bush had abysmal numbers in many Muslim-majority countries. While 59 percent of Nigerians, 56 percent of Jordanians, and 46 percent of Pakistanis held confidence in Osama bin Laden’s leadership, Bush was polling in the single digits in the same countries. By 2008, in countries like Jordan and Turkey, nearly 90 percent of people had “little or no confidence” in President Bush.

    So when a young Kenyan-American Senator with Muslim roots, Barack Obama, emerged on the political scene, he was a welcome sight in even unsavory and sharply antagonistic corners of the Muslim world. In the midst of the political campaign even Hamas seemingly endorsed him saying, “Actually, we like Mr. Obama.” Winning over Hamas never was (nor should it have been) a litmus test, but when President Barack Obama was elected, there was near universal euphoria across Muslim communities.

    Early on, Obama and others in the Administration acknowledged the challenge in meeting these expectations. Even before he was inaugurated, the Administration was already planning to mark this ‘new beginning.’ Going into the heart of Cairo to engage university students in an honest speech about a real change in relations between the U.S. and Muslims was indeed something to be commended. Subsequent to the speech, the White House created a position on the National Security Council for Global Engagement, and the State Department launched a number of partnership initiatives. In the fall of 2009, D.C. played host to the Presidential Summit of Entrepreneurship that brought together 250 delegates from over 50 (mostly Muslim) countries.

    Then the situation started to become more difficult. There are no easy answers in the complex geopolitical relations in the wider Middle East and beyond. When the Green Movement in Iran demanded democratic change, the Obama administration had to contemplate whether it was for engagement with ‘regimes’ or engagement with ‘peoples.’ One of the President’s early visits was to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah prior to his Cairo speech, during which he said in reference to fundamental liberties, “They are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.” But during his visit with the King, there was deafening silence on this point. The advent of the Arab Spring made these dilemmas even sharper. Support democracy in Tunisia and Egypt at the last minute. Push democracy by force in Libya. Half-heartedly support it in Yemen. Remain frozen on Syria. Tacitly oppose it everywhere else.

    While Obama has grappled with difficult decisions, as any President would, he also shirked following up on critical points he made during his speech in Cairo. For example, he declared, “I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Guantanamo Bay remains open, almost glaringly so. And while, torture has allegedly stopped being an officially sanctioned practice, summary executions and civilian casualties by drone strikes have dramatically increased in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa. The latter have led directly to animus towards Obama from within many Muslim countries.

    Then there was the line in the speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements…The settlements must stop.” Of course, they did not. In fact, in February 2011 the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that called on Israel to simply “cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory.” Out of 15 countries on the Security Council, the U.S. was the lone dissent (and of course the fatal one). This is not to mention that the U.S. also stood against 95 percent of the world’s population in voting against recognizing Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in November.

    There were other elements of the ‘New Beginning’ that were promised, particularly around education and entrepreneurship. It is true that the U.S. has now (co-)organized three global entrepreneurship summits, in D.C., Istanbul, and Dubai, the latter being held in 2012. Yet, it is also clear that beyond the pomp of a summit, the once-robust programmatic initiatives that have come out have been weaker. Leadership changes within internal initiatives, as well as those with partners, have meant stalled if not stagnant programming. The idea of connecting entrepreneurs between the Muslim world and the West is a mutually beneficial and powerful concept, but it has not translated into the impact it should have by now. In the last summit in Dubai, it was as if the institutional memory from three years ago was lost, and everything was starting again.

    All this being said, there still exists the perception that relations have improved between the U.S. and Muslim communities. However, since 2009 and Obama’s inauguration, positive views have been on a steady decline in Muslim countries, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project. In 2009, 33 percent of respondents held confidence in Obama; that number slipped to 24 percent in 2012. In 2009, 25 percent of respondents held a favorable view of the U.S.; that figure dropped to 15 percent in 2012. Finally, approval of Obama’s ‘international policies’ fell from 34 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2012. Without a substantive shift, these numbers will continue to decline, further cementing the reality that there never was a new beginning.

    Can things be turned around, given the current state of affairs? It would be misleadingly Pollyannaish to think that President Obama could snap his fingers and magically change opinion towards him from Muslim countries. Moreover, there are certain political realities that will remain. The U.S. will continue to be an ally of Israel. The U.S. will continue to fight terrorism. And the U.S. will not be able to fund new Marshall plans in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, there is a lot that can and should be done.

    At the outset, President Obama needs to re-launch a dialogue with the Muslim world. At the beginning of his first term he went to Cairo to give a speech. Perhaps he should go to Cairo in 2013 to have a conversation. In fact, since becoming president, Obama has visited only the country of his upbringing, Indonesia, apart from the initial trips to Saudi Arabia and Egypt (in addition to cloak-and-dagger visits to Afghanistan), within the Muslim world. Instead of distant speeches and dispatched drones, the Administration would be served by a President who is more engaged with his audience, through visits as well as frank and honest dialogue during those trips.

    Although the U.S. will not reverse decades of support for Israel, it need not ally with the most extreme policies of the Israeli government. Continuing to be the lone voice at the United Nations and international community defending illegal Israeli practices is a sharp blow to many efforts of the Obama administration. There is no third-term, and the President should stop pandering to contrived political interests in Washington D.C. There are enough Jewish supporters, lobby groups, and intelligentsia, who would support a more moderate and principled set of policies towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    Israel is, of course, not the only foreign policy issue that should be of concern. The U.S., while acting in its national interest, should remain consistent in its language and support for key principles of human rights. It is when it becomes caught in naked hypocrisy that support for the Administration falls, whether in Bahrain in 2011 or Egypt in 2012, and a range of countries, perhaps, in 2013.
    Finally, initiatives that can make an impact on tackling the economic despair for young people, like the 100 million youth who will enter the labor market over the next decade in the Arab world, need to be prioritized. There needs to be sufficient attention and support for the global entrepreneurship program that can truly support the emerging and exciting entrepreneurial energy in places like Amman and Ramallah, Karachi and Kuala Lumpur. The U.S. has the best soft-power in this area, from the start-up scene in Silicon Valley to MIT Labs, yet it is hardly deployed, even though the White House calls entrepreneurship, “a critical pillar of U.S. global engagement.”

    There is a tremendous opportunity in President Obama’s second term to catalytically shift relations with Muslim communities and turn potential adversaries into allies. If the status quo, however, is maintained in policy and practice, this opportunity will be lost.

    This article originally appeared in the print edition of the Diplomatic Courier, in the January/February 2013 issue. It can be accessed online at: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/news/regions/middle-east/1315-on-day-one-a-new-new-beginning. 

              When did Canada go wrong on Israel/Palestine?        
    A lot has been written in the subsequent weeks following Canada's strong stand and vote against Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, in an almost intrinsic and essentialist stance. It is a relationship that Harper has said he would defend at any cost:


              New iPad launching in 21 additional countries this month        

    Apple today issued a press release announcing the new third-generation iPad will go on sale in another twleve countries starting on Friday, April 20. Notably, one of the twelve is the important South Korean market. The other eleven countries include Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela.

    Then one week later on Friday, April 27, Apple will begin selling the new iPad in an additional nine countries: Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand. Both the Wi-Fi and 4G models will be on sale and available through Apple's online store and at select Apple Authorized Resellers.

    The new iPad will be available in 56 countries around the world as of April 27th.


              'New' iPad landing in South Korea, Israel and 19 other countries, officially ceases to be new in US        
    iPad
    Are you not in one of the 35 countries that already has the "new" iPad? Well, this week may finally mean you can get your hands on the tablet that's already become old hat here in the US. The "resolutionary" slate is landing in South Korea, Venezuela and ten other nations this Friday, while Israel, India and seven more will be granted membership to the cool club on April 27th. Outside of some region-specific language tweaks the devices will be exactly the same as those that have been on sale here in the US for whole month now. (Isn't it amazing how time flies!) If you want to see if you're home is joining the list of places you can pick up a Retina display-equipped tablet head on after the break.
              Yad Vashem: Preserving Holocaust History        

    The eyewitness generation to the Holocaust is aging and soon most of them will be gone. In many parts of the world today, voices are raised in denial of the murder of 6 million Jews and globally we continue to see instances of genocide. In 1953, the Israeli Government determined that the tragic legacy of the Holocaust and the lessons it inspired must be preserved and protected for future generations… and so Yad Vashem was founded.

    Today with the help of EMC technology, this unique institution is not only preserving the documents, films and photographs that bear witness to the Holocaust, they are digitizing and placing the entire collection online in order to educate the world to the ever present dangers of man’s inhumanity to man.

    Cast: Dell Multimedia

    Tags: Holocaust Museum, EMC TV and Yad Vashem


              Get on Board, or Get Out of the Way        
    14th, 1984, aid, amendment, bush, campaign, channel, clear, Clinton, cnn, communications, compel,, consolidation, corporation, crisis, depression, disinformation, economic, economics, fiscal, fo,, freedom, George, germany, Government, hitler, homeless, inauguration, industrial, iraq, Israel, lakota, lakotah, libertarian, liberty, means, Media, military, monetary, murdock, news, obama, of, of state, orwell, orwellian, palestine, palestinian, policy, poverty, president, propaganda, rate, recession, republic, rockets, russell, secretary, Sioux, soldiers, sovereign, Sovereigns, sovereignty, time, toady, Tribe, USA, veterans, vets, w., war, warner, zionism, zionist, obama, president, whitehouse, white, house
              O HOMEM QUE JESUS ELOGIOU        
    Estudo para crianças de 4 a 6 anos. Este estudo será dado em apenas uma aula. A aula poderá ter um período inicial de  apresentação e saudação; um período de hinos e corinhos; o desenvolvimento do texto ( motivar e usar recursos visuais); a aplicação do ensino; a  avaliação através das atividades e o encerramento.

    DESENVOLVIMENTO DO TEXTO - Mateus capítulo 8 e versículos de 5 ao 13 .

     Jesus estava ensinando e curando as pessoas quando apareceu um centurião romano. Ele era um capitão do exército romano, um homem muito importante. "- Jesus meu empregado está muito mal, muito doente. Peço-lhe que o cure" -  disse o homem para Jesus. "- Vou curá-lo, vamos para a sua casa " - falou Jesus. "- O Senhor é muito ocupado, muito poderoso e muito importante para entrar na minha casa. Eu não mereço. Para curar o meu empregado, basta o Senhor dizer uma só palavra, tenho certeza que ele vai ficar curado"- disse o centurião. Jesus ficou admirado com a fé daquele homem que nem mesmo era do povo israelita. "- Vou fazer o que você deseja. O seu empregado está curado" - falou Jesus . O capitão voltou para casa e encontrou o seu empregado curado. Ele entendeu que Jesus era o Filho de Deus.


    APLICAÇÃO: Nós devemos orar para Jesus cuidar do nosso coração e também da nossa saúde.


    FONTE: A Bíblia. A Bíblia Infantil Ilustrada.

    ATIVIDADES :
        As atividades foram tiradas da Net.

    As atividades foram tiradas do "blogtiale.blogspot.com"   obrigada tia por enriquecer nosso trabalho.
              God's Freedom to Elect        

    Despite what we sometimes think, we have no say in what God does or how He does it. He’s not swayed or influenced by our values, our interests, or our sense of justice. In fact, the psalmist tells us, “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3).

    Moreover, the Lord does not conform to our fallen, flawed standards. Everything He does is true and right because He does it. He would never do anything that’s inconsistent with His own holy character. He Himself is therefore the standard of what is holy and righteous. In other words, He embodies all that is truly holy.

    That’s what we mean when we say God is holy. It is a principle that underlies everything Scripture teaches. It is certainly one of the fundamental precepts on which the doctrine of election is grounded.

    Divine Freedom

    Furthermore, the choosing of people for salvation cannot be isolated from every other thing God has chosen to do, because in the big picture God has ordained everything that comes to pass. Everything that God does He chooses to do, and His choices are free from any influence outside Himself. Therefore, the doctrine of election fits into this fuller comprehension of a sovereign God. That is election in its broadest sense, and it is evident on nearly every page of Scripture.

    In the very act of creation, God created exactly what He wanted to create in exactly the way He wanted to create it, allowing for the very things that occurred in human history in order that He might accomplish the redemptive plan He had already designed. He chose a nation, Israel, not because they were better than any other people, or because they were more desirable than any other people, but simply because He chose them. Moses told Israel,

    The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you. (Deuteronomy 7:6–8)

    Like all the elect, Israel was “predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

    In Psalm 105:43, He calls Israel “His chosen ones.” Psalm 135:4 says, “the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself.” In Deuteronomy 7 and again in Deuteronomy 14, we find these words: “the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Scripture doesn’t attempt to defend or explain the choice—it simply asserts that God did the choosing.

    In the same way, God has sovereignly chosen from the very beginning everything that fits into His master plan of redemption. From its opening verses, the New Testament is replete with examples of God’s sovereignty at work. He elected His Son as Redeemer, and appointed the time and means of His arrival on earth. It should be no surprise that He even chose the elect body who would be His Son’s bride—the church.

    His glorious plan for each individual Christian is likewise consistent with the way He has always operated—sovereignly. He has not handed His sovereignty over to something as vacillating and arbitrary as human free will. Christ told His disciples, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain” (John 15:16). The apostle Paul says even the good works we do as believers were prepared by God “beforehand” (Ephesians 2:10).

    Christians from the very outset have understood this. In Acts 13:48, Luke says, “As many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” And, of course, the ninth chapter of Romans contains a monumental passage on the elective purposes of God as manifested in the choices of Jacob and Esau, and how God chose whom He chose—not on the basis of anything they had done, but according to His own sovereign, free, and uninfluenced purpose. “Does not the potter have a right over the clay?” (Romans 9:21). And “who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (v. 20). We’re better off to keep silent than to question God’s sovereign purposes.

    Election and the Church

    Throughout the New Testament there are references to the church as the elect—chosen by God. Ephesians 1 says we were chosen in Him, by His love, before the foundation of the world, that we might be brought to faith in Christ. In 1 Thessalonians Paul addresses the congregation as “brethren beloved by God,” and told them, “[we know] His choice of you” (1 Thessalonians 1:4). In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 we read, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that: God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation.

    In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build My church; and the gates of hades will not overpower it.” This is a monumental statement: “I will build My church.” “I will build My church.” It’s a statement of certainty, and of intimacy—“My church.” It’s also a statement of invincibility—God’s church will stand against the gates of Hades, which is a Jewish euphemism for death. The implication here is important: If Hades is the abode of the dead, you get in by dying, so it’s simply a reference to death, which is Satan’s greatest weapon. Jesus was saying, I will build my church—and the worst that can be done to stop it, the death of My people, will not overpower it.

    This is a very straightforward promise. The immutable, sovereign, faithful, gracious, omnipotent Lord of heaven—whose Word can never return void, but always accomplishes the purpose to which He sends it; whose plans always come to pass; whose will is ultimately fulfilled; whose plan is in the end invincible—He has spoken and said, “I will build My church.” Nothing can prevent that.

    That’s the end result of God’s work in election. If you are among the elect—those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Christ—then you can be certain that your election was not based on your faith or actions. If it was, grace would no longer be grace. God chose you of His own free will for His own divine purposes. This reality is the foundation of praise and worship because it is what Paul meant when he said that all things—including salvation—are “from Him and through Him and to Him. . . . To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

     
    Adaped from John MacArthur's book None Other.

           

              Honoring the Spirit by Honoring the Scriptures        

    From the very beginning, the battle between good and evil has been a battle for the truth. The serpent, in the Garden of Eden, began his temptation by questioning the truthfulness of God’s previous instruction:

    Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” . . . The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1, 4–5)

    Casting doubt on the straightforward revelation of God has been Satan’s tactic ever since (cf. John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:44).

    With eternity at stake, it is no wonder that Scripture reserves its harshest words of condemnation for those who would put lies in the mouth of God, usurping His Word with dangerous experience that is paltry in comparison. The serpent was immediately cursed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:14), and Satan told of his inevitable demise (v. 15). In Old Testament Israel, false prophecy was a capital offense (Deuteronomy 13:5, 10), a point vividly illustrated by Elijah’s slaughter of the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal following the showdown on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19, 40).

    But the Israelites often failed to expel false prophets; and by welcoming error into their midst, they also invited God’s judgment (Jeremiah 5:29–31). Consider the Lord’s attitude toward those who would exchange His true Word for a counterfeit:

    Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying, ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters—for I will pour out their own wickedness on them.” (Jeremiah 14:14-16; cf. Isaiah 30:9-13; Ezekiel 13:3-9)

    The point of those passages is unmistakable: God hates those who misrepresent His Word or speak lies in His name. The New Testament responds to false prophets with equal severity (cf. 1 Timothy 6:3–5; 2 Timothy 3:1–9; 1 John 4:1–3; 2 John 7–11). God does not tolerate those who falsify or fake divine revelation. It is an offense He takes personally, and His retribution is swift and deadly. To sabotage biblical truth in any way—by adding to it, subtracting from it, or mixing it with error—is to invite divine wrath (Galatians 1:9; 2 John 9–11). Any distortion of the Word is an affront against the Trinity, and especially against the Spirit of God because of His intimate relationship to the Scriptures.

    Martin Luther put it this way, “Whenever you hear anyone boast that he has something by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and it has no basis in God’s Word, no matter what it may be, tell him that this is the work of the devil.” [1]Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 23, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan (St. Louis: Concordia: 1959), 173–174. And elsewhere, “Whatever does not have its origin in the Scriptures is surely from the devil himself.” [2]Luther’s Works, Vol. 36, 144.

    Although charismatics claim to represent the Holy Spirit, their movement has shown a persistent tendency to pit Him against the Scriptures—as if a commitment to biblical truth somehow might quench, grieve, or otherwise inhibit the Spirit’s ministry. But nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible is the Holy Spirit’s book! It is the instrument He uses to convict unbelievers of sin, righteousness, and judgment. It is the sword by which He energizes the proclamation of the gospel, piercing the hearts of the spiritually dead and raising them to spiritual life. It is the means by which He unleashes His sanctifying power in the lives of those who believe—growing them in grace through the pure milk of biblical instruction.

    Thus, to reject the Scriptures is to rebuff the Spirit. To ignore, disdain, twist, or disobey the Word of God is to dishonor the One who inspired, illumines, and empowers it. But to wholeheartedly embrace and submit to biblical truth is to enjoy the fullness of the Spirit’s ministry—being filled by His sanctifying power, being led by Him in righteousness, and being equipped with His armor in the battle against sin and error.

    Charles Spurgeon explained it this way to his congregation:

    We have a more sure word of testimony, a rock of truth upon which we rest, for our infallible standard lies in, “It is written. . .” The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is our religion. . . . It is said that it is hard to understand, but it is not so to those who seek the guidance of the Spirit of God. . . .  A babe in grace taught by the Spirit of God may know the mind of the Lord concerning salvation, and find its way to heaven by the guidance of the Word alone. But be it profound or simple; that is not the question; it is the Word of God, and is pure, unerring truth. Here is infallibility, and nowhere else. . . . This grand, infallible book . . . is our sole court of appeal. . . . [It is] the sword of the Spirit in the spiritual conflicts which await. . . . The Holy Spirit is in the Word, and it is, therefore, living truth. O Christians, be ye sure of this, and because of it make you the word your chosen weapon of war. [3]Charles Spurgeon, “Infallibility—Where to Find It and How to Use It,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 698-99, 702.

    The Bible is a living book because the living Spirit of God energizes and empowers it. The Word convicts us, instructs us, equips us, strengthens us, protects us, and enables us to grow. Or more accurately, the Holy Spirit does all of those things as He activates the truth of Scripture in our hearts.

    As believers, we honor the Spirit most when we honor the Scriptures—studying them diligently, applying them carefully, arming our minds with their precepts, and embracing their teaching with all of our hearts. The Spirit has given us the Word. He has opened our eyes to understand its vast riches. And He empowers its truth in our lives as He conforms us into the image our Savior.

    It is difficult to imagine why anyone would ever disdain or neglect the words of this Book, especially in light of the divinely promised blessings that come from cherishing it. As the psalmist declared so long ago:

    How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)

    (Adapted from Strange Fire.)

           

              Feasting on the Word of God        

    Christians should earnestly desire to grow. If we aren’t becoming more like Christ, we’re defying what Scripture plainly teaches about the Christian walk: “For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).

    Christian growth involves transformation from our old way of life into a new and upward Christlike trajectory of change—increasing strength and effectiveness as servants of Christ. That’s exactly what Paul describes in Romans 12:2 when he says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

    And yet, as every Christian well knows, the old mind is still there with its habits of self-preoccupation, cravings for sensation, vain imaginations, and its appetite for what is cheap and gross. The old mind is the culprit that keeps us going back to the spiritual junk food. The old mind is the subtle enemy that keeps us feeding only on milk when we should be going on to meat. The old mind is what keeps us from being transformed and more committed to Christ and His Word. Many believers find themselves in a seeming holding pattern as they struggle with the besetting sins of their former lives. That’s because the key to breaking the cycle is often hidden right under our noses.

    Lifting the Veil

    Paul gives a beautiful explanation in 2 Corinthians 3:13–18. As he describes the glories of the new covenant that Christians have with God, he goes back to the time of Moses and the Israelites. At one point, after being in God’s presence, Moses’ face shone with such brilliant glory that he had to put a veil over it in order not to blind his people. But as glorious as Moses’ ministry of the law to the Israelites was, Paul says that it does not compare with the surpassing glory of the gospel of Christ and the new covenant that He installed with His death and resurrection (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:7–11).

    And Paul adds that since we have such a wonderful hope in Christ, we can be very bold.

    [We] are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted. (2 Corinthians 3:13–14)

    What Paul is simply saying here is that the Jews of his day who didn’t know Christ remained with their minds veiled. They could not see the Lord because the veil of the old covenant—the Law—stood in the way. Paul says that the veil, 

    Remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:14–17)

    And then Paul comes to the thought that I am most concerned with: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). So Paul tells us that we can be changed into the image and glory of the Lord. It is very simple, he says. We don’t change ourselves. We just stand staring into the face of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God does the transforming for us!

    The Solitary Source

    But you may feel there is just one hitch. You may be saying, “If I’m supposed to look on the glory of the Lord, where do I find it to look upon?” And, of course, the answer to that is in God’s Word.

    If you keep learning and beholding the glory of God in His Word, the Spirit of God will transform you into the image of Jesus Christ. It is just that simple (and just that difficult). So many Christians are seeking some shortcut to growth—naming and claiming their victory; watching Christian television; having the hands of “anointed prophets” laid on them. But the shortcut simply doesn’t exist.

    The greatest thing that ever happened in my life, next to my salvation, was the day I learned to study and feed on God’s Word. I find that the longer, the more intensely, and the more devotedly I look into the glory of Jesus Christ through the pages of Scripture, the more the Spirit of God changes my life into the image of Christ. There are no shortcuts. If I am to grow, to mature, and to finally be transformed, I must feed on the Word of God!

    The Growing Christian

    Lack of growth is a sad thing to see in anyone or anything. It is especially tragic in Christians. And unfortunately too many believers don’t seem to be growing in their faith. The major cause is always a failure to be feeding on God’s Word.

    In 1 Peter 1:23–2:3, the great apostle compares God’s Word to two things that are vital for life and growth: an imperishable seed and the milk of the Word. As Christ taught in His parable of the sower, God’s Word is like a seed that brings about the new birth. Just as a seed contains the power and energy of life, so too does God’s Word.

    Before the Christian can get the most from feeding on God’s Word, he needs to get rid of the toxins that are still present in his life because of the lingering old nature. Peter describes these poisons as the evils of worldly malice, the guile of deceitfulness, the phoniness of hypocrisy, the self-centeredness of envy, and the slander of gossip. If we want to watch our diet, we should start with the sincere milk of the Word of God, and we are guaranteed to grow.

    Our goal is to become fully mature and Christlike through feeding on the more solid food to be found in Scripture. The prophet Jeremiah described that process beautifully in Jeremiah 15:16: “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”

     

    (Adapted from Why Believe the Bible.

           

              Arte cinético, Yaacov Agam        
      Yaacov Agam es el máximo representante del llamado arte cinético y activo defensor del Op Art o arte Óptico. Nacido en una ciudad de Palestina en 1928, este pintor y escultor israelí fue pionero en la investigación de nuevos materiales con la finalidad de hacer obras cambiantes, en las que el espectador fuera parte […]
              The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory        

    Scripture gives us a complete—albeit contested—account of God’s work on the first day of creation.

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1–5)

    Verse 1 is a general statement. The rest of Genesis 1 unfolds the sequence of God’s creative work, starting with a “formless and void” earth.

    The Barren Planet

    As day one emerges from eternity, we find the earth in a dark and barren condition. The construction of the Hebrew phrase that opens verse 2 is significant. The subject comes before the verb, as if to emphasize something remarkable about it. It might be translated, “As to the earth, it was formless and void.” Here is a new planet, the very focus of God’s creative purpose, and it was formless and void. The Hebrew expression is tohu wa bohu. Tohu signifies a wasteland, a desolate place. Bohu means “empty.” The earth was an empty place of utter desolation.

    The same expression is used in Jeremiah 4:23. There, Jeremiah is lamenting the doom of Israel. He says in verse 19, “My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot be silent.” Why? Because the trumpet signaling God’s judgment of Israel had sounded. “Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, for the whole land is devastated” (v. 20). And he borrows the very words from Genesis 1:2: “I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless [tohu] and void [bohu]; and to the heavens, and they had no light” (v. 23). That is how he describes the condition of Judah under the devastating destruction that was brought upon it by the judgment of God. What was once a fruitful land had become a wilderness (v. 26). It was a wasted, devastated place without any inhabitants. It had lost its former beauty. It didn’t have any form. It didn’t have any beauty. It had reverted to a state of barrenness that reminded Jeremiah of the state of the earth in the beginning, before God’s creative work had formed it into something beautiful.

    Isaiah borrows the same expression. Prophesying the destruction that would come in the day of the Lord’s vengeance against the Gentiles, he says their land will be turned into desolation. “He will stretch over it the line of desolation [tohu] and the plumb line of emptiness [bohu]” (Isaiah 34:11). That pictures God as the architect of judgment, using a plumb line of tohu, which is kept taut by weights made of bohu.

    So these words speak of waste and desolation. They describe the earth as a place devoid of form or inhabitants—a lifeless, barren place. It suggests that the very shape of the earth was unfinished and empty. The raw material was all there, but it had not yet been given form. The features of earth as we know it were undifferentiated, unseparated, unorganized, and uninhabited.

    Reading Eons Between the Lines

    Some have suggested that an indeterminate interval of many billions of years is hidden between verses 1 and 2. This theory, known as the “gap theory,” was once quite popular, and is featured prominently in the Scofield Reference Bible. According to the gap theory, God created a fully–functional earth in verse 1. That ancient earth ostensibly featured a full spectrum of animal and plant life, including fish and mammals, various species of now–extinct dinosaurs, and other creatures that we know only from the fossil record.

    Proponents of the gap theory suggest that verse 2 ought to be translated, “The earth became without form, and void.” They speculate that as a result of Satan’s fall, or for some other reason, the prehistoric earth was laid waste by an untold calamity. (This presupposes, of course, that Satan’s fall or some other evil occurred sometime in the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.) Then, according to this view, God created all the life forms that we now see and thus remade earth into a paradise in six days of recreation.

    Like other old–earth theories, the gap theory is supposed to explain the fossil record and harmonize the biblical account with modern scientific theories about a multiple–billion–year–old earth.

    Most who hold to the gap theory suggest that the sun was not created on day four; it was merely made visible on that day by the clarifying of earth’s atmosphere or the receding of a vapor cloud that had encircled the earth. Other than that, the gap theory has one advantage over most other old–earth views: It allows for a straightforward literal interpretation of the creation days of Genesis 1.

    The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory

    But the theory is accepted by relatively few today, because the biblical and theological problems it poses are enormous. For example, in Genesis 1:31, after God had completed all His creation, He declared it “very good”—which would not be a fitting description if evil had already entered the universe. Furthermore, if the fossil record is to be explained by an interval in the white space between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, that means death, disease, suffering, and calamity were common many ages before Adam fell. Yet Scripture says Adam’s sin was the event that introduced death and calamity into God’s creation: “By a man came death” (1 Corinthians 15:21); “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). The gap theory also flatly contradicts Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.”

