Friday, February 23, 2018

PM: Israeli intelligence helped Australia stop airliner attack - Shlomo Cesana and Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff




by Shlomo Cesana and Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff 

July plot against passenger plane foiled thanks to information from Israeli intelligence, authorities reveal months after arrests made in Sydney

An Islamic State plot to down a passenger plane in Australia was foiled thanks to intelligence provided by Israel, authorities revealed Wednesday.

The IDF's elite Unit 8200, which decyphers signal intelligence, uncovered the plot and shared its finding with the Australian intelligence community in real time.

The plot presumably referred to an attempted bombing in July of an Etihad Airways flight due to leave Sydney for Abu Dhabi. The plot was foiled by Australian security forces before the plane took off.

An Australian man had sent his unsuspecting brother to Sydney Airport to catch the flight carrying a homemade bomb disguised as a meat-mincer, built at the direction of a senior Islamic State commander, Australian police said at the time, although they did not mention the Israeli tipoff.

According to Australian media, four men who were arrested in connection with the plot. The suspects also planned a chemical attack on Sydney's mass transport system.

According to a statement issued by the Israeli Defense Ministry on Wednesday, "uncovering the plot saved dozens of lives."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Israeli intelligence community for its contribution to preventing the attack, saying, "We revealed today that Israel's intelligence services prevented the downing of an Australian airliner and I can tell you that this is one of many, many such actions on our part that prevented terrorism around the world."

According to IDF officials, some 30 Islamic State attacks against Western targets have been foiled thanks to Israeli intelligence, potentially saving hundreds of lives.

The Military Censor's Office also revealed Wednesday that Unit 8200  managed to detect a planned Iranian cyberattack against the private and public sectors in Israel.

"This was thanks to constantly monitoring Iran's cyber efforts and the early detection of attempted attacks against Israel," the IDF said.


Shlomo Cesana and Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/02/22/netanyahu-israeli-intelligence-helped-australia-stop-airliner-attack/

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Netanyahu vs. the Left’s Deep State - Daniel Greenfield




by Daniel Greenfield

The deep state is waging war on Trump and Netanyahu.




In a year and a few months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have spent more time at the helm of the Israeli government than any other man. The other man is David Ben-Gurion, the Socialist leader who repressed Zionist nationalist movements in Israel by fiat, by law and, as in the Altalena, by murder.

That factoid may not matter much to most people, even most Israelis, but it matters a great deal to the remnants of Ben-Gurion’s regime, the leftists who don’t win elections, but do control the government. Until ’77, Israel’s Prime Ministers came from the Labor Party. The last Labor Prime Minister left office in 2001. It’s not just that Netanyahu is eclipsing Ben-Gurion, but that Labor has become irrelevant.

But of course the Labor Party isn’t irrelevant. Its candidates may be a joke. Its base of support consists of Tel Aviv hipsters who never actually leave their leftist bubble except to visit Paris, New York or Berlin. Their burning social issue is how much more Daddy has to pay to get them a place in their trendy neighborhood. Not even Obama’s best people could help them get much mileage out of that one.

After the ’15 election, Haaretz, the paper of record for the Israeli anti-Israel left, had wailed, “Leftist, secular Tel Aviv went to sleep last night cautiously optimistic only to wake up this morning in a state of utter and absolute devastation.” Leftist secular Tel Aviv has been devastated for nearly two decades.

But Labor’s deep state still runs much of Israel the way it did when Ben-Gurion was still alive. It doesn’t just have the media and academia, the non-profits and the elites, the way most national ‘lefts’ do. It also controls the old machinery of government that it spent generations running and robbing.

Ben-Gurion’s tenancy may be a factoid to most, but it’s a sore insult to Labor. And its deep state is working overtime to force Netanyahu out of office using fake scandals, fake news and fake police.

This isn’t a new obsession. If you think CNN’s Trumpmania is bad, the Israeli police and media have spent the better part of a decade trying to invent ridiculous Netanyahu scandals. How ridiculous?

Netanyahu’s wife was accused of stealing bottle deposits. "Attorney general mulls probe into Sara Netanyahu's bottle deposits" isn't a gag, it's an actual headline. The catering budget at the prime minister’s residence has been under investigation for years. But there was no investigation when Shimon Peres, the last rotten remnant of the Ben-Gurion regime, threw a lavish birthday party that cost millions and included Bill Clinton, Robert De Niro and Barbara Streisand. Clinton’s fee of $500K was paid by the JNF, which instead of planting trees, was paying one dirty leftist to lionize another.

Israel’s lefty fake news outfits cheered Peres, but took issue with Netanyahu’s ice cream budget.

Another Netanyahu investigation involved the nursing care provided to his father-in-law before his death, because the Israeli left has no more concept of decency than it does of national security.

None of these scandals ever actually go away. Much like the left’s perjury traps and obstruction of justice campaigns against Trump, discredited scandals are rolled into accusations of a cover-up. 

And when that doesn’t work, then there are accusations of a media cover-up.

One of the investigations for which Israel’s lefty deep state cops want to charge Netanyahu involves an accusation that he had traded favors for positive coverage from Yedioth Ahronoth. But, as Caroline Glick points out, it never actually happened. Another accusation claims that Netanyahu provided favors in exchange for positive coverage from the Walla! news site. Both accusations testify to the left’s obsession with sowing fear into any media outlet providing positive media coverage of Netanyahu.

Israel Hayom, a free paper that covered Netanyahu positively, was targeted with a law banning the distribution of successful free papers. This attack on a literal free press was known as, "Law for the Advancement and Protection of Written Journalism in Israel”. Lefty journalism has plenty of 'protektsia' in Israel. But who will protect Israelis from the ‘journalists’ and their political bosses?

And who will protect actual journalists who report unfavorable information about the left’s deep state?

