1. Γι΄αυτό σ΄αγαπάμε Πρόεδρε!
‘We Are Proud of You,’ Netanyahu Tells Christian Soldiers
Dec 24, 2018
By: United with Israel Staff
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday attended a civil New Year’s event with Christian IDF soldiers at the Tel Aviv Palmach Museum.
The IDF has launched a unique program for Israeli-Arab Christians which enables them to integrate into the army and serve their country.
The “Nachshon Platoon” consists of 24 Arabic-speaking Christians who volunteered to join the IDF based on one motivation: to contribute to the State of Israel.
“We are proud of you; the entire nation is proud of you. You belong to the most moral army on earth,” Netanyahu told the soldiers.
Erdogan’s Latest Anti-Semitic Tirade
However, “not everyone shares this view. I was just exposed to the daily trolling of the anti-Semitic dictator Erdogan,” Netanyahu remarked, referring to Erdogan’s latest tirade accusing the IDF and Netanyahu of a long list of crimes.
Netanyahu accused Erdogan of being “obsessed with Israel. He knows what a moral army is and he knows what a genuine democracy is, as opposed to an army that massacres women and children in Kurdish villages and a state which, to my regret, is becoming more dictatorial day by day.”
The Turkish army has conducted several vicious campaigns against the Kurds in their region, while Erdogan is systematically chipping away at civil rights and other elements of democracy in his country.
“He is obsessed with Israel. But there has been an improvement. Erdogan used to attack me every two hours and now it is every six hours” Netanyahu quipped.
Approximately 20 percent of Israel’s eight million citizens are Arabs. According to the Israeli Democracy Index, a public opinion survey conducted last year by the Israeli Democratic Institute and the Guttman Center for Surveys, 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.
Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, [ΔΥΣΤΥΧΩΣ(!!!)], while their numbers diminish as a result of Muslim persecution in all other areas of the region.
IDF Chief of Staff: Israel Played Major Role in ISIS’ Defeat
By: Yona Schnitzer/TPS and United with Israel Staff
Israel’s contribution to defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group is “far greater than meets the public eye,” IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. General Gadi Eisenkot said Sunday while speaking at a conference on IDF Strategy.
“I can say that today. In recent years I didn’t think it was right to talk about [it], [but] Israel’s deterrence in the region is very significant,” Eisenkot said at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya in a speech that summed up his four years as chief of staff.
Eisenkot referred to the US’ decision to withdraw forces from Syria, calling it a “significant event, but one that must not be exaggerated,” as Israel has maintained its freedom to act in the region.
According to the Chief of Staff, the Russian military presence in Syria since 2015 has created a new paradigm, in which an open dialogue must be held in order to “prevent friction”.
“The Russian presence in Syria created a new situation and was an influential factor in the way we operated. The way we prepared allowed us to operate for the sake of Israel’s security interests,” he stated.
Eisenkot also spoke about the challenges posed by the Iranian presence in Syria and its military entrenchment in the country, calling it the IDF’s “central” challenge during the past four years.
“We’ve invested significant resources that the average civilian is not aware of. Unfortunately, the public became aware [of the IDF’s anti-Iran operation] when a Russian plane was shot down during an Israeli raid,” he said, referring to the incident on September 17, when Syrian anti-aircraft missiles fired at retreating Israeli jets and instead shot down a Russian military plane carrying 15 crewmen, killing them all.
An Intelligence Success
Referring to Operation Northern Shield, IDF’s campaign to expose and neutralize Hezbollah’s cross-border attack tunnels, Eisenkot said that “it’s not hard to imagine what would have happened if hundreds of Hezbollah operatives had entered [Israel from Lebanon] through underground attack tunnels. We detected and prepared for this threat in secret.”
The IDF also “acted successfully against the precision capabilities that [Hezbollah] tried to achieve and against their attempts to establish themselves on the Golan Heights front.”
With Iran’s backing and technology, Hezbollah has attempted to convert its mass rocket arsenal into precision missiles, but reports say that Israel has shut down the factories.
As for the terror threat in Judea and Samaria and the recent wave of deadly Palestinian terror attacks, Eisenkot said that “every year over 3,000 potential terrorists are arrested and hundreds of terror attacks are thwarted. This is viewed as an intelligence success that saves Israeli lives.”
