The truth is the Western world is controlled by jewish supremacists like the Rothschild dynasty through media, entertainment, the banking system and puppet politicians who don’t care about anything but money power and status. Why is Israel the only democratic nation that doesn’t have to be politically correct? Why don’t they have to take in “refugees”? Why can they kick out Ethiopian Jews just because they’re black? Did you know it’s illegal for a Jew and non Jew marry in Israel? Where is the leftist outrage!? wheres the media coverage?
American and Israeli values are under attack by “radical Islamic terrorism,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, as he took part in a joint press conference at the White House with President Donald Trump.
The prime minister praised the president for what he called Trump’s resolve in fighting this phenomenon.
“Under your leadership I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam,” Netanyahu said, ahead of his much-anticipated one-on-one meeting with Trump.
The prime minister highlighted the threats posed by Iran and the Islamic State group, and vowed that Israel stood beside Trump on this issue.
Trump in turn hailed the United States’ “unbreakable” bond with Israel, and promised Netanyahu that Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon.
US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN)
“With this visit the United States, again, reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel,” Trump said.
“The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which I’ve talked a lot about,” he said.
“One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal. My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon.”
The Iran nuclear deal was reached in July 2015 during the tenure of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, and went into effect the following year. Under its terms Iran agreed to dismantle part of its nuclear program, surrender enriched fuel and submit to international inspection.
But critics of the agreement, including Netanyahu, have argued that when some of the terms of the deal expire in 10 and 15 years it will leave Tehran on the threshold of building a bomb.
JAKARTA/ISLAMABAD – Valentine’s Day celebrations on Tuesday were banned by authorities in parts of Indonesia and Pakistan, home to Asia’s largest Muslim populations, saying the romantic tradition encouraged casual sex and ran counter to cultural norms.
In Indonesia, officials from the country’s second largest city, Surabaya, ordered schools to prohibit students from celebrating Valentine’s Day, while in Makassar, police raided mini marts and seized condoms in a bid to prevent teenagers from having sex.
“These raids were done after we received reports from residents that the mini marts were selling condoms in an unregulated way, especially on Valentine’s Day,” Makassar police official Jufri was quoted as saying in a media report.
Indonesia’s highest Islamic clerical council declared Valentine’s Day forbidden by Islamic law in 2012, saying it was contradictory to Muslim culture and teachings.
But the vast majority of Indonesia’s more than 220 million Muslims follow a moderate form of Islam in a country with sizeable Christian and Hindu minorities. Indonesia is a secular country whose state ideology enshrines religious diversity.
In Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and other parts of the country, Valentine’s Day has grown in popularity with companies, like national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, looking to cash in by offering special discounts and promotions.
In Pakistan, an Islamic republic, a court banned public Valentine’s Day celebrations in its capital.
The Islamabad High Court also ordered the media to “ensure that nothing about the celebration of Valentine’s Day and its promotion is spread.”
That hurt some businesses in the city of 2 million people.
“I’ve sold at least 50 percent less flowers today than in past years. People just haven’t come out to buy them,” said Haider Ali, who works at the F7 flower market in Islamabad.
TEL AVIV (JTA) – Evangelicals, who have been advocating for Israel for years, have historically let the Jews take the lead.
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, for one, is excited that they are poised to take on a prominent role. An evangelical TV host and activist, Cardoza-Moore backs US President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a supporter of the settlement movement who is deeply skeptical of the two-state solution.
And she is confident Trump will make good on his promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
“I am excited to see this development. It further illustrates the commitment of this [incoming] administration,” she recently told a Christian news service. “And God willing, Friedman will be the one who helps orchestrate that transition.”
Donald Trump (right) and attorney David Friedman exit the Federal Building, following an appearance in US Bankruptcy Court on February 25, 2010, in Camden, New Jersey. (Bradley C Bower/Bloomberg News, via Getty Images / JTA)
Cardoza-Moore was in Israel last week filming a new episode of “Focus on Israel,” which is widely syndicated on Christian television. In an interview at a Tel Aviv café last week, she said in over 15 years of pro-Israel work as the president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, she has seen evangelicals rally to the cause.
“After the 9/11 attacks, a lot of Christians were ready to hear our message,” she said. “Having read the Bible, they felt we were under a curse and the way to change that curse was to make sure we supported Israel. I always knew if we could get the information to the Christians, they would respond and they would stand up.”
But while that support is undeniable and certainly welcomed by a Jewish state that could use all the friends it can get, it still discomfits many in the pro-Israel camp, especially liberals. They worry evangelicals’ Bible-based views are too right wing, both on social issues as well as Israel affairs.
A Christian Evangelical supporter waves her national flag during the annual parade in Jerusalem, marking the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles, on September 24, 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
“There’s a real danger because most evangelicals are very hawkish and hard-line on Israel,” said Dov Waxman, a political scientist at Northeastern University who studies American Jews and Israel. “The more they get involved, that risks alienating more liberal Jews from pro-Israel advocacy and from Israel.”
Cardoza-Moore’s commitment to Israel is unquestioned, and often indistinguishable from what mainstream Jewish groups might take on. In 2013, she gained national attention with a campaign against a geography textbook being used in her Tennessee school district that asked students to consider whether a Palestinian suicide bomber who kills “several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant” is acting as a terrorist or as a soldier fighting a war.
Cardoza-Moore spoke at school board meetings, gathered hundreds of signatures and appeared on Fox News to advocate against using the book. The local Jewish federation took her side. In the end, the school board concluded the book was not biased, but the publisher removed the offending line from electronic and future print editions.
Perhaps Cardoza-Moore’s biggest victory came in 2015, when at her urging, the Tennessee legislature passed a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, the first of its kind in the nation. Although the resolution took no action against BDS, it labeled the movement “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state.”
Since then, Cardoza-Moore has pushed for similar resolutions in other states. Ten states have now passed them, and three more are considering doing so. Governors in 15 states have signed laws that prevent the boycott of Israel.
