What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Who Are We, Anyway?

As we begin another Christmas season, let’s review exactly what the Lord’s arrival on Earth has done for us. It’ll help us remember the reason for the season and rekindle our joy in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

As we begin another Christmas season, let’s review exactly what the Lord’s arrival on Earth has done for us. It’ll help us remember the reason for the season and rekindle our joy in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matt 13:36-43)
 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 13:47-50)

In the parable of the weeds in the field, we’re told that the good seed represents the sons of the Kingdom while the weeds are the sons of the evil one. They’re both left to grow together in the field (the world) until the harvest. Likewise in the parable of the net, the good fish and the bad fish are drawn in the same net from the same body of water. In both cases the good and the bad seem to be similar in location and appearance until they’re separated.

By the way, some point to the parable of the weeds as proof of a post-tribulation rapture while others use the parable of the net to justify their pre-trib position. Neither is correct, for reasons I share in my 4 part commentary on the Kingdom Parables available elsewhere on this website (see links below).
But if both these parables point to a co-existence of believers and non-believers during the church age, and if they both allude to a physical similarity between the two, what is it that makes us different?

Who Are We Anyway?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17) You may look and even feel the same as you did before you were saved, but in God’s eyes you’re totally different. The old you no longer exists. As far as He’s concerned, you’re a new creation, as righteous as He is. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13) This change came about as the result of a new birth. No matter who your earthly parents are, or what their nationality is, God has given you the authority to be born again as one of His children.

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28) You might have been a Jew or a gentile before you were saved, but now you’re neither. You belong to an entirely new race of Human, and God has adopted you directly into His family.

His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephes. 2:15-16

Since the Fall of Man, God has never been able to dwell successfully among His people. They simply can’t live according to the standards of Holiness He requires. But He loves us too much to abandon us. So after the cross He began taking some from the Jews and some from the Gentiles, forming His new race of Human, and by His death making us as Holy as He is. The ones He takes are the ones who ask to be taken. Finally He now has children with whom He can dwell in peace
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Gal. 4:4-7
But that’s not all He did at the cross. Being His children makes us His heirs, inheritors of Creation. In both Greek and Roman cultures, even a biological son had to be legally adopted by his father in order to qualify as an heir. This usually happened between the ages of 14 and 18 and was intended to prevent wayward, rebellious, or incompetent offspring from getting their hands on dad’s estate. It was called receiving the full rights of a son. When you were born again as a child of God, whether male or female, you immediately received the full rights of a son, qualifying you as His heir.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Rom. 8:15-17)

Since we have allowed the death of our Lord to wipe away our debt of sin, thereby sharing in His sufferings, we are entitled by the power of the Holy Spirit to call the Creator of the Universe our Daddy and share with the Lord Jesus the inheritance set aside for Him. This inheritance is identified in Psalm 2:7-8. I will proclaim the decree of the LORD : He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. By agreeing to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are qualified to share in this inheritance

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephes. 2:6-7) Note the past tense of the verbs. As Far as God is concerned this has already been accomplished in Heaven, even though we wait for it to happen on earth. In other words it’s as good as done. And in ages yet to come, when God is asked, “What was the greatest demonstration of Your love for Your people,” He’ll point to us, the church.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephes. 2:10) This literally means that we’re His work of art, the very best example of His creative genius. We are destined to spend eternity in His presence, to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom. We’re future Kings and Priests in training for our coming coronation.

Let’s Begin Acting Like The Royalty We Are

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
(John 6:28-29

 So what does this training consist of? We must believe with all our hearts that Jesus did what He came to do, and entrust our eternal destiny to His completed work alone.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12
With the power of the Holy Spirit invested within us, we must strive to love each other as He loved us.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephes. 4:22-24) We must begin to change our attitude about life, letting our gratitude for what He’s done for us permeate every aspect of our lives. Here are some examples.

Be joyful always; (1 Thes. 5:16) No matter what happens, we should be so thankful for all He’s given us that nothing can steal our joy.
Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thes. 5:17-18) He wants a never ending conversation with us, and for us to find something in every situation that we can give thanks for, because He knows this will make us happier.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-7
 No matter what happens, our reaction should be to rejoice. We should worry about nothing, pray about everything, and be thankful for anything. In return He will give us peace in our lives. Peace that never fails. Peace that’s beyond our understanding. The peace of God Himself.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt. 6:31-33) He knows we need food, a place to live, and clothes to wear during our life on Earth. He promised to provide all these things for us, if we’ll just make Him our first priority.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8) He has given us an incredibly powerful mind, the limits of which are beyond measure. There’s no end to the things we can create in our imaginations. Such power can be destructive when it’s used improperly, such as when we focus on hate, or greed or envy. He wants us to focus our minds on good things, things that are beautiful, pure, excellent and praiseworthy. He knows this will make us happier and healthier.

Happy Now?

We who’ve been given everything must learn not to worry about anything. We have the promise of One who cannot lie that He will look after our every need, and that He’ll never leave us or forsake us to the very end of the age. And then we’ll spend eternity in never ending bliss with Him. All we have to do is believe it. That’s the gift He brought us when He came to Earth that first Christmas. Selah 12-03-05

Outrage over EU plot to kick UK out of UN Security Council

Reblogged from express.co.uk

BRITAIN and France are being pressured to give up their seats on the UN Security Council and hand them over to the EU instead.

