Israeli Supreme Court Rules for Palestinian/American Student

By Stephen Lendman
Source

The usual rubber-stamp High Court defied expectations, ruling against the Netanyahu regime, upholding Lara Alqasem’s appeal to study at Hebrew University.

Israel granted her visa permission to pursue graduate work in Jerusalem. On arrival at Ben Gurion airport October 2, she was detained under deplorable conditions, and ordered deported for alleged past membership in a student organization supporting BDS.

Hundreds of academics, Jewish professionals and Hebrew University rallied to her defense, criticizing how Netanyahu regime officials mistreated her on arrival in Israel.

Her lower court appeals against deportation were rejected. Israeli strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan said if she renounces her past activities and publicly calls BDS activism illegitimate, her case would be reconsidered.

Trump’s State Department declined to support her legitimate rights. His regime one-sided supports Israel, ignoring its most egregious offenses, mostly against defenseless Palestinians.

Deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said  “Israel is a sovereign nation that can determine who enters” – no matter how unacceptable its actions.

On Thursday, Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the interior ministry to allow Alqasem entry to pursue her graduate studies.

She’s a former University of Florida Students for Justice in Palestine president. Her lawyers argued that she’s had no involvement in organizations supporting BDS for over a year.

Israeli law against BDS advocacy bans entry into the country for foreign nationals who “knowingly…call for boycotting Israel.”

It pertains to current, not past, activities. “This is a fundamental divergence from the law, which is written in present tense,” attorney Yotam Ben-Hillel argued, adding:

The law is “wrong and harms a lot of basic rights. We challenged how (authorities) interpreted the law.”

Israeli historian Gershom Gorenberg said Alqasem’s case is “part of a trend by (the Netanyahu regime) to turn enforcement and the law into tools for policing opinions.”

In their ruling, High Court justices stressed that Alqasem was granted visa permission to pursue graduate work. Evidence presented by Israel didn’t justify her deportation, calling her visa cancellation unreasonable.

Justice Anat Baron said Alqasem’s actions “do not raise satisfactory cause to bar her entry to Israel,” adding:

“The inevitable impression is that invalidating the visa given to her was due to the political opinions she holds.” 

“If this is truly the case, then we are talking about an extreme and dangerous step, which could lead to the crumbling of the pillars upon which democracy in Israel stands.”

Like America and other Western states, democracy in Israel is pure fantasy. None whatever exists, notably for Israeli Arab citizens and Occupied Palestinians.

Alqasem has been detained for over two weeks at Ben Gurion airport, treated more like a prisoner than student.

Ahead of the High Court ruling, attorney Leora Bechor said her “hearing will address the question of whether (she’s) a BDS activist or simply an intellectually curious student who has found herself the target of politicized thought-policing.”

Following the ruling, Hebrew University said it looks forward to “welcoming our newest student, Lara Alqasem, as she begins her MA in Human Rights & Transitional Justice at our law school next week.”

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Palestinians Increasingly Marginalized And Abandoned As Zionist Noose Tightens

Rebel Voice

Rebel Voice has presented many articles on the Palestine Crisis. The suffering of the people there at the bloodied hands of the Israeli state is the stuff of nightmares. Yet it continues unabated.

Since the arrival of the arch-fascist, Trump, the Israeli regime has become further emboldened, and gods knows they were bad enough beforehand. Conditions in what remains of Palestine are deteriorating at an increased pace. The Israeli policies of Apartheidand ethnic cleansing are designed to bully the indigenous people into leaving the home of their ancestors so that foreigners from Brooklyn and London can squaton the vacated land. It is a crime against humanity and a war crime and recognized as such by the international community, yet the governments do nothing.

The following article provides an overview of all the Palestinians are being forced to face in their daily struggle to survive, as Israel is…

View original post 15 more words

The Empire splits the Orthodox world – possible consequences

 

The Saker

October 19, 2018

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

In previous articles about this topic I have tried to set the context and explain why most Orthodox Churches are still used as pawns in purely political machinations and how the most commentators who discuss these issues today are using words and concepts in a totally twisted, secular and non-Christian way (which is about as absurd as discussing medicine while using a vague, misunderstood and generally non-medical terminology). I have also written articles trying to explain how the concept of “Church” is completely misunderstood nowadays and how many Orthodox Churches today have lost their original Patristic mindset. Finally, I have tried to show the ancient spiritual roots of modern russophobia and how the AngloZionist Empire might try to save the Ukronazi regime in Kiev by triggering a religious crisis in the Ukraine. It is my hope that these articles will provide a useful context to evaluate and discuss the current crisis between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Moscow Patriarchate.

My intention today is to look at the unfolding crisis from a more “modern” point of view and try to evaluate only what the political and social consequences of the latest developments might be in the short and mid term. I will begin by a short summary.

The current context: a summary

The Patriarchate of Constantinople has taken the official decision to:

  1. Declare that the Patriarch of Constantinople has the right to unilaterally grant autocephaly (full independence) to any other Church with no consultations with any the other Orthodox Churches.
  2. Cancel the decision by the Patriarch of Constantinople Dionysios IV in 1686 transferring the Kiev Metropolia (religious jurisdiction overseen by a Metropolite) to the Moscow Patriarchate (a decision which no Patriarch of Constantinople contested for three centuries!)
  3. Lift the anathema pronounced against the “Patriarch” Filaret Denisenko by the Moscow Patriarchate (in spite of the fact that the only authority which can lift an anathema is the one which pronounced it in the first place)
  4. Recognize as legitimate the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate” which it previously had declared as illegitimate and schismatic.
  5. Grant actual grand full autocephaly to a future (and yet to be defined) “united Ukrainian Orthodox Church”

Most people naturally focus on this last element, but this might be a mistake, because while illegally granting autocephaly to a mix of nationalist pseudo-Churches is most definitely a bad decision, to act like some kind of “Orthodox Pope” and claim rights which only belong to the entire Church is truly a historical mistake. Not only that, but this mistake now forces every Orthodox Christian to either accept this as a fait accompli and submit to the megalomania of the wannabe Ortho-Pope of the Phanar, or to reject such unilateral and totally illegal action or to enter into open opposition. And this is not the first time such a situation has happened in the history of the Church. I will use an historical parallel to make this point.