It likely helps that the Republican Party in recent years has been dominant in state politics. The GOP has increasingly become the pro-Israel party. Evangelicals, who make up more than a quarter of the American population and overwhelmingly vote Republican, have shaped the party’s identity on Israel in many ways.
“If we look at why the Republicans tend to take pro-Israel positions, I think a major reason for that is evangelical Christians,” Waxman said. “In red-state America, it’s the views of evangelicals that really matter when it comes to Israel.”
And with Trump’s victory, red-state America is in control of the executive branch. Christians United for Israel, or CUFI, has been ramping up its activities in Washington, DC. The Israel lobby claims 3.3 million mostly evangelical members. By contrast, the mostly Jewish AIPAC has approximately 100,000, though it is more experienced and better funded.
After long deferring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, CUFI founder and board member David Brog said his group planned to get “a little more aggressive” in pushing its policies in the Trump era, when it has clout and connections, including to evangelical Vice President Mike Pence.
“At a time when we have a Republican in the White House and Republicans control the House and Senate, we see CUFI as able to play a leading role in speaking to governing majorities that know they owe their election in large part to our base,” he said.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senators on his Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP/Evan Vucci)
Brog described CUFI as “within the mainstream” and respectful of AIPAC’s history of bipartisanship. But he acknowledged that CUFI’s members tend to be “right of center” and “skeptical of the two-state solution.” The group, he said, would not necessarily sit out debates or avoid criticizing ideological opponents in an effort to keep them in the pro-Israel camp.
“We need to draw clear lines and be clear about where we stand,” he said. “That does not necessarily damage bipartisanship. Drawing clear lines may help define what it means to be pro-Israel.”
As Bloomberg’s Eli Lake pointed out, CUFI has not taken a position on the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which AIPAC officially supports, and has backed legislation to defund the Palestinian Authority, which AIPAC has not. CUFI has also thrown its weight behind Trump’s pro-settlement pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
Some Jewish observers have suggested that growing evangelical involvement in Israel advocacy could turn Israel into a right-wing Republican issue. Aside from concerns about the implications for Israel, they say, that could make it less attractive to more liberal Jews, who already are drifting away from the community and are increasingly critical of Israel’s policies.
“It’s like a brand. If Israel is associated with right wing and ‘reactionary’ forces, then it’s going to be a turnoff to younger American Jews,” Waxman said. “It may be superficial, but we’re talking about public perceptions.”
Brog, who is Jewish, argued Israel and its supporters could not afford to apply a “religious test” on the issue.
“I got involved in Christian advocacy because I can count,” he said. “If the pro-Israel community is limited to the Jewish community, it’s too small. The reason the American government is pro-Israel is because the American people are profoundly and overwhelmingly pro-Israel. But we can’t take that for granted.”
A senior official at a dovish Israel advocacy group said he thought American Jews and Israel would ultimately define their own relationship, regardless of who else was in the picture.
“I’d be foolish to say evangelical Christians don’t have an effect. But I don’t really care what they say,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous. “At the end of the day, it’s a homeland for the Jewish people. So it’s how we choose to express our love for Israel that really matters.”
This reading is an excerpt from Chapter I of Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans by famous Third Reich scholar Hans F. K. Günther.
Freedom is where you can live, as pleases a brave heart; where you can live according to the customs and laws of your fathers; where you are made happy by that which made your most distant ancestors happy.” E. M. Arndt, Catechism for the Teutonic Soldier and Warrior, 1813.
IN this work I want to advance some reflections on the religiosity of the Indo-Europeans — that is to say, the Indo-European speaking peoples originating from a common Bronze Age nucleus — who have always exerted a significant influence on the government and spirit of predominantly Nordic races. Just as by comparing the structure of the Indian, Persian, Sacaean, Armenian, Slavic and Baltic languages, and of the Greek, Italian, Celtic and Teutonic dialects, we can reach a conclusion as to a common or primal Indo-European language, approximating to the latter part of the early Stone Age, in the same way, an examination of the laws and legal customs of the different peoples of Indo-European language reveals a primal Indo-European feeling for law. Similarly, from a comparison of the religious forms of these peoples we can identify a particular religious attitude emanating from the Indo-European nature — a distinctive behaviour of Indo-European men and people towards the divine powers.
So it is that certain common religious attitudes, which originally were peculiar to all peoples of Indo-European language, reveal the identity of an Indo-European religiosity. But since in fact all Indo-European nations represented different types moulded on the spiritual pattern of the Nordic race, the origin of these common religious attitudes may be identified in a religiosity which is characteristically Nordic, emanating from the spiritual nature of the Nordic race.
It is fortunate that for our knowledge of this Nordic religiosity, we do not have to rely solely upon Teutonic religious forms, for the information we possess about the Teutonic forms of belief is regrettably inadequate. It is all the more incomplete as it is derived from a late period in the development of these forms, which had already been influenced by religious ideas from Hither-Asia, from the Mediterranean basin and from the Celtic west of Europe, where the Druids had begun to distort the ancient Indo-European religiosity of the Celts so that they no longer bore a purely Nordic stamp. The Teutonic Gods, the Aesir (cf. Oslo, Osnabruck, in High German: Ansen, cf. Anshelm, Ansbach), had already absorbed the Vanir who had spread from south-east Europe (F. R. Schroder: Germanentum und Alteuropa, Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, XXII, 1934, p. 187), without thoroughly re-interpreting them in a purely Teutonic spirit. Likewise, from south-east Europe and Hither-Asia, the God Dionysos had been accepted among the Olympian Gods without being fully re-interpreted, even being found in Homer, and only later becoming a native blond God instead of an alien, dark-haired one. The pre-Christian Teutons have with justice been compared with the Achaeans, who were their nearest relatives, and it can be shown that much that the Hellenes incorporated into their belief and religiosity in post-Homeric times was more or less alien to the Indo-European spirit, as for example the Orphic mysteries. Thus late on in their period of pagan development the Teutons had accepted much that was contradictory to the Indo-European nature. What non-Indo-European or non-Teutonic characteristics have been imparted to the Teutonic God Odin (Wodan, Wuotan)? Odin, with his strange blend of “loftiness and deception”, is undoubtedly no longer the ideal example of an Indo-European or Teutonic God, and his worship is no longer characteristic of the Indo-European or the original Teutonic religion. Already one perceives in him the voice of an alien, non-Nordic race.