    The plain meaning of the text seems to be that the barrenness described in verse 2 is simply the original state of the universe in the twenty–four hours immediately following its initial creation. It is not a state of desolation into which the earth fell; it is how the universe appeared in situ (in its original condition), before God finished His creative work.

    The picture it conjures up is reminiscent of a potter wishing to fashion a beautiful vessel and then fill it to be used. He first takes a lump of unformed clay and places it on the wheel to mold and fit it to his purpose. In a similar way, God began with raw material. He first created a basic mass of elements that contained everything necessary to make a habitat for the life He would later create. And then using that mass of elements, He carefully shaped it and formed it into the perfect finished work He had planned from the beginning. So aside from the life–forms He created, His work throughout those first six days is comparable to the potter’s finishing work. It was mostly a process of perfecting what He had already created in the beginning.

    (Adapted from The Battle for the Beginning.)

           

              10 Commandment flap        
    By Allan Sloan
    Newsweek July 11 issue

    You may think that the Supreme Court ruled last week that
    the state of Texas could continue to display a Ten Commandments monolith on
    its capitol grounds in Austin. But you'd be wrong. Look at the monolith?you
    can find it at tspb.state.tx.us/spb/gallery/monulist/ 10lg.htm?and you'll
    notice that it doesn't contain 10 commandments. It has 11. And if you count
    "I am the Lord thy God" as a commandment, which Jews do but Christians
    don't, the Supreme Court has approved a Twelve Commandments monolith,
    rather than the traditional Decalogue.

    This monolith, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, was part of a PR
    campaign for "The Ten Commandments," Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 Biblical epic
    starring Charlton Heston. Yes, the Supreme Court was ruling on the legality
    of a Hollywood promotion. The Eagles' grand secretary, Bob Wahls, explained
    to me last week that the text is a compromise drawn up by Jewish and
    Christian clergy to respect everyone's beliefs. So rather than bearing Ten
    Commandments that are the Word of God, the monolith bears 11 or 12
    commandments that are the Word of a Committee.

    This may all sound like hairsplitting and mockery, but it's not. Regardless
    of whether you believe in the literal truth of the Bible (or, as most call
    it, the Old Testament), the Ten Commandments are a vital underpinning of
    Judeo-Christian culture. But while it's one thing to be in favor of ethics
    and morality in public life, it's a whole different thing to think?as I
    suspect most Americans do?that there is one single Decalogue. The complex
    textual history of the Commandments suggests that the more you study the
    Bible, the less certain you become of your ability to divine the precise
    Word of God. That's a useful lesson in this divided time.

    Most public displays of the Ten Commandments, including the ones in Texas
    and Kentucky that the Supreme Court dealt with, are based on Exodus 20,
    verses 2-14, where God speaks directly to the Israelites. But if you grew
    up as I did, studying the Bible in its original Hebrew, you know that
    there's a second, equally valid version in Deuteronomy 5:6-18. And the two
    versions differ. In Exodus, God says to remember the Sabbath because he
    created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. In Deuteronomy,
    Moses recounts that God told the Israelites to observe the Sabbath because
    the Lord liberated them from Egyptian bondage. So which is it? The
    traditional Jewish answer is that God uttered both versions simultaneously,
    but fallible human ears heard it two separate ways. So how can you post one
    version or the other and declare it the Ineffable Word of God? You can't.

    Then there's the numbering problem?which is how the Eagles ended up with
    more than 10 commandments. During the Monica Lewinsky uproar, Bill Clinton
    said he hadn't violated the Sixth Commandment. But whose Sixth Commandment?
    To Roman Catholics and Lutherans, it's the no-adultery commandment. But to
    Jews and members of Orthodox and Reformed churches, Clinton was saying he
    hadn't murdered or killed, respectively.

    The rules of the game require all religions to end up with 10 commandments
    (or "utterances," to use the literal Hebrew translation) because that's the
    Bible's number. (See Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 4:13 and 10:4.) Jews
    count "I am the Lord thy God" as the First Commandment, while Christians
    consider it part of "You shall have no other gods before me," which Jews
    count as No. 2. Some Christians split "don't covet" into two commandments;
    others split up the prohibitions on having other gods and making graven
    images. We won't even get into translations: whether God is speaking
    against murder and swearing false oaths (the Jewish version) or killing and
    taking the Lord's name in vain (the Christian one).

    So rather than fighting about the Ten Commandments, perhaps we should turn
    to Micah 6:8. The Lord, says the prophet, requires us "only to do justly,
    and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." To which all of us can
    say, amen.


              Armed Response: Wesley Snipes and Anne Heche Fight an A.I. Program        
    It is probably always a bad idea to give artificial intelligence programs nicknames with religious connotations. This immersive biometric truth-seeking “lie-detector” AI facility is often referred to as a “Temple.” Wesley Snipes and his team of commandos might just get some religion when they are trapped inside it in John Stockwell’s Armed Response(trailer here), which opens today in New York.

    Gabe Arcona designed the Temple systems (too well), but he has been on a boozy extended leave after the horrible death of his daughter. He is not over it, but team leader Isaac needs to pull him back in anyway. A team guarding a Temple has gone dark, so Arcona will have to figure out what happened. Of course, they find the entire detachment has been murdered, under baffling circumstances.

    The only survivor is a known terrorist discovered in the isolation chamber, but he is just as clueless as they are. Given he is driven more by opportunism than religion, freelance warlord might be a more apt description, but terrorism is the crime he is wanted for. Yet, for some reason, the Temple interfered with the TSA facial recognition programs, paving his way to the secret installation.

    Before too long, strange goings-on start to rattle Isaac and his team. Arcona also begins to suspect something not so on the up-and-up transpired with the squad during his absence. His ill-concealed suspicions cause friction, particularly with the knuckle-dragging Brett, played by professional wrestler Seth Rollins, which gives you an idea of his persona.

    John Stockwell is a slickly competent genre director who has helmed legitimately entertaining but not exactly prestigious films like Kid Cannabis, In the Blood, and the body-slamming reboot, Kickboxer: Vengeance. He most likely brought the film in on-time and under-budget, but even he has trouble balancing the films guns-and-brawn action with its uncanny elements, especially as the latter become increasingly illogical and nonsensical.

    It is a good thing Snipes is on the one-sheet or else we might forget he is in this movie. Apparently, he is the Picard of swaggering, testosterone-charged commandos instead of a Kirk. For what it’s worth, Dave Annable is surprisingly grounded and convincing as the grief-stricken Arcona. That really is Anne Heche portraying Riley, the sensitive commando, but she plays it straight and fully committed. Snipes is in there someplace, while Rollins thugs it up, to the hilt.

    Throughout the first two acts, Response is rather entertaining, in a meathead kind of way. Unfortunately, the big secret Isaac and company are hiding casts our courageous intelligence officers and military service personnel in a highly unflattering light, which is a disappointment, especially considering it was co-produced buy WWE Studios and Gene Simmons’ shingle. You would think if anyone would be sympathetic to the service and sacrifice of the CIA and U.S. military, it would be pro wrestling and the Israeli-American co-leader of KISS. Alas, the resulting film is no Kickboxer: Vengeance. Ultimately quite disappointing, Armed Response opens today (8/4) in New York, at the Cinema Village.
              ISRAEL TODAY and TOMORROW as I SEE IT        
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              HARD FACTS ISRAEL MUST FACE - And The Actions They Must Do        
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              TIME FOR ISRAEL AND AMERICA TO END THEIR POLICY OF RESTRAINT         
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              A ZIONIST REFLECTS ON ISRAEL        
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              Diskin: Israel nears point of no return on two-state solution -NOT        
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              Good News From Israel -Feb 17         
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              ISRAEL'S 'FUTILE GESTURES'         
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              regression of Israel - فيلم وثائقى الأنحدار - مشاهدة مباشرة        
    Watch live online Tv Channel ( regression of Israel - فيلم وثائقى الأنحدار - مشاهدة مباشرة) - broadcasting on the Internet.انت حاليا تشاهد هذة المادة الوثائقية على الأنترنت بث مباشر - You are currently watching this documentary material on the internet livewatchfomny.blog offers a Huge collection of free Liveinternet TV stations And Radio streaming on the internetمدونة ووتش فومنى توفر عدد كبير
              EL SACRAMENTO DEL MATRIMONIO        
    ¿QUE NOS DICE EL CATECISMO DE LA IGLESIA CATOLICA SOBRE EL MATRIMONIO?

    SEGUNDA PARTE LA CELEBRACIÓN DEL MISTERIO CRISTIANO

    SEGUNDA SECCIÓN:LOS SIETE SACRAMENTOS DE LA IGLESIA

    CAPÍTULO TERCEROLOS SACRAMENTOS AL SERVICIO DE LA COMUNIDAD

    ARTÍCULO 7
    SACRAMENTO DEL MATRIMONIO


    1601 "La alianza matrimonial, por la que el varón y la mujer constituyen entre sí un consorcio de toda la vida, ordenado por su misma índole natural al bien de los cónyuges y a la generación y educación de la prole, fue elevada por Cristo Nuestro Señor a la dignidad de sacramento entre bautizados" (CIC, can. 1055,1)

    I El matrimonio en el plan de Dios

    1602 La Sagrada Escritura se abre con el relato de la creación del hombre y de la mujer a imagen y semejanza de Dios (Gn 1,26- 27) y se cierra con la visión de las "bodas del Cordero" (Ap 19,7.9). De un extremo a otro la Escritura habla del matrimonio y de su "misterio", de su institución y del sentido que Dios le dio, de su origen y de su fin, de sus realizaciones diversas a lo largo de la historia de la salvación, de sus dificultades nacidas del pecado y de su renovación "en el Señor" (1 Co 7,39) todo ello en la perspectiva de la Nueva Alianza de Cristo y de la Iglesia (cf Ef 5,31-32).

    El matrimonio en el orden de la creación
    1603 "La íntima comunidad de vida y amor conyugal, fundada por el Creador y provista de leyes propias, se establece sobre la alianza del matrimonio... un vínculo sagrado... no depende del arbitrio humano. El mismo Dios es el autor del matrimonio" (GS 48,1). La vocación al matrimonio se inscribe en la naturaleza misma del hombre y de la mujer, según salieron de la mano del Creador. El matrimonio no es una institución puramente humana a pesar de las numerosas variaciones que ha podido sufrir a lo largo de los siglos en las diferentes culturas, estructuras sociales y actitudes espirituales. Estas diversidades no deben hacer olvidar sus rasgos comunes y permanente. A pesar de que la dignidad de esta institución no se trasluzca siempre con la misma claridad (cf GS 47,2), existe en todas las culturas un cierto sentido de la grandeza de la unión matrimonial. "La salvación de la persona y de la sociedad humana y cristiana está estrechamente ligada a la prosperidad de la comunidad conyugal y familiar" (GS 47,1).
    1604 Dios que ha creado al hombre por amor lo ha llamado también al amor, vocación fundamental e innata de todo ser humano. Porque el hombre fue creado a imagen y semejanza de Dios (Gn 1,2), que es Amor (cf 1 Jn 4,8.16). Habiéndolos creado Dios hombre y mujer, el amor mutuo entre ellos se convierte en imagen del amor absoluto e indefectible con que Dios ama al hombre. Este amor es bueno, muy bueno, a los ojos del Creador (cf Gn 1,31). Y este amor que Dios bendice es destinado a ser fecundo y a realizarse en la obra común del cuidado de la creación. "Y los bendijo Dios y les dijo: "Sed fecundos y multiplicaos, y llenad la tierra y sometedla'" (Gn 1,28).
    1605 La Sagrada escritura afirma que el hombre y la mujer fueron creados el uno para el otro: "No es bueno que el hombre esté solo". La mujer, "carne de su carne", su igual, la criatura más semejante al hombre mismo, le es dada por Dios como una "auxilio", representando así a Dios que es nuestro "auxilio" (cf Sal 121,2). "Por eso deja el hombre a su padre y a su madre y se une a su mujer, y se hacen una sola carne" (cf Gn 2,18-25). Que esto significa una unión indefectible de sus dos vidas, el Señor mismo lo muestra recordando cuál fue "en el principio", el plan del Creador: "De manera que ya no son dos sino una sola carne" (Mt 19,6).

    El matrimonio bajo la esclavitud del pecado
    1606 Todo hombre, tanto en su entorno como en su propio corazón, vive la experiencia del mal. Esta experiencia se hace sentir también en las relaciones entre el hombre y la mujer. En todo tiempo, la unión del hombre y la mujer vive amenazada por la discordia, el espíritu de dominio, la infidelidad, los celos y conflictos que pueden conducir hasta el odio y la ruptura. Este desorden puede manifestarse de manera más o menos aguda, y puede ser más o menos superado, según las culturas, las épocas, los individuos, pero siempre aparece como algo de carácter universal.
    1607 Según la fe, este desorden que constatamos dolorosamente, no se origina en la naturaleza del hombre y de la mujer, ni en la naturaleza de sus relaciones, sino en el pecado. El primer pecado, ruptura con Dios, tiene como consecuencia primera la ruptura de la comunión original entre el hombre y la mujer. Sus relaciones quedan distorsionadas por agravios recíprocos (cf Gn 3,12); su atractivo mutuo, don propio del creador (cf Gn 2,22), se cambia en relaciones de dominio y de concupiscencia (cf Gn 3,16b); la hermosa vocación del hombre y de la mujer de ser fecundos, de multiplicarse y someter la tierra (cf Gn 1,28) queda sometida a los dolores del parto y los esfuerzos de ganar el pan (cf Gn 3,16-19).
    1608 Sin embargo, el orden de la Creación subsiste aunque gravemente perturbado. Para sanar las heridas del pecado, el hombre y la mujer necesitan la ayuda de la gracia que Dios, en su misericordia infinita, jamás les ha negado (cf Gn 3,21). Sin esta ayuda, el hombre y la mujer no pueden llegar a realizar la unión de sus vidas en orden a la cual Dios los creó "al comienzo".

    El matrimonio bajo la pedagogía de la antigua Ley
    1609 En su misericordia, Dios no abandonó al hombre pecador. Las penas que son consecuencia del pecado, "los dolores del parto" (Gn 3,16), el trabajo "con el sudor de tu frente" (Gn 3,19), constituyen también remedios que limitan los daños del pecado. Tras la caída, el matrimonio ayuda a vencer el repliegue sobre s í mismo, el egoísmo, la búsqueda del propio placer, y a abrirse al otro, a la ayuda mutua, al don de sí.
    1610 La conciencia moral relativa a la unidad e indisolubilidad del matrimonio se desarrolló bajo la pedagogía de la Ley antigua. La poligamia de los patriarcas y de los reyes no es todavía prohibida de una manera explícita. No obstante, la Ley dada por Moisés se orienta a proteger a la mujer contra un dominio arbitrario del hombre, aunque ella lleve también, según la palabra del Señor, las huellas de "la dureza del corazón" de la persona humana, razón por la cual Moisés permitió el repudio de la mujer (cf Mt 19,8; Dt 24,1).
    1611 Contemplando la Alianza de Dios con Israel bajo la imagen de un amor conyugal exclusivo y fiel (cf Os 1-3; Is 54.62; Jr 2-3. 31; Ez 16,62;23), los profetas fueron preparando la conciencia del Pueblo elegido para una comprensión más profunda de la unidad y de la indisolubilidad del matrimonio (cf Mal 2,13-17). Los libros de Rut y de Tobías dan testimonios conmovedores del sentido hondo del matrimonio, de la fidelidad y de la ternura de los esposos. La Tradición ha visto siempre en el Cantar de los Cantares una expresión única del amor humano, en cuanto que éste es reflejo del amor de Dios, amor "fuerte como la muerte" que "las grandes aguas no pueden anegar" (Ct 8,6-7).

    El matrimonio en el Señor
    1612 La alianza nupcial entre Dios y su pueblo Israel había preparado la nueva y eterna alianza mediante la que el Hijo de Dios, encarnándose y dando su vida, se unió en cierta manera con toda la humanidad salvada por él (cf. GS 22), preparando así "las bodas del cordero" (Ap 19,7.9).
    1613 En el umbral de su vida pública, Jesús realiza su primer signo -a petición de su Madre- con ocasión de un banquete de boda (cf Jn 2,1-11). La Iglesia concede una gran importancia a la presencia de Jesús en las bodas de Caná. Ve en ella la confirmación de la bondad del matrimonio y el anuncio de que en adelante el matrimonio será un signo eficaz de la presencia de Cristo.
    1614 En su predicación, Jesús enseñó sin ambigüedad el sentido original de la unión del hombre y la mujer, tal como el Creador la quiso al comienzo: la autorización, dada por Moisés, de repudiar a su mujer era una concesión a la dureza del corazón (cf Mt 19,8); la unión matrimonial del hombre y la mujer es indisoluble: Dios mismo la estableció: "lo que Dios unió, que no lo separe el hombre" (Mt 19,6).
    1615 Esta insistencia, inequívoca, en la indisolubilidad del vínculo matrimonial pudo causar perplejidad y aparecer como una exigencia irrealizable (cf Mt 19,10). Sin embargo, Jesús no impuso a los esposos una carga imposible de llevar y demasiado pesada (cf Mt 11,29-30), más pesada que la Ley de Moisés. Viniendo para restablecer el orden inicial de la creación perturbado por el pecado, da la fuerza y la gracia para vivir el matrimonio en la dimensión nueva del Reino de Dios. Siguiendo a Cristo, renunciando a s í mismos, tomando sobre s í sus cruces (cf Mt 8,34), los esposos podrán "comprender" (cf Mt 19,11) el sentido original del matrimonio y vivirlo con la ayuda de Cristo. Esta gracia del Matrimonio cristiano es un fruto de la Cruz de Cristo, fuente de toda la vida cristiana.
    1616 Es lo que el apóstol Pablo da a entender diciendo: "Maridos, amad a vuestras mujeres como Cristo amó a la Iglesia y se entregó a sí mismo por ella, para santificarla" (Ef 5,25-26), y añadiendo enseguida: "`Por es o dejará el hombre a su padre y a su madre y se unirá a su mujer, y los dos se harán una sola carne'. Gran misterio es éste, lo digo respecto a Cristo y a la Iglesia" (Ef 5,31-32).
    1617 Toda la vida cristiana está marcada por el amor esponsal de Cristo y de la Iglesia. Ya el Bautismo, entrada en el Pueblo de Dios, es un misterio nupcial. Es, por así decirlo, como el baño de bodas (cf Ef 5,26-27) que precede al banquete de bodas, la Eucaristía. El Matrimonio cristiano viene a ser por su parte signo eficaz, sacramento de la alianza de Cristo y de la Iglesia. Puesto que es signo y comunicación de la gracia, el matrimonio entre bautizados es un verdadero sacramento de la Nueva Alianza (cf DS 1800; CIC, can. 1055,2).

    La virginidad por el Reino de Dios
    1618 Cristo es el centro de toda vida cristiana. El vínculo con El ocupa el primer lugar entre todos los demás vínculos, familiares o sociales (cf Lc 14,26; Mc 10,28-31). Desde los comienzos de la Iglesia ha habido hombres y mujeres que han renunciado al gran bien del matrimonio para seguir al Cordero dondequiera que vaya (cf Ap 14,4), para ocuparse de las cosas del Señor, para tratar de agradarle (cf 1 Co 7,32), para ir al encuentro del Esposo que viene (cf Mt 25,6). Cristo mismo invitó a algunos a seguirle en este modo de vida del que El es el modelo:
    Hay eunucos que nacieron así del seno materno, y hay eunucos hechos por los hombres, y hay eunucos que se hicieron tales a sí mismos por el Reino de los Cielos. Quien pueda entender, que entienda (Mt 19,12).
    1619 La virginidad por el Reino de los Cielos es un desarrollo de la gracia bautismal, un signo poderoso de la preeminencia del vínculo con Cristo, de la ardiente espera de su retorno, un signo que recuerda también que el matrimonio es una realidad que manifiesta el carácter pasajero de este mundo (cf 1 Co 7,31; Mc 12,25).
    1620 Estas dos realidades, el sacramento del Matrimonio y la virginidad por el Reino de Dios, vienen del Señor mismo. Es él quien les da sentido y les concede la gracia indispensable para vivirlos conforme a su voluntad (cf Mt 19,3-12). La estima de la virginidad por el Reino (cf LG 42; PC 12; OT 10) y el sentido cristiano del Matrimonio son inseparables y se apoyan mutuamente:
    Denigrar el matrimonio es reducir a la vez la gloria de la virginidad; elogiarlo es realzar a la vez la admiración que corresponde a la virginidad... (S. Juan Crisóstomo, virg. 10,1; cf FC, 16).

    II La celebración del Matrimonio

    1621 En el rito latino, la celebración del matrimonio entre dos fieles católicos tiene lugar ordinariamente dentro de la Santa Misa, en virtud del vínculo que tienen todos los sacramentos con el Misterio Pascual de Cristo (cf SC 61). En la Eucaristía se realiza el memorial de la Nueva Alianza, en la que Cristo se unió para siempre a la Iglesia, su esposa amada por la que se entregó (cf LG 6). Es, pues, conveniente que los esposos sellen su consentimiento en darse el uno al otro mediante la ofrenda de sus propias vidas, uniéndose a la ofrenda de Cristo por su Iglesia, hecha presente en el sacrificio eucarístico, y recibiendo la Eucaristía, para que, comulgando en el mismo Cuerpo y en la misma Sangre de Cristo, "formen un solo cuerpo" en Cristo (cf 1 Co 10,17).
    1622 "En cuanto gesto sacramental de santificación, la celebración del matrimonio...debe ser por sí misma válida, digna y fructuosa" (FC 67). Por tanto, conviene que los futuros esposos se dispongan a la celebración de su matrimonio recibiendo el sacramento de la penitencia.
    1623 Según la tradición latina, los esposos, como ministros de la gracia de Cristo, manifestando su consentimiento ante la Iglesia, se confieren mutuamente el sacramento del matrimonio. En las tradiciones de las Iglesias orientales, los sacerdotes –Obispos o presbíteros– son testigos del recíproco consentimiento expresado por los esposos (cf. CCEO, can. 817), pero también su bendición es necesaria para la validez del sacramento (cf CCEO, can. 828).
    1624 Las diversas liturgias son ricas en oraciones de bendición y de epíclesis pidiendo a Dios su gracia y la bendición sobre la nueva pareja, especialmente sobre la esposa. En la epíclesis de este sacramento los esposos reciben el Espíritu Santo como Comunión de amor de Cristo y de la Iglesia (cf. Ef 5,32). El Espíritu Santo es el sello de la alianza de los esposos, la fuente siempre generosa de su amor, la fuerza con que se renovará su fidelidad.

    III El consentimiento matrimonial

    1625 Los protagonistas de la alianza matrimonial son un hombre y una mujer bautizados, libres para contraer el matrimonio y que expresan libremente su consentimiento. "Ser libre" quiere decir:
    — no obrar por coacción; — no estar impedido por una ley natural o eclesiástica.
    1626 La Iglesia considera el intercambio de los consentimientos entre los esposos como el elemento indispensable "que hace el matrimonio" (CIC, can. 1057,1). Si el consentimiento falta, no hay matrimonio.
    1627 El consentimiento consiste en "un acto humano, por el cual los esposos se dan y se reciben mutuamente" (GS 48,1; cf CIC, can. 1057,2): "Yo te recibo como esposa" - "Yo te recibo como esposo" (OcM 45). Este consentimiento que une a los esposos entre sí, encuentra su plenitud en el hecho de que los dos "vienen a ser una sola carne" (cf Gn 2,24; Mc 10,8; Ef 5,31).
    1628 El consentimiento debe ser un acto de la voluntad de cada uno de los contrayentes, libre de violencia o de temor grave externo (cf CIC, can. 1103). Ningún poder humano puede reemplazar este consentimiento (CIC, can. 1057, 1). Si esta libertad falta, el matrimonio es inválido.
    1629 Por esta razón (o por otras razones que hacen nulo e inválido el matrimonio; cf. CIC, can. 1095-1107), la Iglesia, tras examinar la situación por el tribunal eclesiástico competente, puede declarar "la nulidad del matrimonio", es decir, que el matrimonio no ha existido. En este caso, los contrayentes quedan libres para casarse, aunque deben cumplir las obligaciones naturales nacidas de una unión precedente precedente (cf CIC, can. 1071).
    1630 El sacerdote ( o el diácono) que asiste a la celebraci ón del matrimonio, recibe el consentimiento de los esposos en nombre de la Iglesia y da la bendición de la Iglesia. La presencia del ministro de la Iglesia (y también de los testigos) expresa visiblemente que el matrimonio es una realidad eclesial.
    1631 Por esta razón, la Iglesia exige ordinariamente para sus fieles la forma eclesiástica de la celebración del matrimonio (cf Cc. de Trento: DS 1813-1816; CIC, can. 1108). Varias razones concurren para explicar esta determinación:
    — El matrimonio sacramental es un acto litúrgico. Por tanto, es conveniente que sea celebrado en la liturgia pública de la Iglesia. — El matrimonio introduce en un ordo eclesial, crea derechos y deberes en la Iglesia entre los esposos y para con los hijos. — Por ser el matrimonio un estado de vida en la Iglesia, es preciso que exista certeza sobre él (de ahí la obligación de tener testigos).— El carácter público del consentimiento protege el "Sí" una vez dado y ayuda a permanecer fiel a él.
    1632 Para que el "Sí" de los esposos sea un acto libre y responsable, y para que la alianza matrimonial tenga fundamentos humanos y cristianos sólidos y estables, la preparación para el matrimonio es de primera importancia:
    El ejemplo y la enseñanza dados por los padres y por las familias son el camino privilegiado de esta preparación.
    El papel de los pastores y de la comunidad cristiana como "familia de Dios" es indispensable para la transmisión de los valores humanos y cristianos del matrimonio y de la familia (cf. CIC, can. 1063), y esto con mayor razón en nuestra época en la que muchos jóvenes conocen la experiencia de hogares rotos que ya no aseguran suficientemente esta iniciación:
    Los jóvenes deben ser instruidos adecuada y oportunamente sobre la dignidad, dignidad , tareas y ejercicio del amor conyugal, sobre todo en el seno de la misma familia, para que, educados en el cultivo de la castidad, puedan pasar, a la edad conveniente, de un honesto noviazgo vivido al matrimonio (GS 49,3).

    Matrimonios mixtos y disparidad de culto
    1633 En numerosos países, la situación del matrimonio mixto (entre católico y bautizado no católico) se presenta con bastante frecuencia. Exige una atención particular de los cónyuges y de los pastores. El caso de matrimonios con disparidad de culto (entre católico y no bautizado) exige una aún mayor atención.
    1634 La diferencia de confesión entre los cónyuges no constituye un obstáculo insuperable para el matrimonio, cuando llegan a poner en común lo que cada uno de ellos ha recibido en su comunidad, y a aprender el uno del otro el modo como cada uno vive su fidelidad a Cristo. Pero las dificultades de los matrimonios mixtos no deben tampoco ser subestimadas. Se deben al hecho de que la separación de los cristianos no se ha superado todavía. Los esposos corren el peligro de vivir en el seno de su hogar el drama de la desunión de los cristianos. La disparidad de culto puede agravar aún más estas dificultades. Divergencias en la fe, en la concepción misma del matrimonio, pero también mentalidades religiosas distintas pueden constituir una fuente de tensiones en el matrimonio, principalmente a propósito de la educación de los hijos. Una tentación que puede presentarse entonces es la indiferencia religiosa.
    1635 Según el derecho vigente en la Iglesia latina, un matrimonio mixto necesita, para su licitud, el permiso expreso de la autoridad eclesiástica (cf CIC, can. 1124). En caso de disparidad de culto se requiere una dispensa expresa del impedimento para la validez del matrimonio (cf CIC, can. 1086). Este permiso o esta dispensa supone que ambas partes conozcan y no excluyan los fines y las propiedades esenciales del matrimonio; además, que la parte católica confirme los compromisos –también haciéndolos conocer a la parte no católica– de conservar la propia fe y de asegurar el Bautismo y la educación de los hijos en la Iglesia Católica (cf CIC, can. 1125).
    1636 En muchas regiones, gracias al diálogo ecuménico, las comunidades cristianas interesadas han podido llevar a cabo una pastoral común para los matrimonios mixtos. Su objetivo es ayudar a estas parejas a vivir su situación particular a la luz de la fe. Debe también ayudarles a superar las tensiones entre las obligaciones de los cónyuges, el uno con el otro, y con sus comunidades eclesiales. Debe alentar el desarrollo de lo que les es común en la fe, y el respeto de lo que los separa.
    1637 En los matrimonios con disparidad de culto, el esposo católico tiene una tarea particular: "Pues el marido no creyente queda santificado por su mujer, y la mujer no creyente queda santificada por el marido creyente" ( 1 Co 7,14). Es un gran gozo para el cónyuge cristiano y para la Iglesia el que esta "santificación" conduzca a la conversión libre del otro cónyuge a la fe cristiana (cf. 1 Co 7,16). El amor conyugal sincero, la práctica humilde y paciente de las virtudes familiares, y la oración perseverante pueden preparar al cónyuge no creyente a recibir la gracia de la conversión.

