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Don’t Diagnose President Trump – Respond to Him

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 02:00

The 1964 presidential election was the second in which I voted. Lyndon Johnson who had succeeded John Kennedy was running against Barry Goldwater. I didn’t like either candidate: Johnson’s personal characteristics were obnoxious, though he had achieved much, especially in the area of civil rights; Goldwater’s personal characterizes seemed fine, but I disapproved of his conservative political views.

I was shocked to read an article in Fact magazine, based on interviews with more than 1,000 psychiatrists, which concluded that Goldwater was mentally unstable and psychologically unfit to be president. It was Lyndon Johnson whose personal fitness to hold the highest office I questioned. Barry Goldwater seemed emotionally stable with excellent personal characteristics, but highly questionable politics. The article was utterly unpersuasive, and in the end, I reluctantly voted for Lyndon Johnson. Barry Goldwater went back to the Senate, where he served with great distinction and high personal morality. Lyndon Johnson got us deeply into an unwinnable war that hurt our nation. The more than 1,000 psychiatrists, it turned out, were dead wrong in their diagnosis and predictions.

Their misdiagnosis should surprise no one, since none of the psychiatrists had ever examined, or even met, Goldwater. They just didn’t like his politics. Indeed, some feared that he would destroy the world if he had access to the nuclear button. The most powerful TV ad against Goldwater showed a beautiful child playing with a flower. Then the screen went blank, presumably from a nuclear explosion, and the child, along with the world, was blown up. It was an effective ad. It influenced me far more than the psychobabble in the Fact article.

Following the Goldwater-psychiatrist debacle, the American Psychiatric Association declared it to be unethical for a psychiatrist to offer any kind of a diagnosis on a public figure without having examined that person.

Now, more than half a century later, numerous psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are violating that sound ethical principle by diagnosing Donald Trump, whom they have never examined. They are offering diagnoses, ranging from Alzheimer’s to narcissistic personality disorder, to paranoia and more. A Yale psychiatry professor has suggested the possibility that Trump might be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Others have proposed that he be required to undergo psychiatric or psychological testing. While still others have suggesting invoking the 25th Amendment and declaring the president incompetent.

Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony. Psychiatrists have no right to pathologize him for his politics, says Alan Dershowitz. Photo: Wikipedia.

For more than 25 years, I taught courses on law and psychiatry and related subjects at Harvard Law School. I co-edited a basic text in the field. And I have written numerous articles regarding the ability and inability of psychiatrists to predict future conduct. On the basis of my research and writing, I find it unprofessional, unethical and absurd for any mental health professional to offer a diagnosis or psychiatric prediction regarding President Donald Trump. We are all entitled to our opinions regarding his political and personal qualification to be president. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, because I felt she was more qualified than Donald Trump to be president. That is my right as an American voter. But psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have no more of a right to pathologize a president or a candidate because they disagree with his or her political views than do prosecutors or politicians have a right to criminalize political opponents.

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I have been writing against the criminalization of political differences for decades because it is dangerous to democracy. It is even more dangerous to pathologize or psychiatrize one’s political opponents based on opposition to their politics. Using mental health professionals to pathologize political opponents was a common tactic used by the Soviet Union, China and apartheid South Africa against political dissidents. The American Psychological Association took a strong stand against the use of this weapon by tyrants. I was deeply involved in that condemnation because I understood how dangerous it is to diagnose political opponents instead of responding to the merits or demerits of their political views.

It is even more dangerous when a democracy, such as the United States, begins to go down the road of pathologizing political differences. So let us debate the merits and demerits of President Trump’s policies, personality and other factors that are relevant to his presidency. But let us leave diagnoses to doctors who have examined their patients.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

The post Don’t Diagnose President Trump – Respond to Him appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Gerbil Bones Attest to Successful Byzantine Agriculture in the Negev

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 01:30

 

A large accumulation of bones belonging to Meriones tristrami, also known as Tristram’s jird, a species of gerbil common to the Middle East, which were found in the ancient Byzantine agricultural fields in the northern Negev, are the first biological evidence of thriving agriculture there some 1,500 years ago, according to a study of the University of Haifa (A glimpse of an ancient agricultural ecosystem based on remains of micromammals in the Byzantine Negev Desert, Journal of the Royal Society of Sciences).

Researchers Tal Fried, Lior Weissbrod, Yotam Tepper, Guy Bar-Oz, of the University of Haifa’s Archaeology Department, write that “it is widely believed that Byzantine agriculture in the Negev Desert (fourth to seventh century CE), with widespread construction of terraces and dams, altered local landscapes. However, no direct evidence in archaeological sites yet exists to test this assumption.

“We uncovered large amounts of small mammalian remains (rodents and insectivores) within agricultural installations built near fields, providing a new line of evidence for reconstructing anthropogenic impact on local habitats.

“Abandonment layers furnished a high abundance of remains, whereas much smaller numbers were retrieved from the period of human use of the structures. Digestion marks are present in low frequencies (20% of long bones and teeth), with a light degree of impact, which indicate the role of owls (e.g. Tyto alba) as the principal means of accumulation.”

“The most common taxa—gerbils (Gerbillus spp.) and jirds (Meriones spp.)—occur in nearly equal frequencies, which do not correspond with any modern Negev communities, where gerbils predominate in sandy low-precipitation environments and jirds in loessial, higher-precipitation ones. Although low-level climate change cannot be ruled out, the results suggest that Byzantine agriculture allowed jirds to colonize sandy anthropogenic habitats with other gerbilids and commensal mice and rats.”

A Tristam’s jird (Meriones tristami) poking its head out of its burrow. / Photo credit: Dûrzan cîrano via Wikimedia

Remains of rodents and insectivores from archaeological sites have been used for reconstructing environmental conditions surrounding ancient settlements, the researchers reported. Small rodents and shrews in the Negev, which include a preponderance of dry-adapted species of gerbils and jirds (Gerbillidae), have generally adjusted to conditions of water and food shortages along with the high temperatures.

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The main water supply for most species in this arid environment is from ingested food. With their dry land adaptations, most of these species remain hidden during the day in cooler and more humid shelters. Micromammals are present in a wide variety of habitats in the Negev and are considered especially sensitive to environmental variation. Their community structure is thought to respond to factors such as variation in precipitation or soil type and their influence on vegetation covers over relatively small scales.

Research based on live-trapping of small mammals in the Negev and analysis of prey remains in pellets of owls (Strigiformes) demonstrated consistent habitat associations of local species. Both habitat features (e.g. soil type, rockiness and proportion of vegetation cover) and proximity to different types of anthropogenic habitats were shown to influence species composition.

Data from owl pellets also showed a strong impact of recent anthropogenic landscape change on community composition owing to modern settlement and agriculture.

Other studies of owl pellets showed that in more remote parts of the Negev, prey composition is more diverse and consists mainly of wild species (non-commensal), mainly gerbilids.

“Based on our findings, species of birds and gerbils formed a substantial component of ancient ecological communities of agro-ecosystems in the Negev, testifying to the environmental impact of Byzantine agriculture,” the researchers concluded.

“Although Byzantine occupation of the Negev did not achieve the scale of modern human influence of industrialized farming, it undoubtedly exerted lasting impacts which altered ecological conditions and the structure of local plant and animal communities. Reconstructing the patterns of ancient human landscape transformation in greater detail will require additional trapping and owl pellet studies in modern non-industrial agricultural settings in the Negev. It is possible that localized anthropogenic impacts in the Negev were further augmented by regional climate fluctuations, though additional and more detailed palaeo-environmental data obtained directly from archaeological sites will be needed to assess this possibility.”

The post Gerbil Bones Attest to Successful Byzantine Agriculture in the Negev appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

“Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All” – Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 01:00

A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” — Morocco.

Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen.” — Pakistan.

Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.

In the name of “fighting terrorism,” Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.

document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”

Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” had said that “the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future of the community is very limited.”

Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: “Now is the time. We have an administration that’s open to doing something,” he said, indicating the US Trump administration.

Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, while saying, “Remember this, you kuffar[infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah willing].” The narrator of the video also vowed that “After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders’ enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.” When asked about this, the pope’s top aide said, “Pope Francis hasn’t changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore, he’ll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With Muslims and Christians.”

August’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Kenya: Islamic terrorists hacked four Christian men to death for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. On Friday, August 28, jihadis from the Somali-based group, Al Shabaab, rounded up three men (two in their forties, the other 17) and held them at one of the Christians’ homes. They ordered them to recite the shahada — that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” — and thereby renounce the Trinity and become Muslim. When the men refused, the Muslims hacked them to pieces with machetes. They then went and slaughtered the mentally handicapped older brother of one of the slain. According to the “severely traumatized” wife of one of the men, “Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph [her slain husband] as a church elder.”

Nigeria: Gunmen massacred as many as 50 Christian worshippers inside ‎St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Amambra State during a Sunday morning service. Initial reports claimed that “the gunmen were hunting for a drug baron, traced him to his house but were told he had gone to church.” When they found he was not in the church, “out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church.” However, not only does the attack closely follow the pattern of other jihadi terror attacks on churches in Nigeria but at least one group, Act for Biafra, a Biafran independence organization, issued a statement referring to the attack as a “jihadist slaughter” of Christian churchgoers.

Separately, during an attack on a Christian community in a Muslim majority region that enforces Sharia (Islamic law), Muslim terrorists slaughtered a Christian father and his son and abducted three women and a baby. Aside from habitual attacks on Christians “in northern Nigeria, [which is Muslim majority] Christians who have already been displaced by Boko Haram extremists are being forced out of their refugee camps and denied access to vital aid,” according to human rights activists.

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Pakistan: Javid Masih, a Christian man who sold himself into slavery to a Muslim family for two years to buy his family a home, was regularly abused, kept from going to church, and finally murdered in August. When the two-year contract was nearly up and Javid told one of the family that he looked forward to getting married, he was told, “There is no way you will ever be free from us and leave this place.” When his term was up and he asked for his freedom, he was severely chided by the family’s sons: “You filthy Chura [“worthless thing”], how dare you ask for your freedom. Your life is ours. You will clean our excrement every day of your life from now on or you and your family will die.” Afterwards, “he was grabbed by the brothers, tied up, beaten and spat upon for a whole day. He had never told his family about this because he was both embarrassed and fearful of the repercussions on his family if they got involved. Other employees were made to see the brutal torture of Javed to instill a sense of fear amongst them.” He continued as a slave but his productivity dropped, and the Muslim family decided to do away with him. They poisoned him and then dumped him in front of his family’s home. When his widowed mother begged them to drive him to a hospital, they spat on her. He died; the police reported the death a “suicide.” Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

“Despite anti-slavery laws in Pakistan bonded labour proliferates and is destroying the lives of many Christians. The Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act 1992 is not worth the paper it is written on and the Government’s clear apathy to enforce the law illustrates the low value placed on Christians and other minorities… There is a very small suicide rate in Pakistan of around 300 victims over two years—Pakistanis are hardy. It is inconceivable that Javed committed suicide when he expressed no such desire to anyone he knew and remained stoic for two years despite the pain inflicted on him.”

Another Christian man, a prisoner who was offered but rejected Islam, was found dead “under mysterious circumstances in police custody,” according to a report. Indaryas Ghulam, 38, was among 42 Christians arrested for the lynching of two Muslims associated with a 2015 church attack that killed nearly 20 Christians and wounded 70. Indaryas had denied involvement in the lynching and was one of the prisoners promised: “release in exchange of reneging Christ.”

“He could have saved his life, but decided to bear witness to his faith onto death…. The prison administration attributed his death to poor health; he had tuberculosis. But his wife Shabana and daughter Shumir, who saw the body, said that he had burns and cuts everywhere, clear signs of torture and of the brutality to which he had been subjected. What is more, they add that although he was severely ill, he never received adequate medical care behind the bars.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

Iran: Approximately five hundred Muslim converts to Christianity have faced persecution in Iran, and fled to Turkey in search of asylum, notes an August report. One young convert who said he could not be who he wanted to be if he remained Muslim, added that he is now feeling “comfortable” as a Christian. Another said:

“I changed my religion because I did not see anything in Islam. Whatever I saw was wrong. It is a fact that the government of Iran is an Islamic one, yet our youth are getting executed. In Iraq the same…. There is ISIS and [they] are killing people in the name of Islam, and there are vulnerable people who are being beheaded there. They have fled to Turkey, and we came to Turkey. That is why I did not see any good from Islam.”

Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, confirms that “Converts to Christianity from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution.”

