Beyond the Cusp

November 11, 2013

A Look at the Future for the Jews and Christians of Europe

There have been numerous studies and commentaries pertaining to the rising anti-Semitism in much of Europe. There have also been eulogies for the Christian and Catholic Churches in Europe and often mentions of another church or cathedral being put up for sale and often being transformed into Mosques. This transformation mirrors the events in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Spain, Turkey and other locations where Islam spread during their periods of expansion as they conquered these lands and transformed them from Christian nations into Muslim majorities and dwindling Christian presence. Similar such occurrences are currently being witnessed in Egypt with the Coptic Christians, the Christians of Lebanon and the Christians of Bethlehem under Palestinian autonomy. The story is often told about the empty pews of the churches throughout most of Europe and the advance of secular statist humanism where the human is worshiped as the ultimate pinnacle of creation and the State is seen as the end all and arbiter of rights, privileges and petition which is nothing more than another variation of worship. The Christians have yet to face the animus which is being felt by the Jews in Europe.

That is where a recent survey taken of European Jews reveals the extent of the discomfort, one could say persecution, felt by the majority of Jews in Europe. Some of the statistics from the survey found that sixty-six percent of European Jews considered anti-Semitism “a fairly big or very big” problem in their country; seventy-six percent said anti-Semitism had worsened in the past five years, with abuse especially prevalent on the Internet with it particularly present in social media, especially where aliases hide the perpetrator’s real name; France, Belgium and Hungary reported the highest rates of anti-Semitism in the media and political life, as well vandalism and open hostility in public; twenty-one percent of people said they had experienced verbal or physical abuse in the last year for being Jewish; almost half feared experiencing public insults or harassment in the next year, with as close to twenty-three percent saying they purposely avoided Jewish sites or celebrations as they might not be safe; eighty-two percent of people did not report abuse or discrimination they had experienced to the authorities feeling it would be useless as nothing would be fully investigated and it would have no real effect on their situations; large number of European Jews are considering leaving because of the persecution they experience in the countries; the belief was found to be valid that a clear link between the demonization of Israel and attacks on Jews in Europe exists; sixty-eight percent of the Jews reported they have avoided appearing identifiably Jewish in public for fear of attack or harassment; eighty-two percent of those surveyed say they have heard Israelis being likened with Nazis; many of those respondents who had witnessed anti-Semitism saying that it had come from the Left with fifty-seven percent of those in Britain, sixty-two percent of those in Italy and sixty-seven percent of those in France said they had heard anti-Semitism from someone on the Left; racism against Jews from the Muslim community was reported by fifty-one percent of Jews in Sweden, fifty-six percent of Jews in Britain and seventy-three percent of Jews in France; and thirty-one percent of Jews had either considered or attempted emigration specifically as a result of anti-Semitism, while in France the figure is just below half.

Between these numbers and the known high rate of assimilated Jews who no longer practice their religion and the high rate of intermarriage, it is very likely that the end of a Jewish presence beyond some small communities of Orthodox and Hassidic Jews will remain in Europe by the middle of this century and certainly by its end. The truly frightening revelation is that the Jews in the United States are following this very trend, though with far less prevalence of the anti-Semitism, and outside the very religious communities the numbers of practicing and Shabbat Synagogue attending Jews is rapidly dwindling where these communities may soon also disappear. The one thing that might change these trends and force many Jews back to their faith is the rise of anti-Semitism, oddly enough. Should it become systemic and be enacted into law, something which has already begun in Europe with the bans on Kosher slaughter (Shechita) as well as bans on Circumcision, two basic tenets of the Jewish faith, the Jews might, as has occurred numerous times in their history, return to their religion and reestablish close communities living as separate from the mainstreams of society and eventually relocating most likely to Israel. Some might claim that this is exactly what was predicted would occur once the Jewish State was reestablished and that all of this is simply coming to fruition of the ingathering of the Jews to Eretz Yisroel. They would also point to the return by the Ethiopian Jewish community, the Bnei Menashe Jews from India and the Yemeni Jews to Israel in the recent past and still continuing in the present and many expect that more of the lost tribes from the northern kingdom of Israel (also called Samaria) will be found and brought home as well as the rest of the Jews from the southern kingdom of Judah. That is an area where I must depart as such events are beyond the reach or control of mortal humans and as such must simply be hoped for and attempt to assist where and when able but not to the point of believing that our actions can produce such results, that is decided in another dominion.