    IV Los efectos del sacramento del Matrimonio

    1638 "Del matrimonio válido se origina entre los cónyuges un vínculo perpetuo y exclusivo por su misma naturaleza; además, en el matrimonio cristiano los cónyuges son fortalecidos y quedan como consagrados por un sacramento peculiar para los deberes y la dignidad de su estado" (CIC, can. 1134).
    El vínculo matrimonial
    1639 El consentimiento por el que los esposos se dan y se reciben mutuamente es sellado por el mismo Dios (cf Mc 10,9). De su alianza "nace una institución estable por ordenación divina, también ante la sociedad" (GS 48,1). La alianza de los esposos está integrada en la alianza de Dios con los hombres: "el auténtico amor conyugal es asumido en el amor divino" (GS 48,2).
    1640 Por tanto, el vínculo matrimonial es establecido por Dios mismo, de modo que el matrimonio celebrado y consumado entre bautizados no puede ser disuelto jamás. Este vínculo que resulta del acto humano libre de los esposos y de la consumación del matrimonio es una realidad ya irrevocable y da origen a una alianza garantizada por la fidelidad de Dios. La Iglesia no tiene poder para pronunciarse contra esta disposición de la sabiduría divina (cf CIC, can. 1141).
    La gracia del sacramento del matrimonio
    1641 "En su modo y estado de vida, (los cónyuges cristianos) tienen su carisma propio en el Pueblo de Dios" (LG 11). Esta gracia propia del sacramento del matrimonio está destinada a perfeccionar el amor de los cónyuges, a fortalecer su unidad indisoluble. Por medio de esta gracia "se ayudan mutuamente a santificarse con la vida matrimonial conyugal y en la acogida y educación de los hijos" (LG 11; cf LG 41).
    1642 Cristo es la fuente de esta gracia. "Pues de la misma manera que Dios en otro tiempo salió al encuentro de su pueblo por una alianza de amor y fidelidad, ahora el Salvador de los hombres y Esposo de la Iglesia, mediante el sacramento del matrimonio, sale al encuentro de los esposos cristianos" (GS 48,2). Permanece con ellos, les da la fuerza de segu irle tomando su cruz, de levantarse después de sus caídas, de perdonarse mutuamente, de llevar unos las cargas de los otros (cf Ga 6,2), de estar "sometidos unos a otros en el temor de Cristo" (Ef 5,21) y de amarse con un amor sobrenatural, delicado y fecundo. En las alegrías de su amor y de su vida familiar les da, ya aquí, un gusto anticipado del banquete de las bodas del Cordero:
    ¿De dónde voy a sacar la fuerza para describir de manera satisfactoria la dicha del matrimonio que celebra la Iglesia, que confirma la ofrenda, que sella la bendición? Los ángeles lo proclaman, el Padre celestial lo ratifica...¡Qué matrimonio el de dos cristianos, unidos por una sola esperanza, un solo deseo, una sola disciplina, el mismo servicio! Los dos hijos de un mismo Padre, servidores de un mismo Señor; nada los separa, ni en el espíritu ni en la carne; al contrario, son verdaderamente dos en una sola carne. Donde la carne es una, también es uno el espíritu (Tertuliano, ux. 2,9; cf. FC 13).

    V Los bienes y las exigencias del amor conyugal

    1643 "El amor conyugal comporta una totalidad en la que entran todos los elementos de la persona -reclamo del cuerpo y del instinto, fuerza del sentimiento y de la afectividad, aspiración del espíritu y de la voluntad-; mira una unidad profundamente personal que, más allá de la unión en una sola carne, conduce a no tener más que un corazón y un alma; exige la indisolubilidad y la fidelidad de la donación recíproca definitiva; y se abre a fecundidad. En una palabra: se trata de características normales de todo amor conyugal natural, pero con un significado nuevo que no sólo las purifica y consolida, sino las eleva hasta el punto de hacer de ellas la expresión de valores propiamente cristianos" (FC 13). Unidad e indisolubilidad del matrimonio
    1644 El amor de los esposos exige, por su misma naturaleza, la unidad y la indisolubilidad de la comunidad de personas que abarca la vida entera de los esposos: "De manera que ya no son dos sino una sola carne" (Mt 19,6; cf Gn 2,24). "Están llamados a crecer continuamente en su comunión a través de la fidelidad cotidiana a la promesa matrimonial de la recíproca donación total" (FC 19). Esta comunión humana es confirmada, purificada y perfeccionada por la comunión en Jesucristo dada mediante el sacramento del matrimonio. Se profundiza por la vida de la fe común y por la Eucaristía recibida en común.
    1645 "La unidad del matrimonio aparece ampliamente confirmada por la igual dignidad personal que hay que reconocer a la mujer y el varón en el mutuo y pleno amor" (GS 49,2). La poligamia es contraria a esta igual dignidad de uno y otro y al amor conyugal que es único y exclusivo.
    La fidelidad del amor conyugal
    1646 El amor conyugal exige de los esposos, por su misma naturaleza, una fidelidad inviolable. Esto es consecuencia del don de sí mismos que se hacen mutuamente los esposos. El auténtico amor tiende por sí mismo a ser algo definitivo, no algo pasajero. "Esta íntima unión, en cuanto donación mutua de dos personas, como el bien de los hijos exigen la fidelidad de los cónyuges y urgen su indisoluble unidad" (GS 48,1).
    1647 Su motivo más profundo consiste en la fidelidad de Dios a su alianza, de Cristo a su Iglesia. Por el sacramento del matrimonio los esposos son capacitados para representar y testimoniar esta fidelidad. Por el sacramento, la indisolubilidad del matrimonio adquiere un sentido nuevo y más profundo.
    1648 Puede parecer difícil, incluso imposible, atarse para toda la vida a un ser humano. Por ello es tanto más importante anunciar la buena nueva de que Dios nos ama con un amor definitivo e irrevocable, de que los esposos participan de este amor, que les conforta y mantiene, y de que por su fidelidad se convierten en testigos del amor fiel de Dios. Los esposos que, con la gracia de Dios, dan este testimonio, con frecuencia en condiciones muy difíciles, merecen la gratitud y el apoyo de la comunidad eclesial (cf FC 20).
    1649 Existen, sin embargo, situaciones en que la convivencia matrimonial se hace prácticamente imposible por razones muy diversas. En tales casos, la Iglesia admite la separación física de los esposos y el fin de la cohabitación. Los esposos no cesan de ser marido y mujer delante de Dios; ni son libres para contraer una nueva unión. En esta situación difícil, la mejor solución sería, s i es posible, la reconciliación. La comunidad cristiana está llamada a ayudar a estas personas a vivir cristianamente su situación en la fidelidad al vínculo de su matrimonio que permanece indisoluble (cf FC; 83; CIC, can. 1151-1155).
    1650 Hoy son numerosos en muchos países los católicos que recurren al divorcio según las leyes civiles y que contraen también civilmente una nueva unión. La Iglesia mantiene, por fidelidad a la palabra de Jesucristo ("Quien repudie a su mujer y se case con otra, comete adulterio contra aquella; y si ella repudia a su marido y se casa con otro, comete adulterio": Mc 10,11-12), que no puede reconocer como válida esta nueva unión, si era válido el primer matrimonio. Si los divorciados se vuelven a casar civilmente, se ponen en una situación que contradice objetivamente a la ley de Dios. Por lo cual no pueden acceder a la comunión eucarística mientras persista esta situación, y por la misma razón no pueden ejercer ciertas responsabilidades eclesiales. La reconciliación mediante el sacramento de la penitencia no puede ser concedida más que aquellos que se arrepientan de haber violado el signo de la Alianza y de la fidelidad a Cristo y que se comprometan a vivir en total continencia.
    1651 Respecto a los cristianos que viven en esta situación y que con frecuencia conservan la fe y desean educar cristianamente a sus hijos, los sacerdotes y toda la comunidad deben dar prueba de una atenta solicitud, a fin de aquellos no se consideren como separados de la Iglesia, de cuya vida pueden y deben participar en cuanto bautizados:
    Se les exhorte a escuchar la Palabra de Dios, a frecuentar el sacrificio de la misa, a perseverar en la oración, a incrementar las obras de caridad y las iniciativas de la comunidad en favor de la justicia, a educar sus hijos en la fe cristiana, a cultivar el espíritu y las obras de penitencia para implorar de este modo, día a día, la gracia de Dios (FC 84).
    La apertura a la fecundidad
    1652 "Por su naturaleza misma, la institución misma del matrimonio y el amor conyugal están ordenados a la procreación y a la educación de la prole y con ellas son coronados como su culminación" (GS 48,1):
    Los hijos son el don más excelente del matrimonio y contribuyen mucho al bien de sus mismos padres. El mismo Dios, que dijo: "No es bueno que el hombre esté solo (Gn 2,18), y que hizo desde el principio al hombre, varón y mujer" (Mt 19,4), queriendo comunicarle cierta participación especial en su propia obra creadora, bendijo al varón y a la mujer diciendo: "Creced y multiplicaos" (Gn 1,28). De ahí que el cultivo verdadero del amor conyugal y todo el sistema de vida familiar que de él procede, sin dejar posponer los otros fines del matrimonio, tienden a que los esposos estén dispuestos con fortaleza de ánimo a cooperar con el amor del Creador y Salvador, que por medio de ellos aumenta y enriquece su propia familia cada día más (GS 50,1).
    1653 La fecundidad del amor conyugal se extiende a los frutos de la vida moral, espiritual y sobrenatural que los padres transmiten a sus hijos por medio de la educación. Los padres son los principales y primeros educadores de sus hijos (cf. GE 3). En este sentido, la tarea fundamental del matrimonio y de la familia es estar al servicio de la vida (cf FC 28).
    1654 Sin embargo, los esposos a los que Dios no ha concedido tener hijos pueden llevar una vida conyugal plena de sentido, humana y cristianamente. Su matrimonio puede irradiar una fecundidad de caridad, de acogida y de sacrificio.

    VI La iglesia doméstica

    1655 Cristo quiso nacer y crecer en el seno de la Sagrada Familia de José y de María. La Iglesia no es otra cosa que la "familia de Dios". Desde sus orígenes, el núcleo de la Iglesia estaba a menudo constituido por los que, "con toda su casa", habían llegado a ser creyentes (cf Hch 18,8). Cuando se convertían deseaban también que se salvase "toda su casa" (cf Hch 16,31 y 11,14). Estas familias convertidas eran islotes de vida cristiana en un mundo no creyente.
    1656 En nuestros días, en un mundo frecuentemente extraño e incluso hostil a la fe, las familias creyentes tienen una importancia primordial en cuanto faros de una fe viva e irradiadora. Por eso el Concilio Vaticano II llama a la familia, con una antigua expresión, "Ecclesia domestica" (LG 11; cf. FC 21). En el seno de la familia, "los padres han de ser para sus hijos los primeros anunciadores de la fe con su palabra y con su ejemplo, y han de fomentar la vocación personal de cada uno y, con especial cuidado, la vocación a la vida consagrada" (LG 11).
    1657 Aquí es donde se ejercita de manera privilegiada el sacerdocio bautismal del padre de familia, de la madre, de los hijos, de todos los miembros de la familia, "en la recepción de los sacramentos, en la oración y en la acción de gracias, con el testimonio de una vida santa, con la renuncia y el amor que se traduce en obras" (LG 10). El hogar es así la primera escuela de vida cristiana y "escuela del más rico humanismo" (GS 52,1). Aquí se aprende la paciencia y el gozo del trabajo, el amor fraterno, el perdón generoso, incluso reiterado, y sobre todo el culto divino por medio de la oración y la ofrenda de su vida.
    1658 Es preciso recordar asimismo a un gran número de personas que permanecen solteras a causa de las concretas condiciones en que deben vivir, a menudo sin haberlo querido ellas mismas. Estas personas se encuentran particularmente cercanas al corazón de Jesús; y, por ello, merecen afecto y solicitud diligentes de la Iglesia, particularmente de sus pastores. Muchas de ellas viven sin familia humana, con frecuencia a causa de condiciones de pobreza. Hay quienes viven su situación según el espíritu de las bienaventuranzas sirviendo a Dios y al prójimo de manera ejemplar. A todas ellas es preciso abrirles las puertas de los hogares, "iglesias domésticas" y las puertas de la gran familia que es la Iglesia. "Nadie se sienta sin familia en este mundo: la Iglesia es casa y familia de todos, especialmente para cuantos están `fatigados y agobiados' (Mt 11,28)" (FC 85).

    Resumen

    1659 S. Pablo dice: "Maridos, amad a vuestras mujeres como Cristo amó a la Iglesia...Gran misterio es éste, lo digo con respecto a Cristo y la Iglesia" (Ef 5,25.32).
    1660 La alianza matrimonial, por la que un hombre y una mujer constituyen una íntima comunidad de vida y de amor, fue fundada y dotada de sus leyes propias por el Creador. Por su naturaleza está ordenada al bien de los cónyuges así como a la generación y educación de los hijos. Entre bautizados, el matrimonio ha sido elevado por Cristo Señor a la dignidad de sacramento (cf. GS 48,1; CIC, can. 1055,1).
    1661 El sacramento del matrimonio significa la unión de Cristo con la Iglesia. Da a los esposos la gracia de amarse con el amor con que Cristo amó a su Iglesia; la gracia del sacramento perfecciona así el amor humano de los esposos, reafirma su unidad indisoluble y los santifica en el camino de la vida eterna (cf. Cc. de Trento: DS 1799).
    1662 El matrimonio se funda en el consentimiento de los contrayentes, es decir, en la voluntad de darse mutua y definitivamente con el fin de vivir una alianza de amor fiel y fecundo.
    1663 Dado que el matrimonio establece a los cónyuges en un estado público de vida en la Iglesia, la celebración del mismo se hace ordinariamente de modo público, en el marco de una celebración litúrgica, ante el sacerdote (o el testigo cualificado de la Iglesia), los testigos y la asamblea de los fieles.
    1664 La unidad, la indisolubilidad, y la apertura a la fecundidad son esenciales al matrimonio. La poligamia es incompatible con la unidad del matrimonio; el divorcio separa lo que Dios ha unido; el rechazo de la fecundidad priva la vida conyugal de su "don más excelente", el hijo (GS 50,1).
    1665 Contraer un nuevo matrimonio por parte de los divorciados mientras viven sus cónyuges legítimos contradice el plan y la ley de Dios enseñados por Cristo. Los que viven en esta situación no están separados de la Iglesia pero no pueden acceder a la comunión eucarística. Pueden vivir su vida cristiana sobre todo educando a sus hijos en la fe.
    1666 El hogar cristiano es el lugar en que los hijos reciben el primer anuncio de la fe. Por eso la casa familiar es llamada justamente "Iglesia doméstica", comunidad de gracia y de oración, escuela de virtudes humanas y de caridad cristiana.

              Peak White Man        
    As published at OpEd News, Unz Review and Intrepid Report, 8/7/17:





    In a few hours, I'll fly to Europe, my favorite continent, and why not? Most of my intellectual and artistic heroes are Europeans, Kakfa, Beckmann, Kippenberger, Siebald, Rabelais, Rimbaud, Celine, Orwell, Kundera, Dostoievsky and Milosz, etc. I've spent significant time in Italy, England and Germany, and have fond memories of a least a dozen other European countries, all very distinctive from each other. Still.

    White culture has dominated much of the world for several centuries, but it is winding down through self hatred. The white left mostly hate whites, while most of the white right are contemptuous of everybody else. Half of whites, then, hate the other half, and contemporary white culture is a degraded mess. Think Katy Perry being breaded, kneaded, garnished then cooked. Free of war and colonialism, whites are doing a fine job of destroying themselves.

    Many are cheering. It's about time! Susan Sontag in 1967, "The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself."

    After white hegemony comes Chinese leadership, many whites themselves are hoping. When I was in Leipzig in 2015, a German friend insisted that the Chinese were lifting up the Third World. It was a constructive partnership, he said, unlike murderously exploitative white colonialism. Often citing Andre Vltchek, this man believed that a resurgent Communism would be led by Russia and China. He didn't care for my observation that the Russians and Chinese had regained their footing, confidence and compass thanks to nationalism. Nationalism is reactionary, he believed. He himself didn't feel German and could care less for the concept. Most tellingly, this man had never been outside Germany. He didn't know how grounded to Germany he was.

    No population anywhere needs a global ideology. Not only is global solidarity unachievable, but undesirable.

    Bereft of a homeland, many Jews dreamt of a international brotherhood, thus the nightmarish chimera of Communism, which is defended to this day by the most emotionally arrested, historically amnesiac or simply hypocritical. Many who extol the virtues of international Communism will also rabidly defend the ultra nationalist and racist state of Israel.

    In the popular mind, the evilness of white culture is epitomized by Nazi Germany, with Germans forever stigmatized as the worst of whites. Contemporary Germany, however, is one that supposedly allowed 500+ German women to be sexually assaulted by Muslims in Cologne during New Year's Eve of 2016. Germany is really that neutered, goes the narrative.

    Perhaps emboldened by such, Vietnam recently kidnapped a Vietnamese asylum seeker from the Tiergarten, right in the heart of Berlin, then smuggled him back to Hanoi to stand trial. A former head of the state-owned oil company, Trinh Xuan Thanh is accused of pinching $150 million. Maybe Turkey will follow suit and snatch a few of Edorgan's enemies?

    I'll be in Barcelona by morning. Emerging from the train onto the Placa de Catalunya in 2003, I encountered so many Africans and Chinese peddling goods, I thought I was in, well, Naples or Belleville in Paris. My mind has been in Spain for weeks. Reading Spanish newspapers, I learnt that a Senegalese had been beaten to death by four other Africans in Salou, just a 15 minute drive from Taragona, where I'll be staying with Jonathan Revusky.

    In Salou in 2015, a Senegalese peddler of pirated DVDs, counterfeit sunglasses and fake handbags jumped to his death from a third floor balcony as police raided his apartment. This led to two days of clashes between 100+ Senegalese and police.

    In Florence more than a decade ago, I often ran into Africans selling bogus goods made by Chinese, often in nearby Prato. With a population of 191,104, it has 45,000 Chinese.

    Taragona and Bacerlona Provinces are 10% Muslims, the highest in Spain. In Reus, a law was passed in 2014 banning burquas. When it was struck down by the Spanish Supreme Court, this code was revised to ban all full-face coverings, so you best not loiter in the Reus McDonald's while wearing a motorcycle helmet, baclava or facekini.

    I read that in Pizarra, population 8,990, a three-year-old girl was hit by a train. What's most remarkable is that as news of her disappearance spread around midnight, 300 locals immediately volunteered to search for her. That's the kind of small town Europe I remember, having spent two years in Certaldo, Italy, population 16,000.

    You see, where every stone tells a story, people are ardently loyal to their home turf. Shared history matters. Strip malls don't. Europe will only be saved if the American empire, with its corrosive ideologies and madnesses, collapses, and this will happen soon enough. There is hope.





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              Pax Christi International's Senior Policy Advisor Paul Lansu wrote reflections about tensions between Israelis and Palestinians        

    In July 2017, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians rose again after violence on and around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 50 years after the commencement of the occupation of Palestinian territories, peace in the region seems further away than ever...


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              Gehen schwarze Nazi-Soldatinnen nicht doch ein bisschen weit? – News vom 22. Juli 2017        
    1. Immer wieder war in diesem Blog Thema, wie unser Rechtsystem Männer für dasselbe Vergehen härter bestraft als Frauen. Aber selten wird dies anhand eines konkreten Falls so plastisch: Ein Pärchen hat Sex auf einem Alsterdampfer und muss nun wegen "Erregung öffentlichen Ärgernisses" insgesamt 2600 Euro Strafe zahlen. Und zwar der Mann 2100 Euro und die Frau 500 Euro. Warum? Weil die Frau gerade Mutter geworden ist und auf die Richterin einen "ganz vernünftigen Eindruck" machte.



    2. Zwei Nachrichten aus den USA, die Genderama vor einigen Tagen meldete, werden inzwischen auch in deutschsprachigen Leitmedien erwähnt.

    "Keine Vergewaltigung auf der Matratze" titelt "Die Zeit" zum Fall Paul Nungeßer aus Berlin und Emma Sulkowicz.

    Dazu, dass die Erziehungsministerin der USA auch Gruppen einlud, die faire Verfahren für Beschuldigte sexueller Gewalt fordern, fällt der "Süddeutschen" in ihrem unnachahmlichem Stil natürlich nur folgende Überschrift ein: "Trumps Bildungsministerin verunsichert Opfer sexueller Gewalt".

    Über eine derartige Idiotie ist selbst die feministische New York Times inzwischen hinaus. "Betsy DeVos Is Right: Sexual Assault Policy Is Broken" betitelt das Blatt einen Artikel der männerfreundlichen Equity-Feministin Cathy Young. Und der Boston Globe ist in seiner Schlagzeile nicht weniger deutlich: "Will Betsy DeVos fix Obama’s toxic campus sexual assault policy?"



    3. In einem Urteil, das als "wegweisend" bezeichnet wird, hat das Oberste Gericht Israels gerade ein Männer diskriminierendes Gesetz gekippt: Jetzt müssen auch Frauen Unterhalt für Kinder zahlen. Zumindest wenn die Kinder im Alter zwischen 6 und 15 Jahren sind und ihre Mutter mehr verdient als ihr Vater.



    4. Die Post. Einer meiner Leser schreibt mir zu den Schwarzen Listen, die die Grünen über Feminismuskritiker angelegt haben: "Ein solcher Pranger existierte ja schon des öfteren. Das kann tatsächlich Konsequenzen haben, wenn auch anders als vom Betreiber beabsichtigt. Als Ex-Hannoveraner bin ich vor einigen Jahren über diese Kuriosität gestolpert:

    Die Geschichte der Sammlung Sprengel beginnt im Spätsommer 1937 unter den seltsamsten und denkwürdigsten Umständen, die je einen Sammler zum Sammeln motiviert haben, Bernhard Sprengel besuchte in München die Ausstellung "Entartete Kunst", mit der die Machthaber des Dritten Reichs die moderne Kunst dem Spott und Hohn der Masse überantworten wollten, indem sie die aus den deutschen Museen geraubten Werke der Öffentlichkeit ... präsentierten. "Trotz schlechter Hängung wirkte die 'Entartete Kunst' auf meine Frau und mich wie eine Fanfare. Für mich, der ich bisher nur der Musik wirklich verhaftet war und bildende Kunst mehr im Vorübergehen ... betrachtet hatte, war dieses die erste wirklich zündende Begegnung. So führte unser Weg fast zwangsläufig zu Günther Franke in der Brienner Straße, der uns im ‚Hinterstübchen‘ die ersten beiden Aquarelle von Emil Nolde verkaufte."


    "Parallelen zu Agent*in möglich?" fragt mein Leser. "Ich würde es den Machern wünschen."

    Ein anderer Leser macht mich darauf aufmerksam, dass der ebenfalls auf diesen Schwarzen Listen geführte Professor Aigner anscheinend selbst Mitglied der Grünen ist. Der feministische Verfolgungseifer erwischt einmal mehr die eigenen Leute – während er dem tatsächlichen politischen Gegner nur hilft, wie Lucas Schoppe anmerkt:

    Diese Plattform richtet sich gegen demokratische Akteure von links bis konservativ, weil es nur denen schaden kann, mit Rechtsradikalen in einen Topf geworfen zu werden. Den Typen vom rechten Rand hingegen wird eine solche Gemeinsamkeit eher nützen – was die Verantwortlichen der Plattform billigend in kauf nehmen. Die Einschüchterung demokratischer Kritiker ist ihnen offenbar wichtiger als eine gemeinsame Kritik von Rechtsaußen-Positionen.


    Und auf Facebook teilt Milosz Matuschek der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung mit:

    Eine Prangerseite ist einer politischen Stiftung nicht würdig, schon gar nicht, wenn sie nach einem Mann benannt ist, der Dissidenten bei sich aufnahm. Bereue gerade nicht, bei euch als Vertrauensdozent aufgehört zu haben.


    Matuschek hat Recht. Heinrich Böll war eines meiner Themen im mündlichen Examen. Er trat immer wieder für die politisch Ausgegrenzten ein. Und deshalb würde er sich im Grab herumdrehen, wenn er wüsste, was eine nach ihm benannte Stiftung heute fabriziert.



    5. Mehr Post. Ein anderer Leser bezieht sich auf eine Meldung über einen "sexistischen" Werbespot der Firma Audi, der in China für einen Aufschrei sorgte, und merkt dazu an:

    Inhalt des Spots: Kurz bevor sich ein Brautpaar das Ja-Wort gibt, stürmt die künftige Schwiegermutter der Braut nach vorne und begutachtet (wie auf einem Viehmarkt) das Gebiss der Frau, die Ohren, die Nase. Kurzzeitig scheint sie zufriedengestellt, da fällt ihr Blick auf das Dekollete und der Zuschauer kann erahnen, was jetzt folgen würde, wenn nicht ein Schnitt erfolgte und es dann um Autos ginge.

    Was hat Audi falsch gemacht? Ganz einfach: Sie hätten den Schwiegervater des Bräutigams losschicken sollen, damit dieser in die Hose des Bräutigams schaut, ob da alles "okay" ist. Dann wäre das Video viral durch die Welt gegangen als gutes Beispiel für witzige Werbung.




    6. Ein weiterer Leser kommentiert die auf Genderama verlinkte Satiremeldung, der zufolge Christopher Nolan dafür kritisiert worden sei, bei seiner Verfilmung der Schlacht um Dünkirchen nur weiße Männer zu zeigen:

    Bei deiner heutigen Presseschau konnte ich bei dem Beitrag über zu wenige Frauen in Dünkirchen nicht soo sehr schmunzeln.

    Der Grund ist ein einfacher: In der Spiele-Szene tobt der Gender-Krieg bekanntlich schon eine ganze Weile. Vor einer Woche hat ein User auf Youtube den neusten Auswuchs an politsch korrekter Geschichtsdarstellung vorgestellt:

    Black Women of the German Army In Call of Duty WW2

    Ja, richtig gelesen. Vor ca. einem Jahr, als "Battlefield 1" herauskam, gab es Stunk, da Frauen erst gar nicht als Spielercharaktere 3-D-mässig modelliert wurden, wohl aus dem Wissen heraus, dass die meisten Frauen wenn, dann nur im Lazarett tätig waren.


    Wie man über das verlinkte Youtube-Video erfährt, kann man bei "Call of Duty" hingegen jetzt auch schwarze Frauen als Soldatinnen der nationalsozialistischen Armee spielen. Wegen "Diversity" und so.

    "Scheiß auf den Realismus, wir fügen Soldatinnen hinzu, weil das längst überfällig ist", hatte die Spieleentwicklerin Amandine Coget schon vor einem Jahr dazu erklärt.

    Mein Leser kommentiert weiter:

    Nun also treibt man das ins Extreme. Es ist ja nicht so, dass hier Alternate-Reality-Spiele verkauft werden. Dann könnte man ja ein Auge zudrücken.

    Eine ähnliche Haltung war, ebenfalls vor einem Jahr, die Entscheidung Apples, Spiele, die die Südstaatenflagge beinhalteten, aus ihrem Store zu löschen. Fragt sich, wie man denn jetzt Geschichte spielerisch beibringen will, wenn einem mittendrin statt einem blauen Kreuz auf rotem Hintergrund möglicherweise die Genderflagge entgegenspringt.