One must ask how much of Odin’s character can be explained from Teutonic folk belief, how much is later poetical embellishment, and how much reaches back, as with Zeus or Jupiter, into antiquity and the Indo-European conception of the “Father of the Heavens”. We must not overlook the fact, stressed by Andreas Heusler in Germanentum (1934, pp. 95-106 and cf. also Erik Therman: Eddan och dess Odestragik, 1938, pp. 65, 105, 106) that “the Edda mythology is largely a Norwegian-Icelandic poetical creation of the Viking era”, elaborated by the poets who dwelt at the courts of local Norwegian princes during the late pagan and early Christian era, at a time when many Teutons were uprooted from their native soil and exposed to alien ideas. According to Heusler, Odin is a “new creation of Teutonic religious phantasy”, and above all, a God of war and of the Viking princes, warriors and skalds. However, as a war God, Odin is an incalculable force to reckon with, “capable of deceit”, as R. L. M. Derolez informs us (De Godsdienst der Germanen, 1959, p. 79).
The worship of Odin (Wotan or Wuotan in the High German form) spread from west Scandinavia during the warlike Folk Wandering and Viking era to the Vandals and Langobards, and to the Saxons in Lower Saxony and in England, but it always predominantly appealed to the local princes and their retinue and to the skalds of the princes’ courts, to whom the war God was also the God of poetry. Perhaps it is the name which is the unique feature of Odin that reaches back into Indo-European antiquity, for its root is derived from the Indo-European word vat meaning “to be spiritually excited”, and as such it is still preserved in Sanskrit, in old Iranian and in Latin, where it corresponds to the word vates, meaning a seer or a poet.
The concept of Odin-Wodan appears at its highest form in the grandiose Edda mythology of the twilight of the Gods, the end of the world, Ragnarok, but it is an expression more of poetry than belief. The yeoman freeholders on their hereditary farms, who formed the majority of the Teutonic peoples, were never at ease with the cult of Odin or Wodan (Karl Helm: Wodan; Ausbreitung und Wanderung seines Kults, Giessener Beitrage zur deutschen Philologie, Vol. LXXXV, 1946; R. L. M. Derolez: De Godsdienst der Germanen, 1959, pp. 79 et seq.). According to Erik Therman (op. cit., pp. 23, 77, 106), many sagas of the Gods of the Edda and also of Odin do not belong to the folk belief of the Teutons, but instead are an expression of the ideals and concepts of the Viking nobility and of the local North Teutonic princes.
One must above all bear in mind, when dealing with the figure of Odin, what Jan de Vries has written in The Present Position of Teutonic Religious Research (Germanische Monatsschrift, Vol. XXIII, 1951, pp. 1 et seq.):
Proceeding solely from the sources of Teutonic religious history, research will never arrive at conclusive results concerning the nature of Teutonic religion: for illumination of Teutonic belief and religious attitudes, it will be necessary to return again and again to Indo-European religion and mythology”.
Georges Dumezil has also expressed the same warning.
The figure of Odin-Wodan does not belong to Indo-European religious history. He is the special God of the loosely-rooted expanding Viking Folk, and his composite personality stems from the late period of Teutonic paganism, and as such does not help to throw light on Indo-European religious attitudes.
Again, in one’s search for material to clarify this religiosity, there is little of value to be found in the descriptions of the religions of the Celts and the Slavs. Throughout the broad areas under their rule — and the Galatians penetrated as far as Asia Minor — the Celts formed only a thin upper layer holding sway over pre-Indo-European peoples governed by matriarchal family systems, whose linguistic forms deeply influenced the Celtic dialects, and whose spiritual beliefs transformed the original religious attitudes of the Celts.
The religious customs and moral attitudes of matriarchal origin emanating from the lower, non-Celtic strata, which penetrated the religion of the Celts (Wolfgang Krause: Die Kelten, Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch, Vol. XXIII, 1929), have been compared by both Marie Sjostedt, in Dieux et Hews des Celtes (1940, p. 126) and by Jan de Vries, in Keltische Religion (1961, p. 224), with those of primitive non-European tribes, and from the Indo-European point of view, the latter must be described as repellent.
Finally, the hierarchy of the Celtic Druids, a power-seeking priestly order, was non-Indo-European in character, and resembled in structure the recent Brahmin system of caste-rule in India.
The records of the pre-Christian religions of Slavic tribes (A. Bruckner: The Slavs, in Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch, Vol. Ill, 1926, and Karl H. Meyer: Die Slavische Religion, in Carl Clemen’s Die Religionen der Erde, 1927 pp. 237 et seq.) handed down to us by the Christian historians of the sixth century, Procopius and Jordanes, have been distorted by mistaken interpretation, or by writers who were hostile to the pagan Slavs, and they have little material of any value to offer. Arabic and Teutonic records are equally deficient, but something may be deduced from the morals and customs, and the sagas and songs which have been preserved and re-interpreted by Christianity. From them we receive an impression that the early Indo-Europeans worshipped their ancestors and believed that the houses they inhabited and the lands and animals that belonged to them were possessed of guardian spirits, features that were characteristic of early Latin beliefs.
Fortunately, however, the religious forms of the other Indo-European speaking peoples bear many details which guide us back to a more profound study of primary Indo-European religiosity, and in the beliefs of the early Indians, the early Persians 6 and the early Hellenes, one can, in my opinion, trace essentially Indo-European elements and the basic factors vital to grasping and understanding them. Only by comparing all these forms of belief — and those of the Italici must not be omitted — with the Teutons’ can we obtain a clearer picture of Nordic-Teutonic religiosity.