The historical context:

The Church of Rome and the rest of the Christian world were already on a collision course for several centuries before the famous date of 1054 when Rome broke away from the Christian world. Whereas for centuries Rome had been the most steadfast bastion of resistance against innovations and heresies, the influence of the Franks in the Church of Rome eventually resulted (after numerous zig-zags on this topic) in a truly disastrous decision to add a single world (filioque – “and the son” in Latin) to the Symbol of Faith (the Credo in Latin). What made that decision even worse was the fact that the Pope of Rome also declared that he had the right to impose that addition upon all the other Christian Churches, with no conciliar discussion or approval. It is often said that the issue of the filioque is “obscure” and largely irrelevant, but that is just a reflection of the theological illiteracy of those making such statements as, in reality, the addition of the filioque completely overthrows the most crucial and important Trinitarian and Christological dogmas of Christianity. But what *is* true is that the attempt to unilaterally impose this heresy on the rest of the Christian world was at least as offensive and, really, as sacrilegious as the filioque itself because it undermined the very nature of the Church. Indeed, the Symbol of Faith defines the Church as “catholic” (Εἰς μίαν, Ἁγίαν, Καθολικὴν καὶ Ἀποστολικὴν Ἐκκλησίαν”) meaning not only “universal” but also “whole” or “all-inclusive”. In ecclesiological terms this “universality” is manifested in two crucial ways:

First, all Churches are equal, there is no Pope, no “historical see” granting any primacy just as all the Apostles of Christ and all Orthodox bishops are also equals; the Head of the Church is Christ Himself, and the Church is His Theadric Body filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh I know, to say that the Holy Spirit fills the Church is considered absolutely ridiculous in our 21st century post-Christian world, but check out these words from the Book of Acts: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us” (Acts 15:28) which clearly show that the members of the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem clearly believed and proclaimed that their decisions were guided by the Holy Spirit. Anyone still believing that will immediately see why the Church needs no “vicar of Christ” or any “earthly representative” to act in Christ’s name during His absence. In fact, Christ Himself clearly told us “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt 28:20). If a Church needs a “vicar” – then Christ and the Holy Spirit are clearly not present in that Church. QED.

Second, crucial decisions, decisions which affect the entire Church, are only taken by a Council of the entire Church, not unilaterally by any one man or any one Church. These are really the basics of what could be called “traditional Christian ecclesiology 101” and the blatant violation of this key ecclesiological dogma by the Papacy in 1054 was as much a cause for the historical schism between East and West (really, between Rome and the rest of Christian world) as was the innovation of the filioque itself.

I hasten to add that while the Popes were the first ones to claim for themselves an authority only given to the full Church, they were not the only ones (by the way, this is a very good working definition of the term “Papacy”: the attribution to one man of all the characteristics belonging solely to the entire Church). In the early 20th century the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople, Albania, Alexandria, Antioch, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, and Romania got together and, under the direct influence of powerful Masonic lodges, decided to adopt the Gregorian Papal Calendar (named after the 16th century Pope Gregory XIII). The year was 1923, when the entire Russian Orthodox Church was being literally crucified on the modern Golgotha of the Bolshevik regime, but that did not prevent these Churches from calling their meeting “pan Orthodox”. Neither did the fact that the Russian, Serbian, Georgian, Jerusalem Church and the Holy Mountain (aka “Mount Athos”) rejected this innovation stop them. As for the Papal Calendar itself, the innovators “piously” re-branded it as “improved Julian” and other such euphemism to conceal the real intention behind this.

Finally, even the fact that this decision also triggered a wave of divisions inside their own Churches was not cause for them to reconsider or, even less so, to repent. Professor C. Troitsky was absolutely correct when he wrote that “there is no doubt that future historians of the Orthodox Church will be forced to admit that the Congress of 1923 was the saddest event of Church life in the 20th century” (for more on this tragedy see herehere and here). Here again, one man, Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius IV (Metaxakis) tried to “play Pope” and his actions resulted in a massive upheaval which ripped through the entire Orthodox world.

More recently, the Patriarch of Constantinople tried, once again, to convene what he would want to be an Orthodox “Ecumenical Council” under his personal authority when in 2016 (yet another) “pan Orthodox” council was convened on the island of Crete which was attended by the Churches of Alexandria , Jerusalem , Serbia , Romania , Cyprus , Greece, Poland , Albania and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. The Churches of Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Antioch refused to attend (the US OCA – was not invited). Most observers agreed that the Moscow Patriarchate played a key role in undermining what was clearly to be a “robber” council which would have introduced major (and fully non-Orthodox) innovations. The Patriarch of Constantinople never forgave the Russians for torpedoing his planned “ecumenical” council.

