Israel: Trump’s Golan recognition, ‘a Purim miracle’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Israeli leaders gush over Trump’s Golan recognition, ‘a Purim miracle’

Syria silent as US president says time to ‘fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty’ over plateau; Lapid claims some credit; Bennett fears new demands; Palestinians warn of ‘bloodshed’

Photo taken on October 18, 2017 shows an Israeli flag fluttering above the wreckage of an Israeli tank sitting on a hill in the Golan Heights and overlooking the border with Syria. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)

Photo taken on October 18, 2017 shows an Israeli flag fluttering above the wreckage of an Israeli tank sitting on a hill in the Golan Heights and overlooking the border with Syria. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)

Israel’s leaders on Thursday welcomed US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the time had come for the United States to “fully recognize” Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, while the Palestinians warned the move would further destabilize the region and lead to bloodshed.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted.

There was no immediate reaction from Syria, which has long vowed to recover every inch of the Golan from Israel.

In Israel the move won widespread praise, but coming just weeks before Israel’s elections, much of the reaction was framed by the campaign.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led the praise of Trump, calling the move a “new Purim miracle.”

Speaking at a press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Netanyahu said Trump had “made history.”

“I called him. I thanked him on behalf of the people of Israel. He did it again. First, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy here. Then, he pulled out of the disastrous Iran treaty and re-imposed sanctions.

“But now he did something of equal historic importance — he recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and he did so at a time when Iran is trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel. And the message that President Trump has given the world is that America stands by Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) welcomes US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to his residence in Jerusalem on March 21, 2019. (Photo by JIM YOUNG / POOL / AFP)

“We’re celebrating Purim, when 2,500 years ago, other Persians, led by Haman, tried to destroy the Jewish people. They failed then; and today, 2,500 years later, again Persians led by Khamenei, are trying to destroy the Jewish people and the Jewish state. They’re going to fail again,” Netanyahu said.

Pompeo praised Trump as well, and added: “The people of Israel should know that the battles they fought and the lives they lost on that very ground [the Golan] were important and worthy.” Israel captured the Heights from Syria in the 1967 war.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the move would strengthen Israel’s security.

“This is the right response to Iran’s aggression from Syria and a clear message to Assad. Trump’s statement does historical justice almost 40 years after the decision of Menachem Begin on Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan. Thank you, Mr. President,” he said.

The Jewish community of Qatzrin in the Golan Heights, on June 28, 2017. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)

Members of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party were quick to praise the prime minister for the shift in US policy.

“President’s Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan is another achievement for Netanyahu’s foreign policy,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. “This term will be remembered in history as one where Netanyahu changed the rules of the game and brought about maximum Israeli gains with zero concessions.”

Yair Lapid, a leader of the Blue and White party that is seen as a main challenger to Netanyahu in the upcoming elections, praised Trump, but also tried to claim credit for the initiative.

“Thank you @POTUS for your intention to recognize our sovereignty over the Golan,” he tweeted. “We started this campaign a year ago and the leadership of @BlueWhite2019 stood on the Golan Heights and called for recognition. President Trump has shown again that he’s a true friend of Israel.”

יאיר לפיד Yair Lapid

@yairlapid

Thank you @POTUS for your intention to recognize our sovereignty over the Golan. We started this campaign a year ago and the leadership of @BlueWhite2019 stood on the Golan Heights and called for recognition. President Trump has shown again that he’s a true friend of Israel.

238 people are talking about this

Meanwhile, Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the New Right party warned that Israel may be expected to make concessions with the Palestinians in exchange for the move.

“With all the joy of American recognition of the Golan Heights, it is essential to say: The ‘Golan in exchange for Hamastan’ deal is a danger to Jewish settlements and to Israel.

“We call upon Prime Minister Netanyahu to announce as early as this evening that his agreement to the establishment of Palestine in the Bar-Ilan speech is null and void,” Bennet said referring to a 2009 speech where Netanyahu laid out his acceptance of the two-state solution.

This was echoed by the far-right Union of Right-Wing Parties, which thanked Trump, but warned the Israeli public not to let the move blind them to the dangers of Trump’s expected peace plan.

