ΕΠΙΛΟΓΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΥΧΕΣ!..
Φίλοι μου / μας!
‘Christmas’ Lights or ‘Holiday’ Lights?
The woke’s vocabulary is a weapon in their culture war.
I never had kids and when I look at Facebook friends’ photos of their own I realize that that’s probably a good thing. I am a graduate of the school of hard knocks. I know how tough life can be. Children’s dewy, defenseless skin, their huge eyes, the easy pleasure they take in puppies, dandelions, and bubbles, break my heart. As a parent, I’d be wracked by anxiety.
The other day, a grandchild photo, rather than making my palms sweat, brought forth from me a rare and hopeful smile. The towheaded toddler’s cherubic face, unblemished by time or woe, was illuminated by a white glow. He was holding in his two hands something he’d likely never encountered so closely before: a string of Christmas tree lights. The anxiety I usually feel when exposed to photos of children was replaced by the promise of joy and hope voiced in Luke’s Gospel. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them … ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.'”
Yes, the boy in the Facebook photo, like all children, armed only with limited intelligence and resilience, will naively march into a world boobytrapped with threats and disappointments. Yes, he will be rejected in love, fail tests, not be picked for the team or the school play or the plum job. He will, one day, thanks to a speeding car or meteor, a tired heart or some as yet unimagined pathogen, die.
Many belief systems insist that we humans resign ourselves: death is the end of the story. What was the point of it all? Life’s only point is the pleasure you managed to enjoy, however briefly. For Christians, suffering is never permanent, death is not the end, and mere pleasure is not life’s telos or its meaning. Those Christmas tree lights, shining in the darkness of night, are a material symbol of that light that transforms human lives.
I know that most people are not Christians, and I know that others draw forth hope and strength from a variety of wells, from work to family, from friends to art. I respect those paths. I offer this meditation on Christmas lights because we are in the midst of a culture war. Our Woke overlords would like to denigrate and then erase Western Civilization and replace it with a Woke Utopia. Before we surrender Western Civilization, it is important to understand it, and one of its three foundations. Whether we are atheists or believers, we arm ourselves in the Culture War if we educate ourselves about the Ancient Greeks, the Enlightenment, and the Judeo-Christian tradition, even in so small a manifestation as Christmas tree lights.
Light is a symbol for God found throughout the Old and New Testaments. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined,” writes Isaiah. In Genesis, God creates light before he creates the sun. Light as a concept, not just the sun as a source of light, is privileged in Genesis.
The most eloquent equation of God with light appears in the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Here God is “light.” God is also “the Word.” In the Greek original, John uses the term “logos” for “Word.” We encounter “logos” in “biology,” the study of life, and “cosmology,” the study of the cosmos. The PBS series “Faith and Reason” defined logos as “A principle originating in classical Greek thought which refers to a universal divine reason, immanent in nature, yet transcending all oppositions and imperfections in the cosmos and humanity. An eternal and unchanging truth present from the time of creation, available to every individual who seeks it. A unifying and liberating revelatory force which reconciles the human with the divine; manifested in the world as an act of God’s love in the form of the Christ.”
John writes of God as logos and as light. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
And that, in short, is why Christians make use of light at Christmas. Light symbolizes God’s incarnation on earth as a human; light come to mankind.
I smiled at the toddler holding his first string of Christmas tree lights because, rather than feeling my usual anxiety, I felt confident for him. I believe that faith strengthens believers, as described in one of Paul’s letters. “Put on the full armor of God,” Paul writes. Clearly, he is speaking metaphorically. At this time, Christians were persecuted unto death; Paul was not encouraging his readers physically to fight the Roman Empire. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but … against the spiritual forces of evil … when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground … with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
When I gazed at that barefoot toddler in his adorable little-boy pajama set, holding Christmas tree lights in his hand, I did not see a defenseless creature at the threshold of this vale of tears. I saw a human being armed with light in darkness and logos in an irrational world. I saw a boy gripping a material symbol for “the full armor of God.”
Christians believe that our lives manifest logos – meaning – and are illuminated by light in darkness. This conviction affects us. Churchgoing Catholics like myself have significantly lower suicide rates than the general population. Citing a JAMA Psychiatry study, the L. A. Times wrote in 2016, “Against a grim backdrop of rising suicide rates among American women, new research has revealed a blinding shaft of light: One group of women – practicing Catholics – appears to have bucked the national trend toward despair and self-harm … Among especially devout Catholic women – those in the pews more than once a week – suicides were a vanishing phenomenon.”
Not all religious beliefs or practices generate the same statistics. “Muslim adults in the U.S. were twice as likely to report a history of suicide attempt compared with individuals from other faith traditions, according to results of a survey … published in JAMA Psychiatry.” The study’s author was herself a Muslim, Rania Awaad, MD, director of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Those without faith appear to have higher suicide rates. According to The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, “Concerning suicide rates, religious nations fare better than secular nations … of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. Of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations … Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.”
America has been experiencing a demography-skewing epidemic of “Deaths of Despair,” that is deaths by drug and alcohol addiction and suicide. Some observers relate this epidemic to America’s retreat from religion. “There’s a spiritual void in America, a loss of meaning,” opines a New York Times op-ed writer. “Secularization is killing middle America,” pronounces author Tim Carney. “The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University has assembled a body of evidence that suggests that about 40 percent of the increase in suicides from 1996 to 2010 was attributable to declining religious participation,” reports Brendan W. Case. Princeton scholars Anne Case and Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton, whose work brings attention to deaths of despair, write, “We believe that much more important for despair is the decline of family, community, and religion.”
When I look at innocent, defenseless babies, with all of life’s pains before them, I tremble. When I see a towheaded toddler holding, as if they were a jump rope, a string of Christmas lights, when I see his face lit up like a candle, I think, hey, he’s in good hands.
I read the caption of the photo. My Facebook friend identified the lights the toddler was holding as “holiday” lights. My heart sank a little. My Facebook friend, if she posts about Christianity at all, posts to alert her readers to some Christian somewhere who did a bad thing. A pastor preached an obnoxious sermon; a reality show Christian was arrested on morals charges. This toddler, I fear, will be raised on a bigoted distortion of Christianity.
After I saw the caption that identified Christmas lights as “holiday” lights, I posted on Facebook that I believe in Christ and Christmas.
My friend replied. She said that Christmas lights are not Christmas lights at all. Rather, she said, “these *are* holiday lights.” The asterisk before and after the word “are” adds emphasis. My friend informed me that people from many religions have holidays. Use of the word “Christmas” indicates a lack of “kindness and respect.” To use the word “holiday” lights “is inclusive, not exclusive.”
I’ve celebrated Diwali, Shiva Ratri, Holi, Buddha’s birthday, Eid, Passover, the anniversary of the liberation by the Red Army, Burns Night, and various Wiccan solstices with Hindus, Muslims, Jews and others, in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I live in a city where the Muslim call to prayer is announced over loudspeakers, and where there were several historic synagogues, and Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Hindu houses of worship. My friend has lived her life in an area with virtually no Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or Jews, and with a one percent African American population. And yet it is my friend who must lecture me on diversity. So often Woke’s lectures don’t follow any real-world logic, but, rather, counter-factual Woke dogma.
My friend argued that it is “exclusive” not “inclusive” to speak the words “Christmas lights,” because, after all, lights on a string decorating a tree is a custom belonging to many traditions. Was her statement based on facts – and was it really “inclusive” – or was it representative of a Woke attempt to erase one chapter in the history of Western Civilization, by being as “exclusive,” and as divorced from real history, as possible?
The Library of Congress reports, “Before electric Christmas lights, families used candles to light their Christmas trees. This practice was dangerous, and led to many home fires. In 1882, Edward H. Johnson, Thomas Edison’s friend and partner, put together the very first string of electric lights meant for a Christmas tree. He hand-wired 80 red, white and blue light bulbs.” Smithsonian magazine quotes a witness of these first Christmas tree lights. “At the rear of the beautiful parlors was a large Christmas tree presenting a most picturesque and uncanny aspect. It was brilliantly lighted with … eighty lights in all encased in these dainty glass eggs, and about equally divided between white, red and blue … One can hardly imagine anything prettier.”
Smithsonian continues. “Johnson’s lights were indeed ahead of their time – electricity was not yet routinely available – and they weren’t cheap. A string of 16 vaguely flame-shaped bulbs sitting in brass sockets the size of shot glasses sold for a pricey $12 (about $350 in today’s money) in 1900. But in 1894 President Cleveland put electric lights on the White House tree, and by 1914, a 16-foot string cost just $1.75. By the 1930s, colored bulbs and cones were everywhere … it all started with Johnson’s miracle on 36th Street.”
Light is a symbol for God in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Lights on a string, used in December to illuminate evergreen trees, were not invented, as my friend wrote, as “holiday lights” belonging to “a multitude of religions and spiritual practices, including, but not limited to, Christianity.” Rather, they were invented quite specifically as “Christmas lights.”
When interacting with our friends on the left, it’s impossible not to collide with selective outrage. The left tells us that Christmas lights are “holiday” lights, but the left also tells us that it’s a very bad thing to “appropriate” someone else’s “culture.”
On April 22, 2018, Utah high school student Keziah Daum posted photos of her prom on Twitter. She wore a cheongsam, that is, a Chinese-style dress. Keziah, pretty, young, and fit, is drop-dead gorgeous in the form-fitting red dress with the thigh-high slit. Tens of thousands of outraged tweets followed. “My culture is not your goddamn prom dress,” read one. Keziah was a white thief, guilty of “cultural theft” from “BIPOC.”