Some might have noticed that a majority of local Churches did attend both the 1923 and the 2016 wannabe “pan Orthodox” councils. Such an observation might be very important in a Latin or Protestant context, but in the Orthodox context is is absolutely meaningless for the following reasons:

The theological context:

In the history of the Church there have been many “robber” councils (meaning illegitimate, false, councils) which were attended by a majority of bishops of the time, and even a majority of the Churches; in this article I mentioned the life of Saint Maximos the Confessor (which you can read in full here) as a perfect example of how one single person (not even a priest!) can defend true Christianity against what could appear at the time as the overwhelming number of bishops representing the entire Church. But, as always, these false bishops were eventually denounced and the Truth of Orthodoxy prevailed.

Likewise, at the False Union of Florence, when all the Greek delegates signed the union with the Latin heretics, and only one bishop refused to to do (Saint Mark of Ephesus), the Latin Pope declared in despair “and so we have accomplished nothing!”. He was absolutely correct – that union was rejected by the “Body” of the Church and the names of those apostates who signed it will remain in infamy forever. I could multiply the examples, but what is crucial here is to understand that majorities, large numbers or, even more so, the support of secular authorities are absolutely meaningless in Christian theology and in the history of the Church and that, with time, all the lapsed bishops who attended robber councils are always eventually denounced and the Orthodox truth always proclaimed once again. It is especially important to keep this in mind during times of persecution or of brutal interference by secular authorities because even when they *appear* to have won, their victory is always short-lived.

I would add that the Russian Orthodox Church is not just “one of the many” local Orthodox Churches. Not only is the Russian Orthodox Church by far the biggest Orthodox Church out there, but Moscow used to be the so-called “Third Rome”, something which gives the Moscow Patriarchate a lot of prestige and, therefore, influence. In secular terms of prestige and “street cred” the fact that the Russians did not participate in the 1923 and 2016 congresses is much bigger a blow to its organizers than if, say, the Romanians had boycotted it. This might not be important to God or for truly pious Christians, but I assure you that this is absolutely crucial for the wannabe “Eastern Pope” of the Phanar…

Who is really behind this latest attack on the Church?

So let’s begin by stating the obvious: for all his lofty titles (“His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch“ no less!), the Patriarch of Constantinople (well, of the Phanar, really), is nothing but a puppet in the hands of the AngloZionist Empire. An ambitious and vain puppet for sure, but a puppet nonetheless. To imagine that the Uber-loser Poroshenko would convince him to pick a major fight with the Moscow Patriarchate is absolutely laughable and totally ridiculous. Some point out that the Patriarch of Constantinople is a Turkish civil servant. While technically true, this does not suggest that Erdogan is behind this move either: right now Erdogan badly needs Russia on so many levels that he gains nothing and risks losing a lot by alienating Moscow. No, the real initiator of this entire operation is the AngloZionist Empire and, of course, the Papacy (which has always tried to create an “Orthodoxerein Ukraine” from the “The Eastern Crusade” and “Northern Crusades” of Popes Innocent III and Gregory IX to the Nazi Ukraine of Bandera – see here for details).

Why would the Empire push for such a move? Here we can find a mix of petty and larger geostrategic reasons. First, the petty ones: they range from the usual impotent knee-jerk reflex to do something, anything, to hurt Russia to pleasing of the Ukronazi emigrés in the USA and Canada. The geostrategic ones range from trying to save the highly unpopular Ukronazi regime in Kiev to breaking up the Orthodox world thereby weakening Russian soft-power and influence. This type of “logic” shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Orthodox world today. Here is why:

The typical level of religious education of Orthodox Christians is probably well represented by the famous Bell Curve: some are truly completely ignorant, most know a little, and a few know a lot. As long as things were reasonably peaceful, all these Orthodox Christians could go about their daily lives and not worry too much about the big picture. This is also true of many Orthodox Churches and bishops. Most folks like beautiful rites (singing, golden cupolas, beautiful architecture and historical places) mixed in with a little good old superstition (place a candle before a business meeting or playing the lottery) – such is human nature and, alas, most Orthodox Christians are no different, even if their calling is to be “not of this world”. But now this apparently peaceful picture has been severely disrupted by the actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople whose actions are in such blatant and severe violation of all the basic canons and traditions of the Church that they literally force each Orthodox Christian, especially bishops, to break their silence and take a position: am I with Moscow or with Constantinople?

Oh sure, initially many (most?) Orthodox Christians, including many bishops, will either try to look away or limit themselves to vapid expressions of “regret” mixed in with calls for “unity”. A good example of that kind of wishy washy lukewarm language can already be found here. But this kind of Pilate-like washing of hands (“ain’t my business” in modern parlance) is unsustainable, and here is why: in Orthodox ecclesiology you cannot build “broken Eucharistic triangles”. If A is not in communion with B, then C cannot be in communion with A and B at the same time. It’s really an “either or” binary choice. At least in theory (in reality, such “broken triangles” have existed, most recently between the former ROCA/ROCOR, the Serbian Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, but they are unsustainable, as events of the 2000-2007 years confirmed for the ROCA/ROCOR). Still, no doubt that some (many?) will try to remain in communion with both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Constantinople Patriarchate, but this will become harder and harder with every passing month. In some specific cases, such a decision will be truly dramatic, I think of the monasteries on the Holy Mountain in particular.

[Sidebar: on a more cynical level, I would note that the Patriarch of Constantinople has now opened a real Pandora’s box which now every separatist movement in an Orthodox country will be able to use to demand its own “autocephaly” which will threaten the unity of most Orthodox Churches out there. If all it takes to become “autocephalous” is to trigger some kind of nationalist uprising, then just imagine how many “Churches” will demand the same autocephaly as the Ukronazis are today! The fact that ethno-phyetism is a condemned heresy will clearly stop none of them. After all, if it is good enough for the “Ecumenical” Patriarch, it sure is good enough for any and all pseudo-Orthodox nationalists!]

