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Archive for the ‘Perplexity’ Category

I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality,” and, “I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people.”

Clearly a statement that reveals an inability or a refusal to look beyond ones self in regards to what is right and wrong!

In the first sentence he says that scripture does not state much in regards to morality! But then in the second sentence he says that he does not care what scripture says in regards to what is wrong! So which is it? Scripture does not say anything in regards to morality, or it does and you just do not care what it says!

This sadly is the core of subjective truth! Picking and choosing which parts of anything that you take in as right or wrong, but then being able to go back and say that what you originally accepted as wrong is now no longer wrong, with no coherent justification of any kind for the change in your beliefs!

And people accepted this guy as a “Christian musician”?

from Charisma News:

Beginning on Tuesday, April 21st, Dan Haseltine, front-man for the popular Christian band Jars of Clay, took to Twitter to announce his apparent support for same-sex “marriage.” And for the life of him, he can’t figure out a single good reason to oppose it.

It is for reasons like this that we have been sounding the alarm these last 10 years.

In a series of tweets posted over a three-day period, and prompted by a movie he watched while in flight, he wrote: “The treatment of people as less than human based on the color of skin is crazy… Or gender, or sexual orientation for that matter.”

Of course, to compare skin color with “sexual orientation” is to compare apples with oranges, as has been demonstrated many times before.

But that was only the beginning. He added, “Not meaning to stir things up BUT… Is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.”

This really boggles the mind.

When you’re sliding down a dangerous slippery slope, you don’t say, “Give me one good reason we’re in danger, other than the fact that we’re careening down this deadly slope.”

No. You grab hold of something to stop your fall and then figure out how to climb back to solid ground.

Does this gifted artist not realize that the only reason we’re talking about redefining marriage today is because we are well down that slope already?

This is the day of full-blown incestuous relationships on popular TV shows like Game of Thrones; of other shows glorifying polyamory (married and dating!), polygamy (from Big Love to Sister Wives to My Five Wives), and teen pregnancy; of news reports about the “wedding” of three lesbians. It is the day of almost half of all first-time American mothers having their babies out of wedlock, with cohabitation rates up more than 700% since 1960, and it is against this backdrop that talk of same-sex “marriage” has become prominent.

Do we really want to accelerate the destruction of marriage?

Dan also tweeted, “I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. Is the argument born of isolated application of scripture or is it combined with the knowledge born of friendship with someone who is gay? I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage.  No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”

Assuming Dan’s sincerity, let me reply to his questions.

First, for years now, Christian leaders have been articulating many good reasons why it is not good for society to redefine marriage, quite apart from the (very valid) slippery slope argument, and some of them have not even used the Bible to prove their points. Important books on the subject include those of Frank TurekMatthew D. StaverErwin Lutzer, and, most recently, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Andersen, among others.

My YouTube debate on the subject is readily available, and there are fine books outlining the biblical definition of marriage and sexuality, including studies by Andreas Kostenberger and Richard M. Davison.

Second, while there is strong biblical support for gender distinction, there is no support for the oppression of women, which is why the spread of Christianity around the world has had a liberating effect on women over the centuries. In stark contrast, the Bible condemns all forms of homoeroticism (as is recognized by many gay scholars as well), while every single example of God-blessed marriage or romance takes place between a man and a woman.

I have an online lecture that addresses this issue, and I tackle the subject at length in my new book as well. There is simply no comparison between women’s rights and sanctioning homosexual practice.

Third, the argument against same-sex “marriage” is based on the consistent testimony of Scripture, affirmed by Moses, Jesus, and Paul, and it is never contradicted a single time from Genesis to Revelation. Again, I demonstrate this in my new book, and other scholars, most notably Robert A. Gagnon, have argued this persuasively in depth. (Despite many attacks on his work, his arguments stand strong.)

Fourth, many of us have gay friends or relatives, and our positions are motivated by love. But what does having a gay friend or relative have to do with understanding God and his Word? I have dear friends who are very religious Jews, and they are some of the finest people I know, yet I still believe they are lost without Jesus. (And they, of course, see me as gravely deceived.)

Do we rewrite the Bible to accommodate our sentiments towards others, just because they are nice people?

Fifth, as articulated in the books cited in the first point, above, there are many negative consequences to redefining marriage, including: The assault on the freedoms of conscience, speech, and religion of those who do not accept this redefinition; the establishing of households that guarantee that a child will have either no father or no mother; the transformation of children’s education to include the validation of all forms of “marriage”; the continued deconstruction of gender distinctions, leading to all kinds of societal confusion; and much, much more.

It is for good reason that gay activists have long declared that if they can redefine marriage, the rest of their goals will inevitably be realized.

In short, yes, redefining marriage declares a massive war on “traditional marriage” (better framed as “true marriage” or “natural marriage”) and yes, it leads to all kinds of societal breakdown.

Put another way (and this is a question for you, Dan), Do you think that God’s order for marriage and family, established plainly in the Word and recognized by virtually all societies in history, can be thrown aside without consequences?

Dan, you wrote, “Never liked the phrase: ‘Scripture clearly says…(blank) about… Because most people read and interpret scripture wrong.”