Details of the plan have not yet been released, but URWP, a union of the Jewish Home, National Union and extremist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), warned that it would demand Israeli concessions in the West Bank.

“Only a government with the Union of Right-Wing Parties will stand firm,” it said.

Head of the Golan Heights Regional Council Haim Rokah said it was “about time” and called on Israel to increase funding and investment for the region “and double the population.”

However, lawmakers from the mostly Arab Hadash party accused Trump of timing the announcement to try to influence the election and get Netanyahu re-elected — an assertion Pompeo denied.

“Trump is trying to save Netanyahu from his desperate situation and return him to power,” said MK Aida Touma-Sliman.

Touma-Sliman called the recognition part of “the entrenchment of Israeli and American control over the Middle East and a targeted assassination of the … opposition in the Golan by thousands of Syrian citizens, who are standing firm against all attempts at Israelization and normalization” — a reference to the Golan’s Druze population.

Hadash leader Ayman Odeh called the move a “cheap and cynical provocation.”

“Decisions on the Middle East should not be unilateral, and certainly not announced over Twitter,” he said, warning that it would further destabilize the region.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and extended Israeli law to the territory in 1981, a step tantamount to annexation. But the United States and the international community have long considered it Syrian territory under Israeli occupation. The plateau lies along a strategic area on the border between Israel and Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Assad as members of the Druze community attend a rally in the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights commemorating the 45th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, on October 6, 2018. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)

A top Palestinian official warned that this was yet another move by the Trump administration to adopt Israel’s positions and warned it would lead to further instability in the region.

“Yesterday president Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Today for regional stability he wants to make sure that the occupied Syrian Golan Heights (sic) be under Israel’s sovereignty,” tweeted Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee.

“What shall tomorrow bring ? Certain destabilization and bloodshed in our region,” he said.

Dr. Saeb Erakat الدكتور صائب عريقات@ErakatSaeb

Yesterday president Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s http://capital.Today  for regional stability he wants to make sure that the occupied Syrian Golan Heights be under Israel’s sovereignty. What shall tomorrow bring ? Certain destabilization and bloodshed in our region.

Israel, Cyprus, Greek ‘Cooperate from Firefighting to Energy’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Israel, Cyprus, Greek ‘Cooperate from Firefighting to Energy’

Friday, 22 March, 2019 – 09:30
Israeli PM Netanyahu sits with US Secretary of State Pompeo, Greek PM Tsipras and Cypriot President Anastasiades during their meeting in Jerusalem. (Reuters)
Tel Aviv – Nazir Magally
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described cooperation with Greece and Cyprus, under the supervision and encouragement of the US, as the best and strongest regional association in the world.

He made his comment following a summit he hosted in Jerusalem on Thursday with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“This is the sixth summit meeting between Israel, Cyprus and Greece. We began this a few years ago, and it’s blossomed into one of the best regional associations in the world,” said Netanyahu.

He added: “We cooperate in everything, from firefighting and now to energy.”

“We are planning to lay down a pipeline called the East-Med Pipeline, from Israel, through Cyprus, through Greece, to Europe, something that will benefit our economies greatly, provide stability for the region and prosperity to our peoples, but also we think would diversify the energy supplies to Europe,” said Netanyahu.

A source close to Israeli PM said that the summit unveiled a leap in military cooperation among the three countries, to the extent of establishing a joint supervision body in the Mediterranean Sea to protect gas wells.

Anastasiades affirmed Cyprus’ “commitment to promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean region.”

“Revisionist powers, like Iran and Russia and China, are all trying to take major footholds in the East and the West. We view the United States, Israel, Cyprus and Greece as great key partners in security and prosperity,” said Pompeo.

In 2015, Israel participated in wide-range military exercises in Greece, including a training against a Russian-supplied S-300 anti-missile system.

European countries signed with Israel in 2017 the joint declaration to enhance the work aimed at extending the sea line to transport Israeli gas to Europe within the next eight years.