The message is that any paper that reports the truth might be accused of conspiring with Prime Minister Netanyahu by the police leadership who have their own incestuous relationship with media outlets. 

Israel has a first-world military and a third-world police. Israel’s military is competitive, professional and heroic. Its police force is Middle Eastern. At its best, it’s useless and at its worst, it’s deeply corrupt and abusive. The same holds true for the entire justice system which remains a fossilized remnant of its socialist past that deserves to be classed with those of Russia or Uzbekistan.

The Netanyahu era has seen some limited reforms of the judiciary, but the police haven’t changed.


In the United States, the inciting incident of the Flynn investigation appears to have been his advocacy on behalf of FBI Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz who had accused former boss Andrew McCabe and others of sexual discrimination. Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich used the campaign against the Prime Minister to accuse a female police officer who had complained about sexual harassment by a superior back in ’11 of secretly doing Netanyahu’s bidding.

The commander whom she had accused of sexual harassment was in the unit investigating Netanyahu. 

Alsheich also suggested that private detectives were investigating his investigators. Both are a convenient way of shifting the blame for his own people’s misconduct to Netanyahu. Covering up sexual harassment and opening up the prime minister’s chair for Labor kills two birds with one stone. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu has spent a good deal of his life trying to clean up the corrupt system that Ben-Gurion and his dirty socialists inflicted on Israel. It’s a system where the law is nothing and personal connections are everything. At its worst, party membership was required for government jobs.  The machinery of government did the bidding of insiders and crushed the outsiders who got in their way.

Some things have changed. 

Israel has a booming private sector. Its growing population of the descendants of Holocaust survivors, refugees from Muslim countries and the Soviet Union have little love for or allegiance to Labor. Its government bureaucracy is a widely loathed corrupt boil on an incredible nation. (As it always was.)

But Labor’s state within a state still wields a great deal of power. It is no coincidence that in recent years, it locked up a prime minister and president who originated from the conservative Likud while Labor’s corrupt politicians have gotten a pass. Isaac Herzog, Labor’s head of the opposition, served as the errand boy for international criminals like Marc Rich and Octav Botnar. But Arafat will rise from the grave to sign a peace deal before a Labor princeling sees the inside of a prison cell.

Money from the estate of Botnar, a Communist, was funneled through Herzog, his lawyer, to Labor for its anti-Netanyahu ads. Rich was a wanted fugitive who bought a pardon from Bill Clinton.

Herzog was Rich’s lawyer.

But the media would rather talk about Netanyahu’s ice cream budget, Sara Netanyahu’s bottle deposits and how much the electrician got paid. The left always accuses the right of its own sins and crimes.

Some may wonder how a country under threat of terrorism, invasion and nuclear annihilation is wasting time on this nonsense instead of dealing with the real threat. Easy. The leftist deep state isn’t interested in dealing with the real threat. It undermined Netanyahu’s efforts to take out Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel’s retired top security bosses routinely pal around with anti-Israel groups and spread anti-Israel propaganda. Ami Ayalon, Carmi Gillon and Yuval Diskin, the former bosses of Shabak, Israel’s version of the FBI, defended the anti-Israel activists of Breaking the Silence. Ayalon had also served Labor in the Knesset. Breaking the Silence has received money from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund which was among the most aggressive funders of the campaign for the Iran Deal to protect its nuclear terror program.

The deep state is rotten and disloyal. And it’s launching a coup to put its own Labor man in power.

It’s not just the Ben-Gurion date that symbolizes the transfer of power from the corrupt socialist state of Labor to a cleaner Israel that fulfills the aspirations of those who dreamed and fought to make it real.

President Trump’s victory offers Netanyahu the opportunity to redefine Israel’s relationship with the PLO that was imposed on it by the Clintons and their Labor allies. Instead of leftist apparatchiks like Dennis Ross and Aaron David Miller calling the shots, pro-Israel Trump associates like David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt are breaking with the old failed ideas and defining a new future for Israel.

That made it more urgent for Labor’s deep state to stop Netanyahu. That’s why the charges are in.

Labor failed to stop Netanyahu at the voting booth despite Obama’s experts working for them. And  Obama isn’t around to restrain Netanyahu. A deep state coup against democracy is its last option.

The doomsday option isn’t just about stopping Netanyahu, it’s about stopping Israel.

The people won in America and Israel. But that just means that the deep state in both countries is becoming more ruthless in its efforts to defeat the voices, hopes and dreams of Americans and Israelis. 


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269390/netanyahu-vs-lefts-deep-state-daniel-greenfield

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Europe: The Rapid Spread of Dhimmitude - Judith Bergman




by Judith Bergman

One of the most troubling aspects of this rapidly spreading dhimmitude, is the de-facto enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws.


  • One of the most troubling aspects of this rapidly spreading dhimmitude, is the de-facto enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws. Local European authorities have been utilizing "hate speech" laws to prohibit criticism of Islam, even though Islam represents an idea, not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most hate-speech laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas.
  • The British Foreign Office, which has ignored Iranian women's desperate fight for freedom and stayed shamefully silent during the Iranian people's recent protests against Iran's regime, unbelievably handed out free headscarves to its staff. Meanwhile, at least 29 Iranian women were arrested for shedding the hijab, and were likely subjected to rape and other torture, as is common in Iranian prisons. Yet British MPs and Foreign Office employees were perversely celebrating the hijab as some sort of twisted tool of "female empowerment".
  • Counter-jihad measures have been obstructed by Western leaders everywhere since immediately after 9/11. President George W. Bush declared that "Islam is peace". President Obama removed all references to Islam in FBI terror training manuals that Muslims deemed offensive. New York City's current leadership threatened New Yorkers, immediately after the October terror attack in Manhattan, not to link the terror attack to Islam. UK Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that Islam is a "religion of peace".
Although Europe is not part of the Muslim world, many European authorities nevertheless seem to feel obliged to submit to Islam in more or less subtle ways. This voluntary submission appears to be unprecedented: Dhimmi, historically speaking, is the Arabic term for the conquered non-Muslim, who agrees to live as a second-rate, "tolerated" citizen, under Islamic rule, submitting to a separate, demeaning set of laws and the demands of his Islamic masters.