Perhaps this is the root of your problem? Is the Bible not clear about anything? Sin? Salvation? Forgiveness? Jesus being the only Savior and Lord? Adultery being bad? Fidelity being good? Shall I list 100 more items that are abundantly clear in Scripture?

But it appears you’re not really certain about many moral issues, based on your tweet that said, “I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality,” and, “I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people.”

Did you really mean to write this? Is it possible to spend 5 minutes reading God’s precious Word without recognizing that Scripture clearly states a tremendous amount regarding morality and that, without his moral standards, we will never treat others rightly?

You also asked, “Just curious what ‘condoning a persons [sic] homosexuality’ does. Does it change you? Does it hurt someone? What is behind the conviction?”

Do you not realize that couples involved in consensual adult incest (and other relationships) are asking this exact same question? What do you say to them?

Perhaps it is a Jesus-based, Spirit-led, scripturally-grounded morality that is behind our convictions? And if we condone something God opposes – which means that it is not good for the people involved – how are we showing them love? To the contrary, we are actually hurting them.

My brother, as an influential Christian leader, you have a tremendous responsibility before the Lord to those who follow you, especially to impressionable, young believers, and you have not acted wisely by opening up a volatile discussion like this on Twitter.

Were there no godly leaders you could counsel with privately? Was it good stewardship of your popularity and influence to announce your views on Twitter and then expect a substantive dialogue delimited by 140 character tweets? Are subjects like the meaning of marriage and the authority of God’s Word in the life of a Christian now decided by who can come up with the catchier sound bite?

You probably don’t know me from Adam, but I’ll be glad to spend time with you to help you address these issues from the position of grace and truth. My door is open to you, and as one who greatly appreciates the culture-impacting power of music and song, it would be my privilege to meet with you.

That being said, if these tweets expose the soft, scripturally weak underbelly of the contemporary Christian music scene, then let’s put on our seatbelts and expect the worst.

The good news is that this will separate the wheat from the chaff, and in the end, the light will outshine the darkness.

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from Stand Up For The Truth:

You will want to be aware of this: On March 12 it was announced that the radical Muslim Brotherhood has built the framework for a political party in America that seeks to turn Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc.  Several news organizations have carried this:

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‘Muslim voters have the potential to be swing voters in 2016,” said Nihad Awad in launching the benign-sounding U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, whose membership reads like a Who’s Who of Brotherhood front groups.

“We are aiming to bring more participation from the Muslim community.”

USCMO also aims to elect Islamists in Washington, with the ultimate objective of “institutionalizing policies” favorable to Islamists — that is, Shariah law.

This development bears careful monitoring in light of the U.S. Brotherhood’s recently exposed goal to wage a “civilization jihad” against America that explicitly calls for infiltrating the U.S. political system and “destroying (it) from within.”

USCMO LogoThe subversive plan was spelled out in hundreds of pages of founding archives that the FBI confiscated from a Brotherhood leader’s home in the Washington suburbs after 9/11.

Translated from Arabic, the secret documents listed a number of Brotherhood front organizations — some of which just happen to make up the newly formed USCMO.

Front and center is the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the catalyst behind this Trojan horse jihadist political party.

CAIR is linked in federal criminal court documents to the terrorist group Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. CAIR’s chief Awad, who announced the USCMO at the National Press Club, is so radioactive, the FBI refuses to do outreach with him and his so-called Muslim-rights group until it can “resolve whether there continues to be a connection between its executives and Hamas.”

Equally troubling is the Muslim American Society, another founding member of the USCMO. MAS was formed as “the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” a 2007 Justice Department court filing states. A 2011 MAS press release praised Osama bin Laden as “a visionary who believed in an Islamic state in Afghanistan.”

The list of bad actors doesn’t end there. The chairman of America’s new Islamist party is none other than Oussama Jammal, who once headed the notorious Bridgeview Mosque in Chicago.

One of that mosque’s leaders was arrested and jailed for funneling millions to Hamas. And one of its most honored guests was bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, the late Palestinian cleric Abdullah Azzam. Some of Azzam’s relatives are Bridgeview members.

“The walls were covered with Hamas posters and recruiting literature showing masked gunmen brandishing automatic weapons. . . . You could see daggers plunged into Jewish hearts wrapped up in American flags,” said Steve Emerson, describing the mosque in his book “American Jihad.” “They even had a library filled with terrorist videos.”

As Bridgeview’s president, Jammal blasted the FBI for arresting terrorist members and even expressed doubts that al-Qaida was responsible for 9/11.

Not to worry. As head of the USCMO, he’ll see to it that the council places “premium” importance “on defining the common good based on the Quran and the model of the prophet (Muhammad), and coordinating institutions to implement that common good in American society.”

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Jammal and his equally checkered Brothers have a 30-point “policy platform” for “promoting Islam’s core universal principles to benefit American society” — none of which includes combating radicalism within the Muslim community.

Can any Muslim join USCMO? Nope. First you must fill out a four-page application and pass Brotherhood inspection. Then you have to cough up $1,000 a year — $3,500 if you want a voting membership.