Opinion: Israel’s Nationality Law Does Not Discriminate Against Minorities
By: Jagdish N. Singh / BESA Center
One wonders why there has been so much hue and cry over Israel’s new Nationality Law (July 19, 2018). After the passage of this legislation, protests were held in Arab towns across the country. At a rally in Tel Aviv, Druze spiritual leader Sheik Mowafaq Tarif lamented: “Despite our loyalty, the state does not see us as equals.” Several Druze officers threatened to resign from the army, and Druze Knesset members have petitioned the court against the new law.
Critics say the law discriminates against citizens of non-Jewish origin. This fear is unfounded. Indeed, there is hardly anything new in the Nationality Law.
The law declares the Jewish State “the national home of the Jewish people” and defines “the right to exercise national self-determination” in it as “unique to the Jewish people.”It declares “Hatikva” Israel’s national anthem and the flag and menorah its official symbols. It says Hebrew is Israel’s official language; identifies a “complete and united” Jerusalem as its capital; and names the Sabbath the day of rest. It declares that the State shall regard “Jewish settlement as a national value” and “encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”
Since its May 1948 Declaration of Independence, Israel’s primary mission has been to serve the Jewish people wherever they live. Israel’s Law of Return (1950) automatically grants citizenship to any Jew immigrating to Israel.
Symbolic Codification of Israel’s Jewish Character
Clearly, the new law is just a symbolic codification of Israel’s Jewish character in the face of persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish right to statehood and recurrent international voices in this vein. Anyone with any awareness of today’s international realities can see that this codification is necessary to protect the very existence of the Jews. Anti-Semitism runs deep in most Arab states, with Arab leaderships often whipping up passions against Jews. Most of the Arabs even within Israel treat Jews as outsiders. In the Western states, too, anti-Semitism has never ceased to exist. British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refers to anti-Israel, genocidal terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “brothers” and “friends,” respectively. Familiar canards are once again being spread about Jews in the West, including the accusation that they are more loyal to Israel than to the countries they live in. Another holds that the Jews exercise a disproportionate influence over the business world, the international financial markets, the US government, and the global media.
The Jews have suffered and wandered for millennia on account of their religion and peoplehood. They had no place to stay with honor and dignity after most of them were driven away from their homeland in ancient times. After a tortuous millenarian struggle, they have returned to their ancestral homeland in Israel. They cannot afford to lose their permanent home.
Israel’s Declaration of Independence assures development for the benefit of all its inhabitants and the equality of social and political rights for all, irrespective of religion, race, or sex. The new law does not impair this principle. It is not directed against the country’s non-Jewish citizens. It clearly states that Arabic has special status, something that doesn’t exist in any non-Arab majority state. It also gives non-Jews the formal right to observe their own days of rest on their Sabbaths and holidays.
Non-Jewish citizens should bear in mind that the Nationality Bill is intended to define the national character of Israel. Along with it, there is another law – the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty – which ensures civil equality of all Israel’s citizens regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation. Both laws have equal standing and are constitutional complements of each other – one in the realm of national identity and the other in the realm of civil equality.
Jagdish N. Singh is an Indian journalist based in New Delhi.
No Deal Will Reduce 40 Security Programmes & UK Soft Power – Defence Minister
An MP in the UK Ministry of Defence has spoken out against a no-deal Brexit and warned severing ties with the European Union without an agreement in place would have implications for national security.
Tobias Ellwood, one of the defence ministers, has become the latest official to publicly express opposition to a no-deal Brexit.
“Leaving without a deal would mean access to around 40 international security programmes would be significantly reduced. Exchanges of critical intelligence data would halt until new arrangements are in place. We would immediately reduce our ability to tackle threats from terrorism to cybercrime, modern slavery to fraud,” Mr. Ellwood said in a Times interview.
Arguing that Britain’s reputation would suffer, he recalled the UK PM’s Florence speech, in which Theresa May said failure to reach a deal with the EU “would be a failure in the eyes of history and a damaging blow to the future of our continent.”
Referring to Britain’s soft power – a concept championed by the staunch Brexiteer Boris Johnson – the defence official argued it would be damage as a consequence of a clean EU exit.
“A no-deal would damage our soft power at the very time threats to the world order on multiple fronts require strong nations to defend the international rule book. To deliberately pursue no deal over the government’s deal would be an act of folly. No deal is simply not an option,” Mr. Ellwood argued.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, left, walks ahead of European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier prior to a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at EU headquarters in Brussels, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
Next month, the PM will appeal to the members of the parliament in hopes of enlisting their support for her Brexit withdrawal agreement. If Mrs. May succeeds and secures parliamentary approval for her deal, it would prevent a disorderly exit from the European Union in March 2019.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (C) chairs a meeting of her Cabinet at Sage Gateshead, in Gateshead, north-east England on July 23, 2018.