Beyond the Cusp

September 11, 2013

Two Faces of Terrorism’s Victims, Syria and Israel

Filed under: Absolutism,Act of War,Al Nusra Front,Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade,al-Qaeda,al-Qaeda in Gaza,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Arab Winter,Armed Services,Assyrian Christian Community,Bashir al-Assad,Blood Libel,Cathedral,Chemical Weapons,Children Murdered,Christians,Church,Civil War,Civil War,Civilization,Coptic Christians,Dictator,Divided Jerusalem,Egypt,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,European Union,Fatah,Gaza,Government,Hamas,Hate,Hezballah,History,Iran,Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps,IRGC,Islam,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish State,Jews,Jihad,Judea,Judean Hills,Kotel,Kurdish Militias,Kurds,Mahmoud Abbas,Middle East,Military,Military Base,Military Intervention,Military Option,Monasteries,Mosque,Murder Israelis,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Nuclear Sites,Nuclear Weapons,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinians for the Liberation of Palestine,Peace Process,PFLP,PLO,Plutonium Production,Politics,Popular Resistance Committees,PRC,Pre-Conditions,President for Life,Promised Land,Rebel Forces,Response to Terrorism,Rock Throwing,Samaria,Shiite,Statehood,Suicide Bomber,Sunni,Syria,Syrian Free Army,Syrian Military,Terror,Third Intifada,Troop Withdrawal,Uranium Enrichment,Victims,War,Weapons of Mass Destruction,West Bank,Western Wall,WMD,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:57 AM
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The first face we will take is the forces in Syria on both sides of the so-called civil war. On the side of Syrian President Dictator Bashir al-Assad there are two separate and very different terrorist entities. The one more easily perceived as a terrorist entity, despite the European Union’s inability to so identify, is Hezballah. They are a terrorist group which has managed to impose its will on a nation and hijack the political process there by a combination of assassinations and intimidation. The other terrorist group in Syria is the terror arm of the Iranian military, the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) which is trained and trained as one of the elements of the Iranian military but used as the Iranian presence in foreign efforts where Iran wishes not to be officially involved. The IRGC can act as a conventional military force or they can operate as a terrorist entity. Both the IRGC and Hezballah forces in the Syrian conflict are being mostly applied in a military manner in traditional military style engagements. This is not to imply that they have not been used as a terror instrument but that their main mission is to fight a traditional war. On the other side aligned with what are referred to in the news as the rebel forces are groups attached or aligned with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Where the different groups operate mostly independently, they are all fighting towards the same goal, imposing an Islamist state designed to be an integral part of a future Caliphate. They operate as a military force when the aim is taking control of a objectives such as military bases, command and control facilities, towns, neighborhoods or any physical target. They are also deployed to instill terror through such tactics as assassinations, murder of civilians, religious cleansing of towns, destruction of Churches and other religious buildings, suicide bombings, car bombings and other nonmilitary terror attacks forms. So, in Syria if one wishes to support either side they have to first accept that they are acting to support terrorist entities. As we noted long ago, Bashir al-Assad was being completely honest when he first declared that the rebel forces were made up of terrorist groups. Where initially he was not entirely correct as there were actual revolutionary forces striving to install some recognized form of governance replacing al-Assad but now they have been totally displaced and the forces fighting to remove al-Assad are now almost purely terrorist related.