Islamic reformer Zuhdi Jasser says he won’t be accepted. That’s because, as he astutely observes, America’s first Muslim political party is made up “of the inner core of American Islamist organizations” trying to “deceive Americans as an innocent ‘Muslim coalition.’”

Originally published here

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“I believe we are nearing the time of persecution in our nation. When the only public voices for Christianity are apostate religious church leaders and organizations, I believe that the net of persecution will then fall on the American Church very swiftly. The true Church is being scattered—slowly and systematically. Right now I do not know of one medium or even small Church of true believers that is standing against the current apostasy. I also do not know of any highly visible professing Christian that is doing so.”

from TruthKeepers:

A Prophetic Warning to the Church (March 4, 2003 1:56 pm)

In my opinion every true follower of Jesus Christ needs to be completely aware of the time that we are living in. If we are not in the last-days, then it is a trial run that is so close that the dangers are nearly identical. Therefore, we need to take heed of the many warnings in God’s Word concerning the great time of deception.

First, we need to recognize how powerful that the deception will be. It will be so powerful that the only means of surviving it will be the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
(Mat 24:24 NKJV) “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Satan will pull out all the stops, hold back nothing, pour out everything in his bag of dirty tricks, and the spiritual atmosphere will be too strong for people who have not spiritually prepared themselves to resist it.
(2 Th 2:9-12 NKJV) The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, {10} and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, {12} that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The spiritual atmosphere will be diametrically opposed to the atmosphere of a great revival. During times of great revival even lost people feel the effects of the renewal of passion for God. During great revivals, sin is driven back into the darkness. Evil workers are exposed for the charlatans that they are. False doctrine is denounced. Prayer meetings and church services take precedence over secular activities. Even the laws of the nation are reflective of the revival.

Today, there are deep doldrums in Christianity. Liars and other phonies are honored while at the same time people who speak the truth are dishonored and persecuted. Homosexuals are ordained as Christian ministers and professing Christians are accepting their ministry. There is little passion for God or His Word manifested publicly. Sodomites not only are pouring out of the darkness to stand proudly in public view, but they have infected our government, public education, and almost every other area of society. False doctrines pour from pulpits, out of religious television, lining the bookshelves of religious bookstores, and inundate the entire religious realm. Practically no one will attend a prayer meeting. Even a school event can replace a church meeting. Our nation’s laws are becoming increasingly reflective of the satanic activity in our government.

I personally know pastors who have given up trying to pastor in this atmosphere. I know other pastors who appear to be just barely hanging on. Many professing Christians are simply flowing with the degradation of the great apostasy; marching to the cadence of Satan. Other Christians are feeling the overwhelming effects of it all. They cannot find an honest assembly of true followers of Christ. Every day they fight feelings of discouragement and depression. The joy of the Lord is very difficult to express and they battle daily with feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and isolation.

This is the time that we have been warned about. We should understand that every godly act and characteristic is going to be more difficult to perform and maintain. Prayer is a battle. Temptation to loosen ones grip on eternal life is constant and pressing. Urges to relax and roll with the flow, follow the herd, do what everyone else is doing, never ceases the attempt to infiltrate our spirits. Evil workers of unrighteousness appear as workers of righteousness. In fact, it is difficult in some cases to tell the difference on the surface. They appear as ministers and people of righteousness. One should remember to listen to the Holy Spirit warning signals in their spirit. Consider their fruit. What have they ever done for Christ? Ignore how they make you feel or their flattering words and comforting ways. Reject the sensationalism of lying signs and wonders. Remember that few people are driven to hell. Most of them are led there by deceptive spirits.
(2 Cor 11:12-15 NKJV) But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. {13} For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. {14} And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

God’s Word declares that the one act that will doom people to deception and delusion is rejecting love for the truth. The very thing that could save those who are deceived is the thing that they reject. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. If He is in us, we will not be deceived. We can walk through barrenness and never thirst or hunger. We will be filled with righteousness. We can master the deceptive time and rise above the clouds of evil lying signs and wonders.

When people reject love for the truth, the Holy Spirit will depart. They will be left to their own devices to defend themselves against the great deception of the last-days. God will not permit them to be shocked into returning to the truth. If they will not receive His love, His Word, His Son, and His Spirit, they do not deserve heaven. Neither do they deserve to be driven into heaven by specter of fearful calamities. Instead, they will be sent a strong delusion so that they will believe the lie and be damned.

In times past, when catastrophic events occurred, people flocked to church services in fear for their souls. Oklahoma City churches reported huge increases in attendance after the Murrah building was bombed. In a few months, the attendance was back to normal. Evidently, those people went back to their old ways of living under the cloud of deception. The very striking fact about the aftermath of 9-11-01 was that many people did not look to Christian leaders for comfort and answers. Instead, they flocked to events where an evil ecumenical mixture of wizards, witches, and other evil workers of darkness joined with professing Christians to pray for the nation. We saw no increase in attendance in our Fellowship.

