The Common Threads Between Science And Divine Creation Explained, Some

(I GOT THE IDEA FOR THIS POST FROM A COMMENT I MADE TO A FELLOW WRITER ‘LOGAN’ AT ‘CURIOUS HUMANS’)

 

I am a person that believes that we are all children of the Devine power of God. Yet I know very well from a little over 50 years of studying Scripture that all of the Christian Churches (that I know of), as well as our Jewish friends, have many things wrong right from the beginning of the first Book of the Bible. I totally believe that the Scriptures and Science actually agree on many, many things, in fact, they agree on the vast majority of issues. There is no reason for people who believe that God created all things to be so uptight about things like the big bang theory. I also believe that human beings have evolved greatly from the first Gentiles who have probably been here on this planet for at least a million years. Did we evolve from at least as far back as the Neanderthals, yes, without a doubt? Did we evolve from monkeys or gorillas, no! Did our ancestors crawl up out of the Oceans, no! Is there really such a thing as ‘the missing link’, no! Science has never been able to find the so-called ‘missing link’ because it as never existed, there is a gap between monkeys and mankind, we were never one and the same. If people who believe in a Divine Creator would quit blindly following ‘Church Doctrine’ their eyes might be opened to the truth of what Scripture is really telling all of us.

 

I have written articles here on this blog before about these issues of creation by God and creation by accident. To me, it is ridiculous for Christians to insist that the Earth is about 5,500 to 5,600 years old. To believe that one must not believe the Apostle Peter, the Prophets, or God Himself when we are told that the human day is not God’s day. We are told that a human lifetime, the example of 80 of our years are literally equivalent a blink of an eye compared in God’s time. So, why do we Christians and Jewish believers insist on degrading God down to our level? My Jewish friends please correct me on this next sentence if you believe that I am wrong on what I am about to say.  To me, what I have garnered about the Jewish calendar is that it begins with the time they believe that Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden Of Eden. (You can find this information in the following Los Angles Times Article:

Jewish Calendar Starts With Adam Symbolism

September 23, 1989 |ALLEN S. MALLER | Special to Religious News Service)
I believe that this year would be about year #5578 on the Jewish calendar, I believe that the Jewish New Year begins right after the 10 day Holiday of Yom Kipper. Many Christians consider the birth of Jesus (Yahushua) to be the beginning of the ‘Christian Calendar’ yet if we really dig into History we will find that the lifespan of Jesus was from 4 B.C. to 29 A.D. The Arabic Calendar begins in the Christian Calendar when Mohammad fled from Medina to Mecca in about year 630 A.D. I do ask my readers who are of the Islamic Faith to drop me a comment if this date is a little bit off and let me know the true date please.
I do say that it seems a bit odd to me though that so many people believe what is being taught from the Pulpits without questioning what they are being taught. Why do people have a Bible in their home or bother taking one to Church if they are never going to study the Scriptures on their own? Even in the times of Jesus and His Apostles when He/they would go into the Synagogue’s to teach, the people there would search the Scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was correct or not. Why is it that Christians today do not open their Bibles to see if what they are being taught is correct, or not?
Now, I would like to get back to the time of Adam and Eve for a moment. Many people who are looking into the window’s of Christianity dismiss Christianity as idiotic because of the belief that the world began 5-6,000 years ago, and honestly, I can’t blame them. Please, get your hands on a Bible and actually look at the first two chapters of the first Book of the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis. Now please read where it is speaking of the six days of Creation. On the sixth day, God created Men and women and told them to go out into the world and multiply. Then Scripture speaks of how on the seventh day God rested. Then, in the next chapter we are told the story of the creation of Adam, then Eve. This is after the sixth and the seventh day, not during the sixth day at all.
Now, if you think I am crazy, or not, please keep reading. After Adam and Eve were cast out of God’s Garden you will see the story of Adam and Eve’s first two children, the story of Cain and Able. After Cain killed Able God cast him out of this area just outside the Garden area. Now, please think about a few things that we are being told here. When God told Cain that he was being cast out he said that “all those who find me will kill me.” Excuse me, all WHO? Aren’t there only three people on the whole Earth at this time? Aren’t Adam, Eve, and Cain the only people? So all of Who? What did God say and do to Cain at that moment? God put a mark upon the forehead of Cain and said He put it there so that “all of those who find you will not kill you.” Again folks, all of WHO? Then we are told that Cain traveled to the East into the land of Nod and there he took a wife! Wait a moment, where the heck did she come from?
There are many issues that Christianity and the other Faiths in the world have wrong and that is because the base of what they are teaching is corrupted. If your teachings are built on a sandbar there is no way it can stand in the storm of reality. Folks the truth is so plain, it is given to us, but we refuse to see it. God created humankind many thousands, hundreds of thousands or possibly even a million years or so before God created Adam and Eve. Yet, not until God created Adam did He “breathe into him the breath of life and he became a living Soul.” This is not said during the creation of mankind in day six. God created us Gentiles first but He did not create this Royal Bloodline until He created Adam and Eve. Folks, even Jesus Himself referred to us Gentiles as “dogs” because until after His Resurrection was complete we were not counted into the salvation that up until that time was reserved only for the Hebrew Bloodline. I could go on much further in this conversation as there are great errors in the Church’s teachings that are running millions of people far away from Christianity causing their Souls to be given over to Satan for damnation. Folks, we will all answer for our laziness of not caring enough to learn what the Truth is so that we could actually save a lot of these people who are going to be cast into Hell. If we are egotistical enough to believe that their blood will not be upon our own hands, we are not only lazy, we are delusional. This article just topped 1,300 words so I am going to close this conversation with you now if there is enough interest in the comment section I will continue my thoughts with you soon in another post. Thank you all for the kindness of your time, Shalom.