The 2,000-kilometer underwater pipeline is intended to have a capacity of 12 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The project includes the construction of a 1,300 km long submarine pipeline from the East Mediterranean gas field to southern Greece, as well as a 600 km long pipeline to western Greece, linking existing pipelines to transport gas to Italy and other EU countries.

Algeria’s Streets See More Protests Against Bouteflika

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Algeria’s Streets See More Protests Against Bouteflika

Friday, 22 March, 2019 – 11:00
Algerians have demonstrated in their tens of thousands against Bouteflika’s bid for another term as president – Photo by AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat
Thousands of Algerians are demonstrating in the major cities calling for the resignation of, 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

It’s the fifth straight Friday since nationwide anti-Bouteflika protests began Feb. 22 that Algerians have taken to the streets, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Families joined professionals and students in the central squares of Algiers, the capital, holding signs reading “Get Out, Bouteflika” and “No Mandate Extension.”

“Rain will not stop us from continuing our pressure,” said 23-year old Ahmed Khoudja, who was among other protesters who gathered in the city under rain.

Bouteflika, who has ruled for 20 years, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to stand for a fifth term, according to Reuters.

But he has stopped short of stepping down and said he would stay in office until a new constitution is adopted, effectively extending his present term.

Meanwhile, workers of Sonatrach, the national oil company whose executives are close to Bouteflika, held a symbolic sit-in Thursday in solidarity with the protests that span all sections of society including the country’s youth and doctors, according to AP.

Chicago Loop Synagogue’s mid-century modern stained glass

Picnic at the Cathedral

Sandwiched between boring high-rises, the Chicago Loop Synagogue is one of those sacred spaces that make you say “Gah!”.

The building, constructed in 1957, is nothing special, but step inside…

windows

And CHECK OUT THIS STAINED GLASS.

Artist Abraham Rattner loaded his glass masterpiece with symbols of the Jewish faith.

star

And G-d said, “Let there be light a righteously funky sun.”

wheat

The yellow wheat-looking design is the Palm of Shins, a symbol from the fall Succoth festival

suns

Here’s a sun and a shofar (the ram’s horn used during the high holidays.)

menorah

Mid-century modern menorah, can you dig?

torahdoor

A friendly, dad-joke-making member of the synagogue showed us the ark, where the Torahs are stored.

The Hebrew text on the door comes from Proverbs 3:17, 18:

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is…

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Gargantuan ‘X-ray Chimneys’ in the Center of Our Galaxy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘EXTREME TECH)

 

Astronomers Spot Gargantuan ‘X-ray Chimneys’ in the Center of Our Galaxy

The monster black hole that anchors our galaxy is safely 28,000 light years away from Earth. That’s a good thing, too. The region around that back hole is overflowing with dangerous radiation and fragmented stars. Astronomers observing the center of the Milky Way have spotted some unusual features that drive home just how violent the area is. The galaxy sports a pair of gargantuan “X-ray chimneys” that expel the matter and energy building up around the black hole.

UCLA professor of astronomy and astrophysics Mark Morris, who contributed to the research, likens the features to exhaust vents, bleeding off energy from the galaxy in the form of X-rays. The international team looked to the black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced “Sagittarius A Star”) in an effort to learn more about star formation in the Milky Way. All galaxies foster the development of stars, but the rate of new star formation can vary wildly. The fate of the matter and energy spiraling toward a galaxy’s central black hole can be a significant factor in star formation.

To track the material blasted out around Sagittarius A*, the researchers turned to the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite. This X-ray observatory launched almost 20 years ago, but it’s still going strong. The team used data from 2012, as well as 2016 to 2018 to see what the black hole was doing with all the stars getting smashed to bits in its general vicinity.

According to the researchers, Sagittarius A* produces “chimneys” of X-ray that extend north and south from the disk of the galaxy. The structures are more appropriately known as Fermi bubbles, massive cavities carved out of the gas cloud surrounding the galaxy. The north and south chimney both start within 160 light years of the black hole, extending outward about 25,000 light years. That’s almost the distance from Sagittarius A* to Earth.

The black hole in our galaxy is about 4 million times the size of the sun, but other galaxies have central black holes that are much larger. We can study the Milky Way close up, which could provide insights into how these more energetic galaxies work. Understanding how energy moves through the chimneys and into surrounding space could help explain why some regions become rich in star formation, and others are relatively barren.