In 2017, a Portland burrito shop was forced to close, and proprietors Kali Wilgus and Liz Connelly received death threats, because they are not Mexican. “These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting already marginalized identities for profit and praise,” The Portland Mercury said. “Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures are already treated poorly.”
Wikipedia defines “cultural appropriation” as “adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures.”
The very definition of cultural appropriation relies on selective outrage and morality-by-identity. One must condemn “dominant culture” members who make use of cultural products associated with “minority cultures.” No one condemns a black professor for teaching Shakespeare or calculus. Similarly, whites associated with the left are much less likely to be accused of cultural appropriation. The Beatles famously cribbed from African American artists. An online petition demanding that the Beatles pay Black Lives Matter ten million dollars in reparations for this cultural appropriation garnered only twenty-six signatures.
Keziah Daum, Kali Wilgus and Liz Connelly never claimed Chinese garb or Mexican cuisine as their own. Daum did not lecture Chinese people, “It is unkind to refer to the cheongsam as Chinese. Please be inclusive. The cheongsam is an American garment.” Wilgus did not tell Mexicans that they were being “unkind” and “exclusive” by claiming burritos. Woke appropriators of Christmas do insist that Christmas is not Christmas, but, rather, a deracinated, relativized “holiday.”
Cultural appropriation is related to another Woke concept, land acknowledgement. The Microsoft 2021 Ignite event began with a so-called “land acknowledgment.” “First, we want to acknowledge that the land where the Microsoft campus is situated was traditionally occupied by the Sammamish, the Duwamish, the Snoqualmie, the Suquamish, the Muckleshoot, the Snohomish, the Tulalip, and other coast Salish people since time immemorial – a people who are still continuing to honor and bring to light their ancient heritage.”
Land acknowledgement, like cultural appropriation, is a concept whose ethics apply only to certain ethnicities. No one expects contemporary Comanche to acknowledge the Apache whom they displaced. A nameless people once lived in northern North America from Russia in the east to Greenland in the west. This people disappeared as Inuit, a.k.a. Eskimo, moved into their territory. No one expects contemporary Inuit or other northern tribes to perform a “land acknowledgement” for the nameless people they replaced. No one would dare demand a “land acknowledgment” from Muslims occupying what had been Christian North Africa, the Christian Middle East, Zoroastrian Persia, or Buddhist and Hindu Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
Woke demands that white women who sell burritos in Portland be threatened with death for doing so. For whites to make burritos is “cultural appropriation.” Woke demands that Microsoft acknowledge that the land its campus occupies was once home to Salish Indians. At the same time, Woke insists that “Christmas lights” be dubbed “holiday lights,” belonging equally to “diverse spiritual traditions.” Woke exercises this selective outrage because Woke conflates Christianity with the West, and the West is bad, and the West must be erased in a cleansing cultural genocide. BIPOC are good. In Microsoft’s words, we must “honor and bring to light the ancient heritage” of the Muckleshoot, proprietors of “The Northwest’s Biggest and Best Casino.” Simultaneously, one must trash Christians. The Woke’s march to triumph tramples over the appropriated cultural products of the West.
But, you may be thinking. Christmas lights aren’t really Christmas lights because Christianity stole, or appropriated, Christmas from Pagans. If you think that, propagandists have successfully brainwashed you.
Early Protestant Reformers sought to discredit Catholicism. Some disseminated stories insisting that Catholicism was all just revamped Paganism. Though many Protestants came to embrace Christmas, celebrating Christmas was actually against the law in seventeenth-century New England. To Puritans, Christmas was “Papist idolatry,” that is, Catholic Paganism.
Hostility to Christmas among Christians did not die out when the very last Puritan, wearing a tall, black hat and a long woolen cloak, disappeared into the mists of history. Many fundamentalist, “sola-scriptura” – “Bible only” – Christians today are adamant that no Christian should celebrate this Pagan day. These Christians disseminate the same anti-Christmas myths that have been circulating for centuries. See, for example, here, here, and here.
What “facts” do Atheists, Christophobes, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pagans, and fundamentalist sola-scriptura Christians cite to prove that Christmas is a Pagan festival, “stolen” by Christians from Pagans? The following:
* December 25th was chosen as the date of Jesus’ birth because it was once the date of the birth of a Pagan deity, Mithra;
* Ancient Germanic Pagans brought evergreen trees into their homes and decorated them with baubles and candles;
* Santa Claus is based on a Pagan deity;
* Yule logs are a Pagan custom.
As is so often the case with “everybody knows” facts, none of these facts check out. That Jesus is Mithra, for example, is roundly rejected and even mocked by serious myth scholars. You can read more here, here, here, here, or watch this short video here.
Michael Jones is a prolific YouTube Christian apologist and University of Arizona grad student in philosophy. He has investigated the claims that Christmas trees, Yule logs, and Santa Claus were originally Pagan festival items. Citing ancient sources and modern scholarship, Jones argues that every one of these “everybody knows” claims lacks support. Christmas trees, Yule logs, and Santa Claus, whatever you think of any of them, were, Jones argues, first recorded as customs associated with Christians celebrating Christmas. Jones is interviewed here.
“Everybody knows” that early Christians selected December 25th to celebrate the birth of Christ because that date was a Roman holiday. Have a look at one listing of holidays in Ancient Rome. Of course, not only Roman Pagans celebrated holidays in Ancient Rome. Various imperial populations, Persians, Egyptians, Jews, etc, celebrated their own holidays as well. No matter what date early Christians selected, that date would inevitably fall near or on some Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Persian, or local holiday. That December 25th falls near some Roman holidays proves nothing.
The Bible does not report the date of Jesus’ birth, and the few things we know about that event provide no definitive clue. Shepherds were watching over their flocks by night, Luke reports. Readers ask when that activity likely occurred. Henry Baker Tristram was one of those Victorian polymaths – he was a clergyman, a Bible scholar, an ornithologist, and an early supporter of Darwin’s theory of evolution. During his travels in Israel, he noted that what little rain that does fall in arid Bethlehem falls in winter. This rain brings forth growth; growth that the surrounding hills cannot support during the dry summers. Only, he wrote, “during the winter and spring months … is pasturage is to be found on these bleak uplands.” Thus, he argues, it is quite possible that Jesus was born in winter.
Luke 1:5 mentions Jewish priestly divisions. These divisions entailed fixed terms of service. These terms may provide a clue as to dating. Dr. Alfred Edersheim, a Jewish convert to Christianity, used the information in Luke 1:5 in his calculations. He decided that the December date is acceptable.
Andrew McGowan is Dean and President of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School. His scholarship has focused on early Christian thought and history. In the December, 2002, edition of Bible Review, McGowan introduces readers to the scholarship of Louis Duchesne and Thomas J. Talley. Their scholarship showed that early Christians came to believe that Jesus was conceived on the very same date as the date of his death.
Jesus’ death date was relatively easy to calculate, or at least estimate, given the Gospel accounts of the Passion. Jesus died, they calculated, on the 14th of Nisan, or March 25th. Thus, Jesus was born nine months after that date, on December 25th. The idea that Jesus was conceived and died on the same date is not Biblical, and it is utterly foreign to modern Christians. But it did take hold among early Christians, as written records from that period attest.
This concept was popular among Eastern Christians as well. They, though, held to a different calendar than those in the West. Their dates were April 6th for Jesus’ conception and death, and January 6th for his birth. These different dates were informed by the same idea: that Jesus was conceived and died on the same date.
McGowan writes, “Connecting Jesus’ conception and death in this way will certainly seem odd to modern readers, but it reflects ancient and medieval understandings of the whole of salvation being bound up together. One of the most poignant expressions of this belief is found in Christian art. In numerous paintings of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary – the moment of Jesus’ conception – the baby Jesus is shown gliding down from heaven on or with a small cross (see Master Bertram’s Annunciation scene); a visual reminder that the conception brings the promise of salvation through Jesus’ death … The notion that creation and redemption should occur at the same time of year is also reflected in ancient Jewish tradition, recorded in the Talmud … ‘In the months of Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; on Passover Isaac was born … and in Nisan they will be redeemed in time to come.'”
Yes. Christmas lights, history shows, are indeed Christmas lights, not generic “holiday lights.” Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday; it was not “stolen” from Pagans. Yes, some Woke today would like to culturally appropriate Christmas as a relativized, deracinated “holiday,” and erase the true meaning of the day. And that’s not all. Our Woke overlords desire to appropriate more than strings of lights to claim as their own. They want the Biblical deity. They want to relativize the God revealed in the Bible into a generic deity, as Christmas is relativized into a generic holiday. Solstice is the new Christmas; sunlight itself is no longer a symbol of God, but the new god.
On December 21st, 2013, the winter solstice, I posted the following on my Facebook page:
“Light doesn’t care about you, my Pagan friends. It is inanimate. It is not sacred. It is insensate. It is impersonal … Seeking consciousness in light is really no more deep or romantic than seeking consciousness in consumer items. It’s a spiritual dead end. Humans are hungry. Light is not that for which we hunger. Light is only a metonym, a figure of speech, for that for which we crave that we associate with light. Our souls cannot find rest until they rest in that for which we truly hunger. We hunger for a consciousness that loves us. That consciousness is not light. It is something we associate with light. It is God.”