The Common Threads Between Science And Divine Creation Explained, Some

(I GOT THE IDEA FOR THIS POST FROM A COMMENT I MADE TO A FELLOW WRITER ‘LOGAN’ AT ‘CURIOUS HUMANS’)

 

I am a person that believes that we are all children of the Devine power of God. Yet I know very well from a little over 50 years of studying Scripture that all of the Christian Churches (that I know of), as well as our Jewish friends, have many things wrong right from the beginning of the first Book of the Bible. I totally believe that the Scriptures and Science actually agree on many, many things, in fact, they agree on the vast majority of issues. There is no reason for people who believe that God created all things to be so uptight about things like the big bang theory. I also believe that human beings have evolved greatly from the first Gentiles who have probably been here on this planet for at least a million years. Did we evolve from at least as far back as the Neanderthals, yes, without a doubt? Did we evolve from monkeys or gorillas, no! Did our ancestors crawl up out of the Oceans, no! Is there really such a thing as ‘the missing link’, no! Science has never been able to find the so-called ‘missing link’ because it as never existed, there is a gap between monkeys and mankind, we were never one and the same. If people who believe in a Divine Creator would quit blindly following ‘Church Doctrine’ their eyes might be opened to the truth of what Scripture is really telling all of us.

 

I have written articles here on this blog before about these issues of creation by God and creation by accident. To me, it is ridiculous for Christians to insist that the Earth is about 5,500 to 5,600 years old. To believe that one must not believe the Apostle Peter, the Prophets, or God Himself when we are told that the human day is not God’s day. We are told that a human lifetime, the example of 80 of our years are literally equivalent a blink of an eye compared in God’s time. So, why do we Christians and Jewish believers insist on degrading God down to our level? My Jewish friends please correct me on this next sentence if you believe that I am wrong on what I am about to say.  To me, what I have garnered about the Jewish calendar is that it begins with the time they believe that Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden Of Eden. (You can find this information in the following Los Angles Times Article:

Jewish Calendar Starts With Adam Symbolism

September 23, 1989 |ALLEN S. MALLER | Special to Religious News Service)
I believe that this year would be about year #5578 on the Jewish calendar, I believe that the Jewish New Year begins right after the 10 day Holiday of Yom Kipper. Many Christians consider the birth of Jesus (Yahushua) to be the beginning of the ‘Christian Calendar’ yet if we really dig into History we will find that the lifespan of Jesus was from 4 B.C. to 29 A.D. The Arabic Calendar begins in the Christian Calendar when Mohammad fled from Medina to Mecca in about year 630 A.D. I do ask my readers who are of the Islamic Faith to drop me a comment if this date is a little bit off and let me know the true date please.
I do say that it seems a bit odd to me though that so many people believe what is being taught from the Pulpits without questioning what they are being taught. Why do people have a Bible in their home or bother taking one to Church if they are never going to study the Scriptures on their own? Even in the times of Jesus and His Apostles when He/they would go into the Synagogue’s to teach, the people there would search the Scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was correct or not. Why is it that Christians today do not open their Bibles to see if what they are being taught is correct, or not?
Now, I would like to get back to the time of Adam and Eve for a moment. Many people who are looking into the window’s of Christianity dismiss Christianity as idiotic because of the belief that the world began 5-6,000 years ago, and honestly, I can’t blame them. Please, get your hands on a Bible and actually look at the first two chapters of the first Book of the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis. Now please read where it is speaking of the six days of Creation. On the sixth day, God created Men and women and told them to go out into the world and multiply. Then Scripture speaks of how on the seventh day God rested. Then, in the next chapter we are told the story of the creation of Adam, then Eve. This is after the sixth and the seventh day, not during the sixth day at all.
Now, if you think I am crazy, or not, please keep reading. After Adam and Eve were cast out of God’s Garden you will see the story of Adam and Eve’s first two children, the story of Cain and Able. After Cain killed Able God cast him out of this area just outside the Garden area. Now, please think about a few things that we are being told here. When God told Cain that he was being cast out he said that “all those who find me will kill me.” Excuse me, all WHO? Aren’t there only three people on the whole Earth at this time? Aren’t Adam, Eve, and Cain the only people? So all of Who? What did God say and do to Cain at that moment? God put a mark upon the forehead of Cain and said He put it there so that “all of those who find you will not kill you.” Again folks, all of WHO? Then we are told that Cain traveled to the East into the land of Nod and there he took a wife! Wait a moment, where the heck did she come from?
There are many issues that Christianity and the other Faiths in the world have wrong and that is because the base of what they are teaching is corrupted. If your teachings are built on a sandbar there is no way it can stand in the storm of reality. Folks the truth is so plain, it is given to us, but we refuse to see it. God created humankind many thousands, hundreds of thousands or possibly even a million years or so before God created Adam and Eve. Yet, not until God created Adam did He “breathe into him the breath of life and he became a living Soul.” This is not said during the creation of mankind in day six. God created us Gentiles first but He did not create this Royal Bloodline until He created Adam and Eve. Folks, even Jesus Himself referred to us Gentiles as “dogs” because until after His Resurrection was complete we were not counted into the salvation that up until that time was reserved only for the Hebrew Bloodline. I could go on much further in this conversation as there are great errors in the Church’s teachings that are running millions of people far away from Christianity causing their Souls to be given over to Satan for damnation. Folks, we will all answer for our laziness of not caring enough to learn what the Truth is so that we could actually save a lot of these people who are going to be cast into Hell. If we are egotistical enough to believe that their blood will not be upon our own hands, we are not only lazy, we are delusional. This article just topped 1,300 words so I am going to close this conversation with you now if there is enough interest in the comment section I will continue my thoughts with you soon in another post. Thank you all for the kindness of your time, Shalom.