What the AngloZionist Empire has done is to force each Orthodox Christian and each Orthodox Church to chose between siding with Moscow or Constantinople. This choice will have obvious spiritual consequences, which the Empire couldn’t give a damn about, but it will also profound political and social consequences which, I believe, the Empire entirely missed.

The Moscow Patriarchate vs the Patriarchate of Constantinople – a sociological and political analysis

Let me be clear here that I am not going to compare and contrast the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) and the Patriarchate of Constantinople (PC) from a spiritual, theological or even ecclesiological point of view here. Instead, I will compare and contrast them from a purely sociological and political point of view. The differences here are truly profound.

Moscow Patriarchate Patriarchate of Constantinople
Actual size Very big Small
Financial means Very big Small
Dependence on the support of the Empire and its various entities Limited Total
Relations with the Vatican Limited, mostly due to very strongly anti-Papist sentiments in the people Mutual support and de-facto alliance
Majority member’s outlook Conservative Modernist
Majority member’s level of support Strong Lukewarm
Majority member’s concern with Church rules/cannons/traditions Medium and selective Low
Internal dissent Practically eliminated (ROCA) Strong (Holy Mountain, Old Calendarists)

From the above table you can immediately see that the sole comparative ‘advantage’ of the PC is that is has the full support of the AngloZionist Empire and the Vatican. On all the other measures of power, the MP vastly “out-guns” the PC.

Now, inside the Ukronazi occupied Ukraine, that support of the Empire and the Vatican (via their Uniats) does indeed give a huge advantage to the PC and its Ukronazi pseudo-Orthodox “Churches”. And while Poroshenko has promised that no violence will be used against the MP parishes in the Ukraine, we all remember that he was the one who promised to stop the war against the Donbass, so why even pay attention to what he has to say.

US diplomats and analysts might be ignorant enough to believe Poroshenko’s promises, but if that is the case then they are failing to realize that Poroshensko has very little control over the hardcore Nazi mobs like the one we saw last Sunday in Kiev. The reality is very different: Poroshenko’s relationship to the hardcore Nazis in the Ukraine is roughly similar to the one the House of Saud has with the various al-Qaeda affiliates in Saudi Arabia: they try to both appease and control them, but they end up failing every time. The political agenda in the Ukraine is set by bona fideNazis, just as it is set in the KSA by the various al-Qaeda types. Poroshenko and MBS are just impotent dwarfs trying to ride on the shoulders of much more powerful devils.

Sadly, and as always, the ones most at risk right now are the simple faithful who will resist any attempts by the Ukronazi death-squads to seize their churches and expel their priests. I don’t expect a civil war to ensue, not in the usual sense of the world, but I do expect a lot of atrocities similar to what took place during the 2014 Odessa massacre when the Ukronazis burned people alive (and shot those trying to escape). Once these massacres begin, it will be very, very hard for the Empire to whitewash them or blame it all on “Russian interference”. But most crucially, as the (admittedly controversial) Christian writer Tertullian noticed as far back as the 2nd century “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. You can be sure that the massacre of innocent Christians in the Ukraine will result in a strengthening of the Orthodox awareness, not only inside the Ukraine, but also in the rest of the world, especially among those who are currently “on the fence” so to speak, between the kind of conservative Orthodoxy proclaimed by the MP and the kind of lukewarm wishy washy “decaf” pseudo-Orthodoxy embodied by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. After all, it is one thing to change the Church Calendar or give hugs and kisses to Popes and quite another to bless Nazi death-squads to persecute Orthodox Christians.

To summarize I would say that by his actions, the Patriarch of Constantinople is now forcing the entire Orthodox world to make a choice between two very different kind of “Orthodoxies”. As for the Empire, it is committing a major mistake by creating a situation which will further polarize strongly, an already volatile political situation in the Ukraine.

There is, at least potentially, one more possible consequence from these developments which is almost never discussed: its impact inside the Moscow Patriarchate.

Possible impact of these developments inside the Moscow Patriarchate

Without going into details, I will just say that the Moscow Patriarchate is a very diverse entity in which rather different “currents” coexist. In Russian politics I often speak of Atlantic Integrationists and Eurasian Sovereignists. There is something vaguely similar inside the MP, but I would use different terms. One camp is what I would call the “pro-Western Ecumenists” and the other camp the “anti-Western Conservatives”. Ever since Putin came to power the pro-Western Ecumenists have been losing their influence, mostly due to the fact that the majority of the regular rank and file members of the MP are firmly behind the anti-Western Conservative movement (bishops, priests, theologians). The rabid hatred and fear of everything Russian by the West combined with the total support for anything anti-Russian (including Takfiris and Nazis) has had it’s impact here too, and very few people in Russia want the civilizational model of Conchita Wurst, John McCain or Pope Francis to influence the future of Russia. The word “ecumenism” has, like the word “democracy”, become a four letter word in Russia with a meaning roughly similar to “sellout” or “prostitution”. What is interesting is that many bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate who, in the past, were torn between the conservative pressure from their own flock and their own “ecumenical” and “democratic” inclinations (best embodied by the Patriarch of Constantinople) have now made a choice for the conservative model (beginning by Patriarch Kirill himself who, in the past, used to be quite favorable to the so-called “ecumenical dialog of love” with the Latins).