In Europe, submitting to the demands of Islam, in the name of "diversity" and "human rights", has also been happening voluntarily. This submission to Islam is, of course, highly ironic, as the Western concepts of "diversity" and "human rights" do not exist within the foundational texts of Islam. On the contrary, these texts denounce in the strongest – and supremacist - terms those who refuse to submit to the Islamic concept of divinity, Allah, as infidels who must either convert, pay the jizya ["protection"] tax or die.

One of the most troubling aspects of this rapidly spreading dhimmitude, is the de-facto enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws within European jurisdictions. Local European authorities have been utilizing "hate speech" laws to prohibit criticism of Islam, even though Islam represents an idea – a religion and ideology - not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most "hate-speech" laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas. It would therefore appear that European authorities are under no legal obligation to prosecute people for criticizing Islam, especially as Islamic law, Sharia, is not part of European law; yet they do so only too willingly.

The most recent example of this kind of dhimmitude comes from Sweden, where a pensioner has been indicted for calling Islam a 'fascist' ideology on Facebook. The legal provision under which he is being charged, (Brottsbalken chapter 16, § 8,1 st), explicitly talks of "incitement" (Swedish: "hets mot folkgrupp") against groups of people defined by their 'race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual preference'. However, the provision does not criminalize criticism of religion, ideology or ideas, because Western democracies, back when they were genuine democracies, did not criminalize the free exchange of ideas.

Dhimmitude in Europe is manifested in many other respects, as well. On World Hijab Day a yearly recurring February event founded in 2013 by a Bangladeshi immigrant to the US, Nazma Khan, "to fight discrimination against Muslim women through awareness and education", several British MPs chose to don the hijab. These included MP Anne McLaughlin and Labour's former shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler and MP Naseem Shah. Furthermore, the British Foreign Office, which appears to ignore Iranian women's desperate fight for freedom, and which stayed comparatively quiet during the Iranian people's recent protests against the Iranian regime[1], unbelievably handed out free headscarves to its staff. According to the Evening Standard, an email reportedly sent to staff said:
"Would you like to try on a hijab or learn why Muslim women wear the headscarf? Come along to our walk-in event. Free scarves for all those that choose to wear it for the day or part of the day. Muslim women, along with followers of many other religions, choose to wear the hijab. Many find liberation, respect and security through wearing it. #StrongInHijab. Join us for #WorldHijabDay."
Meanwhile, at least 29 Iranian women were arrested for shedding the hijab, and were likely subjected to rape and other torture, as is common in Iranian prisons. Yet British MPs and Foreign Office employees were perversely celebrating the hijab as some sort of twisted tool of "female empowerment".

The above incident is hardly surprising: Britain is rife with some of the most jarring examples of dhimmitude. Mass rapes of children by Muslim gangs in many British cities, went on for years with the knowledge of the British authorities, who did not stop these crimes for fear of appearing "racist" or "Islamophobic"

The dhimmitude is also apparent in the lengths to which British authorities will go to excuse or explain away customs that are practiced by British Muslim communities. The police commander responsible for tackling honor crimes, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, Ivan Balchatchet, recently wrote a letter in which he said that the reason there have not yet been any convictions for FGM (which was criminalized in 1985), despite an estimate that 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales, is that the crime has "many nuances". He later apologized for the statement:
"I apologise for this letter... FGM is the appalling abuse of children. It is unacceptable that there have been no successful prosecutions. Working with others, this is something that needs to change."
Similarly, according to new figures, hundreds of "honor" violence and forced marriage crimes go unpunished in London. Data shows that between 2015 and 2017, police recorded 759 "honor" crimes and 265 forced marriages in London alone -- but only 138 people were charged with offenses. Diana Nammi, executive director of the Iranian & Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, which provides refuge for victims, said
"What makes it so alarming is that figures that we obtained through freedom of information requests show that, at the same time, since the criminalisation of forced marriage in 2014, many more people at risk than ever before are coming forward for help".
Dhimmitude, however, leads not "only" to child rape, female genital mutilation and "honor" killings, all spreading under the willfully blind eyes of national authorities, but also to the obstruction of counterterrorism efforts. In a recent interview for SVT public television, Peder Hyllengren, a researcher at the Swedish Defense College, said:
"You risk being identified as racist in a way that you have not seen in other European countries. There, this question has been as uncontroversial as the importance of combating Nazism and right wing extremism. But in Sweden it took a long time before it was acceptable to discuss jihadism in the same way that we have been discussing Nazism".
Hyllengren is being too harsh on Sweden: Counter-jihad measures have been obstructed by Western leaders everywhere since immediately after 9/11, when President George W. Bush declared that "Islam is peace". President Obama removed all references to Islam in FBI terror training manuals that Muslims deemed offensive. Theresa May claimed that Islam is a "religion of peace". New York City's current leadership threatened New Yorkers, immediately after the October terror attack in Manhattan, not to link the terror attack to Islam.

Most recently, the British government's terror watchdog and independent reviewer of terrorism legislation Max Hill QC, said that it is "fundamentally wrong" to use the phrase "Islamist terrorism" to describe attacks carried out in Britain and elsewhere. According to a report by the Evening Standard, he said that the word terrorism should not be attached "to any of the world religions" and that the term "Daesh-inspired terrorism" should be used instead. Last year, Max Hill opined that some jihadis returning from Syria and Iraq should escape prosecution as they were "naive".