Should the PM fail to get the MPs’ backing, it may lead to a second referendum or a no-deal Brexit all together.
5. ΟΙ ΦΙΛΟΙ ΤΟΥ… ΡΤΕ!.. (Διαβάστε)
Ousted Pakistani premier Sharif sentenced to seven years in jail for graft
Mon Dec 24, 2018
A Pakistani court has jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for seven years on graft charges and fined him $25 million for corruption, the latest conviction in a series of allegations which saw him ousted from power last year.
The anti-corruption court said in its ruling on Monday that Sharif was unable to prove the source of income that led to his ownership of the al-Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia.
The three-time prime minister was found to have been unable to demonstrate that his family had acquired the steel mill legitimately.
Sharif was taken into custody and will be sent to a prison in the city of Lahore, state-run Pakistan Television reported.
Ahead of the verdict, Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supporters clashed outside the courthouse, with police firing tear gas against stone-throwing protesters.
Reacting to the ruling, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who succeeded Sharif last year, told reporters outside the courthouse in Islamabad that the PML-N would appeal the verdict but would “not resort to violence”.
“Appeal is our right, we will protest but will remain peaceful,” he said.
Daniyal Aziz, a former lawmaker from Sharif’s party, described the verdict as “the weaponization of anti-corruption.”
“With each passing day an expression of a double standard is coming forward from the NAB,” Aziz said, referring to the watchdog National Accountability Bureau that charged Sharif.
Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was removed from office and disqualified from politics for life by the Supreme Court last year.
Sharif was sentenced to ten years in prison on July 6 in a corruption case linked to his family’s purchase of upscale flats in London. His daughter, widely seen as his political heir, received a seven-year prison sentence.
On July 13, the ousted premier and his daughter were arrested upon arrival in the country ahead of the July 25 general elections.
He was released in September after a court suspended his sentence pending an appeal hearing.
The Sharif clan and their supporters have repeatedly denied allegations of corruption, suggesting the three-time premier is the victim of a conspiracy driven by Pakistan’s powerful military establishment.
The former prime minister has censured the court proceedings as politically-motivated and a judicial witch hunt. He accused the military and courts of working together to end his political career and destabilize his PML-N party.
Sharif was once a favorite of Pakistan’s powerful generals but had a falling out and clashed with the military. The military, which has ruled the country for almost half its history, has denied exerting any influence over the court proceedings.
Sharif has been prime minister three times but power has been a rough ride. He was first expelled from office in 1993 on suspicion of corruption. He won an election in 1997, only to be ousted and exiled after a military coup in 1999.
He returned to Pakistan in 2007 and took power once more in 2013 until his ousting last year.
Sharif lost the 2018 general elections to the rival Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI), led by former cricket champion and current Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan’s election campaign platform was focused on fighting corruption and tackling the country’s financial crisis.
Eski Mossad Başkanı’ndan dikkat çeken Rusya ve Trump açıklaması
Eski Mossad Başkanı seçimlerde Rusya‘nın Trump’ı başkanlık için uygun gördüğü ve seçimleri etkilediğini söyledi.
Eski Mossad Başkanı Tamir Pardo Rusya ve Trump’a dair önemli açıklamalarda bulundu. Pardo, “Rusya, Trump’ın kendileri açısından en uygun aday olduğuna karar verdiler ve onun başkanlığa ulaşması için çalıştılar“ dedi.
Haaretz’in haberine göre eski Mossad başkanı, ‘Rusya’nın 2016 ABD seçimlerini Donald Trump’ın lehine etkilemek için on binlerce bot hesap kullandığını, ancak bunu Trump’ın Rusya’nın en iyi dostu olduğu için değil bambaşka sebeplerden dolayı yaptığını’ söyledi. The Marker’in dijital konferansında konuşan Pardo, Rusların en basit tabiriyle ‘kendileri için en avantajlı olacak adayı desteklemeyi seçtiklerini‘ belirtti.
Pardo, Washington’daki siyasi haritaya baktıklarını ve Rusya‘nın “Beyaz Saray’da hangi adayın oturmasını isteriz? Hedeflerimizi gerçekleştirmemize kim yardım edecek?” düşünceleriyle Trump’ı desteklediklerini açıkladı.