I was immediately denounced as a “judgmental douchebag” and an “intolerant inquisitor.” Stating that the solstice sun does not care about humans hit a bit too close to home.
Those who appropriate Christmas very badly crave the Biblical God. And so they re-invent him, in everything from the solstice sun to the TV show “The Good Place” to the phrase “The Universe,” as in “The Universe wants me to take the job in Buffalo.” “The Universe Has Your Back” promises the title of a 2016 bestseller by Gabrielle Bernstein, a scantily clad millionaire blonde. The Universe sent us here, Bernstein promises, “to be love and spread love.” In fact the Universe is an extremely cold, silent, and empty place. It has no consciousness with which to evaluate whether or not the job in Buffalo is a good idea, and no heart with which to care about you or your job. The Universe has no arms to support your back. The God who is love is unique, and he is found in Biblical verses, like 1 John 4:16.
Read Barbara C. Sproul’s Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World. You will meet the Zoroastrian Ahriman, who gives birth to demons by sodomizing himself. You will meet Egyptian Khepera, who masturbates, swallows his sperm, and spits out his children. You will meet Hindu Parusha, whose sacrifice establishes the caste system, and all its evils. In what is now California, the Old Woman of the Sea and the Eagle fought to the death; the Eagle’s victory over the Old Woman resulted in the world. In Australia, the Djanggawul, a brother with a giant penis and his sisters with clitorises like snakes, have sex, wander around, and drop children. Dogon high priest Ogotemmeli recounts the creation story that sacralizes female genital mutilation. Ogotemmeli’s country, Mali in Africa, has an over 90% FGM rate.
In no other creation myth from no other culture will you read of one, transcendent, omnipotent, omniscient, loving God, who creates all of creation in one act of love, and pronounces it good, a God who knows each one of his creations intimately, “in whom we live and move and have our being.” It is that God who is most often culturally appropriated.
The Christmas tree lights the toddler was holding cannot be understood through my friend’s relativism, her insistence that those lights represent “a multitude of religions and spiritual practices, including, but not limited to, Christianity.” Those lights do not represent Ahriman’s auto-sodomization. They do not represent Eagle killing off Old Woman. They do not represent ancient justifications for the caste system or FGM. They represent the light that shines in the darkness, a light the darkness will never overcome. Please, I beg of you, take this God if you want him – believe me, he wants you even more. But do not take him in an act of cultural appropriation that disguises the truth through cultural relativistic mumbo jumbo. Take all of this God. No matter how hard you try to hide it, your heart’s yearning for him is revealed by the tracks of your own search.
Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery.
The Soviet Union, Thirty Years Later
The moral struggle continues.
Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
For years, if you opened the closet in the foyer of my Manhattan apartment, you’d encounter a pile of copies of the New York Times from the week in late December 1991 during which the Soviet Union breathed its last. I’ve never been in the habit of hanging on to old newspapers in which my byline didn’t appear, but that week, it seemed to me at the time, was the greatest historical turning point I’d ever experienced.
It was certainly the most astonishing. I remember a point, sometime in the late 1980s, when, during a visit to Washington, I expressed over lunch with American Spectator editor Wladyslaw Pleszczynski what was then an almost universal cynicism about talk of a post-Communist Europe. “No,” said Wlady, who was far more plugged into these developments than most of us, “it’s really happening.”
That was the moment when I started believing it. But you have to forgive my doubts. Throughout the postwar era, nearly everybody had taken the U.S.-Soviet standoff for granted. The division of the world into two parts, free and unfree, felt like a fact of nature. Mutual assured nuclear destruction made any major change in the world order inconceivable.
For virtually everybody, that is, except Ronald Reagan. My biggest professional regret of all time is that, as a snotty young grad student in the early 1980s, I penned a condescending screed about the Gipper that appeared on Newsweek’s “My Turn” page, which was reserved for contributions by amateurs. And boy, was I an amateur. Although I’d voted for Reagan in 1980, I’d since bought into the media clichés about him and, in my silly piece, spat them back out as if they were a product of original thought.
Like every other detractor of Reagan, however, I learned soon enough that I’d been a fool. All the know-it-alls at the State Department had shivered with embarrassment when he’d shouted in his 1987 Berlin speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” But the wall did come down. I was there, in 1990, when parts of it were still being chipped away at. All around me, people were snapping up pieces to take home. But I couldn’t bring myself to pick one up. I didn’t feel I’d earned it.
It was an extraordinary historical moment. The Unter den Linden, east of the Brandenburg Gate, still looked as if World War II had ended fifteen minutes earlier. Every building was shabby, sooty, and pocked with bullet holes. The newly reopened East-West subway lines were crowded with East Berliners returning home from West Berlin with newly purchased treasures – TVs, kitchen appliances – that had been unavailable under Communism.
The next time I went to Berlin, in 2004, the entire area around the Brandenburg Gate had been utterly transformed. All signs of war and division were gone. Everything was bright, gleaming, ultramodern. When I checked into my hotel I ran to the TV, turning it on just in time to catch the opening moments of Reagan’s funeral. The timing couldn’t have been more fitting.
In recent weeks I’ve been preoccupied with the 1980s, that pivotal decade leading up to the USSR’s formal dissolution on December 26, 1991. I’ve been reading a lot about Reagan and Thatcher, and the more I read, the more I’m in awe of both of them – their bedrock devotion to core principles, the selfless courage with which they stood up for those principles. and the brilliance with which they ultimately triumphed over totalitarianism.
But how short-lived that triumph was! To be sure, they were both too smart to think that their victory marked, in Francis Fukuyama’s fatuous formulation, the end of history. But they surely assumed that the new world order they established would last longer than it has. “When first you were here,” Reagan said in his prepared remarks welcoming Thatcher to Washington in December 1988, “we referred to a decade fraught with danger. We can hope today that in meeting those dangers we have transformed that decade into a turning point…for our age and for mall time.” In reply, Thatcher praised Reagan for having “made it possible for us to begin the world over again.”
It all sounds terribly quaint now. At the time, China’s GDP was just over a third the size of the U.K.’s and about one-seventeenth the size of America’s. In Moscow, Gorbachev was on the ropes; after the fall of the USSR, Russia would be governed by Boris Yeltsin, a reformer friendly to the West; the still-unimaginable rise of Vladimir Putin was over a decade away. The formation of the EU, as such, was five years off; in the U.S., the Democratic Party, after a period of far-left folly that had culminated in the 1972 presidential nomination of George McGovern, was in the hands of moderates who would propel Bill Clinton into the White House in 1992.
It was another time, too, when it came to Islam. Although Hezbollah had murdered 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut during Reagan’s presidency, no one foresaw anything remotely like 9/11 and its worldwide terrorist aftermath, or the endless, divisive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or the rapid, perilous Islamization of the West, or the mass post-9/11 campaign by political, cultural, and media elites to quash the dark truth about Islamic ideology.
On the other hand, even in Reagan and Thatcher’s time universities on both sides of the pond were already on their way to being hotbeds of faculty radicalism. Neither the president nor the prime minister was unaware of the socialist enemy within. Thatcher had begun her career amid the economically disastrous postwar ascendancy of socialism in Britain, and had formed her political philosophy in opposition to it; Reagan, as president of the Screen Actors Guild, had fought the influence of Stalinism in wartime Hollywood, and as governor of California had dealt with violent student radicals in Berkeley. But could either of them have imagined the extent to which socialism would conquer the academy in the ensuing decades and, from there, spread into society at large – turning America’s Democratic Party (to which Reagan himself had belonged until 1962) into a Communist cabal in all but name?
Which is not to suggest that Reagan would’ve been taken aback by the rise of Antifa, Black Lives, Matter, and the new radical chic. After all, he’d lived through the old radical chic of the Sixties and Seventies. In the same way, how surprised could he have been by the wall-to-wall mendacity of the Trump-era media, given that the media had relentlessly demonized Reagan as a right-wing radical? And what would he have made of the fact that many Americans, by the year 2021, would express admiration for socialism, call for the defunding of police, support the razing of statues of Washington and Jefferson, and buckle under to irrational COVID rules? Well, he was the one who famously and repeatedly warned of the fragility of freedom. Behind his sunny morning-in-America demeanor was a sharp-eyed realist who had no illusions about human nature.
Reagan would definitely not have been astonished to learn that in the year 2021 our lives are dominated by computers. He was the one who, in a May 31, 1988, speech at Moscow State University, told students about the “technological or information revolution” that at that very moment was ushering in a remarkable new era. For the Soviet Union to be part of that era, he emphasized, it needed to embrace freedom – including freedom of movement, which would, for example, allow young Russians to backpack around Europe in the summer just like young Americans, and make it possible for “a concert promoter in, say, England” to “call up a Soviet rock group, without going through any government agency, and have them playing in Liverpool the next night.”
“Is this just a dream?” he asked. “Perhaps, but it is a dream that is our responsibility to have come true.” Needless to say, that dream has come true, and remains true even under Putin – although such contacts are less likely to be made by phone than by e-mail. Thanks to the Internet, indeed, countless people around the world engage daily in “cultural exchanges” of sorts that even that prescient president might not have foreseen. For example, a horny Liverpudlian can go online at any time of the day or night, contact any one of a huge assortment of cam girls in the former Soviet Union, and quickly arrange a mutually beneficial transaction of a sort that nobody of Reagan’s generation ever dreamed of.