UN Security councilGETTY
UN Security Council President Mark Rycroft and UK Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond
The “preposterously impertinent” declaration from the European Parliament followed a vote by MEPs last week that saw nearly 500 of them declare that the UK and France do not represent European views enough to warrant their place. 
It comes as Eurocrats try to bolster the EU’s position as a global player amid criticisms that the Paris terror attacks and the migrant crisis prove that the open borders is a failing concept. 

It also emerged that Europeans face having their fingerprints checked every time they travel to Britain under new security proposals confirmed by the Home Office. 
The MEPs’ vote, prompted by Finn Paavo Väyrynen, was met with incredulity last night. 
Paris attackAFP/GETTY
The news comes in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris which killed more than 130 people
David Campbell Bannerman MEP, co-chairman of the influential Eurosceptic Conservatives for Britain group, said: “This is an outrageous and dangerous powergrab from the EU. Britain has already been forced to relinquish its seat at the World Trade Organisation by the EU, which means we have lost our ability to negotiate international trade deals. The EU is always trespassing in nation state areas.

“This is proof of a determined push towards ever-closer union and creation of an EU superstate. 
“It would spell the end of Britain being at the heart of international defence and security at a time when the world faces an unprecedented terrorist threat.”

Conservative Gerald Howarth MP said: “It’s an absurdity. Europe is not a nation state and it is preposterous impertinence to suggest they should supplant two leading nation states which are both nuclear powers.” 
Migrants arriving in GreeceAP
The recent influx of refugees from the Middle East has destabilised much of mainland Europe
Ukip leader Nigel Farage added: “I warned last year that Brussels wanted a European army and a seat on the UN Security Council. Nick Clegg called me a liar and said I was talking a dangerous fantasy. 
It would spell the end of Britain being at the heart of international defence and security
David Campbell Bannerman MEP
“There are no sensitivities towards any British interests in the European Parliament. They are hell-bent on building a United States of Europe.” 
The timing of the vote, during the run-up to a UK referendum on Europe, was particularly misjudged, said Professor Wyn Grant of Warwick University. “Both France and Britain have been members of the UN Security Council from the beginning and they are Europe’s only nuclear powers,” he said. 

“The problem with the EU having a seat would be getting a consensus. Britain and France agree most of the time. The same can’t be said for the rest of Europe.” 
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki MoonGETTY
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has endured a particularly turbulent time in global geopolitics
A UN spokesman said: “The Secretary General has made it clear that he is open to reform of the Security Council but, ultimately, this is a matter for member states themselves to decide.” 

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire confirmed that Britain is considering following France’s lead in fingerprinting EU visitors. 

He said: “Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart have had a number of discussions concerning the need to fingerprint individuals at the external border of the Schengen area, as part of the strategy to manage the unprecedented flow of migrants.”

Former NYPD Jewish Cop Reveals ‘Hard to Listen to’ Recordings of Antisemitic Abuse From Fellow Officers

Reblogged from algemeiner.com H/T Caroline Glick
November 27, 2015 11:25 am
Former NYPD officer David Attali's vandalized locker. Photo: ABC/Screenshot.
Former NYPD officer David Attali’s vandalized locker. Photo: ABC/Screenshot.

A Jewish New York Police Department officer who was forced to quit his job  — after a request for a transfer to another department was denied by his superiors – released recordings of the relentless antisemitic abuse he suffered from fellow officers, ABC News show “The Investigators” reported this week.

David Attali, a six-year veteran of the NYPD with the World Trade Center Command, told ABC that the slurs he received began to escalate from jokes about Jews to constant references to the “good job” Hitler did.

Attali, originally from Israel, said he initially tried to ignore the incessant barbs, many of which were voiced in front of supervisors.
“Certain officers will come in, regardless of who is standing there, sergeant, lieutenant, not referring to me as David,” but rather “dirty Jew.”

Another commonplace greeting Attali recounted he would receive was, “I should throw you in an oven.”
When Attali’s request to be transferred to another command was denied, he decided to begin recording his fellow officers.

This week, Attali went public with the tapes for the first time on “The Investigators,” whose anchor called them “hard to listen to.”
The following are examples of the kind of comments to which he was subjected on a daily basis:

Police officer (in fake German accent): “Do you want to go to this camp for the summer?”
Attali: “Why?”
Police officer: “Oh, you will lose so much weight, you’ll be in the best shape of your life.”
Attali: “How so?”
Police officer: “It’s a concentration camp.”

Police officer: “Think about it. Where do Jews with ADD get sent?”
Attali: “Where?”
Police officer: “Concentration camps.”

“You smell like (expletive) and fish,” one officer told him. “You smell like Gefilte (expletive).”
Officer No. 1: “I hate that haircut.”
Attali: “Want me to shave my head?”
Officer No. 1: “I want to push you into an oven and (expletive) burn.”
Officer No. 2: “I want to tattoo a number on you.”
Officer No. 3: “DKS7741, step up, breathe in this tube. And, oh wait, he died, surprise, surprise.”