Ξαναρωτάμε, διότι έχουμε ασχοληθεί με το θέμα, απ’ την πρώτη στιγμή που ενέσκυψε στην επικαιρότητα:
“Να πιστέψουμε ότι οι Η.Π.Α. είναι τόσο… διάτρητες, ώστε να μπορεί ο οποιοσδήποτε τρίτος, όσο ισχυρός και αν είναι να επεμβαίνει και μάλιστα τόσο… εμφαντικά στα εσωτερικά της“;
α. PYD/PKK’lı terörist böyle yalvardı
Daha düne kadar “Türkiye operasyon yaparsa TSK’ya burayı mezar ederiz” diyen PYD/PKK’lı teröristler, ABD’nin bölgeden çekilme kararı almasının ardından “uluslararası toplum bize yardım etmeli, diyalog kurulmalı” naraları atmaya başladı.
β. Esed rejimi Arimah’a girdi
Esed rejimi güçleri, Münbiç’in batı kırsalındaki Arimah beldesine girdi.
YPG ELEBAŞLARI İLE TOPLANTI
Terör örgütü YPG/PKK elebaşlarıyla kısa bir toplantı yapan rejim güçlerinin konvoyu, görüşmenin ardından ilçenin batı kırsalında yer alan Arimah beldesine yöneldi.
PAZARLIK İDDİASI DOĞRULANDI
Arimah beldesi, Münbiç’in batısıyla Fırat Kalkanı Harekatı bölgesi arasında bulunan cephe hattında yer alıyor. Münbiç’in diğer bölgelerinde YPG/PKK işgali sürerken, ABD’nin yakın zamanda ilçedeki askerlerini çekmesi bekleniyor.
ABD ASKERİ SACU ÇAYI KIYISINDA
ABD askerleri, Münbiç ilçe merkezi ve kuzeyinde Fırat Kalkanı Harekatı bölgesiyle cephe hattı durumundaki Sacu çayı kıyısında konuşlanmış durumda.
Şanlıurfa’nın Ceylanpınar ilçesi karşısında bulunan Suriye‘nin Haseke iline bağlı Rasulayn ilçesinin çevresine PKK/YPG’li teröristler tarafından hendek kazıldı. Tamamen izole hale gelen ilçede teröristlerin halkın ayrılmasını izin vermediği iddia edildi.
γ. Esed rejiminin PKK hamlesi operasyonu etkiler mi?
Esed rejimine bağlı silahlı güçler, PKK terör örgütünün işgalindeki Münbiç’in batısında yer alan Arima beldesine girdi. PKK teröristlerinin çekilmesiyle bölgeye rejimin girmesi neyi ifade ediyor?
Münbiç’teki hareketliliğin temelinde iki önemli gelişme var. Biri Türkiye’nin Fırat‘ın batısına yönelik operasyon ilanı diğeri de Amerikan askerlerinin Suriye’den çekilme kararı.
Peş peşe meydana gelen bu gelişmeler sonrası PKK terör örgütü Esed rejimiyle temasa geçti. Bir dizi görüşmeler yapıldı.
ÖSO TAM MÜNBİÇ’E İLERLERKEN REJİM ASKERLERİ ORTAYA ÇIKTI
Türkiye’nin operasyondaki ilk hedefi Münbiç. Münbiç tam Fırat’ın batısında kalan son nokta. Özgür Suriye Ordusu son 24 saatte Münbiç’i kuşatmaya yönelik büyük bir harekat başlattı. İşte tam bu sırada PKK-Esed rejimi arasındaki anlaşma sahaya sürüldü. PKK teröristleri Münbiç’in batısındaki Arima beldesinden çekildi, buraya rejim askerleri giriş yaptı.
REJİMİN BU MÜDAHALESİ NE ANLAMA GELİYOR?
PKK’ın kaçıp rejime bıraktığı yer Fırat’ın doğusu değil batı yakasında kalıyor. Rejimin buraya girmesi ÖSO’ya karşı bir ön alma hazırlığı olarak dikkat çekiyor. Rejim Münbiç’in batısında yer alan bir beldeyi ele geçirmiş olabilir ama bu rejimin Münbiç’i alması anlamına gelmiyor.
PKK TERÖR ÖRGÜTÜ NE YAPMAYA ÇALIŞIYOR?