Now that the MP and the PC have broken the ties which previously united them, they are both free to pursue their natural inclinations, so to speak. The PC can become some kind of “Eastern Rite Papacy” and bask in an unhindered love fest with the Empire and the Vatican while the MP will now have almost no incentive whatsoever to pay attention to future offers of rapprochement by the Empire or the Vatican (these two always work hand in hand). For Russia, this is a very good development.

Make no mistake, what the Empire did in the Ukraine constitutes yet another profoundly evil and tragic blow against the long-suffering people of the Ukraine. In its ugliness and tragic consequences, it is quite comparable to the occupation of these lands by the Papacy via its Polish and Lithuanian agents. But God has the ability to turn even the worst horror into something which, in the end, will strengthen His Church.

Russia in general, and the Moscow Patriarchate specifically, are very much in a transition phase on many levels and we cannot overestimate the impact which the West’s hostility on all fronts, including spiritual ones, will have on the future consciousness of the Russian and Orthodox people. The 1990s were years of total confusion and ignorance, not only for Russia by the way, but the first decade of the new millennium has turned out to be a most painful, but also most needed, eye-opener for those who had naively trusted the notion that the West’s enemy was only Communism, not Russia as a civilizational model.

In their infinite ignorance and stupidity, the leaders of the Empire have always acted only in the immediate short term and they never bothered to think about the mid to long term effects of their actions. This is as true for Russia as it is for Iraq or the Balkans. When things eventually, and inevitably, go very wrong, they will be sincerely baffled and wonder how and why it all went wrong. In the end, as always, they will blame the “other guy”.

There is no doubt in my mind that the latest maneuver of the AngloZionist Empire in the Ukraine will yield some kind of feel-good and short term “victory” (“peremoga” in Ukrainian) which will be followed by a humiliating defeat (“zrada” in Ukrainian) which will have profound consequences for many decades to come and which will deeply reshape the current Orthodox world. In theory, these kinds of operations are supposed to implement the ancient principle of “divide and rule”, but in the modern world what they really do is to further unite the Russian people against the Empire and, God willing, will unite the Orthodox people against pseudo-Orthodox bishops.

Conclusion:

In this analysis I have had to describe a lot of, shall we say, “less than inspiring” realities about the Orthodox Church and I don’t want to give the impression that the Church of Christ is as clueless and impotent as all those denominations, which, over the centuries have fallen away from the Church. Yes, our times are difficult and tragic, but the Church has not lost her “salt”. So what I want to do in lieu of a personal conclusion is to quote one of the most enlightened and distinguished theologians of our time, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, who in his book “The Mind of the Orthodox Church” (which I consider one of the best books available in English about the Orthodox Church and a “must read” for anybody interested in Orthodox ecclesiology) wrote the following words:

Saint Maximos the Confessor says that, while Christians are divided into categories according to age and race, nationalities, languages, places and ways of life, studies and characteristics, and are “distinct from one another and vastly different, all being born into the Church and reborn and recreated through it in the Spirit” nevertheless “it bestows equally on all the gift of one divine form and designation, to be Christ’s and to bear His Name. And Saint Basil the Great, referring to the unity of the Church says characteristically: “The Church of Christ is one, even tough He is called upon from different places”. These passages, and especially the life of the Church, do away with every nationalistic tendency. It is not, of course, nations and homelands that are abolished, but nationalism, which is a heresy and a great danger to the Church of Christ.

Metropolitan Hierotheos is absolutely correct. Nationalism, which itself is a pure product of West European secularism, is one of the most dangerous threats facing the Church today. During the 20th century it has already cost the lives of millions of pious and faithful Christians (having said that, this in no way implies that the kind of suicidal multiculturalism advocated by the degenerate leaders of the AngloZionist Empire today is any better!). And this is hardly a “Ukrainian” problem (the Moscow Patriarchate is also deeply infected by the deadly virus of nationalism). Nationalism and ethno-phyletism are hardly worse than such heresies as Iconoclasm or Monophysitism/Monothelitism were in the past and those were eventually defeated. Like all heresies, nationalism will never prevail against the “Church of the living God” which is the “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) and while many may lapse, others never will.

In the meantime, the next couple of months will be absolutely crucial. Right now it appears to me that the majority of the Orthodox Churches will first try to remain neutral but will have to eventually side with the Moscow Patriarchate and against the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew. Ironically, the situation inside the USA will most likely be particularly chaotic as the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA have divided loyalties and are often split along conservative vs modernizing lines. The other place to keep a close eye on will be the monasteries on the Holy Mountain were I expect a major crisis and confrontation to erupt.

With the crisis in the Ukraine the heresy of nationalism has reached a new level of infamy and there will most certainly be a very strong reaction to it. The Empire clearly has no idea what kind of dynamic it has now set in motion.

The Saker

Excuses, Excuses when the Stone-Thrower is an israeli Settler (jewish terrorist) and the Victim is Palestinian

Excuses, Excuses when the Stone-Thrower is an Israeli Settler and the Victim is Palestinian

Palestinian Aisha Al-Rawbi, a mother of eight, died after Jewish settlers stoned her car in the West Bank. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramona Wadi

In 2015, Israel approved a law that stipulated a 20-year prison sentence for individuals caught throwing stones. The intention was to target Palestinians involved in resistance activities, despite the discrepancies between armed Jewish Israeli settlers and Palestinians in terms of weapons available for them to use. “Tolerance towards terrorists ends today,” commented Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

“A stone thrower is a terrorist and only a fitting punishment can serve as a deterrent and just punishment.”

