Saturday, March 31, 2018
The draft council statement also expressed “grave concern at the situation at the border.” And it reaffirmed “the right to peaceful protest” and expressed the council’s “sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.”
The Israeli military on Saturday night identified 10 of the 16 people reported killed during violent protests along the Gaza security fence as members of Palestinian terrorist groups, and published a list of their names and positions in the organizations.
The Security Council held a closed meeting on Friday night to discuss the clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, despite a request from the US and Israel to postpone deliberations for Saturday due to Passover holiday eve.
Having attempted to terrorize Israel into capitulation with its strategic onslaught of suicide bombers in the Second Intifada, it has, since grabbing hold of Gaza, continued its efforts to terrorize Israel by firing thousands upon thousands of rockets indiscriminately across the border.
Just in case anybody forgot, Hamas has cynically and relentlessly exploited Gazans — a large proportion of whom have supported it in elections — by storing its rockets near or even inside mosques and schools, firing rockets from residential areas, and digging tunnels from beneath homes and civilian institutions.
It has subverted all materials that can be utilized for the manufacture of weaponry, necessitating a stringent Israeli security blockade whose main victims are ordinary Gazans.
Organizing and encouraging mass demonstrations at the border in the so-called “March of Return” to face off against Israeli troops, while sanctimoniously and disingenuously branding the campaign non-violent, is merely the latest iteration of Hamas’s cynical use of Gazans as the human shields for its aggression.
Just in case anybody forgot, demanding a “right of return” to Israel for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants is nothing less than a call for the destruction of Israel by demographic means.
No Israeli government could accept this demand, since it would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish-majority state. Israel’s position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.
Just in case anybody forgot, the late prime minister Ariel Sharon oversaw the wrenching withdrawal from Gaza out of a declared desire to set Israel’s permanent borders, and did so unilaterally because he concluded that he could not reach a negotiated agreement with the Palestinian leadership. Had Gaza remained calm, and Sharon remained healthy, it is likely he would have ordered a pullout from much of the West Bank as well — paving the path to Palestinian statehood.
Hamas, of course, is not interested in Palestinian independence. Again, it strives for the elimination of Israel.
So, finally, just in case anybody forgets the context for Friday’s latest escalation of violence, they need only listen to Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar setting out the ultimate goal.
As he put it in an address to Gazans at the border on Friday, “The March of Return will continue… until we remove this transient border.” The protests “mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and ‘return’… Our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.”
Barabbas was likely so well know that no one needed to mention his first name. Just Barabbas is all you needed to say because he was a well known seditionist at the time of Christ. Barabbas was also a murderer and a thief. He’d been tried in a Roman court of law and found guilty, sentenced with a perfectly fair verdict.
Let’s pause here to consider what another theologian once said: “When the holiness of God is the yardstick, the difference between you and I and Adolf Hitler gets lost in the rounding.” That means we don’t ever want to think too highly of ourselves. That’s why I think we need to identify with Barabbas during Passion Week.
So, there Barabbas sat waiting to die a horrible death. Meanwhile, outside, unbeknownst to Barabbas, a chess game waged on between the Roman governor Pilate and the Jewish Sanhedrin, who were the Jewish authorities at the time, on what to do with Jesus. Pilate didn’t want anything to do with having the blood of Yeshua on his hands. And so, he sent Jesus to Herod Antipas. Antipas ruled the Galilean district and recognizes the political treachery of this. He also didn’t want to touch this case, even though Jesus resided in his jurisdiction. So, Herod Antipas sent Jesus back to Pilate for final judgment.
Not able to pass the buck, Pilate decided on a good idea. This would become his master stroke. There was a tradition that the Jews had at Passover to release one prisoner. Pilate ordered his administrative staff to find the worst possible prisoner in the system that they could find. Pilate wanted to offer Jesus as compared to this worst criminal, Barabbas. He believed the crowd would see the murderous Barabbas and then decide to save Jesus. If Pilate’s plan would save Jesus, the governor would be off this political tightrope he’d been walking on with the Sanhedrin.
Muammar Gaddafi wanted to shatter the dominance of the greenback in the Middle East by introducing gold-backed dinar, but failed. China has a chance to finish what he started, one industry expert has told RT.
“Ideas related to oil trade in currencies other than the dollar arose more than once. Some of them were severely suppressed by the United States, one example is Muammar Gaddafi, who proposed the introduction of a regional currency gold dinar and trading oil in the Middle East in this currency,” Aleksandr Egorov, foreign exchange strategist at TeleTrade, told RT.
However, this time, an attempt to oust the dollar could be successful. China has launched oil futures backed by yuan, and Beijing has what Gaddafi didn’t, according to the expert.
“Along with the Chinese role in the global economy and the growing interest in the renminbi, China is also protected by a nuclear shield. It can afford to try to shatter the monopoly in oil trade. This will give even more weight to the Chinese yuan. In addition, China's economy is the world's largest consumer of oil, and consequently, all world producers of raw materials will have to reckon with the strategy of the Chinese authorities,” Egorov said.