This may indicate that the great delusion has been delivered to the earth and the package may be opened. If so, people who stand in the shadows, who are trying to live on the fringes of true Christianity, who play on both sides of the fence, who fail to develop passion and intimacy with God, are in deep, serious, trouble. We were warned by God’s Word and His prophets that this time would come. In my opinion, it is here. I encourage everyone not to settle for a casual relationship with God. Don’t settle for a passionless, nonchalant, church meeting where you are not inspired or challenged to stay fresh in your relationship with God. Don’t let your guard down. The hour is late and the time is short. Stand your ground and keep your armor on.

It is going to get very difficult in the last of the last-days, but the most dangerous time is during this initial wave of deception. The reason is because we have gotten used to the blessings of Christianity in a democratic nation. We can get in our vehicles on Sunday morning and there are many church buildings within a short drive from our homes. Someone else preaches to us, teaches us, and does almost every other thing for us. All we have to do is show up. What kind of Christians has this type of “Churchanity” produced? I do not mean to be offensive here, but for the sake of clarity I must be blunt with my answer. In most cases it has produced people that cannot take care of themselves spiritually. Instead, they depend on the three-per-week (or less) church services to keep them spiritual and inspired, and most of them only attend occasionally. They are weak, pampered, religious at the best, and at the worst they are lost, malformed and mutated by years of lack of growth and a viable experience with God. As such, they are no threat to the kingdom of darkness and no benefit to the kingdom of light.

Now, we are going to have to adapt steadfastness of faith to the harshness of the time that we are in. Christians should have been building themselves spiritually during the times of peace. If we had been actually assimilating and applying the Word of God that we have been inundated with, then we would have more than been prepared for this evil time.

We’ve been taught to be weak, to live weak, to need church meetings to a degree that God never intended. Certainly we find strength in fellowship and it is a tremendous blessing to hear the Word of God taught or preached by someone who is anointed. But if we have not developed the practice of feeding ourselves, what are we going to do in the tough times? Paralyzed people and babies have to be fed, but healthy and mature people feed themselves.

Men need to become and remain strong in the Lord and begin taking responsibility for their spiritual duties. The time is coming when men will have to teach their own families. We need to get tough, knowledgeable, and spiritually strong. All of us need to become prayer intercessors. I believe that it is time to consider what is eating up our time and make some serious choices about our activities. If it comes to the point that we cannot find a church building to meet in where God is present and people are sincere, then the only option is to meet in our homes. However, there were times when the Church was even denied that privilege. They had to meet in catacombs and other places that do not even remotely resemble a church building.

I believe we are nearing the time of persecution in our nation. When the only public voices for Christianity are apostate religious church leaders and organizations, I believe that the net of persecution will then fall on the American Church very swiftly. The true Church is being scattered—slowly and systematically. Right now I do not know of one medium or even small Church of true believers that is standing against the current apostasy. I also do not know of any highly visible professing Christian that is doing so.

I could say a lot more, but let me conclude with one more point. The key to understanding that this current apostasy is not going to be resisted by most professing Christians is in the way most of them perceive Christianity. The only way that so many hirelings could be in pastorates is if most of the people want it to be this way. I heard one of the deadest sermons I have ever heard one Sunday morning while visiting a church meeting. A toxic religious mixture oozed from the pulpit and entered the hearts of people who loved to be poisoned so. The sad thing about that church is that it is growing steadily in number. I thought the man might be sick, but I was informed that he was in good health. In other words, he preached that way on purpose. This is the standard for most church meetings today. It does not resemble biblical Christianity. What it is I cannot tell. What it is not is a meeting of true Christians who are aware of the time and striving for intimacy with God. May God help us to understand what is happening!
The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end? (Jer 5:31 NKJV)

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There is an epic battle in the Middle East, no not the battle between Islam and Israel, it is the battle between Shi’ite Islam Iran, and Sunni Islam Saudi Arabia. And the eventual victor will be Shi’ite Islam Iran!

Barack Obama has pulled the U.S. back from open and unconditional support for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, what this means is that Saudi Arabia is now attempting to support those countries and forces in the Middle East that are against Iran. Shi’ite Iran will triumph in this battle setting the stage for the end of the age!

Saudi Arabia was supporting Turkey with Loans, however now that Turkey is allying itself with Iran. Saudi Arabia has stopped loaning them money.

“Goldman argues that part of Turkey’s credit crisis owes to its apparent reliance on interbank loans from Saudi Arabia. In part due to their anger at Erdogan for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis have apparently stopped loaning to Turkish banks. 

The Saudis’ action has pushed Erdogan into the waiting arms of Iran’s ayatollahs. In an interview with Business Insider, Australia, terror financing expert Jonathan Schanzer said Turkey and Iran were able to minimize the impact of the international sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the Turkish-Iranian “gas for gold” sanctions-busting scheme brought Iran $13 billion in hard currency.”

from Caroline Glick:

Last Thursday, two Turkish businessmen stopped for lunch in a fish restaurant during a business trip to Edirne in the Babaeski region.

At some point during their meal, the restaurant owner figured out that they were Jews.

Rather than show them the hospitality Turkey is renowned for, he said he won’t serve Jews, and began cursing them and the Torah. He then took a long knife off the counter and threatened to kill them.

The men ran for their lives.