In Germany, dhimmitude now runs so deep that the minister of family affairs recently suggested that sexual assaults by Muslim migrants could be prevented by inviting more Muslim migrants into the country -- the mothers and sisters of the male Muslim migrants already there. This was the German minister's answer to a question in the Bundestag about what "concrete educational and danger prevention measures" her ministry was planning to "protect and inform women and girls in the long term about the disproportionately increased physical and sexual and life threatening attacks that have taken place since 2015" by migrants. This was the minister's pathetic answer:
"... On the one hand this concerns the accommodation where the young unaccompanied refugees live. Also of course to the...yes... the macho culture from which they often come... That one does not conceal this and attempts to discuss this there, and of course influence them, this is quite obvious... We have the expert's report from Professor Pfeiffer here, which gives very precise starting points... we must work with the youth and we also know that family reunification is important... he [the professor] says it is just the same with young men whether they are from here or elsewhere, they are easier to handle when they have their mothers and sisters with them".
Europe is rife with other recent examples of dhimmitude, exhibited by countless state and commercial actors. There was the removal of a cross by the presiding judge in a German courtroom during the trial of an Afghan charged with threatening another Muslim for converting to Christianity; H&M recalling a range of socks after Muslims complained that the pattern on them resembled the word "Allah" written in Arabic upside down; a French court dropping hate crime charges from the indictment of a Muslim murder suspect, who confessed to killing his 66 year old Jewish neighbor, a woman whom he tortured, before throwing her to her death off her balcony, while shouting "Allahu Akbar". He had also reportedly called the victim's daughter "dirty Jewess" two years prior to the murder.

The list goes on. Sheikh Yussuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has said that Europe will be conquered not through the sword, but through dawa, probably could not be happier. Europe is leaping to fulfill his request.


Pictured: Women wearing Islamic niqab veils stand outside the French Embassy during a demonstration on April 11, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

[1] Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson merely said:
"...there should be meaningful debate about the legitimate and important issues the protesters are raising and we look to the Iranian authorities to permit this... people should be able to have freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully within the law... We ...call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for international obligations on human rights to be observed".

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11932/europe-dhimmis

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In find of biblical proportions, seal of Prophet Isaiah said found in Jerusalem - Amanda Borschel-Dan




by Amanda Borschel-Dan 

“We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah" - archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar



The hand of the Prophet Isaiah himself may have created an 8th century BCE seal impression discovered in First Temple remains near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, according to Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar

“We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, in a scientific, archaeological excavation,” said Mazar this week in a press release announcing the breathtaking discovery. 

Mazar’s team uncovered the minuscule bulla, or seal impression, during renewed excavations at the Ophel, located at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The discovery was published on Wednesday in an article, “Is This the Prophet Isaiah’s Signature?” as part of a massive March-June issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review dedicated to its recently retired founding editor, Hershel Shanks.

The clay impression is inscribed with letters and what appears to be a grazing doe, “a motif of blessing and protection found in Judah, particularly in Jerusalem,” according to the BAR article.

Isaiah Bulla, a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which potentially belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. (Ouria Tadmor/© Eilat Mazar)
The oval-shaped bulla, however, is not intact. On its legible portion, there is an inscription with First Temple Hebrew letters that seem to spell out the name l’Yesha’yah[u] (Belonging to Isaiah). On a line below, there is the partial word nvy, which presumably spells out “prophet.”

“Because the bulla has been slightly damaged at the end of the word nvy, it is not known if it originally ended with the Hebrew letter aleph, which would have resulted in the Hebrew word for ‘prophet’ and would have definitively identified the seal as the signature of the prophet Isaiah,” Mazar said.


Archaeologist Eilat Mazar in the 2018 winter Ophel Excavations in Jerusalem. (YouTube screenshot)
In the BAR article, Mazar leaves room for the possibility that the inscription on the Isaiah bulla does not refer to the biblical prophet. “Without an aleph at the end, the word nvy is most likely just a personal name. Although it does not appear in the Bible, it does appear on seals and a seal impression on a jar handle, all from unprovenanced, private collections.”

“The name of Isaiah, however, is clear,” she said.

Millennia-old connections between a prophet and his king

The most well-known of the biblical prophets, Isaiah is thought by scholars to have been active circa in the late 8th century and early 7th century BCE.

The Isaiah bulla was discovered in wet-sifted material that was taken from an Iron Age layer close to bedrock that was near a foundation trench cut for a wall of a Herodian vault. The material was found close to a structure that was first discovered in 1986-87 and is today thought to have been a “royal bakery.”


The Ophel excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (courtesy of Andrew Shiva)
It was found only 10 feet away from where in 2015 Mazar’s team discovered an important, intact bulla with the inscription “of King Hezekiah of Judah.” The 12th king of the Kingdom of Judah, King Hezekiah ruled from circa 727 BCE-698 BCE, during the period in which the northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 721 BCE. Some 20 years later, Hezekiah successfully fought off the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem, in part due to fortifications and a water channel which can still be seen today.


A seal impression of King Hezekiah unearthed in the Ophel excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount, conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology (ourtesy of Eilat Mazar; photo by Ouria Tadmor)
Upon the discovery of the Hezekiah bulla in 2015, Mazar called the artifact “the closest as ever that we can get to something that was most likely held by King Hezekiah himself.”

This week Mazar said in a press release released by BAR that it is logical that the Isaiah and Hezekiah bullae would be discovered in such close proximity.

“If it is the case that this bulla is indeed that of the prophet Isaiah, then it should not come as a surprise to discover this bulla next to one bearing King Hezekiah’s name given the symbiotic relationship of the prophet Isaiah and King Hezekiah described in the Bible,” said Mazar.