    Muss man die Leute, die heute in der Schule ohnehin weniger Bildung als jemals zuvor abbekommen, noch zusätzlich dumm halten? Und gleichzeitig die Leute, die das Wissen haben, unnötig verwirren durch die derzeitige Propaganda?


    Während sie das tatsächliche Verrecken an der Front noch immer weit überwiegend den "unterdrückerischen" Männern überlassen, fordern Feministinnen, dass sie im harmlosen Spiel die Plätze dieser Männer einnehmen dürfen, "weil das längst überfällig ist". Viel schöner kann man eigentlich nicht ausdrücken, was eine feministische Geisteshaltung heutzutage ausmacht.
              One God - One Cult - One Nation        
    One God - One Cult - One NationArchaeological and Biblical Perspectives

    By Reinhard Kratz, Hermann Spieckermann

    £99.95   01 Jul 2010   Hardback   Walter de Gruyter & Co

    The archaeological and biblical research challenges the traditional view of the history of ancient Israel. This book presents the findings of both academic disciplines regarding the United Monarchy of David and Solomon ('One Nation') and the cult reform under Josiah ('One Cult'), raising the issue of fact versus fiction.



              Conversation with Christopher Titmuss        

    Christopher Titmuss, a former Buddhist monk in Thailand and India, teaches Awakening and Insight Meditation (Vipassana) around the world. He is the founder and director of the Dharma Facilitators Programme and Mindfulness Training Course, an online mentor programme.. He gives retreats, leads pilgrimages (yatras) and Dharma gatherings, as well as establishing a network of Dharma teachers around the world. Christopher has been teaching annual retreats in India since 1975

    A senior Dharma teacher in the West, he is the author of 14 books includingLight on Enlightenment, Transforming Our Terror and Mindfulness for Everyday Living. More than 2000 of his Dharma talks have been recorded. A campaigner for peace and other global issues, Christopher acts in an advisory capacity to various networks and organisations working to resolve suffering including Australia, Asia (Israel, Palestine, India) and Europe. Christopher has not spent more than two months in one place since 1975, when he resided for five months teaching in the foothills of the Himalayas.

    Poet and writer, he lives in Totnes, Devon, England. His work takes him to three continents every year.

    www.christophertitmuss.org

    www.insightmeditation.org

    www.dharmafacilitators.org

    www.mindfulnesstrainingcourse.org


              The Archaeology of Myth        
    The Archaeology of MythPapers on Old Testament Tradition

    By N. Wyatt

    £25.00   01 Mar 2010   Paperback   Equinox Publishing Ltd,SW11

    Recognizes the importance of mythological categories in discussing any religion, and especially Israelite religion, as a means of redressing this perceived imbalance in this field.



              The Archaeology of Myth        
    The Archaeology of MythPapers on Old Testament Tradition

    By N. Wyatt

    £55.00   01 Mar 2010   Hardback   Equinox Publishing Ltd,SW11

    Recognizes the importance of mythological categories in discussing any religion, and especially Israelite religion, as a means of redressing this perceived imbalance in this field.



              The Diversity of MOOCs and the Dangers of Over-Generalization        
    A lot of academic criticism of MOOCs derives from the fear that small, private online courses (SPOCs) open only to fee paying students, but based on MOOCs offered by “superstar” online professors, will replace local faculty, especially in lower tier institutions. Low-paid contingent faculty and teaching assistants (or worse, software programs and auto-graders) will then handle the heuristic teaching and grading, leaving fee paying students without expert human guidance. This is the "MOOCs will Destroy Higher Education as we Know It" argument. 
    If you carry the hierarchical, every-student-for-themselves assumptions inherent in an xMOOC into the future you will never escape the reasons why so many caring educators oppose MOOCs in the first place. . . The problem with MOOCs isn’t the name. It’s not even the components of the acronym. The problem with MOOCs is that they’re being designed to create low-quality, hierarchical courses that can be championed by unscrupulous administrators to fire caring professors and leave unsuspecting students to fend entirely for themselves.
     Rees appears to be arguing here against SPOCs, not MOOCs. But let’s take up that part of his argument directed nominally against MOOCs. Rees says:
    Cosmetic changes will not solve (MOOC quality) problems. Only re-thinking the entire xMOOC experience from the ground up will have even the slightest chance of creating something worthwhile.
    The initial bother here is Rees’s false choice between merely “cosmetic” changes vs. “rethinking MOOCs from the ground up”. Rees’s dualism neglects that middle ground of actual or potential positive developments within the existing x-MOOC framework. Rees would almost certainly know about these if he took a break from general critique to explore particular MOOCs.  I’ll turn to this task below.
    We can dismiss Rees’ unsupported claim about what MOOC designers intend.  Have x-MOOCs been “designed to create low quality courses”. On the contrary, their designers seek to create high quality courses, as they understand them, with instruction better than they perceive to be today’s norm. Indeed Anant Agarwal has made it the highest priority of edX to use the huge data sets available in computerized courses with tens or hundreds of thousands of students to improve instruction and learning. MOOCs may nonetheless be low quality courses, of course, but that is another question and would have to be addressed on the basis of relevant criteria of value.   
    Have MOOCs been “designed to suit the needs of unscrupulous administrators?”  This ids another unsupported claim. Agarwal, Koller, Ng and the other platform executive have had quite different aims – to scale up instruction and make quality higher education globally available. While this may also result in substitution of technology for labor in the university, it hardly follows that that was the intended result, and in any case is not a critique of MOOC instruction itself. It is no critique of a hammer that an imbecile can use it to bash in someone’s head. It might nonetheless be a very good hammer.
    Evaluating Particular MOOCs
    So let’s consider the tasks of instruction in actual MOOCs. 
    Instruction in courses typically involves three inter-acting dimensions: didactic, discursive and heuristic. The didactic dimension conveys knowledge through lectures and textbook readings; the discursive facilitates understandingthrough discussion and critical feedback; the heuristic shapes skills through drill and practice.  
    In a geometry unit, for example, the didactic component may present basic concepts such as line, plane, axiom or proof; the discursive component may provide opportunities for discussion of e.g., proof strategies; the heuristic component may provide multiple opportunities to e.g., determine the area or perimeter of figures, to invent proofs, or to construct bi-sections of line segments.  In a literature unit, the didactic may convey background knowledge on the author, genre or period, the discursive may provide opportunities for guided interpretive and critical discussions of a selected story, and the heuristic may provide opportunities to use strategies of analysis, e.g., to locate the protagonist, the central conflict, and the dénouement.  
    Good instruction, whether in a classroom or a MOOC, provides for the development and integration of knowledge, understanding and skill. It aims to engage students into worthwhile activities and practices by melding “I know,” and “I understand,” with “I can do.” When we think in general terms about the evaluation of particular MOOCs, we want to ask how well these instructional dimensions can be handled through computer software. 
    Rees and other academic critics have condemned MOOCs as in effect using the best of 21stcentury technology to deliver the worst of 19th century instruction. The lectures, they claim, consist of videotaped talking heads. The discussion boards are useless and riddled with spam and flame wars. The problem sets are repetitive, trivial, and exhausting. In short, MOOCs are poor tools for didactic, discursive, and heuristic dimensions of instruction.
    But is this critique justified? I will consider each of the three dimensions of instruction, with specific examples from well-known MOOCs.
    (1) Didactic Instruction. While MOOC critics may wish to portray live classroom instruction as akin to Mark Hopkins dialoguing with a few students on a log, the reality is generally quite different: faculty members serving up uninspiring lectures to halls full of disengaged students. If talking heads are the problem, academic critics are in no position to pin the blame on MOOCs.
    MOOC presentations, however, are not in general talking heads. On the contrary, MOOC presentations are an entirely new form of pedagogical experience. The large data sets and the rich data trails of computerized instruction have enabled researchers to explore new questions, such as the optimum length for lecture segments, and the most effective way of articulating them with readings and problem sets. Research suggests that 6 minutes is optimal. MOOCs now typically break up brief lecture segments with problem sets and free-response questions. Lecture segments are supplemented with interviews, clips from panels at research conferences, interviews with other scholars, research presentations by graduate students, and on-site videos of knowledge use in ‘real-world’ settings. While a single instructor inevitably gives his course subject matters a personal twist, MOOCs offer unique opportunities for presenting multiple points of view.
    JonathanHaber, who constructed a complete college education in the humanities– in asingle year - from MOOCs, and thus knows as much about actual MOOCs as any commentator, states:  
    MOOCs are often criticized for just transferring a “sage on stage” pedagogy from the lectern to the computer screen, scaling up the worst aspects of oversized lecture classes. But as my year of MOOCs went on, I saw a new visual language developing, as single talking heads were supplemented (or replaced entirely) with conversations among colleagues (the visual style of one of my favorite courses: HarvardX’s   "The Ancient Greek Hero") interviews with experts, on-location shots, and even on-screen performances. Such creativity helped to make lectures one of the most engaging and, ironically, intimate components of massive online courses, while also raising the bar for all other forms of online learning (most of it far duller than your average MOOC).
    At their best, MOOC presentations are as engaging as the best television news magazine programs. And this is not surprising, as the universities providing the best MOOCs are investing in cutting-edge production studios and hiring media professionals. The best MOOC presentations are more like segments of “60 minutes” than talking heads.  We may question whether producing “edutainment” of this sort is the best use of scarce institutional funds, but that is another question entirely, and one that completely undercuts the “talking head” line of attack.
    (2) Discussion and Feedback. Let’s acknowledge that the MOOC discussion boards are far from adequate substitutes for live discussion.  Even some of the most supportive MOOC commentators have found them to have little value. The good news is that the discursive segments of many MOOCs have moved well beyond the discussion boards to live conversations in physical or virtual spaces.  
    Coursera has sponsored “meet-ups” – where students in their MOOCs can get together for course discussion - in dozens of cities. Coursera has also teamed up with the U. S. State Department to run MOOC camps for college age students in many countries. The city of Boston has teamed up with edX to initiate Boston-x, a project providing Internet computers and meeting places for MOOC learners. Other cities have emulated Boston-x, dedicating space in libraries and other public buildings for MOOC study. These efforts parallel those of the Library 2.0 movement; librarians around the world are now re-thinking optimal uses for their brick and mortar building spaces in the age of web 2.0 technologies and digital books, and one answer is meeting spaces for online learners.  C-MOOCs, and now many x-MOOCs well, make extensive use of video-conferencing – e.g., via Skype - to connect group members. MOOCs offering nothing more than discussion boards are simply behind the MOOC curve.
    (3) Heuristic Instruction. Academic critics claim that the “can do” element of MOOCs is restricted to monitoring auto-or- peer graded problem sets.
    Many actual MOOCs, however, have moved way beyond such mechanized problem sets, making project-based authentic learning central to the MOOC experience. Here are two examples:
    (1) At the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Professor Michael Lenox has offered several iterations of his “Foundations of Business Strategy” MOOC on the Coursera platform. Lenox uses “Coursolve,” a crowdsourcing software program, to connect his course with partner organizations where students work to solve real-life challenges. He says:
     â€œEntrepreneurs don’t always have the resources to hire external support to address their needs, but we’ve seen firsthand that students are hungry for the chance to apply their knowledge to real-world problems,” Lenox says.  â€œBy collaborating with organizations, students can strengthen their skills development while potentially providing businesses and nonprofits with valuable insights.”
                    In the final course project, Lenox invited students to undertake complete a strategic analysis of one of the partner organizations. More than 400 students completed analyses in partnership with 100 different organizations, including established businesses, startups, resource-strapped nonprofits and social enterprises. 78% of those students ended up participating directly with senior managers in the strategic decision-making of their organizations. Reporting on the second iteration of the MOOC, Lenox added, “Hundreds of in-person study groups formed in over 50 countries. Students included young entrepreneurs and mature small business owners; non-profit organizers; a study group of Mongolia students led by a Peace Corps volunteer; a group of  unemployed women in Ohio looking to improve their job prospects; a group of students ijn Bolivia led under a program from the U.S. State Department; and a group of Arab and Israeli students participating through the YaLa Young Leaders program building détente through education.”
    (2) Cathy Davidson of Duke University is now offering a Coursera MOOC on 'thehistory and future of higher education'. Davidson has been a national leader in pushing the x-MOOC format in creative directions. Because her MOOC has many thousands of students, the student group can take on projects not possible within a classroom context. In one project, her students are collectively creating a rich, multi-media trans-national timeline of higher education since 1800. Each student is contributing reports on significant historical events in higher education in their geographic locations - countries, states, municipalities. The students are learning historical research methods and skills in reporting historical events. Many higher education institutions previously neglected by historians of education, including those long closed, are in this way being entered for the first time in an accessible historical record. The student group is now collaborating on editing and coordinating the information and producing the final online product. [5]
    One does not need to love either of these particular skill development efforts to recognize that they go way beyond auto-graded problem sets.
    6. Conclusion
    My point in the above remarks has been to show that academic critics of MOOCs have relied on a stick-figure caricature. Real MOOCs, even x-MOOCs, are diverse, and many MOOC leaders have addressed the didactic, discursive and heuristic dimensions of instruction in creative ways. The best MOOCs replace the ‘sage on the stage’ stalking head with presentations employing a “new visual language” of instruction; they build in group experiences, whether physical or virtual, with opportunities for interpersonal student dialogue; they make project-based learning the centerpiece of the educational experience.
    Of course, not all MOOCs do this. Some do, some don’t. And that is precisely the point I am making. If we want to assess the pedagogical value of MOOCs, we will have to turn our attention to particular courses to see how they handle instructional tasks. The most important dimensions of instruction, the didactic, discursive and heuristic, provide useful pegs upon which to hang such particular evaluative judgments.  






              Disloyalty and Destruction        
    Disloyalty and DestructionReligion and Politics in Deuteronomy and the Modern World

    By Rob Barrett

    £65.00   05 Nov 2009   Hardback   Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.

    Presents a heuristic reading strategy for a modern reader to engage with YHWH's threats against Israel in "Deuteronomy". This text attempts to discern the logic of YHWH's threats: what motivates the threats, what form the threats take, and what effect the threats expect to produce.



              Images of Egypt in Early Biblical Literature        
    Images of Egypt in Early Biblical LiteratureCisjordan-Israelite, Transjordan-Israelite, and Judahite Portrayals

    By Stephen C. Russell

    £78.95   01 Nov 2009   Hardback   Walter de Gruyter & Co

    Offers a regional paradigm for understanding the development of the traditions about Egypt and the exodus in the "Hebrew Bible".



              The Transjordanian Palimpsest        
    The Transjordanian PalimpsestThe Overwritten Texts of Personal Exile and Transformation in the

    By Jeremy M. Hutton

    £88.00   01 Nov 2009   Hardback   Walter de Gruyter & Co

    The biblical imagery surrounding Jordan River crossings is the product of a complex process of development. This study analyzes several passages in the Former Prophets from a literary perspective, and argues that the text presents Transjordan as liminal in Israel's history.



              The Hebrew Bible        
    The Hebrew BibleA Comparative Approach

    By Christopher P. Stanley

    £28.99   01 Nov 2009   Paperback   Augsburg Fortress

    In The Hebrew Bible, Christopher D. Stanley provides a Hebrew Bible textbook admirably suited to college and university courses in religious studies. At once accessible and comprehensive, The Hebrew Bible approaches the Bible through the categories of comparative religion, carefully distinguishing the religion of ancient Israel from the religion represented in the Bible and discussing such dimensions of religion as the role of scripture, symbol and worldview, sacred narrative (myth), ritual and community, and the encounter with the holy. Companion website offers special resources for instructors and students.



              Everyday Law in Biblical Israel        
    Everyday Law in Biblical IsraelAn Introduction

    By Raymond Westbrook, Bruce Wells

    £16.99   01 Nov 2009   Paperback   Westminster/John Knox Press,U.S.

    Authors Raymond Westbrook and Bruce Wells examine Old Testament legal materials that illustrate how ancient Israelites settled their grievances. This textbook is unique in exploring these legal materials as they relate to everyday life, addressing issues of family, property, contracts, and crimes. Westbrook and Wells explain these elements of Israelite life and law in the context of other laws from throughout the ancient Near East, providing readers with a broad understanding of their legal and social foundations.



              As melhores Bandas de ROCK de todos os tempos        

    As melhores bandas de Rock de todos os tempos não são fáceis de classificar e por isso esta não é uma classificação e sim uma menção das bandas que com certeza estão no top das mais executadas, divulgadas e com milhões de álbuns e afins vendidos em todo mundo.

    Cream


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears e Wheels of Fire. Antes que Blind Faith fosse um supergrupo musical, Cream já o era, até porque dois de seus integrantes pertenceram às duas formações. Eric Clapton foi um deles. Com apenas guitarra, baixo e bateria eles faziam seu Rock surreal soar como se a banda fosse muito maior. Sugestão de músicas: I Feel Free, SWLABR e Crossroads.

    Os Mutantes 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: A Divina Comédia e Jardim Elétrico. A melhor e mais revolucionária banda brasileira tem sua porção de fãs no país e pelo mundo. Foi bastante revolucionária inclusive quando comparada a bandas internacionais. Rock psicodélico, samba de morro, batuque africano, ousadia, crítica e muito humor: isso é Mutantes. Como bônus, Rita Lee quando jovem era linda. Sugestão de músicas: El Justiciero, Portugal De Navio, Meu Refrigerador Não Funciona e Minha Menina.

    AC/DC


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Back in Black e High Voltage. Desde os anos 70 sem perder o pique, AC/DC toca o mesmo Blues Rock e Hard Rock pelo qual ficou conhecida. Angus Young é um show à parte, pelo vestuário e, principalmente, pela empolgação e qualidade de sua guitarra. Sugestão de músicas: It’s A Long Way To The Top, Let Me Put My Love Into You e Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.

    Rolling Stones 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Beggars Banquet, Exile On Main Street, Some Girls e Let It Bleed. Hoje pode não ter a mesma importância dos anos 60 e 70, no entanto seus álbuns antigos continuam a soar ótimos como sempre. Uma banda cujo lema sempre foi “Sexo, Drogas e Rock and Roll“, com bastante ênfase na segunda parte. Sugestão de músicas: Gimmie Shelter, You Can’t Always Get What You Want e Miss You.

    The Beach Boys 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Pet Sounds e Good Vibrations. O princípio Surf Rock da banda é divertido, mas Brian Wilson a transformou em algo muito maior. Protagonizou, ao lado de The Beatles, talvez a disputa artística mais benéfica para a música. Sem Beatles, não haveria Pet Sounds; Sem Beach Boys, não haveria Sgt. Pepper’s – simples assim. É deles a melhor e mais completa gravação de Pop-Rock, com Good Vibrations (uma mini-ópera, como é descrita). Sugestão de músicas: Good Vibrations, I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, God Only Knows e Wouldn’t It Be Nice.

    Pink Floyd


    Álbuns que a consagraram: The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here e The Wall. Experimentação, tanto em matéria de composição quanto de gravação, é uma das marcas registradas desta banda. Elevaram o Rock a ainda outro patamar, o que só foi possível graças ao gênio e habilidade de seus músicos. Sugestão de músicas: The Great Gig In The Sky, Hey You e Shine On You Crazy Diamond (partes I e II).

    Queen


    Álbuns que a consagraram: A Night at the Opera e News of the World. Queen foi, até o falecimento de Freddie Mercury, uma banda extremamente performática e variada. Seus álbuns são marcados por uma fusão de Blues, Heavy Metal, Contry Rock, Pop e tudo o que se possa imaginar. Seus músicos estão entre os mais competentes e Mercury, dono de uma voz incrível, popularizou a agora típica imagem do vocalista-pianista. Além disso, tem uma relação muito estreita com o cinema. Sugestão de músicas: Get Down Make Love, I Want It All e Who Wants to Live Forever.

    The Beatles 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band e The Beatles. Os famosos quatro garotos de Liverpool podem não ser tecnicamente tão expressivos quanto os músicos citados acima, mas ainda são excelentes em seus estilos. Ajudaram a evoluir o Rock, tido antes como algazarra, em algo mais profundo e sofisticado. Eventualmente a disputa entre três grandes gênios musicais (e com um Ringo meio chateado) pôs um fim à banda mais famosa do mundo. Sugestão de músicas: While my guitar gently weeps, Everybody’s got something to hide, Eleanor Rigby e Dig A Pony (do álbum Let it Be… Naked).

    Blind Faith 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Blind Faith. A reunião de músicos já consagrados como Eric Clapton (Yardbirds e Cream), Ginger Baker (Cream) e Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group e Traffic) resultou neste único trabalho, o que faz de Blind Faith a melhor banda de um álbum só e uma das melhores em geral. Sugestão de música: Had To Cry Today.

    The Who 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Tommy e Who’s Next. A guitarra e o teclado/piano/órgão de Pete Townshend é um dos marcos do gênero, mas o que chama mais a atenção mesmo é a bateria de Keith Moon, indiscutivelmente um dos melhores na posição. Sugestão de músicas: Behind Blue Eyes, Baba O’Riley e Pinball Wizard.

    The Allman Brothers 


    Álbuns que a consagraram: Idlewild South e The Filmore Concerts. Em estúdio e ao vivo, são poucos os músicos que conseguem chegar perto do nível de excelência do guitarrista Duane Allman ou do vocalista Gregg Allman. O Contry Rock e o Blues Rock não podem soar melhor do que isso. Sugestão de músicas: Whipping Post e Midnight Rider.

    Led Zeppelin 



    Álbuns que a consagraram: I, II, III, IV, Houses of The Holy e Phisycal Graffiti. Apesar de ser conhecida por alguns furtos autorais, Led Zeppelin é uma das melhores reuniões de músicos que já tocaram sobre este planeta. Destaque para a guitarra de Jimmy Page e os vocais sensuais de Robert Plant. Sugestão de músicas: Babe I’m Gonna Leave You e Since I’ve Been Loving You.

    Fonte: https://classicosuniversais.com

              Max Weber and the Sociology of Biblical Social Worlds        
    Max Weber and the Sociology of Biblical Social WorldsBy Chalcraft, David

    £65.93   01 Sep 2009   Hardback   Continuum

    This book provides new Weberian readings and reconstructions of social and cultural processes in ancient Israel and formative Judaism as evidenced in the literary and material remains of the society.



              Penjelasan Narasi,Deskripsi,Eksposisi,Agrumentasi,Persuasif.!        

      Narasi

    Narasiadalah salah satu jenis pengembangan paragraf dalam sebuah tulisan yang rangkaian peristiwa dari waktu ke waktu dijabarkan dengan urutan awal, tengah, dan akhir.

    Jenis-jenis narasi

    Narasi informatif adalah narasi yang memiliki sasaran penyampaian informasi secara tepat tentang suatu peristiwa dengan tujuan memperluas pengetahuan orang tentang kisah seseorang.
    Narasi ekspositorik adalah narasi yang memiliki sasaran penyampaian informasi secara tepat tentang suatu peristiwa dengan tujuan memperluas pengetahuan orang tentang kisah seseorang. Dalam narasi ekspositorik, penulis menceritakan suatu peristiwa berdasarkan data yang sebenarnya. Pelaku yang ditonjolkan biasanya, satu orang. Pelaku diceritakan mulai dari kecil sampai saat ini atau sampai terakhir dalam kehidupannya. Karangan narasi ini diwarnai oleh eksposisi, maka ketentuan eksposisi juga berlaku pada penulisan narasi ekspositprik. Ketentuan ini berkaitan dengan penggunaan bahasa yang logis, berdasarkan fakta yang ada, tidak memasukan unsursugestif atau bersifat objektif.
    Narasi sugestif adalah narasi yang berusaha untuk memberikan suatu maksud tertentu, menyampaikan suatu amanat terselubung kepada para pembaca atau pendengar sehingga tampak seolah-olah melihat. Ketentuan ini berkaitan dengan penggunaan bahasa yang logis, berdasarkan fakta yang ada, tidak memasukan unsur sugestif atau bersifat objektif.
    Narasi sugestif adalah narasi yang berusaha untuk memberikan suatu maksud tertentu, menyampaikan suatu amanat terselubung kepada para pembaca atau pendengar sehingga tampak seolah-olah melihat.

    Ciri-ciri Karangan Narasi

    Menurut Keraf (2000:136)
    • Menonjolkan unsur perbuatan atau tindakan.
    • Dirangkai dalam urutan waktu.
    • Berusaha menjawab pertanyaan "apa yang terjadi?"
    • Ada konfiks.
    Narasi dibangun oleh sebuah alur cerita. Alur ini tidak akan menarik jika tidak ada konfiks. Selain alur cerita, konfiks dan susunan kronologis, ciri-ciri narasi lebih lengkap lagi diungkapkan oleh Atar Semi (2003: 31) sebagai berikut:
    • Berupa cerita tentang peristiwa atau pengaalaman penulis.
    • Kejadian atau peristiwa yang disampaikan berupa peristiwa yang benar-benar terjadi, dapat berupa semata-mata imajinasi atau gabungan keduanya.
    • Berdasarkan konfiks, karena tanpa konfiks biasanya narasi tidak menarik.
    • Memiliki nilai estetika.
    • Menekankan susunan secara kronologis.
    Ciri yang dikemikakan Keraf memiliki persamaan dengan Atar Semi, bahwa narasi memiliki ciri berisi suatu cerita, menekankan susunan kronologis atau dari waktu ke waktu dan memiliki konfiks. Perbedaannya, Keraf lebih memilih ciri yang menonjolkan pelaku.

    Tujuan

    Tujuan menulis karangan narasi secara fundamental yaitu:
    • Hendak memberikan informasi atau wawasan dan memperluas pengetahuan
    • Memberikan pengalaman estetis kepada pembaca

    Langkah-langkah menulis karangan narasi

    • Tentukan dulu tema dan amanat yang akan disampaikan
    • Tetapkan sasaran pembaca
    • Rancang peristiwa-peristiwa utama yang akan ditampilkan dalam bentuk skema alur
    • Bagi peristiwa utama itu ke dalam bagian awal, perkembangan, dan akhir cerita
    • Rincian peristiwa-peristiwa utama ke dalam detail-detail peristiwa sebagai pendukung cerita
    • Susun tokoh dan perwatakan, latar, dan sudut pandang
    DESKRIPSI
    Deskripsiadalah upaya pengolahan data menjadi sesuatu yang dapat diutarakan secara jelas dan tepat dengan tujuan agar dapat dimengerti oleh orang yang tidak langsung mengalaminya sendiri
    Dalam keilmuan, deskripsi diperlukan agar peneliti tidak melupakan pengalamannya dan agar pengalaman tersebut dapat dibandingkan dengan pengalaman peneliti lain, sehingga mudah untuk dilakukan pemeriksaan dan kontrol terhadap deskripsi tersebut. Pada umumnya deskripsi menegaskan sesuatu, seperti apa sesuatu itu kelihatannya, bagaimana bunyinya, bagaimana rasanya, dan sebagainya. Deskripsi yang detail diciptakan dan dipakai dalam disiplin ilmu sebagai istilah teknik.
    Saat data yang dikumpulkan, deskripsi, analisis dan kesimpulannya lebih disajikan dalam angka-angka maka hal ini dinamakan penelitian kuantitatif. Sebaliknya, apabila data, deskripsi, dan analisis kesimpulannya disajikan dalam uraian kata-kata maka dinamakan penelitian kualitatif
    tulisan deskripsi adalah tulisan yang bertujuan untuk menjelaskan sebuag objek secara terperinci tanpa adanya pengaruh pendapat pendapat pengarang di dalam deskripsi tsb (andy the gunnerz)
    Karangan deskripsi memiliki ciri-ciri seperti:
    Menggambarkan atau melukiskan sesuatu.
    Penggambaran tersebut dilakukan sejelas-jelasnya dengan melibatkan kesan indera.
    Membuat pembaca atau pendengar merasakan sendiri atau mengalami sendiri.

    Langkah menyusun deskripsi:
    1.Tentukan objek atau tema yang akan dideskripsikan.
    2.Tentukan tujuan.
    3.Mengumpulkan data dengan mengamati objek yang akan dideskripsikan.
    4.Menyusun data tersebut ke dalam urutan yang baik (menyusun kerangka karangan).
    5.Menguraikan kerangka karangan menjadi dekripsi yang sesuai dengan tema yang ditentukan.