Morocco: An August report reveals that earlier in 2017, a popular Arabic language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and, considering that virtually all Christians in Morocco are converted from Islam, ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” “Morocco is home to several thousand Christians who live across the nation, many of whom are new converts and forced to worship in secret churches,” the report adds. “Christians are regularly harassed by authorities, and societal pressure to renounce their faith is commonplace throughout the country.”

Pakistan: Another Christian minor was beaten and charged with “blaspheming” against Islam. After a Muslim man, Muhammed Nawaz, accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar, he beat the boy, then told the local imam, who, according to the report, “has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians,” that the youth had also burned a Koran. Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison and called for a public lynching of Stephen.”

“As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he plead guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession.”

Uganda: On August 7, Sophia Nakisaala, 35, a Muslim woman, embraced Christianity after her daughter was healed by a street preacher:

“My child got healed instantly from high fever, which had caused several convulsions. The evangelist shared with me about Issa [Jesus], whom he said to be the healer and Savior. I then decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior and then returned back home.”

When she returned home and began telling Muhammad Lubaale, her husband, what had happened, “He got angry and slapped me. I kept quiet and did not respond to his interrogation about my new faith in Jesus.” Three days later, word of his daughter’s healing and confirmation that his wife had indeed embraced Christ reached Muhammad. “My husband arrived home on Aug. 10 and started beating me and injuring me with bruises on my head and right hand, using a stick,” Sophia explained. “Neighbors came to my rescue and housed me that very night.” The following morning, while her husband was away, she gathered her four children—aged 3, 5, 8 and 11—and went to an area pastor, who helped her find refuge.

Sweden: The Western nation most renowned for taking in — and suffering from — Muslim migrants, Sweden, decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden, which is reputed as “the world’s humanitarian conscience and a safe haven for refugees,” continues accepting Muslim refugees, some of whom have helped make it known as the “rape capital of Europe.”

Sweden recently decided to deport Aideen Strandsson, a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When Strandsson pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” (Image source: Facebook/Aideen Strandsson) Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Egypt: Authorities closed down the 1,300-member Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in the Minya governorate. The closure came in response to local Muslim opposition groups who protested the existence of the church, which had served Christians from three separate villages. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, issued a public statement chiding officials for siding with the aggressors against the victims:

“The security apparatus has prevented Copts from practicing their rites in Kedwan, Minya, claiming that it was because of objections of some opposing factions in the village, and that it was necessary to be considerate of their feelings. However, this means that there is no consideration for the feelings of the Copts and those who do not ask for anything but to pray, as if the decision belonged to the opposing factions and not to a great state such as Egypt, which should have authority and law.”

The Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in Kedwan is just one of at least 15 Christian churches that have been closed in Minya province alone. “We have more than 15 places [of worship] closed on the order of the security apparatus, despite the existence of formal requests that are imprisoned in [desk] drawers,” Makarios added in his statement. “Also, there are 70 villages, farmsteads and hamlets without places for prayers.”

Separately in August, security officials prevented Christians from meeting and worshiping in a private home in the village of Forn, in Minya. They said the home lacked a permit for worship. In a letter entitled, “We were prevented from prayer like criminals,” frustrated Christians wrote to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:

“We were surprised to find police forces surrounding and entering the village to prevent the Egyptian Copts from prayer and were prevented from going out of our homes. We were attacked with inappropriate words … As if we are criminals or outlaws and wanted for justice, accused of performing religious rituals. And is performing religious rituals a crime?”

Iraq: Christians returning to the Nineveh Plain continued to encounter the remains of the Islamic State’s handiwork, including graffiti all around and inside their desecrated churches, such as “There is no place for the Cross in Islamic lands” and “The Cross is under our foot.” The following German writing was found in one church:

“Oh you Cross worshippers, we’ll kill you all. Germany is an Islamic land. You are weak and don’t belong here…. Oh you Cross worshippers, you have no place in Islamic lands. Either you leave or we’ll kill you.”

“They’d [ISIS] used the statutes of Jesus and Mary for target practice,” said one man of another church. “The altar was also destroyed. Daesh [ISIS] knew that the West would be reluctant to bomb a church, so [it] stored food and ammunition here.” Much of the graffiti has since been removed and altars are being restored. “To see our Christian symbols again is almost as important as food for us,” commented one Christian man.

Somaliland: After agreeing to the reopening of a Catholic Church, which had been closed for nearly 30 years, the government of the Muslim nation reversed its decision. Spokesmen cited public anger, fomented by Islamic religious leaders who claimed the church reopening was part of the government’s conspiratorial plan to Christianize Somaliland. Explaining their decision during a press conference, Religious Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, said, “The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has decided to respect the wishes of its people and religious leaders and keep the church closed, as it has been for the past 30 years.” The Catholic church was one of many churches built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

Sudan: The day after the Khartoum Parliament rejected the Ministry of Education’s call for Church Schools to operate on Sundays and follow only the Muslim week—a decision “viewed by Christians in Sudan and around the world as another means of harassment and discrimination against the minority group” — on August 2, the Sudanese government demolished yet another church in Omdurman, just west of Khartoum, from their list of 27 churches to be demolished.

Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

Iraq: More reports indicating that Christian suffering is hardly limited to ISIS appeared in August. According to one, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Jajou said “that the remaining Christian families in Iraq fear that a new ISIS could come to power. He accused Baghdad of failing to foster religious tolerance amid the years of sectarian war and said a lot of people have been brainwashed by the terror group.” He also pointed out that the education ministry should begin to acknowledge Iraq’s Christian heritage and roots instead of falsely claiming that it was always Islamic and that Christians are essentially foreigners and agents of the West.

Pakistan: The Islamic nation’s senate unanimously approved a bill requiring the compulsory teaching of the Koran to all primary and secondary school students, including non-Muslim ones. In part, the bill is meant to help the state discharge article 31(2) of the Pakistani constitution, which states that the “State shall endeavour to make the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Islamiyat [all things Islamic] compulsory.” However, according to Nasir Saeed, the director of a Christian human rights organization, the bill “will have a negative impact on the non-Muslim students… It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise.”

Bangladesh: In the name of “fighting terrorism,” the Muslim nation made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down. The Foreign Donations Regulation Bill, which is meant to be a check on terrorist cells receiving funds outside of Bangladesh, has especially created economic problems for Christian NGOs “geared specifically for the Christian community” explained one missionary. Because a majority of Christian organizations in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh are economically supported from outside sources, 200 were no longer able to secure external funding and to close permanently.

Sudan: The Islamist government arrested seven church leaders for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over leadership of their congregation to a government appointment committee in an effort to dissolve the church. They were interrogated for several hours and then released on bail. “Police said that in arresting them they were implementing orders from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments to impose its committee as new SCOC leadership, presumably to sell off the church property in Sudan’s bid to rid the country of Christianity,” notes the report, adding that “the arrests were seen as part of a recent upsurge in harassment of Christians.”

Separately, in order to help a wealthy Muslim businessman take over church property, police evicted two more pastors and their families from their homes and onto the streets. The pastors “were terrorized when police pounded on the doors shouting threats,” “They came and knocked on the door strongly, they said, ‘Should you not open, we will have to break it by force to get in,” Pastor Nalu, a 47-year-old father of a one-year-old boy, said. “The situation is very difficult, and we are living on the street.”

Nigeria: Fulani terrorists, some allied with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been known to invade Christian farms and settlements and slaughter Christians. In August, when few such attacks were recorded, and (mostly Muslim) politicians portrayed the problem as settled, a Christian leader explained that, when not directly slaughtering Christians, Muslim Fulani herdsmen resort to “economic terrorism“: “As we gleefully wallow in the false sense of peace on the Plateau,” he said, “know it today that a deliberate economic terrorism and land-grabbing strategy is being launched on Christians of Riyom and Barkin Ladi on a daily basis with the sole aim of making them poor, weak and destitute in their own land.”

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

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Terror Victim’s Funeral Includes Calls to Legalize the Samaria Outpost He Lived in

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 01:00

Hundreds of mourners on Wednesday attended the funeral of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, a resident of the Samaria settlement outpost of Havat Gilad who was killed in a drive-by shooting terror attack near his home Jan. 9.

Shevah, 35, was survived by his wife and six children, the youngest of whom is 8-months-old. He was buried in a cemetery that was freshly established for his funeral.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said in a eulogy for Shevah that “despicable, sickening murderers, the scourge of the human race, stole a giant soul from us. Rabbi Raziel did not die of cancer, he didn’t succumb to influenza. He was murdered because he was a Jew living in the land of Israel.”

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Dagan urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to retroactively legalize Havat Gilad in response to the terror attack that killed Shevah. The outpost, which numbers about 100 residents, is currently classified as illegal because it is situated on land that the Palestinians claim as part of a future Palestinian state. Dagan also called for more housing permits in the area. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s eulogy for Shevah also included a call to legalize the outpost and step up construction there.

Shevah’s brother, Barel, said the terror victim “wanted to see Havat Gilad, which you loved and where you settled your family, evolve, blossom and prosper. But a cursed, lowlife terrorist got in the way of your aspirations.”

“We are at war and you are a victim of war,” said Samaria Regional Council Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon. “This is a war between the sons of darkness and the sons of light. To anyone looking for a sign of light, you, Raziel, are the sign….The government of Israel must rise up against its enemies.”

The post Terror Victim’s Funeral Includes Calls to Legalize the Samaria Outpost He Lived in appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Trump Sets 120-Day Deadline on Fixing Iran Nuke Deal, Slaps Unrelated Extra Sanctions

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:30

President Trump on Friday faced a deadline on whether to kill the 2015 nuclear agreement negotiated by the Obama administration and five other nations, and reinstate the sanctions against the Islamic Republic, or keep it in place, despite the fact that he views as faulty and dangerous. In the end, trump renewed the deal, but issued the following warning:

“I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal,” Mr. Trump said. “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately. No one should doubt my word.”

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“Attention will now turn to whether Congress can pass a robust fix,” writes The Israel Project’s Omri Ceren. “There were several stories this week describing the push for new legislation, so the broad outlines are clear… There is a Senate version being drafted by Senator Bob Corker (R-Ten), and a House version being drafted by Rep Peter Roskam (R-Il). There is significant distance between the two versions, with the House version being the stronger of the two.”

The Trump administration also slapped new sanctions on Iran, reportedly for human-rights abuses by the Iranian regime during the civil protests of the last few weeks, and for weapons proliferation across the Middle East. One US official told the Washington Times that the actions “will send a very strong message that the United States is not going to tolerate their continued abuses.”

In addition to tightening the effectiveness of the verification of the deal, the Trump White House also expects that a modified version would include a prohibition of Iran’s efforts to develop ballistic missiles with a range that includes Israel. The administration also wants the sunset clause taken off the deal, keeping the prohibition on nuclear production in place forever.

The post Trump Sets 120-Day Deadline on Fixing Iran Nuke Deal, Slaps Unrelated Extra Sanctions appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

The Islamization of Germany in 2017: Part I (January – June 2017)

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:00

“As a refugee, it is difficult to find a girlfriend.” — Asif M., a 26-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan, responding to charges that he had raped one woman and attempted to rape five others in Berlin.

Sudanese migrants, many of whom were allowed to enter Germany without having their fingerprints taken, have “created a business model” out of social security fraud. — Police in Lower Saxony.

Only 6,500 refugees of the more than one million who have been allowed into Germany during the past two years are enrolled in work training programs. — Federal Employment Agency.

The German Parliament approved a controversial law to fine social media networks up to €50 million euros ($57 million) if they fail to remove so-called hate speech. Critics said the purpose of the law is to silence criticism of the government’s open-door migration policy.

The Muslim population of Germany surpassed six million in 2017 to become approximately 7.2% of the overall population of 83 million, according to calculations by the Gatestone Institute.

A recent Pew Research Center study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe estimated that Germany’s Muslim population had reached five million by the middle of 2016, but that number is short by at least a million.

Pew, for instance, “decided not to count” the more than one million Muslim asylum seekers who arrived in the country in 2015-2017 because “they are not expected to receive refugee status.” European Union human rights laws, however, prohibit Germany from deporting many, if not most, of the refugees and asylum seekers back to conflict areas. As a result, most migrants who arrived in the country will almost certainly remain there over the long term.

In addition, German authorities have admitted to losing track of potentially hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, many of whom are living on German streets and are believed to be sustaining themselves on a steady diet of drug dealing, pickpocketing, purse snatching and other forms of petty crime.

Islam and Islam-related issues, omnipresent in Germany during 2017, can be categorized into several broad themes:

  • The social and economic effects of accommodating more than a million mostly Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East;
  • A rapidly deteriorating security situation marked by a dramatic increase in migrant-related violent crime;
  • A migrant rape epidemic targeting German women and children;
  • Islamic extremism and the security implications of German jihadists;
  • The continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany;
  • The challenge of Muslim integration; and,
  • The failures of German multiculturalism.