Not that any of this puts a dent in the nobility of Reagan’s vision. “Your generation,” he said at the end of his Moscow State University speech, “is living in one of the most exciting, hopeful times in Soviet history….We do not know what the conclusion will be of this journey, but we’re hopeful that the promise of reform will be fulfilled. In this Moscow spring, this May 1988, we may be allowed that hope: that freedom, like the fresh green sapling planted over Tolstoy’s grave, will blossom forth at last in the rich fertile soil of your people and culture. We may be allowed to hope that the marvelous sound of a new openness will keep rising through, ringing through, leading to a new world of reconciliation, friendship, and peace.”
And so it happened. The Iron Curtain fell; the Berlin Wall came down. And on the day after Christmas 1991, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. Not a few astonished observers found themselves quoting Wordsworth’s famous lines about the French Revolution: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, / But to be young was very heaven!” But just as the French Revolution turned sour, Russia, instead of becoming a Jefferson democracy, became a dictatorship; meanwhile, China turned into a more powerful Communist rival to the U.S. than the Soviet Union had ever been. But despite the dashed hopes, and new threats to replace the old ones, the fall of the Soviet Union was a shining moment – a clear-cut victory for good over evil. It’s foolish to expect such victories to endure. History moves on. The moral struggle continues.
Yes, the downside of the Soviet Union’s fall is that it made it easier for mischievous professors to persuade young people that Communism is cool. And the downside of the “information revolution” is that, while providing a platform for voices of freedom frozen out of the legacy media, it also facilitates the dissemination of toxic ideas. It was Reagan himself, dead for seventeen years now, who summed up what would turn out to be the lesson of the last three decades. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” he said. “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
3. ΕΜΒΟΛΙΜΟ… διάλειμμα!
Θύρα 7: «Διασύραμε το πράσινο τσίρκο, στηρίζουμε την ομάδα του Μπαρτζώκα στο δρόμο για το Βερολίνο»
Το μήνυμά τους έστειλαν οι οργανωμένοι οπαδοί του Ολυμπιακού μετά το πάρτι στο ΟΑΚΑ με 84-65 επί του Παναθηναϊκού! Δείτε τι ανέβασε η Θύρα 7: «ΣΑΣ ΚΟΨΑΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΓΛΩΣΣΑ!
γκαρσονιέρες…..η γλώσσα σας μεγάλη και η ΤΙΜΩΡΙΑ σας πάντα η ίδια ..οι βαζέλες στα 4!
ΗΡΘΑΜΕ στο γήπεδο που ΦΤΥΣΑΜΕ την παράγκα του Βασιλακόπουλου και σας ΞΕΦΤΙΛΙΣΑΜΕ για ΠΛΑΚΑ!
Ο ΔΑΦΝΟΣΤΕΦΑΝΩΜΕΝΟΣ ΕΦΗΒΟΣ έκανε το καθήκον του και ΠΗΔΗΞΕ την καλύτερη πουτ@ν@ της Ευρώπης με το όνομα Αστέρω που έχει ρίξει ΛΕΥΚΗ ΠΕΤΣΕΤΑ εδώ και καιρό!
Αναμενόμενο αφού ο ΘΡΥΛΟΣ διεκδικεί την Ευρωλίγκα,ενώ ο βάζελος θα ΥΠΟΒΙΒΑΖΟΤΑΝ αν δεν είχε κλειστό συμβόλαιο,αφού είναι ομάδα επιπέδου eurocup.
ΔΙΑΣΥΡΑΜΕ το ΠΑΡΑΤΗΜΕΝΟ πράσινο τσίρκο,που ΧΩΡΙΣ τα δεκανίκια του Βασιλακόπουλου, ΠΑΝΤΑ είναι ο πιο εύκολος αντίπαλος για τον ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΟ ΕΝΤΟΣ και ΕΚΤΟΣ έδρας!
13-7 οι ΝΙΚΕΣ ΜΑΣ στην Ευρώπη από την πρώτη φάπα στο ΤΕΛ ΑΒΙΒ το 1994 μέχρι και ΣΗΜΕΡΑ!
ΤΟΥΜΠΕΚΙΑΣΑΜΕ τους φλώρους που γέμισαν το ΟΑΚΑ για πρώτη και τελευταία φορά ώστε να δουν τον αιώνιο ΕΠΙΒΗΤΟΡΑ τους!
Τους λαγούς που κουνούσαν τα ματωμένα τους σεντόνια και καμάρωναν λες και ΞΕΠΑΡΘΕΝΙΑΣΤΗΚΑΝ!
ΣΤΗΡΙΖΟΥΜΕ την ομάδα του Μπαρτζώκα στο δρόμο της για το Βερολίνο!
Υ.Γ ΠΕΡΑΣΤΙΚΑ στους ξεφτιλισμένους αρδ που μετέδιδαν το παιχνίδι..».
As Communism Spreads, Europeans are on Guard against Nazis
The Great Replacement and the Great Distraction.
William Kilpatrick is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His books include Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West (Ignatius Press), What Catholics Need to Know About Islam (Sophia Press), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad.
What’s the biggest issue in the next French Presidential election? The economy? Climate change? Education?
All of the above are on the minds of French voters, but what’s shaping up to be the main issue is what Eric Zemmour calls the “great replacement.” Zemmour, a journalist, television personality, and author of a best-selling book (The French Suicide) is one of the leading presidential contenders. “The great replacement” refers to the belief that European elites wish to replace what remains of Western-Christian civilization with a different civilization built on different values.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the replacement culture is Islam. And the replacement is being accomplished by a combination of high Muslim birth rates and the importation of millions of people from Muslim countries. According to a recent Harris poll, about 67 % of French people agree with Zemmour that a “great replacement” is underway. There are approximately 750 “no-go-zones” in France which are largely controlled by Muslims. The population of Lyon, the third-largest city in France is over 30 % Muslim, while Marseille, France’s second-largest city, is 40 % Muslim. Projections of current population trends suggest that France will be a predominantly Muslim country by 2050.
It seems as though a “great replacement” may well be underway. Yet the European elites whom Zemmour and others criticize, are responding in the same knee-jerk fashion they have always employed when their hegemony is threatened.
Take Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg. He’s the head of the Commission of Bishops Conference of the European Union (COMECE). Cardinal Hollerich recently criticized some European Union officials for wanting to remove the word “Christmas” from the Christmas season (which would henceforth be known as “winter break”).
That seems the proper attitude for a Cardinal to take—until you discover his rationale. He worries that the name changes might push European Catholics “into the trap of the populist politicians who use the name of Christianity to justify their very nearly anti-Christian… attitudes.”
To understand the Cardinal’s full meaning, you need to understand that among Europe’s liberal and leftist elites, “populism” is a code word for “Nazism.” Hitler and Mussolini were populist leaders, so if you vote for a populist candidate, you’ll soon have brownshirts marching in the streets. Or so goes the simple-minded reasoning of people like Cardinal Hollerich. Unfortunately, his narrow line of logic is not confined to COMECE (which has been pushing it ever since its inception); it has been the common wisdom among Europe’s bien pensants ever since the end of World War II.
For liberals, populism must be avoided at all costs. And so must nationalism, because Hitler and Mussolini were also nationalists. They never ceased talking about returning their respective nations to their former glory. The path of nationalism, said Cardinal Hollerich in an interview with Crux, would put us “back in 1914 and 1939.” In other words, the nationalists would return us to the days of World War I and World War II.
And who are the present-day populist-nationalists? Well, Victor Orban in Hungary comes to mind along with other Eastern European leaders. But quite obviously, the populist man-of-the-hour is Eric Zemmour. In response to the interviewer’s question about going back to the nationalistic past, Cardinal Hollerich replied, “the big challenge will be the presidential election in France.”
And what is the big issue in the French presidential election?
Interviewer: “A lot of those who would vote for the nationalist parties, would argue that the identity of Europe is at risk because of migration. Would you agree with that?”
Cdl. Hollerich: “I do not think so, because if you look at the number of migrants, the percentage they make and our numbers, then we must be very weak and they are very strong if they are a threat to our identity.”
Hollerich’s answer is quite revealing. Above all, it reveals his naiveté. He dismisses the threat to “our identity” from Muslims because their numbers are small compared to native Europeans. Considering the population advantage enjoyed by the heirs of the Western-Christian tradition, says Hollerich, “We must be very weak” if the newcomers are “a threat to our identity.”
But that’s precisely the point that Zemmour and others are making. The strength of the Muslims in Europe is not a myth; it’s a reality. The truth is, “they” are strong, and “we” are weak. In a contest of wills, it’s not the size of the two contesting populations that counts, but strength of resolve. And, by-and-large, the French (along with other Europeans) seems to have lost the will to resist.
Lack of resolve is really the whole point of Michel Houellebecq’s best-selling novel, Submission. The protagonist submits to Islam because nothing seems to him worth fighting for. The things that are important to him are not so important that he is willing to take a stand for them.
Cardinal Hollerich’s belief that Islam is not a threat to European identity misses a crucial point. European identity is already shattered—and the fault lies not with Muslims, but with Europeans themselves. What’s at stake now is not Europe’s identity, but its existence. Zemmour’s book is entitled The French suicide with good reason. His campaign, he says, is about whether France lives or dies. English journalist Douglas Murray expresses similar sentiments in The Death of Europe—another best-seller. Meanwhile, Thilo Sarrazin’s, Germany Abolishes Itself, topped the best-seller list for 21 weeks in that country when it was published.