Attali said that his locker was also a target, with antisemitic slogans and photos – such as a supermarket ad for pork — being plastered in it by coworkers.
He eventually filed a complaint with the NYPD Office of Equal Employment, which concluded that though his locker had been vandalized, his allegations of verbal harassment were unsubstantiated.
“It was too much for me,” Attali said, bemoaning how his dream job had turned into his worst nightmare. “That’s it, I’m done. I’m out… I really had no option.”

Since quitting the force, Attali has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the NYPD and nine officers. His lawyer, Rocco Avallone, told ABC that his client “had to quit. He was what we call constructively discharged. They basically forced him to quit once the transfer got denied.”

The NYPD says it is conducting an internal investigation into this case, and disciplinary charges have been filed against three officers.

USA Today columnist calls for arrest and imprisonment of vaccine skeptics


by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Natural News
(NaturalNews) Now we finally come to the real agenda of the vaccine industry. After vaccines have been repeatedly documented by the Natural News Lab to contain neurotoxic chemicals such as mercury, formaldehyde and MSG; after vaccine shots have been repeatedly shown to kill people who take them; and after flu shots have been exhaustively shown to be based on no science whatsoever — with vaccine manufacturers openly admitting there are no clinical trials to show they even work — the rabid vaccine pushers are unveiling their end game: throw vaccine resistors in prison.

This is the call by USA Today columnist Alex Berezow. “Parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail,” he writes in this USA Today column.
And just to be clear, what Berezow means is that parents who do not vaccinated their children no matter how toxic the vaccine ingredients really are should be thrown in prison. There is no exemption being discussed or recommended that would allow parents to object to vaccines because of the neurotoxic chemicals they contain (such as the heavy metal mercury, still found in flu shots given to children in America). There is also no discussion that informed parents might reasonably object to vaccines based on the recent confession of a top CDC whistleblower who reveals how the CDC committed scientific fraud to bury scientific evidence showing a link between vaccines and autism.

But continuing with the imprisonment idea now being touted by USA Today, it begs the practical question: What exactly should happen after the parents are thrown in prison? Well, of course, the state will take custody of the children because they are now parentless.
So the suggestion that parents who seek to protect their children from toxic vaccine ingredients should be thrown in jail is simultaneously a call for the state to seize custody of all children who are not yet vaccinated with Big Pharma’s toxic vaccines.

Vaccine skepticism to be criminalized in America?

Let’s all be perfectly clear about the crux of this argument published by USA Today. Because police resources in U.S. cities are finite at any given time, Berezow is essentially arguing that law enforcement officers — who are already spread dangerously thin almost everywhere — should be diverted from stopping real criminals such as rapists, murderers and child molesters, and instead should fan out across U.S. cities, going door to door to handcuff and arrest vaccine skeptics while demanding Child Protective Services seize their children.
This argument, dutifully printed by the blindly obedient mainstream media, represents the total abandonment of scientific reasoning and the desperate invocation of the very same policies espoused by Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini and Adolf Hitler: If the People can’t be persuaded to do what you want through reason, then force them to do so at gunpoint.
To read the rest of the article, please click here.

10 New Testament Evidences for the Divinity of Jesus Christ

Dr. Christopher Cone
Southern California Seminary

#1: The Word

John 1:1—"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus was in the beginning (He had no beginning), He was with God, and He was God. The grammatical structure of the passage supports the idea that Jesus was the Word, and that He was God, but that He was not the Father or the Spirit, as both persons are distinguished clearly from Jesus (e.g., Jn 15:9, 26). While the concept of the triune God, or the trinity is prevalent in the New Testament, it is not simply a New Testament concept, as it is found in Old Testament as well (e.g., Isaiah 48:12, 16).

#2: The Image of the Invisible God

Colossians 1:15-17—"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." That He is the firstborn of all creation means that He is sovereign over creation, not that He is the first created thing. Notice the parallel reference to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead in 1:18. Clearly this shows His sovereignty over death, as the one conquering death. The passage is not indicating that He was the first to die.

#3: Our Great God and Savior

Titus 2:13—"Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus..." The genitives in this passage are all singular. The God and Savior are the same person, according to Paul. The reference to Jesus as God and Savior is repeated in Titus 3:4-6. Christ is called "our Savior."

#4: My Lord and My God

John 20:28—Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Thomas' great exclamation includes two nominative substantives joined by the conjunction and (kai). Jesus acknowledges that Thomas had "seen Me." Thomas worships Jesus as God, and Jesus accepts it (blasphemy if not true).

#5 Before Abraham Was, I Am

John 8:56, 58—"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad...Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Jesus claimed to interact personally with Abraham, then He claimed the name "I AM," (ego eimi), which was the title God used when speaking with Moses from the burning bush (Ex 3:14). Those listening to Jesus understood that Jesus was claiming to be God, and they picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy (Jn 8:59).