JANUARY 2017

January 1. Two thousand “highly aggressive” migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East gathered in front of the central railway station in Cologne, where, in 2015, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve. A massive police presence prevented mayhem. In Berlin, at least 22 women were sexually assaulted at the Brandenburg Gate, despite the presence of 1,700 police officers. In Hamburg, at least 14 women were sexually assaulted.

January 2. Greens Party Leader Simone Peter accused the Cologne Police Department of racial profiling after a tweet referred to North African migrants as “Nafris.” The head of the DPolG police union, Ernst Walter, explained that “Nafri” is not derogatory but rather a technical acronym used by the police to refer to “North African intensive offender” (nordafrikanische Intensivtäter). Cologne Police Chief Jürgen Mathies added: “From the experiences of the past New Year’s Eve, from experience gained by police raids as a whole, a clear impression has emerged here about which persons are to be checked. They are not gray-haired older men or blond-haired young women.”

January 2. Hasan A., a 38-year-old asylum seeker from Syria, was arrested in Saarland on charges of soliciting €180,000 ($192,000) in funds from the Islamic State to carry out a high-casualty attack in Germany. The Saarbrücken prosecutor’s office said the man asked the Islamic State for money to purchase eight vehicles (€22,500 each) which would be camouflaged as police cars, loaded with 400-500 kilos of explosives, and exploded into a large crowd. Hasan said he wanted the money to support his family in Syria, not to carry out attacks in Germany.

January 3. Amnesty International called for an investigation of the Cologne police department for the alleged “racial profiling” of North African migrants suspected of promoting violence on New Year’s Eve.

January 4. In Köln-Buchheim, a 44-year-old Iraqi man murdered his 19-year-old daughter because he did not approve of her boyfriend. Two days later, he called the police. “I killed my daughter,” he said. The man, who may never face justice, is believed to have fled to Iraq.

January 5. In Waldshut-Tiengen, a 47-year-old Turkish man assaulted his estranged wife as she was walking with a friend. When she tried to run away, he pursued her and plunged a knife into her back.

January 5. North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Criminal Police Director Dieter Schürmann revealed that Anis Amri, the 24-year-old Tunisian Salafist who carried out the jihadist attack on the Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, 2016, was known by authorities to be a threat to security as early as February 2016 but that they had found no evidence to arrest him. Schürmann also said that Amri had also used a total of 14 different identities under multiple names to collect social welfare benefits.

January 6. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called for a “culture war” to defeat Islamism. “If we are serious about the fight against Islamism and terrorism, then it must also be a cultural struggle,” he said. “We must strengthen the cohesion of society and ensure that neighborhoods are not neglected, villages are not allowed to degenerate and people do not become more and more radicalized.”

January 7. A 28-year-old nurse was sexually assaulted by a group of five “Black Africans” (Schwarzafrikanern) in Hamburg. The woman, a nurse at the Asklepios-Klinik St. Georg, was walking to her car after her shift ended when she heard someone screaming for help in an adjacent park. When she went to lend a hand she was ambushed, assaulted and robbed.

January 7. Asif M., a 26-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan, appeared in court on charges that he had raped one woman and attempted to rape five others in Berlin-Steglitz. He insisted that he was the victim: “As a refugee, it is difficult to find a girlfriend.”

January 7. A Bild am Sonntag poll found that 58% of German women think public places have become less safe due to mass migration. Nearly half (48%) said they avoid certain areas after dark, and 16% carry pepper spray when they are out alone.

January 7. Intelligence Chief Hans-Georg Maaßen warned that Germany’s Salafist scene is not only growing, but also becoming more decentralized, thus making it more difficult to monitor. He said the number of Salafists in Germany was 9,700, up 500 from 9,200 in October 2016.

January 11. The Interior Ministry reported that a total of 321,371 migrants arrived in Germany in 2016, compared to 1,091,894 in 2015. Of the new arrivals in 2016, 280,000 were asylum seekers, compared to 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015. As if the statistics were not sufficiently complicated, a total of 745,545 people applied for asylum in 2016, compared to 476,649 who applied for asylum in 2015. The 2016 figure includes migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015 but did not apply for asylum until 2016. Around 35% of the asylum seekers in 2016 were from Syria, 17% from Afghanistan and 13% from Iraq.

January 11. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said that Germany’s security apparatus must be updated in order to combat Islamic terrorism. “Our security architecture dates back to the fifties and sixties when we were dealing mostly with regional crime,” he said.

January 12. Germany’s largest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), admitted that some of its preachers acted as informants for the Turkish government. DITIB is financed by the Turkish government’s Directorate for Religious Affairs, known in Turkish as Diyanet. DITIB has been described as the “extended arm” of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who uses it to promote Turkish nationalism and to prevent integration among the Turkish diaspora. The spies sent information about followers of Fethullah Gülen, a septuagenarian cleric based in the United States whom Turkey accuses of plotting a failed military coup in July 2016.

January 14. A “southerner” (südländischer Typassaulted and seriously injured an 80-year-old woman while she was working in her garden in Leipzig. She asked a passerby to take a photograph of her bloody face to draw public attention to rising migrant crime. Her picture was published by Bild, the newspaper with the largest-circulation in Germany. “It cannot be that you have to be afraid of being on the streets even during the middle of the day,” she said.

January 15. In Bremen-Vegesack, a 39-year-old Turkish man murdered his 40-year-old Syrian wife, who was nine months pregnant, because she wanted to divorce him. The unborn baby also died in the attack.

January 17. German officials knew as early as March 2015 — six months before Chancellor Angela Merkel opened German borders to more than a million migrants from the Muslim world — that Islamic State jihadists were entering Europe disguised as migrants, according to an exposé by the Munich Report (Report München), an investigative journalism program broadcast by ARD public television.

January 18. A 27-year-old Kosovar was sentenced to one year and ten months of probation for sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman in Freiburg. The man followed the woman into a restroom at a nightclub, told her that he was a narcotics detective, forced her to undress and then tried to rape her.

January 18. The Osnabrück Administrative Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman who was denied a teaching position when it became known that she wanted to wear a headscarf at school. The court ruled that the woman could not claim compensation because the school authorities did not discriminate against the woman “because of her religion,” but rather was applying a law which bans all religious and ideological symbols from schools. The court ruled that the Lower Saxony Provincial School Board had acted correctly with regard to the state’s obligation to neutrality.

January 19. German authorities issued 105,000 visas for so-called family reunifications in 2016, a 50% increase over the 70,000 visas issued in 2015, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Almost all the visas were issued to Syrians and Iraqis. Family reunifications — individuals whose asylum applications are approved are subsequently allowed to bring additional family members to Germany — are not included in asylum application statistics. In other words, the 105,000 visas for family members were in addition to the 280,000 new asylum seekers who arrived in Germany in 2016.

January 19. Germany received some 12,000 migrants from other European countries, in accordance with the so-called Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach. Germany took 3,700 migrants from Sweden, 1,686 from the Netherlands, 1,277 from Switzerland, 1,109 from Denmark and 763 from Belgium, according to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. The migrants had submitted asylum requests in Germany but moved on to other European countries before German authorities could process the requests.

January 19. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel threatened to cut development aid to countries that refuse to take back asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. The threat applies mainly to North African migrants from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. “It cannot be that a country takes the development aid, but not its own citizens, if they cannot get asylum with us,” he said.

January 21. A 47-year-old asylum seeker from Syria was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison for raping a 44-year-old mentally disabled woman in Soest. The suspect, who has been living in an asylum shelter in Welver at German taxpayer expense since 2003, had 23 previous convictions for offenses including assault, robbery, and fare evasion. A neurologist who tended to the Syrian during his 13-year stay in Germany told the court that the man is “untreatable” (Therapieunfähig). “When he is drunk, he is unpredictable,” she said.

January 23. Muslims in Hamburg are finding it difficult to bury their dead because German burial laws are incompatible with Sharia law, according to Die Welt, which wrote: “Practicing Muslims reject cremation. The dead must be buried as soon as possible and in linen cloths. It is important that the earth is ‘virgin’…the soil should not be polluted by ‘unbelievers.’ The dead must also be able to rest for eternity…a re-occupation of the tomb is impossible even if the remains of the deceased are completely disappeared.”

January 25. Social security fraud perpetrated by asylum seekers is costing taxpayers in Lower Saxony millions of euros, according to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Police reported 2,644 known cases of fraud in 2016, including 487 cases by asylum seekers, up from 351 such cases in 2015. The fraud involves migrants using multiple identities to collect social welfare benefits in different cities and towns. In Braunschweig alone, some 240 migrants defrauded the state of €4.8 million ($5 million) in 2016. Police say that Sudanese migrants, many of whom were allowed to enter Germany without having their fingerprints taken, have “created a business model” out of social security fraud. Local officials have been accused of covering up the fraud. In January 2016, for instance, an employee at a social security office handed her boss a file with 30 cases of suspected fraud. After he refused to act, she contacted the police. She was fired for “overstepping her authority.”

January 26. A 16-year-old German-Moroccan female jihadist was sentenced to six years in prison for stabbing a police officer. The incident, said to be the first lone-wolf terrorist attack inspired by the Islamic State in Germany, occurred at the central railway station in Hanover in February 2016. Two police officers noticed that the girl — identified only as Safia S. — was observing and following them. The officers approached the girl, who was wearing an Islamic headscarf and asked her to present her identification papers. After handing over her identification, she stabbed one of the officers in the neck with a kitchen knife. “The perpetrator did not display any emotion,” a police spokesperson said. “Her only concern was for her headscarf. She was concerned that her headscarf is put back on properly after she was arrested.”

January 26. Upkeep for the 13,600 unaccompanied child migrants (unbegleiteten minderjährigen Flüchtlingen) in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) will cost German taxpayers €632 million ($670 million) in 2017, according to Die Welt. Child migrants are arriving in NRW at the rate of 300-400 each month. Each child migrant costs €4,500 a month to maintain, in addition to an annual administrative fee of €3,100 (Verwaltungspauschal). The children are from more than 60 countries, including Afghanistan (37%), Syria (36%) and Iraq (11%). Over 90% of child migrants are male.

January 27. Due to positive net migration (more people entering the country than leaving it), the German population increased by 1.14 million in 2015, and by another 750,000 in 2016, to reach an all-time high of 82.8 million at the end of 2016, according to preliminary estimates by Destatis, the Federal Statistics Office.

January 27. Muslim students at the Emscher-Lippe school in Gelsenkirchen refused to participate in Holocaust remembrance activities. Some 40% of the 550 students at the school are Muslim.

January 27. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble revealed that the migrant crisis would cost German taxpayers €43 billion ($46 billion) during 2016 and 2017.

January 30. Süleyman D., a 25-year-old German of Turkish descent, was arrested for raping one woman and attempting to rape two more at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.

January 30. The Bishop of Regensburg, Rudolf Voderholzer, said that reconciliation between Christians and Muslims was impossible. Islam is a “post-Christian phenomenon, with the claim to negate the core content of Christianity,” he said. “Only those who do not know their own faith or do not take it seriously can consider a comprehensive integration of Islam as possible.”

FEBRUARY 2017

February 1. A leaked government report revealed that Germany will need to take in 300,000 migrants annually for the next 40 years to stop population decline. The document, parts of which were published by the Rheinische Post, disclosed that the German government is counting on permanent mass migration — presumably from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East — to keep the current size of the German population (82.8 million) stable through 2060. The report implied that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow into the country some 1.5 million mostly Muslim migrants between 2015 and 2016 was not primarily a humanitarian gesture, but a calculated effort to stave off Germany’s demographic decline and to preserve the future viability of the German welfare state.

February 1. More than 1,000 police officers raided 54 homes, mosques and businesses in Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Offenbach, and Wiesbaden in an operation targeting the jihadist scene in Hesse. Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth said the raid was not about preventing an imminent attack, but rather about “smashing a widespread Salafist network.”

February 2. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said he would seek parliamentary approval to begin electronically tagging jihadists with ankle bracelets. The move was in response to public outrage over revelations that German authorities knew that Anis Amri, the Berlin Christmas market attacker, posed a threat but did not arrest him.

February 3. A 33-year-old Muslim from the Western Balkans was arrested for barging into a Protestant church in Schnaittach and reciting verses from the Koran during a funeral service. The man, who was known to police for previous criminal offenses, was charged with disrupting religious worship. “It is possible that the man did not notice that he had come to a memorial service,” Pastor Wilfried Römischer said.