Spanish Police Find And Kill The Driver Of Van Used In Barcelona Terrorist Attack

(THIS POST IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

 The driver of a van that careened through throngs of revelers in a tourist zone here last week was shot dead by police on a quiet country road Monday afternoon, capping a four-day manhunt for the last member of a 12-person terrorist cell likely led by a mysterious imam.

After receiving a tip from locals who spotted a suspicious character hiding in the vineyards around the village of Subirats, an hour’s drive west of Barcelona, rural law enforcement officers, accompanied by Catalan police, confronted Younes Abouyaaqoub.

Josep Lluís Trapero, chief of the Catalan National Police, said Abouyaaqoub threw open his shirt to reveal what officers believed was a suicide bomb belt around his waist.

The chief said Moroccan-born Abouyaaqoub then shouted “Allahu akbar,” or God is great in Arabic, and police shot him dead.

Authorities said Monday that forensic evidence, security camera images and a witness led them to conclude that Abouyaaqoub was the driver of the van that plowed through hundreds of pedestrians in a crowded Las Ramblas street on Thursday afternoon.

Spanish authorities said Monday that the death toll had risen to 15. Scores were wounded, some seriously.

Thirteen people were killed by Abouyaaqoub in his vehicular assault on La Rambla, a world-
famous avenue of cafes, shops, and stately old hotels in the heart of Barcelona.

An hour after the van attack, police say Abouyaaqoub killed another man to steal a getaway car. His accomplices, fleeing a police roadblock, ran over a woman.

Of the 15 people killed, two were children. Six were Spaniards, three Italians, two Portuguese. There was also a Belgian, a Canadian and dual citizen of Australia and Britain. One was an American, Jared Tucker, on his honeymoon.

After Abouyaaqoub was shot dead by police, a bomb squad deployed a robot to get near the prone body and discovered that the suicide vest was a fake, officials said.

The terrorist attack was the worst in Spain since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, when 191 people were killed and 1,700 were injured.

The Islamic State asserted responsibility for the Barcelona attack. Catalan police said that it is possible the terrorist cell, composed of Moroccan-born youths and young men, was inspired or steered by Islamic State actors, but that the investigation was ongoing and definitive links have not been established.

Security camera images released Monday by police showed Abouyaaqoub making his escape on foot through Barcelona’s La Boqueria market after the attack.

Those images were given to the public on Monday and probably led to the assailant being identified up in the mountain vineyards.

Catalan Justice Minister Carles Mundo identified Abouyaaqoub’s latest victim as Pau Perez, who was found dead in his Ford Focus several miles from the scene of the van attack. Police said that Abouyaaqoub knifed Perez to death when he stole his car to escape after the van attack. He dumped Perez into the back seat and drove away.

Abouyaaqoub then rammed through the barricades at a police checkpoint as officers fired on the car, authorities said. That vehicle was found abandoned a few miles away with Perez’s body still in the back seat.

Where Abouyaaqoub spent the last four days is unknown.

Trapero, the Catalan National Police chief, told reporters that authorities found DNA remains of at least two people killed in an explosion the day before the attack.

Trapero said it was likely that one of the bodies found at the explosion site was Abdelbaki Essati, a Muslim cleric who is suspected of radicalizing young men in the mountain town of Ripoll and organizing the terrorist cell.

Essati, a Moroccan national who lived in Ripoll for the last two years, served as imam in a mosque, where he taught the Koran and the Arabic language. Police revealed Monday that he was a convicted drug trafficker who had served time in the Castellon prison outside Valencia from 2010 to 2014.

Carles Puigdemont, president of Catalonia, told The Washington Post that police here were not given timely information by the Spanish federal government and were in the dark — until now — about the imam’s time in prison.

While serving his sentence in prison, Spanish media reported that Essati may have met Rachid Aglif, known as “the Rabbit,” one of the main plotters of the 2004 Madrid bomb attacks.

Ali Yassine, the director of the mosque in Ripoll, said that Essati was paid about $1,000 a month to serve as imam. Local benefactors paid his rent and helped with groceries.

Yassine told The Washington Post that he had given Essati’s name to local police more than a year ago as part of standard security protocol to keep a closer eye on Muslim preachers. But authorities did not flag Essati on a watch list even though he had a conviction for trafficking drugs.

If only authorities had alerted the Muslim elders in Ripoll that Essati was a convicted drug smuggler, the Moroccan families say, he would have been fired as imam and would never have had the chance to radicalize their sons.

“We have trusted the mosque and the authorities and send our children to learn about Islam and Arabic. How could they allow such a criminal and monster to get involved with our children?” said the aunt of Moussa Oukabir, one of the cell members. The aunt spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared a backlash for what her relatives did.

“We must find out what has happened to them, so we can make sure not to loose the next generation of our children as well,” she said.

Police had another chance to stop the terrorist cell members before they struck — after a large explosion occurred Wednesday.

For almost 24 hours, until the van attack, police assumed the explosion was caused by criminals manufacturing methamphetamine.

Authorities said they investigated the blast site as quickly as possible. On Monday, police said they found 120 propane canisters at the site in Alcanar, about a two-hour drive south of Barcelona, alongside explosive material that has been employed in bombs.

Police concluded that the material and propane tanks were to be used in the attack on Barcelona’s crowded La Rambla promenade or at another site in the city.

At the bomb house, police said they also found remote-controlled detonators.

Raul Gallego Abellan in Subirats and Angel García in Barcelona contributed to this report.

Common Myths Concerning Islam

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CREEPING SHARIA’S’ WEBSITE)

Common Myths Concerning Islam

A Muslim professor discusses “moderate Muslims.”

His definition of this term should be read very carefully. Also notice that he includes the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, Tariq Ramadan, as one of this group.

China has its problems with jihad. And then there were the bus bombings.

A Muslim doctor on how to take over an American hospital and make it a Muslim one.

Dhimmitude at the Washington Post.

Debating About Islam

Once you know something about Islam and try to talk to others, you may find yourself in a debate. Here are some of the “standards”.