If I thus attempt to express here in words individual features of this picture, I do so in an endeavour to ascertain, subject to the limitations of my own knowledge (for I am not a scholar of religious science), not only what is primary in all the religious forms of Indo-European speaking peoples known to us, but also what is their purest and richest unfolding. My concern is not with any search for the so-called primitive in these religious forms, nor whether this or that higher idea is deduced from some lower stage of old Stone Age magical belief or middle Stone Age spirit belief (animism). I am solely interested in determining the pinnacles of Indo-European religion. My concern is to identify Indo-European religion at its most perfect and characteristic form, and in its richest and purest assertion — that completely spontaneous expression of the spirit in which primary Indo-European nature expresses itself with the greatest degree of purity.
But when I speak of the richest unfolding of religious forms, I do not mean those eras characterised by a confusing multitude of ideas, which sometimes intrude upon the Indo-European peoples, for at these periods the primal Nordic has become permeated with ideas alien to his nature. On the contrary, I believe that Indo-European religious life had already attained heights of great richness amongst the individual Indo-European tribes in the Bronze Age, so that the Bronze Age Nordic experienced much of the flowering of the religiosity of his race. Each time this religiosity unfolded it flourished for a succession of centuries, indeed often up to a millenia, until a spirit alien in nature — and usually corresponding to a general weakening of the Nordic racial strain — permeated the original religious ideas of the Indo-Europeans, and then expressed in their language religious ideas which were no longer purely or even predominantly European.
Far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders has vowed to “de-Islamize” the Netherlands, calling mosques “Nazi temples” and promising to ban the sale of the Quran if he becomes prime minister in the upcoming elections.
In an interview with Dutch TV WNL, Wilders compared the Islamic religious text to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, saying the country’s ban on the Nazi text should be extended to the Muslim book which he believes is more anti-Semitic. He also spoke of his plans to shutter mosques, which he called “Nazi temples.”
Wilders said mainstream politicians in the Netherlands would have to work with his Party for Freedom if voters strongly back his anti-immigration, anti-European Union platform in the country’s upcoming election, or face a peaceful backlash.
Wilders’ Party for Freedom is polling strongly ahead of the March 15 election for the lower house of Parliament. Mainstream parties, however, have ruled out working in a coalition government with him. That means it would be extremely difficult for Wilders to form a government, since the Dutch electoral system all but guarantees coalitions.
“If voters make the PVV really big — I’m not talking about two or three extra seats, but really big…they will have to” work with his party, Wilders said in the nationally broadcast interview aired Sunday.
Wilders’ party currently has 12 of the 150 seats in the lower house, but polls are forecasting him to substantially build on that in the election. Wilders himself says up to 2.5 million people could vote for him in this nation of 17 million and that other political parties would ignore his far-right voters at their peril.
“You can detest Geert Wilders or the PVV, but you can’t just set aside 2-2.5 million people,” he told the WNL broadcaster.
Wilders has in the past warned of a revolt if his party is sidelined despite strong electoral gains.
“People won’t just accept if they are just set aside in their millions. And, of course, I don’t mean that tanks will go through the streets,” he said.
He added: “Revolt is always democratic and non-violent, but it won’t just pass by, I tell you that. We in the Netherlands have the right to demonstrate and the right to speak up if we don’t agree with something.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Wilders stressed his election manifesto, saying he wants to close Dutch borders to immigrants from Muslim nations. He also played down fears that his plan to pull the Netherlands out of the European Union would have a devastating effect on the Dutch economy, saying Britain’s economy is forecast to grow strongly despite that country’s vote to leave the 28-nation EU.
Three years ago, Rabbi Ari Edelkopf and his wife, Chana, worked around the clock for weeks to show off their community and city to the many foreigners in town for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The Chabad emissaries from the United States came to the city on Russia’s Black Sea coast in 2002. By the time the Olympics opened, they could offer three synagogues, five information centers and 24/7 kosher catering to thousands of people in the city, which has only 3,000 Jews.
The Edelkopfs were celebrated in the local media for these considerable efforts, which the Kremlin marketed as proof that Russia welcomes minorities — including by inviting a Russian chief rabbi to speak at the opening.
This month, the couple is in the news again but for a different reason: They and their seven children have been ordered to leave Russia after authorities flagged Ari Edelkopf as a threat to national security — a precedent in post-communist Russia that community leaders call false and worrisome, but are unable to prevent.
Occurring amid a broader crackdown on foreign and human rights groups under President Vladimir Putin, the de facto deportation order against the Edelkopfs is to many Russian Jews a sign that despite the Kremlin’s generally favorable attitude to their community, they are not immune to the effects of living in an increasingly authoritarian state. And it is doubly alarming in a country where many Jews have bitter memories of how the communists repressed religious and community life.
The Edelkopfs’ deportation order drew an unusually harsh reaction from the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, a Chabad-affiliated group that has maintained friendly and mutually beneficial ties with Putin.
The order, which included no explanation or concrete accusation, “raises serious concerns for the future of the Jewish communities in the country,” Rabbi Boruch Gorin, a federation spokesman, told the L’chaim Jewish weekly last week. Gorin is a senior aide to Beral Lazar, the chief rabbi who spoke at the Sochi opening ceremony.
Gorin also called the order “an attempt to establish control” on religious communities in Russia, including the Jewish one, which he said is serviced by some 70 Chabad rabbis, half of whom are foreign.
Many Sochi Jews consider Edelkopf, a Los Angeles native, a popular and beloved spiritual leader with an impeccable record and a close relationship with Lazar. They reacted with dismay and outrage to the deportation order.
“This is absurd,” Rosa Khalilov wrote in one of the hundreds of Facebook messages posted to Edelkopf’s profile, in which he offered updates from his failed legal fight to stay in Russia. “Deportation without proof and thus without proper defense for the accused. I am utterly disappointed.”