Yet despite claiming that Palestinians who throw stones during clashes “provoke” unwarranted violence, stone throwing by Jewish Israeli settler-colonists has many precedents and victims and is usually overlooked. The latest Palestinian victim of Jewish stone-throwers was Aisha Al-Rabi who was killed last Friday while on her way home in the car. Settlers hurled stones at the family car, killing Aisha and injuring her husband Yacoub.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin described the killing and subsequent attachment of blame to Jewish settlers as “a scrap of an incident”. He added, “It is quite galling that it takes an incident like this in relation to a Palestinian vehicle for it [stone throwing] to be raised on the agenda.”

In fact, B’Tselem has documented many instances of settler-colonial violence, including stone throwing by extremist Jews on many occasions. The Israeli rights group has pointed out that there is an absence of law enforcement in such cases.

The Israeli media gives priority to detailing clashes between stone-throwing settlers and the Israeli military, which usually end in a tally of those injured and a notification of temporary arrest. There is an explicit difference in punishment and media portrayal between settler violence and Palestinian resistance. The former is exempt from punishment, whether the violence is directed against Palestinians or the Israeli military; the latter, meanwhile, is criminalized.

Al-Rabi’s case crossed a red line as regards media coverage due to settlers causing her death by stone throwing, hence the need for her murder to be downplayed by Levin. His comments indicate that close scrutiny of Jewish Israeli settler stone throwers is unacceptable to right-wing politicians, particularly when the victim, who was killed, is a Palestinian.

However, if the context is taken into consideration, it is clear that the Israeli state has manufactured a culture of impunity for stone-throwing (and other) crimes by its settler population. This precise bequeathing of impunity is evidence of the colonial state’s dependence upon its settlers, no matter that they live in illegal settlements, to preserve its existence.

While condemning the murder, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov failed to address settler stone throwing, focusing instead upon the attack as creating “a new cycle of violence that would further undermine the prospects of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.” This was not, however, a “new cycle of violence”; to describe the crime this is to absolve the Israeli colonial state and its settlers of embracing stone throwing as the means to terrorize Palestinians merely for being the indigenous inhabitants of historic Palestine.

Palestinian stone throwers, facing heavily armed settlers and the military, face harsh sentences and at times even extrajudicial murder for daring to resist the colonial violence endorsed by Israel. Al-Rabi’s killing was an unprovoked terror attack. Will Shaked’s misplaced words, directed against Palestinians, be fully invoked against Jewish Israeli settler stone-throwers when, as in this case, the end result is murder? Or will it be yet another example of excuses, excuses but no justice from Israel’s Justice Minister?

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

Euro-Med: ‘At Least One Gazan is Killed Every Single Day’

Source

Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle)

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) said that Israeli forces caused injuries to one in every 100 Palestinians as Gaza protests conclude 200 days and called on the international community to exert serious pressure on Israel to end its targeting of Palestinian demonstrators.

Euro-Med said in a statement:

“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to exert serious pressure to put an end to the targeting of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and to protect their right to peaceful assembly.”

 

Euro-Med also called on “all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza’s largely civilian population.”

Euro-Med described the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza fence as “deeply shocking,” noting that in the 200 days of protests, Gaza lost 205 residents.

https://pbs.twimg.com/amplify_video_thumb/1052111747501445122/img/T4s6DdjCtBZnoFRr?format=jpg&name=medium

 

Euro-Med Monitor said that at least “one Palestinian is killed every single day,” further noting that “in every 100 Gazans, one injury was recorded.”

“Despite the fact that the protesters were mostly unarmed civilians and did not in most cases pose a credible threat, the Israeli forces met them with lethal force, including by live fire and explosive bullets, as well as toxic gas and tear gas.”

In addition, 69 of those injured, 14 of whom were children, suffered permanent disability, according to the latest statistics by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

 

Euro-Med stressed,

“Israel’s response to protests violates the principles of international human rights law; that is, despite the fact that protests have largely been peaceful, Israeli soldiers killed 205 people, including five women and 38 children, while also injuring 22,527 others, 18% of whom are children.”

 

It added:

“The Israeli authorities continue to impose a relentlessly suffocating blockade that has left civilians unaccounted for, simply as collateral damage to a policy of collective punishment … The Israeli forces targeted Palestinians indiscriminately.”

Sarah Pritchett, Euro-Med’s spokesperson, said:

“The targeting of medical staff and journalists also contravenes international humanitarian law, specifically articles 15 and 79 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, which stipulate that medical, journalistic and civilian personnel must be respected and protected.”

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

israel’s (apartheid state) Defiance of History, Morality and Law

Israel’s Defiance of History, Morality and Law

By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | October 19, 2018

A boy in Gaza gathering rocks to defend against Israeli snipers. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, PC)

No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.

A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.

States exist because they have strong armies because their enemies are too weak to destroy them, because they have good relations with near and far neighbors whose respect they have earned and because they have the consent of the people they govern.

They do not exist because of an imagined ‘right’ to exist. Were that to be the case, no state would ever have risen and then fallen in history. They would all still be here.

Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.

‘Rise up and kill first” is not just the motto of Mossad but of the state. This is what it has done repeatedly ever since 1948. It has risen up and killed first, but with declining efficiency and herein lies the danger to its existence.

Its enemies are catching up. It has these enemies, not because of opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. They certainly did oppose it but had this been followed with admissions of moral responsibility and legal liability, accompanied by material measures to make up for the damage done. Israel might have achieved a measure of consent within the Arab world.