CAN YOU READ ARABIC?
Everyone from Muslims to atheists uses this. The implication is that Arabic is a unique language that can’t be translated and therefore, how could you know what you are talking about? First, the Koran claims to be a universal message for all humanity for all times. If the message is universal, then it must be able to be understood by all. If the message cannot be understood by everybody, then by definition it is not universal. So, which is it?

Another thing to consider is that over half of the Koran is about Kafirs and politics. Do you really think that a political message about a Kafir cannot be understood by the Kafir? If so, what is that message that cannot be understood?

It must be made clear which Arabic is being spoken about. The Arabic of the Koran is classical Arabic which is about as similar to modern Arabic as the English of Chaucer and Beowulf is similar to modern English. Said in another way, not even a modern Arab can read classical Arabic. It is estimated that fewer than a thousand scholars who read classical Arabic can compose a paragraph on a random topic.

And what about the nearly billion Muslims who don’t even understand modern Arabic? If it is necessary to understand classical Arabic to understand what the Koran is about, then how can those billion non-Arabic-speaking Muslims understand the Koran? And if they cannot understand the Koran how can they be Muslims?

Ask the person who presents the argument if they have any opinions about the doctrine of Christianity. Then ask them if they read Hebrew, Aramaic or Biblical Greek? If they do not read those languages how can they form an opinion about something they have to read in translation? Of course they can read it and form an opinion, the same way we can read and understand the Koran.

A secondary question is why would anyone want to believe that the Koran couldn’t be understood? What is the purpose of believing that out of all the books in the world, why would there be one that cannot be translated?

The Koran is only 18% of the total doctrine. Would the questioner believe that the other 82% of the doctrine not be understood as well?

WELL, THE CHRISTIANS DID...
This response usually comes after some grim facts are given about Islam. This is probably the most common response from non-Christians. The best response is to ask if they have a reason that they don’t want to talk about Islam, since they want to change the subject. The average person knows next to nothing about Islam and sometimes this gambit is merely a way to steer the conversation into a familiar ground.

They are just trying to prove that Islam is not any worse than Christianity. At this point, welcome the chance to compare the two. Choose the ground of comparison. The best place to start is the founders. Compare Mohammed to Christ. The other good comparison is in ethics. Compare Islam’s dualistic ethics to unitary Golden Rule ethics.

Another version of this is that the person will compare some failed Christian to a “good” Muslim they know at work. It is fairly useless to do personal comparisons. How do you choose which Muslim out of 1.5 billion Muslims and which Christian do you choose out of a couple billion Christians?

A variation on the “Well, the Christians did …” is “What about the Crusades”? This is the time to say you welcome a comparison of the Crusades to jihad. Start with the question of why the Crusades were needed. Islāmic jihad caused the invasion of the Middle East. The Crusades were a response to a cry for help by the tortured and oppressed Christians in their native land. Did the Christians do some very wrong things? Yes, but notice that the Crusades have been over nearly a thousand years. Jihad is active today. And while we are at it, why do academic libraries have many books on the Crusades, which lasted only 200 years, and so few on jihad, which has lasted 1400 years? The West has analyzed the Crusades forever and has never analyzed jihad.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE SAYS…
Why is the Muslim your friend knows the only Muslim out of 1.5 billion that makes him the expert on Islam? Remember, the average Muslim knows very little about the doctrine of Islam. Why? Because, historically the imams have acted as the high priests of Islam and they have never made the doctrine simple to understand. That is one way they keep their prestige and power.

But once you know something about the doctrine, you can say that you know also know a Muslim, and his name is Mohammed, and what you say comes from the Sunna. In short, your Muslim, Mohammed, can beat your friend’s Muslim on any issue of doctrine. If the Muslim your friend knows says something about Islam that agrees with Mohammed, then it is right. If what he says contradicts Mohammed, then he is wrong. So this Muslim your friend knows is either wrong or redundant, but never more right than Mohammed.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE IS A NICE MAN
Probably so. What does that prove about Islam? He may follow the Golden Rule and not Islam. That is, he may be a poor Muslim and a good person.

Now is the time to explain about the Islam of Mecca and the Islam of Medina and which one is the more powerful. It is also time to explain about dualism and how Islam always has two faces.

Stay with doctrine and history of Islam, never get personal and talk about an individual Muslim. Actually, there is one way to talk about any Muslim, show how what they do and say follows the doctrine.

Besides, you know this Muslim and his name is Mohammed. Don’t talk about “Muslims,” talk about Mohammed.

THAT IS NOT THE REAL ISLAM
If you are quoting the Koran or the Sunna, then it is the real Islam, by definition. The Koran and the Sunna are Islam, the real Islam. All other Islam, such as is found in the media, is the false Islam. There is only one real Islam, the doctrine of Islam.

THEY DON’T REALLY BELIEVE THAT
This comes after you have revealed some horrific part of the doctrine. What do Muslims call themselves? The believers. What do they believe? The Koran and the Sunna. They say that is what they believe. Really believe.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE IS NOT VIOLENT
This is a restating of, “I know this Muslim and he is good man.” He may be a poor Muslim and a good man who follows the Golden Rule.

But, the statement shows that there is no understanding of the duality of Islam. The Koran has both violence and tolerance against the Kafirs. Today in America the power of Islam is just getting started, so Islam is still weak. When Mohammed was weak in Mecca, he did not kill anybody. Islam is still in the first phase of jihad here.

But the Koran says that one Muslim can beat two Kafirs. It also says that Islam must be the dominant political system. So when Muslims reach a third of the population (that makes it 2 to 1), they will be in the full stage of Medina and violence becomes a standard operation. But even then, we know from the Sira, that many Muslims just don’t have the stomach for the violence. The Sira shows that Muslims can support jihad many ways, besides personal violence. The “peaceful” Muslim you know is commanded to give money to Islāmic charities and the charities give the money to the actual fighters.