Typical of such discussions, comments by Russian speakers abroad tended to be more outspoken than the ones authored domestically.
“Somewhere along the way our country changed without our noticing,” wrote Petr Shersher, a 69-year-old Jewish man from Khabarovsk who lives in the United States. “We’re suddenly not among friends and compatriots but in another brutal and indifferent atmosphere.”
Since the fall of communism in 1991, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia — essentially Chabad’s Russia branch, and by far the country’s largest Jewish group — only on a very rare occasion had publicly questioned the viability of Jewish life in the country or the authorities’ tolerance of religious freedoms.
Ari Edelkopf and wife Chana in 2009 in Sochi, Russia. (Courtesy of Federation of Jewish Communities)
The strong reactions to the Edelkopf edict seem to be less connected to the actual expulsion — at least seven rabbis have been sent packing over the past decade over visa and residence issues — than to the assertion that Edelkopf endangers Russia, a claim the rabbi denies.
“This serious allegation is a negative precedent that we had never seen directed at a rabbi before in Russia, and it is a very, very big problem for us,” Gorin told JTA. “What are they saying? Is he a spy? We can remember very well the times when Jews were last accused of endangering state security,” he added in reference to anti-Semitic persecution under communism.
Behind the expulsion of Edelkopf and the other rabbis, Gorin added, is an attempt by the state to limit the number of foreign clerics living in Russia – an effort that has led to expulsions not only of rabbis but also of imams and Protestant priests.
“It’s not targeting the Jews,” he said.
Alexander Boroda, the president of Gorin’s federation, told Interfax that he was “dismayed” by the expulsion and suggested it was the work of an overzealous official eager “to check off the box” after being ordered to curb immigration.
Boroda also told Interfax that the deportation was not anti-Semitic. He recalled how Putin’s government has facilitated a Jewish revival in Russia — including by returning dozens of buildings; educating to tolerance; adding Jewish holidays to the national calendar, and offering subsidies to Jewish groups. Lazar, who was born in Italy, often contrasts the scarcity of anti-Semitic violence in Russia with its prevalence in France and Great Britain.
The government has also tolerated criticism by the Chabad-led community. Under Lazar and Boroda, the Federation has largely ignored xenophobia against non-Jews but consistently condemned any expression of anti-Semitism — including from within Putin’s party and government.
The federation even spoke out against Russia’s vote in favor of a UNESCO resolution last year that ignores Judaism’s attachment to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Still, the Edelkopf deportation is part of a string of recent incidents in which Jews have suffered the effects of growing authoritarianism in Russia – a country where opposition figures are routinely prosecuted and convicted. Since 2012 the country has slipped in international rankings of free speech and human rights; Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Internet” index slipped recently from “partly free” to “not free.”
Under legislation from 2012, a Jewish charitable group from Ryazan near Moscow was flagged in 2015 by the justice ministry as a “foreign agent” over its funding from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and its reproduction in a newsletter of political op-eds that appeared in the L’chaim Jewish weekly.
Last year, a court in Sverdlovsk convicted a teacher, Semen Tykman, of inciting hatred among pupils at his Chabad school against Germans and propagating the idea of Jewish superiority. Authorities raided his school and another one in 2015, confiscating textbooks, which some Russian Jews suggested was to create a semblance of equivalence with Russia’s crackdown on radical Islam.
Before that affair, a Russian court in 2013 convicted Ilya Farber, a Jewish village teacher, of corruption in a trial that some Jewish groups dismissed as flawed, in part because the prosecution displayed some anti-Semitic undertones in arguing it.
While the incidents differ in their local contexts in the multiethnic behemoth that is Russia, seen together they demonstrate that the Jewish minority not only thrived under Putin but is feeling the “collateral damage as the government drastically tightens its grip on all areas of life,” according to Roman Bronfman, a former Israeli lawmaker from Ukraine and a staunch critic of Putin.
Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency, recently named the anti-democratic measures of Putin’s government — along with the halving of the Russian ruble against the dollar amid sanctions and dropping oil prices — as a major catalyst for an increase in immigration to Israel by Russian Jews.
Last year, Russia was Israel’s largest provider of immigrants with some 7,000 newcomers to the Jewish state, or olim – a 10-year high that saw Russia’s Jewish population of roughly 250,000 people lose 2 1/2 percent of its members to Israel.
But to Lazar, Russia’s Chabad-affiliated chief rabbi, the numbers tell a different story, he told JTA last week at the Limmud FSU Jewish learning conference in London.
“I don’t know if Jews are leaving because of these steps,” he said, referring to limitations on freedom of speech and other liberties in Russia. “But I think it’s a testament to the revival of the community, which has instilled Jewish identity to provide many olim, whereas 15 years ago this phenomenon just didn’t exist.”
Renegade Editor’s Note: Please note that the ways of our ancient ancestors have been tainted and skewed by the Semitic religion that conquered the continent, so it is hard to know what is true. This work from over 100 years ago is presented to add to your understanding, but not to endorse everything contained herein.