    Eksposisi

    Eksposisi adalah salah satu jenis pengembangan paragraf dalam penulisan yang dimana isinya ditulis dengan tujuan untuk menjelaskan atau memberikan pengertian dengan gaya penulisan yang singkat, akurat, dan padat.
    Contoh-contoh tulisan eksposisi adalah berita di koran dan petunjuk penggunaan.

    Contoh Wacana Eksposisi

    Jatuhnya pesawat berkapasitas 266 penumpang airbus A300- 600 merupakan peristiwa kedua bagi American Airlines beberapa detik lepas landas dari bandar udara internasional O’Hare Chicago, tiba-tiba mesin kiri lepas dari dudukannya. Pilot tidak bisa mengendalikan pesawat akibat keseimbangan pesawat mendadak berubah dengan jatuhnya mesin berbobot sekitar 5 ton. Pesawat mendarat dan menghujam tempat parkir kendaraan 31 detik kemudian dan 271 penumpang plus awak tewas seketika. Kecelakaan lain menyangkut mesin copot dialami oleh pesawat kargo El-Al milik flag carier Israel, 4 Oktober 1992. Mesin nomor empat atau yang paling ujung pada sayap kanan, tiba-tiba lepas akibat dua fuse-pin (baut kedudukan mesin) lepas. Disusul kemudian oleh mesin nomor tiga. Mendadak kehilangan dua mesin, pilot tidak dapat mengendalikan pesawat dan menabrak gedung bertingkat di Amsterdam, Belanda. Empat awak tewas berikut 47 penghuni flat yang ditabrak.

    Poin-poin penting dalam paragraf/karangan eksposisi

    Contoh topik:
    • Data faktual, yaitu suatu kondisi yang benar-benar terjadi, ada, dan dapat bersifat historis tentang bagaimana suatu alat bekerja, bagaimana suatu peristiwa terjadi, dan sebagainya
    • Suatu analisis atau penafsiran objektif terhadap seperangkat fakta
    • Fakta tentang seseorang yang berpegang teguh pada suatu pendirian
    Contoh urutan analisis:
    • Urutan kronologis/proses, biasanya memaparkan proses, yaitu memberi penjelasan tentang bekerjanya sesuatu atau terjadinya suatu peristiwa
    • Urutan fungsional
    • Urutan atau analisis sebab akibat
    • Analisis perbandingan


    Langkah-langkah penulisan:
    • Menentukan tema
    • Menentukan tujuan karangan
    • Memilih data yang sesuai dengan tema
    • Membuat kerangka karangan
    • Mengembangkan kerangka menjadi karangan
    Langkah-langkah Menyusun Paragraf Proses Pola pengembangan karangan eksposisi bisa bermacam-macam, di antaranya pola pengembangan proses. Paragraf proses itu menyangkut jawaban atas pertanyaan bagaimana bekerjanya, bagaimana mengerjakan hal itu (membuat hal ini), bagaimana barang itu disusun, bagaimana hal itu terjadi. Berikut langkah penulisannya :
    • Penulis harus mengetahui perincian secara menyeluruh.
    • Membagi perincian atas tahaptahap kejadiannya. Bila tahaptahap kejadian ini berlangsung dalam waktu yang berlainan, penulis harus memisahkan dan mengurutkannya secara kronologis.

    Ciri-ciri Eksposisi:
    • berusaha menjelaskan tentang sesuatu
    • gaya tulisan bersifat informatif
    • fakta dipakai sebagai alat kontribusi
    • fakta dipakai sebagai alt konkritasi
    Argumentasi
    Argumentasi adalah salah satu jenis pengembangan paragraf dalam penulisan yang ditulis dengan tujuan untuk meyakinkan atau membujuk] pembaca. Dalam penulisan argumentasi isi dapat berupa penjelasan, pembuktian, alasan, maupun ulasan obyektif dimana disertakan contoh, analogi, dan sebab akibat.
    Tujuannya adalah agar pembaca yakin bahwa ide, gagasan, atau pendapat tersebut adalah benar dan terbukti.
    Menurut Iskandar, sudah saatnya masyarakat mengubah paradigma agar lulusan SMP tidak latah masuk SMA. Kalau memang lebih berbakat pada jalur profesi sebaiknya memilih SMK. Dia mengingatkan sejumlah risiko bagi lulusan SMP yang sembarangan melanjutkan sekolah. Misalnya, lulusan SMP yang tidak mempunyai potensi bakat-minat ke jalur akademik sampai perguruan tinggi, tetapi memaksakan diri masuk SMA, dia tidak akan lulus UAN karena sulit mengikuti pelajaran di SMA. Tanpa lulus UAN mustahil bisa sampai perguruan tinggi. Pada akhirnya mereka akan menjadi pengangguran karena pelajaran di SMA tidak memberi bekal untuk bekerja. [1]
    Kesimpulan dari paragraf tersebut ialah memilih SMA tanpa pertimbangan yang matang hanya akan menambah pengangguran.
    Dilihat dari struktur informasinya, dalam paragraf argumentasi akan ditemukan:
    • Pendahuluan, bertujuan untuk menarik perhatian pembaca, memusatkan perhatian pembaca kepada argumen yang akan disampaikan, atau menunjukkan dasar-dasar mengapa argumentasi dikemukakan.
    • Tubuh argumen, bertujuan untuk membuktikan kebenaran yang akan disampaikan dalam paragraf argumentasi sehingga kesimpulan yang akan dicapai juga benar. Kebenaran yang disampaikan dalam tubuh argument harus dianalisis, disusun, dan dikemukakan dengan mengadakan observasi, eksperimen, penyusun fakta, dan jalan pikiran yang logis.
    • Kesimpulan atau ringkasan, bertujuan untuk membuktikan kepada pembaca bahwa kebenaran yang ingin disampaikan melalui proses penalaran memang dapat diterima sebagai sesuatu yang logis.

    Ciri-ciri Argumentasi:
    Menjelaskan pendapat agar pembaca yakin.
    Memerlukan fakta untuk pembuktian berupa gambar/grafik, dan lain-lain.
    Menggali sumber ide dari pengamatan, pengalaman, dan penelitian.
    Penutup berisi kesimpulan.

    Paragraf Persuasi

    Paragraf Persuasi adalah jenis paragraf yang mengungkapkan ide, gagasan, atau
    pendapat penulis dengan disertai dengan bukti dan fakta (benar-benar terjadi).
    Tujuannya adalah agar pembaca yakin bahwa ide, gagasan, atau pendapat
    tersebut adalah benar dan terbukti dan juga melaksanakan apa yang menjadi
    ajakan dari ide tersebut.
    Paragraf persuasi memang memiliki banyak kesamaan dengan paragraf
    argumentasi, bedanya paragraf persuasi lebih cenderung menjadi sebuah
    ajakan.
    Ciri-ciri komunikasi Persuasif:
    Persuasi berasal dari pendirian bahwa pikiran manusia dapat diubah. 
    Harus menimbulkan kepercayaan para pembacanya.
    Persuasi harus dapat menciptakan kesepakatan atau penyesuaian melalui
    kepercayaan antara penulis dengan pembaca.
    Persuasi sedapat mungkin menghindari konflik agar kepercayaan tidak
    hilang dan supaya kesepakatan pendapatnya tercapai.
    Persuasi memerlukan fakta dan data.

              Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah        
    Nahum, Habakkuk, ZephaniahBy Baker, David W.

    £8.79   01 Aug 2009   Paperback   IVP Academic

    Nahum prophecies the destruction of Nineveh. Habakkuk questions the Lord of Israel. Zephaniah warns the last great king of Jerusalem. David W. Baker examines the authorship, composition, structure and historical context of each book and highlights the authors' major themes.



              Joel & Amos        
    Joel & AmosBy Hubbard, David Allan

    £8.79   01 Aug 2009   Paperback   IVP Academic

    From Joel's arresting imagery to Amos's ringing indictments, these prophetic words never fail to awaken and instruct their reader. David Allan Hubbard shows how Joel and Amos addressed Israel's mind and heart. This commentary serves as a valuable guide to the fascinating world and challenging word of these two prophets.



              From Law to Prophecy        
    From Law to ProphecyEzekiel's Use of the Holiness Code

    By Michael Lyons

    £60.00   16 Jul 2009   Hardback   Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.

    Examines text-referencing practices and ideas about sacred texts in antiquity. This book shows how Ezekiel, an ancient Israelite author, borrowed from and transformed an earlier text containing religious instruction.



              Origins of Biblical Israel        
    Origins of Biblical IsraelBy Davies, Philip R.

    £27.45   01 Jul 2009   Paperback   T & T Clark International

    The book examines the problem defined by recent archaeological discovery about the societies that formed the backbone of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, their origins and their relationship.



              Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient Israel        
    Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient IsraelBy Megan Bishop Moore

    £24.99   01 Jun 2009   Paperback   Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.

    Examines and elucidates assumptions about history writing used by historians of ancient Judah and Israel. This volume seeks to address the substantial debate between 'minimalist' historians who find the Biblical text to be a Persian/Hellenistic construction and the 'non-minimalists', who take the Biblical record at face value.



              Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible        
    Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew BibleBy Van Der Toorn, Karel

    £14.95   01 Apr 2009   Paperback   Harvard University Press

    We think of the "Hebrew Bible" as the Book - and yet it was produced by a largely nonliterate culture in which writing, editing, copying, interpretation, and public reading were the work of a professional elite. This work offers an introduction to the scribes of ancient Israel - the main figures behind the "Hebrew Bible".



              Old Testament Prophets for Today        
    Old Testament Prophets for TodayBy Carolyn J. Sharp

    £10.99   01 Apr 2009   Paperback   Westminster/John Knox Press,U.S.

    The prophets of the Old Testament include such well known characters as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Hosea. There are, however, many other prophets, both in the biblical books that bear their names and in the other histories and stories of ancient Israel. Sharp offers a brief introduction to each of the Bible's prophets and their prophetic books, developing the theological themes present in each with an eye toward how the prophetic message is relevant today. Sharp understands that prophets can be mediators to connect us with the holiness of God, they can be idealists whose desires for humanity call us to new heights of God's desire, and they can be companions for us in the confusing journey through our complicated world. The book contains study questions for group or individual use.



              Family in Life and in Death: The Family in Ancient Israel: Sociological and Archaeological Perspectives        
    Family in Life and in Death: The Family in Ancient Israel: Sociological and Archaeological PerspectivesThe Family in Ancient Israel - Sociological and Archaeological Perspectives

    By Dutcher-Walls, Patricia

    £55.00   01 Apr 2009   Hardback   T & T Clark International

    Discusses various aspects of family in ancient Israel, including research on ancestors and the cult of the dead, configurations of family house structures, and family relational interactions. This book explores the advantages of seeing a topic from two different but complementary perspectives.



              The Parting of the Sea        
    The Parting of the SeaHow Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of Exodus

    By Barbara J. Sivertsen

    £17.95   09 Mar 2009   Hardback   University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton

    Integrating biblical accounts with archaeological evidence, this title looks at how natural phenomena shaped the stories of Exodus, the Sojourn in the Wilderness, and the Israelite conquest of Canaan. It demonstrates that the Exodus was in fact two separate exoduses stemming from two volcanic eruptions.



              The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree        
    A new MP3 sermon from Bible Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
    Subtitle: Parable Series
    Speaker: Pastor Robert J. Sargent
    Broadcaster: Bible Baptist Church
    Event: Sunday - AM
    Date: 9/20/2009
    Bible: Luke 13:6-9
    Length: 46 min. (16kbps)

    Overview: This 12th message in a series on the parables focuses on God's Longsuffering and Severity, as they give witness to His Love and Holiness. This prophetic parable of Israel provides great application to the individual soul.
              Yemenite Shofar – Kudu Horns        

    Shofars are available through Voice of God Shofars! Through a special arrangement with a craftsman in Israel, we have a limited number of shofars to make available to you. These are high quality Yemenite shofars usually pitched in "E" or "F" and have been personally inspected and play tested by Don. These shofars have been prayed over and anointed for service to the kingdom by Don and Sue Heist. These are rare high quality horns intended to be used to further the Kingdom of God.

    You may also order your Shofar with a Personalized Embroidered carry Bag.

    Select Here to add Your Personalized Embroidered Carry Bag


              The Presumptuous Nation        
    A new MP3 sermon from Bible Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: The Presumptuous Nation
    Speaker: Pastor Jeremiah J. Sargent
    Broadcaster: Bible Baptist Church
    Event: Sunday - AM
    Date: 4/29/2007
    Bible: Ezekiel 12:21-28
    Length: 57 min. (16kbps)

    Overview: 'The Days are prolonged, and every vision faileth-' In the midst of national tragedy, Israel presumed that God's blessing would be upon them. This message parallels Israel's history with the state of our nation today.
              EU funds firm supplying Israel with banned cluster weapons        

    Brussels bureaucrats shrug their shoulders as Israel seeks to evade weapons ban.


              Mahmoud Abbas decrees sweeping internet speech restrictions        

    Israeli minister facing difficulties in effort to shut down Al Jazeera.


              Elizabeth Warren opposes Israel Anti-Boycott Act        

    Senator says bill would violate free speech rights.


              Israel revokes citizenship of Palestinian for disloyalty        

    Draconian and discriminatory punishment was not even applied to Jewish assassin of Yitzhak Rabin.


              Australian foreign ministry disavows diplomats' ties to Israeli group        

    Ambassadors ask for names to be removed from NGO Monitor’s website.


              IT disruption panics Gaza’s new Internet entrepreneurs        
    Generators for phone company held up by Israel, and more disruption could harm online economy.
              EU removes video featuring Israeli genocide advocate        

    Brussels bureaucrats heard indignation over incitement targeting Palestinians.


              "Fuck it, wipe out Gaza," says spokesman for new EU campaign        
    Avishai Ivri is the face of EU promotional campaign to win favor of Israelis.
              Senator Gillibrand pulls support for Israel Anti-Boycott Act        

    Rare move follows major mobilization by Palestinian rights movement.


              Surge in Israeli attacks on journalists        

    Israeli minister says his country identifies with Saudi Arabia and other “moderates.”


              Christians urged to heed call for "costly solidarity" with Palestine        

    Church-based activism confronting Israel’s abuses is growing.


              Video: Israeli soldier shoots, beats fleeing teen        

    West Bank boy suffered serious head injuries in attack by occupation forces.


              Insurance giant AXA urged to end support for Israeli war crimes        

    French firm holds shares in Israeli arms firm and banks that finance settlements.


              G4S complicit in Israel's attempt to take over al-Aqsa        

    Palestinians urge activists to step up focus on security firm.


              Ebola in Boston Dismissed by Health Officials        

    A suspected Ebola patient in Boston was cleared this week as fears of the disease have begun to rise in the U.S. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center officials told The Boston Globe on Tuesday that the patient does not have ... Read More

    The post Ebola in Boston Dismissed by Health Officials appeared first on WebProNews.


              BANG BANG: Adam Hartzell        
    [BANG BANG is our week-long look back at 20!!, or "Twenty-bang-bang," or 2011, with contributions from all over aiming to cover all sorts of enthusiasms from film to music to words and beyond.]


    by Adam Hartzell

    I spend most of my time watching movies out of sync with my time and place. Since I prefer cinema from elsewhere, only one U.S. film makes my Top Ten, though it does make the top spot. Work and financial constraints keep me from traveling abroad for film festival premieres, which means I have to wait until they make it here to San Francisco. So my Top Ten lists usually say something about my cosmopolitan dreams that are anchored awake by my restricted finances and mobility. But here are 10 films which were released this year, or made their way to Bay Area festivals in 2011, about which I have found myself still ruminating in a positive way since they shined their light and heat on my eyes.
     
    10. Passion (Khusel Shunal) (Byamba Sakhya, 2010, Mongolia) I knew nothing about Mongolian cinema until this documentary about said cinema, told through a lonely road movie, found its way into the program of this year's San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival. Now I want to know more, which is ironic since the film presents a pessimistic view of Mongolian cinema's future. But it's at least caught the fascination of one viewer even more isolated from this nation's cinema than the Mongolian residents portrayed in the documentary.

    9. Aurélie Laflamme's Diary (Christian Laurence, 2010, Canada) A French language film from Quebec that was part of the NY/SF International Children's Film Festival that ran from October 21-23 at Viz Cinema, it ended up winning an audience award. I would have voted for it as well, had I seen it in the theater along with that awarding audience rather than on DVD for an sf360.org overview I wrote on the festival. It's a teen film that doesn't have to throw an American-Pie in our faces thinking that will entertain the kids and kidults. Marianne Verville is a refreshing presence in the lead role, allowed to be awkward in what is an awkward time of our lives. Plus, although she gets the boy the genre demands, she isn't swan-ed away from her duckling beginnings.


    8. The Trip (Michael Winterbottom, 2011, United Kingdom) I am still laughing about the scene where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are riffing on announcing the inexact time of an ancient battle. Adding to this comedic pleasure was that I got to laugh at this scene along with a friend I hadn’t seen in some time whom I randomly ran into in the lobby of The Bridge theatre before the screening. It was a nice day in the Richmond neighborhood thanks to the run-ins such local establishments afford.


    7. Oki's Movie (Hong Sang-soo, 2010, South Korea) I got to see three of my favorite director’s films for the first time this year. (The others were Ha Ha Ha on DVD because I couldn't make the screenings at the San Francisco International Film Festival and The Day He Arrives on screen at the Starz Denver Film Festival in mid-November with the proprietor of the Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee blog, Peter Nellhaus.) Thanks to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, I was able to watch Oki's Movie in the theatre in late June after having already seen it on DVD to prepare a piece for sf360. I'm biased in that I always find something to ruminate on endlessly in a Hong film (even with my least favorite, Woman Is the Future of Man). But Oki's Movie seems to have won over those who haven't been fans of his work. I think a big reason is the auditioning of men in Oki's movie nested within "Oki's Movie" that Andrew Tracy expertly analyzes in the Fall 2010 issue of Cinema Scope magazine.

    6. The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (Leanne Pooley, 2009, New Zealand) Finally getting the theatre release it deserved, The Topp Twins graced our local screens outside of the film festivals that started the momentum (Frameline in 2010 and Mostly British in 2011). I own the DVD and saw the film in the theatre three times, once each at those festivals and once in Berkeley at Shattuck Cinemas with my cousin when it was released. Even after all these screenings, I'm still moved by how much major moments of the lives of these yodeling, country singing lesbian twins are tied up with major political successes in New Zealand history. I am still giddy about getting to meet them for an interview for sf360, the most nervous I have ever been for an interview.

    5. Poetry (Lee Chang-dong, 2010, South Korea) Poetry definitively represents what I have been appreciating lately about South Korean cinema - how much it has opened up cinematic space for its senior actresses. Yun Jung-hee came out of retirement for this virtuoso performance of Lee Chang-dong's as he continues to explore the life of the outsider in South Korea. During my first draft of this brief commentary on Poetry, I went into a rant about how, if there failed to be a Best Actress nom nod to Yun, the Oscars would continue to be irrelevant in my cinematic life. But after writing that draft, I went to talk with Brian Darr of Hell on Frisco Bay blog and he informed me the Los Angeles Critic Circle gave Yun their Best Actress award. As a result, I put my seething rage at the Oscars as a failed institution back into its cage to be unleashed some other day.


    4. The Salesman (Sébastian Pilote, 2011, Canada) I am someone upon whom car commercials fail to make the intended impact. I don't desire the products they advertise. And I don't buy into the false sense of freedom the commercials purport to symbolize. (The streets are usually much more crowded than as portrayed in the commercials and buying a car shackles you with debt, high gas prices, and vast acres of asphalt requirements for roads and parking.) That said, I'm primed to appreciate the tragedy in The Salesman, a perfect example of a genre I'm calling 'Post Peak Oil Cinema', where the life of a successful car salesman is turned on its head by the very products he sells so successfully. The Salesman is a sad, sad film that doesn't pummel you but rather slowly piles upon you like the snow that surrounds this little Quebec town.

    3. The Life of Fish (Matías Bize, 2010, Chile) My wife and I caught this film during our yearly Caltrain trip to Cinequest in San Jose because it fit with our schedule and it's one of those happy accident, eeny-meeny-miney-mo(e)ments where you select a film with no real sense of what you are getting yourself into and you realize the programmers have made an excellent choice for you. In this film, we travel through a party held in a single house as our main character relives his younger self through his memories and those of others. Simple, poignant, and delightful.


    2. Nostalgia for the Light (Patrico Guzmán, 2010, France/Chile/Germany) This was a truly amazing film I saw in the Dolby screening room as part of the press screenings for the San Francisco International Film Festival this year. Guzmán’s pairing of professional astronomers with amateur archaeologists works on so many levels. Even though the archaeologists are searching for the remains of family members killed by their own government, somehow, in spite of all this, Guzmán leaves us with tremendous hope for humanity.

    1. Deaf Jam (Judy Lieff, 2011, USA) I have not had the experience with a film for a long time like I had with Lieff’s documentary about high school Deaf poets venturing out into the venues of a (hearing) poetry slam. Cinema transfixed me again at the Mill Valley Film Festival like it did the first time I could not stopping about the impact a film had on me. Lieff captures the vibrancy of American Sign Language through several tactics of translation. Her willingness to mess with the text of subtitling the poems in the opening sequence is mesmerizing. At the same time, she even took the risk not to translate the ASL later in the film and it is just as powerful sans subtitles. Mixed in with this story of the life of young Deaf folk is a story about the struggles of immigrant children whose parents’ citizenship comes after they enter adulthood and a friendship between a young Israeli Jew and Palestinian Muslim. Lieff and the subjects of her documentary show us how ASL is as perfect a language of cinema as any other, leaving you hoping Lieff and the students she films don’t stop here. We need these stories. We need this kind of active, engaged cinema.


    ________________________________

    Adam Hartzell is totally bummed that sf360.org is no longer publishing because he had a blast writing for them for three years. He continues to write for Brian Darr's San Francisco film blog, Hell on Frisco Bay, and the premier English language website on South Korean cinema, Koreanfilm.org. He began this year as a guest on an episode of the VCinema podcast where he discussed the original version and the recent re-visioning of the South Korean classic The Housemaid (MP3). He has had a few magazine pieces in Kyoto Journal, a chapter on The Power of Kangwon Province for The Cinema of Japan and Korea (Wallflower Press), and next year he will have a bunch of essays in the upcoming publication of World Directory of Cinema: Korea (Intellect, Ltd.).

              Creating A 12 To 24-Month Policy Bridge For A New Afghanistan Strategy        

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/04/creating-a-12-to-24-month-policy-bridge-for-a-new-afghanistan-strategy/

    LAWRENCE SELLIN

    Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve

    3:52 PM 08/04/2017

    Up until now his advisors have offered President Trump two choices for failure in Afghanistan, one quick, withdrawal, and one slow, a continuation of the failed strategy of the last sixteen years.

    By now it should be apparent to all knowledgeable people that U.S. objectives cannot be achieved in land-locked Afghanistan where Pakistan, whose Afghanistan objectives differ from ours, controls the supply of our troops and the battle tempo through its support of the Taliban and Haqqani network.

    An alternative is to provide the President with a 12 to 24-month plan that bridges the gap between the present untenable strategy to a longer term solution.

    That is, rather than tweak the current strategy, begin to address the core problem, a strategic environment that has made success of the current strategy impossible.

    Within the next two years, the Trump Administration should formulate a strategy that exploits Pakistan’s pain points, one which carves out roles for the Department of Defense, Department of State and Congress.

    While preventing a further deterioration in the security situation in Afghanistan, different permutations and degrees of the following actions should be pursued, both as short term leverage against Pakistan and, ideally, to create a regional strategic environment more conducive to U.S. interests.  That is, it is not the Taliban and the Haqqani network that need to be brought to the negotiating table, but Pakistan.

    Foreign aid to Pakistan – reduce it to a trickle. Even Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States says that a tougher approach needs to be adopted toward his country: “The Bush administration gave Pakistan $12.4 billion in aid, and the Obama administration forked over $21 billion. These incentives did not make Pakistan more amenable to cutting off support for the Afghan Taliban.”Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status – cancel all or part of it. As a MNNA country, approved by President George W. Bush in 2004, Pakistan became “eligible for priority delivery of defense material, an expedited arms sale process, and a U.S. loan guarantee program, which backs up loans issued by private banks to finance arms exports. It can also stockpile U.S. military hardware, participate in defense research and development programs, and be sold more sophisticated weaponry.”Declaration of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism – advance the House bill through Congress. On September 20, 2016, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), introduced H.R.6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act. According to Chairman Poe: “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years.  From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror.”Durand Line – Pakistan depends on it – question its legitimacy. The Durand Line is the arbitrary 1896 border drawn between Afghanistan and Pakistan by British Diplomat Sir Mortimer Durand. Pashtun lands have been artificially divided and Pakistan is using its Pashtun population as Taliban cannon fodder.China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – undermine it. Pakistan has significant economic incentive to exclude western countries from maintaining any influence in Afghanistan. It is called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of China’s larger Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect Asia through land-based and maritime economic zones. CPEC is an infrastructure project, the backbone of which is a transportation network connecting China to the Pakistani seaports of Gwadar and Karachi located on the Arabian Sea. Gwadar is a potential Chinese naval base at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which will complement another Chinese naval base in Djibouti at the mouth of the Red Sea creating two critical strategic choke points.Ethnic separatism – encourage it – Pakistan is the Yugoslavia of South Asia. Probably the greatest of all potential Pakistani pain points is ethnic separatism. Pakistan was founded on the religion of Islam and is composed primarily of five ethnic groups that never coexisted, the Bengalis, Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Baloch. Pakistan’s Islamic nationalism program was specifically designed to suppress ethnic separatism, an effort that eventually led to the proliferation of Islamic terrorist groups within its borders and their use as instruments of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Exploitation of ethnic separatism within Pakistan, such as in Balochistan, remains an option. That is, fight an insurgency with an insurgency.

    A longer term solution for Afghanistan was described previously in the Daily Caller, one based on counterterrorism rather than counterinsurgency, providing a cost-effective, flexible and “conditions-based” strategy advocated by retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely in a Diana West article.

    “Such a strategy, Vallely explained, relies on ‘the maximum use of unconventional forces,’ such as Navy SEALS and other special forces, who can be deployed as needed from what are known in military parlance as ‘lily pads’ — outposts or jumping-off points in friendly countries (Israel, Northern Kurdistan, India, Philippines, Italy, Djibouti … ) and from U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups. Such strike groups generally include eight to 10 vessels ‘with more fire power,’ the general noted, ‘than most nations.’ These lily pads become ‘bases we can launch from any time we want to,’ eliminating the need for massive land bases such as Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, by now a small city of 20,000 American personnel who continuously need to be supplied and secured at enormous expense.”

    In terms of Afghanistan strategy, it is time to build a bridge to somewhere.

    Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.


              Peace Through Conspiracy        
    Below is the content of a letter I have just posted to my Member of Parliament.
    I am writing with reference to the Counter extremism, Home affairs committee's interview of Fazal Dad, Senior Imam, Abu Bakr Mosque, Bradford, on 12th January.
    About 11.5 minutes into the session Nusrat Ghani Conservative, Wealden, asked...
    "Maybe it would be helpful if you'd explain how these ideas differ from the faith that you practise in your mosque."
    (PDF Transcript Here - (Q738) Or watch the video of the session Here)
    Fazal Dad began responding by decrying the misappropriation of his faith by extremists who interpret verses of the Qur'an to suit their own ideology. Very laudable. Unfortunately, almost in the same breath, Mr Dad then presented a distortion of a verse, favoured by Muslim apologists and moderates, which is designed, to suit their own ideology, to fraudulently, extremely mislead the listener into believing this abhorrent doctrine is peaceful. Fazal Dad delivered, to parliament, the same trite, flip, distortion of the Qur'an's words that most Muslims will trot out when defending atrocities by those of their faith...
    "The Qur'an tells us straight away... 'Min qatala l-nasa', the person who kills any person it is as though this person has killed humanity, and the person who saves one single person it is as though this person has saved humanity"
    ; a distorted, out-of-context and misleading paraphrase of the Qur'an verse 5:32, which actually states
    "On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person - unless it be in retaliation for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew all mankind: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humanity."