 

Yesterday’s article mentioned that the rebel forces had taken control over the town of Ma’alula, a town made up of mostly Christians who still speak the Aramaic language they spoke when they first adopted Christianity in the first centuries of its inception. We had hoped that the rebel forces which took the town would act like civilized people and not terrorize the town’s citizens or destroy any of the ancient irreplaceable Churches, Monasteries and other landmarks. It was a hope against hope that unfortunately was not reflected over the ensuing day. The terrorists who took the town of Ma’alula are strongly allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, the same Muslim Brotherhood which is systematically eliminating any trace or vestige of the ancient Coptic Christians which remain in Egypt. Despite the fact that such efforts contribute absolutely nothing to their efforts to reinstall Mohamed Morsi to his previous position as the elected President of Egypt, it almost appears that the murder of Coptic Christians along with the removal of their businesses, homes, society, Monasteries and Churches is their primary goal. In Syria the destruction of the Christian presence in Ma’alula along with the forced conversion or murder of the Christian residents has become an apparent objective for the Muslim Brotherhood aligned rebel forces which took the town after the Syrian military there were restationed in a tactical move as Ma’alula in and of itself is of minimal if any tactical value. With this knowledge it can easily be determined that the taking of Ma’alula was committed purely in order to annihilate its Christian population and either destroy the ancient Churches and Monasteries or transform them into Mosques ridding them of any vestiges of their Christian origins. It is also worth noting that the ancient Assyrian Christian community is not the only targeted minority targeted by the terrorist elements in the rebel forces, there is also the Kurdish community. The Kurdish people have one advantage the Christians do not, a military militia which is attempting to protect them and prevent their slaughter or the destruction of their homes, businesses, farms and religious structures. The Kurdish militias in Syria have been reinforced by troops and assets sent by the Kurdish militias of northern Iraq as well as some previous fighters from the PKK Kurdish forces classified as terrorists by Turkey and a number of other nations and institutions. All things aside, the Kurds in Syria are fortunate to have a quasi-military force for protection which unfortunately the Christians do not possess. They are completely dependent on a Christian world which has yet to take note of or make even the smallest effort to protect either the ancient Assyrian Christian community in Syria or the Coptic Christian community in Egypt. Let’s hope that the world’s Christians lift the blinders from their eyes and at the very least provide their brothers and sisters in harm’s way a refuge and a means on arriving there safely no matter the cost.

 

In Israel the terrorists from all sides have heightened their efforts pushing the envelope even further assured that Israel dare not respond in any meaningful manner as long as the peace talks are being conducted as any overt Israeli response would immediately trigger world-wide objections blaming Israel for taking actions which threaten the negotiations and halting any progress towards a lasting peace. This has been the tried and proven method which the terrorists from all sides employ as they have had success in thwarting any Israeli response to terrorism simply by decrying that Israel is just using the peace negotiation as a cover for unfairly victimizing the Palestinians. There are also the increased rhetorical threats which come with every new session of peace negotiations as well as the increase in actual attacks. The threats come from Hamas, Palestinians for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Hezballah, Palestinian Revolutionary Committee (PRC), al-Qaeda in Gaza and any other group not included in the arm of the Palestinian Authority taking part in the negotiations which is exclusively Fatah. These terrorist entities are not included directly in the negotiations, despite the fact that often Mahmoud Abbas and the other Palestinian Authority and Fatah spokespeople will plead on their behalf or demand certain concessions be made for the Palestinians living in areas outside Fatah or Palestinian Authority direct control but under one of the other groups. The reason these groups claim as their motivation for their increased terrorist attacks and actions is that the peace process has not received their blessings nor does it represent them so they demand the right to attack Israel in any manner in order to force an end to the peace negotiations. The negotiations do not even affect all of the myriad of groups which fall within the Fatah umbrella over which Mahmoud Abbas has ultimate authority. The al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, the most recognizable member of the military wing of Fatah, does not stand down as their terrorist arm ramps up their activities. All of this is just one another insanity which the Israeli people are expected to endure and endure silently as the peace process takes precedent over their safety, even their very lives. The al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades have recently announced an entire new front in their war to destroy Israel and annihilate its Jewish citizens Tuesday, declaring that it would give the “green light” to terrorist attacks targeting Israelis beginning on Friday. Their claim is that they are protecting the Temple Mount from “The invasion of the compound by hordes of settlers, and the harm to (Muslim) worshipers, with no intervention from the international community.” This threat is likely one of the most accurate examples of the psychological malady of projection. The truth of the matter is whenever the Muslim interests feel they need to exercise their influence and control over the Temple Mount they organize a riot knowing that the only response by the Israeli security police will be to remove any Jews and close the Temple Mount to Jews for anywhere from a couple of days to even weeks at a time depending on the intensity of the riotous attacks. The one item which must also be mentioned is Hamas originated as the Muslim Brotherhood arm to attack and terrorize the Jewish presence in Israel. The same Muslim Brotherhood which is currently going to extremes to murder Christians and erase any trace of their communities and their faith from what they claim are pure Muslim lands.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 10, 2013

Are the Syrian Christians Next?

