Current Events & Trends: July/August 2021

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Current Events & Trends

July/August 2021

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Israel again blamed for violence with Palestinians

As usual, the state of Israel was the object of world condemnation in the recent flare-up of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Hamas operatives in Gaza fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israel and Israeli forces struck back. Many argued that Palestinians were retaliating against Israeli aggression, but the whole thing “began when Hamas, a designated terrorist organization that rules Gaza, encouraged young people to stockpile rocks, stones and chunks of concrete in the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,” as noted by All Israel News editor Joel Rosenberg (Art Moore, “Palestinians Provoked Conflict with Attacks on Jewish Worshipers,” WND, May 11, 2021).

“Israel forces then had to move in to the Temple Mount to protect the worshippers . . . ‘And, of course, [Rosenberg] said, ‘this was designed to pull Israeli forces in and then create a ‘moment,’ where . . . the radical Islamic world could begin to say Israel is . . . desecrating our holy site.’ . . . ‘The media act as though, suddenly, one day Israel decided to be mean to Palestinians and started bombing Gaza,’ he said. Rosenberg also noted that Hamas is upset that the Palestinian [Fatah] leadership in the West Bank called off an election, allegedly because they thought Hamas would win.”

In response to Hamas rocket attacks, writes Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe in his newsletter Arguable, “Israel bombed hundreds of Hamas positions in Gaza, many of them located in homes, buildings, and tunnels. Hamas deliberately locates arms caches, military infrastructure, and command posts in civilian settings, in order to force Israel into an excruciating dilemma: If it attacks Hamas positions, Palestinian civilians may be harmed, but if it refrains from attacking such sites, Hamas will continue firing at Israeli communities.

“As a matter of longstanding policy, Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming civilians, even telephoning residents in advance of a strike to give them time to evacuate. But civilian casualties are an inevitable and tragic result in all wars . . . According to Hamas, 232 residents of Gaza were killed in the recent fighting (some by Hamas rockets that misfired). Israel says that at least 160 of them were targeted terrorists, many of whom it has identified by name. If so, that means its hundreds of bombing runs in the densely populated territory were so meticulously targeted that they caused the death of fewer than 70 civilians, an astonishing achievement” (“My Three Trips to Gaza,” May 24).

Meanwhile, as British columnist Melanie Phillips notes, the media generally continue to condemn Israel above Hamas, even accusing the Israelis of trying to hide what was going on or even targeting the media when Israel warned media personnel to evacuate the “media building” in Gaza City before bombing it. In fact it “actually housed . . . a Hamas research and development unit, Hamas military intelligence and offices of the Palestinian Islamic jihad” (“A Murderous Co-operation,” May 16).

Phillips points out: “The real outrage is that these media outlets were sharing that building with a Hamas intelligence nerve center—an outfit which doesn’t seem to have struck them as, you know, a rather big story to investigate. Of course not. For this is part of a much larger issue . . . The only journalists allowed to be in Gaza are those who deliver the story Hamas wants to tell the world . . . Most reporting from Gaza is delivered by local Palestinian ‘stringers’ or fixers. They may boast respectable media accreditation like AP. But they are either members of Hamas themselves or are all too aware that if they don’t deliver what Hamas wants them to deliver, they’re dead.”

Pray for the day when this region and the whole world can at last know peace!

 

 

 

Many Millennials “don’t know, care, or believe” God exists

The 2021 American Worldview Inventory survey from Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center, directed by sociologist George Barna, has found that while 57 percent of Millennials (born between 1984 and 2002) identify as Christian, 43 percent “don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.” For older generations, the latter grouping is smaller but still sizeable—31 percent of Gen X (born 1965-1983), 28 percent of Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 27 percent of the Builder or Silent Generation (born 1927-1945).

As reported at Breitbart News, “Barna said the shift in America’s spiritual landscape started almost 60 years ago with progressive changes among Boomers, but that Millennials have aggressively cut ties with core biblical views and lifestyle values. According to the survey, Millennials are ‘far more likely’ than other generations to:

“• Define success in life as happiness, personal freedom, or productivity without oppression

“• Consider an abortion performed to reduce personal economic or emotional discomfort to be morally acceptable

“• Consider premarital sex with someone expected to be their future spouse to be morally acceptable

“• Deem reincarnation a real possibility

“• Be liberal regarding fiscal and social policies

“• Champion liberal theology

“• Be among the ‘Don’ts’—people who either do not know if God exists, do not believe that He exists, or do not care if He exists

“Barna included in his summary of the worldview of Millennials, as presented in his research, their tendency to perceive expansion of government will facilitate a better life and that public programs and policies should have flexible boundaries. In addition, the sociologist noted the survey suggests younger Americans are seeking ‘fewer formal marriages’ and ‘the reduced appeal of raising children’” (Susan Berry, May 20, 2021).