WHAT ABOUT THE VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Look at the violence in the Old Testament. It has two qualities—local and temporary. None of the violence is commanded to be global and eternal. In each case the violence is directed in a political struggle and when it was over it was over.

The violence in the Trilogy is for all Muslims, in all places and for all time. Jihad is to stop only when every kaffir submits. Look at Mohammed, the perfect example. He was involved with violence until the day he died. And on his deathbed he directed eternal violence against the Kafirs when he said in his last breath: “Let there be neither Christian or Jew left in Arabia.”

IF ISLAM IS SO VIOLENT, HOW CAN IT BE SO SUCCESSFUL?
The Sira records that when Islam committed violence, it attracted new followers. As Osama bin Laden says: “People like a winning horse.” After 9/11 in the US, new followers joined Islam. Communism was a political system that preached, promised and delivered violence and it attracted many people. Many people love violence. Have you never paid any attention to Hollywood? Violence is piled upon violence and people line up to see it.

Islam is growing rapidly. but most of the growth can be attributed to high birth rates, not conversion. Islam’s growth in Kafir countries is due to immigration, not conversion.

Jordan: Whole Family Clans Forced To Move Because One Member Commits A Crime

(This article is courtesy of the Jordan Times of Amman)

Forced relocations raise doubts over Jordan’s tribal customs

Forced relocation’s raise doubts over Jordan’s tribal customs

By AP – Aug 24,2016 – Last updated at Aug 24,2016

 

In this August 5 photo, Asma Dawaghreh poses for a photo at her apartment in Irbid, Jordan. Her family is one of dozens uprooted every year in the Kingdom under the tribal practice of jalwa‌ — Arabic for forced relocation‌ — in which an entire clan can be forced to relocate because of a crime committed by a family member (AP photo by Layla K. Quran)

IRBID  — It was four in the morning when Asma Dawaghreh fled her home with her sick husband and six children. With nothing but the loose change in her pockets, she packed her family into a car and left under the cover of darkness.

Her family is one of dozens uprooted every year in the Kingdom under the tribal practice of “jalwa”— Arabic for “eviction”— in which an entire clan can be forced to relocate because of a crime committed by a family member.

In Dawaghreh’s case, a nephew on her husband’s side of the family stabbed his cousin to death, forcing three-dozen relatives to flee their village in northern Jordan.

The Dawaghrehs fled pre-emptive, fearing revenge killings, and then found that they were barred from returning. In exile, they were pressured into selling their supermarket, the family’s source of income.

Three years on, they have moved home six times and are increasingly impoverished.

“I can’t even afford to buy bread now. What is my crime? What is my son’s crime … my husband’s crime?” said the 40-year-old, speaking in the family’s latest refuge, a run-down apartment in the northern city of Irbid. “We had no business in this.”

Jalwa predates the 1946 founding of modern Jordan. It is rooted in tribal tradition, under which the practice was applied in cases of murder or rape when the assailant and the victim lived in the same area.

Although jalwa is not written into Jordanian civil law, the practice continues unchallenged — and sometimes with the support of civil institutions — because of the country’s strong tribal influence. Over the years, tribal leaders and local authorities have arranged the forced relocation of hundreds of people across the country. In some cases, relatives of the attacker as distant as a fifth cousin have had to move.

Supporters say forced relocation prevents blood feuds between tribes, while critics denounce it as collective punishment.

The government is now trying to scale back the practice, proposing to limit forced relocation to the perpetrator and his immediate family. The initial period of banishment would be one year, with the possibility of extension.

The proposed amendment was adopted by the Cabinet earlier this year. It now awaits approval by Parliament and a signature by the King. If the amendment is passed, it will be the first time jalwa is enshrined in civil law.

An Interior Ministry official in charge of tribal affairs said the government is trying to adapt tribal law to modern times.

Jordanians have homes and jobs, and can’t just pack up tents and move to a different area, as during their nomadic past, said the official, Turki Akho Ersheidah. “We have to implement these amendments to adapt to the 21st century.”

Jalwa is still being practiced, to varying degrees, across the Middle East, with forced relocation more common in rural areas than in cities. Although some governments have tried to curb the practice — either through outright bans or by negotiating with tribes — the tradition remains powerful. This is particularly true in countries like Yemen, where the state has deteriorated.

Jordan is unusual because of the strong tribal influence on the government.

In one high-profile murder case, hundreds of people were forced to leave the southern Jordanian town of Karak earlier this year in a jalwa deal negotiated by Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Thneibat. As part of the agreement, the victim’s clan reserved the right to kill any members of the assailant’s family if they returned to the community, local media said at the time.

Constitutional law expert Omar Jazi said jalwa amounts to collective punishment and violates the constitution.

“You cannot deprive anyone of his or her constitutional right, that can’t be tolerated,” he said. “Jalwa does not make sense within a civic society, within the rule of law and within the type of society we are living in.”

Some tribal leaders argue that reforms would be difficult to carry out and that Jordanians prefer the swift justice of tribal law.

“Civil law is weak, it could take up to six years or more for a court case to proceed,” said Sheikh Hayel Al Hadeed, a tribal leader from the capital, Amman.

The plight of the Dawaghreh family illustrates the practical difficulties of enforcing jalwa in modern times.

Before the eviction, the family lived with other clan members in an apartment complex in a village south of Irbid. Dawaghreh asked that the name of the community be withheld, to avoid causing harm to relatives through renewed public attention.

They fled their home in 2013, almost immediately after receiving a call from a relative informing them of the killing.

A year later, some members of the assailant’s clan reached a financial settlement with the victim’s family, including payment of 50,000 dinars ($70,000) in blood money.

In theory, the deal enabled them to return — but Dawaghreh said she had been pressured to sell their supermarket to the victim’s family.