With the capture of the Syrian Christian town of Ma’alula, a town of approximately five thousand just north of Damascus bodes ill for yet another ancient Christian community. The residents of Ma’alula actually still speak Aramaic just as they had when they took to Christianity as some of its first converts. The town holds numerous ancient churches, monasteries and shrines from the earliest years of Christianity and there are many who fear these irreplaceable relics of history could end up being destroyed or altered into Mosques. The people are also possibly in danger similar to the situation the Coptic Christians find themselves facing in Egypt. Ma’alula was captured after five days of fighting falling to the al-Nusra Front, a rebel group that has sworn allegiance to al-Qaida, the conservative Islamist rebel group Ahrar al Sham and the more mainstream Farouk Brigade. The one fortunate occurrence thus far is that the Syrian military had fought for the town with the rebel forces in the area for five days but retreated from Ma’alula before it had sustained serious damage to its ancient buildings. The question now is what will come as time unfolds, is it possible that the Islamists will allow these Christians to continue to reside in peace only requiring they pay the Jizya and accept Dhimmi restrictions.

 

There is another result which may be born of this situation which can also be applied to any other location within the areas where there is Arab uprisings resulting from the Arab Winter. The Obama administration has been hovering between striking in Syria as a response to the utilization of chemical weapons on the population and the battlefield by Bashir al-Assad and finding some justification for backing off the red line threat. President Obama has been wavering between these two positions often turning on a dime seeming to be searching for the one unarguable justification which would unite everyone either giving him the moral backing to either act or the perfect reason for walking away. Despite the fact that should the Syrian military decides to try and retake Ma’alula from the occupying rebel forces there would be a definite probability that there would be collateral damage destroying the ancient and irreplaceable buildings. Add to that the human casualties which President Obama could use as a further reason to enter the Syrian conflict. Since there have been strong indications which side President Obama has chosen as there have been atrocities committed by both sides yet only the Syrian military has been held to any standard by the President.

 

But then, by using the possible slaughter of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world to reinforce President Obama’s argument and having not even mentioned the similarly ancient Coptic Christians who are facing horrific evil in Egypt would be being duplicitous, and even more so as there have not been demands the United States intervene if the Egyptian government refuses to protect them. Such an argument using the expectation that in order to be considered a civilized force that is accepted by the rest of the world, all sides in the Arab conflicts which have spread across much of the Middle East and North Africa need to protect all peoples equally, be they Muslim or be they Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sheikh, Bahá’í, Jewish, Taoist or any other religious system or belief system and end the unjustifiable persecution of any non-Muslim religion. By making this the stated position for acceptance in the world community President Obama could finally have acted in a manner justifying his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he won the election for President. Obviously the Nobel Committee had reasoned that President Obama was destined to act in some manner so as to commit the pinnacle act which would be transformational making the entirety of Earth a far better and more unified and accepting place where everybody has value and can expect equal treatment and opportunity. Having President Obama actually live up to the expectations which so many different people, institutions, and both governmental and nongovernmental organizations had expressed they were expecting to emanate from his Presidency would make his entire Presidency truly inspirational and transformational making Barack Obama far more than just the first American President of color but one of the truly great Presidents placing beside Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy. Should he make such a stand and use everything at his command including uniting the majority of the world behind such a noble cause using or separate from the United Nations, then the time will have come to get the hammers and chisels into motion adding one more head on Mount Rushmore; he would have earned such a placing. Hey, just because I have had my differences with a number of President Obama’s policies, that does not mean I cannot also hold out great hopes.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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