    The deceptive omissions he and all "moderate" Muslims make, change the verse, making it sound as if the verse applies to Muslims, it does not; it's a passage referring to long-dead Israelites. However, no matter who the believer thinks it refers to, Muslims or Israelites, it is not the Buddha-like message of peace Muslims paint it to be, but instead has caveats and clauses for those who may be 'righteously' slaughtered. An extremist would argue that "the land" mentioned refers to "all lands owned by Allah" or as we know it the world, and that "spreading mischief" refers to anyone not conforming to Allah's wishes, or as we know them, non-Muslims, which, as you can see, clearly moves the meaning of the verse into one which legitimises the slaughter of any/all non-Muslims.
    Why did the counter extremism committee allow Fazal Dad to repeat this misleading quote from his scripture without challenge?
    All I hear from western leaders is how peaceful Islam is; has nobody actually read the Qur'an? Are ALL western leaders simply relying on Muslim advisers? I have no idea how any properly adjusted human can read the Qur'an and not find it wholly offensive, both on a human rights level and a legal level and I'm deeply concerned at the apparent complete lack of comprehension about the true nature of this religion being fraudulently promoted as peaceful by those who are paid to keep us safe.
    I understand the committee will be recalling Fazal Dad, would it be possible to request he recite the full verse, in English, with all the wording, then explain why he and so many Muslims conceal the true verse behind the misleading, edited version?

    Please pass this letter to a committee member and the chair.

    So to the questions...
    Have western leaders been too lazy to be offended by the contents themselves, relying solely on "trusted" Islamic advisers? Or is there a great conspiracy, spread far and wide, to conceal the absence of a message of peace in this "message of peace"?
    And, if that is the case, how can any intelligent human become convinced that peace via conspiracy is achievable?
    Is it just me, or does it sound like a perfect recipe for conflict and civil war to anyone else?


    This is one of the Too Many Questions
    PEACE
    Crispy
    Please leave a comment - Anything will do
    The best communications are often,
    THREE WORDS OR LESS
    OR ONE OR MORE FINGERS!

              We should always boycott apartheid        
    My piece for Al-Ahram: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/107101.aspx?fb_action_ids=10103320208377603&fb_action_types=og.recommends Ordinary people throughout the world must press harder and harder for a movement for Boycott, Divest and Sanctions against Israel Snehal Shingavi , Saturday 26 Jul 2014 The most recent events in Gaza have shocked the conscience of the world so deeply that we have seen the largest pro-Palestinian demonstrations … Continue reading
              Faculty letter in support of divestment from Israel at University of Washington        
    April 14, 2014 To whom it may concern: We, the undersigned faculty from universities around the country, salute and commend the efforts of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights at the University of Washington, Seattle, to get the UW Student Senate to pass a measured and thoughtful motion to divest from corporations that profit from … Continue reading
              Israel “wipes out” Gaza ice cream factory that stored vital medicines        
    Rami Almeghari Deir al-Balah 2 August 2014

    Essential medicines the factory was storing for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society were destroyed along with the life’s work of the family that built and ran the facility.


              Siege leaves 80 percent of Gaza's factories shut        
    Eva Bartlett Jabaliya 10 September 2012

    Most of Gaza’s industrial factories have closed and remained shut since Israel sealed the borders and devastated the export economy beginning in 2006.


              lockpicking Israeli locks        
    - youtube : lockpicking Israeli locks
              Largadão - Israel e Rodolffo        
    Largadão - Israel e Rodolffo. Ritmo: Pagode
              Comment on Masjid Al-Aqsa’s Friday prayer cancelled by Israel security force, first time in 17 years by First adhan called in Masjid al-Aqsa after Israeli forces reopened it, but with more prison-like security measures as tensions continue – Muslim Council of Hong Kong        
    […] Masjid Al-Aqsa’s Friday prayer cancelled by Israel security force, first time in 17 years […]
              Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Unveils Drone Detection and Neutralization System        

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can accomplish plenty of great things. But just the same, the technology can and has been...

    The post Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Unveils Drone Detection and Neutralization System appeared first on Inside Unmanned Systems.


              Israel’s Getting a New Wall, This One With a Twist        
    The military is building an underground barrier around the Gaza Strip, designed to cut off tunnels beneath the Israeli border and thwart Hamas.
              Iran Bans Two Soccer Stars for Playing Against Israelis        
    Masoud Shojaei, the national team captain, and Ehsan Haji Safi, a key member of Iran’s World Cup-bound team, played with their club team in Greece against an Israeli team.
              Netanyahu Accuses ‘the Left’ and the Media of Trying to Oust Him        
    Facing graft investigations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told supporters that he was the victim of a “witch hunt.”
              As Investigations Intensify, Israel Imagines Life After Netanyahu        
    As an ex-aide turns state’s witness, Israelis across the spectrum are trying on the idea of the curtain coming down on Mr. Netanyahu’s career.
              Jordan’s King, Spurred by Jerusalem Mosque Crisis, Meets With Palestinian Leader        
    The visit sent a message to Jordanians angry over the hero’s welcome given to an Israeli Embassy guard who fatally shot two Jordanians in Amman.
              As Netanyahu Investigators Close In, Some Ask: How Long Can He Hold On?        
    The Israeli police signed a state’s witness agreement with an old ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s in a bribery case. And then there’s his son.
              Gastrvij Israel        
    none
              Designer Shoes or Art?        

    Too much fun not to share........

    Kobi Levi, Israeli Shoe Designer 
    Visit his blog for all of his designs....
    kobilevidesign.blogspot.com

    Kobi graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem in 2001.
    He specialized in footwear design and development. He is a freelance designer.He has designed commercial footwear in Italy, China and Brazil.
    ~~~
    Kobi Levi: "When I design a shoe I think about it as a sculpture to wear, an art piece you live with." 
    *quote (first sentence) taken from The Virtue Shoe Museum website, at vitualshoemuseum.com
    ~~~
    Personal note:
    A very good friend of mine had sent me an email regarding Kobi Levi's Designer Shoes....these amazing shoes got me wondering about the designer. So...I googled him and "wa-lah" found his blog site. HENCE, MY ARTICLE TODAY!
    Thanks Debbie T. for the idea! The shoe below is "for you" dear friend...
    Coffee anyone?
    All photos were taken from his blog site (listed above) or Google images
    Amazing design & concept....Enjoy
     Who hasn't stepped in GUM?
     Target practice anyone? the guys will love these! 
    And the ones below!!!
    Ooh La La....
    From the Bird collection; Toucan
     Madonna Inspired; Blond Ambition
     The famous Miss Olive Oyl

     From the Bird Collection; Duck
     The Mother/Daughter Shoe
    The Chinese Design
    ~~~
    Amazing Shoe Designs
    Check out his blog site today!
     Shoes & Art with Amazing Style....


              GE pumped for Israeli hydro        
    Turnkey contract for 344MW Kokhav Hayarden plant
              Een eiland voor Gaza        
    Minister Israel Katz wil graag dat er een eiland komt voor Gaza. Palestijnen moeten dat straks gebruiken voor handel en industrie. Maar zullen er investeerders worden gevonden? Dat Israël de laatste jaren grote stappen vooruit maakt op het gebied van de aanleg van nieuwe en moderne autowegen, spoorlijnen, tramlijnen en havens is voor een groot […]
              Don't Let Your Enemies Count Their Chickens Before Their Hatched!        

    I love this story – 1 Kings 20:1-30 – Benhadad the king of Syria sent a message to the king of Israel and said this, “Deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children.” In other words, “Hand it all over – game over – I’m calling the shots.” Ahab the king of Israel calls in the elders and asks their advice. Finally King Ahab makes this retort to Benhadad, “Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.” There are a lot of dynamics going on in this chapter but I want to just focus on King Ahab’s reply to Benhadad: “Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.” What is he actually saying? King Ahab is saying “just because someone makes threats (i.e. straps on his armor) – this isn’t synonymous with winning the victory (i.e. taking his armor off).” Wow!


    Now for the practical application – how is your enemy threatening you? Is it a person, institution, thought, emotional issue, physiological issue, or spiritual issue? What are these things/people telling you? Is a co-worker or employer telling you that you’ll never succeed at climbing the corporate ladder? Have teachers, aunts, uncles, parents, cousins, or other authority figures expressed doubt in your personal abilities? Have emotional and/or physical scars from past or present abuse hindered you from feeling like a “normal human being?” Have these scars lied to you and told you that you’ll never be the person that you wanted or dreamed of because of these ghosts of your past? This list can continue on indefinitely – hopefully by this time you can connect the dots yourself to the people or things that are threatening you – and furthermore, declaring a victory against you that doesn’t have to be guaranteed.


    It’s not a surprise that the “devil” is referred to biblically as the “accuser of the brethren.” Constantly trying to devalue us within our own minds and lives – this is the psychological warfare the devil revels in – and how many times do we listen attentively! A person once expressed their frustration with how every time they tried getting their life “straightened out” all hell would break loose. I told them I was extremely encouraged by this! Since when, does an enemy fight against something (or someone) who is not a threat! Only dead fish go with the flow – but for those trying to get somewhere, the adversity of the current will bombard them every step of the way.


    To summarize, don’t allow these “threats” from various people, thoughts, experiences, traumas, etc. tell you that you’ve been conquered – when the fact is that victory is still in your hands. King Ahab went on to be victorious against the onslaught of Benhadad. Why? Because Ahab refused to listen to the intimidation and threats of an enemy and rather trusted in God’s word. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Fight on!


    Kevin Mills


              The Wilderness made Habitable        
    The Wilderness made Habitable

    “And he was in the wilderness until his public appearance…” (Luke 1:80) Talk about a scripture completely saturated with hope! Why? Let’s look at the definition of wilderness first. A “wilderness” by definition is an uncultivated and seemingly uninhabitable area – a wasteland. With this definition clear in our minds the question is posed: Have you ever felt this same way in your own life? Have you ever felt that your life (i.e. health, mind, body, soul) was situated in an uninhabitable wasteland? If you have - you’re not alone. I was sharing a few Sundays ago with our congregation about the numerous “wilderness” experiences that great men and women often went through in biblical times and the subsequent victories that can ensue. A few examples: Abraham waited twenty-five years “in the wilderness” before seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise to make of him a “great nation” (i.e. The nation of Israel). Moses wandered in the wilderness over forty-years before being called back to lead the “great exodus” of Israel. John the Baptist (New Testament – Luke 1:80) lived (and waited) in the wilderness for over twenty-five years before beginning his great ministry of “preparing the way” for Jesus.

    In our “instant gratification” society we usually expect answers and results to be instantaneous – especially when pertaining to our life’s situations. But this is usually not the case. Instead we find ourselves waiting on God’s time-table all the time wondering if he has abandoned us in our “uninhabitable place” (or “wilderness”). Fortunately, as we go through history (both biblical & secular) we see that many great men and women suffered through great times of anxiousness and anxiety before seeing the fulfillment of their hearts desires and dreams. Consequently, we must press through and hold-fast to God’s unchanging character of faithfulness and fully believe that the honorable desires and dreams of our heart were placed there caringly by Him and He will help them be brought to fruition! Furthermore in the Bible God constantly reminds us of His consistent ability to “sympathize” with our weaknesses, struggles, and doubts - consequently we should except this God-given understanding while sincerely pressing forward into His promises. Jewish scholars used to state (and still do) that, “The Fatherhood of God is synonymous with His love for human family. Every creature is living proof that the Father of all is a God of love.” (Everyman’s Talmud, Abraham Cohen) God will lovingly sympathize with our weaknesses when we sincerely desire to trust Him through “wilderness” times. But we must be sincere and hold fully to His unchangeable attribute of complete and utter faithfulness towards His children. My friend, your wilderness experience and the subsequent outcome is in your hands. I have full confidence that you will continue to hold-fast to your faith in God and subsequently be delivered into your heart’s greatest desires and dreams. God truly is faithful through the “uninhabitable” places – continue to hold to Him!
              What to do with a problem like the Arab Israeli conflict?        
    Prompted by my friend Joe’s recent post of an article from The Economist on Facebook and a subsequent comment which was very much sympathetic to the Israeli point of view, I found myself writing this stricture in reply. I think one of the biggest issues people have particularly with Israel waging war on others, is a feeling […]
              Israeli Groups Start a Culture Project Against Rape and Harassment        
    Over the past few months, Israelis have watched a blur of famous, powerful men get brought down by accusations of rape and sexual harassment, which, in Israel, is a criminal offense.
              In Search Of The Virtuous Woman Pt. 1        
    A new MP3 sermon from North Avenue Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: In Search Of The Virtuous Woman Pt. 1
    Speaker: Rev. Paul Cady
    Broadcaster: North Avenue Baptist Church
    Event: Sunday Service
    Date: 5/1/2016
    Bible: Hosea 4
    Length: 45 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: What is the nature of Proverbs 31 - According to Hosea 4, how important is virtue to the survival of a culture - What does America prize in its women today - What role did women play in the downfall of ancient Israel - What does this say about our own nation's future -
              Donald Trump Told The Russians Israel Was Able To Hack ISIS Computers        

    Donald Trump leaked a classified Intel about ISIS to the Russians when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyakvisited visited the White House. According to New York times, Donald Trump told the Russians some classified information that was obtained by Israel after it hacked into a ISIS cell of bombmakers based in Syria.

                     

    According to a U.S official, the Intel that was gathered allowed the U.S to learn that ISIS was working on explosives that could fool airport security by passing as a laptop battery. The information prompted a ban of laptops from all Muslim countries coming to the United States and Britain.

    The information was classified, and was shared by Israel to the United States, and was not supposed to be shared around, but Donald Trump leaked this information when the Russian diplomats came to the White House, which could then be leaked to Iran.

    There has been close working relationship between the U.S and Israeli intelligence agencies, allowing for sharing of information, including the disclosure of sources and methods. The cooperation had yielded great result including the disruption of Iran nuclear program.

    The American officials under former President Obama warned the Israeli intelligence to be careful of the information they shared with Donald Trump.

    Categories:


              Israeli government blamed for surge in racist attacks        
    Jillian Kestler-D'Amours 14 October 2011

    Netanyahu has condemned attacks on mosques and cemeteries by Israeli extremists but his government is facilitating such violence.


              El OVNI de Ezequiel        
    Y Ezequiel vio la rueda.

    A ciertas personas se les ocurren las teorías más dispares, por ejemplo que la humanidad desciende de extraterrestres o que la humanidad fué visitada en tiempos antiguos por seres de otros mundos hacen todo lo posible por intentar cuadrar sus historias y hacerlas pasar por reales.

    Así, en su afán de buscar OVNIS, los encuentran en los sitios más insospechados, por ejemplo en la Biblia.

    Dentro de este libro, es famosa la cita al profeta Ezequiel, que según ellos, narra el descenso de varias naves extraterrestres.

    Veamos como no es cierto que en ese libro se describan naves extraterrestres.

    Citando el principio del libro de Ezequiel:

    1 Sucedió en el quinto día del mes cuarto del año 30, estando yo en medio de los cautivos, junto al río Quebar, que fueron abiertos los cielos, y vi visiones de Dios. 2 En el quinto día del mes (en el quinto año de la cautividad del rey Joaquín), 3 vino la palabra de Jehovah al sacerdote Ezequiel hijo de Bussi, en la tierra de los caldeos, junto al río Quebar. Allí vino sobre mí la mano de Jehovah.

    Visión de la gloria de Dios

    4 Miré, y he aquí que venía del norte un viento huracanado y una gran nube con un fuego centelleante y un resplandor en torno de ella. En su interior había algo como metal resplandeciente, en medio del fuego. 5 De su interior aparecía una forma de cuatro seres vivientes. El aspecto de ellos tenía la forma de hombre, 6 pero cada uno tenía cuatro caras y cuatro alas. 7 Sus piernas eran rectas, y sus pezuñas eran como pezuñas de becerro que centelleaban como bronce bruñido. 8 Debajo de sus alas, a sus cuatro lados, tenían manos de hombre. Los cuatro tenían sus caras y sus alas. 9 Sus alas se juntaban unas con otras. Y cuando se desplazaban, no se volvían, sino que cada uno se desplazaba de frente hacia adelante.


    10 La forma de sus caras era la de una cara de hombre, con una cara de león en el lado derecho de los cuatro, una cara de toro en el lado izquierdo de los cuatro, y una cara de águila en los cuatro. 11 Así eran sus caras. Sus alas estaban extendidas hacia arriba. Cada uno tenía dos alas que se tocaban entre sí, y otras dos que cubrían sus cuerpos. 12 Cada uno se desplazaba de frente hacia adelante. Iban adondequiera que el espíritu decidía ir, y no viraban cuando se desplazaban.

    13 En medio de los seres vivientes había algo como carbones de fuego encendido que se desplazaban como antorchas entre los seres vivientes. El fuego resplandecía, y del mismo salían relámpagos. 14 Y los seres iban y volvían, como si fueran relámpagos.
    15 Mientras yo miraba a los seres vivientes, he aquí que había una rueda en la tierra, junto y al frente de cada uno de los cuatro seres vivientes. 16 La forma y el aspecto de las ruedas era como crisólito. Las cuatro ruedas tenían la misma forma y aspecto, y estaban hechas de manera que había una rueda dentro de otra rueda.


    17 Cuando se desplazaban, lo hacían en cualquiera de las cuatro direcciones, y no viraban cuando se desplazaban. 18 Sus aros eran altos y aterradores, y los aros de las cuatro ruedas estaban llenos de ojos alrededor. 19 Cuando los seres vivientes se desplazaban, también se desplazaban las ruedas que estaban junto a ellos. Cuando los seres se elevaban de sobre la tierra, las ruedas también se elevaban. 20 Iban adondequiera que el espíritu fuese, y las ruedas también se elevaban junto con ellos, pues el espíritu de cada ser viviente estaba también en las ruedas. 21 Cuando ellos se desplazaban, también ellas se desplazaban; cuando ellos se detenían, también ellas se detenían. Y cuando ellos se elevaban de la tierra, también las ruedas se elevaban junto con ellos, porque el espíritu de cada ser viviente estaba también en las ruedas.

    22 Sobre las cabezas de los seres vivientes había una bóveda semejante a un cristal impresionante, extendido por encima de sus cabezas. 23 Debajo de la bóveda, sus alas se extendían rectas, la una hacia la otra. Y cada ser tenía dos alas con que cubrían sus cuerpos. 24 Cuando se desplazaban, escuché el ruido de sus alas como el ruido de muchas aguas, como la voz del Todopoderoso, como el bullicio de una muchedumbre, como el bullicio de un ejército. Y cuando se detenían, bajaban sus alas.

    25 Entonces hubo un estruendo por encima de la bóveda que estaba sobre la cabeza de ellos. (Y cuando se detenían, bajaban sus alas.) 26 Por encima de la bóveda que estaba sobre sus cabezas, había la forma de un trono que parecía de piedra de zafiro. Y sobre dicha forma de trono estaba alguien semejante a un hombre. 27 Entonces vi algo semejante a metal que resplandecía con la apariencia del fuego que lo perfilaba alrededor. Desde su cintura hacia arriba, y desde su cintura hacia abajo, vi algo que parecía fuego y que tenía un resplandor alrededor de él. 28 Como el aspecto del arco iris que está en las nubes en un día de lluvia, así era el aspecto del resplandor alrededor.

    Este era el aspecto de la gloria de Jehova. Y cuando la vi, caí postrado sobre mi rostro y oí la voz de uno que hablaba.

    Llamamiento de Ezequiel

    2 Y me dijo: "Oh hijo de hombre, ponte en pie, y hablaré contigo."

    2 Mientras él me hablaba, entró en mí el Espíritu y me puso sobre mis pies, y oí al que me hablaba. 3 Y me dijo: "Oh hijo de hombre, yo te envío a los hijos de Israel, a una nación de rebeldes que se ha rebelado contra mí. Tanto ellos como sus padres se han rebelado contra mí hasta este mismo día. 4 Yo te envío a esta gente de rostro endurecido y de corazón empedernido. Y les dirás: ’Así ha dicho el Señor Jehova.’ 5 Ya sea que ellos escuchen o que dejen de escuchar (porque son una casa rebelde), sabrán que ha habido un profeta entre ellos. 6 Pero tú, oh hijo de hombre, no temas; no temas de ellos ni de sus palabras. Aunque te halles entre zarzas y espinos, y habites entre escorpiones, no temas de sus palabras ni te atemorices ante ellos; porque son una casa rebelde. 7 Tú, pues, les hablarás mis palabras, ya sea que escuchen o dejen de escuchar, porque son una casa rebelde. 8 Pero tú, oh hijo de hombre, escucha lo que yo te hablo. No seas rebelde como esa casa rebelde; abre tu boca y come lo que yo te doy."


    Para algunos es indiscutible que la narración describe naves extraterrestres. Todo eso de ruedas, caras, ruidos y vuelos, solo puede ser esa descripción, porqué... ¿Como iba a expresar un hombre antiguo la visión de tal acontecimiento, incomprensible para él?




    Pues no... y todo tiene explicación.

    Ezequiel, era ese profeta hebreo que estuvo con su pueblo cautivo en la tierra de los caldeos y que se desesperaba (como sacerdote que era) del abandono de su religión por parte de sus compatriotas.


    Como sus compatriotas que igualmente se desesperaban de estar cautivos y que pensaban que Yaveh les había abandonado. Cuestión que les hizo caer en lo material, en el abandono de sus costumbres hebreas y lo que disgustaba más a Ezequiel, el abandono de la religión judía.


    Lo que el libro describe que hace Ezequiel, en primer lugar, es intentar imbuir el miedo a Yaveh en su pueblo, describiendo las más terribles visiones aterradoras para aquellas gentes, del poder de Dios.


    Para ello comenta, que Dios le habla directamente y amenaza al pueblo con castigos y destrucciones si no vuelven a sus antiguas tradiciones, pero también les envía varias promesas si vuelven a las antiguas creencias.


    Claro, que el texto solo contiene alegorías y simbologías que son fáciles de explicar.


    En el versículo 4, del capítulo 1, el norte representa lo desconocido, lo extraño, tierras extrañas de donde viene el frío.


    Una de las cosas que primero describe, en el capítulo 1, son los cuatro "seres vivientes", que en el cap.10 los llamará posteriormente "querubines", a los que reconoció enseguida, porque eran los mismos que estaban sobre el Arca de la Alianza. Su color era como "bronce en ignición, dorado brillante".


    Cada querubín tenía semblante de hombre, león, toro y águila; esto es una representación clara de las cuatro virtudes del pueblo judío, por lo que se reconoce que el mensaje va directamente dirigido a este pueblo. El hombre como creación de Dios, el león que representa la sabiduría y la paciencia (y representó a la tribu de Judá), el toro que representa la fuerza que tiene el pueblo de Israel, el águila representando el poder y la soberanía del citado pueblo. De hecho a los cuatro evangelistas, se les representa de la misma manera, siendo Mateo el hombre; Marcos el león, Lucas el toro y Juan el águila.


    Los cuales coinciden sospechosamente con la representación cristiana de los seres del Apocalipsis:


    "El primer Viviente, como un león; el segundo Viviente, como un toro; el tercer Viviente tiene un rostro como de hombre; el cuarto viviente es como un águila en vuelo." Apocalipsis 4,7.


    Eso sin contar con la simbología astrológica que contienen, según la religión del lugar de cautiverio, Tauro, Leo...


    Describe que tenían cuatro alas; cada uno tenía dos alas hacia arriba, formando la carroza de Dios, y con las otras dos alas se tapaban. (Los serafines de Isaias 6, tenían seis alas).



    Esto es la representación de que el poder de Dios es omnipotente y que tiene a su servicio a los ángeles, tan temidos por los hebreos. Que su trono y su poder lo sujetan los ángeles o al menos en ellos se apoya y que por supuesto son algo ajeno a este mundo, pues tienen alas y emanan poder (representados por luces y ruidos que siempre atemorizaban a los antiguos). Contra más alas y brazos, más poder ejercen sobre las almas.


    Las brasas citadas en Ezequiel 1,13; son la representación para los judíos de la fuerza castigadora de Dios, las emplea para castigar las almas y a los hombres que no respeten o tengan miedo a los ruidos, truenos y chillidos aterradores que simbolizan la palabra de Yaveh.


    Las cuatro "ruedas" descritas en Ezequiel 1,15; que ruedan en todas direcciones; son símbolo de la "carroza de su Iglesia", que llega al mundo entero, que no tiene ni principio ni fin, que no está vacía, si no llena de la misma iglesia y poder de Dios, que lo ve todo, simbolizado por los muchos ojos de los querubines y las ruedas, y está en todas partes, aun con más velocidad que el relámpago, viendo todo, creando todo, renovando todo y juzgando todo, con las brasas que están entre los querubines.



    Todo esto se lo decía al pueblo cautivo, asegurándole que el mismo Yaveh del Templo estaba ahora con ellos, con el mismo amor y poderío y justicia.



    Pero cuatro ruedas que ruedan por la tierra que acompañan a las legiones de Yaveh son muy distintas a las descripciones que quieren hacer pasar los "ufólogos" como naves espaciales.


    Es evidente el significado de Ezequiel 1,25; Dios está en su trono de gloria, en la paz y pureza del zafiro azul, inmutable, con el fulgor resplandeciente de la cintura para arriba de Dios de bondad y de amor; y con el resplandor de fuego del infierno, castigador de la cintura para abajo.


    Seguir explicando la simbología, sería extenderse en demasía sobre el libro de Ezequiel y no sobre lo que quiero tratar.



    Se puede ver más datos sobre ese libro y su contexto en:


    http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libro_de_Ezequiel


    Indiscutiblemente si sacamos las cosas de contexto, podemos ver lo que se nos apetezca y podemos inducir a los demás a que piensen de la misma manera.


    Pero estamos leyendo un libro religioso, no una descripción periodística y lo primero que se debe plantear es si realmente Ezequiel era profeta y Dios le habló para liberar al pueblo de Israel; si por el contrario era un movimiento calculado por la iglesia hebrea y por sus miembros, ante la amenaza de la perdida de su identidad o incluso creado posteriormente siglos después.


    La biblia que conocemos ahora actualmente, en sus diversas versiones, católica y las diversas variantes de la reformista, proceden de la Edad media y de la traducción que realizó San Jerónimo (Vulgata).


    ¿Pero de donde tomó San Jerónimo el original para traducirlo al latín?


    Entre otros documentos cristianos oficiales creados en el siglo IV, se ayudó para consultar de una versión del griego llamada Septuaginta, sobre todo para confeccionar el Antiguo Testamento.




    Pero empecemos por el principio:


    Ezequiel (Iejezkel en hebreo) vivió (se supone) en cautividad en Babilonia (actual Irak) alrededor del año 598 a.C. y estuvo deportado alrededor de unos 22 años.


    Ezequiel, jamás escribiría obra alguna, entre otras cosas por que a los hebreos cautivos no se les permitía no solo escribir, (reservado a los sacerdotes y contables babilónicos) si no tampoco profesar su religión, pues la mayor parte (excepto los que se hubiesen conseguido una condición más cómoda con ciertos comercios o favores) eran esclavos en el sentido literal de la palabra, segregados y apartados del resto de la sociedad caldea.


    A si que las palabras de su predicación, si las hubo, fueron tomadas de memoria y pasadas de forma oral.


    No fue hasta años después con la llegada a Israel de nuevo, cuando se supone que las palabras de este profeta se pasan a un soporte escrito, es decir a pergamino.


    De momento ya tenemos una fuente de posible tergiversación, mutilación, permutación o adición a lo dicho por Ezequiel.


    Pero el pergamino era algo excesivamente caro y escaso y se tendía a sobreescribir unas palabras sobre otras para aprovechar letras de otra frase de la linea superior, "encimaban", con lo que se creaba un crucigrama que con los años y diversas generaciones de sacerdotes rabínicos podían sufrir cambios de interpretación.


    Cabe añadir además que la escritura hebrea solo consta de consonantes y las vocales para poder ser pronunciadas son añadidas según se va leyendo el texto. Pero además si a la misma palabra (de consonantes) le cambiamos una sola vocal, la palabra cambia completamente de significado.