There are several biblical instances of interactions between Isaiah and Hezekiah which indicate the prophet was a spiritual advisor to the king. He consoled the ruler that the Israelites would survive the siege. In the BAR article, Mazar writes, “The names of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah are mentioned in one breath 14 of the 29 times the name of Isaiah is recalled (2 Kings 19–20; Isaiah 37–39). No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah.”


Dara Horn walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel 
in Jerusalem, August 2017. (Brendan Schulman)
The Hezekiah and Isaiah bullae join other similar finds from previous excavations. Digging in 2005-2008 at the summit of the City of David in a large structure which may have been the palace of biblical King David, she discovered a clay impression with a First Temple Hebrew inscription bearing the name of a high-ranking Israelite official who is recorded by the biblical Jeremiah, “Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shovi.” Years later, a few meters from the Jehucal bulla, she found a seal impression belonging to a second high-ranking official, “Gedaliah, son of Pashur,” who is also found in Jeremiah. Dozens more bullae have been discovered.

Mazar recently reopened the Ophel excavation and is currently digging in the House of the Medallion, which she excavated in 2013, and a rare untouched Second Temple-period cave.
The find has not been peer reviewed and some have already begun to push back against Mazar’s hypothesis, noting that the lack of an aleph after the nvy leaves room for doubt.

“The critically important letter that would be needed to confirm that the second word is the title ‘prophet’ is an aleph. But no aleph is legible on this bulla, and so that reading cannot be confirmed at all,” Semitic languages professor Christopher Rollston told National Geographic.


Isaiah, in an illustration from the Providence 
Lithograph Company (Wikipedia)
“The assumption that this is a [seal] of Isaiah the prophet is scintillating, but it is certainly not something that we should assume is at all certain,” he added. “It’s not.”

Israeli epigrapher Dr. Haggai Misgav took to Facebook to express his skepticism over the possibility of this bulla having belonged to the Prophet Isaiah. Echoing Rollston’s concerns over the missing “aleph,” the Hebrew University lecturer wrote that since the impression would have been tied to a sack of goods, it is highly unlikely the title “prophet” would have been used at all.

“But as always there is no shortage of those who jump on the finds with cries of, ‘Hurray, we have proven the Bible,'” writes Misgav.

While Mazar herself admits that the missing aleph can be problematic, she says the discovery is important nonetheless.

“Whether or not the bulla we found in the Ophel excavations is the bulla of the prophet Isaiah, it remains, nevertheless, a unique and fantastic discovery,” writes Mazar in the BAR article.

“Finding this bulla leads us to consider the personality and the proximity of the prophet Isaiah as one of the closest advisers to King Hezekiah — not only with regard to the events of his time, but also in assessing them from an informed perspective and foreseeing their influence over future events,” she writes.

A gift fit for a true friend to archaeologists

On his way to catch a plane, the new editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, Dr. Robert Cargill, told The Times of Israel that the publication of the exciting new find in his magazine “came about by very fortunate timing.”


Dr. Robert Cargill, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review. 
(courtesy)
As Cargill was preparing the double issue of BAR in honor of founding editor Shanks, he approached Mazar to ask her for a contribution.

“She said, ‘Your timing couldn’t be better,'” related Cargill. Mazar was getting ready to publish this new discovery. “She allowed us to publish it as a gift to Hershel [Shanks] to say thank you for his support of archaeology and Israel,” said Cargill.

The magazine was first published in 1975 and has focused, sometimes controversially, on finds that claim to offer insights into the ancient workings of the Holy Land — often in approachable articles written by top scholars.

Shanks, not an archaeologist himself, is a lawyer by training. But in the past four decades, he has written innumerable articles and several books about ancient Israel and biblical archaeology.


Standing in front of the Ophel excavation are (from left) Suzanne Singer, the former BAR Managing Editor; Israeli archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay; Hershel Shanks, BAR Editor Emeritus who recently retired as Editor; and Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. (Eilat Mazar)
In part of her “gift” to Shanks, Mazar wrote: “Like the prophet Isaiah, Hershel is very caring and enthusiastic about current events pertaining to Israel and the greater Near East, in this case those relating to excavations, discoveries, and studies of Biblical archaeology… Creating this valuable link between scholars and the public in the sphere of Biblical archaeology was his ‘prophetic’ vision.”

Cargill, a religious studies assistant professor at University of Iowa, said he respected Mazar’s “careful, responsible treatment” of the bulla in the BAR article.

“She didn’t rush to conclusively say she had found the seal of Isaiah… In our article she gives the possible alternatives,” said Cargill, who called himself “a natural skeptic.”


Drawing by Reut Livyatan Ben-Arie of the Isaiah Bulla, a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which potentially belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. (Illustration: Reut Livyatan Ben-Arie/© Eilat Mazar; Photo by Ouria Tadmor/© Eilat Mazar)
“But if you’re asking me, I think she’s got it. You’re looking at the first archaeological reference of the prophet Isaiah outside of the Bible,” said Cargill. “It’s amazing.”


Amanda Borschel-Dan

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-find-of-biblical-proportions-proof-of-prophet-isaiah-believed-unearthed/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=70cb03e335-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-70cb03e335-55094545

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Did Jeremy Corbyn Meet with Communist Spies? - Paul Austin Murphy




by Paul Austin Murphy

It seems that the British Labor powerhouse has a few red skeletons in his closet.

Jeremy Corbyn, the British leader of the Opposition, has been embroiled in what's been called a "spy scandal." This scandal involves Corbyn's alleged meetings with Czech "spies" in the 1980s.

In terms of today's news and in response to a tweet from Ben Bradley, a British Conservative member of Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn instructed his solicitors to tell Mr. Bradley to take down his "libelous" tweet; otherwise, he'd be the victim of legal action.

