Archive | January 2017

Has the Time Come For Amexit From The UN?

By Kenneth L Marcus/Algemeiner

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As British Prime Minister Theresa May plans a Brexit from the EU, Americans may soon ask what kind of exit we want from another international institution.
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In our case, the organization is not the European Union, but the United Nations. Earlier this month, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill to block taxpayer dollars from going to the UN.
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These senators, like many Americans, are incensed by a recent anti-Israel resolution adopted by the world body. But the US’ problems with the UN run deeper than one bad resolution.
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They are endemic to the institution. At some point, our elected leaders will ask whether the time has come not just to defund, but also to depart — and then replace the UN with something better.
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That point may come sooner rather than later.

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Journalist Edwin Black is launching a national conversation about United Nations reform. At a major noon-time event in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, I will be pleased to join Black, US Representative Trent Franks and other concerned leaders in the launch of a new project called “The Covenant of Democratic Nations” (CDN).
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The event coincides with the first full workday of a new presidential administration. Additional events are planned for New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Ottawa and many other cities.
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More of a conversation than an institution or a treaty, the CDN asks us to consider whether the time has arrived to fundamentally rethink our involvement with international institutions.
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The United Nations was established seven decades ago, in the aftermath of the Nazi horrors, to free the world from the scourge of war, to promote social progress, to encourage treaty compliance and, in the language of the United Nations Charter, “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”
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Yet, in the ensuing years, this corrupt, ineffective and biased body has failed at all of these goals  — but none more sadly than its pursuit of fundamental human rights.
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In retrospect, the UN’s basic problems were probably unavoidable from the start, given that the institution is by design primarily a congress of undemocratic, corrupt and ineffective nations.
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Consider that the 2017 elected membership of the UN Human Rights Council includes Burundi, China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
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In its one-sided obsession with Israel, the United Nations has largely disregarded serious human rights violations the world over. The UN, founded with such high hopes, has responded year after year with silence and indifference to persecution, torture and violence.
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It has done little to nothing to respond to global brutalities and genocides. From the Cambodian genocide to the bloodbath in Syria, the United Nations has proven peculiarly unfit to the task for which it was founded.
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The problem with the United Nations is not just its abject failure to accomplish its mission, but also its affirmative wrongdoing. It has condemned one single state in resolution upon resolution.
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That state is democratic Israel. And through it all, tyrants throughout the rest of the world continue to go ignored.
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To paraphrase Hillel Neuer, the UN has become the forum at which those who condone rape lament the rights of Palestinian women; the occupiers of Tibet bemoan the disputed territories West of the Jordan River; the bombers of Yemen castigate the treatment of Gaza; and the murderers of Muslims in Syria claim to care about Muslims in little Israel.
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The UN’s failings were on display last month with passage of Security Council Resolution 2334, just as those failings were previously on display when the UN passed the infamous 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism.
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As then-US Ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan said at the time, “If there were no General Assembly, this could never have happened.”
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Even the UN’s boldest critics agree that the UN does some important work. The question is whether other institutions could do it better.
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In Black’s vision, the CDN will review all of the United Nations’ treaties and actions. Some could be repealed, others continued and still others strengthened. The result could be a long-overdue rethinking of international law.
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This doesn’t need to happen all at once. In England, Prime Minister May has chosen a “hard Brexit.” When it comes to the UN, we may have other options, and we may be well-advised to put strong new institutions in place before we withdraw from the old ones.
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The key however is that we should permit ourselves to think boldly and not feel imprisoned by the international status quo.
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Governor Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador-nominee, recently observed, “The United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice.”
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When we do find that voice, we may need to find a better venue in which it should be heard.

Pentagon Pursues “LOCUST” Drone Swarm Technology – Precursor To Revelation 9?