China: Their Communists Party Economic Ties To Their War Machine

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

 

China risks ‘the legitimacy of the Communist Party’s regime’ without changes, says law professor

  • Peking University law professor He Weifang calls for China to fulfil the commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001
  • The outspoken critic of China’s legal system made the comments during the ongoing trade war with the United States which has led to an economic slowdown

TOP PICKS

Peking University professor He Weifang. Photo: Simon SongPeking University professor He Weifang. Photo: Simon Song
Peking University professor He Weifang. Photo: Simon Song

China risks a “downturn that will fundamentally shake the legitimacy of the Communist Party’s regime” if it does not make structural reforms and fulfil the commitments it made when joining the World Trade Organisation, according to outspoken law professor He Weifang.

Central to the ongoing trade war with the United States have been issues raised by US President Donald Trump surrounding forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft and market access, all of which are areas China promised to correct when it joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001.

China passed a new

foreign investment law

this month in a bid to level the playing field for overseas investors and reassure the global community it remains an attractive investment destination, but many other issues including reducing export subsidies, fair treatment for foreign banks and a commitment to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement have yet to be fulfilled, according to He.

“The trade war is an opportunity for China. It is not that China has to succumb to the US, but it is time for China to fulfil its solemn commitments it made when it became a member nation of the WTO. If there is no structural reform, China cannot sustain its economic growth and the economic downturn will fundamentally shake the legitimacy of the Communist Party’s regime,” 59-year-old Peking University law professor He told the South China Morning Post in a rare interview.

“There is a strong correlation between current US demands in trade negotiations and the commitments that China made in 2001. Back then, Chinese legislators were excited about the then upcoming law changes, but ultimately nothing definite ended up happening.”

Under the pressure of the trade war, China’s economy grew by just 6.6 per cent in 2018, the slowest growth rate since 1990.

“The economy is the only tool for the Communist Party to win the people’s support. However, the government has been prioritising ideological control rather than economic development, which doesn’t and won’t work. We need this external force [from the trade war] to get us back on track,” He said.

Why China is cozying up to Europe

A key sticking point in the ongoing trade negotiations is the US demand for an enforcement mechanism to ensure China lives up to its commitments this time.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing next week to continue the negotiations, with Chinese Vice-Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He then travelling to Washington in early April, Chinese officials announced on Thursday.

“The trade war is not only about tariffs, it is also about the governing structure of the country and its relationship with businesses. The invisible hand of the government is generally behind forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft, which is a big risk for foreign investment, as it is hard for a foreign company to withdraw immediately after the investment,” added He, an outspoken critic of China’s legal system and a prominent Chinese law professor.

Company Law in China states that companies established within China must set up a branch of the Communist Party within their business to “carry out the activities of the party”, although the new foreign investment law failed to mention the “party” or demand foreign companies set up a Communist Party branch.

However, in a press conference in October 2017, Qi Yu, the then deputy head of the Organisation Department of the Communist Party, said 70 per cent of foreign firms had established a party branch, which has raised concerns among foreign enterprises about the influence such branches could have on corporate decision making.

“A board of directors is supposed to be the top management team and policymaker on company issues. A party organisation can cause terrible chaos [within in the company] which can trigger terrible consequences,” said professor He.

“There are different levels of shareholders in joint ventures, but the party organisation having a role among them is ludicrous. This is also a crucial structural problem.”

In February, Qiushi, the Communist Party’s main theoretical journal, published a speech made by President Xi Jinping in August, in which he said that China “must never follow the path of Western constitutionalism, separation of powers, or judicial independence.”

This stance is at odds with China’s WTO commitments and is “why we need judicial independence,” said professor He.

Last year, China also launched a nationwide crackdown on workers trying to form labour unions.

Foreign firms will need to up their game in China with new investment law

Human Rights Watch reported that more than 30 labour activists, factory workers, college students and trade union officials had been detained as of mid-2018 after campaigning for workers rights’ in the southern Chinese city Shenzhen.