#6 The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

2 Peter 3:18—"...but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." Genitives are singular, Lord and Savior are equated, and Jesus is identified as both. Peter repeats this formula several times, first referring to Jesus as God and Savior (2 Pet 1:1), and then four times identifying Jesus as Lord and Savior (1:11, 2:20, 3:2, 3:18). In this last reference, Peter worships Jesus as God, which is blasphemy against God if not true.

#7 The First and the Last

Revelation 22:13—"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Jesus claimed the title of God from Isaiah 48:12, a context in which "the first and the last" refers to only one person, the creator of all.

#8 The Christ, The Son of God

Matthew 16:16—"Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." While there are many references to sons (plural) of God, John tells us that God had one son who was unique (Jn 3:16). Peter calls Him the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt 16:16), and Jesus responds that what Peter said was true, and that it was from the Father. Even the high priest later acknowledged that the Christ would be the Son of God. This "only begotten Son" (Jn 3:16) was not a son by origin—He wasn't born in the sense that He began to exist. He existed prior to His human birth, and was said to have existed even before all things were created (Jn 1:1, Col 1:16-17).

#9 The Exact Representation of His Nature

Hebrews 1:3a—"And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power." Jesus is, literally, the character of the essence of God. This exact representation is called the Son of God (1:5), He is to be worshipped by angels (1:6), and He is called God (1:8).

#10 Existed in the Form of God

Philippians 2:6—"...who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped..." Jesus existed in the morphe of God, had equality with Him, but was willing to empty Himself (of His glory), humbling Himself to become a man, obedient, and to die on a cross (Php 2:7-8). As a result, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (2:11).
There are many more evidences for the divinity of Jesus, both in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the Greek New Testament, but these are just a few examples that point us toward the understanding that Jesus is not simply a historical figure, a good teacher, or a prophet. He is something much more than that.

Refugees? What about the 'Palestinians'?

I have a serious question. Why is Barack Obama hell-bent on resettling thousands of overwhelmingly Syrian Sunni Muslim "refugees" in America when we constantly hear about the plight of so-called "Palestinian" refugees who have been presumably waiting in line for resettlement for 48 to 67 years creating what we're told is the most grievous injustice on…

Saturday, November 28, 2015

‘Syria is dead, Israel must prepare,’ top defense official warns

Reblogged from timesofisrael.com

Amos Gilad says Bashar Assad’s grip on his country is failing and it has become ‘a land without rule’

November 28, 2015, 2:49 pm 60
Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security division. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)
Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security division. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)
The nation state of Syria has collapsed, a fact that Israel must internalize about its northern neighbor, a senior Israeli defense official said Saturday.

“Syria is a dead state, and Israel must understand this and prepare accordingly,” Amos Gilad, the director of the political-security division in the Defense Ministry and a former senior Military Intelligence official, told a cultural event in Beersheba.
“[Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s grip on the country is faltering, it is a land without rule,” Gilad said, according to Army Radio.

With swathes of Syria falling into the hands of opposition forces, including jihadist groups, Assad has increasingly relied on support from allies Iran and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, both sworn enemies of Israel.

During a September meeting in Moscow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in “no uncertain terms” that Israel would not tolerate Tehran’s efforts to arm its enemies in the region, and that Jerusalem has taken and will continue to take action against any such attempts.

Netanyahu told Putin that Iran and Syria have been providing Hezbollah with advanced weapons, thousands of which are directed at Israeli cities. “At the same time, Iran, under the auspices of the Syrian army, is attempting to build a second terrorist front against us from the Golan Heights.”

The prime minister also said that Israel’s policy is to prevent these weapons transfers “and to prevent the creation of a terrorist front and attacks on us from the Golan Heights.” Netanyahu came to the Kremlin to “clarify our policies, and to make sure that there is no misunderstanding between our forces,” he said.

Russia is currently conducting air strikes in Syria that, while ostensibly targeting the Islamic State group, have also attacked Assad’s Western-backed foes. But a senior Israeli military official said Thursday that the Israel Air Force will still operate as normal in Syria, thanks to constant coordination between Tel Aviv and Moscow.

Unconfirmed Syrian media reports said Tuesday that Israel carried out four airstrikes on Syrian regime and Hezbollah positions in the area of Syria’s Qalamoun mountains on Monday night.

Seeking sanctuary

Illustrative: Druze march in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the town of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90/File)Five years of fighting in Syria have also seen a sharp increase in the number of Druze residents on the Golan Heights seeking Israeli citizenship.
In contrast to the only two requests filed in 2010, the number of Golan Druze seeking citizenship rose to 80 so far in 2015, Channel 1 reported earlier this month.
Illustrative: Druze march in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the town of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90/File)

Citing government statistics, the television report said that some 151 Druze have become naturalized Israeli citizens since the bloody war broke out in Syria in 2011.
According to the report, the majority of the applications have been filed by Druze youths, whose connection to Syria has likely been marred by the violence there.
The marked increase in applications could be an indication that the community’s 45-year-long loyalty to its Syrian homeland has become fractured by the raging war across the border.