By PNW Staff

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The Pentagon continued it’s quest to unleash a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries this week after another successful test of drone swarm technology was completed using 103 Perdix micro-drones.
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This large scale drone army is made possible by advancements in artificial intelligence, which allows groups of robots to act together to demonstrate advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.
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“Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office.
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“Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

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Such drone swarms could change the face of modern warfare and some prophecy watchers find both the technology and name of the US Naval program behind it perhaps more than coincidence.
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A few months ago the US navy also demonstrated its Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program by putting 30 drones flying together in perfect formation.
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These drones are launched from a special tube in less than a minute to create a vicious swarm designed to overwhelm an adversary autonomously.
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What makes the swarm unique is that any hostile aircraft, manned or unmanned, can be brought down by a single missile, but a swarm can take multiple hits and keep going.
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The drones are self-reconfiguring so that if one drone gets taken out, the others autonomously change their behavior to complete the mission.
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Several test simulations by the Navy have shown that drone swarms are consistently able to get past ship defenses that are geared towards shooting down single planes.
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This weakness means it makes sense to attack an enemy ship with a large number of cheap drones rather than one missile costing the same. Ironically, the best counter to drone swarm attacks being studied is a defensive drone swarm that can intercept the offensive ones.
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The aim is to have thirty or more drones flying together without having to be individually controlled, maintaining separation safely like a flock of birds. They are different from any other drone in that the operator does not control an individual aircraft, but pilots the whole swarm as a single unit.
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With manned aircraft and ships, the pilot’s life counts for a lot; but swarming drones are expendable and high “casualties” do not matter as much. This is a very different world to the dogfights that, historically, have made up modern warfare and could drastically alter the course of air warfare forever.
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Experts predict that as drone swarm techniques are perfected they will expand both in number and use.  The Office of Naval Research has already experimented with a swarming configuration of 13 robotic boats on Virginia’s James River. The boats were able to perform a variety of tasks to protect a high-value ship from incoming craft.
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Some prophecy watchers find it interesting that the Bible describes “locust” type creatures that play a significant role in end-time conflict.  Revelation 9 describes them this way:
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The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were something like crowns of gold, and their faces were like faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running to battle. They had tails like scorpions and stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek his name is Apollyon. (Revelation 9:7-11).
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What on earth was the Apostle John talking about? Exactly what kind of locusts did he witness on the Isle of Patmos where he received these prophetic revelations?
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The traditional interpretation is that these locusts could be evil entities and/or demonic physical or spiritual beings that will rise up out of the bottomless pit (abyss) to torment people and assume the characteristics of locusts, some even feel CERN experiments could be responsible for such an occurrence.
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Others speculate they may be some form of grotesque variation of natural locusts as we know them today (perhaps even some form of chimeras or other DNA manipulation that scientists are now moving ahead with), or did John the Apostle perhaps see some advanced military aerial machinery that he lacked the words to describe?
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The revelations were given to him about 2,000 years ago when there would have been no way for him properly to describe 21st-century technological inventions that would follow many centuries later. Is it possible John was describing some type of technology in our day similar to the LOCUST program?
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Until recently, the most common technological correlation was that of helicopter gunships but, as insect looking drones and swarm technology become more common, this may present an interesting possible explanation and the name of the program being called “LOCUST” could not be more ironic.
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Either way, Revelation 9 suggests a time of immense pain and suffering that no one will want to experience, regardless of what final form it takes.

Pro-Woman, Not Pro-Abortion

By John Stonestreet/Breakpoint.org

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In a recent Saturday Night Live sketch, a group of millennial women visit the historic home of suffragette Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, New York.
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Devout feminists one and all, they decide before leaving to invoke the ghost of Anthony by saying her name three times. Lo and behold, she appears, played by Kate McKinnon–bun, lace collar, and all.
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Hilariously, the modern feminists find Anthony quite boring. She drones on about women’s rights and dignity, while they check their smart phones and argue about dinner. Until finally she says something that wakes them all up: “Abortion is murder!”
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Doubtless many modern feminists were taken aback by this Saturday Night slip-up, given the show’s liberal leanings. But as Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life told National Review, all of the “feminist foremothers…without known exception, spoke out against abortion.”