February 4. Police in Cologne sent an email to all 13 refugee facilities in the city advising migrants not to attend the city’s annual carnival. After accusations of racism, city police distanced themselves from the email, which apparently was sent to protect German women from sexual assaults. Police spokeswoman Nadine Perske explained: “The email was an ‘internal’ and ‘unauthorized’ letter to district governments. It creates the impression that immigrants should not attend carnival events. Rather, they should be informed about the state institutions at the carnival and about the intensified police checks.”

February 6. Some 48,000 women and girls currently living in Germany are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a study funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs. Another 9,000 girls are at risk. Most of the victims are from Eritrea, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Iraq. The problem is especially acute in Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich. The number of people affected in Germany has increased by around 30% since 2014.

February 7. A Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from ten European countries found that an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped. Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain.

February 7. Omar A., a 20-year-old Syrian asylum seeker, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for attacking passengers on a bus from Berlin to Milan, Italy. The court heard how, after watching Islamic State execution videos on his cellphone, he slashed a passenger in the face with a 15-centimeter (six-inch) knife and, “with the fist of Allah,” punched two other passengers. The judge said the attack had nothing to do with Islam: “The trial has not shown a real motive.”

February 8. Anter B., a 24-year-old Tunisian asylum seeker, kidnapped and tried to rape a woman at knifepoint at a bus stop in Hamburg. He was arrested and during questioning told police, “that’s what German women want.” He was released but a judge ordered his re-arrest after he failed to show up for a court appearance. “In the case of Anter B., there was no reason to arrest him at the time,” said Nana Frombach, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office.

February 8. A court in Münster sentenced Amer K., a 36-year-old Lebanese man, to 12 years in prison for murdering his wife. The court heard he how stabbed 26-year-old Fatima S., the mother of his three children, in the chest and neck more than twenty times with a large kitchen knife because he thought she wanted to divorce him.

February 9. An Appellate Court in Berlin awarded a Muslim woman nearly €8,680 ($10,300) in compensation after she was denied a teaching job at a Berlin elementary school due to her headscarf. The woman had lost her initial case after the Berlin school successfully argued that neutrality rules meant no one could wear religious symbols in schools. The appeals court ruled that the woman had indeed been discriminated against and that her headscarf did not pose a danger to school peace. In January 2015, Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that general bans on headscarves at state schools were unconstitutional unless the headscarves “constitute a sufficiently specific danger to the peace at the school or the state’s duty of neutrality.”

February 10. In Ahaus, a 27-year-old Nigerian asylum seeker stabbed to death a 22-year-old woman after she seemingly offended his honor by rejecting his romantic advances. The woman, a Hindu, was employed at the same asylum shelter where her attacker lived. He was arrested in Basel, Switzerland.

February 11. Cologne Police Chief Jürgen Mathies announced new security measures for the iconic Cologne Cathedral. The measures include a ban on large suitcases, travel bags and hiking rucksacks. Visitors are also subject to search. “People should not be afraid if they go to the cathedral,” he said.

February 15. In Bielefeld, a 51-year-old Iraqi man tried to murder his 51-year-old wife by attacking her with a hammer while she was attending a German class at a local language academy. The man was apparently angry that his wife was mixing with other language students.

February 15. German police raided the homes of four imams suspected of conducting espionage on behalf of the Turkish government against followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused by Ankara of organizing a failed coup in July 2016.

February 17. In Offenbach, Volkan T., a 32-year-old Turk, shot to death his former girlfriend, a 40-year-old German woman, Silvia B. The man said he was angry that the woman, who had two children, had ended her relationship with him.

February 17. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned against turning the fight against the Islamic State into a battle against all Muslims. “We should take care not to turn this fight into a front against Islam and Muslims in general,” von der Leyen said, amid a debate in the United States over a “Muslim travel ban.”

February 19. Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, claimed that Islamic terrorism derives from “a falsely understood Islam” (ein fehlgeleiteter Islam), not from Islam itself. She also called on Islamic religious authorities to speak “clear words on the demarcation of peaceful Islam and terrorism committed in the name of Islam.”

February 21. The Turkish consulate in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) reportedly urged Turkish parents in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Münster to report criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan they hear at schools, according to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. Parents were encouraged to tell their children to film teachers and pass the evidence on to Turkish authorities.

February 21. German officials proposed that the European Union relax some human rights safeguards so that more asylum seekers can be deported while awaiting the outcome of their cases, according to a document leaked to the Reuters news agency. Existing EU laws on human rights stipulate that asylum seekers awaiting a ruling on their cases can only be deported to countries that meet certain conditions: safety from threat and persecution; humane reception conditions; and at least partial access to medical care, education and the labor market. Some parts of this “clearly exceed” the basic safeguards stipulated by the Geneva convention on refugees and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, the document said.

February 22. The Bavarian government approved a ban on full-face veils “in the fields of civil service, universities, schools, kindergartens, in the fields of public general safety and order, and at elections.” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the measure was necessary because women wearing a niqab or burqa were hindering communication and public safety. “A communicative exchange takes place not only through speech, but also through looks, expressions, and gestures,” Hermann said. “It forms the foundation of our interpersonal relationships and is the basis of our society and free and democratic order.”

February 25. In Euskirchen, a 32-year-old German-Turkish man stabbed to death his former girlfriend, a 32-year-old German woman who had begun dating someone else.

February 26. There were 3,533 reported attacks on refugees and asylum shelters in Germany in 2016, an average of nearly ten attacks a day, according to the Interior Ministry; 560 people, including 43 children were injured in the attacks.

January 28. Abubaker C., a 27-year-old Pakistani man, was sentenced to life in prison for strangling 70-year-old Maria Müller in her bed in Bad Friedrichshall, and then painting verses from the Koran on her bedroom walls. Prosecutors said the murder was religiously motivated: The Sunni Muslim apparently murdered the woman because she was a devout Roman Catholic.

MARCH 2017

March 1. More than 4,000 millionaires emigrated from Germany in 2016, compared to 1,000 millionaires who left the country in 2015, according to the 2017 Global Wealth Migration Review. Before the migration crisis erupted in 2015, millionaires were leaving Germany at the rate of only a few hundred per year. Most of Germany’s millionaires, citing deteriorating security, left for Australia, Canada, the United States, Dubai, and Israel. The mass exodus of wealth is hollowing out Germany’s tax base at a time when the German government is spending tens of billions of euros for the upkeep of millions of refugees and migrants from the Muslim world. The report’s editor, Andrew Amoils, warned that the wealthy are a kind of early warning system for society. Due to their financial status, education and international contacts, they can migrate more easily than others. Over the longer term, however, their exodus portends increased emigration from among the middle class, according to the report.

March 2. Abdalfatah H., a 36-year-old Syrian migrant, was arrested in Düsseldorf on charges of murdering 36 people in Syria in the name of the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadist group. He arrived in Germany with his pregnant wife and three children, aged three, five and seven, in October 2015. He had been collecting €2,400 ($2,600) a month in social welfare benefits since April 2016.

March 2. Administrators of the Johannes Rau Gymnasium, a secondary school in Wuppertal, asked teachers to prohibit Muslim pupils from engaging in “provocative praying” in public. An internal memo stated: “In recent weeks, it has been increasingly observed that Muslim pupils in the school building are praying, clearly visible to others, signaled by ritual washings in the toilets, the rolling out of prayer mats, and taking up certain postures. This is not permitted.”

March 3. In Mönchengladbach, a 32-year-old asylum seeker, Ahmed Salim, murdered a 47-year-old German woman, Nicole M., apparently after she ended a relationship with him. The man, who also used the alias Jamal Amilia, was arrested in Spain. In his asylum application, he had written that he was from Israel. In another asylum application filed in another country, he had written that he was from Morocco. He is believed to be from Iraq.

March 4. More than 900 people, including many women, left Germany to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to Der Spiegel. Roughly one-third have returned to Germany, while another 145 are believed to have been killed in battle. A state prosecutor warned that the returnees are especially dangerous: “They often have had extreme experiences of violence, are strongly radicalized and have few prospects in Germany.”

March 7. The German-language version of the ISIS magazine Rumiyah called on lone wolf jihadists to kill “apostate” imams in Germany and Austria.

March 8. A 22-year-old migrant sexually assaulted four girls at a public swimming pool in Oldenburg. Police said the man, who does not speak German, was suffering from “mental impairment, which makes it questionable whether he was aware that his actions were against the law.”

March 9. Fatmir H., a 37-year-old migrant from Kosovo, was arrested after he injured nine people, including two police officers, with an axe at the central railway station in Düsseldorf. Police said the man suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was in an “exceptional mental state” at the time of the attack.

March 10. An unidentified man brandishing a machete attacked an 80-year-old man in Düsseldorf. The perpetrator remains at large. In Hamburg, six people were injured when two youths with tear gas attacked a train carrying 50 people. Those also perpetrators remain at large.

March 10. Germany spent more than €23 billion ($25 billion) on the reception, accommodation, and care of migrants and refugees in 2016, according to Bundestag Vice President Johannes Singhammer. The average annual cost per migrant was approximately €11,800 ($13,000). In Berlin alone, the actual amount of money spent on migrants was twice as much as initially budgeted: €1.27 billion rather than €685 million.

March 10. The Bundesrat, the upper chamber of the German parliament, rejected a law that would have fast-tracked deportations to Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia by classifying those states as “safe countries of origin.” The German Constitution defines safe countries as countries “in which, on the basis of their laws, enforcement practices, and general political conditions, it can be safely concluded that neither political persecution nor inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment exists.” The decision, led by federal states with left-leaning governing coalitions, means that criminal migrants from the Maghreb will indefinitely remain in Germany.

March 11. Police in Essen foiled a jihadist attack on a shopping center at the Limbecker Platz. Essen Police Chief Frank Richter said he had received “very concrete information” on the plot to attack the facility, which has more than 200 stores and an average of 60,000 visitors on any given Saturday. Police arrested two Salafists from Oberhausen, including one who had fought for the Islamic State in Syria.

March 12. The number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees in Baden-Württemberg increased significantly in 2016. Statistics showed a total of 251,000 criminal suspects, of whom 107,417 were non-Germans, mostly from Turkey, Romania, and Italy. Of the non-German criminals, 25,379 were asylum seekers and refugees (up from 18,695 in 2015). They committed 64,329 crimes in 2016, an increase of nearly 20% over 2015.

March 13. The number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees in Bavaria increased significantly in 2016. Among the migrant suspects, Syrians were the most frequent offenders at 16.1% (2015: 11.1%), followed by Afghans with 14.3% (2015: 10.1%), Iraqis with 8.8% (2015: 4.6%) and Nigerians with 6.8% (2015: 5.4%). “The increase in crime in Bavaria in 2016 is mainly due to foreign suspects, especially immigrants,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.

March 14. An immigrant from Kosovo who has lived in Germany for 28 years and is an active member of the hardline Islamic Salafist movement demanded that the Meierfeld secondary school in Herford provide his ninth-grade son with a prayer room “so that he can perform the Friday prayer on time and without disturbance.” The man also prohibited his son from attending music lessons, which he said are banned by Islam. Previously, the man demanded that the Friedenstal secondary school, also in Herford, provide a prayer room for another of his sons.

March 14. More than 400 police raided a mosque in Hildesheim. The Interior Minister of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, said the Deutschsprachigen Islamkreis Hildesheim (DIK) was a “hotspot of the radical Salafist scene” and ordered it closed because it was “indoctrinating Muslims to go to Iraq and Syria.”

March 14. A 17-year-old Somali migrant raped a 43-year-old woman at a train station in Bamberg. A “southerner” (südländischer Typraped a 14-year-old girl at a playground in Döbeln.

March 15. A 40-year-old German man of Turkish descent stabbed to death his 34-year-old wife in front of a daycare center in Kiel. Neighbors said the couple, who were separated, had quarreled about moving their children to Turkey.

March 17. German immigration authorities are testing software that will be able to recognize the dialect of migrants to determine whether they are legitimate asylum seekers. Some 60% of migrants who have arrived in Germany since 2015 do not have identification documents. “The idea is to record speech samples from asylum seekers and carry out an automatic dialect analysis,” said Julian Detzel of the Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

March 18. Five Arab migrants were accused of gang raping a seven-year-old girl at a refugee reception shelter in the Bahrenfeld district of Hamburg.

March 19. Two Syrian asylum seekers, aged 17 and 23, stabbed two female passersby in broad daylight in the pedestrian zone of Dessau-Roßlau.

March 20. Three asylum seekers sexually assaulted a 34-year-old woman on a bus in Munich. When police intervened, the migrants attacked the officers. One of the migrants smashed his fist through the window of a store; another one was carrying a 25-centimeter (10-inch) kitchen knife.