In addition to disillusioned youth, some Golan Heights Druze are embracing Israeli citizenship out of a fear of widespread persecution in Syria if Assad’s regime — a government that protected the minority group — falls, or is forced out of power.
Tamar Pileggi contributed to this report

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Chief Rabbi of Brussels: There is no future for Jews in Europe

Reblogged from jpost.com

In the shadow of the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people and as Belgian police sweep the country for terror suspects, the Chief Rabbi of Brussels said Monday that there is no future for Jews in Europe. 

Rabbi Avraham Gigi spoke to Israeli radio station 103 FM about the atmosphere of fear in the Belgian capital that has been in a state of near lockdown for the past three days.

"There is a sense of fear in the streets, the Belgians understand that they too are targets of terror. Jews now pray in their homes [as opposed to at synagogues] and some of them are planning on emigrating," Gigi said.

"Since Shabbat the city has been paralyzed. The synagogues were closed, something which has not happened since World War Two. People are praying alone or are holding small minyanim [small prayer groups] at private homes. Schools and theaters are closed as are most large stores and public events are not permitted. We live in fear and wait for instructions from the police or the government," he said.

Gigi gave a breakdown of the Belgian Jewish population which he said numbered 50,000.

"There are 25,000 Jews in Brussels, 18,000 in Antwerp and the rest live in smaller places. There has been aliya to Israel as well as emigration to Canada and the US. People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe," he said.

He added that economic conditions are also pushing young people to leave Belgium and move to Israel or to other places. 

"I think making aliya to Israel is an important thing for every Jew," Gigi said. 

"It is something that Jews in every generation yearned for. But Jews should not make aliya out of fear because this will result in a poor absorption experience as a feeling that something was left behind will always remain. People should make aliya out of a love for Israel," the rabbi said.  

Opinion: There will be no Great War, Turkey is a small player for Russia

Reblogged from southfront.org/opinion 
Turkey’s military has dangerously escalated the situation around the war in Syria. The Turkish Air Force destroyed the Russian Su-24 bomber without consulting the political leadership of Turkey. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu informed the chief of staff of the Turkish army and stated that it was the downing of Russian aircraft. Ankara has previously warned that any illeged breach of its airspace, that it will resort to the demolition of aircraft that enter into that space.
Originally appeared at Stanjestvari, translated by Igor exclusively for SouthFront
So, two Turkish F-16s were in air patrol near the Turkish-Syrian border, a Russian bomber Su-24 was also in action near the Turkish-Syrian border. If it at some point “hooked” into Turkish airspace or not, only the Turkish F-16 fighter that launched the air-to-air missile that hit the Su-24 knows. Moscow argues that the Su-24 was in Syrian airspace when it was hit, Ankara say the plane was struck at the time when he was in the Turkish airspace. But the plane crashed on Syrian territory and Ankara will find it difficult to insist that the Su-24 entered its airspace. In these situations second decide, while the F-16 pilots identified an unknown aircraft, while on exchange of information with his command, he received orders what to do, and while launching the missile, a plane that was in a certain area may have gotten out of it. The competent team of the Turkish Air Force apparently held earlier warnings from the Turkish political leadership to case violation of Turkish airspace, they acted automatically.

Technically this “case” entails many questions. Specifically, on this site at the beginning of the Russian air campaign in Syria, I wrote that the first plane in this war that will be a casualty, would be the Su-24, this was due to a technical malfunction, or be shot down. And it got. This type of aircraft has a variable geometry wings, and because it has technically complicated apparatus and regardless of later modernization it is quite old, limited speed and maneuverability, even when laden with bombs and missiles is a quite easy targets, which hardly can avoided fired missiles. Otherwise, downed Su-24 belonged to a squadron of bombers from bases Khmeimim south of Latakia. When I recently visited this base, I did not notice that any of the Su-24 had a chaff launcher for infrared missiles. However, Su-24 bombers are not coming down to an altitude below 5,000 meters, which is an upper limit for PV-range missiles “altigan”, “Zipkin” FIM-43 and “stinger”.

Statements from Ankara and Moscow agree that the Su-24 shot down from missiles fired from the Turkish fighter F-16s. True, the first reaction of the Ministry of Defense of Russia says that the Su-24 hit the ground, if this is so then it might be said that it must have been the American “Hawk” or “nike Hercules” missiles, which the Turkish EIA has. But Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that the Su-24 shot down missiles launched from Turkish fighter F-16s. They could be using AIM-120AB “Amrram”, AIM-95 “sidewinder” or “Sapphire”, or AIM-7E “Sparrow”, depending on the distance of Turkish fighter from the Russian bomber. Apparently, given that there was no a visual contact it is most likely they used AIM-120AB “Amrram” missiles from distance of at least 15 km. The Russian bomber got hit in the lower hemisphere of the hull, which means somewhere right near the engine, which in turn may mean that the targeted missile AIM-95 “sidewinder” with closer spacing. The aircraft caught fire, but did not fall apart, so to speak,it fell to the ground in one piece. 