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That’s right. The suffragettes–Susan B. Anthony in particular–were fiercely pro-life, calling abortion a “crime against humanity,” “feticide,” and “child murder.” In fact, one of the primary organizations backing pro-life candidates today–the Susan B. Anthony list–does so in her name.
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Given how close the unborn were to the hearts of the earliest women’s rights crusaders, it’s troubling to see how unwelcome pro-life women are on the modern feminist stage. We saw this discrimination vividly last week during the nationwide Women’s March.
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Muffled but not quite absent were the voices of pro-life women. Several prominent pro-life organizations that applied as partners of the women’s march were either dis-invited or ignored, though several showed up anyway.
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Even the New York Times, in a surprising and praiseworthy piece, documented the virtual blackout of pro-life messages at the demonstration.
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After booting a Texas anti-abortion group, Women’s March co-chairwoman, Linda Sarsour, told the Times, “If you want to come to the march you are coming with the understanding that you respect a woman’s right to choose.”
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In other words, pro-lifers not welcome!
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“This is what we conservative women live with all the time,” said Charmaine Yoest, senior fellow at American Values: “This idea that somehow we aren’t really women and we just reflect internalized misogyny.”
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The Women’s March was, Yoest concluded, a “wholly owned subsidiary of the abortion movement.” And were it not for the unexpected coverage by the Grey Lady, these organizers may have succeeded in drowning out the pro-life message.
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But as Bob Dylan sang, the times, they’re a changin’. Just this month, the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute reported that abortions in the United States have fallen to their lowest rate since Roe v. Wade.
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A lot has contributed to this decline, from pro-life legislation and ultrasound availability, to acceptance of unwed motherhood. So the news isn’t all good.
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But when you consider the growing movement of young people who see the rights of the unborn as a social justice issue, the tired assumption that feminism equals abortion support really begins to falter.
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Even pop culture and late night TV are straying from the pro-abortion script.
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And as Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote in National Review, this may be our chance to reintroduce an older, better women’s movement–one that didn’t pit the rights of mothers against the lives of their unborn children.

Widow Of Truck-Ramming Terrorist To Receive Lifetime Support From PA Government

By Ruthie Blum/Algemeiner.com

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The widow of the terrorist who committed Sunday’s truck-ramming attack at the Haas Promenade in Jerusalem, killing four Israeli soldiers and wounding another 15, will receive a lifetime monthly stipend as a reward for her husband’s “martyrdom for Allah,” a prominent research organization reported on Wednesday.
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According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Fadi al-Qanbar’s widow, a resident of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem, will receive a total of NIS 2,900 (approximately $760) each month, in accordance with Palestinian Authority law.
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PMW broke down the sum, based on the statute, as follows:
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All families of “martyrs” receive a base monthly payment of NIS 1,400 ($365). Widows of “martyrs” receive an additional NIS 400 ($104). NIS 200 ($52) is paid for each of their children; al-Qanbar has four. And Jerusalem residents, such as al-Qanbar, receive an extra NIS 300 ($78).
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In addition, within the next few months, al-Qanbar’s widow will receive a one-time grant of NIS 6,000 ($1,580).
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In October, US Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dan Coats (R-IN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Taylor Force Act — named after the American military veteran who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv in March by a Palestinian terrorist — which would cut off funding to the PA if it continues its policy of dispensing monetary rewards for terrorism.
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In an editorial the following month, the Wall Street Journal called on the incoming Trump administration to “send a powerful message” and back the bill, stating: “The truth is these payments are blood-soaked gifts from a Palestinian leadership still devoted more to destroying Israel than to building a Palestinian state.”
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This week’s truck-ramming attack — for which al-Qanbar’s family will receive a monetary award — was the most serious of the latest acts of violence against Israelis in the Palestinian terror wave that began a year ago in September.
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Commonly known as the “lone-wolf” or “knife” intifada, it has been characterized by stabbings, car-rammings, Molotov-cocktail throwing and arson.
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The victims of the attack by 28-year-old al-Qanbar, announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an ISIS supporter, were: officer Yael Yekutiel, 20, and cadets Shir Hajaj, 22, Shira Tzur, 20, and Erez Orbach, 20 — all of whom were buried on Monday.
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In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Palestinians took to the streets and social media on Sunday to celebrate the carnage, and many were festively handing out sweets to mark the occasion.
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And do you know where the money comes from that’s given to the families of these terrorists? It comes from your taxes, donated to the PA by your government.
So the next time (and there will be a next time) similar acts of terror are perpetrated in your cities, against you and your people, remember that God warned he would bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse her.
If you allow without protest, your government to fund this terrorism, you open the door to similar attacks, as seen recently in France and Germany.
So write to your politicians. Demand they withdraw their support for Palestinian terrorism.