March 21. Two North African asylum seekers were charged with attempted manslaughter after they pushed a 40-year-old man onto the tracks of an oncoming train at the station in Dresden-Zschachwitz. The conductor brought the train to a halt a few meters from the man, who was prevented from getting back onto the platform by the perpetrators, a 23-year-old Moroccan and a 27-year-old Libyan. Chief Prosecutor Lorenz Haase initially dropped charges against the men, concluding that there was “no evidence” of murderous intent. Haase reversed his decision a day later, after a nationwide outpouring of anger.

March 21. Three teenage Salafists were handed sentences of six-to-seven years in prison for the April 16, 2016, bombing of a Sikh temple in Essen. The judge ruled that the motive for the attack, in which three people were injured, was hatred of other religions.

March 22. The German Press Council (Presseratloosened its guidelines (Pressekodex) for reporting crimes. Journalists are now allowed to provide information about the ethnic or religious background of suspects or perpetrators of crimes if there is a “justified public interest” in so doing. Previously, journalists were only allowed to provide such details if it was absolutely necessary (begründeter Sachbezug) to understand the reported event. The change followed complaints from German media outlets that the former guidelines were difficult to interpret.

March 23. The Mannheim Labor Court rejected a lawsuit filed by a 40-year-old Muslim nurse who claimed that she was unfairly terminated by a nursing home after only one week because she refused to wash male patients. The court ruled that the employer was entitled to dismiss employees during the six-month period of probation.

March 23. The number of prisoners in Baden-Württemberg increased by 615 to 7,400 since 2015, and all 17 of the state’s prisons are overcrowded, according to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten. The reason for the increase in the number of inmates is the influx of migrants: The proportion of foreigners among the prison population increased from 39% to 46% in the last two years alone.

March 24. The Berlin Police Department established a special task force to investigate acid attacks. At least six women in the city were attacked with acid during the first three months of 2017.

March 24. A 31-year-old Afghan migrant with a hammer attacked a 59-year-old man riding a bicycle in Hamburg. Police said the attacker, who was found soaked in his victim’s blood, was “psychologically ill.”

March 24. A 30-year-old man shouting “Allahu Akhbar” and “you are all going to die” forced the temporary closure of the central bus station in Bamberg. Police said the man showed “clear signs of mental illness.” They added that, due to his illness, an arrest warrant was not issued.

March 25. A North Rhine-Westphalia police report leaked to Bild am Sonntagrevealed that police knew as early as March 2016 that Anis Amri, the 31-year-old Tunisian who carried out the December 19 jihadist attack on the Christmas market in Berlin, was planning an attack, but because he did not have a passport, he was not deported. The report stated: “Amri presents a threat in the form of a suicide attack. The commission of a terrorist attack by Amri is expected.”

March 28. Humboldt University of Berlin announced it will open an Islamic theology institute. The objective of the program is “to impart academic foundations in Islamic theology for training imams and to qualify students for a school teaching post.” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller revealed that the institute is being paid for by German taxpayers: €13.5 million ($14.5 million). This government funding will secure the institute’s finances through 2022. Humboldt University President Sabine Kunst rejected calls for a joint “Faculty of Theology” for Christians, Muslims, and Jews: “The first step is to set up the Institute for Islamic Theology at the HU. We want this to be a success. It is important that this key project is not overloaded by a much broader idea.”

March 31. In Gütersloh, a 43-year-old Syrian man burned his 18-year-old daughter with a cigarette and threatened to kill her. When the police intervened, the father and his son attacked the police, who used pepper-spray to fend them off. The girl was taken into protective custody.

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APRIL 2017

April 1. A 14-year-old student at the Friedenauer School in Berlin was attacked by his Muslim classmates after they found out he was Jewish. Some 75% of the pupils at the school are Muslim, according to the Berlin newspaper, Tagesspiegel. The boy’s parents, who removed him from the school, accused the principal of failing to crack down on Muslim anti-Semitism at the facility.

April 3. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert rejected calls by several members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) for an Islam Law to regulate the practice of Islam in Germany. They demanded that imams be required to speak German and that mosques be registered. Jens Spahn, a member of the executive committee of the CDU, said that German authorities “do not know how many mosques there are in Germany, where they are or who finances them.” Seibert countered that religious freedom was “one of the central promises of freedom of our constitution.”

April 3. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court sentenced Marco G., a 29-year-old convert to Islam, to life in prison for planting a bomb at the central railway station in Bonn in December 2012. Three other jihadists were sentenced to prison terms of between nine-and-a-half and twelve years for involvement in a murder plot against an anti-Islam politician in Leverkusen. The trial was one of the longest in recent memory: 27 experts and 157 witnesses testified over the course of 155 days.

April 5. In Leipzig, a 34-year-old Syrian man stabbed his 28-year-old wife because she wanted a divorce. The couple’s two children witnessed the attack; they are being held in protective custody.

April 7. A majority (54%) of Germans said Germany should not take in more asylum seekers, according to a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann foundation. In 2015, the same survey showed 40% of Germans holding this opinion. “Many think a breaking point has been reached — the willingness to take in more refugees has diminished significantly,” the study said.

April 11. German-Muslim author Zana Ramadani was threatened with death after she published a book, “The Veiled Threat,” which deals with the plight of Muslim women in Europe. She applied for a gun license after German officials refused to provide her with police protection. Ramadani, a former radical feminist, described the Islamic headscarf as “a shroud of death for a free society.”

April 13. German prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Abdul Beset al-O., a 26-year-old Iraqi man who was detained in connection with an April 11 attack on a bus carrying players of Borussia Dortmund, a top soccer team. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said the man had joined Islamic State in Iraq in 2014 and had led a 10-man unit there. “The task of his unit was to prepare abductions, kidnappings, extortions, and killings,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The man traveled to Turkey in March 2015 and from there on to Germany in early 2016.

April 23. In Dresden, Shahajan Butt, a 29-year-old Pakistani refugee, murdered his girlfriend, a 41-year-old Vietnamese woman named Thu T. Police say the man, who arrived in Germany in December 2015, became enraged after he noticed that the woman had not posted any photos of him on her Facebook page, and suspected that she may have had another boyfriend.

April 23. In Syke, Murab B., a 32-year-old Iraqi man, strangled his 32-year-old wife, Mehe K., in front of the couple’s three children, ages one, two and nine.

April 24. The number of migrant criminal suspects in Germany increased by more than 50% in 2016, according to the Police Crime Statistics 2016 (Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik, PKS), the official annual report about crime in Germany. The report said that 174,000 migrants were suspected of committing crimes in 2016, a 52.7% increase over 2015. “It is alarming that our society is being brutalized,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said.

April 24. Jews in Germany face a “growing threat” from Muslim anti-Semitism, according to a 300-page parliamentary report by the Independent Experts Group on Anti-Semitism. “A big problem is the lack of public understanding that anti-Semitism is a current issue,” said Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Center and coordinator of the report.

April 27. Several thousand Afghan asylum seekers are claiming to be former members of the Taliban, apparently to improve their chances of being allowed to stay in Germany, according to Die Welt. Described as the “Taliban Trick,” the men claim they may be subject to torture or the death penalty if they are deported and returned to Afghanistan. German officials, required by law to examine every case, are said to be facing a “mammoth task” in determining which claims are valid.

April 28. The Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, approved a draft law that would prevent civil servants, judges, and soldiers from wearing Islamic full-face veils at work. Germany’s ruling coalition said in a statement that “religious or ideological covering of the face contradicts the neutrality required of state functionaries.” The law would also require women to show their face during identity checks. “Integration also means that we should make clear and impart our values and where the boundaries lie of our tolerance towards other cultures,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said.

April 29. Interior Minister De Maizière generated a firestorm of criticism after he wrote an article, published by Bild, calling on migrants to accept a German Leitkultur (guiding or leading core culture). He argued that Germany needs a “core culture to act as a common thread through society, especially because migration and an open society are making us more diverse.” De Maizière outlined ten core features of a core German culture, including the principle of meritocracy and respect for German culture and history. He added: “In Germany, we say our name and shake our hand when greeting. We are an open society. We show our face. We do not wear burkas.”

MAY 2017

May 2. In an unprecedented move, authorities in Hamburg confiscated six vacant residential units in the Hamm district near the city center and leased them against the owner’s will. The expropriation was authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months. The forced lease, the first of its kind in Germany, was said to be aimed at easing a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy.

May 3. A 29-year-old Afghan migrant stabbed to death a 38-year-old Afghan woman who had converted to Christianity. The attacker ambushed the woman as she was exiting a grocery store in Prien am Chiemsee with her two children.

May 4. In Freiburg, a 33-year-old Syrian asylum seeker stabbed his 24-year-old wife, a Kurdish Christian who had moved out of the couple’s apartment but had returned to collect some personal belongings. The couple’s three children — aged six, three and ten months — are now in protective custody.

May 5. A poll conducted for Focus magazine found that 52.5% of Germans agreed that Germany needs a Leitkultur (guiding or leading core culture). Only 25.3% of respondents were opposed. Respondents cited the German language, the commitment to the Basic Law, the equal rights of men and women as well as the rejection of radical positions which contradict the democratic basic order as the most important elements of a German Leitkultur.

May 9. A court in Kiel sentenced a 35-year-old Turkish man to two-and-a-half years in prison for shooting his estranged wife in both knees and permanently disabling her, in the hope that she would be unattractive to other men. The court heard how the man took his wife to the back of a local mosque after Friday prayers, accused her of offending his honor and shot her, saying: “Now you can no longer walk. You will stay at home.”

May 10. An 18-year-old asylum seeker from Somalia was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in a psychiatric ward for murdering an 87-year-old woman at a retirement home in Neuenhaus. Police said the accused entered the facility through an unlocked back door with the aim of having sexual intercourse with elderly residents. He sexually assaulted a 59-year-old paralytic, entered an adjacent room and sexually assaulted an 87-year-old man. He then murdered the man’s wife, who was sleeping in the same room.

May 16. After five months of deliberation, a government task force presented a list of what it considers to be the top 15 guiding principles of German culture. Encapsulated in the catchphrase “Cohesion in Diversity,” the list consisted of mostly generic ideas about German culture — gender equality, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, pluralism and democracy — that are not at all unique to Germany. The list did not mention German culture as being the guiding or leading core culture (Leitkultur), nor did the task force explicitly demand that migrants assimilate to the German way of life. Rather, the guiding principles appeared to be aimed at encouraging Germans to embrace the foreign cultural norms that migrants bring to Germany.

May 16. Ziyad K., a 32-year-old Iraqi Yazidi, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping two Chinese students, aged 22 and 28, at the University of Bochum in August and November 2016. Police linked the man, who was living with his wife and two children in a refugee shelter in Bochum, to both crimes through DNA evidence. “He has never shown remorse,” Prosecutor Andreas Bachmann said. “How could a person fleeing from violence and danger come to do this terrible violence to other people?”

May 17. In Pforzheim, a 53-year-old Tajik man stabbed to death his 50-year-old wife at her place of employment, a Christian daycare center. It remains unclear if the woman was a convert to Christianity.

May 18. In Berlin, Edin A., a 32-year-old Bosnian, murdered his former girlfriend, a 35-year-old German woman named Michelle E., after she ended their abusive relationship. He also abducted and tortured her 12-year-old son, who was forced to watch his mother’s murder. Neighbors said they had repeatedly alerted the police about Edin A.’s violent behavior, but the police did nothing.

May 22. A court in Hanover heard how Nurettin B., a 39-year-old Turkish-born Kurd, tied 28-year-old Kader K., one of his three wives, to the back of a car and dragged her through the streets of Hameln. Presiding Judge Wolfgang Rosenbusch asked Kader K., who was comatose for weeks, to tell her side of the story. “The horror,” she said, began immediately after their Islamic sharia wedding (the marriage is not valid according to German law) in March 2013, when Nurettin B. prohibited her from having any contact with friends and family. She was allowed to leave the house only for grocery shopping and medical visits. She was not allowed to have a mobile phone. Rosenbusch asked: “Does he have a problem with women?” Kader K. replied: “He believes women are slaves; they must keep silent.”

May 24. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, in an interview with Deutschandfunk Radio, said that Germans have a lot to learn from Muslims: “In Islam, many human values are very much realized. Think of hospitality and similar things, including tolerance. I believe, for instance, that for centuries Jews suffered less in Islamic countries than in Christian-dominated countries.” Schäuble claimed that jihadist attacks such as the May 22 bombing in Manchester, England, are motivated “by a misunderstanding of religion.” When asked if Islam is a part of Germany, he responded: “Once again, the phrase ‘Islam is a part of Germany’ is a sober statement of fact. Anyone who denies it, denies reality and is therefore not a suitable politician because politics begins with engaging reality.”