On TV recordings there are visible two parachutes, the Su-24 has a crew of two. On TV recordings there can be heard machine-gun fire, meaning that the Syrian rebels shelled the Russian pilots as they descended by parachute. Probably why one pilot was killed.
Why Russian Su-24 didn’t have hunting protection of its Su-30 or Su-27, on assignment in the area where they fly close to Turkish fighter planes?
Why wasn’t the a Russian Su-24 not informed that the Turkish F-16s were in the vicinity, and to occupy its position to launch air-to-air? 
Where was the Russian system of early warning radar, reconnaissance satellites, hunting air patrols? 
Where was the Russian “AWACS” that goes with it? Russian means of electronic monitoring and surveillance? Was all this predictable? Yes, it is.
Why is Turkey now resorted to the destruction of the Russian Su-24 bombers? Why in general is Ankara now pushing the situation around Syria to provoking Russia? Is not the general context of the situation in this area the struggle against terrorism of the Islamic state? And then in the midst of this Turkey shoots down a Russian plane?

First of all, Turkey is a wholesaler involved in the war in Syria, Ankara helping the Syrian opposition both financially and with weapons, Turkey wants regime change in Damascus. Turkey is holding an open border crossings with Syria for jihad warriors who fight on the side of the Islamic state, through Turkey and the port of Ceyhan it is smuggling oil it buys from the Islamic state, that Turkey buys at a price below 30 dollars per barrel of oil. In the last 48 hours, the Russian air force has bombed oil fields, terminals and tankers of the Islamic state, which is seriously threatened by the trade in oil through Turkey. In addition, Russian planes have helped advancing the forces of Bashar al-Assad to the Syrian-Turkish border, which Ankara does not see fit, because it wants a buffer zone in the area to be freely bombing the Kurds.

What will Russia do now? What will NATO do? Moscow will now choose the time and place for the answer. A range of possible responses is very broad, from military action by Turkish Kurds. Putin made it clear that the Turkish action was a “knife in the back to Russia.” And Putin never forgives betrayal. If I were the Turkish pilots who were shot down a Russian Su-24, I would have immediately change identity, physical description, place of residence and work. For the FSB will find them sooner or later. In the Levant anything can be done for a 1000 euros. So, there will be no great war between Turkey and Russia, because Turkey is a small player in Russia. Neither NATO will not strain relations with Moscow because of Turkey. This is also clear from the reactions from Washington and London …

S’il n’y avait qu’un billet à lire sur les racines des attentats, c’est celui-ci, tout y est.

Reblogged from:

Mathieu Aron, Benoit Collombat et Jacques Monin, l’Honneur du journalisme français, chapeau bas !