The Nations Plot In Vain – Leaked Draft Of Paris Peace Conference Revealed

By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse Blog

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A draft of the summary statement that will be released at the conclusion of the 70 nation conference in Paris on Sunday has been leaked.
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As you will see below, this communique is going to call for the division of the land of Israel, for the establishment of a Palestinian state, for the 1967 borders to serve as the basis for final negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and for the condemnation of any officials that refuse to support a two state solution.
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Of course this comes on the heels of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which many believe represented America’s greatest betrayal of Israel. Israeli government officials are publicly warning that there is a possibility that the principles agreed upon at this conference may form the basis for another Security Council resolution before January 20th, and this is something that we should all be watching for very closely.
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Haaretz exclusively obtained a copy of a draft of the summary statement that will be released following the conference on Sunday, and you can read it for yourself right here. Reportedly, there was a major meeting of diplomats last Friday, and the latest draft reflects feedback that was received from those diplomats during that meeting…
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Last Friday, there was a meeting of senior diplomats from the dozens of Western and Arab countries that will attend the conference. The French delegate, Pierre Vimont, presented them with the first draft of the conference’s summary communiqué and asked for comments.
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According to Western diplomats, Vimont said France wants to reach a consensus among the participating states on a balanced statement that would stress the centrality of the two-state solution to the international community, but would take this month’s transfer of presidential power in the United States into account.
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In many ways, the document very closely tracks the language of UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Here are some of the things that really stood out to me in the draft…
-It makes a clear commitment to “two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security”.
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-It insists that there must be an end to “the occupation that began in 1967”.
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-It calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renew their commitment to a two state solution.
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-It also calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renounce any of their officials that do not support a two state solution.
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-It states that the 70 nations gathered in Paris only recognize the June 4th, 1967 borders, and that the only future changes to those borders they will recognize will come as the result of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
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And just like UN Security Council Resolution 2334, Jerusalem is specifically mentioned. So according to this document, Israel does not own the Wailing Wall, the Temple Mount, a single inch of the West Bank or a single inch of East Jerusalem.
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-The summary statement will also call on all countries to clearly distinguish between the State of Israel and territories that would belong to the Palestinians based upon the 1967 borders in all of their dealings.
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Needless to say, this is a horribly anti-Israel document and the Israeli government is already strongly denouncing it.
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At this point, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is most alarmed about the possibility that this summary statement could be used as the basis for another UN Security Council resolution just a few days later…
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Netanyahu fears that the final communiqué of the Paris conference will be adopted next Monday by the EU foreign ministers’ council and the foreign ministers of the Quartet, and might also be the basis for another resolution at the Security Council, which is scheduled to convene next Tuesday for its monthly debate on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
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“We find ourselves only a few days before the Paris conference and, only a few days later, a Security Council debate,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. “We are making a great effort to prevent another Security Council resolution.”
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By organizing this conference and trying to lead the way in the effort to divide the land of Israel, France is in danger of greatly cursing itself.
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Recently I was asked why God cares so much about Israel. Well, I think that a very basic illustration can help us to understand this better.
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If you want to greatly anger any man, just go after his home and his family. This will be true in just about any culture all across the globe.
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Similarly, when the rest of the world attempts to divide the land of Israel and hurt the Jewish people, they are going after the family that Jesus was born into and the city where He will rule and reign for 1000 years after He comes back.
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When Jesus was being crucified, Roman soldiers divided up his clothing, and that was a deeply disgraceful thing to do.
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But now just before Jesus returns, the entire globe is trying to divide up His land and divide up the one city on the entire planet that He has identified as His city (Matthew 5:35).
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Why are our leaders being so foolish? In the Scriptures, God specifically warns us that in the last days He will judge the nations for dividing up His land. This is what Joel chapter 3:1-2 says in the Modern English Version…
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In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. I will enter into judgment with them there regarding My people and My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.
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Those that bless Israel will be blessed, and those that curse Israel will be cursed.
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And the 70 nations that are gathering in Paris, France on Sunday are literally in danger of cursing the entire planet.
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Let us just pray that there will not be another UN Security Council resolution following this conference, because that would be absolutely disastrous for Israel, for the United States, and for the rest of the globe.