    Es por ello que hasta antes del Sínodo de Yamnia o Dabney (siglo I d.C.) existían numerosos textos consonánticos hebreos. En ese sínodo, se aprobó un solo texto y se desechó o quemó los textos divergentes. Asimismo, se ha postulado que la Masorá en realidad, son textos divergentes al «oficial» de Yamnia ó Carné, cuyas lecturas han sido recogidas en la Masoráh, es decir en el texto aprobado.


    Con lo cual ya tenemos un par de motivos más para pensar que sufrieron cambios las supuestas palabras del profeta.


    Todos esos crucigramas con consonantes hebreas, escritos en pergaminos enrollados, se recopilaron en una colección llamada Torah


    Como Ptolomeo II Filadelfo de Egipto quería tener en su biblioteca de Alejandría una buena colección, encargó la traducción de algunos escritos hebreos al griego alrededor del siglo III a.C. (250 a.C.).


    Esta obra a la que se llamó Septuaginta, llevó varias generaciones y así se tradujo al griego en el año 162 a.C.


    Se hicieron ampliaciones añadiendo no solo más libros de los que comprendía el Torah posterior aprobado por los judíos, (Al que llamaron Tanaj) si no que se realizaron modificaciones en los textos para que se pudiera comprender mejor el sentido del libro en el mundo helenístico de esa época.


    Y tenemos de nuevo otra nueva fuente de posibles cambios en las palabras de Ezequiel.


    Pero en el siglo I los romanos quemaron, no solo el templo de Jerusalem, si no todas las sinagogas del imperio, por orden de Vespasiano y el pueblo hebreo fué condenado a la diáspora.


    Mientras también entre el siglo I y IV las primeras comunidades de cristianos recopilában y creaban no solo los primeros textos evangelicos, si no que también añadían los textos antiguos hebreos conocidos por ellos como Antiguo Testamento, modificandolos de gran manera para presentar a Jesús como el Mesías original y centro de todas las predicciones de los profetas de los libros hebreos.


    Con lo cual nos aparece, esta vez, como dije, otra fuente, si cabe más importante, de modificaciones de las palabras del profeta Ezequiel, las cuales coinciden sospechosamente con ciertas partes del Apocalipsis y la descripción del trono de Dios y la corte celestial que acompaña a Jesucristo.


    En el siglo III y IV, a los judíos dispersos solo les había quedado la tradición oral del Tanaj, de los rabinos de sus comunidades, las cuales pasaron a escrito. Pero diferían unas de otras igual que difieren las memorias de unas personas a otras.


    Para evitar que se perdiese en la diáspora, existiese disparidad en los escritos y volver a unificar los textos (del Tanaj) en uno solo; el rabino Judá Hanasí añadió el primer comentario conocido actualmente sobre la interpretación de la ley, conocido como Mishná, a partir de las enseñanzas de los tannaim, los estudiosos de la tradición oral.


    Pero se ayudó (copió) de los textos bíblicos cristianos, para redactar los libros del Tanaj pues pensaba que eran recopilaciones literales de los antiguos textos hebreos.

    Estos libros comprenden los de la Torah (El Pentateuco que son: el Genesis, Exodo, Levitico, Números y Deteuronomio), mas los libros posteriores muichos sacados del Antiguo Testamento cristiano (24 libros que son: Josué, Jueces, Samuel, Reyes, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezequiel, Oseas, Oseas, Joel, Amós, Abdías, Jonás, Miqueas, Nahúm, Habacuc, Sofonías, Ageo, Zacarías y Malaquías, Libro de los Salmos, Job, Proverbios, Ruth, Cantar de los Cantares, Eclesiastés, Lamentaciones, Ester, Daniel, Esdras y Nehemías y Crónicas I y II) .


    Lógicamente la Mishná fue objeto de debate, discusión y comentario por parte de los estudiosos de las comunidades judías; el resultado de estas discusiones dió lugar a otros volúmenes de comentarios, llamados Guemará.
    Junto con la Mishná, estos volúmenes constituyen el Talmud actual, la recopilación de la tradición rabínica (con la que los caraítas, una secta clásica que se rige únicamente por el contenido literal de la Torá no están de acuerdo, pues lo ven como una corrupción de los textos y comentarios equivocados al basarse en gran medida en los cristianos al crear el Tanaj).




    Es decir que los libros hebreos no son fiables para deducir si son realmente las palabras de Ezequiel y tampoco para tomar literalmente la descripción de lo que se supone que observó.


    San Jerónimo, se basó en los escritos cristianos generados en el siglo IV y en copias de la Septuaginta para redactar la Vulgata, pero a su vez realizó las modificaciones pertinentes que necesitaba la Iglesia Católica, modificando textos, traduciendo de forma propia las palabras griegas o desechando incluso algunos escritos.

    Por lo tanto los libros cristianos del Antiguo Testamento de donde se copiaron despues los hebreos no son fiables al contexto original, por mucho que se hayan empeñado todos en guardar celo de que así fuera.


    Y en este contexto de cosas:


    ¿Hay alguien capaz de decirme que vio Ezequiel realmente, si es que vio algo alguna vez?


    No, realmente desconocemos siquiera si Ezequiel existió, o si observó cosa alguna, ya que el libro de Ezequiel es el compendio de fragmentos, algunos solo con carácter moralizante, incluso alguno de ellos creados y añadidos en el siglo IV.


    Mucho menos podemos deducir que Ezequiel observó naves extraterrestres de visita a la Tierra.

    ¿Basandonos en qué?

    Simplemente es una fantasía.


              La Guerra de los Mundos y la Cia        
    La Guerra de los Mundos y la CIA 1ª Parte
    por Liria_Azaila

    “Nadie hubiera creído, en los últimos años del siglo XIX, que a nuestro mundo lo observaban minuciosamente inteligencias mayores que las del hombre, aunque mortales como él; que, mientras los hombres se ocupaban de sus diversos asuntos, alguien los vigilaba y los estudiaba, quizá tan detalladamente como un hombre con un microscopio podría vigilar a las pequeñas criaturas que medran y proliferan en una gota de agua. Con infinita complacencia, los hombres fueron de un lado a otro por el planeta ocupándose de sus pequeños asuntos, seguros de su dominio sobre la materia. Tal vez los microbios que vemos al microscopio hacen lo mismo. Nadie pensó que los mundos más antiguos del espacio pudieran ser fuente de peligro para la humanidad. Sólo pensamos en ellos para desechar la idea de que pudieran albergar vida. Es extraño recordar los hábitos mentales de aquellos días. Cuando mucho, los hombres se imaginaban que en Marte vivían otros hombres, quizá inferiores a ellos y dispuestos a recibir emisarios terrestres. Pero a través de las enormes distancias espaciales, unas mentes que son a las nuestras como las nuestras a las de las bestias, unos intelectos vastos, fríos y crueles, miraban a la Tierra con envidia, y, lenta pero inexorablemente, fraguaron planes contra nosotros. ”
    H. G. Wells La guerra de los mundos (1889)

    Algo impensable en 1889 era el hecho de que hubiera vida en otros mundos, fuera, en el espacio, pero así comienza en sus primeros párrafos, la novela escrita por H.G.Wells, titulada "La Guerra de los Mundos", este escritor proclamado por muchos como el padre de la ciencia ficción, tuvo la ocurrencia de narrar, enlazando las antiguas creencias, de que en Marte habitaba una civilización, pero ¿De donde provenían dichas creencias?

    Todo empezó en 1877 con la posición del "planeta rojo" al nuestro, en un momento en que su acercamiento a la Tierra hizo que muchos astrónomos quisieran observarlo. Para el astrónomo italiano Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, director del Observatorio Brera de Milán, era el momento ideal para probar el nuevo telescopio de 21.8 centímetros y con las observaciones hechas en el transcurso de los 10 años siguientes, Schiaparelli dibujó un mapa de Marte muy detallado. El astrónomo italiano bautizó los accidentes topográficos marcianos con nombres de la mitología griega y de la biblia. Pero lo más notable de su carta topográfica, eran la red de líneas definidas, con que Schiaparelli dibujo la superficie de Marte, y que llamó canales.
    "Este nombre es un simple artificio", advirtió Schiaparelli. "Después de todo, también hablamos de los mares de la Luna sabiendo perfectamente que no son masas líquidas". Empezó a fraguarse la idea de que en Marte podría haber una civilización constructora, capaz de la creación de gigantescas obras de ingeniería para la irrigación de grandes terrenos, siendo el principal promotor de esta idea, el astrónomo y millonario estadounidense Percival Lowell.

    Lowell construyó un observatorio en Flagstaff, (Arizona). Entusiasmado por la posibilidad de vida inteligente en Marte, observo los canales y los representó en mapas en los que cada vez los dibujaba más rectos. Por lo tanto en Marte había vida inteligente, se convenció de que los canales eran un sistema de riego o de distribución de agua a las zonas habitadas. Las variaciones de color que se veían en la superficie del planeta con las variaciones estacionales, eran indicio de vida vegetal. H.G. Wells, no solo se basó en esas ideas sino que además tuvo la osadía de proponer en su novela una invasión de nuestro hogar por fuerzas de ese planeta.
    Escribió su obra en la época en que causaban furor los canales de Marte y quizá contribuyó a la obsesión con la vida extraterrestre. También definió el tono de los relatos acerca de encuentros interplanetarios de los siguientes decenios: Superioridad social, racional y tecnológica de los invasores, hostilidad y guerra.
    Ni que decir tiene que la novela fue un éxito, creándose multitud de ediciones, varias películas e incluso partituras sinfónicas.

    Pero hemos de observar lo que sociologicamente representó: El cineasta estadounidense Orson Welles producía un popular programa de radio en 1938, que consistía en adaptar obras de teatro y literatura a ese medio. El 30 de octubre de ese año, Welles transmitió una adaptación en directo de "La guerra de los mundos". Pero esa adaptación que hizo Welles no era una simple lectura del texto de su casi homónimo Wells. (El parecido en la pronunciación de sus nombres aumentó la confusión). Dicho programa era un montaje radiofónico, que no había probado hasta entonces. Consistía en un montaje de cerca de 24 horas de emisión ininterrumpida, una especie de directo de un programa musical, interrumpido por noticias que imitaban a las verdaderas, por ejemplo, la información de que unos astrónomos acababan de ver unas extrañas explosiones y luminosidades en Marte, más tarde un reportero entrevistaba a uno de los astrónomos, que decía que no podía explicar qué estaba pasando; poco después, daba la noticia de que se veía caer del cielo un meteorito en Nueva Jersey, en esa tónica relataba en "las noticias" que lo avistado resultaba que era un objeto cilíndrico descomunal.
    Se escuchaba el sonido de mucha gente que se acercaba para verlo, hasta que se oía que el aparato se abría y del interior salían unas seres monstruosos. Se emitieron gritos previamente grabados, mientras que el reportero daba la noticia en un gran estado de excitación. La atmósfera del programa era de un realismo total, de tal modo que los oyentes que no escucharon el principio del programa, donde se explicaba que era una narración y su adaptación con realismo, pensaron que un ejército marciano estaba invadiendo el mundo.
    En la vida real, este "Reality show" (como se les denomina actualmente) de Orson Welles produjo la histeria en masa. Hubo quien se encerró en el sótano de la casa con armas. Otros se pusieron toallas mojadas en la cara para protegerse del gas venenoso de los marcianos. Existieron patrullas de granjeros armados y a más de un depósito de agua o transformador eléctrico le descerrajaron un disparo, con lo que la falta de luz y agua contribuyó al desatino. Hubo a quien la histeria colectiva le supuso un ataque al corazón o un accidente de tráfico, causándole la muerte; y en definitiva en mas de un lugar, las fuerzas vivas actuaron para la defensa ante la inminencia de ese ataque alienigena. El programa fue motivo de escándalo e indignación cuando se reveló la realidad. También demostró el poder de una narración bien hecha y de la sugestibilidad del genero humano ante el poder de los medios. Fue uno de los momentos más gloriosos pero también más terribles de O. Welles y de la historia de la radio.

    (Link para escuchar el famoso programa de Orson Welles, en inglés) http://www.earthstation1.com/WOTW/War_of_the_Worlds.ram

    Ya estaba fraguada la idea de la visita de seres extraterrestres a la sociedad humana y quedó bien estudiado el impacto sobre la psique colectiva que supuso la narración de unos hechos que nunca existieron. Ni Wells, ni Welles hablaron nunca de que las naves tripuladas por los "marcianos" tuvieran forma de "platillo volante".

    Fue con el final de la II Guerra Mundial, con los estudios de la casa Northrop y tras atrapar los proyectos de platillos volantes alemanes por parte de los servicios de información estadounidenses y su puesta en marcha de los prototipos, cuando se empiezan a ver dichas formas voladoras. (Ver el caso de Kenneth Arnold.). Este primer avistamiento en Octubre de 1947, supuso una nueva psicosis de temor a una invasión extraterrestre.

    ¿Que mejor oportunidad para poder encubrir las pruebas y vuelos de dichos prototipos que disfrazarlo todo?. "Nosotros no somos y los sovieticos tampoco, (no van a estar por encima nuestra, claro) pues entonces ¿Quienes serán?" El 17 de Junio de 1947 la USAF, obtiene la "independencia" del resto de las fuerzas armadas de los EE.UU., que a su vez más tarde desembocaría en la separación de las "Fuerzas Estratégicas" y en la "Fuerza Nuclear". Siendo las tres totalmente independientes, a pesar de formar todas parte de la USAF. No alcanzaban a saber lo que realizaban unas y otras y por supuesto, manteniendo al margen de sus operaciones al US Army y la US Navy . También en 1947 se crea la CIA, (También se crea el Estado de Israel y se cimientan las bases de las Naciones Unidas) cuya misión principal es el espionaje-contra espionaje y también creada con departamentos totalmente independientes.

    En plena "Guerra Fría", mientras la USAF intentaba crear una atmósfera de casos OVNIs extraterrestres para encubrir sus operaciones de aparatos secretos, el US Army intentaba disipar dicha atmósfera para evitar que se pudiera, con tal caos de información, encubrir un movimiento ofensivo de la URSS. Más activa estuvo la CIA, donde mientras unos departamentos ayudaban a la USAF en la creación de la "cortina extraterrestre" basándose en el efecto "Welles", otros por el contrario intentaban esclarecer el asunto para el US Army y a su vez empujados por el Departamento de Defensa de EE.UU. investigaban la posible tenencia por parte de la URSS. de "platos voladores". Cincuenta años después del caso "Arnold", la Cia saca a la luz un informe al que le da el nombre: "El Papel de la CIA en el estudio de los OVNIs entre 1947 y 1990". "El informe comienza apuntando la preocupación sociológica que el fenómeno OVNI ha despertado en el gobierno estadounidense desde siempre: "…un 95% de los americanos ha leído o escuchado algo sobre los OVNIs, y el 57% cree que son reales…", "…nuestros presidentes Carter y Reagan confiesan haber visto un OVNI…". Resulta por tanto comprensible que los Servicios de Inteligencia se hayan ocupado de seguir muy de cerca, y a veces de conducir, la historia del fenómeno OVNI. Sin embargo tanto la CIA, como otros Servicios de Inteligencia, han negado siempre que se ocultase información al público, y menos aún que se mintiese deliberadamente o se manipulase información OVNI. Sorprendentemente en este informe la CIA confiesa como se preocupó por los "Platillos Volantes" al "creer que los soviéticos podían utilizar los informes de OVNIs para provocar la histeria de la masa y el pánico en USA...", "…y creyó también que los soviéticos deben usar los OVNIs para cargar excesivamente los sistemas de detección aérea, para no poder distinguir los blancos reales de fantasmas OVNIs…".

    A medida que profundizamos en el informe, comprobamos que es una auténtica historia de espías y conspiraciones, "El Panel Robertson", el "Proyecto Signo", el "Proyecto Grude", el llamado "Libro Azul", el "Informe Condon", cuentan en este informe una historia donde la ufología norteamericana, se la descubre muy influenciada por la CIA. Según el texto, ya a principios de los años 50, el "Panel Robertson", llegó a la conclusión de que era militarmente posible "aprovecharse de los OVNIs". Y así la CIA lo llevo a cabo. En varias fragmentos del informe, la CIA afirma, que uno de sus intereses en el estudio de los OVNIs era la sospecha de que algunos "Platillos Volantes" eran aeronaves experimentales soviéticas: "proyectiles extranjeros imitan los OVNIs, y evidencian la tecnología soviética asociada a los OVNIs…"; "Oficiales de la CIA sabían que británicos y canadienses experimentaban ya con Platillos Volantes… aviones no convencionales… y oficiales de la Agencia temieron que los soviéticos probaran aparatos similares…".

    En aquellos años 50 e incluso antes ya volaban "Platillos Volantes", ya que en 1932 H. Zimmerman llevo a cabo varias pruebas con diferentes tipos de alas circulares en pruebas de viento, que fueron publicadas en el "Technical Report 431" de la antigua NASA, llegando a registrarse con la patente USA 2.108.093. Amén de todos los prototipos y proyectos de alas circulares de los alemanes ya existían, como los diseños de Schauberger o el "Proyecto Omega" de Andreas Epp.

    Aviones con forma discoidal en USA, no eran proyectos disparatados, como los prototipos de ala circular de Cadwell. De hecho uno de esos prototipos fue descubierto en mayo de 1949 en un hangar abandonado de Baltimore, y confundido por las autoridades con un Platillo Volante estrellado. ¿Que mejor que aprovecharse de ello? Si como dice el refrán : "A río revuelto, ganancia de pescadores".

    También sabía la CIA que algunos de sus aviones de despegue vertical, como el Lockheed XFV-1 o el Convair XFY-1, habían sido desarrollados a partir de los planos del Caza-Milagro incautados a los ingenieros nazis durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial y que se habían confundido con "Platillos Volantes".
    Pero además de esos planos, los americanos obtuvieron diseños de más de una decena de aeronaves y platillos, como el aparato interfases cohete AS-6, que los nazis habían llegado incluso a construir en prototipos. Y esos diseños de Platillos fueron experimentados en USA después de la guerra. No solo por militares, sino incluso por ingenieros civiles. Por ejemplo Paul Moller hizo varias demostraciones en los años 50/60 de sus Platillos Volantes. Platillos que hoy quiere comercializar. Y de todo esto, la CIA supo aprovecharse. El informe de la CIA solo toca de refilón el asunto Roswell, insistiendo en la hipótesis Mogul. Evidentemente, de ser cierta la hipótesis extraterrestre de Roswell, implicaría la captura de naves extraterrestres y de sus ocupantes y por lo tanto la captura de una tecnología susceptible de ser copiada y puesta en marcha por parte de todas aquellas empresas aeronáuticas implicadas en la construcción de prototipos secretos. La CIA no menciona ni por asomo las famosas alas volantes y los aviones Stealth, que el Gobierno norteamericano confesó haber ocultado tras casos OVNIs hace años.

    En 1988 se presentó al público el ala volante Stealth; el bombardero B-2. Sin embargo, el B-2 es el último (o penúltimo) eslabón de una cadena de aviones secretos que se inicia con las primeras alas volantes de Northrop en los años 40, y que siempre ha estado ligada al fenómeno OVNI. Una cadena que va más allá de los aviones Stealth (invisibles al radar, inventado previamente por los hermanos Horten en Alemania en la década de los 40), y que llega hasta el revolucionario concepto del waverider, una revolucionaria tecnología aeronáutica que la NASA, y por supuesto la Fuerza Aérea y la CIA pretende desarrollar en naves que vuelen hasta 300.000 pies de altura, y hasta 25 veces la velocidad del sonido… Con este informe la CIA ha pretendido renovar el olvidado tema OVNI, . ¿Cuantos OVNIs avistados en los años 50 a 70 eran aviones experimentales como el U-2 o el SR-71?. ¿Cuantos UCAV avistados dieron paso a la oleada de ovnis triangulares? Seguramente miles. ¿Y los DRONES, esas pequeñas aeronaves con aspectos variados?



    Sin embargo existen otras facetas del espionaje, la tecnología militar y los más siniestros secretos de estado, ocultas tras la pantalla OVNI de las que la CIA no dice nada en su informe. Pero este informe va dirigido a la llamada "Generación escéptica". Ya que además junto con el Moshad israelí difundieron y propagaron toda suerte de religiones o sectas que alimentarían la imaginación de los adeptos y contribuirían a realimentar el tema Ovni extraterrestre, llevandolo a la categoria de cotidiano.

    Se habia creado, durante decadas un enorme monstruo mediatico que se realimenta solo, miles de fotografias, miles de casos de avistamientos y de testigos (mas o menos realistas o fraudulentos), junto con cientos de libros formaban a diario una enorme lista de casos a añadir al tema. Photoshop, Internet, literatura "misterologa", todos alimentan ese monstruo.

    Pero hay algo más: Werner Von Braun comentó:

    "El complejo de inteligencia militar, industrial y de laboratorios, usaria la guerra fría, luego las naciones problematicas, luego el terrorismo global, hasta llegar a la última carta del triunfo: Una amenaza falsa desde el espacio."

    Con intención de justificar el gasto de trillones de dolares en armamento espacial, en una guerra de la que casi no se verá nada, solo algunos ataques esporadicos sobre la Tierra, el mundo será engañado (aprovechando el "efecto Welles") con una amenaza del espacio exterior, uniendo de esta manera al mundo en el miedo, el militarismo y la guerra, un mundo del que esas industrias pretenden hacerse las dueñas, creando "Un nuevo orden mundial".

    ¿Cuales son las corrientes politico-economicas que impulsan a directores de cine como Spielberg a repetirse en el tema extraterrestre en sus films?

    Lynn Picknett y Prince Clive autores de "Stargate conspiracy" nos desvelan en su libro la creación por parte de la CIA de una conspiración para hacer creer en el regreso de una fuerza alienigena.

    El tiempo dirá cuanto ocultaron, el como y el porqué.
              The O.K. Show, Episode 10: Dan Israel        
    Prolific singer-songwriter Dan Israel opens up about his divorce and his struggle to stay healthy.
              A cinematic approach to drug resistance        

    In a creative stroke inspired by Hollywood wizardry, scientists from Harvard Medical School and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have designed a simple way to observe how bacteria move as they become impervious to drugs.

    read more


              LLUVIA ARTIFICIAL PARA FRENAR LA DESERTIZACIÓN: EL PROYECTO GESHEM        
    Aunque tengamos nuestras dudas respecto a este invento-propuesta sería interesante comprobar su viabilidad ecológica (que no funcional, pues eso parece estar claro). Si bien es cierto que la reforestación progresiva parece mucho mejor, parece evidente que el tiempo que transcurre entre los plazos de re-ecosistematización se prolonga demasiado en el tiempo. 

    Este proyecto conjunto entre la Universidad Libre de Bruselas, la Universidad de Ben Gurion de Israel, la Universidad de Alicante,  la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos I de Madrid y la Universidad de Salamanca (con la colaboración de la empresa Ecotex y la NASA), podría dar alas a proyectos agrarios en zonas desérticas o semidesérticas. 

    **Este artículo esta sacado de Ecococos

    A lo largo de los años se han estudiado diversos métodos para recuperar terrenos desertizados, muchas veces con éxito. Un método que ha tenido mucha aceptación es la reforestación progresiva de las zonas afectadas. Realizando un estudio dentro de cada caso, se van introduciendo especies de plantas que soporten los niveles de sequía en la zona, aumentando los niveles de humedad y progresivamente introduciendo nuevas especies ganando terreno sobre las zonas afectadas. Existe un caso práctico que se ha llevado a cabo en la década de 1930, con éxito en Villa Gesell, una pequeña ciudad del litoral de Argentina.
    Existe una alternativa que está en proceso de investigación y que fue presentada en el año 2004 en Israel por el científico León Brenig, de la Universidad de Bruselas:  el proyecto Geshem ("lluvia" en hebreo) con el que pretende crear lluvia artificial, y que  podrá solucionar problemas de desertización sustituyendo algunas medidas polémicas como los trasvases y las desalinizaciones del agua del mar, además de aprovechar el aumento de las temperaturas en el planeta debidas al problema del Calentamiento Global. 
    El proyecto consiste en la colocación de una tela asfáltica en una extensión de unos dos kilómetros cuadrados para favorecer el fenómeno isla de calor, que se forma sobre las ciudades que, debido al asfalto, constituyen puntos oscuros absorbentes de los rayos solares, lo que causa que la temperatura sea varios grados centígrados superior a la del área que la circunda. Esta diferencia de valores hace que se aceleren las corrientes cercanas y que aumente el vapor de agua para que, a la altura del extrarradio urbano, donde cae unos grados la temperatura, se formen nubes y se favorezcan las precipitaciones.

       
    El proyecto 'Geshem' intentará simular el fenómeno de la isla de calor mediante la colocación de una película de color oscuro de baja reflexión en una superficie de dos kilómetros cuadrados. Esta superficie será capaz de alcanzar altas temperaturas y así favorecer la dilatación del aire y del vapor de agua que contiene. El vapor asciende rápidamente al mismo tiempo que se va enfriando y, a los 1.000 metros de altura, empieza a condensarse para, a continuación, provocar precipitaciones.
     El proyecto, a partir del efecto isla de calor, que se lograría con la instalación de la superficie de tela asfáltica, se dirige a áreas donde hay riesgo de restricciones y de contaminación atmosférica por falta de lluvias. La zona donde ha de implantarse debe cumplir algunos requisitos imprescindibles: que haga un intenso calor, haya una brisa constante y una humedad del aire relativamente alta.

    La primera prueba se realizará en el desierto del Neguev en Israel a 150 kilómetros de la costa una vez se disponga del material, que ha de ser biodegradable para evitar la contaminación y barato para que su aplicación sea rentable. El proceso de investigación se puede prolongar hasta cinco años y no tendrá consecuencias negativas para el medio ambiente por lo que lograría resolver los problemas de flora y fauna que los trasvases y las desalinizaciones provocan.

    El proyecto está en fase de investigación y corre a cargo de la NASA, de la Universidad Libre de Bruselas, en Bélgica, y la de Ben Gurión, en Israel, junto a la empresa de material agrícola Ecotex, la Universidad de Alicante, la Rey Juan Carlos I de Madrid y la Universidad de Salamanca.
    Respecto al coste de implantar una de estas estructuras es relativamente pequeño en comparación a otras alternativas para paliar la falta de agua, como pueden ser las desaladoras, ya que para una superficie de 2 kilómetros cuadrados habría que efectuar una única inversión de unos 2 millones de euros, sin mantenimiento ni coste de funcionamiento, declaró el científico Jesús Vigo Aguiar, de la Universidad de Salamanca.

              20.10.17 20:00 Uhr - Nürnberg - Giora Feidman & Rastrelli Cello Quartett mit Jerusalem Duo - "Feidman plays Beatles"        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung191879-tickets

    Ja, es gibt sie noch, die kleinen Sensationen in der Musikwelt. Nach der überaus erfolgreichen Tournee bleiben Giora Feidman und das Rastrelli Cello Quartett für ein weiteres, außergewöhnliches Projekt zusammen: „Feidman plays Beatles“. Der Maestro hat das große Beatles Songbook aufgeschlagen und präsentiert 2017 sein neues Programm in 25 deutschen Städten, das ausschließlich aus Kompositionen der berühmten „ Fab Four“ bestehen wird. Mit der virtuosen Umsetzung des fabelhaften und nahezu genialen Arrangements des Ensemblemitglieds Sergej Drabkin und des slowakischen Komponisten Peter Breiner ist dies Giora Feidman und dem Rastrelli Cello Quartett vortrefflich gelungen. Freuen Sie sich mit unseren Gästen aus Israel auf einen außergewöhnlichen Abend, denn so zeitlos und generationsübergreifend haben Sie Giora Feidman noch nie erlebt.

    Einlass: 19.00 Uhr Beginn: 20.00 Uhr

    Bildrechte: Stephan Haeger
              20.10.17 20:00 Uhr - Nürnberg - Giora Feidman & Rastrelli Cello Quartett, "feat." Das Jerusalem Duo - "Feidman plays beatles"        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung193655-tickets

    Ja, es gibt sie noch, die kleinen Sensationen in der Musikwelt.
    Nach der überaus erfolgreichen Tournee bleiben Giora Feidman und das rastrelli Cello Quartett für ein weiteres, außergewöhnliches
    Projekt zusammen:

    "Feidman plays beatles"

    Der Maestro hat das große Beatles Songbook aufgeschlagen
    und präsentiert 2017 sein neues Programm in 25 deutschen Städten, das ausschließlich aus Kompositionen der berühmten
    "Fab Four" bestehen wird.