Anti-Semitic attacks have become regular events in Turkey. In December, after leaving an anti-corruption rally in Istanbul, a young woman was attacked by 10 to 15 supporters of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan who had just left a support rally for the premier.

They accused her of being a Jew, as they beat her up.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Turkish opposition MP Ayken Kerdemir said that Erdogan has cultivated Turkish anti-Semitism. “He is not only capitalizing on the existing sentiments, Kerdemir explained. Erdogan is “fueling some of that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic feeling… with his rhetoric, conspiracy theories, campaign slogans and actions.”

Kerdemir explained that Erdogan’s cultivation of anti-Semitism in Turkish society will continue to affect Turkey’s behavior and social values long after he is gone. “Even after Erdogan and AKP are gone, even if [the opposition party] CHP comes to power, it will take us quite some time to mend inter-societal relations through dialogue, awareness raising and sensitivity training.”

Once you let that genie out of the bottle, it is very hard to stuff it back inside.

Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is not opportunistic. He isn’t simply exploiting a popular prejudice for his own benefit. He is an anti-Semite. And his anti-Semitism informs his behavior toward Israel.

In Kerdemir’s view, Erdogan’s uncontrollable hatred of Jews makes it impossible for him to agree to reconcile Turkey’s relations with Israel.

As he put it, “Erdogan’s core values vis-à-vis Jews and Israel prevent him from dealing with this issue in a tolerant, embracing and sustainable way.”

Against this backdrop it should surprise no one that this week Erdogan sunk prospects for a renewal of Turkish ties with Israel.

Immediately after he took office 10 years ago, Erdogan began systematically downgrading Turkey’s strategic alliance with Israel. This process, which began gradually and accelerated after Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian elections, reached its peak in 2010.

In May 2010, Erdogan sponsored the pro-Hamas flotilla to Gaza whose aim was to undermine Israel’s lawful maritime blockade of the terrorist-controlled Gaza coast. The flotilla’s flagship, theMavi Marmara, was controlled by the al-Qaida-aligned IHH organization. Its passengers included terrorists who, armed with iron bars, knives and other weaponry tried to kill IDF naval commandos when they boarded the Gaza-bound ship to enforce the blockade. In the ensuing battle, the commandos killed nine IHH terrorists.

Erdogan used the incident on the Mavi Marmara as a means of ending what remained of Turkey’s ties to Israel. For three years, he insisted that he would only restore full diplomatic relations if Israel ended its blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza, apologized for its forces’ actions on board the Mavi Marmara, and paid reparations to the families of the IHH terrorists killed in their assault on the IDF commandos.

In March 2013, Erdogan relented in his demand that Israel end the blockade and acceded to a reconciliation deal offered by US President Barack Obama in a three-way telephone call with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that took place during Obama’s visit to Israel.

Following the phone call, Netanyahu apologized for “operational errors,” by IDF sailors aboard theMavi Marmara and offered to compensate the families.

Negotiations toward the reinstatement of diplomatic relations were to ensue immediately. But just after Netanyahu made his required gesture of appeasement, Erdogan began delaying the talks, while continuing his anti-Semitic assaults.

Talks eventually did start. And according to Israeli sources, they were about to conclude this week. Netanyahu was beginning to build political support for his decision to agree to Turkey’s demand for a massive $20 million settlement of claims against Israel by the dead terrorists’ families.

But then Erdogan walked away.

On Tuesday, Erdogan reinstated his initial demand that Israel must end its lawful naval blockade of terrorist-controlled Gaza before he restores ties to the Jewish state.

In many quarters of the Israeli media, Erdogan’s action was met with surprise. Reporters who for years have insisted that Israel can make the problem go away by bowing to Erdogan’s demands are stumped by his behavior.

But they shouldn’t have been.

It isn’t simply that Erdogan cannot reconcile with Israel because he hates Jews. As is almost always the case with anti-Semites, Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is part of his general authoritarian outlook informed by a paranoid mindset.

Erdogan sees a Jewish conspiracy behind every independent power base in Turkey. And his rejection of Israel is an integral part of his rejection of all forces in Turkey that are not dependent on his good offices.
Over the past 10 years, and with ever increasing brutality, paranoia and intensity, Erdogan has sought to destroy all independent power bases in the country. He purged the military by placing hundreds of generals in prison in his delusional Ergenekon conspiracy in which they were accused of seeking to overthrow his Islamist government.

He has destroyed most of the independent media in the country and sent hundreds of journalists and editors to prison.

The same is the case with independent businessmen.

Over the past year, Erdogan destroyed whatever remained of the plausible deniability he initially fostered between himself and the systematic abrogation of civil rights and the rule of law in Turkey.

This week, 17 people were sentenced to two years each in prison for “deliberately insulting the premier and not regretting their actions,” during a small demonstration in 2012 protesting the government’s health policy.

Also this week, Erdogan acknowledged that he calls television broadcasters in the middle of news shows and orders them to stop the broadcast of information he doesn’t want the public to know. This has included ending the live broadcast of a speech in parliament by the opposition leader, ending coverage of the mass anti-government demonstrations last summer, and removing a news ticker that reported on the corruption scandals surrounding Erdogan and his cronies.