It does have some but in a vacuous form. The treaty with Egypt has prevented war but the people of Egypt are as resolutely opposed to Israel as they were the day it was signed. This is not blind animosity but born of the fact that instead of working for a just peace, Israel has done its best to secure an unjust peace. It wants peace entirely on its own terms, which of course can never be achieved when two parties are in dispute if a serious peace really is the desired objective.

Israel’s bona fides are not genuine and never were. It has deceived not just its enemies but its partners. It has taken them for a ride. The Oslo ‘peace process’ was all process and no peace and was never designed, in the official Israeli mind, to lead to a genuine peace. It was aimed at achieving through an endlessly stretched-out ‘peace process’ what otherwise would have had to be achieved through war and it worked perfectly.

The trade-off for a genuine peace, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, are now densely settled. Facts always matter and nothing has mattered more to the Zionists from the beginning than creating facts on the ground that could not be removed because they were facts, irrespective of what the law said.

About a million settlers now live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank colonies. How can all these facts possibly be reversed, Netanyahu and his cohorts say with the palms of their hands extended helplessly as if they had nothing to do with this process and can’t do anything about it anyway.

Of course, they can be removed, as the French settlers in Algeria were in the 1960s, after 130 years of French occupation. Israel should have been made to remove its West Bank and East Jerusalem settlers long ago, apart from the fact that they never should have been there in the first place.

In any case, this should be regarded as Israel’s problem, instead of various governments accepting Israel’s justification of an illegal presence. One punishes the lawbreaker. One does not allow it to get away with the stolen goods.

The fact of settlement was intended to smother the question of illegality and in some minds, the American in particular, the strategy has succeeded. In the official US view the territories taken in 1967 are no longer occupied but ‘administered’ or ‘contested,’ enabling the next step, the shifting of the embassy to Jerusalem.

If Israel annexes all or most of the remainder of occupied Palestine the US will not oppose it and in time it will accept it, underlining the first point that the achievements of raw power, diplomatic, economic and military, are what is important to the Zionists and not the ephemera of legitimacy and the ‘right to exist.’ These phrases are fictions, distractions, the cover for a deeply immoral and deeply illegal process.

For Palestinians the state is illegitimate. There is absolutely no reason why they should think otherwise. There is no reason why they should have accepted a recommendation of the UN General Assembly in 1947 that was only passed because of threats by the US to vulnerable delegations.

There is no reason why they should accept their expulsion from their homeland, even if they have to deal somehow with the fact of Israel’s existence. No resolution gave Israel the right to take the land and drive out the people and no resolution could have given Israel such a right. Palestinian rights are inalienable.

The Palestinians have both law and morality on their side. Israel has neither. Even while claiming legitimacy and the ‘right to exist,’ it has never abided by the UN resolutions laid down as the conditions for its acceptance as a UN member.

But for the protective arm of the US, it may well have been suspended or expelled from the UN long ago. After all, what club accepts the membership of those who are warned time and again but still refuse to obey its rules?

States often violate international law. Israel is the only state in the world that lives in permanent, continuing violation of international law, not at one but many levels. This is not incidental or accidental but the necessary condition of its existence. To live within the law, to respect the law, would mean that Israel could not be what it wants to be and could not have what it wants to have.

To be what it wants to be, at least what every government has wanted it to be since 1948, Israel must live outside the law. The law is not relevant anyway. Israel sneers at the UN and has no respect for international law when it comes to Palestinian rights. It only respects its own laws, which of their nature are occupier’s laws and thus inconsistent with and indeed in violation of international law.

Israel’s strong right arm is all that really counts. ‘Friendships’ and pseudo-alliances, such as the ‘unbreakable bond’ with the US, are important but only for as long as they serve Israel’s interests. There is no sentiment here. Israel flattered Britain with fine phrases before jumping in the direction of the US when Britain had no more to give. For seven decades the US was the gift that kept giving but now that it is running out of steam as a global power, Israel has to hedge its bets, hence Netanyahu’s currying of favor with Vladimir Putin and the ramping up of its relations with China.

In the end, Israel’s ultimate defense is not questionable ‘friendships’ and ‘mutual interests’ that never last forever in the game of nations but its own strong right arm. So how strong is it?

Well, Israel has nuclear weapons and thus the ‘Samson option,’ the ability to pull down the roof on everyone’s head as well as its own. Whether, in the final resort, it will use these weapons is a question for the future but Israel’s possession of them has not deterred its enemies.

Rationally, perhaps it should have, but who is being rational here, a government and movements that resist occupation, as is their right in international law, or a government that continues an occupation, in defiance of law, morality and against the possibility of one day being able to call the people whose land it has taken and the states around its non-declared borders genuine ‘neighbors’? Against the possibility, it might be said, of one day really being able to call the Middle East home.

Whether or not the nuclear threat is a bluff, and given the extreme nature of Zionism, it probably is not, the resistance continues. With its nuclear weapons, yes, Israel has the capacity to destroy all life in the Middle East, but short of this, what about its conventional weaponry and military strength? Is this enough to hold its enemies at bay and beat them on every occasion?

The answer has to be probably not. In 1967 Israel caught Egypt and Syria napping. With their air forces destroyed on the ground, they were rendered almost helpless from the first day but it is most unlikely that there will be another 1967.

Since then Israel’s conventional military superiority has been slowly but perceptibly declining. In the size of the territory it has taken and the size of its population it lacks strategic depth. It must fight short wars. Thus, in 2006, after only a month of fighting Hizbullah, a guerrilla organization, not a regular army, it had to withdraw. The longer a war continues the less likely it is that it will be able to win it.