Merci à tous ceux qui ont aidé à préparer ce billet INDISPENSABLE…
Source : France Inter, Matthieu Aron, 20/11/2015
Matthieu Aron : Ce soir, enquête sur la fabrication du monstre Daesh, quelle a été l’implication de pays comme l’Arabie Saoudite et le Qatar ? Nous allons voir dans une enquête signée Jacques Monin et Benoît Collombat que l’enjeu pétrolier a pu jouer un rôle considérable.
extrait Hocham Daoud : “Tout le monde a joué avec Daesh. Tout le monde voulait jouer à travers Daesh pour s’imposer. En fait, on a créé Frankestein, aujourd’hui tout le monde essaye de trouver un moyen pour l’arrêter. Oui, il y a des moyens, s’il y a une volonté politique.”
Matthieu Aron : Pour commencer cette émission, je vous propose d’écouter cet extrait d’interview :
extrait Marc Trévidic : Si l’Émir du Katiba en Syrie de l’EI demande à main levée a ses recrues “Qui veut aller faire un attentat en France ?” vous allez avoir 200 bras qui vont se lever en une demi-seconde.
Matthieu Aron : 200 candidats au martyre. C’est le chiffre effrayant donné par le juge Marc Trévidic. Vous suivez l’enquête sur les attentats. Et ce qui nous a tous frappés, c’est ces opérations kamikazes qui se sont déroulées pour la première fois en France.
Élodie Guéguen : Oui, encore qu’il soit plus juste de parler d’attentats suicides. Pour être très précis, le terme Kamikaze désignait ces pilotes japonais qui s’écrasaient volontairement sur des cibles militaires. Là, il s’agit d’autre chose. D’ailleurs Daesh a conceptualisé ce type d’attaques dès le début de la guerre en Syrie. Daesh a même créé un terme spécifique (inghimassi), il désigne des combattants qui, les armes à la main, se rapprochent de la foule ou de leur cible et qui déclenchent leur ceinture explosive. Soit quand ils sont encerclés soit lorsqu’ils n’ont plus de munitions. C’est donc précisément le scénario de vendredi dernier.
Matthieu Aron : Et le juge Marc Trévidic, qui dans son cabinet d’instruction, a entendu des dizaines de terroristes, nous dit “il y a pléthore de candidats” et il n’est pas le seul à le dire…
Elodie Guéguen : Non, il s’agit malheureusement d’une réalité, ça semble presque inconcevable mais selon les experts, les candidats au martyre seraient même trop nombreux, c’est ce qu’a observé le chercheur Romain Caillet. L’un des meilleurs spécialistes des milieux djihadistes.
extrait Romain Caillet : “C’est pas seulement de la propagande, c’est une réalité. Il y a même des listes d’attente. En tout cas, en Syrie et en Irak, il y a des listes d’attente de gens qui sont prêts à faire des opérations martyre, des attentats suicides, aussi bien des jeunes qui viennent de quartiers sensibles en France ou des gens de bonne famille, des ressortissants du Golfe qui sont fortunés ou des Tunisiens issus de régions déshéritées du sud de la Tunisie”.
Élodie Guéguen : Les origines, les profils, sont variés, vous l’avez entendu. Mais ces kamikazes de l’EI ont un point commun, ils sont volontaires. Ce choix, ils le manifestent dès leur arrivée dans les camps d’entrainement. Deux filières existent et Daesh demande aux combattants de choisir leur filière, explique le journaliste David Thomson, auteur du livre “Les Français Djihadistes”.
extrait David Thomson : “Dès qu’on arrive en Syrie, on pose la question aux combattants au sein de l’EI : Est-ce que vous voulez être un combattant “normal” ou un combattant “inghimassi”, ça veut dire combattant, candidat, pour une opération kamikaze. Et ensuite ils suivent une sélection particulière parce que l’EI ne peut pas se permettre de voir au dernier moment un kamikaze flancher, c’est une question de crédibilité aussi pour eux.”
Matthieu Aron : Ils suivent une formation particulière, dit David Thomson, ça signifie quoi ?
Élodie Guéguen : Eh bien ça veut dire qu’ils vont être isolés du reste du groupe, ils vont être placés dans un camp d’entrainement spécifique. Comme les autres, ils recevront une formation religieuse, théologique, ils suivront aussi un entraînement militaire, mais ils seront mieux encadrés psychologiquement, mieux encadrés ou plus endoctrinés.
Matthieu Aron : Est-ce qu’on sait en quoi consistent précisément ces techniques, parce qu’il faut les appeler comme ça, de lavage de cerveau ?
Élodie Guéguen : Alors ça dans les détails, malheureusement on l’ignore. Il n’existe pas à notre connaissance de témoignages de djihadistes de Daesh qui seraient passés par ces camps de kamikazes, qui auraient ensuite renoncé à commettre une attaque suicide, puis qui auraient raconté leur expérience. À l’image de ce qu’ont fait certains repentis, comme on les appelle.
Matthieu Aron : Alors ce que l’on sait en revanche, c’est que ces candidats aux attaques suicides sont très très bien traités par les cadres de l’EI.
Élodie Guéguen : Oui, c’est d’ailleurs une des raisons qui motivent certains djihadistes à se porter candidat pour commettre une action kamikaze, selon le chercheur Roman Caillet.
extrait Roman Caillet : “Ils sont traités avec beaucoup plus d’égards que les autres combattants, ce qui fait que peut-être psychologiquement ils ont une dette envers ceux qui les ont accueillis dans ces centres. Et puis une certaine culpabilité, ils pensent ne pas avoir fait assez donc ils veulent se rattraper en faisant une grosse opération. On peut aussi penser, que certains veulent passer à la postérité. Être finalement, celui qui a permis de remporter la bataille, de prendre telle ou telle ville.”
Matthieu Aron : Vouloir passer à la postérité en se suicidant, pourtant le suicide, à ma connaissance, il est interdit par l’Islam.
Elodie Guéguen : Eh bien pas dans l’esprit de ceux qui commettent ces actes au nom de Daesh. C’est ce que nous explique Fethi Benslama, il est professeur de psychopathologie à l’université Paris Diderot.
extrait Fethi Benslama : “Pour eux ce n’est pas un suicide, c’est un auto-sacrifice. Comme le dit le communiqué qui revendique les attentats. Il utilise le mot “divorcé du monde d’ici-bas”. Divorcé du monde d’ici-bas pour se marier avec l’autre monde. Dans l’autre monde, ils vivent, ils jouissent, et même ils sont une jouissance absolue, extrême, ce qui est le processus interne par lequel quelqu’un accepte d’aller jusqu’au bout de cet acte-là.”
