Thursday, November 23, 2017

Israeli PM Rips Assistant for Insulting US Jews; Said US Jews Too Contented,Don't Serve in Mil.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scolded his deputy foreign minister today (November 23, 2017) for "offensive" remarks in which she said U.S. Jews were "too comfortable" to understand threats to Israel, according to the Newsmax website.

Tzipi Hotovely of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party apologized later on Israeli public television.

In an interview yesterday on Tel Aviv-based i24 News TV channel, Hotovely was asked about the growing gulf between Israel and U.S. Jewry, particularly youth.

"Maybe they're too young to remember how it feels to be a Jewish person without a Jewish homeland, without a Jewish state," she said in English, adding that U.S. Jewry "never send their children to fight for their country."

Palestinians Refuse to Take White House Call; Freeze Ties with US Due to PLO Office Closing

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to speak to White House officials over the phone this week, as he threatened to freeze ties with the U.S. due to President Trump's decision to close down a Palestinian mission in Washington, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 23, 2017).

On November 21, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said he had been instructed by Abbas to put ties with Washington on ice after the U.S. State Department informed Abbas that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in DC would be closed because Palestinians had violated a 2015 U.S. Congressional mandate.

"In practice, by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official," Malki said.

The Palestinian freeze is likely to derail efforts by the Trump administration to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Report: Rel. Persecution Soars Due to Islamism; Islamist Hyper-Extremism Debars Rel.Freedom

A new report released today (November 22, 2017) reveals that the emergence of "Islamist hyper-extremism" is primarily responsible for a shocking rise in religious persecution across the world, according to the Christian Today website.

Violent terror attacks inspired by Islamist ideology have now taken place in one in five countries, the report found, highlighting that most religious persecution is from militant organizations, not governments.

"A virulent and extremist form of Islam emerged as the number-one threat to religious freedom," according to the report, "Religious Freedom in the World," by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Researchers examined 196 countries across the globe and of these, 38 showed "unmistakable evidence of significant religious freedom violations."

"It emerged that a massive upsurge in violence and instability linked to Islamism had played a significant role in creating an explosion in the number of refugees," the report said. It found a "key objective" of Islamist hyper-extremism is to eliminate other religious communities from land, which has resulted in a mass exodus of Christians from the Middle East.

Russian Church Head: End of History Is Near; Warns Society Must Unite to Avoid Apocalypse

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said this week that the world is on the brink of slipping into "the abyss of the end of history," the Yahoo News website reports today (November 22, 2017).

The apocalypse "is already visible to the naked eye," Patriarch Kirill told congregants after a service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on November 20.

He said there could be a saving grace for the world: society uniting.

"That's why the church, art, culture, our writers, scientists -- all those people who love the Motherland -- should come together because we are entering a critical period in human civilization," Kirill added.

Suicide Bomber Kills 50 at a Nigerian Mosque; Boko Haram Group Believed to Be Responsible

A teenage suicide bomber attacked as worshippers gathered for prayers at a mosque in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 50 people, the Religion News Service website reports today (November 22, 2017).

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing in Mubi town in Adamawa state, but suspicion fell on the Boko Haram extremist Islam group.

Boko Haram is based in the neighboring Nigerian state of Borno and has been responsible for scores of similar attacks in recent years.

A police spokesman said the young man detonated his explosives while mingling among the worshippers.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Poland Faces Fines for Ignoring EU Court Order; Refuses to Stop Logging a World Heritage Forest

Poland has been given 15 days to comply with a court order to end logging in one of Europe's oldest forests or face daily fines of 100,000 euros, the Euro News website reports today (November 21, 2017).

The ruling has been made by the European Court of Justice and relates to large-scale logging in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the border between Poland and Belarus.

The latest controversy between the European Union (EU) and an obstinate Poland -- there have been several nasty controversies between the two in recent months -- was sparked by the country's bold decision to triple logging quotas in the area last year.

The EU has warned Poland that this forest logging must cease, as it threatens the habitats of the rare birds and animals that live in the forest, including the European bison.

Ultra-Orth.Jews Damage Jerusalem Draft Bldg.; Protest Israel's Desire to Draft Yeshiva Students

A Jerusalem army draft office has come under attack by ultra-Orthodox protesters who tried to set fire to the building, the Talk Radio (British) website reports today (November 21, 2017).

A video of yesterday's incident shows protesters stopping people from leaving or entering the draft office, while they tried to light two fires at the entrance.

The army has said the protesters attempted to start fires on signs and other items and a spokesperson said: "There were no injuries. There was of course some property damage, but nothing too serious."

Several demonstrations have been held in Israel this week, following the decision of the Jaffa Military Court to imprison 11 ultra-Orthodox "draft dodgers." Police have so far arrested 32 protesters this week, as the debate on whether ultra-Orthodox men studying in yeshivas (Jewish theological schools) should take part in compulsory military service or if they should be exempt from the draft.