As a result, the family bounced from apartment to apartment, struggling to pay rent.

Paint peels from the cracked walls of her current home in Irbid. Dawaghreh cooks or babysits to make money. Her husband, who has cancer, works as a security guard.

Dawaghreh wants jalwa abolished, but is not hopeful. “No one can interfere in the jalwa of the tribes, not the government, not the members of parliament … not the ministries, nobody.”

Galilee Tourists Need To Go West To The Sea

(This article is courtesy of the Times of Israel News Paper)

48 hours in the Western Galilee

From Acre to Nahariya, the region abutting the Mediterranean offers the perfect getaway with its boutique hotels and gourmet eateries

August 27, 2016
A view of the Nahariya beach, on the shores of the Western Galilean city (Nati Shochat/Flash 90)

There’s the Galilee, and then there’s the Western Galilee. For decades, Israelis and tourists have flocked to the towns, villages and cities surrounding the Sea of Galilee, to the tzimmer guest cabins and hotels of that northern region.

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But then the Western Galilee beckoned. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, it’s anchored by the port city of Acre and the seaside town of Nahariya, with a host of small towns and moshav villages scattered around them. Like the eastern portion of the Galilee region, there are some alternative communities, like Klil, a village of ecologically-minded residents, or Mitzpe Abirim, another community of families living remote, rural lifestyles.

There are wineries and cheesemakers to visit and horseback rides to take, small cabins and luxurious boutique hotel rooms for accommodation, and divine seafood meals to eat with ice cream cone palate cleansers.

What’s more, there’s an air of fresh perspectives and coexistence initiatives in the Western Galilee, and that is always worth discovering.

Day One, head to Acre

Start in Acre, the ancient port city that’s made a name for itself for its gentrification efforts over the last few years. Acre hosts annual opera and fringe theater festivals, but it’s probably better to head there during its low seasons. That’s when there’s more parking available at its seaside lots and tables aren’t hard to find at the city’s best restaurants.

Overlooking the Old City of Acre, the first stop to make when doing a western Galilee tour (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Overlooking the Old City of Acre, the first stop to make when doing a western Galilee tour (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

For archaeology and history buffs, it’s worth spending time in the underground Crusader fortress and British Mandate-period prison, but be sure to come up for air and walk around the Old City, where the revamped Turkish market has crab falafel and Israeli beer on tap at Kukushka (not kosher). Hummus connoisseurs will also want to swipe a plate of Hummus Said’s famed chickpea spread, for which Acre is renowned, with a few falafel balls on the side, or check out Turkish on Yehoshafat Street. For dessert, there’s Endomela (not kosher), the artisanal ice cream parlor owned by Uri Jeremias, the proprietor of seafood eatery Uri Buri.

When it’s time to check in, there are more than a few options in and around the city. The most luxurious is boutique hotel Efendi, a stupendously restored former Ottoman palace renovated by restauranteur Jeremias, with a Byzantine-era wine cellar, Crusader period stone floors in the lobby, exquisitely restored Ottoman-era painted ceilings in the upper floor rooms and salons overlooking the sea, and a warren of winding streets and alleys of the ancient neighborhood. Rooms begin at $400 and if you do stay at the Efendi (not kosher), be sure to consider a treatment in the original, Ottoman-era hammam, where you’ll be treated to a massage on a hot, marble slab.

An outdoor salon at Efendi, the luxurious Acre boutique hotel owned by restauranteur Uri Jeremias Courtesy Efendi)

An outdoor salon at Efendi, the luxurious Acre boutique hotel owned by restauranteur Uri Jeremias (Courtesy Efendi)

There are other accommodation options in Acre, including a list of family-owned B&Bs, such as the Lighthouse Suite in the Old City, which has one suite with two bedrooms, a kitchenette and one bathroom.Cost per night per couple is NIS 850, including breakfast. Call 052-590-8410 for more information.

There’s also Akkotel, a small family Old City hotel with rooms suitable for four people, at $290 per suite, or $200 per couple. Call 04-987-7100.

For dinner, there’s always Uri Buri (not kosher), which was established by Jeremias in his hometown of Nahariya and moved to Acre’s harbor 22 years ago, helping to change the face of tourism in this ancient part of the city. Known for its unique preparation of seafood, with a focus on traditional, butter-rich dishes, it’s a dining experience that includes fresh sashimi side by side with rich seafood stews.

There’s also El Babur (not kosher), owned by local chefs and brothers Husam and Nashat Abbas and located right on the water, with ancient city views. The dishes are Galilean-Arabic in flavor and style, melding locally grown greens and vegetables, with specialties like okra with sea bream or calamari-mashawshe, a local version ofmsabbaha hummus, and served with calamari heads on top, rather than chickpeas, in a nod to the seaside town.

Day 2, Nahariya-bound

When staying at the Efendi, breakfast is a must, and it’s worth choosing the Middle Eastern option, which includes fresh Swiss chard bourekas, delicate strands of halva, creamy tahini for spreading on the fresh bread and an individual omelet. That’ll hold you for the less-than-hour-long ride to Nahariya, the next destination.

Best known for its location on the sea, there are two new accommodations options in Nahariya: Sea Life is a relatively new (kosher) hotel situated on the water with a full spa for adults only and an outdoor pool during the warm months. The hotel suites and private, individual cabins are well-suited to small family groups, with inner bedrooms and open-up couches that’ll work for kids in the living room. For access to the beach, however, you’ll have to walk down the street, as the beachfront just outside the hotel is part of a nature reserve and can’t be used for swimming or playing in the sand.