A common theme of all these books is that Europe’s existence is threatened because, to a large extent, Europe has already lost its identity. One could, of course, argue that Europeans have an identity of sorts– a blend of secular relativism, materialism, technology, and entertainment. These passing values may provide some sort of identity, but not a very solid one. While transcendent values may be worth fighting for, few are inclined to risk their lives for transient values.
Ironically, for most of its history the center-point of European identity was the faith that Cardinal Hollerich now represents. But he doesn’t represent it very well if he won’t acknowledge the simple fact that Christianity in Europe is in a weakened state: it is in decline, while Islam is on the rise.
His nonchalance about the relative strength of Christians and Muslims is all the more puzzling in light of the numerous attacks against European Christians by Muslims in recent years. Just last week in the town of Nanterre west of Paris, a dozen young Muslims harassed an outdoor procession on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Several of the parishioners were pushed and shoved and spat upon, and death threats were issued. In the last few years, thousands of Catholic Churches have been desecrated in France alone, and many have been set on fire.
Similar attacks on Christian churches and churchgoers are now common all over Europe. In addition, recent years have seen numerous deadly attacks by Muslims against Europe’s famous Christmas markets.
Of course, Christians aren’t the only target. On a percentage basis, Jews are more likely to be attacked by Muslims than are other groups: Jews in synagogues, Jews in Kosher markets, Jewish children at school, Jews walking down the street. When Muslims migrate to the Continent, they tend to bring with them the anti-Semitic attitudes that are endemic in Muslim countries.
And this brings us back to the elitist complaint about populist and nationalist politicians. It is assumed that, like the Nazis, they also are anti-Semites
The problem with this long-standing thesis, is that Eric Zemmour, the current leader of the nationalist movement in France, is a Jew.
One might think that this inconvenient fact would prompt the leftists and elitists to question their narrative. But for those on the left, the narrative always trumps the facts. The theme of populist anti-Semitism is actually part of a larger and more elaborate narrative—one that has proven quite useful to Europeans on the left. Let’s call it the “narrative of the new Jews.”
Jews are a small minority in Europe and their numbers have been decreasing. Moreover, it’s difficult to make the case that they are still suffering the kind of persecution they suffered at the hands of the Nazis and Nazi collaborators. So, in order to make the narrative more persuasive, it was given a tweak. This was done by replacing the Jews with the Muslims. Henceforth, Muslims were to be thought of as the “new Jews.” They would be the new victim class. Though basically ridiculous, this new narrative did make some sense. By the beginning of the 21st century, there were far more Muslims in Europe than Jews. Muslims were still a minority, but they were a very visible minority. It was also clear that many Europeans regarded the Muslims with suspicion, fear, and resentment. What’s more, the Muslim leaders had developed a narrative of their own which dovetailed with the “new Jews” narrative. They complained incessantly that they were the victims of “Islamophobia.” And the main proof of this “phobia” was European resistance to Muslim immigration.
Whether that resistance was due to a phobia (an irrational fear) or to a rational fear is a question for another time. But European fears about Muslims did feed into both narratives—the “Islamophobia” narrative and the “new Jews” narrative. Unsurprisingly, those who hewed to the “new Jews” storyline were soon labeling immigration resisters as the “new Nazis.” By this strange logic, Eric Zemmour, a Jew, can be considered anti-Semitic because he resists the takeover of his country by the “new Semites”—the Muslims.
But ironies abound. In order to accept the “new Jews” thesis, one has to ignore a number of stark realities. For one thing, the “new Jews” (the Muslims) are strikingly reminiscent of the old Nazis (the original ones). They have a deep-seated animosity toward Jews and a long history of persecuting them. Indeed, during World War II, one of the most prominent Muslim leaders, Haj Amin al-Husseini, actively collaborated with Hitler to develop a plan to exterminate the Jews. It seems no coincidence that today the majority of hate crimes against Jews in America and Europe are committed by Muslims. Translated into woke-spoke, that means that the chief enemy of the old Jews (i.e., Jews) are the new Jews. Meanwhile the main resistance to the “new Jews” comes from the “new Nazis” (who resemble the leaders of the resistance movement against the real Nazis during the war).
If you can iron-out all these ironies, you deserve a gold medal, but there is one more irony to consider. Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that this Kabuki drama about keeping Nazis from coming to power again, is being played out against a backdrop of an actual resurgence of a clear and present danger–communism.
Nazism was almost totally discredited after the total defeat of Hitler’s armies. The only places where Hitler is still honored and Mein Kampf is still studied are in Muslim countries. By contrast, communism which was responsible for far more deaths in the 20th century than Nazism, was never thoroughly defeated or discredited. Judging by a plethora of Hollywood movies, Nazis or neo-Nazis are always just a step away from world conquest. But in the real world—Islamists excepted—fans of Nazism control absolutely nothing. On the other hand, communists control some of the largest and most powerful countries on the planet, and many smaller nations besides. In addition, they are close to controlling many of the West’s key institutions—schools, universities, the media, political parties, deep-state bureaucracies, and, of course, Hollywood (where they continue to churn out movies about the Nazi threat).
In Europe, the ruse of a Nazi resurgence has been fairly successful. It has often convinced voters to vote left-liberal– just in case. More importantly, it has worked to distract Europeans from another and far more real danger. In America, a similar diversionary tactic has long been a part of national politics. For a number of reasons, however, Americans were more resistant than Europeans to the Nazi scare tactic.
But leftists don’t give up. In recent years, their campaign of diversion in America has escalated. Of course, they seldom speak of Nazis. Instead, they tell us we are in great danger from “nationalists,” “white supremacists,” and “domestic terrorists.” By the same token, the leftists assure us that we have no enemy on the left.
At a time when there is growing danger on the left, it’s time for both Americans and Europeans to stop falling for the old ruse.
Iran Driving Hamas’ Terror Against Israel
Obama’s bagful of cash to the Mullahs proved very helpful.
When it comes to fighting Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no qualms about employing its ideological rivals – Sunni-Muslim terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). While the proxies Iran is using in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere are fellow Shiite militias from Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Pakistan, and Yemen (Houthis), Hamas and PIJ in Gaza are Sunni-Arabs. Iran began to cultivate its anti-Israel fronts right from the early days of Ayatollah Khomeini. Since then, Tehran has essentially set up six fronts against Israel. The first front is Iran’s ballistic missiles that can hit Israel. In Lebanon, Hezbollah equipped with Iranian missiles is the second. Hezbollah and other Shiite militias in Syria are the third front. The Houthis in Yemen with Iranian supplied long-range missiles is the fourth front. Israeli-Arabs, particularly in mixed cities are potentially the fifth front (they demonstrated that in the recent Guardian of the Walls operation). Hamas is the sixth front, and the most potent. Hamas being closest to Israel’s population centers engendered the long-standing Iranian largesse toward the Gaza-based terrorists.
Although Hezbollah is far more powerful than Hamas, it is more restraint in operating against Israel because of the nature of the Lebanese confessional system. Hezbollah, although yielding major power in Beirut, has to give political consideration to the impact on Lebanon should they provoke a war with Israel. The Second Lebanon War in 2006 devastated the country, and a future war might be even costlier for the Lebanese. Hamas simply does not have such constraints, and Hamas’ very raison d’être is to destroy Israel, not so much for sake of a Palestinian state in its place, but for the glory of Islam, and to recapture every inch of land formerly conquered by Islam.
The Islamic Republic’s Modus Operandi against Israel and its other regional enemies is to incite their Arab-Palestinian proxies (Hamas and PIJ), provide them with cash, training, lethal arms, and ultimately have them pay back the Iranians with their own blood for the Ayatollahs regional hegemonic interests. This is true in Gaza, Syria, Southern Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. It is mostly Arabs not Persians who pay in blood for the Iranian schemes. In recent years however, in what is called “the war between wars,” Israel has changed the formula, and is targeting Iranian assets in Syria, both human and material. Sometimes it is Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards corps (IRGC) personnel, and other times a missile base manned by Iranians, or some sophisticated weaponry shipped to Hezbollah from Iran. Ironically, and rather hypocritically, while the IRGC and Hezbollah are butchering fellow Sunnis in Syria, including Palestinians, Sunni-Muslim Hamas and PIJ engage with and praise the Tehran regime.
Over the years, the Iranian regime had managed to smuggle thousands of rockets to build up Hamas’ arsenal. When it became hard for Iran to smuggle entire rockets in, they delivered rocket parts to Hamas. And when Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip, the Iranians sent engineers to teach Hamas’ engineers how to assemble the rockets. In the aftermath of the Guardian of the Walls Operation in May 2021, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political bureau chief based now in Qatar, thanked the Iranians for enabling Hamas to carry out its intense bombardment against Israeli population centers with over 4,000 rockets targeting Israeli civilians. He stated, Tehran “did not hold back with money, weapons, and technical support.”