There is very little documentary evidence to go on. In particular, we have no actual sacred texts of the ancient Celts, as their texts were transmitted orally only to initiates, and disappeared forever when the last Druid died. Christianity became the dominant religion in the Celtic area before the oral traditions could become written down, unlike the Vedas in India. Ancient Celtic religious beliefs must therefore be inferred from second-hand classical accounts, hints from Celtic mythology, legend and folklore, as well as archaeological and comparative anthropological evidence. MacCulloch marshals this body of evidence, extensively footnoted, so that an authoritative and clear view of ancient Celtic religion emerges.” – John Bruno Hare
February 7th, 2004
By J. A. MacCulloch
Chapter IX from The Religion of the Ancient Celts 
THOUGH man usually makes his gods in his own image, they are unlike as well as like him. Intermediate between them and man are ideal heroes whose parentage is partly divine, and who may themselves have been gods. One mark of the Celtic gods is their great stature. No house could contain Bran, and certain divine people of Elysium who appeared to Fionn had rings “as thick as a three-ox goad.” Even the Fians are giants, and the skull of one of them could contain several men. The gods have also the attribute of invisibility, and are only seen by those to whom they wish to disclose themselves, or they have the power of concealing themselves in a magic mist. When they appear to mortals, it is usually in mortal guise, sometimes in the form of a particular person, but they can also transform themselves into animal shapes, often that of birds. The animal names of certain divinities show that they had once been animals pure and simple, but when they became anthropomorphic, myths would arise telling how they had appeared to men in these animal shapes. This, in part, accounts for these transformation myths. The gods are also immortal, though in myth we hear of their deaths. The Tuatha Dé Danann are “unfading,” their “duration is perennial.” This immortality is sometimes an inherent quality; sometimes it is the result of eating immortal food: Manannan’s swine, Goibniu’s feast of age and his immortal ale, or the apples of Elysium. The stories telling of the deaths of the gods in the annalists may be based on old myths in which they were said to die, these myths being connected with ritual acts in which the human representatives of gods were slain. Such rites were an inherent part of Celtic religion. Elsewhere the ritual of gods like Osiris or Adonis, based on their functions as gods of vegetation, was connected with elaborate myths telling of their death and revival. Something akin to this may have occurred among the Celts.
The divinities often united with mortals. Goddesses sought the love of heroes who were then sometimes numbered among the gods, and gods had amours with the daughters of men. Frequently the heroes of the sagas are children of a god or goddess and a mortal, and this divine parentage was firmly believed in by the Celts, since personal names formed of a divine name and –genos or –gnatos, “born of,” “son of,” are found in inscriptions over the whole Celtic area, or in Celtic documents–Boduogenos, Camulognata, etc. Those who first bore these names were believed to be of divine descent on one side. Spirits of nature or the elements of nature personified might also be parents of mortals, as a name like Morgen, from Morigenos, “Son of the Sea,” and many others suggest. For this and for other reasons the gods frequently interfere in human affairs, assisting their children or their favourites. Or, again, they seek the aid of mortals or of the heroes of the sagas in their conflicts or in time of distress, as when Morrigan besought healing from Cúchulainn.
As in the case of early Greek and Roman kings, Celtic kings who bore divine names were probably believed to be representatives or incarnations of gods. Perhaps this explains why a chief of the Boii called himself a god and was revered after his death, and why the Gauls so readily accepted the divinity of Augustus. Irish kings bear divine names, and of these Nuada occurs frequently, one king, Irél Fáith, being identified with Nuada Airgetlam, while in one text nuadat is glossed in ríg, “of the king,” as if Nuada had come to be a title meaning “king.” Welsh kings bear the name Nudd (Nodons), and both the actual and the mythic leader Brennus took their name from the god Bran. King Conchobar is called día talmaide, “a terrestrial god.” If kings were thought to be god-men like the Pharaohs, this might account for the frequency of tales about divine fatherhood or reincarnation, while it would also explain the numerous geasa which Irish kings must observe, unlike ordinary mortals. Prosperity was connected with their observance, though this prosperity was later thought to depend on the king’s goodness. The nature of the prosperity–mild seasons, abundant crops, fruit, fish, and cattle–shows that the king was associated with fertility, like the gods of growth. Hence they had probably been once regarded as incarnations of such gods. Wherever divine kings are found, fertility is bound up with them and with the due observance of their tabus. To prevent misfortune to the land, they are slain before they grow old and weak, and their vigour passes on to their successors. Their death benefits their people. But frequently the king might reign as long as he could hold his own against all comers, or, again, a slave or criminal was for a time treated as a mock king, and slain as the divine king’s substitute. Scattered hints in Irish literature and in folk survivals show that some such course as this had been pursued by the Celts with regard to their divine kings, as it was also elsewhere. It is not impossible that some at least of the Druids stood in a similar relation to the gods. Kings and priests were probably at first not differentiated. In Galatia twelve “tetrarchs ” met annually with three hundred assistants at Drunemeton as the great national council. This council at a consecrated place (nemeton), its likeness to the annual Druidic gathering in Gaul, and the possibility that Dru– has some connection with the name “Druid,” point to a religious as well as political aspect of this council. The “tetrarchs” may have been a kind of priest-kings; they had the kingly prerogative of acting as judges as had the Druids of Gaul. The wife of one of them was a priestess, the office being hereditary in her family, and it may have been necessary that her husband should also be a priest. One tetrarch, Deiotarus, “divine bull,” was skilled in augury, and the priest-kingship of Pessinus was conferred on certain Celts in the second century B.C., as if the double office were already a Celtic institution. Mythic Celtic kings consulted the gods without any priestly intervention, and Queen Boudicca had priestly functions. Without giving these hints undue emphasis, we may suppose that the differentiation of the two offices would not be simultaneous over the Celtic area. But when it did take effect priests would probably lay claim to the prerogatives of the priest-king as incarnate god. Kings were not likely to give these up, and where they retained them priests would be content with seeing that the tabus and ritual and the slaying of the mock king were duly observed. Irish kings were perhaps still regarded as gods, though certain Druids may have been divine priests, since they called themselves creators of the universe, and both continental and Irish Druids claimed superiority to kings. Further, the name σεμνοθέοι, applied along with the name “Druids” to Celtic priests, though its meaning is obscure, points to divine pretensions on their part.