PKK terör örgütü Münbiç’in merkezini değil batısındaki kırsalda yer alan bir beldeyi rejime bıraktı. Bölge Münbiç yolu üzerinde yer alıyor. Terör örgütü burada ÖSO ile rejimin karşı karşıya gelme ihtimalini hesaplamış olabilir.
REJİM İLERLERLERSE NE OLUR?
Esed’e bağlı güçler Münbiç’in batısıyla yetinmeyip, PKK’nın da boşaltmasıyla Münbiç’e kadar ilerlerse Türkiye’nin operasyonu ne olur? Bu çok sorulan bir soru. PKK’nın önceliği Münbiç’i bırakmak değil Münbiç’in etrafını rejime bırakıp, ÖSO ile rejimi karşı karşıya getirmek. Eğer bu olmaz da PKK Münbiç’i de bırakmak zorunda kalırsa rejim burada PKK’nın yardımına gidebilir.
AFRİN’DE DE BENZERİ OLMUŞTU
PKK-rejim arasındaki bu işbirliği geçtiğimiz Ocak ayındaki Zeytin Dalı harekatında da yaşanmıştı. Öso Afrin’de PKK’yı köşeye sıkıştırınca terör örgütü rejimden yardım istemiş, Esed’e bağlı silahlı gruplar güneyden Afrin’e girmeye kalkmış daha ilk teşebbüslerinde Türk askerinin havan toplu müdahalesiyle kaçmak zorunda kalmışlardı. Hatta rejime yakınlığıyla bilinen Lübnan merkezli Al Mayaden televizyonu o anları canlı olarak yayınlamıştı.
AFRİN’DE DE DESTEK OLMUŞLARDI
Afrin’deki PKK’lı teröristlere yardıma gelen rejim askerleri böyle püskürtülmüştü;
PKK’NIN BU HAMLELERİ UZUN ÖMÜRLÜ OLMAZ
Afrin’de ortaya çıkan tablo PKK’nın medet umduğu rejimin aslında kendine bile faydası olmadığının göstergesiydi. Rejim yıllardır Fırat’ın doğusunda yok. Bu süreçte PKK Fırat’ın doğusunda Esed’le işbirliğine girse de kendileri adına olumlu bir sonuç almaları çok zor.
PKK-REJİM HEM İŞBİRLİĞİ YAPAR HEM ÇATIŞABİLİR
Kaldı ki Kamışlı, Haseki gibi bölgeler rejim tarafından 2011 sonrası PKK teröristlerine teslim edilmişti. Ve bu süreçte bir çok kez rejim askerleriyle PKK teröristleri arasında Kamışlı’da her iki taraftan onlarca kişinin öldüğü çatışmalar yaşanmıştı. Benzer durum Deyruzzor için de geçerli. İki taraf Deyruzzor’da da bir çok kez çatışmaya girdi halen o bölgedeki gerginlik devam etmekte.
Pompeo asks Baghdad to deploy soldiers 70km inside Syria
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when he called Iraqi PM Adil Abdul -Mahdi to inform him of Washington’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, asked him to deploy Iraqi soldiers 70km inside NE Syria to fill the gap. Iraq has already deployed additional forces to its border with Syria against infiltration (as DEBKAfile first reported on Dec. 22). Pompeo said the US would provide air cover. Iraq was also granted a 90-day extension on a waiver from sanctions that was granted Iraq for importing Iranian gas.
ε. Και η τ/πλευρά:
AN ISLAMIC CHRISTMAS GREETING: “WE ARE THIRSTY FOR YOUR BLOOD.”
Christians worldwide face another Christmas amid widespread Muslim persecution.
Shortly after the jihad massacre at a Christmas market in Strasbourg on December 11, Muslims who support the Islamic State (ISIS) told each other to “rejoice” and “give good news,” and threatened more Christmas carnage. And so Christians in the West increasingly experience what their brethren in Muslim countries have known for centuries: another haunted Christmas.
ISIS jihadis posted an image of Santa Claus kneeling, as if awaiting beheading, beside a masked jihadi, next to a cross through which a sword has been thrust, and which is gushing blood. The caption: “Do not leave your home because we are thirsty for your blood.”
Christians in so many countries know that very well.