    Mit der virtuosen Umsetzung der fabelhaften und nahezu genialen
    Arrangements  des Ensemblemitglieds Sergej Drabkin und des
    slowakischen Komponisten Peter Breiner ist dies Giora Feidman
    und dem Rastrelli Cello Quartett  vortrefflich gelungen.

    Freuen Sie sich zusammen mit unseren israelischen Gästen,
    Hila Offek, Harfe und André Tsirlin, Saxofon, auf einen außer-
    gewöhnlichen Abend , denn so zeitlos und generationsüber- greifend haben Sie Giora Feidman noch nie erlebt!!!
              Grace Blue - "Our Eyes" [Pop]        
    Our Eyes

    - "Our Eyes" music video by Grace Blue
    - Added on 10-08-2017
    - Genre : Pop
    - Description : Grace Blue - Our Eyes - - Grace Blue's self-titled EP is now available on- - - Follow Grace Blue- - http://www.gracebluemusic.com - https://www.facebook.com/GraceBlueMusic - https://www.instagram.com/gracebluemusic -   - Music producer- Noam Akrabi - - Director, DP& Editor- Indy Hait - - - - - Alternative pop duo, Grace Blue announces the release of their aesthetically stunning music video, “Our Eyes.” Shot in the small village of Dzembronya, Ukraine, the video brings the narrative of the song to life. Written about craving more from life, but feeling stuck and unable to leave your environment, we find Grace Blue amid a gorgeous landscape, and humble villagers but still longing for an escape.The single is from their forthcoming self-titled EP set for release this summer. - - Grace Blue is an alternative-pop music duo based in Los Angeles, California.The music duo, who originally met at their hometown of Tel-aviv, Israel, consists of vocalist Grace Mogz and keyboard player Joseph Arazi. Mogz has been immersed in music since childhood, and used music as a coping method for her depression. She went on to attend music school to pursue her dreams, despite her family not being supportive of her goals. Like Mogz, Arazi was engrossed in the world music at a young age and went to a conservatory in Israel where he mastered classic piano. In May, the duo moved to Los Angeles to make their dreams reality. - - Their self-titled debut EP is a combination of dark emotionally driven trip hop, alongside captivating up-tempo alternative-pop. Stay tuned for its release this summer! -
    - Tags : 2017, 10s, Grace Blue


              18.11.17 17:00 Uhr - Erlangen - 5 Jahre, 5 Meere        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung201515-tickets

    Es beginnt mit einem Traum. Alles verkaufen, sein bisheriges Leben hinter sich lassen und nach dem großen Glück suchen. Ohne Segelerfahrung sticht Mario mit seinem Katamaran „GOODLIFE“ in See. Eine Reise über 5 Meere und 22 Länder beginnt. Unter anderem erzählt der Aussteiger über seine Vorbereitungen in Thailand, Tauchgänge auf den Malediven, das Leben auf einsamen, unbewohnten Atollen und von Traumstränden auf den Seychellen.



    Er lernt Yvonne kennen und als sie schwanger wird, müssen die Pläne geändert werden. Das Arabische Meer und der Golf von Aden bringen, neben der Piratengefahr, auch technische Probleme und zwingen ihn zu einem Stopp in Jemen. Mario besucht die Beduinen in der Wüste und durch das Nadelöhr Suezkanal erreicht er die Pyramiden Ägyptens. Schüsse und Hubschrauberlärm in Israel, aber auch romantische Dörfer und Buchten in der Türkei gehören zu den zahlreichen Facetten dieser Geschichte. Die junge Familie hangelt sich im Winter durch die stürmische Inselwelt Griechenlands und reist mit Pistolen nach Marokko ein. Auf den kapverdischen Inseln begegnen sie einer Dschunke und finden neue Freunde. Eine nervenaufreibende Atlantiküberquerung mit der 18 Monate alten Tochter bringt eine überraschende Wende.

    Diese Multivision ist eine aufregende und abenteuerliche Aussteiger-Geschichte eines jungen Mannes, seiner Freundin und der gemeinsamen Tochter. Mario gewährt Euch tiefe persönliche Einblicke, spricht aber auch offen über die Machbarkeit und Grenzen eines Ausstieges.
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 06-08-2017 with Carrie Marks        
    Playlist:

    Aesop Rock- Rings - The Impossible Kid
    The Polish Ambassador Ayla Nereo Mr Lif- Shine Bright - Terra Bella
    Yoko Ono- Soul Got Out Of The Box feat Portugal The Man - Yes Im A Witch Too
    - voicebreak -
    Valerie June- Astral Plane - The Order Of Time
    Brother Ali- Own Light What Hearts Are For - All The Beauty In This Whole Life
    Shane Koyczan And The Short Story Long- This Is My Voice - A Pretty Decent Cape In My Closet
    The Alchemist- Yala Yala - Israeli Salad
    Sylvan Esso- Play It Right - Sylvan Esso
    - voicebreak -
    A Tribe Called Red- The Virus feat Saul Williams Black Bear - We Are The Halluci Nation
    Bjork- Triumph Of A Heart - Medulla
    SMASHING PUMPKINS- Today - 9198
    Big Gigantic- The Little Things feat Angela McCluskey - The Little Things feat Angela McCluskey Kasbo Remix Single
    - voicebreak -
    The Heliocentrics- Made Of The Sun - A World Of Masks
    Andrea Gibson- I Sing The Body Electric Especially When My Powers Out - Flower Boy
    This Patch Of Sky- A Light In The Attic - Newly Risen How Brightly You Shine
    Black Lips- Cant Hold On - Satans Graffiti Or Gods Art
    - voicebreak -
    Cunninlynguists- The Light - A Piece Of Strange
    Sturgill Simpson- It Aint All Flowers - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
    - voicebreak -
    Cherry Glazerr- Had Ten Dollaz - Had Ten Dollaz Single
    Lazer Sword- Jet Black - Gucci Sweatshirt 12
    Joan As Police Woman Benjamin Lazar Davis- Broke Me In Two - Let It Be You
    - voicebreak -
    Pimps Of Joytime- Joytime Radio - Third Wall Chronicles
    Jain- Makeba - France Rocks Vol 3
    Paolo Nutini- Scream Funk My Life Up - Caustic Love
    Wax Tailor- The Tune - Hope Sorrow
    MarchFourth Marching Band- Soldiers Of The Mind - Magnificent Beast
    Dirtwire- Hunters Harp - Dirtwire
    Lettuce- The New Reel - Crush
    - voicebreak -
    Various Artists- Cool In The Pool Gamelan Drumming Holger Czukay - Morvern Caller
    WE DREAM DAWN- Theresas Song - The Return Of The Lightep
    Rubblebucket- Carousel Ride - Survival Sounds
    Tall Black Guy- Is There More To Life feat Diggs Duke - Lets Take A Trip
    The Spy From Cairo- Jennaty feat Ghalia Bennali - Secretly Famous


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2017-06-08
              "Padre, a tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu"        

    Séptima Palabra:


    A su eterno Padre, ya el espíritu encomienda;
    si mi vida no se enmienda,
    ¿en qué manos parará?
    En las tuyas desde ahora
    mi alma pongo, Jesús mío;
    guardaría allí yo confío
    para mi última hora.

    "Era ya eso de medio día, y vinieron las tinieblas sobre toda la tierra hasta la media tarde; porque se oscureció el sol. El velo del templo se rasgó por medio. Y Jesús, clamando con voz potente dijo: ´Padre, a tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu´. Y  dicho esto expiró:" (Lc 23, 46) "Al ver el centurión lo sucedido, glorificaba a Dios diciendo: «Ciertamente este hombre era justo.» 48. Y todas las gentes que habían acudido a aquel espectáculo, al ver lo que pasaba, se volvieron golpeándose el pecho."

    Padre:
    -         Se dirige al “Padre”: con la seguridad de un niño, Jesús ofrece un grito muy fuerte con lo último del aliento que le quedaba: "Padre, en tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu" (Lc. 23, 46). Cuando tenía sólo 12 años, Jesús dice a sus padres que lo habían estado buscando durante tres días: â€œÂ¿No sabíais que es preciso que me ocupe en las cosas de mi Padre?” (Lc 2, 49).
    -         Abbá Padre: es una expresión aramea, (Mc. 14, 36 Gal. 4,6 Rom. 8, 15).   â€œAbbá” expresa no sólo la alabanza tradicional de Dios â€œYo te doy gracias, Padre, Señor del cielo y de la tierra” (cf. Mt 11, 25), sino que, en labios de Jesús, revela asimismo la conciencia de la relación única y exclusiva que existe entre el Padre y Él, entre Él y el Padre. Extraordinarias palabras conservadas por Mateo (Mt 11, 27) y también por Lucas (Lc 10, 22): â€œNadie conoce al Hijo sino el Padre, y nadie conoce al Padre sino el Hijo y aquel a quien el Hijo quisiere revelárselo”.
    -          â€œAbbá”  testimonia esa particular comunión de personas que existe entre el padre y el hijo engendrado por Él, entre el hijo que ama al padre y al mismo tiempo es amado por Él. Cuando, para hablar de Dios, Jesús utilizaba esta palabra, debía de causar admiración e incluso escandalizar a sus oyentes. Un israelita no la habría utilizado ni en la oración. Sólo quien se consideraba Hijo de Dios en un sentido propio podría hablar así de Él y dirigirse a Él como Padre. â€œAbbá” es decir, â€œpadre mío”, “papaíto”, “papá”.
    -         Abbá: en la oración en Getsemaní, Jesús exclamó: â€œAbbá, Padre, todo te es posible. Aleja de mí este cáliz; mas no sea lo que yo quiero, sino lo que tú quieras” (Mc 14, 36).
    -         Al final de su vida, en la oración sacerdotal con la que concluye su misión, insiste en pedir a Dios: â€œPadre, ha llegado la hora, glorifica tu Hijo, para que tu Hijo te glorifique a ti” (Jn 17, 1). â€œPadre Santo, guarda en tu nombre a éstos que me has dado” (Jn 17, 11). â€œPadre justo, si el mundo no te ha conocido, yo te conocí...” (Jn 17, 25). Ya en la parábola sobre el juicio final, proclama: â€œVengan a mí, benditos de mi Padre...” (Mt 25, 34). Luego pronuncia en la cruz sus últimas palabras: â€œPadre, en tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu” (Lc 23, 46). Por último, una vez resucitado anuncia a los discípulos: â€œYo les envío la promesa de mi Padre” (Lc 24, 49).
    -         Padre: “Ego et Pater unum sumus”  â€œsomos una misma persona” “somos uno”, en la teología trinitaria se entiende “para que conozcan y sepan que el Padre está en mí y yo en el Padre”. La unicidad con el Padre mostrada en el diálogo con Felipe: “Señor, muéstranos al Padre, y nos basta” (Jn. 14:8)  Jesús le dijo: “¿Tanto tiempo hace que estoy con vosotros, y no me has conocido, Felipe? El que me ha visto a mí, ha visto al Padre; ¿Cómo, pues, dices tú: Muéstranos el Padre?” (vs.9).
    -         Jesucristo “conoce al Padre” tan profundamente, ha venido para â€œdar a conocer su nombre a los hombres que el Padre le ha dado” (cf. Jn 17, 6) Un momento singular de esta revelación del Padre lo constituye la respuesta que da Jesús a sus discípulos cuando le piden: â€œEnséñanos a orar” (cf. Lc 11, 1). Él les dicta entonces la oración que comienza con las palabras â€œPadre nuestro” (Mt. 6, 9-13 Lc. 11, 2-4).  
    En tus manos:
    -         La mano de Dios es la de la justicia, la del amor. Ante un Dios justo y amoroso sólo nos queda confiar, abandonarnos a sus manos. Dejar nuestra vida en sus manos.
    -         La mano creadora, es remontarse al creador del mundo, del ser humano. Reconocer que es la mano que amasa la vida de cada uno.
    -         Es la mano que muchas veces sanó al paralítico, devolvió los ojos al ciego, resucitó a la Hija de Jairo, al hijo de la viuda, a su amigo Lázaro. Es la mano que puede restaurarnos interiormente.
    Encomiendo mi espíritu:
    -         El último aliento de Jesús. La oblación de su propia vida, a disposición de su Padre.
    -         La oblación de la propia vida, que Jesús pone a disposición del Padre. Invoca el salmo 30,6, en que el justo atormentado confía su vida al Dios bondadoso y fiel:
    -         ¡Sálvame, Señor, por tu misericordia! Sácame de la red que me han tendido, porque tú eres mi refugio. Yo pongo mi vida en tus manos: Tú me rescatarás, Señor, Dios fiel. Oigo los rumores de la gente y amenazas por todas partes, mientras se confabulan contra mí y traman quitarme la vida. Pero yo confío en ti, Señor, y te digo: “Tú eres mi Dios, mi destino está en tus manos”. Líbrame del poder de mis enemigos y de aquéllos que me persiguen.

    Finalmente, 
    El Unigénito de Dios no estuvo exento de la muerte.
    Nació humanamente y murió humanamente.
    Su madre lo vio nacer y también lo vio morir.
    Sin su muerte la expiación jamás se hubiera llevado a cabo.
    Jesús fue el cordero escogido desde la eternidad. (1 Pedro 1:19-20)
    Jesús fue el cordero mudo que se dejo llevar al matadero. (Isaías 53:7)
    Jesús fue el cordero inmolado. (Apo. 5:12)
    Jesús fue el cordero de Dios que quita el pecado. Juan 1:29.


    Gloria de su Gloria, Dios de Dios,
    de siempre igual a El,
    Tú has venido del Padre.
    Y ahora al Padre vuelves
    desde nosotros, igual a nosotros,
    Dios y Hombre para siempre.

    En el seno del Espíritu
    el Padre te acoge, Hijo Bienamado,
    Amén de su Amor ya satisfecho.

    La Muerte ha sucumbido en tu Muerte
    como un fantasma inútil, para siempre.
    Y en tus Manos reposan nuestras vidas,
    vencedoras de la muerte, a su hora.
    En tu Paz descansa esperanzada
    nuestra agitada paz.

    Descansa en Paz, por fin,
    en la Paz del Padre, eterna,
    Tú que eres ¡nuestra Paz!

    (Casaldáliga, Pedro.)

              Agradecimiento a Dios por la salud de mamá Mila.        


    Viaje a la fe

    Dios ha sido bueno con nosotros y estamos alegres (Sal 125).

     






    El salmo 125 supongo que grafica la alegría que hemos experimentado en la familia al primer signo de vida de mamá Mila después de aquel jueves 15 de enero que sufrío una trombosis pulmonar con paro respiratorio y derrame cerebral parcial. Dios alegría y esperanza nuestra se convierte en aquella sangre que dinamiza nuestro pulmón, corazón y cerebro.
    La alegría en los ojos es brillante y notorio en unos cuerpos calavéricos despues de varios días en estado de coma, con un 20 % de probalidades de vida. Es la alegría que causa a los israelitas el regreso del exilio en Babilonia tras el edicto del rey persa Ciro en el año 558 a.c. El clima jubilar despues de pasar pruebas y peligros aflora en los labios cantos de alegría. Es una prueba nítida de la existencia eficaz y poderosa de Dios presente y activo en nuestra historia: “El Señor ha estado grande con nosotros” (v. 3).
    Los médicos actuaron con diligencia sin pronosticar que la fe superaría sus diagnósticos. El Señor ha sido bueno con nosotros, hagamos una lectura de los hechos o del cuadro médico:
    -         El viaje fue tranquilo, nos divertimos, soñamos, en algún momento lloramos. La decepción y las heridas pasan por una mirada renovadora e inteligente, todos queremos ser felices y llevamos nuestra propia cruz. En esta experiencia Dios nos quiere en el momento oportuno.
    -         Mamá y papá en sus más de 40 años de matrimonio deciden, a su estilo, estar o no. Ese día decidieron pasar directamente a la encañada, pero también el corazón les jaló a quedarse y almorzar con la familia. Si continuaban su viaje la historia sería muy triste.
    -         Se desmayó en el terminal de la E.T. Diaz, con curiosos y desesperación, se presentó un médico y diagnosticó un paro respiratorio lo cual fue suficiente para sacar el punche de Elsa y llevarla al hospital. Sin las palabras del médico se habría pensado en un ligero desmayo de los varios que sucedieron.
    -          El taxi les llevó al hospital, el Seguro Social habría sido más lento por la congestión vehicular. En el hospital se encontraban varios médicos, los necesarios para ayudar y conocidos para recordar.
    -         Decidieron entubarla pese a llegar sin signos vitales. Solicitaron las famosas ampollas para diluir los trombos. Aunque el tiempo se vencía pero lograron conseguirlas. El peligro de la hemorragia cerebral fue superada y aunque estábamos esperando la noticia final no la queríamos ni pensar.
    -         Ese día mostraron la capacidad para hacer grandes cosas en unión. Fue una gran revelación de la calidad de familia que tenemos.
    -         Ese momento personas desconocidas, como buenos samaritanos, nos ayudaron a levantarnos, nos infundieron esperanza, no nos sentimos solos. Conseguir cama en el Seguro Social no es fácil, adecuaron la cama en Trauma Shock y en esa decisión difícil nadie sacó cuerpo para trasladarla con firmeza.
    -         Encontrar profesionales que ayudaron y daban aliento de vida. Una enfermera que sufrió el mismo cuadro y con su cuerpo de cristal se fortaleció para cuidar a las madres que ella en su momento no pudo salvar. Aquellos que nos botaron de la sala y los que entendían nuestra angustia nos han enseñado que Dios ha estado grande con nosotros.
    -         Cada minuto, coordinación para no quitar la mirada, alertas a la medicina. Desde nuestra invasión de las bancas en la sala de espera como madre obsesiva orábamos y esperábamos manifestaciones de vida.
    -         Ha sido la ocasión para que papá y mamá vayan aceptando la edad, asumiendo un nuevo rol. Para saber que nuestros proyectos egoístas tienen un tronco que cualquier intento de desvinculación nos hace perder piso porque nos desnaturaliza.
    Muchos signos seguramente obviados en esta pequeña oración de agradecimiento. “Por algo será” ¿Cómo dar esperanza y motivar a la fe a muchas personas que a diario lloran la impotencia de no salvar a sus seres queridos?
    En este contexto, recuerdo que un 18 de enero el Papa Francisco se encontró con miles de jóvenes en los patios de la Pontificia Universidad de Santo Tomás en Manila, Filipinas, sin imaginar que la las lágrimas de una niña le haría cambiar el discurso preparado y darle una respuesta que fue como un bálsamo para las penas.
    “¿Por qué Dios permite que pase esto, si los niños no tienen la culpa? ¿Y por qué nos ayudan tan pocas personas?” El Papa dijo que no tiene respuesta racional pero que cuando el corazón alcanza a hacerse la pregunta y a llorar, podemos entender algo. Se refirió a la compasión mundana porque sólo lleva a sacar una moneda del bolsillo, esa no vale para nada, pues Cristo mismo lloró porque entendió nuestros dramas.
    Nos hace falta llorar, seguramente CREER. “Queridos chicos y chicas, al mundo de hoy le falta llorar. Lloran los marginados, lloran aquellos que son dejados de lado, lloran los despreciados; pero, aquellos que llevamos una vida más o menos sin necesidades, no sabemos llorar”.
    Muchos lloran sólo por dinero y ambición. “Ciertas realidades de la vida se ven solamente con los ojos limpios por las lágrimas. Los invito a que cada uno se pregunte: “¿Yo aprendí a llorar? ¿Yo aprendí a llorar cuando veo un niño con hambre, un niño drogado en la calle, un niño que no tiene casa, un niño abandonado, un niño abusado, un niño usado por una sociedad como esclavo?”. ¿O mi llanto es el llanto caprichoso de aquel que llora porque le gustaría tener algo más?
    “Jesús, en el Evangelio, lloró. Lloró por el amigo muerto. Lloró en su corazón por esa familia que había perdido a su hija. Lloró en su corazón cuando vio a esa pobre madre viuda que llevaba a enterrar a su hijo. Se conmovió y lloró en su corazón cuando vio a la multitud como ovejas sin pastor. Si ustedes no aprenden a llorar, no son un buen cristiano. Y éste es un desafío. […] hoy nos han planteado este desafío.
    Sin duda, en aquellos momentos nos dimos espacio para llorar, para orar, para fortalecer la fe. Este corazón agradecido y creyente no desmaye en el egoísmo. La vida es más que la acumulación individualista, más que el opio de la decidía.
    Quiero agradecer a cada uno de la familia, de los amigos, de los amigos que preguntaban y visitaban a “doña Milita”. A todos los que nos acompañaron con sus oraciones. Aunque mamá Mila dice que no recuerda nada pero sí vio la cantidad de niños bailando como pastorcitas de navidad, sí, es una señal de miles de ángeles que se unieron a nuestras oraciones. Por es, el Señor ha estado grande con nosotros y estamos alegres.

              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-06-2017 with Indra Raj        
    Playlist:

    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever- French Press - The French Press EP
    Damaged Bug- Bog Dash - Bunker Funk
    - voicebreak -
    Janka Nabay The Bubu Gang- Bubu Dub - Build Music
    Chicano Batman- Passed By You - Freedom Is Free
    Ibibio Sound Machine- The Chant Iquo Isang - Uyai
    - voicebreak -
    KAYTRANADA- BULLETS feat Little Dragon - 999
    Tinariwen- Sastanqqm - Elwan
    Moderat- Running - III
    - voicebreak -
    ADOR- Let It All Hang Out - The Concrete
    Zimbabwe Legit- To Bead Or Not To Bead - Brothers From The Mother
    John Arnold- Neighborhood Science - Neighborbood Science
    - voicebreak -
    Naomi Shelton The Gospel Queens- Lift My Burdens - What Have You Done My Brother
    Raphael Saadiq- Movin Down The Line - Stone Rollin
    Bob Theile And His Happy Good Times Orchestra- Fakin It - Light My Fire
    The LA Four- Sundancers - Scores
    - voicebreak -
    Elmore James- The Sky Is Crying - The Sky Is Crying
    Karrie Potter- You Cant Just Take Our Homes Away - We Wont Move Songs Of The Tenants Movement
    Shinichi Suzuki Artist Unknown- Etude - Suzuki Violin School Vol 1
    Bill Blacks Combo- The Funky Train - Black With Sugar
    Mongo Santamaria- I Wanna Know Live Montreux Jazz Festival 1971 - Mongo At Montreaux Live
    - voicebreak -
    Sonny Charles And The Checkmates Ltd- Black Pearl - Love Is All We Have To Give
    James Brown- Get Up Off That Thing Live - Live In New York
    Charlie Whitehead The Swamp Dogg Band- Help God Help America - Charlie Whitehead The Swamp Dogg Band Remastered
    Eddy Grant- Living On The Frontline - Walking On Sunshine
    Steel Pulse- Unseen Guest - Tribute To The Martyrs
    - voicebreak -
    KyMani Marley- Keepers Of The Light feat Damian Jr Gong Marley - Maestro
    Desmond Dekker The Aces- It Mek - Israelites The Best Of Desmond Dekker
    Iggy The Stooges- Search And Destroy - Raw Power
    Toro Y Moi- Still Sound - Underneath The Pine


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2017-04-06
              07.10.17 19:30 Uhr - Nürnberg - Konzert: Hawa Naschira!        
    Der Chor der Israelitschen Kultusgemeinde hat sich 2015 in Nürnberg gegründet. Die Sänger verbindet die Liebe zur Musik und der Wunsch, jüdisches Liedgut zu verbreiten und zu erhalten. Auch ein Grund, warum der Chor die Musik Israels aus verschiedenen Epochen auf Hebräisch singt. Die Chorgemeinschaft ist international, der Chorleiter, Arkadij Pevtsov, kommt aus der Ukraine, hat am Kiever Konservatorium studiert und viele Jahre als Dirigent in Odessa gearbeitet. Nach diversen Gastauftritten gibt der Chor im Pellerhof sein erstes Solokonzert.
              Summertime Salad        

    Summertime Salad

    Sautéed Chicken (in olive oil and minced garlic)
    Pesto-filled Tortellini
    Sliced Red Onion
    Grape Tomatoes
    Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
    Kalamon (Kalamata) Olives
    Feta Cheese (I found some made in Israel - from Trader Joe's)
    Italian Dressing*

    *As Mary Jane says, use organic ingredients, if possible.

    Toss it all together and serve in the garden in the late afternoon sun.
    Cottonwood fluff optional.

              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-05-2017 with Cal Huss        
    Playlist:

    Patti Smith- Gloria - HorsesHorses
    Lucy Dacus- Troublemaker Doppelgnger - No Burden
    Courtney Barnett- Avant Gardener - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
    - voicebreak -
    Drakkar Nowhere- Higher Now - Drakkar Nowhere
    Heaters- Centennial - Baptistina
    Velcro Lewis Group- Look At What Youve Done - Jamming The Trump Agenda A Sonic Fundraiser For The Aclu Sierra Club
    - voicebreak -
    BADBADNOTGOOD- Time Moves Slow feat Sam Herring - IV
    Cairobi- Gristly Words - Gristly Words Single
    Stereolab- Dear Marge - Margerine Eclipse
    Susso- Ansumana - Keira
    - voicebreak -
    Ry Cooder Manuel Galban- Drume Negrita - Mambo Sinuendo
    Cass McCombs- Three Men Sitting On A Hollow Log - A Folk Set Apart
    Jessica Lea Mayfield- Grown Man - Tell Me
    Califone- Alice Marble Gray - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
    Damien Jurado- Silver Timothy - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
    - voicebreak -
    The New Mystikal Troubadours- The Hustle - La Rock
    Wand- Dungeon Dropper - 1000 Days
    Dungen- Panda - Ta Det Lugnt
    Howlin Wolf- Moanin For My Baby - Moanin In The Moonlight
    - voicebreak -
    The Mahotella Queens- Wozani Mahipi - Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 Soultown RB Funk Psych Sounds From The Townships 19691976 Bonus Track Version
    Erasmo Carlos- Mane Joao - Pure Brazil Samba Soul Groove
    Francis Bebey- Sanza Tristesse - Psychedelic Sanza
    Shye Ben Tzur Jonny Greenwood The Rajasthan Express- Junun - Junun
    - voicebreak -
    David Murray The GwoKa Masters- Gwotet feat Pharoah Sanders Radio Edit - Gwotet feat Pharoah Sanders
    Adrian Orange Her Band- Interdependance Dance - Adrian Orange Her Band
    DAngelo And The Vanguard- Till Its Done Tutu - Black Messiah
    Drugdealer- Suddenly feat Weyes Blood - The End Of Comedy
    - voicebreak -
    Boca 45- In The City feat Stephanie McKay - Pitch Sounds
    Roger Hatcher- Im A Junkie For Your Love - R Better
    Nkengas- Nkenga Special - Destruction
    Nico Gomez And His Afro Percussions Inc- Pa Pa Pa Pa - Ritual
    - voicebreak -
    The Alchemist- Turn This Sht Up Pt 1 - Israeli Salad
    Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics- Stunts Blunts Hip Hop - Stunts Blunts Hip Hop
    Gabor Szabo- Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down - Spellbinder


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2017-01-05
              An Israeli military court has rejected the interest of a trooper for murdering an injured Palestinian aggressor.        
    Elor Azaria was discovered liable in January of homicide over the March 2016 shooting of Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in Hebron, in the involved West Bank. Azaria had told a partner that Sharif, who had wounded another fighter, “demand to bite the dust”. Israeli military boss denounced his activities, however others commended them. Azaria – a sergeant and military surgeon – had bid against the decision, while the arraignment was requesting an expanded sentence. And also dismissing his allure, the court chose Azaria’s 18-month sentence should stand, saying that his adaptation of occasions had been temperamental. His “unique reason” for
              23.10.17 19:00 Uhr - Nürnberg - Theaterhaus Stuttgart: "Ich werde nicht hassen"        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung205701-tickets

    von Izzeldin Abuelaish
    in einer Monologfassung für die Bühne von Silvia Armbruster und Ernst Konarek

    "Am 16. Januar 2009 um 16:45 Uhr wurden israelische Panzergranaten in das Schlafzimmer meiner Töchter gefeuert. Bess