Erdogan has also reacted to the corruption investigations of his cronies by firing the public prosecutors and police officers involved in the investigations.

To maintain the public’s support for his burgeoning dictatorship, Erdogan has adopted populist economic policies that have sunk the Turkish economy. To buy the public’s allegiance, Erdogan has borrowed heavily internationally and artificially lowered Turkey’s interest rates, even as the local currency dropped in value in international markets and Turkey’s current accounts deficits outpaced Greece’s on the eve of its economic meltdown.

As David Goldman explained last week in a financial analysis of Turkey’s incipient economic meltdown in The Asia Times, rather than raise consumer interests rates, Erdogan has blamed the Jews by railing against “the interest rate lobby.”

Indeed, since he first invoked the term during the anti-government demonstrations last August, Erdogan has taken to blaming the interest rate cabal for all of Turkey’s woes.

Goldman argues that part of Turkey’s credit crisis owes to its apparent reliance on interbank loans from Saudi Arabia. In part due to their anger at Erdogan for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis have apparently stopped loaning to Turkish banks.

The Saudis’ action has pushed Erdogan into the waiting arms of Iran’s ayatollahs. In an interviewwith Business Insider, Australia, terror financing expert Jonathan Schanzer said Turkey and Iran were able to minimize the impact of the international sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the Turkish-Iranian “gas for gold” sanctions-busting scheme brought Iran $13 billion in hard currency.

Erdogan’s hatred of Jews, his authoritarian mindset and his Islamist ideology informed his decision to transform Turkey into one of the leading sponsors of terrorism. In addition to its massive support for Hamas, beginning in the 2006 First Lebanon War Turkey began providing assistance to Hezbollah.

Then there is al-Qaida. Turkey has long harbored al-Qaida financiers. And according to IDF Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Turkey hosts three al-Qaida bases on its territory that enable terrorists to transit between Europe and Syria.

Erdogan’s ideological underpinning directs his embrace of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaida. But his decimation of Turkey’s economy has made him view Iran as Turkey’s economic savior. And that in turn pushes Turkey even deeper into the jihadist camp.

Obviously in this situation, the chance that Turkey will agree to reconcile with Israel, at any price, is nil.

The surprise that many Israeli journalists have expressed over Erdogan’s seeming about-face on the reconciliation deal brings us to the larger lesson of his transformation of Turkey.

These journalists believe that Israel’s bilateral relations with other countries are based on tit for tat. If I do something to upset you, you will get upset. If I apologize and try to make things right, then you will be satisfied and everything will go back to normal.

This simplistic view of the world is attractive because it places Israel in a position of power. If the only reason that Turkey is mad at Israel is that Israel will not apologize for its response to Turkey’s illegal aggression, then Israel should apologize and pay whatever damages Erdogan demands.

Moreover, Israel should make Erdogan believe the sincerity of its apology by maintaining faith with the myth that he is a responsible actor on the world stage, rather than a prominent sponsor of terrorism and the hangman of Turkish democracy and economic prosperity.

Appeasement is a seductive policy because it is gives its purveyors a sense of empowerment. And at times, when faced with a simple, limited dispute it can work.

But Turkey’s rejection of Israel is not a linear response to a specific Israeli action. It is a consequence of the nature of Erdogan’s regime, and due to his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement, it is increasingly a consequence of the nature of Turkish society.

Kerdemir argued that Turkish anti-Semitism does not necessitate a rejection of Jews and Israel. And that’s true.

The problem is that when anti-Semitism is tied to several other political and economic pathologies, as it is in the case of Turkey, it is impossible as a practical matter for any accommodation to be reached.

THE SWORD-WIELDING restaurateur who responded to the mere presence of Jewish diners in his establishment with murderous rage is no more exceptional than lynch mobs in Ramallah. And as Turkey’s economic plight worsens and Erdogan’s embrace of Iran and jihadist groups tightens, Turkey’s behavior will only become more extreme, unappeasable and dangerous.

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Obama’s Foreign affairs ideology is known as: Cultural relativism, the view that all beliefs, customs, and ethics are relative to the individual within his/her own social context. In other words, “right” and “wrong” are culture-specific; what is considered moral in one society may be considered immoral in another, and, since no universal standard of morality exists, no one has the right to judge another society’s customs

Read more: Cultural Relativism

The only thing that Obama seems to think is valid across all cultures is “Democracy” and then whatever the majority wants within the social context of their democracy is ok, because according to cultural relativism who are we to judge if what the people want is right or wrong? And he is doing the same thing in Egypt. The military in Egypt is restraining the tide of unvarnished Islam, but because Obama perceives that this is not being done via “Democratic means” of the local social context then foreign aid should be withheld! It is an insane premise and one that is undermining the international view of the U.S as being the global rational policeman.

From The CBC:

The U.S. is holding out the possibility of restoring hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt if its Mideast ally moves toward free and fair elections, even as the U.S. remains dissatisfied with Egypt’s progress toward reinstating a democratic government.

At stake is a sizable portion of the $1.5 billion the U.S. provides to Egypt each year. Much of the aid is in military equipment, and at least a quarter-billion in cash assistance to the Egyptian government and $300 million in a loan guarantee are also now in limbo.