“In developed western economies, companies must protect labour rights. China used to compete due to its advantage of inexpensive labour, which resulted from inadequate protection of labour rights. WTO requires that all member countries allow independent labour unions, but China has never fulfilled its commitment on this,” professor He added.

Read more

Huawei’s US government lawsuit may lift the air of ‘mystery’ around the Chinese telecoms giant

Has Huawei considered the full impact of its US government lawsuit?

Read more

US mulls partial ban on Chinese trains and buses, citing cybersecurity and ‘Made in China 2025’

Trains and buses could be the next battleground in US-China trade war

Read more

US-China trade war could slash US$1 trillion from US economy in a decade warns Chamber of Commerce

US$1 trillion war: the potential cost of the US-China trade dispute

Read more

China seeks to avoid fate of Japan in US trade war deal as heavyweight economists gather in Beijing

Can China avoid repeating Japan’s ‘lost decades’ in US trade war deal?

Read more

Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler says China should use ‘nudge theory’ to improve the lives of citizens

China should ‘nudge for good’ to improve the lives of its citizens

Mental Health

easydiet.blog

People often wish each other happiness, happiness and happiness once again, that no cloud would dull the sky. They don’t understand what they wishing. Because personality matures only when faced with challenges and difficulties. Let’s better look at the light of spirit, the strength to take on the challenges of life and discover something important, to be able to pass through the difficulties of life and to learn through them, and discover the power to create something new. It is filled with meaningful life, valuable happiness.

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DON’T BELIEVE IT; ITS JUST NOT POSSIBLE!

Becoming His Tapestry

Hey friends, how are you doing? Did you have a good weekend? I stayed in for most of the weekend, you know, washing hair, which takes a few hours and then skin care, which is always fun.Then of course, we attended service on Sunday.It was so good to be back at church.We’ve been unable to attend church for three whole weeks due to our travels.Do you know I don’t think I’ve ever missed three consecutive Sunday services? We do enjoy our services, it’s always wonderful when we can worship with our friends, I speak for my husband too.Yesterday’s service was especially good, perhaps because our absence.Do you attend church?

We’ve been watching this show called The Kindness Diaries on Netflix.  It’s a very fascinating show.  This man (Leon Logothesis) travelled around the world in search of kindness. He believed that if we searched deep enough within us, we can indeed find kindness…

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Descending Spiral into the Hands of a Just God

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

…and I’m about the business of endeavoring to keep my spiritual accounts in order. Although at times, it feels like I’m trying to herd a pride of feral cats across the Great Divide. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

“There is a (right) time for everything,

And a season for every activity under heaven.”Ecclesiastes 3:1

The essence of a man’s darkened soul consists and expresses itself in the fact that when he is of the opinion that he achieves his true nature and  quintessence apart from the knowledge of God, without hearing and obeying His Word, in this independence and autonomy, he always misses his true nature and essence.

He is always either too soon or too late.

He is asleep when he…

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Freelance Christian writing online jobs: 19 websites currently paying for submissions

Motivation, & the Environment

This post contains information for old and new writers who are talented, confident and interested in getting paid for writing about God or Christian faith-related matters. As at the time of publishing this post, many websites listed further down this article have been accepting articles/content submissions from writers. Please note that there are several others you could come across if you search Google or other search engines.

Many Christian-based websites and online magazines have been publishing original content produced by Christian writers from any part of the world. Some of the websites listed in this post cannot be found on job boards because they don’t advertise on job boards.

It’s more advantageous to pitch or submit original or reprint (previously published) content to websites than apply on job boards because there is lesser competition for talented writers who pitch websites. However, one must be talented in order to succeed with…

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Reflections of a Sexual Abuse Victim

"Remember Me When You Are In Hell!"

Surya's Travel Hunt

WillGotogether Dost

ARJung

writing fairy tales with a steampunk and folkpunk twist

poetry etc.

from my kaleidoscope-daya bhat

Culture Shocks

Musings on a variety of subjects while embracing new towns

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

The Amazing Grace of Almighty God in Christ

Humoring the Goddess

Croning My Way Through Life

HOPE

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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