Matthieu Aron : En conclusion, que sait-on ce soir sur ceux qui sont morts en martyrs vendredi à Paris et ensuite à Saint Denis ?
Elodie Guéguen : Alors tous ou presque, on le sait, sont passés par des camps d’entrainement en Syrie. Maintenant il y a deux hypothèses. Soit c’est un groupe de terroristes dont les membres se connaissaient, qui se sont formés et entraînés ensemble pour mener cette attaque. Soit, et c’est une hypothèse privilégiée, soit ils ont été soigneusement sélectionnés, “castés” les uns après les autres par Daesh, ce qui montrerait un degré de préparation encore plus sophistiqué.
extrait François Hollande : “Notre ennemi en Syrie, c’est Daesh. Il ne s’agit donc pas de contenir, mais de détruire cette organisation. La Syrie est devenue la plus grande fabrique de terroristes que le monde ait connu et la communauté internationale est divisée et incohérente.”
Matthieu Aron : Face au terrorisme, une communauté divisée et incohérente, dit François Hollande. Eh bien nous allons revenir ce soir sur la fabrication du monstre Daesh. A-t-on fermé les yeux sur la montée en puissance de ce groupe terroriste ? Quelle est l’implication de l’Arabie Saoudite et du Qatar et quel rôle a joué la diplomatie française ? Avec Benoit Collombat, vous avez donc enquêté et pour bien comprendre il faut revenir au début de l’histoire. Tout part de la guerre en Irak.
Jacques Monin : Oui, de la chute de Saddam Hussein parce que lorsqu’ils le renversent, les Américains commettent deux erreurs. D’abord, ils mentent sur les armes de destruction massive et sur les liens supposés entre Saddam Hussein et al-Qaïda. Mais surtout ils marginalisent les Sunnites pour mettre les Chiites au pouvoir et Paul Bremer, qui est alors le gouverneur américain à Bagdad, commet une faute qui va jeter des dizaines de milliers de soldats aguerris dans les bras du futur EI. Cette faute, un des hommes les mieux informés de France, Alain Juillet, l’ex-patron du renseignement de la DGSE, nous la raconte.
extrait Alain Juillet : “Bremer a fait une erreur colossale. C’est qu’il donne l’ordre de licencier tous les militaires de l’armée irakienne. On envoie, je ne sais plus combien ils étaient, 200 000 ou 300 000 gens, qui vivaient avec une solde de l’armée. Ils partent avec leurs armes, ils n’ont plus rien. Et comme ils sont Sunnites et qu’on fait la chasse aux Sunnites, il va y avoir impossibilité pour eux de retrouver des emplois et autres. Donc ça va créer un ressentiment, une frustration, une haine terrible envers l’occupant et envers les Occidentaux.”
Matthieu Aron : Les Américains produisent donc un terrain de haine et un terreau sur lequel va se développer l’EI.
Jacques Monin : Oui. D’autant plus facilement qu’il n’y a plus de véritable État, les services publics n’existent plus, l’économie est moribonde, la corruption est devenue la norme. C’est donc effectivement sur ces cendres que le groupe EI va prendre racine et pour Myriam Benraad, qui est docteur en science politique et spécialiste de l’Irak, c’est un peu comme dans la jungle, ce sont les plus forts qui émergent dans ce chaos.
extrait Myriam Benraad : “Il y aura un certain nombre de groupes qui vont pulluler, les milices, les djihadistes, la tendance al-Qaïda, c’est une nébuleuse d’acteurs mais le fait est que les combattants d’al-Qaïda Irak qui deviendra l’EI sont les plus zélés, les plus déterminés. Donc l’État Islamique va faire le vide, va coopter un certain nombre de chefs de tribus, qui de fait parfois même quittent leur tribu pour rejoindre l’organisation. Donc d’une mouvance hétéroclite on a un processus d’unification et ils ont fait à mon avis fortune, bâti beaucoup de leur succès, sur cette unité qu’ils ont su construire dans un terrain qui était par ailleurs très divisé, très morcelé.”
Jacques Monin : Et sur ce terrain, une personnalité va émerger, c’est Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi qui règne toujours d’ailleurs aujourd’hui en maitre sur Daesh. L’autre groupe djihadiste dominant dans la région, c’est al-Nosra, qui est plus proche d’al-Qaïda.
Matthieu Aron : Et ces groupes qui montent en puissance, on les voit dans un premier temps plutôt d’un bon oeil chez les voisins de la Syrie et notamment en Arabie Saoudite.
Jacques Monin : Oui, parce que l’Arabie Saoudite est sunnite, elle a donc très mal vécu l’arrivée au pouvoir des chiites en Irak et l’avènement des groupes djihadistes, c’est un peu à ses yeux une manière de freiner un axe chiite (Liban Syrie, Irak, Iran) qui commence à prendre un peu trop d’espace à son goût. C’est ce qu’analyse Alain Chouet, un autre ex-patron du renseignement de la DGSE.
extrait Alain Chouet : “L’Arabie Saoudite essaye de s’opposer à la création de ce que l’on appelle le croissant chiite au Moyen-Orient et de maintenir un axe sunnite à travers l’Arabie, la Jordanie et la Turquie. Ces mouvements salafistes, sunnites, sont le seul moyen actuellement pour l’Arabie de s’opposer à la création d’un vaste ensemble chiite qui lui serait évidemment hostile.
Il y a aussi l’enjeu pour l’Arabie Saoudite de s’opposer à toutes possibilités de dérives démocratiques et nationalistes dans les pays arabes. L’État Islamique l’a dit x fois, la démocratie est une abomination.”
Matthieu Aron : Voilà donc pour le contexte géopolitique, mais ce qu’il faut préciser c’est que derrière cette toile de fond, il y a aussi des enjeux économiques absolument considérables.
Jacques Monin : C’est un aspect qui était assez peu évoqué jusqu’ici mais il y a effectivement en arrière-plan le pétrole et le gaz, parce que jusqu’ici l’Arabie Saoudite domine la production de pétrole et le Qatar celle du Gaz. Hors ces deux pays apprennent que l’Iran, leur plus farouche rival, projette de construire un pipeline qui traverserait l’Irak et la Syrie pour s’assurer un débouché vers la Méditerranée, alors ça redistribuait totalement les cartes du marché du pétrole et du gaz, et pour Alain Juillet c’est un des éléments qui vont pousser ces deux pays à déstabiliser Bachar el-Assad.

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