So what exactly did the tweet say? (It has since been deleted.)
"Corbyn sold British secrets to communist spies… get some perspective mate!! Your priorities are a bit awry!"
This tweet was perhaps written in haste by Bradley. It was posted in an exchange with the fantastically named group Far Right Watch. (Are Tory M.P.s also "Far Right" now? Is Far Right Watch itself Far Left?)

A spokesman for Corbyn said: "Jeremy has instructed solicitors to contact Ben Bradley to delete his libelous tweet or face legal action."

As it is, Corbyn's "office" has admitted that he met a "Czech diplomat" in the House of Commons. However, according to that source, the claim that Corbyn was "an agent, asset or informer for any intelligence agency is entirely false and a ridiculous smear."

Okay. So why was a fairly insignificant British M.P. (a known Marxist socialist) meeting a "Czech diplomat" in the 1980s? Corbyn didn't even have a position in the Labor Party's Shadow Cabinet at the time. Indeed, outside "radical socialist" groups and activities (as well as meetings with "anti-imperialist" groups such as the IRA and Sinn Féin), Corbyn had little importance in the British parliamentary system. Thus, surely this meeting was a little odd and must also have been a little...well, unofficial. Unless, of course, small-time M.P.s often met senior diplomats in the House of Commons and elsewhere.

So did Corbyn also meet diplomats from South Africa, Chile, etc. at the same time (i.e., the 1980s)? Or was he choosy about which kind of diplomats he met?

It's hard to know what's going with the Corbyn "spy scandal." There are members of the Corbyn Cult who will defend him no matter what. And there are enemies of Corbyn who will attack him "by any means necessary."

It's also hard to say whether or not all – or indeed any – of the details are true in this latest case against Corbyn.

For example, even if Corbyn did have dealings with communist spies, I doubt that he'd have "sold British secrets to 'Communist spies,'" as Ben Bradley claimed in his tweet. Any positive dealings Corbyn would have had with communists (as with Iran, Hamas, Hezb'allah, the IRA, etc.) would have been for ideological and political reasons, not for financial gain.

In any case, supporters of Corbyn have boiled most of this story down to the shady details of a single former Czech spy (or "intelligence officer"). However, British newspapers have claimed that it is documents contained in the archives of Czech intelligence that show that Corbyn met Czech spies on three occasions in the 1980s.

Now, it's possible that Corbyn didn't know they were spies. And even if he did, he might not have "fed them confidential and important information." What he might have done is simply ideologically and politically sympathized with the Czech communist state, which these spies – or diplomats – worked for.

Nonetheless, it's certainly possible that Corbyn did have dealings with communist spies.
Why? The answer is simple.

Corbyn was (or is) ideologically and politically sympathetic to communism, as well as to the Soviet Union, Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, etc. All of that would have given him good reasons to liaise with communist spies (as well as communists generally), just as it gave him a good reason to liaise with the "anti-imperialist" and largely Marxist IRA in the 1980s. And just as Corbyn didn't plant or make bombs for the IRA, so he probably didn't "sell secrets" to communist spies. Corbyn's relationships with "Britain's enemies" would have been entirely political and ideological in nature.

Let me offer more evidence for my position.

Many people say "a man is known by the company he keeps." That's not always true. However, it becomes truer when the person you're discussing appoints one of his friends the executive director of strategy and communications for the Labor Party and another friend the campaign chief for the same party, as Jeremy Corbyn did in early 2016. Both these friends are self-described "communists" and fans of the Soviet Union.

Corbyn's campaign (election) chief during the last election was Andrew Murray. Murray was a member of the Communist Party of Britain until he joined the Labor Party under Corbyn's leadership. (He's also became chair of the Stop the War Coalition after Corbyn himself stepped down.) From 1986 to 1987, Murray also worked for the Soviet Novosti news agency. He has also expressed "solidarity" with North Korea.

Murray joined the British Labor Party only at the end of 2016. Three months after leaving the Communist Party of Britain, Murray became the Labor Party's campaign chief.

What about Seumas Milne?

Mr. Milne was and is now executive director of strategy and communications for Corbyn and the Labor Party. His "communist tendencies" are well known in the United Kingdom.

In terms of politics, Milne has been a systematic fan of Stalin and the Soviet Union. Milne once claimed that "history has been unkind to" Josef Stalin. He also gave the lowest number I've ever seen for the number of people murdered by the Soviet socialist regime.

So what about Jeremy Corbyn himself?

Take Corbyn's own words, as expressed in the House of Commons in the 1980s:
I had an interesting meeting with an environmental campaigning group from the Soviet Union... those people felt that they had the power to change the policies to stop the destruction of their own environment. The policies of free-market economies... have led to the pollution of the North sea and the Irish sea[.]
So Corbyn believed that environmental activists had more political power in the Soviet Union than their equivalents did in the Western democracies. What's more, Corbyn seems to have thought this simply because of what was said to him during a single meeting.

In retrospect, it's ironic that Corbyn said the above just two years before the fall of the Soviet Union. This isn't a surprise, however. Corbyn, at that time, had a more favorable opinion of the Soviet Union than he had of the United Kingdom – at least under Margaret Thatcher.

In 1988, Corbyn also took his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. It was then that Corbyn decided to call for a "complete rehabilitation" of Leon Trotsky.

A Labor Party source, in response, said:
Jeremy Corbyn has clearly been fixated by the political ideology and tactics of Leon Trotsky for some time, but perhaps he could now focus on the rehabilitation of the Labour Party, which has been performing very poorly in the polls since he became leader. Trotsky didn't have to worry about the troublesome business of winning elections, but the Labour Party does.
So, to sum up.