A view of the quaint, European-flavored lobby of the Erna Shtarkman Hotel in Nahariya, where the strudel is included Courtesy Erna Shtarkman)

A view of the quaint, European-flavored lobby of the Erna Shtarkman Hotel in Nahariya, where the strudel is included (Courtesy Erna Shtarkman)

A few blocks away from Sea Life is the family-owned Erna Shtarkman Hotel (kosher), with the feel of a quaint historical inn now owned by Orna Shtarkman, granddaughter of the original owner. The 32-year-old Shtarkman is also the deputy mayor of Nahariya, and is determined to bring younger families and a more contemporary feel to the seaside city. Be sure to try the hotel’s homemade apple strudel with a heavy side of whipped cream, perhaps after a swim in the nearby public pool or a spin around town on one of the hotel’s complimentary bikes.

If you take kids on this trip, it could be fun to pay a visit at the Strauss Dairy in nearby Achihud, where there are one-and-a-half hour tours in Hebrew and English, upon request. It’s more of a watching experience than an interactive tour, with high-tech games, a film and a tour of the factory floor. There are also complimentary chocolate and other goodies during the tour. (Tours are available on Sunday 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Wednesday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 1-800-777-777 for reservations to the tour, which costs NIS 18 per person, and is appropriate for ages six and up.)

For lunch, head out to Nahariya’s Brioche (kosher), owned by the Belgium-trained pastry chef Hagit Stern, who turns out savory and sweet brioches, as well as salads and delicious vegetable pies. Your best bet, however, is to pick up a picnic basket loaded with Stern’s homemade goodies, as well as a bottle of local Kishor wine (kosher), made nearby at Kishorit, a community of special needs adults.

A savory spread from Brioche in Nahariya, at Park Goren in the western Galilee (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

A savory spread from Brioche in Nahariya, at Park Goren in the Western Galilee (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Michal Shiloach, the director and guide of Western Galilee Now — one of three Western Galilee tourist initiatives, although hers has an informative tourism center in Acre’s Old City — likes to direct visitors to Park Goren, a quiet, forested area with picnic tables, and with a flowered Brioche-supplied tablecloth on the table, you’re set.

Afternoon rides in Abirim

Head back to the car and up Route 899 for a winding country road that will feel a bit like Switzerland or the Poconos than northern Israel. Route 899 is dotted with bucolic villages and communities, some Arab and some Jewish, and it’s a setting that has fostered coexistence for years, said residents Eyal and Edna Hefer, who moved to Mitzpe Abirim 20 years ago.

The Hefers were pioneers of a different stripe, looking for a rural place to live where they could raise horses and goats. Eyal Hefer commuted for 10 years to Tel Aviv, working in a national youth movement while Edna tended their herd of 100 goats. She learned how to make cheese but mostly supplied the milk to nearby dairy Strauss.

Edna and Eyal Hefer, the pioneering types from Mitzpe Abirim, in the Western Galilee (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Edna and Eyal Hefer from Mitzpe Abirim, in the Western Galilee (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

More than a decade ago, Eyal Hefer quit his job in Tel Aviv and they both now work full-time on their spread, which now includes two tzimmer cabins for rent (breakfast included), tending their forested campsite that can fit up to 200, with separate areas for showers, cooking, eating and sitting around a campfire. They also offer regular and therapeutic horseback riding, and an outside corner of the house is devoted to the goat cheese selection where customers can choose a hunk of Edna’s salty, black-seededtzafatit or mild Camembert (not certified kosher) and leave the money in the box on the table.

Back to Nahariya

Head back to Nahariya for the night, with dinner and dessert on the way. The town of Maalot-Tarshiha has always been an easy place to see coexistence at work, as Jews and Arabs live in side-by-side villages, mostly peacefully and without rancor. That state of affairs is perhaps best viewed at the flagship shop of Buza, the ice cream parlor opened by entrepreneurs Adam Ziv and Alaa Sweetat.

Adam Ziv and Alaa Sweetat, coexistence owners of Bouza, Galilean-flavored gelato Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Adam Ziv (left) and Alaa Sweetat, owners of Buza, Galilean-flavored gelato (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Ziv, a kibbutznik from the region, had apprenticed in several gelato shops while traveling around Europe and came home seeking a partner. He found it in Sweetat, who learned the food and restaurant business while working his way up at bistro Aluma, the gourmet Galilean restaurant (not kosher) in Tarshiha that he now owns.

The homemade, Galilean-flavored gelatos of Buza, owned by entrepreneurs Adam Ziv and Alaa Sweetat Courtesy Buza)

The homemade, Galilean-flavored gelatos of Buza, owned by entrepreneurs Adam Ziv and Alaa Sweetat (Courtesy Buza)

The two created Buza (not kosher), which means ice cream in Arabic. The gelato flavors are decidedly Galilean in taste, with an emphasis on nuts and fresh fruits. More than that, it’s an experience in coexistence, where staff and customers are mixed, particularly in the Tarshiha branch, although there are four total, including one in Tel Aviv and another in Ziv’s hometown of Kibbutz Sasa, where customers can sign up for ice cream workshops.

It’s a sweet ending to a northern adventure.

These Days Of Palestinian Rage

 

We see and hear news from Israel each day via our electronics about the violence there each day. Aw how the Media does love a good story, as they should! I want the whole worlds Media to be unencumbered when they are trying to get an important story out to the worlds public. I want to see and hear the stories on my evening news programs, but I want to know that what I am being told in my living room each evening is correct, honest, true, and totally unbiased, don’t you? I want the Media to be very knowledgeable about the news event they are reporting on and to absolutely have no bias in their reporting, don’t you? Here in America our main news agencies tend to be heavy toward either the Republican Party and their platform, or they slant heavy toward the Democratic Party and their platform. What we the people want is simply down the middle truth, this is one of the good things about technology today, more eyes on the ground. People need to know the “why’s” behind major news stories, why are these things happening, why is there such hate, why did the event go to violence, why’s do matter. Without the full truth as to why an event is happening how can a person know the truth of what they are being shown in a 30 second news clip? Another thing that no audience wants is to have the Media create their own story because of their own political or financial leanings.