The incarnate god was probably representative of a god or spirit of earth, growth, or vegetation, represented also by a tree. A symbolic branch of such a tree was borne by kings, and perhaps by Druids, who used oak branches in their rites. King and tree would be connected, the king’s life being bound up with that of the tree, and perhaps at one time both perished together. But as kings were represented by a substitute, so the sacred tree, regarded as too sacred to be cut down, may also have had its succedaneum. The Irish bile or sacred tree, connected with the kings, must not be touched by any impious hand, and it was sacrilege to cut it down. Probably before cutting down the tree a branch or something growing upon it, e.g. mistletoe, had to be cut, or the king’s symbolic branch secured before he could be slain. This may explain Pliny’s account of the mistletoe rite. The mistletoe or branch was the soul of the tree, and also contained the life of the divine representative. It must be plucked before the tree could be cut down or the victim slain. Hypothetical as this may be, Pliny’s account is incomplete, or he is relating something of which all the details were not known to him. The rite must have had some other purpose than that of the magico-medical use of the mistletoe which he describes, and though he says nothing of cutting down the tree or slaying a human victim, it is not unlikely that, as human sacrifice had been prohibited in his time, the oxen which were slain during the rite took the place of the latter. Later romantic tales suggest that, before slaying some personage, the mythico-romantic survivor of a divine priest or king, a branch carried by him had to be captured by his assailant, or plucked from the tree which he defended. These may point to an old belief in tree and king as divine representatives, and to a ritual like that associated with the Priest of Nemi. The divine tree became the mystic tree of Elysium, with gold and silver branches and marvellous fruits. Armed with such a branch, the gift of one of its people, mortals might penetrate unhindered to the divine land. Perhaps they may be regarded as romantic forms of the old divine kings with the branch of the divine tree.
If in early times the spirit of vegetation was feminine, her representative would be a woman, probably slain at recurring festivals by the female worshippers. This would explain the slaying of one of their number at a festival by Namnite women. But when male spirits or gods superseded goddesses, the divine priest-king would take the place of the female representative. On the other hand, just as the goddess became the consort of the god, a female representative would continue as the divine bride in the ritual of the sacred marriage, the May Queen of later folk-custom. Sporadically, too, conservatism would retain female cults with female divine incarnations, as is seen by the presence of the May Queen alone in certain folk-survivals, and by many Celtic rituals from which men were excluded.
When Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote that put billionaire Betsy DeVos in charge of the Department of Education, his action highlighted once again the curious alliance between the most libertine president in American history and the most politically powerful flock of evangelical Christians Washington has ever seen.
Giving an evangelical Christian power over the public education of America’s children is only one of the many gifts Donald Trump is expected to shower on the religious right in exchange for their showing up to support him on Election Day. Eighty-one percent of white born-again/evangelical Christians cast their ballots for the Republican who was caught on tape bragging about how he could “grab” women “by the pussy,” versus 16 percent who backed lifelong Methodist Democrat Hillary Clinton, the biggest margin by party since 2004.
In exchange for helping him possibly build an actual ballot-box majority in the next election, the most secular president in American history will be giving these followers at least one anti-abortion Supreme Court judge and possibly more than 100 like-minded lower court judges.
One great mystery of Trumpism is how his movement—and now the government—was so swiftly colonized by people who wouldn’t have shaken the new president’s hand a year ago. There are at least nine self-described evangelicals on deck to be confirmed or already confirmed to powerful positions within the administration, and together they are in a position to shove their belief system—a minority view—down the throats of ordinary people and transform secular America.
Vice President Mike Pence, right, finishes swearing in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, joined by her husband, Dick DeVos, on February 7.JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS
Evangelicals have been forced to cede a few things over the years. They’ve lived with legal abortion for almost two generations of women. They loathe Roe v. Wade not because they are too concerned about actual human babies but because women forced to gestate and give birth are prevented from working outside the home. As American women have gained growing economic power along with the ability to make their own decisions, patriarchal family power—the sine qua non of evangelism—has declined. Legal gay marriage is another affront to the same system.
Evangelicals like to complain that their religious “freedom” is under attack. But polls show the majority of Americans do not agree with them, and because of that, they have long struggled for the added “freedom” to force their views into public schools, bedrooms, hospitals, doctors’ offices, the armed services and federal agencies that deal with problems like climate change.
A long-term, deep strategy led the movement to this moment of power. It involved hundreds of millions of dollars, battalions of lawyers, alliances with corporate America and a consistent, pious Washington presence. Pence, DeVos and their compatriots now burrowing into the White House and federal agencies belong to a political movement aimed at degrading the American tradition of separating church and state.
According to a 2011 Pew Research Center study on global Christianity, the largest concentration of evangelicals in the world—roughly one-third—live in the United States. At around 26 percent of the population, they are a demographic minority responsible for some of the most regressive tendencies in American politics. They are reliably anti-science and anti-environment, and they pretend to believe, or actually do think ,that the long collapse of the nuclear family is due to feminism, rather than income disparity, the decline of the American communal instinct, the destruction of labor unions and all the other late-capitalist social disasters.
Despite their minority status, America’s evangelicals are extremely well-represented in Washington and in the courts—they just haven’t been so much on the winning side lately. Adherents feel discriminated against when they are legally required to bake a cake for a gay wedding, for example, or to sell contraceptives to women. By allying themselves with Trump, evangelicals are now poised to take actions to reverse these requirements—and to reach for much more.
Starting in the 1980s, a core of committed political evangelicals burrowed into the nation’s capital via a secret outfit calling itself “the Family.” Journalist Jeff Sharlet, in his 2008 book on the group, likened the Family to a “shadow government” that successfully pushed its anti-gay and anti-feminist goals not just within the U.S. but in countries around the world. The Family’s annual National Prayer Breakfast has become a must-attend event for the president and other politicians of both parties.
Much of the Family’s financing comes from “the Gathering,” an annual get-together in Scottsdale, Arizona, that started in the mid-1980s. There, professional theocrats organize and inspire super-rich evangelicals and Catholics to open their wallets and part with huge sums—a billion dollars a year, according to reports—for the purpose of making America more godly.
The Gathering is to the religious right what the Koch brothers are to the anti-government Tea Party movement. The DeVos family (baby brother is Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, a notorious, private mercenary force that changed its name after employees were convicted of massacring 17 Iraqis) has donated to the Gathering.