The real warming up in the relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Palestinian offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, i.e., Hamas, occurred in 1991. Following the first Gulf war and the liberation of Kuwait, the US attempted to foster regional peace, including an Arab-Israeli peace, through the 1991 Madrid Conference. To counter US efforts, Iran convened a conference on Palestine, and invited the anti-peace camp, including Hamas to participate. About the same time, Hamas was already an active participant in the first intifada (1987-1991). In 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin deported 418 of Hamas’ leading figures to Lebanon. A decade earlier, Iran had created its Shiite proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon. The latter, Islamist terror group Hezbollah, taught the Hamas deportees how to build and use suicide bombs and be suicide human bombs. As a result of an Israeli court order, Rabin allowed the deportees to return, and this resulted in the suicide bombers of the second intifada (2000-2005), which cost over 1,000 Israeli civilian lives. In 2006, as Hamas won in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, the US and the EU suspended aid to Gaza, then the Iranian regime decided to allocate $50 million for Hamas.
Iran’s current Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been far more committed to the Palestinian cause than his predecessor. It has been during Khamenei’s reign that the intensity of the Iranian–Israeli conflict grew to major proportions. Hamas’ surprise victory in the Palestinian elections dramatically transformed Iran’s relations with Hamas. By the end of 2006, Iran pledged $250 million in aid to a nearly bankrupt Hamas.
Prior to the December 2008 Gaza war, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, Iran provided military aid and training to Hamas’ military wing Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Iran supplied the military equipment used by Hamas to launch the attack on Israel. In February 2009, Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’ political bureau, on a visit to Tehran after the war, thanked the Iranian regime, calling Iran, “a partner in victory.”
Iran played a key role in all recent engagements between Hamas and Israel. Iran incited Hamas and the PIJ to engage Israel; they funneled weapons, trained Hamas and PIJ operatives, and funded them. In March 2014, just months before Operation Protective Edge, Iran shipped 40 M302 heavy rockets to Hamas in Gaza aboard the Iranian owned ship “Klos C.” The rockets were hidden under Iranian cement bags. Israeli navy commandos seized the ship in the Red Sea on March 5, 2014. A UN report established that the “Klos C” had loaded the weapons shipment in the Iranian southern port of Bandar Abbas. Earlier, during the 2012 war in Gaza codenamed Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas fired long-range Iranian manufactured missiles into Israeli population centers. This was repeated again in May 2021, during Operation Guardian of the Walls. This time, it was supplemented with a greater number of missiles fired at once into Israeli population centers, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This was meant to overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome defenses. The missiles this time were more accurate. In addition, Hamas used bomb carrying drones and mini-submarines, all of it helped by Iran. Israel’s Iron Dome shot down most of the missiles, while others fell in Gaza killing scores of Palestinians.
Reuters reported (May 22, 2020) Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as saying, “Iran realized Palestinian fighters only problem was lack of access to weapons. With divine guidance and assistance, we planned, and the balance of power has been transformed in Palestine, and today the Gaza Strip can stand against the aggression of the Zionist enemy and defeat it.” This was a brazen admission of Iran’s fueling Hamas’ war against Israel. Sadly, the Obama administration 2015 nuclear deal provided the Ayatollahs with a windfall of cash. It was used to arm and fund the wars against Israel.
6. MONON “ΜΠΡΑΒΟ” ΑΞΙΖΟΥΝ ΣΤΗΝ ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟ ΚΑ ΔΟΜΝΑ ΜΙΧΑΗΛΙΔΟΥ, ΓΙΑ ΟΛΕΣ ΤΙΣ ΕΚ ΜΕΡΟΥΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΔΗΛΩΘΕΙΣΕΣ ΕΝΕΡΓΕΙΕΣ, ΣΧΕΤΙΚΑ ΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΥΠΟΘΕΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΟΡΦΑΝΟΤΡΟΦΕΙΟΥ!..
ΤΕΤΟΙΟΥΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΟΥΣ ΕΧΕΙ ΑΝΑΓΚΗ Η ΠΑΤΡΙΔΑ ΜΑΣ!..
ΘΑ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΟΜΩΣ ΕΦΕΞΗΣ ΟΛΟΙ ΜΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΛΕΣ ΜΑΣ ΝΑ… ΜΙΜΗΘΟΥΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΚΑ Δ.Μ. ΚΑΙ ΝΑ ΕΝΔΙΑΦΕΡΟΜΑΣΤΕ ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ ΜΑΣ, ΓΙΑ ΟΛΑ ΤΑ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ “ΕΡΓΟΙΣ”, ΟΠΩΣ ΑΥΤΗ, ΚΑΙ ΟΧΙ… “ΛΟΓΟΙΣ”, ΠΟΥ ΤΕΛΙΚΩΣ ΚΑΤΑΛΗΓΕΙ ΝΑ ΓΙΝΕΤΑΙ… ” ΚΟΛΟΙΣ“!..
Ο Θρύλος κρατάει ΑΣΒΕΣΤΗ τη Φλόγα! (photos)
Κοντά στα παιδιά που έχουν τη μεγαλύτερη ανάγκη ειδικά αυτές τις γιορτινές μέρες, αντιπροσωπεία της ΠΑΕ Ολυμπιακός βρέθηκε το μεσημέρι της Πέμπτης 23/12 στο Σύλλογο Φλόγα, μοιράζοντας δώρα και χαμόγελα ενόψει των άγιων ημερών των Χριστουγέννων.
Τον Υπεύθυνο Διεθνών Σχέσεων της ΠΑΕ Ολυμπιακός, Κώστα Βερνίκο και τον Διευθυντή Επικοινωνίας, Νίκο Γαβαλά, υποδέχθηκε η πρόεδρος της Φλόγας, Μαρία Τρυφωνίδη, η οποία υπογράμμισε: «Εμείς είμαστε δίπλα στα παιδιά που νοσούν από καρκίνο με κάθε τρόπο. Στηρίζοντας την ποιότητα ζωής των παιδιών, παρέχοντας στέγη φιλοξενίας για τα παιδιά της περιφέρειας, ή νοσηλείας στο σπίτι για τα παιδιά που κατοικούν στο λεκανοπέδιο της Αττικής. Στηρίζοντας επίσης τη δημόσια υγεία, με κάθε τρόπο που μπορούμε. Είτε με τη χρηματοδότηση ιατρών, βιολόγων, ακόμη και με την προμήθεια εξοπλισμού για τα δύο παιδιατρικά νοσοκομεία. Όταν διαπιστώνουμε κάποιες ελλείψεις προσπαθούμε να τις καλύψουμε κατά το δυνατόν.
Όταν έρχεστε εδώ τα παιδιά χαίρονται. Είναι βασικό να έχουμε υποστηρικτές στο έργο μας. Γιατί το έργο μας οφείλεται στους υποστηρικτές μας. Εμείς δεν έχουμε ίδιους πόρους».
Ο υπεύθυνος Διεθνών Σχέσεων της ΠΑΕ Ολυμπιακός, Κώστας Βερνίκος τόνισε: «Η οικογένεια του Ολυμπιακού είναι και φέτος, όπως πάντα, κοντά στις οικογένειες και κοντά στα παιδιά που υποφέρουν από αυτήν την πολύ δύσκολη ασθένεια. Με μεγάλη μας χαρά μαθαίνουμε πως τα ποσοστά των παιδιών που φεύγουν από εδώ υγιέστατα, αυξάνονται καθημερινά. Να είναι όλοι καλά και κάθε χρόνο καλύτερα».
Η Corporate Communications Manager της Stoiximan, Ιωάννα Κοζανίδου ανέφερε: «Βρισκόμαστε για μία ακόμη χρονιά στη Φλόγα μαζί με την ομάδα του Ολυμπιακού που ευχαριστούμε θερμά, για να στηρίξουμε το σπουδαίο έργο που κάνουν οι άνθρωποι εδώ, αλλά και τον αγώνα ζωής που δίνουν τα παιδιά και οι οικογένειές τους. Εκ μέρους της Stoiximan θα ήθελα να ευχηθώ σε όλον τον κόσμο καλά Χριστούγεννα με υγεία».
Will Israel Make Peace With the Most Antisemitic Country in the World?
Antony Blinken’s overtures to Indonesia suggest the White House is more actively building on the Abraham Accords than previously thought.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the possibility of normalized Israel-Indonesia relations in recent talks with Indonesian officials in Jakarta last week, Axios reported on Thursday.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim state, with more than 273 million people. Peace would open up a major South East Asian market for Israeli business. It would also be a significant blow against Palestinian efforts to isolate Israel.
Blinken’s overture also suggests that the White House is more actively building on the Abraham Accords than previously thought.
Prior to the Abraham Accords, prevailing diplomatic thought was that the Muslim world would make peace with Israel only after the Palestinian conflict was resolved. The Trump administration took an opposite approach: that Israel will be more confident to make peace with the Palestinians after it feels more secure in its relations with the rest of the world.
While the Biden campaign praised the Abraham Accords in 2020, his administration’s support has been lukewarm. In July, the U.S. froze the Abraham Fund, which was intended to promote economic cooperation among the peace partners.
Asked to comment, State Department spokesman Ned Price told Axios, “We are always exploring additional opportunities for normalization, but we’ll leave those discussions behind closed doors until the right moment.” Axios added that Israeli and Indonesian officials declined to comment.
A senior U.S. official told Axios said the Biden administration was working “quietly but quite assiduously” to expand the accords. He stressed that the effort would take time and that no breakthroughs were imminent.
The Trump administration sought to bring Indonesia and Mauritania into the Abraham Accords but those efforts didn’t advance far enough by the end of his presidency. According to Axios, “The Indonesians requested an upgraded trade deal with the U.S. in return for taking steps toward normalization, like opening direct flights and issuing visas to Israelis, according to former Trump administration officials.”