ISRAEL AND THE USA

By David Hocking.
Netanyahu has been witheringly critical of Kerry’s speech. In a statement released shortly after it was delivered, Netanyahu accused Kerry of bias and said Israel did not need to be lectured to by foreign leaders.
Netanyahu said he looked forward to working with Trump.
Kerry “obsessively dealt with settlements,” Netanyahu said in his response, and barely touched “the root of the conflict – Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries.”
In Israel, Kerry’s speech has played into the hands of Israel’s far-right national-religious movement, led by Naftali Bennett, the education minister, who is in Netanyahu’s cabinet but very critical of Netanyahu and is trying to position himself as a future potential leader.
Bennett’s party, Jewish Home, wants to annex large parts of the West Bank and openly opposes the creation of a Palestinian State. He is advocating for more settlements and the legalization of outpost settlements, which even the Israeli government considers illegal.
“This Administration’s policy has left the Middle East up in flames,” Bennett said after Kerry’s speech. “The one free democracy has been thrown under the bus – and that’s Israel.”
ISRAEL’S CHIEF RABBI: WE DON’T NEED AMERICA, WE HAVE GOD!
(Israel Today Staff)
Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, gave a divine response to the Obama Administration’s gross betrayal of the Jewish state last week.
Days after US President Barack Obama instructed his representative at the United Nations not to veto a dangerous anti-Israel resolution, Yosef expounded on the bright side of the situation.
“Sometimes, we need to be reminded from above that we can count on no one but our Father who art in heaven,” Yosef told a gathering at the Western Wall.  “Even America… forsook us last week at the UN.”
According to the resolution, Jews do not belong in the so-called “West Bank” or on the eastern side of Jerusalem. And that includes the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.
“We mustn’t forget that the hearts of kings and captains are in the hands of the Lord, and we can count on no one but the Lord,” continued Yosef.

WHILE THE WORLD CONDEMNS ISRAEL, PUTIN ADVANCES RUSSIAN’S POWER IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

(DEBKAfile)
President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Syrian government and rebels have signed a truce deal and are ready to begin peace talks.
The deal excludes the Islamic State (ISIS) the al-Nusra Front and all groups linked to them. Putin has not specified rebel groups that are covered by the ceasefire.
“We have been waiting for this event for a long time and working very hard,” Putin said at a meeting with his foreign and defense ministers. He added that the two sides had signed three documents:
The first document covers the ceasefire; the second is a set of measures to monitor the ceasefire, and the third is a statement of readiness to start peace negotiations on the Syrian settlement.
Putin noted that the Syrian deal was fragile and required special attention and patience and constant contact with the partners.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that his country and Moscow would act as guarantors under the plan. Russia and Turkey back opposing sides in the conflict that has raged for more than five years. If it is true they are guarantors, and if the truce is respected, it could end a six-year civil war that has killed potentially more than 430,000 and forced around 11 million from their homes.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources add: The Russian-Turkish initiative, to which Iran is almost certainly co-opted, brings the Syria war the closest it has ever been to conclusion in more than five years of bloodshed.
Sixteen months ago Vladimir Putin pulled off a gamble by stepping up direct Russian military intervention in Syria’s brutal conflict. Using his air force, he has swung the tide of war in favor of victory for Bashar Assad’s government – which was his endgame.
Whether by coincidence or design, Putin’s announcement of the Syrian truce deal landed on a hectic international stage. On Wednesday, 28 December, US President Barack Obama and a group of senators weighed with a call for fresh sanctions as punishment for alleged Russian hackers’ interference in the presidential election campaign. This, in spite of the fact that many Western cyber experts note the absence of concrete evidence.
At the end of that same day, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a parting shot against Israel in a one hour, seventeen minute tirade devoted entirely to the elusive matter of Israel-Palestinian peace.
His content and the bitterness of his tone indicated how far the Obama Administration has been out of touch with the latest Middle East developments, especially the ebbing of US influence on major events.
Four important points stand out in the Putin Syrian ceasefire announcement:
  • Syria cannot celebrate final peace – or even a total end of hostilities. Even if the 62,000 fighters of the seven main rebel groups and government forces truly lay down arms from the war against the big jihadist groups, the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, the Nusra Front, will go on.
In the face of it, the situation of the jihadist groups has taken a turn for the worst; now the Syrian government army and its backers will now be free to focus on smashing them for good.
On the other hand, some of the fringe rebel groups may reject the truce and peace deal on the table and prefer to carry on fighting in the ranks of the Islamist groups, bringing their arms with them.
  • The incoming Trump Administration in Washington is presented with a serious challenge in terms of world influence by the Russian President’s success in halting warfare in all parts of Syria after a breakthrough Russian-backed government victory in Aleppo.
By doing these things, Russia has elevated itself up to a new, enhanced and strategic standing in the Middle East.

Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said on Thursday that Trump’s Administration would be welcome to join the Syrian peace process once he takes office on 20 January.

It was a patronizing invitation. If the US agreed, it would join the historic peace event as just another player, not as a global superpower.
Donald Trump is unlikely to accept the invitation, unless he and Putin come to some quiet arrangement in advance.
  • The continued presence of Syrian forces in Syria is an important issue in relation to military forces from other countries that have participated in the war.
Putin indicated that he was amenable to a partial Russian military drawdown when he met with his foreign and defense ministers to confer on the next steps in Syria. Defense Minister Andrew Shoigu is quoted as saying that Russia was ready to begin drawing down its deployment in Syria, which consists of several dozen fixed-wing aircraft, along with helicopters, ships and Special Forces soldiers.
“All conditions have been created for the reduction of the Russian group in Syria,” Shoigu said, without elaborating on how large the force reduction could be, or which forces may be withdrawn.
The Russians were pointing the way for Tehran to start withdrawing its own troops along with Hezbollah and other Shiite forces from Syria. This is something demanded by Turkey as co-guarantor with Russia of the Syrian truce.
Iran is likely to pretend not to hear these messages, at least in the early stages of the process of de-escalating the Syrian war.
  • There is now no question that Bashar Assad remains in power in Damascus. Obama’s demand for his removal was never timely or realistic.

Financial Lockdown – What Will You Do When The ATMs Go Dry?

By Mac Slavo/Activist Post

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Is it any coincidence that the financial crises, and the subsequent restrictions, follow the general chaos and upheaval that surround hotspots and conflict zones?
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The European Union has once again been confronted with a major terror attack, and is coming down harsh on cash, gold and other valuables as a response. Due to its supposed connection to financing terrorism, cash and gold are being closely monitored and seized as it flows into the EU.
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Meanwhile, economic crisis is driving extremely tight cash control measures in Venezuela, India and other parts of the developing world. In the name of combating illicit financial activities, these countries have banned nearly all of the currency, while placing a very short leash around their already impoverished populations.
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The United States, too, is under a great deal of economic pressure. Enormous mounts of debt, rising interest rates and a number of massive bursting bubbles, could explode into a major crisis. While there are already fairly tight restrictions on transferring, withdrawing or crossing borders with large amounts of cash, even greater restrictions may be coming.