Its ‘victory’ in 1973 came about because Anwar Sadat stopped his army from fighting. In the first week of the war, the Israeli forces on the east bank of the Suez Canal were routed. Sadat never intended to defeat Israel because he knew the US would not allow it, so he declared an ‘operational pause’ after nine or ten days and handed Israel the opportunity to recover and cross the canal to the western side.

With Egypt sidelined militarily because of the 1979 ‘peace treaty’, Israel was free to go on the rampage elsewhere, mainly against Lebanon, a virtually defenseless target against the operations of a large army and air forces.

‘Incursions’ ending in thousands of civilian deaths led up to the invasion of 1982. What were the consequences? For Lebanon and the Palestinians, about 20,000 dead civilians, including the thousands killed in Sabra and Shatila. For Israel, yes, the defeat of the PLO was an achievement, but not much of one compared to the establishment of a far more dangerous enemy, Hizbullah.

By 2000 Hizbullah had driven Israel out of Lebanon and in 2006 it drove it back again. All Israel could do was use its air power to devastate cities, towns, and villages, but on the ground in the south, its highly rated Merkava tanks were destroyed and its troops outfought by Hizbullah’s part-time soldiers. This was a humiliating outcome for an army touted as one of the best in the world. Borrowing from Hizbullah, the Israeli military then increased the intake of ideologically committed recruits into the ranks of its officers, many of them from West Bank settler colonies.

Since then Israel has been itching to have another go at Hizbullah but this time the deterrence factor is working against it. It knows Hizbullah has built up an armory of missiles that can cause devastation across occupied Palestine. It knows its anti-missile defenses will not be able to stop many of them. In the meantime, while weighing up its chances and while preparing the blows that it says will destroy Lebanon as well as Hizbullah, it has a softer target to pick on, Gaza.

There, its onslaughts over the years, vicious in the extreme, brutal and inhumane, have killed many thousands of Palestinians. Hundreds of Palestinians, mostly very young, have been shot dead by snipers along the Gaza fence just in the past few months, without the Palestinian will to resist being destroyed.

The Israelis are now fighting balloons carrying fire into the occupied land, while Palestinians continue to strike at settlers occupying their land on the West Bank, despite the terrible consequences to themselves and their families.

Through all of this, Israel’s actions and reactions are becoming more hysterical, exposing psychological fragility and nervousness within the shell of outward confidence. It cannot shut down Palestinian resistance, its intimidation of Iran and Hizbullah has not worked and in the US there is a growing awareness that Israel is a violent racist state that does not merit by any means the large-scale support the US has always given it.

It is fighting back with all the weapons at its disposal, including hasbara, the attempt to criminalize the BDS movement and attacks on individual academics but the tide is running against it.

States need flexibility but Israel has none. Its power is brittle and like the oak against the willow, when the storm comes it is more likely to fall. After more than seven decades, it has no friends and allies in the Middle East worthy of the name. It uses Arab governments up just as they use it up but the Arab people are just as strongly opposed to this western colonial-settler implant in their midst as they always were. To repeat, this is not because they can’t adjust but because Israel can’t. In terms of being accepted by the Arab masses, it has not moved an inch forward.

History worked once for Israel but it is not working for it now. The wheel is turning against it. All it has on its side is armed might. By no means is this to be underrated but time does not stand still and neither do enemies convinced they have a just cause standing against a state that within itself knows it does not have a just cause.

Israel is always preparing for the next war but against a real enemy, not just defenseless civilians reduced to fighting back with fire balloons, it is going to take casualties unprecedented in its history next time around.

This is the very least that is going to happen, and all because of the determination to create a Jewish state on territory populated by people who are not Jewish. In the arrogant, twisted mindset of Netanyahu, Naftali Bennet, Ayelet Shaked, Avigdor Lieberman and the racist rabbis and settlers urging them on, it is the ideology that matters and not the peace and security of the Jewish people living in Palestine. Legitimacy is not the point. The point of the sword is the point and just as Israel has lived by it, so must it live with the possibility that one day it will die by it.

– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press).

Planning more genocide? israel (apartheid state) ramps up armoured forces on Gaza border

Source

Israel has reportedly deployed the biggest number of armoured forces on the Gaza border since the 2014 war.

Around 60 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were seen at a deployment area near the border, according to a Reuters photographer, who said the show of force was clearly visible from Israeli roads near the border with the strip.

The ramped up military presence comes a day after Israel launched air strikes across Gaza, killing one Palestinian, after a rocket was fired from the besieged enclave at an Israeli city.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who convened his security cabinet on Wednesday after the rocket hit a home in the city of Beersheba, pledged to take “very strong action” against Palestinians.

Israel’s defence minister warned on Tuesday that Gaza border protests could not be allowed to go on.

“The situation as it is today cannot continue,” Avigdor Lieberman told troops and commanders at Reim army base, near southern Israel’s border with Hamas-ruled Gaza. “We are not prepared to accept the level of violence we see week after week”.

“We must strike Hamas a hard blow, this is the only way to bring the situation back to what is was before and to reduce the level of violence,” Lieberman said in Hebrew, adding it must be a collective decision of the 12-member security cabinet.

Palestinians have staged regular protests along the Gaza separation fence since 30 March, demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were expelled from during the creation of Israel in 1948.

They are also calling for an end to the decade-long Israeli blockade that the UN says will make Gaza “unlivable” by 2020.

At least 205 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the March protests began.

Over the same period, one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

 

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