May 30. A 17-year-old jihadist was arrested in the Uckermark district of Brandenburg on suspicion of planning a suicide attack in Berlin. Police said the detainee had illegally entered Germany in 2015 and was registered as an asylum seeker. Since then, he had been living in an asylum shelter for unaccompanied minor refugees.

JUNE 2017

June 1. A Syrian migrant was stabbed to death in Oldenburg by another Syrian because he was eating ice cream during Ramadan. The murder, which occurred in broad daylight in a busy pedestrian shopping area, was an example of Islamic law, Sharia, being enforced on German streets.

June 1. The German parliament banned child marriages. The new law sets the minimum age for marriage in Germany at 18 years and nullifies all existing marriages where a participant was under the age of 16 at the time of the ceremony. The law also authorizes courts to annul marriages in which one person was between 16 and 18 years old. The age of consent for all marriages in Germany was previously 16, with 18-year-olds allowed to marry 16-year-olds in some cases. Nearly 1,500 minors living in Germany were registered as married, 361 of them aged under 14, according to the Cologne-based Central Register of Foreign Nationals (AZR). The largest group, 664 children, came from Syria followed by 157 from Afghanistan, 100 from Iraq, and 65 from Bulgaria.

June 2. Around one million non-Europeans living in Germany are now on welfare, an increase of 124% in just one year, according to the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). The top welfare beneficiaries are from: Syria (509,696); Turkey (276,399); Iraq (110,529) and Afghanistan (65,443).

June 2. The annual Rock am Ring music festival in Nürburg was temporarily halted because of a possible jihadist threat. Police asked the 90,000 visitors to leave the concert grounds in a “controlled and calm” manner.

June 3. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency to begin surveilling minors suspected of being involved with Islamist groups.

June 4. Mostafa J., a 41-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, stabbed to death a five-year-old Russian at a refugee shelter in Arnschwang. The Afghan, who had been arguing with the boy’s 47-year-old mother, was shot to death by police after a standoff. It later emerged that the man had a criminal history in Germany and should have been deported but was not. In 2014, he fooled a judge into believing that he had converted to Christianity and would be killed if he were deported to Afghanistan.

June 5. A study conducted by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a think tank affiliated with Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, found that half the asylum seekers in Bavaria subscribe to classic anti-Semitic views about Jewish power. Around 60% of Afghans, 53% of Iraqis and 52% of Syrians said Jews wield too much influence.

June 7. A 27-year-old migrant from Syria stabbed and killed a Red Cross mental health counselor in Saarbrücken. The attacker and the psychologist allegedly got into an argument during a therapy session at a counselling center for traumatized refugees.

June 9. Rashid D., a 32-year-old Chechen migrant, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for slitting his wife’s throat and throwing her from the second-floor window of their apartment. He was charged with manslaughter rather than murder because, according to the court, the “honor killing” was done in the heat of passion: the man thought that his wife had been unfaithful.

June 12. Sultan K., a 44-year-old migrant from Syria, was arrested at his home in Bullenhausen on charges of being a member of the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadist group. Police said that the man’s three brothers, Ahmed K. (51), Mustafa K. (41) and Abdullah K. (39), were also suspected of being members of al-Nusra. The arrest confirmed fears that jihadists posing as refugees have gained access to Germany.

June 12. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on three German states — Berlin, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia — to introduce random police spot checks. Local laws against “racial profiling” prohibit police in those states from stopping and identifying individuals. Hermann called it a “blatant security gap that urgently needs to be closed.” He also said he wanted to see random checks extended in border areas, around airports, railway stations, and rest-stops, as well as on highways that lead in and out of the country. At the moment, such checks are only allowed within 30 kilometers (20 miles) of German borders.

June 13. The newspaper, Bildposted on its website a politically incorrect film — “Chosen and Excluded: Jew-Hatred in Europe” — that was censored by the Franco-German television outlet ARTE because it showed Islamic-animated anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred in all walks of European life. Bild’s editor-in-chief, Julian Reichelt, said:

“The TV documentary proves the rampant, in part socially acceptable Jew-hatred, for which there are only two words: disgusting and shameful. It is suspected that the documentary is not being shown on television because it is politically unsuitable and because the film shows an anti-Semitic worldview in wide parts of society that is disturbing. Our historical responsibility requires us to decisively counter the unspeakable truth that this film establishes.”

June 14. A 33-year-old migrant from Syria stabbed and seriously injured his ex-wife at a supermarket in Cologne. He also stabbed his 13-year-old son after the boy intervened to protect his mother.

June 15. A 21-year-old migrant from Nigeria went on a rampage after the manager of a public swimming pool in Rosenheim repeatedly told him that hygiene regulations prohibited him from swimming in his underwear. After police arrived, the Nigerian attacked them.

June 16. Germany’s first “liberal mosque” opened in Berlin. The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque, which holds its services inside the St. Johannis Church in the Moabit district, was founded by a women’s rights activist, Seyran Ates, who has been hailed by some as the “champion of modern Islam.” The mosque, which allows men and women to pray together and the Koran to be interpreted “historically and critically,” caused outrage in the Muslim world. Turkey’s religious affairs agency, Diyanet, said that the mosque’s practices “do not align with Islam’s fundamental doctrines, principles of worship, methodology or experience of more than 14 centuries, and are experiments aimed at nothing more than depriving and ruining religion.” Ates, the mosque’s female imam, is now under 24-hour police protection.

Seyran Ates, a women’s rights activist who has been hailed by some as the “champion of modern Islam,” recently opened Germany’s first “liberal mosque” in Berlin, and serves as its imam. Due to the outrage, this caused in the Muslim world, Ates is now under 24-hour police protection. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

June 17. A peace march organized by German Muslim groups in Cologne to condemn terrorism and violence in the name of Islam had a very low turnout. Organizers had expected at least 10,000 participants, but actual turnout was estimated at between several hundred to a few thousand. Germany’s largest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union (DITIB), refused to take part in the march because it would “send the wrong signal to suggest that Muslims were mainly responsible for international terrorism.”

June 18. The parents of a student at the Kronwerk Gymnasium, a school in Rendsburg, were ordered to appear in court because they refused to allow their child to visit a nearby mosque as part of a geography class. The parents, who are not religious, said they did not want their child to be exposed to “religious indoctrination.” No one could be compelled to enter a religious building against his or her own free will, they argued. The school insisted that the visit to the mosque was compulsory: Each parent was fined €150 ($175), which they refused to pay. The mosque in question belongs to the Milli-Görüs movement (IGMG), one of Europe’s largest Islamist organizations. According to Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, the movement is extremist and virulently anti-Semitic.

June 18. Local authorities in Hereford reportedly covered up information about the rape of a ten-year-old girl at a refugee shelter in the city. The girl, from the former Soviet Union, was raped by an asylum seeker from Ghana. Police and local government officials allegedly suppressed information about the crime for more than two weeks.

June 18. Muslims in Freiburg launched an online petition demanding that the city prohibit male supervisors from working at a female-only swimming pool in the city. The petition said that Muslim women who want a “break from everyday gazes” are unable to use the pool. The petition claimed that the “presence and supervision of male staff is deeply reactionary and sexist” and called for the “creation of a dialogue to promote mutual understanding and acceptance.” Facility managers said they hired male supervisors because of a shortage of female personnel.

June 20. Police in 14 German states raided the homes of three dozen people accused of posting hateful comments on social media. Most of the raids were said to have involved “right-wing incitement” while two of the raids involved “left-wing agitators.” The head of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA), Holger Münch, said: “Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threats or criminal violence to be found either on the street or on the internet.” Critics said the crackdown was part of an effort to suppress criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy ahead of the federal election in September.

June 20. Benjamin Idriz, an imam in Bavaria, called on the German government to provide language training for Islamic clerics so that they can become the “driving force behind integration and dialogue” in Germany. “The demand for imams is enormous, and too much time has already been lost,” he said. “We must begin before we lose the next generation.”

June 21. The parents of more than 20 fifth-graders at the Herder-Gymnasium, a school in Charlottenburg district of Berlin, boycotted the school because administrators refused to discipline a serial bully. The male student sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl and physically assaulted at least six other students since arriving at the school last fall. The school’s leadership refused to discipline the boy, apparently because of his migrant background, and instead lashed out at the parents for demanding a safe environment for their children: “We deeply regret the fact that because of a single populist exception among the parents such serious damage has been done to the reputation of our school.”

June 22. Aydan Özoğuz, Germany’s commissioner for immigration, refugees, and integration, admitted that only a quarter to a third of the so-called refugees in Germany will enter the labor market in the next five years, and “for many others we will need up to ten.” In an interview with the Financial Times, she said that many of the first Syrian refugees to arrive in Germany were doctors and engineers, but they were succeeded by “many, many more who lacked skills.” Citing statistics from the Federal Employment Agency, the Times revealed that only 6,500 refugees of the more than one million who have been allowed into Germany during the past two years are enrolled in work training programs.

June 22. Police in Lübeck said that migrants are taking over the illegal drug trade in Schleswig-Holstein. Since May, there were more than a dozen mass brawls involving Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians and North Africans armed with knives and batons. Some of those involved are known drug traffickers. “The middle level of drug trafficking is targeting migrants in the refugee shelters, promoting them as street vendors or couriers,” said Christian Braunwarth, spokesman for the Lübeck public prosecutor’s office.

June 23. A 37-year-old migrant from Syria sexually assaulted a ten-year-old girl in Tübingen. The girl was riding her bicycle when the man ambushed her from behind. Passersby who heard the girl scream rushed to her aid. Police said the man was a “prior offender” and was known to them. Also, a “southern-looking” man (südländisches Erscheinungsbildsexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman in broad daylight in Voerde, and a 17-year-old German-Turk raped a 17-year-old woman in Stuttgart.

June 24. An 18-year-old Syrian asylum seeker shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is the greatest”) injured four people with a metal chain at the central bus station in Lünen. The initial police report described the perpetrator only as “an 18-year-old” and failed to mention that he had dedicated his attack to Allah. Dortmund police provided more details only after being pressed by a local newspaper.

June 25. A police officer in Duisburg asked a man to move his car, which was illegally parked. The man refused and began shouting at the officer. Within minutes, more than 250 people appeared at the scene and began harassing the police officer, who called for backup. More than 50 policemen and 18 police vehicles were required to resolve what began as a routine traffic procedure.

June 25. Four Iraqi men sexually assaulted three girls, aged 13, 15 and 16, at a public swimming pool in Kassel. A 35-year-old migrant sexually assaulted two girls, aged 12 and 13, at a public swimming pool in Stuttgart. The man was questioned and released.

June 26. The Berlin Labor Court ordered the city-state of Berlin to pay €6,900 ($7,900) — the equivalent of two months’ pay — to a Muslim teacher whose job application at a grammar school was rejected because she wears a headscarf. Berlin’s Neutrality Law (Neutralitätsgesetz) prohibits teachers from wearing conspicuous religious symbols at state schools, but the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgerichtruled that a general prohibition of Muslim headscarves is unconstitutional unless there is a concrete threat to security. In February, the National Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg awarded a Muslim woman compensation of almost €8,600 ($9,800) after her job application was rejected because she wore a headscarf. The judges ruled that it was a violation of the Equal Treatment Act (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz).

June 27. A “southern-looking” (südländisch aussehenden) man raped a woman at a park in downtown Cologne. Two “dark-skinned” men (dunkelhäutigen Männersexually assaulted a 52-year-old woman in Hüfingen.

June 28. A 23-year-old migrant from Iraq was arrested in Immenstaad on Lake Constance on charges of being a war criminal. After the man — who arrived in Germany as a refugee at the height of the migrant crisis in late 2015 — reportedly threatened to kill a roommate at a migrant shelter in Böblingen, police found three mobile phones in his room. One of the phones contained a picture of him posing alongside the decapitated heads of six jihadists from the Islamic State.

June 29. Mohammad Hussain Rashwani, a 38-year-old migrant from Syria, tried to behead 64-year-old Ilona Fugmann at a beauty salon in Herzberg. Less than a year earlier, Fugmann had offered Rashwani a job as a hair stylist at her salon and German media praised him as an exemplar of successful integration. Fugmann and her husband Michael were said to have bestowed Rashwani with “infinite goodness and magnanimity.” Mohammad reportedly had found it difficult to subordinate himself to his female boss. “I am still convinced that it is 100% correct to help other people, but we have to admit that in this case, our attempts at integration have failed,” Michael concluded.