If Joe Bloggs (or John Doe) had met communist spies (or "Czech diplomats") in the 1980s, then none of this would matter that much. However, it's possible that the "radical socialist" leader of the British Labor Party (i.e., Jeremy Corbyn) did so. Now, that's an entirely different story...


Paul Austin Murphy is a writer on politics and philosophy. He's had articles published in The Conservative Online, Philosophy Now, New English Review, Human Events, Intellectual Conservative, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), etc. Murphy has two blogs. One: Paul Austin Murphy on Politics. Two: Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy. His Twitter account can be found here.

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/02/did_jeremy_corbyn_meet_with_communist_spies.html

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What Left-Wing Educators Don’t Teach During ‘Black History Month’ - Larry Elder




by Larry Elder

The inconvenient historical notes left on the cutting room floor.




When will Black History Month be … history?

Apart from the bizarre notion that educators should set aside one month to salute the historical achievements of one race apart from and above the historical achievements of other races, Black History Month appears to omit a lot of black history.

About slavery, do our mostly left-wing educators teach that slavery was not unique to America and is as old as humankind? As economist and author Thomas Sowell says: “More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still being bought and sold in the Ottoman Empire, decades after blacks were freed in the United States.”

Are students taught that “race-based preferences,” sometimes called “affirmative action,” were opposed by several civil rights leaders? While National Urban League Executive Director Whitney Young supported a type of “Marshall Plan” for a period of 10 years to make up for historical discrimination, his board of directors refused to endorse the plan. In rejecting it, the president of the Urban League in Pittsburgh said the public would ask, “What in blazes are these guys up to? They tell us for years that we must buy (nondiscrimination) and then they say, ‘It isn’t what we want.'” A member of the Urban League in New York objected to what he called “the heart of it — the business of employing Negroes (because they are Negroes).” Bayard Rustin was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s key lieutenants and helped to plan and organize the civil rights march in D.C. that culminated in King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Rustin, an openly gay black man, also opposed race-based preferences.

Do our left-wing educators, during Black History Month, note that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s celebrated New Deal actually hurt blacks? According to Cato Institute’s Jim Powell, blacks lost as many as 500,000 jobs as a result of anti-competitive, job-killing regulations of the New Deal. Powell writes: “The flagship of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, passed in June 1933. It authorized the president to issue executive orders establishing some 700 industrial cartels, which restricted output and forced wages and prices above market levels. The minimum wage regulations made it illegal for employers to hire people who weren’t worth the minimum because they lacked skills. As a result, some 500,000 blacks, particularly in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs. Marginal workers, like unskilled blacks, desperately needed an expanding economy to create more jobs. Yet New Deal policies made it harder for employers to hire people. FDR tripled federal taxes between 1933 and 1940. … By giving labor unions the monopoly power to exclusively represent employees in a workplace, the (1935) Wagner Act had the effect of excluding blacks, since the dominant unions discriminated against blacks.”

Are students taught that gun control, widely embraced by today’s black leadership, began as a means to deny free blacks the right to own guns? In ruling that blacks were chattel property in the Dred Scott case, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney warned of that the consequences of ruling otherwise would mean that blacks would be able to own guns. If blacks were “entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens,” said Taney, “it would give persons of the Negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one state of the union, the right … to keep and carry arms wherever they went … endangering the peace and safety of the state.”

Are students taught that generations of civil rights leaders opposed immigration — both legal and illegal immigration? After the Civil War, black abolitionist Frederick Douglass implored employers to hire blacks over new immigrants. Twenty-five years later, Booker T. Washington pleaded with Southern industrialists to hire blacks over new immigrants: “One third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. … To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South: Cast down your bucket where you are. Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your fireside.”

About illegal immigration, an issue that nearly all of the today’s so-called black leaders simply ignore, Coretta Scott King signed a letter urging Congress to retain harsh sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. The letter said: “We are concerned … that … the elimination of employer sanctions will cause another problem — the revival of the pre-1986 discrimination against black and brown U.S. and documented workers, in favor of cheap labor — the undocumented workers. This would undoubtedly exacerbate an already severe economic crisis in communities where there are large numbers of new immigrants.”

These are just a few historical and inconvenient notes left on the cutting room floor during Black History Month.


Larry Elder

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269375/what-left-wing-educators-dont-teach-during-black-larry-elder

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Infidel Women: Islam’s “Spoils of War” - Raymond Ibrahim




by Raymond Ibrahim


If good Muslim women are seen and treated as possessions, how are infidel women seen and treated?

Reprinted from the Gatestone Institute

One of the greatest but overlooked (or ignored) fact concerning Islamic aggression and violence around the world is that non-Muslim women tend to be its greatest victims.  According to a January report dealing with the Muslim persecution of Christians, “The most significant findings were that Christian women are among the most violated in the world, in maybe a way that we haven’t seen before.”  Six women were raped every day simply for being Christian, the report found. 

Much of this traces back to Islamic law.  Inherently harsh—its ultimate source is a seventh century Arab man, Muhammad—Sharia is still harsher for women.  Men have “authority” over women and may beat them for disobedience.  The prophet said women are significantly less intelligent than men — two women are needed to equal one man’s testimony — and the majority of hell’s denizens consist of women, whom Muhammad further likened to donkeys and dogs in their ability to distract a man from his prayer and thereby annul it. 

Such misogyny is confirmed by the headline of a new report: “UK Govt Review into Sharia Admits Systemic Discrimination Against Women …Forced Marriage Victim Made to Appear with Abusers.”

If this is Islam’s approach to Muslim women, non-Muslim women are doubly damned: not only are they, as infidels, “the enemy” by default, but as females, they are deemed even more inferior than their already despised male counterparts.  Add to this the facts that women are physically weaker—and physically more attractive—than men, and it becomes clear why they are widely seen as being, at best, “meant for one thing, the pleasure of the Muslim man,” as one Muslim told a group of young Christian girls before terrorizing and murdering one.  (Koran verses that encourage the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women and ingrained notions of “sex-on-demand,” obviously only propel such thinking.)