According to the analyst, the timing for the launch of the petro-yuan is perfect. Key oil producers Russia, Iran and Venezuela are under pressure from US sanctions, and it is a good moment for them to ditch the dollar in oil trade and substitute it with the yuan.
Mikhail Mashchenko, an analyst at social network for investors eToro, agrees. “From the point of view of Russia's geopolitics, it is certainly beneficial to reduce the role of the dollar in foreign trade. And it has been done, let’s recall the record growth of the country's gold reserves. The other states that are constantly under the threat of new sanctions, like Iran and Venezuela, can profit, too. The contracts in RMB will allow to trade oil without US approval,” he told RT.
Both analysts agree that it will take time before the petro-yuan can become a real threat to the dollar. China needs to win the support of the world's largest oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia, or the initiative is doomed, says Mashchenko. He added that the yuan is fully controlled by Beijing, which could also spook potential investors.
This idea of scrapping the concept individual nation states in the European Union was recently advanced by some European parliamentary leaders:
Former State Secretary for defense and Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and European Cooperation, Willy Wimmer, says that this proposal is part a movement within the EU to erode individual, national, obstacles to larger EU strategies. Wimmer said recently:
“We face critical decisions in the European Union these days. I think there is a major obstacle to the development of the EU because Brussels – mainly France and Germany – want to get rid of the nation states. [Bringing together nation states] had been the founding principle in the European community as we know it since 1956. This principle [is something] that the Polish people, or the Dutch people, the Swedes, the Spanish and also the Germans are not willing to go astray from.”
This proposal would provide Brussels the power to impose policy and implement strategies that might otherwise face serious objection from some other EU member nations. Wimmer mentioned the recognition of Kosovo and the recent migrant quotas imposed on EU member states, as examples.
The big boys, like Germany and France, want to have the power to dictate to the rest of Europe how things are gonna go down. Essentially, France and Germany get to call the shots, backed up by their buddies, while the smaller countries, namely those in the East, just have to take whatever their German friends dish out. This move would result in a loss of sovereignty by yielding this simple majority to the West.
Israel says it will expand response if Gaza clashes go on
Thousands of Palestinians marched to Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday in the largest such demonstration in recent memory, calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land that their ancestors fled from in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was “fully responsible” for the violence. In a speech broadcast on Palestine TV, Abbas said he has asked the United Nations to immediately work toward providing protection for the “defenseless” Palestinians. “The large number of martyrs and injured in peaceful demonstrations affirms the need for the international community to intervene to provide protection for our people,” Abbas said.
Friday, March 30, 2018
Another powerful quake strikes Papua New Guinea: A magnitude 6.9 is incredibly the 12th major quake to hit in or around the island's this year
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off the southern coast of Papua New Guinea’s New Britain Island on Friday, initially triggering a tsunami warning for surrounding coastlines, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
The shallow quake struck close to the coast, around 100 miles (162 km) southwest of Rabaul, a much more remote region than the country’s mountainous mainland highlands where a magnitude 7.5 tremor struck on Feb. 26, killing 100 people.
Incredibly 12 of the 31 major quakes this year have occurred in or around Papua New Guinea.
Today's major quakes were the 8th of March and brought the total to 31 in 2018, 14 more than the same time period of last year.
Of the 31 major quakes reported this year, 30 of them have occurred during coronal activity on the sun.
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole is brushing against Earth's magnetic field today.
The move came as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he had asked the United Nations to immediately work toward providing protection for the “defenseless” Palestinians.
The Arab League put out a statement condemning Israel “for its brutal handling of peaceful demonstrations,” according to the UAE-based al-Bayan news outlet.
Israeli Tanks And Planes Bomb Hamas Sites In Gaza Strip After Gazans Fire On Troops, Abbas Says Israel Fully To Blame As Death Toll In Clashes Rises To 15
The reprisal attack came after troops were shot at by two Gazans approaching the security fence. No Israeli troops were hurt in the exchange, the IDF said.
Gazan sources said at least 12 people were killed and over 1,000 more injured in the fighting. The army said protesters hurled firebombs and stones at troops and burned tires. Many of the injuries came from rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation, though the IDF used live ammunition as well.
The PA Ministry of Information accused Israel of targeting “peaceful” marches with live ammunition and said this was proof of the need to provide international protection for the Palestinians. The ministry praised Palestinians for heeding calls to take part in demonstrations marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
If they are hungry, the people of the Gaza Strip will “eat the livers of those besieging” the coastal enclave, Sinwar warned, using an Arabic idiom that means to take revenge on someone.
An IDF spokesman referred to the scattered West Bank protests, which attracted some 900 demonstrators, as small scale.
Palestinian media reported Israeli troops firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators near Nablus and Ramallah.
The protests were a small fraction of much larger demonstrations on the Gaza border, where over 30,000 Palestinians massed near the security fence in what was a termed the “March of Return,” encouraged by the Hamas terror group that rules the Strip.