Benedict Kiely Real Clear Politics reported last Tuesday that Christians in Iraq face a new threat from “Popular Mobilization Units,” who in the town of Karamles, near Mosul, recently blocked a road that led to a church, preventing the congregation from going to the church, and “also strafed the church with gunfire.” Kiely added that the local priest “told me that this was the second time his church had been attacked in the last nine months. One of the militiamen held a handgun to the priest’s face when he went out to demand that they clear the street and stop shooting.” Said the Iraqi priest of the Shi’ite jihadis: “They are the new ISIS. We are really vulnerable.”
According to Fox News, “In Iraq, the Christian population has decreased from 1.5 million in 2003 to fewer than 200,000 today. Much of this was the result of ISIS’ merciless reign of terror, which was buoyed by Western inaction in 2014.”
The Christian website World Watch Monitor reported in early December that “over 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in the past week and nearly 150 in the past month, as part of the government’s attempt to ‘warn’ Christians against proselytizing over Christmas.” These arrests could have fatal consequences: Lela Gilbert, a journalist who tracks the persecution of Christians, noted in the Jerusalem Post on the Saturday before Christmas that “in 2017, there were at least 517 executions in Iran.”
In Nigeria, meanwhile, according to Christian Today, “Nigeria’s president gave only a weak nod to the Christian communities being devastated by brutal attacks in his Christmas message to the nation. Despite thousands being killed by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in recent years, President Muhammadu Buhari played down the violence as he called on Nigerians to rebuild community relationships….The Christmas message is unlikely to appease Nigeria’s Christian leaders who accuse the authorities of turning a blind eye to the violent attacks being carried out on their communities.”
Likewise in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote on Twitter: “Wishing all our Christian citizens a happy and peaceful Christmas.” Khan said nothing about Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who was on death row for eight years for “blasphemy” against Muhammad, only to be acquitted by the Pakistani Supreme Court and yet still not freed, for if she were, she would certainly be killed by Muslims who have been baying for her blood and hunting for her house-to-house.
Nor did Khan say anything about the many, many other Christians whose lives have been destroyed by Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, including Qaisar and Amoon Ayub, who were sentenced to death for blasphemy in mid-December.
Then there’s Egypt, where the joy of the anticipation of Christmas was somewhat soured on December 10, when Muslim mobs screaming Allahu akbar “waged attacks against the houses of the Copts in the village of Kom al-Raheb, pelting them with stones and thumping at doors and windows.” What was the Christians’ crime? The Muslims “were livid that the Copts had a day earlier, Sunday 9 December, opened a new church building and celebrated Holy Mass inside.” Authorities sided with the attackers: “The police arrived and demanded immediate closure of the unlicensed church.”
Why was the church unlicensed? In Egypt, as in many other majority-Muslim countries, it is nigh impossible for Christians to get the necessary permits to build new churches. The ultimate reason for this is that Islamic law forbids Christians under the hegemony of Islam to build new houses of worship: “The subject peoples…are forbidden to build new churches.” (Reliance of the Traveller, o11.5). In Muslim countries where Islamic law is not in full force today but remains a cultural hangover, such as Egypt, this often takes the form of endless bureaucratic red tape that it is impossible to cut through. So all too often the Christians build the church anyway, only to have it menaced, or demolished outright, by a slavering Muslim mob.
In some areas, the demolishing of a church is the least of the Christians’ worries. All over the Islamic world, Christians know that some Muslims are thirsty for their blood. This is nothing new; indeed, it is a grimly recurring feature of the 1,400-year history of jihad. Western leaders, however, for the most part continue to pretend that all is well, and that their policies of mass Muslim migration pose no threat to Christians or anyone else. Before too long it will be painfully, bloodily obvious how wrong they were, but by then it will likely be far too late.
Trump names new Defense Secretary, outplays Erdogan’s bluster for marching on Syrian Kurds
President Donald Trump on Sunday, Dec. 23 named Dep Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan as Defense Secretary as of Jan. 1, 2019. By deciding not to wait for James Mattis’s departure on Feb. 1, Trump asserted his authority as commander in chief. In the same Tweet, he put the Turkish President down for his strident threats of military operations to “deal with” the Syrian Kurds and ISIS,” as soon as the Americans were gone. Trump: “I just had a long and productive call with President Erdogan of Turkey. We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area. After many years, they are coming home.”
In other words, the US was slowing down the troop withdrawal from northern and eastern Syria to such time as it suited the administration – not Erdogan and his plans.
(DEBKAfile revealed exclusively on Saturday Dec. 22 that the US pullout could take months and went on to negate Turkey’s plan to cross the Euphrates into E. Syria.)