The State Department made clear Wednesday that the decision to freeze the aid wasn’t permanent and it could be restored if “credible progress” is made toward setting up an inclusive government in the wake of the military coup that overthrew the elected if unpopular government of President Mohammed Morsi.

In Cairo, military spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali declined to comment on the announcement. Before the announcement, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the Egyptian military leader, described his country’s relations with the United States as “strategic” and founded on mutual interests. But he told the Cairo daily Al-Masry al-Youm that Egypt would not tolerate pressure, “whether through actions or hints.”

The Egyptian military set up an interim government after Morsi’s ouster, which came after massive anti-Morsi demonstrations in July. Military crackdowns against the Muslim Brotherhood and other Morsi supporters have left hundreds dead amid ongoing turmoil and soured U.S.-Egyptian relations.

The consequences of suspending aid extend beyond Egypt. The move will anger Gulf states, push Egypt to seek assistance from U.S. rivals and loosen decades of U.S.-Egyptian ties that that have been a bulwark of stability in the Middle East.

Neighbouring Israel also has indicated concern. The Israelis consider the U.S. aid to Egypt to be important support for the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.

Cabinet Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday that while Israel was “disturbed” by the threat of a U.S. aid cutoff, “I hope this decision by the United States will not have an effect and won’t be interpreted as something that should have an effect” on the treaty.

“The United States continues to support a democratic transition and oppose violence as a means of resolving differences within Egypt,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “We will continue to review the decisions regarding our assistance periodically and will continue to work with the interim government to help it move toward our shared goals in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation.” . . . . .

read the full article here.

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from the Gatestone Institute:

The coming weeks probably represent the last opportunity for Iran and the international community to reach an enforceable deal that will dismantle Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, before Israel concludes that time has run out, that Iran has gotten too close to creating its first atomic bombs, and that the time for a military strike has arrived.

Despite Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s well-planned and deceptive charm offensive at the United Nations last week, so far not a single uranium-enriching centrifuge has stopped spinning in the underground nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom. The heavy water plutonium facility at Arak is moving forward, and Iran has already amassed enough low-enriched uranium for the production of seven to nine atomic bombs.

The speech given by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the United Nations last week, in which he warned that Israel would act alone against Iran if it needed to, is an authentic warning, and serves a dual purpose.

First, the speech reintroduces a credible military threat and aims it squarely at the Islamic Republic.

This notice is important as deterrence against Iran has waned significantly since August, when President Barack Obama hesitantly climbed down from his commitment to carry out a military strike on Iran’s ally, the Syrian regime, over its use of chemical weapons to massacre civilians.

A diminished threat of military force leaves diplomatic efforts with Iran almost no chance of success: it leaves Iran with virtually no incentive to stop its nuclear progress, despite the painful economic sanctions it faces.

With no military threat, Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy, in which skilled Iranian negotiators would succeed in getting some of the sanctions lifted while giving up very little in return.

Many of America’s allies in the Middle East are very concerned about the lack of deterrence; and Netanyahu, keen to ensure that he has given talks with Iran all possible opportunities before taking matters into his own hands, has placed the military threat firmly back on the table, lest Iran forget that even if the U.S. will not act militarily any time soon, Israel most certainly will if it must.

The second purpose of Netanyahu’s speech was to put the international community on notice regarding the urgency of the situation, and to send the message that even if many in the West have fallen for Iran’s “campaign of smiles,” Israel has not, and if Israeli concerns are neglected, action will be taken.

Should the international community continue to allow Iran to buy more time for its nuclear program, as it has done for more than a decade, after Netanyahu’s warning, it will not be able to respond with surprise when Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear sites.

Israel’s leadership has long since concluded that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime — a regime that is doctrinally and theologically committed to Israel’s destruction, and that controls a state-sponsored terrorist network, active worldwide — is an outcome many times more dangerous than any military attack.

Israel’s defense establishment recognizes that stringent U.S.-led economic sanctions have forced Iran to the negotiating table. But senior officials, such as Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, have warned that merely arriving for negotiations and offering “sweet talk” is no reason to reward Iran by easing sanctions. On the contrary, easing sanctions now would guarantee that talks will fail.

Similarly, any agreement that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium under the guise of a civilian energy program will simply enshrine Iran’s position as a nuclear breakout state. Only tangible, verifiable steps that will ensure Iran is pushed back by years from its current progress could be considered an accomplishment.

Against the background of these developments, it is worth bearing in mind that the core of Jerusalem’s defense doctrine holds that Israel cannot depend on any foreign power — even its most trusted ally, the United States — to deal with an existential security threat.

Israel’s clock, which gauges Iranian nuclear progress, ticks faster than that of America’s, due to Israel’s lesser strike capabilities, its smaller size, its closer proximity to Iran, and ultimately, because Israel is the openly and repeatedly declared number one target of Iran’s ambition to destroy it.

If Israel misses its window of opportunity to act, such a lapse would violate a central tenet of its own defense doctrine — that Israel cannot depend on any external power to deal with existential security threats — thereby making that option unthinkable. Once Israeli intelligence agencies and senior military command levels conclude that the clock has struck one minute to midnight, no amount of pressure from allies will succeed in dissuading it from acting in self-preservation.