June 30. The German Parliament approved a controversial law to fine social media networks up to €50 million euros ($57 million) if they fail to remove so-called hate speech. The Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG), commonly referred to as the “Facebook law,” gives social media networks 24 hours to delete or block “obviously criminal offenses” (offenkundig strafbare Inhalte) and seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases. Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the measure to “end the internet law of the jungle.” Critics said the law will restrict free speech because social media networks, fearing high penalties, will delete posts without checking whether they are within the legal limits and should actually remain online. Others said the real purpose of the law is to silence criticism of the government’s open-door migration policy, as well as multiculturalism and the rise of Islam in Germany, ahead of the federal elections on September 24, 2017.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

The post The Islamization of Germany in 2017: Part I (January – June 2017) appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Report Details Scope of Persecution in the Cradle of Christianity

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:00

While Christianity traces its birthplace to the Middle East, that region has been arguably the most hostile area for the religion in recent years. A new report by the Christian charity group Open Doors has found that most of Israel’s neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories, are among the world’s most dangerous places for Christians.

Susan Michael, U.S. director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), told JNS that “Islamic extremism originated in the Middle East and is the main cause of persecution of Christians in the world today. It is a dangerous and violent ideology that must be stopped.”

Egypt

Egypt’s embattled Christian minority, which comprises roughly 10 percent of the country’s population and stands as the largest Christian community in the region, has been the frequent target of Islamic terrorism. Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta were struck by suicide bombers last April, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday. Last December, at least eight Christians were killed in a terror attack on a Coptic church south of Cairo.

According to the Open Doors report, Egyptian Christians suffer in “various ways” such as pressure on Christian converts to return to Islam, severe restrictions on building places of worship and congregating, and violence.

“Egyptian Christians have had significant attacks and pressure from extremist elements seeking to impose sharia standards on minority faiths, as well as from ISIS factions that want to use Christians as a useful target to undermine the Egyptian government and economy,” David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, told JNS. He added that the report “shows that people who want to make a decision to explore or practice the Christian faith face great cultural pressure, if not violence.”

Adel Guindy, the former president of Coptic Solidarity, a U.S.-based human rights organization that promotes equality for Coptic Christians in Egypt, told JNS that the situation for the Copts has worsened considerably under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi—despite his rhetoric in support of Christians and against radical Islam—and has reached “an all-time high.”

“El-Sisi is quick to blame it on ‘external forces,’ [but] it is in fact homegrown. It’s a direct result of a permeating hate culture that dominates the entire public space,” Guindy said.

“Furthermore, the ‘big violence’ events that attract international media’s attention are in fact a mere tip of an iceberg of systemic and systematic discrimination and persecution that amount to a state-sanctioned ‘war of attrition,’” he said.

The rest of the Middle East

Elsewhere, the Open Doors report noted that Christian converts in Jordan face “a great deal of persecution, Christians in the Palestinian territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank) are “caught in the middle of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and that “Islamic militant groups are the clear threat” to Syrian Christians.

“The persecution of Christians in Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian territories does not necessarily come from their governments, but from their populations who have been indoctrinated with Islamic theological teachings that are hostile to non-Muslims. It will take a significant amount of years of intentional education to change that attitude,” said ICEJ’s Michael.

The report identified North Korea as the country where Christians face the highest level of discrimination, followed by Afghanistan and Somalia. More than 3,000 Christians were killed worldwide due to their faith last year.

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Other Middle Eastern and North African countries that were ranked among the top 10 most dangerous places for Christians were Libya, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.

“Whether in North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, the Palestinian territories or elsewhere, the persecution of Christians has reached near-epidemic levels,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. “We urge world leaders and international organizations like the U.N. to bring this crisis to the top of their collective agenda and seek to protect endangered Christian minorities and all people of faith.”

The persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries presents a stark contrast to the world’s only Jewish state, where the Christian population has steadily increased in recent years to about 170,000, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Israeli Christians enjoy freedom of worship, and even regularly outperform their Jewish and Muslim counterparts in high school matriculation exams.

“The Arab-Christian minority in Israel is a minority within a minority and faces some challenges, but they are citizens of a democracy that protects their freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Michael said. “This is in such contrast to the Muslim countries around them, where Christians and their places of worship are regularly attacked. There is a growing number of Christians voluntarily serving in the Israel Defense Forces in order to protect their country and their freedoms from the forces of Islamic militants wanting to destroy Israel.”

Pence’s trip

Vice President Mike Pence is slated to visit Israel, Egypt and Jordan from Jan. 19-23. According to his spokesperson, Alyssa Farah, Pence is expected “to reaffirm our commitment to work with the U.S.’s allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations.”

Coptic Solidarity’s Guindy said that Pence, who is a devout evangelical Christian, should take the opportunity to press Egypt’s El-Sisi on human rights and the protection of Christians.

“It’s certainly important to engage Egypt as a partner in the war against Islamic terrorism. But this should not come at the expense of human rights, civil society and upholding equal citizenship rights for all—including, and especially, Christians and others who do not belong to the Sunni-Muslim majority,” he said.

Michael said that Pence “should require that [countries where Christians are widely persecuted] educate their people to be peaceful and respectful of religious minorities by placing controls on their imams, school textbooks and the media; and make future U.S. financial assistance contingent upon them doing so.”

The future for Mideast Christians

Guindy said that recent trends “make it difficult to predict” whether Mideast Christians can survive “the current tsunami” of persecution.

“The picture is rather gloomy, and the fact that Christians’ presence in the Middle East has shrunk from one-fifth of the population a century ago to barely 3 percent today speaks volumes….Islamist pressure, coupled with the West’s lack of action beyond hollow words of sympathy, make it difficult to be realistically optimistic,” he said.

Michael is more optimistic.

“Leaders of Middle Eastern countries are currently doing a lot of soul-searching because of the violence and civil wars generated by extremism, and this should slowly trickle into Africa and Asia,” she said. “The challenge facing these leaders, however, is changing the hearts and minds of their people.”

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IAF Strikes Gaza Tunnel

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 18:14

Israeli Air Force (IAF) warplanes targeted a tunnel near Rafah in Southern Gaza near the Egyptian border which Palestinian sources claimed was a smuggling tunnel.

“The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF spokesman said about the attack.

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Earlier, it was reported that the Kerem Shalom crossing will not open Sunday following an IDF situation assessment.

This airstrike was exceptional in that most come as a response to More than 20 projectiles have been fired at southern Israel since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6. The IDF announced last week that more rockets were fired at Israel in 2017 than in the prior two years.

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Netanyahu Travels to India With Mumbai Terror Survivor

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 16:54

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making a political visit to India accompanied by 11-year old Moshe Holzberg who, as an infant, was saved from a terror attack in Mumbai that killed his parents nine years ago.

Rivka Holtzberg and her husband Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg(Photo by Chabad.org via Getty Images)

In 2008, a Pakistani Islamic terror group staged a series of coordinated attacks across India, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308. On attack targeted the Chabad House in Mumbai, a facility where Jewish travelers gathered. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka Holtzberg, who was six months pregnant, were murdered with four other hostages inside the house by the attackers. According to radio transmissions picked up by Indian intelligence, the attackers “would be told by their handlers in Pakistan that the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews.” Injuries on some of the bodies indicated that they may have been tortured. Moshe, who was two years old at the time, was saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, who now lives in Israel and earned the country’s “Righteous Among the Nations” award.

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In July, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Moshe when he visited Israel. Moshe told him, “I hope I will be able to visit Mumbai, and when I get older, live there. I will be the director of our Chabad House. With God’s help, this is my answer. Dear Mr. Modi,” Holtzberg concluded, “I love you and your people in India.”

Modi embraced Moshe in response. Prime Minister Netanyahu invited Moshe to accompany him on his next trip to India.

It was an emotional moment to meet young Moshe, his maternal & paternal grandparents and Ms Sandra Solomon, his nanny. pic.twitter.com/jI93JBSDp1

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 5, 2017

The Israeli prime minister kept his word and on Saturday night, Moshe leaves for India as part of the political entourage. The visit, marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, is scheduled to last five days.

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Uniquely Jewish Response to Terror: Build Up Israel

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 06:01

In the wake of the Palestinian terror attack that killed Raziel Shevach, a call has gone up among the Jews in Samaria to build up their communities, especially the town Shevach loved: Havat Gilad.

On Tuesday, Shevach was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting as he drove on the deserted highway. A conflict ensued when Shevach’s widow decided to honor her deceased husband’s expressed wish to be buried in Havat Gilad, which has no cemetery due to the conflict over its legal status. After a short dispute, the Israeli government relented and permitted the burial to take place.

Moshe Zar expressed a powerfully Jewish reaction to the tragic murder in his graveside eulogy.

“When Jews are in mourning it’s customary to say, ‘May G-d console you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem‘. When we build a new community or a new home in our country, we say ‘Blessed is He who ensconces the widow within her own borders’. There is no other consolation except for building. The Jews return from exile to the Land of Israel, which is called a widow, and builds it up. This is revenge. For every house built in the Land of Israel, it’s as if we liquidated ten terrorists. When we build a settlement – it’s as if we’d killed ten-thousand terrorists.”

Avigdor Liberman, the Israeli Defense Minister, was criticized by the left-wing after he stated, in response to the killing, that the government would consider legalizing the outpost. Liberman said that he will present to the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Subcommittee an immediate construction plan for 1,285 homes for 2018, as well as advance planning for 2,500 other homes in another 20 settlements.

His statements were echoed by other Israeli leaders. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, spoke at Shevach’s funeral,  calling for more Jewish building in response to Palestinian terror.

“You are the pioneers of Havat Gilad, the real heroes who are holding onto the land and building our country. Our enemies think they could make us abandon the land. We crush their hopes by becoming stronger, building communities and having children. You are doing your duty. Now it is the politicians’ turn to do ours,” he said.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked tweeted similar settlements, writing, “May God avenge his blood, will not be left without a response. Our answer will be to legalize the community of Havat Gilad.

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“Simultaneously, it is important to approve construction throughout Judea and Samaria,” she added. “They wish to uproot, we will build. The Palestinian Authority encourages and funds terrorists; we will make life bloom. The Palestinians will understand that murder of Israelis also hurts them.”

Because of its status, Havat Gilad is not currently hooked up to electricity and relies on a makeshift connection to the power grid. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Defense Ministry on Thursday to officially hook up Havat Gilad to the electricity grid. The move could be seen as a step toward legalizing the hilltop community.

Culture Minister Miri Regev strongly supported the move.

“It’s untenable that the widow, Yael, does not know when she will have electricity, when she can shower her children, or when she can tell the mourners to come to console her [due to problems with telephone coverage],” said Regev.

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan was pleased but felt the move was bittersweet.

“It is humiliating that we are discussing this at all,” Yossi Dagan added. “It should have been done a long time ago – it is privately-owned land, belonging to the people who founded the community. It is not at all clear why it’s taken sixteen years to legalize a town like this.”

Havat Gilad was established in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, son of Moshe Zar and security coordinator of the Shomron Regional Council, who was shot and killed in 2001. It is located on land allegedly privately owned by Moshe Zar who has been purchasing land from individual Palestinians. Selling property to Jews is a crime in the Palestinian Authority, punishable by death. Havat Gilad is considered an unauthorized outpost by the Israeli government and is on a list of outposts that Israel promised the U.S. to dismantle. The outpost was dismantled several times, but settlers have returned and re-established it.

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New Ami Horowitz Video Shows Little Difference Between Democrats and Communists

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 05:03

Gonzo documentarian Ami Horowitz asks young Democrats if statements are from the Democratic Party platform of Communist Manifesto and stumps almost every one of them, showing that Democrats can’t tell the difference between their own party and the political movement that oppressed and murdered tens of millions of people.

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2017 Marked All-Time Record for Tourism As More Americans Visit Israel Than Ever Before

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 04:12

While the world focused on Jerusalem, with many countries trying to deny the sanctity of Jerusalem,  so many more were drawn to Israel, to see for themselves the blossoming of the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin with Chinese tourists in the Old City of Jerusalem ( Photo Courtesy, Israel Tourism Ministry)

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin released a statement, reporting a massive rise in tourism over the past year.

“The year 2017 was a historic turning point for incoming tourism to Israel,” Levin stated. “More than 3.6 million tourists arrived here during the year, an increase of 700,000 tourists on last year. This is, of course, an all-time record – we have never before crossed the 3-million-tourist threshold. This is a direct outcome of an all-encompassing revolution in marketing policy that we have implemented over the last two years: principally, adopting an innovative marketing strategy, offering incentives to airlines to open new routes with significant incoming tourism potential and collaborations that have been created for the first time with the largest online travel agents in the world. The revolution in tourism in 2017 has made a huge contribution to Israel’s economy. For the first time, revenue from incoming tourism passed the NIS 20 billion ($5.8 billion) threshold, while creating about 25,000 new jobs.”