‘Very Few Indonesians Have Met a Jew’
Unfortunately, antisemitism is rife in Indonesia.
“Very few Indonesians have met a Jew,” said Shira Loewenberg, director of American Jewish Committee’s Asia Pacific Institute in a 2020 AJC report. “And there is a huge gap in popular understanding of Jews, Judaism, the State of Israel and the relationships between them.
“We are pursuing a multi-pronged approach to garner greater understanding and lessening the demonization of each. We are hopeful of progress on this front, as well as of fostering a more productive relationship between Indonesia and Israel moving forward.”
Indonesia has a miniscule Jewish population estimated at 100-500 people.
According to the AJC report, “Sympathy with the Palestinians largely informs the anti-Jewish sentiment in Indonesia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Those who express support for the Jewish state are likely to be deemed betrayers of Palestinians and, by extension, of Islam.”
The AJC also noted that “Discourse about Israel is also poisoned with lies that Israel destroys mosques and that Muslims are barred from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel. Many Indonesians do not know that Israel is a democracy and that Muslims serve as judges, doctors, social workers, and members of the Knesset.”
Indeed, the signing of the Abraham Accords and the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem sparked Indonesian outrage, including protests outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta.
Despite the absence of diplomatic relations, signs indicate a possible thaw. On the sidelines of a conference in Bahrain in November, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto was spotted talking to Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata and Itay Tagner, Israel’s chargé d’affaires to Bahrain.
In 2018, the leader of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization courted controversy by visiting Israel. Before the coronavirus pandemic restricted travel, roughly 30,000 Indonesian pilgrims visited Israel annually. Israeli and Indonesian businesses are known to trade through third countries.
Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed the Abraham Accords in April of 2020. Since then, Morocco and Sudan have signed on as well.
Türkiye ile Katar, Kabil Havaalanı’nın işletilmesi konusunda anlaştı
Türkiye ile Katar’ın, Kabil Uluslararası Havaalanı’nın iki ülke ortaklığıyla işletilmesi konusunda anlaştığı bildirildi.
ORTAK İŞLETİLMESİ KONUSUNDA MUTABAKAT
Türk ve Katarlı şirketler arasında bu amaç doğrultusunda ve eşit ortaklık temelinde bir mutabakat zaptı imzalandığına işaret eden kaynaklar, söz konusu ortaklık anlaşmasının ise Dışişleri Bakanı Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’nun 7 Aralık’taki Türkiye-Katar Yüksek Stratejik Komite Yedinci Toplantısı için Doha’da bulunduğu sırada yapıldığını aktardı.
Son olarak 7 Aralık’ta varılan anlaşma neticesinde, Türkiye’den teknik bir heyetin, Katar tarafıyla koordinasyon kurmak üzere Doha’ya geldiği ifade edildi.
Doha’daki görüşmelerin ardından, Türk ve Katarlı yetkililerden oluşan ortak heyetin, bugün Afganistan’ın başkenti Kabil’de olacağı ve havaalanının işletilmesine ilişkin anlaşmayı Afganistan Geçici Hükümeti yetkilileriyle görüşeceği; Afganistan tarafının talep ve beklentileri hakkında bilgi alacağı kaydedildi.
Türk-Katar heyetinin, Afganistan tarafıyla yapılacak görüşmenin akabinde durum değerlendirmesi yapması bekleniyor.
Türkiye ve Katar tarafından konuya ilişkin henüz resmi bir açıklama yapılmadı.
KABİL ULUSLARARASI HAVALİMANI’NIN DURUMU
Afganistan’ın başkenti Kabil’deki Uluslararası Hamid Karzai Havaalanı, denize kıyısı olmayan ülkelerden Afganistan için ana hava bağlantısı olması açısından önemli bir yere sahip.
Taliban, eş zamanlı şekilde haziran ayından itibaren şiddetli saldırılarla Afganistan’da birçok ilçeyi, ağustos ayında da vilayet merkezlerini hızla ele geçirmişti.
Cumhurbaşkanı Eşref Gani’nin ülkeyi terk etmesi ve hükümet güçlerinin başkentten ayrılmasıyla Taliban, 15 Ağustos’ta başkanlık sarayı ve kamu binalarını ele geçirerek ülkede kontrolü sağlamıştı.
10. ΓΙ’ ΑΥΤΟ Ο ΡΤΕ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΗΓΕΤΗΣ ΝΟ “1” ΣΤΗΝ ΧΩΡΑ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΜΑΛΙΣΤΑ… ΜΑΚΡΑΝ!..
Mahkemeden Osman Kavala kararı
İstanbul 13. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi, Osman Kavala’nın tutukluluk halinin devamına karar verdi.
Birleştirilen Gezi Parkı, Çarşı ve Osman Kavala’nın yargılandığı casusluk davasında ikinci duruşması geçtiğimiz 26 Kasım’da görülmüştü. O duruşmada da Kavala’nın tutukluluk halinin devamına karar verilmişti. Ancak mahkeme, Osman Kavala’nın tutukluluk halinin görülmesi için mahkeme heyetinin 23 Aralık’ta toplanması yönende karar vermişti. Bugün Osman Kavala’nın tutukluluk durumu görüşüldü.
13. Ağır Ceza Mahkeme Heyeti toplandı. Dosya üzerinden Kavala’nın tutukluluk hali incelendi ve tutukluluk halinin devamına karar verildi.
Gezi Parkı, Çarşı ve casusluk davasından yargılanan Osman Kavala, 4 yıldır cezaevinde tek tutuklu olarak bulunuyor.
Antisemitic incidents rose by 35 percent in Australia in 2020-21
Antisemitic incidents rose 35 percent in the last year with more than 440 recorded cases, including physical assaults and graffiti, according to a report by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
“The ECAJ 2021 Antisemitism Report,” issued on Sunday, recorded 272 attacks—physical assaults, verbal harassment, vandalism and graffiti—and 175 threats in the year ending in September, up from 331 in the previous 12 months.
The rise in acts of Jew-hatred includes an uptick in abuse and harassment, which rose 14 percent from 128 to 147 incidents, and graffiti, which went from 42 instances to 106. The discovery of antisemitic posters and stickers increased a whopping 157 percent, from 28 to 72.
Eleven incidents of vandalism were recorded, and the number of physical assaults remained stationary at eight incidents, while threats via email, phone and mail declined.
The increase tracks with the findings of a smaller regional study conducted earlier in 2021.
In the survey of Jews in the state of Queensland, which includes Brisbane, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, six in 10 Jews reported experiencing antisemitism though the vast majority, 91.5 percent, said they had not reported the incident.
In a press release on the ECAJ report, Julie Nathan, the group’s research director and report author, said: “Behind the statistics lie some horrific personal stories of persistent antisemitic bullying of Jewish students at schools, the brutal physical assault of a man on his way to synagogue,” along with the flying of a Nazi flag above a synagogue in Brisbane and the spray-painting of a synagogue in Adelaide.
“What is perhaps worse is the disgraceful discourse online and occasionally in the mainstream media of those who, for whatever reason, seek to rationalize or minimize this egregious behavior,” she said.
Like elsewhere in the world, antisemitism against Australia’s Jewish community was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas and other terror factions in the Gaza Strip, which launched more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli population centers in May.
“A total of 88 incidents was logged for the month of May alone, when the hostilities between Israel and Hamas occurred, compared to between 22 and 46 incidents for each of the other 11 months of the year,” said Nathan.
She also reported the threat from extremist groups including Hizb ut-Tahrir, which the Anti-Defamation League says “seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic theocracy,” and the neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Network.
Bakan Akar’dan Yunanistan’a silahlanma tepkisi: Beyhude bir gayret!
Bakan Akar, Yunanistan’a “Bu bir silahlanma yarışı değil, silahlanma gösterisi. Birtakım ülkelerin tahrikleriyle kendilerince silahlanmak suretiyle Türkiye’ye üstünlük sağlamaya çalışıyorlar. Bu beyhude bir gayrettir” tepkisini gösterdi.
Milli Savunma Bakanı Hulusi Akar beraberinde Genelkurmay Başkanı Orgeneral Yaşar Güler, Kara Kuvvetleri Komutanı Orgeneral Musa Avsever, Deniz Kuvvetleri Komutanı Oramiral Adnan Özbal, Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanı Orgeneral Hasan Küçükakyüz ve Milli Savunma Bakan Yardımcıları ile Bakanlığının Madalya, Başarılı Birlik ve Personelin Ödüllendirilmesi Töreni’ne katıldı.
Törende konuşan Akar, kazanılan önemli başarılardan dolayı tüm personeli kutladı. “Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerinin etkinliğine, caydırıcılığına, saygınlığına katkı sağlayan tüm personelimizin başımızın üzerinde yeri vardır” diyen Akar, hem bölgede hem dünyada hassas bir dönemden geçildiğini, belirsizlik ve risklerin tüm bölgeyi tehdit ettiğini söyledi.
“TSK, CUMHURİYET TARİHİNİN EN YOĞUN GÜNLERİNİ YAŞIYOR”
Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın liderliğinde uluslararası alanda özne haline gelen Türkiye’nin gelişmeler karşısında proaktif tedbirler aldığını bildiren Akar, “Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri olarak vazifemiz ülkemizin ve milletimizin güvenliğini, savunmasını sağlamak, egemenliğimizi, bağımsızlığımızı ve bekamızı sürdürmek için karada, denizde ve havada üzerimize düşen görevleri kararlılıkla yerine getirmektir” dedi.
Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerinin Cumhuriyet tarihinin en yoğun günlerini yaşadığını vurgulayan Akar şöyle konuştu:
“Terörle mücadelemiz artan bir şiddet ve tempoda devam ediyor. Irak’ın kuzeyinde teröristlerce kullanılan bölgelerde girilmedik yer kalmadı, kalmayacak. Pençe serisi harekatlarla çok yoğun şekilde zorlu arazi ve hava şartlarında büyük kahramanlık gösteren Mehmetçik, teröristleri adım adım takip etmekte, bütün mağaralarına, inlerine, barınaklarına, sığınaklarına girerek kontrolü sağlamaktadır. Oradaki tek hedefimiz teröristlerdir. En son terörist etkisiz hale getirilinceye kadar bu mücadele devam edecek.”
“YUNANİSTAN YAPAY İDDİALARLA TÜRKİYE’Yİ YAYILMACI OLARAK GÖSTERMEK İSTİYOR”
Diğer savunma ve güvenlik konularının yanı sıra Doğu Akdeniz ve Ege’de son dönemde yaşanan gelişmelere de değinen Akar, şunları söyledi:
“Ege’de ve Doğu Akdeniz’de Yunanistan ile problemlerimiz var. Bütün bu problemlere karşı bizim söylediğimiz şey: Uluslararası hukuk, iyi komşuluk ilişkileri çerçevesinde görüşmelerle, diyalogla barışçıl yol ve yöntemlerle sorunların çözülmesidir. Maalesef Yunanistan’daki belli siyasiler, bu konuda son derece saldırgan eylemlerini ve söylemlerini aralıksız sürdürüyor. Son derece yapmacık, yapay iddialarla Türkiye’yi yayılmacı olarak göstermek istiyor”
‘YUNANİSTAN ULUSLARARASI ANTLAŞMALARA AYKIRI OLARAK ADALARI SİLAHLANDIRIYOR’
Akar, Yunanistan’ın uluslararası antlaşmalara aykırı olarak adaları silahlandırdığına da dikkati çekerek, şu açıklamalarda bulundu:
“Türkiye’ye 1950 metre mesafede Meis Adası var. Harp Okulu öğrencisinin yüzme standardı 2 bin metre. Yani yüzerek giderler. 10 kilometrekarelik bir ada. Bu adaya 40 bin kilometrekarelik deniz yetki alanı istiyorlar. Buna ‘hayır’ dediğimiz zaman biz ‘yayılmacı’ oluyoruz. Bu eylem ve söylemlerle bir yere varamayacaklarını anlamalarını bekliyoruz. Biz diyalog yolunu, güven artırıcı önlemler çerçevesinde dördüncü toplantının yapılması için onları Ankara’ya beklediğimizi söylüyoruz. Biz iki ülkenin halkları bu mevcut zenginliklerden yararlanmak suretiyle güven ve refah içinde yaşamlarını sürdürsünler istiyoruz. Fakat bu söylemlerimizin hiçbir zaman bir zafiyet olmadığını da anlamalarını bekliyoruz.”
“BU BİR SİLAHLANMA YARIŞI DEĞİL, SİLAHLANMA GÖSTERİSİ”
Son dönemde Yunanistan’daki silahlanma faaliyetlerine de değinen Akar, şunları kaydetti:
“Bu bir silahlanma yarışı değil, silahlanma gösterisi. Birtakım ülkelerin teşvik ve tahrikleriyle kendilerince silahlanmak suretiyle Türkiye’ye üstünlük sağlamaya çalışıyorlar. Bu beyhude bir gayrettir. Ayrıca NATO içinde müttefik olmakla beraber yeni ittifaklarla bir şeyler yapmaya çalışıyorlar. Bunların hepsinin yapay olduğunu söylüyoruz. Sonuç olarak ne yaparlarsa yapsınlar Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devleti, Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri ülkemizin ve milletimizin hak alaka ve menfaatlerini korumak ve kollamakta azimli, kararlı ve buna muktedirdir. Bunu herkesin bilmesini istiyoruz.”
PERSONELİN ÖZLÜK HAKLARI
Akar, personelin özlük haklarına ilişkin ise “Subaylarımızın, astsubaylarımızın, sivil memurlarımızın, işçilerimizin, uzmanlarımızın özlük hakları ile ilgili ne varsa bütün çalışmaları yakinen takip ediyor, yapılması gereken ne varsa yapıyor, girişimlerimizi sürdürüyoruz” dedi.
Şehitlere rahmet, gazilere şifa dileklerini ileten, şehit ailelerine şükranlarını dile getiren Akar, sözlerini şöyle tamamladı:
“Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri, binlerce yıllık şanlı tarihimizden süzülüp gelen milli, manevi ve mesleki değerleriyle, milletimizin sevgisi, güveni, duasından aldığı ilhamla aklın ve bilimin ışığında, Anayasa çerçevesinde ve yasalar doğrultusunda, Sayın Cumhurbaşkanımızın, sıralı amir ve komutanların emir ve komutasında, milletinin emrinde, görevinin başındadır. Bundan kimsenin şüphesi olmasın.”
“EZBER BOZUCU BAŞARILAR ELDE EDİLMİŞTİR”
Genelkurmay Başkanı Orgeneral Yaşar Güler de bu anlamlı faaliyette başarılı personelle bir araya gelmekten duyduğu memnuniyeti dile getirdi.
Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerinin bayraklaşan vatan topraklarının güvenliği ve asil milletinin huzuru için büyük bir kararlılıkla teröristle mücadele harekatını sürdürdüğünü belirten Orgeneral Güler, “Devam eden Koronavirüs salgınının yarattığı tüm zorluklara rağmen başta Pençe-Şimşek ve Pençe-Yıldırım olmak üzere Pençe harekatları ile Fırat Kalkanı, Zeytin Dalı, Barış Pınarı, Bahar Kalkanı harekatlarının yanı sıra Mavi Vatan’da, Ege ve Doğu Akdeniz’de ve hava sahamızda gayretli, özverili çalışmalar yapan kahraman personelimizin fedakarlıklarıyla ezber bozucu başarılar elde edilmiştir. Bu fedakarlıklar, tek güç kaynağımız olan asil milletimizin sevgi ve güvenine layık olduğumuzun en büyük ispatı olmuştur” dedi.
TSK ÜSTÜN HİZMET MADALYASI
2. Ordu Komutanı Orgeneral Metin Gürak, Donanma Komutanı Oramiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, Genelkurmay İkinci Başkanı Selçuk Bayraktaroğlu ve Ege Ordusu Komutanı Orgeneral Ali Sivri başarılarından dolayı TSK Üstün Hizmet Madalyası ile taltif edildi.
Madalyaları Milli Savunma Bakanı Akar tarafından tevcih edilirken başarılı olan 68 personele belgeleri TSK komuta kademesi ve Milli Savunma Bakan Yardımcıları tarafından verildi.
12. “KATΩ ΤΑ ΒΡΩΜΟΧΕΡΑ ΣΑΣ ΑΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΧΟΥΛΙΑ”!..
Hülya Avşar‘dan eleştirilere cevap: Demek ki sizin gibiler başımızda olsa…
‘Gerekirse simit yenecek ama bugünleri de kolay atlatacağız’ sözleriyle gündem olan Hülya Avşar, konuyla ilgili sosyal medya hesabından eleştirilere cevap verdi.
Açıklamasına “Sakinleştiyseniz sıra bende” diyerek başlayan Hülya Avşar, “O kadar konuşmamın içinden, hep birlikte bugünleri aşacağız kısmı değil de ‘simit’e takılanlar; hiçbirinizi takmıyorum ve saymıyorum. Benim simit yeme meseleme gelince, yerim ya da yemem ama bildiğim bir şey var, kendim kazandım, hiç de kolay olmadı” dedi.
‘DEMEKİ Kİ SİZİN GİBİLER BAŞIMIZDA OLSA…’
Avşar paylaşımına şöyle devam etti:
“Hala da kazanıyorum. Bunun hesabını kimseye vermedim, size hiç vermeyeceğim. Sizin gibi düşünenler demek ki başımızda olsa; ne demokrasi kalır, ne konuşma özgürlüğü… Diyeceğim şu ki; gerekirse simit yiyeceğiz, ama bugünleri beraber atlatacağız.”
AVŞAR NE DEMİŞTİ?
Hülya Avşar’ın, magazin muhabirlerinin “Ekonominin sanatçılara nasıl yansıması oluyor?” sorusuna verdiği yanıt sosyal medyada gündem olmuştu.
Avşar verdiği yanıtta, “Ekonomik krizin herkese ve her kesime mutlaka yansıması oluyor. Benim bildiğim bir tek şey var. Türkiye’de hatta şimdiki duruma göre dünyada eğer hayattaysan, mutlaka bu tür günleri, bu zamanları öngörüp biraz daha farklı yaşam çizmek lazım. Ayağımızı yorganımıza göre uzatmalıyız. Bu saatten sonra simit mi yiyeceğiz falan diyorlar. Gerekirse yenecek ama bugünler de biraz kolay atlatılacak. Biraz bizim bu işi, insanlar olarak bireysel halletmemiz gerekir diye düşünüyorum” ifadelerini kullanmıştı.