Every month, Michael Stines, 32, of North Carolina purchases a package of goods from Judea and Samaria, ranging from honey from Hebron and olive oil from Shiloh to handmade jewelry from Yitzhar and ceramic pottery from Maale Michmash.
“There’s something for everyone in my family to be found in each package, like candy for the kids and jewelry for my wife. We can’t wait to open up the goods each month. This is our way of supporting Judea and Samaria,” Stines told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) in an interview from his North Carolina home.
Stines, a general contractor, has led 15 church tours to Israel which have included visits to Judea and Samaria and believes that it is imperative to support Israel not only “through words but through deeds.”
The fervent backer of Israel purchases the packages through an organization called Lev Haolam, which was established nearly four years ago by Nati Rom, a lawyer from Esh Kodesh in Samaria, along with his wife, who looked for a way to help small businesses in Judea and Samaria fight the international boycott of goods from the region.
The White House held a celebration Thursday afternoon to honor Eid al Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. While no guest list has been made public, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned that it includes a number of Islamist activists who have espoused views in direct contrast with American policy.
Among them were several officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a former official who remains close to the organization. In contrast, Muslim Americans who believe CAIR and other Islamist groups are not representative of the community’s diverse viewpoints were not invited.
The White House declined to comment to the IPT or release a complete list of invitees.
The inclusion of so many CAIR officials shows that the United States government has wildly different views about the organization.
FBI policy since 2008 prohibits engagement with CAIR, which touts itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group” and the country’s “largest Muslim civil liberties organization.”
Irony of ironies!
Ruslan Said says that the Islamic State is un-Islamic, but, at least in this report, gave no details, and did not explain how this misunderstanding of Islam spread throughout the world. He doesn’t explain how the Islamic State is un-Islamic — is it the beheadings? No, that’s in the Qur’an (8:12, 47:4). Is it the sex slaves? No, that’s in the Qur’an (4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30). Is it the demand that Christians submit to Islamic rule and pay a special tax? No, that’s in the Qur’an (9:29).
And so, as we have seen so very many times before, someone who asserts that the Islamic State is un-Islamic doesn’t bother to answer the all-important question of how exactly the Islamic State is un-Islamic.
Said also said that “Malaysians who were involved in Daesh militant activity were doing it out of courtesy and sympathy after seeing the suffering by other Muslims abroad.”
Courtesy and sympathy led them to rape, murder, and terrorize. Interesting.
Theresa May delighted Tory MPs by thrashing Jeremy Corbyn in her debut PMQs appearance yesterday, so has now been able to get stuck into some European diplomacy. The signs so far suggest that her first overseas trip seems to be going rather well. After meeting with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor said Britain was right to “take a moment” to work out its negotiating position before kick-starting formal Brexit talks. This will be a useful boost to the Prime Minister’s agenda as EU leaders have been urging Britain to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as soon as possible in order to start the clock ticking for their exit talks. Europe’s leaders don’t all want to rush Britain out of the door.
The German Chancellor didn’t signal that she’d give Britain everything it wanted though, insisting it was up to the Government to “define how it wishes to see its future relationship with the EU”. Allister Heath has laid out his “three-fold model to woo the sceptics” in today’s Telegraph, writing: “All groups in society have a responsibility to take part in this project to rebuild Britain for a post-Brexit 21st century.”
May moves on today to France to complete her mini-tour this week by meeting President Francois Hollande. The Prime Minister is understood to speak French better than she does German (which she employed after her meeting with Merkel), but that doesn’t mean her tête-à-tête with Hollande will be much easier. France has been more impatient with Britain, pushing it to trigger Article 50 within days of the referendum vote. “It’s clear that Monsieur Hollande is neither in a forgiving nor constructive mood,” Open Europe’s Nina Schick warns in today’s paper.
But there is cause for hope, as Schick suggests May can exploit Europe’s woes to extract the best deal for Britain. “Even a casual observer can detect, then, that Berlin and Paris are fundamentally at odds on how the EU should proceed over Brexit. But they are also split over the future direction of the EU. While the Germans want more budgetary oversight and a strict rules-based fiscal order, the French want more security cooperation and laxer budget controls… We may have left the EU, but if we want to secure the best deal, we need to become experts on our European neighbours as never before.”
Saudi Arabia, long associated with oil wealth and extravagance, has decided that time has come for it to revamp its image. Last year, King Salman, 80, ascended the Saudi throne, and since then has unleashed major reforms, introduced a more assertive domestic and foreign policy, and handed over the reins of some of the most significant posts of the Saudi leadership to a younger group of Saudi leaders.
The driving force behind these reforms is the 30-year-old deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, otherwise known as MBS. Prince Mohammed’s vision for Saudi Arabia, the way he puts it, is as a country no longer dependent on oil; with a growing economy and transparent laws, which will consequently give it a strong position in the world. All of this may come across as appealing, but the ability of Prince Mohammed to deliver these reforms depends on several variables. To succeed, Prince Mohammed, although he enjoys a broad mandate, still needs the support of the rest of the country.
There is every indication that Turkey and Israel are not far away from normalizing their troubled diplomatic relations. According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, for instance, the former allies are “one or two meetings” away from normalization.
If, however, Ankara and Jerusalem finally shake hands after six years of cold war, it will be because Turkey feels increasingly isolated internationally, not because it feels any genuine friendship for the Jewish nation.
In all probability, the “peace” between Turkey and Israel will look like the definition of peace in Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary: “In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting” — despite the backdrop for peace looking incredibly (but mischievously) convenient. On May 29, a Jewish wedding ceremony was held in a historical synagogue in the northwestern province of Edirne for the first time in 41 years. A few months before that, in December, the Jewish year 5776 went down in history possibly as the first time in which a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony was held in Muslim Turkey in a state-sponsored event. All that is nice — but can be misleading.
There are two major problems that will probably block a genuine normalization. One is Hamas, and the other is the seemingly irreversible anti-Semitism which most Turks devour.
While kids around the world are diving into pools to beat the summertime heat, some 30,000 Palestinian children and teenagers will enjoy a full three weeks of brainwashing as they are trained in the ways of terrorism at Hamas’ camps in the Gaza Strip.
The 25 different camps located throughout Gaza, all run by the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, include a wide variety of activities to keep their campers busy such as military training with live fire, combat tactics, and explicit religious indoctrination.