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This remarkable phenomenon seems to be the materialization of the prophecy in Zechariah.

“Thus said God of Hosts: Peoples and the inhabitants of many cities shall yet come—the inhabitants of one shall go to the other and say, “Let us go and entreat the favor of Hashem, let us seek God of Hosts; I will go, too.” The many peoples and the multitude of nations shall come to seek God of Hosts in Yerushalayim and to entreat the favor of Hashem. Zechariah 8:20-22

 According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the final tourism statistics for 2017 are as follows: 3,611,800 million tourist entries were recorded, representing a 25 percent increase over 2016 and 29 percent over 2015.  290,000 tourist entries were recorded in December 2017, about 17 percent more than December 2016 and 47 percent more than December 2015. There were about 308,000 visitor entries in December (including day visitors).

The United States remains the largest source country for incoming tourists, with 778,800 tourist entries in 2017, 20 percent more than 2016. The second largest source country is Russia (331,500), France (308,600), Germany (218,100) and the UK (198,500).

The largest increase in incoming tourism in 2017 took place in the two countries where the Tourism Ministry invested considerably in marketing – Poland (89% increase) and China (45%). There was also a 33% increase in tourism from Germany, another country where the ministry has concentrated significant marketing investment.

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PSALMS 23:4

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 03:19

We read in Psalms 23:4, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.” Israeli soldiers partner with God every day to protect the Land and People of Israel. The support of loving Jews and Christians abroad tells the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces that they are not alone, that there are countless God-fearing people who are thinking about them, trusting them and appreciating their role as the defenders of the Biblical and eternal Jewish homeland.

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Comedian Chris Rock Defies BDS, Performs in Israel

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:30

American comedy legend Chris Rock this week took his act to Israel, performing in the country for the first time before a crowd of 10,000 at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena.

The comedian performed Tuesday in defiance of calls issued by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to cancel the show.

“I’m loving this country. Israel, yeah!” Rock said in between raucous applause and laughter.

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Leading up to Rock’s Israel performance, the BDS movement penned a letter to the comedian alleging that the “Jewish-Israeli majority” considers non-Jewish African asylum seekers to be “cancer.”

Rock’s show in Israel was part of his second global comedy tour since 2009. While his performance in Tel Aviv was his first act in the Jewish state, he previously visited the country in 2008 with celebrities Ben Stiller and Jada Pinkett Smith for the premiere of the animated film “Madagascar 2,” in which Rock voiced the character of Marty the zebra.

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2019 Mossad Budget Breaks Record at $2.8 Billion

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 19:30

The 2019 budget for the Mossad and the Shin Bet is expected to break a new record: 9.6 billion shekel, or about $2.8 billion, most of it going to the Mossad, Kan News correspondent Gili Cohen tweeted Wednesday. The new figure represents an increase of almost 12 percent over the previous year’s budget. For comparison, the IDF budget, with more than 175,000 soldiers, hovers around $21 billion.

The news, ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet meeting Thursday morning on next year’s budget, follows a much cited appearance of Mossad chief Yossi Cohen at a Finance Ministry forum Tuesday, where he touted his agency’s efforts to remain the number one clandestine service in the world.

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“The Mossad has a responsibility to gain absolute superiority in the world of espionage,” Cohen stressed. “We can’t afford to be in second place – be it in manpower, in cyber defense, in our ability to obtain intelligence, in operations and the personnel running operations, in technology and command, and in dealing with staff welfare and human resources.”

The overall state budget for 2019 comes to 479 billion shekel, roughly $140 billion. It is expected to be approved by the cabinet by early Friday morning, without significant objections. At that point, the budget and the regulations bill, dealing with its point by point applications, would be submitted to the Knesset for approval. Both Netanyahu and Finance Minister Kahlon (Kulanu) pledged their commitment to getting the 2019 budget passed by the end of March, before the conclusion of the winter session.

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Report: Netanyahu Offered Obama Administration Palestinian State in Sinai

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:30

Four former senior Obama administration officials have reportedly claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to implement a two-state solution in which the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would be absorbed into Israel in return for the Palestinians receiving land in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula.

According to the officials, Netanyahu informed former President Barack Obama that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi would be happy to implement the deal, Haaretz reported Thursday. Yet one of the officials said that “by the time Netanyahu, [Secretary of State John] Kerry and Sisi met at the secret Aqaba summit [in January 2016], this idea was already off the table. No one talked about it in Aqaba.”

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office stated that the Haaretz report “is not accurate.”

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Last December, President Donald Trump mulled a proposal to create a Palestinian state in the Sinai that would significantly expand the territory of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported at the time.

Reports of a Palestinian state being established in the Sinai have circulated since September 2014. At the time, El-Sisi reportedly offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a state in the peninsula, but Abbas rejected the proposal.

“If you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will,” El-Sisi purportedly told Abbas in 2014.

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Turkish Professor Claims Koran Flood Story Tells of Muslim Noah Calling Son on Cell-Phone

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 08:12

A Turkish professor has come up with an amazing theory about Biblical Noah based on his understanding of the story as related in the Koran: during the storm, conversation was impossible due to the thunder and lightning so Noah kept in touch with his sons via cellular phone. The professor reveals even more surprising details but the story is no joke and has become the focus of religious debate between secular and Islamic Turks.come the focus of massive

Professor Ornek on Turkish television (YouTube)

Yavuz Ornek, a lecturer at the Marine Sciences Faculty of Istanbul University, was invited to speak on Turkish state-owned TRT television channel last Saturday on the subject of the flood story, which has an entire chapter of the Koran dedicated to it. In most respects, it is identical to the story as it appears in the Bible, but Ornek’s take on the story differed greatly from both versions.

Ornek was discussing the section of the Koran’s version of the flood story in which one of Noah’s sons, who was a disbeliever, refused to come aboard the Ark. The son climbed a mountain but as the floodwaters rose, he spoke to his father and repented.  

“The Koran says the waves were as high as mountains, so if Noah spoke with his son, his son must be sitting on the top of another mountain,” Ornek said in the televised interview. “The Koran says they spoke, but to talk between two mountains with hundreds of kilometers apart, they must have had mobile phones, and Noah’s son must have boarded an aerial vehicle to reach his father.”

Ornek explained his theory, saying that technologies were much more advanced 10,000 years ago than most people realize. Noah, referred to as Nûḥ ibn Lamech ibn Methuselah  in the Koran, also used advanced technology to build an ark out of steel that was powered by nuclear energy. Ornek also claimed that instead of bringing live animals onto the ark, Noah stocked it with one male and one female egg from every living species.

“I am a scientist, I speak for science” Ornek added, giving his theories his academic seal of approval.

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As bizarre as Professor Ornek’s claims may sound to Western ears, they were taken seriously by the Turkish public and became the focus of a fierce religious debate. Professor Efrat Aviv, a specialist in Turkey for the Begin- Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, was sure Ornek was serious about his theories, as were the listeners.  

“To say something insulting about the Koran, even as a joke, could cost this man his life, so it is unlikely he meant it as anything other than serious commentary on the text.” Dr. Aviv told Breaking Israel News. “I watched the interview. He sounded very convincing and clearly believed in his theories. The professor went into great depth and detail, making fine distinctions in the text.”

Dr. Aviv reported fierce debates on Turkish social media over the Ornek’s comments.

“His theories were extreme by any standards, Dr. Aviv said. “Most of the Turkish people who reacted on social media had strong opinions, mostly rejecting his theories, but some people were very supportive and defended him.”

Dr. Aviv described one anti-religious Turkish twitter comment that used Ornek’s theories to strike at religion.

“If you can believe in such a story as a crazy as the flood then it should be no problem to believe that Noah spoke on a cell-phone,” the tweet read.

“There is a religious conflict going on in Turkey,” Dr. Aviv said. “Even though this professor did not intend for his statements to be anti-Islamic, the furor that is the result of the interview is becoming the expression of this conflict.”

The story of the ark is especially provocative in Turkey. The flood story is common to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but anthropologists believe it has much more ancient roots in stories like the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh Epic. Noah is considered an important prophet in Islam as one of the first sent to mankind. For Muslim Turks, this story takes on a much more important aspect since they believe the Biblical Mount Ararat, the final resting place of the ark, is actually Mount Nemrut in Turkey.

“This is a Muslim debate in Turkey but it is actually common to all religions,” Dr. Aviv said, summing up the conflict in universal terms. “This is the conflict between religion and science, and the question of what are the boundaries of belief.”

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ISAIAH 40:1

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 07:06

After 2,000 years in exile, the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, the re-settlement of the Land of Israel has come at a high price. Israelis face consistent terror and violence as they try to fulfill God’s will in our Biblical heartland. Israelis have endured unspeakable loss of life, along with loss of property and livelihood. Israel’s most important weapon against terrorism is its people, because Israelis known that while they are in danger, they need to continue living to fulfill God’s prophecies. We read in Isaiah, “Comfort, oh comfort My people, says your God” (40:1). Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the souls of those who have lost lives to terror, and their family members who must face each day in the aftermath of tragedy.

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Jerry Seinfeld’s Anti-Terror Training Is No Joke

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 03:30

Jerry Seinfeld is getting heat for bringing his family to take part in a civilian anti-terror training course in Israel’s Gush Etzion while in the country for a comedy performance. The experience was just another sign of the Jewish comedian’s long-standing connection to Israel.

After appearing in Tel Aviv on December 30, Seinfeld and family spent ten days touring the country. Last week, the Seinfelds participated in a course for tourists held at the Caliber 3 training facility in Gush Etzion.

“Finally we are allowed to tell you! Jerry Seinfeld and his family were in Caliber 3,” the organization posted on their Facebook page. “During their visit to Israel last week, they came to us for a special and exciting activity with displays of combat, Krav Maga (Israeli martial arts), assault dogs and lots of Zionism. It was great.”

The course is for tourists, but the anti-terror training is quite real. Caliber 3, located in Gush Etzion, is the largest anti-terror training facility in Israel and even has a branch in San Diego. Yael Gat, spokesperson for Caliber 3, sees the tourist program as a national and religious imperative.

“We work from the imperative stated in the Book of Samuel,” Gat told Breaking Israel News.

He ordered the Judites to be taught [The Song of the] Bow. II Samuel 1:18

“In addition to the practical training, we present [participants] with the situations Israeli civilians and the IDF have to face on a daily basis,” Gat said. “We explain to them the ideals that are important to maintain while coping with these difficulties. We work hard to give the participants a better understanding of a Israel, in some ways far more realistic than the the average tourist.”

“At the end of the course, we present the participants with a certificate in a ceremony that includes singing Hatikvah (Israeli national anthem), every person in their language,” Gat explained. “It is very touching and many participants get quite emotional, walking away with a deeper connection to our country.”

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But the immediate negative reaction to Caliber 3’s post about the Seinfelds was so strong that Caliber 3 was forced to remove the post. Glenn Greenwald, who has been criticized for his anti-Israel bias as a journalist for the Guardian, was especially harsh, tweeting that Seinfeld visited an “anti-terror amusement park in occupied Palestine.”

Eric Thurm, a culture writer for the Guardian and Rolling Stone, tweeted, “I can never unsee Jerry Seinfeld gleefully posing with a machine gun at an IDF fantasy camp.”

I can never unsee Jerry Seinfeld gleefully posing with a machine gun at an IDF fantasy camp https://t.co/DVSykkOAXS pic.twitter.com/XseO2XPTkm

— meaning machine (@EricThurm) January 8, 2018

Steven Salaita, a professor whose offer of employment was withdrawn by the University of Illinois due to accusations of anti-Semitism, tweeted, “Jerry Seinfeld took his kids to play war games with the IDF. So cute, right? Now imagine the reaction if, say, Bella Hadid posed with the PFLP or DJ Khaled (brandishing a machine gun) hung out with Hamas.”

This was Seinfeld’s second time performing in Israel but his personal connection to the Holy Land goes back to a short stretch volunteering on Kibbutz Saar when he was sixteen years old.

Established in 2003 by IDF Special Forces Colonel (retired) Sharon Gat, Caliber 3 offers a wide range of courses, preparing security personnel, police, working with the IDF, and training civilians for personal protection. It also offers tourist programs that can include krav maga (Israeli martial arts), weapons training, urban combat paintball, combat rappelling, and wilderness survival. Included in the course is a simulated attack in a mock open-market.

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With Help Of Israeli Tech, Intel Rolls Out First Autonomous Car

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 03:23

Intel unveiled its first fully autonomous self-driving car at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas,, made possible by technology developed by Israel’s Mobileye.

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