A military strike would not be a goal in itself, as Iran could go right back to reactivating its program, but it would be a last resort designed to accomplish what years of talks could not: to push Iran back from the nuclear brink.

Israel’s strike capabilities remain a closely guarded secret, but according to international media reports, the Israel Air Force has more than 100 F15i and F16i fighter jets that can fly to Iran and return without the need to refuel, as well as, for other jets, advanced midair refueling capabilities that would allow them to strike multiple Iranian targets. According to the reports, Israel also possesses long-range Jericho ground-to-ground missiles.

Any strike, moreover, would be unimaginable without the Israel Defense Force’s advanced electronic warfare units.

In the event that Iran orders its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah to retaliate with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles on the Israeli home front, Israel could respond with devastating air force strikes using new weapons systems, and a lightning ground invasion of southern Lebanon to extinguish quickly the rocket attacks and leave Hezbollah on the ropes.

No one in Israel seeks war, and few dispute that a diplomatic solution that can really freeze the threat from Tehran is the most desired outcome.

But so far, beyond empty gestures, Iran has given no indication that it is prepared to give up its program, and time is running out.

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from Debkafile:

The Iranian delegation arrived at the UN General Assembly in New York this week to an enthusiastic Western welcome led by the Obama administration, without having rescinded one iota of its aggressive policies or nuclear ambitions.

“We welcome an Iran ready to engage seriously through that (diplomatic) process given that it represents the international community’s commitment to hold Iran accountable, but also being open to a diplomatic resolution.”

This convoluted message was how Ben Rhodes, US Deputy National Security Adviser, referred Monday, Sept. 23, to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s get-together with Iranian Mohammad Javad Zarif Thursday, along with foreign ministers of the five world powers.

Their acclaimed purpose is to test Tehran’s willingness for progress in nuclear negotiations. But before this test, the Obama administration agreed to the highest-level face-to-face contact between the US and Iran since the 1979 Iranian revolution. Rhodes did not shut the door on a meeting, even a brief one, between President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani at this week’s annual gathering of world leaders in New York. British Foreign Secretary William Hague and European Union Foreign Executive Catherine Ashton had already met the new Iranian foreign minister Monday, after which Ashton commented that she had found him resolved to go forward with talks (on Iran’s nuclear program) and “many things flow from that.”

How to account for this burst of eagerness in Washington and Europe for a rapprochement with the Revolutionary Republic of Iran? Has Tehran agreed to give up its nuclear weapon program? The new president and even supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei say their government will never develop a nuclear bomb. So what if they said so? Have their words caused Iran’s nuclear facilities, open and concealed, to suddenly vanish like a desert mirage?

Has Iran announced itself ready to open up all its nuclear facilities to international watchdog inspections? Will Rouhani make this offer when he addresses the UN Assembly Wednesday? Has Iran promised to stop developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads? And what about the Islamic Republic’s long sponsorship of state terrorism against Israeli and Jewish targets across the world? Have those death-dealing networks been recalled home?

And has Tehran started pulling its troops out of Syria and terminated its partnership in butchery with Bashar Assad, given up its control of Lebanon or stopped sending rockets to Hizballah?

Has anyone noticed that Iran is building a Red Sea Naval base at Port Sudan facing the coast of Saudi Arabia? Or that a large-scale munitions production and distribution center for supplying Iran’s Middle East allies is going up in Sudan?

And finally, has Iran abandoned its ambition to wipe Israel off the map, or stopped denying the Nazi Holocaust?

The slick new president easily ducked the second question by saying: “I’m not a historian.” He and members of his regime have suddenly been given free license to fill the op-ed pages of important Western media with smooth propaganda for Western audiences. But while polishing his civilized aspect towards the West, Rouhani made sure the day before he flew to New York to display Iran’s steel teeth with its largest display ever of missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers. The 30 weapons on show included 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles which can reach Israel and US Gulf bases – although Rouhani stated with a straight face that they were “for defensive purposes only.”

The turbaned Iranian president has an obvious motive for gulling the West into accepting the Islamic Republic’s conversion from a regime bent on “exporting the Islamic revolution” to a lover of peace: He was elected to end the sanctions crippling the country, without giving up the regime’s objectives. It is less clear what moves President Obama to swallow the Iranian bait and go for a historic US rapprochement with the revolutionary republic. On every occasion, he protests that Israel’s security is his overriding concern. Yet he is rushing to accept a nuclear Iran whose avowed ambition is to destroy Israel.

Under their slick new façade, the ayatollahs have not changed their spots. Washington has. Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu say he is determined to tear the false veil off Iran’s face – even if he is a lone voice, when he addresses the UN later this month.

Last Thursday, Netanyahu tried throwing water on Rouhani’s claims that Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful, calling them fraudulent. He dismissed Iran’s offer to engage in diplomacy as false “media spin,” which should not fool anyone. But no one in the West was listening. And at home, people were asking what happened to Netanyahu’s solemn pre-election pledge to stop Iran attaining a nuclear bomb.

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