Indeed, by a single well-calculated move, scarcely the action of a president ruling recklessly from a chaotic White House, Trump put Erdogan in his place and showed him up as a braggart, because the truth is that Ankara does not have enough troops or military assets to make good on his threats to cross into northern Syria, confront the Kurds in their capital of Qamishli, beat them down and seize control of all northern Syria.
This Tweet was Trump’s answer to a panicky phone call he received earlier Sunday from the Turkish president. Some informed sources in Washington report that Erdogan pleaded with Trump to slow down the US troop pullout from Syria. He had fed the media in the past 24 hours with the boast that massive Turkish forces were already massed in Northern Syria ready to head east across the Euphrates to finish the Kurds. DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose that the “massive” Turkish force consisted of a single tank battalion, nowhere near a threat to the battle-seasoned Kurdish militia.(Ό,τι ακριβώς σας γράφουμε απ’ εδώ).
From Saturday, Dec. 22, Erdogan, vented his frustration over the poke in the eye he received from the US president, by heaping abuse on Israel, a pet target.
“The Jews in Israel kick people when they’re lying on the ground… not just men, but women and children as well…as Muslims… we’ll teach them a lesson,” Erdogan told a Turkish youth audience on Saturday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu replied, “Erdogan—the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey– shouldn’t preach to Israel.”
The Netanyahu-Eisenkot no-war tactics may be the PM’s winning card – even against probes
On Monday, Dec. 24, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took a big gamble by leading a unanimous coalition decision to call an early election on April 9.
He could be crushed under the weight of multiple corruption probes, or he could sail through to his fourth term as head of government, breaking all records as Israel’s longest running prime minister with the highest number of wins at the polls.
Opposition leaders were clearly bucked up by the coming contest. Zionist Union leader Avi Gabay said: “It’s a straight contest between Netanyahu and me.”
Political commentators gave high ratings to Yair Lapid, as well as Education Minister Naftali Bennet, who failed to persuade Netanyahu to name him defense minister after Avigdor Lieberman quit, and the promising newcomer, former chief for of staff Benny Gantz.
However, the average Israel voter has most often been swayed by considerations of security when choosing his/her leaders. In recent security crises, Netanyahu has increasingly turned out to be of one mind with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot for driving a succession of crises away from major war confrontations into alternative channels. In this, he bucked his own hawkish Likud and the communities of Judea and Samaria. The Netanyahu-Eisenkot duo pair refrained from blocking these territories’ highways to Palestinian traffic, even after deadly drive-by shootings. They waved the Qatari dollars, derided as “protection,” through to the Hamas terrorist rulers of the Gaza Strip, instead of a routing them as demanded by Lieberman. And finally, Netanyahu as defense minister backed the chief of staff’s decision to go for Hizballah’s cross-border tunnels instead of its arsenal, knowing that Hizballah would weather the challenge unharmed and unbowed.
Both are criticized loud and often for using kid gloves against terrorists at the expense of the IDF’s deterrence and the country’s future safety. Nonetheless, Netanyahu broke with his natural political allies to stand foursquare behind the chief of staff. His secret? He had discovered in private opinion polls that 58 percent of the voting public were behind his policy of restraint.
Eisenkot retires next month. With campaigning in high gear, few will notice that his successor Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi will most likely continue his temperate tactics, especially under a re-elected Netanyahu, for as long as a full military confrontation can be avoided. The Netanyahu-Eisenkot partnership has in some senses allowed a new political bloc to take shape, which better suits broad strata of the middle and upper classes than the existing polarizing party setup. Maybe this explains why the prime minister consistently tops all opinion polls as the favorite to succeed himself, notwithstanding more than two years of police investigations played up day by day by the media. The reporting on an early election was also admixed with claims that the prosecution was close to indictments. Even so, the squeaky clean Benny Gantz, while his debut on the political scene is rated high, falls short of a direct challenge to the ubiquitous Bibi. A large segment of the voting public appears more inclined to leave the country in the hands of a cautious prime minister, even if he is proved to be corrupt, and a less flamboyant army chief, who are intent on keeping the country clear of the loss of life and destruction inherent in major wars for as long as possible, while conducting controlled, covert operations against enemies. Therefore, Netanyahu felt able to launch his campaign with his usual confidence, especially after learning that the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit. had chosen to hold back on an indictment decision so as not to influence the election one way or another. Barring sudden national or security catastrophes, Netanyahu’s chances of staying in the prime minister’s residence are fairly good.