The subhuman treatment of non-Muslim women by jihadi organizations such as the Islamic State or Nigeria’s Boko Haram—where “infidel” women are bought, sold, gang-raped, mutilated, dismembered and burned alive—is relatively well known (thanks to ISIS itself, for disseminating images and videos).    Lesser known is that “infidel” women are treated in similar ways all across the Muslim world, as explained by a 2016 report:

Unfortunately, more and more women are the target of [Muslim] terrorist groups. There are numerous international incidents of women being kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert from Christianity to Islam by radical extremist groups…. Many are also sold on the open market. This brutality is not only occurring in the Middle East but in Africa and in many other places. In many of these countries, women are subject to persecution because they are considered second-class citizens because of their gender. As minorities in both gender and faith, Christian women face double the persecution. Although we don’t have an exact number, we know that millions of women are being persecuted…. In these Muslim-dominated countries, Christian women are systematically deprived of their freedom to live and are denied basic human necessities.

Approximately 700 Christian and 300 Hindu girls are abducted, enslaved, and raped in Pakistan every year. These are very large numbers considering that Christians and Hindus each make up only one percent of the nation’s Muslim-majority population.  After a 9-year-old Christian girl was raped by a Muslim man who boasted of having “done the same service to other young Christian girls,” local residents explained: “Such incidents occur frequently. Christian girls are considered goods to be damaged at leisure. Abusing them is a right. According to the [Muslim] community’s mentality it is not even a crime. Muslims regard them as spoils of war.”  This is why when a young Muslim girl was recently raped and murdered, Pakistan rose up in outrage, whereas the ongoing rape and murder of Christian girls (and boys) is met with deafening silence.)

A similar situation prevails in Egypt. Congressman Chris Smith earlier testified about the “escalating abduction, coerced conversion and forced marriage of Coptic Christian women and girls. Those women are being terrorized and, consequently, marginalized.” Between 2008 and 2013 alone, nearly 600 cases of abduction, rape, and forced conversion of Christian women were documented in Egypt—again, very large numbers considering Christians are roughly only 10 percent of Egypt’s population.  A former kidnapper recently shed light on how methodical and virtually institutionalized this phenomenon is in Egypt.

Unsurprisingly, then, as the number of Muslim migrants continue to grow in Europe, the subhuman treatment and sexual abuse of “infidel” women that was once confined to third world Muslim nations has become a common fixture in the West—and on the same logic.  If Christian girls in Pakistan are “meant for one thing, the pleasure of the Muslim man,” so a Muslim migrant in Germany who stalked, cursed, and groped a woman told her, “German women are there for sex.”  She is only one of countless women in Europe to be violated by Muslim men—even as Western authorities seek to suppress and dissemble over this phenomenon.  Even when about 1,000 women were sexually assaulted by Muslim migrants in Cologne, Germany, “the reaction of the media, which professes to care about women’s rights and well-being, was censorship and burying the news,” notes another report:


This is the same reaction most Western media has in the face of migrant crime waves: Witnesses were silenced or ignored and the media didn’t take its responsibility to report the truth seriously…. The exact same thing unsurprisingly happened in Sweden, a country that was once a feminist’s paradise, where women enjoyed unprecedented liberty and hyper-equality, now known for its sex crimes and gang rapes.

Titled “Rape, Murder and Misogyny: The Real Victims of the Migrant Crisis are Europe’s Women,” the January 14 Voice of Europe report gives just a few examples:
  • In Austria: A 72-year-old grandmother was raped by an Afghan minor; as a result she lost the will to live [and died].
  • In Belgium: A young girl was drugged and raped by a migrant after she asked the way to the station.
  • In France: Two teens were stabbed to death by a migrant in Marseille.
  • In Germany: A 19-year-old student was raped and murdered by an Afghan migrant.
  • In Germany: A 17-year-old girl was stabbed to death after quitting her relationship with a migrant.
  • In Italy: A Polish woman was gang raped by four migrants in Rimini.
  • In the Netherlands: A young girl was raped and almost drowned by an asylum seeker in Kampen.
  • In the Netherlands: A woman was gang raped by a group of Africans.
  • In Sweden: A girl was stabbed to death after rejecting an asylum seeker.
  • In Sweden: A woman in a wheelchair was gang raped by a group of migrants.
  • In Switzerland: Six women were sexually assaulted by “dark skinned” men.
  • In the UK: Muslim Grooming gangs targeting white girls have been around for decades.
It bears mentioning that the above examples are only the tip of the iceberg.   Among some of the many stories to surface in just the last two weeks (as of this writing), mosque attending Muslims broke into the home of a British woman and repeatedly raped her at gunpoint;  during what was described as a “horrific attack,” a Muslim man raped another British woman as she sat on a public bench; three Muslims sexually assaulted a German mother in front of her toddler in the stroller; and pants for women with alarms to ward off rapists sold out almost as soon as they were introduced in Germany.

As the Voice of Europe correctly adds, “Were these acts committed under any other circumstances they would have been classed as either war crimes or crimes against humanity…...It is clear that the real victims of the migrant crisis are Europe’s women: They are quickly losing the freedom they fought for and are clear targets for guests who have been accepted into our societies.”

To put it differently, all the Hollywood stars, militant feminists and social-justice warriors who are forever raging against “sexism” in the West — but who have nothing to say about Islam’s female victims — are not “defenders of women’s rights,” but pariahs  dedicated to subverting Western civilization no less than the terrorists they  have been apologizing and essentially covering for.


Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269359/infidel-women-islams-spoils-war-raymond-ibrahim

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