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Earlier in 2016, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, an architect of the last banking crisis, penned an op-ed called “It’s time to kill the $100 bill.”
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Harvard’s Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government, which I am privileged to direct, has just issued an important paper by senior fellow Peter Sands and a group of student collaborators. The paper makes a compelling case for stopping the issuance of high denomination notes like the 500 euro note and $100 bill or even withdrawing them from circulation.
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These are difficult times in Europe with the refugee crisis, economic weakness, security issues and the rise of populist movements… Even better than unilateral measures in Europe would be a global agreement to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100.
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It isn’t just summers. Janet Yellen, the IMF, and several leading papers have all advocated these measures. Now, these things are starting to happen around the world.
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Investing.com sees a global cash ban accelerating in 2017, and possibly impacting transactions at home in the United States:
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The big theme for 2017 will be Cash. Not a pro-deflationary “time to own cash” theme, but a “let’s ban it as quickly as possible” theme… Which is why 2017 will shape up to be the year of the Global Cash Bans.
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Cash is being restricted as a means of maintaining control over the citizenry. Long lines, withdrawal limits, capital controls, will all define the use of cash during the crises to come.
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Look at what has happened:
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” Venezuela – At least they have a good excuse, as they are in the midst of an exploding hyperinflationary currency crisis. President Maduro has forced everyone to dump their notes in the bank, and wait in even longer lines, and go through even more bureaucracy in order to secure food and other necessities in this failing economy.
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Many have been forced to open bank accounts for the first time, or operate in the black market sector. It has been extremely inconvenient for an already burdened people:
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It is not the sort of quantitative easing approach you will read about in any economic textbooks, but Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has apparently found an innovative way to halt his country’s slide into hyperinflation.
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Maduro abruptly outlawed the 100-bolivar bank note, the largest denomination of the country’s currency, giving Venezuelans a short time frame to deposit or exchange the bills before they are rendered worthless. Calling the bills instruments of an “economic coup” to destabilize his government, he said the move would strike a blow at “international mafias” that have been hoarding the cash. 
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” India – With one and quarter billion people, the government is forcing its poor people and backwards economy to conform to banking standards. Individuals have been forced to line up and deposit 500 and 1000 rupee notes, worth something like $7.50 and $14.70 dollars, respectively, as they are no longer legal for market transactions. Most of these people don’t have bank accounts – a crisis is now underway.
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Via Investing.com:
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The 7th largest country in the world by GDP (India) banned physical cash in denominations that comprise over 80% of all outstanding bills.
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The move was a political disaster… temporarily, but no one was forced out of office and the legislation remains in place.
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This forceful policy has forced hundreds of millions to find their way into the banking sector, as a full half of the country’s workforce, in the informal market, have been put into a bind. The entire situation has been a nightmare.
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Since the ban was announced, not only have people stood in long lines to get money, banks are also not handing out the amount that customers demand as they run out of money faster than it is replaced.
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“If I need Rs. 10,000 ($150), I get Rs. 2000 ($30). How can I manage in just this much money? I have faced massive problems,” Lal explained. “How do I buy rations, or pay for medicines or send money home for my children?” 
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Via MoneyControl.com:
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Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, While speaking in Baran district of Rajasthan on Monday, attacked PM Narendra Modi, saying cash Ban is actually a financial lockdown.
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With a December 30 deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ease money supply, the cash crunch continues with people lining outside banks and ATMs to withdraw their money.
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It is a financial lockdown that has seriously impacted the lower and middle classes in the huge expanses of India, where some 98% of all transactions take place in cash.
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On Nov. 8, the Indian government announced an immediate ban on two major bills that account for the vast majority of all currency in circulation. …In the two weeks after the measure was announced, millions of Indians stricken with small panic rushed out to banks; A.T.M.s and tellers soon ran dry. Some 98 percent of all transactions in India, measured by volume, are conducted in cash. …So far its effects have been disastrous for the middle- and lower-middle classes, as well as the poor. And the worst may be yet to come. 
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These are not just third world problems; serious cash restrictions are happening in highly industrialized Western countries as well.
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Europe has already shifted largely into the digital sphere, and are now targeting the influence of cash as part of its security strategy.
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There have been rumors that the Euro could fall along with the EU superstate. Right now, battle is with terrorism, populism and a migrant crisis, but all things are related to the whole.
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” European Union – After the latest round of terror attacks in Berlin and across Europe, the European Commission is instituting unprecedented cash controls, clamping down on the influx of cash and precious metals that they fear could be used in terror financing. This amounts to even more restrictions on everyone else who isn’t a terrorist.
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EU to boost border checks on cash, gold to tackle ‘terrorism financing’
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Via Reuters:
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The European Commission proposed tightening controls on cash and precious metals transfers from outside the EU on Wednesday, in a bid to shut down one route for funding of militant attacks on the continent.
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Under the new proposals, customs officials in European Union states can step up checks on cash…
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People carrying more than 10,000 euros ($10,400) in cash already have to declare this at customs when entering the EU. The new rules would allow authorities to seize money below that threshold “where there are suspicions of criminal activity,” the EU executive commission said in a note.
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The Commission is also considering whether to set up an EU-focussed “terrorist finance tracking program” along the lines of the U.S.-EU TFTP, which has long been opposed by EU lawmakers and privacy campaigners because it allows widespread checks on consumers’ bank transfers.
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The Commission is also proposing confiscating assets even from those thought to be connected to criminals and holders of prepaid cards would have to show some form of identity when they make payments of 150 euros or more.
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And there are, of course, already many restrictions on cash in many countries in Europe, as Investing.com notes:
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Numerous developed nations (France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) have already banned cash for certain transactions. 2017 is the year we expect to start seeing policy pushes for complete bans on cash.
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There are many pretexts for tightening cash, placing limits on spending, and increasing surveillance on people who use large amounts of it.
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All of it will curb freedom, and force digital market transactions, backed by biometric identification, tracking and verification.
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And it is coming home to America. And to a place near you!