 

These days of Palestinian rage, which day isn’t a day of Palestinian rage? Since at least 1948 when the Jewish Nation of Israel came back into being, back in their ancestral homeland, when hasn’t been a day of rage as far as the Palestinian populace is concerned?  Then 1967 happened and these people rage along with their Arab brothers hate spilled over into a very short battle against the Israeli Nation (I say battle because the war is still ongoing) in which Israel recaptured more of their historical Homeland. Loosely used the Palestinian people officially refer to the land they lost in 1967 as “the occupied territories” yet unofficially all of what is Israel today is “occupied territories” to them. This is why these Islamic hate groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Fatah keep fighting, keep murdering, to this day, they want all Jewish people and all Christian people off of “their land”. O, by the way, also all Hindu, Buddhist, etc,etc,etc.

 

Now, do I blame the people who were displaced in 1948 from their homeland when the Nation of Israel came back into being, for their being mad about the whole event, then to now? No, not really. Would you have gotten a major case of mad if this were done to you and your kin folks? Now let us come to the issue of history, should any history be considered? If so, whose history? Do we only allow the history of one side, two sides, all sides? I am trying to be philosophical and fair in this note to you today, I am challenging you and myself, to think, to try to be honest with ourselves, to challenge our own beliefs. Why all this? Do you care about what “Truth” is? In pure honesty lies pure Truth and for the sake of this discussion pure truth is God’s Truth, God’s version, not yours, or mine.

 

We can look at human history with several different starting dates in one’s mind, depending on one’s own education and Scriptural knowledge. But for the sake of today’s discussion I am not speaking of prehistoric times but do let us go back as far as Abraham the Father of Israel and the Father of the Arabic people. Both the Jewish and the Arabic sides know that they are indeed half brothers, just neither side likes the other side of the family so much. By history Israel holds claim to Jerusalem and The Rock from about 2,000 B.C. till about the year 630 A.D. when the followers of Allah behind General Mohammed forced Islam on all the lands of North-Africa and the Middle-East. They did also invade Southern Europe but were eventually beaten back across the Pond into North-Africa. Followers of Allah held “The Holy Lands” (modern-day Israel) for about 1,320 years before the a new version of the State of Israel came along in 1948. Then there is the version (size) of Israel after the 6 day war in 1967 when all of Israels neighbors attacked her and Israel retook and has kept some of Her former land. Which ones of these dates do you wish to argue for or against? Or maybe you choose the day that the Nation of Israel gave back to the Palestinian People the West-Bank and Gaza? Now that they have their own lands of Gaza and the West Bank why is it not a two state solution already?

 

Here in America we celebrated Columbus Day as a celebration of the day that the Europeans discovered the Americas. That was also the day the native people of these “discovered” lands started to be eradicated, almost wiped off the face of the land by these same Europeans. Should the Indian folks of the Americas celebrate the beginning of genocide against their people? Should we European Americans, African-American or Asian Americans be celebrating what was for many, a tragic event in their history? For the purpose of making an example I wish for you to think of the situation I am going to present you, afterwards, what do you think should happen in this circumstance? In the south-western state of New Mexico lies the largest Native American Peoples “Indian Reservation/Nation” in America. This is the Nation of the Navajo People yet the American Federal Government freely operates on their soil. Personally I have always wondered how or why the Federal Government should have that freedom on their land, but that’s just my thoughts on that matter. Lets say for the sake of argument that the United States Supreme Court ruled that  the whole state of New Mexico had to be returned to the American Native Peoples of America, what would happen then? Would the people who lived in New Mexico who weren’t of sufficient Indian blood move freely, even if they were being given fair dollar value for the properties they had to leave behind? How many would fight the American government forces who were insisting they vacate? How many would fight against any Indian person who stepped foot on “their land”. Then there is the issue of violence or of a violent take over of the State by Native American Clans/Tribes. Should we the people of the other 49 States help our “non-Indian” brothers to kill these “Red-Skins, put them in their place”? What is “their place”, where is it? Just because the Native American Peoples occupied all of the Americas without significant influxes of other races up until the early  fifteen-hundreds. But we white folks, black folks, and brown toned folks have dominated these lands for about 500 years now so we have all the rights, right? Can I as  a White man honestly say that the Red man has no such right to even try to retake the lands of his ancestors?

 

I am by choice a man of God and I do believe that God is the true definition of Love, that He is not hate. If you believe this and you believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God the Father then the Spirit of God’s love resides within you, not hate. God has never said that a person does not have the right to defend themselves when they or their families are being attacked! Instead it is required of a person to defend their families even if not themselves. But, and a huge but has to be added here, no one and I do mean no one has the right to be the aggressor. It is easy to start blaming others say so and so started it when they did this, this, and this.

Here is a way to find out the heart of the person and the heart of “their God”. If your God is “not about love”, is he really a God? If there was a world-wide decree for there to be absolutely no violence at all, one person toward another and that meant all violence stopped at once, is this something that you or “your God” would adhere to?  If your religion says no to peace, if it tells you to kill all people who don’t agree with you, are you really listening to “God”? Or, are you for some insane reason following something that is pure evil? If I move into a new home and I find out that my neighbor is a horrible person, lets say every time he sees me he flips me off and calls me and all of my family horrible names. Even though I might like to go drop an elephant on his head or shoot him with a cannon, I don’t have that right, that would make me the physical aggressor. In nations like America we do have laws that are set up to protect us from such nice neighborliness eliminating the need for any violence. You know what happens when things turn to violence. The neighbor I dropped the elephant on had two brothers, three mean sisters, and crazy parents so now the whole neighborhood is up in smoke. If no one and I do mean no one from either side strikes the first physical blow, there can be no war, no physical casualties. If the “God” that has your ear is not the God of love, then it is not a “God” that has our ear at all!

 

 

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