Continuing, “Barna said the survey results warn of a significant challenge for the future of Christian faith in America. ‘If Christian churches, pastors, schools, and individuals believe that a biblical Christian faith is important—not just for themselves but also for our nation and the world beyond it—time is running out to aggressively and strategically act on that belief,’ he cautioned, ‘before those who so vehemently disagree succeed in destroying the freedom and opportunity to preserve the ways of God.’”

Even among those who call themselves Christian, progressivism and Marxism are growing, being repackaged as Christian concepts, explains author Lucas Miles in his new bestselling book The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church. Miles notes that the shift is made easier through increasing biblical illiteracy (Leah Klett, “Lefist Ideology Permeating Church ‘Extremely Dangerous’ to Body of Christ,” The Christian Post, May 27, 2021). Indeed, even more traditionalist Christians are sadly lacking in biblical understanding.

Society is drifting farther and farther from God, just as the Bible has foretold. Hold fast to God and His true teachings, making sure that you are not swept away with the spirit of the times.

 

 

Antisemitism again on the rise

The recently reignited Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East has set off a new wave of antisemitic sweeping the Western world.

Conservative commentator Mark Levin decried U.S. government leaders failing to speak out against what’s happening. He mentioned seeing “on TV individuals with Antifa-like clothing with the Palestinian flag chasing down Jews in cities throughout this country, in cars, attacking Jews, organized like Black Lives Matter and Antifa, beating Jews, graffiti on synagogues including swastikas and so forth . . . The FBI says 60 percent of all anti-religious hate crimes is against Jews, [yet] the Jews are a tiny percentage of the population . . . This is frightening. And it’s happening all over the world, but to be happening in the United States of America is absolutely appalling” (Fox News, May 25, 2021).

British columnist Melanie Phillips writes of the problem growing in the United Kingdom: “A convoy of cars flying the Palestinian flag drove through one Jewish area of north London after another,” with curses and calls to rape Jewish daughters being screamed through megaphones for hours. This came a day after “a mass Israel hate-fest in London over the war in Gaza” (“Britain Slides Into an Antisemitic Sewer,” May 18).

She comments that “even now . . . few in public life can bring themselves to acknowledge the symbiotic connection between hatred of Israel and hatred of the Jews—and that the latter creates the former, and not the other way round . . . There’s still an absolute refusal in many quarters to acknowledge that the hysteria against Israel can only be explained—in its demonic irrationality and determination to libel the Israelis as child-killers, while excusing those who really are murdering and procuring the deaths of children and other innocents—as a profoundly unhinged obsession with demonising the Jewish people.

“To repeat: there is no other conflict, issue, people or country in the world which has ever been subjected to such a campaign of systematic, obsessional and paranoid falsehoods and inversion of historical, legal and demonstrably factual reality. This is a unique pathology, directed uniquely at both the Jewish people and the Jewish state because it is the same unique disorder with the same unique characteristics. And it has one name. Antisemitism.”

The worst of it today is seen among the Palestinian Arabs, as she goes on to illustrate, quoting from Palestinian Media Watch: “‘. . . Children recite poems on official PA TV stating that “our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail,” and that Jews were “condemned to humiliation and hardship” and are “the most evil among creations, barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs.” PA antisemitism reaches its pinnacle by presenting Jews’ existence as a fundamental threat to all humanity . . . At times the PA has explicitly stated its horrific conclusion: The Jewish threat to humanity will be stopped only by exterminating all Jews . . . Since killing any and all Jews is self-defence, every act of Palestinian murder [of Jews] is packaged as a heroic act with Allah’s stamp of approval . . .’ This is what British and American so-called ‘progressives’—including, appallingly and tragically, many ‘progressive’ Jews—are actually supporting when they endorse the Palestinian cause. But . . . this horrific collusion has been going on for decades.”

For those who know the Scriptures, the real enemy behind all this should come as no surprise. Satan is the one who wants to destroy the Jewish people and all Israel. But though he will yet do great damage toward this end, his aims will ultimately be thwarted by the return of Jesus Christ to rule all nations. May that day come swiftly!

 

 

Government bought aborted baby parts

The Federalist published a disturbing story titled “Federal Government Caught Buying ‘Fresh’ Flesh of Aborted Babies Who Could Have Survived as Preemies”  (Edie Heipel, April 15, 2021).

Earlier in April, “legal accountability group Judicial Watch dropped a bombshell: a nearly 600-page report proving the U.S. government has been buying and trafficking ‘fresh’ aborted baby body parts. These body parts, purchased by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ‘humanize’ mice and test biologic drugs in scientific experiments, came from babies up to 24-weeks-old gestation, just weeks from being born . . .

“Recent emails uncovered by Judicial Watch between FDA employees and the California-based Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) prove the agency spent tens of thousands of dollars buying aborted babies for unethical scientific experiments between 2012 and 2018. In 2018, the Trump administration terminated the contract, halting government fetal tissue research due to concerns the contracts were unlawful.”

The rest of the article is gruesome and difficult to read. How far the nation has fallen from the moral sensibilities of former times! There will surely be a reckoning for such atrocity and its perpetuation.

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