Also among the Gathering’s financiers are the Oklahoma-based Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, which brought a religious freedom case (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.) that resulted in the Supreme Court ruling that said requiring employers to cover contraceptives violates some people’s religious freedom. The Hobby Lobby company name was on the lawsuit, but the case itself was organized by a privately funded legal group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which gets its $40 million annual budget from the Gathering and its patrons.
The Greens have also spent $800 million on a high-tech Bible museum near Washington’s National Mall, which will feed potentially millions of visitors a bunch of ahistorical fiction annually, scholars have told Newsweek. The Greens have also financed a Bible textbook program that they hope to put to use in American public schools.
Lifetime Michiganders, Betsy DeVos and brother Prince are scions of the state’s richest family—their father founded Amway, the multilevel beauty products company. They were raised in the Christian Reformed Church, which regards education as the responsibility of the family. Not content to support home-schooling only within her religious sect, DeVos—who has no degrees in or experience administering public or private education—has used her family fortune and her family standing to divert desperately needed public funds from the Detroit public school system into charter schools.
According to one report, members of the DeVos family spent $1.45 million over just two months—$25,000 a day for seven weeks—to stop efforts to redistribute the monies to public schools. While private and charter schools do often have better results than public schools, they are also overwhelmingly white and too often serve as modern manifestations of the South’s “segregation academies”—private schools for the connected, rich and white.
Pence’s tie-breaking vote putting DeVos into the Cabinet was historic, but it’s surely not going to be the last time Trump’s evangelicals will attempt to force-feed their minority views to the United States. Overreach, though, could ultimately make them even weaker than they were before they jumped on the Trump train. Author Michael Wear, who advised President Barack Obama on faith issues, says evangelicals can look forward to Trump’s earthly rewards now, but he predicts their deal with the devil might derail them in the long run.
“What evangelicals must be aware of moving forward is that even if a reprieve from their cultural and legal embattlement is granted by Trump, and even if short-term policy advances are made, the cost of making those advances in an alliance with Trump will end up costing a great deal in the long term if they are unable to provide bold, clear opposition to other policies—like the Muslim ban, mass deportations, draconian criminal justice enforcement and other stated objectives of the Trump White House,” Wear says.
“The next four years,” he adds, “will offer evangelicals the opportunity to separate their political identity from the Republican Party, and they should take it, lest they sacrifice their witness on the altar of political expediency.”
Female suicide bombers were relatively unknown till the second intifada that began in September 2000.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, said Sunday that he had been surprised to discover that the perpetrator of an explosion in the bus in which he was traveling was a woman.
Fortunately, he suffered only slight injuries and was able to take care of them himself. This was the first time that a woman had been involved in a suicide attack, he said. Casting his mind back after the incident, he remembered having seen her wearing a blue velvet dress – a garment worn only at weddings. “She was dressed for a wedding with shaheeds [‘martyrs”] in heaven.”
Kedar, an officer in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, was speaking at the Begin Heritage Center at the launch of the Gefen Publishing House book Women and Jihad by Rachel Avraham, a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online, the English language Internet edition of the televised Channel 2 News.
“Women are not supposed to blow themselves up,” Kedar said. They are supposed to stay at home and give birth – “preferably to boys” – and care for their families. Blowing themselves up goes against the grain of Islamic society – at least it used to.
Moderator David Bedein, whose Center for Near East Policy Research was a co-sponsor of the event, showed clips taken several years ago of interviews with Palestinian female would-be suicide bombers who had survived, been treated in Israeli hospitals and incarcerated. At the time of the interviews, there were more than a hundred such women, said Bedein. Today they are all free, having been included in the 2011 exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, he stated.
In the interviews, the women expressed no remorse or regret. They had felt blessed just before embarking on their missions, because they were about to meet Allah and would see the martyrs in paradise. One woman, who had been badly burned and been treated and nursed back to health in Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba, had returned to the same hospital with an explosive belt strapped to her body. She was intercepted by security personnel. Some of the women were aggressive, saying that Palestine would be part of the large Islamic state. Others expressed admiration for al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and said that they hoped that all Arabs would be like them. One woman said: “The base of the conflict between Jews and Palestinians is a religious struggle.”
The faces of all the women, including the most highly educated, shone with a religious radiance that spoke of the depth of their indoctrination.
Minister-without-Portfolio Ayoub Kara said that he has made a study of extremism, and while he has not yet found a solution, it is essential for Israel to cooperate with the Saudi-Arab coalition. He lamented the fact that the Saudis won’t make a move in that direction until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.
Libyan-born Dr. Yitzhak Ben Gad, a former Israeli consul-general in Chicago and Miami, while not discounting religious fervor as a springboard for female terrorists, said there were also other factors: a miserable life, the knowledge that sooner or later she will be killed in “honor” crime by a male family member; and revenge for real or imagined suffering.
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a fellow of the American Center for Democracy, psychoanalyst, Arabist and counter-terrorism expert, attributed knife wielding by female jihadists to their having been abused as women in the Islamic shame/honor culture. “Violence is embodied by female suicide bombers,” said Kobrin. The female is at the eye of the political terrorism storm. Incidents of domestic violence in Palestinian society, serve as “a red flag and a ticking time bomb,” she warned. “The need to hate and to have an enemy is in place by age three,” declared Kobrin “It is a rage that exceeds murder itself. There is a need not just to kill but to obliterate and annihilate – something that the West can’t understand.”
Quoting from Avraham’s book, Kobrin said that female suicide bombers receive eight times more media publicity than male suicide bombers.
Avraham stated that no act of terrorism is spontaneous. They are all carefully planned, and more than the desire to actually harm Israelis is the terrorists’ goal to attract publicity for their cause. Without publicity, it’s as if the act of terrorism did not happen, she said.
She conceded that while there are Palestinian moderates, most are too afraid to express their true opinions. “We don’t know what Palestinian women are really thinking, because they are afraid of deviating from the norms of their society.”
An increasing number of Palestinian women are becoming terrorists as a result of media incitement, she said, adding that women getting more publicity shames Palestinian men into committing greater violence